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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   601. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4202288)
Just to be clear, I tend to concur that the debates are meaningless or close to it... I'm just interested for the same reason I'm interested in how, say, Matt Garza's side session looked


This is a great analogy.
   602. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4202291)
Either there is something (like the Swiss Bank account forgiveness) that couldn't be cleaned up in time, or he valued his money more than the damage this could cause. I sure don't feel any pity for him, he put himself into this position, he made his choices, and now he has to live with it.

Big time. If indeed Romney saw this coming and what we're seeing now is his long-decided tactical response, and there isn't anything truly damaging in the returns, then one has to seriously question his political skill. And political skill matters in governing.

And if indeed Romney didn't see this coming and is just making it up as he goes along, then one has to question his political skill, even competence, all the more.

He's in a very awkward posture, and he has no one to blame but himself.
   603. Zoppity Zoop Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4202294)

Chess opening as notated by a Democrat.

1. e4! e5?
2. Nf3! Nc6
3. Bb5!! [Black's situation is untenable] +-


Ha! Though I guess only 3-4 people will get this.

Along with beliefs in equality and justice, the third pillar of Democrats is our unfortunate tendency to think that every political move we make is a stunningly brilliant win-win move. Unfortunately, politics, unlike masturbation or solitaire, isn't a game for one player.
   604. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4202296)
The fact that you people pay attention to these campaigns and various episodes of mudslinging this far in advance amuses me. The two candidates haven't even debated yet.


You do realize that this is a politics thread right?
   605. Ron J2 Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4202297)
#599 I've actually seen "serious" annotations that have e4 marked either !? (interesting, but probably not best) ?! (dubious) or ? (error)
   606. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4202299)
the third pillar of Democrats is our unfortunate tendency to think that every political move we make is a stunningly brilliant win-win move.


Have you paid attention to preious campaigns? Circular firing squads were a staple in 2000, 2004, and in the 2008 primary (earlier also, but I thought I would choose recent examples). Democrats are just enjoying watching the other team flail about. Plus Obama runs a good campaign, it is fun to watch.
   607. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4202300)
Along with beliefs in equality and justice, the third pillar of Democrats is our unfortunate tendency to think that every political move we make is a stunningly brilliant win-win move.

Really? I was pretty sure from day one that Gore and Kerry were each ####### it up no matter what they did. Granting hindsight, of course, but I was never, ever hopeful.
   608. Zoppity Zoop Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4202302)

Really? I was pretty sure from day one that Gore and Kerry were each ####### it up no matter what they did. Granting hindsight, of course, but I was never, ever hopeful.


Maybe you were just more prescient.

Lots of Democrats initially crowed about John Kerry, declaring it a cunning strategem as John Kerry's military experience would crush Bush's best arguments to be re-elected.

I'm very pissed that Democrats fumbled the initiative here. They could subtly keep pressure on Romney concerning the tax returns. Now, instead of being able to focus on the legitimate request for Romney to release tax returns and slowly constricting Romney's response, our leadership has instead decided to double-down on a ridiculous gambit, giving Republicans an easy out.
   609. booond Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4202304)
Just to be clear, I tend to concur that the debates are meaningless or close to it.


Al Gore says hello.
   610. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4202305)

Lots of Democrats initially crowed about John Kerry, declaring it a cunning strategem as John Kerry's military experience would crush Bush's best arguments to be re-elected.


Yes, well, I don't think they were expecting the degree of "librulmediabias" Kerry would be subjected to. Obama clearly learned this lesson, which is why he had so many of his former associates killed in advance of the election.
   611. Zoppity Zoop Posted: August 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4202308)

Yes, well, I don't think they were expecting the degree of "librulmediabias" Kerry would be subjected to.


In chess, as in politics, if you discount the fact that your opponent has powerful moves at his/her disposal, you lose.
   612. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4202313)
Do debates matter?*

I think it is a good question, but first you have to decide whether campaigns as a whole matter or if it is all exogenous factors that determine the winner. Let's assume campaigns in general do matter. Then what is it that campaigns do?

There are commercials, press conferences, press releases, and surrogates - the media strategy. There is organization and ground game. There is fund raising (mostly to pay for media and organization). There are policy, such as position papers, policy speeches, foreign trips** and such. There is the choice of VP. There is the convention. Then there are the debates.

Looking over the various parts I think Media, organization, and fundraising are all more important than the debates***. I think policy and the convention are the least important. So in between are the debates (showcasing the candidate reasonably directly) and the VP choice (again the candidates "first major decision"). I think those two can't really move the needle much in the positive, but can definitely hurt a campaign severely. They can set memes in motion or reinforce existing ones.


* For presidents. I think the discussion is different for other offices for a variety of reasons.

** Good times. I wish Romney would go on more trips.

*** This shows why Ray's comment is foolish. A huge part of the important compaign activities occur long before the debates. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not paying attention.
   613. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4202319)
This may be an old saying, but does it seem like debates can't win an election, they can only lose one?
   614. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4202322)
Larry Bartels has shown that debates can move polling a point or two in either direction. Like most aspects of political campaigning, they can matter in already close elections, but they don't matter in elections where one party or the other has a large structural advantage. It should be noted that "a point or two" equals more than one million people changing their vote based on the debates. That's a lot of people.

The notion that Democrats are naturally peculiarly overconfident about their candidates is silly. Democrats were exceptionally confident in 2008, but that was not the mood of the party in 2004 or 2000. I don't know any Democrats who were confident before the 2010 mid-term elections. I don't think either party has a particular tendency to overrate their chances more than the other party does.

Democrats are confident right now because things are going our way. The economy isn't stalling, the eurozone isn't crashing, and Mitt Romney is not looking like the sort of candidate who is likely to win an election without the wind at his back. This could change (especially items (a) and (b)), but I don't think it's terribly wrong for Democrats to be confident.
   615. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4202328)
The notion that Democrats are preternaturally confident about their candidates is silly. Democrats were exceptionally confident in 2008, but that was not the mood of the party in 2004 or 2000. I don't think either party has a particular tendency to overrate their chances more than the other party does.


Again, I'll point out the obvious. The talking points coming from the GOP and their supporters now are *exactly the same* as the talking points from Dem circles in 2004. This is the "put a happy spin on it and shine up that turd" talk, aimed more at shoring up their own worries and doubt than convincing anyone else.

The current numbers indicate a reasonably close popular vote followed by a landslide win in the electoral college for Obama. Romney still has to win every single swing state to pull a squeaker out.
   616. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4202335)
This may be an old saying, but does it seem like debates can't win an election, they can only lose one?


Many believe that the debate in 1980 significantly aided Reagan.
   617. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4202338)
Many believe that the debate in 1980 significantly aided Reagan.


Reagan had a couple debates which can be characterized that way (for example the one against Mondale). Reagan was a really really good debater. Which annoyed me at the time, but oh well.

Obama is not a great debater, but I am not exactly worried about the outcome of the Obama/Romney debates.

EDIT: Corrected misspelling of RR's name.
   618. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4202340)
The current numbers indicate a reasonably close popular vote followed by a landslide win in the electoral college for Obama.
It depends on how you define "landslide", but there is approximately 0.00% chance that Obama comes close to actual landslides like Reagan '84 or Nixon '72, or even a more normal landslide like Bush '88 or Reagan '80. There is maybe 1% chance that he approaches the level of Clinton '92 or '96.

