On the Issues
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President Bush had the power of incumbency on his side as he sought re-election to office. He has traveled extensively around the country, amassing a campaign war chest that allowed him to avoid the need for public financing, and the campaign spending limits that accompany it. It was a recipe that worked well in his first campaign, in which he raised so much money, that many of his dispirited Republican challengers dropped out of the race before the first primary was held. Bush's popularity soared following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Although his favorable poll numbers often dipped below 50 percent, Bush was able to stay on his message during his entire campaign: the fight against terrorism. In the end, according to exit polling on Election Day, the election was as much about the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism, as an affirmation of Bush's policies.
He won the election on November 2, 2004 with the largest popular vote in the nation's history, thanks in large measure to a huge turnout.