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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Iowa Absentee Ballots

Posted by DavidNYC

On the NYT's front page right now is a story by Johnny Apple about Iowa's absentee ballots. Specifically, the number of Dems requesting such ballots is far outstripping GOP requests. This story is almost like slo-mo, Big Media blogging - and bad blogging, at that. The date on the byline is Sept. 26th - two days ago - and the whole story just rips off a piece that appeared in the Des Moines Register that appeared five days ago. All the NYT really does is add a few quotes (I guess Tom Vilsack returns Apple's calls) and try to hype the story into something big. At least they gave the Register its due - usually the NYT steals from the little guys without so much as a thank you.

Anyhow, I'm ragging on the Times because I don't think there's much to see here. You should really contrast the story with the Register article, which leads with the idea of early voting in general. The part about the Dem advantage only comes later. The Times pumps up this aspect, but it just doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. Yes, more Dems have asked for absentee ballots than Republicans, but in the last two elections, more Republicans have shown up at the voting booths. And yes, there's a 3-to-1 advantage in absentee ballot requests right now, but the ratio of absentee voting in the 2000 election was much narrower - 140K Gore to 130K Bush.

The Register story quotes a GOP politician who says that the Dems are just shifting voting habits, not increasing turnout. This analysis may well be right. Let me just say that I'm not going to stake my Iowa hopes on mail-in ballots.

Posted at 05:01 PM in Iowa | Technorati


I wonder if those requesting absentee ballots are college students who live in one address and attend college in another. You're probably right that the story isn't exactly a crystal ball regarding the election outcome, but it does indicate the extent of the Dems resolve to unseat Bush. I question the legitimacy of recent Iowa polls showing Bush with a lead. I grew up on the Minnesota-Iowa line and have what a consider to be a pretty good read on Iowa politics. Whether the focus of this campaign ends up being Iraq or the economy, Bush's chances of victory will diminish with each passing day in the intense final weeks of the campaign.

Posted by: Mark at September 28, 2004 05:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This election could very well come down to three unlikely states: IA, MN, and WI.

Posted by: Pepe at September 28, 2004 06:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I live in Iowa. About a month ago a young lady came to the door and said she was taking a poll (I figured, hey, my vote may not count, but maybe this will). Among the questions were of course my choice for Pres, how strongly, etc. (Kerry, strongly) She also asked if I would like to receive an absentee ballot. I filled out the request card. Before leaving she told me she was with the dem party. If there was a republican worker making the rounds, he/she didn't get to my door, and I am not registered by party. So, I don't know if my experience is typical, but it is possible that maore of those absentee ballots will carry Kerry votes that Bush votes. Whether they make Kerry people more likely to vote, that I don't know. I almost always vote absentee.

Posted by: Jeffrey at September 28, 2004 07:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe, I have been watching your posts for a few months now, and I seriously question which candidate you are truly supporting for President. Yeah, I know, you are just being "objective". I don't think so. I think you are an agent provacateur, looking to discourage dems from getting fully behind Kerry. And 90% of the time, your comments are completely irrelevant. I guess what I am really trying to say is...SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY!!! Thank you...

Posted by: sick_of_pepe at September 28, 2004 08:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I've already gotten six absentee ballot request forms and a phone call at this point. I can certaintly attest to the GOTV through absentea thing going down here in Iowa. I'm voting for Kerry, but because I'm a poor college student (I don't have a stamp right now) and because my polling place is in the dorm I live in, I'll be boosting Kerry's numbers on election day amung Nov. 2 voters instead.

Perhaps part of the push is the fear of a certain type of October surprise. If Bush tries to cancel or postpone elections, absentee votes are the ones more likely to tip the balance. ("What day am I supposed to vote now? They keep changing it!")

Posted by: Izixs at September 28, 2004 09:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

To sick of pepe:

How on earth is remarking that the election could come down to IA, MN and WI make me a provocateur? It simply means those states could make or break the election for either candidate. Sheesh! I'm sorry my observations bother you so much--why not just simply skip over them rather than advocate censorship of those views and observations that conflict with your own?

By the way a lot of fellow Democrats feel just like me in that they wish Kerry were better able to connect with the voters and inspire them the way Clinton did. I don't think that's a secret to anyone who's following this campaign. Yet believe me, John Kerry will happily accept our votes in November. What other choice do we have?

