Fear of a Bradley Planet

This slow-news-day Politico story on how we might have our first early election night since 1996 makes one extremely wrong assumption.

The quandary is highlighted by Virginia, a state that has not voted Democratic for president since 1964 but where Obama is now leading in polls. There is no realistic McCain electoral college strategy that does not depend on winning the Old Dominion.

If it is clear on Nov. 4 that Obama has won in Virginia by the time polls there close at 7 p.m.—it will still be daylight west of the Mississippi—the obvious conclusion will be that Obama is headed to the White House.

Not quite. Remember, the "Bradley effect," in the collective mind of pundits, is based on the results of two elections. The first was the 1982 race for governor of California. The second was the 1989 race for governor of... Virginia. And it wasn't the pre-election day polls that were off. It was the exit polls. From that week's reports:

In Virginia, Mason-Dixon Opinion Research Inc. acknowledged making a fundamental error in the way it conducted its Election Day polling. Its workers stopped voters outside polling places and asked them face to face how they had voted, rather than following the more widely accepted practice of having them fill out ''secret ballots'' and drop them in a box. All the New York polls used this method.

Brad Coker, Mason-Dixon's president, said that in hindsight he thought some voters might have been reluctant to admit to a poll taker that they had not voted for the black candidate, L. Douglas Wilder. The organization's Election Day polls gave a 10-point lead to Mr. Wilder, the Democrat, and at least three television stations reported the figures right after the polls closed and declared Mr. Wilder the winner. Today it appears that Mr. Wilder did defeat J. Marshall Coleman, the Republican, but by only one quarter of a percentage point.

Networks aren't going to make a call when the only evidence they have is exit polling. And they shouldn't. I don't think the Bradley Effect still exists in any important way (especially in Virginia, which has lost tens of thousands of dead Dixiecrats and gained hundreds of thousands of youngish moderates since 1989), but if it does exist at all, it's in the answers voters give to smiling interns with clipboards who confront them outside the polling booth.

That said, exit polling for this year's New Hampshire primary, which even people like David Gergen claim as the evidence for a persistent Bradley Effect, reflected the close Clinton-Obama result. I was at Ron Paul's election night party at 7:58 p.m. when a friend texted that a Democratic targeting firm had Obama 39/Hillary 39 in its final exit poll. They were two points off. Election night anchors will have many more sources at their disposal, but whether the exits show a McCain comeback or an Obama landslide they really shouldn't be able to call it until the west coast is done voting. (If Obama swept every state he's leading in now, he'd barely get to 270 before California comes in.)

We probably will know that the Democrats have held the House and Senate by 8 p.m. ET, althought I doubt the status of the supermajority will be known until mid-week.

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  • Guy Montag||

    gained hundreds of thousands of youngish moderates Marxists since 1989

    Fixed.

    Oh, and First Post!

  • SIV||

    Excellent first post Guy.

    I don't think the Bradley effect ever existed.
    Just a bunch of whiny pollsters trying to explain why their extispicy failed

  • Guy Montag||

    I don't think the Bradley effect ever existed.
    Just a bunch of whiny pollsters trying to explain why their extispicy failed


    Concur.

  • BDB||

    Indiana is another swing state that closes early.

    If Indiana isn't called right away for McCain, he's fucked.

  • ||

    Don't forget Guy, thanks to ACORN and the Democratic machine, the dead Dixiecrats will probably be voting to.

  • Syd||

    It probably will be an early election night. Obama's opening up a pretty good lead in Virginia polls and there should be enough precincts reporting by 8:00 that we should know who won there.

    Indiana closes early, too, and if Obama carries that, he's headed for an electoral landslide.

  • BDB||

    There hasn't been a "Democratic machine" in Virginia since Harry Byrd kicked the bucket.

  • ||

    I don't trust any of the state polls. You don't know how they are conducted. In my lifetime, only once has the candidate who won the total vote not won the election. I doubt it will happen again any time soon. The national polls are the only ones that you have some idea about the methodology and you can look at several of them at once to see which ones are the outliers.

  • BDB||

    There's just been, since 2001, a Republican Party that's been exceptionally good at blowing statewide races.

  • ||

    "There hasn't been a "Democratic machine" in Virginia since Harry Byrd kicked the bucket."

    There is no Democratic Party in Virginia? That will come as a surprise to Mark Warner.

  • Guy Montag||

    John,

    Are the Baltimore Ravens voting in VA or another State this year? Heard the Dallas lineup was voting in Nevada ;)

  • BDB||

    John--

    A Party Machine is not the same thing as a political party.


    When Harry Byrd basically controlled the entire state government from the counties to the U.S. Senate seats, THAT was a machine.

  • ||

    Concur.

    Ditto. Douglas Wilder himself was on MSNBC last night, saying that he doesn't think there was a Bradley Effect even in his race, and that's the one people always point to show a Bradley Effect.

    He thinks some pollster screwed up and over/undersampled people.

  • libertarian democrat||

    So sick of bradley effect stories. I just don't care anymore.

  • Guy Montag||

    If I even uave the slighest suspicion of the bradley effect messing up the polling for this election I am leaving the country!

