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Look for Senate Race

One of the key things to watch is how many seats the democrats can win. If they can get to 60 senate seats, this will be a democratic government!

Currently the score is:



Key race…can comedian Al Fraken win a democrat seat in Minnesota…?!?!


November 5, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , , | Leave a comment

EXIT POLLS (Early Huffington Post Results)

The head to head exit polls just were sent to the Huffington Post by a Democratic source. These are traditionally unreliable and should be taken with a grain of salt (see: Kerry’s winning margins in 2004). For what it’s worth, they project a big night for Obama in several of the key swing states.

The states looking good for Obama:

Florida: 52 percent to 44 percent
Iowa: 52 percent to 48 percent
Missouri: 52 percent to 48 percent
North Carolina: 52 percent to 48 percent
New Hampshire: 57 percent to 43 percent
Nevada: 55 percent to 45 percent
Pennsylvania: 57 percent to 42 percent
Ohio: 54 percent to 45 percent
Wisconsin: 58 percent to 42 percent
Indiana: 52 percent to 48 percent
New Mexico: 56 percent to 43 percent
Minnesota: 60 percent to 39 percent

Michigan: 60 percent to 39 percent


The states where McCain is leading in exit polls:

Georgia: 51 percent to 47 percent
West Virginia: 45 percent to 55 percent

Again, as a point of caution, here is what Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said about exit polls in an interview today with the Huffington Post: “The biggest problem with exit polls is… we do know that young voters are much more likely to do an exit survey and seniors are much less likely to do an exit poll,” he said. “So exit polls are heavily waited to young people, which normal bias favors Democrats especially this year.”

November 4, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , , , , | Leave a comment



93% say ecoomy is Not So Good/Poor

6% say economy is Excellent/Good


47% Get Better

23% Get Worse

25% Stay The Same

November 4, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , , | Leave a comment


Among new voters nationally it favors very strongly to BARACK OBAMA 72% to 27%

Among voters who had Iraq as the main issue voted fpr BARACK OBAMA 63% JOHN MCCAIN 36%

Among voters who had terroism favors strongly to JOHN MCCAIN 86% BARACK OBAMA 14%

November 4, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , , | Leave a comment


Indiana will be the first poll closed in 20 minutes…! 

As polls close, most networks will provide, via websites, exit poll data that is crucial to understanding the meaning of the election. Two that are relatively easy to negotiate are: MSNBC’s (found here) and CNN’s (found here) .

November 4, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nationwide (Most Important Issue)

NATIONWIDE (All Respondents)


Economy          62%

Iraq                 10%

Terroism          9%

Health Care     9%

November 4, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , , | Leave a comment

Legends Times Live Election Blog


November 4, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN** | , , , | Leave a comment

Stop, Drop, and Poll – What to Do if You Have Problems Voting


Anecdotal evidence is coming in fast and furious of early-voting incidences including voting machine malfunctions in Ohio,Putnam, and Jackson Counties in West Virginia andDavidson and Decatur Counties in Tennessee, as well as hidden problems with “straight ticket” voting (confirmed bySnopes) in Texas and West Virginia. A more complete list of the problems so far can be found at VotersUnite.org.

It CAN happen to you. If it does, here are a few suggestions on what to do:

1) Video Your Vote
If possible, plan ahead for any problems by bringing a video camera with you to Video the Vote. Then, spread it around (send it to us and we’ll help). Remember, the focus should be on gathering evidence and not telling stories. So, use video, audio, photographs to document what happened. Also, get names and phone numbers of witnesses, voting machine serial numbers, names of poll workers, and document the time of day.

2) At the First Sign of a Problem, Stop*
At the first sign of a problem with your machine (or if you experience any of the other problems listed below), stop what you are doing and ask to speak to thesupervisor/officer of elections (skip the poll worker) at your polling location. Explain your problem. If they try and waive you off, call your main election commission number and ask to speak to the election commissioner who will satisfactorily address your problem. Keep in mind that many poll workers/supervisors will try and blame the voter aka “operator error.” Do not leave your polling place until your problem is well-documented and addressed to your complete satisfaction and, if the problem is with a machine, that machine is quarantined. Oh, and you get to vote. Never leave the polling place without voting.

