August 31, 2020

Collectively, we conservatives probably owe Chris Christie an apology

Back in 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast and New Jersey, among other states was pretty hard hit.  Then President Obama offered then New Jersey governor emergency assistance.  Chris Christie was appreciative and conservatives were...NOT HAPPY with Chris Christie.

I think we conservatives may owe Chris Christie an apology. 

After all, president Trump offered assistance to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler who very impolitely refused.  And now, a Trump supporter was killed on the street as a result. Ted Wheeler has blood on his hands.  Chris Christie does not.  Chris Christie's ability to rise above partisanship was very untimely for conservatives hoping to defeat Obama in 2012.  But it was the right thing to do.  And now, as an unintended consequence, instead of Mitt Romney as president we have Donald Trump.  And for that we should be extremely thankful.

Top 10 things you don't hear about the 2016 election

The Top 10 things you don't hear about the 2016 election:

10. Republican congressional candidates got a higher percentage of the popular vote than Democratic candidates in 2016 (in total - 63,422,020 votes R to 62,315,293 votes D)

9.  Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the 2016 election popular vote by 2.8 million votes.  If you removed California, Donald Trump won the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. Hillary Clinton in other words, beat president Trump by 4.2 million votes in California, a state with little Republican presence, ensuring Democrats will always run up the vote tally there.

8. If Donald Trump had gotten all the votes that were cast for Libertarian Gary Johnson and conservative independent Evan McMullin, and Hillary Clinton had gotten the votes for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Donald Trump would have beaten Hillary Clinton in the popular vote 68.2 million to 67.3 million.

7. Democrats did not get more than 50% of the popular vote in Colorado (the only years in recent history that they did were Obama's 2 terms), Georgia (1992 was the last time), Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina (even Obama did not beat 50% there) or Virginia.  While some of this may have been due to Hillary Clinton's unlikeability, there also seems to be a ceiling for Democrats in some of these states.

6. Despite two supposedly very unpopular candidates, there were only 4 states where the presidential vote was less than that of the house or senate vote in that state - Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana and Montana.

5. In California, 100% of the votes cast for senate in 2016 were for Democratic candidates.

4. In Senate race votes in 2016, In 12 Democratic (blue) states, Democrats won the popular vote 61.4% to 33.5%. In 16 Republican (red) states, Republicans won the popular vote 60.3% to 33.1%, almost identical ratios.

3. In Senate race votes in 2016 in 10 battleground (toss-up/purple) states, Republicans won the popular vote 50.1% to 45.8%.

2. 10 million more votes were cast for Democratic senate candidates than Republican candidates but in California there were ZERO votes cast for Republicans and yet 12.2 million votes cast for the senate race. Honestly California - why vote if it's only going to be for one party?

1. President Trump won.

August 30, 2020

August 28, 2020

Here's why THEY are wrong

Previously, I explained why I didn't believe my own filtering of the REalClearPolitics (RCP) average of polls and why I am inclined to think president Trump will win, despite the polling evidence.  It's a stretch for me, I know.  I'm an evidence guy.  I'm a data guy.  Yet I don't agree with the evidence I've collected. So in the spirit of self-checking and to dispel any sort of confirmation bias on my part, I thought I'd run an experiment of sorts.  Or rather just do some checking.  I took a look at the RCP polls for 2016 Trump vs. Clinton and compare it to 2020 Trump vs. Biden.  I specifically drilled down on Pennsylvania as a battleground state.  More specifically, I looked at the polls and compared August vs August.  Here's what I found.

The results are remarkably similar in both election years.  Consider - Trump did not lead in either state in either year, in any poll.  But in 2016 Trump defeated  Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.  Famously so.  If you compare the 6 polls from 2016 to the 6 from 2018, Clinton was ahead of Trump by a combined +42.  Biden is ahead by +33. If you remove the meaningless Registered Voter (RV) polls, Clinton was ahead by +31, Biden only by +26.  In other words, Biden is under-performing Hillary Clinton at the same time period (August) in the election cycle.

Some might argue that pollsters have gotten smarter and are polling better than in 2016.  Show me proof after the election.  Right now there is no evidence to support that claim.  

