Skip to comments.GOP is looking for a bigger Bush bounce
Posted on 08/09/2004 7:56:32 AM PDT by areafiftyone
Sen. John Kerry orchestrated the smooth and unified convention he needed, but still failed to get the bounce out of Boston he wanted.
With the nations attention suddenly diverted by new terror warnings, President Bush will get his own opportunity this month to use his partys convention to beat back Kerrys advance.
With the luxury of holding its New York convention after Democrats, the GOP is looking to incorporate a few tactics from Boston while trying to reestablish Kerrys negatives and present a clear and convincing case for Bushs reelection.
Democrats, generally pleased with Kerrys hard-hitting acceptance speech, are crowing about the extraordinary unity that was achieved among the partys often-fractious coalitions, enhanced by an intense desire to beat Bush.
Kerry deliberately established his military credentials, said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), a centrist Democrat. He went at Bushs strength. Kerry established himself as a real warrior.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) added, This is the greatest display of strength and unity Ive seen since Gore and Clinton came roaring out of 92.
Even some Republicans gave the Democrats kudos, although the official Bush campaign position is that the Democratic convention failed to inoculate Kerry from GOP charges that hes a flip-flopper weak on defense.
They were almost Republican in silencing their extremes in their discipline, said Jack Horner, a former aide to the House Republican Conference now at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Protests in Boston were minimal and largely ignored by news media. Controversy over same-sex marriage and abortion was buried. Democratic operatives expressed amazement that the campaign was able to avoid squabbles over floor time, speaking order and the party platform. Some acknowledged that Democrats took their cues from prior GOP conventions, which are known for their precision.
The intense control of the message was impressive, Moran said. This was the opposite of 1972, when they had George McGovern speaking at 1 oclock in the morning because we couldnt get our act together.
But even in this near-ideal environment, Kerrys numbers against Bush havent moved much, if at all, based on a sampling of polls since the convention.
Here they had their guy [for] one hour, GOP pollster David Winston said. He can say whatever he wants deliver the message in the best possible light and they put him on for an hour, and nothing happened. Thats just got to send shivers down their spine.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll completed Sunday showed Kerry leading Bush 50-44 among registered voters a slight improvement from just before the convention.
A CNN/USA Today poll had Kerry leading Bush 50-47. But when the same poll queried those who considered themselves likely to vote, rather than registered voters, Bush lead Kerry 50-47.
A Newsweek poll conducted Thursday and Friday had Kerry leading Bush 49-42 among registered voters, about a four-point bounce from Newsweeks pre-convention polling. Historically, the nominee has gotten even more movement in the polls from his convention.
Winston said the Democrats made a significant error in one of their assumptions. They failed to appreciate that Kerrys negatives as driven up by Bush campaign ads were real. They thought they were just introducing Kerry to the country because they thought those negatives were not real. As a result, they didnt address what people really believed.
Nevertheless, Kerry was able to introduce himself to millions of television viewers who may not have been familiar with his biography or combat service in Vietnam, with warm endorsements by family members and military comrades.
Issue-by-issue polling indicates that Kerry has improved his standing on defense issues and combating terrorism, even beating Bush in the Post poll when asked who would be a better commander in chief. Kerry, who was introduced by former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), a Vietnam War veteran, laced his speech with tough talk and military references.
But Republicans and some Democrats say Kerry could have done better at defining his campaign priorities, or structuring his ideas around a more memorable theme.
The Bush campaign, which came into office in 2000 with a simple four-point plan, vowed to do a better job of presenting the arguments for Bush.
The main difference between the Democratic convention and the Republican convention will be that our convention will highlight the presidents own record of results something that was incredibly left out of the Democrats convention, said Leonardo Alcivar, press secretary for the GOP convention.
There appear to be a few innovations from Boston that Republicans can co-opt. The Kerry campaign is ecstatic about online fundraising numbers during the convention including $5.7 million raised online on its final day. Republicans are expected to mount a similar appeal for computer cash.
Democrats also crammed their convention full of celebrities and popular musical groups as a way to motivate delegates and reach out to particular demographic groups. Motown music echoed throughout FleetCenter during the convention.
Americans can expect some additional speakers in New York, Alcivar said. They can expect other celebrities and others from outside the political walk of life.
But Alcivar also claimed the use of celebrities, including convention-floor performances in Boston by John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson and the Black Eyed Peas, amounted to gimmickry that was an indication of Democrats inability to put forth a specific vision for what they would do.
Referring to the balloon drop at the end of the Democratic convention, Alcivar said he was certain that the GOP balloons would fall down as planned rather than in the slow-motion sequence caused by an apparent malfunction in Boston.
This is going to be a good convention. We believe in this President and in his policies. His passion and conviction just fires up the base. That's sorely lacking on the other side. Can't wait to see that clown put away next month. Let's roll!
I expect Bush to get a clear bounce out of the convention. When the president speaks clearly and plainly to the American people his approval numbers allways go up.
I agree. I tend to think there will be a very small bounce for Bush. But I can't wait to hear the speakers at the convention though. We are going to have a great convention. The days can't fly by fast enough for me.
I didn't watch any part of the dem convention, but I did pay attention to the press coverage. What impresses me is that I have no idea what Kerry said in his acceptance speech. I believe he said something like "reporting for duty", but that is the only thing that has been reported. And that would not have been reported except for the SwiftVets.
What DID he say?
Bush is not in the Rose Garden. He is now on a nine state tour starting in VA. He will be going to the SW and then up the west coast. I think he will be back in Iowa too. Cheney is in DSM tomorrow.
Don't fall for it.
I have to be honest I could not watch him because a miracle happened that week of the Dem Convention MY CABLE WENT OUT! God was looking out for my eyes and my stomach on that week! LOL I got all my play by play from Free Republic.
I agree. The liberal press has been crowing Kerry, but the convention will show the other side of the story. The big story the press is attempting to hide.
Sen. John Kerry orchestrated the smooth and unified convention he needed ...As smooth and unified as the LA riots or Seattle protests. Did the writer not hear the rants of Sharpton or the mutterings of Franks or even Edwards as Edwards insisted there were two Americas after Obama and Clinton insisted there was but one?
That's one thing we have to admit about Clinton. For a liar and a scumbag and just plain wrong-headed on most issues, he was always out there, talking himself up, defending himself and his record (often at the expense of his fellow Rats and supporters), attacking his attackers. It won him two presidential elections, the second by a very healthy margin (as presidential races go).
The game has changed from what it used to be. Campaigns start early and run for a long time. As displeasing as that is, it's now the way things are. Republicans need to learn this. Anyone who ignores it does so at their peril.
He might get a bounce but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he didn't. Depending on the poll, a HUGE percentage of likely voters have already made up their minds. There aren't that many fence-sitters to get a bounce with.
The Hill has an agenda. They will play the same game we played prior to the dem convention. Suggesting that Kerry would get a double digit bounce. So now they are playing the same game with us.
How much do you want to bet that RNC protests will garner as much coverage as the convention itself?
Can anyone tell me when the trial of that monster saddam hussein will start?
Republicans still have their "equal time" (it's the law) on their side. They get the camera now. They have "time" in the bank. The Democrats have to step aside. It's time for the media to pay up.
People loved Ronald Reagan's down-home, folksy manner. GW has some of that and people like it. I too believe he will get a bounce out of his convention but this election still hinges on two things:
#1. Turn of events in Iraq
#2. The debates
Either can change the dynamics of this election overnight.
Am I right or wrong?
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