Category Archives: Elections 2012

2012 Election in North Carolina

Some interesting stats from the 2012 Presidential election:

A new analysis of voter turnout data for the November 2012 election proves North Carolina has earned its reputation as a swing state.

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney evenly split the 10 counties with the highest turnout. Beaufort, Davie, Greene, Moore and Person voted for Romney, while Chatham, Granville, Hertford, Wake and Warren voted for Obama.

Living in Raleigh I’m disappointed that Wake county broke for Obama.  However, I continue to take immense pleasure that we were the one battle ground state that Romney carried.

More tidbits:

  • Overall, turnout in 2012 was 68.3 percent – down slightly from 69.6 percent in 2008.
  • Republican women picked up a percentage point, from 72.3 percent in 2008 to 73.4 percent in 2012.
  • GOP men made an even bigger gain, from 70.7 to 72.2 percent.
  • The number of registered Democrats who voted in 2012 actually dropped by nearly 53,000, even though the party added about 8,800 registered voters since 2008.
  • Turnout among black voters dropped slightly, from 71.9 to 70.3 percent, that’s in line with the drop in overall turnout.
  • Turnout for voters 18-25 dropped by more than 5 percent from 2008
  • [Hispanic] turnout was 4.9 percent lower than in 2008.
  • Senior citizens … picked up 4.2 percent at the polls, with a 2012 turnout of 76.6 percent – the highest of any demographic group.

With a commanding majority in the state political picture, it’ll be interesting to see how the republicans govern and lead the state for the next two years.

Election Patterns

I recently saw this map on my Facebook page.  The point my friend was trying to make was that from a geographic standpoint, America is dramatically conservative.

Whatever, votes aren’t awarded by landmass they’re awarded by population.

However, I noticed a pattern that I blogged about earlier in the election cycle.  Notice the think blue line running from Louisiana through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and then North and South Carolina.  A small and thin band no more than 1 or 2 counties wide in most cases.  All situated in the heavily republican deep south.

The explanation?

Ancient Oceans:

It’s an image of North America as it looked during the Cretaceous era, 129 million to 65 million years ago. As you can see, much of the continent was still covered by water. The Deep South had a shoreline that curled through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and there, in the shallow waters just offshore, were immense populations of floating, single-celled creatures who drifted about, trapped sunshine, captured carbon, then died and sank to the sea bottom. Those creatures became long stretches of nutritious chalk. (I love chalk.)

When sea levels dropped and North America took on its modern shape, those ancient beaches — so alkaline, porous and rich with organic material — became a “black belt” of rich soil, running right through the South. You can see the Cretaceous beaches in this map, colored green. McClain got these maps from geologist Steve Dutch’s website, at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.

And because this stretch was so rich and fertile, when cotton farmers moved here in the 19th century, this stretch produced the most cotton per acre. Harvests of 4,000-plus bales were common here. Notice that the most productive plantations mirror the ancient coastline.

Then came slavery.

McClain, quoting from Booker T. Washington’s autobiography, Up From Slavery, points out: “The part of the country possessing this thick, dark and naturally rich soil was, of course, the part of the South where the slaves were most profitable, and consequently they were taken there in the largest numbers.” After the Civil War, a lot of former slaves stayed on this land, and while many migrated North, their families are still there.




Obama won the election.  I think the man was born in America.  I don’t think he stole the election.  I’m sure democrats cheated in some polls and voter registration drives; I’m equally sure the republicans did the same thing.

I think that Obama didn’t have a platform.  I think he is an “American Idol” “Dancing With The Stars” president.  He appears on The View, Late Night and The Tonight Show.  He conducted interviews on MTV and local rap stations.

But the man won the election.  And this talk of secession is crazy and nothing more than than that; crazy people saying crazy things.

Which reminds me:

In the days after the election, fantasies of blue-state secession ricocheted around the Internet. Liberals indulged themselves in maps showing Canada gathering the blue states into its social democratic embrace, leaving the red states to form their own “Jesusland.” They passed around the scathing rant from the Web site Fuck the South, which lacerated the chauvinism of the “heartland” and pointed out that the coasts, far from destroying marriage, actually have lower divorce rates than the interior.

