“President Obama had lunch with Mitt Romney. There was an awkward moment when Romney looked around and said, ‘So how much do you want for the place.’” –Conan O’Brien
“President Obama had lunch with Mitt Romney. There was an awkward moment when Romney looked around and said, ‘So how much do you want for the place.’” –Conan O’Brien
With the conservative movement now firmly under the control of ideological fanatics, the most significant difference between liberals and conservatives is basing opinions (and ultimately public policy) on facts versus ideological wishes. The conservative denial of facts has been seen in many areas, such as false belief of threat of WMD in Iraq justifying war to their mischaracterization of the Affordable Care Act as a government takeover of health care. The recent election highlighted this difference when liberal predictions of the election based upon objective information proved to be far more accurate that conservative predictions which ignored facts. Besides ignoring actual polling data, Romney also showed he was out of touch with reality with his view on the 47 percent and his post-election claim that Democrats voted based upon wanting to get things.
While liberals typically saw the odds as being well in Obama’s favor, we also realized that Romney could have won provided that he out-performed the polls in several swing states. In contrast, many conservatives acted confident of a Romney landslide, with Romney being so confident of victory that he had prepared a victory speech but no concession speech. Noam Scheiber obtained Romney’s internal polls which led to this over confidence. Objective observers felt odds were in Obama’s favor because he had many routes to victory even should he lose some of the states which were close. Romney’s belief in victory was based upon an unrealistic belief he was leading in six of the close states (with Obama winning five), but this still would have placed place Romney three votes short of winning. To actually win, he would also have had to win in Ohio where his polls underestimated his deficit but still had Romney behind:
Together, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Iowa go most of the way toward explaining why the Romney campaign believed it was so well-positioned. When combined with North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia—the trio of states the Romney campaign assumed were largely in the bag—Romney would bank 267 electoral votes, only three shy of the magic number. Furthermore, according to Newhouse, the campaign’s final internal polls had Romney down a mere two points in Ohio—a state that would have put him comfortably over the top—and Team Romney generally believed it had momentum in the final few days of the race. (You see hints of this momentum when you compare the Saturday numbers in each state with the Sunday numbers. Romney gains in five out of the six states, though Newhouse cautions not to make too much of this since the numbers can bounce around wildly on any given day.) While none of this should have been grounds for the sublime optimism that leads you to eschew a concession speech—two points is still a ton to make up in a state like Ohio in 48 hours—you see how the campaign might conclude that the pieces were falling into place.
I could see Romney using such an argument before the election to motivate his voters, who might not have turned out if they realized how unlikely it was for Romney to win. I could see this providing some optimism. It is a different matter for Romney to actually believe he would win based upon these polls which were out of line with more objective data. Nate Silver found that internal polls have typically favored the candidate commissioning the polls by six percent over more objective polls. Even the Nate Silver haters on the right should understand the idea that pollsters might be biased towards whoever was signing their paychecks, or do they have a fantasy of a perfect market in polls? Perhaps they believe that Adam Smith’s invisible hand will intervene to correct any errors by those hired to conduct internal polls.
Steve M points out the danger of extending this mind set to government decisions:
… this is the kind of hubris that leads to Iraq-style quagmires: you believe everything that confirms your worldview and disbelieve everything that doesn’t; you get pleasing data stovepiped to yourself, draw conclusions you like, then bump those conclusions even more in your own deluded head.
Can you imagine Romney and his crew in a situation that affected us rather than themselves? What would they have done to America, given the chance, with this kind of power-of-positive-thinking nonsense driving their decision-making?
Romney was supposed to be the data-driven business genius — but maybe the business in which he made his fortune is so rigged in favor of the dealmakers that you don’t have to be particularly good at it to get stinking rich. Maybe he’s just not that bright, even in the area that’s supposedly his strength.
