Tag Archives: 2012 Presidential candidates

Executive Order Creates Election Commission

Obama_signingPresident Obama signed an executive order last week creating the nine member Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a move he signaled as a priority during the State of the Union speech.

The Commission, co-chaired by Bob Bauer, who was Obama’s lead counsel in his 2012 campaign, and Ben Ginsberg, who held the same role in the Romney camp is tasked with studying polling locations, voter access, voting machine technology and much more.

The executive order defines the mission of the panel as follows:

“The Commission shall identify best practices and otherwise make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay, and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.”

Though a very small percentage of polling locations experienced delays on Election Day 2012, locations with arguably the highest turnout in the nation had few problems to note. Minneapolis, for example, had some polling locations with more than 100% turnout, yet Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reported the day ran smoothly. Ritchie said of the estimated 3 million people statewide (MN had an estimated 76% voter turnout), “I think people had a really good experience.”

The debate about long lines and extensive wait times rears its head every few years, but the math simply doesn’t add up. Following the 2010 census, in accordance with a law enacted by Congress in 1975, polling locations were reviewed in each state and redistricting took place. Each Congressional district, state senate district and other districts were evaluated and potentially changed, and then approved by the states. The redistricted lines are based on census numbers so that each polling location has approximately the same number of residents, and therefore, approximately the same number of eligible voters.

Though the President’s new commission intends to study and recommend changes related to the “number, location, management, operation, and design of polling places,” “ballot simplicity and voter education,” and the “efficient management of voter rolls and poll books,” there is no mention of any attempt to dissuade voter fraud. In fact, the stated purpose of the commission is to “improve the experience of all voters.” As we have learned in the last few election cycles, not all voters abide by election laws.

Voter fraud is rampant in the United States. For a few examples, click here: EJ Haust Voter Fraud and here: Voter Fraud Still an Issue

Each state has authority over its election practices including ballots, technology, and polling locations, but the recommendations of this new commission are “intended to serve as a best practices guide for state and local election officials…” according to Josh Earnest, Deputy Press Secretary for the White House. That could prove valuable to activists seeking to make voting controlled by the executive branch.

Though the commission won’t have authority to directly override state election rules, its recommendations could conceivably be used as a tool by the Department of Justice to use when persuading judges to impose changes at the state level. The President is essentially giving credibility to a group of nine of his friends to create a “study” that will later be seen as the authority on election best practices. What Secretary of State, governor, state legislature, or judge will have the instinct to deny recommendations by this panel of experts?

The commission is required to submit its final report 6 months following its first public meeting. It will have staff, though none of the nine members will have a salary. All members will be allowed reimbursement of travel expenses.

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Repeat After Me: We Didn’t Lose Because of Social Issues

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I admit that I really haven’t become much of a social conservative until about the last eighteen months.  I mostly took libertarian position on issues like gay marriage and abortion – some of which I still maintain.  However, being an adoptee and seeing the utter rot inherent on the political left, especially when it comes to abortion – I found my libertarian ‘pro-choice’ position untenable.  Yes, I still think government regulation of the market inhibits its full potential, thereby making it a perverse action on behalf of the state.  It’s immoral for government to curb systems that lead to greater economic freedom and liberty for its citizenry.  Yet, I was also disturbed with government being in the home – and regulating social behavior amongst consenting adults.

Then, the 2012 election happened. The Democrats decided to manufacture a false narrative called the ‘War on Women,’ a consensus concerning taxpayer-funded abortion was in the works, and a thirty-yeard old liberal activist named Sandra Fluke burst onto the scene demanding free birth control.  Unsurprisingly, all of this coalesced into an orgy of depravity called the Democratic National Convention, which should have been more appropriately called Abortion Fest.  Even ABC News’ Cokie Roberts was unnerved by the abortion-centric rhetoric exhibited by liberals during the DNC.

Every decent American should, since the Democratic Party platform endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion.  However, that wasn’t an extreme position.  Republicans protecting life, even in the cases of rape and incest, was apparently the extreme position, despite the fact that such circumstances are responsible for less than 1% of all abortions.  If anything, albeit in a grotesque way, that encapsulates the “safe, legal, and rare” characterization Democrats have used to describe abortion.  A phrase that wasn’t included in their party platform in2012, although it’s been used in prior elections.

Nevertheless, after hearing Rebecca Kiessling‘s story – she was conceived during a rape – and the litany of botched abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, I’ve shifted more towards the pro-life camp.  As an adoptee from South Korea, I have no backstory concerning my conception.  I could be a product of rape.  I just don’t know.  Regardless, every life deserves a chance.  My birth mother surely exuded this virtue.  She gave me up for a better life here in the United States.

However, this brings us to the heart of the matter. Should we boot social conservatives from the movement and the Republican Party?  The answer is NO!  Yes, what Mourdock and Akin said imploded their senate campaigns, but Denny Rehberg failed to unseat Democratic incumbent  Sen. Jon Tester in Montana.  Rick Berg failed to secure his senate bid in North Dakota.  George Allen lost in Virginia.  Tom Smith got smoked in Pennsylvania.  Connie Mack won’t be going into the upper chamber representing Florida.  Are social issues responsible for all of these failed senate bids?  No. By the way, Mourdock lost to a pro-life Democrat.

Now, while Mourdock and Akin win the creepy award for 2012 ( no one likes 60+ year old men talking about rape), everyone seems to blame the people who vote reliably Republican and listen to liberals on how to reform the party.  An interesting op-ed piece was published in The Wall Street Journal on Nov.11 by Sarah Westwood, who is a rising sophomore at George Washington University.

The article articulately details the grievances that the more liberal wing of young Republicans have with the ‘Old Guard.’  Westwood states that Republicans need to do a better job reaching out to younger voters, which is true, but we also need to reach out to Hispanics and single women as well.

As a member of this all-important demographic [young voters], I know that neither I nor (almost) anybody else coming of age today supports the Republican social agenda. That’s the way the country is moving—so just deal with it. Modernize and prioritize.

Though it may be painful, though it may be costly at the polls in the short run, Republicans don’t have a future unless they break up with the religious right and the gay-bashing, Bible-thumping fringe that gives the party such a bad rap with every young voter. By fighting to legally ban abortion, the party undercuts the potential to paint itself as a rebel against the governmental-control machine.

Embracing a more liberal social agenda doesn’t require anyone to abandon her own personal values; it’s possible to keep faith and the party too. But the evangelical set essentially hijacked the Republican Party in the 1970s; now we need to take it back. Thawing the icy attitude of our most vocal, radical voices—including the raucous right (a la Limbaugh)—could let a fatally fractured party put the pieces together again.

The GOP won’t survive if it doesn’t start courting young voters. Simple math dictates that the Republican Party can wrest power away from the left only if it builds an army of fresh young members into its base. Democrats are the ones doing that now.

It seems Westwood wants to liberalize the party, return it to the Rockefeller/Thomas Dewey days, and ensure electoral disaster.  Conservatives gladly put an end to their reign after the Goldwater insurgency in 1964.  No, Goldwater didn’t lose – it just took sixteen years to count all the votes.  Nevertheless, who said we were fractured?  Our party was firmly behind Romney.  The problem was Romney’s ground game ( Project ORCA) failed miserably to maximize turnout in key states.  Yes, our coalition needs to expand to remain competitive, but it rests with smart messaging, not moderation.

And concerning purging Limbaugh – you must be insane if you think marginalizing any conservative in the media is a smart move.  If anything, we need more conservatives fighting the liberal media on a daily basis.  Westwood is right that Republicans need to change tactics and maximize outreach to expand out base of support, but moderation and becoming more liberal isn’t what’s going to bring us success at the polls.  Concerning the ‘old guard,’ Westwood is right that some folks need to go.  Karl Rove is on my list.  However, we must also factor into account that youth turnout probably won’t be as high in 2016 when Obama isn’t on the ballot.

