The AP has an awful "one year out" scene-setter for the presidential election. "It's virtually certain that the campaign will be a close, grinding affair." Really, AP? Guess what: it's not in fact virtually certain that it will be close (or, for that matter, grinding, whatever that's suppose to mean. We still don't know what the economy will do over the next nine months; we still don't know the GOP nominee. Seth Masket graphed some results from Nate Silver's fun election predictor, and gets plausible results ranging from close to 100% chance of an Obama re-election to well under 40%. And that's without factoring in anything else that could affect votes...no matter how true it is that economic and other fundamentals matter a lot, there's always the chance that a significant scandal or particularly poor out-party candidate or world events could push things significantly.
Much of the rest of the AP story is cliche and meaningless junk. This election will be "more partisan" than 2008? Huh? And what exactly does this mean from Chris Lehane:
It's going to be extremely different, with much more hand-to-hand combat, from one foxhole to another, targeted to key states.Obama and John McCain didn't target key states in 2008? And what exactly does "hand-to-hand combat" mean (and, by the way, you don't actually have hand-to-hand in foxholes, do you? I suppose you can).
Also: the AP predicts that Obama will run a negative campaign after not doing so in 2008, but as John Sides keeps pointing out Obama was quite negative in 2008.
Hey, they got a good quote from Dan Schnur, so that's something. And I do think that the AP was correct that the general election will be one year from now. Totally nailed that part.