The conservative movement suffers from being dominated by extremists who drive out anyone who does not agree with all the counter-to-fact and irrational views which they now hold (which are very similar to the extremist views which William F. Buckley, Jr. purged from the conservative movement in the 1960′s.) Bruce Bartlett, who worked in the Reagan Administration, has found that it is not possible to simultaneously look at reality and be welcomed by other conservatives:
I’m not going to beat around the bush and pretend I don’t have a vested interest here. Frankly, I think I’m at ground zero in the saga of Republicans closing their eyes to any facts or evidence that conflict with their dogma. Rather than listen to me, they threw me under a bus. To this day, I don’t think they understand that my motives were to help them avoid the permanent decline that now seems inevitable.
Bartlett described his days in the conservative movement. His earliest disagreements were criticism of the second Bush administration, along with Congressional Republicans, from the right for their fiscal irresponsibility. This led to him writing the book, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. While MSNBC sometimes criticizes Obama from the left, the right wing noise machine didn’t have room for dissident views on the right:
Among the interesting reactions to my book is that I was banned from Fox News. My publicist was told that orders had come down from on high that it was to receive no publicity whatsoever, not even attacks. Whoever gave that order was smart; attacks from the right would have sold books. Being ignored was poison for sales.
I later learned that the order to ignore me extended throughout Rupert Murdoch’s empire. For example, I stopped being quoted in the Wall Street Journal.* Awhile back, a reporter who left the Journal confirmed to me that the paper had given her orders not to mention me. Other dissident conservatives, such as David Frum and Andrew Sullivan, have told me that they are banned from Fox as well. More epistemic closure.
Bartlett’s analysis of the economy after the economic crash found him agreeing with Paul Krugman, and disagreeing with the right’s mischaracterization of Obama as a socialist:
Annoyingly, however, I found myself joined at the hip to Paul Krugman, whose analysis was identical to my own. I had previously viewed Krugman as an intellectual enemy and attacked him rather colorfully in an old column that he still remembers.
For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy’s problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades.
The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.
He understands that the conservative echo chamber is largely responsible for Romney’s loss:
At least a few conservatives now recognize that Republicans suffer for epistemic closure. They were genuinely shocked at Romney’s loss because they ignored every poll not produced by a right-wing pollster such as Rasmussen or approved by right-wing pundits such as the perpetually wrong Dick Morris. Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular.
I am disinclined to think that Republicans are yet ready for a serious questioning of their philosophy or strategy. They comfort themselves with the fact that they held the House (due to gerrymandering) and think that just improving their get-out-the-vote system and throwing a few bones to the Latino community will fix their problem. There appears to be no recognition that their defects are far, far deeper and will require serious introspection and rethinking of how Republicans can win going forward. The alternative is permanent loss of the White House and probably the Senate as well, which means they can only temporarily block Democratic initiatives and never advance their own.
I’ve paid a heavy price, both personal and financial, for my evolution from comfortably within the Republican Party and conservative movement to a less than comfortable position somewhere on the center-left. Honest to God, I am not a liberal or a Democrat. But these days, they are the only people who will listen to me. When Republicans and conservatives once again start asking my opinion, I will know they are on the road to recovery.
Addicting Info has a rather long list of reasons to be thankful that Obama was reelected, accompanied by links.
Mitt Romney showed that he was unfit to be president with his 47 percent comment to a group of donors. This was wrong for so many reasons. Barack Obama was at 47 percent in the polls but this did not coincide with the approximately 47 percent of the country who do not pay federal income taxes. These not paying income taxes include retired people, students, many in the military, and many working people who pay payroll taxes but don’t earn enough to pay income taxes. Many of these vote Republican–poorly educated, low-information white males make up a substantial portion of the Republican base. Despite what Romney might believe, party affiliation is only weakly correlated with income.
Democratic voters such as myself don’t want to take anything–we want to get government out of the private lives of individuals and we want a government which bases policies upon facts, not deranged right wing ideological views. If we want to look at takers, look at how the red states receive more federal benefits than they pay in income taxes. And yes, us Democratic voters might not like paying income taxes but we do realize that this is the cost of living with the benefits of the modern world.