Conservatives, like myself, take pride in staying ‘stop!’ in the face of changing times.  We say ‘not so fast’ to liberals – asking them about the efficiency within these government programs, especially if they come with a high price tag.  Coupled with inquiries about a bill’s constitutional basis and long term effects – it’s this form of inquisition that has usually been effective in demolishing liberal programs for decades.  We take pride, and idolize the Madisonian principles of limited government that was the original bedrock for our fledgeling republic.  And they’re the principles we need to resurrect after this egregious expansion of the state under the Obama administration.  This, coupled with aggressive prioritization of winning Latinos, is where we need to start.

We need to admit that in 2012 we were outplayed, outsmarted, and outmaneuvered.  But kicking out social conservatives would make the Republican Party even smaller, according to Erick Erickson. Furthermore:

Mitt Romney won about a quarter of the hispanic vote and a tenth of the black vote.

Those numbers may not sound like much, but in close elections they matter.

A sizable portion of those black and hispanic voters voted GOP despite disagreeing with the GOP on fiscal issues. But they are strongly social conservative and could not vote for the party of killing kids and gay marriage. So they voted GOP.

You throw out the social conservatives and you throw out those hispanic and black voters. Further, you make it harder to attract new hispanic voters who happen to be the most socially conservative voters in the country.

Next, you’ll also see a reduction of probably half the existing GOP base. You won’t make that up with Democrats who suddenly think that because their uterus is safe they can now vote Republican. Most of those people don’t like fiscal conservatism either — often though claiming that they do.

If you really need to think through this, consider Mitt Romney. He is perhaps the shiftiest person to ever run for President of the United States. He shifted his position on virtually every position except Romneycare. Of all the politicians to ever run for office, he’d be the one most likely to come out and, after the Republican convention, decide he’d changed his mind. He’d be okay with abortion and okay with gay marriage.

Had he done that, he’d have even less votes.

Erickson noted, “the problem is social conservatives have gotten so used to thinking of themselves as the majority they’ve forgotten how to speak to those who are not and defend against those who accuse them of being fringe, most particularly the press. Couple that with Mitt Romney’s campaign making a conscious decision to not fight back on the cultural front and you have a bunch of Republicans convinced, despite the facts, that if only the social conservatives would go away all would be fine.”  That’s simply not true.
In one last point against liberalizing the party, this is the second time in a row that Republicans have nominated a moderate candidate, who was handily beaten in the general election. Full stop.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

 

Well, Romney’s ORCA Got Harpooned

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While many expected high Republican vote turnout, that just wasn’t the case on Nov. 6.  Mitt Romney received less votes in Ohio than John McCain in 2008, and received three million less votes in the popular vote than John McCain.  As Amanda Carpenter tweeted the day after the election, while many were expecting our people to show up at the polls – “no one made sure of it.”  In all, it was an epic disaster.

It all points to Romney’s ORCA program.  A digital app that was suppose to make the process of strike listing much more efficient.  In olden times, a poll worker would strike the names of people who have voted, call into the local campaign HQ reiterating the names of voters who haven’t showed up, and prompt HQ to mobilize their volunteers working at the phone banks to call the voters in question or drive  to their residences, personally, and take them to the polls.  It’s worked for decades.

However, in the digital age, things like a complete system crash can happen, and that’s what harpooned ORCA on Election Day.  According to John Ekdahl, who posted the epic failure of this strategy on Ace of Spades on Nov. 8:

From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.

Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.

On one of the last conference calls (I believe it was on Saturday night), they told us that our packets would be arriving shortly. Now, there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion about what they meant by “packet”. Some people on Twitter were wondering if that meant a packet in the mail or a pdf or what. Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy another one of your products ever again). So, at this point I became panicked. I was expected to be at the polls at 6:45AM and nothing was open. I was thankfully able to find a Kinko’s open until 11PM that was able to print it out and bind it for me, but this is not something I should have had to do. They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.

At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement. In fact, check out my “checklist” from my ORCA packet:

Notice anything missing? My guess is the second “Chair (if allowed)” was supposed to be “poll watcher certificate” but they put chair twice. This was an instruction packet that went out to 30,000+ people. Did no one proof-read it?

Furthermore, when the system did crash,

 …the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap? I sure hope not for my sanity’s sake.

The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.

Bethany Mandel at Commentary wrote about a similar story about  “Shoshanna McCrimmon [who] signed up to volunteer on Romney’s website several months ago.  She was contacted by Dan Centinello of the Romney campaign and underwent online and phone training that lasted for several hours in order to volunteer locally on Election Day. Because of secrecy concerns, the application itself was inaccessible until the morning of the election. From the outset there were failures of organization.”

First:

Shoshanna wasn’t given the credentials necessary to gain access to the polling place and was told to arrive when the polls opened at 7. A few days before the election, she was emailed a PDF packet, which she was meant to print out, containing the names of all of the registered voters at her polling place and instructions. Her location’s packet was only dozen or so pages; Ekdahl’s packet was over sixty. The packet was supposed to contain credentials, but they did not. Shoshana’s email to the Romney campaign the night before the election about the lack of credentials went unanswered. When Shoshanna arrived on time at 7 a.m., she learned that polls had actually opened an hour prior.

Unable to test her pin number and password until that morning, she discovered, only after after she arrived at the polling location ready to work, that her pin was invalid. She spent until 2:30 that afternoon on calls to Boston every 45 minutes trying to get a new one. She attempted to input the voter information via phone dial-pad–the first backup plan–but her invalid pin number was useless. Plan C, calling in to Boston and verbally transmitting the information, was also a wash. The same phone number for dial pad and voice reporting was given–there was no option to ask to speak to Boston directly after calling in.

After finally getting her pin number in the late afternoon, Shoshanna attempted to log into the site. She had been sent an email from the Romney campaign that morning (after polls opened) telling her that cell phones were often not allowed in polling places, after she was previously warned not to forget to bring her cell phone in other emails. Thankfully, her polling place allowed her to use her cell phone. The website, on a secure server, was inaccessible from her cell phone (Ekdahl explains why in detail). By this point hundreds of voters had passed through Shoshanna’s polling station, unreported. Nevertheless, she went home, retrieved her laptop, and thanks to the pastor at the polling place (a church) she gained access to a locked wireless network. It was only at that point that Shoshanna was able to access ORCA, with only a few hours left before polls closed.

Additionally, besides the program crashing, it was never stress tested, therefore, and was “unable to withstand thousands of simultaneous log-ins. The system had never been stress tested and couldn’t handle the crush of traffic all at once. Thousands of man-hours went into designing and implementing a program that was useful on one day and one day only, and on that day, it crashed.”

While we all have a lot of work to do, especially expanding our base of support amongst Hispanics, younger voters, and women – we need to make sure that GOTV operations won’t be a fiasco.  Democrats are king in this area for now.  They’ve successfully merged new coalitions with old, and have built a massive database of voters who will help them ensure victory.  As Allahpundit posted on Hot Air two days after the election that “in ObamaWorld, they were using behavioral scientists  to build a gigantic database of current and potential voters and to fine tune their message at a granular level not only to win people’s votes but to get them to turn out.”

As such, we cannot afford more ORCAs.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

The Day After…

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Well, we lost.  Mitt Romney didn’t win comfortably.  BUT, Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives.  In one of the most ignominious highlights of the night, the GOP lost two senate seats – increasing the Democratic majority by two.  The current makeup is 55 Democrats to 45 Republicans.  In a milestone for the ladies, 20% of the U.S. Senate will be represented by women.  However, the night ended a bit like 2004 in reverse.

