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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:01 PM

 

The unsung lesson of this past election, a rejection of the two party system.

One of the unnoticed, or at least unremarked results of our recent election is this: more people simply dropped out of voting for either of the two big parties. Obama's vote total was 60.5 million, down from 69.5 million four years ago. Romney's vote total was 57.5 million, about 2.5 million short of McCain's '08 total. In fact in state after state fewer people voted for either of the two big parties than in '08. Some on the right side of the spectrum went Libertarian, but the simple fact is, more people simply stayed home. Voter turnout nationwide came in at 57.5%, down from the previous two elections.

This is really a shocker. If you look back, incumbent presidents running for reelection usually get more votes the second time around. The Bushboy got 12 million more votes in '04 than in '00. Clinton received 2.5 million more votes in '96 than in '92. Reagan increased his votes by 10.5 million between '80 and '84. Hell, FDR, the last president who had to run for reelection with high unemployment numbers received 5 million more votes in '36 than in '32, a twenty percent increase.

What does this say about the electorate? I think the message is pretty clear, a lot of the people in this country simply didn't find either candidate acceptable. The biggest question is why? A small sliver of these people stayed home out of religious reasons, refusing to vote for a Mormon, and certainly not going to vote for Obama. But survey after survey has shown that the vast majority of non-voters are on the left, liberals, people who should, at least nominally, be part of the Democratic big tent. But instead, they're staying home.

This says volumes about the Democratic party, none of it good. For the past four years one of the biggest, and perhaps most valid, overarching criticism of Obama was that despite being a Democrat, despite running as a liberal in the Senate, when Obama governed as president, he did so from a center right position, extending tax cuts, continuing wars, expanding the assault on our civil liberties, etc. A lot of people figured why should they vote for a center right candidate from either party.

The question now becomes what is going to happen in the future. The Democratic party can't afford to continue to hemorrhage voters, for despite the downturn in Republican fortunes, we all know that they're not going to stay down. So perhaps the party should stop dismissing and insulting those on the left, and start rewarding them instead. Push through truly liberal legislation, start governing from a position that is at least center left, if not exactly liberal.

If not, then more and more people are going to stay home. Or perhaps we'll see the rise of other parties on both the right and left. The Libertarian party just had its best showing ever. The Greens are still around and viable. Despite the deliberate rigging of our electoral process to favor only the big two, if enough people get disgusted with politics as is, those barriers could be overcome.

So while it is obvious that the 'Pugs have some soul searching of their own to do, the Democratic also needs to engage in some serious soul searching as well. If they don't, then more and more of their natural constituency will drift away, or simply stay home.

Something to think about.

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Reply The unsung lesson of this past election, a rejection of the two party system. (Original post)
MadHound Nov 2012 OP
LineReply .
mmonk Nov 2012 #1
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #2
MadHound Nov 2012 #4
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #7
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #13
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #19
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #20
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #22
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #28
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #29
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #30
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #32
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #9
Autumn Nov 2012 #3
graham4anything Nov 2012 #5
MadHound Nov 2012 #6
graham4anything Nov 2012 #12
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #17
PowerToThePeople Nov 2012 #21
graham4anything Nov 2012 #23
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #26
onenote Nov 2012 #8
Tarheel_Dem Nov 2012 #11
joshcryer Nov 2012 #27
greatauntoftriplets Nov 2012 #10
quinnox Nov 2012 #14
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #16
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #15
madinmaryland Nov 2012 #18
DevonRex Nov 2012 #24
Hippo_Tron Nov 2012 #25
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #31
MineralMan Nov 2012 #33

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:03 PM

1. .

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:05 PM

2. But they didn't vote for Dr. Stein either. What happened there?



p.s.: Sounds like Dr. Stein has a little "soul searching" of her own to do.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:14 PM

4. Actually Dr. Stein increased the amount of votes that a GP candidate received,

 

Again, points to the fact that people are rejecting both major parties.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:27 PM

7. It proves that neither party should pursue these casual voters too strenuously. Furthermore, it...

proves that few people take you guys seriously. If you couldn't capitalize on those disaffected voters, then it has to be your approach, or your platform is a joke. By the way, "Both Parties Suck" is not a very compelling party plank. You might wanna work on that.



There were lots of reasons that the numbers dropped off this cycle. Remember Sandy? Also, because of the midterms, we had Repuke legislatures implementing draconian restrictive voting laws, and even though most of those laws were struck down, it created quite a bit of confusion which probably lead to a number of people choosing to just sit this one out.

It'll be interesting to get the actual "math" on where turnout dropped the most. Your theory could be right, but as long as people reject third parties (especially on the left), I'm happy.

OBAMA/BIDEN - FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!!!

