Tag Archives: Republicans

I Told You So

By Stephen Noriega

I posted the blog on September 15th, 2008. It was right after the GOP convention, when everyone loved her. I said this was the worst pick for the John McCain campaign. Now I get to say, “I told you so” with pride, annoying volume and belligerent indignation.

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Photo by The National Inquirer, distributed 2008

It came to pass quickly, Senator McCain, that your only path to winning an election was doing things that may damage you further than this campaign. Governor Palin took John McCain places that he will regret. In the heat of this contest, with veneers of anger shrouding the obvious, McCain fell into the Palin trap of off-message rants and poisonous speeches designed to illicit fear and xenophobia, not optimism or hope©.

Governor Palin made it quite clear that she wished to be an active, policy-making Vice President. This is simply a continuation of a modern trend. Starting with Richard Nixon and his ambassadorial skills, the Vice President has slowly become more important. Al Gore was often criticized for taking an excessive role in helping Clinton with policy issues. Dick Cheney took the office to a whole new level, holding secret meetings, being in charge of entire policy realms and showing a true disdain for Congress and even the voters.

Did McCain really want a powerful vice president with whom he could barely get along? Sarah Palin did not answer the third grader’s question incorrectly. She meant that she wanted to have power and influence over the Senate. Perhaps Sarah Palin is not ignorant about constitutional issues, at least compared to most other people. Sarah Palin has been an executive of larger and larger offices and she saw this as a path to even more political clout. She will certainly not be another Thomas R. Marshall (considered the laziest Vice President under Woodrow Wilson). She wanted to be another Dick Cheney. Perhaps she knows painfully little about the Constitution. This is even more frightening than a politician’s ambition. With the clothing scandal, she may end up being another Spiro Agnew, constantly messing with McCain’s authority like Agnew did with Nixon until being pulled asunder by a petty transgression. (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-edwards-lichtman5-2008sep05,0,5935217.story)

It is not just Palin’s eye on power that had McCain in a bad way because of her. Palin is a politician, and politicians seek power. That is what they do. But Palin couldn’t even follow the talking points of the campaign. McCain must have developed serious reservations about how she will follow policy talking points once comfortably in Washington, D.C. When the issue of Palin’s clothes emerged as a thorn in the campaign, everyone tried to stifle the nano-scandal and move on. Not Governor Palin. She continued to defend the $150,000.00+ makeover.

Even people in the McCain campaign revolted. Anonymous rats, stinging with bitterness of being in the wrong campaign, started to take shots at the candidate with the anxious ears of the press wide open.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone… She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.” (CNN – 10/2008)

Palin has shown sides of this in the media view. Instead acting humble, especially after some disastrous interviews with infamous soft-ball-throwers like Katie Couric, Palin went on the offense. She spewed venom at rallies that incited the lunatic fringe of her party with never a speck of clarification or apology. When McCain saw the potential destructive nature of this, he voiced his disapproval of the personal hatred campaign, something an honorable person does. Palin apparently never got the memo.

With each bumble, misunderstanding of history, petty scandal and word of aggression, Governor Sarah Palin demonstrated how she was the worst pick the McCain campaign could have made. This is not about gender. This is not about politics or political agendas. This is about a person who did not deserve, because of a lack of competence, any consideration of such an importance office.

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Filed under American Electorate, McCain, Palin, Republican, Vice-President

Early Voting Going Nationwide?

By Matt Knipple

            I decided to concentrate my most recent blog on voting, in particular early voting.  After going out and performing exit polls on the many people that showed up it got me thinking about the rest of the states and how popular or unpopular early voting is.  To my surprise, as pointed out by this CNN article, early voting isn’t even in every state and in some states that it does occur in, you must have a valid reason to not show up to the polls and may have to get signatures from notaries and so on to prove you cannot make the election date to vote.  Here is a video showing people lining up to register and cast an absentee ballot in Ohio.  It was contested by Republicans saying that people may be performing voter fraud:

            In my opinion early voting should be mandated in all the states in America.  I feel as if people were able to cast mail-in ballots and go to the polls throughout the week prior to actual election day, there would be a much higher turnout at the polls and more people would be encouraged to vote. 

