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Attorney in Texas

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Member since: Sun Aug 2, 2015, 11:10 AM
Number of posts: 3,373

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Mid-campaign polling helps the campaign; it does not predict a winner

Is mid-campaign polling important?

Just ask Jeb Bush. Of course it is important because it is a campaign report card and bad poll numbers can lead to fundraising problems and because a campaign that misuses polls is likely to mis-allocate resources and mis-focus its message.

Mid-campaign polls tell you very little about the outcome of an election, but they tel you very much about the current progress of the campaign.

There are a number of reasons for this.

First, national polling is like a mock national election. There is no national primary so national polling is a mock-up for a vote that will never occur. That's not to say national polling isn't important. Biden's entry into the race would have created a ton of chaos, and his decision not to enter the race was no doubt based -- in some part at least -- on national polls. In this sense, the national polling was very significant. In the sense of predicting anything, national polling is almost useless, however, because the actual results in Iowa and New Hampshire will have a profound effect on the perception of the race in 48 other states. If O'Malley were to defy expectations and win or even nearly win Iowa or New Hampshire, it would effect all of the post-New Hampshire races. If Sanders were to win Iowa and New Hampshire, that -- too -- would have a huge impact on the race. Likewise, if Clinton were to win Iowa and New Hampshire, that might signal a near unanimous sweep for her campaign (although such an early win might also inspire a state or two to throw a "buyer's remorse" result to another candidate).

Second, Iowa polling is notoriously a poor predictor of results in that state because it is a caucus state and the caucus process depends almost as much as the intensity of support as it depends on the amount of supporters.

Third, more than a month before the voters in a state come to the polls, most eventual voters either haven't made up their minds at all or their support is soft and they are still willing to change their current preference. This explains why Obama beat Clinton in 2008 despite the fact that she was killing him in the polls throughout 2007.

Look to the polling to see whether your candidate is currently hitting his or her targets and whether they are making progress or losing ground, but stop screaming about polls as if they are an election.

Polls are not a diploma; they are a report card.

Enough bad report cards and you might not get a diploma (so report cards are important), but good report cards during your sophomore year do not mean you are going to earn a diploma.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Mon Nov 16, 2015, 01:55 PM (2 replies)

Unsolicited advice to Clinton from a Sanders voter who anticipates voting for Clinton in the general

I prefer Sanders by a large margin over Clinton because I am a progressive liberal whose values are to the left of Clinton's.

Yet I prefer Clinton over all of the Republicans by an even larger margin.

I consider Sanders the underdog and Clinton the favorite in the primary so I anticipate that I will probably be financially supporting, campaigning for, and voting for Clinton a year from now.

With that said, Clinton and many of her supporters here are missing a great opportunity in this primary.

Many Clinton supporters are pushing the themes that (1) Clinton has an insurmountable lead and the primary is already effectively over, (2) Sanders cannot win because he has chosen to own the socialist label rather than run from it, (3) O'Malley's campaign platform and stump speeches are not always consistent with his past record and actions, etc.

Look at the first argument -- either you believe that Clinton has an insurmountable lead or you don't believe that. If you believe it, then you ought to be focused on the general election and not the primary. If you don't believe it, then you would better serve your preferred candidate's campaign by pushing an argument you really believe. If you truly believe Clinton has already won, then attacking Sanders and O'Malley has a bullying sore-winner tone; what sports team has a press conference after winning a game and berates the team they just beat? No one does that. You know a political candidate has won when he or she starts talking about what a worthy opponent the other side was and now is the time for party unity. The dominant argument from Clinton supporters is the opposite of this worthy-opponent-time-for-unity approach. If you have won the fight, then stop fighting.

Here is why -- even if you all believe in your hearts Clinton has already won -- Clinton supporters should not wish for a premature end to the primary. If the media can report on a vibrant primary campaign, they will. If the media cannot report on a vibrant primary campaign, they will either devote 95% of their interest in the Republican campaign and ignore Clinton or they will report on Republican generated faux-scandals focused on Clinton. Both options are deadly to Clinton's general election prospects. Moreover, if Rubio or some other non-Bush candidate wins the Republican nomination, you can bet a major campaign attack against Clinton will be that she was chosen through the "coronation of the Clinton dynasty candidate." That argument is nonsense, but you know it's coming and you know it will have some greater or lesser impact. If the primary is "over" three months before the first vote is cast, then the coronation argument is a strong one. If the primary contest is hard fought (maybe Sanders and O'Malley win a few states), then the coronation argument is weak. Ask yourself -- why are you promoting the Republicans' coronation argument by prematurely declaring victory?

Look at the second two arguments which contend that Clinton should win because of weaknesses in her opponents. If you believe Clinton is a strong candidate, then you should want her to win because of her strengths and you don't want her to win because of her opponents' weaknesses. If Clinton has the strength to beat her Republican rival, then she should be using the primary campaign to refine her arguments and to exercise her campaign muscles. When a top ranked sports team has an unranked underdog on the schedule, there is no need for smack talk denigrating the outmatched opponent.

