Thursday, May 22, 2008
An Irresponsibly Confident Tour of What Will Happen in the Next Few Months
1. Hillary Clinton will dominate the next three weeks, whipping her supporters into a fervor with ever more daring theatrical and procedural gambits (and ever more legalistic/litigious ones too) to win a contest she's already lost. This sound and fury will give Obama supporters like myself high blood pressure. The outlook for Obama will be pronounced: Bad. It will signify nothing. Hillary Clinton will, formally or informally, drop out at some point.
2. Clinton's supporters will--at different rates--(a) deny it's over (look for various lawsuits to play a large role in this), get angry (misogyny!), demand her rightful place on the ticket (never happen), be sad, and come around to Obama.
3. As Clinton's supporters trickle over to him and the depressant effect of her presence on his numbers dissipates, Obama will open up big leads in states where McCain had been thought competitive. California will be the first state to move out of reach, then the Pacific Northwest, New Hampshire. Obama will lead in the rust belt, Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado. The outlook for McCain will be pronounced: Bad.
4. Two things will then happen, though their order is uncertain. (a) Barack Obama will make a Significant Gaffe, and (b)John McCain will make a show of "taking the gloves off" (they were never really on). McCain will be resurgent, and the numbers will again predict something approaching an electoral college tie.
5. Both candidates will enter their conventions and the fall campaign essentially even in the polling, though the fundamentals of the election will still favor Obama (and McCain will have Big Mo).
6. Obama will win.
It's a theory, anyway.
UPDATE: A darker view.