Posted by Brad @ 12:30 pm on November 8th 2012

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Just a random roundup of stuff from the election.

1. Jeff Flake is a Senator, as is Elizabeth Warren. I am happy with both.

2. Michelle Bachmann narrowly won. That sucks. Also, no gay Republican in MA, and maybe Allen West.

3. Gay marriage won in more ways than you probably realize.

4. And all those SuperPAC and wealthy donors buying the election got pretty much no return on the many hundreds of millions they spent. Are losing Republican campaigns essentially a tax on the 1%?

5. Nate Silver, turns out, correctly called every state of the union (presuming Florida gets formally called for Obama). It was more than a vindication – it was a straight up pimp slap to every rose-tinted right-leaning commentator trying to arrange the tea leaves into the configuration that met their confirmation bias needs. And the good news is their complaints were so starkly and so objectively refuted by reality that it’ll be hard for them to make the same mistake, at least to the same level, again.

5A. As an addendum, here is how the pollsters did. In particular, pay attention to Rasmussen and Gallup, identified as the bellweathers as to conservative assumptions on this election as Rojas talked about the other day.

6. Did you know Virginia passed an anti-emminent domain amendment to their constitution via referendum on Tuesday?

7. Am I the only one that got really mad about media reaction to marijuana victories? Just chuckles and munchies jokes all night long. You’d think the millions of mostly poor minorities rotting in jail cells or the families of the tens of thousands killed in the War on Drugs every year wouldn’t find it so funny. But that’s the luxury that wealthy white people have on the issue.

8. The one minority group Mitt Romney advanced for the GOP? Jews. Mitt improved the GOP vote share for Jews by 10% over McCain in 2000.

9. Something to watch: A LOT of the Republican intelligentsia seem to have cemented a Chris Christie resentment – places like the Corner keep mentioning it, and guys like Dick Morris had the audacity to claim that he was wrong in predicting a Romney landslide but it was because Christie made the difference for Obama and was essentially an October surprise. I think it really helped Christie nationally and with general audiences, but when he runs in 2016, except a lot colder reception than you might otherwise expect. These kinds of people have long memories, and hold a grudge.

10. I agree with Farhad Manjoo. The big winner in the media? Forget Twitter, social media, or the web. Straight up television is still the place to go for election night coverage.

11. Gary Johnson did pull in over a million votes, but didn’t quite crack 1%. Ultimately he wound up with 1.14 million or so.

12. Looking forward to immigration being a big legislative battle – and big internal GOP debate, one that will go way, way beyond anything shoving Marco Rubio forward can fix. This election, in many ways, may have been the electoral coming of age of Latinos in America. Coates:

I am hearing a great deal of talk about “appealing to Hispanics” and “appealing to women.” But I am not hearing much about endorsing actual policies. What happened last night is not a matter of cosmetics. This is not false consciousness. This a real response to real policies. Mitt Romney actually endorsed Arizona’s immigration policies. You can’t fix this by flashing more pictures of brown people.

This is not a “branding problem.” This is a “problem problem.” Latino voters didn’t go crazy. Latino voters went voter.

And, it should be noted, it’s not just immigration that Latinos care about. Health care and jobs moved them as much as anything.

13. That Puerto Rico vote is also pretty neat. I really hope that gets seriously considered – still can’t quite fathom what the problem is.

Anyway, any bits and pieces that struck you guys?


  1. Responding and adding:
    2: I am pretty confident West is toast in FL18. The margin of victory is .7% or so and the absentee ballots should not overcome that.

    7: Not to mention the casual dismissal of neo-prohibition as a stand in for the disasteroius impact of the war on drugs to civil liberties, corruption of law enforcement entities, asset forfeiture and perverse incentives, fiscal drain, and lost revenue opportunities.

    9: I don’t think so. The memory is conveniently short whenever it needs to be. Sure, some quarters will push back, but his personal charisma an dpotential to help improve the GOP’s humanity factor will overcome any resentement.

    11: Enough to keep the mainline LPUSA members from reverting back to the fringe candidates?

    13: What do you mean you can’t quite fathom the problem? Are you saying why in the world should this not happen, or are you actually asking a question about the process?

    14: Voter suppression – Did we see a major backlash that resulted in higher minority turnout because of the overt suppression attempts? Regardless, is there enough of an impression that the backlash occured such that it will, er, supress future attempts?

    15: Along these same lines, specific to FL and more specifically to Miami-Dade, will there be consequences for the officials most easily blamed for the fiasco and election night national embarassemnt of our voting process? I sure hope so. I want the media now and challengers next cycle to absolutely hammer Govenor Scott (for his screwing with our election process statewide), Mayor Gimenez (for his mismanagement of the election centers within Miami-Dade county), and members of the legislature (for their construction of the most complicated ballot I have ever seen).

    Comment by Jack — 11/8/2012 @ 2:37 pm

  2. I kinda hope that Christie does get push-back on this, and the sooner the better. He’s a guy who isn’t easily persuaded to back away from a fight, and it’s well past time that the sort of person who would give him crap for this got push-back from within the movement.

    Comment by Rojas — 11/8/2012 @ 9:33 pm

  3. Incidentally, Florida is called for Obama, despite ample efforts on the part of Florida officials to make the final “nerfersburger” or whatever the fuck they were doing down there.

    Nate Silver got every state. And then some.

    And instead of crowing, he’s doing what he does.

    Comment by Brad — 11/9/2012 @ 12:21 am

  4. Incidentally, three things I didn’t know.

    Romney won independents by five (which was always a suspect class in the best of times), won among all voters making more than $50,000 per year, and won evangelicals by a wider margin than Bush.

    Incidentally, besides Nate Silver, you know who else came in with what before the election was a very intriguing projection (meant to post it here, actually) and, after the election, seems downright prescient?

    Henry Olsen at National Review.

    Now, I think conservatives of NR’s ilk are fixated on race in a…well, let’s just say in a way that I’m not.

    But, his prediction certainly became solidified as conventional wisdom about 30 hours later.

    Comment by Brad — 11/9/2012 @ 12:30 am

  5. Two other things.

    1. Just to reiterate, each campaign raised and spent about $1 billion dollars (probably, when it’s all said and done, it will come out to total closer to $3 billion than 2). I can’t even guess at outside spending, but at least twice that.

    And, it bought…well, the status quo essentially.

    Of course, you can’t really counter-factual this: maybe without the outside spending, Romney would have gotten blown out and the Republicans might have lost a lot more seats. Maybe without that Dem spending Obama loses and the Dems lose the majority.

    But, and this is as unscientific as you can get, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels that maybe Romney got buoyed a bit in terms of at least being able to maintain the facade that this was a close race for a month or two, and maybe a race here or there turned, but my guess is if both Presidential campaigns were publicly financed and no outside spending came in at all anywhere in the country, the election would have turned out basically the same.

    I don’t know what that means: maybe, as outside groups become less retarded about how they spend their money this all changes, and how can any multi-billion dollar industry not start spending more intelligently and in a more targeted way. Or, maybe there is something peculiar to campaign spending that insulates it more from “market” incentives than other industries (I suspect both are true).

    But, I can’t help but thinking: man, can you imagine if that $5 billion or whatever had been donated to pretty much any NON-campaign charitable cause in the country? Say, higher education, or community initiatives, or veterans programs, or whatever? If every American that made a donation to a national campaign had given it somewhere else instead? I am a big believer that money IS speech in this context, and don’t begrudge anybody donating to a favorite cause or campaign. But, in practice, there surely are ROI calculations that come into effect, and honestly, even in the world of politics nevermind the world of charitable giving generally, I can hardly think of a worse investment for your $100 bucks (or $100 million) than one of the two party’s presidential campaigns.

    2. By the way, demographics is getting all the ink, but Romney and the GOP also lost voters on just about every major issue as well, from tax cuts to foreign policy

    Comment by Brad — 11/12/2012 @ 4:19 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.