3) File a Report. File Several Reports.
Your local polling place will have incident reports available to you. If they do not, call the main election commission for your county and ask for someone to bring one to you. Make sure that both you and the supervisor sign it. An example of a report is here (Hat tip:Wake Up and Save Your Country Voters Guide). The U.S. Election Assistance Commission also lists on their website where you can find out how to file a report in your state. Again, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-Our-Vote can also help with any questions in this area.

4) Call the Election Protection Hotline
Report you incident to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-Our-Vote, especially if you feel you are being bullied or your incident is not being taken seriously. The ACLU has a hotline as well at 1-877-523-2792. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Greg Palast offer suggestions as well in their comicStealYourVoteBack.org.

5) Pledge to Stand Up to Stolen Elections
Go to NoMoreStolenElections.org and pledge to not concede until every vote is counted – and counted as cast.

*Problems can include: machine problems, polling place problems (machines not set up on time), switching or closing of polling place, voters forced to vote on a provisional ballot, long lines/waits, intimidation, unusual ID demands, poll workers asking inappropriate questions, etc.

UPDATE: One of TrueVote.Us’s members has a great suggestion to add to this list: “Voters who see their vote being flipped by the machines on election day, if they can’t get the machine taken out of service, they should immediately begin telling all the voters still waiting in line exactly which machine flipped their votes. (Third machine from the left, or whatever.) Try to get people…to refuse that machine. This could cause trouble, backups, and increase the pressure on the local officials to mothball that machine. No doubt people are already complaining both to the officials and to election activists and lawyers waiting outside – but the other voters waiting in line also need to know. [I took out a bit of this that was very partisan because we believe that fair and honest elections are no-partisan and non-ideological. – Ed.]

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undervotes – The Scary Canary


In 2004 massive get-out-the-vote efforts created a huge turnout on Election Day, bringing more voters to the polls than ever before. But in key states (and The Keystone state), many voters showed up at the polls and waited in long lines for hours only to later discover the voting machines showed many of them had no vote recorded for any presidential candidate.

This particular scary canary in a coalmine is known as presidential “undervotes” – ballots cast without recording a choice for the highest office in the land.

In this clipUNCOUNTED focuses on instances of undervoting in two battleground states in 2004 – New Mexico and Pennsylvania. New Mexico had a particularly large problem, where presidential undervote rates of 25% were reported in Democratic-leaning Hispanic and American Indian precincts. New Mexico had the nation’s highest presidential undervote rate – 21,084. (George W. Bush won that state by less than 6,000 votes.)

2008 might have a lot things in common with 2004. Now we’ll know what to look for if undervotes are one of them.


November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poll: Hispanics favor Obama

UTICA, N.Y. — As we enter the final stretch of the presidential elections, Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, appears to have solidified his support among the large majority of Hispanic likely voters.

In a news release, Zogby pollsters said:

Obama is favored by 72 percent of likely Hispanic voters while Republican candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona holds just 22 percent support, according to a new Zogby International telephone survey of Latinos nationwide.

Another 4.5 percent of Hispanic likely voters support other candidates while 2 percent remain undecided.

Zogby International’s telephone survey of 704 Hispanic/Latino likely voters nationwide was conducted Oct. 16 – 30, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/-3.8 percentage points.

Obama has maintained his stronghold among Latinos since Zogby’s earlier nationwide telephone survey of Hispanic likely voters was released on Oct. 20. The earlier poll showed 70 percent of Hispanic respondents favored Obama while 21% supported McCain. Zogby’s first survey was conducted among 600 Hispanic/Latino likely voters on Oct. 3-17, 2008 and held a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points, the release said.

In the 2004 presidential elections, Latinos helped propel Republican George W. Bush to re-election when he secured 40% of the Hispanic vote. This year, with the increase in the Hispanic population and expanded voter registration efforts nationwide, the Latino vote could be a determining factor in all the battleground states.

In our latest survey, an estimated 58% of Hispanic likely voters identify themselves as Democrats and 19% call themselves Republicans, while another 23% percent consider themselves Independents.

Both presidential candidates continue to garner support among Latinos in their respective parties. McCain now enjoys 78% of Hispanic Republicans up by two percent while Obama’s support has increased to 92% from 83% in the earlier survey. 

