Population-adjusted maps in the Kitzhaber/Dudley race

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

As Evan Manvel noted yesterday, much of the commentary from folks disappointed in the governor's race has been of the "Oh no! Multnomah County stole it again!" variety. Those folks often then go on to disapprovingly note that Multnomah County is just one little tiny corner of the state - and that so much of the state voted for Chris Dudley over John Kitzhaber.

Nevermind that that's mathematical nonsense on its face. John Kitzhaber got more votes. Ergo, more people supported him. There's nothing magical about that.

But it's also important to remember - duh - that our democracy is based on the "one person, one vote" principle. More than fifty years ago, for example, the Supreme Court struck down county-based districting for State Senate seats.

In short, people vote. Acreage doesn't. And every Oregonian gets just as much of a vote as every other - no matter where they live.

(Frankly, the fact that we even know the county-by-county numbers is an odd accident of history and bureaucracy - there's no philosophical, ethical, or constitutional reason that it should be the county clerks that count the votes. It'd be just as easily done these days by the state, but I digress.)

In elections past, I've often produced population-adjusted maps ("cartograms") that visually make the point -- adjusting the size of each county based on its population. And I've done so again. The regular geographic map looks like a sea of red; while the population-adjusted map makes the 50/50 nature of this race much more obvious.

Without further ado, the two maps:

I should note these maps still rely on the traditional blue/red coloring - albeit gradated somewhat. I like Evan's suggestion every county should be a shade of purple - a little bluish, a little reddish - to honor the Multnomah Republicans and Malheur Democrats. That said, I haven't yet figured out a way to do that and still produce a map that's meaningful to readers.

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      Jack, your population-adjusted calculations reflect the true construct of political thought in Oregon. What many outsiders (i.e., not native-born Oregonians) miss when they consider the urban populations is the large number of urbanites who come from rural Oregon for various reasons, and who still have family back in rural Oregon.

      I've lived most of my life in Portland, but I was born in Eugene and was raised part of the time in rural Oregon. I'm married to someone who was raised even more rural than I was. We both come from family traditions of pretty much progressive thought with a hefty dose of rural farmer populist orientation (and anyone who thinks farmers are innately conservative hasn't looked into the history of things like the Grange, for example. Some farmers and ranchers are conservative Republicans, while others aren't. Depends on the luck of the land quality draw).

      There is also still a lingering tradition amongst older voters of split registration. My parents registered that way so that they could get both voter's pamphlets (yes, Oregon used to send out a Republican pamphlet and a Democratic pamphlet. I remember reading them). If anything, my Republican mother was more liberal than my Democratic father. But that was back in the days when liberal, progressive Republicans weren't run out of the party on a rail.

      And that's the piece that your party cannot seem to understand these days. By insisting on party purity, by raising the hue and clamor that so-and-so is a Republican In Name Only, you drove out those folks who had the broad electoral appeal. Until your party gets past the RINO fetish, you're going to suffer at the ballot box. The Democrats went through the DINO phase in the 80s, and I'm pleased to see they've recovered from it (I was subjected to a bit of snarkiness over the years as my point of view was discounted because "after all, you'll just bolt to Nader, or the Citizens, or the Greens," or whatever flavor the insurgent progressive party was that election season. Nope, nope, and nope).

      I didn't like Dudley, but his race and his stats should be something your party considers very heavily before insisting your candidates run the purity gambit.

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      Jack: If you want to win, I would suggest working less on "framing the issues and the candidates" and more on actually representing the interests of the common good. It's hard to be the party of polluters and billionaires and still win in Oregon.

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      A generous statement, Jack. But the issue isn't framing, it's policy and ideology. Your party has gone from being a dominant party in this state to being increasingly marginalized from statewide offices. That is not by accident. The extremists have control of your party on the state and national level. And here in Oregon your party has no future as long as that holds true. And I would venture to say it will be true on the national level also in the long run. The younger generations especially are leaning blue because they reject the cultural and policy extremism and the rejection of a pluralism in our country. I don't see how someone with your bent can actually stand to be in a party with people who want to declare war on the Islamic world, who are bigots about inclusion of gay people in American life, who want to make Bible thumping Christianity a state religion, and whose primary paranoia seems to be about the loss of dominance by white people. The Joe Millers, Sharon Angles, and Ken Bucks are now mainstream in the GOP. And that's a real indictment of how irrational and hateful your party really is. And the truth is, they hate you, they consider you a RINO and worthy of being ejected from GOP participation.

