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March 09, 2005

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This would be more convincing if only people who voted for Bush were polled; the question would be whether their vote meant that they supported private Social Security accounts. (Or even personal ones.)

I don't understand Michael's comment at all. 51% of Americans voted for Bush, and only 33% of Americans think he has a mandate for personal accounts according to the poll I cited. I don't have access to the cross-tabs, but the maximum percentage of Bush voters who could think he has a mandate is 33%/51% = ~65%. And that assumes no other voters think he does, which is implausible. To the extent that any non-Bush voters think the President has a mandate for personal accounts, the proportion of Bush voters who think he does would be even lower. And if barely more than half of *Bush's own supporters* think he has a mandate, then the idea that the election gave him one is nonsense pure and simple. We may not be able to agree on what a mandate is, but I think we can agree that this isn't one.

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