Romney’s 47 percent comment has created a narrative that Mitt Romney would be the president of half the country if elected and not care about the other half. That is not true. Mitt Romney would have been the president of less than one percent of the country, not half. Most people who voted for Romney would find that they are much better off under Obama’s policies if they are willing to look at the facts.
With all the publicity around the 47 percent number, it is increasingly looking like that this is where Mitt Romney, not Barack Obama, will wind up when all the votes are counted. From Greg Sargent:
When all the votes are counted, could Mitt Romney really end up achieving perfect poetic justice by finishing with 47 percent of the national vote? Yup. Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report says new votes in from Maryland put Romney at 47.56 percent. He predicts with certainty that with all of New York and California counted, Romney will end up below 47.5 percent of the vote.
Rounded, of course, that would put the final tally at 51-47. Anticipating this moment, Markos Moulitsas has inaugurated the “Romney 47 percent watch.”
There is one disturbing factor here. Considering how harmful Romney’s policies would be to the country, 47 percent is far too much support for him.
Pictures from the Doctor Who Christmas Special have been released and two videos of consequence were presented at Children in Need. First there is a prequel episode, The Great Detective, in which we find that the Doctor has retired. Secondly there is the trailer for the Christmas episode in which the Doctor’s retirement on screen is a brief as we would expect.
Here is the announcement from the BBC:
‘The Snowmen’ has been revealed as the title for this year’s movie-scale Doctor Who Christmas special, and the episode that will introduce the new companion, a new look for the Doctor and a new monster that will have families shivering behind their sofas.
Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, and introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman as new companion Clara, The Snowmen will follow their adventures as they embark on a mission to save Christmas from the villainous Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant) and his army of icy snowmen.
Fans also got a sneak peak at a new costume for the Doctor, revealed in an exclusive trailer on Children in Need, while a special prequel showed the impact of the loss of the Ponds, with old friends Vastra, Strax and Jenny trying to persuade the Doctor not to give up on adventures.
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, said: “The Doctor at Christmas is one of my favourite things – but this year it’s different. He’s lost Amy and Rory to the Weeping Angels, and he’s not in a good place: in fact, he’s Scrooge. He’s withdrawn from the world and no longer cares what happens to it. So when all of humanity hangs in the balance, can anyone persuade a tired and heartbroken Doctor that it’s time to return to the good fight? Enter Jenna-Louise Coleman…”
Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, commented: “For this year’s Christmas special we have the wonderfully villainous Richard E Grant as Doctor Simeon – as well as lizards, Victorian assassins and deranged warriors from the future, who all return to convince the Doctor that he should board the TARDIS again and save the world. Add to that Jenna-Louise Coleman, and so begins the Christmas Special 2012. I hope everyone enjoys it!”
The BBC Cymru Wales produced drama will return to BBC One in December, with a further eight epic episodes in spring next year.
Doctor Who TV previews an episode for the second half of the season, to air this spring:
Writer Stephen Thompson speaks about his upcoming episode for Series 7: Part 2 in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine(#454 out today.)
He confirms the story is titled Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS and explains how the episode came to be: “My first meeting was last October. I went along with a pocketful of dream-episodes. (Still trying to work out a way to shoehorn the Krynoids in. Might yet happen.) This initial meeting is fairly predictable. Before I even open my mouth and pitch to the room, Steven goes ‘I want you to do x.’ And his idea is so wonderful, and so much more clever and interesting than anything mere mortals like myself could come up with, you end up saying ‘Yes’ and the meeting’s over in record time. Or at least the same time it took last year. And so it was. ‘Would you do one where we see the centre of the TARDIS?’ ‘Er, yeah. Okay.’ Conversation took nine seconds. And then I’m chained to a laptop on and off for the next six months, basically.”
