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About That Biden “Surge” in the Polls…It Isn’t Happening

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

When a “surge” is actually a durge. – As is always the case with the DC punditry these days, they’re wrong.

Over the past week, poll-watching pundits like Karl Rove and pretty much all the others have been marveling about Joe Biden’s “pop” or “surge” or whatever word you want to put to it – in the polls. Talking about him in a way that is clearly designed to make you think he is a virtual shoe-in to be the Democrat nominee in 2020, and a real, strong challenger to the re-election of President Donald Trump. The only problem with all of this is that it just isn’t happening. Take a look at this:

 

See that green line? That’s Joe Biden. It’s his average in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. See which way it has been heading over the past 10 days? Clue: it isn’t up. It isn’t a “pop.” It’s not a “surge.”

What that line actually represents is the inevitable: Biden’s precipitous plunge back earthwards as all the people in the Democrat voter base get a good gander at him and listen to the idiocy that pops out of his mouth and remember exactly who Joe Biden really is.

Who Joe Biden is, is a clown. A human gaffe machine. A guy who has no respect for the personal space of women and children. A guy who can’t keep his creepy hands to himself at public events. A guy who has been mucking around in the DC Swamp for 46 years; a guy who has a record as long as your arm and none of it is good.

That’s who Joe Biden is.

And so, the numbers plunge, and they will keep plunging until that gap between his green line and one of the other candidates’ line is gone. I figure that will happen along about October 1 or so, maybe sooner depending on how Biden performs in the early debates.

How fast is Biden falling? Good question. See that poll by The Hill, where Biden’s sitting at 33? Two weeks ago, right after his formal campaign kickoff, he was sitting at 46. That’s the most severe drop in any of them thus far, mainly because that 46 number is the highest Biden has achieved in any of the myriad polls.

In any event, you are best advised not to believe the media buzz that Biden’s the most likely Democrat nominee, for a variety of reasons.

His inherent goofiness as a human being is just one of them. His advanced age, which shows more and more every day, is another. But the main reason is the fact that the Democrats are awarding delegates in their primaries on a modified-proportional basis in all states this time, rather than a winner-take-all basis.

Any candidate winning at least 15% of the vote in a state primary will receive a share of the delegates. If only one candidate reaches that level, then it becomes winner-take-all. If no candidates receive 15% – which is entirely possible in some states with such a large field – then “the minimum to receive delegates will be 50% of the vote received by the front-runner.  For example, if candidate A wins with 10% of the vote, delegates will be allocated proportionately to anyone that receives 5% or more.”

With 25 candidates in the race and counting, this system is setting up a free-for-all in which it is very likely that the Democrats will show up to their national convention next summer without a clear nominee, and maybe without any candidate even coming close to that threshold.

What does that mean? A brokered convention, at which you could even end up with a nominee who did not run in the primaries.

Hey, which prominent, extremely ambitious Democrats are not announced candidates, but are rumored to be working towards that exact possibility as we speak?

What do you think Hillary Clinton is doing with her spare time?

I’m just sayin’.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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God Save us From Reliance on “Experts”

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

God save us from reliance on “experts”. – David Epstein has a fantastic piece in the June issue of the Atlantic, one which illustrates why we “normals” out here in Flyover Country should avoid listening to predictions made by “experts”.

Regular readers will know that I make fun of “experts” and their persistent wrongness all the time, especially those in the fields of politics, “climate change” and economics. Epstein’s piece doesn’t directly address those specific fields in any detail, but he does illustrate major reasons why media-recognized “experts” are so consistently-wrong about pretty much everything.

How many consecutive months do we have to read headlines like “Trump economy adds 263,000 jobs in April, far surpassing expert projections” before we stop listening to “experts” on the economy? How many times must we see headlines like “Australia’s conservative party shocks pollsters and pundits with easy victory” before we accept the reality that almost all pollsters and pundits suffer from a chronic anti-conservative bias? How many times must we reflect on predictions by climate “experts” that the polar ice caps would be gone by 2015, that snow would end by 2020, that New York City would be under water by 2025 before we realize that these people are just a bunch of politically-motivated scam artists?

Epstein’s piece is long but well worth reading in full, so I highly recommend you all do so. But here are some key snippets that tell us all we really need to know about “experts” in any field:

The integrators [those who had expertise in multiple fields] outperformed their colleagues in pretty much every way, but especially trounced them on long-term predictions. Eventually, Tetlock bestowed nicknames (borrowed from the philosopher Isaiah Berlin) on the experts he’d observed: The highly specialized hedgehogs knew “one big thing,” while the integrator foxes knew “many little things.”

