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August 01, 2004

The 2004 Federal Election Voter Turnout

We keep seeing polls which suggest who is leading in the presidential race. Typically, they're exactly equal or the leading candidate is ahead a number of points which is well below the poll's stated margin of error. So does this mean that the actual election is going to be close?

I don't think so, and here's why: I am beginning to suspect that the voter turnout on the Democratic side of the equation is going to be low, while the turnout on the Republican side of the equation is going to be high. Now what, besides the Ralph Nader factor (which I'll put aside for the moment) would make me think that? Answer: the ultra-leftist hatred of President Bush.

We're seeing a lot of chest pounding by the Bush haters, and many of these people are those who control the media, either from the back rooms of the media corporations, or through being the actual hosts of the shows. But there is a tremendous leftist media bias in the United States. Part of this bias is the media's own attempts to portray itself as being too far to the right. Most of the rest of us watch this media and think that the country is far to the left of our own positions, and that tends to fire up the right wing side of the equation. And that factor could be huge in the next election.

Consider the aforementioned ultra-leftist Bush haters. We're seeing them in the media constantly, and they are adamant that Bush must go. When you read or hear them voice their opinions, you get the distinct impression that they are incredulous that anybody could not share their views about President Bush. They consider it so obvious and so apparent that George Bush is so bad that they are adamantly closed minded that he might be even just a little bit good. (Ask them, for example, what President Bush has ever done right; I'm guessing that if you get any answers at all, the answers will be along the lines of suggesting that he's an efficient exchanger of oxygen and carbon dioxide.)

It's part of the ultra-leftist pathology (for lack of a better word) to believe, and want others to believe, that Bush is so bad that even those whom you'd expect to be the closest allies of the Republican candidate are against him. A recent article (which I won't link here) loudly proclaimed in the headline: "Nancy Reagan to Bush: 'We Don't Support Your Re-Election' (a headline, I might add, which was not too strongly supported by the actual facts in the article). They're saying, "See? SEE?! Everyone is against him! YOU should be too!!!" And these are the opinions that the media is so fond of throwing at us through our television screens and newsprint day after day after day.

But the expressions of adamant and closed minded hatred of President Bush by those ultra-leftists is getting very old and very tiring, and not only for those on the conservative side of politics, but to the majority in the center as well.

It's interesting to see the Democratic strategists realizing that fact and trying to adjust to it. They've seen that their own party, to say nothing of the Republicans, are not part of the "Deaniac" crowd of vitriolic haters which defined the Democratic platform even before the first primary ballot was cast. They're realizing that they must court the voters whom Howard Dean denigrated early on as "The Republian wing of the Democratic party"; they realize that there's a serious risk of this so-called "Republican wing" of their own party voting against them, and they're doing everything they can to change their image. And fast.

For instance, this is their primary reason for choosing the grossly inexperienced John Edwards as Kerry's running mate: his optimism and positive outlook contrasts dramatically with the viciousness of the Democratic campaigning so far. They've also left nearly all of their anger rhetoric out of their speeches written for the national convention (though on those rare occasions when the bitterness actually does come through, the audience cheers more passionately than at any other time).

But I don't think it's going to work. The anger-mongers have had the microphones for just too long, I'm counting about eighteen months, and the three months left before the election just isn't long enough to counter that saturation of bitterness which we've all been enduring. And this is especially true since the meat and potatoes of this anger mongering (those in the general population, as opposed to the Democratic officials) are not going to keep quiet for the rest of the campaign. They can be expected to continue to keep right on offending everyone to the right of them, and that's just about everyone.

So what about those polls?

Well, these polls, assuming that their samples adequately reflect the feelings of the general population, tell us about what people currently feel, and futher most of them intend to tell us about the feelings of those who are most likely to vote. And that's their problem. Those who are the most angry at George Bush, those who are most certain that he is so obviously a bad president, are those who are most likely (I think) to behave counter to their present feelings on November 2nd. I don't mean that they are going to show up at the polls and vote for President Bush, I mean that they, in spite of their passions today, are the most likely to stay home or at work on November 2nd and not vote at all. Why? Well, to them it's obvious to everyone that President Bush is a bad president and must go. They think that virtually everyone feels the same way that they feel and that those opposed to their judgements are a relatively small contingent of right-wing wackos. When push comes to shove, in the back of their minds they feel great certainty that John Kerry is going to win the election, with their help or without it.

For those who want George Bush to win, the equation is reversed, however. What they're seeing is a media blitz of opinions which are contrary to their own, and that frightens them. While Kerry aficionados...excuse me, I mean Bush haters, as I find it difficult to believe that a substantial number of voters will be voting for Kerry as opposed to against Bush...feel comfortable that Bush will be thrown out of the White House, Bush aficionados are worried that he'll be thrown out. The very same conclusion which will help keep would-be Kerry voters away from the polls is likely to increase the number of Bush fans at the polls. And this is especially true when we note that most of the polls lately show President Bush trailing John Kerry, some by as many as 7 points.

Posted by Jeff at August 1, 2004 03:07 PM

Comments

I don't really see the media bias that I constantly hear so much about. I know they don't do lot of research and piggy back one story from another tweaking the words to avoid being cited for plagerism. I can't say about the people off camera or owners and their views. I watch all channels ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, but can't watch every program 7 x 24. Ocassionally I see one candidate get bashed harder than another but there was enough negative press for both Bush and Kerry on all stations. I personally don't care if they are both rich and priviledged by birth. I can't change it or be jealous. I don't care who smoked pot or snorted coke or lied about their military service or activities. I don't care which party either is from because I have never been taught anything from high school or college that would help me decide based on party membership. I would like to have seen real issues discussed instead of mudslinging and elusions to "plans" without details. I vote by coin toss since that 50% is more information about party platforms and educational instructions than I have ever had. It would been nice if either candidate would have stood up and talked about solving the energy and economic crisis' in America by talking about manufacturing and assembly jobs for new technology
along with a significant reduction ing our dependance on foreign oil. They both failed. I voted because even though I saw no value in either candidate, millions of dead guys are rotting in the ground all over the planet so I could have the right to do it. I have a 50-50 chance of voting for the winner or loser, and if our educational system and party bickering and complainers about media bias don't wake up and smell the coffee real soon, the 4th reich won't be the next 1000 year reich. My last comment is that wen need to rid ourselves of the crooked electorial college system that was put in place to fix elections from day one. We also need to have a box on the ballot right next to the republican and democrat candidate box that says none of the above. Do you think that voters who hate one candidate so vilely but are afraid to vote for his opposition because they know he is a doofus as well would come out to vote for none of the above? Would that be a shock? Who would the media blame then? Would we retain the incumbent and rerun the primaries? I would like real answers please. Thank You.

Posted by: C. Hill at September 14, 2005 06:13 PM


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Posted by: mrproflie at November 30, 2010 02:54 PM


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