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Wednesday, July 12, 2006


MYDD's Current Public Opinion Myths

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.

Man, somebody ought to hire that guy.

Identifying the voters who support you, and then getting them to go to the polls and vote for you?

I think you missed the point intentionaly.
"Man, somebody ought to hire that guy.

Identifying the voters who support you, and then getting them to go to the polls and vote for you?"

No somebody ought to hire you. Your a genius.

The post says that BY 2000, the swing voters had gone from 22 percent to 7 percent. That says that the "partisanship" or taking sides had already taken place. So, what is now important is getting people to the polls who support you. The best way to do that is to stir their emotions. This is what the Republicans did, and it worked. The 'base strategy' was revolutionary in electoral politics.

If you read the whole Frontline piece, you will see that they did spend resources on the undecided 7% also.

Ken Mehlman: "...from a base perspective, conservatives increased their participation level as a proportion of the electorate. Republicans were for the first time ever equal to Democrats in their participation level of the electorate. At the same time, 44 percent of the Latino vote, the highest ever.

We improved our performance among people that live in big cities by 13 points, from 26 to 39 percent. African Americans go up, Jewish Americans go up, women go up. Across the political spectrum, we not only appealed to the red areas, making them redder, but we turned a lot of blue areas purple. ..."

Are we absolving the Democrats, just because they lost? John Kerry's off camera "crooks" speech? No responsibility at all?

I do think there are repercussions, long-term, of such a strategy, but I can't let you hang all of this on the GOP, just because they drove a lot of people to vote.
Great site loved it alot, will come back and visit again.
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