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If you don't approve-do you vote?

By: sebastianjer , 11:30 AM GMT on September 06, 2012

I know it is popular to look at the so called swing state polls and expect that these and and only these will be decisive in the upcoming election and in a sense, a micro sense they will be. But unlike any other election the presidential election is about the big picture, the macro elements will decide the micro elements.

Nothing is more macro when it comes to the presidential election than turn out. Where for many years Democrats have had an advantage in party registration, though that may be changing, Republicans have had an advantage in actually turning out to vote. Often times this turning out and actually voting has offset the Democrats numerical advantages.

There is little doubt that the enthusiasm gap in 2012 favors the Republicans, perhaps as much as it did the Democrats in 2008, if that holds true Romney's path to victory is made a great deal easier. As I pointed out on a couple of occasions (here and here) the turn out in 2008 which elected Obama was a historic negative for the Republicans.

Turnout matters. To win a national election, especially a close one, turning out "the base" really matters. To give you an idea of how important this is in 2004 the voters were equally split between the parties, 37% of voters were Republican and 37% were Democrats with 26% Independents. Compare that to 2008 when the electorate was 32% Republican and 39% Democrats with 29% Independents.

In both elections 89% of Democrats voted for their party's candidates and 93% of Republicans voted for their party's candidate. But obviously 89% of 39% of the voters is far more than 93% of 32% of the voters. What did this turn out difference mean? Far more than you would think. Probably more important than Obama's advantage with the Independents was the low turn out of Republicans. Not since 1980 when Reagan changed everything by not only beating Carter but doing it with only 28% Republican participation, not since then has the Republican Party failed to have at least 35% voter participation in a presidential election. Even with Perot in 92 and 96 even with the "hanging chad" thriller in 2000 not once had Republicans cast less than 35% of the vote, until 2008. That little know and hardly mentioned detail was also an historic consequence of the 2008 election.

As I said this time around that will not happen, Republicans will show up at the polls, perhaps in unprecedented numbers. But what about Democrats and others who voted for Obama? Will they show up? It is very doubtful that they will show up and vote in anywhere near the numbers that they did in 2008. I can say this without much hesitation simply by looking at Obama's approval ratings.

Every Tuesday Gallup posts its weekly summary of their previous week's poll demographics. Though these change from week to week they pretty much stay within certain fairly well defined margins and they certainly show trends. For example Obama's approval ratings over the past six weeks have been 47,45,45,45,46 and this past week was 44. This is pretty much in keeping with his approval for well over a year of between 43 and 48. Obama has not had a weekly approval rating of 50% in any given week for well over a year. This in itself ought to tell you how bad this election is for Obama, but the details are even worse.

Let's compare how Obama did in some important demographic categories in the 2008 election and how his approval ratings compare today. In 2008 Obama received 66% of the 18-29 year old vote and they turned out in record numbers, here are the last six weeks approval rating with the kids he has been feverishly courting 56,52,55,58,55 and 52%. How about the all important Hispanic vote which he went to so much trouble to try to influence by his illegal executive order. In 2008 he received 67% of the Hispanic vote the last six weeks approval rating among this extremely important segment of is coalition are 60,58,63,56,57 and currently 56%. And these are the positive demographics for Obama.

Consider the precious Independent vote that everyone says will decide the election. In 2008 Obama received 52% of the Independent vote but for some time he has been well below even the 50% threshold and for the last six weeks it has been a dismal 41,39,41,41,41, and 44%. There is virtually no way that Obama can win if he remains in the low to mid 40's with Independents. Even a significant improvement to near the 50% level (very doubtful) still won't help him if he can not garner the enthusiasm and turn out from other groups such Hispanics and the youth.

If all this was  not bad enough for Obama the worst is this. In 2008 women made up 53% of the electorate and  56% of women voted for Obama.  With that advantage he was obviously unstoppable. You can see why the Democrats came up with the whole "war on women" meme and are trying everything but honesty to win them over, but it really isn't working. Obama's approval rating among women is 50,49,47,48,49 and 50%. In fact the recent ABC/WAPO poll has him 46%-50% underwater among women. Even if  Obama  gets 50% of the female vote he will loose in a landslide because men do not like Obama as the last six week  in the Gallup shows where among men he was 40,44,44,42,42 and 41%.

One last important point which I have made before. Among Blacks, obviously Obama's most loyal constituency in 2008 Obama received 95% of the vote, his approval rating for the last six weeks has been 89,88,84,83,89 and 84%. There is no doubt that blacks will support Obama in tremendous numbers perhaps even in the 95% level he received in 2008, but will they show up in the same record numbers? Or the Hispanics or the youth vote? Those lower approval numbers are going to manifest themselves somewhere and I very much suspect that it will do so in turnout. This is especially true of the youth vote who are historically the least likely to vote anyway but I suspect that it will be true across the Obama coalition.

After all if you do not approve of what your candidate has done and if you don't want to vote for the"other guy" the chances are pretty good you just won't show up,. That as much as anything is why Obama will loose-big.

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13. sebastianjer
3:17 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
Quoting latitude25:
and you don't see any extremely reactionary and scary elements and social layers that are supporting the democrats

He doesn't see at all
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. RobDaHood
1:35 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
10. Ossqss

I haven't heard that song in forever!

Even my college professor from Mass. ex said she might have to vote republican this year.

No, Romney is not my first choice, but Obama is my last.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. latitude25
1:26 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
and you don't see any extremely reactionary and scary elements and social layers that are supporting the democrats
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. Ossqss
1:25 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
9, I will vote for a "Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road" before Obama..

