Michael Barone (who has forgotten more about politics than most people know) has one of the more definitive pieces up on the state of political polling that has ever been written.
As a recovering pollster (I worked for Democratic pollster Peter Hart from 1974 to 1981), let me weigh in on the controversy over whether the polls are accurate. Many conservatives are claiming that multiple polls have overly Democratic samples, and some charge that media pollsters are trying to discourage Republican voters.
First, some points about the limits of polls. Random-sample polling is an imprecise instrument. There's an error margin of 3 or 4 percent and polling theory tells us that one out of 20 polls is wrong, with results outside the margin of error. Sometimes it's easy to spot such an outlier; sometimes not.
In addition, it's getting much harder for pollsters to get people to respond to interviews. The Pew Research Center reports that it's getting only 9 percent of the people it contacts to respond to its questions. That's compared with 36 percent in 1997.
Emphasis mine. Any entry level statistics class (which is where I learned about the fallibility of polling) will tell you that.
Barone brings up some very valid points. First.....
Are those 9 percent representative of the larger population? As that percentage declines, it seems increasingly possible that the sample is unrepresentative of the much larger voting public. One thing a poll can't tell us is the opinion of people who refuse to be polled.
Second (and possibly an eye into why the oversampling?).....
But today the percentage of households without land-line phones is increasing. Under federal law, cellphone numbers have to be hand-dialed rather than dialed by computer, as land-line numbers are now even when live interviewers ask the questions.
Cellphone-only individuals tend to be younger and more Democratic than land-line owners. Most pollsters are conducting a set number of interviews with cellphone-only households.
But they can only guess at what percentage of the electorate they'll constitute. Oversample them and you'll get overly Democratic results.
One of the memes from the left regarding Mitt Romney is that he just doesn't understand the middle class. Now we don't if that is indeed the case but we do know one thing (if Politico's polling is to be believed).....the Middle Class understands President Obama and prefers Mitt Romney.
We took a special look at middle-class voters, and middle-class families in particular, in this latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll and found that not to be the case. In fact, on every measure it is Romney who is winning the battle for the support of middle-class families.
Overall, Obama leads Romney by just 3 points on the ballot (50 percent to 47 percent) – which before we rounded up, is actually a 2.6 point lead and only up a half-a-percentage point from the 2.1 point lead for Obama in our last Battleground poll in early August. In our latest POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll with middle-class families, which comprise about 54 percent of the total American electorate and usually split in their vote behavior between Republicans and Democrats, Romney holds a 14-point advantage (55 percent to 41 percent).
The break out numbers are stunning.
The Salt Lake County political scene has been buzzing of late of news out of the County Mayor's race. It all started earlier this week, when St. George (UT) State Senator Steve Urquhart openly endorsed Salt Lake City State Senator Ben McAdams (a Democrat) in the County Mayors race on his personal blog. His reasoning matches what a lot of Salt Lake County residents have already seen. Two days later, Senator Urquhart posts the following.
When I wrote that Ben McAdams is the better choice for Salt Lake County Mayor, I just wanted to state my piece on Ben and let it be. I didn’t want to say anything at all about Mark Crockett—and I didn’t. No big deal. But then Crockett had his campaign manager call to harass and threaten me for endorsing Ben. So, I’ll go ahead and share an aspect of my thinking, which Crockett and his campaign clearly ratified with the nutty, unhinged phone call.
I do think Ben McAdams is outstanding. That stands alone. On the other side of the ticket, I simply don’t think that Mark Crockett is stable enough to be county mayor. He can’t handle disagreement in a mature way.
My interest in Salt Lake politics started with Rocky Anderson. I thought Rocky hurt the capital city and the State, by being unnecessarily polarizing, hostile and emotionally immature. Salt Lake County (and the State of Utah) doesn’t need a Rocky from the right, and yesterday’s unbridled call has me further convinced that would be the case with Crockett.
