Money still rules and the biggest bloc of voters stays home
The more things stay the same -- Our US election postmortem
The president-elect is more likely to be another FDR -- a leader who complimented old reformer Henry George and agreed with the public recovery of site value but did nothing along those lines -- than a true transformer. We trim, blend, and append three 2008 articles from: (1) Center for Responsive Politics of Nov 6 on contributions; (2) the Los Angeles Times of Nov 6 on how the vote breaks down; and (3) USA Today of Nov 7, on the turnout by Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence.
by Jeffery J. Smith, November 2008
CRP: Money Wins Presidency and 9 of 10 Congressional Races
The winners of Tuesday's elections potentially owe their donors billions of dollars in payback. What will be handed out -- ambassadorships, jobs, government contracts, subsidies, earmarks?
The historic election of 2008 re-confirmed one truism about American democracy: Money wins elections. From the top of the ticket, where Barack Obama declined public financing for the first time since the system's creation and went on to amass a nearly two-to-one monetary advantage over John McCain, to congressional races throughout the nation, the candidate with the most money going into Election Day emerged victorious in nearly every contest. In 93 percent of House of Representatives races and 94 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day Nov. 5, the candidate who spent the most money ended up winning.
CRP: Obama's Pick for Chief of Staff Tops Recipients of Wall Street Money
A day after being elected president and acknowledging "the worst financial crisis in a century," Barack Obama asked one of the biggest recipients of Wall Street campaign contributions to be his chief of staff. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman who was an aide in the Clinton White House, was the top House recipient in the 2008 election cycle of contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms and the larger securities/investment industry -- not the most popular of industries in the current economy. Since being elected to Congress in 2002, after working as an investment banker, Emanuel has received more money from individuals and PACs in the securities and investment business than any other industry.
CRP: Study Finds Nonprofit Workers Heavily Favor Democrats
Of the nation's 25 wealthiest foundations and 75 of the largest charities, their employees gave $1.2 million contributed from January 2007 through August 2008, 88 percent went to Democrats.
LAT: The tallies from Tuesday, and what they tell us
Barack Obama's victory recalculated some assumptions about American political and party demographics. To illustrate, here are a few of his numbers as they stood late Wednesday.
The popular vote: 63.9 million, the most ever received by a presidential candidate, since US population has never been bigger.
The percentage: 52.4%, higher than any Democratic candidate has received since 1964, and higher than any candidate of either party since George H.W. Bush's 1988 victory, the absence of a blowout showing just how near evenly divided Americans usually are.
The demographics: Obama won majorities of women, blacks and Latinos, all by wide margins, as well as a narrow majority of men. He won going away among young people and those voting for the first time, and carried majorities in all educational groups. Big-city residents favored him overwhelmingly, but so did those living in small cities and suburbs.
USAT: Turnout did not increase significantly
American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate: Despite lofty predictions by some academics, pundits, and practitioners that voter turnout would reach levels not seen since the turn of the last century, the percentage of eligible citizens casting ballots in the 2008 presidential election stayed at virtually the same relatively high level as it reached in the polarized election of 2004. ... The percentage of Americans who cast ballots for president in this year's presidential election will reach between 126.5 million and 128.5 million when all votes have been counted." There were 121.5 million votes cast in 2004. Turnout would be about 61% of the electorate, about 1 point higher than four years ago. "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."
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
A national editor asks: Must taxpayers pay for primaries?
Real Democracy Or Dystopia
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