October 24, 2004

'80, '94, '04?

In This Climate, Victory's No Picnic, Either (ROBIN TONER, 10/24/04, NY Times)

THE long and bitter presidential campaign will (it is widely and devoutly hoped) be over in nine days. One man will win, and the voters will be rewarded with either George W. Bush's "ownership society," with sweeping change in Social Security and an overhaul of the tax system, or John Kerry's "stronger America," with a huge new health program and other assistance for the strained middle class.


Actually, probably not.

Theoretically, it could work that way, with a bitter campaign producing a robust mandate, functional control of the government for one party and a season of legislative accomplishment. But not many in Washington expect it to happen this time.

Folks who fret about the seeming closeness of the polls would do well to recall that Reagan upset Carter in 1980--and that was considered minor compared to capturing the Senate--and no one in the national media foresaw the GOP Revolution in 1994.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2004 10:19 AM

GWB did not have a "mandate" in 2000, either. All he did was cut taxes, sign into law a far reaching education bill, and lead the country in a successful, though continuing, war. I suspect that when he is re-elected, we will see more of the same.

Posted by: Morrie at October 24, 2004 12:23 PM

Because of the way that so many polls have been overweighted in favor of Democratic respondents lately, I have a suspicion that Bush's lead nationwide (and in battleground states) is actually greater than it looks.

Posted by: Joe at October 24, 2004 1:13 PM

It was 1980 that sealed it for me that the polls were talking to themselves. nothing has happened since that time to disabuse me of the notion.

I am still Red and Over.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 24, 2004 5:54 PM