Doing it again

Went to a panel on turning out young voters yesterday. I didn’t have high hopes for the session.

Turning out young/new/second time voters is one of those perennial election topics, where there’s a lot of handwringing and analysis on what motivates “them” to vote, and vague talk about “connecting”.

Every expert says the same thing. We have to keep them engaged in between elections working on issues, etc. I’ve never liked the whole approach because it’s always framed so passively: we have to do this for them. It’s like they’re all just sitting somewhere, frozen in time between elections, waiting for their elders to arrive and start barking out orders

Time passes. The first-time eligible voter of 2008 may be (essentially) a completly different person by 2012, with completely different priorities and concerns, because all kinds of things happen fast between age 18 and age 22, or between 22 and 26. Any young voter’s life is probably going to change more in any four year period than that of any middle aged voter. Hopefully, the new voters I chatted with in the community college student center in 2008 aren’t still there, wondering where I got off to.

Too, a first time eligible voter in 2012 was just entering high school in 2008. New voters in 2012 will be different people, with a different set of national/political experiences or exposure than those who were newly eligible voters in 2008.

That said, this panelist was actually interesting. I liked what this panelist had to say, so I’ll just have her say it:

Black voter turnout is key for the upcoming presidential election and Democratic candidates would be mistaken if they think it is in the bag for them simply because Blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic during elections.They will have to work to encourage many in the disenchanted Black electorate to head out to the polls come November 2012. As a group, African Americans have fared worse during the recession, still struggle through double-digit unemployment and faced the brunt of the housing crash, suffering through a disproportionate amount of foreclosures. To say “the thrill is gone” would be an understatement. Some are starting to feel taken for granted by the Democratic party and will not likely vote Republican because there is a sense of hostility towards them from that party. What may likely happen is that would-be voters will simply sit out the 2012 elections.

It is true that during the 2008 presidential election, Black voter turnout was 65.2 percent — an all-time high — with about 15.9 million black Americans casting ballots, including an estimated 5 million first-time voters. That year, Blacks alone increased votes for the Democratic candidate by 3.2 million from the previous presidential election, according to the PEW Research Center. In the Democratic presidential candidates in 2000, 2004, and 2008 , Blacks voted 90 percent, 89 percent, and 95 percent of the time Democratic, respectively.

This upcoming year is indeed a critical one for courting the Black vote. Like other groups, Blacks turn out to vote in greater numbers during presidential races than during midterms. State and congressional Democratic candidates get the benefit from that bump and extra churn. Many assume that in 2008 it was the race of presidential candidate Barack Obama that was responsible for the record black turnout. Not so fast, says one analysis. Using data from the 1984 and 1996 National Black Election Studies and the 2008 American National Election Study, Public Opinion Quarterly published a report that found personal contact from a campaign worker or official contributed more to higher than normal black turnout in 2008, not the race of the presidential candidate alone.

5 million first-time voters in 2008.






133 replies
  1. 1
    mb says:

    The problem isn’t that young people are sitting around waiting for their elders to tell them what to do, it’s that there are so many things competing for their time, attention, and concern that it is easy for them to lose their political focus. The onus is on the political leadership to keep the issues fresh and in front of them, you cannot expect that they will (in the numbers needed) spontaneously exercise their political power without guidance and prompting.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    What may likely happen is that would-be voters will simply sit out the 2012 elections.

    Wait, wait, wait. What? Black voters are feeling disenchanted and may not vote in strength this next election?

  3. 3
    Silver says:

    After the wonderful experience they had in 2008, can you blame them?

    It’s not like all those first time voters give a fuck about Lily Leadbetter, that shit is inside baseball.

  4. 4
    Kay says:

    you cannot expect that they will (in the numbers needed) spontaneously exercise their political power without guidance and prompting.

    Well, I think that’s debatable, or should be. One (younger) person in the audience said something just like that to the House member on the panel re: national Party leadership on generating “excitement” or “interest” and she said “why don’t you bring it to the people you know”? (paraphrasing, but that was the general idea).

    I think there’s something to that answer.

  5. 5
    Jon says:

    There is no magic to making voters turnout. Good candidates that care about their issues. It is condescending to presume otherwise, and racist when you confine it to the “black voter.”

    Obama has alienated a huge part of his base, hoping to capture more of the center. Either it works or it doesn’t. It won’t be because a bunch of people sitting in a conference room learned new tricks to get people to vote.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    Young people will be looking at the job market all summer. Tends to sharpen one’s thoughts.

  7. 7
    Kay says:

    Wait, wait, wait. What? Black voters are feeling disenchanted and may not vote in strength this next election?

    Turning every single topic into this stupid fake-debate between “firebaggers” and “obots” bores me.

    You can have that debate, again, for the 542nd time, feel free, but I’m out. Both sides are dug in, both sides stopped listening 6 months ago, and both sides use every single topic to bootstrap into their preferred topic, which is “firebaggers versus obots”.

    Just to be clear, that isn’t what I wrote about.

  8. 8
    Jon says:

    Young people will be looking at the job market all summer.

    Right. Nothing turns out young voters like a choice between extreme austerity and austerity!

  9. 9
    gbear says:

    Obama has alienated a huge part of his base

    That darned Obama. What the heck is wrong with him?

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @kay
    And you bore the absolute fuck out of me kay, but that is beside the point. I took those words right out of the panelist’s mouth as quoted by you. I didn’t make them up.

    ETA, you posted about voting and voter enthusiasm. You can’t run from this discussion, as much as you’d like to.
    Did you even bother to consume what you posted as “interesting”?

  11. 11
    Jon says:

    Just to be clear, that isn’t what I wrote about.

    No, you wrote about turning out voters, which is either connected to the positions and quality of the candidates or it isn’t. I think it is. I think most people think it is. I also think most people who presume that’s not why a certain demographic of people vote are–at best–being condescending.

    It’s not about Obots vs. firebaggers. It’s about Obama positioning himself the way he has. Chances are, he gets a lot of independent voters to replace the base he alienated. The question is: will it be enough.

    But some pony plan to get voters who he on purpose left behind to turn out for him is creepy.

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    I’ve never liked the whole approach because it’s always framed so passively: we have to do this for them.

    I think you’re missing the point. This is about telling activists what they should do. In that sense, the instructions are always going to be about what the activists need to do to get the voters motivated and on their side. That makes you look like the active figure and the voters like passive ones by its very nature.

  13. 13
    Cacti says:

    Wait, wait, wait. What? Black voters are feeling disenchanted and may not vote in strength this next election?

    Yep.

    They’re all waiting for some white, wine track liberal to come galloping to their rescue.

    A working class hero like Anthony Weiner or John Edwards.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    I also think most people who presume that’s not why a certain demographic of people vote are—at best—being condescending.

    Did you follow the link? The person I linked to talks about “a certain” group of voters because that’s who she knows.

    There’s nothing “condescending” about it. It’s practical, and it’s based on her actual on the ground work.

    That’s why she was invited. She’s not a theorist, speaking from on high. This is what she does. This is who she works with.

    It would be a very boring and useless discussion if no one was permitted to talk about things they actually do.

  15. 15
    Jon says:

    This is about telling activists what they should do. In that sense, the instructions are always going to be about what the activists need to do to get the voters motivated and on their side.

    You left out: after they can’t rely on the candidate’s record to motivate on its own.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti

    They’re all waiting for some white, wine track liberal to come galloping to their rescue.

