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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: Today at 12:27:01 pm
56-37 looks solid enough, but if it is down from 75-22 or so, then the Republicans have a problem in Florida.   

When was it 75-22?  Do you have a citation for this?  The exit polls don't usually break it down between "Cuban" and "other Hispanic".


Probably until about 1990.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the St. Louis County Police Department on: Today at 12:25:25 pm
In need of pervasive reform.

Brutal cops create anarchy and disorder. 
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: Today at 08:53:57 am
I misread it (dirty glasses!), inverting the approval. Glasses cleaned, I take back some of what I said as simply wrong.  But even so, Cuban-Americans in Florida used to vote something like 75-25 for Republicans.

Any erosion of support from any once-solid constituency hurts the Party that used to rely upon that constituency. So if the vote of unionized workers or Jews for a Democratic pol goes from 80% to 60%, then the Democrat has a problem -- most likely one that goes beyond unionized workers or Jews. Likewise, if the small-business-ownership vote for Republicans goes from 80% to 60%, then Republicans have a problem, one that may go beyond the specific vote. Erosion of the base is still one way to lose the next election.

Perhaps something can be changing in a constituency that once seemed natural. Maybe unionized workers are no longer the struggling "Norma Rae" and are now well-paid skilled workers who have developed some concern for a tax bite that they can rarely avoid. Maybe  the Republicans are better addressing dangers to Israel than the Democrats do at the time. On the other hand, small business may be seeing Republicans siding with Big Business to squeeze out competition from small business and Democrats less likely to do so. Go figure. Parties figure such out or must seek new constituencies.

Maybe Cuban-Americans are beginning to become less concerned with Communism as the younger ones have no personal link to the controversies about what to do with Fidel Castro. Remember: any Cuban-American who fled Cuba before 1964 is now at least 50. Maybe Cuban-Americans are beginning to assimilate into non-Cuban-American populations. Maybe the Cuban-American population in 2014 isn't as 'white' as the refugees of the early 1960s (Mariel boatlift).
   
56-37 looks solid enough, but if it is down from 75-22 or so, then the Republicans have a problem in Florida.   
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Hillary is the Democrat nominee, who might her VP be? Does it really matter? on: Today at 08:33:02 am
VP doesn't matter that much unless the VP (to the political positive) fends off a possible rift or (to the negative)

(1) has no experience in high public office (US Senate, state governor strongly preferred. Does "mayor of a large city" count?) Congressional representatives do badly as political assets (William Miller, Geraldine Ferraro, Jack Kemp, Paul Ryan)

(2) has a problem -- see Thomas Eagleton, 1972.

(3) is grossly unqualified  -- Sarah Palin.

(4) is an incompetent campaigner

The VP nominee rarely swings a state. Ideological consistency has far greater significance. Bill Clinton could have chosen some Northern pol as his running  mate in 1992, but he selected a Senator from a neighboring state (Tennessee) with demographics and political heritage similar to that of Arkansas. He still won a raft of states that no Democratic nominee had won after the LBJ blowout of 1964.  

Here I discuss Julian Castro because he would bring an unusual experience and new political characteristics to national politics:

If Hillary Clinton selects some Democratic Rep from Florida just to win Florida -- such will either be irrelevant or fail. Selecting a big-city mayor (Julian Castro) would be daring because it just has not been done. The strengths of a big-city mayor (San Antonio) are obvious -- top official of a populous entity. Mayors have administrative experience that legislators do not have. Mayors must deal with local issues.

He would be the first Hispanic nominee of any major Party, and even if he does not swing Texas he might help in Colorado and Nevada  by encouraging the large Mexican-American populations in both states to vote. Who knows -- he could conceivably swing Arizona, a state with some affinities to Texas. The GOP nominee really must win at least one of Colorado and Nevada to get elected President. Such could solidify the Obama coalition, and the Obama coalition is enough for winning the Presidency.

The negatives? First, the city is San Antonio, a city with big problems. It's a nice place to visit but statistically an awful place in which to live. San Antonio has below-average economic conditions, poor statistical measures of educational achievement, and a high crime rate. Count on Republicans using that against him. (Democrats would have probably used that against former Cleveland Mayor, Governor of Ohio, and Senator Voinovich -- who I concede might have been a fine President had he been elected). Just about any big city has much the same problems.

