Poignant post-election pool report

From: Parsons, Christi [@latimes.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 01:52 PM
Subject: Pool 2 (potus)

One of the people standing on the street corner in Kenwood, looking over the barricades toward the Obama house, is TyRon Turner, who traveled here from Inglewood, Calif., to attend the victory party.

First thing this morning, he said, he woke up and decided he wanted to applaud the president personally, if only as he passes by in a motorcade.

But as he stood on the sidewalk in a sweatshirt and blue knit cap, the small business owner said he couldn???t stop thinking about the challenges ahead.

The divisions in the country were so evident on television on election night, he said, as cameras panned the saddened faces of Romney supporters and the jubilant ones around him at McCormick Place.

The crowd shots at the Romney party were disproportionately white, he noticed, while the Obama party reflected the racial coalition that won the president???s reelection.

???We were all hugging each other, black and white,??? Turner said. ???I said to someone, ???Look at all the different races in this room.??? We were all together as Americans, as we should be. This is what America looks like.???

Obama could lead the country to a new conversation about the polarization, Turner said, but he can???t do it alone. Republican leaders have to be a part of it, too, he said.

???Both sides have to give up something,??? said Turner, a small business owner. ???We have to clear the slate. Start over.???

–Christi Parsons


Another Nixon and Southern Strategy reference

From The Guardian:

The tension between the projection of a modern, inclusive, tolerant party and the reality of a sizeable racially intolerant element within its base pining for the restoration of white privilege is neither new nor accidental. Indeed, it in no small part explains the trajectory of the Republican party for almost the last??half century. In his diary, Richard Nixon's chief-of-staff, Bob Haldeman, described how his boss spelled out the racial contours of a new electoral game-plan to win southern and suburban whites over to the Republican party in the wake of the civil rights era. "You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks," Nixon told him. "The key is to devise a system that recognises that while not appearing to."

This could be the final hurrah for what became known as Nixon's southern strategy in what is shaping up to be the most racially polarised election ever. Black support for the Republican party literally cannot get any lower.

Colin Powell talks sense on gay marriage … and more

I don’t agree with everything he says, but this interview is worth the watch. It certainly changed my views about Powell a bit …

On whether he plans to endorse President Obama again this year:

I’m just a private citizen. I’m under no obligation to make an endorsement just because I’m on a book tour. So, as I have always said in every election, I like to watch the candidates, but not only the candidates, I want to see what policies they’re liable to implement, what the platform’s going to be. I want to see what the whole ticket’s going to look like. So I will wike my time as a citizen to decide what I’m going to do and who I’m going to vote for.

On what he hoped Obama would do in office:

I wish he had closed Guantanamo. Once he asked congress if he could close Guantanamo, they jus tstopped it because they had to provide funding. I think he could have done it without going to congress. … Guantanamo has been a problem for us for all these years. …

Frankly, I would have like to see the unemployment rate go down much more. I think it has to go down much more by the electio nor he may be in difficulty … he has to focus on the economy and get the jobless rate down because that’s what the American people expect.

On Romney’s comments a few months ago about Russia being America’s top rival:

I think he needs to think through these issues a little more thoroughly before he makes statements like that. I know Mr. Romney. I’ve known him for many, many years, and I think he’s a very excellent individual. I’m sure he means the best for America.

On whether Romney’s religion will affect the election, given Mormonism’s historical treatment of blacks:

No, I don’t think so. The man stands on his own. he is a man of faith. His faith is somewhere different than the faith of other Americans, but I don’t see why his Mormonism should be in the least bit a problem for him.

The fact of the matter is, I know Mitt very well. I know what his views are with respect to African Americans, other minorities, and I think he is a person who believes in diversity and there is no discrimination in his body, in his soul.

On gay marriage:

In my view, right now, it’s a state issue. And different parts of the country have very, very different views. But my own personal view is that, after thinking about it a great deal and watching the progress we have made over the years — I know so many gay and lesbian friends who have committed relationships, who have children and who have been together for 40 and 50 years — and I don’t know why the legal basis of that relationship should not be consummated with a marriage.

It has nothing to do with religion. If a church or some other group or some denomination chooses not to provide a sacrament for that or solemnize it in a religious ceremony, that’s their choice. But to deny that opportunity for a legal relationship with two people under the laws of the state or the laws of the country, I think is no longer appropriate and gay marriage should be accepted.

Now, each state is going to have to work their way through this, and I think if you come back a generation from now, you will find that this has moved greatly and that most states will have adopted it. If you look at the attitudes of the American people, increasingly, the numbers are moving in the direction of acceptance of gay marriage.

It won’t be close


The polls and pundits say the Obama-Romney race will be close — another 2004 or 2000, with the presidency won by a few points in a few key states.

I’m not so sure. I think this election will look like a landslide in the Electoral College count.  And right now, I think Romney wins.


It’s almost June, and there’s just not a lot of great economic news for Obama. Pretty soon, it will be too late for any summer or early fall economic growth to change people’s impressions that the current administration fumbled the ball on jobs.

The mood of the country seems pretty bleak. There’s enough hatred for Obama on the right to get lots of people out to the polls, and not a lot of enthusiasm on the left for fighting for a second Obama term.

That’s just my subjective feeling. The friends I’ve talked presidential elections with over the past 15 years will write this off as my usual pessimistic view of the Democrats.

And they might be right.

I’ll update this map whenever I take a notion to. And as with this one, my picks are purely intuitive, based on nothing more than that. It’s how I pick teams for my March Madness bracket (fwiw, I won the pool in 2011 and have come in 2nd or 3rd three or four times).

(Map courtesy 270towin.com)

Political poll that I just got

I got an automated telephone poll tonight, conducted by National Opinion Surveys for an unnamed client.

Here are the questions I got:

1) Do I think the economy today is improving, about the same or getting worse?

2) Approve or disapprove of Barack Obama's performance in office?

3) Who will you vote for this fall: Obama, Romney or don't know?

4) Who will you vote for in the Senate race this fall: Cantwell, Baumgartner, or don't know?

5) Who will you vote for in the governor's race this fall: Inslee, McKenna, or don't know?

6) Who will you vote for in your local House race: Democrat, Republican, or don't know? (Generic party ID, not candidate names).

7) Who will you vote for in your local state House race: Democrat, Republican, or don't know? (Generic party ID, not candidate names).

Demographics next:

8) What is your age?

9) What is your sex?

10) What is your party ID: Democrat, Republican or independent?

11) Do you have a 4-year degree?

12) Do you have an advanced degree?

13) Are you of Hispanic descent?

14) What is your race?

15) Are you a current or retired union member?

16) Is anyone else in the household a current or retired union member?

17) How would you describe your political views: liberal, moderate or conservative?

Fascinating bit of political history…

"Rep. Zioncheck had made a decision not to run but at the last minute changed his mind and asked King County Prosecuting Attorney Warren Magnuson to drop out of the race which Magnuson refused. Later that day, Zioncheck jumped out the 5th story window of Seattle???s Arctic building to his death."

— From WA Secretary of State's Office, "Members of the U.S House of Representatives from Washington State who did not complete their terms 1889-2012."