It's a great post, but I'm just going to leave a quick comment on the bolded part. I posted a list of sites somewhere that encourage political supporters to vote for her but I'm not going to bother dragging it back up. But if you go to Hillbuzz, there are links to some of them. And if you click on Conservatives4Palin, there's more and it goes on and on.Originally Posted by VAgirl79;4108451;I had a nice, long post written out to explain my thought process, and then my computer crashed. Perhaps that is a sign. I can only speak for myself, but the only site I've seen being discussed that I've ever heard of is HillBuzz. I've never heard of any of the rest of these places. The sites I visit mentioned it when she was cast and first danced, basically as news items and discussion pieces for viewers who were watching. It was brought up again today with the controversy, but as basically comedy/reaction pieces to the hoopla. They never once, that I saw, encouraged people to vote. Ace of Spades is one of the larger sites I'm talking about. I just can't imagine a statistically significant number of people voting tons of times just because websites told them to do it, and that being the main reason why she's getting the votes needed to stay.
Really appreciate your comment that you know it's not the majority of people in those movements and groups voting politically and/or not even watching and still voting. Some on TV don't get that, or they do and just don't want to admit it.
Anyhow, the Cliff Notes version of my thinking as to why it's not mostly political is this:
*I think young girls, including tweens and teens, are voting early and often for Bristol. They certainly have determined the outcome on AI the last few seasons. I almost fell out of my chair when Lee DeWyze beat out Crystal Bowersox in May. Add in online voting (a component not available for AI), and look out. The youngn's know how to power vote.
*I don't think you can discount Mark's popularity as a pro. Again in this case, a lot of his fans are young girls. I don't think he's as popular as he once was, but I do think he's right up there in the top 3, along with Derek and Cheryl.
*The power of the Worsters can't be discounted either. On AI, Sanjaya ( ) and, most recently, Tim both come to mind. Both of whom, incidentally, had large tween and teen followings as well.
*I do think there are people who see her as genuinely the underdog because she does not have an entertainment background. Kyle at least had his own TV show, and a role on a hit show before that.
*Also think there are people who see her as the underdog because the show's edit tells them so. The edit is another thing that can't be underestimated. It is a powerful psychological tool used to lead audiences in the direction the show wants to go. Viewers without more detailed knowledge of how the show works can be swayed by it because they aren't even aware that they're being led down a path. They think they're deciding on their own.
*Similarly, the judges' scoring tells a story to the public as well. Like I said earlier, Bruno, for all his complaining, gave Bristol 18 total points Monday and Brandy 19 total points. Ditto for Len. Carrie Ann was a 17-19 split. When they keep it that close, those who are swayed by the judges see that, hey, she's right up there with the more professional dancers. Just like on Idol, some people can sound like a cat with its tail caught in the door, but if the judges praise them, they stick around most of the time longer than they should.
*Also don't think you can discount the people who only really know Bristol as the girl who ended up dealing with the shenanigans of the slimebag known as Levi. Some votes are just for that mess alone, just like others have gotten sympathy votes for whatever reason. I finally found out a couple totally non-political colleagues of mine are voting for her, just because they felt bad for what she's been through with Levi. Do I agree with that approach, no, but people can vote however they want. They do watch the show, FWIW.
*Lastly, as the season goes on, I think some of it has become strategic. Since so many people think Bristol has a huge fanbase, I think some of the people who can't stand Jennifer and didn't like Brandy are jumping to her to try and knock them out (particularly Jennifer). If I was voting on pure strategy, if she's close enough to Jennifer Monday night, I would vote for her just to make Jennifer lose. I don't vote on strategy, but it is tempting. I am truly that sick of the bias shown towards Derek, and of the fact that 3 seasons in a row now they have tried to push someone down our throats (Mya, Nicole, and now Jennifer).
Many of these people readily admit to voting for political reasons... I don't believe for one second that they are all of her votes, or even the majority. What I do believe is that they are enough to keep Bristol there. WIthout them, Bristol would be gone and all would be right in the DWTS world.