Tuesday, January 13, 2004

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Could Bush win New York?

I doubt even diehard Republicans would answer this question with a "Yes." Today, however, I saw this Associated Press story:

Howard Dean has moved out to at least a 2-1 lead in New York over his chief rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, while President Bush's popularity has rebounded in the heavily Democratic state, a statewide poll reported Tuesday....

[T]he new poll also found that Republican Bush appears to be a viable option for New York voters in a state where Democrats have a 5-3 enrollment advantage over Republicans. Among all registered New York voters sampled, 34 percent said they would definitely vote for the incumbent president in this year's election while 36 percent said they would definitely vote against him. Thirty percent were undecided.

A September poll from the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based institute had found 32 percent of voters planned to vote for Bush and 48 percent planned to vote against him.

The improvement for Bush's standing in New York was also evident in his job approval rating _ 52 percent in the new poll and 44 percent in the September poll.

Part of this might be due to a greater (thought hardly overwhelming) willingness for Jews to vote for Bush. Over at Volokh, David Bernstein has an interesting post on the subject.

It's still a long way to November, though.

UPDATE: Stephen Green has more on the New York question here and here.

Meanwhile a Chicago Tribune poll shows a similar trend for Bush in Illinois -- particularly if Dean is the opponent. The usual caveat (it's still damn early) applies.

posted by Dan on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM


Just think; All it took was a dose of Hillary and Chuckie together.

posted by: Bithead on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Look at the re-elect, not the approval.....

posted by: Jason McCullough on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

My friend Trent Telenko has predicted for some time that the GOP will carry New York in 2004. He feels that it selected NY City for its 2004 convention for that very reason.

posted by: Tom Holsinger on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Jason: I am looking at the re-elect. From September to January the re-elect went up four points, but more importantly, the percentage planning to vote against dropped twelve points.

Clearly, these numbers aren't cast in stone, but that's still a pretty significant change.

posted by: Dan Drezner on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

I think 9/11 is going to be a big issue in the minds of the NYC voters. And you know they'll be seeing ads of Bush with the megaphone at ground zero, and Guiliani endorsing Bush. There's a lot of positives Bush can toss at NY in this election, and I think he'll win the state.

posted by: David Pinto on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

True, I'm just tired of seeing re-elect numbers bandied about like they matter.

Can I also point out that Bush winning NY would take a blasted miracle? Gore won the state by 25 points; it'd take the biggest 4-year vote shift in American history.


posted by: Jason McCullough on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

I dont put too much faith in polls that are conducted when the election is this far away. Numbers can change in just days and the election is in November.

The poll raises some interesting questions but I dont think that the New York Republicans should start planning the victory party just yet.

posted by: sam on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

I should have pointed out earlier that I live western NY, around Rochester. I'll tell you point blank that were everything north of White Plains a seperated from NYC into another state, that Bush would win going away. So, the comments about NYC are right on the money, in my view.

In the end, this factor cannot be under-estimated for national implications.

Even assuming he doesn't win, it'll be a LOT closer than a lot of people would like.

posted by: Bithead on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

I hope the Iowa Elections Market creates a market on this very question -- at which point I'll offer any and all comers a bet on whether Bush takes New York. You get Bush, I get the Democratic nominee.

How much of a discount would you need to make a serious bet?

When you can answer that question, you know whether you genuinely believe Bush will win New York.

posted by: TedL on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

things are always overblown in the press, i think this is an example of how the "bush hatred" factor is slightly exagerrated.

posted by: jason on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Though I was only 8 at the time, I've had other Republicans tell me of their joy of watching the 1980 returns come in and seeing Reagan beat Carter in NY. It was at that moment that the GOP parties took off all over the country -- everyone knew that a win in New York meant a GOP landslide.

I've long thought that 9-11, Rudy Giuliani, and the parties' changing positions on Israel were going to cause a dramatic shift in New York. I don't necessarily think that Bush is going to win -- but Howard Dean cannot begin to compete with Bush if he has to spend money to make sure he wins New York and California. I think Rove is planning to use NY and CA to bleed the Dems dry.

posted by: Ryan Booth on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Yes, by all means. I think Bush could certainly win NY. He should spend all his time and money campaigning in the state. What money he has left over he should use in California, Illinios, Rhode Island, and Massachusettes. All are within his grasp if only he concentrates on these states and not Ohio, NM, NV, AZ, WV, NH, and other states he has locked up.

posted by: dmh on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

>Gore won the state by 25 points; it'd
>take the biggest 4-year vote shift in
>American history.

