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Urban legend indicators

Old 10-25-04, 08:06 PM
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Urban legend indicators

At an attempt of adding a somewhat humorous thread I thought it could be fun to spend this last week collecting all the urban legend/myth indicators of presidential elections in one thread. Some have already been talked about, for example the weekly reader poll (winner: Bush), the nick.com poll (winner: Kerry), the Washington Redskins game next Sunday (incumbant usually reelected if the Skins win their last home game before the election), etc...

So what other sorts of indicators are out there and which way are they going. If possible please give a source/link to back up your post


BTW this isn't meant to be another poll thread so please keep the "real" polls in that thread. Just all the other little goofy indicators people give to predict elections. If it happens to be a poll (like the nick.com thing) so be it, but leave the discussion of the main polls in that thread. Thx


Totals (through the stock market post):
Bush: 7
Kerry: 4
Undetermined yet: 2

Last edited by nemein; 11-01-04 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 10-25-04, 09:03 PM
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Here's a link to the thread on Halloween masks (Bush wins):

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=386591
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Old 10-25-04, 09:04 PM
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There's a rather obscure one concerning Delaware, whereby whoever wins Delaware, wins the presidency. This is good as far back as 1952, until last election, when Gore won the state. But since 2000 was... contested, I'm willing to let it slide.

Right now Kerry is polling ahead in Delaware:

http://www.uselectionatlas.org/USPRE...ls.php?fips=10
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Old 10-25-04, 10:11 PM
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I remember that it MO was pretty much in the same boat as Delaware. Delaware lost its status in 2000, Missouri still counts.
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Old 10-25-04, 10:34 PM
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If Dan Rather calls Florida early for Kerry, then Bush will win...
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Old 10-25-04, 10:38 PM
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If Dan Rather calls Florida early for Kerry
Rather has already called it for Kerry(posted in another thread).
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Old 10-26-04, 07:56 AM
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I posted this in the Nick.com thread:

Most political junkies won't give it the time of day, but the Weekly Reader presidential poll of schoolchildren has pegged every winner since 1956.

This year's winner? George W. Bush in a landslide.

Most polls of adults put Bush and Democratic Sen. John Kerry neck-and-neck. But this one wasn't even close: Bush got 65% of kids' votes, while Kerry got just over 33%, says Weekly Reader editor Mia Toschi.
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Old 10-26-04, 08:08 AM
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That's the one I was talking about in the OP, I just didn't recall the official name
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Old 10-26-04, 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by nemein
That's the one I was talking about in the OP, I just didn't recall the official name
In that case, I believe nate posted a different one:

Bush wins the Scholastic Election Poll, which has mirrored the outcome over every Presidential election except 2 since 1940.
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Old 10-26-04, 08:37 AM
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gotcha I had missed there was two different ones.
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Old 10-26-04, 03:44 PM
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Does the 'only a Southern Democrat can win' prediction count as goofy?

My source? 1964, 1976, 1992, and 1996.
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Old 10-26-04, 04:23 PM
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Works for me... I listed it as "undetermined yet" though
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Old 10-26-04, 05:25 PM
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Fred Barnes mentioned one this past weekend on The Beltway Boys. Something along the lines of: the incumbant's actual popular vote percentage is always less than his percentage in the final Gallup poll.
So the best the President can hope for is that amount (under this theory).

FWIW, the Gallup report out today gives Bush 51% among likely voters and 49% among registered voters. I don't recall if Barnes said which total he was referring to.

Sorry, couldn't find a transcript link over at Fox News yet.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:17 PM
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7-11 cups:

7-Eleven did an unscientific poll in 2000, which was uncannily accurate.

The poll gives 7-Eleven customers the choice of a Bush, Kerry or undecided cup when purchasing a fountain soft drink. Poll results are based on the number of cups sold for each candidate. Although unscientific, the poll samples millions and millions of Americans from all walks of life across the nation, including those whose primary phone is a cell phone.

This year the vote is:
Bush: 51.17 %
Kerry: 48.83 %
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Old 10-27-04, 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by icondude
7-11 cups:

7-Eleven did an unscientific poll in 2000, which was uncannily accurate.
Interesting, I had no idea they did this. Did Gore win the cup count by .5% though?
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Old 10-31-04, 04:15 PM
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W/ 1:44 left in the game and the skins down by 14 it's pretty safe to say the game is over So this one goes for Kerry. Overall Bush is still the favorite... kind of disappointed we didn't get more of these though

Last edited by nemein; 10-31-04 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 10-31-04, 05:10 PM
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the redskins are just so disappointing..... Gibbs better hide under a rock soon..
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Old 10-31-04, 05:50 PM
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Good news for Kerry..Green Bay Wins!

