Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Karl Rove Is Riding The Gallup Horse

Karl Rove has a sharp political mind. I don't doubt that. But he is also sharply partisan, to the point of being blind. I don't doubt that either. When in the mood he also looks at Republican National Committee surveys.
Rove: Sifting the Numbers for a Winner
For example, in 2004 President George W. Bush had 49% in the final Gallup likely-voter track; he received 50.7% on Election Day. In 1996, President Clinton was at 48% in the last Gallup; he got 49.2% at the polls. And in 1992, President George H.W. Bush was at 37% in the closing Gallup; he collected 37.5% in the balloting. ...... On Friday last week, Gallup hinted at the partisan makeup of the 2012 electorate with a small chart buried at the end of its daily tracking report. Based on all its October polling, Gallup suggested that this year's turnout might be 36% Republican to 35% Democratic, compared with 39% Democratic and 29% Republican in 2008, and 39% Republican and 37% Democratic in 2004. ..... Gallup delivered some additional bad news to Mr. Obama on early voting. Through Sunday, 15% of those surveyed said they had already cast a ballot either in person or absentee. They broke for Mr. Romney, 52% to 46%. The 63% who said they planned to vote on Election Day similarly supported Mr. Romney, 51% to 45%. ........ Furthermore, in battleground states, the edge in early and absentee vote turnout that propelled Democrats to victory in 2008 has clearly been eroded, cut in half according to a Republican National Committee summary. ...... My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America's 45th president. Let's call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.
Gallup vs. the World
The Gallup national tracking poll now shows a very strong lead for Mitt Romney.......... its results are deeply inconsistent with the results that other polling firms are showing in the presidential race, and the Gallup poll has a history of performing very poorly when that is the case. ....... Other national polls show a race that is roughly tied on average, while state polls continue to indicate a narrow advantage of about two points for President Obama in tipping-point states like Ohio. The forecast has Mr. Obama as a narrow favorite in the election largely on the basis of the state polls. ...... the Gallup national tracking poll constitutes a relatively small part of the polling landscape. ....... there are quite a few interviews conducted by a tracking poll over the course of a week — about 3,000 per week in the Gallup national tracking poll, for instance. ...... But Gallup is not the only national tracking poll. There are six published on most days ....... even though the Gallup national tracking poll is more influential than any other individual poll series in the FiveThirtyEight trend-line calculation, it still accounts for only about 12 percent of it. It can very easily be outweighed by the other polls if they are in disagreement with it. ....... Our research suggests, for instance, that state polls, rather than national polls, often provide a better estimate of the national popular vote, in addition to the Electoral College. ....... the Gallup daily tracking poll accounts for only about 3 percent of the weight in this stage of the calculation. The national tracking polls collectively, including Gallup, account for only about 10 percent of it. Most of the weight, instead, is given to the state polls. ...... Perhaps the Gallup poll accounts for 5 or 10 percent of the information that an election analyst should evaluate on a given day. ....... The Gallup poll’s influence on the subjective perception about where the presidential race stands seems to be proportionately much greater than that, however — especially when the poll seems to diverge from the consensus. ........ Usually, when a poll is an outlier relative to the consensus, its results turn out badly. ...... You do not need to look any further than Gallup’s track record over the past two election cycles to find a demonstration of this....... In 2008, the Gallup poll put Mr. Obama 11 points ahead of John McCain on the eve of that November’s election. ... That was tied for Mr. Obama’s largest projected margin of victory among any of the 15 or so national polls that were released just in advance of the election. The average of polls put Mr. Obama up by about seven points. ..... The average did a good job; Mr. Obama won the popular vote by seven points. The Gallup poll had a four-point miss, however. .... In 2010, Gallup put Republicans ahead by 15 points on the national Congressional ballot, higher than other polling firms, which put Republicans an average of eight or nine points ahead instead. ..... In fact, Republicans won the popular vote for the United States House by about seven percentage points — fairly close to the average of polls, but representing another big miss for Gallup............ Apart from Gallup’s final poll not having been especially accurate in recent years, it has often been a wild ride to get there. Their polls, for whatever reason, have often found implausibly large swings in the race. ....... In 2000, for example, Gallup had George W. Bush 16 points ahead among likely voters in polling it conducted in early August. By Sept. 20, about six weeks later, they had Al Gore up by 10 points instead: a 26-point swing toward Mr. Gore over the course of a month and a half. No other polling firm showed a swing remotely that large. ...... Then in October 2000, Gallup showed a 14-point swing toward Mr. Bush over the course of a few days, and had him ahead by 13 points on Oct. 27 — just 10 days before an election that ended in a virtual tie. ...... In 1996, Gallup had Bill Clinton’s margin over Bob Dole increasing to 25 points from nine points over the course of four days. ..... After the Republican convention in 2008, Gallup had John McCain leading Mr. Obama by as many as 10 points among likely voters. Although some other polls also had Mr. McCain pulling ahead in the race, no other polling firm ever gave him larger than a four-point lead. ......... The context is that its most recent results differ substantially from the dozens of other state and national polls about the campaign. It’s much more likely that Gallup is wrong and everyone else is right than the other way around.
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Fundamental Dishonesty

I like to meet my politicians at the center. I have compassion for Democrats who begin on the left in primary season and then move more towards the center once nominated. I am also understanding of Republicans who begin on the right and then move to the center.

But not the Romney way. The guy never moved to the center. A move to the center is the Bill Clinton way. Clinton had been presenting himself as a New Democrat long before the primaries began. He was a centrist who moved just a little bit to the left for primary season then went back to where he always had been: at the center. He knew he needed to get power to be able to help the poor. If bringing down poverty is not left, what is? So he never really abandoned the left.

Romney never restructured his party. He has never fought fights with the irrational right. He did not move to the center. He does not have a centrist platform. He is just plain lying.

This event is a strong metaphor.

Mitt Romney Staged His Own "Relief Rally" By Buying $5,000 Worth of Donation Props

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Barack Obama's Greatness

Jonathan Chait is making tremendous sense.

The Case for Obama: Why He Is a Great President. Yes, Great.
I supported Obama because I judged him to have a keen analytical mind, grasping both the possibilities and the limits of activist government, and possessed of excellent communicative talents. I thought he would nudge government policy in an incrementally better direction. I consider his presidency an overwhelming success. ........ Obama’s résumé of accomplishments is broad and deep, running the gamut from economic to social to foreign policy. The general thrust of his reforms, especially in economic policy, has been a combination of politically radical and ideologically moderate. The combination has confused liberals into thinking of Obamaism as a series of sad half-measures, and conservatives to deem it socialism, but the truth is neither. Obama’s agenda has generally hewed to the consensus of mainstream economists and policy experts. What makes the agenda radical is that, historically, vast realms of policy had been shaped by special interests for their own benefit. Plans to rationalize those things, to write laws that make sense, molder on think-tank shelves for years, even generations. They are often boring. But then Obama, in a frenetic burst of activity, made many of them happen all at once. .......... It is noteworthy that four of the best decisions that Obama made during his presidency ran against the advice of much of his own administration. ....... On Libya, Obama’s staff presented him with options either to posture ineffectually or do nothing; he alone forced them to draw up an option that would prevent a massacre. And Obama overruled some cautious advisers and decided to kill Osama bin Laden. ............ The latter three decisions are all highly popular now, but all of them carried the risk of inflicting a mortal political wound, like Bill Clinton’s health-care failure and Jimmy Carter’s attempted raid into Iran. (George W. Bush, presented with a similar option, did not strike bin Laden.) In making these calls, Obama displayed judgment and nerve. ............. the pervasive disillusionment felt by Obama’s supporters. It is a sentiment that has shadowed every Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt, and even Roosevelt provoked long bouts of agony and disillusionment among his supporters. ..... Obama can boast a record of accomplishment that bests any president since Roosevelt, and has fewer demerits on his record than any of them, including Roosevelt. The only president that comes close in gross positive accomplishment is Lyndon Johnson, whose successes were overwhelmed by his failures to such a degree that he abandoned his reelection campaign. ........ September 14, 2008, when the U.S. financial system imploded. ... Obama managed to stabilize the financial system and, through the stimulus, avert a total collapse in consumer demand. ...... Voters reward or punish incumbents based on the weather or the success of local sports teams. ...... In 2004, Romney dismissed any attempt to blame George W. Bush for the decline of jobs under his watch as “poppycock.” ....... the Republicans' leadership in Congress grasped early on that its path to returning to power required Obama to fail, and that they could help bring this about by denying his initiatives any support ......... What can be said without equivocation is that Obama has proven himself morally, intellectually, temperamentally, and strategically. In my lifetime, or my parents’, he is easily the best president.

