Whatever happened last Tuesday, it wasn’t because of the weather. According to a Montclair State University professor and other experts quoted in this Philadelphia Inquirer story, it’s probably time to throw out that old canard about bad weather and voter turnout.

There was record turnout in Ohio last Tuesday, despite the fact that the weather sucked. On the other hand, maybe the rain did effect those exit polls…

28 replies on “Don’t Blame the Weather”

  1. It is amusing to watch the left earnestly “searching” for the “reason” Bush won.
    Couldn’t be a problem with the ideology…noooooooo.
    I say blame it on Michael Moore!
    From London’s Daily Telegraph:
    “Moore means less
    (Filed: 06/11/2004)
    Not since Moby Dick has a great white whale been so bloodily harpooned. It took a shocked Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 9/11, until yesterday to comment on the US election result. When he did, he made a lame joke, offering “reasons not to slit your own throat”. But if John Kerry’s strategists feel like slitting anyone’s throat right now, it is Mr Moore’s.
    This was supposed to be the victory that the podgy sage of Flint, Michigan, delivered for the Democrats by winding up students into paroxysms of anti-Bush rage and propelling them into the polling booths. In the event, he achieved the first but not the second objective. The proportion of young voters did not increase on Tuesday. In the gleeful words of one anti-Moore website, “pot-smoking slackers are still pot-smoking slackers”: they meant to vote Kerry but, like, couldn’t get out of bed in time.
    In 2000, Mr Moore’s support for Ralph Nader helped lose Florida for Al Gore. This time, he boosted President Bush by outraging Middle America. Take a bow, Mike: you’ve done it again. ”

  2. Don’t be silly, ROC, if stridently false attacks energized the other side’s voters enough to win, democrats would have been winning for the last twenty years. Neither Moore’s demagoguery or the Swift Boat Veterans’ second-guessing of the defense department and charges of treason against the US Congress convinced anyone who wasn’t already convinced of anything.

  3. Ken,
    Still selling what no one’s buying? Good luck with that!
    We can only hope the DNC will take up with the same (again!)

  4. RoC (afraid to use your real name I guess), you know what, after years of trying to find consensus, I don’t give a damn what you, or any other Republican extremist has to say. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to fight with you. I just don’t care. So go sell your smirking garbage to someone else. I’m sick of the lot of you. You know what went on in this election, just like the last one.
    The one silver lining is that maybe I’ll get a chance to see your disgraced President have to resign, just like I did thirty years ago. And maybe I’ll get to see members of his administration led out of the White House in handcuffs, ala Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Now that will be a great day, and EVERYONE will be buying what I’m selling.

  5. Speaking of long ago, this year’s voter turn-out was the highest since 1968, another year the youth vote was supposed to upset the apple cart. Nixon won. Then they lowered the voting age to 18 for 1972. Nixon won.
    I see no evidence (despite plenty of theory) that youth vote = Democratic victory.
    …nor the weather, nor the shrill cakeholes on either side (and we had plenty of both), nor the alignment of the stars and the planets, etc etc. When a party captures the White House and both houses of Congress, that’s a consensus, not a fluke. The sooner the Dems start accepting that and figuring out what to do about it, the better for them.

  6. Roc, you talk like the Bush presidency is a favor visted on 51% of the country and something that will be inflicted on the rest. I sincerely believe that if Kerry had won democrats would have believed they were doing republicans a favor by voting him in (whether this feeling is warranted or not depends is purely subjective of course). I get the feeling you don’t believe a Bush presidency is better for the whole country, just for some 51% of it.

  7. Lex,
    huh? Sorta of a topsy-turvy analysis.
    I guess you are saying that a failed Kerry presidency would set the stage for a GOP big win in ’08?
    Heaven forbid.
    I wouldn’t want *any* presidency to fail – including a Kerry one. If he had won, I would be hoping he could make it a success.
    Because the house, senate and Presidency are in the hands of the GOP the pressure is on them, and rightly so. They had *better* produce a good economy, win the war and keep America safe. If they fail they will rightly be voted out.
    Any President is *our* president. Unfortunately folks like Ken often “check-out ” and take their ball home when they lose. The salve their wounds with theories of illegitimacy because it is easier not to participate that way.
    I’d suggest he take the Obama approach, work *together* to do the best he can under the circumstances.
    Fantasies of criminality and election-stealing are not productive at this point. Didn’t we just witness the result?

  8. Roc – we can agree that Ken is a full-fledged member of the tinfoil hat brigade. His type is quite common on the internet and provides comic relief. I am quite certain that if the result had gone the other way, there would be plenty of people arguing on the internets that the election had been stolen the other way (they are already arguing that the polling and exit polling were part of the liberal media conspiracy.)
    I was referring to your general sore winner stance and other statements, to wit: “‘My’ President?….You don’t get off that easy!” By exulting in the discomfiture of the Democrats, you make it seem that you believe they will suffer under this administration.

  9. Lex,
    As usual, I am not expressing myself clearly. I hope Ken is not part of the tinfoil hat club. I don’t really suspect so.
    My point is that when people say “your President” (as opposed to our President) My fear is that they are giving up on the system – checkling-out as it were. Giving themselves an excuse for apathy. If the election is “stolen” they see all the more excuse to avoid any participation.
    This is not the way to a vibrant Democracy.
    I could not be happier Bush won, but I don’t think The democrats are bad or evil or have anything but the best intentions for America in mind.
    I just think their ideology is not the best thing for the country. (especially at the present time).
    You are right their are conspiracists on the right. They scare me just as much.
    Whether you are part of the current governing majority or part of the loyal opposition, it is *our* President, *our* Constitution, *our* soldiers, *our* governent, anything else is a cop out.
    If the “you-bad-evil-stolen election-BushHitler-Blood for Oil” meme infects the Democratic Party in 08 as much as it did in 04, they will lose again.
    Mind you (IMHO) if the “Moral Majority -god Save America- you sinner -we holier” meme infects the GOP in 08 as much as it did in ’96 we will lose.

  10. Just had to add this to the midst. Sums up my feelings perfectly (or maybe it was the British tabloid’s headline, “How can 58 million people be so stupid?”). Here it goes:
    >From a blog on MSNBC this morning (the 3rd):
    As Mo Udall once put it, the people have spoken, goddamn them.
    They showed up. The Republican base, that is. The people who believe that their marriages are threatened by those of gay people, the people who
    believe there were WMD in Iraq and that Saddam waved a hankie at Mohammed Atta, the people who believe His eye is on every embryo. They all showed up, and there are more of them than there are of us. This was a faith-based electorate and, for whatever reason, their belief was stronger than our reality.
    This is a country I do not recognize any more.
    The kids didn’t vote. African-American turnout seems to have stayed pretty much the same as it was in 2000, despite all the talk. We lost seats in the Senate and in the House. (Daschle is a pretty momentous beat, despite the fact that he’s not a wartime consigliore and never was.) They elected a polite David Duke in Louisiana, and someone who
    doesn’t believe gay people should teach school in South Carolina, and a creep in Oklahoma, and somebody who’s fairly obviously drifting into
    the fog in Kentucky. The pretty clearly indictable DeLay tactics in Texas worked like a charm. These are all victories won on grounds on which we
    cannot compete. When gay marriage trumps dead soldiers in Iraq, how do you run a race without dissolving into fantasy?
    I don’t know this country’s mind any more, let alone its heart.
    Let us content ourselves with this. The country voted for these guys with its eyes open. Let us hear no complaining about “bait and switch,” and a
    “uniter, not a divider,” and on and on and on. It even returned a national legislature consonant with the incumbent’s agenda. There will be permanent tax cuts that will institutionalize a national debt that will force some sort of evisceration of Social Security and Medicare. There will be continued military adventurism in the Middle East. There will
    be Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Chief Justice Antonin Scalia. There will be more lying and more vengeance.
    So let there be no whining when your husband’s National Guard obligation leaves him under fire for six extra months, or when Granny and Gramps are
    eating cat food, or when it become increasingly impossible to meet the economic needs of the middle-class family.
    No complaining. None of it.
    You wanted this guy. Now you have him, unleashed.

  11. While we’re quoting, here’s one that’s a propos:
    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
    – H. L. Mencken

  12. “This is a country I do not recognize any more.”
    Don’t recognize or never really took a look at in the first place?
    It is not like the “evangelical voter” was *invented* last week!
    You seem surprised that this part of the electorate would use its vote as a WMD (Weapon of Moral Distinction). While you might have been waiting for more inspections to prove their existence you are now left staring, jaw-agape, at the “smoking gun”

  13. And right back at the liberals, from a David Limbaugh column:
    Many liberals are beside themselves. Things were bearable when they could delude themselves into blaming their loss of power on a “stolen” election. But with this decisive defeat, they’re thinking, “It’s not our America anymore.”
    As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don’t just favor different policies than I do — they favor a whole different kind of America. We don’t just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.”
    Liberals can live with their belief that nearly half the people are stupid. It was even tolerable to be out of power because they knew it would only be a matter of time before they recaptured power following a proper tutorial of the unwashed masses.
    But now that they feel that America has truly slipped out of their grasp, they are even angrier than they were in 2000. Their angst proceeds from an arrogant feeling of superiority and entitlement that tells them they alone should be in power and that conservatives should keep their intolerant, bigoted views to themselves.
    They are incredulous that they’re not just under moronic rule but in a moronic nation. Yet, there’s also that nagging doubt, that ray of hope that if they had just packaged themselves properly, they would have won the election, which would mean that a majority of Americans aren’t Neanderthals after all and they wouldn’t have to move to Canada.
    So in their post-election analysis, we’re seeing this conflict. In one paragraph we see a rage born of hopeless defeatism, and in the next, an expression that all is not yet lost and that they can still salvage a better America, “our America.” If we just put forward the right candidate with the right zipcode, who will say the right things and with proper emotion we’ll be back — with a vengeance.
    Concerning moral issues, for example, they are bashing conservatives for promoting values while simultaneously beating themselves up for not promoting their own. On the one hand, they’re saying, “How dare those holy rolling do-gooders inject morals and religion into the campaign?” As columnist Susanna Rodell puts it, “The religious bigots, who think it’s Christian to hate gay people . are winning the ideological battle in this country.”
    On the other hand, they’re saying, “Hey, they don’t have a monopoly on religion, morals or values.” As Rodell puts it, “We’re going to have to put our values (you remember the ones: charity, love, that sort of thing) back into the public eye, and we’re going to have to be loud about it.”
    But it is in their proposed solutions to regaining power that they reveal they simply don’t get the “morals” issue. To them it’s more about appearances and the packaging of values than about the core beliefs supporting them.
    As Margaret Carlson wrote of Kerry, “Always religious, he didn’t frame what he stood for in Bush’s language of good and evil, right and wrong. A Catholic, he lost Catholics, for God’s sake.”
    Always religious? Most people knew better. Kerry could not successfully pass himself off as a devout Catholic just because he said he was — as an obligatory afterthought, no less.
    And Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote, “If you set out to create the perfect Democratic presidential candidate, you would probably choose someone from the South or the border states. and someone who is comfortable talking the language of religion and values, since John Kerry was not.”
    No, Margaret. No, Richard. It’s not about pious appearances, it’s not about talking the religious talk. It’s about actually believing it. It’s about walking the walk, even against the intimidating forces of secular political correctness.
    These liberals ought to go with their first instinct: that they do idealize a different America than do most Americans, which are decidedly conservative, and not just on values. (The liberals are so convinced that President Bush botched Iraq, they are attributing their defeat primarily to moral issues, which is partially true. But I happen to believe the main reason the president won is because he has been an effective wartime president, and the people trust that he will continue to be.)
    I’ve been saying for some time now that the idea of an equally divided America is a myth. (If the Old Media hadn’t been in the tank for Kerry, there’s no telling what the scope of Bush’s victory would have been.)
    For the liberals to regain authority — absent external circumstances, which
    there could easily be, or a major realignment in the electorate, they’re going to have to do more than find a candidate who merely pays lip-service to the “right” things, but who means them.

  14. Rockme-
    Another “sore winner” article… why shouldn’t the democrats flail around a bit as they look for a winning formula, be angry, be besides themselves, try to come to grips with the fact that most of the country doesn’t agree with what they think are wholly reasonable policies? Just like the republicans did after Clinton’s reelection, I might add. That’s the way to build a stronger party.
    Saying that democrats only pay “lip service to the ‘right’ things” is patently absurd, as egregious an attempt at historical revisionism as saying the same about republicans. Both parties think they are right for the country, obviously. Neither party is the cynical bait and switch con artist the other side portrays them to be.
    But, by invoking and chastising democrats for their “intellectual elite” wing, and deeming it arrogant, Limbaugh implies that trying to judge a politician by listening to his policy proposals and deciding if they are in the best interests of the country is worse than voting based on whether or not he comes across on TV as someone you can trust, a normal guy, etc. That is the dichotomy that many democrats, myself included, find hard to stomach: that to a voter choosing a secular leader, faith would be more important than good works.

  15. Lex,
    I think Limbaugh means pay lip service to “right WING” things as in pretendind to be more to the right on the political spectrum than they really are.
    Does *anyone* actually believe Kerry is against Gay Marriage? He is a northeastern Liberal for God’s sake. I am a Northeastern Republican and *I* am for Gay marriage!
    It was pretty clear he was trying to have it both ways on Abortion, Gay Marriage and the War.
    Of course the Dems should flail about a bit. Unfortunately (for them) so far the voices rising to the top seem to be the “we should move farther to the Left” ones.
    The bitter pill for them to accept is that (like it or not) this country is a Center-Right country. It is moderately pro-choice (with limits), Moderately Pro-Gun registration, Pro Gay Civil Unions (not marriage), Pro-indivdualist, Pro-Business and Pro-Strong Defense.
    Whichever party can sieze the middle wins. It keeps happening over and over again.
    There is a real opportunity for a change here. If the Dems lop off the moonbat-Mooreish-Greenish-Paficist far left and make a grab for the center they will gain power again.
    (remember Clinton?)
    If the Dems become a party of the center The Republicans will either have to move center to counter or move further Right (to the evangelicals). If they move farther to the right the results would be 180 degrees form the current situation.
    (Remember Dole?)

  16. p.s.
    Personally I think it is a lost cause for the Dems. I think they are to inured of their far left leanings.
    I switched my registration from Democrat to Republican in order to vote in Republican Primaries for moderate Republicans.
    I think there is more hope that the GOP can be the party of the center than the current Democratic Party.

  17. Well, there you go again, to coin a phrase. First you say that Democrats are inured (I know what you mean, anyway) to their leftishness and that the country is center-right, then you mention Clinton, who won twice despite an enormous GOP push to demonize him in any possible way. In 2000 I could have used the mirror image arguments to you: that the republicans are used to their rightish ways and that the country is center-left. Has the country changed so much in eight years?
    Personally, I don’t think it’s a left or right thing. Both parties have their liberal and conservative factions (who passed the medicare act, why it was a republican! who balanced the budget, why it was a democrat!) My concern is not policy here, it is the reasons many voted for Bush. If the newspapers are to believed (both the little old liberal media and the culture-defining megalith of Fox News :)) then many voted for him without regard to policy. That is what worries me.
    Look, evangelicism is theologically anti-intellectual… no problem there because believing that faith can’t be reasoned about makes prefect sense. It is also anti-pluralistic… perhaps no problem: if my religion is literally correct, then yours *must* be wrong in some regard. The problem arises when evangelicals (or members of any religion) forget Augustine’s “Two Cities”: one of secular rule and one of the soul. For Christians who follow Augustine, we let the Church tend to our souls and give Caesar what is Caesars.
    My guiding principles for a good government are those of classical liberalism, as they were for the founders of our country. Classical liberalism (which is closer to conservativism than today’s liberalism (I know you already know that)) is based on the first moral principle of the sovereignty of the individual. This is in stark contrast to orthodoxy (which I will use as the opposite of classical liberalism) that believes in the fallenness of the individual and the necessity of surrendering to a higher power, and the heirarchical reflection of this structure on earth. Evangelical theology believes this to be correct, but the adoption of this system throws the legitimacy of our government into doubt.
    Now, I know we would soldier on even with these philosophical objections, but a philosophy of government is useful in determining whom to elect and what policies to enact. If the goal of the values crowd is to replace liberalism with orthodoxy, I sure wish they would say so. Having read Limbaugh’s other work, I believe it is his.

  18. Oh, and I was a Republican who became a Democrat because I knew that if Bush was reelected the chances of *any* moderate being elected in this country in the next twenty years is pretty much nil.
    See, if you’re radical right and your president goes from a loss in the popular vote count to a rather large margin of victory while pushing your agenda, you would be very much justified in saying “if a little of a good thing is good, then a LOT of a good thing is even better!”
    I prophecy: Ashcroft v. Clinton in 2008.

  19. Lex,
    22% of the entire electorate cited “moral values” 18% of THOSE who did voted for Kerry. That means 18% of voters who voted for Bush cited this issue as their #1 concern.
    And you are uptight about this? The new American “Taliban” is going to start hearding sinners into erzatz soccer stadiums?
    The Democrats are wrongly focused on this because it is an EASY out. They can (as you have here) slump their shoulders in dispair at the “anti-intellectualism” and “orthodoxy” of religious people (ie stupidity) and moan. All the while not seriously looking at the *political* ideology of the left which was rejected by the OTHER 82% of Bush voters for whom “moral values” was NOT the #1 issue.

  20. ROC –
    Elections are decided on the fringes–who shows up and who doesn’t. The religious right wing showed up last Tuesday. The fact that they are not the majority of the GOP coalition does not diminish the fact that their votes made it possible for Bush to win. Look at Rove’s comments yesterday: Republicans won because of moral values.
    You’re putting words in my mouth re the “American Taliban.” I don’t believe evangelical morals include herding people into soccer stadiums. I am not headed to Canada. My worries are twofold:
    One: evangelicals do not value diversity of opinion. Read “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” by Mark Noll (the author is an evangelical, not a critic). I would also note that the use of “intellectual” as an insult comes from the right wing. The connection you are making between anti-intellectualism and stupidity is yours alone. I know intellectuals and I know smart people and the two sets only occasionally overlap. Insisting on creationism is not stupid, it merely denotes a mind already made up.
    Two: the emphasis goes from results to purity of intent. For instance, Specter has toed the presidential line on judicial nominees 100.00% of the time, yet the religious right have flooded their Senators with phone calls demanding his removal because they don’t believe he is a true believer, no matter what they think he will do. Purity of heart is more important to them than the damage that shredding Senatorial tradition will do to party discipline.
    Wahtever dead ends and wrong turns progressivism has lead us down, it, at least in spirit, makes the admission that we do not know all, that we have to experiment and change to find the best way forward for our country. I believe that. I think that we need to be able to admit mistakes and change, to be flexible in the face of changing circumstances. I do not think the religious right believces this: they have said as much. That is my objection.

  21. Just read the Spectator article. Funny how the left really wants to pin the loss on Moral Values and the right just can’t make up its mind why it won. The many voices espouing true conservativism all say different things: Cato wanted Kerry and deadlock, The Economist wanted Kerry to push the GOP back to the center, Rove gives it up to the religious right, the Spectator says it was the war on terrorism, the WSJ thinks it was an anti-Kerry vote (i.e. real man vs. rich white guy from Yale… oh, wait a minute.)
    So the Spectator didn’t like the Jon Stewart show (what a surprise!) and showed their support for traditional marriage by gratuitously insulting Kerry’s. This makes a good article? Maybe it was their wrong-on-the-face-of-it statement that the GOP can’t keep winning unless they can pull the coastal states into their coalition (sorry, right-of-centers, that boat has sailed… and sunk); that federalism is the right way.
    Well, I think Federalism is the Right way. Karl Rove, who happens to work for the administration, does not. The Spectator, like all non-religious right conservatives, has found themselves on the right side of the battle and the wrong side of the war. When the administration is already quite sure what is right and what is wrong, why would they ever leave it up to the states to second guess them?

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