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Democracy Corps Post-Debate Panel Survey Gives Kerry Solid Win

Democracy Corps, which has been conducting the most extensive post-debate surveys, using larger and more representative national samples than the other public polls, finds John Kerry a solid winner in last night's debate. Here are their key findings:

· Kerry wins debate by 8 points (45 to 37 percent).

· Kerry moves up his vote margin over Bush by 2 points.

· Kerry makes significant gains in personal favorability.

· Kerry made his biggest gains on likeability, giving people confidence, and having clear plans.

· Kerry won especially strongly in the swing electorate -- independents, the undecided, and battleground state voters.

You can find the full results from the survey here.


I'd hate to be a Bush handler at this point. Looks like they're gonna have to get their boy ready for his third trip to the woodshed. (No pun intended, really. The "I got wood" line is best left to Bob Dole ).

Good data, in line with what we actually experienced last evening. I thought it a solid Kerry win, was very put off by Bush's "dingo-like" behavior during the first 45 minutes of the debate. Several of the media pundits, in an apparently desperate attempt to salvage this for Bush, glossed over his aggressive, impolite mannerisms, his non sequiturs, and of course novel use of the language ("internets" "curing stem cells," etc.). A more sober analysis points to another conclusive win for Kerry on both style and substance points, which is verified by this polling data.

Ruy, nice to see these results. Here's my thoughts from the debate...

George Bush cannot admit to making any mistakes, takes no responsibility for mistakes, and places blame on everyone else. Bush comes across as stubborn spoiled child in a man's suit and sounded like he was lecturing a class of 5th graders who had misbehaved and had dared to question the teacher. Bush’s empty verbal assaults, name calling, and hysterical attacks showed his lack of credibility and simplistic comprehension of the issues. I wonder if Bush talks to foreign leaders in the harsh, lecturing, condescending tones in order to look strong and manly.

There can be no doubt after watching and hearing the arrogant and immature tirades of George Bush that he is unfit to keep his job. Bush also gave no vision for the future but more of the same.

John Kerry was intelligent, sincere, honest, presidential and his debate performance is going to resonate with undecided voters. He showed deep knowledge and comprehension of the issues and spoke to the audience in a respectful way. Kerry also showed a good sense of humor by laughing during Bush's environmental speech which was atrocious. Kerry is prepared, competent, forthright and deserves to lead our country the next four years. Kerry has a plan for change which is sorely needed for this country.

Interesting that this poll has equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans, yet shows Kerry ahead. (Consistent with that, it also shows the panel having voted for Bush by 4%, but this may not be meaningful since people often say after an election that they voted for the winner when they didn't.)

I have not seen any detailed explanation of Greenberg's weighting methodology. Can anyone point me to a reference?

I think the comments above are very cogent and significant. I hope that all ofyou will write letters to the editor with your opinions.

Bush looked a bit better than last time, but not by much. His attempts at humor didn't seem to go off very well. Still, he expressed his basic belief clearly enough: the way to "grow the economy" is to give the corporate world what it wants, low taxes and no regulations.
There it is, for us to argue and vote against.

Kerry was good again. I'd have liked to see a more pointed defense of Edwards and the trial bar, something like "There's no reason a trial lawyer can't support controls on frivolous lawsuits. The president wants you to think all trial lawyers engage in frivolous lawsuits. That's because the insurance and health-care companies say all lawsuits against them by ordinary people are frivolous. Tell me which of Sen. Edwards' trials you consider frivolous. The one where that girl was hideously mangled by a pool drain (etc.)?"

On the other hand, if Gore were our candidate, we'd have had this exchange:
"I've heard these rumors over the Internets..."
"That's Internet, Mr. President. Just one."
"Oh, that's right. And you invented it. I forgot."

Got wood?

It appeared to be a victory for Kerry. Got a real kick out of Bush's statement that they had increased the wetlands by three million. Three million what? My family roared with laughter.

Concerned this AM that Rasmussen's tracking poll has a nearly four point margin for Bush after having run one to two points since the first debate. Of course, they do not have #2 debate results rolled in. Rasmussen has Rep leanings but I have found their results to be in line with the averages of the other polls. Also, they have Florida for Bush by more than five points and have given Bush the electoral votes.

I know it is still close as close can be, but some of the state polls are concerning me. You can take all the national polls you want, but it is those battleground states that matter. I still see a slight advantage for Bush.

I cannot believe how easily fooled people are by platitudes and zingers. The King has no clothes and he is barking mad about it. His Prime Minister is busy cooking up dirty tricks.

