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Sleeper
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I figured since the Democrats were able to get their own poll about the election, why couldn't we could discuss the same amongsts ourselves as Republicans.

My personal take is option 1.

Since about a year ago I have debated with democrats about how negative their out look is. Just look at any thread on the economy and the war, always trying to keep the negative news in the forefront. I believe the American public sees through this, and are not fooled by the negative rhetoric.
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Amlord
I voted for #2, not really because of "flip flopping" per se, but because Kerry has yet to articulate a clear message.

I saw an analyst on a cable show a couple days back who said that Americans prefer a complex man with simple ideas (Bush) to a simple man with complex ideas (Kerry).

Complex ideas are hard to explain, and those who are only marginally interested to begin with get turned off quickly.

Add to that the fact that Kerry isn't the most interesting speaker. He fails to hold the attention of the listener. He "drones".

Another major factor is that Bush's base is FOR Bush, while Kerry's base is AGAINST Bush, instead of FOR Kerry. Kerry doesn't even inspire Democrats, let alone Independents. This is a huge downside for Kerry.

Now I will not give the election to Bush at this point, but it is certainly his to lose.
Sleeper
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 23 2004, 09:35 AM)
Another major factor is that Bush's base is FOR Bush, while Kerry's base is AGAINST Bush, instead of FOR Kerry.  Kerry doesn't even inspire Democrats, let alone Independents.  This is a huge downside for Kerry.

That's a good point Amlord. And probably a big reason Dole lost to Clinton in '96. The republicans wanted Clinton out so badly they were just against him, and not for Dole.
Aquilla
I went with option 4 - Bush's policies and leadership. At the end of the day, a President's re-election is really a referendum on his performance in office during his first term. Americans tend to be very conservative when it comes to changing Presidents. Conservative not in a political sense but in the sense of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". That's why the only poll number I really pay much attention to on a regular basis is the President's job approval rating. AS long as that number stays up above 50%, it's almost impossible to defeat a sitting President. Last one I heard on President Bush was 51% and as long as that holds he's going to do fine in November.

Add to that the fact that the Democrats have done a horrible job this year at getting their message out, if they even have one, and instead have been bashing away at Bush constantly for nearly a year. I think that's de-sensitized people to the extent that they don't pay any attention to the attacks anymore. Negative ads work, but only for a certain length of time and that's why you usually save them for the end of the campaign after you've built a positive image of your own candidate. First you need to find a positive message for your candidate that gains traction with the American people, then you craft your negative ads against your opponent to exploit that message and draw a contrast between the two. "Bush bad, Bush bad, Bush bad" doesn't cut it and that's all we've heard from the Democrats this year. I tried to warn them over a year ago that ABB isn't going to win an election, but would they listen to me? Nooooooo.... laugh.gif

Also there is the "Dean factor" - he's the best candidate we could have ever hoped for in the Democratic primaries. He pulled the party so far left in the primaries that Kerry has been unable to get back to the middle ala Bill Clinton and when he's tried to do that, the Republicans have successfully pinned him down on it by pointing out the inconsistancies of his positions. That's made it doubly difficult for Kerry to define himself and as I warned our Democratic friends some time ago, if Kerry doesn't define who he is, we (the GOP) will, and we have. In a Presidential election allowing your opponent to define you is fatal.

It's not over yet, as my friend Nighttimer will tell you, the fat lady hasn't started to sing, but I think she's in the building. The debates are really Kerry's only chance to get something going, but it might take a knock out punch to do that. Kerry might score some body blows in the debates, but unless the President really screws up, that's about all I think. And, "dumb" as he is, President Bush has never lost a political debate. So, we'll see, but meantime the campaign is still pressing ahead. I'm heading over to campaign headquarters in Burbank next week to man a telephone and be a "political telemarketer" for a few hours. laugh.gif That should be interesting. rolleyes.gif

Edited to add.....

Additionally, unlike the Kerry campaign which is still in disarray, the Bush/Cheney political team is running like a finely-tuned Ferrari. They are really, really good almost as good as the Reagan team was. Karl Rove, the Republican that Democrats love to hate, gets a major portion of the credit, but real "secret weapon" on the Bush political team is Karen Hughes. Next to Laura Bush, Karen is probably closer to the President than anyone and she really knows what she's doing. thumbsup.gif
jtswbkabd123
I think it is Bush himself. I highly respect Bush, for a number of reasons.

