DeLong, in Democracy:
If there was a single moment when Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election, it was in May when he stood in front of the $50,000-a-plate audience at Sun Capital honcho Marc Leder’s home in Boca Raton and spoke his soon-to-be-infamous words:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the President no matter what…. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government…who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they’re entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it…. These are people who pay no income tax…. My job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives…"John Sides, at Salon.com:
To commentators used to thinking of campaigns like a boxing match, [the 47 percent video] seemed like the knockout blow.
In reality, the impact of the video was much more muted. This is the argument UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck and I make in our forthcoming book on the election, “The Gamble.” ...
It is always tempting for those following a presidential election closely — pundits, reporters and political scientists alike — to assume that every new twist is the proverbial game-changer. But in retrospect, the 47 percent video did not live up to the hype.Models predicting Romney's loss well before the video emerged -- those based on economic fundamentals -- performed very well. The 47% video had almost nothing to do with the electoral outcome.
The rest of DeLong's essay -- essentially a defense of the welfare state against the entreaties of Nicholas Eberstadt -- is fine enough if a bit boilerplate. But if he's going to deliver lectures on how folks should understand the basic tenants of macroeconomics if they are to comment on them, then he should understand the basic tenants of political science if he is to comment on it.