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You know what I'm talking about.  The claim that a bunch of liberals were so pissed off at Obama that they stayed home and this caused the 2010 rout.  It's pervasive.  I won't link to examples because it comes up so regularly I see no point singling anyone out.

So I went back to the exit polls and the picture I see shows nothing like that.  If you are a proponent of this claim, I challenge you for empirical proof that some set of activist liberals "took their ball and went home" or whatever metaphor you prefer to make Obama's leftward critics appear childish and immature.  Inside, the evidence I found that shows this just ain't so.

Here's what CNN found in the 2010 House exit poll, when respondents were asked for their ideology, note the number in brackets which indicates the proportion of the respondents who picked that option:


Liberal (20%)   
D - 90%
R - 8%
Other - 2%

Moderate (38%)
D - 55%   
R - 42%   
Other - 3%

Conservative (42%)
D - 13%
R - 84%
Other - 3%

   

So liberals made up 20% of the actual 2010 electorate, and vote 90% for the Democrats.

Here's 2006, the previous mid-term:

Liberal (20%)   
D - 87%
R - 11%
Other - 2%

Moderate (47%)
D - 60%   
R - 38%   
Other - 2%

Conservative (32%)
D - 20%
R - 78%
Other - 2%

   

Once again, liberals made up 20% of the electorate, but only voted 87% for Democrats.  Between 2006 and 2010, liberals made up the same proportion of the electorate, and yet actually voted even more strongly Democratic in 2010 than their historical norm.  This is remarkable given that 2006 was actually a Democratic wave, and 2010 a Republican one - and 2010 actually had higher overall turnout, 41% versus 36% in 2006.  It's not even that the same liberals from 2006 showed up, but in fact some new ones came out too.  But they weren't enough.

If you insist on using 2008 as the baseline (debatable since it was a Presidential election), then you'd find that liberals were 22% of the electorate and voted 87% Democratic.  So there were a few more liberals, but they were slightly less Democratic.  Probably a wash.  Even if you want to say this cost the House D's 1-2% of popular vote (a real stretch), you'd still need to account for the other 7-8% of popular vote they lost between 2008 and 2010.  That would ignore the problems of comparing Presidential to off years, where some of the more liberal groups like the young are just historically less likely to vote anyway.

Wherein is this great liberal(/progressive) sulkfest in lieu of voting?  Liberals voted.  They voted for Democrats.  I don't know how many held their noses while doing so, but they damn well did so, at least according to the most reliable evidence we have of such things.

Exit polls are complex, and there's lots of moving parts, between various groups showing up in different numbers, and actual people changing their minds, ideologies, or party affiliations.  Not to mention new voters appear, some die off, everyone else ages, there is no picture perfect apples to apples comparison of one election to the next.

Still the claim that petulant liberals punished Obama to their own detriment is repeated so often with such certitude, I thought I would request to see the proof of it, because I don't see it, in the most obvious place it would appear if it were there, the proportion and voting of actual liberals in comparable elections.   If you have some more complex explanation of how it really happened, I would like to see it, because all I see is the proportion of the voting population calling themselves "conservatives" grew tremendously at expense of those calling themselves "moderates."  Either a bunch of moderates became conservatives, or moderates stayed home, or a lot of conservatives who usually stay home came out.  Or some combination of those things.  Yet any of those explanations would be tremendously at odds with the "blame the progressives" explanation.

So what am I missing, or am I missing nothing, and this is just becomming that rarest of creatures, a "zombie lie" of the left?

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  •  Tip Jar (269+ / 0-)
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    Shockwave, Tonedevil, jlms qkw, pot, Dreaming of Better Days, quill, TracieLynn, Ian S, Land of Enchantment, Clem Yeobright, Williston Barrett, tardis10, I have the nuts, Knarfc, rasbobbo, ybruti, HoundDog, Got a Grip, angel d, pgm 01, markthshark, aggieric, Empower Ink, LordMike, GreenSooner, fiddlingnero, not a cent, superfly, Orange County Liberal, shopkeeper, bluicebank, Hayate Yagami, absolute beginner, markdd, ssgbryan, indiemcemopants, ozsea1, blueoasis, bythesea, supercereal, MartyM, j1j2j3j4, MindRayge, Nada Lemming, Eric K, NotGeorgeWill, eru, Kimberley, Sagebrush Bob, artr2, FogCityJohn, oldliberal, MikePhoenix, Tam in CA, LaFeminista, alizard, jayden, FyodorFish, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, FishOutofWater, yoduuuh do or do not, Creosote, msblucow, Savage, catilinus, YucatanMan, MichaelNY, expatjourno, geph, jec, Cali Techie, MadRuth, BMarshall, xynz, cassidy3, dance you monster, CTPatriot, maryabein, ks, gulfgal98, sb, Grannus, OleHippieChick, Ginger1, afox, terjeanderson, TexMex, equern, RuralLiberal, Emerson, eeff, PhilK, PhilJD, DisNoir36, priceman, Anak, KrazyKitten, triv33, AAMOM, TomP, phillies, Carnivorous Plantling, AndyT, PeterHug, falina, Victor Laslo, semiot, banjolele, Hugo Estrada, Its a New Day, Agathena, DWG, psychodrew, gooderservice, joanneleon, Heart of the Rockies, Randolph the red nosed reindeer, Isara, vets74, Desperado62, erratic, Only Needs a Beat, SallyCat, BradyB, Spider Stumbled, Polly Syllabic, Anglo, SJerseyIndy, Blueslide, NBBooks, Stuart Heady, KateG, billlaurelMD, cassandraX, ZedMont, No one gets out alive, RFK Lives, Pescadero Bill, drnononono, cybrestrike, GMFORD, Amber6541, NoFortunateSon, beltane, m16eib, Son of a Cat, wdrath, Larry Bailey, cheerio2, Alfred E Newman, copymark, Sychotic1, BlogDog, Jim P, carolita, Dobber, SoulCatcher, Meteor Blades, m00finsan, Food Gas Lodging, Just Bob, Habitat Vic, claude, crankypatriot, hideinplainsight, AlwaysDemocrat, Audio Guy, ljb, DefendOurConstitution, jamess, Ice Blue, milkbone, anagram, clarknyc, psnyder, Azazello, Ozzie, petral, petulans, unspeakable, implicate order, Wolf10, ratzo, Danno11, badger, rmonroe, angstall, keirdubois, awcomeon, Joieau, opinionated, esquimaux, SuperBowlXX, zemongoose, cardinal, IndieGuy, kurious, Dem Beans, noemie maxwell, Aspe4, churchylafemme, unonymous, buckstop, LillithMc, AnnieR, ZAPatty, damfino, DixieDishrag, surfbird007, willibro, Corporate Dog, oblios arrow, zedaker, Shahryar, Philoguy, Pithy Cherub, Cartoon Messiah, RhymesWithUrple, 3goldens, vacantlook, emal, sgary, Dallasdoc, T100R, Marjmar, AnnieJo, vigilant meerkat, Lily O Lady, yellowdogsal, VoteBlue, baldski, PrahaPartizan, StateofEuphoria, cslewis, PatConnors, DAO, Oh Mary Oh, merrily1000, 2laneIA, brown and blue all over, cpresley, kck, sngmama, fatbeagle, TheGeneral, lotlizard, Greyhound, Alumbrados, spaceshot, dle2GA, MrJayTee, Oaktown Girl, TAH from SLC, Marihilda, prfb, MJ via Chicago, ARS, Larsstephens, KarenJG, UFOH1, Rick Aucoin, thematt523, Angela Quattrano, poligirl, David Kaib, skibum59, Aranfell, Zack from the SFV, joe shikspack
    •  Never mind the exit polls. (54+ / 0-)

      Me and others went through a similar analysis a few months ago.

      All you need to know about who showed up and voted in 2008 vs. 2010 is summed up 3/4 of the way down on this page from Pew.

      What happened is the Obama and the Dems lost EVERYBODY but least of all, the Liberals.

      And if you want to figure out why all these groups either didn't show up or didn't vote for Democrats, that same Pew piece goes into the belief systems of the various groups.  I think what any thinking person would find if they spent a half hour with the data is 2010 had NOTHING TO FUCKING DO WITH OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS BEING TOO FUCKING PROGRESSIVE.

      But hey, the fanboys and fangirls have never let facts get in the way of being condescending, ankle deep fuck knobs.

      •  But if you are interested.... (18+ / 0-)

        TomP had a diary in response to these same accusations a few months ago.

        •  great link (20+ / 0-)

          Obama/Dems lost New Coalition Democrats and Post-Moderns.

          Coupled with these, past typology studies found a third group of socially conservative Democrats who were older, mostly white, and held traditional social values while supporting New Deal-type policies. This year, however, the balance has tipped toward a group of New Coalition Democrats, who are defined not only by their social conservatism, but by their ethnic diversity and optimism in the face of the recession. The appearance of the New Coalition Democrats is further evidence that while African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans continue to overwhelmingly align with the Democratic Party, they are hardly unified blocks in terms of ideology and values.

          A group of independently-minded Post-Moderns, who have voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the past two elections, are the youngest of all the typology groups. This mostly secular group agrees with Solid Liberals on social issues, immigration and the environment, but is not engaged with the traditional liberal rallying cries of the New Deal or Great Society. Instead, this group tends to be more supportive of Wall Street and business interests, and skeptical of broad-based social justice programs aimed at helping African-Americans and the poor.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:50:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  from that chart (0+ / 0-)

            the dem numbers are down across the board.  yah post-moderns and new coalition were the biggest swing.

            but the "solid liberals" are down 7%.

            so how does that not support the contention that liberals stayed home?

            much more relevant is all the talk about the enthusiasm gap.  news of it was not greeted here with "well, we'll just have to fix that."  it was instead kind of used as "proof" the dems fucked up or something.

            given the historical trends for mid-terms and everything at stake, seems to me the reaction to news of an enthusisam gap should be to overcome it, not embrace it.

            anyhoo..."staying home" means lots of things...

            My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

            by Cedwyn on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:15:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  conflicting data (7+ / 0-)

              That data is a regular poll and according to the inset, used "registered voters" - the data I used above is an exit poll, so only actual bona fide people who showed up to vote are included.

              Also, we could look for small sample sizes of liberals that could sway the numbers in the PEW data.

              •  Only bonified people who showed up to vote (0+ / 0-)

                are included in that 'regular poll' as well.  At least those who were telling the truth, but then again, exit polling also relies on whether people are telling the truth.

                Yes that poll uses registered voters, but you'll note that none of the typologies for either 08 or 10 add up to 100%.  That's because they did not vote, and thus are not included in the graphic.

            •  Because (8+ / 0-)

              It's the smallest loss of Dem votes (%-wise) of any Dem group on the chart.

              I did a diary a while back comparing the '08 and '10 elections in WI. In '08, Obama (the only statewide Fed candidate that year) got 1.6 million votes, McCain about 1 million. In '10, GOP votes stayed around 1 million, but Dem votes dropped - 37% - to slightly less than the GOP vote for Senate and governor.

              Now go back and look at the entire chart above. Obama got a lot more votes from the Main St Rep, Libertarian, and Disaffected than Dems did in 2010. Even though these groups net out as GOP voters, they still produced a lot more Dem votes in 2008. I'd place those losses as the fault, largely, of the economy and perceived lack of inaction by Dems. Those are the infamous "swing" voters in large part.

              Then, if you look at the voting blocks that net out Dem, liberals were the smallest decline. Low turnout is a perennial Dem problem - it shows up in every election and is one of the main reasons for things like "likely voter screens"  in most polling. Dems almost always do worse with the screen applied than without - because fewer Dem-identifiers vote.

              When you apply the numbers in the chart and take overall decline in turnout into account, the least responsible bloc for Dem losses in 2010 is liberals. Fewer liberals stayed home.

              Unless, of course, you have some particular axe to grind.

              We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

              by badger on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:28:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Because (5+ / 0-)

              a.  it was a midterm and there's a drop off in pretty much every midterm amongst pretty much every group, with the exception of how fired up Republicans were in 2010

              and

              b.  you're splitting hairs.  The point here is that liberals didn't cost the Dems the elections by not showing up.  

              Let's see here...16% of the election times a 7% drop off equals 1.12 percent of the electorate.  So maybe that costs the Dems Melissa Bean, and that's fucking it.  

              And you know what....good fucking riddance to Melissa Fucking Bean.  Joe Walsh crazying it up does more for Democrats than Melissa Bean ever did.

          •  Accurate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cpresley

            The Progressive caucus gained members while the New Dems and Blue Dogs lost members. So, those centrist Democrats went right.

            I have nothing to say.

            by calistan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That actually doesn't mean anything. (0+ / 0-)

              Members of Progressive caucus are elected from solidly Dem districts (most of them, anyway) so most of them were in no danger of losing. Blue Dogs are often from marginal or downright Republican districts.

              •  It means a lot, actually (10+ / 0-)

                It means that Democrats in the House can start to speak with a more ideologically coherent voice in defense of the party's traditional principles.  It means that the word "Democrat" might start to actually mean something again, instead of the current situation in which it means nothing but confusion and ineptitude.  It means there's at least a small chance that the president might finally have to start listening to people on his left, because he'll need their votes in Congress one of these days.

                Somebody's going to have to drag the Democratic party away from the center-right kill zone the president has placed it in.  Progressives in the House have the opportunity to start delivering a message that voters could hear.  If they do that effectively, then those swing districts will have the chance to make an actual choice in a future election, rather than having to pick between Corporatist and Corporatist-Crazy.

                DC politicians don't realize they're corrupt for the same reason fish don't realize they're wet.

                by Dallasdoc on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:45:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I still have to question... (4+ / 0-)

            ...comparing the '08 Presidential election to the '10 Midterms.  They're just two different animals.

            •  Agreed. (4+ / 0-)

              But when people have already developed a "conclusion", they then set about looking for the excuses to make it look plausible.  They can't admit, for instance, that very few, if any, Dems who ran in 2010 campaigned on the benefit of the ACA.  Why?  Because it was a screwed up mess and most voters couldn't even understand it!  But some just can't accept that there was powerful little for Dems to run on in 2010.  In addition, I know from a comment Newsie 2800 made to me in a comment about the 2010 election that the DNC elected NOT to send money to Feingold (why I don't know and he didn't say) and instead sent it elsewhere.  Things like that make a difference given the amount of shadow money that flooded WI to get Ron Johnson (R-Knucklehead) elected!  But there are those here who just can't let go of verbally slapping and kicking Progressives and openly blaming them for whatever goes wrong.  Can't admit that the DNC was worthless in 2010 and that the Obama administration did not provide voters with anything of benefit to them.  But there's always somebody or some group to blame so they can feel good.  And the FACT that mid-terms NEVER have as big a turn-out appears to fly right over their heads.

              Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

              by 3goldens on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:52:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens

                But it was Feingold who made the dumb choice of refusing DSCC money. They were, of course, ready to help big-time.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:18:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I hope Feingold writes a personal (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  memoir sometime because I would like to know the backstory on why he did some of the things he did.  I think Russ made a lot of people in the national Dem. Party uncomfortable as he very likely did the same to some of his Dem. Senate colleagues.  He was kind of a "misfit" in the Senate and yet, as one of his constituents, I admire him a great deal.  I would still prefer him to be in the Senate than Ron Johnson, (R-Clueless).   And McCain actually gave a farewell speech about Russ and called him "the conscience of the Senate".  One of the very few things McCain has ever said that I agree with. :)

                  Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

                  by 3goldens on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:39:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Some other take aways... (0+ / 0-)

            Regarding this first blockquote....while a smaller voting block that has low voter turnout, Obama made in roads in 2008 with the "What's-the-matter-with-Kansans."

            Disaffecteds, who were a critical factor in the 2010 GOP gains, are even more deeply skeptical of deep spending cuts and entitlement reform

            His centrism has blown that out of the water.

            One stand-out group is the Democratic-leaning Post-Moderns, who are far more supportive of across-the-board spending cuts than most core Democratic groups, and see little difference between Obama and the GOP in terms of who is offering the best approach to the issue.
            New Coalition Democrats and Solid Liberals are more worried about the job situation than other national economic issues (42% and 46%, respectively)
            Post-Moderns, too, back a relatively broad array of deficit strategies. They are the only group in which a majority backs both domestic and defense spending cuts (67% favor each), and a relatively high 40% favor increasing taxes as well.
            But Solid Liberals are not the only ones to think that, if there is an effect, spending cuts would do more harm than good with respect to jobs. Among both Hard-Pressed and New Coalition Democrats, as well as among the predominantly independent Post-Moderns and Disaffecteds, at least twice as many say major spending cuts will hurt the job situation than say such cuts will help

            But I think if you take all the information as a whole, many of the claimed "Progressives" on this site who are full throated supporters of Obama are not "Liberals" at all.  They are solid D Post Moderns.

          •  2008 vs. 2010 comparisons (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            Are apples and oranges and are only made, posted, and discussed to further a false frame that liberals suck.

            Keep the discussion to apples and apples please.  2006 vs. 2010 for instance.

            Fuckin' A, I swear to god...

            Yeah, imagine a skinny, beaky kid with an unfortunate last name, still trying to get approval and feel attractive and liked to cancel out all those other years growing up. - FarWestGirl

            by Rick Aucoin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:02:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for posting this link. (12+ / 0-)

        I have only had time to read the first page and glance at the rest. There is a tremendous amount of information and I will read the rest in more detail later.

         It compares the   2008 and 2010 elections rather than the  2006 midterm but it does show some interesting things about the 2010 election.

        What it seems to show is that it is the Libertarians, Post Moderns, Disaffected, and New Coalition Democrats who either stayed home or switched to Republicans. The Main St. Republicans also voted more Republican in 2010 than in 2008. It also seems to indicate that many moderates switched their identity to conservative.

        What binds several of these groups together seems to be that they have a more negative view of government and are less concerned with safety net programs.

        Let me be clear. I strongly support safety net and social insurance programs. I think they are not only the moral option but also the best economic option. They positively affect people's lives and save money by keeping people healthier and better educated.  Having said that, those who stayed home or voted Republican disagree. This does not mean that we should abandon these programs to get those votes. It does mean that we need to frame these programs more as ways to make government and healthcare more efficient and the population better educated and highlight other governmental actions which address their concerns.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:29:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're less concerned about safety net programs (26+ / 0-)

          UNLESS they're benefitting from those programs.

