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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Open Thread

Posted by DavidNYC

The last thread was getting a bit stale, so here's a new one until I can do some real posting after class today. Also, Race2004.net says that Bush may be pulling out of Washington state, which is not a big surprise. So the list gets pared down further.

Posted at 11:41 AM in General | Technorati


Since this thread is "open", it means any topic is game. So I have a question that we as partisan liberal Democrats (don't lie, you know you are) probably don't ask. Is there any Republican you like that you would willingly vote for? And I mean one who you would vote for in support, not out of spite of the horrid Democratic candidate.

For me, it have to be Connie Morella, former representative of MD's 8th congressional district, an old fashioned northeastern liberal Republican (as a side note, I live in the 5th district, which means my representative is Steny Hoyer, House minority whip).

Posted by: Dale at October 12, 2004 12:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Zogby and rasmussen are closer to each other today. I still wanna find out rasmussen internals

Posted by: ed at October 12, 2004 12:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't mind John McCain but I would never vote for a Republican EVER

Posted by: James at October 12, 2004 01:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Dale, I am going to vote for Mccain this Nov (I live in scottsdale) The guy running against him is way to liberal (dept of peace for example) and extremism either way is counterproductive. And yes I am a registered dem and a big Kerry supporter.

Posted by: Aaron W at October 12, 2004 01:10 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I have no Democrats on my ballot in November, only Kerry at the top of the ticket. Our congressional race is uncontested. My district runs about 80% Republican. If I were a little farther south in the Sessions-Frost district, I would have to no-vote it because I do not like either one of them.

Posted by: DFuller at October 12, 2004 01:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I could see myself voting for the occasioal Republican pre-1980. The Reagan era changed that. The GOP mainstream has shifted so far to the right that even a moderate Lincoln Chaffee-Conni Morella Republican, who I would otherwise consider voting for, owes their allegiance to party base that is despicable and whose agenda for America is nothing short of ruinous. Thus, the few remaining Republicans with integrity instantly lose my vote because of the company they keep. A vote for Connie Morella is a vote for Tom DeLay. A vote for John McCain is a vote for Bill Frist. In no way would I ever be a knowing enabler to such a noxiou lot even if it meant voting for a less qualified Dem or independent.

Posted by: Mark at October 12, 2004 01:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm worried about Ohio. If Kerry loses there, it's almost impossible for him to come up with enough electoral votes.

Posted by: DM at October 12, 2004 01:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I was thinking about voting for McCain in 2000. I think he's a leader. I don't agree with him on many issues, but if he were running against a weak Democrat, I'd be hard-pressed to vote party lines.

Posted by: DM at October 12, 2004 01:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think James should consider that maybe rabid partisanship isn't always the way to go. I am a rabid democrat - no, wait - I'm a rabid liberal. Faced with a democrat who didn't believe in the core issues I care about - fair distribution of wealth and responsibility, reproductive and civil rights, gun control, and death penalty abolition, - and assuming that by some complete freak of nature the Republican candidate sided with me (maybe that's possible in Maine?) and could be trusted to vote his/her conscience and not just the party line - I would vote for the GOP Candidate.

Posted by: Brew at October 12, 2004 01:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

DM, what has caused you to worry about Ohio? Kerry has just opened up a small lead there after two months of trailing.

One more interesting nugget that might be an interesting early indicator of how November 2 will go for us--that small town in New Hampshire (name??) that always casts their ballots at midnight and reports the returns immediately. Four years ago, Bush won there 21-5.. At least for me, it would be a nice psychological boost if I went to bed after midnight early Tuesday morning knowing that town went better for Kerry than it did for Gore four years ago.

Posted by: Mark at October 12, 2004 01:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Yes, Ohio is looking better now for Kerry than it has looked in months and months. We never expected him to open a wide lead there. We'll take any lead we can get, and hope that registration and get out the vote efforts will make it possible for Kerry to carry Ohio, even if only by a slim margin. A win is a win in our winner take all election system.

Posted by: Rock_nj at October 12, 2004 02:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The "Vote for Change" concert and documentary, broadcast last night via web and the Sundance Channel, was just awesome.

The Sundance Channel isn't in my cable lineup, unfortunately, so I had to watch it on the web. I have no idea how many people tuned in that way -- but it worked well. The sound was generally outstanding and the video was surprisingly good.

The show deserves a wider audience -- it should be at least rebroadcast on VH1 or MTV, natural homes for it. Does anyone know why it would or wouldn't be shown again?

Besides the quality of the music, it's proof positive that our poets can still articulate a vision of America better than any politician..

Posted by: Jeff at October 12, 2004 02:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark, I believe the New Hampshire town that votes right after midnight on election day is called Dixville Notch.

Posted by: Jerome at October 12, 2004 02:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am neither liberal, nor a Democrat, and I supported Rudy Giuliani for mayor of New York three times.

But, in the interest of full disclosure, I have never supported a Republican for president. And since George W. Bush is the worst president in my lifetime--which extends back to LBJ--I won't be voting for a Republican for president this time either.

