Kerry's looking very much the loser.
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  1. #1
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    Kerry's looking very much the loser.

    According to Slate.

    270 electoral votes is what is needed. Bush has a solid 212 and a soft 117 already. Kerry has only 153 electoral votes wrapped and about 56 "could wins" in the swing states for a total of 209. That's already below Bush's solid 212.

    Kerry basically has to take states from Bush which is much harder than defending. In the bigger states like FL and PA Kerry has consistently been polling 3-4 points back. I know that's close but it's the consistency that's troubling. Bush takes those two and he's got 260 electoral votes and needs only 10 more to bag it. Even if Kerry gets one of those states Bush's lead in most of the smaller states is even more substantial than Kerry's nose in those states where he has an advantage. In other words Bush can afford to lose some and Kerry can't lose nuttin'.

    Something crazy has to happen to turn things around. I don't think the debates will make much of a dent. Bush will be too well coached and Kerry would have to find a way to attack Bush and fluster him without seeming like a hot-headed unpresidential kook himself. That ain't going to happen. In Iraq they've already hunkered down and scaled back the operations in the most dangerous areas to keep combat casualties low. The economy is not likely to post dramatic job losses next month. Probably more modest gains. Gas prices are dropping...

    It pains me to say it but I don't see Kerry getting a toe hold here. 6 weeks is not enough time.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2106527/

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    agree

    That's the way things are trending or plateauing, at least.

    The R convention bounce seems to be holding in many places.

    Lots could happen between now and election, including another terrorist attack. Not sure how that would affect things; either one trying to capitalize on it might backfire.

    I think this election can for the most part be distilled into one issue, national security, and Bush has consistently and distinctly polled higher against Kerry. Right or wrong, that's what most people are thinking.

    I don't want Rs to get complacent, though.

    Kerry is going to have to try something different. What he's been doing is not working. May be too late, though.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sintesi

    It pains me to say it but I don't see Kerry getting a toe hold here. 6 weeks is not enough time.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2106527/

    It doesn't help that Kerry just isn't very likeable, and he is maybe less charismatic than Al Gore. Oddly, I found his old school Vietnam testimony from the early 70s to be the most inspired speech I've heard from him. Oddly, I like Edwards more than ever (and at primary time, Edwards just didn't quite seem electable). I wish they could turn back the clock- or "flip-flop" Kerry and Edwards. The only thing Kerry really has going for him is that his name isn't Bush.

    Say what you like about Dick Morris, but this piece rings rather true:

    http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/op...ists/28562.htm

    September 15, 2004 -- JOHN Kerry is in deeper trouble than the polls indicate. While the Fox News survey taken last week after the Republican convention shows Bush with a small lead over Kerry, the internal data indicates big shifts against the Democrat.
    For example, Kerry is now seen unfavorably by a record 44 percent of the voters (his personal worst), giving him a slightly higher unfavorable ratio than Bush — whom 43 percent dislike. (Bush's edge comes from the fact that he gets 51 percent to rate him favorably, while Kerry has only a 46 percent favorable rating.)

    But worse, the poll shows that Kerry must face a basic problem: His own voters don't like him very much.

    The Fox News poll asked Kerry supporters if their vote for the Democrat could best be described as motivated by support for Kerry (41 percent) or by opposition to Bush (51 percent). By contrast, Bush voters emphatically say, by 82-13, that they are voting for the president rather than against the challenger.

    This puts Kerry in a tough position in the coming debates. He has no real base of support and any attenuation of the dislike his voters feel for Bush will weaken him substantially. All Bush has to do is to persuade a few Kerry voters to stop disliking him, and he can get their votes. There is no residual affection for the Democrat to get in the way of their switching to the president.

    The polls already have shown how Kerry's own voters break almost evenly on the issues, with half supporting the war in Iraq and half opposing it, and almost equal numbers saying we must stay the course as say we should bring the troops home.

