In the aftermath of one of the most punishing Election Day defeats in recent memory, some Democratic Party honchos are vowing big changes to woo moderates along with rural voters in the South.Elsewhere:
Party officials and strategists tell The New York Times that Sen. John Kerry's crushing defeat leaves Sen. Hillary Clinton as the party's most powerful elected official and brightest prospect in 2008.Ignoring the frantic rightwing-nut rants about Senator Clinton, note how they characterize the recent election results. To them, Kerry's defeat was "one of the most punishing" and "crushing." I don't deny that alot of us on the left feel crushed by the election results, but I don't think the editorialists at the Trib were psychoanalyzing us.
No, they're spinning the myth that Bush won big. Mandate big.
Now, let's take a look at the facts.
Bush's margin of victory of 3.6 million votes was the smallest in three decades. Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford by 1.7 million votes or about 2.1% of the votes cast. In contrast, Bush's 3.6 million votes was only about 3.1% of the total votes cast.
Bush's margin in the electoral votes (34) is the third smallest this century. It's only abut 6.3% of the total number of electoral votes. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson defeated Charles E. Hughes by 23 electoral votes (4.3% of the total number of electoral votes). And in 2000, the difference in electoral votes (after the Supreme Court stopped the vote count in Florida) was a scant 5 (or .9% of the total number of electoral votes).
Emotionally crushing, yes. But a "punishing defeat"?
Leave it to The Trib to spin and spin and spin and spin.