After seven days without power due to Superstorm Sandy, I got my electrical power back. It just also happens to coincide with President Obama winning re-election in an electoral college landslide. All the pundits and their punditry were off either purposefully or naively in the hopes of hyping up an election contest and consequently their ratings.
Yesterday morning I predicted a landslide win for Obama and many thoughts I was just a little bit nuts They would repeat to me the media talking points :oh no, it is too close to call” “it’s going to be a long night” “we may not even know by tomorrow morning.” Yadayadayada. Many bought into the media hype-or rather-the media overhype. But people were not looking at the actual data. When you have poll after poll stating an Obama lead (even if within the margin of error) a meta-analysis would probably tell you there was no way Obama could lose. You think it mattered that the media heads were reporting that the crowds at Romney’s campaign stops were energized, way more energized supposedly than Obama’s? When Obama won the first time around in 2008, he won by playing the numbers. He outplayed Hilary. I still believe she won more votes than Obama did. But he knew how to run the numbers district by district, county by county. He played a head game versus an emotions game-despite being anointed the next messiah by many of his followers. At the end of it all, can we put a spotlight, shine a light, on the media punditry and ask ourselves why do we let the talking heads play with our emotions. Why do we let them influence our vote and perception of the importance of our vote?
On another note, the Latino vote did come into play in this election. Although perhaps not to the full extent that we may have been led to believe by the TIME headline a few months back.. We will have to see all the exit polling, but gut says it played a part. In Florida, for instance, the non-Cuban Hispanic vote gave Obama that slight edge to win Florida (as of the time of this writing Florida has not been called but it’s only a matter of time). Overall, Hispanics ended up being about 10% of the national vote. That is still below the 16.4% of the overall population that Hispanics represent. So, there is a ways to go with getting Hispanics to vote in the US elections but the 10% does represent an increase from the 2008 elections. At the end of it all, can we put a spotlight, shine a light, on strategies to get more Latinos to vote and what was their impact this election? What motivated those that voted?
I am pleasantly surprised that Puerto Ricans in the island, the US territory- of Puerto Rico finally voted to pursue statehood. It is just a referendum. And there are many who are against it. Interestingly, many of the Puerto Ricans that are against it happen to be those that live stateside. Hmm? What is up with that? For me this has been an intensely personal issue. I have always felt that Puerto Rico should be a state and have never quite understood why so many have voted for the “status quo”-Yes, that is literally an option on the ballots in Puerto Rico. Now, is the time. The time is now, to shine a spotlight on the needs of Puerto Rico and press for reform, infrastructure & job development and general integration into the American psyche. I would like to not have the experience ever again of DMV works congregating to review my birth certificate wondering if Puerto Rico was part of the United States. It is time that the blue passport that Puerto Ricans automatically qualify for at birth means something more than just being a territory. It is time for a spotlight to be cast on this issue.
I am heading home now after another day at work trying to catch up on work that piled up while New York took a Sandy beating. We are in the midst of a nor’easter and can only hope that our light, our electrical power stays on. We can most certainly also say the same for these national election issues. Let us not only keep the spotlight going, but let us intensify it. Let us not forget Puerto Rico. Let us not forget Latinos overall in the nation. And lets us not forget that media does a lot of overhyping. At times as Palin said, media can be quite Lamestream.