Archive for the 'Polling' Category

Disaster

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

A GOP Congressman said his calls are running 498 to 2 against a Syria attack. More surprisingly, a California Democrat Congresswoman says her calls are 100 to 1 against. This is a disaster, one so bad that it has caused a fundraiser to be taken off the schedule.

He jumped the shark in record time

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Mickey Kaus:

Rubio: Illegals will pay fines or be deported! Ambassador of Amnesty…Don’t pretend you’re suddenly going to deport millions of people. Move to stop the flow of new illegals. When that’s accomplished – e.g. through E-verify, a fence, and a visa-checking system – and when those enforcement mechanisms have survived court challenges, then try to bring illegals out of the shadows. At that point, some years down the road, with the future illegal flow cut off (and “chain migration” curtailed), you can afford to be honest about how mean you are willing to be.

Talk about fast. Marco Rubio has jumped the shark in record time. First he was all over talk radio pitching the ridiculous deal he did with Chuck Schumer, and then he was all over talk radio pitching how he wanted input to change the ridiculous deal he did with Chuck Schumer. If this is what the GOP is pinning its hopes on, things don’t bode well for the future. HT: PL

Truly pathetic.

The joke’s on the young

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

WSJ

single adults age 21-29 earning 300% to 400% of the federal poverty level will be hit with an increase of 46% even after premium assistance from tax credits.

That’s the heart of the winning D coalition. Will the R’s now go and do something incredibly stupid to make sure they don’t benefit from the utopian madness of the current government? We’ll see.

The masses are revolting

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Spectator:

the French political system is terminally sick. The historical background certainly confirms this. For more than 30 years, every French government has lost every election. With a single exception, you have to be over 50 today to have voted in the last election, in 1978, when the incumbent majority held on to power: Nicolas Sarkozy managed to get a conservative majority re-elected in 2007 only because he profiled himself, dishonestly, as a new broom and as a rebel against the roi fainéant, his former mentor Jacques Chirac. Add to this the fact that in 2005 the referendum on the European constitution produced a ‘no ‘vote — that is, a disavowal of the entire political establishment — and you are confronted with a bitter reality: the French electorate hates its politicians and takes every chance to vote against them. François Hollande’s election last May was therefore not a victory but only his predecessor’s defeat. He was elected with 48 per cent of the votes, if you include spoilt and invalid ballots, and 39 per cent of the registered voters. His election was especially unimpressive considering the widespread revulsion at Sarkozy’s personal bling and at his betrayal of his own voters. But even so, Hollande’s catastrophic poll rating has broken all records. When in March he became the most unpopular president after ten months in office, his rating stood at 31 per cent. Now it is 26 per cent.

With unemployment nearing 11%, what do you expect?

A question

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

WSJ:

the Yankees ask for identification cards from beer buyers of all ages. So do the Boston Celtics; the Fairway supermarket chain…Blockheads co-owner, Ken Sofer, says his policy was devised, back in 1993, to be nonprejudicial. He also declared an expired license invalid at Blockheads, even if the picture on it is of the old person…The manager, 33-year-old Vicky Contreras, was at a table there one afternoon, doing the accounts. “We card everyone,” she said. “It’s procedure. You can’t ask for ID from young people and not old people. That’s profiling.”…”We don’t discriminate,” said Ms. Severino…Craig Johnson, 53, says…”If you’re 90 years old in a wheelchair, you’re checked”

Of course this is a discriminatory practice. It discriminates against a society in which common sense is allowed. Our question is different, however. If asking every 90 year old for a valid, government-issued ID to buy a beer is sensible, why is presenting an ID to vote a bad thing?

Who’s missing the point?

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Maybe we are. When we read things about portions of the GOP rushing to embrace comprehensive immigration reform (all things with “comprehensive” in the title should be voted down) and other fashions of the moment, we wonder what just happened. And then there are issues same sex marriage, a thing that didn’t even exist twenty years ago, and is now apparently the most important issue for large portions of the electorate. The electorate has changed, we must change too!