  • BDB||

    BTW, where was ACORN when Kerry, Dukakis, and Mondale ran?

  • ||

    OK, how about Reverse Bradley Effect stories?

    Polling in places like Mississippi is showing double-digit numbers of African-Americans responding "undecided." Does anyone believe that?

  • BDB||

    If there is a reverse Bradley Effect, we will hear non-stop about how ACORN "stole" the election until 2016. I sure hope there isn't one.

  • David Weigel||

    There is no Democratic Party in Virginia? That will come as a surprise to Mark Warner.

    I think he means that there is no smoke-filled room of fat union bosses who have the skillz to rig close races. That definitely died off with Byrd. VA probably has the best state Democratic party in America now because they started from scratch and scooped up all the new transplants to the state.

    Where Obama's really outperforming Kerry is in these red states that are adding new voters and young professionals. Colorado, VA, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Texas, Georgia. He's going to lose the last two but Democrats are coming about 10 points closer than they did in the Kerry race.

  • ||

    VA GOP is a mess. In California, it was easy; Vote (R) because the (D) was very likely to be batshit Marxist. Here in Virginia, I've noticed that at the state level, I can vote fairly reliably (D) because the (R) is just gonna Jesus all over everything. At the local level, both parties seem to be allergic to moderates. And competence.

  • ||

    How did Donald Rumsfeld know Iraq had WMDs? He kept the receipts.

    How do SoS's know ACORN is turning in registration forms with imporper information? Because ACORN is the one flagging them.

    God bless ACORN, out there registering 13 million new voters. They're doing God's work in some of the toughest neighborhoods in America.

  • BDB||

    It's not so much that the state Democratic Party is good--but also the state Republican Party really sucks. They either nominate the worst person possible (Gilmore) or they self-destruct spectacularly sometimes between August and October (Allen and Kilgore). Every. Time.

  • Dello||

    If Obama wins and/or the Dems get a supermajority, I'm leaving the country.

    Wait, I'm leaving anyway.

  • BDB||

    No kidding Lagate. Remember Mike Farris? And Olie North? The RPVA really hates winning.

  • SIV||

    Polling in places like Mississippi is showing double-digit numbers of African-Americans responding "undecided." Does anyone believe that?

    Having spent much of the last year working in MS and judging by the distorted sample of local Black talk radio I'd say yes it is possible.

  • Guy Montag||

    Has ACORN registered George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in VA yet? What about George Jefferson and George Wallace?

    Their votes need to be counted too!

  • ||

    If McCain loses VA it's because all those Virginians are MARXISTS. LOL, that's a great sell Guy and SIV, keep that up, it'll be a real winner in 2012 too!

  • Guy Montag||

    Dello,

    Where are you going?

  • Syd||

    Syd | October 17, 2008, 2:37pm | #
    It probably will be an early election night. Obama's opening up a pretty good lead in Virginia polls and there should be enough precincts reporting by 8:00 that we should know who won there.

    Indiana closes early, too, and if Obama carries that, he's headed for an electoral landslide.


    I should have said, WE'LL likely know who won Virginia by 8:00 p.m. because if Obama wins there, he's going to win the election.

    David's right, though. Even if Obama gets 340 electoral votes, he probably won't go over 270 until the networks call California, which will be a nanosecond after the polls close there.

  • ||

    So what's the solution to the problem facing ACORN? Whenever someone organizes a voter registration drive, there will inevitably be some jokers who write "Tony Romo," or some slacker who copies names out of the phone book so it will look like he did the work he was paid to do.

    It's easy enough to say that they should just throw those out, but do we really want such groups to be dumping voter registration cards in the trash? Then you've the problem of legitimate registrations being tossed out, probably without the people who registered even knowing that they aren't, in fact, registered until they try to vote.

  • Bingo||

    If the Dems get a supermajority, I'm going to post on the internet. A lot!

  • ||

    "young professionals"

    These are Marxists to folks like SIV and Guy Montag.

    Or worse.

    Cosmotarians...

  • BDB||

    Well, Joe McCain did call the Northern third of the state "Communist country". Yeah, that's a real winner right there!

  • ||

    Boy, Marx would have loved to know that his message still has so much popularity!

  • George Allen||

    Stop living inside the beltway and get out in the REAL Virginia, Macacas!

  • ||

    For a second there, BDB, I thought you'd dropped a comma. I was about to write, "He DID?"

    So...how are the feet?

  • ||

    joe,

    People who couldn't be bother to register to vote until someone came around to pester them to do it. Truly the bedrock of a successful democracy.

  • ||

    I lived in VA most of my life and they used to have a shitload of Republican elected officials in NOVA. This insulting that part of the state for daring to deviate from the party line in voting is really working out for the GOP...

  • ||

    I know, SugarFree, how about we give you everyone's head shot and resume, and you get to decide who's worthy?

    Maybe we can list their landholdings.

  • BDB||

    He did. He's John McCain's brother who lives in Virginia. Ironic, because he himself lives in the "Communist country". You know, INSIDE the beltway!

