Archive for Election

She Had Me at Shalom

If I had to name a trinity of political pundits and commentators, I wouldn’t hesitate: Mark Steyn, James Taranto (Best of the Web Today), and Caroline Glick.

Only one can run for Knesset:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has requested that veteran journalist Caroline Glick be appointed to the #11 spot on the Likud list, Likud sources stated Saturday night.

Glick is a veteran journalist who founded the satirical television series Latma, is the deputy managing editor for the Jerusalem Post, and the senior fellow in a Washington-based think tank, the Center for Security Policy.

She has previously not spared criticism of the prime minister, and penned a particularly acid piece in response to the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal in the Post and on Channel 2’s mako website at the time claiming he had made the deal “at the price of Jewish blood.”

Israeli politics is not my strong suit, but it would seem to me that if Netanyahu needed to placate his base, he could not have picked a better candidate. Glick is not for turning; if Bibi goes wobbly, she’ll let him have it. As someone who has openly lobbied for one Israel, from the river to the sea, she will project a loud and proud voice in the government. And as an American by birth, she can argue for Israeli foreign policy to an American Jewish audience as well as anyone.

Can’t wait!


Good News On ObamaCare!!!

Half of the Senators who voted for this dog won’t be in the Senate come January.

On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into this year’s midterm elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in next month. After Democratic losses on Nov. 4 and Saturday’s defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the number has risen to 30. In other words, half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare will not be part of the new Senate.

The following is an updated breakdown of senators who voted for Obamacare and will not be part of the next Senate.

Lost and replaced by a Republican:

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.

Arlen Specter, D-Penn.

Left Senate and replaced by a Republican:

Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.

Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

See ‘Ya, wouldn’t wanna be ‘Ya!

– Aggie


Interesting Midterm Demographic Stuff

Did the Republicans sweep merely because of midterm demographics?

Happily, no.

A congealing conventional wisdom surrounding the 2014 elections is that Democrats had a long night because of an unfavorable Senate map and because Democratic constituencies failed to show up. One storyline growing out of this is that once Democrats can enjoy a “presidential electorate” rather than a “midterm electorate,” their fortunes will turn, and Democrats will run well.

This isn’t entirely correct. The major factors driving the different results between 2012 and 2014 were not demographic. The major difference was that in 2012 Barack Obama was a moderately popular president. In 2014, he is an unpopular president. If this does not change between now and 2016, demographic shifts alone will not save the Democratic nominee.

He proceeds to become wonky, but it’s interesting. The gist of the approach is to compare the known differences in voter demographics between 2010 and 2012, and then apply to the differences between 2012 and 2014. I’ll give you a bit of the argument:

We can illustrate this best by borrowing a page from Harry Enten, and seeing what would have happened if the 2014 electorate had instead more closely resembled the 2012 electorate. That is to say, let’s keep whites voting 60-38 for Republicans, Hispanics voting 62-36 for Democrats, and so forth, as they all did in 2014, but alter their shares of the electorate to resemble 2012 (72 percent white, 10 percent Hispanic, and so forth) rather than 2014 (75 percent white, 8 percent Hispanic, and so forth). This allows us to isolate the effects of demographic change between 2012 and 2014.

The results are underwhelming: If the 2014 electorate had resembled the 2012 electorate in terms of race, the Republican vote share would shrink by just 1.97 percentage points. In other words, in a 2012 electorate, Republicans would have won the popular vote for the House by 4.5 points, rather than 6.5 points. That’s not nothing, as they say, but it still only explains a relatively small share of the difference between the 2012 and 2014 results. Put differently, if Obama had put up the same vote shares among racial groups in 2012 as Democrats ultimately did in 2014, he’d have lost.

Perhaps the difference is not so much differences in the racial makeup of the electorate, but rather differences in the age makeup of the electorate? The 2014 electorate was, in fact, quite a bit older than the 2012 electorate. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given that the elderly population is actually set to grow substantially in the next decade. Regardless, if we reduce the 65+ share of the electorate from 2014’s 22 percent to 2012’s 16 percent, increase the 18-24 year old share from 7 percent (2014) to 11 percent (2012), and adjust everything in between accordingly, the Republican advantage contracts by … 1.94 points.

Now you might look at this and say, “Well, that’s a total of four points!” The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites. So this isn’t a cumulative exercise.

That last section is fascinating. Did you know this: The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites.