            If you click on this link, it takes you to an interactive map of all the states that have early polls and all that do not.  To my surprise, only 25 states have early polling with data available, six states have early polling with no data available, and the rest of the states do not have early polling.  In Colorado, early voting data shows, as of October 31, that 365,054 in-person ballots have been cast and 1,112,782 mail-in ballots have been cast.  That means a total of 1,477,836 have voted so far, which is roughly 30% of Colorado’s entire population, which also means an even higher percentage of actual voters have turned out since the entire population of Colorado will not and cannot vote. 

            Here is another video talking about the early voting going on in Ohio (you may have to watch a commercial at the beginning that sponsor’s the video, sorry).

            After watching these videos and reading the article, it amazes me why some states do not have early voting.  It seems like it would benefit all of the states and the United States as a whole, to have early voting to get more people out.  In states like New York, it would really benefit them as they have a huge, dense population that it seems pretty unrealistic to get all of those people out to vote on one day.  It would be much more efficient to have early voting and it would give America a clearer answer as to who people wanted as a President because more people, in my opinion, would be inclined to vote.

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Filed under Colorado, Democratic Party, McCain, Obama, Republican, Swing States, Voter Demographics, Women Voters, youth vote

Opposition research

In a continuation of my previous blog entree, I think both McCain and Obama campaigns need to invest more resources on conducting opposition research. With that said, perhaps Obama team should hire the whole crew of the Daily Show for that kind of assignment as it seems like they are doing an excellent job of finding numerous gaffes and hypocritical statements made by the Republicans. The following video underscores the laughable level of inconsistency that the GOP presents in many of their talking points.

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Filed under McCain, Media, Obama, Republican, Vice-President

Should Obama Start Going Negative?

You’ve seen the campaign ads on television starting to come out where the Presidential candidates (John McCain and Barack Obama) give their stances on issues that are important in America today.  The campaign ads have not been all about the issues, though, and have began to turn into a smear campaign, almost exclusively from John McCain’s end. 

 

Here is the famous Paris Hilton/Britney Spears negative campaign ad against Barack Obama:

 

 

With the polls tightening (click on the link and the poll is about halfway down the page)  to a one point lead for Obama, people are starting to believe that Barack should try to start running negative ads attacking McCain in order to get his slightly larger lead back (the same CNN poll ran a day earlier had Obama with a 3 point lead and a 6 point lead six days prior).

 

It seems as if Barack Obama may be turning away from the positive campaign he pledged to run and is now taking his shot at running some negative campaign ads (though they are a lot tamer than McCain’s video I embedded above).  Here is the most “negative” campaign ad I have seen from Obama’s end:

 

 

My take on this is that if the negative ads posed by McCain’s team are helping him get the polls closer, then Barack Obama has nothing left to do but start his own smear campaign.  People have said this is exactly what McCain needs to do to have a shot at winning this election and it seems as if it may be working.  Barack is going to have to start getting nasty in this campaign for him to keep his lead even if that means he goes against his previous words saying he would run a positive campaign.

 

Also here is a video of Obama pledging to run a positive campaign:

 

If he wants to keep a positive campaign going there is one way he can keep his lead from shrinking.  He needs to take all these negative campaign ads that John McCain’s camp keeps running and turn them in his favor.  In other words, keep reiterating to the people so they know he is the candidate for change and is not going to join in on all of the smear campaign tactics and show the people that this is a candidate trying to use desperate measures in order to keep his party alive. 

 

He is trying to be new and fresh by running this positive campaign and needs to show the people of America that McCain is doing the status-quo politician smear campaign and prove to the people that these things are not true.  He needs to be himself and just rise above what McCain is doing.

 

In short, Barack Obama should get angry over all the things being said about him in McCain’s ads and start his own little smear campaign in order to make his lead in the polls grow larger again.  After all it would not be that difficult, all he would have to do is show an image of McCain hugging the current president and that in and of itself would make his lead in the polls increase by a few points.  He could keep his positive campaign running, as I said, and still win but, I feel this is a more efficient way of going at it.  Making McCain look bad and showing the Republicans as bad people will make Barack’s run for the presidency as easy as it could get (all of this is coming from a Republican planning on voting for McCain).

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Filed under Campaign Ads, Democratic Party, McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Republican

Demographic Disaster for the GOP

The Disappearing Republican Voter

Ronald Reagan dreamed of turning the GOP into America’s permanent majority—but his dreams were designed for a different time, a different people.

