Thursday, December 06, 2012

Could Alaska become a swing state? Nate Silver thinks it's a possibility.

Courtesy of FiveThirtyEight:  

The state where Barack Obama most improved his performance from 2008 was Alaska. He lost it by “only” 14 percentage points this year, considerably less than his 22-point margin of defeat in 2008. 

Part of the reason is that the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, was on the Republican ticket in 2008 but was not this year. That probably doesn’t explain all of the shift, however. 

Consider that in 2000 — also without Ms. Palin on the ballot — the Democratic nominee, Al Gore, lost Alaska by 31 points. 

There are reasons to think that Alaska could continue to become more competitive in the coming years. 

One factor is that Alaska’s vote is quite elastic, meaning that it can shift quite a bit from year to year. In 2008, 43 percent of voters in Alaska identified themselves as independents on the exit poll, among the highest percentages in the country. (There was no exit polling in Alaska in 2012.) 

Of the remaining voters in the state, far more were Republicans (37 percent) than Democrats (20 percent), meaning that a Republican candidate will ordinarily have a clear advantage if the independent vote is split about evenly. But the right sort of Democrat, who wins the majority of independents, can be competitive there, and indeed some Democrats (like Alaska’s Democratic senator, Mark Begich) can win statewide office there under the right conditions. 

Alaska’s population is also changing; between 2010 and 2011, Alaska had the third-highest population growth rate in the country, trailing only Texas and Utah. 

Where are those new Alaskans coming from? Many are from liberal states on the West Coast. Between 2005 and 2009, about 4,300 Californians moved to Alaska per year, making it the top state for domestic emigration to Alaska. So did 4,200 residents per year from Washington and 2,200 from Oregon. 

Texas, where about 2,700 people emigrated to Alaska each year, also ranked high on the list, perhaps in part because of each state’s ties to the fossil fuels industry (along with Texas’ large population). But the new residents of Alaska are most likely considerably more liberal than the rest of the state’s population, over all.

And here I thought I couldn't like Nate Silver any more than I already do. This is just about the nicest thing that anybody has ever said about my state, that we could actually break the conservative bonds that bind us.

A couple of things to note.

One is that Alaska once WAS a bastion of liberalism, and had some of the most progressive laws on the books. Of course that was before we became slaves to big oil, and were inundated with the conservative minded parasites that attach themselves to fossil fuel production.

The other is that our elections are not exactly trustworthy. We have long struggled with corruption, election fraud, and a virtually useless local media.

Personally I think we are still far more liberal than our elections indicate. However since there is fraud, and voter apathy due to that whole "Alaska always votes Republican" thing, we do not yet have a clear idea of just how the demographics break down.

The other thing to consider is that we only have three piddly electoral points to contribute to a Presidential election. So any hope of outside media attention helping to clean up our politics is iffy at best.

However having said all of that. I would LOVE the opportunity for Alaska to shake off its conservative constraints and actually become a state where the outcome of a election was not predetermined and the people could once again become excited with the opportunity to fully participate in the future of our country.

Besides does anybody think our process is any more corrupt than Ohio or Florida? Probably not, so if THEY can become more competitive, than so can we!


  1. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Nothing disgusted me more than when our Electoral College held a ceremonial event to still cast our State's three votes for old stupid Sarah Palin.

    1. Anonymous5:03 PM

      "Besides does anybody think our process is any more corrupt than Ohio or Florida?"----YES G. I don't hear of any other State's IT dept DDoS'ing liberal blogs.
      State of Alaska IT dept, documented by the FBI.
      Until y'all "Take out the Garbage" and we all know what THAT entails...
      AK is totally corrupt.

  2. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Not only Alaska, but Texas is close to becoming blue.

  3. Anonymous7:26 AM

    Credit where credit is due?

    No one at the homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles recognized the man serving them soup on a post-Thanksgiving weekend. Disheveled and dressed down, the former GOP nominee for President was also wearing a hairnet that held back tousled hair that is usually preternaturally neat.