I couldn't figure out what Bush was trying to accomplish with his hyper-aggressive performance in the second debate. Initially, I thought that he was simply overcompensating for his failure in the first matchup. He could barely keep still. It was as if he transferred all the nervous energy of the first debate from his face to his arms and legs. What this peformance lacked in facial tics, it more than made up for in toddler-style hyperactivity. What was with the jumping and gesturing and jabbing at the air? And, for heaven's sake, the yelling? Do we like politicians who yell?

It wasn't until this morning that I figured out that last night's performance was more of the same of what we have been seeing on the campaign trail: red meat for the base. At times, Bush seemed positively annoyed by the audience at Washington University. He wasn't trying to appeal to them. He was speaking (and yelling and jumping and jabbing) to the same people who were yelling and cheering and laughing and jeering during the "policy speech" that Bush conned the cable nets into airing last week.

How odd is it that three weeks from election day, Bush is still shoring up his base?

I read this as a pre-Friday night poll as it ask if the respondents plan to watch the debate. It is never clearly stated although its title is 2nd Debate Frequency Poll. Did I miss something? Did they have a poll earlier on Friday and then did a post poll immediately after? It is a bit confusing to me without a good explanation to better explain the context.

Encouraging to see these numbers. I think Kerry did well but can do even better. In advance of the domestic issues debate we know what Bush's case is going to be and so have time to prepare some snappy rejoinders that he won't be able to counter. I thought cloudy's points on that in one of the other threads were well taken re the environment and the jobs statistics.

Re Bush's attempts to label him as a, gasp, liberal, Kerry and his people may want to embrace a definition of liberalism that he gives (as an alternative to, a la Clinton, trying to define himself as a 'different kind of liberal', which to me looks like a weaker approach). He could say words to the effect that:

"George, you seem eager to call me a liberal. My definition of a liberal is someone who favors opportunity for all Americans to achieve their dreams rather than huge tax and other harmful giveaways to special interests and the wealthiest 1% of Americans, which is the disastrous reality of your policies. My definition of a liberal is someone who multiplies the enormous power of our military by building strong alliances to effectively secure the peace, bring our adversaries to justice, and address global problems which demand an engaged United States leading the world towards a brighter future, rather than alienating it. My definition of a liberal is someone who believes our country can do better than we've done these past four years, and who views the deceptions, scare tactics, and tired excuses that have characterized your campaign and Administration as beneath our great country. I welcome talk about our respective values and philosophy--and I want the American people to know what I mean by liberalism, George."

Explicit talk of values are still largely missing from JK's responses. Maybe that isn't an opportunity lost. But if they decide they want to better define JK's values, here are a few possibilities that could highlight some of the important distinctions:

*incorporating Edwards' message about valuing, respecting and supporting work, not just wealth,

*stressing his comfort with entertaining all points of view as a way to get the best approaches to solving problems, versus the Bush Administration's self-deception, fear and efforts to suppress the truth about Iraq, the economy, and the war on terror (which we are not winning), which has made it impossible for it to acknowledge, let alone correct, mistakes

*stressing his lifelong record of fighting corruption, as a prosecutor and later as a senator exposing misconduct, contrasted with the current Administration's willingness to let big corporations rewrite regulations and dictate Administration policies to serve their own narrow interests rather than the broad public interest.

*stating that one reason he believes so deeply in democracy is that it provides the best chance for correcting mistakes, whereas this Administration's version of how democracy is supposed to work is to dismiss all dissent at home and abroad when it even bothers to listen to it.

I don't find it at all odd that Bush is still trying to shore up his base three weeks before Election Day. At this juncture Turning Out the Base is the only card left to play for the Shrubites. That, and negative campaigning, of which we can expect a good deal from now until 11/2.

Rove and Co. are probably kicking themselves that they didn't hold the Swift Boat thing in reserve until October instead of unleashing it six weeks earlier. But then they probably figured that Shrub would put Kerry down for the count in the foreign policy debate and the rest would simply be mopping up.


I wonder if the pundits will also charge Bush for "reinventing himself", as they did with Al Gore. (Fat chance.) But at least the "fibbing" problems are all his this time around. The "wood" lie will come in handy for Saturday Night Live, Leno and Lettermann. Like Cheney's "never seen you before", this will further diminish his performance and the bravado the (right wing) pundits so admired yesterday.

The numbers may be much closer than with the last debate but a win is a win is a win. And seeing the Coulter bunch struggle with margin of error is enough to make you smile. After all, the CNN ancors even pointed out, that their Gallup numbers may reflect a "partisan audience". Who would have thought?

They used to say that debates don't really matter, remember? "Go figure", as John Kerry would say.

