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  • The Nine Ten Nations of North America?

    Posted by Jay Manifold on December 11th, 2003 (All posts by )

    Andy Cline of Rhetorica forwards a fascinating political map of the US reminiscent of the Nine Nations. The accompanying analysis suggests that a Bush blowout next year is far from certain: “No matter whom they nominate for president, the Democrats have a pretty good template for an Electoral College win, since Gore fell only three electoral votes short in 2000.” Indeed, the NAACP get-out-the-vote drive came within an eyelash of electing Gore, and if enough Republicans disenchanted by Bush’s spending habits stay home next November, the result could be the surprise of the decade. But thanks to internal migration from the Great Lakes to the West, an exact repeat is impossible: “If every state votes the same way it did in the last election, Bush would win seven more electoral votes – a total of 278 votes, up from 271 in 2000.” RTWT.

     

    20 Responses to “The Nine Ten Nations of North America?”

    1. Vlad the Inhaler Says:

      I’m not worried because swing voters don’t vote on things like Bush’s spending habits. Everything hinges on the war at the moment. He does well there, he’s got nothing to worry about. Most Americans don’t know Bush is spending like a drunken Democrat. What they do know, if they watch NBCCBSABCCNNMSNBC, is thugs murder our soldiers daily.

      Nice post though.

    2. Vlad the Inhaler Says:

      BTW, an exact repeat is impossible for another reason: 9/11. Seems to me any electoral prediction has to take that into account to be taken seriously.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      Don’t forget that there has been some redistricting, on balance favoring Republicans, since 2000. So Republican dominance of Congress is likely to continue, and perhaps even become stronger, even if Bush loses.

    4. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      Still, many Republicans assume Bush is going to win, out of incumbency, and because they think Dean is a flash in the pan.

      Never mind that they don’t quite realize that their view of Dean is quite similar to everyone else’s view of Bush. There is still a year to go. Another year of casualties in Iraq with no clear end in sight, economic volatility and other protectionist claptrap could also produce just enough Bush fatigue on the Republican side to offset those redistricting changes.

      Whether it’s Iraq or the 2004 election, implicit, if not explicit, complacency and denial are rather common among Republicans these days.

      Of course, the converse is true. There is still a year to go, and this too, can change.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Too many people are focusing on noise. The incumbent usually wins if the economy is good, and in this case it’s reasonable to assume that his chances will diminish significantly if he is seen to mishandle Iraq. So I think it’s reasonable to predict a Bush win if things go well in the economy and Iraq, but I’m skeptical that it’s possible to say much more of value now. There’s too much time left for unpredictable events, that would negate most predictions, to occur.

      Of course many of us still need something to discuss in the meantime, so we’ll keep talking.

    6. Sandy P. Says:

      At this point, economic prediction is best in 20 years.

      More and larger Iraqi protests like yesterday and even the media will have to pay attention. That’s a plus in W’s column.

    7. M. Says:

      Why is it always assumed that people migrating from liberal states to more conservative states are always:

      A)Consevatives to begin with

      or

      B)Liberals who somehow become conservative?

      Is not just as likely that the liberals will retain their politics and voting habits,changing voting patterns a happened in Vermont,FLA,and the CArolinas?

    8. mr. courtesy Says:

      I find it disheartening to hear vlad express hope in the possibility that:

      “Most Americans don’t know bush is spending like a drunken Democrat.”

      Think about what you are saying! You are admitting that Bush is a president without fiscal responsibility, but you hope people won’t notice that and vote for him anyway!

      Is this what it has come to? Hoping people won’t notice what a half-ass president Bush is, so that they will vote for him?

      why? If he sucks, he sucks. If he sucks, don’t vote for him.

      I hear this kind of crap all the time. Classic unprincipled party politics. I’m not saying any of the Democratic candidates are going to be better… I personally don’t like Bush for a number of reasons. One of them is because, yes, he is spending like a “drunken democrat.” If I find a democratic candidate that won’t spend like crazy, but can prosecute the war on terror, i’ll vote for him. If i can find an independant who will do that, i’ll vote for him. If i find a republican, same thing… But hoping that people won’t notice what an irresponsible spender Bush (and the entire republican-controlled House of Reps) is, so that they will vote for him.. no thanks.

      A man’s got to stick to his guns, not his political party.

    9. Jonathan Says:

      Think about what you are saying! You are admitting that Bush is a president without fiscal responsibility, but you hope people won’t notice that and vote for him anyway!

      Is this what it has come to? Hoping people won’t notice what a half-ass president Bush is, so that they will vote for him?

