Nea: The Political Fallout

by Michael Potemra

I agree with Ramesh that there will be few, if any, committed Kerry/Dean voters who will switch to Bush just because of NEA funding. But those voters aren’t the political target here. The people Bush is trying to reach are the marginal voters who need to be reassured that he’s not a knee-jerk partisan. Few of these will vote for Bush purely because of the NEA; but they will be made marginally less receptive to the Democratic pitch, next October, that Bush only really cares about his hard-core backers. In this sense, Bush is playing politics like baseball, a game of inches in which seemingly tiny adjustments can have big payoffs. If you increase your batting average aginst left-handers from .267 to .277, for example, that could make a difference in terms of games won.

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