Posted by: Willis at October 12, 2004 02:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

OK, so not everyone is a liberal, partisan Democrat. Sorry for that assumption, Willis.

Posted by: Dale at October 12, 2004 02:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm afraid I've lost all respect for John McCain. This is no
doubt the most important election of our life times and he's out
there with a big smile on his face campaigning for Bush.

I'm sorry, but there comes a time when you have to choose. If
you can't abandon your party alligiance now for the good of the
country, when will you?

I could support Lincoln Chaffee, but Mark is right. Although
there are good Reps. if they don't march lock step the way the
right wing tells them, they'll have a right wing primary
opponent and no support.

Posted by: pollwatcher at October 12, 2004 02:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Two takes; Florida and Ohio! Let's begin with Florida, what are our chances there? Does Kerry need a huge turnout from the black and hispanic communities to take the state? Why aren't we getting greater support from the over 50's seniors? Kerry sure has the better healthcare plan. Also, who has more info on the new registration #'s? I was told that the dem ocrates out registered the republicans by 600,000new voters. In Ohio TURNOUT will decide the state. If Kerry can get a high turnout in the North east part of the state (cleveland) he'll squeak by. Please respond and "keep hope alive."

Posted by: godfrey at October 12, 2004 02:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If Kerry loses OH, here are his options:

1) Win FL.
2) Win all Gore states + CO & NH or NV.
3) Win all Gore states + 4 EVs in OH & NH, NV.
4) Win all Gore states + MO.

Posted by: DFuller at October 12, 2004 03:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

correct #3

3) Win all Gore states + 4 EVs in CO, NH & NV.

Posted by: DFuller at October 12, 2004 03:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I will not support McCain under any circumstances. In the 2000 primary, Bush & Rove created a rumor that McCain's adopted child was the result of an adulterous affair.

I am sorry, but I just don't respect someone who cozies up to people who trashed his family like that, to me it is unforgiveable. It indicates to me that McCain is driven by political ambition.

Re the race, Kerry is in very good position, especially if he does well tomorrow night. It is Bush's supporters who should be worried, not us.

Posted by: The Other Rob at October 12, 2004 03:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I like John McCain and Joel Giambra (local politican when I lived in NY). I would consider any Republican who was relatively honest and wasn't trying to shove his/her beliefs down my throat. I even liked Christine Whitman, Tommy Tompson and Colin Powell until their involvement in the current administration. I admittedly know very little about the first two, but like what I knew.

Posted by: Jason - Charlotte at October 12, 2004 03:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think I saw one new poll that had Bush up by 5 in Ohio. I know there's disagreement among the polls, but it just worries me.

And what the #!%%@$#%@ is wrong with West Virginians? I thought that was going to be a gimme for Kerry.

With Ohio, my math has Kerry with a 274-264 victory (I'm giving Bush these other toss-ups: WI, NV, CO, FL, AR).

Without Ohio, Kerry has to either win Florida, or a combo of Wisconsin and one other aforementioned state.

Posted by: DM at October 12, 2004 04:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I can give you the lowdown on Florida, because I am from here. Florida is really 2 states. The Southeastern section of Florida has 3 heavily Democratic Counties. The center of the state used to be Republican, but is now becoming more of a swing area. The Northern part of the state and the panhandle are Solid Republican (it is basically the South). The hispanic vote is divided in Florida. Non-Cuban hispanics vote Democrat, and Cubans vote strongly Republican. Bush got 80% of the Cuban vote in 2000. There is some hope Kerry can do better amongst Cubans than Gore, because many Cubans were upset with the Elian Gonzalez thing and blamed Gore. Also, Bush recently imposed new restrictions on travelling to Cuba that are popular with hardline Cubans, but not with moderates. Clinton got 40% of the Cuban vote in 1996. Kerry probably won't get that, but should do better than Gore's 20% from 2000. As far as new registrations are concerned, Democrats did outregister Republicans, but there is no certainty as to whether those people will vote. Kerry does need a huge African American turnout to win Florida. There should be a huge turnout in this community, since many of these voters are still angry about their disenfranchisement during the 2000 election. For Kerry to win, he needs a large African American turnout as well as to cut into the Cuban vote. If he can do that, and the votes are properly counted, he can win Florida.

Posted by: Matt at October 12, 2004 04:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Some big-picture thoughts about why people who work for Kerry do it:

Why we do it

Posted by: joseph at October 12, 2004 04:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry needs to win all the Gore states, and pick up 10 votes. He has an excellent chance to pick up New Hampshire, which will give him 4 votes. Then, he is going to have to win 1 or 2 more states. Arkansas will take him to 270. Nevada would take him to 269, which will throw it to the House, which means Bush will be president again. Of course the premise of winning all the Gore States does not look very good now. He could lose IA and Wisconsin. If that happens, he will actually need to win Florida, because Ohio won't be enough. Losing IA and Wisconsin, and winning Florida will allow him to hit 270 exactly. It is looking increasingly likely that Kerry will have to win Ohio or Florida, or maybe even both. He can do it though. Any poll where Bush is not above 50% is good news. If an incumbent has trouble breaking 50%, he usually does not win. Historically, an incumbent ends up getting the percentage of the vote that he polls in the last poll before the election, with the challenger picking up extra votes. Historically, if a poll says incumbent 48% Challenger 48%, the result will be Challenger 52% Incumbent 48%. Let's hope historical trends hold.

