By Dick Morris
August 31, 2004
Even before the gavel pounded opening the 2004 Republican Convention, the Kerry bounce was over and President Bush entered the first day of his conclave with a lead in most national polls. (He's four ahead in the L.A. Times poll and three up in Rasmussen's daily tracking survey.)
What did Kerry do wrong?
What has Bush done right?
So where is all this heading? If Bush uses his convention skillfully to highlight his homeland-security record and uses Sen. Zell Miller, his keynoter, to attack Kerry's Senate record, he should emerge in great shape.
After four days of Republican rhetoric, it is not fanciful to hope that Bush ends up with an 8- to 10-point margin over Kerry -- 52-53 percent for Bush vs. 43-44 percent for Kerry.
After the convention? Expect the lead to shrink a bit in the early days of September, but to grow to robust proportions again when the "third convention" is held - the anniversary of 9/11.
Spurred by the emotion and patriotism that will surround this grim annual event, Bush will probably take a good size lead into the debates that begin in mid-September and run until early October.
How will Bush do in the debates?
My bet is: quite well. Will Kerry be able to close in October?
My bet is: yes, but not all the way. But that uncertainty is
what makes politics fun, especially this year.
Dick Morris was an adviser to Bill Clinton for 20 years. Look for his new book, Rewriting History.
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