          The major problem with what the Democrats did in 2008-2010 including the healthcare act was that it didn't do ENOUGH.  The reinvestment act was partly tax cuts and alot of aid to states but didn't invest ENOUGH in infrastructure or jobs.  I drive to work every day down a road that has been under construction for the better part of 10 years.  It is now expanded to 4 lanes alleviating traffic and is just about complete thanks to the Reinvestment Act.  If there was more of that people would not have been so pissed.  If people between 55-65 all got Medicare as a result of the healthcare act and everyone else under that was able to buy into it they wouldn't have been so pissed about the Dems cutting Medicare which is utter bullshit anyway.  Instead those people saw and heard conservatives telling them that Obama was spending money like a drunken sailor, that he is some sort of militant black Kenyan Marxist with the obvious implication that he's redistributing their tax dollars to other black people and that he's taxing them more.  All lies that could not be disproven with their own eyes unfortunately.  Their situations did not improve and Obama was spending money so someone obviously was benefitting.  

          This is the thing I keep telling everyone.  We didn't lose 2010 because we veered left.  We lost it because we didn't veer left ENOUGH.  Those mushy moderates who drastically turned away from the Dems, would they have been so eager to do so if many of them got Medicare or expanded Medicare benefits if they're already on it?  I doubt it.  

          Would the deficit hawks have squaked as much if Obama had pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan and cut the Pentagon budget by 20% or 30%, allowed the Bush taxes to expire and balanced the budget before the 2010 elections while Dems controlled everything?  Some probably would have but others would have not.    

          Would the Dems have lost so badly if they didn't waste a fucking year pushing a shitty health insurance bill through but rather simply expanded Medicare, then pivot to job creation.  What if they had taken a more Keynesian approach to job creation unemployment had dropped below 7.5% before the 2010 election?  Would they have gotten shellacked?  I doubt it.

          Would the anti tax people, most of whom are middle class people, have been so against the Dems who they perceive as being tax hikers if they got a letter from Obama telling them they were getting a massive tax cut?  Sort of like the bullshit Bush pulled when he mailed letters telling all of us we were getting tax cuts, which amounted to a piddly sum, while drastically cutting taxes for the rich?  A more progressive tax code maybe?  Would they have turned out in as large of numbers as they did for the GOP?  Again doubt it.

          Alot of these groups you mentioned hate the govt because they've been fed the lie that it's disfunctional and despite the Dems having control of Congress and the presidency they didn't get jack shit done other than what they perceive a vanity healthcare reform bill which Obama pushed through the sausage making machine to embellish his legacy.  What if the Dems had shown those people that gov't CAN work for the good of the people?  Would they have been so disaffected and have had such an unfavorable view of gov't, turning instead to the assholes who want to drown it in a bathtub and made it so disfunctional in the first place?  Again I doubt it.

          So when people say that us turning left is what made us lose I like to ask them what policy would they consider lefty.  Other than the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the reality is there wasn't much and THAT was the problem.  Those people all hate the gov't and socialism but they LOOOOVVVVVVEEEE them some gubmint help when they need it and the Gubmint better keep it's hands off their Medicare and Social Security.  This general ignorance is very pervasive among our society and it needs to be pointed out that those programs ARE examples of the gov't at work and the social safety net that has been provided BY DEMOCRATS.  Democrats didn't do that and infact were painted as the party that was looking to take away their safety nets they rely on not add onto them.  

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:46:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that this is one of the best comments that (9+ / 0-)

            I have read in a long time. But, in the interest of being honest with myself, I suppose this is because you have articulated what I have also maintained for a long time. This is particularly true with regard to lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55. This is something that would have been of immense benefit to people in this age group who lost their jobs in the recession. These people and their children and their other family members would have seen this immediate benefit and the enthusiasm from  the 2008 election could have been maintained. And while some people might maintain that this would not been politically feasible I think it should have at least been tried. If the attempt had been made then the voters would have seen the Democratic Party was at least actually out there fighting for them  

            •  "...at least been tried." (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cpresley

              THAT right there is the problem. no one expects miracles but we did. and do, expect our elected officials to fight for miracles. THAT is the essence of negotiation... demand the miracle and settle for the mundane.

              blink-- pale cold

              by zedaker on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:36:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  or, shorter (11+ / 0-)

            "Good liberal policy makes people's lives better and makes them want to vote for liberals."

            Everyone trying to read voter tea leaves on how they want politicians to appear is missing the point.  Everyone says they want "moderate" politicians who compromise and aren't extreme, but if you are a liberal, you believe liberal ideas have the virtue of working and thus voters will forgive your ideological "extremism" because you've made their lives better.

            But great comment.

      •  Recomended for ankle deep fuck knobs (22+ / 0-)

        oh and for the rest.

        But hey don't let facts get in the way of a good story like the one about how the Democrats lost because they veered too far left.

        If what they did the last 2 years was veering left I'd hate to see them veering right.  

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:13:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think the problem was with (0+ / 0-)

        progressives/liberals not showing up, but I do think the criticism that the President gets from the left does weaken his support among low information voters.  

        These voters are driven by emotion and their social group.  President Obama won partly because he connected with people on that level.  Anything the left does to weaken that connection makes them less likely to vote for him or any other Democrat.

        The Republican rule to never attack a fellow Republican is there for a reason.  You never want to give low information voters a reason not to vote for your side.

        If you want to increase taxes on the rich, if you want to protect Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, you have to vote Republicans out of office.

        by ahumbleopinion on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:33:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not my job to connect Obama (8+ / 0-)

          with my social group (Which could be described as the doing-the-job-of-three-people-for-less-money-than-I-was-making-in-2009-but-I-can't-complain-because-at-least-I-still-have-a-fucking-job-for-now demographic)

          Right now my social group perceives the Republicans as crazy. They also perceive Obama and the Democrats as unwilling and/or unable to do ANYTHING to stop them.

          For me to disabuse them of this perception, I would have to do something called "lying through my teeth".

          Frankly, it was my understanding that the office of President of the United States is a pretty powerful position. Perhaps if the President used some of that power on behalf of the people he wants to VOTE for him, he might deserve a second term.

        •  No, low information voters don't ever hear (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, Rick Aucoin, denise b

          the criticisms of the left.  The left doesn't have a fucking voice in this country.  Not in any forums that low information voters turn to anyway.  This notion that FDL somehow has an impact on the national discourse and thus on the enthusiasm of voters exists in one place and one place only:  the fertile imaginations of the fanboys and fangirls on Dailykos.

          Further, he hurts himself with low info voters.  People expect Democrats to stand for certain things.  When the President starts speaking against those things and for the things the Republicans stand for, the low info voter losses all distinction between the parties.  

          We see that here.

        •  absolutely nothing on DKos affects low info voters (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, Rick Aucoin, denise b

          No low info voters read DK or FDL or any other poli-blog. CNN and Fox might affect low-info voters because they have a friend who watches those sorts of things, but liberals don't get on CNN or Fox. The Dems criticizing Obama on television are mostly right-wing Dems.

      •  Should of governed from the left (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley

        Obama was given the go ahead by American voters to pick up FDR's neglected tool bag and get to work rebuilding the country.

        Instead he brought in Rahm and the 3rd Way crowd and kept the Bush economic team in place. Things went from worse to less worse and have stalled there. Wall St crooks and those who lied us into war go unpunished. Banks are bailed out and home owners kicked into the street. Tax cuts extended and Bob Dole's 15 yr old health care plan is passed. Are you inspired  yet?

        He does not fire up his supporters ever with some raw meat, and he infuriates his opponents by stealing their ideas. The 3rd Way crowd can never figure this out. They win a presidential election, go all Republican lite, get shot to pieces in the next midterm, and blame the liberals for not clapping loud enough.

        Fuck all DLC, 3rd Way, DC Dems. Fuck em.

      •  interrsting diary/comment from Alan Grayson (0+ / 0-)
        In 2010, my district and everywhere else in Florida, Republican turnout was in the sixties.  Democratic turnout was in the forties.  Republican turnout was close to what it was in 2008; Democratic turnout was barely half of what it had been.  In 2010, I could have won every Democratic vote (and almost did), plus every Independent vote, and I still would have lost.  When I saw those numbers, I said on MSNBC, “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.”

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 09:19:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And now that you have PROVEN this to be false, (4+ / 0-)

      anybody spreading that lie is subject to HRs.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brit, sewaneepat, phillies, Cedwyn

        If anyone has a difference of opinion in how statistics are used because they want to add a different part of the story (namely, percentages aren't everything), that is now HRable because it doesn't square with your own opinion?

        You have a very interesting view of free speech.

        My opinion? Dem organization stank out loud in most places in 2010. OFA gets some of the blame for not doing its damn job in an off year. But ultimately, who is supposed to organize?

        If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

        by Dr Squid on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:05:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's part of the problem. (4+ / 0-)

          Those who make the "Liberals/Democrats stayed home and are thus responsible for '10 Democratic losses" don't use statistics to support themselves.  They just fling the accusation around and that's where it ends for them, they never prove themselves because it's not about proof or reality to them, it's all about attacking someone, blaming someone other than the elected Democrats themselves.

      •  No they're not (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MadRuth, Brit, AndyT, Just Bob, Sychotic1, Cedwyn

        They're subject to correction by pointing to this diary.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:48:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, DemFromCT

        I almost wrote this diary myself because, as a political scholar who analyzes this sort of data for a living, I felt like the available data on this question pointed to the diarist's conclusion. However, I'm nowhere near confident enough in the inference (and it is just an inference, since the data presented is nowhere near sophisticated enough to hit the question directly) to HR people who contradict it.

        With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

        by cardinal on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:37:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hear, hear! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cardinal, MichaelNY

          this could use a scholarly and quantitative approach. exit polls alone don't tell the story, other than liberals were their usual 20% or so.

          They do suggest that the Gallup increase in conservatives (self described) and decrease in moderates had an effect as well. Inference, not proof.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:13:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  a "zombie lie" of the left?T (25+ / 0-)

      I don't recognize OFAnatics as "left". People who support putting SS / Medicare / Medicaid on the chopping block and who support Obama's collection of foreign wars because the OFA/DLC-Third Way Party Line says to don't fit any definition of "left" outside the imagination of the MSM.

      They're just the authoritarian followers aka "new people Obama brought into politics". Like the "new people Barry Goldwater brought into politics" who grew up, grayed, and became the teabaggers.

      Zombie lies are just "politics as usual" to the people who use authoritarian followers as the backbone of their political movement, nominal party or even nominal claimed position in the political spectrum.

      Your diary is good work but it will change few minds around here. The people who need to understand this will simply say "We have THE TRUTH, don't try to convince us with your EVIL!!! LIBERAL!!! FACTS!!!".

      Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:35:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know who claimed that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Pithy Cherub, 3goldens, Serephin

      but I have claimed Democrats stayed home, and D≠L. the activists and liberals showed. The moderate-conservatives stayed home or voted R.

      Every time someone says "Democrat" and someone else hears "liberal", please go back and check whay you thoght you heard.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ain't that the truth. Democrats aren't liberal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aspe4

        for the most part. They're pretty conservative.

      •  Ed Schultz said he was staying home in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

        and he spent a considerable amount of time on his show ranting about Democrats and trying to convince his viewers to stay home and not vote, because he was pissed off about the health care bill.

        I don't know how many people he actually influenced to stay home. Apparently not many, which is good. But he did make a fairly high-profile case for progressives to boycott Democrats in the 2010 mid-terms, and he wasn't the only pundit on the 'left' to take that position.

        Lots of people thought that was dumb and counterproductive. His performance is a key piece of the ongoing belief that people like him, and anyone who followed his advice, bear part of the blame for the losses. The only way to counter that belief is to make the case that Ed Schultz, in his role as a progressive voice and political commentator on MSNBC, and other progressive voices who advocated not voting, have zero influence, or at least an insignificant amount that can't possibly make any difference. Which may be true.

        But I don't think it's right to pretend that no one ever made the case "from the left" to not vote as a punishment to Obama and Democrats, who were presented as sellouts and/or failures who should be voted out and have their power reduced. That was Ed's argument... and we got what he wanted.

        And it sucks. So it's not really hard to understand why some people are still pissed at him and those who echoed him and followed him. Even if in the end it made no difference, if polling tells us not many people were influenced by those voices on the left, it still remains a fact that they made the case, and they certainly didn't help avoid the massive defeat.

        •  Please show us where (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, cpresley

          Ed spent a "considerable amount of time" trying to convince his "viewers to stay home". One statement does not count as considerable time. I've seen this "Ed Shultz is to blame" along with the "progressives are to blame for 2010" meme.

        •  Schultz caught HELL for that as he should have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, Rick Aucoin

          and he spent a LOT of time backing away from it and telling listeners/viewers that what he said was wrong.  Sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain and yes, he did make that stupid statement---but it is not correct to infer that he stuck with it when he did NOT.  And since then, he has minded his mouth a lot better about giving advice when it comes to voting.

          Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

          by 3goldens on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:59:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lies. (0+ / 0-)

          You are lying.

          I'd say you are mistaken, but you go further than merely saying "Ed Schultz said he wasn't going to vote" and expounded on it, enthusiastically and fictionally, to "spent a considerable amount of time on his show ranting... convince his viewers to stay home and not vote" which is demonstrably not only false, but the opposite of what happened.

          The opposite of the truth is also known as a LIE.

          Liar.

          Yeah, imagine a skinny, beaky kid with an unfortunate last name, still trying to get approval and feel attractive and liked to cancel out all those other years growing up. - FarWestGirl

          by Rick Aucoin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:07:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  African American Turnout Plunged 40% (40+ / 0-)

    youth more, women went R in 2010.

    I make shit and sell and export if for a living, and I also perform for part of my living. I motivate my market because I know the customer is RIGHT NOT WRONG. Markets support me, they FLEE OBAMA.

    Stupid fuckheat conservative Democrats.

    You wanna be our 2nd conservative party? --Go find a fucking electorate you morans.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:18:21 PM PDT

  •  Thanks... (21+ / 0-)

    I've questioned the meme before but didn't have the data. Looks like moderates and cons switched to a stronger support of Rethugs.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:20:46 PM PDT

    •  Liberals showed up and voted (22+ / 0-)

      But there was a shift to the right by Moderates who became conservative.  The Tea Party made a lot of noise (with Koch and similar money, lots of it) and they managed to change Moderates into Conservatives.

      Almost 10% of the electorate went from Moderate to Conservative and that did it.

      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:28:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (7+ / 0-)

        When there are 80,000 fewer votes for a Democratic congressman with zero increase for the GOPer, it tells you that a crapload of people, who aren't necessarily liberal, are staying home.  80,000 missing voters for every D district in Minnesota in 2010 wrt 2008. You lose that many votes, and damn right it's going to change your percentages, but that doesn't mean moderates are therefore shifting.

        The diarist is asking the wrong question and flogs a strawman as a result. So it leads to there being a lower percentage of Democats than Republicants. Big fat hairy deal - to say that this means that they actually shifted to the other party is an overinterpretation.

        If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

        by Dr Squid on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:35:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I see no evidence for your contention (9+ / 0-)

        that moderates "changed" into conservatives.

        It's just as likely that right leaning moderates showed up in bigger numbers than left leaning moderates.

        Mayan culture was strong enough to save the Mayan people from Mayan civilization.

        by JesseCW on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:50:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Over and over I have read here that... (17+ / 0-)

          ...liberals or progressives didn't show up causing the Tea Party to take Congress.  The numbers in these exit polls show this is NOT true.

          The change was in those who identify themselves as moderates and conservatives.  Call them independents or whatever.  But the Democratic left showed up.

          Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

          by Shockwave on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:59:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Liberal on this site routinely bash Obama (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yorkiedoglover, jofr, Cedwyn

            Whether or not they are showing up in the polls si up for debate but I don't think there is any question that liberals on DailyKos are bashing Obama daily.

            What effect these sentiments have on left leaning moderate voter turnout are difficult to measure.  We did see a large enthusiam gap in 2010 though.

            I think the left has a habit of bailing on a President who doesn't give them 100% of what they want.  That is why Jimmy Carter lost.  He wasn't liberal enough.  Same with Hubert Humphry.  Both Carter and Humphry could have won if liberals had not been so dogmatic.

            We will see if libs again jump off the cliff for 16 years to prove a point about Obama.

            •  That's only because Obama has proven to (17+ / 0-)

              be a failure of epic proportions.

              But that's got little do with who showed up to vote in 2010 when the worst Democratic President of the Post-War Era wasn't even on the ballot.

              Mayan culture was strong enough to save the Mayan people from Mayan civilization.

              by JesseCW on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:06:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wow you have a lot of assertions there, (17+ / 0-)

              but are way short on facts.

              If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

              by MikePhoenix on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:13:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  People on this site (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aspe4, 3goldens

              are too small in number to determine elections in any significant way.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:51:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, I think more to the point is... (12+ / 0-)

              ...what this diary's numbers can show us about the motivation behind what liberals (or lefties, if you will) perceive as Obama's bailing on the Left, to turn your point around 180 degrees.

              The numbers do reveal that proportionally it was the left-most element of voters who were most loyal to Democratic candidates.  Moderates probably did not suddenly identify themselves as conservatives but didn't show up in the high percentages they did to vote for the Dem in 2008 when in 2010 it wasn't the historic election and the top post in the land.

              I'm more intrigued, though, by what this turnout could have done to shift the strategy in the White House even more to the right than it was at the start.  They have these exit poll numbers and more.  They know it wasn't the left that abandoned the party but the opposite end: the moderates and business-friendly conservatives who are the right wing of the spectrum of voters for Democrats.  I would propose, just for consideration, that this could have only reinforced the Administration's impulse to shift to the right, to chase those voters who were abandoning them, since they had clear evidence that the left was not inclined to abandon them.

              Indeed, the conclusion from that line of thinking is all the more worrisome if you're a moderate Dem: it means that the left, if it wants to see progressive outcomes, if it wants to see the Administration and the party swing back toward the left at any time in the future, needs to abandon the Dems to become the voting bloc that the party and this Administration needs to court.  If anything, the frequent left-bashing by this Administration and by many kossacks here, while it may soothe their urge to find anyone to blame but themselves for a thrashing in November 2010, could ultimately and most fruitfully for the lefties have just the effect those more centrist elements least want.