Posted by: Matt at October 12, 2004 04:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Random thoughts:

The latest Rasmussen poll in Iowa has Kerry ahead by 4 points - great news.

Does anyone know if Moore is trying to get Farenheit 911 on TV/Cable before the election? I know there are some rules against it but perhaps some strings could be pulled.

Kerry has to effectively fight off this "Liberal" label that Bush is trying to stick to him. This killed Dukakis.

I think Kerry's best chance of winning is with Florida. Ohio just seems like a constant struggle but who knows. I think the blue state most susceptible to becoming red is Wisconsin. I am confident WA, OR, MN, MI, ME, and PA will remain blue. I am fairly confident that NM and IA will as well. I'm concerned that WI will become red, but NH will become blue. FL, OH, NV, and CO are good possibilities, especially FL. AR, MO, and TN are long shots. WV looks bleak. NJ is definately blue!

Kerry needs to remain strong, articulate, and confident during the debate and continue to belittle Bush and put him on the defensive. Perhaps Bush will throw another tantrum or two.

Posted by: Peter at October 12, 2004 04:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

1) I think Kerry has to win either Ohio or Florida. The combinations of smaller states sounds too much like threading a needle. FWIW, I think Kerry will win Florida.

2) McCain is doing what he's doing because he wants to be president. There is no other explanation why he would let a man like George W. Bush kiss his forehead in public. McCain knows that he could never win as an independent or Democrat. If he is to be nominated by Republicans, he has to do the right things to protect a Republican incumbent in a close election. His criticism of Iraq policy is already flirting with Republican wrath. This is not, by the way, a defense. Either McCain is his own man or he isn't. But McCain is absolutely running for president in '08. There is no other credible explanation for his support for Bush.

3) No apology was needed, Dale. Just because I'm not liberal or a Democrat doesn't mean I don't vote with liberal Democrats 19 times out of 20. Conservative Republicans are too bigoted and narrow-minded and do too much damage to the country for my support.

Posted by: willis at October 12, 2004 05:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Don't discount VA even if it is a long shot. All the gore states plus VA would do the trick. Tons of Kerry signs all over Northern VA.

Posted by: D-man at October 12, 2004 05:04 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

In comments to the media group forcing an anti-kerry documentary we need to organize a counter campaign. I think once the exact time comes out we need to have all democrats have a Farenhiet 9-11 party. Invite everyone they know 9esopecially independents) and play the Farenhiet 9-11 film at the same time this stupid show airs. Or rent out a theatre and play it...just some ideas feel free to add your own...

Posted by: D-man at October 12, 2004 05:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Matt awesome blog; you basically explained the current state of things in Florida. Does anyone know if the new voter registration drives by "Vote or Die" "America coming together" Moveon.og will make a difference in Florida and Ohio? And one more thhing, why do poor people vote republican? This is so fustrating. I have a thesis I think they put their religion before their pocketbooks.

Posted by: godfrey at October 12, 2004 05:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Great blogs guys, Florida and or Ohio is our best shot at winning this thing.

Posted by: godfrey at October 12, 2004 05:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

For some reason there's been a line of attack against Bush bouncing around in my mind. It's probably wouldn't work, and in any case I'm sure Kerry won't do it, but imagine in the third debate that Bush launches another attack against Kerry's service in the Vietnam War, or his position against the war afterward, or his liberal voting record in the Senate, etc., and Kerry responds something like this, "Mr. President, you and your campaign have attack my service in Vietnam, and my work in the 70s. During that time you, among other things, were arrested, ARRESTED, for Driving Under the Influence, potentially endangering children. Although it's good that you've given up alcohol, the recklessness found in your youth I find still drives some of your policies, in terms of the reckless budget deficits that are the biggest in history, in terms of throwing away our historica alliances, in terms of endangering the environment. On a whole range of issues you are driving the country in a dangerous direction."

I would like to see Bush try to maintain a face without a scowl in the face of that. I assume Bush would respond that the campaign had reached a new low, and that never did he think that he would hear such a thing. Kerry could reply, "You were the one who was arrested for DUI, Mr. President, not me. This country is trying to develop a culture of greater responsibility, and you need to take responsibility for your actions."

An over the top silly fantasy, I know, but the Republicans play so dirty that I'm ready for our side to sling some--by the way accurate--mud.

Posted by: Ben at October 12, 2004 06:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think that, at this point in time, any Republican worth voting for would recognize that his party has left him. Sort of like a bizarro Zell Miller. The Republican Party has become a big tent for a whole lot of out-of-step voting blocks who vote one issue and a core of people striving for fascism through corporate control -- why would any reasonable person of goodwill remain associated with such a homonculus?