    As amusing as you no doubt find yourself, we’re not engaging in Presidentially possible hypotheticals here.
    President Obama will be (is) the D nom. And WTS, there is the feeling that the previously mentioned “enthusiasm gap” might extend to the AA community for 2012.
    So let me dig out my Derailing for Dummies guide here…yes, this is a classic example of DFD#3, 7, 9 and 11.

  17. 17
    cleek says:

    “the thrill is gone”

    racist

    Chances are, he gets a lot of independent voters to replace the base he alienated.

    fuck the self-appointed “base”.

    if the self-appointed “base” wants to sit on their ideological pure thumbs as some kind of protest over the fact that they don’t understand how US politics works, fine. but is it too much to ask that they kindly STFU and not involve the rest of us in their wallowing ?

  18. 18
    Jon says:

    @kay

    It’s practical, and it’s based on her actual on the ground work.

    Your argument is self-refuting. You wouldn’t even be talking about a voter motivation problem if you didn’t foresee it as an issue. All this means is you think you can spin a few people out of their disappointment.

  19. 19
    Redshift says:

    I always thought one of the big lost opportunities post-2008 was to engage new voters with the idea that you always vote in every election. I realize that there was an administration to get up and running, but most of the campaign people weren’t involved in that, and the time was ripe in all the excitement to keep reminding people that while they’d accomplished something great, if they wanted to keep it great they had to stay engaged, maybe not every day, because that’s not realistic for most people, but at least every year.

    Have a pledge to vote in every election, send out locally-tailored reminders. You’ll still get a lot of drop-off, but I think to a not insignificant portion of voters, it would mean something that they’d promised they would do it. Way too many people only vote in presidential elections because the others are more complicated (there are actually studies about this) and it’s harder to find good information about the candidates and issues. A sense of obligation to vote can turn that around, instead of not voting because you don’t know enough to make an informed decision, the fact that you’re going to vote means you have to become informed.

    I may be a cockeyed optimist, but I think such a thing could make a difference. It’s harder now, but it still can.

  20. 20
    Cacti says:

    there is hope among white wine track liberals that their hostility toward President Obama might extend to the AA community for 2012.

    Fix’d.

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    It’s not about Obots vs. firebaggers. It’s about Obama positioning himself the way he has. Chances are, he gets a lot of independent voters to replace the base he alienated. The question is: will it be enough.

    Generally, turn-out plans or sessions are more practical and step by step than this broader punditry idea of a national, generic base.

    That’s my only point. The point of these sessions is not to pontificate on how you or I perceive “the base” but to talk about specific groups of voters in specific areas and how to reach them, physically, and real-world.

    But, again, if that’s not what you want to talk about, feel free. The broader pundit opinion stuff doesn’t interest me as much as specifics, so I won’t be in on that on this topic.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek

    if the self-appointed “base” wants to sit on their ideological pure thumbs as some kind of protest over the fact that they don’t understand how US politics works, could they at least STFU and not involve the rest of us in their wallowing ?

    cleek, I would never have considered you’d be so derisive of the AA voting community.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    I always thought one of the big lost opportunities post-2008 was to engage new voters with the idea that you always vote in every election.

    I agree. I think that’s a great way to state it, too. That leaves everything but the physical act of voting up to them.

  24. 24
    Ronbo says:

    It will be EASY for the Republicans to write, produce and air advertisements that cause Black voters to stay home. It will be nearly impossible for Democrats to run ads saying “Because he is black, he understands your pain.”

    When it comes to taking action, Obama is a white as my ass. If Obama could don a hood, he’d have a seat waiting at the both the Skull and Crossbones meeting and the KKK.

    When you are actually the President, we measure more than just your pretty, ineffectual words. We measure you by your action. Who was it that signed legislation extending the Bush tax cuts that supports the Republican agenda of focusing on the Deficit? As President, Mr. Obama plays ball for the Republicans, while talking as if he were a Democrat. Optics? Words? Actions? You can no longer fool your followers.

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    5 million first-time voters in 2008.

    Almost 50,000 of them were in Maine, where same-day registration is now illegal, after 38 years of the first-, second- or third-highest turnout in the country.

    And no absentee voting on the Friday or Monday prior, either.

    GOP state house and governor….

  26. 26
    Cacti says:

    Barack Obama doesn’t care about black people.

    Just ask white liberals, or one of their spokesmascots Tavis Smiley or Cornel West.

  27. 27
    stormhit says:

    Jesus Christ does this place suck now.

  28. 28
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    We have to keep them engaged in between elections working on issues, etc.

    Kay, how about nominating a Democratic candidate who will at least TRY to follow up on his campaign rhetoric and not reveal him or herself as a corporate tool upon election? That would likely go a long way toward keeping young and new voters engaged.

    And I have never bought this idea that everyday citizens should have to stay in campaign mode 24/7 just to make the fuckers who gain office do what they were hired to do. The fact that you accept that twisted premise is a sure sign that you have bought into a perverse system.

    Candidates with integrity (and no, I’m not talking about who they show their organs to online) and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand are what is missing for the most part. Anthony Weiner was one of the rare go-getters, which is why he had to be destroyed by the system.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti

    Just ask white liberals, or one of their spokesmascots Tavis Smiley or Cornel West.

    Cacti, I don’t hold a brief for either of those gentlemen but just to be clear – are you refudiating their essential existence as black males because they differ from President Obama?
    And if not, what exactly are you comporting on to them?

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Anthony Weiner was one of the rare go-getters, which is why he had to be destroyed by the system.

    We used to call it ‘the johnson’ or ‘the tool’ or ‘the schlong’ or something like… I guess you kids call it something different now.

  31. 31
    Allan says:

    Obama has alienated a huge part of his base, hoping to capture more of the center.

    Yes, Obama has alienated a huge part of his base, all right.

    But wait, Allan, you say. Didn’t Netroots Nation prove that progressives have completely abandoned Obama?

    A straw poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research showed that 80 percent either approve or strongly approve of the president more than a year before voters head to the polls to decide whether he deserves a second term. The results broke down to 27 percent strongly approving of Obama and 53 percent approving “somewhat.” Thirteen percent said they “somewhat disapprove,” and 7 percent strongly disapprove of the president. The poll of 519 people was conducted via iPad in the Minneapolis Convention Center on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

  32. 32
    Redshift says:

    You left out: after they can’t rely on the candidate’s record to motivate on its own.

    Have you ever worked on a political campaign? Since you apparently haven’t, I’ll point out that you left out “you can’t ever rely on a candidate’s record to motivate on its own.”

    Not everyone is a political junkie or a noble model citizen; plenty of people are inclined to support your side but think their vote doesn’t matter that much (look of “diffusion of responsibility”), or that they’re not smart enough or informed enough to decide the right way, or really meant to but were busy and didn’t quite get around to it. That’s why we have political campaigns, and motivating and turning out voters is what wins them, not a candidate whose record is so glorious that everyone spontaneously surges to the polls.

    Please, please, go support candidates who expect to sweep into office based on their sterling record, without any of that dirty, dirty “voter motivation” and “turnout” work. It’ll keep you busy, nurse your butthurt, and won’t make the slightest difference to us residents of the real world, because they’ll never get elected and we’ll never hear of them. And we’ll be spared your whining about how the need to campaign proves the president has obviously failed everyone who voted for him.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ Alan: Welcome to the internet-age version of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:

    “No, sir. This is the West Internet, sir. When the blog post becomes fact, print the blog post.”

