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  • Those Gay Hating Blue Staters

    Posted by Shannon Love on November 10th, 2004 (All posts by )

    It’s become something of an article of faith among the Left that Kerry lost due to homophobic social conservatives voting for Bush because they oppose gay marriage for no good reason. The fact that they lost ground in the House and Senate, and in many state races as well, doesn’t seem to register.

    Now we see this compilation on Real Clear Politics (via Instapundit) that shows that Bush gained in the percentage of the vote he received in every single state! Nowhere did Kerry increase the Democratic percentage of the vote.

    Perhaps of more interest to those obsessed with the blue-red divide, Bush’s biggest percentage gains occurred in Blue states:

    Hawaii: +7.8
    Rhode Island: +7.0

    Other blue states returned surprising increases as well:

    California: +2.6
    Connecticut: +5.6
    New York: +5.3
    Massachusetts: +4.5
    New Jersey: +6.2

    So even in states which Kerry won, the margin of Democratic victory decreased, sometimes sharply, compared to 2000. If, and that’s a big if, these trends continue in 2008, the Democrats face a loss in a dramatic landslide.

    The Left in America needs to understand that they have a fundamental problem. It is they, not the Right, who are heavily dependent on voters choosing them due to social issues. Younger voters support the Left almost purely due to social issues like abortion and gay rights. Younger voters reject leftist 20th-century solutions for a broad range of issues like medical care, trade, national security and Social Security. If forced to run purely on those issues the Left would get creamed. Only among older voters who remember the New Deal and the Great Society does the Left perform better on economic or management issues. The young and middle-aged don’t trust the Left’s centralized hierarchal solutions anymore.

    The more the Left ignores this problem, the worse it will be for them at the polls, as those older voters whose world view was stamped in the Left’s glory days of the mid-20th century die off. Social issues will keep the younger voters for only so long. Eventually, they will trade social issues for economic ones.

     

    17 Responses to “Those Gay Hating Blue Staters”

    1. C. Bolte Says:

      I found the following posted by someone named “Lex,” in response to an unfriendly article.

      “I was inadequately trained in ruthless Machiavellianism. Whom do I sue?

      “If only U of C was really the nerve-center of the vast right wing conspiracy. I wish, I wish, I wish that it were so. Still, it is nice to be hated by a bag of dirt like this guy.” [author of unfriendly article]

      “I like this “members of the right-wing, racist, bigoted, reactionary, and totalitarian Federalist Society (aka “Feddies”), which originated in part at the University of Chicago.” That quote takes me back to happier times. I was the president of my chapter at IU, one of the most fun things I ever did. Our mere existence whipped these lefties into a fit. After we got going, one guy put up a poster about a meeting to resist the rise of racism at the law school. I went up to him, stuck my hand out, introduced myself, and said, “so, tell me, is that all about us?” He nodded a cold, ponderous “yes”. Heavy, man. But I was not so easily silenced. Our best thing was the huge posters we did for the FEDERALIST SOCIETY SHOOTOUT – EXERCISE YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS. Dude. People absolutely freaked out.”

      “This guy has a hard lesson to learn. We have only just begun to recapture America. First blogspace, then one TV network, and some magazines. But the Universities, the entertainment business, the newspapers, the whole damn country is ripe to be seized by the mad hordes of conservatism. Yes. Yes. Even now, if I fling open my window and listen, borne on the nightbreezes I can faintly hear the clatter of their treads approaching in the distance. We want it all. We want it soon. The vast rightwing conspiracy shall rule. We’re here, we’re the VRWC, get used to it.”

      Let me see if I have this straight. “Lex” thinks it’s “one of the most fun things I ever did” to preside over a Federalist Society chapter and “whip lefties into a fit.” How adult. How charming. How gleamingly right-wing. Is this the best you can do? Prance around and antagonize people? Pride yourself on being smart when you’re really only smug?

      You want to run the country? Think again, sonny. You have a lot to learn. If you ever grow up.

    2. Paul Bixby Says:

      I want to be the first to nominate C. Bolte for “World’s Smallest Sense of Irony in a Humorous Context.”