Hard for me to imagine Kerry winning without either OH or FL. I think he will take IA, MN, WI, and even NH and NM. But I think CO is not going to happen to any degree: even if the ballot initiative passes, the SCOTUS will invalidate it if it would put Kerry over 270. And I doubt NV will happen either.

Posted by: Marsden at October 12, 2004 06:29 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

There have been 2-3 polls from Florida recently showing Bush ahead by 4-5. It may be that Bush successfully exploited the tragedy of the hurricanes in FL to come off as a caring President.

But we'll see. I agree that it comes down to FL or Ohio. If the electoral map were akin to 2000, Kerry could win by defense and one pickup of any small state. Sadly, he needs to pick up several small states. Also, if wisconsin defects, he has no defense unless he gets OH or FL.

Posted by: erg at October 12, 2004 06:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Great one Ben!!!

Posted by: ed at October 12, 2004 07:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hmmmm. For Kerry to win won't take that much. It basically comes down to the assumptions that are being made from the polling. There are those that tend to favor the GOP, those that are in the middle, and those that tend to favor the dems. Just because someone picked a safe "middle-of-the-road" estimate, does not make it right. If Zogby has the right mix, this will be a landslide for Kerry in the electoral college. NV, CO, OH, WI, FL, AR will all go dem. If Rasmussen is right, then things will lean a little Bush. The hairy part is that Zogby's assumptions might work in some states, and Rasmussen's in others. If Kerry can't carry NH, he doesn't deserve to be president. I think he will though. NV and CO are close. I agree, I think WI is begining to tilt GOP, and I wonder about IA too. I'm not convinced MN is in play, but maybe as much as VA. I doubt tomorrow will change any minds. The only thing I am wondering about are current events. Namely, catching UBL. I guessed in Feb. they would pull him out about next week. Maybe Zarqawi would do, who knows.

Posted by: MarkOlsen at October 12, 2004 07:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Iowa appears back on track. I have long suspected it's a gimme for Kerry and was stunned to see Bush orchestrating a poll lead there for a couple weeks in September. The latest poll shows Kerry up by four. There's no guarantee that it'll hold, but I really struggle with the concept of centrist Iowa voters who split down the middle last time tilting further to Bush today. Knowing populist and anti-war Iowa as well as I do, that seems very unlikely. The thinly-populated western third of the state votes like Nebraska, but the blue-collar and comparatively populous eastern third of the state votes like northeast Ohio. Central Iowa (Des Moines) is the swing area and likely to be the area where Bush staged his poll lead last month, but I definitely believe any Bush support there was incredibly soft...and the latest polls seem to bear that out.

Wisconsin is another story. I'd say it's advantage Bush there, but same-day registration laws will bring out the Madison liberals in full force as they did last time. Unlike Iowa, however, Wisconsin is not a zero-growth state, and the vast majority of newbies are exurban Republicans. This bodes badly for the Dems future in the state, and with Minnesota, which is growing twice as fast as Wisconsin with an even higher concentration of GOP yuppies. I expect Minnesota will have one final blue hurrah in 2004, but only because the rural areas of the state will be much better for Kerry than they were for Gore, which will help counter Bush's improved margins in the Mpls.-St. Paul suburbs. Don't hold your breath for Minnesota to ever be blue again after this year, and don't be surprised if Bush gets in this time. Advantage Kerry in MN and IA still.

I'm reasonably confident we can pick up Ohio and Nevada (and New Hampshire of course)and that we have an outside chance at Florida. Basically this race is playing out exactly as I thought it would months ago despite fluctuations here and there. My only real disappointment is the Dems complete abandonment of the entire South. I still believe it was a huge mistake for him to pull out of Arkansas and I think a targeted campaign against Bush's sugar policy could have went a long way in Louisiana as well. Would these states vote for a Massachusetts liberal? Sadly, probably not...but even more sadly, I think we convinced ourselves of that rather than giving them the chance to convince us that it's the case.

Posted by: Mark at October 12, 2004 07:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I can tell you Democratics are definitely driving hard for GOTV efforts in Florida. I have already received 1 call from the Kerry campaign and 3 calls from moveon.org to make sure I vote. I don't know who did most of the registering here. Jesse Jackson also registered a lot of African Americans. It is going to have to be Florida or Ohio. If Kerry can take both, it will turn into an electoral landslide. If Kerry picks up 1, it might come down to which small states switch (Florida does have 7 more electoral votes than Ohio, so we would rather pick that up if we have to choose). I don't think there will be an October Suprise, with UBL being captured. I think people like us did an effective enough job of warning against things like that. It will look like Bush held UBL for the election if he captures him now. So there might be political backlash. No one knows how a terrorist attack or something like that will effect the election. It could be rally around the president time, or blame the president time. It is the big unknown in this election.

