Why should Democrats drop the despondency and start to think? First, because Bush won a second term by nothing like the 49-state landslides of Nixon or Reagan – Bush got 31 states. And though he had led America to victory in two wars, a turnaround of 60,000 votes in Ohio would have made him the first president ever rejected in wartime, and he would have lost to an uncharismatic senator from Massachusetts with a voting record to the left of Teddy Kennedy's.
As Buchanan notes, Bush barely clung to power last year in victory that looks flacid compared to Republican triumphs in 1972 and 1984. If John Kerry had been a plausible NASCAR fan, he might have won.