  34. 34
    Redshift says:

    Thanks for a really good post, Kay. I’ve been enjoying your posts about the real nuts and bolts stuff about NN much more than the hair-tearing about the stuff that grabbed media attention.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    I don’t hold a brief for either of those gentlemen but just to be clear – are you refudiating their essential existence as black males because they differ from President Obama?

    I think they make fine spokesmodels for Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and McDonalds.

  36. 36
    El Cid says:

    Hey, at least we don’t have to worry about ACORN doing a lot of work registering African Americans and residents of poor communities and then organizing for voting anymore.

    On Monday, October 6 [2008], as voter registration deadlines passed in most states, ACORN completed the largest, most successful nonpartisan voter registration drive in history.
    __
    In partnership with the nonpartisan organization Project Vote, we helped register over 1.3 million low-income, minority, and young voters in a total of 21 states. Highlights of this success include:
    __
    We collected over 151,000 registrations in Florida, 153,000 in Pennsylvania, 215,000 in Michigan, and nearly 250,000 in Ohio.
    __
    An estimated 60-70 percent of our applicants are people of color.

  37. 37
    Cacti says:

    Anthony Weiner was one of the rare go-getters, which is why he had to be destroyed by the system.

    Yeah, when the Republican mob was gunning for Cordova House, Anthony Weiner was at the vanguard of defending the First Amendment rights of an unpopular religious minority…

    No, wait, he was silent as a fucking church mouse. That must have been his super-secret progressive-jitsu.

  38. 38
    Alex S. says:

    Maybe the filibuster should be killed after all. As long as there is the 60-vote requirement that cannot be fulfilled by either party we have a huge no-action-zone because the parties block each other and people think that their votes don’t matter.

  39. 39
    Allan says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    When I shared that Roll Call link on twitter, someone came back and huffed that since it “only” surveyed 519 people at NN11, it was not representative.

    I responded while I haven’t seen attendance figures, last year’s NN had about 2200 people, so this would mean that almost 1/4 of attendees participated. Meanwhile, the ABC News/WaPo poll showing Romney leading Obama that was headlined for days surveyed 1,002 people out of over 300 million.

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    This is very simple. It’s a flawed Obama who may not be uber-liberal, but at least has tried to pass progressive legislation vs. one of many crazy ass, fundamentalist, backwards ass, anti-science, anti-education Republicans. If you’re considering not voting because you aren’t “motivated” enough or because Obama and crew haven’t properly fellated your sorry ass, then get the fuck out the pool, turn in your fucking passport and citizenship, and go find somewhere else to live. If you ain’t a part of the solution, then you’re the fucking problem.

    This is fucking stupid. All this whiny ass, emo shit is the exact reason we deserve to have bible-thumpin’ representatives. Get over your ego, fucking vote and grow the fuck up.

  41. 41
    gbear says:

    Tim, Interrupted @ 28, May TBogg have a word with you?

  42. 42
    cleek says:

    @Corner Stone

    cleek, I would never have considered you’d be so derisive of the AA voting community.

    wasn’t responding to the AA community. was responding to the “i’m the base, and it’s Obama fault i’m not gonna vote” community.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    Meanwhile, the ABC News/WaPo poll showing Romney leading Obama that was headlined for days surveyed 1,002 people out of over 300 million.

    1000 randomly selected participants is considered statistically significant to within (I believe) +/- 5%.
    500 people at a self selected event are less so.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek

    wasn’t responding to the AA community. was responding to the “i’m the base, and it’s Obama fault i’m not gonna vote” community.

    kay’s post started out detailing the disenchantment felt by Blacks and the fact that they may consider staying home in 2012. So, it seemed odd for you to tangentially launch an attack against an ephemeral “the base” when no one had claimed that excepting the AA quip blockquoted by kay.

  45. 45
    Allan says:

    @Corner Stone: I linked in my comment above to Gallup’s polling, showing a virtually unchanging level of support for Obama from liberal Democrats over the last couple of years. And will gladly link to it again and again until you click through and view it for yourself.

    The point about the NN straw poll is that it refutes the MSM meme that NN attendees were extremely unhappy with Obama. 519 out of a little more than 2000 people is an extremely large sample.

    I realize this data challenges your comfirmation bias.

  46. 46
    Rhoda says:

    First of all: the Obama team has always made personal contact a priority (something a lot of other democratic campaigns haven’t always done) and are doing so again.

    Second: the idea that you should vote every election isn’t going to animate many who are casual political consumers. You have to contact voters and come into their lives and sell them on the candidate. People have lives and the system is set up for high information voters to make an impact; not the masses to actually vote. If the goal was to have a maximum number of voters we’d have an election week; not a day and polls open 24/7.

    Third: I think there are a lot of Obama supporters out there who aren’t engaged and you can start with the five million who came out for the President in 2008. The Obama team is spending 2011 attempting to reconnect with them and engage them in the campaign while the Republicans run their primaries. We’ll see how it shakes out in 2012.

    This was interesting Kay, thanks for the report.

  47. 47
    Alex S. says:

    @ Corner Stone, 44:

    kay’s post started out detailing the disenchantment felt by Blacks and the fact that they may consider staying home in 2012

    Not true. Her post starts with pointing out that the new voters of 2008 might stay home.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    Allan, you simple tool, 519 out of a pre-selected 2000 is irrelevant to anyone but mindless tools looking for their own confirmation bias.
    The Gallup poll does a rolling 3 day avg of 1500 nationally selected adults with a +/- error of 3%.
    I’m not going to argue with you about an NN poll that means less than what you post here.

  49. 49
    cleek says:

    @Corner Stone

    So, it seemed odd for you to tangentially launch an attack against an ephemeral “the base” when no one had claimed that excepting the AA quip blockquoted by kay.

    huh? go read my first comment on this thread. note that the second blockquote is from a comment just before mine.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @Alex S.
    By rights I shouldn’t even be talking to you since you were so hateful to me earlier, and really hurt my feelings.
    But WTS, I’ll agree she started discussing how to keep new voters engaged. Then quickly transitioned into a quip from the panelist she found interesting.
    Can I get a Politifact rating?

  51. 51
    Rommie says:

    Not that I want to be a year older so quickly, but I can’t wait for June 2012 to get here. All this theory-crafting about the election will go away, and we’ll have an actual campaign going, with actual opponents. It’ll be harder to defend purity tests when the alternative is clearer.

  52. 52
    Kane says:

    This week the media narrative is that progressiv­es are disgruntle­d with President Obama and his administra­tion. Last week the narrative was that those on Wall Street are upset with Obama. The week before that the narrative was that African Americans are upset with Obama. And the week before that the narrative was that Jewish Americans might not be as supportive of Obama as they once were. If someone from any group offers criticism of Obama, it is sure to be noted and reported and given a narrative of looming doom. It’s the continuation of the prevalent narrative of 2008 where every issue was raised as a potential problem for Obama.

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    The Gallup poll does a rolling 3 day avg of 1500 nationally selected adults with a +/- error of 3%.

    There is a whole science behind survey research, including how you minimize bias in any random sampling of a population. A self-selected survey (like Zogby) is virtually impossible to remove cases of heavy bias from, whereas a random sample of names out of the phone book is easier to smooth out and determine trends. Believe it or not the magic number they found is 400. Before that the margins of error swing too heavily. After that, it is enough of an actual sample that you can determine within a known percentage how accurate the answer is.

