I actually think this is the earliest I have ever called a presidential election (although I should note that I have not been too accurate with them). The last slate of Mason-Dixon polls show McCain gaining on Obama in virtually every battleground state. I also believe that most undecideds will break for McCain. In non-incumbent elections, the favorite usually assumes the role of de facto incumbent, meaning undecided voters are far, far more likely to vote for the underdog.
There is, however, one other event today that trumped it all: a football game in Buffalo.
Buffalo, you say? What would a Buffalo game have to do with Election 2008, you say?
Well, it has to do with the history of the New York Jets (full disclosure: my favorite football team).
Since 1960 (the team’s first year), the Jets franchise has played in thirteen presidential election years. Surprisingly, a pattern has developed, depending upon the team’s record on Election Day:
1960 - Jets record: 4-5; Party elected: Democrats
1964 - Jets record: 4-2-1; Party elected: Democrats
1968 - Jets record: 6-2; Party elected: Republicans
1972 - Jets record: 5-3; Party elected: Republicans
1976 - Jets record: 2-6; Party elected: Democrats
1980 - Jets record: 2-7; Party elected: Republicans
1984 - Jets record: 6-4; Party elected: Republicans
1988 - Jets record: 5-4-1; Party elected: Republicans
1992 - Jets record: 2-6; Party elected: Democrats
1996 - Jets record: 1-8; Party elected: Republicans
2000 - Jets record: 6-3; Party elected: Republicans
2004 - Jets record: 6-1; Party elected: Republicans
See the pattern? In the six years when the Jets won less than five games before E-Day, the Democrats won five electons, but when the Jets won five or more games before E-Day; the Republicans won the White House every single time.
Today is the last game for the Jets before Election Day. They went to Buffalo and won, 26-17. With that win, the Jets went to 5-3 on the year, hitting the five-win threshold.
Some might say I’m grasping at straws here, but there is a tightening in state polls, the undecideds do seem to be in the demographics that would break for McCain, and as any NFL fan will attest, the Jets have broken their fans’ hearts so often over the last half-century that something like this has to break through a lot of bad karma (including the team laying an egg in Oakland earlier this year).
So . . . I’m saying here that John McCain will carry every state that went for George W. Bush in 2004 except Iowa and New Mexico; he’ll also win Pennsylvania, for a grand total of 295 electoral votes. McCain will win the popular vote by a 50-48 margin.
Remember, you heard it here first (unless I’m wrong, in which case you never heard it at all).