Wednesday, October 20, 2004

How I think it'll break down on Nov. 2nd

As I had stated way back in July when I first started this blog, there is only one true “national” election every four years. And, going back to the earliest presidential election that records popular votes (1824), you will always find a minimum of approximately 40% of the population that will always vote for the losing candidate no matter what. There are a couple rare exceptions to this rule, but even that secures 35% to the loser.

What does this mean? It means that any given election will have 40% of the population on either side of the electoral divide, leaving the remaining “middle” 20% for the candidates to fight over. In some elections, this “middle” group of citizens will make up less than 20% of the electorate (such as in 2000), in other cases you find them so disenfranchised (I hate that word, but you get my drift) that they take their vote elsewhere (see the 19% Perot got in 1992). They may just stay at home and not even bother to vote.

But, in the end, there’s always… ALWAYS… a 10-20% middle group that determines which way the election will go.

Now, this middle 10-20% is a feckless bunch. They don’t take politics too seriously. They make up their minds in the last few weeks of the campaign. They sway in the breeze on issues that the majority of the voters take very seriously. Sometimes they may include the odd mix of the pro-life or fiscal-conservative democrat, or the pro-abortion or social liberal republican, thereby never fully happy with the choices at hand. They complain about being in the minority and not being given any attention to. Yet, this group is exactly who gets the most attention in each election. And they have more power than they even realize. This group drives the other 80% of the population (and the politicians) absolutely crazy.

This is NOT a monolithic bunch that can be swayed as a whole. Each tiny segment of this small group of the electorate is made up of a multitude of views with varying positions, differing emotions, shifting priorities. But, each individual will be ultimately affected by that one key issue (whatever that is for that individual) that will determine whether he or she votes D or R, something else, or not at all.

Of this year’s 10-20% (my best guess is that this year there’s approx. 15%... less than in 1992 but more than in 2000), who has Kerry lost?

• The segment of that 15% who are veterans who have total disdain of his anti-war activities when he returned from Vietnam. Nothing Kerry can do will sway this group. He sealed his fate in 1971, and saluting at the July convention didn’t help. The SwiftVets remind them in case they should forget.

• The segment of that 15% who classify themselves as “reasonable” on the issue of abortion. They are against partial-birth abortion, and they are for parental notification for minors. With abortion as a whole they may have varying views, but on these two points they all agree. Kerry made it clear in the last two debates that he’s against these two positions.

• The segment of that 15% who want the institution of marriage to remain as between a man and a woman. They may not have a strong position on homosexuality as a whole, but on this issue they feel reasonable to place a line in the sand when it comes to defining marriage. This segment takes their marriages and their children seriously. They see and hear Bush speak about his wife and kids and they see genuineness. They look and hear Kerry, and they do NOT see genuineness. They are also disgusted with Kerry’s tactless mention of the VP’s daughter in the last debate, done for obvious political purposes.

• A significant portion of the segment of that 15% who are under 30. They’re sharper than people think they are. They’re informed (thanks to the internet). They see through BS. And Kerry BS’ed them with the false claim that Bush will re-institute the draft. They also are the most concerned about Social Security, and they are the most vocal about wanting to be able to invest that money (their money) as they see fit – to get a better rate of return over the long haul. In debate #3, Kerry just shut them out completely by denying them that issue.

• The so-called “Security Mom’s.” Actually, they’re moms AND dads. Similar (but not the same as) the “Reagan Democrats” of the 80s, I call these people the “9/11 Democrats & Independents.” They GET 9/11. They don’t forget 9/11. They may not like parts of the Iraq situation, but overall they “get it” – “it” being the global war on terror. Kerry keeps stating he “has a plan” (ad infinitem), yet he never explains the plan. What details he does eventually give ends up being nothing different from what Bush is already doing (except wanting to get the approval or support of France & Germany). This group hears “global test” and they wretch.

• The segment of that 15% who own their own businesses. Especially those who lost their jobs after 9/11 and started up their own business when they couldn’t find work anywhere else. They’ve finally gotten a leg up on their finances. Kerry lost them with his tax plan. They know if his plan goes through, their taxes go up significantly.

• The segment of that 15% who never thought they’d ever be able to own a home, and now they do. It wasn’t Kerry’s policies that helped them in this regard.

• The segment of that 15% who just want someone to take a position on an issue and stick with it. Doesn’t matter whether they agree with the stance, just be resolute. And Kerry’s consistent and persistent flip-flopping just rubs them the wrong way.

• The segment of that 15% that never knew of Kerry’s 20 year senate record. And now that they know, aren’t too happy with it (or the lack thereof).

• The segment of that 15% that will vote for a change for change’s sack, but only if the opposing candidate offers something clearly different. And they look at Kerry and the can’t see him clearly at all.

Who has Bush lost?

• The segment of that 15% that lost their job during the last three years, and are not happy with their current financial or career situation. They don’t care about how 9/11 or the recession or the tech bubble affected things. They don’t care how things got the way they are, they just want to be in a better place and are frustrated.

• The segment of that 15% that does not like the Iraq war. They consider it a distraction. They buy into the “Bush Lied, People Died” rhetoric. They prefer focusing on OBL and Al Quaida only.

• The segment of that 15% that feels uncomfortable with his outspokenness about faith and religion.

What does all of this mean come November 2nd? I said it before, and I’ll say it again:

BUSH – 55-56% (35-38 States)
KERRY – 42-43% (12-15 States)
NADER – 1-2%

Another thing of note... I was at the local Blockbuster a couple times this past week (in southern California). “The Passion of the Christ” has been out for seven weeks now, yet there seemed to be about as many copies of that film rented out as there was “Fahrenheit 911” which was just released this passed Wednesday. The handful of copies of the counter-documentary “Fahren-Hype 9/11” were completely rented out.

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