    3. TangoMan Says:

      Shannon,

      Your hypothesis needs a bit more depth. You’re simply looking at vote totals and assuming that all factors that existed in 2000 have remained unchanged until 2004.

      Even the Carter Presidency wasn’t as incompetent as this one, and so I voted to hold the President accountable. I hold my employees accountable for their decisions and the execution of their duties and I would never have given them a pass like many did to the President. However, while I know of a handful of my associates who voted along these same principles, I know we’re in the minority.

      That said, if the President’s totals went up, and there were voters, like me, who should have been part of his constituency who were voting against him, then where did his increased totals come from?

      You see, my story, and many others like mine, diminish the ceterus paribus assumption you make.

      So even in states which Kerry won, the margin of Democratic victory decreased, sometimes sharply, compared to 2000.

      I know it’s appealing to speak in broad terms, but if the data doesn’t support the statement you’re making then you’re doing us all a disfavor.

      California Gore 53.45% —- Kerry 54.56%
      Massachusetts Gore 59.80% —- Kerry 62.11%

      Your statement has been falsified.

    4. Richard A. Heddleson Says:

      Wow. You have attracted some interesting commenters, Shannon.

      In fact, it is Tango Man who has done us a disfavor with his ceterus paribus assumption that Gore’s vote percentage is comparable to Kerry’s. It is not. In 2000 Ralph Nader was on the ticket, taking 3.8% of the vote in California and 6.4% of the vote in Massachusetts. If those percentages are added to the Gore percentages, as they should be to compare apples to apples, the Gore/Nader percentages are higher than the Kerry percentages. Both California and Massachusetts voted in higher percentages for Bush and lower percentages for the Democrat/Green candidate.

    5. Shannon Love Says:

      Tango,

      Not sure if I understand your argument.

      In California, Gore beat Bush by 53.45 to 41.6 for a spread of 11.85. Kerry beat Bush 54.56 – 44.29 for a spread of 10.27. Bush gained nearly a point in the spread.

      In Massachusetts, Gore beat Bush 59.80 to 32.50 for a spread of 27.3. Kerry beat Bush 62.11 – 36.95 for a spread 25.16.

      In both cases, Bush increased his vote percentage in a blue state at the apparent expense of the Democrats.

      In Hawaii Gore won 55.79 to 37.46 for a spread of 18.33. Kerry won 54.01 to 45.27 for a spread of 8.74. Which qualifies as a steep gain for Bush I think.

      I really intended the observation as a criticism for the idea that red staters voting on the basis of “moral values” (as a code phrase for opposition to gay marriage) cost Kerry the election whereas Bush gained strongly in blue states as well.

    6. Jeff Brokaw Says:

      I’ve seen data indicating that young people (25 and under, more or less) are actually much more pro-life than the over-25 group, so that issue doesn’t really work in favor of the Dems either.

    7. TangoMan Says:

      Shannon,

      After reading your comment I see the point you’re making. When I read your initial comment “the margin of Democratic victory decreased” I didn’t know you meant spread of vote, rather I thought you meant share of vote and in MA and CA Kerry increased over Gore.

      I apologize for my poor reading skills :) and stand corrected.

    8. TangoMan Says:

      When you wrote: “Nowhere did Kerry increase the Democratic percentage of the vote” in the introduction of your post (before you got to the numbers) I thought that was your thesis, and CA and MA falsified this statement.

      I’ve read your post a few times now and maybe it’s just me, after a long day at the office, but I’m having trouble understanding how your second paragraph lends support to your first paragraph. Can you flesh it out for me. The fact that Bush gained over his 2000 performance doesn’t invalidate the hypothesis of that gain coming from homophobic social conservatives. For the record, that’s not the position I’m taking, but I just don’t understand your argument.

      Another point I’m not quite getting is when you write “It is they, not the Right, who are heavily dependent on voters choosing them due to social issues.” If you look at the last century of social upheaval I think it’s safe to say that the Leftists have won on that agenda. The Right has clearly won on the economic agenda. I just don’t see any evidence that the social agenda is going to be rolled back. What are you seeing?