Ben, I would love to hear Kerry say something along the lines of your hypothetical situation. Bush is a hypocrite, and we all know it. But he is very careful not to sling the mud himself. He always says "I honor his service", then lets right-leaning groups criticize Kerry's service. I think he is almost afraid of slinging mud at Kerry when Kerry is there. That is why he is really strong in his criticisms when he is on the stump, but he doesn't have the guts to say it to Kerry's face. He really is a wimp.

Posted by: Matt at October 12, 2004 07:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree completely with Mark. We might get away with winning this election, but if we don't start playing ball in the South, we are going to have a heck of a time winning national elections. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia used to be locks for a Democratic candidate. These are states Dukakis won. West Virginia appears to be lost, Wisconsin is leaning Bush, and Minnesota is leaning Kerry. But all these states have moved right, and we have lost strongholds. We are going to have to start winning in the south. There are too many electoral votes that Republicans get for free. We have to work to hold states and basically have very few opportunites for pickup. Fortunately, the Southwest is growing, and the growth is largely hispanic growth. Hopefully the southwest will turn blue soon. But we need to make southern inroads.

Godfrey had earlier asked why poor people vote Republican. There is an excellent book out on this called "What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" by Thomas Frank examining this exact phenomenon. But the basic reason is the 3 Gs, Gods, Guns and Gays. Republicans play the cultural cards, throw around the liberal word, and scare these people into voting for them while their economic policies screw the people.

Posted by: Matt at October 12, 2004 07:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

MN is the only state to go Democratic for the last 32 years. [ Even MA and RI went for Reagan]. it would be a shame if this state were to slip out of the Dem reach. I think Kerry will take it.

While there are no recent polls from MN, in practically every poll, even during the Bush bounce, Kerry was up by or at worst tied. The one exception is a Mason Dixon poll.

There have been no post-debate public polls, although Rasmussen claims that Kerry has opened a slighly lead in MN in their premium poll. So MN should go Kerry.

Kerry did advertise earlier in AR and LA. However, in mid-September, it was clear that he had to make a definite decision (when trailing in the polls) as to which states to pursue. I think Bill Clinton's health may be the crucial factor about Arkansas and may have led Kerry to put Arkansas away since CLinton can't campaign there.

if Kerry loses WI (and that certainly looks to be a 50% chance at this point), AR, NV, all those states wouldn't help him. He has to take OH or FL.

Posted by: erg at October 12, 2004 08:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

'Minnesota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia used to be locks for a Democratic candidate. These are states Dukakis won. West Virginia appears to be lost, Wisconsin is leaning Bush, and Minnesota is leaning Kerry. But all these states have moved right, and we have lost strongholds. '

I'm not entirely sure that I would call WI or even WV a Democratic stronghold. [ WV is a Democratic stronghold, but for conservative Democrats.

Also, there have been some good signs for the Dems. California, which was a toss-up, now looks solidly Dem for a non-Arnie Republican. Nj and IL look Dem as well. NH may be trending there. WA looks good for a number of years.

'Fortunately, the Southwest is growing, and the growth is largely hispanic growth. Hopefully the southwest will turn blue soon. But we need to make southern inroads. '

VA may be competitive. Even LA and NC could be competitive for a Southern Democrat. NV, NM, AZ should also be competitive in future cycles. Even FL is a toss-up. The presence of the likes of Jeb Bush and McCain may keep some of these states safe for Bush this cycle, but maybe not next time.

'But the basic reason is the 3 Gs, Gods, Guns and Gays'

On Guns, I believe the Dems should change their positon, immediatedly. Local Dems in New York, Ca, MA, NJ can hold whatever positons they like, but the national party needs to hold a more pro-gun position. On Gays and God, I really would be strongly opposed to any change.

A good centrist Dem candidate should be able to take the Northeast, part of the Midwest, the left coast, a couple of Western states. The it all boils down to FL, OH, PA -- a good candidate should be able to knock 2 of those off.

Posted by: erg at October 12, 2004 08:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It looks more and more like the bull's eye of this election is going to be the Buckeye State. I wonder if Kerry can seriously win without it. I would feel less worried about OH if they also didn't have the gay marriage amendment on the ballot. That will be incentive for every social and religious conservative to come out to the polls, vote against gays and vote for Bush while they're at it. Y'all remember the record-turn out for a similar amendment in MO this past summer.

I lean towards the Democrats, and I'm registered as a Democrat. That said, I vote for whomever I think is the best person for the job, and I would have no qualms about voting for a Republican or Independent if I thought they were the best choice. In my opinion, when people let themselves be placed in the pockets of any political party, they automatically kill any incentive for their part to earn their vote. I don't want any party taking me or my vote for granted. I prefer the Democrats because they are more gay friendly and more concerned about issues like health care and education than are most Republicans. Also, I don't think it's ideal to have one party control all branches of government, so I'm hoping that the Democrats are able to shake things up this November. The GOP has been in control long enough and it's time for a change!

