My Dad and the 2016 Elections

Wednesday, November 23, AD 2016



Like most people I guess, the two people in this world who had the largest impact on me were my parents.  Considering how large they loom in my memories and in my heart, it is hard for me to comprehend that my Mom has been gone from this Vale of Tears for almost a third of a century, and my Dad for just over a quarter of a century.  I look at myself now and I recognize that most of what I am is an amalgam of their qualities that I received, either through genetics or what they taught me when I was growing up.  Intellectually probably my debt to my mother is greater.  She was the reader of the family, and I received from her a love of verbal sparring, logic and an endless thirst for knowledge.  Politically I received more of my inheritance from my father.  My Mom was inclined to the liberal side of the ledger, although the Democrats lost her vote when abortion became an issue.

My Dad, and go here to read about him, came from a long line of Republicans, probably dating back to the Civil War.  My branch of the McClareys never had much money, but we usually voted Republican.  My Dad had no great fondness for the Republican party, having a low opinion of almost all politicians whatever they called themselves, but he had certain beliefs and instincts that led him to vote for  Republicans.  Always something of a rebel, too much Irish blood in his veins not to be, he always thanked the Union steward in his plant who handed out voter guides because it was handy for him to know who his Union endorsed so he could vote the opposite way, he disliked most things big:  Big Business, Big Unions and, especially, Big Government.  It is from my father, back in the early sixties, that I first heard the Libertarian, “Their ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”  Dad taught me  that everything in this world has a price tag, and nothing is free but the grace of God.

While not being fond of the rich, he once succinctly defined feminism as “Games for rich women.”, he had nothing but scorn for those who sought to live off the government.  The salaries that Union bosses got used to drive him up the wall.  The dishonesty of television commercials would sometimes elicit a derisive snort from my laconic father.  Any sort of sham or pretense produced a strongly negative reaction from my father who was a naturally honest man.  The idea that government could solve problems, outside of perhaps winning wars, he regarded as a simple lie.  When Walter Cronkite used to say at the end of his news broadcast on CBS, “Well that’s the way it is.”, my father’s rolled eyes gave his assessment of how much he accepted that contention.

In regard to the 2016 elections, other than knowing that he would sooner have lost a right arm than vote for Hillary Clinton, I only know one thing for sure about Dad and his reaction to the elections:  he would have loved how the confident prediction of almost all pollsters that Hillary would win came tumbling down.  Dad hated polls.  He hated that anyone thought that they could predict an election before the votes were counted.  That seemed wrong to him.  When it comes to making predictions on elections, obviously I have not followed in my father’s footsteps, but in his belief that it is human hubris to pretend certainty when massive amounts of people are involved in making up their minds, I do agree with him.  So, here’s to you Dad!  I am sure you privately shook your head about your eldest son and how he seemed to pay little attention when you spoke, or argued with you, but I was actually paying close attention, and the older I get the more I appreciate the instruction I received from you and Mom.  May my kids say the same a quarter or a third of a century from now about me and their mother, especially when their thoughts, as mine are now, turn to family and absent loved ones at Thanksgiving.

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7 Responses to My Dad and the 2016 Elections

  • Slainte to you and yours.

    My favorite quote from your Dad; ” Nothing is free but the grace of God.”


  • Will post more later, but I am reminded of a phrase frank j Fleming wrote that I’m sure your dad would enjoy:

    “The only thing governments are good at is destroying things. That’s why I prefer mine pointed at other countries.”

  • What a beautiful remembrance of your father. I also really like this: ” nothing is free but the grace of God.”

  • Thank you Clara. Dad was a man of few words, but when he spoke he was often eloquent.

  • “My Mom was inclined to the liberal side of the ledger, although the Democrats lost her vote when abortion became an issue.”

    Mine too.

  • Finally got around to what I meant to post earlier (though I could swear there was a link somewhere I wanted to post but can’t recall now).

    I look at myself now and I recognize that most of what I am is an amalgam of their qualities that I received, either through genetics or what they taught me when I was growing up.

    You know, as I watch my friends have children, I find that a blessing. There’s something… comforting to know that this person who’s company I enjoy, who’s personality I delight in, will have an echo of themself continue on, lighting the world up as only that person can. It helps one to understand why our ancestors considered it so tragic for a person to die without offspring.

    having a low opinion of almost all politicians whatever they called themselves

    Well that’s just good, common sense. 😉

    Dad taught me that everything in this world has a price tag, and nothing is free but the grace of God.

    EVERY Dad should be teaching it (yep, mine did too) and if a Dad teaches no other lesson to his kids, it should be this one. (It’s hard for mom to teach it since… well for awhile she was your free lunch.) That there are so many fatherless homes nowadays goes a big way towards explaining why everybody’s forgetting this.

    the older I get the more I appreciate the instruction I received from you and Mom.

    Yeah, that’s the curse of life, isn’t it? To realize your parents were right all along. 🙂 I need to see if I can make some “i told you so” greeting cards. Might be a big business there.

The State of the Race a Fortnight Out

Thursday, October 27, AD 2016



The polls are tightening and Trump seems to have momentum.  The Washington Post tracker poll is down to six, Clinton advantage, from twelve over the weekend.  The Fox poll, released last night, is down to a three point Clinton advantage from six last week.

The Los Angeles tracker today has Trump up one.  The IDB tracker has Clinton up by one today and Rasmussen has Clinton up by one today.

My gut reaction is that currently this is probably a three point race, Clinton advantage, plus or minus one either way.  I think a two point race is a danger zone for Clinton, as the greater enthusiasm of the pro-Trump/anti-Clinton voters might overcome such a gap.  We shall see.

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5 Responses to The State of the Race a Fortnight Out

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  • The world is watching this election and all its tawdry goings on.
    It seems to me that if Hitlary wins the presidency, the US election process will be seen to be totally compromised, and the USA will be looked on as a joke, in the same way that countries like Argentina, Zimbabwe, South Africa and other corrupt countries are viewed.

  • I think you are right Don the Kiwi. We can surely embarrass ourselves if we can’t see now what is going on and have the courage to stand up and call for change. I hope the “better angels” of our nature will prevail.
    It is not just social/political – but a spiritual warfare too-
    2 Kings 6:15 -17
    “When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, ‘Alas, master! What shall we do?’ He replied, ‘Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed: ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

  • If Trump has momentum, I’m not seeing it. He’s doing better than Hillary or tying in a poll here and there. Overall, not enough to win it. 13 days out, Clinton is ahead by 5.9 points in the RCP average. Obama led by 5.8 points in 2008 at this point and won. Obama led by 0.9 points in 2012 and won. Things could change. Maybe Trump will host more hotel openings days before the election.

  • I am praying that Trump wins and so should we all. As we know, God works in mysterious ways.

Shock Potential Enormous

Sunday, October 23, AD 2016



Pat Caddell, who first came to prominence as Jimmy Carter’s pollster, looks at current polls and finds that something does not add up:


“All of the tracking polls keep holding at Trump being ahead,” he continued. “And then all of these other polls that are one-off polls, or whatever … I don’t know how they’re doing some of these university polls. You just put the name of some university and apparently it becomes credible, whether they know what they’re doing, or not.

Caddell was pointing out the discrepancy between the different types of polls. “But in any event, polling is all over the place…. Something isn’t adding up,” said Caddell.
“Something is going to happen here, I just sense it,” he concluded. Either “Hillary will glide into the White House, or we’re headed for one of the greatest shocks in American politics. I think it’s a very close call. I think the shock potential is enormous.”
Go here to read the rest.  Today IDB/TIPP showed Trump two points ahead.  ABC/Washington Post showed Clinton twelve points ahead.  I cannot recall disparity of that magnitude in polls this late in the race for President.

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13 Responses to Shock Potential Enormous

  • Just curious- what caused the “Dewey Wins” polling errors?

  • Mr. Caddell’s conjectures are interesting. Something else I think is interesting is Mr. Trump’s ability to bubble back up in the polls a week or two after some event pounds his numbers down. Still, I don’t see any evidence of a groundswell of Trump support.
    Has anybody here been visited by a pair of cheerful, eager Trump fans going door-to-door in their neighborhood pitching their candidate? I haven’t. I haven’t heard from anybody who has, either. A million man-woman pairs of Trump fans walking their neighborhoods for their candidate would neutralize a lot of attacks and smears on Trump. Where are they?

