Today’s very bad day for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan:
* Tracking polls are junk, but Gallup has Obama up by three point over Romney, Obama’s job approval is up to 51%.
* The Times/CBS/Quinnipiac has Obama pulling away in Ohio (+10) and Florida (+9), two states that Obama can lose while still having a decent shot at winning the electoral college, and two states that Mitt Romney absolutely cannot win without. He’s also leading by 12 points in Pennsylvania. Obama leads by 25% amongst Women in Ohio. Obama was only leading by 2 points in the previous poll of Ohio by that pollster.
* Same poll: Obama leading Romney amongst African Americans in Ohio 98-0.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining gains and losses in the House, and one of the more prominent ones in the past decade has probably been redistricting solely for political gain, AKA gerrymandering. Before significant gerrymandering, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for 40 straight years. Given that there are more Democrats in America than Republicans, and House seats are hyper local, that actually makes a lot of sense as the default state of the House and political landscape.
It really wasn’t until the past twenty years or so that Republicans began redrawing districts to protect incumbent Republican Representatives, endanger incumbent Democrats, and even strengthen incumbent Democrats if it could take a Republican from loser to winner.
Both parties do it these days, but Republicans do it much more. That’s how we’ve gotten to this point where demographics haven’t changed much in the past twenty years, yet we went from having a permanent Democratic controlled House to what feels like the first decade or so of a permanent Republican House.
Paul Krugman takes Mitt Romney’s five point plan and addresses it point-by-point, but I think there’s a lot more to be said than can fit comfortably into a paragraph each. The White House did the same thing, which I haven’t read.
Here are the points, Krugman’s take, and my take below that.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Krugman’s take: “This describes what Romney wants to see happen, not what he’d do to make it happen. But to the extent it means anything, it means scrapping environmental protection so that we can drill, baby, drill. Why doesn’t he say that? Because voters care about the environment.”
My take: I’m not sure where these Romney points originated so I can’t blame the Romney campaign for making such a simple geography error, but it’s pretty embarrassing regardless. “North America” is a continent that includes 23 sovereign nations including Canada, the United States of America, Cuba, and Mexico. Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama decides energy policy for North America.
Mitt Romney was already losing this race. He’s lead fewer than a quarter of national polls going back to 2011 and has never once lead the national average. He didn’t get a bump from the Republican National Convention while Barack Obama got a 6-7 point bump, and all relevant electoral college projections show a relatively easy win for Obama (five for five).
When you’ve been losing since before you won your party’s nomination, and are still behind with less than two months to go, as Greg Mitchell put it, “We’re at that point during a campaign where party with losing prez candidate starts to worry about taking big hit in Congress.”
Even a poor jobs report last Friday didn’t help Romney. Obama’s gains in the polls include the day the jobs report was released and several days after.
That goes a long ways towards explaining mistakes like this that always come from desperate campaigns and desperate candidates.
The recently wrapped Democratic National Convention easily topped the Republican National Convention in total viewers every single night during national broadcast hours. The DNC ended with 26.2 million, 25.1, and 35.7 million viewers for September 4th, 5th, and 6th respectively. Tuesday’s audience was a 15% improvement over 2008, Wednesday’s fell 3.1%, and Friday’s audience was only 6.9% short.
The Republican National Convention about par for the firs two nights and dropped significantly in the finale. Numbers for the first night of coverage aren’t available due to split coverage of Hurricane Isaac. The convention ended with audiences of 22.3 million, 21.9, and 30.2 million for nights two, three, and four. That’s a 3.4% gain over 2008 for night two, and an 18.7% fall for the finale.
It was speculated that ratings for the DNC would also see a significant fall from 2008, simply because that’s what happened for the RNC. But that’s not the case. The drop-off for the RNC was much worse.
And I mean that literally. Here’s a video of the shenanigans where the chair clearly doesn’t have the necessary 2/3rds majority to make a change. He just decides that he does, and rules that way. Sounds a lot like the authoritarian bullshit the GOP pulled with Ron Paul delegates:
This was dumb on a number of levels. First, it takes the party off message during the convention away from the economy, which is actually one of Obama’s stronger talking points given the 1+ million new jobs this year and nearly 4 million new jobs since the end of the recession. Second, it won’t stop false attacks against Obama on Israel or ugly attacks from the radical right on his faith.
A reader and friend asked me what I thought about a paper out of the University of Colorado projecting a (relatively) big win coming this fall for Mitt Romney in the electoral college, in this Q&A I did yesterday for anything and everything political. he paper, by political science professors Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry (hereby referred to as the Bickers-Berry model), seems heavily weighted by economic factors and predicts Romney winning every single swing state, for a 320-218 electoral vote victory.
Bickers and Berry are touting their model has correctly predicting every presidential election since 1980, but that’s misleading. This model (as Nate Silver notes below in a Tweet I’ll quote) is a new model, and hasn’t correctly predicted anything yet. It would have predicted past elections if it had existed before each of them took place, but that’s entirely different than claiming that it has already predicted them.
Here’s what I said in a very rushed analysis, without having read the paper:
A lot got left out of my analysis of Paul Ryan’s politics, because I thought the best angle to cover early on was one that would probably be ignored by the press, and abused endlessly by unofficial disinterested partisan hacks engaged in campaign warfare.
Oh, he’s such a right-wing radical American Taliban extremist. He’s going to end the world!
I’ll finally get my in-depth election analysis up next week, but for now, here are a few things to consider.
Off the top of my head, I only know of four sites that are running electoral college projections. Talking Points Memo, Pollster, CNN, and Real Clear Politics. Each site has its own methodology for assigning states to candidates based on the “safe”, “lean”, and “tossup” categories, and all can be argued with. For example, only TPM has Florida and its 29 electoral votes assigned to a candidate, even though Barack Obama is leading in Florida and has had more leads in polls than Mitt Romney has, in addition to winning Florida in 2008.
None of these sites shows Romney leading in the electoral math, and that is what decides the election.