Patriots for Truth Hypocrisy Digest

Friday, November 05, 2004

Morning Again

I did some research and thinking about the odd pattern that I pointed out in the last post about Florida's election result as a function of voting system.

While it's suspicious, I've come to the conclusion that it's primarily an anomaly based on history.

A few salient facts. Floridians have been overwhelmingly Democrats since the 50s. Many have not changed party affiliations either out of inertia or because most of the local races and positions are still 'big D' Democratic. The rural voters tend to vote Republican in national elections.

I spoke to the wife of a former county board member in Liberty County Florida, which voted 2 to 1 in favor of Bush, but has more than ten times as many registered Democrats as Republicans. She, herself a registered Democrat, explained that all the local seats and elections are Democratic, but all the yard signs say "Bush Cheney." She completely believes that the area is strong Bush country. "We love our President!" she said.

At the same time, it was the cities which have always been more split between Dems and GOP that first went to automated election counting - punch cards. The rural areas modernized later when optical scan was state of the art. As we know, the punch card systems in Florida were all replaced by touch screen in the last four years.

The result is that when the counties modernized is more salient than what they modernized to! Those counties that modernized to optical scan machines are rural counties where lots of Democrats vote for Republican. Those that modernized a second time in the last four years have more Democrats and voted for more Democrats, so there was no perceived shift.

What we're seeing is largely the result of the shift of the GOP from being the party of rich people to being the party of God that swept the south since the Reagan era.


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