Two Americas; two Power Lines

Our readers consider to dazzle us with the analysis they provide on our forum pages. For example, Scott’s post on John Edwards produced this response from HMacDougald (“Buckhead” of Rathergate fame):

I agree completely that the narrowness of the victory in 2004 was quite striking and worthy of study. The race should have resembled the blow out of Dukakis. Kerry was no less ridiculous on national security than Dukakis, and that was the preeminent issue. Plus, we were in the middle of a very robust economic expansion, which strongly favors the incumbent, and Bush is a good and likable candidate, whereas Kerry was a clown on the order of Thurston Howell, III.
So why was it so close?
My guesses are roughly: 1. It

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