Bushco wants media folks repeating their "mandate'" meme and we will hear it repeatedly as the Repugs hope it sticks. I keep hearing how Bush won a clear majority, had a 3.5 million vote margin, was the first to win more than fifty percent since his dad, etc. The victory is supposedly sweeping. In fact, 1.5 million of Bush's margin came from Texas which the Repugs robocalled like crazy to boost the vote. I'm sure that was done in other "safe" states, as well.
But Repugs just won the Senate seats one would guess they would win, given the states involved, except for Colorado and possibly Alaska. Yes, they beat Daschle by 4 thousand votes in deep red SD after a barrage of media dollars attacking him. Yes, Repugs picked up 4 out of 5 gerrymandered seats in Texas. But there was not a real realignment.
But Kerry still was only 136,500 votes from being President. According to my calculations that is about .001% of the total vote. With only 182,500 well-placed additional votes, Kerry wins with 289 electoral votes. That is only .00158% of the total votes cast.
Yes, it is disappointing. Yes, we need to reassess, and learn the lessons of this campaign. But Republicans do not have a lock on the Whitehouse by a long shot, no matter how the media wants that to be the story.