Election 2008 postmortem

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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President George Bush said he doesn't view the 2008 election as a repudiation of his presidency, but of his party.

"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," Bush said during an interview with ABC News that aired Monday. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me."

But he said he thought most people voted for the president-elect because they "decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."

"In other words, they made a conscious choice to put him in as president," he said.

Bush said his party's nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, had "a tough headwind" for two reasons -- the swooning economy and the difficulty for a party to retain the White House for three straight terms.

"Obviously the economic situation made it awfully difficult for John McCain to get a message out," Bush said. "And I felt that Barack Obama ran a very disciplined campaign" and inspired voters.

McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate helped him, Bush said, because it "energized the party."
http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=print_page&rid=81755

For me it was both, Bush, and the Republicans because they supported him. At this point I might vote for Donald Duck before I would support another Republican adminstration. If a Republican had emerged as a maverick, that might have been different, but when I see a candidate who calls Nixon's two-bit thug, G Gordon Liddy, a "great American"... The Palin appointment was the nail in the coffin.

That said, I think Obama would stand out in any election. But at the same time, I think things had to get this bad before someone like Obama was possible. And were he just another ordinary candidate who happened to be black, then he would have had no chance at all.
 

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  • #2
LowlyPion
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Poor GW. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth (Ann Richards had that right) and skated through college and National Guard duty with the help of daddy and now clueless and unable to see how totally inept he was as the CEO of America?

If he thinks people will be lined up to seek wisdom from the Oracle of Crawford after January 20, he is living in a totally isolated world where he can only get one channel on his cable - FOX.

Now with his ventriloquist in chief slinking off to obscurity himself in Wyoming ... all he's got is Laura to cushion the world at his door and some vacuous planning for a Library at SMU, like any will want to be going there for anything more than a bet.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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...silver foot... :biggrin:
 
  • #4
D H
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Poor GW ...
You think too little of poor GW. Look at these statistics:

http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~sps/images/feynman.jpg [Broken]
Nobel laureate Richard Feynman's IQ = 124



George%20W%20Bush.jpg

IQ = 125

Hmm. On second thought, that might just be a sign that IQ scores above 90 are more-or-less meaningless.
 
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  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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Please don't degenerate to a lock.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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I thought I had started a thread on this (maybe I started to write the post and never finished, but I know I wrote something), but in any case, here are the exit polls of the last three elections:
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#USP00p1
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/index.epolls.html [Broken]

I do tend to agree that the primary motivation here was a rejection of Bush. Even Bush seems to acknowledge it, though his ego prevents him from going quite the whole way with it. The other factor would be the Obama buzz that motivated his constituents. The exit poll data shows a small (~2% of the electorate) across-the-board shift in leanings from the republican to the democratic candidate combined with a demographic shift that favored Obama (ie, better voter turnout due to the excitement factor). This supports both.

Now what does this tell us about Obama and the current position of the US? Obama won by 53-46% in popular and 68-32% in electoral votes. The press calls it an "electoral vote landslide", though that judgement covers about a third of the presidential elections we've had, and this would be the closest "landslide" in about the last 100 years (I'm not going to calculate it further back than that). No doubt, with the economy where it is today, Obama is likely to have an easy time in the next election, but this is hardly a resounding victory for Democrats or Democratic ideals. I think that given the circumstances, it shows the US is still a center-right country. The democrats put up a candidate who they considered a superstar (and they certainly gave him the $ and turnout support of one) and the best possible economic and global political situation for an election and were able to garner only a small majority of the votes.
 
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  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Yes, "landslide" becomes a matter of definition. However, a two to one margin is impressive, and there are two landslides that are referred to here. One was the Presidential electoral map, and the other was the head count in Congress.

I recently heard one Republican [I think a Congressman] state that the Republican party is now irrelevant.