  • Drudge has a link to zero hedge which has Podesta emails talking about how they told polling companies to significantly oversample D’s to create these polls. In one example, 9 percent more D’s than R’s, and from ethnicities or taxes highly favored to vote HRC. Podesta explains the point is to demoralize and act as if it’s a done deal.

  • I think some of these polls that oversample (D) voters are also being used
    to make the results of planned voter fraud more plausible. If I were planning
    to steal an election, it would be handy to have several polls out in advance,
    each showing me with the sort of lead I would have after my fraud.

  • Just curious- what caused the “Dewey Wins” polling errors?

    Polling was labor-intensive door to door work and not many were taken. I’m not sure there were many pollsters other than Gallup in 1948. The last polls taken were in late September 1948. Public opinion was protean enough at that time that a shift in the viewpoint of 9% of the electorate in 5 weeks was quite unremarkable. As late as 1980, a gap that large opened up between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in a matter of days. IIRC, Carter’s pollsters informed him of this as it was happening, but it was not known to the public relying on Gallup, Harris, Roper, &c.

    One other thing: more than any other President since, the regard the general public had for Truman was variable, and, while it was on a downward trajectory in general during his administration, there was a great deal of flux. You haven’t seen that with his successors nearly as much.

    It is verrry interesting that Pat Caddell cannot figure out what’s the matter with these polls. Some of it is due to technology – the loss of universality with the landline network. Some of it may be due to a decline in industry standards as an antheap of polls conducted. As recently as 1980, you had about four pollsters whose work was published (Gallup, Harris, Roper, Yankelovich). News organizations were getting into the game, something considered a dubious enterprise at the time as news organizations were with these polls generating news rather than reporting it. Btw, Caddell cut his teeth working for George McGovern and later worked for Gary Hart. He was employed by one of Bill Clinton’s opponents in1992, but I forget which one (Bob Kerrey? Paul Tsongas?).

  • I think some of these polls that oversample (D) voters are also being used
    to make the results of planned voter fraud more plausible. If I were planning
    to steal an election, it would be handy to have several polls out in advance,
    each showing me with the sort of lead I would have after my fraud.

    The total absence of interest rank-and-file Democrats manifest in frankly criminal behavior is dismaying. The ones you encounter in fora like this just say things like ‘right wing noise machine’ and impugn James O’Keefe’s character. The very few prominent Democrats with some intellectual independence are either erratic in this regard (Michael Kinsley, who is half truth-teller and half apparatchik) or are vocational mavericks (Camille Paglia).

    That having been said, I doubt the Clinton people have managed to suborn the folks at Quinnipiac.

  • I’m shocked, SHOCKED !!!….

  • Check this out from ‘The Deus Ex Machina Blog’

    “In yesterday’s post we began to explain how FRAUDULANT POLLS are disseminated and propagated. We observed that these polls that are being produced, have no grounding whatsoever in OBJECTIVE REALITY. We also OBSERVED that there is a “network” of pseudo-journalists who are COLLUDING with the Establishment/DemocraticParty/SickHillaryCampaign to create a VIRTUAL REALITY that does not exist in nature in general and in the US electorate in particular.” con’t.

  • Anzlyne asked, “Just curious- what caused the “Dewey Wins” polling errors?”

    The method of quota sampling used, designed to sample a representative cross-section of the nation is necessarily prone to error, for one can never be sure that every significant variable has been included in defining the quotas.

    Also, it was the first time telephone polling had been used, but, in 1948, those with telephones were not necessarily a representative sample of the population as a whole, even if they otherwise fitted the quota sampling criteria.

    Art Deco is also right to point to the interval between the conductng of the polls and the election.

  • People with 401’s, IRA’s etc. in the stock market might consider moving to cash within those programs if they can just prior to the election if they think Trump might win because Wall St. will sell on that news and whether that decline recovers quick is very iffy. Trump is unpredictable in general and Wall St. doesn’t like unpredictability nor does it like his non globalist side.

  • Still, wouldn’t it be just rich, incredibly rich, like the richest Sumatran coffee you ever ingested, to enjoy the faces of the likes of Anderson Cooper, or Katie Couric, or Martha Raddatz, and all the mefia-zoo, on the “day-after” a Trump victory.

    Just imagine those sad, confused, troubled, no-longer-so-smug faces. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Quite a few people I suspect will vote for Trump as a way of giving a one finger salute to the powers that be.

  • Also, it was the first time telephone polling had been used, but, in 1948, those with telephones were not necessarily a representative sample of the population as a whole, even if they otherwise fitted the quota sampling criteria.

    I do not think they used telephones. Telephone service was quite prevalent (but perhaps not universal) in 1948. It was, however, fairly cumbersome. Most people were on party lines, and phone calls to locations outside cities and adjacent tract development were commonly operator-assisted. Long distance calls were contextually quite expensive as well, so people still preferred telegrams for rapid communication.

Huffington Post Thinks Their Readers Are Really, Really Stupid

Saturday, August 27, AD 2016




A current post at leftist Huffington Post brings their readership the bad news that in one week the Reuters Ipsos poll has shown Clinton’s lead tumble to five points from twelve points, and in a poll listing all four candidates, including the Libertarians and the Greens, Clinton’s lead drops to three points.  (A Gravis Marketing Poll released yesterday shows Clinton’s lead dropping from five points to one point in a two way race.)

The hilarious thing with the Huffington Post piece is the edit at the end which includes this for their readers:

Editor’s Note:  Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims-1.6 billion members of an entire religion from entering the US.

Go here to read it.  The Huffington Post editors obviously think their readers are so stupid they will be unable to sort the white hats from the black hats without help.

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9 Responses to Huffington Post Thinks Their Readers Are Really, Really Stupid

  • For once, Huffie nailed it.
    25 Aug 2016: Bookworm Room Blog: “Thanks to the media’s relentless shilling, combined with the Leftist takeover of education, we’ve got several generations of people who proudly acknowledge their ignorance, but still think they’re qualified to vote based upon what the media tells them to do. […] waking up to the fact that Hillary cannot become president — and that if she does, it’s because of media misinformation combined with low-information voters :. . .


    “It’s the leftist take-over of education. It’s not your faults that you’re idiots. You represent generations of American “students” have been corrupted (democratic Athens forced Socrates to drink hemlock) with so-called American Studies classes that solely taught bullshit, PC (universal deceit) victim groups, bullshit, and trashing of uber-evil America.”

  • No, the Huffing Post does not “think”, it KNOWS it’s readers are really really stupid. Dear Lord, have mercy. Good catch American Catholic.

  • Type “Breitbart” in the Google search bar and just check out the garbage that shows up after the Breitbart link.

    Typical Huff Post type crap.

  • “Type “Breitbart” in the Google search bar and just check out the garbage that shows up after the Breitbart link.”

    “Typical Huff Post type crap.”


    I read Breitbart’s stuff online, regularly. It is pretty reliable, right of center stuff. I have seen a rather weird, leftist stuff every once in a while.

  • It is not Breitbart that is crazy. I am referring to the numerous leftist websites that Google shows underneath the link to Breitbart. Google is a nest of leftists and Breitbart drives them crazy.

  • This is total misrepresentation and lies – one needs to be an idiot to believe this.
    I am surprised that there is no legal action being taken in these lies, smeers and misrepresentation. I know its politics as usual – but surely there is a limit – there are video tapes and recordings all over to verify what he said.

  • Now, if only Pope Francis could be fired for his insulting and scandalous remarks.

  • “The Huffington Post editors obviously think their readers are so stupid they will be unable to sort the white hats from the black hats without help.”

    I remember an report in the Glasgow Herald. A woman’s remains had been discovered in a couple of suitcases in the left luggage office at Glasgow Central Station.
    Lest the full significance of this discovery be lost on its readers, the paper informed them that “Police are treating her death as suspicious”

  • That ridiculous disclaimer is posted after almost every article that mentions Trump. No fair and balanced reporting here.

