Thoughts on Election 2012
November 19, 2012 Leave a comment
Breaking from my usual format, I’m going to treat this entry as more of a “grab bag” of thoughts upon which I’ve been ruminating for the past couple of weeks. This is largely because I have lots and lots of impressions and ideas and responses floating around in my head, none of which probably merit a full length exposition of the type that I am wont to give. Instead, I’ll explore using a more eclectic style of writing for this article. Don’t worry, I won’t make a regular habit out of it.
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Anywise, on to the election. Well, that was disappointing. Somewhat surprising, too, I must say. It would appear that my predictions for election night were quite a bit off. I know that at this point, I’m supposed to write out a big mea culpa for being off so badly, followed by a long, drawn-out investigation of where I went wrong and what I missed and what all factors I failed to take into account, and so forth.
But I’m not going to.
This is because I don’t think I was wrong. Instead, I think that the results from this election appear as they do because there was a massive, unprecedented amount of vote fraud that took place. Unfortunately, where Democrats are concerned, you tend to expect that a warping of the true results of an election will take place. Nevertheless, vote fraud is not something that can easily be accounted for in pre-election polling and prognostication. Make no mistake – this election was defrauded, and stolen, by the Democrats on a massive scale.
Either that, or math has stopped working.
After all, the data upon which I (and a lot of others) based my predictions appeared to be pretty solid. It was coming from the most generally recognized and professional polling houses (Gallup, Rasmussen, Mason Dixon, Susquehanna, etc.) and there were close to two dozen different types of data that were all converging on the same general conclusion of a close Romney victory on November 6. Everything was pointing in the same direction. The professional houses all had the swing states close, often Romney was slightly ahead in the week before the election. Romney was leading tremendously in the white vote, which provides a fairly stable predictor for how the Republican will do (despite the hullabaloo about the Latino vote – which I will address below – the fact remains that the white vote is still by far the dominant segment of the voting demographic in this country). Romney was leading by enough with this demographic so as to suggest he should have gotten around 51-52% of the popular vote. Romney had huge leads with independents (more on this demographic below, as well), which when plotted versus historical data suggested about the same type of victory.
Furthermore, in several swing states, Romney was running far ahead of where McCain did in 2008 with respect to early voting and request/return for absentee ballots, while Obama was falling way behind, both statewide and in Democrat-heavy counties. Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania (especially Pennsylvania), the Republicans were vastly outperforming where they had been in 2008, while Obama was underperforming. Every single last poll take over the last month – even left-tilted mainstream media polls – were showing double-digit enthusiasm gaps between Republicans and Democrats, meaning that Republicans were rearing to get out there and vote, while Democrats were sort of “meh” on the whole deal. Even on election day itself, data from various state boards of election were indicating that Republican participation was overperforming, while Democrats were slacking off.
Let’s take the case of Pennsylvania. EVERYBODY in the game thought Pennsylvania was in play. Susquehanna had the race a virtual tie just a few days before election day. Both campaigns were spending precious time and money in the state – something you don’t do the last week of the election if you’re just bluffing the other guy. Very evidently, both candidates thought the state was close. Yet, Obama won it by 5%, not much less than his margin of victory in 2008. The difference between this year and 2008 is that back then, the polling was showing what was going to happen, which is why the McCain campaign (to the extent it could be called such) didn’t waste its time in the state. McCain was too busy trying to simply hold the line in places like North Carolina and Florida. This year, the polling didn’t show that happening – but it should have, if Obama really had that large of a lead. That would have shown up in the professional polling data. Obama may have won the state, but it should have only been by a point or two – not five.
So like I said, every piece of data, coming at it from all different angles, was showing the same thing – a close Romney win, likely by two or three percent in the popular vote, while picking off the more right-leaning swing states, but not the more left-leaning ones.
Yet, that’s not what happened.
The reason is vote fraud. As I outlined earlier, even prior to Election Day, the Democrats were already working overtime to steal the election. One cannot help but wonder – for every one person in a swing state who voted for Romney on an electronic voting machine, had it ring up for Obama, and who caught the mistake, how many didn’t catch the mistake? How many just cast their votes and went on their way without paying enough attention to notice that they’d just voted for the other guy?
Evidence for the fraud abounds. Just like in 2008, we saw dozens of wards in Philadelphia were Republican poll observers (ordered to be in place by the courts) were illegally removed by Democrat polling judges, often forcibly, and thus were unable to true the vote. Sometimes hours went by before these observers were reinstated by order of a judge, sometimes they weren’t reinstated at all. Is it at all unsurprising, then, that in many of these same wards, not a single vote for Romney was counted, out of the thousands or tens of thousands cast? That stretches the limits of statistical credibility, and then some. Likewise, while the average voter turnout rate all across Philadelphia was around 60%, in the wards where the Republican poll watchers were removed, turnout suddenly skyrocketed to over 90%.
