This is CNNs tally of the electoral votes: Bush 301, Kerry 237. (The numbers include solid leads as well as leaning toward.) Although CNN claims that the margin remains unchanged from last week, they maintain that Kerrys threatening Bushs lead in a number of battleground states. And this is RealClearPolitics version: Bush 264, Kerry 220. Real Clear has a useful chart. Pay special attention to Ohio, Iowa, and New Mexico (all are in the toss-up category according to Real Clear) during the next seven or eight days. Or, to put it more clearly, if Bush takes Ohio, Kerry cant win. And, if Kerry takes Ohio, Bush can still win.
Kerry will not take Ohio.
Moe, IIRC Ive seen you assert at least once before in these comments that Kerry will not take Ohio.
I would like to share your confidence, but can you explain its grounds? Do you have some special inisght into the situation in Ohio that you can share with us? Im not asking to be a smart-aleck, I honestly would like to know, and to hear any information you might have, and I bet others would too.
FWIW, Jay Cost, a self-described conservative and U of Chicago grad student whos generally skeptical of polls, reads the auguries based on precisely where in Ohio Kerry has been spending his time, and posits an interesting theory at
Bush has gained in the Washington Post polls over the last week.
PJC, I dont think it requires any special insight to figure out why Kerry will lose in Ohio. It is simply not a "battleground" in any respect, except that the media has dubbed it one. (1) Bush has consistently led there by a larger margin than many of the states that are considered locks for Kerry. (2) All of the states prominent politicians are Republican. While some local scandals may hurt Republicans a bit, I would rather have Bob Taft and Jim Petro campaigning for me than . . . no one. (3) In fact, the only well-known Democrat in the state is Jane Campbell, and she is well-known primarily for laying of teachers, policemen, and EMTs. (4) Most Republican incumbents, including Senator Voinovich, face only token opposition.
To the extent that Kerry has campaigned in Ohio, much of what he has said indicates that he is totally clueless. For example, he has given numerous speeches in Youngstown where he blames the citys economy on the alleged "Bush Recession." Apparently, Kerrys speech writers never bothered to do even minimal reserach on the city, or they would have known that the job losses he was referring to actually occurred in the early-1980s. The voters are not as easily fooled by this silly rhetoric as are the reporters at CBS.
...Which is why George McKelvey (the Democratic mayor of Youngstown) is supporting Bush -- Kerrys rhetoric is based in untruth. Youngstown has been dying for years, decades even. Its glory days were a long time ago; Bush didnt shutter all those steel mills. The mills began closing in the 1980s, not after Bush was elected. In fact, Youngstowns economy improved slightly and briefly under Bush, when he introduced the anti-dumping tariffs against foreign steel.
Still, I would bet that the majority of Mahoning County votes for Kerry.
Seen yesterday on Interstate 77 in Stark County: A 15-passenger van full of Amish men (no doubt coming home from work) drove past in rush hour. The men were holding up homemade cardboard-Magic Marker signs that read: "Vote 4 Bush."
Even the Amish are out campaigning!
Ah, now we can rest easy. Most officeholders in Ohio are Republicans, so Bush will win there.
I dont find the existence of GOP officeholders to be a very compelling reason to think W will carry a state, either. (Anyone remember how Ridge and Engler were supposed to "deliver" PA and MI to W in 2000?)
OTOH, Moes comment about polls looks to be on the money.
As a commenter named Barry at Jay Costs excellent Horserace Blog just pointed out:
"out of 21 polls [taken in Ohio] since the start of August, only the Trib, a poll commissioned by ACT, and consistently Dem-weighted Zogby have shown Kerry leading."
You can read the whole of this comment and the post by Jay that inspired it at