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Paul Krugman: Contrary indicator

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 25, 2006 09:24 AM

Paul Greenberg has a hilarious syndicated column out today about Paul Krugman’s ridiculous record of prognostication:

It started out as a gag here on the editorial page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and soon became a superstition:

Every time the stock market took a little dip, we’d reprint one of Paul Krugman’s dour columns from the New York Jaundiced Times about the imminent doom of the American economy.

Almost immediately the market would bounce back and then some. It worked every time.

But we may have overdone it of late. By now the Dow Jones has started to cross into 12,000 territory. A few more Krugman columns explaining how the economy has cooled off and the thing could overheat.

We reprinted one of his columns last Thursday morning and, sure enough, by the end of the day, the Dow ended the day over 12,000 for the first time. AN HISTORIC HIGH! and all that jazz.

Well, sure. The Krugman touch never fails.

The more Professor Eeyore says the economy is going to hell, the more heavenly it gets. Can it be just a coincidence? The Dow seems to surge whenever it sees “Paul Krugman” in a by-line. It must be a kind of Pavlovian reaction by now.

Can Krugman work his magic on the midterms? Greenberg wryly concludes:

If there’s any hope at all for the once Grand Old Party in these midterm elections, and there may not be, it’s that Paul Krugman can do for it what he’s consistently done for the stock market.

Cross your fingers.

***

For what it’s worth, Dick Morris at Vote.com says the election is back to a “toss-up:”

he latest polls show something very strange and quite encouraging is happening: The Republican base seems to be coming back home. This trend, only vaguely and dimly emerging from a variety of polls, suggests that a trend may be afoot that would deny the Democrats control of the House and the Senate.

With two weeks to go, anything can happen, but it is beginning to look poss- ible that the Democratic surge in the midterm elections may fall short of control in either House.

Here’s the evidence:

* Pollsters Scott Rasmussen and John Zogby both show Republican Bob Corker gaining on Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee, a must-win Senate seat for the Democrats. Zogby has Corker ahead by seven, while Rasmussen still shows a Ford edge of two points.

* Zogby reports a “turnaround” in New Jersey’s Senate race with the GOP candidate Tom Kean taking the lead, a conclusion shared by some other public polls.

* Even though Sen. Jim Talent in Missouri is still under the magic 50 percent threshold for an incumbent, Rasmussen has him one point ahead and Zogby puts him three up. But unless he crests 50 percent, he’ll probably still lose.

* Even though he is a lost cause, both Rasmussen and Zogby show Montana’s Republican Sen. Conrad Burns cutting the gap and moving up.

* In Virginia, Republican embattled incumbent Sen. George Allen has now moved over the 50 percent threshold in his internal polls. (He’d been at 48 percent.)

Nationally, Zogby reports that the generic Democratic edge is down to four points, having been as high as nine two weeks ago.

***

One last bit of news: Consumer confidence holds at ’06 high

Consumer confidence holds steady at its highest level of the year, staying well above its 2006 low reached less than two months ago.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index stands at -7 on its scale of +100 to -100, unchanged from last week to match its best of the year. The index is up eight points since mid-September, and 12 points since matching its worst level of the year on Aug. 27. Gas prices have dropped 64 cents in that time.

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