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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   6601. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4299269)
The GOP's "core principles" include acceptance of 40% black unemployment and a 50% high school graduation rate among young Latinos?

No, but when the GOP talks about those issues, it inevitably is accused of racism and all sorts of other -ism's. Beyond that, there's nothing that can be done between now and 2014 or even now and 2016 that will put a huge dent in either of the above problems. The idea that laid-off factory workers can become software designers after just a little retraining was always a pipe dream, and finding gainful employment for high school dropouts and people with criminal records is even tougher.
   6602. spike Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4299270)
I'm sure he was technically in Ready Reserve status and probably still subject to UCMJ
   6603. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4299271)
finding gainful employment for high school dropouts and people with criminal records is even tougher.


Not if you need to steal 50 cars in one night, just to save your brother's life.
   6604. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4299272)
That's not what he wrote. He wrote the "darker arts of public persuasion," i.e., rhetoric, which he further identified as the reason Obama beat a superior chief executive.

Krauthammer revealed his true self. The only question is whether it's always been there, or whether the fever swamps of politics in the 21st century engulfed him.

It's amazing that you're able to read minds like this.

I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10 ...
   6605. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4299273)
I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10 ...

Is it unskewed?
   6606. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4299274)
It's amazing that you're able to read minds like this.

It's not reading minds; it's simple literary criticism/analysis, using the tools of those crafts.

I have an open mind about it, but my working conclusion is "revealed as racist."
   6607. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4299275)
Is it unskewed?


Clap.

Clap.

Clap.
   6608. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4299276)
It's not reading minds; it's simple literary criticism/analysis, using the tools of those crafts.

I have an open mind about it, but my working conclusion is "revealed as racist."

Obama has been elected president twice now, and people promised his first election would lead us into a post-racial America. Unless liberals have withdrawn that premise, then it seems a little good faith should be assumed when parsing passages in a political column written by a guy who has millions of words in print.
   6609. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4299277)
and people promised his first election would lead us into a post-racial America.


No they didn't.
   6610. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4299278)
Last replies; finally caught up on the last four or five pages ...

Not to be argumentative (because I agree with much of what you said), but even if they prefer larger government are you sure that those that immigrate are the same as the whole population? There could be self selection going either way which would make drawing a conclusion on the whole irrelevant when looking at the groups that immigrate.

I have no idea, but I am a bit leery of assuming the two groups are the same regarding belief in government.

You're right that Latino immigrants generally aren't a representative cross-section of the populations in the countries from which they emigrate. They tend to be almost entirely from the lowest-education, lowest-skilled segments of the population, which makes them precisely the types of people for whom big government is attractive in the U.S. (Middle- and upper-class Latinos generally don't want to emigrate to the U.S., but the ones who do almost always do so legally. These are the Latinos who fall into the 25 to 30 percent* who voted for Romney.)

(* On Election Day, the number being tossed around was "20 percent," but now I'm seeing 25 and 29 percent. It looks like Romney didn't underperform as badly with Latinos as originally suspected. Perhaps the lack of exit polling in 16 states won by Romney affected the early estimates.)

***
If you had polled those old waves of immigrants - the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, etc -- I bet you'd have found the same... they weren't fleeing "big government"

Aside from this being an apples-to-oranges comparison, nobody said they were fleeing big government. They also weren't seeking big government, because big government didn't exist. There was no welfare state to speak of back in the late 1800s and early 1900s — no welfare, no WIC, no disability, no Medicaid.

***
That's what bothers me the most about Joe's stance. This is the same type of absolutist stance that Republicans in particular have about African-Americans despite having little insight in what we consider.

I haven't taken any "absolutist stances." I've never claimed 100 percent of Latinos (or blacks) want or believe the same things. But this notion that generalizations are beyond the pale is just P.C. nonsense. When we have polls that show 75 percent of Latinos want bigger government with more services, and we've seen leftism sweep across almost the entirety of Central and South America over the past 20 years, it's not some sort of thought crime to mention that "most Latinos want bigger government." It's bizarre how stating the obvious so often inspires controversy here at BBTF.

I know a lot of African-Americans who believe that taxes are too high, that welfare policies need to be dismantled, that we should have school choice and that even we should have a tougher immigration policy. But the one thing that comes up the most, is how disrepectful Republicans are to the President and African-Americans as a whole in their rhetoric that seems at least partly race based. I don't know if Latino's feel the same way about immigration/Sotomayer/etc. but I have no doubt that Republicans don't have clue how harmful that there rhetoric is into persuading minorities to vote against them.

All of that might very well be true, but blacks were going overwhelmingly for Dems long before Obama was in office and being disrespected. This idea that huge numbers of blacks and/or Latinos would be open to voting for the GOP if not for the Minutemen or the Tea Party is contradicted by the preceding three decades of electoral voting patterns.
   6611. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4299282)
In the Petraeus case, it should be noted that the under the UCMJ it is illegal to have an extramarital affair. The armed services do not live by our rules, gentlemen.



That didn't stop Eisenhower.......... allegedly.
   6612. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4299284)
That didn't stop Eisenhower.......... allegedly.


The only affair you ever have is the affair you get caught having, chief.
   6613. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4299288)
Between one Primate wanting to fire a columnist for using a perfectly apt phrase to describe Obama's advertising campaign**, and another Primate saying that the road to Republican recovery primarily depends on doubling down on its appeals to the white working class, this has been one hell of an edifying past few hours. (smile)

**Not that there was anything wrong with that Obama ad campaign, but you can hardly expect Krauthammer to agree to that proposition.
   6614. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4299290)
The only affair you ever have is the affair you get caught having, chief.


Yeah I guess the worse thing that can happen is to have someone write a "Illiad" about it.
   6615. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4299291)
and another Primate saying that the road to Republican recovery primarily depends on doubling down on its appeals to the white working class,

An estimated 8 million white voters stayed home on Tuesday. I like the GOP's odds of making gains with them better than I like the GOP's odds of making major gains with blacks and Latinos between now and 2016.
   6616. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4299293)

Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party in Texas, suggests in his newsletter that the state should have an “amicable divorce” from the “maggots” who re-elected Obama.

Morrison posted on his Facebook page his post-election thoughts: “We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity.”

