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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, November 06, 2002
1:48 PM

Dana Milbank and Jonathan Weisman write White House Maps Ambitious Plans, but of course we knew about this stuff back on Oct. 20 when Mike Allen told us Republicans Planning for Full Control Of Congress.

Looks like Allen hit the nail on the head, by the way:

In explaining their optimism about the elections, Republican officials point to polls showing that most voters do not blame Bush for the problems in the economy, and said Democrats have failed to find a winning theme. These officials said the continuing attention on national security is benefiting their candidates in enough races to restore Senate control to the GOP...

Courtesy I think of InstaMan, John Ellis today writes:

1. National Security is a Huge Issue. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the "salience" of national security issues dropped dramatically, enabling an inexperienced and largely clueless Arkansas Governor to defeat an incumbent president with an extraordinary record on national security issues. After September 11th, national security regained its salience as a voting issue. Incredibly, Democrats avoided the issue, instead of addressing it directly. They said nothing of value with regards to chemical and biological warfare. They whined about alleged "unilateralism." They embraced the UN. In short, they reinforced every stereotype of Democratic fecklessness on national security issues and, in so doing, alienated huge swaths of the electorate....

Here's the thing. If voters feel that the Democrats will be every bit as relentless as President Bush has been in pursuing a global war against terror, then the other "big" issues (the economy and the culture) will be decisive in determining election outcomes. But if voters feel that the Democrats aren't with the program, well then, they're not going to be trusted with national governance. It's as simple as that.

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