Saturday, November 3, 2012

What Mattered This Week?

The Giants won the World Series!

Oh, and some election stuff. I'll let you all take it from there: what do you think mattered this week?

30 comments:

  1. The job numbers, specifically the revisions of prior months. We'll see what happens with the "fiscal cliff", but I think whoever's hand is on the Bible on Jan. 20 is going to have a resilient, though hardly overpowering, recovery to preside over.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. I don't know about Colorado but here in the Bay Area I've noticed the Ron Paul/Gary Johnson fans i know drifting back to Obama. A friend of mine switched back after watching the third party debates. Johnson scared him because he sounded like a Republican on domestic policy. The last few Johnson supporters I know are two white dudes who frequently talk about black helicopter type "news stories" that they find on the Internet.

      Delete
    2. Anon, why do you think that is? California is hardly a swing state, so I'm not sure why Paul/Johnson supporters would be tempted by Obama at this late point in the race.

      Delete
    3. @Couves - Well, Anon says that his friend switched back because Johnson 'sounded like a Republican on domestic policy.' Which I'd take to mean mainly economic policy. Boundless praise of free markets is, after all, pretty much what you hear from Romney/Ryan.

      Delete
    4. I think it's probably an example of what Jonathan B describes as the campaign (the Obama campaign in this instance) working to remind partisans why they support the party candidate. Near 100 percent of my friends are either Democrats or Democrat-leaning independents, and for the past few weeks the pro-Obama rhetoric has been nearing a fever pitch among them. Johnson's debate performance probably didn't matter much at all, honestly.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. Rick, anon made it sound like more than one guy. It surprises me that a Ron Paul supporter would complain that Gary Johnson sounded "like a Republican" ... Johnson has always struck me as more moderate/liberal than Paul, but I suppose anything is possible.

      Anon - That seems unlikely since this individual would have to be a registered Republican if he or she voted for Ron Paul in the primary. Are you the 12:20 anon?

      Delete
    7. Same anon. I'm not sure if the folks I know who were talking about supporting Gary Johnson voted Ron Paul in the primary, but I doubt it. In fact, I doubt that they voted in either the Democratic or Republican primary at all. There's three guys I know who had said they were going to vote Johnson, and maybe seven or eight other people who were talking Paul up during the primary and who seemed at least somewhat interested in Johnson during the summer. It's important that I note that the overwhelming majority of people I know are not engaged in politics. People would talk about Ron Paul positively during the primary because they saw him on the Daily Show... I don't think that many of them really understand how a primary works, and they definitely don't understand/care that they can vote in them. I doubt that more than 30 percent of the people I know voted in 2010, for example. They'll go out and vote Tuesday because it's a Pres election, but generally they don't really vote. And, like I said, only two of them at this point are going to vote Johnson/not vote Obama.

      Delete
    8. I once knew a guy who voted for Nader "because all the bad stuff began with the progressives 100 years ago." It made no sense, but he had a whole theory about it.

      For some low-information voters, thinking for themselves can be a dangerous thing!

      Delete
    9. The other day I was talking to a lady who said that she had decided not to vote this year because (among numerous small tragedies including breaking up with a casual girlfriend and not getting offered a better job she had applied for) her roommate was depressed.

      Delete
  3. Wasn't there a hurricane or something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And some bipartisan work between mayors, governors, and the President.

      Delete
  4. Hurricane Sandy mattered in ways that are still unfolding. Apart from its physical effects and its possible effects on the election, it's starting to look like it may be the event that brings the climate crisis to the admitted national agenda. It's a complex subject I've been writing about for years, but briefly, this may be the event.

    In Kim Stanley Robinson's great Science in the Capitol trilogy, it's the flooding of Washington that changes the debate: the result of a winter front colliding with "Tropical Storm Sandy."

    But New York is the media capital, and the home as well as the workplace of media people. That it has changed the real landscape there may change the political landscape on this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sandy, Bloomberg's endorsement, Romney's "vote for me or you're fired" appeal to business owners.

    ReplyDelete
  6. And for something completely different: Will the president elected Tuesday deploy troops into Mexico in the coming term? If so, for a short time or permanently? And if the latter, will there be the possibility of Mexican states joining the US?

    ReplyDelete
  7. How about the dog that isn't barking? I made this point a few days ago, but the stories coming out of the Mid-Atlantic sound much worse than actuarial-type reporting of human suffering and property destruction. The current string of links at the top of the Drudge Report sound Katrina-ish. (Say what you want about Drudge's tactics, but those articles are typically sourced from reasonable news organizations).

