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August 30, 2015, 09:36:50 pm
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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of South Dakota on: Today at 08:17:46 pm
The Black Hills have far more than Mt Rushmore. There is Wind Cave, Hot Springs, Crazy Horse, and the great Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (doubt it - ask any biker). The Badlands just to the east of the Black Hills and are one of the best natural formations in the US. One can easily spend a week enjoying the area.

To the east, well, there is the Mitchell Corn Palace where the facade and murals are made of grain.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Donald Trump supports negotiating with terrorists on: Today at 03:04:51 pm
Trump supports negotiation with whomever, especially if he gets to be the negotiator. That's been the message I've picked up from him since his announcement.
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Good Meals for People Living Alone (Leftovers +++) on: Today at 08:36:06 am
Here are two simple recipes of quite different scale that I posted in the "What have you eaten for dinner?" thread.

It was my turn to cook but no one had time to get to the grocery store so I was constrained to food available. Here's what I put together.

I took six slices of bacon and sauteed them until they were just starting to brown, then I poured off the grease and added a couple tablespoons of olive oil. I added a sliced sweet onion, two crushed garlic cloves and the skin of a small hot pepper. I let that saute until the onions were soft and starting to brown. I deglazed the pan with a bit of cognac then added a small can of tomato sauce and a chopped leaves of thyme, parsley, and basil from the garden (about 1/2 cup total). I added a third of a can extra water and salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer for 15 min. While it was simmering I boiled 3/4 pound of linguine. The bacon and onion sauce was tossed with the drained linguine and topped with a half cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I served it with a Malbec-Tannat wine from Argentina.

I was out shopping with my kids for college, so dinner was more of a late snack. I made a tasty wrap by spreading some pesto on a tortilla, then some black forest ham, and topped with a sharp provolone cheese. I zapped it for about 40 sec, and then served it with some thin crispy tortilla chips and a cold European lager. Just right at the end of the day.

4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Good Meals for People Living Alone (Leftovers +++) on: Today at 07:33:52 am
The important question to start with is what level of cooking are you comfortable with? The OP doesn't say where your skills are at. The suggestions I'd make largely depend on what you've cooked before and how you liked the result.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The official Dr. Ben Carson discussion thread on: August 29, 2015, 09:24:12 pm
I watched the IA state fair straw poll quite closely. After the first weekend the numbers were pretty constant with small daily shifts. I noticed on many days when Trump shifted up a few tenths, Carson shifted down about the same amount and vice versa. That suggests that the voters for all the others were a fixed percentage and Carson and Trump were drawing from the same pool.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Chance that 2016 Map is Same as 2012 on: August 29, 2015, 04:12:04 pm
Suppose we take a mathematical look at this. Each state has a PVI, and it is generally safe to say that once a party has a lead of more than twice a state's PVI then the state will be favored to flip against the PVI lean.

For example NC is an R+3 state. In 2008 Obama led McCain by 7.2% and NC went for Obama by less than 0.3%. In 2012 Obama beat Romney by 3.9% but lost NC by 2.0%. Somewhere around 6% is the tipping point for NC, and it can vary a little due to local factors, perhaps more if a candidate had a particular tie to the state.

In 2012 with a 4% lead, an R+2 state would be expected to be at the tipping point. Indeed FL is R+2 and Obama won by less than a percent of the vote. NC (R+3) and OH (R+1) are the only states within one PVI point of FL. So the good news for a repeat is that if the vote is the margin as 2012 there's really only FL to worry about. If I put a spread of 1% to keep things in the tossup category I would need the vote to be between a 3% to 5% to have only FL in play and it is 50% likely to repeat for the Dems.

In the last 6 elections the Dems lead has ranged from 8.5% down to -2.5% or a span of 11%. If I go back further the spread goes way up and the odds of a repeat go way down so I'll be kind and limit to 1992 forward. My 2% range is 18% of the total range and FL is 50% likely to be Dem in that range, so I would place the generous probability at 9%.

