Daily Archives: April 26, 2008

Whose Supporters Won’t Vote in November?

A comment posted in The Fray by Lulabelle:

If Obama’s voters didn’t support Clinton, they would most likely stay home. If Clinton’s supporters didn’t support Obama, they would be more likely to vote for McCain. They may be more centrist, and they are the demographics most likely to vote, based on past experience. So which eventuality if worse for the Democrats in November? In the end, for the record, if Clinton is the nominee, I think the vast majority of Obama’s supporters will come around — particularly African-Americans, who know the Clintons’ hearts (better than most white people do) and know there’s not a racist bone in either of their bodies. The Clinton Administration record — not just their words — is unbelievably strong for people of color — indeed, for all minorities.

The following is a bit rambly, but bear with me:

I very much disagree.  If Clinton is the nominee, the independents, the young voters, and likely the African-Americans will, at minimum, stay home.  This is even more salient when one considers that the superdelegates would have to overturn the pledged delegates, which would inevitably lead to strong resentment amongst these groups.

On the other hand, it would be irrational for Clinton supporters to not support Obama.  Clinton and Obama do share similar policy positions, but the major difference here is that he would have won fairly.  We’re talking about entrenched Democrats here.

The polls are misleading on this point.  Clinton supporters tend to be entrenched Democrats.  Both sides are currently bitter (yeah, I said “bitter”) over the campaign.  However, once everything is settled, sooner rather than later hopefully, it’ll become clear that Republican opposition is far more important than being bitter over their candidate losing.  If Obama wins, he will have done so fair and square.  Clinton supporters have little reason to complain.  If Clinton wins, however, it will have to be done through the superdelegates overturning the pledged delegates.  Obama supporters, who are to a far lesser extent entrenched Democrats.  It’s all the more reason for them not to vote for Clinton in November.  For Clinton supporters, who tend to be entrenched Democrats, will not vote for McCain.  They will vote for Obama.

Furthermore, the polls to which Lulabelle refers do not ask the proper question.  They ask who such people would vote for if their candidate didn’t win, there was no “not vote” option.  As such, Obama supports picked Clinton in far more numbers than is probably true.

Clearly the Democrats do not want to lose the independents, the young, and the African-Americans, but this will happen if Obama loses unfairly.  This is especially the case with African-Americans, who will undoubtedly view a superdelegate overturn as ratifying the racism in the process.

If Obama wins, it was a fair result.  So while Obama supporters not only have Clinton’s dirty politics, her self-interest over those of the party, and the willingness to do anything to win no matter what rules she breaks as reason not to vote for her come November, they would also have the nomination stolen from them by the Superdelegates.  Clinton supporters, on the other hand, have… have… what?  That he’s “inexperienced”?  The difference-in-experience debate aside, even if it were true, it’s crazy to choose a person with a completely opposite ideology, as McCain, as President simply because that person is more experienced, especially when Obama would be surrounded by extremely qualified cabinet members and advisors.  It wasn’t Bush’s inexperience that caused his disastrous presidency, it was his ideology.  

Because of a lack of a rational reason for Clinton supporters to vote McCain in the general instead of Obama, and it would be irrational and foolish for Clinton supporters to not vote for him.  If Clinton wins, it will be a fair result, and it is more than rational for Obama supporters to not vote for Clinton.  Finally, independents and the young have been drawn to Obama not just for his policies, but for his promise of a change in tone in politics.  Clinton does not offer that.


The “Possibly Related Posts” Feature

WordPress has added a new “feature” to its service that you might have noticed by now.  It’s called “Possibly Related Posts,” and it adds links to other weblogs’ posts to the bottom of all WordPress blog posts.  I personally learned this when people started frequenting a February 21st entry on my political blog, even though that post wasn’t completely relevant to the current political situation.  I clicked on the referrer link, and found a post rather the opposite of my political viewpoint.  On top of that, my post didn’t seem at all related to the content of that entry, except that both entries discussed Clinton.


One of the main reasons I switched from my previous blogging tool was because it would place Google ads on my site, many of which were for political groups with the exact opposite opinions as mine.  As such, I was essentially promoting the opposition’s viewpoint. 


And now WordPress is doing something very similar with the “Possibly Related Posts.”  I like the feature to the extent that it increased traffic to my blog, but I dislike the feature because it’s promoting opposite viewpoints, and because it’s just ugly.  Don’t get me wrong, I welcome opposing views on my site, but only when someone took the time to comment, not just when someone posts something to their own site.  After all, with comments I can respond, with links to opposing weblog entries, I cannot.


Because of this I find myself in quite a dilemma.  On the one hand, I have no problems with promoting other blog posts, so long as they’re not completely opposite my viewpoint, and it’s done in a decent fashion.  Additionally, I appreciate the increase in traffic to my site.  On the other hand, it is ugly and it essentially makes me promote arguments which I disagree with. 


If the “feature” allowed me to eliminate certain links, I think I would keep it.  As it is, however, it’s way too close to the reason why I dropped my previous blogging tool.


For the immediate future, I will leave it on to see if I get any more increased traffic (although, I’m a little perturbed that all the increased traffic is to an old post of mine that isn’t very relevant anymore), and to see if the links become too objectionable.  If it becomes too objectionable, or too worthless, I’ll remove it.


In case you’d like to disable the “Possibly Related Posts” “feature” for your own blog and don’t know how, follow these instructions (taken from Possibly an Announcement):


If you want to remove the related posts from your blog entirely, just go to Design > Extras and check the box to do so. But if you remove related posts from your blog we’ll remove you from other people’s blogs, so you won’t get traffic from that.

As far as my non-political blog, I cannot see good reason to remove it just yet.  Although, again, it is pretty darn ugly.