This is a interesting article on how data mining helped Obama win the election: Obama Wins: How Chicago’s Data-Driven Campaign Triumphed
The Republicans can rejoice in anti-science and anti-fact but scientific facts heped the Democrats win the election.
Republican pessimism is more than a PR headache. Put simply, it is hard for a party to win national elections in a country that it seems to dislike. Mr Romney’s campaign slogan was “Believe in America”. But too many on his side believe in a version of America from which displeasing facts or arguments are ruthlessly excluded. Todd Akin did not implode as a Senate candidate because of his stern opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest: many Republicans in Congress share those views. His downfall came because in trying to deny that his principles involved a trade-off with compassion for rape victims he came up with the unscientific myth that the bodies of women subjected to rape can shut down a pregnancy.
It was a telling moment of denial, much like the comforting myth that there is no such thing as climate change or, if there is, that humans are not involved. Ensconced in a parallel world of conservative news sources and conservative arguments, all manner of comforting alternative visions of reality surfaced during the 2012 election. Many, like Mr Akin’s outburst, involved avoiding having to think about unwelcome things (often basic science or economics). It became a nostrum among rank-and-file Republicans that mainstream opinion polls are biased and should be ignored, for instance, and that voter fraud is rampant and explains much of the Democrats’ inner-city support. Both conspiracies sounded a lot like ways of wishing the other side away.
Thoughtful Republicans are not oblivious to the dangers that they face. Optimists hope that new leaders will emerge to lead their movement rapidly towards greater realism, and greater cheeriness. If not, electoral defeats far more severe than those inflicted this time will surely impose such changes. Republicans may look back and wish the reckoning had started sooner. (source: Lexington: State of denial from The Economist)
Definitely read the whole article.
Conservatives were at an information disadvantage because so many right-leaning outlets wasted time on stories the rest of America dismissed as nonsense. WorldNetDaily brought you birtherism.Forbes brought you Kenyan anti-colonialism. National Review obsessed about an imaginary rejection of American exceptionalism, misrepresenting an Obama quote in the process, and Andy McCarthy was interviewed widely about his theory that Obama, aka the Drone Warrior in Chief, allied himself with our Islamist enemies in a “Grand Jihad” against America. Seriously?
Conservatives were at a disadvantage because their information elites pandered in the most cynical, self-defeating ways, treating would-be candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain as if they were plausible presidents rather than national jokes who’d lose worse than George McGovern.
How many months were wasted on them?
How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don’t Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn’t grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man’s record nor repudiate it. The most damaging Romney gaffe of the campaign, where he talked about how the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes are a lost cause for Republicans? Either he was unaware that many of those people are Republican voters, or was pandering to GOP donors who are misinformed. Either way, bad information within the conservative movement was to blame.
Nate Silver was right. His ideological antagonists were wrong. And that’s just the beginning of the right’s self-created information disadvantage.
This article is really worth reading. It examines why the Republican media called the election so wrong.
My opinion: How long will anti-intelligence, anti-fact, anti-science appeal to conservatives? How can they continue to believe that if they say it, if they report falsehoods they become fact? It doesn’t become fact. It doesn’t make Obama a socialist just because the conservative press repeatedly report he is a socialist. It doesn’t make Obama’s birth certificate false when they report that non-fact endlessly. It doesn’t make concepts like incest so rare, women fabricate rape, that rape is something god intended to happen suddenly to become truth when they play these repulsive ideas ad nauseam. It doesn’t make scientists suddenly question the facts of global warming when the conservative press suggest the facts are in question. It just makes the press look foolish. It makes their candidates unelectable. Anti-fact (really it was simply a lie) worked when Bush convinced the world that Iraq had WMD but now we fact check everything we read.
Read the whole column at: Romney: Elect Me Or House GOP Will Wreck The Economy
ROMNEY: Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut — we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing….
CNN’s JOHN KING: Including disaster relief, though?
ROMNEY: We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.—
(thanks/via: The Atlantic)