The Daily Brew
Monday, January 06, 2003:
Common Sense // 7:31 PM
Digby points us to a Ron Brownstein piece in today's LA Times (sorry, Digby's link was broken) about who is up for grabs in 2004.
"The real battle is in the middle. Relative to Bob Dole, the GOP's 1996 nominee, Bush in the 2000 election advanced across the entire center of the electorate. Bush improved on Dole's vote by 7 percentage points with moderate Democrats and by double digits with the three other swing groups: moderate independents, conservative independents and moderate Republicans. Yet that still wasn't enough to win the popular vote."
Almost as interesting, for me, is the question about where those voters are.
Let's start with the assumption that whoever wins the Democratic nomination is going to win all the states Gore won, except Florida, which Gore won, but it was stolen from him. To ease the discussion, we will call these "blue" states, and we will call the nominee "Kerry". Now assume Bush is going to win all the states he won last time, plus Florida, which he stole. To ease the discussion, we will call these the "red" states, and we will call Bush "Chimp." In 2000, Chimp had 271 electoral votes to Gore's 266. However, after redistricting, the "red" states picked up a net of ten electoral votes. So, if the election were held today, and the Red and Blue states fell exactly as they did in 2000, Chimp would have 281, and Kerry would have 256. In other words, Kerry has to pick up at least 13 electoral votes from the Chimp to win. Here is the map, with the current electoral votes on it.
As with 2000, neither Chimp nor Kerry is likely to waste much time is states like California, which will give its highly educated 55 electoral votes to Kerry, or Utah, which will give its 5 religiously insane electoral votes to the Chimp.
Instead, both will concentrate their efforts on the states where Gore squeaked past the Chimp, and where Kerry's prospects are the brightest for picking off a red state. IMHO, Kerry's best prospects for picking off a red state are the states where Democrats held or took over the governor's mansion in 2002, plus Nevada, since Chimp screwed the casino state on Yucca mountain. IMHO, Field Marshall Rove is going to target both Iowa and New Mexico, since Gore only beat the Chimp by about 5,000 votes in each. Also possible are states Clinton won in either 1992 or 1996, but where the Chimp managed to convince the public to vote against their interest in 2000.
Using that as our baseline, the battleground states break down this way:
Missouri was close in 2000, narrowly going to the Chimp as a result of the usual anti-democracy tactics of the thug right. It currently has a Democrat as Governor, however the Governor's mansion will be in play during the 2004 election. Clinton won it twice, and it has enough electoral votes (11), so that if Kerry wins Missouri and any other red state, the Chimp goes back to Crawford to clear brush (a job he for which he is far better suited than squatting in Al Gore's Oval Office). It is a lock that Missouri will get lots of attention from both Kerry and the Chimp. Lousiana, with 9 electoral votes, is even more interesting, as term limits insure that the governor's mansion will be an open seat. The Chimp won it in 2000, and it is generally considered as GOP leaning, but Landreau's victory, and Clinton's previous victories, make it a safe bet that both candidates will be spending time on the Bayou. Democrats control the Governor's mansion in Arizona (10), Kentucky (8), Tennessee (11). and Maine (4), all of which foolishly cast their votes for the evil Chimp who has destroyed our economy and who will soon lead us into an unnecessary war of agression. If Kerry can win any two of those, Dick Cheney is again cooking the books at Halliburton. Tougher wins, yet still possible, are Arkansas (6), Colorado (9) Georgia (15) and Ohio (20), all of which have foolishly elected Republicans as governors. Of these, Georgia and Ohio are the toughest, with no real statewide Democratic coordination in Ohio, and a rabidly racist community of ditto-head hillbillies in Georgia, who are solid Chimp voters. But of all the battleground states, Georgia and Ohio are the only ones that Kerry can win with no other red state. In every other scenario, Kerry needs two.
So there you have it, folks. If you live in Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico, Missouri, Lousiana, Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, or Ohio, you might get to meet Kerry personally in 2004, or be cordoned off to a "free-speech zone" to protest the Chimp. The rest of us will be watching on TV. Except for one thing:
The Chimp's brother, the younger simian, has broken every law on the book to make Florida impossible for Democrats to win. But without it, and its 27 electoral votes, it is virtually impossible for Chimp to gain 4 more years. Thus, the very best strategy, the sure-fire-silver-bullet-send-Smirk-packing strategy is for Kerry to pick Florida's Democratic Senator Bob Graham to be his running mate, since alone among Democratic prospects, Graham can deliver Florida. Don't blow it, Kerry.
Common Sense // 7:20 PM
Common Sense // 5:52 PM
To make a long story short, Bush is terrorizing millions of Americans, and is set to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, because Karl Rove thinks this will get him re-elected.
First, the Bush administration is using bogus terrorist alerts to, well, terrorize the country.
Second, the Bush administration going to attack Iraq for manufacturing weapons of mass distruction even though UN weapons inspectors haven't found diddly.
Where is the honor? Where is the dignity? To any rational observer, Bush is a sociopath in command of the world's mightiest military. Yet Time magazine is gushing his praises on its current cover. Here at the Brew, we are beyond irony. We have entered the realm of pure disgust.
Common Sense // 5:47 PM