Sunday, October 31, 2004

Presidential Predictors and GOTV

Even though I am a Redskins fan, I am so happy that they lost today. I am joyful because the last Redskins game before a presidential election is an accurate predictor of which party will win. If Redskins win their last game before election, the incumbent party wins. Just think back to as many presidential years as you can and who won the game and the election and you will see I am right. According to the Washington Post: "The axiom has held true since the Boston Redskins won two days before former president Franklin Roosevelt won a second term in 1936. The team moved to Washington in 1937 and has proven to be an accurate predictor of presidential fortunes."

Another predictor is the NBA finals. If the Western Conference Team wins, the GOP candidate is elected president. This one is less reliable I am told than the Redskins one but still pretty good. Kerry has both sporting event outcomes in his favor.

Of course, that doesn't mean ABBers should rest. They gotta Get Out The Vote. Anecdotal evidence is that the 527s are doing a great job already. People in FL are waiting 3 hrs in lines to vote early, newspaper reports that Kerry has a 100K vote margin in Miami-Dade Co. alone, which the papers contend will be hard for Bush to make up in the Panhandle, his strong suit. Good work and keep it up, especially Third Avenue reader Jaime who is in NH with ACT right now. Say hi to all those ex-Deaniacs for me. No hard feelings.

My GOTV efforts are more modest but I can sleep at night now that I did something. Yesterday, my Dad and I went out to Magna, UT to walk a precinct. The westside of the Salt Lake Valley is poorer, more ethnically diverse (more Latinos and Tongans) than the rest of the Valley. And hence, the area is more Democratic. I saw a handful of KE04 signs and only one BC04 sign. There were a few signs for state and local candidates but I really didn't see much political activism there.

My dad and I distributed doorknockers, which are little things you hang on a door that have the names of all the democrats in their precinct they can vote for, along with where they can vote. Boy that takes me back. Last time I did the doorknockers was in West Valley City in 1992. WVC is also democratic leaning and at the time was in the second district (Jim Matheson's district) for which my sister's godmother was running (her husband is my godfather). Karen Shepherd ultimately won that year and as you know it was a pretty good year for Democrats nationally (and in Utah as well). It was also the last year my Dad was state party chairman.

Other signs point to a Kerry victory as well. Even my dad, the most pessimistic man and Democrat I know, thinks Kerry will win OH and "just might pull this off." He thinks there will be a Kerry EC victory and a Bush popular vote victory.

The people I talked to were very nice and generally receptive to what I was saying because I was limiting my talk to be soley informational telling them to vote and where it was (not telling them whom to vote for). It was amazing to see how other people live, and to realize how lucky I am that my family has been able to provide so many things for me. There were carburetors lying in yards, rusted out cars, falling apart houses, and other signs of poverty. Yet in the same precinct and a block or two away, there were new pre-fab first time homes of low-middle class families who were on their way up the financial ladder. The area reminded me of my canvassing of NH (which I did in 2000, 2003, and 2004) in terms of the mixed nature of the neighborhoods and size of houses.

At church today, I thanked the Lord that I am so lucky and prayed for a Kerry victory first then said, if you have time God, please let the Democrats retake Congress, or at least the Senate. And it is not because the Democrats are fundamentally better but I think the GOP has proven that it is unwilling to do what needs to be done to make the country and world a better place. I also prayed for peace in the greater middle east, an end to terrorism, and the safe return of our soldiers as soon as possible.

In 2 days, with your help, my prayers will be answered.

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