Evil Weevils

Wednesday, August 17, AD 2016


The choices this year are appalling for President, but this election is fascinating.  The LA Times Tracking Poll which showed Clinton breaking away now has Clinton leading by one point.  Go here to view it.  You see the cycles in this race clearly enough from their chart of the race.  I hypothesize that when one candidate starts to rise they reach a point where the public begins to be alarmed and then the other candidate goes back up.  Lesser of two evils is a cliché, but it is very much the choice in this year of grace.

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6 Responses to Evil Weevils

  • “No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18.
    I can’t agree with a determination that Trump’s low level of “evil” is in a league with Hillary’s astounding volumes of “evil.” and incompetence Which is experienced or qualified? Name one positive (protecting Willie from a dozen or so rape indictments doesn’t count) “thing” Hillary accomplished in her 40+ years of prowling for money and power. As NYS Senator she promised western NY 200K new, high paying jobs. Western NYS jobs numbers dropped. After 9/11 she says she got $$$ for NY. Richard Nixon could have gotten $$$ for NY after 9/11. She actually did get a Federal building renamed after- who – Che Guervara (?). Look at all the tragedy and turmoil all over the world after her and Obama exercised their “genius.”
    I’ve come to the conclusion that the Clinton gang is in it for the money as much as for the power and fornication.
    In 1980, the smart kids running America similarly believed that Ronald Reagan could not be trusted with the US military and “nucular codes.” In fact, the smart kids truly believed, and acted out (self-fulfilling prophesy), that the USSR would win the Cold War, or, at best, we could hope for a draw. Without Reagan, likely they would have been proven correct. With Reagan’s leadership, the USSR landed in the dust bin of history and the smart kids were proven wrong. I (forlorn) hope we get a chance for the smart kids to be shown again wrong.
    In conclusion (Alleluia!), Magic Obama and Hillary will have left the next president with multiple “ticking time bombs.” Crooked, feeble, incompetent Hillary won’t be able to deal with it. The media won’t be able to hide it.

  • And it’s the cycle I hope Trump is trying to play to his advantage by withholding advertising dollars till his very recent $20M purchase. He wants to play this to the last 4 to 6 weeks when the campaign goes full throttle. Risky but may work.

  • I understand that most Catholics who go to mass will be voting for Hillary. So it is not just the ones who identify as Catholic but don’t practice their faith.
    Priests and bishops and the pope identify immigration as a major concern, and make pointed statements about bridges and against building a wall. Catholics who go to Mass are putting it all together and the outcome will be more Catholics feeling justified in voting for Hillary. Sanctifying the vote for “choice” “priority of my conscience” and “accompaniment”.

  • “I understand that most Catholics who go to mass will be voting for Hillary.”

    No one could possibly know this at this point.

  • Re: One of Hillary’s evils

    I am very amused that Hillary is claiming that the Clinton Foundation will not take money from foreign nations, etc., if she is elected president. She signed a document for Obama agreeing that her foundation would not take money from foreign countries in order to be appointed US Secretary of State. And now look at the tens of millions she took as Secretary of State despite the agreement. Why she thinks anyone would believe her latest promise, I could not hazard to guess.

  • “I understand that most Catholics who go to mass will be voting for Hillary. So it is not just the ones who identify as Catholic but don’t practice their faith.
    Priests and bishops and the pope identify immigration as a major concern, and make pointed statements about bridges and against building a wall. Catholics who go to Mass are putting it all together and the outcome will be more Catholics feeling justified in voting for Hillary. Sanctifying the vote for ‘choice’ ‘priority of my conscience’ and ‘accompaniment’.”

    There is every reason to think this is true. These “Catholics” certainly voted for Obama, twice.

Clinton Bounce Fades

Friday, August 12, AD 2016

Hillary and Donald


I have been amused at the focus of the media on polls, since polls prior to Labor Day tend not to mean much.  Americans simply do not tend to focus on a Presidential election until we get to September, and often not until late September or early October.  However, polls are useful now for their direction rather than their topline numbers.  After the Republican and Democrat conventions both Trump and Clinton got bounces, Clinton having a bit more of a bounce which is typical usually for Democrats.  Thus we have had rafts of stories making predictions based on these bounces, most of them written by either highly partisan, almost always in a Democrat direction, or highly ignorant reporters.  Looking at the most recent polls we see Rasmussen showing a three point race, Reuters showing a 5 point race and Bloomberg showing a 4 point race.  (I am using the polls with the Libertarians and Greens included, since they are on almost all state ballots.)  The Los Angeles Times tracker poll which has consistently shown a much closer race than any other poll, had it on Thursday as a one point race.

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Trump Bounce

Monday, July 25, AD 2016



We are beginning to see a bounce for Trump post the Republican Convention.  CNN shows Trump with a ten point swing with Trump now leading 48-45.  That 48 could be ominous for Clinton since that is probably a sign of solidifying Republican support for Trump.  Morning Consult shows Trump leading by four, 44-40.  In the CNN poll if the Greens and the Libertarians are included, Trump is ahead by five.   Nate Silver at 538 now is predicting a Trump win at 56.7%.


Presumably Clinton will have a convention bounce, but this has to be disheartening for her.  Many pundits were predicting no bounce for Trump from his convention, and Hillary has outspent Trump something like fifteen to one, only to find herself going into her convention behind.

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3 Responses to Trump Bounce

Laughable Polls

Monday, November 5, AD 2012

CNN gave us a fine example of why the polls this year are largely worthless.  The poll shows a tied national race at 49-49.  This is a 3 point improvement for Romney over the last national poll they took.  Then you dig into the internals of the poll.  They sampled 41% Democrats and 30% Republicans.  Yep, in a year when almost all the evidence points to a parity in party turnout or a slight Republican advantage, the best they could manage after giving Obama an eleven point advantage was a tie for the Southside Messiah!

The Czar at Gormogons has a straight forward explanation as to why most of the polls this year are showing a huge oversampling of Dems:

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9 Responses to Laughable Polls

  • Interesting story from NPR (a tainted source, I know) claims that ALL polls are asking the wrong question & that “Who do you think will win?” is a far better predictor:

  • President Carter would have found that methodolgy comforting in 1980. The question basically takes advantage of low information voters who parrot the slant the Mainstream Media has been peddling.

  • Or one can consult the Redskins.

    As I mentioned in another post, unlike inanimate objects, people will react differently once you tell them some factor, such as polls or some event, is a predictor of something important to them. The effect is amplified when there is a public or social presentation aspect to it. (People act differently if they feel they are being observed and evaluated.) And by people I don’t simply mean the ones being measured but also the ones doing the testing. Now that polling has attained such perceived importance we see on one side increased attempts to manipulate the results and on the other greater and greater selection effects.

    While such methods as (electoral) models are more immune to selection effects they are not immune to manipulation if the model is seen as an oracle. If say a measure of unemployment is a major factor in the model, then attempts will be made to manipulate the numbers to affect the result,

    All manner of manipulations generally require controlled information to conceal ithem. This is why the Leftist places such importance on establishing a government controlled media. Even a freely partisan press is better than that since opinion will be disseminated in approximately the proportion of its adherents and each side can present its “story”.

  • Thanks for the link! I should point out that most of the polling information isn’t even technically fighting the last war (although I wish I’d thought to use that phrase!)… they’re fighting 2008, not 2010! Appreciate your write up; you definitely have it!

  • …claims that ALL polls are asking the wrong question & that “Who do you think will win?” is a far better predictor

    *laughs* I bet they do… especially when there have been assaults on people who support conservative views too openly (such as “don’t steal my Romney/Ryan sign”) and conservatives are traditionally much quieter about what they believe.

  • This parade of worthless, skewed polls worries me– could it be that the
    president’s court eunuchs in the media are preparing cover for massive
    voter fraud? If the polls were anything like accurate, such fraud would be
    harder to explain away or ignore.

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  • Don

    Explaining my election rationale, I am too often accused of being the optimist, so thanks for this post and the supplied link. I have tried to talk a few friends off the ledge, and this post seems to have helped.

  • Dave, I do not think by the end of the evening tomorrow it will be any one on our side who needs to be talked off a ledge!

The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung Yet, But You Can Hear Her Warming up at the Mike

Wednesday, October 17, AD 2012



Gallup today was Romney 51-Obama 45.  Polls come and polls go, but this one is significant for several reasons:

1.  50% and up-It is the first time that Romney has gone above 50% in the Gallup tracker.