Among Latino respondents who identify themselves as Independent voters, Obama maintains a majority of support. The Democratic candidate now enjoys 66% of support among these respondents, an increase of 6% from our previous survey. There has been a marked decrease for McCain – from 30% to 18% – among these swing voters. 

Each presidential candidate has strengthened his support within his traditional ideological base. Senator Obama now enjoys 89% support among liberals up 5 points while McCain’s support among conservatives has risen to 45% from 35% of Hispanic likely voters. Yet, Obama maintains much support – 47% – of Hispanic likely voters who consider themselves conservatives.

The large majority of moderates – 76% – continue to support Obama while 18% support McCain.

Catholic likely voters in the Hispanic community have increased their support for Obama to 78% from 72% in the past several days while McCain’s support has dropped by more than three points among this subgroup to 18%. Among Hispanic Protestants surveyed, Obama’s support remains at 60% and McCain’s support has increased by more than 5 points to 36%.

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of self-identified “born-again” or “evangelical” Christians in the Latino community nationwide. Although traditionally this subgroup identifies itself as conservative and is supportive of the Republican party, this year Hispanic “born-again” respondents are divided in their support for the two presidential hopefuls. 42% of respondents favor McCain while 53% support Obama.

Obama maintains a majority of support among all age groups surveyed. Among 18-24 year olds, 80% favor Obama while McCain supports remains at about 9%. Surprisingly, Third Party candidate Ralph Nader is now supported by 8% of this youth vote. In Zogby’s Oct. 20th poll, Nader had not even registered any support among these respondents. At the same time, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, who had enjoyed 4% of support among these younger Hispanic voters in our earlier survey, no longer maintains any support in this subgroup. McCain’s highest amount of support – 34% – is among the following age group, 55-69.

Obama has a majority of support in the Latino community among all income groups surveyed. The highest support for Obama – 77% – is among individuals who earn less than $25,000 while McCain’s strongest support is among individuals who earn more than $100,000. Within this high-income Hispanic subgroup, McCain has lost significant support from 44% to 28% since our last survey.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voters Across Nation Hit by Dirty Tricks


Rally in Seattle for Obama

Rally in Seattle for Obama

(Nov. 2) – In the hours before Election Day, as inevitable as winter, comes an onslaught of dirty tricks — confusing e-mails, disturbing phone calls and insinuating fliers left on doorsteps during the night.
The intent, almost always, is to keep folks from voting or to confuse them, usually through intimidation or misinformation. But in this presidential race, in which a black man leads most polls, some of the deceit has a decidedly racist bent.
Complaints have surfaced in predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia where fliers have circulated, warning voters they could be arrested at the polls if they had unpaid parking tickets or if they had criminal convictions.
Over the weekend in Virginia, bogus fliers with an authentic-looking commonwealth seal said fears of high voter turnout had prompted election officials to hold two elections — one on Tuesday for Republicans and another on Wednesday for Democrats.
In New Mexico, two Hispanic women filed a lawsuit last week claiming they were harassed by a private investigator working for a Republican lawyer who came to their homes and threatened to call immigration authorities, even though they are U.S. citizens.
“He was questioning her status, saying that he needed to see her papers and documents to show that she was a U.S. citizen and was a legitimate voter,” said Guadalupe Bojorquez, speaking on behalf of her mother, Dora Escobedo, a 67-year-old Albuquerque resident who speaks only Spanish. “He totally, totally scared the heck out of her.”
In Pennsylvania, e-mails appeared linking Democrat Barack Obama to the Holocaust. “Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, Nov. 4,” said the electronic message, paid for by an entity calling itself the Republican Federal Committee. “Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake.”
Laughlin McDonald, who leads the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said he has never seen “an election where there was more interest and more voter turnout, and more efforts to suppress registration and turnout. And that has a real impact on minorities.”

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Obama be the first Asian American president?

“White skin notwithstanding, this is our first black president. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime. After all, he displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.”

With these words in the New Yorker in 1998, Toni Morrison granted our 42nd president, William Jefferson Clinton, a kind of cadet membership in the grand cultural narrative of black America. While her intent was never to make him out as a role model, her essay nevertheless reflected how implausible, how impossibly distant the idea of an African American occupant in the Oval Office seemed at the time.

