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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reality Check, Obama’s Not That Loved

I’ve heard Obama supporters say some pretty foolish things. Intrinsic in their foolishness is the incapacity to look at empirical fact. His fanatical advocates are not only willing to hide his errors and flaws behind gushing editorials, but they’re also willing to overtly lie.

I’ve heard liberals cite Obama’s margin of victory as a mandate for his agenda. While Obama’s Electoral College victory was decisive, it’s notable to mention that there were more dissenting voters to his election than any US President in history (59,934,786) – and that’s just counting the major ticket dissenters, not the write in votes for third party candidates. That means that there were more votes for McCain than there are people living in countries like Spain, Canada, and South Korea. In fact, except for the most populated 23 or so countries in the world, McCain’s voting population is greater than the population of every other country on the planet.

It’s also worth noting that the percentage of people who voted for Obama is 52.9% (not 55% or 60% as I’ve heard some liberals say). Obama’s margin of victory (9,522,111) is only the 6th largest of all time, despite having the largest US population in history. Nixon’s 1972 margin (17,995,488), Johnson’s 1964 margin (17,951,287), Reagan’s 1984 margin (16,678,120), Roosevelt’s 1936 margin (11,070,786), and Eisenhower’s 1956 margin of victory (9,551,152) were all greater (with smaller populations mind you) than Obama’s (FiveThirtyEight).

His voter percentage margin of victory (7.2%), is only the 13th best in history. Harding in 1920 (26.2%), Roosevelt in 1932 (17.7%), Hoover in 1928 (17.4%), Wilson in 1912 (14.4%), Van Buren in 1836 (14.2%), Jackson in 1828 (12.4%), Buchanan in 1856 (12.2%), Eisenhower in 1952 (10.9%), Lincoln in 1860 (10.3%), Reagan in 1980 (9.7%), Taft in 1908 (8.6%), and H.W. Bush in 1988 (7.8%) all had greater percentage margins of victory than Obama (FiveThirtyEight).

In terms of voter turnout, the 2008 election was the largest (132,580,096) in history, as it should be with the largest voting age population (VAP) in history (230,917,360) (George Mason University). However, the 2008 VAP turnout rate (the total number of voting age Americans divided by the total number of presidential votes) is only the 4th largest since 1960 (InfoPlease). The 1960, 64 and 68 elections all had higher VAP rates (InfoPlease). The 2008 voting-eligible rate (VEP), which excludes those who did not register to vote and those who are ineligible to vote (because of their criminal status), also falls short of the VEP rates of the 1960s (University of Oklahoma).

When comparing the increase in total voters, the 2008 election only brought in an additional 10,285,118 voters from 2004 (InfoPlease). By comparison, the 2004 election brought in 16,708,704 additional voters from 2000, and 2000 enjoyed 9,129,929 additional voters from 1996 (InfoPlease). The voting age population increased by 9,972,649 from 2004 to 2008, 15,441,931 from 2000 to 2004, and 9,304,000 from 1996 to 2000 (InfoPlease). This means that, relative to the total increase of voter age population between elections, only the 2008 election failed to garner more voters than it did eligible voters over the past three elections. In fact, the last election which failed to net more voters than it did voting-age people, was the 1992 election of Bill Clinton (InfoPlease).

Contrary to what most media would have you believe, most American counties voted republican, despite Obama’s election.

Moreover, the dirty little fact that the media seems to ignore is that more Americans identify themselves as conservative (34%) than do ones whom identify themselves as liberals (21%). These figures are identical to 2004 (2004 Statistics, 2008 Statistics).

So, by no means did “everyone vote for Obama,” and by no means was he elected by any historical margin of victory. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe after all the gushing commentary he’s received from the main stream media, but these are the facts. This media adulation for the “Messiah” isn’t just the product of a “hard-fought” 2008 election campaign. Oh no, outlets like the New York Times have been shoving Barack Obama down the throats of Americans since 2004.

But, despite the media’s attempts to paint an image where all the world (let alone the United States) has united behind Obama, his approval rating only rests at 68%. Every American president in recorded history has started his administration with an approval rating over 50%, and there have been two other presidents, (Eisenhower and JFK) who had higher initial approval ratings than Obama (Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Gallop). Only Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton failed to reach Obama’s current approval rating within a few months of being elected (Wall Street Journal).

Which means that, not only was Obama's election statistically underwhelming, his initial approval rating is average as well – even with the MSM adulation. He's just another politician. A 68% in any class amounts to a D+ grade, at best. He is no more sublime than any other president we’ve ever had.

Regarding said "media adulation," it's important to keep in mind the markable left lean of the media and the quantifiable media factors which lead to Obama's election. Don’t buy into the hyperbolic platitudes of the main stream media. They’re so desperate to claim a stake in a liberal administration and the historic election of a black president, they’re willing to completely subvert reality.

So when you hear someone overstating Obama’s victory margin as a means for arguing in support of a liberal mandate, see it as the manipulative tactic it is. They merely want you to think that everyone agrees with them and that there must be something wrong with you if you’re not in the Obama fan club. The nearly 60 million people who voted for John McCain constitute the largest dissenting voter population in American history. Do not mistake Obama’s statistically run of the mill victory and approval rating as a mandate for his liberal agenda.


Jesus Freak said...

That makes a lot of logic Seth.

Keep up the good work.

Obama '12 said...

Obviously Obama's victory wasn't anywhere near as huge as Reagan in '84 or Nixon in '72 - those were huge blowouts. I think part of what makes Obama's win seem so decisive is all that he was running against and the very close elections in '00 and '04. It's been awhile since we've had a clear cut winner. You could even go all the way back to Bush Sr. really since Perot cut into the margins for Clinton making his wins less impressive in some way.

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