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Author Topic: You Cannot Win An Election With Strong Disapprovals Like This  (Read 9156 times)
Fmr. President & Senator Polnut
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« Reply #150 on: October 08, 2011, 12:48:59 am »
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How is there any real argument here - there's a whole lot of 'duh' in there.

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« Reply #151 on: October 08, 2011, 12:51:53 am »
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How is there any real argument here - there's a whole lot of 'duh' in there.


What are you referring to?
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Fmr. President & Senator Polnut
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« Reply #152 on: October 08, 2011, 12:53:43 am »
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The issues around confidence, the market (ie the people behind it)
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« Reply #153 on: October 08, 2011, 01:04:43 am »
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The issues around confidence, the market (ie the people behind it)

Again as I've pointed out before confidence really isn't the factor that people think it is. Unless destruction occurs to the fundamentals, confidence indicators don't have much affect. And actually they are very contrarian. The further they fall the more it is a sign to buy because confidence itself can't overcome the fundamentals of an economy. The consensus in the minds of the public always way overplays its hand.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 01:06:57 am by Wonkish1 »Logged
Fmr. President & Senator Polnut
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« Reply #154 on: October 08, 2011, 01:14:37 am »
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I agree with BOTH of you, try to deal Tongue .... I think the fact that the economy still manages to survive despite the doom-sayers is testament to that...
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« Reply #155 on: October 08, 2011, 01:34:48 am »
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I agree with BOTH of you, try to deal Tongue .... I think the fact that the economy still manages to survive despite the doom-sayers is testament to that...

Well of course it does. The vast majority of consumer spending can't be delayed that much. People have to eat. People have to put gas in their car if they are going to be able to make it to work. People can't delay fixing a problem in their car for very long. People can't put off fixing the roof indefinitely. This is a point that Buffett has spent quite a bit of time on over the last few years. So all those people that pull back, save more, and have a balance sheet that is improving because of that, eventually have to go out and engage in some consumption. That is why the "never ending deflationary spiral" theory is a myth.

Oh and by the way contrary to what some Keynesians like Krugman would say, savings is not a problem. When you save money in lets say in a savings account that money goes to A) bolster the reserves of banks bettering their financial position and B) issue more credit to other businesses and people that do need to make a capital investment. All the while your personal balance sheet is improving so that when you do have to make a larger purchase down the road you're in a much better position to do so. Eventually as the economy improves you delay the purchases less and less.
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Fmr. President & Senator Polnut
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« Reply #156 on: October 08, 2011, 01:48:23 am »
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I'm not an economic ideologue - I want to know what works, not what a bunch of navel gazers think it should work.

If there's a Monetarist-backed idea that has a proven record of delivering what is required.... fine, if there's a Keynesian idea that delivers what is required... equally fine. 

Sometimes you need to spend money, sometimes you can get others to spend theirs... which is why economic theory sent me around the wall during my Undergrad and my Masters... and why my PhD will avoid theory like the plague.
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« Reply #157 on: October 08, 2011, 02:17:14 am »
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I'm not an economic ideologue - I want to know what works, not what a bunch of navel gazers think it should work.

If there's a Monetarist-backed idea that has a proven record of delivering what is required.... fine, if there's a Keynesian idea that delivers what is required... equally fine. 

Sometimes you need to spend money, sometimes you can get others to spend theirs... which is why economic theory sent me around the wall during my Undergrad and my Masters... and why my PhD will avoid theory like the plague.

I definitely wouldn't consider myself an economic ideologue either. Ideology is not what sent me off to learn about economics. I went to go learn about economics and then when I came back some would accuse me of ideology and others wouldn't(particularly those that are also well versed in econ and see me as a pretty fair guy).

You may be surprised by how much even Austrians and Keynesians agree over economics let alone Monetarists and Keynesians. A lot of econ is settled. Just like how everybody in the study of climate can tell you where rain comes from, but they are still an extremely long way away from being able to predict weather with a high degree of accuracy.

But just realize that the amount of econ that is settled is much, much more than what many politicians and bureaucrats would like to admit.
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Fmr. President & Senator Polnut
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« Reply #158 on: October 08, 2011, 02:26:26 am »
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I do know that... I also work with economics, and Government-related economics at that - and have also studied it at undergrad and graduate levels.

