So, You Want A Prediction?

Like most bloggers, I’ve received a slew of emails asking for my prediction on the presidential winner. Well, ok, maybe not a slew. Two, to be precise. And not really two, at that: both were from the same person, who I’d originally ignored, so he re-sent the email just to ensure that I saw it. That’ll teach me not to respond when Hubby takes time out to write an email during his work day.

Anyway, here goes: I predict Bush will win by a surprising majority.

I say “surprising” because, according to most polls, (but certainly not bloggers), the race is too close to call, the candidates neck-and-neck.

I suspect that’s true when people are asked who they plan to vote for. (And, as I’ve said before, I think everyone knew quite some time ago which candidate they’re planning to vote for.) But answering another person’s question and making an irreversible choice in private are two different things, which is why we have curtains on the voting booths, after all.

In the 1996 election, I intended to vote for Dole. Really, I did. I knew plenty about Dole and his politics, having lived in Kansas City for the past 17 years. As a registered Republican, I’d contributed to his campaign, even. I’d never once doubted that on Election Day he’d get my vote. But then the time came when I stood behind the blue curtain, face to face with my ballot, a line of gray-haired old ladies queing outside.

And I voted for Clinton.

Ultimately, when it was just me and my ballot, the notion of party loyalty and group ideology meant nothing. I was not there to sign up for an organization’s agenda, to pass judgment on someone else’s character, or to opt between different tax structures. What mattered was using my one chance to influence the course of our nation - and, by extension, the course of the world - for the next four years. I voted for the status quo, because Dole couldn’t convince me that a change would mean an improvement.

I predict there are going to be a lot of people thinking that very same thing tomorrow. “Undecideds” and independents, libertarians and liberals - they may believe even today that their vote is going to Kerry, but when it comes time to push the button or pull the lever they’ll hesitate, realizing that what they’re really about to do is sign a blank check.

Then again, I could be completely mistaken. That’s the great thing about blogging: right or wrong, my opinion will be old news in two days. So will yours.

I’m Venomous Kate, and I approved of this message.