“Actually Steven had two ancillary reasons for bringing that idea to the table. One: he admits to being haunted by The Invasion of Time – the story from 1978 set on board the TARDIS, where the sets were cobbled together at the last minute. Unfortunately a TV strike meant that studio sets were not built, and as a result our only glimpse of the TARDIS interior has been a disused hospital in Surrey with bin-bags stuck to the windows. Two: Steven knows; that I’m a pure mathematician and anything involving multi-dimensional geometry gets me excited. (There’s my geek credentials.) So – that was the brief. What’s in the middle? Plus the title. And then I’m sent off to fill in all the blanks.”
He adds: “[With The Curse of the Black Spot] my brief from Steven was very different – he said a lot of the [Series 6] episodes were dark and complex, and he needed me to write something light. This year got to indulge my inner fan. (And I got to ask my kids what rooms in the TARDIS they’ve always wanted to find.)
“This episode will be different in many ways, not least because the star won’t necessarily be the usual person. You might not even see the star, it might be the guy at the drawing board. It just might be the designer…”
Fringe is now about putting things into or taking things out of the brainstem and brain, and the consequences of such action. On Fringe, greater intellectual power tends to have dangerous trade offs, if not being outright evil. We continue to see Peter developing his Observer powers after implanting Observer technology in his neck, with Olivia now aware of what Peter has done. There is parallel story going on with Walter and Nina with Walter wanting Nina to remove the parts of his brain which William Bell removed and which were later restored.
There are so many questions leading into the final episodes of the series. I wonder if Peter might wind up being the first Observer, setting everything else in motion, and providing an explanation as to why so much has centered around Peter. Will we be better or worse off with Peter becoming more like the Observers and with Walter more like his old self? Will Peter lose all his hair? Will Walter perform a lobotomy on himself if Nina does not help him? Will the Observers continue to allow pictures of Etta to go up all over as the face of the resistance? Will Peter defeat the Observers and pull a cosmic reset switch, returning to the park with Olivia and Etta? We will have to wait three weeks to find out anything more, with the next episode featuring Peter vs. Windmark.
I have previously presented opinions on the election from people in show business. In case have not seen it, the one which you really should not miss was from Joss Whedon on how Mitt Romney’s policies would set up the conditions needed for a Zombie Apocalypse. The same issues remain even if Romney has become a toxic-asset which even Republicans now want to be rid of. Almost everyone seems to have turned on Mitt Romney for his view on the 47 percent and takers after the election, including Republicans who defended Romney on this view during the campaign. I previously commented on this post-election Romney gaffe when speaking to donors here and here. Bill Prady, creator of Big Bang Theory, weighed in on Romney’s flawed view on his Facebook page. A portion follows:
I number among my friends many who, like myself, voted for the President. Not one of them gets “free stuff” from the government (unless you count Social Security and Medicare, I suppose). My friends are hard working moms and camera operators. They are teachers and gardeners and maids. They are writers and actors. People with jobs. Two jobs, some of them. They didn’t vote to get free stuff.
Me, I created a television show. I didn’t vote to get free stuff.
We voted for the President because we share his vision for America. We believe in a country where people are treated with respect no matter who they are. We believe in the freedom to love whom you love — and to marry the person you love. We believe that no family should go bankrupt because their child becomes sick.
We believe that women can make their healthcare decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctor and their god and that they don’t need a politician to tell them what to do. We also believe they should be paid the same if they do the same work.
We believe that lowering taxes on the wealthy isn’t an economic policy and it doesn’t lead to prosperity and higher employment. The experts believe that, too — it’s in the report the Senate recently suppressed. We also believe that because we lived through it — it lead to the worst economic disaster in our lifetimes.
We believe that the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation deserve our highest respect, and we believe that when we send them to fight unnecessary wars and then don’t care for them when they return we have betrayed that respect. We also believe that if we ask them to leave their jobs and fight for us, we should make sure they can get jobs when they return.
