More Republicans think Obama stole election than Democrats think Bush stole either 2000 or 2004

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 14:07

A new survey from PPP (PDF) shows that 26% of Americans, most of whom are Republicans, think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama.

For the sake of comparison, a Gallup poll immediately following Gore's concession in the 2000 election showed that 18% of the county, a significant percentage of whom were African-American, believed that Bush stole the election.

In 2004, the numbers for Bush were even lower.  Back then, in the wake of Kerry's concession, a Gallup poll showed only 13% of the country believed that Bush stole the election.  (FWIW, I was among the 5% or so that shifted from 2000 to 2004.)

This is simultaneously a demonstration that hard-core conservatives live in an entirely different reality than the rest of the country, and that the hardcore conservative base is as much as twice as large as the hardcore progressive base.  As both a media figure and a political organizer that operates primarily in the hardcore progressive world, I'd be lying if I didn't admit the size of the hardcore conservative base made be pretty jealous.

With the exception of 1995, polling has consistently shown that there are more Americans who believe Republicans are too liberal than there are Americans who believe Democrats are too conservative.  Further, a larger percentage of Americans are Republicans who would prefer less-electable candidates with whom they largely agree on issues, than are Democrats who hold the same belief (source, PDF).  And there are even more conservatives who think the 2008 election was stolen than there are progressives who think the 2000 election was stolen, which is pretty remarkable given the difference in margin between the two elections.

Many dismiss the importance of an active, engaged, ideological base, but such a base seems to have far more benefits than negatives.  The base provides the resources to win elections.  They provide turnout in low attention and enthusiasm elections.  They fuel the primary challenges that keep party members in line, and thus allow you to pass legislation.  They make your entire party appear to believe in something, rather than being wishy-washy and attempting to win for its own sake.  The continuing base gap between conservatives and progressives is a major factor in why progressive governance remains so much more difficult than conservative governance.

Chris Bowers :: More Republicans think Obama stole election than Democrats think Bush stole either 2000 or 2004

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Thank you (4.00 / 1)
For the stats on 2000 and 2004. Shows how much more distrust there is on the right wing.

For my part, I think all national elections are "stolen" to the extent that only those with $ and/or connection to $ and those with intra-party connections within one of the two mainstream parties will be considered "viable" candidates.

Same probably applies in most States.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

Not really the same thing... (0.00 / 0)
As believing that conspiracy managed to register millions of Mickey Mouses and somehow stuff ballot boxes with their votes.

[ Parent ]
And Not Get Caught! (4.00 / 1)
Not one single fraudulent voter arrested for their dastardly deed!

On the Bush DOJ watch, no less!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I realize the difference (0.00 / 0)
I admit that a part of me was mildly surprised that when they opened up the ballot boxes in FL in 2000 that they actually found ballots.

I had always assumed that US elections were run more along the lines of the recent Afghan elections, only without the drama.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Me too (4.00 / 2)
I am part of that 5% as well.    Despite some questionable things in 2004, I don't think it was stolen.  2000 I think it definately was stolen.

I suppose if you don't count Republican officials (0.00 / 0)
willfully manipulating the election by preventing hundreds of thousands registered voters (likely to vote for Kerry) in Ohio and elsewhere from legally casting their ballots as "stealing", well then I suppose you'd be right. I don't call that "questionable", I call it "stealing".  

[ Parent ]
Hundreds of thousands is quite a lot (4.00 / 1)
Considering turnout in 2008, when Jennifer Brunner ws running things, was less than 100,000 higher than in 2004, I'm gonna say that hundreds of thousands number is just a conspiracy since those hundreds of thousands would have shown up last year.  

[ Parent ]
Not just Ohio (4.00 / 1)
And not just about turnout. It's all the folks who tried to register who were wrongfully prevented from doing so, and all the folks who didn't show because they were told if they showed up at the polling place they'd face legal consequences, all the folks who could legally vote and were deliberately told that they could not, and all the folks who didn't get counted as "turnout" because they couldn't stand in line for countless hours on end. This is in addition to all the counting "discrepancies" from the actual vote. Here's one link:

[ Parent ]
and what happened to them in 2008? (0.00 / 0)
Were they stopped from voting in 2008 too, cause these millions of mistread folks didn't show up last year either.  

