This pretty much synches up with something Vorlon was discussing in another thread:
So back to the American public. Yep they are fine and most (the vast majority) are good decent people and Bush has played on that instilled fear and got the desired result. Makes him no better than a dictator.
From the following article
on the results from exit polls:
Many of Bush's popular vote advances this year were a matter of degree. In several cases, he did not necessarily conclusively win a particular subset of voters, but performed better among that group compared to 2000.
The president, for example, garnered 48 percent of the female vote, up 5 percent from 2000. While Bush lost the Latino vote -- winning 44 percent to Kerry's 53 percent (other candidates split the remainder) -- he gained 9 points from four years ago, which proved significant in states like Florida and New Mexico with large Latino or Hispanic populations.
The president captured 45 percent of the urban vote, up 10 points from 2000. Reports of high turnout in several traditionally Democratic cities may have had less impact on the final result than some pundits anticipated.
Apparently the Dems don't have as big a lock on the various minority groups that they used to have. While the Republicans still aren't getting any majorities, they are making inroads. Minorities are not mindless automatons who fall into lockstep with Democrats. They can't just assume they will always just vote Democrat.
The GOP ticket did 5 points better among Catholics, which narrowly sided in 2000 with Gore. In 2004, Bush won this vote over Kerry, himself a Catholic.
The president improved 6 points among Jewish voters, though he still lost this group decisively to the Massachusetts senator 74 percent 25 percent.
The more Democrats fail to back Israel or back countries which don't support Israel, the more Republicans are going to pick up this vote.
Bush did particularly well among regular churchgoers, outpacing Kerry by 22 points among exit poll respondents who attended services at least once a week.
Moral issues. More people said moral issues were important than terrorism or Iraq and these are issues which the Democrats are horribly out of touch on. This is backed up by the fact that 11 different states passed measures on Tuesday banning Gay Marriage. An issue 70%+ of Americans do not want and Gay Marriage isn't the only issue and these kinds of issues cross gender, racial, and economic lines.
More exit poll respondents -- about 22 percent -- called "moral values" the election's most important issue then cited the economy, terrorism or Iraq. Those expressing this sentiment backed the president overwhelmingly, 80 percent to Kerry's 18 percent. Bush did similarly well among the 19 percent who identified terrorism as their top issue.
You do have a point Vorlon, in that Americans feel more confident that Bush can handle terror better than Kerry. However:
Kerry won overwhelmingly among the 20 percent who pointed to the economy and jobs as the most important issue -- taking this group 80 percent to the president's 18 percent. The 15 percent who named the Iraq war as the race's top issue backed the senator by a 3-1 margin.
Here's the one that's most interesting. People just didn't think Iraq was the most important issue in this race. When they did, they voted for Kerry, so the idea that Bush instilled fear into the minds of voters to get them to vote with him just doesn't jive against the exit polls. Bush won because the election is about more than terrorism and Iraq. Kerry didn't adequately address those other areas to voter satisfaction and he lost.