Monday, October 25, 2004
...until der Tag.
As usual, our good friend Ray Malone (a.k.a., the "Common Tator") hits a home run. If you look at where the two campaigns are going to spend the next week, you get an idea of whose internal polling looks promising and whose does not. Money graph:
Bush is planning on spending 3/4 of his remaining campaign visits in states Al Gore won. Kerry is doing much the same thing. Kerry is spending most of his time in states that Gore won in 2000.
Here is a truism I have never found to be false.
The final stages of every war and presidential election are fought on the loser's turf.
Indeed, the title of his piece today is, "When Grant took Richmond, was he in the North or the South?"
There is a cold hard fact of politics: you are on the offensive when you are on the enemy's turf. John Kerry is not going to North Carolina or Virginia. Neither is he going to Arkansas or Louisiana. He has just pulled out of Colorado. He gave up on Missouri some time ago. On the other hand, the only Red States that Bush appears to be concerned about seem to be Florida and Ohio.
Zogby came out with two state polls showing Bush up three in Florida and up five in Ohio. Again, the situation is fluid. However, if Martinez is running three points ahead of Castor in the Florida Senate race (Zogby, I believe), then I suspect that Bush has the same margin up on Kerry.
Here in FLA, Kerry has been campaigning. He did the Black Church thing down in Miami a couple of days back. He went to Boca to a ten thousand person event at Florida Atlantic University.
These are safe Kerry areas. That tells me that he is concerned about base turnout. Kerry does not do Sarasota, or Orlando, or Fort Meyers. If he were ahead in Florida he would be poaching in Bush counties. I don't think Kerry is ahead down here, and I suspect that neither does he.
Meantime, Bush raided Broward County last weekend. He went to the Office Depot Center, home of the Florida Panthers. He drew about 12,000 people. He went up to Jacksonville and drew 50,000 people to the Jaguar's football stadium. His events are wall to wall people wherever he goes. There is an energy to the Bush campaign that I see manifested in the crowds.
Other states? Michigan is in play, according to some polls. Zogby appears to regard MI as leaning Kerry, but there must be a reason that Bush has rented out the Pontiac Silverdome. That stadium accomodates 80,000 people. The Bush people said they needed the room. That tells me something, as well. Of course, Ray always says that crowds don't mean much, so I wouldn't read too much into it. But the energy in Bush's campaign is both real and enduring.
Now to be fair, I should point out that Kerry appears to be holding his own in Pennsylvania, although it remains a two-point race going into the last week. I just don't believe that Kerry will take Ohio. I've heard too much from Ray about the Republican ground game. It is amazing. It is something that the Donks have never had to deal with before, and I think that that is what will make the difference.
One last thing: the media. By this time in 1992, the media was full of speculation as to the personnel in the incoming Clinton Administration. I remember a huge Newsweek orgasm celebrating the ascendancy of people like Helen Thomases and, of course, Hillary. There is no such celebration this time. This time, we get columns by Howard Kurtz in the WaPo, asking "What if HE Wins?" (the "He" being the dreaded BushHitler). Nope, behind all the spin is the realization that they may have put all their bets on the wrong horse.