Since the spin on a debate is as least (if not more) important than the actual debate please take the advice of the person upthread and write, write, write. Letters to the editor,and letters to the media help determine the spin. Bush's display of bad manners and his shouting are good talking points.

I don't believe Bush is attempting to appeal to his base in the debates so much as he is incapable of changing his methods.

Bush is a victim of his own ego. For almost 4 years, he has used the Secret Service like the SS, a goon squad that had politics on it mind. He only surrounded himself with fawning followers, so now he CAN'T get out of the mental web he and his handlers have created for him.

He cannot understand the questions, he does not have answers. He's a doll with a string you pull, and some prerecorded gobblydeegook comes out.


If yelling that crap at undecideds would have sold them, it would have sold them by now.

Bush simply cannot answer most questions because he doesn't know the answer. He knows the answer he's programmed to give on that topic, and when gets off of it, his words betray HIS mind as one which doesn't know diddly squat.

Demo Corp panel?? Give me a break. I "know" that panel was real impartial. Perhaps you can post info about the CNN panel - The one that said 13 out of 15 liked GWB and zero liked Kerry.

But all you need to know that GWB won is when lefty bloggers like Josh Marshall & Kos are calling it a "tie", and left wing newspapers in France, Germany, UK and most of Europe suggesting GWB wiped the floor with the guy - See below.

Oct 9, 2004

Joshua Livestro in the Netherlands sends this sum-up of the EuroPress on the debate: The Netherlands: Centre-left Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad says “Bush looked relaxed and energized.” Headline: “President on a roll in heated debate.”

Centre-right newspaper De Telegraaf says Bush restored his credibility with last night’s performance, noting he looked “cheerful and confident.”

Belgium: “Bush fires live rounds at Kerry in second debate,” according to De Morgen. The article says Bush was defensive in the first debate, but very much on the offensive second time round.

France: “Bush plays an offence game,” says Le Figaro.

Even the left-wing Le Monde admitted Bush looked “less hesitant and more aggressive than in the first debate.”

Germany: The left-wing FAZ states that “Bush posted a much improved performance,” noting that Bush was much more aggressive than in the first debate.”

German newspaper Bild uses as a headline Bush’s remark that he just couldn’t see how Kerry could lead the US at a time of war and uncertainty. It also quotes vox pops of American voters saying they were impressed with the aggressive way in which Bush responded to the attacks of his challenger.

England “Bush bounces back,” says The Times. “Mr Bush gave a stronger performance than his tense and stumbling effort in the first encounter.”

ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "I Think President Bush Was Most Effective, Is When He Brought People Into The Oval Office, Talked About Meeting With The Iraqi Finance Minister, Talking About Going To The Situation Room And Talking To General Tommy Franks, And Then, Finally, Also, Bringing Up Senator Kerry's Senate Record. But You Did See, I Think, A Lot Of Skill Out There Tonight." (ABC's "Special Coverage," 10/8/04)
Charles Franklin, University Of Wisconsin: “Kerry Was Way Too Wordy And Bush Was Folksy, Feisty.” (Ron Fournier, “Bush Fights Against Emotion, Scowls In Testy, Personal Debate With Kerry,” The Associated Press, 10/8/04)

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "The President Did Well" And Exuded An "Air Of Confidence." (MSNBC's "Hardball," 10/8/04)

CNN's Candy Crowley: "I Think This Keeps The Game Open. … I Do Think That Bush Certainly Came To Play Tonight, Certainly Put In A Strong Performance." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 10/8/04)

Time Magazine's Perry Bacon: "The President Actually Did Better, Did Stronger, And Put Kerry On The Defensive On The Domestic Section." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 10/8/04)

National Review's Stanley Kurtz: "I Think The President Won This Debate – Certainly As A Matter Of Momentum And Beating Expectations, But In An Absolute Sense As Well." (Stanley Kurtz, National Review's "Corner" Website, www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/corner.asp, 10/8/04)

The Weekly Standard's Steven Hayes Said "I Would Say That President Bush Won The Debate, And For Me, It Was Actually A Rather Decisive Win." (CSPAN's "Special Coverage," 10/8/04)

CBS's Bob Schieffer: "I Thought The Best Part Of The President's Presentation Tonight Was His Closing Statement, When He Truly Seemed To Be Speaking From The Heart." (CBS's "Special Coverage," 10/9/04)

The Washington Post: "President Bush Sharpened His Performance Considerably." (John F. Harris, "Candidates' Differences On Vivid Display In Debate," The Washington Post, 10/9/04)

Howard Fineman, Newsweek: "There Were A Number Of Points I Thought Where The President Really Put Kerry On The Defensive." (MSNBC's "Special Coverage," 10/9/04)

