Campaigns/Elections

The Independent Vote

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The best news for Ron Paul tonight might be his showing among independents. On the Democratic side, independent voters overwhelmingly preferred Barack Obama: According to the data presently posted at CNN's site, he got 41% of their support, well ahead of John Edwards' 28%. In the Republican contest, their favorite was Paul: CNN says he got 29% of the independent vote, compared to 23% for his nearest rival, John McCain.

Is that good tidings for New Hampshire? Maybe—or maybe it just means they'll turn out for Obama instead of voting in the Republican race. Stay tuned.

[Via Andrew Sullivan.]

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  1. independent voters overwhelmingly preferred Barack Obama: According to the data presently posted at CNN’s site, he got 41% of their support, well ahead of John Edwards’ 28%. In the Republican contest, their favorite was Paul: CNN says he got 29% of the independent vote, compared to 23% for his nearest rival, John McCain.

    That comes out to 121%

  2. Obama got 41% of the independents voting Democrat, the rest get the independents voting Republican.

  3. That comes out to 121%

    Jay,
    Those are two different buckets of independents. One group voted in the Republican caucuses and the other voted in the Democratic caucuses.

  4. It would be more informative to me if all independents were in the same bucket.

    Why separate out “Democratic independents” from “Republican independents”?

  5. Because they didn’t all vote in both caucuses.

  6. I wish the so-called independents would pay more attention to foreign policy. Say what you will about Joe Biden, but the man’s got an actual grasp of the current Pakistani situation unlike the current bunch of morons in both parties (and the press).

  7. NP,
    Now that he’s bowed out, the best way to have Biden have effect on foreign policy would be a vote for Obama. The scuttlebutt is that Biden would be Obama’s SoS.

  8. OK, I’ll do the legwork. If the independents are all counted in the same bucket:

    Obama 23%
    Edwards 13%
    Paul 12%
    McCain 9.9%

  9. Ah yes, election season, when crappy news site web design regularly crashes my browser.

    I’ll be interested to see the raw numbers on the youth vote. The statistics on the Republican side suggests Huckabee’s evangelical force significantly outnumbered any young Paulites — another bust on the “I’ll bring out the college kids” meme that has emerged during every election I’ve lived through. But it seems possible that Obama may have truly delivered on that front, which is astonishing.

    More astonishing: Fred Thompson beat Paul while, for all intents and purposes, asleep.

    Less astonishing: Paul _owns_ the Bush-hating Republican vote.

    Anon

  10. Mo,

    I’m not sure if that rumor is very reliable, ’cause he’s repeatedly denied that he would accept the job. We’ll see what happens.

  11. Most of the self-identifying Republicans voting in the Dem caucus voted for Obama.

  12. I’ts my fault- I shouldn’t have tipped Huck off to the Kentucky voter diversion:
    http://adamant.typepad.com/seitz/2008/01/in-huck-signo-v.html

  13. Iowa caucuses: the electoral equivalent of firsties.

  14. From 3quarks daily,

    A Stanford University computer scientist named John Koza has formulated a compelling and pragmatic alternative to the Electoral College. It’s called National Popular Vote (NPV), and has been hailed as “ingenious” by two New York Times editorials. In April, Maryland became the first state to pass it into law. And several other states, including Illinois and New Jersey, are likely to follow suit.

    How NPV works is this: Instead of a state awarding its electors to the top vote-getter in that state’s winner-take-all presidential election, the state would give its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. This would be perfectly legal because the U.S. Constitution grants states the right to determine how to cast their electoral votes, so no congressional or federal approval would be required. NPV could go into effect nationwide as soon as enough states pass it (enough states to tally 270 electoral votes-the magic number needed to elect a president). In 2008, NPV bills are expected to be introduced in all 50 states.

    “We’ll have it by 2012,” says Robert Richie, executive director of the reform group Fair Vote.
    http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3457/dropping_out_of_electoral_college/

  15. I’m completely distraught: we lovers of liberty are really and truly boned this time. The major political parties are being described in the media as the parties of “change” and “religion”. Let me say this: Neither of these ought to excite libertarians.

