THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2020
Also, what's wrong with the polling?: Kevin Drum has raised two questions in two recent posts.
In this post, he has asked what the heck's wrong with the polling. Consider:
During election years, the laborious reading of polls is the major way "cable news" kills time every day. For that reason, the fact that these polls seem to be increasingly lousy has become a significant question.
In this second post, Drum has asked where we liberals go from here. We think his basic outline is extremely well taken:
DRUM (11/4/20): ...Biden’s [likely] victory represents only a tiny change in the vote compared to 2016. Trumpism wasn’t rejected—he probably would have won if not for the pandemic—and liberalism wasn’t embraced. At this point, Republicans still need to come to grips with how Trump took over their party, but Democrats need to come to grips with the fact that they remain a generally unloved alternative. I have my own ideas about why that is, which I’ll keep to myself for the time being, but it’s something that needs to be addressed in a clear-eyed way. No more hiding behind popular vote victories or polls claiming to show that everyone loves our policies. It’s obvious that both are misleading. Nor is the answer for the party to be more vigorous about supporting your personal policy preferences. That’s just lazy.
This is all going to be discussed to death over the next few months, and we’re all going to get sick of it. But the worst thing liberals can do is to keep piddling down the same path as always without giving it much thought. We need to do better.
In fact, it wouldn't be bad if we did much better. Here are a few basic points:
According to the official exit polls, 24 percent of voters surveyed said they consider themselves liberal. 37 percent of voters said they consider themselves conservative.
It can get more surprising than that! According to the exit polls, 47 percent of voters said they "approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president."
We aren't saying that view is right; we aren't saying that view is wrong. We're saying that a very large chunk of the electorate sees the world in a way which flies in the face of the liberal perspective. And by the way:
The people who see things that way won't be going anywhere. They sit with us on this country's board of directors. That fact isn't going to change.
A second point from the exit poll data is already being discussed. According to the exit data, 18 percent of black men voted for Trump, as did 36 percent of Hispanic men. As we note those facts, we state the obvious:
People have every right to vote for whoever they want.
Concerning these exit poll data, a basic point should be made. Exit polls are like other polls. You can't assume that these exit poll data are accurate!
It's hard to know what others think, especially if you're talking about tens of millions of other people. It's hard to learn why people believe the various things they do.
As we wait for the discussion described by Drum to begin, we leave you with some basic questions:
Do you have basic respect for people who don't see or understand the world the same way you do? Or are you, like the bulk of humanity down through the ages, committed to the obvious greatness of yourself and our glorious tribe?
We're looking forward to hearing Drum's views. We'll be stating views of our own on the topic at hand.