The Republicans are absolutely certain to win Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Utah, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming. That's 153 votes, without even including near-certain Republican states like Arizona, Montana, and North Dakota, and highly likely Republican states like Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina.
   619. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4202341)
Reagun was a really really good debater. Which annoyed me at the time, but oh well.

Obama is not a great debater, but I am not exactly worried about the outcome of the Obama/Romney debates.


Concur.

Interesting contrast between Reagan and Obama in this regard. Reagan's great strengths -- his genuine charisma, his folksy charm, his easygoing manner -- were something he harnessed to excellent effect in the televised debate format. Yet he wasn't especially good when delivering a formal old-fashioned speech.

Obama, meanwhile, tends to come across as wonky and dry in the debate format. But Obama can deliver a crowd-whipping speech as well as anyone.
   620. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4202343)
I'd say the absolute non-crazy best-case scenario for Obama is his 2008 states minus Indiana and the Omaha district in Nebraska. (347 electoral votes).

And the only way that happens is if Obama wins the popular vote by 5% at the least.
   621. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4202346)
620. Yeah, and I suspect Iowa and North Carolina may be gone as well (though there has been some encouraging polls there).

What's Romney's best case? Everything up to Pennsylvania? Including PA?
   622. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4202347)
Big time. If indeed Romney saw this coming and what we're seeing now is his long-decided tactical response, and there isn't anything truly damaging in the returns, then one has to seriously question his political skill. And political skill matters in governing.

And if indeed Romney didn't see this coming and is just making it up as he goes along, then one has to question his political skill, even competence, all the more.

You're missing a third one: There's nothing damaging in the returns, Romney paid millions in taxes, and he's allowing the opposition to make wild claims that will ultimately bite them in the rear end.

The Dems have been banging this drum for months but there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls. As with Obama and the birth certificate, the Romney camp might be content to keep stringing this along.

***
Obama is not a great debater, but I am not exactly worried about the outcome of the Obama/Romney debates.

It's tough for heavy pre-debate favorites to outperform when expectations are sky high. Everyone thought Gore and Lieberman would crush Bush and Cheney in the 2000 debates, but it didn't happen. Everyone thought Kerry and Edwards would crush Bush and Cheney in 2004. Didn't happen.
   623. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4202348)
I'd say the absolute non-crazy best-case scenario for Obama is his 2008 states minus Indiana and the Omaha district in Nebraska. (347 electoral votes).

If we find Nate Silver's forecasts plausible -- and it's hard to imagine any good reason why we shouldn't -- the likeliest scenario is Obama with somewhere around 300 electoral votes. That isn't a landslide, but it isn't a squeaker either. The equivalent of a nice, dull 5-2 ball game.
   624. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4202352)
You're missing a third one: There's nothing damaging in the returns, Romney paid millions in taxes, and he's allowing the opposition to make wild claims that will ultimately bite them in the rear end.

The Dems have been banging this drum for months but there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls. As with Obama and the birth certificate, the Romney camp might be content to keep stringing this along.


This would be turd-polishing.
   625. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4202356)
The Republicans are absolutely certain to win Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Utah, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming. That's 153 votes, without even including near-certain Republican states like Arizona, Montana, and North Dakota, and highly likely Republican states like Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina.


I wouldn't put Texas in the certain category - it's better than "likely" GOP, but one of these days, it will become the purple state it was destined to be. The demographics make it inevitable.

BTW - a new PPP (yes, Dem-leaner, but they have a pretty good track record over the last couple cycles) has Obama up 3 in NC in a poll just released today.

I'm not at all banking on keeping Indiana this time out (I have higher hopes for the Omaha district), but it's definitely a non-zero chance.

Just to be clear - I'm not at all saying this baby's over or anything... If I had to place a life or death bet on the results, I'd probably peg the EC margin at somewhere in the 300 O to 238 R range... but I could see scenarios where Obama outperforms his 2008 EC totals. They'd be longshot scenarios to be sure - but I think a case could be built that they're non-crazy scenarios.

   626. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4202357)
What's Romney's best case? Everything up to Pennsylvania? Including PA?
There's no time for a real recovery, but there's still time for a real crash of the world economy. Maybe one shouldn't call that a "best case", but if the Euro goes, I'd say 350 electoral votes is probably a reasonable guess (all the swing states, plus a Wisconsin and an Oregon). Making some noise in New Jersey or Washington wouldn't be out of the question if it gets really really bad.
   627. Spahn Insane Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4202358)
I'd say the absolute non-crazy best-case scenario for Obama is his 2008 states minus Indiana and the Omaha district in Nebraska. (347 electoral votes).

And the only way that happens is if Obama wins the popular vote by 5% at the least.


I agree with the first part of this, disagree with the second. I think there's not that much chance Obama wins the popular vote by 5 points, but that there's a decent chance he wins the states you described (probably minus NC), even with, say, a 2-3 point PV margin.
   628. Spahn Insane Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4202361)
I wouldn't put Texas in the certain category - it's better than "likely" GOP, but one of these days, it will become the purple state it was destined to be. The demographics make it inevitable.

I agree with the conclusion, but think it's certain that "one of these days" will not be in 2012.
   629. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4202362)
You're missing a third one: There's nothing damaging in the returns, Romney paid millions in taxes, and he's allowing the opposition to make wild claims that will ultimately bite them in the rear end.
That makes no sense. How, exactly, are these "wild claims" going to "bite them in the rear end" in a way that makes any difference electorally? It's been shown that people remember false claims made loudly even after the false claim is rebutted. These weeks of talking about the returns can't be won just with facts, sadly.

Now, there's a case to be made that there's nothing in the returns, and Romney is just exercising normal personal privacy plus normal stubbornness, and it won't matter because it's a sideshow to the real issue - the economy. If you want to defend Romney's tactics by that method, I'd be open to it.

The idea that this is some brilliant move in 11-dimensional political chess, though? Not buyin' it.
   630. Shredder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4202363)
edit: Do you actually think the debates will HELP Romney? I suppose it's possible, but... not likely.
Mitt will bet you $10,000 that they do.

As for Reid, I don't think there's any evidence at all that he's lying. It could be that his source is lying, or his source is just guessing, but Dana Bash believes the source exists, and the source is credible. Reid said his source told him that Romney paid no income taxes (or virtually no income taxes) for the period in question. If the person exists, and actually told Reid this is the case, then he's not lying, regardless of what Politifarce has to say about it.

It's a little funny to see people who refuse to correct supporters when they claim Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya get all bent out of shape about this. There's nothing Republicans hate more than Democrats who punch back. Here's some more interesting speculation.
So Reid may be calling out Mitt not just as a former boxer, but as someone who shares a very wealth-based and close knit faith with Mitt.

Add in the practice–which even an outsider like me saw when I lived in UT and worked for a predominantly Mormon company in the 1990s–of gossip about tithing, notably whether Mormon colleagues tithed pre- or post-tax. That’s another reason why Reid may have a better sense of what Mitt’s tax practices look like than DC pundits might guess on face value....This sounds like the kind of gossip even I would hear in UT...

Was Mitt’s source talking taxes? Or tithes?
   631. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4202364)
The Dems have been banging this drum for months but there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls. As with Obama and the birth certificate, the Romney camp might be content to keep stringing this along.


No discernible negative impact in the polls?

Really?

Here's a composite of all polling on Romney's net favorables -- he's currently at 49.9% unfavorable and 40.2% favorable. That's his worst number since the height of the primaries. Notice that suddenly launching into orbit red line (unfavorable) - especially from a chronological campaign theme perspective?