Posted by: Pepe at September 28, 2004 09:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What's this concerning Blackwell (I think that's his name) making a big stink about Ohio new voter registrations on weighted paper not approved by the board of elections? Isn't this a violation of the voting act?! And why isn't Blackwell being booted out of office in Ohio? Where's the Kerry legal team when you need them for this vote scam debacle?

Posted by: Shar at September 28, 2004 11:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Busn." - Ted Kennedy

I don't understand the continuous griping, as I like John Kerry and I'll take his position in the polls vs. George Bush.

I don't believe the polls. Kerry wins Ohio.
Just go out and vote!

Posted by: Shar at September 28, 2004 11:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I think it's great that you and your friends are planning on voting for Kerry. The problem I am having here is that you are entirely too pessimistic. I mean stating that the election will come down to Iowa, Minn, and Wis, indicates a totally negative attitude on your part, causing me to question your true loyalties. I believe the election will come down to NH, Ohio, and Fla, possibly even Colorado. And that is just what we want anybody who may be undecided to believe when they visit this site. I believe the purpose of this site is not only to provide a forum for INFORMED political discussion, but also to aid swing voters in choosing the right candidate on election day. To us, the right candidate for President is obviously John Kerry. Therefore, it serves no useful purpose to constanly moan and belittle the "right" candidate in this forum. I would suggest to you, Pepe that if you want to vote for Kerry holding your nose, do so. I would further suggest that you do this as silently as possible. At this point in the race, there is absolutely no place for doom and gloom, especialy since all of the propaganda coming from the other side is upbeat and positive about their candidate. We need positive thinking and positive posting so as to make sure that a potential swing voter visiting this site will realize that we INFORMED supporters of President-to-be Kerry have absolute confidence in our candidate. So either jump on the bandwagon, or keep the negativity in the confines of your living room. Thank you....

Posted by: sick_of_pepe at September 29, 2004 05:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

...I agree with Sick of Pepe...What with the Bush-biased Media all around us (even NPR has gone more to the Right - something I find really discouraging - we really don't need the negativity.

Posted by: Arlene Kelly at September 29, 2004 06:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I believe the election will come down to NH, Ohio, and Fla, possibly even Colorado. And that is just what we want anybody who may be undecided to believe when they visit this site. And that is just what we want anybody who may be undecided to believe when they visit this site.

It might, though you're probably in a minority to think NH is so important. Just because you believe it comes down to OH, NH (!) and FL--and maybe CO, I am amazed you believe that the rest of us should simply take your word for it. And because you say it's so, this is going to convince the undecided to believe it? I think you're taking yourself way too seriously. You could ask a dozen "informed" people and get a dozen different states that they believe the race will come down to, so give me a break!

I believe the purpose of this site is not only to provide a forum for INFORMED political discussion, but also to aid swing voters in choosing the right candidate on election day.

And obviously only your "INFORMED political discussion" is correct, and all the swing voters should not question it, just agree with all you say. There are political EXPERTS who do this sort of thing for a living--and they disagree. So what makes your views more valid than theirs or anyone else who has been following the campaign on a daily basis?

Very interesting. You sound like you might have a lot in common with Fidel Castro--CENSOR all opinions contrary to your own, accept as valid only your sources (which buttress your opinions), and only make public the information that supports your opinions.

Like I said before, why read my posts if they upset you so much? I'm as secure in my views as you hopefully are with yours. Democracy is all about diversity of opinions and trying to find the truth somewhere within them--it's not about censorship and mindless propoganda.

Posted by: Pepe at September 29, 2004 07:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The whining about Kerry not being the perfect candidate gets old. He is our candidate for better or worse; time to get behind him.

Posted by: also_sick_of_pepe at September 29, 2004 07:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush has a commanding lead in WI now. I've seen polls in the +8% to +13% in WI for Bush. Looks like Bush is going to win WI, and Kerry better rethink his electoral college plan.