    Apparently there's some sort of other thing happening on Tuesday, though its a bit worrisome that the under-reporting of problems on the Jersey shore may diminish the urgency for nobodies like you and I to lend our hands in help. Hopefully that's not the case, or if its the case, its not material to well-being in Jersey and NY.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't know that this 'matters,' but I found The American Conservative's poll of its writers interesting. Certainly not a Romney blowout, though I think he leads slightly in it. Surprisingly, there are several confessions of "I'm not going to vote, I'm disgusted," among the 'movement conservatives.'

    If that's actually percolating through the right-leaning population in general, I predict a larger Obama win then the polls indicate (off the cuff prediction, no political science here) as Republicans a) vote for Obama, b) vote 3rd party, c) leave the top of the ticket blank, and d) stay home. The statistical bias may end over-counting likely Republican voters will sit this one out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The American Conservative is by no means a "movement conservative" organ. They are extremely unrepresentative of the voting Conservative and Republican population, most notably in their distrust of aggressive foreign policy. I wouldn't generalize from them.

      Delete
    2. William Burns, I don't think I'm 'generalizing' from the writer's at The American Conservative; but I do think they represent a faction of conservative voters; and that what they reveal suggests small % of voters who've always voted and may not this year.

      But in this election, that small difference might matters.

      Delete
    3. zic, you may be right, although The American Conservative has a strongly heterodox vibe about it. It's actually a really interesting read. It seems to occupy the ideological space between Pat Buchannan and Ron Paul, so you'll have culture warriors talking about the immorality of drone strikes and the war on drugs.

      Delete
    4. Heterodox is a good term for TAC, and it does make for some interesting reading. But not for a moment would I take it as reflecting the mainstream of 'movement' conservatives.

      Delete
    5. I freely admit to not being well informed on conservatives, let alone conservative heterodoxy.

      I've been reading Larison since about 2005, welcomed his voice in the storm of war; often surprised that we came to the same prescriptions for opposite reasons.

      Despite any misunderstanding of conservative labeling, I remain surprised at the numbers of 'not voting' amongst the writers there, and think that may be reflected in the election.

      Delete
    6. zic, ask yourself: Do you think someone on JB's blogroll is going to be in any way representative of the typical Republican voter?

      These guys are already the bad boys of the conservative movement -- they know it and they play their parts well.

      Delete
    7. Couves, that's a question JB would have to answer.

      But I do think he'd be paying attention to (and reading) writers who cater to 'typical Republican' voters, first off.

      And, as I've said for the umpteenth time here, this has nothing to do with 'typical' voters, but that subset of conservative voters who, if they stay home, drag Romney's final #'s down by a point, maybe two, perhaps even more -- they may not represent 'typical,' but they do represent (for instance, their views most representative of conservatives I know personally in the Northeast.

      I want to say that we'll see if there are a lot of ballots for R candidates down ballot, but left blank at the top. But I'm not sure about that, because the trend I see would be against Tea-Party candidates down ballot. I'd guess it would appear as a trend of reliable voters who sit this one out, instead.

      But to be clear, Couves, I'm not suggesting the typical Fox-watching voter will stay home, I'm suggesting the typical 'bad-boy' Republicans -- maybe they read TAC and Bruce Bartlett, etc. -- might stay home.

      Delete
    8. Zic, if you're saying that you expect unreliable Republican voters to be unreliable voters for Romney, that's a given.

      But are they going to be even more unreliable than in the past? That's the question you need to answer here. You could prove it by demonstrating, for example, that the TAC writers you are talking about all voted for McCain in 2008. I somehow doubt it, but I honestly don't know.

      You could be right -- there may be more of a revolt among heterodox Republicans this year. I'd just like to see better evidence of that before joining in your observation.

      Delete
    9. Regarding JB, he seems to cite Larison when he agrees with him, not to use him as an example of typical Conservative thought.

      Delete
  9. The election has totally turned into a showdown between the "quants" like Nate Silver and punditry. I suspect that no one will apologize to Silver et al if Romney goes down in flames, but they should. It also seems like Romney has all but given up on Ohio and is going for a Hail Mary in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, seems like desperation to me.

    The Onion sums it up pretty well: http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-york-times-bully-knocks-stack-of-polls-from-na,30218/

    ReplyDelete
  10. For what's it worth I having Obama coming in with a whopping 320 EV's in my office pool. I thought I could "play the numbers" well by going of of Sam Wang rather than cribbing from 538 like everyone else and their mom. Feel free to make fun of me on Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think that 538 also has 320 EVs as one of the most likely specific outcomes, even though it is well above Nate Silver's overall average expectation.

    ReplyDelete

Who links to my website?