Predictions About the Future

The news that Q1 economic growth, though extremely low, came in somewhat above recession levels is a good opportunity to once again remind people that the big sources of uncertainty in the general election have to do with objective reality rather than candidate-attributes or campaign tactics. That stuff can matter, but the evidence suggests that it doesn't matter as much as the fundamentals, and the fundamentals are, in a sense, unknowable.

Certainly if you made me pick, I'd say the economy will continue to be lousy and Iraq will continue to be a mess, and the Democrats will have a big advantage, but neither of those predictions can be offered by me (or anyone else) with any real degree of confidence at this point. And yet those factors will probably determine the outcome in November to a much greater extent than controversies about lapel pins or McCain's bizarre campaign finance shenanigans.