Jewish World Review July 13, 2000 / 10 Tamuz, 5760
Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.
I know the answer because I have once again talked to Corey Ruzicka, an advertising man from Arlington, Texas, who has an amazing record of correctly picking presidential winners.
He does no polling. He assembles no focus groups. He talks to not a single voter.
But he always gets it right. His method is simplicity itself. I first interviewed him in 1992, when Bill Clinton was far down in the polls.
"Clinton is going to win," Ruzicka told me. "And that's because his name ends in N. He probably will be a one-term president or something will happen to him in office, however, because his running mate, Al Gore, has a name that ends in E."
I thought Ruzicka was nuts at the time, but not only did Clinton win, but something did happen to Clinton in office: He got impeached.
"Of America's 51 presidential elections, 22 of them have been won by the candidate whose last name ended in N," Ruzicka said back then. "And 33 elections have had at least one presidential candidate with an N-ending name."
OK, fine, but why do Americans seem to like people whose name ends in N? I asked.
"Your name ends in N," Ruzicka said.
Good point, I said.
So I called Ruzicka back this week to see his predictions for Campaign 2000.
And he gave the edge to Al Gore.
"When we have had candidates whose names end in E," Ruzicka said, "they have had fours wins and eight losses. When we have had candidates whose name ends in H, they have had one win and two losses. President Bush is the only H-name to win."
In other words, Gore has a 50 percent chance of winning, while George W. Bush has only a 33 percent chance.
But what about running mates? I asked. And It turns out that can change the picture big time.
"Whenever an E candidate names a vice president whose name ends in S, they have won 3-0," Ruzicka said. "James Monroe won twice with Daniel Tompkins, and Calvin Coolidge won with Charles Dawes. That is why Gore should pick Gray Davis, the governor of California."
As it turns out, Gray Davis announced this week that he would not accept the vice presidency, but when he reads this column, he might change his mind.
"Gore could also pick Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Baucus of Montana or Edwards of North Carolina." Ruzicka said.
But what if Gore doesn't pick an S-ending vice president? I asked.
"Whenever an E candidate goes with someone other than S vice president, it's one win and eight losses," Ruzicka said. "Franklin Pierce is the E candidate who won.
And what about Bush?
"Well, he should go with an N-ending candidate, because Ns are so popular in America," Ruzicka said.
Which means John McCain or Fred Thompson of Tennessee, who was a McCain backer, I said. But I don't think Bush is going to pick either of them.
"Yes, my gut feeling is that Bush will go with an E-ender, because his dad went with an E-ender, Dan Quayle," Ruzicka said.
Which would mean Elizabeth Dole or Tom Ridge.
"Just as long as nobody picks Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska or George Mitchell, a Democrat from Maine," Ruzicka said.
"Because whenever we have a Y- or L-ending winning or losing presidential or vice presidential candidate, we have a major war with major casualties within four years," Ruzicka said.
Bill Bradley and Colin Powell please take note: Maybe you should consider