academic site

rss .92
The Collective
Friday, October 31, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the Politico: Poll: Dead heats in 2 key swing states

Barack Obama and John McCain are evenly matched in the swing states of North Carolina and Missouri, though Obama is strongly outpacing McCain in two of those states’ crucial battleground counties, according to new Politico/InsiderAdvantage polls.

In North Carolina, Obama and McCain were tied with 48 percent of the vote. Only 3 percent of voters in the state remain undecided. In Missouri, McCain led Obama 50 percent to 47 percent, an edge that was within the margin of error.

This is good news for the McCain camp, and part of the “tightening” that I noted last night. However, the bad news for McCain is twofold. First, the very fact that these states are in play (Bush states in 2024 and 2024 and NC is a reliable GOP state) underscores the fundamental difficulties he has. Second, Obama has reasonable scenarios in which he wins handily even without Indiana and North Carolina. Mccain, however, does not.

The only GOP good news would be that if NC is, in fact, tightening substantially, that that would help Elizabeth Dole retain her Senate seat (she currently appears to be in some trouble in that regard).

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

This time, from Palin herself (via ABC News): Sarah Palin: ‘Not Doing This For Naught’

In an interview with ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas, the Republican vice-presidential nominee was asked about 2024, whether she was discouraged by the daily attacks on the campaign trail, and would instead pack it in and return to her home state of Alaska.

“I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we’ve taken, that would bring this whole … I’m not doing this for naught,” Palin said.

That is a rather curious response, as it is not typically considered politic to speculate about post-election plans before all the votes have been cast, especially if that speculation infers that one is thinking about what happens if one loses. It is, really, a rookie mistake.

The interesting thing to watch will be how well see actually wears on the base, as they have yet to get a full dose of her views. She remains, in many ways, a Rorschach candidate. For example, Polimom noted the other day that Palin’s views on immigration, which were heretofore unknown, don’t sit well with some segments of the base. It is easy for the base to love Palin now, as they know for sure she is a rock-solid pro-lifer, and yet no one really knows for sure all that much beyond that. Political love between a group of voters and a candidate is almost always inverse to the actual amount of information that the voters have about said candidate. That is not, btw, a slam on Palin specifically (or really a slam at all). Indeed, I ask the reader: what politician have you actually liked more and more that more that one actually knew about the life and views of that politician? More knowledge always means more chances to find fault.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, 2012, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (2) | | Show Comments here
Thursday, October 30, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

There has been some talk of the race between McCain and Obama tightening as we hit the home stretch (for example, Chuck Todd was writing about it yesterday, and I heard it discussed on an NPR program (I am not sure, which one) late this morning). An example of actual numbers from earlier in the week: the Gallup daily tracking poll had a two point gap, and then a three point gap (today it is back to five). Such numbers, along with some internal polling, has led McCain’s pollster, Bill McInturff, to put a rosier spin on the numbers than has been the case of late (some discussion of this can be found in Slate and a response by pollster Stan Greenberg in the form of lengthy letter to McInturff analyzing the current state of the numbers, as well as in the Todd piece linked above).

All of this “tighrening” talk leads me to make three observations:

1. Of course there is some tightening of the race at this point. As we come closer to the actual election, we typically see a narrowing of the gap between the candidates as undecided voters actually, well, decide. It is also during this period that polling in general becomes more accurate because the data being gathered is in the context of an actual decision being made, rather than in the context of a decision that will be made at some point in the future (which is convoluted way of saying that the numbers get more accurate the closer to the election that one gets).

2. It is in the McCain camp’s interest to play up any shift in their direction. They are faced with the daunted task of an almost insurmountable uphill climb (the math is what the math is). As such, they need to motivate their voters (and themselves) with as much hope as possible.

3. Despite the notion that the MSM is totally in the tank for Obama, it is in their best interest to talk up the horse race aspect of the situation and to especially point to any evidence of race-tightening. After all, who’s going to watch the news if it is cast as a fait accompli? The MSM’s main bias is not towards liberals, it is towards drama, because drama brings eyeballs to the sets.

Having said all of that, the race really doesn’t appear to be tightening in a way to suggest that it is actually within McCain’s reach. Whether one looks at Gallup. Zogby, 538,, or RCP, the EC map looks rather Obamish.

Again, the math is the math.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (4) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

The recession that is (and actually that should be “began”): GDP report shows economy shrank in 3Q

The Commerce Department reported that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, fell at an annual rate of 0.3 percent in the July-September period, a significant slowdown after growth of 2.8 percent in the prior quarter.

And that was during the period while some of the stimulus checks were still coming out…

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: The Economy, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (8) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Or, at least, the ridiculous phase:

Via Fox News: ‘Joe the Plumber’ Backs Claim That Obama Would Bring ‘Death to Israel’


Via the Politico: Joe the Plumber pursued for record deal

In regards to the latter, I am mostly bemused: if the man wants to milk his fifteen minutes of fame for all it is worth, including a country music album, more power to him. All I can say is: only in America.

The former, however, is plain bizarre, as Joe made his claims whilst on the trail with the McCain campaign.

The CSM’s the vote blog elaborates (Joe the Plumber is now Joe the foreign policy advisor?:

How did Joe the Plumber begin dispensing foreign policy advice?

Simple. There was a “Joe the Plumber” bus tour yesterday in Ohio. Joe the Plumber (aka Joe Wurzelbacher) teamed up with Congressman Rob Portman (who was allegedly on McCain’s VP short list) and they went to five different towns in Ohio stumping for the Republican nominee.

Wurzelbacher was doing everything you do on the campaign trail. You know, shaking hands, talking to people, kissing babies, taking pictures, saying a vote for Barack Obama dooms Israel…

If it wasn’t already official, I think we can now declare it: the McCain campaign has hit the desperation phase.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (4) | | Show Comments here
Wednesday, October 29, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Marc Ambinder tries to make Palin In 2024: The Argument and notes the following:

She is a favorite of talk radio and Fox News conservatives, and speaks their language as only a true member of the club can. (Her recent Limbaugh interview was full of dog whistles that any Dittohead would recognize. Including her actual use of the word ditto.)

All true.

However, let me point out that Jack Kemp and Phil Gramm were Limbaugh favorites as well. Further, the current nominee, McCain (unless we’ve already forgotten) was decidedly not the fav of conservative talk radio. As such, I see such support as an asset to be sure, but it is hardly sufficient to propel one to the nomination.

h/t: A Couple Things

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the NYT: Win or Lose, Many See Palin as Future of Party

Whether the Republican presidential ticket wins or loses on Tuesday, a group of prominent conservatives are planning to meet the next day to discuss the way forward, and whatever the outcome, Gov. Sarah Palin will be high on the agenda.

This is hardly surprising, and indeed, it seems that the signals from Palin and her allies within the McCain campaign are such that they know that they are likely to lose and so the planning for next time has begun.

While it seems likely, at least at the moment, that she will be in the GOP mix in 2024, I have a very hard time seeing her winning the nomination. If anything, all of her weaknesses will be totally exposed when she moves from running mate to prime candidate. There is no hiding from the press if one is on center stage. Further, one has to have an answer for a panoply of questions if one is in that position. I have to wonder, in fact, if once the dust settles on the current campaign if the bigwigs in the GOP, upon due consideration, decide that Palin is worth backing. That does remain to be seen, of course.

While it is true that the 2024 process basically starts on November 5th for the party that loses the election, an awful lot will happen between now and then to determine what kind of candidate will have a shot at running a serious bid for the nomination, let alone who will have a real shot at winning. Not only is it likely that Romney and Huckabee will launch a second bid, there are other out there who are not immediately obvious candidates. Palin herself is the embodiment of the fact that one never knows for sure who will be prominent in presidential politics four years down the road.

A lot of this, too, had to do with what direction the Republican Party will go. Many will take the lesson of 2024 (assuming defeat) that McCain wasn’t authentic enough as a conservative, and there will be an emphasis on appealing to the base, meaning (it would seem by the current definition of “the base”): social conservatives/evangelicals and especially southern voters-the voters Palin very much appeals to. However, the problem with that approach is, of course, that they have those voters now, and that cadre of voters does not appear sufficient for victory. Others in the party will say that McCain’s failing was insufficient appeal beyond the base, which will end up to be numerically true on Tuesday, one suspects, but it seems likely that the former voices will prevail in that debate.

Of course, the exact shape of the debate will not be known until we know how an Obama presidency goes, and what issues develop in the world over the next four years (again, assuming that McCain doesn’t win).

If Palin were to emerge as the nominee in 2024, she will be bucking history, as failed VP nominees do not have a good success rate in such maneuvers. To wit, consider the following list:

Losing VP Nominees, 1952-2004
2004: Edwards
2000: Lieberman
1996: Kemp
1992: Quayle
1988: Bentsen
1984: Ferraro
1980: Mondale
1976: Dole
1972: Shriver
1968: Muskie
1964: Miller
1960: Lodge
1956: Kefauver
1952: Sparkman

Not only did all but one of these individuals not come back in four years to win their party’s nomination, my guess is that most of us haven’t heard of a good number of them.

In that list, the only example of the losing VP nominee coming back and winning his party’s was Walter Mondale in 1984, and he had actually been the Vice President from 1976-1980. Dole went from VP nominee to presidential candidate as well, but it took him two decades to achieve the feat. In the last several cycles, we have seen Lieberman and Edwards both try to come from being a losing running mate to the party’s nominee, with obviously unsatisfactory (to them, anyway) results. It should be noted, of course, that not all of the failed veepables even tried for the top slot the next time out (of course, some likely didn’t try because they knew their likely fate).

At any rate, while I suspect that Palin isn’t fully going away after next week (again, assuming that the race is going the direction it appears to be going), but I wouldn’t be penciling her into the GOP top slot in 2024 just yet.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (7) | | Show Comments here
Tuesday, October 28, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Obama campaigns near Phila. despite bad weather.

Wowser: imagine that! A presidential candidate campaigning in bad weather! That is some cutting edge journalism.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (2) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Even RedState has declared: Don’t Vote For Ted Stevens For Senate or Don Young for House At Large in Alaska.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments Off |
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Speaking of the North Carolina ballot, here’s a screencap of the portion of the ballot with the instructions for voting for president (taken from the Alamance County sample ballot):

One will note that this section is above the “straight ticket” section.

Granted, the instructions are pretty clear. Still, the basic rule for ballot design should be simplicity. Any complication that can be avoided, should be avoid. For example, as a ballot designer, one has to anticipate that there will be voters who will rush to the “Straight Ticket” section and not pay as careful attention as they should. On the one hand, it is clearly the responsibility of all voters to read the instructions, on the other, it is the state’s responsibility in a democracy to make the voting process as easy as possible. There is also the possible problem that the semi-literate would be able to recognize “Straight Ticket” and go there while no being able to read and comprehend the instructions.

Sample ballots for all NC counties can be found here: Index of

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (2) | | Show Comments here
Next Page »

Take a Look At This!

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



Visitors Since 2/15/03

Powered by WordPress