BTW, sick_of_pepe, hardly anyone follows this website. Pepe's comments will not affect the election at all. The election has been Kerry's to lose from the beginning. He was handed a perfect scenario for beating a sitting President. A lackluster economy, a war that wasn't going so well, etc. Kerry hasn't connected with the voters. If he loses in November, he can blame his campaign skills, not Pepe.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 09:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

From the creator of this board, and I quote:

"I am a native New Yorker now studying law in Washington, D.C. I have always been interested in politics, and I consider myself a "blog child" of the DailyKos, a site which I cannot recommend highly enough. I am a lifelong Democrat, but my hope is that the analysis on this site is free from partisan favoritism. That is to say, I plan to examine all relevant issues rigorously, whether or not they favor Democrats."

I believe what David says most definitely applies to my views, which I honestly try and keep as unbiased as I can. I want to see things as they really are, not how I wish they were. There could be no meaningful analysis of election trends and reasons behind them without examining "all relevant issues rigorously, whether or not they favor Democrats."

I am a Democrat and I supported Dean, though I wished Joe Biden had decided to run. That's all in the past and Kerry is our man. I accept that and I'm voting for him. Given what Bush has done over the past 4 years this election should not even be close. But it is. What this board is all about is utilizing the knowledge and information we have to discuss freely why the campaign is where it is today, and where we think it's headed.

According to this site's creator himself, it's raison d'��tre is not, as sick of pepe writes, to "aid swing voters in choosing the right candidate on election day." Rather than a simple and mindless propoganda board, David created a place for political junkies to come together to try and interpret and better understand the campaigns and their many vicissitudes. As long as the site remains true to its original purpose, I will continue to frequent it and give my views.

Posted by: Pepe at September 29, 2004 09:21 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Thanks Rock. I think it goes without saying that my views will not affect this election one bit. If Kerry wins or loses, it won't be due to anything written here!

Your update about WI concerns me, too, which is why I view the Upper Midwest as more critical now than it had been in the past. Suddenly, WI, IA and MN are in play, whether the pepe haters like it or not. Kerry can probably afford to lose WI (especially if he can pick up CO). However, loses two of the three or three of the three would most likely prove disasterous. It wil be very interesting to see what the polls look like in those three states (amongst others) in the days following tomorrow's first debate.

Posted by: Pepe at September 29, 2004 09:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What would be sad would be to pick up NH and FL but lose WI, NM, and IA. That would make the EV tied at 269.

This election will be very tight if Kerry does a solid job in the debates. As of today, I see the following states as possible Kerry pick ups from 2000: FL, NV, NH. I see the following states that Gore won in 2000 that may be red in 2004: MN, NM, IA, WI.

The hurricanes in FL are a wildcard in this election that is a mystery to how they will affect it. Bush can make it a positive if he can get money there quickly for repairs. It is a negative for Bush in the fact that it might reduce the number of early voters for the election. The Republicans have been known to be a big in FL for getting people to do early voting. The negative for the Democrats is that it hurts their voter registration drive in FL.

Posted by: DFuller at September 29, 2004 09:59 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I have only seen one Wisconsin poll as bad as the one rock_nj cites. ARG's recent poll showed it evenly split. If the election were held today, Bush would most likely win WI, but I'm not so sure that's the way things will play out five weeks from now. The situation in Iraq doesn't bode well for Bush in WI, and the state's same-day registration laws are likely to bring out the college students from Madison for Kerry by the thousands as happened for Gore in 2000. If Kerry is able to get back into this contest in the remaining weeks, he has at least a 50-50 chance of carrying Wisconsin. I'm even more optimistic about Iowa, a state where Kerry should be landsliding Bush and still may with good debate performances.

Posted by: Mark at September 29, 2004 10:05 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't enjoy issuing warnings like this, but the personal attacks on this thread really has to stop. I don't mind a discussion on the merits of being optimistic vs. realistic vs. pessimistic - that's a good topic for discussion.

But attacking & mocking people for their views is not acceptable, particularly in the form of choosing false user names (and even more inflammatory fake e-mail addresses) that attack individual users.

Rock is right - this is not a big site. However, we do get over 4,000 visitors a day (more than all but a hundred or so blogs), and I would really like to preserve the collegial atmosphere here for the remaining time until the election.

As I always say, I don't want to censor anyone - just keep it civil.

Posted by: DavidNYC at September 29, 2004 10:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

ABC News and Badger (a local poll) both have Bush ahead of Kerry in WI by 10% or more. Dems can't hide their heads in the sand about this situation. A month before an election, you don't want to be 10% behind. Two polls, especially a local one, aren't just outliners. Bush is ahead in WI.


