Was 2004 really Kerry's race to lose?

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  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
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  2004 U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderator: Dereich)
  Was 2004 really Kerry's race to lose?
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Author Topic: Was 2004 really Kerry's race to lose?  (Read 1152 times)
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« on: August 10, 2021, 01:28:53 PM »

A lot of people say that John Kerry should have won in 2004 and blew it.  I am not so sure.  I think that given the fundamentals of the race, what should have happened on paper happened.  A narrow Bush win.  In 2004, Bush wasn't very popular, but he wasn't very unpopular either.  He was at about 48 or 49% approval and about 47% disapproval.  Basically treading water.  In 2004, the war in Iraq was not very popular, but it had not yet become the quagmire it would later become.  The economy was not great, but not terrible.  It was still recovering from the early 2000's recession.  This was before Katrina.  Basically it was a tie.  In baseball, a tie goes to the runner.  In politics, a tie typically goes to the incumbent.  I look at John Kerry and say, "Not good enough to justify throwing out the incumbent."  I think the fact that he came one big state (Ohio) away from winning actually reflected well on him.
President Punxsutawney Phil
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2021, 01:37:03 PM »

Bush was a strong incumbent in 2004, if still quite polarizing. The economy was doing well, Iraq was still popular, and the social issues of the day were in the GOP's favor (SSM was unpopular and so a winning issue for the right).
Kerry did well, he didn't clinch the win because Bush was hard to actually defeat.
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