John Podhoretz | Lanes: The Nonsense Theory of ’16

via Commentary Magazine:


Highway LanesLanes: The Nonsense Theory of ’16

John Podhoretz | March 6, 2016

Last year, the talk of the Republican Party was its “lanes.” The constituencies of the GOP, it was said, were not geographic or ethnic or demographically sorted. Rather, they ran parallel to each other on an ideological band. Instead, Republican voters sorted themselves into “very conservative,” “religiously conservative,” “somewhat conservative,” and “moderate” lanes. Or the “Tea Party,” “religious,” “libertarian,” “moderate/Establishment.” Choose your terminology as you wish and use whatever Big Data you want to figure out the dividing lines between the four or five lanes—nonetheless there they were. And every campaign had a theory about how it would dominate one or two of these lanes and then, as the race narrowed, pick up the voters in adjacent lanes and the lanes would dissolve into one big lane and that lane would take their candidate to the presidency.

It’s impossible to overstate how much this thinking dominated the theory each campaign had about its chances. Donors were visited with charts and graphs and probabilistic projections and surveys of key precincts to demonstrate a candidacy’s viability.

And it was all nonsense.

The “lanes” diversion may have been so successful precisely because of the sheer amount of money people knew they had to raise—and how they needed to have a good Power-Point, data-driven, expansive and interesting presentation for wealthy Republicans who use such information to run their funds and their banks and to make long-term investment decisions.

In the end, though, it will have been really simple. Did your candidate have something to say? (Read More)


Read the full article at Commentary Magazine




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