“Texas was once its own country, and many Texans already think in nationalist terms about their state,” Morrison continued. “We need to do everything possible to encourage a long-term shift in thinking on this issue. Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years.”

Reached for comment by Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kent Batman, the chairman of the Hardin County Republican Party, said: “Wow.”

“OK, well — I guess I need to start taking a look at his newsletters,” Batman said.
   6617. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4299296)

Yet another union taking taxpayers for a ride ...

TSA uniform perks more expensive than Marine Corps

Under their new collective bargaining agreement, Transportation Security Administration officers get to spend more taxpayer money on their uniforms every year than a United States Marine Corps lieutenant can spend in a lifetime.

“TSA employees will see their uniform allowances nearly double to $446 per year,” the House Transportation Committee noted in a press release on the TSA’s new collective bargaining agreement. “By comparison, a combat Marine Lieutenant receives a one-time uniform allowance of $400. The cost of the increase in TSA uniform allowance is an estimated $9.63 million annually.”
   6618. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4299297)
An estimated 8 million white voters stayed home on Tuesday. I like the GOP's odds of making gains with them better than I like the GOP's odds of making major gains with blacks and Latinos between now and 2016.

How many of them were working class men?

How many of them are going to want to have their Obamacare taken away once they've seen that it's not the boogeyman that it's been presented as being?

How many of them voted against Obama on racial grounds and might well vote for Hillary in 2016?

And of the ones who might not vote for Hillary, how many of them live in swing states? You can have every white person in Idaho, Oklahoma and Kentucky vote Republican, and it won't move a single vote in the electoral college. When it comes to voting for president, all those white folks in the already-guaranteed red states have z-e-r-o say in who'll be the next president. They might as well be living in Kenya for all the good their votes will do a Republican in 2016.

That "8 million" can shrink pretty damn fast when you start---pardon my French---unskewing it.
   6619. Steve Treder Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4299299)
Reached for comment by Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kent Batman, the chairman of the Hardin County Republican Party, said: “Wow.”

In the spirit of bipartisan comity, may I say that I agree completely with the chairman of the Hardin County Republican Party.
   6620. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4299300)
The answer to Romney’s failure is not retreat, not aping the Democrats’ patchwork pandering. It is to make the case for restrained, rationalized and reformed government in stark contradistinction to Obama’s increasingly unsustainable big-spending, big-government paternalism.

See, when you use words like "contradistinction," you're to be taken SERIOUSLY.
Amusing, in that Krauthammer himself has never made the argument he wants Romney to have made. Of course he hasn't. He'd be hooted off the stage as a RINO. What's he going to do? Start that column with "Now, of course, it's well established that as a % of GDP spending is invariably lower under Democratic Presidents. Nonetheless..."? His career would be over.

could not match Barack Obama in the darker arts of public persuasion

This is my favorite. Aren't the "dark arts of public persuasion" pretty much just politics of getting elected?
Yup, that was a treat. I think he means, the art of telling people of color what they want to hear, and distinguishes that from clean, white rhetoric that appeals to one's intelligence.
   6621. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4299302)
I like the assumption that every single 8 million white voters would have voted for Romney. Since, Romeny also lost among Women, and White women as well. So I doubt every single white person who did not in this last election would have voted for Romney.

You know what, not voting is a vote in of itself. Nobody gets to claim how the unvoted would have voted.
   6622. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4299303)
Under their new collective bargaining agreement, Transportation Security Administration officers get to spend more taxpayer money on their uniforms every year than a United States Marine Corps lieutenant can spend in a lifetime.


My favorite bit is the concern trolling for the Marines.
   6623. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4299304)
That "8 million" can shrink pretty damn fast when you start---pardon my French---unskewing it.

The simple point was that the GOP is doing much better with whites than with non-whites. The 8 million whites who stayed home on Election Day are likely to yield more electoral fruit for the GOP than trying to reduce the Dems' share of the black vote from 96 percent to 92 percent.
   6624. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4299306)
I like the assumption that every single 8 million white voters would have voted for Romney. Since, Romeny also lost among Women, and White women as well. So I doubt every single white person who did not in this last election would have voted for Romney.

Did someone make this assumption on some other site? No one made it here.
   6625. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4299307)
The simple point was that the GOP is doing much better with whites than with non-whites.


What they need to do is put together some sort of fashion wear statement that *identifies* them as the party of good, Christian, white folk. Maybe something with a hood...
   6626. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4299308)
RE: # 6616

Givers and takers, real world version:

United States Tax Dollars By State

Of the 32 states that took in more federal tax dollars than they paid out, 23 just voted for Romney, including 8 of the top 10.

Of the top 14 states who paid out more in federal taxes than they took back, every one of them voted for Obama. Among the 17 non-mooching states, only Texas voted for Romney.

(Rhode Island took in and paid out the same amount.)
   6627. DA Baracus Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4299309)
How many whites stayed home on Election Day in 2000, 2004 and 2008?
   6628. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4299310)
I think I know what I want for Christmas: I want Joe Kehoskie to run the 2016 Republican presidential campaign. I'll even make a contribution to keep his boys in pitchforks.
   6629. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4299312)
How many whites stayed home on Election Day in 2000, 2004 and 2008?

As of yesterday, Obama had ~8 million fewer votes than he received in 2008. Turnout was way down this year.
   6630. DA Baracus Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4299313)
That's not what I asked. Please answer the question put to you instead of moving the goal posts.
   6631. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4299315)
I think I know what I want for Christmas: I want Joe Kehoskie to run the 2016 Republican presidential campaign. I'll even make a contribution to keep his boys in pitchforks.

Well, the 2012 GOP presidential campaign was nothing special, but a super-rich Mormon from the Northeast who flip-flopped on all sorts of issues, was saddled with his own version of Obamacare, and had trouble connecting with voters still came within ~2 percent of beating an incumbent president. The death of the GOP is greatly exaggerated.
   6632. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4299316)
That's not what I asked. Please answer the question put to you instead of moving the goal posts.

I'm not your researcher. If you want the numbers, go find them. #6629 was simply to show how much turnout was down this year compared to 2008.
   6633. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4299317)
I think my favorite post-election news item so far is this. Romney "shellshocked" by loss, believed unskewed polls, expected easy win:
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks - not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan - bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.

