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View Diary: Republicans Suffer From Bush: US Map Trending Blue (150 comments)

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  •  Statistics Lie (4.00)
    What most polls miss is that our House, Senate, and Presidency do not accurately reflect popular sentiment because structural distortions are built into the system

    In the House, gerrymandering by both parties means that incumbents win 95% of the time. I don't see this changing in most districts in 06.

    In the Senate, the absurdity of two Senators for each State means that Boxer and Feinstein (representing 34 million Californians) are equal to Wyoming's 450,000 people. Four Senators (2 from WY and 2 from Idaho) combined represent about 4 million people yet have twice the representation of CA's 34 million. Polls miss this - if the entire state of CA is against Bush yet WY and ID love him, that's 4 Republican Senators vs 2 Dems. Our system gives undue weight to small states, with the absurd result that 51 Senators can have a majority and represent as little as 21% of the US population.

    Finally, at the Presidential level, the Electorl College distorts public will as was shown in 2000. Again, US citizens do not elect the President, the states do, with the ridiculous result forcing a focus on "swing states" vs on winning over as many US citizens as possible. In the 04 Election, Texas, CA, and NY were ignored
    by both campaigns while Ohio was the focus.

    I want to believe that polls matter, but our electoral system is stacked against an accurate relection of the public will.  

    •  I too am pessimistic (none)
      Democrats will likely pick up a few seats in the house but probably won't gain control of it.  So even if most people vote democratic, republicans will still likely be in control.  Only a third of the senate is up for election.  It's possible dems may get control of the senate but it is an uphill battle.  Imagine how frustrating it will be if the republicans poll very low and most people vote democrat but republicans are still in power after 2006.  Bush might even go so far as to say it's another mandate vindicating his policies.  Someone cheer me up.  I feel so cynical.
    •  Too Late To Give A 4, But Very Important Comment (none)
      These are things that I often keep in mind and try to discuss with people.  Even educated, well informed Americans, even people who are journalists at major publications, are too full of propaganda to understand the significance of these details which you highlight.  It makes having these discussions extremely difficult and unproductive.  A great resource on these things, which I can't highlight enough, at least on gerrymandering and structural impediments in our voting system for elections reflecting the popular will is the often mischaracterized Lani Guinier.  She's a brilliant thinker with regard to structural impediments to democratic results in our electoral structure.

      If we combine these structural problems which Guinier (and you) present, with the electoral fraud and manipulations that we've had, it becomes so much more apparent how easy it is to game the system than most Americans realize.   And with software, and computer programs allowing one to analyze issues, poll results and map them, together with the allocation of resources, a well funded and technologically sophisticated operation would have no problem cutting through the complexity to focus on critical issues for winning the election manipulation game.

      The Democratic Party is still way behind on understanding this, even amongst those who seem most aware, I think they lack the technical sophistication to see what is not only possible, but very likely.

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