Archive for the ‘electorate’ Category

The Electorate’s Left Turn: Sorry, GOP: Nation No Longer Leans Right of Center

November 16, 2008

Here’s the main thought Republicans are consoling themselves with these days: Notwithstanding President-elect Barack Obama, a nearly filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate and the largest Democratic majority in the House of Representatives since 1993, the United States is still a center-right country. Sure, voters may be angry with Republicans now, but eventually, as the Bush years recede and the GOP modernizes its brand, a basically right-tilting electorate will come back home. Or, in the words of the animated rock band the Gorillaz, “I’m useless, but not for long/The future is comin’ on.”  

By Tod Lindberg
The Washington Post
Sunday, November 16, 2008; Page B01

Thus Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, in Outlook last week: The United States “is indeed, as conservatives have been insisting in recent days, a center-right country.” On election night, former Bush guru Karl Rove opined on Fox News, “Barack Obama understands this is a center-right country, and he smartly and wisely ran a campaign that emphasized it.” And it’s not just conservative pundits and operatives singing this song. Take Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who wrote an Oct. 27 cover essay entitled “America the Conservative,” which argued that Obama will have to “govern a center-right nation” that “is more instinctively conservative than it is liberal.”

The only problem: It isn’t true….

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
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/AR2008111303550.html

Fewer Voters Well Informed, Knowledgeable

October 16, 2008

LiveScience.com

Some news audiences are more politically savvy than others, according to a new poll, with readers of The New Yorker and similar high-brow magazines being the most knowledgeable.

The survey, conducted between April 30 and June 1 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, measured the political knowledge  of 3,612 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to name the controlling party of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. secretary of state and Great Britain’s prime minister.

Overall, just 18 percent of participants answered all three questions correctly.

More than 50 percent of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House, while 42 percent could identify the secretary of state (Condoleezza Rice). Less than 30 percent could name the prime minister of Great Britain (Gordon Brown).

Perfect scores

The best-informed news audiences crossed the ideological spectrum. Nearly half of regular readers of The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazine answered all three political knowledge questions correctly.

A perfect score was obtained by 44 percent of regular listeners of National Public Radio (NPR), 43 percent of regular viewers of MSNBC‘s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and 42 percent of the Fox News Channel‘s “Hannity & Colmes” audience. Thirty-four percent of “The Colbert Report” audience and 30 percent of “The Daily Show” audience got all three questions correct.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081015/sc_livescience/
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Bill Clinton Rejects Criticism Over Race

March 17, 2008

By Beth Fouhy, Associated Press 

NEW YORK (March 17) – Former President Clinton is pushing back on criticism that he fanned racial tension while campaigning for his wife in South Carolina.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast Monday, Clinton said he had gotten a “bum rap” from the news media after he compared Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s landslide victory in South Carolina’s Jan. 26 primary to Jesse Jackson’s wins in the state in 1984 and 1988. Clinton was widely criticized for appearing to cast Obama as little more than a black candidate popular in a state with a heavily black electorate.

“They made up a race story out of that,” Clinton said of the news media, calling the story “a bizarre spin.”

He made similar comments on CNN’s “American Morning,” calling the notion that he had unfairly criticized Obama in South Carolina as “a total myth and a mugging.”

While campaigning in South Carolina in January, Bill Clinton complained that Obama had put out a “hit job” on him. He didn’t explain what that meant.

At an MTV forum for college journalists Saturday, Clinton said he knew as soon as Obama won Iowa’s caucuses Jan. 3 that he was on his way to wrapping up a large majority of black voters in other primary states.

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http://news.aol.com/elections/story/_a/bill-clinton-rejects-criticism-over-race/20080317140909990002?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Polarities persist in Democratic race

March 15, 2008

By  CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Something happened to the feel-good, way-cool Democratic presidential contest in the months since a woman and a black man began their path-breaking race for the White House.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, ...
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., greets supporters during a campaign stop at The Forum, Tuesday, March 11, 2008, in Harrisburg, Pa.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By the millions, black voters voted for the black candidate and women voted for the woman. White men seemed torn, by the millions.

Sen. Barack Obama has broken historic barriers, especially among the young, as the first black candidate with a serious chance at the presidency. Voters who might ordinarily balk at a female president have backed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in her pioneering effort.

Those gains have not been enough to erase divisions by race, a task perhaps beyond any mortal and any one election, nor lesser ones between the sexes.

And when the campaign moves beyond Democrats, the party of diversity, and into the general election, it’s questionable how much room is left for such progress.

A significant minority of voters in Democratic contests have considered the race or sex of the candidates important — about one in five in each case. That’s according to surveys of voters in about two dozen states across the country on and since Super Tuesday.

Whether clumsy, coarse or calculating, remarks by party stalwarts or hangers-on have brought race repeatedly into the discomfort zone, which is easy to do, suggesting a post-racial political consciousness is for a more distant future.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080315/ap_on_el_pr/
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