Granted not the same 'nature' of work you do...
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« Reply #159 on: October 16, 2011, 10:23:39 pm »
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Well essentially he did I just summarized it. Saying that minor stock price decreases and bond price increases caused consumer confidence to deteriorate leading to less buying and the less hiring is essentially the same thing as the statement I provided above except the one above is a summary position.

That is actually a poor summary of my argument. I did say that bad stock market news could further undermine economic confidence by feeding back in to a pre-existing panic/misery loop, and I said that the debt debate undermined confidence that our political system's ability to function.

But I didn't say the stock market "decreases" (I would call the DJI dropping more than 450 pointsin a single day more than a "decrease", but I digress) were what caused hiring to freeze. What I argued caused hiring to freeze was employers fearing that a financial crisis would be triggered by a failure to raise the debt ceiling. People were so scared that all hell was about to break loose, and it created a dark and unnecessary cloud over economic activity that month.

Now, as this thread has shown, you are free to disagree with all of that, but you aren't free to misrepresent it via a bad summary. You're entitled to your own set of opinions, but not your own set of facts.

Well then sorry, but that was what appeared to be your argument.
No, that is what you misrepresented it as.  You seem to be deluded that you are making others look fooloish.  But its you, with you inability to follow arguments, that is the fool.


I realize "Romney: Occupy Wall Street is not the way to go" has become a terrible thread that needs to be buried, but reviving this other terrible thread is not the way to go.
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« Reply #160 on: August 23, 2013, 06:50:59 am »
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I'm sorry to the Obama supporters on here, but when 43 percent of independents "Strongly Disapprove" not just disapprove of Obama's job performance you just can't expect to pull out a narrow win with whats left.

I don't really think you can find a period of time where a politician was up for reelection with strong disapprovals like this. Basically, what it is saying is that 40% of the country doesn't just want you gone, they hate your guts. Another 10-20% just doesn't like you. And the people on the other side aren't particularly enthusiastic about you.

The margin for error when the country is lined up like that against you is almost to thin that its extremely improbable to make it through a campaign season without losing a little more support because you certainly aren't gaining any more support.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/opposition-to-obama-grows--strongly/2011/10/04/gIQAlch2ML_blog.html

And this is why you never count your chickens before they've hatched.  You end up with hilarious in hindsight threads like this one.  lol
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« Reply #161 on: August 23, 2013, 01:37:32 pm »
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I'm sorry to the Obama supporters on here, but when 43 percent of independents "Strongly Disapprove" not just disapprove of Obama's job performance you just can't expect to pull out a narrow win with whats left.

I don't really think you can find a period of time where a politician was up for reelection with strong disapprovals like this. Basically, what it is saying is that 40% of the country doesn't just want you gone, they hate your guts. Another 10-20% just doesn't like you. And the people on the other side aren't particularly enthusiastic about you.

The margin for error when the country is lined up like that against you is almost to thin that its extremely improbable to make it through a campaign season without losing a little more support because you certainly aren't gaining any more support.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/opposition-to-obama-grows--strongly/2011/10/04/gIQAlch2ML_blog.html

And this is why you never count your chickens before they've hatched.  You end up with hilarious in hindsight threads like this one.  lol

iirc Wonkish was the type who would claim Obama didn't really legitimately win at all.
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« Reply #162 on: September 04, 2013, 11:00:35 am »
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I'm sorry to the Obama supporters on here, but when 43 percent of independents "Strongly Disapprove" not just disapprove of Obama's job performance you just can't expect to pull out a narrow win with whats left.

I don't really think you can find a period of time where a politician was up for reelection with strong disapprovals like this. Basically, what it is saying is that 40% of the country doesn't just want you gone, they hate your guts. Another 10-20% just doesn't like you. And the people on the other side aren't particularly enthusiastic about you.

The margin for error when the country is lined up like that against you is almost to thin that its extremely improbable to make it through a campaign season without losing a little more support because you certainly aren't gaining any more support.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/opposition-to-obama-grows--strongly/2011/10/04/gIQAlch2ML_blog.html

And this is why you never count your chickens before they've hatched.  You end up with hilarious in hindsight threads like this one.  lol

What happens is that people see one statistic, misjudge it as the key, and ignore other facts.