He has failed horribly, and you know it.


Just look at the upper deck in the DNC arena as the Gaff master speaks right now.

LOL, and they moved from the 75k venue due to the possibility of inclement weather. Right....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. Ossqss
1:15 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
Quoting sebastianjer:

Quite the amazing video. I really do feel that hope and change now!

Vote! If you don't, you did!

We are on the same road BTW>

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. RobDaHood
1:02 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
Okay, from what I took from Clinton's speech/TV ads...we need to give Obama more time.

Well, if I hired a guy to turn my company around, after 3+ years, if he had not solved the problems, I would at least expect him to show some progress.

If he did show that things were getting better, I might keep him on.

As an American citizen, Obama is my employee. He was interviewed by the electorate and hired for the job.

Well, he has not shown progress. Unemployment is awful, we are way deeper in debt, and try as I might, I don't see any progress.

As his employer, he needs to be fired and someone else brought in to do the job.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. captainmark
12:06 AM GMT on September 07, 2012
agreed 100%
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. sebastianjer
11:48 PM GMT on September 06, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. latitude25
11:34 PM GMT on September 06, 2012


...well, at least he's clean
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. theshepherd
4:08 PM GMT on September 06, 2012
Quoting sebastianjer:
The fix was in.

In the real world, that's what is known as "FRAUD".

At what point in time does the Attorney General get off his duff and uphold the Constitution of the United States?

People who support this type of lawless activity are what's wrong with this country.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. sebastianjer
12:17 PM GMT on September 06, 2012
The fix was in.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. sebastianjer
11:46 AM GMT on September 06, 2012

Obama: the real radical

By George F. Will

Four years ago, Barack Obama was America’s Rorschach test, upon whom voters could project their disparate yearnings. To govern, however, is to choose, and now his choices have clarified him. He is a conviction politician determined to complete the progressive project of emancipating government from the Founders’ constraining premises, a project Woodrow Wilson embarked on 100 Novembers ago.

As such, Obama has earned what he now receives, the tribute of a serious intellectual exegesis by a distinguished political philosopher. In “I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism,” Charles Kesler of Claremont McKenna College rightly says Obama is “playing a long, high-stakes game.” Concerning the stakes, Obama practices prudent reticence, not specifying America’s displeasing features that are fundamental. Shortly before the 2008 election, he said only: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming” America. Tonight, consider Obama’s acceptance speech in the context that Kesler gives it in the American political tradition.

Progress, as progressives understand it, means advancing away from, up from, something. But from what?

From the Constitution’s constricting anachronisms. In 1912, Wilson said, “The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of governmental power.” But as Kesler notes, Wilson never said the future of liberty consisted of such limitation.

Instead, he said, “every means . . . by which society may be perfected through the instrumentality of government” should be used so that “individual rights can be fitly adjusted and harmonized with public duties.” Rights “adjusted and harmonized” by government necessarily are defined and apportioned by it. Wilson, the first transformative progressive, called this the “New Freedom.” The old kind was the Founders’ kind — government existing to “secure” natural rights (see the Declaration) that preexist government. Wilson thought this had become an impediment to progress. The pedigree of Obama’s thought runs straight to Wilson.

And through the second transformative progressive, Franklin Roosevelt, who counseled against the Founders’ sober practicality and fear of government power: “We are beginning to wipe out the line that divides the practical from the ideal” and are making government “an instrument of unimagined power” for social improvement. The only thing we have to fear is fear of a government of unimagined power:

“Government is a relation of give and take.” The “rulers” — FDR’s word — take power from the people, who in turn are given “certain rights.”

This, says Kesler, is “the First Law of Big Government: the more power we give the government, the more rights it will give us.” It also is the ultimate American radicalism, striking at the roots of the American regime, the doctrine of natural rights. Remember this when next — perhaps tonight — Obama discourses on the radicalism of Paul Ryan.

As Kesler says, the logic of progressivism is: “Since our rights are dependent on government, why shouldn’t we be?” This is the real meaning of Obama’s most characteristic rhetorical trope, his incessant warning that Americans should be terrified of being “on your own.”

Obama, the fourth transformative progressive, had a chief of staff who said “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” More than a century before that, a man who would become the first such progressive said that a crisis is a terrible thing not to create. Crises, said Wilson, are periods of “unusual opportunity” for gaining “a controlling and guiding influence.” So, he said, leaders should maintain a crisis atmosphere “at all times.”

Campaigning in 1964, Lyndon Johnson, the third consequential progressive, exclaimed through a bull horn: “I just want to tell you this — we’re in favor of a lot of things and we’re against mighty few.” He learned this progressive vernacular from his patron, FDR, who envisioned “an unlimited civilization capable of infinite progress.” Poet Archibald Mac­Leish, FDR’s choice for librarian of Congress, exemplified progressives’ autointoxication: America has “the abundant means” to create “whatever world we have the courage to desire” and the ability to “take this country down” and “build it again as we please,” to “take our cities apart and put them together,” to lead our “rivers where we please to lead them,” etc.

In 2012, Americans want from government not such flights of fancy but sobriety; not ecstatic evocations of dreamlike tomorrows but a tolerably functioning today; not fantasies about a world without scarcities and therefore without choices among our desires and appetites but a mature understanding of the limits to government’s proper scope and actual competence. Tonight’s speech is Obama’s last chance to take a first step toward accommodation with a country increasingly concerned about his unmasked determination to “transform” what the Founders considered “fundamentals.”
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