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rimx
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According to this glurgy site Bush won the recent election with the largest popular vote in US history when the vast majority of Americans "gave Bush this overwhelming mandate: Carry on, Mr. President". Is there any truth to that or is it twisting stats? Maybe I remembered things wrong, but wasn't the 2004 election one of the closest on record. I don't think "Bush stomp[ed] Kerry like a cockroach".
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Pogue Ma-humbug
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With population growth and the significant turnout in the 2004 election, it's unsurprising that the winner received more popular vates than anyone else previously. Kerry also received more votes than any loser in history.

But "overwhelming mandate"? I think not.

Pogue

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meanjelly
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quote:
Bush won the recent election with the largest popular vote in US history
yes

quote:
"gave Bush this overwhelming mandate: Carry on, Mr. President".
No

A landside is around 60% and almost always comes with a mandate

However, a mandate is arbitrary and can come any here above 51% but usually the president power is stronger the further away it gets from 50%

Some say Bush got a mandate because to kept control of congress however the current Social Security debate shows this to be untrue.

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John Stephens
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50% plus one vote is a mandate. Any other standard merely encourages quibbling by the loser. The current political climate is proof of this.

President Bush has a mandate.

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
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Yes, 51 to 49 is quibbling.
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Malruhn
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I always considered a "mandate" to mean that the HUGE majority of the population was behind the winner... like a 60%+ win.

And Pogue, the line I heard was that "Kerry received the largest amount in the popular vote in history - except for one man." This is also true.

Bush won - but I never considered him to have a mandate... not even a "boydate".

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Silas Sparkhammer
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Well, Clinton won with less than 50% of the vote...but he still had a mandate...

To fix the economy. He pretty much had to do it; it was "mandatory" for his administration.

But that's using the "definition two" of a word, and thus is kinda nitpicking...

Silas

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Bela Lugosi's Dead
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I think Bush has a mandate because he won the election. I don't dispute that he has a mandate, I just don't agree with what he's doing with that mandate. Also, I don't agree with the assertion that he won by a large majority. Bottom line is this: 49% of the people who voted voted for someone else (this includes the 1% that Nader got). That shows me that the country isn't as firmly behind Bush as some of his supporters like to say it is.
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Rehcsif
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Well, I voted for Bush, but wouldn't say he got a "mandate" (to me, the word means a large majority of the people voted for him, and 51% is not a large majority). That said, looking up the definition of "mandate", it appears that Bush technically has one.

The fact that he did win after having a controversial first four years, and with many thinking Kerry's election was a gimme, was an accomplishment, though, especially considering the traditional belief that the larger the percentage of people turning out at an election, the better off the Democratic candidate is...

-Tim

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Mr. Baggins
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Apparently there is not a clear consensus on what a "mandate" is, so I took the liberty of visiting dictionary.com.
quote:

man·date n.

1. An authoritative command or instruction.

2. A command or an authorization given by a political electorate to its representative.

3.
1. A commission from the League of Nations authorizing a member nation to administer a territory.
2. A region under such administration.

4. Law.
1. An order issued by a superior court or an official to a lower court.
2. A contract by which one party agrees to perform services for another without payment.

I'd say that, going by definition 2, Bush did get a mandate from his electors, as did every other elected official (yes, every senator, representative, mayor and sheriff gets a mandate). What I fail to see is how that is relevant to anything.

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Rehcsif
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Baggins:
Apparently there is not a clear consensus on what a "mandate" is, so I took the liberty of visiting dictionary.com.

Actually, so did I! It was that which prompted me to say:

quote:
That said, looking up the definition of "mandate", it appears that Bush technically has one.

I think to most people (incorrectly, evidently), mandate implies that the vast majority of the people have approved of this person/thing/whatever. Otherwise, it would be ludicrous to discuss whether Mr. Bush has a "mandate" or not-- it's obvious he does, and laughable for his supporters to bring up the point since so does everyone else elected... [Wink]

-Tim

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Grumpy
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Baggins:
What I fail to see is how that is relevant to anything.

To the extent that it's relevant at all, it's because Bush governed during his first term like he had a mandate, even though more people voted for the other guy. Eager to wash away the ambiguity of the first four years, Bush & the media were eager to seize any excuse to give Bush a secure mandate.

Plus, for most of election day 2004, it looked like the story was going to be "Huge mandate... for John Kerry!" Those silly exit polls.

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Archie2K
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@Bela: In the 2005 UK elections Tony Blair won with a comfortable 2.5-4% of the vote (depending on who you believe) but with our election spread over so many parties* he actually only received 36% of the popular vote yet still keeps a >50% share of the house of commons, essentially allowing smooth progress through parliament of any bill so long as no Labour MP rebels. Even if only 49% people actually voted for Bush, he still won the election which was the same grounds for all. It odesn't matter whether you win in a landslide or by one vote, that is the way elections are held.**

* - There are the three main parties; Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, then SDP (Scottish Nationalists), Plaid Cymru (Welsh Nationalists), Sinn Fein, UUP and DUP (Northern Ireland) and the handful of others and independants who got in (George Galloway for example).

