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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Who will win the Louisiana Runoff? on: November 07, 2014, 11:05:53 am
The DEmocratic Denatorial committee has already pulled a planned $1+ ad buy.

The dems have pulled out, she is "done"

(says the guy who figured Roberts was toast in Kansas)
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL 2016: Kirk is in on: November 07, 2014, 11:03:26 am
Quite early, but I guess he is trying to remove all doubt before ILGOP starts thinking about recruiting.

It will be another interesting one in the Land of Lincoln, that's for sure. He's got a tough battle ahead.


Kirk is a nice guy, a legitimate moderate, and I think it is good for both parties to have a few (or more) SEnators who come from behind enemy lines.

That being said... He will need a weak opponent, a great campaign, and a lot of luck to get reelected.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Was Ed Gillespie genuinely a good candidate, or were the polls just wrong? on: November 07, 2014, 11:01:36 am
He was pretty bland and boring although you could say the same about Warner but he doesn't have a really impressive resume. Basically a Republican McAuliffe without the business experience.

So he is not a crook then?
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Any way Begich hangs on? on: November 07, 2014, 10:59:58 am
Just curious. I like him, actually, so if he somehow wins he can stick around and I won't mind. But I don't see that happening barring an absentee landslide.

Begich won the non-election day vote buy about 10% in 2008.

There are (reportedly) about 25,000 uncounted votes so Begich "should" gain +/- 2500 votes from the outstanding ballots. 

He is about 8000 votes behind so it does not look good.

That being said, Labor Unions, environmentalists, etc poured a sh*tload of money into GOTV, so who knows.....

Apparently Alaska was a $60 million dollar race in a state of under 600,000 people... that is... mind numbing actually
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Predict the Final Number of Republican Seats In the House on: November 06, 2014, 11:07:18 am
Looking carefully at what is out there, the two most likely choices are 248 or 249.

6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: "Tea Party" saves Obama/Dems from a 61/39 Senate on: November 06, 2014, 11:04:54 am
The GOP has a structural advantage in the Senate due to the large number of small, heavily GOP states in the Plains and West.
This will be the reason that winning the Senate will be harder and harder for Democrats since their voting population is stacked in a few states. The GOP easily wins a bunch of low populated states that get the same amount of Senators as states with much larger populations. Unless the amount of Senators changes to be based on population the Democrats will have a rough future.

So you are proposing something like, well, the House of Representatives?
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 05, 2014, 06:21:40 pm
Republicans won 75% of the white vote tonight. That pretty much sums it up.

I will ask you a serious question, and I hope you will give it a serious bit of thought before you reply.

A very strong majority of white people regard the government and the democrats as their enemy.

Indeed if you are white, married, have a family income over $75,000 and are employed in the private sector there is an 85% chance you will vote Republican.

The above group is a huge swath of America, and this swath actively is fearful of the Democrats.

Why? and do you think you should do something to change it?

Whites going 75/25 for the GOP is just as critical a polarizing issue as Blacks going 90/10 for the Dems.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: What happened to the Polling? on: November 05, 2014, 06:09:25 pm
Seriously? What happened to the polls we've seen this cycle? Warner +7? What?

a SERIOUS answer...

Firstly, it has gotten really, really hard to do good polling.  Less than 10% of people will even agree to do a survey anymore, and this combined with cell phones, caller id, call forwarding, etc had dramatically raised both the difficulty and cost of doing a "good job"

As a result,  there are a stunning number of "junk" polls out there where methodologically they are taking a LOT of shortcuts in order to get the costs of polling down.

In many ways, the media drives this because everybody and their dog wants to have a poll so they have "news" that their talking heads can then talk about, and they want to buy these polls cheap to keep costs down.

The media also likes "exciting" polls where there are big swings from poll to poll.

I remember maybe 15 years ago I was hired to do a series of polls for a local newspaper regarding the mayors race.

The incumbent mayor was fairly hard left candidate who had about 40-42% of the vote, and the remaining 60% or so was distributed maybe 33% to 25% between two other right of center candidates.

