Democrats & Liberals Archives

Election Results: Pundits Got it Wrong

As usual, the pundits interpreted Tuesday’s election results from the point of view of Republicans - which most of them probably are. Major newspapers and prominent broadcasters said that Republicans won big and Democrats must worry. Nonsense! The main conclusion I got is that the Republicans are tearing their party apart and Democrats won an extra seat for healthcare and other reforms in the House.

Yes, it's true that in Virginia's governorship race, Republican Bob McDonnell scored a resounding victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds. It's also true that Deeds spent a lot of time running away from President Obama. He wanted voters to know that he disagreed with Obama's priorities. So many Democrats stayed home.

Another governorship, that in New Jersey, was won by Republican Chris Christie against Jon Corzine.

Based on these two wins, the Republicans and their conservative friends in the media are shouting that the Democrats should worry because the Republicans will soon take over. These are governorships and they have almost nothing to do with President Obama's agenda and will have no impact on Congress.

Buried in all these election stories is the fact that two new representatives have been elected to the House, and they are both Democrats. One of these Democrats, Bill Owens, comes from New York's 23rd District. Here is where the real action - according to what Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and other Tea Party Nuts told us - would take place. Conservative Dede Scozzafava, endorsed by the Republican Party, was running against Democrat Bill Owens. Since the district has voted Republican since Ulysses S. Grant, everybody expected Dede Scozzafava to win. But the Tea Party Nuts thought that Scozzafava was not conservative enough. To get rid of her they put up a guy that is a stranger to the district but one who is a radical nut like them: Doug Hoffman.

The Tea Party Nuts did so much screaming that they boosted Hoffman's popularity at the expense of Scozzafava. So she quit. The Tea Party Nuts celebrated their victory?! As a moderate Republican, Scozzafava was so upset that she endorsed the Democrat: Bill Owens. The voters recoiled from the Nuts and elected Bill Owens.

The Tea Party Nuts are cracking the Republican Party and party leaders have no idea what to do. When Dede Scozzafava dropped out the leaders immediately endorsed Doug Hoffman, the Nut.

Now Bill Owens will be sworn in as a representative to add his voice in favor of the Healthcare bill when it comes to a vote this Saturday. Score a solid one for the Democrats.

Another Democrat, California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, has won a special election to a Northern California congressional seat, keeping the district in Democratic hands. Garamendi, too, will be sworn in and is a reliable vote for the healthcare bill.

Pundits have a conservative bias. They got the electoral picture wrong. Republican Party leaders, not Democratic leaders, need to worry. If Republican leaders do not wake up, they will find that there is a new 2-party arrangement: The Democratic Party vs. the Tea Party.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 5, 2009 7:32 PM
Comments
Comment #290314
the pundits interpreted Tuesday’s election results from the point of view of Republicans - which most of them probably are.

In fact, we know most reporters and news anchors are registered Democrats. I suspect you know it too but it kind of hurts the spin, doesn’t it?

As Jon Stewart said, be careful of getting ‘turd shining elbow’.

Personally, I agree with the old Ari Fliescher that these are mid term elections and are more about local issues than national ones, not the new Ari Fliescher who said the opposite the other night.

But, it does speak to the fact that the Republican party’s demise is not in fact complete yet. They can win and most likely will win because of the left’s treatement of the those independants that it is alienating by lumping them in with right wing racists.

BTW, the purging is not just by the right…

Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu is out as keynote speaker for the Palm Beach County Democratic Party’s annual fund-raising dinner next week because party leaders dislike her stance on health care reform, county Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel said today.

http://www.postonpolitics.com/2009/11/louisiana-sen-landrieu-out-as-democratic-keynoter-locals-disliked-her-stance-on-health-care-cloture/

When the right does this it is ‘purging’. When the left does it it is ‘enforcing party discipline’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 5, 2009 7:50 PM
Comment #290316

As a fiscally conservative Liberal, I’d be worried about the Democrats’ position in the next few elections if the Ultra-right wing blog-hards weren’t so giddy about the Dems demise.

The likes of O’Hannity-Beck rarely get it right. Their all about the threatening doom, rarely focusing on the actual issues at hand.

I ,too, was thinking, “What the hey!?… the bloghards are crowing over losing a Congressional seat?” I guess I just don’t get it.