These sentiments were so pronounced that they migrated into the mainstream. Speaking on “The McLaughlin Group” the weekend after George W. Bush’s victory, panelist Lawrence O’Donnell, a former Democratic Senate staffer, noted that blue states subsidize the red ones with their tax dollars, and said, “The big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.”

A shocked Tony Blankley asked him, “Are you calling for civil war?” To which O’Donnell replied, “You can secede without firing a shot.”

Lawrence O’Donnell.  The, ahem, famous talk show host on MSNBC once spoke of secession. When asked if he was calling for a civil war he simply replied, Well yeah, I guess kinda.”

So yeah, the talk about secession is crazy.  It’s also not new.  Nor is it an indication of the unraveling of a party specific.  It’s just the ramblings of a few folks who’ve invested a lot in their guy winning.

Or losing.

By the way, notice the comment about who is supporting whom.


Media Bias: 2012 Presidential Campaign

When it comes to the concept of media bias there are two things that are true:

  1. Conservatives think that the main stream media is bias against conservatives and republicans.
  2. Liberals think that Fox is the most bias media outlet out there.

I happen to think that there is good evidence to support contention #1 and strong evidence to contradict contention #2.

Anyway, that is general conversation stuff, I’m here to talk about the media coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign.  Namely the bias involved in it.

Bottom line, the bias was present, pronounced and tilted in favor of Obama., a PEW organization recently published a report detailing said bias:

Overall from August 27 through October 21, 19% of stories about Obama studied in a cross section of mainstream media were clearly favorable in tone while 30% were unfavorable and 51% mixed. This is a differential of 11 percentage points between unfavorable and favorable stories.

For Romney, 15% of the stories studied were favorable, 38% were unfavorable and 47% were mixed-a differential toward negative stories of 23 points.

During the study, Obama enjoyed a differential that was more than 100% more favorable than Romney.  Further, Obama took a “positive coverage” score that was 26% better than Romney received all while Romney suffered 26% more negative coverage.

Looking back, the numbers don’t really surprise me.  I’ve accepted a sense of the bias in the media and have come to accept and adjust for that bias as I flip through my channels.

And speaking of flipping through channels, how did the “liberal channel” compare against the “conservative channel?”

Not even close:

Fox gave Obama 100% better coverage than MSNBC gave Romney.  As far as the negatives, MSNBC was 54% more negative towards Romney than Fox was towards Obama.  In other words, Fox was less negative and more positive towards Obama than MSNBC was towards Romney.

Faux News indeed.

But how about the other outlets?

Two of the three main networks were pretty consistent in their coverage of the two candidates.  The one exception is ABC with a decided pro-Obama slant.  Notice that NBC actually nets out in favor of Romney by virtue of 2 points to the good in the positive coverage.

In the end, the media carries a bias for the liberal candidate.  This was as true in 2012 as it was in 2008.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, just a reminder that a grain of salt needs to be applied when watching news coverage of the events of the day.

Oh, and as a reminder of media bias from a report in 2004, a measure of various outlets:

Fox News was the 5th most centrist news outlet and was only 1 of 2 conservative news sources on the list.

Which Poll Was The Most Accurate

Immediately following the election, Fordham University published a ranking of the pollsters based on their accuracy in predicting the 2012 Presidential election.  Their results:

1. PPP (D)*
1. Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP*
3. YouGov*
4. Ipsos/Reuters*
5. Purple Strategies
6. YouGov/Economist
11. Angus-Reid*
12. ABC/WP*
13. Pew Research*
13. Hartford Courant/UConn*
15. Monmouth/SurveyUSA
15. Politico/GWU/Battleground
15. FOX News
15. Washington Times/JZ Analytics
15. Newsmax/JZ Analytics
15. American Research Group
15. Gravis Marketing
23. Democracy Corps (D)*
24. Rasmussen
24. Gallup
26. NPR
27. National Journal*
28. AP/GfK

At the top of the list is PPP, the polling outfit here in North Carolina.  At the bottom sat AP/GfK.

The real talk of the town is the rankings of two prominent pollsters; Gallup and Rasmussen.  These are the big guys, the heavy hitters.  Rasmussen especially given their republican bias.

