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Old 11-04-2004, 05:59 AM   #1
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Why Did Kerry Lose?

To the Kerry supporters, why did he lose the election? I ask this question in the context of "what would you do differently?"

(this is not a place to troll with yet more stupid people voted for Bush comments - the idea is to re-focus the message, re-draft the game plan, outline the qualities of the best candidate if the DNC is to take the White House in 2008)
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:07 AM   #2
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Given that moral issues was the top voter issue in exit polls, I'd have to say that America is becoming more socially conservative and this is why Kerry lost the election. Gay marriage was struck down in several states, and so were civil unions. Women's reproductive rights are in danger of being reduced further.

The next Democratic candidate must reach further into the middle and right-of-middle in order to win. Hillary Clinton is not going to win it against McCain or Giuliani with the information about voters that we now know.
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:21 AM   #3
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Kerry basically ran as an alternative to Bush not as a presidential canidate. People were right when they said his platform wasn't clear enough. The "I have a plan" stuff wasn't enough.

I don't think everyone who voted for Bush had a strong conviction for Bush, I think they were scared of the unknown. The differences weren't made clear. I mean honestly the "moral" issues aren't that different except on abortion, and anyone who voted purely on abortion and thinks Bush will eliminate it is naive. Even their stance on terrorism isn't that much different, it's just Kerry couldn't put it in black and white, and Bush's team spun it so much that people honestly thought Kerry wanted to ask the rest of the world for permission. It came down to Iraq and the fact that Bush was able to capitalize on the perception of running on a "moral" platform.

Issues like economy, healthcare, education, and what the priorites should be were the differences and Kerry just didn't know how to capitalize on them.

Kerry was hands down a better debater, a better speaker and much more elequant but really never had a chance to show his personality. Bush may have the simple minded "I'm a cowboy" personality, but at least he had one. Dean was able to show personality, even Edwards, but Kerry was almost as bad as Gore.

This election could have easily been won by the Democratic party, but the party as a whole needs to come together and figure out their "strategery".
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:42 AM   #4
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Kerry lost beacuse

Kerry lost because he was seen as another eastern/hollywood
elitist that is out of touch with the regular folks (see the number of States Bush carried)
Also I live in Boston and Kerry has "represented" me (I have never voted for him) and the question I asked the most was....what in 20 years of being a Senator has Kerry done
for me? I could not name one bill that he wrote and had passed in those 20 years, (over the last 2 years as Kerry ran for president
he collected his Senate pay check (over 150k) and missed
more votes, like health care and unemployment compensation among other important issues).
Could you imagine you telling your boss to pay you while you
fly around the country for 2 years?? This is just a small example of
his concern for the folks the "represents".
As the Smiths sang....it(he) means nothing to me in my life.
Now Bush while I disagree with going to war in Iraq, he has cut my taxes and anytime I can have more money on pay day, now that is a good thing....it's always abouth the cash!!
I just want to say to all the folks that "hate Bush" please get over it and start thinking how you can reach out and shed the Michael Moore's of the world, these bomb throwers
never over any true solutions and my friends we need solutions not more vitriolic venom!
Feel feel to e-mail me you thoughts (be nice!! lol)
John
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:48 AM   #5
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To some thing, I think the whole morals issue thing is overrated....

Exit polls? Can we trust that crap anymore?
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:11 AM   #6
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seen as/successfully painted as too liberal

didn't put forth an aggressive/clear enough picture of himself and what he stands for. He also should have spoken more emotionally and from the heart during the entire campaign, the way he did yesterday. Didn't strike back hard enough against the Swift boat thing and all the other negative stuff.

fear, and fear of change

not enough 18-24 year olds voted, perhaps he could have gotten more votes from them. I don't know ?

As for the "moral values" thing, I'm not sure. Like I was discussing w/ a friend last night, I'm religious and a Democrat, and I hardly think that makes me some immoral heathen. That's the impression SOME conservaties want to create.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:13 AM   #7
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Two Words

FLIP

POLF

Also the entire plan of getting out the youth vote - you can offer a slacker Ramen noodles and underpants in exchange for his vote, but in the end his is still just a slacker and will not vote.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen

not enough 18-24 year olds voted, perhaps he could have gotten more votes from them. I don't know ?
Getting more liberal college kids probably doesn't help much if they're concentrated in blue states, methinks.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:16 AM   #9
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My two cents:

Kerry is a second rate politician, lacking charisma and the basic communication skills necessary to reach out to average Joe American.

End of story.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:18 AM   #10
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Some commentator on TV last night talked about how people "on the coasts" seem to be so different in their political thinking and preferences than people in the "middle".

That seems like a blanket stereotype to me, but I guess the voting indicated that to some extent.