    "Hello, Robert, good to see you this afternoon," Mitt Romney said as he ladled a bowl. He greeted another, "Mr. McCoy, I see you got your hair cut." He turned to a reporter standing nearby. "He looks good, right?"

    He's popular among the shelter's clientele, who probably don't know that he's the same man who campaigned against "takers" seeking handouts. They call him "Willie," short for his given name, "Willard."

    A black man in a shabby parka sidled up in line. "Hey, Willie, give me five, my man!" Romney slapped the man's hand awkwardly. He turned and deadpanned, "Steve is trying to teach me to be 'cool.'" Steve intoned with the same mock-seriousness: "It's gonna take awhile."

    Romney's capacity to remember names, honed over years of high-level business meetings and schmoozing voters, seems to have given him an advantage here at the Union Rescue Mission as well: "I see the light of recognition in their eyes when I call them by name," he said later, "Not that they recognize me, but that they recognize that I'm recognizing them…" He let the sentence hang for a moment. "They are used to being ignored, I guess. Mostly…"—Romney cleared his throat—"by people like me."

    "I wanted to ask some of them to the house, maybe," Romney said, wiping his hands on the stained apron he hadn't yet taken off. "But, you know, I'd lose my anonymity. Here, I'm just one of many."

    ..."But really, this is more for me than for them. After the election, Mitt and I realized that we had missed something really profound about the American people—that the country maybe wasn't the place we thought it was." She caught herself: "I mean, not in a bad way! I just think we realized we had no idea what it was like to be one of, well, I don't want to use that statistic again, but you know the one I mean."

    Read more:

    Could they have finally seen the light of their insufferable behavior?

    1. hedgewytch8:06 AM

      Whatever this is - I'm guessing its a temporary condition.

    2. Anonymous12:46 PM

      Ummm, it's satire.

    3. Anita Winecooler7:48 PM

      The photo is a dead giveaway. They're wearing Romney Ryan Aprons...

      I think that's Beldar (if that's his REAL name" Conehead's work! If it isn't, it SHOULD be.

  4. Anonymous7:31 AM

    Ok, that last Romney post apparently was just a STORY. Didn't really happen...

    1. As delusional as their pollsters.

    2. As fictional as their pollsters' numbers.

  5. Anonymous7:40 AM

    O/T Followup to what happens when people speak up!

    After taking heat for suggesting it would cut restaurant workers' hours to avoid having to give them health insurance under Obamacare, Darden restaurants announced a change of heart Thursday: It won’t switch anyone’s status to part time.

    The restaurant chain also said it will offer all full-time employees — whether they’re hourly workers or executives — access to the same health plans.

    Read more:

    1. Anonymous3:34 PM

      It wasn't a 'change of heart' it was a kick in the ass. The price of their stock plunged. People were not showing up in any of the many chains to eat. Its capitalism, not compassion that changed their direction. No capitalist can afford the kind of boycott this business was facing.

    2. Anonymous5:07 PM

      I think is too late. When libs think of Oliva garden they think Ewwwww!
      When will those assholes realize there are more of us than them?

    3. Anita Winecooler7:57 PM

      "Those People" just don't get it.

      There's no such thing as an "Olive Garden". Olives grow in orchards.

      They need something they can't get - a photo op with the President Obama.

  6. Anonymous7:48 AM

    So Sarah, what do you have to say about this? Your president is clearly doing things right!

    Report: Oil production booming, imports falling

  7. Sally in MI7:49 AM

    Is that from the Onion? Because I don't for one second believe they go near homeless shelters.

  8. Anonymous8:01 AM

    Hey Gryphen, here's more on Ashley:

    Ashley Judd’s Fiery Speeches on Favorite Political Causes (VIDEO)

  9. Anonymous8:06 AM

    The White House releases a behind-the-scenes video of President Obama personally responding to questions on Twitter.

  10. Well, a switch to a blue Alaska would go a long way to erase the embarrassment of Sarah Palin. Although it does provide a certain amount of humor when I say to people "I'm from the state that gave you Sarah Palin." It gets a big laugh these days.