      I don’t think Vlad is expressing such a hope. I think he is expressing the dismay many conservatives and libertarians feel about Bush’s poor record in one area. Believe it or not, Bush is not a one-dimensional character and it is possible to approve some of his actions while disapproving others. It could be that on balance he is still better than the alternatives (I think so). But balance and other adult concepts do not fit in the BUSH SUCKS worldview — in which we must be either for or against someone, without qualification.

      Good luck finding another candidate, of any party, “that won’t spend like crazy, but can prosecute the war on terror,” because no such person is currently running for president. The real alternatives are an imperfect Bush vs. a bunch of unserious Democrats who give no reason to expect they would be better than W on either the war or domestic spending. So are you going to admit that Bush is the best of a flawed field, or are you going to keep using an imaginary perfect candidate as an excuse not to vote for Bush?

    10. mr. courtesy Says:

      Obviously, i disgree.. and i think vlad is definitely expressing such a hope.

      in addition…the BUSH SUCKS worldview fits perfectly into “balance and other adult concepts”… People can be both adult and think that “bush sucks.” Are you implying that if you don’t like Bush, then you aren’t adult? Or that you don’t have “balance”? Nonsense. I know plenty of intelligent adults that think that Bush is a bad president or “sucks” or whatever term fits. If it was my use of the word “sucks” that you think is unadult…well i was using it to make a simple point.

      Contrarary to what you are saying, when you walk into the voter box and are faced with two candidates, you are forced to be “either for or against someone.” There is no way around it. If you are for Bush, you are against Dean, and vice versa.

      Do you not see the irony in pointing out the fact that Bush is spending like a “drunken democrat” but that, gee, most people aren’t noticing so fortunately he has a good shot of being re-elected?

      That’s all I am trying to do–to point out the irony is such a thought process.

      I completely agree that Bush is not a “one-dimensional” character. I completely agree that one has to balance all of the issues when selecting a person to vote for. But most people do not see it that way. Most people are not so sophisticated to understand and balance all issues–economic policy, foreign policy, environmental policy, fiscal policy, healthcare policy, education policy, etc… In my experience, teachers care about education policy. Conservationists care about environmental policy. Seniors care about healthcare policy. And they are going to make a decision based on single issues, not on the “balance” of issues.

      Look. I think we are doing the right thing in Iraq. I really do. I think that Iraq will be Bush’s legacy, no doubt about it. I think we have to rethink the “process” of it all, change our tactics and strategy here and there, but on the whole I think Iraq now has the potential to become a much better place. I don’t think any democrat would have made the call to overthrow saddam.

      But i am not yet convinced that Dean or some other democrat would not be able to be effective in the War on Terror. If there is something out there that I haven’t seen, haven’t read, or haven’t heard that would lead me to think that my family would be in more danger from a terrorist threat if Dean or some other dem were the president, then please point me to it. So far i am still waiting. Because, as it stands right now, I don’t feel any safer since 9/11 because of anything that “only” Bush could have done. But i do know this: I am pissed off about government spending, pissed off about environmental policy, pissed off about the medicare bill, and so on..

      If you think that I am using an “imaginary perfect candidate” as an excuse not to vote for bush, then you are mistaken. I haven’t ruled out Bush or anyone else for the upcoming election. But i’m not going to pretend that I actually think bush is a great president, worthy of my unconditional vote. I am and always will be open to hearing what the other side has to offer come next year..

      and thanks for the post.

      :)

    11. Vlad the Inhaler Says:

      In my experience, teachers care about education policy. Conservationists care about environmental policy. Seniors care about healthcare policy. And they are going to make a decision based on single issues, not on the “balance” of issues.

      Yeah, but those people you pull out of a hat aren’t swing voters. Teachers vote Democrat come hell or high water. Same with Conservationists. The issue is what swing voters will do. In my opinion, they will vote on the war. (BTW, I don’t see the irony.)

    12. mr. courtesy Says:

      IMHO, It is ironic when you hope people will vote for a politician who is doing something that you think is bad.

    13. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      There is nothing ironic about it. It’s called life. All politicians I know of, and ever voted for, did one thing I thought was bad. There is just no way around it. But if the other alternatives are worse, I will end up voting for him.

    14. Vlad the Inhaler Says:

      1: I hope Bush wins

      2: I think swing voters will vote on the war.

      1 + 2 = no irony.

    15. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      Vlad, I’d think you’d expect swing voters to vote on the war, given your hope.

      However, you are also assuming the voters will want more of the same, with one more year of costly, treacherous, difficult occupation under our belt.

