The First Set Of 2008 Odds For The Presidency

It’s really, really early, but just for the heck of it, here are my first election projections for the White House in November.

The political environment is still heavily tilted against the GOP. It may even be as bad as it was back in 2006. Additionally, having a President as unpopular as George Bush and an unpopular war occurring is going to be an enormous drag on McCain.

Moreover, although McCain seems to be doing as well as could be hoped in drawing conservative voters, the energy level on the right is practically a flat line. McCain is raising very little money, the new media on the right has been a bit lethargic in defending him, and while there is an enormous dislike of Barack Obama on the Right, there’s also very little enthusiasm for a McCain Presidency.

On the other hand, a lot of real damage has been done in the Democratic primary fight. There’s genuine bad blood on both sides and a guy like McCain, who’s an honest-to-goodness moderate, could stand to benefit.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the most likely nominee, Obama, is raising a lot of money, he does not match up well to McCain and he has some serious demographic issues that could be crippling in a general election. Paul Begala described Obama’s supporters as “eggheads and African Americans” and unfortunately for the Democrats, those two groups go Democratic anyway.

When you look at the groups that are truly up for grabs, middle-class white voters, female voters, older voters, etc., Obama is not doing very well with those groups. On top of that, not only is Obama way too inexperienced to be President, he is exactly the sort of candidate that Republicans defeat in election after election: an effete, northern ultra-liberal masquerading as a moderate.

In an even-steven year, where both Republicans and Democrats were relatively evenly matched, McCain probably wouldn’t have much trouble dispatching Obama.

However, this is not an even-steven year. The political battlefield is heavily titled towards the Democrats because of Bush, the war in Iraq, McCain’s unpopularity with the conservative press, and the lack of energy on the Right.

Still, the American people have never shown much inclination to put unrepentant liberals in office, they’re not fond of losing wars, and Obama is probably going to have long-term difficulty winning over white voters because of his long association with Jeremiah Wright and his anti-white church.

With that in mind: my first way, way too early estimate would be: McCain: 60% chance of getting elected. Obama: 40% chance.

PS: If Clinton were the nominee, I’d put her odds of beating McCain at 75%.

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