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Democrats' Voter Apathy Hands Victories to GOP

November 21, 2002

Re "Replay of Reagan-Era Voting Patterns Is Not Good News for Democrats," Nov. 18: In his column cataloging the woes of the Democrats, Ronald Brownstein glosses over the main reason they lost so many races. It's the same one as always -- voter apathy. Do the math: If a combined total of roughly 91,000 Democrats who did not vote had voted in three states (Missouri, Minnesota and New Hampshire), those states would have sent Democrats to the Senate, the party would have a solid majority and it would be President Bush, Karl Rove and Marc Racicot feeling the heat.

Until the Democrats make it Job One to get their core voters down to the polls on election day, they will remain a majority party that consistently loses, and the GOP will continue to spin its nonexistent "mandate" into something approaching a fact.

Michael Schlesinger

Sherman Oaks

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Bill Clinton gave us: peace, prosperity, sex. George W. Bush gives us: war, recession, righteousness. You choose.

Carol A. Kirgis

Camarillo

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Re "Insider Backing for Gore Is Tepid," Times Poll, Nov. 17: I am not a Democratic Party insider, but if Al Gore runs in 2004 he has my vote. I am sick and tired of the warmongers and economy busters occupying the White House. As for the rest of the presidential hopefuls who claim to be real Democrats and are not, they do not stand up to Gore.

Mary Ann Bailey

Oceanside

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Your article on the presumed low support for Gore almost got it right, except for the minor detail that you polled the only people who don't count. Yes, we need change within the Democratic Party. And those nameless, faceless operatives in the party hierarchy whom you talked with are the ones who need to go. Meanwhile, Gore, our popularly elected president, is the overwhelming choice of voters in national polls. Pardon me for thinking the electorate's voice should carry more weight than that of those clueless DNC people in their ivory towers.

Monica Friedlander

Oakland

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Though the Democratic Party should surely produce good candidates for the 2004 race, the candidates are not the ones we should really be worrying about.

Reproductive rights, gun control laws and our environment are just some of the things that are poised to be attacked by the Republicans in control. It is especially crucial at this time for the Democratic leadership to make our positions heard loud and clear. If Democrats are to recapture the White House and Congress, it will be won through the issues -- give the people a reason to vote for Democrats.

Patrick Kwan

New York

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