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Author Topic: NJ: Academics and Model-makers on Hillary Clinton's chances  (Read 4241 times)
Mister Mets
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« on: February 16, 2015, 06:20:03 pm »
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National Journal has a piece on political scientists skeptical of Hillary Clinton's chances of being the next President.

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For Clinton to reach 50 percent of the popular vote, under this model's rules, the president would need to see a 5-point increase in his approval rating and GDP growth would have to hit 3.5 percent. It's certainly possible, but it's fair to call that a best-case scenario for Obama in his final year as president.

So while Democrats see the recent gains in both Obama's approval and economic growth as signs that Clinton enters the race as the favorite, the academic modeling suggests that assessment is far too sunny. In fact, the recent uptick is the only thing keeping her from being a prohibitive underdog.

The reason Clinton struggles under seemingly decent conditions is obvious. After one party holds the presidency for two terms, voters want change. In the model, this desire for a new direction manifests itself as a 4-point reduction in the candidate's take of the popular vote compared with what candidates could expect had their party held the White House for just one term.

"One of the regularities you'll find for all presidential elections since World War II is, after a party has been in power eight years and is trying to hold on to the White House for a third consecutive term, it gets harder," Abramowitz says. "Another way of looking at it: In the first election after a party takes over the White House, you have a significant advantage. And the next time, after you've held another term, you lose that advantage."

Campaign operatives love to hate this academic assessment of politics, much like Wall Street belittles the technical analysts who use past performance to predict stock-market moves.

The tension between the strategists and the scientists speaks to the distinct approaches they employ: Political professionals (including journalists) study strategy, tactics, the day-to-day activities of a campaign, while political scientists see fundamentals shaping every election, almost no matter the strength of a candidate.

In 2012, for example, most strategists think Obama won because he ran one of the best presidential campaigns in American history while Mitt Romney ran one of the worst. According to political scientists, however, Obama's victory was a product of favorable conditions, such as an improving economy, decent approval ratings, and his incumbency. The unemployment rate was high, yes, but the state of the economy matters little compared with the direction it's headed.
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 07:11:06 pm »
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It's really about the trajectory.  The disappoval of a G O P lead House and Senate and what type of VP she picks.  And the Senate map tend to favors the Dems.  But, she must make it out of the primary and although she appeals to females, there is a populist streak of young voters that disapprove of the handouts to Wallstreet.
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 11:21:30 pm »
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President Romney is sure glad the "models" were correct in 2012.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 01:05:55 am »
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President Romney is sure glad the "models" were correct in 2012.

^This. Also, never doubt the chances that the Republican candidate, probably Jeb or Walker at this point (more so Walker) will end up pushing social issues or generally gaffing it up right until November. Add in the fact that the GOP owns both houses in Congress and it makes oppo far easier for Hillary's team: just ran against the do-nothing regressivists and tie their candidate to D.C.
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 02:33:11 am »
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Most of the time the party holds the White House for a 3rd term.

Yes: 1796, 1812, 1836, 1868, 1908, 1928, 1940, 1988
Stolen: 2000
No: 1920, 1960, 1968, 1976, 2008

Hillary is perfectly capable of losing this without Obama's help.
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2015, 03:27:52 am »
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For once, the "scientists" are wrong and the political operatives are right. You just CANNOT predict the outcome of an election between two persons based on past elections and "fundamentals", while ignoring the qualities of those two persons.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2015, 06:17:37 am »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2015, 08:51:38 am »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

Lol classic, oh and i agree Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2015, 09:40:44 am »
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Abramowitz and Norpoth did predict Obama victories.
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2015, 10:09:59 am »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

It was a 52-48 split in favor of the Democrats in 2008 and 2012 (Democrats got a majority of the vote in House seats in 2012, but GOP-majorities had successfully gerrymandered most Congressional districts to favor the GOP) and about a 52-48 Republican split in 2010 and 2014. A 52-48 split hardly indicates electoral dominance unless something is screwy. The Republicans basically found ways to set up a few D-dominant districts in which the Democrat is likely to win 70-30 and dilute the rest of the Democratic vote in districts that go 54-46 Republican.