** - I mean this in no derogatory way since I realise it may read like that.

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Methuselah
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Does anybody else find it just slightly hypocritical for Bush supporters to tout the fact that he won his second term with a majority of the popular vote?

I've heard so many radio hosts decrying liberals for impeding Bush's agenda when "America clearly voiced its opinion when he won the largest popular vote in history".

Uh, by that logic, shouldn't these same people have conceded to Mr. Gore back in 2000? [Confused]

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Aether
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quote:
Originally posted by Milhouse Van Houten:
Does anybody else find it just slightly hypocritical for Bush supporters to tout the fact that he won his second term with a majority of the popular vote?

I've heard so many radio hosts decrying liberals for impeding Bush's agenda when "America clearly voiced its opinion when he won the largest popular vote in history".

Uh, by that logic, shouldn't these same people have conceded to Mr. Gore back in 2000? [Confused]

Noting that Bush won with a popular vote this time is probably a reaction to those who complained for four years that Bush wasn't really their president and was "selected, not elected." In that context I wouldn't really consider it hypocritical.
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Don Gato
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Some may churlishly quibble with whether Bush has a "mandate", but as far as I'm concerned, if he wants to hang out in a non-sexual context with Cheney, Rumsfeld, or anyone else, who are we to judge? [lol]

Don Gato

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
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quote:
Originally posted by Poguendorff Illusion:
With population growth and the significant turnout in the 2004 election, it's unsurprising that the winner received more popular vates than anyone else previously. Kerry also received more votes than any loser in history.

Actually, I've heard that while Bush recieved the largest number of votes in history, Kerry recieved the second largest -- i.e., more than any previous winner, not just more than any prevoius loser. As you say, the larger population, combined with a higher-than-usual turnout.

(This is like a statistic Bush likes to quote, that more Americans own their own homes than ever before -- which is true, but doesn't mention that the number of families owning homes has gone up every year since the government began tracking the statistic...)

Percentage-wise, Bush won by a narrower margin than any sitting President has every won re-election -- particularly noteworthy if you consider him a "wartime" President.

You can quibble over whether he has a "mandate" but I would ask, "A mandate for what, exactly?" I think people mainly re-elected him to continue fighting the war on terror -- not, for example, to privatize Social Security, something he hardly mentioned during the campaign, and which clearly has litte public support.

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
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quote:
Noting that Bush won with a popular vote this time is probably a reaction to those who complained for four years that Bush wasn't really their president and was "selected, not elected." In that context I wouldn't really consider it hypocritical.
Nor would I. What I do consider hypocritical is that most of the people screaming "mandate" now spent eight years insisting that Clinton somehow wasn't legitimately elected just because he didn't get a majority of the popular vote. If winning an election is all it takes, then every elected president in history had a mandate. (And, lest we forget, "every elected president" is a group that didn't necessarily include Bush before last year.)

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John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Maybe we should just scrap this whole democracy business and go back to the divine right of kings. At least when the Earl of Richmond lopped off Richard III's head to become King Hentry VIIth, no one called for a recount!

Campaigns were shorter, too.

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snopes
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Does it really matter whether a president wins an election by a sufficient margin to have a "mandate"? Is a non-mandate president supposed to sit around for four years thinking to himself, "Whew, I didn't win this office by much of a margin; I'd better take it easy and not try to implement my policies because it might disgruntle those who didn't vote for me"?

- snopes

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DemonWolf
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I would argue that the office of President of the United States has a mandate threough the constitution and that whomever wins the election automatically has the authority to use that mandate.
This arguement is essentially nonsense, whoever the president is or was.

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Does it really matter whether a president wins an election by a sufficient margin to have a "mandate"? Is a non-mandate president supposed to sit around for four years thinking to himself, "Whew, I didn't win this office by much of a margin; I'd better take it easy and not try to implement my policies because it might disgruntle those who didn't vote for me"?

No...but when a President wins by a narrow margin, and says, "I want to be a uniter, not a divider," it would be kinda nice if he meant it...

Silas

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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
No...but when a President wins by a narrow margin, and says, "I want to be a uniter, not a divider," it would be kinda nice if he meant it...

So what do you suggest? He water-down his platform in an attempt to try to appease everyone? Are you suggesting that he's pushing an agenda that is different than the one he campaigned with?

-Tim

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rehcsif Mit:
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
No...but when a President wins by a narrow margin, and says, "I want to be a uniter, not a divider," it would be kinda nice if he meant it...

So what do you suggest? He water-down his platform in an attempt to try to appease everyone? Are you suggesting that he's pushing an agenda that is different than the one he campaigned with?

The term "uniter" implies exactly that; it is an appeal to support for moderate bipartisan government.

I'm not saying that's what every president should do; only a president who has promised to be a uniter.

