This paper explains that, although the 2004 Presidential elections were not as contentious as the 2000 election and may not go down in history as one of the worst election in history, it certainly changed the way many politicians look at elections and the way the Democratic Party will attack elections in the future. The author points out that the campaign issues were quite clear and quite emotional on both sides: President Bush ran on a conservative ticket, opposing moral issues such as gay-marriage, abortion and gun control: whereas, Senator Kerry's focused on the positive and was far more liberal on just about every issue, from gay marriage to foreign policy. The paper states that Senator Kerry's campaign could not rouse the American people as much as President Bush's could and it seems that many of Kerry's supporters and political advisors did not know how to advise Kerry; therefore, he seemed to "flip-flop" on many of his positions.
From the Paper
"Election week was a flurry of campaigning, political ads, and polls. In the Showdown States, many voters complained of numerous phone calls and in-person visits from both parties, along with many special interest groups who were employing every measure they could in a last ditch effort to elect their specific candidate. The polls showed the election was extremely close (nearly 50-50), and so, the campaigning was much more intense than many people remembered in previous years. The battle for electoral votes seemed all in Kerry's favor early in the election results, when many East Coast polls closed. Kerry won in many East Coast states, including New York and Massachusetts, but Bush carried the states in the Midwest, such as Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and of course, Ohio. These states tend to be more conservative in their outlook, and are traditionally Republican strongholds, and this was the case in 2004."