2.  Surge Not a Bounce Initially it was thought that Romney got a bounce from the first debate.  Bounces fade.  What this poll demonstrates is that Romney for the past two weeks has been enjoying a surge.

3.  Incumbent Forty Blues-It is electoral death normally for an incumbent to be under 50% in a Presidential race this late in the election season, due to the fact that most undecided voters break for the challenger.  Obama in the mid-forties is looking at a ceiling for his support well under 50%.

4.   October Winner-The candidate ahead in mid-October has almost always gone on to win.  The only exception I can think of is Reagan in 1980, and Democrat blather to the contrary Obama isn’t Reagan.

5.  One More Debate-The events that can have a major impact on the election are running out.  Just one more debate and that is on foreign policy, probably not the President’s favorite subject in these Benghazi haunted days.

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18 Responses to The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung Yet, But You Can Hear Her Warming up at the Mike

  • What’s shocking is that 45% of respondents still support that dull and illogical failure.

    Oh! The fruits of public, unionized education . . .

  • A fair summary although for #4 it should be noted that Carter and Reagan had yet to debate by Oct 15. Also I believe poll averages (as opposed to Gallup) had the race even or Reagan up by a point by this time.

  • Potemkin village

    Had to check Wikipedia to find its meaning – initially thought it was some Cherokee or other North American Indian saying 😉
    Must remember to use in appropriate………………………

  • “A fair summary although for #4 it should be noted that Carter and Reagan had yet to debate by Oct 15. Also I believe poll averages (as opposed to Gallup) had the race even or Reagan up by a point by this time.”

    Both correct Rozin. Additionally the presence of a third party candidate John Anderson was skewing the results to a certain extent in the polls.

  • “initially thought it was some Cherokee or other North American Indian saying”

    “Potemkin” does have an Indian sound to it Don, although the Russians were welcome to the actual Prince Grigory. My Cherokee ancestors had enough problems back in the Eighteenth Century without being saddled with a cast off lover of the Tsarina!

  • I do not think the notion of ‘preference cascade’ applies here. The social psychology of fashion might have insights into the phenomenon that is Obama, particularly among the young. It does seem that asserted political opinions have taken on more and more of an element of a statement of identity, and not merely among the young. Look at (say) Charles Fried’s remarks on Sarah Palin and ask yourself if his stated concerns make any sense placed in historical context.

  • Politics as fashion statement is definitely part of the Obama appeal Art. The bitter hatred that Palin aroused demonstrated that we are definitely looking at emotions in play that go far deeper than mere politics. The Media, most of it, is heavily invested in this on the port side of our politics. Ace at Ace of Spades has a good post on this and the preference cascade:

    “A preference cascade occurs when a substantial number of people are falsifying their preferences — not just in public declarations, but also, more importantly, to themselves. They accept a Narrative promoted by a ubiquitous taste-maker that sets the terms of discussion and also attaches either a social credit to preferences in line with its own, or a social demerit to preferences contrary to its preferences.

    Swamped by this ubiquitous, always chattering, always nagging Narrative — pushed by the media, of course — many people succumb to the bandwagon effect, and begin not so much accepting the Narrative as surrendering it to it.

    Humans have a strong inclination to prefer the path of least resistance. And if you think about it, that’s a pretty smart play. Humans generally take the easiest path when they’re walking — they don’t go wildly out of their way to find hills to climb. If there’s a nice, easy, level paved road, they take it.

    And that’s not crazy or “weak.” That’s just common sense.

    The media is a superhighway of spin determined to make voting Democratic the path of least resistance for a majority of American voters.

    At any rate, the preference cascade theory suggests that people will continue falsifying their preferences, overwhelmed by the reinforcement of what the media is saying (and thereby, what most of their social contacts are saying), until and unless something occurs to powerfully jolt the Narrative. When that happens, people feel a license to question the media’s preferences which they have surrendered to, and ultimately reject these media preferences in favor of their own, real preferences.

    So that’s what I kept forgetting. I kept talking about the Preference Cascade just happening.

    But they don’t “just happen.” There is an event which triggers the cascade. Like shaking a beaker of supersaturated salts will suddenly cause a precipitate to fall. But you need that shake. Otherwise, the liquid remains as it was.

    Without the jolt, people will simply continuing doing what they’d done before — surrendering to an easy Narrative, accepting the path of least resistance, as defined by their Media Narrative Manufacturers.

    So there was, I think, a preference cascade potential. But that potential only became real during the debate.”

  • The gift of discernment
    is a beautiful thing.

  • What’s shocking is that 45% of respondents still support that dull and illogical failure.

    Look on the bright side– that’s only about 4% of the population, if the “only 9% contacted respond” stat is right.

    (Yes, yes, I know O has more support than that. I just wonder how many other folks like me have looked at all the other supposedly secret political surveys and petitions have been made public…with folks’ home addresses…by know criminal activists that view disagreement as an attack.)

  • As long as Romney wins, that is all that matters. May God grant him victory and may God protect him.

  • T Shaw is correct to be concerned at Obama’s residual level of support. My own subjective assessment is that every percentage point over 40% means a 10% less chance the country will survive in its Constitutional form. However, it is not simply ignorance. Everyone associated with the non-defense govt or state and local govt is voting their self interest. Also union job households are voting self interest. Then there are the folks who survive off the government, also self interest. Although one might argue that the Left’s policies hurt the whole country the Govt has a very great capacity to build a cocoon around such people all the way down. The trajectory of the UK is a real warning since their culture was fairly similar to our own (i.e. less absolutist than other European countries)

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  • I don’t doubt the possibility that we’re seeing a preference cascade to some extent, as people who have been looking for permission to vote against President Obama finally found it in the first debate. But there’s also a sense of shock among voters after that debate that can’t be discounted. People had no idea that Obama could be that bad. The analogy I keep thinking of is a manager on the way to a conference on the pitcher’s mound. This guy just doesn’t have a strike left in him. We’ve got to get a new pitcher in there. Nothing personal.

    Of course, the argument against Obama is a lot more solid than that. I can’t think of a reason anyone would vote for him. But a lot of the erosion of support is based on this sudden (for some people) feeling that this guy isn’t cut out for the job. And that ties into the topic of residual support. I don’t think we’re seeing a change in people’s underlying political views. I hope I’m wrong, but I think a lot of people who voted for him last time and may vote for Romney this time really haven’t been won over.

  • This website is hilarious. People calling themselves Catholic who support a party which uses war and might again against Iran. No true man of faith can support a war which has no basis.

  • It may have escaped your notice Chris, but the nutcases that run Iran have made no secret of what they will do once they achieve nuclear weapons. Additionally both political parties are pledged to use military force if necessary to stop that. In fact, the Obama administration has used covert action against the Iranian nuclear program as well as imposing sanctions.

  • “In fact, the Obama administration has used covert action against the Iranian nuclear program as well as imposing sanctions.”

    Not to get off topic or anything, but I just can’t help myself………..

    it is said that the STUXNET virus which infected the Siemens programmable logic controllers for the gas diffusion centrifuges used to enrich the content of fissile uranium-235 within Iran’s uranium supply was a covert creation and deployment done by Israeli and US cyber warfare specialists with the full approval of Barack Hussein Obama. The virus resulted in severe maloperation of many centrifuges, resulting in significant time delays for repairs and replacements that pushed back Iran’s quest to fuel a nuclear weapon by years. I, of course, have no first hand knowledge of this.

    Now here is the point: natural uranium is 99.3% non-fissile but fertile U-238, and 0.7% U-235. To be used in a typical light water moderated, light water cooled nuclear reactor in order to generate electrical power, the content of U-235 must be enriched to between 3 and 5% to overcome the macroscopic corss-section that the hydrogen in water has for absorbing thermal neutrons and shutting down the chain reaction. Iran, however, is proceeding well beyond the 5% level needed for power production fuel. Indeed, Iran is going beyond the 20% needed for research reactors that produce medical isotopes like Technetium-99. Its goal clearly is 90+% which is what is required to fuel a nuclear weapon.