  • ||

    BDB,

    I though you meant to write:

    "Well, Joe, McCain said..."

  • BDB||

    (Actual RPVA robo call I recieved)

    Hi, I'm from the Virginia Republican Party, and I want to let you know that Barack HUSSEIN Obama puts HOLLYWOOD ahead of AMERICA!

    That was all.

  • ||

    Sugarfree
    You could give them tests to vote. That's got a good history to it.

    The simplest way to state this is that if the government is going to project its power over any person then it must allow that person to have some say in order for it to be legit in any way.

  • ||

    How about this, SugarFree:

    People who can't be bothered to apply for a business license. Truly the bedrock of a successful economy.

    People who can't be bothered to file a zoning application. Truly the bedrock of a successful built environment.

    Funny how this gatekeeper business gets turned on and off.

  • ||

    Whenever someone organizes a voter registration drive

    I think this whole ACORN paranoia is pure nonsense, but if you don't care enough to fill out your form and submit it yourself and instead rely on someone turning your shit in for you, how upset can you really be if it didn't get done correctly?

  • ||

    joe
    In regards your 2:53 post, stop being so reasonable. Conservatives don't give a shit about the integrity of the vote they care about not losing. The problems you are talking about are a problem to the extent that they may cause that to happen to them.

  • ||

    Fof God's sake, won't someone think of joe the plumber?

  • ||

    L.D.,

    If you can't bother to bring your own mail to the post office, but depend on someone else to bring it there for you, how pissed off can you be when it doesn't get delivered?

    Pretty legitimately pissed off, I'd say.

  • ||

    joe,

    Don't be silly. Can you imagine how much headshots and resumes for 13 million people would cost?

    A hour-long visit to the courthouse is not a onerous poll tax.

  • Kolohe||

    Well, Joe McCain did call the Northern third of the state "Communist country".

    Really? That's as close as he has to a 'home town' if you don't count Hanoi.

  • MAX HATS||

    WELL THERE WAS ANOTHER GROUP OF YOUNG AFFLUENT WELL EDUCATED PEOPLE ONCE.

    THEY WERE CALLED CZARISTS!!!!


    No, wait, that went wrong somewhere. I think I messed that up. Hold on-


    uh, anyway the point is that Obama supporters are stupid.

  • ||

    joe, your 3:04 comment doesn't make any sense at all. I don't send anything important via US mail. Haven't for years. Ashamed I ever did.

  • Bingo||

    People who can't be bothered to apply for a business license. Truly the bedrock of a successful economy.

    People who can't be bothered to file a zoning application. Truly the bedrock of a successful built environment.



    Ouch! Game, set, match.

  • Kolohe||

    Hi, I'm from the Virginia Republican Party, and I want to let you know that Barack HUSSEIN Obama puts HOLLYWOOD ahead of AMERICA!

    Well, it's one of the few industries where we have a foreign trade surplus, so maybe that's not so bad after all

  • ||

    I especially wouldn't be upset if I gave my mail to some guy I didn't know, then asked him to mail it for me.

  • ||

    "A hour-long visit to the courthouse is not a onerous poll tax."

    How about if you have no car? Like you are elderly? Believe it or not, any travel is onerous on some folks Sugarfree.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.

    To the extent that our elections are more universal and more representative of the people, our government is more legitimate.

    It is a duty of a democracy to make the barriers to participation as low as possible for the citizenry.

    God bless ACORN, for all they do for our democracy.

  • ||

    Legate
    I think joe was using an analogy.

  • ||

    That's your choice, LD. Let's imagine that a friend or business acquaintance does use the mail, addressed to your home.

    Hey, if you can't bother to pick up your mail...and assumed it was being delivered...how pissed of can you really be if the mailman lets it pile up in his basement?

  • ||

    Saying a person who can't take the time to go file his voter registration himself can complain is like saying [fill in all of joe's examples here]

  • BDB||

    No Republican has yet explained to me how registering people with the name "Mickey Mouse" can lead to stealing the election.

  • Bingo||

    FWIW I think that having the Electoral College vote for the president is preferable to direct democratic election.

  • Kolohe||

    If your local govt is in such sorry ass shape that it takes an hour to register to vote, your local govt may be beyond hope.

    (otoh, it's fairly routine that it takes over an hour to vote, due to uneven demand cycles throughout the day)

  • BDB||

    Me too. I don't want Florida 2000 on a national scale, thank you very much.

  • ||

    Ouch! Game, set, match.

    Hardly, Bingo. A feeble set of analogies actually. No one is going to bring a business license application to your house, help you fill it out and then file it for you. Or zoning. If one wants to argue doing away with voter registration, we could hash that out. Wheedling people into voting who won't make the slightest effort to vote isn't noble, just merely politically expedient. That's why ACORN hasn't been out beating the bushes in hyper-red rural areas. (Not that they really have to, the churches serve that function around here, but the point remains...)

  • Kolohe||

    Hey, if you can't bother to pick up your mail...and assumed it was being delivered...how pissed of can you really be if the mailman lets it pile up in his basement?