Attacking and killing 3,000 New Yorkers in the WTC by surprise and without mercy will do that.

You can split NY State into four slices electorally: Rural up-state NY; Urban up state NY (Think Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse); suburban downstate NY; and NY City.

Rural America provides ~40% of the American military’s enlisted on ~10% of the American population and up-state NY is no different in that regard. They are going strongly and enthusiastically Republican in 2004.

Urban Up State NY is filled with what used to be called Reagan Democrats. They went for Gore in 2000, but Up State New York is also home of the 10th Mountain Division. The Dean dominated Democratic Party has no place for the public displays of patriotism blue collar labor loves in time of war. They will cross over in numbers to Bush in 2004, like they crossed over for Reagan in 1984.

Suburban downstate NY is the home of liberal Republicans who have less and less room in the Republican Party, and went “Hillary Clinton Republican” in 2000, but Bush now has a 95% approval rating in his own party. It is going to look like 1984 as far as their voting patterns in 2004 as well.

NY City went 80(+)% Democrat in 2000 largely on the strength of the Democratic minority voter turn out programs. Point in fact more black Democrats voted for Gore in 2000 than for Clinton in 1992 or 1996. Dean does not have the track record of Gore or the charisma of Clinton to get a repeat of Gore’s 2000 performance with urban blacks.

Even worse for Democrats voting prospects, NY City lived with the attack on the WTC, the spontaneous mass evacuation of Manhattan, and the protracted and economically difficult clean up and aftermath. The war is very, very real for NY City voters and the Democratic activist base behind Dean doesn’t believe the war is real. “It is all Bush lying.”

You put those together and Bush looks like a winner in NY State in 2004.

posted by: Trent Telenko on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

A Democratic collapse across the country could lead to Bush carrying New York. It has happened before.

But assuming a competent candidate emerges from the Democratic primaries and the economy does not boom between now and the election Bush is about as likely to carry New York as I am. What he can do is reduce the enormous popular vote margin by which he lost New York (and California) last time, and thus avoid the possibility of repeating the situation where one candidate won (barely) the electoral vote and another the popular vote. This situation did not help Bush and was not good for the country, and there is every reason for the Republicans to try to prevent it from happening again.

posted by: Zathras on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Consider for a moment a not unlikely scenerio in November. A net unemployment loss of 2 to 3 million during his first term. Balloning federal deficits. A justification for war in Iraq that was at minimum unfounded, if not outright duplicitous. Continuing turmoil, casualites to US soldiers, and no end in sight in our Iraqi occupation. How exactly is this a formula for making up over 25% in voting deficits since last election? I can only hope that the Bush campaign tries to seriously contest NY but, alas, they are lot smarter than many posting here.

posted by: dmh on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Hey, Trent Telenko.

Keep your eyes peeled. If IEM or Tradesports offers a market on whether Bush wins New York in 2004, I expect to see you there. Given your confidence in the President's success, of course you will offer to take the contract at even money.


posted by: TedL on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

“I don't necessarily think that Bush is going to win -- but Howard Dean cannot begin to compete with Bush if he has to spend money to make sure he wins New York and California. I think Rove is planning to use NY and CA to bleed the Dems dry.”

I agree completely. The strong possibility that President Bush might win New York (and California) will indeed force the Democrats to spend enormous sums of precious money and energy. That alone dramatically increases his chances for reelection. Howard Dean will most likely be the Democrat standard bearer and he will be lucky to carry the blue states. The former Vermont has virtually no possibility of capturing any red states. A close race in New York means that the President should win by at least a five point margin throughout the whole country.

Sadly, I suspect that the Democrats will ultimately win New York’s electoral votes. The state is still very liberal and its economy is godawful especially in the upper half. In a fair and logical world, the Democrats and liberal Republicans would get blamed for screwing up New York’s economy---but whoever said the universe was fair?

The wild card is Al Sharpton. I still predict that he will run as an independent. This race card, sleaze ball could care less about the Democrat Party. He only desires to enhance his power base.

posted by: David Thomson on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Tradesports does offer a contract on whether Bush wins New York's electoral votes in 2004. The contract is bid at 20, offered at 24:


posted by: Daniel Lam on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


There is already a market on Tradesports on whether Bush wins NY. It's trading at 20.0/24.0.

posted by: Hei Lun Chan on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

“Jews are only about 2% of the population, but are older and vote more than other groups, so they are more like 4% of the electorate, and are concentrated in swing states. Moreover, Jews are responsible for giving about half of the money the Democrats raise (and 15-20% of Republican cash). This poll has to be ringing some alarm bells at Democratic headquarters in Washington.”

