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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Final Results Are In

Michael McDonald of George Mason University provides the final turnout numbers and presidential results:

Bush 62,008,619 (50.74%)
Kerry 59,012,107 (48.29%)
Total (all candidates) 122,212,577
(Turnout Rate among eligible: 59.9%)
Margin of Victory: 2,996,512 (2.45%)

So Bush’s final percentage point margin is closer to two points than three and his final vote margin is under 3 million. Hardly awe-inspiring–in fact, unprecedentedly weak as incumbent re-election victories go. And we’re supposed to believe this is a mandate?
Note: McDonald’s turnout rate is based on his estimate of the voting-eligible population and is somewhat different from the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate’s voting-age citizen based turnout rate and quite different from the traditional voting-age population (VAP) based turnout rate.

6 comments on “The Final Results Are In

  1. John Kingston on

    If John Kerry had won, it would have been close; we know that. He knew that all along. So what was he supposed to do (and Bush as well): stand up in the debate and say, “Well, I know if I win, it won’t be my much, so I probably won’t make any significant changes, since I won’t have a mandate.” What sort of leadership are we asking of any of our winning presidential candidates, be they in ’08 or 2032, or whenever, if we demand that they need to win by an enormous amount for them to believe they have a mandate to implement their policies? In a closely divided electorate, which the US is likely to be for the foreseeable future, this is a formula for endless paralysis.
    Obviously, if a candidate wins by a little, but governs like he won by a lot, he is risking significant political capital. But I’d far rather see that than have an occupant of the Oval Office decide that his victory was by the hair of his chinny-chin-chin, so he better play it safe for the next four years. The President, Republican or Democratic, needs to be a leader. All this carping about Bush not having a mandate is telling him not to be a leader. The same standard easily could have been applied to Kerry if he won. This is a formula for disaster, not just now, but in the future.

  2. Marty on

    Please! Let’s not forget that Ohio is still in recount mode. Just because the main stream media are not properly covering it, doesn’t mean it is isn’t happening.

  3. real michaud on

    if ohio is the breaker
    bush only won by 100k
    back in 1988 the first bush won in states that would have made the difference by 500k
    and the second bush won by 538 in florida
    3% is not nearly as large as clintons 5% and 8% wins in three way races
    and much larger when nixon barely won in 1968 with 43%
    bush has no mandate!!!

  4. cls180 on

    These are the actual vote totals:
    Bush: 62,027,466 (50.73%)
    Kerry: 59,027,612 (48.28%)
    Nader: 456,356 (0.37%)
    Badnarik: 396,888 (0.32%)
    Others: 361,079 (0.30%)
    As you can see, Bush beat Kerry by 2.9+ million votes but he won the election by just under 1.8 million votes. Seriously, why just post his margin over Kerry when it’s clear he won by much less than the MSM is telling us if all the votes are included in his “mandate”?

  5. Matt Taylor on

    These numbers can’t be final – Washington State is still in the middle of a statewide recount which has already added over a thousand votes to the state total.

  6. cls180 on

    You’re buying into the Republican frame with this….Bush actually won by less than 1.8 million votes if you take into account the fact this was more than a 2-man race. More than a million people voted for third party candidates this year….Bush’s mandate is smaller than it appears, shouldn’t we be the first to point this out?


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