Kerry inches ahead

The effects of the M*ry Ch*n*y nonsense seem to be wearing off.

The Rasmussen and Zogby tracking polls both have the race back to even for the three days ending Sunday, which in each case implies a couple-of-point lead for Kerry in Sunday’s polling. For the three days, Zogby actually has Kerry up half a point if leaners are included, suggesting that the undecideds are indeed likely to break his way. Ramussen confirms the Washington Post had reported: a trend toward Kerry in the battleground states. Let’s see if today’s WP/ABC numbers confirm the trend.

There doesn’t seem to be much doubt that Richard and Lynne Cheney’s decision to make a national issue out of Lynne’s dismay about her daughter’s sexual orientation, and the willingness of the national media to play along, did Kerry some real damage. And Joe Lockhart is right: that fuss, by distracting attention from Bush’s loss of the third debate (and in particular his flat denial that he’d said what he said about Osama) kept Kerry from putting the election in the bag last week. But there was reason to hope that the damage to Kerry would be transient, and so it appears to be.

[Note that none of the mainstream press bothered to mention the Cheneys’ silence when Alan Keyes was denouncing their daughter, by contrast with their outrage when John Kerry said something nice about her. Reading Mickey Kaus’s contorted attempts to figure out some dark Democratic strategy behind Kerry’s remark — at once ignoring, and participating in, the obvious GOP strategy of convincing people that John Kerry is, in Lynne Cheney’s words, “not a good man” — would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high.]

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com