Saturday, October 20, 2012

What Mattered This Week?

I feel as if I've spent too little time on Congressional elections during the last several weeks, so here's one: the steadily increasing chances for the Democrats to keep their Senate majority. And the lack of any such movement towards the Democrats on the House side, as far as I know. It's looking very much like a status quo election in Congress, at least as far as majorities are concerned.

For something that didn't matter...I don't really have much. Binders of women, maybe? Although I don't know that anyone is overrating its importance, so it's not a great choice.

What do you have? What do you think mattered this week?

31 comments:

  1. Medical records available for Romney do not reveal the incidence of early onset senile dementia, coprophrenia, and proctolalia in the history of his extended family.

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  2. Dinesh D’Souza's implosion doesn't matter but it certainly was interesting to watch. Especially because this guy was getting paid a million dollars (!) a year to run a university and decided instead to spend his time making conspiratorial movies about anti-colonial Kenyanism. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Also a lot of economic data points to the economy improving which probably won't swing the election but will probably make the winner on the 6th the "recovery President" in the history books.

    Finally I realized of a dog not barking that should definitely be remembered: American's Elect! Remember those guys? Yeah, exactly.

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    1. I love that "anti-colonial Kenyanism" is a term now. What does it mean? Bad stuff.

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    2. That all really bugged me. Colonialism was a bad thing! It got a lot of native people killed when the imperial powers slaughtered them or starved them. Anti-colonialism is the reasonable position. (A bunch of folks from eastern North America in the 1770s would agree.)

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    3. Not just them -- the US was pretty strongly anti-colonial in the postwar period, and presumably ever since. Yes, with pragmatic (or perhaps cynical) exceptions, but still -- been anti-colonial is about as consensus as it gets in the US.

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  3. Wasn't that court decision to allow Ohio early voting this week? People say that's supposed to matter.

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  4. The fact that Obama has steadied the race with a small apparent advantage in the Midwest and enough electoral votes to win. This isn't to say that Romney couldn't win or the polls are overestimating Obama in Ohio, but we have lots of data that shows Obama with a bit better margin in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin than nationally.

    Also, don't assume that the national numbers are more correct than the states. Nate Silver has pointed out that aggregating state polls has been slightly better at finding the national popular vote than the national polls themselves. For this reason, in his model, state polls can influence the national popular vote prediction. I would say that given Obama's advantage in the swing state polling, more likely than not the national polls are slightly underestimating his national vote. If I recall this was the case with Gore who had better state polls, but the national polling predicted a small Bush advantage.

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    1. But note the latest PPP poll showing Romney one point ahead of Obama in Iowa (and New Hampshire). Obviously, I wouldn't put too much stock in one poll but Obama's firewell it now seems to me, consists of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Nevada, and while I am reasonably sure Obama leads in all three states, if the national vote turns in Romney's favor by even another point or two, all three states could be in jeopardy (though I think Obama will carry Nevada in any event; polls keep underestimating the Democratic vote there).

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    2. If Romney gains much more in the national polls then its probably a different game than one where Obama can win. No matter how well Obama is doing in this or that state poll. But political science says he won't so... We have to wait...

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  5. Last two debates haven't really moved the dial towards Obama. That's really bad news. Their response has been to mock Mitt Romney, which makes them look churlish and allows Romney to look even more presidential. I just don't get it. I'm hopeful Monday will bring a more hopeful, smart, and confident Barack Obama who tells the country that Mitt Romney will bring Republican extreme foreign policies back to power. I would like the guy I voted for in 2008 to come back.

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    1. Funny thing to say considering that Obama is, you know, on track to win.

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    2. I think the trend in the swing state polling us clearly going toward Romney. I would be less concerned if Obama was making a strong closing argument. He seems tethered to this idea of making Mitt Romney look silly and/or dishonest. Sorry. Won't work. Romney looks like a plausible, inoffensive president. I do not understand why they havent tried to tie him to Republicans in Congress.

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    3. The swing state polling was trending towards Romney... Yesterday. You see the poll putting Obama +1 in Florida? And he's solidly up in Ohio. Chill out. Obama is gonna pull this one out... Just like political scientists have been telling us for the past six months.

