CLOSE ELECTION....The Washington Monthly I'm not trying to minimize the tough electoral road ahead for Democrats, but even so I get awfully annoyed by
November 4, 2004

CLOSE ELECTION....The Washington Monthly

I'm not trying to minimize the tough electoral road ahead for Democrats, but even so I get awfully annoyed by analysis like this:

"Democrats face this terrible arithmetic in the Electoral College where if they don't carry any of the 11 Southern states [of the Old Confederacy] they need to win 70% of everything else," says Merle Black, an expert on Southern politics at Emory University.

No kidding. But try this on for size instead:

"Republicans face this terrible arithmetic in the Electoral College where if they don't carry any of the 13 Northeastern states they need to win two-thirds of everything else," says Kevin Drum, an expert on simplistic arithmetic at the Washington Monthly.

Note to the media: it was a close election, just like it was four years ago. There were only a dozen swing states, and Republicans had no more chance of winning in California, New York, and Illinois than Democrats did in Georgia, Alabama, and Wyoming. A trivial swing of a hundred thousand votes in half a dozen states and you'd be writing pretentious thumbsuckers about how cultural issues were losing their ability to attract votes for Republicans. So knock it off, OK?

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