    So Kerry can't use issues to hold his own in the debates: Whatever he says will antagonize some of his base. And now it's plain that he can't rely on personal popularity to hold them, since most are just voting against Bush.



    If the president gives an even moderately effective presentation and comes across as even somewhat likeable, he can cut deeply into Kerry's vote.

    In addition, the poll shows that there has been a shift in the issues on which voters are focused. Those who identify terrorism or homeland security as key issues has risen from 7 percent before the convention to 22 percent afterward, and issues such as taxes and gay marriage, which did not make the polls before, now draw 4 percent each who feel they are the most important issue before the nation.

    Asked which is more important in their votes, national security or the nation's economy, voters split 45-38 for security — a clear Bush win.

    The electorate remains sharply divided in its loyalties based on voters' perception of the most important issue. Of those who see security as key, Bush wins by 68-28, while Kerry triumphs among those who focus most on the economy by 56-19.

    Underscoring Kerry's popularity problems, voters rate Bush better on a host of adjectives. Who is the stronger leader? Bush, by 51-37. Who is more honest and trustworthy? Bush, 42-37. Who will make the United States a stronger country? Bush, 46-40. Who takes strong stands and sticks with them? Bush, 56-27.

    Kerry only wins "Who understands the average American better?" — and by only 43-36.

    Kerry never had time to make America like him. He won the nomination before anyone really got to know him and has coasted on anti-Bush campaigning ever since. Even now, he relies on the old National Guard records of Bush to animate his campaign, as if we are about to form our judgment of how Bush would be as a commander based on 30-year- old, possibly forged records rather than on our own observation of how he has done the job. But Kerry has got to close the most fundamental gap of his candidacy: Voters don't like him very much.

  4. #4

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    and don't forget

    And don't forget, he's FRENCH LOOKING! (to quote a distinguished member of our panel)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougSloan
    And don't forget, he's FRENCH LOOKING! (to quote a distinguished member of our panel)
    Hmmm... I thought he looked more like Gomer Pyle.

    http://www.sociallyabrasive.com/gomer_kerry_morph.htm

  6. #6
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    Have you heard this theory about Morris and Clinton?

    I have heard some people say that Dick Morris was used as the "opposites" advisor by Clinton. Clinton would ask him a question, then listen intently, nod, and do the exact opposite of what he suggested.

    Just a theory, but the man is a shill at this point.

    Hey, you did say "say what you want about him"!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    I have heard some people say that Dick Morris was used as the "opposites" advisor by Clinton. Clinton would ask him a question, then listen intently, nod, and do the exact opposite of what he suggested.

    Just a theory, but the man is a shill at this point.

    Hey, you did say "say what you want about him"!

    Hey, I had plenty of trouble admitting that Morris had a point...

  8. #8
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    I know hoo didn't give me credit for critical thinking, but the reason I posted the article from the Voice is confirmed by Morris' article. The article pretty much says the same thing. That Kerry is in many instances caught between a rock and a hard place on many issues. If he takes a stance on them, contrary to Bush, he will alienate many voters. If he sticks to the same side of the issues, it will have the same effect. Gee I guess my insight on the situation, illustrated by the VV article, was pretty insightful after all :O)


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    A point, but an irrelevant point

    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Hey, I had plenty of trouble admitting that Morris had a point...
    How many who voted for Gore will vote for Bush? I don't know any, though I am sure Steam can dig something up from his inbox to show there is at least one.

    How many who voted for Bush 2000 will not do so now? More than switch the other way.

    In any case, looking at EITHER side's supporters is flawed. The supporters are solid. Who will decide Bush has to go if they currently think he's the man for the job? How many will switch and vote FOR Bush if they have decided he is a screw up? This election will be decided by the small fraction of "undecided" voters in the small number of swing states. Those people are jumping all over the place in terms of views of the candidates. The variance in the polls on these issues is pretty big, from what I have seen.