You sure you wanna stick with that analysis?

The data says the opposite -- it HAS had a noticeable and measurable negative impact on Romney ESPECIALLY in the polls.
   632. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4202365)
You're missing a third one: There's nothing damaging in the returns, Romney paid millions in taxes, and he's allowing the opposition to make wild claims that will ultimately bite them in the rear end.

The Dems have been banging this drum for months but there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls. As with Obama and the birth certificate, the Romney camp might be content to keep stringing this along.


Except the stated goal of the Romney campaign is to talk economy 24x7. And this is a goal they have very much tried to accomplish. They obviously want to make this election a referendum on Obama and his stewardship of the economy.

Talking about what a rich guy Romney is (even if he paid the millions of dollars in taxes) doesn't help in that even a little. In fact it hurts, because it moves towards what the Obama campaign wants, which is a choice between Obama and Romney (which is very different than Obama yes or no).

This could be a double bank shot by the Romney campaign, but it is a very risky one. And it assumes all this was done knowing Romney's taxes were OK and the Dems would fall into the trap.

I am surprised we have not heard the conspiracy theories about Obama using the IRS against Romney. Snooping at his returns, preparing to leak them, falsifying them to make him look bad. Think of the fertile fields for conspiracy.
   633. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4202368)
I have a question for liberals who were politically aware during Reagan's administration. Reagan is someone whose name gets brought up a ton even 24 years after he left office but I've never really gotten a handle on exactly how he's viewed by the left. I know some absolutely hated him but I've also seen him get mentioned with some respect at times and he was obviously extremely successful in the elections. Conservatives worship him today and invoke his name and policies constantly (often for things that the left is against) but I've seen it stated pretty often that what they talk about doesn't actually match what Reagan really stood for and did.

So the question is, how do people on the left feel about Reagan's presidency?
   634. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4202369)
The data says the opposite -- it HAS had a noticeable and measurable negative impact on Romney.

Next you'll be saying we should base our assertions on facts and evidence.
   635. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4202370)
Except the stated goal of the Romney campaign is to talk economy 24x7. And this is a goal they have very much tried to accomplish. They obviously want to make this election a referendum on Obama and his stewardship of the economy.


Every time a Romney surrogate goes on TV with the fauxtrage "How dare you question Mitt's taxes" - a Democratic angel gets its wings...

I had to laugh because even Fox News last week has a lovely chyron blaring "REID: ROMNEY PAID NO TAXES"...

Like watching Gaylord Perry when the spitter was really working, Harry's been a thing of beauty strictly from a partisan hack perspective...
   636. Shredder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4202372)
The Dems have been banging this drum for months but there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls. As with Obama and the birth certificate, the Romney camp might be content to keep stringing this along.
This ignores the fact that Obama released his birth certificate long before the 2008 election. It also ignores the fact that while people are speculating as to why Mitt is refusing to do something every candidate has done in recent history, including his own father, no one connected to the Obama campaign (other than perhaps Reid's anonymous source) is making anything close to a specific accusation about what might by in Mitt's returns. If I claim for months that you did X,Y,Z and you finally bring out proof that shows you didn't, I look bad*. But if Mitt releases his tax returns and there's nothing wrong, it won't reflect poorly on the Obama campaign. The response would be "why did it take you so long to do something every presidential candidate in recent memory has been asked to do? Why did it take you so long to do something that even your father knew was the right thing to do?" Giving in now just makes Mitt look weak.

But until he does, I don't think Democrats need to allege anything. They just need to keep saying "He showed everything to McCain, and McCain chose Palin".
   637. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4202375)
I have a question for liberals who were politically aware during Reagan's administration. Reagan is someone whose name gets brought up a ton even 24 years after he left office but I've never really gotten a handle on exactly how he's viewed by the left. I know some absolutely hated him but I've also seen him get mentioned with some respect at times and he was obviously extremely successful in the elections.

The first Presidential election I voted in was 1976. For the next four years I was a wannabe Marxist undergrad.

From my perspective, Reagan was seen at the time as the left's worst nightmare: a serious conservative but not a wingnut, an excellent politician and a genuinely, widely popular personality. He had few vulnerabilities and lots of robust strengths. He was respected and feared by the left, but few lefties other than true believers really loathed him (the way virtually everyone on the left loathed W, for instance).
   638. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4202376)
This would be turd-polishing.

It would be "turd-polishing" for Romney to show he paid millions in taxes? How much did you pay in taxes last year?

I wouldn't put Texas in the certain category - it's better than "likely" GOP, but one of these days, it will become the purple state it was destined to be. The demographics make it inevitable.

Ah, the great Dem comeback in Texas. Still trotting this one out, huh? Good stuff.

BTW - a new PPP (yes, Dem-leaner, but they have a pretty good track record over the last couple cycles) has Obama up 3 in NC in a poll just released today.

Yes, Obama up three — with an absurd Dem +12 voter split. PPP = Pretty Pathetic Polling.

but I could see scenarios where Obama outperforms his 2008 EC totals. They'd be longshot scenarios to be sure - but I think a case could be built that they're non-crazy scenarios.

Wow. Is there a single pundit or political operative anywhere who's even jokingly suggested that Obama could outperform his 2008 numbers this year?

Here's a composite of all polling on Romney's net favorables -- he's currently at 49.9% unfavorable and 40.2% favorable. That's his worst number since the height of the primaries. Notice that suddenly launching into orbit red line (unfavorable) - especially from a chronological campaign theme perspective?

You sure you wanna stick with that analysis?

The data says the opposite -- it HAS had a noticeable and measurable negative impact on Romney ESPECIALLY in the polls.

Yes, I'll stick with that analysis. Obama's negatives have been trending upward, too, but it hasn't hit him in the actual polling numbers. Ditto for Romney. This race has been flat for months.
   639. Shredder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4202377)
I am surprised we have not heard the conspiracy theories about Obama using the IRS against Romney.
The Romney campaign tried to insinuate something to that effect, but it hasn't really taken hold. Plus, they're too busy lying about the lawsuit regarding early voting in Ohio and the "you didn't build that" quote. The latter I find hilarious, since every time they try to trot someone out who claims "I built my business with no government help", that person has invariably benefited from government loans, tax incentives, and/or government contracts (and that's before even talking about roads, schools, and police protection).
   640. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4202378)
So the question is, how do people on the left feel about Reagan's presidency?
I think that his great-power foreign policy generally now gets the respect it deserves. Detente with the Soviets was a bold and absolutely correct choice. People on the left, though, tend not to forgive Reagan for his support of death squads and dirty wars in South and Central America. (It's likely that a Democrat would also have supported some array of similar abuses of human rights, but Reagan's policies were particularly egregious.)

His economic policy was the blueprint for Bush/Cheney, and all of our fiscal and budgetary problems derive from the acceptance on the right of Reagan-style tax-cut driven deficits. Deregulation of the finance industry, which has led to the boom-bust cycles of recent vintage, also began under Reagan. Reagan's policies accelerated the decline of unionization. That said, he deserves some credit for the 1986 tax and immigration reforms.

Basically, Reagan was a bad president that I do not like at all, but in the aftermath of George W. Bush, worst president since Reconstruction, the fact that you can see major good that Reagan achieved is a striking difference.

The president that I think has been most rehabilitated on the left is George H.W. Bush. His foreign policy was by far the most successful of all of the post-cold war presidents, and he managed an incredibly unstable global situation with humility and skill. His domestic policy was mostly good, as he made reasonable compromises with the Democratic Congress.

