This Day in History: Kerry Wins Presidency

Had the 2004 election been held on May 29th, John Kerry would have won handily:

Electoral College 29 May 2004:  Kerry 327, Bush 211

Five years later, it’s Obama 266, McCain 248, Tie 24.

Via Andrew Sullivan, who presumably is trying to illustrate that Obama doesn’t have it wrapped up quite yet and needs to keep pushing on, who in turn got it via Ben Smith, who presumably is hoping to show McCain still has a shot, so we mustn’t give up.

Obviously, a lot can change between now and Election Day. Like, oh, a campaign. Polls are just a snapshot in time, after all.

Further, as Mark Blumenthal notes, our state-level polling is not very good at this stage of the game and is unlikely to be for quite some time. So these averages are based on one or two polls of varying quality.

That said, the best evidence we have available to us right now suggests that Obama should be considered the front runner. If I were forced to bet right now, that’s the way I’d go. But it’s a long way to November.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, 2008 Election, Blogosphere, Public Opinion Polls, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. just me says:

    I don’t think polls in spring or the primary season are ever worth much when it comes to November results.

    While I agree that at the moment Obama is the front runner in an Obama/McCain match-up, but anything can happen over the next several months. Probably not wise to start counting the chickens.

  2. Elly says:

    OMG, I lived on that site in 2003! I checked it everyday and the fellow that ran it has a huge case of BDS.
    Thanks for reminding me.

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    I’m seeing his BDS shining through here.

    Ee.g. Indiana. He lists it as a tie. McCain has a 7 to 10 point lead in 4 out of the 5 polls. One poll has Obama with an 8 point lead. The Obama poll by other polling companies has McCain leading by 7 a week before and a different pollster has McCain leading by 8 a day later. Only in a country with 57 states would that be considered a tie.

    Virginia and Ohio have similar questionable calls.

    Hedgehog is doing something similar. He shows 297 for McCain and 241 for Obama (Hedgehog breaks ties in favor of the party who took the state in 2004).

    All that said, I agree that any tea leaf reading at this stage needs a mountain of salt. But a couple things are becoming clear. One, this is not likely to be a walkover for either party. Second, the map looks a lot like 2000/2004 with both parties having pick up opportunities. So how this will be a moveable feast for us political junkies.

  4. Fence says:

    What is BDS?

    Yeah, this 2008 map looks pretty suspect. SC “just barely” GOP? That would put Obama on Rushmore. McCain winning Michigan and Wisconsin but not favored in Indiana sounds pretty silly. I guess we’ll find out.

  5. just me says:

    I agree with YAJ that this isn’t going to be a cakewalk for either party. I also expect this election-at least popular vote wise to be another close one. The electoral vote may vary depending on what states go which direction.

    Although I still think this is Obama’s race to lose. The stars couldn’t be aligned more perfectly for the democrats at this point in time-but a lot can happen in the next 6 months. One thing the primary season has done is taken a lot of the shine off Obama’s halo.