    I used to work in this field. I also got the chance to work with one of the pioneers of survey research. He’s more than happy to tell you how Zogby r doing it rong.

  54. 54
    Allan says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Reading is fundamental. I am saying that 519 out of 2000 is a fairly representative sample of the 2000 people who attended the NN11 event.

    And that the Gallup poll, especially given two years’ worth of data, is a pretty good indicator of the national mood of self-described liberal Democrats.

    The former refutes the meme that the people at NN have abandoned Obama.

    The latter refutes the meme that the liberal Democratic base has abandoned Obama.

    You can keep insulting me until Harold Camping’s predictions finally come true, but the data I present speaks for itself.

  55. 55
    ruemara says:

    Wow, I am very thankful so many people are here to speak up for me, a disenfranchised, underemployed, perenially broke, nearly homeless, AA female. It’s awesome. It’s like I don’t actually have to speak from my experiences or of the people around me, who are like me, I can just sit back and hear what I think! Awesome. Happily, within our community, we’re oddly happy with the President, pissed at Republicans, pissed at Democrats, considering a 3rd party but only as a fantasy football thing and concerned about voting rights. The problem of maintaining consistent voting populations remains, but there are some efforts underway to teach new voters and not so new ones that the past 2 years are what you get when you stay away. We’re hoping to return to the church organizations to push turnout, to make up for the loss of things like the ACORN network. When I talk to younger voters who are not AA, it’s usually too late, they’re already too engaged in politics to be warned about not voting. Oh well. Which makes me oddly hopeful that younger voters are possibly more aware and more ready to vote than what experts think. But more outreach should be done and it is where all our efforts from now on should be at.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Allan:

    I am saying that 519 out of 2000 is a fairly representative sample of the 2000 people who attended the NN11 event.

    And as long as that subset is self selecting, you’d still be wrong. If there’s a motivation bias to participate in the survey, the respondents aren’t a fair sampling of the population and you’ll get skewed results. It could be that the ~400 people who came out in support of Obama were the only ones at NN who like him but they’re extremely motivated to make their opinion known. Or maybe the haters were extra motivated so his actual favorability rating at NN is even higher than the poll suggests. With a 25% response rate, you just don’t and can’t know.

  57. 57
    AxelFoley says:

    I guaran-damn-tee you the black vote won’t be a problem. We’ve always turned out for at times mediocre white Democratic candidates, so what make some of you think we won’t turn out again for the first African-American President, who, despite all that has been thrown at him by the Right AND the Left (and don’t think we haven’t been paying attention), has got a LOT of shit done in only 2½ years?

    We, like President Obama, play the long game. Since we’ve been in this land, we’ve had no choice. We’re used to struggling, so we don’t jump ship like other groups when the boat starts rockin’.

  58. 58
    Jon O says:

    piss piss piss, moan moan moan, JUST WORDS, he sold us out

    Oh good, looks like this will be a thoroughly educational comment thread.

    Re: the topic Kay actually posted about, I think there’s inevitably going to be some dropoff in youth turnout (not voting to elect the first black President anymore, GOP state legislatures disenfranchising students), but the Obama team definitely has the ability to frame the debate as past vs. future. The GOP is trying to bring us back to a pre-New Deal social safety net, they’re still trying to make abortion illegal, and their views on gay rights are way out of the mainstream. Granted, this theme has been ongoing, but to engage youth voters I think it’s important for Dems to talk about the ways electing Republicans in 2010 has already screwed us for the next several years. Republicans have absolutely no interest in creating jobs (except insofar as “creating jobs” is their term for further funding our plutocracy), and the WH needs to call them on that. That is, if the WH hadn’t already conceded the premise of “shared sacrifice”. The Obama team did a great job last time around of engaging social media – why aren’t they running Youtube attack ads yet?

    Oh right, because the election isn’t for 17 months.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    OT..I mentioned the article in the NYTIMES last night on Clarence Thomas. A few sites are reporting on possible fund raising he has done that may appear to be unethical but not illegal. The section that I think should be investigated is the following.. If he is using SMU to hide his connection to Crow that it is illegal. Someone needs to subpoena those records.
    Since 2004, Justice Thomas has never reported another gift. He has continued to disclose travel costs paid by schools and organizations he has visited for speeches and teaching, but he has not reported that any travel was provided by Mr. Crow.

    Travel records for Mr. Crow’s planes and yacht, however, suggest that Justice Thomas may have used them in recent years.

    In April 2008, not long after Mr. Crow bought the Pin Point property, one of his private planes flew from Washington to Savannah, where his yacht, the Michaela Rose, was docked.

    That same week, an item appeared in a South Carolina lawyers’ publication noting that Justice Thomas was arriving aboard the Michaela Rose in Charleston, a couple of hours north of Savannah, where the Crow family owns luxury vacation properties. The author was a prominent lawyer who said she knew of the visit because of a family connection to Mr. Crow.

    Justice Thomas reported no gifts of travel that month in his 2008 disclosure. And there are other instances in which Justice Thomas’s travels correspond to flights taken by Mr. Crow’s planes.

    On Jan. 4, 2010, when Justice Thomas was in Savannah for the dedication of a building in his honor, Mr. Crow’s plane flew from Washington to Savannah and returned to Washington the next day. Justice Thomas reported in his financial disclosure that his travel had been paid for by the Savannah College of Art and Design, which owned the building.

    In his 2009 financial disclosure, Justice Thomas reported that Southern Methodist University in Dallas — Trammell Crow’s alma mater — had provided his travel for a speech there on Sept. 30. Flight records show that Mr. Crow’s plane flew from Washington to Dallas that day.

    Among the questions The Times submitted to Justice Thomas was whether he was on any of those flights, and if so, whether the colleges reimbursed him or Mr. Crow. The colleges declined to comment.

  60. 60
    JPL says:

    now continue your fight about Obama and think about all the other Clarence Thomas’ that will be nominated by the repubs.

  61. 61
    AxelFoley says:

    @ Kane

    This week the media narrative is that progressiv es are disgruntle d with President Obama and his administra tion. Last week the narrative was that those on Wall Street are upset with Obama. The week before that the narrative was that African Americans are upset with Obama. And the week before that the narrative was that Jewish Americans might not be as supportive of Obama as they once were. If someone from any group offers criticism of Obama, it is sure to be noted and reported and given a narrative of looming doom. It’s the continuation of the prevalent narrative of 2008 where every issue was raised as a potential problem for Obama.

    Exactly.

    Y’know what’s funny? Now, it may be because I never paid thisclose attention to politics before 2008 (I did watch politics play out, but not to the extent I do now), but I don’t recall a president being polled so much about his performance as Obama. I mean, every damn week since he won the election, the media always put out polls regarding his job performance, et al.

    I just don’t recall that for any other president during any off-election years.

  62. 62
    Alex S. says:

    @ Roger Moore, 56:

    By your standards, you disqualify every poll. After all, theoretically, each and every poll might just field a subset of self-selecting people. And maybe I’m wrong, but where does it say that only these 400-something people were willing to participate? Maybe the response rate was higher because the pollster didn’t ask each and every one of the NN participants?

