What Voters Cared About…


According to exit polls:

The exit polls showed that 42 percent of voters called corruption an extremely important issue in their choices at the polls, followed by terrorism at 40 percent, the economy at 39 percent and the war in Iraq at 37 percent.

More here.

The Wash Times story on why the GOP lost is heavy on the war as biggest factor:

"There was general revulsion in the country, particularly among Democrats and independents, against the conduct of the war in Iraq," said pollster John Zogby. "This was, at the grass roots, a referendum against the war and the president. For Republicans, there was significant disappointment about opportunities lost through enormous budget deficits, threats to civil liberties, a failed social agenda, and the war."…

Longtime conservative activist Paul M. Weyrich agreed. "The war in Iraq had to be what went most wrong for Republicans," said Mr. Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation. "The public didn't like it and blamed the Republican Party for it. A good portion of the disaffected vote was, I think, made up of conservatives. When you add dissatisfaction over the issues of immigration and spending, it was just too much."

More here.

NEXT: Take Your Guns to Town

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  1. Iraq and corruption are not, really, different issues…

    “If the US army left the region, and if the money was instead handed out to every Iraqi man, woman and child, they would each receive more than $300 a month.

    They need it: Iraq has run out of reconstruction money. The funds in the so-called Development Fund for Iraq – some $20 billion of Iraqi money – were spent by Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority in the first year of the occupation. The US Embassy in Baghdad has spent virtually all of the $18.4 billion that Congress appropriated for ‘rebuilding’ the country; $5.6 billion of it was used to run the embassy, promote American ‘values’ and set up the new armed forces and police. Most of the American money never even gets to Iraq. The bulk of it has gone to American consultants, or into American contractors’ international bank accounts…

    One thing is certain: the Coalition has created and fostered the least accountable and least transparent regime in the Middle East.”

  2. Except in Wisconsin, where we reelected a governor who is knee deep in corruption (Doyle). He may not be long for office in Wisconsin. He is so good at corruption, he may be called up to the big leagues (Illinois).

    Seriously, any time corruption is an extremely important issue, the party in power is in trouble. It’s hard to be corrupt when you don’t have power.

  3. I am with MainstreamMan. “Corruption” can cover a poorly run and expensive war, pork, and general incompetence. I imagine most voters use the term fairly broadly, as opposed to a more specific legal definition.

  4. To continue my spirit of bipartisan giving today, I have a cunning plan for the Democrats in Iraq: Change sides. Turn the army against the government and join one of the insurgent groups. When we win, install a new government (or partition Iraq). Yeah, it’s a do over, but we’d win in sixty minutes or so. Such arbitrary behavior would positively freak out the Middle East. I bet the Iranians would say immediately afterwards, “You know, we were just kidding about the nukes.”

  5. Pro Liberate,

    Or take William Lind’s advice, a version of what you are saying:

  6. bb,

    Ah, there’s no such thing as an original idea, is there? Still, I wasn’t quite advocating the reinstallation of Saddam Hussein.

    My original plan was to give it back to Turkey and restore the Ottoman Empire. Or, better yet, liberate Constantinople and restore the Byzantine Empire.

  7. And (contra the “corruption” angle) Hevesi got re-elected comptroller of NY. I do think his misappropriation of services was vastly overblown as an issue, unless people think it was just the tip of an iceberg.

    Comptroller’s the 2nd most powerful office in NY, according to its official powers, although arguably the traditions of the senate & assembly make it the 4th (after their respective leaders); you’d think there’d be more att’n paid to it.

  8. Pro Liberate,

    I like the idea of Saddam back in power. For the obvious comical reasons, but also for the reasons Lind mentions. He would rule with a vengeance. But I am also intrigued with your idea of giving Iraq away. Why not carve it up and sell pieces to the highest bidder? Trade the southern areas to Iran in return for a US friendly government and a few billion dollars. Turkey and Iran can bid for Kurdistan. Kuwait and SA can bid for other oil fields. I like it!

  9. Heck with the Arabs, bb, why don’t we just exercise some eminent domain over Iraq ourselves and give it to some condo developers? The former occupants of Iraq would get a nice little bit of money, and our government would get a shot of revenue to help support all of those much-needed social programs.

  10. So much for the “price of gasoline” theory.

  11. I wish voters in Illinois actually cared about corruption. The only change in the state leadership is that a guy with ties to organized crime is going to become treasurer.

    Of course, with all of the indictments being handed out, it’s unlikely that these guys will last another four years.

  12. I keep hoping for a return of the Bush that is against “nation building.”

  13. That Bush is on a bender with “Fiscal Conservative” Bush.

  14. Wonkette says you railed Ann Althouse….


  15. It is great to see conservatives realize that Bush’s war has worn out its welcome with the American people. Maybe they could have thought about the war earlier, and shown some leadership by opposing Bush when he pushed for war. But they either bought into Bush’s arguments, or they saw Bush as the leader who would guarantee a permanent Republican majority.

    Dream on!

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