    Now in the 1920s and 30s fools disbelieved Hitler’s advocacy to subject the Jews to genocide, yet these same fools believed him when he said he would stop at conquering Austria and Checkoslovakia. It took a world war to stop him. Today fools disbelieve the Iranian President when he says that he wants to shove Israel into the Mediterranean, yet these same fools believe him when he says that Iran is enriching U-235 just for peaceful purposes. It is simply not logical, and even Barack Hussein Obama – the majority of whose policies I detest and loathe with every fabric of my being – realizes that it is not logical.

    The mad Ayatollahs whose rabble rousing resulted in the American hostage crisis in Iran in the late 1970s when Jimmy Carter was President are the same kinds of people still in charge in Iran. They are evil. The Iranian people are not evil. The Ayatollahs will use nuclear weapons against Israel once they get to 90+% enrichment of U-235.

    By the way, why is no one saying anything about Iran’s efforts to acquire heavy water (i.e., deuterium)? With a heavy water reactor, natural uranium can be used as fuel because, while the scattering cross-section of deuterium is not as good for thermalizing neutrons as hydrogen is, its absorbtion cross-section is much lower and that makes such a reactor ideal for generating Plutonium-239 via neutron capture in U-238 which goes to U-239 which beta minus decays to Np-239 which in turn beta minus decays into fissile Pu-239. Why do some people believe that this is still a peaceful effort? Iran is going in two directions: gaseous diffusion of U-235 which is in all the news media, and possibly breeding Pu-239 about which everyone is silent. Fission weapons can and do use both isotopes.

    Yes, we should and must use military force (as a last resort) to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And yes, while Israel is an undeclared nuclear weapons power, there is a significant difference between the kind of government that Israel has (as evidenced by its restraint) and the mad Islamic fanatical clerics running Iran.

  • Thanks for being brief, Chris.

    There is no justice in the Obama regime and it is, in fact, organized brigandage.

    Obama did not immediately end both the Afghan and Iraq wars on January 20, 2009.

    And, last Summer he (without Congressional consent) used hundreds US fighter bombers in unjust attacks (bombing and strafing) to murder of Ghaddafi and his people.

    And, how many murders by aerial drone did Obama commit?

    And, he immediately closed Gitmo . . .

    And, the economy is crushed because of his we-hate-rich-people, misguided policies.

    No true man of Faith can support abortion, unjust wars, government enforced artificial contraception, class hate, racist hate, sodomy, . . . i.e., Obama.

    Chris, What name do they use for the planet on which you exist?

  • This is why I hate election years: it’s always polls this and deuterium cross-section that….

    Just teasing, Paul. It’s great to read an online expert who actually knows what he’s talking about.

Is Intrade Really a Valuable Predictor?

Thursday, October 11, AD 2012

Intrade is an online trading platform where participants actually place (legal) bets on the outcomes of certain events. For close to a decade political pundits have been using it as a reference to predict election outcomes. Indeed it seems to have a good record, correctly predicting the outcomes of the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, and getting all but two states correct in 2008. Currently, Intrade gives Barack Obama a 62.4% chance to win re-election.

So is Intrade a valuable resource that can be relied upon to accurately predict election outcomes? Not in the least.

This Business Insider article sums up several of the problems with Intrade, and hits upon the point that has bugged me the most about it, namely that all it does is distill current conventional wisdom. Take, for example, that 62.4% number above. Sure that looks good for Obama, but over a week ago that number was well over 80%. In other words, as Obama’s poll numbers moved down so did confidence by Intrade investors. As Joe Weisenthal put in when discussing the Republican primary:

So why ignore InTrade? Well, basically, because all it does is distill conventional wisdom. Seriously, what good is it to know that on InTrade Mitt Romney is far ahead, and that Hermain Cain doesn’t have a chance? All you have to do is read any DC-based political pundit, and they’ll tell you the exact same thing.

And when the conventional wisdom changes, so does the market.

Rick Perry is down in the dumps on InTrade now, but back in August — when everyone was talking about how he was the frontrunner — he was the frontrunner on InTrade as well.

Weisenthal then tracks Perry’s chances on InTrade, and notes how they basically just mirror Perry’s poll numbers.

Even the 2004 and 2008 results aren’t that impressive in retrospect. When people woke up on election day 2008, did anybody really doubt that Barack Obama would win, other than people who clung to fleeting hopes of a miracle McCain victory? And in 2004, Bush’s chances were just over 50% – meaning that the market as a collective was leaning the same way as most polls which, with a few exceptions, generally gave Bush a slight edge. In fact, if you look at Intrade activity on election day itself, Bush’s chances plummeted as early exit poll leaks suggested a Kerry victory, and then rose again as actual election results came in and a Bush victory became more apparent. In other words, Intrade just reflected the polls. And while the state predictions seem impressive, again, how many states were truly up for grabs? Intrade was therefore no more useful a guide than any reasonably informed individual with access to polling data.

Some fans of Intrade like to point out that participants literally have to put their money where their mouth is. I don’t really see how this makes the platform any more valuable as an index. Bookies all over the country would be the ones fearing having their legs broken if money induced wiser gambling behavior – and Intrade is, in essence, simply a gambling platform.

Long story short, Intrade offers no more insight into how the election will play out than some cranky guy writing on a blog who can look at the Real Clear Politics average of polls (which has Romney up by 1.3 percent, incidentally). So then why do pundits insist on citing it, and why do people continue to think it has any meaningful predictive value?


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11 Responses to Is Intrade Really a Valuable Predictor?

  • Intrade is a paean to the common wisdom as blaired through the media. It is as predictive as most straight line projections: not very.

  • The question to ask is not whether Intrade is accurate, but whether it is more accurate than the alternatives. I just finished Nate Silver’s new book. In one of the early chapters he looks at the accuracy of predictions made by TV pundits. In most cases a pundit’s predictions turn out to be less accurate than random guessing. Intrade isn’t perfect, but the reality is that it’s a lot more accurate than that.

  • After the election results are in it will be interesting to analyze why it provided relatively good or relatively bad predictive results for this particular case.

  • Certainly, it’s basically distilled conventional wisdom, but when you’re dealing with moderately knowable events (or “given the way things are going” kind of predictions) it might be very slightly better than just looking at the polling data.

    So, for instance, on the question of prediction the presidential election: Right now the polls show Romney ahead, though there needs to be a little more state polling post debate before it’s clear whether he’s ahead enough in the right places to win the electoral college. InTrade still has Obama as the favorite, though by much less than before. If I was told to make the most conservative bet possible with a large amount of money, I might put the odds about where InTrade is right now. My reasoning would be that the Obama campaign has been fairly ruthlessly efficient at staying on top of things throughout the campaign, while the Romney campaign has been prone to unforced errors. Current polls suggest Romney slightly ahead, and a certainly hope that that’s because Romney has finally shattered the characterization of him that Obama has been running against so successfully. But if I really, really had to place money right now (and defend it to others rather than just pleasing myself) I’d probably put it on the assumption that Obama would edge ahead in a close election through constant negativity and Romney’s occasional errors and lackluster campaigning.

  • The perils of something like Intrade are that you have a lot of people who have more money than knowledge about politics. This election will not be close and the result will be circa Romney 54 to Obama 45 with one percent split among the third party candidates. Why am I confident of this:

    1. Wretched economy.
    2. Drops in Democrat registration in key states.
    3. The enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats.
    4. The results of 2010 which placed Republicans in control of more state houses and legislatures than since the 1920s. They put in place voter id laws in more than 30 states. The margin of fraud advantage that the Democrats have traditionally had is rapidly diminishing as a result, tied in with purging voter rolls of the dead, convicted felons, people who moved away decades ago,etc.
    5. Romney and the Republicans are on a par with Obama and the Democrats when it comes to campaign spending.
    6. Too many of the polls relied on by the rubes at Intrade have ludicrous oversampling of Democrats.
    7. Obama has a glass jaw as evidenced by the first debate.
    8. Republicans have a party id advantage over the Democrats. Prior to the 2010 landslide they were down 1.6 against the Democrats in Rasmussen party id.
    9. Obama’s war on the Church. Lots of Catholics in the swing states and Obama is going to be lucky to have his total among Catholics match the 45% I predict for his national total.
    10. Libya gate.