Second, San Antonio is no microcosm of America. Like most other giant cities in Texas it has incorporated land that might have formed suburbs, so it has some sections with suburban qualities.  But it is not at all rural. Its ethnic mix is uncharacteristic of America. What works in San Antonio might not be so attractive in Wisconsin.  Julian Castro has never shown any ability to appeal to rural voters. Rural voters did not decide elections of 2006, 2008, or 2012, but they did decide the election of 2010.

Third -- the surname. It will be terribly unpopular in Florida even if he is no relation to someone  infamous to many Floridians.  If he must spend much time distinguishing himself from Fidel, then the adage "if you are explaining you are losing" applies.  

 

    
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: Today at 07:16:43 am
That Hispanics of Cuban origin are approaching the voting patterns of other Hispanics indicates that the GOP is losing them.

In what way does this poll suggest that their voting patterns are converging?  They look pretty different in this poll.


From the poll:

Quote
Cuban Hispanics
Romney 56%
Clinton 37%

non-Cuban Hispanics
Clinton 59%
Romney 33%

Cuban-Americans in Florida used to be a reliably-Republican voting bloc. Republicans can no longer rely upon the appeal that "Democrats are tools of Fidel Castro".

Huh

What are you talking about?  Romney has a huge lead among Cubans in that poll, according to the very numbers that you're quoting, while Clinton has a huge lead among non-Cuban Hispanics.


I discuss a change from the past in which most Cuban-Americans, at least in Florida, were reliable voters for Republicans in Presidential elections. Not all Hispanics in Florida are Cuban-Americans, and non-Cuban were never as amenable to GOP appeals that "Democrats are buddies of Fidel Castro". If one is a Mexican-American, is "Fidel Castro" as visceral a set of syllables as they were to someone who had fled Fidel Castro?

From the poll:

Quote
Whites
Romney 46%
Clinton 44%

This is very different from:

Quote
Cuban Hispanics
Romney 56%
Clinton 37%

non-Cuban Hispanics
Clinton 59%
Romney 33%

I think that we are seeing Republicans show that they have become incompetent at making successful and relevant appeals to Hispanics of any kind, and the execrable performance of Republicans among Cuban-Americans shows that such a failure comes from a difference in culture. To be sure, "Cuban Hispanics" are no longer as lily-white as they were in the 1960s due to a large number of Afro-Cubans in the Mariel boat-lift.

But even without the racial angle, younger Cuban-Americans are peeling away from the GOP on economic and cultural issues that have nothing to do with opposition to Communism.  Democrats have learned to say nothing flattering about Fidel Castro. Culture matters, and Cuban-Americans are heavily Catholic. Catholics on the whole have little use for GOP pandering to Protestant fundamentalists on such superstition and pseudoscience as creationism.

 
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rick Perry indicted on abuse of power on: Today at 06:57:05 am
I don't live in Texas, so I have my own filter. Texas has some strange politics.

Elected officials have no right to interfere in the judicial process for partisan ends. A state governor may use pardons and commutations as permitted by the State constitution, but that is as far as it goes. The governor cannot fire a judge or diminish his pay (which is a constructive firing) for political purposes.

An indictment has been made, and that does not itself imply guilt -- just that a case for prosecution exists. That is all.

It's good to see that someone gets it. I keep seeing this really, really nasty meme that it's okay to blatantly break the law if you're doing to to "punish" a wrong-doer (alleged or otherwise). Does anyone think that what Perry did would have been just dandy if he'd done it because the person he was targeting was hispanic? Or gay? Or Muslim? The ends DO NOT justify the means - if a civilization start ignoring its own laws because it think that is true, then its doomed.
There are two aspects here. How bad does it look for Perry? Did he break the law?

The DA's drunk driving arrest/ behavior fits both discussions. Primarily we've talked about the former, but it's still relevant for the latter.

As Governor, Perry has veto powers. And he is also able to say that he will use the veto powers under certain circumstances.

He wouldn't be able to use the veto powers to remove someone for being gay, Muslim or Hispanic. However, a prosecutor serving three weeks in jail for drunk driving, who is videotaped trying to pull rank on the officers around her, is not the moral equivalent of someone who is a victim of discrimination. She did something that's clearly wrong.

She was not removed for DWI. She was allowed to remain in office. Even if such is a mistake, it is not the prerogative of the Governor to deny the due payment for her work; such is not within his power.  That the attempt to deny payment for her office is done for what looks like a protection of the economic interest of the Governor's cronies makes the veto look like an abuse of power severe enough to allow an indictment. The Governor has veto powers, but if he uses them for corrupt purposes he may commit a crime.