Morrison couldn’t have known that, exactly a decade later, her assertion would be given the lie: We now face the very real prospect in Barack Obama of an “actual black person” being elected president — though one whose own cultural narrative is so unique and complicated that some would argue it has as many contrasts as commonalities with that of the average black American.

In fact, reading Obama’s absorbing 1995 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” it strikes me that the tropes that surround and define Obama can just as easily be read as those of another community entirely. Which raises the question: Could it be that our true first black president might also be our first Asian American president?

Fitting the curve

He was born and raised in Hawaii, the only majority-Asian state in the union; he spent four formative years in Jakarta, the home of his Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro, where he attended local schools and learned passable Bahasa Indonesia. The family with whom he’s closest — half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and her Chinese Canadian husband, Konrad Ng — are Asian American. So, too, are the most senior members of his congressional team — his Senate chief of staff Pete Rouse, whose mother is Japanese American, and his legislative director Chris Lu, whose parents hail from China.

Evidence for Obama’s affinity with the Asian American experience runs true even as one delves deeper into his history. “A lot of aspects of the senator’s story will be recognizable to many Asian Americans,” says Lu, a Harvard Law School classmate of the senator’s who joined the team in 2005. “He talks about feeling like somewhat of an outsider; about coming to terms with his self-identity; about figuring out how to reconcile the values from his unique heritage with those of larger U.S. society. These are tensions and conflicts that play out in the lives of all children of immigrants.”

And how he talks about those tensions could be rote recital from the Asian American literary canon. With minor search-and-replace, much of the first half of “Dreams” could have been excerpted from an Asian American coming-of-age work, like Gus Lee’s“China Boy,” Gene Yang’s “American Born Chinese,” or Michael Kang’s “The Motel.”

For instance, Obama recalls how, on his first day at school in Hawaii, his well-intentioned teacher made a point of complimenting him on his beautiful, alien name, waxing on about the fantastical magnificence of Kenya, and asking “what tribe” his father was from — thereby condemning young Barack (classmate: “I thought your name was Barry!”) to the status of outsider, foreigner, weirdo.

“I heard titters break across the room,” writes Obama. “I spent the rest of the day in a daze … The novelty of having me in the class quickly wore off for the other kids, although my sense that I didn’t belong continued to grow … Most of my classmates had been together since kindergarten; they lived in the same neighborhoods, in split-level homes with swimming pools; their fathers coached the same Little League teams; their mothers sponsored the bake sales. Nobody played soccer or badminton or chess, and I had no idea how to throw a football in a spiral or balance on a skateboard.”

And he talks about how, as he grew older, he began to realize that his pervasive sense of difference extended beyond the mere purgatory of elementary school. “TV, movies, the radio … Pop culture was color-coded, after all,” he writes. “I began to notice that Cosby never got the girl on ‘I Spy,’ that the black man on ‘Mission: Impossible’ spent all his time underground. I noticed that there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog … and that Santa was a white man.”

By the time Obama talks about his remote father’s outsized academic expectations for him (“Have I told you that your brothers and sister have also excelled in their schooling? It’s in the blood, I think”; “Barry, you do not work as hard as you should … If the boy has done his work for tomorrow, he can begin on his next day’s assignments. Or the assignments he will have when he returns from the holidays”) and about his overprotective mother’s use of guilt as leverage (“A healthy dose of guilt never hurt anybody,” she tells him, “It’s what civilization was built on, guilt. A highly underrated emotion”) the Asian American reader’s feelings of deja vu will have slipped from amusing to uncanny.

Translating identity

But even if Obama’s personal narrative reads like it was written to an Asian American template, why should that matter? The fact is, understanding this dimension of his makeup offers critical insights to how his outlook and political sensibilities were forged, even providing explanation for some of his more controversial positions, such as his charge to black America about the crises of disengaged parenting and broken families.

“The senator often talks about the importance of education, the value of hard work, and the need for a sense of personal responsibility,” says Chris Lu. “That resonates with a lot of Asian Americans, who feel they’ve pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and understand the notion that what we accomplish in life is in large part a measure of who we are as people, and how hard we strive.”

To some African American leaders, notably the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Obama’s continued reminders of the duty of parents to their children and citizens to their society sound elitist and patronizing. To Asian Americans, they sound … well, they sound familiar. They’re at the core of the ethical foundation many of us have inherited, that fusion of post-Confucian philosophy and immigrant ethos the media often calls “Asian values.”Aspiration tempered with pragmatism. Strenuous effort and rigorous accountability as the bedrock of success. Moderation in all things, humility in times of triumph, patience in periods of tribulation.