  • To elaborate on my last comment a bit: people will often dismiss Intrade by saying that “it just tracks the polls.” It’s true that there is a correlation between what the polls are saying and the implied predictions on Intrade. How could there not be? At the same time, they don’t always track each other. For example, in the Business Insider article Paul links to, it mentions that in early November Herman Cain had a 4% implied chance of winning the Republican nomination on Intrade, whereas Romney had about a 70% chance. At the time, Cain and Romney were roughly tied in the polls.

    More importantly, even where the polls and Intrade do track each other, Intrade will often get there first. Paul mentions that the Intrade contract for Obama winning re-election has fallen as the polling for Romney has improved. Yet the Intrade contract started falling first. It was only later that polling caught up.

    The same goes for the idea that Intrade merely reflects conventional wisdom. If everybody agrees that, say, Obama did really horribly at last week’s debate, then it’s not surprising that this is also reflected at Intrade (though I would note that the Obama Intrade contract fell substantially before the debate was even over). Most of the time, though, you are not going to find such unanimity about the effect of some new political development on the campaign. When the 47% video came out, for example, a lot of folks said it would hurt Romney and a lot of folks (myself included) said it wouldn’t matter. In that case there really was no conventional wisdom for Intrade to reflect. Intrade, of course, reacted as if the news did hurt Romney, and my sense is that in the subsequent weeks opinion has shifted more towards this view as well.

    If you want to compare the accuracy of Intrade to polling or conventional wisdom, you can’t do it by looking at cases where they all agree. You have to look at cases where they disagree and see what it more likely to be right in those cases. If you do that, it’s clear that Intrade, while far from perfect, is indeed more accurate.

  • (though I would note that the Obama Intrade contract fell substantially before the debate was even over).

    I only saw a few minutes of the first part, over my husband’s shoulder. Even I could tell Obama was sucking silt.

    If the drop had happened before he was eyeballing his belt buckle while Mitt talked, that’d be interesting.

    It’s also possible that Intrade isn’t tracking the same group of people; only folks who have money to spare are going to be risking it on betting about politics, and that’s a smaller group than it use to be, possibly with a bias towards college kids and gov’t employees.

  • For what it’s worth, I agree with Donald’s forecast. If I had money to spare I’d buy a Romney future not just because I think he will win, but because he’d bring more money back in return, at least if I purchased a contract now.

    Perhaps what irks me is not Intrade itself, but the weight that people give to it. What would show me that it is of some value is if it had a regular history of not only outperforming the polls, but contradicting the polls and predicting winners early on. All that the Intrade results show me is that a few more people think Obama is going to win, but that a couple of more good Romney polls will probably bring the president’s numbers down even further. To me such a tool is of little or no value.

  • Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I end up seeing InTrade numbers all the time because I’m always refreshing the RealClearPolitics poll page. Throughout the election cycle thus far, Romney’s chances had been stuck under 40%. However, this last weekend he started to consistently creep over the 40% line and this morning I noticed Romney was above 44%.

    This would seem to suggest that the consensus that Obama’s victory is relatively certain is starting to recede as Romney’s (admittedly slim) lead in the polls holds steady just two weeks from the election. It’ll be interesting to see how that continues to develop.

    I wish I were as optimistic about the election as a whole as Paul and Donald. Right now it seems likely that things will all come down to Ohio, where I will definitely be at the polls first thing in the morning. I’d like to think that my new state is solid for Romney, but I don’t feel confident yet.

  • I have been looking at the Intrade numbers as well and have noticed their almost obstinate refusal to budge until the last couple of days. Of course Rasmussen now has your state tied, so we’ll see.

    Something has to give with these polls. I know that it has been suggested that Romney could win the popular vote and lose the electoral college, but if that happens Romney’s pv margin would have to be fairly small. There is no way he can simultaneously win by 5% or more AND lose the electoral college – or at least it is very, very, very unlikely. So either Gallup and Rasmussen, who have had Romney up by 5 are off, or the polls that have Ohio a dead-heat or Obama up are wrong.

    FWIW, the Republican candidate has never done worse in Ohio than he has done nationally. Even when Republicans lose the state they do so by smaller margins than they do nationally.

  • The author has analyzed this well. InTrade and the polls reflect the conventional wisdom that’s circulating in the culture. They automatically become more accurate as the election approaches, because the general societal thinking must be expressed during the election. As for predictive value, InTrade does not set static odds well in advance of the event. If it did that, then IT would be putting its money where its mouth is. While I understand the innate human desire to know the future, I do find it distressing that too many think that gambling is a way to do that. InTrade makes money no matter what the actual results are — just like the house in a casino.

Romney 49 – Obama 45

Monday, October 8, AD 2012

6 Responses to Romney 49 – Obama 45

  • As long as Romney wins – please, dear Lord Jesus, if it be Thy will, then make it so!

  • Advice for Romney/Ryan,

    Be humble!

    Work harder!!

  • Best to ignore Pew and the rest of the leftist pollsters whatever results they show. My personal belief is that they already have ready the next poll showing that Obama is back on top after the second debate. Rasmussen and to a lesser extent Gallup (if you subtract 2-3 points from the Dems) are the only ones to pay attention to.

  • Amen, T. Shaw.

    While the partisans certainly could be expected to have the ‘preferred’ results already drawn up, it would be suicide to post them should the outcome be obviously different. If Mr. Ryan pulls Joe Blow into a gaffe, a misstep or fit of hysteria, which I’m in my office pool at happining at the 7:02 mark, then anything but the truth will be an obvious fabricatrion. Pollsters can’t have too many black marks of that kind and still be taken seriously.

    And, just because I do this, I looked at my post, saw “7:02 mark,” reversed it and then looked up Mark 20:7.

    I swear this was not intentional. There are no coincidences.

  • I guess I am missing something. The Gospel of Mark has only 16 chapters. There is no Mark 20:7. My sense of humor and the ironic is missing this morning. Too much exposure to neutrons, I suppose.

  • I think it was Pew that published the most dubious poll of the season (which had a sample which had a Democratic component exceeding the Republican component by 19 percentage points). Best to stick to Gallup; they have been at this the longest.

Dead Even in Gallup Since the Debate

Monday, October 8, AD 2012


Gallup has announced that in their tracker Mitt Romney has pulled dead even with Obama since the debate:

Registered voters’ preferences for president are evenly split in the first three days of Gallup tracking since last Wednesday’s presidential debate. In the three days prior to the debate, Barack Obama had a five-percentage-point edge among registered voters.

An Oct. 4-5 Gallup poll finds roughly two in three Americans reporting that they watched the Oct. 3 debate, similar to what Gallup measured for each of the three 2008 presidential debates. Those who viewed the debate overwhelmingly believe Romney did a better job than Obama, 72% to 20%. Republicans were nearly unanimous in judging Romney the winner. But even Democrats rated Romney as doing a better job than Obama, 49% to 39%.

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Rove and His White Board Explain the Polls

Thursday, September 27, AD 2012

Karl Rove, a hero to much of the Right and a demon figure of the Left.  Frankly I have never been that impressed by Rove.  In 2000 he almost threw away a race that Bush was winning going away due to his inability to have Bush admit early in the campaign that he had once been arrested for drunk driving.  He should have told Bush, or more likely Mrs. Bush, that everything tends to come out in a presidential campaign.  Instead a Democrat political operative springs this the weekend before the election and converts an easy Bush win into a national ordeal.  In 2004 a fairly lackadaisical Bush campaign struggled to defeat John Kerry, a weak candidate who should have been little challenge.

Having said that, Rove in the video above does an excellent job  demonstrating why most presidential horserace polls, with their fixation on the 2008 electorate are, to be blunt, crap.

Michael Barone, who I have always regarded as the best political prognosticator, yesterday on the Hugh Hewitt show talked about problems with the current batch of polls:

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6 Responses to Rove and His White Board Explain the Polls

  • I’m not much of a Rove fan either. I was listeing to him on a talk radio show, I think it might have been Michael Medved. And he was going on about how Romney should come right out and say Obama is lying. However, he did say he can say, “That’s not true Mr. President and you know it isn’t true.” But isn’t that the same as saying he’s lying? I say the only way to call someone a lying bastard is to call him a lying bastard.

