Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Is The Kerry Campaign Underperforming?

Poll: White House Race Tightens Up
Despite concerns about his handling of Iraq, and an overall approval rating of 42%, George W. Bush is still running neck and neck with Democrat John Kerry as the choice of registered voters. Growing public optimism about the nation’s economy has helped lift support for the President.

This is an often repeated by (one made in the lastest American Prospect editorial, actually*, but the outcome of the election depends on Kerry's ability to woo voters. Re-elections campaings are in large part a referendum on the tenure to the incumbent, but not entirely. Even if voters are dissatisifed with the way things are going, they maybe unwilling to rally around an unappealing challenger. Kerry has yet to really strike a cord with many voters who are ant-Bush, but necessairly planning to vote for the Democrats. Mainly this is because the campaign hasn't dominated the public's attention like it will in a few months and therefore the electorate has not really been exposed to Kerry. The Conventions will start to change this dynamic. The Democratic Convention is Boston will be the first time most Americans see Kerry in something more than a 30 second campaign ad or television news sound bite. The direction of the race and Kerry's future will become much clearer after shortly afterwards, as undecideds come to feel that they "know" John Kerry as a presidential candidate and not just as an abstraction.

*The fact that I got the latest issue of the Prospect yesterday has nothing to do with mentioning this, I swear. I never steal other people's arguments, ideas or INFORMATION.


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