  63. 63

    turning out young voters sounds like a job for many of the bloggers and social media hounds like us to do. of course, you want to have something to say, and maybe know where actual young people go, unless we plan on mining ex-cong weiner’s twitter feed. i keed i keed.

    this is something that should be organized from somewhere above the blogs. a little on line training about what to say, what not to say, where to say it, how not to sound canned, and also how to say you are a liberal/ dem some vulnerable voters, many of them young will smell a rat, but no need to lie.
    go to them with the friendly, give them some info, let them ask questions.

    the key thing is, don’t let bloggers try to do it on their own, but let them do it.

    i understand turnout is the perpetual problem, and people are tired of hearing about it, but its a consumer culture, and people who aren’t voting want the reasons why they should, brought to them and served with a drink box.

    i plan on volunteering, but if i can volunteer from the comfort of the internet? even better. i want to know that i am on message, with points that will be reinforced, which is why the paid consultants have to lead.

    lets make them put us to work one way or the other. if you are saying that prez rommoney will be a disaster, and we need to re-elect obama, you are already doing it, but only to the choir.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Obama is not who I want him to be.

    But he’s not John McCain, and he’s not any of the utter assclowns that the Jeebofascist/neo-feudalist GOP is offering up to oppose him.

    Which makes the decision on who to vote for in 2012 remarkably simple. I haven’t missed a Presidential election since 1976, when I went with Jimmy Carter because he didn’t pardon the criminal Nixon.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    ACORN completed the largest, most successful nonpartisan voter registration drive in history.

    Oh, nonpartisan, my ass.

    Since most of the people registered were people of color, who would be likely to vote for their own interests, not those of the Koch brothers.

    That makes them the enemy of Jeebofascists and neo-feudalists.

    I might note that this is what makes spreading “democracy” in the rest of the world such a problem. The damn locals insist on actually using the generally accepted definition of “democracy” and not the GOP dogwhistle version, which is “put American corporate interests above your own survival.”

  66. 66
    Redshift says:

    First of all: the Obama team has always made personal contact a priority (something a lot of other democratic campaigns haven’t always done) and are doing so again.

    Second: the idea that you should vote every election isn’t going to animate many who are casual political consumers. You have to contact voters and come into their lives and sell them on the candidate.

    I agree with the last statement, and disagree with the one before it, in part. I wasn’t saying that such a thing would be a substitute for voter contact, I was saying I thought it would help. (I note that the Obama campaign and OFA have made use of ‘pledges’ to vote, but just for one upcoming election, so obviously they see some use in it, too.)

    In particular, I think it could have helped in the midterms and in future midterms, where we don’t have an Obama campaign. I think it was a missed opportunity to take advantage of the high level of excitement to add another bit of motivation that will work on some people.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    But he’s not John McCain

    Oooo…ouch.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    Reading is fundamental. I am saying that 519 out of 2000 is a fairly representative sample of the 2000 people who attended the NN11 event.

    It’s true Allan. You are saying that. But everyone else is laughing at you because a subset of a pre-selected group is meaningless, statistically.

  69. 69
    gwangung says:

    Allan, you simple tool, 519 out of a pre-selected 2000 is irrelevant to anyone but mindless tools looking for their own confirmation bias.

    Corner stone, sorry, but you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    You’re not generalizing that 519 to the entire nation or to the, you’re generalizing that to the Net Roots attending population, who are presumably net activists and most enthusiastic about progressive issues.

    You can say that this isn’t a representative sample of Net Roots, but at 519 out of a couple thousand, the statistics argue against you.

    Feel free to argue that this isn’t representative of national voters, but you’re going to have to use more sophisticated sampling arguments.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    Believe it or not the magic number they found is 400. Before that the margins of error swing too heavily. After that, it is enough of an actual sample that you can determine within a known percentage how accurate the answer is.

    Actually the number they found was =/- 1000 random particpants.
    Anything under that is statistically insignificant.
    Sure, you could take the answers from 400 people. If you wanted a +/- 9% error margin.

  71. 71
    gwangung says:

    It’s true Allan. You are saying that. But everyone else is laughing at you because a subset of a pre-selected group is meaningless, statistically.

    What does this mean against other surveys of liberally inclined voters?

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung
    Ha! Good luck proving that statistically.
    The pre-selected sample of self-chosen 2000 people?
    Good luck.

  73. 73
    jwb says:

    @Roger Moore: This is not quite right either. With a 25% sample, that sets fairly strong minimums and maximums within the population, presuming the sample is actually a sample of the population that it says it is. If 80% of that 25% approve of Obama, that means that at minimum he has 20% support of those in attendance. (It’s likely much higher than 20% but we know that it is at least 20% no matter what sort of bias might be in the sample.) Vice versa, we know that at least 5% disapprove of his performance (again, it’s probably higher, but that minimum is irrespective of any bias in the sample). The same is true, of course, of any poll; but the sample size relative to the population is generally so small that the raw numbers don’t tell us much. It’s the fact that the sample here is fairly large with respect to the population sampled that the raw counts are inherently significant.

  74. 74
    gwangung says:

    Sure, you could take the answers from 400 people. If you wanted a +/- 9% error margin.

    For certain results, you know, that’s enough.

  75. 75
    piratedan says:

    you folks are missing the point here, its really NOT about Obama. It simply isn’t. He’s not Bob LaFollette, we get that. Yes, people are disillusioned that not as much got done as we would have hoped. Yet, more legislation was passed in his first two years in office that did more good than in the previous 20. More would have been enacted if the R’s hadn’t consistently gamed the system to prevent/delay/table a boatload of legislation that NancySMASH had pulled out of the Congress.

    Much of the blame for this can be attributed to various causes… the deaths of Senators Kennedy and Byrd, which screwed the magical 60 number. the inability or unwillingness for Reid to tie more changes to the budget which would have allowed more simple majority votes to take place and effectively would have taken the bully pulpit away from asshats like Sens Nelson, Lieberman, Landrieu, Lincoln and Bayh who also did their part to piss away some of the better parts of the legislation that DID pass.

    The damned SCOTUS decision from hell which flooded the damn airwaves and cost the Dems the 2010 election, with an ample assist from Tim Kaine’s gameplan of “whatthehellamI reallydoinghere” and a full on MSM abandonment of actually reporting the news while they carried on their love affair with the astroturfed teabaggers and turned a blind eye to more corporate shenanigans with the WVA mining disaster and the BP gulf pollution.

    Lets not acknowledge that there are still roughly 30% of the presidential appointees being held up from taking their positions thru nothing more than sheer spite and NOBODY is reporting about that.

    So yeah, people are disappointed and yeah, even if half of those things above broke in a way favorable to Dems it still would have come up short because those rat bastards in the other party did their very best to dig us into the deepest damn hole that they could manage and they’re willing to screw us all just so they can be in charge again. No lie that is beyond the pale and no quote or response that can’t be taken out of context for them to use however they see fit. They still refuse to accept that they are responsible for it and continue to act like children about it and all you guys seem to want to do is take potshots at the only guy in the room with a shovel and a bucket and bitch about how the smell in the room is intolerable for you.

    I remember this shit, I was there, weren’t you? You wanna talk about differences between this guy and the last and whose base is energized and whose isn’t, be my guest. You wanna energize the base, look at what is being done at the local level to education, to unions, to the elderly, to women, to minorities and if you can’t find something in there to motivate people (or even yourselves) to get out to vote for “our guys” then what the hell are you doing here other than trolling?

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung
    You mean the self selected 2000 liberal voters sampled somehow?
    Stop being stupid.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    For certain results, you know, that’s enough.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA
    Thanks dog.

  78. 78
    gwangung says:

    @gwangung
    Ha! Good luck proving that statistically.
    The pre-selected sample of self-chosen 2000 people?