RCP Average | 9/12 - 9/21 - - 49.3 42.8 1.75 Bush +6.5
Badger Poll | 9/15-9/21 504 RV 4.0 52 38 4 Bush +14
ABC News | 9/16-9/19 625 LV 4.0 53 43 1 Bush +10
Mason-Dixon | 9/14-9/16 625 LV 4.0 46 44 1 Bush +2
ARG | 9/12-9/15 600 LV 4.0 46 46 1

Kerry should write off WI and look elsewhere, like holding onto MN and IA, winning FL, and trying to pick up states that are close like CO and AR.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 10:25 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry can win without WI, if he can pick up states like FL and NH. Losing IA would make it harder for Kerry to win, but not impossible.

Seems like the Kerry campaign might have blundered, thinking states like WI, MN, and IA were safe. Also, Kerry should be at least have a moderate presence in states like VA, NC, CO, and AR, that seem within reach this election cycle. It's very possible that Kerry could lose WI and pick up a state like VA or CO to offset it.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 10:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Other WI Polls:

Zogby Kerry +2.4%
Rasmussen Bush +2%
Moore Bush +3%

Posted by: DFuller at September 29, 2004 10:48 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bush's Hometown Crawford Paper Endorses Kerry

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - The newspaper in President Bush's adopted hometown of Crawford Texas threw its support on Tuesday behind Bush's Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry.

The weekly Lone Star Iconoclast criticized Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and for turning budget surpluses into record deficits.

The editorial also criticized Bush's proposals on Social Security and Medicare.

"The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda," the newspaper said in its editorial. "Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry."

It urged "Texans not to rate the candidate by his hometown or even his political party, but instead by where he intends to take the country."

Bush spends many of his weekends and holidays at his Crawford, Texas, ranch.

The Iconoclast's publisher and editor-in-chief, W. Leon Smith, said the newspaper is sent to Bush's ranch each week. "But I don't know if he reads it," Smith said.

The Kerry campaign welcomed the endorsement in an email to reporters.


Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 10:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

rock_nj, Kerry would be a fool to write off WI because of two bad polls. In case you didn't realize, there's never been a "local" Badger Poll showing Kerry doing any better than 6 points behind Bush, even when other polls were showing Kerry well ahead in WI. On average, the Badger Polls have been showing Kerry at a double-digit deficit all year long. The rumor is that Badger doesn't want to call long-distance any more than they have to, so they centralize most of their calls to their own GOP-dominated area code in the Milwaukee suburbs.

So now you have Kerry writing off Wisconsin. We've already abandoned Arkansas, Missouri and Arizona and most here say it's time to get out of Ohio. So basically, you've got Kerry faced with a mandatory win in Florida or fewer than 270 electoral votes. When will us Democrats ever learn?!?

Posted by: Mark at September 29, 2004 11:13 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well the decision isn't up to me. I'm sure Kerry has internal polls that give him the real picture in WI.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Kerry hasn't tried a bigger push in VA and NC with Edwards at his side. Seems like a place where he might upset Bush. Also, CO and AR are very close, closer than WI at this point. You can't just ignore the polling. There's only a month left. He has to figure out how to get above 207 EVs.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 11:26 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Many thanks, DavidNYC.

Posted by: Pepe at September 29, 2004 11:38 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

rock_nj, most Wisconsin polls of the past few weeks aren't showing Kerry getting trounced. ARG's poll just last week showed it tied. Kerry went scrambling out of Missouri like a frightened school girl at the first sign of a formidable Bush lead as well, which I believe was a horrible mistake. I'm in complete agreement with you about Arkansas and Colorado, which I believe are in play, but there's no way Kerry would win North Carolina and lose Wisconsin. Assuming Kerry's not just spending this week in WI for debate prep, expect to see his numbers go up there at this time next week. Even if they don't, Kerry cannot afford to lose Wisconsin and must continue visiting here in October.

Posted by: Mark at September 29, 2004 11:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I hate the idea of writing off any state, but in 2-3 weeks, the Kerry campaign will have to make hard decisions about Wisconsin. I think it looks good for Bush right now. But Kerry may stick with it simply because he doesn't have much choice. If Missouri and Ohio look solid for Bush (as they do now), Kerry has no choice but to try for a victory with Wisconsin and NH and NV. Plan A is Florida, of course, but there has to be a plan B.