Howard Fineman, Newsweek: President Bush Made "Kerry Feel Uncomfortable About His Own Record." (MSNBC's "Special Coverage," 10/9/04)

US News And World Report Magazine's Michael Barone: "I Give President Bush An A." (Fox News's "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren," 10/9/04)

The Washington Post's Tom Shales: "Bush Came Through As More Passionate In His Beliefs Than His Challenger And Covered A Lot More Territory As He Moved Around The Stage." (Tom Shales, "Bush And Kerry Come Out Of Their Corners," The Washington Post, 10/9/04)

Still hugely concerned about the Rasmussen numbers, which now have Shrub at 50%. Granted, this poll was conducted mostly before last night's debate, but even so...Rasmussen has shown no improvement for Kerry at all. He's been consistently 2-4 points behind ever since the GOP convention.

Rove and Co. aren't kicking themselves over bringing the Swift Boat stuff out too early, as angry blue planet suggests. I wish it were so. Instead, they are upping the ante. Apparently, Sinclair Broadcasting is planning on showing a 90 minute "documentary" on Kerry (essentially a 90 minute swift boat ad) days before the election. Sinclair has stations all over the country, including swing states Ohio and Florida. Check out Josh Marshall's site, www. talkingpointsmemo.com, for more info.

Living in The Hague, I had to stay up very late to watch the second debate last night, but it was well worth it. Like most Dutch I sincerely hope Kerry will prevail. To a dutch mind like mine, it seems strange that the candidate who brings substance to the debate is not automatically declared the outright winner. I recognise Bush was a lot better than in the first debate, but Kerry looked far more presidential and kept Bush on the defense for most of the time. I only worry about the taxpledge he so eagerly made. This might come to haunt him in four years time when he is up for reelection. Or does he really think he can fix half of the deficit without raising middle-class income taxes? Well, anyways, lets first win this thing. Nice website! I visit several times a day. Keep up the good work, and sorry I can't do anything to help (the only expat I know has to cast his absentee ballot in Texas. He never voted before, but now says he wants to be able to say that he didn't vote for Bush)

Sorry to enter your cocoon, but Kerry is getting savaged on the Rep Blogs and locallly in key states for his copndescending remarks about only 3 people - Not including his wife - make over $200,000 per year, himself, GWB and the moderator. That is the kind of haughty, brahmin type statements that turn off swing voters IMO.

For evidence, you can look at the thinking of these 4 undecided voters interviewed by the NY Post.
Prior to the debate, 3 were for Kerry and 1 was undecided; After the debate, 1 was for GWB, 1 for Kerry and 2 undecided. In other words, from this small group, Kerry lost 2 votes.

The print version of the paper (Sat, Oct 9) has commentary from the 4, regarding how the debate went and why 3 of them changed their minds. The voters comments are not available on line. If anyone gets a chance, you may want to pick up the print version. And this is from undecideds in Liberal NY. Powerful stuff.


New York Post

Undecided Voters Speak Out

Amanda Norman
Age: 21
Residence: Manhattan
Party: Independent
Before: Leaning Kerry
After: Back in the middle

John Bonevich
Age: 62
Residence: Manhattan
Party: Independent
Before: Undecided
After: Leaning Bush

Philippe Cu Leong
Age: 34
Residence: Brooklyn
Party: Republican
Before: Leaning Kerry
After: Leaning Kerry

Richard Clarkson
Age: 41
Residence: Manhattan
Party: Independent
Before: Leaning Kerry
After: Back in the middle

As we have been discussing, they are going super negative. Check out the Los Angeles Time article: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-sinclair9oct09,1,2158323.story?coll=la-home-politics

I think the goal of the other side at this point is supression of the vote by using negative campaiging to turn people off to voting (assuming their base will not care and vote regardless, but those middle of the road people will be so turned off as to not show up). What is unclear to me is how they can force stations to air a partisan program without running into trouble w/ the FCC and FEC.

Smooth Jazz-

Too funny. The quotes about the debate definitely remind me of the movie reviews with ellipses. I read Shales and the Washington Post reports and they were not nearly as favorable about Bush as you portray.

And imagine my shock that right wing blogs are savaging Kerry. What else do they know to do?


Thanks for the information. Interesting that this was a poll that didn't seem to have more Dems.

In response to Angry Blue Planet, it seems that Rove just might have another stunt up his sleeve according Talking Points;

Hmmm. Karl Rove tells Sean Hannity about 'October Surprise' he's working on. "We've got a couple of surprises that we intend to spring," says Rove.

-- Josh Marshal

His site has the link. Maybe it's JK's Vietnamese love child. Don't laugh! They are getting desperate.