In fact, when you look at individual pollsters who polled both 2016 and 2018, CBS News/YouGov has Clinton +8, Biden +6.  He's under-performed. Franklin and Marshall had both Clinton and Biden +7.  They've even got a lower margin of error in 2020, so Biden is doing better right?  No, because in 2020 they polled Registered Voters instead of Likely Voters like they did in 2016. Why is that?  Registered Voters always favor Democrats versus Likely Voter polls, and they are always less accurate.  The only pollster in 2020 that has good news for Biden is Emerson.  Emerson has Biden +9 and it only had Clinton +3.  Interestingly in this case, Emerson showed the lowest spread of Clinton over Trump and shows the largest spread of Biden over Trump.  Is it a perennial outlier or the one pollster we can say is an apples-to-apples comparison?  There's no evidence it's the latter without investigating the cross tabs (which I have not yet done).

Evidence, though only circumstantial, would indicate that the pollsters showing a Clinton lead and a Biden lead could be suffering from the same innate bias.  Trump beat Clinton despite the polls (in August anyway), and the same is quite potentially true in 2020.  And Biden is under-performing Clinton at the same point in the race.  The directional indication thus is Trump beat Clinton in Pennsylvania, despite trailing in August.  He trails Biden by less than he trailed Clinton in August.  Therefore it's possible he will defeat Biden by more than he defeated Clinton in Pennsylvania.  That's not an impossible trail of breadcrumbs to follow. 

Now time for the glass half empty view.  In the polls the gap between Trump and Clinton appear to be due to her own ceiling.  Remember, she was not a likable candidate.  Biden, while oafish, is more likable than Hillary was.  Trump's numbers have come up vs. 2016 but Biden has a higher polling average than Hillary did.  It seems he has a higher top end.  The Emerson poll is an interesting example.  Trump scored a 43% in both 2016 and 2020 but whereas Clinton got 46% in the pol, Biden got 52% support.

I eye that even with suspicion.  It is possible that a pollster could (NOT would) hold an option static and then smooth out the results based on that.  In other words, they could have held Trump at 43% and then took the remainder of voters and got fewer not sure/uncommitted and more Biden support.  I don't think they did that.  It's more plausible that Biden is more likable than Hillary was.  That does not translate to more votes in November though.

I'll leave it with one last thought.  The final RCP average in 2016 had Clinton +2.1%, Trump won by 0.7%.  The only two polls that had Trump competitive in the final days of early November were Trafalgar Group (Trump +1) and Harper (Tie).  Most of the pollsters (excluding the RV polls) had Clinton +2.  Morning Call had Clinton +6.  Monmouth had Clinton +4.  Not included in the RCP average but still final week polls, were CNN (Clinton +5), Quinnipiac (Clinton +6) and Franklin and Marshall (Clinton +11).  Remember: The only poll that matters is election day (plus all the monitored mail in voting but that's a story for another day).

BLM thugs attack gay conservative (and Rand Paul)

Tim Pool explains what happened:

Democrats are late to the party when it comes to riots.  It's really getting out of control, and it's probably going to ensure a president Trump re-election, so at least that's a good thing.

It's spreading like a cancer

BLM protests have spread from the NBA to MLB and now even the NHL.  Stopping playing your sport is not going to change minds, it's going to turn fans into former fans.  Players keep saying they are protesting and want a dialogue.  As if that's what they really want  - they just want to virtue signal.  As if actual dialogue were their desire and facts could show them black on black crime FAR exceeds police on black crime - they just want, like BLM, to tell the rest of us what to do.

As this meaningless virtue signaling spreads like a cancer, it prevents more and more, real progress from being made.  But that won't stop them.  These players, just like everyone else blinded by manipulated media, just want to "make a difference".  The problem is that making a difference, just like change (from Hope and Change) is meaningless without specifying exactly what kind of difference or change they want to make.  Do they want to defund the police?  I bet if you asked them half the players would say yes to that and the other half who are just virtue signalling would say no, if only privately. 

What type of change you want to make is what actually matters. Defunding the police is a step towards Marxism because it is a step towards weakening America, so that it can eventually be replaced with a Marxist regime.  Trust me, the police brutality then will make anything from today pale in comparison. 