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        Agree with everything except the part about blaming them for the lack of gay marriage[I inferred that from your statement]. Given that this is a blue dominate state and we have no gay marriage, isn't it fair to assume there are plenty of blue bigots as well?

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          I didn't mention anything about gay marriage, but simply referred to the ongoing ideological outlook and culture of the GOP about gays is they are a perversion,subject to eternal damnation, and should not be included in the mainstream life of our country.

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          There are plenty of "blue bigots," they also happen to be the most religious, but they are no where near the numbers on the right. The war on gays is exclusively a faith-based campaign, just like the war on women's reproductive rights, opposition to sex ed, stem cell research etc. Oregon is a blue dominate state but the Republicans only need a little help from the left to do a lot of damage, and religion has been a very helpful tool in doing so.

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            There's a big difference, Joshua. The Dem. Party doesn't make it their policy to prevent gay equality in the workplace or domestically. And with a little effort DADT will end in the next two months. And you need to make a distinction between the religious people who are progressive and those that aren't. In my church gays are bishops and priests. And I'm a progressive because of my religious values. So call me a faith based progressive. Many, if not most, main stream Protestants are in favor of gay rights, and even the Roman Catholic people in the pews are split fairly evenly on that issue despite what their hierarchy are for.

            Make informed judgments about religious people if you're going to make them. Many in the secular community simply want to paint Christians with the fundamentalist evangelical brush. A case in point is Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical, and publisher of Sojourner's magazine.

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              You can count me as one of those progressive Catholics.

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              Here we go again. Never fails. Every time I criticize religion, someone acts as though I have somehow inferred that all religions are the same, all religious people are the same, there is nothing good about religion, religious groups, individuals, etc.,....claims which I am careful to never make. I hold the position that religion results in far more bad than good, and frankly it isn't a hard case to make brother. My judgments about religion are quite informed thank you.

              So Bill, If there is anything inaccurate about my previous comment, please feel free to point it out. You ought to read the comments a little more closely If you're going to criticize them.

              To further clarify the point I made. Republicans couldn't ban gay marriage in Oregon w/ out the help of Democrats. The anti-gay crowd is a religious one, blue or red. You won't see a group of atheists protesting gay marriage anytime soon.

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                It's important when you use broad brush language like "faith based" to be specific about which faiths. That's my primary criticism. "Faith based" advocacy for gay rights also exists.

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                  Here is the sentence where I used the term "faith-based."

                  "The war on gays is exclusively a faith-based campaign, just like the war on women's reproductive rights, opposition to sex ed, stem cell research etc."

                  There is nothing "broad brush" about the term or the sentence. The point is the people/individuals/groups who carry out the anti-gay campaigns are religious, i.e., faith-based. Would you like me to list the names of the particular churches/groups/people who are anti-gay?

                  You, like many other religious people need to be more open to honest and reasonable criticism of religion.

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                    I won't be open to a broad brush generic criticism of religion. Such a hostile generic attack on universal religious expression is itself a form of bigotry. I do hold that every institutional religion has to be accountable for its actions and values and their consequences upon humankind. For myself I am drawn primarily to the transformative power of mystical spiritual practice of the great wisdom traditions of the world, Buddhism(Zen and Tibetan primarily), Hinduism(Yogic practice), Sufi Islam,Christianity (Hesychasm), and Native/Indigenous mysticism. The dark and destructive side of religion arises from both textual and institutional fundamentalist religion. I must say I find secular fundamentalism equally if not more limiting abhorrent in its historical expressions, of which the Marxist experiment is most notable.

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                      It was a very specific criticism, if you can't comprehend it, I can't help you. If a universal rejection of superstition equates to "secular fundamentalism" then I guess I'm a fundamentalist. Are there any other brands of ideologies which are off limits to criticism or is it just the unsupported ones? Once again, religion isn't a biological characteristic, it's an idea, its critics are not bigots, get a grip.

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                        Bigotry extends to cultures as well as biological characteristics. If you can't grasp that concept, you're the one with an issue.

