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11/03/2004

Conclusions

The only conclusion that one can come to after last night is that the people of America are more afraid of same-sex-marriage and abortion than they are of Osama Bin Laden, Iran, North Korea, losing jobs, running up a record deficit, alienating the rest of the world, losing social security and medicare or any other issue on the table.

All the exit polling data from yesterday shows that people named "morals" as their number one priority in the election, ahead of everything else. These people, of course, think Bush and the Republicans or morally superior to everyone else on the planet and so voted for them at an 80% clip.

Anecdotally, I spent yesterday knocking on doors for Tom Daschle, speaking with people who had already told us they would be voting for Tom, and several of these people brought up Daschle's views on abortion. They said they where voting for Tom, but where concerned about his stance on abortion. Several others said that their kids in high school or college where for Thune because of the abortion issue. I have an eleven-year-old niece who told my father that if she could vote she would vote for Bush because Kerry is a "baby-killer". In today's Argus Leader we have "Governor" Bishop Carlson saying abortion is a greater "evil" than slavery was in America. Not only did we lose older voters on this single issue, but it seems we also lost young voters that agree with us on every other issue but still voted Republican.

The question then becomes are we willing to give up our Pro-Choice anti-marriage-amendment stances to appeal to these voters? I personally hope not. We do, however, need to do a much better job of articulating our views on abortion. Everytime a Republican says we are "Pro-Abortion" we need to shout back that we are not Pro-Abortion, we are Pro-Choice and that is a big difference. Do we believe that adoption should offered as an alternative? Of course. Do we believe that the parents should included in the decision of a teenaged girl? Of course. Do we believe young, un-married people should not have sex? Of course. Do we want to have fewer abortions? Of course. Are we so naive as to think that if we simply make abortion illegal that it will magically stop? Of course NOT! The solution is not to simply make it illegal, but to make resources available to women to help them make the best choice for their situation.

Clearly we have to do a better job of appealing to rural America and fundamentalist Christians or we will never win again.

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