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August 03, 2005

What the Left does not get about Elections

Yesterday was the highly publicized special election in Ohio, and the left is left scratching their collective heads. Pundits were calling this race very early for the Democratic candidate, Paul Hackett, including a number of liberal bloggers. Paul Hackett, like most Democrats, stood strongly against the War in Iraq, but this election had a few more twists than that. Running in a heavily Republican region, Hackett used his experiences in that very war (he is the first soldier from the War in Iraq to campaign for an elected position) to appeal to the voters, and it worked fairly well. The same area that gave President Bush 64% of their votes gave Hackett 48%. However, with the total at 52% for his opponent, Jean Schmidt, it wasn't enough. Polls had been favorable, and press coverage was incredibly wide-spread, but many liberals have left an image that may be very hard to ignore.

But this is far from a new development. Democratic supporters have long had a lot of confidence that their candidates would win, but the trend does not seem to suggest that it is well placed. A Republican has held the White House for 16 of 24 years and 24 of 36 years; the Democrats during those periods have been perceived by the left and "moderates" as "moderate" Democrat. Congress, which used to be a Democratic stronghold, has been trending towards Republicans for the last decade, when the House of Representatives became Republican dominated. In particular, this last election cycle saw a president gain votes (popular, percentage, and electoral) as well as Senate seats (giving the Republicans a solid 55-45 lead). In particular, many states have become more polarized, and other than the west coast and New England states, most run more conservative than liberal.

Even still, Democrats are quick to wonder if many elections are rigged. The Democratic Underground had at least eleven threads about this election early this morning (and no doubt many more have come up). Of course, one could bring up the past two presidential elections and the close votes in Florida and Ohio (close in 2004 was relative; none of the states were even close to where they had been four years prior). But what about the gubernatorial election in Washington? The Republican party challenged the election there after it fell closer than any of the three preceding elections I mentioned. However, that is not the only reason for the challenge. Many ineligable voters cast votes. So, four elections, only one that could be considered rigged, and that one favoring the Democrat. Yet, they still don't get it.

And it may be happening again. The initial Mason-Dixon poll has put Tim Kaine in the lead by one point. Now, I'm not going to do what many bloggers and pundits are doing and claim victory so early, mostly since I'll only be setting myself and others up for disappointment. But that is exactly the thing that liberals lead themselves to. They ignore what the people have to say, and then they follow bad advice and endorsements.

What do liberals and Democrats miss when they go into an election? They get their hopes too high. They don't follow what the people want, but hold to elite liberal viewpoints. And most of all, when the election is over and decided, too many of them don't accept the defeat and prepare for the next election, preferring to drone on about how the election was "stolen".

Of course, I hope they keep doing this. I'm not a big fan of negative politics, and, as I suspect many people agree with that sentiment, such campaigns seem to be more beneficial for the opponent.