Hedgehogs are deeply and tightly focused. Some have spent their career studying one problem. Like Ehrlich and Simon, they fashion tidy theories of how the world works based on observations through the single lens of their specialty. Foxes, meanwhile, “draw from an eclectic array of traditions, and accept ambiguity and contradiction,” Tetlock wrote. Where hedgehogs represent narrowness, foxes embody breadth.

Incredibly, the hedgehogs performed especially poorly on long-term predictions within their specialty. They got worse as they accumulated experience and credentials in their field. The more information they had to work with, the more easily they could fit any story into their worldview.

One study compiled a decade of annual dollar-to-euro exchange-rate predictions made by 22 international banks: Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and others. Each year, every bank predicted the end-of-year exchange rate. The banks missed every single change of direction in the exchange rate. In six of the 10 years, the true exchange rate fell outside the entire range of all 22 bank forecasts.

Tetlock, along with his wife and collaborator, the psychologist Barbara Mellers, ran a team named the Good Judgment Project. Rather than recruit decorated experts, they issued an open call for volunteers. After a simple screening, they invited 3,200 people to start forecasting. Among those, they identified a small group of the foxiest forecasters—bright people with extremely wide-ranging interests and unusually expansive reading habits, but no particular relevant background—and weighted team forecasts toward their predictions. They destroyed the competition.

And here is the real killshot:

Tetlock and Mellers found that not only were the best forecasters foxy as individuals, but they tended to have qualities that made them particularly effective collaborators. They were “curious about, well, really everything,” as one of the top forecasters told me.

“Curious about…everything.” Think about that for a moment: My most persistent criticism of both pollsters and pundits is that they are singularly lacking in curiosity. They are stuck in their little New York City or Inside-the-Beltway echo chambers and never make any effort to venture out of them. They are comfortable; they are content; they love existing in a tiny, insulated world in which they are recognized as somehow being someone special. To venture out of that comfort zone is to risk that feeling of special-ness.

The average margin of error among pollsters in Wisconsin in 2016 was 6 percentage points. Yet, the conceit of every one of those “expert” pollsters is their methods produce results with only a 2-3 point “margin of error.” If you point that out to them, you invariably get some flippant insult or sarcastic retort, but never any sort of thoughtful, introspective admission that their methods are frankly crap.

The same is true of pundits and journalists.  Charles Krauthamer, who I admired throughout his career and life, was wrong about literally every aspect of the GOP’s 2015-16 nominating contest in general, and Donald Trump specifically. In that studious and stubborn wrongness, he had plenty of company. Pretty much every other recognized Inside-the-Beltway pundit was similarly wrong.

These folks were 180 degrees wrong because they never ventured outside of the Beltway to actually talk to some Trump supporters and try to figure out who they really were and what they were really thinking. That same refusal to learn was also shared by all pollsters except for Scott Rasmussen and pretty much every working reporter and editor in every national media outlet. They all hated being constantly proved wrong, hated the people who were responsible for their wrongness, and thus refused to make any effort to learn about them and understand how they think. They clung to their biases and preconceived misconceptions because are the very things that drive their own personal self-esteem.

To this day, in fact, two-and-a-half years after the 2016 election, almost none of these “experts” have ever made that effort. They remain ignorant, hived up in their echo chambers, and thus remain constantly wrong about pretty much everything.

So, why do the media-recognized “experts” seem to be consistently wrong about pretty much everything?

Because they are. It isn’t your imagination.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Biden’s Fading, Beto’s Flailing, and DeBlasio’s Just Wasting Everyone’s Time

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

I know it’s a repugnant subject, but let’s talk Democrat politics this morning. – First, we’ve had Irish Bob O’Rourke re-boot his failed campaign this week, and boy what a massive fail that has been. As part of his “reintroduction to America”, he live-streamed himself having a haircut and massage! I swear I do not make this stuff up.:

Oh, he also appeared with the four nagging, substance-devoid shrews on The View, which I suppose meant that Tuesday’s episode of The View actually featured five nagging, substance-devoid shrews. There, he apologized for his being white, male and privileged, and the very next day he’s got a video up of him having a hair cut and massage.  Why do I get the feeling that, before the week is over, Irish Bob is going to announce that next week he will re-re-boot his failed campaign?

Here’s the amazing thing about that video: Some supposedly “professional” campaign advisors told Irish Bob that that was just a fab-o idea. Well, they probably didn’t use the term “fab-o” since they’re probably all under the age of 80 or so, but still.

Seriously, who in their right mind would think that this is a good look for their candidate? No wonder Donald Trump decided not to listen to such “professional” advisors during his 2015-16 campaign.

