Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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. 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 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 ...

Same old, same old.

Some group is South Carolina is circulating a phony letter, purporting to be from the NAACP, alerting voters that they'll be arrested at the polls if they have unpaid parking tickets or are behind in child support.

Here's the report from the AP and more from the SC Democratic party.

This stunt aimed at minority voters crops up every cycle. Here's an example we chronicled from two years ago in Baltimore.

This is but one example. But across the country, the Republican ground game is simple: prevent as many newly registered voters from voting as possible. It's really as simple as that.

Yet another example here from Ed Kilgore.

A couple days ago we noted Chris Suellentrop's mention of the 'Bush Pledge', the loyalty oath attendees at a Bush-Cheney event in Florida were called on to recite.

I've got a question: How often is this happening? At how many events? In how many different states?

If you can provide me with any details -- whether something you've seen yourself or from local press coverage -- please let me know.

Late Update: Later we'll also be discussing what they say about Kerry and Edwards at those Bush rallies before they let the travelling press in room. Today in Florida, Kerry the favorite of foreign terrorists. Or 'When the terrorists come to your house, who would you rather have on your front porch: John Kerry and his SNOWBOARD??? Or George W. Bush and his shotgun?' Or on a lighter note, jokes hinting that Kerry and Edwards are gay lovers. That, and so much more.

Received yesterday from a reader down in the <$NoAd$>trenches ...

Still in Florida.

This was one of the most moving, meaningful days of my life.

My job is to get people to the polls and, more importantly, to keep them there. Because they’re crazily jammed. Crazily. No one expected this turnout. For me, it’s been a deeply humbling, deeply gratifying experience. At today’s early vote in the College Hill district of East Tampa -- a heavily democratic, 90% African American community — we had 879 voters wait an average of five hours to cast their vote. People were there until four hours after they closed (as long as they’re in line by 5, they can vote).

Here’s what was so moving:

We hardly lost anyone. People stood outside for an hour, in the blazing sun, then inside for another four hours as the line snaked around the library, slowly inching forward. It made Disneyland look like speed-walking. Some waited 6 hours. To cast one vote. And EVERYBODY felt that it was crucial, that their vote was important, and that they were important.

And there were tons of first time voters. Tons.

Aside from some hassles from the Republican election commissioner ( … [ed.note: Here the letter writer describes various shenanigans intended to exacerbate the difficulties of waiting hours in line to vote. I’ve censored this detail to preserve the anonymity of the writer.], I actually had an amazing experience. No, actually, in a way because of that I had an amazing experience. Because these people know that the system that’s in place doesn’t want them voting. And yet they are determined to vote.

The best of all was an 80 year old African American man who said to me: “When I first started I wasn’t even allowed to vote. Then, when I did, they was trying to intimidate me. But now I see all these folks here to make sure that my vote counts. This is the first time in my life that I feel like when I cast my vote it’s actually gonna be heard.”

To see people coming out — elderly, disabled, blind, poor; people who have to hitch rides, take buses, etc — and then staying in line for hours and hours and hours... Well, it’s humbling. And it’s awesome. And it’s kind of beautiful.

Sometimes you forget what America is.

I think there’s hope.


Nothing to add ...

Are some of our more gullible press colleagues already falling for Mr. Rove's 'bandwagon theory' antics?

I'm afraid it may be so.

If you look at The Note today, the lede is all about the growing realization that the polls are all moving for Bush. This can be seen in the national polls, it seems, and also in the mounting confidence from the Bush camp. Even Democrats are beginning to concede the point, it seems.

Only, if you look down into the text down in The Note itself none of this is born out. And that makes sense when you consider that the national polls show no Bush movement whatsoever. At best for Bush, the national polls seem static. And as I've noted below there are at least some signs of movement to Kerry.

(I will note that there's another public poll coming out later today with a 48%-45% likely voter margin for Bush. But we'll have to see how that stacks up against the various other public polls that will be coming out over the next 36 hours. Meanwhile, Ed Kilgore's got some more sage thoughts on the Rove band-wagon gambit.)

As for the Bush team's budding confidence, please. I've already referred back a few times this season to the second post I ever did on this site, almost exactly four years ago, on November 12th, 2000. That was when this site was just a tiny white strip of text against a vast blue background and not the media collosus it is now, with whippersnapper MBAs and quarterly reports and boards of directors and what not.

Back then I noted how in 2000 the Bush campaign spent the last week or so confidently predicting a popular vote margin of 6% or 7%. And to drive home the point they spent the last couple days making stops in California and New Jersey.

There was never any chance that Bush would win those states. And there were very good chances he'd lose or come close to losing several states essential to victory, as the final results showed. The entire point of making those trips was to scam the press and create an aura of inevitability that would shape press coverage and depress morale among Democrats. The perception would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. They clearly saw that as the best use of their resources in the final days.

It's so much a part of their election and governing mentality that I wrote a whole article on it.

That's exactly what they're going to try to do this time.

Don't fall for it.

George W. Bush on leadership, as told to Bob Woodward ...

"I do not need to explain why I say things. — That's the interesting thing about being the President. — Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

One-time GOP Quasi-Moderates Losing Their Dignity for W. Watch ...

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson says that it's "obvious to anybody that looks at" at the OBL video that he wants John Kerry elected president.

Perhaps Thompson was there for the briefing where President Bush told members of Congress that OBL's main aim was to drive him from office.