This is a lengthy NYT magazine article about the battle for Ohio. In some ways, Kerry did very well there, but here's why it wasn't good enough:
Why wasn't it enough? In the days that followed, theories circulated claiming that Republicans had stolen votes from Kerry by messing with the results from electronic voting machines. But the truth was that the Bush campaign had created an entirely new math in Ohio. It wouldn't have been possible eight years ago, or even four. But with so many white, conservative and religious voters now living in the brand-new town houses and McMansions in Ohio's growing ring counties, Republicans were able to mobilize a stunning turnout in areas where their support was more concentrated than it was in the past. Bush's operatives did precisely what they told me seven months ago they would do in these communities: they tapped into a volunteer network using local party organizations, union rolls, gun clubs and churches. They backed it up with a blizzard of targeted appeals; according to the preliminary results of a survey done by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, one representative home in Portage County, just outside Cleveland, received 11 pieces of mail from the Republican National Committee.
This effort wasn't visible to Democrats because it was taking place on an entirely new terrain, in counties that Democrats had some vague notion of, but which they never expected could generate so many votes. The 10 Ohio counties with the highest turnout percentages, many of them small and growing, all went for Bush, and none of them had a turnout rate of less than 75 percent.
For Democrats, this new phenomenon on Election Day felt like some kind of horror movie, with conservative voters rising up out of the hills and condo communities in numbers the Kerry forces never knew existed. ''They just came in droves,'' Jennifer Palmieri told me two days after the election. ''We didn't know they had that room to grow. It's like, 'Crunch all you want — we'll make more.' They just make more Republicans.''
Writer Matt Bai concludes the Democrats no longer have the numerical advantage and can't win just by getting out the vote.
The next Democrat who wins will be the one who changes enough minds.