Speaking of truly awful political ideas… – Bill DeBlasio is now a candidate for president! Aren’t y’all thrilled out there in Flyover Country? Yeah, neither are the people whose lives he has helped to make miserable – the citizens of New York City – 76% of whom told a pollster this week that their communist Mayor really should not go down this road.

The James-Comey-tall Mayor first announced his candidacy at a Monday event Trump Tower, which some idiot told him was a very clever idea. That is, until he was mocked by protesters riding down the escalator behind him carrying pro-Trump signs. How is it that none of these campaign “professionals” thought that it might be a lousy idea to place their candidate in front of a public escalator?

The Marxist Mayor then traveled to Iowa for a kickoff rally. There, the people who printed the signage for the event misspelled his name as “DiBlasio”. Since only a few dozen showed for the event – and who knows how many of them could even read – it didn’t really much matter.

In any event, DeBlasio joins New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as Empire State presidential candidates who have literally no rationale at all for entering this race. They will both leave the race without having won a single delegate to next year’s national convention.

Hey, there’s nobody in the field named George yet – maybe he should run, too! – Over in London, dimwitted actor George Clooney told the assembled press that “we are facing a pretty absurd time in our lives.” No word if he was referring to the 2020 Democrat presidential field, but he should have been.

The Biden Juggernaut is already fading. – When Joe Biden kicked off his campaign at the first of May, I told you that he would experience the best polling numbers of the entire campaign season in the first 2-3 weeks following his announcement. Sure enough, he did put up some phenomenal numbers in the first few polls issued early this month, rising to as high as 46% support in a poll put out by The Hill and 44% in the Harvard/Harris poll. Very impressive given the number of candidates in the field.

But very predictably, the bloom is already coming off the Biden rose, as the excitement among the deluded Democrat voter base fades and the reality of the energy-devoid, elderly candidate-who-has-been-wrong-about-everything-for-half-a-century sets in.

We’ve seen two new polls this week, and Biden is sub-40% in both, sitting at 39% in Morning Consult and 33% in the Emerson poll. The Emerson poll is the most current, having been conducted from May 10 through May 14.

Karl Rove, whose political analyses stopped being in any way relevant along about April of 2015, was on Fox News on Wednesday marveling at Biden’s 23-point lead over The Commie in the also no-longer-relevant RealClearPolitics average of polls, but that lead will be down to less than 10 in a month, and will be completely gone by October.

Joe Biden is this cycle’s Jeb! Bush, the guy with all the establishment support, a ton of money, zero energy and, at the end of the day, zero appeal to the people who actually vote in these nominating primaries. I still think his campaign ought to just start calling him Joe! and get it all over with.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Dying CNN Fakes up a Poll for Foundering Beto

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Another day, another fake poll. – The Democrats and their media enablers have apparently decided it’s time to try to revive the moribund campaign of their former “next Kennedy”, Irish Bob O’Rourke. With the fake Hispanic’s support among Democrats mired in the mid-single digits for the last six weeks, party leaders and fake media mavens hoping their party’s primary season will produce an interesting race that doesn’t quickly boil down to a depressing slog between two near-octogenarians know that means they need their precious “Beto” up on stage waving his arms around and promising to use his office to ban everything from reliable electricity to guns to Tylenol.

So, what’s the easiest way to rev up Democrat base-voter interest in a candidate? Why, get the news-fakers over at CNN to dummy up a fake poll showing that Irish Bob is the one guy among the 20 or so circus clowns lined up to seek the nomination who can not just defeat, but wallop President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. You betcha.

Presto! CNN has a new poll of “registered voters” this morning pretending to show that Precious Beto would beat the President in a head-to-head race by a 52-42 margin! It’s like magic, I tell ya!

Here are the fake poll’s full top-line results:

In a new poll Beto O'Rourke emerged as the most likely to take out President Donald Trump if he were to run against him in the general elections. Of six top Democratic candidates, those polled favored five of them over Trump

In addition to its obvious, blatant effort to pump up support for the Party’s fake Hispanic – hey, why do the party and its captive media continue to ignore the real Texas Hispanic in the race, Julian Castro? –  this poll is designed to serve a couple of other purposes:

  • Put a leash on the Democrats’ fake Indian, Elizabeth Warren, who amazingly has begun to show a little momentum among Democrat voters who, after all, love to be lied to; and
  • Reassure the restless among the Democrat base that the Party’s strategy of desperately trying to keep its whole “Russia Collusion” fantasy alive right through Election Day, 2020 is working.

So, just like the New York Times has done the past couple of days with their carefully-planted fake stories designed to support the Deep State narrative, when the Democrat Party poobahs need a favor, no fake news outlet is more willing to whip it out than America’s least-favorite news-flasher, despicable old CNN.