    Change: Look out for encroaching government power, expanded entitlements (“if you think health care’s expensive now, wait until it’s free”), McCain-Feingold style “political reform”, british-style nannyism, and the living crap being taxed out of anybody productive to pay for it all. “Liberaltarianism” is a sucker’s game.

    Religion: In my experience libertarians don’t much like being told what to do. The breakup of the libertarian/social conservative coalition is going to be a disaster for liberty; as crappy as the Republicans have been about some aspects of liberty, the Democrats are worse in almost every concievable way.

    What are libertarians gaining out of this? Ron Paul, the McGovern of our day, earnest, passionate, idealistic, and poised to dash the hopes of generation of young liberty enthusiasts with regard to politics.

    How’s the Alaskan seccessionist movement doing these days, I wonder?

  16. How NPV works is this: Instead of a state awarding its electors to the top vote-getter in that state’s winner-take-all presidential election, the state would give its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

    Why in the world would a state government agree to that? Suppose a state goes dramatically Republican, while the national race goes narrowly Democrat. (Or vice-versa.) Why in the world would the state government over-ride the clear wishes of it’s people?

  17. Ron Paul, the McGovern of our day, earnest, passionate, idealistic, and poised to dash the hopes of generation of young liberty enthusiasts with regard to politics.

    Geez, Louise! These “young liberty enthusiasts” better get some grit. Ron Paul is doing spectacularly well. No presidential candidate who can credibly be called “libertarian” has done so well in decades.

  18. “Why in the world would a state government agree to that? Suppose a state goes dramatically Republican, while the national race goes narrowly Democrat. (Or vice-versa.) Why in the world would the state government over-ride the clear wishes of it’s people?”

    Because people here suck, don’t understand what a Republic is or why it’s actually a good thing and want us to be like France.

  19. Forget what I wrote earlier.

    If the independents were taken as one bucket:

    Obama 28%
    Edwards 15%
    Paul 9.5%
    McCain 7.5%

  20. How NPV works is this: Instead of a state awarding its electors to the top vote-getter in that state’s winner-take-all presidential election, the state would give its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote

    Let me add a few thoughts:
    Your vote (and that of everone else) would now be able to be nullified by fraud in any populous state. As it is, you’re now insulated from voter fraud in any state where it isn’t close.
    The framers, lovers of liberty all, weren’t big on plebiscites or direct democracy. 200-odd years of being the freest nation on earth, we might not want to mess around here.
    Why would any state want make its electors vote against the wishes of its electorate? This only makes sense if you’re a big state that wants to use numbers to push around smaller states.
    Also, I wonder about faithless electors. Get ready for a constitutional crisis should the republicans win the popular vote but get very close on the old electoral vote and some New York electors decide to vote their concience.
    Fair Vote, bah!

  21. No presidential candidate who can credibly be called “libertarian” has done so well in decades.

    I’m as thrilled as you are to find out there there are still as many libertarians as there apparently are out there, but Ron Paul’s going to do about as much good towards advancing the cause of liberty as Perot did putting a crazy Texan in the white house. (G.H.W. Bush may not have been a real Texan, but he was a lot more Texan than the other guy) It’s not my finest analogy, I’ll admit.

    Where’s our Goldwater?

  22. Thanks for nothing, Obama. Thanks for nothing.

  23. Well, here’s a positive view from the LA Times.

    As consolation prizes go, you’ve got to admit it ain’t bad….

  24. I’d love to see Ron Paul President. We haven’t had an atomic war for what? 60+ years. And the last one was so one sided.

    I think he could pull it off too. Just pull all our forces out of far away places and let the miscreants work on what ever interests them.

  25. Can’t wait to see how Ron does in National Offense Country i.e. the South.

    Them boys hate losing wars. Just hate it.

  26. Where’s our Goldwater?

    The closest you will come is Thompson. And he hates the jihadis as much as Goldwater hated the communists.

    I really do not believe Libs could stomach a Goldwater. Too National Offense oriented.

  27. Well at least we get to elect our commissars. Obama seems nice enough.

    If Ron can suck enough votes from the Republicans a Dem would have a lock.

  28. I applaud the legislators of Illinois giving our votes to the people of California. Very progressive.

  29. ali-

    How fucking dumb do you have to be to have not seen this study “debunked” multiple times?

