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Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion => 2000 U.S. Presidential Election Results => Topic started by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 01:28:51 pm



Title: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 01:28:51 pm
Please try your best not to turn this into "He did win!" and that type of nonsense.


I'm in the middle of watching this movie Recount and it brings me back to the days of the 2000 campaign. Now I don't really remember the campaign itself all that well. I remember major events (the debate, Election night, parts of each convention, etc.) but I was just getting interested in politics back then so I obviously don't remember it as well as I remember 2004 or 2008.

We know that Gore didn't utilize Clinton, fearing that it would hurt him with too many voters. However, when you look back on it, Clinton had an approval rating at the time in the mid 50s and even low 60s!

Bush campaigning in restoring honor and dignity to the White House was great but why did that resonate as much as it did? The public clearly didn't care about Clinton's ethical issues all that much. Was Gore's campaign really that inept? The economy was in good shape, the country wasn't at war and the departing President was clearly popular. Even if the campaign didn't use Clinton enough and even though Gore was one of the worst personalities to run for the Presidency in modern times, shouldn't Gore have had a comfortable victory just based on the mood of the country?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: WalterMitty on February 04, 2009, 01:46:41 pm
well he did win.  :)

i think the reason he didnt win comfortably was because of his personality.  he comes across as an abrasive know-it-all.

true, clinton had high approval ratings,but his personal approval ratiings were in the toilet.  people actually believe bush would 'clean up the white house'


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 07:24:57 pm
well he did win.  :)

i think the reason he didnt win comfortably was because of his personality.  he comes across as an abrasive know-it-all.

true, clinton had high approval ratings,but his personal approval ratiings were in the toilet.  people actually believe bush would 'clean up the white house'

I wonder how much personal ratings matter when you have an approval rating in the 60s.

Amazing how someone's personality (Gore's) can make what ought to be an easy win into a real nailbitter.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: tweed on February 04, 2009, 07:51:51 pm
Gore was basically trailing the entire campaign but closed in the final weeks, aided by the Bush DUI thing and Nader bled to him hardcore late in swing states.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: memphis on February 04, 2009, 07:53:47 pm
I don't find Bush's personality (contrivances and all) to be all that endearing either. Tax cuts were the issue that put Bush over the top.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: defe07 on February 04, 2009, 07:57:31 pm
I remember hearing that Gore would win the Electoral Vote and Bush would win the Popular Vote.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: tweed on February 04, 2009, 07:58:49 pm
I remember hearing that Gore would win the Electoral Vote and Bush would win the Popular Vote.

and Bush was prepared to fight that:

http://www.bartcop.com/111tie.htm


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Matt Damon on February 04, 2009, 08:05:00 pm
He distanced himself from his predecessor.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 08:18:26 pm
Gore was basically trailing the entire campaign but closed in the final weeks, aided by the Bush DUI thing and Nader bled to him hardcore late in swing states.

No, no, no. You're misunderstanding the point of this thread. Why was that the case? Why was Gore out ahead basically the entire campaign?

I think it's safe to say that if it wasn't for the DUI thing, Bush would have won the popular vote. That's just embarrassing for Gore considering the political climate and the fact that Bush had his own personal shortcomings.

The whole Nader is excuse is another joke. The Gore campaign should have been able to make Nader irrelevant. I think Nader's rather successful showing in 2000 was a perfect example of how good things were in 2000. Hardcore left wingers could take a chance throwing their vote to Nader because, in the end, it probably wouldn't mean much. However, looking back on it, if you throw that 3% to Gore, he wins the popular vote rather comfortably and even a few more states go his way. It was the Gore campaign's fault for letting Nader remain a factor. A good campaign knows how to handle a spoiler and making sure that that spoiler's supporters don't just stay home on Election day.

I remember hearing that Gore would win the Electoral Vote and Bush would win the Popular Vote.

and Bush was prepared to fight that:

http://www.bartcop.com/111tie.htm

And that's unfortunate (though I must note how they only quoted "a Bush aide") but if the quotes from the movie Recount are accurate, when asked about that possibility, the Gore campaign told reporters that they would expect Bush to respect "the rule of law."  :P Your source backs up those quotes.  Too bad we didn't hear that when their surrogates were spinning everytime they got the chance, saying Gore won the popular (as if we were supposed to make an exception to the rule just this one time).


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Boris on February 04, 2009, 08:20:48 pm
This is sort of unprovable, but my thesis is basically that many of those that would have favored Gore with a gun to their head didn't vote while Bush's supporters among the religious right were more motivated with the hypothetical chance to overturn Roe v. Wade and "restore moral authority" to the White House. Although obviously the DUI hurt Bush and Gore's GOTV operations were superior to Bush's (or the polling right before election day just sucked, whichever). Gore's unlikability was probably the largest cause of this...voter ambivalence. I think the conventional wisdom between 2000-2004 was that higher turnout favored the Democrats; needless to say, most of us were stunned when Bush was able to win as many votes as he did in 2004.

The turnout was really low as it is among voters (which is what happens during times of stability I suppose) anyway. It was, what, only a couple points higher than 1996?

true, clinton had high approval ratings,but his personal approval ratiings were in the toilet.  people actually believe bush would 'clean up the white house'

http://www.pollingreport.com/clinton1.htm

Some polls had him at about +10 during the fall campaign, some polls have him at about even. *shrug* They should have at least used him more in Arkansas or something


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 08:22:28 pm
He distanced himself from his predecessor.

Yeah but like I said, I think it has to be more than that. So Gore didn't have Clinton campaign with him that much (or at all). Big deal. The country whose policies Gore wanted to continue. The country liked Clinton enough to give him a 60% approval rating. The country heard Bush bashing Clinton in every stump speech and while they might have agreed with Bush about Clinton's personal life, that doesn't seem to be a real winning argument when the bottom line is that the country was at peace and prosperous.

It really was a very odd election and a lot more complex than we are led to believe.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 08:26:31 pm
while Bush's supporters among the religious right were more motivated with the hypothetical chance to overturn Roe v. Wade and "restore moral authority" to the White House.

They weren't that motivated. The Bush 2004 campaign harped on the depressingly low Evangelical turnout of 2000. They made sure that they wouldn't see a repeat of that.



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: tweed on February 04, 2009, 08:27:43 pm
another factor may have been Clinton's low personal favorability ratings.  while a solid majority approved of the job he did a similar majority also personally disliked him, per exits.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 08:31:51 pm
another factor may have been Clinton's low personal favorability ratings.  while a solid majority approved of the job he did a similar majority also personally disliked him, per exits.

Like I said, I only see that being a huge factor if his approval ratings were mediocre. The man was above or close to 60% around Election day 2000. America was at peace and prosperous. I just find it hard to believe that Gore's campaign was so poorly run that they couldn't hammer these points and come away with a convincing victory.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on February 04, 2009, 08:33:31 pm
Exit polls showed that nearly 1 in 5 Clinton 96' voters were for Bush.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Kevin on February 04, 2009, 08:35:06 pm
Exit polls showed that nearly 1 in 5 Clinton 96' voters were for Bush.

I guess that was mainly in the Southeast, Midwest and West?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 08:38:05 pm
Gore probably also helped by trying to throw the thing away. You know...the sighing and walking up to Bush during the debates.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Boris on February 04, 2009, 08:39:27 pm
while Bush's supporters among the religious right were more motivated with the hypothetical chance to overturn Roe v. Wade and "restore moral authority" to the White House.

They weren't that motivated. The Bush 2004 campaign harped on the depressingly low Evangelical turnout of 2000. They made sure that they wouldn't see a repeat of that.

These sort of things are hard to (dis)prove but Gore received only 3 million more votes than Clinton did three years earlier while Bush received about 11 million more votes than Dole did. Those votes had to come from somewhere. IIRC Bush won about 60% of 1996 Perot voters (according to exit polls) yet that only amounts to about 5 million votes. The term "that motivated" is relative. Obviously not as motivated as they were four years later, but certainly much more motivated than they were in 1996 and 1992. Which was, at the time, what mattered.

Gore probably also helped by trying to throw the thing away. You know...the sighing and walking up to Bush during the debates.