I also was curious (concerned) about the Rasmussen results today--that Bush is at 50% for the first time. I can't figure out where this race is, but that felt ominous.


Smooth Jazz,

Let's be realistic, of course the Freepers are going to fry JK for something. I think it is much healthier to not read any of their sites. I gave that up a long time ago. The mainstream "undecided" is not blogging. They are stretched out on the couch watching Wife Swap. The bloggers are very decided.

As for the NY Post respondents; first it's the NY Post, the Fox News of print, of course they are going to go to great lengths to find somebody, anybody who has "switched" from Kerry to Bush. But let's take a look a ourselves, haven't we all on occasion taken polls where we said we were Bush supporters to give same impression? By the way I work in Manhattan, you'd have to go under a rock to find a Bush supporter.

I think we can not get too caught up in this too much. Let's do what we can to help the cause and not lose too much sleep. I bet JK sleeps at night and so should we.

And a final note to all, it's great to read our thoughts here and this a terrific site, but if time is tight, it's better to spend our time writing letters to the editors of our papers and calling our local and national media out on their bias reporting.

Keep the faith.

I can't claim to be an expert on the European press.

But Smooth Jazz might have pointed out that Le Figaro's take on the debate comes from the French equivalent of the Washington Times. And whatever else it is Le Monde is definitely NOT "left wing".

SJ -- how long did it take the Bush campaign to send you those talking points?

Smooth Jazz --

I can quote pundits, too!

(From the Daily Kos)

Pundits agree: BUSH WAS ANGRY!

Andrew Sullivan: "There were moments early on... when he seemed to me to be close to shouting; and his hyper-aggressiveness, having to respond to everything, went at times over the line of persuasiveness."

Ron Forunier, AP: "As he fought to keep his emotions in check in a testy, personal debate with Sen. John Kerry, the president asserted 'That answer almost made me scowl.'... Several answers brought Bush's emotions to the surface, for better or worse, as he sought to curb Kerry's momentum.... Bush was the most aggressive, at one point overrunning moderator Charles Gibson's attempt to pose a question.."

David Niven, political science professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton (from the above article):"Bush seemed wound a bit too tight. He was a little like Nixon sort of jumping out of his suit... He looked bad on the TV close-ups.""

Jonah Goldberg, National Review: "WHY DOES BUSH... Sound like he's angry at the guy asking about making drugs cheaper?

Paul Begala, CNN: "Good debate. The press will say it's a draw, but I think Kerry bested Bush -- or rather Bush made a few errors. Two words for President Bush: anger management. He spent much of the debate nearly yelling at the audience."

John Whitesides, Reuters: "An angry Bush at one point cut off moderator Charles Gibson to upbraid Kerry for criticising the size of the coalition backing the United States in Iraq, saying it denigrated allies like Britain and Poland."

Beth Gorham, CBC News: "It all added up to a major challenge for the president, who appeared angry and defensive during attacks from Kerry in a tense sparring match on Sept. 30 that was watched by some 62 million Americans."

Oliver Willis: "BUSH FLIPS OUT: Click here to watch your President flip out of his gourd. I've never seen anything like it.

Billmon (back from the dead): "If Kerry and the Dems can't make an issue out of the fact that the president of the United States is utterly incapable of controlling his hairtrigger temper, they don't deserve to win this election... I mean, the man is a walking time bomb."

David Paul Kuhn, CBSNews.com: "BUSH MAD, KERRY COMPOSED... Though Mr. Bush was more composed than in last week's first presidential debate, all agreed his tone was sometimes antagonistic and he again appeared uncomfortable being challenged. Kerry, on the other hand, was viewed as measured and articulate. " ---

And might I add, Smooth Jazz, that nearly every article I've read like the ones you've cited went on to credit Kerry with a strong performance, and give him the edge. Particularly where it counts: looking presidential.

How sad the Bush people have to work so hard to spin this into a victory.

Based on the three debates, the Kerry camp has kots of fuel and I am sure that both bush and cheney will provide more before the elections. Both bush and cheney served up enough lies that if carefully debunked can earn Kerry a few permanent points. This bush team has no integrity or class even. They would snatch Charlies Microphone, no matter what the rules are.

The polls should certainly show a more defined Kerry lead in about 5 -7 days. I think a few other folks will make decisions after the feuding that usually takes place for the 3 or 4 days after each debate. I suspect that whoever can gets legs on their messages from the debate will carry the larger batch of the undecideds during that 7 day period.

In this regard, Kerry should have a few digits of a lead... 2 - 5 points I expect.

