Category Archives: Wisconsin

An Unconventional Path For Romney

So everyone is going to blather on about how no GOP candidate has won the White House without Ohio. But, there exists a path for Romney…

Safe Seats:
Obama 237
Romney 191

Obama gains Nevada, New Hampshire (247)

Romney gains Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia (257)

That would put the election squarely on three battleground states – Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), Ohio (18). Romney can take Ohio and win (277) or he can take Wisconsin and Iowa and win (273).

Wisconsin looks to be closing, Ohio still looks to be within the margin of error, and Iowa is within the margin of error. A lot of money is going to pour into these three states.

The real battleground is the Rust Belt.

Garbage in, garbage out

Garbage polls by NBC/WSJ as per usual.

Wisconsin: Obama 50 – Romney 45

D/R/I: 33/28/38 (D+5)

Iowa: Obama 50 – Romney 42

D/R/I: 36/31/33 (D+5)

Colorado: Obama 50 – Romney 45

D/R/I: 34/32/32 (D+2)

 

As usual, the polling assumes a Democratic turnout nearly equal to 2008, the highwater for the Dems. D+6 was the turnout in 2008…I am about 99.9% sure November is going to be closer to D+2 or even.

Garbage in, garbage out. Polls create narratives. The media narrative: OBAMA IS WINNING. Internal polling says otherwise, or else Obama wouldn’t be in Iowa/Wisconsin considering the margin he won by in 2008.

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.

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

The Convention, Day 1

Will update with videos tomorrow.

  • Future First Lady Ann Romney
  • OK Governor Mary Fallin
  • WI Governor Scott Walker
  • NH Senator Kelly Ayotte
  • Former AL Congressman Artur Davis (D)
  • Former PA Senator Rick Santorum
  • OH Governor John Kasich
  • NJ Governor Chris Christie (keynote)
  • SC Governor Nikki Haley
  • Mayor and Utah Congressional Nominee Mia Love
  • TX Senate Nominee Ted Cruz

**********

Day 2 is shaping up to to be GOOD:

  • PR Governor Luis Fortuño
  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • NM Governor Susana Martinez
  • Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan

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.

The Morning Dump, August 21st

Here comes your Morning Dump for Tuesday. Such an awkward day of the week, but we soldier through it; though, under my plan, Tuesday is the new Monday.
World News

  • It is about time someone noticed how screwed my generation is (no, screwed…not screwed up…)! The Euro Crisis is not rich vs. poor, people vs. banks, it’s young vs. old. The Baby Boomers are dead set on living and retiring on the backs of Gen X and Gen Y, forcing our generations into bankruptcy and insolvency. See, not just a problem in this country. Even “the great European countries” suffer too.
  • Putin Cracks Down on Pussy. The Russian band Pussy Riot, who walked into a public square and insulted the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Two years in jail for all three members of the band. Putin hates music…what’ a fascist. Also, TATU was a much better Russian band. Just sayin‘.

U.S. News

  • Virginia’s “photo ID” law has been cleared by the DOJ. I say “photo ID” because you can show certain non-photo forms of ID, but now, you can’t vote without an ID by signing an affidavit anymore. More states taking necessary steps to protect our fundamental rights.
  • Mission to Mars!! NASA announced yesterday an unmanned mission in 2016 to drill into the red planet’s surface. Again: why are we not funding this enough??
  • Money makes the world go ’round…Challenger Mitt Romney now has more money in the bank than President Obama. For the President, running a campaign is like running this U.S. Government, as his campaign spent more than it took in. That’s why we are in this mess, just sayin’.
  • Quick poll: Romney made a good pick. A Monmouth poll has Paul Ryan at 31/27 fav/unfav (compared to 30/35 for VP Biden). He’s even with women and young voters, and positive at 36/31 among seniors. 56% say good pick. Score one for Romney.

Texas News

Interesting Tidbit of the Day

  • A new poll by PPP to be released this morning (and teased on Twitter) says 44% of Wisconsin Republicans would consider voting for an openly gay candidate, 39% say no. But Wisconsin GOP is 93% behind Tommy Thompson over Tammy Baldwin.

“Achin’ for Akin” Watch

  • He has until 5pm today to withdraw without needing to take it to court.
  • Quick PPP poll last night has him up 1 on Claire McCaskill, same as last time.
  • SurveyUSA poll had only 35% say Akin should say in the race.
  • Akin Campaign has picked up an 8/22-27 media buy.

They Are Woman, Hear Them Roar

17 out of 100. 17%. That’s the percentage of women in the United States Senate. Women make up 50.8% of this country, but just 17% of the body that represents each state. Puzzling. I promise, no kitchen jokes or driving jokes.

But is that about to change? Politico reported that female Senate candidates this cycle are raking up money, to the tune of $135 million!! There are currently 17 female US Senators serving today:

  • Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), serving until 2016
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-California), up for re-election this year
  • Barbara Boxer (D-California), serving until 2016
  • Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), serving until 2014
  • Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), retiring at the end of this year
  • Susan Collins (R-Maine), serving until 2014
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), serving until 2016
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), up for re-election this year
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), up for re-election this year
  • Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), up for re-election this year
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), serving until 2014
  • Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), serving until 2016
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), up for re-election this year
  • Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina), serving until 2014
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), retiring at end of this year
  • Patty Murray (D-Washington), serving until 2016
  • Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), up for re-election this year

Until 2013, California, New Hampshire, Maine, and Washington are the only states with two current female Senators. Of the above, Feinstein, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, and Cantwell are locks for re-election, setting the minimum number of female Senators in 2013 at 14. Let’s look at where they can make gains this cycle:

  • Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren is a formidable opponent. She has amassed nearly a $25 million war chest thus far. Beloved my the liberal grassroots.
  • Wisconsin: U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin has raised nearly $7 million for her campaign. She would become the first openly-gay U.S. Senator if she was to win.
  • Nevada: U.S. Rep Shelley Berkley has raised almost $7 million as well, putting her on even-footing with her opponent.
  • New York: Attorney Wendy E. Long is running against Kirsten Gillibrand (one of three female-on-female battles)
  • California: Autism activist Elizabeth Emken is running against Sen. Feinstein but has failed to reach $1 million in funds, despite Feinstein losing $4.5 million stolen by her former treasurer
  • Maine: State Sen. Cynthia Dill is running to replace Olympia Snowe but has failed to gain any traction behind Independent former Gov. Angus King
  • North Dakota: State AG Heidi Heitkamp is running a strong campaign in a strong GOP state in a Republican year. She is one to watch. $1.8 million in a cheap media market.
  • Hawaii: Both U.S. Rep Maze Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle are running in this open seat. Give or take, each candidate has raised about $4 million on the islands.
  • New Mexico: the GOP’s strongest female candidate, former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson, has also raised about $4 million and is running competitively in this open seat.
  • Connecticut: 2010 candidate Linda McMahon is once again running in this open-seat (again) and after pouring $50 million (!!!!) into her last campaign, she has $14 million right now (….with a $12 million loan)

If you ask me (and you did, because you’re still reading), I think more female Senators and U.S. Representatives is extremely good for this country. Female legislators tend to be less interested in partisan combat, more likely to cross the aisle, and bring a fresh perspective to Congress, often as leaders of households. Again, no jokes.

Oh and how many female Senators will there be in 2013? 16 is this man’s guess.

Those who know me know I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Michele Bachmann in 2012. It is time for a woman to serve as President. Who will be the first female President, you ask me? (Which again, you did!) Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. In 2020.

 

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