Biggest reason is he isn't playing politics with our national security, and a nother big reason is he has vowed not to inact the draft "so long as I am president of the United States",
Repub17
I voted for 1. I believe that number 2 helped us win the election, but I feel that 2 falls into the category of 1. The doom with Kerry's campaign is that he doesn't even know where he stands on issues, and promises to fix everything. I am very thankful that people voted for Bush instead of Kerry.

Did anyone else notice that Kerry, all the sudden, became an alter boy and Catholic right after the poll came out about how the leading reason for people voting in this election was moral issues?
Cylinder
I voted for 'doom and gloom', simply because that was the feature I think that galvanized the base. I suppose I would also cite the disconnect between the DNC left and Middle America. They took "the number liberal in the Senate", packaged him as a moderate and tried to pass him of to the American people as the second-coming of Clinton. To top this off, he spent much of his time and money running a thinly-veiled anti-war campaign to a constituency that doesn't even vote. Guess what - he almost won.

For the record, I would personally like to thank Michael Moore. There - I said it.

The Bush administration made some huge public relations gaffs during the first term - the most significant, IMO, being the message on the Iraq war. Bush really allowed himself to get burned on that one. Quite frankly it still amazes me that the administration was unwilling or unable to tie the war with Iraq more closely to the issue of the international obligations that were in place after the US and UK effected the rescue of Kuwait. I suppose the political reality prevented the president from going to Congress and the people with the simple truth that we have in fact been at war with Iraq since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait - a war that was simply ignored by the previous administration. I think a vast majority of Americans understand that a pocketful of half measures do not a full measure make.

On the upside, President Bush stayed on-message during the campaign and dictated the issues (or more correctly- the issue). Playing defense at that point would have been fatal. Luckily, Bush had built the support to successfully absorb the losses to the "wrong war at the wrong time" criticism.

QUOTE(Sleeper @ Sep 23 2004, 08:23 AM)
Since about a year ago I have debated with democrats about how negative their out look is. Just look at any thread on the economy and the war, always trying to keep the negative news in the forefront.  I believe the American public sees through this, and are not fooled by the negative rhetoric.
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Great point. For all their millions, Kerry's GOTV strategy gathered exactly zero net votes. For every Kerry supporter they ran to the polls, they also sent a Bush voter determined to stand against the Blame America crowd.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 23 2004, 08:35 AM)
Another major factor is that Bush's base is FOR Bush, while Kerry's base is AGAINST Bush, instead of FOR Kerry.
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This was the deciding factor, IMO.

QUOTE(Aquilla @ Sep 23 2004, 09:43 AM)
Also there is the "Dean factor" - he's the best candidate we could have ever hoped for in the Democratic primaries.   He pulled the party so far left in the primaries that Kerry has been unable to get back to the middle ala Bill Clinton and when he's tried to do that, the Republicans have successfully pinned him down on it by pointing out the inconsistancies of his positions. That's made it doubly difficult for Kerry to define himself and as I warned our Democratic friends some time ago, if Kerry doesn't define who he is, we (the GOP) will, and we have. In a Presidential election allowing your opponent to define you is fatal.
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I totally agree. John Kerry sounded like one of the sheep (as they're fond of calling us) during the primaries.

Criticisms welcome. mrsparkle.gif
DCjumper
Even had John Kerry remained consistent on anything, it is my opinion that the Bush policies and leadership were the deciding factor in this election. Kerry's murmuring on consulting allies smelled of realpolitik, something akin to the multi-national consultations orchestrated by Bush's father. Make no mistake, Bush 41 made the right decisions for his time, but in this current war, such a rationale is outdated.

I believe the fledgling majority of Americans have moved beyond the international paradigm and into an understanding that American interests must be at the forefront of our minds in the War on Terror. This alone, doomed any of Kerry's political machinations to the "center" or his ingenuine "nuanced" positions.

The Bush administatration has embodied a staunch will to uphold an adamant position that creating free societies in the middle east is the best solution to eliminating the threat of global terrorism. However, it has also yielded ground on traditionally conservative methods in handling domestic issues, particularly in how much of the federal budget we consume on education, immigration and social security. The administration has convinced the majority of people that this spending is necessary and they succeed, in the eyes of many conservatives, despite it, not because of it. Still, by being right about the current war is what enables the Bush administration to have a mandate.
Bay State Rebel
I'd say the war lost more than it gained. However you look at it, war is considered a negative, Bush is thought to have pulled us into this war unnecessarily, and it seems a morning doesn't go by when I don't see a bloody body on the front page of the Globe.

