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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

10/25/2004

Bush by 3

Over at The Tyee Michael Fellman devoutly wishes for, and predicts, Kerry "by a fair margin". I disagree and commented as follows:
Bush by 3-5% of the popular vote and a minimum of seven electoral votes.

Bush's base can hardly wait to vote for Bush, Kerry's base can hardly wait to vote against Bush. But, and here I think is the key, no one seems to actively want to vote for Kerry.

Political psychology being what it is, negative motivations will certainly get the Dem's base to the polls; but that base is no larger than 40% of the electorate. And directly, but asymmetrically balanced by Bush's. (The asymmetry lies in the fact Kerry's base will rack up huge popular vote victories in a half dozen big states thereby ensuring that the Kerry popular vote is electrically inefficient. Bush will win some big states in close races and rack up big votes in a number of small states which, while wasted, will not have the same effect on the Bush campaign.)

You don't have to be Karl Rove to figure the split on the undecideds. Precious few these people are going to be motivated by a strong anti-Bush sentiment - if they were they would not be undecided, they'd be part of the Dem's base. They are going to be people who want to vote for something and there is where, bumbling as the man is, Bush offers something and Kerry's campaign - with a thousand nuanced plans - does not.

Bush has reduced the election to a referendum on a simple question - which man will do everything in his power to ensure the security of the United States. And the polling suggests that when the message is that simple, Bush out performs Kerry. Significantly.

It is difficult to recall a more inept candidate than Johnny Cambodia. The topper came when the poor man referred to terrorism as a nuisance. (And yes, I know that is not precisely what he said; but that was the tag line that stuck.) He was sunk the moment he threw his chest out and - trying to project an aura of competence in national security - saluted and announced he was reporting for duty.

The left in the States already know this. They are hoping the election will be close enough that the pre-emptive whine about election fraud will gain some traction. They are hoping that having 2000 lawyers ready to challenge chads and voter registration and whatever else comes up will overcome the single most imposing deficit in the Dems campaign: John Kerry.

I rather doubt letting lose the dogs of law will work because I don't think it will be that close.
The one thing I do hope is that whichever candidate wins, wins by a large margin which in this race is 5% and half a dozen electoral college votes.