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April 02, 2005

Texas Democrats: A Statistical Profile

By Jim Dallas

Using the recently-released Edison/Mitofsky 2004 exit poll data (back-up | code-book | my Excel spreadsheet), a few interesting statistics about Texas Democrats can be constructed.

Exit polls are, of course, polls, so take with a grain of salt. I sure wish those urging that exit poll discrepancies prove voter fraud would take a chill-pill.

UPDATE: Some errors in the age tabs were fixed. The under 30 share of the Democratic vote is 20 percent, not 8 percent (8 percent is the 18-24 share).

The entire Texas electorate is summarized on the CNN web site, and my weighted numbers essentially match theirs (adjusting for rounding).

Numbers may not add up to 100 due to missing data, etc.

Democratic Voters (32.1% of total electorate, MoE 2.4%)

Presidential Vote:

Kerry Bush
90 10

Ideology/Philosophy (self-reported)

Liberal Moderate Conservative
24 51 23


Male Female
47 53


White Black Latino Asian
41 29 28 1


Under 30 30-45 45-65 65+
20 21 42 15

Size of Place

500000+ 50000 - 500000 Surburban Small Town Rural
31 23 31 9 5

N: 577, Approx Margin of Error 4.2%

I'm not going to reproduce the Kerry and Liberal voter cross-tabs here, though I will note an odd quirk - 32 percent of self-identified "liberal" voters reported voting for Bush (approximate margin of error 6.5%).

The exit poll data contains a number of other interesting variables (region, religion, income, urban/rural, etc.) but I am busy working on a paper this weekend, and don't have the time to crunch those numbers.

March 07, 2005

A Burnt Orange Flashback; and, let's do it right this time

By Jim Dallas

I'm once again starting to ponder quantitative election models. My last foray into this field was a couple of years ago; I ended up producing a rather-flawed (mathematically speaking) model that ended up producing a pretty good forecast, although that's probably just a coincidence.

My 2003 prediction got 48 of the 50 states called correctly; but one of the errors was a doozy. Calling West Virginia for the Democrats looks downright embarassing in retrospect:

Still, 48 out of 50 ain't bad for a model which was created by an innumerate slacker like me. In fact, this was far more accurate than my "expert" subjective/qualitative/bullshit/whatever projection I made a week before the election:

I'm intrigued by the folks over at Pollyvote, who did a really, really good job.

I'm going to go back and re-think the whole thing, now that I've got a few years to play with computers.

February 19, 2005

Row Boat Veterans for Truth

By Jim Dallas


Steve Clemons, on his excellent Washington Note blog, noted a poll this week pitting president number 43 and president number 1:

The C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience at Washington College, founded in 1782 and located in Chestertown, Maryland, just released this interesting polling data and comment:

If George Washington returned from the dead and attempted to recapture the presidency of the United States, he would beat the incumbent President Bush by nearly 20 percentage points, according to a new national poll conducted for Washington College by the public affairs research firm of Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc. Asked to choose between George Washington and George W. Bush, Republicans in the survey supported Bush by a margin of more than 2 to 1, while Democrats and independents overwhelmingly favored Washington.

Apparently because the American people don't know the real truth about George Washington:

While most Americans remember the myth of the cherry tree, fewer and fewer Americans under the age of 50 can identify any of the pertinent facts of his life. And let's face it, "First in war, first in peace, and seventh in the hearts of his countrymen," doesn't sound very impressive.

Indeed it doesn't. Let's remember that George Washington was a big government tax-and-spend "elitist" flip-flopper who married a wealthy widow, who claims to have seen real combat. Sure, his supporters might try to claim he's likable and not boring, but what do they know?

P.S. Seems like somebody beat me to this punchline. But they don't have my pictures of Hanoi George.

January 15, 2005

Crazy, reckless, and anti-social, in an honest sort of way.

By Jim Dallas

Mark Kleiman, The Poor Man, Atrios, are all flabbergasted at a recent column whereby Gregory Djerejian argues, in essence, that it would have been horribly polarizing for John Kerry to condemn torture (quoting world-famous mental contortionist Andrew Sullivan), but the fact that he didn't showed that he was a wuss and wasn't worth voting for.

Apparently after taking enough pot-shots, Dejerejian shot pack with a little post-script:

Spare me the flames that my position is absurd--ie, voting for the guy who presided over the torture mess--and against his opponent, simply for not condemning it more loudly. This episode was merely one of many (if a significant one for me) revelatory of Kerry's character. Here, in case you missed it then, is a piece on why I supported Bush contra the Massachusetts Senator.

