Saturday, October 16, 2004

One Day at Fenway
The Sox and Yanks will play at Fenway today, weather permitting. It's always special when these two teams get together at that little old ballpark -- but to really understand what it means, you need to read the new book by my friend Steve Kettmann. He tells the story well.
The Year
Maybe I'll do one more competition this year. I'm contemplating the Death Valley Borax Marathon. I think I'll be well-enough recovered by then -- December 4 -- but most of the literature advises to wait several months before doing a second marathon. That would point me toward the Napa Valley Marathon, right here on my home turf.

Anyway, I set out to do more events this year and I did. Special thanks to Rebecca and Niko for being so cool about me taking the time to train and compete.

Millerton Lake (1.5K S, 40K B, 10K trail/road run)
Uvas (1K S, 18M B, 5M R)
Wildflower Half (2K S, 56M B, 13.1M R)
San Jose (1.5K S, 10K B, 10K R)
Half Vineman (2K S, 56M B, 13.1M R)
Tour of Napa Valley (100M bike ride)
Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon (26.2M R)
Think Nader has faded away as a factor in presidential elections? We certainly haven't been hearing as much about him. And it doesn't appear as though he'll pull the 4 percent or so of the vote he did in 2000. But a recent New Republic piece by Ryan Lizza suggests Ralph could still do in the Dems (and give us four more years of Bush). Here's the key excerpt:

Despite the fact that he is registering barely 1 percent in national polls, Nader is indeed perfectly positioned to cost Kerry the election. Consider Kerry's current road to 270 electoral votes. The number of true toss-up states has dwindled to eleven: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Nader is on the ballot in all of these states but Pennsylvania and Ohio, where his access is still the subject of litigation. Each of these states is close enough that Nader could make the difference, and the damage he could do to Kerry becomes more obvious when one looks at the combination of states Kerry is likely to need for victory. Assuming Bush wins Florida and Kerry wins Pennsylvania, Kerry must then win Ohio and some combination of three to five of the remaining eight small toss-up states. These eight states have two things in common: in each, the race is almost a dead heat, and, in each, Nader is polling between one and four points. In other words, Nader is doing best in the most closely contested states. For instance, an early October Gallup poll of registered voters in New Mexico showed Bush beating Kerry 47 to 46 percent, with Nader at 3 percent. An American Research Group poll in New Hampshire showed Bush and Kerry tied at 47 percent, with Nader at 1 percent. In Colorado, Gallup shows Bush and Kerry tied at 48 percent, with Nader at 2 percent. As pollster John Zogby noted in a recent analysis of his own numbers, "There is ... no doubt that Ralph Nader is hurting Kerry."