The Case Against Romney: At Heart, He’s a Delusional One-Percenter
The different iterations of his career differ so wildly, yet comport so perfectly with his political ambitions of the moment, that it is simply impossible to separate his panders from his actual beliefs, the means from the ends. ....... what Romney believes in above all is himself ...... when his campaign appeared hopeless, Romney approaches politics like a business deal: “Just do and say what you need to do to get the deal done, and then when it’s done, do what you know actually needs to be done to make the company a success.” ...... Romney truly believes in his own abilities ... He is a highly intelligent, accomplished individual. ...... that, once in office, he will craft sensible and data-driven, and perhaps even bipartisan, solutions to our problems — surely accounts for his political resurrection ....... a vote for Romney is a vote for his party ..... The party has almost no capacity to respond to the conditions and problems that actually exist in the world. ...... In the face of a consensus for short-term fiscal stimulus, they have turned back to ancient Austrian doctrines and urged immediate spending cuts. In the face of rising global temperatures and a hardening scientific consensus on the role of carbon emissions, their energy plan is to dig up and burn every last molecule of coal and oil as rapidly as possible. ....... Ryan’s frequently proclaimed belief that society is divided between “makers” and “takers.” It also informed Romney’s infamous diatribe against the lazy, freeloading 47 percenters. It is a grotesque, cruel, and disqualifying ethical framework for governing. ...... Both his fealty to his party and his belief in his own abilities point in the same direction: the entitlement of the superrich to govern the country.
Romney’s Nevada Bluff
Obama’s lead in the electoral college is persistent, but rests on very narrow advantages. ...... the polls miss the impact both of Reid’s turnout operation and the strength of the Latino vote. (Most polls don’t ask questions in Spanish, and thus miss the Spanish-speaking vote, which is expanding in size.) ...... their leaks about internal polling and the electoral map are a cultivated plan to project a false optimism.
Romney Says He’s Winning — It’s a Bluff
Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. .... Last week, for instance, Romney’s campaign blared out the news that it was pulling resources out of North Carolina. The battleground was shifting! Romney on the offensive! On closer inspection, it turned out that Romney was shifting exactly one staffer. ....... 2000 .. Bush even spent the final days stumping in California, supposedly because he was so sure of victory he wanted an icing-on-the-cake win in a deep blue state. ........ Adding to his base of uncontested states, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin would give Obama 271 electoral votes. According to the current polling averages compiled at, Obama leads Nevada by 3.5 percent, Ohio by 2.9 percent, and Wisconsin by 4 percent. Should any of those fail, Virginia and Colorado are nearly dead even. ....... he is leading, his lead is not declining, and the widespread perception that Romney is pulling ahead is Romney’s campaign suckering the press corps with a confidence game.
A Zombie Is a Slave Forever
For the slave under French rule in Haiti — then Saint-Domingue — in the 17th and 18th centuries, life was brutal: hunger, extreme overwork and cruel discipline were the rule. Slaves often could not consume enough calories to allow for normal rates of reproduction; what children they did have might easily starve.
Gov. Christie: Obama has been 'outstanding'
Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey normally isn't effusive about President Obama. .... The two politicians will tour storm damage together on Wednesday afternoon..... Obama will join Christie to talk to New Jersey residents affected by the superstorm and to thank first responders.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The NDA Option For Nitish

English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World E...
English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gujarat polls will help NDA choose Nitish or Modi for PM: BJP
The BJP was happy with Nitish Kumar for saying that JD-U and BJP would contest the next Lok Sabha polls together
Gujarat has 26 MPs to Bihar's 40. Bihar is twice as big as Gujarat. And Modi's economic record in Gujarat has been impressive, but Nitish' record in Bihar has been even more impressive. There is no coalition government in Gujarat. But Nitish has proven to be the master of his alliance with the BJP in Bihar. Bihar is more representative of India at large than is Gujarat. Most Indians are still farmers living in villages. So Nitish is more representative. And Nitish has no Godhra blemish. That is a big one. Nitish will make the BJP more acceptable across the country.

If the BJP were to project Nitish as the prime ministerial candidate for the NDA that is better than Nitish trying to put together some kind of a Third Front.

A Roadmap For Nitish
Nitish Is My Lula

For Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar turns November 4 Adhikar rally into battlefield
Enterprising leaders of the ruling party have unleashed a billboard blitzkrieg depicting party president Sharad Yadav as Lord Krishna and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as Arjuna in the battlefield of Mahabharata ahead of the much-publicised November 4 rally.
King Modi seeks Delhi Throne
Revealed: Narendra Modi's strategy to win votes
Narendra Modi vs rivals: how they match up in elections
Narendra Modi set for hat-trick?
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