However, with my new found respect for all things 538 I couldn’t help but notice Nate Silver’s analysis:

The guys at the bottom are kinda the same, we see Rasmussen and Gallup.  But where Fordham had them tied, we see Rasmussen significantly more accurate than Gallup.  And at the top?  Where Fordham had PPP, Nate has them at a more pedestrian 15th, a mere 5 slots ahead of Rasmussen.

What does this mean?

I don’t know.  Maybe it means that we’re all subject to the whims of political gamesmanship.  That it’s more important for my side to be right than it is for my ideas to be better.  Maybe the lesson is that there’s a market for such crap.

Or maybe it’s that we don’t know.  And that’s why we play the game.

I Wonder What The Chance Nate Silver Would Assign To This

Here are some mind blowing numbers:

It’s one thing for a Democratic presidential candidate to dominate a Democratic city like Philadelphia, but check out this head-spinning figure: In 59 voting divisions in the city, Mitt Romney received not one vote. Zero. Zilch.

These are the kind of numbers that send Republicans into paroxysms of voter-fraud angst, but such results may not be so startling after all.

“We have always had these dense urban corridors that are extremely Democratic,” said Jonathan Rodden, a political science professor at Stanford University. “It’s kind of an urban fact, and you are looking at the extreme end of it in Philadelphia.”

Most big cities are politically homogeneous, with 75 percent to 80 percent of voters identifying as Democrats.

Cities are not only bursting with Democrats: They are easier to organize than rural areas where people live far apart from one another, said Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns.

“One reason Democrats can maximize votes in Philadelphia is that it’s very easy to knock on every door,” Issenberg said.

Still, was there not one contrarian voter in those 59 divisions, where unofficial vote tallies have President Obama outscoring Romney by a combined 19,605 to 0?

The unanimous support for Obama in these Philadelphia neighborhoods – clustered in almost exclusively black sections of West and North Philadelphia – fertilizes fears of fraud, despite little hard evidence.

For the record, voter ID laws wouldn’t have an impact here.  If there is fraud, it’s being perpetuated on another level.

Obama’s Reelection : Rational Reaction

Elections have consequences:

After yesterday’s carnage in the stock market, strategists warned bouncing back wouldn’t be easy. Sure enough, today’s slide is starting to pick up some steam in early afternoon trading.

The Dow recently fell 93 points, or 0.7%, to 12840, which comes one day after the blue-chip index tumbled 312 points — the worst drop of the year — following President Obama’s reelection. Cisco Systems  which reported its first monthly sales drop in nine years — and Home Depot are leading the declines, as lingering worries over the looming fiscal cliff are outweighing better-than-expected labor-market and export data.

The S&P 500 is down 0.9% to 1382 (so much for holding that psychologically important 1400 level). The tech-heavy Nasdaq Comp is off 0.8% at 2913 Apple Inc. shares are down nearly 3%, and have now fallen 22% in less than two months.

“The negative equity trade is building steam,” warns Andrew Brenner, global head of international fixed income at National Alliance. “Bonds are gaining traction as the world is becoming more negative on both Europe and the U.S.”

No one thinks that Obama is going to do a good job.

The Final Bell – Nate Silver Destroys Karl Rove

But I beat Rove too.

I’m calling Florida for Obama.  The state will have to have a recount but I don’t think it matter; Obama wins the state.  That makes Silver 51 out of 51 races correct.  Rove came in at 45 of 51.  Which makes it sound closer than it was.  The two differed on only 6 races and Silver won all 6 of them.

I, however, got 3 of them right; I lost Virginia, Florida and Colorado.  I feel pretty good, I was only VERY wrong on Colorado.  Florida and Virginia were very close.  I did pick the Badger State to flip thinking that Walker would save the day, so I get that one wrong.

Clearly we are going to have to watch 538 going forward.


Ohio To Obama – President is Re-Elected

Congratulations President.

For those of us who love Liberty, we have more work to do.

Update – 11:00

The only good -GREAT- news is that my state flipped from Obama to Romney.  I feel a fantastic sense of accomplishment even if I only moved a few people.

The news is getting worse for Romney, however.  It look like Florida is moving towards Obama though there will be a recount.  And Ohio has stopped closing; Ohio is going to go Obama.

Fun stuff even if it’s bad news for Republicans.