Currently viewing the tag: "2012 Election"

This is a pretty able explanation of the current state of affairs:

The apparent split between the national vote and the electoral college has some analysts, like Nate Silver, groping for an explanation, but the answer seems fairly obvious to me: Swing states have been soaked in political information for months, with round-the-clock advertising, campaigning, and local news coverage of candidate love-bombing. The non-swing majority of America hasn’t. New information from the debates is more likely to change your mind if you just tuned in to the Denver debate than if you had been hiding under your sofa while Obama and Romney pounded down your front door.

The one (possibly only) argument in favor of retaining the electoral college at this point is that it keeps the megabuck spending confined to a few states, some of which are pretty small (New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada, for example). In a popular vote system, it would be like that everywhere, which would mean a hell of a lot more corporate money in the system in order to blitz the L.A. suburbs and such. Republicans would advertise in California because getting 5% more of the vote here (a plausible goal, IMO) could swing the national election. This is, I think, the only real argument that the EC ought to stay, though I’m not sure I fully buy it.

This is a pretty able explanation of the current state of affairs:

The apparent split between the national vote and the electoral college has some analysts, like Nate Silver, groping for an explanation, but the answer seems fairly obvious to me: Swing states have been soaked in political information for months, with round-the-clock advertising, campaigning, and local news coverage of candidate love-bombing. The non-swing majority of America hasn’t. New information from the debates is more likely to change your mind if you just tuned in to the Denver debate than if you had been hiding under your sofa while Obama and Romney pounded down your front door.

The one (possibly only) argument in favor of retaining the electoral college at this point is that it keeps the megabuck spending confined to a few states, some of which are pretty small (New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada, for example). In a popular vote system, it would be like that everywhere, which would mean a hell of a lot more corporate money in the system in order to blitz the L.A. suburbs and such. Republicans would advertise in California because getting 5% more of the vote here (a plausible goal, IMO) could swing the national election. This is, I think, the only real argument that the EC ought to stay, though I’m not sure I fully buy it.

This is a pretty able explanation of the current state of affairs:

The apparent split between the national vote and the electoral college has some analysts, like Nate Silver, groping for an explanation, but the answer seems fairly obvious to me: Swing states have been soaked in political information for months, with round-the-clock advertising, campaigning, and local news coverage of candidate love-bombing. The non-swing majority of America hasn’t. New information from the debates is more likely to change your mind if you just tuned in to the Denver debate than if you had been hiding under your sofa while Obama and Romney pounded down your front door.

The one (possibly only) argument in favor of retaining the electoral college at this point is that it keeps the megabuck spending confined to a few states, some of which are pretty small (New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada, for example). In a popular vote system, it would be like that everywhere, which would mean a hell of a lot more corporate money in the system in order to blitz the L.A. suburbs and such. Republicans would advertise in California because getting 5% more of the vote here (a plausible goal, IMO) could swing the national election. This is, I think, the only real argument that the EC ought to stay, though I’m not sure I fully buy it.

This is a pretty able explanation of the current state of affairs:

The apparent split between the national vote and the electoral college has some analysts, like Nate Silver, groping for an explanation, but the answer seems fairly obvious to me: Swing states have been soaked in political information for months, with round-the-clock advertising, campaigning, and local news coverage of candidate love-bombing. The non-swing majority of America hasn’t. New information from the debates is more likely to change your mind if you just tuned in to the Denver debate than if you had been hiding under your sofa while Obama and Romney pounded down your front door.

The one (possibly only) argument in favor of retaining the electoral college at this point is that it keeps the megabuck spending confined to a few states, some of which are pretty small (New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada, for example). In a popular vote system, it would be like that everywhere, which would mean a hell of a lot more corporate money in the system in order to blitz the L.A. suburbs and such. Republicans would advertise in California because getting 5% more of the vote here (a plausible goal, IMO) could swing the national election. This is, I think, the only real argument that the EC ought to stay, though I’m not sure I fully buy it.