They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time - poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats - and that would translate into votes for Romney.

As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed - they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn't reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.

Those assumptions drove their campaign strategy: their internal polling showed them leading in key states, so they decided to make a play for a broad victory: go to places like Pennsylvania while also playing it safe in the last two weeks.

Those assessments were wrong.
I guess it makes sense. It wasn't just the semi-functionals like Joe who were unskewing the polls, even snapper and Ross Douthat and Michael Barone were getting into the game. But man, I really thought Romney was smarter than that.
   6634. SteveF Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4299318)
United States Tax Dollars By State


This isn't all that helpful given it doesn't make clear the nature of the allotments. We know the federal government isn't cutting every resident of D.C. a check for $65,000, for example.

I once saw a table that included just entitlements/welfare type payments and the table looked very, very different.
   6635. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4299319)
Yeah, partly because one party did their damnest to suppress the vote? (Hint: It wasn't Obama's party.)
   6636. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4299320)
I once saw a table that included just entitlements/welfare type payments and the table looked very, very different.
The best kind of evidence is the kind you vaguely remember.
   6637. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4299321)
I guess it makes sense. It wasn't just the semi-functionals like Joe who were unskewing the polls, even snapper and Ross Douthat and Michael Barone were getting into the game. But man, I really thought Romney was smarter than that.


The danger of creating a completely enclosed epistemic bubble is that you begin to live within a completely closed epistemic bubble. At some point you stop treating the "what if that bus is just a figment of an evil demon's imagination sent to tempt me" as a hypothetical and step out in front of a bus.
   6638. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4299322)
I think I know what I want for Christmas: I want Joe Kehoskie to run the 2016 Republican presidential campaign. I'll even make a contribution to keep his boys in pitchforks.

Well, the 2012 GOP presidential campaign was nothing special, but a super-rich Mormon from the Northeast who flip-flopped on all sorts of issues, was saddled with his own version of Obamacare, and had trouble connecting with voters still came within ~2 percent of beating an incumbent president. The death of the GOP is greatly exaggerated.


It may be exaggerated for now, but I have great confidence in your ability to finish the job, if only my Christmas wish is granted.

-----------------------------------------

It wasn't just the semi-functionals like Joe who were unskewing the polls, even snapper and Ross Douthat and Michael Barone were getting into the game. But man, I really thought Romney was smarter than that.

Don't ever underestimate the power of longing to take down the brain in mortal combat. Romney's no more immune to that than anyone else. When he can produce the sort of objective projections that Nate has done and not confine his listening to a bunch of political yes-men, I'll take his vaunted intelligence a lot more seriously.

EDIT: How on Earth did snapper wind up with Barone and Douthat rather than with Kehoskie? Is his little winning streak on Jeopardy really all that big a deal, and when has he ever displayed even Douthat's level of political knowledge, let alone Michael Barone's?
   6639. cmd600 Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4299323)
6623 - I'll take any help on getting the numbers right, but looking at it, Romney was 3 million votes short in the popular vote. He would have to get close to 70% of those 8 million white votes. Wasn't he targeting 60% (and came up just short)? Of the 121 million votes cast, 28%, or 34 million were by minorities. 80% went to Obama (27 million to 7 million). The Republicans would need to whittle that number down to just 75% for them to break even in the total popular vote. The Republicans broke that number all the back in 2004. It's been more than a bit longer since the Republicans have convinced 70% of whites to vote for them.
   6640. Steve Treder Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4299324)
I really thought Romney was smarter than that.

You would sure think so, with all his talk about what a hard-headed, no-nonsense, clear-eyed businessman he was supposed to be. What kind of a venture capital CEO genius gets caught basing his investment decisions upon egregiously bad data? It's almost enough to make one think that perhaps Romney really isn't quite such a hard-headed, no-nonsense, clear-eyed businessman after all.
   6641. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4299325)
I guess it makes sense. It wasn't just the semi-functionals like Joe

This looks an awful lot like one of those personal attacks that MCoA supposedly doesn't engage in. Maybe it needs to be unskewed.
   6642. Steve Treder Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4299326)
We know the federal government isn't cutting every resident of D.C. a check for $65,000, for example.

Actually, yes it is. It comes with the Obamaphone.
   6643. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4299328)
On the "8 million missing votes" - they're not done counting yet. I expect that the final count will include 5-10M votes more than have been counted so far. It's way too early to start comparing total votes.
   6644. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4299329)
6623 - I'll take any help on getting the numbers right, but looking at it, Romney was 3 million votes short in the popular vote. He would have to get close to 70% of those 8 million white votes.

Thanks to the Electoral College, that's not how it works. As of the last numbers I've seen, Romney needed to get an additional ~400,000 additional votes in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado (or flip half as many). Everything else aside, a better GOTV effort likely could have done so.
   6645. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4299330)
Here's the thing about Republicans having to do 'soul searching', and what not. They already did it in 2008 and their answer was to go even more right and become ideologically pure to the point there wasn't any room for Rockerfeller Republicans in the party. What makes anyone think they won't just make the same move to go even further to right for the next 4 years and try to become the Ultra-right party that it wants to be?
   6646. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4299331)
I'll be very surprised if Hillary is the Democrats' candidate in 2016. She'll be 69 at that point, and would be the oldest person the Democrats had ever nominated by a significant margin, beating out a 64 year old Truman from the last century, and 65 year olds Buchanan and Jackson from the 19th century.

The idea of giving the nomination to the 69 year old who's "paid their dues" and has been next in line is largely a Republican one, while historically the Democrats have gone for the young, vigorous, up and comer. There have been exceptions on either side (Dewey for the Republicans, Kerry for the Democrats), but it's been a pretty consistent pattern throughout history.
   6647. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4299332)
6623 - I'll take any help on getting the numbers right, but looking at it, Romney was 3 million votes short in the popular vote. He would have to get close to 70% of those 8 million white votes.


Thanks to the Electoral College, that's not how it works. As of the last numbers I've seen, Romney needed to get an additional ~400,000 additional votes in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado (or flip half as many). Everything else aside, a better GOTV effort likely could have done so.