I remember watching that moment and thought Gore was going to punch Bush or something. Bush's nod was pretty funny. Good times, good times.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on February 04, 2009, 08:52:19 pm
while Bush's supporters among the religious right were more motivated with the hypothetical chance to overturn Roe v. Wade and "restore moral authority" to the White House.

They weren't that motivated. The Bush 2004 campaign harped on the depressingly low Evangelical turnout of 2000. They made sure that they wouldn't see a repeat of that.

These sort of things are hard to (dis)prove but Gore received only 3 million more votes than Clinton did three years earlier while Bush received about 11 million more votes than Dole did. Those votes had to come from somewhere. IIRC Bush won about 60% of 1996 Perot voters (according to exit polls) yet that only amounts to about 5 million votes. The term "that motivated" is relative. Obviously not as motivated as they were four years later, but certainly much more motivated than they were in 1996 and 1992. Which was, at the time, what mattered.

If exit polls are correct than Clinton 96 voters who supported Bush in 2000 contributed an 6 to 8 million pV boost for Bush.

Though I'm sure in some localities such as NoVA, Bay Area burbs, Seattle burbs, etc there were some decent Dole to Gore movement.

Exit polls showed that nearly 1 in 5 Clinton 96' voters were for Bush.

I guess that was mainly in the Southeast, Midwest and West?

I think the bulk of these people were in Appalachia and the South (KY, TN, WV, AR, LA). These were likely people who voted for Clinton based on "personal appeal" anyway.

I think Gore could have easily won though had he not hemorrhaged so many Clinton voters, likely netting him TN, FL, WV, NH, NV rather easily.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 08:58:32 pm


These sort of things are hard to (dis)prove but Gore received only 3 million more votes than Clinton did three years earlier while Bush received about 11 million more votes than Dole did. Those votes had to come from somewhere. IIRC Bush won about 60% of 1996 Perot voters (according to exit polls) yet that only amounts to about 5 million votes. The term "that motivated" is relative. Obviously not as motivated as they were four years later, but certainly much more motivated than they were in 1996 and 1992. Which was, at the time, what mattered.

I had always heard from analysts that Evangelical turnout was "down" in 2000 but whatever.

Quote
I remember watching that moment and thought Gore was going to punch Bush or something. Bush's nod was pretty funny. Good times, good times.

I remember Barbara Bush claiming that she seriously thought that Gore was going to hit him. Bush's nod was awesome.



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: WalterMitty on February 04, 2009, 09:38:18 pm
the bush campaign also made a very serious mistake by visiting california, illinois and new jersey in the closing days, instead of concentrating on iowa, wisconsin, florida and iowa.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: ○∙◄☻tπ[╪AV┼cV└ on February 04, 2009, 10:09:01 pm
The media was in Bush's pocket.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on February 04, 2009, 10:35:35 pm
The media was in Bush's pocket.

This too. The press core was fairly pro-Bush.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 11:28:37 pm
the bush campaign also made a very serious mistake by visiting california, illinois and new jersey in the closing days, instead of concentrating on iowa, wisconsin, florida and iowa.

Well, sure, but that can be covered in the "How did Bush not take more of an advantage of Gore practically throwing him the election?" thread.  :P


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Mr. Morden on February 04, 2009, 11:34:16 pm
One thing you have to keep in mind is that there actually isn't that much evidence that an incumbent's popularity / unpopularity transfers over *that much* to the chosen successor within his own party.  Eisenhower was pretty popular in 1960, but JFK still beat Nixon, LBJ was pretty unpopular in 1968, but Nixon only just barely beat Humphrey, Bush and Gore basically fought to a draw in 2000, despite Clinton being fairly popular, Obama beat McCain by "only" 7 points, despite historically low job approval ratings for Bush.

Bottom line, the voters don't necessarily all see the incumbent party nominee as being a potential "third term" for the incumbent president.  Elections with no incumbent president running always seem to be closer than you would "expect" if the voters actually thought that way.



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 04, 2009, 11:40:13 pm
One thing you have to keep in mind is that there actually isn't that much evidence that an incumbent's popularity / unpopularity transfers over *that much* to the chosen successor within his own party.  Eisenhower was pretty popular in 1960, but JFK still beat Nixon, LBJ was pretty unpopular in 1968, but Nixon only just barely beat Humphrey, Bush and Gore basically fought to a draw in 2000, despite Clinton being fairly popular, Obama beat McCain by "only" 7 points, despite historically low job approval ratings for Bush.

Bottom line, the voters don't necessarily all see the incumbent party nominee as being a potential "third term" for the incumbent president.  Elections with no incumbent president running always seem to be closer than you would "expect" if the voters actually thought that way.



But look at every example you gave. Weren't we just getting over a recession in 1960? Things weren't that great. Things got closer in 1968 (despite LBJ's horrific ratings) because the war was starting to look a little better. By today's standards, a seven point win (even when you consider how terrible the President's ratings were) is about as big of a win as you can hope for running in an open race.

I'm not trying to say that Gore should have won by a bigger margin just because Clinton was still popular. Take a look at how things were economically. Take a look at how things were around the world.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Mr. Morden on February 05, 2009, 01:01:13 am
One thing you have to keep in mind is that there actually isn't that much evidence that an incumbent's popularity / unpopularity transfers over *that much* to the chosen successor within his own party.  Eisenhower was pretty popular in 1960, but JFK still beat Nixon, LBJ was pretty unpopular in 1968, but Nixon only just barely beat Humphrey, Bush and Gore basically fought to a draw in 2000, despite Clinton being fairly popular, Obama beat McCain by "only" 7 points, despite historically low job approval ratings for Bush.

Bottom line, the voters don't necessarily all see the incumbent party nominee as being a potential "third term" for the incumbent president.  Elections with no incumbent president running always seem to be closer than you would "expect" if the voters actually thought that way.



But look at every example you gave. Weren't we just getting over a recession in 1960? Things weren't that great. Things got closer in 1968 (despite LBJ's horrific ratings) because the war was starting to look a little better. By today's standards, a seven point win (even when you consider how terrible the President's ratings were) is about as big of a win as you can hope for running in an open race.

I'm not trying to say that Gore should have won by a bigger margin just because Clinton was still popular. Take a look at how things were economically. Take a look at how things were around the world.

Who says that the guy running to replace the incumbent president automatically gets credit or blame for everything that's going on around the world?  I agree that there's a correlation between the popularity of the *incumbent president himself* and what's going on around the world, but who says that that transfers over to his presumed successor?  Don't you first have to demonstrate that such a relationship exists, before I have to refute that it exists in any particular circumstance?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Nixon in '80 on February 05, 2009, 03:17:44 am
I remember hearing that Gore would win the Electoral Vote and Bush would win the Popular Vote.

and Bush was prepared to fight that:

http://www.bartcop.com/111tie.htm

This is by far one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

To answer Phil's question... I have no idea. The benefit of hindsight, I suppose.:P


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 05, 2009, 11:32:03 am

Who says that the guy running to replace the incumbent president automatically gets credit or blame for everything that's going on around the world?

Look at the results of elections like 1968, 1988 and 2008.

Quote
Don't you first have to demonstrate that such a relationship exists

Being the Vice President (as was the case in 1968 and 1988) for eight years isn't enough?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Nym90 on February 05, 2009, 11:43:28 am
Gore ran a horrid campaign and Bush ran a superb one.

Clinton definitely should've been used more.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Caripace Clavicle Moundshroud on February 05, 2009, 12:26:49 pm
Most people didn't think the election really mattered that much, isn't wasn't such a life or death thing like 2004 and 2008. Most people just voted on who they liked or disliked more, which split the country between those who liked Bush and those who disliked Gore. Gore was perceived as being an enviromental extremist, exaggerator, stuck-up politician, while Bush was perceived as an honest, down to earth, Christian family man. Clinton's personals outweighed his job approvals because, once again, people really didn't think the election's result would have any real impact on the country or their lives. Had it not been for 9/11 it would probably still be this way. 9/11 not only re-created the national security issue, but it helped make the election more serious, and with a significant percentage of the religious base now believing we are living in the end times, makes them take other social issues, abortion, gay marriage ect, all the more seriously.

And the evangelical base was much more motivated then before, I remember the entire fundamentalist side of my family being fired up about Bush being born again, and the teachers in my school were very ecstatic about it as well. I believe Rove said that 4 million of them didn't vote in 2000, but it was probably still up from the previous two elections.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Mr. Morden on February 06, 2009, 05:35:47 am

Who says that the guy running to replace the incumbent president automatically gets credit or blame for everything that's going on around the world?

