Friday, October 29, 2010

Senate Picks: 8 or 9 GOP pick-ups

 Bold = Republican pick-up.

AK - Miller (R)-- Even if Murky wins this, it's still sort of an "R". The Dem is polling 3rd.
AR - Boozman (R)
CA - Boxer (D)
CO - Buck (R) -- Possible ultra surprise, watch for Tanc in the gub race.
CT - Blumenthal (D)
FL - Rubio (R)
IL - Kirk (R) -- This is a close one, but I can't see how people can vote for a guy who is literally a Mob banker.
IN - Coates (R)
KY - Paul (R)
LA - Vitter (R)
NV - Angle (R)
NH - Ayotte (R)
ND - Hoeven (R)
OH - Portman (R)
PA - Toomey (R)
UT - Lee (R)
WA - Murray (D) --One of the tightest races in the country.
WV - Manchin (D) -- I'm guessing the MinWage thing sealed that one.
WI - Johnson (R) -- Colossal upset, Johnson consistently polling over 50%.

On the optimistic side, Washington is closest to an additional Republican upset, thus it is the "or 9" in my "8 or 9". Generally speaking the bias this year should be towards Republican upsets, but this is an extremely Democratic state and Rossi has a history of having elections stolen from him.  But if there was to be an upset, this would be the one to look for.

This would leave the Senate 51 Dems to 49 GOP, or optimistically, 50/50 plus Joe Biden for Dem control.

At one point I could have seen California and West Virginia going our way, but I don't think those are in the cards any more.

Also, I think Vitter breaks 50% and avoids a run-off.
Of the races I expect Republicans to win, I am most concerned about Illinois, Colorado, and somewhat concerned about Pennsylvania.

From what I can tell, FiveThirtyEight has made the exact same individual predictions, but the simulation model produces a 52D to 48R Senate.  I understand where that's coming from, but I disagree.  No worse than 51-49.

So yes, Christine O'Donnell fans, there's a good chance you blew this one for us.  Thanks bunches.

 (Oops!  Did I do that?)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to Counter Fair Tax Questions - watch Rand Paul

Talking about the "Fair Tax" plan is playing with fire.  Any candidate who expresses the slightest interest in the plan is immediately slammed with negative ads claiming he would put a 23% sales tax on top of every purchase.

I don't think the Fair Tax plan works, but if you're bound and determined to talk about it, then you'd better be able to nail your opponent's mischaracterization of it:

(start time = 12:30)

I'm against the Fair Tax substantively and politically, but Rand Paul is still poised to win despite the backlash on this issue, so he must be doing something right.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crazy yet quiet - my negligent blogging

The election news is increasingly frantic, yet there is much less to actually report. This is the period in the election cycle where the cake has basically been baked, and we’re just trying to figure out what sort of icing it will have. Crap icing, or PCP-laced icing?

For the record, I’m predicting a vanilla-iced cake. Republicans control the House, and Democrats narrowly control the Senate. Don’t ask me for specific numbers right now, I haven’t looked at it that closely. I won’t be making a specific House prediction, though I will probably at some point look at the Senate races and the US House races in Pennsylvania.

But generally speaking, I haven’t blogged much recently because there hasn’t been much to write about. The news is increasingly poll-driven and less substance-driven. A poll is not a news story, at least most of the time.

I was going to say that I was viewing this election stoically and fatalistically (as I often do at this point in the cycle), but it’s more accurate to say that I’m bored with it. I’m peeved at some of the mistakes I see being made, and yet they continue to be made regardless of the warnings sounded by myself and others.

I continue to see people fundamentally misunderstand the swing voter and the swing district. In one PA House district I’ve been obsessed with for about five years (the 12th), the NRCC is running yet another ad linking the Democrat to Nancy Pelosi. The voters in this particular district have a history of not responding to this type of ad despite Pelosi’s strong negatives there.

Guess what, guys: it hasn’t worked before, and it probably won’t move any numbers this time either. It’s called empiricism.

Here’s the TV ad formula that everybody should have been running all cycle: [Congressman X] voted for [policy Y], and that hurt [jobs and/or voters’ wallets].  Throw in some fancy graphics and ominous music, and voila: instant TV spot.  The more campaigns and campaign committees stray from this formula, the worse they will do. The sooner campaigns stop getting into petit wars over who is more (non-specifically) “extreme”, the better they will do.  (I'm looking at you, Toomey camp.)

Of course, we’ll still win a ton of races, so all the idiot consultants will still come out looking like geniuses. Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.  Those marginal losses in tough districts will be chalked up to the fact that they were tough districts.  Nobody will examine real causes for these losses.

But it’s out of my hands, and I’ve said most of this before, so all I can do is embrace fatalism.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Why Sean Bielat is important - Financial Attrition

Could he win?  Maybe.  From a national perspective, however, that's not as important as one might think.  It is just as important for Bielat to make Barney Frank spend all of his money trying to defend himself.

Way back in 2008 I wrote about my theory of Financial Attrition:

Entrenched incumbents almost never lose, barring the occasional "dead woman or live boy" scandal. Such Untouchables have large campaign war chests at their disposal, have first dibs at party and caucus money, and often represent safe districts. The unlikelihood of their defeat acts as a deterrent force against any potential challengers, or, if some fool does step in, the challenger's party lifts nary a finger in assistance.

What do these unchallenged incumbents do with their money? They give some of it away to help candidates elsewhere. By helping push their marginal fellow partisans over the finish line they accumulate favors for future battles.

Oppositely, what does an incumbent do when he as a challenger? He empties his coffers! Electoral history is littered with the corpses of challengers who were outspent 3-to-1 yet were only defeated by a few percentage points. 

When we find ourselves with uniquely qualified challengers such as Sean Bielat giving some old warhorse like Barney Frank a run for his money, we should understand that Bielat's use of funding will be extremely efficient at denying other Democrats around the country their precious funding.  One dollar given to Bielat destroys several Democrat dollars as they scramble to play defense.

Who is being occupied?

Video of more socialist idiots at the One Nation rally from AFP:

is justified
when people
are occupied.

Who among those marching morons is "occupied"???  Talk about being totally divorced from reality...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The False Moral Equivalency of the OneNation Rally

It seems from my scan of traditional media sources that the established narrative of the OneNation rally is one of moral and political equivalence to Tea Party rallies and Glenn Beck's "Restore Honor" event. Some of the dino-media point out that the OneNation rally was somewhat less well attended than conservative events, and there is some de minimis mention of some of the more radical elements, but generally speaking nobody is addressing the widespread radicalism displayed at Saturday's rally.

(Yes Katrina, but not in the way you think)

Now, to conservatives, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and the rest are bad enough.  But some really nasty folks were there, and they were not particularly shy about their vile ideology.  The media double standard was in full effect -- one or two borderline signs (that in some instances were planted) at Tea Party rallies speak volumes about the inherent hatred and bigotry of every Tea Partier, but OneNation's open embrace of the Communist Party USA, a number of Democratic Socialist organizations, the International Socialist Organization, and other like-minded groups is to be downplayed as much as possible.

(The soundtrack, however appropriate, was obviously not a part of the rally.  I was going to apologize for the music, but they are in fact actual communists, so... if the shoe fits...)

Did you catch this frame in the video? (h/t Sean M. at DPUD)

I'm not sure if that's the Marx version, or the Bauer version, or possibly some other, but it really doesn't matter.  If there was anything remotely this offensive at the Tea Party rallies we'd all know about it.  But here it is, proudly displayed at the OneNation rally, and nobody seems to care.  Where's the outrage?

Of course, virtually every media outlet is comparing this weekend's rally to the Tea Party and Beck rallies.  But The Washington Post only mentions the New York City Democratic Socialists of America near the end of its write-upThe New York Times only reveals the presence of the CPUSA through the voice of Glenn Beck -- again, near the end of its article

I could go on at length about the nutcases who were out in force that day, but others have done a better job at that.  My point is that these wackos were there, with their idiocy boldly on display, and no mainstream reporters thought this was worth mentioning.  And yet, we get endless hand-wringing about the supposed racism and extremism of the Tea Party, which strives to police its own idiots and send them packing.

So yes, Katrina vanden Heuvel, there was a test of the media's fairness and judgment.  It failed that test.  The Left showed its true radical colors this weekend, and the major news media didn't bother to report it.