The Republican Party is still paying the price for inadvertently helping Adolph Hitler previous to WW II. Thankfully, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persisted in getting us ready to combat the fascist dictator. The Republicans literally stood in the way. On top of that, the GOP unofficially endorsed “gentleman’s agreement” policies. But didn’t all that happen years ago? Hey, it takes many generations before people put something like that behind them.

posted by: David Thomson on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Ted L,

I said the following in the a post of mine over on Winds of Change titled:

Trent Telenko
JULY 11, 2003

I noted before in a Winds post that the Democrats had exiled their real national security wing, the "Scoop Jackson Democrats" who are known today as Republican Neo-cons. This has left the Democrats with two foreign policy schools that I cheerfully refer to as "Dumb and Dumber." The "Dumb" school is what Holsinger called the "Armed Social Work Among Ungrateful Foreigners" Internationalists. The other school neither Krauthammer nor Holsinger mentioned. They are the "Let's Join The Other Side Because The Only Evil In The World is American Power" Isolationists. This second Democratic foreign policy school only comes to the fore when there are Republican Presidents.

Examples of their power and influence on the Democratic Party include the House Speaker Jim Wright's "Dear Commandantee" letter to the Nicaraguan Sandinist government during the Cold War's mid-1980's Central American campaign; "Red" Rep. Ron Dellum's (and later Armed Services Chairman) letters of support and advise in the Communist government of Grenada captured by the American Army and later the capture of one of Dellum's staffers by the US Navy running the American blockade of Iraq in Gulf War I; as well as the recent trip by two Democratic congressmen, including the Democratic House Whip Bonior, to Iraq prior its liberation from Saddam's Regime.

It is vital for the presidential hopes of Democratic candidates that this "Dumber" foreign policy school be silenced or drowned out during the Presidential primary campaign. The problem is that sitting on Democratic activists is foreign to the current generation of Democratic rank and file and most Democratic politicians. Democratic Presidential candidates who both know that sitting on these activists is needed, and have the skills to pull it off, are often called "Mr. President."

The root problem with both schools of Democratic foreign policy is that neither believes war is real. War is outside either schools frame of reference. Too borrow a sci-fi concept from Robert Heinlein, they do not "Grok" war. They are complete space cadets for whom civil discourse on war is impossible. In this both Democratic schools are very Chinese, in that they don't see the outside world save strictly in terms of domestic political considerations.

...and this was what I said in the comments section to Joe Katsman and Michael Totten:

"Tom Holsinger mentioned once before the Federalist Hartford convention during the War of 1812 as a parallel to the predicament that Democrats are facing for the 2004 convention during the War on Terrorism.

The Federalists debated seccession because of the effects the anti-British tariffs and the British blockade were having on New England.

The Federalists after much debate, voted down seccession.

The problem for them as a party is every other American took that to mean that the Federalists were not on the same side as every other American and the Federalists quickly faded from history.

The Democrats have a very small window of time to get a candidate with the message "Lets kill terrorists where they live because they are evil bastards who want to kill us" or they will join the Federalists.

And the Democrats are not going to do it.

We are going to see a Democratic Boston convention where the protestors outside will have people on the inside agreeing with them and no one inside willing to publically call the lot of them American traitors.

Then you will see the Republican convention in NY City just prior to the 9/11 anniversary with flag waving patriotism and in your face confrontations between Republican activists and anti-war protestors with the former calling the latter traitors on national TV.

A lot can happen between now and Nov 2004, but that particular turn of events looks more and more set in stone."

The plain fact is nothing in that analysis has changed in the last seven months. That is why Bush will take New York State. The War is very real for the Residents of NY City.

posted by: Trent Telenko on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Could Bush win New York? Yes. Does that mean he will? No, not necessarily. New York is in play at the moment, which is very bad news for the Democrats nationally, since Bush can win reelection without New York, but no Democrat can beat him without those electoral votes. Same goes for California, but I think that Giuliani's and Pataki's endorsements will carry more weight with the populace of New York than Schwartzenegger's will with us in California. If Bush manages to take California (tiny possibility, in my opinion), it will only be as part of a fairly epic landslide, but he could take New York as part of a (merely) commanding victory.

My prediction is that Bush will take New York, but I'll admit I won't be putting money on that bet. I would put money on Bush winning overall, but I'd consider that a sucker's bet, at the moment, so there's not much point in the wager.

posted by: Sam Barnes on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


IMO Bush will carry NY if Dean is the Democratic nominee, because so much of the black vote will stay home. This is old-fashioned turnout politics quite independent of national security issues.

