I think both candidates did well with their bases tonight. Bush mentioned his faith early and often and in terms that surely lifted evangelical hearts. Kerry undoubtedly pleased labor with his responses on the minimum wage and the "middle-class squeeze" and satisfied African-Americans with his support for affirmative action. And, despite his gratititous mention of Mary Cheney, Kerry's comments on gay rights were probably the most supportive ever uttered by a presidential candidate.
The difference was that, once again, Kerry also successfully appealed to swing voters.