I am not too worried about any October surprise. The Kerry camp simply needs to prepare to offer instant rebuttals. Any surprise has to come in the form of tangible proof, physical evidence, something to hold, to see and to touch. Any stories which offer a ray of speculation will be dismissed by the public as another batch of Bush/Rove lies.

Lets imagine that they produce a bin ladin kinda surprise, this still wont guarantee a bush surge because by the public is fullly aware that any such move will be pure campaigning politics and nothing to do with the terror war. In the same light that they saw the Iraqi PM as a campaign messenger, they just might see the October surprise in similar vane and hence Bush just might get negative traction. I am sure bush handlers have to weigh this possibility very carefully.

My only concern then is for the Kerry camp to be in such a state of readiness that they can offer instant rebuttals and kill the issue.

>And imagine my shock that right wing blogs are savaging Kerry. What else do they know to do?

Here are are a couple of conservative blogs that are leaning Kerry:




A bit off course but read the above and you will see that bush aint assured of having his base this time around. Seems to me that he will be losing people like smooth jazz and may other genuine conservatives.. give a read.

Kerry is doing just fine. No matter what the polls think.. or say.

Smooth Jazz,
All I know is you thought Bush did very well the first debate. Oh, and I'm supposed to worry about a NYPost focus groups in New York?

Face it: Kerry destroyed Bush in the first debate for the simple reason that the straw man version of John Kerry the wimpy flip-flopper built up with $150 million in Republican money was dismantled in 90 minutes. Bush's bumbling was just icing on the cake, enough to worry the GOP faithful. In the second debate Bush didn't fumble quite as miserably as the first debate so the Republicans can be less ashamed of their nominee. But more importantly, Kerry confirmed for voters again that he is as steadfast and Presidential as he was in the first debate. Bush needed to not only improve decisively but Kerry needed to flop miserably in order for the momentum from the first debate to shift back toward Bush. But as your friends at Fox News pointed out that didn't happen.


Hyperlink dude, hyperlink please. And don't forget to send Kaus a thank you for the word "cocoon".


My guess is that after all the wonderful gains for Bush your sources believe were realized after Friday's debate that you will be sad to see an Ipsos poll that screens out people who did not watch this debate.

We will all be watching this space for your stern admonishments of this practice (or lack of it?).

Now I'm new to these "internets", but don't them on the internets typers call what you do "trollering"?

:roll eyes:

SJ, why the capitalization?

Is it to make the quotes look as if they were taken from headlines and not just selectively quoted from the text?

Listen folks,

Kerry is going to win. I am convinced of this.

How do I know this? Very simple - demographics. The fact that Republicans thought that Bush won the debate is irrelevant. Undecideds and swing voters gave the edge to Kerry. Democrats gave the edge to Kerry. Only republicans gave the edge to Bush.

The dynamics of this race remain unchanged. That's why Rove is talking about "October Surprises." These dynamics help Kerry.

Some facts, if the proportion of people vote the same way in 2004 as they did in 2000 - then every poll shows Kerry winning it.

By that I mean: 38% Dems; 34% Republicans; 28% independant.

In the last four elections, this has been the turnout ratio (or thereabouts). What makes people think that it will change now?

Second, DEMOGRAPHICS - according to the 2000 US census, the number of Christian Conservative has decreased in terms of population; while the numbers of blacks and hispanics have grown.

In fact, according to the 2000 census, if every demographic group votes the same way in 2004 as they did in 2000, the Democrats will recieve about a 4% advantage. Also, it is fair to say that there is no group within the "Democratic coalition" that have abandoned the Democrats. Hispanics are actually supporting Kerry more than they did Gore. The same is true of Jewish Americans.

Finally, REGISTRATION. On this count the Democrats have handed the Republicans their ass. In swing state after swing state, we are outregistering "our voters" by larger numbers than the GOP.

Therefore, since Democrats do better among independants than in 2004 than 2000, since Kerry actually does better than Gore among Democrats and Bush does the same among Republicans, there is only one conclusion you can reach.

The only way Bush wins this election is by getting more Republicans to vote than Democrats. With the reasoning I used above, I do not see how this happens.

I predict the Democrats will have a 5 to 10% advantage in turnout. Thus, Kerry will win convincingly.

Its really interesting to read the emails, reports and posts from die hard conservatives who are literally back tracking away from Bush and are determined to vote for Kerry. From influential people like Bob Barr to the ordinary conservative on the street.


Its quite obvious that the three debates have had a greater effect and impact than the polls are letting on. Its also true that the conservative base never bothered to do their own research about Kerry and hence simply towed the Bush line.