Presidential nominees generally win by turning out their own party's base and not inciting the other side's base to turn out. A Dean nomination would suppress the Democratic base vote in New York City while inciting the Republican base in the state to turn out.

IMO Dean's focus now should be on black voters. He needs to unify the Democratic Party before working on the religious issue.

While I have pretty hawkish views on national security, I'm an old fashioned party hack on campaign matters. Issues got Dean to where he is. Now is the time to shore up the basics. Later is the time to go for independents and try to neutralize animosity by the GOP base.

The Democratic urban black vote is _crucial_ to its nominee winning the general election, and is Dean's greatest weakness as a Democratic candidate. I've made this point before here in other threads.

posted by: Tom Holsinger on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

"The War is very real for the Residents of NY City."

I don't think so, and I am a resident of NYC. And most of the people that I see everyday in my neighborhood oppose the war in general and oppose Bush. Now maybe that's just because I live in one of the most left-wing areas of NYC; perhaps Queens, say, is different -- I dunno.

Here's another piece of evidence - the Second Circuit judges in the Padilla case. The Court effectively told the Administration that it could not hold Jose Padilla as an "unlawful enemy combatant" -- at that it either must charge him in civilian court or release him. For those judges - whose courtroom is mere blocks from Ground Zero, and who can probably see the site from their chambers - the war is over; in fact, from their opinion, it seems that there never really was a war. A law enforcement case at best.

So don't kid yourself that New Yorkers understand there's a war on. They don't.

posted by: Al on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Thanks, Daniel and Hei Lun! I'm going over there to make some money. Trent, what say you go offer a contract for 50?

posted by: TedL on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

On the issue of New York City, keep in mind that, in addition to Rudy G., Bush will have Ed Koch's endorsement; as the Big Apple icon already has come out and declared that he'll be voting for George Bush this November. (His rationale, incidentally, is that current Democratic field is an abomination on the core issues of national security and the War on Terror.)

Now, I'd be shocked if Mr. Koch actually stumped for the President, but his endorsement will carry weight. With Guiliani's active campaigning in and around the City and with Pataki's ability to turn out upstate voters, this is shaping up to be a VERY CLOSE race.

And that's the whole point. A point that the very young, very angry, anti-Bush crowd simply do not get.

As other posters have intimated, if the Democratic Party actually has to spend money, time, and GOTV resources to win New York, they are heading for a preposterous landslide defeat; at least along the lines of the Dukakis debacle of 1988, and possibily along the lines of the McGovern and Mondale fiascos of, respectively, 1972 and 1984.

Merely by virtue of hims being the incumbent, the President has a very good chance of picking up the following blue states from 2000 (which were decided by razor-thin margins): New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. By virtue of that fact and the passage of the Healthy Forests Initiative last October (97-0 in the Senate, by the way), it will be very difficult for the Demcractic nominee to hold onto Oregon and Washington.

By virtue of the incumbent factor, his strong overall approval ratings, increased economic activity, low inflation and interest rates, and, most importantly, the fact that the Democratic candidates have had to lurch far to the left in this primary season, it will be extremely difficult for the Democratic Party to hold onto California, Pennsylvania, AND Michigan. One or two, perhaps. But all three? A very tall task. And that will become only a much taller task if they have to fight to hold onto New York.

Electorally, this is shaping up to be a landslide for President Bush. In my view, the only legitimate questions at this juncture are (1) whether the Democrats can salvage some measure of relevancy in the Senate, (2) whether the margin for the President in the popular vote can be suppressed so as to deny the President an overwhelming mandate for his second term, and (3) whether the Democratic Party maintains a degree of cohesiveness after the election, or whether a generational scism develops (e.g., Howard Dean establishes his own Independent Party along the lines of Ross Perot's Reform Party; thereby siphoning votes from the Democratic nominee in 2008 and beyond).


posted by: jtj on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


Fair enough, but did Giuliani get to be Mayor of New York City due to depressed black turnout? Or Pataki Governor of the state? If even Ed Koch is backing Bush before the first primary, then I think New York might be in play with or without a significant urban black turnout, no matter who the Democratic nominee is. Surely Koch's opinion is shared by some percentage of the Democratic party in New York City, let alone the rest of the state. The urban black vote may be crucial for the Democratic candidate, but I can't see it being sufficient in this case.