Okay, maybe this belongs in sports or there is already something created. Just thought it was interesting.

First read this


Then this


May not mean anything, but hey, weird things happen! In all honesty, I am more inclined to trust running histories on things of this nature than I am polls and stats any day of the week.
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Old 10-31-04, 05:57 PM
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Yeah, but what about that thing about the presidential Halloween mask sales? Isn't Bush still ahead on that one?
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Old 10-31-04, 08:25 PM
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Congrats to the Democrats and John Kerry...

from a depressed Republican/Redskins fan.
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Old 10-31-04, 08:35 PM
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From Australia's PM program:

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2004/s1230109.htm

MARK COLVIN: In ancient Rome, they examined the entrails of freshly slaughtered birds in an attempt to read the political future. In the United States, they obsessively study the bewildering array of polls that come out daily from almost every state and district in the world's most powerful nation.

This year, they might as well be studying entrails, because as we'll hear from a polling analyst shortly, the figures are so close it's impossible to predict who'll win.

It turns out that on this occasion there are few lessons to be learned from history either.

North America Correspondent Leigh Sales has been trying to find a pattern in American political history which might fit this year's facts.

LEIGH SALES: If you look at history to predict the outcome of this election, apparently neither candidate can win.

For example, Americans haven't elected a sitting member of Congress, or a northern Democrat for 40 years, John F. Kennedy being the last of both. So that must mean Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts is a slim chance.

But, according to history, President Bush can't win either. No incumbent has ever been re-elected when the Dow Jones and employment figures are lower than when he was sworn in, meaning trouble for Bush.

Another figure often quoted is that no President's been re-elected with a job approval rating of less than 50 per cent.

George Bush is currently at 51, a grey zone lower than the figures of presidents who were re-elected, like Clinton, Reagan, Johnson, Nixon, but higher than those who of presidents who lost, Bush senior and Carter.

With so many mixed indicators what lessons can we draw from history about this election?

Julian Zelizer, Professor at Boston University, says we should look at previous wartime elections.

JULIAN ZELIZER: We've had both successful and unsuccessful wartime presidents. Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon in the United States were two presidents who were able to win big elections right in the middle of wars, both popular and unpopular, and Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman were two presidents who were forced to resign when an unpopular war was underway not resign, but to step out of the election.

So those are the two templates through which, I think, we have to evaluate George Bush in this election.

LEIGH SALES: So how do we know which of those templates George Bush fits into it?

JULIAN ZELIZER: It's tough and I hate to say that back, but it's an unusual war we have right now. We had a war that started with a Pearl Harbour type event in America, a dramatic attack that created unity here in the United States and a lot of sentiment for the President.

But we actually have a battle which is more comparable to Vietnam, that is causing a lot of controversy and which is very unclear to many Americans and unpopular.

So it's an unusual mix.

LEIGH SALES: Professor Allan Lichtman, of American University, believes historical patterns are more reliable indicators than polls.

ALLAN LICHTMAN: In 1980, when Ronald Reagan had a runaway victory over Jimmy Carter, even the polls taken right before the election were showing a tight race well within the margin of error and the pollsters were fundamentally wrong.

LEIGH SALES: And once again if you looked at that example would history have led you to think that Reagan was going to win comfortably?

ALLAN LICHTMAN: Absolutely. Jimmy Carter was presiding over a terrible economy, he had a humiliation abroad with the Iran-Contra scandal and he had sagging approval levels, so except for the inaccurate polls, the historical indicators would have led you to believe indeed Jimmy Carter was a presidential candidate in deep trouble.

LEIGH SALES: Professor Lichtman thinks history favours President Bush in this election.

ALLAN LICHTMAN: He is the sitting president, he was uncontested in his own party, the country is relatively tranquil, it's not seething with social unrest like in the 1960s, none of the scandals and there are many potential ones have hit the President himself and he has a mixed record in foreign and domestic policy. That kind of situation is usually at least reasonably good news for the party holding the White House.

LEIGH SALES: Probably the best lesson to take from history is that voters can and do spring surprises.
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Old 10-31-04, 11:43 PM
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That article reminds me of something....



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Old 11-01-04, 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by SunMonkey
That article reminds me of something....


Personally, I love this quote:

<i>This year, they might as well be studying entrails.</i>
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Old 11-01-04, 12:36 AM
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Re: Halloween masks

The Kerry masks I saw were simply not recognizable as John Kerry. The Bush and Clinton ones were spot on. Might have something to do with the sales.

FWIW, I got a Clinton mask and a giant cigar.
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Old 11-01-04, 12:38 AM
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The Kerry masks I saw were simply not recognizable as John Kerry.
Hasn't that been the problem w/ his campaign all along
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