Wednesday, November 08, 2006

(Not) Deep Thoughts

by Tom Bozzo

I can't really feel too bad this morning, and it's not just the relative lack of hangover and the carbohydrate rush from the Trader Joe's Honey Graham Squares either.

That the civil unions ban passed was disappointing but not unexpected. At least in my ward, the vote was 1214 "no" to 162 "yes." The Republican Senate candidate also came in third, 52 votes behind Green Party candidate Rae Voegeler. Some GIS magic may follow later if time permits.

Maybe the Upper Midwest is worse than the rest of the country this time around — in some strange ways, like just who was voting for Amy Klobuchar and Tim Pawlenty up there in East Dakota? But hey, the Doyle-Van Hollen combination has a brighter side than Green-Falk, and I'm pleasantly surprised that the good folks of the eighth Congressional district sent John Gard back to Sun Prairie. The national scene clearly is a lot more positive, even if Macacawitz and/or Mr. Burns should manage to eke out win(s).

Meanwhile, displaying the kind of punditing that gets you on the NY Times op-ed page, Ann Althouse sez:
When the Republicans win -- don't you know? -- it's not because people actually want them to win, but because they have devious ways of jacking up the numbers. That way, if Democrats win even a modest margin, it's a dramatic turnaround, a sea change. [Emphasis in original.]
Quick observations:
  1. The Democrats actually won big. (Update: Really big!!1!!!1!)
  2. Politics has increasingly become an incumbent protection racket. This has, indeed, become something of a science as GIS technology has allowed fine-tuning of the gerrymandering art. So picking up 30 House seats now is no less of a big deal than picking up 45 back when the races tended to be more competitive. Not to mention that losing four incumbents and having two more reddish-state incumbents trailing in the Senate is a debacle for Liddy Dole. See also #1.
  3. Democrats got the most votes in three of the last four Presidential races, and considering #2 and the Senate's overweighting of small states, frequently lead in the aggregate voting. The design of the legislature might not quite be a "devious way of jacking up the numbers" (though clearly there are those, too), but it is not obviously the case that the demos really loves Republican policies or Republican rule in general, as opposed to (often unaccountably) a few specific Republicans.

Oh, and my choice for Best Compact Car — the Audi A3 — won the AutoWeek reader's choice poll!!!11! W00t!
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