Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’
Usually, when political hacks talk about the “undervote” we are talking about how many fewer votes a particular race had than votes for President or Governor in a district or state. However, the 2016 election exposed a new phenomenon: the presidential undervote.
In Arizona, there were 2,554,240 votes cast for President. However, there were a total of 2,661,497 ballots cast. That means that 107,257 people voted in the election but did not cast a vote for President. That is an astounding number when you compare it with the undervote in previous presidential elections. In 2012 it was 34,777, in 2008 it was 28,771, and in 2004 it was 28,734.
And the presidential undervote this year was not unique to Arizona. A Washington Post analysis shows that in the 33 state where they were able to collect the data, 1.7 million people cast a ballot but did not vote for President. Arizona ranked 2nd highest as a percentage of people who did not vote for President (behind Montana).
Obviously, the record number of people abstaining in the Presidential election is a reflection on the candidates. Donald Trump had some seriously unfavorable ratings heading into Election Day, as did Hillary Clinton. And Clinton didn’t inspire the Democratic base the way Obama did in 2008 and 2012.
Clinton was also a terrible candidate, and while the media fawned over the “amazing” operation coming out of Brooklyn, we now know that they were too smart for their own good. They made some assumptions about the election, created a model, and then never tested the model with inputs throughout the campaign.
On the morning of Election Day, internal Clinton campaign numbers had her winning Michigan by 5 points. By 1 p.m., an aide on the ground called headquarters; the voter turnout tracking system they’d built themselves in defiance of orders — Brooklyn had told operatives in the state they didn’t care about those numbers, and specifically told them not to use any resources to get them — showed urban precincts down 25 percent. Maybe they should get worried, the Michigan operatives said.
Nope, they were told. She was going to win by 5. All Brooklyn’s data said so.
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign on the other hand was hopeful, but not confident, that he would pull off the win. They also had a data operation, but the difference was they were continuing to get inputs and making changes to strategy up to the weekend before the election. It was not just on a whim that Trump went to Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin in the last days of the campaign.
The question is how will future Presidential elections look? Is the 2016 presidential undervote an anomaly, or is this the new normal? We won’t know for four more years.
Obama has made some pretty outlandish comments throughout his presidency, but this one takes the cake:
“I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that’s not just our opinion, that’s the opinion of the Israeli government.”
Seriously? What makes this even more jarring is that he said it at a fundraiser at the Manhattan home of Jack Rosen, who is the chairman of the American Jewish Congress. Not certain how he can stand by and listen to that.
Has Obama’s administration done more in terms of security of the state of Israel than any previous administration? And is that truly the opinion of the Israeli government?
Read this exchange on Fox News (emphasis mine):
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The president on election night in 2009 and then last night at a fundraiser talking about a second term and turning the economy around.
He also said this not on camera about Israel, quote, “I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that is not just our opinion. That is the opinion of the Israeli government.”
We’re back with the panel. Charles, is that the opinion of the Israeli government?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It is not, and I’m sure Obama knows it. If he doesn’t, he’s delusional. And this is really chutzpah. This president has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other president, and he did it by arriving on the scene and imposing and demanding of Israel a freeze on settlements, including the building of Jewish homes in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem of all places, something that had never been a precondition in 17 years of negotiations.
Imposing, and of course the Palestinians had to insist on it as well once the president had, and that destroyed all negotiations, and it made Israel the fall guy for an era, an era of an arrogant amateur who imposed this at the beginning of his term. As a result there are no negotiations.
And second, the most important issue for Israel, for its security is Iran. And this is a president who at a time of maximum weakness of the Mullahs in 2009 did not lift a finger to help the revolution because he had another delusion that if he engaged and negotiated with the Mullahs he could sweet talk Iran out of its weapons. The policy is a failure. He knows it. And we are on the threshold of Iran becoming a nuclear power.
BAIER: Chuck, many analysts not just at this table but other places, have talked about a vulnerability when it comes to Israel. You saw the congressional district, the ninth congressional district race in New York which turned many people believed on the issue of Israel. This was kind of a bold statement, even to say at a Democratic fundraiser wasn’t it?
CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I thought it was kind of a tall claim. I’m perhaps not as hard over about this as Charles is. But I was trying to think back of what previous administrations had done for Israel’s security. And I guess my winner for the one who had done the most of any would be good old Richard Nixon who in 1973, together with Henry Kissinger secretary of state decided to ship weapons to Israel when it had his back against the wall in the Yom Kippur War. Now, that is doing something for Israel’s security. And I’m not sure anything is that critical in the last three years to measure up to it.
This is the kind of detachment from reality that could have a real impact on whether President Obama is able to get elected for a second term next November. Unless he tempers his tall tales, he will continue to be the best opponent against himself.
If you are a Democrat elected official, you know you are in deep when the left-leaning Washington Post Editorial Board calls on you to resign.
That’s what they did in today’s editorial, carrying the hilarious title “Buy-Buy, Mr. Burris.”
From the moment that Mr. Burris was selected, he strove to portray himself as a blameless public servant. The sad pictures of Mr. Burris being cast out into the rain by the Democratic leadership of the Senate, which initially refused to seat him, turned public opinion in his favor. Mr. Burris got his seat. But this latest revelation makes a mockery of his professions of no quid pro quo. It is a violation of the public trust. The people of Illinois have suffered enough. Mr. Burris should resign.
Ouch. That’ll leave a mark.