Here is why -- even if you all truly believe Sanders and O'Malley are weak opponents -- you should nevertheless focus on Clinton's campaign issues and not your perception of the opposing candidates' flaws. Clinton will be called a socialist in the general election. Clinton will be attacked as "too liberal" in the general election. You will hear Republicans say "Clinton is even more liberal on this issue than socialist Bernie Sanders." Unless you truly believe Clinton cannot win without changing her core beliefs to pander to the progressive Warren-Sanders wing of the Democratic party, then Clinton should be laying the groundwork to run a general election campaign where she distinguishes herself from Sanders and O'Malley (and Obama). Instead of running a campaign that argues "vote Clinton because Sanders is a socialist" or "vote Clinton because O'Malley is really a DLC member who's only pretending to be more liberal than Clinton," the campaign should be "vote Clinton because her plan on this issue is more practical than her Democratic opponents' plans and more sane than the nonsense the Republicans are offering." Every time Clinton or her supporters offer a non-substantive attack on her primary opponents, she wastes an opportunity to distinguish herself from her primary opponents. In the general election, Clinton will wish she had better used these opportunities.

In summary, I prefer Sanders over Clinton, and I will do everything I can to promote his chances in the primary. I hope Sanders wins, but I think Clinton is more likely to be my candidate in the general election so I don't want to see her campaign run in a manner that serves her poorly in the general election if she wins (as I expect she will).

I am concerned that Clinton supporters are doing a very poor job of supporting my probable general election candidate. Please do a better job.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sun Nov 15, 2015, 12:50 PM (32 replies)

Heroes (not rats) leaving a sinking ship



Nina Turner
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sat Nov 14, 2015, 05:34 PM (43 replies)

It's NOVEMBER for Christsake and she's up 59% to 32%! IT'S OVER! Deal with it!

Posted by Attorney in Texas | Thu Nov 12, 2015, 11:34 PM (33 replies)

GOP debate fact check: Was Marco Rubio right about welders vs. philosophers?

Source: CBS News

Instead of raising the minimum wage, Rubio said the U.S. should focus on tax reform, regulatory reform and higher education reform -- including a more robust embrace of vocational training.

"Welders make more money than philosophers," he said. By encouraging Americans to get vocational training, he argued, "We will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans without making anyone worse off."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are in fact 849,930 workers in welding or a related category, such as soldering or brazing. Their annual mean wage falls between $36,450 and $40,040.

Meanwhile, the BLS says there are 23,210 postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers (probably the closest one can be to a professional "philosopher". Their annual mean wage is $71,350.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/republican-debate-fact-check-was-marco-rubio-right-about-welders-versus-philosophers/
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Wed Nov 11, 2015, 12:16 AM (66 replies)

Cruz has Perry-like moment when saying which agencies he'd eliminate

Source: USA Today

MILWAUKEE — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had a moment that evoked memories of Rick Perry’s notorious “oops” gaffe four years earlier during Tuesday’s debate.

Cruz said he would cut $500 billion in federal spending by eliminating five departments: the IRS, Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development and Commerce.

That’s right: two Commerce Departments.

During the 2012 GOP nomination race, Rick Perry said he would cut three departments, but could only remember two during a presidential debate. It was an actual “oops” moment that spelled the beginning of the end of Perry’s campaign.


Read more: http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/11/10/ted-cruz-commerce-department-perry/



Oops...
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Wed Nov 11, 2015, 12:11 AM (50 replies)

538: "Yeah, Jeb Bush Is Probably Toast" (UPDATED - lots more stories on the epic Bush fail)

Link; Excerpt:

Bush received poor reviews for his debate performance from political commentators of all stripes (Republican, Democratic, partisan, nonpartisan, reporters, “data journalists”), many of whom also suggested that his campaign might soon be over. The straw poll1 we conducted among FiveThirtyEight writers and editors agreed; Bush’s average grade was a C-, putting him at the bottom of the 10-candidate group.

CANDIDATE AVERAGE GRADE HIGH GRADE LOW GRADE
Marco Rubio...........A-..........A............C
Ted Cruz................B+.........A...........D
Chris Christie..........B...........A-..........D
Carly Fiorina...........B-..........A-..........D
Ben Carson.............C+.........A-..........D
John Kasich.............C...........B-..........D
Mike Huckabee........C............B...........D
Donald Trump..........C...........B+.........D-
Rand Paul...............C-...........B-..........F
Jeb Bush.................C-..........B...........F


I agree with the group (I gave Bush a C-). Bush lost a probably ill-advised confrontation with Marco Rubio over Rubio’s absences from the Senate. Bush’s closing statement seemed stilted. He was the setup for a Chris Christie applause line about fantasy football. And for much of the debate, he was an afterthought, receiving the second-lowest amount of talk time among the candidates.
....
Bush’s “fundamentals” aren’t all that strong. He entered the debate with middling favorability ratings and polling at about 7 percent nationally. His endorsements have all but dried up: just two since Labor Day and none in the past three weeks, according to our endorsement tracker. His third-quarter fundraising totals were mediocre. This wasn’t a case like that of Hillary Clinton, who even at her worst moments was polling at 45 percent and had the overwhelming support of the Democratic establishment. ... Bush is running a conventional campaign. It’s not as though he has all that much grassroots support: Only 3 percent of his fundraising has come from small donors. Instead, Bush needs the support of Republican elites — and favorable media coverage — to signify to reluctant Republican voters that he’s a viable nominee. And ... before the debate, major Bush donors were fretting openly to reporters (not just swiping at Bush anonymously) that his campaign was in a potential “death spiral.” ... his problem isn’t a mere lack of “momentum”; his candidacy has always been flawed. Instead of being the most electable conservative — the traditional profile of the Republican nominee — Bush has never looked all that electable or all that conservative.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Thu Oct 29, 2015, 11:02 AM (39 replies)

538: "Maybe Republicans Really Are In Disarray"

Link. Excerpt:

Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein ... have written extensively about ... the theory is that Republicans are a broken, dysfunctional political party — that the GOP is in disarray, ... for instance:

* The Republican speaker of the House, John Boehner, recently resigned under pressure from a dissident group of Republicans, the House Freedom Caucus.
* Under Republican leadership, the House entered into an unpopular government shutdown and only narrowly avoided a crisis over raising the debt ceiling.
* The 112th and 113th congresses were among the least productive ever as measured by the amount of legislation passed, with filibusters and other parliamentary tactics used frequently.
* Statistical measurements of voting in Congress like DW-Nominate find that Republicans are, on average, more conservative than at any point in the modern era. Democrats in Congress have also become more liberal, especially in the past few years, but the polarization is asymmetric (Republicans have moved to the right more than Democrats have moved to the left).
* Nonetheless, there are also high levels of disagreement among Republicans in Congress. Because Congress is highly partisan, Republicans may be largely united when voting against Democrats, but this conceals profound differences among Republicans about tactics, strategy and policy objectives.
* In 2010, 2012 and 2014, Republican incumbents such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana were ousted in primary challenges. Meanwhile, “outsider” candidates such as Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Ken Buck in Colorado won the Republican nomination in key open-seat Senate races, possibly costing the GOP several Senate seats.
* Although establishment-backed candidates eventually won, Republicans were relatively slow to settle on presidential nominees in 2008 and 2012 as compared with previous years. The 2012 campaign featured several surges for candidates like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich who were openly opposed by the party establishment.
* Republicans are apparently having trouble choosing their 2016 nominee as well, not just as measured by the polls, but also according to other measures of support like fundraising and endorsements.

...
There is one dynamic of the 2016 GOP presidential primary that lends credence to the “Republicans in Disarray!” case. Under the “Party Decides” theory, which presumes reasonably arrayed parties, the most important proxy for party support is endorsements. And so far, Republicans lawmakers aren’t endorsing much of anyone.
...
Among the most moderate Republicans in Congress, ... Jeb Bush is the clear front-runner with this group, with 16 percent of the endorsements from moderate Republicans in Congress; Chris Christie is in second place, with 5 percent.

... the 101 Republicans near the median of the party have had much more trouble reaching consensus. About 80 percent of them have yet to issue any endorsement. And no candidate (Bush and Rubio are nominally tied for first place) has received more than 5 percent of their support.

Look toward the most conservative 100 Republicans, and there are even more signs of disarray. ... among those who have endorsed, the leading choices are Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, two candidates who spend a lot of their time poking a finger in the eye of the Republican establishment.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Wed Oct 28, 2015, 12:58 PM (20 replies)

Bill Gates just endorsed socialism, sort of: A boost for Bernie Sanders?

Source: csmonitor

Bill Gates, the billionaire computer maven who owes his fortune to capitalism, recently ... argued that "the private sector is in general inept" as a tool to manage climate change because "there's no fortune to be made," and that the only solution lies with government.

Governments, he said, must dramatically increase spending on research and development to combat climate change. Private companies should play a supporting role by paying the costs of rolling out those technologies.

... in a country where socialism is seen by a generation of Americans as a negative, often associated with Communism and the Soviet Union, Gates' comments, combined with those of Vermont Senator Sanders, could open a new debate in America, and possibly signal a shift in American views toward capitalism and socialism.

...

"For older people, socialism is associated with Communism and the Soviet Union and the Cold War... But the oldest Millennials were 8 years old when the Berlin Wall fell. They have never known a world where the Soviet Union exists ... The connotations associated with the word 'socialism' just don't exist with millennials."

Read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2015/1027/Bill-Gates-just-endorsed-socialism-sort-of-A-boost-for-Bernie-Sanders



Here is a link to The Atlantic interview with Gates.

Here are links to the Pew survey and the Gallup poll referenced in the news story.

Here is a link to the related International Business Times news piece which quoted Michelle Diggles, the source of the quote in the last paragraph, above.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Tue Oct 27, 2015, 07:49 PM (10 replies)

Trumpsters (rhymes with dumpsters), Trumpkins (rhymes blumpkins), Trumpaloons (rhymes buffoons),

Trumpaholics, Trumpies, Trumpeteers...

Have we settled in a name for these psychopaths yet?
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Mon Oct 26, 2015, 07:36 PM (7 replies)
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