It’s All About Turn-Out
I used a graph from The Atlantic to get the following statistics (I think they are wrong and greatly under-estimate the issue): people over 65 where 16% of the electorate in 2008 and 23% in 2010; people under 30 were 18% in 2008 and 11% in 2010. And so I used these data to create a model.
I assumed that all people under 30 are Democrats and all people over 65 are Republicans. Further, I assumed (I don’t have a source for this yet, but I’ve heard this number mentioned quite a lot) that the country voted overall 52% for the Republicans. Based upon this, I calculate that 44% of the middle-aged people (30-65) voted Republican. Using this number and the same all (old people) and none (young people) assumption, my calculation estimates that 45.0% of the people should have voted for McCain in the 2008 election. In fact, 45.6% actually voted for McCain in 2008. This implies that no one changed their political leanings. There is a slight indication that the middle-aged people are more liberal than they were in 2008. But actually (with due respect to John Prine), everything is just about the same.
I have all the 2008 data I need to do this calculation right. I don’t yet have the 2010 data. When I get it, I plan to model the hell out of it. However, I’ve modeled it enough to know that there has been no real change in the way people think. It does indicate a big problem. I would like to make it an infraction to not vote. If we can’t get that, then I suggest tying strings to all those young people’s nose rings and dragging them to the polls!
There is a petition to encourage Nancy Pelosi to continue to lead the Democratic Party in the House. I encourage you to sign the petition. You don’t have to write anything; you can just sign. I had to write, of course; I wrote, “There is no question you have done an exceptional job as Speaker of the House. I am more liberal than you, but I respect your positions. What’s most important, however, is that I think you have been a brilliant tactician. What the House accomplished under you is amazing. You are paying for the sins of the Senate. Lead on!” Again: sign the petition.
The Week in Blackness
It is always a good time to listen to Elon James White.
What the Fuck Has Obama Done So Far?