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Key Midwest Swing States Are Leaning Toward Bush

It can't be from all the glowing media coverage.

Key Midwest Swing States Are Leaning Toward Bush

WASHINGTON President Bush is leading Sen. John F. Kerry in three hotly contested Midwestern states, despite continued doubts about the country's direction and the administration's policy choices, new Times polls have found.

Bush has opened small leads within the surveys' margin of error in Ohio and Wisconsin, states where the presidential race was closer in Times polls taken in June. The new Times survey also finds Bush ahead in Missouri, though by a narrower margin than in June.

The three states, with a combined 41 electoral votes, are among those both sides view as critical to the outcome of the race.

In Missouri, Bush leads among registered voters, 46% to 44%; in Wisconsin, he leads 48% to 44%; in Ohio, the president holds a 49%-to-44% advantage, the surveys found.

Like a nationwide Times poll released Wednesday that showed Bush ahead, 49% to 46%, the state surveys underscore Kerry's difficulty in converting a general desire for change into support for his candidacy.

Despite the LA Times spin, this is very good news for Bush.


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Comments (11)

I believe this shows our de... (Below threshold)
djr:

I believe this shows our democracy is going in the wrong direction. Never mind for a second which candidate is best. One of the biggest reasons for the swing is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth phenomenon. These ads are effective but disingenuous, and we are learning once again that even in these trying times, not enough Americans are probing beneath the surface of current events; too many get their info from soundbites, campaign ads, and late-night talk shows. This is a critical time for America, and I find it very sad that Americans are not taking more responsibility for the future of this country right now.

This extends far beyond the Swift Boat phenomenon, of course. As an independent, I see Fox News present the same sort of propaganda day after day, a different sort of propaganda than we see from the New York Times. I have never once heard a convincing argument from Fox News that has a liberal bent. I have many times heard conservative perspectives presented reasonably even by the Times or CBS News, two of the more liberal at the moment. Fox News simply badgers people, quashes discussion, and I find it anti-American. It's too easy. Living in a democracy requires personal responsibility, not spoon-fed answers. Actually, what journalists were most responsible for getting Americans behind the war? People like Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post and Judith Miller and William Safire of the New York Times. Alan Colmes, Fox News' token liberal, is the dumbest sap I think I've ever heard in my life.

People also ought to know that Fox News is not conservative, but neoconservative. How many Americans know the difference? 1%? Is that a high estimate? It's sort of sad. (Rupert Murdoch operates the neoconservative Weekly Standard at a loss, solely to disseminate his political perspective. No other media mogul is anywhere near as overtly political as he is.)

One thing that's especially unsettling to me is how few people who supported the war in Iraq have been able to give me solid reasons as to why it made sense. I never supported the war, because I believe American foreign policy is about setting priorities, and fighting a risky, expensive, and OPTIONAL war in Iraq right now never made the least bit of sense to me. Kerry shouldn't have authorized the use of force, and the Bush administration shouldn't have presented the case the way they did -- in a highly skewed, marketing agency (and in some cases outright fraudulent; I have examples) fashion rather than an honest, objective fashion.

I'm not a pacifist. I can give you virtually every conceivable reason a country might go to war. Starting with national defense, strategic interests, energy or oil interests, supporting allies, etc., and even religious reasons (which generally we ought to steer clear of). And taking the info available in March 2003, I could not put together even a semi-plausible case for going to war. Yes, I lacked inside intelligence. Since then I've discovered the case was even weaker than I thought.

So, pray tell, WHY, precisely, was this war such a brilliant idea? I'd like someone to explain to me why this president is not the dunce I perceive him to be based on his policy decisions to date, and really the competent, or even excellent, commander-in-chief some seem to believe he is. (He touts his steadiness again and again -- though he's flip-flopped on dozens of issues, some of them key ones -- and who wants a president who's steady if he started out in a silly direction to begin with?) I never looked for a reason to dislike him. But the difference, I think, is that I never looked for a reason to LIKE him, either. I stayed open to both sides. And my appraisal is that the man is incompetent to lead this country.

I do not base this on campaign ads, sound-bites, or late-night talk, so take my perspective with the necessary grain of salt.

