Kerry’s Pollster: We’re Going To Lose

This has got to be disheartening for Democrats. John Kerry’s pollster is apparently predicting defeat…

“We simply do not defeat an incumbent president in wartime.”

The quote above is from Mark Mellman. Mark is a Democratic pollster. And he’s very partisan. And he’s been working for Kerry this year.

But Mark is no fool and he has a reputation to maintain.

He explains his reasoning at some length in a column in The Hill this morning. He predicts that Bush will get 51.6% of the two-party vote.”

If Matthew Dowd were saying it was over for Bush before it started that would be pretty depressing.

Hat tip to Cliff May over at The Corner for the story.

*** Update ***: The actual Mellman column is here. He DOES NOT predict a Bush victory per se, but he spends the whole column explaining why Kerry probably won’t win.

Here are some of the highlights…

“…First, we simply do not defeat an incumbent president in wartime. After wars surely, but never in their midst. Republicans have been spinning this fact for months, and they are correct.”

(***This one is particularly irritating given how the Kerry campaign has spun the economy***)

“…Democrats have spoken often and powerfully about the nation’s economic problems. But by historical standards, they are not that bad. The “misery index” is 7.8 today but was 20.5 when Jimmy Carter was defeated. Economic models of elections show Bush winning 52-58 percent of the vote. “

“…Bush’s approval ratings are also indicative of the difficulties Kerry faces. It is certainly true that the average incumbent who has been reelected has had a much higher job approval rating — 62 percent. Bush’s approval rating is now about 49 percent. Yet the last time an incumbent was beaten — Bush’s father — just 33 percent approved of his performance. When Carter was defeated, he had an approval rating of only 37 percent. On average, incumbents who have been defeated have only had a 38 percent job rating. Bush is 10 points higher than that.

…Taking all that and more into account, an expert forecasting model suggests that Bush will get 51.6 percent of the two-party vote.”

To be honest, I’m a little suprised Mellman allowed this to be released today. This is the sort of column you put out the DAY AFTER the election, explaining why you lost….

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