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May 12, 2005

Comments

Realignment? Feh.

It's all about fear. That the R's do well. But it won't last. Fear doesn't create jobs.

ahem.

Seems to me that a certain asshole has been right on this for some time.

With all the hand-wringing about how one party or another is losing its grip on this or that, the bottom line is that public opinion can change swiftly, especially among people less invested in their political opinions (like, say, everybody who doesn't obsessively read political blogs)

A nearly perfect storm of external circumstances (including one real storm in Florida) gave the Republicans a narrow national win last November. Democrats can play a serious long game to rediscover its values and become true to them. They can also embrace some short term tactics to try to win now and in 2006. It's not either/or.

As I understand it, the number of self identified Independents is generally increasing, right?

Yeah, and you were right as well, Armando. ;-)

Traditional Dem issues (jobs and the economy) will be back, just as women are returning to the Dem fold. But in the last election it was national security, not values. Values are only important to the wingnuts (see stem cell polling).

Right, Crab. This is long term good news for the Dems and possibly short term if they play their cards as well as Harry Reid does.

Dem:

About time you figured that out. Heh.

Armando:

Kerry went for a close win and instead got himself a close loss. It was a failed stragegy by 120,000 votes.

It is likely that had Kerry done better on national security, he would have won. It is also likely that had he done better on Iraq he would have won. it is also likely that It is also likely that had he done better on any topic worth 120,000 votes he would have won.

Nonetheless, you argued for months before the election that national security was key. The Pew poll agrees with you.

I did a project a few months ago that looked at polling numbers and focus group transcripts.

The number of people who hated everything that Bush did, except for 9/11 'leadership,' put Bush over the top. There were also a number of lean Kerry voters who enthusiastically praised Bush for his 'leadership' after 9/11.

This poll doesn't really tell us anything new. One only has to look at the ads and campaign BC04 ran, to know that it was fear, 9/11, fear, 9/11, and more fear.

The Democrats should NOT rest on their laurels at all with the attention turning towards domestic issues. The Democrats MUST get more credibility (and at least be on par with the GOP on the issue of national security in the eyes of the voting public) on handling terrorism, national security, and the military. I'm not suggesting that the Democrats become hawkish, but a tough and firm foreign policy and national security iniatives are a must. They have to build credibility over time, so that they're not so hurt politically the next time there's a terrorist attack on US soil or on US property abroad.

Newsie, as the women return to to the Dem fold, the point is that none of the 9/11 'leadership' Bush got credit for will last longer than 2008, and that it's only 9/11 that let Bush in for a 2nd term. I agree about national security being important, but his Iraq disaster will hurt him and Rs even there in the long run. The opening for Dems is there.

By the way, George S on ABC World News says Bolton has the votes in the Senate for confirmation. We'll see, but that's the CW.

OK, but what if another Republican president is in office and there's another terrorist attack (God forbid).

My point is that the Democrats can't cede ground on national security. The "strong enough on terrorism" leans Republican, in part because they have long been viewed as stronger than the Dems on national defense issues. 9/11 helped Bush, but it's not too hard to imagine a campaign in 2008 where Bush endorses the GOP nominee as "stronger on terrorism." Other Republicans won't be helped by the terrorism issue as much as Bush was in 2004, but it is still a lean GOP issue. The Democrats have to combat that.

Iraq disaster does give Democrats an opening, but many Americans don't necessarily see Iraq/terrorism as the same thing.

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