    This analogy elludes me, and my father worked for the post office.

  • ||

    Kolohe | October 17, 2008, 3:13pm | #

    If your local govt is in such sorry ass shape that it takes an hour to register to vote, your local govt may be beyond hope.


    Please, finish this thought. Fill in the blank.

    If your local govt is in such sorry ass shape that it takes an hour to register to vote, your local govt may be beyond hope, and______________________________, and therefore, it's no big deal if people are disenfranchised.

    Really, I'd like to see that middle part.

    In a democratic society, with a democratic form of government, you sholdn't have to earn your civil rights. That you don't know enough blind people to understand why getting to Town Hall might be a burden isn't the point.

  • Oregon Scott||

    Back to the topic of the Bradley effect, I don't think looking at the Clinton/Obama primaries can disprove it. There may be an analogous effect relating to female candidates, but where that effect just doesn't have a name.

    Scott

  • ||

    Wheedling people into voting who won't make the slightest effort to vote isn't noble, just merely politically expedient.

    Holy unwarrented assumption, Batman!

    What makes you think it's universaslly understood that you even have to register to vote?

    Bringing people who aren't part of the political process in makes our democracy more legitimate. It's the people so outside of that process that they don't even know how it works that are the most important to bring in.

    You don't think the people ACORN registers are going to vote? You don't think it occurs to anyone that they want to vote shortly before election day?

  • Guy Montag||

    This thread is overdue for its SciFi tangent.

  • ||

    Holy crap, every single poll done in Virgnia in October has Obama over 50%!

  • Kolohe||

    If your local govt is in such sorry ass shape that it takes an hour to register to vote, your local govt may be beyond hope, and______________________________, and therefore, it's no big deal if people are disenfranchised.

    Ok fair enough. let me try again. If your local gov't is in such sorry ass shape that it takes an hour to register to vote it should be immediately disolved by the state government* and it's functioned performed by a state insituted transitional organization because no amount of voting is going to help.

    In Virginia, I've always registered by mail, expecpt the very first time which I think was either in the 12th grade social studies class. This was the only time where it took anywhere close to an hour.

  • BDB||

    But remember, you can't trust those state polls! /snark

  • Kolohe||

    * based on that same 12th grade govt class, I think the commonwealth of virginia can do this; there's no such thing a 'local sovereignty'

  • BDB||

    Correct. The only thing the state government can't do, thanks to 1960s racial backlash, is let cities annex the counties that surround them.

    Because if that happened, white suburban Republican politicians and black urban Democratic politicians would have to (gasp!) share power and have competitive local elections, and We Can't Have That.

  • Guy Montag||

    BDB,

    LOL at your 3:29pm post. Did not stop Tennessee well into the 1990s, or even now as far as I know.

  • BDB||

    You're right about TN, and NC. It started in Hampton Roads here but the state Government put the brakes on it before Richmond could be consolidated into Henrico, and before Petersburg/Hopewell/Colonial Heights/Fort Lee could be consolidated, among others.

    Surprise surprise, the Hampton Roads local governments are much better run than the rest of the state.

  • ||

    I'm jealous. Massachusetts is a home-rule state. Which translates to "No, YOU allow something other land acre-lot subdivisions so non-rich people can live there."

    "No, you."

    "No, you!"

  • Guy Montag||

    Ah, you were being VA specific. Missed that someplace.

  • ||

    The purpose of registering Mickey Mouse and Tony Romo isn't so that they can vote. The purpose is to clog up registration offices to the point where they can't catch John Jones voting five times. Also, election chaos and diminished faith in the system works for the Democrats, who would prefer not to have to face elections to maintain their god-given right to govern.

  • BDB||

    IIRC we have the aforementioned Byrd Family to thank for that. TN and NC were spared them.

  • ||

    Joe, you said, "Bringing people who aren't part of the political process in makes our democracy more legitimate. It's the people so outside of that process that they don't even know how it works that are the most important to bring in."

    I guess it depends on what you mean by "legitimate." More voter registration certainly involves more people in the process, perhaps giving them more of a feeling of "ownership" in the process and outcome. On the other hand, the just-plain ignorance of so much of the voting population -- especially those who are so uninvolved that they don't even understand how to vote -- could reasonably lead one to question the "legitimacy" of any decisions made by a majority vote of the uninformed electorate.

  • ||

    Uh, yeah, James, that's it. The Democrats hold voter registration drives while the Republicans use voter suppression because it's the Democrats who don't want to have to face the public in elections.

    The purpose of registering Mickey Mouse and Tony Romo isn't so that they can vote. The purpose is to clog up registration offices to the point where they can't catch John Jones voting five times.

    Which explains why ACORN flags questionable ballots for the election officials; to make their job harder. Sure, that makes sense.

    It can't be that a minority of canvassers fill out forms so they can get paid without doing the work. It can't be that laws in most states require people who collect voter registrations to turn them all in.

    No, that's unpossible. THE DEMOCRATS ARE STEALING TEH ELECTION!!!!1!1. Eleventy-one!

