This is the season of the horse race reports. Media are reporting a lot of horse race stuff and less and less on policy. I've said before I think this is because of the poor level of training and education among journalists (the horse race is easier to report). It could also be because those journalists that want to avoid even the hint of bias avoid policy stories because reporting a policy failure or success has implicit endorsements for one candidate or the other. Either way, journalists are failing in their supposed mission to inform the voters.
Anyway, even the horse race reports are based on polls that don't cover a lot of important developments. Your local news people will just report the poll numbers without any discussion of what those numbers might mean or what they leave out. Here are some items that aren't being discussed much.
Minority turnout: Especially in Florida there are indications that African American and non-Cuban Latino turnout is going to be higher than it has been in a long time. African Americans are very upset about the disenfranchisement of thousands of "Black" voters in Jacksonville. These were registered voters who were turned away because of a flawed list of "felons" compiled and enforced at the direction of Governor Jeb Bush. Latinos are a fast growing group of voters. Thousands of legal residents have accelerated their plans to gain citizenship because of the Patriot Act. Law Talking Guy's step father recently became a U.S. Citizen (born in U.K.) and LTG says that there are indications that the Bush administration has tried to delay the citizenship of as many as they can until after the election but their numbers are still way up (Perhaps LTG can fill us in on the details). In Florida the number of Latino voters has increased by 30% since 2000 and most of those new voters are not Cuban. Similar developments are happening in Colorado (which Bush won easily in 2000 but is now tied). These kinds of voters don't usually make it into lists of "likely voters" so the polls may not be counting them.
Overseas Voters: "Votemaster" is reporting the following:
"I have it on good authority that overseas voters are registering in huge numbers this time, maybe double or triple 2000. I was told that the number of people who showed up at the Democratic party caucus in England earlier this year was 10 times what it was in 2000, ditto in other countries. Americans overseas vote in the state they last lived in, even if that was decades ago. There are about 7 million overseas Americans and probably about 5 million are over 18. In Florida, it was the overseas absentee ballots that swung the election. I believe that something like 8% are military, but the rest are students, teachers, artists, government workers, business executives, spouses of foreign nationals, missionaries, retirees, and more. What is significant here is that these people represent a lot of votes and are not included in any of the polls. Nobody knows if they are largely Democrats or Republicans, but their votes could be one of the big surprises of this election. If anyone has any actual data (as opposed to speculation) on this group, I'd be interested."
Bell Curve is currently overseas, perhaps he could give us a report.
States With Split Electoral Votes: Nebraska and Maine both split their electoral votes based on Congressional district but polls of neither state break it down like that. Maine has 4 electoral votes and Nebraska has 5. Maine is tied overall and Nebraska appears safe for Bush but there has been no poll in that state this time around.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 8:19 AM