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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 29. | WILLisms.com | Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Thirty-Nine -- Broken Benefit Calculation Formula. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 204 -- Split Ticket Voting.

Polarization Is Real-

In 2004, there was less ticket splitting than in any election since 1944 (.pdf):


America is indeed becoming more geographically and culturally polarized. Increasingly, voters are clustering together in ideological and partisan enclaves, both left and right.

Interestingly, the fastest growing enclaves also happen to be some of the most Republican-leaning. What is puzzling is how much of the polarization is people actually moving to places where they can feel at home, and how much of it is people taking on the values of those around them.

One thing is pretty clear, though: 2004 was an election that made people think about their values and ideas. It was an election that made people choose sides. No longer were the two parties "indistinguishable," as some argued in the years preceding 2004. No longer were the two parties appealing strictly to the great American center. No longer were the messages and platforms quite so muddled.

No, people had a choice, and they made their choice.

Thus, it was an election that should have meant something, policy-wise. It remains to be seen whether the mandate will indeed be actualized.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Medicare Crisis & Solution.

Posted by Will Franklin · 2 November 2005 08:40 AM


Not so. To ascribe the shift solely to "values" is to employ party-line logic - which is entirely specious. The muddling of the 2004 election is well documented (but vehemently denied by conservatives): swift boat liars, 9/11 fears, and Rove's smear machine all combined to give Bush advantage. The "mandate" that Bush claimed is a fiction, albeit one that he can hardly be blamed for embracing.

Further, anyone that's sat through an Ethics/Values/Morals 101 class in college (even hungover) is aware that the application of values is by no means confined to what political junkies would like to believe they are. People in exit polls who say that "values" played the number one role in their choice are scarcely indicitive of the whole. After all, if someone votes for "economic issues", they clearly "value" such issues above others (including social issues which traditionally fall under the purview of plastic societal norms rather than federal law).

Posted by: Kelly at November 2, 2005 09:25 PM

One should always keep in mind what the primary (or at least a very major secondary) purpose of Social Security was back in the late 1930s: To bribe people to stay out of the labor force and thereby "reduce" unemployment. It became fundamentally irrational for wives (and yes it was exclusively wives back then) to go to work.

One curious political ramification of this was that radical liberal feminists were one of the few ardent groups opposing the spousal benefit, since it compelled women not to empower themselves by earning their own income.

Oh, and of course gays, even Massachusetts-married gays, are denied spousal benefits under federal DOMA.

Posted by: KipEsquire at November 3, 2005 09:42 AM

Sorry, wrong thread. Oops.

Posted by: KipEsquire at November 3, 2005 09:43 AM