                        Secular fundamentalists are simply the mirror images of their religious counterparts, and as equally intolerant of criticism. I enjoy rigorous debate with non-fundamentalist secularists, and I certainly can tell the difference between a non-fundamentalist secular person and a fundamentalist secular person.

                        I don't care for fundies, whether they're religious or secular. Period.

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                          Religion is an ideology, not a culture...if you can't grasp that you have brain-problem. That's the problem w/ many religious people like yourself, you want your faith-based ideas to be given special treatment/protection.

                          Subscribing to evidence-based approaches to understanding the world does not equate to subscribing to unsupported fantastical notions about the nature of reality. If you can't grasp that well then....

                          I always have to shake my head when a female identifies herself as a Catholic. It's kind of like a gay republican, or a black neo-nazi. How do you feel about the systematic protection of child molesters in your church? How do you feel about your inherent inferiority to men in your church? How do you feel about the catholic assault on gay rights and women's reproductive freedoms?

                          You obviously believe that religion/superstition is a sound strategy to understanding the world and constructing a moral foundation, I don't. Stating my opinion clearly and confidently doesn't make me a bigot. Labeling this as bigotry is plain stupid, bad for democracy, and bad for civilization.

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                            That's the problem w/ many religious people like yourself, you want your faith-based ideas to be given special treatment/protection.

                            And where in this discussion have I explicitly stated so? You, the alleged person with the alleged superior self-understanding, are the one making this assertion, sir. You are the fundamentalist telling me that your point of view is superior. So how does that make you any different from the Domininist evangelical Protestant who gets into my face and tells me I'm going to hell because I'm Catholic? How does that make you different from the fundamentalist Protestant male who tells me that as a woman I need to submit to a man? Sir, I submit to you that your arguments are no different from that patronizing Protestant evangelical male.

                            And this patronizing, bigoted, sexist statement-- I always have to shake my head when a female identifies herself as a Catholic just takes the cake. It demonstrates your lack of understanding. It demonstrates your closed-mindedness. It demonstrates your sexism because you, as an atheist male can patronizingly shake your head at this female believer and slam me over the head with your incomplete understanding of what the Church is to women. You don't know. You don't get it. Your mind is so closed and so locked into your own alleged superiority that you have no hope of understanding it.

                            My dialogue with my church is my own business, and none of yours. And the fact that you escape into rhetoric that is identical in tone and substance to the same argument as presented by a male religious fundamentalist does little to advance your cause.

                            And I will label it not only as bigotry and intolerance, but also as sexism. Stating your own preference with regard to religious faith and moral foundations is one thing. Assuming that others who do not share your preference are superstitious bigots is in itself reflective of an intolerant point of view.

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                        "If a universal rejection of superstition equates to "secular fundamentalism" then I guess I'm a fundamentalist."

                        You've just named yourself and your position with a dismissal of the world's great wisdom traditions, which you seem to know very little about.

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                          More straw men.

                          My position is clear Bill.

                          Trying to understand the world via popular superstition is a very bad IDEA.

                          Faith-based ideologies do not deserve special treatment/protection. Criticism of ideas is not bigotry.

                          Please feel free to point to any bigoted or inaccurate comments II have made. And let me know once you discover those atheist anti-gay groups.

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                    And you, as a non-religious person, also need to be aware when your own arguments slide down that slippery slope of faith.

                    Evangelical atheists are as obnoxious, argumentative, and annoying as evangelical religious folk. Sam Harris is one such because in holding up non-faith as an ideal, he (and Richard Dawkins, and others) fall prey to the same sort of emotion-laden, superior-toned, dismissive arguments as those they're criticizing.

                    You don't need to be religious to be closed-minded and bigoted.

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                      "Non-faith" is not the ideal, it is the practice of using evidence to understand the world. YOU DON"T GET IT.

                      Rejecting religious superstition and embracing evidence-based thinking is not bigoted or close minded. If you want to brush up on close-mindedness and bigotry, study some Catholic history.

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                        And you are exhibiting intolerance with this statement by implying that persons of faith don't use evidence to understand the world.

                        You, sir, are not the one who gets it. Your own intolerance toward people of faith displays your own smug self-superiority and your own lack of understanding.

                        And that last little snip toward Catholicism? The Ku Klux Klan in Oregon during the early 20th century would be in total agreement with you. You think I'm some ignorant faith-based person who doesn't know my own faith's history and lack of tolerance? That assumption is revelatory of your own simplistic ignorance and smug self-superiority.

