Opinion: Red states, blue states

David Chen

David Chen

By Elie Dvorin

Sen. John Kerry is groping through newspaper headlines looking for issues to attack President Bush on. Former President Clinton is out rallying the party faithful, bad ticker and all. America’s favorite reverends, Jesse and Al, are out riling up voters in battleground states. But really, none of this matters.

In less than a week, when the public heads to the polls, a vast majority are going to realize that they don’t have a clue as to what John Kerry is all about. A lot of those people still are going to vote for him, simply because this is a popular time to attack the president (and being popular is cool). But when the smoke clears and the chads fall, President Bush will be the victor (‘W’ stands for winner) and John F. Kerry will be eating ketchup packets in the back seat of his car while listening to Eric Clapton’s Greatest Hits (‘F’ stands for F***!!!!!.)

Here’s how it’s going to unfold. You heard it from me first. The electoral map currently shows a Bush lead of 181 votes to 168 votes. These tallies assume the obvious, such as Bush winning Texas or (insert Democrat here) winning the liberal bastion of California. Starting on the west coast, Kerry will pick up Washington and Oregon, giving him 18 electoral votes. These votes will be offset, however, by GOP wins in Colorado and Arizona, which will put 19 wins in the Bush column. New Mexico and its five electoral votes get put in the Kerry column and the fives votes of Arizona get put in the Bush column. As we move to the Central Time Zone, Bush has a 14-point lead with 205-191 showing on the scoreboard.

Although the Bush campaign performed respectably in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2000 – and claims to be able to win these states this year – I see no concrete reason or polling to indicate that it will turn out any different this year. Unlike those states, the Bush campaign expects to win Iowa, but it wouldn’t consider doing so to be an upset, despite the Gore victory four years ago. It might happen, but I’m not counting on it. That’s three more states for Kerry, giving him 218 electoral votes. Polling indicates that Bush should not have too much of a problem winning Missouri (by an even greater margin than 2000) and Arkansas. Clinton will be campaigning in Arkansas for Kerry as some recent polls have shown the race is beginning to tighten up in that state, but that’s an uphill battle for the Democrats and Clinton’s doctors recommend he stay away from strenuous activity. That’s 17 more electoral votes for Bush, who is currently winning 222-218.

Like most Republicans in recent times, Bush underperformed in Michigan in 2000, and after losing support from a large amount of Arab voters (of which there are many in Michigan), he has no chance. Ohio, where Bush won 50 percent of the vote last time around, is extremely close in the polls. Most are calling it “too close to call.” Well, I’m calling it for the president. Bush might not receive 50 percent of the vote, but he still will win the state. Maine and New Hampshire also are being shown within the margin of error on many polls. This is an error in itself, as Maine easily will go to Kerry and New Hampshire as well (but that race will be closer). West Virginia, which has moved to the right in the past decade, also will be a closely contested race. But barring a major collapse, it is Bush’s for the taking. On the flipside, Kerry should be able to win Pennsylvania. Clinton is actively campaigning there, which will help Kerry with black voters and carry the state by a few percentage points. Election scoreboard: Kerry in the lead 264-247, with only Florida left on the map.

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That’s right. Winner of Florida will win this election – and it’s going to be President Bush. He’s polling evenly with John Kerry but is campaigning there heavily. The tide looks to be shifting in his direction (and even if it’s not, his brother is the governor.) You heard it from me. Four more years.

Elie Dvorin is a junior in LAS. His column runs Thursdays. He can be reached at [email protected].