Election 2002: It's the Terrorism, Stupid

Why did the Democrats lose? Forget the tactics. Forget the fund raising. Forget even the President's popularity. This election was about Sept. 11. And just as no one saw 9/11 coming, no one saw the 9/11 election coming. Worse yet, the Democrats don't see it even now. Sure, some Democrats acknowledge that 9/11 played a part. But they trivialize its effect, as when Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe says 9/11 intensified the bond between the President and the people, giving Bush a popularity that rubbed off on Republican candidates and helped sway the election.

The Sept. 11 effect was far more...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!