If I go back to 1960 (50 states), I pick up the possibilities for landslides in either direction. The range climbs to 40.8% (+22.6% to -18.2%) and though it's not a linear distribution I'll use it as such to set a lower bound. In this case the chance of a duplicate map is 2.5% or odds of about 40 to 1.

There are a lot of other factors like shifting demographics acting differently in the states as well as home state effects for candidates. Based on that I'm predicting a result on the low end 1-5% chance.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: August 29, 2015, 11:14:04 am
My eye tells me that this new version of 6 wouldn't be much worse than the old one for many conventional versions of compactness, and is probably about the same on the muon erosity scale. Since the new version reduces the erosity of 5 (and improves its compactness) it would be preferred by any system IMO. My guess is that it might get better still by rotating populations in Nelson, Louisa and Nottaway.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Primary ballot access deadlines on: August 29, 2015, 11:01:57 am
Petitions for president and delegates begin circulation on Oct 8 in IL. They must be filed between Jan 4 and Jan 6, 2016 for the Mar 15 primary. Petitions for president (beauty contest) require 3000 valid signatures. Petitions for delegates by congressional district require 500 valid signatures for Dems and 0.5% of the qualified primary electors for Pubs which varies from 179 in IL-7 to 1014 in IL-18. The time to identify delegates slates and collect the signatures in all CDs is not trivial, so no one is going to be able to start in late December and expect to get on by Jan 6.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: August 29, 2015, 09:37:46 am
I don't like the erosity of your grey CD, but then we do have different philosophies about that. I am willing to chop when the erosity gets to be too much, absent a darn good reason to do otherwise. But then you already know all of this all too well about me! Smiley

Anyway, these maps are more about how legislatures interested in good government maps due to political power splits, or courts, will draw the lines, as opposed to following your unique rules (and up to a point mine). (In regard, the Jimtex definition of metro areas is totally unique, and I don't think most folks would view Stafford and Spotsylvania as part of the DC metro area.) Among other things, I suspect courts are more interested in "art" than you are. Tongue

Your art has always differed from mine. Tongue For example I find that your NW peninsula out of CD 5 and jut and chops around Richmond to add far more erosity than the clean L-shape of my CD 7. I do hope you are not abandoning the idea of measurable metrics to judge maps.

edit: The Census agrees with jimrtex that Fredricksburg and the two adjacent counties are part of the DC metro.

edit2: I think I found the math discrepancy. First the April to July shift is 0.25 of a year. Then the formula to get the annual rate is (estimate/census)^(1/4.25) - 1. The projection is census*(rate + 1)^10. I also had to correct for the fact that Bedford city was separate from the county in 2010, but they are together for the county estimate.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: August 29, 2015, 09:30:39 am
My map is a race based gerrymander. It's legal, because there is no packing.

I'm not sure I buy this statement. All race-based gerrymandering is illegal if it can be shown to be the predominant reason used to draw the district. It is a strict scrutiny test and race can only be used to advance a compelling state interest. Often the VRA provides that compelling interest, but not here. How do you justify it here, and is your plan narrowly tailored to meet your goal?

Your map will at once enrage both the Pub and the black community I strongly suspect.

I'm sure it would, but I'll be happy to use this as a counter-example to those who claim a plan drawn primarily to keep whole units of government will invariably favor the Pubs.

11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: August 29, 2015, 08:12:25 am
My map tried to max the BVAP's, and they were at 41.5% and 45.5%. It's not legally mandated, but it is probably what will be done politically. I was unable to avoid a chop for VA-09, but maybe my figures are still off some. There are a lot of counties to count down there.

I guess I'd be a little concerned that the chops into both VB and Portsmouth look like race-based swaps at the expense of split counties/ICs.

