Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 7, 2012
POLITICS: The Fall of the House of Romney

Let's not sugarcoat this: last night was a bitter loss for Republicans and conservatives, all the worse because the presidential race - like a number of the key Senate races - was eminently winnable, and down the stretch a great many of us believed we were going to win it. I'll return (hopefully this week) to the poll-reading question of why that was wrong, after more of the final numbers are in. But first, a look at Romney's loss and some initial thoughts on where we go from here.

I Told You So. I Told You So, I Told You So, I Told You So.

I was wrong about the polls the past three weeks. But I was right about Romney the past six years, and as it turned out, vindicated my original view in the primaries that - while Romney could win a landslide race if the bottom dropped out of Obama - he could not win not a close race: "Romney is a terrible general election candidate, who will need a lot of good fortune and outside help to end up winning, and...just about anybody will be able to beat Obama in those circumstances." (Follow more of the links collected here and here for the full archive of my 2007-08 and 2011-12 columns on Romney's flaws as a candidate).

That's exactly what happened. The economy limped to a slightly better state by September, but never did turn up significantly; the headline unemployment rate was no better on Election Day than it had been when Obama took office. Polls never showed Obama with particularly robust job approval, in particular on the economy; his coalition narrowed and he lost independent voters (exit polls say by 5 points nationally, narrower than the spread in nearly all the pre-election polls but wider than any deficit for a winning presidential candidate since Carter in 1976). The foreign policy crisis of the fall in North Africa didn't end up really affecting the race much, and it's hard to say whether the other big external event (Hurricane Sandy) did (more on that below). In short, nothing blew the race open. At this writing, Romney's loss in the national popular vote is narrower than John Kerry's in 2004, and his losses in several key states were close ones - perhaps a point in Florida (not yet called), 2 points in Ohio, 3 in Virginia, 4 in Colorado, 5 in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, 6 in Iowa and Nevada, 7 in Wisconsin.

All of which is a way of saying that Obama - even moreso than Bush in 2004 - was still in a position to be taken, by the right candidate. But as I've said for years, ideas don't run for president; people do. Romney wasn't that candidate, and his loss was due in very significant part to problems particular to Romney. You still can't beat somebody with nobody.

You can't really fault the execution. The selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate was Romney's boldest move, and while Ryan was unable to deliver his home state, there's not much reason to think he cost Romney anything or that the outcome would have been different with, say, Rob Portman or Bob McDonnell on the ticket. The final six weeks of the campaign were about the best you could expect from Mitt Romney, with one exception (his fumble of a clear line of attack on Benghazi in the second debate): he turned in a strong performance in the first debate and was generally solid through the following two, and his campaign raised a ton of cash and generated a lot of enthusiasm down the stretch run. He was, day in and day out, the best Mitt Romney we've seen.

The problems with Romney were, rather, his built-in weaknesses as a candidate and the strategic choices that followed from them. Romney is, as I have consistently noted, an outstanding man - smart, accomplished, tireless, enthusiastic, and of unimpeachable personal character. But his political weaknesses were the same they always were, the same I warned of in the primaries (with one exception: his Mormon faith didn't seem to hurt him too much with evangelical Christians). He remained a poor political communicator with no political principles, and that meant he was stuck selling himself and his reading of the landscape, rather than selling ideas. He was particularly hamstrung by his inability - unique within the Republican Party - to mount a convincing root-and-branch critique of Obamacare, having signed a nearly identical plan in Massachusetts. He might have benefited from the Supreme Court doing his job for him by striking down the individual mandate, but the Court upheld everything but the overreaching changes to Medicaid, and Romney's campaign went off the rails from that date (June 28), not really recovering any momentum until the Ryan pick. He was never a convincing social/cultural populist. He continued to be prone to painful gaffes as he'd been for years, the worst being the infamous 47% video.

In other ways, Romney predictably lacked ways to distinguish himself from Obama and connect with voters. His biography marked him as a business success, but also as a guy without any sort of inspiring narrative of overcoming adversity, and Bain Capital turned out to be more of a liability than an asset, especially with the white blue-collar voters in the Midwest who have never really warmed to Obama. His governorship was too short, too hamstrung by a veto-proof Democratic legislative majority and too overshadowed by Romneycare to produce much in the way of governing accomplishments to run on.

As I noted in the primaries, Romney was the first moderate Republican to run without a serious background in national security or foreign policy since Tom Dewey, and that meant he lacked the gravitas to do more than tread water on foreign policy. His foreign trip over the summer - while overstated by his critics - was not a P.R. success. With Obama having one signature national security accomplishment (the death of bin Laden) to his name and uninterested in engaging in the kind of ideological debate on national security that characterized his campaign against McCain, that left Romney confined to the domestic sphere to score all his points.

And the one area where I felt Romney had gone too far to the right in the 2008 and 2012 primaries - immigration, on which he relentlessly attacked Giuliani, McCain, Brownback, Huckabee, Perry, Gingrich and others from the right - burned his bridges with Hispanic voters, requiring him to focus entirely on maximizing his share of white voters not already ideologically wedded to the Democrats, an unnecessary self-inflicted wound. That's a mistake we as a party cannot afford to repeat in the future; avoiding it was one of my chief reasons for opposing Romney twice.

Unable to run a strong positive campaign on his record, ideas, personality, biography, or identity politics, that left running on a concrete platform. But while Romney rolled out a number of specific policy proposals, he generally preferred to campaign on general frameworks, and depend on the voters trusting him to fill in the blanks in negotiations with Congress. This can, on occasion, be an effective formula for an otherwise-attractive statewide candidate (it's how Chris Christie got elected) and can work as a governing strategy if you get elected doing it, but it's generally a poor way to approach a national campaign, especially for a candidate like Romney who didn't have a lot of the voters' trust to start with. I detailed before how Romney ended up wasting a lot of the summer getting pounded on the ambiguities in his tax plan. Romney's unwillingness to run on a more detailed-yet-concisely-summarizable plan was visibly frustrating to Ryan, who made his name in Congress in large part due to his insistence that the GOP had to offer its own policy proposals. You could tell it pained Ryan not to be able to offer up more specific, numbers-based answers to questions.

This flies in the face of what George W. Bush did as a candidate - and while there's plenty to debate in the Bush legacy, he's the only Republican to win a presidential election in the past two decades, so he was doing something right. Put simply, Bush had principled positions. Bush was governor of Texas for six years, in which he built a governing record; he then ran nationally on a detailed policy platform nearly identical to his Texas record, got elected and enacted it into law. And even lacking eloquence as a public speaker, Bush effectively communicated the outlines of his proposals through concise description and endless repetition (remember the calculator on Bush's website that showed how much money you'd save with the Bush tax cuts? You can do that when your tax plan is fully developed and easy to understand and implement). Bush may have grown in office as Commander-in-Chief, but on domestic policy, his principles, record, rhetoric and platform were consistent and enduring. When George W. Bush said what he meant to do, people knew where he stood and believed him. That - and not Romney's flip-flopping history and strategic ambiguity - is the model for how to become the next Republican president.

Romney and Obama made opposite strategic choices in how and when to spend their money, in part driven by the fact that Romney had to win an expensive primary first. Obama spent a ton of money over the summer doing the big thing you need to do against a non-incumbent: defining Romney in the eyes of voters before Romney could do it himself. Romney, by contrast, held a lot of his money to the end, banking on making a big late surge.

