General Question

TaoSan's avatar

Do you feel offended by Sarah Palin?

Asked by TaoSan (7106points) October 23rd, 2008

I’ve had it with this #$%#. All my life I lived in big metropolitan cities. I served in the Military. I think America has a plethora of issues to hate, but at least twice as many things to love. Now here comes Palin, and in all her speeches she tries to make me feel like I’m Un-American because I haven’t been raised in some population 8,000 sh%&($le that has only three stores and one square dance barn. Do you think she goes over the top with her constant insinuation that American values only exist if a barn is nearby? Are we metros now less American?

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70 Answers

mdavis682's avatar

Everytime her name is mentioned, or I hear her talk

Snoopy's avatar

@tao Sorry, but I don’t get that from her speeches…..?

And considering that I am sure that she wants votes from metropolitan people such as yourself, I doubt that is what she is trying to convey…..

MrItty's avatar

Snoopy, read up on some of her recent speeches about “real” America, vs the “un-American” parts of America. It’s exactly what Tao’s talking about.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I feel incredibly offended by Sarah Palin. Pretty much constantly. She’s an extremist. She goes around saying that I’m not a real feminist because I’m also a liberal, I’m not a real American because I think our country can be improved, and that I’m not worthwhile because I don’t agree with her.

At the same time she insinuates there is a problem with higher education—that somehow getting a college degree or two is actually bad. That following the law is awful, and that trying to get more people to vote is un-American.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

She’s just a bullhorn for her handlers. It’s the rabble she rouses that offend me.

jessturtle23's avatar

I don’t let dumb people offend me. I have a barn and think she’s an idiot.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Following the law referring to the legal responsibility of ACORN to turn in every voter registration card no matter how obviously fraudulent it is. They can and do flag obvious frauds, but they MUST turn them in.

TaoSan's avatar


LOL jess, the barn wasn’t meant as “negative qualifier” :) Nothing wrong with real life barns lol

No offense intended

jvgr's avatar

Unfortunately, I’m not so sure Sarah is dumb.

I am very worried that her division of the population into pro-American and anti-American is becoming too popular. Her hunger for power was made clear in the Katie Couric interview and is confirmed here: FactCheckOrg-email

And she has supporters already in congress eg, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann who believes that the media should start investigating the anti-Americans in Congress!

Sarah Palin seems to be against the very principles on which the US was founded.

loser's avatar

I don’t feel offensed so much as disturbed by her.

jvgr's avatar

@loser: I agree, disturbed not offended!

dalepetrie's avatar

jvgr – thanks for posting the Bachman statement. She’s even more batshit crazy than Palin. I can’t tell you how alarmed I was when she won her seat 2 years ago. She was a Minnesota Congresswoman who was CONSTANTLY in the news for trying to push her hard right Evangelical worldview on Minnesota. She was a member of the Minnesota House for a number of years and she had this singleminded quest to get Minnesota to adopt a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. She went as far as to hide in the bushes during a pro gay rights rally, and when two gay men who were protesting at the rally caught her and confronted her, she ran away and barricaded herself in a bathroom for 1/2 an hour until they went away (presumably because she didn’t want to get “gay germs”). She has been 100% in support of the Bush agenda since day one, and has tried to push creationism in schools, tried to ban books…you know, the standard kind of stuff we’d expect from Palin. She is a dangerous woman and even though I don’t live in her district, I’ll be giving money to her opponent @

I encourage anyone who wants to put the final nail in the coffin of this kind of politics to do the same.

And yes, I’m offended by Palin, I’ll have a good response for this when I have the time to put it together.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’m probably more worried and scared by her than offended. My initial response is always to take offense to her, but then I see what she does to the crowds she visits and I become worried, and I become a little bit scared.

jessturtle23's avatar

I’m not offended :)

jvgr's avatar

dalepetrie: I hope Tinklenberg wins also!

aanuszek1's avatar

Not offended. In fact, Intro24’s house would make an excellent replica of Sarah Palin’s home. Seriously. Mooses (Meece?) everywhere. Coasters. Lamps. Blankets. Creepy.

cyndyh's avatar

I find the whole anti-American thing offensive even if it wasn’t directed at city-dwellers like me. These are not the people who are best fit to protect and defend the Constitution.

When I watch the video of Bachmann I think, “Hey, look! Joseph McCarthy has tits now.” Probing into people’s associations to tell if they’re “Anti-American” or not is just so much bull.

kruger_d's avatar

I know 8,000 Alaskans who should be offended at their community being characterized as a sh@&^*le. She chooses to promote her version of “small-town values”. She is playing to her base, which you apparently aren’t part of.
I’m not a fan by the way, but not offended. Just confused that the party leadership thought she was the right choice. There are an awful lot of small-towners like me that clearly don’t hold her values. Actually, we would have more reason to be offended, as we are being mischaracterised as sharing her values when we don’t.