    Just look at this “statistic”–

    Bush….. IQ: 91
    Kerry…. IQ: 128

    “Google is your friend”-

    …Unless you’re an massively inbred cousin fucker whose every ancestor came from a degenerate, third-world Muslim shithole with an average IQ of 85. (or, did I repeat myself…)

    HAHA!

  30. Actually don’t just check the independents and the age (which actually the Huckster also won, with RP tied with Mitt for 2nd). I think the age thing is overrated because I’ve worked with meetup events in NW Indiana, and we are very diverse age-wise, especially for a group organized on the internet!

    What I wonder is how Ron Paul did so hot in the SE counties of Iowa. Ron Paul WON Jefferson County! Only Romney and the Huckster won counties besides this one by Paul. He seems to have a little bit of a hold in SE Iowa – great link here – turn this link into a new thread Jesse!

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=caucus


  31. OK, I’ll do the legwork. If the independents are all counted in the same bucket:

    Obama 23%
    Edwards 13%
    Paul 12%
    McCain 9.9%

    In Michigan you can count on a significant portion of the independent vote that went to Obama and Edwards to go to Paul since neither of them will be on the ballot. You can also count on a significant portion of the democratic vote to go for Ron Paul here in Michigan.

  32. Ron Paul came behind Fred Thompson, for Christ’s sake.

  33. “Ron Paul came behind Fred Thompson, for Christ’s sake.”

    But he got more than three times the votes that Giuliani got.

  34. Ron Paul won one more county than McCain and Thompson combined.

  35. Ali, you are normally a bright guy, but you’ve been scammed. Eyeball statistics show this is bogus. There is no way a group of 1+ million people has an average IQ of either 113 (Conn) or 85 (Miss). The standard deviation for IQ is 15. The specific numbers for Kerry and Bush were long ago debunked, they had very similar test results.

    These guys are trying to play the old ‘Dem’s are smart Rep’s are dumb game’ that has been going on for decades. Rule of thumb, when you see it, assume it is bogus. Even if you want to believe, check it thoroughly. It comes from the city dweller’s assumption that those in flyover country are not as smart.

    I do not know if it is still the case, but for years even though the assumption was that Dem’s were smarter, on average they made less money then Rep’s. (For whatever reason, money correlates to IQ). I have no idea where Libertarians fall, but based on the ads in Reason I don’t think it is a rich group.

  36. Though I am usually loathe to give just a wikipedia link, the NPV article responds to the criticisms above. Summary responses for the three criticisms mentioned: Gaming the national vote would be harder, not easier, than gaming a state’s vote; the will of the people is surely satisfied if each vote counts (as opposed to being nullified at the state level by a winner take all system);small states are already ignored in major elections — and campaigns in big states tend to visit all sizes of community (not just big cities) because every vote counts.

    I’m not saying these are completely convincing responses, but they aren’t bad.

    Anon

  37. Stuart –

    Average IQ skews higher in some states than others because there’s no law that says you have to live in the state you were born in.

    Standard deviation logic doesn’t apply when members of each sample can jump from sample to sample based on lifestyle factors.

    I’m sure many higher-IQ Mississippi residents move to California or New York upon maturity. How many higher-IQ people move from California to Mississippi?

  38. Fluffy, I’m sure there is a skew towards some states, but are you seriously suggesting that Mississippi’s average IQ is 85? Roughly 68% (it has been a while, so some statistician may correct this) of data is within 1 standard deviation. That means that 16% are below 85 and 16% are above 115.

    An average IQ of 85 means that the average percentile of intelligence in Mississippi is 16. I don’t think so.

  39. Okay fluffy, you got me to take a look.

    It appears that the only study that exists requires money to get, but the Economist printed a retraction after they fell for the same hoax in 2004.

    Snopes also discusses the hoax.

  40. I did find a reference to the study, by the same author (McDaniel), he gives an estimate of a 94 IQ for Mississippi, 103 for Conn.

    McDaniel’s numbers are used on this site to analyze state by state voting and IQ. It concludes that the average IQ of Kerry voters was 100.88 and Bush voters was 99.81. A meaningless difference, given the overall analysis.

