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"That means that a sizable population, somewhere between 20 and 30 percent, are people who once liked George Bush but are now either disappointed or rethinking the matter."

I'd like to hear more about what Dean should do to try to appeal to these folks.

Just thinking out loud here: My sense is that if it weren't for his strong label in the popular media as the "anti-war" candidate there wouldn't be a natural reason to view him as left of the mainstream given his history as centrist and fiscal conservative.

Is there a way for him to shake off that label --that actually is somewhat inappropriate--?
Assuming he wins the nomination is it just a matter of reassuring the public that he's not a pacifist?

Should this be done through symbolic moves, exhibiting his toughness or through policy?


...or maybe by picking Clark?

Jim Roberts-Miller

This business of wanting to get at the 20-30% of voters who changed their minds on Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 is plumb silly. Those voters were never "real" Bush voters, and with the election then years away everyone sensible on the right and left knew it.

That % represents primarily hawkish Democrats or Dem-leaners (in my opinion, I've got diddly-squat in the way of data to back me up) who would not ever vote for a Bush if there was a strong-defense Dem alternative.

In an era where 54% of the vote is often considered a landslide and 57% is considered earthshaking, for a Dem or Rep candiate to battle themselves to 45% of the vote is not really the sort of thing that should excite anyone.


I've noticed that Dean-supporter psychology you allude to on some of the political blogs I read. There is, among some Dean supporters, the sense that they & their guy are pure & their positions the only rational ones, where as everyone else is corrupt to varying degrees. I'm old enought to have felt this way myself about Gene McCarthy & George McGovern back in the day, but I no longer have that sense of certainty--it has been worn away by my desire to do whatever is necessary to reverse the slide toward a return of the Gilded Age we are now experiencing.


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