Domestic issues were key. Kerry is among the most famous liberal senators. People aren't too comfortable with abortion, which Kerry practically trumpeted, or gay marriage, which Kerry was strangely more withdrawn on. Plus, I'd say in some ways Kerry wasn't liberal enough. His policy on the war would have gotten him blackballed by your average social group around here.
blackbird SR71
its disgusting to think that kerry sees himself as catholic , since he supports abortion. I think that is a reason for bush winning the elections, simply because kerry is such a bad flip -flopper. He should find one side and stick with it. I think kerry flopping around is why he aint in office now.
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ETSURepublican
I personally believe that it was Bushs' policies and leadership that won him the White House for a second term. Though it helped him a great deal that Kerry could not produce a clear message, and could not prove himself to be a stronger leader.

As much finger-pointing as the Dems did during the election, everything they pointed at as "bad" got better as the year wore on, they had no clear message besides "Anyone but Bush", while the Republicans just harped on Bushs' record in the White House, pointing out that he's been a decisive leader, and that his policies are fixing (and attempting to fix) what was an already shaky economy, a turbulent enemy in the east, and snapping our so called "allies" back to reality. He's done more than a lot of people will give him credit for, but a lot more people gave him his credit when November 2nd rolled around.
JamesKC
I think the left had a good deal to do with the Bush reelection. The extreme tactics and constant rudeness toward our president made many on the fence tip to the right. I want to personally thank Alec Baldwin, Barbra Stresisand, Michael Moore and Al Franken for helping W win another 4 years. Also, the third party candidates helped. In most cases, a third party candidates 1-2% split the left. Every vote for Nadar was a vote for Bush.
VDemosthenes
Welcome JamesKC. Please do not post in this forum unless you are a declared Republican. You can edit your political standings by using the "My Controls" panel.
brady5450
Bush clear cut articulation of policies was the primary reason why he was re-elected. However the are were a number of contributing factors. certainly the Swiftvets unmasking Kerry as a dubious war hero was a critical factor. Kerry was reporting for duty at the convention and shortly there after his band of brothers were no where to be found. How do you get three purple hearts in 90 days and not get a stitch?

The fake Texas Air National Guard memos were another critical factor. It did dual damage. It hurt Kerry because it showed without question that CBS was desperate to do anything to counteract the damage being done to Kerry by the swiftvets. It hurt CBS and Rather because they thought fake documents were relevant however they couldn't be bothered doing a story on Kerry's failure to sign his standard form 180, (he still hasn't despite his pledge to do so to Russert).

The Mass Supreme court decision on gay marriage hurt Kerry as well. 12 states had ballot questions banning gay marriage as a result of the 4 to 3 decision in Mass and all 12 measures passed. Kerry couldn't come down on the issue forth rightly. as usual he had to use tortured logic to justify his position.

Kerry being a senator hurt quite a bit as well. We haven't elected a senator since Kennedy and in our history we have only elected two presidents directly from Congress. They are fine as Vice Presidential candidates but Senators by and large are rejected for the presidency for the simple reason that they don't have any experience in actually doing something. Bush had run a state with a huge budget and bureaucracy. Kerry had run a small prosecutors office and an ice cream stand.

Zell Miller's (turncoat democrat) republican convention speech was an eye opener . There are a number of other issues that contributed but let's face the facts Kerry was simply not a very strong candidate. Bush did 5% better in Massachusetts against a favorite son than he did against Gore four years earlier.
lordhelmet
I believe Bush won the election because his policies and positions were closer to the political "center" than Kerry's were.

Kerry was pushed to the left by Dean, people like Michael Moore, and the moveon.org crowd.

That cost him the election. If Kerry would have rejected those fringe elements instead of making them the centerpiece of his campaign, he would have won easily.
HinsdaleBob
I went with #4. Kerry obviously was not my choice but I don't loathe the man. I really think what it came down to was that people thought Bush's policies, leadership and message resonated better with more people than JFK.
Mrk1290
I thought that Kerry messed up his whole campaign from the start, especially when he reported for duty at the DNC, but then he focused more on degrading Bush. Kerry should have left that to his 527's and Michael Moore, Kerry made the grave mistake of trying to bolster his image by his hat-trick of purple hearts. His military services were appreciated, but that might as well be irrelevant due to his actions after returning home. I bet Hillary and Bill Clinton were laughing at Kerry as he made mistake after mistake. Bush also did a good job, don't take me the wrong way, but if he was running against someone more competent it might have been different.
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