            •  Party in power lives or dies by the economy. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sychotic1, Aspe4, JesseCW

              That is why the Republicans ran so many ads in 2010 promising JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. OK they lied but the JOBS mantra was still very effective in racking up the votes.

              A President especially is judged on how well the economy is doing. Clinton knew this and that's why he and his adminiistration always focused on "It's the economy, Stupid."  I do not see same focus from the present administration and that bodes badly for 2012.
               

            •  help me understand (9+ / 0-)

              Is your claim here that the main factor influencing the voting patterns and enthusiasm of the "left-leaning moderate voter" is the degree to which liberals bash President Obama? As opposed to, say, the perceptions of the "left-leaning moderate voter" regarding the President, Congress, and the two parties, the economy, foreclosures etc?

              Is it that "left-leaning moderate voters" are waiting to see how liberals comport themselves online before they decide how to vote?

              Because that claim on its face strikes me as beyond silly.

              Consider you claim reductio ad absurdum. Your example, for instance, is that liberal criticisms of Carter caused him to lose. Not inflation. Not unemployment. Not Reagan dirty tricks. Not "malaise". Not Iran. Not oil shocks. No. Liberal critics caused Carter to lose.

              Ridiculous. And, to the point, directly refuted for the 2010 election by this diary about which you say little while also failing to substantiate your own counter-claim.

            •  Not hard to measure at all. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MikePhoenix

              Since the left leaning moderate doesn't get any of their information here.  It's not hard at all to guess what effect negative diaries about Administration policy had.

              It is, however, pretty easy to guess at what effect Fanboi dairies and Obama Cult behavior has on politically active liberals.  

              Yeah, imagine a skinny, beaky kid with an unfortunate last name, still trying to get approval and feel attractive and liked to cancel out all those other years growing up. - FarWestGirl

              by Rick Aucoin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:13:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think you miss my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xynz

            The individual moderates who voted D in 2006 into moderates voting R in 2010.

            They stayed home.  R-leaning moderates, who stayed home disgusted by obscene Republican corruption in 2006 (remember the stack of scandals?) showed up.

            Mayan culture was strong enough to save the Mayan people from Mayan civilization.

            by JesseCW on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:03:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  A CRITICAL OBSERVATION!! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pat bunny, JesseCW, Rick Aucoin

          These data are impossible to properly interpret, because we have no clue how the same people might have categorized themselves previously, and we have no clue how the people who stayed home might have categorized themselves.

          My hypothesis on the election is the same now as it was BEFORE the election: Two years of lameassery by the Obama administration gave too little inspiration to too many people who would have voted for Democrats if they'd felt it was worth voting. Said people aren't, "the professional left", they've never even heard of the professional left, they don't read political blogs, they don't think about politics all that often or all that deeply, and they need a reason to believe before they're going to get out and vote.

          Obama refused to give them a reason to believe, he refused to call anyone's attention to the GOP legislative thuggery, he refused to issue a clarion call for the election of More and Better Democrats so that he could actually govern as the people who had voted for him in 2008 had hoped. No, I didn't GOTV in 2010, for one simple reason: Obama had given me nothing -- nothing -- that I could sell. In ten minutes, he could have accomplished 10,000,000 times as much as I could have accomplished in 10 hours of cajoling and educating -- but he was too, too cool for that.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:26:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You are right! I checked your numbers (49+ / 0-)

    2010

    90*0.20 + 55*0.38 + 13*0.42 = 44.36% Democratic
    08*0.20 + 42*0.38 + 84*0.42 = 50.82% Repug

    2006

    87*0.2 + 60*0.47+ 20*0.32 = 52 % Democratic
    11*0.2 + 38*0.47+ 78*0.32 = 44.82 Repug

    The change was in Moderates and Conservatives.  They shifted to the right!

    This diary should be Recommended.

    The meme of liberals not showing up is NOT based in facts.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:22:45 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! (17+ / 0-)

      And thanks for spot checking the Exit poll figures for fidelity to the actual voting results.  Always a possibility the exit poll sample group was the 1 in 20 or 30 that isn't representative of the whole.

      •  Let's run your numbers (5+ / 0-)

        20% liberal in both elections? ?I'll buy that.

        Now then, using MN-08 results

        .20*355,000=71,000  liberals voting in 2008
        .20*274,000=54,800 liberals voting in 2010
        Therefore, 16,200 missing liberals.

        Oberstar lost by 4,400.

        If you're losing that many voters from one election to the next, and the percentage of liberals stayed the same, it tells you...some liberals stayed home. Way more moderates stayed home, as evidenced by the lower percentage of moderates showing up, but to say that liberals were just as intense in '10 as '08? I'm not buying it.

        To go nationally...

        .22*123 million = 27.1 million (2008)
        .20*86 million = 17.2 million (2010)

        That's 9.9 million missing liberals. In close elections, you think that might make a difference?

        If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

        by Dr Squid on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:38:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're comparing 2008 and 2010 (15+ / 0-)

          As the diarist noted, there are some problems with that comparison.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:05:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's less of a problem (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul, Cedwyn, pat bunny

            if you see that vote totals for GOP candidates was damn near identical from 2008 to 2010. It tells you that their candidates aren't persuading anyone to switch their vote to the GOP. Some of the commenters here are hilariously asserting that this switching did happen.

            Reliance entirely on percentages leads to overinterpretation of data, and in extreme cases...

            Man: This bar in this column represents seventeen percent of the population. This one represents twenty-eight percent of the population! And this one represents forty-three percent of the population!

            Other Man: Telling figures indeed.

            Meanwhile, what happened to those 9.9 million liberals? They can't just be handwaved away.

            If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

            by Dr Squid on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:22:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mid term elections = older & more conservative (12+ / 0-)

              There's no mystery about what happened. The far right which absolutely hates Obama had near perfect turn out. A classic mid term pattern was amplified in 2010 by right wing  racism and hatred.

              look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

              by FishOutofWater on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:46:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think this is important (6+ / 0-)

                The conservatives hated Obama so much, they all came out to vote.

                On the other hand, the 2008 first time voters did not turn out. I made calls to these first time voters, who, in a nutshell, didn't believe that mid-term elections had any bearing as to how government works.

                One thing we could do is to educate everyone how important all elections are.

                One Party is driven by total abject hate for Barack Obama. He could cure cancer and they would hate him. Hate, for a large part of the conservative electorate, is their motivation.

                We need to get the vote out in 2012 despite anyone's feelings about President Obama. The choice could not be more stark.

                And maybe some do not see that as a motivator for voting, I do. 2012 will determine what our country will look like for a very long time.

                The idealogues on the right do not understand government, our history, or economics. They believe in going backward to a time they believe where the elderly, the poor, the disabled, could be shielded from their view and therefore don't count.

                It is ironic that these same people have no belief in Natural
                Selection, except when it comes to those who need government help.

                I also feel that they want power so badly- total power- that once they get it, they will do all to hold on to it.

                That is frightening to me.

            •  I notice that you left the moderates out.... (4+ / 0-)

              ....of your analysis. Could it be that it's because they show a significant drop off and that undermines your argument?

              While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

              by xynz on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:02:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                If you  bothered to do any reading, I already stipulated that moderates didn't show up to a much greater degree. That doesn't mean that liberals were as intense.

                The only conclusion I can get from your statement is that you're willing to lie if it helps your pleasing narrative.

                If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

                by Dr Squid on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:22:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Let's run those numbers using moderates (7+ / 0-)

          .44*355,000=156,200 moderates voting in 2008
          .38*274,000=104,120 moderates voting in 2010
          Therefore 52,080 missing Moderates

          Nationally...

          .44*123 million = 54.1 million (2008)
          .38*86 million = 32.7 million (2010)

          That's 21.4 million missing moderates.  I'm not sure why you think lower turnout among liberals is more relevant than lower turnout among moderates.

          •  I didn't say that. (0+ / 0-)

            Your pleasing narrative is that depressed turnout among moderates makes depressed turnout among liberals irrelevant.

            That is a lie. And it's a bigger lie that you ascribe it to me.

            If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

            by Dr Squid on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:25:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Again, with dishonest comparisons. (0+ / 0-)

          What agenda is Dr Squid pushing that he insists on dishonest comparisons of 2008 to 2010 instead of the apples to apples comparisons of 2006 to 2010?

          Well, Dr Squid?  Care to explain your dishonesty?

          Yeah, imagine a skinny, beaky kid with an unfortunate last name, still trying to get approval and feel attractive and liked to cancel out all those other years growing up. - FarWestGirl

          by Rick Aucoin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:15:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The following statement (7+ / 0-)

      is complete bullshit.

      The change was in Moderates and Conservatives.  They shifted to the right!

      And the introduction of exclamation points does nothing to increase its truth value.

      The reality: Teabaggers turned out their voters as if it were a presidental year. Democratic organizers sat on their ever-widening asses worse than usual. And if you ask people who were asked to canvas in 2010 they can tell you that their higher-ups didn't make much of an effort. You know why Jim Oberstar lost after serving since Watergate? He lost nearly half of his '08 voters, most of whom stayed home. And they damn sure weren't African-American.

      Don't always rely on percentages. Those raw vote totals actually mean something.

      If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

      by Dr Squid on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:52:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, you have to wonder (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, Just Bob, Sychotic1, Shockwave

      who picked up that meme - "liberals not showing up" - and turned it to their advantage. Whoever it was had plenty of money and a destructive intent in really spreading that lie around.

    •  what is the point? (3+ / 0-)

      To get Democrats elected you need to get Democrats to vote. Kind of irrelevant if all the liberal Democrats show up but you can't get the moderate and conservative Democrats to show up because that doesn't win elections.

      Yes I understand this is debunking a meme about liberals not showing up but the point is liberals, by themselves, aren't really enough to get anyone elected.

    •  "NOT based on facts" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, Shockwave

      when has an easy scapegoat ever proven to be the actual guilty party?
      But it sure is self-affirming to point to the person you always just knew was a scoundrel and say "YOU!! It's all YOUR fault!!".
      We have a lot of work to do, right here in our little playroom and in the country at large. Starting with a better friend/foe meter.

      Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

      by kamarvt on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:35:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can't assume that it's the SAME (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      moderates and conservatives.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:27:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's too bad, this lie won't stay dead (n/t) (7+ / 0-)

      The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

      by gulfgal98 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:35:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It keeps getting revived because to (10+ / 0-)

        do otherwise would be to admit that the President's actions in office discouraged, or at the very least, did not enthuse Democratic Voters. Those who turned out for "Change" and got "Protect the Status Quo and Give Credit to Republican Beliefs" in the following two years.

        "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time"
        - Harry S. Truman


        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:48:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It keeps coming back... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gulfgal98, tardis10

        ... because of posters like Dr Squid, who continue to slide the debate using 2008 vs. 2010 numbers, which "back up" their theory that Liberals Are The Devil or somesuch shit.

        I've been calling out this bullshit since the exit polls came OUT and it just... won't... fucking... die...

        Yeah, imagine a skinny, beaky kid with an unfortunate last name, still trying to get approval and feel attractive and liked to cancel out all those other years growing up. - FarWestGirl

        by Rick Aucoin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:18:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for attacking the lies of (23+ / 0-)

    the Democratic Party's Central Committee.

    It was so obviously a lie.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:32:32 PM PDT

  •  Democrats stayed home (14+ / 0-)

    I don't know if the narrative has ever been limited directly to just "liberals". Bottom line is, although the base did vote, Democrats did not turn out.

    Look at your data.
    From 2006 to 2008 moderated shifted from +22D in 2006 to +13D in 2008 while the whole segment went -9% in the overall distribution.

    Yet the conservative segment grew by +10% losing Democrats in the process to the tune of -7%.

    The base is going to vote. And for Democrats the base will self identify as "liberal". So where did all the other Democrats go? Did the country suddenly turn more Republican? I don't think so.

    Obama can't win if he discourages Democrats like this. Although the base will probably vote, they are the ones that do the GOTV and talk to their moderate and conservative Democratic neighbors. Without them onboard, all you'll get for certain is their vote. That's only 20% of the electorate.

    So keep telling the liberals to shut up and fall in line. It worked so well in 2010.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

    by michael in chicago on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:32:45 PM PDT

    •  Maybe some Democrats stayed home... (29+ / 0-)

      ...but it was NOT liberals!

      It looks like the Democrats that stayed home or SWITCHED were Moderate Democrats.

      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:36:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This seems only logical. (6+ / 0-)

        Many moderates are moderate because they don't give enough of a shit about politics or don't follow politics enough to conclude that they're either liberal or conservative.  The vast masses out there trying to earn a living are for the most part not following politics until there's a presidential election, and then they follow it only because they feel obligated to.
        I don't know many people standing up and declaring proudly "I'm a moderate!  I'm a moderate!"  (but then I don't get around much either).  It's kind of the default position for people who really don't know who they are.  

        A camel can carry a lot of gold, but it still eats alfalfa.

        by oldliberal on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:11:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They see moderate or independent (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1, Only Needs a Beat

          as synonyms for reasonable and prudent.  In my experience, these people are generally poorly informed.  Or have a personality that simply cannot take a strong stand on much of anything.

          The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. Paul Krugman

          by Heart of the Rockies on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:50:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's my point (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Only Needs a Beat, reid fan, skibum59

            They generally are poorly informed. Hence, depress your base and you've got less people out there informing them. You'll get their votes, but you wont get their GOTV efforts.

            People want to vote for a winner and someone that excites people. If your base isn't excited about a candidate, you're going to lose moderates and low information voters.

            Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

            by michael in chicago on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:38:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (13+ / 0-)

      The percentage of self identified "Democrats" in the 2010 electorate did drop.  But not enough to explain the loss.  Dems were 35% of the 2010 electorate and 38% of the 2006 electorate.  That's 3%, I suppose if 3% of the electorate really changed from D to R, that would come pretty close to explaining it (since it would account for a 6% total two-party vote shift), but then you're not talking about bitter progressives who didn't get Single Payer staying home, you're talking about (As shockwave points out below) very moderate Democrats who could actually vote Republican.

      I'm happy with an answer that says "it was lots of groups changing in modest ways that added up to a big loss" - elections are complex, and that would satisfy my thesis that the simplistic case of blaming the Greenwald/Krugman set for staying home was wrong.

      •  My point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pat bunny

        "Staying home" is more than just voting behavior.

        I think that the premise you are making are false or overly simplistic. My point is that depressing your base depresses your turnout - especially with "moderates" and low information voters.

        Your premise is that "liberals" voted. End of story. My premise is that in 2008 liberals more than voted - they got excited and did the hard work - the GOTV work - that informed moderates and low information voters and got them to turn out and vote. Voting is only one component that wins elections. The most informed in one's base always will vote. It's turning out those who aren't informed or excited that win elections. In 2008 Obama did this.

        In 2010 something sure changed - even in comparison with 2006 numbers. By the numbers you presented from exit polls, you see large shifts in all three categories AWAY from Democrats to Republicans. You can't win elections with those types of shifts. Depressing one's base directly leads to these types of shifts. A 6% shift will win most elections handily. Democrats stayed home.

        Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

        by michael in chicago on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:50:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yes yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orestes1963

      michael in chicago from thepook from chicago.  I miss it dearly.  Isn't the problem that in adopting less liberal polices, to suit the political preferences of those less liberal, we have adopted policies that were understood by some (i.e. Krugman) to be insufficient to actually, you know, work.  So those inclined to try the donkey out for ride after the nonsense of the aughts, found they didn't much care for the ride.  The fact that the elephant only likes "to take people for a ride" was conveniently forgotten.

      "...you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." Obi-Wan Kenobi

      by thepook on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:21:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Dem base is only partly the self-described (0+ / 0-)

      liberals.  Going by the lib-mod-con ID compared to national party registration, we're clearly a lib-mod coalition party, whereas cons comprise almost the entire GOP on their own.

      Most of our base, like most of the GOP base, is not engaged and not active, aka low-info voters.   This is a perpetual obstacle, as the GOP base is much more easily motivated by their efficient machinery of fear-generating lies that their base considers info.  Our low-info base stayed home because of an uninformed but understandable perception that the Dems they voted for in 08 failed to reverse the recession, and I'll bet you any amount of money that the liberals are the most informed portion of the Dem base because they--We--are the most active.

      Our task as always is to inform the larger Dem coalition to turn them into informed, more active liberals.

      •  Not only failed to reverse the recession, (0+ / 0-)

        but by the end of the health care tussle, I think most people, even reasonably well informed voters, had no idea whether it was an improvement or not.  And if it was an improvement, how would it affect them.  Meanwhile, there was a lot of publicity implying it was a net negative--death panels, mandates and fines, etc.

        The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. Paul Krugman

        by Heart of the Rockies on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:56:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Enthusiasm Gap (0+ / 0-)

      was all the rage going into the election.  According to the same CNN poll the diarist used, while conservatives increased in 2010, moderates switched from voting 60% Democrat in 2006 (61% in 2008) to 55% Democrat in 2010.  Independents voted 57% Democrat in 2006 (51% Democrat in 2008) to 37% Democrat in 2008.

      I think the biggest factor was, as the diarist pointed out, that liberals had to hold their nose while voting.  Conservatives were ready to burn down the house.  As a result, moderates and independents were more persuaded by conservatives.

      I was hoping to post a witty comment about how only 20% of the electorate has the courage to identify as liberal, but many moderates probably identify as progressive.  However, the change in percentage who identify as Democrat did not change very much.  

      Note: Since liberals maintained their numbers at 20% from 2006 to 2010, it would not have hurt the diarist to thank liberals for voting.

      Michael in chicago, I think you have a really good point.

  •  19 million Obama voters stayed home... (15+ / 0-)

    ...in 2010 according to Roll Call, but not all Obama voters were liberal.  It's hard to know which of the coalition decided to abandon us--the exit polls are conflicted.  We do know that many who voted Democratic in 2008 stayed home.  Like you, I highly doubt it was the base.  It probably was the left-leaning indies that were to blame.

    GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

    by LordMike on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:45:59 PM PDT

  •  who said you could take the strawman out (25+ / 0-)

    & examine it? it was put in a glass case on the top shelf for reason you know.

