What’s Up: November 7, 2012?

To read the entire article click on the title or Story Continued. Enjoy as the world turns.


· Morning in America – Michael Moore, Oscar and Emmy-winning director, Buffoon,

Congratulations everyone!

This country has truly changed, and I believe there will be no going back. Hate lost yesterday. That is amazing in and of itself. And all the women who were elected last night! A total rebuke of Neanderthal attitudes.

Now the real work begins. Millions of us — the majority — must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do. Mr. President, do not listen to the pundits who today call for you to “compromise.” No. You already tried that. It didn’t work. You can compromise later if you need to, but please, no more beginning by compromising. And if the Republican House doesn’t want to play ball, do a massive end run around them with one executive order after another — just like they have done and will do if given the chance again.

We have to have Obama’s back. As he is blocked and attacked by the right, we need to be there with him. We are the majority. Let’s act like it.

And please Mr. President, make the banks and Wall Street pay. You’re the boss, not them. Lead the fight to get money out of politics — the spending on this election is shameful and dangerous. Don’t wait til 2014 to bring the troops home — bring ’em home now. Stop the drone strikes on civilians. End the senseless war on drugs. Act like a pit bull when it comes to climate change — ignore the nuts, and fix this now. Take the profit motive out of things that any civilized country would say, “this is for the common good.” Make higher education affordable for everyone and don’t send 22-year-olds out into the world already in massive debt. Order a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions. Enact economic policy that will create good-paying jobs and spend the money that’s needed to do that. Make your second term one for the history books.

Finally, thanks must be given to the Occupy movement who, a year ago, set the tone of this election year by getting everyone to talk about the 1 percent vs. 99 percent. It inspired Obama and his campaign to realize that there was a huge popular sentiment against what the wealthy have done to the country and there was something wrong if just 400 rich guys owned more than 160 million Americans combined (all those moochers and bums). This led to Romney’s “47 percent” remarks and THAT was the beginning of the end of his campaign. Thank you Mother Jones for releasing that secret tape, and thank you to the minimum wage worker who placed a camera on the serving buffet next to the candle. This morning’s headline in the Washington Post says it all: “At Romney headquarters, the defeat of the 1 percent.” Thank you Sandra Fluke for enduring the insults hurled at you and then becoming an important grass-roots leader against the war on women. Thank you Todd Akin for… well, for just being you. Thank you CEOs of Chrysler and GM for coming out forcefully against the Republican(!) candidate, saying he lived in “some parallel universe” when he lied about Jeep. Thank you Governor Christie for your new bromance with Obama. You know, you really didn’t have to!

And you, Mother Nature, with all your horrific damage, death and destruction you caused last week, you became, ironically, the undoing of a Party that didn’t believe in you or your climate changing powers.

Perhaps they’ll believe now.

Once again, thanks to all of you who brought a nonvoter to the polls. In a last-minute effort to get Obama an extra million votes he wasn’t counting on, I enjoyed talking and texting with your loved ones and friends yesterday who weren’t going to vote — but then changed their minds after a little nudge and some TLC (“Damn! Michael Moore? I’m getting in the car right now to go vote”).

To my fellow Americans, I think you’ll agree: it was nice to wake up this morning in the United States of America.

P.S. If you missed them, I think you might enjoy reading my tweets from last night and reliving this historic victory 140 characters at time.

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· How Stand the Correlation of Forces in American Politics? – Grover Norquist: President, Americans for Tax Reform.

How stand the correlation of forces in American politics?

In the national elections for president, House, and Senate, American voters confirmed the status quo. Not the status quo of 2008 where Democrats had 59/60 Senators, 256 House members and a president swept into office with a 7 point margin against a war hero. Last night voters confirmed the status quo of the 2010 election which brought a strong, united Republican majority in the House and enough Republican senators to filibuster any particular piece of legislation and a weakened, but re-elected president.

Obama won by two percentage points in 2012. He had a 7 point margin in 2008. His margin fell five points. Obama’s total vote fell three points from 53 percent to 50 percent. When Reagan was re-elected in 1984 he increased his vote from 50.7 to 58.8 percent and his margin from 9.7 to 18.2 percent. Clinton increased his vote from 43 to 49 percent, a six point jump. And even George W. Bush increased his vote three points: from 48 to 51 percent. Bush’s margin rose from minus one to plus 2.4 percent.

A presidential mandate? Obama ran his campaign firmly establishing that he had the permission of the American people to not be that guy Romney.

Republicans had hoped to replace Obama and win a majority of the U.S. Senate. They failed. Republicans will have a shot at winning the Senate in 2014 when 20 Democrats stand for re-election — all of whom won in the landslide year of 2008 — and only 13 Republican senators (who survived the 2008 blue tsunami) are technically vulnerable. The presidency is open again in four years. But while the GOP must wait two and four years to alter the power equation in Washington, the Democrats will likely have a longer wait for a real shot at changing the House. Republicans re-elected the class of 2010 that ran in 2012 in spanking new districts that will now remain unchanged for the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections. Congressmen that have learned how to get elected in districts — against the headwind of a re-elected president of the opposite party — tend to settle in to a series of re-elections interrupted only by the cruelties of redistricting at decade’s end.

To themselves and others, Republicans must explain why they failed to defeat a president with a lackluster economic record and Democrats must explain why they failed to defeat a House majority they claimed was extreme, amateurish, unpopular and the result of a premature verdict on the Obama record.

At the state level, Republicans increased their governorships from 29 to 30 by replacing a Democratic governor in North Carolina with Pat McCrory. Republicans gained 720 state legislators and 21 state legislative bodies in 2010. That gain was little changed in 2012. The tide did not recede.

In January there will be 13 states with a Democratic governor and both houses of the legislature run by Democratic majorities. Republicans, meanwhile, will have 24 states with united GOP control.

The Republicans will have a larger canvas on which to enact their legislative proposals of education reform/parental choice in education, reining in public sector union and pension abuses, lowering taxes and defenestrating the tort lawyers. California and Illinois and Maryland can show how one can raise taxes rather than reform government. The shouting match in Washington will be accompanied by real yardage gained and lost by the two competing world views in the arenas of the 50 states. We will see what works. And what doesn’t. And which states people leave. Or enter. Keep an eye on the Illinois/Indiana border. Then we have another election in 2014 and 2016.

Republicans confirmed their gains in 2010 at the national and state level. They won a majority of the House having voted to pass the Ryan Budget which does both tax reform and entitlement reform. These were not the third rail of American politics. The GOP won the senior vote — “Mediscare” did not work as the Democrats hoped. The Democrats held the Senate by not writing a budget. Not showing their agenda. Not allowing votes on the issues Obama will claim he has a “mandate.”

This election showed Republicans in the House the “Path to Prosperity” authored by Paul Ryan was not simply sound on principle, but a political advantage. They have an agenda. They voted for it. They won re-election. The Democrats in the Senate and the White House will eventually have to write down something and vote for it. Then we can have the national debate that was deliberately avoided in the election. Story Continued:

· Top Ten Reasons Romney Lost – Bob Burnett, Berkeley writer, retired Silicon Valley executive

On November 6th Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney with 50.3 percent of the popular vote and a surprising 303 electoral votes. Here are the top ten reasons Romney tanked.

10. He didn’t have Bill Clinton. Other than his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, Romney didn’t have an effective surrogate. Obama had Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton who commanded big crowds wherever he spoke. Romney didn’t use George W. Bush, who retreated to the Cayman Islands.

9. Mitt was wildly unpopular in Massachusetts, his home state. Obama carried Massachusetts by 23 percentage points. Romney claimed to have been an effective Governor who practiced bipartisanship, but the word got around that he had been an arrogant, dogmatic prick.

8. Romney blew his chance to score points on Benghazi. Republicans thought the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, would give Romney an opportunity to paint the President as weak on national security. But Romney flubbed his chance in the second debate. Obama recalled, “The day after the attack… I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people… that this was an act of terror.” Romney pounced, claiming the President had not called it “an act of terror.” But the debate moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley agreed with the president’s recollection.

7. He was branded as elite and out-of-touch. Before the Republican convention, Obama ran ads labeling Romney as a “vulture capitalist,” “part of the problem, not the solution.” Then a tape was uncovered where Romney told donors, “47 percent of the people… who are victims… my job is not to worry about those people.” This strengthened core support for Obama. Exit polls indicated that on the attribute, “a candidate who cares about people like me,” Obama overwhelmed Romney.

6. Women got wise to him. While the economy mattered to white female voters, it improved enough that they turned their attention to social issues: reproductive care, education and healthcare, in general. They trusted Obama on these issues and came to believe he was the candidate who would do the most for the middle class. Women favored Obama by 55 percent and unmarried women preferred him by 68 percent.