There's a good case to be made that George H.W. Bush was a better president than Bill Clinton. Both were way better than Reagan.
   641. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4202380)
Yes, I'll stick with that analysis. Obama's negatives have been trending upward, too, but it hasn't hit him in the actual polling numbers. Ditto for Romney. This race has been flat for months.
That's my take as well. The evidence that the campaign so far has moved the national needle is slight. If the needle has moved, it's been toward Obama, but not by more than a point or two, and that could just be random-ish noise.

I agree with Joe Kehoskie on something. Whaddya know.
   642. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4202381)
So the question is, how do people on the left feel about Reagan's presidency?
Not bad — some good, some bad — but profoundly overrated. The impact of his presidency has been tremendous, though.

And Iran-Contra was the most grievous violation of the Constitution by an American president in the 20th century. It continually stuns me to the degree that this has been papered over.
   643. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4202382)
I have a question for liberals who were politically aware during Reagan's administration. Reagan is someone whose name gets brought up a ton even 24 years after he left office but I've never really gotten a handle on exactly how he's viewed by the left. I know some absolutely hated him but I've also seen him get mentioned with some respect at times and he was obviously extremely successful in the elections. Conservatives worship him today and invoke his name and policies constantly (often for things that the left is against) but I've seen it stated pretty often that what they talk about doesn't actually match what Reagan really stood for and did.

So the question is, how do people on the left feel about Reagan's presidency?


I have an enormous amount of respect for Reagan, the politician and 'figurehead' (I say that not as a slight - but let's face it, a lot of Presidential leadership is being cheerleader-in-chief... I'd say the same about FDR's Firesides...) leader of the nation. Strictly on those grounds, he's absolutely been one of our nation's greatest Presidents.

In the context of the modern GOP, I likewise respect and admire the way he was willing to even stray from his own orthodoxy -- when his first tax cut turned into a debacle, he went along with tax hikes. Granted, using the cover of an independent commission recommendation, he likewise shored up Social Security -- a program he had quite often spoken of eliminating.

The 1986 tax reform is, I think, one of the best pieces of legislation this country has seen in the last 40 years -- certainly the best piece of tax legislation in our lifetimes -- and Reagan's fiscal team deserves oodles of credit for playing ball with Rosty, Gephardt, Bradley, et al.

I likewise admire the way Reagan went from full tilt evil empire crazy to a gentler, negotiable stance with the Soviets after Able Archer very nearly blew up the world -- I respect that he and many others in the administration realized that foreign policy couldn't be a game of belligerent one-up-manship all the time.

However, from a policy perspective -- there's a ton that I think he really ought to get blame for... rising college costs and gutting education programs, hoardes of rule changes that turned the health care industry from essentially a public utility in-all-but-name and into a big money profit making venture, ballooning deficits, etc. There are also some ugly sides to his success as a politician -- the "welfare queen" mythology for one, belligerent anti-environmentalism for another, and his shameful response to HIV for a third.

During the Democratic primaries - there was a minor kerfuffle when Obama said in an interview that he greatly admired Reagan and wished to pattern his own presidency after Reagan's.

Lots of folks on the left - plenty of Clintonistas for one, but also lots of old school liberals - made lots of primary hay over this... but I know precisely what Obama meant, and it actually raised my opinion of him. Whether he has failed because the current environment won't allow for another 'Reagan' (of either ideology), because he wasn't up to the task, or some combination of both is a matter for a different post.
   644. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4202386)

Yes, I'll stick with that analysis. Obama's negatives have been trending upward, too, but it hasn't hit him in the actual polling numbers. Ditto for Romney. This race has been flat for months.


Negative campaigning ups both candidate's negatives -- your statement was that the barrage "there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls" is just demonstrably untrue and wrong.

It HAS had a negative impact on Romney -- his never very good fav/unfav numbers are falling through the floor. As someone who spent most of 2004 gnashing his teeth over the simple "people like Bush even if they don't like his policies" conundrum, I've seen the other side of this.

If a campaign gets negative, both candidates are bound to see their unfavs rise... everybody knows this - you can't fling mud without getting dirty yourself.
   645. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4202387)
Reagan:

I have been a lefty forever and I have a mixed opinon of him. He was a brilliant politician, able to connect to audiences and say anything he wanted with a genial smile and twinkle in his eye. His policies were terrible and his administration was corrupt, but none of it touched him.

He had the charisma and skills to be teflon and really good luck in world affairs and in general timing (All those Reagan Democrats from the south would have left the party anyway, for example). All in all it was really annoying but on some level you admire someone who is good and lucky.

I don't think he was ever really hated. Not like the left hates Bush II. But remember the Left never really embraced eityher Carter or Mondale so much that it was crushing when they lost. I am trying to come up with a good analogue, but the Right seems to truly hate every successful Left politician of the last 30 years.

   646. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4202388)
Basically, Reagan was a bad president that I do not like at all, ...

LOL. And you lefties call me a partisan hack?

If you guys want to see an election landslide, give people the choice between Reagan's '80s and Obama's 2009–12.
   647. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4202389)
The Dems have been banging this drum for months but there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls... This race has been flat for months.

Stop staring at the 47-45's and 46-47's of the national polls. Obama could resurrect Bin Laden and gay-marry him, while Bain Capital drills a hole into Fort Knox and takes the gold to gild Romney's car garage elevator, and those national numbers won't jiggle.

It's all about 8 to 10 states. Romney has taken a noticeable dip in some important swing states in July and August, at the same time that his unpopularity numbers have hardened. As a candidate who holds a 2 and a 6 in his poker hand and just needs to pull a 3-4-5 to beat Obama, it's a bad, bad position. Spending his dwindling time on "And Harry Reid also sucks!" is not to his electoral benefit.
   648. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4202390)
There's a good case to be made that George H.W. Bush was a better president than Bill Clinton. Both were way better than Reagan.

Concur.
   649. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4202391)
That's my take as well. The evidence that the campaign so far has moved the national needle is slight. If the needle has moved, it's been toward Obama, but not by more than a point or two, and that could just be random-ish noise.

I agree with Joe Kehoskie on something. Whaddya know.


Horserace numbers are pretty meaningless until September, if not October. I gorge on them as much as anyone, but matchups are a waste of time right now.

The favorability numbers, right track/wrong track (where Obama IS in trouble), and other numbers matter a lot more.

This is the point of the campaign where a candidate gets defined -- either by himself or by his opponent. In 2004, the GOP successfully defined John Kerry as an elitist, weak, flip-flopper. In 2012, the Obama campaign is well on its way, if it hasn't already, to defining Mitt Romney as an elitist, guy-who-fired-you, flip-flopper.

The horserace numbers will start to reflect this later in the fall -- mark my words.

You don't win elections if half the electorate has an 'unfavorable' view of you.
   650. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4202392)
LOL. And you lefties call me a partisan hack?
You don't know what words mean, do you? Partisan refers to party allegiance. In the long post you selected half a sentence from, I spent a paragraph praising Republican George H.W. Bush, and I said there's a good case to be made he was a better president than the Democrat who followed him.

Am I ideological? Hell yes. From a leftist perspective, I hate the massive human rights abuses that Reagan sponsored in countries to our south, and I don't really see how that balances out.
   651. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4202393)
Negative campaigning ups both candidate's negatives -- your statement was that the barrage "there's been no discernible negative impact on Romney in the polls" is just demonstrably untrue and wrong.

It HAS had a negative impact on Romney -- his never very good fav/unfav numbers are falling through the floor. As someone who spent most of 2004 gnashing his teeth over the simple "people like Bush even if they don't like his policies" conundrum, I've seen the other side of this.

If a campaign gets negative, both candidates are bound to see their unfavs rise... everybody knows this - you can't fling mud without getting dirty yourself.

This is entirely contradictory. If mud-slinging causes both candidate's unfavorables to rise, then how come neither Obama nor Romney has been hurt in the actual polling numbers? Why haven't more voters shifted into the "undecided" column?
   652. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4202394)
It's all about 8 to 10 states. Romney has taken a noticeable dip in some important swing states in July and August, at the same time that his unpopularity numbers have hardened. As a candidate who holds a 2 and a 6 in his poker hand and just needs to pull a 3-4-5 to beat Obama, it's a bad, bad position. Spending his dwindling time on "And Harry Reid also sucks!" is not to his electoral benefit.

Absolutely right. Even if things hold exactly steady, that favors Obama because he's in the lead. And things haven't held exactly steady; the slippage hasn't been dramatic, but it's been real, and it's moving in the wrong direction for Romney within the past several weeks.
   653. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4202399)
#646: Good President <> Won Election in Landslide.

Reagan deifnitely won elections. IMO he was also a great politician and bad preseident. Feel free to disagree, but those are not conflicting thoughts.

Question for the class: which president was luckier, Clinton or Reagan? Both benefited to a silly degree, both in getting elected and after. To this day people equate Clinton with the great economy of the 90s and Reagan with the fall of the USSR. neither deserves the credit, but as they say, deserves got nothing to do with it.
   654. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4202402)
BTW - I'd say the last word on Reagan that I'd offer up would have actually been Mike Royko's near-entire 1980s body of work on the man...

His rather famous column "What this Country Needs is a King" - written in 1982 - pretty much sums it up for me...

What this country needs is a king. Not a genuine king, ruling and giving orders. We need a figurehead of a king--smiling, looking attractive and reassuring, making stirring speeches, but not having any genuine authority.
He could appear regularly on the 10 o`clock news, telling us what a great country we have and what salt-of-the-earth folks we are and send us to bed feeling good.

He could get on and off airplanes, wave at TV cameras, grin, chuckle, utter a few comfortable cliches and make the nation`s little old ladies feel that all is well in the land.

The kind of person I have in mind is President Ronald Reagan. In fact, the person I have in mind is Ronald Reagan.


He followed it up in 1987 with this one.
   655. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4202403)
This is entirely contradictory. If mud-slinging causes both candidate's unfavorables to rise, then how come neither Obama nor Romney has been hurt in the actual polling numbers? Why haven't more voters shifted into the "undecided" column?


Because most voters are smart enough to realize that "None of the Above" is a pointless option and voters who decide to throw up their hands and say "to hell with 'em both" get screened out of the sample in LV models.
   656. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4202404)
Horserace numbers are pretty meaningless until September, if not October. I gorge on them as much as anyone, but matchups are a waste of time right now.

The favorability numbers, right track/wrong track (where Obama IS in trouble), and other numbers matter a lot more.

You're all over the place as a political pundit. One minute you're claiming Obama could outperform 2008, and the next minute you're claiming the current polls don't even matter.

There's decades of evidence that people vote their wallets, and basically no evidence that likability trumps economic matters. With a stagnant economy, with persistent high unemployment, with a record number of people seeing the U.S. on the "wrong track," etc., the underlying polling data is far more troublesome for Obama than it is for Romney.
   657. Steve Treder Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4202405)
There's decades of evidence that people vote their wallets, and basically no evidence that likability trumps economic matters. With a stagnant economy, with persistent high unemployment, with a record number of people seeing the U.S. on the "wrong track," etc., the underlying polling data is far more troublesome for Obama than it is for Romney.

Polish away, my friend. Just make sure you throw that rag away when you're done. That thing is NOT going through the laundry,
   658. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4202407)
There's a good case to be made that George H.W. Bush was a better president than Bill Clinton. Both were way better than Reagan.


Gack. I refuse to credit GWB. He was an average President and a poor politician. The Gulf War was a freaking disaster on every level and has hurt the US ever since. What foreign policy or other "great deeds" am I forgetting?
   659. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4202409)
It's all about 8 to 10 states. Romney has taken a noticeable dip in some important swing states in July and August, at the same time that his unpopularity numbers have hardened. As a candidate who holds a 2 and a 6 in his poker hand and just needs to pull a 3-4-5 to beat Obama, it's a bad, bad position. Spending his dwindling time on "And Harry Reid also sucks!" is not to his electoral benefit.
This is a very popular position, driven by the disjunct between national and state polling, but Nate Silver thinks you're wrong:
One of the confusing aspects of this presidential race so far is that national polls have often shown a race that is nearly tied — or Mr. Romney sometimes leading — while Mr. Obama has more often had the lead in polls of crucial battleground states. Sites that project the presidential outcome based on the state polls have thus seemed to show a tangible advantage for Mr. Obama, while those that look at the trend in national polls seem to imply that the race is too close to call.

Any evaluation of the presidential race needs to reconcile this discrepancy. That America is highly divided along partisan lines does not negate the basic mathematical identity that the whole must equal the sum of the parts.

One hypothesis might be that Mr. Obama enjoys some sort of intrinsic edge in the Electoral College — and that, like Mr. Bush in 2000, he could win the Electoral College while losing the nationwide popular vote.

Our analysis suggests, however, that this is not necessarily the case. The model’s simulations estimate that there is only about a 2 percent chance that Mr. Obama will win Electoral College while losing the popular vote. Meanwhile, there is only about a 3 percent chance that Mr. Romney will do so.

Instead, the disparity between state and national polls probably stems from a more banal factor: it likely results from the different types of polling firms that are active in each of these domains.

The polling firms that have dominated the national polls are Gallup and Rasmussen Reports, each of which release national tracking numbers on a daily basis. These firms have had Republican-leaning “house effects” so far, meaning that they show more favorable results for Mr. Romney than the consensus of polls.

Meanwhile, some pollsters that are more active at the state level, like Public Policy Polling and Marist College, have had Democratic-leaning house effects, giving Mr. Obama better results than the consensus does.
The effect you're seeing is mostly a statistical artifact, deriving from the tendencies of pollsters. Obama actually has a small lead in the popular vote, beyond the national polling, but the swing states are not as favorable to him as their polling suggests.
   660. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4202410)
JOE! Finally.

Politics blah blah blah blah.

Space program?
   661. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4202414)
You don't know what words mean, do you? Partisan refers to party allegiance. In the long post you selected half a sentence from, I spent a paragraph praising Republican George H.W. Bush, and I said there's a good case to be made he was a better president than the Democrat who followed him.

Lighten up. I know what "partisan" means. I simply thought it was comical to declare Reagan a "bad president" and then try to bolster the point by heaping praise on his one-term successor (who, liberals told us in 1992, was an absolutely horrendous president).

Am I ideological? Hell yes. From a leftist perspective, I hate the massive human rights abuses that Reagan sponsored in countries to our south, and I don't really see how that balances out.

South and Central America have been known for very little other than "massive human rights abuses." Anything Reagan did or didn't "sponsor" doesn't even register as a blip on that region's sordid history. Politically speaking, the choice in Latin America has typically been between Very Bad and Much Worse.

