Sunday, August 22, 2004

Interesting article in LA Times about how Bush has apparently decided to focus on locking-down his already seemingly locked-down base (?) as opposed to trying to woo fence-sitting voters. Many may see this as a white-flag sign concerning swing voters, but that doesn't necessarily mean a net-net win for Kerry if Bush is somehow able to uncover and incite lurking base voters who were simply going to stay at home come November 2nd.

However, the more convincing explanation is Rove has figured out this is their only recourse at this point. Bush/Cheney are so far to the right that they have little hope in appealing to more reasonable, willing-to-ponder swing voters. Instead, they have to operate as only they know how: stir up unfounded fears (using innuendo, distortion, etc.) to win over voters. And the reason Rove goes back to this time & time again: because it generally works (at least with "their kind").

(Note how this resigned choice to give-up on broadening the base works completely against GW's already laughable 2000 campaign slogan, "I'm a uniter, not a divider").

From the article:

The Bush campaign strategy fits with a presidency that often has appeared more intent on deepening than broadening support.

On most major issues — from tax cuts and environmental protection to the decision to invade Iraq without explicit U.N. authorization — Bush has embraced policies that draw much better marks from his base than swing voters.

Democratic operatives assert that the president's efforts are driven not so much by his strength among Republicans as his weakness among undecided voters.

"Bush isn't going to get many of them, no matter what," said John Sasso, general election manager at the Democratic National Committee, citing widespread pessimism about the economy and the country's overall direction, as evident in polling answers from persuadable voters. "He has only two choices: He can either tear Kerry down and try to make him entirely unacceptable [to those voters], or he can try to jack up his base vote. And that's what you are seeing."

However, this very key statement:

Some Bush supporters worry that focusing on Republican areas, the approach that worked in 2002, may be less applicable in 2004 because so many more people — including swing voters — cast ballots in a presidential election than a mid-term election.

"I admire their ruthless execution," said the veteran Republican independent of the campaign, "but it's a scary way to win an election."

Is any way a Republican typically wins an election NOT scary?

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