Election Connection

One Week

Seven days is a long time in the world of presidential politics, so with early voting already underway and still a few days left for an October Surprise, who knows what will actually happen on November 4. Luckily, every blogger, columnist and pundit has come up with his or her own permutation of possible outcomes to keep you busy reading until next Tuesday.

In this week's Newsweek, Jonathan Alter explores the what-if scenario of a Sen. John McCain win in Why McCain Won. Alter falls back on historical truths - the failure of the youth vote that the Democrats are depending on, and the fear of racism affecting the outcome in areas like the Florida panhandle, to envision a McCain win and what that would mean for both parties.

A look back to the 1980 election from American Experience recalls a real-life scenario. When the Iran hostage crisis broke, President Jimmy Carter's consistent lead in the polls all but evaporated on Election Day, leading Ronald Reagan to a landslide win against the incumbent president. As Gallup reminded us this week, Carter's loss was the only time in the last 54 years that a presidential candidate was ahead in the national polls but lost the general election.

The viral "what if" scenario on the Web this week is MoveOn.org's blame campaign, aimed at getting Democrats to the polls. Using psychology to shame people into voting, the site includes your name in a video and accuses you of not showing up to vote, thereby costing Sen. Barack Obama a vote.

Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic ponders an Electoral College/popular vote split. And as we move through the week, NPR's Ron Elving offers some things to watch for beyond the numbers game. But you do also have a week  left to make your own predictions and compare them to the experts on the NPR/NewsHour map.


Meredith Stewart said:

Anyone know what's happened to the PBS Election Glossary? I was hoping to use it for a class project but it's disappeared from the site. No response from PBS web support so far.

Leave a comment

We welcome your comments, and hope to host energetic, civil discussions. As you post, please keep the following in mind:

  • Keep your comments focused on the topic at hand.
  • Don't use profanity, personal attacks or hate speech.
  • Don't promote a business or raise money.
  • When all else fails, think "Golden Rule": Treat others the way you'd like to be treated yourself.

We reserve the right to remove posts that don't follow these guidelines. By clicking submit, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

About this blog
PBS Engage, public broadcasting's social media initiative, and PBS Vote 2008 are finding the best elections content from across public media and our partners and bringing it to you. We're following the campaigns and highlighting in-depth coverage. Feel free to leave a comment, send us an e-mail, or suggest a topic!
Keep in touch with election coverage from PBS and public media. Sign up for our RSS feed.
Recent Comments

Support Provided By: