News from the Votemaster
Joel Benenson, the pollster for the Obama campaign, took a swipe at the Gallup Poll for assuming an electorate that was much older, whiter, and less educated than what the exit polls showed. Gallup shot back that you shouldn't put all that much faith in the exit polls and Gallup stands by its model. However, Gallup's predictions jumped around wildly throughout the Fall, which Benenson said is absurd. In the exit polls, 70% of the voters said they had made their minds up by the end of August. The bottom line is that even if the voters did change their minds constantly, in the end, Gallup was way off. The once-famous brand is no longer the gold standard and refuses to admit it.
Older, male, white voters are having a lot of trouble understanding the election results. They and everyone they knew just assumed that the country would never re-elect a tax-and-spend liberal. Fox News told them this was impossible. Now reality is beginning to kick in--things have changed and are not likely to go back to the way they used to be. They are also flummoxed by the voters accepting same-sex marriage and legalization of marijuana in some states. Many of them see the country as Mitt Romney does, with makers and takers and the takers are taking over.
This is a fundamentally different situation than in the past. Then, a loss was just a loss--maybe the other side had a better candidate or ran a better campaign. Even after George McGovern and Michael Dukakis' massive defeats, Democrats didn't think this was the end of the America that they had always known. It was simply a lost election and they could try again in 4 years. The difference now is probably that way back then, everyone watched one of the three television networks and read the same newspapers. Now it is possible to live entirely in a bubble of your own choosing and simply have no idea of what is really going on in the country. Someone who watches only Fox News and listens to talk radio and reads redstate.com on the Internet is going to be completely detached from reality, so an election result like this comes completely out of the blue for them. For Democrats, this is not true. Someone who watches only MSNBC, reads the New York Times and follows Websites like Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and Daily Kos, knew that it would be a fairly close election but that Obama and the Democrats had a small, but consistent, lead. The electoral vote predictors at all those places as well as here were pretty close to the final result. The new reality is that when you hide in a virtual cave of your own making, emerging out into the sunshine can be frightening.
Republicans are clearly saying they must avoid more bitter primaries in 2014, but the way they are going about it is almost certain to guarantee them. The chairman of the NRSC is Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), an inexperienced tea party candidate who defeated the establishment choice in a primary. Now he has chosen his vice chairman: Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (R-TX), an even more extreme tea party candidate who also defeated the establishment choice in a bitter primary. It is not at all clear how this new duo will operate. One possibility is that they will back tea party candidates strongly in the primaries, hoping to avoid the kind of fratricide that has been so common up until now.
This may or may not work. It depends on why people like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, and Ken Buck were defeated in the general election. If the problem was being bloodied in a bitter primary, then having the NRSC support tea party candidates in primaries in order to chase away establishment candidates, might work. But if the real problem was the candidates were too extreme for the voters, then a strategy of killing off establishment candidates early on to let tea party candidates cruise to easy nominations, will be suicide. So everything depends on one's interpretation of why these candidates lost. With Moran and Cruz running the show in 2014, we may find out.
Every time former Florida governor Charlie Crist says something, the Florida Republican party attacks him on it. This is a strong sign that they expect him to run for governor in 2014 against Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), one of the country's least popular governors. Crist used to be a Republican, then became an independent. Most observers assume that he will soon become a Democrat and run for office as such.
Republican firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is still trailing Democrat Patrick Murphy after a partial recount in St. Lucie County, FL. Murphy's lead is now over 2,000 votes, 242 votes more than it was before the recount. West insists that he won and refuses to concede. Unfortunately for him, the deadline for certifying the votes is now at hand. West has threatened to go to court.
As the 2012 election cycle winds down, postings will become sparser and shorter. There are a few loose ends to tie up, then we'll probably go silent for a while.Email a link to a friend or share:
Nov18 Republicans Are Warming to Immigration Reform
Nov17 Republican Attacks on Romney Continue Unabated
Nov17 Obama Campaign Was Data Driven
Nov17 Final House Results Are Coming In
Nov17 Congressional Gender Gap Grows
Nov16 Republicans Condemn Romney's Remarks about Gifts
Nov16 What Kind of Candidates Will Jerry Moran Recruit in 2014?
Nov16 Bennet May Take Over DSCC Chairmanship from Patty Murray
Nov16 How Did the Democrats Make Gains in the Senate?
Nov16 Five House Races Still Undecided
Nov15 Senate Republicans: Candidates Matter
Nov15 House Republicans Elect a Woman to Leadership Position
Nov15 Polling Cell phones Is Increasingly a Problem
Nov15 Results of the Poll Taken Here on Nov. 5
Nov15 Gerrymandering for Beginners
Nov15 Immigration Reform Could Help the Democrats in 2014 and 2016
Nov14 Exit Polls Showed Expected Results
Nov14 How Can the Republicans Win Elections Again?
Nov14 Republicans Openly Lobbying for Kerry as Secretary of State
Nov14 Michael Bloomberg To Become a Political Force
Nov14 Jerry Moran Expected to Lead NRSC
Nov14 Final Senate Results
Nov13 Polling for 2014 Gubernatorial Races Has Started
Nov13 Polling for 2016 Democratic Caucuses Has Started
Nov13 Polling for the Iowa Republican Caucuses Has Also Started
Nov13 Goode Didn't Swing Virginia
Nov13 Final Election Results
Nov12 Fight Breaking Out Between Conservative Pundits and Republican Politicians
Nov12 Congress Now Turns Its Attention to the Fiscal Hillock
Nov12 Congress Begins to Address the Voting Process
Nov12 What Happens to Losing Presidential Candidates?
Nov11 Democrats Fear Losing a Senate Seat
Nov11 Conservative Columnist Speaks the Truth about the Election
Nov11 Rundown of Congressional Races by Region
Nov10 Gender Gap Was the Largest Ever Measured
Nov10 Conservatives Try To Invent Reasons Why Romney Lost
Nov10 Election Results by County
Nov10 Supreme Court to Hear Case on the 1965 Voting Rights Act
Nov10 David Petraeus Will Not Run for President in 2016
Nov09 Romney Concedes Florida
Nov09 How Did Each Pollster Do?
Nov09 Long Lines Mar the Voting Process
Nov09 What Can the Republicans Do To Recover?
Nov09 Welcome to the 2016 Campaign
Nov09 Gerrymandering Gives Republicans the Edge in the House
Nov08 Heidi Heitkamp Wins North Dakota Senate Seat
Nov08 Florida Hasn't Been Called Yet
Nov08 Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy Has Hit a Demographic Wall
Nov08 Liberals Did Well on Tuesday