Thursday, November 09, 2006

Grading myself

Last night I posted something about how the pundits did on projecting the election returns. But how well did I do in analyzing the events of Tuesday in advance? I have always been careful not to put much stock in elections projections before they have formed - for me that means anything more than two weeks before an election is mostly speculation. Second, I was a bit more forgiving for the GOP than the rest of the populace. When I did get around to thinking about who would win and who would lose I thought the GOP would hold the Senate. (And for a few thousand votes, they would have) But I thought it would be by a bit higher number than even that - perhaps in the 52 range.

One of my friends who is much more into the daily drama of elections was also off. He thought there would be a massive wave that would swamp the GOP. He is a Vietnam vet and seems to be very animated about the President's war policy. He thought that, coupled with the scandals in the GOP, would produce some pretty dramatic results. In the end, I do not think that happened. This was not 1974, or for that matter 1964 or 1966. I would argue that although the American people are very concerned about Iraq, the influence issue on the election was minimal. Indeed, one can argue that in several cases (Chaffee for example in Rhode Island) the voters chose the more hawkish position. Even in the Virginia senate race I think the final result was less about war policy than it was about Allen's inept campaign. If you look at the most dovish members of the GOP - only two of them survived.

So what moved the voters? I also do not believe, that with the exception of his own district, that the Foley affair moved voters much. I think the equation for this election was a mix of the perception that a good deal of Washington is for sale (pay to play, Abramhoff, Hastert's response to Jefferson, etc.) and a concern by many voters who had supported GOP members that they were not really supportive of limited government.

1 comment:

Angelica G. said...

I told you you'd win the Poizner-Bustamante battle! Hopefully you received a bonus for the thrashing.