Now, I thought that younger whites definitely voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats. I did when I was young and virtually all of the young people that I know today do too. But apparently I exist in a liberal bubble, and this doesn’t generalize to the rest of the nation.

In any case, if Obama continues to suck, we have a hope for 2016. Let’s raise our coffee cups to that.

– Aggie


Now Dems Want To Vote On Keystone XL

Mary Landrieu fights to save her seat.

It seems the voters have already done themselves some good.

For the first time in the six-year fight over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, both houses of Congress will hold a vote on the proposed project, giving each side in a Louisiana Senate election a chance to boost its candidate.

But not so fast:

A large showing of Democratic support for the pipeline could complicate the administration’s decision-making process, given the party’s dismal showing at the polls last week. Environmentalist allies of the president are solidly against the project and have been doggedly lobbying the administration against approving it.

But Republicans successfully used the president’s environmental and climate agenda as key lines of attack against Democrats in several contested midterm races. Those results strengthen the arguments of those who believe that it would be a political mistake for the administration to deny permits for the unbuilt sections of the pipeline, and congressional approval of the project could put the administration on the defensive if it were inclined to halt the project.

You know what I love most about this? It again highlights Obama’s idiocy. Love it.

Acknowledging the importance of energy to Louisiana’s economy, Landrieu and Cassidy have championed completion of the pipeline, which would transport oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The GOP-controlled House voted several times in recent years to support the pipeline, while the Senate, in deference to the administration’s review, has resisted holding a vote on the matter despite strong objections from several moderate Democratic senators from rural or energy-rich states.

You have to ask: At this point, what difference does it make? (Don’t you just love that question?)

For six years, the pipeline has been under review by the State Department, which has jurisdiction because the project crosses international borders. Democrats such as Landrieu from energy-producing states have joined Republicans in calling for its approval.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) voiced strong support for the plan on Wednesday, saying that “it would be a tremendous windfall for all of us. It’s something we can count on. And I can’t for the life of me understand why we haven’t to date been able to move this piece of legislation forward.”

Joe, let me help you out here. You haven’t been able to move this piece of legislation forward because your Senate leader, Harry Reid, refused to permit a vote. Does that ring a bell, Joe?

Meanwhile, Landrieu is tense:

Party leaders agreed suggesting that it [the pipeline] could be voted on next year in the new Congress.

Landrieu had other ideas.

“I don’t think we necessarily need to wait until January,” she said Wednesday in a floor speech that lasted almost three hours. Landrieu made no attempt to hide her motive. “I’m going to do everything in my power here and at home on the campaign trail, where I’m still in a runoff, as you know, to get this project moving forward,” she said.

She blathered on for three hours!!! She must really want to keep her job.

This exchange between Chuck Schumer and Landrieu is priceless:

Before her remarks, Landrieu was spotted riding the escalator alone up from the Senate trains that carry lawmakers between their offices and the Capitol, toward a row of elevators. She was stone-faced and declined to answer questions from reporters. Once she reached the top level and stepped off, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of his party’s top campaign strategists, walked over.

Smiling, he asked Landrieu to step aside for a private conversation. She shook her head and moved briskly toward the elevator. As she did, she pointed to her phone, saying she had a call. Schumer paused for a moment as she moved away. His smile dropped, and he turned to follow her. “Mary, Mary,” he said, a few steps behind, asking her to speak with him. When she kept moving and ducked into an elevator, he hustled and jumped in to join her as the doors closed.

You know, I’ll just bet she’s furious with the elitist, coastal Left wing of her party. But… she voted with them time after time. I hope that the voters in Louisiana think long and hard before returning her to Washington.

– Aggie


Why the Long Faces?


You all look sadder than Lena Dunham looking at an empty fridge.

What’s the matter?

After years of tension between President Obama and his former Senate colleagues, trust between Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue had eroded. A fight between the White House and Senate Democrats over a relatively small sum of money had mushroomed into a major confrontation.

At a March 4 Oval Office meeting, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and other Senate leaders pleaded with Obama to transfer millions in party funds and to also help raise money for an outside group. “We were never going to get on the same page,” said David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff. “We were beating our heads against the wall.”

“The president’s approval rating is barely 40 percent,” Krone said. “What else more is there to say? .?.?. He wasn’t going to play well in North Carolina or Iowa or New Hampshire. I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean that the message was bad, but sometimes the messenger isn’t good.”

