Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Nate Silver redefines wave to declare that 2018 was a wave election...

Generally when you think about the concept of a "wave election" you think about one Party winning a whole bunch of seats, possibly flipping both chambers, and basically leaving the other Party openly licking their wounds.

In this vein, there has been some liberal criticism of the President for not acknowledging his awful defeat in the midterms. People point to George W Bush's acknowledgment that Republicans took a "thumping" in 2006, and Barack Obama's acknowledgement that his Party took a "shellacking". Certainly many on the left would like to hear Trump say something similar.

But does what Trump does, and in this case Trump is claiming victory. In his mind, the increase in Senate seats (thus an easier path for him to nominate cabinet members and Judges) was a win "for him". He also seems pretty happy with himself for his the success of Senate candidates that he stuck his neck out for. The reality is that Trump may not actually see this like the left does. This obviously has rankled liberals to the point of another fit of rage.


But let's be clear. In 2006, the Democrats took over both the House and the Senate and claimed a clear majority of the Governor's seats. More to the point, the thumping was so overwhelming that not a single Democratic incumbent lost a race in 2006. Like 2018, Republicans lost over 30 seats in the House, but they also lost 6 Senate and Governor's seats.

In 2010, the Democrats lost an amazing 63 seats in the House, 6 seats in the Senate, and 6 seats in the Governor's races. They also lost 680 seats in state legislative races. This was one of the most lopsided midterms in history. According to a metric created by Sean Trende, only the 1994 contract with America Gingrich revolution was a larger wave.

Drilling into the metric set up by Trende, a wave would come in at around 40 points (which is an objective complicated formula to measure gains by one party or the other). By Trende's definition, there have been only  five "wave" elections. This would sort of make sense, as you have to make some distinction from a "wave" election to something that was just a "good result". Certainly everytime a chamber flips,  you cannot demand that it was a "wave".

In fact, according to Trende's definition, the 2006 thumping fell short of being a "wave" calculating out to 30 points and placing 8th in terms of election results for one Party or the other. While some may quibble whether or not that election should be defined as a wave, Trende is being objectively consistent. By that measure, certainly if 2006 is not a wave, then 2018 isn't one.

By this same metric, the 2018 election scored a 24. It didn't even penetrate the top ten for election success. Much of this falls to the simple point that the Democrats lost four incumbents in the Senate and lost Senate seats overall, allowing the Republicans to increase their majority in that chamber. Moving down the ballot, while there were losses at the state legislative level, they were approximately half of what we saw in 2010.  Certainly 2018 remains a good outcome for Democrats, but falls far short of previous elections, and likely short of many expectations going in.


So how did Nate Silver determine that this was a "wave election"? Basically by ignoring the underlying concept that wave elections are about net results. Like everything that is Nate Silver, he decided to redefine traditional parameters and traditional methodology. For example, attempting to declare that voter turnout can be seen as one parameter, and then total votes as another parameter (as if they are not actually the same parameter). He cites things as voter turnout among hispanics, voter turnout of young people, as well as the fact that Independent broke for Democrats as being responsible for making 2018 a "wave" election. At the end of the day, Silver's opinions sounds more to me like a normal analysis of why Democrats had a "good" year, and fall way short of explaining why a Party that lost seats in one chamber, fell well short of expectations, but still had a historical "wave" result.

This is nothing new to the twenty first century political gamesmanship. If you cannot claim something is what you want it to be, you simply do away with the old definition and replace it with one you made up on the fly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Get Ready for WWIII ??

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Retire from the US Supreme Court in January, 2019
While the Nation is preoccupied with the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, it appears there will soon be another vacancy on the US Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had a re-occurrence of malignant melanoma, she has told her law clerks. Ginsburg was treated in 1999 for colon cancer and had surgery in 2009 for pancreatic cancer.
She has told key Democratic members of the Senate about her medical condition, including ranking Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein. This explains in part the "take no prisoners" attitude of the Democrats during the Kavanaugh nomination, carefully orchestrating weak 37 year old allegations against Kavanaugh by Women he barely remembers knowing in High School and College.

