2004 Elections Kerry vs Bush

There were a large number of Democrats contending to become the party’s presidential nominee in 2004. Initially, the leading contender was Governor Howard Dean of Vermont. Also competing were: Senator John Kerry, Senator John Edwards, Senator Joe Lieberman, Retired General Wesley Clark, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Senator Carol Mosley Braun, Senator Bob Graham, House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt and Reverend Al Sharpton. The Iowa caucus rearranged and narrowed the field. Senator Kerry won a decisive victory, with Senator Edwards coming in second. Governor Dean came in a distant third. Senator Kerry never looked back and secured the Democratic nomination.

President Bush was renominated without opposition.

From the moment Kerry became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party, the Republicans began an intensive attack on him. The Democrats made Kerry's Vietnam War service a major theme of their convention. Following the convention a group of Vietnam Veterans called the “Swift Boat Veterans” launched a major attack on Kerry's war record. The veterans claimed Kerry did not deserve his medals. Despite there seeming to be little truth in their allegations, the Swift Boat veterans received a great deal of publicity. Their attacks definitively hurt Kerry.

The Republicans had a successful convention, in which they repeatedly attacked Kerry. Republicans claimed Kerry was a “flip-flopper”. They also asserted Kerry could not be trusted to fight the war on terror. The NY based Republican convention highlighted President Bush’s qualities, which were well-suited to fighting terrorism. President Bush opened a significant lead in the polls following the convention. President Bush’s popularity rating shifted during the first debate. In that debate Kerry carried himself significantly better than the President. Bush performed better is subsequent debates. However, Kerry was considered the winner of all three. Events in Iraq in the last two weeks before the election seemed to favor Kerry.

In the end, the Republicans were more successful than the Democrats in getting out their core voters. That, and the related lack of enthusiasm for Kerry, resulted in another Bush victory. Bush won almost the identical states he had in 2000. Though this time, he won the plurality of the popular vote.

Particpation of Eligible Voters 56.6%

Democratic Convention
Republican Convention
Exit Polls- Who Voted and Why?
Primaries

 

State results in 1992

Electoral Results in 2004

State Bush / Cheney Gore / Lieberman Nader / LaDuke Buchanan / Foster Other Total  Votes Elect/Votes
ALABAMA 941,173 692,611 18,323 6,351 7,814 1,666,272 Bush 9
ALASKA 167,398 79,004 28,747 5,192 4,151 284,492 Bush 3
ARIZONA 781,652 685,341 45,645 12,373 7,005 1,532,016 Bush 8
ARKANSAS 472,940 422,768 13,421 7,358 5,294 921,781 Bush 6
CALIFORNIA 4,567,429 5,861,203 418,707 44,987 73,530 10,965,856 Gore 54
COLORADO 883,748 738,227 91,434 10,465 17,494 1,741,368 Bush 8
CONNECTICUT 561,104 816,659 64,452 4,731 13,231 1,460,177 Gore 8
Delaware 137,288 180,068 8,307 777 1,089 327,529 Gore 3
DC 18,073 171,923 10,576 0 1,322 201,894 Gore 2
FLORIDA 2,912,790 2,912,253 97,488 17,484 23,055 5,963,070 Bush 25
GEORGIA 1,419,720 1,116,230 0 10,926 36,332 2,583,208 Bush 13
HAWAII 137,845 205,286 21,623 1,071 2,126 367,951 Gore 4
IDAHO 336,937 138,637 12,292 7,615 6,134 501,615 Bush 4
ILLINOIS 2,019,421 2,589,026 103,759 0 27,729 4,739,935 Gore 22
INDIANA 1,245,836 901,980 18,531 16,959 15,996 2,199,302 Bush 12
IOWA 634,373 638,517 29,374 5,731 6,400 1,314,395 Gore 7
KANSAS 622,332 399,276 36,086 7,370 7,152 1,072,216 Bush 6
KENTUCKY 872,520 638,923 23,118 4,152 8,393 1,547,106 Bush 8
LOUISIANA 927,871 792,344 14,356 20,473 10,612 1,765,656 Bush 8
MAINE 286,616 319,951 37,127 4,443 3,653 651,790 Gore 4
MARYLAND 813,724 1,143,888 53,763 4,247 6,365 2,021,987 Gore 10
MASSACHUSETTS 878,502 1,616,487 173,564 11,149 19,292 2,698,994 Gore 12
MICHIGAN 1,953,139 2,170,418 84,165 1,851 22,928 4,232,501 Gore 18
MINNESOTA 1,109,659 1,168,266 126,696 22,166 11,898 2,438,685 Gore 10
MISSISSIPPI 572,844 404,614 8,122 2,265 6,339 994,184 Bush 7
MISSOURI 1,189,924 1,111,138 38,515 9,818 10,497 2,359,892 Bush 11
MONTANA 240,178 137,126 24,437 5,697 3,548 410,986 Bush 3
NEBRASKA 433,850 231,776 24,670 3,646 3,190 697,132 Bush 5
NEVADA 301,575 279,978 15,008 4,747 4,347 605,655 Bush 4
NEW HAMPSHIRE 273,559 266,348 22,188 2,615 3,085 567,795 Bush 4
NEW JERSEY 1,284,173 1,788,850 94,554 6,989 12,660 3,187,226 Gore 15
NEW MEXICO 286,417 286,783 21,251 1,392 2,762 598,605 Gore 5
NEW YORK 2,403,374 4,107,697 244,030 31,599 35,299 6,821,999 Gore 33
NORTH CAROLINA 1,631,163 1,257,692 0 8,874 17,261 2,914,990 Bush 14
NORTH DAKOTA 174,852 95,284 9,486 7,288 1,346 288,256 Bush 3
OHIO 2,350,363 2,183,628 117,799 26,721 23,487 4,701,998 Bush 21
OKLAHOMA 744,337 474,276 0 9,014 6,602 1,234,229 Bush 8
OREGON 713,577 720,342 77,357 7,063 12,210 1,530,549 Gore 7
PENNSYLVANIA 2,281,127 2,485,967 103,392 16,023 25,676 4,912,185 Gore 23
RHODE ISLAND 130,555 249,508 25,052 2,273 1,724 409,112 Gore 4
SOUTH CAROLINA 786,892 566,037 20,279 3,309 7,385 1,383,902 Bush 8
SOUTH DAKOTA 190,700 118,804 0 3,322 3,443 316,269 Bush 3
TENNESSEE 1,061,949 981,720 19,781 4,250 8,053 2,075,753 Bush 11
TEXAS 3,799,639 2,433,746 137,994 12,394 23,864 6,407,637 Bush 32
UTAH 515,096 203,053 35,850 9,319 3,379 766,697 Bush 5
VERMONT 119,775 149,022 20,374 2,192 2,431 293,794 Gore 3
VIRGINIA 1,437,490 1,217,290 59,398 5,455 17,007 2,736,640 Bush 13
WASHINGTON 1,108,864 1,247,652 103,002 7,171 20,744 2,487,433 Gore 11
WEST VIRGINIA 336,473 295,497 10,680 3,283 2,318 648,251 Bush 5
WISCONSIN 1,237,279 1,242,987 94,070 11,446 12,825 2,598,607 Gore 11
WYOMING 147,947 60,481 0 2,724 2,574 213,726 Bush 3
Totals 50,456,062 50,996,582 2,858,843 438,760 613,051 105,363,298
>