[ Parent ]
Apparently (0.00 / 0)
It is rather surprising that the same kind of vote theft just disappeared in 2008.

Can one turn off corruption like a light switch?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
What am I supposed to be looking at here? (0.00 / 0)
Are you saying these millions of people were also suppressed last year, but we ended up winning anyway?

These articles seem to imply that Republicans tried to supress Democratic votes...yes, we're aware of that, but were they successfull to the tune of hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of voters...that doesn't seem to be explained here.

So what am I supposed to believe? 300,000 votes were AGAIN supressed in Ohio last year? and in other states too? This lists Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as areas where voters were suppressed. Odd since all states were won by Obama and all states had Democratic Secretaries of State. Do let me know though if what you're saying is mass numbers of people were in fact denied voting last year and we still won anyway. This way I can write to Jennifer Brunner and demand she resign for being such a failure.  

[ Parent ]
My link to those last three articles (0.00 / 0)
was in reply to the implication that there was no organized voter suppression happening in 2008.

[ Parent ]
how they got here (0.00 / 0)
that's pretty astonishing.

about the relative hardcore base sizes - that sounds about right to me. but how long has it been that way?

the right has been organizing for a long time. on the other hand, there was that whole Civil War thing. i think we're still working that out.  

not everything worth doing is profitable. not everything profitable is worth doing.

Thank you especially for that last paragraph (4.00 / 3)
Many dismiss the importance of an active, engaged, ideological base, but such a base seems to have far more benefits than negatives.

Those are all excellent points that you made, and they seem to be all but completely lost on the Dem "leadership". What's worse, they even view us - their activist base - as part of the problem. Sadly, it's a standard piece of Democratic Party Beltway insider "conventional wisdom" that sets us back even further.

(Oh, but how they love us when they come asking for money!).  

I'm Not Sure This Metric Is A Good Indication of Base Size (0.00 / 0)
Conspiricism has its natural home on the right, for a variety of reasons.

Indeed, conspiracist narratives are remarkably close to the core of what it means to be a conservation.  But liberalism/progressivism is relatively unconcerned with such matters.  Indeed, the rise of conspiracism on the left is pretty much a sign of weakness.  When you're busy fighting for and winning higher wages, job security, equal rights, and other substantive battles, obsessing over Nixon's stealing the '68 election, or Reagan's "October Surprise" in 1980 objectively is a distraction.

Of course, what liberals and Democrats generally fail to appreciate is how mainstreaming the knowledge of those actual conspiracies, and related power grabs would serve to greatly deligitimize conservatism as a whole, thus making all substantative battles easier to win.

In short, I'm sure those figures mean something, but it's something a good deal more complex than just "base size." Indeed, I don't believe "base size" is a solid number, as opposed to one that fluctuates over time, thus undermining some of the connotations of "base".

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

I agree that stolen elections are not an indicator of the base (0.00 / 0)
even if the base tends to sympathize with their side being victimized.

I mean, the 2000 theft was so blatant it should've been obvious to anyone with eyes.  And I would be saying the same thing if it were Gore who stole it rather than Bush.

Plus, how strongly does a position on election theft correlate with positions on actual issues?  I'd be interested to see how many people who believe Bush stole 2000 also support, say, single payer health care.

[ Parent ]
Sounds about right (0.00 / 0)
Actually I think this is probably an indication that the right-wing ideological fringe is roughly twice the size of its left-wing counterpart in the USA, which strikes me as intuitively plausible.  

actually it might be more of an indication (0.00 / 0)
that it is half size and that they are winnowed down to the paranoids, and the acorn stolen election theory has much less going for it that the brooks brothers riot theory.  

