Thursday, October 09, 2008

Stocks, McCain plummet

After six consecutive days of huge losses -- the DJIA has lost nearly 35% of its value since hitting its high of 14,000 a year ago, and 10% just this week -- the markets actually look a little better this morning. But not even a half-point drop in the Fed's rate was enough to stop the bleeding yesterday as the two-hundred point loss added insult to portfolio injury. Update (4:30 pm): Oops. A 678-point crash in the final hour, due to the gloomy prospects of General Motors and the rest of the auto industry, leaves us at a 40% loss for 2008.

I'm so old I can remember when either a 50-basis-point rate cut or a 200-point decline was enough to be big financial news all by themselves.

If you have a 401K, your losses are all on paper -- like Warren Buffet's, or Boone Pickens'. Don't sell now and turn it into a real one. I'm not licensed to dispense financial advice, so don't take my words to the bank (... ugh).

If you were planning on retiring at the end of the year and cashing out ... well, you're screwed worse than anybody I can think of. You ought to rethink that.

But while the markets will eventually make a comeback, we can't say the same for John McNasty's presidential aspirations:

Three weeks of historic economic upheaval has done more than just tilt a handful of once-reliably Republican states in Barack Obama’s direction. Democratic strategists are now optimistic that the ongoing crisis could lead to a landslide Obama victory.

Four large states McCain once seemed well-positioned to win—Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida—have in recent weeks shifted toward Obama. If Obama were to win those four states—a scenario that would represent a remarkable turn of events—he would likely surpass 350 electoral votes.

Under almost any feasible scenario, McCain cannot win the presidency if he loses any of those four states. And if Obama actually captured all four states, it would almost certainly signal a strong electoral tide that would likely sweep the Southwestern swing states—Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada—not to mention battlegrounds from New Hampshire to Iowa to Missouri.

If I were to post my weekly EV projection early it would show Obama having captured Ohio, Florida and Nevada for a total of 338 electoral votes. But hey, I'm conservative.

(You won't see that phrase typed here very often, so mark the date.)

If this current scenario holds then the focus would turn to lengthening Obama's coattails to help Democrats down the ballot. As in everywhere across the country. But despite the good polling news and the favorable trends, Texas apparently will still not benefit, at least according to the senator responsible for getting more Democratic senators elected ...

Sen. Charles Schumer, (D-NY) head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, spoke to reporters this morning about his party's prospects for increasing their numbers this cycle. He seemed ready to count his chickens before they've hatched when he said, "The wind is more strongly at our backs than ever before."

For the record, Schumer declared Texas out of reach, as "too expensive. That's the problem."

Despite that, Schumer and the Democrats have added other previous-cycle crimson states to their target list: Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's seat in Kentucky. He went so far as to call Georgia and Kentucky "even-steven races." The DSCC put up their first ad in Kentucky today.

Adding to those states, he sees Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia as likely pick ups.

Last night, Schumer walked that statement back, saying through a spokesperson that they are "in no way writing Texas off, and it doesn't mean that he (Noriega) won'tget some money in the future".

Tonight is the debate watch party at Noriega HQ for Rick's face-off with Big Bland John Cornyn. Noriega is closing the gap fast, and the conservatives comprising Cornyn's online mouthpieces are still seething over his yes vote on the bailout bill. Despite what Rob Jesmer thinks, Noriega is charging like Seabiscuit and is now poised to nip Corndog at the wire despite his $$$ advantage.

Senator Box Turtle is sinking. Let's throw him an anvil.

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