    You’re amusing me.

  79. 79
    Lolis says:

    I think it is unreasonable to get a bunch of young voters or anyone else fired up for an election that will happen over a year from now. Most people are not that engaged in politics and don’t want to be. People are down right now because of the economy. I don’t know how it will be in a year from now. That will be the question. The things a lot of liberals seem to want to focus on like gay marriage and Libya will not be on the minds of most voters in November 2012.

    As for black voters, I think by next April a lot of them will be more fired up. I think many blacks feel that Obama has faced a lot of racism and will do what they can to get him re-elected. We can never forget that Obama has faced historical levels of obstruction along with enormous challenges with the economy, the wars, and debt.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @Alex S.:
    No, this does not invalidate every survey. Serious surveys do their best to select a random subset of people by, for example, picking phone numbers at random and asking the person in the house whose birthday comes next to answer. They try hard to eliminate any bias that may come from selective response rates by doing things like calling back several times if they don’t get an answer the first time. The really careful ones will compare the demographics of the people they polled to the voting population as a whole and normalizing their results that way. That’s completely different from inviting anyone to participate and accepting it when only a small, self-selected subset chooses to do so.

  81. 81
    boss bitch says:

    I’m pretty sick and tired of AA’s being used as a tool to bash Obama. Our communities ALWAYS hurt more in a recession. It shouldn’t be extra special this time because we have an AA president. Where are all these AA’s that feel alienated by Obama? I don’t and I don’t know anyone personally who feels that way. I’ve only heard these complaints from a few online AA bloggers who are quoted by White Liberal blogs to “prove” that the AA community is unhappy with Obama. What pisses me off most is that I don’t see or hear about any of these critics organizing in our neighborhoods. I think its best for people to worry about our enthusiasm for 2016 instead.

    Anyway, my biggest worry regarding the youth vote is making sure they are able to vote on election day. All these new voter suppression laws affect them as well. If we want them to come out, we have to make sure the process is as easy as possible.

    @Kay: my comment is not aimed at you. Just to be clear.

  82. 82
    gwangung says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA
    Thanks dog.

    When the differences are 80/20–apply the margin of error of 9%.

    What most people forget about stats is that small sample size or large error margins do not mean, inherently, that the results are useless; if you get a statistically significant result even with a 100 people, it’s statistically significant (it’s just likely the differences we’re looking at are pretty dramatic).

    This is hammered in quite heavily in stats classes.

  83. 83
    gwangung says:

    That’s completely different from inviting anyone to participate and accepting it when only a small, self-selected subset chooses to do so.

    I think careful people are careful on to which population they are generalizing the results to. You shouldn’t generalize this survey to the voting population. You wouldn’t generalize this to likely liberal voters.

    But you might try to generalize this to people who see themselves as activists for progressive causes; even better, people who see themselves as activists using internet methods to motivate people.
    (Carefully, though. Very carefully).

  84. 84
    Yutsano says:

    if you get a statistically significant result even with a 100 people, it’s statistically significant

    There are cases when that’s true. But there seems to be a huge case of false extrapolation by both Allan and CS here. The NN self-selected sample may or may not be statistically significant, it’s hard to tell without exact methodology. In a national surveying situation, if you select 100 voices, that will not give you a representative feeling of a national population. That number really starts at 400. Usually national surveys aim for 1500 because it makes the demographic numbers smoother. It doesn’t give the actual results any more weight.

  85. 85
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone“Actually the number they found was =/- 1000 random particpants.
    Anything under that is statistically insignificant.
    Sure, you could take the answers from 400 people. If you wanted a +/- 9% error margin.”

    Margin of error varies with N, so long as the population is large and the sample is random. 100 people gets you a margin of error of roughly ±10%; 400 people gets you a margin of error of roughly ±5%; 1000 people gets you a margin of error of roughly ±3%.

  86. 86
    Roger Moore says:

    @jwb:

    If 80% of that 25% approve of Obama, that means that at minimum he has 20% support of those in attendance.

    The point is that when you have a self-selecting population you can’t be sure that the 25% polled are an accurate representation of the whole. They’re probably not so biased that you have to take the whole possible 20-95% range you could get from perfect motivation on one side, but the error bars are certainly a lot bigger than they would be for a randomly selected population with the same results.

  87. 87
    boss bitch says:

    Maybe we need to start scaring some of these kids. Introduce them to the fossils that will be making their decisions for them if they don’t vote. Paint a picture of them living with their parents until they are 40 and then having to take care of their parents for the next 40 because they stayed home on election day or voted against their economic interests.

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    There are cases when that’s true. But there seems to be a huge case of false extrapolation by both Allan and CS here.

    How so? By me, I mean.

  89. 89
    gwangung says:

    But there seems to be a huge case of false extrapolation by both Allan and CS here.

    Yeah, that’s fair to say. There’s selection problems with any survey, and to a degree there’s self selection in any survey.

    But the main thing to make clear is what are we extrapolating to. People attending Netroots? Kinda hard to argue against that. Likely voters on a national scale? Kinda argue FOR that.

    I think there are some populations that it might have insight on.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb
    If you want to take a statistically significant reading from the self selected NN group, that’s on you.

  91. 91
    nancydarling says:

    Kay, FWIW. I book marked the link to the panelist you wrote about. I am in a very moribund Democratic Women’s group here in NW Arkansas and we have been brainstorming ideas about how to get younger people involved. The ideas she throws out don’t just apply to young AA’s. We only have about 6 blacks in the whole county, but young people are very much alike no matter how much melanin they have. Sports is possibility for us in terms of sponsoring teams or entrants in races. Thanks for your reporting from NN.

  92. 92
    Alex S. says:

    @ Roger Moore, 79:

    Just to remember, you’re criticising Allan for using an unrepresentative poll. But Allan’s claim, that Obama is NOT unpopular among the participants of NN, is well-supported by the poll. He did not cite this poll to claim anything that goes beyond Netroots Nation, just about Obama’s popularity among this group. And to poll 519 out of 2000-something people, 25% of all possible subject, is pretty good. It’s as if you’d be polling 26 million people for a general election (130 million voters in 2008). The pollster that conducted this poll, GQR is relatively reliable. And I checked Nate Silver, a 25% response rate is pretty good. But then I don’t think that GQR tried to poll each and every one. So the rate is most probably higher.

  93. 93
    Yutsano says:

    How so? By me, I mean.

    gwangung kinda answers it for me:

    But the main thing to make clear is what are we extrapolating to. People attending Netroots? Kinda hard to argue against that. Likely voters on a national scale? Kinda argue FOR that.

    Not bad for a Husky I’ll admit. :)

    And I checked Nate Silver, a 25% response rate is pretty good

    A 25% response rate is a surveyor’s wet dream. I know survey outfits who would KILL for a response rate like that. At my old job we though we were doing damn well if we got a 15% response rate.

  94. 94
    jwb says:

    @Roger Moore: I didn’t say that you could generalize from the survey. In fact, I specifically said you couldn’t generalize. What I did say is that if you sample a large portion of the population (as in this case, 25%), then you have some real information about that population. No, we don’t know anything about that 20-95% range (since it wasn’t surveyed and we don’t know how the 25% that was surveyed relates to the 75% that wasn’t). But we do know something significant about maximums and minimums within the population. We know that within this population 20% support Obama, so that means at most 80% oppose him; vice versa, we know that 5% oppose him, so that means that at most 95% support him. From that information alone, I would think it improper to report a statement like “Everyone at NN hates Obama,” even as hyperbole, since 20% seems like a number that would indicate a significant level of support.