Nobody wants police brutality to exist.  It should not exist. It needs to be stamped out. It is not however, exclusively a black lives problem.  It is not a problem that will go away easily either - it requires rethinking hiring policy, police mental health maintenance, and it really comes down to a case by case basis.  There is no systemic racism behind these cases.  That's because systemic racism is not really a thing anymore.  Some cases may involve individual racism, certainly.  But that is harder to eradicate or even find sometimes.  These groups who want to eradicate the problem by getting rid of police are engaging in overkill.  Misguided overkill at that.  It's like the anti-vaxxers who hear one study, now disproved,   that says vaccines cause autism and stop vaccinating their kids; resulting inevitably in a rise in previously eradicated health problems like measles.

These people do not investigate before they clamor for change of some unspecified degree.   If you want to convince me change is needed, come with irrefutable facts, not half-shown, edited videos and fuzzy cries of police racism. 

Friday Musical Interlude - Sixto Rodriguez

Inner City Blues.  This is just a great song from 1970.  Not to be confused with the Marvin Gaye song of the same name.

August 27, 2020

Add Tucker Carlson to the list of Leftist targets

Saul Alinsky's rules for radicals includes this evil gem: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The Left targets people it cannot counter with arguments, which most often is every conservative pundit.  It's progressive politics meets McCarthyism and it has a history of working. Look at all the people they've done that with and for the most part until recently, not been pushed back on. To various degrees of effectiveness the Left has targeted the following people - Robert Stacey McCain, Milo Yiannopoulos, Anthony Cumia, Elizabeth Johnston, Roger Stone, Owen Benjamin, Candace Owens, Gavin McInnes, Alex Jones, Jordan Peterson, James Woods, Laura Loomer, Ben Shapiro, Jesse Kelly, David Horowitz, Lindsay Shepherd, Danielle Stella, Pete Hegseth, Katie Hopkins, Stefan Molyneux, Donald Trump Jr., Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad)  and Zero Hedge.  That's just a partial list and just from the last few years.  Well, now we can add Tucker Carlson to the list of targets:

Watch out Tim Pool, you are probably next.

NBA players are choking their golden goose

NBA players have voted to boycott playoffs games because of... police racism?  NBA playoff ratings have been brutal this year.  The NBA playoff television ratings have been brutal this year as a result of a number of factors - COVID, China,  and previous 'wokeness'.   So players doing this now, seems like they are not aware of their current circumstances.

Those circumstances include people who have had enough of athletes, actors, musicians and such telling us how terrible things are in America.  Firstly, those groups of people, at least the ones who get media attention, are all millionaires.  Spare me how terrible things are, you have no idea.  People are poor, regardless of color.  People get shot by bad police regardless of color.  We don't all have entourages, managers, dietitians, etc.

Secondly, ratings are down despite the fact that people are basically shut-ins at this point.  Our time outside the home is often limited to essential services - people are even working from him in large numbers.  Given that, shouldn't NBA playoff games have ratings through the roof?  But they don't.  That should tell players something: you are not dealing from a position of strength right now.  That's not to say basketball is going to go away.  There will always be a market for a popular sport.  But will there be enough passion for it to support 30 teams?  Maybe not.  Not if people have had enough of being preached to by people who have made it. 

Ratings have tanked and now you want to preach at the world?  How dumb is that?  Last year, as a Toronto Raptors fan, I started following the NBA quite intently, especially during the Raptors' playoff run.  This year during the season I watched several games.  I have not seen a single playoff game.  I have checked the scores once.  I have not been moved to watch a game.

I'm an adult, capable of forming my own opinions.  I don't need  LeBron James or Whoopi Goldberg or The Dixie Chicks telling me how terrible America is.  I don't care about your opinions, at all. I never have.  So when you start telling me how to think.  When you protest your job, you are hurting your industry, not me.  You are 'enlightening' no one when you are stopping doing what makes you great.  It doesn't even sound like the NBA players want dialogue, just demands to be met.

Great.  You do that.  I'm going to start watching curling.  You don't see curlers protesting.

CNN comes late to the party. Is it enough?

CNN host Don Lemon admits Democrats are losing site of the real picture, black people don't want the police defunded, and implies that the protests are riots.  What gives?   After months of denying the truth, is the electoral reality creeping in at CNN?  Do they realize they have to take a different stance in order for electoral victories this fall?  Maybe.  But will it be enough?

There's a danger for Republicans if Democrats begin talking sensibly about the state of the nation.  Of course the change in tone, the change in rhetoric so close to the election will, and should be regarded cynically as a ploy to win votes, not an actual change in the progressive belief system.  Democrats have moved so far left that any turn back towards the center is likely doomed to fail, even if it is temporary.