We believe that asking people like me to pay a little more — just what we paid during the Clinton administration (one of the greatest periods of growth in modern history) — isn’t communism. It isn’t socialism. It’s fair.
We believe the infrastructure of this nation is crumbling and that we must invest in the repair of our roads, bridges and schools. And we believe that in those schools, our children — our most precious resource — should be getting the best education whether they live in Chevy Chase or Harlem.
We are hard working people who worked hard for this victory.
The Big Bang Theory get into genre (including recent references to Doctor Who) far more than politics, as would be expected on a network television show seeking to appeal to a mass audience, but there have been a number of amusing swipes at the religious right on past episodes such as here and in the clip below.
If the Romney/Ryan Team to Repeal The 20th Century had won last week, there is no doubt they would have continued to call this an election over ideas, with their ideas winning. After losing they have other excuses. Romney blames the loss on “big policy ‘gifts’ that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics.” He doesn’t understand the concept of government taking legitimate action for the good of the country, accepting the Republican philosophy of denying legitimacy to government. Romney is wrong if he thinks Democratic constituencies receive more than their fair share of government money. It is actually the red states which voted against Obama and for Romney that receives a greater share.
Paul Ryan blamed the loss on the urban vote, ignoring the questions of why Republicans cannot win in the cities and why they are now also losing in the suburbs.
There is a wide range of opinion as to why they lost among conservatives. Conservative culture warrior Bill Bennett is wrong in his ideas, but he gets it right when admitting that Republicans lost the culture war.
I doubt many conservatives will agree with Michael Tomasky that Mitt Romney killed Reagonomics, but he gets it right:
Here’s something that happened in this election that has been largely overlooked but I think is a very big deal indeed. Trickle-down economics died last Tuesday. The post-election chatter has been dominated by demographics, Latinos, women, and the culture war. But economics played a strong and even pivotal role in this election too, and Reaganomics came out a huge loser, while the Democrats have started to wrap their arms around a simple, winning alternative: the idea that government must invest in the middle class and not the rich. It’s middle-out economics instead of trickle-down, and it won last week and will keep on winning…
Supply side was rejected. And in its place, voters went for an economic vision that says: don’t invest in the wealthy in the hope that they’ll decide to spread the wealth around; invest in the middle class, because it’s demand from a prosperous middle class that ultimately creates more jobs, and because doing that makes for a healthier society all the way around. Obama embraced this message late last year in his speech in Kansas, and even though I wouldn’t say he pressed it consistently for a whole year, he certainly emphasized it in the second debate and spoke regularly about it toward the end. “I believe you grow the economy from the middle out,” he said in a key October ad.
“Two-term presidents is a pretty small club in the history of the United States. The only club smaller is Latinos for Romney. And then the only club smaller than that it Latino women for Romney” –David Letterman
“I knew Obama was going to win. I knew this little secret. Use it next time there is an election and see if it doesn’t work out. The guy who wins the presidential election is usually the guy who kills bin Laden.” –David Letterman
The failure of Super PACs such as Karl Rove’s American Crossroads to accomplish anything with all the money they spent is leading to criticism from Republicans who fail to realize the problem is the message along with the messengers. Americans were not going to be fooled into blaming Obama for the recession caused by George Bush and failed Republican economic ideas. Nor will Americans accept the morally repulsive message from Republicans on social issues. Despite all the fears among Democrats that the money edge for Republicans would put them at a disadvantage, the Super PACs were a spectacular failure on the national level:
A study by the Sunlight Foundation found that just 1.29 percent of the nearly $104 million it spent in the general election ended with the desired result. In addition to spending $85 million to defeat Mr. Obama and $6.5 million to support Mitt Romney, the group spent millions more opposing Democratic Senate candidates Bill Nelson in Florida, Jon Tester in Montana, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, and Tim Kaine in Virginia – all of whom won. The only candidates it supported who won were Republicans Deb Fisher in Nebraska and Dean Heller in Nevada, who the group spent a combined $1.3 million to support.
