A Prediction About ACORN

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 14 2010 1:02 PM

A Prediction About ACORN

Public Policy Polling finds that 20 percent of Americans think that ACORN "will steal the election to keep Democrats in control of Congress." Let's avoid the easy joke about ACORN is ceasing to exist, because its component organizations will, by and large, survive. And let us chuckle about how basically just as many Democrats as Republicans think this will happen.

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Optimism, fear, whatever -- one-fifth of partisans think ACORN can work some election-stealing magic, when we all know that's really the job of the New Black Panthers.

More seriously, we're about to go into the first election since 2004 where the Democrats won't do very well. It is also the first election since the 1970s when ACORN won't really exist. In 2004, 2006 and 2008, when things were either touch-and-go or terrible for Republicans, voters read lots of election-time stories about an organization called ACORN that was filing lots of bogus voter registrations. This year, Republicans will win, and I bet the myth of ACORN only grows -- that a stubborn number of Americans will think that Democrats only won the 2006 and 2008 elections because of fraud, and that James O'Keefe saved us from it.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.