I agree that those are the best two to go back into. CO's been close for awhile now, and we want to boost Salazar too. Arkansas: Bush keeps on leading in the polls by a couple of points, but has never pulled away. Even if Clinton can't help, I think Kerry ought to do a big ad buy there in the final week.
I'm totally ignorant about Arkansas. It's one of the few states I've never visited. But it's been close in the polls all year, and looks to still be so. Not to mention, a certain popular former President used to be its governor. (When will he be well enough to go out and make speeches?) I keep thinking we're giving up on this one too soon.
And New Hampshire is surely still among the battleground states, regardless of media buys; it's been on a knife-edge all year.
Things are close enough this year that even NH's 4 EVs could be crucial. Starting from the states Gore won in 2000, suppose Kerry adds Nevada and Ohio, but loses Wisconsin and Iowa. Without NH, he'd be at 268; with it, he's got 272.
"Here comes Jim Bunning. Jim fucking Bunning with that little shit slider of his." Wham!
"He doesn't really think he's gonna get me out with that shit." Blam!
--Ted Williams during batting practice, as quoted in Ball Four
I'm serious: they annoy the hell out of me. Can you guys get the Schrader people to substitute something else for that nasty ad that flashes "ALERT" in big red letters?
And I say that as someone who's on your (and Ginny's) side: I've contributed to Ginny's campaign twice already, and I'm about to donate to BlogAds.
But having those things flash at me out of the corner of my eye make it extremely difficult for me to concentrate on reading the rest of the page. I know I'm just one guy who drops by here on a semi-regular basis, but I really like this site, and I'd hate to leave. Can ya, pretty please, get them to ditch that ad in favor of one that's not quite so obnoxious?
That's great! If you're ever in the DC area, I owe you a beer.
Folks, if you can follow my instructions to set up the equations, all you have to do then is plug the numbers into the little boxes in the link Dana gave. If you can't, let me make it even easier:
Top row: put 1's in all four boxes.
For the second and third rows, turn your percentages into decimals. (So when I say '%' below, 85% is .85, not 85.) Then:
Second row, first box: % of Dem vote Bush gets.
Second row, second box: % of GOP vote Bush gets.
Second row, third box: % of Ind vote Bush gets.
Second row, fourth box: % of total vote Bush gets.
Third row, first box: % of Dem vote Kerry gets.
Third row, second box: % of GOP vote Kerry gets.
Third row, third box: % of Ind vote Kerry gets.
Third row, fourth box: % of total vote Kerry gets.
Then the X, Y, and Z boxes will give you the % of the sample that identified as Dem, GOP, and Independent.
stems from recent history. Virginia's already been through a few transitions; the question in my mind is, why didn't the last Dem realignment hold?
To refresh people's memories, Virginia went through the same realignment that most of the South went through between passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Reagan years: the Dixiecrats gradually turned Republican. (GOP progressive Lin Holton's term as governor (elected in 1969, IIRC) was sandwiched in between Mills Godwin's two terms, the first as an old-line Dem, the second, realigned as a Republican.
Then a strange thing happened: a string of moderate Democrats won the governorshop (along with LtGov and AG): Chuck Robb in 1981, Gerry Baliles in 1985, and Doug Wilder in 1989. Right smack in the middle of the Reagan-Bush years. I think Virginia would have been ripe for the picking at the Presidential level in 1988 if we'd had a better candidate than Dukakis, and in 1992 if Clinton and Gore (especially Gore) had actively campaigned there.
Then we got George Allen in 1993 and Jim Gilmore in 1997. I'm not sure how we lost Virginia in the early 1990s - I was out of state, working on my doctorate, from 1988-93 - and although I agree that it's starting to swing back, I don't have high expectations. I think most Virginians realize that Gilmore's doctrinaire anti-tax stance went too far, but while Warner's "we're anti-tax too, just not quite as zealous about it" may have been enough to get him elected, it's not the sort of pitch that wins converts and changes the game. It's the Dem version of the "me-too" Republicanism of the 1960s.
So I see the potential for VA to swing Dem, but the Democratic Party has to go out and win it; the Commonwealth isn't going to just fall in its lap. I think Virginians - just like people across the country - want to know: what things will the Dems fight for, come hell or high water?
One year, the environment's a big issue for us; another year, we're for it, but it's on the back burner. One year, gun control is big; another year, it isn't worth fighting about. We're for labor unions, but again, the 'oomph' behind it comes and goes, and most Americans don't know what labor unions have to do with them anyway. We get burned on health care one year, and it drops off our agenda for most of a decade. We were pressing for a minimum wage increase in 1999-2000, which we didn't get; heard anything about that lately?
This year, I think GWB is so bad that we can win a lot of states just on that. I don't think VA is one of those states, though. I think Virginians need to know what issues we'll keep on coming back on, year after year, until we win. We're 'for' all the right things, but as a party, we've got a tendency to run from a fight, once we get our noses bloodied. Until we get past that, I don't see us winning Virginia.
mll said: Character trumps issues. In 2000, for most of the campaign Gore held clear advantages on most issues that voters ranked as most important. But once the character attacks took effect, those advantages largely vanished, and Bush actually took the lead on many of the who-do-you-trust-to-deal-with-this-issue questions.
The same thing happened in August. Kerry led on issues, then Swift Boat liars come along, and suddenly Kerry's issue advantages shrank or vanished in most polls. Character trumps issues.
I think there's a lot of truth to this. But one facet of Kerry that's really important here is that he seems to have the ability to weather all these bogus 'character' attacks, and come back swinging. Despite the GOP bounce from the SwiftLiars and the GOP convention, we have a basically even race right now, and Kerry's strength of character is the reason why. I remember Dukakis getting hit with stuff like this by Bush Sr., and folding like an accordion.
Still, having established one's character, it's necessary to be able to say what one will do with the Presidency. While I wish Kerry had gotten more specific in his acceptance speech, the fact is that he has been specific in numerous speeches, and on his website. We know what his health care plan looks like, and it's a good one. He's got a worthwhile plan on education. He'll do his damnedest to preserve Social Security and Medicare. He'll be far more fiscally prudent than Bush. And while it's hard to say what he'll do with Iraq (because it's hard to say what anyone could do with Iraq at this point), we know he'll approach it realistically, which is the best that can be hoped for.
Hopefully, he'll take advantage of the debates to make some of these points.
I think all polls, favorable or unfavorable, should be critically examined. Polls that have lopsided samples in ways that could affect their outcomes should be rejected, or if possible have their results interpreted in terms of their samples, regardless of whether their results are favorable or not.