The presidential election is finally over. A year’s worth of campaigning and politicizing has led to President George W. Bush going back to the White House for a second term. While people differ between believing that this is either the salvation or the destruction of the nation, Bush was successful because his opponent mismanaged his campaign, and his lead, by not running as himself, or having his own policies, as opposed to just that Bush was wrong.
The most obvious reason that Kerry lost the election was that he didn’t make any gains over Gore; the Democratic power base is on the Pacific Coast, the Upper Midwest and in the Northeast. In order for Kerry to take the White House he would have had to make gains somewhere other than in those places, namely the battleground states of Florida and Ohio. Those two states would’ve given Kerry a nice lead midway through the campaign. However, not only did the states go to Bush, but Bush won states that Gore had picked up in 2000 (Iowa, New Mexico and New Hampshire). While they were all close races, the fact remains that the aforementioned five states would’ve given Kerry 63 votes, enough to make Bush the former president of the United States.
But that begs another question: How was Kerry’s campaign itself not successful? The answer lies in his whole campaigning strategy. I never really saw this as a presidential election between Bush and Kerry but instead one between Bush and the anti-Bush. It’s no secret that the Democratic Party (along with anti-war activists, pro-choice activists, gay marriage proponents, a number of civil rights groups, most students, every environmental group, etc.) hated Bush with a passion. The assumption was that these groups would be the base that, along with the standard voter