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Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:13 PM

 

Taking on the Zombie Perot-Myth/Smear (With Maddow video)

Last edited Fri Jul 24, 2015, 12:46 AM - Edit history (9)

Every election cycle, when the talk of a 3rd party candidate comes up, or the Clintons are out there, a popular myth, both used on the right and amazingly, the left too, pops its ugly, baseless head. Rarely is a popular myth so in blatant contradiction of easily accessible facts and data, but also used as a smear attack against someone. That is the myth that Ross Perot "elected" Clinton, "de-elected" Bush Sr. from a second term, or was a spoiler what have you. The myth does have many uses. It seems the press does not want to debunk it (Media Matters seems to be unresponsive to the idea of debunking the myth on their site), and it gets enough credence from some on the left which is why I am making this its own thread. History must not be falsified or rewritten so blatantly, or if it is, then anything can be. Here are the data to show the Perot-lie for what it is.

1. Exit polls from election night 1992, a better method than just saying what one wants to believe, show that Clinton would have won over 50% of the vote absent Perot, and thus in more than 9 in 10 trials, the election.

2. George H.W. Bush's approval ratings in 1992 rivaled Jimmy Carter's in 1980. Both in their election years were not only lower than Reagan 84 and Clinton 96, but lower than Bush 04 and Obama 12. You don't win with under 40% and below approvals.

3. The GOP (and the anti-Clinton fringe left) also leave out that when Perot was not in the race, which was from July to the start of October 1992, Bush Sr. still polled near the 37% that approved of his performance and that he won in the end. Nate Silver, a data and stats expert, also disagrees with the idea that Perot cost Bush tho he does believe he hurt Clinton.

4. Ross Perot was not a conservative like Nader was a liberal or Trump is running as a conservative. Perot was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and against trickle down economics.

The smear against Bill that "he only won because of a 3rd party spoiler" was not only factually incorrect wholly, but very damaging to his presidency and legacy. Without a press-validated mandate, of course health care reform was going to be a problem. It also gave the GOP cover to slime him in the press as well as the media to slime Clinton too with the lies of "Whitewater," and other Bullshit-"gates" because he didn't "win a majority." They've also pushed hard-right policies because the Perot-lie is the impetus to believe this country is to the "right." The Perot lie was also used against Hillary in 2008 by people to her left, and can even be found on places on our side of the fence somehow, probably due to the self-flaggelating tendencies of progressives at times. The Perot myth helped the GOP bring about Monica, which brought about W. Bush.

1992 was absolutely a realigning election to which every Democrat who has won since owes a debt, whoever wins the 2016 nod,, and every Democrat who didn't win still ought to thank for keeping their losses from being landslide losses in the molds of George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis. Kerry and Gore were not very media savvy at all as Obama and Clinton were, but were very gaffe prone. From 1968-1988, IL, CA, NJ, VT, and NH went Republican 6 out of 6 times, MI, DE, ME 5 out of 6 times, PA, CT, ME, MD 4 out of 6 times. Those states alone add up to 156 EVS. All of them except NH have voted Dem 6 for 6 times since 1992 and comprise this "blue wall" that exists now. Before from 1968-1988, the GOP averaged over 400 electoral votes. Since Bill Clinton came along, they average 210, meaning on average they lose. No wonder why the GOP really hates the Clintons. This is why Clinton reformed welfare and was tough on crime. Even for some of the downsides to that, it beat and still beats more GOP presidents any day.

Update: People who try to dispute the Perot-spoiler idea in GOP forums get banned. Why is peddling that myth so tolerated here?? Hell, in those places, you can't even dispute the idea that Kennedy "stole" the 1960 election.

Update II: Somehow, the NY Times is even spreading this lie, even tho an article it links to within the article shows something very contradictory.

Update III Steve Kornacki, according to Twitter, was supposed to shred the lie to pieces on Chris Haye's show tonight per his Twitter but apparently has wasn't able to, tho his twitter shows similar facts as this diary. If that's not good enough for you, then you're just a rabid Green or Republican.

Update IV: Maddow is attacking this lie. Once again, if that's not good enough, get out of the party.

Update V: See Maddow's mention of this.

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Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Taking on the Zombie Perot-Myth/Smear (With Maddow video) (Original post)
ericson00 Jul 2015 OP
Chemisse Jul 2015 #1
ericson00 Jul 2015 #3
former9thward Jul 2015 #2
ericson00 Jul 2015 #5
former9thward Jul 2015 #7
ericson00 Jul 2015 #8
mvymvy Jul 2015 #20
ericson00 Jul 2015 #21
mvymvy Jul 2015 #35
friendly_iconoclast Jul 2015 #11
ericson00 Jul 2015 #12
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jul 2015 #23
ericson00 Jul 2015 #25
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jul 2015 #27
ericson00 Jul 2015 #28
former9thward Jul 2015 #32
ericson00 Jul 2015 #37
craigmatic Jul 2015 #4
ericson00 Jul 2015 #6
1939 Jul 2015 #9
ericson00 Jul 2015 #10
craigmatic Jul 2015 #13
ericson00 Jul 2015 #14
craigmatic Jul 2015 #15
ericson00 Jul 2015 #16
craigmatic Jul 2015 #17
ericson00 Jul 2015 #18
craigmatic Jul 2015 #22
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jul 2015 #24
ericson00 Jul 2015 #26
craigmatic Jul 2015 #33
ericson00 Jul 2015 #34
craigmatic Jul 2015 #36
ericson00 Jul 2015 #19
ericson00 Jul 2015 #29
Gothmog Jul 2015 #30
ericson00 Jul 2015 #31

Response to ericson00 (Original post)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:19 PM

1. People forget that Perot's support had dwindled to a trickle by election time.

He was very popular for a while, but was a bit of a laughingstock by the time people voted. And his support seemed to come from both sides. He was quite an odd character.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:27 PM

3. his support didn't "seem" to come from both sides,

 

it DID come from both sides, tho more from Clinton than Bush (the incumbent whose election year approvals were crap). I'm amazed how much the media hates the Clintons it lets a lie like this fly for 23 years.

Does anyone still think Anderson cost Carter? I understand in the aftermath it was a way to save face, but the Dems stopped with that, its time the GOP (and the anti-Clinton wing of the left) stop with Perot already.

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Response to ericson00 (Original post)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:27 PM

2. Clinton did not win a majority in 1996 either.

Not just 1992. The fallacy in your argument is that you use national exit polls. Those are meaningless in Presidential elections. Presidential elections are decided state by state. That is where Perot hurt Bush. Bush would have won many states that he lost and the electoral vote if Perot had not been on the ballot. Your own information in the last paragraph proves that.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:39 PM

5. How many elections in the last 125 years have a different popular vote & electoral vote winner?

 

the answer is 1, election 2000*. In our entire history as a country, 4 times, out of 57 elections. The popular vote winner wins the electoral college a whopping 93% of the time. The chance that no one who has ever posted on this site will ever see another popular vote loser but electoral vote winner in his/her lifetimes is very, very high.

Perot got his highest percentages of vote came from states that either:
a. had few electoral votes
b. went to one candidate by at least 8 percentage points

For Bush to have won the electoral college, he'd have needed to win nearly every state he lost by less than 5%, which doesn't happen when your approvals are barely 40%. Such a map would look like this And Wisconsin voted Dukakis. You take that away from Bush even in that map, he still loses.

Frankly, the type of person who thinks Bush would have won without Perot in the race is the same kind of person who denies climate change.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:43 PM

7. Intersting you use "125 years"

Why not in our history? Well we know the answer. So now disagreeing with you is equivalent to denying climate change.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #7)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:45 PM

8. did you read the post?

 

But the answer to your question is 4 in 57 elections, which is still less than 10% of the time, or more precisely, 7 percent of the time. And that counts the rigged election of 2000. If you count 2000 as the Gore win it really was, then its 94.7% of the time the winner of the popular and electoral vote is the same.

Sorry, but facts and figures work against Clinton hatred any day.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 06:41 PM

20. Current System is Precarious

The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 7 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes. In 2012, a shift of 214,733 popular votes in four states would have elected Mitt Romney, despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of 4,966,945 votes.

