Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scorecards? CHECK! Facts? CHECK(ed)! Birthplace? CHECK(mate)?

Seaira Christian-Daniels

Many news outlets have mentioned how important Ohio or Florida’s electoral votes will be this election season. 

Some have even simulated the outcome of November’s election on their programs. 

However, NPR created an interactive electorate calculator that would make my Algebra teacher proud!
Featured on its Election 2012 page, NPR’s “Swingstate Scorecard” allows web browsers to try their hand combining all the possible combinations leading to an Obama or Romney victory. The application presumes historically one-party states, such as California (D) and Texas (R), and contains a side-panel of eight “up for grabs” states, which can be assigned to either candidate.

It may have been a nice touch, however, to have a follow-up article exploring how the pungency of ballots cast in swing states affects undecided voters in vividly Red or Blue states. Do historically single-party states unintentionally discourage voters?

What Voters Want

In a cubical topic slideshow nestled into the far right corner of lies a link to a self-fact-checking blog by NPR’s Edward Schumacher-Matos. 

The web page contains pie graphs, line graphs, and several explicatory graphs of text analyzing the fact checking skills of NPR itself. NPR’s online survey takers also indicated the type of news important to them.  

Fact-checking claims and information about each candidate’s platform were at the very top of the list.

Along Comes Birther—again
The birthplace issue has bobbed and weaved itself back into the news on, but this time, by the Obama campaign itself. 

The campaign has jabbed at skeptics doubting the President’s U.S. citizenship by creating t-shirts and mugs with copies of the President’s birth certificate on the back and a frontal image that reads “Made in the USA.” 

The article, which actually recognizes skepticism as an essential part of Americana--is placed as the lead story on’s politics page. No retaliatory comments from Republicans or Governor Romney are listed. 

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