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Commentary :: DNC
Finally standing for something might even help Kerry win some Republican votes
27 Jul 2004
If John Kerry could actually manage take a stand on some important issues like separation of church and state, and on getting the U.S. out of Iraq, he might actually win over some Republican voters
I had an interesting experience yesterday, getting to know the "undecided" voter.

In my alter ego as mild-mannered reporter for Business Week, which publication occasionally asks me to go out and do some reporting around the Philadelphia area, I was scaring up undecided and so-called "swing" voters to interview about Bush and Kerry.

What I managed to find were some people who described themselves as basically conservative on economic policy, but quite liberal or libertarian on social policy, and almost unanimously anti-war.

On the topic of the economy, all but one of the voters I talked to--all of whom had voted for Bush last time around, but nearly all of whom were on the fence or leaning towards Kerry now--said that they thought the economy was doing poorly, especially for those with lower incomes. But most of them also said they really didn't care that much, because they themselves were doing all right. They liked Bush's tax cuts as policy, and weren't bothered that they favored the well off either, some because they thought that it was only fair that if people managed to earn a lot of money, they ought to be able to keep it, and some because they thought that helping the rich eventually trickled down to help the poor.

These were comfortable people. They didn't get excited about things as we discussed them.

Until we got to social issues and the war. All of these wavering voters were opposed to restrictions on abortion, even one guy who said he opposed abortion himself. They were also upset at Bush for proposing an amendment t to the Constitution banning gay marriages, and for not opposing an amendment banning flag burning. What united these people was their dismay at Bush's blatant use of religion in government policy.

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .
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