This is a point often missed by those who have assessed Obama at face value, seeing in him a fiery street preacher or a bright-eyed idealist, an iconoclast or an ideologue, and expressed disillusionment with what they see as “triangulation” or “pandering” in some of his recent positions. The people who know him best say that the senator is nothing if not consistent — that throughout his career and campaign he has stayed true, if you will, to his Asian American roots.

The coat of many colors

Calling Obama the first Asian American president doesn’t obscure or invalidate his other identities — black, white, multiracial, transnational, pancultural. If anything, it simply highlights the fact that his diverse heritage uniquely invites those around him to project on him a full spectrum of hopes and dreams.

“He’s basically a human Rorschach test,” says Lu. “African Americans think, and rightfully so, that this is a guy who understands their experience. But it’s similar if you talk to Latinos and Asian Americans, or to our 22-year-old field organizers. People see in him the qualities they want to see.”

The important thing to note is that this isn’t a case of “either/or,” but “and.” Perhaps the way to read Obama was best pointed out by another black man of mixed heritage, another pioneer whose arrival on a heretofore lily-white landscape shook the firmament. If we are all Tiger Woods, there’s no reason we can’t all be Barack Obama. We are the world’s foremost Cablinasian nation, and in an increasingly flat and unbounded global landscape, this is not a weakness, but our greatest competitive strength.

“It’s amusing watching people come up with these caricatures suggesting he’s not American,” notes Lu. “He’s not only American, his story is the quintessential American story. It’s the story that our nation is all about.”

Read full story here. 

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Growing Asian-American vote sheds passive past


LORTON, Va. (AP) — For a long time, says Loc Pfeiffer, his fellow Asian-Americans were passive participants in American politics. But things are changing.

“Asians don’t like confrontation or being adversarial, but that’s politics,” says Pfeiffer, a 41-year-old lawyer who was 6 when his parents brought him to America from Vietnam.

“The more we’re raised and bred here, the less likely we are to be passive. So much of our culture, it’s a very, very obedient culture. … You don’t argue with the government. You don’t argue with Big Brother. There’s the assumption that you give up all your individual rights for the whole. Which is astounding to me, because I’m American now.”

An assertive Asian America matters, especially in places like Virginia and Nevada, swing states where Asians have been growing in numbers and influence.

With a booming population of highly educated, increasingly Americanized voters, this former “silent minority” is entering the most engaged and visible era of its political history.

The number of Asians in the United States has grown 25 percent in the last seven years, to 15 million, said Jane Junn, an associate professor of political science at Rutgers University. Educated people are more likely to vote, and 50 percent of the Asian population has a college degree, compared with 25 percent of the U.S. population, Junn said.

“There comes a point where there’s a critical mass,” said Junn, whose parents were born in Korea. “When you’re only one person out of 100, you’re very self-conscious about (becoming politically active). But there is power in numbers.”

Asian attitudes toward the two presidential candidates are as varied as the nations stretching from India to Malaysia to Japan, lumped into one racial category by the U.S. Census.

Yet some say Barack Obama’s rise from humble origins resonates with many Asians who value education and hard work as the keys to success and have been forced to fit their heritage into an American framework.

In a recent column for the San Francisco Chronicle, writer Jeff Yang was even inspired to riff on President Clinton’s honorary black membership and ask if Obama’s background — parental academic pressure, struggle for identity, guilt-wielding mother, Harvard education — would make him the first Asian-American president.

“So much of what we deal with is the notion of being outsiders, foreigners, of being outside the social dialogue of the United States,” Yang said in an interview. “You look at Obama and those are some of the same aspersions and slanders being cast at him. He’s kind of the closest thing we can have legally to an immigrant in the White House. He’s somebody who understands this journey that Asian-Americans and other immigrants have made.”

Obama also spent much of his youth in Hawaii, with its Asian-American majority, and in Indonesia. Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is the daughter of his white mother and an Indonesian businessman, and has helped reach out to the Asian-American community.

Yang added that his Taiwan-born parents, who had never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, were seriously considering Obama.