Look at the results of elections like 1968, 1988 and 2008.

Quote
Don't you first have to demonstrate that such a relationship exists

Being the Vice President (as was the case in 1968 and 1988) for eight years isn't enough?

My point is that you're starting with the assumption that the rules for presidential elections with no incumbent are basically the same as the rules for presidential elections *with* an incumbent, and I question whether that's true.

In 2008, people were saying "Well yeah, Obama had a decent margin of victory, but, given how terribly unpopular Bush was, one might expect that the Democratic candidate would win by double digits."  In 2000, people said, "Why didn't Gore handily defeat Bush, given how popular Clinton was?"  In 1968 (I wasn't alive back then, so I don't know what people said, but let's suppose....) people might have said, "Wow, given how unpopular Johnson is, I wouldn't have expected this election to be so incredibly close."  In 1960, people might have said "Wow, given Ike's ~60% approval ratings, how the heck did JFK win?"

Those are statements that people might make if their assumption was that the popularity of the incumbent president or the popularity of the incumbent party is the main determinant of who wins the election.  But since this logic seems to fail in a substantial fraction of the elections with no incumbent president on the ballot, maybe the whole premise is flawed?  Maybe we shouldn't take things like the incumbent president's popularity of right track/wrong track numbers or what have you, and use that as the baseline expectation for who's going to win the election?  Maybe, when there's no incumbent on the ballot, the voters' perception of the candidates' personal qualities or the shrewdness of the campaigns or something like that should set our baseline expectations for the election, while voters' opinion as to how well things are going in the country are actually more of a secondary factor??

You might not think this is a logical way for the voters to operate.  I'm just suggesting, maybe it's more accurate than the more traditional paradigm.



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 06, 2009, 10:41:02 am


My point is that you're starting with the assumption that the rules for presidential elections with no incumbent are basically the same as the rules for presidential elections *with* an incumbent, and I question whether that's true.

Well, no, not really.


Quote
Maybe we shouldn't take things like the incumbent president's popularity of right track/wrong track numbers or what have you, and use that as the baseline expectation for who's going to win the election?  Maybe, when there's no incumbent on the ballot, the voters' perception of the candidates' personal qualities or the shrewdness of the campaigns or something like that should set our baseline expectations for the election, while voters' opinion as to how well things are going in the country are actually more of a secondary factor??

But we're not just talking about the President's popularity; it's about the climate in the country. Feel free to criticize how much effect an incumbent President has during an open race but you can't just dismiss the fact that the late 90s and into 2000 were "the good times."

The personal qualities obviously matter a lot and they especially did in 2000. However, just as people disliked the stiff, patronizing, "Mr. Know it all" Al Gore, George Bush didn't have it that much better. Sure, he won the "I can have a beer with him" contest but I think the best idea that the public had of the man was how he was portrayed on SNL - a bumbling fool who expected his Daddy to run the show in the White House again. This, to me, was almost as bad as people's perception of Gore.

I think the real answer to why this wasn't so comfortable was because things were just too good for people to care. In a way, Gore's campaign gets partial blame for that.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: ChrisFromNJ on February 06, 2009, 11:41:52 am
I reject the premise of this thread. Gore won the 2000 Election.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: The Mikado on February 06, 2009, 07:21:49 pm

I remember hearing that Gore would win the Electoral Vote and Bush would win the Popular Vote.

and Bush was prepared to fight that:

http://www.bartcop.com/111tie.htm

And that's unfortunate (though I must note how they only quoted "a Bush aide") but if the quotes from the movie Recount are accurate, when asked about that possibility, the Gore campaign told reporters that they would expect Bush to respect "the rule of law."  :P Your source backs up those quotes.  Too bad we didn't hear that when their surrogates were spinning everytime they got the chance, saying Gore won the popular (as if we were supposed to make an exception to the rule just this one time).

I actually heard someone in a position to know in the Bush camp say that "We switched talking points after the election,"  (Paraphrase) regarding the possibility of Gore winning the electoral vote and Bush winning the popular one.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Alcon on February 06, 2009, 08:01:44 pm
I reject the premise of this thread. Gore won the 2000 Election.

1. The thread explicitly asks you not to start a debate like that.

2. The thread asks why he didn't win comfortably, so you're not even answering the right question.

Thank you for playing.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Psychic Octopus on February 06, 2009, 08:32:56 pm
Clinton didn't campaign.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Mr. Morden on February 07, 2009, 03:57:42 am
Eisenhower's approval ratings on personality were practically through the roof. It was his job approval rating that was slowly but surely dropping.

But they were still in the 60% range on election day according to this:

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-presapp0605-31.html



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Mr. Morden on February 07, 2009, 04:47:50 am
Maybe we shouldn't take things like the incumbent president's popularity of right track/wrong track numbers or what have you, and use that as the baseline expectation for who's going to win the election?  Maybe, when there's no incumbent on the ballot, the voters' perception of the candidates' personal qualities or the shrewdness of the campaigns or something like that should set our baseline expectations for the election, while voters' opinion as to how well things are going in the country are actually more of a secondary factor??

But we're not just talking about the President's popularity; it's about the climate in the country. Feel free to criticize how much effect an incumbent President has during an open race but you can't just dismiss the fact that the late 90s and into 2000 were "the good times."

Wouldn't "the climate of the country" have more of an impact on the incumbent president's approval ratings than it would on the veep, or any potential successor?  That is, you can say "well things weren't actually all that good in 1960".  Really?  Then why was Ike so popular?  The president's job approval ratings seem to track a lot better with the mood of the country than does his potential successor's success at the polls.

Quote
I think the real answer to why this wasn't so comfortable was because things were just too good for people to care. In a way, Gore's campaign gets partial blame for that.

But here's the thing: There are only so many examples in history of a presidential election in which one of the major party candidates was the sitting vice president.  You can say "Well, the baseline assumption should be that if people are happy with the sitting president or the direction of the country or what have you, then the sitting veep will do really well.  If not, then he'll do poorly."  But then, you have counterexamples like 2000, so you have to construct new rules to account for the exceptions ("Well, OK, it doesn't work if people are *too* happy.  Then it can go the opposite way.")

Since there are so few such elections to consider to begin with, and you're already carving out exceptions, maybe the whole premise is wrong?  Maybe voters simply *don't* view elections without incumbent presidents running as a referendum on the direction of the country.  (Or rather, many of them do, but not nearly as many as is commonly believed.  I've kind of been exaggerating my own opinion on this a little for the sake of being provocative.)



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: bhouston79 on February 07, 2009, 10:59:01 am
I remember hearing that Gore would win the Electoral Vote and Bush would win the Popular Vote.

and Bush was prepared to fight that:

http://www.bartcop.com/111tie.htm

Yep, and Gore was also unprepared to fight.  Did you check out this quote from the article that you link to? 

Quote
And what would happen if the "what if" scenario came out the other way? (i.e. Gore winning the popular vote and yet losin the electoral college) "Then we'd be doing the same thing Bush is apparently getting ready for," says a Gore campaign official. "They're just further along in their contingency thinking than we are. But we wouldn't lie down without a fight, either."

That quote says it all.  The Gore campaign ran a horrible campaign and the Bush campaign ran an excellent no holds bar campaign.

It's unreal that they weren't planned for these type of contengencies given the tightness of that race.  Hell Obama had hundreds of lawyers on the ground in every possible swing state even though it was pretty much a forgone conclusion by election day that he was going to win big. 

