November 3rd, 2004


Election Postmortem

I feel like I've been sucker punched. Repeatedly.

My electoral prediction was fairly optimistic when I made it, but I never imagined that it would be so far off base. Every indication pointed to Bush being in major trouble, so I figured the worst case scenario was Kerry winning narrowly. I wrongly assumed that the massive new voter registration would heavily favor Kerry; of course, so did just about everyone else. I don't think there are many people not surprised by the outcome.

I'm angry, frustrated, sad. Angry that on all fronts I feel our country is making the wrong choices. Frustrated that for the next 4 years we will have little power to turn things around. Sad that it is now clear the majority of Americans think things are just fine.

Where do we go from here? Not to Canada. Canada is already a progressive nation, they don't need more of us. We just have to pick ourselves up off the mat and fight that much harder next time. The question is how. I don't think we lost on policy. The electorate is with us on the issues, we're losing them on "values". That was the number one issue for voters in the exit polls. So long as the right can get people to vote against their own self interest because they don't like abortion or gays, we're in trouble. I don't think the answer is to abandon those issues. For one, we're right, and two, because the Repubs would just find a new wedge issue. We've got to shift people's attention from values to issues. I have no idea how to do that, but we'll have 4 years to think about it.

I'll take my thoughts on local elections over to