Over a period of about 8 weeks my polls gradually showed the 60% on the right consolidating behind one candidate, and my final poll correctly showed about a 5% win for the better of the two center right alternatives.  From a polling perspective I had done a great job.

By contrast, a pollster for the other newspaper in town showed huge swings where on Tuesday X was ahead by 5% but behind by 7% on Saturday.. and the final poll was not even close to correct...

I didn't get the contract to poll the next mayors race because, and I quote "your polls were boring" - cheap and exciting beats quality with the media.

Finally, there is substantial evidence that polls are starting to, as 538 puts it "herd" - where the weaker pollsters with methodological deficiencies adjust there assumptions so their results more or less match the other polls.  As a result, the herd can often be wrong, as they are no longer polling, they are just copying each others homework....

Lastly, directly or indirectly, many of the bad polls use some form of a party id weight that represents little more than a guess.  In this election party ID was 36/36 or so, but I suspect (directly or indirectly) a lot were keyed to the 2012 D+7 electorate.


Hats off the Ann Selzer in Iowa - Her last poll had Ernst at +7, and she was all alone...... and right.

9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: "Tea Party" saves Obama/Dems from a 61/39 Senate on: November 05, 2014, 12:57:53 pm
The GOP has a structural advantage in the Senate due to the large number of small, heavily GOP states in the Plains and West.

Blame Jefferson & Madison for "The Great Compromise"
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Final House (likely to be) GOP 250 - Dems 185 on: November 05, 2014, 12:44:40 pm
CA-16 and CA-52 are not likely Pub. In fact, CA-16 is almost certainly going Dem. There are a lot of Dem leaning late votes and provisionals to count, and the Dems invariably pick up a point or two, with the movement more in lower SES precincts, of which CA-16 has a bunch (i.e., mostly Hispanic areas).

Did not know that!

SEC STATE site was showing 100% reporting, but I guess that was incorrect...

OK... 248 to 187
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / "Tea Party" saves Obama/Dems from a 61/39 Senate on: November 05, 2014, 12:42:20 pm
Obama Says "thanks"

2010 Senates that GOP "should" have won

O'Donnell - (Connecticut Delaware - If Castle isn't primaried by a witch, he wins easy, was up 10 in all polls)
Mourdock (Indiana)
Akin (#legitimate Rape) Missouri
Berg - (North Dakota)
Angle (Nevada)
Raese (West Virginia)
Buck (Colorado)

You can argue a couple of these (maybe WV and Col) But you have to believe in 2010 (which had a higher GOP vote than 2014) that mainstream GOP candidates could have picked off a few more senate seats....
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Why Hagan has lost in North Carolina? on: November 05, 2014, 12:16:14 pm

13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Manchin not switching parties on: November 05, 2014, 12:09:23 pm
This is not a big surprise by any means. What kind of idiot would switch political affiliations just because it becomes beneficial-

Oh, right.

Yes, such a thing is unheard of.

That being said, good for him! - He ran as a Dem, staying a dem is the honourable thing to do.....

The nation actually needs senators who live "behind enemy lines" (Collins in Maine, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, etc...)

The polarization is destroying the nation.

14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Final House (likely to be) (CORRECTION) GOP 248 - Dems 187 on: November 05, 2014, 12:03:52 pm
The GOP leads 243/176 among the called races

The remaining 16 races are "likely" to break this way:

   Democrat   Republican      
Washington District 4   GOP LOCK
Arizona District 2           Likely GOP
California District 7            Likely GOP
California District 16         Likely GOP Dem
California District 52            Likely GOP Dem
Louisiana District 5            Likely GOP
Louisiana District 6           Likely GOP
Arizona District 1           Likely Dem   
California District 3           Likely Dem   
California District 9          Likely Dem   
California District 17           Dem Lock   
California District 31         Likely Dem   
California District 26           Likely Dem   
Maryland District 6          Likely Dem   
Nebraska District 2          Likely Dem   
New York District 25       Likely Dem   

For a final result of 250/185 248/187
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Virginia Senate Race is close? (says CBS Twitter feed) on: November 04, 2014, 07:05:49 pm
Warner should win, but that doesn't bode well for Democrats nationwide.

IF (huge if) Virginia actually is close, the GOP should go +10 in the Senate (ie Brown and Tillis win semi-easily)

Again, Exit poll, CBS.......
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Virginia Senate Race is close? (says CBS Twitter feed) on: November 04, 2014, 07:02:41 pm
Tweet from CBS News:

CBS News Politics        ✔ @CBSPolitics
A close race for VA Senate between Democrat incumbent Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie; looking like a toss-up as polls close

This is exit poll based, and from CBS, so take it with a megaton of salt...

Also, CBS News has called Kentucky for McConnel
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Gun to you head. Everything you own. Make your prediction with one wild card on: November 04, 2014, 11:30:45 am
These are a lock

Montana - Republican Gain
South Dakota - Republican Gain
Nebraska - Republican Gain

These I am pretty sure of

Louisiana - Republican gain, but we need to wait till December
Kentucky - Republican Hold (The GOP is just not that lucky!)
Georgia - Republican Hold - May go to run off, see you in January
Arkansas - Republican Gain

Kansas - Democratic (sort of) pick up

This is what the polls suggest but even a modest poll bias would change the outcome

Iowa - Republican Gain
Colorado - Republican Gain

The polls are so bad that they are garbage and utterly useless

Alaska - GOP Pickup (may take days to actually count the votes)

On the Bubble - These are pure guesses

New Hampshire - Democratic Hold
North Carolina - Republican Gain
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Standing by my prediction that democrats will gain seats in the senate tomorrow on: November 04, 2014, 11:16:20 am

Maybe after some wine at lunch a dose of Quetiapine this thread will make more sense.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Your Final Predictions about Senate battleground states. (with %) on: November 03, 2014, 01:22:46 pm
Kansas - Republican Incumbent defeated.

Everybody is calling this race a "dead heat" - I may be crazy but I think Roberts gets crushed, humiliated, flogged, beaten and killed.  Orman by 5+%


Firstly, Roberts is at 41.8% in the Real Clear Politics average, (43.1 in the 538 model) let's not split hairs over the exact value but not only is he polling below the "vulnerability line" of 50% for an incumbent, be can barely see 45%, let alone 50%...  This is indeed the "Obama sucks" election, but there is a almost as strong a "Throw the bums out" under current, and Roberts is one of those bums.

Next, Roberts had a very aggressive "Tea Party" challenge this year, 40.8% of republicans voted against Roberts in the primary: for Roberts to pull it out against Orman suddenly droves of people who have already voted against him once are suddenly animated enough to vote for him?
Not very likely, lots of these tea party folks will just stay home.

Thirdly there is a highly unpopular Governor dragging Roberts down.  Not only is Brownback below 50%, he is trailing in the polls by (roughly) the margin of error (3-4% or so) - All of these folks voting for change to vote Brownback out are suddenly going to pull the lever for the status quo and back Roberts? - seems unlikely to me.

Lastly, Robert's argument that Kansas should back him so he can be part of the GOP 51+ retaking the senate has faded as Democratic fortunes have fallen elsewhere.  If indeed the GOP is headed for 53 or 54 seats, why not have you cake and eat it too by getting "change" with Orman, while still having your senator caucus with the majority?

Prediction: Orman 51.5%, Roberts 46.3%, Other 2.2%


New Hampshire - Democratic Incumbent holds..

Shaheen looks like exactly the type of democratic incumbent who might lose in a decent (but not great) GOP year.

She is below 50% (48.7%) in the RealClearPolitics average, and barely ahead of Scott Brown.  Her support has been static at 48-49% in all the polls (if anything also barely downward for a trendline) while Brown has been very modestly edging up.

Unless the GOP really does have a "wave" to ride, I think Shaheen barely hangs on.

While Obama is politically radioactive, Shaheen herself is well liked and well respected.  Her and her GOP counterpart Ayote are seen as being a good and effective team for the state, and Brown has just enough of a vague "carpetbagger" whiff to tilt the personal factors of the race towards Shaheen.  The Democratic ground game is not inferior to the GOP efforts, and likely a tad better.

