Posts filed under “Politics”

Can Colorado Swing ?

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Can Colorado swing blue? That’s an issue hardly anyone thought would be up in the air a week before the election. Bush appeals to “rank-and-file conservatives” in Colorado, which he won by nine points in 2000 (51%, to Al Gore’s 42% and Ralph Nader’s 5%).

Which, as the WSJ point out, only means nothing is certain:

Wsj_colorado_10252004 “There are red states and blue this fall, and then there is Colorado: a mile-high brew all its own, where just a few political inches could be huge in the struggle for Congress as well as the White House.

President Bush is ahead in polls here, but by small enough margins that he returned again yesterday for a rally in Greeley. Sen. John Kerry drew thousands in Pueblo on Saturday, and Democrats hope for a record turnout by Hispanic voters, drawn by a remarkable pairing of fifth-generation Mexican-American brothers who are running for Congress as Democrats.

Republicans agree they have dominated Colorado in recent years by making Democrats look risky. The big question now is whether today’s real-life problems of Iraq, rising health-care costs, dwindling water supplies and a state fiscal crisis are frightening enough that voters may be willing to take a chance on the party out of power.

All that makes Colorado a potential swing state at every level in next week’s election. “People have forgotten that this is not a partisan state. It is not an ideological state,” says Bill Armstrong, a former two-term Republican senator from Colorado. “So while people say Republicans are losing their grip, the truth is they never had a grip.”

Republicans have clear advantages: They enjoy a 178,000 edge over Democrats among registered voters and a proven ability to maximize turnout. “Fight Terrorism, Vote Republican” is a favorite slogan. Party ads on Christian radio stations include a toll-free number to facilitate early voting, which is attracting record numbers this year.

But some Republicans complain that their party may have pushed to the limits its antitax and socially conservative ideology. The second especially rubs against a Western libertarian streak on issues such as gay rights and stem-cell research.”

Question: Is Colorado really in play? I never would have surmised that 6 months ago. Here’s a quote that provides some good insight as to why this is likely so:

“I’m a 1964 Goldwater Republican and I’m not happy where the neo-Republicans are taking us,” says Mark Larson, a state legislator from Cortez. In fact, the party’s leader, Gov. Bill Owens, is no longer the partisan powerhouse he once was and has been hurt by his well-publicized separation from his wife. The brightest new political star may be Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democratic businessman who cultivates a brand of nonpartisan politics and a friendship with the Republican governor.”

Fascinating stuff.

Source:
Colorado Has Swing Potential
Democrats Seek Inroads in Races That May Have a Broad Impact
By DAVID ROGERS
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 26, 2004; Page A4

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109874604703455299,00.html

Category: Politics

It’s not a community that any party has a lock on,” says Ismael Ahmed, the executive director of Access, the biggest Arab-American social services agency in the country, which is based in Dearborn. “Especially a community like this one where 60% weren’t born here. We’re not really committed to either party.”

“We were motivated when we backed Bush and we are motivated now,” says Osama Sablini, Aapac’s chairman and publisher of the Arab American newspaper, who backed Mr Bush four years ago. “The Bush administration has been a major disappointment to this community and we cannot afford four more years of this.”
-Under siege since 9/11, Arab voters shift to Kerry

When the dust settles on this election, a significant shift will have taken place in several key demographics. Due to a random twist of fate, this will be especially true in the swing states.

The resulting shift in traditional party affiliations could very well throw the election to the challenger.

Since early this year, we’ve been watching a number of key voting blocs “flip flop” (sorry) away from their prior voting patterns. The demographic ethnic groups with the greatest potential to impact the 2004 Presdiential election are both Cubans and Hispanics in Florida, and the Arabs-Americans in the Midwest.

On numerous occasions this year, we have noted, Cuban American voters in Florida continues to be a potential problem for President Bush in the upcoming election. Further, we similarly observed that the President’s support amongst Arab American’s have tumbled, and significantly for this election, in the swing states.

Whether this is a permanent change of party affiliation, or just a reaction to the present regime, is unknown. But it is clear that major changes are taking place. So says The Guardian:

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Category: Politics

Projected Electoral College Vote: Swing States, 10/19/04

Category: Politics

The Bush vs. Kerry Ratio revisited

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GOP Pickup in Congress?

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Electoral College Votes over Time

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Presidential Approval and Gasoline Prices

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What the Election Means for Investors

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Here’s a fascinating compare and contrast analysis, sector by sector, of the impact of each candidate in the election from last week’s WSJ (You may have overlooked it, buried as it was in the Personal section). The Jornal observed: “The economy is at center stage ahead of the Nov. 2 presidential election. Job creation has picked up this year, but employers remain cautious about adding substantially to their payrolls, and employment levels remain below where they were four years ago.”

Thats the gross overview. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details:

With Election Day less than a month away, Wall Street has already staked out its own winners and losers.

In recent weeks, research analysts at the major brokerage houses have been churning out reports identifying what a Bush or Kerry administration would mean for investment strategies — and which sectors of the economy would undergo the biggest changes if there were a change in leadership. A recent report by equity analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston, for example, notes that with the start of the presidential debates, “we thought this was a good time to revisit the candidates’ health-care platforms and their significance for managed-care stocks.”

Lehman Brothers and investment-strategy firm ISI Group have created “presidential indexes.” The idea is to track the performance of stocks that are likely to be most affected under each administration. ISI’s “Bush Index” holds pharmaceuticals and energy stocks, among others, reflecting the belief those sectors would fare well under a second term for the president. ISI’s “Kerry Index” has short positions in health maintenance organizations and utilities. The indexes act as a proxy for what Wall Street is thinking will happen Nov. 2.”

I continue to hold the position that while the President matters less to the macro economy and the overall market than most people believe, they do have a large impact, on individual sectors. Thus, any change at the top will be significant (at least somewhat) to specific industries. Since its doubtful the House of Representatives will change — that makes the implications of a change in presidential leadership somewhat less significant than it might be otherwise.

Here is a breakdown, sector by sector:

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Category: Finance, Politics

Presidential futures as a lagging indicator

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Projected Electoral College Vote: Swing States, 10/06/04

Category: Politics