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Monday, November 15, 2004

It's Your World...

Posted by Tim Tagaris

As you have no doubt noticed by now, David hasn't been around to post as often as all of us would like.  I posted here and there, about once a day on a wide range of topics.  I have enjoyed how thoroughly you express your thoughts, especially compared to the short rants sometimes found on other blogs.

However, today I have to leave for six days, returning to Southern Illinois University to finally defend my Masters Thesis after a 7 month break to work on the election, play some basketball, and hang out with old friends.

So, maybe this would be a good opportunity to collect some thoughts about what people want to see posted on this blog, since the election is over (in some people's minds).

What topics would you like to discuss?
How many times a day would you like to see posts?
Should this remain a blog geared toward activism & not necessarily news?
In what way would be able to use this site to promote activism?
Should it focus on upcoming Congressional races for 2006?
Any other thoughts?

Specifics would be great, and when I return we can implement them together.




Posted at 12:37 AM in Site News | Technorati


I've enjoyed this site since the early days. But I kind of miss the state in dept analysis that sort of kicked things off.

Post as often as you guys feel is needed. Just don't go on hiatus for too long at a time though if/when you do.

I say keep activisim, but also keep the news. I like a healthy mix of both. To much activism actually starts to wear me thin on time/money, while to much news makes me feel like I can change anything. Combine the two, and a golden formula is created.

I say go for the coverage/activism of the 2006 races.

And party on!

Posted by: Izixs at November 15, 2004 02:17 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I suggest we abandon discussing possible candidates for 2008. There is no way of knowing what dynamics will be operating by then. I would like to see a discussion of Electoral College reform. There are some who believe that tampering with the College is unwise. It would be good to hear their rational arguments. Then, there are those who think we can do better. My own thinking is that a change that would allow for fractions of electoral votes would eliminate the possibility of a tie and dilute the effects of the inevitible cheating that occurs.

Posted by: James Guglielmino at November 15, 2004 09:44 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I have set up a site whose sole purpose is to discuss changes to the Electoral College at:

I haven't set up a thread for proportional allocation of electors yet, but I can when I get a chance sometime today.

I have no intention of pulling people away from this site. In fact, the interesting discussions that have taken place here has been the encouragement I needed to set up a site of my own.

I would like to see this site refocus on the whole "swing state" concept that it was started on. As I understand it, David wanted to discuss the issues of the swing states and ways to make them blue. For the '06 elections, you guys could discuss the "swing districts" in the House and Senate as well as state level Governerships and Legislatures and how to make them more blue.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 15, 2004 11:04 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The biggest problem with the Electoral College is the fact that it makes over half the nation irrelevant. A lot of large states were ignored in the election because there was no way to turn them. NY, MA, TX, GA, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, MT, WY, ID, VT, CT, RI, DC, IN, IL, MS, AL, AK & CA were completely ignored because there was no way that these states would turn.

Posted by: DFuller at November 15, 2004 11:22 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

There were a number of people who put quite a bit of thought into analyzing broad trends as well as trends in individual states. If someone here has contacts within the party, it may be worth running this site by them to see if there is something they haven't thought of. I wouldn't imagine some party leader totally rethinking anything based on what they read here, but there may be some nuance that they hadn't considered.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 15, 2004 03:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Proportional allocation of electoral votes would only be acceptable if they were distributed the way Colorado had planned...based on a percentage of the overall vote. If it were to be done according to Congressional district winner as Maine and Nebraska do, it would only give the incumbent party more incentive to gerrymander the minority party out of existence.

Posted by: Mark at November 15, 2004 04:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This piece sounds credible to me and I'm interested to know what the sharp
analytical minds that frequent this site have
to say about it:


Sorry if this is not a welcome topic, but is seems
one of immense importance to me.


Posted by: Kurt O. at November 15, 2004 06:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Thankfully, there is going to be a recount in Ohio thanks to Nader and the Greens. But do remember in Ohio, there was a precinct that had some kind of machine error that gave Bush 4000 votes to Kerry's 400 (or something like that). That problem was fixed pretty quickly and would may contribute to the numbers that this article is using. Still, it is well worth recounting this state. I wouldn't mind seeing recounts in a lot of places even in the case of a landslide, just so we can quantify the error in the system.

The Florida numbers do seem a little fishy, too. You would think the Republicans would want a recount or at least some more analysis there (unless they suspected foul play as well). After all, they could be looking a precincts that are 70% registered Dem and voting 70% Rep. I would want to get them to change their party affiliation.

