Some key 2008 takeaways from the latest research by Greg Valliere, politics guru at the Stanford Group, a Wall Street institutional research firm:
- A president with approval ratings as low as President Bush's always gets replaced by someone from the other party.
- The immigration debate may hurt the Republicans badly with Hispanic voters in key states such as Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
- Ohio appears to be a solid "blue state" after the GOP was wiped out there in last year's election.
- Hillary Clinton will be the de facto Democratic nominee after the February 5 "Super Duper Tuesday" primaries in 20 states.
Bottom line: Don't shoot the messenger; this does not mean we want her to win. Rather, we see the stars in alignment for the Democrats to win the White House—and do quite well in congressional elections—and we see Clinton as the likely nominee. In fact, her toughest battle may be winning the nomination. We've called every election correctly since our nervous bet in 1976 that Jimmy Carter would beat Gerald Ford. The 2000 and 2004 calls were extremely difficult, but we stuck with our prediction that Bush would win. Much could happen in the next 13 months, but our early hunch is that the 2008 election will be an easier call than the last two.