This, too, looks now like a bad strategic choice. One reason is Hurricane Sandy. It's clear that the superstorm knocked Romney off the campaign trail and the front pages for a few days and let Obama collect a lot of plaudits (totally untethered from the miserable actual performance of the federal government in responding to the storm). Romney never looked as good in the national polls after the storm as he had before. That doesn't mean the storm actually changed any votes, let alone enough to make a difference (right now, it's hard to tell one way or the other, although Phil Klein notes that late polling found huge approval numbers for Obama on the storm compared to weak ones on issues like the economy). The more immediate point is that Romney's strategy of hoarding cash for the final sprint ignored the possibility of a large unexpected event dominating the final few news cycles in the middle of early voting.

Nominating Romney was a bad idea, never defensible on any ground other than the argument that the alternatives were worse. His campaign did nothing to advance the popularity of conservative ideas he didn't believe in, missed opportunities to attack Obama over things Romney did believe in, and never had a compelling personal story to tell. Mitt Romney will be remembered as a good man, but a bad politician, and we should know better than to nominate his like again.

We Need Better Screeners

The problem of having a poor front man ran deeper yesterday than just Romney. Across the Senate races, Republicans lost for a variety of reasons (not least the turnout effect from the presidential contest) - but high on the list was far fewer good candidates and far more self-destructive ones than in 2010.

The Tea Party has done a good job of purging one kind of Republican, what you might call the Total Squish - the Republican who just offers nothing on any issue to Republican voters. But to my mind, there are three other species of candidate that we need to do a better job of vetting and avoiding in the primaries, both national and statewide:

1) The Clueless Rich Guy: The wealthy or self-funded candidate with little or no political experience, no firm principles and, as a result, often an undue reliance on political consultants. Romney was not the only candidate of this species - Linda MacMahon also failed in Connecticut for a second consecutive cycle. Rookie politicians aren't all bad (see Ron Johnson, for example), but as a group they make a lot of mistakes, and wealthy ones are often poor messengers for our ideas.

2) The Pulled Hand Grenade So-Con: Social conservatives are a crucial part of the Republican coalition, and I'd be the last person to want to run them out of the party. But it takes a high level of self-delusion to avoid the fact that candidates like Todd Akin simply have no clue how bad their pronouncements sound to voters outside their corner of the base - and in Akin's case, he won the nomination over two equally plausible alternatives who would have beaten Claire McCaskill. Richard Mourdock, unlike Akin, had won statewide races and didn't have a real record of saying things that would set off alarm bells - plus he won his primary against an incumbent far past his sell-by date - but one poor answer in a debate finished him. Social conservatives as a group need to accept the fact that communication and tone matter; people will respect your issue stances, but not if you seem to them like a frightening extremist. We need to find better ways of identifying people who just won't fly with the general electorate before it's too late.

3) The Retread: Two of the failed Senate candidates (Tommy Thompson and George Allen) were excellent statewide candidates...in the 90s. But much like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, they found it hard to adjust to the current political environment. Voters looking for change are a lot less likely to pull the lever for a guy who has been out of the fight that long.

Exit The Fat Man

The 2016 sweepstakes will start painfully early in both parties, but one thing already seems likely: Chris Christie is finished already as a national candidate.

Christie's a great governor, who richly deserves re-election next year. He's been a great spokesman for the need for fiscal sanity at the state level. But 2012 was his moment to go national, and he missed it. He endorsed Romney early, and pushed harder (and in a more aggressively negative posture against Romney's critics) than almost any other elected official in the primaries. His profile as a moderate Northeastern governor will almost surely strike 2016 primary voters as a replay of what didn't work in 2012, regardless of his dissimilarities from Romney. (Having lost with moderates in 2012, 2008, 1996 and 1992, primary voters will be even more desperate to run someone who can credibly be called a conservative in 2016). And Christie's embrace of Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy, right at the crescendo of a bitter, narrowly-lost election, will stick in the craw of partisans for a long time. A successful second term in New Jersey may tempt Christie to run, but I have to think he'll have prohibitive problems getting through a primary, and Christie's personality makes him a poor fit for a VP candidate.

Who will be the frontrunners? It's too early to rule out dark-horse governors like Wisconsin's Scott Walker, New Mexico's Susanna Martinez or Indiana's newly-elected Mike Pence (who considered a run in 2012 before deciding to get out of DC), but besides Christie the A-list remains three names: Ryan, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio. The relative closeness of yesterday's outcome means Ryan doesn't emerge from Romney's failure as fatally damaged goods, and he'll return to the House with an elevated profile. Jindal offers the most distance in a lot of ways from Romney, and is in fact the top option who endorsed one of Romney's opponents (Rick Perry) and only settled behind Romney when the nomination race was over. And Rubio, of course, offers the prospect of the nation's first Hispanic president. We'll have much more to discuss on all of them as the next two years unfold the potential landscape before the 2016 contest begins in earnest this time in 2014.

Whither The Party?

Many commentators will now rush to declare Republicans an endangered species and pin the blame for the party's woes on conservative ideas. When Ryan was added to the ticket, for example, there was much talk that the Obama campaign would sink Romney by tying him to the unpopular House GOP. But as it turned out, the House GOP fared a lot better than the presidential or Senate tickets, losing seats but easily retaining its majority, and we still have a commanding lead in state Governorships. Obama's 'permanent majority' coalition is actually razor-thin and couldn't retake the House even with its vaunted voter-turnout operation. And now, Obama enters his second term, which are hardly ever better than the first; Republicans are no more doomed by the prospect of an Obama second term than Democrats were by the Bush and Nixon second terms, or even Republicans after the Clinton and LBJ second terms. I don't ascribe to the theory that anybody should ever want to lose elections, but just as with his first term, Obama's second term offers increasing opportunities to frustrate and splinter his coalition, further alienate independent voters and bleed job approval, factors that won't bode well for Democrats in 2014 and 2016. My concern is not for the future of the party, but the country, as four more years gives Obama a lot more time to place increasing numbers of issues outside the reach of democratic self-government, either through judicial activism or inter-generational entitlement programs that are fiscally nearly impossible to unwind.

That's not to say Republicans should do nothing to re-evaluate our agenda. I remain convinced, for example, that the party needs to find a moderate middle ground on immigration. But at the end of the day, the 2012 election was a failure of candidates, not of ideas.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:00 PM | Politics 2012 | Comments (78) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Crank

Has how wrong you were about the polls caused you to do any soul searching at all? I'm not sure if you have any serious background in statistics at all, but you confidently declared that virtually all of the pollsters, trained experts who are or employ people who have spend their professional lives mastering stats.

You weren't just a little wrong. You weren't subjectively wrong. You were objectively and supremely wrong.

Do you really just brush it off or do you consider that maybe, just maybe, experts should be given a little more credit. On a related note, I'm not sure where you stand on these issues, but don't you see a similar denial of facts among those who reject global warming and/or evolution?

Posted by: Jimmy at November 7, 2012 12:43 PM

You're supposed to be a numbers guy. How did you misunderstand the fact that party affiliation is not a like a demographic attribute, but rather something people can pick about themselves at time of polling (IE, the whole 'unskewed polls' BS that you bought hook, line, and sinker of course turned out to be idiotically wrong). This is what every person with half a brain analyzing the polling data was saying over and over again.

This leads to either:
a) Your right wing beliefs can cloud the facts of simple data for you.
b) You're a s***ty numbers guy.


"Obama is toast"
How the hell are we supposed to trust a THING you have to say about baseball when you have this much of a statistics literacy problem.. Pathetic

Posted by: lbl at November 7, 2012 12:51 PM

You are forgetting one man for 2016: Jeb Bush. If you look at his behaviro during the primaries as well as his words throughout the campaign cycle, he's setting himself up for a run.

Maybe he's setting his son up for the late 2020s, but I think it's Jeb thinking 'now'.

Posted by: SOBL1 at November 7, 2012 1:23 PM

Nominating a vulture capitalist 4 years after vulture capitalists crashed the world's economy was always a bad idea. The GOP can correctly be called "out of touch" for doing so.
Regardless, it's now time to fight Obama's Grand Bargain, which will reduce Social Security and MediCare benefits in exchange for the 1% kicking in what amounts to tip money in taxes (until loopholes are added in the next few years to reduce even that paltry sum).

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 1:30 PM

Ouch LBL. You have your opinion, but crank is permitted at least for a little while longer to have his beliefs. You're entitled to call him out for being off on his prediction, but no need to venture into insult.

Were you off Crank? Yes because the outcome was different. However you had pretty detailed thought out reasoning behind your prediction, moreso than others. The mark was missed, but I applaud you in at least illustrating the courage to publicly make a prediction just the same.

In the end statisticians are not infallible and in the end can still retain their credibility. Let he who is without imperfection cast their gloating.

Posted by: Tim at November 7, 2012 1:45 PM
But I was right about Romney the past six years, and as it turned out, vindicated my original view in the primaries that - while Romney could win a landslide race if the bottom dropped out of Obama - he could not win not a close race:
Early this year I sat down with a co-worker (who is despondent today) and said the following, not verbatim: "I said four years ago that Barack Obama would be re-elected if for no other reason than the fact that the media will still be his biggest cheerleaders. After what I saw happen to Sarah Palin, I have no doubt that whatever the narrative needs to be, that's what it'll be. He will win. So, in order for that to happen, the unemployment rate needs to be under 8%. And, since we both know the only way that can happen is if they changed the denominator in order to work the numbers, because whatever needs to happen WILL happen. And since I'm pretty sure this will happen - Clinton's commerce dept. cooked the books in 2000 until after the election in order to try to help Gore, that's why we had the short recession prior to 9/11 - I will take advantage of knowing this information & try to offset the upcoming tax increases by manipulating my 401K."

And, I did.

I immediately changed my 401K so that I was high-gamble & bankrolled everything into the market. I knew that decreasing unemployment numbers would be trumpeted as "Obama's policies are working" in the media & thus the market would somewhat respond. And, it did. Despite anemic growth in the GDP, the market did rather well and my 401K grew accordingly. Yes, I took a gamble, but I was pretty sure what would happen. And every time they announced another drop in unemployment, I'd stop by my co-worker's office & say "I told you it would be below 8% by November". And, it was. It needed to be.

And, right as I planned & as I told my co-worker back in March I'd do, last Thursday I switched my 401K into the stable fund so as to offset the impending disaster that'll happen after the election (and as I type, is underway). So, while the stock market crumbles now and as the guilty-white-liberal-millionaires sell off their zillions of stocks by the end of the year in order to save on the taxes that they publicly encouraged, me & my margins are going to be sitting safe. My co-worker did the same, although not to my degree, and he also made off like a bandit.

Plus, I knew that the polls are usually right. And, once again, they were. All the national polls were right & most of the state polls were right. I questioned a few as they went against everything I'd been told all my life, but I never changed my plans that I put forth early this year.

This isn't humble-bragging, this is just based on what I know about the left & the media: they lie. That's how they roll. I knew they'd cook the books, and they did. Right on schedule. Don't be surprised if that numerator suddenly starts changing & unemployment starts looking how we all know it really is, in the coming weeks. It'll get better next year, we're a resilient nation. But, for the next few months, it's gonna get bad.

I just wish the rest of the nation could've also seen how corrupt this admin & their media cohorts are, so they could've made similar forecasts. It's not hard. When in doubt: The media is corrupt, Democrats lie and large aggregations of LV polls are usually correct.

Posted by: RW at November 7, 2012 1:46 PM

Dan -- I am not going to gloat since you made an argument why Romney would win based on a lengthy fact filled statistical analysis. However, I still do not understand why you had to over-analyze the internals of the state polls the way you did and then reject the ones which did not fit your preconceived notions about Romney's supposed "strength" with independents. So i hope you compare (for example-) the last Ohio & Iowa state polls and the actual exit polls on November 6.

When you do, I suspect you will find that the definition of "independent" voters is not very clear cut and probably varies greatly from poll to poll. It's more of an "attitude" and some respondents probably are weak Democrats or weak Republicans. Most of the Ohio ones yielded the same final result -- i.e. Obama would win by a few per cent -- but the predictions for the independent vote was highly variable. In recent Ohio polling, Romney's lead with Independents is inversely correlated with Democratic party identification advantage. The scenario that you apparently assumed (=high R turnout and Romney wins the I vote) wasn't detected by any pollster.

Note, in passing, that both Nate Silver and Pollster.com nailed the election 100% simply by trusting the state polls. Once again, they were in good internal agreement in most states. The number of polls tracked by e.g. RCP was also greater than in 2008 as well as in 2004, and there was less internal variance this year as well. The final Minnesota state polls were in the -1..11 range but the other were in the single digits. This wasn't the case in 2004 but the polls still accurately predicted the states even then. This year you could not find a single state pollster predicting a Romney win in Ohio or Wisconsin or Pennsylvania or Nevada. So it's a mystery to me why the great majority of conservatives thought Romney was going to win today...

MARCUS

Posted by: mlindroo at November 7, 2012 1:48 PM

Romney's Economic 5 Step Plan

1) concede the election
2) congratulate Obama
3) return to Bain Capital
4) move to the Cayman Islands
5) have a drink with an umbrella in it

I have 551 Hash House Harrier runs under my belt (394 of those were with the Himalayan Hash House Harriers in Kathmandu, Nepal--"The Highest Hash in the World"). At four beers per Hash that is over 2,200 beers consumed. I would NEVER vote for a teetotaler candidate. I did not vote for Bush the Younger or for Romney. In July 1984 I visited a bar in Quincy, Massachusetts where Ronald Reagan had a beer (alright half a beer) during an earlier campaign stop so I know he would sip on occasion. I did vote for Republicans in 1980 (Reagan) and 1988 (Bush the Elder). I doubt that I will vote for a Republican again in this reincarnation.

Posted by: Yetijuice at November 7, 2012 1:54 PM

Crank,

How do you explain the Gallup and Rasmussen voter i.d. numbers completely going against recent history?

Posted by: Walt Dropo at November 7, 2012 1:54 PM

...As for the political side, here is one aspect which should give Republicans pause.

Can anyone seriously argue that conservatives were not "fired up" for his election? For all of Romney's flaws, can anyone argue that "The Base" did fall in love with him after he cleaned Obama's clock in the first debate? And, unlike in 2008, can anyone deny the overall state of the economy did not help the Republican candidate this time! Yet despite the fact everyone from George Will to Dick Morris to Charles Krauthammer to Michael Barone was predicting 300+ Romney landslide, Obama wins 332-206 instead. What does this outcome tell you about the current demographic strength of the Republican coalition?

MARCUS

Posted by: mlindroo at November 7, 2012 1:55 PM
Can anyone seriously argue that conservatives were not "fired up" for his election?
Absolutely. There's a reason Newt Gingrich - NEWT.GINGRICH - won a few primary states. The #1 item that launched the Tea Party grassroots movement (Obamacare) was effectively removed from the discussion with Mitt Romney being the nom. He performed worse than McCain in many of the swing states, which says it all.