I guarantee that Bush will be able to energize the Republican base in New York state (such as it is). If you say that Dean can't get the Democratic base behind him to a sufficient extent, can you name a potential Democratic nominee who could?

posted by: Sam Barnes on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


I think Gephardt would carry New York, but probably not Leiberman due to black animosity, though the latter is pretty much out now, as is Edwards. I don't know enough to make a call on Kerry or Clark. I repeat that Dean would lose New York unless he somehow turns things completely around with the black vote. I doubt he could - it took Al Gore years of effort, and he knew how to secure 90% of the black vote. Dean has terribly little time to make a lesser connection with black voters, and seems to be quite ignorant on how to do it.

posted by: Tom Holsinger on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


I mostly agree, although I'd say Clark joins Gephardt as possibly taking New York (military background, despite recent dovishness) and Kerry joins Dean in the "not" column (way too wishy-washy, and I don't think "served in Vietnam" will be sufficient). That said, I don't think Clark or Gephardt would take New York in a walk--they'd still have to fight for it, and that's what will doom the Democrats. New York MUST be a safe state so you can concentrate your time and money on the Midwest swing states--otherwise you're hosed.

By the way, have you seen any polls that break down the exactly where the urban black vote is going among the Democratic nominees? Failing polling data, I think the thing to watch will be the DC "nonbinding" primary coming up, since the only people who've registered for that are Dean, Sharpton, Mosely Braun, and Kucinich, along with seven other candidates described as "fringe." (Since when are Sharpton, Mosely Braun, and Kucinich not "fringe"?!?!) I think this vote would be a good proxy for how well Dean does among urban blacks--if you are right, Sharpton ought to take Dean quite handily.

posted by: Sam Barnes on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


>Now maybe that's just because I live
>in one of the most left-wing areas of
>NYC; perhaps Queens, say, is
>different -- I dunno.

One of the things that struck me visiting NY City is how functionally provincial it is in outlook, for all its cosmopolitan airs.

Just a few blocks difference can make a whole difference in world view.

posted by: Trent Telenko on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Tradesports is currently offering 20/25 for Bush to take New York.

In layman's terms, that's 3-1 odds. Trent, you should open an account today; it sounds like you think it's a good bet.

posted by: pianoman on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

I hope Dan resurrects this thread after the election, it'll be good for a laugh. There's a difference between the way you want everyone to see things and the way they do.....

posted by: Jason McCullough on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

>I hope Dan resurrects this thread after the election

Me, too.
I've found it educational in the past to dig such things up.

posted by: Bithead on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


I don't play markets I don't have time to learn.

As for NY state politics, all I have to do is read. The latest polling from NY State shows Hillary Clinton would lose a projected Senate reelection match up with Rudy Giuliani by four percentage points.



posted by: Trent Telenko on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Bush has no chance of carrying any of the blue Northeast states, at least no more so than a Democrat carrying the Southern Red states. It's low odds at best.

posted by: ch2 on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

"So don't kid yourself that New Yorkers understand there's a war on. They don't."

I am from NYC as well and I have an opposite impression. The events of 9/11 are still in the minds of people here. It is just below the surface. When a blackout occurs, my first reaction is Uh-oh and a dread fills you as you try to find out what happened. When a bunch of police cars tear down one of the avenues with lights and sirens blaring, that Uh-oh feeling comes back.

We are getting back to living our lives. Don't confuse that with ignorance on the war. For goodness sake, the first major shot fired landed in our own backyard and killed our neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc!

posted by: Brian on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


This is the nature of a paradigm shift. Those who hold ideas abut something never give them up. They are simply displaced by the people holding the more powerful new idea.

I don't have to understand those who are against the very concept of war and hate Bush unconditionally for fighting one.

I only have to know how to beat them so I can help defend my country and my fellow citizens from the Islamofacists.

posted by: Trent Telenko on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]


Bingo! Nicely said.

posted by: Brian on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

I would love to see Rove wasting money trying to win New York and California.

posted by: xian on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

You're telling me the fact that that resident 9/11-hero Republican Guilani is *tied* with out-of-state Hillary in polling is a sign of GOP strength?

posted by: Jason McCullough on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

Yes, I am a New Yorker and I certainly intend to vote for President Bush; I did the first time and I will do so again. I also think that the dynamics have changed for election 2000. There was a little "big" something called 9/11 which virtually changed everything!!! I also believe that Jewish and Hispanic voters generally like Bush and will contribute their goodwill toward him by showing up at the polls for him on Election day. Certainly the Giuliani and Koch factors will greatly help the president!!! Whatever the outcome, it will be a close election in New York.

posted by: David on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

George Bush and Friends should not waste their time here we don't want them we don't like them. He will not carry our state. Period.

posted by: The Watcher on 01.13.04 at 10:47 AM [permalink]

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