Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday 2008: Best Ever?


This goes back to my general wondering of how much of the "depression" is real? And how much does a stock market crash impact the average American and their willingness to spend?

I'm curious to see November's unemployment figures but October's number was 6.5%, which is high for recent history but still pretty low in the grand scheme of things.

Latest unemployment numbers

The pattern there is rather interesting as well.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Voter turnout 2008. All hype?

I was seeing some people saying how voter turnout in 2008 blew the lid off of 2004's numbers and since Obama won by a landslide, this proves the country is really behind him.


I already demonstrated that Obama only got 52.5% of the popular vote, so not exactly a landslide. So how was voter turnout?

I'm having trouble tracking down good numbers right now, as I guess it's too early, but here's what I could find so far:

Voter turnout same or slightly higher than 04

Registrations were way up (ACORN?) but actual turnout was not.

I actually think it's closer than that CNN blog says. They're using "124 million" as voters in 2004 (and another CNN story says it "shattered 2004's mark of 122 million" -- the 2004 number keeps dropping!) but the census table I'm looking at right now says 125.7 million voted in the 2004 presidential election. That's 58.3% of the voting age population for that time.

Let's see... voting age population for this election was 231.2 million, so if 127 million voted in 2008 (latest preliminary estimate I could find, Nov 6th) then we're at 55%?

Hmm, that can't be right. That shows us as actually having a lower percentage turnout this year than in 2004.

Well, we'll check again when there are some final numbers, I guess. I would love to see the Census Bureau report on it but it looks like those don't come out until the following spring.

Don't believe everything you hear about Obama. Look it up for yourself first.

Defining a "landslide"

I'm seeing a lot of verbiage about Obama's "landslide victory" and how this means "Americans were sick of Republican rule and demanded change". Articles like this don't help matters:
"Obama becomes first black president in landslide".
"Obama wins election in landslide"

Before we jump to any conclusions that this means America is sick of the Republican party and has wholeheartedly embraced Obama's calls for change, perhaps we should look a bit deeper.

These articles go on to talk about the "electoral college landslide", which is true.

What they fail to mention is that it was a very close race in terms of the popular vote.
Obama 65,125,043 (52.5%)
McCain 57,178,049 (46.2%)

Someone recently said to me that "Americans stood up and yelled they wanted this change. The election was as close to being called a landslide as it gets. This country is tired of Bush policies and those that support him."

Well, 46.2% of Americans stood up and yelled that they wanted McCain.

Don't misattribute something to "Americans" as if you spoke for all of us or even some overwhelming majority when in fact Obama's calls for "change" only appealed to about 52% of the voters.