The return for American Crossroads’ sister group, Crossroads GPS, was not much better. Crossroads GPS, which keeps its donors secret, saw a 14 percent return on the $70 million it spent. Another conservative outside group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saw just a 6.9 percent return on its $33 million in spending. The National Rifle Association’s return on its nearly $12 million in spending: 0.81 percent.
While the Super PACs were a failure at the national level, Norm Ornstein did warn in an interview with Terry Gross that conservative groups are having success taking over state governments were their massive infusion of money is a bigger factor.
Years ago Richard Viguerie was the genius behind Republican strategy–using direct mail to bring in votes and donations. Of course that was a different era. More recently Karl Rove became the supposed genius behind Republican strategy, with his Super PAC American Crossroads, looking like a bigger player than the Republican party. Now Richard Viguerie is writing off both Karl Rove and the Republican leadership:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions and other Republican leaders behind the epic election failure of 2012 should be replaced with leaders more in tune with the grassroots of the conservative base of the Party.
Likewise, in any logical universe, establishment Republican consultants such as Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, Romney campaign senior advisor Stewart Stevens and pollster Neil Newhouse would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again — and no one would give a dime to their ineffective Super PACs, such as American Crossroads.
They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme, forcing employees to spin false data as truth in order to paint a rosy picture of a successful campaign as a form of job security.
Zac Moffatt, Digital Director for the Romney campaign, was specifically named as having “built a nest egg for himself and co-founder of Targeted Victory, Mike Beach,” and that they “didn’t get social” media and ignored objections from other consultants and staffers in the campaign.
In other words, the Romney consultants used the Romney campaign in essentially the same way many Republicans use government when they have a chance.
Republican politicians must learn to stop listening to the right wing noise machine. In October, Mitt Romney looked foolish when he tried to repeat the claims of the right wing media about Libya, only to be corrected during the second debate. In the final days of the election, Romney was talking about momentum which wasn’t there and sounded optimistic about winning. I had wondered if Romney believed what he said, or if he thought that he could improve his chances by sounding optimistic, despite the polling results. It now looks like he really did believe the faulty predictions and theories about the polls coming from the right wing based upon interviews with Romney advisers:
“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks – not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan – bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.
They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time – poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney.
As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.
Those assumptions drove their campaign strategy: their internal polling showed them leading in key states, so they decided to make a play for a broad victory: go to places like Pennsylvania while also playing it safe in the last two weeks.
Those assessments were wrong.
The conservative media, which has considerable experience in denying reality, came up with alternative theories about the polls, and displayed their usual distrust of those who utilize actual facts. Conservative fantasy met reality on election night. Similarly we have seen conservative fantasy to justify war in Iraq, with some conservatives still believing Saddam was behind the 9/11 attack and had WMD. We see conservative fantasy economic theories, which do not work in the real world. We see conservative denial of science, including on evolution and climate change. Conservatives have their own alternative history, such as denying the fact that the Founding Fathers established the United States with a secular government characterized by separation of church and state, recognizing that this is essential to guarantee religious freedom.To prevent contamination from liberal (i.e. reality based) ideas, conservatives have their own descriptions of liberal beliefs, which are not held by any liberals in the actual world.
Even when the Republicans did attempt to use modern science, it comes as no surprise that they were not able to get it to work:
Mitt Romney’s campaign boasted for the past two weeks that it would outgun President Barack Obama’s team in the Democrats’ area of strength — voter-targeting. It would use a state-of-the-art system called ORCA, named for the killer whale, that cost substantial resources to build over months.
Instead, Romney campaign officials were mostly flying without instruments on Election Day.Numerous Republicans in and around the Romney campaign called the ORCA platform a total bust, stranding thousands of volunteers without a way of reporting data back to headquarters and leaving Romney central command without a clear view of developments on the ground.
From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.
Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.
