Category Archives: Virginia

Scattershots

Polls are nothing more than a snapshot in time, meant to create a narrative that one candidate is winning or pulling away and another is falling and fading. Most polls have awful sample skews and/or ask the questions in a way that show obvious bias.

Nonetheless, some scattershots:

  • AP poll has Obama up 1, 47/46
  • CBS/NYT Colorado: Obama 48/47
  • CBS/NYT Virginia: Obama 50/46*
  • CBS/NYT Wisconsin: Obama 51/45
  • Rasmussen New Hampshire: Romney 48/45
  • WeAskAmerica Virginia: Obama 49/46

Digging deep into the polls, we find some have relatively normal sample sizes (CBS/NYT Colorado has R+1) but some are so weird (CBS/NYT Virginia had a D+11 sample size, which is +5 more than ’08 turnouts, but Romney is crushing with indies 53-42).

Let me address that Virginia poll. A 4-point race with a +11 Democratic sample, nearly double 2008, where the Republican wins indies by double-digits. Let me tell you, if you adjust that poll to even ’08 turnout, Romney is at least tied or barely ahead in Virginia.

That Colorado poll, with an R+1 sample, suggests Obama wins independents by a single point, 47/46. Obama took Colorado purely by running up his margin with independents in the suburbs, where Republicans still have a huge voting edge. Romney is probably a marginal favorite in Colorado.

Let’s say Romney is the favorite in Colorado, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and New Hampshire…Obama is the favorite in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan…now its 248R-243O…I think Iowa goes Romney, but (at this point) Wisconsin goes Obama…254R-253O…Romney has to take Ohio to win (272) as Virginia doesn’t get him there (267)…or he can lose Ohio, win Virginia, but he has to steal a state (Wisconsin is the best bet). There are some unusual paths for him, but there are paths based on polling.

  • All Signs Point to a Tight Race: Those watching the daily tracking polls know that, while the President has seen a bounce from his convention, his approval has already begun to slip, indicating it is likely to recede further.  In eight states, Pollster.com’s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts the margin between the two candidates at less than three points, virtually guaranteeing a tight race.
  • Next, the battlefield has actually expanded, not contracted.  Note that Wisconsin is now in play and our campaign is now up with ads in that state, while the latest poll numbers from the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico show the race closing there.  And this tightening is not an anomaly.  Consider the traditional Democratic strongholds of New Jersey and Connecticut, won by President Obama in 2008 by margins of 15 points and 22 points, respectively.  In both states, Pollster.com’s reporting of the most recent statewide polls puts Obama’s lead at only seven points in each of these states.
  • In North Carolina, fresh off of hosting the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign is laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal.  In a state the President won by a mere 14,000 votes in 2008, all one has to do is look at the Obama campaign’s television buy in the state to understand how they view their chances there.  The Obama campaign’s North Carolina television buy has dropped 35% compared to June, and they have run more than twice as much advertising over the past two weeks in Rochester, Minnesota (hitting a small slice of Iowa), than they have in any North Carolina market.

THIS ELECTION IS SO OVER!

Because the mainstream media says so.

I mean, Romney is up 47-45 in Rasmussen Presidential and up 47-46 in the Rasmussen Swing State Tracking. OVER.

And now Gallup is showing Obama only up by 1, 47-46. Bounce? Gone. Election? OVER

Gravis has Romney up 1 in FL….Rasmussen has Romney up 3 in Colorado…Baydoun/Foster has Romney -2 in Michigan…Rasmussen has Romney -1 in Virgina…O.V.E.R.

So Dems…no need to go vote…this election is OVAH.

Comparing the Benches

So with the Republican National Conference over and the Democratic National Convention starting, one only has to look at the speakers to see who the rising stars (“the benches”) are for each party. Let’s put them in a depth chart

Republicans:

  • First String: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell; WI Gov. Scott Walker; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; NJ Gov. Chris Christie; LA Gov. Bobby Jindal; SD Sen. John Thune; Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice; WI  Rep. Paul Ryan; FL Sen. Marco Rubio
  • Second String: NH Sen. Kelly Ayotte; OK Gov. Mary Fallin; NV Gov. Brian Sandoval; KY Sen. Rand Paul; OH Sen. Rob Portman; PR Gov. Luis Fortuño; NM Gov. Susana Martinez; Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush; TX Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Third String: ND Sen. John Hoeven; TN Rep. Marsha Blackburn; WA Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love; OH Gov. John Kasich; Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Democrats

  • First String: CO Gov. John Hickenlooper; Former VA Gov. Tim Kaine; MD Gov. Martin O’Malley; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer; MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren
  • Second String: Newark Mayor Corey Booker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx; NC Sen. Kay Hagan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Vice President Joe Biden; MN Senator Amy Klobuchar; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilagarossa
  • Third String: WI Senate Candidate Tammy Baldwin; House of Representatives Candidate Joaquin Castro; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Former OH Gov. Ted Strickland; Houston Mayor Annisse Parker

Akin for Control of the Senate

So, maybe the news isn’t all bad for Republican control of the Senate? Let’s go straight to predictions and explanations!

