Do The Math

Tom Maguire on why there doesn’t need to be a draft:

In the late 80’s, we had 2.2 million folks on active duty. Now it is down to about 1.4 million. The notion that we couldn’t add several hundred thousand troops without a draft seems to be contradicted by our past experience.

As Maguire notes, this sort of higher math is apparently beyond the capacity of Paul Krugman. By contrast, Geraghty has numbers that explain why Kerry will win Pennsylvania:

The total number of eligible Philadelphia voters now stands at 1,066,222. That is close to the 2003 U.S. Census estimate for the number of people of voting age – 1,025,259 – living in the city.

This is repeated in several areas – like Milwaukee and St. Louis. In each place, of course, the fact that there are more registered voters than eligible people of voting age means that there is a high potential for voter fraud. In each case, this is occuring in a Democratic-dominated city in a state that otherwise seems primed for the GOP picking. I haven’t followed the voter-fraud and election-related violence beats on this site the way Bill Hobbs or the Powerline guys (among others) have (see this for a good example), but it’s a major concern. A lot of us Republicans are very worried about this election entirely because of the threat of fraud and/or litigation; the way the national and state polls are going, I can’t see how Kerry supporters can be optimistic unless they are depending on fraud to carry the day.
After all, the internals on various polls consistently show that large majorities (1) recognize that the nation is at war and (2) trust Bush better to prosecute that war, while the same polls measure the candidates as about even on economic issues and place Bush decisively ahead on leadership and sharing the voter’s values. Add in Bush’s structural advantages in the Electoral College, the difficulty of Kerry replicating Gore’s voter-turnout miracles among African-American voters and unionized voters, and the fact that the GOP totally overhauled its own get-out-the-vote drive after 2000 (to great effect in 2002), and all Democrats are really left with, besides the always-hoped-for surge of young liberals (recall how they didn’t show for Howard Dean this year), is shenanigans at the polling places.
Yes, I know – many Dems will claim that this is overstated or whatnot. But, tell me: how can you be optimistic if you aren’t banking on it?

2 thoughts on “Do The Math”

  1. Maybe its too simple
    In the late 80s there hadn’t been the back-door extended time just experienced in Iraq. There are record lows in recruitment. Wonder why?
    Second, the polls (not of ghost voters) show this a dead heat. LAst time, the poslls vastly underestimated Gore’s strength. Newly registered voters + forecast increased turnout projected to go to Kerry due to demographics. Most importantly, undecideds breadk for challenger 2-1, historically. With Bush and Kerry about 47 each, it should end up 51-49 Kerry, assuming no putsch-style shenanigangs by GOP reminiscent of the last go round in florida.
    Then again, if it goes to the courts I’d say Bush is up 56-44 (5-4).

  2. I didn’t read the Krugman column you refer to, nor have I done any reasearch or extensive thinking on the topic. But I submit there is no way you will add any significant numbers to the armed forces during a period where any recruit is guaranteed to be shipped to a dangerous warzone the day after basic training concludes.
    That applies to Bush’s claims that there will be no need for a draft and Kerry’s claims that he can add 40,000 troops. The current levels are not sustainable, and I’m not sure what the solution is, but neither of the options by the candidates offered strike me as entirely honest or tenable.

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