"elections" entries

A case for voting Republican

A centrist New Yorker finds a reason to cast his vote strategically.

I’m writing this from an hour-long polling line on the Upper West Side, where no political races will be remotely competitive this year. The presence of so many people willing to put up with the inconvenience of a long wait to cast a vote that’s unlikely to make a difference is inspiring, but under conditions like this one my mind tends in a cynical direction, and when I go cynical I start to think about voting Republican.

That temptation comes not from the party’s position on FEMA or climate change, its willingness to force legislative cliffhangers rather than compromise, or its alertness on issues as diverse as Barack Obama’s birth certificate and the war on Christmas.

Rather, the temptation arises from this map, which shows the concentration of political influence in just a small handful of “battleground” states. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have together visited Ohio 75 times. They’ve visited New York 24 times, almost all of which were fundraisers and media appearances. The political cycle, and the issues it chews over, are calculated to excite voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida — hence a focus this year on industrial offshoring and retiree health care. Political campaigns use the same big-data approaches that any clever startup or retail chain would use to segment voters and target them directly. Undecided voters in swing states have enormous leverage. The rest of us have been mostly segmented out of the process.

As much as I hope Obama will win today’s election, I’m tempted by the thought that my vote — which is practically certain to have no impact on the outcome of any election today — might be better spent strategically in making New York a slightly more competitive political arena. Read more…

Top Stories: December 12-16, 2011

Five data predictions for 2012, a Kindle Single and long-form journalism, and the frustrations of the mobile experience.

This week on O'Reilly: Edd Dumbill offered five big data predictions for the year to come, Marc Herman discussed his new Kindle Single and how that platform could help long-form journalism, and Joshua Bixby examined mobile frustrations and expectations.

Publishing News: Survey finds ereader ownership doubled in six months

A Pew report breaks down ereaders stats, Random House and Politico team up, and lessons from Pottermore

In the latest Publishing News: U.S. readers are buying ereaders at a good clip, the 2012 election will be covered in realtime by a book publisher, and publishers can learn a couple things from JK Rowling.

For election info, the Internet reaches a new high-water mark

Pew finds more than 50% of US adults used the Internet for political purposes during the 2010 elections.

New research from the Pew Internet and Life Project on the 2010 midterm elections shows that a majority of U.S. citizens are now turning to the web for news and information about politics.

As California goes, so goes the nation?

Calif. Secretary of State Debra Bowen on open source voting systems and digital literacy

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen endorsed building trust through open source voting systems in interviews at the Gov 2.0 Summit.