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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Election Results by the Numbers

Your Head Trucker is heading out to dine with M.P. tonight for our belated Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, so I may be too stuffed to write anything afterwards. He had his big dinner with his 4 grown kids, their spouses/others, and the ex last week, to which he contributed a few dishes, but he loves to cook so much that he insisted on doing a full turkey meal for just the two of us this week.

This will perhaps be the last post of mine on the election, but I thought you boys would be very interested to see what the nonpartisan Pew Forum has discovered on the religious factors of this election.

1. Election results by religious affiliation:

2. The electorate, broken down by religious groups. Notice that the fundamentalists/evangelicals are less than a fourth of the total:

Of course, numbers alone don't mean much; it's how you interpret them that counts. And the Republicans are up to their goofy tricks on that, as Hendrik Hertzberg notes in a fine analysis of the election results in the New Yorker this week. Excerpt:
News flash: the President won, handily. With late returns still trickling in, his popular-vote margin now exceeds four million, a million more than George W. Bush amassed when he ran for reëlection. (Obama’s electoral-college majority is also larger: 332 to Mitt Romney’s 206, as against Bush’s 286 to John Kerry’s 251.) When it came to this year’s thirty-three Senate races, Republican prophecies of a Republican takeover, universal some months ago, grew rarer as November approached, except on the farther-out reaches of conservative punditry. Human Events, which describes itself as Ronald Reagan’s favorite newspaper, and CBN, the religious-right TV network, each predicted a net gain of five seats for the G.O.P. Morris, who predicted a six-seat gain, gloated that a Republican Senate would be “Barack Obama’s parting gift to the Democratic Party.” That it was, except for the “parting” part. And except for the “Republican” part: not only did the Democratic caucus grow from fifty-three to fifty-five, Democratic senatorial candidates got a total of ten million more votes than their Republican opponents.

In 2004, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, conservatism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, congratulated President Bush for “what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term” and exulted, “Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive.” This year, examining similar numbers with different labels, the Journal came up with a sterner interpretation. “President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times,” its editorial announced. Also:
Mr. Obama will now have to govern the America he so relentlessly sought to divide—and without a mandate beyond the powers of the Presidency. Democrats will hold the Senate, perhaps with an additional seat or two. But Republicans held the House comfortably, so their agenda was hardly repudiated. . . . Speaker John Boehner can negotiate knowing he has as much of a mandate as the President.

And there's more weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth amongst those cast into outer darkness - but I reckon you guys get the drift.

Also in the New Yorker, cartoonist David Sipress sums things up with an apt drawing:


Frank said...

Interesting post and info, thanks, Russ. Enjoy your meal, as I know you will.

Russ Manley said...

Thanks Frank, I did indeed enjoy it and may post the menu tomorrow after I catch some zzzs.

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