Peak Too Soon?

Call me a pessimist. Call me gun-shy after watching Howard Dean go from hero to zero inside of a month. You may be right. But still, I’m a little concerned this day, wondering whether the tides are swinging in Kerry’s favor too soon.

As Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. points out,

How this election turns out will depend a great deal on how the situation in Iraq looks to voters on Election Day, and how many middle-class and blue-collar voters feel the economic recovery in their own lives by then.

The fact that Fahrenheit 9/11 did boffo box office not just in liberal enclaves, but nationwide, is a hopeful sign. Pollsters have been saying for some time now that the race is tight and could even be tipping in Kerry’s favor. But this is a dangerous time too.

People are not happy with the way the country is going right now, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to people thinking Kerry is the man to lead a change. Or so says the NY Times:

45 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of Mr. Bush himself, again the most negative measure the Times/CBS Poll has found since he took office. And 57 percent say the country is going in the wrong direction, another measure used by pollsters as a barometer of discontent with an incumbent.

Yet the survey found little evidence that Mr. Kerry has been able to take advantage of the president’s difficulties, even though Mr. Kerry has spent $60 million on television advertising over the past three months.

My feeling is, it’s going to be a long slog to November, and the results are no means certain.