And therein lies the key; Dejerejian knows that he's being non-sensical, but it doesn't matter because it's really about "character."

And that pretty much fits the profile. For example, "Democrats don't really mean it when they say they care about the poor" (despite, well, an occasionally decent track record) somehow justifies, for one relative, voting for the Republicans which loudly and proudly proclaim their indifference or outright antipathy towards social justice.

Now, say what you will about Kerry, but we already knew what the script was going to be before the campaign started. Because it's the same script that was applied to Gore, to Clinton, to Dukakis, and Mondale. That they're lilly-livered limousine liberals who don't believe in anything, are at best spineless debaucherers and at worst criminals.

If I ever go on Jeopardy! and Alec asks me, "this was the Republican party line about the Democratic candidate in [random year]," I know with certainty that the answer will be "what is 'he's an untrustworthy, flip-flopping extreme libertine?" (Now give me my "Cliches for $400, bee-yotch.")

See, it's not about results at all. If it were about results, a reasonable person would say, as the Poor Man does, that:

[T]he way to oppose torture is by opposing torture. That's how you do it. You don't do it by voting for the torturer, attacking the people who won't, and then saying "oh, but torture is bad." You don't do it by sitting above it all and denouncing those with more courage for their unsightly partisanship.

It really boils down to the buying into of crude stereotypes about liberals and Democrats (Kerry is a nominal member of the former group and the archetypal member of the latter), perpetuated by years of demonization and demagoguery (as well as an inability to fight back and creater a positive image by said liberals and Democrats). And now it's built up to the point that people are willing to put up with torture - even rewarding its architects! - just so long as they don't have to put up with those "lie-beral demon-crats." For a brief reminder of what I mean by torture, go here.

Now, can we agree that it's time to fight back? Do we really need any more examples of just how things have gotten out of hand?


By Jim Dallas

Karl-Thomas just noted it, but 60.7% turnout in last November's election. That's really super, especially considering we still have one of the world's largest prison populations, and we don't have mandatory voting like some countries or even same-day registration (in almost all states, that is).

All Americans should pat themselves on the back for their commitment to democracy and patriotic fervor.

January 07, 2005

Bush Election Certified, But Not Without Dispute

By Vince Leibowitz

Guest Post By Vince Leibowitz

For the first time since 1977, the U.S. House and Senate were forced to separately debate the Electoral College vote count following challenges by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Though the results were never in doubt, two Texans--Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) were among the 31 House members who voted against certifying the results.

The Houston Chronicle notes:

The Democrats said they were not disputing the election outcome, in which Ohio's 20 electoral votes went to Bush and tipped the balance of the national election against Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

Rather, they said they wanted to press Congress to fix what they called a flawed election system that led to voter disenfranchisement in Florida in 2000, and in Ohio and perhaps other states last year.

"We, as a Congress, have an obligation to step up to the plate and correct (irregularities)," said Tubbs Jones.

Of course, Republicans including none other than U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land), were appalled:

"Rather than substantive debate, Democrat leaders are still adhering to a failed strategy of spite, obstruction and conspiracy theories," DeLay said.

The Senate voted 74-1 to uphold the election results, with Boxer casting the only dissenting vote. The House voted 267-31.

The challenge to the Ohio vote began in the House, after Democrats on the Judiciary Committee and Congressional Black Caucus members raised questions about inadequate and jammed voting machines in Democratic precincts, the Chron noted.

Interestingly, Boxer and other Dems agree that a stronger election challenge would have been had four years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court cast the deciding votes in Bush vs. Gore. Boxer said she didn't challenge the election in 2001 because Gore asked her not to.

John Kerry was absent from the Senate Thursday while touring in Iraq, but said he supported a close examination of the Ohio vote.

The last time the House and Senate were required to separately debate the electoral vote in 1877, when Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden.

Vince Leibowitz is County Chairman of the Democratic Party of Van Zandt County.

January 06, 2005

Ohio Electoral Votes Challenged

By Byron LaMasters

I'll probably get bored with it soon, but I'm flipping between the House and Senate debates on C-SPAN. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) and Sen. Barbara Boxer signed the objection to Ohio's electoral votes forcing each chamber to seperately debate the claims. I'm basically indifferent towards the challenge - I think that there were serious problems with the vote in Ohio, but not enough to have changed the outcome. However, if such a challenge raises awareness on electoral reform, then I guess it could do some good. There was legitimate cause to challenge Florida's electoral votes in 2000, and it's a shame that no senator stepped forward then, but this time there doesn't seem to be much point.