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:56:23 PM PDT

  •  The number is in those who identified as (6+ / 0-)

    "conservative".

    THAT number spiked.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 10:57:51 PM PDT

  •  Well, *I* voted! (15+ / 0-)

    But I don't remember seeing any of you there! [shifty sideways glance]

  •  there were... (5+ / 0-)

    ....severaly diaries that pointed this out after the election.  I am to tired to look them up but they are there.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:03:09 PM PDT

  •  ABC/Langer - Obama's No-Shows: 29 Million (16+ / 0-)

    ABC's pollster Gary Langer published this assessmentimmediately after the 2010 midterms:

    One way to look at yesterday’s election is to say that about 29 million Obama voters from 2008 simply didn’t show up this time around.

    Here’s how: Current estimate is that 90 million people voted. Exit poll says 45 percent were Obama voters in 2008. That’s 40.5 million voters.

    In 2008, Obama won 69.5 million votes. So about 29 million Obama voters did not show up in 2010.

    Exit poll also says 45 percent of people who voted yesterday were McCain voters in 2008, again 40.5 million. That, vs. his nearly 60 million in 2008, means about 19.5 million McCain voters did not show up.

    So Obama had nearly 10 million more no-shows.

    I believe it was cited by TPM the same day, and therefore received a lot of attention from progressives.

    Langer does not claim that millions of so-called "liberals" or "liberal activists" stayed home, he says Obama voters.

    Whether or not these Obama voters label themselves "liberal" or not is irrelevant. They surely were among the voters who lifted Democrats like Grayson to victory in 2008, but they did not return to do it 2 years later.

    •  thank you... (0+ / 0-)

      this says it all.

    •  hmm (20+ / 0-)

      "Whether or not these Obama voters label themselves "liberal" or not is irrelevant."

      Irrelevant to what?  The election outcome, yes, but to my diary's thesis, this is very relevant.  If 29 million moderate/left-leaning/half-hearted voters stayed home who had voted D in 2008, then we should really be figuring out why.  

      Aside from the irritation of being blamed for the outcome, the bigger problem of wrongly attributing the 2010 outcome to bitter liberals is that it precludes doing the real things that could fix the problems.  Whatever would console 10 million bitter non-existent stayed-at-home liberals to vote in 2012 isn't probably going to be effective on the real 10 million non-liberals who stayed home or voted R.

      For that my obvious theory would be about the shitty economy, rather than liberals holding their breath for a pony from Obama.  

      But other evidence based theories are welcome too.

      •  My guess (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not saying this as a "minority/youth screed" at all, Munguza has hit the nail on the head IMO. The Dems lost so badly because Minorities and youths (Post modern) didn't do their freaking civic duty and get off their asses and vote. Anyone who believes otherwise is
        delusional.

        I come from Mass and if you analyze the vote for Scott
        Brown you its apparent that just about every McCain voter from 2008 came out and voted for Brown, while in the cities especially where minority/youth vote is heavily concentrated the TO was absolutely pitiful. If you don't believe me look for yourself. The TO in Boston, Springfield, Worcester, NB and FR were almost identical on the GOP side and horrific on the Dem side.

        This crap about "liberal" voting is immaterial anyway as liberals have never been enough to win an election, so
        really who gives two craps. Are liberals so sensitive they need to start recs? Its obvious what happened, minorities and youths sat out the mid-terms. These voters are heavily Dem leaning. Hopefully they payed attention to the destruction the GOP has already done
        and will get off their ass in 2012 and 2014 and vote.

      •  Yes, I agree (0+ / 0-)

        I did indeed mean irrelevant to the election outcome.

        And I further agree that it's critical to understand who stayed home and why.

        Langer quite reasonably examined 2010 turnout as a function of how 2008 Obama voters behaved.

        The spinners --many of them apologists for Obama's weak leadership-- seek to misrepresent 2010 turnout as a function of how so-called "liberals" behaved.

        My personal view is that Obama squandered an historic opportunity and mandate to implement fundamental progressive reforms, but quickly lapsed into the same old beltway insider cynicism that he was elected to change.

        He frustrated & lost the trust of many 2008 voters and became a liability to Democrats nationally. No way he can pretend his failures were the fault of "liberals."

    •  Yeah, mid-terms are funny that way. (12+ / 0-)

      Comparing presidential election to mid-terms is ridiculous. Millions of 2008 McCain voters didn't show up in 2010, either.

    •  That ignores the simple history of midterms (7+ / 0-)

      always turning out fewer voters than presidential elections.

      Saying "Obama voters stayed home" is misleading because there is no telling how those voters who "stayed home" normally vote in midterms.

      Maybe never vote in midterms. If so, did they "stay home" or did they "continue life as normal, voting only in presidential elections."

      All in all, that statistical "analysis" is a quite a bit of word-play, but very low on analysis.  It compares apples and oranges and tries to make sense of it.

      As the diarist has done, it is better to compare midterm to midterm.  And after 2012, we can compare Obama running election to Obama running election and see how that comes out.  

      In the meantime, 2008 to 2010 "comparisons" really are not comparable.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:51:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can stop right there: (5+ / 0-)
        That ignores the simple history

        Once you've said that, you've pretty much described most of the arguments put forward by Obama Apologists: they ignore the simple history.

        While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

        by xynz on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:06:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The freaky thing about 2010... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        Was that conservative voters also ignored the simple history of midterm elections and got out the vote like it was a presidential election.

        We have to hope that that was a one-time-thing. What really needs analysis is the GotV methods of 2010 Republicans. Was it just Fox and Obama derangement syndrome (so 2012 will just be a normal presidential election on both sides) or did they actually find a better way to get out the vote (in which case their 2012 turn-out can also be expected to be much better than normal presidential turn-out).

        •  It was the whipping up of racial and class hatred. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Munguza

          The "tea party voters" were overwhelmingly well-to-do, older, and pale white.  And they turned out in droves.

          Ironically, they voted for the very people who may cause them to lose some of their Social Security or Medicare benefits.  Once again, the hate machine inspired people to vote against their own interests and in favor of the furtherance of a radical - nearly fascist - agenda.

          You have to admire the way they manipulate the voters.

          But I, on the other hand, wonder why Obama was strangely passive throughout much of the year?  Again, he is a corporatist and a Wall Street guardian. He may not have seen the tea party politicians as any true threat to the actual agenda he obviously wishes to pursue.

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:31:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Has anyone looked into the possibility (7+ / 0-)

    that many of the 2008 "Obama voters" were new voters, either first time voters or young voters, that simply did not feel the excitement of off year elections?  

    It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

    by ciganka on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:15:34 PM PDT

  •  Then there's the example of California (15+ / 0-)

    wherein the GOP was thrown to the mat. Shut out of every state high office. It's all Dems from insurance dept to guv.

    To assume the premise that liberals sitting out the election cost the Dems the House and some Senate seats, you'd have to also claim that liberals swarmed out of their homes in California (I realize other exceptions like OR are out there, but Calif. was the big sore thumb for the GOPers).

    And it's also true that many of us from the Golden State crowed about how bitchin' we are. But the thing is, it's complicated. Lots of reasons why individual races went this way and that, and historical reasons for mid-term falloffs.

    Remember when GW Bush got re-elected? Yeah, bad memory. Turnout on both sides was record-breaking. Huge. Dubya won Ohio to put him over the top (nod to those saying that was rigged).

    Anyway, California totally rocks. ;-)

    •  California did rock (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Sychotic1, bluicebank

      The D organization was good, and Republicans had done a damn good job in cocking up the state's finances. They had been mostly in charge statewide since the recall.

      But if the D organization was that good in California (and really the rest of the Pacific Coast), it must have been that much worse everywhere else.

      If bin Laden owned an oil company, [the GOP would] be wearing long beards and shooting at US troops in Afghanistan.-Geekesque

      by Dr Squid on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:33:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now you've said something I believe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        m00finsan, bluicebank
        But if the D organization was that good in California (and really the rest of the Pacific Coast), it must have been that much worse everywhere else.

        FL-05 had two Tea Party candidates. One of them became a Democrat just for the election.

        It isn't just GOTV. It's also candidate recruitment and selection.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:45:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dems rocked in CT too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, bluicebank, supercereal

      We won the governor mansion, an open senate seat and just about every other state or congressional race.

      Libs showed up.  We may have voted under the Working Families Party line but we definately showed up and made the difference especially in the governors race.  Malloy would NOT be governor now were it not for the WFP and our votes for Malloy.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:04:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OR was no happy dance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      supercereal

      We held all our House seats and we won the governor's race (and all the other state-wide races), but we lost a lot of seats in the state house and senate (going from a super-majority in both to a dead-lock in the house and a 1 seat majority in the senate).

  •  The problem with breaking this narrative (35+ / 0-)

    is that this sort of narrative "x stayed home, screwing the rest of us" only has political value if it can be used for Hippy Punching.  

    You can statistically disprove it.
    You can rhetorically disprove it.
    You can anecdotally disprove it.

    It doesn't matter, because the people who use the narrative are simply not using it in good faith. It is a blackjack to be used on those who question the status quo assumptions of the inside the beltway Democratic Party.

    X always has to be a Hippy, always, or the narrative is useless.

    If we lose because of how the Democratic Party operates, it means fundamentally changing everything about how the party operates from top to bottom.

    Easier, cheaper, and less painful to blame a group you see as a fundamentally powerless as well as fundamentally trapped constituency.

    You can't "Centrist Punch" or "Independent Punch" because they are, by definition, the most hypothetically politially mobile voters, and your electoral model is based on the idea of wooing them at all costs.

    You only punch a constituency you believe has to take it. We have built an entire model of politics around the idea that it's good to malign the most loyal and ardent of your voter pool because they have no place to go, and your tearing them down lets you sell yourself to people who you assume wouldn't want to vote for you otherwise.  

    It's no accident that the most ardent and passionately Democratic voters are cast as the most disloyal and treacherous. You can't have anyone questioning their place in the narrative, or it falls apart.

    It's a political model of taking people for granted based on the idea that they have no place else to go, and, constantly reminding them that they are the most vile creatures in the world if they question this narrative, or if the Democratic Party loses.

    Every other Democratic constituency has a 'walk away' card when it comes to blame for a very important reason, as long as everything that goes wrong with the Democratic Party can be blamed on the least powerful and least politically mobile voting constituency inside the party, the party doesn't have to change the way it does business.

    The Democratic Party has had a dominant narrative for my entire adult life, we lose because Democratic policy is unpopular, and we must distance ourselves from what made our party great, because otherwise we can't win. In accordance with this view, we must chase the mythical Independent voter, this wild card of a creature who is truly independent and has no natural political inclination, and is always a political free agent ready to be wooed away from the other guy.

    There is no massive middle of unbiased and politically unaligned voters. there are "Independents" who are straight ticket Democratic voters, and there are "Independents" who are more Movement Conservative than any Heritage Foundationite.

     

    •  Excellent analysis, however sad. (12+ / 0-)

      I worked harder for Obama than for any other candidate ever.  I may not have liked much of what he did in 2009 and 2010 leading up to the midterm but in 2009 I got a first hand look at Teabaggers in townhall meetings so I did not sit out the 2010 midterm.  Liberals, progressives, left wing Dems, whatever you want to call us, knew what was coming and we were there in 2010 even if we were no longer in love with Obama.

      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:30:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good comment. (11+ / 0-)

      Probably worth a diary in itself, if you haven't already - there's definitely structural reasons for hippie punching, though one would have to explain the lack of red-neck punching on the right, since they too have nowhere else to go.

      That said, I know some who use this line use it in ill faith, but others just repeat it thinking it is true.  Perhaps they'll stop and there will be somewhat less hippie punching if they know it's false.

    •  If NY-26, Wisconsin, and the Paul Ryan fallout (17+ / 0-)

      can't kill the patently bullshit narratives that drive the Democratic Party, I don't know what will.

      Right now, the most dominant narrative with American voters about Democrats is that we not only negotiate with hostage takers on a hostage by hostage basis, but we will do it after seeing clearly how the Right has set the table for the next hostage crisis months in advance.

      I have never seen an organization that will prioritize and listen to those who openly flaunt that they don't really care if a Democrat ever wins another election again at the expense of those who most desperately want it to succeed.

      Imagine the Democratic campaign in NY-26, the campaign in Wisconsin to counter the union busting of Scott Walker if the beltway Democrats and the concern trolling of the Village chose/shaped those fights.

      We would have a newly minted freakshow GOP rep, and Scott Walker would be well on his way to being cast as a white knight on a horse candidate for the Presidency by the media and the GOP because he would have walked all over a Third Way Al From-esque pushback.  

      There has been nothing that is telling the Democratic Party that refusing to make an ideological argument against Movement Conservatism, and for itself, rejecting running away from what justifies it even existing in the first place is a tactically superior choice.

      •  Maybe the FAA situation . . . (6+ / 0-)

        will serve as an instructive lesson for the Democratic Party.

        Congressman John Mica, the Florida Republican blamed for single-handedly shutting down the Federal Aviation Administration, sounded like a beaten man when he called me Thursday evening.

        The usually biting chairman of the House transportation committee spoke with remorse about the standoff, which put 74,000 people on furlough or out of work, delayed airport-safety projects and cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

        “I’ve had a brutal week, getting beat up by everybody,” Mica told me, minutes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a deal that would end the shutdown and avoid the cuts to regional air service that Mica wanted.

        “I didn’t know it would cause this much consternation,” Mica said. “Now I’ve just got to get the broom and the shovel and clean up the mess.” Switching metaphors, he said he wanted “to unclog the toilet, but it backed up. So I don’t know what to do, what to say.”

        I don't think this was a good option with the debt-ceiling fight.  However, if the White House and the Democratic Congress had taken a stronger line in the 2011 budget negotiations and forced the GOP to shut-down the federal government, it might have had the effect of tempering the GOP's use of extreme tactics by demonstrating that hostage taking would come at a price.

      •  And then there is real life (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution

        The problem is you can't define democratic voters based on what you read from a democratic blog such as this.  Reality would tell you that more than 90% of the people who voted for Obama don't even know who Scott Walker is.  People, even the mast majority of self declared democrats will vote for the guy that tells them he will make their life better.  They pay attention to very little at least politics wise.  WI recalls might be fun to watch but they will have zero impact on Obama's (what i have become to be long shot) of reelection.  

        •  Scott Walker may be a stretch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DefendOurConstitution

          But I'm fairly certain a large percentage don't know who Sal Russo is.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:09:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Misreading (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob

          LeftHandedMan isn't claiming that what happens in Wisconsin will determine how people vote in 2012. He is claiming that what happens in Wisconsin provides an example of the effectiveness of partisanship. The Wisconsin protests and recalls are being fought by hitting Republican policies hard, not by trying to negotiate a grand bargain.

          And, actually, Wisconsin has pretty clearly gone from being a state that looked like it could be in play in 2012 (immediately after the 2010 election) to a state that is emphatically not in play in 2012. Wisconsin in play would have pretty much meant that Obama stood no chance, so what happens in Wisconsin does directly matter nationally, even though that wasn't what LHM was talking about.

      •  Time for populism, but can the Dems pull it off (0+ / 0-)

        without immediately getting buried by Teapublicans and the corporate media as "pushing class warfare?"  They should be able to, but I wouldn't count on it as all those corporate "free speech" dollars buy a lot of PR.

        If Dems can capture women in 2012, they could really take back the House. I don't know exactly to how many women the "war on Women - TM" is as obvious as it is to us all here at DKos, but if the message were really out there then women should clearly be voting against Teapublicans (even if not so much for Dems).  It is amazing that women voted for Teapublicans in 2010 by a majority/plurality of 1-2% (depending on which exit polls you look at, but in the CNN poll quoted the white women voted for Teapublicans 58-39% - that is unconscionable!); it was always clear that Teapublicans were going to attack women's rights in every possible way, but the message never got to the majority of women.  Women vote more than men (roughly 52-48%) so a few percentage points in women's votes could have a big impact, but white women are the key.  

        Men, well men are a lost cause (55-41% overall and 62-34% among white men going for Teapublicans).

        Overall, the poll also indicates that the "Campaign of Fear - TM" used by Teapublicans against Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Foreigners, and any "outsiders" is a resounding success at scaring a great majority of white people against Dems, but specifically Obama.  The racial trends in the last 3 elections are certainly worrisome - with whites voting for Teapublicans by margins of 51-47% in 2006, 53-45% in 2008, and 60-37% in 2010 (those are gaps of 4%, 8% and 23%, respectively!).

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:17:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comment . . . (7+ / 0-)

      and I agree that you should make it a diary.

      It left out one small thing, though, that I cannot let pass without comment.  I'm gay, and if you were reading any of the shit posted here right after the 2010 elections, you'll recall a bunch of diaries and comments about how gay support for Democrats supposed dropped off in 2010.  Naturally, there were loads of people here ready to blame LGBT voters for the failures of the Democratic Party.  

      Of course, the exit polls showed that about 69% of LGBT voters supported Democrats.  Not sure what the numbers were among straight voters, but something tells me they were lower.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, Lefty! :-) eom (3+ / 0-)

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:53:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for killing this zombie lie. (12+ / 0-)

    I've hotlisted your diary.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:25:54 PM PDT

  •  Also look at $$$$$$$$$ . . . (18+ / 0-)

    What were the four top non-party PACs in expenditures from 2009-2010?

    1. ActBlue $60 million
    2. SEIU $53+ million
    3. EMILY's List $33 million
    4. Moveon.org $29 million

    Keep in mind these are not just the top four DEMOCRATIC PACs (and liberal ones at that), but the top four PACs in terms of expenditures.  A fair amount of this was connected to things like health care PR, but a nice chunk of this money also went to candidates and the 2010 cycle.

    ActBlue has become a major player -- bigger in spending than the NRA or the National Realtors Association (I was surprised to see this).  Unfortunately, it doesn't get the same level of respect or attention from the Democratic Party, perhaps because it isn't focused around a single issue.  But it is a major source of financial support for the party.

    Btw, great empirical diary.

  •  I think I've only missed voting twice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan

    since I was eligible to vote (small local elections where I didn't have any preference). I voted in 2010 for Harry Fucking Reid (and that really sucked). I'll vote in 2012 too, but I'll not be voting for Obama.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 11:55:08 PM PDT

  •  It was a throw the bums out, dissatisfied as hell (5+ / 0-)

    "wave" election.

