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Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Crossing Over (Independent joins GOP in just two weeks time!)
NY Times ^ | 2.22.04

Posted on 02/21/2004 5:07:32 PM PST by ambrose

Disenchanted Bush Voters Consider Crossing Over By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL

Published: February 22, 2004

BEACHWOOD, Ohio - In the 2000 presidential election, Bill Flanagan a semiretired newspaper worker, happily voted for George W. Bush. But now, shaking his head, he vows, "Never again."

"The combination of lies and boys coming home in body bags is just too awful," Mr. Flanagan said, drinking coffee and reading newspapers at the local mall. "I could vote for Kerry. I could vote for any Democrat unless he's a real dummy."

Mr. Flanagan is hardly alone, even though polls show that the overwhelming majority of Republicans who supported Mr. Bush in 2000 will do so again in November. In dozens of random interviews around the country, independents and Republicans who said they voted for Mr. Bush in 2000 say they intend to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate this year. Some polls are beginning to bolster the idea of those kind of stirrings among Republicans and independents.

That could change, of course, once the Bush campaign begins pumping millions of dollars into advertising and making the case for his re-election.

But even as Democratic and Republican strategists and pollsters warned that a shift could be transitory, they also said it could prove to be extraordinarily consequential in a year when each side is focused on turning out its most loyal voters.

"The strong Republicans are with him," a senior aide to Senator John Kerry said of Mr. Bush. "But there are independent-minded Republicans among whom he is having serious problems."

"With the nation so polarized," he added, "the defections of a few can make a big difference."

In the interviews, many of those potential "crossover" voters said they supported the invasion of Iraq but had come to see the continuing involvement there as too costly and without clear objectives.

Many also said they believed that the Bush administration had not been honest about its reasons for invading Iraq and were concerned about the failure to find unconventional weapons. Some of these people described themselves as fiscal conservatives who were alarmed by deficit spending, combined with job losses at home. Many are shocked to find themselves switching sides.

While sharing a sandwich at the stylish Beachwood Mall in this Cleveland suburb, one older couple ? a judge and a teacher ? reluctantly divulged their secret: though they are stalwarts in the local Republican Party, they are planning to vote Democratic this year.

"I feel like a complete traitor, and if you'd asked me four months ago, the answer would have been different," said the judge, after assurances of anonymity. "But we are really disgusted. It's the lies, the war, the economy. We have very good friends who are staunch Republicans, who don't even want to hear the name George Bush anymore."

In 2000, Mr. Bush won here in Ohio with 50 percent of the popular vote, as against 46.5 percent for Al Gore.

George Meagher, a Republican who founded and now runs the American Military Museum in Charleston, S.C., said he threw his "heart and soul" into the Bush campaign four years ago. He organized veterans to attend campaign events, including the campaign's kickoff speech at the Citadel. He even has photographs of himself and his wife with Mr. Bush.

"Given the outcome and how dissatisfied I am with the administration, it's hard to think about now," he said. "People like me, we're all choking a bit at not supporting the president. But when I think about 500 people killed and what we've done to Iraq. And what we've done to our country. I mean, we're already $2 trillion in debt again."

A nationwide CBS News poll released Feb. 16 found that 11 percent of people who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000 now say they will vote for the Democratic candidate this fall. But there was some falloff among those who voted against him as well. Five percent of people who said they voted for Mr. Gore in 2000 say this time they will back Mr. Bush.

On individual issues, the poll found some discontent among Republicans but substantial discontent among independents. For instance, on handling the nation's economy, 19 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents said they disapproved of the job Mr. Bush was doing.

"As the president's job rating has fallen, his Democratic supporters have pulled away first, then the independents and now we're starting to see a bit of erosion among the Republicans, who used to support him pretty unanimously," said Evans Witt, the chief executive of Princeton Survey Research Associates. "If 10 to 15 percent of Republicans do not support him anymore, that is not trivial for Bush's re-election."

