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Friday, August 27, 2004


Polls now show that Americans think that Kerry is less honest than Bush, in the wake of the Swiftboat fallout.

A little more than three weeks ago, 46 per cent of Americans polled said they believed Kerry was "honest and trustworthy," two points higher than those who attributed the same qualities to Bush (44 per cent). Today, only 39 per cent of those asked stand by those same comments. Bush remains solid at 44 per cent. On voting intentions, Bush is back in the lead for the first time in months.

This is a potentially lethal wound for the Democrats, given that they have stood almost entirely on the platform that they are exactly like Republicans—on terror, on Iraq—only more trustworthy. Bush's honesty ratings, meanwhile, are moving the other direction, up two points since mid-July. Since it appears that the perception of dishonesty centres predominantly around the controversy over Kerry's war record, the damage is compounded, as Kerry has used his war heroism as the basis for his character claims. Without 'Nam, he's left with a shameful past as a anti-war radical and his embarrassing voting record in the Senate.

I'll go out on a limb here (Ok, ok, maybe I'm not really going on a limb here. Kate's been on top of the "unravelling" for awhile), but I predict that we are witnessing the Stephen Harper moment of the Kerry campaign: the point where the momentum stops and the campaign begins its precipitous fall back to earth.

Posted by Kevin Libin on August 27, 2004 | Permalink


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Sad thing is - pretty much ALL of America knew that Bill Clinton lied. And his approval ratings never took a hit. The last week of his impeachment proceedings his approval ratings were the highest they ever had been, or subsequently were.

Its a pretty weird phenomena.

Posted by: MWW | 2004-08-27 1:09:14 PM

Kennedy used to muse about his approval ratings: "The worst I do, the more they like me." Does anybody really understand them?

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-08-27 1:18:59 PM

Yes Clinton lied and was popular in spite of it. But there's a big difference between Clinton and Kerry. Everyone knew Clinton was a draft dodging, philanderer. But voters liked him for other reasons, namely his personality and the fact that he wasn't Bob Dole.

Kerry is running as the anti-Clinton: a courageous, patriotic, man of honour. He's staked everything on that. If it come crumbling down, then he's got nothing left. No personality, no charm and not being Bush does not count for nearly as much as not being Dole.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2004-08-27 1:59:54 PM

What did Kerry lie about?

In case you're not following the news, Kevin, the "Swift Boat Vets" claims... Turned out to be lies!!!


Posted by: Kelsey | 2004-08-27 2:16:25 PM

Well, Kelsey, why not have a look at Kate's post, which appears just below mine, if you're looking for some evidence of Kerry's inconsistencies. For that matter, check out Kate's excellent blog, smalldeadanimals.com, for a more comprehensive fisking of the Kerry storybook.

But whether or not you think Kerry lied or not is immaterial. The fact is that the voters think he did. That's what loses elections.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2004-08-27 3:32:44 PM

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