According to the FAIR FORMULA - which extrapolates economic facts and demonstrates their historic effects on the electorate - Bush should have won with at least 58% of the vote, and with over 300 in the EC. Bush did not.
WHY DIDN'T THE FAIR FORMULA WORK THIS TIME?
Because for the last two years the Old Media did not report the true state of the economy, and as a result the electorate perceived the economy to be worse overall than it really was.
Had the electorate been truthfully informed by the Old Media, then they would have known that the economy in 2004 is every bit as as good as it was in 1996 (maybe even better), when Clinton won reelection by 8% (over his nearest rival, in a 3-way race). This is more than the 3% margin Bush enjoyed.
I believe accurate and truthful reporting on the economy would have led Bush to win 6 states that were VERY CLOSE: Wisconsin, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and New Hampshire - each of which Bush lost by less than 3%. These states had a total of 69 Electoral Votes. Bush would have won with 355 EV - a huge win - if he had won these 6 states.
I believe that biased reporting on the economy had a greater overall negative effect on the election than Rathergate, alQaqaagate, Nigergate, Plamegate, or even Abu Ghraib.
The biased reporting on the economy was a longer, deeper, more peravsive BIG LIE than any of the others which were - by comparison - all mere flashes in the pan which didn't erode Bush's base.
The New Media must continue to do whatever it takes to get the truth out and thereby prevent the Left-wingers who dominate the Old Media from getting their Leftist propaganda out unchallenged.
A well-informed electorate is the best defender of liberty.
Those who keep the electorate well informed are the vanguard.