"My sense is that the 2002 model is still operative, and that the Democrats and the media, talking to each other in their mutually self-deluding cocoon, have overplayed the Bush-bashing. Next Tuesday the President will win the states he won last time, plus Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Maine’s Second Congressional District to put him up to 301 electoral votes. Minnesota? Why not? Nudge him up to 311 electoral votes. Oh, and what the hell, give him Hawaii: that’s 315. The Republicans will make a net gain of two seats in the Senate, one of which will bring with it the scalp of the Democrats’ leader, Tom Daschle. Despite distancing himself from Kerry and running ads showing him and Bush embracing, Daschle’s floundering in South Dakota, and his lugubrious mien will be even more lugubriouser within the week. Look for a handful of Republican House gains, too. And Democrats tearing their hair out — or John Kerry’s and John Edwards’s hair, if they can penetrate the styling gel.
The above prediction needs to be able to withstand Democrat fraud, which I’m nervous about. If Tuesday goes off as smoothly as the Afghan election, we’ll be very lucky.
Usually after making wild predictions I confidently toss my job on the line and say, if they don’t pan out, I’m outta here [emphasis, Muzzy's]. I’ve done that a couple of times this campaign season — over Wes Clark (remember him?) — but it almost goes without saying in these circumstances. Were America to elect John Kerry president, it would be seen around the world as a repudiation not just of Bush and of Iraq but of the broader war. It would be a declaration by the people of American unexceptionalism — that they are a slightly butcher Belgium; they would be signing on to the wisdom of conventional transnationalism. Having failed to read correctly the mood of my own backyard, I could hardly continue to pass myself off as a plausible interpreter of the great geopolitical forces at play. Obviously that doesn’t bother a lot of chaps in this line of work — Sir Simon Jenkins, Robert ‘Mister Robert’ Fisk, etc., — and no doubt I could breeze through the next four years doing ketchup riffs on Teresa Heinz Kerry, but I feel a period of sober reflection far from the scene would be appropriate. My faith in the persuasive powers of journalism would be shattered; maybe it would be time to try something else — organising coups in Africa, like the alleged Sir Mark Thatcher is alleged to have allegedly done; maybe abseiling down the walls of the Presidential palace and garroting the guards personally."
And don't you just love him for it?