Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The First Winner - the incumbent horse

Makybe Diva

Odds-on favorite, Makybe Diva (11-4) from Great Britain, ridden by G Boss, won the Melbourne Cup for the second time.

Aided by a perfect ride from Glen Boss, who also rode her to victory in last year's Cup, Makybe Diva proved too strong for Irish raider and topweight Vinnie Roe with outsider Zazzman third.

Given that one incubent has held her cup against an "Irish raider", it might not be too far a stretch to reckon that Mr Bush's odds just improved. Per Instapundit, the Electronic Markets have Mr Bush winning by a nose
electronic markets graph

, points to an apparently more accurate poll run by mail in Ohio by the Columbus Dispatch. This excludes undecided voters in the final poll, just concluded.

The Dispatch mail polls done earlier this year had one big shortcoming. They were based on older lists from the Secretary of State that missed most of this year's new registrants. Not this time. Let's let Darrel Roland's poll story in Saturday's Dispatch explain:

One difference between the latest poll and the one published four weeks ago is the inclusion of more newly registered voters in the sample, whose names were in the latest available data from the secretary of state's office. About 88% of the new voters - including those from Ohio's largest counties - were among the potential poll participants.

And which candidate did those new voters prefer? "These newbies now represent one in eight Ohio voters, and they support Kerry by nearly a 2-1 margin [65% to 34%]."
Or you can believe that the incumbent rule is alive and well and that the two results are essentially consistent in pointing to a very close finish: an incumbent with 48-49% of the vote on a telephone poll is headed for a very close finish with a slight edge over the challenger.

You can make a case for either scenario. My instincts are telling me that the Dispatch poll is right, that the incumbent rule holds and that Ohio will be incredibly close.

Evidently the sports metaphors are being honed, as predicted by William Safire in this week's New York Times Magazine.

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