December 22, 2004

A look into the Kerry Web Team

By Byron LaMasters

By Zack Exley. It's in response to Kos's calling him an idiot after reading an article where Zack was quoted in The Register, a UK paper where Zack claims he was misquoted.

Exley defends himself for his role in the Kerry campaign, and responds to Kos and other critics of the Kerry webteam with a long, but very informative rebuttal. I'm sure that Greg will find it to be an interesting read.

Via Pandagon.

December 11, 2004

Random Trivia

By Jim Dallas

How large is the average candidate rally before the Iowa caucus? In order to find out the answer, I did a Nexis search, and dug up as many stories as I could with crowd estimates from this year. (Numbers below the fold).

Candidate - Event - Date - Crowd Size - Location

Five Candidates - Forum - June 20, 2003 - 350 - Newton
Kucinich - Peace Rally - July 12, 2003 - 100 - Des Moines
Kerry - rally - July 19, 2003 - "packed room" - Dubuque
Gephardt - Teamster rally - August 8, 2003 - 300 - Des Moines
Dean - Labor Day picnic - August 31, 2003 - 200 - Iowa City
Edwards - So. Cent. Iowa Fed. Labor - August 31, 2003 - 2000 - Des Moines
Dean - Univ. of Iowa rally - October 4, 2003 - 800 - Iowa City
Edwards - home event - October 22, 2003 - 50 - Dubuque
Dean - Howard in Howard rally- October 22, 2003 - 200 - Cresco
Six Candidates - Jeff/Jack Day Dinner - Nov. 15, 2003 - 7500 - Des Moines (Kerry: 2000 supporters)
Hillary Clinton - book signing - Nov. 15, 2003 - 900 - Des Moines
Three Candidates - forum - Nov. 15, 2003, - 200 - Des Moines
Gephardt - union rally - Nov. 29, 2003 - 100 - Dubuque
Kucinich - UNI raly - December 4, 2003 - 100 - Cedar Falls
Kucinich - UD rally - December 5, 2003 - 50 - Dubuque
Jim Dean (H.D's borther) - rally - December 5, 2003 - "two dozen" - Dubuque
Howard Dean - Gore endorsement - December 8, 2003 - "hundreds" - Cedar Rapids
Edwards - speech - December 21, 2003 - 200 - Robins
Dean - speech - January 2, 2004 - 300 - Ft. Dodge
Gephardt - speech - January 3, 2004 - 100 - Dubuque
All Cand - outside Iowa Public TV - January 3, 2004 - 200 - Johnston
Kerry - Ted Kennedy rally - January 10, 2004 - "hundreds" - Dubuque
Dean - Gore/Harkin/Dean UD rally - January 10, 2004 - 300 - Dubuque
Kucinich - native american rally - January 10, 2004 - 100 - Des Moines
Dean - Reiner/Sheen rally - January 12, 2004 - "hotel lobby" - Des Moines
Gephardt - union rally - January 12, 2004 - 400 - Des Moines
Edwards - Simpson College rally - January 13, 2004 - 300 - Indianola
Edwards - rally - January 14, 2004 - 500 - Des Moines
Edwards - NCSML rally - January 15, 2004 - 400 - Cedar Rapids
Kerry - rally - January 16, 2004 - 300 - Clinton
Edwards - rally - January 17, 2004 - 400 - Cedar Rapids
Gephardt - Clarke College rally - January 18, 2004 - 150 - Dubuque
Dean - UI rally - January 19, 2004 - 1000 - Iowa City

Riddle Me This

By Jim Dallas

Believe it or not, today is John Kerry's 61st birthday.

As my friend Brady asked, why have we not been spammed with fundraising requests?

I don't enjoy getting lots of fundraising e-mails, but it does prove to me that the DNC is still alive.

December 04, 2004

Howard Dean does an ad

By Jim Dallas

Just heard Howard Dean's Yahoo! Local ad on Launchcast.

It amused me, although I am a little sad that Dean's left doing the ad thing. I hope he doesn't get stuck prescribing Viagra to Bob Dole...

December 03, 2004

Latino Exit Polling Wrong, Corrected towards Kerry

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

NBC goes oops.

In a stunning admission, an elections manager for NBC News said national news organizations overestimated President George W. Bush's support among Latino voters, downwardly revising its estimated support for President Bush to 40 percent from 44 percent among Hispanics, and increasing challenger John Kerry's support among Hispanics to 58 percent from 53 percent.

The revision doubles Kerry's margin of victory among Hispanic voters from 9 to 18 percent. Ana Maria Arumi, the NBC elections manager also revised NBC's estimate for Hispanic support for Bush in Texas, revising a reported 18-point lead for Bush to a 2-point win for Kerry among Hispanics, a remarkable 20-point turnaround from figures reported on election night.

November 18, 2004

John Kerry has some Explaining to do...

By Byron LaMasters

Greg and Ezra hit the nail on the head. Why the hell does John Kerry have $15 Million remaining in his campaign (not recount) account? If Kerry wants to even be considered in 2008 as a potential candidate, he ought to come up with a damn good excuse for this.

If you are a candidate in a down-to-the-wire race, you should be in debt by the end of the campaign. For a local example of this, take a look at Mark Strama. We have until December 11th to help him retire his campaign debt -- which I've heard is around $100,000. Strama won by 550 votes by the way. That's the way to do it.

Update: The DSCC and DCCC think the same way as Mark Strama. Campaign debt can be quickly reversed. Losing cannot. CNN reports:

Congressional Democrats and labor leaders also privately questioned Kerry's motives. One said he would personally ask the Massachusetts senator to donate some of the money to the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees.

Democrats lost seats in both the House and Senate on November 2, setbacks compounded by the multimillion-dollar debts they incurred in the process.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee borrowed $10 million in the final days of a campaign in which it spent heavily in Texas, where four veteran lawmakers wound up losing their seats. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee borrowed a smaller amount, more than $3 million according to officials.

Lets see here. John Kerry has about $15 Million in the bank. The DCCC and DSCC have about $13 Million in debt. Does anyone else see the obvious solution here? The DCCC may have been unsuccessful in Texas (Chet Edwards excluded), but at least they went down fighting throwing in everything they had and then some (and don't forget, the DCCC needs our help for those two pesky Louisiana runoffs next month). That's the only way to do it...

November 16, 2004

I feel Better

By Byron LaMasters

I decided to have five days of mourning following the election. So from Wednesday (11/3) through Sunday (11/7) I pretty much avoided the world and reality, and well -- mourned John Kerry's loss. I told myself I'd feel better by Sunday, and I was. I got up last Monday and made it through a relatively good week. So, I woke up this (Monday) morning with that post-election depression attitude again, and I was just sort of bumbling my way through my classes, and trying to forget how this country got screwed for the next four years. So, I asked myself what I could do. I went to watch the UT basketball game where we beat Tarleton State silly. But Brian Boddicker has graduated, so it's not quite as much fun to watch as the past couple of years. So, then I came home and watched Senator-Elect Barack Obama's convention speech for the gazillionith time, and I felt better. Even my very Republican grandfather (who lives in Illinois) likes the guy. Amazing. Obama '08 or '12 or '16 or '20 or whenever that man wants to run for president. Tell me where to sign up...

November 15, 2004

3/5 Top Bush Counties in Texas

By Byron LaMasters

Not a big surprise here.

The Lasso has the top five counties for both Bush and Kerry.

The top five Bush counties are all pretty similar. They're all small, rural counties in the Great Plains / Upper Mountain West. The top Kerry Counties are Washington D.C., San Francisco, two Indian Reservation counties, and one Black Belt county.

Here's the top five Bush counties:

Ochiltree, Texas: 91.97 percent
Madison, Idaho: 91.90 percent
Roberts, Texas: 91.65 percent
Glasscock, Texas: 91.56 percent
Arthur, Neb.: 90.15 percent

To get an idea of the size of the Texas counties, here's the raw vote totals. Ochiltree and Roberts counties are in the panhandle. Glasscock is just east of Midland:

Ochiltree County:
George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney REP (I) 2,920 91.96%
John F. Kerry / John Edwards DEM 251 7.90%

Roberts County:
George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney (I) REP 428 91.64%
John F. Kerry/ John Edwards DEM 39 8.35%

Glasscock County:
George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney (I) REP 488 91.55%
John F. Kerry/ John Edwards DEM 44 8.25%

So, you ask, what were John Kerry's best Texas counties? All three were in south Texas.

Zavala County:
George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney (I) REP 777 24.91%
John F. Kerry / John Edwards DEM 2,332 74.79%

Starr County:
George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney (I) REP 2,552 26.09%
John F. Kerry / John Edwards DEM 7,199 73.60%

Duval County:
George W. Bush/ Dick Cheney (I) REP 1,160 28.35%
John F. Kerry / John Edwards DEM 2,916 71.27%