Posted by: LibRick at November 5, 2009 8:41 PM
Comment #290330

RH
“In fact, we know most reporters and news anchors are registered Democrats.”

Do we now? I suppose you would be willing to list some sources for this “fact”?
I might also point out that Paul did not refer to “reporters and news anchors”. He feferred to “pundits”. Try and keep up.
You are most likely correct that local issues have more impact in mid-term elections. Health care reform is one of those national issues that will have great impact locally and I suspect if it takes effect long enough before the mid-terms there will not be much of a Rep resurgence.

Posted by: bills at November 6, 2009 6:08 AM
Comment #290331

Whatever helps you sleep at night Bills, if you want to think that most of the ‘pundits’ are part of the dying 20% of the population that the left wants to keep pushing, that’s your problem.

BTW:

In a survey conducted by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1997, 61% of reporters stated that they were members of or shared the beliefs of the Democratic Party. Only 15% say their beliefs were best represented by the Republican Party. This leaves 24% undecided or Independent.

www.journalism.org/node/8187
www.mrc.org/biasbasics/pdf/BiasBasics.pdf
www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/Media-Bias-Is-Real-Finds-UCLA-6664.aspx
blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/06/media_bias_so_much_for_neutral.html

But, like I said, whatever makes you sleep better at night.

As for health care reform helping the left for 2010, I don’t think any plan offered takes effect that quickly. Perhaps they will change the dates, but I’m not sure that you would want that to be honest. The first thing that is going to happen is the increase in taxes/penalties that will violate Obama’s pledge (again), I’m pretty sure the right will hit that one pretty hard.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 6, 2009 7:13 AM
Comment #290332

RH,

Hmmm…that leaves the question of the political affiliation of editors, publishers and owners…the people who actually set the tone for the media, be it read, watched or heard. Reporters are, generally speaking, more liberal arts folks, and those above them the more business/bean counter folks. Have you known an organization or company in the last thirty years that was not led around by the nose by the bean counter? When was the last time you heard of a left leaning bean counter?

You might as well drop the ‘liberal media’ posit…it just ain’t so…damn it!

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2009 8:50 AM
Comment #290337

Marysdud:

Bean counters? If bean counters are running the show, why these results?

http://tvbythenumbers.com/category/ratings/top-news/cable-news

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/01/fox-news-claims-9-of-top_n_181878.html

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/cnn-drops-to-last-place-among-cable-news-networks/

Liberal leaning cable news and MSM news failing. Liberal leaning newspapers failing, tothe point that BHO and his cronies want to bail them out too. I think this blows your theory out of the water.

Posted by: propititiation at November 6, 2009 9:44 AM
Comment #290341

The whole media bias argument is BS. I remember reading Off With Their Heads by Dick Morris back in the early 2000’s. He has a couple of chapters in there about the bias found in the NY Times and in their polling data. Then I remember when the Clintons started Media Matters. Again, so what? Every system ever created, especially one with people in it, has a bias. All of this anecdotal back and forth is fun (for some), but in the end no one can show any appreciative impact as a result of the alleged bias.

So what if the pundits got it wrong? Only half of them got it wrong anyway; the half that you don’t agree with.

Posted by: George at November 6, 2009 11:04 AM
Comment #290343

Paul…nice fairytale…I am surprised you didn’t begin with, Once upon a time!

Bills wrote; “Health care reform is one of those national issues that will have great impact locally and I suspect if it takes effect long enough before the mid-terms there will not be much of a Rep resurgence.”

Sorry Bills, only the increase in taxes will occur immediately if this God-awful bill passes. Keep your legs crossed until 2013 for the entitlements to begin.

George Bush lost to Bill Clinton partially because of his “read my lips” pronouncement on no tax increases.

Primo Obama will face the same kind of slap by the voters should he raise taxes, by virtue of this health bill, on the middle class.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2009 11:22 AM
Comment #290353

2008 was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. And still he won by only seven points.

Independents, the ultimate prize of any political realignment, bolted on November 3rd. In both Virginia and New Jersey independents voted narrowly for Obama in ‘08. This year they went Republican by a staggering 33 points in Virginia and by an equally shocking 30 points in New Jersey.

Just last month Gallup found that conservatives outnumber liberals by 2 to 1 (40 percent to 20 percent) and even outnumber moderates (at 36 percent).

