Sunday, November 09, 2008

Failed Media: Cooking the books on turnout

David Paul Kuhn, Senior Political Writer for Politico, does some creative weighting of the statistics in an attempt to prove voter turnout was unremarkable in this election. Unsurprising I suppose. As the author of a book called "The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma, a story of how Democrats lost men and with them, their majority," he has a vested interest in downplaying President-elect Obama's incredible GOTV ground game.

I'm not known for my mathematical prowess, but even I can look at the numbers and figure out that total percentages may have been about even, but total votes were up. Young people turned out by millions more. Voters of color turned out in vastly greater numbers. Democratic turnout overall was significantly increased. And it seems a bit premature to be making pronouncements when Alaska still has as many as 90,000 votes uncounted and many other states are still tallying up the early and mail-in ballots. The final numbers are far from in and the uncounted ballots will almost surely increase the size of President Obama's plurality and further validate his undeniable mandate.

The only thing clear at this point is that more Republicans stayed home but I guess when you have a book to sell, it's never too early to fit the statistics into your preferred narrative rather than practice good journalism and simply report the facts unfiltered by one's own prejudices.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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