Thursday, November 18, 2004

Why Kerry lost Iowa

Articles are out today showing that Bush has "unofficially" won Iowa. Uhhh...didn't we know that already? Anyway, the Des Moines Register has a great column. They say , then they list a few reasons. I'll give only the last two, which in my view, are the most telling and the most important:

• Elitist images. Related to this is an image issue. Elitism. Too many on the left have a snooty, we-know-better attitude. They post Internet images of Bush states as "Jesusland." You can hear it as they grumble over the outcome and complain about how stupid people are. It's a turnoff. Having rock-star celebrities touring the country for their candidate may appeal to the elites, but it also signals to other voters a message about their candidate.

• Kerry himself. He wasn't as good a messenger as he needed to be. From his windsurfing to his left-of-center Senate voting record to his avant-garde wife, everything worked to make the reserved New Englander seem strange to many - a guy who just didn't relate to many people.

For example, in Polk County, Kerry defeated Bush by only 9,400 votes. That's not nearly the margin a Democrat needs out of Iowa's largest county to offset rural Republican votes and win a statewide election. But Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell defeated his Republican challenger, Stan Thompson, by almost 26,600 votes in the county.

Boswell got 7,100 more votes than Kerry in Iowa's largest county. In other words, thousands of people who voted for Bush then crossed over to vote for Boswell.

Leonard doesn't windsurf.

If he does, he keeps it to himself.