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The Issue That Wasn't There

Looking over the exit poll data they're discussing on NBC right now, the fascinating thing is how much of a wash the Iraq War, my big issue, has been at the polls. By a narrow margin people say they approved of the decision to go to war, and by a larger margin people believe it's part of the war on terrorism. But by margins similar to the latter figure, people think the war is going poorly, and the war has degraded American security. All-in-all, and after all the arduous blogospheric debate, pretty much a wash. It looks like the ultimate outcome will come down to whether Ohioans are more driven by an irrational dislike of gays and lesbians, or by an irrational desire to blame George W. Bush for the long-term decline of American manufacturing. Slightly depressing, but that's politics.

November 3, 2004 | Permalink


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» Pick Your Poison from digamma.net - notes
Matthew Yglesias unveils the issues that really matter in 2004: It looks like the ultimate outcome will come down to whether Ohioans are more driven by an irrational dislike of gays and lesbians, or by an irrational desire to blame... [Read More]

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If it's any consolation, you can flip on TNT and watch the new-look Lakers beat up on 'Melo and the Nuggets on opening night of the NBA...

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Nov 3, 2004 12:26:01 AM

Yes, my friends, Karl Rove may indeed be a genius. By playing the homophobe issue so strongly, including ballot initatives in swing states, he was able to do very well without conceding a thing to the middle. Purely on the basis of gay-hater turnout.

I am so disgusted with existence.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Nov 3, 2004 12:37:05 AM

FNC (FWIW) just called Ohio for Bush.

1241am EST.

CNN's talking Ohio, but has not made a call. They are talking about how "the Bush people are right to be optimistic" but need to wait for Cuyahoga County.

Feels Floridian.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Nov 3, 2004 12:43:47 AM

God bless Evangelical Christians and God bless Karl Rove. As I've been saying for months now, resistance to Karl Rove is futile. We also picked up two Bible thumpers in the Senate, all praise due to God, Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC). God Almighty is our Guardian and Helper, while Democrats have no Guardian or Helper.

Posted by: Modern Crusader | Nov 3, 2004 12:51:46 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Unelectable, right.

Posted by: Abadaba | Nov 3, 2004 12:53:08 AM

NBC/Brokaw just called Ohio for Bush.

1258am EST.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Nov 3, 2004 1:00:15 AM

UM Ohio is an illusion. There has been a constant buffer for each report. Someone has been holding their thumb on the scales for a couple hours now, obviously someone who doesn't understand the stakes. Whether Ohio yeilds or is litigated is up to those holding the thumb.

Florida was at least made to look believable.

Posted by: patience | Nov 3, 2004 1:04:09 AM

Karl Rove said all along that there were 4 million conservative Christian votes out there for a Republican candidate, and tonight he collected them. According to MSNBC's poll, "moral values" was the issue mentioned more than any other, including terrorism & the economy in determining how voters made up their minds. Issues such as gay marriage have been enormously valuable to the Republicans in this election. Dems can take some confort in the fact that these values are increasingly rejected by younger voters.

Posted by: Brooklynite | Nov 3, 2004 1:25:47 AM

Yeah, bob mcmanus, I'm pretty disgusted too.

I'm prescribing cheeseburgers and beer, all around.

Posted by: yesh | Nov 3, 2004 1:26:19 AM

It would help if you kids would grow up.

It didn't just happen that the Iraq fiasco didn't play a key part in the election because voters are irrational. One of the many CHOICES made by Bob Schrum and his prevent defense to preserve a victory he never had candidate, Mr. Kerry. Mr. Kerry could have made Iraq an issue. He CHOSE not to for reasons of his own. Just as the Democratic party as a party ran from all security issues in 2002. None of this happens because voters are irrational. It happens because the smarty pants are dumb shits.

Posted by: razor | Nov 3, 2004 1:46:37 AM

Modern Crusader,

Hopefully someone will take a knife to your stomach and disembowel you while you are fully awake and aware. You fucking peice of non-human garbage. Die you fucking prick, die a horrible death.

Posted by: A Patriot | Nov 3, 2004 1:48:30 AM

I'm not sure I agree with you on this one Matt. Although the exit polls indicate that Americans recognize the war is going badly, it does not mean that they have given up hope on a liberal democratic Iraq. They should, and will, but until they do they will continue to embrace the neoconservative strategy in the so-called war on terror. The repudiation will come soon, just not soon enough for John Kerry.

Posted by: Robert | Nov 3, 2004 1:53:47 AM

I think that Robert is right. All along I felt that most people were not ready to face up to the truth about Iraq. I am sure that we will have to very soon now and it won't be pretty for Georgie boy. I have been pointing out that maybe it is good for Georgie to clean up his own mess and not have the Dems blamed for Iraq. I just hope that we have a country in 4 years to save.

Posted by: la | Nov 3, 2004 3:13:52 AM

Please don't lump all Ohioans together. I certainly didn't vote for Bush, and I voted against the marriage issue. We are not all bible-toting, backward rednecks.

Posted by: Susan | Nov 3, 2004 6:33:34 AM

Gosh, Matt. Thanks for the thoughtful assessment of Ohioans.
Guided by one of two arbitrary irrational fears, we are, huh?

Somehow I suspect it's more likely that Ohioans (like all Americans) voted for the guy they thought would do the better job.

Posted by: bb | Nov 3, 2004 8:55:12 AM

The more we keep mindlessly repeating the brilliantly framed propaganda phrase "War on Terrorism" the more likely Joe Schmoe will continue to believe that war is the best way to combat terrorism.

Posted by: fyreflye | Nov 3, 2004 10:44:55 AM

What's so irrational about not wanting to change a 10,000 year old social institution necessary for social stability and the rearing of traditions, just so that Andrew Sullivan can walk down the aisle in a big pink frilly (bareback) dress.

You guys are out of touch not just with America, but with the moral law embedded in the universe. Go to Church.

Posted by: Roach | Nov 3, 2004 5:32:27 PM

I have a proposal for reducing or reversing the long term manufacturing decline.

Eliminate all taxes on business.

Failed businesses pay no taxes.

In the case of successful businesses the customers pay the taxes.

Think of what a boost it would be to business to eliminate all the paper work associated with taxes. Think of what the lower prices would mean in terms of world competitiveness.

Terrorism in the current context is a form of warfare. Doubly so because its practioners have declared war on America.

Why not call it a war? Our enemies do.

'Course if you prefer "War on Militant Islam" I could go with that.

Posted by: M. Simon | Nov 4, 2004 6:22:22 AM

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