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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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| |-+  U.S. Presidential Election Results
| | |-+  2004 U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderator: True Federalist)
| | | |-+  Did Kerry make a mistake by not going after Virginia?
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Author Topic: Did Kerry make a mistake by not going after Virginia?  (Read 1657 times)
Redban
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« on: June 25, 2013, 10:47:39 am »
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He lost the state by 9%, but he never contested it.

Was that a mistake? Everyone could see that Virginia was trending blue at this point. In the 1980s, it was around 15% red, and it just kept steadily moving left.

Considering that Virginia became relatively easy wins in 2008 and 2012, did Kerry make a mistake by not going for it?
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Cryptic
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 10:54:57 am »
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My gut feeling says he'd have narrowed the margin considerably, but Bush would've still carried it.  I can't see Kerry winning Virginia, while still losing Nevada and New Mexico. I think the tipping point for Virginia came in '08.
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illegaloperation
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 12:01:52 pm »
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I doubt that Kerry could have won it. Virginia was lean R at the time (compare to the national average) and Kerry would have to out perform Bush in the popular vote to carry Virginia.
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sg0508
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 01:31:21 pm »
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Mark Warner made it a point that Kerry could have won the state had he put time and energy in there.  Warner is a smart man and he says it as it is.  He knew the demographic movement favored the democrats and he criticized the campaign for not going after the Old Dominion.  The final margin proves that it was winnable.  You're telling me that Kerry couldn't move the state 4 points? Nonsense. 

It's also a very good example of how Kerry's campaign (like Romney's) was inept.  Rather than forcing Bush to sweat in many of his 2000 states, he allowed the Bush camp to play offense on many of the Gore states while Kerry played defense for much of 2004 and it proved to be just enough to get Bush the 2nd term.  Romney basically repeated the same mistake.  If you remember, John Edwards was LIVID after the loss about the way the campaign was run.  He thought the campaign should have been expanded to at least 7-8 additional states to get Bush out of the bluish states from 2000.

It was a huge error and in the end, it may not have been enough to carry VA in 2004, but it would have forced Bush to play defense.
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 01:51:35 pm »
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The Kerry campaign was more concerned with holding down the midwest, which proved to be a very tough fight, as well as 2000 battlegrounds like Iowa, NH and New Mexico. And then of course there was Florida. In 2004 Bush definitely had the advantage and Kerry was just trying to hold on to the states he knew he had could win. The conventional wisdom at the time was that VA was trending towards the Democrats but wasn't worth it that year. It had been Republican for almost 20 years at that point. So the way I see it, if Kerry had decided to contest VA, he would have had less time and money for states like Wisconsin and New Hampshire and might have lost them in the end, while still losing Virginia.

Obama had the Kerry states locked down early in the campaign so he had time and money to invest in Virginia but Kerry didn't have that luxury.
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 01:55:31 pm »
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Warner or Graham could have won a swing state. My guess he would have made a play more so with Ohio and won with 272.
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Mr.Phips
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 04:09:43 pm »
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Kerry made a lot of mistakes.  Why did he spend all of that time and money on West Virginia, where he ended up doing worse than in Virginia, which he didnt target. 
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 07:54:14 pm »
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Virginia wasn't ready to be a battleground state yet and Obama has over performed there because of the black voter turnout. Kerry made a hundred mistakes worse than not going after Virginia.
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Immortal Sockhead
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2014, 09:10:21 pm »
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Kerry made a lot of mistakes.  Why did he spend all of that time and money on West Virginia, where he ended up doing worse than in Virginia, which he didnt target. 

Because early polls in 2002 showed Democratic candidates carrying West Virginia.  West Virginia had gone Republican for Bush 43 in 2000, but not by much. 
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jfern
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 02:07:07 am »
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It'd be nice for him to have had some 20/20 hindsight and know to not bother trying to win WV, AR, and MO, and not needing to defend NJ and HI.

But I think it would have come down to Ohio, regardless.
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 08:56:21 pm »
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no.  he made the right call, Ohio was his only shot.  people forget how hard an election that was going to be for any Dem to win, Bush was running 70% approvals in Dec 2003.
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2014, 02:40:26 pm »
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What could he have done to contest it?  Apart from Kerry putting Mark Warner on the ticket, Bush was going to win this.
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