Why 2012 is not 2004

June 2, 2012

Karl Rove:

President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney may be dead even in the polls, but some pundits insist the president will prevail on Election Day because 2012 is the new 2004.

The story line goes like this: President George W. Bush had roughly the same numbers at this point in 2004 that Mr. Obama has today. Mr. Bush went on to win a narrow victory by building a massive ground game that focused on the GOP’s base and by relentlessly attacking his opponent, Sen. John Kerry. Mr. Obama is executing the same strategy. What worked for Mr. Bush, the theory goes, will work for Mr. Obama.

The only problem is the theory is based on a false premise.


It is a myth that 2004 was all about maximizing Republican turnout. The Bush campaign also successfully sought to win as many independents as possible and to poach elements of the Democratic coalition. In the end, Mr. Bush received 44% of the Hispanic vote, carried the largest share (24%) of the Jewish vote for any Republican since 1988, nearly erased the gender gap with 48% of the women’s vote, and was supported by 11% of black voters, up from 8% in 2000.

If Mr. Obama makes this election mostly about energizing the Democratic baseβ€”as he clearly intends toβ€”he will further alienate swing voters who elected him in 2008 and then turned on his policies with a vengeance in 2010.

A second big difference is that the 2004 election was a referendum on whether Mr. Bush was keeping America safe. Remember “security moms”β€”that post-9/11 voting bloc of mostly white, married women with children? In a late September 2004 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, 62% of voters approved of Mr. Bush’s handling of terrorism while 36% disapproved. In the Election Day exit polls, 58% said they did not trust Mr. Kerry to handle terrorism. Mr. Bush won 84% of these security-minded voters, Mr. Kerry just 15%.

The 2012 election will be a referendum on Mr. Obama’s performance not against terrorism, but on the economy. Only 42% in the May 20 ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy while 55% disapprove.

Meanwhile, the economy is seen as a strong point for Mr. Romney. When asked “Which candidate do you trust to do a better job handling the economy?” Mr. Romney polls as high or higher than Mr. Obama.

47 Responses to Why 2012 is not 2004

  1. anonymous un-RINO on June 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Yeah, but 2012 is exactly like 2004 in one very important respect. In both cases, an incumbent president with mediocre 45-50% approval ratings is running against a Taxachusetts crapweasel.

    Taxachusetts crapweasels will never be attractive to we conservatives, and that effect helped Bush in 2004, but will likely hurt Willard in 2012.

    If you asked any candidate who they would most prefer to run against, their first pick would most always be “Taxachusetts crapweasel”. The RINOs have given Obambi exactly that pick.

    • ATTILA on June 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Those “conservatives” won’t sit home and allow the kenyan fraud to have another 4 years
      in the WH. Perhaps myopic dipshits like you might.

      • anonymous un-RINO on June 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        Actually, RINO, it’s proven historically that we conservatives will ignore one of your RINO favs, especially a stinking pile of progressive dogshit like Willard.

        You RINOs handed Obambi exactly what he wanted… a Taxachusetts crapweasel.


        • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

          agreed, most Independents I talk to are like myself and will not vote for ROmney. And forget about any Democrats jumping over to vote for him. Real conservatives will stay home. RINO-conservatives — which are ‘fake conservatives’ since there is little, if anything, Conservative about a RINO big-governmeant agenda — will vote for MIttens, yes, but I doubt it will be enough. So its the RINO’s, in their stubborness and ignorance, that will allow another 4 yrs of Obama.

          • Evan3457 on June 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm

            All that you and un-RINO say about Romney may well be true.

            But in the end, the choice is Obama and Romney, and the environment is a sinking economy.

            If that scenario holds, Romney wins, absent a major gaffe close to the election.

          • anonymous un-RINO on June 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

            Agreed. The only possible chance that crapweasel Willard has is if Obambi falls flat on his face. Willard has to stay out of the spotlight, and hope that happens. He can’t win it on his own merits, because he’s a lying progressive crapweasel.

          • Evan3457 on June 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

            I disagree about him staying out of the spotlight. He has to aggressively and intelligently counter Obama’s meme-of-the-week, as he did with the very adroit Solyndra thing this week.