The bottom line is that Gore ran an inept campaign.  If he would have ran a decent campaign, the election would have been closer than 92 or 96, but he would have won more than 300 EV's by carrying Florida comfortably, carrying his home state of Tennessee narrowly (which he didn't even visit), and carrying Ohio narrowly.  He could have also possibly squeaked out a win New Hampshire if only he had ran a competent campaign.  Here is what the map would have looked like if Gore had have run anything resembling a competent campaign:

(http://uselectionatlas.org/TOOLS/genusmap.php?year=2000&ev_c=1&pv_p=1&ev_p=1&type=calc&AL=2;9;5&AK=2;3;5&AZ=2;8;5&AR=2;6;5&CA=1;54;5&CO=2;8;5&CT=1;8;5&DE=1;3;5&DC=1;3;8&FL=1;25;4&GA=2;13;5&HI=1;4;5&ID=2;4;6&IL=1;22;5&IN=2;12;5&IA=1;7;4&KS=2;6;5&KY=2;8;5&LA=2;9;5&MD=1;10;5&MA=1;12;5&MI=1;18;5&MN=1;10;4&MS=2;7;5&MO=2;11;5&MT=2;3;5&NV=1;4;4&NH=1;4;4&NJ=1;15;5&NM=1;5;4&NY=1;33;6&NC=2;14;5&ND=2;3;6&OH=1;21;4&OK=2;8;6&OR=1;7;4&PA=1;23;5&RI=1;4;6&SC=2;8;5&SD=2;3;6&TN=2;11;5&TX=2;32;5&UT=2;5;6&VT=1;3;5&VA=2;13;5&WA=1;11;5&WV=2;5;5&WI=1;11;4&WY=2;3;6&ME=1;2;4&ME1=1;1;5&ME2=1;1;4&NE=2;2;6&NE1=2;1;5&NE2=2;1;5&NE3=2;1;7)



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 08, 2009, 08:02:24 pm

Wouldn't "the climate of the country" have more of an impact on the incumbent president's approval ratings than it would on the veep, or any potential successor?  That is, you can say "well things weren't actually all that good in 1960".  Really?  Then why was Ike so popular?  The president's job approval ratings seem to track a lot better with the mood of the country than does his potential successor's success at the polls.

Ike wasn't that popular at the time. I believe we were just getting out of a recession around that time.

Quote

But here's the thing: There are only so many examples in history of a presidential election in which one of the major party candidates was the sitting vice president.  You can say "Well, the baseline assumption should be that if people are happy with the sitting president or the direction of the country or what have you, then the sitting veep will do really well.  If not, then he'll do poorly."  But then, you have counterexamples like 2000, so you have to construct new rules to account for the exceptions ("Well, OK, it doesn't work if people are *too* happy.  Then it can go the opposite way.")

It's not that Gore did poorly because things were too good; it's that his campaign didn't work hard enough to get people to the polls.

Quote
  Maybe voters simply *don't* view elections without incumbent presidents running as a referendum on the direction of the country. 

Care to explain 2008?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Northam for Governor '17 on February 08, 2009, 08:07:35 pm
If Gore had run a strong campaign, he would've won by a much bigger margin; something like this:
(http://uselectionatlas.org/TOOLS/genusmap.php?year=2000&ev_c=0&pv_p=0&ev_p=1&AL=2;9;5&AK=2;3;5&AZ=2;8;5&AR=1;6;5&CA=1;54;5&CO=2;8;5&CT=1;8;5&DE=1;3;5&DC=1;3;8&FL=1;25;4&GA=2;13;5&HI=1;4;5&ID=2;4;6&IL=1;22;5&IN=2;12;5&IA=1;7;4&KS=2;6;5&KY=2;8;5&LA=2;9;5&MD=1;10;5&MA=1;12;5&MI=1;18;5&MN=1;10;4&MS=2;7;5&MO=1;11;5&MT=2;3;5&NV=2;4;4&NH=1;4;4&NJ=1;15;5&NM=1;5;4&NY=1;33;6&NC=2;14;5&ND=2;3;6&OH=1;21;4&OK=2;8;6&OR=1;7;4&PA=1;23;5&RI=1;4;6&SC=2;8;5&SD=2;3;6&TN=1;11;5&TX=2;32;5&UT=2;5;6&VT=1;3;5&VA=2;13;5&WA=1;11;5&WV=2;5;5&WI=1;11;4&WY=2;3;6&ME=1;2;4&ME1=1;1;5&ME2=1;1;4&NE=2;2;6&NE1=2;1;5&NE2=2;1;5&NE3=2;1;7)


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on February 08, 2009, 09:02:38 pm
If Gore had run a strong campaign, he would've won by a much bigger margin; something like this:
(http://uselectionatlas.org/TOOLS/genusmap.php?year=2000&ev_c=0&pv_p=0&ev_p=1&AL=2;9;5&AK=2;3;5&AZ=2;8;5&AR=1;6;5&CA=1;54;5&CO=2;8;5&CT=1;8;5&DE=1;3;5&DC=1;3;8&FL=1;25;4&GA=2;13;5&HI=1;4;5&ID=2;4;6&IL=1;22;5&IN=2;12;5&IA=1;7;4&KS=2;6;5&KY=2;8;5&LA=2;9;5&MD=1;10;5&MA=1;12;5&MI=1;18;5&MN=1;10;4&MS=2;7;5&MO=1;11;5&MT=2;3;5&NV=2;4;4&NH=1;4;4&NJ=1;15;5&NM=1;5;4&NY=1;33;6&NC=2;14;5&ND=2;3;6&OH=1;21;4&OK=2;8;6&OR=1;7;4&PA=1;23;5&RI=1;4;6&SC=2;8;5&SD=2;3;6&TN=1;11;5&TX=2;32;5&UT=2;5;6&VT=1;3;5&VA=2;13;5&WA=1;11;5&WV=2;5;5&WI=1;11;4&WY=2;3;6&ME=1;2;4&ME1=1;1;5&ME2=1;1;4&NE=2;2;6&NE1=2;1;5&NE2=2;1;5&NE3=2;1;7)

He should have won NV, AZ and WV, too.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Lief 🐋 on February 08, 2009, 09:14:30 pm
The United States was still a center-right nation in 2000. Even though Gingrich had been disgraced, his Contract with America policies were still popular, and even Bill Clinton had essentially acted like a republican since 1995. Al Gore didn't really give the American people a compelling reason to put aside their preference for conservative ideology. If not for the fact that the economy was very strong and Clinton was still relatively popular, he would have lost by a good deal more.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: The Mikado on February 08, 2009, 10:26:12 pm

That quote says it all.  The Gore campaign ran a horrible campaign and the Bush campaign ran an excellent no holds bar campaign.


Ah, yes.  The Bush campaign that had George standing around in Califorinia days before the election, wasting a fortune that could be going to shore up Florida, was "excellent."  Of course.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: ○∙◄☻tπ[╪AV┼cV└ on February 08, 2009, 10:27:36 pm

That quote says it all.  The Gore campaign ran a horrible campaign and the Bush campaign ran an excellent no holds bar campaign.


Ah, yes.  The Bush campaign that had George standing around in Califorinia days before the election, wasting a fortune that could be going to shore up Florida, was "excellent."  Of course.

But but but Gore obviously blew it by having Florida be the only state he outspent Bush in, and campaigning the final 36 hours or so nonstop there.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: bgwah on February 09, 2009, 01:45:01 am
Because Bush was "likable", as were Clinton and Obama. And that's all it takes to sway your average dumb swing voter.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: hcallega on February 15, 2009, 05:37:38 pm
Here's how I see it. Clinton won in 1992 because of his personality and economic uncertainty. Did Perot help? Maybe, but Clinton would have won either way. In 1996, the country was headed in the right direction, and Dole didn't resonate with conservatives. In 2000, the prosperity was a major + for Gore. But many voters probably felt that since things were going well, secondary issues (aka environment, foreign policy, moral values). Personally, I may have voted for Bush because of social issues. Another example is Ray Flynn, the former mayor of Boston and a real progressive on domestic issues. Yet he endorsed Bush because the country was on the right track and the issue of abortion became more important to him and other Reagan Democrats.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: pbrower2a on March 11, 2009, 06:06:28 am
I also fault Joe Lieberman. Couldn't he have spent more time in New Hampshire, a state very close to Connecticut? To be sure New Hampshire isn't quite Connecticut, Lieberman's state, but it could have been enough. Much is said of Gore winning had Florida played out honestly, but when you face a cheating opponent you had better find ways to thwart the cheat.

Gore, I think, could have spent some time in West Virginia, a state which then was decidedly liberal on economic issues. Arkansas? Bill Clinton was still popular there. Tennessee? The Favorite Son effect is worth at least ten points in the polls if one doesn't throw it away as Gore did. Any one of those would have won the 2000 election for Gore had he won any one of them.

