The Brutal Bottom Line

President It's all about Bush, the incumbent, especially after John Kerry's success in the first presidential debate in shifting the focus back to the performance of the Bush administration. The people will vote "thumbs up/thumbs down" based on Bush's handling of the twin challenges of a shaky economy and a...

To Repeat: Debates Matter

Over the past several weeks, your Crystal Ball has received several dozen e-mails from Bush supporters, chiding us for not declaring the election and certifying their strongly held view that President Bush was the inevitable winner. Now, to their regret and sadness, our friends on the right have their answer,...

The Old College Tie

Nobody could have predicted the political circus that ensued on Nov. 8, 2000. With Florida's 25 electoral votes hanging in the balance, a controversial Supreme Court decision ended the 36-day battle for control of the White House. Of all the close elections in the last century, only the 2000 election...

It’s Over!

No, not the presidential contest, but at long last, the nomination season for Senate, House and Governor came to an end with Hawaii the last state to cross the nomination finish line last week. This expansive nation of 50 states now takes almost nine months just to fill the party...

The Debate Debate

The candidates' representatives are hard at work debating the debates--how many there should be, the topics, the conditions, and all the rest. In this hyper-partisan year, every detail will be fought over, even though little of it will matter in the end. Debates do matter, however, and perhaps more so...

The Labor Day Assessment

Labor Day ain't what it used to be. For generations the official start of the campaign, now it is merely a milestone indicating the beginning of the end. The presidential contest has been going full-tilt for a year and a half already! Yet with the conclusion of the Republican National...

A Grand Old Convention in the Big Ol’ Apple

Thinking back on this busy week, what worked and what didn't at the GOP Convention?The Good The convention itself appeared better thought out and executed than the Boston conclave for the Democrats. Even the physical set was far more imposing, especially the final-night presidential platform and the Fred Thompson-narrated introductory...

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

Make a list; check it twice With President Bush six votes shy of the 270 needed to win the Electoral College--and 24 votes ahead of John Kerry--in The Hotline's White House Scoreboard, tonight's speech may prove to be the moment that wins him reelection. Tonight is George W. Bush's chance...

Big Apple Breakfast

Bush: You either love him or you hate him It's proving to be a pretty divisive time in this political day and age with the number of undecided voters much smaller than usual, just two months out from Election Day. So it was no surprise last night then that retiring...

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

Or, should we call it "Low-Speed Convention Wrap" This Crystal Ball udpdate is coming to you live from the National Journal area in the Farley Building, adjacent to Madison Square Garden. In yet another move to make things hard on reporters, the convention folks have made Internet access a near...

Republicans: It’s OK to vote for us

Schwarzenegger stumps for Bush and simplifies the message

The GOP's message for convention viewers this week has been very succinct: President Bush is the best candidate to lead the War on Terror. While the communications office here at the Republican National Convention has been telling the media each day has a theme--tonight's was "People of Compassion"--if the focus...

VET-ting the 2004 Ballot

How the veteran vote will impact the presidential election

In theory, the 25 million-plus veterans in the United States represent a formidable voting bloc. History, however, has shown that veterans are not a monolithic coalition, largely because of the diversity of the members. With national security a major issue and a battle between a "war president" and a Vietnam...

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

Twist and Shout Just as the Republicans did this July in Boston, the Democrats have setup a rapid response center to spin the news coming out of Madison Square Garden. A direct twist of the banner that hung above President Bush when he declared an end to hostilities aboard the...

Big Apple Breakfast

Protest Update: The Crystal Ball Can't Get No Love Two incidents in the past few days have prompted the Crystal Ball to speak out about the protesters, or, if you will, protest the protesters. During the United for Peace and Justice rally on Sunday, as your Crystal Ball was exiting...

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

May We Present the Republican Candidates for U.S. Senate While the focus of this week will be on President Bush, his first-term accomplishments and his plans for another, the Monday morning session showcased seven Republican candidates for Senate. After an introduction by National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman George Allen...