Kerry-Bush Both Win!

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Kerry wins popular vote, Bush wins Electoral College! It is really starting to look like this is going to be the headline on November 4, 5, 6, or 7. It won't be on November 3 due to likelihood of protests over vote counting and allegations of voter fraud. There are 7.2 million Americans living overseas and more of them are likely to vote this year than in 2000. That will delay results a bit as well.

The Electoral College vote predictor has gone from the mid 300's for Kerry and low 200's for Bush just a couple weeks ago to Bush 280 electoral college votes and Kerry 242. Some of the key swing states based on the most recent polls show shifts to Bush, though most of those shifts still show leads within the margin of error. But the trend appears to be in Bush's favor as far as an electoral college win. Ralph Nader was this week accepted on the November ballot in Florida. A news item that is no doubt sending shivers down Democratic strategist's spines. This has tipped the Electoral College predictor from Kerry to Bush in this controversial swing state of Florida.

Ralph "Nader is officially on the ballot in 13 states and Washington, D.C., and can appear on at least five others through his Reform Party endorsement. He has submitted petitions to be on the ballot in at least 15 other states, but has met with resistance from legal challenges filed by Democrats to keep him off ballots." Nader is playing no favorites this year with scathing criticism of the Bush administration and John Kerry's campaign tactics to keep him off ballots around the country. Nader dropped in on the RNC Convention yesterday. "I like to observe corporate orgies," Nader told The Associated Press. "I'm trying to undermine the Republican party in my own modest way." This was in response to all the Republican bigwigs feeding at the luxurious troughs hosted and paid for by huge corporate entities.

"Later Tuesday, in a speech at Columbia University, Nader accused Democrats of engaging in "dirty tricks and intimidation" to keep him off the ballot in battleground states and said they were heading for a "mini Watergate." ..."Democrats already have shut Nader off the ballot in several states, including Arizona, Missouri, Maryland, Illinois and Pennsylvania, by uncovering irregularities in his petitions. Still, Nader is on track to appear on ballots in many of the battleground states where President Bush and Kerry are actively campaigning." (ibid)

So, if Bush is trending higher in the Electoral College and Nader is "threatening" the Democratic vote tallies, how does Kerry win the popular vote? There are a host of factors at play, but, the largest ones at play are largely being overlooked. First is the "likely voter' polls. A great many of the polls we are seeing are based on likely voters, which is to say, voters who upon query indicated they are already experienced voters. The assumption is made that past behavior is likely to determine future behavior. But, this election with its visceral appeal to so many Americans is likely to turn out a much larger number of voters who have not voted before and are therefore not included in the likely voter polls.

Republicans are likely to experience the Democratic "Big Tent" dilemma on November 2, like they never have before. The Big Tent dilemma is brought about by the party spreading its platform and policies out over a huge number of issues to appeal to a much larger group of voters based on key single issues. The Republican Party is going all out to portray itself as the party of color including blacks and Hispanics in a host of the advertising spots. This will bring in some ethnic voters but also leave racist white voters sitting home on November 2. The Republican party has pandered to voters based on budget spending in areas like education, veteran's benefits, and the huge Medicare bill recently passed. Die hard fiscal conservatives are going to be more inclined to stay home on Nov. 2, unable to comprehend how it is their Republican Party has outspent, and out-porked even Democratic Congress's of the past in creating the largest deficits in history and moving the national debt to over 7 Trillion dollars. This Big Tent dilemma means that Republicans are not likely to significantly increase their voter turnout numbers in November.

On the other hand, the Democratic Party, the traditional 'Big Tent' party, has one overarching and binding issue to motivate voter turnout, the anti-Bush, anti Iraq war sentiment. In terms of money and grass roots effort to turn out the vote, the Democrats are pulling out all the stops in 2004, leaving nothing taken for granted in the 2000 election undeveloped. The creativity and coordination of their get out the vote efforts this year are likely to produce a significant boost in their constituent's turnout at the polls. Key strategic constituencies are also playing into Democrat's favor. The Cuban vote, overwhelming for Bush in 2000 is now split due to the Administrations policy toward Cuba which has barred free travel and visitation between U.S. Cubans and friends and families in Cuba.

The motivation among Democratic Black Americans is likely to be much higher this year due to the press being given Bush's unwillingness to meet with the NAACP. The Gay vote, while partially made up of Republican Log Cabin voters, are largely going to be a Democratic constituency this year due to the Republican Party's staunch opposition to Gay civil unions and Gay marriage. And the military vote. In 2000, the motivation for the military to vote will be dwarfed by that witnessed this year. While the military is made up of a majority of Bush supporters according to recent polls, those same supporters were motivated to vote in 2000 and will be again in 2004. The Democratic military vote will be far more motivated to vote this year than in 2000 due to the Swift Boat Veteran's for Truth ads controversy and their negative experience regarding tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. This will increase the Democratic military voters this year over 2000.

And then there is the Democratic wallet voter, who had little motivation to show up at the polls in 2000 based on job and household budget issues. That has all changed in 2004 and it is very likely that Democrats and progressives who did not take the time to vote in 2000 will be highly motivated to turnout this year in response to the controversial jobs and wage declines that have taken place since 2000, and the Lou Dobb's perpetual attacks on exporting American jobs overseas. With recent data out showing the wealthy got wealthier and that millions more in the middle class dropped into the poverty class since 2000, the fears of a declining middle class under the Bush administration is certain to move a great many more Democratic voters to the polls this year who did not show up in 2000.

The Nader wild card!. Much can be argued about whether Nader will siphon Democratic votes on November 2. Having watched closely and participated in blog discussions on this issue, there appears to be some clarity forming on this issue. While anecdotal, there appears to be some unanimity about how Nader voters will vote this November.

If a Nader supporter resides in a state which polls show will unquestionably go to either Bush or Kerry, that supporter is very likely to vote for Ralph Nader. If on the other hand, a Nader supporter resides in a swing state that is up for grabs in the polls, commitment to vote for Nader instead of Kerry drops, significantly. I anticipate that a very large number of the 2 to 6% of Nader supporters in swing states will in fact vote for John Kerry on November 2. Nader has indicated a willingness to reach out to John Kerry this year signaling to voters that perhaps a vote for Kerry is preferable to a vote for Bush. Despite the Democratic Party's attacks and efforts to keep Nader off the ballots, Nader supporters are both anti-incumbent and anti-Bush. It appears clear to this writer the Democrats have little to fear from Ralph Nader in 2004.

There are a myriad of variables that can go into trying to predict an election. And history has shown that making predictions about American elections can make fools of the most enlightened prognosticators. But, rarely has our country been so evenly divided between two political parties and yet have such a huge array of election issues to split them within their own party affiliation. The Republican Party is split on fiscal issues, on foreign relations issues, and now increasingly on the 9/11 Commission recommendations. The Democratic Party is split on gay marriage issues, homeland security, and immigration issues.

As the anti Kerry/anti Bush sentiment reaches a fever pitch over these next 8 weeks, one thing is absolutely certain; there will be little healing and unification of the American people after the election is over. The political divisions are hardening into concrete, and it is going to take an explosive new issue or event to unify the American electorate, if it is to occur again in the foreseeable future.

1 Comments

You might be right about the outcome, but, I still think it is way too early to call one way or the other.

Your site really does carry all the political headline stories... if you maintain it daily, I will be back frequently. Thanks.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 1, 2004 3:49 PM.

The Swift Boat Vets' Catch-22 was the previous entry in this blog.

Zell Miller: A Hateful Speech is the next entry in this blog.

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