It wasn't just libs who were noting that he's taken both sides of most issues, after all.

Posted by: RW at November 7, 2012 2:02 PM

I'll argue about the polls later. I have to dive into the numbers more to assess the extent to which this was more a matter of good D vs bad R turnout, but recall that beyond the typical GOP base voter there's a fair number of very socially conservative adults (mainly evangelical Christians) who don't vote all that regularly. Bush got them out in droves, McCain did not. Not sure yet where Romney stood there, but that's a factor beyond "base."

Walt - That's definitely the one item of data in my analysis that was most spectacularly out of line with its historically predictive track record, to the point where I'm not likely to give it much weight in the future.

Posted by: Crank at November 7, 2012 2:04 PM

RW,
I agree the unemployment numbers are off (by as much as 2x) because of the way unemployment is calculated (those on the unemployment roles, not those actually unemployed), but that is how the number has been calculated since, at least, Reagan. Your argument that it's been changed under Obama only is what we who pay attention call 100% bullshit.

As for the corporate-owned mainstream media, they have absolutely no interest in informing the public. They are nothing more than the propaganda arm of corporations. Their #1 job is to confuse, misinform, and distract the citizenry. Expecting them to do otherwise is a fool's game. That too hasn't changed since Obama was first elected.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 2:25 PM

Whatever you say, Berto. I *literally* put my money where my mouth was......and I was right.

I could end up wrong. The unemployment rate may NOT rise over the next 6 months so as to offset shenanigans and maybe the market is NOT gonna tank some more by year end as all those rich libs sell their stocks before their precious Obama tax hikes kick in.

Posted by: RW at November 7, 2012 2:33 PM

"Were you off Crank? Yes because the outcome was different. However you had pretty detailed thought out reasoning behind your prediction, moreso than others."

I agree - your argument sounded plausible to me, and I'll keel over the day some liberal on this site actually apologizes and admits he was wrong on an issue. It does happen. Nobody's an expert in everything.

Incidentally, I'm shocked my vote for Romney didn't help in Connecticut. Shocked.

Posted by: MVH at November 7, 2012 2:42 PM

"Were you off Crank? Yes because the outcome was different. However you had pretty detailed thought out reasoning behind your prediction, moreso than others."

I agree - your argument sounded plausible to me, and I'll keel over the day some liberal on this site actually apologizes and admits he was wrong on an issue. It does happen. Nobody's an expert in everything.

Incidentally, I'm shocked my vote for Romney didn't help in Connecticut. Shocked.

Posted by: MVH at November 7, 2012 2:42 PM

"Whatever you say, Berto"
Thanks, RW.
Continued good luck playing the markets.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 2:44 PM

I have to agree with many of the commenters here. The most disappointing thing about your article is not the fact you focus on Romney as a failed candidate, but that you...Mr. Number's Guy...failed MISERABLY in your prediction and your math.

It says a lot that you don't own up to your failure. You didn't mind writing whole articles about why Obama was Toast...and going on about why your analysis was genius and everybody else was wrong. You should have taken this time for a mea culpa and shown humility and some embarrassment.

You're a joke...and now everyone is in on it.

Maybe you should call up Nate Silver, Sam Wang, or Drew Linzer and learn how real and accurate election is done.

Or, better yet, stick to baseball where you may seem less foolish.


Posted by: TGIWednesday at November 7, 2012 3:06 PM

What I didn't like was the almost widespread disinformation in the Republican media as to how close this race really was. No offense, Crank, but it didn't take a genius to see what was going to happen. Creating an election model isn't rocket science, and especially in a presidential election. And frankly, I was embarrassed by the level of attacks directed at Nate and others of his ilk. Yes, there are ignoramuses in all walks of life, but they seems to have hijacked the conservative movement to the point where I'm not sure I can continue to support the Republican party.

Basically, there are only a handful of Republicans that can win against the Clinton machine in '16. Christie, Rubio, and possibly Walker. That's it. Christie is pretty much toast so that leaves two. I love Paul Ryan as much as the next guy but he will never be a viable national candidate.

Posted by: Jay at November 7, 2012 3:15 PM

I'd suggest that the complete and utter propaganda efforts of the MSM saved Barack Obama. Fast n' Furious, unemployment, gas prices, or Libya, under a Republican Admin, would have been constant topics of discussion covered with obsessive attention to every misspoken word. But for the One, the MSM (Fox excepted) downplayed the lies, changing stories, and body count with the same verve they showed in protecting him during 2008. Shame on them, and shame on him.

Posted by: LordJiggy at November 7, 2012 3:40 PM

Crank,

I'll read the whole post in a bit, but I was gob-smacked when getting to the second paragraph and your claim to have been both worng and right. How Kerry-esque of you!

As an aside, Erick Erickson, to my great surprise, had a sane evaluation (mostly, but you take what you can get) of the results. Through two paragraphs, my hopes for you are sinking.

Posted by: Magrooder at November 7, 2012 3:43 PM

You have to include Rand Paul as a possible candidate for 2016. I would love some sort of combination of Paul/Rubio.

Posted by: John Choate at November 7, 2012 3:44 PM

The past two elections were lost on D turnout. Until the R's can mount a turnout as the Obuma machine/D's have discovered--its all about getting every one, bum, drunk, illegal, incarcerated, even dead out to vote is the key to National election wins, R's will never win another National election.

Posted by: aposematic at November 7, 2012 3:45 PM

You are a travesty baseballcrank. You think you're this great numbers guy, but you turn out to be nothing more than a partisan hack of the most extreme. You should shut down this website and retire. You have been completely discredited. If I was your boss, in whatever your real job is, I would fire you for your epic fail and loss of credibility here. I wouldn't want someone like you working for me. Unfortunately, there's no accountability for losers like you who slander others on the internet and force off fake statistical analysis as fact. You belong in prison for the fraud you have perpetrated, as far as I'm concerned. You're the lowest form of life out there buddy. You should be ashamed.

Posted by: Keith G at November 7, 2012 3:53 PM

Like Crank, I don't give a rat's ass about the Republican Party this morning. It's the country that has me despondent as hell. We're going hell... or more accurately, hell is coming to us. Hello, Zimbabwe.

The mistake that Crank made - and that I made similarly - was thinking that the old rules apply. They don't. Obama won IN SPITE of every single fundamental factor working against him. Cult of personality. Vote for me or evil rich white guy will take away your goodies. This is Hugo Chavez type stuff. Robert Mugabe. It's a downward spiral into a Banana Republic, is what it is.

Look, I get the "brilliant" politics of it all. Obama roused the base. He roused his coalition. Mitt Romney was easy to demagogue. But at some point we have to expect a certain small amount of decency and principle in our leaders and this country has just reelected one of the most divisive and cynical SOB's we've ever seen.

A leader is someone who LEADS, not just someone who manages to win elections regularly.

We are doomed.

And now that we have a national government and no longer a federal government, we can't "run to Texas" to get away.

Posted by: JR Ewing at November 7, 2012 3:55 PM

Turnout - and this was a point I made in my polling posts - is not just a good GOTV operation, it's also enthusiasm. So, not unrelated to a subpar candidate.

That said, it really does seem from the data that (1) Obama had exceptionally high turnout, relative to historic voting patterns and share of the population, among non-white voters under 30 (who accounted for his entire margin of victory and then some despite being just 8% of the electorate - acc to the exits, Romney won by 2 points with voters 30+ and by 7 with white voters under 30) and (2) Romney had exceptionally low turnout from older voters in particular, relative to their historic voting patterns and share of the population. So, there's something to the argument that historical data just was not a good predictor - as I said in my poll posts, if the polls are right and Obama wins, we need to throw out a lot of what we have known from experience and history about what winning campaigns look like. And now perhaps we do. Campaigns that lose independents by 5 nationally and 10 in Ohio don't historically make it up by turning out young people in huge numbers...but they did.