It might be too much to expect the conservative movement, beyond a minority with experience, to effectively utilize science and technology. Perhaps rather than trying to use ORCA, the Romney campaign should have spent the day praying for victory. That wouldn’t have done them any more good, but at least it is a concept they understand.
“Well, it’s over, and as usual, the guy from Kenya won.”
“Obama won last night, and for the Democrats that’s great, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in tonight’s debate.”
“It was a big night for the Democrats. Obama was on the electoral vote and the popular vote. Mitt Romney on the other side won the unpopular vote.”
“Some Republicans are taking it hard. Clint Eastwood spent the entire day buying drinks for an empty bar stool.”
“A victory like this is just the kind of thing that might sway the undecided voters.”
“The had a CBS exit poll last night. 100 percent of the people questioned in the exit poll said they were leaving.”
“Mitt waited until 1 a.m. to give his concession speech. They were talking to him and said what are you going to do now? And he said, ‘I plan to spend some time with my tax returns.’”
“Mitt Romney was very gracious in his remarks in his concession speech. Shortly after Mitt Romney conceded, Paul Ryan was untied and set free.”
“Exit polls show that President Obama did well with women, beating Romney by 11 binders.”
“Some more good news – the president announced today he is not going to raise taxes on the entire 1 percent, just Donald Trump.”
“Trump is not giving up. When it was announced that President Obama easily won the Electoral College, Trump demanded to see Obama’s Electoral College records.”
“Donald Trump is starting to lose it. At one point last night on Twitter, he called for revolution since Obama won. The man’s a billionaire who owns golf courses, okay. You don’t call for revolution. Billionaires are the first ones beheaded during a revolution.”
“This morning the stock met plunged over 300 points. You know why? Romney pulled his money out.”
“In his victory speech last night, President Obama told his daughters that they would not be getting another dog. When asked why, the president said, ‘Because I just made Mitt Romney my bitch.”
After 18 months, the election is over. You know what made a big difference last night? The Hispanic vote. The president got 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in Colorado and Nevada. And in New Hampshire, Obama got the support of both Latino guys.”
“Mitt Romney did well with certain voters. It was close. He had the support of men, people over 45, and married women. In other words, Mitt Romney had the support of Mitt and Ann Romney.”
“A lot of people said over the last few weeks that if Obama wins, they’re going to move to Canada. How come nobody threatens to move to Mexico? That must be depressing for them.”
“The presidential election is that special time every four years when Americans gather around their TVs to be reminded where the states are on a map.”
“Colorado and Washington have become the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. That’s a big deal because here in California, you can use marijuana legally only if you receive it for a fake medical condition.”
“Today everyone was busy looking at all the different numbers, trying to figure out who voted for which candidate. President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 38 points among single women. They say it’s because of Obama’s final campaign slogan, ‘Hope and Pinot Grigio.’”
“There’s talk that ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer seemed drunk on the air last night. Sawyer was like, ‘Breaking news — we are now calling . . . my ex-boyfriend Nick to see what HE’S up to these days.’”
For those who can’t watch video, Mediaite provides this description:
Stewart joked that Obama’s victory speech appeared to show that he was given “fresh batteries” for his second term, marveling at how all it took to get the president back in his “groove” was the mere thought of never having to run in another election ever again. Stewart brought up victories for gay marriage and marijuana proponents in a number of states, and said the undisputed “best news” of the night was that even though Florida is still too close to call, “the election was decided without them.”
“Florida’s clusterfuckery is irrelevant!” Stewart happily shouted.
He then turned to Fox News, which was “caught flat-footed” after months of brushing aside the polls and predicting that Mitt Romney would win. And that’s when Stewart got around to the amazing, insane moment of panic on the network that Stewart said, unlike all of humanity, “will… live forever.”
Stewart was amazed that Rove’s insistent denials that Ohio was really a lock for Obama got Megyn Kelly to suggest that Rove was either lying to himself or to the audience in doing his own math. And Stewart actually managed to come up with an alternate slogan to Fox’s “Fair and Balanced”: “Math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better.”
