Talk:Democratic and liberal support for John McCain in 2008

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Possible caveat to consider[edit]

While McCain did win 10% of Democrats, it should be noted that George W. Bush won 14% in 2004 according to the same exit polls. It may be necessary to point out that despite his previous appeal to Democrats, he actually did worse than Bush among crossovers. It seems a little deceitful to mention the PUMAs/Clinton supporters who would support him, when ultimately, very few did by election day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


I hope including members/former-members of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is acceptable.--T. Anthony (talk) 00:52, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I think it is acceptable to include current members of the DFL. Including former members (and former Democrats) is a little sketchy. After all, Phil Gramm was a Democrat until 1983, but including him in the list would clearly not be appropriate. Teresa Heinz Kerry was a Republican until 2002, but it doesn't make sense to make a big deal about the fact that she is "a former Republican supporting Obama". Same goes for Markos Matsoulas and Congreswoman Loretta Sanchez. And Hillary Clinton herself was a registered Republican in college, so does that qualify her to be a former Republican supporting Obama? I suggest you rethink the inclusion of anyone who is not actively involved in Democratic party politics or who has run for elected office as anything other than a Democrat (that would include Lieberman and Penny). If you want to include them in a list of independents for McCain, I think that would be more honest. Including former Democrats just because they are former Democrats is a little deceptive. Demesne Lord (talk) 04:10, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree, but the list included Liebermann when I got here and I was just going by what the sources say. I included Penny, with some difficulty, because in his time in politics he seems to have only been a DFL. His run as an independent failed and I don't know what party he is in now.--T. Anthony (talk) 00:54, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I added a new section to accomodate Lieberman and Penny without unduly muddying the waters. Personally, I don't think that anyone should be listed under this entry unless they are currently active in Democratic Party activities (like Lieberman and the WI delegate) or ran as a Democrat in their latest campaign for elective office (meaning Penny and Phil Gramm don't count). But as long as their status is clear, I think the ones you added are just fine. Demesne Lord (talk) 03:03, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Okey-dokey. And actually if you want to remove Penny that's okay by me as well.--T. Anthony (talk) 03:21, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