So then what was the point of citing those "8 million white voters" to begin with, since it's only the ones in the swing states whose votes are going to matter?
   6648. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4299334)
So then what was the point of citing those "8 million white voters" to begin with, since it's only the ones in the swing states whose votes are going to matter?

Good grief. The question was: Where does the GOP go looking for votes? And I answered that between now and 2016, the GOP likely will find it easier to make inroads with the millions of white voters who stayed home on Tuesday than to convince large numbers of blacks and Latinos to abandon the Dems.
   6649. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4299335)

Thanks to the Electoral College, that's not how it works. As of the last numbers I've seen, Romney needed to get an additional ~400,000 additional votes in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado (or flip half as many). Everything else aside, a better GOTV effort likely could have done so.


If you're going to take this stance, you need to cite just how many white people in each state to tip the scale. BTW, White people aren't the voting monolith you or anyone here are portraying them to be.
   6650. BDC Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4299336)
the director of the CIA shouldn't be exposing himself to potential blackmail

Think about this realistically. Al-Qaeda or North Korea comes to this steely PhD superspy general and says "tell us how to avoid your drones or we'll …" what? Tell your wife you're sleeping with a reporter? Tell the press you're sleeping with a reporter? (A) as I said above, who in their right mind cares, and (B) unless the general is delusional, he knew somebody was going to find out about the sleeping with the reporter anyway, without any blackmail, and he's figured out how to address it.

Now, if he's delusional, that's a problem, granted.

   6651. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4299337)
What makes anyone think they won't just make the same move to go even further to right for the next 4 years and try to become the Ultra-right party that it wants to be?
The fact that Sean Hannity is pushing amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Sean Hannity is not a being capable of independent thought. His flip-flop is a sign of Republican elites attempting to seize control of the party back from the base, and using him as a conduit.

I don't expect Republicans to moderate on economic issues (they should) or foreign policy (sadly, they don't have to), but I expect we'll see some not-insignificant moderation of immigration and some of the fringe-right social policy should go away (contraception is not going to be an issue again if the elites can do anything about it, for instance).
   6652. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4299338)
I'll be very surprised if Hillary is the Democrats' candidate in 2016. She'll be 69 at that point, and would be the oldest person the Democrats had ever nominated by a significant margin, beating out a 64 year old Truman from the last century, and 65 year olds Buchanan and Jackson from the 19th century.

The idea of giving the nomination to the 69 year old who's "paid their dues" and has been next in line is largely a Republican one, while historically the Democrats have gone for the young, vigorous, up and comer. There have been exceptions on either side (Dewey for the Republicans, Kerry for the Democrats), but it's been a pretty consistent pattern throughout history.


Those are all good points, but it's countered by (for now, anyway) Hillary's enormous popularity both among the Democratic base and among women as a whole, regardless of party. As a significant historic "first" with presumed inheritance of the Obama mailing lists, and the added energy of every liberal woman's group, I can't believe she wouldn't pose an enormous challenge to any cookie cutter Republican "new face" in 2016. And unless the economy tanked, I'd bet she'd wipe the floor with any of them.
   6653. BDC Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4299339)
What makes anyone think they won't just make the same move to go even further to right for the next 4 years

Someone may have made this point upthread, but: Romney did better, by percentage of both popular & electoral votes, than McCain. Ergo, moving right made up some of the 2008 deficit, so why not keep moving right?

It's analogous to the Angels. Sure, they lost the division again, and may be rethinking their grand strategy. But they improved over 2011, ergo they should sign Josh Hamilton to go with Albert Pujols.

EDIT: That said, MCoA makes a great point in #6651. Immigration reform is a political winner, no matter what. It's the position of 43 and Perry and (once) of McCain, and it's pragmatic, and it's hardly some sort of weak-kneed move unless you're a raving Teaper.
   6654. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4299340)
So then what was the point of citing those "8 million white voters" to begin with, since it's only the ones in the swing states whose votes are going to matter?

Good grief. The question was: Where does the GOP go looking for votes? And I answered that between now and 2016, the GOP likely will find it easier to make inroads with the millions of white voters who stayed home on Tuesday than to convince large numbers of blacks and Latinos to abandon the Dems.


But again, what significance does that "8 million" number have, if the great majority of these "new" white voters are in states where their net added votes would be utterly meaningless?
   6655. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4299342)
I'll give Joe K. this -- I am envious of his energy.
   6656. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4299345)
Someone may have made this point upthread, but: Romney did better, by percentage of both popular & electoral votes, than McCain. Ergo, moving right made up some of the 2008 deficit, so why not keep moving right?

Of course McCain was totally saddled with the Bush economy, whereas Romney was only saddled with the Bush economy in the minds of slightly over half of the voters. Romney also jumped up in the polls after putting on that "Moderate Mitt" act in the first debate, which seemed to impress a lot of low information voters. But the Democrats' strategy from Day One was to tie Bain and the Tea Party around Romney's neck, and obviously it worked.
   6657. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4299346)
BTW, White people aren't the voting monolith you or anyone here are portraying them to be.

You seem to imagining comments that haven't been made here. No one here has claimed whites are a "voting monolith."

***
Think about this realistically. Al-Qaeda or North Korea comes to this steely PhD superspy general and says "tell us how to avoid your drones or we'll …" what? Tell your wife you're sleeping with a reporter? Tell the press you're sleeping with a reporter? (A) as I said above, who in their right mind cares, and (B) unless the general is delusional, he knew somebody was going to find out about the sleeping with the reporter anyway, without any blackmail, and he's figured out how to address it.

I have thought about this realistically. Petraeus stands to lose big money in a divorce, as well as suffer major embarrassment. History has shown us that people betray secrets for far less than what Petraeus stands to lose. It's not remotely a given that 100 percent of the people in Petraeus' position would go public and say, "Yup, I messed up," rather than make a deal with the devil.
   6658. Steve Treder Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4299347)
Think about this realistically. Al-Qaeda or North Korea comes to this steely PhD superspy general and says "tell us how to avoid your drones or we'll …" what? Tell your wife you're sleeping with a reporter? Tell the press you're sleeping with a reporter?

Yeah, the whole blackmail angle regarding marital infidelity or being outed as gay or illicit drug use or whatever has struck me as generally overdone, at least since, I don't know, the late 1990s or something. I have to think the power of that sort of scandal is a hell of lot less than it used to be, however big it might have once been.

