November 2nd, 2012

Ann Althouse…

comes out for Romney.

Unsurprising; she’s been very hard on Obama for most of his administration. But since Althouse can be quite quirky, you never can be sure what she’s going to do.

You might ask: who cares? Well, for one thing, Althouse lives in Wisconsin, a swing state. For another, although she is her own very unique self, she also probably represents a political trajectory shared by others who voted for Obama in 2008 and are not doing so in 2012. If so, that’s a good thing—I’d like to see a lot more changers, all around the country but especially in swing states.

It’s also of great interest (to me, anyway) what turned the tide (or, as she writes, closed the door) for Althouse against Obama in a definitive way in 2012: Benghazi.

As a blogger, Althouse follows that sort of thing much more closely than most people. I think, though, that Benghazi is finally beginning to percolate into the non-blogosphere consciousness. I don’t know; I’ve not done a survey—but the fact that some of the mainstream news outlets are now offering tentative forays into Benghazi coverup coverage territory is an indication that they don’t want to be excoriated for their failure when the facts finally are forced out by Republicans, bloggers on the right, and lonely Fox News. The MSM is trying to carefully calibrate its information flow on Benghazi, though, dribbling out just enough pre-election coverage in an attempt to immunize itself against charges of collusion with Obama but not enough to harm him unduly.

So they think, anyway. Have you spoken to any low information voters to see what they know about Benghazi at this point? I’m curious.

[ADDENDUM: Here’s a WaPo piece that attempts to answer the question of how many 2008 Obama voters have changed their minds in 2012. The answer? Thirteen per cent. If I’m doing the math right, wouldn’t that mean a victory for Romney?]

44 Responses to “Ann Althouse…”

  1. kolnai Says:

    I have. They know nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    It’s clear from the polls that this is true in general, as well, because Obama leads Romney on the question of Libya. I’d normally blame the people for this, but in this case it’s not their fault. They have not been given a fair chance to get informed.

    I thirst for the death of the MSM.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    kolnai: but have you spoken to them today? Because it was only yesterday that the MSM started covering it a little bit. Of course, I would not be surprised if they still haven’t heard of it.

  3. carl in atlanta Says:

    I ate lunch yesterday with my former partner (now retired). He’s a hard core lefty and although he would vehemently deny that he is a low information voter, he still believes in “It was the video!” cover story (thanks to the NYT, which he worships). He also believes that Sandy is evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming. His favored candidate in 2008 was John Edwards. In his own way he’s certainly a “low information” voter; he won’t consider any information that doesn’t support the Narrative.

  4. kolnai Says:

    No, not today (they’re college undergrads, so maybe they’re not representative).

    I shouldn’t have said “absolutely nothing” – that was hyperbole. They usually know something about an ambassador “dying.” And a video on youtube.

    But I want to add that even though the MSM has been disgusting in this, it isn’t just a matter of their shuttering the story. It’s actually rather involved and dependent on details, so it’s hard for people to stay focused enough to understand just why this doesn’t fall under the “fog of war.” Of course, the MSM can craft a nutshell narrative, and one usually develops after extensive coverage; but still, like Fast and Furious, it is very easy to get lost in the weeds and fail to see the Big F’in Deal.

  5. Nyo Says:

    I’ve been looking for honest capitulation form a righting source that the Romney campaign has collapsed, from a pundit not a paper. Wondering if it will happen.

  6. kolnai Says:

    Nyo -

    Say what now?

    I can’t make sense of what you wrote. What is “honest capitulation from a righting source”? What difference does it make if it’s “from a pundit not a paper”?

    I hope you’re not saying you are waiting for a right-wing pundit to proclaim that the Romney campaign has collapses, because that would be… wanting in intelligence.

    First of all, it would be simply false, and only the hardest of hard-core lefty partisans would suggest such a thing.

    Second of all, holding your breath for partisan pundits to proclaim their own side defeated before it happens will result in quick expiration.

    Pro tips. Next time I charge.

  7. Darrell Says:

    The las vegas review journal editorial has a strong Benghazi component, this is the toughest I’ve seen:

    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/benghazi-blunder-obama-unworthy-commander-in-chief-176736441.html

    Hopefully it is a dam break….

  8. Nyo Says:

    Yes collapsed’ed .. from a right-wing pundit.

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    Willie Jefferson Clinton just said that he may be the only person in America who voted for Obama in ’08 and is still enthusiastic.