  • Arizona: No change from last week. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • California: No change from last week. I’m excited to see Emken go on CNN Monday morning. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Connecticut: This one has moved into a tossup. A new poll had McMahon up 49-46 and Connecticut looks a lot less friendly to Obama. Could a Republican upset happen here? Until I see another poll tell me otherwise, I say yes. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Delaware: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Florida: No change. I still think the way Florida goes in November decides the winner between Nelson and Mack. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Hawaii: No change yet. Hirono and Lingle are going to debate 8 times between now and November. Lots of room for change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Indiana: Still not a lot of polling, so no change. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Maine:No change. Still not a lot of polling and King has still not declared a caucus yet. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Maryland: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Massachusetts: A PPP poll had Brown up 5 points yesterday. Looking like Brown’s race to lose.  TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Michigan: Two new polls have  given Hoekstra a lead and another Stabenow in the low single-digits. Romney’s coattails could make this an upset. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Minnesota: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Mississippi: Incumbent: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Missouri: Call it a tossup now. Actually, as long as Akin is the nominee, McCaskill will win. Weak Dem lean with the chance to jump back to GOP with a new nominee. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Montana: Montana is looking RED as RED can be this year. Moving this to GOP lean. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nebraska: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nevada: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • New Jersey: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • New Mexico: No change yet. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • New York: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • North Dakota: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Ohio: No change. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Pennsylvania: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Rhode Island: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Tennessee: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Texas: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Utah: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Vermont: No change. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
  • Virginia: Virginia is looking like a lean blue state in November, so I’m moving this one down to a Dem hold. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Washington: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • West Virginia: No change.  STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Wisconsin: Thompson looks to be getting stronger and Wisconsin is looking like a Romney state. Moving this up a little. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Wyoming: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD

Last week I had it at 52-47-1 (GOP/Dem/Independent King); this week we have it at: 52-47-1. Haha. Missouri goes blue, Connecticut goes red. Total wash.

Polls…POLLS…POLLS!!

Time for some presidential polling and predictions! Please, don’t get so excited, you might pass out.

Gallup and Rasmussen have shown a consistent tie to Romney +2. WSJ/NBC last night has Obama +4 and AP today has Obama +1.

Update on some state polling done in the last week:

  • Survey USA in Nevada: Obama +2 (47/45)
  • Baydoun/Foster (D) in Michigan: Romney +4 (48/44)
  • PPP (D) in Wisconsin: Romney +1 (48/47)
  • PPP (D) in Virginia: Obama +5 (50/45)
  • CNN in Wisconsin: Obama +4 (49/45)
  • Rasmussen in Wisconsin: Romney +1 (48/47)
  • Rasmussen in Florida: Romney +2 (4/43)
  • Mitchell Research in Michigan: Obama +5 (49/44)
  • Franklin and Marshall in Pennsylvania: Obama +5 (47/42)

So let’s go state by state in our categories:

  • Solid Obama: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington D.C. (182)
  • Leans Obama: Connecticut*, New Mexico, Oregon**, Pennsylvania*** (39)
  • Tossup: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin (111)
  • Leans R: Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina (47)
  • Solid R: Alabama, Alaska Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming (159)

August 22nd Prediction: Romney 280-Obama 258 (+6 Obama)

Where the tossups went:

  • Nevada, Virginia to Obama (lost Colorado, gained Virginia)
  • Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin to Romney (lost Virginia, gained Colorado and Michigan)

 

*Connecticut moves from Solid to Leans on the basis of PPP polling that Obama has dropped -14 from 2008, from a 22-point win to only an 8-point lead.

**Oregon drops not due to polling, but because of an electoral “twinsies” with Wisconsin, but a teensy bit more liberal (hence, Leans, not Tossup)

***Pennsylvania drops due to polling

Open Letter to Republicans: How Could You Have Been So Stupid?

August 21, 2012

An Open Letter to Republicans (Especially Conservatives) in America:

Do you not learn any type of lessons? They said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I guess that is also the definition of conservatism in voting.

