Thursday, November 04, 2004

Reaching Out and Touch This

I love this quote from Bush today:

"I will reach out to every one who shares our goals"

I just love that. Think about it for a bit. Is that a conciliatory tone? Is that a statement meant to build unity? Is that a humble statement? Come on boys and girls; use that grey matter. Translation: You're with us or against us. I will work with those who share my objectives. I am open to others as long as they agree with me. My goals are more important than your goals.

We are in for a long four years. According to Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush has a mandate. The people have spoken. But what about the other 55.9 million Americans? Let's put some perspective on this mandate, shall we? From Another Liberal Blog:
Assuming Bush gets New Mexico and Iowa, he will have gotten the lowest percentage of electoral votes (54%) of any incumbent running for reelection since Wilson. If those two states should swing Kerry's way (NM might), it'll be even lower.

He will have won with the lowest percentage of the popular vote (51%) of any incumbent running for reelection since Truman (well, technically since Clinton, but he also ran against Perot, who was a more significant 3rd-party candidate than Thurmond and Wallace were in '48)

He will have won by the lowest margin of the popular vote (3.5M) of any incumbent running for reelection since Truman (2.1M, and back then only 50M voted).

He will have won the three states that put him over 270 (OH, NM and IA--assuming the last two go his way) by only 161,989 (not counting the provisional ballots, absentee, etc.).
Or to put it in more Democratic terms:

• 1% more than 50% is not a mandate but a bare, thin, majority.

• At 80% approval after 9-11 and guaranteed a landslide election by prognosticators 2 years ago, only half the country supports him

• A president who leads a divided country owes it to all Americans to lead fairly or have his party face the consequences begining in 2006. No one else is here to blame.Then there's these numbers from Chris at MyDD:
The last two cycles have seen the forging of a new Democratic Electoral coalition. CA, MI, OR and WA have left the realm of the battleground and joined the Democratic base, while CO, NV and VA have left the Republican base to become swing states. At the same time, no safe Democratic state has become a swing state, and only AR, LA and WV have left the battleground to join the Republican base. The advantage in the battleground belongs to us for the first time in many, many cycles.
Then about that youth vote that didn't show up. Umm, dear media, you might want to re-check your math:
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement is reporting that Young Voter turnout increased by 4.6 million over 2000 levels. Turnout for young voters topped 50% for the first time since 1972, when 18 year olds first gained the right to vote. In battleground states, turnout among 18-29 year olds was at an unprecedented 64.4%
It is going to be a long four years. But let's not start it off believing the hype from the dark side.