Republican voters are disappearing. The Republican Party built its power on the white vote, the church-going vote, and the male vote. But each of these groups are shrinking as a share of the electorate, while groups with little taste for the GOP are exploding. Consider the chart below: voter groups colored red tend to vote Republican for president, while blue colored voting groups are Democratic—sometimes by immense margins (for complete 2004 data, see CNN exit poll archives).

Which of these sets of voting blocs are shrinking and which are growing? It’s quite basic—whites, men, and weekly church goers are all shrinking as a share of the electorate every year. White, weekly church going men are shrinking fastest of all. And there’s the heart of the problem for the GOP

A demographic disaster awaits the Republican party. Barack Obama represents a fundamental transformation in the American electorate. The GOP majority built on white, church-going men is collapsing as new voters reduce the Republican party to the status of bewildered minority.

GOP Struggles with Southern Strategy Legacy

It was back in the 1960s that the tectonic plates of today’s electoral landscape were forged when the two parties took their stands on the politics of the day. The Democratic party stood with the civil rights movements, with the rising force of feminism, and with a “counter-cultural” vision of a non-religious state.

On the other hand, The Republican Party followed what Nixon called a “southern strategy.” Republican strategists measured the demographics and concluded that they could stand with the white south against civil rights, with patriarchs denouncing feminism and with evangelicals defending the role of Christianity in schools and in public life—GOP leaders concluded back then that such a strategy would win elections.

One of the architects of the southern strategy, key Nixon advisor Kevin Phillips, described the GOP’s strategic choice to repudiate black voters and welcome southern whites back in a 1970 New York Times interview (James Boyd, May 17, 1970, “Nixon’s Southern strategy: ‘It’s All in the Charts,'” The New York Times).

“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

Following a 1981 interview with Lee Atwater (another key Republican advisor, and Bush the First’s campaign manager), New York Times reporter Bob Herbert summarized the heart of the GOP’s continued reliance on the “Southern Strategy.”

“The truth is that there was very little that was subconscious about the G.O.P.’s relentless appeal to racist whites. Tired of losing elections, it saw an opportunity to renew itself by opening its arms wide to white voters who could never forgive the Democratic Party for its support of civil rights and voting rights for blacks.”

Today’s Diverse Electorate Going Democrat

The southern strategy might have worked back then, when whites were 90% of the electorate, and male and rural churchgoing voters outpaced their counterparts. But today, The “Southern strategy” electorate has become a minority, and the most rapidly growing groups are voting Democratic.

In the 2006 elections, 69% of Latinos, 57% of women, 90% of blacks, 60% of voters under 29 and 57% of independent voters voted Democratic.

Today, only 2% of all GOP voters are Latino. Only 1% of Republicans are Black. Barely 15% of GOP voters are under 35. The GOP is built on an aging, dying electoral coalition.

Chart Source: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118895742058917747.html?mod=blog

When Obama rolls into town, the largest demographic in American history will be people aged 18-29 (see previous posts on “Millennials Rising” and “The Obama Generation”)—and they will vote Democratic in record shattering numbers. The Latino vote will be the largest in American history—and it will be about 70% Democratic. Women and Black voters will be in Obama’s camp.

Newsweek’s Michael Barone and other observers have made the counter-argument that demographics are actually tilting in the Republican party’s direction, by pointing to the fact that red states that tend to lean Republican in their presidential votes are growing more rapidly than blue states, and that they will therefore receive more electoral college votes (and seats in the House of Representatives) following the next U.S Census.

Here’s the list of states that are predicted to gain and lose House seats and Electoral College votes following the 2010 Census.

But this kind of analysis misses the possibility that pro-Democratic demographic transformation that may be sweeping through these traditionally red and blue states, just as it is the rest of the country. Some red states like Utah and Texas are likely to remain reliably Republican. But “red” states like Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Arizona are brimming with new Latino voters, increasingly educated “creative class” voters, and other such demographic changes that point the states towards the Democrats—not the Republicans.

Facing demographic disaster in 2008, the Republican party may pursue new variations on the Southern strategy, trying to maximize the ever-shrinking conservative white vote. Expect familiar demonization of immigrants, tired broadsides against black welfare-queens, and continual Rush Limbaugh denunciations of femi-nazis and gays as destroying the American way of life.

In the short run, The GOP can count on the old Southern strategy to keep its grip on white, male, frequent churchgoers—but the problem for the GOP is that these same voter groups are losing their grip on America.

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Filed under Republican, Uncategorized, Voter Demographics