Partisan Democrats like to say that they are for “Anybody But Bush.” The Kerry campaign seems to be taking them at their word, as Kerry is running a head-down campaign, doing little to sell himself to the American people and counting on the daily pounding that Bush takes in the press to launch him to victory as the only alternative. Thus the Democrats seem determined to test the old political adage that you can’t beat somebody with nobody.
As Sam Dealey notes, this worries some Democrats:
“Kerry’s weakness is the same as Gore’s,” says a former campaign manager to a Democratic primary candidate. “It’s a top-heavy, consultant-based campaign. You’re looking at a lot of pundits and consultants, and a lack of a grassroots organization and field operation in these battleground states.”
Part of the problem, these Democrats say, is that the Kerry campaign’s approach relies too heavily on public disfavor with Bush.
So far, at least, Kerry has failed to gain significant ground in areas where Bush has shown weakness. While support for Bush on Iraq is down considerably, for example, the president still maintains healthy leads over Kerry in public perceptions of who is best suited to conduct the war and foreign policy. Meanwhile, Kerry’s own issue strengths