Dem Panic Watch

by Ted on July 21, 2004

(Ron Burgundy is off tonight.)

From Radley Balko:

If you plug the latest battleground state poll results from Real Clear Politics into the L.A. Times’ handy interactive electoral map, the race right now stands at Kerry 322 and Bush 216.

Charlie Cook, via Mark Kleiman:

This race has settled into a place that is not at all good for an incumbent, is remarkably stable, and one that is terrifying many Republican lawmakers, operatives and activists.

Tony Fabrizio of the Republican polling firm Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates, via Ryan Lizza:

Fabrizio found that undecided voters in 2004 are overwhelmingly anti-Bush and pro-Kerry. By almost every criteria they look like Kerry voters, according to the memo…

As the memo notes, “Clearly, if these undecided voters were leaning any harder against the door of the Kerry camp, they would crash right through it.”

Ruy Teixeira:

And in the last four Gallup polls, independents are averaging a 14 point margin against Bush. To make up that deficit, Republicans would have to not only equalize their turnout with Democrats—against historical patterns—but actually beat the Democrats by about 4 points as a proportion of voters.

I don’t think this is remotely plausible. Such a scenario is only possible with high mobilization of Republicans that is not counterbalanced at all by mobilization of Democrats. That just isn’t going to happen this year (memo to Rove, Dowd and loveable ole Grover: we’re not in 2002 any more); to think it might is a complete fantasy.

UPDATE: From the Washington Post:

John F. Kerry and the major Democratic Party committees have collectively outraised their Republican counterparts this year, blunting one of the GOP’s biggest and longest-standing political advantages, new Federal Election Commission reports show.

For the first time since 1992, the Democratic candidate and the national and congressional fundraising committees combined to outraise their GOP counterparts over a six-month span of an election year, FEC data compiled by The Washington Post found. (emphasis added)



Republican Operative 07.21.04 at 4:33 pm

But . . . but . . . Flip flop trial lawyer . . . Axis of same sex Berger . . . Sandy Niger Fahrenheit . . . Wilson Terror Clarke . . . War on Taxes . . .Values . . . Reagan Taxes . . . 9-11 Family Uranium . . . Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do . . .


Amardeep Singh 07.21.04 at 4:54 pm

If all that is true, why are the Republicans only slightly sweating?

Come September, I predict: the mysterious discovery of OBL in a jail cell in Iraq.

Also: threat level red.


LQ 07.21.04 at 4:59 pm

But . . . but . . . Flip flop trial lawyer . . . Axis of same sex Berger . . . Sandy Niger Fahrenheit . . . Wilson Terror Clarke . . . War on Taxes . . .Values . . . Reagan Taxes . . . 9-11 Family Uranium . . . Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do . . .



Richard Bellamy 07.21.04 at 5:26 pm

According to the most up to date source of electoral vote counting, Kerry is ahead 332-195 (with Tennessee an 11 vote tie).

And just a few weeks ago, Bush was ahead in electoral votes. All this while the national poll numbers bearly move. Kerry seems to be doing things that simultaneously attract voters in swing states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and Arizona have recently swung from red to blue in the polls) and piss off an equal number of voters in strong Bush states whose votes don’t matter anyway.


GMT 07.21.04 at 5:31 pm

OK, since Rush hemmed and hawed over this back in 1992, what exactly is the definition of a “landslide,” in terms of the Elec. College, or however else you want to frame it?

Oh, and Wilson is a big poopy-head and Berger was desperately trying to cover up Clinton’s successes against al-Qaeda. ThedemocratswillendangerournationalsecurityandHollywoodisleadingourchildrendownamoralsewer.

G’nite, folks!!!


dsquared 07.21.04 at 5:52 pm

Fair enough. This now officially constitutes a test of the Iowa Electronic Markets. They are scoring it more or less even (FD: I am still long Kerry as the polls never turned down by enough to get me out of the trade I entered in my earlier post). These experts have effectively made a call on the race which the market hasn’t. We will now see who’s right …


Richard Bellamy 07.21.04 at 6:35 pm

“We will now see who’s right …”


When the election is over and Kerry wins by whatever margin, how do determine who was “right,” seeing as how the market isn’t exactly calling it for Bush.


sidereal 07.21.04 at 8:09 pm

dsquared, say it ain’t so! If you take two to one odds on rolling a 5 or lower on a die and it comes up 6, were you wrong?


Matt Weiner 07.21.04 at 9:16 pm

I was going to link to this Chris Bowers post warning of Democratic triumphalism, but then I saw this Chris Bowers post linking to this study giving Kerry a 98% chance of victory–though I think that has to be 98% chance of victory if the election were held today. Interesting analysis anyway.


Maccabee 07.21.04 at 9:37 pm

I will stick my neck out and predict that Bush will lose big.

Like Reagan and Carter who polled pretty close to each until the election. Then, at the polling booths Reagan blew him out of the water.


Peter Murphy 07.22.04 at 3:17 am

The “conventional wisdom” (i.e., the Beltway Kool Kidz) stated a few weeks that the pivotal states were Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Looking at a map of polling, you see that they’re now in the Democrat camp – Pennsylvaia strongly, and Ohio and Florida far more tepidly. Hell, the Dem’s might pick up Arizona and Missouri. Bush is looking pretty done.

The sad thing is how the regional split from 2000 appears to continue into 2004. The Democrats are over here (Pacific, North East), and the Republicans are over there (West of the Mississippi, South of the Mason-Dixon).


Doug 07.22.04 at 9:16 am

Looking deeper into the LA Times map, there are several unexpected places where Bush is not polling 50 percent: South Dakota, Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina. The Times doesn’t have a recent poll for Virginia, but recent reporting from the Washington Post has highlighted 1) splits in the Republican party over whether cutting taxes is the only proper duty of a legislature, 2) increasing in-migration of professionals to northern Virginia, and 3) discontent among military families. That means Virginia may be in play, too.

If everything breaks Kerry’s way, that points to a 410-128 electoral blowout. That’s a crushing landslide in anyone’s book.

Right now, Bush has one large state and two mediums (IN and GA) where he is polling above 50 percent. Even before the Democratic convention, he is defending way deep in his own territory. Get out the tape Mrs Heinz Kerry; it’ll soon be time to measure the drapes.


Matt Weiner 07.22.04 at 7:07 pm

NV may not be that surprising–GWB barely carried in ’00 after some pandering about a nuclear waste dump, and then broke the promise. I make no normative judgments–it was probably a bad promise to make–but NV always looked likely to be a swing state (though with not many votes).

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