After the 2012 election, Nate Silver calculated that "Mitt Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College."

Most Americans don't ultimately care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it would be wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill ensures that every vote, in every state, will matter equally in every presidential election.

The bill has been endorsed by organizations such as the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, FairVote, the ACLU, DEMOS, and the Brennan Center for Justice.

The bill has passed a total of 33 legislative chambers in 22 states.
The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes—61% of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it.

see http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

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Response to mvymvy (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 06:54 PM

21. pork-barrel spending will never allow a national popular vote

 

because part of the reason certain states get so much is because of their electoral votes. Also, it would be hard to convince the parties to do so because the correlation between popular and electoral vote winners is so strong and almost never deviates (even if it is somewhat close in the right states). The point tho of this thread is to debunk a malicious lie that never seems to go away.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #21)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 03:41 PM

35. Only 7 Swing States Expected in 2016

My reply showed that with the current system, the winner of the national popular vote is not guaranteed to win.

State winner-take-all statutes have allowed candidates to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide in four of our 57 presidential elections—1 in 14 times. If one considers only non-landslide presidential elections, the four “wrong winner” elections represent 1 in 7 of the non-landslide elections (14%). A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected Kerry despite Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Romney despite Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

After the 2012 election, Nate Silver calculated that "Mitt Romney may have had to win the national popular vote by three percentage points on Tuesday to be assured of winning the Electoral College."

A candidate could win the Presidency with a mere 23% of the nation's votes!

In the 2012 general election, 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the only 10 competitive states 2/3rds of the 2012 general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (OH, FL, VA, IA). 38 small, medium, and large states were politically irrelevant. Presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. There are only expected to be 7 remaining swing states in 2016.

“Battleground” states receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

The National Popular Vote bill would go into effect when states with 270 electoral votes enact it.

Analysts already conclude that only the 2016 party winner of Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire is not a foregone conclusion. So, with the current system, less than a handful of states will continue to dominate and determine the presidential general election.

More than 99% of presidential campaign attention (ad spending and visits) was invested on voters in just the only ten competitive states in 2012
None of the 10 most rural states matter
24 of the 27 lowest population states, that are non-competitive are ignored, in presidential elections.
4 out of 5 Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-81% range - in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.
Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

More than 2,110 state legislators (in 50 states) have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the National Popular Vote bill.
The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 250 electoral votes, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), Oklahoma (7), and Oregon (7), and both houses in Colorado (9).
The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions possessing 165 electoral votes—61% of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it.

see http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 09:44 PM

11. AUTOMATED MESSAGE: Results of your Jury Service

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Clinton did not win a majority in 1996 either.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=7000029

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sounds like a GOP talking point, straight out of the RNC.

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #11)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 09:46 PM

12. GOP talking points are disruptive

 

its pretty easy to understand why, but of course some on the left have less respect for Clinton than the ones on the right who didn't necessarily love Bush I or II. You try to go to a GOP forum and point out that that Perot was not a conservative, or that something that Reagan wasn't Jesus and you get banned.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 09:41 PM

23. Still sore about it, huh?

The Perot voters hated Bush and were indifferent towards Clinton. They would have stayed home and Clinton would have won anyway.

I'm not shocked you're pushing this though. Really, man, your slip has shown for years.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 09:44 PM

25. Its not different than "I am not a scientist"

 

because to deny the real effect of Perot, which was the deny Clinton his rightful mandate, requires an ignorance of data, numbers, hard and empirical things rather than hate or fantasy.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #25)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 09:52 PM

27. Republicans can shut their f'ing mouths

George W Bush was designated the winner of an election he didn't even get a plurality in, never mind the fact he stole the goddamn thing with his brother's help.

