Tags: Compassionate | Conservatism | Was | Bust | Big | Time!

Compassionate Conservatism Was A Bust – Big Time!

Sunday, 12 November 2000 12:00 AM

A careful look at the elaborate Voter News Survey exit poll reveals that Gore’s camp ran a

Here are a few facts:

1) The late revelation of the Bush DUI killed his chances of winning the election. One in four voters said the DUI "strongly influenced" their decision. And of those, Gore won 75 percent! This proves the point: W, his family and staff blundered seriously in refusing to reveal this arrest months earlier. They stunted any upward momentum they had – and enabled Gore to close the gap rapidly in the final days.

2) Social Security indeed hurt Bush – Big Time! Voters over 60 years old went for Gore 51 percent to 47 percent. That was the difference in Pennsylvania (second-highest number of senior voters) and Florida, where the race ended up much, much closer than it should have been. So, as noble as it may have been to try to reform Social Security, bringing up this issue turned out to hurt Bush. It was once again the "Third Rail" of American politics.

3) Compassionate Conservatism – the hallmark of the Bush campaign – was a Big Bust. A lame attempt to broaden the GOP’s base, it turned out to have no effect whatsoever! Blacks went bigger for Gore than they did for Clinton!!! After all the talk about how Bush would make inroads into the minority community – and how unenthusiastic blacks were for Gore – guess what? Gore did better than Clinton did in either election! Gore got 90 percent to Bush’s 8 percent. Bob Dole, who angered blacks by refusing to even address the NAACP convention, got 12 percent in 1996 – with no effort!

4) Catholics: Gore won the Catholic vote, 49 percent to 47 percent. This is a result of abortion, Bob Jones and a running mate, Dick Cheney, who brought nothing to the ticket in terms of ethnic, regional or religious appeal. (Joseph Lieberman, on the other hand, clearly brought much to Gore’s ticket. Florida, written off after the Elian fiasco, was "in play" because of Lieberman.)

5) Income: as the prescient pollster John Zogby kept pointing out, the key voting group is the $25,000-$50,000 income group. Since 1972 each successful presidential campaign has won that group. Gore won it this time – narrowly (everything is narrow in this race!). This is a shame, because the GOP does more to help these people. Why couldn’t the Bush campaign reach these people more effectively?

6) We also heard that union households were, at best, lukewarm for Gore. NAFTA and his anti-internal combustion engine record, not to mention his gun control views, were supposedly going to weaken his union support. Well, like most ‘conventional wisdom’, this proved to be untrue. In fact, Gore got the exact same 59 percent of union households as did Clinton in 1996.

7) New voters: the GOP banked on the theory that the voters this year would be the same ‘universe’ of previous voters. But that was a miscalculation; new voters – known as "motor voters" because they are registered when they get driver's licenses – voted in heavy numbers and were targeted by Gore. Why did the Bush campaign miss this? Why were their assumptions so wrong?

8) Time and money allocation: Bush’s attempt to win California was a waste of time and money. He never had a shot there. And don’t you think that $9 million re-targeted at Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan might have changed this race?

While everyone is fixated on the Florida Fiasco, it is important to understand

For Republicans and conservatives, the Bush High Command let us all down.

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A careful look at the elaborate Voter News Survey exit poll reveals that Gore's camp ran a Here are a few facts: 1) The late revelation of the Bush DUI killed his chances of winning the election. One in four voters said the DUI strongly influenced their decision. And...
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Sunday, 12 November 2000 12:00 AM
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