Friday, October 01, 2004


Kerry Stops The Bleeding

Flash polls are showing that viewers thought that Kerry won Thursday night’s debate by almost a 2 to 1 margin. CBS showed 44 percent for Kerry, 26 percent for Bush, and 30 percent said it was a tie. ABC showed 45 percent for Kerry, 36 percent for Bush and 17 percent said it was a tie.

This is much need good news for the Kerry campaign. Going in to this week polls showed Bush with a 5 to 10 point lead over Kerry. Kerry was also having trouble in the battle ground states. Electoral College projections were predicting Bush victories in key states including Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. Bush was even competitive in traditional Democrat strong holds like Michigan, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Republicans were hoping that Bush could deliver the kiss of death in last nights debate. But Kerry has escaped to live another day. While Kerry did win by most peoples accounts last night, he was unable to draw blood. There is no one sound bite that any one can point to that will be a turning point in this campaign. Bush did not make any huge mistakes, he got his points across, and the basic premise of this race stays the same. Both men offer two different views rooted in two different world views. And so far voters have favored Bush.

While Kerry may have done a better job of articulating his positions, Bush still drove home two crucial points that he is more consistent then Kerry and that he will do what ever it takes to defend America regardless of international opinion. When Kerry used the term "Global Test" when describing when and how he thought it was appropriate to use preemptive action in defending America, he may have left a flank unguarded. This didn’t go unnoticed by Bush when in his rebuttal, he quickly jumped on Kerry for his unwillingness to protect America with out international approval.

All of this to say that Kerry won in the style points and has scored a victory. The main attack against him is still alive and well. Simply he is a flip flopper. As a result any bounce in the polls from this debate can quickly be destroyed. As you read this the Republican Death Star, Karl Rove, is probably making commercials highlighting Kerry’s inconsistencies.
Another potential Kerry vulnerability that Bush briefly mentioned is Kerry’s support for international courts that could potentially try Americans. You can think see that as an attack add in your mind right now.

In conclusion Thursday was a good night for Kerry. But it was far from a home run, its more like a single that can quickly be wiped out by a double play.

Nice analysis and thanks for the link.

I do think that a quick ad using a Kerry soundbite could be used effectively against Kerry, reinforcing one of the negative opinions people have about him. Here it is:

you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test
Good post!
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