Posted by: Crank at November 7, 2012 3:56 PM

Michael Barone and George Will should be fired, too. Where is the accountability for people who pass themselves off as experts and are spectacularly wrong, and engage in meanspirited, unfounded criticism of others. Crank basically tried to destroy Nate Silver's reputation and livelihood. If I were Nate Silver I would sue Baseballcrank in civil court for damages.

Posted by: Keith G at November 7, 2012 3:57 PM

...and yet its Bush 43's fault why his bro Jeb didnt run, as well as why Obama has won, twice. majority of voters feel the bad economy is Bush 43's fault.

very sad stuff.

nuff said.

Posted by: dark rabbitt at November 7, 2012 4:00 PM

I should frame that last comment. Ah, the left. Sue everyone who disagrees with you!

Posted by: Crank at November 7, 2012 4:01 PM

Before we get into blaming people, ideas, etc (which I agree we should do), let's notice that if Romney had simply taken the McCain votes in Ohio and nothing else, he would have beaten Obama. In other states Romney would have come much closer then he ended up doing.

This was a massive, massive, massive GOTV failure. The GOP did worse in turning out voters than they did in a year with a bad political climate, no message, and a poorly run campaign.

That needs to be fixed and it needs to start now.

Posted by: Dan at November 7, 2012 4:01 PM

This is absurd. You predicted that "Obama is toast." You claimed that "the numbers" proved this. I read, it, and tried to take it seriously, though it seemed to be based on a bunch of wishful assumptions or guesses about what independents would do. You were completely, massively wrong.

But now, suddenly, you've discovered that Romney was a bad candidate all along? What does that have to do with the fact that your read the polls completely incorrectly? Wasn't he the same bad candidate back when Obama was "toast?"

It was never about the numbers, it was always about wishful thinking. I'd respect this blog if you seriously reconsidered your methodology, instead of blaming Romney

Posted by: HC Carey at November 7, 2012 4:01 PM

Crank, I thought your analysis was overly optimistic, but did think Romney would eke out a narrow win. Never in million years would I have ever guessed he would have gotten 3 million fewer votes than McCain did. Really thought McCain was the low point for the GOP. So, was this a collossal failure of Republican GOTV, or is it a far more serious problem, of there not that all that many Republicans out there in the voting universe anymore?

Posted by: Adam R at November 7, 2012 4:09 PM

It's freaking pathetic how angry some of you get about, what is, at the end of the day, an internet blog. Sheish....

The different results between the over and under age 30 cohorts is staggering. That was the election right there, folks.

Posted by: sbo at November 7, 2012 4:09 PM

You guys going on about raw turnout numbers need to read this. It's a big reason why I'm putting off doing a post on this stuff, besides being sleep-deprived.

Posted by: Crank at November 7, 2012 4:12 PM
You belong in prison for the fraud you have perpetrated, as far as I'm concerned. You're the lowest form of life out there buddy.
Wow, even worse than mass murderers & kidnappers is a conservative who posts something on their own web site? Good to know.
Where is the accountability for people who pass themselves off as experts and are spectacularly wrong, and engage in meanspirited, unfounded criticism of others.
Let some time pass before you indict your own writing, at least! Posted by: RW at November 7, 2012 4:23 PM

JR Ewing,
Regarding your line about Obama being like Hugo Chavez. Can you then explain why the "hands-out" states (those who take in more federal dollars than they send to federal coffers) were won by Romney?

Crank,
Agree. Calls for Silver to sue you are silly. Better we all just point and laugh at your buffoonery.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 4:23 PM

sorry to disappoint you for yet another wrong assumption, but I am not on the left.

I have voted since 1984, , the year I was of legal age, as a Republican. In fact, although I was not able to vote in 1980, I was in a mock election as a 9th grader, and ran as Reagan, and I won.

so you better think real hard when you see a comment. assuming is what has gotten Repubs in trouble since Bush Sr.

currently I have been a registered center right independent since 2000, and will not give my signature to any left of center independents.

Bush may have known how to have won elections, he may have known how to be a politician, get most of his legislation passed, as with Romney, has a big heart, but he did not know how to govern wisely.

All of us will be paying for decades to come for his conituing of the worst economic policies of clinton, as well as not knowing how to properly use the bully pulpit of the president.

yet somehow Obama knew how to, with absolutly no prior executive experience.

every time a Bush gets out of office, they leave the country WORSE then when they found it.

shameful on Bubba Clinton, shameful on Obama and shameful on the Bush Dynasty.

nuff said.

Posted by: dark rabbitt at November 7, 2012 4:27 PM
Regarding your line about Obama being like Hugo Chavez. Can you then explain why the "hands-out" states (those who take in more federal dollars than they send to federal coffers) were won by Romney?
Lovely. Leaving aside the military bases & contractors (largely located in the south), the left pushes for more social spending on the lower classes, pushes for increased entitlement spending on the middle class that moves to the south when they retire, pushes for 'investments' towards the poor & minorities, which is disproportionately located in the south....and then piss on them if their states don't vote according to their preferences.

Sleep tight, Berto, the actual hands-out recipients on those red southern states are the Obama voters who elected the southern CBC members. And thanks to the continued excellence of the policies that the left puts forth towards those people, they'll still be there in the same situation 40 years from now. How do I know? They haven't changed in the last 40 years, so call it a hunch.

Posted by: RW at November 7, 2012 4:28 PM

LordJiggy,
For an explanation, read my reply at 2:25 pm.

And this isn't anything new under "The One". Go back and look at how the media rah rahed the Iraq Clusterfuck from 2001 to 2004.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 4:39 PM

Your comments on the immigration question indicate to me that your entire post should be discounted at least as much as your election prediction. Politics in 2012 in the U.S. has primarily become about demographics. It's unfortunate, but it's true. If you plug yesterday's numbers into 1980 demographics, it would've been a landslide along the exact same lines as Reagan-Carter. The difference is that the white share of the vote has dropped about 15 percentage points, and minorities collectively are voting for Democrats at a nearly 90 to 10 rate. Barack Obama will immediately move, with the help of "squish" suicidal Republicans such as yourself, to grant citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, all of whom will vote the straight Democrat ticket for the rest of their lives, as will their children and grandchildren. If the best the GOP can eke out with the current demographics is to lose key battleground states by a few hundred thousand votes, what do you think will happen when millions of straight-ticket Democrat votes are added to the rolls over the next four years?

When you add to that the fact that nearly the entire electorate will be dependent on the federal government for their health care in four years, you can forget it. America will be functionally a one-party state for a generation to come.

Posted by: George at November 7, 2012 4:42 PM

Very depressed about the Obama-scum skeezing his way to another term.

At this point, what do the Democrats even stand for? As far as I can tell they stand for two things. They love abortion, and they hate white people.

That message seemed to resonate, so perhaps abortion an ethnic hatred are winning messages for the Democrats. Unfortunate when evil is rewarded.

Posted by: jim at November 7, 2012 4:45 PM

You put yourself out there Crank and made a prediction on a 50-50 proposition. If Romney rocks the GOTV in 3-4 states, we're talking about his close win. If votes shift 2% one way, Silver looks like a mega-douche.

