Kevin Drum asks:
Kevin Drum - Mother Jones Blog: A Wee Question: n 2004, John Kerry lost the popular vote by a couple of percentage points and the electoral vote by 120,000 votes in Ohio. Now, suppose Kerry were running this year and therefore had the following three advantages over his previous self: (a) he was running after eight years of Republican rule instead of four, (b) the economy sucked, and (c) he had a fantastic fundraising advantage over his Republican opponent. Question 1: how well do you think Kerry would do? Question 2: how well do you think Obama is going to do this year? Question 3: how big is the difference between the answers to Q1 and Q2?
In 2004 Bush won by two, while Douglas Hibbs's simple-minded bread-and-peace model predicted that Bush would win by seven. Thus Kerry ran five points ahead of his fundamentals.
Today Hibbs's fundamentals say that Obama is going to win by three. But he has to win by eight to beat Kerry relative to the point spread.