briarswt: (Default)
[personal profile] briarswt
Ya know what?? I'm not sure I even care anymore - my voice doesn't matter in this one. Why bother even voting - and don't say to have a voice - when you live in a state that has been Blue as long as I know, and when Obama's leading majorly in polls, it REALLY REALLY isn't going to make that much difference


Date: 2008-10-30 02:02 pm (UTC)
infinitegraces: (Election '08 - Alabama for Obama)
From: [personal profile] infinitegraces
Honey, you should vote anyway (even though you'd be voting for someone I'm not).

I live in a state that, at least when it comes to Presidential elections, has been Red for as long as I can remember. It's funny...most of our local people are Dems, but when it comes to Governor, Congress, and the President, we always go Republican. But I'm still going to vote for Obama next Tuesday, because if I don't vote, I'm not entitled to complain if anything unexpected happens - and, to quote the cast of Greek on ABC Family from the commercials about voting - not voting is like telling yourself to "Shut Up," and we just don't want that, do we?

Plus, I'm sure it's not the only thing on your ballot that you could really influence. Yeah, it's getting the most press, but most places have other things on there, too.

Date: 2008-10-30 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey, remember me?

Polls can be wrong; especially this year, since a lot of the polling models are based on guesswork (more so even than usual).

For example, most polling agencies are guessing (keyword: GUESSING) that the African American turnout will be higher this year. They base that on increased registrations, analysis of how 'excited' people are in different demographic groups, etc. Whether that pans out the way the expect on election day is anybody's guess. Some data about early voting suggests that African American turnout will in-fact be close to previous years, but again even that is guessing. Because a certain demographic doesn't turn out to vote early doesn't mean they won't vote on Nov. 4!

Some polls that use a more 'conservative' (in the non-political meaning of the word) methodology are showing this as a race within 2 or 3 points, max, which is close enough that it can really go either way. Gore polled [at least] 2 or 3 points ahead in 2000, and even though he still won the popular vote the margin was much, much narrower than the polls suggested. The 2004 polls showed Bush winning, but showed him winning by 2 or 3 percentage points less than he really did.

In fact, if you look at the last 4 or 5 Presidential races, the polling leading up to the election tended to favor Democrats by 2 or 3 points more than they actually got. Not saying that to be political; it's a statement of fact. Why polls tend to over-estimate Democratic party support is debatable, but it does happen.

In other words: don't make your decision based on polls. Only one poll counts, and that's the one on Tuesday.

Even if your side (and, in this case, my side as well) loses, it's important to cast your vote. How big or small the margins are affects the 'mandate' that an incoming President has. Part of why Bush has been fairly ineffective on some of his major issues (Social Security and tax reform, for example, which he pushed but went nowhere) is because he had little mandate, because in both 2000 and 2004 he won narrowly. Even with his own party running Congress for most of his presidency, Bush couldn't move these two issues.

Clinton, on the other hand, was a very effective President (even when Republicans held Congress) because he had a fairly solid electoral mandate. Reagan was in a similar situation, where he won by a wide margin and thus was quite effective at moving his agenda even with an opposition Congress.

So even a vote for the losing side can have some impact in advancing your social & political beliefs in government; it's not just a simple matter of who wins and who loses!

Take care :-). And don't write McCain off yet. A week before the Republican primaries began, a lot of people had written him off. He has a knack for surprise last-minute victories. Whatever happens, it's important to be part of the process and-- whichever side wins-- a part of history.


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