    To one degree or another - we're going to have another one in 2012.

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:25:47 AM PDT

    •  Depending on the economy, yes. And there are damn (5+ / 0-)

      few signs that the economy will improve enough by election time 2012.  Obama will be trying to break a new election record then: First president re-elected to office with a soaring unemployment rate and lousy economy and falling house prices and declining per capita net worth since FDR.

      Good luck with that one.

      Nothing else really matters if the economy totally sucks. McCain was up against that in 2008. If Bush hadn't royally fucked up the economy and mishandled the crash, McCain wouldn't have been so damaged.

      Obama only won by a gap of 7% -- not much against cranky old man and failure of a blabber-mouth governor + dysfunctional family.

      Obama may have lost if Bush had appeared anywhere near competent in addressing the economic problems. But instead, luckily for Obama, Bush had that 'deer-in-the-headlights' look throughout.

      Now, because of retaining much of the Bush failed economic team and adhering to simply untrue economic theory, Obama faces the same problem: Lousy economy and he's done too little about it. Ooops....  

      Voters do not - ever - forgive pain in their wallets.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:00:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depressing analysis that I can't argue with. eom (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

        by Ian S on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:43:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When both Parties are have to demand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        ..that people endure Shock Doctrine austerity tactics for the good of the fat cats to "protect our system of government" the adage "may you live in interesting times" becomes all too real.

        Predicting eventualities in political outcomes has become too much for the punditry both on and off-line. We need a better super-collider and brighter political scientists with new theories.

        An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

        by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:53:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Moderate dems stayed home (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this! This is zombie lie that drives me nuts (maybe because I'm a far leftie who worked my tail off doing GotV for Governor Kitzhaber in Oregon last Fall).

    There was a 15% drop off in moderate Dem voters (although they were probably mostly Dem voting independents rather than self-identified moderate Dems, given the huge shift of independents towards Republicans) comparing percent of eligible voters comparing 2010 to 2006. There was no increase in moderate Republican voters, so I don't think it is likely that moderate Dems actually shifted to voting for Republicans (although it is possible).  

    The one argument for a shift of moderate Dem voters to voting Republican is that 6% of voters voted R and claimed to have voted for Obama, versus 4% of 2008 voters who claimed to vote for Obama and voted for Rs in the House races in 2008. Moderate Dem voters fell off by 7% as a fraction of the voters, so that suggests that possibly less than a third of that loss might have been due to party switching rather than non-voting (alternatively, Obama voting R-house voting folks from 2008 may have had the same very high turn-out as conservative R voters).

    Conservative Dems actually voted in the same proportion of the total population as in 2006 (20% (Dems) of 32% (conservatives) of 36% (voters in '06) is 2.3% of the population, while 13% of 42% of 41% is 2.2% of the population) so there is no sign that conservative Dems switched sides.

    As others have mentioned, there was a huge jump in conservative Republicans voting (for an off year), with conservative Republican voters in 2010 dropping to only 93% of their 2008 turn-out versus 58% of 2008 totals in 2006), and that is pretty clearly what swung the election. (The only flawed reasoning in the original post is that the 2008 turn out of liberal Dem voters was indeed much higher in 2008 than in 2010, so there were indeed plenty of 2008 liberal Dems who didn't vote in 2010. The Obama campaign machine did indeed fail to turn out voters in a non-presidential year like they were able to in a presidential year, while the Republican machine basically did turn out conservative Republicans like it was a presidential year.)

    There was also a 20% drop off in voting by union households (from 64% of 23% of 36% (5.2%) to 61% of 17% of 41% (4.2%) between 2006 and 2010, which does suggest a possible decline in Democratic voter mobilization efforts (or a substantial decrease in union households). There was also a substantial increase in voting by wealthy Republican voters (income greater than $100k went up as a percentage of voters, and turned more Republican) relative to 2006, but there was also an increase in voting by non-rich R's relative to 2006.

    •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      There are no moderate democrats, they are better referred to as independents and they voted overwhelmingly GOP last election.  You can't define the entire Dem party based on the folks you meet on this site, it's unrealistic.

      •  as a point of information (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scientician, cseaton

        liberals are not now and have not been a majority of Democrats in recent history

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:39:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bizarre (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT

        That is just a bizarre claim. DemfromCT refutes this entirely. I'm not defining the entire Dem party based on people I meet on this site. If anything, you (by claiming there are no moderate Dems) are doing that.

        Additionally, independents are not a coherent entity. Some independents are left-wingers who reliably vote Democratic. Some independents are conservatives who reliably vote Republican. Some independents are moderates who reliably vote Republican and some independents are moderates who reliably vote Democratic. There is even a small number of independents who are not reliable in which party they vote for. Talking about the behavior of Independents is not particularly useful.

        Furthermore, I wasn't talking about declared Democrats, I was talking about Dem-voting moderates. Most Dem-voting moderates are going to be reliable partisan voters (most voters are reliable partisan voters no matter what they claim as their party or ideological affiliation) whether they call themselves Dems or Independents (or Republicans). As I cited, the number of Dem voting moderates dropped relative to 2006, while the number of R voting moderates stayed stable relative to 2006. I find it very hard to read that as moderate voters switching parties (although it could be that all moderates saw depressed turnout and some switched from D to R, that might make sense as behavior for the truly uninformed and non-partisan moderate independents, although you'd mostly expect that group to stay home in a dispiriting election). Even if we take the second interpretation, that would represent roughly 1.5% of the electorate, enough to have shifted close elections, but not much compared to the 12 point increase in conservative R voters as a share of the electorate.

  •  Didn't we lose the 2010 midterms? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know what you're seeing in all of this to be pleased by.  

    As for "sulking," voting turnout by liberals isn't a good measure of that because self-identified liberals and conservatives just VOTE.  It's the independents and moderates that sit it out when there's a good one on TV, not the true believers of either base.  What you need to examine and compare are things like private fundraising, phone-banking, and GOTV operations that depend on the base.

    Hell, I sulk more than anybody, and I voted in 2010.  (Although I didn't vote for Feinstein because she's a disgrace.)

    •  This diary was written specifically (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, milkbone, esquimaux, damfino

      to respond to the frequent assertion that we lost 2010 because the liberals/progressives stayed home and so we deserve whatever bullshit is currently on order.

      This zombie lie is repeated so often that  it makes me crazy.

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:45:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's more to it than that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Malachite

    The claim isn't just that liberals stayed home, it's that they stayed on their couch in the weeks leading up to the election for gotv, and the months before that passed on organizing, fundraising and what have you. Facing unprecedented corporate cash and off year disinterest the last thing we needed was lackluster efforts from the base.

  •  I'd take your analysis a bit further. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, Ian S

    I argued this months ago, but the 2006 election was an odd year because it involved depressed Republican turnout  (or identification as 'moderate') due to widespread dissatisfaction with the then-CIC.  Democrats have a hard time in off-year elections, but Republicans were so depressed about Bush, and Democrats so fired up, that we had an unusual turnout.  By contrast 2010 was, sad to say, more of a normal pattern for off-year elections.

    So I'd agree with you that it wasn't "liberals staying home" that cost us 2010, except in the sense that liberals always stay home in off-year elections.  But we've known that for some time.

    For what it's worth, it should also put to rest the other charge, that Democrats suffered because they weren't fiery or liberal enough, or something like that.  There's nothing in the exit polls that supports that, either, given the long-term numbers.

    Most likely: the usual voters did come out, and the Republicans were likely especially fired up with anti-Obama sentiment.  This weird tendency we have to ascribe the losses to each other is based on something other than the numbers, frankly.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:51:33 AM PDT

    •  "Everyone" stays home in midterm elections. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, Just Bob

      Every category has lower turnout.

      Maybe red-headed, green freckled evangelicals always turn out in the same numbers due to the convenience of the church buses taking them to the polls in huge crowds, but generally speaking, all voter categories have lower turn-outs.

      The Tea Party raised fascist right wing extremist turnout though. Dang them for that "hate motivates" stuff....

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:03:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, but the numbers are consistent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sewaneepat, AgavePup

        that Democrats suffer a bigger gap in voting during off-year elections.   Part of it has to do with basic GOTV stuff, like the fact that churches provide busing to polling places, etc.  We don't have that kind of organization, but we rely on the fact that we have bigger registration numbers, and in the case of presidential elections, greater voter enthusiasm in general.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:33:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  liberals always stay home in off-year elections? (0+ / 0-)

      I'd like to see some supporting evidence for that statement. It doesn't jive with the evidence presented here.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:22:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know about "liberals" (0+ / 0-)

        but large portions of the Democratic base - African-Americans and young people - traditionally have low turnout in off-year elections.

        Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

        by milkbone on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:13:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the confusion (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob

        Has to do with comparing the absolute numbers of votes versus their percentage of the electorate.

        Me, I think to have any fidelity to statistics, if you want to claim "liberals stay home" in off year elections, you need to show not just that less absolute numbers of liberals vote in such elections, but that they do so over and above the drop off in voting numbers for other groups.  

        That said, 22% of the 2008 electorate was liberal, and 20% of the 2006 and 2010 electorates were liberal.  That is a drop, it may not be statistically significant given the size of the exit poll (not sure), but seeing that the 2006 and 2010 numbers are similar, it's clear that any liberal drop off isn't explained by hurt feelings over obama, and is just the norm of politics.  

      •  A little bit of sloppiness on my part: I (0+ / 0-)

        initially wrote "Democrats stay home", which is correct, then responded to the diarist's "liberals don't stay home" with the flipside, so I apologize.  

        But Democrats do say stay home during elections, at least in larger numbers than Republicans.  2006 was a great exception: I posted a chart about it here.  Remember that more Democrats are registered than Republicans, so even in years like '98 when turnout was roughly equal, that meant more Democrats were staying home.  2006 was a glaring exception.

        So apply that to this diary, and you'll see why 2006 isn't a very good baseline for this discussion, either.  There's no doubt it was a highly anomalous year due to depressed Republican turnout and enthusiasm - and 2010 is more likely a return to normal than any kind of referendum on anything (except maybe Republican racism, which is no big surprise.)

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:20:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  hmm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob
      For what it's worth, it should also put to rest the other charge, that Democrats suffered because they weren't fiery or liberal enough, or something like that.  There's nothing in the exit polls that supports that, either, given the long-term numbers.

      The idea that dems lost for not being liberal enough is not about whether people like me think voters are secretly highly liberal and would be pleased at the appearance of liberal policies, it's that we're liberals who know liberal ideas actually work to solve societal problems and improve people's lives.  The bigger stimulus that liberals wanted would have made the economy actually improve noticably rather than just survive the disaster but stay stuck in neutral.  

      A HAMP program that actually helped distressed homeowners would keep people in their homes, and that lack of millions more foreclosed homeowners would be good for the economy because desperate homeless people spend less.

      We also do want someone to stick up for liberal values to the public, because the conservative public we see today didn't appear magically, conservatives sold this vision.  Liberalism can be sold to voters too, but that's a longer term thing that I don't claim would have made a big difference for 2010, even if top Democratic leaders talked up liberalism more.  But doing that for 10 years could make a big long term difference.  And we could do with more criticism of conservatism too.  

      Better policy was the only thing that could have saved 2010, and that better policy is all liberal.  It's too easy to take the view that politics is just about selling coke over pepsi and there's no real empirical difference in which the voters buy.  If pepsi is laced with arsenic and coke is full of multivitamins, then you have something more like conservativism and liberalism as products to sell, and it matters a great deal which the voters buy.

      •  I don't see any support in the numbers for (0+ / 0-)

        that hypothesis - granted you may be correct, but it's not the statistics that are leading you there.   I think there's better evidence that nothing of the sort happened, based on what I wroteabove.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:21:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  in the game of telephone (0+ / 0-)

    it may filter down to "liberals stayed home," but the genuine original point is not that liberals stayed home, but that liberal leaning independents stayed home.

    In a battle of zealots liberals lose. There are more devoted conservatives - who are registered to vote anyway - and Democrats win by motivating those in "the middle" to vote, because they are liberal, even if they don't see themselves that way.

    The point of any critique of liberal whine fests is that they convince the average, non-ideological yet most likely liberal "independent" voter that "both parties suck, there's nothing you can do about anything, so why bother to find a polling place etc, when I've got a headache and laundry etc..."

    Liberals can't win without those independents who vote liberal, and your data shows they stayed home.

    •  Where in your world, do the "average (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Just Bob, Scientician

      ..., non-ideological yet most likely liberal independent voters" get exposed to 'liberal whine fests' that convince them not to vote?

      While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

      by xynz on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:19:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hold the press, the numbers don't mean anything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, AgavePup

    The numbers on this post are meaningless.  You claim that the problem in 2010 was NOT liberals staying home, and you back that up with percentages, saying that in 2006 there was the same percentage of liberals in the voting population, but they actually voted more liberal than before, thus making a lie of the assertion that liberals stayed home.

    The problem is, the numbers don't even correlate to that.  You did not state the numbers of ACTUAL VOTERS, just a percentage.  So, was that 20% of 1000, or 20% of 5000?

    So, how many INDEPENDENT LIBERALS stayed home?  you have no idea, and you argument is flawed.  I am not saying you are wrong, only that your analysis is flawed.

     (btw, I think you are wrong)

    •  Really? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xynz, tardis10, Just Bob, Sychotic1

      A bit harsh don't ya think?  He posted links to the poll numbers he used.  Click them and you might get into the poll internals and answer all your own questions.

      •  I do not mean to be harsh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sewaneepat

        just making sure the point is made.  The polls give number of respondents, not voter turnout.  This is comparing the shade of the apple to the number in a crate of apples.

        It actually makes sense, only the die-hard's voted, that is why the numbers skew left instead of right (in terms of percentage voting on party lines).

        •  Another Obama apologist who ignores the facts. (0+ / 0-)

          These numbers are from CNN's exit polling of VOTERS.

          While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

          by xynz on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:20:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Excuse me, who is ignoring facts? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AgavePup

            Yes voters, but the number of people who, in total, voted that day is not included.  Therefor the statistics are relatively meaningless as far as the argument being forwarded.  If you could read statistics, you might have realized that.

            I am amazed at how many people cannot read statistics.  

            Look at this diary.  People who agree with the statement do not question the data, just accept it.  But if you really look, these statistics ARE MEANINGLESS with regards to the original statement.

            And, btw, I do support Obama, even though I do not always agree with him, he is a damn sight better that ANY teabagger, or any republican.

            Also, for those who really want to believe that it wasn't the liberals fault that 2010 was such a Republican wave, remember this...

            One of the worst traits of the Republicans is that they take responsibility for nothing....  think about that.

    •  You think it is wrong or want it to be? (0+ / 0-)

      Imao the folks who stayed home were the people who voted for the first time in 2008 and reverted to type in 2010.

      If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

      by shigeru on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:41:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  response (0+ / 0-)

      My point is that in 2006 liberals had every reason to be enthusiastic, to show up and kick some GOP ass.  In that election, liberals were 20% of a 36% national turn out and voted 87% Democratic.

      In 2010, with liberals supposedly bitter at Obama for not passing single payer or whatever, liberals managed to stay at 20% of a 41% national turnout and voted 90% Democratic.

      That means in absolute terms more liberals actually showed up in 2010 than did in 2006, and they were more Democratic than before.

      And the exit poll section I am using is not specific to Democrats - it is broken by ideology of all exit poll respondents, which will include independent liberals and even Republican liberals (there might be 2 or 3 left).

      So yes, apples to apples, one mid term to the next, I can claim the data supports me that absolutely more liberals showed up in 2010 than 2006, and more of them voted D than 2006.

      You can "think I am wrong" all you want, but if you have no data, I don't have to take your opinion very seriously, and I don't see why anyone else should either.

      •  Did you even read my reply? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AgavePup

        You accusation doesn't make any sense.  Just because the percentage of self professed liberals actually voted liberal does not mean more liberal voted in 2010 than in 2006, it just means a higher percentage of them voted liberal.  In fact, that backs up my position that the weaker liberals stayed home, thus the percentage of strong liberals was higher, thus showing a higher percentage.

        This is not an opinion, it is a critique of the interpretation of your data.

  •  Thanks for this. It does take away the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milkbone

    bots' claims pretty well. What really happened was that the folks under 35, most of whom never voted until 2008, stayed home in 2010. Who knows why. Maybe reverting to historic disinterest.

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:38:28 AM PDT

  •  Good diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scientician

    I added DK Elections to your tags because this is the kind of dispassionate, fact-based analysis of elections that's relevant to that sub-site. I hope you don't mind.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 01:46:46 AM PDT

  •  White voters and Older Voters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, Scientician

    is the big change between 2006 and 2010.

    Whites went from 51% republican to 60% republican.

    65+ went from 49% republican to 59% republican.

  •  Silly, it was subsets of liberals. Didn't (0+ / 0-)

    you know that it was the gays that sat out the election? I remember that being the topic du jour for about a week after the election. Many comments to the effect "you'll get what you deserve".

    "I will be happy to see the Republicans test whether or not I'm itching for a fight on a whole range of issues," President Obama - Liar

    by jec on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:10:25 AM PDT

  •  The people who stayed home (4+ / 0-)

    were the ones who usually don't bother to vote for any election, but who turned out in '08 for Obama because his message resonated. When they found out he was long on talk and short on action.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:11:21 AM PDT

  •  I've been posting these stats for awhile. (5+ / 0-)

    Nice to see them on the Rec list, thanks.

    While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

    by xynz on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:49:03 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, actually very few people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat

    are claiming liberals stayed home.

    What ACTUALLY happened is that liberal's attitude convinced a lot of others to either stay home (Democrats) or to vote Republican (independents).

    And they did so by their constant harping on the "Democrats suck and their ideas are bad" meme that was also being pushed nonstop by the MSM.

    Now sure, they said it for different reasons then the Republicans and the MSM, but when both sides say the same thing, folks stay home.

    And when the left spreads the zombie lie that "There's no difference between the parties" as part of the whole "Democrats suck and their ideas are bad" meme; people figure "Well, might as well vote Republican then".

    Either a bunch of moderates became conservatives, or moderates stayed home, or a lot of conservatives who usually stay home came out.  Or some combination of those things.  Yet any of those explanations would be tremendously at odds with the "blame the progressives" explanation.

