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Election 2004 John Kerry 2004

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#21 MuseZack

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 06:56 PM

A quick note on Democrats and the South.  It's conventional wisdom to suggest that no modern Democratic candidate has taken the presidency without taking at least five states in the old Confederacy.  While this is true, it's also true that Clinton would have won in 1992 and 1996 without the southern states.   If a Democrat starts winning in the South, it probably means he (or she) has already piled up enough votes to win elsewhere.

But while technically there are enough electoral votes outside the South to win (the Democratic calculus usually goes Pacific West + Northeast + industrial upper Midwest), neglecting the South frees up a Republican opponent to take the South for granted and pour more money into states like Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  Also, crafting a message for maximum appeal in the South (economically populist and socially moderate) helps make Democrats more competitive in more socially conservative areas outside their bastions of support in the Northeast and on the West Coast-- namely the Midwest and Mountain West.

One of the most surprising indications of which states may be in play in 2004 came earlier this week, when Bush felt the need to make a visit to South Carolina the day after the Democratic primary there with its saturation of anti-Bush advertising.  I was quite fascinated by the fact that Karl Rove and company felt the need to send him on a trip to shore up support in what should be one of his surest states outside of Texas.

Zack
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
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#22 Nick

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 08:15 PM

^I wouldn't call South Carolina sure-fire for Bush in this race.  There are a lot of registered Democrats in that state, and this year's primary has had record voter turnout.  And even if Kerry gets the nomination, if he taps Edwards for a running mate--they may have a fighting chance to take S.C. and some of the ordinarilly staunch-republican states.

-Nick

Edited by Nick, 06 February 2004 - 08:15 PM.




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