Unfortunate, But True
Conditions favor Bush win in 2004
(Dick Polman, Philadephia Inquirer)
Presidential historian Allan Lichtman, among others who chart election trends, said: "Increasingly, all the underlying factors are lining up in Bush's favor. It'll be a tough road for the Democrats. Their chances aren't impossible, just remote."
Its a nice little summary of the historical trends which point to a Bush reelection at this point. Now, 11 months is indeed a long time. And a lot may yet happen. So it really is too early for a real prediction. However, if a couple things hold:
No major worsening in the Iraq situation
The economy continues on an upward course
No major new terrorist attack in the US
No major NEW international crisis
No major domestic screwup
Then W has it in the bag. People will vote on their pocketbooks, and it will be a done deal. In a reversal of either of the first two, it hurts W. The second two, throw everything up into the air. Depending on the details, it could be either bad or good for W.
With Dean rapidly consolidating the Democrats, he also looks like the presumptive nominee unless he screws up (which he very well could do, he has the potential). Dean would then have to make a major swing rightward to have a chance, and he may not be able to do that effectively. He certainly could not win the required number of electoral votes with his current voice absent a complete collapse on the Bush side.
Well, we shall see. 11 months yet. Not time to call the winner quite yet. Maybe by March or June. :-)