            But don’t make any big policy proposals, and grind away on Obama on the economy and jobs. Don’t give them anything they can use as a wedge.

            Normally, I’d say that Romney should make sound, conservative proposals, but conservatives won’t really believe them, and they’ll create openings for the Democrats to counter.

          • anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

            How “adroit” is that Solyndra attack, when the lefties popped up and point out that Willard is an equivalent progressive moron paying off his envirowhacko buddies same as Solyndra?

            No, Willard has to stay underground, and hope Obambi falls on his face. The more Willard is IN everybody’s face, the more he fades. That’s his historical record. People just don’t like that crapweasel. You RINOs love him, but the rest of us aren’t RINOs.

          • unclefred on June 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

            To counter your anecdotal sample, I know many independents who voted for Obama in 2008. Every one of them is voting for the Republican, even those who dislike Romney will be voting for him. Obama lost a huge chunk of women with the “war on women” debacle. He lost a couple of my gay friends when he went political on gay marriage. Among the 23-30 year olds that I know, the impact of Ron Paul is to split them off from Obama. If they vote, and many will not, they will hold their noses and vote for Romney.

            In the end most independent voters are pragmatic. Most do not have strongly held political view, yes there are exceptions but not in the main. They view Obama as a failure, who is unable to deal with the crisis. Just as they went with hope and change because they were tired of the Bush legacy, they’ll go with Romney in the hope however faint that he’ll do better.

          • anonymous un-RINO on June 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

            Obambi lost Independent voters in June of 2009, RINO. You’re not telling we conservatives anything we didn’t already know. We told YOU RINOs that this election was unloseable, way back then, in 2009, because those Independents were gone. And those Independents’ departure has nothing to do with you RINOs or your boy Willard.

            And unfortunately, you RINOs decided to nominate the one RINO idiot who would possiblly have a chance to lose this unloseable election… Willard… a lying progressive crapweasel.

            You’re conflating things, RINO. We conservatives have long understood that Obambi is a failure. We understood it long before you RINO did. Some of you RINOs, like your boy Willard who agrees with Obambi on about everything, have yet to understand that Obambi AND his progressive policies are failures, and thus those RINOs embrace those failures as policy, fully and completely.

            But Obambi’s failures have nothing to do with the fact that you RINOs have sent up an Obambi clone to run against that failure. Only a stinking pile of RINO dogshit like Willard could possibly be losing right now to this failure Obambi.

            Congratulations to you RINOs. You chose the one idiot who has to capability to lose this election.


    • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      another similarity to 2004. The Taxachusetts ‘crapweasal’ challenger is another “flip-flopper” with an inconsistent record and views.


    • Ryan M. on June 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Grow up.

      • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm

        what’s wrong Ryan? Can’t handle the truth when it is blatantly shown right to your face?

  2. edward1960 on June 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I am confused. You’d rather have Obama again than an admittedly flawed Romney? Granted he was not my first choice (or even second or third) but better him than Obama.

    I have been around enough to know that elections are almost always the “evil of two lessers”.

    IMHO we need to keep the pressure on a conservatives….. Tea Parties if that is your cup of ….. or membership in your local party organization. Be the voice locally of conservative values. Make the local party know that you are their and will NOT be silenced.

  3. anonymous un-RINO on June 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    You’re making the RINO assumption that there is some sort of fundamental difference between this Taxachusetts crapweasel Willard and Obambi. There isn’t. They are clones and soulmates. They believe in exactly the same things, and have both acted out on those beliefs.

    You’re right, we conservatives have other fish to fry than this presidential election. It doesn’t matter which of these progressive wins, basically, for us. Many, many other elections are at stake, and those are more consequential for us.

  4. R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm


    why vote for the lesser of 2 evils when you can vote for the best choice? Despite what the MSM says — and they are all owned/controlled by the same elitists who benefit at our expense when one of their ‘preferred candidates’ get into office — Romney doesn’t have teh election sewn up. Straw polls mean really nothing — its the delegates gained at conventions that really matter. And Ron Paul has been picking alot up. Now Team Romney and the GOP establishment are resorting to cheating, fraud, imtimidation and force to keep Paul delegates from getting the upper hand. HEre’s a link to force being applied today at Lousiana convention. I’ll leave it to you to research other incidents in other states in the last few months… they aren’t hard to find on the internet and other independent sources of news. Why would you support a candidate and establishment who are corrupt and stomp on your rights when you start winning according to their own rules … and then they seek to change them to regain the upper hand? That isn’t what this country is about … so to support an evil, just because it it the lesser of the two makes little sense.


