Kerry's campaign is declaring victory.
Looking at the history of presidential races is one approach. No challenger has ever done as well against an elected incumbent at this point in the cycle. Every incumbent who won re-election had a double-digit lead over his challenger at this stage. Lyndon Johnson led Barry Goldwater by 59 points in the spring of ’64. Bill Clinton led Bob Dole by 14 points, Ronald Reagan led Walter Mondale by 17 and Richard Nixon was ahead of George McGovern by 11.
All of these are valid points but do they mean anything? There are several other factors.
With a sample group of five presidents running for re-election, this comes closer to trivia than established fact. Just ask Howard Dean who, as the candidate with the most money at the beginning of the year, was the inevitable nominee.
Just as important, the primaries were wrapped up months earlier than ever before.
And finally, Bush has had one bad break after another. He might recover, he might not, but there is little Kerry can do to influence this. Kerry only attracts tepid support. The deciding factor is Bush's approval rating. In the other campaigns, the economy was the factor weighing down the incumbent. It takes months or years to turn an economy around. The war is much more fluid. Bush's approval ratings are currently tied to Iraq. If things improve in the next six months and the economy continues to improve, Bush's approval ratings will surely follow. The election is still Bush's to win or lose.
Al Gore is already pushing The Day After Tomorrow.
The movie goes beyond science fiction into total fiction. The events shown are included in order to showcase cool special effects, not because there is any scientific basis. Never the less, Gore is using it as a weapon to blast President Bush.
"The Bush administration is in some ways more even more fictional than the movie in trying to convince people that there is no real problem, no degree of certainty from scientists about the issue," the former vice president said in a conference call organized by MoveOn.org.
Is Global Warming real and is the Greenhouse Effect real? These are two very different questions. The first asks if the world is getting warmer and the second asks if the world is getting warmer because of human activity. The answer to the first question is hotly (no pun intended) debated. Temperatures have been slightly warmer in the last decade than during most of the 20th century but there have been other warm periods. One major study shows temperature over the last several centuries as being almost a straight until it suddenly jumps during the 20th century. Other climatologists cite extensive evidence for previous global warming in the Roman and Medieval periods with cold periods in between. In fact, the period from 1400 to the mid-19th century is known as the Little Ice Age.
If these warming and cooling periods happened naturally prior to industrialization then this casts a lot of doubt on the Greenhouse Effect. All of the current climate models assume that global temperature.
There is a lot of controversy on Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect, far more than activists let on.
For lots more information, see the CO2 Times.
Bottom line, Bush is right.