  10. kolnai Says:

    nyo -

    See pro tips.

    Now exhale.

  11. Sparkey Says:

    I stopped paying attention to Ann some time ago. She has all the guiding principals of an ADD feral cat.

  12. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Some sure signs of a collapsed campaign – having to turn away upwards of 1,000 people in Wisconsin because you underestimated the expected turnout, while the left-wing incumbent president manages to draw maybe 2,800 to a publicized rally in Ohio.

  13. Kurt Says:

    It seemed evident to me from her commentary on the debates that she was now backing Romney. I’m surprised that she says it was Benghazi that changed her mind, since she had the infamous Obamaphone meltdown after that.

  14. gcotharn Says:

    Althouse says:

    “If I could have been assured that the GOP would control both houses of Congress, I might have thought Obama would be good. I like balance, moderation, and pragmatism. “

    Althouse is engaged in a logical fallacy, which is to assume that either conservatives and/or leftists are unbalanced, immoderate, or unpragmatic … due to relative positioning inside the American political spectrum. Those states: unbalanced, immoderate, unpragmatic … are properly judged via reasoning, evidence, and merit.

    Lets assume Benghazi had never happened, and lets assume Althouse had based her decision upon candidate issue positioning … according to a template which was based upon the American political spectrum.

    Althouse would have been announcing, to the world, her own ignorance. Which is what every self proclaimed “moderate” voter does. Althouse would have been announcing that she doesn’t really understand issues of big gov v small gov; free markets vs managed markets; foreign policy leadership vs foreign policy modesty. Althouse would have been announcing that, instead of choosing a candidate based on her principles about government, economics, foreign policy, she was choosing a candidate based upon an arbitrary template of current American political opinion. One would only depend on that template … if one were ignorant of one’s own principles and beliefs. Or, maybe, if one were committed to one’s own superior intellect and virtue (vs. the inferior intellect and virtue of the troglodyte hoi polloi).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Althouse’ actual choice came down to Benghazi. That is an embarrassing admission of ignorance. Althouse could not see the disaster which is Obama’s policies re government, economics, and foreign policy. Althouse could not see the disaster which is everything which goes with bigger government (and Chicago government), such as crony capitalism, and such as oppressive job killing regulation, such as government taking additional money out of the private sector, such as deterioration of efficiency, such as reduction of research and development. Embarrassing. Every publicly proclaimed “moderate” is making a public admission of ignorance.

    Every “moderate” who says: “I just believe in doing what works”, is making a public admission of inability to reason. Here is why: there are only two ways to discover “what works”:
    1. Principle (a “moderate”, who uses principle to inform a decision, would be doing the same as an “extremist”)
    2. some template, such as the temporary positioning of the American political spectrum, which not based on sound reasoning, and which is therefore invalid.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Finally, Althouse likes scan her blog archives in order to determine where a candidate lost her; what was the final straw.

    The final straw, for when Obama lost me, probably occurred when I was in utero and my brain underwent the slightest flicker of development.

    But, also, Obama lost me FOR CERTAIN on the Saturday in 1998 when the House of Reps impeached Pres. Clinton. Immediately after, scores of Dems met on a White House lawn for a pep rally for Pres. Clinton. Al Gore called Pres. Clinton “one of the greatest Presidents, ever”. I watched that, and thought: “even if you oppose impeachment, THIS is too much. This is brazen. This has nothing to do with what is best for America. This spectacle turns my stomach. I am done with the Democratic Party.”

    Since that day, I have voted straight Repub ticket. Makes my time in the voting booth very brief and efficient. And, I basically detest the Republican Party. The jerks. And fools. But, what choice do I have? The Democratic Party is not an option. I am done with them. I will do NOTHING to support them in any way. I actively oppose them. They’ve earned it.

  15. gcotharn Says:

    BTW,
    my decision, in 1998, which was tipped over the edge by the pep rally over the lawn, was also an admission of my own ignorance, at that time, of principles of government, economics, foreign policy. Which ignorance is why, as late as 1998, I still considered voting for Democrats to be a legitimate option.

  16. Steve Says:

    “Since that day, I have voted straight Repub ticket. Makes my time in the voting booth very brief and efficient. And, I basically detest the Republican Party. The jerks. And fools. But, what choice do I have? The Democratic Party is not an option. I am done with them. I will do NOTHING to support them in any way. I actively oppose them. They’ve earned it.”

    Here here. For me the turning point was the dismal failure of Carter and the intellectual dishonesty of the press and dems in their treatment of Reagan.

  17. richard Says:

    I live in Vancouver Canada, which is kind of like living in Seattle or any other urban blue state setting. I have asked a number of educated professional class people what they think of the Benghazi situation, and they don’t know what or where Benghazi is, let alone the situation. In Canada, we have for many years referred to English and French culture as “the two solitudes”. There are now two frighteningly isolated solitudes between those who accept the mainstream media progressive narrative and those who do not.

  18. jack Says:

    It took Benghazi coverup to open her eyes.

    At least Ann FINALLY owed up it was wrong to vote for Obama.

    Mrs jack and so many others can’t do that. A vote for Romney would be admitting their vote in 2008 was wrong. They will ride that dead horse till they die before they will admit they were wrong.

  19. vanderleun Says:

    Althouse is easy to figure. She actually has no bedrock principles at all. In a more antediluvian age she’d be known as a “prick tease.” In this age of equality she’s simply another prick.

  20. Paul in Boston Says:

    Neo, to answer your question, if 13% of Obama voters switched, he’d drop from 2008′s 53% to 46%, i.e., he’s toast.

    Gcotharn, I beat you to it. I’d voted Democrat through Dukakis. When Clinton became the nominee in 1992, it was the end for me. Was this the best the Democratic party could come up with, two grifters out of a low budget Hollywood movie? All that was missing were the widows and children cheated out of their savings so that the Clintons could live the high life.

  21. Paul A'Barge Says:

    Have you spoken to any low information voters to see what they know about Benghazi at this point?

    Yesterday afternoon. Good friend. Life-long Democrat in Texas who always seems about to let go and fall onto the dark side of the divide (Republicans) but at the last minute always pulls himself back (down) to Democrat.

    His quote: “I have not been following it”

    Not “I’ve not read anything about it because there’s been nothing in the MSM about it”.

    Just “I’ve not been following it”

    I guess my point is that these folks are invested in not knowing. Let me repeat that for emphasis: These folks are invested in not knowing.

    So, that’s where we are. Let’s just pray they don’t vote. It’s the best we can hope for from them.

  22. Kurt Says:

    Paul in Boston wrote: When Clinton became the nominee in 1992, it was the end for me. Was this the best the Democratic party could come up with, two grifters out of a low budget Hollywood movie? All that was missing were the widows and children cheated out of their savings so that the Clintons could live the high life.

    I love your observations there! I was never a Democrat, but I considered myself a left-leaning moderate from my late teens through my early thirties. The first election in which I could have voted was in 1984. The trouble was that I could see that Mondale was a lousy candidate, and I didn’t want to vote for Reagan, so I didn’t register. In 1988 I registered and voted–but not for president because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Dukakis and I was still worried about voting for a Republican for president. In 1992 I would have been thrilled to support Tsongas if he had been the nominee, but he wasn’t, it was Clinton, and I felt about him rather like you did. I thought, “if this is the best they can come up with, I don’t want to encourage them.” So I voted for Bush instead that year. I still considered myself a “moderate” at the time, but there was no way I was voting for Clinton. Needless to say, the choices offered by the Democrats since 1992 haven’t improved any.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    I’ve been looking for honest capitulation form a righting source that the Romney campaign has collapsed, from a pundit not a paper. Wondering if it will happen.

    It’s true. Romney reportedly has plans to shut down his campaign next Wednesday.

  24. Paul A'Barge Says:

    Althouse is simply yet another sorry loser to vapid to read Stanley Kurtz:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331865/obamas-big-reason-going-small-stanley-kurtz

    You go read this and then wonder at the smallness of Althouse’s posturing that she would be happy with a Republican House and US Senate and Obama in the White House.

    Vanderleun is right. Althouse would not know a value or a principle if it slithered up her to her and offered her an apple. What an incredibly distasteful creature.

  25. LisaM Says:

    My 11-year old already knows much more than the average undecided voter. They base their vote on feelings, and his opinion was formed by logic.

    He just wrote a campaign speech for school that explains both sides of the issues and why he believes what he does.

    Last night he made a video of himself explaining an electoral-college map, including which states are reliably red or blue, which lean, and different paths the candidates can take to get to 270. He investigated this on his own, and reached his own conclusions. I’m a proud mom. I just hope the low-information voters out there don’t let him down and ruin his future.

    And yes he wants to go into politics, but only if the MLB starting-pitcher thing doesn’t work out. :-)

  26. Occam's Beard Says:

    Althouse apparently has overcome that attack of the vapors she had about the “ugly racism” of the video clip of the “free fo’” woman in Cleveland.

    Let’s face it, she’s a ding-a-ling whose opinion is neither of any consequence, nor worthy of any consideration.

  27. gcotharn Says:

    Even a MLB starting pitcher would be a better President than Obama.

  28. bob Says:

    althouse is a fool…pure and simple. She would gladly vote for obama if he made her FEEL good. How she teaches con law I don’t know…oh yeah gov’t institution!

  29. Oldflyer Says:

    I am afraid that Paul A’ Barge is right on target when he says “These folks are invested in not knowing”.

    Clearly, if accurate and I believe it is, this attitude has ramifications far beyond the outcome of one election. Not to say this election is not critical.

    The meme has already circulated that, “the country can survive four more years of Obama, but it cannot survive (in present form) an electorate who would re-elect him”. There’s is the crux.

  30. Kurt Says:

    Oldflyer writes: The meme has already circulated that, “the country can survive four more years of Obama, but it cannot survive (in present form) an electorate who would re-elect him”. There’s is the crux.

    That is true and always bears repeating. I saw a fascinating chart the other day which only served to remind me of the title of this Neil Postman book from the 1980s: Amusing Ourselves to Death. The chart I’m referring to mapped TV viewership by shows and cable networks against whether or not one was more likely to vote for Obama or Romney as well as whether or not one was more or less likely to vote in general. I watch almost none of the shows listed on the first chart. However, coworkers of mine who are either leaning towards or committed to Obama watch a number of the shows listed on the “Likely Obama Voters” side of the first chart, and especially the ones below the lower turnout line. I find the TV Networks list even more noteworthy. The cable networks I watch most often are right of the dividing line in the more likely voter quadrant. So while I’m not a match on the specific shows, I match very well with the networks (and I’m not talking about Fox News, which I rarely watch mainly because I have little patience for TV news and I get most of my news and information online). What’s also interesting about the chart, though, is that more of the mindless entertainment networks are on the Obama side of the chart. More of the networks on the Romney side are informational in nature.

  31. Jim Miller Says:

    “Thirteen per cent. If I’m doing the math right, wouldn’t that mean a victory for Romney?”

    No, darn it. I just wrote on the same WP article and noted what it left out: There will be some McCain defectors to Obama. (The article doesn’t say how many.) And, the 2012 electorate will be different from the 2008 electorate.

    And there is the continuing question about differential turnout. Consider, for example, the case of New Mexico, which Bush won narrowly in 2004, and Obama won by a big margin in 2008. McCain won about 30K fewer votes than Bush, but Obama won about 200K votes more than Kerry.

    (I think the turnout, in both numbers and partisanship, will be more like 2004 than 2008, but there are good analysts out there who disagree with me on that point.)

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim Miller: actually, I don’t think there will be McCain defectors to Obama; certainly not more than a very, very few. Have you ever heard of any?

  33. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It’s one thing to admit to others that you were wrong. Especially if you’ve been slagging them as Neanderthals or whatever.
    It’s different from admitting it to yourself.
    Since voting is private, will some folks admit it to themselves, vote Romney and not “want to speak about it,” to others?

  34. Sam L. Says:

    It took Benghazi, she said. Which means that Obamacare and the manner of its passing, Tim Tax-Cheat Geithner, Eric New-Black-Power Holder, Steven $10/gallon-gas Chu, an always-crappy economy with high unemployment, Solyndra and all the other steal-our Green(backs) Economy, Fast And Furious and the deaths due to it, “saving” GM and Chrysler union workers and stiffing the bondholders,..
    All THAT meant NOTHING, or nearly so…

    So her reasoning is highly suspect to me. I am negatively impressed.

  35. Jim Miller Says:

    neo-neocon – There are always defectors from each side to the other. Always.

    For example, I would expect a few Catholics and Protestants will find Romney’s Mormonism too much to take. And I can imagine that some Democratic veterans, who admired McCain’s military service, might also switch. If you think about it for a while, you can come up with some examples of your own.