While the notions of GOP turnout seemed assured, it was rarely monitored, and turnout for the youth (and voter turnout in general) was unexpectedly high.  To no one’s surprise, young voters broke for the president (60-36), but represented a larger share of the electorate than four years ago.  Romney’s lead amongst independents wasn’t enough to overcome the Latino vote, which he lost to Obama miserably 72%-23%.  Lastly, Romney wasn’t able to cut into the gender gap quite as effectively as he wanted to, with the president winning women, overall, by eleven points.  However, it’s with unmarried women that Romney had a fatal disadvantage with, as they broke for Obama 67% to 31%.

On states, betting on Pennsylvania proved to another catastrophic play.  We haven’t won the Keystone State in almost a quarter century, and it may be time to part company completely.  Concerning Wisconsin, the state may have swung right on recent elections, but perhaps the ‘fairness voters’ – voters who may not agree with Walker’s policies, but are appalled that unions would want to revoke an election result – turned out to vote for the president this time.  In Ohio and Virginia, Romney’s failure to execute the war on coal narrative sooner, and formulating a response to the Bain ads, contributed to his defeat.

Without a doubt, the Bain ads – the Obama campaign’s first official salvo in their ‘Kill Romney’ strategy –  released right after Mitt unofficially clinched the Republican nomination resonated with Buckeye residents, and shame on the Governor’s communications team, who were on the defensive for most of the election cycle.  In short, like with Goldwater in ’64, the Obama campaign was able to define Romney – before Romney could define himself.  It’s another costly misfire.

However, I truly feel that Mitt Romney ran a good campaign, and did the best he could’ve with what he had regarding resources.  It’s hard to be successful when you don’t have a Karl Rove, James Carville, or David Plouffe on your side.  It also hurt that he couldn’t run on health care, since Romneycare served as the blue print for one of the most egregious affronts to the constitution since the Alien and Sedition Acts of the Adams administration.

Yet, if you looked at the field from the beginning, It was either going to be Mitt Romney or Rick Perry fighting for the nomination.  Newt and Cain treated this serious event in American politics with the maturity of eight year olds at a lemonade stand – with the lemonade being books.  For many Americans, Michele Bachmann failed the threshold question of any presidential candidate, which is do I trust this person with nuclear weapons?  Disgraced former Pennsylvanian Senator Rick Santorum failed the conservative test, in my opinion, by voting for Medicare Part D, which added $ 7 trillion to the unfunded liability of the program. That’s 20% of the entire unfunded liability, which we now have to deal with before the fiscal cliff.  He voted for Sonia Sotomayor for circuit judge. Santo voted against National Right to Work, Food Stamp reform, a flat tax, and Medicaid reform.  He voted for internet taxes, the unionization of FedEx (twice), and No Child Left Behind.  He took that one for the team.

Rick Perry, my choice for president, flamed out in one of the most epic derailments we’ve probably seen in a long time.  Jon Huntsman was too moderate.  Ron Paul was well, Ron Paul. So, we were left with Mitt Romney.  Sometimes the pickings of the field aren’t too stellar, and we have to deal with that.

Again, I don’t blame Romney for the loss.  Yes, Obama’s record of economic pain, which he has inflicted without mercy on the American people, is long, but his political team, along with the media, were able to spin it just enough to trivialize the fallout.  As Ralph Reed, Founder and former Executive Director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said at CPAC 2012 last February – we’re about to face “the meanest, toughest, most vicious political team we’ve ever faced.”  He was right, and we paid dearly for it.

Given Obama’s record, and Republicans’ inability to defeat him, it begs the question if the GOP should have any business being in American politics.  Yes, they still do, but renovations need to be made.  We need to do better with women – cough nix the rape talk cough cough – hispanics, and younger voters.  The hispanic vote ruined the California GOP back in 1994 when Prop. 187 established a citizenship screening process and barred illegals from using state services was construed as ‘anti-immigrant.’  It was really protecting the territorial integrity of the United States, a core function of a nation in the international system, but that’s a different debate. Regardless, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and California Republicans have been in the bunker ever since.

We need to find ways to protect our sovereign soil, but in a way that doesn’t come off as nativist.  Hispanics are hard-workers, religious, and pro-traditional marriage.  Or, at least, that’s what was the conventional wisdom at the time.  Heather MacDonald posted on National Review yesterday that:

a March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.

spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

So, despite Mitt’s shaky conservative credentials, without a doubt, he’s the most hard-lined presidential candidate on immigration we’ve had in the past ten years – and that didn’t hurt him with these voters.  Bain, on the other hand, probably didn’t help.

Nevertheless, I’m not saying we should be for amnesty.  We shouldn’t be.  Amnesty is unfair and unethical – as is the president’s Dream Act light, which requires illegals to bribe the government $465 from doing it’s job enforcing federal law.  However, what 2012 should show all conservatives is that our coalition, which to Paul Krugman’s chagrin truly represents the ‘Real America,’ is static.  It’s more rural, blue collar, and white.  That’s not enough to win elections.  We need to improve outreach with minorities and venture back into the cities, or places where the people are, to make these contests competitive again.  George W. Bush won 44% of the Latino vote in 2004, with increased majorities in the House and Senate.  It’s not impossible. But it’ll be very difficult trying to chip away at the government’s “role in helping people,” which in Democrat speak for getting these people so dependent on us as possible, so they’re a lock when Election Day arrives.

Concerning the ladies, we need to exert a little more discretion when we talk about rape.  While the Democratic National Convention could’ve been Abortion Fest 2012,the senate races in this cycle should have been more appropriately called Rape Fest.  It’s odd that we even have to mention this, and some blame the Tea Party for these mishaps. I don’t.  The Tea Party is the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  As George Will once noted, they’re the best thing to happen in American politics since the Goldwater insurgency.  Republicans would not be where they are now without the Tea Party, but that does not mean we should accept every one of their primary victors as serious candidates.

As Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel wrote in The Daily Caller yesterday:

The tea party believes the GOP establishment is ideologically corrupt. They’re right. But replacing the current leadership with obviously unqualified buffoons is no remedy. Republicans have lost at least five winnable Senate races in the last two cycles because they fielded candidates whose only real qualification was being anti-establishment. Many will argue the GOP can only win going forward with more liberal candidates. That’s not true. But the genuine conservatives they find will have to come with political skills, policy smarts and impressive resumes in order to get elected.

The sad truth is that even if the Republican Party did all this — sent its current leaders home and stopped nominating losers — it still wouldn’t be enough. The country is changing too fast. Most people have the sense that America is different demographically from what it was 20 years ago. But unless they’ve been reading the latest census data, they have no real idea. The changes are that profound. They’re also permanent and likely to accelerate. In order to remain competitive outside Utah, the GOP will have to win new voters, and soon.

That’s the Republican reformation plan, Stage B. They may get there. First they’ll have to tackle the basics, like finding fresh leadership and candidates who aren’t embarrassing.

That will take some serious vetting.  Furthermore, we’re Republicans.  We’re pro-life, and the American people know that about our movement.  In elections centered on the economy, you can easily pivot away from such issues.  Sadly, some of our fellow party members couldn’t help themselves, they shot their mouths off, and got trounced.  There is much intra-party work to do – and it starts now.

Meanwhile, a divided America exists and the government we elected is representative of that partisanship.  Michael Barone wrote also wrote in National Review that Americans on the right, and the others of the left, are no longer becoming culturally cohesive.

Ronald Reagan, speaking the language of the old, universal popular culture, could appeal to both Americas. His successors, not so much. Barack Obama, after an auspicious start, has failed to do so.

As a result, there are going to be many Americans profoundly unhappy with the result of this election, whichever way it goes. Those on the losing side will be especially angry with those whose candidate won.

Americans have faced this before. This has been a culturally diverse land from its colonial beginnings. The mid-20th-century cultural cohesiveness was the exception, not the rule.

We used to get along by leaving each other alone. The Founders established a limited government, neutral on religion, allowing states, localities, and voluntary associations to do much of society’s work. Even that didn’t always work: We had a Civil War.

An enlarged federal government didn’t divide mid-20th-century Americans, except on civil-rights issues. Otherwise, there was general agreement about the values government should foster.