      “Eventually, they will trade social issues for economic ones.”

      This I agree with you on. This phenomenon is time-tested. As people grow more affluent with age they look out more for their economic interests and are less inclined to change the world as they were when they were young and not understanding the inertia of systems that have many vested interests supporting them. However, if those economic interests are derived from Big Government programs then, as is the case with seniors today, they support the Party that butters their bread. As of today, both parties are big government, high tax. A tax cut without a spending cut is a tax shift to non-voting future taxpayers; it’s not a tax cut.

      Just so you don’t mistake me for a Leftist, I’m in favor of massive slashing of SS and Medicare, despite the banshee screaming that’ll follow.

    9. Shannon Love Says:

      tangoman,

      I had intended the post to mock the the strong blue state/red state dichotomy that I find so prevalent. As a secondary thought, I noted that the data reinforces the idea that the Left is in a 30 year systemic retreat from power.

      The fact that Bush increased both the percentage of the vote recieved and closed the spread in blue states indicates that his appeal is more broad and less based on “moral values” than most on the Left would like to believe. I think they have fallen into this belief because it salvages their egos, not because the data supports it.

    10. TangoMan Says:

      Shannon,

      The red/blue state dichotomy is ripe for mocking. I’m glad you did it . . I just didn’t catch the tone of your post as you had intended.

      Left in retreat . . . indeed. Interesting political identity mapping has taken place over the last few decades to lead to the strength of the Republican Party. Now that the Republicans are in control of all of the levers of government, I hope that they can govern responsibily, but I won’t hold my breath. These things go in cycles, with a life of their own, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Democrats in ascendency in another 20 years after the Republicans have bullocked it up.

      indicates that his appeal is more broad and less based on “moral values”

      Admittedly, I don’t move in tradtional Republican circles, but in my sample size of about 80 or so solid Republicans, not one, thought that the President was appealing and deserved re-election on his merits. Most were voting against Kerry, some out of tradition, never having broken party ranks, but seeing how none of us are christian social conservatives, but all of us are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, all of us are very disappointed in the leadership and direction of the party. I and some others couldn’t stomach voting for the President, and while Kerry’s ideology didn’t hold any sway with us, we voted for him on the basis of gridlock, his decisionmaking process and general competence. However, as I already stated, only a handful of us broke party rank. So, in a nutshell, I think the only appeal President Bush has is that he is not Kerry, and he is a wartime President. He lucked out.

    11. Andy B Says:

      To C. Bolte:
      Since when has maturity been a prerequisite for running the country? The Stephanopolous-DeeDeeMyers-LisaCaputo playpen during Clinton’s first term, the boxers vs. briefs issue intended to “Rock the Vote Man!!”, or removing all the “W” keys from keyboards on the way out of the White House. Grow up yourself “sonny”!

    12. Lex Says:

      Hey, C. Bolte, who said I want to run the country? Never happen. I like running my couch and my refrigerator. That’s my speed.

      Whipping Lefties into a fit IS fun. Sorry if that upsets you. Actually, just kidding, not sorry. More seriously, Lefties indulge in all kinds of provocative guerilla theatre and always have. They seem to think they have a monopoly on these tactics. The Righties are adopting these tactics. It encourages the people who share your views and causes angst among those who don’t. That’s the idea. And it IS fun. If you don’t like it, tough. Free speech is hard on those who don’t want to hear it.

      Also, C. Bolte, you are dishonest. I was not responding to an “unfriendly article” I was responding to scurrilous lies. Those don’t merit a civil response. People who engage in civil disagreements on this blog are treated with the same level of courtesy.

      Also, C. Bolte, why are you writing about some ancient stuff in a comment on Shannon’s post? Shannon’s posts are much more interesting than my old comments. Weird that you felt the need to go mining in this old stuff to find something to get yourself into a snit about.

    13. Shannon Love Says:

      Tangoman,

      Your analysis that Bush “lucked out” might be valid if viewed in isolation but I think if you look at the long term trends and other elections you will see a pronounced trend to the right. Remember that in the last 3 federal elections, the Republicans have increased their representation in the House and Senate. That ain’t just luck. There is a widespread conceptual realignment underway but the Left is apparently blind to it.

