>Reporting for doo-ty (and losing of course) – I am John Kerry

> Gave the Holland-Argentina gamea miss to try out 80Soft’s US election simulator President Forever – thrown in for a mere £3.00 to with the British version of the game PM Forever. P4E is an altogether grander affair– huge campaign budget of $74 million and a Vice-Presidential candidate to barnstorm and fund raise.

Despite not knowing my Arkansas from my elbow as far as swing states are concerned – apart from the few big states I was ashamed to realise I hardly knew one from another on the map- I fought a tough and negative campaign. I made some fairly ghastly mistakes, of course– campaigning too hard early on then fading badly in California (luckily the Golden State quickly came good); underspending on advertising, leaving $16 million still in the kitty on election day; and finally driving Kerry to exhaustion and then reeling desperately to spin bad news when the Senator had to two days R&R in the final week.

In the end, however, did give I George W a run for his money. In fact did better than the real Kerry. As with Al Gore in 2000 I actually outpolled Dubya, but lost by 30 electoral college votes after losing Florida (27 votes) by 0.5% which would have delivereda narrow Democrat win. Ironically, Florida was one of the few states whose importance (or location) I actually was aware of. Repeated barnstorming and targeted ads on Bush couldn’t get me beyond level pegging in the Sunshine Sun. Perhaps a close look at the demographics or might have helped, or maybe brother Jeb had a hand.

In the end, I was rather unnervedjust how geographically limited the Democrat vote is even when they almost win,. Even allowing for population density basically New England, the Eastern seaboard and the West Coast. Hair raising too justhow high the stakes are given the small number of electoral units (50) – and still smaller number of large and/or swing states .The UK election is a more localised battle over 650 UK constituencies. Readers in Des Moines will be pleased to know that as Kerry I won Iowa,.

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