  • I was polled only once in my life and that was many years ago when Hillary Clinton was running for the NY Senate seat. I remember how they were phrasing every question in a way that no matter how you answered, it would come out positive for Hillary. After telling the guy who was asking me the questions, time and time again, that under no circumstance would I EVER vote for Clinton, he asked me why? I told him because of her position on abortion, especially partial birth abortion. He started to laugh at me in a very sneering, sarcastic way and I just hung up the phone on him. That is how they operate. Plus, I’ve never been polled again. I guess my name was just taken off the list.

    Here’s another interesting tidbit regarding the election: Cardinal Dolan, who gave the closing prayer at the convention, shares Ronald Reagan’s birthday, February 6th. When Timothy Dolan was born, Reagan was celebrating his 39th birthday. A coincidence?

  • Reagan celebrated his 39th birthday for many years.

    As for Rove, I don’t know anyone who considers him a hero. The more rightward you go, the more you find animosity toward him. I don’t know if that’s fair or not, but he tends to get lumped in with the more moderate compromise-oriented Republican talking heads.

  • ‘He started to laugh at me in a very sneering, sarcastic way”

    That is a prime example of a push-pull poll which is basically a call in support of a candidate disguised as a poll.

  • In 2000 he almost threw away a race that Bush was winning going away due to his inability to have Bush admit early in the campaign that he had once been arrested for drunk driving.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    The Bush DUI arrest story came out in the press during the early part of 2000 during the primaries. It was concerning to some people (mostly McCain supporters) but didn’t derail the Bush campaign for the GOP nomination. Follow up stories mentioned more about Bush’s past drinking and that it had imperiled his marriage before he gave up alcohol completely. The story then died.

    In the fall campaign season, the Establishment Media resurrected the DUI arrest story at the behest of Gore operatives and misleadingly played it up as if it were an entirely new and unheard of revelation. Bush partisans considered that episode to be an instance of the Establishment Media (NYT and alphabet networks, I’m looking at you) shamelessly taking sides with the left-liberal team on the political playing field. Of course, now the track record of the Establishment Media playing hard for its favorite candidate is well established (ask Hillary Clinton’s 2008 supporters) but in 2000 accusations that Big Media played dirty pool weren’t taken seriously by The Serious People – that was considered Rush Limbaugh crazy talk – so the media was able to blindside the Rove’s Bush campaign operation late in the fall campaign.

  • “Karen Hughes, Bush’s spokeswomen said the 54-year-old Texas governor, who has been open about his past drinking problems, had not publicly disclosed the arrest because not even his 18-year-old twin daughters were aware of it. He has said he gave up drinking the day after his 40th birthday.”

Why Most Presidential Horserace Polls Are Rubbish

Tuesday, September 18, AD 2012



Datech Guy explains why most presidential horserace polls are, to put it politely, worse than useless:

For the last two weeks we have been treated to the narrative that Barack Obama is surging at the polls, Mitt Romney is in trouble and unless there is a massive change in direction it is all over.

Simply put this is a lie.

Of all the polls you have seen, there is one poll that has gotten no attention, it is a poll that has been taken monthly, it is a poll that Doug Ross spotted and promoted on his site.  It is the Rasmussen Poll of party identification.

They have party identification results online dating back to 2004.  Here are the 2012 numbers through August

That shows a GOP advantage in registration this year but you might say:  “Hey, Datechguy, you’ve  been hitting polls all year, why can’t THIS poll be wrong?”

That’s a good question, we can answer it by asking another question: Does this poll of party identification correspond with the results of national elections?

Lets take a look:

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7 Responses to Why Most Presidential Horserace Polls Are Rubbish

  • The DaTechGuy is using data only from 2000 and up.

    I hope he’s correct, because, if he is, then we are looking at something akin to a Reagan landslide for Romney.

    One caveat I can add to these polls, most people have been cowered into believing they’re racist simply for holding an opinion contrary to the meme that the MSM constantly puts out.

    So it could be the case that no one wants to be labeled as racist so they tell pollsters that they will vote for Obama, which in reality they mostly likely will vote for Romney once they close the screen behind them to vote in the booth.

  • Another factor Tito is that some people are just plain scared to reveal their political beliefs in this country, a truly shameful situation. Considering the attacks by Leftists on Chick-Fil-A, I cannot call such concerns misplaced.

  • Austin Ruse, the President of C-FAM, a UN NGO that promotes the Catholic family in the UN, had his car keyed, tires slashed, and windows broken simply because he had a “Vote for Romney” bumper sticker on his car.

    He works and lives in DC.

    Can you imagine the hateful climate there?

  • He works and lives in DC.

    Can you imagine the hateful climate there?

    Some of us don’t have to imagine it.

  • The prospect of a Romney landslide is potentially a pretty alarming one. The media has been bleating, “Close race! Close race!” for so long now that an overwhelming Romney victory could trigger a riotous response from the losers.

    Of course, if Romney wins a real squeaker, it’ll be Y2K all over again, on steroids. Let’s shoot for a 7% margin in the popular vote, like in 2008… 😉

  • The mainstream media with the Obama convention bounce last week was trying to sell the meme that the race was over and Obama had won. Now that the Obama convention bounce has dissipated it will be interesting to see them ignore the polls. Today the Rasmussen Tracker has Romney 47-Obama 45. The Gallup Tracker has Obama 47-Romney 46. Translate the Gallup tracker into a likely voter Tracker like Rasmussen, and they would both show a slight Romney lead.

  • Here’s another site that shows the real numbers when properly weighed.

Lies, Big Lies and Polls

Tuesday, April 10, AD 2012


Ed Morrissey at Hot Air for years has done yeoman work in examing polls minutely and he does this well today in examing an ABC Washington Post poll with purports to show Obama leading Romney 51-44.

I love the Washington Post/ABC poll.  It’s a great object lesson in how to manufacture news.  Need a story that the incumbent President’s fortunes are looking up?  Well, just adjust the sample a bit and voila, he takes a seven point lead over his presumed rival in the fall election!  Besides, it gives me fodder for snarky material every few weeks.

Let’s get down to cases, shall we?

With the general-election campaign beginning to take shape, President Obama holds clear advantages over Mitt Romney on personal attributes and a number of key issues, but remains vulnerable to discontent with the pace of the economic recovery, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Obama has double-digit leads over the likely Republican presidential nominee on who would do a better job of protecting the middle class, addressing women’s issues, handling international affairs and dealing with health care.

You know where else Obama got a double-digit lead?  In the polling sample.  In 2008, when Democrats surged to the polls after eight years of George W. Bush, CNN’s exit polls showed a seven-point advantage for Democrats, 39/32, which mirrored Obama’s seven-point victory in the popular vote.  In 2010?s midterms, CNN exit polls showed a 35/35/30 split.  By contrast, the previous WaPo/ABC poll in March had a D/R/I of 31/27/36, which undersampled both parties relative to independents but left Democrats with a 4-point advantage — perhaps an arguable model for 2012 turnout.  Today’s has a D/R/I of 34/23/34, adding seven points to that Democratic advantage and presenting a completely unrepresentative, absurd model for the 2012 turnout.

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October TAC GOP Presidential Poll

Tuesday, October 11, AD 2011

Rick Perry has suffered in the secular polls due to his performance in the debates, Herman Cain has gained traction, Mitt Romney has remained stable and just received an endorsement from Chris Christie who himself has officially stated he will not run for president (this time around).  In addition both Sarah Palin and Thad McCotter have also announced they will not pursue the nomination, in all this, Rick Santorum has maintained a lead among TAC readers of all candidates.

Will Santorum continue his popularity among Catholics or not?

Here’s our latest poll so please vote after watching tonight’s GOP debate:

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29 Responses to October TAC GOP Presidential Poll

  • Santorum would help his case if he didn’t sound like a whiny jerk, because he’s an A+ on the substance. Perry helped himself tonight, and I think Cain hurt himself just a little. Newt’s still the most impressive guy on the stage, but I’m not sure he can overcome his baggage.

    As for the rest of the field – who cares?

