Thursday, November 06, 2008

AMillionMonkeys checks in with Steve Rhodes

Hey, this would be something fun to do, let's check in with Steve Rhodes and see how he is handling the news! Checking in on Steve Rhodes is something that has not occurred to me for some months. BRB. ...

Well, Steve Rhodes Tuesday demonstrated his superiority to people like you and me by writing in Bob, the owner of the Beachwood Inn bar, for president. What a cool and edgy move by Steve Rhodes! He is like a character from that awesome, timeless movie "Reality Bites," no?

He is really catching the zeitgeist with that cynical alienation thing. His election guide is self-parody, as well. It looks like he recommended practically a straight Green Party ticket...

Bonus Rhodes-bashing ... In an attempt to be curmudgeonly, today's column scoffed at the idea that this election actually produced record voter turnout. He is quite right to point out that the raw number does not tell the whole story. But he gets everything else wrong. Rhodes writes:
Last I saw, [voter turnout] was about 61 percent -- or the same as 2004.
No. It was 62.6 percent. That is more.

Also, turnout in 2004 was 60.1 percent. But, whatever.


Anonymous said...

That huge voter turnout? Didn't happen
Saturday November 08, 2008, 5:56 PM

Despite widespread predictions of record turnout in this year’s presidential election, roughly the same portion of eligible voters cast ballots in 2008 as in 2004.

Between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent of the 208.3 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared with 60.6 percent of those eligible in 2004, according to a voting analysis by American University political scientist Curtis Gans, an authority on voter turnout.


And just for the record, in most races I did not endorse, but in those I did, I chose five Dems, four Greens, and six Reps (mostly as protest votes against unassailable Machine Dems).

Facts, dude.

Rob said...

I had trouble even reading through the voter guide, much less tallying it. But I'm certainly not surprised to hear that the BR recommended a lot of protest votes!

It's more the general tone of cynicism and moral superiority that grates. Everyone's a joke or a little shit. No thanks.

On turnout, clearly these are still moving targets. The expert numbers I linked to have changed slightly since I linked, and they're slightly different from the expert numbers you highlight here. With that in mind, two points:

a.) 61.7 percent is larger than 60.6 percent.

b.) Here is your guy, Gans: "A downturn in the number and percentage of Republican voters going to the polls seemed to be the primary explanation for the lower than predicted turnout."

So Obama did significantly expand the electorate, and then his lead in the polls shrank it. (Or, McCain's uninspiring campaign shrank it.) But those Republicans who sat out will vote again -- they're not just done participating. Neither are the newly registered Obama voters. That is not the same as voter turnout in this election, but it's related, and arguably more significant.