I've seen sporadic voters defined (in the literature as well as on blogs) as those voting in one of three of the last presidential elections. I saw one study that had them at ~25% of registered voters (this was a historical study of a particular voting district, so not necessarily something that can be extrapolated to the national 2008 registered voter population).
Per the same study the average propensity to vote of this cohort was in the low 40s, whereas the average propensity to vote of frequent voters was >80%.
The quote is that about 25% of those voters are turning at the propensity rate expected for frequent voters. This would seem like great news, as 25%25%(80%-40%)= ~2.5%..., which would indicate about 2.5 points of additional turnout for our side...
Obviously, the quote does not tell you anything about what this percentage was in prior elections. That is, it could be that a certain portion of sporadic voters typically become frequent voters in any given election...
Well, from census data, it appears that you'd expect that about 5% of the population would turn 18 within a four year period. So that 18% number in North Carolina does look very good.
Obviously this is ignoring a couple of other factors: ignores people who may have voted in a mid-term election (a factor that would make the 18% look even better), also ignores people moving into the state (a factor that would go in the other direction).
But perhaps arrogance too is in the eye of the beholder.
All I see is a proud, confident and capable guy. Not sure how you get that vibe, but of course, you are entitled to your perception.
On a side note, part of me was dismayed (because I saw it as playing to this "arrogant" narrative) and part of me was amused/delighted (because I saw it as unscripted and authentic and frankly quite human) with Obama's comment on the recent foreign trip: "I'll admit we did it really well".
As I wrote in two other responses here, I think you are misreading my post. Certainly racial victimology is the last thing that is motivating my post.
I firmly believe that the vast majority of the US population is not racist. In fact, I don't think Obama's candidacy would be viable in many other Western democracies, which is a testament to the maturity of the US electorate in this respect.
That being said, I think we ignore the strength of the collective imaginarium at our own peril. I am not talking about racism per se, but about a certain stereotype the Republicans are trying to push.
Again, I could be wrong, but I don't think my opinion is either laughable or sad if you ponder what I am actually saying.
As stated above, this is probably my fault. I don't necessarily have a well structured cogent argument for what I am trying to say, and this probably results in my message being confusing.
What I can tell you is that as I wrote above in response to another comment, I am actually very much against racial victimology and this is certainly not what motivates my post.
I've attempted to explain myself a bit more in the response above. I'm not sure my argument is any clearer, but I think there is at least a kernel of truth in what I'm trying to say and dismissing it as just "playing the race card" or racial victimology is not productive.
I am also describing my own reaction to Karl Rove's depiction of Obama. Upon reading it I immediately thought of OJ. It was automatic and certainly involuntary. Perhaps I am a complete anomaly. I think not.
But for whatever it's worth, I am not in the least inclined to look for racism where there is none. In fact, as a foreign born individual things like affirmative action often sound... well foreign to me (not to say I don't understand what their role is given the history of the US in this respect).
I think you are completely misreading my post, my friend (perhaps what I wrote was confusing to start with).
I am not saying that most white Americans are racist. In fact, I am convinced the opposite is true. To be frank, I don't think that most republicans are racist and think that people like Karl Rove are not racist.
What I do think is that we all hold subconscious stereotypes that are not necessarily racist (certainly not consciously racist) but that do play a role in our reactions.
Take a look at this link:
(I haven't posted in a while, I forgot how to embed links)...
All I am saying is that I think Rove, being a very smart and amoral politician (didn't say immoral, though), are trying to play these stereotypes in McCain's favor. I think it's undeniable that the image of the smug, sleazy OJ is seared in the collective American imaginarium. I think this is what they are trying to conjure up. I could be wrong. But I am not in the least motivated by racial victimology.
In fact, now that I think more about it, I don't even think they are trying to explote racists views per se, but paradoxically, an image that has to do with the very sentiment you are expressing in your post, which is not in the least racist: the largely justified pushback against racial victimology. That's what the OJ Simpson stereotype represents to me: the succesful minority that achieves the american dream and then fools and cheats to get his way, using racial victimology along the way.