Perhaps you haven't given as much growth to Roanoke and Blacksburg as I project in CD 9. I have Roanoke county (+Roanoke and Salem) at 224.9K and Montgomery (+Radford) at 120.7K. Together with Pulaski they are over half the CD. In any case I expect that these estimates will shift over the next half decade.
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of extreme 'sensitivity' measures taken by academia on: August 29, 2015, 07:16:07 am
Its so cute how libs think that changing words is going to somehow change how society views gender

This is not unprecedented and yes it does become part of societal change. When I was growing up there was a big deal placed on whether a woman was married, much more so than whether a man was married. We were taught specific uses of the Miss vs. Mrs title. Ms had been a variant in use, but it wasn't until the early '70's that it was pushed by feminists to equalize the view of marital status. By the time I was in college in the late 70's they encouraged the use of Ms instead of Miss or Mrs. Now the use of Ms is widespread and preferred by many style guides, and society is less concerned about the marital status of women than in 1970. I can't say that the word use caused the change, but both changes did happen.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: August 29, 2015, 12:21:20 am
I have taken the 7/1/2014 estimates in a spreadsheet and extrapolated them by county to 4/1/2020 assuming a uniform growth rate since 4/1/2010. I also want to preserve whole counties and keep UCCs covered with the minimum number of CDs. I'm not wild about the Chesapeake crossing, but at least there's a ferry connection, even if it's only in the summer. Without the peninsula split, I would have to introduce some chops in Hampton Roads.

This is what I get for a 12 CD VA:

Except for NoVa all CDs are whole county and within 1% of the quota. Richmond obeys both the cover and pack for its UCC. Norfolk and NoVa have the minimum cover. CDs 3 and 4 have 33% and 41% BVAP respectively.

The only chops beyond the 1% here are in NoVa. There is projected to be about 216K moved from Fairfax to CD 10 and the rest is split. With this split the political breakdown is 3R, 1r, 2e, 2d, 4D so the SKEW is D+2 and the POLARIZATION is 17.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-Sen. 2016 Thread: CoC may put $ behind Zopp to protect Kirk on: August 28, 2015, 06:08:07 pm
Duckworth's IL-8 is not on the outskirts, but is anchored in NW Cook county. It does not include any of Chicago. It is true that the black political class would like to get Obama's old seat. It is also true that many local Dem party groups were not fully on-board with Duckworth during her 2006 run for the open IL-6, lost to Roskam. However, the head of the DCCC in 2006 is now the mayor of Chicago. Ah, how the plot thickens.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: WV Primary poll on: August 28, 2015, 07:56:57 am
I'm not surprised by the number of undecideds. I'm surprised at how few there are in other polls. When I talk to people, more often then not they might be leaning one way, but they really haven't made up their mind. That sounds like undecided to me. You have to push them to make a choice. Once the primaries get close, people will firm up their position.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Obama has decimated the Democratic Party on: August 28, 2015, 07:46:27 am
A century ago the Senate was effectively chosen by State legislatures and no better than those legislatures.  The Seventeenth Amendment made the Senate electable by the People of the States, thus ensuring that the Upper House was democratically elected. Now the State legislatures mostly have effective control of the content of the state delegations to the House of Representatives through control of the boundaries of districts.

The trick is to concede a few districts to the "wrong" Party and dilute the rest.  Republicans can thus ensure that small cities that might vote "wrong" are diluted in a rural hinterland that votes "right". If at the opportune time the State legislature goes one way it can entrench Congressional representatives of its choosing.
Even worse is that state legislatures get to chose the state level districts as well.  I.e. they can gerrymander themselves in place.  The only way Democrats have to break this cycle is to win Governorships.

States where the governor has veto power over redistricting, there are multiple districts to draw, and districts aren't drawn by commission:
2015: KY, LA
2016: MO, IN, WV, NH, UT, OR
2017: VA, NJ
2018: HI, NV, NM, CO, TX, OK, KS, NE, AR, IA, MN, IL, WI, TN, AL, GA, SC, OH, MI, PA, NY, MA, RI, ME

Color (not Atlas colors, sorry) is which party currently holds office, bolded states are what I think Democrats should focus on taking/holding.  