But Matthew Dowd, the Bush campaign's chief strategist, suggested that no one in the White House was worried about Mr. Bush's losing much of his base. He said polls continued to show that the president was enjoying the support of 90 percent of Republicans.

Many of those interviewed said that they had experienced a growing disenchantment with the conflict in Iraq over many months, but that only recently had they decided to change their votes.

A number said they had been deeply disturbed by recent statements of David A. Kay, the former United Nations weapons inspector, who said he was skeptical about administration claims that Iraq possessed unconventional weapons.

"The lack of evidence on Iraq has really hurt him, and the economy here is bad ? there's a lot of unemployment in the mills," said Phyllis Pierce, who is in the steel business in Cleveland and recently decided not to vote for Mr. Bush again.

John Scarnado, a sales manager from Austin, Tex., who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000, said he would vote for Mr. Kerry if the senator won the Democratic nomination.

"I'm upset about Iraq and the vice president and his affiliation with Halliburton," said Mr. Scarnado, a registered Republican who said that he had not always voted along party lines. "I think the Bush administration is coming out to look like old boy politics, and I don't have a good feel about that."

Many of those wavering in their loyalty to Mr. Bush were middle-class voters who said that his tax relief programs had disproportionately helped the wealthy.

"I voted for him, but it seems like he's just taking care of his rich buddies now," said Mike Cross, a farmer from Londonderry, N.H., adding, "I'm not a great fan of John Kerry, but I've had enough of President Bush."


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: billflanagan; bogus; deceit; fabrications; flanagan; georgemeagher; georgemeahger; gregpacker; gwb2004; kerry; kerrycampaign; meager; meagher; mediabias; myths; nyt; nytimes
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From above NY Times article, dated February 22, 2004:

George Meagher, a Republican who founded and now runs the American Military Museum in Charleston, S.C., said he threw his "heart and soul" into the Bush campaign four years ago. He organized veterans to attend campaign events, including the campaign's kickoff speech at the Citadel. He even has photographs of himself and his wife with Mr. Bush.

From NY Times article, dated February 2, 2004:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/03/politics/campaign/03VETS.html?ex=1077512400&en=d1f41dbeaab18901&ei=5070

"I don't think I could vote for George Bush again when I think of the 500 people killed in Iraq and what's happened to the economy in this country," said George Meagher, an independent, who runs the American Military Museum in Charleston and said he now favors Mr. Kerry.

1 posted on 02/21/2004 5:07:32 PM PST by ambrose
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To: ambrose
The NYT has its own "Tourist Guy!"
2 posted on 02/21/2004 5:09:23 PM PST by diotima
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To: ambrose
Uh ohhhh......

Shame on the NYTimes....but then, it says alot that they have to keep interviewing the same guy over and over for different stories, to gather the right soundbite they need.
3 posted on 02/21/2004 5:09:25 PM PST by Neets (Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.~)
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To: ambrose
LOL, good one Ambrose. DO they dig this guy out every time they do their CSPIN act?
4 posted on 02/21/2004 5:10:31 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Neets
This happened before with the Times, there was some guy who was quoted in a bunch of articles, I think it had to do with Ms. Rodham's book release...maybe someone knows who I am referring to...
5 posted on 02/21/2004 5:11:06 PM PST by diotima
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To: ambrose
Excellent job!!!
6 posted on 02/21/2004 5:11:40 PM PST by AUH2OY2K
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To: diotima
Yes, I remember the story..it's some guy out in Longguyland I think who is always first in line whenever there is a big book signing or soemthing like that...a publicity seeker.
7 posted on 02/21/2004 5:12:41 PM PST by Neets (Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.~)
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To: ambrose
Another newspaper trying to divide the GOP.
8 posted on 02/21/2004 5:13:20 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: ambrose
"With the nation so polarized," he added, "the defections of a few can make a big difference."

Yeah, well maybe voters like Ed Koch and Zell Miller who will vote for Bush instead of a Dem this time will balance things out, LOL.

