How do we know that? One, John Kerry is pulling out all the stops. Of all of the contemptible tricks the Dems have pulled in this election cycle, few are as despicable as their effort to convince young voters that President Bush has a secret plan to reinstate the draft. Never mind that the President has no such power; that the military views the idea of a draft with horror; or that not a single Republican in Congress (and only a handful of Democrats) voted for the draft in a recent vote. Any scare tactic will do, as far as the Democrats are concerned.
Until now, the Kerry campaign has left spreading draft rumors to its minions on college campuses and the tinfoil-hat fringe. Today, for the first time, Kerry himself made the draft rumor an explicit part of his campaign:
There is a “great potential of a draft” to replenish U.S. forces in Iraq if President Bush wins a second term, Democratic challenger John Kerry said on a campaign stop in Iowa.
Bush said in the second presidential debate that there would be no revival of the military draft under any circumstances if he is re-elected. “We’re not going to have a draft, period,” the president said.
However, Kerry told The Des Moines Register, “With George Bush, the plan for Iraq is more of the same and the great potential of a draft.” The interview was published Friday as Kerry was leaving for Wisconsin and a speech on the economy.
Kerry’s embrace of the draft hoax can only be a sign of desperation.
Second, we have often pointed out that the most reliable polls are the ones done by the campaigns, and the best way to infer what the campaigns’ polls say is by watching the candidates. Yesterday, President Bush was in blue state Oregon, and today he is in blue states Iowa and Wisconsin. Kerry, meanwhile, is spending the entire day in Wisconsin. The fact that Bush is going after Kerry’s states, while Kerry is spending his time shoring up states that he must have in his column in order to have a chance, rather than attacking in Bush’s 2000 states, means that Bush is leading in both parties’ polls.
UPDATE: Several readers have pointed out that New Jersey is another blue state where Bush has campaigned in the last day or two.