5. He didn’t understand Hispanics. Romney’s strategy was predicated on massively carrying the white vote and he did secure 58 percent. But in certain areas of the country, particularly Florida, the Republican needed the votes of Hispanics and he didn’t get them because he was against the DREAM act and unwisely suggest “self-deportation” for undocumented immigrants. 70 percent of Hispanics voted for Obama.

4. The Economy recovered enough. After May, when Mitt Romney won enough delegates to secure the Republican nomination, he attacked the president for the state of the economy, “Obama isn’t working.” But the economy got better; thousands of new jobs were added and the unemployment rate declined from 8.5 percent to 7.9 percent. Romney’s campaign slogan shifted to, “Believe in America.” He said he had a “five point plan,” to create jobs but Obama countered, “Romney has a one-point plan; make sure the folks at the top play by a different set of rules.” Towards the end of the campaign Romney quit talking about the economy.

3. Romney told one too many lies. After securing the Republican nomination for president, Romney waged an exceedingly dishonest campaign. An independent fact-checker, Politifact, reported two-thirds of Romney’s statements ranged from “half-true” to blatant lies. The media didn’t report all of these falsehoods but a week before the election Mitt was caught running an extremely deceptive auto bailout ad that torpedoed his chances in Ohio.

2. God intervened. Romney’s campaign for president was bracketed by hurricanes. First, Isaac threatened the Republican convention and lowered the ratings, and then Sandy disrupted the campaign and gave Obama an opportunity to display his competency as commander-in-chief. As the result of Sandy, Obama got kudos from Republican Governor Chris Christie and an endorsement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Obama had already gained momentum, after a disastrous first debate, and his response to Sandy pushed him ahead in most polls.

1. No Republican can win at the national level. A year ago, when the slate of Republican presidential candidates formed, it was Mitt Romney versus the “seven dwarfs:” Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, Pawlenty, Perry and Santorum. Romney struggled in the first primaries and had to turn on his money machine to defeat the others in the conclusive primaries. It was an indication that Romney was the best of a weak field and that Republicans were lukewarm about him.

Romney had to tack to the right to secure his base and this turned off self-defined centrist voters. Obama overwhelmingly carried both liberal and centrist voters. The electorate has gotten wise to the Republican Party; they understand that they are radical conservatives — out-of-touch with the middle class. Ultimately, that’s why Romney lost. It indicates that no Republican presidential candidate would have been electable. Story Continued:

· Three Lessons the GOP Should Take Away From Last Night’s Defeat – Nov 7, 2012 1:14 PM EST

If Republicans want to win the presidency ever again, they’ve got a long road ahead—but they need to start by making non-white friends fast. Michael Medved reports.

Barack Obama broke another barrier with his re-election: becoming the first president in the history of the republic to win a second term with less support in both the popular vote and the Electoral College than he received the first time he ran. When all ballots are counted, at least eight million Americans who backed him in 2008 will have either switched to Mitt Romney or failed to show up at the polls. Two important states that went for him last time—Indiana and North Carolina—reverted to their Republican roots and many others—Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia and Florida—chose the president by only the slimmest of margins. In contrast to the solid 52.9 percent of the electorate he carried in the hope-and-change campaign of 2008, Obama looks likely to fall below 50 percent of the popular vote this time, joining George W. Bush (first term), Bill Clinton (both terms), Richard Nixon (first term), John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson (both terms) and many others who earned the dubious distinction of serving as “minority presidents.”


Nevertheless, a win is a win and, for Republicans, a loss is a loss. If the GOP fails to learn from this particularly painful defeat then the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, of Ike and Reagan and George W. Bush, will suffer through many more heart-rending election nights in the years to come.

Three lessons suggest themselves in building toward future victories:

1. The party must make an immediate and sustained effort to reconnect with Latino voters. President Obama lost traction with most segments of the electorate compared to his performance in 2008, but he gained with the rapidly growing Hispanic community that represented a full 10 percent of all votes this year. Among Latinos, exit polls showed, the president scored an overwhelming 71 percent, compared to 67 percent in 2008, making it all but impossible for Republicans to prevail in formerly GOP states like Nevada and Colorado, and badly damaging their prospects across the country. George W. Bush won an estimated 44 percent among Hispanic voters in his 2004 re-election bid, and had Mitt Romney gotten that sort of support he could have conceivably picked up enough close states (Florida certainly, plus Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa and more) to have won the election. There is simply no future for a party that loses the non-white vote—nearly 28 percent of the electorate this time—by margins of four to one. Even Romney’s crushing margin among the diminished number of white voters (where he won, 59-39) couldn’t make up the lost ground.