What conservatives need to wake up to is that the river always flows left. Even old Ronnie could only slow the flow. The media-academia cathedral always shifts things left. Even if Romney had won, the media would have been ecstatic to have a malleable, liberal republican in the WH that they could smear as super conservative. Ronald Reagan won Massachusetts in 1984. In what scenario could you ever imagine a republican as conservative as Reagan winning Mass again? Times have changed.

The Dems have done their best to subsidize the underclass through the the social safety net, which has turned into a nest, academia and the media do everything in their power to push straights away from marriage (note the marriage gap was WAY larger than the gender gap), and call anyone who even mentions restricting immigration a rotten racist. Screw that, the GOP can't enforce voting fraud rules or ask for IDs without being smeared racists. They've spent decades creating and fostering new dependency classes (unskilled immigrants + single women) who need a big protector in the state. sing the media and the education system, the progressives have played a long game very well in our society. Eventually it will crash, and I hope in my lifetime. Easy money has made this multiculti stew edible, but it will go sour quick without it.

Posted by: SOBL1 at November 7, 2012 4:52 PM

RW,
So are you saying those who get the hand-outs are still voting Republican? Or are you saying the majority of those in the southern states aren't getting hand-outs? If it's the latter, then why the bitching about how America is a nation of lazy people who want the federal government to take care of them?

jim,
That's one way to look at it. The other is that Democrats stand for equality for women and non-whites. You might call that "evil", I don't.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 5:02 PM

"The past two elections were lost on D turnout. Until the R's can mount a turnout as the Obuma machine/D's have discovered--its all about getting every one, bum, drunk, illegal, incarcerated, even dead out to vote is the key to National election wins, R's will never win another National election."

Uh...people who are incarcerated lose their ability to vote.

Posted by: Nick at November 7, 2012 5:02 PM

What you say is true, yet Obama won by only a slim margin in Ohio and Virginia, and a coupe other places... so what really did tip the balance?

One of the ways Dems got people out to the polls yesterday was with hot button social issues, not economic ones.

The two most important state issues were gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.

Look at the states who had those referendums on the ballot and then look at how the Dems overcame anticipated polling deficits.

Look also at heavy welfare states in economic trouble versus the states which are relatively stable.

The election ended up being about socialized welfare, gay marriage, and legalizing pot.

Posted by: Lawrence at November 7, 2012 5:05 PM

Lawrence,
Agreed. The citizenry wants a strong social safety net, equality, and an end to the wasteful drug war. And they are letting it be known by their votes.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 5:13 PM

The challenge now for Republicans is to find politicians with policies that are fiscally conservative and based on The Constitution, but not include all sorts of additional social and moral baggage. The deep irony of what passes as Republicanism these days is that they espouse limited government in fiscal affairs but also want all sorts of laws for private moral choices. The GOP needs to drop the moral crusade nonsense and stick to effective government that is small and efficient, regulates what needs regulating - like the bastards on Wall Street - and lets the rest of the country get on.

Posted by: Doug at November 7, 2012 5:18 PM

...and whites are disappearing because they are contracepted to the teeth. doubt me? look at the birth rate since 1960. whites have allowed themselves to become an endangered species and most i know really dont care, and that includes those on the right & left of the political spectrum.

enjoy political & civil rights irrelevance folks.

you brought it all on yourselves, especially the republican pro-choice & gay marriage crowd.

Posted by: dark rabbitt at November 7, 2012 5:22 PM

...and whites are disappearing because they are contracepted to the teeth. doubt me? look at the birth rate since 1960. whites have allowed themselves to become an endangered species and most i know really dont care, and that includes those on the right & left of the political spectrum.

enjoy political & civil rights irrelevance folks.

you brought it all on yourselves, especially the republican pro-choice & gay marriage crowd.

Posted by: dark rabbitt at November 7, 2012 5:22 PM

The challenge is how the progressive trash ruling class use race hatred to get votes. 95% of blacks voted for Obama. 95%!

I've yet to meet a liberal Democrat that I'd consider a decent human being.

Posted by: jim at November 7, 2012 5:25 PM

It's pretty funny to read all the leftist trolls that came here to gloat and bash the Baseball Crank. What's even funnier is the joke is on them because President Obama was re-elected, and his failed policies will affect them as much as they do conservatives.

Posted by: Dano48 at November 7, 2012 5:27 PM

" Jindal offers the most distance in a lot of ways from Romney, and is in fact the top option who endorsed one of Romney's opponents"

Not going to work given his position with teaching religious creation philosophy in the public schools. The more important issue facing us right now is the Supreme Court.

Nikki Haley in SC would probably work well. Rubio will work well. Jindal should take Landreiu's Senate seat when it becomes available. We need some decent Senate candidates after what we have done with Angle, McDonnell, Aiken, and Mourdock. That's FOUR Senate seats these "tea party" candidates have cost us. Those were FOUR seats we had in the bag. Sure, some of those candidates were certainly the so-called RINOs but here's a tip: RINOs only cross the aisle when they are in the minority. If you want to stop the aisle crossing, win a majority. Then the moderate Dems will be the ones crossing to our side.

Four seats, folks. Four seats these people have cost us.

Posted by: crosspatch at November 7, 2012 5:50 PM

Actually Dano48, the joke is that Crank has been passing himself off as a numbers guy.
As a liberal, I agree Obama's policies are bad (not imprisoning banking and Wall Street fraud? Really?) for all citizens Too bad the main alternative was a vulture capitalist.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 6:03 PM

Uh-oh guy, all the people who totally knew in advance this was going to happen are taking you to task (after the fact of course). Run for the hills!

Posted by: Greg at November 7, 2012 6:06 PM

I think we should cut Crank a little slack. Statistics are just that: statistics. The outcome doesn't always follow the prediction. And there was no more bias in his statistics than there were in the latest employment numbers.

Posted by: mominlaw at November 7, 2012 6:14 PM

jim,
We need to meet pronto. I travel quite a bit, so let me know where you're located and maybe we can plan to get together for a drink or coffee. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised. Don't let my understanding of economics, confuse you into thinking I'm not a decent human being.

Posted by: Berto at November 7, 2012 6:23 PM

"I told you so I told you so I told you so I told you so"
Denial bordering on psychotic delusion. A day after getting it all wrong, and bombastically so, in scoffing at the polls and predicting a 271-267 electoral-college victory for Romney, this is the best reflection you can produce?
Irony is dead.

Posted by: Rube Waddell at November 7, 2012 6:31 PM

I agree with most of your thoughtful commentary, but I'm not too sure about your call of the razor thin coalition. I'd say redistricting and advantageous maps, particularly in Pennsylvania, blunted what could've been much worse losses in the House, a look at New Hampshire or California, seems closer to what really may have been without control of the 2010 redistricting process.

Posted by: Interested Reader at November 7, 2012 7:42 PM
So are you saying those who get the hand-outs are still voting Republican? Or are you saying the majority of those in the southern states aren't getting hand-outs? If it's the latter, then why the bitching about how America is a nation of lazy people who want the federal government to take care of them?
Wow, you managed to get all of those suppositions-disguised-as-questions wrong. The 'handouts' going to those states that have more coming in than going out primarily go to the southern states where most of the poverty exists (as anyone who has read the speeches of FDR, LBJ or Huey Long knows) and was one of the driving factors behind the south being Democrat from the 40s thru the mid 90s. Those are the people that the left has used for poster children (not saying right or wrong) in order to gin up support for expanding the social safety net so that now it not only covers those in poverty but now expands into entitlements for the middle class. And since folks are rushing to retire in Delaware, we know that population also is disproportionately in the south. Well, the south in the last two decades has turned red, whereas before it was blue (Bill Clinton won Georgia in 1992 after the keynote speech given by Zell Miller). Those people were part of the base for generations. Now, many of their grandchildren are middle class/upper-middle class and they're Republican, so those southern states - which ere always conservative - are voting Republican while those on poverty are still part of the Democratic base.