For any to suggest that house and senate democrats have not taken notice is ridiculous. The resounding victory in Virginia and New Jersey may be our ultimate salvation from the liberal plans for our country and economy. The God-awful health care bills in the house and senate and the equally horrendous climate legislation will, in my opinion, languish and die for lack of majority support.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2009 1:48 PM
Comment #290366

Royal Flush:

Amen. There is a huge statistical law called “reversion to the mean.”

Reversion to the mean, also called regression to the mean, is the statistical phenomenon stating that the greater the deviation of a random variate from its mean, the greater the probability that the next measured variate will deviate less far. In other words, an extreme event is likely to be followed by a less extreme event.

Since “the mean” in America is center right. Statistically the high probability is that our next congress will be more conservative than this one. Liberal Democrats better “get ‘er done” now, because looking at politics from a statistical point of view this might be their only chance.

You can already feel the country pulling right.
Pelosi is also acting like the country is pulling right. The longer it takes to get health care through, the lower the probability that the left will get what they want.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 6, 2009 6:04 PM
Comment #290367

>Bean counters? If bean counters are running the show, why these results?
Posted by: propititiation at November 6, 2009 09:44 AM

pptt,

I did not say bean counters ran businesses well, in fact I think they run everything they touch into the ground or into corruptive bankruptcy. It was mostly bean counters that sent us into this economic down spiral. What I said is that bean counters are in charge of media, newspapers are dying the way buffalo hunters and cowboys died…of mechanical and technological advances. If left leaning video and audio media are dropping, the next cycle will likely be the other way around, until they too fall by the wayside. The hypothesis that the ‘media’ is liberal is a fallacy. That supposed truism has not been true since the bean counters took over.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2009 6:06 PM
Comment #290369

Craig,

I’ll ask again…if your are right…if you ‘win’…what’s the prize? Instead of attacking the problems, we wallow in status quo until we disolve into the soil of history. What’s the prize if you win? Seeing into the future is a blessing I don’t possess, so I’m unfamiliar with the results of this game…again I ask…if you are right…WHAT’s the FRIKKIN PRIZE?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2009 6:12 PM
Comment #290376

Marysdude:

Let’s define what it means if I “win” first of all.

If I “win” it means that the debt to gdp ratio stablizes and begins to fall over time. It means keeping the tax burden on the whole economy within historical averages.

Basically it means living within our economy’s means.

Within these parameters I am all for health care reform. What that means is that if we are going to help the less fortunate we need to stop helping the fortunate so much.

Well it means three things. Reducing benefits for the affluent, reducing fraud, reducing waste and expanding coverage for the less fortunate. When those things are accomplished I am open to some other issues.

The prize is financial stability. It means a bright future for our children and grandchildren.
It means that the dire predictions from just about every compentant forcaster in America wont come true.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 6, 2009 7:10 PM
Comment #290379

Why waste time on the inconsequential questions that just take up time rather than addressing the real problems.

There are 300 million americans, there are less than 20 people denying all of the rest of the americans excellent health care. Now 40000+ people die from lack of medical insurance. Rather than talking about a buncha crap that doesn’t matter why aren’t the soon to be dead taking out the death dealers? I mean what are they unpatriotic? unChristian? what the hell is wrong with them?

It’s about time that someone introduced a “Take a politician with you” Day.

Posted by: less is better at November 6, 2009 9:09 PM
Comment #290381

Winning means financial stability? Without correcting the direction, without stopping the hemorrhage of our current health care fiasco, and without regulating the idiots of high finance…all we have to do is stabilize the budget? Wow…wish I’d thought of that.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2009 9:42 PM
Comment #290382

Marysdude:

Without correcting the direction, without stopping the hemorrhage of our current health care fiasco, and without regulating the idiots of high finance…all we have to do is stabilize the budget? Wow…wish I’d thought of that.

I agree completely.

So why does winning for you mean we have to increase the size and scope of government higher than at anytime in US history except for WWII?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 6, 2009 9:51 PM
Comment #290390

Because the folks who would hold us back from gaining the things we both would prefer are far more jaded, cynical, brazen and have fewer obstacles to overcome. “Our common defense” now includes the defense against those “enemies within”, who would not allow for those things to which we aspire, i.e., the promotion of our ‘general welfare’, ‘domestic tranquility’. Those who would hold us back are more powerful now than King George III ever thought about being, and we have, through deregulation, encouraged them to grow that strong. Our enemies are large and powerful, and it will take a large and powerful defense to circumvent them.