My blog  

[ Parent ]
A measure of propaganda's ability to distort (0.00 / 0)
Those who thought Bush stole the 2000 election are generally well-informed progressives who knew about the many dirty tricks that disenfranchised blacks and poor people in Florida and may have actually stolen votes in Ohio. Those who think ACORN stole the election for Obama in 2008 are incredibly ignorant conspiracy nuts completely propagandized by the right-wing media.

I think this is a good indication of how many people watch/listen to Democracy Now! and look at liberal blogs compared to those who watch/listen to Fox News, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, etc. This is also a really good indicator of how we're outspent and out-maneuvered by the Right-wing and their corporate sponsors.

Please, can't we have the Fairness Doctrine back just so this nonsense can be challenged every once in a while? Or do we have to continue trying to talk to people who think that ACORN stole an election because some bozo filled out a few registration cards with the name Mickey Mouse?

The Fairness Doctrine only ensured (4.00 / 2)
that the "other side" got to say their piece. The power of conservative memes is that they get repeated endlessly with little push back.  

What's required is a Democratic party and / or progressive activist base that can provide that push back.

The media seems conservative because it reflects the elite power distribution.  There is a great deal of power is the conservative wing of the Republican Party (there is almost nothing left of the party outside that wind, and what there is has been disciplined pretty effectively) while the balance of power in the Democratic party is still largely held by conservadems - who have built up their own power making the argument that Democrats must be conservative to win elections.  The only way to change the media is to change the balance of power within the Democratic party.

(PS - the Democratic party enabled this sort of nonsense by going along with the idea of ACORN as some sort of vast criminal enterprise.  Who's the fool - regular people that believe the nonsense or elites that peddle the nonsense against their own self-interest?)

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
Only proves how utterly marginal (0.00 / 0)
and probably incapable of stealing an election Acorn are.  Compare that with the ritzy powerful Brooks Brother rioters.

My blog  

[ Parent ]
but the progressives had more evidence for their (4.00 / 1)
side than the republicans do. For one thing acorn are marginal powerless poor people organization. The brooks brothers riot people, are not marginal and do control much of society and the economy, including the media.  The media have made a much bigger deal out of acorn than the pathetic discrimination against blacks that occurred in florida.  The people who were marginalized in Florida were people that were traditionally marginalized in the south, namely poor blacks.

My blog  

A good point (0.00 / 0)
Mr. Bower's argument holds if there's equal probability of fraud in 2000/2004 and in 2008.  Barring a full examination of all claims of electoral fraud, a simple heuristic to guess the probability is that Bush won narrowly (by a single state that was fairly close) both times, meaning that a small swing in a single state would account for his victory.  By contrast, Obama won by a large electoral margin, and even a swing of 3% in a half-dozen states wouldn't be enough to account for his victory.  However conceivable it is for a conspiracy to swing a thousand or even a hundred thousand votes in a single state, turning several states by large margins is much less likely.

[ Parent ]
Who owns the media? (0.00 / 0)
If I get hammered over the head with the same advertisement every time I turn on the TV or the radio or open a browser, I am going to be affected in some way. If I tend to agree with something about the ad, I will lean in one direction. If I disagree, I will lean in another direction.

This whole, "who did what to whom" and "who believes what" is a broken record.

It's about who controls the message, which translates into who controls the media? Corporations control the media because they own the media. Murdoch's News Corp owns MySpace for crying out loud. More to the point. Who owns the news? GE (Jeffrey Immelt), Westinghouse (Frank Carlucci), News Corp (Rupert Murdoch), Disney, Viacom, Time-Warner.

For the most part, the conservatives own the news. Liberals own Comedy Central. Bush even took the time to load the board and execs of NPR and PBS with like-minded types while he was in office.

The core Republicans are fighting a culture war with progressive liberals and it's to the death, at least for the Republicans. The liberals, well, they're liberals and don't enjoy killing people nearly as much as conservatives seem to enjoy it. Liberals just want to get along -- diversity, happiness and all that.  


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