9 posted on 02/21/2004 5:13:31 PM PST by dawn53
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To: All
Sounds like the idiots who call Rush & Hannity and claim "I voted for Bus but never again because (Insert current DNC talking point) so I'm going to vote for Dean/Kerry/Edwards/Any Dem".
10 posted on 02/21/2004 5:14:02 PM PST by COEXERJ145
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To: ambrose
A number said they had been deeply disturbed by recent statements of David A. Kay, the former United Nations weapons inspector, who said he was skeptical about administration claims that Iraq possessed unconventional weapons.

No, Kay supported Bush and was skeptical of the intelligence agencies.

..newspaper of record my big fat toe!...

11 posted on 02/21/2004 5:15:42 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: ambrose; Temple Owl
Nice job, ambrose
12 posted on 02/21/2004 5:16:55 PM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
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To: jwalsh07; ambrose; diotima; Neets
anybody do a google search on this gaggle of giggling idgits??
13 posted on 02/21/2004 5:17:51 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: dawn53
There are those who may seem suprised by the NYT.... (New Yellow Tabloid) but they had a Pulltzer Prize winner who said, Stalin and the 13 or so MILLION dying of starvation was just growing pains of the new People's Government.

Gee Right now on the History Channel "Stalin: Man of Steel" arresting millions for refusing to obey the state..... just like the NYT would like to do to Conservatives.

The libs do not care if caught in a LIE, they just tell a bigger one to make the first one look small.
14 posted on 02/21/2004 5:19:33 PM PST by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
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To: ambrose
I see the Old Gray Hag is spinning her bs again.
15 posted on 02/21/2004 5:19:36 PM PST by freekitty
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To: ambrose
Re: . . and his affiliation with Halliburton

Only a liberal would look at the most important question of my generation (Global Islamic Terrorism) and see the 'evil' as their fellow Americans in the energy sector.

16 posted on 02/21/2004 5:20:03 PM PST by ChadGore (Viva Bush. He's EARNED a second term.)
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To: Neets
GREG PACKER, I think that was the guy who was sourced a bunch of articles by the Times and was later shown to go around and get quoted in the media.
17 posted on 02/21/2004 5:20:29 PM PST by diotima
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To: ambrose
You've hit it right on the head! I am very wary of those former Bush voters who suddenly feel okay voting for a socialist!

What a bunch of BS!
18 posted on 02/21/2004 5:20:59 PM PST by hilaryrhymeswithrich (Herman Cain for the U.S. Senate.....this Georgia man is in YOUR future!)
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To: diotima; Greg Packer
GREG PACKER

That's it!

19 posted on 02/21/2004 5:22:49 PM PST by dighton
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To: ambrose; Southack; NittanyLion; Torie

This article is crap. The men on the street who are cited are all using Democrat talking points: economy, no WMDs, body bags, etc. These are not the areas where internal GOP conflict has any resonance.

Whatever the potential for Republican alienation there is this November will be on issues like Amnesty, CFR, Prescription Drugs, big spending, and possibly Bush's slow-footed response to the same-sex marriage issue, where the President has disappointed some on his right flank. None of these, however, are likely to result in more votes for Democrats, but rather in votes for third party candidates or low turnout.


20 posted on 02/21/2004 5:22:52 PM PST by Sabertooth (Malcontent for Bush - 2004!)
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To: diotima
You read it here first: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/ac20030612.shtml

;)

21 posted on 02/21/2004 5:25:15 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: ambrose
BTTT, Can I ask how did you know how to do that? Did you have visions of Jason Blair? It's quite amazing.
22 posted on 02/21/2004 5:26:47 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: Sabertooth
I'll have to agree with you on that ST.

A classic example:

We have a visiting professor from a rather prestigious university with us this year...

He walked into our office the other day and joined in a conversation....he started by mocking The President and calling him names and then railing on about how all the President cares about is his tax breaks for his rich buddies and the quagmire and mess he made in Iraq ...(p.s...this professor didn't mention to the individual he was speaking to, that HIS salary is $150K+ a year)
23 posted on 02/21/2004 5:27:30 PM PST by Neets (Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.~)
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To: ambrose
"...Mr. Bush...Mr. Bush...Mr. Bush...Mr. Bush..."