Posted by: pepe at October 12, 2004 08:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I was going to mention Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" book in response to Godfrey's question about the poor voting Republican. I watched Frank last summer on "Now with Bill Moyers" before his book was widely available. Never before do I recall listening to someone speak who articulated my exact thoughts as if he was reading my mind. I plan to get the book myself in the near future.

As for the current state of Minnesota, I can only speak in relation to my recent travels and journalistic observations related to rural Minnesota, where I spend most of my time. Kerry is handing Bush his head in the yard sign wars, even in small towns where Bush won by nearly 20 points four years ago. This is not exactly a representative sample, of course, but it has to be demoralizing for Republicans in cranberry-red German-settled farm towns to see John Kerry signs tripling their own guy's. Beyond this insignificant tidbit, Bush dominated sparsely-populated northwestern Minnesota four years ago, even though Democrats generally have the advantage in these counties. This time, the sugar beet issue, among many others, is allegedly destroying Bush in the Moorhead-East Grand Forks region bordering North Dakota. There's not many voters in this part of the state, but I would anticipate Kerry could peel off a minimum of 10,000 Bush votes from four years ago which will be sorely needed considering most suburban/exurban counties add a few thousand new Republican yuppies every year. Given rural Minnesota's apparent wholesale rebuke of Dubya, I do believe Kerry will win despite the advantage Bush has in the suburbs. I saw some Minnesota poll a few days ago showing Kerry up by seven, but I think it may have been a Democratic pollster.

Posted by: Mark at October 12, 2004 09:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

www.race2004.net just updated a bunch of polls, one of which was from Minnesota that had Kerry ahead 48-43. I definitely think Kerry will win this state. One of the reasons it was a narrow victory for Gore in 2000 was because of the huge Nader influence in the state. With that influence likely to be lessened, it should help as well.

I have a general question for the thread. Does anyone know someone who voted for Gore in 2000 that is voting for Bush this year? I have a lot of Republican friends that voted for Bush in 2000, and I would say about half of them are voting for Kerry this time. One of them summed up his decision as this: "Some people just have to realize that they aren't smart enough to be president." Obviously this is not scientific, but I have noticed a lot more people that voted for Bush in 2000 switching to Kerry than people switching from Gore to Bush. Considering that 2000 was basically a tie, both in popular and electoral vote as well as in several close states, don't you think this bodes well for Kerry? Have you noticed similar trends?

Posted by: Matt at October 12, 2004 09:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The demographics of the country is shifting.VA where I live is trending more and more like a northern state. Kerry will do well here, but still not take it, However the Dem's will take it in 2008. This state has 15 electoral votes.

Posted by: RD at October 12, 2004 09:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am so upset wth Bush, that I will not vote for one Republican. Not even for dogcatcher!

Kerry's debate prep:

1) Supporting balanced budgets

2) Pro human and civil rights

3) Uniter (unlike Bush who lied through his teeth on this one in 2000 and because of a Republican House, Senate, and Presidency, and a now deeply divided electorate, we have been handed the worst government in U.S. history)

4) Restoring honor and integrity

5) Stronger at home and more respected around the world (the vision thing)

6) Economic security at home; protecting social security, restoring fiscal integrity for our children's future

Posted by: Shar at October 12, 2004 10:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Oh, I forgot to say that Kerry should continue to keep Bush on the defensive. Kerry has been doing a terrific job in the debates and he can really ace the last one.

Posted by: Shar at October 12, 2004 10:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I really enjoy this site. I check in when I need a boost to keep up my morale. I think it's huge for Kerry to nail Bush to the wall tomorrow night. We all know the Right is going to dump the world on Kerry after the debates, (the Sinclair thing, Drudge, etc.). And if those don't seem to be working, don't rule out another totally bogus terror threat, like the one after the Dem convention, or the report that the US is "hot on the trail"of Bin Laden. It's vital that Kerry make it 3-for-3 tomorrow night.

One thing I'd like to see Kerry slap Bush on is his lack of press conferences. When Bush starts his "you can run but you can't hide" riff, I'd love to see Kerry say "Mr. President you have been running from your record for four years. You've had the least number of news conferences of any modern president. If you can't explain your decisions, you don't belong in charge. When I am President, I won't be too busy or too ashamed to keep the American people informed as to what my administration is doing". Then watch a reaction shot of Bush looking like he had been hit over the head by a two-by-four. That would just about make my night.

Posted by: stever at October 12, 2004 10:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Good news!!! New poll out of Ohio by the Chicago Tribune has Kerry up 49% to 44%.

Posted by: sick_of_pepe at October 12, 2004 11:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

...and Kerry's up 47% to 43% in Wisconsin according to the Tribune!!!!

Posted by: sick_of_pepe at October 13, 2004 12:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Matt, the only person I can specifically cite who was a Gore voter in 2000 but plans to vote Dubya this time is Dick Morris. The fact that the political opportunist is now writing for the right-wing New York Post may have something to do with that. Supposedly, blogger Roger Simon is a mythical "9/11 Republican" who plans to vote Bush for the first time in his life. Zell Miller and Ed Koch are Gore turned Bush voters as well, along with St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly. Overall though, I suspect there are at least as many Bush turned Kerry voters. The closeness of the polls in some states Gore won handily do seem to indicate there are more such creatures than we may wish to think...the paradoxical "security mom" crowd.

