Can McCain still win with a losing economy?

Can McCain still win with a losing economy?

Today the stock market dropped 500 points in the biggest loss since 9-11.  And things are only getting better in Iraq.  It all spells trouble for the John McCain Campaign which has been living on miracles for two years now.  After all, Senator McCain once glibly offered that he didn’t know that much about economics.

Nevertheless, as a presidential historian I can assure you that history shows an incumbent party can indeed win with a failing economy.  And can lose with a growing economy.  And until today, anyway, polls showed McCain-Palin winning the battle over who represents true change.

It makes sense.

Senator Barack Obama would certainly offer the exciting and historical change of the first African American in the White House.  And that in itself is enough for many.  And Obama represents the party of Clinton who watched over eight years of a solid economy.

But in fact, Barack Obama, as the first African American president would likely be more consumed with honoring tradition than upsetting it.  He would be careful to show that an African American president represents no threat to traditional institutions.  That he could be trusted.  That he could run things just as reliably past presidents.  That electing a Black president represents no dangerous risk.  Ironically, he may be in less position to shake up Washington and Wall Street and feel more constrained than a McCain and Palin.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, by comparison, are very likely to make changes, fast and furious.  It is in their nature.  And the times call for it.

Tomorrow may bring another big drop for Wall Street and the election is close.  But a week in this election cycle seems to equal a month in any other.  Anything can still happen.  Can McCain still win? 

Well, I’ll put it this way.  Last Thursday I called Roger Shaffer at CCA in Oregon, to ask if he could recommend a stock to buy.  Shaffer is the teacher who led CCA to 17 state high school championships in the annual stock market contest, a feat that no other school in American has ever come close to.  He said, “Yes, buy Basin Water.”

Well, I was off to Budapest and didn’t have time.  It cost me, I’ll tell you.  So today, back in the USA, I called him again, while the market was tumbling.  Got a tip for me today?  I expected him to tell me to sell something short.  “Yes, he said.  Buy Basin Water.”

“It’s too late,” I said.  “It’s already gone up.  I missed it.  And anyway, now the market is collapsing.”

But I listened this time and I bought it anyway and sure enough, while the market was falling all around me, my Basin Water made money.

Can John McCain still win in a collapsing economy?  Sure, if he keeps winning the battle over “who can really bring change” then he can win the election too.  Hey, if I can win on the stock market on a day like this, anything is possible.


Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

One thought on “Can McCain still win with a losing economy?

  1. John McCain can certainly win with the economy. Need proof: just look at where he is now. It is an absolute miracle that McCain is doing as well as he is in the polls. As of two months ago he was barely even seen or hear from; a complete long shot.

    This is a classic tortoise/hare scenario. Obama got ahead and let his guard down, allowing McCain to swoop in. If Obama can convince the American people he understand their needs in the debates, he’ll clinch it, and vice versa.

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