The electorate has indeed changed. A majority of those over 30 favor the GOP, and a larger majority of those under 30 do not. But why pander to the young, who believe all sorts of rubbish? They will get older after all, and some may even grow up. Once some of them break free of the utopian bubble the media creates for them, hard realities and common sense sometimes prevail, sometimes in the strangest places. Those who are 18-30 were born from 1983 to 1995 or so. Not one of them has been drafted, and their lives have been filled with amazing technological innovations year after year. Calm down, we say. Life will catch up with them soon enough. But maybe we are missing the point.

Political theater for the cerebrally challenged

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Washington Times

In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections. He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be”…

even amid the cuts, APHIS is still hiring new employees and interns. Since Sunday the agency has posted 24 help-wanted ads including 22 student internships, one ad seeking a clerk in a New York office, and one ad seeking three “insect production workers” to grow bollworms in Phoenix.

Can’t have enough bollworms, even while you’re creating phony pain for the media to feed to the masses. Meanwhile, the House Republicans can’t manage to keep a coherent message on needless spending. They want the USPS to continue Saturday deliveries, despite the wishes of the Postmaster General and polling in favor of saving the $2 billion a year. It’s the cerebrally challenged youth vote of 2012 versus the cerebrally challenged GOP in Washington. Pity everyone can’t lose.

Numbers

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Michael Barone:

The 2008-2012 Obama campaign — it never really stopped — did an excellent job of turning out just enough voters to win 332 electoral votes in 2012. But Obama carried just 26 states to Romney’s 24, which is relevant when you look at future senatorial elections. As for House elections, Obama carried only 207 congressional districts to Romney’s 228…The Obamacare contraception mandate helped Romney carry 59 percent of white Catholics — probably their highest Republican percentage ever — and 79 percent of white evangelical Protestants. Those groups total 44 percent of the electorate. That’s a counterbalance to Obama’s 93 percent among blacks and 71 percent among Hispanics. They were just 23 percent of the electorate…

George W. Bush’s 51 percent re-election, with 11.5 million more votes than four years before, got his strategist Karl Rove musing about a permanent Republican majority. That didn’t happen. Now Obama’s 51 percent re-election, with 3.6 million fewer votes than four years before, has Democrats talking about annihilating the Republican Party.

Romney won voters over 30 by 2 million votes and lost voters under 30 by over 5 million votes. Everything turns on the question of whether those under 30 will change over time. Certain things bode ill — the education system, the media, the 40% of children now born out of wedlock, the decline of religion, and the disconnection with the American past that their elders know. On the other hand there’s the economy and the rendezvous with destiny that is the coming $20 trillion in debt. We’ll see.

A world apart

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Forbes:

Last year the tech oligarchs emerged as major political players. Microsoft, Google and their employees were the largest private-sector donors to the president. More important still, tech workers also provided the president and his party with a unique set of digital tools that helped identify potential supporters among traditionally uninformed and disinterested voters, particularly among the young.

An even greater beneficiary of the second term will be the administrative class, who by their nature live largely outside the market system. This group, which I call the new clerisy, is based largely in academia and the federal bureaucracy, whose numbers and distinct privileges have grown throughout the past half century.

Even in tough times, high-level academics enjoy tenure and have been largely spared from job cuts. Between late 2007 and mid-2009, the number of U.S. federal workers earning more than $150,000 more than doubled, even as the economy fell into a deep recession. Even as the private sector, and state government employment has fallen, the ranks of federal nomenklatura have swelled so much that Washington, D.C., has replaced New York as the wealthiest region in the country…

96% of all donations from the Ivy League went to the president, something more reminiscent of Soviet Russia than a properly functioning pluralistic academy…Most distinctive about the clerisy is their unanimity of views. On campus today, there is broad agreement on a host of issues from gay marriage, affirmative action and what are perceived as “women’s” issues to an almost religious environmentalism that is contemptuous toward traditional industry and anything that smacks of traditional middle class suburban values. These views have shaped many of the perceptions of the current millennial generation

The know-it-alls are running the show. No wonder small businesses are down in the dumps.

GOTV

Friday, November 30th, 2012

One lesson from this seems to be that polling is one thing, GOTV is quite another.

The Gravity of the situation

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Fascinating analysis of something called Gravity and its competitors. Warning: the author is ticked off.

Numbers

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Although Romney won among voters over 30 by 1.9 million, he lost among those under 30 by 5.4 million. And this from Kimberly Strassel:

In Florida, 238,000 more Hispanics voted than in 2008, and Mr. Obama got 60% of Hispanic voters. His total margin of victory in Florida was 78,000 votes, so that demographic alone won it for him. Or consider Ohio, where Mr. Romney won independents by 10 points. The lead mattered little, though, given that black turnout increased by 178,000 votes, and the president won 96% of the black vote. Mr. Obama’s margin of victory there was 103,000.

And this from RCP:

CNN asked “What is the most important candidate quality to your vote?” The response options were “Strong Leader,” “Shares Your Values,” “Has a Vision for the Future,” and “Cares about People.” Among folks that chose one of the first three responses, Mitt Romney won between 54-61% of their vote. But, among folks who chose “Cares About People,” Romney lost dramatically – 81-18%.

There are many lessons and warnings here, but we’ll reserve them for a different occasion. Losing those under 30 by 5.4 million votes? Hmmmm.

Continuing question

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

How does anyone get fewer votes than John McCain? We understand that the opposition painted him as a murdering ogre and had excellent database and turnout operations. But McCain ran an inept campaign against a rock star. He actually suspended it for a time, showing awful judgment. The last four years have been no picnic. Add all that up and while we can appreciate that it’s hard to beat an incumbent, we still find it hard to understand how McCain beat Romney.

The story in Ohio

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Byron York:

John McCain got 2,677,820 votes in Ohio. In 2012, according to a still-unofficial tally from the Ohio Secretary of State, Mitt Romney got 2,583,582. If before the election you had said to any politically involved Ohio Republican that Romney would receive fewer votes than McCain, you would have gotten a blank stare in return. “I would not have believed that,” says Alex Triantafilou, head of the Republican Party in Hamilton County, a critical swing area that includes Cincinnati. “I would have argued strongly that that was not going to be the case”…

There was simply lower turnout among white voters — somewhere in the 200,000 range, which is, again, more than Obama’s winning margin….There are several theories about those missing white voters, but the most plausible is that the ones who were undecideds or weak Republicans were deeply influenced by Obama’s relentless attacks on Romney in May, June, July and August. A steady stream of negative ads portrayed Romney as a heartless, out-of-touch rich guy, and Romney didn’t really fight back.

Plus: the Obama team had the Optimizer. The Ohio story reflects poorly on the judgment of the Romney campaign. There were plenty of 21st century ways for them to fight back against excellent, disciplined opposition, some at low cost. But that’s hkistory now.

66,000 computer simulations a night in an impressive operation

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Consultants for Obama and Romney spoke. Politico:

Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, said Friday that the president’s reelection was won “on the micro stuff.” “Politics too much is about analogies and not about whether or not things work,” Messina told BuzzFeed. “You have to test every single thing, to challenge every assumption, and to make sure that everything we do is provable.” “That’s why I love numbers,” he said. “Because you know good or bad whether what you’re doing is working.”…

“We had to win this on the micro stuff,” Messina said…Obama for America made what Messina called an “unparalleled” $100 million investment in technology. The reelect, said Messina, would be different than 2008 — a time when the iPhone was in its first iteration, when Facebook was one-tenth of its current size, and when the Obama campaign sent just one tweet on all of Election Day (“We thought it was a stupid technology that would never go anywhere,” said Messina).

Under Messina — the metrics-obsessed brain behind the operation — the campaign once defined by ideals and hope and change, became all about the data. “We were going to demand data on everything, we were going to measure everything,” he said during the panel. “We were going to put an analytics team inside of us to study us the entire time to make sure we were being smart about things.”

Every night, Obama’s analytics team would run the campaign 66,000 times on a computer simulation. “And every morning,” said Messina, “we would come in and spend our money based on those simulations.” Their models ultimately predicted Florida results within 0.2%, and Ohio within 0.4%…”We spent a whole bunch of time figuring out that American polling is broken,” said Messina. “We never did a national poll. We only did local and state polls.”…

Jones, for his part, offered a glimpse at what went wrong with “Orca,” the failed Election Day turnout tracking system…(Messina said the Obama campaign tried the same thing in 2008: “Ours crashed too.” They named the project Houdini, but this year called it Gordon. “I said, ‘Why is this thing called Gordon?’ They said, ‘Don’t you know Gordon is the name of the person who killed Houdini?’”)