‘They’ are the insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, oil and energy corporations, and especially high finance groups that have become too big to fail.

The only single entity that can handle that chore is the government that you scorn.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 7, 2009 5:40 AM
Comment #290392

RF
The HC bill will pass. I would like to see it go into effect sooner,rather than later but change takes time. It is true that the funding of the program will be whinned about by the right,just as they would whine if it was left unfunded like the Bush drug plan. Damned if you do,damned if you don’t. Most Americans understand that we have to pay for things and do not mind so much if there is value recieved.
It will be interesting to see what happens to medical cost before the provisions take effect.Will the obcene rate of medical inflation flatten out or will it sky rocket as the industry leaders try to steal every nickle they can before the party is over. Either way is good for Democrats politically.

RH
LOL, I guess its a matter of prospective. IMO any “pundit”not calling for the immediate recognition of Cuba and at least calling for a national debate regarding the nationalization of the oil companies is a right winger.

Posted by: bills at November 7, 2009 6:08 AM
Comment #290433

Marysdude:

I don’t scorn our American system. I only dislike when one side or the other crams something through against the will of the people.

Right now according to CNN only 26% of Americans want the bills to pass in their current form.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/06/cnn-poll-public-wants-congress-to-keep-working-on-health-care/

What I oppose is the far left pushing their agenda on America in such a tyrannical way. Right now I am in the 74% majority of Americans who want another solution.

I do “scorn” Pelosi and Reid and those of moveon.org and the dailykos, because they are going against the will of the American people because they can. Obviously when a group goes against the vast majority of Americans it’s time to move them out of office. That time has come.

It’s not an issue of health care reform. It is a matter of using power to get what one wants simply because you can. It’s a minority forcing it’s values on the rest of America. It’s Rush Limbaugh from the left.

This is a key vote. Americans are going to remember this arrogance for a long time.

Are you for sending people to jail because they do not buy health insurance? Is that where we have come to in this country?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 7, 2009 8:24 PM
Comment #290440

You appear to be in the minority/majority, and I, for one, am happy for you. Congratulations!

My question, since the only time in my memory that the country has been more bombarded with bombastic lies and deceptions, was when Republicans were railing against Clinton’s health care bill…so, how did you expect polling to go? I don’t think the figures are out yet, but I’ll be interested to see just how much combined monies from the Pharmaceuticals, Insurance Companies, adds up to…polls are influenced by the monied few, because people think they are too busy to think, so they leave it up to that monied few. It will all come out in the end. The house just passed their version. It passed with a provision to not include abortion…that is a shame, but it is called political compromise…you remember…the thing Republicans have, all but one, forgotten is in the political arsenal.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2009 5:50 AM
Comment #290466

“Are you for sending people to jail because they do not buy health insurance? Is that where we have come to in this country?”

This country went there a long time ago. All cars must have insurance… why not all people must have health insurance? It’s pretty much the same. Those without health insurance and using our medical resources (while many not paying at all) which is part of why the premiums are so high supposedly. So if that is a fact, then people without health insurance affect others, same reason the car insurance law was instituted.

I have been reading this blog for a long long LONG time. I rarely comment. My problem with it all is this… what are the answers? I really don’t care what side of the aisle one resides. Constant jabs back and forth about liberal this and right wing nuts that, but I never see anyone with any answers, just how wrong one side or the other is.

So many think this health care bill is horrible. Alright, I get it… so what is the answer on health care then? Status quo? That is what has been offered for years, and that doesn’t seem to work.

What is the answer for the economy? Status quo? That hasn’t worked. Anyone have an answer? When Bush handed out cash to companies, it was ok to some. When Obama handed out the cash, it was the most horrible thing ever to those same people. Why does it always have to be down a party line? I am just so tired of the hypocritical nature of this country, on either side, but I will admit that yes, I see it more on one side than the other. I’m sure you can all guess which side.

Everyone here loves their country, and wants the best for it of course. I would just find it refreshing to see some ideas instead of how horrible the ideas that come up are. To me, at least there are people trying to tackle the issue instead of just ignoring it in hopes it will just go away, whether or not it’s the perfect answer. Republicans had 6 years of full control in government, and not once did I see any health care reform come up. I guess for that side, nothing done is the best answer?

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