-Dan

Each one of those polls has... (Below threshold)
MyDD:

Each one of those polls has Bush, the incumbent, under 50 percent. That spells defeat for Bush the incumbent.

The same poll has Bush's approval at 46%, need a new direction at 54%, Bush doing a better job than expected at 21%. Horrible for an incumbent. The Bush 2004 strategy, just get by somewhere in the battlegrounds, reminds me of the Gore 2000 strategy.

And, I'll point the reason why this poll is an outlier. If you look at the inclinations of any other recent poll, you'll find that the partisan camps are equally divided, but not in the LA Times poll. Democrats & Republicans for Kerry at 78/14 and Republicans and Democrats for Bush at 92/4 spells huh?

The likely indicator is the indie matchup, which shows Kerry leading Bush by a 41-40 margin.

Have a good time at the convention.

"we are learning once again... (Below threshold)
George:

"we are learning once again that even in these trying times,
not enough Americans are probing beneath the surface of
current events..."

Heck, you can't even count on the Main Stream Media
to probe anything. The NYT still hasn't printed a
story about what the whole country is talking about:
Kerry's "Christmas in Cambodia" lie.
The Washington Post still hasn't posted a real story
either. The only description appeared the in the
opinions section on page A17.

Don't even try to imply that the Swift Boat ads are
disingenuous. These guys stand behind their words.
Many of the claims are on very solid ground.
John O'Neill is taking each and every question about
their claims; Kerry won't answer a single question.

Don't complain about soundbites steering the election
when Kerry won't give us any.

DJR wrote: "One thing that'... (Below threshold)

DJR wrote: "One thing that's especially unsettling to me is how few people who supported the war in Iraq have been able to give me solid reasons as to why it made sense"

I've posted some of my reasons why I believe the Iraq Campaign was the right move here:

http://www.randomjottings.net/archives/001032.html

Many bloggers have done similar things. The reasons are out there, if you care to look...

These ads are effe... (Below threshold)
These ads are effective but disingenuous, and we are learning once again that even in these trying times, not enough Americans are probing beneath the surface of current events;

What, of a substantive nature, informs you that they're "disingenuous?" Or is it just that you've heard that word used enough by big media sources that you don't feel the need to determine for yourself? What keeps you from probing past the surface?

One thing that's especially unsettling to me is how few people who supported the war in Iraq have been able to give me solid reasons as to why it made sense.

If the value of having a liberal or quasi-liberal democratic state in the balance point of the Middle East isn't obvious to you then consider the negative value that results when authorities can't be counted on to back up their words with more than words. Consider that had we not invaded Iraq Libya would have been close to developing a formidable WMD arsenal, or that Saddam's killing machine would have a already surpassed the total dead from the war, or that the Middle East would have continued to marinate in religious totalitarian belief systems because their vanguard of Islamism would not have been opposed by our vanguard of liberal democracy.

Actually, never mind. If the above isn't plainly obvious then you've obviously chosen to believe your wishful thinking reflects reality, and nothing anyone could say would make a difference.

But consider that according to the most rigorous and objective methodology used so far to gauge the ideological bent of media sources the two least biased sources are FOX News Special Report and the Drudge Report. If they look "neocon" to you, then it's possible that an objective assessment of the facts simply bear out a neocon conclusion.

OK, I'm reposting this. I ... (Below threshold)

OK, I'm reposting this. I didn't realize that block quotation doesn't work. Quoted material is identified with conventional quotation marks.


"These ads are effective but disingenuous, and we are learning once again that even in these trying times, not enough Americans are probing beneath the surface of current events;"


What, of a substantive nature, informs you that they're "disingenuous?" Or is it just that you've heard that word used enough by big media sources that you don't feel the need to determine for yourself? What keeps you from probing past the surface?


"One thing that's especially unsettling to me is how few people who supported the war in Iraq have been able to give me solid reasons as to why it made sense."


If the value of having a liberal or quasi-liberal democratic state in the balance point of the Middle East isn't obvious to you then consider the negative value that results when authorities can't be counted on to back up their words with more than words. Consider that had we not invaded Iraq Libya would have been close to developing a formidable WMD arsenal, or that Saddam's killing machine would have a already surpassed the total dead from the war, or that the Middle East would have continued to marinate in religious totalitarian belief systems because their vanguard of Islamism would not have been opposed by our vanguard of liberal democracy.