      I think one could argue that the war hurt Bush as much as it helped. The war energized much the Left as nothing has done since Vietnam. Without the war, the issue would have been the economy which is sound by any historical measure. Based on past elections, Bush would have won based on the economy alone.

      I do think you underestimate the positive support for Bush. Many polls should that Bush voters were enthusiastic about Bush in the %60-%70 range whereas Kerry voters never cracked %50.

    14. Ginny Says:

      Of course, his run on the economy alone seemed to me an upstream swim against currents of demagoguery(memes of Benedict Arnold companies and the extraordinary unemployment rate of, what, between 5.4 and 5.6, and the constant assurances that things might look good but they really weren’t). Sometimes the left (well, the green left, the crazy left) seems made up of Luddites. I figure his win given that flood is pretty good.

    15. Charlie Says:

      Tango Man makes the sophomoric mistake of assuming that the people he knows are representative of voters in general.

      “I didn’t know a single person who voted for Bush, so how could he win?!!!”

      Sloppy thinking. But typical of people who voted for Kerry.

    16. TangoMan Says:

      Shannon,

      you will see a pronounced trend to the right.

      Look at my second paragraph in my last comment. I fully support this analysis.

      I do think you underestimate the positive support for Bush.

      Perhaps I am for I haven’t seen any polls like those you mention. Can you link to some? The detailed polling analysis I’ve seen attributes much of the support for Bush to factors other his job performance. He’s pissed off his small gov’t and fiscally conservative base. That’s me. He’s pissed off his law and order base by advocating illegal immigration. That’s me. He’s pissed off his free trade base with his tariffs. That’s me.

      What bases has he delivered for? Big gov’t. That’s usually the liberal crowd. State intervention. Again liberals. Nation building. Again liberals.

      As I wrote, most of the people I knew voted for him because the thought of voting for Kerry was too difficult to stomach or out of strict party discipliine, never having voted for Democrats before. Not one was happy about it.

      So, that’s my world view, and the opinion polls I’ve seen don’t contradict it. What exactly is there to recommend President Bush other than that he’s not Kerry. He’s a big gov’t, big spender, fiscally irresponsible leader. He has problems with decisionmaking processes. If you’re a socially conservative voter, I could see the appeal of President Bush, but by my political compass, I elect officials to govern the body politic not to infuse society with moral themes.

      I’ll be upfront with you in my discounting the appeal of social conservatism as a base of political governance. As for court decisions, yikes, wimping out on the briefs against Affirmative Action, and holding out the prospect to the base of appointing a pro-life justice are completely backwards to my value systems. Sanctioning the state to interfere in order to mitigate against a person’s merit by factoring in their race and ethnicity while also advocating interfering with a person’s choice about their reproductive rights doesn’t strike me a fighting for liberty. Both inject the state deep into a person’s life choices. At the same time, this President is subjecting future generations to paying off debts for which they could not raise a voice. This type of anti-liberty fiscal policy seems to be more favorable on the left. Where is the liberty in that decision.

      To close, show me some polls which break down the President’s favorable ratings by attributes, for I am honestly curious what the public at large sees that’s good about the man, other than his war leadership and that’s he’s not Kerry.

      Charlie,

      I could trade barbs with you all day, but considering that I wrote:

      Admittedly, I don’t move in tradtional Republican circles, but in my sample size of about 80 or so solid Republicans, not one, thought that the President was appealing and deserved re-election on his merits.

      You apparently can’t seem to comprehend a statement which a priori acknowledges a limited sample size drawn from a unrepresentative cross section of the electorate. I was diligent in pointing this out. There is no sloppy thinking on my part. However, your reading comprehension does need work.

    17. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      Lex, the likes of C. Bolte are everywhere these days. Sore losers foaming at the mouth, trying to settle every little score, no matter how old, petty or irrelevant, in a vain attempt to prove some sort of relevance. As usual, they only achieve the opposite.

      Sad. And better left ignored. (Yeah, I know, look who’s talking…)