News of Yang’s Obama proclamation inspired hearty laughter at the gathering of a half-dozen lawyers at the home of 65-year-old Paul Nguyen in Lorton. Although many had voted Republican in the past, all but one planned to vote for Obama.

When Nguyen said Asians had to learn the American political system and form a bloc to demand something in return for their votes, the conversation bubbled over:

“We never ask for anything. We always work for what we get.”

“We’re too diverse. You can’t bring the Filipinos, the Koreans, the Japanese, everybody all together.”

“We’re still in the infancy of our presence here.”

“Now we’re more active, more aware. Over the last 10 or 20 years it’s happened very slowly.”

In the past, Asians were largely overlooked during past presidential campaigns because of their widely varied nationalities and concentration in the reliably Democratic states of California and New York.

Now, both campaigns have national Asian outreach efforts. In Virginia, Obama’s campaign is focusing on sending language-specific volunteers to register voters from particular countries. The McCain campaign’s priority is securing the support of community leaders from the Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and Filipino communities.

Although no Democratic presidential candidate has won Virginia since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, polls show Obama edging ahead. Meanwhile, the state’s Asian population has grown from 3.7 percent in 2000 to 4.8 percent in 2006, above the national average of 4.4 percent.

Virginia’s Asians are concentrated in the D.C. suburbs, where the Asian population reaches as high as 16 percent in Fairfax County, as well as the Norfolk area, where the naval operations have attracted Filipinos.

There are roughly 300,000 voting-age Asians in Virginia, and about 100,000 registered Asian voters, according to estimates from the Obama and McCain campaigns.

In 2006, after incumbent Republican Sen. George Allen was caught on tape using the slur “macaca” to describe an Indian from the opposing campaign, he lost to Democrat Jim Webb by 7,231 votes out of 2.37 million ballots cast. Seventy-six percent of the Asian vote went against Allen.

In the past, many Asians nationally have leaned Republican because of the party’s record of fighting Communism, support for small business owners, and emphasis on personal responsibility and family values.

A Vietnamese group from northern Virginia recently endorsed McCain at a rally attended by about 200 people. Some Asian supporters point to McCain’s military service, Vietnam imprisonment, an adopted daughter from Bangladesh, plus his support in the Senate for issues such as free trade and visa waivers.

Tuyet Duong, who has been canvassing undecided Vietnamese voters for the Obama campaign, said many people she talks to are voting based on the candidates’ life stories rather than the issues, and the fact that McCain fought in Vietnam strikes a powerful chord.

Yet Asian voters nationwide appear to be favoring Obama, the Democrat, in greater numbers than the 54 percent who voted for Democrat John Kerry in 2004.

This could be explained by President Bush’s unpopularity, Obama’s recent rise in the polls amid the economic implosion, or the fact that Obama’s Senate chief of staff and legislative director are Asian. But it also has something to do with a new generation of Asian-Americans.

Two-thirds of U.S. Asians are foreign-born. Their American-born children are now thriving, many in professions like medicine, law and high-tech industries. English is the first language of this second generation. And they have landed squarely in the Obama sweet spot of young and educated supporters.

“I’ve lived my life trying to be kind of race-neutral,” said Michael Chang, 34, who was born in Washington, D.C. to Korean parents. After his father died when he was 10, Chang’s mother sent him to law school and his sister to two doctoral degrees, all on a legal secretary’s salary.

Chang, who is married to an Italian immigrant, plans to vote for Obama because he likes his stance on the issues and because he’s younger. He also believes that Obama’s background, coupled with his rejection of racial rhetoric, makes him more relatable for younger, mainstream Asians.

“I’m proud of my heritage, said Chang, “but I think of myself as American.”


