Tags: Convention | Results

Convention Results

Friday, 03 September 2004 12:00 AM

The laundry list was a bit too long and included too many new ideas to expand the role of the federal government.

The patriotic speech was excellent and invoked the selfless heroism of our troops overseas.

The result of this speech and the four-day Republican National Convention?

A 2-point lead for Bush-Cheney in the new Zogby poll: 46 percent to 44 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

Still unchanged: negative ratings for the president on these key benchmarks: right track/wrong track, job performance and the ever-important ‘re-elect’ question. (This is a key determinant in election politics: “Do you think so-and-so deserves to be re-elected?" The cardinal rule in politics is if an incumbent scores under 50 percent, he/she is in big trouble.)

The convention was a success overall for the GOP in the following ways: It united the party behind Mr. Bush, it knocked a few points off Kerry (he is down 4 percent from a month ago) and it set the stage for the next 60 days.

This morning the new job numbers came out and they also were moderately good news for the GOP: The overall unemployment rate dropped a point, to 5.4 percent – the lowest since September 2001.

The problem here is that many, many understandedly disgruntled workers and voters scoff at these reports. And when the president claims that “we have turned the corner,” these voters just increase their cynicism.

The economy will continue to be one of the two underlying factors determining the outcome of this election. The other, of course, is Iraq.

If those two improve – or the

But if the ‘sourness’ about the economy continues or if Iraq continues to seem chaotic, then John Kerry will be emboldened in the next 60 days.

A note about Kerry: He is at his best as a candidate when he is in the worst shape.

When he is ahead he goes into the ‘prevent defense’ that always fritters away his lead; when his back is up against the wall he gets nasty, tough and dangerous.

Example: In 2002 and early 2003 he had a commanding lead inside the Democratic Party for the nomination. So, what did he do? Sat on his lead while a nobody named Howard Dean soared from last to first in about three months.

With his lifelong dream of the presidency seemingly slipping away, Kerry rolled the dice. He pulled all his staff out of New Hampshire and D.C., mortgaged his own house to the tune of $6.4 million, and threw everything into Iowa.

He destroyed Dean - and Dean self-immolated, too – but the point is that Kerry only sharpened himself up when his political life flashed before him.

The lesson was repeated not long thereafter. As soon as he effectively secured the nomination in March, he got soft, went on too many vacations, had no ‘movement’ in his campaign – and again lost his lead.

Now - with only nine weeks until the election – John Kerry is going to be tough and nasty and a rough customer to deal with. Team Bush should not underestimate him.

Conclusion: The race is close and Bush has upward momentum.

The deciding factor on Nov. 2: the passion index. Who has more passion to vote – the anti-Bush forces or the pro-Bush forces?

That will decide the election.

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The laundry list was a bit too long and included too many new ideas to expand the role of the federal government. The patriotic speech was excellent and invoked the selfless heroism of our troops overseas. The result of this speech and the four-day Republican...
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2004-00-03
Friday, 03 September 2004 12:00 AM
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