    Will 13-16 percent of McCain voters switch? No, but some will. 5 percent seems more likely to me than 10 percent, but I will admit that I have seen no data on this question. (If it is 5 percent then Obama almost certainly loses,

    (An international comparison that you may find interesting: In the 1950s, the French Communists typically won about 20 percent of the vote in each election. But the people in that 20 percent changed considerably from election to election.

    As I recall — it’s been some time since I read this — what was happening is that some voters backed the Communists in order to cast protest votes, and different groups had different reasons to protest in different elections.)

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim Miller: I think that the number of McCain to Obama defectors will not be zero, but it will be virtually zero. Way less than 5%. The people you mention may not vote for Romney, but they are much more likely to not vote at all than to go for Obama.

  37. GayPatriot » Will (more) late-deciders follow Ann Althouse’s lead? Says:

    [...] Blogress Diva Regent neoneocon finds it significant that fellow blogress diva Ann Althouse has come out for Mitt Romney: Well, for one thing, Althouse lives in Wisconsin, a swing state. For another, although she is her [...]

  38. Roman Says:

    I quit Althouse when she objected to playing unedited video of “Obama Phone” lady, somehow thinking it was racist.

    I’m sure she is a good person; but she is exhibit one in my argument: NEVER put an attorney or accountant in charge of anything important. (Yes, I know Mitt Romney has a law degree)

  39. Jim Miller Says:

    neo-neocon – I certainly hope that you are right.

  40. M J R Says:

    neo: “[ADDENDUM: Here's a WaPo piece that attempts to answer the question of how many 2008 Obama voters have changed their minds in 2012. The answer? Thirteen per cent. If I'm doing the math right, wouldn't that mean a victory for Romney?]”

    Copied-n-pasted from neo’s Las Vegas Review-Journal piece’s comments section:

    —–

    From Instatpundit — Predicting The Popular Vote
    ( http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/ )

    THE OBAMA DEFECTORS: You know things are a’changin’ when the Washington Post does a story on the Obama Defectors. Here’s their graphic:

    [ click on http://cdn.pjmedia.com/instapundit/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/defectors.jpg ]

    UPDATE: Interesting number crunching from reader John Bono:

    This looks like a good math experiment to try and predict the popular vote for ’12.

    In ’08, Obama had 52.9% of the vote (69,456,897), and McCain had 45.7% of the vote (59,934,814).

    According to the Washington Post, only 87% are committing to voting for Obama, and 13% are going to vote for Romney. 3% are either unsure, or voting for someone else. Let’s be generous, and assume 1.5 points of that 3% are going to Obama, 1 point is going to Romney, and .5 point to third parties. Assuming this poll is halfway accurate (a big giant if), that means Obama can reliably count on 88.5% of his ’08 electorate.

    That means Obama’s vote total of the ’08 vote will be 61.5 million give or take (88.5% of ’08 voters).

    It also means that Romney’s ’08 vote total will be (69,456,897*.135) + 59,934,814, or 69.3 million, give or take . That’s the 13.5% of disaffected Obama voters plus McCain voters. Note this does not take into account the wild differences between GOP and Dem motivation of ’08 vs. now.

    That means that Obama right now is at 47%, and Romney at 52.9%, or nearly a six point spread—and this is with the miserably depressed McCain GOP Electorate of ’08, and not the Crawl Over Broken Glass GOP voters of ‘12.

    I smell landslide.

    Posted at 1:19 pm by Elizabeth Price Foley

  41. Gary Rosen Says:

    It is at least as much about turnout as it is about who switches from 2008. And here Romney should also have an advantage. I can’t see the Dems increasing their 2008 turnout and it likely will fall, while Romeny is attracting a lot of right-wing Republicans who were not favorably disposed towards him during the primaries but are now desperate to get rid of Obama. Obama’s strategy all along has been to play to his own base to keep up turnout but it probably had the side effect of energizing the Republican base even more.

    At least I hope I’m right. As Glenn Reynolds says, “Don’t get cocky”.

  42. KLSmith Says:

    jack: Althouse has declared unambiguously, several times, that her vote for Obama in 2008 WAS NOT a mistake. McCain “lost’ her and she had to vote for O.

    Paul A’Barge: Althouse did read Stanley Kurtz’s article and declared it extreme, ludicrous, and her personal favorite – one of those things that turn-off moderates like her.

    gcotharn: good analysis

  43. br549 Says:

    Upon Obama’s defeat, as Mark Stein has already stated, it will be America alone in the world. Actually, half of America.

  44. bb Says:

    Hoping that Romney gets his 53%…

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