Media Fellows Analyze the Election Results, Discuss What Influenced Voters

Thursday, November 18, 2004

"Until 8:00 p.m. [on election day] Newsweek was going to put Kerry on the cover," said Michael Isikoff, investigative correspondent for Newsweek. His first tip off that the exit polls had it wrong, he said, was a call to a Bush supporter in Florida who said they [Bush-Cheney] would pull it out. "The turnaround as remarkable as any I have seen," Isikoff added.

In his presentation "Whither the War on Terror? A Postelection Assessment" on November 10, Isikoff discussed the election in terms of how people voted based on where they live. He pointed out that although in Manhattan New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidate John Kerry, in several states Kerry received less a than a third of the votes. What accounts for the difference in the number of votes, Isikoff believes, is "Iraq, terrorism, and the new age we are in, in the wake of 9/11."

Media fellow Jim Vande Hei, congressional reporter with the Washington Post, began his presentation "Election 2004 and What It Means for the Next Fours Years" by dismissing the "magical evangelical vote" as the reason President Bush won the election. Vande Hei believes that the election was "all about terrorism." Speaking on November 18 he also assessed the campaigns run by each candidate. Although President Bush was vulnerable on a number of issues, Vande Hei said, the Republicans ran a better, more organized campaign and brought out more people to vote for him. He added that, although the Democrats are not criticizing Kerry, the Democratic challenger, too, was at fault for not defining himself before the Republicans did.

The Media Fellows Program allows print and broadcast media professionals to spend time in residence at the Hoover Institution. Media fellows have the opportunity to exchange information and perspectives with Hoover scholars through seminars and informal meetings and with the Hoover and Stanford communities in public lectures. As fellows, they have the full range of research tools the Hoover offers available to them.

More than 100 of the nation's top journalists have visited the Hoover Institution recently and interacted with Hoover fellows on key public policy issues, including

  • Yochi Dreazen, Wall Street Journal (in residence at Hoover November 8–12)
  • Don Lambro, Washington Times (November 8–12)
  • Leslie Wayne, New York Times (November 15–19)