This could be the high point of Bush's campaign (and could stretch through the immediate post-convention bounce.) Right now polls reflect all the negative impact of the Swift Boat Liars' attacks without yet reflecting his defense. All the articles from the last few days verifying Kerry's war record could help in the end, and there may yet be a backlash against Bush's negative campaign tactics.
Kerry's advertising campaign is also on a hiatus this month. Initially Kerry planned to refrain from any advertising in August to save the matching funds, but did ultimately have to respond to the Swift Boat ads. Full resumption of the ad campaign in September should also have an impact.
We must also look at the task each candidate has to face. The undecided voters believe Bush has done a poor job, but don't yet feel comfortable about Kerry.
Bush must convince people who already dislike him to vote for him. He's trying to do this by making Kerry seem even worse. Kerry just has to win over the people who don't know enough about him--they already dislike Bush.
Perhaps this election will also come down to whether people vote based upon the trivial arguments of the Bush ads, or look at the big picture.
If people decide on Bush's terms, then Bush will win based upon all the nonsense in the ads. The Republicans are masters of going negative and obfuscating the real issues.
If Kerry can get people to look at the big picture, as to what type of country and world we will have for the next decade, and ignore the nonsense attack ads, then he wins.
Right now the media, especially cable news, is concentrating on the type of arguments seen in the attack ads. In September and October, Kerry will further define the differences between himself and Bush, and further show where this country is going should we be faced with four more years (and perhaps four more wars).
This difference will also be seen in the debates as the two candidates get a chance to show the direction they want to take the country in. Kerry can present an alternative to Bush's future of a United States isolated in the world, with a government reduced to the point of doing little more than helping the super-wealthy.
When confronted with these differences, hopefully most Americans will want to be part of the world community, and understand that this is essential to waging an effective war on terrorism. Hopefully they will understand the need to preserve Social Security and Medicare, and to protect the air we breath and water we drink.
This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw yesterday:
Save The World
Vote for Kerry