In GA, Atlanta is as blue as San Francisco. Same with portions of southern GA. The rest of the state is red, which makes the state red. Lotsa old folks getting social security, lotsa military bases, lotsa Medicare. Oh, and lotsa blacks living in poverty...can't leave that out since the vast majority of blacks in the USA live in the south. As in, overwhelming majority, at that. And, after all, that is the lockstep vote for the DNC, to the tune of 90% on a bad year.

But, now, those people who are still the targets of compassion from Demcoratic speeches & who make up their share of the "we're all in this together" talking point from the canned DNC speeches (Republicans want it to be "you're on your own", as if being left alone is a bad thing) are to be denigrated en masse because their states are red.

Don't get me wrong; lotta poor whites who vote GOP. Not gonna deny that. Lot of 'em vote GOP while accepting outright welfare, too. But, it'd dishonest for me to say that the base of the Democratic party's vote in the south wasn't primarily the targets of the "hands out" "investments" that the Democrats so often propose.

They're people in need of compassion until they live in a state that doesn't vote the correct way.

Go read Zell's last book. As he said, FDR looked at the south and saw 1/3 of the country that needed a helping hand while today's Democrats see 1/3 of the country that can go to hell.

And that's what the canned we-all-get-that-talking-point-from-the-same-liberal-study "the red states really get the most dollars while paying in the least" really is: another way to thumb your nose at the red south.

Well, trust me, the ones getting the actual hand outs, as opposed to their military paychecks or social security returns, are more often than not voting kinda like you are.

Posted by: RW at November 7, 2012 7:48 PM

As someone who questioned the basis for some of your statistical assumptions, I am not about to bash you for being wrong, especially when you have not had the time yet to review the data and present your findings on where you went wrong.

I look forward to you analysis.

Posted by: Jonathan Sher at November 8, 2012 1:06 AM

RW,
So your first response was that all the safety net programs don't work because they keep the people poor. But in your latest response you write that many of their children and grandchildren are middle class/ upper middle class.
That doesn't sound like safety net programs actually keep those people poor. Care to enlighten me on how both those statements are true?
------
One man's "canned we-all-get-that-talking-point-from-the-same-liberal-study "the red states really get the most dollars while paying in the least" is another man's fact.
-------
BTW, if the ones getting hand-outs are voting like me, there would be a LOT more 3rd party voting. Since there isn't (which, BTW is not from a canned liberal study, but from the results of the voting), can we assume the hand-outs population isn't as big a problem as we've been led to believe (or as you might say, "the canned talking point from the same conservative study").

Posted by: Berto at November 8, 2012 9:52 AM

I am working on consolodating my online brand and identity. How to i set my blog up to receive the comments i post on others blogs or the questions I answer on Yahoo Answers or Linked in Q&A? . . What do I have to do when i comment or answer on others sites to ensure it improves my SEO?.

Posted by: Klaers at November 8, 2012 11:30 AM
RW, So your first response was that all the safety net programs don't work because they keep the people poor.
No, that is nothing more than your attempt to besmirch my character by way of stating an abject falsehood & assigning it to me. If you'd like me to answer any specific question, feel free to ask & I'll be honest. But, please don't pass along false statements & assign them to me. I support the safety net. Not a big fan of what you just did, though. Please don't.

BTW. trying to play 'gotcha' is boring. You're not gonna get me, so please seek that scenario. I'm asking kindly. A conversation resulting in a agree-to-disagree outcome isn't too much to ask.

Maybe you can tell me: why is it that the inner-city family unit is worse today than it was in the mid=60s, when we began our war on poverty? Why is black out of wedlock births > 60% when it wasn't prior? Why are those areas needing the most 'assistance' the same ones that needed the most assistance 10 years ago? 20 years? 30 years? 40 years? At what point should someone say "hey, maybe this approach to the inner city isn't working"? Was that Reagan's fault? Bush? Newt Gingrich? What has made things go from bad to worse, in your opinion?


can we assume the hand-outs population isn't as big a problem as we've been led to believe

Looking at the outlays & then realizing that despite those numbers social security & Medicare are both headed for bankruptcy, dependence upon the federal government & food stamps being an all-time high (much worse than when blacks & women didn't even have equal rights or employment rights).....yeah, you may be right. Not a problem.

Posted by: RW at November 8, 2012 12:50 PM

Sorry, RW, I wasn't trying to play gotcha. These are honest questions (although I understand, because often here I call out the BS that's thrown around--including those by the host).

It was an honest question about this paragraph (particularly the last sentence) from you:
"And thanks to the continued excellence of the policies that the left puts forth towards those people, they'll still be there in the same situation 40 years from now. How do I know? They haven't changed in the last 40 years, so call it a hunch".

And the next one about how those who got the hand-outs now having children and grandchildren who are middle class/ upper class.

Again, I'm just trying to see how those 2 statements jibe. No gotcha.
------------
As to your next point, I'll argue all day long that Social Security (with $2.6 Trillion surplus) is in no danger of going bankrupt. I know that surplus has been borrowed for general spending. If you want to make the argument that you can't separate the SS revenues from general revenues (I've heard that argument in the past) can't we say the same about defense? Why not tackle that problem, since I can make these similar statements: The Defense Department is going bankrupt. Is the world any safer today then when we decided to outspend every other country combined on defense?

BTW, dependence on the federal government and food-stamps being at an all-time high is because unemployment/ underemployment is the highest it's been since the great depression (before SS and food stamp programs were enacted).

Slightly off-topic, but still related: The economy is NOT coming back until those who committed fraud and crashed the world's economy are imprisoned. Why would anyone want to enter a game that is so obviously rigged otherwise?

Posted by: Berto at November 8, 2012 2:45 PM

Crank, You are not making sense. Get into your courtroom litigator persona. The facts are the facts and even if you plan to pull a Perry Mason surprise argument it is in you and your clients interest to know the truth. Nate kicked ass because he just follows the numbers. I firmly hope that Republicans can find their way back to the middle so people like me can consider them in good conscience. I was a Tom Kean, Christy Whitman Republican who has no-one left to root for now that Olympia Snow is gone. They have to get off of Abortion, Creationism in School, self serving Economics and just attack issues in the middle. Let's raise SS retirement a few years, normalize relations with Cuba, reduce Farm Subsidies, stop wasting time on VoterID, messing with Health decisions and finally .... stop this country from its knee-jerk bigoted feeling about the Knuckle-ball and deliver a Cy Young for R.A. Dickey !

Posted by: joel at November 8, 2012 4:18 PM

Crank, You are not making sense. Get into your courtroom litigator persona. The facts are the facts and even if you plan to pull a Perry Mason surprise argument it is in you and your clients interest to know the truth. Nate kicked ass because he just follows the numbers. I firmly hope that Republicans can find their way back to the middle so people like me can consider them in good conscience. I was a Tom Kean, Christy Whitman Republican who has no-one left to root for now that Olympia Snow is gone. They have to get off of Abortion, Creationism in School, self serving Economics and just attack issues in the middle. Let's raise SS retirement a few years, normalize relations with Cuba, reduce Farm Subsidies, stop wasting time on VoterID, messing with Health decisions and finally .... stop this country from its knee-jerk bigoted feeling about the Knuckle-ball and deliver a Cy Young for R.A. Dickey !