But Republicans, should this trickle up to Joe Biden and congressional Democrats, can always argue the flip-flop.  They can always argue that they realized this first and Democrats are just pandering to the middle class or middle America for votes and they are being disingenuous.

August 25, 2020

China really does want Biden for president

Why wouldn't China want Biden for president?  They've already bought and paid for him.  Despite the positioning in the video below that Biden too would be tough on China, independent analysis proves he can't be and won't be.  The important takeaway from the clip is that China would prefer to deal with Biden.

That's precisely the reason Americans should not want China to be granted Biden.

Here's why I'm wrong.

Here's my latest  filtered projections, that I've built entirely in Excel (including the map and bubble visual).  I've filtered the RealClearPolitics polls for each battleground state, to exclude polls of registered voters or all adults, polls with a Margin of Error of >4.5%, and a sample size of under 500. 

According to the filters I've applied Biden should win. He's already captured back Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  If you concede his likely states of New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia, he's already at 273.  That's not to mention Nevada and  Minnesota which are also fairly firm in Democrat historical support.  That would put Biden at 289 and in that scenario he probably also wins New Hampshire and ends up at 293.  It won't matter if Trump wins Florida, Arizona, Ohio and Iowa.  He still tops out at 245.

Here's why I'm wrong.

North Carolina.  My weighted average results show Biden ahead 50.7% to 49.3% on the strength of 2 polls.  One of the two polls is the CBS/YouGov polls which I expressed concerns with back in 2016.  The Emerson poll actually had Trump ahead very slightly.  MY own opinion is that there is only one viable poll and that is not enough to call the state.

Pennsylvania.  The same two pollsters as in North Carolina have Biden ahead 53.6% to 46.6%.  Emerson, the more reputable pollster of the two in my estimation, actually have Biden +9%.  But it's only one poll and that's not enough to call the state.  I believe the state is actually too close to call, but that remains to be seen.  My suspicion is that the Trump vote is underrepresented. 

Michigan.  Two polls have Biden ahead +8%.  Once again one of the polls is the YouGov poll and the other has Biden +11%.  This state more than any other so far indicates that even if the polling is done reasonably (and without seeing the crosstabs even that may be questionable), there's something amiss.  Trump down 8% on average or 11% in one poll, just doesn't seem reasonable.  In 2012 president Obama won re-election by 9.5%.  Hillary Clinton, projected to win by 5%, lost by 0.23%   To go from Democrat +9.5 to Republican +0.2 back to Democrat +8 in the course of three elections does not seem feasible.  I need to see more polls.  

Wisconsin.  We're looking at just two polls, YouGov and Marquette, in Wisconsin.  YouGov has Biden +5% and Marquette +3%.  The weighted average is Biden +4%.  The problem here is the same as Pennsylvania and Michigan. Too little data, suspect polls and a potential silent Trump vote.

These are just the states that have moved back to the Democrat from Trump.  One of the states that is undecided there is only the Emerson poll that has Biden +4%.  The state has been trending Democrat demographically, but to go from a historically R +5% to +10% to even just +3% for Trump to suddenly Biden +4% indicates a polling problem, not a true trend.

I don't believe the polls.  Clinton was +9% in August 2016 if the polls then were to be believed. In October 2016, CNN announced she was ahead by 12 points.  She was never ahead by those numbers.  But even if she was, right now RCP has Biden +7.6% nationally, slightly over-performing Hillary Clinton at the same point in the race, where the RCP average had her +6% nationally. On election day she was ahead by 3.2% in the RCP average.  She won the popular vote by 2.1% despite losing the electoral college.

If we extrapolate Biden's out-performance of Hillary and assume the race 'mysteriously' tightens closer to election day by the same historical amount, Biden should end up ahead of Trump by 2.66%.  Remember libertarian Gary Johnson got 3.3% of the electoral college and a lot of that vote, some begrudgingly, some happily will gravitate towards president Trump because there is no Gary Johnson level libertarian in this race.  Do you know who Joanne Jorgensen is? Probably not.  To be fair, Green Party voters might gravitate to Biden the same way.  But they only got 33%  of the support of Gary Johnson last time around.  So it's too close to call with all of those variables out there.  And on top of all of that, these poll numbers now are just too sketchy to believe.
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