July 12 2004
EDWARDS BOUNCE SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN A DEAD CAT:
You've probably heard the
saying, "Even a dead cat will bounce if dropped
from high enough." Well, John Edwards is giving the
Kerry campaign a bounce, but it sure isn't that big. I suspect
both the Dems and the GOP were expecting something a bit
polls taken since Kerry announced his VP choice on Tuesday,
Kerry/Edwards has moved ahead of Bush/Cheney by 5.4% in
the head-to-head race. Compared to the average of the last
6 polls conducted prior to Kerry's announcement, that represents
a net gain of 4.3%.
about the same in the three
way race. In the five surveys last week that included
Nader/Camejo in the mix, Kerry/Edwards is averaging a 2.2%
lead over Bush/Cheney. Compare this to the last five polls
leading up to Kerry's announcement and you see a net gain
of only 3.6%.
Dowd made news last week by predicting that John Kerry
could possibly have a fifteen-point lead by the end of the
month, after basking in the glow of positive press coverage
of his VP choice and the Democratic National Convention.
Dowd was highballing for the sake of the expectation game,
and Kerry strategist Tad Devine did
his best yesterday to try and curb any excessive expectations
and put as happy a face as possible on the numbers.
now the numbers suggest John Edwards is a mediocre pick.
One argument in his favor is that the lack of bounce from
Edwards is less of a reflection on him or the Dem ticket
than it is another reminder of just how polarized the electorate
is this year between those who support Bush no matter what,
those who support Kerry no matter what, and those who don't
know and still aren't paying attention. In other words,
there just isn't the traditional amount of room in the electorate
to generate the sort of bounce we're used to seeing.
Kerry's recent flirtation with McCain - and the polling
we saw as a result - puts the lie to that argument. Kerry
did have an opportunity to do more for himself with his
VP pick, though he certainly could have done worse. Just
as a point of reference, not only for the Edwards pick but
for how far left the Democrats have moved as a whole in
the last four years: Joe Lieberman gave Gore more of a bounce
in 2000 than Edwards did this year.
question of the moment is whether the meager lift Edwards
has given the Kerry campaign will hold through the Democratic
has an article this morning that takes a look at historical
convention bounces and determines that they're basically
equal. It's interesting reading for political junkies but
really meaningless when viewed in isolation of the polls.
So what if Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Barry Goldwater
got bigger convention bounces than their opponents?
matters is who is ahead in the polls after Labor Day. History
says that the candidate who is leading the race after Labor
Day almost always goes on to win in November. There have
only been three exceptions to this rule since 1936: in 1948,
when Truman trailed Dewey in September, in 1960, when Nixon
was still ahead of Kennedy after Labor Day, and most notably
in 2000, when Al Gore carried a small lead out of the Democratic
National Convention into September only to surrender the
lead to Bush during the final weeks of the campaign after
a series of disastrous debates.
with so many other things this year, however, conventional
wisdom could be terribly wrong. The debates could once again
prove decisive. Events such as a terrorist attack either
at home and abroad could dramatically shift the dynamic
of the race in the final weeks or even days. One of the
ironies of having such a closely divided electorate is that
the race is just as likely to be an electoral wipe out as
it is to being a cliffhanger - a shift of just a couple
of points toward either candidate at the close of the race
could swing a majority of the battleground states their
PLAN: This must be some scoop. About a month ago
Marshall proudly announced:
and several colleagues have been working on a story that,
if and when it comes to fruition --- and I’m confident
it shall --- should shuffle the tectonic plates under
that capital city where I normally hang my hat. So that’s
something to look forward to in the not too distant future.
I could be wrong, but it's becoming more and more clear
that Josh's big story is about the Niger uranium brouhaha.
I must say it's been a bit of comedy watching him try to
put his fingers in the dyke and protect his big scoop, lashing
out at anything or anyone who might lessen the impact of
the impending "tectonic" shuffle.
there was The
Financial Times article from June 28 that reported
some rather eye-popping news:
FT has now learnt that three European intelligence services
were aware of possible illicit trade in uranium from Niger
between 1999 and 2001. Human intelligence gathered in
Italy and Africa more than three years before the Iraq
war had shown Niger officials referring to possible illicit
uranium deals with at least five countries, including
immediately jumped to discredit the article, suggesting
as a "hypothetical" that the story was a plant
from the Bush administration and that the FT - a well-respected
paper that generally opposes Bush's invasion of Iraq - published
the story out of incompetence, naivete, or worse.
the other day Josh
attacked Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post for writing
article raising questions about Joe Wilson's credibility
based on information contained in the recently released
Senate Intelligence Committee's report. Josh derisively
compared Schmidt to "Mikey", the boy in the Life
cereal commercials, and suggested that she's nothing more
than a shill for beltway Republicans.
be warned. If you're planning to write or report anything
on Niger that gets in the way of Marhsall's big story, prepare
to be attacked. As I said, it must be some big scoop.
- T. Bevan 12:01 am Link
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