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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't Let the Media Twist the Truth - Illinois Primary Turnout

In 2008, John McCain was seen as a weak candidate. Why? Was he really that weak? Or did the media just tell us this (over and over)?

This time around, the media also claims Mitt Romney isn't strong enough. Why? Is a candidate with business experience, turn-around experience, and a history of working well with the opposition really that unfit to be president, or is that simply what the media wants us to believe? It seems that this is a big chicken and egg problem. Is there really a big problem with Mitt and that's why he hasn't locked in the nomination, or is the media telling us this, and people are mindlessly voting this way? That remains to be seen.

We cannot stand on the sidelines as the media continues to blast us with misinformation and negative GOP-related headlines. One common theme we have seen throughout the GOP primary process is low turnout. Is this really true? Take this headline from Chris Wills of the AP (printed in the Detroit Free Press):

"Turnout low," huh? Well, Mr. Wills, let's see.

First, he claims, "Mitt Romney's perceived electability carried him to a major Illinois victory over Rick Santorum today in the Republican race for the White House, though turnout was light despite the rarity of the state actually playing a major role in a presidential primary." Of course, Mr. Wills cites no facts and no numbers to back this claim (a major no-no at The Elephant in the Room). I have decided (very simply) to look at this subjective claim that turnout was "light."

The facts: 

Approx Illinois population during 2008 GOP primary: 12,747,000

Approx Illinois population during 2012 GOP primary: 12,870,000 

Approx increase in population: 0.964%

Total turnout for 2008 Illinois primary: 899,422

Total turnout for 2012 Illinois primary: 917,046

Approx increase in Illinois GOP primary turnout: 1.96%

So let me see if I have this straight? The GOP primary voter turnout increased at a rate that is 2x greater than the increase in the population, and somehow turnout is "light?" In my humble, honest, subjective opinion,  voter turnout is pretty strong. When you get more votes one year versus the previous year, and the amount of new votes exceeds the amount of new residents  by a 2 to1 rate, that is pretty strong. Is Mr. Wills intentionally trying to spin voter turnout? Left or right, wouldn't a "low" or "light" voter turnout look bad for the GOP? I would love to hear from him to find out his justification for the term "light."

Mr. Wills' Twitter page:!/chrisbwills

Mr. Wills' contact info located here:


  1. Thank you for posting this. You're a patriot! We need to stop the press from lying Obama's way into office. Keep it up!

  2. Good morning LME, hope all is well!

    We likely disagree here :)

    In my view, I definitely believe that this is more the media reporting on the results/news than it all just being framed by the media and sensationalism.

    The fact is that Mitt Romney is a very central candidate in a party that has moved away from center.

    He has had many opinions and actions viewed as liberal, and even his own party and fellow candidates have called him a liberal and ‘not conservative enough.’ He’s also the only candidate (as of about 2 months ago, haven’t re-checked it) not to sign pledges on upholding the institution of marriage or preventing abortion. Heck, most of Santorum’s campaign is based around him being ‘the only true conservative candidate.’

    This is even more solidified by the fact that every demographic analysis of polling/voting I've seen has shown that Mitt Romney has failed to attract the ultra-conservative vote, which unfortunately is a rather significant portion of the Republican votes (particularly in Southern states).

    If anyone is to blame for what all of this results in, it wouldn’t just be the media but also (if not primarily) the Republican Party itself for going to such great lengths in alienating its own members.

    The whole “RINO!” (Republican In Name Only) as a bad word push, and putting targets on Republicans that are labeled as ‘not conservative enough and must be removed!’, and then accusing your own candidates of being liberal, and running your campaign on ‘being more conservative than the other guy!’… this is all part of the result in why Mitt, who should be a very strong candidate for his focus on economical issues, his history of good decision-making and success, and other credentials, is struggling to perform as well as he should be. It’s not simply ‘media telling us what to believe’, because the GOP is the one supplying all the ammo here.

    Lastly, I can’t say I disagree with Mr. Willis in it being a light turnout.

    According to the Illinois election data, there are about 4 million registered Republicans and Independents in Illinois and only a quarter of them turned up to vote… where as typically at least around 50% turnout for what have been historically viewed as ‘strong candidates’ in a primary.

    But that can all be subjective anyway and doesn't mean much. CNN reported on the same election as a "strong victory for Mitt."

  3. Good afternoon LME. Here is a great story with a little media spin. Do not have any food or beverage in your mouth as you read the following headline from CNN Money:

    Rising gas prices aren't as bad as you think

    I couldn't find the sarcastic font. If I could, I would use it below.

    No, gas prices aren't THAT bad. The weekly National average on January 26, 2009 was $1.813 per gallon, today it is only $3.787. It is ONLY 109% higher now than when 0bama took office. Besides that it's not like everything we buy in the store / grocery store uses some form of gasoline (or diesel fuel) to get from the manufacturer to the store. SO, no, it's not that bad at all. Besides that 0bama just gave us $40 per check to off set that.

    Even people making minimum wage are earning 1.91 gallons per hour. No it's not bad at all. Maybe we should tax it some more.

    The gas prices in 2008 were much worse because Bush woke up every morning and checked with Cheney to see what the price should be. Today, the president has no control over such things. That is the main difference.

    End the sarcastic font here.