Posted by: Mark at October 13, 2004 12:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

i have a feeling that bush may do well in tonights debate, he has firm positions and kerry is going is going to try to have it both ways. also bob scheiffers brother was a business partner of george w so he probably is biased towards w.
anyway if kerry could win tonight he could probably put bush away especially if bush does as bad as last time ,but i just get the feeling it may be tougher this time.

Posted by: joel at October 13, 2004 08:37 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I wonder if Strategic Vision believes their polls. I get a chuckle out of them because they are so far in right field it is pathetic.

Their latest lies:


WI Bush +4
IA Bush +2
OH Bush +6
NJ Kerry +6
PA Even

FL Bush +4
WA Kerry +6

Posted by: DFuller at October 13, 2004 09:18 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark, I could agree with you more. The south would be quite competitive if we ran candidates that couldn't be pegged with the liberal tag, or at least change what that tag means. If we don't start playing here, we'll have big problems in the future.

Parts of the South are becoming less red thanks to an influx of "Yankees" and imigration. Some days if feels like there are more people from Buffalo, NY in Charlotte than there are currently living in Buffalo. According to the Census, NC had one of the largest percentage increase in hispanic populations in the country. There is also a large Vietnamese population in places like Charlotte. The economy here has been decimated in the largely republican counties on I-85 and the ever expanding research triangle is very liberal. No. VA, by the sounds of things, is turning to our favor and I suspect that the Middle of VA might be beginning to turn just a bit. I have little to base that on. Perhaps a Virginian could comment on that. I believe even Georgia might be competitive with Atlanta continuing to take up more and more territory.

I also agree that softening our stance on the gun issue would help us a great deal. I think explaining our position on God would do us well too. Maybe we need to move it to the right just a wiggle. From what I can tell, Southerns will come around if you can demostrate you believe in God and go to church. Old southerns want you to beat others over the head with the bible, but the younger generation and new transplants aren't like that at all. They want a president with a moral compass but understand that everyone isn't going follow the bible to the letter. They tend to be much more centrist.


Posted by: Jason - Charlotte at October 13, 2004 09:22 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I must agree with those of you who said they have lost respect for McCain. I listened to McCain during the 2000 primaries and I was intrigued and continued to be whenever he criticized the Bush Administration. However, the last few months have made me sick to my stomach watching McCain (who I thought was principled) support Bush. As a result, I will never support McCain. Other than that, I truly can't bring myself to vote for Republicans (unless the Dem candidate is a total sleazeball but very unlikely to happen).

Also, I can speak about Florida since I live here too (Tallahassee in No. Florida). We definitely need high African-American and Hispanic turnout. I am optimistic that the Dems will prevail this November. We can start voting early at our county courthouses on Oct. 18 which we strongly recommend. I think the only way Republicans could win Florida is through corruption. We've already had some problems with registration here in my town but we have a solid and honest supervisor of elections so it was rectified. And the voting machines in So. Florida (the big and important counties like Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade) are using touch screen machines that do NOT print a receipt. We are fighting an uphill battle.

Posted by: spike at October 13, 2004 09:47 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I still believe that we can turn Texas blue in 12 years. The demographics are changing there and we should be able to capitalize on it. The one thing the Republicans have been very successful at in Texas is trying to pit African Americans and Mexican Americans against each other in Texas.

To me the biggest problem that the Texas Democratic Party has now is poor leadership. The 2002 state elections were run very poorly.

Of course, winning back house seat will be a slow process. The heavy GOP gerrymandering for the 2004 elections and the preference for incumbents will give the GOP an advantage for years to come.

Posted by: DFuller at October 13, 2004 10:02 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

At present, it looks like only five states are really undecided: OH, FL, IA, WI, NH. On TradeSports.com, every other state is given a probability of 65% or more of one guy or the other winning it. While it's possible that other states could swing, is it really credible that Arkansas go Dem or PA go Republican without most of the aforementioned five also swinging the same way? If not, then we can reduce the analysis to just those five, and if a groundswell takes place, then state-by-state analysis is meaningless anyway.
Given that, it turns out that NH is actually meaningless: It would not make the difference in any permutation! And the whole race reduces to this:
Kerry must win Florida OR Ohio and one of (Iowa, Wisconsin).

That's it. It would be quite surprising if the final result did not gibe with that. It's also likely that Kerry will win one of IA/WI, so it almost comes down to: Bush needs FL+OH, Kerry needs one of them.

