William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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DON'T COUNT HIM OUT – AT 11:19 A.M. ET:  Dick Morris has not been our favorite political pundit.  He has a decidedly mixed track record, and his prediction of a Romney landslide was, of course, wildly wrong.  He also can be a shameless self-promoter.

But Morris has forthrightly acknowledged how wrong he was, and, without giving excuses, explained why he was wrong.   At least he didn't do what pundits often do when they mess up – just go on as if nothing happened.

Now he has a column examining the election, and I think he says some things worth considering.  So, recognizing his past sins, here is the quote:

1. Television is losing its impact. Particularly in the presidential race, it is astonishing that the almost one billion dollars spent advertising in eight states did very little to move the vote share. Voters are not watching television as much these days and those that are still turning it on are fast forwarding through the ads. And negative campaign ads — in fact, all ads, — are losing their impact.

2. Demographic voting is the new norm in America. You vote based on who you are, not where you live or how well each campaign has articulated its case. 93% of blacks, 70% of Latinos, 60% of those under 30, and 62% of single people, voted for Obama. And white married couples over 30 years of age voted for Romney. Not much else matters. A president who was elected and re-elected through identity politics has brought about a state of affairs where demographic voting determines the outcome. Our votes are predictable based on our race, ethnicity, age, and marital status well before anybody does any campaigning.

Even the vaunted ground games of the two parties didn’t do much. Voter turnout was eleven million lower than in 2008 — reversing the upward trends of the past four elections — and Obama’s vote share change from ’08 to ’12 was about the same in states where vigorous get out the vote campaigns raged and in those where they did not.

It is bad enough that America is now divided into red and blue states. It is divided into red and blue people as well based, not on their opinions, but on their demographics.

COMMENT:  That is well said, and I'm afraid it's true.  After a generation of "race, gender, and ethnicity" being pounded into the heads of our people, the proverbial chickens came home to roost.

November 11, 2012