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December 20, 2014, 10:13:41 am
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: LA and NC 2014 Congressional Races on: Today at 04:18:08 am
^ Well, LA-03 is the best example, but I was talking more about whites generally.

Here's the white % share of electorate vs. Landrieu's share of the vote by parish:

Very few outliers.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: LA and NC 2014 Congressional Races on: Today at 01:04:05 am
^ In one the of the exit polls I saw on election night, Pryor was getting 30-33% of whites in AR. That kinda gave me hope Landrieu could at least get into the mid-20% range for the runoff.

Still even on primary election night, I was pretty shocked at how much whites, especially in LA-03, voted against Landrieu. In the exit polls, she actually came in behind Maness (!) with whites. Not by much (19% vs 18%) but still pretty brutal.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Comparing raw votes totals of Senators from different years on: Today at 12:31:48 am
The state gained about 1.5-2 million people in the interim, but Tillis got about 175K more votes than Dole in 2002:

Tillis 14- 53.3% (1,423,259)
Dole 02- 46.7% (1,248,664)
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Comparing raw votes totals of Senators from different years on: Today at 12:10:53 am
Dole got more votes in every county than Tillis did:

Dole 08- 57.0% (1,887,510)
Tillis 14- 43.0% (1,423,259)

And she would have beaten Hagan pretty easily, too:

Dole 08- 57.8% (1,458,046)
Hagan 14- 42.2% (1,377,651)

Hagan would have actually held Wake County in this case.

This, however, is a great map:

Hagan 08- 61.2% (2,249,311)
Tillis 14- 38.8% (1,423,259)
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Mapping Presidential Turnout Changes vs Trends by County on: December 19, 2014, 08:15:45 pm
Here's 2004-2012. My method for this version was slightly different. First I compared the partisan trend to what I'm calling the "turnout trend," mostly for lack of a better phrase. Essentially, national turnout was up 5.67% between 2004 and 2012. The counties that cast more votes but were under a 5.67% increase, were considered to have cast less votes.

My scale was also tweaked slightly:

Again, the vertical axis is turnout (darker = more votes, lighter= less votes) while the horizontal axis corresponds to the party trend (red= D, blue = R).

Finally, this would be the breakdown by state:

If anyone has data for AK, I'd appreciate it if you'd reach out to me. I'd love to do the results by borough on the county map, but can only find data for its electoral districts (which were redrawn between going into 2012).
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: LA and NC 2014 Congressional Races on: December 19, 2014, 05:15:39 pm
Runoff turnout statistics finally are out.

The electorate was 66.7% white, 30.3% black, 3.0% other. Thats actually friendlier to Landrieu than I would have expected. The problem was that, assuming Landrieu took 95% of blacks and 60% of 'other', that leaves her at just 20% (!) of the white vote.

I've talked a lot about my 30/30 rule for Landrieu: get blacks to make up 30% of the electorate and get 30% of the white vote. I always had a feeling the second proposition would be more challenging, but its hard to understate how little white voters distinguished Landrieu from Obama this time. Going into this year, I was expecting her to get 23-24% of whites, at worst.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The 2016 presidential field on Cuba on: December 19, 2014, 01:58:41 pm
Paul went went on a Twitter harangue where he called out Rubio.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Ayn Rand reviews children's movies on: December 19, 2014, 11:36:47 am
Just for the funzies.

The story has more, but here are a few of the better ones:


“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
An industrious young woman neglects to charge for her housekeeping services and is rightly exploited for her naïveté. She dies without ever having sought her own happiness as the highest moral aim. I did not finish watching this movie, finding it impossible to sympathize with the main character. —No stars.

“Old Yeller”
A farm animal ceases to be useful and is disposed of humanely. A valuable lesson for children. —Four stars.

“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”
An excellent movie. The obviously unfit individuals are winnowed out through a series of entrepreneurial tests and, in the end, an enterprising young boy receives a factory. I believe more movies should be made about enterprising young boys who are given factories. —Three and a half stars. (Half a star off for the grandparents, who are sponging off the labor of Charlie and his mother. If Grandpa Joe can dance, Grandpa Joe can work.)

“Toy Story”
 At last, a full-length feature about the inherent value of possessions. —Four stars.

An exceptional woman foolishly allows her mooching family members to keep her from ruling a kingdom of ice in perfect solitude. She is forced to use her unique powers to provide free entertainment for peasants, without compensation. I liked the snowman, when he sang. —One star.

9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: NC 2016 Gubernatorial Discussion Thread on: December 19, 2014, 01:27:47 am
Well, just when I worry McCrory is getting less vulnerable stuff like this comes out:

RALEIGH – Political analysts from both parties said they had concerns Wednesday about whether North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory had been forthcoming about payments of more than $185,000 in cash and stock that he accepted from a Charlotte mortgage broker after he took office last year.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina each received six-figure payouts while holding elected office from Tree.com, the corporate parent of the website LendingTree. The two Republicans had served on the company's board and resigned after they won election, which would have rendered their unvested shares in Tree.com worthless. The board voted to give them the shares anyway.

