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Sour Hypocritical Grapes

Reported by Nancy - May 13, 2005 -

Wednesday night (5/11) on Special Report, Brit Hume included an item in his Grapevine segment that turned out to be ... well, not quite as simple as he tried to make it sound. But in the process he proved that the radical reactionaries' echo chamber is in tip-top working order.

As I noted in my previous post about this program, at 6:31pm (ET), Hume did his "Grapevine" segment. Item #2 was about felons allegedly voting Dem - according to Hume, a study published in the "American Sociological Review" & cited by the Tacoma News Tribune shows that felons vote Democratic by a margin of 3 to 1, that if disenfranchised felons were allowed to vote, they would have swung the 2000 election to Gore & "could swing national & state elections in the future".

I tried to double-check the (limited) info Hume provided. Even though he didn't mention the name of the study, or any of the authors, or when it was published, I thought I'd try to check the primary source (Amer Soc Review) rather than the secondary source (Tacoma News Tribune).

The American Sociological Review has a website but the journal itself is available online only by subscription. So that was a dead-end. If any reader is a subscriber, or has access to a research library, & could provide a copy of the original study, I would very much appreciate it -- I know it might be hard to find without any bibliographic info other than publication date.

Next, I went to the newspaper Hume mentioned as citing that study, & found an article published May 10, 2005, entitled "Felons vote Democratic, national study says". And that's when it started to get interesting. According to the author of that article:

If disenfranchised felons had been allowed to vote, they would have swung the 2000 presidential race to Al Gore, according to a national study Republicans are touting in their fight to overturn Christine Gregoire’s victory in last fall’s governor’s race.

The study posits that since racial minorities and the poor – groups that tend to vote for Democrats– make up a disproportionate number of felons, a hypothetical felon voting bloc would be so overwhelmingly Democratic it could swing national and statewide elections.

On average, 74 percent of felons would have voted Democratic in presidential and U.S. Senate elections dating back to 1972, according to the study’s analysis of demographic and voting data.

Of Democratic presidential candidates, the study predicts that Bill Clinton’s successful 1996 re-election campaign would have gotten the highest percentage of felon votes, at 85.4 percent. Jimmy Carter’s failed 1980 re-election would have gotten the lowest, at 66.5 percent.

Note, for starters, that the study is 3 years old. Hume never mentioned that little detail. Nor did he mention that this "study" was about HYPOTHETICAL voters, not real ones.

But wait! There's more spin:

A state GOP-funded study by Jonathan Katz, a political science professor at the California Institute of Technology, estimates that Gregoire received 66.3 percent of the illegal felon votes.

And a study by Tony Gill, an associate political science professor at the University of Washington, estimates that Gregoire received 60.1 percent of felon votes in King County, Gregoire’s base and home to by far the largest number of illegal felon votes the GOP says were cast.

Compared with the national study, published in 2002 in the American Sociological Review, Gill writes that his study’s estimate “is too conservative, giving Ms. Gregoire the benefit of the doubt. In other words, the rate at which felons vote for a Democratic candidate is likely to be higher than the estimates provided by the precinct-level of analysis here.”

How pathetic & whiny is this? GOPs are so distraught over losing the 2004 WA Governor's race that they've filed a (frivolous) lawsuit, & they're dragging out 3-year-old HYPOTHETICAL "studies" & they're funding new HYPOTHETICAL "studies" -- all in an effort to overturn the results of that election. Then they get all the voices in their echo chamber (like Hume) to repeat the story. And no one calls them on the obvious hypocrisy, like their willingness to rely on an unproven THEORY of felon voting patterns at the same time that they're so critical of other theories, like the THEORY of evolution.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's spinning of alleged felon voting patterns & the radical reactionary echo chamber). O/T comments will be deleted. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.