    Declaring the election "over" before the first debate is just silly. Many of the undecideds said they would wait until the debates to make up their minds. So all of this analysis might be fun, but it is premature and it's really about as accurate as general BSing over a beer.
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  10. #10
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    Let me talk to you in language you might understand.

    Awwwww, did I hurtums your wittle feewings? Would a piece of candy make Wivey Steam feew better?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo

    Declaring the election "over" before the first debate is just silly. Many of the undecideds said they would wait until the debates to make up their minds. So all of this analysis might be fun, but it is premature and it's really about as accurate as general BSing over a beer.

    I'm sorry, but I really don't believe there is any such thing as "undecided" this election- I think it is a euphemism that means "I don't want to tell you who I am voting for." There may be some people who don't know IF they are going to vote... or perhaps there are those completely IGNORANT of the candidates and have been living a caves all year, but "undecided?!"

    I mean, I'm "undecided" in the sense that I'm planning on NOT voting for Bush unless the war ends in a month or so, there is world peace, domestic poverty ends, all crime disappears, my net worth and income increase ten-fold, we end up with a huge budget surplus, free health care for my parents (at least, if not everyone), taxes disappear, and we colonize the moon. But I just don't see it happening soon enough ;)

  12. #12
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    I think there are legitimate undecideds.

    If you always wait to see the debates before deciding, you can be legitimately undecided at this point.

    There are people that have not been paying attention. They might start paying attention a couple weeks before the election. They can be legitimately undecided.

    Most polls ask for "leaning towards" and now more and more polls are forcing the leaners to the candidate, not the undecided category. So there are some out there for sure.

    If you don't want to give your opinion, btw, you don't pick up the phone.

    There are always undecideds. In fact, historically when support numbers of a sitting president are this low, they tend to break towards the challenger 2/3 to 1/3.

    I don't UNDERSTAND the not-leaning-either-way-undecideds, but they are out there. And the fate of the nation is in their hands.

    Scary thought, huh?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    If you always wait to see the debates before deciding, you can be legitimately undecided at this point.


    Debates, huh? Then Kerry really is sunk. At least W can operate from his "position" on national security/fighting terrorism (whether you like it or not), whereas Kerry's supporters do not really have a firm stand on the issue- nor does he. Frankly, that issue alone, which the democrats are all mixed up on (some for the war, others against), is more than enough to completely confound voters. There is no clear party line on national security/"the war."

    Kerry hasn't taken any questions from the press in... how long? My guess is that anything he could possibly answer about ANY question is going to be "wrong" and damaging. The democrats have screwed up beyond belief on this one, and the Republican machine is working in full swing. We are spending more media time talking about forged Guard documents than Bush's actual Guard service- and while Bush's embellishments have done him no harm, Kerry's swift boat post-traumaticized vet gangbang just won't ever quite go away.

    Kerry should have kept his mouth shut about Vietnam during this campaign (had he NEVER heard of McCain four years ago???), and he should/should have developed a legitimate platform/road map for the party to follow- or picked up on the existing platform. Unfortunately, the party never really articulated much concern about "the war" earlier- which boxes them in so they cannot speak out against it now- and Bush can simply roll with it. He's made his entire campaign about national security. Bush may be an idiot, but he certainly dismantled the democrats- and I have to admit that it is a stroke of genius. As inept as his entire Iraq campaign has been, it has been largely immune from political criticism, or even discussion. What's Kerry to say? To be against the occupation is to be soft on national security at this late point. To be for the occupation, he needs to make the case that he can do it better. At least half the people voting for him would rather we never went there in the first place. To simply pull out will only destabilize the region. Many voters would rather not switch horses mid-stream. It would take one HELL of a charismatic candidate to clearly spell these issues out to the voting public- and Kerry aint it- he literally adds to the confusion- and I fear his "not-Bush" status is not enough to get him elected.

  14. #14

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    I Dunno, it look awful bad...

    Declaring the election "over" before the first debate is just silly.

    I think Kerry has blown it
    I also think the Sox will eventually blow it too.
    It's just the way these things go.