Unfortunately, Kerry's position is worse than Gore's. Census re-alignment makes it harder for Kerry to win -- he needs 10 seats beyond the Gore states. Gore had a number of alternate plans, Kerry really has Florida (the big one) and possibly a plan B with the small states (WV, NH, NV). Unless Ohio becomes close again.

Posted by: erg at September 29, 2004 12:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry will probably win NH. He really needs to go after Florida. He can lose WI and IA and still win with FL. I think that's the winning strategy. NV and WV are much longer shots than FL.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 12:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Assuming that Kerry takes all four votes in ME, he can lose the Gore states of IA and WI if he wins FL. That would be exactly 270 electoral votes. If the election was held today, it would be all about FL (again) this year. There is still a month until the election and a lot of things can change.

One month ago, it looked like Kerry would win all the Gore states plus NH. He would just have to steal one of FL, OH, WV, NV, MO, CO, AZ, AR or TN which were all up for grabs or leaning slightly to Bush. Now, OH, WV, MO, AR, AZ & TN are solid in the Bush category. CO, NV, IA & WI are slightly leaning Bush. FL, NM, NH, MN & ME are up for grabs. Kerry would have to win all the states up for grabs today in order to win the election along with the states that are slightly leaning Kerry ��� NJ, PA, MD & MI. With four debates to go, the dynamics of this election will change. Kerry must be solid in order to win the election because at this point he is slightly behind.

Posted by: DFuller at September 29, 2004 12:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Ohio is close. Rasmussen has bush up +2, and zogby up +3, with undecideds about 5%. We all know how undecideds break overwhelmingly for the challenger, so Ohio is indeed a toss up.

Posted by: ted at September 29, 2004 01:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't think AZ and TN were ever really for grabs this cycle. If TN wouldn't vote for native prince Al Gore, they are not going to vote for a Yankee.

And AZ -- I wonder if the margin was smaller in 2000 than otherwise because McCain Republicans were ticked off at Bush. Now they've come home, so the state is no longer in play.

I think Kerry will get NJ and MD with 6-8 point leads. He also looks solid in MI -- not a single poll in the last 3 months has shown Bush ahead, and even before, there were only 1 or 2 polls that showed a lead of 1-2 points out of 2 dozen. PA seems to have trended back in his column after flirting with Bush. The last 4 polls have shown a slight Kerry lead.

I thing WV may still be up for grabs, and I think Kerry will get Oregon and Washington (especially WA). I also expect him to pick up MN. Wisconsin looks fairly stable for Bush at this point. IA, NM are probably up for grabs.

So FL is the big prize. There are some good indicators for Kerry here --- Gallup had Bush up by only 2 points (although Gallups LV model seems to favor Bush a little). But its going to be a tough nut. Wouldn't it be karmic justice if it comes down to FL, but Kerry wins it and the EVs even if he loses the popular vote ?

Posted by: erg at September 29, 2004 01:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't think Kerry should concede MN and IA, though perhaps WI and MO are now a lost cause. I am not at all optimistic about OH, either. Kerry needs to be very agressive in IA, MN, WV, PA, NJ, CO, NV, NM, and FL. I know polls are now showing MD to be a battleground state, too, but I just can't believe that. If MD is competive, Kerry hasn't got a prayer. It would not be an upset by any stretch for Kerry to win most if not all of those states that I just menetioned. That said, Bush could win most of them, too. I think this election is shaping up to be won or lost in what I'm going to call the Great Eight:


I really do believe (at this point in time--it could change following the debates) these are the last remaining states that are truly up for grabs. The other 42 plus DC are either solid red or blue, or they have been leaning red or blue for some time now. *Based on most polls, NM seems likely to remain Democratic, but since it only went to Gore by something like 277 votes, who can be sure of that?

I have also said all along that Kerry must win PA--if he fails to win the Keystone State, we're going to be in for a very long night. There's no question, Bush is in the driver's seat right now. Yet I remember that Gore was ahead of Bush at this time four years ago, and obviously the momentum changed. So we'll have to just wait and sweat this one out over the next five weeks.