But of course, Stewart then tracked Kelly’s “voyage” through the halls of Fox News to find out the truth of what really happened in Ohio, going so far as to confront the people at Fox News’ very own election desk. As Stewart phrased it, “there was an avalanche on Bullshit Mountain.”
Stewart ended by tearing into the Fox News personalities who were amazed at how many Americans voted for Obama because they want more entitlements. He mocked them for thinking that they would have won if not for minorities taking the country away from older white people (a.k.a. Fox’s audience).
“Forget ideology. Mitt Romney is just always wrong about everything. He was wrong about bin Laden…he was wrong about FEMA. He said only a few months ago we should get rid of of FEMA and let private enterprise handle disaster relief. What a great idea. Of course, on Wednesday he released a statement saying no, he loves FEMA now. I tell you, if you think a super storm is bad, if Mitt and anti-Mitt ever met, the universe would implode.” –Bill Maher
The final polls remain extremely close but there is plenty of reason for optimism among Obama supporters. The Romney campaign is also trying to look optimistic, citing internal polls which vary several points from the nonpartisan ones.
The final national polls show a slim lead for Obama, especially if you follow the usual rule of thumb that Rasmussen will favor Republicans by two points:
ABC News/Washington Post: Obama 50%, Romney 47%
American Research Group: Obama 49%, Romney 49%
Democracy Corps: Obama 49%, Romney 45%
Gallup: Romney 49%, Obama 48%
Monmouth: Obama 48%, Romney 48%
Public Policy Polling: Obama 50%, Romney 48%
Rasmussen: Romney 49%, Obama 48%
Reuters/Ipsos: Obama 48%, Romney 46%
UPI/CVoter: Obama 49%, Romney 47%
I was especially interested to see the Gallup poll after it went on hiatus after Sandy hit. Gallup has found support for Obama to be trailing behind the other polls, and still does by a small margin. Gallup has shown Obama to be trailing as by as much as five points in October. The final poll shows Obama trailing by only one point among likely voters, essentially a tie, suggesting the momentum is on Obama’s side. Obama leads 49% to 46% among all registered voters–showing both the importance of turning out to vote and the potential which Obama has to outperform the polls should his turnout be better than expected.
The final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has Obama leading 47% to 46% but also provides reason to believe that Obama has a better shot than Romney of picking up the voters who are still up for grabs:
The survey found that 9% of the likely voters are up for grabs (meaning they’re undecided or just leaning to a candidate), and these folks have more positive feelings toward Obama than Romney. Obama’s job approval with them is 48% approve, 41% disapprove. What’s more, Obama’s fav/unfav with them is 46%/29%, vs. Romney’s upside down 22%-49%. Bottom line: Our pollsters see more of an opportunity for Obama among these voters and more of an uphill climb for Romney.
These findings do show momentum towards Obama, which is also seen in many of the battleground states. Most polls agree that Obama leads in Ohio, which makes it very difficult for Romney to win unless he can significantly out-perform the polls. Most of the disagreement in predictions comes down to Florida and Virginia, which were leaning towards Obama before the first debate, leaned towards Romney after, and are now too close to call. Larry Sabato predicts Obama will win with 290 electoral votes with Romney winning in Florida and Virginia. Nate Silver’s model has increased Obama’s chances of winning to 92.2%,predicting Obama will win in Florida and Virginia, returning to where the race was before the Denver debate. Sam Wang is preparing his final predictions, with his site showing Obama with the advantage. The conservative-leaning Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Obama a lead of 0.7%. Their electoral map with toss up state allocated to the candidate who is leading gives Obama 303 electoral votes winning in Virginia but losing Florida. Intrade currently has Obama’s chances of being reelected at 67.4% None of these findings mean anything after the real numbers are in, but Obama certainly is in a better position going into election day. The question is whether this lead is enough to overcome Republican attempts at voter suppression.