Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

July 28, 2004

by V

Right-wing pollster calls it for Kerry

This is an interesting peek into the mind of a Republican pollster (who plays a "nonpartisan" analyst on Hardball, but who also worked with Newt Gingrich to engineer the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress).

The Gadflyer: Luntz Spilz by Thomas F. Schaller
So I'm at the event sponsored by Democratic Gain tonight (Sunday) at Avalon -- the nightclub located directly across the street from centerfield at Fenway -- when I spot GOP focus-group guru Frank Luntz ... soon enough Frank is standing all by himself, right behind me...

Anyway, Luntz seems a bit tipsy, but there he is, a few feet away. I cannot resist.

"What do you think?" I ask him, in a tone that indicates that I'm not talking about last night's Sox-Yankees brawl.

"Kerry will win," he says. I feel myself jump back slightly.

"Wow," I say. "How can you be so sure?"

"Bush's numbers on the war are bad, and it's spreading."

I follow-up: "So, it's that simple -- 'It's the war, stupid'?"

"Well, not that simple...but basically, yes."

"Ok, then, so what's the save-all scenario for Bush? Is there some way he manages to pull it out?"

"Only by making Kerry look bad, inconsistent."

"The flip-flopper thing," I say, seeking clarification.

"Yes," Luntz said. "But even that may not do it."

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I offer two clarifiers. First, I did not mention to Luntz that we were on the record, no less for a progressive webzine. And, two, Luntz seemed to be....well, he seemed a bit tipsy. But, hey, en vino veritas, kiddies. What happens in Boston does not stay in Boston.

And in my own defense, all I asked was -- "What do you think?" ... The point is that Luntz knew what I meant, and meant what he said.
I'm trying to come up with a reason Luntz would be playing with Schaller's mind, but the best I can do is, he's trying to make the Dems overconfident. And that just doesn't seem that likely under the circumstances.

So, score one for Republican panic!
Posted by V at July 28, 2004 08:34 AM

"Bush's numbers on the war are bad, and it's spreading."

If you want to be a war President, you've got to win the war. Americans don't like losers.

Posted by: Night Owl at July 28, 2004 08:58 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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