Posted by: Pepe at September 29, 2004 01:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'll tell you the best thing Kerry has going for him at the moment. The fact that in 2000, the Democratic vote was underpolled by 2-3%. Not that hard to understand. The Democratic get out the vote effort is probably good for an extra 2-3% on election day. So, if Kerry is tied in states like FL and CO, don't be suprised if he winds up winning those states, especially FL, which has a pretty strong Democratic party org.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 01:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe, I agree, if Kerry can't win PA, he's done. I don't see him winning without PA. He could take FL, and lose WI and IA, and still win. But, PA is a must win state.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 01:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I just was reading an article by Mike Murphy, a columnist for the Weekly Standard, that shining become for progressive thought. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't or wasn't Murphy a senior strategist for the Boobengrabber in his succesful coup of Gray Davis? Anyhow, Murphy seems to think that the Kerry strategy all along has been to lower expectations, and that come Friday morning the story can once again begin to unfold of the "comeback Kerry." Of course, Murphy views this strategy as a failure, but he has to say that, correct? Besides that, he sees the media lining up on Friday morning to report on the comeback story. Obviously, he thinks it is a left-wing conspiratorial media falling into lock-step behind the Kerry campaign. Again, setting that aside, does anyone else believe that is what we are seeing going on here?

Posted by: bigguy at September 29, 2004 02:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree that PA is a must win for Kerry. I am going to look closing at the big three on Election Day: FL, OH, and PA. Whoever wins the majority of these three states will win the election.

Posted by: DFuller at September 29, 2004 02:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If Kerry doesn't win PA, it will be a very short night, not a long one. At that point, we know he's almost certainly lost :-(.

But I think he will take PA. The Rendell machine, the polls trending back in his position, THK's influence in Pittsburgh etc.

Posted by: erg at September 29, 2004 02:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I just wanted to comment on DFuller's concerns over Florida. I live in Tallahassee of North Florida and have been involved in voter registration drives. I think it is safe to say that new Democratic registrants outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1. It all comes down to mobilizing people to go vote. Unquestionably, many people are really ready to vote any way they can. There is a lot of excitement since many of these people were victims of fraud and deceipt in 2000. They refuse to let it happen again. However, our governor and secretary of state are doing everything possible to prevent us from participating in our Democracy.

Posted by: spike at September 29, 2004 02:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My thoughts on the remaining swing states, barring further Kerry concessions....

Arizona...Bush by 6. The undecided voters and Hispanics will come out for Kerry. He may have still had a shot if he didn't pull his ads from the state.

Arkansas...Bush by 6. Kerry had a reasonable chance, particularly if Bill Clinton walked up on podium in Little Rock with two canes the weekend before the election to endorse Kerry. The Kerry campaign's assinine decision to pull out of the state goes down as the worst decision thus far in the campaign IMHO.

Colorado...Bush by 3. Wayne Allard looked vulnerable two years ago too. Perceived vulnerability will motivate Republicans to come out for Bush. I hope I'm wrong, but I think Dems are setting themselves up for a disappointment with this pipe dream.

Florida....not prepared to call. The hurricane situation makes this one difficult to gauge at the moment. But if Kerry doesn't have some kind of national momentum at this time next month, it's difficult to imagine he'll win Florida.

Iowa...Kerry by 2. I'm surprised it's even close, let alone Bush leading right now. This is the kind of state (populist, blue-collar and anti-war) that should have colossal numbers of rabid Bush-haters. I still believe it'll go blue as the campaign nears an end with more and more bad news out of Iraq, but am less confident than I was a month ago.

Maine...Kerry by 5. Not nearly as safe for Kerry as most of us expected pre-polling. Wishfully thinking, I'll give Kerry all 4 EV's of ME, but it'll be very close upstate.

Michigan...Kerry by 6. If Michigan isn't blue within minutes of the polls closing, Kerry's in DEEP trouble.

Minnesota...Kerry by 2. The last hurrah for Dems in MN, fueled primarily by anti-Bush sentiment outstate. Bush margins will improve substantially in exurbia from 2000, however, and make this race alot closer than it would have been 15 years ago, where a guy like Bush would be behind by 20 points in this state.

Missouri...Bush by 7. Never was a likely state for Kerry, but the outcome will be more embarrassing and cause more long-term damage for the Dems in MO because of the early Kerry pullout.

Nevada...very tough call. If Kerry is smart enough to strike a late, below-the-belt attack over Yucca Mountain disabling Bush's ability to counter with an organized response, he'll probably win Nevada if the national race remains close. If Kerry fails to take advantage of Yucca Mountain effectively, Bush wins.