"It's one of those things that creates a smell," said Carter Wrenn, a Republican strategist whose past clients included the conservative icon Sen. Jesse Helms.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Which was more surprising? on: December 19, 2014, 01:16:28 am
And going by how things seemed to stand at the last minute, 538's forecast supports the idea of Arkansas being more shocking. Both results fell outside the 90% forecasted range, but in the case of Kansas, only just, as he gave a pretty wide confidence interval, stretching from Orman +10 to Roberts +9ish. That makes sense: a race with an Independent and an unpopular incumbent in a red state is difficult to predict. In Arkansas, 538 gave a much smaller confidence interval, about Cotton +0 to Cotton +10, and yet Cotton still obliterated it.

I was also going to add Perdue winning outright as an option. I was expecting a runoff, but 538 had him at 49.7% on election day, so winning outright wouldn't be that surprising.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Thom Tillis: (maybe) Good Enough, (could be) Smart Enough But… on: December 19, 2014, 12:58:00 am
Do people like him? Well, his constituents don't seem to.

I’ll admit, as the number one Hagan hack around here, that when her name was sometimes mentioned for President or VP, I was always lukewarm at best. Well, after this election, that’s pretty much gone out the window anyway. However, this thought was recently brought to my attention:

-In his latest column, Rob Christensen bemoaned the lack of political giants from NC. Senator-elect Thom Tillis is actually well-placed to become the next Carolina giant. Tillis dominated the headlines as House Speaker and will probably be an assertive member of the U.S. Senate. He wants to be NRSC chairman, and with his uncanny ability to see his goals come to fruition, it’s possible his political rise won’t end there. Could his name one day appear on a presidential ticket?

The idea of Thom Tillis on a national ticket is as startling as it is disturbing.

Lets deconstruct this argument:

Proposition 1: Tillis is well positioned to be an NC political giant because he'll be an assertive Senator.

As House Speaker, he was more or less at the mercy of the more conservative Senate and even let the more radical faction of his House dominate the discourse in Raleigh. The implication here seems to be that this lamb (Tillis) will turn into a lion just because he's changed jobs.

If anything, Tillis will need to keep a low profile. Why? I know his race was going to be close either way, but he was elected with with lowest percentage of the vote of any NC Senator in history.

He'll almost certainly face an electorate that is more hostile in 2020. If you look at that counties that swung the most against Liddy Dole, for example, they were also generally the ones that had the sharpest turnout increases (e,g. Cumberland and Mecklenburg counties). Tillis won this time in large part because Democrats in places like Charlotte and Greensboro didn't turn out, an advantage he likely won't have in a Presidential year. He could try to make inroads in such areas, but he's entering office with a reputation as incredibly divisive, partisan figure. If he's seen as a vocal Senator who's always trying to pull the debate to the right, I don't think that helps him.

Of course, if Tillis is betting on being the GOP VP in 2020 and forgo reelection, he'll certainly be more 'assertive', but that would be kinda silly considering all the variables between now and then.

Proposition 2: Tillis wants to be NRSC Chairman.

I do think this has a decent chance of actually happening. A while ago, I predicted that if Tillis got elected, he'd be most like Cornyn, who actually led the NRSC in 2010. I can see the cards falling into place for Tillis in 2018: the current chair, Wicker, and the runner-up, Heller will both be defending their own seats in 2018. That would be a good opening for him. Considering all the things Democrats threw at him in this cycle, Tillis certainly would have the appeal of being 'battle tested.'

Tillis usually brags about how in 2010, how he left his job at IBM to recruit legislative candidates and raise money for the state party. Given the environment of 2010, the GOP would have almost certainly taken the NCGA regardless, but Tillis was at the right place at the right time to take credit.

I remember watching an interview with him during the campaign, I forget the outlet, but he was being asked about the political geography of the state. I was impressed with how he held up. He would say things like "Well, Alamance county is Republican, but its not as a red a Randolph or Davidson County." I think that type of knowledge would help Tillis as NRSC Chair. By contrast, when Hagan was asked about geography/coalitions in the state, she often just gave some generic answer.

What makes things cruelly ironic, at least from my perspective, is that 2018 will be a target-rich environment for Senate Republicans, especially if the President is still a Democrat. Tillis will be their to take credit for picking up seats.

Of course, another Senator who recently held his seat was the NRSC chair. We all know how that went.

Proposition 3: With a proven ability of seeing his goals come to fruition, Tillis' rise could land him on a national ticket.

I'm really reminded of this piece that was out a while ago which documented Tillis' quick rise: (keep in mind it was written before the election)

For North Carolina, the 2013 legislative session meant a hard shift to the right. For Thom Tillis, it was a missed opportunity. He could have been the leader who restrained the most divisive legislation while still pursuing his small-government, free-market agenda. Instead, he stopped leading and started running. His attention and his priorities shifted from accomplishing his legislative goals to pursuing his political ones.