Now that they have seen and heard the man, they are now parsing his words, listening to the messages and are now realising that he has a decent message and plan for all americans. They are now realising that there is no shame in voting for Kerry. They are now coming to the understanding that Kerry is truly interested in speaking the truth, rebuilding america's leadership position in the world, quelling the violence in the middle east, creating a true alliance and making america prosperous at home and abroad.

I am certain that in the coming days, other die hards like smooth jazz and company will take a bit more time to review Kerry's positions and messages, while coming to the understanding that bush is a total waste of time in every sense of the word.

Its even more interesting to watch conservative writers, newspapers and bloggers start to endorse the man.... JOHN KERRY.


The spin cycle in full swirl.

I did a bit of informal polling. Here are my results.

Brother Tim & Wife - Detroit Suburbans (3 daughters) - one registered Democrat one recovering Republican - on Saturday morning Tim called to celebrate another Kerry/Edwards victory. 2 Kerry 0 Bush

Brother John & Wife - two upscale Atlanta citizens - 2 registered Republicans. John does not trust either candidate they both give him the creeps. His lovely wife comes from the land of entitlement - you know the type - America belongs to the Americans as they drive their Honda Accords and live in their 4,000 square foot home (more or less compliments of her inheritance) - no concern for American workers (you know those horrible unions). Well, Jonh is not going to vote and his wife, if she finds the time, will vote for Bush.
Kerry 0 Bush 1 (soft) and an unspent ballot

Brother Bob and his wife (Grand Rapids, MI)- they are the true split ticket. He is a big deal HR guy - who called me several years ago to ask if there really is a health care crisis and his wonderful Democratic wife. They have two voting age sons (college students in Houson, TX). Bob is a knee jerk who will vote for Bush/Cheney - his wife will vote for Kerry/Edwards. I suspect if the boys vote in Texas they will vote Bush/Cheney.
Kerry 1 Bush 1 Unknown 2

Sister Sue and her husband David (Rural Michigan) are born again and will vote for Bush/Cheney. They have two married sons - all four are Kerry/Edwards voters. (I believe my sister refers to them as Marxists - my influence. I have tried to explain she has no idea what a Marxist is - she only knows we are Godless. I am writing this before going to mass.)
Kerry 4 Bush 2

My sister Liz and estranged husband (Cleveland, Ohio) are too, too cool and successful to vote. They are also in the entitlement class (Volvo drivers).
Kerry 0 Bush 0

Brother Kevin (Charleston, SC) marches to the beat of a different drummer. An historian of a time long gone who opts out of the francise.
Kerry 0 Bush 0

Brother Emmett and his wife (Boston, MA). They listen to Rush and believe Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster. They too live in the lap of excess and indulgence.
Kerry 0 Bush 2

Daughters Mindy and Kate and their husbands (Michigan) all four are Kerry/Edwrds voters. All four are involved in "get out the vote efforts." And all four drive American cars.
Kerry 4 Bush 0

Then there is me (DWF with several advanced degrees driving a Ford, self-employed as a healthcare consultant working to create capacity fo the underserved) - well I am a true and informed voter who also spends countless hours working to get out the vote.
Kerry 1 Bush 0

BTW I asked a friend, an Ethiopian American voting in his first election. He and his wife are Kerry/Bush.
Kerry 2 Bush 0

I watched the debate and thought it was advantage Kerry. Actually, I do not think there is any valid contest. I opt for nuance and detail. I avoid rant and sound bite.

Kerry 14
Bush 6
Unknown 0

You do the math. I suspect my poll is in as accurate as others I have read. The bottomline - in the privacy of the voting booth (and barring too much corruption) Kerry will poll 53% Bush will poll 45.5% with the other 1.5% going to the others.

I know I am an optimist yet realistically I do not think the race is a close as some would have us believe.



Fair point. I overstated on right wing blogs. I have taken to reading Andrew Sullivan to find a conservative who doesn't accept what Bush says and does simply because he's a Republican. Thanks.

When you look at the strategy of this election, you can see that one thing the Republican and Democratic camps both agree on is that Iraq has been a disaster.

Consider: If the war in Iraq had been a success, you wouldn't see the White House trying to tie Kerry and Edwards to their Senate votes to authorize the use of force. Instead, the stump speech would be: "If you think this war was a failure, then you should vote for John Kerry. But if you think it was a success, then you should vote for me!"

You sure don't hear that, do you? The GOP candidate can't admit his mistakes. His campaign, though, is predicated on the assumption that Iraq is a mess--but hey, since Kerry voted for it, he's complicit in the mess!

The simplest line for Kerry to take is the one his opponent literally couldn't articulate: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me--and I won't be fooled again. Fool me once? You presented cooked intelligence to us in the Senate, and tricked us into authorizing force, which you used to launch a foolish war--the wrong war at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Shame on you for fooling us. But we won't be fooled again.

