Interesting! A fine example of partisan bias. I'd comment on his blog but my browser can't see comments or leave comments there.
He starts by noting that Republicans are a minority and so the Electoral College is a good thing.
This comment alone is reason enough not to take the rest of your post seriously.
Aw, the post might have something good in it even if it has a cheap shot near the beginning.
Here is why I argue
that the electoral college is a good thing:
[In a popular vote system, c]andidates would no longer pay attention to battlegrounds, but that would not instigate a national campaign. It would instigate a base-oriented campaign centered around major base-states. And that would only further polarize our nation along our increasingly sectional lines... if you want to make elections uglier and more partisan, abolish the Electoral College. If you want to make them prettier and more moderate, abolish at-large electoral apportionment and return to district-by-district elections or legislative appointment of electors.
I want to note that this is an inherently partisan argument, in line with your other reasoning. You argue that there are two sides which are bitterly divided, and that the best way to win is to try to get as many as possible of your partisan followers to vote while minimizing voting by your opponent's partisan followers. And for that it helps to he as partisan as possible. But you ignore the third camp, the moderates who don't much want extremists, who can be stuck with one extreme or another and will try to choose the saner of the two. Your strategy is likely to result in more votes against than votes for.
In fact, if the 2012 election returns are any indication, the use of the electoral college currently penalizes Republicans, rather than assisting them. This is because Democrats are moderately stronger in the swing states than they are in the popular average.
That is, Republicans are so strong in the states they're strong in, that they do better on average than they did this year in those swing states. But in 2004 a lot of those swing states went with Bush. The economy looked like it was doing OK because of the housing bubble, and we were in a couple of popular wars, the soaring deficit didn't look important, etc.
Throughout the rest of your comment, you continue the same practice: you impose your own interpretation on my analysis, based on your own conception (which is really a caricature) of the inner workings of the Republican mind. You don't dispute the facts; you just wink at them, then move on to a grand unified theory (based once again on caricature) of why the Republican coalition doesn't work.
Yes, it was a whole lot of fun for me. Not that I like Democrats that much. I thought my interpretation was pretty good, though.
If you can actually show (or even suggest!) some reason to believe that the loss of the pro-life electorate was not the single most decisive factor revealed by the exit polls,
Well, it looks to me like a really successful party would try to base itself around something that most of the nation could learn to accept. If you win the election, but 49% (or 51%) of the public is still bitterly opposed, how much good have you done? So start with something that's obviously good, and then persuade as many people as possible. But you argue that the GOP could have won this year with only white people if Romney had been more convincing that he was anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive. I think this is short-sighted. If it's true that there were 6-7 million Republicans who didn't vote for Romney because they thought he wasn't sufficiently anti-sex, that this issue was their only reason to prefer Romney over Obama and Romney failed from it.... Well, but you pointed out that the pro-abortion/anti-abortion sides have been pretty much balanced over the years. Don't you think if Romney had come out extremist enough to satisfy those voters, that he'd have scared a lot of other people who either didn't vote or voted for him? I tend to think that. Extremist stands that tend to bring in extremist supporters also bring in votes against. And it might easily bring more votes against than votes for.
You calculated that in 2004 slightly more than half of potential white voters voted, and in 2012 slightly less than half did. Exit polls implied that nearly 60% of whites voted for Romney. So if an extra 7 million whites voted and 60% of them voted for Romney, Romney could have won. However, consider that Obama got 10 million less votes this time than in 2008. Isn't it plausible that a lot of those white voters who stayed home were people who voted for Obama in 2008? If an extra 7 million whites voted and 50% of them voted for Romney instead of 60%, it wouldn't make much difference.
Meanwhile, a little more than a third of hispanics voted. and they were 7:3 for Obama. They were down from 2008 too, but not as much. If half of hispanics had voted, and the new ones went 7:3 for Obama, that would be just about another 6 million votes. And I think it's more likely that new hispanic votes would go to Obama than disillusioned white votes would go to Romney.
or why a gender gap would have developed only among non-whites if it were really about contraception and abortion,
I think you have a point here. Maybe it isn't about contraception and abortion.
or that Romney's failure to convince white voters to vote for him was more important than his failure to convince Hispanics not to vote for Obama,
Here's the elephant in the room: 13% of the votes cast were from blacks, and they voted 93% for Obama. That's over 11% of the votes for Obama right there. If Romney could have gotten half the black vote and neutralized that advantage, it would have made a tremendous difference. I don't think blacks voted for Obama primarily out of racism against Romney. They don't like GOP policies. Change the GOP brand to something that blacks can vote for, and it will make more difference than anything else.
Meanwhile, you figure that anti-abortion votes were central. 6-7 million missing white voters who stayed away because Romney didn't seem sincere about abortion? Well, but look at your numbers. 3 million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2004. Then you figure the white population has increased enough to generate an extra 4 million voters who didn't vote. But younger voters are more likely to vote Democrat. I don't know whether that applies to young white voters, you didn't publish that graph. But I suspect that the new white voters who didn't vote are probably not in Romney's favor. They're young people who didn't vote because they're apolitical, not because they only care about abortion.
You claimed that white men who voted, voted for Romney just as much as they had for Bush in 2004, 62%. And white women who voted, voted for Romney more than they voted for Bush, 56%. You figured it's whites who particularly care about abortion, and white women were only 38% of the total vote down from 41% in 2004. Meanwhile exit polls that ask about abortion (that's where this came from, right?) found that support:opposition has increased from 55:42 to 59:36.
I'll make some slightly different assumptions. I'll assume that it's mostly whites who oppose abortion, and anybody else in an exit poll will either say legal or don't care. Then the 42% who opposed abortion in 2004 would be part of the 77% of the vote that was white. If the white vote was 72% in 2012 and all whites were affected equally, then I'd expect the percentage who oppose abortion in 2012 to be 42% * 72/77 = 39%. But in reality it was only 36%. That's half the difference. I wonder what the margin of error was on that exit poll....
Back to your model. You figure that a lot of anti-abortion voters didn't vote, and if they did vote Romney would win. You increased the number enough to bring it from 36% to 42%. But the 64% of non-anti-abortion voters wouldn't go away, so you'd have to increase the number more than 6% of the total. I may have this wrong, but here's how I figure it:
(36+x)/(100+x) = .42
36+x = .42(100+x)
36+x = 42 + .42x
.58x = 6
x=6/.58 = 10.3
To get your result, we'd need to have one anti-abortion voter who stayed away for every 10 voters who did vote. About 12 million of them. I doubt this.
Probably there is some other explanation for the other half of your anomalous abortion data, perhaps exit poll error.
"A fine example of partisan bias" indeed.
Yes! You started out stating the problem was that more voters voted for Obama than Romney, and you looked for alternatives that could have worked better. Your first possibility was to go after the Hispanic vote. You decided that might work but something else would be better.
Your preferred choice was to get more whites to vote. More whites vote Republican, so if we can get more whites to vote then Republicans will get more votes. You assumed that the voters who didn't bother to vote would vote 60% for Romney if you could make them vote at all.
Your third possibility was to cater to women. But you rejected that because white women already tend to vote Republican. It's only nonwhite women that vote for Democrats, so forget it.
You considered trying to do something to appeal to young people. You decided it's important in the long run, but this year it wouldn't have made that much difference.
Then you looked at abortion, and found that the majority of actual voters were pro-choice in 2004, and in 2012 a larger majority of actual voters were pro-choice. So your proposal was to get more fervently anti-abortion! You figured that would bring in more anti-abortion voters and lead to a win.
This is not what I would have expected.
In every case, your thought is not to persuade people to agree with you. And it isn't to listen to people and find things you can agree with them about so they will be favorably disposed to part of what you stand for. In every case, your thought is to find ways to get the white people who agree with you to vote more. You write off nonwhite voters.
You, sir, are a partisan and your bias blinds you to some potential winning strategies.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.