Don't be surprised if our friend wants to argue that too. He almost can't contain himself.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #27)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 09:55 PM

28. its amazing how on progressive blogs the myth is almost as popular

 

but hey, the Clintons did have to go third way and some people are just too ideological too accept the necessary pragmatism Clinton employed to amazing success. But its easy to see how the myth stuck around, tho before data. When data became available to all online, the myth should have died much earlier. But maybe Kornacki and Maddow can help that finally happen now. It would also be nice if Media Matters, Politifact, and FactCheck got the memo too. Please join me in informing them of the truth and convincing them to also show it.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #23)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 01:33 AM

32. You hate election facts.

We all know that. But teaks for the kick.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 10:30 AM

37. also he did win a majority, a "relative majority", a synonym for plurality

 

as opposed to an absolute majority (>50.0%). George W. Bush in 2000 won neither absolute or relative majorities, same with Dukakis in 1988, Kerry in 2004, or Mondale in 1984. You like semantic spin, there's some spin.

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Response to ericson00 (Original post)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:32 PM

4. Nice try but i don't buy that 1992 was a realigning election for a minute.

 

What is one positive long term effect of Clinton's time in office? The electoral college thing doesn't count because those were demographic shifts. Perot did help Clinton but bush was weak inside his own party and had to face a primary challenge from Buchanan. Clinton just agreed with about 60% of the things repubs wanted to do and argued with the about the rest.

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 08:41 PM

6. you sound like a Republican

 

its all everyone else's fault, things out of ones control, blah blah blah. The demographics of the states Clinton made ours did not shift in just 4, or even 8 years. It doesn't happen like that. Bush 1992 was Carter 1980. You're a Ted Kennedy fan, you oughta know that, assuming you believe in data, facts, instead of your blind hatred of Clinton.

If it wasn't realigning, what is a "realigning election" then?

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 09:21 PM

9. 1994?

We lost the house for the first time since 1954. Can you conceive of that? Holding the house for forty years?

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Response to 1939 (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 09:33 PM

10. I'm talking about Presidential elections here

 

not congressional, as the context of this post should clearly show. If you're trying to attack Clinton, you know Obama also lost the house too, after coming into a one-party DC like Clinton did.

Ever also notice how the President is clearly the one who matters? Reagan got all of his agenda thru with a Democratic house.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 10:03 PM

13. 1800, 1828, 1932, 1980, 2008 those were realigning elections. If Clinton changed the electorate so

 

much then why was it so easy for bush to keep it close and steal 2000?

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #13)

Wed Jul 22, 2015, 10:19 PM

14. you can't win 'em all. And Gore was a media unsavvy gaffe machine.

 

Gore shoulda known that the internet comment would be wildly taken out of context, or the "love story" thing. Also, did he really expect to win Florida given the kind of machinery that ran that place in 2000 (his opponent's brother as gov and his campaign manager as SoS aka vote counter)? Gore just wasn't media savvy: people found a WASPY rich kid pretending to be a cowboy hick more trustworthy than him (see the exit polls from 2000: https://web.archive.org/web/20001214221524/http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/epolls/US/P000.html). He won 267 electoral votes before the faithless elector; had he just spend just a little bit more money and time in another state, like New Hampshire, or his home state than he did an likely-to-be-rigged state like FL, he'd have been President. Also, he coulda used Clinton in some states and not in others instead of blanketly hiding him: he had stratospheric approvals at the time, varying state to state. He was gonna get linked by Bush anyway. Or how about the sighing at the debates? I respect Al Gore and all he's done (and the ticket he was on, the Clinton-Gore ticket) his activism against global warming, but not his election 2000 act. (1988 tho was much worse for Gore's presidential ambitions if you know how he came behind Dukakis and Jesse Jackson (!) in that primary)

Monica didn't help as well, but that was the obvious goal of the GOP pulling Monica, or they'd have gotten cleaned out badly in 2000, dededee.

2008 was no realigning election. Clinton won and kept in the D column a lot more formerly GOP states than Obama in 2008, no disrespect to him. The states I mentioned in the OP, had they gone to McCain, Obama woulda lost, even if he kept FL and OH. A better name for the "blue wall" is the President William Jefferson Clinton Electoral College Wall.

Let's rephrase your question: If the Clintons didn't change the electoral calculus radically, why has the GOP only won the most votes (by a tiny margin) one time in the last quarter century? That was the spot we were in the aftermath 1988 when the Dem party was starting to look like its days were over at the national level. Why did the GOP go from >400 EVs on average to barely 200?

