The fervent anti-Bush passion that supposedly revitalized the Democratic Party, coupled with a huge influx of cash from a variety of new sources, should (one would have thought) led to a massive vote pick-up for John Kerry. But let’s look at some of the numbers:
The areas where Kerry made significant gains over Al Gore’s 2000 run were the youth vote and voters who tired of Ralph Nader. Nader saw his vote total drop from nearly 3 million to about 400,000. Kerry got 2 million more votes among those who are between the ages of 18-29. Aside from those two buckets, Kerry only managed to pick-up an additional 1 million votes during this year of massive turnout.
Meanwhile, Bush got about the same number of votes from the 18-29 crowd as he did in 2000 and, of course, he didn’t get many of the former Nader voters to come over (hey, the tent ain’t that big). Still, W managed to get 9.5 million more votes than he did in 2000.
Talk of a mandate is ridiculous. But so is the suggestion that this election was anything but ugly for the Dems.