I think the weakness in Kerry's position is that he refuses to call his vote a mistake, to admit to a weakness himself. I think his primary battles locked him in to that position, as the White House is locked into its position. Whether he can't or he won't, For Kerry, his position causes no end of grief as he tries to explain it. ("I voted to authorize force, not for war" is a nuanced position.)

Would the Democrats be better off now with an out-and-out antiwar candidate? I don't think so. George McGovern was on the right side of history in 1972; it was already abundantly clear that the war in Vietnam was a mistake. Yet he won only my state of Massachusetts (and my first presidential vote). My point is that there's a cleaner line for Kerry to take, if he's willing to take it. He can still say it in the third debate.

All in all, I'm confident that Kerry will win a decisive victory on November 2, with or without my advice, and we can start to clean up the mess the Republicans have handed us.

I agree with your analysis, but what is your source for the decrease in Christian Conservatives? I'm pretty sure the US Census doesn't track religion nowadays.

Jeff: I have been canvassing in NH and will be part of the Democratic GOTV on election day. Your post just lifted my spirits, thanks!

Follow on to Jeff's optimism:

Oct 10 Zogby / Reuters poll shows Kerry ahead by only 1 pt in the horserace, but... tah-DAH!

Kerry leads 49-44 w/ newly registered voters
51-43 w/ those who aready
voted absentee

7% say they are undecided, but only 16% of undecideds say Bush deserves reelection.

Nader is pulling <1 %

That's the Zogster whose polls have become the gold standard.

Is this way cool or what?



Jeff: I am involved in the Democratic GOTV effort in NH; your post lifts my spirits and gives me renewed energy! Thanks.

The Rasmussen tracking poll now shows a 4 point spread with Bush at 50%. I understand that they weigh for party identification? The Washingtom post tracking poll now has it 51-46 Bush. Who does thier polling and do they weigh for party ID? These polls are making me nervous.

Why has Rasmussen consistently favored bush all year? His data now has bush at 50%, and leading or tied in just about every swing state. He also has us just behind in most senate races.

I know that Rasmussen himself is republican, but does anyone know if his polls are flawed?

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Listen folks,

I can not emphasize how important voter turnout will be.

It breaks down like this: if we have a similar turnout ratio as in 2000, we will win. Personally, I suspect we will have a higher ratio.

Forget likely voter vs. registered voter. The most important aspect of any poll are the internals. How many Democrats are voting for the Democrat. How many republicans for the republicans. Independant, etc.

With these numbers, you actually have consistency. They show Kerry doing as well or slightly better than Gore among Dems. They show Bush polling about the same among GOP. They show Kerry winning the independants.

The difference comes from how many "republicans" they sample vs. how many Dems.

The ABC/Washington Post poll and Gallup are the worst offenders of having more GOP sampled then Dems. Some significantly so.

But as my message above explained - this is not based on any empirical "facts."

Demographics favor us.

Trends favor us.

Registration favor us.

So how on Earth will more republicans vote than Democrats, when in the last four elections we have outpolled the GOP by 4% or (as in 1992) tied.

You see what I am saying?

Therefore, there should be only one objective from now until election day: GET OUT THE VOTE.

If more Dems vote than Republicans - as I believe they will - then we win.

If more Reps. vote than Dems - as I believe is wishful thinking - we lose.


P.S. As far as where I got the information regarding the decline of Christian Conservatives, I got it from NEWSWEEK magazine a couple of months ago.

This may actually explain why Rove had "overcounted" these same Christains last time. He argues that 4 million didn't vote. But in reality, they have declined - as a proportion of the population.

P.P.S. As far as these "polls" Remember this: the 2000 election had Gore doing much worse. Why? For the same reason - they overcounted Republicans.

Most polls had Bush winning by 4 to 7% the day before the election using their "likely voter" model. However, when they go back and compare how accurate their polls were in 2000, many of them use their "registered voter" model - which also had Bush winning but by less.

How did that turn out?

I would not say that Rasmussen has "consistently favored Bush all year." I disagree with that. After the GOP convention, when other polls had Bush up by double digits, Rasmussen only had Bush up by, at most, 5 points...usually closer to 3 points. Bush's edge in Rasmussen has been very, very consistent at 2-5 points for a month...which is what worries me.

Rasmussen has always been a Republican pollster, and still is.

In the entire month of August he had Bush overrated, and he's kept him overrated.

Just because he wasn't as ridiculous as Gallup doesn't mean he was right or reasonable. You don't judge how correct the C student was by comparing him to the F student.