Did Obama's color, name, and unusual history, become irrelevant? In the end, did Obama gain more through black voters than he lost with whites, due to his color? Most estimates put racial bias against Obama at around 5 or 6%, but I don't know if exit polls are available to check this number. Also, historically, blacks overwhelmingly support the Democrats, but what was the rate of participation? Did we see significant numbers beyond those seen in previous years, for black voters? And if so, where did it matter?
 
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  • #8
D H
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To answer your question, Ivan: from [PLAIN]http://projectvote.org/fileadmin/ProjectVote/Blog_docs/Demographics_of_Voters_in_the_2008_Election.pdf[/URL], [Broken]
In this memorandum, we assess demographic shifts that took place in the 2008 general election compared to the 2004 general election. While analysis to date has largely commented on the relatively unremarkable increase in the overall number of votes cast, the data presented below suggest that the voting population on Election Day was significantly different—if not significantly larger—than in the last presidential election.

While it should be noted that the data available at this point, so soon after the election, allow for only a preliminary assessment, we find that votes cast by Americans of color in 2008 increased by 21 percent from 2004, based on a review of exit polling and preliminary administrative data. Votes cast by Americans ages 18-29 increased by 9 percent. Votes cast by whites in 2008 declined slightly compared to 2004.

Overall, the available data indicate that the composition of the 2008 voting population was markedly different from 2004, even though the overall numbers of voters who cast ballots did not increase significantly.​
 
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  • #9
BobG
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This one goes one step further to include exit polling on how latinos voted in 2008: http://ndnblog.org/node/3209 [Broken]

Obama is one candidate. How his race affected 2008 isn't a long term story.

Tom Tancredo riling up Republicans on anti-immigration does have long term consequences. Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Florida flipped from Red to Blue mainly because of the Hispanic vote. McCain held his own home state of Arizona, but you can chalk that up as a loss for Republicans in 2012, as well. Texas won't be a solid red state in the future, either.

By time this economic crisis ends, Democrats might not be so popular with unions either, which might give a chance for Republicans in the Rust Belt. The bad news is that, even if that happens, they're trading a growing part of the country for a dying part of the country.

There's a real possibility that the Republican Party will become the Bible Belt party without some serious evaluations of their priorities.
 
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  • #10
russ_watters
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Did Obama's color, name, and unusual history, become irrelevant? In the end, did Obama gain more through black voters than he lost with whites, due to his color? Most estimates put racial bias against Obama at around 5 or 6%, but I don't know if exit polls are available to check this number. Also, historically, blacks overwhelmingly support the Democrats, but what was the rate of participation? Did we see significant numbers beyond those seen in previous years, for black voters? And if so, where did it matter?
Could you cite a source for the racial bias? I can't see how it would be possible to separate out a loss in the net gain he got. Pre-election stories discussing the Bradley effect talked almost as much about the possibility of a reverse Bradley effect. The final Gallup poll was Obama 53%, McCain 42%, among likely voters and the actual was 53%-46%. Late undecideds voted for McCain, but I don't know how it can be justified that that 4% he picked up was all about (or even partly about) racism.

In any case, the exit polls answer the other questions: Obama had more whites vote for him than Bush did, so there is no (net) loss there. Blacks vote heavily democratic and votor turnout was not up more than other factors. Obama gained more white and latino votes (over Kerry) than he did black votes.

[edit: data below]
 
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  • #11
russ_watters
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Vote by race:

2008
White (74%): 55% McCain, 43% Obama
Black (13%): 95% Obama, 4% McCain
Latino (9%): 67% Obama, 31% McCain

2004
White (77%): 58% Bush, 41% Kerry
Black (11%): 88% Kerry, 11% Bush
Latino (8%): 53% Kerry, 44% Bush

2000
White (81%): 54% Bush, 42% Gore
Black (10%): 90% Gore, 9% Bush
Latino (7%): 62% Gore, 35% Bush

Going back one more: http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/elections/natl.exit.poll/index1.html
1996:
White (83%): 43% Clinton, 46% Dole
Black (10%): 84% Clinton, 12% Dole
Latino (5%): 72% Clinton, 21% Dole
(Note: these are tougher to interpret because of the strong 3rd party candidate, Perot. Perot probably took more votes from Dole than Clinton, though.)

