Bush's Best Run

The 2002 election mandate is...

By Colin Allen, published on November 1, 2002 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

With Congress currently in a lame duck session, the reasons why
people voted as they did last week are slowly becoming less foggy. Of the
77 million votes cast, it took only 41,000 in the two closest senatorial
races to shift power in the Senate to Republicans. And according to a
non-partisan poll sponsored by National Public Radio, there is only one
man responsible for nationalizing the elections: George W. Bush.

When asked, poll participants believed the President's last push of
campaigning had an integral influence on the races. Still, however,
experts are at a loss to understand the mindset of the larger American
electorate. Other major issues - such as waging war in Iraq and reviving
the recessed economy - failed to inspire nationalization, leaving the
voting public evenly split. But the 53 percent vote in support of the
president's party goes against the recent trend of voting for
independence at the Congressional level.

While senators in both political parties also attribute the
Republican victory to Bush's campaigning in key states, the president has
little mandate from voters. And that might not change until election exit
polls are released and a greater understanding of American opinion is