Friday, November 09, 2012

Exiting Gloatfest 2012

Inevitably, after one party wins the presidential election, the firebrands of that party spout off about all the reasons why they won and how the country is shifting.  Whether or not all of the gloating this time around is bullshit remains to be seen, but I'd like to address one part of the post-election coverage I hate and that's use of the word "landslide".

Obama's reelection is being called a landslide because of his 332 electoral college votes.  But 87 of these EV votes are from the swing states -- CO, FL, IA, NV, NH, OH, VA, and IA -- which Obama won.

Interesting fact that isn't mentioned: If you add together the difference between Obama and Romney's popular votes in those swings, it equals 794,134.  So the 87 electoral college votes from swing states that Obama won hinged upon the whims of less than a million voters.  In a country with a population of over 300 million, the population of a medium sized city essentially just decided our presidential election.

Couple this with two other facts: 6.5 million less people voted in 2012 than they did in 2008, and the troubles of Romney's running a weak campaign were compounded when he completely bungled their own GOTV effort.

So, instead of a "landslide" and a popular mandate based on shifts in the percentage of whites and minorities voting, one could also say that the Republicans ran a weak candidate who didn't connect with the people in an election that many Americans were disinterested in, and this candidate shot himself in the foot on election day.  Obama's administration and candidacy also must be taken to task for the electorate's lack of interest in the 2012 race.

This isn't a landslide, ground swell, population shift, or whatever else the gloaters among us may think it is -- this is people staying home and being more interested in watching Honey Boo Boo because both parties aren't offereing shit to help us anymore.

Just saying. 

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