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commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

From Nate Silver over @ FiveThirtyEight….Is 56 is the New 60?

FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right

Fom Nate Silver over @ FiveThirtyEigtht……..

The Senate’s vote this afternoon to end a filibuster on Harry Reid’s scaled-down jobs bill, which passed with not one but five different Republican votes (Scott Brown of Massachusetts; Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, and the retiring Kit Bond and George Voinovich) was interesting on a number of levels. For one thing, it suggests that a bipartisan process, which Reid aborted on this bill after complaints that it had been laden down with unrelated provisions, is not necessarily that highly correlated with a bipartisan outcome.

There’s More…

If he’s right……. the Democrats will be better and can thank Senator Scott Brown for his loud and clear win…and warning…..

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nate Silver on Sarah Palin’s Primary Strategy for 2012….

From Nate Silver over @ FiveThirtyEight.

If Sarah Palin runs for the Republican nomination in 2012 — and I’ve been on record for some time as predicting that she will — what are likely to be her best and worst states? And how do these strengths and weaknesses square with the Republican primary calendar? And what about the other likely candidates?

The first, very, very important thing to notice is that the Republican primary calendar will be different in 2012 than it was two years ago. Although this could change as states jockey for position and rules are amended, for the time being the Republicans have divided the states into five groupings as seen below:


The first states to vote are the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. These states are shown in light blue. Note that this list does notinclude Florida and Michigan, which jumped in the queue to try to vote early in 2008 — although who knows whether they’ll be in a more cooperative mood this time around when push comes to shove.

Next to vote are the orange states, which are grouped together by virtue of their small populations. This includes 14 states and several territories, the largest grouping of which is on the prairies and the Western frontier, although there are also several New England states. Notably, no Southern states vote in this group — the Republican calender definitely de-emphasizes the South.

There’s More…

I keep telling you people…..it’s not so far fetched……

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 29 Comments

Nate Silver on Sarah Palin's Primary Strategy for 2012….

From Nate Silver over @ FiveThirtyEight.

If Sarah Palin runs for the Republican nomination in 2012 — and I’ve been on record for some time as predicting that she will — what are likely to be her best and worst states? And how do these strengths and weaknesses square with the Republican primary calendar? And what about the other likely candidates?

The first, very, very important thing to notice is that the Republican primary calendar will be different in 2012 than it was two years ago. Although this could change as states jockey for position and rules are amended, for the time being the Republicans have divided the states into five groupings as seen below:


The first states to vote are the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. These states are shown in light blue. Note that this list does notinclude Florida and Michigan, which jumped in the queue to try to vote early in 2008 — although who knows whether they’ll be in a more cooperative mood this time around when push comes to shove.

Next to vote are the orange states, which are grouped together by virtue of their small populations. This includes 14 states and several territories, the largest grouping of which is on the prairies and the Western frontier, although there are also several New England states. Notably, no Southern states vote in this group — the Republican calender definitely de-emphasizes the South.

There’s More…

I keep telling you people…..it’s not so far fetched……

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | 29 Comments

Aftermath……Coakley loses…..Obama takes it on the Chin….and the reality vs the perception……

Last night one thing actually happened….Martha Coakley a Democrat….lost the Massachusetts Special Election for the vacated Senate seat to Scott Brown, a Republican……

The fact is as Nate Silver over at FiveThirtySeven relates……
Overall, we have a 31-point swing in the vote to explain: from Barack Obama’s roughly 26-point victory in November 2008, to Martha Coakley’s roughly 5-point loss today.

At a bare minimum, 10 of those points must be assigned to the national environment.Generic ballot polling suggests that the Democrats’ position has worsened by a net of 10 points since November 2008, from winning the House popular vote by 10 points in 2008 to being dead even with Republicans today.

Also at a bare minimum, 11 points of blame should be assigned to Coakley. That represents the difference between the 58 percent of vote that she received at her high-water mark in the polls to the 47 percent she received on Election Day. A fairly large number of voters, it appears, actually turned away from Coakley; it was not just a matter of undecided ones turning toward Brown.

That leaves us with 10 more points of blame to assign; let’s just dole those out as evenly as possible, giving 3 more points to Coakley, 3 more points to the national environment, and 4 to Massachusetts-specific special contingencies — it gets the extra point because it hadn’t received any yet.

That would make the final score: national environment 13, Coakley 14, special circumstances 4.

