The 2004 national election in America had the political commentators guessing until the results system kicked into its final phase. The final result made G W Bush the clear winner for another four years in office. Many predictions of what might happen if the result was close simply did not come about.
|George Bush||John Kerry|
|60,608,582 votes||57,288,974 votes|
|51% of total votes||48% of total votes|
|286 Electoral College votes||252 Electoral College votes|
Facts and Figures!
1984 was considered a landslide election victory for Ronald Reagan. In November 2004, G W Bush received 4 million more votes than Reagan did in 1984 Though the population has increased).
Bush swept up the Deep South, the Bible Belt and south-west states. Kerry did well in the west and the north-east.
Including the Congressional + Gubernatorial elections, the 2004 elections will have cost an estimated $4 billion! The presidential race alone cost $1.2 billion.
The expected delay in counting the votes never happened – nor any legal challenges. Kerry conceded within 24 hours allowing for continuity of government without the dreaded spectre of legal action
In the immediate aftermath of voting and while the votes were being counted, the Dow Jones Index fell by 19 points. This may have indicated that they believed that at that time, Kerry would win. Some commentators believed that Wall Street would have had little love for a Democrat president who pledged to help those in need and presumably would raise the revenue for this by taxing those with money – either individuals or companies. By the end of November 3rd, when it became clearer that Bush would win a second term, the Dow Jones Index had gone up by 130 points.
The victory for Bush is seen as a victory for conservative values in America.
Initial polls indicate that economic issues and terrorism and the threat of it were not the major concerns of voters: issues such as abortion, same sex marriages and religion were. Voters are said to have put the issues as follows:
3) Economic issues
The way the states went:
|G W Bush||J Kerry|
|Arkansas||District of Columbia|
State governor elections:
Delaware; Minner, Democrat Indiana; Daniels; Republican Missouri; Blunt; R Montana; Schweitzer; DNorth Carolina; Easley; D North Dakota; Hoeven; R Utah; Huntsman; R Vermont; Douglas; R West Virginia; Manchin; D
So what now?
Many believe that America is heading for a period of right-wing conservatism.
For example, in the senatorial election for South Carolina, the winner was Jim Dint, a Republican. He was elected on a manifesto, amongst other things, of banning all gays and unmarried mothers from teaching.
In Oklahoma, the winner of the Senate election was Tom Coburn. He wants abortion abolished and anyone caught performing one after its abolition to be executed.
With a Republican majority in the Senate, many expect a drift towards conservatism.
In the House, the same is true – a Republican majority. Tom DeLay, House leader, said that the House was set to do “exciting things” with its increased Republican majority.
Also a Bush victory creates all manner of issues for the Supreme Court. Two members of the Supreme Court are old – Chief Justice Renquist is 79 and Justice Stevens is 84. The Constitution gives the president the right to appoint new Supreme Court judges when they retire or die. Now would be a perfect opportunity for two Republican appointees to retire and for Bush to appoint their successors. Congress must approve his appointments – but with Congress in the hands of the Republican Party, any opposition to the president is likely to be minimal – even if it exists!
Some interesting observations:
It seems that Middle America was more keen on Laura Bush than Theresa Kerry. Bush referred to Laura as his “secret weapon”.
“I ended up voting for Bush. I’m not too proud of that and I haven’t told my wife yet.” (Anonymous)
Recent analysis of the Democrat stance indicates that the Democrat hierarchy saw Kerry as a risk as far back as January 2004 – though the primaries indicated otherwise. Their main concern was how could they push Kerry out as an all-American hero when he faced a Congressional committee to condemn America’s stance in Vietnam? However, the primary results pushed them into a corner when they seemingly had to support Kerry whilst privately being very concerned about the flak they might receive by having him as their candidate.