                        For the record, I know as much if not more about my faith's history than you do. I don't need smug lectures from somebody who thinks he knows it all, especially smug somebodies who hold their own perspective up as superior.

                        Remove the log from your own eye first, dude.

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                          If a doctor would like to treat a disease w/ voo doo, and her patient rejects it, it doesn't make them intolerant or bigoted, just respectful of evidence. Someone who truly values evidence, tends not to believe in imaginary beings.

                          I stand by my position that superstition is not the smartest approach to understanding the world. When someone subscribes to Catholicism or any other religion, it goes unsaid that they believe that their ideology is superior, unless of course you like to choose inferior ideas. Yes, I believe that science is superior to mythology. Busted.

                          I'm interested in how you rationalize the support of an institution and ideology that holds you inferior to males? I know hard to explain....just say none of business, that will be easier.

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                            Joshua, your continued patronizing, sexist statements make it clear that you have no desire to understand.

                            The issues are more complex than can be explained in a simple thread, even for someone operating with an open mind...which clearly you are not.

                            I have no indication that you have any desire for an open, honest dialogue. So I'm not wasting any further time and thread-hijacking on this, especially given your snarky, insincere jabs while pretending to be conciliatory and open.

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                              I know, it's real hard to explain your support of a faith-based institution that oppresses you. I am actually interested in your rationale.

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                                You're still being patronizing.

                                Knock it off and I might be interested.

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                                  Being called a sexist and a bigot for criticizing an ideology based on superstition doesn't exactly make me want to be super nice to the person hurling those unjustified names. Little secret: you belong to a very sexist and bigoted institution..the Catholic Church

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                                    You just don't get it, do you? Every time you repeat "superstition," you continue with your patronizing comments.

                                    You also clearly don't understand why your comments are sexist.

                                    Buy a clue. You don't define my life. I respect your nonbelief; I expect a mutual respect toward the fact that I believe in return. You come on with disparaging comments which hold up your perspective as the superior; clearly you lack the ability to tolerate dissent from your perspective on this issue.

                                    Additionally, I'm not the one trying to convert you; you're the one trying to convert me.

                                    At the very least, your perspective is intolerant if not bigoted, and making the comments in the manner you did from a white male perspective is certainly sexist (and no, as a white male, you don't get to define what sexism is to me, a white female. You're the privileged one in this context) and an exercise in privilege.

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                    Joshua, "The war on gays is exclusively a faith-based campaign" is about as broad a brush as you can use, as it focuses on religious and spiritual people who are only one side of the debate.

                    It ignores the very strong role that Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon has played in fighting anti-gay initiatives in this state, and the role people like Bonnie Tinker have played in pushing for equality.

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                      Michael: Can you point to the organized groups of atheists who are engaged in the anti-gay campaigns? My point is that the people/groups etc. who have waged war on gays are are religious. The same goes for the war on women's reproductive rights, opposition to stem-cell research. If I were to say that all people of faith participate in the anti-gay campaign, well then you would have a point. I'm not ignoring anyone, I'm pointing out that this particular problem is fueled by "people of faith" not atheists. That means something.

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                        How many atheists are heterosexual white males and therefore part of the privileged white male community who doesn't need to organize?

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                        Joshua, can you point to the organized groups of atheists who are engaged in pro-gay campaigns?

                        The new prime minister of Australia is an atheist and, sorry to say, against marriage equality.

                        The reason your statement is "broad brushed" is because it lumps all people of faith together. People of faith have been at the forefront of opposing anti-gay initiatives, yet you appear unable to acknowledge that.

                        It'd be like saying the major genocides of the last century were primarily an atheist-based phenomenon.

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                I will agree with you that religion has done a lot of harm throughout world history. But I think it's important to consider that religion has done a lot of good as well. There are many organizations started by Christians that prove this:

                Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Portland Gospel Mission, etc. My church runs the only local soup kitchen that feeds the homeless, and a majority of food banks and shelters in Central Oregon are also operated by churches (both liberal and conservative).

                As a Republican, I can tell without a doubt that there is not a "religious" prerequisite to being Conservative. I know many Republicans who belong to the party irrespective of religion.