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:30 AM

15. The reason the republicans stopped winning so many electoral votes is because

 

the GI generation started dying off along with the silents. Now the only generations voting are Boomers, Xers, and Millennials. Only the Xers lean republican. Obama's win in 2008 was more of a realignment than 1992. Realigning elections are characterized by one party becoming so dominant that its ideas get co-opted by the other party.Think FDR running against the republicans in 1936 when the repubs said they'd run the new deal better and cheaper. The realignment sets the tone for the other party when they finally win power like Eisenhower refusing to dismantle the social safety net and going along with many of the domestic policies of FDR and Truman or like Nixon going along with many of LBJ's great society ideas. Clinton's wins and his resulting behavior in office seems more like how Eisenhower and Nixon co-opted the new deal. Clinton was following Reagan's lead whether he wanted to or not. He couldn't get healthcare done but he reformed welfare which was a republican idea. He got rid of Glass-stegall, pushed 3 strikes laws, and cut taxes. Compare that with President Obama and the results speak for themselves- Obamacare, Cash for clunkers, the stimulus, negotiations with Iran, Cuban diplomacy, gays serving openly in the military, killing Bin Laden, etc. Obama has had more impact and he hasn't had to bow down to republicans the way Clinton did. Look at Obama's coalition compared to Clinton's. Obama damn near had a movement behind him or minorities, gays, urban, young people, and labor. They were all engaged and active. Clinton in 1992 was more white and rural by comparison. Obama won decisively, had coattails , and used his power in a way Clinton couldn't. If we win next year it'll be proof of what I'm saying because Obama added NM, VA, NV and CO to the coastal blue wall and that'll make more of a difference than the rural states Clinton won.

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 04:46 AM

16. Your definition of realignment leaves out 1968

 

and that is considered to be a pivotal election in America's political history as well as a realignment. While on policy you have some points, you need to win elections to implement them. Without Nixon turning the South GOP on a long-term basis and exploited race so compellingly, no Reagan Revolution. Even for the fact many Republicans thought Nixon's policies were not conservative enough, they don't try to diminish his electoral impact. Its simply ridiculous to diminish Clinton's electoral impact. Without the states I mentioned in the OP that McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis lost that Clinton won and kept in the Dem column for the last 23 years thru thick (Gore and Kerry) and thin (Clinton and Obama), Obama wouldn't have had 270+ EVs. You can try to play it out on 270towin.com's historical map. It looks like this.

Also, the "its only demographics" stuff is the stuff GOP arguments are made it, always out-of-one's-control, everyone else's fault/achievement.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:59 AM

17. Most people don't consider 1968 realigning because policy didn't really change neither did

 

politics. It was alot of noise and assasinations and democrats were in disarray but 8 years later they came back. I think Carter was the last of the new deal democrats. Nixon just had anti-communism and the southern strategy but it was reagan that built the conservative church on tax cuts and small government. A realigning election is usually a period when a party becomes dominant and wins at least 3 elections in a row. That's why I said 1800, 1828, 1860, 1932, and 1980. The reason these elections are important is because they got America thinking in new ways about government and the people agreed so much that it was impossible for the party to lose a third term because the coalition was still hungry for power after the second term. For example FDR's democrats were so committed and involved that Truman had an easy time winning the presidency in 1948 even with the dixiecrats defecting. Lincoln's republicans were so dominant that they won 5 elections in a row ending slavey and reconstruction in the process. There were still enough conservatives in 1988 to push George HW Bush over the line. Clinton knew how to turn a phrase but there were not enough third way democrats to pull Gore over the finish line in 2000 even with the Florida election stolen. Gore should've been up more and won OH, NH, or one more of the western states but didn't because among other things bush represented the low tide of Reagan's movement. Most new coalitions only last about 30-50 years. That means realignments happen about every 40 years or so.

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 01:36 PM

18. "most people?"

 

I don't know where you get that idea because 1968 is commonly cited as one. And even historians aside, Nixon's Southern Strategy was absolutely necessary to get Republicans out there in the first place so that a guy like Reagan could come into play at all. Realigning elections do take time tho to see. In 1982, when Reagan was looking like Clinton in 1994, getting killed in congressional elections and low poll numbers, there was talk of him not seeking re-election. The "Reagan Revolution" didn't built its legacy overnight.

