Kerry-Edwards '04, Inc. Post Election Memo 11-06-04

To:      Interested Parties
From:  Kerry-Edwards
RE:      John Kerry Has Built a Strong Foundation for the Democratic Party
John Kerry’s campaign for President made enormous contributions to the Democratic Party which will benefit the party in the long run.  Some of these contributions are measurable and others will only become apparent if the party builds on the foundation that Kerry established over the course of his campaign.
The following are some of the important contributions that John Kerry’s campaign made to the Democratic Party and the nation. 
1. Historic Democratic Vote – John Kerry’s vote is the second highest total of any candidate for president in our nation’s history.  The importance of having almost 56 million Americans vote for the Democratic candidate for president should not be underestimated.  These voters have established a voting behavior and have in many states registered as a Democrat and thus can be identified and mobilized in future elections.  Furthermore, areas of intense Democratic voting can likewise be identified and mobilized by the party in future elections to provide an even larger base of support than existed in the past.  The establishment of this huge Democratic vote by Kerry throughout the country in an election where there was no net change in the numbers of states won or loss in the previous campaign is a significant achievement. Kerry’s popular vote total in aggregate numbers not only exceeds Al Gore’s popular vote victory in the last election but also Bill Clinton’s two electoral victories in the 90’s.
John Kerry’s popular vote performance is impressive not only on a national scale, but it also has important consequences in battleground states.  For example, John Kerry received 550,000 more votes in Ohio than Al Gore; 500,000 more votes than Clinton did in  winning Ohio in 1996; and 668,000 more votes than Clinton won in Ohio in 1992 victory in that state.  In Florida, Kerry won 500,000 more votes than Gore did in 2000; 1.4 million more than Clinton won in 1992 and Kerry further built on that strength in other battleground states like Minnesota, where Kerry won 272,000 more votes than Gore in 2000.  Maine became a deeper shade of blue in 2004. Kerry’s margin of victory grew by 3%, 45,000 more votes in Maine than Gore won in 2000.  And in Oregon, Kerry’s margin grew from a near tie to a win by 4%.  Kerry increased the Democratic margin in those two battleground states, making them more difficult for a Republican next time.  Lastly, Kerry turned around the state of New Hampshire which would have swung the election to Gore four years ago.
2. Fundraising – By raising $249 million in the primary process and leading the party to historic fundraising achievements in the general election, John Kerry has helped to establish a significant financial base for the Democratic Party which previously had not existed.  The significance of this achievement in the post McCain-Feingold world of fundraising is of great significance.   Kerry’s primary campaign raised almost a quarter of a billion dollars in “hard dollar” contributions.  These contributions have established a powerful network for future fundraising on behalf of Democratic presidential and other party campaigns.
In addition the unprecedented fundraising on the internet that was seeded by Governor Dean’s campaign but fully harvested by the efforts of John Kerry has also given Democrats the ability to compete with powerful special interests that have for many years fueled the Republican fundraising machine.  This groundbreaking effort by John Kerry and his campaign (@ provides Democrats with an opportunity to compete even when they are out of power, since so many of the contributions which came to the campaign were low dollar contributions.  The establishment of internet fundraising on a massive national scale gives Democrats an opportunity to begin to take on and end the dominance of special interests in Washington, and to effectively compete against the advantage the special interests have given Republicans in electoral contests.
3. Issue Terrain – John Kerry, over the course of his campaign for president, established a powerful issue terrain for Democrats to use in future elections.  A quick review of the exit polls shows that the president’s claim “to a mandate” is not supported by the sentiment of the public.  While the president may have a voting advantage with respect to issues like “moral values” and “terrorism,” Kerry dominated other critical issues such as “economy and jobs” (20% selected that as the issue that mattered most, and by an 80%-18% margin they supported Kerry) the “war in Iraq” (15% said it was the issue that mattered most and by a margin of 73% to 26% voters supported Kerry) “Healthcare” (8% said it was most important to them and by 77%-23% they supported Kerry) and “Education” (4% said it matted the most and by 73%-26% they supported Kerry).   These core economic issues: jobs and the economy, healthcare, education - along with a serious critique of the administration's policies in Iraq - provide a solid substantive basis upon which to challenge the Republicans in the next administration. 
Simply put, the public overwhelming disagrees with the President’s approach to the economy, healthcare, education, and Iraq, not to mention Social Security and Medicare.
4. Conclusion - John Kerry has built a solid foundation for the Democratic Party to build on – in voters, in resources and in substance.  The party would be well advised to build on the foundation, and not turn our back on it.