View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, August 02, 2004

The Post-Convention Pothole 

Anyone who's lived through more than a couple of winters in DC knows about potholes. Water seeps into the asphalt, freezes, and then something like a car tire hits the weak spot and creates a hole. That seems to be an apt comparison with what's hit the Kerry campaign over the last few days. The CNN/USA Today poll shows a 5-pt. bounce for the President, and for the first time I can remember, shows one ticket over 50%. That last is very important, if it holds.

I've also been watching the Tradesports contract on the President's re-election, and the Iowa Electionic Market charts on both vote share and Winner-Take-All. The Tradesports contract had actually fallen below 50%, but is now back up over 53%. The vote share numbers had merged, but the President is seeing a little separation again, and the Kerry numbers in the winner-take-all contract are now back to pre-convention levels.

That last contract is possibly the most important. It was at this point in 1992 that Bill Clinton overtook George H.W. Bush in the market, a point I have seen made nowhere else. Kerry briefly moved ahead of the President, but has failed to hold onto the gains. Any technical analyst looking at these numbers would conclude that both campaigns are still moving sideways, with the President still slightly ahead. This was a critical week for Senator Kerry, and he failed to capitalize on it.

Naturally, these markets aren't perfect by any stretch. They're collective predictions, nothing more. But they've been good in the past.

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