Regardless, it's comical to suggest that anything that happened in Nicaragua on Reagan's watch offsets the hundreds of millions of people whose lives are better because of the end of the Cold War. That's like claiming the huge reduction in NYC's crime rate under Giuliani was entirely mooted by the Diallo shooting.
   662. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4202415)
You're all over the place as a political pundit. One minute you're claiming Obama could outperform 2008, and the next minute you're claiming the current polls don't even matter.


I'm not claiming "current polls don't matter" -- I'm saying that specifically, national horserace polls in summer don't matter. I'm quite interested in state-by-state polling, especially for outfits that have switched over early to LV screens.

However, at a national level -- it's more the fav/unfav, RT/WT numbers, etc that I care about. The national polls are fun for purposes of conversation - with all but a few state-level primaries over, there's just not much else to chew on, sort of like the winter meetings - nobody wins a pennant in December, but everyone picks a winner then even though they all know it's an exercise in futility.

Beyond that, though -- the other thing to remember about horserace polling is that it's not intended to be a predictive instrument... it's a snapshot of data as it stands at the time the poll was in the field. Up until very late - trendlines are more important than h2h numbers.
   663. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4202419)
Thanks for the responses, that's what I was looking to learn.
   664. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4202421)
I know what "partisan" means. I simply thought it was comical to declare Reagan a "bad president" and then try to bolster the point by heaping praise on his one-term successor (who, liberals told us in 1992, was an absolutely horrendous president).
This is so bizarre I don't even know how to respond. The logic seems to be that if a president was defeated for re-election, he must have been a bad president. That's stupid. The logic further seems to be that if liberals disliked a president in 1992, then liberals/leftists in 2012 must have the same opinion, or they're somehow "partisan hacks", even though "partisan" means the exact opposite of that.

It's obvious to me when I debate with Nieporent, Szymborski and snapper, for instance, that they're smart guys with different ideological positions. Good Face doesn't debate, but his ability to do his Good Face shtick the way he does again demonstrates he knows his way around an argument. Joe doesn't, or isn't trying. It's shown by dumb posts like this, his retreat to team-identification silliness when presented with facts and evidence, and his general projection-based "I know what you would have done in this situation and so I know you're dumb and lying" argument form that comes up again and again.

Since I know Joe can put together ideas and arguments when he talks about baseball, my conclusion is that he's at least 50% trolling in politics threads, throwing out whatever comes to mind in order to keep the fireworks coming. I think we're all better off not responding him in politics threads, but I doubt I'll be able to stick to that.
   665. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4202429)
Yes, Obama up three — with an absurd Dem +12 voter split. PPP = Pretty Pathetic Polling.


Absurd?

If anything, that split might be low --

Here's North Carolina's up-to-the-minute registration numbers direct from its own State Board of Elections:

Registered Democrats: 2,753,838 (~43% of RVs)
Registered Republicans: 1,992,465 (~31% of RVs)
Unaffiliated Registrations: 1,609,644 (~25% of RVs)
Total Registrants: 6,370,984 (note that there are about 15K registered Libertarians)

I'm not sure if you understand how polling works and samples are comprised -- but the screening question isn't "which party do you like more", it's "are you registered to a party and if so, are A), B), or C/other".

A 12 point Dem advantage in the sample pool is perfect for NC.

Heck - why do you think it's "only" a 3 pt race when the Democrats have a 12 point registration advantage? Because it's perfectly capturing the fact that while there are a LOT of southern Democrats, large numbers of them probably haven't voted for a federal Democrat in decades.
   666. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4202431)
That's like claiming the huge reduction in NYC's crime rate under Giuliani was entirely mooted by the Diallo shooting.

The "mooted" argument has nothing to do with a single case of abuse but a rather great multitude of varying degrees from simple, constant harassment to death and explicit torture - of which the worst was Diallo and Louima.


Thanks for the responses, that's what I was looking to learn.

I was 10 when Reagan was elected, but from age 15 up until his death I found him to be pathetic at best and evil at worst. Very little I've seen has changed my mind.
   667. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4202434)
Polish away, my friend. Just make sure you throw that rag away when you're done. That thing is NOT going through the laundry,

Hey, you're the one always demanding "facts and evidence." Where's the evidence that a candidate's likability trumps a voter's personal economic interests?

***
JOE! Finally.

Politics blah blah blah blah.

Space program?

I believe there are limits to what we should spend on space exploration, but it's an outrage that Obama has outsourced America's space travel to the Russians. We're losing ground in the space race while NASA issues paper after paper on global warming climate change anthropogenic global warming. I want more Jim Lovell and less — a lot less — Jim Hansen.
   668. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4202436)
You're all over the place as a political pundit. One minute you're claiming Obama could outperform 2008, and the next minute you're claiming the current polls don't even matter.


the outperforming thing was a hypothetical. I think the default view is right around 300 ev for Obama (a bit worse than 2008). This view is backed up by the polls.

It could change, but the hard part of going against an incumbant is they are so well known it is hard to move opinion on them. Much easier to hurt Romney through negative ads than Obama. Not impossible but harder.

That is why I think it foolish that the Romney campaign has allowed Obama to define who they are and has not been trying to run on his biography. I think his only hope is to go after the independant and trust his base to stick with him. Talk about how you were Governor of a NE state and ran the Olympics and were a businessman who was successful. Come up with some small bore policies that appeal to moderates, giving them a reason to dump Obama.

But the percent of positive adds he has run is very low.
   669. Lassus Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4202438)
I believe there are limits to what we should spend on space exploration, but it's an outrage that Obama has outsourced America's space travel to the Russians.

So... we should be spending more than we are, then?
   670. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4202448)
However, at a national level -- it's more the fav/unfav, RT/WT numbers, etc that I care about. The national polls are fun for purposes of conversation - with all but a few state-level primaries over, there's just not much else to chew on, sort of like the winter meetings - nobody wins a pennant in December, but everyone picks a winner then even though they all know it's an exercise in futility.

Is there a long electoral history of a candidate's likability trumping the right track/wrong track numbers? I've never heard of such a thing.

***
This is so bizarre I don't even know how to respond. The logic seems to be that if a president was defeated for re-election, he must have been a bad president. That's stupid. The logic further seems to be that if liberals disliked a president in 1992, then liberals/leftists in 2012 must have the same opinion, or they're somehow "partisan hacks", even though "partisan" means the exact opposite of that.

You should have quit with "I don't know how to respond."

"Bizarre" is claiming that a president who remains hugely popular with Americans and who oversaw both the end of the Cold War and a period of huge prosperity at home was a "bad president" with "horrible policies" while claiming his one-term successor, who was trounced by a no-name slickster from Arkansas, was way better.

If you want to claim Bush 41 was better than Clinton, that's fine, since Clinton's greatest personal initiative was probably the Family Leave Act. (Welfare reform and budget-balancing and all that were forced down his throat by Gingrich & Co. after '94. Anyone who pretends otherwise is revising history.)

It's obvious to me when I debate with Nieporent, Szymborski and snapper, for instance, that they're smart guys with different ideological positions. Good Face doesn't debate, but his ability to do his Good Face shtick the way he does again demonstrates he knows his way around an argument. Joe doesn't, or isn't trying. It's shown by dumb posts like this, his retreat to team-identification silliness when presented with facts and evidence, and his general projection-based "I know what you would have done in this situation and so I know you're dumb and lying" argument form that comes up again and again.