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    4. As we get into the final stretch, the polls will tighten dramatically. Remember, the fundamentals predict a race so close that it's less than the margin of error in polling. That means that you really can't get where it's at from national polling. Sorry, Jonathan.

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    5. What do you mean the polls WILL tighten. We're there. And they are tightening because a bunch of polls show things going in Romney's direction.
      I think Obama needs to do two things- he needs to make a sharp contrast with Romney but he needs to do it in a way that doesn't make him (Obama) seem obnoxious. It's a tough task. On Monday I want Obama to emphasize that he is the person who will work to put out the world's fires, not start more. Ain't no better contrast on foreign policy than that.

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    6. On Monday I'd like Obama to generate positive news coverage rather than bad. Since that's all that matters.
      Nate Silver is warning that his forecast model is about to change a lot because its going to start working off of only polls rather than economic fundamentals.
      I continue to think that Romneys tie is artificial similar to Obamas huge Sept lead. At this point there's a lot of registered voters who aren't being counted as likely voters because they are reporting less enthusiasm. If these folks get off the bench they're going to give the race to Obama... And it seems unlikely that they'll stay on the bench.
      Also polls might not be counting all the early voters.

      On another note, if R does win I'm going to be watching the senate races in a cold sweat. Do you guys think a Rom victory will give Rs the down ballot votes to take the senate?

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    7. I think a number of the dem senate candidates look ok in the event of a close Romney win. I really think a big part of the problem is that the first debate just let a lot of the air out of our tires. There's just nothing worse than watching a guy you've stuck with seem so uninterested in such a big moment. They then turned around and made a joke out of their own campaign with big bird, binders, etc. I know dens who find the "romnesia" thing offensive

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    8. Notice that news story today about how Romney is keeping offices open in North Carolina even though polls show him comfortably +3? That makes me think that it isn't just wishful Dems thinking that a combo of early voting and faulty likely voter model polling is underestimating Obamas strength.

      You might be right about the first debate dampening Dem enthusiasm. And I bet it stays down... But I also think a lot of them are going to go out and vote.

      Pres Rom and Majority Leader Reid would be fun to watch.

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  6. It doesn't "matter" but I noticed yesterday that conservatives are in full denial mode, proclaiming victory early (and without much reason) while liberals are in full freak out mode, worrying that the polls are wrong and Obama isn't (barely) ahead. And I realized that we have finally arrived and general election season is in full swing.

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    1. Yes, my Limbaughian brother-in-law messaged me on Facebook about the impending Romney landslide. 8-|

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    2. And if he's wrong, he'll never admit it!

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  7. The attempt on Malala Yousafzai's life, and her removal to the UK for medical treatment. While it may not matter to the body politic here; this girls story matters to women everywhere.


    And it seems Iran has agreed to one-on-one talks nukes with the US; http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/world/iran-said-ready-to-talk-to-us-about-nuclear-program.html?hp&_r=0

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    1. /should be an 'on' between talks and nukes there. Cooking dinner, I apologize.

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    2. And now the WH appears to be denying the validity of that report. Hard to know what's going on.

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    3. And the popular outrage in Pakistan over the Yousafzai shooting is encouraging.

      Regarding one-on-one talks with Iran, while a positive sign in diplomatic terms, "talking to the enemy" tends to be unpopular with a lot of people in the United States and also in Iran. Both candidates try to look tough on Iran. It's possible that this was leaked to the press immediately before the foreign policy debate in an attempt to undermine the initiative.

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  8. Uncle Joe Stalin and Uncle Joseph Goebbels would be so proud of Democrats, especially liberal Jewish Democrats today. The politics of personal destruction and the big lie method is kept alive by leftists. Sieg Heil Charles Schumer.

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    1. Jack wins the prize for silliest teabagger of the week. Next up: denies that he is a witch!

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    2. And if he's wrong, he'll never admit it!

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    3. Roy Perkins, impartial dogcatcherOctober 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      But what about Uncle Joe Cannon, Uncle Joe Ligambi, and Uncle Joe Carson? What would they think?

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  9. Very interesting blog - where are you planning to get your election night coverage? The Atlas Project is going to have great election night coverage with a clips service, results updates, night of analysis, and state-by-state digests. Check them out: www.atlasproject.net.

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