Not to be argumentative , because I agree about Kerry's lack of charisma, but I don't think Bush has any either. But then again that's all a matter of personal preference

I would think that college students are concerned w/ financing their education, and I have no concrete info, but from what I hear Bush hasn't done much for that.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:33 AM   #11
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Some of you have already touched on this, but I think the main reason was that he never really stood for anything. He seemed to want to please everyone and that backfired on him. You may not like Bush, but you know what he is, he's not afraid to say what he thinks or take a position even if it's unpopular with some. Kerry was wishy washy, two faced, flip floppy and that hurt his case with the average American. Maybe it was a case the devil you know vs. the devil you don't know. I personally never believed the 'anything but Bush' philosophy, I thought there was a huge potential Kerry could be worse. I never trusted him. Not that I trust Bush or any politician, but I didn't feel Kerry was a good idea. I think it scared people away that they weren't ever sure just what he was all about.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by GibsonExplorer
Given that moral issues was the top voter issue in exit polls, I'd have to say that America is becoming more socially conservative and this is why Kerry lost the election.
i say the reason why the democrats lost the oval office, the senate, the house, and many of the gubenatorial elections is that it took them an election day exit poll to figure this out when it was perfectly obvious last year. i've said all along that lieberman would've been a much better choice because he's closer to the middle... but he got trounced in the primaries for a couple of reasons... largely that the democrats, led by ted kennedy, were so filled with hatred for bush, in large part due to the 2000 election that they still feel they won, that they allowed themselves to be suckered in by the howard deans and michael moores of the world. dean lost because he looked like a nut job, so that moved kerry right in. everyone calls kerry a flip flopper, but let's be perfectly honest here... kerry's senate record is as liberal they come. so now they were stuck... they had a liberal senator from massachusets trying to reach out to the far left and the middle at the same time. if he went to far to the left, he lost the middle... if he went to far to the middle, he lost the left. he was stuck. he HAD to be a flip flopper. it was the only way to appeal to both of his bases. thus he never got a clear message across.

bush on the other hand had no problem appealing to the middle and the far right, because the middle in america right now, like it or not, leans more to the right on most issues than they do to the left. so it's not that far of a stretch for him.

add in the "i don't neccesarily agree with everything he does, but at least i know where he stands" factor.

add in the 9/11 factor... many americans, like it or not, still feel like they owe bush their vote because of how he responded in the days after 9/11.

add in ithe spite factor. spite is very under-rated... many americans have a "hey go F yourself" attitude. so when they see two candidates, neither of whom are exactly the most exciting of candidates we've ever had, and one candidate keeps getting "picked on" by millionaire movie stars, musicians, "documentary" makers, and the french... a lot of those people are gonna go "ya know... i don't really like either of 'em... but the french hate bush, so F them, i'm voting for him anyway."

the first ladys were a small factor for those who were very undecided... theresa turned a lot of people off, while it's hard not to like laura. not saying that one is better/smarter than the other, that's just the way it is. theresa might be a very nice lady, but she came across is a wackadoo. laura might be an evil bitch, but she comes across as the nicest lady in the world.

bush is more personable to the average joe 12-pack than kerry is. it helped bush in 2000, and it helped bush in 2004.

edwards is a dreamboat , but he's still a trial lawyer... and lots of americans hate lawyers.

dan rather... cbs's use of a fake document in an anti-bush story made the masses suspicious of the elite media as a whole. not suprrisingly, fox news' ratings continue to climb, despite the bill o'reilly sexuall harrasment charges. the two sides to the mass media debate are as follows... fox news is satan because they spin everything to the right vs. the rest of the elite media are satan because they all hate bush. the cbs issue made the "hate bush" argument seem more valid than the fox news is satan argument.

percent democrats who voted for: kerry- 89%, bush 11%
percent republicans who voted for: bush- 93%, kerry 6%
more democrats voted for bush than republicans voted for kerry by about 5%. bush won the popular vote by 3%

all of these reasons... some more than others... ultimately led to kerry's defeat. some of them are good reasons, some of them are superficial reasons... but they're all still reasons, none the less.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:49 AM   #13
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This was insightful, now we can all enjoy Mark Steyn in the usual outlets because he wont be switching around.
Quote:
Mark Steyn: Bush hatred flops big

November 05, 2004

A COUPLE of weeks ago, Michael Moore was touring the US offering unregistered voters incentives such as free "clean underwear" in return for a promise that they would show up at the polls. I'm not sure whose underwear he was giving away - his own or someone else's - but, if it was the former, the grateful recipients evidently accepted a pair, went and camped out in them up in the Rockies, and forgot to return to town for election day.