But, still, Petraeus was really being a dolt here. Talk about reaching to find a way to besmirch what would otherwise have been one of the more glittering military careers in recent decades, as well as letting down your President and your agency.
   6659. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4299348)
I'll give Joe K. this -- I am envious of his energy.

I'll give him credit for being a human steam calliope programmed by the RNC. Not that there's anything unimpressive about that, and he also takes his slings and arrows pretty good-naturedly.
   6660. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4299350)
As of the last numbers I've seen, Romney needed to get an additional ~400,000 additional votes in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado (or flip half as many). Everything else aside, a better GOTV effort likely could have done so.


Well, no. The margins Obama ran up in CO, VA, OH and FL (in that order descending) were driven by those Latino voters you say the GOP can never win. So in order to flip those states the GOP has to find 400K votes IN THOSE STATES. Which makes the references to 8 million national votes (with the caveat that the count isn't complete yet) completely irrelevant.

In CO, for example, Obama garnered 1,238,490 votes. Romney totaled 1,125,391. To flip CO electorally the GOP has to flip the difference: 113,099 votes.

Given your assumptions that Latinos aren't going to vote for the GOP regardless, you have to find 114,000 more white people to vote in CO.

Good luck with that, Joe.
   6661. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4299351)
Joe, you cited 8 million white people didn't vote and claim that's what Romney needed to win an election. Then you claim that even if a fraction of those 8 million were voting in swing states, Romney would have own the election.

How can the inference not be that you think Whites are a 'monolith'? You certainly think most whites would vote for Romney if forced to.
   6662. Tilden Katz Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4299352)
the GOP likely will find it easier to make inroads with the millions of white voters who stayed home on Tuesday


The trick is to do this without pissing off the minority voters who also stayed home. The GOP has given no evidence that it is capable of doing this.
   6663. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4299353)
But the Democrats' strategy from Day One was to tie Bain and the Tea Party around Romney's neck, and obviously it worked.
This is nitpicking, but I think the strategy can be described in more precise terms. The ultimate goal was to attack Romney for his far-right economic policy. To make this attack, Obama had to first define Romney as the sort of heartless plutocrat who would take your health care away in order to build himself a car elevator. (See Jonathan Chait for an in-the-moment description of this strategy)
I strongly suspect that Obama is currently in the first stage of a two-part assault on Romney. The first is to define his motives and perspective: a rich man who sees the world from the perspective of the CEO suite and blithely assumes what is good for people like himself is good for everybody.

This is the essential predicate for part two, which I would guess (I have no inside information) will dominate the last half of the campaign. Part two is Romney’s fealty to the Bush-era low-tax, anti-regulatory ideology and the radical Paul Ryan plan. The average undecided voter pays little attention to politics and might not understand why a candidate would return to failed Bush-era policies or slash the social safety net in order to clear budgetary headroom for keeping taxes on the rich low. Defining Romney’s business career is a way of making sense of those choices.
   6664. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4299354)
In CO, for example, Obama garnered 1,238,490 votes. Romney totaled 1,125,391. To flip CO electorally the GOP has to flip the difference: 113,099 votes.

Given your assumptions that Latinos aren't going to vote for the GOP regardless, you have to find 114,000 more white people to vote in CO.

Good luck with that, Joe.


And that doesn't even take into consideration that the Latino percentage of the population in those swing states is going up, while the white percentage is going down.
   6665. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4299355)

But, still, Petraeus was really being a dolt here. Talk about reaching to find a way to besmirch what would otherwise have been one of the more glittering military careers in recent decades, as well as letting down your President and your agency.


Eh, I'm of mind to think that Petraeus was going to resign to do something else anyway within the year. Its how these things work after all. As for the affair, "Lest he without sin cast the first stone", and all that. I'm not sure why anyone could care that he was unfaithful in his own marriage. That should be an issue between him, his wife and his mistress. There's no blackmail angle considering how public this ordeal has been.
   6666. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4299356)
The trick is to do this without pissing off the minority voters who also stayed home. The GOP has given no evidence that it is capable of doing this.
There's also still no evidence that any significant number of likely voters (white or non-white) stayed home. This whole thing is based on the false assumption that the full vote has been counted. It still hasn't.
   6667. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4299357)
EDIT: That said, MCoA makes a great point in #6651. Immigration reform is a political winner, no matter what. It's the position of 43 and Perry and (once) of McCain, and it's pragmatic, and it's hardly some sort of weak-kneed move unless you're a raving Teaper.

Immigration reform is only a political winner for the GOP if (1) the GOP totally ignores history and (2) Latinos inexplicably credit the GOP for the amnesty rather than Obama.

***
But again, what significance does that "8 million" number have, if the great majority of these "new" white voters are in states where their net added votes would be utterly meaningless?

From the results I've seen, 100,000 white votes in places like Colorado, Florida, and Virginia would have made a big difference.

Again, the question was about the best possible source of new GOP votes assuming the GOP doesn't abandon its core ideology of reducing the size of government. If you want to argue that blacks and Latinos are better targets, feel free, but the evidence suggests otherwise.
   6668. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4299358)
Matt (#6665),

You're not nitpicking, but in my defense I was just expressing Obama's strategy in more generic terms, and specifically I was thinking of that devastating anti-Bain ad that featured the guy who felt that he'd just built his own coffin.
   6669. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4299359)
What do people make of the ORCA app that supposedly was the backbone of Romney's Get Out the Vote operation? I don't know how seriously I should take the current media spin that the Romney camp paid for a faulty, crappy app sight unseen, but its just a wild story out there.
   6670. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4299360)
What do people make of the ORCA app that supposedly was the backbone of Romney's Get Out the Vote operation? I don't know how seriously I should take the current media spin that the Romney camp paid for a faulty, crappy app sight unseen, but its just a wild story out there.
So far the only stories I've seen about ORCA have been on wackjob media like Breitbart and Ace of Homophobia. It could be true, but I'll wait until it's reported somewhere with even the slightest respectability.
   6671. Tripon Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4299361)
MCoA, Politico has a story on it.
   6672. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4299362)
Oh, man, that's some good stuff. I stand entirely corrected.
   6673. staring out the window and waiting for fenderbelly Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4299363)
But again, what significance does that "8 million" number have, if the great majority of these "new" white voters are in states where their net added votes would be utterly meaningless?