  95. 95
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: Reading comprehension, how does it work?

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    Hey Yutz.
    This is Allan’s claim from this straw poll:

    Didn’t Netroots Nation prove that progressives have completely abandoned Obama?

    Prove that “Progressives”. As a whole. Not NN. Progressives.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    Hey jwb. I don’t know. How does it?

    “and the sample is random”

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @gwangung:

    You shouldn’t generalize this survey to the voting population. You wouldn’t generalize this to likely liberal voters.

    My point is that you can’t even generalize it to NN attendees unless the survey represents a random sample of the people who were there. As far as I can tell, it was not a random sample, so it’s about as useful as a random internet poll, even within the group of on-line liberal activists.

  99. 99
    Carl Nyberg says:

    My concern is that a bunch of citizens who want to vote won’t be registered at their current address.

    I think more effort should be put into voter registration. Plus Dems can get some email addresses and phone numbers along the way.

  100. 100
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: The reading comprehension thing really isn’t working for you today, now, is it? Must be too many hours in the Texas sun. If I was ever trying to extrapolate the survey to NN as whole, you might have a point. But I didn’t, so you don’t.

  101. 101
    Cassidy says:

    But I didn’t, so you don’t.

    He argues for the sake of arguing.

  102. 102
    Elliecat says:

    We have to keep them engaged in between elections working on issues, etc. I’ve never liked the whole approach because it’s always framed so passively: we have to do this for them. It’s like they’re all just sitting somewhere, frozen in time between elections, waiting for their elders to arrive and start barking out orders

    “We” and “them”: this is the problem.

    How about “we” get involved in our communities in ways that bring us into contact with “them” in ways that aren’t dependent on campaigns and political action? How about we try to live our lives in ways where these folks are a lot closer to “we” than “them”?

    I’ve proposed this (I’m starting to think quite radical) idea before. I believe that everyone who is active in and/or concerned about politics should be making a concerted effort to get involved in their local communities. Not just local politics (though there needs to be a lot more of that) but involved with their communities as neighbors and people who are sharing a local society as well as a larger one. There are a lot of reasons, but here are the immediately relevant ones.

    Who is more likely to bring you information you will listen to and consider—a stranger who knocks on your door with a spiel and a pamphlet or someone you know from your neighborhood, from a social or hobby club, from church, from PTA, from volunteering together at the animal shelter or food pantry or local school or from participating in a local clean-up project, community event, etc.?

    How do we learn the concerns of the casual voter and the best way to engage them? From doing surveys or from casual conversation, observation, working or eating side by side?

    How can we best make sure people’s votes are not suppressed by voter ID laws—by making sure they receive phone calls or mailings from strangers or by talking with them as we have learned to talk with them, perhaps having to explain in detail, perhaps offering help to shepherd them through process?

    I don’t think it’s any crazier an idea than insisting that it’s up to the office holder to try to keep them perpetually engaged.

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    I don’t think it’s any crazier an idea than insisting that it’s up to the office holder to try to keep them perpetually engaged.

    But the other way allows the purity trolls to be emo and bask in their self-righteousness.

  104. 104
    Elliecat says:

    But the other way allows the purity trolls to be emo and bask in their self-righteousness.

    LOL (in part because I’m so old that every time I see the word “emo” I immediately hear Emo Phillips’ whining voice in my head).

  105. 105
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Someone speaking on a panel at the DailyKos-organized national confab thinks that Obama is going to have trouble motivating his base? That _is_ totally unexpected!

  106. 106
    Tony J says:

    Corner Stone,

    “This is Allan’s claim from this straw poll”

    Didn’t Netroots Nation prove that progressives have completely abandoned Obama?

    “Prove that “Progressives”. As a whole. Not NN. Progressives.”

    Uh, pardon me if I’ve totally missed the point you’ve trying to defend/advance here, but haven’t you got this the wrong way around?

    From that quote, Allan is saying that “some people” are claiming that NN = Progressives and are using some of the quotes that have come out of NN this week to argue that this means ‘Progressives’ are abandoning Obama, but this doesn’t have any real basis in fact, because when 25% of the people at NN were actually polled the vast majority of them supported Obama, so “some people” are actually FOS on their basic premise.

    Or shorter – ‘Progressives’ may have bailed on Obama, but NN doesn’t prove that, because the only evidence anyone bothered to collect from NN showed the opposite.

    Are you seriously trying to Breitbart that into a claim that it was Allan pushing the original NN = Progressives line? Because he wasn’t.

  107. 107
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    By rights I shouldn’t even be talking to you since you were so hateful to me earlier, and really hurt my feelings.

    awwwwww…..that’s so fucking cute.

  108. 108
    Allan says:

    Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.

    Dennis G. put a post on the front page the other day highlighting the media reporting about NN11, hammering home a meme of widespread progressive and netroots despair, fear and and outright loathing of President Obama.

    I believe a few of you read it and commented on it.

    This was the context into which I dropped some useful data that seems to contradict those claims, both about NN11 attendees and the president’s national base among liberal Democrats.

    Carry on.

  109. 109
    ABL says:

    I guaran-damn-tee you the black vote won’t be a problem.

    @Axel Foley – i quote lana kane when i say: YYYYYUP.

    but until then, it’s going to be amusing to watch all the speculation about what The Blacks™ are going to do, and how The Blacks™ are going to vote, and to see “well-meaning white folks” serve up stats, and facts about unemployment, and “What has he done for you latelies” and “What would it take for you to not vote for hims”, and when that shit doesn’t work, to simply squint really hard at us, willing with every bone in their body for us to vote for Obama.

    And it’s going to be fun to see the responses to my comment, and how many of the commenters are thinking (or will outright say) “you’re just voting for him because he’s black” because lord knows we just AREN’T GETTING HOW MUCH OBAMA IS JUST LIKE BUSH AND SUCKS THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT.

    heh.

    (edited for their/there fail)

  110. 110
    ABL says:

    plus, what tony said at 105.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb
    No, obviously it isn’t. At least as far as you keep shifting the goalposts.
    How about you speel it out for us dumb Texas boys?

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @chopper
    I’m still a little sensitive about it. It hurt.

  113. 113
    ABL says:

    I’m pretty sick and tired of AA’s being used as a tool to bash Obama. Our communities ALWAYS hurt more in a recession. It shouldn’t be extra special this time because we have an AA president. Where are all these AA’s that feel alienated by Obama? I don’t and I don’t know anyone personally who feels that way. I’ve only heard these complaints from a few online AA bloggers who are quoted by White Liberal blogs to “prove” that the AA community is unhappy with Obama. What pisses me off most is that I don’t see or hear about any of these critics organizing in our neighborhoods. I think its best for people to worry about our enthusiasm for 2016 instead.

    Anyway, my biggest worry regarding the youth vote is making sure they are able to vote on election day. All these new voter suppression laws affect them as well. If we want them to come out, we have to make sure the process is as easy as possible.

    THIS.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tony J
    Are you stupid?

  115. 115

    Unless you are dealing with an extremely compact CD even as lowly a candidate as a US Rep will not be able to meet and speak with much of a percentage of the voters. Ads and signs and stuff are visible, but don’t do a lot to get “your” voters to the polls. The most motivating element is personal contact and absent the candidate it is his supporters/activists. It has been shown that repeat contact really ups the likelyhood of success. This means you need a small army to be effective. You cannot ask anyone to repeatedly visit hundreds of people.

