paulsimmons

Person #2547: 71 Posts

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  1. Actually 2012 turnout was lower (1 Reply)

    …than in 2008 and 2004.

    From CNN on November 8, 2012:

    …the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters, compared to 62.3% who voted in 2008 and 60.4% who cast ballots in 2004. In 2000, the turnout rate was 54.2%.

    I did not attempt to equate correlation with causation. My premise was that the increase in cell phone-only households, a fractured media environment, and lack of community-embedded field reinforce civic disengagement in election cycles.

    I think that the low turnout in the September 9 Primary is a useful datum to support that premise.

  2. The broader social context... (1 Reply)

    …was described by Robert Putnam in his book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, back in 2000.

    In the days prior to mass ownership of land-line phones, political parties were embedded in broad civic life, not limited to election cycles. County or precinct-based political organizations were social as well as electoral. GOTV was as a consequence literally a neighbor-to-neighbor affair and less dependent on mass media (newspapers excepted). When telephone ownership became common in the 1950′s, banking augmented, but did not replace the civic aspects of electioneering.

    The crisis in social cohesion has gotten worse since 2000, IMHO.

    Hence the “pre-radio” reference as an observation of the practical political implications of – and possible solution to – a political environment where citizens are largely organically disengaged from day-to-day political engagement.

  3. Let's (ahem) look at the literature. (1 Reply)

    From a study by Matthew Gentzkow of the University of Chicago:

    I use variation across markets in the timing of television’s introduction to identify its impact on voter turnout. The estimated effect is significantly negative, accounting for between a quarter and a half of the total decline in turnout since the 1950s.

    The author goes further speculate that:

    The improvements in media and education that are at the root of the apparent paradox have been accompanied by a proliferation of new ways to spend leisure time, from cable, to video games, to DVDs, to the Internet. While a conclusive answer will require detailed study of these broader trends, it would not be surprising to find that this expansion of choices led to further crowding out of political engagement.

    From Latino Decisions:

    Door-to-door canvassing can have the biggest impact, but raises issues of quality control, especially when taken to scale. Telephone canvassing is easily supervised and can generate double-digit increases in Latino turnout, but is becoming increasingly difficult in the era of caller ID and low cell phone response rates. Indirect methods such as radio advertisements and postcards and email messages are much less expensive, but their effects on turnout are generally much smaller.

    This dynamic is not limited to Latino voters.

    The issue is not the use of media and phone banking to augment person-to-person warm body field operations; it’s what happens when these mechanisms replace field.

    …because what really works on the ground is organic outreach and applied peer pressure. The issue is not “knocking on doors” in isolation, which can often backfire (as in the case of Howard Dean in 2004, when his “Orange Hat” volunteers alienated voters), but personal contact by people with whom voters can relate.

  4. Boston 3:00 Numbers (0 Replies)

    Total Votes: 33678
    Turnout: 8.86%

  5. The Mayor's people are active... (1 Reply)

    …on behalf of Warren Tolman, Steve Tompkins (Suffolk County Sheriff), Felix Arroyo (Probate), and Dan Cullinane (Rep-12 Suffolk). However, in the absence of any serious GOTV working for and on behalf of the Gubernatorial candidates, there’s a limit to what his people can do.

  6. 12:00 Boston Numbers (1 Reply)

    Total Votes: 22050
    Turnout: 5.80%

  7. 9:00 Boston Numbers (0 Replies)

    Total Votes: 10203
    Turnout: 2.68%

  8. The Post is accurate. (1 Reply)

    From the State House News Service (August 12, 2014):

    STATE HOUSE — Gov. Deval Patrick amended title-clearing legislation on his desk Monday, kicking back to the largely dormant Legislature a bill that people in the real estate industry say is necessary but which anti-foreclosure activists say tramples on the rights of people who lost homes in foreclosure.

    [The Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending] called the bill the “brainchild of the title insurance industry” and scheduled a “victory” press conference for Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

    Attorney General Martha Coakley at the time called the Senate bill “an important next step in our efforts to support the housing market’s continuing recovery” and applauded the bill’s consumer protection measures.

    Anti-foreclosure advocates say the bill would substantially reduce legal avenues for people to regain homes after illegal foreclosures and prevent predominantly people of color from returning to their homes…

    …The New England Conference of the NAACP, attorney Charles Ogletree and others wrote to Patrick, urging him to veto or amend the legislation that they said would “codify, illegal racially discriminatory lending practices” that were disproportionately directed against ethnic minority communities.

  9. As I said... (0 Replies)

    …snapshot in time.

    Early polls aren’t predictions.

  10. A question for you, Ernie (1 Reply)

    I think your opinion of Globe coverage is pretty much a matter of record; however I was wondering what you thought of Peter Gelzinis’ reporting in the Herald. I thought he was spot on, but I’m open to correction.

  11. Down in the weeds: (1 Reply)

    Again from Gallup:

    A second long-term Gallup trend, this one measuring Americans’ views on the extent to which abortion should be legal, finds 50% saying abortion should be “legal only under certain circumstances,” or in other words, favoring limited abortion rights. This stance has prevailed since 1975. However, a combined 49% of Americans takes a more hardline position, including 28% saying abortion should be legal in all circumstances and 21% believing it should be illegal in all circumstances.

    Support for the strong anti-abortion rights position has hovered around 20% since 2011, just below the record-high 23% seen in 2009. Support for strong pro-abortion rights is a notch below the highest levels seen from 1990 to 1995 when it consistently exceeded 30%, but support is up from four to five years ago when it had dipped into the low 20s.

  12. No, I'm arguing prosecutorial overreach (0 Replies)

    …and, in the absence of a guilty verdict, I’m rooting for the pols.

  13. Ave Ernie, and all the Court needs is a laugh-track (1 Reply)

    From today’s Commonwealth:

    Wyshak tried repeatedly to connect Probation hiring to former House speaker Sal DiMasi, whom Walsh and Costello channeled prospective probation hires through. But Wyshak couldn’t get many questions to stick. He met objections when he asked Walsh, “Do you know if the speaker’s office had influence with Mr. O’Brien?” and “Did you think that somebody needed legislative influence to get a job with probation?” After spinning his wheels, the best Wyshak could get Walsh to offer was, “I believed as a rank and file member that there was more influence with the speaker’s office than there was with mine.”

  14. On the contrary, the tipped minimum wage was decreased. (1 Reply)

    From the MBPC issue brief:

    For decades, up through the mid-1990s, employers were required to pay tipped workers 60 percent of the regular minimum wage. In 1996, that fixed percentage was reduced to 50 percent and in 1997 the amount employers are required to pay tipped workers was set at $2.63 per hour. Despite several increases in the regular minimum wage, the tipped minimum’s value has not been increased since.

    Re: Tipping. You may want to consider the fact that even an increased minimum wage covers less than the cost of living.

    You also might want to consider that (presuming good service) tipping one’s servers is nothing less than basic civilized behavior on the part of customers, so yes it is your job.

  15. And the tooth fairy will leave enough money... (0 Replies)

    …to overstock the rainy-day fund under your pillow.