Note well:

1. Nate Silver established that it is a great myth that incumbent politicians need 50% approval before the electoral campaign begins to have a real chance of winning. For an incumbent who got elected the first time, the average campaign moves the approval rating up about 6% to a vote share in a binary election, which is ordinarily enough with which to win if one's approval ratings before the campaign season are above 44%.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/02/myth-of-incumbent-50-rule.html

It applies in huge numbers to Senators and Governors. Because most incumbent Presidents were Senators or Governors, it probably applies to the President as well.

It's easy to understand why a politician with a 52% share of the vote might quickly see his approvals diminish to 46% or so once the campaign ends and the politics of legislating or governing begin. Most political choices are split around 50-50, and few elected officials get to offer new policies with anything like 65% approval. Such policies usually get enacted long before they have 65% approval -- like when they get 52% approval. When gay rights got about 52% approval, Barack Obama went with it.

Opponents, including potential opponents in the next election, carp at will about the incumbent and get much publicity.  They get away with it until the electoral campaign begins, and all of a sudden the opponent starts getting scrutiny for the content of his criticism. About then the incumbent gets to show either why he was elected in the last election or that electing him was a mistake.

If campaigns for re-election did not matter, then politicians would invariably set themselves above the campaign and win re-election with no effort. Such was so with Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, winning in a near-blowout while doing little campaigning. But Dwight Eisenhower saw campaigning more of a risk than a reward, and chose not to go for a 49-state blowout. He won 43 states. He was that good as President.

Barack Obama had to campaign in 2012, and he campaigned enough to win. 

2. Campaigns matter, which explains why appointed pols do not fare as well as those already elected to the job in electoral campaigns. An appointed pol (Hickenlooper in 2010) needs approval near 50% to win re-election. It also explains why Gerald Ford did not get re-elected.

Ford had never run for any statewide office and had no idea of how to run a Presidential campaign because he had never run for Governor of Michigan or US Senator from Michigan. He liked his role in the House of Representatives. He failed to manage campaign resources (including personal appearances) effectively, and was the last Republican to lose such states as Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina in a Presidential bid -- in a very close election.

3. The odd case of former Senator George Allen, who lost a re-election bid for the Senate in 2006 despite starting with approval slightly above 50%, demonstrates not so much a failure of Silver's model but instead what can go catastrophically wrong.  Allen

  • (1) faced an unusually-strong challenger. James Webb was a strong challenger -- one much stronger than the usual opponent of an entrenched Governor or Senator. He well fit the sensibilities of a state drifting D.

    (2) was tied to an unpopular President. Dubya wasn't particularly unpopular at the start of 2006, but by November he was widely despised for failures. Allen was closely attached to the GOP Establishment and became vulnerable for that alone.

    (3) ran a horrid campaign. Under normal circumstances an incumbent gains some, but Allen was slightly ahead until the last couple of weeks. Then some of his campaign staffers roughed up a heckler. That doomed him, and Silver's model cannot predict something like that.

OK -- so what about wave elections as the political climate shifts? If America is going right-wing as shown in mass rallies (2010) or with a right-wing religious revival (1980) the model probably catches the trend.

OK -- an incumbent Governor or Senator could fall to a breaking scandal -- right? Not quite. Corruption usually forces secretiveness by a politician, and secretiveness is not good for getting elected or re-elected. Add to that, the news media know things about politicians in trouble that they dare not release until they get corroboration, but individual journalists know enough to avoid plugging politicians who might be subject to a breaking scandal. The same Illinois media that plugged Senator Barack Obama while he was in one of the usual penultimate postings before the President did not do the same with Governor Rod Blagojevich. Obama was squeaky-clean; Blagojevich was a corrupt Illinois machine pol who eventually got caught trying to sell an appointment to the US Senate seat that Barack Obama held. Blagojevich was in political trouble before the scandal broke. Switch the offices, and 'Senator Blagojevich' sells his affiliation to the Democratic Party for a million dollars to switch to the GOP  and gets defeated in a re-election bid in 2010 to a Democrat, and 'Governor Obama' is in a good position to be elected President in 2012 after reporting a lame-brained bid to buy an appointed Senate seat to the FBI.

Political journalists are either the best friends of a politician's career or the ones who grease the skids. They ride waves that they like and jump off the bad ones. News coverage may explain why some politician has 40% approval a year before the next election and another has 47% approval.   
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