FoX News Channel may be the most watched cable  "news" network, but it is also the most reviled.  Rush Limbaugh is a sick joke except among right-wingers.  If liberals get stuck listening to him they ask to change the channel. If nobody changes the channel they do so themselves. That's draft-dodging militarist Rush Limbaugh who bullied a maid into getting street oxycontin for him.  

Republican elected officials may be the majority -- but their approval ratings are abysmal. As a nation we have had a hard time, and we are fussy. Some well-heeled plutocrats found a way of exploiting that discontent while saddling America with pols likely to do nothing but enrich those well-heeled heels. The ideal American to them is someone who asks for a pay cut and is so thankful for getting to keep his job.

Most of the potential Republican nominees for President have huge gaping holes in their personalities or stand for extreme positions.

I look at the map of GOP support and I see more connections to 'whiteness',  religious affiliation (especially Mormons and Southern Baptists) or to thin population.  

For political careers the best prediction on long careers is "perform or perish". Performance can be as simple as getting appropriations for job-creating public works. For most Republicans the key to success in getting campaign funds is to obey the Koch syndicate. "My" representative is a case in point; he gets lavish support from interests intent upon bleeding the the American middle class for a few plutocrats for whom we are told to suffer with a smile.

I wipe my hands on my shirt or my slacks rather than dirty them on Koch paper products.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 10:11:11 am »
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You can't have a "model" of who will win a Presidential race.  

Anyone knows that campaigns, candidates and unpredictable events matter to the outcome.  So, if your model doesn't account for those variables, and it can't, it's worthless.

At the same time, the data points for any model are lacking.  Presidential elections only happen once every 4 years.  Plus, you can't really include data points about Presidential elections that happened outside of the current paradigm.  So, you're basically left with an n size of 8-10.  The result is ultimately just a mix of banal truisms and conjecture.  A bad economy is bad for the incumbent party... wow what a stunning insight.

Over the course of time, we've seen the best single predictor of the outcome is public polling.  At this point though, it's also of limited reliability because so much can change.  And, if you test Hillary Clinton vs. someone without name recognition, it's not really fair.  So, there's nothing you can really say that's worth a damn about predicting the election.  Hillary Clinton is obviously the favorite, but there are no guarantees.  
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TheElectoralBoobyPrize
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 10:17:39 am »
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This article's basically right, although a Republican win isn't inevitable either. It's really impossible to predict the outcome of an open seat presidential race this early in the cycle (races with incumbent presidents are a little easier).

And why are people saying the model favored Romney in 2012? The article explicitly says that isn't the case. The only thing in Romney's favor was the bad economy, but as other people have noted, what matters most to voters is the DIRECTION (i.e. is getting better or worse) of the economy, not whether's it's bad or good.
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IceSpear
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 02:26:04 pm »
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Junk model, obviously!
#HillaryIsInevitable
#DemographicsAreDestiny
#TheGOPHasNoSeriousCandidateWhoCaresAboutTheModelNoOneCanBeatHillary
#muhModelAlsoPredictedARomneyWinEvenThoughItDidn't
#MuhModelDoesn'tConsiderTurnout

For once, the "scientists" are wrong and the political operatives are right. You just CANNOT predict the outcome of an election between two persons based on past elections and "fundamentals", while ignoring the qualities of those two persons.

Uh, then why did everyone cheer Nate Silver? Why did so many Democrats predict Democratic wins in the South because of Demographics? Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Nate Silver's model is mostly based on polling. These ones are based solely on "fundamentals" and "economic indicators", and assumes that candidates don't matter. The Republicans will win whether they nominate Palin/Trump or Kasich/Martinez. A pretty ludicrous concept.