  • ||

    "Also, election chaos and diminished faith in the system works for the Democrats, who would prefer not to have to face elections to maintain their god-given right to govern.

    Yeah, like in 2000! lol James

  • BDB||

    Oh good God, for the love of Christ, DO NOT bring up Florida 2000. Please!

  • ||

    Potted
    I think Churchill's quote about democracy is the answer to your post

  • ||

    Potted Plant,

    Increasing people's level of civic engagement encourages them to be more involved, and to learn more about their government.

    I've made this same argument i/r/t translators for public events. When the people so alienated from mainstream society that they haven't even learned English are able to understand the City Council meeting, maybe they start following politics more. Maybe they talk about it with their neighbors. Maybe they form coalitions with other people in the city, people from outside their community.

    Voter registration gets people in the door.

  • ||

    Too late. Challenging an election that is within the margin of error is the definition of undermining our election system.

  • db||

    Don't be silly. Can you imagine how much headshots and resumes for 13 million people would cost?

    Well, at about 35 cents per round, probably about $4.5million, but the Army gets a pretty good discount...oh. Never mind.

  • BDB||

    And challenging the results of an election that will be nowhere near inside the margin of error is what then, James?

  • ||

    It's being a sore loser

  • BDB||

    K. Cause that's what you guys are doing with shouting "ACORN! ACORN!"

  • Kolohe||

    Correct. The only thing the state government can't do, thanks to 1960s racial backlash, is let cities annex the counties that surround them.

    I thought this predated the 60's.

    In any case, what I like best of the Virginia political struture is that the counties and incoporarated cities are completely different and independent political entities. I also like how Hawaii does it, where the city and county are a single unified political entity.

    What is no good imo, are most other places, where the city is part of the county. (like Yonkers, NY in Weschester County, or Macon, GA in Bibb County) Then you get double government (and often double taxation) for people inside the city limits, and a bunch of 'free riders' just outside the city limits. It's the worse of both worlds and has a whole bunch of perverse incentives.

  • ||

    Challenging an election that is within the margin of error is the definition of undermining our election system.

    So, the only time it's legitimate to verify the results of a vote count is when it isn't close enough for the verificaiton to make a difference?

    When there is a chance that errors in the vote count changed the result, it undermines our election system to try to get it right?

    When there is reason to believe that an inaccurate vote count altered the result of an election, the best thing to do to give people confidence in the system is not to make sure the result is right?

    That doesn't begin to make sense.

  • ||

    That challenge was something else. Democrats argued that left column chads were unreliable, but the race they were using to make the point wasn't even in the left column.

  • ||

    BDB | October 17, 2008, 3:47pm | #

    And challenging the results of an election that will be nowhere near inside the margin of error is what then, James?
    James Ard | October 17, 2008, 3:49pm | #

    It's being a sore loser
    BDB | October 17, 2008, 3:49pm | #

    K. Cause that's what you guys are doing with shouting "ACORN! ACORN!"


    Oh, SNAP!

  • ||

    You don't think the people ACORN registers are going to vote?

    They don't know they have to register? They can't make it to the courthouse to fill out a 5x7 form? How are they even going to make it to the polling place, this 13 million bed-ridden, ignorant, and infirm?

    ACORN has every right to help these people register, but don't tell me it's just a miraculous coincidence that it furthers their political goals. When does a cynical political move become a noble project for democracy? When it helps joe.

  • ||

    I don't believe candidates should be allowed to challenge the results, but if the election officials believe something isn't right, then recount the votes, by all means.

  • ||

    Maybe they talk about it with their neighbors. Maybe they form coalitions with other people in the city, people from outside their community.

    Voter registration gets people in the door.


    This is what happened with Joe the plumber. And now the dems are using that door to crucify him.

  • Kolohe||

    I always found it amusing that farifax city as the county seat of farifax county is a seperate politcal entity (sort of like how DC is part of no state)

    But with their move to their new digs a decade or so ago, it may be a moot issue. Are the county office buildings on govt center pkwy within the city limits of Farifax city?

  • Xeones of Hampton Roads||

    the Hampton Roads local governments are much better run than the rest of the state

    If this is true, i feel really, really bad for the rest of the state.

  • BDB||

    So is he Joe the Martyr now?

  • BDB||

    "If this is true, i feel really, really bad for"

    you should. At least, for the rest of the state's urban metro areas. It's a clusterfuck. The cities and counties agree on NOTHING. It makes doing ANYTHING on a metro area-wide scale absolutely impossible, and fucks over the cities. The suburbs suck the city dry and the city gets zero in return.

  • ||

    So is he Joe the Martyr now?

    Yes, on his cross of PVC pipe, and two crooked roofers on either side.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Pray tell, how would spending resources to sign up people who wouldn't vote advance ACORN's political goals?

    They don't know they have to register? They can't make it to the courthouse to fill out a 5x7 form? How are they even going to make it to the polling place, this 13 million bed-ridden, ignorant, and infirm?

    ACORN has every right to help these people register, but don't tell me it's just a miraculous coincidence that it furthers their political goals.
    OK. I won't. Increasing the political power and involvement of people who are generally powerless and marginalized advances ACORN's political goals. That's not a bug; it's god damn feature!