There is a tendency in this article to equate "McCain Democrat" with "Clinton supporter", with no evidence to back it up. The two are not the same thing. A former Clinton supporter from the primaries need not be a Democrat. Indeed, there is cited evidence in the article (since removed) proving this. A person does not become a "McCain Democrat" simply by voting for Clinton in the spring and for McCain in the fall. It is imprecise. And given the evidence, it it misleading. Polls of "former Clinton supporters" or of "people who voted in the Democratic primary" tell us nothing at all about Democrats. If you want to talk about "Clinton supporters" who back McCain, then you have to be able to prove that they are actual Democrats for them to be relevant to this article. Republicans and unaffiliated voters who once voted for Clinton and now support McCain don't count. Demesne Lord (talk) 18:02, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I go with what the sources said. It is plausible, but not clear, from the sources that they mean "Hillary voters" when they say "Hillary supporters." On a different the polls I'm citing are specifically referring to "Conservative Democrats", not "people who voted Clinton in the primary." Your suspicion those people are "not really Democrats" either is just a hypothesis and was not sourced. I will budge on the "Hillary supporters" part because of sourcing, but not so much on the "Conservative Democrat" part because of that. If you want to insist they aren't "really Democrats" either, that's okay for yourself but it's just your POV. Still I'll add polls that help give context.--T. Anthony (talk) 02:25, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
When looking it up the polls indicate Democratic voters, in the last 30 years, are somewhat more likely to "Swing Republican" in Presidential elections than Republicans are to Democrats. So McCain's swing-vote is relatively normal while Obama's does seem to be higher than Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale, Humphrey, or McGovern received. (Although less than Clinton or Carter) If there's a way to put this in perhaps that'll make it more fair from your perspective. However am I saying these people are "not Democrats." I don't think so, because this does not tell us what these people do on a local level. In Appalachia in particular there are many people who vote Democratic at a state level, but Republican at a Presidential level. They are registered as Democrats and consider themselves such.--T. Anthony (talk) 02:42, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it is unfair. I merely said that, based on the lack of sourcing, it was imprecise and misleading. My concern on this point is accuracy and appropriate context. I see no problem at all with your assertion that there are people in Appalachia who register as Democrats and vote Democratic but who are backing McCain... and if you have a poll of those people, then I think it is an incredibly relevant addition to this article. I just haven't seen that poll. But so far, none of the polls cited have had any objective or even plausible means of limiting their respondents to "Democrats". Without that, the generalization is unfounded. You simply can't say "this percent of Democrats support McCain", because you can't prove (or, at least, haven't yet proved) that the people polled are actually Democrats. The listing of individuals is rather unremarkable, since it is easy to determine if these people are Democrats or not and we can evaluate them on the merits. But I am uncomfortable with the way these polls are being used. I don't see them saying what it is claimed that they say. My preference would be to broaden the list of individuals and get rid of the polls entirely. The polls, as currently sourced, are completely irrelevant to the article. This article needs to be less complex, not moreso. Demesne Lord (talk) 04:42, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I can say that the polls say they are polling Democrats. Yes people might be lying, but they might also be lying about any number of things. We kind of have to go with what sources say, at least I think we do.--T. Anthony (talk) 07:34, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
No, you don't have to include information that you know may be inaccurate or that might be misleading. For instance, a consensus was reached to not include some "Democrats" on the individual list for that very reason (see the case of Philip "Icky" Frye). We have to use some kind of discernment, don't we? We all know that using polls in this way is inherently problematic. It is muddying the article while adding nothing in the way of useful, objectively-verifiable information. (And just to make a point, the polls don't say they are polling Democrats, the reporters writing up the news stories say that. The respondent tells the pollster, who tells it to the reporter, who tells it to his editor, who tells it to you. That is the worst kind of hearsay.) Demesne Lord (talk) 21:03, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I know that you think they're inaccurate or misleading. From my perspective they're perfectly valid even if I can't a 100% prove them correct. In other articles I've worked on it's perfectly normal to use polls or what sources say so long as you say that's what you're doing. I was sloppy at first in, perhaps, being unclear that it's just what they say. However I've fixed that so there's no problem that I can see. If the same kind of stuff were in the Obama Republican article, and I think it is, I would not object. Sure I could say that just because people in a poll are listed as a Republican doesn't mean they are or that many Republicans in New England routinely vote for the Democratic candidate these days or whatever. I'm not going to do that though and never would've considered it.--T. Anthony (talk) 23:26, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I think that Stephen Wenzel is more in the Phil Gramm category. He hasn't been active in the DFL since 2001, his last job was working for a Republican administration, and his political contributions are not only for McCain but also to other Republican candidates. (See The mere fact that he was in the DFL at some point in the remote past doesn't make him a Democrat today. I'm willing to leave it up to T Anthony to make the call on this one, since he did the research on it. But I wouldn't include him.Demesne Lord (talk) 06:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Hmm I don't know how I missed this as you were on my talk page. Still he was DFL for something like 29 years and has not formally left it so far as I know. For all we know he's funding Coleman because he doesn't like celebrity/politicians in Minnesota.--T. Anthony (talk) 12:11, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
His personal campaign contributions for the past two election cycles have been exclusively to Republicans, at least six different Republicans. See 2006 and 2008. Also, see an additional analysis of Wenzel's party activities. I think it clear that he is not a Democrat, and has not been for at least 5 years. If you insist on keeping him, you might want to make that a little more clear.Demesne Lord (talk) 04:04, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The thing is these don't prove a party switch, but I will add an addendum as I did with Keith.--T. Anthony (talk) 05:55, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I think you have hit on a way to provide information that addresses the complexities of the issue quite well.Demesne Lord (talk) 20:55, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

New Additions from "Citizens for McCain"[edit]

I think we need to check that all these are Democrats or former Democrats as some of them might just be independents.--T. Anthony (talk) 06:48, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

