|Man Without Qualities|
Friday, February 20, 2004
From the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll:
Do George W. Bush's actions while in the National Guard make you more likely or less likely to vote for him--or will they not have much effect on your vote?
More Likely 4%; Less Likely 15%; Not Much Effect 80%
Does John Kerry's combat experience in the Vietnam War make you more likely or less likely to vote for him--or will it not have much effect on your vote?
More Likely 19%, Less Likely 2%, Not Much Effect 78%
This CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, which also shows Kerry leading Bush by double digits, exhibits many symptoms of being unscientifically slanted in favor of Democrats - but suppose it is accepted for the sake of argument at face value. That means the Bush AWOL palaver the Democrats and their media followers have been slinging has slightly depressed the President's current poll numbers and John Kerry's service record in Vietnam slightly enhances his poll numbers.
If that is exactly what the Democrats wanted, then Democrats today are a lot dumber than the old ones. Begin with an obvious but important point: the election is not for nine months. This effort by the Democrats has therefore resulted in a tiny shift in the polls nine months too early. And note that the poll question doesn't even ask people whether they would change their vote on this "issue" - only whether it makes their vote for the President "more or less likely." What the Democrats have succeeded in doing here is bashing this "issue" so much that it is now probably spent, having produced only a tiny effect even in today's polls - and nine months from now this "issue" will have much less poll effect than it is having today, which means it will essentially have no remaining effect. The overall result is a disaster for the Democratic effort.
On the other hand, it's positively bizarre that only 19% of those polled say that Kerry's military service will make a vote for him "more likely." (Heck, it makes me "more likely" to vote for him - not that I will vote for him). This is his resume item that is supposed to "inoculate" him from the effects of his weak post-Vietnam military and national security policies, positions and record - and any candidate's military and national security policies, positions and record are going to mean a lot to a lot more than 19% of the electorate. But this poll shows that the military-service "inoculation" means little and will affect few votes. Some "inoculation!" The overall result is a yet another disaster for Kerry's chances.
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