Has anyone analyzed 2000 state polls for accuracy? I have some partial records and find that they have an average error of about 2.5% (if we had a crystal ball, we'd know in which direction the 2004 polls are off). By and large, the 2000 polls were biased towards Bush, but it depended on the state. Gore actually led Florida polls prior to the 2000 election by about 2%, whereas, without the PBC ballot, he would have won by a tiny fraction of 1%, so in that case, the polls were biased towards Gore.
This time around, we don't know what the poll-election discrepancies will be... But the magnitudes of the discrepancies are likely to be in the range of 2% once again. I average recent polls to get Kerry ahead in Ohio by 0.4%, Bush in Florida by 3%, Kerry in Iowa by 2%, Kerry in Wisconsin by 0.3% -- all in the realm of uncertainty. Viewing these as independent events, the probabilities are very closely balanced for the two sides...

Posted by: John at October 13, 2004 10:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

A previous post asked if we knew anyone that voted for Gore last time that was voting for Bush this time. I have asked the same qustion and found nobody, but I have met a number of former Bush, Nader voters, switching to Kerry, (obviously not scientific method). A couple former Bushleaguers mention Ashcroft as a big reason, why isn't he a bigger issue? Of course living in Illinois I have not seen any campaign ads (nor in 2000, 1996, 1992). BTW I am a chicken I will be treking in Ecuador on election day, in 2000 I was in the Himalayas-I can't take the pressure, but I am voting later today.

Posted by: Tom in Vernon Hills at October 13, 2004 10:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

John, Nevada is still winnable for Kerry. I expect the odds there remain 50-50. I would agree, however, that the odds of any upsets in the other states are probably less than 35% as you suggested, with the possible exception of my home state of Minnesota, which I still think Bush could win. Kerry's lead in the Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll this morning is only five points. Considering this Democratic-leaning poll showed Kerry up by nine points just last month, that makes me very nervous.

Posted by: Mark at October 13, 2004 10:59 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


If you look at

You'll see that practically every poll in MN has a lead for Kerry. Even at the peak of the Bush bounce, the best he could do was a 2 point lead in MN. The Star Tribune's 5 point lead may be a bit overstated, but I think MN is probably a 2-3 point lead for Kerry at this point.

Unfortunately FL seems to be trending away from Kerry. Maybe many Floridans didn't see the first debate simply because they were cleaning up aft4er the hurricanes. In any case, that makes OH even more vital.

Posted by: erg at October 13, 2004 11:06 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

When factoring the electoral vote, is it worth giving Kerry 4 for Colorado -- assuming the ballot measure passes? That's the equivalent of NH or NV ...

Posted by: DM at October 13, 2004 11:21 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The NRA came out for Bush today (no surprise). They claim they're going to spend $20 million this campaign. Thats probably for all candidates, not just Kerry.

The NRA's clout in NH, Ohio, PA, Wisconsin, WV etc. cannot underestimated. The only piece of good news here is that gun control is not really an issue this cycle, Kerry has avoided commenting on it, and real hard-core 2nd Amendment Types will probably not be that happy at Bush either (over the Patriot Act and his support for the assault weapons ban). Ex-Rep. Bob Barr, formerly of the NRA, is not going to vote for Bush this cycle. Lets hope there are more like him upset over the Patriot Act.

Posted by: erg at October 13, 2004 12:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Who's Barr voting for? Petourak? Badnarik? I didn't realize he cut his allegiance to Bush. Good for him.

Posted by: Mark at October 13, 2004 12:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Iowa is looking better now.

Latest Rasmussen poll gives Kerry a 4 point lead. Kerry was down 3 points according to Rasmussen in mid-September.

Posted by: DFuller at October 13, 2004 02:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here is my analysis of the swing states from Kerry to Bush

1) NJ, 2) WA, 3) MD ��� no longer a swing state as Kerry has firmed up lead.
4) OR ��� solid Kerry
5) MI ��� solid Kerry
6) PA ��� about 80% chance of going Kerry. If he loses here, it will be a landslide loss in the EV.
7) MN ��� about 75% chance of going Kerry.
8) IA ��� Kerry looking stronger here by the week.
9) NM ��� I am nervous about this state, but it should go Kerry.
10) WI ��� It will be real tight. This will be a late call by the media.
11) NH ��� See WI.
12.5) ME North district (1 EV). See WI.
12) OH ��� See WI. This is the key state for both parties. The winner of OH should win the election.
13) NV ��� About 60% chance of going Bush.
14) CO ��� About 65% chance of going Bush.
15) MO ��� Kerry behind, but getting stronger here.
16) FL ��� Four hurricanes have been a curse for FL but a blessing for Bush. If Bush loses here, it will be a landslide win for Kerry in the EV.
17) WV ��� long shot at best.
18) See WV.
19) AR ��� See WV.
20) TN ��� No longer a swing state as Bush has firmed up lead.
21) NC ��� See TN.
22) VA ��� See TN.

Posted by: DFuller at October 13, 2004 03:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

18) AZ See WV.

Posted by: DFuller at October 13, 2004 03:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Matt awesome site this stuff is intense. Ohio please wake up and vote for change. A 6.3% unemployement rate is a disgrace. Bush is to blame.

Posted by: godfrey at October 13, 2004 05:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment