I Voted, I Count

Prior to 2008, the only Republican candidate I had ever voted for was Anne Northup, for Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional district, in 1996. I chose her in that race because she represented a rare opportunity to get a woman elected to a seat that had always been held by a man, and because she was a smart woman with good ideas. I took my daughter with me that year, as I did many years, and though the incumbent, Mike Ward, kissed my toddler on the cheek outside the polling place, nothing could dissuade me from voting for her. Though I also voted for Clinton, I was resolved to vote for Anne.

In 2008, with similar resolve, I voted for many Republicans. I started with the McCain/Palin ticket and went down the ballot from there, voting for every candidate that was female. When I was done, I went back and voted in every race with for which I had done my homework, almost always for the challenger. That year my ticket was as split as it had ever been. I had never cast a straight-party ballot before, though, choosing instead to vote race-by-race even in the many years that I was voting entirely for Democrats.

This year I did something entirely different again. Continue reading

Polls That Matter

Here’s the deal with polls: they suck at this time of year. It’s hard to tell what’s going on these days, especially when there’s two different readings from the same poll data, as happened yesterday. Over-hyped former Kossack Nate Silver paints a rosy picture using the RCP average of polls, which itself tells a different story, and nobody knows what’s going on. But I warned you earlier this year about the folly of the new-fangled fashion, polling averages. They’re designed to muddy the waters, because Team Obama needs the waters to be muddied.

Color me old fashioned, but the most reliable polls over the years have been Gallup, Rasmussen, and Pew, and I trust them more this year, too. They’ve all begun to apply the likely voter filter, which some other pollsters aren’t doing. Gallup is the nation’s oldest pollster, and typically the least partisan. There was some question whether that was going to hold true this year in light of the fact that Attorney General Holder was seen twisting some arms over some chump-change contracts and an Obama-affiliated “whistle-blower.” That’s not happening so far. Gallup has Romney up 5 among likely voters as it suspends polling in the wake of the east coast storm. We’ll see where that ends up.

The real news out of Gallup is that Romney has wiped out the advantage Obama had even among registered voters, and is in the lead–and even in turnout–with early voters. Gallup reports that GOP voters are matching Dem voters’ turnout, and that Romney is in the lead with early voters by a margin of 52% to 45%. This means we’re at a point where even early voting and GOTV can’t give Obama an edge.

As for Rasmussen and Pew, they are the partisan sibling pollsters we’ve all come to know over the years. Rasmussen has a more solid record of recording accurate numbers over the course of an election, but Pew always moves closer to accuracy in the final two weeks in order to save their reputations. Right now Rasmussen has Romney up 2 and Pew is showing a dead heat, trending Romney. So the big dogs are falling into line, as they must do if they want to keep their jobs and sell their products. There are some things even Obama can’t game, and a company’s profit margin is apparently one of them.

But don’t just trust the polls. Look at around you and smell the desperation in the air. It’s more obvious than an erection on a 14 year old boy at a high school cheerleader practice. Yesterday everyone wanted to know if a storm ravaging a BLUE coast would halt Romney’s momentum, and the Labor Department is playing coy with the jobs report. Stories abounded that Romney wanted to cut FEMA. Obama’s feelings were hurt over the JEEP story AND Benghazi. Because, you know, periodically, when he’s feeling down, Obama might let you know he knows he’s losing. Meanwhile, Obamacrats are running with old, familiar canards.

All of this gives us reason to have some confidence, and while we could still see some movement and/or desperate dirty tricks, I’m pretty sure this thing is already over. I’m now looking forward to November 6th. I suspect we’ll all be able to go to bed by midnight, with or without Ohio reporting. Except for Obots, of course. They’ll be up crying and drinking until the wee hours of the morning. Make sure you lock your doors.

This American Election: On the Ropes

It’s almost that time again! This American Election, a radio show for politicos addicted to the horse race, starts in just an hour and a half (1:30 Eastern time). Click this link, or the image above to listen live, or to the archive version later. My co-host Anthony and I will be discussing these topics this week:

  • The Stephanopouli Report
  • Colorado 9News Interview
  • Benghazi Update
  • Polls
  • Endorsements

We’ll also discuss anything you want to talk about IF you call in to (347) 324-3592. You can also listen live by calling that number. The chat room will open 10 minutes before the start of the show. We hope to see you there!

What Obama Delivered & Why He Has to Go

Volumes have been written already about what Obama promised as a candidate and what he actually delivered as president. The cases are often myriad and confusing because there are so many broken promises and the multiple effects of his disastrous policies are too numerous to sum up in an “elevator speech” that is both concise and convincing. That is part of the reason Mitt Romney is still running close with Obama; he has not wanted to use the central issue of character to articulate a broad, simple argument for why Obama must go.

There are likely reasons for that, including that Romney is a decent man who wants to win on his own merits. But the greater reason, I think, is that he doesn’t know how to articulate this argument in terms a liberal-leaning electorate can understand. That’s because he is not actually liberal.

Matt Stoller has no such barriers to his communication of the central issue this election: Obama’s character. Because he has been inside the machine of evolving Democratic politics, he has a clearer understanding of just why Obama is so offensive to both traditional and actual progressive Democrats. I use the modifier “actual” in relation to progressives because we are well aware of how the hagiography that Obama has deliberately provoked among that group has corrupted them and distorted their worldview.

In an article published Saturday at Salon, of all places, Stoller makes the case for why Democrats, progressive Democrats in particular, should not vote for Obama, not even in swing states. Rather than basing it on the civil liberties angle so many of the more intellectually consistent progressives have used, he makes his case on Obama having delivered the antithesis of the kind of fundamentally transformed policies he promised as a candidate.

The civil liberties/antiwar case was made eloquently a few weeks ago by libertarian Conor Friedersdorf, who wrote a well-cited blog post on why he could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama. While his arguments have tremendous merit, there is an equally powerful case against Obama on the grounds of economic and social equity. That case needs to be made.

[…]

So why oppose Obama? Simply, it is the shape of the society Obama is crafting that I oppose, and I intend to hold him responsible, such as I can, for his actions in creating it.

[…]

The above is a chart of corporate profits against the main store of savings for most Americans who have savings — home equity. Notice that after the crisis, after the Obama inflection point, corporate profits recovered dramatically and surpassed previous highs, whereas home equity levels have remained static. That $5-7 trillion of lost savings did not come back, whereas financial assets and corporate profits did. Also notice that this is unprecedented in postwar history. Home equity levels and corporate profits have simply never diverged in this way; what was good for GM had always, until recently, been good, if not for America, for the balance sheet of homeowners. Obama’s policies severed this link, completely.

This split represents more than money. It represents a new kind of politics, one where Obama, and yes, he did this, officially enshrined rights for the elite in our constitutional order and removed rights from everyone else (see “The Housing Crash and the End of American Citizenship” in the Fordham Urban Law Journal for a more complete discussion of the problem). The bailouts and the associated Federal Reserve actions were not primarily shifts of funds to bankers; they were a guarantee that property rights for a certain class of creditors were immune from challenge or market forces. The foreclosure crisis, with its rampant criminality, predatory lending, and document forgeries, represents the flip side.

[…]

The policy continuity with Bush is a stark contrast to what Obama offered as a candidate.

[…]

While life has never been fair, the chart above shows that, since World War II, this level of official legal, political and economic inequity for the broad mass of the public is new (though obviously for subgroups, like African-Americans, it was not new). It is as if America’s traditional racial segregationist tendencies have been reorganized, and the tools and tactics of that system have been repurposed for a multicultural elite colonizing a multicultural population.

[…]

This is the shape of the system Obama has designed. It is intentional, it is the modern American order, and it has a certain equilibrium, the kind we identify in Middle Eastern resource extraction based economies.

