It has been a long year. Rather than an exhaustive recap, allow me, if you will, to take a quick look back on the top stories that came across my virtual workdesk in 2011–stories of original research, investigation, or reporting that I published on the pages of People’s Press Collective, Independence Institute/Townhall, National Review Online, and WhoSaidYouSaid.
These stories proved to be consequential at the time, and while their value may have increased (or decreased) over the remainder of the year, their impact was no less important, both for my own body of work but also as symbolic of the type of value-added, original reporting that–as you’ll see in a couple of the stories–appeared under my byline MONTHS before others in the media began to glance at the stories or their possible implications. Quite often, these stories were not just the work of this solo blogger on a passionate quest for breaking stories, but often the result of collaboration and inspiration from colleagues. My thanks in advance to the many others who have contributed directly and indirectly: your input has been greatly appreciated.
On to the stories!
1. Colorado’s Independents
Back in mid-August I embarked on what turned out to be a four part series on the state’s voter registration statistics, deciding to let the statistics rather than a predetermined storyline determine what was reported. In other words, I’d let the numbers speak for themselves. While interpretations may well certainly vary, the numbers were not in dispute, as this is data provided by the Secretary of State’s office, going back as far as 2004.
The first, absolutely astonishing pattern to emerge was the tremendous growth, or “surge” as I dubbed it, of the independent “unaffiliated” voters in the state of Colorado.
Just a few weeks later, the Denver Post challenged those conclusions indirectly with an article that purported to show that rather than an increase in UAFs since 2010, there was a sharp decline. They, however, chose to look at “actives” instead of total voters, and plucked a curious baseline number of active UAFs to show their work. I challenged their assertions in an extensive rebuttal, noting the shortcomings of the Post’s methodology, and clearly demonstrated that not only were my original findings in overall voter registration not in dispute, but that by any definition–including a look only at “active” voters–that UAFs were not only not the biggest decliners (that would be the Democrats) but that they were also the most resilient voter bloc in recovering their numbers post-election (2010). Those trends have only continued through the latest figures available from the SOS office for November 2011.
Nearly three months after that September article, the Post reported that a left-leaning think tank had crunched the voter numbers and–SHOCK!–those UAFs have been surging by a very large margin, while the Democrats have been the hardest hit in voter registration statistics. The report looked at voter registration statistics in other states and noted a similar trend in other battleground states as well, but the conclusion was anything but ambiguous.
As it turns out, I was correct. Back in August. A USA Today report issued a few days before Christmas only confirmed that conclusion, yet again.
The AP’s Colorado reporter Kristen Wyatt (she’s worth following: @APkristenwyatt) tweeted at the time, “your series this week drilling down into Colorado voting data is both geeky and fantastico.”
Add to that “way, way ahead of the news cycle.”
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
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UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
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