The Swing Voters are Swinging to Kerry

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First 2004 presidential debate confirms "RepublicansForKerryÂ? in their choice and moves undecided Republicans to support Kerry

­Jim, he prefers that his last name not be used, a registered Republican and a retired soldier with 32 years of military service watched the first Presidential debate with interest. “To me it was the first time we saw the real George W. Bush and John Kerry in action, not in sound bites,” he said. “John Kerry showed America and the world who he really is, looked and talked like a commander-in-chief. He has a grasp of the reality in Iraq and clearly has a plan what he is going to do with the situation in Iraq. I am no longer an anti-Bush voter -- I am pro-Kerry. ”

Caleb Copeland a sophomore from Southwest Missouri State University joined and endorsed John Kerry in May, but then became undecided because of the flip-flop image that was projected on Kerry by the Bush campaign. The presidential debate helped him decide. “In the debate,“ Copeland said, “Kerry persuaded me and my friend who watched the debate with me. Kerry could stand up to the pressure and admit his mistakes and answer for them. In contrast, President Bush had no answers for the most pressing questions. He simply repeated campaign talking points. Now I have more trust in John Kerry and confidence in his leadership than I ever had before. My friend and I will both vote for him on Nov. 2.”

Judy Margie, an independent from Plano, Texas was leaning toward Bush before the debate, but after watching on Fox News, she decided to vote for Kerry. “President Bush is a good man but John Kerry is a strong leader. He was confident and thoughtful, and he has a clear plan to resolve the crisis in Iraq. President Bush has to face the reality in Iraq: by invading Iraq we gave Osama bin Ladin the best present -- the opportunity to make Iraq a breeding ground for terrorism.”

Mark Brownell an Iowan, and Republican since 1979 observed, “I have absolutely no doubt that If Mr. Bush was a Democrat and President, the Republicans would ridicule him mercilessly for his grating 'personality' and for his anti-Republican policies. I have no doubt the leadership of Congress would have ridden him out on a rail without a second thought. But since he has the magic 'Republican' label, he gets a pass. So it's up to us voters, Republican and otherwise, to see through this nonsense and realize that John Kerry is by far the better man for the job.”

All these Republicans agree that the debates are a forum that makes us to be proud to be Americans. The debates allow voters to see both candidates outside the limitations of 30-second sound bites, and to learn about their plans and vision for the country. The importance of the debates is not to declare a winner or loser, but help voters decide who will be a stronger leader for America. These Republicans have decided on John Kerry.

[For more discussion on the reactions to the first 2004 presidential debate contact]

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Bruce Mackinlay
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