The irony here is that the Democrat Party’s “Russia Collusion” strategy obviously is failing, and the best way to tell that is by looking at CNN’s own ratings, which have crashed through the floor since the release of the Mueller Report and its revelation that there never was any “collusion” to begin with. At least, not by anyone involved in the Trump Campaign.

The fake news network’s ratings declined by an amazing 26% in April compared to March, as the fantasy it had used to attract viewers for two solid years came up a crapper. That’s an even more amazing 41% below the network’s average rating from April, 2018. If our nation’s airports stopped their mysterious practice of giving CNN a monopoly on their captive travelers, the cable network would have almost no viewers at all.

The big problem here for the Democrats is that they really don’t have anything else other than hate and division and lies to offer the American people. Those three things form the entire basis of their Party’s reason for existing today. There is no more there there. So they have no choice but to keep doubling and tripling and quadrupling down on the only things they know to do anymore.

That means that CNN, the New York Times and all the other fake media outlets in our national fake media universe are left with no choice but to double and triple and quadruple down right along with their masters.

What a sad and destructive existence these people lead.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Biden, Bernie, Buttigieg and Beto: The Democrat Killer Bs Lineup is Complete

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Hey, Biden’s announcing today – we need some fake polls! – And just like clockwork, Morning Consult produces one! It’s almost like it was pre-planned, designed by fake-polling Democrat activists to coincide with Creepy Uncle Joe’s announcement, right? But that couldn’t be the case, could it?

Well, sure it could. And it was. This stuff happens every day in Democrat/media/pollster world. Here’s the graphic that accompanies Morning Consult’s “online poll” – the word “online” means “utterly without any validity whatsoever” – released overnight:

Now, if you believe any of that, I want some of what you’re drinking, ‘cuz it must be real gooood.

Start with the Trump overall support number of 34% among “registered voters.” First, it’s an online poll – how in the world would Morning Consult know if respondents are even real people and not fake accounts created by those nefarious Russians, much less whether anyone who responds happens to be properly registered to vote?

But back to the 34%: President Donald Trump has a 49% public approval rating in the latest Rasmussen survey, which has been the most accurate polling operation in the country over the last two election cycles. He’s at 45% in the HarrisX survey, and even in the useless RealClearPolitics average of polls – which mysteriously still insists on including polls from news outlets and the hysterically fake Reuters – has him at 43.4%.

Does anyone really believe that, if all these “likely voters” surveyed by Rasmussen (one of a handful that bothers to structure its sample on those most likely to actually vote) go to the polls, almost 1/3rd of them would abandon the sitting President who has delivered the strongest economy in modern times to vote for Joe Freakin’ Biden? Please.

But enough about fake polls.

Biden’s long-anticipated and long-delayed entrance into the race today (which he announced by posting a carefully-constructed video on Twitter so he couldn’t screw anything up) completes the Democrat field for all intents and purposes. Other no-accounts like New York City Governor Bill DeBlasio might still jump in, but hey, the field is already chock full of communists, so he’d be wasting his time. The reality is that Biden is the last candidate who matters, which is part of the reason why he’s waited so long to formally announce.

Biden now joins the party’s other three B-listers (there apparently are no A-listers available), the pasty-faced lineup of white guys who are giving the Party’s social justice warrior-filled voter base heartburn: Bernie, Buttigieg and Beto, i.e., The Commie, Mayor Pete and Irish Bob O’Rourke.

Yes, the Killer Bs have come back to life in this race, and, according Morning Consult, they are taking almost all of the SJW air out of the identity politics room, combining for 69% support. That total goes as low as 59% if you want to believe Monmouth’s poll, or as high as 70% if you choose to look at Emerson. Regardless, the Killer Bs aren’t leaving a lot of room for the women, fake Indians and minority candidates to break through the white guy wall.

But don’t worry, all you SJWs, this will not last for long. Joe Biden might as well brand his campaign “Joe!” because he’s just “Jeb!” all over again, a completely out-of-place, unexciting dinosaur who will spend a ton of money and be out of the race shortly after the New Hampshire primary, if not before.

The most fascinating part of Biden’s campaign will be watching to see how he deals with all the attacks that are coming his way from the SJW crowd – like his 40 year-old statement that gay people in key federal employee roles are a security risk because they’re susceptible to blackmail – and the looming scandal over the billion-dollar sweetheart deal with the Ukraine that he set up for his son’s firm to profit from. Combine those things with his half-century history of inappropriate touching of women and children, and he presents an awful lot of problems for the fake news media to cover up.