How many of these are under the age of 30, which went Obama 60-37? Generally younger groups have lower turnout, so I bet that is a significant number.

Anyone have a good link to raw numbers of national turnout? I can find a lot of analysis and breakdowns (such as the 60-37) but not the counting stats.
   6674. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4299364)
In CO, for example, Obama garnered 1,238,490 votes. Romney totaled 1,125,391. To flip CO electorally the GOP has to flip the difference: 113,099 votes.

Given your assumptions that Latinos aren't going to vote for the GOP regardless, you have to find 114,000 more white people to vote in CO.

Good luck with that, Joe.

From the numbers I've seen, turnout in Colorado was around 70 percent, which left over a million voters sitting at home. A good microtargeting and GOTV effort can find or flip 50,000 to 100,000 votes out of a pool of over a million potential voters. This is the exact same thing that Obama & Co. are credited for being geniuses at doing.

***
Joe, you cited 8 million white people didn't vote and claim that's what Romney needed to win an election. Then you claim that even if a fraction of those 8 million were voting in swing states, Romney would have own the election.

How can the inference not be that you think Whites are a 'monolith'? You certainly think most whites would vote for Romney if forced to.

No, the point is that the GOP needs to do a better job of what Obama did in 2008, which is to target non-voters and get them to the polls. If Obama could find 5 or 8 million first-time voters (or whatever the number was) in 2008, then the GOP should be able to find 500,000 or a million.

And again, for the fifth or sixth time, this was simply an answer to someone else's hypothetical. If the GOP doesn't abandon its core ideology, as Johnny Sycophant hypothesized, then whites are a better bet for the GOP than blacks or Latinos.
   6675. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4299365)
Immigration reform is only a political winner for the GOP if (1) the GOP totally ignores history and (2) Latinos inexplicably credit the GOP for the amnesty rather than Obama.


This is beginning to devolve a bit into a discussion similar to the great poll debates of October. In this back and forth weed-eating about what is or is not a political winner for whom, it might get lost that amnesty will improve the lives of millions and millions of human beings within the territorial boundaries of the United States of America.
   6676. zonk Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4299366)
Aside from this being an apples-to-oranges comparison, nobody said they were fleeing big government. They also weren't seeking big government, because big government didn't exist. There was no welfare state to speak of back in the late 1800s and early 1900s — no welfare, no WIC, no disability, no Medicaid.


Sure there was - it may have just operated as adjunct to the church, which certainly had plenty of state influence, if not acted as a quasi-state, in many of those places immigrants left. They had poor homes and orphanages, and sanitariums - no, they certainly weren't bastions of safety-netty goodness, but I'm sure to people who remembered (or their parents remembered) things like debtor's prisons, indentured servitude, and the like - they were an improvement.

We tend to overstate, relative to the total numbers in those immigrant waves, the true achievers -- those that became commercial, industrial, etc successes. For every one of them, there were 99 who built their little plot in the urban neighborhoods that still dot America's population centers... for better or worse, a slightly more democratic - but pure democratic by any stretch - little system that was similar to the one they came from sprung up.

It's why I keep going back to Royko's words on Daley, Rostenkowski, etc...

The mayor's abuse of power didn't bother those who had lived through far worse: "The people who came here in Daley's lifetime were accustomed to someone wielding power like a club, be it a czar, emperor, king, or rural sheriff," Royko noted. "The niceties of the democratic process weren't part of the immigrant experiences. So if the Machine muscle offended some, it seemed like old times to many more."


There was more bad than good to those old machines, but just like the sheriff or earl back home, you had to provide something in return to the general populace... you couldn't just squeeze.

Life gets a little less nasty, a little less brutish, and little less short with each successive generation. We went from blue bloods born into power to landholders passing down power to currency holders passing down power to whatever continuing transformations we have today -- there's always been a hierarchical arrangement to any society and we have been moving closer to a merit-based arrangement, but there's always been symbiosis to individuals on the top and the vast masses that aren't... otherwise, the masses tend to find new individuals to occupy the top of the strata.

The fact that now, more than ever, you can be the one living in that fine manor on a huge estate through hard work, intelligence, and occasionally - a fair bit of luck - hasn't changed that fundamental symbiosis that existed back when the villagers could gather at the manner with pitchforks and torches rather than megaphones and placards.

The welfare state has always existed, we just called it different things and we didn't have it codified... as society has shed off things like church-based states, peasant revolts, and corruption - we've simply codified it above boards, rather than implying it through institutions.
   6677. thok Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4299367)
As of yesterday, Obama had ~8 million fewer votes than he received in 2008. Turnout was way down this year.


I presume many of those missing votes are Hurricane Sandy related, which wouldn't have helped Romney at all. When I looked, New York was down about a million votes and New Jersey was down about 1/2 a million votes.

California is also down a lot of votes, and might just have a lot more sitting around to be counted or something weird. (Seriously, they had 13 million votes in 2008 and 9.6 million votes this year.) Oregon and Washington supposedly have a lot more ballots as well.
   6678. SteveF Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4299369)
The best kind of evidence is the kind you vaguely remember.


Sorry, I didn't intend it as evidence of anything. It was outdated and lacked specifics in the same way that the particular graphic lacks specifics. Beyond that, I'm not sure it would prove much of anything beyond showing where in the US poor and old people live in disproportionate numbers.

The snark was appreciated (in all sincerity).
   6679. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4299371)
Sorry, I didn't intend it as evidence of anything. ...
Totally fair.
   6680. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4299372)
This is beginning to devolve a bit into a discussion similar to the great poll debates of October. In this back and forth weed-eating about what is or is not a political winner for whom, it might get lost that amnesty will improve the lives of millions and millions of human beings within the territorial boundaries of the United States of America.

One is a tragedy, a million is a statistic, etc.

I'm arguing here strictly from the standpoint of electoral politics, the future of the GOP, and the future of the U.S. as we now know it. It would be great if there were no poor people struggling in the world, but that hasn't been the discussion here. It's not possible for the U.S. to take in all of the world's poor (or even all of Mexico's poor). I also see no reason why the 12 million illegal immigrants who are in the U.S. have some sort of greater claim to U.S. residency or citizenship than any of the hundreds of millions of other poor people who'd like to come here.
   6681. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4299373)
So, Joe. Here's a thought for you.