November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winning the Latino Vote — McCain’s Blunder, Obama’s Advantage

ANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct 28, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — With barely a week left in the campaign, the anticipated record-breaking turnout of at least 9.2 million Hispanic voters could be key to winning swing states such as New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.
In June 2008 when general election campaigning began in earnest, in an article entitled “Winning the Latino Vote in the General Election,” as head of Poza Consulting Services (a market research and strategic planning consultancy targeting U.S. general market and Latino audiences) I explained that the key to reaching Hispanic voters was to focus on their needs as the hardest hit of the hardest hit in the current economic downturn.
The average U.S. Latino has more children and earns less than the average American. The relatively lower-paying jobs Latinos tend to hold typically don’t offer health insurance, further endangering their tenuous grasp on economic survival. Added to this, the vast majority of jobs held by Latinos are in construction and service industries, among the first and worst hit in the current economic crisis. Unemployment statistics for the state of California bear this out, reporting a 2.1% increase for Latino workers from July 2007 to July 2008 compared to a 1.2% increase for non-Latino Caucasians during the same period. Among the ranks of the working class currently struggling for survival, Latinos represent a disproportionately high number.
It’s interesting to see how strategy has evolved or devolved for each candidate in the face of this.
Whereas in June John McCain had strong ads targeting Latinos speaking directly to their struggles with soaring gas and grocery prices, in recent months his campaign has changed course, airing ads that focus on the overworked ‘values’ theme. A personal testimonial in Spanish from fellow vet Frank Gamboa says, “…He shares our conservative values and our faith in God. He knows family is the most important thing and that we value hard work.”
This ‘values’ theme has been used to pitch Latinos for 25+ years on everything from car insurance to juice drinks and these consumers have more than noticed. I routinely advise clients to avoid this generic approach that does not distinguish their message or brand from anything or anyone and often draws sneers from the now more cynical Latino audience. As a Los Angeles Latina commented in a recent focus group, “I’m not an idiot. Do you think that just because you invoke God and Family I’m going to buy or believe whatever you’re selling? I have a family to feed. What can you tell me about that?”
This strategic blunder this close to the finish line is symptomatic of the McCain campaign. It suggests early ads targeting the economy were a lucky shot in the dark rather than a strategic insight.
By contrast, Obama’s campaign as recently as June did not appear to have a strategy for targeting Latino voters; however, it did have the good judgment to incorporate hip and catchy videos made by Miguel Orozco, an enthusiastic supporter passionate about Obama’s candidacy and ‘introducing him’ to fellow Latinos. While hip and catchy, these videos did not specifically promote Obama as a candidate who understands the challenges Latinos face.
Recent ads however do. A television ad in Spanish titled “No Greater Priority” calls out hardships facing Latinos in New Mexico, including soaring unemployment rates, the rising number of homes in foreclosure and the increasing number of children without health insurance, contrasted with McCain’s now famous comment of “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Radio ads deliver focused messages comparing McCain’s healthcare plan to Obama’s, suggesting McCain favors insurance companies while Obama favors Latino families.
The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. polls show Obama leading McCain 65 to 30% nationally among Latinos. And in the important swing state of New Mexico recent polls show McCain’s 4-point lead disappears when the Latino vote (32.4% of registered voters) is factored in, leaving Obama with an 8-point lead.
For Latinos, as with any demographic group, there is no inherent mystery in getting their vote. It’s a matter of understanding what is most important to them and then clearly communicating that understanding. Many have wondered why Hillary Clinton, “an upper class White lady” as one blogger put it, was so successful with Latino voters. Some suggested it was Black-Brown tensions undermining Obama, but this was not the case. During the primaries when Obama’s outreach to Latino voters was nearly non-existent, Clinton’s campaign was bulls-eyeing the needs of working class families, reaching out to Latinos with this same message.
And while some are surprised to see Obama carrying the Hispanic vote in states previously won by Hillary Clinton, this is also no mystery given that he has picked up where Hillary left off, refining his strategy as evidenced in his recent Spanish language ads.
As for John McCain, in a campaign that has careened from tactic to tactic, void of coherent strategy or sense, it seems he almost hit and then veered away from the opportunity to connect with and win what could have been a decisive voter block for him in this election.
Ines Poza, Ph.D., is the owner of Poza Consulting Services, a market research and strategic consulting firm based in Santa Monica, CA. Contact Dr. Poza at 310.264.4637.
SOURCE: Poza Consulting Services

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Huxtable Effect’ and Obama

Posted by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Brave New Films 

I voted early at the University of New Mexico today. As I stood in line (for 35 minutes) I tried to read a book and tried not to listen to other people’s conversations. I managed the first okay, but the second? Failed.

Sometimes eavesdropping has its reward. A couple of twenty-something college students, neither one African-American, stood in front of me chatting about how they both used to wish Cliff Huxtable was their dad when they were kids. Cliff was tough, but cool. He wore ugly sweaters — a plus ever since Mr. Rogers made it fatherly chic.

