[C]ampaigns matter. Maybe not in the wholesale manner that most pundits want candidates to believe (campaigns are not swaying 30 percent of the vote, for example), but they do matter — and they are critical in many cases (precisely because they sway 3 percent of the vote!) Who among us doesn’t think Al Gore would have won the 2000 election at the Electoral College level if he had connected himself to Bill Clinton’s growing economy?
The forecasts for 2000 all predict a Gore victory and because he didn’t win the election, critics say the forecasting models are “wrong.” I say Gore was wrong! He didn’t talk about the economy, he didn’t take credit for the goods the Clinton administration brought to Americans — and because he didn’t link himself to that growth, he narrowly lost the Electoral College. That is not a failure of the model – that is a failure of the candidate.