Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Kerry’s electoral college problem

Steve Hayward notes the Riley Poll found that Bush is leading among likely voters in Oregon 48-43% (a month ago in a Riley poll it was Bush 46-45%) and Oregon may well be shaky for Kerry. Gore won Oregon by only 3,000 votes in 2000. Steve may well be right and this leads to a small thought. Along with Oregon keep your eye on the following states won by Gore in 2000: Wisconsin (by circa 5,000 votes), Iowa (by 4,000 votes), and New Mexico (by 400 votes). The short of it is that should Kerry lose any one of these states, he can’t be elected because there is no serious movement in his direction in any state that Bush won in 2000! To repeat what you already know: Kerry has to take every state Gore took plus add one that Bush won. For a while the Kerry campaign thought they had a chance to take Missouri (no) or North Carolina (no) or maybe even Lousiana (no). Although they are pretending that they have a chance in Nevada and Colorado, I don’t see it. Now they are in the position of having to struggle just to keep what Gore had! This is what the elite media means when they say that the battleground states have shrunk to about eight or nine; Kerry’s opportunities are progressively more limited. Bush is ahead in most polls in Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Mexico (and now Oregon?). It is not yet a serious argument for Democrats (or NBC or CNN) to make that the race is so close in Colorado or Nevada or Ohio that Kerry has a serious chance. Bush leads in all three (although Zogby shows Kerry up by one point in Nevada, and there is a bit of variation of polls in Ohio). Please note the latest poll from New Jersey: the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll finds Kerry leading 44-42% among decided voters, but "when leaners are included in the race" it is 46-46%. This explains why Bush is heading to New Jersey (and why is he going to Michigan, I wonder?). How would I advise Kerry, given all this? Plant yourself in Ohio for the next two weeks, it’s your only shot (and yet it may not be enough even if you take Ohio). If Bush takes Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), Iowa (7), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7) and--maybe--even New Jersey (15) for a total of 44 electoral votes, it doesn’t matter if Kerry takes Ohio (or Bush could just replace the 20 electoral votes lost with Ohio with Wisonsin (10), Iowa (7), and New Mexico (5). There is too much territory for Kerry to cover and he will not be able to do it. It doesn’t matter how much CBS and the others try to cover this up. Take a look at the useful map with the latest state polls at
Tripias and all the useful information at Realclear politics.

Discussions - 7 Comments

Yes, Peter, and another implication of Kerry being forced to put all his chips on Ohio is that he will effectively have to concede Florida.

And on top of that, a frenzied Kerry effort in OH will leave the field open for Bush to pick off some of those "blue leaners."

In short, there’s a real chance in these last two weeks for Bush to spread the Kerry campaign very thin and roll up its flanks or punch through its defenses at poorly held spots.

This could be highly significant because a 300+ EV total for Bush will make it very hard for the Dems to "cry havoc and let slip the lawyers of electoral theft" on November 3.

If things are loking so good , why doen’t GW take a swing to S. Dekota (or other close senate race states) where a single strong appearance may put Thune over the top and make it easier to govern for the next 4 years?

Mike: A prefectly reasonable question and if I were advising Bush, I would advise him to go and help Thune. Of course, it is arguable that neither Rove or Thune think this is necessary. The latest poll has it a tie (Oct 12), and on Sept 29th Thune was leading by 4%. I expect a poll in a few days.

Richard Burr in NC might be able to use W’s help against Erskine Bowles--who like many shrew state- and local-level Dem candidates this year, is running as if he’s never heard of John Kerry.

If Bush really does begin to surge away with this--as the latest CNN polls suggests might be happening (knock on wood)--I think we will see some Bush "coattails visits" in the days to come.

That said, Lisa Murkowski in Alaska will probably still not get a Bush visit, even if her race against Tony Knowles remains tight!

And while we’re playing "What if W called me for advice," wouldn’t you like to see Mayor Rudy and Gov. Arnold barnstorm New Jersey this week right after W’s visit? I know I would.

I came to comments to ask the same question as PJC: when and where will the Bush campaign unleash Rudy? He’s popular nationwide, and could have a huge impact wherever he speaks.

Also to be considered: Kerry doesn’t necessarily make gains where he spends time. His campaign appearances may energize his supporters, but he also tends to alienate "persuadable" voters. A good look at Kerry makes many people say, "Yech," even if they may have problems with Bush.

Peyton: Your last point is especially important. I also have maintained that the more people get to see of Kerry the less they like him (this explains why his percentage never actually goes up much). While this seems to be less true of those who already support him, it is, as you say, especially true of those seventeen undecided voters. I also think that even those who will vote for him are utterly unenthusiastic. Nobody likes him.

Ohio’s registered 700,000 new voters (according to Sec. of State Ken Blackwell) and there are reports of college students changing their voter registration from their state of origin to battleground Ohio. And believe me, there are a LOT of colleges and universities in this state. Most new registrants tend to vote Democratic and in ’00, Bush got 2,351,209 Ohio votes to Gore’s 2,186,190. If half of the new registrants vote (i.e. 350,000) and if 70% of them vote Kerry, then that’s 245,000 Kerry votes which would probably give the state to Kerry.

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