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What the hell is Bush doing?


Update: I didn’t mean to post this as a blank post. Here’s what I meant to include:

Part 1:
From MyDD, we learn of an interesting new segment of the Bush stump speech. Here’s a sample:

Listen, before I want to say something, I’m traveling with a guest and a friend who represents thousands of people all across this country who are affiliated with the Democratic Party.

In fact, I believe my opponent is running away from some of the great traditions of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party has also a great tradition of defending the defenseless.

If you’re a Democrat, and your dreams and goals are not found in the far left wing of the Democratic Party, I’d be honored to have your vote.

Interesting strategy. But it seems a bit odd in conjunction with the loyalty oaths. Maybe they’re dropping that requirement if they’re trying to craft an appeal aimed directly at Democrats. Or maybe they’re being dumbasses. I always try to look for a better explanation than the latter, but nothing suggests itself here.

Part II
Here is the announced travel schedules for Bush and Kerry. Here’s the state breakdown:

MI 3
PA 3
OH 4
NH 1
MN 1
FL 1
WI 1

OH 2
FL 2
IA 2
WI 1
MN 1
(2 days TBA)

Kerry looks right–two states he’s apparently leading but would put him over the top if he won both (OH and FL) and two states he should be winning but has been floundering and needs to shore up (IA and WI). I guess some polls would but MN in this category as well, but I can’t seem to get worried about it.

But what the hell is Bush doing in PA, NH and especially MI? His most viable victory strategy doesn’t go through these states–it involves FL and the upper midwest and/or New Mexico. Kos speculates more close states could be part of post-election legal strategy, but I don’t buy it.

Could Rove be stupid enough to think that his “victory lap” strategy of 2000 is actually a good idea? Memo to Karl Rove: just because you “won” the election doesn’t mean all of your strategy actually worked. In fact, this part has to be seen as a dismal failure. Bush would obviously have been better off spending late October in Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and Florida rather than wasting his time in California.

Alternatively, perhaps the Bush campaign has proprietary data that suggests that Zogby is correct and MI is in play. This collection of polls has nothing with Bush over 47, and those 47s are from GOP hacks at Mitchell Research (and Zogby). Furthermore, MI is home to one of the largest Arab-American populations outside of California, who have abandoned Bush almost completely (he was at around 50% last time, he’s below 10% at the moment). And, they’ve got one of the older Union-run GOTV machines that’s got a long history of success. And unlike other states, a Kerry victory isn’t dependent on under-30 turnout. If this decision is based on something sounder than his California trips in OCtober 2000, I’d love to see that data.

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