What happened? Election analysis

<p>Apparently this thread was lost in cyberspace accidentally when it was moved by a CC moderator...let's start it again. What happened? Why did the election turn out the way it did?</p>

<p>What happened... 49% of the country apparently lives in urban areas and 51% of the country lives in suburban and rural areas.</p>

<p>I thought Kristof's column in today's Times told at least part of the story: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/03/opinion/03kris.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/03/opinion/03kris.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Since my original post was lost in cyberspace!!!! I will have to reiterate my concerns over why I thought that Bush won the election. I still believe it was in view of the new "wave" sweeping the country which calls for strengthening "moral" values. Because of this wave, I heard on the radio this AM that we have an elected official down South who believes that any doctor who performs or participates in a partial birth abortion as well as the woman that requests one should be tried for the death penalty! This frightens me to no end. In addition, gay men should never teach public school children...amongst other things. Anticipating that Bush will most likely appoint some new Supreme Court justices during his term seriously concerns me..and the Gay Marriage thing....since when has the Federal Gov't decided they should be allowed to legislate others people's sexual preferences so that they cannot be given some rights/protections when entering into legal unions. If it is a question of sematics, then don't call it a marriage. Call it somethings else, but don't deny those partners opportunities to have health insurance coverage, legal adoptions of children, and survivor's benefits when necessary. I am very afraid at what this country can become with this supposed Conservatism taking hold. Anything or anyone that limits one's freedom to choose is not American. Now, the ban on assault weapons...that doesn't count! Freedom of choice is okay as long as it is a choice that matters to the Republicans!</p>

<p>I was puzzled by the exit polls which cited moral values as a motivation for voting for Bush. Wouldn't lying and deception come under the category of morall values? I saw a bumper sticker last week: "When Clinton lied, nobody died!" As much as I deplored the example of Clinton's behavior, Bush's behavior seems more sinister. </p>

<p>Two daughters voting for the first time--one in Ohio who was fascinated by the process, and one in Boston who said students are very upset and discouraged.</p>

<p>Perception is everything in politics, and for many Americans, the Democratic party (right or wrong) is being viewed as the party of moral relativism. For a country in which approximately half its population identifies themselves as evangelical christians, it's not good to be perceived as the party lacking in moral backbone. Jimmy Carter, a democrat, won the white house as a candidate perceived to have with a strong moral compass, and a connection with Middle America. The country was tired of the moral relativism of the party of "Tricky Dick", and saw the need for change. When the pendulum swings in the opposite direction (doubtless, at the end of four years), the Republicans will be the party with the image problem.</p>

<p>The answer might be quite simple: a bad campaigner tends to lose to a better campaigner, and despite the popularity of the reality show "The Swan", you can't recreate yourself in front of millions. Reagan, Clinton, and Dubya were strong campaigners as they knew how to connect with their voters. Kerry can join the Hall of Shame of Dukakis, Mondale, Bush Senior, and Gore. </p>

<p>In so many words, John Kerry simply blew it. Despite campaigning in a period of time when the democrats mustered unprecented energy, when the economy was limping, and when the popularity of the war in Iraq was abysmal, John Kerry was unable to formulate a message worth listening to. </p>

<p>Poetic justice was served -cold- when the clincher came out of Ohio, a state that has witnessed tremendous job losses. It is obvious that Kerry never understood that our contry is more prone to endure economic sacrifices than abdicating its moral values. </p>

<p>Another telling fact of the failed campaign can be found in the last political messages of the JFK campaign. What did he focus on? A futile discussion on the potential loss of a few hundred tons of explosives! Why not discuss HIS own plan, extol his own greatness, instead of trying to win by pointing out the shortcomings of Bush. Again, Kerry misread all the polls and did not realize that our country, despite looking for a better alternative. had ACCEPTED the shortcomings of Bush. </p>

<p>How devastating it must be for the DNC and Kerry to realize that one had to only be slightly better than Bush to win! According to the liberal message that should have been easy. Yet, Kerry blew it by running like he was the incumbent. If this was poker game, Kerry started with 3 aces -unpopular president, economy, war in Iraq- in his hand, turned to his advisers and started giggling about his good fortune. However, he never realized that Bush did not need to draw any other cards as he was sitting on lowly deuces - but four of them- and the last ace. Kerry only looked at his deck and his possible appeal to voters without realizing that Bush had a stronger hand and a constituency that accepted -without fanfare- the simple but steadfast message of the president.</p>

<p>I guess the message is that you had better not kill any unborn babies but you sure as heck as welcome to kill as many Iraqis as you want.......moral values, huh? (rolling eyes)</p>

<p>Thanks MOMSDREAM....and the only reason we should kill those Iraqis is that their leader said he was "Gonna git my father!"</p>