As for the models predicting a Romney win, my initial post in this thread was tongue in cheek. Obviously the "models" in general all didn't predict a Romney win, because there is no consistency among the models. Some of them had Obama winning in a landslide, some of them had a razor thin election, some of them had a Romney landslide. The hacks of both parties constantly touted the models showing their respective party winning in a landslide. The rational people ignored them entirely.
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 04:49:49 pm »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

Yes, old white people are the most politically engaged, which is why FOX & Limbaugh are as popular as they are. This isn't opinion, go look at FOX's demographics. You guys sure are getting obnoxious about an election in which 33% voted. If you want to claim the majority of the electorate, that would still be blatantly false but go right ahead. But don't try to claim the "entire country" is Republican.
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2015, 06:14:34 pm »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

Yes, old white people are the most politically engaged, which is why FOX & Limbaugh are as popular as they are. This isn't opinion, go look at FOX's demographics. You guys sure are getting obnoxious about an election in which 33% voted. If you want to claim the majority of the electorate, that would still be blatantly false but go right ahead. But don't try to claim the "entire country" is Republican.

And if watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh counts as "political engagement", than people who do neither are better off (and better informed).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 06:16:14 pm by PR »Logged
pbrower2a
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2015, 10:50:58 pm »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

Yes, old white people are the most politically engaged, which is why FOX & Limbaugh are as popular as they are. This isn't opinion, go look at FOX's demographics. You guys sure are getting obnoxious about an election in which 33% voted. If you want to claim the majority of the electorate, that would still be blatantly false but go right ahead. But don't try to claim the "entire country" is Republican.

Engaged -- sure. But they are also disinformed and manipulated. They are old, and they are dying off. They are not influencing younger voters who may be more interested in relief from student loans than in "gun rights".

Barack Obama built a far-sturdier and far-more-successful coalition than Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. His electoral apparatus has gone lock, stock, and barrel to Hillary Clinton... and that is how things start.

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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2015, 11:07:40 pm »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

Yes, old white people are the most politically engaged, which is why FOX & Limbaugh are as popular as they are. This isn't opinion, go look at FOX's demographics. You guys sure are getting obnoxious about an election in which 33% voted. If you want to claim the majority of the electorate, that would still be blatantly false but go right ahead. But don't try to claim the "entire country" is Republican.

Engaged -- sure. But they are also disinformed and manipulated. They are old, and they are dying off. They are not influencing younger voters who may be more interested in relief from student loans than in "gun rights".

Barack Obama built a far-sturdier and far-more-successful coalition than Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. His electoral apparatus has gone lock, stock, and barrel to Hillary Clinton... and that is how things start.



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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2015, 11:12:31 pm »
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A lot of the academics are only looking post WW2, a huge mistake. The best period to look at is probably the late 1800s which had a GOP presidential majority but Democrats often controlled Congress. A lot of the elections were close in the 1880s and gave the GOP 51-47, 52-46 majorities in the 1890s. The problem for today's GOP is that demographics opened up the GOP's margins in the early 1900s, something that can happen for today's Democrats as more minorities become regular voters. And this will eventually trickle down to Congress as it did then.

If the GOP wins in 2016 then they could reverse their decline with young people and minorities but they also could be a one-term wreck like Carter was in 1980.
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Likely Voter
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2015, 11:40:33 pm »

I guess it all depends on which tea leaves you want to look at. This analysis of post-WW2 trends is bad for the Dems. And there is the precedent that the younger candidate tends to win (and everyone is younger than Hillary)

Then there are things that show Dem advantages:
- 'Keys to the Whitehouse' model (also based on fundamentals)
- Demographic analysis trend
- Betting odds
- Polls (w/ Hillary)

So there is something for everybody to hang hat on
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« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2015, 12:13:40 pm »
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- 'Keys to the Whitehouse' model (also based on fundamentals)

Uh...by my count, the Dems are only one key away from defeat.
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Mister Mets
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2015, 12:37:43 pm »
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A lot of the academics are only looking post WW2, a huge mistake. The best period to look at is probably the late 1800s which had a GOP presidential majority but Democrats often controlled Congress. A lot of the elections were close in the 1880s and gave the GOP 51-47, 52-46 majorities in the 1890s. The problem for today's GOP is that demographics opened up the GOP's margins in the early 1900s, something that can happen for today's Democrats as more minorities become regular voters. And this will eventually trickle down to Congress as it did then.