Florida was the political equivalent of the lions' den: the Republican nominee's brother was governor, and anything that Jeb Bush could do to help his brother without getting caught... he was going to do.

The political dynamics of 2000 were very similar to those that stared Barack Obama in the early autumn of 2008, when Obama had to win one of a handful of states to win the election outright. Obama played the game masterfully with a scattershot approach, forcing his opponent to defend everything. Obama won, of course -- comfortably -- because he chose a strategy that would beat a cheat.

Say what you want about Florida... but when you play poker with a cheat who has friends in the management of the casino, you had better find some other table if you can't leave the casino.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: memphis on March 11, 2009, 09:50:38 am
Ralph Nader.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Keystone Phil on March 11, 2009, 10:52:33 am
Ralph Nader.

If you actually read the first (and other) posts, you'd understand why Nader shouldn't have even been a factor.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Ringorules on March 11, 2009, 11:32:48 am
I also fault Joe Lieberman. Couldn't he have spent more time in New Hampshire, a state very close to Connecticut? To be sure New Hampshire isn't quite Connecticut, Lieberman's state, but it could have been enough.

On the other hand, if not for Lieberman's pull with Jewish voters, Florida would have a clear, controversy-free win for Bush.

This, though, may have been the only meaningful contribution Lieberman made to the ticket.  Why would Al Gore NOT choose a running-mate with some charisma, given his own deficiences in that department?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: nclib on March 11, 2009, 07:57:42 pm
I don't find Bush's personality (contrivances and all) to be all that endearing either. Tax cuts were the issue that put Bush over the top.

Well, I certainly found Bush's personality very repulsive. But sadly his personality was appealing to enough voters.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: pbrower2a on March 11, 2009, 09:12:32 pm
I also fault Joe Lieberman. Couldn't he have spent more time in New Hampshire, a state very close to Connecticut? To be sure New Hampshire isn't quite Connecticut, Lieberman's state, but it could have been enough.

On the other hand, if not for Lieberman's pull with Jewish voters, Florida would have a clear, controversy-free win for Bush.

This, though, may have been the only meaningful contribution Lieberman made to the ticket.  Why would Al Gore NOT choose a running-mate with some charisma, given his own deficiences in that department?

Right. I also think that it was a huge blunder for Gore to bet everything on Florida , especially considering that Dubya's brother was Governor of Florida. The temptation for electoral fraud was high, so it would have made good sense to ensure that GOP vote fraud (if such in fact happened, and it cannot be repudiated) would have been pointless. Perhaps Gore underestimated how corrupt the Rove/Bush clique was; heck, if these fellows signed off on the "black baby" canard against a primary opponent, what would be too low for them? 

I can say this: had Gore picked up even one state with at least four electoral votes, then he would have also won Florida because nobody would have had an incentive to cheat.

Gore could have campaigned in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri; any one of those would have won the election. Was Clinton influence that weak that the incumbent President couldn't have pulled Arkansas? Lieberman could have also campaigned in Ohio, a state that (like Florida) also has lots of Jews and was also close in 2000.

When the opposition is as ruthless and amoral as the Rove/Bush clique one must play "Beat the Cheat".  One must put that opposition on the defensive everywhere that it can be put on the defensive. I contrast Obama in 2008, who took no such chance. Maybe McCain was not as ruthless and amoral as the Rove/Bush clique... but that was not a chance worth taking.

It could be that Joe Lieberman was a bad choice as a VP nominee. Connecticut was never in doubt, and John Edwards might have picked off one of the states that Clinton had won but neither Gore, Kerry, nor Obama has since won. "You go for Southern moderate populists and I'll go for Yankee liberals" might have made good sense in the 2000 election.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Landslide Lyndon on March 12, 2009, 02:14:43 am
I also fault Joe Lieberman. Couldn't he have spent more time in New Hampshire, a state very close to Connecticut? To be sure New Hampshire isn't quite Connecticut, Lieberman's state, but it could have been enough.

On the other hand, if not for Lieberman's pull with Jewish voters, Florida would have a clear, controversy-free win for Bush.

This, though, may have been the only meaningful contribution Lieberman made to the ticket.  Why would Al Gore NOT choose a running-mate with some charisma, given his own deficiences in that department?

Right. I also think that it was a huge blunder for Gore to bet everything on Florida , especially considering that Dubya's brother was Governor of Florida. The temptation for electoral fraud was high, so it would have made good sense to ensure that GOP vote fraud (if such in fact happened, and it cannot be repudiated) would have been pointless. Perhaps Gore underestimated how corrupt the Rove/Bush clique was; heck, if these fellows signed off on the "black baby" canard against a primary opponent, what would be too low for them? 

I can say this: had Gore picked up even one state with at least four electoral votes, then he would have also won Florida because nobody would have had an incentive to cheat.

Gore could have campaigned in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri; any one of those would have won the election. Was Clinton influence that weak that the incumbent President couldn't have pulled Arkansas? Lieberman could have also campaigned in Ohio, a state that (like Florida) also has lots of Jews and was also close in 2000.

When the opposition is as ruthless and amoral as the Rove/Bush clique one must play "Beat the Cheat".  One must put that opposition on the defensive everywhere that it can be put on the defensive. I contrast Obama in 2008, who took no such chance. Maybe McCain was not as ruthless and amoral as the Rove/Bush clique... but that was not a chance worth taking.

It could be that Joe Lieberman was a bad choice as a VP nominee. Connecticut was never in doubt, and John Edwards might have picked off one of the states that Clinton had won but neither Gore, Kerry, nor Obama has since won. "You go for Southern moderate populists and I'll go for Yankee liberals" might have made good sense in the 2000 election.

For what's worth, Bob Shrum said last summer that in hindsight, the time and money they spent on Tennessee, should have spent on New Hampshire.

Also, as Chuck Todd said, West Virginia in 2000 was something similar with Indiana in 2008. A reliably Democratic/Republican state who nobody believed was in danger, until it was too late. 


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: A Strange Reflection on March 12, 2009, 05:41:27 am
Please try your best not to turn this into "He did win!" and that type of nonsense.
It depends to the sense of the verb "win". If you think that the man who is become president, with or without the support of people, is the winner, also Bush won. If you consider that winning means being chosen by a plurality of citizens as the best candidate and receive more popular support, Gore won.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Franzl on March 12, 2009, 07:56:40 am
funny thread


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: pbrower2a on March 12, 2009, 10:01:17 am
I also fault Joe Lieberman. Couldn't he have spent more time in New Hampshire, a state very close to Connecticut? To be sure New Hampshire isn't quite Connecticut, Lieberman's state, but it could have been enough.

On the other hand, if not for Lieberman's pull with Jewish voters, Florida would have a clear, controversy-free win for Bush.

This, though, may have been the only meaningful contribution Lieberman made to the ticket.  Why would Al Gore NOT choose a running-mate with some charisma, given his own deficiences in that department?

Right. I also think that it was a huge blunder for Gore to bet everything on Florida , especially considering that Dubya's brother was Governor of Florida. The temptation for electoral fraud was high, so it would have made good sense to ensure that GOP vote fraud (if such in fact happened, and it cannot be repudiated) would have been pointless. Perhaps Gore underestimated how corrupt the Rove/Bush clique was; heck, if these fellows signed off on the "black baby" canard against a primary opponent, what would be too low for them? 

I can say this: had Gore picked up even one state with at least four electoral votes, then he would have also won Florida because nobody would have had an incentive to cheat.

...

For what's worth, Bob Shrum said last summer that in hindsight, the time and money they spent on Tennessee, should have spent on New Hampshire.

Also, as Chuck Todd said, West Virginia in 2000 was something similar with Indiana in 2008. A reliably Democratic/Republican state who nobody believed was in danger, until it was too late. 

Gore should have campaigned in New Hampshire, Ohio, and West Virginia. West Virginia should have been an easy state in which to campaign because it is one of the most unionized states in America; the UMW would gladly have bussed mineworkers and their families to Gore rallies.  By winning either, Gore would have succeeded at the strategy of beating the cheat and wouldn't have needed Florida. New Hampshire? You bring busloads of canvassers from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey into New Hampshire where they can do some good.

If one can make campaign stops in West Virginia, one can also make them in Ohio. Really, Ohio is an easy state in which to campaign because it is so compact with population concentrated heavily in seven metropolitan areas (Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, and Youngstown).  Anyone who wants a political crowd can hardly find a better place than Ohio.