None of them are notable, per our previous consensus about Icky Frye, and should be excluded on that basis. Furthermore, is not an appropriate source, if I understand the rules correctly.Demesne Lord (talk) 22:51, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
What consensus about Icky Frye? Also, notability seems presumed for some of the people, if we're using the word in a WP:POLITICIAN sense. Further, is a reliable source for these purposes, as official campaign releases undergo a good deal of third-party scrutiny. It is by no means a *neutral* source, but neutrality of sourcing is not a Wikipedia requirement. RayAYang (talk) 01:05, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
See the discussion above. We are required to use some discernment in listing people (a) to avoid the inclusion of non-notable people (I mean, your Aunt Sally might be a Democrat supporting McCain, but does she really belong on the list?) and (b) to avoid cluttering the list with unnecessary people who were once Democrats but now support McCain (for instance, Phil Gramm). None of the people added on Oct 2nd were notable, and their inclusion (while making the list seem very long and therefore more appealing to McCain partisans) tends to drown out the notable people on the list whose party-switching is actually significant. The source was a primary, self-published source (and a blatantly self-serving one, at that). It is clearly unacceptable.Demesne Lord (talk) 03:57, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any broad-based consensus in the discussion above regarding which people to include; are you perhaps referring to some other discussion? FWIW, I do agree that non-notable people shouldn't be included on the list, but the Wikipedia standard for notability includes, among other things, state legislators, prominent local officials, etc., whom you have removed from the list. I also agree that people whose conversion away from the Democratic Party occurred long before this election campaign shouldn't be included, but again, some of the names you removed do not seem to fall into this category. As regards the sourcing, I hold firmly that it is reliable and invite you to explain your reasons for disagreement -- I certainly think a campaign is a authoritative source about who their supporters are. RayAYang (talk) 04:50, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I think we do need a source independent of the McCain campaign, evidence they are Democrats, and finally evidence of notability. However I think a few of the names likely fit all that and should be put back when we get proper sourcing plus evidence of notability. So I'm certainly good with you doing that. I may look up some of them myself.--T. Anthony (talk) 05:31, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Addendum I put Bill Veroneau back. Concord is a fairly big town for New Hampshire and the state is a bit of a swing-state. (The last poll I saw Obama was about 10 points ahead in NH, but McCain has led on occasion) I really didn't find much indicating the others were notable.--T. Anthony (talk) 05:46, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree. New Hampshire is a special case.Demesne Lord (talk) 05:55, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
The additions made by T Anthony on Oct 5 are an excellent example of notable people with a proper source. Use that as your guide. The people we were discussing before were all former legislators, none of whom was particularly notable in their own right. If their party-switching is at all notable, then you should have no problem finding a proper secondary source, as T Anthony has done. If the only people who noticed these guys switching to McCain was the McCain campaign itself, then doesn't that pretty much settle the notability issue against them?Demesne Lord (talk) 05:55, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's separate the notability and reliability questions, as I think you're unnecessarily conflating the two. The first question is, are the people in question notable? And the answer that other Wikipedians have come up with , is that state legislators and former state legislators are notable people (in the sense of being notable enough to have articles of their very own on Wikipedia -- see, for example, WP:POLITICIAN). The second question is, is the fact of their changing parties for this election, to support McCain, reliably sourced? To that end, I don't think you've given any reason why the McCain campaign cannot be relied on to state, with accuracy and authority, who their supporters are. Traditionally, a press release by a major campaign on matters relating to its own personnel and supporters have, unless challenged, been accepted as true. Thus, we've got reliably sourced information placing certain notable persons as exemplars of the subject of the article. That is sufficient for inclusion.
There is no separate "notability of fact" criterion for inclusion in a Wikipedia article -- we include reliably sourced, but not terrible notorious, facts in articles all the time, as long as they are relevant to the topic. We include people on lists so long as the people themselves are notable, regardless of whether their connection to the list is tenuous or major, so long as that connection is reliably sourced. I question why anybody would wish to establish such a higher notability criterion. RayAYang (talk) 17:28, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
There's a problem you're not addressing though. The McCain source the poster used was a site of "Independents and Democrats", not Democrats specifically. It is at least possible some on their list were never Democrats. The article is called "McCain Democrats" not "McCain Democrats and Independents." Also not all the names the person added were of state legislators. A few were local sheriffs, small-time party fundraisers, and bloggers who might not be found doing a news search. I'm voting for McCain so I'm willing to add names, but I think we do need to be able to source that they were ever Democrats and that they were in a notable position.--T. Anthony (talk) 02:24, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh. I'm not disagreeing that some of them were probably not notable people -- if I had a strong opinion, I'd have added them back in by now myself. I'm trying to hammer out criteria, in particular, I take issue with Demesne Lord's position that the "party switching" itself has to meet some bizarre independent notion of notability. Verifiability should be sufficient, as it is for inclusion of relevant facts in all articles. Only the article topic has to be notable. RayAYang (talk) 20:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think I'm quite as strict as Demesne. Still I think the person should be notable and notable as a Democratic politician or activist. Hence I think someone who became an independent a few years ago can still count if they're most known for being a Democrat.--T. Anthony (talk) 12:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with T Anthony, with the additional note that I believe that their party-switching should also be notable (which is why a small-town former mayor in New Hampshire is included, while a former gubernatorial candidate from WV is not). The switch itself has to be a notable event, which will be evidenced by the appearance of secondary sources covering it. The complete lack of secondary sources on most of those people is dispositive of the question of non-notability. Further, a press release from the campaign is a self-published, primary source, and as such is wholly unacceptable. Read the rules.Demesne Lord (talk) 06:11, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

