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September 05, 2004

Where are the new Bush voters?

Where are the new Bush voters?, asks Steve Gilliard.

Steve asks the critical question. In order to win, Bush would have to improve on his 2000 performance by at least half a million votes.

Some of these votes will be conjured out of thin air, courtesy of Diebold Election Systems (whose CEO, Walter O'Dell, promised to deliver Ohio to Bush [Plain Dealer/Common Dreams].)

Rove and his team are counting on extra votes from evangelicals. However, demographers are increasingly skeptical about the alleged solidarity of an evangelical voting block. [NYT permalink.] Moreover, there's little reason to suspect that evangelicals are more numerous, more united, or better organized than they were in 2000. So, Rove can't count on a significant number of extra votes from this contingency.

Where exactly are these extra votes supposed to come from? Bush's internals are just sad. Swing voters historically break two to one against the incumbent. The war on terror is flagging. The economy sucks. Kerry is unleashing a $50 million ad blitz that will hammer home Bush's political and personal shortcomings for the delectation of swing states.

Sure, Bush is riding a post-convention bounce, but there's no reason to think he can sustain those numbers, let alone build on them.

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Comments

Rove knows that negative campaigns tend to depress voter turnout in a way that favors incumbents. Bush doesn't need more voters, he just needs fewer Democrats willing to vote.

Rove knows that negative campaigns tend to depress voter turnout in a way that favors incumbents.

That's the CW, but I think that's extremely unlikely to happen this time around. The Republicans just ran the ugliest political convention in living memory, consisting of nothing but lies, hot air, shameless exploitation of 9/11, and, in the case of Zell Miller, naked fascism. Bush's record is an embarrassment -- they have nothing to run on but cognitive dissonance. So all that's going to make people who voted for Gore last time less likely to vote for Kerry? Not a chance.

Not to mention the millions of Nader voters who are firmly in Kerry's camp this time around.

This is the most important election since 1968, and everyone knows it. Turnout will be dramatically up from 2000, and new voters will break against Bush in record numbers.

Thad, you may be right. I would like to see some evidence that Democratic groups are working hard at getting people registered to vote, getting organized to help get people out to the polls on election day, and fighting against various ways that voters can be actively discouraged from voting and against the possibility of vote fraud after the fact (e.g., by use of machines that do not provide a paper trail for audit). None of these things requires great ingenuity, just effort and persistence.

I would like to see some evidence that Democratic groups are working hard at getting people registered to vote, getting organized to help get people out to the polls on election day, and fighting against various ways that voters can be actively discouraged from voting and against the possibility of vote fraud after the fact (e.g., by use of machines that do not provide a paper trail for audit).

We are doing all of that. If you want to help, volunteer with America Coming Together.

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