Here's one of the ironies: West Virginia and new Hampshire are separated by about a one-hour trip by jet. Neither state is glamorous, to be sure, but neither should have been ignored.

Non-partisan polls are the only reliable source of knowledge of how states are doing in a Presidential race.  Don't dispute them; work to change the results.



Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on December 23, 2009, 08:25:10 pm
Because Gore did not campaign with Clinton and did not talk enough about the good economy and Clinton's economic record. Also because Gore picked a bad running mate--he should have picked a qualified, competent woman like Dianne Feinstein or Patty Murray--that way, he would have energized the women's vote in his favor and won the election.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: k-onmmunist on January 04, 2010, 07:03:30 am
well he did win.  :)

(http://fermentation.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/27/tinfoil.jpg)

Works both ways.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: memphis on January 04, 2010, 11:45:05 am
Ralph Nader.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Sasquatch on January 04, 2010, 12:52:34 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 04, 2010, 06:12:54 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?

Those Democrats voted for Bush because Gore was a crappy candidate and ran a crappy campaign. Also, he picked a very crappy VP.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: memphis on January 04, 2010, 06:19:45 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?
They never vote Dem in presidential elections.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 04, 2010, 06:22:17 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?
They never vote Dem in presidential elections.

I think some of them voted for Carter and Clinton.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: memphis on January 04, 2010, 06:43:39 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?
They never vote Dem in presidential elections.

I think some of them voted for Carter and Clinton.

Probably Carter, lost he lost a lot of them in 1980. Clinton is pretty much impossible to tell because of Perot. Remember, he never broke 50%


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Northam for Governor '17 on January 04, 2010, 07:42:18 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?

Would not have mattered if 1% of Nader voters in Florida had voted for Gore.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 04, 2010, 08:42:29 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?

Would not have mattered if 1% of Nader voters in Florida had voted for Gore.

Would not have mattered had Gore run a better campaign.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Northam for Governor '17 on January 04, 2010, 08:45:37 pm
Would not have mattered had Gore run a better campaign.

I totally agree, and think the two are mostly interrelated.  It's worth noting, though, that a lot of Nader voters knew it would be a close race, but still voted for Nader.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 04, 2010, 08:47:58 pm
Would not have mattered had Gore run a better campaign.

I totally agree, and think the two are mostly interrelated.  It's worth noting, though, that a lot of Nader voters knew it would be a close race, but still voted for Nader.

Still, had Gore planned a better campaign strategy (including campaigning with Clinton and picking a comptent woman as VP instead of that sleazebag Lieberman) those Nader voters would have been irrelevant and that election possibl wouldn't even be that close.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on January 04, 2010, 08:52:45 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?
They never vote Dem in presidential elections.

I think some of them voted for Carter and Clinton.

Probably Carter, lost he lost a lot of them in 1980. Clinton is pretty much impossible to tell because of Perot. Remember, he never broke 50%

I think what really damaged Al Gore was around 1 in 5 Clinton 96' voters switching to Bush in 2000.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 04, 2010, 08:57:31 pm
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?
They never vote Dem in presidential elections.

I think some of them voted for Carter and Clinton.

Probably Carter, lost he lost a lot of them in 1980. Clinton is pretty much impossible to tell because of Perot. Remember, he never broke 50%

I think what really damaged Al Gore was around 1 in 5 Clinton 96' voters switching to Bush in 2000.

Maybe he should have had Clinton campaign with him. That way, it is likely that at least some of those voters would have voted for Gore, allowing him to win.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on January 05, 2010, 04:27:32 am
Ralph Nader.
What about the 10% or so of Democrats who voted for Bush?
They never vote Dem in presidential elections.

I think some of them voted for Carter and Clinton.

Probably Carter, lost he lost a lot of them in 1980. Clinton is pretty much impossible to tell because of Perot. Remember, he never broke 50%

I think what really damaged Al Gore was around 1 in 5 Clinton 96' voters switching to Bush in 2000.

Maybe he should have had Clinton campaign with him. That way, it is likely that at least some of those voters would have voted for Gore, allowing him to win.

I'm not sure if they would prefer Gore to Bush however firstly. Whose to say they still approved of Clinton personally post-Lewinsky.

Maybe Gore is right after all that the Lewinsky scandal may have hurt his chances in 2000, as Clinton's personal approval ratings were in the toilet in most states and would not have been a good campaigner for him. Though maybe in Arkansas it could make a difference.

Losing 18% to 20% of Clinton 1996 voters is more responsible for making Gore lose than anything Nader did. Could have retained WV, TN, FL (even without the Jewish pull of Lieberman), AR (maybe), OH (decent chance), NH.

This pretty much answers from a numeric perspective of why Gore did not win comfortably.

Dole 1996 => Bush 2000 was around ~39 million => ~50.5 million in terms of the pV. The 11 million is composed of mostly Perot voters and around 18% of Clinton voters.

I could even argue that the D+9 situation of 1996 was sort of out of balance and that the D+.5 was more of a "correction" than anything and those 1 in 5 Clinton 96/Bush 00 voters likely felt likewise.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Kalwejt on January 05, 2010, 10:25:59 am
Running-mate problem:

Lieberman bring more Jewish votes, but alienated a lot of liberal Democrats. Good pick would be Russ Feingold: strong regional base in Midwest, Jew votes and liberal voting record.

Lackluster campaign:

Gore campaign simply lack a fire and not using Clinton, one of the most popular Presidents in history, was stupid.

Since Gore actually won pv and maybe in Florida too (we never going to know for sure), with good running-mate and doing better campaigning, Bush would be dead.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Vepres on January 05, 2010, 02:14:11 pm
Gore had image issues as well. He came off as an overly cerebral nerd, and was quite boring. This is in stark contrast to Clinton's image in '96.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 05, 2010, 09:05:22 pm
What about picking a woman (like Dianne Feinstein or Patty Murray) instead of Lieberman? Both would energize the women's vote in favor of Gore (and believe me, that would matter in a close election. Also neither of them is as stupid and incompetent as Palin, so there's pratically no downside). Feinstein would also help in increasing the Jewish vote (especially in Florida) and in bringing moderates to Gore, while Murray would have energized the Democratic base and also possibly brought some Nader voters back to Gore.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on January 05, 2010, 09:47:31 pm
He should have picked Feingold or Wellstone.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on January 09, 2010, 03:23:34 pm
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 09, 2010, 11:35:06 pm
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.

Even that would have been enough for Gore to win, though. 20% of 90,000 (the total # of Nader voters in Florida) is 18,000 votes, much more than the 537 votes Gore needed to win Florida.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on January 10, 2010, 09:26:44 pm
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.

Even that would have been enough for Gore to win, though. 20% of 90,000 (the total # of Nader voters in Florida) is 18,000 votes, much more than the 537 votes Gore needed to win Florida.

Sure he could have won if 60% of Nader voters had switched. But he still wouldn't have won comfortably.

Interestingly Clinton got a slightly higher % in TN in 1996 than Al Gore did himself in 2000. It was 48% vs 47.28%


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on January 10, 2010, 10:08:02 pm
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.

Even that would have been enough for Gore to win, though. 20% of 90,000 (the total # of Nader voters in Florida) is 18,000 votes, much more than the 537 votes Gore needed to win Florida.

Sure he could have won if 60% of Nader voters had switched. But he still wouldn't have won comfortably.

Interestingly Clinton got a slightly higher % in TN in 1996 than Al Gore did himself in 2000. It was 48% vs 47.28%

It wouldn't matter if Gore would have won comfortably or not. All that would have mattered is that he would have won. Winning narrowly and winning in a landslide makes no difference to the winner--he still wins (even though a larger victory might make governing easier due to coattails). However, there is a massive difference between winning narrowly and losing narrowly.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on January 10, 2010, 10:15:52 pm
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.

Even that would have been enough for Gore to win, though. 20% of 90,000 (the total # of Nader voters in Florida) is 18,000 votes, much more than the 537 votes Gore needed to win Florida.

Sure he could have won if 60% of Nader voters had switched. But he still wouldn't have won comfortably.

