<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: It wasn't the "values votes," it was the e-mails

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

It wasn't the "values votes," it was the e-mails

Web site critic Jakob Nielsen thinks Bush won in part because his campaign sent better e-mails. The crux of his theory: that the Kerry campaign's e-mails mostly begged for money, which turned people off, while the Bush campaign's e-mails mostly addressed issues or events and asked people to "get out the vote." Here's Nielsen's analysis of the predominant themes of e-mailed newsletters sent out by both candidates a week before the election:

Give Money            Bush: 8%      Kerry: 57%
Get Out the Vote     Bush: 38%     Kerry: 29%
Issues/Events        Bush: 54%     Kerry: 14%

While we admit that we were among those who grew weary of Kerry's begging, we also understand that he pretty much had to do it because he was up against someone who didn't have to beg at all--because Bush had over $200 million in "thank you" notes from beneficiaries of his tax cuts. Also, as reader Andrea Dailey (who alerted us to this story) says, "[Nielsen] is alleging a cause-and-effect relationship without having done any testing (that I know of)--a cardinal sin in the scientific community, of which I believe Nielsen thinks he’s a part. In my opinion, he should stick to judging usability, a subject on which he has some credentials, and leave the smug assertions to the jerks."



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