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October 12, 2004
Democrats Run Away From Kerry, Liberalism

In the clearest indicator yet that John Kerry has serious trouble on his hands, the Los Angeles Times reports that Democratic candidates for Senate this year have decided to run to their right, and away from John Kerry:

The Democratic candidate in Alaska supports President Bush's call to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. The Democrat running in South Carolina supports Bush's call for a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, and the Democratic candidate in Oklahoma is in favor of repealing the District of Columbia's tough gun control law. ...

Some of the Democratic candidates have sought to distance themselves from the party's presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

"The main reason you're hearing Democratic candidates talk like Republicans is that most of the highly competitive Senate races this year are taking place on GOP turf," said Andrew Taylor, a political scientist at North Carolina State University.

No state was more Republican in 2000 than Alaska, which cast 59% of its ballots for Bush. Tony Knowles, the former two-term governor who is campaigning to unseat Murkowski, supported the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban. Kerry supported extending the ban, which expired last month.

Like Knowles, two other Democratic candidates who hail from energy-producing states Reps. Brad Carson in Oklahoma and Christopher John in Louisiana have supported Bush's call to allow oil drilling in the Arctic refuge. Kerry has helped lead Senate filibusters to block the drilling.

Carson and John also voted last week for the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Bush backs the measure. Kerry does not.

It shows that the DNC has information it chooses not to share with voters at the moment -- and presumably the data points to a conservative trend in battleground states that puts Kerry on the fringe of political thought this cycle. Even Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has run to the right after leading unprecedented filibusters against George Bush's judicial nominees, to the point of running TV ads showing him hugging the president. The RNC has been forced to publicly chastise the Democrats for using Bush in their ads in a manner which imply that the President endorses their candidates.

If Kerry was such a strong challenger to Bush, the Democrats would be lining up to get Kerry into their commercials, not Bush. I suspect that the internal polling for the Kerry campaign shows a collapse that only the WaPo/ABC poll hints at and that Zogby completely misses. Candidates for Senate in a presidential cycle usually cling to their party's nominee in the hope of riding his coattails into office. At the very least, they usually share the nominee's politics. In this cycle, neither apparently applies, revealing how much of a radical or non-entity John Kerry has been.

Forget the spin you hear from Terry McAuliffe; the proof is in the politicking. The party's down-ticket candidates have shown that Kerry is facing huge trouble and that even his own party has no faith in him.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 12, 2004 6:34 AM

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» Lining Up For Bush from Slant Point
Captain Ed has a great post about the *positive* use of George Bush by Democrats when campaigning. He says this spells trouble for Kerry.... [Read More]

Tracked on October 12, 2004 7:01 AM

» ~ Look for the liberal label ~ from Airborne Combat Engineer
1200Z TUE 12OCT04. Captain's Quarters. Some of the Democratic candidates have sought to distance themselves from the party's presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts. They want no part of the liberal label President Bush is firmly pinn... [Read More]

Tracked on October 12, 2004 7:53 AM



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