If you follow through on the math, this would suggest that Coakley would have won by about 8 points, rather than losing by 5, had the national environment not deteriorated so significantly for Democrats. It suggests that the Democrats would have won by 9 points, rather than losing by 5, had the candidate been someone other than Coakley. And it suggests that the race would have been a 1-point loss (that is, basically too close to call), rather than a 5-point loss, even if Coakley had run such a bad campaign and even if the national environment had deteriorated as much as it has, but had there not been the unusual circumstances associated with this particular election.

Folks….. I think Silver nails the analytical side of yesterday…..

Bad candidate, bad economic enviroment, bad campaign = one loss……..

Now we deal with the media and perceptions….

President Obama went to campaign for Coakley last Sunday….even the Dog suggested that….but it was too little…. too late (remember NJ?)……but the media and the politicians are at the point….they see bloods in the water…

….they are viewing last night not as a bad run, and a bad economic event…..but as referendum on Healthcare and the President….of which in reality it is neither….

Martha Coakley pissed her voters off….as an P1 commenter pointed out yesterday…no Mass AG has won election to higher offiice….as Silver pointed our…even democratic voters…in a democratic town!

Now I checked the papers and myself here….the Dog joined the crowd last night in pointing out that the perspective is going to point President Barack Obama…..I’m just as guilty as everyone else in jumping to perseptions…I admit it….

The second story we get today ….to pile on the President, is that the nominee for TSA Head, Erroll Southers is withdrawing his name….Oops!….the President takes another hit!

Then I go further down the page, and I see another punch thrown at the Obama adminbstration…..A complaint that the increase in the minimum wage is the reason for higher unemployment?

It’s gonna go on like this for a while…..

This the aniversity of President Obama taking his oath of office……

It is also the day after a senate race in one state is going to be tied to the ENTIRE DEMOCRATIC AGENDA….whether it deserves to …..or not…..

The Dog suggests that if President Obama and the democratic party wants to continue (and they will ) with any chance of suscess..they better sit down with the leader of their party and point out that he cannot afford to stay above the fry any longer…..even if it’s to work to support and get better candidates (a prime example is Kirsten Gillibrand in NY…let Ford primary her…let the voters pick the stronger candidate… less the same thing happen in New York also )

The race was the race…it’s over …the Democrat lost…the perscption war now begins with the GOP embolden to continue attacking everything and anything with Obama’s name on it…and all things Democratic…..

The economy has given birth to pent-up anger…..bad candidates and no help from the leader of the party may doom this country to a halt in eventing political and a JimmY carter one term wonder Presidency……

Just for the record…even with loss…the Democrats maintain their majority in BOTH HOUSES…….


January 20, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Rasmussen Polling outfit gets grief……..

I get the Rasmussen poll everyday here at the Dog…..Merlin our resident magicaian…does also….but it seems that a whole lot of people think the Ras polls are slanted away from the dem’s and Obama in particular because the methods used …….

While the Ras poll has done pretty good in its election calls in the past….people are still throwing bricks at them…..here’s a comparison of the Ras Polls numbers for President Obama and a few others……link….

As you can see there is a vast difference in the numbers and the lines…….

The Rasmussen people are going to come under increasing pressure to explain their differences to enraged democrats and media types…….

Here’s the original piece ripping them from Politico……

Here’s Nate Silver over at FiveThirtySeven…….

Hummmm?……..I wonder how he gets such different numbers?

January 3, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Government, Media, PoliticalDogs Merlin, Politics, Polls, The Economy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. Senate seats status as of Decemeber 2009 ……

We’re borrowing these numbers from Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight.com ……. I’ve commented on certain states….Merlin is not going to agree on my comments……

Races are ranked in order of their likelihood of changing parties by November 2010, accounting for all factors such as potential retirements, primary challenges, and so forth.

Likelihood of party switch has increased since October‘s rankings.
Likelihood of party switch has decreased since October.

1. Delaware (D-Open) — The reason I keep this one in first position is because Beau Biden has yet to declare and there’s a small chance he won’t run, in which case it’s a walk for Mike Castle. If Castle wins close to 100 percent of the time that Biden doesn’t run, and 55 percent of the time that he does, then that puts his odds above 60 percent overall. ( Notice…he says small chance? )

2.  Connecticut (D-Dodd) — You probably know how skeptical I tend to be of internal polls. So when an incumbent candidate publishes an internal poll that shows him behind his leading Republican opponent, you know that he’s in trouble. With that said, this race is a long way from over; Republicans could still wind up nominating a goofy candidate like Linda McMahon, and there likewise remains a chance that Dodd won’t be the Democratic nominee. ( Notice….. he says..long way from over...)

3. Missouri (R-Open) — Robin Carnahan’s polling has been very stable, continuing to show her with a very slight lead. That’s probably because her opponent, Roy Blunt, is a rather vocal member of the sitting Republican Congress, which is losing popularity just as quickly as the Democrats in Congress are. He’s the wrong candidate for this type of cycle.