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                  Of course, I have considered the fact that religion also inspires good behavior. It inspires some to care for the poor, it inspires others to assassinate doctors and fly planes into skyscrapers. The fact is that people use their religion, a faith-base ideology, to build their moral foundations, their worldviews…which leads to the forming of their values/principles/beliefs etc., which results in particular behavior. My position is very simple. Evidence-based approaches to understanding the world tend to produce much better results than faith-based ones. When you remove mythology/superstition from the equation, you increase the possibilities for good and decrease the possibilities for death/destruction/discrimination. I think the evidence in support of my position is overwhelming. As I have noted here on numerous occasions the least religious societies have created the happiest and healthiest societies on Earth. The more intelligent and educated a person, the more likely they are to reject religion/popular superstition.

                  In America, religion is often shielded from criticism…as a result most Americans hear mostly positive messages concerning religion and are rarely exposed to full-blown uncensored critiques of religion. Religion is unjustly treated like a biological characteristic, like race or sexual orientation. Powerful/influential ideologies, especially those unsupported by evidence, should endure the same scrutiny/critical analysis that other ideologies do. You claim to be interested in fairness/hearing all sides of an issue so I recommend that you read, “Letter to a Christian Nation.” by Sam Harris. You can read it in less than an hour. There’s a good chance your local library has a copy if you live in Portland.

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      Superb comment. Thanks, Jack.

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      Jack there is no geographic divide... people live where the jobs are... and I'd bet that if Burns was the population center of the state the farming town of Portland would be yelling that Burns stole the election.

      That said I pretty much think you are spot on on all your other observations.

      And I'd add that if the RGA put the resources into Allen Alley instead of Dudley we might have had a completely different outcome. Dudley lost because it was obvious that there was no there there. Oregon voters voted for Kitz not necessarily because he was their choice, but because Dudley wasn't one.

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      While I agree with what you say in general, Dudley is not a right-winger. The fact that he came within 12,000 votes indicates that a non-winger Republican can win in Oregon in spite of the party reputation.

      The reason Dudley could not make it over the top was his lack of depth on any serious issue and his dumb comments on the minimum wage. There were plenty of people who were not enamored with Kitzhaber who would have gone with Dudley if either of those issues were different.

      That and the better Democratic ground game.

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        Correction, John, the gap is now about 20 thousand votes and still growing.

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        I must add that since the House is evenly divided and the Senate was barely Democrat, it shows that Republicans are not as out of it in Oregon as many here seem to believe.

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    OK, I'm a math idiot. What is the meaning of +0% ?

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    OK peoples- I made my long rant under the other article so you can see it if you want.

    But here's a couple of quickies:

    1) If the Democrats want rural votes they should come on out and campaign for them.

    2) They should recruit and then back candidates that have local appeal.

    3) They should try and appeal to rural voters.

    I've got to many distractions at the moment to go on now but anyone interested in my blathering can check the other post.

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    How about 2 maps that each show, proportionally, the number of votes received by each candidate in each county? Then we would see that Multnomah county is extremely prominent on both maps, simply because a fifth of the county lives here (although two counties gave Dudley more votes).

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    What I like about this map is that it showed where the race was one and lost.

    The race was won by a last minute get out the vote effort in Multnomah County that saved a lackluster Kitzhaber campaign.

    And it was lost in Washington and Clackamas counties by a Dudley campaign that failed to engage voters by ducking debates and hiding behind a few anodyne talking points.

    It will be interesting to see if any post election polls come out that measure how these two candidacies we're viewed. The claim in today's Oregonian that this campaign will give any moderate Republican pause assumes that Dudley was able to portray himself as a moderate. That wasn't my perception--while not a fire breather, Dudley seemed to be parroting the same GOP talking points on taxes and social issues. It's no wonder he lost by more than 40 points in MultCo.

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      Very good analysis, especially the piece about Washington and Clackamas counties. If Dudley had made his case, he'd have won those counties as they will trend toward a moderate Republican.

      But then again, if Dudley had tried to construct a coherent program independently of GOP talking points, he'd have had the potential to attract more votes.

      If anything, I think this is a referendum on the Palinesque dodge-the-debate sort of accountability, nationwide. Did anyone with that sort of strategy win?

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    I see that real cowboys did not vote for the fake one. Just saying.

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