For the second third election cycle, conservatives have chosen Senate candidates who cannot or will not win. Let’s look at them, shall we:

2008 (-8 seats and GOP loss of Senate)

  • Colorado: Bob Schaffer and his ties to Abramoff; lost a GOP seat
  • New Mexico: Steve Pearce, too conservative for the state; lost a GOP seat
  • Virginia: Jim Gilmore, failed 2008 presidential nominee; lost a GOP seat

2010 (+6 seats, but not enough to retake control)

  • Alaska: Joe Miller and the handcuffed journalist; held a GOP seat due to write-in by incumbent Murkowski
  • Colorado: Ken Buck instead of more popular, moderate Jane Norton; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon instead of more moderate Rob Simmons; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retain
  • Delaware: Christine freaking O’Donnell over Mike Castle. Castle would have picked up this seat in a blowout….gosh darn, this still makes me mad; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains.
  • Nevada: Sharon Angle instead of…anyone; failed pickup opportunity, Dem retains

2012 (yet to be determined)

  • Connecticut: Linda McMahon (again) over more moderate Chris Shays: Dem favorite to retain
  • Indiana: Richard Murdock over incumbent Richard Lugar; tossup status
  • Maine: Conservative grassroots HATE Olympia Snowe, pushing her into retirement, easily losing this seat; Dem favorite to pickup
  • Missouri: Todd Akin over Brunner or Steelman; one gaffe makes this a tossup versus GOP pickup

I will acknowledge the GOP base in some states made excellent decisions (Heather Wilson in NM, Tommy Thompson in WI) but Senate control is going to come down to 1 or 2 seats we could have won with better candidates.

The GOP base has to stop putting a litmus test on their candidates. You have to run the right Republican for certain states. Scott Brown isn’t the most conservative, but he’s the right Republican for Massachusetts. Same with Olympia Snowe/Susan Collins in Maine. The Democrats mastered this, picking up seats in 2006 and 2008 by running more moderate/conservative Democrats in states that lean more moderate/conservative: Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana.

If the GOP can’t win the Senate back in 2012, 2014 has to be the year if the right people are chosen for the right states. You have pickup opportunities in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire, and North Carolina and no GOP seats in moderate states up for grabs except Maine, and Susan Collins is the right choice for Maine. At the least, 2014 should be a GOP +6 year (and a guaranteed GOP +3 year, because no way Begich, Pryor, or Landrieu are re-elected).

Don’t screw it up, guys. Stop putting ideological purity before elections. If you run the most conservative candidate and they lose, what was the point? Better to have someone who votes with you 80% of the time than someone who votes with you 20% of the time.

A Poll of No Confidence

The only thing more split this year than Presidential Election polling is Senate polling. The House is almost assuredly going to stay Republican due to redistricting and a sizable majority. Will the Senate finally turn red after Republicans (read: Tea Party) blew it in 2010?

Let’s take a look:

