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The way to win 

Here’s the winning theme, courtesy of Josh Marshall: “The Bush administration has been a for-the-moment and for-itself operation, burning through the resources of tomorrow and the hard-acquired inheritance of the past to service the political needs — its political needs — of the present.”

Cheerful electoral arithmetic 

The Big Picture points out a cheering chart from Barron’s.

On the basis of a Zogby poll, Kerry has 226 solid votes and Bush 176. Twelve states with 136 votes are the battleground. Howard Gold explains, “Only four of the states that we list as ‘in play’ (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington) were Blue states in 2000, when they delivered a majority for Vice-President Al Gore. The other eight states that are ‘in play’ now (including Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Missouri), with a treasure trove of 98 electoral votes, were part of Bush Country in 2000. That suggests the Democratic presidential candidate is holding his base of support better than the president is, allowing Senator Kerry to peel off a couple of the paler Red states from the president’s column.”

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