Now taken on it's own, it's a he said/he said situation, unless you follow either Sen Urquhart or Crockett's campaign manager, Randy O'Hara, on Twitter where you saw additional back and forth between the two men.
Mother Jones is at it again. This week they are running the breathless headline "GOP Rising Star Mia Love: "Anchor Baby"?"
When she spoke at the Republican National Convention last month, Mia Love, a GOP rising star who's vying to become the first black Republican woman elected to the House, wowed delegates with her parents' up-by-their-bootstraps tale. She said their story of coming to America from Haiti with $10 in their pockets formed the basis for her own belief in self-reliance and her staunch opposition to government handouts.
Love—mayor of the small town of Saratoga Springs, Utah—has been widely spotlighted as a pol who's going places in the GOP, and she's linked herself closely to GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. Recently, she served as an official surrogate for Romney on a campaign swing through Nevada, and she MC'd a fundraiser for him in Utah last Tuesday. Though a child of immigrants, Love has embraced much of her party's tough stance on immigration. She has implied that she would back deporting the US-born children of illegal immigrants so as not to reward "bad behavior." Yet by Love's own account, she is what Republicans derisively call an "anchor baby"— someone born to immigrant parents specifically to game the immigration system and secure legal status for family members.
Love doesn't talk about this aspect of her family's immigration story now that she's running for Congress, but she once said in a little-noticed interview that her birth on US soil helped bring her siblings to America. In January 2011, Love told the Deseret News that her parents, Jean Maxime and Marie Bourdeau, came to New York in the 1970s, fleeing poverty and looking for a better life. Love said that her parents immigrated legally, but were forced to leave their two young children behind in Haiti because their visa didn't allow them to bring the kids.
Another article that I have had saved to write on is this one by Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.
Julian Castro is no Barack Obama. And for that, Democrats have themselves to blame.
The focus of this week's Democratic convention was President Obama. Lost in the adulation was the diminished state to which he has brought his broader party. Today's Democrats are a shadow of 2008—struggling for re-election, isolated to a handful of states, lacking reform ideas, bereft of a future political bench. It has been a stunning slide....
...Democrats in 2006 also claimed the Senate, with savvy victories in states like Montana and Virginia. The party thumped Republicans in gubernatorial races, winning in the South (Arkansas), the Mountain West (Colorado), and in Ohio (for the first time since 1991). A vibrant candidate Obama further boosted Democratic ranks in 2008.
By 2009, President Obama presided over what could fairly be called a big-tent coalition. The Blue Dog caucus had swelled to 51 members, representing plenty of conservative America. Democrats held the majority of governorships. Mr. Obama had won historic victories in Virginia and North Carolina. The prediction of liberal demographers John Judis and Ruy Teixeira's 2004 book, "The Emerging Democratic Majority"—lasting progressive dominance via a coalition of minorities, women, suburbanites and professionals—attracted greater attention among political analysts.
It took Mr. Obama two years to destroy this potential, with an agenda that forced his party to field vote after debilitating vote—stimulus, ObamaCare, spending, climate change. The public backlash, combined with the president's mismanagement of the economy, has reversed Democrats' electoral gains and left a party smaller than at any time since the mid-1990s.
Of the 21 Blue Dogs elected since 2006, five remain in office. The caucus is on the verge of extinction, as members have retired, been defeated in primaries waged by liberal activists, or face impossible re-elections. The GOP is set to take Senate seats in North Dakota and Nebraska, and maybe to overturn Democratic toeholds in states from Montana to Virginia. There is today a GOP senator in Massachusetts. Republicans claim 29 governorships and may gain two to four more this year.
It's even worse than that, as today's Susquehanna Poll indicates.
Two percentage points separate President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in a state poll conducted for the Tribune-Review, even though the campaigns largely are ignoring Pennsylvania and concentrating on other battlegrounds.
