Bush's Hometown Paper Endorses Kerry
The Lone Star Iconoclast, the newspaper in Clueless Leader's "hometown" of Crawford, Texas, which had endorsed CL in 2000 -- has endorsed JOHN KERRY for President this year, saying that Kerry "will restore American dignity."
The editorial, by publisher W. Leon Smith - who had promoted Bush in 2000 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 - focuses on four complaints with CL's "adimistration":
"Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security (news - web sites) system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding Iraq (news - web sites)," the editorial said.
It goes on to deliver a scathing attack on CL's record of broken promises and disastrous mistakes.
Recent Poll Results
The Rasmussen rolling average 3-day tracking poll report for today as Kerry at 46.3% and Clueless Leader at 47.9%, giving CL a 1.6 point lead, which ain't too bad. The really encouraging data from Rasmussen is that CL's lead ahs shrunken dramatically over the past week. In tthe Sept 22nd report, CL led Kerry 48.8% to 44.8%, a 4 point spread (CL had a 4.6% lead on 9-16 and 9-18). In the past 6 days, CLl's total has fairly steadily decreased, while Kerry's has increased.
Other poll results of likely voters from the past few days:
IBD/CSM/TIPP 9/27 Bush 45 -- Kerry 46
CNN/USA Today/Gallup 9/26 Bush 52 -- Kerry 44
FOX/Opinion Dynamics 9/22 Bush 45 -- Kerry 43
Democracy Corps (D) 9/21 Bush 49 -- Kerry 49
Other than the Gallup atrocity (see below) it looks like a pretty tight race.
Don't Believe All the Polls You Read - The Continuing Saga
CNN is crowing about the results of the latest Gallup Presidential poll released yesterday. In this latest propoganda effort, Clueless Leader "apparently" leads Kerry 52% to 44% among likely voters, and 8 point lead which is a significant erosion from the 13 point lead CL supposedly had in the Gallup poll reported 2 weeks ago - although the CNN article today doesn't bother to report this fact.
CNN also doesn't report, nor does Gallup, the incredible bias created in the results from the mix of political party affiliations amongst poll repondents. In response to independent inquiries, Gallup has acknowlwdged that the party idntification of "likely voters" included in this most recent poll was:
Total Sample: 758
GOP: 328 (43%)
Dem: 236 (31%)
Ind: 189 (25%)
Unbelievably, this sample base includes an even higher percentage of Rethugs than did the poll 2 weeks ago that showed CL with a 13 point lead. How skewed is it you ask? Well, exit polls from the 2000 presidential election agreed that the voter mix was approximately 39% Dem, 35% Rep, and 26% Ind. Polls of the general population generally show an ever higher percntage of Dem's. According to Harris, since 1990 Republicans have varied from between 28%, in 1998 and 2003, and 33% of the population, while Democrats varied from between 36% and 38% of the population before dropping to 34% in 2002 and 33% in 2003.
The effect on results from the failure to weight the party ID of respondents to match the characteristics of the voter population can be enormous. Chris Bowers at MyDD did a study comparing the results of 6 weighted and 6 unweighted polls from earlier this month:
Including the CBS poll, I have gathered together Party ID data from twelve recent polls. In six of the polls, the Economist, Harris, ICR, Pew, Rasmussen and Zogby, the samples were weighted to fit demographic and / or previous turnout models. The results of these six polls poll as follows:
* = likely voters
Bush Kerry Date
Econ 47 46 9/15
Harris* 47 48 9/13
ICR 48 44 9/12
Pew 46 46 9/14
Rasm* 49 45 9/16
Zogby* 47 45 9/9
The similarity between the results in these six polls is remarkable. The race varies from Bush up four to Kerry up one, with no two polls disagreeing about Bush's raw score by more than three points or Kerry's raw score by more than four points. On average, Bush leads by less than two points (47.3-45.5).
For the sake of comparison, I have also been able to track down the internals of six recent polls that do not weight their results according to Party ID or other demographics: ABC, CBS, Fox, Gallup, IBD / CSM and Newsweek. Here is how these six compare to each other:
* = likely voters
Bush Kerry Date
ABC 50 44 9/8
CBS 50 42 9/16
Fox* 47 45 9/8
Gallup 52 44 9/14
IDB 44 46 9/12
News 49 43 9/10
These polls show significantly more variance than the other six.