Interestingly Clinton got a slightly higher % in TN in 1996 than Al Gore did himself in 2000. It was 48% vs 47.28%

It wouldn't matter if Gore would have won comfortably or not. All that would have mattered is that he would have won. Winning narrowly and winning in a landslide makes no difference to the winner--he still wins (even though a larger victory might make governing easier due to coattails). However, there is a massive difference between winning narrowly and losing narrowly.

Well I suppose, but keep in mind, it was expected for him to win comfortably, considering the relative peace and prosperity of the preceding 8 years. He ended up basically fighting to a draw however.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Хahar 🤔 on February 20, 2010, 02:47:29 am
I think it's fair to say that a plurality of people who went to the polls in Florida in 2000 intended to vote for Gore.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on February 20, 2010, 11:57:12 am
I think it's fair to say that a plurality of people who went to the polls in Florida in 2000 intended to vote for Gore.

That's debatable.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on February 20, 2010, 11:59:16 am
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.

Even that would have been enough for Gore to win, though. 20% of 90,000 (the total # of Nader voters in Florida) is 18,000 votes, much more than the 537 votes Gore needed to win Florida.

Sure he could have won if 60% of Nader voters had switched. But he still wouldn't have won comfortably.

Interestingly Clinton got a slightly higher % in TN in 1996 than Al Gore did himself in 2000. It was 48% vs 47.28%

It wouldn't matter if Gore would have won comfortably or not. All that would have mattered is that he would have won. Winning narrowly and winning in a landslide makes no difference to the winner--he still wins (even though a larger victory might make governing easier due to coattails). However, there is a massive difference between winning narrowly and losing narrowly.

Well I suppose, but keep in mind, it was expected for him to win comfortably, considering the relative peace and prosperity of the preceding 8 years. He ended up basically fighting to a draw however.

Then how come Gore failed to open a large lead in the polls in the fall like Bush Sr. did? The conditions in 1988 and 2000 were roughly similar (good economy, lack of foreign threats, popular incumbent President), yet Bush Sr. won in a landslide and Gore lost by an extremely narrow margin.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on February 20, 2010, 01:53:32 pm
I don't think its exactly correct to say that each vote +1 Nader = -1 Gore and vice-versa. Some would have even voted for Bush over Gore and some would have Abstained over Gore.

I knew people with preferences like.

Bush > Nader > Gore
Nader > Bush > Gore

Its not always the assumed preference of

Nader > Gore > Bush

If I had to venture a guess to the preferences of Nader voters however.

~60% would have had the preference relation of Nader > Gore > Bush
~40% would have had other preference relations.

Even that would have been enough for Gore to win, though. 20% of 90,000 (the total # of Nader voters in Florida) is 18,000 votes, much more than the 537 votes Gore needed to win Florida.

Sure he could have won if 60% of Nader voters had switched. But he still wouldn't have won comfortably.

Interestingly Clinton got a slightly higher % in TN in 1996 than Al Gore did himself in 2000. It was 48% vs 47.28%

It wouldn't matter if Gore would have won comfortably or not. All that would have mattered is that he would have won. Winning narrowly and winning in a landslide makes no difference to the winner--he still wins (even though a larger victory might make governing easier due to coattails). However, there is a massive difference between winning narrowly and losing narrowly.

Well I suppose, but keep in mind, it was expected for him to win comfortably, considering the relative peace and prosperity of the preceding 8 years. He ended up basically fighting to a draw however.

Then how come Gore failed to open a large lead in the polls in the fall like Bush Sr. did? The conditions in 1988 and 2000 were roughly similar (good economy, lack of foreign threats, popular incumbent President), yet Bush Sr. won in a landslide and Gore lost by an extremely narrow margin.

I'm pretty sure Gore's personality is what turned a solid victory into a draw that could go either way and pretty much caused lots of bleeding to Nader.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Guderian on February 20, 2010, 04:31:07 pm
It's hard to "win comfortably" after your party held the White House for 8 years. Neither party has a lock on the presidency, partisanship is strong and independent voters are likely to be fatigued after two terms.

Even Bush's win in 1988 wasn't all that comfortable. He was trailing Dukakis deep into the summer and really his electoral victory seems very impressive only because he pulled off an ungodly number of tight wins (California, Illinois, Pennsylvania - just to mention the big states, all won with about 51% of the vote). Shuffle Dukakis and Bentsen on the ticket and you have a true cliffhanger election.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on February 20, 2010, 06:32:39 pm
It's hard to "win comfortably" after your party held the White House for 8 years. Neither party has a lock on the presidency, partisanship is strong and independent voters are likely to be fatigued after two terms.

Even Bush's win in 1988 wasn't all that comfortable. He was trailing Dukakis deep into the summer and really his electoral victory seems very impressive only because he pulled off an ungodly number of tight wins (California, Illinois, Pennsylvania - just to mention the big states, all won with about 51% of the vote). Shuffle Dukakis and Bentsen on the ticket and you have a true cliffhanger election.

Even flipping all states that Bush won by 6% or less. We get 286-252 for Bush-Dukakis.

(http://uselectionatlas.org/TOOLS/genusmap.php?year=1988&ev_c=1&pv_p=1&ev_p=1&type=calc&AL=2;9;5&AK=2;3;5&AZ=2;7;5&AR=2;6;5&CA=1;47;5&CO=2;8;5&CT=1;8;5&DE=2;3;5&DC=1;3;8&FL=2;21;6&GA=2;12;5&HI=1;4;5&ID=2;4;6&IL=1;24;5&IN=2;12;5&IA=1;8;5&KS=2;7;5&KY=2;9;5&LA=2;10;5&MD=1;10;5&MA=1;13;5&MI=2;20;5&MN=1;10;5&MS=2;7;5&MO=1;11;5&MT=1;4;5&NE=2;5;6&NV=2;4;5&NH=2;4;6&NJ=2;16;5&NM=1;5;5&NY=1;36;5&NC=2;13;5&ND=2;3;5&OH=2;23;5&OK=2;8;5&OR=1;7;5&PA=1;25;5&RI=1;4;5&SC=2;8;6&SD=1;3;5&TN=2;11;5&TX=2;29;5&UT=2;5;6&VT=1;3;5&VA=2;12;5&WA=1;10;5&WV=1;6;5&WI=1;11;5&WY=2;3;6&ME=2;2;6&ME1=2;1;6&ME2=2;1;6)


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on February 20, 2010, 08:27:43 pm
It's hard to "win comfortably" after your party held the White House for 8 years. Neither party has a lock on the presidency, partisanship is strong and independent voters are likely to be fatigued after two terms.

Even Bush's win in 1988 wasn't all that comfortable. He was trailing Dukakis deep into the summer and really his electoral victory seems very impressive only because he pulled off an ungodly number of tight wins (California, Illinois, Pennsylvania - just to mention the big states, all won with about 51% of the vote). Shuffle Dukakis and Bentsen on the ticket and you have a true cliffhanger election.

Even flipping all states that Bush won by 6% or less. We get 286-252 for Bush-Dukakis.

(http://uselectionatlas.org/TOOLS/genusmap.php?year=1988&ev_c=1&pv_p=1&ev_p=1&type=calc&AL=2;9;5&AK=2;3;5&AZ=2;7;5&AR=2;6;5&CA=1;47;5&CO=2;8;5&CT=1;8;5&DE=2;3;5&DC=1;3;8&FL=2;21;6&GA=2;12;5&HI=1;4;5&ID=2;4;6&IL=1;24;5&IN=2;12;5&IA=1;8;5&KS=2;7;5&KY=2;9;5&LA=2;10;5&MD=1;10;5&MA=1;13;5&MI=2;20;5&MN=1;10;5&MS=2;7;5&MO=1;11;5&MT=1;4;5&NE=2;5;6&NV=2;4;5&NH=2;4;6&NJ=2;16;5&NM=1;5;5&NY=1;36;5&NC=2;13;5&ND=2;3;5&OH=2;23;5&OK=2;8;5&OR=1;7;5&PA=1;25;5&RI=1;4;5&SC=2;8;6&SD=1;3;5&TN=2;11;5&TX=2;29;5&UT=2;5;6&VT=1;3;5&VA=2;12;5&WA=1;10;5&WV=1;6;5&WI=1;11;5&WY=2;3;6&ME=2;2;6&ME1=2;1;6&ME2=2;1;6)


Exactly. Dukakis would have needed to swing 4% or more to win the election, and since people began to really pay attention to the race after Labor Day and due to the fact Dukakis had many flaws (in both personality and record), it seems very unlikely that he would have gotten 4% more of the vote than he did in RL. A stronger Democrat might have been able to, but not Dukakis.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Guderian on February 22, 2010, 01:30:19 pm
Well, yes my point was that the question should be "How did Bush win comfortably" instead of "How did Gore not win comfortably". Democrats were definitely seen as bigger favorites in early 1988 than they were in early 2000, given the normal cyclical way politics usually work. Bush got lucky when Gary Hart self-destructed and Dukakis won the primaries. Gore also got a bit lucky since he faced W instead of McCain, but overall W was still a much stronger candidate than Dukakis.   


