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Saturday, August 28, 2004
Pre-RNC Toast (Better Late than Never)

By Steven Taylor @ 11:43 am


-Rounding-up, analyzing and handicapping the 2004 election-


Texas Toast or French Toast?
Tracking the race to the White House.

.

PRE-RNC TOAST

Well, the toast took a bit longer this week than normal, but here is it: the weekly assessment of the race for the White House along with a round-up and news and analysis.

The President goes into the coming week with an opportunity to make a significant impact in the race. While the numbers are still in the “too close to call” category, they have been trending in his favor of late. Can he build on those numbers? Any measurable bump will be huge, and likely will be covered as such. If the President can get a solid 5 point bump at the end of the week, the convention week will be considered a huge success. Further, it could give the President’s re-election campaign a further opportunity to solidify that growth during the upcoming third anniversary of 911.

As we head into the week in New York, we will be able to see not only the GOP’s infomercial, but the sideshow that will be the protestors. It will be interesting to see who is more damaged by the protests: Bush or Kerry.

  • Protest Early, Protest Often: Protests Come Early, and So Do Arrests.

  • New York braces for protests.
  • Not only GOP fears New York protests
    Protesters opposed to President Bush want the attention of the rest of the nation, even the world, and they will get it.

    Just how they do it worries Democrats, who say protesters’ efforts could backfire if supporters of John Kerry are portrayed on the national news as lawbreakers and anarchists.

  • Both parties lay political groundwork in case of violent protests.
  • Poll: Residents OK With Park Protests
  • Protest Early, Protest Often: Protests Come Early, and So Do Arrests.
  • Largest GOP Convention Protests Planned For Sunday.

And don’t forget to check out RNCBloggers to get on-the-ground reporting from Madison Square Garden.

This Week’s Toast-O-Meter reading

Kerry is taking hits from the Swiftees (as evidenced by the fact that he has decided he must defend himself daily, and that he decided to spend money for ads on the subject—money he was originally planning to save). Meanwhile, Bush has seen an uptick in the polls and is poised to add to that number (at least the opportunity is there for the taking). Of course, the econ news gives him some woes that may burn him.

Based at least partially on the potential inherent in this week, coupled with the poll numbers and the Viet Nam issue, Bush comes out ahead in this week’s Toast-O-Meter. Indeed, this is Bushes best ranking to date:

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

  • Bush courts rural Michiganders.
  • Courted by Kerry, McCain Taking Major Role for Bush. James Joyner has more on the Bush-McCain Alliance.
  • Bush Crams in Ohio, W.Va. Trips Before RNC.

AD WARS

This is where the action is in this pre-convention week. Not only is the on-going flap over Kerry and the Attack of the SwifteesTM, but there is also the related story of the attack on the 527s themselves, that the President has joined. Meanwhile, the Swiftees have a third ad out.

As I have noted on numerous occasions, all of this is simply the messiness that occurs alongside free speech. And trying to regulate it is both wrong and, for that matter, ultimately impossible. The lesson here should be that regulations on political speech are pointless, but instead it is likely to calls for more rules.

  • Presidential Campaign Ads Take No Break
  • Kerry TV Ad Pins Veterans’ Attack Firmly on Bush.
  • Kerry ad calls on Bush to ‘denounce the smear’.
  • Poll: More Believe Bush Behind Attack Ads.
  • Bush Team Rejects Call to Pull Olympic TV Ad. Makes sense to me: it is a terrific ad.

Brewing Issues

It remains to be the case that terror, Iraq, the economy, and (unfortunately) Viet Nam, remain the main brewing issues of the week.

  • Continued Job Troubles Seen in Crucial States.

  • Bush Aides, in Shift, Say Oil a Drag on Economy.
  • Controversial Overtime Rules Take Effect.
  • One thing is for sure: the Viet Nam debate ain’t going away.
  • Economy More Sluggish Than First Thought. The fact that second quarter growth at only 2.8% (less than the original estimates) will give Kerry a further basis for arguing that Bush has not been a adequate manager of the economy.
  • Along the same lines, some powerful numbers for Kerry to utilize: Ranks of Poor, Uninsured Rose in 2003.
  • Bush has attempted, as least, to quell the criticisms from Kerry, that he isn’t acting fast enough on the 911 Commission’s report: Bush Enhances CIA Role as Interim Reform.

POLLING

  • Poll: Voters Eyeing National Security
    Concern about national security is dominating public attention in the final months of the presidential campaign because of continuing fears of terrorism and unhappiness about the war in Iraq, according to a poll released Wednesday.

    “For the first time since the Vietnam era, national security issues are looming larger than economic issues in an election year,” said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

  • James Joyner notes the new LAT Poll and Robert Tagorda looks inside the numbers.
  • Arab Americans favor Kerry over Bush, poll indicates-War in Iraq seen as main reason for shift from GOP.
  • Poll: Kerry Loses Ground With Voters.
  • Dave Wissing has the national head-to-head numbers.

THE OLD COLLEGE TRY

  • James Joyner has the battleground numbers and EC estimates. Conclusions: as of right now, it is Kerry’s to lose.

  • CNN: Bush holds slight lead in Electoral College.
  • Scott Elliot discusses the electoral college issue in Colorado as do James Joyner and George Will.
  • Check out the latest at Election Projection - 2004 Edition.
  • As always, Dave Wissing has the state-by-state numbers.

PROMISES, PROMISES

  • Kerry Vows to Reverse Job Losses to Overseas

  • Edwards Unveils Plan to Slow Job Losses.
  • Kerry promises to protect consumers under pressure from banks, credit cards.


    Kerry promises to cut health care premiums.

THAT AIN’T THE PRESIDENT’S JOB

  • Edwards Criticizes Banks on College Loans.

  • This one fits in two categories (it is listed above under “Promises, Promises” as well): Kerry promises to protect consumers under pressure from banks, credit cards.

WHEN PANDER-BEARS ATTACK!! (Wherein it just so happens that I decided to reveal my plan to promote the greater usage of celery as an alternative fuel at the National Celery Association’s annual meeting).

  • Bush Proposes $2 Billion for Florida, Attacks Kerry.
  • The Command Post - 2004 US Presidential Election linked with Rounding up the Race
  • VodkaPundit linked with Weekend Reading
  • white pebble » RNC: Analysis corner: faith and vodka. linked with a pingback
  • ProfessorBainbridge.com linked with Toast-o-Meter

Click here to go to the main page.

2 Comments»

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  1. The political impact of the protests in New York will depend on the extent to which mainstream Americans can identify with 200,000 freaks. But as they remind older Americans of the ’60s counterculture, to the extend Kerry is identified with that, it could hurt him a little.

    I saw a sign yesterday on C-SPAN: “More f******, less fighting.” The asterisks were letters, and it reminded me of a cheapened, Clintonized version of the old standard: “Make love, not war.”

    Comment by Mark Kilmer — Monday, August 30, 2004 @ 7:16 am

  2. Good roundup. In regards to protests this week, I think that many of the groups like International ANSWER and Not In Our Name are going to do whatever they can to disrupt the convention. There is every chance that things will get out of hand and a good opportunity for conservatives to remind the rest of the nation that Senator Kerry is one of the founding fathers of this kind of the radical anti-war protest movement.

    I blogged on the topic on my site:

    http://www.viewpointjournal.com/comments2.php?id=P113_0_1_0

    Thanks,

    David Flanagan

    Comment by David Flanagan — Monday, August 30, 2004 @ 9:37 am

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