05 November 2008

US Election News Roundup

- Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan ran as an independent against Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, and received 17% of the vote in a race for Congress

- In contrast, in state after state, Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney didn't receive 1% of the vote. In New York, McKinney received 12 000 votes out of 7 million cast. McKinney had only 180 donors who gave more than $200 to her campaign. The US has become more, not less, of a two-party state, despite the rise of the Green Party since before the 2000 election.

- Hispanic youth (30 years and younger) went for Obama by a 50% margin, i.e. 75% to 25%. More broadly, the youth vote margin was worth an extra 73 electoral votes for Obama.

- Obama won union voters by 22 percent; he won among those with members of unions in their households by 19 percent

- How Obama "branded" himself better.

- Trevor Phillips thinks an Obama can't happen here.

- Paxo vs Dizzy Rascal

- San Francisco had an interesting set of "Propositions" being voted on (local referendums):

Proposition B -- allocating funds to support affordable housing for seniors, families, those in danger of becoming homeless, disabled persons, those living with HIV or AIDS, and at-risk youth -- voted down by 50.54 percent of voters
Proposition H -- a deadline for San Francisco to be powered by 100% clean energy by 2040 -- rejected by 59 percent of voters
Proposition K -- the decriminalization of prostitution in San Francisco, and for the full enforcement of laws against assault or rape in cases involving sex workers -- defeated by more than 57 percent of voters
Proposition U -- no more further federal funding of armed forces in Iraq, except as used for withdrawal from the country -- passed by nearly 60 percent

- Newsweek has a behind-the-scenes look at the campaigns. A cyber attack from an "unknown entity" hit both presidential campaigns' computers during the summer. Obama's campaign had a piece of software called "Project Houdini" to keep track in real-time which people had already voted on election day.

- Women advisers will be key in an Obama administration.

Finally, Wangari Maathai (the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner from 2004) writes on Obama as an inspiration not just for Africa's young people, but for African leaders too


Rayyan said...

Why can't Sheehan run against a Republican?

What is it with the left? Why are they so stupid? This is the first time anyone on the left could actually have some influence over democratic politics (i.e. real politics, not the politics of "marching on the Bank of England" and then ending up inside an upmarket shopping centre). This guy has got elected thanks to a popular movement - one he encouraged and helped to cultivate. He has to answer to them.

The left: influence, or irrelevance. I know which one I'd choose.

scott redding said...

Democrats regularly get 80-90% of the vote in the Bay Area, so Sheehan's mission was a bit kamikaze. That being said, if Pelosi gets elected as Speaker on a wave of anti-war, anti-Bush, sentiment in 2006, and then rules out articles of impeachment, and keeps approving Bush military budgets ... she deserves to be challenged.

Rayyan said...

It's not much of a challenge when she isn't going to win. It's just like Ralph "Racial Slur" Nader - no actual interest in changing things outside of a mistaken belief that if they draw enough attention to themselves, the whole of the political system will change. It is egotistical to an absurd extreme.


By all means, stand up to power. But do so in a way that achieves something, rather than to simply make a point no one will pay attention to.

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