Bowers calculated what the results of the unweighted polls would have looked like had they been properly weighted for party ID:
Interestingly, had Party been weighted in the six most recent unweighted polls, they would look almost exactly like the six recent weighted polls:
* = likely voters
Bush Kerry Date
ABC 48 47 9/8
CBS 47 46 9/16
Fox* 46 47 9/8
Gallup 48 48 9/14
IDB 47 47 9/12
News 46 47 9/10
Mainstream Press Starting to Point out Bush Lies
Thankfully, some print media is actually checking up on the facts behind Clueless Leaders FantasyLand picture of progress in Iraq. A Reuters article on Sunday noted:
Many of President Bush's assertions about progress in Iraq -- from police training and reconstruction to preparations for January elections -- are in dispute, according to internal Pentagon documents, lawmakers and key congressional aides on Sunday.
As an example, although CL claimed last week that nearly 100,000 "fully trained and equipped" Iraqi soldiers, police officers and other security personnel are already at work, Reuters dug out these facts:
But many of these assertions have met with skepticism from key lawmakers, congressional aides and experts, and Pentagon documents, given to lawmakers and obtained by Reuters, paint a more complicated picture.
The documents show that of the nearly 90,000 currently in the police force, only 8,169 have had the full eight-week academy training. Another 46,176 are listed as "untrained," and it will be July 2006 before the administration reaches its new goal of a 135,000-strong, fully trained police force.
Six Army battalions have had "initial training," while 57 National Guard battalions, 896 soldiers in each, are still being recruited or "awaiting equipment." Just eight Guard battalions have reached "initial (operating) capability," and the Pentagon acknowledged the Guard's performance has been "uneven."
Training has yet to begin for the 4,800-man civil intervention force, which will help counter a deadly insurgency. And none of the 18,000 border enforcement guards have received any centralized training to date, despite earlier claims they had, according to Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
They estimated that 22,700 Iraqi personnel have received enough basic training to make them "minimally effective at their tasks," in contrast to the 100,000 figure cited by Bush.
Slamming BushCo for Playing Treason Card
A number of editorial voices around the country have vehemently chastised the BushCo campaign for the desperation theme it has recently been running -- "Kerry's criticism of the Iraq war effort gives aid and comfort to the enemy."
The New York Times set the tone slamming BushCo for what it called "despicable politics" in an editorial on Saturday entitled An Un-American Way to Campaign :
President Bush and his surrogates are taking their re-election campaign into dangerous territory. Mr. Bush is running as the man best equipped to keep America safe from terrorists - that was to be expected. We did not, however, anticipate that those on the Bush team would dare to argue that a vote for John Kerry would be a vote for Al Qaeda. Yet that is the message they are delivering - with a repetition that makes it clear this is an organized effort to paint the Democratic candidate as a friend to terrorists. ... Mr. Bush has not disassociated himself from any of this, and in his own campaign speeches he makes an argument that is equally divisive and undemocratic. The president has claimed, over and over, that criticism of the way his administration has conducted the war in Iraq and news stories that suggest the war is not going well endanger American troops and give aid and comfort to the enemy. This week, in his Rose Garden press conference with the interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Mr. Bush was asked about Mr. Kerry's increasingly pointed remarks on Iraq. "You can embolden an enemy by sending mixed messages," he said, going on to suggest that Mr. Kerry's criticisms dispirit the Iraqi people and American soldiers. ... We think that anyone who attempts to portray sincere critics as dangerous to the safety of the nation is wrong. It reflects badly on the president's character that in this instance, he's putting his own ambition ahead of the national good.
Today the L.A. Times joined in
The suggestion that terrorists support Sen. John F. Kerry for president is ugly, but basically silly. The suggestion that Kerry supports the terrorists is flat-out disgusting. President Bush has allowed surrogates to spread the former idea, but he himself has helped to promote the latter. Last week, Bush declared that Kerry's criticism of him and his Iraq policy "can embolden an enemy" and called Kerry "destructive" to the war on terror. ... Bush's own campaign strategy has put the events of 9/11 and their aftermath at the center of this election. The president asks to be reelected based on the claim that his response to that event has been a success. It would be convenient for him if any challenge to this notion were considered beyond the pale. Increasingly convenient, in fact, as the word "success" seems less and less applicable. But Bush's convenience is not what this election is about.
The Times pulls no punches in laying out its opinion of Cluless Leader's sleazy strategy:
Compared with Kerry, George W. Bush is a coward. This is not a reference to their respective activities during Vietnam. It refers to the current election campaign. Bush happily benefits from the slime his supporters are spreading but refuses to take responsibility for it or to call point-blank for it to stop. He got away with this when the prime mover was the shadowy Swift boats group. Will he get away with it when the accusers are his own vice president, high officials of his own administration (Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage) and members of Congress from his own party (House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert or Sen. Orrin Hatch)? The answer is yes: Based on recent experience, he probably will get away with it.
That, my friends, we call "Tellin' It Like It Is!"