Now the two Americas disagree, sharply. Government decisions enthuse one and enrage the other. The election may be over, but the two Americas are still not on speaking terms.

It’s sort of like this exchange between President Bartlet and Governor Ritchie.

Right now, Obama is in a good position to increases taxes, which will happen when Obamacare’s fully implemented in 2014, nominate SCOTUS appointments, which threaten to curtail our constitutional rights, and to continue this destructive surge in government spending that only shackles people to the will of the state through dependency.  It’s up to House Republicans to obstruct Democratic plans, and put forward a deluge of alternatives of their own. Granted, we won’t be able to filibuster Supreme Court appointments, but this president’s agenda, and that of the Democrats, is inherently dangerous to the socioeconomic fabric of the country and we must fight them all the way.  Concerning the fiscal cliff, maybe compromise can be reached.  Yet, we should also remember that compromise is how we got Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and the first round of federal stimulus under the Bush administration.  Policies that attributed to the near collapse of the conservative movement in this country.

I’m pessimistic that a deal will be reached.  This president’s ego would bust the marble in the Capitol dome – and he exuded poor presidential leadership as described in Bob Woodward’s new book The Price of Politics.  Yet, Mr. Will again reminds us that throughout the course of American history there is not a single thing that the American people wanted intensely and protractedly that they did not eventually get from the federal government.

Romney Leads Independent Voters In Virginia by Twelve

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So, Romney is leading Indies by twelve in Virginia, and Obama’s lead amongst women isn’t enough, according to Ace.  Virginia is also reporting a heavy voter turnout.

More: CNN’s exits have it 49-49. This almost certainly means it’s in the bag for Team Red.

In addition, I saw secondhand that Obama’s advantage with women is just +5. Not enough.

Everyone Needs To Simmer Down About Virginia, Exit Polls

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Let’s all calm down.  I know a few conservative may have started to sweat after seeing Drudge’s headline showing “boom” for Obama in the early exit polls.  However, Ace of Spades reminds us that in 2004, John Kerry led in the exit polls by nine.

Remember, the 2004 exits had Kerry winning nationally 51-48. Actual result? Pretty much the opposite of that. Bush won by just under three points.

Thus, a nearly +6 bias in favor of Democrats.

You can also ignore the sub-toplines in the exits, for the exact same reason. They’re saying on CNN this is the first election in which Hispanics make up 10% of the voting population. Again — self-selected.D+6. More whites than anyone else avoiding the sociology major.

The exits are, through-and-through, faulty and a big waste of your time.

I say again: Random-digit-dial polls are more accurate.

Kerry, at the end of the night, lost the state – and the election.

Early indications in Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Colorado look good for Romney-Ryan

Former Whitehouse Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted that early turnout numbers looked promising for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

All morning, reports of much heavier than expected turnout in Florida was overwhelming polling places. Now, Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Anderson is adding staff to two precincts to help with the long lines.

In Ohio, similar reports are surfacing. Executive Editor of The Hotline Josh Kraushaar tweeted that things are promising for the challengers among early voters.

And Jack Healy of the New York Times tweeted that Republicans turned out better in early voting than Democrats.

Deputy Communications Dir. at Republican National Committee Tim Miller tweeted that Dem turnout in Colorado looks muted

And CDN’s Richard Mitchell tweeted about turnout in Lyon County, Iowa.

It’s early and the statistics being quoted may or may not be indicative of the result, but they are certainly more promising that news reports in past days had led Republicans to believe.

 

My Prediction: Romney Wins Comfortably

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The day has arrived.  In about twenty-four hours, the stains of Barack Obama will be wiped clean and honor and dignity will be restored to The White House under President-elect Mitt Romney.  It hasn’t been an easy road.  Conservatives waged a brutal primary battle that left us with a scarred nominee – Romney – coming out of the gate to take on President Obama in the general.  However, he licked his wounds, redeployed his campaign assets, and was laser focused on Barack Obama’s miserable record of debt, deficits, and high unemployment.  As a result, he’s polling slightly ahead of the President on Election Eve, and I’m confident Governor Romney will be the next President of the United States.

Granted there were some bumps in the road.  The last week of August and the whole month of September were especially lackluster – but his resounding and decisive victory in the first, and most important, presidential debate altered the electoral map in a way liberals couldn’t imagine.  His surge in the polls with women decimated Obama’s double-digit lead amongst women, and Romney’s double-digit lead amongst independents will prove valuable in the generals, as well as the down ticket races in the House and Senate.  Right now, I have Gov. Romney winning the 2012 Election with 289 electoral votes to Obama’s 249.  Some pundits, like George Will, predict a 321 Electoral landslide for Mitt Romney, but I’m more reserved.

First, to even begin to contemplate such a mandate, Romney needs to win Pennsylvania – a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988.  While some polls show that the races is tied (Romney is shown trailing by 2-4 points on D+8 polls) – I’m just not ready to bet the mortgage on a state we have failed to lock up for almost a quarter century.  Granted, the 2011 county courthouse races were indicative that Democrats in the western part of the state – the bitter clingers who are mostly pro-life and pro-gun rights – were getting sick of liberal policies.  Republicans took Westmoreland County for the first time in fifty years.  Now, Republicans control 51 of the 67 counties in PA, with most of the inroads being in the western part of the state.  Republican media consultant Michael  Hudome wrote on The Daily Caller on Nov. 2 that “half of the NRA membership in the entire country is within a four-hour drive of Pittsburgh.”

Recent electoral results signal a Republican surge in the Commonwealth. Conservative Pat Toomey was elected to the Senate in 2010 despite the best efforts of the White House.

Republicans control 12 of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional seats. In the crucial Philadelphia suburbs, Democrats were only able to offer token opposition to Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan this year. In those critical counties near Philly, Governor Romney is a perfect fit for Independent and Republican women. Polls suggest there is no gender gap.

This election, voter intensity favors Republicans. Senator Bob Casey (of the Potted Plant Party) has his hands full with a challenge from businessman Tom Smith. Recent polls show that race is a toss-up.Given all these factors, it’s no wonder Romney and his allies have started an air war. In fact, Republicans have spent enough money on ads in Pennsylvania in the past week to fund a solid, month-long ad campaign in the state.

Furthermore, “semi-defrocked” Republican strategist Mike Murphy recently tweeted that if Romney is trailing by two in the PA polls – he wins Ohio.

In the end, it’ll all be about turnout, but I’m cautiously pessimistic about the Keystone State.  I think Obama will eek out a win here.  However, I will bet that  Tom Smith, the Republican Senate candidate, will defeat incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, Jr.  He made up a deficit of almost twenty points in the polls, and flooded the state with ads to hammer at Casey.  It has worked.  The race is a virtual tie. With Casey’s nonexistent campaign and low enthusiasm from Democratic voters, I think Smith will win.

Now, concerning the Buckeye State, Obama is trying to over-perform in the auto/industrial areas of Toledo and Akron.  However, in an election where Democratic enthusiasm isn’t nearly as high as Republicans, it’ll be an uphill struggle.  Whereas Mitt Romney is taking a page from George W. Bush in ’04 centering on the southeast portion of the state – coal country – and the swing suburbs around Cincinnati.  As of now, the race is tied – but The American Spectator’s Robert Stacy McCain has been on the Romney campaign crawl and posted this on Election Eve.

[ Ali] Akbar [Republican operative] stayed up all night Saturday poring over Ohio early-voting totals, comparing them to previous elections, studying recent Buckeye State polls, and crunching the numbers before waking me up before 8 a.m. Sunday to declare, “We’ve got Ohio.” His analysis of the early-vote numbers and his interpretation of the latest Columbus Dispatch poll as bad news for Obama quickly inspired an online buzz among Republicans who have been worried sick over Ohio. Even at the mid-October apex of Romney’s surge, the Republican never led the Real Clear Politics average of polls in this crucial battleground state. Although Obama’s lead has never been large — as of Sunday, he led the RCP Ohio average by 2.8 points — it has been remarkably persistent, prompting much theorizing about the factors behind it. The economy in Ohio hasn’t been quite as hard-hit as some other states; unemployment is only 7 percent. Ads from the Obama campaign have hit Romney hard for his opposition to the GM and Chrysler bailout, a reasonably popular measure in Ohio, where auto manufacturing jobs are a vital part of the state’s economy.

