I really hope the Democrats don’t truly believe Bush won by riling up Bible-thumpers and beer-guzzling NASCAR fans. The political “right” is a bit more complicated than such a crude caricature. It looks like the biggest shift among the electorate from 2000 to 2004 was among women. Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of The Polling Company, notes the following:
The Disappearing Gender Gap: Senator Kerry posted just a 3% advantage (51%-48%) over President Bush among women, a significant difference from the 11-point margin for Al Gore over Mr. Bush in 2000.
Security Moms (married women with children who cite the war in Iraq or terrorism as the most important issue in deciding their vote) supported the President over Kerry by 18 points (59%- 41%, respectively).
This fits with what I said yesterday. Lots of people who supported Gore last time switched to Bush this time because of the Terror War. It almost certainly cost John Kerry the election. The Democrats are free to pretend otherwise. They can go right ahead and pick another softie in the primary in 2008 and watch what happens. We’ll go through this again and again if that’s what they want.
I’m not buying the now-popular theory that says Bush won because he whipped up an evangelical frenzy against gay marriage. John Kerry also opposes gay marriage. Both Bush and Kerry are in favor of civil unions. Kerry bragged that his position on gay marriage is exactly the same as the president’s. (I think they’re both wrong, for whatever that’s worth. I’m to the left of both of them on this question.) Besides, my state of Oregon voted to ban gay marriage and also chose Kerry in a landslide. The gay marriage debate was barely whispered here. It didn’t help Bush at all. Lots of people around here saw no contradiction voting against gay marriage and also for Kerry.