The reality for Biden is that today is most likely the best polling day he will have in this race, and it’s all downhill from here.

Irish Bob O’Rourke is probably on a similar trajectory at this point. His polling numbers spiked up above 10% for a few weeks after he finally announced, but are now mired in the mid-single digits and not showing any positive signs. He has not only lost his “rising star” media-fed mojo to Mayor Pete, but he’s also running a completely meaningless, substance-devoid campaign.

Irish Bob’s campaign is like an episode of Seinfeld: A show about nothing starring a cynical clown who makes a living telling fake stories to small audiences. His entire basis for running was the foundation of support he’d receive from a fawning media. But he waited too long to announce, and the fickle media turned its eye to Mayor Pete. It’s hard to see how Irish Bob stages a breakthrough at this point in such a crowded field.

Mayor Pete and The Commie are the Killer Bs with a real future in this race: The Commie because he’s a true, committed commie and Mayor Pete because he’s the media’s current prom date and can easily run just slightly to the right of The Commie and pretend to be a mere socialist. Mayor Pete’s other advantage is that, being gay, he ticks off one of the major SJW boxes that sort of dims his otherwise-glaring white-maleness.

I still think that Andrew Yang will make some noise in this race, but not until the televised debates begin this summer. He’s a very non-conventional thinker in a Marxist lunatic sort of way, and he will really stand out in that format. And we should also expect Spartacus Booker to have a little boomlet at some point, because he is also really adept at attracting media attention. Julian Castro might also jump up the polling ladder at some point, because sooner or later the creeps in the fake news media are going to feel very guilty about ignoring the only real Hispanic candidate in the race.

But the field is set and the Democrats’ Star Wars bar scene cast is now complete. It’s off to the races, and oh, what a frightening display it’s all going to be.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Live Blog: Election Day On Twitter – Data, Media Bias, Fun Stuff

The Campaign Update Election Day Preview Live Blog

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

[Note:  I will be live-blogging election results on a new thread starting at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.]

Check in here throughout the afternoon for further updates.

UPDATE @4:20 CT:

Ok, I’m going to close this one down right here.  Will start this evening’s open thread at 6:00 CT sharp – please join me and offer comments and information as you find it.  Thanks.

 

UPDATE @4:10 CT:

The folks at ZeroHedge.com have a really nice piece on when the polls in every state close and what to watch for when they do…

 

UPDATE @3:55 CT:

Not good news for Dean Heller out in Nevada…

UPDATE @3:10 CT:

Michael Newton with some more good early voting data…

 

UPDATE @2:20 CT: 

Nate Silver’s 538.com weighs in with its final “blue wave” prediction…

It’s fair to note that 538 also gave Hillary Clinton better than a 70% chance of winning the presidency on Election Day 2016.

538 also provides this interesting look-back at previous mid-term outcomes…

 

UPDATE @ 2:00 CT:

Final AZ early voting numbers are in, and they look good for McSally…

Michael Newton, who everyone would do well to follow on Twitter, makes a great point here…

Another tweeter everyone would to well to follow, au ng, has final Early Voting numbers from Florida, and again, they are very positive for the GOP…

 

UPDATE @12:30 CT:

Man, nobody would have ever guessed this would happen.  Oh, wait…

What?  Climate Change is not at the top of everyone’s mind today?  How can this be?

UPDATE @12:22 CT:  Trafalgar with some more final polls…

 

 

Noon, CT:  Let’s start with some key data points that have come across the @GDBlackmon Twitter feed today….

The Republican polling firm Trafalgar Group releases its final Florida poll this morning, and it is glorious if accurate:

Trafalgar was also the last firm to poll the Texas senate race…

Man, if this TargetSmart bunch has an accurate means of estimating early vote turnout, this is going to be an epic Red Wave.  TargetSmart, by the way, is a Democrat polling firm…

In Phoenix, Republicans are doing better in every city ward than they did in 2016. Bad news for nutjob Democrat Kyrsten Sinema…

This just happened in the world of media bias…

Ok, this is funny.  And sadly accurate…

 

That is all, for now.

 

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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The Media and Pollsters are Getting Cold Feet on this Whole “Blue Wave” Thing

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

This is really not a good look for any Pope.  – This happened yesterday.  I have no idea what to say about it, other than that just happened:

Why do we have to read about this in a British news outlet? – Just when you thought the Department of Justice was completely asleep at the wheel, it goes and arrests a leaker.  The UK Daily Mail reports that one Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards (I swear I did not make up that name) was arrested on the streets of Washington, DC on Tuesday and charged by DOJ investigators on Wednesday with crimes related to illegally leaking the private banking records of various Trump Transition Team members to the fake media outlet Buzzfeed.