New Hampshire....Kerry by 1. Far less optimistic that it was a mere month ago, but let's still give Kerry the benefit of the doubt.

New Jersey...Kerry by 8. Not worried about this one so long as Kerry doesn't implode nationally.

New Mexico..Kerry by 3. Turnout among Hispanics and Indians is vital. I hope there's a strong GOTV effort in these communities to help avoid a low-turnout fueled Bush upset.

Ohio....Bush by 3. As long as the campaign is dominated with Iraq, a war that remains popular in a place like Ohio for whatever bizarre reason, Bush has the edge. If the discussion shifts back to the economy, Kerry could win, but it's looking less hopeful.

Oregon...Kerry by 5. I'm not too worried about this one, but those soft 2000 numbers were troubling, with or without the Nader influence.

Pennsylvania....Kerry by 4. Looking better here. The hometown advantage and undecided soccer moms from suburbs likely to break for the challenger makes the PA situation less troubling than it was two weeks ago.

Washington...Kerry by 8. Should be a slam-dunk...hopefully!

West Virginia....Bush by 6. I was never hopeful for this one as all of Appalachia is shifting radically to the political right over "values issues" at the worst imaginable time economically to make such a switch.

Wisconsin...Kerry by less than one. Will surprise everyone just like last time. The same people who wrote Wisconsin off at this point in 2000 will be shocked again when Madison college students come out in droves for Kerry.

Posted by: Mark at September 29, 2004 02:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark - Excellent analysis. On the mark.
Spike - Do you sense the hurricanes have changed people's minds at all. I mean it's one thing to sit in a nice house and pontificate about the virtues of voting Republican. But, when your house and all belongings in the world are suddenly gone, sometimes it's sobering and people realize just how much they rely on other people to survive. It could make a small but significant difference in this election in a strange and sad sort of way. I agree that getting out the vote on election day is key. Kerry will probably pick up votes from election day drives.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 03:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rock_nj -- unfortunately, I think a lot of the people who are the first to rant against Government handouts to those other lazy folks (especially those who are black or Hispanic) are also the first to demand government handouts when they need them -- whether its recovering from floods, picking up crop subsidies, grazing on Federal grounds for free etc.

Posted by: erg at September 29, 2004 03:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

erg, very true. It's also amusing how the most anti-government citizens of all (the Rocky Mountain state cowboys) are the most dependent on multi-billion dollar irrigation networks that make living in places like Utah and upper Nevada possible. More to your point, however, a classic example of the "government's awful when it helps the other guy" ethos is conservative ABC News reporter John Stossel, who literally rails against government's involvement in anything...except of course hurricane relief so he can rebuild his second home along the Atlantic coastline and make us taxpayers pay for it again in a few years.

Posted by: Mark at September 29, 2004 03:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark, Sometimes conservative thinking just doesn't make any sense at all. Like you said, all those "conservatives" in the Mountain West rail against big government, yet their individualist conservative lifestyles would be nearly impossible, or perhaps much more expensive, without federal subsidies for their water and electricity projects. You don't hear them railing against that sort of government meddling. Most of the states that receive more money back from the federal govt. than they receive are conservative states, while most that donate more are liberal states.

If there's one thing that has really driven a stake through the heart of conservatism, it is the past 10 years of Republican control of Congress. Remember their whinning about the spendthrift Democrats. If only the voters would be more self-reliant and vote the Republicans into power, they'd do away with all those handouts. Well, ten years after the Republican Revolutions, spending is way out of control, much more so than when the Dems controlled Washington. Even a conservative Republican Congressmen, Jerry Lewis from California I believe, lamented that his Republican collegues had managed to spend FOUR TIMES the pork than their previous Democratic Congresses had. Conservatism is fine, for OTHER people apparently.

I hope all, no matter what their political bent is, are well in Florida. I don't want to see people's suffering affect an election, but I also can't ignore the reality that this election might be affected by four disasters in Florida. I imagine it might sway a few desperate souls to reconsider their votes.

Posted by: Rock_nj at September 29, 2004 04:26 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I hope this won't be construed as ad-hominem, though it is critical. It's unfortunate that Pepe has gotten caught in the middle of it all, but I think what's happening in this thread illustrates something very important that all of us need to understand if there's to be any hope for this party.

