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    Overheard on the Web, and other Web links
    From The Herald's Research Editor

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    More reaction 

    Trying to explain:
    South Knox Bubba has had several posts over the last few days trying to tell Kerry supporters what they need to do and think about these election results:
      "...we lost because they are better at the game.
      We're the little mom and pop hardware stores, dress shops, and shoe stores on Main Street. We have a little merchant's association that meets once a month at the coffee shop to talk about the parking meter situation and maybe pitch in a few bucks for a co-op ad or two. We volunteer at the local charities and sponsor the Down Home Music and Crafts Festival every year.
      They are Wal-Mart. They operate out of taxpayer-funded mega-developments with lots of free parking. At their glass and steel corporate headquarters they have the worlds largest retail/consumer database and the most advanced technology ever devised for managing their worldwide operations with ruthless efficiency. They have the purchasing and marketing power to create or destroy entire industries and they rule their suppliers and employees with an iron fist to keep them in line."

    And, to the conservatives who've been leaving gloating comments on his blog:
      "Be sure to crow about Bush's "mandate", but be sure not to mention the fact that 55,592,568 (and counting) of us disagree. And when you're talking about Bush's "historic victory" be sure not to mention that Kerry, too, got more votes than any previous president in history. Idiots."

    Lots and lots of comments responding to these.....

    Jeff Jarvis (Buzz Machine) says Michael Moore lost the election for Kerry.

    Who Voted:
    Kevin Drum at Political Animal looks at who voted for Bush and breaks down the demographics, finding some interesting things that contradict the assumptions:
      His support was up an astonishing 10 points among those with no high school education, a traditional Democratic stronghold.
      ...his support was up by 10 points in urban areas and down by 2 points in rural communities, including a surprising 9 point decrease from residents of small towns.
      ...the gun vote was a net negative for Bush this year compared to 2000.
      ...Religious belief doesn't seem to have made much difference in the election.
      ...Bush apparently has done a great job of persuading people who think the economy is doing well that his policies were responsible. tentative conclusion is that the "moral values" vote is a red herring. It played no bigger a role this year than in 2000.
      Terrorism played a bigger role, mostly by being a more important issue to a lot more people.
      And that good old mainstay the economy was the most important of all.

    Concern about Florida:
    There's lots of discussion on the Web on whether the results of the election are accurate, considering that new election technologies, put in place by companies that donate lots to the Republican Party, seem to not reflect the expected votes. Some question how exit polls and votes should have been so far apart. Discussion of possible Florida vote fraud in Common Dreams. This argument is backed up by statistics from the Florida Secretary of State: Florida votes for Bush/Kerry by county; Voter registration by party by county. USTogether finds unusual voting patterns in Florida; this Website is getting links from bloggers and other sites everywhere.

    (Added later:) Blogging of the President has lots of links to sites that discuss possible vote fraud, error or manipulation.

    On a conciliatory note:
    John Perry Barlow offers Magnanimous Defeat, an essay on how to get through the next four years. Barlow, once a Republican, is worried about the future:
      "...believing that 9/11 was a vast, right-wing conspiracy is as pointless at this stage as believing in the likelier possibility that the exit polls were actually as accurate in Ohio in Florida as they were everywhere else. Maybe it will all come out someday, but there's precious little we can do about it now. Who are we going to complain to? The authorities?
      ..."Saddam was killing them too." I doubted that even Saddam has ever killed as many Iraqis in a year and a half as we've just polished off, but I let that pass.
      ...I have a long history of pre-announcing The End of the World As We Know It. Clear back when I was a budding young libertarian, I believed that Barry Goldwater's crushing defeat by Lyndon Johnson was the end of conservatism in America. Boy, was I ever wrong about that.
      ...I will still believe that truly free societies maintain mechanisms to promote the even distribution of wealth. I will go on believing that liberty is worth living for and not to be sacrificed so readily to fear. I will go on believing that my daughters should not be forced to bear children they are not prepared to raise properly and I will not forget that people make mistakes.
      ...This will be a tricky four years. In addition to a sense of humor, which should have plenty of dark meat to feast on, we will need cunning, courage, clarity, and, as I say, forgiveness."

    posted by liz at 10:18 AM
    Comments: Post a Comment

    Elisabeth Donovan

    Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to the field.

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