10 Surprising Stories About Election ‘08

FairVote’s Election Analyses & Prescriptions for the Future

Dear Friend of Fair Elections,

We thought we’d share our view of this historic election through ten surprising stories about Election ’08. They are:

  • Electoral Reform on the Ballot – New Victories and Implementations for Instant Runoff Voting
  • The 2008 Spoiler Effect – Key Non-Majority Winners (and non-winners)
  • Closer Than You Think – How Sen. McCain Could Have Won While Losing by Seven Million Votes
  • The Electoral College Swing State Map Grew Smaller, Not Larger – The Real Presidential Partisan Geography
  • Dubious Democracy – The Power of Incumbency Lives On in No-Choice House Races
  • Diversity Stalls – Stagnant Representation of Women and People of Color
  • Voter Turnout and Swing States – Why Turnout Dropped in Many States:
  • Winner-Take-All in the Northeast – A New Era of Democratic Domination
  • Cleansing Republicans from Democratic-Leaning Districts – Why The Roots of Polarization in Congress Lie in Voters and Winner-Take-All Rules
  • Democrats Winning Control of the Process – Their Near-Sweep of Secretary of State Races

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FAIR Media Advisory: Media Tell Obama–Don’t Be a Lefty Like Clinton

7 November, 2008

Rewriting the ’94 election to find a centrist moral

Immediately after Barack Obama was pronounced the victor in the 2008 presidential election, corporate media began to tell him how he ought to govern–in most cases, urging him to hew toward the center. To support their argument, many journalists pointed to President Bill Clinton’s first term to find lessons in centrism for Obama. But are media getting the history wrong?

In that “unhappy first year in office,” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Doyle McManus (11/5/08), “Democratic congressional leaders pushed a new president to the left–leading to the party’s loss of both houses in the midterm elections of 1994.”

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Uri Blau: IDF asks police, Shin Bet for info on left-wing figures active in W. Bank

The Israel Defense Forces has asked the Shin Bet security service and the police to provide it with information on left-wing figures active in the West Bank so it will be easier to issue restraining orders against them, Haaretz has learned.

Since the IDF does not gather intelligence on Israeli citizens, the GOC Central Command depends on evaluations by the Shin Bet prior to signing restraining orders.

So far, such orders have only been issued against extreme right-wing activists suspected of subversive activities. This time, the army has focused on a number of activists protesting the security fence, those who help Palestinians harvest their olives, and others.This is apparently the first time left-wing activists have been the possible target of such orders.

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Update from GazaFriends: DIGNITY to Israeli gunboat “Feel Free to Make a Donation”

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2008

Contact: Mary Hughes, Cyprus +357 96 75 00 59
Greta Berlin, Cyprus: +357 99 08 17 67
Osama Qashoo, +44 78 33 38 16 60
Angela Godfrey Goldstein, Jerusalem: +972 547 366 393

Larnaca: The DIGNITY pulled into Gaza at 9:15 a.m. Gaza time after an uneventful trip from Larnaca, Cyprus. The 23 passengers and crew on board were tired but ecstatic that they had arrived. The 11 members of the European Parliament who had originally been denied entrance through the Rafah border had made the crossing by sea courtesy of the Free Gaza Movement’s blockade-busting boat, the third trip for this human rights organization

“I am here to assess the humanitarian situation in Gaza, especially the medical situation. We have medicine and some medical equipment to deliver.” said Baroness Jenny Tonge, one of the Parliamentarians. “What Israel does is outrageous when it breaks all international laws. No other country is able to get away with what Israel does.”

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Jamison Foser: All over but the lying

On Tuesday, Americans chose as their next president an African-American named Barack Obama who campaigned on a near-universal health-care plan, allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, and a move away from the belligerent foreign policy of the past eight years. Republicans, and some journalists, had spent months (falsely) saying Obama is the single most liberal member of the U.S. Senate — and maybe even a socialist. The American people responded by electing him in a landslide.

This, naturally, is very good news for the Republicans, according to many pundits. It proves once again that America remains a “center-right” nation.

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