We should also not be surprised that the same sort of astounding results were found in several precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland). Nor should we be surprised to find out that Obama won Wood County, Ohio, where there are more registered voters than there are people actually eligible to vote. Or how about St. Lucie, Florida (which Obama won), where there have been all kinds of irregularities reported, which had 141% voter turnout? How did Barack Obama get over 99% of the vote in several major precincts in Broward County, Florida? This was the same county where they just so happened to find nearly a thousand uncounted ballots the day after the election (funny how that always seems to happen at the most opportune times for Democrats, isn’t it?) In ten counties in swing state Colorado, there are more registered voters than there are residents (not just eligible residents). In Wisconsin, there were reports of voters being bussed in from Chicago (which, if I’m remembering my geography correctly, is in Illinois). In swing states all over the country, but especially in the linchpin state of Ohio, many voters who showed up to vote legitimately on Election Day were turned away after being told that they had already voted – meaning somebody had already illegally voted using their names. All in all, there were over 70,000 irregularities reported on Election Day – how many more went unreported?
Further, as Selwyn Duke has pointed out, in swing states like Ohio, many, many “inactive” voters are on the rolls – often these are people who are inactive because they are dead or because they moved out of state. Yet, when you don’t (or can’t) check ID at the ballot table, it’s really very easy for the Democrats to “activate” these voters and ensure that they cast ballots. As Duke points out, Ohio has around 1.6 million such “inactive” voters – Obama only won Ohio by around 100,000 votes, so the Democrats needed to “activate” less than 7% of these should-have-been-purged registerees. Couple this with the suppression of the military vote (which Duke also documents), and you see a system tailor-made to reduce participation by one of the most right-leaning constituencies in our electorate, while allowing free rein to manufacture a left-leaning one.
People used to joke about ACORN registered voters under names like “Donald Duck” and “Superman.” There’s a reason they did that. It wasn’t because ACORN and the Democrats were intending for people to actually cast ballots under those names. Rather, it was so that the system of weeding out false and wrong registrations could be so overloaded with white noise (i.e. the Cloward-Piven strategy) that the actual vote fraud of voting under the names of dead people or nonresidents could take place without being detected. Even if election officials are honest, they are often so overwhelmed with having to weed out the obviously bogus registrations that they have no time to pay attention to anything else. Don’t forget, in each of these swing states – Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, and the rest – Obama didn’t win by very much. As few as 100,000 false ballots cast by dead or nonresident voters could have swung it in just about every swing state.
Sorry folks, this election was stolen, which means Obama is not legitimately the President of the United States, birth certificate or no birth certificate.
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Another way you can tell that fraud took place? Look at the discrepancy between the type of election that had to have taken place to get the results we had, and the kind of election that actually did take place.
Historically, the Democrats win big when the electorate is composed of a D+5 or better turnout (in other words, Democrats constitute 5% more of the actual people who showed up to vote than do Republicans, neglecting to factor in independents). Conversely, when the partisan turnout breakdown is D+1 or less, you have good news for Republicans, becoming more so as turnout swings over to positive R numbers. A turnout in that D+2 to D+4 usually indicates a holding or slightly good for the Democrats type of election. 2006 and 2008, terrible years for Republicans, were in the D+6 to D+8 range, depending on which model you follow. 2010, a wave election year for Republicans, was an R+1 election.
This information is important because the results we saw on November 6 (Obama sweeping up all but two of the states he won in 2008, a 2.5% lead in the popular vote, Democrats winning in as many Senate races as they did) point to something around a D+5 turnout or so – not quite as lopsided as in 2006 and 2008, but still pretty good for the Dems. Yet – once again – there was no data pointing to this. All the data showed Republicans with a huge enthusiasm gap (which until now has tracked pretty well with actual turnout levels). Also, polling both professional and mainstream media, was showing that registered Republicans were making up a near-record percentage of registered voters (if I recall correctly, Rasmussen has the Rs up by around 3% a couple of weeks before, and Gallup was producing similar numbers). By contrast, when the Dems won big in 2006 and 2008, Democrats were outpacing the Republicans in registration by several percentage points. Look, these things have always tracked together, trending the same way. Why should that have suddenly stopped all of a sudden?
