Saturday, September 20, 2008

Betrayed By Polls

Let me start this post with a full disclosure. I am addicted to polls. I can't wait for new polling data to come out and when it does I take it all in for a few minutes and them immediately want more polling. I check the RCP Average multiple times a day. I follow the Gallup and Rasmussen Tracks everyday, and when Gallup has McCain doing worse than Rasmussen I rationalize in my head why Gallup polling stinks. Heck I even read commentary about polling. But the other day I realized something. Polls at this point in the game are completely meaningless, and when the election gets closer they still won't be all that useful.

How did I come to this conclusion? Well it all started the other day when McCain was having a bad polling day, then out of nowhere later in that very same day came Wisconsin University with their Big 10 Battleground polls, and low and behold there was McCain tied with Obama in Iowa! "Aha' I said to myself "I knew Iowa was going to be close, there couldn't have been that dramatic a shift in 4 years". Looking for a trend in Iowa I waited until the next day to see what other pollsters found. And wouldn't you know it but Survey USA had Obama up 11 in Iowa. I was mad and angry. Not because the poll showed McCain so far down but because I felt betrayed(That’s right I felt betrayed by a poll, that’s how you know that when the election is over you need to get outside more and retrieve your sanity). For a moment I tried to defend the polls like a battered spouse would. "It's not the polls fault. Big10 polls aren't even rated Survey USA gets top marks, so just stick with the reliable polls and you will never be treated like this again."

So that’s what I did. I went to and pulled up their pollster ratings and found that among the top rated major polling firms were Rasmussen, Survey USA, Research 2000, Quinnipiac, and Mason Dixon. Since MD doesn't have state polls out yet regularly and R2000 is a DKos poll that received high ratings only because they polled the Democrat primaries so well (wackos polling wackos). I stuck with Quinn, Ras, and Survey and used their latest polls (but no pre-Sept polls). Here is what I found.

State/ SUSA/ Quinn/ Ras
Ohio/ M+4/ O+5 /M+3
Virginia/ O+4/ - / Tie
N. Mex/ O+8 / - / M+2
N.J./ - /O+3 /O+13

Now unfortunately we don't have too many more states that were polled by 2 or more of these 3 firms in the last couple of weeks but based on what we have it makes you scratch your head. Who's winning in Ohio? Virginia? Is it close in NM or NJ? Who knows. All I know is that the top rated pollsters from can't agree on any of those questions. Now I must say in Washington, Florida, and Georgia they have very similar results to each other, but that just makes it more difficult to decide to trust them or not.

Not completely convinced I was wasting my time with polling I checked to see if each of the above pollsters were at least steady within their own polls, and all to often I found that not to be true. For example Rasmussen had McCain up 5 in Florida and had the race a tie in Florida in a two week span! Is Florida a tossup like 2000 or slightly out of Democrat reach like 2004? Rasmussen couldn't even stick with one answer for more than a week.

My time and resources were running out in my attempt to vindicate the polls but I had a few more tricks up my sleeve. I could check where the polls were at this time in 2004.

A couple of examples from Mid September 2004:

Florida- ARG Kerry +1 Gallup Bush +9 - Actual Result Bush +5
Ohio - MD Bush +7 SVis Bush +12 - Actual Result Bush +2
PA - Qn Bush +4 ABC Bush +3 - Actual Result Kerry +3

National -USAGallup Bush+14 CBS Bush +9 - Acutal Bush +2.4

Mid September in 2004 and everyone was all over the place, the same is true now. And last time all different firms in all different states were wrong. The same could be true now.

Trying to find one final reason to believe I looked to the RCP Final Poll Average. Maybe if you looked hard enough at all the polls combined like RCP does you can find the truth. Now remember these numbers are from just before the election not mid September.

