Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some (very) minor statistics from the 2008 campaign

I don't know about anyone else, but we got loads of campaign flyers and brochures in the mail this election season. On Oct. 14 (a little less than 3 weeks from Election Day), I decided to keep them and tally them after the election, just to see if anything interesting showed itself.

Here is what we got in that short period of time:

PRO/ANTI     TOPIC or CANDIDATE   (# received)
PRO                   Full Democratic ticket     (2)
PRO                   State school board candidate  (1)
ANTI                 State issue 6   (4 -- all different)
PRO                   Republican State Senate candidate  (1)
PRO                   Local issues 27 and 28  (1)

ANTI                 Democratic presidential candidate  (1)
PRO                  Democratic presidential candidate  (2)
ANTI                 Republican presidential candidate   (13 -- all different!)

ANTI                 Republican U.S. Congress candidate  (7 -- all different)
ANTI                 Democratic U.S. Congress candidate  (26 -- 3 pairs and the rest all different)

ANTI                 Democratic State Rep. candidate  (5 -- all different)
PRO                   Democratic State Rep. candidate  (22 -- 5 + 4 + 5 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2)
ANTI                 Republican State Rep. candidate  (8 -- 4 + 3 + 1)
PRO                   Republican State Rep. candidate   (5 -- 2 + 1 + 1 + 1)

The PRO ones for either Democrats or Republicans tended to be warm and fuzzy with pictures of smiling families, complete with children and dogs. 

A lot of the ANTI ones were incredibly nasty -- the kind of thing that one might get in trouble for in the second grade. 

I'm not sure what this says, except what everyone already knows. The campaign was full of destructive appeals to emotion. Very, very sad. 

On the bright side, instead of recycling those mailers one at a time, I now have the pleasure of hearing the thump as they all hit the recycling container at once. Absolutely the best place for them.