INFORMED OPTIMISM ON KERRY
With an eye to tonight's debate, I am pausing to recount the things which make me quite optimistic for Sen. John Kerry's chance of capturing the White House on November 2nd.
1. The Kerry campaign and Democrats generally have raised more money than our side ever has--both in absolute terms and relative to the Rethuglicans. Not only will our campaigns command more resources, but it is a strong indication of broad, galvanized support and interest in this election. On top of that, more political money is being poured into the new 527 groups like Americans Coming Together. These groups will be pouring out the dough to fund swing state ad buys as the campaign draws to crescendo as well as launching the largest, most coordinated GOTV effort we have ever seen.
2. It's fair to say that our last four years of national nightmare under the reign of Bush fils has galvanized the left. People who voted for Al Gore in 2000 will vote for Kerry, but not all people who voted for Bush in 2000 will vote for him again. There are too many questions, and some of these people are looking to jump ship.
3. God damn Ralph Nader and anyone who votes for him. He's still polling at about the same rate he was in 2000, but my irrational hope is that all these tree-hugging Nation-reading knee-jerks will wake up and realize there is too much at stake to not vote Kerry. Sure, for his liberal-guilt ridden bourgeois voter base, four more years of Bush might not make a hole lot of difference (other than for the obvious grating on moral sensibilities). But for almost everyone else in this country and the billions of people around the world who will be affected by this election, the choice is all to clear and pressing.
4. Polls showing Bush jumping out to sizeable leads are statistically nonsense, particularly the Gallup poll. This is due to the weights ascribed to voting groups used to "normalize" the polling sample response to the larger population. Basically, they are disproportionately weighting it so it appears more people will vote Republican. While skewed polls don't tell us who will win, they do serve a real function: demoralizing democratic faithful. If people think Kerry has no chance, then they will not be compelled to volunteer on the campaign, phone bank, door bell, donate money, or maybe even show up to vote. Don't let the bastards grind us down. Bush and the establishment want us to be pessimistic and second guessing strategy. BE OPTIMISTIC. We can win this thing handily.
5. That much said, recent polling data indicate that Kerry is fighting back and narrowing the gap between he and Bush. More importantly, linking polls to electoral college votes shows that the race is a dead heat at this point. Like 2000, this one is going to be decided by a razor thin margin (not to mention legal maneuvering, and good old fashioned ballot-stuffing and voter intimidation on the part of the Rethugs).
6. Does anyone really think the situation in Iraq is going to improve in the next 32 days? As the tragedy in Iraq continues, Bush will be held to account.
These are just some of the reasons to feel optimistic that we can take this country back 32 days from now. So what are you going to do about it? Now that I no longer work for a 501(c)3 I can tell you to get your ass out in the field and do some electioneering. If Bush is president again come Jan 20, 2005, we only have ourselves to blame. Get your but down to your local campaign HQ and fight your little hearts out.