September 12, 2004


Size of Battleground May Be Smaller Than Expected (Dan Balz, September 12, 2004, Washington Post)

The presidential race looks closer in many battleground states than some national polls suggest, a morale boost for Democrats after Kerry's worst month of the general election. But as the number of truly competitive states has shrunk, Kerry is faced with the reality that he must pick off one of two big battlegrounds Bush won four years ago -- Florida or Ohio -- or capture virtually every other state still available. To do that, he must hold onto several states Al Gore won in 2000 that are now highly competitive.

The Massachusetts senator spent much of the summer trying to expand the number of battleground states with television advertising and campaign trips to places such as Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana and Virginia. But in the past week, Kerry dramatically scaled back the number of states in which he is running ads. Democratic strategists privately acknowledge that only a significant change in the overall race will put some of the states Kerry sought to make competitive back into play. Democratic hopes for victory in Missouri have diminished sharply, as well.

Tad Devine, a senior Kerry-Edwards strategist, said the shift in advertising dollars marked a decision to ensure that Kerry can campaign fully in all of the truly competitive states in the final weeks. "We did not want to be in the situation that the Democratic nominee was in four years ago of having to choose between Ohio and Florida," he said. "That choice will not have to be made this time. We have the resources to compete in those states and many, many more." [...]

An examination of state polls and interviews with strategists in the two campaigns and the parties suggests that, with less than two months before the election, the 10 most competitive states are, in order of electoral vote strength, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

It's a hopeful sign for congressional and state Democrats that the Kerry camp realizes it can't win, but if they're really going to waste their resources in such Republican states instead of defending core Blue states it may not help.

New Hampshire, for instance, was completely swept by the GOP in the '02 midterm and will easily re-elect both Republican House members, Senator Gregg and Governor Benson. How could it go Democrat at the presidential level and why bother trying to make it?

-THIS IS HOW THE DEMOCRATS END (Brothers Judd, 11/06/02)

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 12, 2004 12:05 AM

Congratulations, oj.

On 6 Nov. '02, you named eight Democrats whom you felt might realistically lead the Democratic Party.
Six of them ran for President in '04.

Good show.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 12, 2004 2:33 AM

I agree. Three conclusions from reading the blast from the past.

1. The bossman is a true giant amongst those of the visionary persuasion.

2. Thank G_d I kept my mouth shut.

3. There is a record of what we say here? hmm.. oh [heck].

Posted by: h-man at September 12, 2004 6:41 AM