  • zoltan||

    When the people so alienated from mainstream society that they haven't even learned English

    You mean when they're too lazy to learn English.

  • Guy Montag||

    SF,

    I was registered to vote by one of my teachers in HS right after TN "allowed" people who had registered to vote in person to register others.

    Funny thing a few years later, on the UT campus, you know, where all those brainey Liberal Arts students and faculty hang out, some lady who was not qualified to register others signed up zads of students right before the deadline. Yep, that's right, every single registration with her signature was thrown out and it was too late for her victims to register and vote. Of course, the charges of "racism" soon followed, as well as accusations of a certain party not beginning with a D trying to "rig" an election.

  • ||

    This is what happened with Joe the plumber.

    ACORN whips up media frenzies around the people it registers, on purpose, as part of a political effort?

    Really?

    Because I'm pretty sure they don't.

    The McCain campaign, and especially the righty bloggers, should be ashamed of themselves for setting this guy up like that. He never asked to be their high-profile poster child.

    They single-handedly set out to change him from a private citizen to a public figure.

  • zoltan||

    +Why don't they do everything online anyway?

  • Confused and Indignant||

    Is ACORN the group pushing for card check so that your local politician can make it easy for you to vote for the correct party?

  • ||

    Gee, zoltan, you want to make sure they wash behind their ears, too?

    Who the fuck are you?

  • Kolohe||

    The Arlington County goverment is run pretty well. They spend too much, and the property taxes have gone from someting like a millage rate of 80 in the early nineties to a millage rate of 120 today (while property values have tripled), but they are the best govt in the DC metro area.

  • Dello||

    Guy Montag,

    By this time next year, the family and I will be Costa Rican.

  • ||

    OK. I won't. Increasing the political power and involvement of people who are generally powerless and marginalized advances ACORN's political goals. That's not a bug; it's god damn feature!

    Then stop calling it noble. It's building a political base. Zip nada noble about that.

    On the first part I accidentally deleted part of my reply, the last sentence was going to be: At what point are absentee ballots going to be brought up? Won't that be a great idea. Sorry about that.

  • ||

    Not only is JTP relishing his fifteen minutes, he may parlay this into enough money to buy the business.

  • Guy Montag||

    Dello,

    Cool.

    I am going to a beach without much coastline.

  • ||

  • ||

    I am going to a beach without much coastline.

    Is this some sort of Zen koan?

  • Guy Montag||

    Arlington County, VA huh?

    Well, they do stay out of my way pretty much. However, most of the security in my neighborhood is private. Can't really complain much (even if I had a complaint) because I don't vote there anyway, I just work there.

  • zoltan||

    Joe, your distracting non sequiturs notwithstanding, people who move to this country should take the responsibility to involve themselves in politics. Saying someone should learn to speak the language of the country they move to is in no way saying those people who physically unclean. To say that the two are related and to imply that was what I was saying is insulting, but then, you have no grievances with using hyperbole to messily and ineffectually communicate your jumbled ideas.

  • ||

    Then stop calling it noble.

    Nope. This is a democratic republic. One man one vote and equal protection under the law are fundamental principles.

    There is very little more noble than bringing our democracy closer to the high ideals we set for ourselves.

    God blass ACORN for all that they do.

  • Guy Montag||

    SF,

    LOL^2

    The 'blogger covered in your link was mentioned a lot by my Tennessee gun buddy at saysuncle.com

    The beach thing, well, more of a play on words than anything else.

  • ktc2||

    Was the title a Futurama reference intentionally?

  • ||

    Go crawl back under rock, zoltan.

    Lazy. Yeah, that's what immigrants are. Lazy.

  • ||

    The beach thing, well, more of a play on words than anything else.

    Too bad. I had almost freed myself from the wheel of dharma contemplating it.

  • ||

    SugarFree, do you object to Salvation Army bell ringers?

    Getting people to do what they should be doing anyway, in order to make our society a better place, is a noble pursuit.

  • cracker||

    God blass ACORN for all that they do.

    Nuthin noble about herdin up a bunch of them negroes so they can vote for a known terrorist.

  • ||

    The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do state-by-state, but that we shouldn't have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote -- that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Because of state-by-state enacted rules for winner-take-all awarding of their electoral votes, recent candidates with limited funds have concentrated their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential election.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes-- 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  • alan||

    Correct. The only thing the state government can't do, thanks to 1960s racial backlash, is let cities annex the counties that surround them.

    Because if that happened, white suburban Republican politicians and black urban Democratic politicians would have to (gasp!) share power and have competitive local elections, and We Can't Have That.


    Tis true. Good ol' Mel Watt's district stretches from Durham, thorough my city and down to Charlotte, collecting what must be every minority community in between. He has a safe district and so do the white republicans to the east and west of them. Our Senate seats are more at risk than the congressional districts (historically, the most risky), how fucked up is that!?!

  • ||

    SugarFree, do you object to Salvation Army bell ringers?