However, it’s a false narrative considering that Mr. Romney’s plan would have also saved the auto industry, which was reaffirmed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by auto expert Edward Niedermeyer.  However, the trend with overall early voting doesn’t favor Obama.  Gallup stated that 15% of the electorate has already voted and they’re splitting 52%-46% in Romney’s favor.


Given the Obama administration’s ‘War on Coal,’ I will hedge my bets that there will be a high turnout from these counties adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, but if Hamilton County swings Republican, we can all breath a sigh of relief.

In Wisconsin, I didn’t give this to Romney because it’s Paul Ryan’s home state, and therefore, a safe win.  As George Will aptly noted back in April:

 …in the 16 elections since World War II, 10 presidential candidates have failed to carry the home state of their vice presidential running mates. Gov. Earl Warren could not carry California for Tom Dewey in 1948; Sen. Estes Kefauver could not carry Tennessee for Adlai Stevenson in 1956; former senator Henry Cabot Lodge could not carry Massachusetts for Richard Nixon in 1960; Rep. Bill Miller could not carry New York for Barry Goldwater in 1964; Gov. Spiro Agnew could not carry Maryland for Nixon in 1968; Sargent Shriver could not carry Maryland for George McGovern in 1972; Rep. Geraldine Ferraro could not carry New York (or women, or even her congressional district) for Walter Mondale in 1984; Sen. Lloyd Bentsen could not carry Texas for Michael Dukakis in 1988; Jack Kemp could not carry New York for Bob Dole in 1996; Sen. John Edwards could not carry North Carolina for John Kerry in 2004.

No, it’s because no state has swung more to the right in the Midwest than Wisconsin.  They booted incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold for Ron Johnson, elected Gov. Scott Walker, and took tow formerly Democratic congressional districts that covers most of the northern part of the state in 2010. Additionally, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature as well.  Furthermore, Gov. Scott Walker became the only governor in American history to survive a recall attempt last June receiving more votes than he did in the 2010 gubernatorial race.  Wisconsin State Senate Republicans also faced a recall of their own on two separate occasions.  The first salvo being fired in August of 2011, where Republicans maintained the majority. The second occurred in 2012, where Democrats gained control, but turned out to be a useless exercise since the the general session will not begin until after November 2012, when the seats will be contested again.

While the race is tied, given the reaffirmation of Walker’s policies, the infrastructure Walker has built to successfully maintain his residency in the Governor’s Mansion, and the conservative swing of the state’s electorate – suffice to say that a Romney victory here is likely. Disrupting the pattern where Wisconsin has gone Democratic in nine of the last ten presidential races.

In Indiana, Romney is ahead – on average – by 9.5 points.  Safe state.

In North Carolina, Romney is up by 3.  Given that the State Democratic Party of NC was distracted by a sex scandal and was saddled with an unpopular Democratic Governor, Bev Purdue, Romney should win the state. And Republicans will take the Governor’s mansion for Pat McCrory – the Mayor of Charlotte.  When he’s elected, McCrory will be the third Republican in the past thirty-nine years.

In Florida, it looks as if “Romney has pretty much nailed [it] down,” according to Guy Benson.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air added to this sentiment noting a poll from the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald showing Gov. Romney with a comfortable six point lead.

Florida continues to look good for Mitt Romney. The Republican holds a 6-point lead in the state essential to his hopes of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll.

The poll shows slight tightening, with Romney’s 51-45 lead down 1 percentage point from the Times’ statewide poll a month ago. …

Still, nearly every key indicator in theTimes’ pre-Election Day poll reveals Romney’s advantage in a state Obama won four years ago.

Florida voters trust Romney more to fix the economy and give him an edge, 50 percent to 48 percent, on who will look out more for the middle class — a stark turn from past months when Obama and his allies unleashed a barrage of TV ads portraying Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider.

Romney even has a slight advantage on foreign policy, with 2 percent more voters saying they trust him over Obama, who has faced criticism over the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.

The Herald has an interesting analysis, one that confounds the national media narrative.  Romney now gets more crossover votes than Obama, contra to the common assumption that independents are proto-Republicans and Romney has trouble with his base:

Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Real Clear Politics Average has Romney with a 1.5 point advantage over the president going into Election Day.

 

Virginia will be a squeaker, but given the coal counties to the far western parts of the state, especially around the town of Grundy, I think Mitt will have success.   Ed Morrissey, who along with Allahpundit and most of the full-time staff, have been doing an excellent job detailing the recent polls and debunking the liberal drivel.  He wrote that:

Mitt Romney still earns 50% support in Virginia just before Election Day.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters shows Romney with 50% of the vote to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided.

This is unchanged from two weeks ago and the week before that when it was Romney 50%, Obama 47%.

This one’s tight enough to look at the internals, which are somewhat surprising given the closeness of the toplines.  Obama actually loses the overall gender gap by three points (-7 among men, +4 among women), but he’s also losing independents in Virginia by 21 points, 58/37.  In 2008, Obama had a +11 in the gender gap and won independents by one point, 49/48.  The D/R/I in this sample is D+2 at 38/36/25; in 2008 it was 39/33/27 but in 2009′s gubernatorial election it was 33/37/30.

Romney wins the economic argument by six points, 51/45 over Obama.  There’s a significant gender gap on this question as well, but it also favors Romney (+10 among men, +1 among women).  Romney has a 25-point lead among independents on this question, 58/33.  On the other hand, Obama does have a positive job-approval rating at 51/49, which is probably why the toplines look as close as they do.  I’d guess, though, that Virginia’s going to break significantly for Romney

Lastly, New Hampshire is a bet.  Obama is ahead of Romney by two points, but I will take a gamble, and say  that Romney will take the “Live Free or Die” state due to depressed turnout and a little luck.  It’s my wild card.  Either way, it doesn’t matter.  It’s for fun.

Right now, it’s all about turnout.  Republicans are more enthused to vote this cycle.The Huffington Post posted about Chuck Todd’s breakdown of  Republican voter enthusiasm.  Here’s what he said on Meet The Press on October 7, which was the Sunday after the first presidential debate.

CHUCK TODD: Well, it’s simply an enthusiasm gap. And we’re seeing it across the board. Look at here in this first one. 79% of Republicans call themselves extremely interested in this election. On a scale of one to ten, that means they said they’re a nine or a ten on interest in the election. 73% of Democrats.

Look at four years ago. It was a 13 point gap in favor of the Democrats. Let me go through some various voting groups. This is an important voting group. Seniors are an important voting group to Mitt Romney now. He leads them by about 10 points in our NBC Wall Street Journal poll. Look at this in engagement in the election. Four years ago was 81%, pretty higher. Even higher this time at 87%. And Romney’s doing better among seniors than McCain did.

Let me go to an important voting group for the president, young voters. Look at this engagement level: 52% now they call themselves, voters 18 to 34, call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago it was 72%. That 20 gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He’s winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don’t have this kind of enthusiasm, they’re not going to show up to the polls.

And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that’s Hispanics. The President’s winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.

So even though he’s going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it’s a net zero. And yet, you look at Republican enthusiasm, up, senior enthusiasm, up. It’s a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.

Furthermore, liberals are citing polls based on 2008 turnout levels that oversample Democratic voters.  A D+13 poll isn’t an accurate gauge in this election.  We’ve had an unemployment rate above 8% for over forty consecutive months – with the rate being over 9% for twenty-six of those months.  We have $6 trillion in new debt, 23 million unemployed, and a litany of new regulations.  What has Obama shown for this investment in trickle down government?   

