Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Real Story on This Election

I've been bothered for some time about the fact that the media just doesn't get the real story of this election -- that an incumbent president is stumbling so badly in the polls. The last time this happened was when another guy named Bush was president and stumbled so badly in the polls, he lost the election to a scandal-ridden governor from a small, poor Southern state.

All polls show that the vast majority disapprove of the job Bush has done as president (the war in Iraq, the economy, etc.). Where Bush continues to get strong approval ratings, however, is leadership and vision. Which is simply bizarre, but that's what's happening.

However, I continue to believe that Kerry can win this election. Bush is vulnerable.

James Carville has written an analysis of the campaign and says this: "At the height of Bush’s convention bounce, he is just at the edge of electability. His position is simply not that strong." Amen.

And this: "...we should not underestimate the weaponry available to Kerry. About 54 percent of the country believes that he will keep America strong and safe. Kerry obviously needs to continue to reassure and raise these numbers, but he has crossed a key threshold for a majority of voters. Kerry still has strong advantages over Bush on a broad range of issues... The strongest are health care and prescription drugs, but also raising middle class living standards. He has the edge on the economy (2 points) and is even on America being respected in the world."

And this is very important: "The country wants a change in course, which is evident on both Iraq and the economy. A majority of the country still wants change. By 53 to 41 percent, voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction; by 51 to 46 percent, they want to go in a significantly different direction than Bush. The mood for change is even greater among independents (57 to 35 percent) and battleground state voters (55 to 40 percent). Indeed, the Bush vote is unstable in an election where Kerry and Edwards are talking about a new direction: 14 percent of the electorate is comprised of Bush voters thinking things are going wrong."

This is also very important: "In the Democracy Corps poll, a Kerry message defeats the Bush message by 7-points, which is 10 points better than the race between Kerry and Bush. Among ind ependents, it wins by 18 points and in the battleground states, by 15. Those results are the most important finding of this survey. Amidst the fog of conflicting poll numbers, convention bounces and many distractions, voters remain ready to respond to strong Democratic campaigns in 2004. Democrats should put their energies into this critique, choice and vision, recognizing that big change is possible. Kerry can clearly move back into the lead in this race."

So we can win and we must win. Bush is vulnerable and the media has it all wrong.


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