Boston Morning Tea

If a Political Tree Falls in the Woods... With no live network coverage of Tuesday night's convention speeches, their impact on the American public is limited to news highlights, newspaper articles, and word of mouth. Save for keynote speaker Barack Obama and Teresa Heinz Kerry, who closed the evening, most...

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

Old Guard, Young Blood Tonight's agenda of speakers shows a marked difference between the first evening session and the second evening session, with a recognizable slate of long-serving Democrats addressing the convention early, and a fresh line up of new faces wrapping up the evening. Other than The O.C.'s Benjamin...

Boston Morning Tea

Opening Night By the time the second evening session started, most of the seats in the Fleet Center were filled--even those behind the stage, with obstructed views and a less than preferable position behind the speaker clusters. Former President Jimmy Carter led off with an impassioned speech that was very...

Low-Carb Convention Wrap

For Whom the Gavel Drops Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe officially banged the convention to order this afternoon at 4PM, opening the first afternoon session which will feature quite a few speakers and take care of the convention’s parliamentary business in preparation for this evening's prime time agenda. Security...

Boston Morning Tea

The gavel drops later today, marking the official opening of the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Of course, convention related activities have been going on for several days now, including a welcome party for media organizations on Saturday. The Crystal Ball resisted the temptation to be wooed, and instead chose to...

Let the Conventions Begin

Three observations from a convention veteran

As a veteran of 14 national political conventions--seven in each party--let me offer you, dear readers, a few brief observations. As usual, they will be somewhat contrarian and anti-conventional wisdom--which is my bent--but nonetheless true, I believe.Enjoy the convention but take nothing too seriously, except for John Kerry's speech on...

The Last Hundred Days

How the '04 campaign plays out in parallel universes

Okay, the fun and games are over. The grim reality of Campaign '04 is fully upon us. And there are two alternative realities, two parallel universes unfolding before us--only one of which can come mainly true. Much like Superman and Bizzaro Superman they exist in conflict, but eventually one will...

The Cheney Dilemma

As expected, the Kerry campaign has put George W. Bush in a box with the selection of John Edwards. And there is probably no way for Bush to win this part of the presidential battle. How has Bush been cornered? Almost any Democratic veep selection--not just Edwards--would have contrasted nicely...

Veep! Veep! It’s Edwards!

Will Kerry prove wily in his choice for number two?

Our long wait is over, and John Kerry has given us all a lot to chew on with the selection of North Carolina U.S. Sen. John Edwards to be his Democratic Party running-mate for vice president. THE IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES in the Crystal Ball are twofold: We are changing North Carolina...

2004 as 1980?

Another view from the Crystal Ball

Back on June 10, we issued an analysis that suggested just how similar the election of 1980 – Carter v. Reagan v. Anderson – was to the election of 2004 – Bush v. Kerry v. Nader. Remarkably, just in the last week or so, we have heard our words used,...

Kerry with Narrow Lead in June

The Electoral College goes to summer school

With less than five months to go until Nov. 2, the candidates will travel many thousands of miles in their quest to finally park the campaign bus at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The path to the White House is a meandering one, which will take both Bush and Kerry through teetering...

A Lesson Plan from the Great Communicator

Reagan's 1980 win as a syllabus for 2004?

It's been a moving week of tributes and retrospectives on the Reagan Presidency. But has the look back told us anything about the 2004 campaign? For some time now, the Crystal Ball has suggested that the current "Big Issue" election of 2004 contains some echoes of 1968 and 1980 –...

For the Historical Record

Historical statistics can sometimes tell us a great deal about tendencies in upcoming elections, often with eerie levels of accuracy. They also can be entertaining and provide an amusing coincidental context with which to frame the prospects of particular candidates. Below are two historical arguments for the general election winner;...

Herseth Wins South Dakota

With all 798 precincts reporting, Stephanie Herseth (D) has won the statewide U.S. House seat in South Dakota. Precisely as the Crystal Ball predicted, this race got close at the end and Herseth pulled out a narrow 51percent to 49 percent victory – a margin of 2,981 votes out of...

Kerry Can Win Virginia…But Will He?

The Kerry campaign recently stunned the national political community with its announcement that Kerry would seriously contest Virginia, which has not voted for a Democratic nominee since President Lyndon Johnson won a sizeable 53.5 percent in 1964. And then, sure enough, Kerry showed up in Portsmouth, Va., for Memorial Day....