The legislature does not draw the maps in IA. They are drawn by an independent body according to statutory rules. The legislature is given an up or down vote on the plan (congressional and legislative) and if rejected can specify specific goals from statute that should be addressed then try again. Gerrymandering is not an issue there.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best and worst places you've been to or lived in on: August 28, 2015, 07:31:51 am
The Boston area had some of that for me, too. When I first moved to the area for grad school I shared an apartment in West Newton - nice quiet neighborhood, but relatively far from campus and expensive (my share was over $200 after the three-way split). The next year I cut the distance in half finding a place on Moody St in Waltham, the cost to me was more like $150, but it was noisy and the maintenance was poor. Midway through my second year I got an opening in an old 4-flat two blocks away down a quiet side street by the old watch factory. It was a spacious 4-bedroom on two floors, and the landlords were an older couple who lived in the building and took care of the building. On top of that they thought students should get a break and my share of the rent was $70 (1980)! I stayed there for the next 6 1/2 years.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of ironic and unironic Trump supporters on: August 28, 2015, 07:10:09 am
unironic ones, pretty bad (though not as bad as those who use the word unironic with a straight face.)

ironic ones, even worse.

Indeed, whatever happened to the perfectly good word sincere?
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of This Phrase on: August 27, 2015, 10:21:03 pm
The phrase refers to the death of a best friend, in this case Tennyson's college friend A. H. Hallam at age 22, immortalized in the poem In Memoriam A. H. H. It took him 17 years to come to grips with his grief and complete the poem, and after its completion he named his son Hallam. As part of one of the great verses of Victorian English how can it not be FF?
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Quinnipiac-National: Clinton and Trump ahead on: August 27, 2015, 07:20:54 pm
Is 45% the lowest that Clinton has been in a national poll?

Well there was 2008 ...
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Would Democrats like this Virginia map? on: August 27, 2015, 07:57:46 am
I think that unpacking VA-8 might even yield 4 D seats in NoVa. I doubt the Dems would leave a 68% D seat up there. If they didn't go for four seats, they would certainly make all 3 NoVa seats 60%+ (ie D+7). That's the target they used for the suburban Chicago seats in 2011 (IL-8,10,11).
22  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Why Dave and the mods are letting the website becoming a new Stormfront? on: August 27, 2015, 07:47:04 am
One issue that drives this is the Trump factor. Trump's comments and those of other political leaders reacting to them have brought charges of racism on the national stage. So, any debate on both sides of Trump's position on this forum is likely to brush the lines that are associated with racist comments. I think we want to be able to allow posts on a range of opinions about what Trump and other leaders say. To do so will force the moderators to judge more carefully than we might have in the absence of Trump, lest a whole side of current political debate is cut off.

On a related note, I think Ruben Navarrette offers a useful observation that distinguishes between racism and nationalism in his column this morning that stresses why birthright citizenship should be preserved.

Yet [Chris] Matthews is spot on about why Donald Trumpís plan to get tough on illegal immigration ó building a wall, deporting illegal immigrants, confiscating remittances, etc. ó resonates with many Americans.

And, no, despite what you hear from some on the Latino left, itís not because of racism. Thatís just another round of simplistic nonsense.

Matthews has a bead on it. During a recent appearance on MSNBCís ďMorning Joe,Ē he noted that, for blue-collar workers without fancy degrees and high-powered connections, all they have is their country. Itís priceless, sacred and life-affirming. Itís wrapped up in tradition, sacrifice and honor. Their ancestors bled and died for it. And the idea that it is being threatened makes them furious ó especially if the threat is coming from some special-interest agenda. Mess with their country, and youíll be sorry.
23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Would Democrats like this Virginia map? on: August 26, 2015, 06:45:04 pm
I doubt they'd like the Obama 50-51% districts. Those are going to be R+2 to R+3 in congressional races. It looks like it would produce a 6R-5D map. I'm sure they would rather spread out NoVa to get a clear majority in the delegation. Keep in mind that with that data Obama 53% McCain 46% is R+0.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: ever used a payphone? on: August 26, 2015, 02:27:08 pm
Yes, and the difficulty when not having enough change to complete the call.
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: August 26, 2015, 01:13:46 pm
I didn't think about the transfer at Park. I lived in Newton (West Newton) when I first started grad school. I invested in a bicycle from the start and found it invaluable getting around Boston and the inner suburbs: Waltham to Cambridge and points in between.
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