Judges are not personally responsible to elected officials. Remember: an independent judiciary is a cornerstone of liberal democracy (in the classical sense). It does not allow judicial misconduct or grossly-incompetent performance... or blatant non-performance of duties.       

7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: Today at 06:34:48 am
That Hispanics of Cuban origin are approaching the voting patterns of other Hispanics indicates that the GOP is losing them.

In what way does this poll suggest that their voting patterns are converging?  They look pretty different in this poll.


From the poll:

Quote
Cuban Hispanics
Romney 56%
Clinton 37%

non-Cuban Hispanics
Clinton 59%
Romney 33%

Cuban-Americans in Florida used to be a reliably-Republican voting bloc. Republicans can no longer rely upon the appeal that "Democrats are tools of Fidel Castro".
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: Today at 06:23:46 am
Quinnipiac, New York State:

Clinton 60%
Bush 29%

Clinton 61%
Paul 30%

Clinton 54%
Christie 34%

Cuomo 53%
Bush 30%

Cuomo 55%
Paul 31%

Cuomo 47%
Christie 37%

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/new-york-state/release-detail?ReleaseID=2072


Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush




Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


   

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee



Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul




blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more

9  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: August 20, 2014, 10:25:28 pm
If things remain as they are with no Republican making gains against Hillary Clinton, then she wins a minimum of 330 electoral votes and a maximum of 410 electoral votes. 
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Florida (SurveyUSA): Hillary leads Romney by 7 on: August 20, 2014, 10:17:14 pm
That Hispanics of Cuban origin are approaching the voting patterns of other Hispanics indicates that the GOP is losing them.

It could be that Mitt Romney lost Florida in 2012 with the infamous Spanish-language ad that tried to connect President Obama to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez... but a 7% lead is much bigger than the margin of either Obama victory in Florida.   
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: August 20, 2014, 04:47:58 pm
Maps suggesting that Virginia would recognize SSM deleted.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Jay Nixon runs for president or is veep, can he do well with black voters? on: August 20, 2014, 01:47:49 pm
Civil peace is worth the restraining of cops and the arrests of rioters. A peaceful protest is no excuse for a criminal act, whether a violent assault or a smash-and-grab larceny. If I were in a peaceful protest and I saw someone breaking into a storefront window I would take photos and continue the protest. I would also give the cops the digital images for use in a prosecution of overt crime and to merchants to facilitate insurance claims. 

The merchants did nothing wrong. 
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Opinion of the American Media? on: August 20, 2014, 01:36:49 pm
No fact checking. Absence of the requirement of two independent sources. Plagiarism commonplace. Ideological slant the norm in some news sources (most infamously FoX News). And the general public no longer gives a d@mn! 
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: August 20, 2014, 01:31:46 pm
PPP, North Carolina.

Clinton 45%
Huckabee 44%

Clinton 46%
Bush 42%

Clinton 47%
Paul 42%

Clinton 47%
Cruz 41%

Clinton 45%
Christie 38%

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2014/PPP_Release_NC_8201205.pdf

North Carolina is a must-win state for any Republican nominee. Republicans have not won a Presidential election without North Carolina since 1956, when the South was the most D part of the US and North Carolina was decidedly D at practically every level.

PPP frequently polls North Carolina.

Jesse Helms must be rolling in his grave.  

Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush




Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie


   

Hillary Clinton vs. Mike Huckabee



Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul




blue, Republican -- red, Democratic

30% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 3% or less
40% -- lead with 40-49% but a margin of 4% or more
60% -- lead with 50-54%
70% -- lead with 55-59%
90% -- lead with 60% or more
15  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: August 20, 2014, 01:09:22 pm
Quote
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Virginia officials are preparing for the possibility that same-sex couples will be able to wed in the state Thursday by drafting a revised marriage license form for courthouse clerks to use as soon as they open their doors.

The state's ban on same-sex marriages was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided not to delay its ruling while it is appealed. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, same-sex marriages will be legal beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday.