When she was arrested, Ms. Mayflower Sours Edwards, an employee of the U.S. Treasury Department, was actually carrying a thumb drive that contained the records in question.  So, obviously not the brightest bulb in the Treasury Department’s light fixture.

Interestingly, Ms. Edwards (sorry, I’m not typing all that other crap anymore) leaked information related to Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, along with suspected Russian spy Maria Butina, all of whom have been subjects of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel “investigation.”  Others whose records she leaked are not specifically identified in the complaint filed by the DOJ.

Why am I mentioning this?  Well, one of those “others” is likely to eventually be revealed to be former Trump lawyer Micheal Cohen, who became a target of the Mueller “investigation” when his own banking records were mysteriously released to several media outlets, including to Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker in May.  The U.S. news media is under-playing this story for now, but this lady with the odd name is likely to be revealed to be a pretty important player in how all of this “Russia Collusion” fantasy play morphed into a bank-and-tax fraud investigation over the course of the last year.

Oh, and one other thing:  The complaint also states that Ms. Edwards boss was leaking to reporters.  So, the arrests over at the Treasury Department might just keep on coming.  What in the hell is going on over there?

Little Mouth Always Running lives in her own little dreamcatcher world.  – The newsfakers at The Washington Post tweeted this little gem out early this morning:

Good to know.

More proof that a Lindsey Graham freed from the pernicious influence of John McCain is a vastly improved Lindsey Graham:

You go, Senator.

Today’s lesson in Democrat Mob Civility from the People’s Republic of Portland, Oregon:

Just a reminder that this is exactly the behavior that has recently been endorsed and encouraged by leading Democrats like Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder.  Keep that in mind on Election Day.

And speaking of the elections… – Some interesting pieces of information from the past couple of days show the media and pollsters who have been pushing their treasured “Blue Wave” theory for the last year now starting to back off as Election Day approaches and the actual data fails to give them comfort:

  • NBC News getting cold feet.:  “Uncertainty Over A Blue Wave:  NBC News Finds Democratic and GOP Voter Registrations at Same Levels as Past Election Cycles.”  You don’t say…
  • Speaking of cold feet, there’s Nate Silver.:  “Nate Silver’s warning about midterm predictions that journalists won’t want to hear”.  Man, it’s 2016 all over again.
  • The Times keeps getting results it doesn’t want. – New York Times live poll shows Texas Congressman Will Hurd with an 8-point lead in what was supposed to be a tossup district.
  • From our That’s Not a Valid Sample file… – CNN released a poll on the Texas Senate race on Tuesday that shows Ted Cruz leading Irish Bob O’Rourke by a 52-45 margin.  Ok, so, why am I mentioning this poll?  Because its sample included just 25% Republicans, 25% Democrats and 50% “other”.  This in a state in which the GOP had a 50% turnout edge over the Ds in the primary elections, and in which Republicans have won every statewide election since 1994.
  • Why even bother? – In Indiana’s senate race, Gravis released a poll this week purporting to show incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly with a 4 point lead over GOP challenger Mike Braun.  But the poll only surveyed 377 “likely voters”, and has a margin of error of 5.1 percent.  Which means that, in reality, we know nothing more about the true state of the Indiana senate race today than we did before that waste of time poll was released.
  • This is what you do in the final weeks of a campaign when you have tons of money and you know you are losing. – “Beto Goes Negative on Cruz in New Ads”. 

So what does this all mean?  It means you need to stop worrying about polls and stop asking me about polls.  Because, as I keep pointing out to you, most of these polls are meaningless.  Most of them are not even commissioned to actually gauge the status of a race, but to influence the direction of a race.  In fact, that is pretty much the only kind of poll we have seen throughout the duration of the Cruz/O’Rourke race, with only a few exceptions.

The best ways to gauge the status of the races are to get a grip on the overall national mood, which this year favors a pretty much status quo election, and to also look at how the candidates themselves are behaving – O’Rourke being just one of many examples available to us.  It is also obvious that the Democrat senate candidates in North Dakota, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee and Nevada are sucking wind right now, and the Democrats in West Virginia, Indiana and even New Jersey are getting very nervous.

One more time:  When all is said and done, expect the Republicans to lose 10-15 seats in the House, but not the 23 necessary for the Democrats to assume a majority there.  In the Senate, expect the Rs to gain a net 4-5 seats.  That’s been my prediction since January, and I still see no reason to adjust it.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

Why 2018 is a Status Quo Election

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Annnndddd the race between Cruz and O’Rourke is…still all over the damn place. – A polling group that calls itself Vox Populi   came out with a poll in the Texas senate race on Thursday, showing Ted Cruz and Irish Bob O’Rourke tied at 50-50 in the race.  In its sample, Vox Populi included 39% Republicans and 36% Democrats, a sample that the group apparently feels is reflective of the Texas voter population.

