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gloomy elephant being rained on
Now that it's all over but the GOP civil war, explaining what happened in this past election is easy, right? Well, maybe not. Here's a great concept to start us off:
Once they know an outcome, people tend to inflate their initial predictions by an average of 15 to 20 percent, Dr. Roese said — ample wiggle room to retrospectively alter almost any prediction from “it’s going to happen” to “it probably won’t,” be it a tennis match, a legal decision or a presidential race.

In 800 studies during the past few decades, researchers have demonstrated the effect consistently in predicting everything from legal decisions and stock movements to sports contests and world affairs.

Given that that's the case, let's go back and look at some key events using the interesting RAND panel published every day during the election.

RAND Obama Romney poll graph with annotations for 47%, Sandy, debates

BY the way, RAND did pretty well, forecasting a 3.3 gap (Obama 49.5-Romney 46.2) when currently we have 2.7 (Obama 50.6-Romney 47.9). In fact, Nate Silver in his latest review, gives RAND good marks along with other internet polls.

Online polls were among the most accurate in this year's elections... http://t.co/...
@politicalwire via bitly

Still, one can pick aggregates of polls to do the same review of events (for example, Kos used pollster.com for this post).

In any case, check out some of the key indicators, such as the 47% tape release, rise in Romney's numbers even before the first debate, as GOP voters did their inevitable consolidation; the arrested development due to the VP debate (yes, Joe Biden, you rock!); the general equivalency from before debate 1 to after the third debate widely seen as won by Obama; and the lack of data points showing Sandy killed Romney's chances.

Yes, Virginia, debates don't matter that much. We noted that beforehand, so it's not hindsight bias. No one's saying they didn't matter "at all", it's that they didn't matter "that much", and certainly not in the game changing way the pundits claimed. The first debate was worth a few points for Romney, the debates as a whole were close to a wash as Obama gained back his voters with two strong performances and a "kicked his butt" addition from Biden. They were a joy to watch.


A word of praise for political scientists, who said debates don't swing elections, got mocked by jerks like me, but were 100% right.
@daveweigel via TweetDeck

And don't get me started on idiot reporters pointing at a candidate and yelling "Gaffe!" They wouldn't know one if it bit them in the ass. How relevant was "you didn't build that!" other than revealing the workings of a tactical campaign that had no coherent strategy after the Bain ads smoked Romney all summer?

Now, keep in mind that the 47% tape was far more than a gaffe. It fit into every Bain-ad narrative about Romney and sunk his campaign with cement shoes. See the RAND graph, see the item below on who was liked and who was disliked.

See, also, that Romney's natural trajectory wasn't radically altered by Sandy. Those making the case that "Sandy was why Romney lost" have no firm ground to stand on. Sure, it didn't help him, but there are more important reasons why Romney lost. Let's explore them after the fold, using exit polls to illustrate some points.

2004: Bush 50.7%, Kerry 48.3%. 2012: Obama 50.6%, Romney 47.9%. Turned out those 2004 paralells held up really well.
@fivethirtyeight via TweetDeck

And before we delve into the exit polls, understand that the fundamentals always favored Obama. And that's not hindsight bias, either.

More below the fold.

Voters made up their mind early, Sandy hit late October

exit poll on when you made up your mind

Landfall for Hurricane Sandy was October 29. The vast majority of people made up their mind before October, and only 9% did it late enough for Sandy to matter. In fact, early voting makes the idea that "a last minute event changes everything" somewhat obsolete.

Contrast that with this:

sandy response

Now, here's a great example of hindsight bias. You can't reconcile people who made up their minds months ago saying that Sandy, which hadn't happened yet, was the most important factor in that decision. My interpretation is that Obama voters liked his response, exaggerating its importance in retrospect. This question will undoubtedly be misinterpreted. Look for it here with Bickers and Berry, whose model failed to predict the winner, doing a bit of Sandy misinterpreting. It won't be the last of it.

Voters don't vote for someone they don't like

Exit polls showing higher likeability for Obama

There is no way Obama loses this election based on the above numbers. In fact, that job approval number is strikingly high. We didn't know the approval number would be that high, but we did know that Romney's numbers were under water. And, btw, given both the numbers and the outcome, it's perfectly okay to say that Obama is a popular president. That concept makes much more sense than the narrative from the media that he's not.

Voters understand that this recession is different


expit poll questions on blaming Bush vs Obama, who relates better to people

Look at that "favors the wealthy" question (thank you, Occupy Wall Street) and tell me "we are a center-right country", aka pablum for pundits. We are a moderate-centrist country. Call it what it is.

As for any deeper meaning, consider voters rated the #1 problem the economy (59) and not the deficit (15). See this analysis from the WaPo about the out of touch pundits inside the beltway:

This is an area where voters’ opinions match fairly well with what financial markets are saying. The usual reason deficits are harmful is because government borrowing pushes up interest rates, crowding out investment by the private sector. Those high debt levels can cause investors to lose faith in a government’s ability to repay, sparking a fiscal crisis, as Greece and Spain can attest.

But neither high debt nor investor panic has been a serious problem in the United States. Interest rates are at all-time lows, and companies are reporting no trouble borrowing money at low rates by issuing bonds. The U.S. government can borrow money for a decade for 1.68 percent, suggesting that any fears of a U.S. fiscal crisis are distant, at best.

exit polls on who favors the middle class Greg Sargent adds some insight:
Ultimately, the “middle class” question may have proven the more important metric than the question that often favored Romney — who can be trusted to handle the economy, which speaks to technical know-now, not values or character. Romney’s narrowly tailored “Obama failed and I’m Mr. Fix It” economic message just didn’t resonate. A survey taken just before the election by Obama pollster Joel Benenson found that majorities believed the crisis Obama inherited was “extraordinary” and that it could not be fixed in four years. And independents said by 54-40 that they’d rather have a president who is willing to “fight for middle class families” rather than one who has a “technical understanding of the economy.”

We are definitively not a center-right country, but we are demonstrably a socially moderate country


exit poll questions on abortion and tea party This should be required reading for all journalists. What the data tells us is that Obama is popular, the tea party is not. At the same time that disaffected Republicans like being called independents, liberal-leaning Americans prefer to be thought of as moderates or progressives. But it isn't what you call yourself, it's what you believe (and how you vote), not what you label yourself.

Does Obama winning (again) and Romney losing, and Democrats winning 4 of 6 elections show we are center-left? Journalists may discuss, you have my permission.

Add the above to the well documented issue of non-white voters being turned off to the Republican party, and it's no wonder Romney was shellacked. He was an unpopular candidate espousing unpopular ideas running to be president of white male American. Now that's where center-right is.

In the end, Romney lost. Come to think of it, so did Karl Rove, spoiled billionaire donors and super PACs, shadowy or otherwise. The question on the table now is what's the Republican Party going to do about it?

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Comment Preferences

  •  the proof of the "knowing" is in the losing /nt (45+ / 0-)

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:48:58 AM PST

  •  Math Makes teh Stoopid Burn Hotter (23+ / 0-)

    Dawn is breaking everywhere Light a candle, curse the glare We will get by. We will survive.

    by MikeBoyScout on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:51:18 AM PST

    •  Here is the (7+ / 0-)

      5 day state moving average.  The last two days in state polling averages an Obama lead of 3.06.  The truth is the average moved between 1 and 2 points since the first debate.

      As I said all year, state polling is less volatile, and allows us to see beyond the swings in national polling.

      Obama went up at the end - though must of this is almost entirely attributable to undecideds coming home in the Pacific West - which I predicted.

      The 5 day moving average:

      Photobucket

      This shows where the vote by region and type of state stood in polling in All of October, and from 10/28 onward.

      Photobucket

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:30:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  RAND is for illustrative purposes (5+ / 0-)

        aggregates are so much better.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:32:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One cannot with good reason conclude (as you do) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dkosdan, Asak, Greg Dworkin

          from the evidence of the 2012 Presidential campaign that "debates don't matter."  I've been fighting that airy and broad pronouncement since I was a practicing political scientist.  Debates are events; campaign events do often matter -- although not consistently so.

          I argue my case here.  The conclusion that they don't matter may comes (as here) from the fact that a series of them turns out to be equivocal (because the initial loser stages a comeback) or from the multicollinearity problem in multiple regression.

          Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:47:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the data is pretty clear over the years (0+ / 0-)

            and while some have bigger impact than others, it's usually on the chattering class, not the voters.

            This year is no exception.

            So say the political scientists, and I heartily agree.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:03:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A debate is an example of a high profile event (0+ / 0-)

              Let's see how other high-profile events -- conventions, vice-Presidential picks, Presidential pardons -- would fare by this standard:

              [S]cholars who have looked most carefully at the data have found that, when it comes to shifting enough votes to decide the outcome of the election, presidential debates have rarely, if ever, mattered.

              The small or nonexistent movement in voters’ preferences is evident when comparing the polls before and after each debate or during the debate season as a whole. Political lore often glosses over or even ignores the polling data.

              Even those who do pay attention to polls often fail to separate real changes from random blips due to sampling error. A more careful study by political scientist James Stimson finds little evidence of game changers in the presidential campaigns between 1960 and 2000. Stimson writes, “There is no case where we can trace a substantial shift to the debates.” At best, debates provide a “nudge” in very close elections like 1960,1980, or 2000.

              A even more comprehensive study, by political scientists Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien, which includes every publicly available poll from the presidential elections between 1952 and 2008, comes to a similar conclusion: excluding the 1976 election, which saw Carter’s lead drop steadily throughout the fall, “the best prediction from the debates is the initial verdict before the debates.”

              In other words, in the average election year, you can accurately predict where the race will stand after the debates by knowing the state of the race before the debates. Erikson and Wlezien conclude that evidence of debate effects is “fragile.”  [Final three paragraph breaks added for greater legibility.]

              Consider the above in the context of the feigned assertion I will make right now that smoking cigarettes for a year does not cause lung cancer.
              When it comes to introducing enough carcinogens into the body to cause lung cancer, a given year's worth of cigarette smoking has rarely, if ever, mattered.

              A more careful study finds little evidence of cancer causation in any given month in a population of eleven subjects.  “There is no case where we can trace a substantial shift towards development of malignancy to a given year of smoking.” At best, a year of smoking provides a “nudge” in cases where cancer was otherwise unlikely.

              A even more comprehensive study finds that “the best prediction of whether one has lung cancer at a given time is whether one had lung cancer in the previous year.”

              In other words, in the average year, you can accurately predict whether a patient will have lung cancer at the end of the year by knowing whether they had lung cancer at the beginning of the year.  The researchers conclude that evidence of cigarette smoking effects is “fragile.”

              I'm playing around a bit here, but there's more to this comparison than you might want to accept.  One point of commonality: maybe our measurement tools are too coarse.

              Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

              "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:19:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  if the tools are too coarse (0+ / 0-)

                then the difference is too small to measure. Again, your citation is correct.

                when it comes to shifting enough votes to decide the outcome of the election, presidential debates have rarely, if ever, mattered.
                by that measure, of course, debates did not shift votes enough to matter. Not this year.

                Was it high profile? sure. Did it make no difference whatever? No one claims that.

                But there is no question the media exaggerates the effect. Hence dave weigle's apology (main post tweet).

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:58:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  and it sounds like you've been wrong about it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane

            for many years ;-)

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:03:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Teh Stoopid: A local self-appointed (11+ / 0-)

      pundit wrote a letter in our local paper a few days after Obama won, calling the people who voted for Obama "stupid".  In today's letters, two people who are not usual letter writers took him to task for it, and I believe several more are penning letters as I write this.

      To me, this is the true failing of the GOP, the idea that all of us are stupid and they can't wait to "go Galt". He and the other self-appointed LTE pundits wrote letter after letter about socialist Obama, and although in my (red) county, Obama lost, he won the state. I think they are looking at the final cliff of extinction because, yes, you guessed it, they are old, white guys who can't change their ways even when it is obvious to all that they are wrong, wrong, wrong!

      Interestingly enough, even in Colorado I think we'll find the vote split out by educated vs. uneducated voters. The Western Slope of Colorado and the eastern plains typically have the least college graduates, in my personal opinion and experience (Colorado native of 55 years).

      -6.50/-5.23 "Don't find fault, find a remedy." - Henry Ford

      by Merry Light on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:38:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  remember (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Nose, Candide08, radarlady, GDbot

      Many white man were not going to vote for Obama for obvious reasons--that he overcame this prejudice proves how bad Bush was--and how unattractive McCain and Romney are.  If we want to win in 2016, we should start a Republican groundswell for Trump.  Might be a dirty trick--but it would be to a receptively crazy bunch.

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:07:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember Rush said the Unabomber was a liberal (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alice Olson, Candide08, radarlady, GDbot

      because he was a mathematician!

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:24:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why single out Virginia? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ankae, dkosdan, Aunt Pat, Hohenzollern

    It went again for Obama, one of only two Confederate states that voted both times for him.

  •  the hate industry (13+ / 0-)

    limbaugh and his imitators began basing their lives on hating obama during the primaries in 2008. my boss used to forward me emails, labelled snopes verified, the opposite was true, with some outlandish lie, such as obama wanted wounded veterans to quit being crybabies and start paying for their own medical care. limbaugh repeated, i am guessing thousands of times, obama is ruining the country on purpose so he can create a dependent class that depends on handouts from the federal government. that of course would be treason. levin calls it tyranny.

    at some point the incessant hysterical lying hatred just becomes emotionally disgusting and a majority of voters dont want to stand with that or be associated with it. for the first time in my life, i voted a straight ticket.

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:55:46 AM PST

  •  Romney at 47.8 right now. (15+ / 0-)

    A lot more votes to be counted.  It is conceivable that he could drop to below 47.5%.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:56:28 AM PST

  •  Debates don't matter, television doesn't matter, (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva
    Hidden by:
    AreDeutz

    nothing matters if people don't want to vote for you.

    This has got to be the most depressing election I can remember in years. 2004 was close, but part of that was early hope for Howard Dean.

    Feeling a lot like I imagine elections to have been in the former Soviet Union.  They were held, but why bother?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:56:38 AM PST

    •  such nonsense (25+ / 0-)

      first and next on the agenda: fiscal cliff compromise.

      Also on agenda: preservation of reasonable supreme court and everything it entails.

      Also on agenda: people who won't reveal tax returns and lie about everything lose.

      The idea that none of this matters is just silly.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:09:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense? You must really hate people, or, at the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin, a2nite, Alice Olson

        very least, believe us all to be a bunch of mindless sheep.

        I believe the reason that Mitt Romney lost is because he didn't give people a reason to vote for him, and offered up more than a few reasons not to.

        You can't buy enough television to make up for that.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:24:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  very true (10+ / 0-)

          and it's good he lost.

          But the fundamentals always favored O, so it would have taken an extraordinary candidate to beat him.

          Which R was not.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:34:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The fundamentals never favored Obama. (0+ / 0-)

            He needed a gift from Republicans in much the same way that Bush needed a gift from Democrats in 2004.

            The Republicans were only too happy to oblige.

            Maybe they had no choice.  I was convinced that a real candidate would emerge from the primaries, but all we got was an extended silly season.

            And, while you like to cite polls, let's look at one that really matters: turnout.

            The turnout rate for this election was lower than both 2004 and 2008, and not much above 2000.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:57:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  see citations, end of first section (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ratcityreprobate, The Nose, vcmvo2, bfbenn

              here they are:

              http://themonkeycage.org/...

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

              this is a case where you are simply, factually incorrect.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:01:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Seems your own citation admits that there (0+ / 0-)

                are differences of opinion on that matter.

                I would bet it's a little like the old canard that you can't beat a sitting President in time of war. Sounds good until you look under the covers.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:09:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  wait until the votes are counted (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac, Alice Olson, vcmvo2, saugatojas, IM

              before asserting this is low turnout. From election day to final, there are another 10 million votes to count.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:02:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How do you calculate turnout in the USA? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IM

                In Britain (for example) it is straightforwards. With no on-the-day registration there is a printed electoral roll with a definite number of people registered. The first job of the counting staff after the polls close is to verify the number of ballots received (they do NOT count the numbers per candidate at this stage). When they have verified that the number of ballots issued in poll places equals the number placed in the ballot boxes and added on the postal votes received back they issue a figure for 'turnout' for that particular contest, an exact number also expressed in percentage of registered voters terms to two decimal places. Turnout therefore is not just the crude number voting but the proportion of registered voters who voted.

                Only when the turnout is known for a particular contest are the votes separated into counts for each candidate in that contest. The turnout figure is the honesty check figure. The candidates totals plus spoilt and disputed ballot papers must add up to the turnout figure precisely, to the vote, no fudging allowed. This minimises the chances of ballot stuffing

                How do you do it in the USA?

                Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

                by saugatojas on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:00:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  here (0+ / 0-)

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:25:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No wonder your turnout figures are so low (0+ / 0-)

                    The figures are for percentage 'voting age population'.

                    Other countries turnout figures (routinely higher than the turnout figures for the USA are for percentage of registered voters.

                    How is voting age population refined to eligible citizens of voting age? And then to the numbers registered for that election?

                    Concerned citizens in the USE regularly moan about low USA election turnouts. Could it be you are giving yourselves too hard a time in this respect  and the real problem is failure to register eligible voters?

                    Does anyone produce 'turnout' figures that would be statistically comparable (say) to UK turnout figures?That is percent of registered voters who vote in a given election, not percent of voting-age population.

                    Those 50% turnout figures might actually more impressive in proper comparative terms.

                    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

                    by saugatojas on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:05:18 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Turnout... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2

              ...because of voter suppression (=voters were not going to be denied), their anti-women's rights agenda, their coded racism (=the whole "tea party" movement was created because we elected a black President; they just "filled in the blanks" with all that fiscal stuff to give them cover...), their obstructionism over the past 4 years, their insulting views vis-a-vis immigrants....

               An informed electorate made this happen, which bodes well for the future.

            •  Republican efforts to keep voters from (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Nose, vcmvo2, SoCalSal

              exercising their rights and creating huge barriers to their doing so was certainly a factor here.  How many people in Florida do you suppose simply can't give 10 hours of a day to casting their ballots?  That said, we already know that voter turnout in the swing states was up over the 2008 totals; and comparisons with 2008 for totals nationwide should at least await the completion of counting so as not to compare apples with oranges (2008 final vs. 2012 unfinished counting.)

              New Jersey set a record for low turnout. Duh. Tens of thousands of New Jersey residents were still without electricity on election day and mostly, they weren't even in their own homes. Voting in a deep blue state probably wasn't a high priority for many of them. Some studies project that 30% of the decline occurred in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, all reliably blue.  Can you say Hurricane Sandy?

              The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

              by Alice Olson on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:18:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except that, if that were really the case, (0+ / 0-)

                I would expect Romney to do a lot better.

                I think the most effective voter suppression this year was simple disgust.

                I seriously considered staying home for this one, but

                a) down-ballot races, and
                b) a 40 year unbroken street of voting in national elections

                made me get out.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:21:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Think Mitt will amend is 2011 tax return now? (8+ / 0-)

        I do.

        Think the media will even mention it?

        I don't.

        Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

        by Bush Bites on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:55:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  2004 was for more depressing... (9+ / 0-)

      ..at least for me.

      Why?

      Because while both 2004 and 2012 were hard fought, nasty, negative races, it does make a difference to be on the winning side.  And in the end, much as I'd like to see Democrats win uplifting campaigns centered around intelligent discussions of issues, well I'll still take a dirty victory for the Democrats over a dirty victory for the Republicans.

      Next, as a gay man, I'm very heartened by the marriage equality results on Tuesday, which were the exact opposite of 2004.  That sort of progress feels very, very good.

      Finally, I do see some good things coming from this election aside from the actual wins.  Notably, I think Karl Rove has shot his credibility to hell.  I don't think he'll go away -- the right seems to reward ideological purity even when it leads to failure -- but I do think that the future will see him playing a less prominent role.  In particular, I have a hard time imagining him raising hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012.

      Oh, and as a bonus, Sarah Palin seems to have faded into irrelevance.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:17:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That can happen only when there is a winning side. (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice Olson
        Hidden by:
        AreDeutz

        As a non-partisan, the sides that matter to me are my family, my community, my country, etc.

        We were doomed to be on the losing side in this election no matter who won the offices.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:22:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  only if you are a pessimist about the future (13+ / 0-)

          most Americans disagree with you. Even with the country being on the wrong track (but notably improving), that's not how we see the future.

          The next president benefits from recovery. All the things Obama put in place from Obamacare to stimulus will improve family, community, country in the next few years. Whoever won stood to reap the benefit just as Clinton did from GHW Bush.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:28:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm quickly becoming one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greg Dworkin

            But, frankly, all the optimism in the world means nothing if our leaders are determined to screw us.

            Pools are nice, but it's reality that matters.
            This isn't middle school and keeping up with the cool kids, you know.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:31:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  eh (9+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about improvement in housing prices, consumer confidence going up (both highest in 5 years), etc...

              For you, especially, see the section on people recognizing that this was an extraordinary recession (see greg Sargent's blurb), because you won't get what happened until you admit you might have been wrong about your view on this. It's key. O really kept us out of a depression, and if you stretch your mind a bit and tentatively accept that, you'll have a different perspective.

              Data suggests more people than you are ready to accept saw it that way.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:37:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm certain that he kept you out of a depression. (0+ / 0-)

                Lots of others, not so much.

                I'm not an economist, but it was my undergraduate degree and I also did some graduate work in the field.  I'm not completely unfamiliar with the concepts involved.

                I also know that, when people talk about the depression, then tend not to talk about consecutive quarters of rising or falling GDP.  They talk about the very real human suffering.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:52:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  yep (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vcmvo2

                  and is there any question things are better now than in 2008 Feb-Mar?

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:03:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Things were definitely better in 2008 for (0+ / 0-)

                    most people because the bottom hadn't fallen out of the job market yet.

                    Mind you, that's a 9/10 kind of better.

                    By that, I mean air travelers felt safer on 9/10 than they did on 9/12, but reality was certainly the opposite.

                    In early 2008, people might have worried, but they were still getting paid.

                    Fast forward to early 2009 -- right after President Obama took office, and the picture changes radically.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:06:38 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yes, I misspoke (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ratcityreprobate, dinotrac, IM

                      Feb mar 2009. when -850K jobs a month lost.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:09:14 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's a funny kind of better, though. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Greg Dworkin

                        Those jobs haven't been recovered.  So far, job growth hasn't kept up with population growth and, from a point-in-time perspective, we really are worse off.

                        It could well be that increased optimism is justified -- and, in that case, we really are better off and can't yet see it in concrete form.

                        Time will tell.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:12:07 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Job growth has not kept up... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...because industry is having a hard time finding qualified workers, because the types of jobs available have changed in this Country.  Thus, a combination of job training to meet the needs of this "new economy" and bringing back some of those manufacturers that fled to SE Asia....would be a start to turning things around.

                          •  They're not looking hard. (0+ / 0-)

                            I take part in lots of networking activities, and I constantly encounter people -- skilled people -- who are desperate to work.

                            That story you are telling is essentially a talking point for employers who would like to bring in more cheap labor from overseas.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:12:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  It would have much better, then, (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Nose, vcmvo2, La Gitane

                  if McCain had won, the Greatest Depression was now in full swing, we'd be fighting a third war in Iran because no one could get jobs anywhere so the military was the only option?

                  Or maybe a miraculous and bloodless revolution would have commenced in 2011 and there would be no Wall Street and no Banks, and no corporations and ......

                  Let's see, an economy built on one model for a couple hundred years evaporates and then what?  Fairy dust?

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:20:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Reducing to simple binary choices doesn't make (0+ / 0-)

                    anything better.

                    Easier for progressives to grasp, I guess.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:22:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Problem of the political system, (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      I love OCD, vcmvo2, La Gitane, IM

                      as built by the Constitution, dinotrac. Winner-take-all creates binary choices.

                      It almost mandates a two-party system.

                      Until you propose a serious rearrangement of how we elect our political leaders, including how you will overcome the inertia against overcoming the existing structures, I will regard your opinions as simple crankish cynicism. This view may be popular in today's society, but it doesn't make it good. Cynicism is cheap and requires no thought whatsoever.

                      I can't see how you can seriously think about sitting out the election when Obama was clearly

                      Give some thought about how badly we'd slide back if Romney and his ilk gained the high ground in this election. We'd have the second coming of Herbert Hoover. Or is that what you want?
                      Just because the unemployment index hasn't recovered back to your satisfaction doesn't mean the President hasn't made efforts to boost it.

                      You can't have the ideal candidate, in your eyes, so you you look for flaws in the ones we have. And surprise, surprise, you find them.

                      DINOtrac, indeed. You're nothing but a purity troll.

                      `Ideology offers human beings the illusion of dignity and morals while making it easier to part with them.'- Vaclav Havel

                      by Black Brant on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:50:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  At some point, everything is winner take all. (0+ / 0-)

                        I wouldn't blame the Constitution for this one, except for the fact that it provides for only one President, and I don't see that as such a bad thing.

                        As to the unemployment index, I don't care about that in the least.

                        What I do care about are the millions of people who can't find full-time work, including those who have run through their unemployment benefits or were never able to get them in the first place.

                        With regard to the economy, I'm not so certain we don't have the second coming of Herbert Hoover, or, at least, as close to that as modern times will permit.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:54:10 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  My point is that you have offered no (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      vcmvo2, TexasTom, La Gitane

                      solutions, binary or not.   What's your answer to how we could have gotten a bigger stimulus?  How would you have convinced people to love a public option or single-payer when all the polling showed huge resistance?  What would have been your tool for revealing what Republicans really stand for?

                      Could you have dreamed up an agenda that took away the 3 legs of the Republican propaganda stool?  Was it dumb luck that Republicans are no longer seen as the fiscally responsible party?  Was it an accident that Democrats are now believed to be better able to keep us safe?  Is it just Hurricane Sandy that made people pay attention to the fact that government needs to be larger than a bathtub if it's going to help us in times of great need?

                      Obama has done a brilliant job of countering a Republican narrative that has ruled since Reagan and been ascending since Goldwater.

                      If you want a country that works for everyone, that is run by competent people, that doesn't waste ridiculous amounts of money on weapons, that moves us closer to being united as a people, Obama is your best bet.  He's smart enough to study what people really believe before he works on changing what needs to be changed.  Alan Grayson is a great speechifier but he doesn't have that quality - research, prepare the ground, plant the seeds, nurture them, and win.

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:56:46 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I offered my approach years ago when the (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dkosdan

                        "stimulus" was being negotiated in Congress.

                        I wouldn't have thrown all of that so-called stimulus money away the way it was, but I also wouldn't have thrown all the TARP money around that this administration has done (following eagerly in the footsteps of the Democratic Congress/Republican administration that preceded it)

                        Instead of blowing so much cash making Democratic constituencies, I would have done a series of bills over time that took advantage of improved knowledge as the problem unfolded.  

                        The problem with the so-called stimulus is that it was a whopping big bill, but not as big as the problem.

                        Predictable: Act, then analyze.
                        And --- great big bills require a lot more compromise to get majorities than smaller, more focused ones do.

                        But, of course, it never really was a stimulus bill, so...that's all moot.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:17:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  resorting to smaller focused bills as a tactic (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dinotrac

                          to get around an intransigent Congress is an interesting idea.

                          To achieve the goal of scaling them up to levels beyond The American Recovery Act would be fueled by, to some extent, the traction of successful "experiments". While not everything needs to be road repair, neither should it all be road kill.

                          "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

                          by dkosdan on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:30:17 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The second advantage would have been the FDR (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dkosdan

                            lesson --

                            He wiped out Republican resistance in the 1934 midterms by point to all of the things he'd tried to do but Republicans blocked.

                            But, yup. You clearly understand the idea.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:19:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Except that the House has been blocking (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dkosdan

                            that tactic since 2011.  

                            We needed some serious mojo, this wasn't a little hiccup, it was very close to being a worldwide Greatest Depression Yet.

                            TARP is paid back, isn't it?  Wasn't it Obama who put the poison pill re: executive compensation into the TARP lending?  Yeah, I thought so.

                            Didn't the Auto bailout save millions of jobs, not just auto manufacturers jobs, but all the parts-makers, all the related industries were also saved and stimulated.  

                            Tax cuts for the middle class put a little money into the revenue stream at a time when panic was the prevailing mode.  

                            We spent a lot trying to keep teachers, first responders, civil servants employed and it worked until the Tea Party disaster elections 2010.

                             

                            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                            by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:11:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AreDeutz, Alice Olson, vcmvo2

          I would hate to have prayed for none of the old geezers to not to die under a Romney presidency based on the idea it is not the devil you know but the devil you don't know. To say nothing of the death of one of the sane but unhealthy and old members.

          If you don't want to be kept in the dark and lathered with horse dung, stop acting like a mushroom.

          by nomorerepukes on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:48:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I believe to this day... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that a major reason the Pubs won in in 2004 was because of their "fear" campaign, which worked:  they kept those false terrorism alerts going until after the election, then things got back to what was really happening.

        Rove is the master of fear mongering.

        It did not work this time because their fear mongering involved our own citizens.

    •  Are you kidding me? We just watched a Democratic (20+ / 0-)

      president win a national election while promising to raise taxes. A black guy on top of it.

      This was the most ideological election we've had in this country since 1984. Had Barack Obama run this campaign in 1984, he would have been destroyed in 50 states. Including Minnesota.

      Not much in the way of triangulation in this campaign and that matters a great deal long term.

    •  The debates... (0+ / 0-)

      ...did matter.  It's all about perception, at times....

  •  has the GOP & its 'baggers become a rump party (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva, Cedwyn, dkosdan, a2nite
    In the end, Romney lost. Come to think of it, so did Karl Rove, spoiled billionaire donors and super PACs, shadowy or otherwise. The question on the table now is what's the Republican Party going to do about it?

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:57:11 AM PST

    •  hope nothing so they fade away. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkosdan, imnamerican
    •  Don't count on it (5+ / 0-)

      How many of us thought that the Republicans were going to need to do some serious soul searching or fade into irrelevancy after 2008?

      Neither outcome happened.  Instead, we got a resurgent Republican party in 2010 that was nuttier and nastier than ever.  And because of the timing, they were able to control the redistricting -- and that pretty much ensures that Republicans will maintain outsize influence (relative to their actual ability to win votes) in the House for another eight years.

      Yes, long term demographic trends are very much against the Republicans.  But in the meantime, there's another off-term election coming up in 2014, which is when our base tends to not turn out.  So between the turn out issues in off-terms and the redistricting advantage that they have, Republicans will be able to convince themselves that the results show that they have another shot at dominance.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:22:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blame the blue dogs (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, LordMike, The Nose, dkosdan
        Instead, we got a resurgent Republican party in 2010 that was nuttier and nastier than ever.
           We had our bootheel on the snake's head, and we lifted it and let him get away. And the blue dogs' (and Obama's) silly predilection for compromising with those GOP sociopaths had a lot to do with it.

           If we'd gotten a public option and a REAL stimulus, and if the Bush tax cuts had been allowed to expire, this election wouldn't have been close.
           

        "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

        by Buzzer on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:37:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So how would we have gotten a larger stimulus? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexasTom, La Gitane, dkosdan

          In what way would a Public Option have reduced the resistance from people who were terrified they'd lose their only remaining perk, health insurance through their employer?  How did Obama manage to convince America that Republicans will fight to the death for the Bush tax cuts?  He baited them again and again, and then used that information to create a negative environment for electing a Republican to the top office.

          Just because he refuses to be Bush Blue, playing only to his base, doesn't mean his accomplishments are minor.  They're phenomenal.  Sad that you can't acknowledge that.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:26:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If the purity trolls on the left (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, dkosdan

          had come out to VOTE, instead of bitching because we "only" got Obamacare, and "only" got a small stimulus, and "only" got out of Iraq and not Afghanistan.... etc.  Need I go on?

          If you're going in the right direction, then keep walking.  You'll never get there if you stop.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:51:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I am not optimistic in connection (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli

        with the lay of the land in connection with the House. But we did manage to pick up sets offsetting the effects of gerrymandering with shifts in the demographics. The role of minorities will continue to rise because of both their increase in numbers and the static condition, or decline, of whites. The trajectory may be flatter but it is still upward.

        If you don't want to be kept in the dark and lathered with horse dung, stop acting like a mushroom.

        by nomorerepukes on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:55:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, we underestimate them in 2014 at our peril. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, exotrip, The Nose, dkosdan

        It's not enough to vote in presidential years.  Without a strong effort in the off years, we will lose too much of the progress we just made to achieve the kind of country we want.

        “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

        by ahumbleopinion on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:10:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Say, TexasTom... (0+ / 0-)

        ...if you are from the great State of Texas, you need to get more Hispanics voting and turn Texas blue, again!

        You got some work to do, but they are there....

  •  This is a good piece. Nice work. (11+ / 0-)

    "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

    by Pierro Sraffa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:00:06 AM PST

  •  A 2% bump from the debates is huge. (3+ / 0-)

    There was only a 3% spread in the final popular vote, so 2% is 2/3 of the gap, much bigger than I would have thought. Especially because at the time of the first debate, Romney was absolute toast, and it gave him at least some oxygen by making him look like a real contender. Had Obama done well in the first debate, it would have put Romney away decisively. And if Obama failed in the following debates, things could have been a lot tougher.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:02:49 AM PST

    •  But first debates (7+ / 0-)

      almost always help the challenger, since s/he gets to be on stage beside the President and gets an automatic stature bump.  Also, Romney had much "low-hanging fruit" to get there--Republicans just looking for a reason to support him, and his own advertising had made such a caricature of Romney, it didn't take much to surprise people.  (After all, Romney is a jerk off, but not--at least, prima facie--as bad as the advertising suggested.)  

      I'm not saying Obama didn't do badly in the first debate, but I do think--in retrospect--Romney was bound to come out of it looking (briefly) resuscitated.  

    •  unlikely (5+ / 0-)

      R's coming home to roost in a tribal country was inevitable, ist debate just accelerated it.

      The only group the debates really affected was the media, the most gullible and least discerning demographic in the country.

      And 2% is important in a close election but not huge. PS That 2% didn't last.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:11:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm afraid that no matter who the Repug candidate actually is these days, there will be a predictable 46-47% of the electorate voting for them. That will hold true until more non-voters start showing up at the polls. So, for the Repugs, all they look for is to pick up another 3-4% of the vote.

        Of course, when you just look at the electoral college, it's a bit of a different story.

    •  The President spent a month recovering lost ground (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkosdan, Julia Grey

      Could keeping those points in the first place extend his coat-tails a bit?

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:12:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If he'd done brilliantly in the first (0+ / 0-)

        debate that would not have stopped Republicans from rallying around their not-very-inspiring candidate.  They're tribal, they hate Obama, they'd have used his win as a reason to pull together and defeat him.

        Greg's a smart guy, and arithmetic is real.  The first debate Did Not catapult Romney into the lead, he was already trending upward due to the approaching election date.

        But blame Obama for the House.  It had nothing to do with standard mid-term voting patterns, and there's nothing we could have done to change those patterns.  We were busy resenting the weakness of the ACA, far more important than actually working in an election that would leave so many Republican states free to gerrymander.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:33:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In essence, it was a 1 month election... (0+ / 0-)

        Had some hallmarks of that incredible electioneering by Jerry Brown in 2010:  he did not start campaigning until several months before the election.  He had Dems wondering "what the hell, over," but he knew what he was doing and what he had to work with (=Meg Whitman had destroyed herself in the primaries vs. a Tea Party type...and it all came back to haunt her).

  •  I'm more concerned (10+ / 0-)

    about what democrats are going to do about it.  The shellacking in 2010 by the Tea Party or the AlterVerse as I like to refer to them - could happen again in 2014.

    They are even more angry and crazy than they were before,  now that the muslim, marxist, atheist guy from kenya was reelected - they perhaps won't have the anger of the general electorate to back them up this time - but they will come out in force.

    Some of us democrats, progressives, lefties - tend to be apathetic towards mid-terms (waving my own hand) since there's no rockstars at the top to be enthralled by.

    A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people ... restore their government to it's true principles.

    by maddrailin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:04:05 AM PST

    •  This is something that really pisses me off. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TexasTom, Eikyu Saha, annieli, ms badger

      As someone devoted to the principles and the policies, this cult of personality bullshit seems just insanely self-defeating.

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:16:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well it's a simple fact tho (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eikyu Saha, ms badger, Julia Grey

        and a double edged sword, Obama's appeal pulled people out of the woodwork to vote for him - there's a real emotional attachment to seeing him succeed.

        On the other hand - lots of those people will go back to their normal lives and hardly pay attention to what's going on between now and 2016.

        For the Freepers , 2014 can't come soon enough.

        A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people ... restore their government to it's true principles.

        by maddrailin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:27:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's our job, as activists, to change that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli

          If we can't take on the Tea Party WE need to be the party that rethinks our future.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:34:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)

        We really hurt ourselves with those weak mid-term turnouts -- and, in particular, this time it badly crippled us by handing the levers of redistricting over to the Republicans in so very many states.

        Yes, the presidency matters, but so do the congressional seats and state legislatures.

        And I'm not a fan of the cult of personality, either.  I can't help but remember the billboard of George W Bush in a noble pose with the caption "Our Leader" that appeared after the 2004 election.  It was creepy and I have no desire to emulate that sort of thing.  I like and respect President Obama as being a basically good (but imperfect) president...but I have no desire to get into that sort of near-worship that I saw Republicans give Bush until his final two years.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:31:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The "rock stars" for 2014... (0+ / 0-)

      ...will be the same:  voter suppression, anti-women issues, anti-immigrant issues (=maybe not?), anti-LGBT issues (=maybe not?), infrastructure spending, ending the Afghanistan war, congressional obstructionalism....

  •  We should work to fix those tea party numbers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Miggles, dkosdan, Albanius

    Neutral + Unfavorable needs to be less than 50%.

    •  I still believe the "Tea Party" was a... (0+ / 0-)

      ...code word/amorphous organization that was created out of whole cloth because a black man was elected President.

      Some of them will just resign themselves that "things have changed," but nothing will mentally change with them until they die off.

  •  Republicans have found their answer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, annieli, dkosdan, Albanius

    Benghazi!

    (Don't worry, Fox will give them a new one in a few weeks when that one doesn't fill the right's insatiable hunger for phony scandal narrative.)

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:05:11 AM PST

    •  Yes they have... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      But I have to admit that as I see the non-stop Benghazi coverage on  Fox News, I can't help but remember how many of us thought Abu Ghraib would be the end of the Bush presidency in 2004.

      Needless to say, it didn't happen.

      I think the lesson that we learned -- and that Republicans probably haven't -- is that a single issue will rarely swing an election.  Especially if it is something that is happening outside the US.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:33:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They tried to create a Jimmy Carter... (0+ / 0-)

      ...moment vis-a-vis the Iran hostage rescue mishap...that helped Reagan.

      It did not work.

  •  Some poll questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albanius, dkosdan

    support and reinforce public ignorance of how systems work.  Certainly, the two parties want to battle it out over whether  Obama or Dubya is more responsible for the recession.  The truth is, tht to the degree politicians are responsible for such swings in the business cycle, if you want to make it a partisan question, it would be much more reasonable to ask whether Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton that was more responsible, as Reagan presided over the initiaition of the deregulatory madness in general, and Clinton that made the deregulation of banking and finance  a centerpiece of his presidency.  But of course, the real problem wasn't either of the individuals, it was the social adoption of the ideology of deregulatory reform, and the social classes that successfully imposed that ideology on our society for their own benefit.   What emerges as particularly noteworthy is that while this matter gets reduced to whether Obama or Bush is to blame, the ideology of deregulated dominance of capital remains completely unchanged and unchallenged.  So the one thing we can be certai of is that what we've just gone throgh is something we should expect to go through again in the none-too-distant future.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:08:21 AM PST

    •  it's a political q and not a policy q n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, dkosdan

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:14:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then a dysfunctional politics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Albanius, dkosdan

        that almost deliberately leads the public away  from understanding and addressing the real issue, a politics that fails to learn from even the most recent of disasters.  And to indulge a politics almost guaranteed to repeat the economic and social trauma we've just started to emerge from is a horrendously self-destructive politics.  With an enormous  pricetag that all of us except the 1% will have to pay.  Again.

        Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

        by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:19:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just for the record (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Los Diablo

    I would have said I support the tea-party movement.  I want a filibuster proof Democratic majority by 2016, and they seem like the most likely way to get us there.

  •  I'm not convinced the debate didn't matter... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buzzer

    It wasn't enough to affect the Presidential election result, but it could very well have been enough to limit our gains in the gerrymandered House.  A larger margin of victory for Obama could have been enough to flip another 10 seats our way, or possibly even enough to give the gavel back to Pelosi (it was a long shot, but it might have happened).  

    What's more, I think the debates ended up not mattering because the election wasn't that close.  Before the first debate it was looking like we were on the way to a redux of Clinton's whipping of Dole.  Romney just wasn't very popular and he wasn't resonating.  Obama was consistently leading in the polls by 4-5 points.  

    It was only post debate that things tightened up and started to look like a reverse 2004.  Now, this wasn't really like 2004.  If the election had been that close pre-debate, I think there's a high likelihood that we would have Presidential elect Romney right now.  Obama had enough of a lead that he could afford to take on some water.

    The result of the debate wasn't so much that Obama lost ground, but that Romney gained ground, so Obama "recovering most of his voters" isn't really the right measuring stick, in my opinion.  

    It's arguable that Romney would have gained from the first debate no matter what.  After all, he was doing so poorly that just by pretending to be a moderate he might manage to win over a few undecided or vacillating voters.  However, by giving Romney complete reign to reinvent himself, Obama allowed him to gain a lot more than he should.  

    So, I tend to disagree that the debate didn't matter.  I think it was a quite pivotal moment in the campaign.  While it didn't determine the overall victor, I believe it still had a fairly large impact on how things turned out.  

    •  except it didn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      that's what's funny. Look at the numbers.

      And look at them especially in context of all three (or 4) debates.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:16:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a massive tightening post first debate (0+ / 0-)

        And it doesn't undo itself after the third debate.  It's not about Obama's number, it's about Romney's.  He was down, struggling to clear 46% in a number of states.  After the debates he was up at around 47-48 and he carried them into the election.  

        With all due respect, I think you're looking at the numbers in an effort to see what you want to see.  If you don't think that the race became a lot closer after the first debate and remained that way through the election, then I don't know what to say.  

        Before the first debate, Obama looked poised to win by about 5 points, as opposed to the 3 he finally pulled off.  

        •  sorry, but you are mistaken (0+ / 0-)

          in what world is a couple of points "massive"? You're arguing 2 points. I'm not disputing that. But in a broad and historical sense, and this year, 2 points simply isn't a lot.

          OTOH, if you read the pundits, we're talking Game Change II. It isn't so. More typical is 2004, where Kerry won the debates (all of them) by bigger numbers and lost the election.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:45:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the flip side of that coin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli
      I'm not convinced the debate didn't matter...

      It wasn't enough to affect the Presidential election result, but it could very well have been enough to limit our gains in the gerrymandered House.  A larger margin of victory for Obama could have been enough to flip another 10 seats our way, or possibly even enough to give the gavel back to Pelosi (it was a long shot, but it might have happened).  

      had obama crushed romney in the first debate and made it patently obvious just how hopeless team R was that early on, that could have shifted rove et al's support to downticket races.

      which other 10 seats do you think it could have changed?  bachmann?  nah.  her strongholds came through.  dems voted HUGE in MN this year.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:20:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just about any seat where the Dem lost by 1-2% (0+ / 0-)

        could have flipped.  

        Even had Rove switched to down ticket races, I don't think it would have mattered.  The hundreds of millions spent appeared to have very little impact overall, so why fear it?  I think a demoralized Republican base would have been more detrimental to their performance than Rove's money would have helped.  

        •  not an answer (0+ / 0-)

          blanket generalizations don't work.  so much depends on, like you said, the gerrymandering, location, and what not.  i think the idea that stronger obama coattails could have flipped 10 more seats is quite fanciful.  

          for example, bachmann's race was definitely within that 2% range and that was with huge, highly motivated dem turnout.  MN kicked ass last week.

          and if it all does hinge on the debates, wouldn't the GOP have been demoralized after the last three?

          as for rove, et al:  their ads may have been ineffective, but that's partly due to oversaturation.  they honed in on a handful of races, mostly in the senate.  if they had written romney off and decided to cut losses there, they'd have been free to focus on house races too.

          but really, the point is we could go back and forth all day; this is all just opinion.

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:14:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I think 2012 lot like 2004 (0+ / 0-)

      The electoral college victory for Obama is impressive, but just as only 100,000 votes would have flipped the election for Kerry, a few hundred thousand was all Romney needed in 2012:

      - 75,000 in Florida
      - 110,000 in Ohio
      - 125,000 in Colorado
      - 120,000 in Virginia

      And we're talking President Romney :(

      Now granted, that's a lot of votes to switch in those states. But the Electoral College made it much closer than the final results indicated.

      •  heh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, vcmvo2, IM

        all he had to do was not lose 10 of 11 swing states by varying amounts.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:05:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In the end it was a lot like 2004, I agree. (0+ / 0-)

        But pre-debate it didn't look like that.  In 2004 Kerry and Bush traded leads a number of times.  Up until the debate, Romney never managed to lead.  It was quite surprising how poorly he was doing.  Based on the metrics it looked a lot like Clinton-Dole up to that point.  But after the debate things changed.  

        I just completely disagree with Greg Dworkin, and I don't believe the numbers conclusively prove the debate didn't matter.  I think a lot of this comes down to subjective interpretation.  

        •  actually (0+ / 0-)

          what the numbers do not do is support the idea that the debates really did matter. You have to bring in other concepts and arguments to make the case, including "what if Obama blew the next 2" or "what if there were only one debate"? All hypotheticals that have little to do with reality.

          It never looked like Clinton Dole (11-13 point leads). That's absurd. It never even looked like Obama McCain.

          That the debate mattered greatly is an idea people can't let go of despite little data to support it.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:52:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  47% tape was important..let's not forget that (10+ / 0-)

    President Carter's grandson had a hand in the release.
    Kudos to the Carter clan!

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:10:06 AM PST

  •  If debates don't matter.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..is anyone willing to sign on to the hypothetical that a repeat of Denver in all three debates would have ended up with the same result?

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:11:11 AM PST

    •  heh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      anyopne want to cite the hypothetical that if reagan ran against Dukakis he'd have done better than Romney did against Obama?

      it is what it was.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:17:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you missed the point.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..the question is whether debates can swing elections.  If you belive they can't, then you also believe a threepeat of the Denver situation wouldn't have changed the outcome.  

        I want to see exactly how many folks truly believe that.

        When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

        by Wayward Son on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:02:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course debates matter! (3+ / 0-)

      Ask Senators-elect Akin and Mourdock, lol.

      Obviously Obama didn't flub the first debate that badly, but when a single sentence, or even two words ('legitimate rape') can change the outcome of an election so completely, candidates from here on are on notice not to take them for granted.

  •  The Man's Prayer - from the Red Green show (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    "I'm a man
    but I can change
    if I have to.
    I guess."

    The GOP is still grappling with that change thing.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:12:08 AM PST

  •  thank you!!! (5+ / 0-)

    i really, really hope we can finally put to bed all the nonsense about how obama screwed the pooch in the first debate and only turned things around because of biden's debate.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:12:31 AM PST

  •  while Schadenfreude is great fun, lets not ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subo03, Julia Grey

    Lose sight of just how easily this could have turned out differently.

    If the cute little clowncar hadn't shown up and disgorged every socio-phsycopath the right wing owned, this could have turned out much differently.

    Think for a moment if the republicans had unified early behind a not-so-scary candidate who nodded to hispanics and woman.

    Maybe even one who dressed down the zeolots.

    I know, I know, that candidate could never get the nomination.  Not in this cycle at least.

    We could run into that candidate next time however.

    And driving people out of this party for lack of purity won't help.

    Just sayin.

  •  Thoroughly enjoyed this, Greg (7+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this analysis.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:23:45 AM PST

  •  I'm actively rooting for the Republicans... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, exotrip, vcmvo2

    to not get the message from their electoral thumpin'...
    Please, GOP, double-down.
    Be more conservative,more anti-immigrant, more homophobic & sexist & nakedly racist!

    (-:

  •  "Everybody knew" that a black man could not get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    elected President of the United States.  In the 1980s, a national newsmagazine asked "What Does Jesse Want?" when Jesse Jackson was running for the Presidency.  Political scientists were saying that the US was "not ready" for a black President.  And the idea that a woman -- or even better, a woman of color -- might get elected President was something out of science fiction.

    We've got a long way to go, but we've come a long way, baby.

    Every honest communication poses a risk that we will hear something that could challenge or change us. -- Kenneth Cloke

    by GreenMtnState on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:28:38 AM PST

  •  This is generally a very well-argued post, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, Albanius

    It makes one large mistake.

    It trusts what people say about their motives and emotions in hindsight.

    Normally, I'd let that pass, but in a post that includes this:

    Once they know an outcome, people tend to inflate their initial predictions by an average of 15 to 20 percent, Dr. Roese said — ample wiggle room to retrospectively alter almost any prediction from “it’s going to happen” to “it probably won’t,” be it a tennis match, a legal decision or a presidential race
    .

    What does that suggest?

    "Why did you have sex with that woman that you're not married to?"

    How many men do you think would answer that question with "because I'm not happy with my marriage" who would never have dreamed of uttering those words before they met that impossibly hot fill-in-the-blank that came on to them hard the night before?

    Well, they'll never know because there's no way anyone will figure out a way to do a study on this one, but I'm guessing that 15 to 20 percent is an underestimate.

    "Is that girl attractive?"

    I'm guessing that that one can vary more than 50 per cent based on the answer to the question "is that girl attracted to me?".

    "Why did you shoot that person?"

    Are you going to go with "heat of the moment" or "he had it coming."?

    Kind of depends on if you're in court or not, doesn't it?

    And the damned thing is, we've evolved in such a way that we BELIEVE what we say when we say it.

    The truth is, that half the time we don't know ourselves.

    So, you just voted for someone.  The deed is done, and more than that, you've publicly said that you voted for one candidate or another.

    Now let's say you voted for Obama, because, you'll excuse my personal bias here, but I'm just going to assume for the time being that the more objective and reasonable among us tend to go for Obama.  I'm biased that way.

    Now somebody asks you if you approve of him.

    It's a bit like asking a woman if she likes the guy she just slept with after that wild party.

    If he calls her the next day and sends her some flowers, she sure did.  He was fabulous!

    If he pretends he's never seen her before the next time they meet, she's swearing off drinking and hating men for the next month.

    These are AFTER THE FACT questions, and as I hope the above examples illustrate, our answers to those are as often rationalizations as they are reasons.

    I agree about most of your analysis and think it is spot-on, but trusting exit polls is asking people why they did something after they did it.  That's why we invented lying -- to ourselves as well as others -- in the first place.

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    by journeyman on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:28:58 AM PST

    •  exit polls are not always correct (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      journeyman, annieli, vcmvo2

      see Sandy section, but when they match how you actually voted, you have to take them more seriously, especially where the post election poll matches the preelection trend (which is where I make the assertions.)

      For a great example see the Greg Sargent bit wherein pre-election polls match post-election exit polls on what's important to people re the economy... and the bit about caring for you and me was shown in preelection polls for months.

      It's surprising that Romney only tied Obama in fixing the economy. It's not surprising that O was seen as better for the middle class. Polls showed that for months.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:44:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't get me wrong, please. (0+ / 0-)

        I think this was a great piece and I think your point about pre-election data matching that of the exit polls is valid.  I just think that exit polls, aside from the top lines, need to be taken with grain of salt.  Thanks for the great post and for taking the time to read my response.

        Both were much appreciated.

        Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

        by journeyman on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:52:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  PS great comment! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      journeyman, annieli

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:44:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP Cartoon is Joe Btfsplk From L'il Abner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, Subo03

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Joe Btfsplk was a character in the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner by cartoonist Al Capp (1909–1979). He's well-meaning, but is the world's worst jinx, bringing disastrous misfortune to everyone around him. A small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovers over his head to symbolize his bad luck. Hapless Btfsplk and his ever-present cloud became one of the most iconic images in Li'l Abner.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:32:08 AM PST

  •  Looks like movement in Ohio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Obama is now up 50.2 to 48.2, an increase of his 1.9 margin before.

    http://uselectionatlas.org/...

  •  I think the debate about center-left/center-right (0+ / 0-)

    should be viewed in the context of the much discussed Overton Window.

    It has been said, and accepted by many, that we are a 'center-right' nation.

    Regardless of the truth in that, I'm not convinced that the electorate has shifted views, but more of the mind that the ground beneath it has moved far enough to the right that the middle ground has drifted to the left.

    I'm not really FAT - it's an unfortunate childhood nickname.

    by FatPath on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:39:00 AM PST

  •  And with this election (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subo03, exotrip, The Nose, vcmvo2

    can we finally put to bed the notion that Karl Rove is some kind of political genius that dems need to fear! In fact, we need to be lauding and learning from Obama's team! And, hopefully, this election will add another nail into the coffin of MSM punditry - we can all breathe a sigh of relief when that coffin is finally nailed shut!

  •  I don't think single debates matter much. (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if the "debates don't matter much" line would have held up if Obama got smoked in all three debates, though.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:46:33 AM PST

    •  on average they don't swing the campaign dial (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      as much as conventions, mostly because there are more chances for draws and ambiguity. Conventions are one sided good news for a week.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:48:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Taking RAND at face value (0+ / 0-)

      - The first debate had little impact - it took place at a time when Romney was naturally rebounding, and added little to the trends

      - The second debate substantially reversed Romney's momentum, even though it was the Vice-President debate

      - Although Romney is thought to have done poorly in the second debate, he made a substantial climb afterwards

      - The third debate hurt Romney somewhat

      - Romney's support increased during Hurricane Sandy in the leadup to the election, even while many Republicans were screaming about Christie's bromance and being knocked off the air

      Most of these conclusions are at odds with conventional wisdom. Unless there's some sophisticated time lag factor at work, I think the better conclusion is that gaffes and debates had a varying effect on Romney's support, but there was a definite ceiling to what he could get from the electorate, probably determined by the President's approval ratings.

      So yeah, debates not as important, but likeability/approval is everything!

  •  Liberal Math Stuff strikes Again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    The astounding thing is knowing that all that data was
    readily available to anyone.

    No Black Boxes. No Mysterious VooDoo Calculations.

    All you have to Do is READ It.

    Those Numbers tell a Story that Some People Just Don't
    Want to Hear.

    They Ignored that story before the Election and they are
    now working Overtime to try to make that story Go Away.

    What I cannot Fathom is How some folks manage to
    Delude THEMSELVES and then Instantly construct Imaginary
    excuses when Reality finally arrives.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:48:46 AM PST

  •  u mean R-Money didn't have momentum??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    Of all the idiocy in the media this cycle, the worse was their insistence that R-Money had momentum even though the polls taken in aggregate showed exactly the opposite.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:52:11 AM PST

  •  It's all about (0+ / 0-)

    convincing enough median voters which side their bread is buttered on. There is just enough promise of real redistribution to put Obama over the top. It's not a lot of promise, and was never intended to be. Just enough.

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:52:43 AM PST

  •  ALL countries are "Center Moderate" countries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, annieli, ipsos

    The political spectrum is not some absolute, like degrees Kelvin, where you can measure the mood of the country by how hot or cold it gets. The "center" is, duh, always the "center". The question gets skewed by trying to align voting and political parties - where one result favors one side or the other - with the "center". The winner is almost by definition more "centrist" and "moderate" (less so in winner-take-all systems, of course, like ours). The only time this gets skewed is if the voting system is skewed one way or another, which it is in this country by the electoral college (small states, rural interests are favored) and by the Senate (every state gets two) and by the house districting process (gerrymandering).

    The electorate in this country believe in things that are more "liberal" than the politicians and leaders who are elected. A case can be made that both political parties are right of center - the Democrats moderately center-right, the Republicans far right - because of the electoral system skew in place.

    This is evident when voters are surveyed on issues, and "liberal" issues come up with higher favorabilities far more consistently than candidates who support those positions are elected.

    So: the PARTIES are center-right and right, and the ELECTORATE are "centrists" which means more liberal than either. That's a better way to look at it. And it's why this is a Progressive country more than anything else, if you want to look at the beliefs of people as a whole.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:57:56 AM PST

  •  End This Depression Now! -- Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    After the Epic Fail of RW Propaganda, people might be ready to listen to reason.

    Or, just send Krugman to join Warren in the Senate and End This Depression, Forever!

    "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

    by dkosdan on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:04:26 AM PST

  •  Great writing, Greg. Pediatricians rock! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Greg Dworkin

    From a fellow pediatrician in Kailua, HI.
    Judy Vincent, MD
    aka "surfermom"

    My lady binder is killing me.

    by surfermom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:08:12 AM PST

  •  Thanks for a great analysis, Greg. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, vcmvo2

    It's interesting that people who are convinced that President Obama blew the first debate and it was catastrophic can't let that go.  Is there something in the DNA of Democrats that makes it impossible for us to revel in victory?  

    We won a huge election in the face of CU and probably billions in Super-PAC spending, we not only kept the Senate we increased our majority, we won the top prize, and our showing in the House and in Governor's races was impressive.  We did better than the most optimistic of us could have hoped for.  

    Minnesota dropped it's brief flirtation with the right wing, we have the first openly gay female Senator, the tide has changed for civil rights for GLBT's, the Indian Nations pushed us over the top in Heidi Heitkamp's race.  For the first time ever We, The People, have a strong string of victories and very few gut-punch losses.

    And still I read that Obama is going to sell us out, SS and Medicare are on the chopping block, austerity will win, whistle-blowers will be killed by drones, Democrats will cave, the 1% won even though it may not look like they won, they won because I said they won because all politicians are corporate shills.

    Republicans love power even though they're terrible at using it.  Democrats seem to hate power because it means embracing the difficult work of governing, compromise, inclusion.  Maybe we could give the President a few weeks here, maybe we could praise his impeccable campaign, his stunning victory?

    Didn't every Progressive backed candidate lose in 2010?  Maybe it's not an accident that the most Progressive candidates won in 2012, maybe President
    Obama's defining of the Republican candidate/agenda was brilliant enough to make people pay attention this time out.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:12:57 AM PST

    •  I would rec this 1000x if I could (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD

      This place and the whole first debate thing is and should be over.

      What I think is the people that love to criticize Obama just want to make their case ahead of having anything to criticize yet.

      We could celebrate our wins just a little bit longer.

      It is ridiculous to keep ragging on the first debate.

      In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

      by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:52:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        Although I notice that the Dronez folks and the whistle-blowers folks and the Geithner folks are gearing up.

        What I always wonder is this:  what's your solution?  War is shit, what's your solution?  How do we build a peaceful world?  Is it possible that your whistle-blowers did some serious damage, that they may not be 100% heroic?  Did Paul Krugman have the experience to do a better job on the economy than Geithner and Paulson and Obama did?  Who would have done it better?  Why do you think so?  What policies could have been shoved through when Democrats have running scared for 35 years?

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:49:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great Questions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I love OCD

          It is easy to criticize but not so easy to solve problems and then to govern.

          President Obama has governed well, he deserved re-election.

          In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

          by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:25:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Strange reaction to CA: Prop 30 win by businesses (0+ / 0-)

    I am noticing a lot of grumbling by business people out in California about the Prop 30 win. And it has me puzzled. A few people I know are saying that their business taxes are going to go up under Prop 30. That sounds like hogwash to me.

    A few of them are also looking to buy a home in places like Arizona and claim they live there 51% of the time. This all sounds like a someone has them running scared for no reason.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:15:20 AM PST

    •  Well, they can try that; (0+ / 0-)

      Claiming to live in AZ while running a business in Cali. But let me tell ya, the record keeping is a bitch, then there's the cost of transportation, which I suspect would eat into any 'savings' from avoiding possibly higher taxes.

      And the Cali taxes and revenue dept is merciless and relentless in chasing down every nickel they think is owed to the state of California. Mr Red went through more than 2 years of arguments with them about a payment made to from a California company to him. The amount T&R wanted was less than 100$, Mr Red spent several times that amount as our CPA kept writing letters and sending forms and documents to CA to prove Mr Red didn't owe any tax to CA.

      Like a lot of bluster, I think the reality of trying to set up yr business to live in AZ and have CA customers and vendors to avoid slightly higher taxes will quickly fade if these fools actually have any common sense.

      "We have two parties in this country right now. One party is a center-right party that believes that it is unseemly to let old people die in the streets. And the other party is insane." Charles P Pierce

      by NMRed on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:29:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to worry... (0+ / 0-)

      ...there is a reason why 38 million people live in California...and not in Mississippi or Arizona or...

  •  I just watched today's Meet the Press (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, ipsos

    And the clear consensus is in. For his second term to be successful, Obama has to accept the public'c clear mandate to govern conservatively, not raise taxes on job creators, slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not allow himself to be held hostage to his crazy far left base, work with and accede to the demands of "reasonable" conservatives like Boehner--and hire Mitt Romney to manage it all.

    This is, of course, what any Very Very Serious Person would do.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:21:18 AM PST

    •  Urrgh that why I never watch that program (0+ / 0-)

      It is so Republican mush mouth that I can't take it!

      In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

      by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:53:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I stopped watching it regularly months ago (0+ / 0-)

        But thought I'd check it out this once to see what the beltway consensus was on what the election meant and what it wanted Obama to do. It just confirmed my suspicions. If Obama is to respect the wishes of the voters and govern effectively and responsibly, he basically has to govern as Romney would have.

        I.e. by electing Obama, voters clearly signaled their preference for Romney.

        The weird thing is that I think that most of these people are so stupid, lazy and clueless in their beltway bubble that they truly, actually believe this horseshit.

        But they're also shilling for their bosses and themselves, of course.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:04:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Many, many people "knew" Sandy wasn't going (0+ / 0-)

    to be that bad.

    They relied on their own experience,

    "I've lived here in the Rockaways for 30 years"
    and on immediate prior precedent,
    "I evacuated last year and it was a hassle, and Hurricane Irene wasn't that bad.
    People who should have been smart enough to know better, such as in NY's district. He ignored the mandatory evacuation order and thought he was prepared to shelter in place. He lost his home to the fire in Breezy Point.

    When your US House Rep doesn't bother evacuating why should you take the storm seriously?

  •  I disagree on one thing (0+ / 0-)

    that debates don't matter.  It's just that they're not the ONLY thing that matters.  The first debate mattered a LOT.  But the other two mattered mattered as well, and a lot of other stuff too.  If that debate had been closer to the election I think things would not have gone as well.

    •  on average historically they don't matter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, vcmvo2

      as much as conventions. even this year, the conventions mattered more.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:35:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't think (0+ / 0-)

        the first debate would have mattered more if it had been closer to the election?  That's not sarcasm, I'm really asking.  Or is that why debates aren't scheduled closer to election day, to give campaigns time to.... adjust and incorporate as necessary?

        •  the latter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          but look at the chart. Romney's numbers were already on the way up, and they didn't move that much.

          That's a fact.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:53:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What will Sandy refugees "know" going (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    forward?  Will they learn that government was at fault?  Or will they learn that Democrats will invest in storm preparedness and upgrading the power grid, the fuel delivery systems, and so on.

    More and better Democrats in Southern NY – Sandy Refugees

    There are 3 Republican House seats in southern New York, in areas that were devastated by storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. Do we have any progressive candidates to put up in these districts next cycle?

    NY-03 Peter King (R)
       
    (Long Island, including south shore)
    NY-09 Bob Turner (R)
        (Includes the whole Rockaway Peninsula - Out due to redistricting)
    NY-13 Michael Grimm (R) (Staten Island + part of Brooklyn water front - Likely perp walk, is under investigation by the FBI)

    There are a whole lot of progressive democrats in the Occupy Sandy Relief effort, who may not call themselves progressive democrats (YET!). They are serving people whose lives have just been shattered. As they recover from this storm disaster, we need to be getting the word out that Democrats invest in infrastructure.  We can't let them learn that government's slow response here means that government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub.

    Red Cross sends a truckload of blankets to Occupy Sandy – NYTimes

    Occupy Sandy Relief started their main hub in the Rockaways with a solar powered generator from Greenpeace.  Before long, the National Guard was relying on OccupySandy to distribute food and water.  The slow motion Red Cross sent a truckload of blankets on Thursday night, 10 full days after the storm. But hey, late is better than not at all.

    Occupy Sandy's direct action, with their motto of "Solidarity, Not Charity" and their ability to organize boots on the ground, is breaking down walls that have been used to divide us. This is community organizing. It is apolitical and non-religious.

    When Greenpeace, NY National Guard, and the Red Cross are now ALL supporting Occupy Sandy, along with a long list of local organizations, you know they are doing something right!

    When we support them now, they may join us later.

  •  hindsight bias and the "Sandy" survey (0+ / 0-)

    I'd be careful about using the results of the NBC Sandy question to demonstrate hindsight bias.  The wording of the question is somewhat ambiguous and can lead to at least two different interpretations. If you interpret "the importance of Obama's hurricane response" to mean was it decisive for your choice then, yes, it would indicate hindsight bias. However, "important" could also be interpreted as reinforcing a prior decision. In other words "did Obama's hurricane response improve your confidence in your (prior) choice". In this case there is no hindsight bias.

    •  it would have to be the latter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      but see my link to the Bickers and Berry piece, wherein they use Sandy to explain why their flawed model was wrong.

      Lastly, the president clearly benefited from the "October surprise" of Superstorm Sandy. Exit polls indicate that 41% of voters claimed that the president's response to the disaster influenced their vote, with 15% stating that the response was the single most important factor when they cast their ballot for the nation's highest office.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:56:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You don't know that the debates don't matter (0+ / 0-)

    because if Obama had not gotten his game back for the second two, things might not have gone so well.

    •  I do know that historically they don't (fact) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      I do know they you can look at the graph and see their actual effect (small)

      I do know that debates generally are even and not one sided, so your hypothetical a) didn't happen and 2) is not likely to have been possible.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:17:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get irritated with the usage of "gaffe." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, vcmvo2

    A "gaffe" is a misspeak. You call out the name of a wrong city during a campaign event. You confuse which football team is the popular one. You have an awkward turn of phrase.

    Saying exactly what you mean and then realizing it is horrifically unpopular is not a "gaffe." It is a political miscalculation, perhaps, but not a "gaffe."

    www.stacysmusings.wordpress.com

    by Magenta on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:13:37 AM PST

    •  eggactly so! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      47% was not a gaffe. Nor was most of what political reporters cited.

      Of course, saying the truth by accident is known in DC as a Kinsley gaffe.

      "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say." — this definition became known as a Kinsley gaffe.[6]

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:19:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great post Greg! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    I love this feature! Facts do matter- a lot!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:57:08 AM PST

  •  great analysis, Greg. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    As usual.

  •  Exit polls do tell the tale (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    MSNBC pundits should more emphasis on these numbers once post election high wears off.

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