    I'm off to Vermont to ride

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    Awwwww, did I hurtums your wittle feewings? Would a piece of candy make Wivey Steam feew better?
    Sorry, but I thought that was one of Steam's better efforts... and for him to quote the Voice?! You know the end is near ;)

  16. #16
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    I appreciate your sense of humor. I am sorry I can't say the same for boohoo :O) Yeah I read the Voice as well as a few other left wing rags like the Times :O)

  17. #17
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    yep, debates.

    In the last debates, bush benefited from low expectations, and gore's alphamale bs. Kerry is already planting the "bush is a good debater, he has won every debate he's been in" meme.

    Kerry has done LOTS of debates during the primaries. In many formats. He's freshly practiced. I have a feeling he is saving some sound bites for them. Remember, he is known as a strong finisher. Did it in his senate campaigns, did it in Iowa.

    Kerry has not taken questions from the press? What about Bush? He only speaks to hand selected audiences, and fumbles when he does not have prepared remarks. They are trying to wiggle out of the town hall format debate for that reason.

    As for the military thing, if Kerry had not talked about it, he would have lost the race by now. You mention McCain. He knew the attack was coming, and if he had not had the men he served with on stage with him, those forseeable attacks would have been WAY more effective than they were.

    Could Kerry screw up the debates? Yes. But he could also come off well. Right now the media narrative is "Bush ahead" and that is all you hear. If Bush's numbers continue to weaken, that will become the narrative.

    Time will tell. But I am pretty sure that there will be a RELATIVELY big move after the first debate, and that trend, whichever direction it goes, will tell the tale of the rest of the campaign until the election.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr hoo
    In the last debates, bush benefited from low expectations, and gore's alphamale bs. Kerry is already planting the "bush is a good debater, he has won every debate he's been in" meme.

    Kerry has done LOTS of debates during the primaries. In many formats. He's freshly practiced. I have a feeling he is saving some sound bites for them. Remember, he is known as a strong finisher. Did it in his senate campaigns, did it in Iowa.

    Kerry has not taken questions from the press? What about Bush? He only speaks to hand selected audiences, and fumbles when he does not have prepared remarks. They are trying to wiggle out of the town hall format debate for that reason.

    As for the military thing, if Kerry had not talked about it, he would have lost the race by now. You mention McCain. He knew the attack was coming, and if he had not had the men he served with on stage with him, those forseeable attacks would have been WAY more effective than they were.

    Could Kerry screw up the debates? Yes. But he could also come off well. Right now the media narrative is "Bush ahead" and that is all you hear. If Bush's numbers continue to weaken, that will become the narrative.

    Time will tell. But I am pretty sure that there will be a RELATIVELY big move after the first debate, and that trend, whichever direction it goes, will tell the tale of the rest of the campaign until the election.

    No way is Kerry gonna bounce after the debates. There's only 2 for chrissake. What possible trick or rhetorical flourish is Kerry gonna give that will possibly sway 3-4 %??
    Honestly. I saw Kerry in the Democratic Primaries and he wasn't that good. Sorry. Kerry won because most people up and realised that Dean was a no-hoper and it was time to put their stock in the Common Wisdom Democratic candidate. Kerry never won nothin' on his oratory skills.

    I hate to say it but NO WAY.

    I humbly hope not but I don't see it. Bush held his own against Gore and I don't think he's going to go tapioca against Kerry. 2 shots. That's all he's got. After that he needs documented proof Bush roasted a baby in the Texas Air National Guard back in '68.

  19. #19
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    Sad but true- anyone enlightened enough to follow debates has already drawn the line anyway. Undecideds are more likely to be swayed by making an "emotional choice."

  20. #20
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    its the conservative media bias!

    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Sad but true- anyone enlightened enough to follow debates has already drawn the line anyway. Undecideds are more likely to be swayed by making an "emotional choice."