Think about that for a minute.  Texas is a state in which no Democrat has won a statewide election in 24 years.  Not one.  It is a state in which Republicans prevailed in the statewide elections four years ago by about 15-20 points each.  It is a state in which the GOP voter turnout in the primaries earlier this year exceeded Democrat primary turnout by a whopping 50%, even though the Democrats had close contested races for the governor’s race and several other statewide offices.

Does that sound like a 39-36 state to you?  I’m picking on Vox Populi, but the reality is that their sample is pretty typical of the samples being taken in polling in Texas this year.  It is instructive to note that, four years ago, Texans were being treated to an array of polls about this time in the race pretending to show that Democrat Wendy Davis was a serious threat to Republican Greg Abbott in the governor’s race.  Abbott won that race by 21% of the vote.

In fairness to Vox Populi, the group does say it applies a complex weighting method to its sampling, including this passage:  “These screens significantly improve how reflective the sample is to the actual target voting population. Finally, Pop Polling weights survey results based on projected voter demographics. We do not weight on partisan affiliation or identification, helping reduce the risk of any bias during our analysis process.” Ok, cool, this is pretty common practice, but does it really inspire public confidence to know that, after the interviews have been conducted, the group goes in and monkeys around with the results?  Maybe it does – who knows for sure?  But if you’re going to apply this complex weighting method after the surveys are complete, why not just conduct more surveys and then stratify your sample via random eliminations in the various demographic groups to the breakdowns you want once that is done?

Also on Thursday, a new Public Policy Polling poll pegged the race at a 48-45 lead for Sen. Cruz.  That poll surveyed 40% Rs and 35% Ds.  So, that’s a little better, but is it really reflective of how Texas voters vote?  This PPP poll was conducted on behalf of a pro-Obamacare activist group.  So perhaps this one is a case of the polling group engaging in a little confirmation bias for its sponsor.  Or maybe not – who knows?

For a third data point, you have the Quinnipiac poll released earlier this week that shows Cruz leading by 54-45.  Quinnipiac unfortunately does not reveal the poll’s breakdown between Rs and Ds, but by extrapolating backwards from the results, it looks like it was right at 8-9% more Rs than Ds, a much more reasonable reflection of how Texans actually vote.

So, what you end up with is a confusing mish-mash of differing methodologies producing wildly different results, yet with all of them claiming to have just a 3-4% margin of error.  Embarrassing, for the whole polling industry.

Meanwhile, over in BLUE WAAAAAAAVVVVVEEE country… – We also have an interesting new poll in Texas Congressional District 32, in which incumbent Pete Sessions is supposedly facing a tough re-election challenge.  This poll, conducted by Siena College, shows Sessions holding a 52-44 lead over his Democrat opponent.

This one’s interesting because this is a seat the Democrats pretty much have to win in order to gain a majority in the House of Representatives in November, and previous polling in CD 32 have indicated the race was tight.  My view is that this race is reflective of what is going to happen all over Texas and really the rest of the country as Election Day grows closer.

As I’ve pointed out several times in the past, my view is that the best way to predict what is going to happen in any election is to judge the overall mood of the public.  Every election has an overriding inertia that serves to move the public in one direction or another on Election Day.  The overriding mood in 2016 was for major change, and we ended up with the most major change results in modern times.

The trend we are likely to see this year is that voters who make up their minds late in the game in this particular election are going to overwhelmingly decide to preserve the status quo in their state or district, wherever that may be.  Why?  Because, to quote James Carville, it’s the economy, stupid.  And the economy is roaring.

Despite all the daily hysteria brought to you by the fake news media, extraordinarily good economic news comes out on almost a daily basis.  In such times, late-deciding voters are going to take a look around their neighborhoods and see all those people who collected unemployment for the 8 years of Barack Obama getting up and going to work in the morning.  They’re going to see the new car in their neighbor’s garage, and the new refrigerator in their own kitchen.  They’re going to see that the balance in their 401(k) plan is 25% higher than it was 2 years ago.  They’re going to see all those cranes building that new manufacturing plant on the outskirts of their city.

They’re going to look around and see all of those real, tangible things that are taking place in their communities and think, “hey, maybe this isn’t the time to go vote for some guy who wants to eliminate ICE and take my guns away.  Maybe ol’ Ted isn’t so bad after all.”