Silas

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Rehcsif
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
\
I'm not saying that's what every president should do; only a president who has promised to be a uniter.

But he also pretty clearly laid out what he had planned to do-- which is pretty much the agenda he's pushing now (strong anti-terrorism stance, finish the war, reform social security, etc.)

-Tim

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First of Two
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Well, yes, once we crush the opposition into an amorphous mass of goo and devour them, there will be unity.

Meh-heh-heh.

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Tannu Tuva:
Well, yes, once we crush the opposition into an amorphous mass of goo and devour them, there will be unity.

Meh-heh-heh.

Ah! But it is against the law to buy, sell, or consume upon the premises, anyone who is a citizen of the United States of America.

Besides, Democrats are poisonous in any month that doesn't have a "K" in it.

Silas (two old Walt Kelly jokes...)

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Rehcsif Mit:
So what do you suggest? He water-down his platform in an attempt to try to appease everyone? Are you suggesting that he's pushing an agenda that is different than the one he campaigned with?

-Tim

He definitely did that the first time around, when he campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" (admittedly, he never bothered to say just what that meant) and "a uniter not a divider" and then presided over the most right-wing administration in history - and also one of the most divisive.

I'm not saying he should have tried to appease everyone (or anyone), but I don't think it's too much to ask that he stay true to the tone he campaigned on. And he didn't.

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Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

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Rehcsif
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quote:
Originally posted by Ramblin' Dave:
He definitely did that the first time around, when he campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" (admittedly, he never bothered to say just what that meant) and "a uniter not a divider" and then presided over the most right-wing administration in history - and also one of the most divisive.

I'm not saying he should have tried to appease everyone (or anyone), but I don't think it's too much to ask that he stay true to the tone he campaigned on. And he didn't.

We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't feel there were any surprises -- either in the first term, nor in this one so far...

-Tim

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BlueMonday
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I think stuff like this is all about Bush Supporters going "See, he's popular! everyone likes him! He's the prettist girl at the dance! The homecomming queen!"

Its like they think that people will forget that he won the election...

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Grumpy
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Here's an illustration of George W. Bush's aggregate poll ratings. Note the mighty effort it took to lift the downward trend above 50% around November '04. Oh, the weight of it -- but just in time!

 -

That's the shape of the mandate a $500,000,000 campaign can buy you.

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rsmall
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy:
Here's an illustration of George W. Bush's aggregate poll ratings. Note the mighty effort it took to lift the downward trend above 50% around November '04. Oh, the weight of it -- but just in time!

That's the shape of the mandate a $500,000,000 campaign can buy you.

According to this November 2, 2004 article:

"Since March, Kerry and the Democratic Party have poured about $250 million into TV and radio ads compared with about $240 million for Bush and the Republican National Committee.

"Democrats have even more of an edge when spending by outside groups is included. Liberal organizations bought about $70 million worth of airtime, outpacing the $40 million or so spent by conservative organizations."

Rodney

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Do better research, Rodney.

Here's a hint: if you want accuracy, stay away from NewsMax.

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
Do better research, Rodney.

Here's a hint: if you want accuracy, stay away from NewsMax.

Somehow I don't think accuracy is the goal here.

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rsmall
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
Do better research, Rodney.

Here's a hint: if you want accuracy, stay away from NewsMax.

Thanks for the link, but let's look at the overall picture:

Your link shows that the Bush campaign outspent the Kerry campaign $345 million to $310 million -- a difference of $35 million. NewsMax had claimed: "Since March, Kerry and the Democratic Party have poured about $250 million into TV and radio ads compared with about $240 million for Bush and the Republican National Committee." NewsMax's claim could have been deliberately misleading, but it also may well have been accurate because two different time periods are involved.

But now consider the second half of NewsMax's claim, which was: "Democrats have even more of an edge when spending by outside groups is included. Liberal organizations bought about $70 million worth of airtime, outpacing the $40 million or so spent by conservative organizations."

Was that inaccurate? Consider the spending figures for large 527 organizations. A cursory examination of them reveals that spending by large liberal 527s out to defeat Bush relative to spending by large conservative 527s out to defeat Kerry easily exceeded the $35 million advantage that the Bush campaign had relative to the Kerry campaign.

Now consider the original claim by Grumpy:

"That's the shape of the mandate a $500,000,000 campaign can buy you. "

So where does the $500 million come from? Your link shows $345 million spent by the Bush campaign. So is Grumpy adding in the 527 money spent against Kerry? If so, then why not add to the $310 million spent by the Kerry campaign the 527 money spent against Bush? Oh, that's right -- Grumpy doesn't even mention the $310 million spent by the Kerry campaign. So it's as if Bush spent $500 million and Kerry spent nothing, or expenditures on behalf of Bush or against Kerry exceeded those on behalf of Kerry or against Bush by $500 million.

Bottom line: Both candidates and their supporters spent a lot of money on Campaign 2004. The notion that Bush bought the election has no basis in fact.

Rodney

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