Fun with numbers (or, I promise I’ll get bored with this eventually)

Some prominent individuals are so busy swimming in Lake We Kicked Your Liberal Asses Because President Bush Is More Popular Than Even Ronald Reagan&#153 that they can’t be bothered to stop long enough to think. Here’s a perfect example from Peggy Noonan’s column in Opinion Journal:

… The president received more than 59 million votes, breaking Ronald Reagan’s old record of 54.5 million. …

It will be hard for the mainstream media to continue, in the face of these facts, the mantra that we are a deeply and completely divided country. But they’ll try!

I’ve heard that nonsense more than once since Tuesday, but that doesn’t make it any smarter. Yes, Bush received 58,978,616 votes. Good for him. (Not really, but I’m making a point here.) However, the argument doesn’t hold up under even minimal scrutiny. Here are the real numbers explained so well that I’m not going to bother pretending that I can do better. Consider:

Can both sides quit with this “more voters supported our guy than ever before” crap? The US population is 295 million. In 1992, it was 254 million. During Reagan’s landslide reelection, it was 235 million. 124 million when FDR was first elected. So if both sides could drop the meaningless fact that each candidate got more votes than any Republican/Democratic candidate in history, I’d appreciate it.

And while you’re at it– the same applies to opening weekends at the box office. More people, more screens, more expensive tickets. Hell, Gigli could probably be considered a bigger movie than Jaws if you count this way.

Just for the sake of logic, I’m going to assume that there are more eligible voters now than in 1984. Hey, imagine that… more voters equals a higher vote total for the winner. When Reagan won by 16,878,000 votes (out of 92,652,842), that’s a mandate. Bush winning by 3,594,114 votes (out of 115,427,728) is a victory, but not a mandate to run trample over the opposition.

Lest we forget, Kerry received 55,384,497 votes. Even though I attended public schools and a state university, I’m pretty sure that Kerry’s total beat Reagan’s record of 54,455,000, as well. So everybody should lose the hyperbole and just shut up.

4 thoughts on “Fun with numbers (or, I promise I’ll get bored with this eventually)”

  1. “Bush winning by 3,594,114 votes (out of 115,427,728) is a victory, but not a mandate to run trample over the opposition.”
    Just tell me … do I ‘run’ or do I ‘trample’?
    And for the record, I don’t like the gloating either. But politicians/pundits will spin … that’s what they do.
    And then, they usually get burned.
    You should turn off the tv and computer for a few days honey .. rest, relax.
    Oh and you can’t tell me JK wouldn’t have cried ‘mandate from the people’ had the score been reversed. Oh wait, Ms. Heinz would have done that for him. I mean she did pay for it DAMMITT!
    All I can say is … if the Democratic party thinks they’re going to win back the vote with comments like “the blue states are the sophisticated real world thinkers” implying that everyone else is NOT … they’ve got bigger problems than whether or not the GOP thinks they have a mandate.
    Don’t you have some issue with Sprint or Verizon to gripe about? I love those! (This has been kinda fun though.)
    I hope you and Dan know I can’t wait to see you in December!

  2. I have an issue with Verizon to gripe about! Apparently when I’m not in my “home area,” I get charged ROAMING FEES! OMG! Who gives a shit about the election now! I HAVE UNJUST ROAMING FEES TO DEAL WITH!

  3. Wendy,
    Democrats probably would’ve gloated, but I’m just frightened by the extensive hyperbole and grandiose words of a handful of prominent talking head Republicans. And you’re dead-on about the condescension of some Democrats. Just because someone doesn’t vote Democrat or live in the Northeast doesn’t mean the people aren’t smart.
    Basically, it comes down to this. The Democrats need to nominate someone with vision, someone who can connect to a belief in a far-reaching, optimistic goal. Instead, they’ll stick their heads up their asses and nominate Hillary in 2008. Yay.
    (You’re right about me needing to step away from the TV and relaxing. But I’d never admit it, cause the country might go to hell without me there to watch over it. I’m just saying…)

  4. Hey Guys, Guess what? No one but no one Talks for me. I vote on the issues I believe in. Like I’ve said before.Neither Dem or Repub. Wendy you are right!! But what do I know? I love in a “Red State”

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