In the process, his greatest accomplishment turned into his greatest liability. His ads never mention that he’s speaker of the North Carolina House. He’s the businessman he was before he entered politics or he’s the short order cook or he’s the paperboy learning to make a buck. The only time he mentions his legislative career is to rebut criticism of his legislative record. Meawhile, Tillis seems to be struggling in his race to defeat the vulnerable Hagan. It’s still a close race, but Tillis has never managed to open up a large lead, and the most recent polls consistently show Hagan up by a few points. Nonetheless, Tillis seems more comfortable trying to be something than trying to do something. If he becomes a senator, what will he want to be next?

This seems to support mt hunch that he'll be a relatively low-profile Senator; nationally, I'm not sure how that would play. As the GOP has generally put more of a premium on Governors than Senators in terms of national viability, McCrory could be a better pick (assuming he wins again).

But would Tillis make a good VP candidate?

Its pretty clear that he wouldn't be picked because he's Mr. Congeniality. His gaffes, whether spitting on half the state or trashing the poor make that pretty clear.

Also, given the the GOP's need to expand its appeal, I can only see him being picked if the ticket's Presidential is eh, of non-traditional heritage, as Tillis himself would say.

I'll have to see how he acts as Senator to have a better idea of how he'd play nationally. But after the wave this year, there certainly won't be any shortage of ambitious (and more charismatic) Republicans looking to move up.

Still, its gonna be one hell of sad day in America if this is what Inauguration Day looks like in 2021 or 2025:

12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Tom Cotton on: December 18, 2014, 05:07:58 pm
One of the worst new Senators, no doubt.

Its pretty obvious he's more interested in being part of a national ticket than being a Senator for Arkansas. In fact, he's pretty much everything that Arkansas pol shouldn't be: a cold fish on personality and, politically, supports policies contrary to the populist interests of his state. Its a shame, IMO.

I would really love to have an off-the-record talk with the Clintons about how the politics of their state has devolved to the point where they'd elect Cotton.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Which was more surprising? on: December 18, 2014, 04:02:46 pm
Pryor still didn't lose by as much as Blanche Lincoln.

But if you told me before the election that he'd win fewer counties than her, I probably wouldn't have believed you.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Which was more surprising? on: December 18, 2014, 12:10:35 pm
Tough, but I'd say Arkansas.

I wasn't expecting it to be particuarly close (7-8% win for Cotton), but when it was called right after polls closed, I knew the result would be pretty damning.

I was also expecting Orman to be close, but like third parties or Libertarians in general, I had a hunch he was overpolling.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 Senate results by CD on: December 18, 2014, 11:33:51 am
Does anyone have the Nebraska numbers for Governor?

16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: MT-Gov: AG Tim Fox not running on: December 18, 2014, 01:33:06 am
Do the Democrats have a shot at winning the AG race in 2016?

Its not much, but it depends on the quality of the candidate they get.

Other than Romney, Fox was actually the only statewide Republican to win in MT in 2012.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Georgia's Very Own Megathread! on: December 18, 2014, 12:47:20 am
^ I know that Deal being from Gainesville probably helped Nunn perform better in those northeastern CD9 counties, but how much of an impact do you think Zell Miller had there for Nunn?
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Share interesting raw vote facts here on: December 17, 2014, 10:24:04 pm
^ Yep, Pryor got less votes than his dad in 1978, but more than the Republican.
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Defeated Incumbents from House of Representatives (General) on: December 17, 2014, 10:17:32 pm
Terry.  He would've won if it weren't for the Tea Partier who ran as an independent.  Looks like they threw away another important race. Sad

The Tea Partier dropped out way before November bro. But don't let that get in the way of your delusion Roll Eyes
Was he still on the ballot?

Doesn't look like it.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 US Congressional Election Results on: December 17, 2014, 09:11:11 pm
Barrow's % improvement over Nunn:

21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election (with hindsight) on: December 17, 2014, 07:43:52 pm
22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which electoral maps are the most aesthetically pleasing to your eye? on: December 17, 2014, 07:31:26 pm
For some reason, my Obama/Hillary NC map was always one of my favorites:

23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 Senate results by CD on: December 17, 2014, 07:20:02 pm
Nothing earth-shattering here, just tweaked my GA numbers, as results have been finalized:

24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Georgia's Very Own Megathread! on: December 17, 2014, 07:09:21 pm
Governor by CD:

Nunn/Carter by CD:

In many CDs, they were within a few decimals of eachother, but Adam, check out CD14! Carter did almost 6% better!
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: AZ-2 recount results to be released Dec 17 on: December 17, 2014, 02:20:58 pm
I was expecting Barber to win because he was up in RRH poll out the last week; still within the MoE and they've still racked up a decent record.
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