Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Question Day

I'm back to regular blogging...but far behind on lots of things, including some of the news of the last few days. My solution: it's time for question day! Whatever you have: of course the presidential nomination process and the 2012 cycle, but Congress, Congressional elections, Obama, recess appointments, exec branch and judicial nominations, campaign finance...whatever you ask, via comments here or tweet it or email me, I'll try to answer.

Meanwhile, just one quick comment: I know that there's no reason at all to take Intrade all that seriously, but I really don't get Perry's lack of momentum there. As I look now, he's at 3.6%, a bit down from his peak last week. To the extent that this is even a slight reflection of conventional wisdom: do people really not think that he has a 1-in-20 chance or better of winning the nomination? When Nate Silver right now has him projected 3rd in Iowa? Baffling.

Okay, what have you got?

22 comments:

  1. Is the payroll tax debacle Boehner's government shutdown moment?

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  2. Do you see a Ron Paul third-party run happening next year? how do you imagine it would effect the race and the national conversation? I'm hoping you'll tell me it's inevitable and that it'll give Obama a landslide :)

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  3. Does a Libertarian Party ticket with Gary Johnson at the top hurt the GOP's chances in the Presidential race?

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  4. Happy Holidays! I really enjoy your blog, and appreciate all you do here. Here are two related to things you blog about semi-regularly:

    1. If Perry manages to come in third in Iowa, is it possible to spin this as a major 'comeback' even if people like Silver already are predicting him to finish third. And, if Gingrich performs poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire, how quickly until he is out of the race entirely? Or does that even matter?

    2. Frequently, you talk about how ACA and Romneycare actually are quite similar in some respects. Nevertheless, they are extremely different in that one is a state program and one is a federal program. Even though I tend to believe in a federal solution, it seems to me that the debate about whether healthcare programs should be implemented and managed at the state or federal level is a serious one. Why do you tend to dismiss this as pure partisan spin? While I am sure that some of it is spin, isn't there also a real and fundamental policy disagreement here?

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  5. Here's one: presidential approval ratings have a lot of predictive power for election results. Seeing as Congress just hit an all-time low in approval (according to Gallup), I have to ask if Congressional approval has similar predictive powers?

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  6. Conditional on the GOP holding the House in the 2012 election, what is the probability that Boehner is not Speaker come January 2013?

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  7. I'll add my voice to those speculating about a Ron Paul minor-party presidential candidacy. I doubt that he'll do it (if only because of his son's political future), but he would make a relatively strong candidate.

    He already has an intense following (that would follow him outside the GOP, unlike Pat Buchanan found), a proven capacity to raise money, decent name identification, and a set of views not well represented in the two major political parties. He would also have ready-made support from an existing party on the ballot of all 50 states: the Libertarians.

    I doubt that he would get 10% or more, but I could imagine him getting 5%, given that this is a good environment for minor-party presidential candidates.

    By contrast, I doubt that Gary Johnson is better known than 2008 Libertarian nominee Bob Barr, who received 0.4% of the national vote.

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  8. I suspect this has been asked before, but how do you see the future of fillibuster reform. Is the 60-vote senate going to be the norm from now on (even when the Democrats are in the minority?) Or do you foresee Republicans changing the rules when they are in the majority to get more of their legislation through? Because surely the current situation cannot continue for much longer.

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  9. Two questions looking back at Barack Obama's first two years:

    Is there anything that Obama could have done, that he didn't do, that would have significantly lowered the unemployment rate in November 2010? This includes actions that would have made it through the Senate, but would have been pretty unpopular in themselves.

    The evidence seems pretty strong that ACA hurt Democrats at the polls, particularly moderates in McCain-voting districts. If ACA cost Democrats, say, 15 seats in the House, thereby making Obama's second two years considerably more difficult -- was it still worth it? Or would Obama have been off taking Rahm Emanuel's advice in the summer of 2009, and opting for a much more modest bill? Or dropping health care altogether?

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  10. You often point out the strengths of our Madisonian democracy but what do you see as the weaknesses of our constitutional system of government?

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  11. Given redistricting and voter suppression advantages, how much of a handicap do you think the House GOP has trying to hold onto the chamber when popularity of Congress is at an all-time low (+1%, +5%?). In other words, how much of a cushion has the GOP bought themselves as a result of their state-level colleagues rigging the electoral games in their favor? Does it factor into your prediction on whether the GOP will hold the house or not?

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  12. Under the Senate rules, is it even possible for force a "real" filibuster? Faced with a filibuster, could the majority leader wait it out or actually make those who what to maintain the filibuster speak on the issue?

    What is the actual text of the rules that allow the "painless filibuster"? Is there another rational interpretation of that same text that would imply the speakers need to actually speak?

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  13. What is the impact of the 'Americans Elect' movement next year, and in the long term? Is there any real impact, or not?

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  14. You write regularly for the Post, you have a head, and presumably you talk. Ever consider beings talking head on TV?

    Even if only for the possibility of you being booked with Matt Bai, I think it would be awesome.

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  15. How likely is an Obama second term with him facing a Republican House and Senate? How do you think the first 2 years of that term would play out?

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  16. will anyone challenge Congressman Stephen Lynch in 2012? Maybe out of the newly added Quincy-Weymouth area?

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  17. How do feel about the seeming disparity between the number of liberal and conservative readers of your blog and what does it mean to you?

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  18. To what extent can OWS and ultra-lefty pundits like Glenn Greenwald be considered Democratic party actors? Do they have an equivalent on the right? (not the Tea Party, they're too tied to Republican electoral politics.) If they don't, why?

    If you go to an OWS rally you won't have to go far to find someone who thinks of Obama as a warmonger or Wall Street stooge; much of Obama's "left opposition" (i.e. Chomsky, West) has rallied to OWS. Yet anti-Obama rhetoric is conspicuously absent from OWS's public propaganda, especially compared with certain progressive Democratic groups. Comparing surveys of Occupiers and Netroots Nation, this is the precise opposite of their actual feelings about Obama. What makes the difference?

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  19. Why does spin out of Iowa matter more than normal politician spin. How does that differ from spin in a general election (president).

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  20. Just bought my Perry contracts on intrade yesterday! Come on- what are the odds that, even if he doesn't win, he doesn't have a good week between now and the end?

    My real question is this: If local party committees endorsed primary candidates based on just one criteria (past ability to turn out voters, ability to raise money), what do you think they should look at? Which quality best improves the performance of the party's ticket as a whole?

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  21. The wisdom of the crowd is probably saying that bubble candidates will not get a second look. That wisdom is indeed quite possibly wrong wrt Perry, who unlike the others has a conventional resume.

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  22. Some of us don't read the blog continuously throughout the day, I often check out the day late in the afternoon...

    Could "question day" be announced in advance in case I'd like to go out of my way to ask one in time for consideration??

    (also, I'm having no luck getting the comment box to show up in Opera)

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