  • Arizona: Sen. John Kyl is retiring after three terms and serving as Minority Whip this session. US Rep. Jeff Flake is taking on former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (who served under President George W. Bush). State demographics would tilt this Democrat due to the high Hispanic population, but Arizona also has a sizable Mormon population and low-Hispanic turnout. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • California: Three term Senator Dianne Feinstein is up this year and will face Autism advocate and former IBM Cost Analyst Elizabeth Emken. The latest field poll shows Feinstein polling way below Obama and only up 12% on Emken. But California is California and even in a wave election, the GOP couldn’t touch Boxer last cycle. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Connecticut: Independent (and perpetual thorn in the side of both parties) Joe Lieberman is retiring. 2010 GOP nominee Linda McMahon of WWE fame and Dem. Rep. Chris Murphy will face off after defeating opposition by 75% of the vote. Despite spending ten million dollars in 2010, McMahon couldn’t even take the open seat. I don’t think she has a chance this year barring a Romney blowout. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Delaware: Two-term Sen. Tom Carper is up against…who? STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Florida: Two-term Sen. Bill Nelson faces an uphill battle with strong headwinds in a presidential year. He will face U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV. A strong candidate in Mack and a tough year for Nelson makes this a top 5 race.  Whichever presidential candidate wins FL, so goes the Senate race. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Hawaii: An open seat, Democratic U.S. Rep Maze Hirono will face former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Lingle is a strong candidate, but having to go against President Obama at the top of the ticket in his home state. It’ll take a massive effort but it is not in her favor. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Indiana: Now an open race, Richard Murdock knocked off longtime incumbent Richard Lugar on the GOP side. For the Dems, U.S. Rep Joe Donnelly will face him. Obama won’t win Indiana again, but something about this race bothers me. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Maine: Sen. Olympia Snowe surprised the political world with her retirement. A shoo-in for reelection, it now falls to a threeway race: State Sen. Cynthia Dill for the Dems, State Sec. of State Charles Summers for the GOP, and former Gov. Angus King as an Independent. King has not announced who he will caucus with, but the Democratic Senate Committee is pretty sure he’ll caucus with the Dems and has given no backing to Dill. It’s still Maine….MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
  • Maryland: First-term Sen. Ben Cardin faces former USSS Agent Daniel Bongino. Never heard of him and I doubt voters have either. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Massachusetts: THE race of the year. Incumbent Sen. Scott Brown faces the Harvard-educated, liberal activist Elizabeth Warren. A lot of money has been raised and the polls are razor thin. Tie goes to the incumbent. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • Michigan: Two-term incumbent Debbie Stabenow faces former U.S. Rep Pete Hoesktra, famous for his oddly racist ad against China and Senator “Spend-it-Now” (lol). His only chance is a Romney blowout. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Minnesota: Incumbent Amy Klobuchar faces Ron Paul-ite Kurt Bills, State Rep. and an economics teacher. Sen. Klobuchar has kept her nose down and her name out of the news, so she’s good for a second term. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Mississippi: Incumbent Roger Wicker will face…someone named Al Gore, Jr. (Don’t ask me how he’s a “Jr,” he looks about 112 and…no relation to another Gore). Okay then…STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Missouri: One-term incumbent Claire McCaskill will face U.S. Congress Todd Akin, who won over Palin-endorsed State Treasure Sarah Steelman and “endorsed by everyone else” John Brunner. A lot of trouble for Sen McCaskill, despite weaker than expected opposition. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Montana: Incumbent Jon Tester will face Rep. U.S. Rep Danny Rehberg. This is a surprisingly close race in a state as red as Montana, but in the end, I think Rehberg rides Romney’s coattails to Washington. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Nebraska: Sen. Ben Nelson retired (because he had no chance of winning). Former Senator Bob Kerrey flew back from New York to run in his place. Deb Fischer came from third to first behind Sarah Palin’s help and will fly to Washington D.C. as the next Senator. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Nevada: Sen. Dean Heller will face ethics-plagued U.S. Rep. Shelly Berkley. Despite the state’s Obama lean, Berkley is in serious trouble over the ethics complaint. Heller wins due to incumbency. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • New Jersey: Incumbent Bob Menendez will face State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos. Menendez is not terribly popular but should win, barring a miracle Romney pickup of NJ behind Chris Christie’s help. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • New Mexico: Open race time! Another top 5 tossup. U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich for the Dems and former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson for the GOP. Polls show neither candidate with a significant lead outside the MoE. Hold for now. TOSSUP/HOLD
  • New York: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will go up against Attorney Wendy Long. Gillibrand has New York and Schumer behind her. Romp. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • North Dakota: Sen. Kent Conradt is retiring, leading to another open-race tossup. For the GOP, U.S. Rep Rick Berg; for the Dems, former State AG Heidi Heitkamp. She’s a good candidate, but ND is red, red, red. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Ohio: Incumbent Dem. Sen Sherrod Brown will face State Treasurer Josh Mandel. Mandel, who looks like he just graduated HS, is a money-raising machine, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how Brown is the favorite. Yet, he is, barring an Romney romp of 5 or more points. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Pennsylvania: Incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. is not his father, but Keystone residents think he is. Either way, businessman Tom Smith is a no one. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Rhode Island: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (sweet name) will face…someone. Whatever. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Tennessee: Incumbent Sen. Bob Corker is facing…someone. Whatever. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Texas: This was the premier matchup on the GOP side after incumbent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decided not to run again. Former State Solicitor General Ted Cruz defeated Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in a run-off. Texas…red…STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Utah: Sen. Orrin Hatch managed to be renominated (by a lot) and will face…someone. This is the reddest state in the country. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
  • Vermont: Incumbent Bernie Sanders (self described democratic socialist) will face…who cares. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
  • Virginia: The race of all races this year. Incumbent Jim Webb retired, setting up a fight between former Gov. and DNC Chair Tim Kaine and former US Senator George Allen who wants his seat back. Kaine runs a point or so better than Obama, but like Florida, he who wins the state wins the seat. Give me Allen right now. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
  • Washington: Incumbent Maria Cantwell will face State Rep and veteran Michael Baumgartner. Washington was fool’s gold for the GOP in 2010 and even though Cantwell is not very popular, she will win. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • West Virginia: 2010 rematch, incumbent Joe Manchin against businessman John Raese. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Manchin will win, but he’ll be a Republican by 2013/14. Book it. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
  • Wisconsin: Another open-race tossup party! Former Gov and HHS Tommy Thompson, who was a reformer but being a reformer was cool, will face U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin. Wisconsin has been the epicenter of politics in 2012 (recall…Rep. Paul Ryan…battleground) and Thompson is way popular. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
  • Wyoming: Did you know John Barrasso is the Senator from Wyoming? He will still be the Senator from Wyoming in 2013. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD

So there you have it. By my estimate, the next Senate will be 53-47 GOP control. The hapless KY Senator Mitch McConnell will be Senator Majority Leader. Woohoo? For no one.

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