The swollen turn-out on Tuesday -- the biggest since 1968 -- killed one of Moore's most cherished myths: that if only more people voted, the natural "liberal" "progressive" nature of the American people would manifest itself. "Slackers are going to rise up in this election," he predicted. "The slacker motto is: Sleep till noon, drink beer, vote Kerry."

Well, two out of three ain't bad.

According to Moore, there are hardly any conservatives in the US, but they do a great job of persuading all the progressives to stay away from the polling booths by putting obstacles in their path, like not giving them free underwear. So the long queues reported at polls were assumed by the media to be proof of that big pro-John Kerry youth vote we always hear about.

But, as always, the "youth vote" never showed up. Last year, I saw some patronising BBC documentary (aired on Your ABC) claiming that George W. Bush was controlled by fanatical Christian fundamentalists who believe in the Rapture. The "youth vote" is the Left's equivalent of the Rapture: it may happen one day, but not on any schedule you want to put money on.

If you had to pick a picture that summed up what went wrong for Kerry, it would be the shot of Moore and Jimmy Carter in the presidential box at the Democratic national convention. All you needed was P.Diddy, aka Puff Daddy (or vice-versa), of the Vote or Die mythical youth movement and it would have been the Democrats' equivalent of those Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin wartime summits. That picture is the Dems in a nutshell: yesterday's politicians, today's show-biz colossi. It's the other way round at the Republican Party: yesterday's show-biz colossi (well, Pat Boone) and today's politicians -- Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain, Rudolph Giuliani. On the whole, that's a better combo.

The Michael Mooronification of the Democratic Party proved a fatal error. Moore is the chief promoter of what's now the received opinion of Bush among the condescending Left -- Chimpy Bushitler the World's Dumbest Fascist. There are some takers for this view, but not enough. By running a campaign fuelled by Moore's caricature of Bush, the Democrats were doomed to defeat.

Granted, Kerry was more nuanced about Chimpy: he ran an over-cautious campaign putting up his supposed "competence" against Bush's "incompetence", which naturally degenerated into reflexive anti-Bush oppositionism. Meanwhile, everyone around Kerry sounded like they'd OD-ed on Moore: his stepson, Chris Heinz, called Bush a "cokehead" and John Edwards went on about war profiteering.

Happily, The Guardian, the fever chart of the British Left, decided to arrange a controlled experiment in the effectiveness of the Bush-hating strategy. They targeted the voters of Clark County, Ohio, one of the swingiest counties in a critical swing state, by getting Guardian readers to send them letters explaining why they shouldn't vote for Bush. Antonia Fraser, John Le Carre and other celebrated Guardianistas put pen to paper and marshalled their arguments.

Richard Dawkins demonstrated the incisive forensic analysis of Bush one expects from one of Oxford's most celebrated professors: "An idiot he may be, but he is also sly, mendacious and vindictive ... thuggish ... pariah state ... brazenly lying ... cynical mendacity." Gloomy film-maker Ken Loach, who makes Moore look like Busby Berkeley, began: "Today, your country is reviled across continents as never before ..."

In return, The Guardian received many responses, saying things like "real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions", which was one of the more polite replies in that it eschewed observations on the defects of British dentistry. In 2000, Clark County went narrowly for Al Gore. On Tuesday, it went decisively for Bush. The local Republican chairman claimed that Fraser and co had done a grand job of rallying the county's Bush voters and getting them to the poll. Thank you, Guardian lefties! Had they launched Operation Massachusetts, Kerry would have lost his own state.

Bush hatred flopped big on Tuesday. That's not a problem for The Guardian's editors, who have to sell papers in Britain, but it is for a Democratic Party that has to sell itself in the US. Michael Mooronification damages everyone who gets it.

Look at the recently resurrected Osama bin Laden. Three years ago he was Mr Jihad, demanding the restoration of the caliphate, the return of Andalucia, the conversion of every infidel to Islam, the imposition of sharia and an end to fornication, homosexuality and alcoholic beverages. In his latest video he sounds like some elderly Berkeley sociology student making lame jokes about Halliburton and Bush reading My Pet Goat.

The lesson of Moore's underwear, P.Diddy's "Vote or Die", Bruce Springsteen's "Rock the Vote" and all the other celebrity props of the Democratic Party is very simple: having the most popular figures in popular culture on your side does nothing for your popularity. Every time Kerry was seen cavorting with Hollywood A-listers, he was alienating the Z-listers -- the American people.

On election day, I was driving through Vermont and found myself behind a car with a Kerry-Edwards sticker and an Instead of Being Born Again, Why Not Grow Up? sticker. Fair enough, the feeling's mutual: the secular, coastal, libertine Democratic Party has zero appeal to born-again Christians. The problem is the crude numbers: 40 per cent of Americans identify themselves as born-again. So right there you've written off 40 per cent of the electorate. What have you got in return? The gay vote? Five per cent? And Bush got a quarter of that.