    1. Anonymous10:38 AM

      And like herpes, she's the gift that keeps on giving.

  11. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I've lived in Alaska since 1950 and remember Senator Gruening, etc. We assuredly were a blue state and changed due to the oil industry. We are a corrupt state too, which is even more difficult to say and admit.

    I loved the fact that President Obama and VP Biden didn't lose by much in this last election considering how the Republicans in our state push how Republican we are. It is changing and it excites the hell out of me!

    Sarah Palin was the WORST thing that represented the Republican party in Alaska and is responsible for a lot of the turning blue in our state. I have numerous friends that changed their voter registration to blue, which pleased me more than I can ever say! And, the fact that Gov Parnell is so closely related to Palin and her ilk hasn't helped him much. He truly is 'Captain Zero' in personality which is an apt name that Congressman Don Young gave me awhile back in our history.

    Now he supposedly is going to go up against Senator Begich in the next election cycle which will make it a very interesting race to watch. Don't underestimate Senator Begich you Republicans out there! I suspect we will see more of our 'state turning blue' with the support our incumbent will get!

  12. Anonymous9:54 AM

    This is most baffling:

    "Only about half of Alaska’s adults say that religion is an important part of their everyday lives, which is among the lowest rates in the country (and similar to those in Washington and Oregon)."

    Get the non-religious Alaskans registered and to the polls tout de suite!!! And make sure candidates' religious views are known to keep the stealth extremists out of office.

    1. Anonymous11:20 AM

      An Alaskan here - most friends I have, and I've had them for years - are NOT religious.

      It is occurring across the USA and I suspect it due (in some degree) to those damned Republicans ramming their beliefs down our throats!

  13. Anonymous10:06 AM

    You can do it Alaska. I'm pulling for ya. The President's improvement from 18% to 22 %, is optimistic. Come on, let's make Alaska 'BLUE'.

  14. I always thought a swing state was one that could swing an election because it had enough electoral votes to do so.

    I never thought Alaska had enough to really influence an election.

    But it would be nice if it were a little more purple, moving bluer and bluer.

    1. Anonymous3:11 PM

      Alaska won't influence a damned thing in national government for a long time to come. We have a small, small population even though biggest state in the nation.

    2. Anonymous6:58 PM

      A little like Canada, we are a big land mass, but very small population. I think we have a ton or 2 of oil tho. ;-(
      And we love powering up California.

  15. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Was watching Chuck Todd show on MSNBC day before he said that more folks in Alaska voted for Pres. this year, though being Lego hair country!

  16. Anonymous11:23 AM

    He got more votes compared to 2008- from Alaska.

  17. Anonymous12:28 PM

    We used to be a true blue state; before the pipeline. Then the conservatives from the South, OK and TX came in droves and soon the abundance of churches and ass backward thinking followed. As oil production declines perhaps the conservatives will "go home" and we will be blue once again.

  18. Anonymous6:53 PM

    This would be awesome if this continued on to the 2016 election and turning blue.

    This is off topic, but has anyone read or talked about Mark Owen(under cover)/Matt Bissonette's new book regarding the take down of USB? He was one of the seal team 6 that got a few shots into USB chest. I've read his book and I think it is absolutely awesome. Now, I know that some of you may feel that he shouldn't have done this and exposed the part he played in the taking down. But I do feel he had every right to expose some of what went down in that raid. These seals have to obtain the ultimate top of which is DEVGRU. I just find it a very interesting subject, and I don't see any type of leaking of secret information on this raid as explained in the book. There is so many youtube videos of seals and their training, and also al-qaeda and also past take downs. The world is an internet full of information. Fox news outed this guy and I think it is despicable. I notice he is from Alaska.

  19. Anita Winecooler8:10 PM

    I could see it tipping blue next time. The Republican brand doesn't have the luster it once had. I think you owe a debt of gratitude to McCornteeth for choosing his running mate with his weenie. That whole family showed the world what a mess she made of Alaska. The reality shows, book tours, salad shooting, darn tootin tea party is toast.


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