To what "facts and evidence" are you referring? I didn't see any facts and evidence, just your (bizarre) claim that Reagan was a "bad president."

Since I know Joe can put together ideas and arguments when he talks about baseball, my conclusion is that he's at least 50% trolling in politics threads, throwing out whatever comes to mind in order to keep the fireworks coming. I think we're all better off not responding him in politics threads, but I doubt I'll be able to stick to that.

blah blah blah

"Troll" remains the most overused word on BBTF.

Pushing back against a claim that Reagan was a "bad president" doesn't remotely constitute "trolling." Grow up.
   671. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4202451)
#659. Not one of Nate's more persuasive essays. It seems to ignore the fact that the true difference is the fact the campaigns are paying attention to the battleground states, which explains "Any evaluation of the presidential race needs to reconcile this discrepancy."

If one feels the Obama campaign is "better" than the Romney campaign then one would expect a divergence from the national polls in states where the two campaigns are directly competing. If one assumes the campaigns are equal or that campaigns do not matter then suddenly his argument is much more persuasive.

Which narritive is true? Well that is why they have the election.
   672. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4202453)
This is a very popular position, driven by the disjunct between national and state polling, but Nate Silver thinks you're wrong

The Romney campaign needs to hear that; it hasn't bought a TV ad in Pennsylvania since April but has spent heavily in Ohio and Florida. The Obama campaign, which is also targeting its money at key states, should be equally interested.

That Silver column was published on June 7. Since then, Romney's position has eroded across the board in most swing states except North Carolina (assuming that PPP poll is incorrect). And Silver's analysis has since shifted to address that, as indicated by columns like this July 24 one. It calls Obama's lead in what Silver calls "tipping point" states both "consequential" and "a more substantive advantage." Silver gives a snapshot of Romney's specific trouble in those ten states:

In polls from the top 10 tipping point states since June 1, Mr. Obama has led by any margin in 43 surveys, while Mr. Romney has held the lead in nine of them.

Since July 1, the discrepancy has been even clearer: Mr. Obama has held leads in 19 polls from these states, and Mr. Romney two.


Silver hypothesizes that the state-by-state polling may be overrating Obama in some fashion, or that the national polls are underrating Obama in some way, before offering the possibility that the truth may be a little of both.
   673. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4202458)

Is there a long electoral history of a candidate's likability trumping the right track/wrong track numbers? I've never heard of such a thing.


Nate Silver explored this back in April....

The answer was essentially -- very limited, if not mixed, correlation with "early" numbers (January-June in a cycle year), but much, much stronger correlation with "late" numbers (September-November). Well... it's not quite September yet, but it's getting close - and I like the Romney trendlines.
   674. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4202460)
We're losing ground in the space race while NASA issues paper after paper on global warming climate change anthropogenic global warming.


How much is NASA spending on climate change do you think? I am sure that you could fund a mission to Mars with the bribes to climate scientists aroud the world alone! (And yes this is sarcasm).

And BTW, what "Space Race"? Who are we racng and what is the goal? I know what I think the goals are, but clearly yours are different, since studying climate change is well within the goals I think NASA should have.


   675. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4202461)
It seems to ignore the fact that the true difference is the fact the campaigns are paying attention to the battleground states, which explains "Any evaluation of the presidential race needs to reconcile this discrepancy."
You're misreading Silver. The discrepancy is purely additive. The polling in the states must add up to the national polling. Right now, the polling doesn't add up. That's the discrepancy that needs to be solved, and campaigns paying attention to swing states does not solve it.
   676. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4202463)
A 12 point Dem advantage in the sample pool is perfect for NC

Even if Dems have a 12-point edge in registration, it's highly unlikely that the split will be the same on Election Day. The polling is consistently showing GOP voters to be much more enthusiastic about voting in November.
   677. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4202470)
The Romney campaign needs to hear that; it hasn't bought a TV ad in Pennsylvania since April but has spent heavily in Ohio and Florida. The Obama campaign, which is also targeting its money at key states, will also be interested.
Silver isn't saying they shouldn't focus on swing states. Ohio and Florida are the two most likely tipping point states in the 538 method. The issue is that the state polling in the swing states overrates Obama.
Silver hypothesizes that the state-by-state polling may be overrating Obama in some fashion, or that the national polls are underrating Obama in some way, before offering the possibility that the truth may be a little of both.
There is indeed growing evidence of a popular / electoral college disjunct, and I should have mentioned that. But it's still pretty small, just a couple percentage point chance of a disjunct. Silver would still argue that ignoring national numbers and looking only at swing state numbers is a very poor method for understanding the state of the race.
   678. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4202477)
You're misreading Silver.


There are a couple of things here, and I took some shortcuts. Yes in a perfect world all the state polls would add to the national poll, but the fact that a limited set of state polls are different than the national polls does not mean that the state polls do not add to a national poll.

In other words it is possible that nationally the race is tight AND Obama has a lead in battleground polls. How? because his campaign is focused on the battlegrounds he is doing better there than in the state polls outside of the battlegrounds. Nate is making the mistake of assuming the subset of battleground state polls should mirror what the national polls are saying, and I am saying that is not true.

If there were polls of all the states and in aggregate they showed a different result than a "pure" national poll then it would show what he is claiming. However showing a subset of states not mirroring the national result means either the polls are different somehow OR the subset of states is not representative of the nation (this second case is the one I am claiming, there is a clear difference between them and the nation as a whole).

EDIT: And what Bubble said above.
   679. The Good Face Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4202478)
Good Face doesn't debate, but his ability to do his Good Face shtick the way he does again demonstrates he knows his way around an argument.


Debate is meaningless. Human cognition is the ##### of our intuitive impulses and preferences.
   680. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4202482)
Silver would still argue that ignoring national numbers and looking only at swing state numbers is a very poor method for understanding the state of the race.


On some level he is right, but I think there is some straw man going on here. Eeection prospects are driven by states and so you need to look at that - no one wins by natinal vote totals. But looking at race dynamics and trendlines I think you really do need to also very much pay attention to the national numbers.

Ignoring either is foolish.
   681. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4202483)
In other words it is possible that nationally the race is tight AND Obama has a lead in battleground polls. How? because his campaign is focused on the battlegrounds he is doing better there than in the state polls outside of the battlegrounds. Nate is making the mistake of assuming the subset of battleground state polls should mirror what the national polls are saying, and I am saying that is not true.
No, Silver's model includes polling of all states, including non-swing states. Obama is overperforming in New York, for instance. There's little to no evidence that Obama is underperforming in non-competitive states to the same degree that he seems to be over-performing in swing states.
   682. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4202484)
BTW -

Just want to give a shout-out to TPM's excellent new iphone polltracker app... I think they've really overtaken RCP as the best available compositor of polls.
   683. The District Attorney Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4202488)
But remember the Left never really embraced eityher Carter or Mondale so much that it was crushing when they lost. I am trying to come up with a good analogue, but the Right seems to truly hate every successful Left politician of the last 30 years.
At this rate, if Romney loses, I don't think liberals will hate him. McCain (who of course was a liberal fave before being nominated) probably wouldn't be hated by liberals if he hadn't nominated Palin.

(Or are we defining "successful" as actually winning the Presidency? In that case, render my previous statements inoperative. Liberals generally hate at least most of Reagan's policies [they may or may not give him points for certain policies and for being a good politican/sunny disposition/compromiser], hate GWB without reservation, and are ok with GHWB. ;)

As for the theory that Romney is building up the moment where he releases his normal-for-a-rich-guy tax returns and makes everyone look stupid, that obviously will be proven either indisputably correct or indisputably incorrect soon enough.
   684. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4202490)
No, Silver's model includes polling of all states, including non-swing states. Obama is massively overperforming in New York, for instance. There's little to no evidence that Obama is underperforming in non-competitive states to the same degree that he seems to be over-performing in swing states.


He's romping NY, yes -- but I saw a CT poll last week that had the race at just 8 points and I'll make any even-money bet anyone wants to make that Obama wins CT by double digits. Just off the top of my head, I think there have also been some curious MI polls that show a much closer race than is likely.
   685. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4202491)
Silver would still argue that ignoring national numbers and looking only at swing state numbers is a very poor method for understanding the state of the race.

President Gore would disagree.

Ohio isn't the most likely "tipping point" state in the 538 method, it's the one with the most electoral votes. Currently, it's leaning for Obama beyond the margin of error. Something will need to shift to push it back into Florida territory.

The polling in the states must add up to the national polling. Right now, the polling doesn't add up.

That's only true in November. Right now, you have a series of discrete polls from different sources which, even in the aggregate, are always unlikely to come out exactly even. For the Presidential race, have all 50 states been polled individually, let alone several times apiece so as to minimize outlier results?
   686. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4202494)
At this rate, if Romney loses, I don't think liberals will hate him. McCain (who of course was a liberal fave before being nominated) probably wouldn't be hated by liberals if he hadn't nominated Palin.


I think I'd have agreed with you 5 years ago, but I'm not so sure I do anymore... without getting into whose fault it is or who started it, I think both sides of the spectrum are now fully engaged in bloodfeud politics. Maybe if the centrist Governor Romney re-appeared, but there has been absolutely zero indication that sketch from the etch is coming back, either in this campaign nor should he win.
   687. Booey Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4202496)
I want more Jim Lovell and less — a lot less — Jim Hansen.


What did the muppets ever do to you?

Oh, Jim HANSON...

My bad.

   688. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4202501)
Nate Silver explored this back in April....

The answer was essentially -- very limited, if not mixed, correlation with "early" numbers (January-June in a cycle year), but much, much stronger correlation with "late" numbers (September-November). Well... it's not quite September yet, but it's getting close - and I like the Romney trendlines.

Has Nate explored the historical outcomes of incumbent presidents who are under 50 percent approval in August of an election year?
   689. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4202503)
No, Silver's model includes polling of all states, including non-swing states


If this is true I aplogize, but I have not seen this. He includes some states, but many states have not been polled any time recently for the presidential race (last I saw there were a half dozen or so that had not been polled at all on that level). I think there is sampling and other survey magic here and he is not truly looking at 50 state polls which add up differently than the national polls do. Because of the timing and expense of polls I would bet it is virtually impossible to truly compare all state polls to a national poll in any kind of rigorous fashion.

The fact that after his essay he did followups and some qualifiers I think lends some strngth to my contention that his initial essay was not his strongest. Sure he knows more on the subject than I do, but his talk of the large disparity in meaning between national and battleground state polls never really rang true to me, and still really doesn't.

EDIT: Darn it. I type too slow. Again Gonfalon Bubble got there first. The mouse is too slow. Coke to you GF.
   690. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4202505)
Regardless, it's comical to suggest that anything that happened in Nicaragua on Reagan's watch offsets the hundreds of millions of people whose lives are better because of the end of the Cold War.


Reagan gets zero credit for me for ending the Cold War. In fact, he may negative credit, since his military buildup and posturing made World War III more likely during his term in office. I don't think there is a major accomplishment to his name in that regard. Gorbachev is the leader that supported glasnost and perestroika, the one who didn't send in the tanks into East Germany, Poland and Hungary in 1989.
   691. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4202512)
Has Nate explored the historical outcomes of incumbent presidents who are under 50 percent approval in August of an election year?

He has, but you won't like it.

July 12: Why Obama May Be Stronger Than His Approval Ratings
   692. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4202515)
Where's the evidence that a candidate's likability trumps a voter's personal economic interests?


Every instance since 1980 where a working class white person voted for a GOP candidate is a data point in the evidence. ####, son. No one *ever* votes their economic interests. They vote tribal allegiance.
   693. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4202516)
Gorbachev is the leader that supported glasnost and perestroika, the one who didn't send in the tanks into East Germany, Poland and Hungary in 1989.

And you believe Gorbachev would have staked out the same positions had the USSR had the upper hand militarily vis-a-vis the U.S.? That seems laughable.

***
Every instance since 1980 where a working class white person voted for a GOP candidate is a data point in the evidence. ####, son. No one *ever* votes their economic interests. They vote tribal allegiance.

That's odd. Aren't tax burdens on working-class people at historical lows?
   694. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4202522)
Has Nate explored the historical outcomes of incumbent presidents who are under 50 percent approval in August of an election year?


He has.
   695. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4202524)
Bitter Mouse and Gonfalon -

Since you think Silver's model is significantly underrating Obama's chances in November, where would you peg his odds? Silver says 70% - are you saying 90%? Less?
   696. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4202525)
RE: Reagan

I was 8 years old in 1980. I cast my first vote in 1988 (my mom let me vote for her when I was 16.) I voted for GHWBush, mostly because while I didn't love Reagan the way some of the Koolaid drinkers did, it seemed like a better idea than Dukakis.

I think Reagan did a good deal to recuperate his legacy in his second term, though as MCoA points out, his policies in South America border on war crimes (and were as unconstitutional and impeachable via the letter of the law as anything Clinton ever did.) That said, the Reagan idolaters drastically overstate his Sainthood. (For example, Reagan held the line against the Soviets, but he didn't defeat Russia by dint of will as his hagiographers will insist. He just waited for them to go bankrupt - while foolishly kicking off the debt-doesn't-matter jubilee that continues to weigh the nation down today.)

I agree that Bush I was one of the best recent presidents, and that Clinton is right up there with Reagan as effectiveness goes.
   697. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4202526)
Since you think Silver's model is significantly underrating Obama's chances in November, where would you peg his odds? Silver says 70% - are you saying 90%? Less?


I never said his model was wrong. I said that specific essay of his was not very compelling. I suspect his model (as oppossed to the essay) is pretty good - what I know if it. I also think his guess on the odds is pretty good. I have been saying roughly 65/35 for a while now, and nothing has really changed my basic opinion.
   698. Greg K Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4202527)
Speaking purely as a spectator I think elections would be funner if polls were banned.

It would make election day funner. I always prefer to go into the theatre knowing as little about the movie as possible.
   699. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4202532)
Basically, when presented with two datasets which provide good or bad news for Obama - state polling and national polling - I strongly prefer to take an average of the datasets. I will obstinately refuse, absent significant evidence, to take the interpretation that only the dataset that projects good news for the Democrats is valid and the dataset which projects bad news should be explained away.

You're arguing, so far, that there is a plausible logic under which the good dataset is valid and the bad dataset is invalid. I agree that it's plausible. I don't think it's likely, and I am vigilant against presuming good news about things that are facts without lots of evidence.
   700. zonk Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4202535)
That's odd. Aren't tax burdens on working-class people at historical lows?


Quite the opposite... the tax burden has shifted noticeably onto the middle class. One need only trace the changes in cap gains taxes to see that, never mind actually reviewing the data from TPI, etc. It grows even more stark if you look at the complete tax burden (i.e., factor in state and local taxes).
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