GOPers' Delusion: ACORN Stole Election for Obama

And Republicans continue to live in a world of unreality:

The Republican base is with him though. PPP's newest national survey finds that a 52% majority of GOP voters nationally think that ACORN stole the Presidential election for Barack Obama last year, with only 27% granting that he won it legitimately. Clearly the ACORN card really is an effective one to play with the voters who will decide whether Hoffman gets to be the Republican nominee in a possible repeat bid in 2010.

Belief in the ACORN conspiracy theory is even higher among GOP partisans than the birther one, which only 42% of Republicans expressed agreement with on our national survey in September.

Overall, the American people roundly reject the notion that ACORN somehow stuffed enough ballots -- at least 9,500,000 of them -- to somehow steal the election from John McCain and give it to Barack Obama. (This theory also compels the conclusion that ACORN somehow forged every single pre-election poll, including even those from Fox News (.pdf), the trend of which tracked almost exactly with the ultimate election results.) Indeed, Americans say no to this theory by a 62 percent to 26 percent margin -- including a 72 percent to 18 percent margin among Independents.

If the Republicans want to continue to live in their own world with their own "facts", they can certainly go ahead and do that. But it's not so easy to woo new voters to one's cause when those being wooed think those doing the wooing have only an attenuated relationship with reality.

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Obama Carried 34 Districts Represented By GOPers

In 2004, George W. Bush carried a total of 41 congressional districts represented by Democrats while John Kerry won in just 18 districts represented by Republicans. In 2008 the numbers looked quite a bit different.

Some of the most competitive congressional races of 2010 will be in districts where voters split their ballots between Republicans for the House of Representatives and Democrat Barack Obama for the White House.

CQ Politics' analysis of presidential election returns in all 435 congressional districts shows there are 34 that split that way -- perhaps a testament to the durability of partisan voting habits in House races or maybe a further decline in the "coattails" effect.

Those split districts complement the 49 that favored Republican John McCain for president while helping the Democrats expand their congressional majority.

As you can see from this crunching of numbers, which comes some time after the initial tally by Swing State Project, John McCain carried just a few more "blue" districts than Bush did in 2004, which was to be expected given that there are about 25 percent more Democrats in the House than there were in 2004. The big change, however, came in the form of Barack Obama's performance among "red" districts, nearly doubling Kerry's showing even as House Republicans shed a significant portion of their membership.

At this juncture, these numbers have yet to affect the views of the Republican Congressmen representing these districts, arch conservatives who still believe it better to toe the party line rather than actually represent their constituents -- a determination that could very well come back to bite them in the future (the half of California Republicans representing districts carried by President Obama should be especially concerned, both because of the tilt of their districts and because of the backlash against Republicans in the state as a result of the GOP-manufactured budgetary impasses). But as we inch closer to the point at which these Republican Congressmen from Obama-districts must face the voters, I wouldn't be too surprised to finally start seeing some begin to peel away on issues, breaking up the near unanimous opposition to the President we have thus far seen from the House GOP.

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Non-Existent Voter Fraud

Shocking:

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he had allegations last fall of widespread voter fraud - allegations a special prosecutor reported Tuesday were wrong, noting the only voter fraud found was from a Connecticut man who told on himself.

"Ultimately," Special Prosecutor Michael O'Neill wrote in a report, "the investigators discovered `get-out-the-vote' practices, sponsored by community organizations, which took full advantage of this unique absentee-voting period, but no evidence these practices violated Ohio law."

"Told ya so," Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party as well as chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, said with glee of O'Neill's report.

"Do I think (Deters) was playing politics? Damned right."

Deters was Southwest Ohio regional chairman of Republican John McCain's presidential campaign, when he complained in October that some people were violating the so-called "golden week" that allowed anyone to register to vote and then vote at the same time.

For the record, Michael O'Neill, the Special Prosecutor who penned this report, is a Republican -- and he previously worked for Joe Deters, the prosecutor-cum-McCain supporter who screamed voter fraud in October 2008. Any attempt by the far-right zealots or hardcore Republican partisans to claim this investigation was a whitewash would clearly not be credible.

