Skip to comments.A Shift In The Polls (Michael Barone On President Bush's Good Change In Fortune)
Posted on 09/12/2004 10:21:08 PM PDT by goldstategop
What a difference a couple of weeks make. Polling during and just after the Republican National Convention, Time and Newsweek have George W. Bush ahead of John Kerry 52 percent to 41 percent. Post-convention polls show Bush ahead 52 percent to 45 percent (CNN/USA Today/Gallup), 49 percent to 42 percent (CBS), 47 to 43 percent (Fox News), and 52 to 43 percent (ABC/Washington Post).
Post-convention polls in battleground states show similar results. Gallup shows Bush up 14 points in Missouri and 9 in Ohio, states he carried by 2 and 4 points, respectively, in 2000, and up 1 in Pennsylvania, which he lost by more than 4 points. Kerry is off the air in the battleground states of Missouri, Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana. It's too soon to say that this is the last sharp shift in the two candidates' standings. But it is a bigger shift than we have seen since John Kerry clinched the Democratic nomination on March 2.
The reaction of the Bush campaign is that people are finally listening to the president make his case -- and watching John Kerry flounder in the month after his convention. The Bush plan is to keep on keeping on, and hope the unprecedented Republican turnout effort matches the turnout drives run by unions and Democratic 527 organizations. The reaction of the Kerry campaign is that its candidate was hurt by his failure to respond aggressively enough to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads and that he needs to fight back harder. Democrats like Susan Estrich, Michael Dukakis' campaign manager in 1988, see a replay of that year and call for attacks on George W. Bush's attendance record in the Texas National Guard -- helpfully provided by sympathetic Old Media last week.
But this misdiagnoses Kerry's problem. Dukakis was hurt because it was pointed out that for 11 years he supported weekend furloughs for prisoners sentenced to life without parole -- a policy for which there is no rational argument. Kerry was hurt because at least some of the SBVT charges proved true. On Aug. 11, his spokesman admitted that he was not on an illegal mission in Cambodia at Christmastime 1968 -- the memory of which, he said on the Senate floor in 1986, was "seared -- seared -- in me." His campaign left uncorroborated his frequent claims to have been on secret missions to Cambodia at other times. He has not authorized release of his military records. As this is written, Kerry has not taken questions from the press since Aug. 1. Sometimes there is no good defense, and the only thing you can do is try to change the subject.
The problem for Kerry is that when he tries to change the subject, he seems to change his position. This is partly out of the typical politician's temperament. "Some of my friends are for the bill, and some of my friends are against the bill, and I'm always with my friends." But it also arises because the Democratic constituency that Kerry must rally to vote on Election Day and before (voting starts in Iowa on Sept. 23) is deeply split on issues like Iraq. Many think we should leave now. Others think we should persevere. Kerry is with his friends.
In an August back-and-forth, Bush got Kerry to say that, knowing what he does today, he still would have voted for the Iraq war resolution. Then last week, he said it was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" -- though he condemned a similar statement made by Howard Dean last December. On Aug. 1, he said he would consider redeploying troops from Germany and South Korea. When Bush announced such deployments on Aug. 16, Kerry denounced them. His latest line is to say that the $200 billion spent or to be spent on the Iraq war should have been spent on domestic needs. As a Democratic consultant once told me when I asked about an opponent's moves, "I'm puzzled by his strategy."
Puzzling as well is the Democrats' notion that attacking Bush's National Guard service is going to break the campaign wide open. Haven't they been watching the $60 million worth of anti-Bush ads the Democratic 527s have been running since March? Bush withstood that onslaught and stands, apparently, a little ahead. There's no guarantee he'll still be there after the debates or on Election Day. But, for the first time since January, it wouldn't require a sharp shift in opinion.
I wonder if Kerry will show up for the debate wearing a bush jacket and his Purple Hearts?
But--in all seriousness--that's never stopped them before. But in this case they can dress up a hollow shell, and push him out onstage, but when people really get a look at him they really don't like him. It's as simple and as devastating as that.
On Monday, the Democrats will push the theme of Bush as being AWOL. On Tuesday they will explore Bush as draft-dodger. On Wednesday, the question of Bush having pulled strings to get in the National Guard will be discussed. On Thursday, a lively set of lectures on whether Bush fulfilled his guard duty will be held. Then on Friday, the Bush-as-deserter issue will be debated.
What do you mean, they have no message?
As Freeper Common Tator writes, we need to keep the focus on Kerry and his record or lack of it. Kerry wants to keep the spotlight on the President. We shouldn't go along with it.
Clueless ignoramouses. Don't they realize how many people see them as mean, bitter, venemous liars (the very attributes they use in describing Bush)?
The upcoming debates ought to be a riot, with Kerry & Edwards flip flopping in front of the whole nation to see. Will Kerry start to agree with Bush right in the middle of the debates??? I can't wait to see them!
We would of had a spirited debate between two clear positions.
Kerry and the Demonrats have done this country a real disservice.
How can you debate someone who has had the same AND opposite position on every issue?
DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe
produces yet another forged document,
this time claiming Bush was involved in
the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
That's why there should be three debates. The first between Kerry and Kerry, the other two between the winner of that debate and the President.
If this is what a Nuanced Boston Brahmin does then its a straight shooting Texan for me.
A new independent 500-person poll from Rasmussen Reports conducted on September 8th:
Bad thing is its rasmussen
After seeing what he is up against, from every kind of vile slander, dirty tricks, obstructionism, I am now better able to judge his performance and character. I now believe that future generations will rank him with Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, and that he will join other famous presidents on Mount Rushmore.
I was wondering today if Kerry would dare mention Bush and AWOL at the debate.
If he did -- and if I were Bush -- I'd say, "Well, John, it seems like we both have some explaining to day; we haven't been able to nail down where you were in Kansas City or not."
Did you see where the Wash Post is claiming that Kerry only needs to win Florida or Ohio to be president? BWAHAHHAHAHA they base this on registered voter preferences and the fact that Kerry has pulled campaign ads from "battleground" states because things aren't as "fluid" ( read that as we are losing like hell) as they thought it would be earlier....This is starting to look like it could be a massive blowout for Bush...I am beginning to think that rats are desserting the ship like they always do.....as long as we get out the vote I think we just might make a big noise
ROFL and of course John F@in Kerry was in Viet Nam and won purple hearts and other medals ( ribbons medals they were the same) don't ya know....Oh and Michael Moore is a great historian....( barf bags are under your chairs)
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