Seen in the Rear View Mirror May Appear More Accurate Than They Are
by Mad Dog
where did I go wrong? I didn’t. The indicators did. After all, if the
buck won’t stop in the Oval Office I see no reason why it should stop
here. Hey, do I look like a patsy?
||They say hindsight is
20/20. What they don’t say is that you still might need your reading
glasses to figure out where you went wrong. Since the presidential
election has come and gone — feel free to take a moment to gloat over
winning or whine about having had another election stolen depending on
the color of your state and the color you wish it was — I think it
would be educational to take a look back at a column I wrote in July.
After all, to paraphrase George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember
the past might accidentally write the same stupid column again,” and
we certainly wouldn’t want that to happen.
At the time I made an election
prediction based on the best and most reliable election predictions I
could get my hands on — stock market performance, how the candidates
parted their hair, their height, how the Redskins would play, whether
the Lakers would win, some obtuse algorithm I found, and world renown
psychic, Bob91322. The predictions indicated that John Kerry would win.
Boy, were they ever wrong by a landslide. Okay, a mandate. Okay, okay, a
solid 3 percentage point margin.
So where did I go wrong? I didn’t.
The indicators did. After all, if the buck won’t stop in the Oval
Office I see no reason why it should stop here. Hey, do I look like a
patsy? (NOTE: The preceding question is rhetorical.) So lets take a look
at the predictions one by one. It will be instructional, educational,
and face it, we need something to do now that there’s no Scott
Peterson trial to keep us glued to Court TV 24, uh, seconds a
time I first wrote about this I consulted my brother, who not only cares
and knows about football, but is used to my asking stupid questions. He
predicted the Packers would win. He was right. Kerry lost anyway. See if
I ask my brother any more questions.
|| First up, the
stock market. According to some Wall Street analysts, if the Standard
& Poor 500 index is doing well the incumbent will get re-elected. If
it’s doing badly, he’s out. This year it was up a pitiful 0.84
percent meaning it was pointing to Kerry. Sorry Wall Street, you lose.
Maybe if you based it on an index that was better — like maybe one
that’s at least above standard and good — you might have better
luck. I sure hope you didn’t gamble your 401(k) on this.
is the Won By A Hair category. According to True Mirror, a company no
one ever heard from before and won’t hear from again for another four
years, only 6.97 percent of American presidents parted their hair on the
right. Kerry and Bush both part on the right, meaning there was no clear
winner. Since Bush won, it means either Kerry parts his hair on the left
when he’s in the privacy of his own home — not that there’s
anything wrong with that, Mary Cheney — or True Mirror needs to take a
long, hard look at itself, preferably in another company’s mirror.
Then there was the perennial
predictive question: Does size matter? Men everywhere will be relieved
to know that the answer is: Apparently not. Not only does that make us
happy, but our wives and girlfriends will be relieved to know they
don’t have to lie anymore. According to USA Today, in the past
25 years only once had the shorter candidate won the presidential
election. Well, you can make that twice now. And yes, both times the
winner who bucked this incredible predictor was George Bush. See if I
ever again believe anything I read in USA Today as I leaf through
it before putting it back and buying the Weekly World News. Hah!
For 70 years it’s been true that if
the Washington Redskins win their last home game before the election, so
would the incumbent. At the time I first wrote about this I consulted my
brother, who not only cares and knows about football, but is used to my
asking stupid questions. He predicted the Packers would win. He was
right. Kerry lost anyway. See if I ask my brother any more questions.
Electability Factor is based on a complex formula which includes data
such as how long the candidates have held various political offices and
whether they’ve been divorced or dropped a nuclear bomb. According to
their calculations, Bush would win. Chalk up one for modern
This year I dumped the World Series Predictor since after years of
reliability it flip-flopped like a losing Democratic party candidate.
The Slam Dunk Factor took its place. See, the last four times the Lakers
captured the NBA championship title the Republicans won the election.
Since they lost to the Pistons this year — that’s the Lakers, not
the Republicans, silly — that meant another nod to Kerry. “He’s
up! He goes for the slam dunk! He fouls out!” No wonder the Lakers
traded Shaq. But don’t worry, I’m sure by the time the next election
rolls around we’ll have another sports-related predictor with which to
there was the Debowy-Schulman Algorithm, a fancy sounding, highfalutin,
pull-it-out-of-your-butt mathematical formula I found in the
appropriately named Annals of Improbable Research. The guys
behind it, who coincidentally are named Debowy and Schulman, created an
Electability Factor based on a complex formula which includes data such
as how long the candidates have held various political offices, their
military career, and whether they’ve been divorced or dropped a
nuclear bomb. According to their calculations, Bush would win. Chalk up
one for modern pseudoscience.
Speaking of science, after sifting
through the four psychics who made election predictions online — just
kidding, there were actually at least 17 of them — I put my faith in
Bob91322 because of his long post on the About.com Paranormal Phenomenon
Forum in which he said he not only predicted the 2000 presidential
election within 100,000 votes and 2 electoral votes, but was the only
psychic to predict that Gore would win the popular vote and Bush the
electoral vote. It’s hard to argue with that kind of accuracy. This
time around Mr. 91322 predicted that Kerry would beat Bush by 5 million
votes and 130 electoral votes. If only he could have predicted how wrong
he would turn out to be. He also made state-by-state predictions, in
which he blew Ohio, blew Florida, and, oh, you get the idea.
The summed predictors indicated that
Kerry would win, since he nabbed six categories over Bush’s two. But
apparently the margin of error was a little high. As in almost across
the board. Not to worry, unlike some presidential winners, I learn from
my mistakes. That’s why I’m working on refining my methods before
the Iraqi presidential election in January. I’d better. It could be
tough finding out how the estimated 250 candidates part their hair.
©2004 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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