September 1, 2004
KERRY IS NOT DEAD: Halfway through the Republican
convention I would think that Karl Rove and company have
to be feeling relatively pleased. Last night, Schwarzenegger,
as the Republican Governor of the largest state in the nation,
delivered a message that appeared in prime time on all the
fellow immigrants, my fellow Americans, how do you know
if you are a Republican? Well, I tell you how. If you
believe that government should be accountable to the people,
not the people to the government, then you are a Republican.
you believe a person should be treated as an individual,
not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican.
you believe your family knows how to spend your money
better than the government does, then you are a Republican.
you believe our educational system should be held accountable
for the progress of our children, then you are a Republican.
you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the
best hope for democracy, then you are a Republican.
ladies and gentlemen, if you believe that we must be fierce
and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a
there's another way you can tell you're a Republican.
You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness
of the American people and faith in the U.S. economy.
And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our
economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie-men.
was powerful stuff that the average American got, unfiltered,
directly through their TV. Schwarzenegger's star power guaranteed
that millions of Americans who normally would tune out this
type of political TV actually heard this very strong sales
pitch for the Republican Party.
Monday night McCain
with the tributes to 9/11, teamed up to hit a grand slam
for the Bush campaign. The
mainstream, liberal media is reaping what they have sown
with John McCain.
McCain was bashing Bush and Republicans the press couldn't
get enough of him. Now with McCain actively supporting President
Bush, suddenly the press isn't liking what they hear so
much. But because of McCain's alliance with the media these
last four years he retains a huge influence over independent
swing voters, and his speech was a huge plus for the President.
tributes to 9/11 on Monday night were extremely tasteful
and very moving. It was powerful television. The next day
Katie Couric tried to get Tim Russert to engage the Democratic
spin that Republicans were "exploiting" 9/11,
but with Giuliani as the backdrop that is an impossible
charge for the liberal media to make stick. They could possibly
get away with the exploitation charge if it were Bush or
Cheney, but not with Giuliani personally delivering the
lead speech following the tributes. I don't think Democrats
want to get in a public argument that Gluliani was exploiting
three weeks buried in the fog of the Swift Boat Veterans
controversy, the one-two punch by McCain and Giuliani, followed
up by Schwarzenegger was a stark wake up call to the Democrats.
of a "shake-up" in the Kerry campaign is a
tacit acknowledgment that they have been getting their butts
kicked for the last several weeks, and changes needed to
funny watching how quickly the conventional wisdom swings
among the talking heads on television. You can hear it in
the voice and words of Chris Mathews, Tim Russert and the
other political pundits. It's as if all of Bush's troubles
of only three weeks ago have evaporated into the ether.
Suddenly it is John Kerry who is in on the ropes and who
is headed for defeat. That may be a bit of exaggeration
of course, but there is no question that the tone of how
this race is treated in the media has changed dramatically.
commented back in July
and on August
13 that I was having a hard time understanding all the Kerry
bullishness among the punditry. Today, I would caution
joyous GOP partisans and hyperventilating Democrats, to
remember that there are still quite a few rounds left in
this heavyweight fight.
is no question that Bush has had a good run. And if the
final two days of this convention are as good as the first
two, there is a possibility President Bush may jump out
to a 7-11 point lead in the post-convention polls and Kerry
will effectively be all but finished.
there is also a very realistic possibility that even if
the next two days go well for the GOP, Bush still never
gets over 50% in our RCP Poll
Average and Kerry stays within three to five points
of the President, which would still leave this a very wide
open race. And given the Gallup poll's bizarre negative
bounce for John Kerry after his convention I wouldn't totally
discount the possibility, though probably remote, that Bush
could emerge from the convention tied or even slightly trailing.
maintained for months now that the real measure of this
race was going to come in mid-to-late September after both
the conventions and the anniversary of September
11. And I have also felt all along that President Bush was
the clear favorite to win reelection and the President would
win this game two out of every three times played. Even
at the depth of the bad news from Iraq when the President's
job approval started to dip below 45%, Bush was never
worse than even money to win reelection.
the President's job approval back around 50% , there is
almost no chance Kerry can win the election in a big way.
Right now there seem to be roughly three broad options:
1) a big Bush win (4-7 points), 2) Bush in a squeaker or
3) Kerry in a squeaker.
if this election cycle has taught us anything, it is that
the dynamic of this race can change quickly. As one who
felt pretty good in December that Howard Dean was the almost
certain Democratic nominee it would be a mistake to make
too much of two-three week trend change.
should not become too cocky. Bush has had a good run and
there is roughly a 33% chance that the poll bump from this
convention and the 9/11 anniversary may be enough to TKO
John Kerry. But there is also at least a 50% chance that
before the first debate we will be staring at the same 50/50,
dead heat race that we've more or less had since Kerry captured
the nomination. J. McIntyre 12:57 pm Link
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