BUSH GEARING UP FOR CLOSE RACE

Giving lie to the ridiculous notion that the GOP feels so invincible they can ignore moderates, Mort Kondracke reports,

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.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I’d wager that even if Bush’s internal polling shows him winning in a walk, his campaign will still play up the 50-50 America theme to inspire supporters to get out and vote. Rove is smart enough to realize the dangers of a coattail-less victory. (We get hints of this in Kondracke’s article.) An easy ride to the White House –Morning in America II — would possibly be a disaster for Congressional Republicans and thwart the President’s legislative agenda. John Lemon should be coming by to reinforce this point sometime soon 😉

  2. Steven says:

    “And, besides, a prevent defense never works”

    Just ask the Green Bay Packers…

  3. BigFire says:

    The Bush campaign is merely practicing the the old saying goes Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst.

  4. melvin toast says:

    Why can’t he run a campaign like Saddam? He got 100 percent of the vote!

  5. blogoSFERICS says:

    Smart ‘Chimp’
    Bush, Campaign Team Operate as if 2004 Will Be Close Race Mort Kondracke All sorts of current numbers suggest that…