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:: PoliticsWatch Feature

Is Ned Flanders keeping George Bush in the White House? 

[PoliticsWatch posted 5:00 p.m. November 5, 2004]

Exit polling shows, Simpsons character Ned Flanders fits the profile of George Bush's base in the U.S. election. 

Is The Simpsons do-gooder Ned Flanders helping to keep George W. Bush in the White House?

Exit polling conducted for major U.S. media organizations suggests someone with Flanders' profile is highly likely to vote for the U.S. president. 

Flanders is a high-income, regular church attendee who has blocked almost every channel on his television with the V-chip because he doesn't like "all that Hollywood hogwash." 

The exit polls found that 80 per cent of those who listed "moral values" as their main reason for voting supported Bush, compared to just 20 per cent for his opponent, Sen. John Kerry. Pundits agree that these voters helped propel Bush to re-election on Tuesday. 

Bush carried white men, voters with family income over $100,000 and weekly churchgoers. Three-fourths of white voters who described themselves as born-again Christians or evangelicals supported Bush. And people who attended church more than once a week, like Flanders, voted for Bush 64 per cent of the time.

If Flanders didn't have a yellow complexion, it would be a perfect match.

Political insiders on Parliament Hill who are Simpsons watchers agree that Flanders is probably at the core of the Republican base. 

"I would say Mr. Flanders is probably part of the religious right in the United States so I would guess yeah that Ned Flanders could vote Republican," said Ian Capstick, the NDP's caucus press secretary. 

However, he cautions that because of Flanders' love of honesty he may not have been happy with the faulty intelligence that led to the war in Iraq. 

An ongoing mystery in The Simpsons is what state Springfield is located in.

An examination of the possible voting patterns of the residents of Springfield could narrow it down to a blue state (Democrat) or red state (Republican). 

Take the show's main character, Homer Simpson. 

Is he Republican or Democrat? 

Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, a 25-year-old MP who admits to trying to come up with a way to make a Simpsons reference in the House, said he thinks Homer is a Bush backer. 

"As a middle-income earner, 2.5 kids type of guy, I suspect he's probably a Republican. He sort of fits that demographic pretty well," said Scheer. "And there was that one episode where he was quite enthusiastic about his gun ownership."

But Homer's employment at the Springfield nuclear plant puts him in a union. He was even president of the union in one episode. Exit polling data hurts Simpson's chance of being a Republican, as 61 per cent of union members supported John Kerry. 

And he's no fan of the Bush family, having once attacked George Bush senior during an escalating feud when the former president moved to Springfield briefly to write his memoirs. 

But to make things even more confusing, Homer is also known as being anti-union, having once told his daughter, Lisa, "If you don't like your job you don't strike, you just go in every day and do it really half-assed - that's the American way."

Mark Homer very, very undecided -- and confused.

But Scheer believes Homer's wife, Marge Simpson, is more likely a Democratic leaning soccer mom than a Republican security mom as she often sides with their liberal eight-year-old daughter Lisa. 

However, Marge is also a non-working woman. Exit polling data says 53 per cent of non-working women supported Bush. 

Capstick isn't convinced. "Soccer mom, absolutely," he said. "Look at the blue hair. C'mon."

What about Kwickie Mart owner and new American Apu

"He's a new American, I think he would identify with Teresa Heinz-Kerry," said Capstick. 

Exit polling data agrees. Apu is Hindu and 74 per cent of those members of religious groups listed as "other" backed Kerry. 

Krusty the Clown? 

Well he's in showbiz and everyone knows Kerry was a favourite of Hollywood's A-list. And Krusty is Jewish and exit polling data shows 74 per cent of Jews voted for Kerry. 

But Scheer recalls an earlier episode where it is revealed that Krusty is illiterate and suggests this could hurt his chances of voting in a state such as Florida where he "may have trouble with all the names on the ballot there." 

Kerry served on a swift boat in Vietnam but that wouldn't translate into votes from Springfield's vets. Military veterans Principal Seymour Skinner and Abraham "Grammpa" Simpson would lean towards Bush as he picked up 54 per cent of the veteran vote. 

The town's medical establishment - Dr. Nick Riviera and Dr. Julius Hibbert - would also lean towards Bush for financial reasons. Exit polling found 83 per cent of those not concerned about the cost of health care voted for Bush. 

Scheer also believes police chief Clancy Wiggum would back Bush. "That's a tough one, but usually law enforcement tends to go with Republicans as well."

Big money is on the side of Bush as the town's richest man, Mr. Burns, would also fall into the Bush category. Burns' vast wealth gives him an income of over $200,000 and 63 per cent of that group backed Bush. Also, Burns is over the age of 60 - 54 per cent of that age group voted Bush. 

"Mr. Burns is definitely a Republican," said Scheer, recalling an episode where Burns was on a Republican candidate selection committee that chose ex-felon Sideshow Bob over a water cooler because he had more personality.

Mr. Burns' lapdog, Waylan Smithers, is rumoured to have an alternative lifestyle choice and would no doubt fall into the Kerry camp, as Kerry won the support of 77 per cent of gays and lesbians. 

Bachelors and barflies Moe, Lenny, Carl and Barney would have a greater tendency to be in the Kerry corner, as he picked up the votes of 58 per cent of single Americans. Same goes for the Comic Book Guy, who would no doubt call the Kerry defeat the "worst election ever."

You can also group in news anchor Kent Brockman in the Kerry column, as he often slants his reporting with a sensational, liberal bent. He once referred to the local military base as the "Killbot factory." 

So a random survey of 17 Springfield voters found the community to have eight Bush voters and eight Kerry voters, with one undecided -- Homer. 

In 2004, Springfield is too close to call. 

Future Springfield voters Bart and Lisa Simpson both campaigned for Democratic mayor and Kennedy wannabe Joe Quimby. 

Lisa is a politically correct, vegetarian, animal rights activist. There is little doubt who she will vote for in the future. 

"Lisa is not only a Democrat, Lisa I think will be running the Democratic Party at some point," said Capstick. He also believes Bart's anti-establishment tendencies is a harbinger of a future liberal voting pattern. 

But Scheer disagrees and predicts Bart will be among the 63 per cent of gun owners that voted for Bush.

"Bart already has a membership in the NRA so he's probably on his way to becoming a Republican," he noted. 


:: PoliticsWatch Election Archive

> Exit poll findings - National President

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