Now to be clear... this is not being "widely reported" - and the Santa Monica Observer is not exactly Reuters, so it's unclear exactly how accurate this report is. Heck, it's not even made it's way to the Drudge Report as of yet. And Drudge is not exactly shy about linking to dubious sources if the story is interesting enough. So my gut feeling is that this may not actually be a real "scoop".

But it would explain why the underlying attacks on Judge Kavanaugh seemed so over the top and oh so desperate. It also is something extremely interesting to casually "chat about" in a non emotional manner.

There is no question that if Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires from the USSC that the collective liberal psyche will explode.

Presidential approvals "quietly" sneak back up

So, most certainly, Trump has never seen the approvals that Obama enjoyed during his first few months of his Presidency. Shortly after taking office, Obama's approvals had been over 65%. But on this exact date eight years ago, Obama's approval rating sat at 46%. By the end of November, Obama's approvals had fell to 45.4%.

On the flip side, Trump's approvals started out under 50%, has never been higher than 50%,  and has dropped as low as 37%. But here he stands heading into Thanksgiving at 44.5%, within a single point of where Obama was.

Now that the election is over, the political rhetoric has calmed down a bit, it is time for people to start to expect actual action and results from their political leaders. This will likely help the President moving forward.

On the objective action and results front, Trump's Presidency has far exceeded that of Obama's at the same time. Had Obama not been such a "darling" of the media, while Trump being a target of relentless negativity from that same group.... there is little doubt that the person in charge today would have had much higher approvals than the person in charge eight years ago.

Either way, I think I would prefer to be the guy who has seen his approvals improve to 45% rather than be the President who dropped from 65% to 45%.

New "Acosta" Rules.... Media complains!

The new White House rules of Press Conference decorum:
  1. a journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then yield the floor
  2. a follow-up question will be permitted at the discretion of the President or the White House and then the journalist must yield the floor
  3. "yielding the floor" includes if necessary physically surrendering the microphone
  4. Failure to abide by any of the rules (1-3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

“These rules would enable any even half-competent speaker to avoid answering any and all questions posed to them by the press. The @WHCA should strongly oppose this move by the White House.”

“This looks like they’re creating rules that are very easy to break and are likely to go unenforced until the government decides they want to make an example of somebody,” 

"So now the WH is telling reporters what they can and can't do. I hope the reporters do not play ball."

"would love to see MSM press unite and boycott- no trump on tv, basic coverage by AP and let the room be empty and no reporters following him around. an empty room and plane and zero tv coverage and he will go bananas."


Well I think certain people miss the point. The President doesn't speak at these press conferences everyday, the Press Secretary does. If the Press Secretary decided to just provide statements, rather than Press conferences, why would the President care?

Moreover, people like Jim Acosta "live" for these events. In fact, while these press conferences are a small part of what the White House does, it's one of the most important factors of being a White House correspondent for a news outlet. What good is being a special correspondent to the White House if you don't have any special correspondence with the White House?

The reality is that it has been the President and the White House who have suggested on numerous occasions that they would simply stop holding Press Conferences, if behavior didn't improve.

And let's be clear here folks. If CNN and MSNBC decided to boycott Trump (and stopped their non-stop attack coverage on the President), Trump's ratings would go up, while CNN and MSNBC would watch their ratings fall below your average public access channel.

Will these rules be evenly enforced? Maybe and maybe not. But if the media wants to complain about the new rules of decorum, perhaps they should take a look in the mirror, instead of pointing the finger elsewhere.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Trump will kick out Acosta or stop press conferences

So in the Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, the President was asked about the Jim Acosta ruling. Trump sort of let it roll off his back as no big deal, but suggested that they were already addressing the concept of creating a "code of conduct" for Reporters.

He suggested that moving forward, that it will be possible that Acosta would have to be removed again, or that Press conferences may have to end.

It's almost as if the White House is treating this like you might treat an outbreak of bad behavior by a bunch of children. After the children prove that they cannot behave without set rules, the adults in charge end up having to set up a list of rules, with consequences, along with the promise that if things don't improve that the whole activity might have to end.