Another significant sliver of their vote doesn't care much for the holy rollers but recognises that on the big issue -- the war -- the Republicans are right.

Feisty internet blogger Michele Catalano put it very well in her election day declaration: "I voted for George Bush. I am not a redneck. I do not spend my days watching cars race around a track while I drink cheap beer and slap my woman on the ass. I am not a Bible thumper. In fact, I am an atheist. I am not a homophobe."

In their desperation, the Democrats have wound up damning a big chunk of the American people as stupid, bigoted and a bigger threat than Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida. This is ridiculous. As Catalano continues: "You will not be thrown in jail for the sole reason of being a liberal. Your child's public school will not suddenly turn into a centre for Christian brainwashing. Your favourite bookstore will not turn into puritan central."

She didn't add to that list of phony terrors my own choice gem from this election season, courtesy of that eminent political analyst Cameron Diaz, who advised Oprah Winfrey's viewers: "Women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies. If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, then you should vote." Poor Cameron. The scary people won. She's just lost all rights to her body. Unlike Alec Baldwin, she can't even move to France. Her body was grounded in Terminal D.

As long as Democrats prefer phantom enemies to real ones, they will be increasingly irrelevant. If I were a Dem, I'd support any candidate who pledged to de-celebrify the party and disown the paranoid Left. That's the big lesson of this election: on Tuesday, the bottom dropped out of Moore's underpants.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:59 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


everyone calls kerry a flip flopper, but let's be perfectly honest here... kerry's senate record is as liberal they come. so now they were stuck... they had a liberal senator from massachusets trying to reach out to the far left and the middle at the same time. if he went to far to the left, he lost the middle... if he went to far to the middle, he lost the left. he was stuck. he HAD to be a flip flopper. it was the only way to appeal to both of his bases. thus he never got a clear message across.
Exactly!


Quote:
add in the "i don't neccesarily agree with everything he does, but at least i know where he stands" factor.
Good point.


Quote:
add in ithe spite factor. spite is very under-rated... many americans have a "hey go F yourself" attitude. so when they see two candidates, neither of whom are exactly the most exciting of candidates we've ever had, and one candidate keeps getting "picked on" by millionaire movie stars, musicians, "documentary" makers, and the french... a lot of those people are gonna go "ya know... i don't really like either of 'em... but the french hate bush, so F them, i'm voting for him anyway."
Another good point. I know people who were sickened by the tour by Springsteen and others as being arrogant enough to think they could change people's minds, and attack a candidate personally. Even though we all know 'rock the vote' has always been liberal, no one until now went for the throat of a particular person the way these 'stars' in Hollywood and music did Bush. That pissed a lot of people off. I know one guy who voted for Bush just to piss them off!


Quote:
the first ladys were a small factor for those who were very undecided... theresa turned a lot of people off, while it's hard not to like laura. not saying that one is better/smarter than the other, that's just the way it is. theresa might be a very nice lady, but she came across is a wackadoo. laura might be an evil bitch, but she comes across as the nicest lady in the world.
Sorry, Theresa came off as a bitch and looked like a hag. I do think that hurt the package.



Quote:
edwards is a dreamboat , but he's still a trial lawyer... and lots of americans hate lawyers.
True, and sorry to the droolers, I respect their personal taste, but to many (including me) Edwards was not only a crooked lawyer type but had the fake plastic grin of a stereotypical dishonest used car salesman trying to scam people



Quote:
dan rather... cbs's use of a fake document in an anti-bush story made the masses suspicious of the elite media as a whole. not suprrisingly, fox news' ratings continue to climb, despite the bill o'reilly sexuall harrasment charges. the two sides to the mass media debate are as follows... fox news is satan because they spin everything to the right vs. the rest of the elite media are satan because they all hate bush. the cbs issue made the "hate bush" argument seem more valid than the fox news is satan argument.
Again, people didn't like the way Bush was being railroaded and some disliked the tricks more than they disliked Bush. It even brought sympathy for Bush he was being bashed by so many famous types and the media! The fake documents of CBS were like the fake Edge of interference, people felt tricked, betrayed, and pissed. (and I do think if noit caught they never would have admitted it)


Quote:
all of these reasons... some more than others... ultimately led to kerry's defeat. some of them are good reasons, some of them are superficial reasons... but they're all still reasons, none the less.
Headache, this is an excellent post with good observations. Every politician should read this and learn from it
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:59 AM   #15
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great article... how true it is. keep spewring your anti-bush hatred people. you're only setting things up for another republican to be elected in 2008.
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