I realize my argument is not well supported in evidence. It is more of an impression, a hunch. And, of course, you are entitled to deride my opinion. I don't happen to believe it is risible.
I'm sure you are right. And the last thing I want to do is to give them ideas or to be a concern troll.
I'm just trying to describe what I feel they are trying to do. And, although I agree with you that we should not be paranoidly focused on what the other side is trying to do, it does help to be aware and react quickly.
With such a strong and independent woman (to the point that it's revived some of the recurrent "is she out of control?" meme the media threw at Hillary, then Theresa and now Michelle) as his wife, I'm at a loss of how you could get that vibe...
Yes. I left in 1997 and returned in 2007 (of course I visited many times in between), and I can tell you that it was night and day for me. I came back to be near family (this was especially important to my wife) and because I was going to get paid essentially double what I was making in NY. But I was bracing for the worst... We have been incredibly surprised by the significant improvement in the quality of our lives that this move brought to us...
I still have a weird feeling everytime I go to NYC on business (bitter sweet, sort of being back home but not, and I get very nostalgic), but in between these trips I barely miss my day to day life in New York.
I'm not releasing you just in case things get complicated at the convention ;)
Seriously, thanks for the compliment and the civilized and thoughtful interaction. I would also like for you to agree more with me, though...
And, yes, I am in Mexico (Mexico City), although I lived in the New York City area for 10 years (essentially 90% of my career, 99% of my married life and 99% of my life as a father of two gorgeous girls...)
Don't take me wrong. I understand the sentiment and actually agree with the call for a roll call at the convention for Hillary.
But there are a couple of things I think are a bit over the top:
1. Hate speech? I don't thing Rev. Wright's comments (as inflammatory) as they were cross this threshold:
a) "God damn America"? To me, an evangelical, that sounds like (admittedly somewhat over the top) "prophetic" license that is used by many ministers as a dramatic devise to impress their message in their audience... Should he have said it? Probably not. Is it hate speech? No.
b) 9/11 - "America's chicken coming home to roost"? This was actually a quote Wright was making. But even the statement itself, is not hate speech. It is possible to completely abhor terrorism and 9/11 while also think that America's being the target of international terrorism may have something to do with America's policies. You can disagree with this and you may even find it unwise to say, or even inappropriate or insensitive and hurtful to the people who lost loved ones there. I tend to agree with this, but again, it's not hate speech.
c) Weird conspiracy theories about AIDS? They're weird and misguided, and it's kind of appaling that someone of Wright's intelligence and prominence would espouse them. But again not hate speech. Plus, coming from a black minister you have to cut him some slack given that there are proven historical instances in which the government withtheld treatment from African Americans in the name of science, for example.
2. I find some paralells in the two quotes below:
"Anger among black Americans is understandable and appropriate. But if it is not coupled with gratitude or recognizing what's possible it does not help blacks, it keeps them down."
"Sommers... said American women should be grateful rather than grow bitter because of a misconception that they are held back for being women."
Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers (conservative scholar)
I don't think either really gets it.
3. You state: "My hope is Hillary can tutor Obama in world history, the economy, in compassion, in gratitude, in forgiveness, in character and judgement."
For the record, Hillary is one of the best politicians of her generation. One of the facts that made Obama's victory so stunning is that he was going up against her. I am absolutely certain that Obama could learn a thing or two from Hillary's experience and I am sure he will be inspired by her tenacity and toughness. But your wide sweeping phrasing really makes it hard to agree with you because it's just evident how much this comments comes from a biased view in Hillary's favor that ignores her flaws and just portrays her as a sort of pure and selfless giant by whose side Obama is deeply flawed. So much for "cultish" followers?? Why can't we just recognize each of these great politician's flaws and virtues? Their mistakes as well as their moments of brilliance?
I won't push too hard. I know the past few days have been hard on you (and I don't mean this with condescension or misplaced pity, I know it would have been hard for me had it gone the other way). I have seen your posts and comments and although I disagree with a lot of what you say, I respect you as an honest person and a stedfast Clinton supporter.