BUSH GEARING UP FOR CLOSE RACE
All sorts of current numbers suggest that President Bush should win this year’s election in a landslide, but he and his re-election campaign are acting as though America is still a “50-50 nation.”
Bush is basking in boffo poll numbers, economic statistics and fundraising results, but he’s again playing the “compassionate conservative” to appeal to moderates and Latinos. And his campaign is organizing as though it fears a rerun of the 2000 near-tie.
Which is as it should be. The eventual Democratic nominee will start from a floor of somewhere around 42 percent, presuming that there is no Nader-type third party candidate to divide the vote. So, even in an Electoral College blow-out, it will be a relatively tight margin in the popular vote. With eleven months to go until the election, Bush’s numbers certainly aren’t high enough to run out the clock. And, besides, a prevent defense never works.