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View Diary: The Election Wasn't As Close As You Think (108 comments)

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  •  Basically good insight, but I would add caveat (0+ / 0-)

    Certainly, when you look at the Presidential popular vote margin, you are absolutely correct. It wasn't all that close. And. a number of races -- like Kaine's and Tester's -- weren't as close as they seemed even fairly late into the night.

    Also, Democrats have added a decent amount of seats in the House. Even if it's not half the number they needed to retake the House, a lot of that is attributable to the fact that districts have set by GOP-controlled legislatures to protect their majority.

    Where I would add caveats is here -- the Presidential race was very the electoral college. Not the raw numbers of the Electoral College, of course -- but within the "swing states".

    Coming into the election, a lot of people made comparisons to the '04 race, with the party roles reversed. As the election neared, that looked even more true, because Obama seemed to have an electoral college majority, but not necessarily the popular vote, just as Bush did.

    As it turns out, it was closer to the 2000 election, with Romney almost in the George Bush role, losing by over 3 million votes, but still nearly winning the Electoral College.  Let me explain why I say that:

    Obama won Ohio by just over 100,000 votes, out of 5.3 million. Less than 2% -- and less than Bush's razor-thin Ohio margin in '04 (a result which a lot of folks were urging the Kerry campaign to challenge).

    Florida was even closer, with Obama winning by less than 75,000 votes, not even 1%.

    Obama won Virginia by 3%, with a margin of 116,000 votes.  That seems large, but just suppose that 58,000 Virginians had voted for Romney instead of Obama. In the grand scheme of things, that's not that big a deal. A poorer debate performance in one of the last 2 debates, and maybe we get there. Perhaps, if the Democrats hd a lesser Senate candidate, or the GOP had a better one, the Presidential candidates might have had different outcomes.

    Yes, that only gets Romney to 266, but if 20,000 Obama voters had voted differently in NH, then Romney's at 270.

    In an election like this, it's deceptive to accept the margin, because if only half (+1) of the voters in the margin voted the other way, the state flips, Romney won the independents, by about 5%, but what if he had won them by 7%?

    Liberals ring the '04 outcome noted that Bush won Ohio by 129,000 votes, deciding the election. It's not that different this year, even if you have to get to 4 states to reach the same hypothetical. If just under 200,000 in those 4 states had voted differently, it's a Romney win. That's out of 18 million votes in those states. So, if just over 1% flipped their votes, we'd be looking at a different outcome. Like it or not, that's awfully close.

    Also, look at the House -- Dem candidates did get more votes, but that's razor close -- I believe that margin is less than 1%. If we're excited about the gains in the House, and trumpeting those races that haven't even been called yet, here's a not of caution:

    There are multiple races where the Democratic margin is just hundreds of votes or even just 2 or 3 thousand. And, that's with a fairly popular incumbent standard-bearer at the top of the ticket. It will be very hard to hold on those gains 2 years from now.

    So, yes, if you look at the Presidential popular vote nationwide, maybe it wasn't as close as it seemed on election night. Also, the pickups in the House are great, even if tenuous -- and the Senate races really weren't that close. Even still, the election was closer than you're saying.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:42:19 AM PST

    •  I wonder how many more votes Obama... (7+ / 0-)

      ... might have gotten in Ohio and Florida had the GOP's deliberate voter suppression tactics NOT impeded registration and voting in those states (and others?)

      For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

      by dagnome on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 10:32:31 AM PST

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      •  And, on the other hand, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Romney campaign's "killer app" for smart phones (Orca) was supposed to  give precinct pollwatchers an edge in Get-Out-The-Vote. They'd identify who voted and then contact the Republicans who didn't vote.

        But it was a buggy clusterf*ck and they didn't get out the vote. Whereas the Obama campaign did.

        I think it's funny that the super-PACs spent zillions of dollars running ads trying to convince voters to vote for Romney. But convincing a voter that your guy is better doesn't count if the voters don't turn out.

        But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

        by Dbug on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:06:43 PM PST

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        •  "Orca" the killer whale... which, in GOP hands (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          got BEACHED - LOL

          For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

          by dagnome on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:53:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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