Thursday, August 8, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Mike Ivie, 61. The list of guys with a 152 OPS+ at age 26 who never exceeded 300 PA/year again (OK, 306) can't be all that long, can it? The bullpen article says that he had a hand injury before that 27 year old season. Maybe that was it.

Plenty of good stuff today:

1. Abby Rapoport's case for why Wendy Davis should run for governor.

2. First-term Members running for the Senate? Aaron Blake looks at the history.

3. Brian Beutler is largely correct about media bias and the ACA rollout.

4. The GOP shortage of women in Congress, from Sarah Mimms. She doesn't mention that they've already had a resignation since the 2012 election, plus a retirement (Bachmann).

5. Dan Larison isn't fully convinced by my case about Marco Rubio.

6. Philip Klein with the anti-Obamacare, anti-shutdown argument.

7. And more about media bias, from Riccardo Puglisi and James Snyder.


  1. To nitpick, I would say Rappoport's column is more about HOW Davis should run for governor.

    (Which I tend to poo-poo, as I'm pretty clearly on the "fundamentals and party are the only things that matter" camp)

    1. Matt, do you really think that Akin, O'Donnell, and the others of that group ran as well as the people they beat?

      I find it hard to believe that you think that.

    2. Candidate quality is a fundamental.

      (See? Neat little semantic trick, there!)

      Seriously, though, candidate quality does matter a good deal. But, just like how campaigns don't matter, they don't matter largely because the two sides are usually pretty evenly matched in most races where it might make a difference.

      In the case of the Rappoport column, the argument that Davis needs to focus on turnout to build the party for future, yeah. I'm REALLY in the fundamentals camp on turnout. The parties spend a bunch of money and effort on it, and really and truly believe that it makes all the difference. For all that belief, for all of Obama's vaunted turnout system and the failure of Romney's ORCA system....turnout was pretty much just as predicted weeks before those efforts had called people, and the election results were totally consistent with polls taken weeks out AND projections from models using only 2 variables.

      I really don't buy that Wendy Davis can:
      a) get substantially more turnout by focusing on it
      b) have turnout effects that spillover into future elections

      Lines like "it takes 10 years to undo 20 years of neglect"--I call BS. Yes, people who've volunteered for you at time 1 are more likely to do so at time 2...but how much of that is the volunteering at time 1 versus the characteristics that LED them to volunteer at both times? Not much, I say. As for voters, the argument about habit and voting is fine as far as it goes, but we're talking about pretty small potatoes compared to the same thing as above: what makes you vote at time 2 also made you vote at time 1.

      Campaign "infrastucture" is knowledge and skill. It's not physical, and using physical terms to describe it is just plain wrong.

      Democrats aren't going to lose in Texas the next go around because they lost this time. They're going to lose because the demographics and state ideology are just not there for them.

      Democrats COULD accelerate the trend of demographics by increasing Latino turnout, because those Latinos would likely vote in future. elections as well. The thing is, I'm not sure how much control the Dems have over that. I'm WAY out of my element here (where's Ruy Texeira when you need him?), but I think that a lot of Latino turnout increases in recent years have been reactions to conservative threats rather than Democratically-generated.

      I think Wendy Davis could do more for her campaign and future Dems by filibustering a Republican bill squarely aimed at Latinos. It could happen!

      The part I really don't like about the piece is the "success at time 1 leads to success at time 2" part. It's sloppy thinking. It's a "pendulum swing" cause. Pendulums don't CAUSE anything; their motion is CAUSED by gravity.

    3. OK, I agree with all of this, more or less.

      I think I was reacting against something you said in another thread...but not really in the mood to hunt it down, so never mind.


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