The Corner

Which Is Which

There’s an old political heuristic or rule of thumb that keeps popping up in discussions of the final three weeks of the campaign—but, dad burn it, in exactly opposite forms. Can somebody tell me which is correct?

One version holds that undecided voters (at present, about six percent of the electorate) tend to break two-to-one against the incumbent. If so, Kerry’s still doing okay. But according to the other version undecideds tend to break about two-to-one for the incumbent, in which case we could have quite a tidy Bush victory on our hands.