The revised license forms "would reflect the constitutional right of same-sex couples to legally marry in Virginia by asking for the name and gender of each spouse, whereas before, the form required a bride and groom because that was all the Commonwealth could legally recognize," Michael Kelly, a spokesman for the Virginia Attorney General's Office, said in an email to The Associated Press.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/20/virginia-gay-marriage_n_5694479.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices



16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republic of Texas what if? on: August 20, 2014, 09:50:47 am
Right-wing as the state's politics it would endure a brain drain as the leading politicians gut civil liberties.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: RNC Condemns AP Exam's 'Radically Revisionist View' Of U.S. History on: August 20, 2014, 08:23:02 am
The GOP wants students glorifying the supremacy of the elites of ownership and management, denying science when science contradicts the ideology, supporting a low-service government that well serves well-connected grafters (especially military contractors and privatizers), tolerating cartels and trusts as engines of progress, and accepting the current trends of the GOP as the definitive truth in politics.

How long will it be before such a view of the world finds itself repudiated?
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republic of Texas what if? on: August 20, 2014, 08:15:37 am
I'd be fine with letting them go. We could handle the refugees.


But could Mexico?
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: August 20, 2014, 07:30:28 am
I doubt any parent ever launched a party while learning their kid was gay.

I wouldn't throw a "My daughter is a prostitute" or "My son is a car thief" party, either.

Those examples aren't on the same level as homosexuality at all.  Seems like a strange comment to make.

That is the point. At the least one can have a happy and wholesome life as a homosexual. One can't live a happy and wholesome life as a criminal or as a prostitute. Because homosexuals can do about anything that straight people can do other than maintain a heterosexual relationship, people can do some soul-searching and find that what seems distressing at first is not so horrible. Nothing good can be said of a life of criminality or of loveless sexuality for which nobody can find a rational defense.


20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2016 Official Polling Map Thread on: August 20, 2014, 07:12:50 am
Quote
Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election, Democrat Hillary Clinton keeps Florida's critical 29 electoral college votes blue if she is opposed by a resurrected Mitt Romney. But Romney turns Florida red if he is opposed by Democrat Joe Biden. This is consistent with previous WFLA-TV polling, which shows that Clinton defeats each and every high-profile Republican in an election today, holding the state for the Democrats, but Biden loses to each and every high-profile Republican today. 270 electoral college votes are needed to win the White House; Florida alone accounts for 11% of the total needed.

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=50582fcd-fbd1-4015-8068-45d66cc1cbf8

This is consistent with Hillary Clinton winning Florida against everyone but Jeb Bush, Jeb possibly winning solely due to the Favorite Son effect.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Republic of Texas what if? on: August 19, 2014, 01:51:17 pm
Texas would be quickly become a political cesspool, the right-wing equivalent of Belarus in the Americas. 
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rick Perry indicted on abuse of power on: August 18, 2014, 06:42:58 am
I don't live in Texas, so I have my own filter. Texas has some strange politics.

Elected officials have no right to interfere in the judicial process for partisan ends. A state governor may use pardons and commutations as permitted by the State constitution, but that is as far as it goes. The governor cannot fire a judge or diminish his pay (which is a constructive firing) for political purposes.

An indictment has been made, and that does not itself imply guilt -- just that a case for prosecution exists. That is all.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Polls on Same-Sex Marriage State Laws on: August 18, 2014, 06:33:15 am
Religion? No -- it is a primal concern about passing down genes, something deep in the irrational subconscious.

The only gays I know or have heard about whose parents have cut off contact with them, have all had deeply religious parents.

The point is than even pro-gay parents are usually upset a bit. Thye know life will be harder, than they won't pass down genes. I doubt any parent ever launched a party while learning their kid was gay.

I wouldn't throw a "My daughter is a prostitute" or "My son is a car thief" party, either.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Found the last time FiveThirtyEight ran a simulation with Clinton as Dem nomine on: August 17, 2014, 11:56:04 pm
Michigan typically breaks late for Democrats.  It swung, all right, in 2008 -- from close to the national average to a Democratic blowout.

Michigan is home to some of the cr@ppiest one-state pollsters, and those showed McCain decidedly ahead in Michigan. If one trusted PPP, the state was close until early September and went quickly out of contention.

There were signs that McCain was in trouble. Virginia, a state that had not gone for a Democratic nominee in a Republican win since 1924, gave plenty of leads to Obama. Several polls showed Indiana really close. Iowa, which Gore barely won and Kerry barely lost, vanished from contention. 
   

25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: St Louis police murder scandal (PLUS: riots, idiotic press conferences, etc.) on: August 16, 2014, 08:05:55 pm
Too bad the Ferguson police don't have mandatory dashboard cameras in cop cars...

Those dashboard cameras are usually bad news to crooks.  
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