4. Nevada (D-Reid) — The reasons why Reid could lose are fairly self-evident, both on a polling and a narrative basis. So here’s why he could still win: (1) $$$$$$, (2) it’ll be harder to brand him as ineffectual if he passes health care, (3) Nevada is a machine state and Democrats control the machine, (4) Republican candidates are untested. ( I agrree…Reid should win...)

5. Colorado (D-Bennet) — We need more polling here.

6.  Arkansas (D-Lincoln) — No doubt Blanche Lincoln has the fight of her life on her hands, but perceptions that she’s dead meat are formed principally by Rasmussen’s polling, whereas most other polls have continued to show her with a slight lead. Following my advice, she also managed to stay out of the spotlight at the end of the health care debate as Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman led the three-ring circus instead. (another winner for the  dem’s considering ALL factors )

7.  Ohio (R-Open) — Some of the polling has started to move Rob Portman’s way. Fundamentally, though, this will still be about whether Portman is cast as the Responsible Deficit Hawk or the Bushie Cabinet Hack, a dynamic that should keep this one close straight through to November. ( as the economy comes back …the dem’s will come back…it’s too early to rule this GOP )

8.  Kentucky (R-Open) — Upgraded because it looks like Rand Paul will be the Republican nominee. Kentucky is not a very libertarian-friendly state; it tends, rather, to be in the opposite corner, conservative on social issues but supportive of an economic safety net. So — although Paul will surely raise millions from activists all over the country — there’s a chance this plays out something like NY-23, where a national message proves to be a bit tone-deaf in an idiosyncratic corner of the country. (he, he, he….again Nate hedges his bets, huh? )

9.  Pennsylvania (D-Specter) — Democrats are going to want to make this one about Pat Toomey, who in an ordinary cycle would meet Rick Santorum’s fate. But 2010 may not be an ordinary cycle — the larger the national “wave” the less the particulars of the candidates may matter (this was how Santorum got elected in the first place). And Arlen Specter’s flip-floppin’ gives Toomey plenty of ammunition and might allow Toomey to control the tempo of the campaign. So, upon further reflection, I’ve become a bit more inclined to believe the polling here, which shows the race to be a toss-up. But the polling also shows that more voters move into the undecided camp in the event that Joe Sestak is the nominee, in which case the strategy of attacking Toomey could be more effectual. (ole’ Arlen is ahead slightly in the democratic primary race….and will win a general…that’s my guess)

10. New Hampshire (R-Open) — New Hampshire tends to be a very good bellwether for national trends, perhaps because it’s a well-educated state where people watch a lot of news and really enjoy the sport of politics. And since the national momentum is likely to favor the Republicans in November, that means Paul Hodes is running into a bit of a headwind. (again…..like in most of these races the poll is now…an economic comeback will change things considerably…)

11.  Illinois (D-Burris) — Rasmussen actually shows a tiny bit of momentum toward the Democrat Giannoulias. Mark Kirk is in a somewhat awkward position; he was elected repeatedly in Democratic-leaning IL-10 by running unashamedly as a moderate, but that’s not where the GOP zeitgeist is this year and he’s accumulated a more conservative voting record. I don’t care how bad the national environment is — I’m not sure you can win by reflexively opposing Barack Obama’s agenda in Barack Obama’s home state. (agreed…..I’m with Alexi pulling this one out)

12. North Carolina (R-Burr) — If there’s one thing I’m certain of it’s that North Carolina belongs in the #12 position; it marks the dividing line between those races that can basically be considered to be toss-ups and those that clearly lean toward the incumbent party.

13.  Florida (R-Open) — I’m pretty sure that Marco Rubio now has to be considered the favorite in the Republican primary. I’m not a huge believer in “trends” — meaning, I don’t think you should necessarily assume that just because a candidate has been gaining ground means that he’ll continue to do so. But in this case, the trends have been pretty bleepin’ overwhelming and have been accompanied by a disastrous narrative that has developed around Crist. In any event, whether it’s Rubio who emerges or a wounded Crist, this race has come somewhat back on the radar screen as an opportunity for Democrats. ( YEA BOY!…..my man Meek has a excellent chance if Rubio wrestles the noimination from Crist…I’ve called this way for a while! )

14.  North Dakota (D-Dorgan) — There are several polls showing John Hoeven with a huge lead over Byron Dorgan if he decides to enter, but all were conducted by Republican-leaning outfits. I’m a little bit suspicious of this sort of polling when the national party is trying to recruit a candidate into the race. Also, as a sitting governor whose term doesn’t expire until 2012, Hoeven would have to explain to the electorate why he quit the governorship to challenge a fairly popular incumbent, which could instantly take a bite out of his numbers. So, I’m upgrading this race slightly on upside potential for the Republicans, but Hoeven remains an underdog to enter (having already blown through his self-imposed deadline of September) and is hardly a shoo-in if he does. (agreed…the polling is against a guy who is still not in the race….)