This argument, it seems to me, is true. While we have spent much time and had much fun mocking the idiocy of Occupy Wall Street, who, let me be clear, deserved righteously that mockery, the core of their argument is true, if not the math. I have been making this same argument for a couple of years, in far less offensive terms and without the stupidity of horizontal movement dynamics.

The nature of a free market is that, from time to time, the balance of powers that it is designed to promote becomes imbalanced. Continue reading

Romney’s Paths to the Presidency

Read the tarot, watch the polls, study history, or check out inTrade; it doesn’t matter. None of that can give you any real insight into how this election will play out. That’s because polls aren’t what they used to be due to the response rate. There have never been two candidates like Obama or Romney–a black man and a Mormon one–or a campaign quite like this one. And inTrade is as easily gamed as a hooker with an IQ of 69 on a heroin high. Just check out their political & current events market forum. Obama’s Orcs decimated it long ago. I’ll give them props for thinking of almost every angle, and leaving no stone unturned. It still won’t be enough for them to deliver his second term.

If you want to know how easily Romney could win this race, you’ll have to game the map and use your reasoning skills. Here’s RCPs baseline no toss-ups map, which is itself distorted because it based on the average of polls, which are themselves all over the place and telling at least two different stories. But it is a useful baseline to start with.

Click to enlarge

As you can see, with the average of all these distorted polls, Romney is with 13 electoral votes striking distance. There are at least three plausible scenarios under which he could eek out a win if this were the actual lay of the land today, with just 12 days to go before election day. Only one of them involves Ohio. Let’s take a look at that scenario first.

In that scenario, Romney just has to win that additional state to bring his RCP number up to 275, a winning number.

Click to enlarge

But what are the scenarios under which he could win without Ohio? Continue reading

Romney Democrats: Last Call

With 13 days to go before the election, Romney Democrats on Facebook has swelled to nearly 1,600 member, and we’re just over 3 months old. It’s been a long, hard slog feeding good source information to these good folks, but they have been carrying the message far and wide across Facebook. We’re helping the preference cascade, which is now in such a full effect that the term is being used in USA Today, of all places.

In addition to our 1,581 members (as of this writing), we’re currently reaching over 12,000 people a week, down from 118,000+ when we ran out of funding for advertisements. It’s been important, in my opinion, for people to see the words Romney and Democrats together, and to go to the page to see the kind of balanced, middle of the road content we’ve been able to provide. As always, I appreciate so much the help of my co-mod, DeniseVB, who has helped by sharing valuable content and helping me clean up troll messes.

Speaking of trolls, we’ve gotten a lot more of them lately. After the second presidential debate, we had trolls everyday, and 14 were banned directly after that debate. They’ve calmed down a little this week, but we still occasionally see the meek “Obama 2012” comment show up. For a while we often accused of not being “real Democrats,” and it was a pleasure to list my voting record and volunteer record under their antagonistic comments then watch them go crazy trying to figure it out. Never underestimate the value of messing with the mind of an Obamacrat troll.

For the data geeks, here’s out overview of out most recent monthly likes, fans, and reach;

Click to enlarge

As I said above, our reach has fallen tremendously as we’ve run out of ad funds. I won’t be able to add anymore myself since two of my classes ended and thus my pay check will be less for the remainder of the year.

If you want to help us run more ads in the final 13 days, you can donate to our campaign by clicking the PayPal button at the top-right column of this blog. In addition to running more ads, I’d like to get to Cincinnati and Columbus over the next two weekends, now that I have more time. My aim is to canvas for Romney and maybe conduct an interview or two for This American Election, the radio show I host on Sundays. But that will all depend on how the funding goes. If you’ve got it to give, I’d be grateful. If you don’t, that’s okay too. This’ll be the last time I solicit funds to help with this effort. We’ll find out in 13 days how this will all turn out, and if your investments were worth it. Thanks to all who’ve already donated, and thanks in advance if you’re able to now.