Obama polled 47 percent to Romney's 45 percent among likely Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent of voters undecided and 44 days until Election Day, according to the survey by Susquehanna Polling & Research. The survey of 800 voters, conducted Sept. 18-20, has a margin of error of 3.46 percentage points.
Obama's EPA policies are on the verge of doing something that Mitt Romney's campaign so far has not been able to do on it's own - put Blue Pennsylvania in play along with coal rich purple Ohio and Virginia!
The announcement that 1,200 coal-mining jobs have been eliminated across central Appalachia has sparked renewed cries that Obama administration policies are crippling domestic-energy production and jobs -- and is already factoring into the 2012 presidential race.
Alpha Natural Resources announced Tuesday its plan to cut the positions and scale back coal production by 16 million tons annually -- which would result in eight mine closings in Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Four-hundred workers will be laid off immediately, though the company reportedly may try to re-hire some of the 1,200.
Coal is HUGE in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania (where the Logical Husband's family is from), Virginia and eastern Ohio. These areas are also very conservative Democrat enclaves. The President has worked very hard (as Ms Strassel noted above) to alienate these conservative Democrats. While they have long sided with Democrats on many social issues, when their (and their families) jobs are on the line, they are pragmatic and if they see that the Democrats are lining up against King Coal (as they are currently) they have no problems voting for those who will protect their jobs.
The Democrats "big tent" of 2006 has shrunk under the Obama Administration. It is incumbent on Team Romney to do all that they can to woo these disenfranchised Democrats. If they do, they will reap a very big Electoral College reward. The magic number is 38. Let's see if Team Romney can capitalize on it.
Mort Zuckerman dissected the latest jobless numbers and found a lot of trouble for Team Obama.
Don't be fooled by the headline unemployment number of 8.1% announced on Friday. The reason the number dropped to 8.1% from 8.3% in July was not because more jobs were created, but because more people quit looking for work.
The number for August reflects only people who have actively applied for a job in the past four weeks, either by interview or by filling an application form. But when the average period of unemployment is nearly 40 weeks, it is unrealistic to expect everyone who needs a job to keep seeking work consistently for months on end. You don't have to be lazy to recoil from the heartbreaking futility of knocking, week after week, on closed doors.
How many people are out of work but not counted as unemployed because they hadn't sought work in the past four weeks? Eight million. This is the sort of distressing number that turns up when you look beyond the headline number.
Here's another one: 96,000—that's how many new jobs were added last month, well short of the anemic 125,000 predicted by analysts, and dramatically less than the (still paltry) 139,000 the economy had been averaging in 2012.
The alarming numbers proliferate the deeper you look: 40.7% of the people counted as unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more—that's 5.2 million "long-term" unemployed. Fewer Americans are at work today than in April 2000, even though the population since then has grown by 31 million.
A lot of pundits on the right are pointing to this election as a repeat of 1979 - especially after the foreign relations disaster that was the last two weeks of the Obama Administrations reactions to the events in the Middle East. However, these jobs numbers coupled with the Administrations "We've done such a great job on the economy" attitude brings to mind a more recent election. The election of 1992 saw a challenger whose campaign ran on one simple phrase...."It's the economy, stupid.". James Carville turned that simple phrase into campaign gold for Bill Clinton.
So life has kept me too busy to post the last couple of weeks - which is a pity. It is a target rich environment. But I simply had to make time for some of the things that have happened in light of the attacks on the US Embassies around the Arab world.
President Obama, in remarks made after the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya had this to say.
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
He said this about a video, made by a private citizen, that his State Department claimed was the reason for the attacks. But if that is the case Mr. President why have you not spoken out against the following people:
So Code Pink showed up at the RNC convention last week with a rather interesting approach at protest.
The radical pro-abortion group Code Pink has been doing its best to rain on the Republican convention parade in Tampa.
Two members unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt pro-life vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech on Wednesday night, while the rest of the “vagina dancing” and costume-wearing crew has been relegated to the official protest areas outside the Republican convention....