Mind you, that's PRESIDENT BUSH to you, Ms. Rosenthal.
24 posted on 02/21/2004 5:29:33 PM PST by SpyderTim
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To: ambrose
I would like to see statistics on how many servicemen and women would have died if they were home on leave instead of in Iraq.

I'm willing to bet it's statistically safer to be serving your country in Iraq than home on the interstate.

If we had done a survey of Americans right after 9/11 and asked them how many American military personnel would die in the war to come, to avenge the WTC and the Pentagon, I bet no one would have DREAMED the number would be as LOW as 500 by this point...or that we would have successfully captured Saddam Hussein, killed his lousy sons, and most probably killed Osama Bin Laden (he's certainly been ineffective since we took Afghanistan away from the Taliban, even if he isn't dead.)

500 servicemen and women dead...but we have made tremendous gains getting there!

And if the economy isn't Barbie's Dream Economy, I do not see the street full of starving children with bloated bellies. We don't have any idea how freaking GOOD we have it.
25 posted on 02/21/2004 5:31:52 PM PST by Triple Word Score
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To: ambrose
great catch
26 posted on 02/21/2004 5:32:13 PM PST by jern
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To: ambrose
ambrose--you darling--the NYT has done this repeatedly--send this to their ombudsman and to andrewsullivan.com and instapundit.com--this is too good to be for our eyes only..I beg you.It's your scoop--run with it.
27 posted on 02/21/2004 5:32:15 PM PST by the Real fifi
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To: ambrose
Great catch, ambrose!

I was not at all surprised to see that it was the NYT splashing this story around. Seminar interviewees, eh?

"Hi Rush, I'm a life-long rock-ribbed Republican Christian Conservative, but I'm not going to vote for Bush this year because {insert DU propaganda}."

I highly doubt these are actual Republicans they're talking to.

28 posted on 02/21/2004 5:34:18 PM PST by bootless (Never Forget)
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To: ambrose
NYT with the stay home white whale editor.
29 posted on 02/21/2004 5:34:45 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: ambrose
That wouldn't be this Bill Flanagan would it?
30 posted on 02/21/2004 5:35:08 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: GeronL
this one

retired newspaper man

31 posted on 02/21/2004 5:35:36 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: Sabertooth
Exactly, Sabertooth! They've got the wrong talking points.

Oops.
32 posted on 02/21/2004 5:35:57 PM PST by bootless (Never Forget)
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To: neverdem
BTTT, Can I ask how did you know how to do that? Did you have visions of Jason Blair? It's quite amazing.

Whenever you see some media article quoting a "Republican" who is slamming Bush, using Democrat Talking Points, look up the so-called Republican's name via google or Open Secrets...

33 posted on 02/21/2004 5:36:01 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: ambrose
btw, I was so incensed by the article that I missed your comment--you're BRILLIANT. Wow.
34 posted on 02/21/2004 5:36:16 PM PST by Triple Word Score
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To: ambrose
While sharing a sandwich at the stylish Beachwood Mall in this Cleveland suburb, one older couple ? a judge and a teacher ? reluctantly divulged their secret: though they are stalwarts in the local Republican Party, they are planning to vote Democratic this year.

How many CSeminarPAN Callers do you hear calling in WITH this line?

35 posted on 02/21/2004 5:36:28 PM PST by Neets (Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.~)
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To: ambrose
It's really scary to think that these disenchantees are voting,let alone operating heavy machinery. Logic and facts are AWOL, just the DNC and MSM talking points caroming around their brains.I'm sure they also think Dick Cheney runs Halliburton.
36 posted on 02/21/2004 5:37:40 PM PST by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: GeronL
Yes, I think it's a Moby.
37 posted on 02/21/2004 5:37:42 PM PST by livius
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To: Triple Word Score
Re: servicemen and women dying while home on leave.