Prediction: Shaheen 49.9%, Brown 48.7, Other 1.4%


North Carolina  - Democratic Incumbent Defeated

Kay Hagan looks almost identical to Shaheen in New Hampshire as the type of democratic incumbent who would lose in a decent (but not great) GOP year.

She is below 50% (44.1%) in the RealClearPolitics average, and barely ahead of Thom Tillis) Her support has been static at 44ish in all the polls while Tillis has been very clearly been edging up.

Obama is politically radioactive, and unlike Shaheen, Hagan does not have a ton of personal goodwill to partly offset the Obama is an idiot factor. Thom Tillis suffers from being a controversial leader in the state legislature, but he is gains a little more in energy from the base than he loses by turning off some moderates. (IMHO)

The Libertarian is polling at 4+% and the libertarian vote almost never actually shows up on election day, so I expect at least some of it to drift to Tillis.

This is the closest race of the year (again IMHO) but I think Tillis barely gets it.

This prediction a guaranteed to be almost as accurate as flipping a coin or reading tarot cards.

Prediction: Tillis 49.6%, Hagan 49.0, Other 1.4%


Alaska  - Democratic Incumbent Defeated

Firstly, the quality of the polling in this state is horrid, it is just a total dogs breakfast.

Using Nate Silver's 538 "pollster ratings" as a rough guide, there is not a single pollster better than a C+ in the last month.

Most of these polls suggest a semi-solid Sullivan lead of 4-5% or so, but there are a couple of polls that suggest otherwise.

PPP (D) has Sullivan up only 1%,
Hellenthal and Associates has Begich up by 10%

In the polling equivalent of "The Three Stooges" Ivan Moore polling had Begich up 6% on October 28th, but then suddenly found Sullivan up 4% just two days later.  The later poll was sponsored by the Sullivan Campaign, so we can safely conclude based upon the 10% swing in 2 days that Moore is either truly erratic or a complete whore to whomever pays him....

For what it's worth, here is "538's" breakdown of Alaska polling bias over the years.

As your investment advisor cautions, "Past performance is no guarantee of future returns"

Garbage in, garbage out!

Prediction: Sullivan 51.0%, Begich 47.5%, Other 1.5%


Iowa  Republicans win open DEmocratic Seat

This race is very close.

In the last 25 publically released polls, this has been the distribution of results:

Braley+1    Four polls
Tied           Six polls
Ernst +1   Three polls
Ernst +2   Five polls
Ernst +3   Two polls
Ernst +4   Two polls
Ernst +6   Two polls
Ernst +7   One polls

The average of these 25 polls is that Ernst is up about 2%

The Selzer & Associates poll which has shown leads of 6 and 7% for Ernst is very well regarded and (psychologically if nothing else) was a huge boost to the Ernst campaign.

Ernst has run a very solid campaign while Braley has put his foot in in a bit ("a farmer without a law degree")

Lastly, in the Governors race Republican Branstad is up deep into double digits (19% per RCP) which will likely help at least a little down the ticket.

The polls would have to systemically biased for Braley to win

Prediction: Ernst 51.1%, Begich 47.1%, Other 1.8%
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Teddy Kennedy, 5 years gone on: September 05, 2014, 10:26:02 am
Five years ago today, Teddy Kennedy passed away in Hyannis Port. I have changed my avatar for the next week in respect.

The liberal wing of the party and defenders of universal healthcare have certainly lacked a voice since he left.

Mary Jo Kopechne - Dead 44 years
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / President Obama’s America is a passive, confused and ineffective superpower on: September 05, 2014, 10:21:54 am

22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: PPP: National environment getting better for Dems on: March 13, 2014, 01:54:24 pm
It's when Republicans get to know who the Koch family is that the GOP will have trouble.
The Dems have their own Koch: Soros.

The Koch family is beginning to remind me of the Medici family in Florence -- huge patrons of the arts and sciences, but political thugs.

Let the Koch family get its way, and America becomes a Republic in Name Only. 

