For all the talk about the base, here's why Kerry lost. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/president/ According to this, the independent vote was for Kerry, but only 49-48. ALL the opinion polls the last few weeks gave Kerry big edges among independents. Given that independents were 26% of the electorate, that means 13% of the electorate were independents for Bush, and 13% were independents for Kerry. Change that to 14-12 for Kerry, and Kerry is the president elect. 14-12 would mean Kerry would still have only gotten 54% of the independent vote, which was lower than he was in, to my recollection, just about every poll. (I'm talking about the two-way vote.) I'd be very curious as to why that happened. Who were the independents for Bush, and what motivated them. Maybe the undecideds broke hard for Bush. FYI, in Ohio, Kerry won independents 59-40. I don't have the time or interest to look around, but I wonder where he lost independents. Just for fun, I clicked on North Carolina, and Bush won independents 56-41. So maybe independents just tracked each state's overall numbers. Or maybe not. Look at Florida. The Florida numbers are, to me, very interesting. Bush won overall 52-47. Kerry won independents 57-41 (Nader 1.) But, Kerry won Dems by only 85-14!!! I wouldn't have expected that in Florida. 37% of voters self-identified as Dems, so 14% of that is over 5%!!! Twice the margin of victory (since it added to Bush's numbers AND subtracted from Kerry's.) IOW, if Dems had been as loyal as GOPs, Kerry woulda won Florida. Hell, cut their extra disloyalty in half, it would have been a tie. I've got to say, that surprises me, because I didn't perceive Florida as a state filled with "Reagan Democrats" (in NC we call them Jessecrats) like the rest of the South. And I thought that a reasonable number of GOPs would be snowbirds uncomfortable with Bush's hard-right conservativism, and Cubans unhappy with the travel ban. Sorry for digressing. Kerry lost because Bush ignored independent/moderate voters, and still got half of them. We can all argue about why, so let's get on with that in the rest of the thread. PS...Note that Gallup gets half-props; Dems and GOPs each made up 37% of the electorate. The last two elections, the Dems led by 5 and 4 points, and when Gallup did polls showing GOPs outnumbering Dems by 4-5 points, they were widely mocked.