Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Right And Obama's Lower 2012 Electoral Vote Total


Just watched Dick Morris, the wrongest man this side of Bill Kristol, bloviating on Fox "News." He's trying to stick to more difficult-to-verify stuff I guess since his election prediction was so laughably wrong. Now he's holding forth about Benghazi as Greta van Sustern spews the Fox talking points. Though if you can't even predict an election right when the polls are given to you and the pattern is obvious, it's unclear to me why anyone would think that you should be allowed to say anything about foreign policy...

Anyway, Morris the moron [sorry. But that guy really is a moron...] accidentally made a verifiable claim during his wit:

Obama is the only president ever re-elected with fewer electoral votes than he was elected with in his first term.

I've heard several righties pushing this line. But:

(a) This is an idiotic and meaningless measure

(b) It isn't true

First, we have Woodrow Wilson:
    1912: 435
    1916: 277

Then we have FDR:
   1932: 472
   1936: 523
   1940: 449
   1944: 432

Now, technically, FDR didn't get fewer in his second term than in his first, though that doesn't matter. If there were a point to Morris's nonsense--and there isn't--it would have to be that no one had ever been elected with fewer EVs in their later terms than in their earlier ones. FDR just happens to be a special case, a president with more than two terms. FDR's third-term election was with fewer EVs than his first-term election, and his fourth-term election was with a lower EV total than any of his three earlier terms. [Note: not relevant unless Morris said: fewer the second time than the first time; but I can't remember his exact words.]

So now we've got, in effect, six counterexamples to this bullshit claim (WW 1st/2nd, FDR 1st/3rd, FDR 1st/4th, FDR 2nd/4th, FDR 3rd/4th).

Conclusion: Dick Morris is, yet again, full of shit.

And we've also got Clinton, who was elected with only nine more the second time around:

   1990: 370
   1994: 379

Not technically a counterexample to Morris's claim, but close enough.

Then, of course, there is Bush, who--and this is far more important than Morris's bullshit measure--never got many EVs at all:

    2000: 171
    2004: 286    (from memory; could be wrong; not going to look it up)

If there's an interesting point here at all, it's that Obama got more--a lot more--EVs in his lowest-total election than Bush got in his best one (365, 332).

Of course this bullshit about EVs is just more fever swamp idiocy--cast around for some measure, no matter how meaningless--according to which Obama is bad, and then pretend like it matters. The only even vaguely not-entirely-idiotic point that could possibly be made here would be something like: your EV total says something about your political mojo. Obama blew Bush's doors off by this measure...but we've never heard a peep from these fools questioning Bush's legitimacy.

The real story here is the stupidity of pretending like this measure means anything at all.

But my God, if you're going to say something stupid, at least try to get the relevant facts right.

[Edit: sorry about all the expressions of anger in there. I'm just way past fed up with these people. The very fact that anyone would pretend that anyone should listen to that loathsome little worm Morris is nauseating.]

And note Matthew C's point in comments:
The GOP candidate has won the popular vote only once in the last six presidential elections. If we're going to cobble together a story about some wins having authority/meaning beyond the mere fact of them being wins...seems like there's something worth noting about that fact.]


Blogger matthew christman said...

Howzabout the fact that the Republican candidate has won the popular vote exactly ONCE in the last six presidential elections?

12:08 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


Wish I'd thought of that.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

332 Electoral Votes is a lose. 3 Million more popular votes than RMoney. I want them to wrap themselves in their delusions further.

5 of the last 6 elections have been won by Democrats. This is a center-left nation.

It's time to push a liberal agenda without compromise.

11:58 AM  

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