I was never a fan of early voting. Too much of a chance of fraud and ignorance. But to be fair, early voting for those who have already decided who they want to vote for isn’t a bad idea given the massive turnouts on election day. We want everybody to vote and for every vote to be heard. Long lines discourage voters.
That said, Jack Cashill points out the threat of early voting to a valid election. People sometimes are “hooked” into voting by the more aggressive party. In this case, it was the Democrats who had a great ground game. They have unions and other sources of manpower the Republicans don’t have.
Each year I drive across the eastern half of the country twice, including the states of Ohio and Indiana. Without benefit of signage it would be hard to tell them apart. Each has an industrial base in the north and a heartland dedicated largely to agriculture. Each state is 86 percent white and has a Republican governor. Over the last 25 years, I think I have stopped at every McDonald’s on 1-70 and 1-71, and the service is uniformly upbeat and amiable along the whole route.
In 2008 both states voted for Barack Obama for president, Ohio by four percent, Indiana by one percent. In 2012, Ohio voted for Obama by a two percent margin, but Indiana voted for Romney by a 10.5 percent differential. Some 250,000 fewer Hoosiers voted for Obama in 2012 than in 2008, and Romney topped McCain’s total by nearly 70,000 votes.
Despite the filter of a hopelessly corrupt media, huge numbers of Indiana citizens saw through the Obama ruse.
In this unproductive week of finger pointing and teeth gnashing, I am prepared to argue that Indiana tells us potentially more about America’s future than Ohio.
In the week before the election, I was invited to speak at my alma mater, Purdue University. As I drove around West Lafayette, what caught my eye was the absence of Obama signs. I did not see one, not even in the faculty neighborhoods. As Obama’s unpopularity grew during the last four years, his team at some point decided to concede Indiana. From their perspective, Indiana lacked one tactical asset that Ohio had — early voting.
Early voting is a boon for the vote harvesters. The vote harvester’s mission is to gather unthinking collectives of potential voters — nursing home residents, college students, skid-row dwellers, recent immigrants — and get them to vote. Harvesting does not necessarily mean fraud, but it clearly encourages the same. In James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas videos, we saw how easy it was for even a congressman’s son — in this case, Pat Moran, son of Jim — to cross the line from harvesting to cheating.
Early voting makes harvesting all the more economical. Fewer people on the ground can get more accomplished. At an Obama rally at Ohio State, my friends in Columbus tell me, the Obama campaign provided a steady stream of busses to take rally-goers right to the polls, one stop shopping.
As reported on these pages, the Obama campaign in Ohio also bussed in gaggles of Somalis, who were given slate cards and told who to vote for. These people may or may not have been citizens, but they clearly had less idea what they were doing at the polls than the students, and that take some doing.
Students are often spectacularly clueless. Revealing Politics’ Caleb Bonham and Lacey Meeks attended an Obama event on the campus of Ohio University a month after the raid on the Benghazi consulate to see what Obama supporters thought of the President’s response. The video they created is both amusing and depressing, but it is not at all surprising
“I have no idea,” laugh two girls when asked what they think about the Benghazi incident. “I am really uninformed about that,” says another. “When did that happen?” asks still another. “I don’t even know what this is honestly,” says a fellow. When asked about Ambassador Chris Stevens, several just shrug their shoulders and say, “Who’s he?”
In fact, college students have always been ignorant. In uncontested states like Indiana, they usually don’t bother voting. The election of 2008 was the exception. Obama hit the student world like Justin Bieber, who was also discovered in 2008. That year, students voted because they were excited. In 2012, they voted because they were trucked to the polls. They added the leftward drift to the exit polling data. Given their lack of land lines, it is unlikely that anyone had polled them before.
I think 2008 was a personality driven political moment, a combination between the fatigue of George Bush and the excitement of Obama. 2012 was a combination of the personality politics and the great ground game that harvested voters and filled ballot boxes. I also think we are seeing the ignorance and greed of many voters in America.
Ignorance in not being able to link something like high energy prices to the high energy policies of Obama. They will complain at the pump, but vote the guy who is responsible for $2.00 of that price back into office. Voters want to believe that Obamacare won’t cost billions across the nation and thousands to each person individually, but that means ignoring everyone from Congress to economic experts to business professionals. Imagine how tight you have to close your eyes not to be able to see the truth on this. Almost German-like.
You want to beat that you had better embrace the early voting concept and get everyone you can to vote early- and in the case of Philly- often.