...“Yesterday Code Pink activists were featured at the Planned Parenthood bus stop in Tampa, dressed in full frontal feminist regalia. These vulgar women represent mainstream American women?” Stanek writes, “At first you may now know what you’re looking at. But yes, they’re vaginas. Click to enlarge, if you dare.”
Now, I am child of the '60s. On the ground floor of the "Women's Movement". One of the biggest points of the movement was to get men to QUIT thinking about women as sexual organs. What Code Pink's protest does is the one thing that the origins of the women's movement was AGAINST - the objectification of women!
But the picture that says it all.....
Just when you thought that the "zero tolerance" mindlessness from schools could not possibly get worse, it does.
Three year old Hunter Spanjer’s parents have been told by Grand Island Preschool to change the hand signal for their sons name in School.
According to NCN because the little boy’s hand gesture resembles that of a gun and the school say it is in violation of the school’s code of conduct.
The Nebraska school district that is making these demands has decided not to comment any further on the case, but human rights groups, have come to the defense of the little boy.
Hunter is using the standard S.E.E., Signing Exact English when he is saying his name.
I took an American Sign Language (ASL) class many years ago. A vast majority of the signs are specifically designed to be instantly recognizable to both hearing and non-hearing peoples, for very obvious (one would think) reasons. So of course, little Hunter's ASL name is going to look like a gun....hunters use guns and you would think that someone in Nebraska would recognize that fact!
"I can't speak to Gov. Romney's motivations," Obama said. "What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he's talked about."
But when it comes to abortion (which the DNC has said will be a spotlight in their coming conventions) who really holds the extreme views? Not the party that the Democrats would have you believe.....
Pollsters have been asking Americans for decades whether and under what circumstances they think abortion should be restricted. Only about 1 in 5 respondents ever say that abortion should always be illegal. When asked directly whether abortion should be permitted if a pregnancy results from rape or incest, huge majorities – usually around 75 percent – say yes.
Moreover, only a minority of Americans favors amending the Constitution to end legalized abortion or overturn Roe v. Wade. In poll after poll, about 6 in 10 Americans express support for Roe. A GOP platform that endorses a human life amendment conferring on the unborn "a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed" – essentially a call to ban abortion, period – thus embraces a position that significant majorities of the public do indeed reject.
So Republicans are the extremists on abortion? Not so fast.
Six years ago, during the Bush/Kerry elections, a group of veterans who served in the military with then candidate John Kerry came out and said that Candidate Kerry was not all that he claimed to be. "Swiftboating" became political parlance for attack ads and the Democrats roundly rejected the tactic...then. Now, is another story.
The UK Guardian recently published an article decrying the Democrats and their supporters for "Swiftboating" Mitt Romney and have called them on their hypocricy. They authors disappointment and disgust with the Obama campaign is palpable.
We now know more about Barack Obama than we did previously.
Oh, not that he was born in Kenya, or Krypton, or wherever the moronic birthers still prattle on about. And not that he has ruined the economy; it's more accurate to say that he and the central bankers saved the world. Furthermore, he isn't a socialist or a tyrant bent on destroying America, as various demagogues – including a number of washed-out Republican presidential hopefuls – like to tell the teeming mouth-breathers. And, no, he's not a Muslim.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But President Obama is, come to discover – and forgive the tautology – a cynical politician. Not for selling out environmental interests for the sake of salvaging jobs, although, well … And not for soft-pedaling regulation and legal scrutiny of the Wall Street pigs who nearly destroyed us, to the ongoing rage of the grungy 99%. And not even for remaining virtually mute about the horrifying spate of gun violence, lest he antagonize undecided gun nuts.
The rallying cry of every tax raising progressive when they are demanding yet another tax increase is "it's for the children..." - usually said in that plaintive wail that turns "children" into "chilllllldreeeeeennnnnn". However, as a children are growing up and looking at the economy that we are leaving them, they are realizing that this isn't the case.