<p>Killing as many Iraqis as possible is an idea that was massively endorsed by both republicans AND democrats. How quickly ones forgets the polls of 18 months ago! </p>

<p>The only difference is that the democrats are mostly happy to witness the organized starvation of 500,000 to a 1,000,000 Iraqi children under Clinton-Albright, the massive bombing of Bagdad ... from a safe distance, and the made-for-CNN war. They are, however, not prepared to accept that a war can cause fatalities on our side.</p>

<p>Well, heck, seems to me that their leader killed a few Iraqi's himself.</p>

<p>If this country perceives the Democrats as having no moral compass it is the result of the right characterizing them way.
Aparent I read Kristof's editorial and I think it was ill timed and as you said only part of the story. I saw this coming as soon as I saw the Swift Boat Ads. I live in a state where they played relentlessly. Bush spent so much money and campaigned against Kerry's character. Here we have a moral candidate with integrity and they have half the country believing he is a bad man. Bush exploited 9/11 to instill fear and distrust so that the electorate is easily manipulated. Add to that this horribly debilitating myth that the media is biased and that the facts always lay somewhere in between the two sides and you have half the electorate still believing 9/11 is connected to Iraq.</p>

<p>I am amazed at all the posters who are joining in NOW. Where were all of you before the election.</p>

<p>The election turned out the way it did because more and more people are beginning to see beyond the formerly respectable media outlets such as the NYT, CBS, etc. I have never seen the media so blatantly in the tank for a candidate as they were in this campaign. Sheer propoganda, there is no other way to put it. It became incredibly offensive to those of us who recognized the problem, and sought out other information sources. Evan Thomas of Newsweek made the now-infamous comment some months ago that the media wanted Kerry to win, and would probably account for 15% in his favor. I think that's right. If they hadn't thrown everything they had at Bush for that last year, including several kitchen sinks, Bush would have won by 15. If you doubt the media bias, just remember what you were thinking on the afternoon of 11/2 when you were bouyed by all the phony exit poll data--that was intended to demoralize people like me. The main reason that it turned out this way is that so many people have come to realize that we really are involved in another world war, and that it's going a lot better than the NYT highbrows (and their Euro-cousins) want us to believe.</p>

<p>Liz, I think the attacks on character went both ways. Remember Michael Moore's film? Whoopi Goldberg calling Bush obsence names? Hmmm...and even more than a few comments HERE on CC about Bush's character? (Still continuing - just read above).</p>

<p>I've said this elsewhere today: it's time to stop arguing. The election is over. Now, we need to set aside our differences and start trying to work together...no matter who won I would be saying the same thing.</p>

<p>Lizschup, you are still clinging to the notion that the people who voted for Bush were misled by nefarious forces. </p>

<p>Did Kerry lose the election because of a lack of money to pay for ads? Did Kerry not spend a fortune on ads that attacked Bush's character? </p>

<p>Kerry lost because he was an inferior candidate who could not overcome the fact that the majority of the populations leans in a different direction. </p>

<p>Attacking the intelligence of the people who did not find Kerry appealing won't change the outcome of the election. Trying to understand why this group of voters rejected the democrat candidate would be a better use of your and the other dems' time.</p>

<p>Liz, we were here. But we knew that speaking up would have us hung and quartered.
:) I think that is a point that the democratic party fails to see - us moderate and conservative types are a lot quieter than liberal types, but we still vote. If the democratic party LISTENED instead of assuming they knew what we wanted, maybe things would have turned out differently. And I say this as someone who voted Democratic in the previous three elections (but not this one.)</p>

<p>And, Driver, I couldn't agree with you more.</p>

<p>I am not sure invading a foreign country and suggesting its leader was tied to the 9/11 attacks and suggesting that there were massive hidden piles of weapons of mass destruction was a way to convince the AMerican people that Bush excelled in leadership ability. Rather it suggested to me that in spite of how the dems felt about Iraq at that time, that Bush made a major error in judgment, was too hasty in his efforts to invade without better "inside" information and was more intent on retaliating his perceived threat of Saddam because daddy said he was threatened by him. And in doing so, alienated most of the people of Europe who I am sure view us Americans as
wreckless "cowboys." Gives a new meaning of Texas as being the "Lone Star" state.</p>

<p>I think it's interesting that Americans are so upset about 1000 American war casualties in Iraq over the course of a year, but unphased by the stagering annual homocide rate on America's streets (easily 5 to 6 times greater). Where's the political and social will to seriously address this problem?</p>

<p>"us moderate and conservative types are a lot quieter than liberal types, but we still vote"</p>

<p>After our Bush/Cheney sign was stolen for the third time by local college students, my husband made one out of wood and drove it deeply into the ground with stakes, saying: "You can steal our Bush signs, but not our Bush votes." (I realize that people steal Kerry signs as well....but not in our neighborhood.)</p>