DATE: 5/10/2004 09:26:00 AM
Bush's Numbers - Both Election Projection and John Zogby say that if the election were held today, Kerry would likely win. I think they're both right. The prisoner abuse story has hurt the president just as he was coming off a pretty good week.
However, do I think Bush is going to lose in November?
Kerry's major weakness as a candidate is that nothing positive has changed his numbers. In other words, the Bush numbers only go down after Bush has had a bad week, not when Kerry has had a good one. Kerry has not yet given the American voter a compelling reason to vote for him, only against George W. Bush. His biography ads are not giving him a big jump in the numbers - the change only seems to be a reflection of how the recent news is hurting the president.
If Bush does lose, this will be one of the first elections in which the press blatantly played advocate for one candidate over another. They have routinely ignored stories that are harmful to Kerry while playing up those that hurt the president. The prisoner abuse story is terrible, but it hardly warrants the around-the-clock coverage it's been getting. Why didn't the media show pictures of dead Americans killed and mutilated by Iraqis? Why did they stop showing pictures of the planes slamming into the Twin Towers and of the people who jumped to their deaths? Why aren't they showing the true brutality of the enemy?
The worst story by a media figure so far is by Karen Tumulty in Time magazine. It's entitled "What Kerry Means to Say..." and tries to explain away the candidate's misstatements and campaign problems. It's a pretty partisan piece of work, just like Newsweek's "LoseWeek" edition.
It's gotten to the point where I just don't trust the media and I'm sure many other Americans feel the same way. No matter who wins the election in November, they will have a lot of explaining to do.