    Consider this shrill voice:

    New Narrative Please
    Cliff Schecter (4:09PM) link

    Ok, so now polls done by Harris Interactive, IBD and American Research Group all give Kerry the lead in the horserace, and The Economist, ICR, Zogby, Rasmussen and Democracy Corps all have Bush with a one or two point lead.

    In other words, if you are not a member of the Manchurian Media Elite, it is pretty easy to figure out that this race is a dead heat again. Does Bush seem to have gained an edge in Favrerer Country up in Wisconsin? Yes, that would seem to be the case from a plethora of recent polls. But three polls in a row also have Kerry in a tie or only suffering from a one point deficit in Colorado (ARG Bush 46 to Kerry 45--maybe the whole snowboarding photo-op did actually pay off with the immediately post-college, year-of-pondering-life with beer bong in hand ski bum vote in Colorado). Yet, I don't see Wolf Blitzer bringing that up on one of his fifteen shows on CNN where we hear about the electoral terrain being almost impossible for Kerry.

    So I have a simple question. Can the morons whose job it is to accurately report this race escape the mental bondage of their Stockholm Syndrome from aboard Airforce One and...ya know...actually report this race? Really guys, I know he's scary, but Zell won't bite (and if he tries, just offer him a couple hunnies to zig zag off in the other direction).

    I know it doesn't fit the Kerry is done narrative, but Rasmussen and the Columbus Dispatch show either a slight Kerry lead in Ohio, or a tie, so it is an interesting choice to solely report a ridiculous poll by a Republcan outfit, Strategic Visions (of what I am not sure), that shows Bush up 10 points in the Buckeye State. Sure, and Defense of Marriage proponent Rep. Ed Schrock is gay.....ok, bad analogy.

    For the sake of a fair election, let's just hope the major media players can leave those cocktail parties just an hour or so early, take their heads out of their asses and some time in the next news cycle or two, use their increasingly less relevant reporting to give a somewhat useful picture of what is actually going on.



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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sintesi
    No way is Kerry gonna bounce after the debates. There's only 2 for chrissake. What possible trick or rhetorical flourish is Kerry gonna give that will possibly sway 3-4 %??
    Honestly. I saw Kerry in the Democratic Primaries and he wasn't that good. Sorry. Kerry won because most people up and realised that Dean was a no-hoper and it was time to put their stock in the Common Wisdom Democratic candidate. Kerry never won nothin' on his oratory skills.

    I hate to say it but NO WAY.

    I humbly hope not but I don't see it. Bush held his own against Gore and I don't think he's going to go tapioca against Kerry. 2 shots. That's all he's got. After that he needs documented proof Bush roasted a baby in the Texas Air National Guard back in '68.
    Word is that Kerry owes his senatorial victory over Gov. Weld to the debates in Mass. Reagan clinched the win in many opinions by doing well in the debates and allowing undecidedes to feel comfortable with choosing him. (Until the debates things were neck and neck despite an evil record that Carter brought to the table--sound familliar?)

    It is much more difficult being the incumbant during debates you are more likely than not going to get picked apart by the pundits. Remember the Gore make-up the sigh? (he was a virtual incumbant). People on the radio thought Nixon won the debate while those watching on t.v. clearly thought Kennedy did.

    Debates in tight races matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    Word is that Kerry owes his senatorial victory over Gov. Weld to the debates in Mass. Reagan clinched the win in many opinions by doing well in the debates and allowing undecidedes to feel comfortable with choosing him. (Until the debates things were neck and neck despite an evil record that Carter brought to the table--sound familliar?)

    It is much more difficult being the incumbant during debates you are more likely than not going to get picked apart by the pundits. Remember the Gore make-up the sigh? (he was a virtual incumbant). People on the radio thought Nixon won the debate while those watching on t.v. clearly thought Kennedy did.

    Debates in tight races matter.
    Good points. And I don't see Gore voters moving to Bush. If anything, Bush voters are and will be moving to Kerry.
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