As someone who flies a lot for business, I spend quite a bit of time at airport gate waiting areas, airport restaurants, and ah, yes, airport bars.
As a student of human behavior as well as politics (degrees in Sociology and Political Science) I've long watched people's faces as the television sets in those locations run CNN or other news outlets.
For several years, it was an article of faith that the well-coiffed, presumably Republican-leaning businesspeople who frequent these locales listened intensively and receptively when GOP officeholders and candidates were interviewed. Dating back even before 9/11, this receptiveness surely was informed by a perception on the part of these viewers that the Republicans are far better "for my business" or "for our industry" than the Democrats.
Then after 9/11 hit, every time a terrorism official or analyst was shown on those screens, everybodynear the airport tv sets looked up to absorb those dire warnings.
But then, I contrast that with what I saw yesterday.
I happened to be at an airport in a very "Red" state, one which went twice for Bush and has two Republican Senators, to boot (hopefully one this fall, in the other sense of the term).
While I was there, President Bush's press conference was being broadcast on tv screens all throughout this airport.
I monitored the body language of at least 12 people- most of whom were in business-compatible attire. About half were paying attention. I've been around long enough to detect the facial expressions of a cynic. At least four of the six who were watching were wearing expressions that seem to indicate, "what bill of goods is he (Bush) trying to sell us now?"
Later yesterday, I was at another airport. They replayed Bush's press conference. The replay was visible and audible to quite a few eyes and ears at the airport restaurant, but no one was paying attention.
Obviously these instances I've cited depict small, random samples- and are not scientific. But that's not my point.
When you have businesspeople- a group that tends to embrace the laissez-faire economic policies of the GOP- finally realizing that they as well as the rest of America - have been fed a line of fear-nurturing bullshit, then I am thinking good things about what's going to go down this November.