Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Data shows Illinois ignored in 2004 presidential election

[Disclosure: I work with these guys and held a press conference today on this topic]

Who thinks our presidential election system is totally broken?

And who thinks that, while there are a few less-than-perfect features, basically our presidential election 'works'?

If you are among the latter, check out this report:

FairVote (a D.C.-based non-profit) crunched the numbers on the number of campaign visits by the four candidates (Kerry, Edwards, Bush and Cheney) and the numbers of dollars spent on TV advertisements by state for the last six weeks of the 2004 presidential campaign.

How bad would it be if a few states had absolutely nothing in either category? That would be a sure sign of something wrong if people who happen to live in a particular state didn't get a single TV ad or a single visit related to the most important political decision for four years.

Well, it's not just a few states that were completely ignored. More than 30 states were ignored completely, representing almost 60% of the population.

That's screwed up.

Of course, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania sucked up a ton of attention. So if you happen to live in those states, you matter in deciding the fate of the Republic. If you don't, sorry. I guess that democracy concept doesn't really apply to you.

And so much for the Electoral College protecting the voices of small states. Last time I checked, those three states were considered big.

I think the report is excellent (I didn't write it at all, so I can say that) and proves the case that our presidential election is broken.

I'd ask anyone who thinks otherwise to read the report and defend the status quo.


Anonymous said...

ignoring of IL probably hurts IL media companies (less advertising revenue from national political efforts)

il needs to pit itself as more diverse. everyone running everything is blue in the state of IL. while this adds diversity in the national scene, it is not good for diversification (and thus risk-mgt) in the state of IL.

Lazerlou said...

Again Dan, this is a larger issue with Federalism. The role of states is dated. You can have local politics without states believe it or not. Not only is our Presidential election system screwed up, so is our whole tax and leagal system. So much energy is wasted on jurisdictional battles in my business it is obscene. And the race to the bottome continues.

Anonymous said...


I think there is merit in this new study and in the recommendations for change. As the Kerry-Edwards Illinois communication director (one of only two paid staffers in IL in 2004), I watched Kerry and Edwards touching down a mile away (in Davenport, Iowa) numerous times (I live and work in the Quad Cities). So we watch the candidates pound Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, perhaps Missouri -- all around us. The candidates made a few Chicago and a few downstate IL stops, but that was it.

My advice to young folks who want to get involved in the presidential campaign cycle is to move to the Quad Cities. Iowa is where it's happening, not Chicago.
That's the reality, until our primary process changes.

Great topic - keep up the good work.

Porter McNeil