Kirsten Powers is one of those young 20-something journalists that made her name on the internet. She is a center-left kind of gal and while she and I don't agree on everything, there is a lot we do agree on. Her latest column in the Daily Beast is one of those that we do agree on...that baby boomers are "screwing" her generation and that her generation is (as a result) turning to Paul Ryan.
We’ve finally been vindicated: Members of Generation X have a representative who is anything but a slacker.
GOP Congressman Paul Ryan—the tireless, wonky, 42-year-old workout freak—has made history by becoming the first member of our generation to join a presidential ticket. It should come as a surprise to no one that his calling card is reforming entitlements.
I have to admit, it has been rather humorous to watch President Obama attempt to re-write his own recent history. During yesterdays appearance to the White House press corps, the President (in speaking of the Romney campaign) said "You just can't make stuff up". THIS coming from the man whose campaign (and campaign surrogates) have accused his opponent of a) committing a felony, b) causing a woman to die of cancer and c) being a tax cheat. What makes it most humorous is that the vast majority of his own biography is made up (but I digress).
One of the things that has the President's feathers ruffled, is the Romney campaign's claim that ObamaCare has already gutted $716 billion from Medicare....something the President admitted in a 2009 interview with ABC's Jake Tapper.
In a November 2009 interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Obama acknowledged that a third of the funding for ObamaCare came from cutting Medicare.
Joe Biden needs to apologize for his "chains" remark says....THE BOSTON GLOBE????? And they point out the double standard?????
When Vice President Joe Biden warned a Virginia rally of hundreds of African Americans that Republican efforts to loosen bank regulations meant “They’re going to put y’all back in chains,” Stephanie Cutter, Team Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said the president would have “no problem with those comments.”
But imagine if Republican Paul Ryan uttered comments like that. Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president would be pilloried for racial insensitivity — and so would Romney. In the fight for civility and substance over pointless hyperbole, Biden may not be the worst offender. But he’s an offender nonetheless, and he should apologize.
They then go through the litany of "Bidenisms" - or "Joe being Joe" as liberals like to call it.
Last Wednesday a lone gunman walked into the Family Research Council's DC office, pulled a gun and shot the security guard. Thankfully, the gunman was not a very good shot - he only wounded the guard who then subdued and held the gunman for police. The media coverage of the shooting was swiftly buried. Ironically, the media was not the only group to not notice the event. The Brady Campaign was conspicuously silent. I am on their email list and EVERY TIME there is any kind of a shooting (with - of course- the daily murder of African American children in Chicago) that makes the news, I get an email from them with the standard boilerplate about how "this is just another example of why we need more gun control".
However, more gun control is not the answer - nor is the answer to censor groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Neither guns, nor words caused this shooting - as Charles C. W. Cooke pointed out on National Review Online.
When a lunatic goes on a shooting rampage, we are quick to blame everything and everyone except the shooter himself. Among myriad other things, we blame the law, access to guns, political rhetoric, Hollywood, spending cuts, and talk radio; all while the person who actually fired the gun and planned the crime is relegated to being a helpless agent of whichever external forces seem most to vex the author. So often, more column inches are spent fretting over those with a cameo role than over the star of the show. This is rather grotesque.
It has been a while since I have done one of these so you will get a two for one deal today.
Recently, Papa John's Pizza made big news announcing that the cost of their product will be going up to cover the cost of their rising health care expenses from ObamaCare...gee who didn't see that one coming? However, they are not the only business who will be in that boat.
Nearly two-thirds of employers expect to see a cost hike in their health plans when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014, and a quarter say they will have to make changes to their coverage to avoid penalties, according to the survey by the Mercer consulting firm.
Retail and hospitality industries, which typically employ larger numbers of part-time workers, are bracing for the biggest increase in costs — 46 percent said they’re expecting costs to increase by a minimum of 3 percent. The health care industry is close behind, with 40 percent expecting that increase in costs.