We have seen an anemic economic recovery, with our third quarter growth at an insipid 2%.  President Obama is the personification of the dependency agenda.  A pernicious crusade to establish a hyper-regulatory progressive state and break all institutions within our nation to the will of Washington.  More women have lost their jobs under the Obama administration, and with women more on the economic frontlines, they’ve seen that the president may not be the best choice for their checkbook.

Granted, tonight will be a LONG night. So, make sure those coffee mugs are filled, Red Bulls are plentiful, and champagne fully stocked – because Republicans should be optimistic that Gov. Romney will soon be called ‘President Romney’ fairly soon.

 

 

Romney Wins! Predicts Novel That Also Predicted Ryan as Running Mate

HINESVILLE, Ga., Nov. 5, 2012 —The White House Games (https://www.libboo.com/read/the-white-house-games), the novel that accurately predicted the choice of Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate, has done it again.

The novel predicts that Romney will win this election, and more.

Author Say Dozeman made his predictions using computational mathematics. “I used a statistical technique known as the Bayesian Information Criterion,” he explained. “It is, as far as I’m concerned, a headachy piece of mathematics, but one that yields almost unerring predictive results if one is willing to traumatize oneself enough with the effort.”

All the data showed that Paul Ryan was the best fit as Romney’s vice-presidential pick. So, in his novel, Dozeman named a character holding a similar position, Paul-Mark Rubyan, a minor alteration of the actual candidate’s name.

“If anyone thinks that I changed the character’s name after Ryan had been selected, they’re welcome to check my novel’s date of registration with the Library of Congress,” Dozeman stated. “I registered it months before Ryan was selected, when even the closest associates of Romney had no idea who would be chosen, and at a time when I suspect that even Romney himself wasn’t sure.”

Dozeman firmly believes that his calculations have also revealed the identity of the winner of this presidential election: Mitt Romney.

Dozeman states that he’s willing to reveal these two predictions from his novel because according to him, these are the most trivial predictions in the novel. He states that the biggest bombshell predictions in the book will shake America to its core, that they involve rebuilding a new version of America in a way that even the Founding Fathers had not foreseen, but would be happy to endorse.

“You’ll have to read the book to find out what those bombshells are,” he said.

The first in a planned series of political novels, The White House Games tells the story of a group of former Navy SEALs who fight to change the direction of American politics. Taking a leaf from the Arab Spring movement of 2011, the SEALs embark on a once-in-a-lifetime mission. Using special-forces tactics and social-media power, the SEALs launch a battle against the powers-that-be in a high-stakes game to create America version 2.0.

“The story is a combination of The Hunger Games, Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice, in a political context,” said Dozeman.

The White House Games is available through www.Libboo.com, a digital platform for discovering hot new authors such as A. B. Bourne (The First Secret of Edwin Hoff), Steve Berkowitz (CHOCROTES and the World Without Question), and Say Dozeman (The White House Games).

The White House Games is also available for download at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/The-White-House-Games-ebook/dp/B009EWQX4W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1351972504&sr=1-1&keywords=the+white+house+games) and at Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-white-house-games-say-dozeman/1111590376?ean=2940015604290)

Dozeman has also created a game called “The White House Ops.” Downloadable for free from the Apple App Store, the game features a fast-paced race combined with a fight for survival as players steer major characters from the novel through a dangerous experience in the Amazon jungle, followed by Hell Week at the Navy SEALs training facility in Coronado, California, and culminating in an MMA tournament in Las Vegas.

Yes, Nate Silver is a Joke

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If you’ve ever gone on Nate Silver’s 538 Blog for The New York Times, you’ll see where reality ends, and fantasy begins.  It was more vividly displayed after the third and last presidential debate where I wrote, in a previous post, for Hot Air that “the headline for his [Silver’s] October 23 post after the last presidential debate read ‘Obama unlikely to get big debate bounce, but a small one could matter.”  Talk about grasping at straws.

Still, with the contest being so tight, any potential gain for Mr. Obama could matter. Mr. Obama was roughly a 70 percent Electoral College favorite in the FiveThirtyEight forecast in advance of the debate, largely because he has remained slightly ahead in polls of the most important swing states.

If Mr. Obama’s head-to-head polling were 2 percentage points higher right now, he would be a considerably clearer favorite in the forecast, about 85 percent. A 1-point bounce would bring him to 80 percent, and even a half-point bounce would advance his position to being a 75 percent favorite in the forecast.

Still, Mr. Obama should not take even that for granted. There have been some past debates when the instant-reaction polls judged one candidate to be the winner, but the head-to-head polls eventually moved in the opposite direction.

[…]

So, since Obama is ahead of Romney within the margin of error, why does that constitutes a win for the president?  I think most analysts would put a 2-4 point lead, for any candidate, in the toss-up column – especially for a battleground state.  Thus, making his 70% prediction of an Obama victory a nonsensical exercise.   Silver has states listed as toss-ups on the blog, but didn’t reference them here.

Furthermore, Silver’s notion that a half point ounce would increase Obama’s probability of re-election to 75%, a 1 point bounce to 80%, and a 2 point bounce to 85% is abjectly senseless.  He is lying and waiting for a miracle to happen.

However, while we shouldn’t expect much from a former Daily Kos blogger, he seems to be keeping liberal spirits high.  As Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed wrote on October 29:

Here in New York, Silver is very much on the tongue of the media and the left-leaning professional elite: Everyone from photographers to the managing partner of a major law firm cops to hitting refresh every hour to stay sane. And out in the Democratic hinterlands, the reaction is much the same.

“I was at a Halloween party last night and it was just kind of funny because we’re down here in South Carolina and none of these people are media people or DC kind of types,” said Teresa Kopec, a substitute teacher from Spartanburg, South Carolina. “And they were kind of whispering to each other, ‘But Nate Silver says…’”

“If people have heard of him down here in South Carolina that’s kind of amazing,” Kopec said.

Furthermore, Gray noted that “some Democrats, meanwhile, concede that their affection for the wonky analyst is less the details of his model than the consistency of his message.”  That being Obama wins – in every projection he runs.

With Silver catching flak it wasn’t long before his allies at The Washington Post, namely Ezra Klein, decided to jump in front of the train for his liberal colleague. “Before we get too deep in the weeds here, it’s worth being clear about exactly what Silver’s model — and that’s all it is, a model — is showing. As of this writing, Silver thinks Obama has a 75 percent chance of winning the election. That might seem a bit high, but note that the BetFair markets give him a 67.8 percent chance, the InTrade markets give him a 61.7 percent chance and the Iowa Electronic Markets give him a 61.8 percent chance. And we know from past research that political betting markets are biased toward believing elections are more volatile in their final weeks than they actually are. So Silver’s estimate doesn’t sound so off,” says Klein in his October 30 post on the WonkBlog.

Klein then goes on to trivialize the whole matter by saying:

…it’s just as important to be clear about this: If Mitt Romney wins on election day, it doesn’t mean Silver’s model was wrong. After all, the model has been fluctuating between giving Romney a 25 percent and 40 percent chance of winning the election. That’s a pretty good chance! If you told me I had a 35 percent chance of winning a million dollars tomorrow, I’d be excited. And if I won the money, I wouldn’t turn around and tell you your information was wrong. I’d still have no evidence I’d ever had anything more than a 35 percent chance.

There are good criticisms to make of Silver’s model, not the least of which is that, while Silver is almost tediously detailed about what’s going on in the model, he won’t give out the code, and without the code, we can’t say with certainty how the model works. But the model is, at this point, Silver’s livelihood, and so it’s somewhat absurd to assume he’d hand it out to anyone who asks

Here’s the catch.  We know his code.  In fact, anyone of us can replicate Silver’s methodology on Microsoft Office.   As Sean A. Davis, COO of Media Trackers, wrote in The Daily Caller on November 1:

Silver’s key insight was that if you used a simple simulation method known as Monte Carlo, you could take a poll’s topline numbers and its margin of error and come up with a probability forecast based on the poll. The effect of this method was to show that a 50-49 lead in a poll with 1,000 respondents wasn’t really a dead heat at all — in fact, the candidate with 50% would be expected to win two-thirds of the time if the poll’s sample accurately reflected the true voting population.

To a political world unfamiliar with mathematical methods that are normally taught in an introductory statistics course, Silver’s prophecy was nothing short of miraculous.

But was it? To find out, I spent a few hours re-building Nate Silver’s basic Monte Carlo poll simulation model from the ground up. It is a simplified version, lacking fancy pollster weights and economic assumptions and state-by-state covariance factors, but it contains the same foundation of state poll data that supports Nate Silver’s famous FiveThirtyEight model. That is, they are both built upon the same assumption that state polls, on average, are correct.

After running the simulation every day for several weeks, I noticed something odd: the winning probabilities it produced for Obama and Romney were nearly identical to those reported by FiveThirtyEight. Day after day, night after night. For example, based on the polls included in RealClearPolitics’ various state averages as of Tuesday night, the Sean Davis model suggested that Obama had a 73.0% chance of winning the Electoral College. In contrast, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model as of Tuesday night forecast that Obama had a 77.4% chance of winning the Electoral College.

So what gives? If it’s possible to recreate Silver’s model using just Microsoft Excel, a cheap Monte Carlo plug-in, and poll results that are widely available, then what real predictive value does Silver’s model have?

That’s a very good question.   In the meantime, this is Silver’s Electoral College and Election forecasts, which were updated at 7pm on November 4.  Immerse yourself in the ignorant – or delusional – bliss.

 

Creepy: Florida- Crowd Chants ‘Hail Obama’

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There are eerie similarities between Barack Obama and Adolph Hitler, and it appears as though Obama’s followers are going to a creepy, new level in Florida. In the 1930’s and 1940’s it was “Heil Hitler”, now, in 2012, it is “Hail Obama”.

For those who are not familiar with history, here is a quick note from Wikipedia:

Characteristic of a cult of personality, it was adopted in the 1930s by the Nazi Party to signal obedience to the party’s leader Adolf Hitler and to glorify the German nation and later the war effort.

If Obama is re-elected, I wonder if history will repeat itself once again. In Germany, the salute eventually became mandatory for citizens. Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic appears to have learned from their history, as the salute a criminal offense in all four countries now.

 

FOX 35 News Orlando

H/T The Blaze

Obama’s War on Energy is about Control

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When one thinks of energy, the thoughts about economic growth rarely come into play.  In fact, most take it for granted.  It charges our iPhones, laptops, and Kindles, but it also is the lifeblood that keeps our economy growing.  It’s also the critical element that keeps our health services running.  It allows us to channel our resources elsewhere – to be more productive during the day.  However, we’re starting to see a shift occur through the policies of the Obama administration.  This radical reconfiguration of our energy infrastructure will be disastrous in the long run, and some in the media don’t seem to care.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Thomas Pyle, President of American Energy Alliance, Robin Millican, Policy Director for Institute for Energy Research (IER), and Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER on October 26 to discuss this issue further – and how it’s currently shaping the outcome of the 2012 election.  I mentioned the study Professor Gabriel Calzada conducted on Spain’s green energy investments and how he predicted a bubble, which seems to be bursting on the Iberian Peninsula.  Most disconcerting was the fact that for every green job created – 2.2 jobs were lost as a result.  In fact, Professor Gabriel Calzada found himself targeted by liberals and the Center for American Progress, John Podesta’s bastion of progressivism, as a consequence of his study concerning Spain’s green energy economy.  Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome in Spain, President Obama plans to use it as a model and apply it here, which would enter a more aggressive phase if he were reelected on November 6.

Furthermore, IER conducted a study on the impact of green energy initiatives in Germany.  Here are the key points:

  • Financial aid to Germany’s solar industry has now reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as $240,000 US.
  • In 2008, the price mark-up attributable to the government’s support for “green” electricity was about 2.2 cents US per kWh. For perspective, a 2.2 cent per kWh increase here in the US would amount to an average 19.4% increase in consumer’s electricity bills.
  • Government support for solar energy between 2000 and 2010 is estimated to have a total net cost of $73.2 billion US, and $28.1 billion US for wind. A similar expenditure in the US would amount to about half a trillion dollars US.

 

  • Green jobs created by government actions disappear as soon as government support is terminated, a lesson the German government and the green companies it supports are beginning to learn.
  • Government aid for wind power is now three times the cost of conventional electricity.

However, one area that is salient to American voters is coal.  Obama’s War on Coal has been brutal for thousands of families who live in states along the Appalachian Trail.  With new greenhouse gas regulations the EPA is doling out, it’ll prevent the creation of new plants and is scheduled to shut down 10% of existing coal plats that are operational today.

Pyle warned that there will come a time when the economy will begin to grow again and the energy infrastructure that President Obama and the environmental left envision for America will not be adequate to meet the demands of commercial expansion. There’s no special switch we can turn to get our power back to appropriate levels for economic development. Furthermore, it doesn’t help our long-term energy development when government shuts down coal mining, offshore drilling, or puts the kibosh on the Keystone Pipeline.  As a result, the Gulf States, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming are suffering under Obama’s war on energy.

While the Environmental Protection Agency has the reputation of being a ‘protector,’ they have recently become the heaviest portion of the boot that is on the throat of American enterprise.  One thing the United States can never compete in again is the labor market.  However, with the derivatives from oil/gas/and coal such as petrochemicals, smart phones, computers, Kevlar, shaving cream, toothpaste, and gum – we can still retain our economic vigor.   However, EPA regulations are making it harder to produce such products for American and international markets.

Dan Kish, Senior Vice President of Policy for IER, noted how the air is cleaner and the water is better. In fact:

Since 1990, nationwide air quality has improved significantly for the six common air pollutants. These six pollutants are ground-level ozone, particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM10), lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Nationally, air pollution was lower in 2008 than in 1990 for:

  • 8-hour ozone, by 14 percent
  • annual PM2.5 (since 2000), by 19 percent
  • PM10 , by 31 percent
  • Lead, by 78 percent
  • NO2 , by 35 percent
  • 8-hour CO, by 68 percent
  • annual SO2 , by 59 percent

Additionally, the EPA has affirmed this claim.

 As a result, life expectancy has increased dramatically – which is an effective metric at gauging the socioeconomic health of a nation.  Yet, the EPA feels that more needs to be done, despite that fact that states have their own safety and health provisions, which are tailored to accommodate the environments of each respective state.  However, given the dependency mentality of the Obama administration, the EPA insists on a one-size fits all model.  I guess the principles of federalism have taken a back seat.

Concerning coal, we have 497 billion short tons, which is enough to power the country for over 500 years – at our current levels of energy use.  When you incorporate Alaska into the picture, it dwarfs the lower forty-eight, with 10.38 trillion short tons for our use.  As a result, the United States is the ‘Saudi Arabia’ of coal.  And not all coal is used to generate electricity.  Thirty-eight percent of coal can be used to make jet fuel.  Fifty percent of all freight loads carried in the country are comprised of coal.  In fact, 25% of all rail revenue is derived from coal transportation.  What happens if that were to disappear, which is what the Obama administration wants as the end game in this power play.

We current use 1 billion tons of coal a year.  China uses 4 billion tons a year.  As a result, even if coal were to cease of an arm of the American economy, the effects on global CO2 emissions would be de minimis at best.  Kish noted how coal consumption has increased in Europe.  The reason is simple.  It’s cheap.  It works great, and is good for electricity.

Pyle touched upon the moral aspect of energy, which is seldom reported on in the press.  He reiterated the fact how 40% of India’s population don’t have access to affordable energy.  Kish noted how villages in Africa keep their kids to school, although they would like to send them there, because every available hand is needed to collect biomass to keep the home warm, to cook, and possibly fend themselves from predators at night.  If those kids were able to go to school because they had affordable energy, and access to it, increased economic activity from their education would have a ripple effect upon their community. Energy allows people to savor and spend their time more efficiently and purposefully. Until the Industrial Revolution, life expectancy had flat lined around age thirty for years, which saw a dramatic increase when people were able to utilize their time more efficiently due to proliferation of energy resources.

An example of the economic benefits in expanding our energy development can be seen in North Dakota.  Dan Kish recently visited the state, of which 97% isn’t owned by the government, and noticed the economic boom that has occurred from extracting the shale oil from the Bakken formation.  Williston, North Dakota has the busiest McDonald’s in the country.  A entry-level worker could earn up to $90,000 in his first year alone working the rigs.  In fact, five to ten years ago North Dakota wasn’t even a player in oil production.  Now, it’s ranked #2 – behind Texas – producing 18 million barrels of oil in March of 2012.  In all, between 2008-09, it’s proved reserves have increased from 543 million barrels to 1046 million barrels.  Some farmers, who’ve sold their land rights, are earning as much as $150,000 a month from the royalties.  Although, the monetary values is based on volume, but it’s possible.

As a result, North Dakota’s unemployment rate remains at 3%, the GDP per capita is well above the national average at $50,096, it’s spurred a budget surplus of $ 1 billion dollars, and increased the workforce from 5,000 in 2005 to 30,000 in 2012.  Here’s to prosperity.

We have the resources to be energy independent.  Pyle mentioned that in 1944 it was estimated that America’s proven oil reserves amounted to about 20 billion barrels.  However, from 1945-2010, the United States production exceeded 176 billion barrels of oil.  That’s because proven reserves tend to increase in volume as we continue to explore for more energy resources.  Case in point, the Bakken Shale.  However, the boot of the EPA and government regulation seems to be aimed at halting this process.  It’s because government, especially the one we have now, is set on breaking the independent arms that are harvesting these resources to the will of the state.  It’s about centralization of energy distribution. It’s trickle down government incarnate.

Last May, IER Policy Director Robin Millican spoke at an Americans for Prosperity rally in McLean, Va. There she said that the military has become victim to these government policies.  In her speech, she noted how the Department of Defense signed a $12 million dollar contract with two biofuel companies to produce 450,000 gallons of the advanced liquid.  In short, it’s incredibly expensive.  This ludicrous expenditure is grounded in the words of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus who said “We are doing this for one simple reason: It makes us better fighters…our use of fossil fuels is a very real threat to our national security and to the U.S. Navy ability to protect America and project power overseas.”  I’m sure the environmental left enjoys this change in course, but as Millican pointed out, the federal government has a portion of land in Alaska called the Naval Petroleum Reserve which is specifically set aside to meet the energy demands of the military.  Yet, we are going to pay companies to make fuel for our armed forces that is four times more expensive than standard fuel.

Additionally, Millican also delivered some remarks about the $500 million dollar loan allocated to Solyndra.  A company principally financed by George Kaiser, who was also a huge bundler for the Obama campaign in 2008.  In all, big government breed corruption, crony capitalism, and dependency. She aptly pointed out that these subsidies are not meant to better society, but are goodie bags to the politically connected.  She says, “look no further than a government funded program that relies on a stamp of approval from a group of unelected bureaucrats who have no technical experience.” The process in determining which system maximizes efficiency is not rigorous and comes down to nothing more than corporate welfare.  Continuing with the narrative of waste this administration has incurred due to its quest for clean energy initiatives, Millican detailed the Section 1603 program that has allocated $20 billion dollars in cash payments, not loans that need to be repaid, to companies that install solar, wind and geothermal properties.  Congress wants to extend this program for an additional year at the tune of $3 billion dollars.

Relating to AFP’s media campaign, Millican discussed the $529 million dollar loan to Fisker, which produced the $100,000 dollar Karma automobile that is principally made in Finland.  Is this investing in America? Ms. Millican astutely pointed out that renewables only constitute 1.5% of our entire energy consumption, but get the majority share of the funds allocated from Congress.

If Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States on November 6, it’ll be partially due to Americans’ disgust towards Obama’s war on energy – specifically coal.  The war on coal has affected thousands of families who live along the Appalachian Trail.  An aspect the Obama campaign should’ve taken more seriously since Virginia and Pennsylvania are both battleground and coal-producing states.  Currently, the small town of Grundy, Va is under siege by federal regulators who are preventing them from expanding their runway at the local airport because of coal.  It’s a three-year battle, which is really an assault on the American Dream.  The expansion of the airport would allow corporate jets to land, which could possibly spur economic development in Grundy and the surrounding counties.

Debra McCown reported on Grundy’s war with federal regulators back on October 17. I wrote, in a previous post, that since “the original airport was built on a piece of land made flat by surface mining by United Coal Co., which gave the land to Grundy,” the government won’t allow them to expand the runway.  It’s big government run amok.

McCown also reported in The American Spectator on October 22 “more than 5,500 people turned out Sunday afternoon at a mountaintop park in remote Buchanan County to show their support for coal.” She noted how the mood of the crowd exuded a certain dubiousness since most of these workers have an uncertain future, especially if Obama is reelected.   McCown quoted Jerry Shortt, who said, “the only promise Obama kept was to kill coal.”  “Jerry Shortt [is] a coal miner from Richlands who was laid off temporarily right after Labor Day — and learned Friday that for him, along with 189 other employees at the mine where he worked, the layoff would be permanent,” according to McCown.

She also noted that the EPA regulations that will be the harbingers of death for the industry.

First, new air emissions standards prompted utilities to announce the closure of dozens of coal-fired power plants, cutting the demand for coal and costing jobs. In some cases, utilities chose to convert those units to natural gas, which because of new technology for extraction has become relatively cheap and plentiful. Rules for coal-fired boilers have also affected factories and other facilities that use industrial boilers.

Second, a new proposed EPA rule would require any new coal-fired power plants to be constructed with technology to control carbon dioxide emissions — technology that’s not been fully developed. With this proposal, even state-of-the-art coal burning technology, like that being used at the new power plant that just opened in nearby Wise County, couldn’t be permitted, utility officials have said.

On the water pollution side, coalmines are now subject to new restrictions in obtaining the permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Targeted specifically at mountaintop mines in Appalachia, according to industry supporters, the change effectively prohibits modern surface mining and has also created significant problems for deep mining.

With the state in a statistical dead heat, the policies from the Obama administration to gut this business, and leave the families of those involved with coal mining in destitution – might be a deciding factor in how Virginia might vote on November 6.

The Washington Times’ Ben Wolfgang reported on October 23 that Obama’s crusade to destroy coal has put Pennsylvania in play.  More than anything, if Romney wins PA on November 6, it’ll be a very short election night.  While West Virginia was never going Democratic, Democrats there have eviscerated the Obama administration over recent coal miner layoffs.

Energy giant Consol announced Tuesday that it will idle its surface mining operations in Mingo County after failing to secure necessary Clean Water Act permits from the EPA.

The Miller Creek surface mine facility has been in operation for decades, and the company had planned to construct the new “King Coal Highway” as part of a reclamation project after mining is complete. Coal mine employees, Consol said, would eventually have been assigned to the highway project, once the coal supplies had been exhausted.

Democrats in the state, already angry with the administration’s “war on coal,” unloaded on the EPA on Tuesday afternoon.

“I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.

For those affected, it’s called a “regional genocide.”  For government, it’s a shift towards a cleaner future, despite the data suggesting otherwise.  At the end of the day, it’s about government controlling more of the means of production through our energy consumption.

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