    So what am I missing, or am I missing nothing, and this is just becomming that rarest of creatures, a "zombie lie" of the left?

    What you're missing is that you're trying to answer the question of WHY folks switched votes/didn't turn out with facts about WHO didn't turn out.

    And that's just never gonna give you the correct answer.

    Here's a hint: a bunch of moderates became conservatives because they bought into the zombie lie spread by the MSM AND the left that there was no difference between the parties.  Another huge chunk stayed home because the message they were getting from both sides was "Democrats suck and their ideas are bad".  And yes, a ton of conservatives who usually stayed home turned out.

    There's your WHY. And unless the left focuses on that WHY and quits trying to derail it by discussing WHO, we're in serious trouble in 2012.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:54:48 AM PDT

    •  I don't find any of that credible. (8+ / 0-)

      Even assuming Democrats WERE running around telling independents that Democrats suck and thus convinced them to vote Republican - which I would love to see some evidence for - it's well known that we spoke out loudly against voting for the Tea Party and allied candidates.  Why would people listen to us on one but not the other?  And outside of my difficulty understanding that argument, I've never seen or heard of any data that supports it, much less evidence that anything like that ever happened.  

      In short: the scenario you've described did not happen.

    •  Got any studies or statistical analysis proving it (10+ / 0-)
      What ACTUALLY happened is that liberal's attitude convinced a lot of others to either stay home (Democrats) or to vote Republican (independents).

      And they did so by their constant harping on the "Democrats suck and their ideas are bad" meme that was also being pushed nonstop by the MSM.

      I'd like to see some sort of proof that this was a direct cause of the problem. You know...a study by a pollster or news organization. Its obvious you believe it. It had to come from somewhere.

      And when the left spreads the zombie lie that "There's no difference between the parties" as part of the whole "Democrats suck and their ideas are bad" meme; people figure "Well, might as well vote Republican then".

      Who knew we had such power?! Please...show me some proof of this power and I'm pretty sure I can manipulate it to Obama's advantage...and my own!

      Here's a hint: a bunch of moderates became conservatives because they bought into the zombie lie spread by the MSM AND the left that there was no difference between the parties.  Another huge chunk stayed home because the message they were getting from both sides was "Democrats suck and their ideas are bad".  And yes, a ton of conservatives who usually stayed home turned out.

      There's your WHY. And unless the left focuses on that WHY and quits trying to derail it by discussing WHO, we're in serious trouble in 2012.

      Good stuff. This diarist providing statistical links to back up his assertions. You got any?

      •  Ed at Gin & Tacos Blog (0+ / 0-)

        Enthusiasm looks at this:

        Wow. I checked these number about five times because they are so lopsided. Of people who reported voting in 2010, more than half described Obama as "very liberal" whereas barely 25% of non-voters described him that way. The question is subjective, of course, but that's the point. The people who voted in 2010 appear to be disproportionately drawn from the ranks of people who think Barack "The Eisenhower Republican" Obama is the commie-libro-marxisocialist child of Fidel Castro and ACORN.

        Read the whole thing for some more insight.  Enthusiasm does matter.

        •  Of course it does. (5+ / 0-)

          That piece proves it. In fact, I believe it was Daily Kos that was first out of the gate on the "enthusiasm gap" in late 2009.

          But from the results, all can see it wasn't liberals who didn't show up to vote. Liberals voted. It was everyone else in the Democratic coalition that didn't show up.

          But Whimsical is saying that liberals persuaded everyone else not to vote by saying mean things about Obama. I'd just like to see some statistical evidence behind that assertion.

          Because if it is true, then I have way more persuasive power than I ever thought!

          •  I've got plenty of stories (0+ / 0-)

            to back that up.

            Until you show me some statistical analyasis that says that something else was the cause, I'm standing by my statement and my stories.

            I'm fairly sure you don't have any, cause once again you're trying to respond to a question about WHY folks didn't show up with answers about WHO didn't show up.

            Not gonna cut it.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 11:27:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, that must be it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, cheerio2, Scientician

      damn those leftists!

      damn them to hell!!

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:54:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought we were inconsequential (0+ / 0-)

      too small in number to matter.  I guess cognitive dissonance isn't a factor when talking directly out of your ass.

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:49:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, AgavePup

    we don't vote "liberal", "moderate", or conservative" at the polls.  We vote "democratic party" or "republican party."  

    So...what does 538 have to say about that?  

    For example, exit polls suggested that an equal number people identifying as Democrats and Republicans turned out on Tuesday night. By contrast, Democrats led by 7 points on this measure in 2008.

    Republicans: if they only had a heart.

    by leu2500 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:13:50 AM PDT

    •  that's what people have noted (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leu2500, Just Bob, Scientician, AgavePup

      but for some reason Democrat and liberal or activist get all mixed up.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:34:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't compare pres. year and off-year elections. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, Scientician, Alumbrados

      It's apples and oranges.  There electorate in presidential year elections is always more liberal, more Democratic, younger, and less white than in midterms.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:50:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You need to (0+ / 0-)

        If the key to winning elections is getting TO then you better damn make sure they TO. Your from Boston
        so you will get my analogy, if the Bruins win more often when Tim Thomas plays net, well you need TT to play in net. If Dems win when minorities and youth TO regardless of whether its a Presidential year or not, then wake up Dems and get them the hell out to the polls.

        Questionm when Obama no longer appears on the ballot, does the minority vote go down in big ways?

  •  Here Are The Facts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AgavePup

    according to Andrew Hacker in the latest NYRB:

    Democratic vote in 2008: 69.5 million
    Democratic vote in 2010: 39 million

    That is 30 million dickheads who didn't show up.  The Republicans were down only 15 million.

    Because of apathy or being upset that Obama had not included a private plan in ACA, or that he had decided to win in Afghanistan, or..., we handed the House to the Republicans.

    •  You know how you can get them out in 2012? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, Scientician

      Call them dickheads.

      Go get'em!

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:53:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't call them that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AgavePup

        However, you sure as hell can call them unreliable.

        There isn't very many things in life that are worse on a
        personal basis than being unreliable. Thats an issue for Dems and every person that despises what the GOP stands for. Since when is it a bad thing to call it as it is,
        the minority/youth vote showed itself to be unrelaible once again. They have the most to lose and show the least dedication, thats some COMBINATION OF FAIL
        for Dems.

  •  FrontPagers at DK (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob

    must be sleeping still.
    not a single one has answered your question

    Nice work Scientistian

  •  2010 was simply (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil

    white folks coming out to vote against "obama". The Tea Party simply ginned up anti-black sentiments. They lost in 2008, then made up for it in 2010. So 2012 will be very interesting.

    "This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding" - President Barack Obama

    by AAMOM on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:25:17 AM PDT

  •  If anything, this shows that liberals liked Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scientician, 3goldens

    and conservatives and moderates disliked him.

    To wit:
    Liberals voting D in 2010 90%
                                2006 87%

    and

    Conservatives voting D in 2010 20%
                                        2006  13%

    Moderates voting D in 2010  55%
                                   2006   60%

    Of course, correlation does not necessarily mean cause; but the relationship seems like having Obama in the WH was associated with more liberals voting D and fewer other people doing so.

    Founder Math and Statistics Geeks . Statistics for progressives

    by plf515 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:57:09 AM PDT

  •  I never heard anybody make this claim. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Will in Chicago, AgavePup

    Perhaps they did, and I just didn't hear.  The numbers show what I supected, that moderates stayed home, especially those inclined to vote D..

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:02:53 AM PDT

  •  I voted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    and I think I am way to the left of many of this site.  I am a registered Democrat but a border line one at best.

    The problem was voter mis-direction.  People bought into the right wing meme that they would create jobs.  HaHaHa

    So where are the jobs Boehner?  Where is the AAA rating Boehner?  

    When will people get that nothing the GOP promises ever is true and in fact they make things worse.  The worse I can say about Dems is that they don't get stuff done but at least they don't damage things on purpose.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:07:20 AM PDT

  •  You asked "what are you missing?" (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not challenging your assertions. I'm only offering some addition data/questions which might help you expand on what you've said, or help prove/disprove.

    Take a look at this excellent data produced by the US Elections Project at GMU. They have turnout data for 2006, 2008 and 2010, even by state.

    If I had the time, I would look beyond percent turnout, as you did, and look at total voter turnout. Was turnout lower in 2010 than in 2006? Naturally, we all know it was lower in 2010 than in 2008. But, even if voter turnout was the same in 2010 as 2006, which it appears it was from the GMU data, one could argue that Liberals were duty bound to turn out in higher numbers in 2010 to protect their dominant position. They did not.

    Also, I only did a cursory view by state. But notionally, I think its possible, turnout in some states was notably higher in 2010 than in 2006. For example, Florida. Is it possible that in red states, liberals did not turn out in 2010 as they did in 2006?  If that is true, that may help explain why we were routed in red state House seats which we held.

    Here's the data:

    http://elections.gmu.edu/...

    Again, I'm only offering this for you consideration. I'm not necessarily challenging your assertions. I simply don't have time this morning to do the analysis myself.

    •  Your data lists no self identifiers (0+ / 0-)

      IT simply lists overall turnout.

      That is useless in determing the overall premise, which was clearly laid out by the diarist.

      Grab hold of the "liberals really showed Obama by making us lose in 2010!" and grasp tightly for as long as you want.

      We'll still be here with the facts when you're ready to come around.

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:52:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Instead of hurling insults (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus

        and attributing quotes to me which I've never said,

        explain this.

        In the states where Dems lost the most House seats:

        Ohio, 5 seats lost, 2006 turnout 47.5%, 2010 44.6%.

        Pennsylvania; 5 seats lost,  2006 : 44.1%    2010 : 41.7%

        Diarist, and apparently your assertion, is that national turnout was the same between 2006 and 2010.

        The above data sort of says that in states where we lost the most seats, turnout in 2010 was notably lower than 2006.

        Maybe you need to "grab hold" of a few more facts.

        •  response (0+ / 0-)

          Actually, according to what I read, national voter turn out was 5 points higher in 2010 compared to 2006.

          Yet liberals did not drop as a share of that electorate.

          So in 2006, 36% of voters showed up, and 20% of that 36% were liberals - so 7 of the 36.

          In 2010, 41% of voters showed up, and still 20% of that group were liberals, so 8 of the 41.  

          How is that not coming out to defend their turf?

          As for the state numbers, that's interesting, but can you show that it was liberals who didn't show up in Ohio and Pennsylvania that caused most of that drop off in D support?

          •  response (0+ / 0-)
            As for the state numbers, that's interesting, but can you show that it was liberals who didn't show up in Ohio and Pennsylvania that caused most of that drop off in D support?

            Obviously, I can't. But, you can't escape the fact that in states where we lost the biggest, the turnout numbers were significantly different than they were at the national level, and consistently lower by about 3 points. That's not insignificant.

            As to who the 3% were, the only thing I can find is the CNN exit poll for the Ohio 2010 Senate race.

            Liberal: 16%
            Moderate: 43%
            Conservative: 41%

            Those are significantly different than your national data. In fact, it shows about a 4% lower Liberal turnout in Ohio; one of the states where we lost the most House seats.

            In Pennsylvania, the other state we lost the most House seats:

            Liberal 19%
            Moderate 46%
            Conservative 35%

            Still somewhat different the your national results.

    •  A great link. Thank you. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, Sychotic1, milkbone, 3goldens

      As is this one here.

      The link I just provided is an aggregation of all voter turnout for every federal election since 1960.  It is actually derived from the GMU link that you gave above.

      The Election data for the past decade:

      Year    Eligible Voters       Voter Turnout       Percentage

      2010    235,809,266           90,682,968           37.8%

      2008    231,229,580           132,618,580         56.8

      2006    220,600,000           80,588,000           37.1

      2004    221,256,931           122,294,978         55.3

      2002    215,473,000           79,830,119           37.0

      2000    205,815,000           105,586,274         51.3

      1998    200,929,000           73,117,022           36.4

      What we see here is that Voter Turnout as a percentage of Eligible Voters was slightly above trend for an off-year election.

      This would suggest that Liberal turnout for the off-year election was at least adequate (given that Liberal turnout remained at its trend of 20%) if not actually higher than should have been expected.  Either way, the fault of the 2010 Election rests squarely on the Moderate electorate who either failed to show up or became so disenfranchised with Pres. Obama that they changed their affiliation to Conservative.

      To the diarist:  

      Thank you, Scientician.  I have been trying to kill this zombie lie, myself, for quite a while now.  It is great that you got this on the rec-list.

      •  interesting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, Alumbrados

        Per wikipedia I get a 2010 turn out of 40.9%, which they attribute in the table to the Clerk of the House.  The document they link to is like 9000 pages of scanned poorly formatted stuff, so I don't know where in that one finds the 40.9% turn out figure, perhaps some wikieditor derived it but also works for Standard and poors and fucked it up.  Hmm.  Deeper digging needed.

        I'm not sure what could explain the discrepancy in turn out figures, is the clerk using % of registered voters who voted, and GMU using % of eligible voters?

        Come to think of it, what % of eligible voters are typically registered in a given year?

  •  You gotta ask where the zombie lie came from? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, Loquatrix

    Could it have something to do with all of the folks here arguing in diaries and comments that they were going to stay home, not lift a finger for, not donate to, ot otherwise punish the Democrats?

    I agree wholeheartedly that Progressives did not lose us the election, but at least here at Dkos many of them indulged in a lot of self-defeating talk.  I think this is what inspires the  "you stayd home" meme.

    I don't know if progressives could have turned the election around by working harder.  But I do know that we did not leave it all on the road.  Given this, some regrets are natural.  

    If Kucinich, Grayson, Sanders or Feingold were President, you'd be accusing them of betrayal right now.

    by snout on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:19:10 AM PDT

  •  I don't think it's a matter of politically (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jjohnjj, AgavePup

    committed liberals not going to the polls. However, we were lukewarm in confronting the destructive memes coming out of the media, about the reasons for the "enthusiasm gap", and we didn't work hard enough to convince young voters and city voters that they definitely had a stake in the election. (Now I think they're wiser.)

    Most importantly for me was the failure of the "left" to stay vigilant right after the '08 election. They unloaded all of their "activism" into the Obama Presidency as they projected their progressive ideal onto him. Personally, I didn't. I saw how vicious and duplicitous the right was prepared to be, as it was the desperate counter-attack of a near-mortally wounded, cornered rat.
    This allowed Obama to be attacked on all sides, by neocons who had reason to fear prison, and their minions, by anti-abortionists who saw their cause in danger of becoming a non-issue, by Wall Street tycoons who also had reason to fear prison or worse, the appropriation of their stolen millions, by gun whacks who feared Obama would take away their guns, and by racists.

     By not maintaining a vigilante, unified front, idealistic progressives and pragmatic Dems, bickering amongst themselves, allowed a dispiriting paradigm to be circulated through the media and the collective consciousness.
    That's what I think happened. And we're still bickering to prove "I'm right and you're wrong.", and it's the great weakness on the left side of the equation. If we fail again, it will be the reason.

    •  We didn't clap loud enough? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean that is pretty much what you are saying here.

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:57:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  David54 is saying that we failed to respond (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AgavePup

        to a predictable racist backlash to the election of America's First Black President.

        The Tea Puppets may be screaming about taxes and "big government", but the emotional juice that got them up out of their Lay-z-boy's and drove them to the tax day rallies, the HCR town halls and the voting booth was racist outrage.

        Progressives were blindsided by this reaction. Remember all the mirth and mockery when the Tea Puppets turned out for their first tax day rally in 2009?

        The result is that the progressive agenda will be on the back burner while we struggle to put the Confederacy down again.

        Have you noticed?
        Politicians who promise LESS government
        only deliver BAD government.

        by jjohnjj on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:32:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry but the progressive agenda (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens

          has never been on a front burner.

          I don't see what you are seeing though.  What I see is voters doing that knee jerk shit where they vote against whomever is in power because  things look sucky.

          This is also why California was so successful at the  same time.  Cali was run by Republicans, so the 2010 election was a referendum on what California natives thought of their leadership.

          So, if I am to analyze anything and pull a reason out of my ass.  We lost 2010 simply because the economy was sucking hard and the electorate was blaming those in power.

          We are going to have the same problem in 2012.  Our only hope is for the Republican candidate to be too repugnant for a sane electorate to hire.

          If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

          by Sychotic1 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:38:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The real issue isn't so much race. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1

          That was a tool. They pandered to the racists and to racial resentment, and white backlash.

          What was really at issue for the "deadenders", the Bushie diehard core that swelled the ranks of the "tea party" was the abortion issue. That's where the most organized, fanatical core is coming from.
          They freaked out over Obama's election, the HCR, and the Sotomayor confirmation.

          That's why the "tea party" fiscal responsibility is so much hooey.

          You can draw a Venn diagram of the Neocons, (who are now trying to assert control over the tea party), the gun whacks, the anti-abortion/anti-gay crusaders/, and the racists, and the overlap will be most complete in the anti-abortion religious right set. The racist component is definitely there. The religious right started out as the fundamentalist southerners who opposed civil rights. They conceded defeat (superficially) on the race issue and moved to the abortion issue etc in the early 70's.

      •  Not at all, what i"m saying is that we let down (0+ / 0-)

        our guard and didn't keep pushing. The GOP got up off the mat, survived the 8-count, and got its second wind.
        I don't think we should have expected him to fix everything with his magic wand, and throw all the neocons in prison, etc, and dispose of the health ins.. industry, etc., and we kind of sat on the sideline in early 2009 while he started getting hammered.
        btw, the "clap louder" meme is done, dead, pathetic. There's more Obama supporters who have strong gripes about some things he's done than there are the "clap louders" or the Obama haters.

  •  I wrote a diary about this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AgavePup

    back in March with numbers rather than percentages to see where the declines were.
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    Basically, everybody declined 2008-10, but conservatives declined less than moderates and liberals, who declined at similar rates.

  •  Excellent quantitative analyses all around.... (0+ / 0-)

    This diary and its resultant thread offer very valid quantitative data and analysis and very valid fuel for perceptions that support a given individual's opinion about the topic.

    As a younger man, I eschewed qualitative research because I "believed" that qualitative research was all fluff and no substance.

    As I have aged, though I still have some belief bias against qualitative analyses, I have come to understand that good qualitative analysis is just as externally valid as is quantitative.

    I would strongly suspect that most qualitative studies would support the hypothesis that among the many reasons that we Dems were burned in 2010 was that though dedicated Dems voted in the same numbers that they did in 2008, they simply did  not serve as enthusiastic boots on the ground to produce the needed votes of those family, friends and colleagues who needed some encouragement/prodding to actually go vote.

    If I were to offer my qualitative opinion re the 2012 election, I would state that I strongly suspect that the Dem party is on a trajectory to experience the same degree of enthusiasm driven production of luke warm voters in 2012 as it did in 2010.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by Randolph the red nosed reindeer on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:39:06 AM PDT

    •  Sounds like the moderates need to start (3+ / 0-)

      doing some work. The Democratic Party has relied on the progressives and the liberals to vote and more importantly to get out the vote.  We are  the activists, we are the phone bankers, we are the ones that register people and go door to door.

      If the Democratic Party wants to ignore us and belittle us once the candidates get into office they need to start grooming more moderates to do the work that the prog/libs generally do or this will be a continuing problem.

      I mean common sense says that you can't have a guy work his ass off for you, then spit on him and have him come back to do it all over again.  Even the stupidest sumbitch is going to get tired of that game.

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:00:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great, useful stats. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    Liberals (and Conservatives) are pretty committed.  They are going to turn up.  It's the left-leaning moderates that stayed home because they were demoralized while the right-leaning moderates had been whipped into a frenzy by the tea party.  It gave them reason to show up.

    In 2008, the Dems won the aggregate house vote 65M to 52M.  In all 2010 house races combined, the Republicans won 45M to 39M.  So pretending there were no switches, 7M GOP Voters stayed home and 26M Dem voters stayed home.

    But let's not forget that that was  Obama's fault.  He and the Dems chose to run away from healthcare rather than running on it and celebrating their achievement.  If they had sent that message clearly, then some of those 30M would have shown up.

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do. " Oscar Gamble, circa 1980

    by Spider Stumbled on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:40:32 AM PDT

  •  The claim is untrue (6+ / 0-)

    ...but your evidence lacks one factor - turnout.

    Democrats turned out at normal mid-term election rates, even slightly higher.  Republicans turned out at approaching Presidential-election rates.

    Democrats need to get in the habit of voting at every election in large numbers.

    It wasn't policy, it was complacency.  And a heavy dose of Presidentialism - the belief that the President is the only political office that counts.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:43:21 AM PDT

    •  Tarheel pretty much nails it, additionally... (0+ / 0-)

      A factor that has to be kept in mind is that voters tend to always be more motivated by opposition to something than by the prospect of what is less tangible.

      That is a basic construct in political strategy that has been demonstrated over and over

      I know that OFA was founded on the entire premise that new voters need to be brought back to the polls.  It is not a true organization but an operation focused on that as a goal.  It is a concern because younger voters always tend to be voting from an excitable viewpoint and they generally have less of a stake in what is going on beyond campus.

      The Tea Party was a factor.  It was conceived of as a tactic to excite the more excitable conservatives and it worked.  How long that will keep on working is a good question.  

      I bet that the Teahadists will become less motivated as the complexity of the choices overwhelms simplistic rhetoric, and as a backlash from the rest of the voter population expresses itself.

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:02:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree 100% (0+ / 0-)

      However the minority/youth vote is what didn't show up in greatest numbers.

  •  The confusion stems from the threats they made. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, mrblifil, tytalus

    All throughout 2010, we were treated to sulky internet left-wingers assuring us, just as they're doing now, that they weren't going to vote for the Democrats, because they've been so betrayed.  This threat was all over this web site, and all over just about every liberal blog on the web.  Don't you remember all the people whining,  "Obama is hippy-punching his base!" after the "Professional Left" comment?

    The thing is, as the results of the Netroots Nation poll demonstrates, sulky internet left-wingers make up a sliver of a fraction of a segment of a wing of a faction.  They couldn't swing a state legislative election in Wyoming.  They aren't remotely representative of liberals, or Democrats, or of the left, no matter how much they might claim it is so.  They just have an outsized presence on the internet.

    So, I can see why people can be confused.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:47:40 AM PDT

  •  what I find interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    is the shift in % of self-identified moderates.  I would love to see some sort of latitudinal study of how people self-identify over time ... and why they change.  I have my suspicions about why 2010 had more conservatives than moderates, the reverse of 2006.

    "Without viable unions to serve as a counterweight to corporate power, America's working people and their families are at the mercy of the largest and most powerful economic organizations on the planet."

    by billlaurelMD on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:52:58 AM PDT

    •  Gallup has the ID over time (0+ / 0-)

      Pew, I'm sure has this too, but I don't know of any who do "why".

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:27:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How enthusiastic will you be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AgavePup

      during President Bachmann's term in office?

      •  What would be interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anagram

        Would be how many Democrats would resist a Bachmann Administration.  The RW "centrist" messaging used by the incumbent suggests there would not be much substantial push back.
        The "where you gonna go" meme really only has so much traction when folks feel they are being actively sold out.
        The side door for John Boehner makes me wonder just what is really going on besides the public kabuki.

    •  Wonder where the "zombie lie" that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB

      "liberals didn't turn out" comes from?  Comments like yours.

      •  Wikipedia (0+ / 0-)

        Well I can only speak for myself.  Many of us are having conversations about the wars, domestic spying, protection and favorable treatment of the banksters, stealth austerity agenda, etc..  Should we just "toe the line" when so much is up for grabs?  The past performance does not meet expectations.  Should I have known better?  Probably.  But now there is a record which should be judged.  I cannot ratify it.  You can't scare me into ratifying it either.

        To make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms indicative of groupthink (1977).

        Type I: Overestimations of the group—its power and morality

           1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
           2. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.

        Type II: Closed-mindedness

           1. Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
           2. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.

        Type III: Pressures toward uniformity

           1. Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
           2. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
           3. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty"
           4. Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.

        Groupthink, resulting from the symptoms listed above, results in defective decision-making. That is, consensus-driven decisions are the result of the following practices of groupthinking[13]

           1. Incomplete survey of alternatives
           2. Incomplete survey of objectives
           3. Failure to examine risks of preferred choice
           4. Failure to reevaluate previously rejected alternatives
           5. Poor information search
           6. Selection bias in collecting information
           7. Failure to work out contingency plans.

  •  Thanks for identifying this zombie lie (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Sychotic1, 3goldens

    I always thought this claim was counter-intuitive (hardcore lefties stayed home). The lefties I know are way too passionate about governance to miss a vote. They may not vote for D, because here in VT we even have a Progressive Party, but to stay at home? No way!

    By the way, I think our Progressive Party keeps the Democratic Party from veering from its principles. Our new Democratic Governor, Peter Shumlin, is aggressively pursuing a statewide single payer. The Progressive Party has helped keep the debate about single payer alive here.

    -7.5 -7.28, Democratic Socialism...It's not just for Europeans.

    by Blueslide on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:02:54 AM PDT

  •  One important fact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, 3goldens

    If Obama's political machine thought for one nanosecond that 2010 election results actually were the result of liberal discontent, we would be treated a whole lot better. The reason he takes us for granted is because we vote for him and his party while they undercut many of the things we believe in.

    "Live as if you will die tomorrow. Learn as if you will live forever.", Mohandas Gandhi

    by Bubbatoby on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:09:47 AM PDT

  •  It was Democrats who stayed home, as usual (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarbonFiberBoy, AgavePup

    certainly, possibly, people on this site have been claiming that "liberals" stayed home, although that's not what I've seen people say here, certainly that doesn't mean it didn't get said.

    But Democrats -- who tend more liberal than other voters whether they self-identify as a "liberal" or not -- please remember that your poll is self-identifying and that "liberal" has been turned into a dirty word -- did stay home compared to 2008, there's no doubt, and so did young people. And that's what I've seen people say.

    And if Democrats and youth had come out and voted like they did in 2008, we wouldn't have lost Congress.

    What's not true about any of that?

    Whether losing was Obama's "fault" for not "inspiring" those voters, or the "fault" of those non-voters for not understanding or caring about the consequences of their staying home is debatable.

    The role that enthusiastic supporters play in getting everyday people out to vote is debatable, too:

    But I was around in 2000, and I had a "Bush and Gore make me want to Ralph" bumper sticker on my car, and I feel very strongly that the lack of enthusiastic support of Al Gore by liberal/lefty political types like me (I was not actually a Democrat at the time) and/or by "liberal intellectuals" in the public eye absolutely depressed the vote of everyday Democrats for Gore, whether we ended up "Ralphing" or not in the voting booth.

    In 2010, such "liberal intellectuals" didn't quite so publicly and continuously push the alleged virtues of abandoning the Democratic Party as they did in 2000, true.

    2012? We'll see.

     

  •  Both parties blame liberals for everything. (4+ / 0-)

    Although liberals have been proven correct time and time again, (the effects of supply-side/trickle-down economics, of which this budget deal is yet another example).

  •  it's Democrats who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loquatrix, AgavePup

    failed to turn out in 2010...(which likely includes liberals as well as moderate Democrats, as well...and, quite possible, a large number of conservative Demorats)

  •  Liberal Jedi mind powers ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... are behind the phenomenon. We've used them to convince the rest of the Democratic Party that we have much more power than we do so that they'll have to acquiesce to our every whim.

    The strategy isn't yet working out exactly as we planned it, but it's only in beta mode. I'm sure the commercial release will be much better.

  •  I vote democrat (0+ / 0-)

    in every election - the good Republicans I know left the party, or don't talk about it.

    Listen! I will vote for Obama, and every Democrat I can vote for, in 2012!

    by Food Gas Lodging on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:35:36 AM PDT

  •  Entire college campuses show up to vote for Obama (0+ / 0-)

    and they will, again, in 2012.  Put him on the ballot and the youth vote will be back out in force again.  There is no party like an Obama campaign stop.  There is no electoral machine like the Obama campaign machine.

    There is no question in my mind he'll be returned to office again next year.  Millions of young and AA voters who voted for him in 2008 (and for other downticket Dems while they were in the booth voting for Obama) didn't come out in 2010 because Obama wasn't on the ballot.  When Obama is back on the ballot in 2012, you'll see Dem turnout go massive again.

    It's that simple.  The youth vote turning out for Obama is ten times more significant than any of this self-pitying back-and-forth about which faction of the Left is or isn't to blame.

    •  I teach at one of those (0+ / 0-)

      campuses, and I'm not convinced that it will happen again. By this point in the last cycle, students were going crazy over Obama (granted, he was in a primary race). This time they seem to share the general malaise about his administration and the government in general. But we'll see what happens next year.

      With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

      by cardinal on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:47:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something to keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub

    Most of the losses were in marginal, or even red parts of the country. In the house, the losses were mostly concentrated among the Blue Dogs, whereas the Progressive Caucus came out of 2010 virtually unscathed. It wouldn't matter if activists in safely blue districts did the GOTV thing, those Blue Dogs still would have lost.

    As for the GOTV thing, remember that Tim Kaine was a busy little beaver, dismantling everything Dean did. So the local infrastructure was already a mess by the time 2010 rolled around. Hard for local activists to do anything when the national support they need is no longer there. Unless the candidate in question can actually motivate people, and get out the vote on their own, without any help from the national groups, they'd have a lot of problems. A trend that will be even worse in 2012.

    Nothing brings people together more than mutual hatred.

    by Hannibal on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:38:45 AM PDT

  •  Hard Analysis is Democrats Stayed Home (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorikristynmattjulie

    We have databases, we have records of who voted. I can go precinct by precinct and show you names, even call them if they answer. We know Democrats stayed home. We talked to Democrats and we were told that they were unhappy with the lack of effectiveness of Democrats, most often mentioning Obama.

    Also a new breed of independents is out there, the ones who are more progressive than the Democratic party. They now self identify as independents.

  •  Some arguments the other way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB, JClarkPDX, burlydee

    From John Nichols at the Nation.

    http://www.thenation.com/...

    SC Public Radio

    http://www.scpr.org/...

    Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Voters under 30, who overwhelmingly voted for President Obama two years ago, not only showed up in much lower numbers Tuesday but were also less willing than in the last election to strongly support Democrats.

    Exit polls showed voters ages 18 to 29 made up 11 percent of the electorate, a sharp drop from the 18 percent in 2008 and the lowest percentage in two decades. And those voters, who backed Obama by 34 points in 2008, backed congressional Democrats in 2010 by only 16 points.

    And the Daily Caller

    It is no secret that the left has traditionally captured the majority of the youth vote. While young voters continue to trend more liberal than they do conservative, a glimpse into recent poll numbers does show cause for Democratic concern. While the momentum of youth support for Barack Obama appeared to be growing back in 2008, the picture leading up to the 2010 midterms was quite different.

    Back in 2008, Time magazine found that 74 percent of under-30 voters were paying attention to the presidential campaign, compared to only 42 percent during the 2004 campaign. At the same time, Time Magazine asked 18 to 29-year-olds, “Which political party understands the needs of people like yourself?”  Forty-three percent of respondents answered “Democratic Party,” while only 33 percent said “Republican Party.” This party-allegiance disparity was corroborated on Election Day.

    Millennial support for Obama’s performance has declined over time as well. According to Gallup, 75 percent of young voters approved of Obama’s job performance in Jan. 2009. This performance rating has fluctuated during the president’s first two years in office, but the overall trend showcases a precipitous decline in support. During the week leading up to the 2010 midterms, 52 percent of millennials approved of Obama’s job performance; this was down from 57 percent at the end of September. Obama’s lowest rating among millennials occurred this past August with only 46 percent of that group saying they supported the president. While it may still be too early to tie all of the pieces together on the youth vote front, polls show that fewer millennials made it to the polls on Nov. 2.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/...

    So according to all this it's the not the answer that is incorrect, it's the question.  It wasn't "Liberals" who didn't show up in 2010, it was the Youth Vote.

    Which happens to be exactly the portion of the Voter electorate that stricter Voter ID laws are likely to impact.

    Vyan

    •  Bringing out the youth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, TheGeneral

      Let's stick to apples to apples comparisons for a second.  In 2006, 18-29 year olds were 12% of the voters, and voted 60% Democratic.

      In 2010, they were also 12% of the electorate, and voted 55% Democratic.

      They showed up in the same proportion as they typically do for mid-terms, but the mix wasn't as Democratic.

      Being able to bring out the youth like they came out in Presidential elections is a kind of Democratic holy grail which no one has found.  If that's the only way to win mid-term elections, Democrats are going to lose most of them barring some major change in youth culture.

      But Dems did win in 2006, and in many mid terms before 1994 without bringing out the youth in 2008 levels, so clearly it can be done without the Holy Grail.  

      So I can't really blame the youth especially for 2010 any more than they don't show up for other mid term elections.  

      It's a long term problem, and not particular to 2010 in any way i can see.

  •  Strawman. (0+ / 0-)

    What's been said is not that self-identifying liberals didn't vote. It has been said by many, and here for sure by me, that the left media, including FDL, this site, DN, and many others, depressed the vote for Democrats by constantly attacking them, rather than supporting them. In particular, the attacks on Dems over the ACA were extremely depressing.

    Many people, not just liberals, get there political information from the left media, and not just that, but from their friends on the left who consume alternative media, and who were visceral in their attacks on Obama in particular, but also on congressional Dems.

    So the theory is that these constant attacks and almost complete lack of support caused many Democrats not to vote and also many independents not to vote.

    Polls tell us that there are a lot fewer "independents" than are usually enumerated, these voters mostly always voting for one party or the other, just not self-identifying with a party. Thus it was also Democratic-voting independents who failed to turn out.

    The lowered voting turnouts by these groups were caused by the constant attacking and bad-mouthing of our electeds by those who should have been their supporters.

    If the diarist thinks there is no connection between words and actions, he/she might want to rethink the philosophical basis of this diary.

    Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

    by CarbonFiberBoy on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:44:01 AM PDT

  •  Lazy/opportunistic journos need a storyline (0+ / 0-)

    and once they've got one (it makes things so much easier), they won't let it go. And its constant appearance creates a feedback loop--you can't get into trouble with your editor or publisher if you're repeating the conventional wisdom "that everybody knows."

    The Pew Center research recommended by whereisboblafollette is interesting. It attempts to sort out some order from the incoherence of political opinions in the US.

    Three things stand out to me:

    1. "Conservative" for many people is the label under which they gather as an oppositional identity. In a country where the New York Times or Tim Geithner is seen as liberal, "conservative" stands for opposition to the "powers that be" on the part of the little guy. Even though that little guy then votes for the interests of the actual powers that be. But this can be what seems to be a commonsense view to people who in many places have little/no access to any coherent news/views from the left. Put simply: there's a weak pole of attraction on the left.

    2. Another poll (sorry, I don't have the link) reported that 20% of Americans viewed socialism positively. I doubt that that's just the 20% of those who id themselves as liberal. Instead, it's a group probably skewed towards African Americans and Latinos; but again also indicates the incoherence of opinions, especially when measured using MSM templates.

    3. There are probably some moderates left from the old mugwump sector: traditional middle classes who pride themselves on voting "for the man, not the party." The John Anderson campaign of 1980 famously attracted this type. However, Karl Rove and the Bushies (and M. Thatcher in Britain) showed how to attract sufficient numbers of them: You don't pander to their incoherent yearning (as the DLC types and the Obama administration do)--you show them some stick. Large numbers of people are attracted by strong, purposeful, coherent leadership that seems to know where it's going.

  •  Insist on comparing to 2008? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorikristynmattjulie, 3goldens

    Well, of course!  That's the point.  Obama turned out black and young people in large numbers in 2008 and the turnout for both in 2010 decreased dramatically from 2008 and it cost the Democrats tremendously.

    Some first time voters who voted for Obama may not identify themselves as liberals but they would have been more likely to vote Dem.

    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

    by jhannon on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:05:50 AM PDT

  •  Too bad. (0+ / 0-)

    If liberals had really stayed home and caused the 2010 rout, they'd be able to take credit for doing something in the political arena.  Alas, 'twas not to be.