There are policy realignments and electoral college realignments. 1968 and 1992 were electoral realignments. 1980 was a policy realignment, as you do mention some good points. History will bore out whether 2008 is one of those, but it certainly isn't an electoral realignment at all. He just played off Bill Clinton's trove of solid Democratic states and added the swing states Gore and Kerry couldn't, just as Reagan played off Nixon's Southern Strategy. The fact that Ford could even challenge Carter in the South owes to Nixon.

Notice how both Clinton and Nixon catch flak from the ideological wings of their parties for policies which didn't hit the status quo much but fundamentally changed the electoral college calculus permanently. Incidently, both had plurality wins their first election, and while the demographics of the people who voted for the third party in both races looked like those of the formerly winning party, their strong disapproval of the previous party rendered them unlikely to have voted for the previous party in the absence of Wallace and Perot. Nixon and Clinton also had great impacts on the social-issue sentiment more than economic policies: Nixon tapped into white resentment of civil rights, Clinton tapped into a public that was becoming more tolerant than it had been of ethnic minorities and engaging them more than Democratic nominee predecessors. Nixon showed that the GOP wasn't going to get rid of popular things like medicare and SS, Clinton showed the Democrats were going to change welfare and crime policies. Both presidents' actions staved off common concerns about their parties. Nixon took rural blue-collar whites to the GOP, Clinton took suburban soccer moms in counties like Nassau/Westchester in NY, Bucks in PA, Bergen in NJ, Cook in IL, etc.. Both took created a new economic base for their parties that were different from the party's usual appeal. Republicans, the party of the rich, got more poor people. The Democrats, the party for the poor, got more wealthy people. Those economic bases were critical in electing Reagan and Obama, respectively. Nixon ended the Dixiecrat, Clinton ended the Rockefeller Republican.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #18)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 07:54 PM

22. We'll just never agree on Clinton's importance.

 

I really don't think he was that crucial either electorally or policy-wise. I see him more as being from the right region running against an unpopular incumbent and because of the economy people give him more praises than he's actually due. His long term accomplishments are few and it has also been argued that in the 1996 election he really didn't try to pull his party along on his coattails. Still it's been interesting debating all this with you. Here is one of the sources where I'm basing my arguments http://www.hank-edmondson.com/amgovchapt7/realigning-elections.html

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 09:44 PM

24. Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer

Thank you, President Clinton.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #24)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 09:51 PM

26. The electoral votes of CA, DE, MD, IL, ME, NH, VT, PA, MI, NJ, CT,

 

states which all went GOP at least 4 times between 1968 and 1988, most at least 5 (out of 6 elections), but now can barely be contested at all.

Or the fact that the GOP has won the popular vote the same amount of times from 1992 onward as Dems won from 1968-1988: one time, but a tiny margin.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 02:32 PM

33. SCOTUS justices are the bare minimum of what we expect of a democratic president.

 

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Response to craigmatic (Reply #33)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 02:48 PM

34. and so ought to be electoral votes. The guy who fought

 

the man in your avatar for the 1980 D-nomination couldn't do either very well.

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #34)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 03:46 PM

36. EVs are important but so are coalitions and more importantly policy.

 

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Response to ericson00 (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 06:03 PM

19. Also, if you, like me, are offended by the smear against the facts the Clintons,

 

please join me in contacting Media Matters, Politifact, and FactCheck to correct the record on this once and for all. History must never be rewritten, especially against empirical data.

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Response to ericson00 (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:17 PM

29. If anyone has a WSJ account,

 

Last edited Fri Jul 24, 2015, 10:16 AM - Edit history (1)

please help fight the myth on this ridiculous article.

or this ridiculous CNN hit piece

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Response to ericson00 (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:23 PM

30. Rachel covered this tonight

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #30)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:25 PM

31. I know! She was epic

 

and I cannot wait to post the video once the clip becomes available. I personally think given how damning the data is against the myth, anyone, including Chris Matthews, the clowns at CNN and NYT, owe the country and apology for the last 23 years peddling this lie. Its an insult to what news is about. Its an insult to America's collective intelligence.

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