Sunday, October 17, 2004

John Kerry, Lesbians and Ohio

Post-debate poll results are hitting in force, and it looks like Kerry managed to piss just about everyone off with his reference to Dick Cheney's daughter. For those who missed it, the candidates were asked if they thought homosexuality was a choice; Kerry went for the rather underhand political point-scoring by saying "I think if you talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she'll say she is being who she was, she's being who she was born as". His point is, of course, valid, but the aim of this was simply to point out to the Republicans' rabid homophobic Christian supporters that there is a sinner in their midst.

It was a cheap shot, and has backfired quite badly. 64% of voters felt his comments to be inappropriate - including half of all swing voters. At the same time, "Since the debate, the Christian right has been rallying to the side of Mary Cheney. Well-known political preachers like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson have gone out of their way to defend her right to privacy. Conservative radio talk shows and Web sites have been flooded with denunciations of Kerry and support for Mary."

But some people reckoned it was a fair point, and have pointed out the hypocracy of the Republicans in asking whether the Cheneys "upbraided Illinois Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes, who labeled homosexuality 'selfish hedonism' and said that Cheney's lesbian daughter is a sinner."

Yet despite this negative response to one aspect of Kerry's speech, at electoral-vote.com it is noted that "Kerry has regained his lead in New Jersey albeit by only 2% according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll. More important, we now have Florida as an exact tie. A strategic Vision (R) poll taken Oct. 12-14, puts Bush ahead by 4%, 49% to 45%. But an Insider Advantage poll, also taken Oct 12-14 puts Kerry ahead by 4%, 48% to 44%. I guess we could use the Oct. 4-10 Washington Post poll of Florida to break the tie, but unfortunately it says Florida is 47% to 47%. It will probably be a real squeaker again in Florida. The results could depend on the turnout and in which counties the most voting machines fail."

So, to do the maths, "If Kerry wins WA, OR, CA, NV, NM, HI, MN, IA, WI, IL, MI, PA, NY, NJ, DE, DC, MD, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME, he'll have 269 electoral votes. Take away WI and give Kerry OH and he scoots to victory with 274. (270 needed.) Give Bush everything else, and he's at 249. With OH, he's at 269. Tie. Tie favors Bush. Election decided by members of new Congress, plus each state delegation, where GOP has 2-1 advantage."

It's still as close as we always knew it would be. As long as Kerry can avoid making any more stupid comments, it's still possible - albeit highly unlikely - that he may just be able to pull this off. If you know anyone in Ohio, phone them. Tell them to get out there and vote for Kerry. Tell them to tell their friends to vote for Kerry. Tell them to tell anyone they meet to vote for Kerry. Ohio could be where this election is won or lost. Hell, even if you don't know anyone in Ohio, tell them to vote for Kerry...

3 Comments:

Blogger Catherine Vocalist said...

Everyone seems to have latched on to the "lesbian" comment Kerry made because they had nothing else to do. Attach Kerry because of that but yet ignore that fact that Bush is a puppet and a moron and carried on during that last debate like he was high on some drug.

10/17/2004 03:05:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

It was stupid of him though. By all means drop hints, but singling out one person as an example for political gain is only ever going to alienate the liberal undecideds who should be Kerry's natural constituents.

Kerry's team need to do something to repair the damage - the slightest balls-up at this stage of the game could be enough to lose the election - let's not forget that Bush won Florida in 2000 (according to the disputed official final count) by just 537 votes. Even the slightest poorly-worded statement by Kerry could easily convince that many people not to vote for him, even if they wouldn't vote for Bush instead.

Kerry needed (and still needs) to capitalise on his good performances, avoid controversy, and consolidate the boost he got to his ratings from the first debate. The thing about Cheney's daughter was an obvious (and perhaps necessary) point to make, but needed to be handled more subtly...

10/17/2004 03:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see it as a cheap shot. He was pointing out the hypocracy of Cheney/Bush. It is only insulting to mention it if you think that homosexuality is something wrong, that should be hidden, kept in the cupboard.

10/17/2004 11:57:00 pm  

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