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Tag Archives: election 2008

A Nebraska Divided

There are two states that can divide their electoral votes in a presidential election:  Maine and Nebraska.  This year, Nebraska actually exercised this ability due to heavy Obama support in Omaha.  Thus far, however, I have not found a mainstream news source that reported this (CNN, for example, lists the state as being in the McCain column).

Thankfully, O’Foghlú just put me on to the awesome NPR electoral results map, which does report 1 out of the 5 Nebraskan electoral votes as going to Obama.

This is special.  Nebraska is strongly Republican, like always.  Not only did Obama swing all the swing states, he tipped the balance in a staunch republican stronghold.  I wonder how the election results would be different if all states could split their votes?

(for an explanation of the splitting system, see NPR)

Update: On closer inspection, I see that CNN’s election results do list the electoral vote breakdown for Nebraska.  I must have missed it earlier.  In any case, I like NPRs coverage better.  Note that you can also get the break down for the 2000/2004 elections by changing the URL.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2008 in Current Events

 

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Forty Days Left

White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she’s disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you then go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you’re black and married for nearly 20 years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called “terrorist fist bumps.”

Tim Wise, “This is Your Nation on White Privilege”

Everything I read about the presidential election at this point seems to have distinct and specific appeal for one candidate or the other. Each side is continually building it’s stockpile of attacks.  This ain’t a political scene, it’s an arms race. We often hear that the undecided voters will determine the outcome of the election, but sometimes I think the “undecided voter” is a bit of a cryptid.  Whose votes are really being fought over here?  Is the purpose of campaigning and debate to serve as more of a stop-gap measure to prevent attrition of a candidate’s (decided) supporters?  In any case, I love (identifying) double standards, and the Wise piece does a good job of that.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2008 in Current Events

 

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Playing D&D and Respecting Patriots are not Mutually Exclusive

The McCain campaign put out a nonsense ad hominem attack against those who questioned part of his recollection of certain events during the Vietnam War. From the post:

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.

What’s interesting to me here is that this type of attack seems unique to the right, against the left. Or maybe it’s that the attack is sort of anachronistic? I’m not quite sure. In any case, I can’t imagine such a comment coming out in response to the Swift Boat Vets group that smeared John Kerry’s version of the Vietnam war. Sure, they were ridiculed and denounced, but somehow I doubt anyone called them out for playing RPGs. As one commenter on the BoingBoing article that covered this story points out, “this feels almost like a jock running for class president in high school.”

Thanks to Sniperbunny for pointing me to this follow up story at BoingBoing.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2008 in Entertainment

 

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What a Waste of a Primary

The Daily Show seems to have portrayed the demographic game perfectly in this clip. The interviewees they show are clearly not cool which being politically profiled, and the piece is a nice tongue-in-cheek way of looking at something I was complaining about early this season.

Link via Feministing.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Entertainment

 

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Projection and the Will of the Electorate

“… voters are finally focused on who they think will be the best commander-in-chief…

… Now that senator McCain is clearly the nominee, democratic voters are taking their decision very seriously…”

– Hillary Clinton on Today, this morning

It’s a bit tiring to hear everyone (McCain, Clinton, Obama, the media, everyone) constantly explain why people voted for who they voted for. I believe many people have unpredictable reasons for voting the way they do, and to say that they voted for the candidate they did for a particular reason trivializes the complex set of issues underlying these elections. Furthermore, statements like this seem to imply that before, voters were not focused on who will be the best C.I.C., or taking their decision seriously. This isn’t directed in particular at Senator Clinton, rather I’m just bored of seeing this filter constantly applied to election results.

I know that candidates have to do this – it’s to their advantage to interpret their success as a portent of something larger, and then to project that interpretation onto our monitors and our brains.

But the media doesn’t have to do it (do they?). They don’t have to interpret every single voting block’s majority as a swing for a particular reason. When CNN tells me that voters chose experience over change yesterday in Texas and Ohio, I don’t want to believe them. It may be true that Clinton is correlated with experience, and Obama is correlated with change, but that doesn’t mean that votes for one or the other correlate the same way; and if they do correlate that way, there’s no way to deconvolute that from the affect of the media. Does this make sense?

Anyways, I’m often a big fan of controversy, so I’m not unhappy to see the nomination process carry on a bit longer.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2008 in Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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Iowan Caucusing

I’m watching a live web-cast of one of the Democratic caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa. The sight of real voters in the trenches working this out amongst themselves is heart warming.  It’s almost like they made a massive game of the process.  The caucusers mill around the room, coalesce, repel, and react like tiny interacting agents working to form something much larger than themselves.

At the same time, seeing something so important, with so much weight, executed in such a seemingly haphazard manner, is frightening.  I cannot imagine a more error-prone, arcane way to choose a delegate.  They may as well line up and have a dance off to the tune of “Cool” from West Side Story.  In any other country this process would be tagged as a  gigantic “voting irregularity” and the U.N. would be sending in lawyers with fire hoses to regulate.

 Still, it looks fun, and the Iowans seem to be enjoying it.

 
 

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