R. James Woolsey, Jr.?[edit]

He is considered a "Neoconservative", but he's noted as a Scoop Jackson Democrat[1] and a member of the anti-communist Democratic group Coalition for a Democratic Majority. He also had a notable position under Clinton. Should he count or does being "Neoconservative" kill that?--T. Anthony (talk) 08:37, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't, given Woolsey's prominence in support of the Bush Doctrine, but then, I would hardly count Andrew Sullivan or Francis Fukuyama as Republicans for Obama, either, and yet there they are. Given that both of them supported Kerry in 2004 (and Fukuyama is something of a poster child for liberal academic big ideas, it would definitely fail the "recent convert" standard. With Christopher Hitchens (lifelong Marxist/avowed single-issue voter) listed as an "Obama Republican" as well, I'd say the standards are getting very thin indeed. RayAYang (talk) 17:56, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah on consideration that makes sense. I'll add a question on Sullivan at that article.--T. Anthony (talk) 18:41, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

On second-thought Woolsey is a Democrat who served under a Democratic President. Whether he's a "neoconservative" or "Scoop Jackson" one or whatever. I did not favor this name-change, but even then it doesn't require only liberal Democrats be listed.--T. Anthony (talk) 09:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Clinton section[edit]

I made a change here that might anger Demesne, but I think it's fair to limit the discussion to Democrats who voted for Hillary. At least for this article. Also I've heard complaints this article is unfairly "toned down" compared to the Obama one and discussion of cross-voters as "really being Republicans anyway" could be part of that.--T. Anthony (talk) 04:26, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't bother me at all. Your contribution there was accurately sourced and not at all misleading. Not sure what you thought I'd object to... Demesne Lord (talk) 14:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

My election predictions[edit]

Not directly relevant to the editing of this article, but indirectly to its importance and Obama Republican's. Obama will win, but not because of Obama Republicans. More Democrats will vote for McCain than Republicans for Obama. Obama will win because of higher turnout for Democrats and because of the independant vote. McCain Democrats will be: Moderates and conservatives who have misgivings about Obama, upset Clinton voters, and (sadly) people who don't want a black president. Obama Republicans will be: people who think a black president will be a good thing for the country (trumping policy differences with Obama), libertarian minded people who dislike Bush's policies, and of course people who don't think McCain would be a good president. Steve Dufour (talk) 19:30, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I think that the Number One reason cited by Obamacons (at least lately) is their dissatisfaction with Sarah Palin. But you are right that there are several cogent reasons given by the Obamacons to justify their choice. I am surprised that the McCain Democrats seem to lack that kind of specificity in their explanations... it usually just boils down to "I don't trust him", without much more than that (Although Lady de Rothschild, oblivious to the irony, did say that she didn't like the fact that he was "an elitist"). Which is probably the reason why the Obamacon article is so much more developed than this one is. Demesne Lord (talk) 14:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
That's not true and on some level you know it. Many of the Democrats supporting McCain have indeed given reasons besides "I don't trust him." Some of them are Democrats who still believe the Iraq war was justified and others are "Pro-Life Democrats" who don't want a guy backed by NARAL. A few are women who want a woman, any woman, as Prez or VP. And the fact of the matter is the term "McCain Democrat" predates this election or Obama's entrance into the political world. I'm saddened that you made this post and the other one. I felt like you and I had developed a reasonable give/take on the nature of this article. Now I fear you were just toying with me so I'd make it more pro-Obama and that you were never serious about actual improvement.--T. Anthony (talk) 10:39, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to suggest that differing criteria for inclusion might be a reason. The obamacon article extends itself to persons who can at no stretch be described as Republican, such as, say, Andrew Sullivan, Francis Fukuyama, Christopher Hitchens, etc. This article sticks more or less directly to Democrats who have recently crossed the aisle to support McCain. RayAYang (talk) 01:15, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, in all fairness, the term "Democrat" is in the title! The other article was originally predicated on the terms "Obamacan" and "Obamacon", which encompass Republicans and conservatives alike, even those who are one and not the other. This article, on the otherhand, specifically limits its scope to only Democrats, mostly because it exists solely to provide partisan balance in a online Bizarro form of the Fairness Doctrine. You cannot compare them in this context, since the one is so much broader than the other. The Obamcan article is about a bona-fide political phenomenon, while this one is just here to appease a faction that was feeling left out. First thing Wednesday morning, I plan to come here and vote "Speedy Delete" on this silly bit of pablum. Demesne Lord (talk) 02:29, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
If you try a speedy, that'll be an abuse of process, given that the article has survived one deletion attempt already. Take it to AfD if so inclined. I note also that the other article was originally premised on a parallel balance with this article, with comparable poll numbers at various points on the campaign. RayAYang (talk) 04:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
If you can say an "Obamacan" can also be a "conservative", it's certainly not a stretch to say a "McCainacrat" can be a liberal. Chaffee, Sullivan, and Powell are known to tact left on practically every issue on top of being Obama supporters. Lieberman is liberal on a lot of issues, the Iraq War and foreign policy excluded. PUMAs were Hillary Clinton supporters who defected to McCain, who, unlike Obama, was known to "reach across the aisle" and is often considered a RINO by many Republicans. J390 (talk) 08:23, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Title change[edit]