    Go back to analogy school, dude. If the Salvation Army was recruiting politically unengaged, unregistered voters in hopes of bolstering the GOP vote I object to them too.

    If ACORN was ringing a bell outside outside of a grocery store, I'd probably give them my spare change. I'm a hysterical atheist by some standards and the Salvation Army always gets my change.

  • zoltan||

    Go crawl back under rock, zoltan.

    Lazy. Yeah, that's what immigrants are. Lazy.


    Joe, you are despicable. I said people who refuse to learn English are lazy. But you're the one being lazy now by attributing words and ideas to me which I did not say. I don't know why I'm surprised since you use as many devious and dishonest ways as possible to make your ridiculously incoherent points.

  • ||

    I guess I just care more about democracy than you do, SugarFree.

    I believe in one-man-one vote. I believe in equality. I believe we're a better society when our government has more democratic legitimacy.

    This probably sounds like either sentimental gibberish, or cynical excuses for a partisan agenda to you.

    So be it.

  • ||

    I said people who refuse to learn English are lazy.

    Yeah, after saying that people who haven't learned English are refusing to do so becuase they're lazy.

    "Incoherent." You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

  • cracker||

    I believe in one-man-one vote. I believe in equality. I believe we're a better society when our government has more democratic legitimacy.

    I believe the country runs much better when well educated aristocrats decide what's best for everyone. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, it should be good enough for us.

  • Doug||

    In Alaska every election night is an early election night. :P

  • ||

    joe,

    I've been pretty upfront about not giving a shit about a democracy without any protections for the minority from the predations of the majority. And you are only comfortable with this mob rule because it's your mob that's ruling. Wrap yourself in the flag and pretty it up all you want.

    Anyway, it is an impasse.

    You party people have a nice weekend. My best friend eloped Thursday and we are going to rock out with our cocks out. I hope you all get the chance to do the same. Those of you without cocks, you may do with your genitals whatever you feel comfortable with.

  • zoltan||

    Yes, joe, if someone doesn't learn English and expects the political system to bend to their non-English speaking will, yes they are lazy. If someone doesn't learn English and don't expect much out of this country, so be it, I don't really care. There is no reason to be conducting politics in another language though. So yes, again, people who refuse to learn the language of a country and still expect to be catered to by the political system are lazy. But I'm sure you'll find some other way to put words in my mouth, use hyperbole, or quote something that's been extremely over-quoted in order to make yourself look clever. Or whatever you think of yourself.

  • Guy Montag||

    Okay, okay, I can't hold it in any longer.

    Mr. Rove and I faked the assasination of Abraham Lincoln, putting into motion the events that would lead to the birth of Joe the Plumber. We spent a lot of time arranging things so that he would buy a house *precisely* on the path that Sen. Obama would take.

    We knew, way back in the 1800s, that Sen. Obama could not resist chatting it up with a 21st century Mussolini impersonator, so we laid the plans and let 'events' take their course.

    You know, we would have been surprised if we had not had so much success in the past. Why, just the other day one of our plots that we hatched, ironically, on 1 April a few years ago, arrived a little early with Sen. Bidens letter counting antics!

    Sorry, got to go check the progress of our little GOP Project ACORN, concocted to discredit the Leftists because they never come up with stuff like this on their own.

  • Matt Welch Makes Me Sleepy||

    "I was at Ron Paul's election night party"

    Have you been tested?

  • ||

    MOTHERFUCKING SQUIRRELS!

  • ||

    I had posted something in response to SugarFree's link, noting a passage.

    "Also, the Atlantic's Megan McArdle probably disagrees about the ugly thing and the dude part of it. Not that I agree with Megan all the time or even a lot of the time, but she doesn't have her job because she's pretty, she has her job because she's whip-smart, good at what she does and manages to make libertarianism sound reasonable, which is no small task for the party that embraces Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Mike Gravel."

    I guess you all are smart enough to guess what I was going for.

  • Agent Provacateur||

    Not that I agree with Megan all the time or even a lot of the time, but she doesn't have her job because she's pretty, she has her job because she's whip-smart, good at what she does and manages to make libertarianism sound reasonable

    I forgot how funny this was the first time I read it,and how wrong.

  • zoltan||

    John-David--are you saying that this person sounds like an ignoramus because they think Megan McArdle sounds smart compared to Ron Paul or Bob Barr? That took me awhile to get.

  • ||

    zoltan,

    No, the point I was going to make was that the writer is an imbecile for conflating Megan's status as a libertarian with membership in the Libertarian Party.

  • Kaiser||

    I have never believed in this so called "Bradley effect." Just because there is a black guy running and he loses doesn't mean it was racism. I mean what would they say about that presidential race in which the polls were LARGELY in favor of one guy, and the other won. They were both white. (my sincerest apologies for not doing my due diligence in providing a link or even names, however I am sure you get the point and most likely know which one I am talking about because it has been brought up here before)

    I hate political correctness in all forms and do my best to be the opposite of it at all times. But this idea that racism is a black and white issue (literally) really gets to me, plus th fact that true inequality hasn't existed in many moons. As Jim Norton said, maybe if your white, over 80, and live in Mississippi you have something to be sorry for but otherwise get the fuck over it.