In all the talk about the supposed “Bradley effect” in this year’s presidential election, I think big media have missed the much bigger story, which is to say few of them are writing/broadcasting about “The Huxtable Effect.”

“The Huxtable Effect,” as I’ve coined it, speaks to the importance of images in popular culture — TV, movies, music, books, etc. — and formation of both a sense of self in viewers and, most importantly for our discussion now, a sense of others.

Social scientists have long shown the link between what children see in popular media and how they view the society those images purport to represent. (A good source list here.)

In fact, it has been theorized that every major political movement in the United States has followed, by about two decades, a matching movement in the arts and pop culture.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s onward was predated by theHarlem Renaissance in literature and art, and the hyper-intellectualbebop movement in jazz, by about 20 years.

The women’s rights movement that peaked in the 1960s and 1970s followed by about 30 years the Rosie the Riveter movement in American popular culture, which aimed to show strong women in movies and in music, spurring 6 million women to replace men at war in factory jobs.

There are no accidents of public consciousness, and there is no better tool for changing perceptions of social roles than popular culture.

So it is, I believe, that Barack Obama’s successful candidacy and likely presidency were heralded with the arrival of The Cosby Show in 1984. On the air for eight seasons, The Cosby Show featured Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable, an all-American father, medical doctor, and love husband, in the lead role. Never before in American TV had there been such a character. But the impact of Cosby’s weekly presence in America’s family rooms, as the fair-minded, fun, quirky Dr. Huxtable, cannot be underestimated in its affect upon the consciousness of Americans who were children and young adults at the time.

Read the full story here.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Entertainment, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An All-Out Attack on ‘Conservative Misinformation’

WASHINGTON — They are some of the more memorable slip-ups or slights within the news media’s coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign.

A Fox News anchor asks whether Senator Barack Obama and his wife had greeted each other with a “terrorist fist jab.” Rush Limbaugh calls military personnel critical of the war in Iraq “phony soldiers.” Mr. Limbaugh and another Fox host repeat an accusation that Mr. Obama attended a madrassa, or Islamic school, in Indonesia.

Each of these moments might have slipped into the broadcast ether but for the efforts of Media Matters for America, the nonprofit, highly partisan research organization that was founded four years ago by David Brock, a formerly conservative author who has since gone liberal.

Ripping a page from an old Republican Party playbook, Media Matters has given the Democrats a weapon they have not had in previous campaigns: a rapid-fire, technologically sophisticated means to call out what it considers “conservative misinformation” on air or in print, then feed it to a Rolodex of reporters, cable channels and bloggers hungry for grist.

Producers for both “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central take calls from the organization. James Carville, the Democratic strategist and CNN commentator, has read from its items on the air, not least, he says, because they “just irritate the right to no end.”

“It was always kind of a dream, that we needed something like that,” Mr. Carville said. “I wouldn’t say they’ve become as effective as the entire conservative media backlash thing, but they’re probably more effective than any single entity.”

At the core of the Media Matters operation is its ability to hear and see so much of the news and commentary that streams across the nation’s airwaves, and to scan so many major newspapers and blogs. The group has an annual operating budget of more than $10 million — up from $3 million in 2004 — much of it donated by wealthy individuals with ties to the Democratic Party, including Peter B. Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance; Steve Bing, a movie producer; and Marcy Carsey, a television producer.

That money allows the group to monitor and transcribe nearly every word not only on network and cable news but also on nationally syndicated talk radio and, lately, local radio. It was Media Matters that widely disseminated a transcript of Don Imus making racially and sexually offensive comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. (On its own this summer, the group also circulated a photo of this reporter that had been digitally altered by Fox News.)

Media Matters says it does not coordinate its efforts with the Obama campaign — the campaign has its own media-criticism Web site, FightTheSmears.com — though some Democratic operatives have, at the least, suggested potential items to Media Matters over the years.

Read the whole story here. 

November 3, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Media, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barack Obama | The Daily Show | Comedy Central

Sarah Palin goes rogue, and Barack Obama hopes to work with John McCain after the election.

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Rachel Maddow and Obama Interview Part 1

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Rachel Maddow and Obama Interview Part 2

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Rachel Maddow and Obama Interview Part 3

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