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on February 22, 2010, 10:06:01 pm
Well, yes my point was that the question should be "How did Bush win comfortably" instead of "How did Gore not win comfortably". Democrats were definitely seen as bigger favorites in early 1988 than they were in early 2000, given the normal cyclical way politics usually work. Bush got lucky when Gary Hart self-destructed and Dukakis won the primaries. Gore also got a bit lucky since he faced W instead of McCain, but overall W was still a much stronger candidate than Dukakis.   

I'll admit that a Bush-Hart race in 1988 would have likely been much closer if Hart didn't have his affair. Bush Sr. might have even defeated Hart though, and even if Hart would have narrowly won, it would have only been due to his charisma and Bush Sr.'s lack of it. I admit that Gore's lack of charisma definitely cost him many votes, but he should have at least used Clinton to campaign with him and pick a better VP. He would have won that way.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: CultureKing on February 22, 2010, 10:50:55 pm
Also everyone needs to remember the whole Monica L. scandal, while it sounds stupid now people were actually quite upset about it.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on February 22, 2010, 11:40:45 pm
Also everyone needs to remember the whole Monica L. scandal, while it sounds stupid now people were actually quite upset about it.

Why blame Gore for that, though? He wasn't involved in any way. Besides, Clinton's (job) approvals were about 60% throughout 2000, and that should have been enough for Gore to win the White House.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: phk on February 24, 2010, 02:15:18 pm
Also everyone needs to remember the whole Monica L. scandal, while it sounds stupid now people were actually quite upset about it.

Why blame Gore for that, though? He wasn't involved in any way. Besides, Clinton's (job) approvals were about 60% throughout 2000, and that should have been enough for Gore to win the White House.

What do you think he should have done to stop the bleeding of potential supporters to Nader?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on February 24, 2010, 08:16:31 pm
Also everyone needs to remember the whole Monica L. scandal, while it sounds stupid now people were actually quite upset about it.

Why blame Gore for that, though? He wasn't involved in any way. Besides, Clinton's (job) approvals were about 60% throughout 2000, and that should have been enough for Gore to win the White House.

What do you think he should have done to stop the bleeding of potential supporters to Nader?

Campigning with Clinton might have helped, but I think his best move to prevent the bleeding of Nader supporters was to pick Feingold as VP. However, the best move to win the election would have been to pick Feinstein, since she might have helped less with Nader voters than Feingold would have, but she might have compensated for that by allowing Gore to win over many female and moderate voters that Feingold would not have delivered.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Derek on April 27, 2010, 08:03:37 pm
I don't find Bush's personality (contrivances and all) to be all that endearing either. Tax cuts were the issue that put Bush over the top.

See I'd rather him use that money to pay off the deficit while lowering taxes rather than just giving the money back.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Derek on April 27, 2010, 08:04:51 pm
Plus people saw the difference.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: cpeeks on June 09, 2010, 11:22:05 pm
Ya Derrick and while your hero was in office we went from 5 trillion in debt to 12 trillion in debt.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Derek on June 10, 2010, 02:34:03 am
Almost as bad as what's going on now. You're right.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on June 11, 2010, 05:18:37 pm
Ya Derrick and while your hero was in office we went from 5 trillion in debt to 12 trillion in debt.

His name is Derek, not Derrick. And I agree with you, Bush Jr. was a fiscal catastrophe (just like Reagan and his dad were) despite claiming to be a fiscal conservative. The debt rises that have been occuring under Obama were inherited from Bush Jr.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: cpeeks on June 12, 2010, 12:15:48 am
Ya Derrick and while your hero was in office we went from 5 trillion in debt to 12 trillion in debt.

His name is Derek, not Derrick. And I agree with you, Bush Jr. was a fiscal catastrophe (just like Reagan and his dad were) despite claiming to be a fiscal conservative. The debt rises that have been occuring under Obama were inherited from Bush Jr.

My apologies to Derek for misspelling his name I was drunk when I posted that lol. When Reagan took office we were like 800 billion in debt now its close to 13 trillion with no end in sight. Wallace was right in 1968 when he said theres not a dimes worth of difference between the two parties. The republicans are so fake with there message. We have got to stop this spending before we bankrupt this nation.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Bo on June 12, 2010, 12:20:41 am
Ya Derrick and while your hero was in office we went from 5 trillion in debt to 12 trillion in debt.

His name is Derek, not Derrick. And I agree with you, Bush Jr. was a fiscal catastrophe (just like Reagan and his dad were) despite claiming to be a fiscal conservative. The debt rises that have been occuring under Obama were inherited from Bush Jr.

My apologies to Derek for misspelling his name I was drunk when I posted that lol. When Reagan took office we were like 800 billion in debt now its close to 13 trillion with no end in sight. Wallace was right in 1968 when he said theres not a dimes worth of difference between the two parties. The republicans are so fake with there message. We have got to stop this spending before we bankrupt this nation.

Well, Wallace wasn't completely right. Carter and Clinton were pretty fiscally responisble, and there are substantial differences between the parties on the environment, foreign policy, and social issues.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Derek on June 12, 2010, 03:00:47 am
Ya Derrick and while your hero was in office we went from 5 trillion in debt to 12 trillion in debt.

His name is Derek, not Derrick. And I agree with you, Bush Jr. was a fiscal catastrophe (just like Reagan and his dad were) despite claiming to be a fiscal conservative. The debt rises that have been occuring under Obama were inherited from Bush Jr.

My apologies to Derek for misspelling his name I was drunk when I posted that lol. When Reagan took office we were like 800 billion in debt now its close to 13 trillion with no end in sight. Wallace was right in 1968 when he said theres not a dimes worth of difference between the two parties. The republicans are so fake with there message. We have got to stop this spending before we bankrupt this nation.

Are you drunk on all your posts?


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: cpeeks on June 12, 2010, 07:45:06 pm
Well Wallace was close enough. The democrats and republicans are destroying this country. I believe there trying to bankrupt us.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Derek on June 12, 2010, 08:22:38 pm
Well I don't think the GOP is "trying" to bankrupt us but both parties have their head so far up their own asses that they aren't listening to the people. That's why tea partiers are winning on the right and on the left you have people like Joe Sestak and that guy out in Colorado who defeated Michael Bennett. It's time for real change. Not change In Name Only.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: cpeeks on June 12, 2010, 08:35:34 pm
Well I don't think the GOP is "trying" to bankrupt us but both parties have their head so far up their own asses that they aren't listening to the people. That's why tea partiers are winning on the right and on the left you have people like Joe Sestak and that guy out in Colorado who defeated Michael Bennett. It's time for real change. Not change In Name Only.

Oh yea the GOP is so great, Bush put us almost 8 trillion dollars more in debt and he had republican house and senate, but ya your right people are sick of this.


Title: Re: How did Gore not win comfortably?
Post by: Derek on June 12, 2010, 08:39:10 pm
Well I don't think the GOP is "trying" to bankrupt us but both parties have their head so far up their own asses that they aren't listening to the people. That's why tea partiers are winning on the right and on the left you have people like Joe Sestak and that guy out in Colorado who defeated Michael Bennett. It's time for real change. Not change In Name Only.

Oh yea the GOP is so great, Bush put us almost 8 trillion dollars more in debt and he had republican house and senate, but ya your right people are sick of this.

I think the GOP lost its way under Bush too. With Clinton in office the GOP knew how to say no to government programs and out of control spending. It wasn't until they took over congress that we ever had a balanced budget or surplus. Both parties have payoffs after elections are won and that results in more debt for our grandchildren.