The "it was voter suppression/low turnout from white people" meme is the post-election equivalent of "the polls are skewed and oversampling Democrats" pre-election. You're telling yourself what you want to hear and then claiming your own voice as a quotable source.
   6682. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4299374)
I'm arguing here strictly from the standpoint of electoral politics and the future of the GOP. It would be great if there were no poor people struggling in the world, but that's not the discussion here. It's not possible for the U.S. to take in all of the world's poor (or even all of Mexico's poor). I also see no reason why the 12 million illegal immigrants who are in the U.S. have some sort of greater claim to U.S. residency or citizenship than any of the hundreds of millions of other poor people who'd like to come here.


The primary differentiation is that they're already here. Being within the territorial boundaries, they are a US problem and a US responsibility. Politics is the art of the possible. You're right when you say we can't really do anything to help the entire world. But we're not talking about the entire world. We're talking about 12 million human souls who currently live in our national boundaries.
   6683. Lassus Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4299375)
Reached for comment by Bud Kennedy at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kent Batman, the chairman of the Hardin County Republican Party, said: “Wow. OK, well — I guess I need to start taking a look at his newsletters,” Batman said.

Way to bury the lede - the dude is named Batman!
   6684. zonk Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4299376)
What do people make of the ORCA app that supposedly was the backbone of Romney's Get Out the Vote operation? I don't know how seriously I should take the current media spin that the Romney camp paid for a faulty, crappy app sight unseen, but its just a wild story out there.


It reminds me of the scene in Mitt Romney's favorite movie (seriously, it is) -- 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' -- "A lot of people seem to like that reform, daddy... maybe we should get us some of that."

The Obama operation is highly technical, but it's not a 'killer app' and it's not especially complex. Frankly, as an IT professional, the Obama campaign does technology better than a lot of private companies (in a lot of ways, I'd say better than my own, even). They use technology not as a centerpiece unto itself, but they use it properly to supplement the still as it ever was basically model of identifying your people and getting them to the polls. Multiple conduits with redundancy to centralize information and then, most efficiently distribute it back out into a dispersed system directly into the hands of those who can best act upon it.

Honestly - there are some really good MBA case studies to be done based on things large corporations could learn from the Obama campaign operation.

ORCA was an attempt to solve what is fundamentally a management problem, not a technology problem, with software.

Frankly, I've seen this sort of thing from Mitt Romney's before:

1. Gather data and identify supply chain and delivery needs
2. Create a clever-acronym'ed system or program that be more efficient than motivated, competent individuals on the org chart
3. PROFIT!

The Obama operation worked a fair bit differently.

1. Gather data and identify chain and delivery needs
2. Find and deploy motivated individuals up and down an org chart, supplementing them with technology, tools, and people
3. PROFIT!

I have little doubt that when people write about the Obama campaign operations, they're going to get it wrong and call it a triumph of technology... they're gonna be wrong, at least in identifying a prime mover.
   6685. BDC Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4299377)
History has shown us that people betray secrets for far less than what Petraeus stands to lose

Like Steve and Tripon, I instinctively doubt that Petraeus would really have truckled to our enemies over a secret that in any event has come out anyway, and that he being a smart guy knew would come out. But you're right in this, Joe, that we can never say for sure what a given person will get into really tight vises over: witness Bill Clinton and that slimy blue dress.
   6686. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4299378)
So, Joe. Here's a thought for you.

The "it was voter suppression/low turnout from white people" meme is the post-election equivalent of "the polls are skewed and oversampling Democrats" pre-election. You're telling yourself what you want to hear and then claiming your own voice as a quotable source.

Sorry; no sale. I have no idea if turnout will be down 10 million or 5 million or 2 million, but nobody's expecting 2012's final turnout to exceed 2008's, and U.S. voter participation is abysmal in the first place. If Obama could find 5 or 8 million first-time voters in 2008 (or whatever the number was), then I have to believe the GOP could get a fifth of that if it got better at GOTV.
   6687. BDC Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4299379)
1. Gather data and identify supply chain and delivery needs
2. Create a clever-acronym'ed system or program that be more efficient than motivated, competent individuals on the org chart
3. PROFIT!


My gosh, you've described most academic administrators. Except they skip steps 1 and 3 :)

   6688. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4299380)
I think my favorite post-election news item so far is this. Romney "shellshocked" by loss, believed unskewed polls, expected easy win:


It's even better than that. There was a report (I'm digging through my web history to find it) that said Romney believed his polls so much that they thought they were so far ahead in Ohio, THAT'S the reason why they decided to take a run at a "close" Pennsylvania. They didn't think they had to worry about Ohio. It was already easily theirs, so let's get Pennsylvania and try to pad the total.

That would definitely explain the Romney camp (through Rove) fighting against everyone calling Ohio for Obama when they did. In their polling fantasyland, they were POSITIVE that a large swath of Romney votes were still coming in. After all, how could their internal polls be that wrong?
   6689. SteveF Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4299381)
The anti-Obama argument as far as Petraeus goes is the timing of the announcement. Obviously the administration was aware of the ongoing FBI investigation and saving the announcement until after the election can (and will) be spun as compromising national security (by not firing Petraeus earlier) for the sake of winning the election.

I'm not saying I agree with the spin, but that's the spin that's heading Obama's way.
   6690. Mefisto Posted: November 09, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4299382)
6677: Lots of states have lots of votes still to count. CA probably has millions -- I know they have 193,000 left in just one Congressional district.

Edit to add that I'm probably wrong on this. They've likely counted all the presidential ballots. Only the down ballot races have lots of outstanding ballots.
   6691. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4299383)
What do people make of the ORCA app that supposedly was the backbone of Romney's Get Out the Vote operation? I don't know how seriously I should take the current media spin that the Romney camp paid for a faulty, crappy app sight unseen, but its just a wild story out there.