  • ||

    Yes, zoltan, the force of your not caring about those lazy, Spanish-speaking immigrants can be felt right through my monitor. That's quite the not caring you've got there, bringing it up like that.

  • ||

    SugarFree | October 17, 2008, 4:50pm | #

    joe,

    I've been pretty upfront about not giving a shit about a democracy without any protections for the minority from the predations of the majority. And you are only comfortable with this mob rule because it's your mob that's ruling. Wrap yourself in the flag and pretty it up all you want.


    That's a dodge. I've been quoting the the Declaration of Independence, making arguments that come directly from the principles written into it throughout the thread, and you're going hide behind an aversion to direct democracy?

  • zoltan||

    I'm not surprised that, again, instead of addressing what I'm actually saying you try to root out some non-existent xenophobia out of the sentence "If someone doesn't learn English and don't expect much out of this country, so be it, I don't really care." I genuinely don't care if someone doesn't want to learn English, but they should not expect the political structure, and consequently taxayer dollars, to accomodate them. I'm sure you'll find some other way to misappropriate words and beliefs that I do not indeed hold, but you're also an expert at averting the argument at hand. Instead, you stoop to the racist levels you claim to defend by asserting any supposed lazy, non-English speaking immigrant is Spanish. Underneath all that political correctness is some pathetic racist pining to allieve his poor guilt. For now we'll just have to settle with the Freudian slips though.

  • ||

    God bless ACORN, out there registering 13 million new voters. They're doing God's work in some of the toughest neighborhoods in America.

    Funny, I've read the Bible cover to cover, joe, and don't recall seeing any comment anywhere in there about God wanting to see higher voter registration numbers.

    Or having a great regard for elected officials.

    Jesus saved his angriest words for the biblical version of politicians.

  • ||

    I've been pretty upfront about not giving a shit about a democracy without any protections for the minority from the predations of the majority. And you are only comfortable with this mob rule because it's your mob that's ruling. Wrap yourself in the flag and pretty it up all you want.

    That's a dodge. I've been quoting the the Declaration of Independence, making arguments that come directly from the principles written into it throughout the thread, and you're going hide behind an aversion to direct democracy?


    joe, the politicians being elected aren't following the constitution. So, yeah, there's a problem with kloptocratic mob rule democracy in the absence of elected officials abiding by the stringent restrictions on the power of democracy in the constitution.

  • ||

    It's easy enough to say that they should just throw those out, but do we really want such groups to be dumping voter registration cards in the trash?

    Throwing them away is actually illegal in a lot of jurisdictions.

  • ||

    I've yet to see anyone use the phrase "white guilt" or similar comments who wasn't getting his ass kicked for making a statement with racist implications.

  • ||

    Good thing "God's work" isn't a colloquialism for good works in general.

    joe, the politicians being elected aren't following the constitution. So, yeah, there's a problem with kloptocratic mob rule democracy in the absence of elected officials abiding by the stringent restrictions on the power of democracy in the constitution.

    So, because your interpretation of the Constitution is a fringe position, it doesn't matter if our government has democratic legitimacy either?

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    ANGST ANGST ANGST
    is it wrong? I just have to do it this way.

    guilt.

    nah

  • zoltan||

    I've yet to see anyone use the phrase "white guilt" or similar comments who wasn't getting his ass kicked for making a statement words shoved in his mouth about racist implications by someone who actually does make with racist implications.

    Nice one, joe. Next time try not grasping racism out of thin air. I said people who don't speak English shouldn't expect the political structure to accomodate them. You stretch everything to make you look like some kind of martyr for minorities. It's truly a strange complex.

  • ||

    Uh, yeah, if you don't like to hear people trash-talk minorities, it means there's something wrong with you.

    Normal, healthy people get driven to frothing anger when they hear Spanish in the grocery store.

    Oh, BTW, here's what you wrote: You mean when they're too lazy to learn English.

    Go crawl under your rock with LoneWacko.

  • zoltan||

    Yes, joe, when someone is too lazy to learn English yet want to be involved with the political system and expect it to be accomodate for them. Yet you still conflate the two ideas. And you conflate my dislike for that political accomodation with merely hearing another language spoken in the U.S. Newsflash Joe: I work for an Intercontinental Hotel and hear different languages and accents every day. I hear assholes tell my coworkers they "need to learn English" even when they're speaking perfectly coherently with a slight accent. I've met the people you're referring to and to say that I am the same as that is poor and lazy thinking on your part. It's a shame you can't understand the difference and nuance between two positions, but then again it doesn't really surprise me. But sure, go ahead and confuse "don't expect to be accomodate because you refuse to learn the language of a particular country" with "Dem spics 'n' wetbacks is takin' our jobs!"

  • votetheday.com||

    Is it possible, that Obama's lead could evaporate on election day because of Bradley-Wilder effect? Or nowadays Americans are significantly less reluctant to vote for an African-American? Vote here - http://www.votetheday.com/america/secret-racism-will-subvert-obamas-advantage-333

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