TaoSan's avatar

@ kruger_d

Quote I know 8,000 Alaskans who should be offended at their community being characterized as a sh@&^*le

that wasn’t directed at Wasilla in particular, so no they shouldn’t be offended, for all I know the good people of that town might be a fine community of upstanding people, which is a much more positive thing to say about them then what their ex-Mayor is talking about us city dwellers.

Point taken though, the language was strong

cyndyh's avatar

@kruger: I think the point is more that she’s saying city-dwellers are not a part of the “real America”. Someone living in a small town may or may not be offended at being considered a part of Palin’s “us” while city-dwellers may or may not be offended at being considered a part of her not the real America “them”.

I want a President and Vice President who’re inclusive and not divisive.

TaoSan's avatar

@cyndyh & jvgr

Exactly my point!!! Everybody on the Republican side is sputtering un-American slurs these days, and talks about real patriotism. IMHO there is nothing more unpatriotic than using divisive redderick in an attempt to polarize a country to the point of an us and them mentality. How horribly short sighted.

Whatever happened to “United we stand” ??????

There was another country that underwent dramatic changes after one political party started to demonize a certain percentage of the population, Germany in 1933.

EmpressPixie's avatar

To some extent, when you are fighting “Yes we can” and “Hope” you’re basically left with “Okay, so they’ve got all the positive messages, what do we have? Change! We’ll borrow their change idea! Oh, that didn’t work. Hmm… what’s the opposite of hope? Hatred! We’ll do that.”

kruger_d's avatar

@TaoSan: I guess I read into your question something you didn’t intend. It just seemed like you were belittling small towns in addition to her rhetoric. Hope I didn’t offend.

TaoSan's avatar


Not at all!!!! I love small towns, I love them just as much as I love some big huge cities.

What I was aiming at was her attempt to polarize, to create an “us” and “them”, when in fact there should be only “us”.

No offense taken at all :)

Knotmyday's avatar

Think you’re reading too much into it, tao. Not rocket scientists we’re dealing with here.

jvgr's avatar


The right wingers have been making it absolutely clear that “real” americans, “pro” americans are those that live in rural areas, believe that church and state should not be separated, that the only religion is one that supports the bible as a factual event, that intellectualism (read educated) is bad.

In other words, that the very foundation of the US is invalid.

TaoSan's avatar

ROFL Knotmyday….....nice one

kevbo's avatar

If it makes you feel better, the Republican Party has basically pulled their support for Bachman.

I don’t personally feel offended by Palin, although the hate and race mongering that they are perpetrating is really pathetic. However, I cannot stand her willfully ignorant persona, and it’s legitimization via this election. See here.

You can see the phoniness in their rhetoric, though. If they are so “Country First,” then why don’t you ever see this slogan in their television ads?

All that being said, don’t put me in the tank for Obama.

dalepetrie's avatar

Re the Repubs pulling their support for Bachman…it’s not so much that they don’t want her to win, but she’s sitting on 1.5M that she was too cheap to spend because she’s trying to do one of two things:

1) ready herself for a Senate run, or
2) be well funded when the redistricting from the 2010 census causes MN to lose one of it’s districts in 2012.

So, she’s been holding onto HER money and letting the RNC do all the heavy lifting for her because her opponent had so little money. Now that he’s got a warchest and they’d need to pony up at list 1 Mil if not 2 or 3 to win, they figure, let her spend her money, and if she wins, she’ll figure out how to go forth in 2010 or 2012 (and they’ll help her then).

augustlan's avatar

As a woman, I am offended by her, and the insinuation that women should support her just because she’s a woman.

laureth's avatar

If I’m hearing Palin correctly, she would also think that the brave young man who lies under this tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery isn’t a REAL American, either.

Apparently, the less you know about the Constitution, too, the more Real American you are. That’s how silly this is.

I’m not offended, but the thought of her does make my blood run cold.

jvgr's avatar

I may have not remembered the words of this quote quite correctly, but:
The republicans will trample the constitution in order to save the flag and the democrats will trample the flag in order to save the constitution.

cyndyh's avatar

@jvgr: If that were the only choice I know which I’d pick. But that’s a big “if”.

laureth's avatar

@jvgr: except for the parts of the Constitution that the Democrats are against, eh?

Zuma's avatar

I am just apoplectic about her. My wattles are dusky red with rage—not so much about claims of small town virtue over big city vice (her small town happens to be the meth capital of Alaska), but because of the unconscionable recklessness of McCain in picking her in order to pander to the religious right.

McCain is 72 now. I compute his chances of dying in his first term as 18%, and 39% in his second.* In my view she is even dumber and more scary than Bush. And I tremendously resent being placed at risk by such a desperate gambit to win.

Palin (like McCain) has no new economic ideas. She simply regurgitates Republican dogma: that taxation is theft; all government is bad; and deregulation will allow free markets to correct every problem automatically—things that have been amply refuted by the sub-prime meltdown and the subsequent stock market crash.

I am monumentally offended by the abject dishonesty of her trying to smear Obama with accusations of associating with terrorists, impugning his patriotism for simply acknowledging the country’s problems, and for turning Republican political rallies into fulminating hate-fests.

It seems to me that, like George W., she lacks the gene which enables normal people to feel embarrassment. And as such, if she should ever get her claws on the presidency, I fear that she will become the puppet of an even worse version of Cheney.

* Using the 2004 actuarial life tables published by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Zuma's avatar

And what parts of the Constitution might those be?

laureth's avatar


A while back, a friend went through the Bill of Rights with two markers – one red, one blue. This is how he put it (quoting now):

This is my best reconstruction of how it came out. If the Democratic Party’s platform was against a certain right, I shaded that clause blue; if the Republican platform was against a right, I shaded that clause red:

1st Amendment: Ever complex, various clauses were shaded red, blue, and purple.

2nd Amendment: Blue

3rd Amendment: Red, but a stretch; thanks to technological progress, the privacy this had intended to preserve, back in the day, the NSA can violate on a routine basis.

4th Amendment: Purple, but possibly because I have a major difference on the reasonable definition of “reasonable.”

5th Amendment: Mostly red, but with the “private property” clause purple.

6th Amendment: Red.

7th Amendment: Red.

8th Amendment: “Excessive fines” purple (by implication), “cruel & unusual punishment” red.

9th Amendment: Purple.

10th Amendment: Purple.

deaddolly's avatar

the more she speaks, the more she is labeled an idiot. she annoys me, but doesn’t offend me. she’ll crawl back into obsurity when this is over.
and mccain will shoot the person who suggested her to him.
i’m offended that we finally got a woman in the running; and she’s a total fool.

TaoSan's avatar


Excellent post!!! If elected, there is (mathematically speaking) a huge chance that Palin would become Commander in Chief at some point.

A woman that bases her campaign on “being a mom”, that believes the Bible is to be taken literal to the letter, that God speaks to her, and that as she stated believes that she will meet Jesus on earth within her lifetime and a husband that actively seeks to break up the United States in his political endeavors in possession of nuclear launch codes.

I wonder how the rest of the world thinks of us, considering that this absurdity can happen.

jvgr's avatar

@cyndyh: I don’t think it’s a matter of your choosing as much as it seems to be the right wings preference. A flag is just a piece of cloth; mass produced in many countries and the right wants to make a law banning the burning of flags, yet they are clearly in support of undoing such constitutional elements like separation of church and state, and exhibiting an intolerance for views that are contrary; an intolerance that goes against the rationale for founding the US.

laureth: Ok, I’ll take the bait. Which articles of the constitution do the Dems not like?

jvgr's avatar

TaoSan: As I mentioned in another post, if things go the way of the right wingers, the world will watch the US regress into a 3rd world country.

Zuma's avatar

I agree that the Democrat’s pro-gun control stance is antagonistic to the 2nd Amendment, but I don’t agree that they are at all hostile to the 1st (freedom of speech & religion), 4th (unreasonable searches & seizures), 5th (self-incrimination & eminent domain), 9th (rights not otherwise enumerated) or 10th (states rights).

cyndyh's avatar

@jvgr: I was referring to the idea of choosing between the flag and the constitution. I do hear what you’re saying. I only object to the idea that you’d ever have to trample the flag to protect the constitution. But given the choice as it’s presented in that statement I’d rank the constitution higher by far.

laureth's avatar


1st: Dems are responsible for the idea that churches can preach politics, OR they may be a tax exempt institution, but not both. (The Right often claims that this rule is hostile to both Religion and Free Speech.) Also, it was Al and Tipper Gore (Democrats) who started the movement to censor “inappropriate” lyrics in popular music.

4th: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which championed for drunk driving checkpoints, started out as a pretty much Democratic organization. It’s arguable that the chink in the 4th amendment that they opened up was just the inroad needed to do things like spy on our email and phone calls – it’s all in the name of public good, right?

10th: The Left tramples on State’s Rights as much as the Right does when they feel they have a good reason. One example given was how the civil rights legislation started from the top down. Also, technically, one would think that Roe v Wade should be a states issue.

As for the rest – it’s late, tired, etc., and my friend who wrote that all out is trying to remember what specific examples he was thinking of when he wrote this several months ago. As we come back up with it, I’ll give you a holler!

goodasyou's avatar

Yes. As a gay man, I find her stance on LGBT issues deplorable.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Oh, but goodasyou, didn’t you hear? She tolerates them!

Yet apparently one of her good friends is gay. Seriously, after hearing that on national television, I would really reconsider being her good friend.

deaddolly's avatar

She irritates me so much that I change the station when she’s on there. Talk about someone you want to BITCH SLAP!

Judi's avatar

My hubby takes offense to the “joe six-pack ” references, and even the “joe the plumber” references. He is a contractor with a few employees and he feels like she is assuming they are dumb working stiffs that she can win over with just a wink and saying she’s on their side. It seems to him like she’s trying to appeal to their d@#k not their intellect.

dalepetrie's avatar

A lot of things about Palin offend me.

First thing that offended me was that after months of McCain talking about “experience” (and completely discounting what I see as perhaps the best experience a candidate could have in Obama’s background), he picked Palin, someone who was a mayor of a small town, and then became the governor of our 3rd least populous state, a state with a smaller population than Obama’s Illinois Congressional District. And it offended me that they still did not give up on the experience line, saying that because she had “executive” experience and because of Alaska’s geographic proximity to Russia, somehow she’d be qualified. Any time my intelligence is insulted, that offends me, so that is a common theme in my complaints here.

The fact that in her very first speech, she made a play for disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters, as if having a vagina was the only reason people supported Senator Clinton. Now I was definitely no fan of Hillary in the primaries, but that was because of how she behaved and her inability to accept reality, fair is fair and anyone who supported the things she supported would not find Palin palatable.

I’m offended that they choose to throw yet another Jesus Freak at us…as a nation we are 10% Evangelical, yet one of our two major parties seeks to inextricably link itself to an ideology that rejects thousands of years of scientific and cultural discovery is just unreal to me. As I found out about some of her worldviews, I was mightily offended that she would be put forth in a year when we for a while finally seemed free of dangrous and myopic ideology that is out of synch with the American culture.

Her stance on women’s reproductive rights appalls me, I’ve got no problem if she decides that life is sacred, begins at conception and lives her life accordingly, but the fact that she would deem herself worthy to force that ideology on America is just offensive to me. Tend to your own garden and we will do the same. As I found out that she would not support a woman’s right to choose even in the case of rape and/or incest. That was doubly offensive to me. When I found out that as Mayor of Wasilla, she was charging women for their own ($12,000) rape kits (meaning the poor couldn’t afford justice), I was triply offended. And when she revealed her teenage daugther was pregnant and made the statement about supporting her daughter’s “choice” to keep the baby, well that hypocrisy almomst made my head explode. And to find out that perhaps one reason her teenage daughter got knocked up in the first place is that, not only as a parent, but as a governor, she supports abstinence only based sex ed…not just for her kid for whom it OBVIOUSLY didn’t work, but for EVERYONE, I was downright hostile.

I am offended by her decision to shoot baby wolves from a helicopter.

I am offended by her inability to pronounce the word “nuclear”.

I am offended by her attempts to have books removed from the library if she doesn’t agree with their content.

I am offended by the fact that she knows NOTHING about the world as evidenced by the few interviews she has given. I’m offended that most of the interviews she has given have been with friendly sources like Sean Hannity. I am offended that when she actually did sit down for not live, but highly edited interviews, she made appalling gaffe after appalling gaffe. I’m offended that for 2 months, she pretty much said nothing that she didn’t say in her acceptance speech.

And as for her acceptance speech, I am offended by her presumption that we can all relate to her folksy, hockey mom, married to a snowmobile racer, pitbull with lipstick snarky charm. I’m offended that they had to spend $150,000 on clothing to make her look like a “regular person”. And I was highly offended at how she openly MOCKED community organizing. I’m offended that she had nothing of substance to say, yet kept repeating it, and offering up nothing new. I’m offended that much of her appeal has to do with how she looks or acts, or how she’s just like someone we all know.

Which is another thing that offended me. After running so many ads that said Obama was nothing more than a celebrity like Paris Hilton, suddenly Palin is this celebrity overnight, famous for her glamour, not her mind. The hypocrisy was appalling.

I am offended by her setting the bar so impossibly low in advance of her debate that there were no expectations, so that she could ask Joe Biden “can I call you Joe?” just so later she could throw out the tired old “say it ain’t so, Joe” line that she THOUGHT would be her gotcha moment…in her mistaken belief that we’re all fucking easily led morons.

And I’m deeply offended by her “just a regular Joe Sixpack” wink wink thinly veiled divisive, racist rhetoric. She has been portraying this us vs. them, painting Obama as an “other” saying he “pals around with terrorists”, this whole “regular Joe” (first Sixpack, now Plumber) is nothing more than code for “good old boy” i.e. redneck, peckerwood, racist moron….or as she’d call it, salt of the earth. I’m offended by her assumption that there is a “real America” in the small towns that just doesn’t exist in the larger cities…that somehow if you’re an uncultured, backwater hick who is easily led into being afraid of someone because of their “otherness”, then you’re more worthy, more patriotic, more “American”.

All of this trying to suck up to the small town, uneducated, rural, regular, “white, working class” regular Joe Sixpack hunters, fishermen, snowmobiliers…the folks that work hard and resent any kind of person who thinks differently than they do is typical in politics on the right, but by exploiting that to imbue a sense of “otherness” about their black opponent (who might be a terrorist, might be a muslim, might be anti-white, wink…) is the most offensive and beyond the pale thing I’ve ever seen in politics. And her going out there and saying one thing to one crowd and another to the press to try to spin her dangerous rhetoric, while the campaign makes mean, ugly, nasty, racist robocalls and sends out hate mail every day…it all divides us further and the folks it works on, it works on them because of a deep seated resentment.

So, she is complicit in playing on this resentment of “Average Joe”, and it’s leading to all manner of hate speech at her rallies, and violence against Obama supporters. Read the following article if you have time:

It discusses the psychology behind painting one’s opponent as an “other”, and gives a day by day account of the violence it has spurred, such as:

- The Obama supporter whose shopping cart, with his infant son sitting inside, was rammed by an angry McCain supporter
– The reporter who was beaten to the ground, kicked and stomped for daring to interview Obama supporters
– The people who received death threats in their mailboxes for having Obama signs in their yards
– The female Obama canvaser who was punched in the face by a McCain supporter

The list in the article goes on. And it doesn’t even mention the violence, death threats and vanadalism that has befallen ACORN, a community organization which has done EVERYTHING legally and above the board and which is being targeted by Republicans who want to use the allegations (which even the Supreme Court has said are baseless) to challenge thousands of Obama voters at the polls and suppress the vote. As if it’s not bad enough that Palin is complicit in trying to override the will of the people (because she says it’s God’s will what happens on Nov 4, ANOTHER THING that offends me), neither she nor McCain seems to care that good people who volunteer their time to make this world a better place are being harmed because their organization has been misportrayed out of the need for political gain.

She has no conscience, she has no experience, she has a dangerous worldview which is governed by a superstitious ideology, she deems herself to be an agent of her God and feels this gives her the right to dictate how people live their lives. I’m offended by her lack of intelligence, her hubris, her hypocrisy, her lack of integrity, and her divisiveness. I’m not only offended by her, but I’m petrified of her, and the fact that there are so many people out there just like her. I’m saddened by the fact that the damage she and McCain have been willing to do just to try to win this election are going to long outlive their campaign, and are going to make Obama’s job as President very perilous. Personally, I think inspiring deep seated hatred in the man who will be our next President is nothing short of treason, and honestly, if I had my druthers, they’d hold a tribunal and hang the bitch.

breedmitch's avatar

@dale: Eloquent as always, but her saying what happens on election day is “G-d’s will” doesn’t upset me. It makes me laugh, because even she knows that Obama is going to win.

Judi's avatar

It’s not time to get cocky about winning! Vote and make sure your friends vote!!

breedmitch's avatar

@Judi: Not cocky, just realistic. Read this article about the founder of If he was right about the Devil Rays…

EmpressPixie's avatar

@breed: but the worry now is that we will get complacent and not bother to vote. While the margins are good in a lot of the swing states, confirmed supporters not bothering to vote can still lose the election. :(

dalepetrie's avatar

bredmitch – Thenak so much for posting that article. I knew most of this already, having followed 538 religiously for months now, but it was a great way of putting it all into perspective, and I feel we can’t spread the word about this site far or wide enough.

That site gives me supreme confidence that what I’ve been thinking for two years is for real, but I do agree, you have to approach the election with an “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of attitude.

As the article points out, there are things we don’t know…fortunately most of them will favor Obama…turnout for example, which is what I said 2 years ago would be the key to Obama’s win…I’ve always felt that he would appeal to people who had been turned off by politics as usual and who as a result just wouldn’t vote if he weren’t in the race…them and those younger folks who need to be inspired to be engaged. Like Nate Silver, I looked at some numbers, namely the number of people (90 million) who COULD have voted in 2004 but did not (when Bush won with 60 million votes, meaning the American people once again actually picked “none of the above”).

But yes, EmpressPixie is right, we can’t afford complacency. Obama has told his organizers to get out the vote like we’re 20 points behind. And even if we will almost certainly win (McCain’s chance of winning dropped from 6.5% to 3.7% based on yesterday’s polling ALONE), if we fight hard enough we can win in places no one dreamed of.

For example, Nate’s model still has Georgia as a red state. But other insight and analysis on his blog and the recent trends he’s pointed out to me convince me it’s going blue. I think Obama can and probably will take Montana and North Dakota. Indiana is looking very likely now. North Carolina and Missouri which were red a couple weeks ago are looking pretty deep blue now. Even Arkansas wouldn’t shock me. When you look at the 538 model, it pretty much says that Obama will win with somewhere between 375 and 380 EVs. But when you look at several trends I’ve spotted and 538 has expanded upon, I tend to think there is a great deal of undersampling of Obama’s support, and many of the states which look like they’re in McCain’s column are going to be shockingly blue on election night. I predict over 400 EVs.

But I’m not complacent, I’m not going to forget to vote. I’m going to volunteer some time and send some more money. I’m going to keep being vocal. Because voter suppression is alive and well. The Republicans have already tried to get lists of everyone who doesn’t match DMV records exactly (i.e. if Howard B Smith shows his driver’s license, but the voter rolls show his name as Howard Smith, he’ll be forced to cast a provisional ballot, 1/2 of which get thrown out. In West Virginia, in 2 separate counties in early voting, people have seen their votes for Obama flip to McCain (in counties where the elections board is run by a Republican) and they were told there was no way they could verify it. Somewhere in the south, blacks have been sent messages that if they have any outstanding warrants or even parking tickets, they “might” be arrested at the polling booths. In Nevada, people are calling hispanics and telling them they can vote now over the phone and then they don’t have to show up. This whole ACORN thing is not about protecting the vote, but about subverting it.

So, the more states we can turn blue, and the deeper blue we can turn the already blue states, the harder it will be to cheat enough in enough different places to steal this election too.

Nate Silver is 100% right about how people will vote. But he has no idea, nor do you or I about how that vote will be counted. So, be self assured, but as Judi said, don’t get cocky about it, it ain’t over till McCain calls Obama to conceed, which I predict to be about 12:30 am Eastern time on Nov 5.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I want to take some confidence from 538 (and all of the other major polls, but this scares the shit out of me. Any place where Republicans are in charge of the election commission, they’re going to pull this kind of crap.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@Ich, that terrifies me as well. I’ve been worried about it since that nonsense began, but it just hasn’t let up. I’m really, really hoping that part of the 30 minute Obama infomercial includes, I don’t know, 5 minutes on this subject and what to do if it happens to you.

dalepetrie's avatar

Take heart, Obama has already assembled a team of 5,000 lawyers to make sure the Rethuglicans can’t get away with voter disenfranchisement. Also, remember Obama is so far ahead in so many places that several entire states would have to have dozens of people complicit in a really large way. If we were talking about an election where Obama was up by a point or two, I’d be worried. But he’s up like 7 or 8 points. I think they could pull out all the stops and it wouldn’t make the difference this year.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@dale, I wish I shared your optimism. Remember that these guys have been rigging elections since Nixon’s day, and they have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. My sister works for the Obama campaign in Florida, and she’s got some stories to tell. FYI, Obama has more lawyers working there than in any other state and he still has a good chance of losing there.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Ich -

Here’s the deal though. And I appreciate what you are saying, and I would share your fear (indeed, I think it’s good you have it, makes sure you don’t give up in the home stretch), but an Obama loss is no longer feasible enough to make cheating plausible. Here’s how I can make that statement.

Look at any one of the sites that aggregates polls, that is, a site that looks at all the opinion polling, not just on a national level, but on a state by state level, and applies some methodology from just averaging all the polls (Real Clear Politics) to weighting the polls based on sample sizes, dates, pollster reliability and applying past election data and regression analysis (538) to anything in between (Pollster, CNN, NBC, Open Left, Election Projection, Electoral-Vote, Rasmussen, Frontloading HQ…just to name a few). Essentially, if you look at all those sites, and use their averages, and just look at the states where Obama is up by more than 6 points (and 6 points is kind of a number where it’s not really plausible to lose if you’re 6 points ahead), Obama has 272 Electoral votes sewn up. Now, one can say both Virginia (13 EVs) and New Hampshire (4 EVs) just moved into this column, but when you see double digit leads in multiple polls, it’s pretty hard to discount that. Remember that these average are trending upward pretty much everywhere, meaning that it’s older polls, not newer ones, that are dragging these averages down from being in 10%+ lead territory, where most of these 272 EVs will end up. Essentially, for McCain to win, he has to pick off one of these states, one that is still within the realm of being plausible for him to win it. And perhaps there are 2 or 3 states which to a more casual observer than I, might still seem plausible for McCain to have enough of a surge to win in. But that assumes that McCain wins (meaning even if he cheats) in EVERY OTHER STATE. And if all these other states were really tossups, it might be plausible that every single one of them could go his way. But here’s the deal. When you look at all the states where Obama is either up, all the states where they are virtually tied, and all the states where McCain holds only a slight lead and the trends show it’s moving in Obama’s direction, you end up with:

Obama up (< 6% lead) -

New Mexico

Toss up (Obama up < 3%)-

North Dakota
North Carolina

Toss up (McCain up < 3%)


McCain up (< 6% lead):

South Dakota

Add to this that McCain is only slightly ahead in 2 of Nebraska’s 1 EV congressional districts (Nebraska allocates EVs via congressional district, not winner take all), and that momentum and voter turnout are on Obama’s side in the toss up states where McCain is only up by 3% or less (i.e. recent polling has shown Obama with a lead in all these states), the actual voting looks to put Obama with somewhere in the 375–425 electoral vote range.

