Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Thursday, June 10, 2004


The Reagan Non-bounce

Early indications are that my little prediction from a couple nights ago will turn out to be utterly, and refreshingly, wrong. Bush appears to losing, rather than gaining ground.

Billmon’s theory is that the Bush campaign, by “aggressively holding their guy up next the iconic image of the late Ronald Reagan,” is unwittingly costing their guy – by emphasizing an unfavorable comparison.

Polling results thus far, while they don’t say why, are at least consistent with this possibility. The latest LA Times poll shows Kerry up 51/44, in a poll conducted June 5-8. Gallup, with somewhat less of an overlap with Reagan’s death (poll conducted June 3-6), also shows a widening Kerry lead: 49/44. Even Rasmussen shows a slight Kerry gain: 46/44.

Further, while it is clear that the Reagan rites have squeezed out a lot of coverage of unfavorable stuff, such as the “torture memo,” – a fair amount of it is breaking through. Jon Stewart, in particular, mercilessly skewered one of the most peculiar notions advanced in that memo -- specifically, the idea that “intent” somehow defines torture. Apparently, he said (and this is from memory, so don’t expect an exact quote), “If you attach an electrode to someone’s testicles out of, say, scientific curiosity, any collateral ball pain is OK.”


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