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View Diary: Could the 2008 Election be Like the 1932 Election? (Part 2) (218 comments)

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  •  Millions (0+ / 0-)

    There once was a time when people actually tuned in to listen or watch political conventions. Back when I grew up in the '60s and '70s, there wasn't anything else on TV: no cable, two stations, and both of them were carrying the convention.

    Radios were all over the place in the 1930s, in bars, in stores, in diners, and other public venues. Some cars had radios.

    According to an MIT presentation, based on "Historical Statistics of the United States and Stat Abstracts 1981-1991" radio had penetrated about 45% of American households by 1930.

    And that doesn't even count newspapers, many of which were -- as they are today -- sold at newsstands in large cities, which doesn't require a subscription.

    My contention wasn't that Roosevelt was a transformational president. I said that he promised transformation in his campaign. DHinMI threw off a comment that he ran a safe campaign and you popped your nose in to say it's too bad people like myself didn't read or do research.

    I agree, it is too bad when people shoot their mouths off about subjects they're not familiar with, and make decisions based on faulty knowledge of history, but I don't think it was me showing a lack of knowledge or research in this instance.

    I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

    by darrelplant on Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 09:18:04 AM PST

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    •  I'm surprised that you could (0+ / 0-)

      read that graph. The radio line wouldn't show up. But even those statistics don't break it down by voting preference. There's no way to tell who the 45% voted for.

      My contention is that when you have 1/3 of the country unemployed are they going to vote for the incumbent no matter what he promises? You seem to be making the case that his promises and his campaign was what got him in office. I believe that it was only part of the story. What I find amazing is that Hoover got about, what?, 40% of the vote.

      I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

      by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 01:33:04 PM PST

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      •  PDF (0+ / 0-)

        It shows up fine in the PDF for me. Blue line with triangles for points, starts at 10% in 1925 and goes to 45% in 1930 and 65% in 1935.

        It doesn't matter who the 45% of households voted for, your contention was that hardly anyone could have heard it on the radio, whereas a couple minutes of research or some knowledge of the radio industry in the 1920s and 1930s would have told you probably 50+ million people could have heard it. Doesn't mean they did, but that was the potential radio audience, which doesn't count newspapers or magazines or newsreel coverage. Or even radio news coverage heard by people who didn't listen to the speech.

        And that was just one speech, not the whole campaign.

        Um, yeah, I am making the case that his promises and his campaign are what got him in office. That's what campaigns are for. Hoover was promising a "chicken in every pot and a car in every garage", but he wasn't promising major change. Of course, FDR was also promising to end Prohibition.

        40% of the popular vote is considered a major electoral upset in a presidential race. That's Reagan/Mondale, LBJ/Goldwater, and Nixon/McGovern territory.

        What's interesting is that FDR's margins went down the longer he was in office, even with the war on. By 1944 he had less than a 10% margin over Dewey.

        I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

        by darrelplant on Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 03:04:49 PM PST

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        •  I know that 40% is (0+ / 0-)

          considered very bad but none of those other elections were when we had 1/3 of the country unemployed so I don't think that you can really compare there.

          You left off Prohibition earlier. What percentage voted because of that only?

          My point is that you can't really say anything for sure because there were no exit polls back then that I know of. You can't know for sure how much people knew about candidates or whether voters took the time to even learn the issues. Some of the voters (like the south) voted for him because he was a Dem not because of any of his stances.  He could have possibly gotten 20% of the voters because of his stance on prohibition.
          Hoover could have held onto 40% simply because he was for prohibition. You aren't looking at all the variables just wanting to focus on one aspect.

          I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

          by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 03:38:52 PM PST

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          •  Refute (0+ / 0-)

            Actually, all I'm doing is refuting the rather silly charge you made that I didn't do research or read.

            Don't you love posters that don't research or read?

            You've been wrong on virtually every point you tried to make. That FDR didn't run a transformational campaign. That "few had radios in their homes." Now you're just making up numbers about how many people might have voted for him because of a Prohibition repeal.

            Sure, I left off the repeal of Prohibition earlier. I assumed you already knew that FDR was the president who repealed Prohibition. I mentioned it because it was one of his promises, one of the things he campaigned on.

            Seriously, you can't simultaneously say that nobody knew what he was campaigning on and that they would have voted for him over Hoover anyway and then claim it was his promise to repeal Prohibition that was a major factor in his election. That just doesn't make any logical sense. Either people knew what he was promising or they didn't. Make up your mind.

            FDR got the nomination over nine other contenders in 1932. You can factor out a lot of issues (like the tendency of the South to vote for Democrats) through that.

            Transformational candidates usually win. Particularly in times of trouble. Bush promised big change over Bill Clinton. It didn't matter that the trouble was caused by Republicans. People saw "compassionate conservativism" and thought they'd like a beer with Bush. Reagan promised to restore America to greatness after the drudge of the '70s. He didn't do it, he was a complete screw-up, but people fell for it.

            Gore could have had a big victory if he'd actually shown how much smarter he was than Bush instead of sort of agreeing with him. Dukakis ran an essentially bloodless campaign and lost. Mondale and the Democrats weren't really willing to take on Reagan in '84. The one big example of a change candidate losing is McGovern, and he in a large part because a lot of the party leadership was too afraid of change to back him after he got the nomination. They supported the war, so they supported Nixon.

            People do like change. And despite DHinMI's opinion, Roosevelt offered it up.

            I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

            by darrelplant on Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 06:03:59 PM PST

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            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              Gore could have had a HUGE victory if some of us had actually shown how much smarter we were than Bush instead of helping him win by bashing Gore and/or voting for Nader.

              Global Warming and Climate Science: Self-learning tools.

              by NeuvoLiberal on Tue Dec 04, 2007 at 05:21:59 AM PST

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              •  Running (0+ / 0-)

                Gore was the one running for president. Even if everyone who voted for Nader had voted for Gore instead, he wouldn't have had a victory on the scale of the 1932, 1972, or 1984 wins.

                Together, Nader and Gore had just over 51% of the popular vote. Gore would have needed to persuade more than 8% of the people who voted for George Bush to vote for him instead in order to achieve the same margin of victory as FDR, Nixon, or Reagan. But he didn't offer a compelling vision for the future, and he lost not only people who thought the Clinton years were overrated but others who preferred the moronic yet transformative rhetoric of Bush over Gore's and Lieberman's conservative technocratic droning.

                I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

                by darrelplant on Tue Dec 04, 2007 at 09:20:10 AM PST

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