Already, many media outlets are suggesting that the CNN/Acosta lawsuit, and the subsequent ruling might be a short term victory, with serious long term consequences for everyone in the media.

How anti-gun liberals are made!

Democrats will believe anything... even if nobody is claiming it!

So let's take a close look at this poll question by Economist/YouGov.

Did Russia "tamper with vote tallies to get Donald Trump elected".

We could start by asking why anyone would even "ask" this question. There is no serious accusation of this. Neither the FBI or Mueller has ever made any suggestion that vote tampering has been even considered as a subject of investigation, much less made any suggestion that there is any evidence of any tampering of our vote. In spite of not even a credible allegation of vote tampering by anyone at all, the poll asks whether or not our election tallies where tampered with by a foreign entity.

The suggestion itself is ludicrous.

Yet here we are, looking at a poll that suggests that literally two thirds (67%) of Democrats believe that the Russians tampered with the vote tallies. Two thirds of Democrats believe a fairly random allegation, in spite of the fact that such an allegation has not actually been made by anyone with any credibility.

I can only guess that the question was added to see just how gullible and paranoid the American public is when it comes to Russia and the 2016 election. Democrats provided proof positive that they are over the top on both accounts.

I'd say it's getting to the point where you need to get yourself some treatment.

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes Submits Resignation
Just hours after finishing a tumultuous election recount on Sunday, Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes submitted her resignation. “It is true. She did send it,” said Burnadette Norris-Weeks, an attorney who works as counsel to the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Recount over in Florida

 (officially concedes) 

Original Totals:
Scott - 4,097,689
Nelson - 4,085,086
Margin - 12,603

New Totals:
Scott 4,099,505 (+1816)
Nelson 4,089,472 (+4386)
New Margin - 10,033 (-2570)

So to say it bluntly. This recount has proven what most people already know. Democrats cannot follow basic instructions and properly fill out ballots. According to recount statistics, liberals are approximately two and a half times more likely to fill out their ballot in a manner that does not get picked up by a scanner.

Florida will be introducing a new law where all Democrats must be accompanied by a Republican when they fill out their ballots, to make sure they do it right!

In spite of only winning fourteen counties Nelson picked up more new votes than Scott in fifty eight out of sixty seven counties. Scott only picked up more votes in six counties (the largest being seven votes), while there were three counties that were a complete wash.

Broward led the pack with an net increase for Nelson of 627 votes (and they apparently did use their original machine counts rather than the recounts). Miami Dade netted 355 votes for Nelson. Orange county was a plus 345 for Nelson. Hillsborough found an additional 168 (and also did not use their recount totals), while Palm Beach came with a net 148 votes.

Either way, the manual hand recount only added an additional 6202 votes, or approximately 0.075 of a percent of the overall vote total of 8,188,977 votes. They went 70/30 for Nelson.

The overall over/under votes counted was 93,310 (more than originally suggested). This means approximately 6.6% of them ended up being actual votes, which is even less than the 10% originally offered as the realistic high end possibility.

When you know you are about to get fired anyways

Broward County’s ballot recount hit yet another snag Saturday with 2,040 ballots lost or misplaced.
The county’s eternally beleaguered Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said they either misplaced, misfiled or mixed in with another stack.
One thing she said she was sure of: “The ballots are in this building.”
“There would be nowhere else for them to be,” Snipes said. “The ballots are in the building. The ballots are in the building.”

So this appears to goes back to the fact that the recount numbers showed less votes than the original count from election night. Originally it was thought to most likely be an issue where they double counted something on election night (by resorting counted ballots into a group of ballots still to be counted).

But now they are arguing that they must have been "lost" between the original counts and machine counts. They are apparently bound and determined to "find them" and according to some, Snipes isn't wanting to submit Broward County's totals until they do.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that either Snipes does not want to submit totals that hurt Nelson (or more specifically the Democrat in the State Agriculture commissioner race which is very close) or she is looking for a way to push off today's deadline to avoid having the Secretary of State declare Rick Scott the winner.

I guess the longer you delay, the better chance there is that you can figure some way out to steal this election. One thing is clear, Snipes is on her way out and is acting like she has nothing to lose.