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Weve all heard these

We've all heard these stories about folks getting ejected from Bush-Cheney events for wearing Kerry-Edwards T-shirts or not signing Bush loyalty oaths. This story at ABCNews.com has some elements of false parity between Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards in the way the piece is structured (especially the lede). But on balance it's a clever and very revealing piece.

ABC got a group of its producers to go to Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards events wearing the other campaign's T-shirts. The rules were to get the tickets completely legitimately and maintain entirely courteous behavior at the events.

In other words, the only issue was the T-shirts.

At one Kerry-Edwards event, the BC04-clad producers were surrounded by sign waving Kerry supporters, in attempt to make the purported Bush supporters invisible to the press. In this case, one of the volunteers later said, "My job tonight was to run interference so that we didn't have any negative situation on our hands ... Our job was to stand in front of them and make sure that, number one, that press had access to Kerry stuff and not necessarily Bush."

At another event, a Kerry campaign worker approached the producers and told them that they had the right to eject them if they made any disturbance. The guy in this case told them, "We hold the right to remove you, but other than that, enjoy and hopefully at the end of the event you'll want to wear a Kerry T-shirt."

You could say it didn't go quite so well in Bush-Cheney land. When the producers tried to get into a BC04 event, they simply weren't allowed in at all.

A campaign volunteer told them: "I'm sorry, but they're Kerry shirts ... We were told not to let people with Kerry shirts into the rally."

And then this happened ...

And as they approached the gates of the stadium, Lance "Chip" Borman, a Bush campaign worker and attorney who worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, directed them toward the Brevard County sheriff's deputies waiting at the exit.

"Hey folks, it's a private event," he said. "Can you find your way to the nearest exit? Maybe some law enforcement can help?"

Maybe some law enforcement can help. That's adorable.

When some others slipped into their Kerry-Edwards-wear when they were already inside, this happened ...

A second team of ABC News producers waited until entering Space Coast stadium before showing its Kerry-Edwards T-shirts, but was still quickly spotted and ordered out by Borman, who identified himself as working for the Republican National Committee.

He said the rally of some 18,000 people was a "private event," and it made no difference that producers Christine Romo and Jessica Wang had tickets and remained silent and respectful.

"But you wore the shirts; you wore the shirts," Borman said. "And honestly, if you would have come without the shirts and sat quietly, you would have had a fun time and enjoyed it, but I mean it's not that kind of event." He then instructed the sheriff's deputies to escort the ABC News team out to the parking lot.

A bit different, no? But I guess that's the leadership principle for ya ...

Earlier today in the

Earlier today in the Philadelphia suburbs, the Bush-Cheney campaign was running robo-calls to voters with the following script.

Hello. John Kerry's trial lawyer allies have a scheme to keep you away from the polls tomorrow as part of their hardball strategy. Democrats are trying to intimidate Republican election workers. They're hoping to win through fraud, harassment and law suits what they know that can't win at the ballot box. Don't let them get away with it. Remember that tomorrow is election day and only you can make sure Kerry's hardball tactics don't work. Only you can make sure that the American People—not trial lawyers, not foreign leaders—decide our next president.

Just one of those warm and fuzzy <$NoAd$>Orwell moments ...

More evidence of the

More evidence of the small, but discernible Kerry trend in the final 72 hours.

As we reported in the earlier post, the Sunday CBS/NYT poll, which gave a three point margin to the president, was one of the oldest of those released yesterday. It had calls from Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Today, though, CBS/NYT came out with another poll. And this one has Bush over Kerry by only one point.

But that's not the most important detail. If I'm reading the polling analysis correctly, CBS/NYT took those first three days of calls (totalling 920 people) and added one more day of calls on Sunday. The total at the end was 1,345 people.

Since that one additional day moved the numbers two points in Kerry's favor, that suggests that Kerry's numbers on Sunday were very good.

Late Update: In the interests of completeness, the tracking polls today show a more muddled and slightly more Bush-friendly picture. Zogby and WaPo both went from a tie yesterday at 48% to one up for Bush today. Rasmussen went from Bush up 48.1% to 47.1% to Bush up 48.8% to 47.4%. (When he includes 'leaners', he gets Bush 49.4% to Kerry 48.8%.) And Tipp, which had been trending against Kerry, went from Bush up by 5% yesterday to Bush up 2% today.

Its nice to see

It's nice to see the ridiculous Neil Cavuto, Fox News anchor, catching some heat for quipping that bin Laden was wearing a Kerry for President button in his recent tape.

It's embarrassment after embarrassment for Fox. Of course, the prerequisite, I guess, would be being capable of embarrassment. So, I guess not.

Feeling jittery Dont be.

Feeling jittery? Don't be.

The main danger for Dems at this point is that they'll get knocked off their stride in their ground operation by sundry Rovely shenanigans and razzmatazz. In particular, I'm thinking of various hijinks meant to sap Dem morale.

Here's my brief for very cautious optimism for Kerry supporters.

In the last 24 hours 6 independent national polls have been released. (For the moment, I'm excluding tracking polls; but as of today they're basically a wash.)

Here they are, with readings for likely voters, not registered voters or final projections. (I've included a seventh poll, ARG, because their poll covers the same time period even though it was released more quickly) ...

Marist ... Kerry +1 Fox ... Kerry +2 NBC ... Bush +1 Gallup ... Bush +2 ARG ... Tied CBS/NYT ... Bush +3 Pew ... Bush +3

The best thing these numbers show for President Bush is that 4 of 7 show him in the lead. And his leads are a tad more sizeable than Kerry's.

But look more closely and you see things more favorable to Kerry. The first is that not one of these polls has the president over 49%. And still more telling, if you look at how I've ordered the numbers, it looks like I've arranged them from most Kerry-friendly to most Bush-friendly. But I haven't. I've ordered them by how recently they were taken.

All the Marist poll calls were made Sunday. Half the Fox calls were made Sunday. On the other hand, Pew and CBS stopped calling on Saturday. NBC and Gallup both ran Friday through Sunday.

With the obligatory caveat that the margins are small and within the MoE, the pattern is hard to miss. The more recent the poll, the better margin for Kerry. And in the two most recent ones, he's ahead.

So, on balance there's a movement in Kerry's direction, albeit one which is quite small because so few voters are any longer up for grabs.

Then there's the other issue -- turnout and the ground operation.

That is really the whole issue, as far as I'm concerned.

It's a general rule of thumb that the higher the turnout in an election, the better it is for the Democrats. That's true for a number of reasons, but largely because Democrats do better among 'peripheral constituencies', demographic groups that don't vote consistently.

If you look at the polls above, most of the ones I was able to find 'registered voter' numbers for actually had Kerry beating Bush, by equally narrow margins. That cleavage between likely voter and registered voter tallies means that the president's tiny leads rest on the pollsters' likely voter 'screens'. And that's where turnout and the ground game come into play.

Most of these pollsters have models based on a conventional election, not one in which turnout patterns move in one marked direction. (Folks like Ruy Teixeira argue that they don't even reflect the turnout patterns of recent elections, let along one with a spike in turn-out.)

Democrats and Dem-leaning groups have a massive get-out-the-vote operation this season. The Republicans have a big one too. But Democrats believe that their operation is light-years ahead of what they had in 2000. And it was the ground operation that won the popular vote in 2000.

After talking to friends whose opinions I trust, I *think* it really is that good. And the sizeable Kerry margins among early voters in Iowa and Florida lend support to that judgment. (See this too from Ed Kilgore, re: early voting.) But who knows? I don't know. And they don't either. No one really does. But if the Dems' ground operation is really as good as their people say it is, I think Kerry will win tomorrow. If he doesn't, we'll know they seriously over-estimated it's strength.

Finally, I've spoken to maybe a half dozen Dems whose opinions I trust at a gut level. And each of them has what I'd call a feeling of cautious optimism. For them too, I'd say it comes down to whether that ground operation is really as good as we've heard.

So am I confident, sure Kerry's going to win? Not at all. This is way closer than I would have liked. And I've always tried to be honest with myself about Kerry's stubborn inability to open up any statistically significant lead against the president.

But what I see right now is a incumbent president who can't get past 49% and a dead-even race that seems to be trending ever-so-slightly in Kerry's favor. And on top of all that I think -- for the reasons I noted above -- that the Democrats will win this one on the ground with a mix of better organization and greater determination.

As I said a couple days ago, if you're part of the ground operation, this is in your hands.

Wheels coming off the

Wheels coming off the cart<$NoAd$> watch ...

Mr. Marshall:

One thing I have noticed is that John Kerry and the Democrats are great friends of the United Nations. I have also noticed that the U.N. is NOT a friend of Israel. How often has the Security Council of the U.N. voted against Israel ? They are rather the friends of those who wish to destroy Israel. Did you know that Bill Clinton wants to be the next Secretary General after Kofi Annen ? So then the question, is are you a friend of Israel if you are, as a Democrat, a supporter of the U.N. which supports the sworn enemies of israel ? ? Are you an anti-semite ? ? The Eugenics movement was the parent of both the "Holocaust" and the American Pro-choice movement. If it walks like a duck, has webbed feet and quacks like a duck, quess what, it's a ducks!!

Jeff B.

And in case you're wondering, Jeff B(...). has a name about as Anglo-Saxon as they come.

The second national poll

The second national poll released Monday, the Marist poll, has Kerry up by one among likely voters (Kerry 49%, Bush 48%) and tied among registered voters (48%). All calls were made on Sunday.

The final Fox News

The final Fox News poll -- with calls on Saturday and Sunday only -- has Kerry over Bush 48% to 46% among likely voters. Among registered voters it's Kerry 47%, Bush 45%. Among those who've already voted, it's Kerry 48%, Bush 43%.

Fox has been releasing not a tracking poll, but a new poll every day for the last four days: Friday, Bush +5; Saturday Bush +2; Sunday, tied; Monday, Kerry +2.

Delightful. Im looking at

Delightful. I'm looking at a flyer <$NoAd$>sent around Florida by an outfit called the Florida Leadership Council.

The headline reads: "First Day of School: Eighth Grade South Florida Middle School, 2007"

Under that is a class of school children wearing gas masks and beneath that is the following faux-AP story ...

(AP) Florida Red Zone -- August 14th, 2007 -- President Kerry warned parents and children in South Florida that mandatory radiation and chemical gear would be required to be worn "for the forseeable future" since the Suitcase Dirty Bomb terrorist attack on South Florida in the spring. The first day of school was chaotic, as teachers and school officials attempted to bring some ...

Click here to see the actual flyer with your own lyin' eyes.

A couple statistics stand

A couple statistics stand out to me.

According to Gallup's mega-final-ultra poll out Sunday evening, 30% of registered voters in Florida have already voted, either through early voting or by absentee. Of those who have already voted, Kerry leads President Bush 51% to 43%.

According to the Des Moines Register poll out late Saturday evening, 27% of Iowa adults have already voted. And among those Kerry leads 52% to 41%.

Both numbers seem good for Kerry -- though they may mean a lot of different things.

But, as long as we're asking questions, if these are people who've already voted, shouldn't the number add up to 100% or close to it? Are the remainder folks who wouldn't answer? Or have they already voted but moved back into the undecided column? Or they've forgotten? Someone help me with this ...