Thursday, August 05, 2004


Newsday's Marie Cocco mistakenly thinks Kerry is attracting Republican voters

Marie Cocco appeared on MSNBC's Hardball last night to discuss her story, "Courting the Kerry Republicans," that appeared in both the Washington Post and Newsday on Wednesday.

Cocco's thesis is that disaffected Republicans, especially those in the military, are turned off by President Bush's war on terrorism and are therefore fleeing to the John Kerry camp. Cocco cites anecdotal evidence of Republican military families discouraged by deployments in Iraq and their reluctance to vote for President Bush in the next election.

Cocco says there are Republicans who are "disappointed in their president. At worst, they are downright angry." Instead of interviewing those disappointed and angry Republicans, Cocco can not offer one Republican in her piece who states those feelings. Rather, Cocco quotes two people and both of them are Democrats working to help Kerry get elected. The two people who speak of Republican anger are Doug Wilson, chairman of the John Kerry campaign in Arizona and Marilyn Hyland an Ohio Democratic activist.

Amazingly, Cocco has these Democratic partisans speak for the so-called discouraged Republicans. Therefore she is able to draw a stark conclusion, "the emergence of ill will toward this president among his own partisans shocks." Cocco even offers Kerry advice on how to draw hesitant Republicans by suggesting he run his campaign the way that Hillary Clinton did when she ran for senator in 2000. Cocco concludes her piece by saying, "After four years of disappointment, there may be enough Republicans willing to take it, and rock this campaign."

I can't believe that Cocco's Newsday's editors let this get printed and I can't believe that the Washington Post agreed to run it as well. Cocco is trying to talk about Republicans that are turned off by Bush but she can't even offer one of them in her article. She does not cite any statistics, polls, or concrete evidence of how much trouble President Bush is facing within his own party.

Here are some numbers for Marie Cocco to contemplate;

Among Veterans: Bush 58% Kerry 35%
48% Have Family or Friends in Iraq or Afghanistan

Thursday August 05, 2004--A Rasmussen Reports survey shows that military veterans prefer George W. Bush over John Kerry by a 58% to 35% margin. Those with no military service favor Kerry by ten percentage points, 51% to 41%.

The potential grassroots impact of the war issue is highlighted by the fact that 48% of Americans say they know someone who is currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Among these voters, Bush currently has a ten-point advantage in the poll. Fifty-four percent (54%) of veterans know someone serving in these war zones.

And, according to a CBS News Poll, Kerry and Bush are BOTH enjoying the support of 88% of voters from their own parties.

I could go on but the point has been made. Marie Cocco thought it sufficient to interview two Democrats in order to gauge whether or not Republicans are supporting President Bush. I used cold, concrete facts to show that Republicans are as loyal to President Bush as ever.

I do not know what Marie Cocco was attempting to do, but her column's conclusion is wrong. I wish Ms. Cocco lots of luck in her endeavors for her next column.


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