15. Louisiana (R-Vitter) — Nothing in the way of new polling here. Vitter’s failings are personal rather than political and are somewhat old news. I’m just not sure this is a winnable seat for Democrats in a state that has gone very red very quickly. (agreed...)

16. Iowa (R-Grassley) — Democrats have gotten a semi-interesting candidate in the form of Roxanne Conlin, who has 73 percent name recognition in Iowa. Although Grassley, who had built up a large reservoir of goodwill, has probably not hurt himself quite enough to lose, the health care fight undermined his brand as a bipartisan dealmaker. This race deserves more polling.

17.  New York (D-Gillibrand) — Would Rudy have made the same decision not to run for national office if the Eunuch Bomber had struck on Thanksgiving rather than Christmas? ( this race is not a race if no big name Republican runs (Pataki has a horrible record as Governor)…..I hope Bill Thompson, the failed NYC mayoral candidate primaries her…..I do not think Ms. Gillibrand is the best choice for the seat…the dem’s could have done better…much better….)

18. Wisconsin (D-Feingold) — The buzz that Tommy Thompson might run seems to have died down. Nor do I know why Thompson would challenge a fairly popular incumbent for the Senate when there’s an open seat in the governor’s mansion instead.

19. California (D-Boxer)

20.  Indiana (D-Bayh) — Republicans have gotten themselves a candidate here in the form of six-term Congressman John Hostettler. Although Hostettler is a notoriously weak campaigner and Bayh has historically won by huge margins, this race could conceivably become interesting at the upper bound conditions of Republican momentum.  (Bayh is boring )

21.  Arizona (R-McCain) — It’s getting a bit late for J.D. Hayworth to primary John McCain and Democrats would have to scramble to find their own candidate even if he did. But one contrary indicator: a Republican poll sponsored by a McCain-backing group tested negative messages about Hayworth, which suggests that somebody is at least a little bit nervous.

22.  Texas (R-Open?) — Bill White will run for governor rather than Senate, which robs Democrats of most of their opportunity — especially since it has become less clear that Kay Bailey Hutchison will resign her seat in the first place.

23.  South Carolina (R-DeMint) — A PPP poll shows that Jim DeMint could potentially be vulnerable. But Democrats have almost no infrastructure in the Palmetto State, which probably makes this an academic question.

24.  Georgia (R-Isakson) — I’m going to start to downgrade some of these races where there’s no fresh polling and no credible opponent.

25.  Hawaii (D-Inouye) — Ditto.

26. Massachusetts (D-Open) — It’s worth polling the special general, which will occur in just three weeks, but I’m pretty sure that Massachusetts will soon have a Senator Coakley.

27. Oklahoma (R-Coburn)

28. Alaska (R-Murkowski)

29. Kansas (R-Open)

30. Maryland (D-Mikulski)

31. Washington (D-Murray)

32. Alabama (R-Shelby)

33. South Dakota (R-Thune)

34. Vermont (D-Leahy)

35. Oregon (D-Wyden)

36. Utah (R-Bennett)

37. New York (Sr.) (D-Schumer)

38. Idaho (R-Crapo)


December 31, 2009 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Politics, Polls | , , | 20 Comments

Does the Internet change your politcal IQ?…you betcha!

This piece by Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEigth.Com…..pretty much says it all( it’s a bit statistical)….once you start on your way here, on the net’…..you have no choice but to get gobbled up….

That’s my story…..and ah, I’m the guy in the drawing next to the piece…except my wife doesn’t call me anymore, she dozes off till I get finish and get in the bed…..

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Computers, Education, Media, Men, Politics, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Obama and the 50 percentile………

Nate Silver over at FiveThirtySeven reflects on Obama and the 50% mark……………and why it’s nothing to really worry about……absent his doubter’s bragging rights…..Obama still polls miles above any challenger he is likely to have 3 years from now………and if he gets thru healthcare in one piece , it looks like the economy will be Okay……Aftganistan is gonna to a drag on him….but his strategy of constantly dealing with different things may blunt the focus on the war….additionally if he manage the troop withdrawals for maximum props in 2011 (there will still be advisors there, I’m sure)…he’ll be Okay again for the 2012 election…..

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment