As I write, liberal barons and the monkeys with knives known as the MSM are attempting to sculpt a 2008 narrative. In it, well-groomed adherents to the fallacy of the disassociated middle tell of an Obama whose character alone carried him to victory. This victory is one that is said to be "epic," "watershed," and on par with the elections of 1980, 1932, or 1860. However, in its weary heart, this upcoming liberal fantasy, which we should all expect to be shouted at us rather loud, is in serious error. From its heights, in metaphor, heights the same as the courts of Adad, every bit of the theory overstates and draws the wrong conclusion from 2008’s final tally.
To understand 2008 any sensible observer must first look and history for a broader perspective on the electoral map. In addition, one must also draw the correct conclusions by measuring available facts against tangibly set criteria. Currently the most common error made in analysis of the 2008 electoral map is to use the raw electoral vote as a change in the national political wind. Indeed, from this perspective Mr. Obama’s 190 electoral- vote victory seems quite potent and 2008 a watershed election.
However, the important criteria for judging shifts in the presidential political wind, is not, in fact, the raw difference but the four-year swing in multiplier, the four-year swing numerically and the percentage victory over one's opponent. This is a quantification that is quite sensible, as in order to accurately judge change one must look at the entirety of the before and after picture.
In 2004 Mr. Bush won by 35 EV, meaning that the change for the Democrats from 2004 to 2008 is +224. For Obama, this means he flipped 112 votes at a multiplier over Kerry’s total of 1.45 and a percentage over opponent of +33%.
This seems impressive, and it is, in some ways, but it is not a sea change and pales compared to all other major ideological shifts in the last 100 years of U.S. Presidential History. In the last 40 years, three "sea change" elections have happened: coming in 1968, 1980 and 1992. In the previous 40 years came another three, coming in 1932, 1952 and finally 1960. Now let us look at the numbers in two examples.
● 1932 was good for FDR as he won the election by 413 EV. But now consider that in 1928 Herbert C. Hoover had crushed Alfred E. Smith by 357 EV. What this means is that in 1932, FDR and friends came in at a cataclysmic +770 and a flip of 385. But it is in the multiplier and percentage that FDR really shows his muscle and the nature of a watershed election is shown. FDR’s swing multiplier in 1932 was 5.42 and his percentage over opponent was +77.7%.
● Nov. 4th 1968 was a good one for Nixon as that night he stood at +544 and had flipped 272 EV. But again, here, the multiplier stands out as Nixon won 5.78 times the GOP’s 1964 total. Nixon had a more modest percentage victory at +20.9%, but nonetheless a multiplication of 5.78 stands out like rice in the salt shaker.
The closest Obama comes to a watershed election is in the percentage of victory over opponent. But this is arguably the least practical advantage amongst the numbers discussed here, and it is also trumped by victory percentages like +81.6 by Reagan in 1980 and by the Gipper again in 1984 at an astonishing +94%. In the other categories of multiplier and EV gain Obama falls far short of historical comparisons. 2008 was a good year for Obama, after all he won, but in context his victory is more of a battleground one then an epic one.
Ideologies lie and the knee-jerk analysis of the MSM misleads, but numbers don’t. While the 2008 presidential is sobering for the GOP and requires a decisive comeback in both means and ideas, it’s not as epic as some would have it seem.
So don’t panic, and let's get back to work!