The "Equal Polarization" Myth
The notion that both parties are to blame for the existing polarizing in America is nonsense. The first, and perhaps most obvious, reason that Democrats and Republicans are not engaging in an equal amount of polarization comes from the fact that polarization and base turnout was the main strategy in the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign
, while it most certainly was not the strategy for Democrats in 2004. From Mathew Dowd, Chief strategist of the campaign:One of the first things I looked at after 2000 was what was the real Republican vote and what was the real Democratic vote, not just who said they were Republicans and Democrats, but independents, how they really voted, whether or not they voted straight ticket or not. And I took a look at that in 2000, and then I took a look at what it was over the last five elections or six elections.
And what came from that analysis was a graph which showed that independents or persuadable voters in the last 20 years had gone from 22 percent of the electorate to 7 percent of the electorate in 2000. And so 93 percent of the electorate in 2000, and what we anticipated --93 or 94 percent in 2004, just looking forward and forecasting --was going to be already decided either for us or against us. You obviously had to do fairly well among the 6 or 7 [percent], but you could lose the 6 or 7 percent and win the election, which was fairly revolutionary, because everybody up until that time had said, "Swing voters, swing voters, swing voters, swing voters, swing voters."
If you are an "election wonk" read the whole MyDD post.
If you are one of my critics who think I should be more wishy-washy and less partisan; print this post out, put it in your pipe, and smoke it.