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16-Dec-2004 - My Year of Living Dangerously

25-Nov-2004 - Corporate Support for Republicans

24-Nov-2004 - Seventy!

12-Nov-2004 - Quick Update

1-Nov-2004 - Election Eve News

1-Nov-2004 - Endorsement

1-Nov-2004 - Latest Polls

31-Oct-2004 - Words of Encouragement

31-Oct-2004 - Vote for Kerry Even in Safe States

31-Oct-2004 - Halloween Election News

30-Oct-2004 - Today's Political News

29-Oct-2004 - Political News of the Day

28-Oct-2004 - John Kerry's Historic Endorsements

28-Oct-2004 - 25 Years Combating LGBT Violence

28-Oct-2004 - Daily Political Updates

28-Oct-2004 - How You Can Protect Your Right to Vote

27-Oct-2004 - The Last Straw

27-Oct-2004 - Conservative Quotes for Kerry

27-Oct-2004 - Breaking Political News

27-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 5

26-Oct-2004 - Another Look at Taking Back the Senate

26-Oct-2004 - Breaking News of the Day

25-Oct-2005 - Breaking Political News of the Day

24-Oct-2004 - Can the Democrats Regain the House?

23-Oct-2004 - Early Voting Trends

23-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 4

22-Oct-2004 - Bush OKs New Corporate Tax Cut

22-Oct-2004 - Beware Fox News and MSNBC

21-Oct-2004 - Gymnast Paul Hamm Gets to Keep Gold

20-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 4

20-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 3

19-Oct-2004 - Movies Released in 2004

18-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 2

18-Oct-2004 - The Crystal Prison

17-Oct-2004 - What If There's a Tie?

16-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 3

15-Oct-2004 - Endorsements for John Kerry

13-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 2

13-Oct-2004 - Bits and Pieces, Volume 1

12-Oct-2004 - Ranked Choice Voting Hits San Francisco

7-Oct-2004 - Notable Quotes, Volume 1

7-Oct-2004 - Prince Adares Shows Signs of Royal Affinity

7-Oct-2004 - Controlling the U.S. Senate

7-Oct-2004 - Key Battleground States

6-Oct-2004 - Democratic Hopes for the 2004 Elections

6-Oct-2004 - Welcome to The Imperial Gazette


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October 6, 2004

Democratic Hopes for the 2004 Elections

A lot of Democrats and liberals are wringing their hands, bemoaning the fact that we seem doomed to face another four years of King George. But fear not! All is not yet lost. Do not get discouraged, and do not assume that your vote doesn't count. It remains imperative that you get out to vote on November 2nd.

Many political commentators are now saying that John Kerry is closing the gap with George Bush. I believe they're incorrect, but not for the reasons most would say. I believe that John Kerry is already ahead of George Bush and has been for weeks. And I believe that on election day, many commentators will be surprised not only that he wins, but by how much.

Here's why...


Voter Registration is Up

Throughout the country, but especially in key battleground states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Maine), the registration of new voters is hitting record numbers. Hundreds of thousands of new voters have been registered in these states, far exceeding the margin of victory in each state in the 2000 election. In many areas, election offices have been forced to hire additional staff in order to keep up with the unexpected demand. And while the deadline to register has passed in some areas, it currently remains open in several others, including the voter-rich state of California and the battleground states of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Maine.

There are a lot of reasons for the increased registration. First and foremost, voters now see that after several states were decided by only a few thousand votes or less in 2000, their vote actually does count. And many who saw little difference between the two parties four years ago now see a very stark difference between the current Administration and their own beliefs and values.

The increased registration clearly favors Democrats. Some election officials are publicly acknowledging that the registration of Democrats exceeds Republications by a more than 2 to 1 ratio (and in some areas, independents and small parties are collectively exceeding Republican registrations as well, and many of these voters will end up voting for John Kerry in November). Other areas refuse to disclose the actual registration counts, but none give a majority to Republicans.

Traditionally, Republics vote like it was religion. They register properly, and they vote reliably, rain or shine. When voter registration is up, it never favors Republicans because most eligible voters sympathetic to Republican issues are already registered.


The Polls Are Inaccurate

Tracking polls and exit polls have gotten far more sophisticated these days than in 1948 when Dewey was prematurely and erroneously declared the victor over Harry Truman's re-election campaign. Even so, they are hampered by a flaw that was minor and even necessary in previous elections, but this time will make all the difference in the world: they only count likely voters.

To be considered a likely voter, the pollsters ask whether the respondent voted in the last election. That's normally a fine process, since folks who didn't vote last time are statistically more likely to miss voting again. But this year will defy that. Younger voters who weren't 18 four years ago are registering in record numbers, and they tend to skew more liberal. Older voters who felt disenfranchised from the process are also registering in record numbers now that Florida has proven that their vote does count, and many who were registered but didn't bother to vote last time won't make that mistake again. These are unlikely voters who will vote in 2004, and will overwhelmingly vote for Kerry.

In addition, the pollsters are completely missing many key demographics that will overwhelmingly skew to Kerry: younger voters who only have a cell phone and are therefore generally not reached by pollsters; voters who speak little or no English (who are being aggressively courted by both parties); and voters who are overseas.


Overseas Voters

Voters outside of the country have traditionally skewed Republican. Those who bothered to vote traditionally came from one of two voting blocks: people stationed in the military, and wealthy Republican jet-setters lounging in Europe.

Oh sure, there are lots of liberals outside of the country come election day...but most of them don't vote. At least, not historically. But this year is different. A lot of the ex-pats who are exposed to unfiltered world media see that they can no longer afford to sit out the election.

And more importantly, I predict that members of the U.S. military will vote for John Kerry in record numbers. Sure, the Republicans have a strong hold on those with enough patriotic fervor to enlist in the first place. But many respect that Kerry served in Vietnam when Bush ducked it, in spite of the recent confusion and mudslinging from the Republicans. And more importantly, many on the ground in Iraq and elsewhere see how disastrous our military efforts are currently being conducted. They are disillusioned with George Bush and see John Kerry as a better alternative.

Debate Momentum

Much has been made over how John Kerry won the first debate. But the biggest impact is that the debate has given Democrats hope. Those who were ready to throw in the towel and not bother to show up on November 2nd now see that there is life left in the campaign, and that the Democrats have a chance to win after all.

In addition, the first debate focused on topics that were supposed to favor Bush: terrorism and foreign policy. Kerry gained ground on Bush's own soil, so to speak, and I predict he will do even better once it turns to domestic issues. Bush will be better prepared for the town hall debate on Friday, and Kerry will have to overcome his tendency to come off a little cold in that sort of forum. But the town hall debate will include questions covering a range of topics. I think Kerry will be well prepared to neutralize Bush on topics that favor him, and gain considerable ground on domestic issues. And I think his momentum will increase even further come the final panel debate, which will focus entirely on domestic issues.


Voter Mobilization

Ultimately, close campaigns always come down to who is best able to make sure their voters get to the polls. Traditionally, Democrats live or die by this. Republicans almost always vote come hell or high water. Unless there is a sudden, last-minute disillusionment with their candidate, they will turn out. But Democrats traditionally have more challenges with voters who expect to vote but then don't because the baby-sitter fell through, or it's raining, or they were running late for work and had to pick up dinner for the family afterwards.... But this year, the Democrats are already poised to get out the vote. In Florida, which is already shaping up to revisit many of the problems of the 2000 election, hundreds of Democratic attorneys are already in place to monitor the polls for election irregularities. And most importantly, voters who found it easier to come up with an excuse before will find it harder to believe that their vote doesn't matter. This time, we'll see Democratic mobilization like we'd never seen.


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