      Like most predictions and ‘hopes’, these tend to assume all things stay equal. They don’t. They never do. They never will. A year is a long time, specially in America. That is one third of the time W. has spent in office so far. The potential for disruptions and political shifts is simply too large. Just think about six months ago. Bush looked brilliant on the war, bad on the economy. Every other pundit opined the latter could undo him just as it did his father. Six months on, he looks brilliant on the economy and the war part is not looking so hot. The same pundits now think that will be his major problem.

      And that’s just six months. Sure you know what swing voters are going to do a year from now ?

      Most Republicans and conservatives I know underestimate the overall feeling of fatigue of the electorate. Like it or not, many, superficially or deeply, associate the current President with all the issues the country is facing. One more year of war and renewed economic volatility – think dollar scare for a few months, which is well within the realm of possibility – will not make them less sensitive to a ‘no Bush, no problems’ message. Specially if, once the primaries over and done with, the Democrats lighten up on the Michael Moore-like rhetoric for dummies and get serious and focused. Remember they have the media advantage in hammering this message under every possible angle.

      If I had to call the odds now, I would have a hard time giving W. more than 50/50. His victory is essentially out of his hands. It depends on Iraq – and all the entities, local and foreign, with Middle Eastern interests who want to see him out -, the economy which is not something you can wish or coerce into behaving itself, and, of course his opponent. The latter is important. Like it or not, the Dems have a shot here, and they know it. And yes, they can definitely blow it.

      But all the conservative talk and certitude about Dean losing is starting to sound more like hope. When you’re finding yourself hoping the other guy screws up and shoots himself in the foot, it’s time to wonder if you’re not in a tighter corner than you want to believe. And if you’re relying on that assumption, you might very well be in denial.

    16. Trent Telenko Says:

      Actually, Sylvain, Clinton Democrats are saying that loudly and more often than Republicans:

      http://www.news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1370402003

      You also need to check these Daniel Drezner posts here:

      http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/000933.html

      and here:

      http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/000927.html

      I particularly like this article clip from Drezner poster Tom Holsinger:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58554-2003Dec12.html

      “For all Dean’s talk about wanting to represent the truly “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” the paradox is that he is a third-party candidate using modern technology to achieve a takeover of the Democratic Party. Other candidates — Joseph Lieberman , John Kerry, John Edwards — are competing to take control of the party’s fundraising, organizational and media assets. But Dean is not interested in taking control of those depreciating assets. He is creating his own party, his own lists, his own money, his own organization. What he wants is the Democratic brand name and legacy, its last remaining asset of value, as part of his marketing strategy. Perhaps that’s why former vice president Al Gore’s endorsement of Dean last week felt so strange — less like the traditional benediction of a fellow member of the party “club” than a senior executive welcoming the successful leveraged buyout specialist. And if Dean can do it this time around, so can others in future presidential campaigns.”

      and this blog analysis clip I posted from the Real Clear Politics web site:

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/commentary.html#12_9_03_1123

      In other words, the virtual community – excuse me, the “revolution” – Dean is creating exists only among the most affluent, most urban, most active Democrat voters. This is an accomplishment of some importance, but I’m skeptical of a revolution that leaves out huge chunks of the traditional Democrat-voting population.

      This Fox News story suggests the Dean campaign is succeeding in creating community among its supporters, especially serving as a social club and a dating service for the 18-40 year old crowd. Again, predominantly white, predominantly urban. Very little help in winning West Virginia or Arkansas.

      Conversely, this article in today’s Washington Post shows that the Dean campaign’s success in building a huge lead in New Hampshire has had very little to do with its Internet operation but instead has been based on a good old-fashioned ground game.

      Replicating this type of effort in battleground states is what it’s all about. As Mike Allen and Dan Balz reported recently, all the hoopla surrounding the Dean campaign has obscured the fact that whoever wins the nomination will be facing a Goliath next year.

      In the end, it looks to me like the Dean Internet campaign is just a political mutation of the Internet bubble that burst a few years back. They harnessed the power of the Internet to shake the foundations of the traditional campaign model in America. Dean could not and would not be where he is today without the Internet.

      But like so many companies who thought they had changed forever the way business was done, Trippi and Co. think they’ve created a new campaign structure that will revolutionize the way people interact, organize and support Howard Dean. Is the Dean campaign showing us a glimpse of the future of politics in America? Probably at some point, but that point isn’t now.

      The irony is that the Dean team may succeed in using the Internet to plant the seeds of a new, politically active progressive community, but right now smart money still says they are going to get their asses handed to them next November. It’s the modern day, liberal version of a favorite conservative fable – with a twist. It’s Goldwater.com. – T. Bevan 11:15 am

    17. Vlad the Inhaler Says:

      Vlad, I’d think you’d expect swing voters to vote on the war, given your hope.