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:34 PM

13. yeah that's the way to keep us in the party

Don't come griping to us when you get Nadered again. Maybe if you would treat people with respect instead of insulting them more liberals would vote for democrats.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:12 AM

19. See Post #9. What's more insulting is the possibility that someone might actually base....

his/her voting habits on some random post on an internet forum. I don't know about the rest of the Democratic party, but these aren't folks I'd be anxious in pursuing, if you catch my drift.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:15 AM

20. like I said then don't come griping to us

the next time you get Nadered. And by the way, it is not the insults that drive our views. But insults do get people fired up. People on here get fired up all the time when republicans insult democrats. So if you want to get people fired up and ready to vote their convictions then go ahead.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:26 AM

22. Oh please don't go!



Like I said, I wouldn't be interested in pursuing that particular mindset, but the party is free to do as it chooses. If you take a moment to think about your previous statement, it's really kinda scary that someone with that frame of mind actually gets to vote. Perhaps you mispoke? Poor Jill Stein, even getting locked up every couple of days for publicity, couldn't muster 0.05%. Was it the message, or the messenger? I think people recognize phony when they see it. Nader Away!


OBAMA/BIDEN - 4 MORE!!!!!! PROUD ASS DEMOCRAT 4EVER!!!


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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:02 AM

28. Oh, I can't wait till the next time you get Nadered.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #28)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:32 AM

29. I know. You guys were hoping like hell it would happen this time.

And it might've worked, but enough people now know what you're up to. We saw that movie in 2000, which is why many Democrats despise the Green Party, and would never attempt any kind of coalition.

Greens invested all that bail money for Jill's photo ops, and they got a 0.03% return? Who the hell would turn you guys loose in the treasury? They would've gotten a much better return on investment if they'd spent the money on Funnyun's and Cheez Whiz after smokin' a fat one.

Jill? Hello? Party in cellblock 8.

Not gonna happen. This party will never get "Nadered" again.

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Response to Tarheel_Dem (Reply #29)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:30 AM

30. I still proudly display my Obama bumper sticker on my car

after voting for him. You are so not worth it. Time to hit ignore. Bye-bye.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #30)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:10 AM

32. Don't go away mad. Just .......

TD has a sad.


But, TD will eventually pick up the pieces and move on.


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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:40 PM

9. "Stein increased the amount of votes that a GP candidate received".....

Are these the staggering statistics you're boasting about?

Election date: 11/06/2012
Elected: No
Number of Seats: 1
Number of Candidates:
Incumbent: No
Partisan: Yes
Length of Term: 4
Write-in: No
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of Votes: 396,684

Percentage: 0.3%

Place: 4th
Certified: No


Out of more than 120m votes cast, this is the group that Dems should bend over backwards to please? 0.3%? What the hell did she "increase" it from?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:10 PM

3. The next 4 years will be very interesting in the terms of where the

Democratic Party is going. Very good post and thank you for posting it.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:15 PM

5. bull...this is another fake meme from the anti-democrats

 

And hurricane sandy kept who knows how many tens of thousands from voting

And millions of votes yet to be counted

Not to mention the great percentage of those stopped by the rightwingers like the libertarians who wanted no minority voters

The greens? Oh you mean Nader the traitor?

Same bullshit Ron Paul the racist was saing for years.

they are the ones who gave us corporate personhood

Don't be fooled by the memes of these anti-Americans please.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:17 PM

6. No, these are facts, plain and simple.

 

More people stayed home this year, more people voted for third parties, more people rejected the two major parties. Those are facts. You can try and spin them anyway you want, but these facts remain. So the question becomes how are they dealt with. Do you have any constructive suggestions, or just spin and more spin?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:30 PM

12. vote democratic and get rid of all other parties. ONE is all that is needed if its the democrats

 

Last edited Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:28 AM - Edit history (1)

A vote for a third party is a vote against democrats and has been proven in the past.(NADER)

Minorities of course have been scared to vote over the years and had their votes caged, taken away, etc

But Ron Paul and Ralph Nader want a master race without minorities.
Thanks but no thanks.

And the greens? GMAFB- Al Gore was the biggest green president and what did Nader do? He lied and said vote third party against Al Gore
Showed me the greens want anarchy and not real goals

Earth to them-grow the freak up and join society

Amazing that later they want to whine

And as the total vote 3rd parties got is less than 2 percent it means the greens are 1%ers, everyone else the 99percent

Case closed.

And again, its a false meme

Of course 3000 patriots died on 9-11, they no longer vote, most were democrats too
Same with the 100s of thousands that reagan killed from doing nothing about AIDS
So I am sure they all would have voted Democratic in 2012 had they not been dead

Shall we continue this dance?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:58 PM

17. anti-democrat? ooohhh!

You put me in my place. Is that anything like being un-patriotic and un-American like the republicans tried to call all democrats? Calling people names doesn't work. I will tell you the same thing I tell republicans. You can call me un-patriotic, you can call me un-American, you can call me anti-democratic, you can call me a traitor. It will not stop me from thinking, believing, or voting however I want.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:22 AM

21. rec. n/t

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:27 AM

23. and I will continue to say any 3rd party vote, except in rare instances when they caucus w/dems

 

Is one less democratic vote

Better the system from within
Not from without

Something alot of the 1960s protesters later found was correct

I believe Ron Paul and Ralph Nader singlehandedly were the cause of more people dropping out of the system
Than any good demorat or bad republican

The bullshit that both parties are the same was proven fake
Just the supreme court alone and corporate personhood laid rest to that lie

Also, long as the electoral vote is in effect, and long as there is not a runoff with the top two, means you have to play with the top two parties

Otherwise we would have to change our system to be like the UK or Israel

Not to waste a vote on a lying Nader or Paul who are not on the side of ALL (after all)

Imho of course.


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Response to graham4anything (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:52 AM

26. so they are only true democrats if they do what you want them to

yes you are free to keep insulting liberals, and we are free to keep insulting you. so the circle of life goes.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:32 PM

8. incorrect on many levels

First, while the final numbers won't be known for days if not weeks, estimates are that this year's election drew a turnout of somewhere between 58 and 60 percent of eligible voters and 98.5 percent of them voted for one of the two major party candidates.

That isn't terribly far off of 2008, when 61.66 percent of voters turned out and 98.59 percent voted for one of the major party candidates.

The idea that the small drop off from 2008 is meaningful is belied by the fact that, going back to 1972, this year's election probably has the second highest turnout, with the next highest being only 56.70 (2004) and 55.2 (1972 and 1992). Over the past five elections prior to this one, the average turnout was only 54.59 percent, and over the past 10 elections prior to this one it was only 53.75%. It should be noted in particular that in 1996, turnout was only 49 percent (the lowest in the past 11 elections) and the two major candidates only shared 89.95 percent of the vote. Now that was a year in which people stayed home.

Moreover, the 98.4 percent of the votes cast for the two major parties in 2012 (estimated) is the fifth highest out of the past 11 elections. A greater percentage of votes were cast for 3rd party candidates in 2000, 1996, 1992 (the low with only 80.46 for the major party candidates), 1980, 1976, and 1972 than the estimate for this year.

In fact, the 98.49 percent of the votes estimated to have been cast for Obama and Romney (in a year with higher turnout than all but one election out of the past 11) is better than the average for the preceding 5 elections (92.85), the five elections before that (97.27) or the last 10 elections combined (95.06).

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Response to onenote (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:15 PM

11. Uh Oh! Facts! They Burn! I think you may have driven a stake through the heart of that.....

made up argument. No response yet. IOW, <<<<Crickets>>>>


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Response to onenote (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:58 AM

27. Don't forget that incumbent elections tend to have lower turnout, too.

With the exception of 2004 and 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections

Thanks for the facts. Totally debunked the OPs faulty premise.

Oh if it were only true that the third parties were on a rise.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:58 PM

10. I don't think that more third-party candidates can resolve voter apathy.

People who don't vote now would just have more reason not to vote -- too confusing (or too much bother) to figure out who stands for what.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:41 PM

14. I would love to see more choices in this country

 

I have long said it would be great to have two more legit parties, the Greens on the left, and the Libertarians on the right. What I mean by legit is if these parties actually got enough support that they could win House seats and Senate seats. Then the two major parties would have to deal with, and be influenced and pressured by the more principled visions these parties represent, instead of the two major parties being so mushy all the time, trying to be centrist and pleasing everyone, which in the end, pleases no one. Hence why the voter turnout is so pathetic, year after year. It is well past time for the stranglehold the two parties have on the election process to end. After all, this country is supposed to be the leader of Democracy in the free world, you would think we could set an example instead of having only two real choices.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:45 PM

16. absolutely

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 11:43 PM

15. I agree with you

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:00 AM

18. Can I suggest some other possibilities for the lower votes counts...

Is it possible that there was quite a bit of voter suppression going on? Look at Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin where there were definite attempts to suppress the vote.

How about the 600,000 votes that have not been counted in Arizona?

Is it possible that there were several million votes that were not counted after it became apparent President Obama was going to win? The PTB may have decided that Obama's victory should be kept smaller than it was in 2008.

Yes:

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:36 AM

24. Well, sheee-it. I totally missed the constitutional

convention that switched us to a parliamentary system.

Idiotic, irrelevant original post. Take your beef to the back-in-time machine and go back to when it would have made a difference. Because until the constitution changes to include parties that form a government by coalition this is just blowing smoke.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:43 AM

25. Multi-party systems function a lot like two party systems

The parties form coalitions and at the end of the day you still have a government and an opposition just like you have now.

The Greens might get a few seats in congress and would caucus with the Democrats, much like Bernie Sanders already does. The libertarians would win a few seats, almost certainly caucus with the GOP, and maybe be a little bit of help on social issues but they would be every bit as unreasonable on economic issues as the GOP.

A multi-party system might give people the feeling that they have a choice to vote for someone who actually represents their views, and thus give them a reason to participate. But at the end of the day they're still voting for Team A or Team B.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:48 AM

31. in a winner-take-all system like ours, third parties can only be spoilers.

 

drawing votes from the candidate on the same side of the political spectrum

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:15 AM

33. Yes, yes...

I suppose this will keep you busy for the next couple of years, while the rest of us are working on gaining control of the House. You just keep right on. Those Greens...they'll win in the end, for sure.

Have you looked at the full national totals yet, with the also-rans listed? I did. Nice performance by the Greens, for sure, you betcha...

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