  5. Ryan M. on June 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Right. Sure. Despite their exact opposite position on many issues, they are exactly the same.\

  6. R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    ok Ryan, since you purport they are exact opposite on “many” issues, let’s have you name ten — and please provide, if possible, some link/evidence as apropriate.

    • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

      I thought so Ryan. Typical Mittens/RINO supporter … all general platitude talk, but can’t back it up with factual talking points.

      • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 3, 2012 at 8:07 am

        (crickets chirping)

        • Ryan M. on June 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm

          Unlike you, I have both work and a life. Also, its pointless – you are quite obviously immune to reason as the differences are self – evident on their face. Please, enjoy your cult of personality.

          • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm

            there you go again Ryan, speaking in general platitudes and now attacking me (by the way you have no idea about my work and life … but I can assure you I have both and they are both exciting and rewarding). C’mon … give it the old college try … I welcome the debate. Give us at least 10 of these many ‘self-evident’ differences between Romney-Obama that you speak of existing. All I can honestly think of are 2 or 3 at most, I see many more similarities between the RINO and the liberal. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe if you present compelling argument/proof, I may change my mind.

  7. ATTILA on June 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    These “real” conservatives who won’t vote for Romney will have their annual meeting in the nearest phone booth.

    • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 3, 2012 at 8:11 am

      ok Attila, since you can mock pretty well those conservatives who don’t share the RINO view, lets see if you can step up and answer the question I posed to Ryan above since he has fled the scene (or perhaps he didn’t flee, but just posts nonsense below under sockepuppet names so he doesn’t have to answer )

    • unclefred on June 4, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Well said.

      The conservative wing of my states republican party held a fund raiser a couple of weeks ago. It was attended by TEA party members, RINOs and the libertarian wing. The event was to kick off the effort to win in November, and specifically elect Romney to the presidency, a Republican governor, and win our house seats. It had the largest attendance in over 18 years, well over double the attendance in 2008. Grassroots efforts are already in overdrive. The party is united. “Real” conservatives don’t much like Romney, but they are not leaving the nation in Obama’s hands for 4 more years.

      • R U in the tank for the RINO Keynesians?? on June 4, 2012 at 8:10 am

        the party is ‘united’ ? Huh??? I think you are engaged in wishful thinking Uncle Fred. Take a look at this story (and there are many more out there if one chooses to research) … there’s no GOP unity here to speak of:


        you have the old-guard, establishment-RINO-GOP using fraud, cheating, intimidation, and now force to hold on to their power.

      • anonymous un-RINO on June 4, 2012 at 9:59 am

        And we conservatives in my state met at the R convention the other week and decapitated Willard’s incumbent RNC hacks, because the lying RINO shitstains had stolen a delegate and awarded it to Willard, so he could “win” the primary, after we conservatives had voted otherwise.

        Make no mistake, we conservatives here understand that Willard is a stinking pile of RINO dogshit. We conservatives have electoral priorities, which we’re pursuing doggedly. Supporting RINO dogshit ain’t among them, trust me. That’s for you RINOs.

        • unclefred on June 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

          un-RINO: Are you working to elect conservatives at the local and state levels of your state government? Are you working to primary RINOs at the federal level of government? Or do you only complain because we didn’t have a viable conservative running for President this cycle?

          Pragmatically speaking, conservatives have to take back the entire Republican party and build a bench of conservative Presidential candidates who will actually run. Until then we had better to whatever we can to staunch or at least slow the bleeding.

          Name me four nationally known service conservative Republican politicians serving in the federal government who think that voting for Obama, or voting 3rd party is better for the nation in 2012 than voting for Romney.

          • anonymous un-RINO on June 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

            No need to lecture we conservatives as to how to whack you RINOs, son. You’d vote for Fidel Castro if he had a little “R” after his name. You are the enemy. You RINOs are the ONES who we’re whacking.

            You RINOs aren’t the ones who are assisting in that whacking, you are the one who are getting WHACKED.

            Just fyi, because you don’t seem to know much about politics, particularly that being practiced at the grassroots level, where your RINO ilk are getting exterminated, the Tea Party spirit, although first fully manifested nationally during the TARP fiasco in Summer 2008, first electorally showed its glorious head in the 2006 Republican primary right here in Michigan’s 7th district, when your RINO soulmate Schwarz got whacked. He whined RINO and immediately turned “independent”, although he’s really a leftist like Willard, as we conservatives knew all along. That scumbag is now running Willard’s campaign in Michigan, by the way. You RINOs always seek each other out.

            We’ve since liquidated Ehlers, another RINO hack, replaced with Amash, a true patriot. And Hoekstra was going to get primaried, and left. This cycle, RINO Upton has a target on his RINO head. One by one, your RINO buddies are gettin’ decapitated. That’s what hard work will do, well, that and not squealing gleefully for RINO scumbags like Willard, who steal primary delegates as he did here. Again, you don’t know much about politics, but if you did you’d understand that the last thing you want to do is to piss off we conservatives, particularly when we’re in a headlopping mode as we’ve been here for the past 6 years.

            The action is at the grassroots level, son. It ain’t with your RINO buddies.

            You don’t understand the nature of what’s happening, apparently, so you go ahead and keep squealing for Willard, the lying progressive crapweasel. And fyi, you’ll find NOBODY amongst we conservatives who are executing all these political assassinations who is even the least concerned with what any of your Beltway RINO buddies says about it. We know they despise what we’re doing, as do you. They can keep despising, right up ’til the point when we settle the crosshairs on their RINO heads.

            They are our enemy, as are all you RINOs. You are not “allies”, much as you blather so. For we conservatives, you are the enemy.

            Watch the Michigan returns come November, and see what we do to your Taxachusetts buddy, if you require confirmation.

  8. oh boy... on June 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Hey Anon-UnRino, just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living?

  9. anonymous un-RINO on June 2, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    A butthurt RINO sockpuppet lookin’ for some conversation.

    That’s too funny. πŸ˜‰

  10. we conservatives on June 3, 2012 at 6:22 am

    anonymous crank is beginning to panic, as his posts become ever more shrill.

    Let’s start a pool to guess the day that anonymous crank vanishes from the site.

  11. Rdm on June 3, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Allright – want to prove you aren’t just part of a cult of personality – name someone whose primary qualification is NOT having the last name ‘paul’ that can meet your approval?

  12. anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

    The butthurt RINO sockpuppet is gettin’ whiny now. πŸ˜‰

  13. anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I wonder what moniker this butthurt RINO sockpuppet used to use in here, before fleeing the scene in shame? πŸ˜‰

  14. we conservatives on June 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I’m guessing anonymous crank flees like the coward he is well before the election, as the 40 state landslide becomes apparent.

  15. anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    …and it’s amusing to see this butthurt RINO sockpuppet yammering about “cowardice”. πŸ˜‰

  16. anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Heh… “40 state landslide”. πŸ˜‰

    Probably best if you stay incognito, with kooky RINO predictions like that.

    But then, you can always just pick another moniker and keep on trolling, as you butthurt RINO sockpuppets like to do.

    “40 state landslide”. πŸ˜‰

    • Ryan M. on June 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      If you lost the ability to say “RINO” and ‘sockpuppet’ would you actually have anything left to say – more to the point, would anyone CARE?

      • anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

        …well evidently you care, RINO, because you keep readin’ all of it. πŸ˜‰

  17. we conservatives on June 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Goodbye, anonymous crank.

    Don’t let the Ron Paul dream die.

  18. anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    “40 state landslide”.

    Speaking of butthurt RINO sockpuppet dreams. πŸ˜‰

  19. oh boy... on June 3, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    So Anon-Unrino what do you do for a living? I’m guessing it’s not people oriented lol.

  20. anonymous un-RINO on June 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    …hmmmmm, still lonely and lookin’ for some conversation, RINO? πŸ˜‰