Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not Entirely Unexpected

The election's finally over, and Obama won by a respectable-enough lead that nobody but the conspiracy buffs are claiming it wasn't a valid win.  The GOP also took serious hits in the legislature and the local races, and a lot of them are stumbling around wondering what went wrong -- after all, they did outspend the competition, by a huge margin, on advertising.

Looking back, it's obvious by 20-20 hindsight that the Republicans' contempt for the intelligence of the average American voter did them in, but -- yes -- it was questionable for awhile.  None of the political pundits seemed to have any reliable data on the real attitude of the public, as viz. those numerous conflicting polls. This is remarkable given all the information available these days;  one can only assume that the "experts" didn't know where to look, or how to evaluate the data.

At least the reporters did their duty and announced all over the media every hypocrisy, every contradiction, every stupidity, every bigotry that the candidates displayed -- and the GOP's share of them outweighed the Dems', beyond denial or doubt.  There's never been a better example of the need for free and uncensored media.  The interesting part is that the viewers were quite able to absorb the broadcast facts while ignoring the surrounding flood of political ads.  Maybe decades of watching TV shows interrupted by commercial ads has immunized us against even the cleverest of propaganda.

Another interesting item -- overlooked unless you know what to look for -- was the increased percentage of independent, Libertarian and even Green party votes apparent in the federal votes: anything from 1% to 12%.  I'm currently trying to find the percentage in state and local votes, but the media are being a bit coy about that.  Hmmmm...   More later.

--Leslie <;)))>< Fish   


Aya Katz said...

I think the media are not exactly open and unbiased. They gave the electorate all the very valid reasons why not to vote for the Republicans, while hiding the fact that this did not necessarily imply that the only choice was to vote for the Democrats.

Gary Johnson got 1% of the vote. What percentage of the vote could he have gotten if the media had given him the same coverage as the other candidates?

Elder Dragon said...

I was watching on 8 news outlets as once. Fox news was the funniest when their guys called the election for the democrats. It didn't go down to good. Fear won the elections and alot of the voters said as much. Even I was afraid of what Romney was gonna do.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Aya. No, no one single media outlet is open and unbiased -- which is why it's important to keep switching channels. It's really fun to compare MSNBC and Fox, for instance. In fact, MSNBC actually did give some airtime to the Libertarians, and even covered the third-party debates. As the one Flatlander said to the other, "Di mension of us is beginning to get 'round."

Hi, Dragon. Oh yeah, the Republicans presented themselves as a gang of incredibly bigoted reactionaries (Bachmann, Akins, Mourdock) under a thin hypocritical surface of "moderation", and all the voters could see it. It's amazing that the Repubs. themselves couldn't.

Antongarou said...

I think that Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight did a pretty good job of predicting the races he tried to predict(he called exactly which states would fall into the D and R columns, for example). As he said, polls are, individually, noisy and prone to error, but when you aggregate them you can get a lot of meaningful information.My impression is that the Republicans just stuck their fingers in their ears and went "la-la-la"so as not to hear anything they didn't want to hear

Mark Horning said...

The big takaway is that Republicans have to give the people someone to vote FOR, not simply against. Republicans did a great job of registering Republicans, this is actually the first election in 40 years where the R's outnumbered the D's in registrations. The thing is, they didn't show up to vote. Turnout among R's was only 1% higher than in 2008.

As for the L's. Powell Gammell (district 9) got 8 times the vote difference between Sinema and Parker. ;-)