Sunday, November 07, 2004

We're On To Something

The New York Times appears willing to believe anything. I'm not.

Didn't anyone at the Times bother to check the 2000 election returns in these rural counties? If they had, they would have noticed that Bush had massive majorities in these counties in 2000 as well, only marginally less significant than in 2004. Does the Times really believe that the Bush campaign decided as a strategic matter to focus on counties that were already ostensibly pro-Bush, and that the key to victory lay in increasing the Bush vote in these counties from the high 50's (as in 2000) to 64% (the Bush vote in the counties in Florida where 20,000 or fewer votes were cast)? It's ridiculous. For the Times, it's worse than ridiculous - it's proof of the crackbrained gullibility of certain reporters for the nation's putative premier press organ.

But the Times article is welcome in one respect. It demonstrates that Rove and the Bushies are a little concerned, a little worried that these outlandish results in rural Florida are arousing suspicion.

A note on the "Dixiecrat" theory - the theory that these rural counties exhibited the same proclivity democrats exhibit across the south of voting republican in presidential elections. This tendency is undeniable, but far less pronounced today than in the days of Nixon and Reagan. Here are the party affiliation numbers for a number of deep-south states:


The Dixiecrats have been switching parties for years. The deep-south state that gave Bush the biggest majority - Alabama, 63% - now has more registered republicans than democrats. There is still a significant "dixiecrat" vote in Alabama, as evidenced by the huge Bush majority in a state that now has approximately the same number of registered republicans and democrats.

But there were numerous small, rural counties in Florida that were 2 to 1 democrat but voted more than 2 to 1 for Bush. This kind of massive crossover cannot be found in any of the deep-south states. The crossover vote in these rural Florida counties is an order of magnitude greater than the crossover vote in any of the deep-south states.

This stinks like a dead manatee.

We simply have to get this into the mainstream media. I'm calling Dale Van Natta, whose by-line is on this morning's Times article, and this is my message: you simply can't explain these kinds of massive Bush majorities in democratic counties by arguing that the Bushies revved up their base, or that this is just another example of dixiecrat crossover. It doesn't wash.

It's time to get this in high gear. Kos has picked up the story. Calpundit and Atrios have to pick it up soon. There was something rotten in Baker county. And Dixie county. And Liberty county. And more than 20 other rural Florida counties.


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