I went ahead and changed the title to match Republican and conservative support for Barack Obama in 2008. This was suggested by a couple of editors and seemed like a good idea to me. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:32, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

P.S. If you are trying to influence the election's outcome I hope you are not spending the last day editing a silly Wikipedia article. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 18:16, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Orson Scott Card[edit]

There's no way someone who wrote something as far right as this could be a liberal or a Democrat. JCDenton2052 (talk) 18:06, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

It's well sourced, and true. Stop removing things simply because they don't conform to your worldview. RayAYang (talk) 21:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Odd but true. I would have never thought he was a Democrat from his books. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I've learned to stop trying to guess people's political affiliations until they explicitly signal them. People are surprisingly independent and value different things. The "left-right spectrum" is the greatest piece of intellectual laziness for characterizing political opinions yet devised. RayAYang (talk) 15:49, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe Card considers himself a "communitarian." If I can find a source for that I'll add it. If you read stuff he says about capitalism, immigration, etc it's clearer he's not a Republican or an American-style conservative. He admired Moynihan greatly as I recall. His religious/moral beliefs are highly conservative though.--T. Anthony (talk) 05:08, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
His article says he is a member of the Democratic Party, so he should be mentioned in this article. If he had backed Obama he could have been mentioned as a conservative supporter. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:28, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I put him back once when he was removed. I was just defending my, brief, listing of him as a socially-conservative Democrat. Democrats like that aren't particularly unusual in Utah or North Carolina. (His home states)--T. Anthony (talk) 15:33, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Please explain the verify credibility tag on the source. Is it that you doubt the Pittsburgh Tribune Review as a newspaper is a reliable source, or you doubt that Card is a Democrat despite evidence from his own mouth? As far as I'm concerned, these facts are completely verified by an examination of Card's essays. I'll give this a day or so for a reply, before I remove that tag. RayAYang (talk) 16:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Discussion from Talk:Debra Bartoshevich[edit]

This is archived talk from Debra Bartoshevich's now-merged article before it was merged with this one. One (talk) 10:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

The subject of this bio is the subject of a new national ad campaign that features her name[edit]

As of today, Google News has 712 results to a search for her name. [2] It may well be worth discussing whether or not this makes her notable, or whether she will or won't be more notable next week, but I don't think speedy deletion is in order. 03:59, 26 August 2008 (UTC) Sorry, I forgot to sign my statement there. 04:33, 26 August 2008 (UTC) Dohhh, four tildes aren't working for me here! User: Betsythedevine (talk betsythedevine (talk) 04:37, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Only time will tell, but to be on the safe side, KEEP[edit]

Right now, she seems to meet WP:N, IMHO. A year from now, or two, we may feel different. I'd keep it, but anyone who wants to delete it should watchlist it and come back in a year. Right now, too may people would be upset at its deletion. Unschool (talk) 04:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Delete this article[edit]

This woman is irrelevant. (talk) 06:02, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Too much about Debra[edit]

Right now about half the article is about one person. The much more important Joe Lieberman is only found on the list, not even discussed in one sentence in the article itself. Borock (talk) 16:23, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

The Debra Bartoshevich article got deleted with the agreement of other editors that its contents would be moved here. There is a separate article about Lieberman, although I agree that adding more info about his role here would be good. betsythedevine (talk) 17:59, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I will make a start on that. Borock (talk) 14:47, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I pasted the section from his article with a few minor changes. What I didn't do is deal with his status as a member or not of the Democratic Party at the time. I just called him a "well-known Democratic Party figure", which he is looking at his whole career. More details could be added if someone likes. Borock (talk) 15:08, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, your addition was a huge improvement to the article, IMO. betsythedevine (talk) 15:25, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for saying so. :-) Borock (talk) 14:03, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

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