Oh yeah, I forgot – no poll can accurately predict vote fraud on the hundreds of thousands to millions of votes scale.
Seriously – this is an election where Barack Obama lost over six million votes outright from his previous tally in 2008. He lost two states that he took from the GOP in 2008. His popular vote percentage victory was cut more than in half from what it was in 2008. Meanwhile, the Republican (not accounting for the vote fraud) candidate lost only a quarter of a million votes from the GOP total in 2008.
And the media is trying to peddle the story that this was a D+7 election? Not hardly. Things are just not adding up. The data and the narrative are simply not connecting.
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At this point, I think it is a propos to point out one area in my predictions where I was almost dead on – and that is in how I called the final breakdown of the House races. I had predicted that the House would stay pretty much where it was at, with a -8 to +8 maximum shift for Republicans. As it turned out, The Republicans actually gained two seats and the Democrats gained three (both could gain because a number of seats were vacant), giving a final tally of 242-193 in favor of the GOP. This is the result that you would have expected from the methodology I was using, which basically rested on the unspoken assumption that this would be a 2004-style D+2ish election where the Republicans would win a slight popular vote lead (historically, you always have a slightly larger number of Democrats who vote for the GOP than Republicans who vote for the Democrat).
So why the disconnect between the House races – which my methodology called dead on – and the Presidential and Senate races?
Well, think about what is different in almost every state (except for very small ones like Vermont, Alaska, and Montana) between House races and Presidential/Senate elections: the latter are statewide races, while the former are not.
This is important because, frankly, it is easier to defraud a statewide race than it is to defraud every House district race in a state with multiple districts. Think about it. There are any number of large states in this nation where Democrats win the state as a whole, but yet Republicans hold a substantial number of the House seats, even the majority of them. For instance, take Pennsylvania, where Republicans hold 11 out of 18 House seats; There’s Michigan, where the GOP holds 8 of 14 seats; in Minnesota, the Republicans hold 4 out of 8 – half; in Ohio, the Republicans control a demolishing 12 out of 16 of Ohio’s House seats. Yet, each of those states went for Obama – because he who controls Philadelphia controls how Pennsylvania will go, and the same holds true for Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Cleveland, for their respective states.
Many of these House districts are rural, exurban, or suburban – areas where it is harder to put into place the sort of tight-knit, cigar-smoking type of political machine that the Democrats seem to build so easily in the large urban centers of this country. Hence, it’s harder to defraud an election in this type of district. Yet, at the state level, you don’t have to waste your time finding boxes full of ballots in somebody’s trunk or rigging the electronic voting machines all across the entire state. When you can rig the election from Philadelphia and create all the votes you need to win the statewide race, who cares about committing fraud in Jersey Shore or Allentown?
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At this point, the typical leftie reader might be wondering, “But but but, what about Nate Silver??? He was right on the nose with his predictions!”
Well, what about Nate Silver? I think Nate Silver is overrated. His predictions in the 2010 midterm elections were abysmal. He was accurate in 2008 – but then again, so were all the major polling houses, too. That’s the major reason why, after 2008, I finally dropped all this “gut instinct/them thar polls is fake!” nonsense that many conservatives like to go by, and started believing the professional polling houses. In 2008, the professional houses had Obama leading by 5-7% in the popular vote (he won by 7.2%). In contrast, the MSM polls (which jibed with Silver that year) all had Obama up 10%, 12%, even as much as 15%, which was obviously wrong.
Essentially, what I’m being asked to believe is that the professional polling houses, which hithertofore have always been about as accurate as you can get in the polling business, and which in many cases have decades-long reputations for such accuracy, suddenly stopped being able to do even basic statistical analysis and poll generation, while Nate Silver of overrated-baseball-statistics fame is now the only guy in the country who knows how to calculate a chi-square. Sorry, but I’m not buying it.
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So…what about the terrible demographic stranglehold that is supposedly going to drive the GOP to extinction, the declining white vote, while Latinos are making up an increasing share of the vote? Supposedly, Obama’s win was “fueled by Latino voter muscle” as Hispanics turned out for him to the tune of 71% of their total vote.
I think this is overrated as well.
To begin with the raw numbers, in 2008 Latinos accounted for around 9% of the total electorate, and 60% of them voted for Obama. So Obama gained 11% of a group which increased its share of the total vote by 1%. Now, I don’t have to use one of those new-fangled Babbage engines to figure out that this means that Obama gained a whopping 0.11% of the total vote share over 2008 as a result.
You’ll excuse me if I’m not as impressed as the mainstream media apparently is (or spineless Republican politicians, for that matter).