State / RCPAve / Result
Florida /B+ 0.6 /B+ 5
Ohio /B+ 2.1 /B+ 2
Iowa /B+ 0.3 /B+ 1
Wisconsin /B+ 0.9 /K+ 1
Colorado /B+ 5.2 /B+ 5
Michigan /K+ 3.5 /K+ 3
Penn /K+ 0.9 /K+ 3
Hawaii/B+ 0.9 /K+ 9

Ok finally we find some good results. RCP was dead on in OH, IA, CO, and MI. Off a bit in PA, and FL(enough to matter in close election). And picked the wrong winner in WI and HI. This is a strong result but completely dropping the ball in one state, being off in another, and not being dead on in a few more could make for a dramatic swing in the electoral college projections from reality this fall.

So what does this all mean and what did I finally convince myself of. First of all I will no longer take polls too seriously until late October. Second, I will rely more on the Averages at RCP and 528 than on any individual poll. Third, every time I see poll that is within 5 or 6 points one way or another I'll consider it a tie that could go either way. And Fourth, I won't stop looking at polls like a madman I will just remind myself that most of the polls will betray me

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No More Hallmark Products for Me.

Update: Hallmark also interested in bringing out a line of cards for women with botched abortions. It goes something like, Sorry Barack didn't succeed in blocking the law to allow your baby born alive to receive medical help, since you have to keep that "mistake" we send our condolences.

Hallmark has lost a customer. Actually now that I think about it I always try and buy the cheapest decent looking card in the aisle, which probably isn't a Hallmark Card. But when I graduate, and am willing to frivolously spend money it won't be on Hallmark Cards.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Last Veep Thoughts

Obama can't pick Biden because he looks like a crook, and at the same time looks like he should be on the top of the ticket instead of Obama.

He can't be Sebelius, because any woman except Hillary would send Democrat women into a frenzy, plus she gave the response to the state of the Union that could have been given by a skeleton robot.

He shouldn't pick a General or Sam Nunn because the overwhelming compensation for his lack of experience will shine through.

He can pick Kaine, but it would be a big mistake because it would in a no experience ticket.

Bayh or Jack Reed seem most logical. Both have experience but don't come off as Washington insiders. Though I don't think Reed offers and electoral help, while Bayh could get Clinton's people on board, which could translate into Clinton voters for Obama.

Hillary? At this point, why not?

Darkhorse pick that would make a lot of sense. Senator Ken Salazaar from Colorado. Why? He is from a swing state that Obama needs, plus Salazaar won there in 2004 not the best Democrat year. He is Hispanic which could instantly increase Obama's Hispanic support. His brother is a Congressman from another Colorado district to help win CO. And finally he has been in the Senate for since 2004 so while he doesn't have an abundance of experience he is not a newcomer, and he was Attorney General for 6 years of Colorado. Experience without D.C. He won't pick him most likely but all and all and interesting choice.

Finally, its probably going to be Bayh

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Reason to Vote for McCain and Not Against Obama

Second Update: If you want to hear the abortion answer without the judges part just watch below.

Update: if you follow the link below you then have to go to McCain Part 1, thats what the time below references.

Usually I cringe when McCain talks about global warming, hurricane Katrina, or "Big Oil" but when he says things like this the begining stages of excitement for this campagin start to stir inside me a little.

Watch from 13:45-1503 of the video.

Not only does he give a good Pro-life answer, but then seems passionate about talking about nominating Judges that will end the ugly practice.

Right On!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama's Team is Delusional about Evangelicals: But Barry Could Win the Evangelical Vote!

I posted back on June 19th that Obama was wrong in thinking he had a chance to win Mississippi in November because his argument was based on false facts. He claimed that Mississippi was 40% black but only voted as 25% of the population. This was his rationale for putting the state in play; if he could just get African Americans to vote their proportion of the population he would have a 40% built in head start. The problem was, and is, that Mississippi is only 36% black and made up 34% of the voting population in 2004. Meaning Obama's plan to turn them out to vote their proportion would mean just a 2% increase, hardly enough to flip a 20 point Bush State.

Moving on to Evangelicals Obama's team encounters the same problem; he claims he can win over many evangelicals but by definition these people he intends to win over hardly seem to be the evangelicals he needs, if evangelicals at all.

Obama's National Director of Religious Affairs, Joshua Dubois said

I think a lot of evangelicals are concerned with climate change, they’re concerned with genocide in Darfur, they’re concerned with our troops in Iraq and what we’re going to do about our energy crisis.

Now call me crazy but a person who is concerned about climate change and Darfur so much so to vote for Obama sounds more like a 23 year old, blue haired kid, from Seattle drinking a Starbucks, than it does a church going family man in Georgia.

And I don't know if a group of voters that is identified by their religion would put Barry's vague energy plan (which as a astute political observer I could not fully explain to you) above moral, family, and life issues which are directly affected by their religious belief.

So because Barry is a little confused about what evangelicals are concerned about I'll try and help him out. Evangelicals are Pro-life, they are for traditional marriage, they go to church (even when their not feeling bitter), and a lot of them also share other conservative beliefs such as low taxes, and support for the War on Terror. Most importantly they believe in God and look for His guidance through life, while trying to be true to Him and their families along the way.

Obama can't just define Evangelicals as his current voting bloc and then run around claiming he has so much Evangelical support. That would be like McCain saying that he is going to win liberals over by appealing to their pro-life views, and their support of the war. If that is what liberals believed then maybe McCain would have a shot.

So I guess if Obama sees a college aged hippie, who belongs to NARAL, protests against the war, who eats only organic products, while driving around a Prius; and says "Ohh let me try persuade that Evangelical to vote for me". He will probably win 100% of the Evangelical vote. In his delusional little mind.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dumb Cop

As a dog owner this is a sad story for me, but at the same time I can't help to be completely infuriated. A young man and his girlfriend were speeding down a highway in Texas trying to rush their dying dog to a vet clinic in time to save his or her life. Well, along came the highway patrol to pull them over for speeding (which is completely reasonable) after the car pulled over at the police's request the man driving jumped out of the car screaming and explained to the officer that their dog was choking and he needed to get him to the vet hospital.

Now while using the reason and logic not quite at the level of a 1st grader, the officer detained them for 20 minutes!! While the dog died.

Instead of the officer writing a quick ticket and instructing them to drive the speed limit to the hospital, or even giving them a pass and allowing them to obey the speed limit and proceed to the hospital, or even follow the frantic dog owner's suggestion of detaining the driver while letting the girlfriend leave with the dog, the officer instead took the classy route and exclaimed

"Chill out, it's just a dog, you can buy another one."

Nice. Real Professional.

I have always held the view as a law student that the police officers who serve should get just as much education with the law as I am required to receive (A Bachelor's, and a 3 Year Doctorate of Law) mainly because while lawyers get to sit back a their desk with all the paperwork on a case and then get to consult others, and research the situation before deciding a course of action, police officers actually have to tap into a vast knowledge of law and make decisions that are life or death in a split second. And Hell, the government even supplies them firearms in the process, even more reason for them to be educated at a law degree level. If not that then at least at a 1st grade teacher level, which in New York requires 6 years of schooling after high school and 2 degrees. If the proper schooling was in place this particular officer would have not be on the force since he probably would not have passed the SATs to get into college. You need a working brain to pass those kind of tests.

One other point is that in the article, it states that the brilliant officer discussed the situation with two other officers while detaining them as the couple watched their dog die. The other officers must also be the cream of the crop for Texas law enforcement as well for not noticing the situation needed to be handled by a grown up immediately.

On a final note, if my dog was dying and I realized this moron cop wasn't going to let me go to the vet hospital I would have hopped back in the car and high tailed it to the vet. No low level government imbecile will be responsible for my dogs death if I could do something about it.

Why we let our local governments invest so much power in so few, so unqualified a bunch of people, as to actually have such great detainment powers over fellow civilians is mind boggling.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Election Won't be so Bad for Republicans and Breaking that Northern Virginia Myth

It has amazed me as to how much Republican politicians, analysts, and pundits continue to concede the point that this is a Democratic year and we will be lucky if we make it out of this election with some dignity.

The reason its amazing is because it's just not true!

Republicans better start acting like winners, and start showing the American people why their ideas and beliefs are the only way to pull the U.S. out of this so-called malaise.

First the American People have never elected a President as liberal and out of touch with everyday Americans as Barack Obama is. Never. Ohh they tried, (remember John Kerry, and Micheal Dukakis) but it never works. The American people are not majority liberal and the only time Democrats can manage to sneak into the White house is when they nominate southern "moderates"

Second Check out the national polling. In such a Democratic year Barack Obama cannot pull away. The RCP aveage has Obama up by only 4.5 points. For most polls that's in the margin of error. Ohh and Republicans always poll better in the fall (Ask Dukakis).

Third just take a look at the playing field. All we have to do is win Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado and its over, that coming from Karl Rove. If someone told you a while back "hey for the Republican to win the Presidency all he has to do is hold CO, VA, and OH." You should respond by saying thats going to be a tough road for the Dems. The Demographics are on our side. Now I know, I know,... "but what about Northern Virginia, and Colorado is in blue tide". Well let me tell you a secret, Demographics don't change 16 points in four years! That would be whats necessary for Obama to win Virginia. I mean Jim Webb, a conservative Democrat with a military record could barley win in Virginia in the best year the Democrats will have in the next 30 years, all this while his opponent was running an inept campaign and calling people maccacca. How does that exactly translate into a shift that allows Obama to beat a war hero in Virginia in a Presidential election.

A side note on all of the Northern Virginia changing Demographics nonsense:

Virgina has 11 house seats, 9 of them won by President Bush in 2004 and 8 of them controlled by Republicans. This includes both of the Northern Virgina districts. Bush carried both booming districts in 2004, although some talk as if Republicans can't compete there. Most importantly according to the Almanac of American Politics (Barone's book) the districts that voted for President Bush increased population from 2000 to 2005 by 493 thousand, while the Kerry voting districts lost 5 thousand people!! And from 2000 to 2005 Northern Virginia grew by 220 thousand people while the rest of Virginia grew by 268 thousand! Meaning Northern Virginia will actually have less impact compared to the rest of the state in these elections then in 2000! One final note Eric Cantor's 60 percent bush district grew almost as much as Tom Davis's Northern Virgina district.

The point of all of this is we need to get our chins up and start acting like winners. Start showing moderates and independents why they voted with us before, and that we are still the most dominant force in American politics no matter how many George Soros's give money to prop up empty suit Governors in Colorado and Virgina. If Obama's campaign needs to come to our home field to beat us (Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, NC,) then we should welcome it. Democrats are in their own world thinking they are going to take Senate seats from us in Mississippi and North Carolina, so let them be delusional, its probably better that way. In many ways we have a lot of advantages this year lets start acting like we do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Corruption at the Highest Levels of the Gang of 10

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but it is the first I am hearing about it. The Gang of 10 which include 5 Republican Senators and 5 Democrat Senators have angered conservatives by adopting an energy policy proposal that is everything Nancy Pelosi wants with a sprinkle of drilling for Republicans. It is a slap in the face against all of the conservative House members who have been working so hard to have the American people identify Republicans with solving the energy problem by drilling. Where does the corruption come in?

Well I was just watching Special Report on Fox News and according to James Rosen who was reporting on the Gang of 10, part of the Gang of 10 plan involves the creation of one or more nuclear energy plants which would bring jobs and a boost to the local economy that they are located in. Well, according to Rosen the plant will be either located in the state of South Carolina or Georgia. Which just so happens to be the home states of 3 out of the 5 Republican members. Namely Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Issakson of Georgia.

Whether or not they abandoned the whole Republican House, the rest of the Republican Senate, President Bush and John McCain for a chance at having a facility placed in their backyard so they can show their voters how they can bring home the bacon is unclear. But polling shows the Republican message of drilling is popular so why else throw away one of our few good issues this cycle.

A side note, in the same story by Rosen, Graham said something to the effect that if Republicans want to embarrass the Democrats instead of solving the energy crisis then they don't understand what the people want. Too bad Lindsey doesn't get that we can solve the energy crisis and embarrass the Democrats at the same time.

Final note, it is depressing to know that John McCain's closet friend and ally in the Senate is Lindsey Graham. We will be rooting for a guy who takes Graham seriously. That is dangerous for all Americans. If we win this November we really lose.

Thank God He is Letting the Adults Handle This

Off of the top of my head the Georgian-Russian conflict has taught us a few lessons and exposed to us a few truths.

Number 1 is that sometimes countries don't always listen to what we say or do what we ask. President Bush has told Russia to draw back their troops to the contested territories and yet Russia has refused. Now I'm not 100 percent sure how Barack Obama would ask Putin and the Russians any differently than our current President did, but the notion that just sitting down and talking to our enemies will solve international conflicts has just been blown out of the water.

What is even scarier then Obama's policy of "talk first, and when that doesn't work, beg later" is that I don't think that community organizer has a back up plan to his whole idea of talking. So if Obama became President and this happened to him Russia could invade Ukraine, Poland, and all of Europe and Obama would be left frozen in disbelief as to why the Russians aren't listening to him.

Finally, this whole conflict shows one other thing. John McCain is ready to be commander and chief and Obama is simply not. McCain sounds confident on this topic, looks more presidential then Obama, and just seems like a national security leader. Meanwhile Barack Obama gives a Jimmy Cater like statement in a golf shirt from Hawaii while the adults handle the situation

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How About "GO USA!"

Call me old fashioned but what ever happened to the days where Americans and American companies actually rooted for America in the Olympics?

Well apparently Visa thought it is much more appropriate to just root for the whole world instead. Visa, which is a major sponser of the 2008 Olympics has adopted the slogan "Go World". They even have commercials and a website proudly displaying it. Now I'm not saying they have to root against other countries but could they at least root for their own first. What ever happened to national pride and sense of American greatness.

And when I really get to think about it there are some parts of the world that I don't want to win and will be rooting against. I will be rooting against China, because they are a communist nation which tramples on their own peoples rights and practices infanticide. I will be rooting against Venezuela because of it's blowhard dicatator who called my President the Devil with a stupid grin on his face. And I will be rooting really hard against Iran, so that the disturbed little man who wants to destroy Isreal doesn't get to cheer once.

Now I will probably root for a forigner who has a good personal story, or for countries like Israel, Austrailia, and Great Britian but only if America is knocked out of that specific event already. Whats the point of going there and representing different countries if we are all supposed to root for everyone regardless of their country. Maybe we should just dump the Red White and Blue and wear a more inclusive world logo on our chest.

Throughout all of the great American moments in Olympic history I can't imagine us using this logic. It would have been unreal if when watching the 1980 games when the U.S. upset the Russians during the Cold War, that fellow Americans were sitting around their televisions saying "Hey If the Russians win that would be fine, Go World!"

This kind of "America is no better than the rest of the world attitude" relished by liberals but this will be one American yelling "Go USA".

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thank You President Bush!

Thats the slogan that is on the bumper sticker that adorns my car and I can't explain how sincere that thank you really is.

While President Bush may not poll well, and while some conservatives constantly complain about him because of this or that, President Bush remains true to the office, and vigilant in our nation's defense like very few President's in our nation's history.

Many forget that President Bush's legacy includes but isn't limited to:

Lowering Taxes.

Pushing through the passage of the Partial Birth Abortion Bill, which ended the disgusting procedure.

Standing up for life in other ways, including blocking embryonic stem cell research and cutting off funds for overseas abortions by reinstating the Mexico City Policy.

Bringing God, Faith, and Decency back to the Oval Office.

Nominating the best group of Supreme Court Justices of any President.

Keeping us safe from terrorism with policies like the Patriot Act, Survellance Programs, Guantanamo Bay, and enhanced interrogation techniques.

President Bush has also single handedly set the course and direction of our War on Terror by outlining beliefs that few can disagree with. These include believing that we are in a battle between good and evil, a battle against Islamofacsim that we must strike nations that pose potential threats before those threats can be realized, that we must hold other nations accountable for harboring terrorists, and that we must act with our own coalitions of nations when necessary to ensure our saftey and freedom.

Finally, in his Presidency's darkest hours (not including 9/11) and against the conventional wisdom, and a newly elected Democrat Congress he initiated The Surge which saved many of our own troops lives, many Iraqi lives, and the idea of Freedom in the Middle East. Looking back it is hard to remember a President who went against his advisors and the natinoal mood to do what he believed was right.
Now that the surge is a success, I think that our President, just like our troops deserve a "Bravo", "Right On" and "Thank You".

His legacy will be one of Courage, Conviction, and Strength.

Thank You Mr. President. And God Bless.

"I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear from all of us soon!"
-President Bush

Monday, July 28, 2008

Police Departments and SUV's

Driving around the suburbs of New York City gas is very expensive, the price of gas at 4.25 a gallon doesn't catch many New Yorkers eyes as it would say in Maryland or North Carolina.( where on a recent vacation I saw gas as cheap as 3.62) The high prices are starting to have an affect on how people view driving. For example my mom points out how she fills up her Toyota Corolla less often then her old Nissan Pathfinder, and my girlfriend's dad is looking to buy a small car in addition to his truck to drive around when not on a construction job. But to conservatives this behavior should be expected, I mean we are always saying the markets will work, and this is an example of how demand goes down when price goes up.

But there are a few notable governmental organizations that don't seem to let high gas prices get them down, (probably because they are not footing the bill): I'm referring to our local and state police departments. As I drive around I can't help to notice there are so many Police SUV's instead of police cars on the roads nowadays. I see a lot of Chevy Tahoe driving New York State troopers. Now forget the fact that a Chevy Tahoe costs 12,000 dollars more than the the Chevy Impala (a popular new police car), but the Impala gets 11 more miles per gallon on the Highway (Which is the only place New York State Troopers ever seem to be) than the Tahoe SUV. See Chevy's Website So why in the hell are the New York State Police driving around a bunch of Chevy SUV's. When you think about it they shouldn't be charging the taxpayers to drive around the more expensive SUVs in the first place, but with gas so high they are really starting the waste a lot of money.

Now I know upstate New York is a little more rugged than Manhattan, but last time I checked I don't see the advantage in having a Police officer drive an SUV over a car unless there are Adirondack Mountain high speed chases that I have been missing.

Gas has been increasing in cost since 2005 and yet these Police Departments have 2008 Tahoes and Chargers, its not as if they bought them before gas prices skyrocketed.

To put the icing on the cake all the New York State Troopers do is sit around with their cars running (which burns a heck of a lot of gas) waiting to pull me over when the speed limit changes from 55 to 45. I guess thats because they weren't wasting enough of my hard earned money driving an SUV to begin with.

To conclude I have a plan to solve the problem since most of the New York State Government believes that we should do something about make believe global warming they should mandate that the cops drive Prius's. I mean think of the benefits, they aren't costing the taxpayers huge amounts of money, they THINK they are saving the environment, and on the rare occasion that a New York State Trooper isn't writing a cellphone or seat belt ticket, but rather arresting a criminal, the criminal won't be so comfortable in the back seat of a hybrid.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Likely Scenario

Not saying that this is how it is going to play out but if certain things happen what follows could be a likely scenario.

Let's start in mid July.

Barack Obama continues to maintain a statistically insignificant lead over John McCain. He is up nationally by 3 to 5 points. Which is disappointing and worrisome because given the political climate and the disaster that has been John McCain's campaign Obama should be up big. July comes and goes without notice but behind the scenes the McCain camp is rebuilding with the help of Karl Rove protege Steve Schmidt.

August begins and Obama realizes that fundraising gets harder when rich donors amounts are limited and poorer donors can't give up an extra couple hundred dollars to Obama with food and fuel prices rising and spending to get their kids back to school is more important than helping Obama.

The dynamics of the campaign aren't changing and that's not good for Obama because he can't pull away. Meanwhile McCain's campaign is getting more agile, focused, and organized. Mid August McCain starts playing up the his position on the war, which is increasingly viewed at as a success. Obama tries to dance around his earlier bring them home now positions. Heading toward the convention Obama is faced with his Veep pick. Some advisers say to go with a full out change ticket and pick Gov. Sebelius or Kaine, others tell him to shore up military and conservative votes with Sam Nunn, or Jim Webb, or a General, but Obama travels the safe route and picks Evan Bayh. The base isn't energized by the pick, the public doesn't know Bayh well, and he is kind of dull. This equals no Veep bounce.

Heading into the conventions McCain picks Mitt Romney as VP. He brings more organization, lots of money, and economic conservatives, and talk radio get fully on board. McCain receives a bounce and as the Democrat convention looms the polls show the race a dead heat.

After a good convention Obama sees a little bounce but is faced with the daunting task of raising money for the next two months that McCain has in the bank (public financing). Hilary Clinton donors don't deliver the big bucks because they are salivating over the idea of Hilary Clinton v. 76 year old John McCain in 2012 with a Barack Obama loss. For the first time ever a major political candidate has fundraising in the back and front of his mind in the all important 2 month final stretch.

The debates begin and are mostly seen as a draw. Obama and McCain aren't the greatest debaters but McCain can be nasty when attacking and Obama much like he was when on the defensive in debates earlier in the year looks like a deer in headlights. As a result many undecideds don't see a commander in chief in Obama.

Obama chooses to focus on CO, NM, IA, and NV in the final weeks. Leaving McCain to have the last say in PA, MI, and OH.

A few weeks out from election day a well put together Reverend Wright Ad makes more undecided blue collar whites who weren't paying attention in the spring pause.

Between fundraising, a too expansive electoral map to play with, and fighting the inexperienced and radical liberal associations charges Obama limps into November. McCain battens down the hatches in OH, MI, and PA and seems to have a couple point lead on election day.

Although many swings states end up down to the wire. OH, FL, VA, NV, and CO are held by McCain and he picks up NH and MI. Although he cracks NM and IA its not enough for Obama. The final electoral count McCain 295 Obama 243. In the end Obama's diconnect with rural voters hurt him in Ohio, VA, and CO. Latinos didn't flock as was hoped costing him CO, NV, and FL. And new enthusiasm for Romney helped tip NH, MI, and NV. As the dust clears America is still not ready for a very liberal President.

Hilary getting ready to exclaim "I told you so " Is more ready than ever.

A Little Late

I posted on the notion that there was no way Obama could win the south right after he started claiming he could. Now two weeks later the NY Times finally catches up.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whats With That Georgia Poll?

As noted at Beyond the Polls there is polling going on out there in which the results should be questioned because of the the amount of weight the poll gives to each party. For example Beyond the Polls shows that polling done by PPD in Ohio showed Obama winning by 11 points! But if you look at their internal numbers their party ID breakdown is 55 D and 30 R if you compare that with Exit polls from '04 you find that for that to be accurate there would need to be a 20 point swing in less than 4 years.

Then today came a poll from Insider Advantage showing McCain only beating Obama by 1.6% in Georgia! So the first thing I did was look at the internal numbers. And although I believe they are under sampling Republicans again (R+5 Insider Adv. and R+8 CNN Exits 2004) its the fact that their internals are all over the map that makes the result questionable.

For example Insider Adv. only includes Hispanics as 1.2 % of the poll when Hispanics voted as 4% in 2004 according to CNN. If anything the Hispanic population is growing not shrinking so they could be under representing the Hispanic vote by 5%.

Also it has Obama only winning 83 % of the African American vote. Everyone expects Obama to win close to 95 % of that vote. Are they saying that close to 20 percent of African American community might not vote for Obama. That would mean Kerry did better with Blacks in Georgia than Obama!

Finally McCain is only winning 7 % of the Hispanic vote. While nationally other polls like IPsos have McCain over 20 % with Hispanics I don't know why It would be only 7 % in Georgia.

Last time Insider Advantage polled GA was its primary poll. They were off by 20 points tied for the most of any poll used to calculate the final RCP Average.

McCain's 527 Mistake

Early on in this campaign John McCain railed against 527 groups and similar groups which organize and raise money to advocate for a candidate. His harsh rhetoric toward them could have a devastating affect on his election chances in the fall.

In modern politics 527 groups are essential to win on the national level. This is because of the new Federal Campaign finance laws that prohibit the actual candidates from raising a lot of money from individuals. But 527s don't have such harsh restrictions so they can raise tons of money, get out an effective message, and if desirable not be directly linked to the campaign they are advocating for.

To show the importance of these groups we need only go back to 2004 where President Bush wanted to paint John Kerry as a flip flopper. In politics it is hard to paint your opponent as something because he gets to respond and the American people don't take politicians words as gospel. But President Bush knew how important it was to have Kerry be a flip flopper in an election based on who you trust with the country's national security. The successful portrayal of Kerry as a flip flopper was due to three things. First he said all in one statement on audio that he voted for the 87 billion dollars to fund our troops before he voted against it. Then next part of the puzzle was the famous windsurfing ad that allowed the public to see this statement as a flip flop in an entertaining way. The most third and crucial part was groundwork that was laid by a 527 group known as the swiftboaters. Kerry ran on his military experience in Vietnam to show him as a capable steward of the country's security, but the group of soldiers who were with him came out with ads contradicting his accounts of his time in Vietnam. This set up the idea in many Americans heads that he wasn't completely honest, and the windsurfing ad that aired later was the tipping point made which was only made possible by the earlier swiftboat ads.

Back to 2008 an article on the Politico reports on the lack of 527 groups on the Republican side ready to launch an attack on Obama. It's reported that big Republican donors that created groups to help President Bush attack John Kerry are reluctant because of fear that John McCain will denounce their efforts and publicly come out against them in the heat of the election season. For McCain this is very bad. He might have already committed political suicide that is like a poison that takes a long time to start working. Without an attack machine to define Barack Obama, Obama can create any image of himself and deliver it to the American people without any response. Without the flip flopper image of Kerry in 2004, Kerry might have been able to overcome the President's tiny margin of victory in Ohio and won the election. Likewise if Obama's negatives and liberal appearance numbers aren't up very high come November he may be able to to squeak out a victory in key states.

There is still time for a big Republican 527 to hit the scene, but it' hard to tell if any are in the works or not. McCain's possible presidency might depend on one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mississippi According to Barack

Barack Obama regularly on the campaign trail makes things up, changes his mind, doesn't have a clue what he is talking about, and gets very obvious things wrong such as him claiming that he visited 57 or more states while campaigning. So I guess It shouldn't be a shock to anyone when he rattle's off state election data which is clearly inaccurate. But what makes this important enough to write about is that he is basing his election strategy on faulty data, which could end up costing him the election. In a Time Magazine Article Obama is quoted about the possibilities of being able to win Mississippi:

"I'm probably the only candidate who, having won the nomination, can actually redraw the political map," Obama replied to a question about his strategy from a Concord, N.H., woman at a house party last August. Pacing around the old Victorian home, the wooden floor creaking, Obama went on: "I'll give you one specific example: Mississippi is 40% African American, but it votes 25% African American. If we just got the African Americans in Mississippi to vote their percentage, Mississippi is suddenly a Democratic state. And Georgia may be a Democratic state. Even South Carolina starts being in play. And I guarantee you African-American turnout, if I'm the nominee, goes up 30% around the country, minimum. "

The problem is that none of those numbers are right. Obama claims that Mississippi is 40% black when according to the 2000 census, and The Almanac of American Politics Mississippi is only 36% black. Then Obama claims that it votes 25% African American but according to CNN 2004 Exit Polls African Americans made up 34% of the voting population which is pretty much in line with the percentage of blacks in Mississippi. (And actually if you calculate in the fact that the only Congressional District in MS that is losing population is the majority black district then blacks are probably overrepresented not under as Obama claims.)

Obama's numbers would have you believe that Blacks vote 15 percent less than their population in the state. And that if he could just get them to vote at the same percentage as whites in the state than he could win it. But as shown blacks in Mississippi vote in proportion to their population making Obama argument flawed and eliminating his chances in the state.

What makes this important is that recently there have been talks from the Obama campaign that they don't need Florida or Ohio to win the election because they would be able to replace them with Georgia. Well, if the logic Obama used in calculating his chances in Mississippi is similar to how he is seeing his chances in Georgia he may be in for a rude awakeing on election night when his strategy falls flat.