They're cooked, and they're starting to realize it.
I'm a firm believer in reading the atmospherics of the last week. I think it shows pretty clearly who's getting the late movement, and I think it almost always breaks stronger toward that momentum than most final polls indicate. The last week in 2000 was stronger Gore, but not a blowout, and there was good movement to him. The final week pre-Iowa was very good for Kerry and bad for Dean, and we all know how that turned out (although the caucus made it even more pronounced). '92 was all Clinton at the end.
Anyway, that's all a preamble to saying that Kerry's going to win this solidly. Everything is pointing to this. His rallies are HUGE, while Bush's are shrinking. His surrogates are getting more prestigious, while Bush is reduced to Zell Miller (whatever happened to John McCain?). He's attacking on the news, while Bush is defending. The poll movement is in his direction almost across the board. Kerry's message is strengthening along pre-set lines; Bush's is fragmenting. Everything about this screams a huge break to Kerry. And now we have Jerome's nifty graph to show us it happening.
Kerry well over 300 EVs and at least 51% of the vote. Senate goes Democratic, House is very close.
Actually, this plays fine with the winger base. It's a "love the sinner, hate the sin" philosophy they claim to follow. In their narrative, the Cheneys love their daughter as all good parents should, but that doesn't imply condoning her behavior. It's twisted in my view, but that's my impression. So, this fake indignation plays fine with them. People like Andrew Sullivan are totally right that Kerry's statement is only a problem if you think homosexuality is something to be ashamed of. But, unfortunately, many do.
Others may hide their objection behind the "dragging her daughter into politics" canard, which is bullshit because a question later in the debate was all about the daughters and wives and no one objects to that. Plus, Mary Cheney freaking works on the campaign. She drug her own self into it. And it's not like she wasn't out already.
But, I think it was a mistake by Kerry (in a political sense; I don't think there's anything wrong with it intrinsically), and the GOP is using it ruthlessly to avoid the real story of the debate (the Osama comment). It's what they do. They use hot-button issues to confuse and distract. The question I have is how can this be any more than a one or two day story? There's nothing new happening here. Kerry should stick to message, and let it pass by.
This could work all right if they use it to lay the groundwork for the domestic-policy debates
This is the key. The debates are everything right now. And a big reason Kerry did so well in the last one is because he set it up perfectly. He pounded Iraq mercilessly for two weeks, so much so that it was almost the exclusive focus of the debate, while the Bushies spent all their time pounding Kerry on "flip-flop" and health care plans. Imagine if the Bush folks spent two weeks trying to shift the focus to something else (like the Afghan election). Iraq would still be a big part of the debate, but not to the point of exclusion as it was.
Now because Kerry beat Bush so bad, Bush is forced to play defense and clean up the mess he made in the last debate. Kerry can then go on and lay the boundaries of discussion for the next one. There's plenty of time to go back to Iraq, but for now, it's all about setting Bush up for another battle on ground of Kerry's choosing. And if they choose well, the domestic debates will be even worse for Bush than the foreign policy one was.
If they are successful, the next two weeks could bring about the end of the Bush Presidency.
God love ya' . . . you're a true optimist. You always believed Kerry would pull out the primaries, and he did.
fwiw, I'm with you. I think Kerry will win this. I think the GOP will spin it as a "wash" and "that's all Bush needed," and I think that's blunt the momentum some. But it'll also raise the numbers for the next debate.
I "think" Kerry will win, but I won't predict it. But here's one prediction for all y'all: contrary to history and expectations, the second debate will have better viewership than the first. And Kerry will do better in each debate.
Interesting that this proposal passing may take Colorado out of notice in the Presidential election rather than put it on. With recent polls, CO was in line for a lot of love from the campaigns. But, now, if it's nearly tied, what's the point of fighting really hard for an EV either way?
Although it would make a nice additional stop on a AZ, NM, NV swing.
I think you guys are missing the point. LV numbers fluctuate, I believe, based on transient attitudes among the party faithful. When one party is dominating the headlines (say around and just after a convention), the people that identify with that party will be more active and engaged in those headlines for a brief period. And since the LVs are counted that way due to a set of questions designed to guage that very thing, they will be weighted too heavily. So, while LV fluctuations may have a tangential importance (it's of some interest to know which side is more engaged at any particular), they vastly outstate the actual impact of those brief, shallow fluctuations. The day of voting will bring out a lot of people that wouldn't be swayed by these little hiccups in the race.
Now, Gallup, with its systemic overstatement of Republicans, is a different issue, but I believe the explanation above explains the variance Chris is talking about.