Commentary: Lessons learned from election season

With Election ’08 in the books, there are new plots to follow

You love me when all things politics are hot. Don’t forget me in July.

•All you Missourians still stewing over those long Election Day lines can just keep stewing.

Chances of a legislative change next year in Jeff City? About 1 in 5.

Fact: Republicans worry that advance voting will result in even bigger Democratic vote counts.

Fact: The GOP controls the General Assembly.

Fact: In January or February, when you should be writing your duly-elected representative about your Election Day frustrations and demanding change, you will have plum forgotten all about it.

Result: No advance voting. Unless, of course, the feds require it.

•The political lesson of 2008? Attack early. Congressman Sam Graves painted Kay Barnes as a big-city liberal with "San Francisco values" back before anybody in the 6th District knew there was a race.

In Kansas, Republican Sen. Pat Roberts linked the words "lobbyist" and "Slattery" for all to see, thereby undercutting any late-campaign Democratic surge.

•Key stat I: Percentage of white voters who backed Democrat John Kerry in 2004: 41.

Percentage of white voters who backed Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday: 43.

•Key stat II: African-Americans and Hispanics made up 12 percent of the electorate in 1980 … and 22 percent Tuesday.

To read the complete column, visit The Kansas City Star.