      What are you, a shrink?

      However, you are also assuming the voters will want more of the same, with one more year of costly, treacherous, difficult occupation under our belt.

      Well gee, when you put it that way… costly, treacherous…. You sound like Paris Match. Any other slanted adjectives you’d like to add?

      And that’s just six months. Sure you know what swing voters are going to do a year from now ?

      Uh, no… should that stop me from having an opinion?

      Most Republicans and conservatives I know underestimate the overall feeling of fatigue of the electorate.

      I suppose you have a crystal ball that tells you exactly how much “fatigue” there is in the electorate.

      One more year of war and renewed economic volatility … will not make them less sensitive to a ‘no Bush, no problems’ message.

      Says you. You don’t know any better than I do what people will do. I have an opinion backed up by a hunch. You have an opinion backed up by mounds of pompous verbiage. I’ll stick with my opinion, thanks.

      Remember they have the media advantage in hammering this message under every possible angle.

      They have the media, so what. I remember Mondale had every reporter kissing his ass for two years, and he still got whipped by an “idiot” named Ronald Reagan.

      If I had to call the odds now, I would have a hard time giving W. more than 50/50.

      Please, don’t make me laugh. Take those odds to Vegas and you’ll be skinned alive.

      But all the conservative talk and certitude about Dean losing is starting to sound more like hope. When you’re finding yourself hoping the other guy screws up and shoots himself in the foot, it’s time to wonder if you’re not in a tighter corner than you want to believe. And if you’re relying on that assumption, you might very well be in denial.

      Stick it in a letter to Carl Rove. I’m just a guy who votes.

    18. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      – Val, a few points. No, I’m not a shrink. I expressed an opinion, just like you did, and believe I did so respectfully. If all you have to offer in return is condescending sneering, and all you can argue in defense of your own view is that it’s backed up by a “hunch”, and that makes it somehow a lot more solid that what *you* arbitrarily choose to call ‘pompous verbiage’ then clearly, you know no more than I do and your attitude seems counter-productive.

      – In time, we shall be able compare my crystal ball and the one you use to figure out what swing voters will vote on.

      – I could indeed take these odds to Las Vegas and I doubt I’d be skinned alive today. Since those in Nevada who take bets on the election refer to the current quotes on the Iowa Electronics Markets, and right now, the odds there conform to my assertion. Granted, it’s very early and this particular market is not yet liquid enough. The DNC nomination is more active and Dean is currently the favorite : http://128.255.244.60/quotes/67.html. Note that Senator Clinton is given 55% odds. Clearly, many, like our own Lex, still believe she will run and are willing to be ‘skinned alive’ by betting real money on it. What do you think ?

      But hey, since my opinion disagrees with yours, it can only be ‘backed up by mounds of copious verbiage’ so we won’t embarrass ourselves with evidence and possible alternative scenarios.

      – So I guess we’re better off making random accusations. I didn’t know costly and treacherous were “slanted”, or trademarked by Paris Match. I’ll make sure to attribute them to the magazine in the future. And yes, by the way, things over there are costly and treacherous. Or as the Secretary Of Defense put it, a “long, hard slog”; is Rumsfeld too slanted and Paris Match-like for your taste too ? Now, I don’t think anyone can argue the Iraqi occupation is a cheap business. So ‘treacherous’ must be rubbing you the wrong way. According to my trusty dictionary, it means : “Marked by unforeseen hazards; dangerous or deceptive”. I’m at a loss to find anything here that does not apply to Iraq. Except, obviously, that you don’t like being told things you don’t want to hear.

      – I wish we could compare Bush to Reagan. As a communicator, however, the former can’t even dream to compete with the latter. If he could, I wouldn’t worry as much and I think the IEM would also be higher than they are. But that’s just me, of course. With my mounds of copious verbiage, struggling against your all-knowing, powerful hunch.

      – Yeah, you’re just a guy who votes. I’m just a guy who writes on this blog and shares his opinion with readers.

    19. Lex Says:

      “Note that Senator Clinton is given 55% odds. Clearly, many, like our own Lex, still believe she will run and are willing to be ‘skinned alive’ by betting real money on it.”

      Have only made token $1 bets. I’m no longer sure. But I am scratching my head about why she isn’t getting in. I can’t see where my analysis went wrong. That is why I keep thinking maybe she has some surprise scenario in mind to get in. But I would not make even a token bet today.

    20. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      In retrospect, she was smart to wait a bit. The Dems are not looking too hot right now. Even Saturday Night Live is ripping them a new one; see Don Luskin’s post of Sunday 12/14 : http://www.poorandstupid.com/chronicle.asp.