Saturday, November 06, 2004
The reality is that this was a broad victory for the president. Bush did better this year than he did in 2000 in 45 out of the 50 states. He did better in New York, Connecticut and, amazingly, Massachusetts. That's hardly the Bible Belt. Bush, on the other hand, did not gain significantly in the 11 states with gay marriage referendums.
If the morality gap doesn't explain Bush's re-election, what does? A good part of the answer lies in the terrorism gap. Nationally, 49 percent of voters said they trusted Bush but not Kerry to handle terrorism; only 31 percent trusted Kerry but not Bush. This 18-point gap is particularly significant in that terrorism is strongly tied to vote choice: 99 percent of those who trusted only Kerry on the issue voted for him, and 97 percent of those who trusted only Bush voted for him. Terrorism was cited by 19 percent of voters as the most important issue, and these citizens gave their votes to the president by an even larger margin than morality voters: 86 percent for Bush, 14 percent for Kerry.And when even Andrew Sullivan agrees with it (via Daimnation), you know that there's a point here.
The BBC, though, still hasn't gotten the message. No surprise there. But at the end of the day, the numbers don't lie (unless, of course, the exit polls were way off, which is totally possible, but that doesn't hurt my argument):
|Defining Issue||Issue share of total||Issue share to Bush||Bush's share from issue|