This is a status quo election.  There is no “Blue Wave” coming.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

Sorry Nancy, Your Coveted “Blue Wave” Just Isn’t Building

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Democrats – if they didn’t exist, no one in their right mind would dream of making them up. – In an interview on Monday, San Fran Nan said she agrees that, where the Democrats are concerned, “it’s time for new blood and we should move on.”  That’s the good part.  But in her next breath, she promised to continuing clinging to power so long as Donald Trump is President: “to have no woman at the table and to have the Affordable Care Act at risk, I said, ‘As long as he’s here, I’m here.”

Republicans everywhere popped open the champagne at the prospect of continuing to have the past and possibly future Speaker of the House as fodder for their campaign ads.

Hey, if he won’t get down into the ’30s on his own, we’ll just put him there. – The fake news hacks at CNN loudly trumpeted their new “poll” on Monday, a “poll” which purports to show President Trump’s public approval rating at just 38%.  That all looks pretty disturbing for the President until you look into the bowels of how the “poll” was conducted and realize that it included just 25% Republicans in its sample of self-described “registered voters.”

Had the poll instead included around 34-35% Republicans, which is what it should have done, its result most likely would have shown the President’s approval at about 42-43%, which is pretty much where other polls of registered voters are putting it these days.  Meanwhile, the most accurate poll during 2016, Rassmussen, which is also the only poll taking the time and effort to survey “likely” voters, pegs Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 48%.

Thus, what we clearly have with the CNN poll was yet another example of a fake news organization dummying up some more fake news on what was otherwise a fairly slow news day.  Sadly typical.

But CNN’s not alone.  We saw ABC and the Washington Post issue a similarly faked-up poll on the generic congressional preference question at the end of August.  This poll pretended to find that the Democrats suddenly had a 14-point lead among registered voters on that question.  Really?  Can that be right?

Well, given that other recent polls of registered voters (Economist/Yougov and Reuters/Ipsos) pegged the Democrat edge at 9 and 5 points, probably not.  Then when you consider that the two recent polls on this question that look at “likely voters” (Rasmussen and Grinnell/Selzer) show the Democrat edge barely present at 4 and 2 points, the ABC/WaPo poll becomes a clear outlier.

A real polling organization, when its “sample” (assuming there really was a sample) produces a result so clearly outside of any notion of reasonableness, might be expected to take a second look at things before rushing to publish.  But ABC/WaPo and CNN are not real polling organizations – they are ostensibly “news” organizations, and they unfortunately seem to produce these polls in an effort to manufacture news, not to truly inform the public.

You may remember that ABC/WaPo are also the same two media organizations that dummied up a poll just two weeks prior to Election Day 2016 that pretended to show Hillary Clinton holding a 13-point lead over Donald Trump.  When even the Nate Silvers and New York Times‘s of the world guffawed at that silly result, I predicted what its new margin would be each and every day over the next ten days, and got it on the nose every day but one as the fake poll’s margin very predictably narrowed to within its margin of error the Friday before the votes were cast.  I was able to do that because the poll’s results were pretty clearly tailored to make news, not to accurately gauge the state of the race.

The thing about polls these days is that the legitimate polling organizations continue to struggle with how to actually obtain a decent sample that really is reflective of society at large.  Some of these groups, like Rasmussen, appear to have a pretty good handle on things, and some of them keep monkeying around with their methodologies.  The one disturbing generic congressional ballot poll by a legitimate organization recently is the one by Emerson College last week that arrived at a 13-point edge for the Democrats.

Emerson describes its methodology as follows:

“The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,000, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.2 percentage points. The data was weighted by ethnicity, age, party affiliation, region and mode. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=500) and an online panel provided by Survey Monkey (n=500).”

Who knows if that convoluted method renders a result that can be trusted?  Then again, after the absurdity of the polling results in 2016, it’s an open question whether any of these poll results really produce anything worth reading, other than providing, on average, some general trend.

Right now, the trends are a) President Trump’s public approval rating is right where it has been throughout this entire year, and b) the Democrats have a modest edge in the generic ballot question, but not a big enough edge that would produce their much-coveted “blue wave” come November.

The Campaign Update told you way back in December that there would be no “blue wave” in this election, and nothing that has happened since that time has changed that general outlook.  Lots can happen in the 8 weeks remaining until Election Day, but the reality is that public attitudes appear to be pretty much set.

All of which means that we should expect the Republicans to pick up somewhere between 2-5 net seats in the U.S. Senate, and the Democrats to gain seats in the House, but not enough to saddle the nation with San Fran Nan as Speaker of the House one more time.

Just another day in just ignore all the fake polls America.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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