Further, let’s not forget the vote fraud (always the vote fraud!), which we can propose largely disenfranchised white voters (who tilted towards Romney). What this means is that the Latino vote, if the hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of lost votes were figured in, wouldn’t have reached that magical made-for-TV threshold of 10%. Certainly, demographic changes are a factor in elections, as in everything else – but it’s ludicrous to propose that they’re a factor between elections that take place a mere four years apart.
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One of the memes I’ve been seeing in the MSM analysis of the election to try to explain away the discrepancy between the stated election results and the fact that Romney was leading so heavily among independents is that many of these independents were actually former Republicans who maybe were no longer registered Republican, but who nevertheless were voting the same way they always had.
Granted, to me this intrinsically appears to make sense, especially as I am exactly that type of voter, and can thus sympathize.
Yet, once again, it just doesn’t tally with the data we were seeing prior to the election. If large numbers of Republicans had left the Party and were now just Republican-voting independents, this nevertheless would have showed up in the partisan breakdowns on polls of partisan affiliation (which are measures of registration, not intention of vote) by Gallup, Rasmussen, and even some MSM outlets (notably CNN’s) prior to the election. These all had Republicans leading Democrats in registration by 1-3%, most likely because you had independents deciding to re-register as Republicans, not the other way around. The fact of the matter is, the large lead among independents may well have been due to people like me being counted in this way, but we nevertheless were not replacing people who were genuinely registering as Republicans and also voting GOP.
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Post-election, we saw some talk by folks like Herman Cain of deconstructing the Republican Party and replacing it with a more conservative third party. As an advocate of this approach myself, I must admit to a certain amount of affinity for these proposals. Nevertheless, I think a little level-headedness is in order.
First of all, when most conservatives talk about how bad and corrupt and listless and worthless the Republican Party is, what they really mean is how bad the GOP leadership is (which I identified over three years ago). A Party, in and of itself, is just an aggregation of millions of people who hold to the same general set of beliefs. The rank-and-file of the GOP is made up – largely – of conservatives, and therefore this rank-and-file is not the problem. The problem is the “leadership” who simply cannot or will not articulate in a reasonable manner what the core beliefs of millions of their fellow Americans really are. At best, the GOP “leadership” largely floats along on platitudes, though sometimes some of its members can stray into outright disdain or hatred for the beliefs of their own base. Therein lays the problem. If you can’t trust the “face men” of the Party to do anything other than present a ridiculous caricature (intentionally or not) of what the rank-and-file believes about the issues, while simultaneously selling them out in the halls of power in Washington, then you can expect that people are going to get frustrated with the Party as a whole.
As such, one is tempted to suggest that what should really be done is to “take over” the Republican Party from the inside, from the county level up. I see several problems with this approach. First – the powers that be within the Party can simply change the rules to stifle any demotic uprisings by the base using such an approach. After all, look what the Romneyites did at the convention to make sure the Tea Partiers weren’t able to exercise the full measure of their influence. Party hacks, whose full time job is to basically operate the Republican Party, are going to be the ones who know the procedures and the rules inside and out – not Joe Schmoe Tea Partier who’s just been elected to the state convention from his county. These same hacks, you can be sure, are going to do their level best to make sure the rules that the Party operates under will continue to favor retaining the present leadership caste, one way or the other.
Further, even if Tea Partiers and other conservative activists can get into positions of leadership, within the Party or within the legislature, there is always the danger that they will be co-opted by the sitting establishment, and hence electing Tea Partiers each year is only going to result in new crops of former Tea Partiers turned establishment schlubs who now hold seats and can retain their hold for a few years on the strength of their (perceived) Tea Party affiliation.
As such, trashing the whole thing and starting over – even with all of the logistical and organizational difficulties that would come with that option – seems to be preferable.
But then you run into the issue that any new Party replacing the GOP is going to fall into the same set of problems that made the current GOP what it is. Per the “Iron Law of Oligarchy,” you’re always going to have a small cadre that rises to the top in any organization simply because they’re the ones who are most interested, committed, devote the most time, etc. Hence, you will always have a set of “hacks” who more or less gain control by default, since most people don’t have the time or interest to make politicking a full time job. These hacks will necessarily lose ideological purity as they become more interested in retaining perks and power.
Also – and many conservative ideologues will not like to hear this – for any political party to be successful at the national level in this day and age, it will have to be willing to make some compromises toward the center, at least in rhetoric if not in actual policy-making. This is true, no matter how much you may not like it. If you build a political party that is as pure as many conservatives want to demand it to be, then expect to have a political party that wins in the Deep South and the Prairie Corridor, and not much else. Expect to see the Democrats retain the Presidency and the Senate indefinitely. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.