This data does show a steady general trend of an increasing percentage of blacks in the electorate. And Obama was certainly helped by the 95% of the black vote he got, but the extra 2% of white voters he got (vs Kerry) and extra 14% of Latino voters he got each represents more total votes than the extra 7% of black voters he got.

FYI, the US is 80% white, 13% black, 14% latino.
 
  • #12
russ_watters
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There's a real possibility that the Republican Party will become the Bible Belt party without some serious evaluations of their priorities.
The party elite may be losing sight of the standard Republican priorities, but a typical Republican (closer to the center) still isn't going to vote for a Democrat who'se priorities are diametrically opposed. The problem is that while Obama was energizing Democrats to turn out in bigger numbers (than in 2004), McCain did not succeed in getting Republicans to turn out evan as much as in 2004.
 
  • #13
lisab
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For me it was both, Bush, and the Republicans because they supported him. At this point I might vote for Donald Duck before I would support another Republican adminstration. If a Republican had emerged as a maverick, that might have been different, but when I see a candidate who calls Nixon's two-bit thug, G Gordon Liddy, a "great American"... The Palin appointment was the nail in the coffin.

That said, I think Obama would stand out in any election. But at the same time, I think things had to get this bad before someone like Obama was possible. And were he just another ordinary candidate who happened to be black, then he would have had no chance at all.
Yes, the stars were aligned just right...and it's about freakin' time. Damn stars!!! Where've you been?

I just want to feel proud again. It's been so, so long....
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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Yes, the stars were aligned just right...and it's about freakin' time. Damn stars!!! Where've you been?
I meant that the state of desperation would allow for his message of change, and his natural talents, to supercede his inbuilt negatives - inexperienced, radical, black, Christian-Muslim terrorist, socialist, Marxist, Communist, and Chicago thug foreigner.

I just want to feel proud again. It's been so, so long....
I do now. Don't you? For the first time since 2004, I'm glad that we couldn't leave. I didn't think this kind of turn around was possible.
 
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  • #15
lisab
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I do now. Don't you? For the first time since 2004, I'm glad that we couldn't leave. I didn't think this kind of turn around was possible.
Yes. Yes, we're on the right path. I feel like we're waking after having a bad fever, still bleary-eyed but finally thinking clearly...but finding we have to run a marathon before we can have a drink of water. Time to bear down, folks.
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking
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Could you cite a source for the racial bias? I can't see how it would be possible to separate out a loss in the net gain he got. Pre-election stories discussing the Bradley effect talked almost as much about the possibility of a reverse Bradley effect.
The Bradley Effect is another issue altogether. Polls were taken in which people admitted to racial bias. The Bradley Effect refers to people that are racially biased, but who lie about it when polled.

According to CNN's latest poll of polls, Obama is leading McCain by 8 percentage points, 50 to 42.

Some analysts say the race could be much closer or even tied if the Bradley effect is factored in. iReport.com: iReporter pleads with voters to 'stop the racism'
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/13/obama.bradley.effect/

We also had a number of discussions about this here.
 
  • #17
Ivan Seeking
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  • #18
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  • #19
Gokul43201
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Going back one more: http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/elections/natl.exit.poll/index1.html
1996:
White (83%): 43% Clinton, 46% Dole
Black (10%): 84% Clinton, 12% Dole
Latino (5%): 72% Clinton, 21% Dole
(Note: these are tougher to interpret because of the strong 3rd party candidate, Perot. Perot probably took more votes from Dole than Clinton, though.)
Perot wasn't even on the ballots in 1996. There was no 3rd party candidate in 96. Perot was in 92; he took votes away from Bush.