    I’m not qualified to psycho-analyse the particapants but it does work and I don’t think the easy reasons you might think of why it works are disqualified.

    Getting a name on the registration rolls is only the first step – that fact gets a Party access to them, it doesn’t mean they’ll bother to vote which is where that access becomes important.

  116. 116
    ABL says:

    Never mind, just read the comments about self-selection. I understand that.

    My dad (used to teach statistics) is embarrassed about my math skills. :)

  117. 117
    Cassidy says:

    How about you speel it out for us dumb Texas boys?

    Stop voting for Jeebus thumping Republicans.

  118. 118
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: Shifting goalposts? Only in your mind. Wevs, as you are so fond of saying.

  119. 119
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb
    Yes. Only in my mind. Wevs.

  120. 120
    Lurker says:

    @AxelFoley, 61

    Now, it may be because I never paid thisclose attention to politics before 2008 (I did watch politics play out, but not to the extent I do now), but I don’t recall a president being polled so much about his performance as Obama. I mean, every damn week since he won the election, the media always put out polls regarding his job performance, et al.
    __
    I just don’t recall that for any other president during any off-election years.

    Yes, indeed, why bother knowing anything when you can just spew about racial conspiracies? For the record, weekly tracking polls have been in use for decades now. Decades.

    But hey, why stop there? Why not say the conspiracy goes further, and that the white man is keeping the true polling numbers hidden? Those racist monsters! Obama’s polling at 137% favorable! It’s science!

    Oh…wait, you say his numbers look much exactly like Reagan’s at the same period in his presidency? Well that’s weird. Take heart, Axel, I’m sure Saint Ronnie’s stoutest of heart, though dumbest of wits followers were decrying a similar polling conspiracy in those days as well.

  121. 121
    lamh34 says:

    @ kay, as a few commenters have said, that panelist you quoted is full of it.

    Listen to regualr non-political urban radio and you will hear a different story. Black voters are NOT the ones you have to worry about. We still support this President in large numbers

    No what Dems need to worry about is down-ticket races. Because I hear the frustration from Black voters about how this President is treated by his own party supporters at times and how he’s treated by GOP and I can see a scenario where they come out to vote for the Presidential election ONLY and the downticket races be damned especially if the downticket congress critters are seen as being part of the group who does not have his “back” so to say.

  122. 122
    Sharl says:

    I love the comment of ruemara @55 so much, I’m gonna blockquote it right here:

    Wow, I am very thankful so many people are here to speak up for me, a disenfranchised, underemployed, perenially broke, nearly homeless, AA female. It’s awesome. It’s like I don’t actually have to speak from my experiences or of the people around me, who are like me, I can just sit back and hear what I think! Awesome. Happily, within our community, we’re oddly happy with the President, pissed at Republicans, pissed at Democrats, considering a 3rd party but only as a fantasy football thing and concerned about voting rights. The problem of maintaining consistent voting populations remains, but there are some efforts underway to teach new voters and not so new ones that the past 2 years are what you get when you stay away. We’re hoping to return to the church organizations to push turnout, to make up for the loss of things like the ACORN network. When I talk to younger voters who are not AA, it’s usually too late, they’re already too engaged in politics to be warned about not voting. Oh well. Which makes me oddly hopeful that younger voters are possibly more aware and more ready to vote than what experts think. But more outreach should be done and it is where all our efforts from now on should be at.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @ Lurker:

    Congratulations on making a total ass of yourself. I figured some privileged white guy was bound to do so in this thread sooner or later.

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutz

    I figured some privileged white guy

    Oh thank God. For a minute there I was afraid you would not be morally scolding us.

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @lamh34

    No what Dems need to worry about is down-ticket races. Because I hear the frustration from Black voters about how this President is treated by his own party supporters at times and how he’s treated by GOP and I can see a scenario where they come out to vote for the Presidential election ONLY and the downticket races be damned

    Wow. Really?

  126. 126
    lamh34 says:

    @Corner Stone

    I’m gonna assume that you asked a serious question with no snark intended, then yes, that scenario is possible. I hear it from people I know all the time. The WILL support the President, but downticket races only benefit because alot of advertisement tell voters to make sure they vote straight Dem ticket.

    If that question was meant as snark, then too bad. It’s infomation like this that Dems, Liberals, activist, whatever need to listen to and hear. Black political bloggers are politicos by admission so they live and breath political issues an policies. The average voter I speak to NOT get down into specifics.

    Here something I read about Rep Cummings and his mother:
    Cummings Says Blacks Will Again Turn Out for Obama

    It’s a good read all around, but the bit about his mother is what I hear alot. Voters like his mother WILL come out to vote for Obama, but the rest of the Dem ticket…???

  127. 127
    Corner Stone says:

    @lamh34
    No, no snark involved. It’s good to get this out into the open. Thanks.

  128. 128
    lamh34 says:

    @Corner Stone…

    cool beans. I guess this is what happens when we talk to each other and not past each other…lol.

  129. 129
    OzoneR says:

    Most of those first time voters voted in 2008 for one reason and one reason only

    George W. Bush

    Nothing you do will turn them out. If the economy was booming, they’d stay home anyway. It doesn’t matter. They’re apolitical.

  130. 130
    OzoneR says:

    Anthony Weiner was one of the rare go-getters, which is why he had to be destroyed by the system.

    It’s also why his district had one of the lowest turnouts in the country in 2010, right?

  131. 131
    Jeneba says:

    Thank you so much, Kay, for the thoughtful write up and I am elated to see it has gotten much traction and has contributed to the ongoing dialogue.

    I have taken note of the very thoughtful comments on this thread. I am also elated that you point out that my thoughts, positions and statements made on the panel on Saturday, in all of my previous writings and communications with the electorate are indeed based on my on-the-grounds and through the net interaction with the voting electorate.

    I also want to address a few commenters who stated it is racist to frame turnout in terms of race and to mention getting the black vote out.

    To the contrary, it would be short sighted and almost foolish to ignore the fact that different races, as a whole, and in general do indeed have unique problems that are almost exclusive to their race alone. People in those groups are not blinded to facts. Tell a brother trying to catch a cab in a poor neighborhood at night, that isn’t a black issue. To that end, the fact remains that the recession, the foreclosure debacle, and unemployment have all hit blacks harder this go round. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging this fact and moving forward and adjusting outreach and engagement efforts with these facts in mind. It’s about being proactive and prepared.

    And no, the voters are not passively sitting around waiting for white liberals to instruct them on the voting process. But again, apathy, passivity and the like are all real problems that need addressing. We can want to take the high, intellectual, high road if we want, and I’m not saying we need to stereotype voters at all, but we need to be realists.

    I just finished penning a reply to the Firedog Lake blogger, One_outer, who wrote a scathing reply to our panel and indicated that we were wrong for encouraging blacks to believe in the power of vote but should be inciting them to join the radical left position of sitting out 2012 or voting third party Green, Libertarian or socialist.

    Folks like that guy just don’t get it in my opinion and is as out of touch as he accused us of being. But c’est la vie.

    At the end of the day, I think we all (including Republicans) want what’s best for the country and just see different ways of accomplishing that perfect union.

    the Firedog post and its 128 supporting comments can be found here: http://my.firedoglake.com/oneo.....ying-eyes/

  132. 132

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