Two thoughts. First, as someone who has been involved in big-think data mining projects that are designed to solve Life, The Universe & Everything (and still come in under budget) I can attest: that #### takes on a life of it's own, and much like Fox News, eventually reaches a point where the players absolutely have to believe it's providing good intelligence, because they've invested so damned much time and money into building it as the perfect intelligence gathering tool. What it says must be true, because it was designed to decode what is true.

Second, this is actually a really fantastic example of why a career as a C-level in the private sector is #### experience for cat-herding and politics. This is your classic corporate management, top-down, centralized decision making management technique. The fact that it was pulled off by the guy running on "decentralizing government" is just icing.
   6692. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:01 PM (#4299384)
The primary differentiation is that they're already here. Being within the territorial boundaries, they are a US problem and a US responsibility. Politics is the art of the possible. You're right when you say we can't really do anything to help the entire world. But we're not talking about the entire world. We're talking about 12 million human souls who currently live in our national boundaries.

Yes, and they've somehow survived here for years and years — or, in some cases, decades — without amnesty or a path to citizenship. In a country with over 300,000,000 citizens, 23 million of whom are unemployed or underemployed, it's absurd that lawbreakers are somehow at the top of the list in terms of legislative imperatives.

The Dems know they have 10 million potential votes just a piece of legislation away, and they've done a fine job of demagoguing the issue. But amnesty for illegal immigrants doesn't crack the top 20 when it comes to the urgent issues facing the United States, and pretending otherwise is little more than political flimflammery by people on the left. The fact these same people are fighting the U.S./Mexico border fence and otherwise trying to undercut immigration enforcement betrays their lack of seriousness on this issue and exposes their efforts as little more than naked political ambition. The Dems want amnesty now, and they'd be thrilled to do another amnesty 10 years from now.
   6693. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4299385)
California is also down a lot of votes


This came up on the radio on my drive home. There's ~3 million mail and provisional ballots remaining and California has until sometime in December to finish counting them.
   6694. steagles Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4299386)
This is beginning to devolve a bit into a discussion similar to the great poll debates of October. In this back and forth weed-eating about what is or is not a political winner for whom, it might get lost that amnesty will improve the lives of millions and millions of human beings within the territorial boundaries of the United States of America.

One is a tragedy, a million is a statistic, etc.

I'm arguing here strictly from the standpoint of electoral politics, the future of the GOP, and the future of the U.S. as we now know it. It would be great if there were no poor people struggling in the world, but that hasn't been the discussion here. It's not possible for the U.S. to take in all of the world's poor (or even all of Mexico's poor). I also see no reason why the 12 million illegal immigrants who are in the U.S. have some sort of greater claim to U.S. residency or citizenship than any of the hundreds of millions of other poor people who'd like to come here.
how about we look towards the founding fathers for a solution that could split the difference and be amenable to all sides?
   6695. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4299388)
If Obama could find 5 or 8 million first-time voters in 2008 (or whatever the number was), then I have to believe the GOP could get a fifth of that if it got better at GOTV.


Two thoughts:

1) Obama found those new voters in *new markets.* That is to say, he found them in the Millenials, and the burgeoning Latino demo, and by turning African-Americans out in volume. All of which are markets, by your own admission, that are closed to the GOP barring significant rethink on policies and tactics. There's just not a lot of marginal white voters - specifically white men; thanks Rape Senators! - to squeeze out. That's the way Rove eeked out 2000 and 2004. It doesn't work if the Dems successfully turn out the new, *growing* demos on their side.

2) The part where you say "then I have to believe..." is the real truth nugget in your statement. It's something you should cogitate on.
   6696. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4299389)
I have no idea if turnout will be down 10 million or 5 million or 2 million


As others have noted, you're getting way ahead of yourself here. Based on Google's results, Washington is only 51.7% reported, Oregon is at 73.0%, and California is at 92.5% - and that's just the West Coast (e.g., Maine's at 76.0%, Montana's at 81.9%, et al.). If you just blow up Obama's and Romney's numbers in WA, OR, and CA based on the above percentages, that adds 3 million more total votes (and extends Obama's lead by an additional 400,000 votes), and that probably doesn't count mail and provisional votes (and ignores 47 states).

Put it this way: as of right now, Mitt Romney has fewer total popular votes (58.4 million as I type this) than John McCain got in 2008 (59.9 million votes). Do you really think that Romney got fewer total votes than McCain? (And if so, isn't that extremely worrying for the Republican party?)
   6697. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4299390)
Turnout is not "way down" from 2008. There are almost 5 million votes that haven't been counted yet in California, Oregon, and Washington alone. The other 47 states have anywhere from 1-10% of their votes still to tabulate. When all the votes finally have been counted, there likely will be only a very slight decline from 2008 turnout, explicable almost entirely by Sandy's effect on the tri-state area. There simply are not 8 million missing white votes.
   6698. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4299391)
The fact that now, more than ever, you can be the one living in that fine manor on a huge estate through hard work, intelligence, and occasionally - a fair bit of luck - hasn't changed that fundamental symbiosis that existed back when the villagers could gather at the manner with pitchforks and torches rather than megaphones and placards.


The problem is that for probably the first time in U.S. History, there are a significant number of people who would argue with you on the "Now, more than ever" part of what you just wrote. If you're talking on the scale of centuries, sure, but pretty good case can be made that there's less upward mobility now than there was 30-60 years ago.
   6699. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4299392)
There's just not a lot of marginal white voters - specifically white men; thanks Rape Senators! - to squeeze out. That's the way Rove eeked out 2000 and 2004. It doesn't work if the Dems successfully turn out the new, *growing* demos on their side.

I don't claim to have any inside information on voter turnout in 2012. I've simply seen a plethora of articles from news outlets at all points on the political spectrum that claim a lot of white voters unexpectedly stayed home on Tuesday. If the articles are right, then the GOP has some upside potential for 2016 in that demographic.

2) The part where you say "then I have to believe..." is the real truth nugget in your statement. It's something you should cogitate on.

If A implies B and B implies C, then, yes, I have to believe that A implies C.

There was nothing religious about the statement you quoted. It was simply premised on the information that's been published since the election, as well as the fact that millions of eligible voters remain unregistered, and millions of registered voters don't vote. I simply don't buy into the idea that 100 percent of the electoral upside potential lies with the Dems.
   6700. DA Baracus Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4299393)
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