You mean he isn’t “light-skinned” with “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”?

That’s gotta suck.

Still, Obama’s their leader, and they’ll back him:

“It doesn’t make sense that we have to fight so hard against our own government and our own administration and our president to try to find a balance,” Manchin told MSNBC.

“It was President Obama dragging candidates down across the country,” one Senate Democratic aide said. “It was a tough map to start with, and his numbers were especially bad in these states, making it that much harder to overcome.”

“It’s an inescapable fact that this election was more about Obama and frustration with his presidency than any other factor,” said one prominent Democratic strategist. “You can blame, in some cases, bad strategy, bad candidacy, bad ads — but the one ring that unites them all was anger and frustration toward Obama’s policies.”

“President Obama needs to care more about the economic issues that everyday Americans care about than the fringe positions that House Republicans and Ted Cruz care about,” the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee argued.

Bet these racist bastard Democrats wouldn’t say these things if Obama were white (all white, that is). The party hasn’t changed from the 1950s.

Comments (1)

Wrong Nate

“I knew Nate Silver. Nate Silver was a friend of mine…

Nate Cohn, you are no Nate Silver.”

Polls show that the Republicans have an advantage in the fight for control of the Senate. They lead in enough states to win control, and they have additional opportunities in North Carolina and New Hampshire to make up for potential upsets. As Election Day nears, Democratic hopes increasingly hinge on the possibility that the polls will simply prove wrong.

But that possibility is not far-fetched. The polls have generally underestimated Democrats in recent years, and there are reasons to think it could happen again.

Oh well. We all get it wrong sometimes.

Care to try again?

The Republicans are looking forward to having a good week. They are favored to win the Senate, and they could pick up enough House seats to finish with their largest margin since 1928.

But perhaps more important to the party’s long-term prospects than Tuesday’s results is what unfolds in the presidential battleground states. If the night ends with tight races in Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado and Georgia, as the polls suggest, then the results will not be as great for Republicans as many analysts will surely proclaim.

So, if I change my name to Nate, and write Democratic propaganda, can I get a job at the New York Times?

Former Timesman, Nate Silver, got the hell out off that rag, and saw the Republican tsunami coming. He also called out the biased polling (see below). This other Nate don’t know nuttin’.


Pollsters Seeing—and Turning—Red

Democrats don’t get to eat fried chicken (it’s back on the kale for you!), but pollsters will be eating crow:

The pre-election polling averages (not the FiveThirtyEight forecasts, which also account for other factors) in the 10 most competitive Senate races had a 6-percentage point Democratic bias as compared to the votes counted in each state so far.

We aren’t counting Alaska, where polls haven’t closed yet. We also aren’t counting Virginia, which is much closer than expected. But Mark Warner’s close call makes more sense now given the margins we’re seeing in other states.

The bias might narrow slightly as more votes are counted; late-counted votes tend to be Democratic in most states. Still, this is a big “skew,” and it comes on the heels of what had been a fairly substantial bias in the opposite direction in 2012. The polls — excepting Ann Selzer’s — are having some problems.

That’s the Senate.

How about among the governors?

As I wrote before, polls in the most competitive Senate races look to have had about a 6-percentage point Democratic bias based on the votes as counted so far.

What about in the most competitive gubernatorial races (excluding Alaska, which has not yet finished voting)?

The bias hasn’t been quite as bad, but the polls were still too Democratic-leaning by an average of about 2 percentage points. As a result, a number of Democrats who had narrow leads in the polls are going to lose their races.



Why the Democrats Got “Shellacked”

No fried chicken for you:

I’m not going where you (especially if you’re conservative) suspect I’m going with this—the standard liberal moan that working class white people are voting against their interests. That’s something Democrats have to get out of their heads and stop saying. People don’t vote against their interests. They vote for their interests as they see them. And right now, working-class and blue-collar whites think the Democratic Party is just implacably against them.

Of course I don’t think it’s true that the Democratic Party is implacably against them. I think they just think the Democratic Party is implacably against them, and part of the reason—not the whole reason, but part of the reason—they think the Democratic Party is implacably against them is that Democratic candidates in red states have no idea how to tell them they’re on their side.

Right now, working-class and blue-collar whites think the Democratic Party is just implacably against them.

Look at this map. This is something The New York Times posted a week ago showing the percentage of people who gained health insurance under Obamacare, broken down into every county in the country. Look at the map, and look at Kentucky. Huge gains. Just huge. Throughout the state, the percentage of insured doubled in many counties. The Democratic Party has been implacably for the people—in this state, most of them white—who got insurance.

And yet, could Alison Grimes go around the state bragging about this? No, she couldn’t. It’s Obama and race, yes. For sure. But it’s more. It’s hatred of government. In a lot of places, you can’t even get people to believe that Washington had anything to do with them getting insurance. So they sent back to the Senate, by a shockingly high margin, the man who has pledged that he’s going to repeal root and branch the law that got them that insurance.

How could it be “Obama and race” when he won two elections? Granted he never won Kentucky, but he lost by much greater margins than Ms. Grimes did (by 16% in ’08, 22% in ’12). Kentucky knows how to vote like the racists they are. Yesterday they did not.

I guess it never occurred to the writer that all those people who “got” health insurance thanks to ObamaCare got it thanks to a whole lot more people who have to pay for it with higher premiums and deductibles, and lower coverage and choice. Why doesn’t the New York Times print that map?

[T]hey sent back to the Senate, by a shockingly high margin, the man who has pledged that he’s going to repeal root and branch the law that got them that insurance.

Fancy that!


Be Happy

Rauner wins in Illinois.

Republican Bruce Rauner won in Illinois.

Tillis beat Kay Hagan in North Carolina

Charlie Baker beat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts However, in Mass it is entirely possible that the Coakley “folks” have tens of thousands of illegal ballets filled out for Coakley hidden in a storage facility in Revere. They could magically appear later today. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Enjoy the moment, guys.

– Aggie

Comments (2)

Revenge Of The Grown-Ups

BTl is having a well-deserved I Told You So, but he isn’t one whit happier than I am. This is just glorious. I am soooo happy to have been soooo wrong.

On a personal note: I attended a dinner party over the weekend, in which a local, progressive politician opined on the need for “compromise”. At the time it struck me odd, because this is the party that is famous for “You have to pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill” or Obama’s famous 2010 remark that Republicans need to sit in the back seat.

Last night, early in the evening, the White House called for a meeting today to start to work together. Question for Republicans: How much compromise are you willing to do? I get that the public wants the incredibly immature bickering to end, but we need to demand that some compromise moves in a conservative direction. Because compromise usually just means Republicans moving slowly to Democrat positions. Given their behavior of the past 6 years, compromise sounds like a trap.

If I were Mitch McConnell, I might be tempted to look the President squarely in the eye and say: I Won.

– Aggie

Comments (2)

BTL’s I-Told-You-So Moment

Remember October 6th?

Sure you do:

My point is that the pall of Obama is so long and dark (dog whistle!), any race (dog whistle!) in which a Republican is within four points (maybe five) is statistically tied. If I’m right, the GOP will pick up as many as 9 out of ten seats, and hold a 54-46 edge in the Senate.

As of this moment, the GOP has 52 seats, with three seats—Alaska, Louisiana, and Virginia—still in contention. Give me Alaska and Louisiana (the latter in a runoff), and I’ll take my victory lap. And if Jeanne Shaheen’s disgraceful, repugnant siccing of the IRS on American conservatives had been known for even 24 hours longer than the 12 hours it was, the GOP would have won another seat in New Hampshire.

But then my prediction would have suffered. Sorry, Scott Brown, but I’ll save a glass of champers for you.

PS: As the race seemed to tilt rightward in the last few weeks, Rush wondered how much of that was actually happening compared to how much was the polling agencies finally acknowledging what was the case all along. No one wants to be wrong, polling agencies least of all, and after serving Democrat interests for most of the campaign (by making the races appear close), they have to shift closer to the truth to save their reputations. Rush, right again.

Comments (1)

Heavy Turnout

I wondered if turnout in Massachusetts was an anomaly? Nope.

Voters on Tuesday went to the polls to cast their vote on local issues and some races that could have national implications.

In Johnson County, voting was reported to be strong, with some poll locations reporting waits of up to 30 minutes long.

“What we are hearing is that the feeling from our workers that this is as busy as they have seen it — as busy as a presidential election,” said Brian Newby, Johnson County election commissioner. “It probably isn’t as busy as a presidential election, but we have a third fewer polling locations.”

Heavy turnout in Denver

And in Atlanta

My guess is that this is not great news for Republicans but I hope, hope, hope I’m wrong.

– Aggie


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