The main reason you should keep your reflexive negativity to yourself, Pepe, is that by your constant naysaying -- which, based on what I've seen, is not original and rarely insightful -- you are participating in the nurturing of a particularly insidious meme constructed, very deliberately, by the Bush-Cheney campaign to convince potential Kerry voters that their guy cannot win.

As a Deaniac, I'd think this phenomenon would be familiar to you (remember "the scream"?). It's plain enough that Bush has no record to run on, so his only hope is to create a Great Big Lie which, through endless repetition, comes to fulfill itself. So far the media are doing a bang-up job of making this happen, and they don't need any help from you.

As you know, most voters don't pay attention to the issues, they only respond to theatre. The GOP happens to be much more theatrically adept than the Dems, but our real weakness lies in our eagerness to embrace the worst case scenario, which Republicans rarely do (just look at Bush's rosy assesment of Iraq!). Maybe that makes us more intellectually honest, but it sure doesn't help us win. Bitching about Kerry's shortcomings as a candidate -- which, believe me, we're all well aware of -- serves no purpose other than feeding the meme.

Don't mistake my meaning -- I take Pepe's pessimism mostly as symptomatic of a larger problem, rather than as dangerous in and of itself. Of course Rock is correct that no undecideds are going to be swayed by anything said on this site. But it's not the undecideds I'm worried about. This kind of talk has a very real demoralizing effect on the base and the soft-support, and this is PRECISELY what the Republicans have in mind. We don't win by changing minds, we win by getting out the vote. The votes are there, but the motivation might not be.

As for freedom of speech, etc., we're not debating policy here. There are no substantive issues on the table, we just want to understand and hopefully, indirectly, have some effect on the process. Censorship is coercive. Nobody's coercing you, just pointing out that you're not contributing anything helpful by repeating every little cliche you hear on TV. You are, however, free to continue doing so.

Posted by: Josh at September 29, 2004 06:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Rock-nj: I'm not certain about the hurricane's impact on actual voter turnout. However, a Quinnipiac Poll was conducted here in Florida recently after Ivan and it favored Bush by a small margin. Immediately it was revealed that due to the hurricane the poll did not collect enough sample to portray a reliable voting prediction.

Jeb and W get way too much publicity from the hurricanes. They are handing out bags of ice, big deal and besides that's what any president would do. I feel actions like this are blown way out of proportion (even though they appear to be kind gestures, I think they are totally insincere and manipulative) and the real questions of leadership are trivialized.

I am optimistic that our efforts to educate and turnout the vote in Florida will be victorious. I feel a sense of urgency and commitment among people here in North Florida to vote for Kerry. Ironically, Hurricane Ivan hit the densest Republican sections of the panhandle. I live east of the panhandle, where you will find the only three counties that went for Gore in 2000: Leon, Gadsden, and Jefferson.

Posted by: spike at September 29, 2004 08:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, naysayers, Kerry/Edwards is up by 5% in Ohio among registered voters. That being stated, the tide has turned in Ohio for Kerry. Just get out and vote because Ohio is turning blue.

Everywhere I go, I see Kerry/Edwards signs.

Posted by: Shar at September 29, 2004 08:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry wins Ohio.

Posted by: Shar at September 29, 2004 09:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Because of those four hurricanes, FL is going to be the great question mark in this election. No poll from that state can be taken seriously, as too many people understandibly have more important and pressing obstacles to overcome. There's no way that anyone can confidently believe that they have any special insights regarding how the majority of people in that hurricane-ravaged state will vote. I don't think we'll know much about FL until election day. Hopefully, the outcome there won't be as murky as it was four years ago, but I'm afraid the possibility definitey exists that it could be messy once again.

To Josh: You have your opinions and I have mine, and we're both free to express them as we see fit.

Posted by: Pepe at September 30, 2004 08:52 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I live in Iowa and I think Kerry has the Eastern part of the state but needs to work on the west. I have done hundreds of phone calls and knocked on hundreds of doors these past few months in eastern Iowa. I haven't had many people reply that they were voting for Bush. It's going to be close, however, 16 days still left to campaign our butts off! The game ain't over till the little lady sings!

Posted by: Crystal at October 17, 2004 03:30 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment