Saturday, October 25, 2008

Electoral Perspective

Looking back at the past eight years, at the GOP that Rove built, it can get pretty easy to get rather cynical and pessimistic about the American electorate. There is certainly good reason for it, as TBB illustrates rather well in a recent post.

But as I pointed out in my response to that post, perhaps things aren't quite as bad as they seem. There is a cool site that shows the electoral college map for elections back to 1860 (Lincoln). What struck me first and foremost about that was just how lopsided most of those past elections were, particularly the modern ones. It wasn't at all uncommon to see electoral vote totals well over 350 for the winner, and it got over 400 and even over 500. Comparing that to George W Bush, who won with 271 and then with 286 - well, those were razor thin margins - where either 400 votes or about 150,000 votes could have changed the whole thing. That to me looks like maybe the voters, in general, aren't as stupid as some might think. Especially when you look at what happened in the past eight years (9/11) that might push a larger portion of the population to unreasoning fear than usual.

I think Rove has pushed the pure PR bullshit election strategy so hard and so far over the past eight years that it probalby just doesn't work any more. The GOP base has shrunk. The Dem base has grown. Independents are totally turned off by the GOP and by Rovian tactics. And yet despite this, all the GOP can do is keep on trying to do the same failed thing over and over. They don't know how to do anything else. They sure as hell can't run on the issues - voters vastly prefer Dem takes on most of the issues out there.

It is enough to give me hope for the future.

1 comment:

armagh444 said...

The one really consistent thing (save for in the Reagan and Nixon landslide years) has been the North / South divide, and I can't say that heartens me all that much.

You'd think that, after 150 years, we would finally get past that kind of sectionalism.