So narratives and ads that looked like utter nonsense to us because we weren’t the target market were stress-tested to see if they delivered a good ROI. That enabled a campaign which lost 9-10 million supporters to win if they could encourage just enough of the opponent’s potential supporters not to vote at all. 59% negative ads is a record, and they worked. Very impressive job.

More puzzling electoral numbers

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Voice of America:

Preliminary national exit poll data suggested that 73 percent of Asian Americans voted for President Obama, while only 26 percent supported his Republican rival, Mitt Romney.

Spengler has more. This is the group most discriminated against by America’s universities. What’s going on?

Bonus fun: VDH speculates that Romney was this year’s John Kerry, and Bush 2004 did a little better among Mormons than Romney. Huh?

More, via Instapundit: 2012 was the nation’s first Moneyball election. Prior to this, we had no idea what Moneyball is. This makes a good deal of sense to us, and helps explain the success of the media-Axelrod strategy. Early targeted narratives to make your opponent poison to selected demographics.

It’s 1948 again?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Jay Cost:

it borrowed a page from Harry Truman’s 1948 campaign, accomplishing two goals simultaneously. First, it played to its base with a level of intensity rarely seen in the modern era. “The war on women” was a prime case in point. The idea was to maximize turnout for the president’s core groups by focusing on identity politics, encouraging them to come out and vote against a fictitious GOP bogeyman who would suppress their rights to vote, deport their friends and neighbors, deny them Medicare, ship their jobs overseas, raid their pensions, and eliminate their access to contraception. And it worked.

Second, among voters that he could not win – namely, lower-to-middle class, socially conservative whites who have disapproved of the president for four years – Team Obama worked assiduously on turning Mitt Romney into the “other.” The message to these voters was essentially: you don’t like me, but this guy is worse. They got the point, and a shockingly large number stayed home. My back of the envelope estimate, assuming 2008 turnout levels and steady population growth, suggests that almost 10 million white voters did not show up this time around.

I honestly did not think this approach would work, because unlike Truman, Obama had no FDR. There was nobody he could point to as a beacon of hope, a reminder that though the current nominee may be a disappointment, he nevertheless follows in the footsteps of a beloved leader. But I was wrong: in the end, that was the purpose that Bill Clinton served this time around; George W. Bush, naturally, played the part of Herbert Hoover.

Larry Sabato noted the lack of turn-out enthusiasm from swing voters back in June. You’d need a massive and unprecedented turn-out machine to make up for that, and there apparently were a few problems with that.

Overheard at Starbucks

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

As the navel gazing continues, we’ve heard a number of interesting explanations for the election results. It’s Bush’s fault, for example. Then there’s this: two people were having an intelligent conversation about the power of incumbency at a Starbucks near UCLA. “I agree,” said one, “but what about that hair for a 65 year old man? Jet black with those wisps of white at the temples? Ewww. Get real.” Of course it always helps your opponent if he gets 99% of the vote in some precincts.

The polls were fairly accurate

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

So it turned out that the state polls were fairly accurate after all. What seems peculiar to us, particularly after the 2010 elections, is that Romney apparently got 2-3 million fewer votes than McCain got in 2008, and 5 million fewer votes than Bush got in 2004. As for Obama, the Axelrod team really did build that — an organization that sliced and diced the electorate and got them to vote, even though the president got about 9-10 million fewer votes than last time. It’s noteworthy that had Obama lost, the newly high-profile Bill Clinton would arguably have become the most important figure in the Democrat party; as things turned out, the DLC is dead.

It seems bizarre to us that McCain and Bush did so much better than Romney. How is this possible? Every anecdotal puzzle piece pointed to far greater enthusiasm for Romney than for McCain, and few GOP voters will tell you that 2012 was less important then 2004. What happened?

Nate Silver’s final prediction

Monday, November 5th, 2012

NYT:

When the hurricane made landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29, Mr. Obama’s chances of winning re-election were 73 percent in the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Since then, his chances have risen to 86 percent

Check back Wednesday.