    More interestingly, he discusses which counties voted for Kerry in the “low IQ” states, and decides not to go there, as it appears that voting for Kerry could be associated with race and low IQ.

  41. stuartl- I do not know what all the fuss is about. Someone passed this along, thought it was a joke (haven’t even looked at it more than 2 minutes), and just pasted it here.

    And for yusukemandlikenit-

    Whatever!

  42. Gaming the national vote would be harder, not easier, than gaming a state’s vote;

    the will of the people is surely satisfied if each vote counts (as opposed to being nullified at the state level by a winner take all system)

    Each vote already counts at the state level. In fact, your vote counts more at the state level because it is diluted in a smaller pool.

    small states are already ignored in major elections — and campaigns in big states tend to visit all sizes of community (not just big cities) because every vote counts.

    Going to an NPV vote would concentrate electoral activity even more in urban areas and big states.

    This all misses the point, of course. This country did so well for so long as a haven of liberty because its “democracy” was carefully constrained. The growth of the State and the erosion of liberty is pretty directly tied to expansions of democracy beyond the original republican constraints. This is just more of the same.

    And of course, this is all partisan-motivated by people who can’t get over the 2000 election. If a Republican wins the popular vote but a Democrat wins the EC this fall (not an entirely unlikely scenario if Hillary is the Dem nominee), everyone now talking about an NPV for President will mysteriously shut up.

  43. Ali, I missed the direction of your joke, it seemed more of a “hey look, Reps are stupid” than a “look at the stupid things people will believe.”

    Anyway, since my bias is that IQ would be pretty much the same, I had some fun checking it out.

  44. I would like to give my own idea for reforming the government. The House of Representatives keeps being elected in pretty much the same way it is now. In the Senate elections, you can buy as many votes as you want at a fixed price set every 10 years by Congress. The prez is elected by a fusion of the two systems. Also, besides the Senate fee, Congress needs a 2/3 majority of BOTH houses to pass any taxes. That way its more likely that those who pay the costs of govt will have the final say in what it does or does not do. Any objections?

  45. I object on the basis that its retarded.

  46. stuartl- Sure, I did not mean any offense to anyone. Let it be clear that I am no collectivist.

  47. Tell me, Bingo, what makes it retarded.

  48. economist,

    Why not have the landed rich appoint lords to the senate instead?

  49. Neu Mejican
    First of all, you’re mixing up the British House of Lords and the Roman Senate. Second, and more importantly, my plan is not about granting special privileges based on birth or landed wealth. It is about giving those who bear most of the cost of government essentially having the power to keep it from spending their money badly. They could not, however, buy political pull, as the House of Representatives would be elected in the normal way, and all acts of this Congress would require the consent of BOTH houses. It would be a welcome change from our current system, where less than half of the population bears 90 percent of the federal tax burden while the rest of the population gets to decide how to spend it. I’m just sayin’…

  50. the will of the people is surely satisfied if each vote counts (as opposed to being nullified at the state level by a winner take all system)

    Just not the will of the voters in your state…if your state votes for one candidate, but the national vote goes to the other candidate.

    I can see apportioning electors according to the percentage for each candidate within the state (i.e., 60/40 percentage within state gives 60/40 split of electors). But I don’t see how it is good for the voters of a state if (hypothetically) 70 percent of them vote for candidate A, but the electoral votes of their state go to candidate B, because of the national vote.

    As Patrick Henry said (regarding why not to participate in the Constitutional Convention), “I smelt a rat.”

  51. Here’s the rat

    Many criticisms have been leveled at this 18th Century system. First, why have electoral votes at all? Why not just elect the president by popular vote? The reason this system has never changed is simple: politics. States with many buffalo and few people, like Wyoming, benefit from it and are not keen on changing it. Since every state gets at least three electors, low-population states have proportionally far more political power than they would have in a direct election system. The number of voters per elector is about four times smaller in the three-elector states than in the most-populous states, as shown in this table. The fact that nearly all the low-population states are heavily Republican adds to the difficulties of changing the system. Direct election of the president would eliminate the current bias in favor of the Republicans.

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