Although CBS is being talked about for "Rathergate" more than anything else at the moment, I should bring this new CBS Poll to your attention. Bush leads 49% to 42%. Basic confirmation of all other polls continues, in short. Also note that "The Bush ticket’s four point gain in support after the Convention comes in part from some weakening of Kerry support among Democrats, but especially from gains with independent voters. In this poll, for the first time since last spring, Bush holds a clear lead with Independents." Among Independent Bush leads Kerry, 48-39. Bush also has a 5 point edge over Kerry among women, and his lead with men is 15 points. Also note this: "Bush retains a clear advantage over his opponent in the strength of his support. 64 percent of Bush voters say they strongly support their candidate, compared to 43 percent of Kerry voters who say the same."
Every poll has Bush leading and having picked up substantial support in almost every category of voters. This is devastating news for Kerry’s prospects. Kerry is unable to become a serious candidate, it would seem. I have talked to a few people about this; I’m still trying to understand what his campaign is doing, what they are thinking, and what they are planning to do. As far as I can tell there is no thinking going on. They are beyond panic. Gloom has settled in. They understand that they have: (1) an inferior candidate, (2) they have no themes or issues that Kerry can address with any authority. No one is listening to him. Do you understand how serious and how weird this is? Look, everyone (I mean the Democrats) in Washington has always known that Kerry is an unserious person. (He also happens to be haughty, cold, and lazy). They now think they got this candidate by mistake: they were too focused on the nuances brought about by events in the primary season; would Iraq fall apart, would the economy slide, could the maniac Dean get the nomination, and Kerry was left standing. They knew even then that this was very problematic, but they thought it might work because since Kerry didn’t have any opinions of his own about anything or anyone, all the party leaders (read: Clinton and his people) thought they could influence him. And they did, on everything. He places Edwards on the ticket because he was told to, he talks about this and that because he was told to; he talks to Clinton the night before the surgery, and Clinton makes sure the world knows what advice he has given him, etc. Kerry puts up with it all. He does what he is told. Many in the party are now thinking that this may be a long term plan of the Clintons. Lose this election, what the Hell; even Hillary couldn’t have won it. And now--they are left hoping--that Kerry will not lose in a landslide. It is best for Hillary that he loses a close election. But, alas, everything is now confirming their worst suspicions: Kerry will lose in a landslide. Hence the gloom. Pay attention to polls from states like New Jersey, California, even New York. Once they start going South, (Kerry dropped 6 points in New Jersey, for example) honest and public despair will set in. Never mind the effect of the forged documents! It will take some effort to rebuild this moribund party, thats for sure; unless you just want to leave it as a plaything for the Clintons for the next decade or two.