Anyone know the homicide count for Detroit or Chicago (both Dem cities) for 2003? I'll bet it was higher than 500.

Traffic accidents? Way higher than 500.
38 posted on 02/21/2004 5:37:58 PM PST by bootless (Never Forget)
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To: Sabertooth
You nailed it on the head...

Blabbering about Haliburton is a dead giveaway that we're dealing with a "Moby Republican"...
39 posted on 02/21/2004 5:38:03 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: freekitty
I will tell you right now that this story is happy horseshit.

The editors probably consulted with some power hour types in Washington, either on the Kerry Campaign or at the DNC. This week's meme is "Kerry is getting surprising support from dissatisfied Republicans". Watch; this will be picked up by other papers, beginning with those rags (such as the Sarasota Herald-Tribune or the PB Post) that are owned by the Times Company.

The Republicans who are wobbly on Bush right now have been your basic RINO's, the Jeffords types. I strongly suspect that our friends quoted here, especially the one quoted twice on two different days, were antiwar Republicans from the getgo.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

40 posted on 02/21/2004 5:38:08 PM PST by section9 (Major Motoko Kusanagi says, "John Kerry: all John F., no Kennedy..." Click on my pic!)
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To: Admin Moderator
"It was easy for the Times to spell Packer's name right because he is apparently the entire media's designated "man on the street" for all articles ever written. He has appeared in news stories more than 100 times as a random member of the public. Packer was quoted on his reaction to military strikes against Iraq; he was quoted at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Veterans' Day Parade. He was quoted at not one but two New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square. He was quoted at the opening of a new "Star Wars" movie, at the opening of an H&M clothing store on Fifth Avenue and at the opening of the viewing stand at Ground Zero. He has been quoted at Yankees games, Mets games, Jets games even getting tickets for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He was quoted at a Clinton fund-raiser at Alec Baldwin's house in the Hamptons and the pope's visit to Giants stadium."

I can't believe I remembered that name....

41 posted on 02/21/2004 5:39:02 PM PST by diotima
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To: Sabertooth
This article is crap. The men on the street who are cited are all using Democrat talking points: economy, no WMDs, body bags, etc. These are not the areas where internal GOP conflict has any resonance.

Agree. That should have been obvious to most.

42 posted on 02/21/2004 5:39:26 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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George Meagher, the new Greg Packer
43 posted on 02/21/2004 5:40:16 PM PST by diotima
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To: diotima
Meet Greg Packer:

heh


44 posted on 02/21/2004 5:41:26 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: GeronL
that would make sense...
45 posted on 02/21/2004 5:42:06 PM PST by ambrose ("John Kerry has blood of American soldiers on his hands" - Lt. Col. Oliver North)
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To: ambrose
"Many are shocked to find themselves switching sides."

If they think they are shocked now - wait until they have another 8 years of Clinton democrats back in the White House.

Some people have thick heads and will never learn.

46 posted on 02/21/2004 5:42:13 PM PST by LADY J
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To: fourdeuce82d; Travis McGee; El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; ...
Check out what ambrose found, remarkable to say the least!
47 posted on 02/21/2004 5:43:43 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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bump to read later
48 posted on 02/21/2004 5:43:43 PM PST by meema
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To: Admin Moderator
Interesting article on this phenomenon:

http://www.offthekuff.com/mt/archives/002003.html
49 posted on 02/21/2004 5:44:42 PM PST by Triple Word Score
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To: ambrose; diotima
"As the president's job rating has fallen, his Democratic supporters have pulled away first, then the independents and now we're starting to see a bit of erosion among the Republicans, who used to support him pretty unanimously," said Evans Witt, the chief executive of Princeton Survey Research Associates. "If 10 to 15 percent of Republicans do not support him anymore, that is not trivial for Bush's re-election."

Check out " Our team of experienced and talented professionals remains in place." at the Princeton Survey Research Associates.

50 posted on 02/21/2004 5:50:08 PM PST by Neets (Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.~)
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