Actually, never mind. If the above isn't plainly obvious then you've obviously chosen to believe your wishful thinking reflects reality, and nothing anyone could say would make a difference.


But consider that according to the most rigorous and objective methodology used so far to gauge the ideological bent of media sources the two least biased sources are FOX News Special Report and the Drudge Report. If they look "neocon" to you, then it's possible that an objective assessment of the facts simply bear out a neocon conclusion.

"I believe this shows ou... (Below threshold)
Jim Price:

"I believe this shows our democracy is going in the wrong direction..."

Sorry to nitpick, but we have a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

"One of the biggest reasons for the swing is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth phenomenon. These ads are effective but disingenuous"

The rest of your post shows no evidence to support your claim that the adds are disingenuous. Is this your opinion, or do you have proof that 250+ vets are lying, and only Kerry and a few other vets are the ones being honest? Kerry is the only one who has waffled on his own positions with this, and every other issue he takes up.

"People also ought to know that Fox News is not conservative, but neoconservative. How many Americans know the difference? 1%"

I was really looking forward to you continuing to explain the difference between conservatism, and neoconservatism. You didn't. I guess you're not in that 1% that "understands". For us "common folk", here is a fairly easy to understand breakdown of the term. The word Neoconservative has also been suggested as a "polite way" to infer a negative connotation towards Jewish politics.


"...despite continued doubt... (Below threshold)
Felix:

"...despite continued doubts about the country's direction and the administration's policy choices..."

Yeah, that's some serious spin there. The LA Times knows the SBVFT media circus accelerated Bush's growth in the polls, and they also know that the constant partisan attacks on the Bush administration(Joe Wilson, anyone?) reduced Bush's poll numbers as well.

All of that get's swept aside though so they can remind everyone who the LA Times is rooting for in this contest.

"So, pray tell, WHY, precisely, was this war such a brilliant idea?"

All depends on your point of view. If you believe that the terrorist threat to the U.S. is more than just Al Qaeda or Afghanistan, then removing the support base is a good move.

Iraq was a good choice because we already had the authority to invade(via their broken peace agreements), invading Iraq disconnected the potential terrorist land route between Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the middle east, it established a large U.S. military presence in the middle of the region, the Iraqi population generally is anti-terrorism so a democratic government there should be anti-terror as well, the invasion and occupation gave U.S. troops valuable combat and anti-terror experience which will be necessary if this is as big a project as we fear it might be, the invasion sent a signal to other middle east governments that the U.S. is not messing around, the invasion removed a dictatorship that supported terror and opposed the U.S., and of course it freed 25 million people from oppression.

I happen to agree with President Bush that the threat is more than just Al Qaeda/Afghanistan and that the only solution is to stabilize the region, actively if necessary. The terrorism "fever swamps" need to be drained or the U.S. will be chasing terrorists forever.

"So, pray tell, WHY, pre... (Below threshold)
dario:

"So, pray tell, WHY, precisely, was this war such a brilliant idea?"

Since both Kerry and Bush agreed it was the right thing to do despite what we know now I suppose that question is irrelivent unless you're a Nader supporter.

"I believe this shows our d... (Below threshold)
Jumbo:

"I believe this shows our democracy is going in the wrong direction"

Okay, one more time: "democracy" was a form of government last used in a polity of any size about 2400 years ago. We are and always have been a representative republic.

And nice use of the passive form in "our democracy is going". Seems to me I have ever heard from the left that the people are wise and knowing,in that, "the people/united/ willneverbedefeated" kind of way. How do we then account for the people's shifting away from The Shining Path? Have their minds been clouded by Karl Rove's secret powers? Seems like the only group intent on making sure "the people" don't get all the facts is Tean Kerry. Funny attitude for a group that says it's "for" the average joe.

Meanwhile on his campaign s... (Below threshold)
BigFire:

Meanwhile on his campaign stop in Green Bay, he praise the legendary Lambert Field...




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