If the GOP wins in 2016 then they could reverse their decline with young people and minorities but they also could be a one-term wreck like Carter was in 1980.
I don't see the point in looking at the late 1800s. A lot more has changed from an era when women didn't even have the right to vote.

I'm also suspicious of any model that suggests consistent close losses for Republicans, as it doesn't allow for much of a margin of error.
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2015, 05:05:22 pm »

- 'Keys to the Whitehouse' model (also based on fundamentals)

Uh...by my count, the Dems are only one key away from defeat.

According to the author of the 'keys' model, she is two away (as of last summer)
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/208673-why-democrats-need-hillary-clinton-in-2016
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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2015, 06:00:18 pm »
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President Romney is sure glad the "models" were correct in 2012.

Every single ONE of those models picked Obama to win, even when Obama was polling poorly
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2015, 06:01:20 pm »
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Most of the time the party holds the White House for a 3rd term.

Yes: 1796, 1812, 1836, 1868, 1908, 1928, 1940, 1988
Stolen: 2000
No: 1920, 1960, 1968, 1976, 2008

Hillary is perfectly capable of losing this without Obama's help.

2000 wasnt stolen, though Gore tried awfully hard. Too bad you leftist dont believe in the 14th Amendment.
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2015, 06:07:56 pm »
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Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

It was a 52-48 split in favor of the Democrats in 2008 and 2012 (Democrats got a majority of the vote in House seats in 2012, but GOP-majorities had successfully gerrymandered most Congressional districts to favor the GOP) and about a 52-48 Republican split in 2010 and 2014. A 52-48 split hardly indicates electoral dominance unless something is screwy. The Republicans basically found ways to set up a few D-dominant districts in which the Democrat is likely to win 70-30 and dilute the rest of the Democratic vote in districts that go 54-46 Republican.

FoX News Channel may be the most watched cable  "news" network, but it is also the most reviled.  Rush Limbaugh is a sick joke except among right-wingers.  If liberals get stuck listening to him they ask to change the channel. If nobody changes the channel they do so themselves. That's draft-dodging militarist Rush Limbaugh who bullied a maid into getting street oxycontin for him.  

Republican elected officials may be the majority -- but their approval ratings are abysmal. As a nation we have had a hard time, and we are fussy. Some well-heeled plutocrats found a way of exploiting that discontent while saddling America with pols likely to do nothing but enrich those well-heeled heels. The ideal American to them is someone who asks for a pay cut and is so thankful for getting to keep his job.

Most of the potential Republican nominees for President have huge gaping holes in their personalities or stand for extreme positions.

I look at the map of GOP support and I see more connections to 'whiteness',  religious affiliation (especially Mormons and Southern Baptists) or to thin population.  

For political careers the best prediction on long careers is "perform or perish". Performance can be as simple as getting appropriations for job-creating public works. For most Republicans the key to success in getting campaign funds is to obey the Koch syndicate. "My" representative is a case in point; he gets lavish support from interests intent upon bleeding the the American middle class for a few plutocrats for whom we are told to suffer with a smile.

I wipe my hands on my shirt or my slacks rather than dirty them on Koch paper products.

You numbers are off

2012 Dems won 48.8% to 47.6%. Since we dont run candidates at large nationally, one point is nothing and there have been elections in the past that were close in the popular vote for congress that werent in term of seats won. In fact in 1968 the GOP lost the House vote by 1.5 points and got only 190 seats.

2014: The GOP won 50.9 to 45.6. That is over a 5 point victory.


Despite hating Israel, Israel has the electoral system that the left wants. Proportional representation and everyone runs at large. It results in unstable governments that are at the mercy of fringe parties to create a government
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