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November 29, 2012

Nate Silver Gives The Bay Area Some Love - And I Send Him Some Love Back

Watercolor map of San Francisco Bay Area, inset photo of Nate Silver jiveinthe415.com
We Love Nate Silver At Jive in the [415]

I have to confess that for all of the disgust that I have for today’s Republican party, that I’m not a registered Democrat. I call myself a Democrat, because the idea of voting for a Republican in today’s climate, is about as likely as Santa Claus sliding down my chimney.

There is one Republican candidate that might run for President in the future, that I would seriously consider voting for, and that’s Jon Huntsman. He's also a candidate that Barack Obama’s campaign team was very concerned about facing, when he resigned as Ambassador to China to run for President.

Political guru and gay God (in my book) Nate Silver, of the Five Thirty Eight - Nate Silver’s Political Calculus blog, gave the bay area some love yesterday. An interesting fact that he cited was that Barack Obama carried all 9 counties that make up the bay area, and in San Francisco, Obama’s margin of victory was 71 percentage points. Wow.

Democratic vote margins in presidential elections since 1980  includes national results california results and bay area results
The real point of Nate’s blog post is the fact that the bay area is home to the largest concentration of technology companies, and IT workers, in the United States. The people who work at these companies are largely Democrats, and supported Obama overwhelmingly.  He infers that the raw talent and innovation available to Democratic party operatives and progressive causes, might be willing to look at and support a Republican candidate, if they were different from the old relics and stale ideas that the GOP stands for today.

Nate writes:
Since Democrats had the support of 80 percent or 90 percent of the best and brightest minds in the information technology field, it shouldn’t be surprising that Mr. Obama’s information technology infrastructure was viewed as state-of-the-art exemplary, whereas everyone from Republican volunteers to Silicon Valley journalists have criticized Mr. Romney’s systems. Mr. Romney’s get-out-the-vote application, Project Orca, is widely viewed as having failed on Election Day, perhaps contributing to a disappointing Republican turnout.
This is not intended to absolve Mr. Romney and his campaign entirely. There were undoubtedly many bright and talented information technology professionals who worked for Mr. Romney, and who might have fielded a better product given better management. 
Even if only 10 percent or 20 percent of elite information technology professionals would consider working for a Republican like Mr. Romney, this is still a reasonably large talent pool to draw from.

But Democrats are drawing from a much larger group of potential staff and volunteers in Silicon Valley.

Perhaps a different type of Republican candidate, one whose views on social policy were more in line with the tolerant and multicultural values of the Bay Area, and the youthful cultures of the leading companies here, could gather more support among information technology professionals.
IT Company employees campaign contributions 2012
I think Nate’s thoughts echo my own. The Republicans keep harping on the fact that they have to deliver their message in a different way. While their communication skills are problematic, it’s their policy positions that repel and turn off voters most of all.

Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and it has been for 40 years. The Republican party, and particularly men, need to back off from the abortion issue and leave it alone. It's decided law, and if the Republican party spends the next 40 years fighting abortion, they will be a minority party permanently.

LGBT civil rights are marching on, and the GOP is nursing their wounds after 4 marriage equality losses on election day, despite many rank and file Republicans openly supporting equality. This is another issue that they will not win, and could destroy their party.

A political party that is anti-gay and anti-women doesn’t have a long shelf life today.

If Republicans continue to embrace these polarizing social issues, they are signing their own death warrant.


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