This is a pretty able explanation of the current state of affairs:
The apparent split between the national vote and the electoral college has some analysts, like Nate Silver, groping for an explanation, but the answer seems fairly obvious to me: Swing states have been soaked in political information for months, with round-the-clock advertising, campaigning, and local news coverage of candidate love-bombing. The non-swing majority of America hasn’t. New information from the debates is more likely to change your mind if you just tuned in to the Denver debate than if you had been hiding under your sofa while Obama and Romney pounded down your front door.
The one (possibly only) argument in favor of retaining the electoral college at this point is that it keeps the megabuck spending confined to a few states, some of which are pretty small (New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada, for example). In a popular vote system, it would be like that everywhere, which would mean a hell of a lot more corporate money in the system in order to blitz the L.A. suburbs and such. Republicans would advertise in California because getting 5% more of the vote here (a plausible goal, IMO) could swing the national election. This is, I think, the only real argument that the EC ought to stay, though I’m not sure I fully buy it.

Less likable Wallace Shawn has got some highly original thoughts to share on the debate. Here’s a tease, do stay with me if it makes you giggle:

Understanding why Mitt Romney so decisively won the first presidential debate is as important as the fact that he did. Why? Because once we know the reasons, almost everything about President Barack Obama and this election becomes clear.

First, Obama lost because he, like virtually the entire left, lives in a left-wing bubble.

Come come now, Dennis. You know what they say about people living in glass bubbles, right?

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Yeah, I know, I’ve been gone for quite a few days now. Too much going on IRL I suppose.

I didn’t want to write much about the debate because I felt it was hyper-analyzed as it was, far out of proportion to what it merited. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t an incredibly depressing sight to behold, though. I wasn’t surprised by the over-the-top reactions on both sides–after a month where nothing went right for Mitt Romney, Republicans needed some kind of release, any kind, really. And Democrats who had seen nothing go wrong for quite some time were shocked by this sudden stumble. It wasn’t disqualifying, but Obama’s performance was dangerously inadequate, trying to feel his way around every answer. It had the feel of trying too hard to please too many groups of people.

OTOH, I thought Romney’s performance wasn’t that great outside of the stylistic realm, and the hyperbolic coverage since then has had more to do with how bad Obama was. Romney didn’t really make much of a case for dumping Obama, though he put forward a better version of himself I suppose. I’m not sure it really matters if voters really see Mitt as a warm and cuddly moderate or a standard-issue conservative–as Jonathan Bernstein says, the out-party candidate doesn’t matter all that much. All the bipartisanship stuff seemed silly to me, as every poll in recent times has shown the public seeing Obama as plenty bipartisan, perhaps even excessively so.

Still, it’s hard to deny this is a momentum shift the wrong way, at the worst possible time. I have little doubt Romney will squander it–just wait until that famous Romney sense of humor kicks back in on the campaign trail!–but it’s been lousy for morale to have the president get walked on this way, and perhaps meaningful on its own, too. My feelings toward the current president are, as they have long been, complicated. I deeply respect the man for just being willing to absorb so much abuse, dehumanizing abuse, most of which he can’t do anything about, which he can’t respond to. There have been moments of steely resolve in there, as this guy recounts, and the problem isn’t “toughness” per se. But I find that I have increasingly less respect for the notion that politics is or should be completely civil, intellectual and high-minded, and Obama very much represents that model of politics to this day. It was an appealing model four years ago, but the limitations of it have become achingly clear, and Obama still hasn’t quite managed to figure out what to do when that model doesn’t work out. I don’t know if that’s what happened during the debate, but it’s possible. I get a very Gary Hart-ish vibe from him at times, someone who just doesn’t want to believe that politics are what they are.

In any event, when the dust settles, I suspect the following things will happen. Obama will win by about four points. Romney will have given the right an easy path to arguing the problem was that his failure was due to moving to the center, though that’s a deeply ironic argument. Ryan will have a much different kind of stench to evade when he runs for president in four years. Romney’s original instinct was undoubtedly correct–Obama will only lose if the public believes he is responsible for the economic collapse alone, and they don’t. His debate performance didn’t really make that more likely. It was tactically brilliant, but strategically suspect. After the dust settles, that’s what I expect to see.

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