Posted by: joel at November 8, 2012 4:18 PM

Crank,

I actually think your analysis of the polls was pretty strong - what you didn't predict was how badly Romney's GOTV would wet the bed on election day, or that Obama's would still be strong.

Here's an article I found on turnout: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/9665429/US-election-2012-Republican-recriminations-as-Romney-gets-fewer-votes-than-McCain.html

So, Romney 2012 underperformed McCain 2008 in total votes is the headline - but he overperformed McCain in percentage of the vote, which means Obama significantly underperformed himself between 2008 and 2012. Which means overall turnout for 2012 was significantly below 2008. The article says turnout was the lowest in a decade.

Which means all of this demographic analysis of the electorate is kind of silly, unless the population of eligible voters shrank. And all the messaging stuff is tertiary. It was a turnout election, and Obama's Get Out The Vote curb-stomped Romney's as a large part of the GOP base stayed home, for whatever reason (or combination of reasons - Mormon? Too liberal? Scared off by lower ticket flubs?).

Posted by: Seattle Solicitor at November 8, 2012 6:50 PM

One more thought - complete conjecture of course. But, what if part of the demographics of the actual turnout was minority voters who were dissatisfied with the President and who would have otherwise voted for Romney if the opponent were Hilary or some other Democratic incumbent staying home and not voting because they couldn't bring themselves to vote against Obama?

Posted by: Seattle Solicitor at November 8, 2012 6:58 PM
Again, I'm just trying to see how those 2 statements jibe. No gotcha.
One pertains to entitlement programs that mainly FDR put into place & later others added to help WW2 vets or their widows. The other pertains to the social programs aimed at the inner city dwellers that has resulted in going-on-three generations of dependency, apathy, out of wedlock births, the breakdown of the family unit and barely a dent in poverty. The south is now home to extra electoral votes due to migration from blue states as the economic growth & pro biz atmosphere has led to great gains. The inner city programs has 60+% illegitimacy to show for all those hand outs & if you see it improving, please let me know.

And thanks for the civility. Much appreciated.

Posted by: Rw at November 8, 2012 7:03 PM

\\\Why not tackle that problem, since I can make these similar statements: The Defense Department is going bankrupt\\\\

The defense department doesn't have trillions in unfunded liabilities to be paid out over decades in the future. You are arguing that its simply a case of reallocating to another cost center.

The Dems & Repubs spent the surplus. It's guaranteed, so it's not going to disappear, but it IS going bankrupt. We will see payroll tax hikes in the future. Bank on it.

Posted by: RW at November 8, 2012 7:12 PM

And this is how the GOTV completely failed. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/334783.php I am gobsmacked at the ineptitude of the ground game. Utter failure - particularly in a low-turnout election.

Posted by: Seattle Solicitor at November 8, 2012 7:23 PM

RW,
I'd say your missing the "other things to show for it" if you focus exclusively on out of wedlock birth rates. Is there still urban poverty? Sure. But there are still terrorists despite our war on terror outlays.. And there are still drug problems, despite out spending trillions since its inception. And our urban programs haven't restricted our civil liberties 1/ 100000th as much as those two programs.

SS isn't going bankrupt. It's SO financially sound, we've been able to borrow from it's trust fund to pay for other government programs, as you mentioned. That would be the opposite of going bankrupt, in my eyes.

Posted by: Berto at November 8, 2012 7:39 PM

It is my contention that the erosion of the stable black family unit has been the primary reason for the lack of progress in the inner cities (and by lack of progress, I really mean regression). That's what has led to the horrible schools/scores, crime, etc.

The remedies/handouts certainly haven't shown any sort of return.

And not many notable Democrats not named Cosby seem to want to do anything other than more of the same......what's the worst that could happen?

And if S'S isn't going bankrupt, then we won't see any measures taken to remedy that event coming to fruition. I'll be sure to check in a bit in the future when those measures are signed into law....hope to see you here so I can ask why we're doing such unnecessary things. Cuz it's gonna happen.

Posted by: RW at November 8, 2012 8:54 PM

RW,
You mention school/ scores and crime in your response, but you say they have gotten worse. Actually crime is down (significantly) over the last 40 years, and despite what you've been told, school scores are up across the board )within subgroups. Check this out:
http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2011/12/newt-versus-naep-apparent-progress-of.html

Which is where I got the following:
Let’s see how various groups are doing, on a nationwide basis, in the eight years from 2003 through 2011. As we do, let’s recall that very rough rule of thumb: Ten points on the NAEP scale is often said to be roughly equal to one academic year:

Fourth grade math: According to those data, black fourth-graders gained eight points in math during that eight-year span. So did Hispanic fourth-graders. Kids receiving reduced-price lunch gained nine points during that span. (This includes children of all races and ethnicities.) Kids receiving free lunch (the “really poor children”) gained eight points too.

Fourth grade reading: Black fourth-graders gained eight points. Hispanic students gained six points. Reduced-price students gained seven points. Free lunch kids also gained seven.

Eighth grade math: Black eighth-graders gained ten points. Hispanic students gained eleven. Reduced-price kids gained ten points. Free lunch kids gained twelve.

Eighth grade reading: Black eighth graders gained four points. Hispanic students gained seven points. Reduced-price students gained five point. Free lunch kids gained seven.

To the extent that we trust that very rough rule of thumb, those are substantial score gains; some of the gains are just large. And again: Those are the gains displayed by national samples of these groups, based on the NAEP’s nationwide testing.
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The fact that politicians will be cutting SS benefits is NO PROOF AT ALL that SS is going bankrupt.
That's like saying, "Of course Saddam Hussein still had WMDs in 2002, after all we started a war to snuff them out."

No reason to wait to come back ask why we're doing such unnecessary things. The answer is obvious. The public is being bullshitted.

Lap it up with a spoon (or shovel) if you'd like, but that doesn't mean I have to buy the crap being sold.

Posted by: Berto at November 9, 2012 1:22 AM
and despite what you've been told, school scores are up
LOL, 4th grade was great (I remember the field days with joy) but most folks need high school diplomas in order to get entry level jobs. Test scores in HS are horrendous & the dropout rate for blacks is unacceptable. You can rush out and do an internet search all you want, a good portion of my family works in education....the worst schools in my state are Atlanta. Worst schools in the state 30 years ago: Atlanta. Lean forward!
The fact that politicians will be cutting SS benefits is NO PROOF AT ALL that SS is going bankrupt.
LOL, of course it isn't, Berto. Despite the upcoming year when outlays are much greater than inlays & the source that borrowed the surplus is already trillions in debt, it's not going bankrupt because, well, you say so and anyone who believes otherwise is swallowing BS.


Have a nice day, Berto. Appreciate the civility, but I'm going to concentrate on reality as it's much more constructive.

Posted by: RW at November 9, 2012 8:40 AM

BTW, if you really want to do some research on bad school, see if you can find any correlation between the worst school systems in each state versus this linked map and ask yourself "gee, wonder why the worst counties in each state always seem to be blue on this map?

Posted by: RW at November 9, 2012 8:47 AM

So far the most impressive prediction comes from Devo over thirty years ago:

Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want

They were right. This time.

Posted by: Tanstaaf Lunch at November 9, 2012 10:45 PM

"Have a nice day, Berto. Appreciate the civility, but I'm going to concentrate on reality as it's much more constructive."

You too, RW. Good luck finding Saddam's WMDs.

Posted by: Berto at November 12, 2012 3:26 PM
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