Sunday, September 26, 2004

# Posted 9:12 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE VOTES THAT COUNT are the ones in the swing states. And no one puts more effort into tracking those votes than the guys at Real Clear Politics. RCP's state-poll survey from last Tuesday shows how much ground Kerry has lost even in those states that Gore won back in 2000.

If you want to translate state-by-state polls into an overall picture of the election, check out RCP's Electoral Vote Count, which is updated daily. Right now, Bush has 291 and Kerry 221 with 26 votes in the toss-up column.

Of course, RCP knows just as much about the emotional side of politics as it does about numbers. As Tom pointed out last Tuesday,
Even though mistakes have been made and a good number of Americans are uneasy about the War in Iraq and the direction of the country in general, when given a choice between a leader who is committed to fighting and optimistic about winning or a leader who exudes the attitude that because the going is tough we ought to get going, Americans almost always prefer the former.
Even though Kerry's position on Iraq is more nuanced than just "let's pull out", the image he projects is certainly not of someone who wants to fight and win.

If you think Iraq is a hopeless mess, then you are probably cursing the average American voter for being so damned optimistic. But that's a whole 'nother debate.
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