What Is Rove Doing?

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

That’s the question that has been plaguing me for a while. I see Bush going out to states where he is already doing well, and talking about issues that merely mobilize his base, rather than trying to attract the crucial swing voters. How can he hope to win an election THAT way, I constantly ask?

Well, according to this analysis, Bush can win an election that way.

Therein lies an important key to understanding Bush’s reelection strategy. Although age-old campaign rules dictate that the general-election candidate must emphasize moderate "swing" voters and political independents, Bush strategists are predicting that this election, more than previous ones, will be determined by the turnout of each side’s partisans. Although not discounting swing voters, Bush is placing unusual emphasis so far on rallying the faithful.

Mmmmm. So maybe he does have an actual campaign strategery (other than cheating, I mean).

The problem that I see with that strategy is this: while Bush may be mobilizing his base, he unwittingly mobilizes Kerry’s base at the same time. For example, when he speaks on subjects that please the social conservatives, he invigorates the progressive movement and others who really hate that moralizing shit! In other words, Bush motivates his no-base to vote against him just as much (if not more) than he motivates his base to vote for him.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read for anyone interested in political campaigns.