Conservatives need to start recognizing that the way the world actually is, and the way they would like for it to be, are not the same. We can either adjust to that reality with a view towards incrementally bringing this country back to where we’d like to see it, or we can hang onto the “all or nothing mindset” and keep handing the Democrats freebie elections. That’s your choice, people. Deal with it.
The way to avoid the pitfall that the GOP fell into is to appeal to the mushy middle rhetorically, instead of dumbing down our ideology to build a nebulous “big tent.” How did Reagan win the center? He did it by presenting a picture of optimism, leadership, and self-assuredness – the polar opposite of pretty much every Republican who has run for the Presidency since his term ended (with the notable exception – somewhat – of George W. Bush, who was able to bluff his way into the appearance of being a war leader in 2004). Use our bully pulpit to appeal directly to the middle to show them why our ideas are right, instead of either just “depending” on the MSM to do it for us, or expecting them to just “figure it out” for themselves, or else simply hurling invective at “moderates” when they don’t do what we want.
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Speaking of tone – I’d like to take the opportunity to tell both the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives to tone it down and stop cutting each others’ legs off at the knees.
And I can tell you both to do this because I AM both of you – I’m a movement conservative, who combined all three legs of conservatism into the fusionistic whole that used to win elections.
For so long as social and fiscal conservatives want to hurl recriminations at each other instead of getting back onto the same page and figuring out how to work together to win elections, we might as well keep writing Democrats a “get into office free” card. Here’s a little advice for both sides – and I’m giving it whether you like it or want to hear it or not.
Social conservatives – stop standing by idiots like Todd Akin. The curious case of Todd akin was NOT a case of “heroic pro-life hero vs. dastardly pro-abortion GOP establishment” – no matter how much you like to think it was. Akin’s comment was stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And what’s worse – his comment didn’t even have anything to do with pro-life values. Denying the existence of babies conceived because of rape, and implicitly saying that any woman who claims that her pregnancy was due to rape must really be a dirty slut who’s just trying to cover up her fornication is not a pro-life value. There are plenty of good, solid pro-life conservative Republicans who could have stepped into that Senate race and won it, thereby giving us another pro-life vote in the Senate (as well as a pro-gun one, an anti-ObamaCare one, etc.). Choosing “honor” before reason hurt the entire country, as well as your own stated pro-life goals. Sometimes digging your heels in is a virtue. At other times, it’s just a sign of foolish pigheadedness. In this case, it was the latter.
Fiscal conservatives – stop trying to pretend that this election loss was the fault of social conservatives. In the Missouri and (to a lesser extent) Indiana Senate races, dumb and/or heavily spun comments by candidates who also happened to be pro-life contributed to the loss of those races. Nevertheless, social conservatism as a whole did not lose the race for the Republicans. Pretty much all the Republicans who won two weeks ago are pro-life, anti-gay marriage, etc. Gay marriage won in a few states – but these were states that leaned far to the Left. It’s not surprising that a state like Washington or Maryland would approve of it anymore than it is that states like Mississippi and Kansas would ban it. The idea that social issues somehow lost the race for Republicans in general or Romney in particular is simply not substantiated by facts on the ground, especially when we consider that Romney wasn’t exactly viewed as strong on social issues to begin with (outside of a smallish, self-contained far-Left information bubble, where he was viewed as waging a “War on Women” by threatening to take away their tampons). To the extent that Romney really “lost” (which I think is a debatable proposition), it had more to do with his inability to connect with average Joe voters who were feeling the pinch of a poor economy. Romney’s inability to communicate the “whys” for conservative economic prescriptions hurt him more than any perceived pro-lifeness on his part.
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To close, I would like to make one last comment. To the extent that Obama “won,” he did so on the strength of the ignorance of the average American voter. When you have college-age voters voting against having a job after college because they’re worried that they won’t get free condoms – that’s ignorance. When you have women who are deathly afraid that Mitt Romney is going to ban their Tampax – that’s ignorance. To the extent that social issues help Democrats, it’s because that particular brand of social issues voter (the left-leaning kind) is, frankly, not intellectually fitted to make adult decisions in elections that will affect the future of the nation as a whole.
I’d make the case for mandatory IQ tests to be able to cast a ballot, with a cutoff threshold of 100 being the lowest you could have and still vote, except I’m sure some lawyer would find a way to argue it as an unconstitutional poll tax or something.
Tim Dunkin is a Guardian columnist.