    "In any event, it is safe to assume that the ends of capitalism will be as unprecedented as everything else about it has been." -- Gopal Balakrishnan

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:08:29 AM PDT

  •  I threatened to stay home in 2008 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    and I am threatening to stay home in 2012. I have sent emails to the White House and my blue dog congressman saying as much. But I'll tell you a secret. It's a bluff designed to put pressure on them not to move too far to the right. But at the end of the day I always vote a straight Democratic ticket to try to keep the Republicans out of office. I'm not stupid.

    When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    by rmonroe on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:16:50 AM PDT

  •  You have to look at nonvoters too. (0+ / 0-)

    You're just showing who voted, not who didn't vote.

    I looked it up once and, as I recall, conservatives had great turnout, libs and mods not so much.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:17:26 AM PDT

  •  Reading through many of the comments (0+ / 0-)

    I a struck by just how many folks are absolutely devoted to their narrative--and that narrative is meant to assign blame (or defend themselves from blame).

    Some key points.

    1.  Most of the losing dems were blue dogs from conservative areas.
    2. I keep reading folks comparing 2010 to 2008--why would anyone do that?  
    3. I don't even think we can compare 2010 to 2006, because it does not really capture how dispirited conservatives were, and how much independents had soured on republicans.  So what election do you compare it to?  Perhaps 2002?  That was a year where Bush 43 was in his first off-year election, and the republicans added seats.  Or perhaps the only year you can really compare it to is 1993.
    4.  Conservatives were completely motivated in 2010.  They had convinced themselves that Obama was a Muslim atheist terrorist Kenyan.  I can see inside the mind of the conservative saying to themselves... "Even if only one of those were true...."
    5. Dems are not as good as getting folks to the polls as republicans during the last 3-4 decades.  Youth, minorities, and lower income vote in lower numbers on off-year elections.  The dem coalition consists of a lot of people who are not necessarily dependable in these lower elections.
    6. The republicans used a page out of the dem handbook and convinced older Americans that the dems could not be trusted to defend medicare.  I would like to see an analysis on how voters older than 60 voted.  And, these folks are dependable on an off year election.
    7. President's health care performance scared independents and depressed progressives.

    What does all this mean?  In the current climate of modern conservatism, it's going to be very hard for a democratic house in the face of corporate support for republicans, motivated republican base, and a democratic party not great at mid-term elections.  

  •  This Shows that Moderates are Where it is At (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    Yes, liberals may kick and scream, but they will vote for Democrats.

    The data shows that to win you must win over and GOTV with moderate Democrats.

    I canvassed in the Fall of 2010 in the Northside of Chicago, in neighborhoods with young professionals.  Many Democrats I talked to considered themselves middle of the road and were not enthusiastic about either Obama or the Democratic Congress.  

    Obama understands this and knows that he must win over the moderates to be reelected.  That is what he is doing in both talk and action.  

     

  •  This is a complete fabrication!! (0+ / 0-)

    This overlooks the actual historical facts, and applies these numbers completely out of the social context. Remember, you can make numbers say anything you want them to - just ask the Thugs.
    What this load of drivel conveniently overlooks when citing prior stats, is that all the prior poll results referred to were taken during an era of fear and paranoia when Bush was in the White House, and the Dems were down and out,  being persecuted and demonized in all directions.
    Dems did not turn out in even GREATER numbers for those prior elections because, at the time, they were an extremely discouraged, disheartened & downtrodden bunch. The evidence was everywhere to be seen at the time, for those who are actually able to recall that far back. Of course, this has now been typically forgotten.
    Therefore, those prior number are irrelevant, because the exit polls had NOWHERE to go but up in the last election. So, on a relative basis, yes, there were greater numbers voting than previous elections, but that does not presuppose that they did not stay home in 2010 to punish Obama.
    In fact, that is very much exactly what happened, and now everyone is paying the price.
    Amurkans just love to rewrite history in their own favor, and I can see another attempt here to abrogate the Dems direct  responsiblity for last year's fiasco, but it just ain't so!
    You bought the coat - now wear it!!

    •  Ah. I see you're making shit up again. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pot, Shahryar, 3goldens, TheGeneral

      Just like you did when I schooled you here...

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      ... and you ended the conversation with a sadly irrelevant...

      watever dickhead

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:15:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you remember what happened in 2006? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cseaton, Corporate Dog

      The diary cites 2006, are you sticking with this assessment???:

      What this load of drivel conveniently overlooks when citing prior stats, is that all the prior poll results referred to were taken during an era of fear and paranoia when Bush was in the White House, and the Dems were down and out,  being persecuted and demonized in all directions.
      Dems did not turn out in even GREATER numbers for those prior elections because, at the time, they were an extremely discouraged, disheartened & downtrodden bunch. The evidence was everywhere to be seen at the time, for those who are actually able to recall that far back. Of course, this has now been typically forgotten.

      Um, what???

      •  Yeah. I didn't get it either. (0+ / 0-)

        We cleaned up in 2006. It was a Democratic wave. But he insists on clinging to the fiction that Democrats were mopey and sad and listening to emo rock and not bothering to go out and vote (as opposed to the reality, which is that we were all looking to bloody some fucking noses).

        I'm guessing we're dealing with someone who wasn't of voting age in 2006, and who was more worried about an acne outbreak or a prom date than Republicans. It's okay. We were all there. The rest of us just try to move past it.

        Regards,
        Corporate Dog

        -----
        We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

        by Corporate Dog on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:51:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK - I'll get low class like you. (0+ / 0-)

          Shut the fuck up.

        •  Oh, and by the way .,.. (0+ / 0-)

          You coudn't "school" a moron.

          •  Clearly, I couldn't school a moron. (0+ / 0-)

            Because you're still here, making the same comments.

            Regards,
            Corporate Dog

            -----
            We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

            by Corporate Dog on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 05:13:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  he he ho ho ha ha (0+ / 0-)

              Now look jerkoff, I have the right to express my opinions on this site the same as everyone else, no matter whether YOU agree with them or not.
              If you don't stop harassing me, I'm going to get you banned from this website for abusive behaviour, and I mean the very next word from you - ever.
              If you think I''m joking, just try me. Now go slink off into your kennel dog boy.

              •  Ok. I'll bite. (0+ / 0-)

                Meteor Blades is right here: http://www.dailykos.com/...

                I'm sure he'd love nothing more than to referee a pissing match. On a weekend. When the aggrieved party is tossing about words like "dickhead" and "jerkoff".

                Regards,
                Corporate Dog

                -----
                We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

                by Corporate Dog on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:03:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You started the profanities I might remind you (0+ / 0-)

                  With your lowlife - Shut the fuck up. I'd say an f-bomb outranks a couple non-starters anyday.
                  Guess your memory is as small as your mouth is big.

                  •  And you started spouting "opinion" without fact. (0+ / 0-)

                    That's more of a Republican thing.

                    If you want to make wild claims, it's on you to back it up with numbers. You haven't.

                    Even when faced with actual numbers suggesting the opposite (not to mention the ACTUAL narrative of 2006's election) you continue with your weird and juvenile attempts to paint the election in a way that has no basis in reality.

                    You got nothing but noise and a lot of foaming at the mouth. Which might be something we could work with if you were going to be down here, volunteering, and doing something that I personally DIDN'T do in the 2010 election.

                    But as I understand it, you're a Canadian citizen. Which means that you probably don't come over the border to make phone calls or go door-to-door. And that makes you a poser, if American politics are so important to you.

                    Regards,
                    Corporate Dog

                    -----
                    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

                    by Corporate Dog on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 04:36:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  For what it's worth... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... and not that you care because it messes up the narrative you want to float, but THIS came out wrong:

                      Which might be something we could work with if you were going to be down here, volunteering, and doing something that I personally DIDN'T do in the 2010 election.

                      I very much DID volunteer in 2010. I'm just wondering what YOU think YOU could've done above-and-beyond making phone calls or knocking on doors to have changed the outcome of the 2010 election. Whatever it is, I guess you think it's something I didn't do.

                      Regards,
                      Corporate Dog

                      -----
                      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

                      by Corporate Dog on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 06:35:33 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Wise up. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:20:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nah. You don't get to do that (0+ / 0-)

                Have a donut.

  •  Good diary. (0+ / 0-)

    I almost wrote it myself a couple of weeks ago after someone made the "liberals stayed home" claim. However, I decided not to because I didn't feel like the available data made the case directly enough. I tipped and recc'd this, but I want to caution that it's nowhere near direct enough of an analysis to answer the question with any confidence. So, while my hunch is that better data would show the same conclusion, those upthread claiming that this is "definitive proof" or that folks who disagree should be HRed, are on unsupportable statistical grounds.

    With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

    by cardinal on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:42:23 AM PDT

  •  I crunched the PA numbers last year (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Sestak in 2010 came out of Phila with the same numerical margin in his Senate race as Bob Casey did in 2006.  The problem was that the suburbs flipped on us.

  •  was young voters & 1st time voters didn't realize (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, 3goldens

    the importance of midterms

    I thought everyone knew that and we moved on

    anyway; now the youht and 1st time voters know the importance of midterms thanx to repubs being crazy and over-reaching

    •  A strong GOTV would make them realize it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DEMonrat ankle biter

      This is why, in effect, the liberal base "staying home" may well have been the root cause of the elections losses. Without a fired-up base, you have no winning GOTV operation to turn out all those young and 1st time voters in midterm elections. So the liberals didn't stay home from voting, but they did stay home from GOTV.

      If my GOTV can turn out even just 5 extra people to the polls, me "staying home" from doing GOTV is actually much, much worse than me "staying home" from voting!

      The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. --Calvin & Hobbes

      by reid fan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:23:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does that mean we won? (0+ / 0-)

    So if just as many liberals voted, and they came out in the same numbers as 2006, how come Republicans won everywhere?

    "Failure is impossible." -Susan B. Anthony

    by NCJan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:46:48 AM PDT

  •  Exit polls are inaccurate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater

    Voter alienation and dynamic economic impacts may have skewed the results in an economic Bradley effect.

    Tea Partiers, bigots, libertarians, and miscellaneous alienated and disaffected could have easily perpetrated this kind of misleading info.

    So, that may not be proof, but the supposition to me is as valid as your analysis. Hell, I'm a Democrat in the majority and I've never been more unhappy with a President in my life.

    Bruce Bartlett, a Republican, called Obama a moderate conservative a few weeks ago, and he said that if he was a Democrat he'd be pretty pissed off. I am that lifelong Democrat, and I am nothing but angry.

  •  Yep. They are as much to blame (0+ / 0-)

    as the bigots, robber barons and just plain idiots who voted Rethuglikkkan!

    It's not just enough to change the players. We've gotta change the game. Barack Obama

    by Yumn on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:15:42 AM PDT

  •  not a zombie lie of the left, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pot, cheerio2, 3goldens

    a zombie lie of rightwing democrats displaying their basic rightwing nature.

  •  It's a zombie lie, but not of the left. (0+ / 0-)

    It's a zombie lie of the type of Obama supporter who is independent of ideology.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    by Punditus Maximus on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:50:09 AM PDT

  •  The reality of it all is .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Shahryar

    that when given a majority in both Houses of Congress, democrats continued to govern as republican lite, so a lot of the people who were inspired by the promises of 2008 were not inspired by the 'we're not as awful as they are' reality of 2010.

    Most democrats, progressives and liberals who were attuned to politics continued to trot out and vote for democrats.  The people (mostly occasional voters or new voters) who were turned off by some of our own holding democratic goals hostage (think Stupak, Lincoln, Baucus) and the failure of our leaders to overcome that pie fight within our own party successfully were not inspired to get out the vote in 2010.  I blame the democrats for lack of results promised in 2008 for the gop 'rout' in 2010.

    'Destroying America, One middle class family and one civil liberty at a time: Today's GOP'

    by emsprater on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:50:38 AM PDT

  •  The Obama Dolchstosslegende. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Shahryar

    Obama could not be responsible for his own failure; he had to have been stabbed in the back by disloyal Progressives!

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    by Punditus Maximus on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:51:02 AM PDT

  •  Diarist missing the key: GOTV work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yuriwho

    A dip in Independent voter turnout for Obama, paradoxically, can also be attributable to the liberal base "staying home." Why? Not because they stayed home from voting, but staying home from working GOTV.

    Obama can do all the policy-side wooing of the "swing voters" he wants---the fact is that voters in that category may love him to death and still just stay home because they are not very politically engaged (see also: my husband). To turn out those voters, you need a killer GOTV operation. In other words, you need your base fired up. A fired up base isn't always sufficient to win a tight election (if your base wants fundamentally insane things, like the Tea Party it alienates ind. voters), but it is necessary.

    The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. --Calvin & Hobbes

    by reid fan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:19:54 AM PDT

    •  My vote = 1 vote; My GOTV = many votes! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yuriwho

      As a follow-up to my own comment, do the math: If my GOTV can turn out even just 5 extra people to the polls (seems reasonable given the hours I put in), me "staying home" from doing GOTV is actually much, much worse than me "staying home" from voting!

      The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. --Calvin & Hobbes

      by reid fan on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:25:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think that was never (0+ / 0-)

    an argument that had actual conviction behind it.

    I find arguing with strong Obama supporters to be rather like arguing with diehard Republicans: there are purely instrumental beliefs and confusing selfserving ingroup redefinitions of terms thrown at you, and then there are more honest convictions they only admit to in moments of complete frustration but a desperate need to tell.

    What happened in 2010 is the same as what happened in 1978, 1994, and 2002.  The centrist-y Democratic leadership, usually headed by a President (in 2002 Daschle, Senate Majority Leader) elected two years earlier to control of things because of centrism in a certain policy area and a pledge of nonretribution for prior Republican wrongdoing was Teh Awesome, crashes out.  And usually the following Presidential election completes the job.

    This occurs due to a reactionary wave from from the Right and disillusionment on the Left.  Both being rejections of the central centrism.  And that centrism tends to be in obvious dysfunction and failure.

    The crucial bloc of centrists who elected this centrist-y Democratic government is, ironically, the bloc that leaves for the Republicans and net topples the Democratic faction and leaders they were key to electing to power earlier.

    The bad news is that the current reactionary wave on the Right and disillusionment wave on the Left look like the previous ones and the Democrats in power are responding as they usually do.  Which suggests the usual outcomes in 2010 (as seen) and 2012.

    The good news is that that might be the last such set of waves.  (There could be one, smaller, additional one.)  Because around 2020 the electorate tips to a majority of voters who indulge no fantasies of returning the country to conditions it had in the 1950s and 1960s.  Which is what the current Rightism and Centrism/moderate conservatism are all about.  So if we survive this economic-focussed period reasonably intact, the reactionary fuel and opportunity remaining will be quite small.  In any case, around 2020 to 2025 there will be a palpable end to the current  era in American politics.

  •  Good diary (0+ / 0-)

    and lots of great additional information in the comments.  Thanks for taking this zombie on.  (....dirty job, someone needs to do it...)

  •  Poorly (deliberately?) constructed thesis. (0+ / 0-)

    The problem wasn't a "liberal boycott,' it was the demotivated progressive-leaning voters staying home.  They were inspired to vote against Bush in '06 and for Obama in '08, but none of the Democratic 'leadership" gave them a reason to bother in '10.  Pelosi and Reid are as responsible as Obama, since they had the ability to ram through legislation to (at least) correct all the injury inflicted by the Republicans since 2000.  But they (all three) chose not to actually exercise the power the voters enthusiastically gave them.

    They wasted the opportunity, and it's going to take either a miracle or another tragedy to win these unmotivated voters back.

    The Founding Fathers were a bunch of East Coast liberals

    by ImaJoeBob on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:46:04 AM PDT

  •  NO.. DEMOCRATS STAYED HOME.. ALWAYS DO (0+ / 0-)

    after the presidential elections.. the average Dem voter is not well educated in who is representing who and majority of the time never vote again until the next presidential election... Always been that way and is why there is a constant back and forth in government..

    PEOPLE NEED A 3RD PARTY AND DEMAND THEY PARTICIPATE IN DEBATES!!!!

  •  2008 First-time voters stayed home (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB

    2008 First-time voters stayed home in 2010.  This was especially true of 2008 first-time AA voters who came out to vote for Obama, but had no interest without him on the ballot.  

    We also had to contend with the backlash of an energized right-wing/tea party.  Good diary.  Rec'd

  •  Something interesting to look at (0+ / 0-)

    Kevin Drum's analysis of the changes in exit polls between the 2006 and 2010 midterm elections. A few interesting tidbits:

    Swings of various demographics towards Republicans shows their biggest gains were in people who didn't vote in 2008, followed by independents :

        Nonvoters from 2008 (+56)
        Independents (+36)
        Rural voters (+25)
        Northeast voters (+20)
        Age 65 and older (+21)
        Catholics (+21)
        White voters (+19)
        Income under $30,000 (+19)
        Income over $200,000 (+19)
        High school grads (+19)

    How many of those nonvoters from 2008 were people who turned 18 after 2008? We don't know. That category is not broken down further.

    The list of groups showing smallest swings to Republicans is led by liberals:    

        Liberals (-6)
        African-Americans (-2)
        Mothers (+1)
        "Other" religion (+2)
        Age 18-29 (+5)
        No high school (+7)
        Union households (+8)
        Big city voters (+8)

    Of course these numbers need to be looked at in combination with turnouts to be understood at all. Was the increase in Republican votes due to more Republicans showing up, fewer Democrats showing up, more people switching parties, or in the turnout of independents.

    Furthermore, gross figures for the whole country can't be applied to individual races. How much variation is there in all these numbers from one district to another? How much in competitive  v. non-competitive races?

    The upshot: this info cannot reasonably be used to assign blame to any demographic groups for the outcome of the election. Everyone belongs to many groups. The ages 18-29 votes, for example, are not further broken down by male/female, by race or ethnicity, by income level, by place of residence, by religion, by education level. We know that turnout was down in this age category, but maybe it was mostly among men, or the unemployed; maybe it was up among Christians.

    We all know how easy it is to misinterpret statistics. These may be fascinating to examine and useful to campaign strategists, but using them to point fingers at groups of people is bogus. We're all smart enough to know better.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:29:06 PM PDT

  •  The statistics you use are poll results, right? (0+ / 0-)

    The CNN pollster's methodology suggests only 20-22% of people who vote are liberals vs. the 32-42% who are conservatives? That sound right?

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 06:36:52 AM PDT

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