  • Perry is old news. Maybe that’s supposed to be impressive in Texas but on the national stage, he’s no match.
    Cain has peaked. He bet the farm on 9-9-9 and Bachmann and Santorum took the wind out of that sail. Maybe he has other tricks but it’s a very difficult task to stay fresh.
    Newt is running for VP.
    Santorum has two problems. He always looks like he’s about to explode and the Google problem. It’s nearly impossible to shake off a negative first impression.
    None of this matters since Romney is the Republican nominee. At this point I can guarantee it. The more contested race is for running mate. Marco Rubio is the front-runner but there’s a long list of real possibilities.

  • because he’s an A+ on the substance.

    If he is not proposing a credible plan to balance the books, he is not A+ on substance. His career before politics was truncated and his executive experience is nil. Only three or four of these candidates have what might be adequate preparation for the job and two or three of them have serious issues over and above the usual nonsense on fiscal policy. The stage manager’s cane, please.

    None of this matters since Romney is the Republican nominee.

    What is the point of making statements like that?

    Marco Rubio is the front-runner but there’s a long list of real possibilities.

    There is no front-runner because there is no contest for this position.

  • What is the point of making statements like that?

    What is the point of making a statement like that?

    There is no front-runner because there is no contest for this position.

    There’s no popularly elected position of running mate but there certainly is a contest.

  • I didn’t watch the debate.

    Four more years of Obama and we’re finished. You need to prepare for it.

    Anyone had better beat the incompetent community agitator (pitting against each other haves vs. have-nots and foisting class envy and social unrest are not leadership) whose last best hope is a couple hundred unemployable hippies “occupying” Wall Street and his lying, lap dog media.

    Pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.

  • If you wish to beclown yourself by making declarative statements about things the answer to which you do not know, be my guest.

    The only ‘contest’ for the vice presidential slot goes on in the head of the nominee and the nominee will likely be unknown for another four or five months. Since most recent nominees have made choices apparently driven by idiosyncracy and short-term contingencies, you are not going to have a clue even if you know the nominee.

  • For me, Santorum is the best by far, and I can understand his behavior, he is hardly mentioned in any TV show (look O’Reilly), even when he present much substance in debates. And even during the debates, rarely he is called to the center of the discussion.

    Maybe, if he feels he is better positioned, he can show more calmness.

    Cain is out with his 999, he is trying to be VP, as well Bachmann, Paul, Huntsman. So, there are four candidates Romnoway, Perry (good candidate), Gingrich (carrying stones) and Santorum.

    Santorum 2012.

  • Who is Buddy Roemer, a NASCAR driver?

  • Just wondering with Cain’s 999 plan whether that includes a free topping : )

  • *This* is the cream of the GOP crop, eh? And against a badly-flawed, detached incumbent whose term has seen unemployment hover at 9+%?

    Astonishing. I’m reminded of this:

  • I’ll take Santorum ANY DAY OF MY LIFETIME over any GOP or Democratic candidates these past 30 years (with the exception being Ronald Reagan).

  • I am afraid that I am gravely dissatisfied with all the Republican candidates, although, except in the case of Ron Paul, I would vote for any of them over Obama. (In a Paul-Obama race I would write in Bob McDonnell.)

    1.Michele Bachman-Bad habit of making things up. Knowledge base that is broad and an inch deep. Poor presentation of herself when coolness and a calm head are needed from a candidate.

    2.Herman Cain-His 999 plan is rubbish and would lead to lower income individuals paying far more in tax than they do now. Personally an impressive man, he gives little indication of having thought deeply about most of the problems confronting the country. If the country is fed up enough with professional politicians however, he has a definite shot.

    3.Newt Gingrich-Just go away Newt. You aren’t going to be getting the nomination and you are wasting our time. More skeletons than a small town graveyard.

    4.John Huntsman-Would be surging to the lead if Democrats were Republicans. Wrong party.

    5.Ron Paul-Klaatu barada nikto!

    6.Rick Perry-An astonishingly bad candidate after so many elections! The speed with which he went from front-runner to pack trailer is truly amazing. If he is going to have a comeback he is giving no sign of it.

    7.Rick Santorum-Closest to my own political positions, Santorum is a lousy candidate. His 41% to 59% loss to Casey the Lesser in 2006 was stunning, since Casey was a pretty weak candidate. Pennsylvania was going to be tough for any Republican in 2006, but bad tactics by Santorum turned a tough race into a rout. Has a talent for making enemies within the party. All the Touhey supporters are nodding their heads.

    8.Romney-The weather-vane. Pro-abort and now pro-life. In favor of Romney care; opposed to Obamacare. Moderate to liberal governor of Massachusetts, and now a born again conservative. I have absolutely no trust in him. I also doubt if he has the fighting instinct for the 2012 race. The Left will be throwing every thing imaginable against the Republican nominee next year, and I doubt if Romney can stand up to it.

    Time to pray for a dark horse, although if the economy continues to tank, it may not matter and Obama may be dead meat in any case next November.

  • Huntsman keeps getting described as a moderate or a liberal, but this seems to be more over matters of style than substance. On policy he seems pretty conservative (note: this is not an endorsement of Huntsman).

  • Huntsman is a conservative trying to run as a moderate who went too far and is now perceived as a liberal. He forgot that he has to win the primaries first. He’ll make a great Secretary of State.

  • Santorum (is that Latin for Saint?) is likely best on so-con issues, but his foreign policy is essentially a W redux, which is largely what got us in the mess we are currently in.

    Ron Paul looks crazy because he is the only sane person left in this country. That said, if you want to get elected, you need the crazies (i.e., the rest of the country) to vote you in and therefore must speak their language. Klaatu barada nikto, indeed.

  • Ron Paul looks crazy because he is the only sane person left in this country.

    Yes yes, he’s the only true patriot, liberty, constitution, blah blah blah. Meanwhile he’s hanging out with the 9/11 truthers, urging us to go back to the gold standard, and pretending that those craze moolahs would just love us if weren’t for those damned dirty Jews.

    If that’s sanity, I’m happy to be crazy.

  • Count me in, I’m happy to be crazy as well.

  • Gosh- dismissive comments – “lousy” “go away” about these good, intelligent, hardworking and very capable people doesn’t help the social or fiscal conservative cause. Pres. O’s team doesn’t need our help casting aspersions on our candidates. Santorum and Gingrich are my choices.

  • “O’s team doesn’t need our help casting aspersions on our candidates.”

    But we certainly do. In politics it does no good to ignore the flaws in the primaries only to have the adversary party rip into the flaws in the general election.

  • Please, please, please do not vote for Rick Santorum. The man is as thick as a plank. EG: Diane Sawyer said the presidenial candidates spend millions on their campaigns adfvertising and looked into their campaignt T shirts The 3 major candidates had shirts made in the USA. Then she showed Gingrichs’ and it was foreign made and when asked it took him a few minutes and he figured it out and replied he’d get USA made shirts….then Ron Paul, took him a few minutes to think about his foreign made shirts and he decided to dispose of them all immediately and get USA made ones. A llittle slow those two but they got the idea. When she asked Rick Santorum… his response…it’s hard to find anything made in the USA, and hard as she tried couldn’t get him to think about it and give the right answer. And he’s running for President, just a little scary!!
    As a Pennsylvanian who suffered him as senator, believe me, I know this is typical. Also, he has a bad habit of maintaining a position until (apparently) someone explains to him that he will get more votes for saying the opposite and then – VOLTE FACE! I know he is really, really pro-life but he is not presidential quality.

  • I love Herman Cain! He has to be our next president! None of the other candidates can even come close to the character he possesses, and I look forward to him getting the nomination…

  • Rasmussen: Cain 43, Obama 41

    Mitt Romney hardest hit.

    In all seriousness, it’s futile to trust in polls this far out. That being said, anybody voting for Mitt solely because he’s the most electable candidate should be forced to hand in their voter registration cards.

    Which, of course, is nothing more than a symbolic gesture since you generally don’t need them to vote.

  • Cain for President, Santorum VP

  • CAIN for president, John Huntsman vp

Last Call to Vote in GOP Presidential Poll for Catholics

Friday, August 19, AD 2011

The American Catholic (TAC) GOP Poll will be accepting votes until tonight, so if you haven’t voted, now is the time.

Thus far former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is still leading with 23% (up 1 point since Wednesday) of the vote followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry with 17% (down 2 points since Wednesday) of the vote.

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