I wouldn't go that far, but it's true that they're corrupting the democratic system beyond anything we've seen before.

From 2006 to 2011, the top 5 Unions spent 1.4 Billion on political activities.

The $20,000,000 the Koch brothers spend is a drop in the bucket compared to big labour

Political Expenditures - 2006 to 2011

AFL-CIO -$282,401,199
TEACHERS AFL-CIO -$138,087,803
SERVICE EMPLOYEE - $105,069,027

23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: March 13, 2014, 01:33:45 pm
Remember, they're using a Fox News poll that's essentially spam, like that CBS poll late last year.

Thats why you always use the oldest rule in poll analysis.....

"Throw put the high and the low and average the rest...."

Gallup                                41   54    -13
Rasmussen Reports           45   54    -9
The Economist/YouGov       42   56    -14
Bloomberg                          48   48    Tie
CNN/Opinion Research       43   53    -10
PPP (D)                               43   51    -8
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl        41   54    -13
FOX News                            38   54    -16
ABC News/Wash Post          46   52    -6

Which leaves:

The Economist/YouGov       42   56    -14
Gallup                                41   54    -13
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl        41   54    -13
CNN/Opinion Research       43   53    -10
Rasmussen Reports           45   54    -9
PPP (D)                               43   51    -8
ABC News/Wash Post          46   52    -6

Average:                          43     53.4

It is odd to see NBC and ABC so far apart, they usually agree pretty closely
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Obama 2.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: March 13, 2014, 12:37:14 pm
I am not really seeing any major changes actually....

I am a bit surprised the WSJ/NBC and ABC/WASHPOST disagree as much as they do, those are both excellent polls and they (almost always) very closely agree....

March 13th, 2014

RCP Average      43.0   52.9    -9.9
Huffington Post   42.9   52.2    -9.3

February 13th, 2014

RCP Average      43.0   52.6    -9.6
Huffington Post        42.7 52.3 -9.6

IE - exactly the same in the Huff Po model
Gain of 0.6% in RCP average (throw out Bloomberg and he is actually down)

Current Polling

Gallup         41   54    -13
Rasmussen Reports   45   54    -9
The Economist/YouGov   42   56    -14
Bloomberg      48   48    Tie
CNN/Opinion Research   43   53    -10
PPP (D)   3/6 - 3/9   43   51    -8
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl   41   54    -13
FOX News      38   54    -16
ABC News/Wash Post   46   52    -6

Polls This Month versus last Month


Gallup   3/10 - 3/12   1500 A   41   54   -13
Gallup   2/10 - 2/12   1500 A   39   51   -12

Net Change - Obama +1

Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports   3/10 - 3/12   1500 LV   45   54   -9
Rasmussen Reports   2/10 - 2/12   1500 LV   44   55   -11

Obama +2

ABC News/Wash Post   2/27 - 3/2   RV   46   52   -6
ABC News/Wash Post   1/20 - 1/23   RV   45   52   -7

Net change +1 Obama

FOX News   3/2 - 3/4   1002 RV   38   54   -16
FOX News   2/9 - 2/11   1006 RV   42   53   -11

Net change -5 Obama

NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl   3/5 - 3/9   1000 A   41   54   -13
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl   1/22 - 1/25   800 A   43   51   -8

Net Change - 5 obama

The Economist/YouGov   3/8 - 3/10   714 RV   42   56   -14
The Economist/YouGov   3/1 - 3/3   710 RV   42   55   -13
The Economist/YouGov   2/22 - 2/24   710 RV   43   55   -12
The Economist/YouGov   2/15 - 2/17   723 RV   42   56   -14
The Economist/YouGov   2/8 - 2/10   716 RV   42   56   -14

No real changes
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UAE Islamic affairs authority reaffirms fatwa on Muslims travelling to Mars on: March 10, 2014, 04:20:11 pm

“Based on the texts, it is not permissible.... if life is not possible there and the expectation of death is more than the possibility of life, due to this action exposing one to self-destruction,” the committee answered.

I was not aware of the suicide bomber exemption in the Koran.....
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