Yet again, more proof that voter fraud is simply not a genuine concern in this country. This isn't to say that Republicans won't continue to gin up unfounded worries about voter fraud in an attempt to suppress the votes of those they believe are likely to vote Democratic. It also isn't to say that the establishment media are finally going to learn the lesson that the voter fraud allegations made by Republican operatives during the heat of an election are bogus and thus stop blaring VOTER FRAUD across newspapers and televisions. But perhaps at some point, folks will finally begin to catch on that the real voting problem in this country is not voter fraud but rather the suppression of those who want to, and have every right to, vote.

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A Watershed Election?

Writing for Real Clear Politics under the headline "Democrats' Year: Less Change Than Chance," Politico reporter David Paul Kuhn downplays the achievement of Barack Obama and the Democrats in 2008.

The 2008 campaign did not make history. It was made by history. Conventional coalitions and events elected Barack Obama.

[...]

The far-reaching question in politics, as we consider what 2008 will mean in the years ahead, is whether America recently witnessed one of the nation's half dozen "critical elections," with the "sharp and durable" results that signify party realignment.

[...]

Perhaps this is the dawn of a new Democratic era. If true, liberals are left with another question: why did it take two economic catastrophes to create the two Democratic coalitions of the past century?

After all, if it's fair to say September 11, 2001, was a political gift to Republicans, then September 15, 2008, was no less a gift to Democrats.

[...]

Political tectonics do not always shift with earthquakes, as in 1932. Obama's margin of victory was modest. But then, Nixon began his majority with less.

In other words, [V.O.] Key's requirement that party realignments have "sharp" contours is not absolute. Looking ahead, Obama's youth mandate and the GOP's Hispanic problem are signs that Democrats do have demographics on their side.

There is clearly an intent among some to try to downplay the meaning of last fall's elections, to suggest that the Democrats' achievement wasn't much of one at all. No matter, of course, that the Democrats have won the majority or plurality of the popular vote in four of the past five presidential elections, and that Barack Obama's popular vote victory was the largest in 20 years. Or that the Democrats now have more seats in the House of Representatives than the Republicans have had at any time since after the 1928 elections. Or that the Democrats have a larger majority in the U.S. Senate than the Republicans have had since after the 1920 elections. No, somehow despite all of this, the Democrats didn't have much of a victory on November 4. Go figure.

But is it actually true that watershed elections require a large majority? Not really. The most recent watershed election was in 1968, when Richard Nixon broke up the New Deal coalition -- with just 43.4 percent of the popular vote and 301 electoral votes. FDR did get 57.4 percent of the popular vote, and 472 electoral votes, during the watershed election of 1932, but that showing seems more of an aberration than a trend for such contests. In 1896, William McKinley won with 51.0 percent of the popular vote and 271 of 438 electoral votes (about the same percentage as 333 electoral votes today). In 1860, Abraham Lincoln earned just 39.8 percent of the popular vote, and 180 of 291 electoral votes (also about 333 EVs today). In 1828, Andrew Jackson won 56.0 percent of the popular vote, and 178 of 261 electoral votes (367 EVs today). And in the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson earned the support of 73 of 138 electors (285 electoral votes today).

So what does this mean? Obama earned a higher share of the popular vote than half of the winners in watershed elections, and a greater proportion of electoral college support than four of six watershed election victors.

Does this mean that Obama's victory two months ago was a watershed election? No. There have been plenty of blowout elections that were not also watershed elections. At the same time, I think it's too early to say that his victory was not a watershed election (and in fairness, Kuhn said about as much). And more importantly, it's just not the case that Obama's victory, and that of the Democrats more broadly, wasn't impressive.

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Barack Obama Carries the Jewish Vote Overwhelmingly

It won't come as much of a surprise to those who actually have followed the numbers, but it looks like Barack Obama is overwhelmingly carrying the Jewish vote. Ben Smith has the numbers.

For all the ink and money spilled on McCain's hopes of making inroads into the Jewish vote, exit polls suggest Obama won the demographic by a margin even higher than John Kerry's, and like Al Gore's and Bill Clinton's.

The exits currently have it at 78 percent to 21 percent.


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