Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, August 20, 2004

New Stuff

I've added some new links to our sidebar to appease our fan base. We now have the excellent (and truly independent, for once) FactCheck.org, a great resource to find out whose ads are lying more. I also added, at RbR's suggestion, a link to the current Doonesbury cartoon. Finally, a link to The Simpsons Archive so you can pick up all the references we'll hopefully be making.

By the way, has anybody checked out George Bush's web site and compared it to John Kerry's web site recently? Let me throw out a discussion topic -- some are saying that Kerry is not being negative enough in his campaign strategy. (a) Do you agree with that and (b) might Bush be losing voters by coming off as too   negative?

4 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

Great additions!

I checked out the two candidates' websites and saw that Kerry's image dominates both of them. You have to scroll down on both pages to see an image of G.W. Bush. On the Bush page, its a picture of Bush with a cowboy hat. On the Kerry page its a picture of Bush and Cheney together.

The most prominant item on the Bush page is a cartoon of Kerry that if you click on it you go to the "Kerry Flip Flob Olympics." Cartoon Kerry flips onto the screen and gets perfect 10s from judges "Hillary" "Ted" and "Howard." There are no fewer than 5 anti-Kerry references/links on the page.

The most prominant item on the Kerry page is a photo of Kerry giving his "presidential" look with the caption, "A Stronger America." There is one link to an anti-Bush-Cheney page. It is the "rapid response" page where the Kerry campaign has their responses to the latest accusations from the Bush campaign.

Generally, the Kerry sight has a lot more information about what Kerry's positions are than Bush's sight has about Bush.

The conventional wisdom is that this election will be about "getting out the base." Who ever gets their base out in stronger numbers will win. Bush and Karl Rove are counting on increasing the numbers of evangelical conservative voters. But these voters are geographically concentrated in states that are already safe for Bush. They MIGHT make a difference in Ohio or Florida but recent polls still show Kerry ahead (barely) in both states.

Kerry's campaign seems much more confident that its base will turn out and is shifting its focus to undecided and independent voters.

Bush's negativity might be aimed at encouraging cynical apathy among undecided voters. Bush might be counting on the evangelicals outnumbering urban liberals in key states. The latest ad accusing Kerry of lying to get medals in Vietnam seems to have been effective in putting even California in play. Kerry still leads in the electoral college count but Bush is knocking on the door. The question will be how Kerry responds to the ad and whether there will be a backlash against the negative campaign.

Raised By Republicans said...

I forgot to answer the questions:

Do I think Kerry isn't being negative enough? No. I think Kerry can win by proposing new policies to solve problems everyone thinks we have. That way, Kerry can be "positive" in that he isn't directly hammering Bush but the very fact that new policies are needed is a sharp criticism of Bush.

Do I think there will be a backlash against Bush for being too negative. Negative campaigns tend to depress turnout especially among independents. Bush is probably figuring that the independents are Kerry's votes to lose so a negative campaign will hurt Kerry more than Bush. I think it all ties in to the Bush/Rove strategy "winning through evengelicals alone." They think that there is a religious-conservative majority in this country and that they can win the White House without appealing to any other group. Of course Bush also thinks there is an "American skin color" (presumably white). So obviously they don't get out much.

Bell Curve said...

It's always about the evangelicals, isn't it, RbR?...

I disagree with your analysis. My reading of the polls is that 80% of the country has decided who it's voting for. The other 20% generally dislike Bush, but haven't decided if they like Kerry enough to vote for him. This is why the Bush camp wants to make people think Kerry's a flip-flopper, while the Kerry camp portrays Kerry as a strong leader. I think both sides are doing the right thing.

Raised By Republicans said...

Hi Bell Curve,

I think your confusing 80% of likely voters with 80% of the population. Since turnout among Evangelicals is less than 100% (I've heard Karl Rove thinks there were as many as 4 million Evangelicals who didn't vote in 2000) one could construct a scenario where you win with Evangelicals alone.

Negative campaigns depress turnout, especially among independents and "undecided". Voters who are undecided certainly don't have positive attitudes towards Bush. If they thought Bush was doing a good job, they wouldn't be undecided about him after four years. They are deciding between voting for Kerry or not at all.

Bush's negativity is based on his recognition that most undecideds won't vote for him when it comes down to it so the fewer of them that vote at all the better.