Now, yes, I understand that the Republicans are good cheaters. But think about this…it means that through some combination of winning fair and square in states where it looks like they could and mostly will lose, and cheating in the ones where voting isn’t good enough, McCain has to “win” ALL 13 of those states, plus one more that DOESN’T EVEN LOOK WINABLE FOR HIM. So yes, Florida could be stolen. Yes, Ohio could be stolen (even though the Secretary of State and Governor are both Democrats). But you tell me, no matter HOW good you are at cheating, how do you pick off 14 states out of 14?

dalepetrie's avatar

I just thought of another way to look at this to hopefully allay some of your fears. The following is a list of the states Obama will win, no matter what. I have put the average of all polls taken and the most recent polling number for each state in parentheses to prove my thesis:

California (18+ AVG, 27+ LAST)
Oregon (14.6+ AVG, 19+ LAST)
Washington (11.2+ AVG, 21+ LAST)
Minnesota (8.8+ AVG, 19+ LAST)
Iowa (11.7+ AVG, 11+ LAST)
Wisconsin (9.4+ AVG, 12+ LAST)
Illinois (25.1+ AVG, 29+ LAST)
Michigan (15.9+ AVG, 22+ LAST)
Hawaii (33.6+ AVG, 41+ LAST)
Maine (15.2+ AVG, 15 LAST)
Massachusetts (21.8 AVG, 24 LAST)
Vermont (23.1 AVG, 22 LAST)
Rhode Island (17.3 AVG, 22 LAST)
Connecticut (21.1 AVG, 25 LAST)
New Jersey (11.9 AVG, 17 LAST)
Pennsylvania (11.6 AVG, 12 LAST)
Deleware (15.7 AVG, 15 LAST)
Maryland (18 AVG, 23 LAST)
D.C. (69+ AVG, 69+ LAST)

Now, these are Democratic strongholds where McCain is not advertising. Furthermore, Kerry won all of these but Iowa and McCain has never really contested Iowa. The only states of these that McCain has EVER advertised in are Minnesota, Maine, New Jersey and Pennsylvania but at this point he’s completely given up all of these EXCEPT Pennsylvania and that’s an unlikely bet given history and current polling.

These states represent 255 Electoral Votes that Obama would have to be caught with a dead girl or a live boy to lose.

So, let’s play an election night game, first make up a scorecard as follows:

Polls Close 7pm ET

Georgia – 15
Indiana – 11
Virginia – 13

Polls Close 7:30pm ET

Ohio – 20
North Carolina – 15

Polls Close 8pm ET

Florida – 27
Missouri – 11
New Hampshire – 4

Polls Close 8:30pm ET

Arizona – 10

Polls Close 9pm ET

Colorado – 9
New Mexico – 5
South Dakota – 3

Polls Close 10pm ET

Montana – 3
Nevada – 5

Polls Close 11pm ET

North Dakota – 3

Now notice that I have left off the 18 states plus D.C. that Obama will win, as well as the 17 states McCain will win). The numbers are the number of electoral votes that state has. Here’s how to play:

When any one of these states is called for Obama, circle that number. When your circled numbers add up to 15 or more, Obama has won.

As I pointed out in my last post, both Virginia and New Hampshire are listed as locks for Obama on almost every site, so one can expect that even in the worst case scenario, at least these 2 would go for Obama, in which case, at 8pm, I suspect Virginia will have already been called for Obama, and New Hampshire (8.6+ AVG, 16+ LAST) should be called within 10 minutes of poll closing, so no later than 8:10pm ET should you know without a doubt that Obama has won.

If you have any doubts about ANY of my safe states, adjust your scorecard and target total accordingly. I still suspect by 9:15 ET you’ll be able to rest easy.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@dale, at least the Supreme Court threw out the Rupublicans’ demand for a list of newly registered voters in my home state of Ohio. That was one piece of good news. All of what you say makes sense and is reassuring, but after 2000 and 2004, I wouldn’t put anything past these people. I’m going to be nervous until Nov 5 when – IF! – Obama is declared the winner. I just did my part today, although Illinois is one of the places where Obama pretty much can’t lose (I am more interested in the 13th Congressional District race).

dalepetrie's avatar

bottom line, Ohio and Florida are gravy this time around.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

This just in:

Every time I think I can stop holding my breath, I read some story like this. I know that reporters like to stir the pot, and I also know that we can’t be complacent about this election, but this nagging anxiety just isn’t going away.

dalepetrie's avatar

Have faith in the gospel of 538 my child. Nate Silver has talked in great detail about how the polls will undoubtedly tighten up as we get closer to the election…his model takes that into account in plotting the trendline, and each day he tweaks the trendline to become more and more sensitive to any movement in the polls. Per yesterday’s polling, there was a slight tightening in the national number (which is exactly what CNN is talking about). But if anything there has been movement the opposite direction in state by state numbers. Essentially what is happening is the reds are getting redder and the blues are getting bluer. But the state by state leads are still as described yesterday. So what does it all mean? Well, instead of having a 3.3% chance of winning the election as McCain did on when the polls were updated on Monday, when they were updated on Tuesday, his chances of winning increased to 3.8%.

Look at some of 538’s scenario analyses…for example…if Obama loses Ohio AND Florida, he still have over 70% chance of winning the election. He actually even has a small chance of winning if he loses Ohio, Florida AND Pennsylvania. The bottom line remains, to win, McCain has to pick up every state where he’s polling ahead, every state they’re tied in, and every state that Obama leads him in by less than 7%! Essentially, that’s 15 states that could go either way that McCain needs to sweep, and Obama just needs to pick up one of them.

Another gem you can pick up from looking at 538’s numbers and analysis is that even if Obama lost in the popular vote, he has a structural state by state advantage that would allow him about a 40% chance of still winning the electoral vote (I took the scenario of McCain wins popular vote, 503 occurrences out of 10,000, and took the scenario of Obama loses popular vote, wins electoral vote, 199 times out of 10,000 and said that if Obama loses the popular vote…which happens 503 times, he’d win the electoral vote 199 times out of those 503, so 40%).

Look at it this way. We have 6 days to the election. The Real Clear Politics average of all polls shows Obama with a 5.9% average lead in the popular vote, the shows the trend adjusted average at 6.0%. Fivethirtyeight shows a 5.6% projection, which reflects tightening, in other words you’re looking at half a percentage tightening in the last week being normal.

But one thing that fivethirtyeight has also looked at is the relationship between electoral college and popular vote, and they have determined that the difference can be (in years like this one where there is a strong structural advantage for one candidate…this year it is Obama) as much as 2% in the popular vote in a close election. In other words, Obama could lose 51 to 49 and still win the election. So, what you are talking about here is at 5 1/2 percent, plust 2 percent, McCain to win would have to not only tighten the race, by 7.5%, but he would have to indeed flip it on its head, in FIVE DAYS. There simply is no precedent for that, Dewey be damned. McCain’s support would have to increase by 1.5% PER DAY. We’re talking about 150 million voters most likely. That means, he’d have to change the minds of 1.1 million Obama voters each and every day between now and next Tuesday to have a realistic shot at winning.

The Republicans have already written the post mortem. Early voting turnout is overwhelmingly favoring the Democrats. Our most fragile and easily succeptible to voting fraud states have Democratic governors and Secretaries of State for the most part. Black turnout is shattering records already. 5,000 lawyers are on standby. The GOP is borrowing money to try to keep the Dems from winning 50 Senate seats. McCain is advertising in MONTANA! Palin is going rogue, and as one top McCain adviser said, her absence from the media was because they had to make a choice between her sounding like “a scripted robot, or an unscripted ignoramus.” They originally chose the former, but now she’s chosing the later.

You don’t bleed like this and survive.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Thanks, Dale. Just don’t forget, I live near Chicago, and look what happened to the Cubs.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Took me a couple of days to get back here, Dale, but I wanted to say I’m sorry I doubted anything. I looked at the results on CNN Wednesday morning, looked at the final map at 538, and realized I was looking at the same map! That guy is scary good for being able to call it with that kind of accuracy! The only little wrinkle was Indiana, which was slighly pink on Silver’s map and turned blue on CNN’s. It also looks like NC and MO are going to go exactly as he predicted. Amazing.

Oh, yeah, since this thread was originally about Palin – what is your take on the Alaska senate race? Those peckerheads are about to put a convicted criminal back in office. My take is, they know Stevens is headed for the Graybar Hotel, but they want Miss Congeniality to find some other right-wing asshole to fill in for him.

Wonder if we could just sell it back to the Russians? Prolly not, because of all the oil.

dalepetrie's avatar

A few thoughts on the Alaska Senate race. One is that 69,000 ballots are not yet counted, that’s a pretty big number and it COULD tip the balance, which now is only 3,500 votes.

Second thought, something smells fishy.

Third though is, Palin gets to pick an interim replacement. Could be herself. She’d then have to give up her governor’s seat, and would face a special election, but hey, the only two scenarios under which Stevens wins are a) they cheated or b) Alaskans would rather vote for a felon than a Republican, then one could possibly say it’s unlikely another Republican would want to fight her for the party nomination and assuming she got it, she’s almost got a lock on the Senate seat for as long as she wants it. Of course that would give her bona fides for the religious right wing nut jobs to try to force her to the top of the Presidential ticket in 2012.

Fourth thought, assuming Stevens DOES win and assuming that all the hanky panky in that article I posted does end up being just poor investigative work and the win is legitimate, one might only conclude that it’s feasible that with the entire Presidential race being called before polls closed in Alaska, that maybe Dems just decided to get out of line and celebrate instead of “wasting their time” voting?

I’ve posted that link in another thread to see what Wasilla, Alaska resident AlaskaTundrea thinks.

dalepetrie's avatar

Oh and yes, mad props to Nate Silver and 538. When I read their methodology several months ago and followed their logic, I never doubted for a moment they knew what they were talking about.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Everything they did made sense to me, too. Maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist to believe in good sense when we’ve seen so much of the other kind over the last 12 years or so.

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