To deal with this potentially deadly problem and to build support in the Latino community (as well as among Asian-Americans, where Obama also won more than 70 percent), Republicans need a dramatic new approach to the immigration issue. Actually, George W. Bush provided a constructive example with his sincere but doomed efforts at immigration reform that combined a tough-minded emphasis on border security with compassion for the immigrants themselves. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio might team up with his old friend Jeb Bush to spearhead a new conservative initiative in this arena, rallying veteran Senators (John McCain? Lindsey Graham?) who have attempted to address the problem in the past. Above all, the party can no longer allow Tom Tancredo, Jan Brewer or the harshest voices on talk radio to speak for all conservatives on this issue. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney destroyed Rick Perry during primary season by clobbering him as “soft on immigration” so he had little room to change his tune or even his tone in the general election. One can only hope that the next nominee will avoid such crippling problems.

2. Romney’s experience makes it clear that all future candidates must act more proactively and aggressively to address questions about their personal finances. Mitt won’t be the last national nominee with significant monetary resources: in fact, the crushing cost of contemporary campaigns makes it unlikely that any contender could invest the necessary years for a successful presidential run without several million stashed away to provide for his family. Had Romney released basic information about his personal wealth from the outset of his campaign he could have blunted one of the most effective weapons the Democrats wielded against him in their largely unanswered negative ads of the summer season. When he finally (and belatedly) released a summary of twenty years of his entirely legal and suitable tax payments, along with his prodigious gifts to charity, it came too late to clear away the smears. Harry Reid had already done serious damage with his loathsome talk about an imaginary friend who told him that Mitt paid nothing in taxes. The public won’t hold it against future candidates if they’re rich: Americans tend to honor wealth creators as long as they know they’ve helped themselves (and others) openly and honestly. That’s certainly true of Mitt Romney, but he delayed and dodged for much too long, and made his disclosures in halting, grudging steps. Pre-emptive transparency is a much better policy.

3. The party’s Congressional leadership must make visible and dramatic efforts to avoid the impression of obstructionism and extremism in dealing with the re-elected president on the budget crisis. A few careless comments left a lasting impression during the president’s first term, like Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s unnecessary 2010 announcement that his top political priority would be preventing Obama’s re-election, or the much-discussed sentiments by media commentators that they wanted the administration to fail. The context of these remarks made them substantively defensible (yes, Republicans only wanted Obama to fail in his goals of systemic transformation) but they nonetheless helped the president in escaping personal responsibility for the toxic gridlock to which he contributed so much.

Moreover, failure for the administration under current circumstances would bring sequestration and disastrous defense cuts, across-the-board tax hikes and an ugly new recession for which Democrats would make every effort to blame conservatives. Republicans should take the lead in working with the president to find a way out of the present mess because the country needs it, and so does the party. Democratic cooperation with Ronald Reagan in the brilliantly successful tax reform of 1986 did nothing to diminish liberal prospects since they shared full credit for the achievement, just as Gingrich Republicans shared credit for the historic Clinton welfare reform of 1996. Paul Ryan, who returns as chair of the House Budget Committee, might be perfectly positioned to work as Congressional point man with the White House in a conspicuous leadership role that could enhance his own presidential ambitions for 2016.

To some extent, the parameters of the fiscal crisis dictate that any deals with the re-elected president will take a decidedly conservative course, protecting Republicans from charges that they are selling out their principles in working with Obama. The unprecedented levels of debt and deficit spending leave little room for the president’s grand plans for expensive new “investments” while his own Simpson-Bowles commission sketched a plausible tax reform scheme that both lowered rates and increased revenue.

Exit polls indicate real public weariness with partisan gamesmanship and polarization, along with suggestions that most Americans still see Republicans as more unbending and mean-spirited than the president. Fortunately, Mitt Romney’s gracious and generous concession speech looked good in comparison with Obama’s unaccountably delayed, utterly interminable and balefully bloviating victory ode, which left no platitude (or stomach) unturned.

This contrast marks a worthwhile beginning in addressing the emotional basis for the crippling gender gap, and assuring the skeptical women of America that conservatives aren’t just smarter than our liberal counterparts, with better records as practical problem-solvers, but we’re also for the most part more generous and nicer. Giving the elephant a likability edge over the truculent, braying donkey can only help build the party’s popularity to appropriately elephantine proportions. Story Continued:

· Election 2012: Myths, Lies, and Losers – by Robert Shrum, Nov 7, 2012 2:26 PM EST

Barack Obama’s victory was more than a defeat of Mitt Romney. Obama also vanquished prejudice, winner-take-all economics, and attacks on the safety net. The winner is 21st-century America.

On Election Day, Barack Obama was home in Chicago on his way back to the White House—and the Romney campaign was R.I.P., lurching its last ditch way back to Pennsylvania and Ohio. As the results rolled in, the ballroom in Boston descended into despair and the crowd in McCormick Place roared as the states were called and reelection was secured. But something more happened yesterday than in most presidential contests. Myths were confounded, lies proved unavailing, and there were big losers beyond Mitt Romney.


President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Jill Biden, and First Lady Michelle acknowledge supporters on election night in Chicago on Nov. 6, 2012. (Jewel Samad, AFP / Getty Images)

A few months ago, the conventional wisdom doomed Obama on the grounds that no incumbent in modern times had won with unemployment above 7.2 percent. In fact, voters thought the rate was 7.5 percent on Ronald Reagan’s triumphant morning in America. In addition, until Reagan, the benchmark would have been 5.6 points. What the Reagan experience suggests—and Obama’s success validates—is that the decisive factor is no fixed number, but the direction in which the economy is moving. And for this president, despite a GOP determined to block every measure for recovery, the economy picked up and unemployment more than ticked down in the final months of the campaign.

Another long-held myth holds that it’s better to run for president as a governor than a senator. But across more than half a century, the nation has sent two sitting senators to the White House—JFK and Barack Obama—and two sitting governors—Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, although the latter was selected by the Supreme Court, not elected by the voters. Richard Nixon and LBJ sat in the Senate before they sat in the Oval Office. Jimmy Carter and Reagan were former governors. So there is no preferable path to the presidency. And in Romney’s case, his governorship, purchased by pretending to be a moderate and then flipping afterwards to being “severely conservative,” reinforced deep concerns about the character of a candidate who refused to be specific on taxes and palled around in a TV ad with “legitimate rape” Todd Akin, who threw away a Republican Senate win in Missouri.

Two other myths were written in the events of this cycle rather than in the “rules” of a faux history.

The first is that Hurricane Sandy untracked Romney as he was rising in the polls. As Nate Silver demonstrated in The New York Times, the Mittmentum, such as it was, slowed and then “stalled” after the vice-presidential and second presidential debates. Obama’s defeat in the first let Romney into the race, but never reshaped a fundamental structure that accorded the President many more roads to an electoral vote majority—and back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But Republicans grabbed onto the storm myth, and will cling to it amid the post-election wreckage, as a useful, even essential excuse, a rationalization to sustain a central Republican myth. The country, conservatives insist, shares their determination to dismember government and in effect repeal the New Deal and the 1960s. The President didn’t maneuver to accommodate this; he confronted it with a most full-throated populist campaign of any Democratic nominee in decades. Clinton offered a modulated, soft version of a populist appeal in 1992—“Put People First”—before he retreated to triangulation four years later. And he never arraigned the forces on the other side—or explicitly asked the defining question: who’s on your side? That’s exactly what Obama did as he transformed 2012 from referendum into choice—whether the issue was Bain or the auto bailout, tax justice or immigration reform, equal rights for women and minorities.

His appeal in the final days of his last campaign echoed FDR’s denunciation of the economic Royalists—and Al Gore’s pledge to fight “for the people—not the powerful”— a mantra he regrets shying away from in the autumn of 2000. Here was the president in Ohio: “The folks at the top in this country, they don’t need another champion in Washington. They’ve got lobbyists. They’ve got PACs … But [the] people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read every night.” Bill Clinton, who roared masterfully through the convention and the campaign, took up the cry: “We simply can’t afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle down … [to those] who want a winner-take-all, you’re on your own society.”

So the notion that 2012 was a “small” election strikes me as entirely wrong. Yes, there were sound bites, gaffes, and concocted controversies; there always are. But at the heart of the campaign was a contest between progressive public purpose and a reversion to the “hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing” government castigated by Franklin Roosevelt. Republicans assumed, or hoped against the evidence, that America was Paul Ryan country—a place that yearned for the GOP vice-presidential nominee’s plan to shred the social safety net. The evidence now is in the voting of 2012. It also came a few days earlier—and this is where Hurricane Sandy is relevant—in the common resolve, voiced so pungently by New Jersey’s irrepressible Gov. Chris Christie, that it is a good and noble thing for government to help people in need.

The Republican effort to compare the response to Sandy and Katrina was a pathetic, ugly play to exploit frustration about the inevitable complications of a cleanup that’s been handled remarkably well. What did the GOP want other than votes? A “heck” of a Brownie-like indifference? In any event, they didn’t get the votes—and 2012 has settled a cardinal issue about the kind of nation we are. Measure how consequential this election is in one now undeniable reality: Obamacare is here to stay. And so is financial reform. And so is student-loan reform. And the president now holds the upper hand on entitlement reform, balanced deficit reduction, and a tax system where everyone pays their fair share. This is no small thing.

Nor is the defeat of a brazen, unprecedented campaign of lies—which the Romney strategists presumed would work in an ad-heavy, journalistically fractured universe. Mitt’s pollster Neil Newhouse gloried in serial deception: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” It wasn’t; instead voters dismissed Romney’s reckless disregard for the truth—his claim that the president had engaged in “an apology tour”; that Romney’s health plan—he doesn’t have one—would cover preexisting conditions; that “we have fewer people working today than when the president took office”; that he intends “to keep our Pell Grant program growing.”

Amid the fusillade of lies, two in particular backfired. One was the claim that Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians” who are moving Ohio’s Jeep production to China. Romney’s ad here was an outright fabrication, and drew rare and blunt corporate denials from Chrysler—and extensive press and television coverage that picked the ad apart. The campaign persisted; it was a desperate move to trick Ohio workers into voting against themselves—and for the guy who proposed to let Detroit go bankrupt. How’d that go? Check the Ohio results.

To counter the truth that Romney-Ryan would replace Medicare with Vouchercare, the GOP fouled the airwaves with the lie that Obama had cut more than $700 billion from Medicare to finance health reform. The response from Obama’s side was swift—there had been no cut in benefits. Who won that ad war? Check the final Pew Poll, which showed Mitt’s margin among seniors, a demographic he had to dominate, collapsing from 19 to 9 percent.

Romney lost because lying lost. But in the 2012 outcome we can also see an array of other losers—pundits who put ideology ahead of reality; partisan pollsters who seemed to play fast and loose with numbers; billionaires who wasted their bile and their dollars on not so–Super PACs; traffickers in race-baiting and purveyors of prejudice.

Karl Rove was more cautious than most conservative commentators, forecasting a Romney victory that just inched above 270 electoral votes. He had to make that call; Republican consultants who privately thought Mitt was going down publicly had to boost his chances. But what about Rove during Fox’s election night coverage, when he huffed and puffed that Ohio had been wrongly called for Obama. What about Michael Barone, the longtime author of the Almanac of American Politics, a liberal turned far right, who predicted Romney by 100 electoral votes? Or George Will, who awarded 321 electoral votes to the Republican? Dick Morris, dismissed from the 1996 Clinton campaign in disgrace, looked toward a Romney landslide. Jon Stewart promptly and aptly labeled Morris “the king of wrong mountain.” He will, of course, keep his place at Fox—whose motto ought to be: “All the news that fits our biases.” (Morris ultimately hedged his bet; he, like Rove, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and so many of the Romney rooters turned doubters of course blamed the storm.)

Morris is notorious for fiddling his survey data, but in 2012 that became a cottage industry on the Republican side. Firms no one ever heard of—Gravis, for example—put out results no one believed outside the precincts of the far right. There were consistently tilted numbers from “We ask America”—owned by the Illinois Manufacturers Association—and from Rasmussen, who as usual scrambled closer to accuracy on election eve. Once-respected GOP pollster Glen Bolger called Minnesota a one-point toss-up when neutral polls showed a wider spread. He was paid, presumably well-paid, by an independent conservative group. There are pollsters on both sides who won’t jimmy their numbers; in the next cycle, perhaps those who do should be left out of the poll averages—and consigned to dispensing psychic satisfaction for the fervently self-deluded.

And instead of assailing Nate Silver, whose 538 model in the Times has become an indispensable statistical standard, political analysts perhaps should focus on the statistically dubious Gallup Poll, with its cramped voter screens and its crabbed view of a less-diverse electorate. Gallup, which had Romney ahead for a long time and at the very end, is a near loser—the near equivalent of the Literary Digest survey, which predicted that Alf Landon would defeat Roosevelt in 1936. The prediction put the magazine out of business. Story Continued:


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