The party elite may be losing sight of the standard Republican priorities, but a typical Republican (closer to the center) still isn't going to vote for a Democrat who'se priorities are diametrically opposed. The problem is that while Obama was energizing Democrats to turn out in bigger numbers (than in 2004), McCain did not succeed in getting Republicans to turn out evan as much as in 2004.
In 2004, Bush and Kerry were essentially tied for the Independent vote, but Obama beat McCain by 8% among Independents. That suggests that either McCain is farther to the right than Bush or ... (since we know that's nonsense) ... Obama appealed more to moderates despite McCain having a long centrist history. And one reason that was possible was that while Obama was becoming more and more centrist over the last couple years, McCain was heading farther and farther to the right to appeal to the Conservative base. What's worse, he (McCain) didn't stop when the Primaries ended. Note, also, that Obama won more of the Republican vote than Kerry did.

And if you prefer to look at ideology, Obama doubled Kerry's lead among "moderates" and did 30% better among "conservatives".

Source: CNN exit polls - scroll down to "Vote by Party ID" & "Vote by ideology"
http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#USP00p1
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html
 
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  • #21
BobG
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The party elite may be losing sight of the standard Republican priorities, but a typical Republican (closer to the center) still isn't going to vote for a Democrat who'se priorities are diametrically opposed. The problem is that while Obama was energizing Democrats to turn out in bigger numbers (than in 2004), McCain did not succeed in getting Republicans to turn out evan as much as in 2004.
Perot wasn't even on the ballots in 1996. There was no 3rd party candidate in 96. Perot was in 92; he took votes away from Bush.

In 2004, Bush and Kerry were essentially tied for the Independent vote, but Obama beat McCain by 8% among Independents. That suggests that either McCain is farther to the right than Bush or ... (since we know that's nonsense) ... Obama appealed more to moderates despite McCain having a long centrist history. And one reason that was possible was that while Obama was becoming more and more centrist over the last couple years, McCain was heading farther and farther to the right to appeal to the Conservative base. What's worse, he (McCain) didn't stop when the Primaries ended. Note, also, that Obama won more of the Republican vote than Kerry did.

And if you prefer to look at ideology, Obama doubled Kerry's lead among "moderates" and did 30% better among "conservatives".

Source: CNN exit polls - scroll down to "Vote by Party ID" & "Vote by ideology"
http://edition.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#USP00p1
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html
Just to add to that, the polls Gokul linked to also show the percentage of voters that belonged to each party and the percentage by ideology. There was no significant change in the percentage of people who identified themselves as liberal, moderate, or conservative. Yet, the percentages of Democrats-Republicans went from 37-37 to 39-32 with the number of independents increasing.

The percentage swing from Rep to Dem was fairly constant across the ideological spectrum. I think that swing is due in large part to the economy going South. The party in control always gets blamed for a bad economy. The change in party affiliation is a longer term problem.

I have a problem with people who decide to register as independents. That might make sense in some states that have open primaries, but, in most states, it's deciding to have no say in either party.

If moderate Republicans leave the party, the Republican Party moves further to the right and nominate right-wing candidates. Given that choice, a (former) moderate Republican will accept a more liberal Democratic candidate. The two choices just keep becoming more extreme.

Seriously, being an independent is a losing proposition. A voter has to pick one or the other and hope they have some influence in tilting their party's choices towards their own.

In fact, large primary turnouts were one of the positives of this campaign. Unfortunately, that kind of turnout never occurs in off year elections. If you live in an area dominated by a single party, you can have a candidate essentially guarantee an election victory with as little as 5% of all registered voters picking him (we had 6 candidates in the Republican primary that year).
 
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  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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I have a problem with people who decide to register as independents. That might make sense in some states that have open primaries, but, in most states, it's deciding to have no say in either party.
I have a problem with BOTH parties - it is a matter of political honesty [or sincerity, if you wish]. I think Obama is great, but I can think of no better way to jolt both parties, or kill them if need be, than for them to lose their registered base. Aside from the vote, and giving money, it is about the only lever left.
 
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