Again, I'd like to see them recount 5 or 6 states that use a variety of the different voting methods, just to get our hands around the uncertainty in the system.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 16, 2004 08:39 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It turns out the recount in Ohio is getting some play in the press, I just haven't seen it yet.


From Olberman's blog:

On Friday, David Shuster, who has already done some excellent research at Hardblogger, did a piece on the mess for Hardball, and Chris followed up with a discussion with Joe Trippi and Susan Molinari. There was a cogent, reasoned, unexcited piece about the mechanics of possible tampering and/or machine failure on CNN���s ���Next��� yesterday, and Saturday alone there were serious news pieces in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Los Angeles Times, Salt Lake Tribune, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. NPR did a segment of its ���On The Media��� on the topic (with said blogger as the guest).

And today the New York Times continues its series of ���Making Vote Counts��� editorials with a pretty solid stance on the necessity of journalistic and governmental proof that the elections weren���t tampered with, nor the victims of Speak & Spell toys retro-fitted as electronic voting units. By way of contrast, though, the Houston Chronicle has an editorial so puerile that it may be the most na��ve thing I���ve ever read that was actually written by a grown-up.

At least there is some coverage. I thought the only place any of us would see anything would be on the Dem blogs.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 16, 2004 09:24 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My analysis of OH:

1) Turnout improvement was about the same in Democratic counties than Republicans counties.

2004 (2000)
Republican 71.77% (64.27%) +7.50%
Democratic 68.05% (60.62%) +7.43%

2) Under votes occurrence was slightly higher in Republican counties. Provision ballots were slightly higher in Democratic counties.

Under votes:

Republican 49,254
Democratic 43,418

Provision Ballots

Republican 70,200
Democratic 85,228

3) If you allocate under votes and provisional ballots based upon county results, Bush's lead increases by 4,324.

Under vote allocation:
Bush 47,290
Kerry 44,056
Other 1,326

Provisional ballots allocation:
Bush 77,242
Kerry 76,152
Other 1,854

4) If you had 100% turnout, Bush would win by 158,272 by allocating votes based upon county.

Bush 4,049,937
Kerry 3,891,665
Other 38,037

5) In order for Kerry to have won the election, the turnout in Democratic counties would have needed to be 88.59% instead of 68.05%.

Posted by: DFuller at November 16, 2004 01:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I read this blog daily during pre-election. It was very helpful, and there was no arguing. Maybe I was wrong, but I thought this was a sight for pro-Democrats. We received news, and people sent in comments and info on what was happening in their part of the country.
As the Republicans/Democrats have such radically differing views (as we saw! ���and are still seeing), I personally am not interested in another WebSite shared by both, because it is just a Battleground.
I would like to see this site stay pro-progressive with no arguing. It should contain any latest news we need to know about what���s happening in Congress on relevant issues; right now, especially with the Bills up for review on the Patriot Act and whatnot, any comments progressive people have on how to help, or have done that helped.
And I would like to see it concentrate on the 2006 Race as it did the 2004 Race.
But, as I have said, I would like you to make up your mind about WHO this site is for. It cannot serve two such radically differing views ��� pick one and let���s go for it.
There is nothing wrong with having a sight where Republican views are not needed or welcomed (heck, OUR VERY OWN government makes it clear that half the country���s opinions aren���t needed, wanted, respected, or cared about.).
The Republicans can make their own sites and do their own things. I have noticed that since they ���won���, they have this kind of fantasy that we are just going to start seeing it their way. It���s not going to happen. Let us NOT FORGET ��� this is a completely DIVIDED country. 50% DID NOT WANT WHAT WE HAVE.

I'll be waiting for your conclusions.

Posted by: Jason at November 16, 2004 04:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'll agree with Tim, although in my post today (see the next thread) I did say something different. The only issue that would be addressed here that could be of interest to moderate Republicans would be electoral reform, which, speaking of swing states, I feel should be one the the issues we focus on. Implementing non-partisan redistricting, instant runoff voting, and the like by 2010 can save this country from the bitter divisions we have in Congress.

I agree and appologize -- arguing is unproductve; after the results in 2004 I want to work on progressive local and then state issues with broad appeal -- electoral reform; clean energy; public transit; raising the minimum wage -- and worry about 2006 later. As has been said, one goal here is to turn the swing states blue. One thing that has been nice about this blog is that we don't have internal arguments either between orthodox/far left and the rest of us; and that people seem to value exploring an issue before jumping to conclusions.

I think another thing to avoid is a superficial/ stereotypical treatment of the blue/red America argument that the media has been obsessed with -- what we are really talking about is voting patterns in certain states.

Posted by: Marc at November 16, 2004 09:43 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment