Johnny Gets an Earfull

Senator John McCain conducted a townhall meeting in Phoenix last night and probably wishes he had stayed in Washington.

 

CNN:

 Sen. John McCain, whose endorsement of President Barack Obama’s plan to launch military strikes against Syria provided the president a key Republican backer, faced vocal opponents of military action during a town hall in Arizona Thursday.

McCain has long advocated a more muscular American approach toward Syria, calling for a plan to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power. But on Thursday many people who showed up to a town hall in Phoenix said that getting more involved in the civil war would lead to unintended consequences.

“We didn’t send you to make war for us. We sent you to stop the war,” one man said to applause.

Another man, holding a bag of marshmallows, declared Congress was going soft on its duties to represent voters.

Conitnue Reading

Run Republicans Run

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Run away from the truth! Start throwing your own under the bus. That’s what Republicans do. If anyone in the party dares to convey even the slightest controversial viewpoint – they are immediately ostracized.

Such is the fate of Mitt Romney. Romney had the unmitigated gall to speak the truth after his recent loss to “The One”.

What’s worse is that national pariah Rush Limbaugh shares his viewpoint, as well as most every right thinking conservative. Perish the thought.

So what was said?

It was the rehashing of the 47% argument presented by Romney. As you recall during the campaign, Romney said correctly, that it’s difficult to attract 47% of Americans, as they are effectively takers of government largesse.

Then we have Rush Limbaugh effectively reiterating that viewpoint with his now famous, or infamous statement.

In a nutshell, Limbaugh said that it’s hard to compete against Santa Claus or as El Rushbo calls him, Barackoclaus. Evidently, this truism is somehow controversial.

Paul Rosenberg writes in that well-known right-wing journal, Al Jazeera, that Rush is lying about Barackoclaus. Rosenberg wrote, “We are not a country of children – what Democrats are offering is not something for nothing, and alternative or opposition to work, but a fairer system overall.”

Well Paul, that is exactly what they are offering. The Dems do, in fact, treat their constituents like children and they most certainly offer, not something but everything for nothing. And as for an alternative or opposition to work, you may recall Obama recently rescinded the work requirements for receiving welfare. I guess not having to work is just part of the Democrats “fairer system”.

Republicans, not wanting to be left out of the pander parade, joined the fray, ganging up on Limbaugh and Romney.

Bobby Jindal, who is thought by many to be a rising star in the Republican Party said, “In order for the GOP to be competitive, it has to go after 100% of the vote, not 53%. We need to go after every single vote.”

There’s the politician coming out, not the conservative. People are not people, just votes to be manipulated.

Newt Gingrich who is thought to be a stalwart conservative (he’s not, but many consider him as such) stated, “You have to start with the idea of inclusion, and I draw a distinction between outreach and inclusion. Outreach is when 5 white guys have a meeting and call you. Inclusion is when you’re in the meeting.”

I suppose white guys are the only guys who have meetings. Rather racist I’d say.

Marco Rubio said effectively the same in rebuking Limbaugh’s Santa Claus comments.

Well, I’m sorry for all the Republican politicians who refuse to see Limbaugh’s comments for what they are. Santa Claus simply represents redistribution. It’s as simple as that and you are either for it or against.

The Democrats have been portraying themselves as Santa Claus for decades and evidently they are doing quite well.

When the majority of younger voters, 18 to 29-year-olds, prefer socialism over capitalism, there is a serious education problem.

The only option for Republicans is education, but first the Republicans have to believe in capitalism. But the fact is, many big government progressive Republicans don’t fully buy into capitalism. Socialism-lite won’t peel people away from the Santacrats.

We need real world conservatives that are willing to just go out, exclaim their conservative views, explain them in plain English and defend them without worrying about offending anyone and pandering to everyone.

If a majority of voters don’t want to hear the truth or be educated, then we lose. But at least then we have our answer. People do in fact prefer Santa Claus.

For every point made by conservative one must have a real world explanation. Don’t speak of the economy in general; speak in specifics which ordinary people can understand.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – liberals can do and say anything without repercussion or question. They are able to say things like, “I’m for the middle class”, knowing full well that means absolutely nothing to anyone. But then it doesn’t matter, does it. They know they will never be questioned. That’s just the way it is. They’ll promise any group anything. Whether they deliver or not is simply never to be examined.

Here’s just one example that is easy for virtually anyone to understand.

Undocumented workers come to this country to do the jobs that Americans just won’t do. What do you say to that?

Well, the statement is a nonstarter. Illegally sneaking across the border has nothing to do with a job an American won’t do.

It’s like a guy that steals your car and the police catch him. Rather than arresting him, they pick you up and take you to his house where they explain, “Look, he is utilizing your car better than you did. He is taking food to the elderly and winter coats to the homeless”. Would you then say, okay, then, he can just keep my car. Of course not. You would demand your car back and that he be arrested.

It used to be that politicians, even Ronald Reagan, could paint in broad-brush strokes. Not anymore. The education of our population is so woefully lacking that we no longer have that luxury. If we hope to win anything anymore, nationally, we must educate the public.

Is This Our Destiny?

Is Demography Destiny?

by: Thomas Sowell

Some media pundits see in the growing proportion of non-white groups in the population, a growing opposition to the Republican Party that will sooner or later make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win presidential elections or even to control either house of Congress.  But is demography destiny?

Conventional wisdom in the Republican establishment is that what the GOP needs to do, in order to win black votes or Hispanic votes, is to craft policies specifically targeting these groups. In other words, Republicans need to become more like Democrats.

Whether in a racial context or in other contexts, the supposed need for Republicans to become more like Democrats has long been a recurring theme of the moderate Republican establishment, going back more than half a century.

Yet the most successful Republican presidential candidate during that long period was a man who went completely counter to that conventional wisdom– namely, Ronald Reagan, who won back to back landslide election victories.

Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).

None of this seems to have caused any second thoughts in the Republican establishment.  So long as that remains the case, demography may indeed be destiny– and that destiny could be Democratic administrations as far out as the eye can see.

If non-white voters can only be gotten by pandering to them with goodies earmarked for them, then Republicans are doomed, even if they choose to go that route.  Why should anyone who wants racially earmarked goodies vote for Republicans, when the Democrats already have a track record of delivering such goodies?

An alternative way to make inroads into the overwhelming majority of minority votes for Democrats would be for the Republicans to articulate a coherent case for their principles and the benefits that those principles offer to all Americans.

But the Republicans’ greatest failure has been precisely their chronic failure to spell out their principles– and the track record of those principles– to either white or non-white voters.

Very few people know, for example, that the gap between black and white incomes narrowed during the Reagan administration and widened during the Obama administration.  This was not because of Republican policies designed specifically for blacks, but because free market policies create an economy in which all people can improve their economic situation.

Conversely, few policies have had such a devastating effect on the job opportunities of minority youths as minimum wage laws, which are usually pushed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.  But these facts do not “speak for themselves.”  Somebody has to cite the facts and take the trouble to show why unemployment among minority youths skyrocketed when minimum wage increases priced them out of jobs.

The loss of income from an entry-level job is only part of the loss sustained by minority young people.  Work experience at even an entry-level job is a valuable asset, as a stepping stone to progressively higher level jobs.  Moreover, nobody gains from having a huge number of idle youths hanging out on the streets, least of all minority communities.

Labor unions push minimum wage laws to insulate their members from the competition of younger workers, and Democratic politicians are heavily dependent on union support.  For the same reason, Democrats have to go along with teachers’ unions that treat schools as places to guarantee their members jobs, rather than to provide the quality education so much needed to rise out of poverty.

What Democrats cannot say under these conditions is what Republicans are free to say– even if Republicans have seldom taken advantage of that freedom to make inroads into minority voting blocs.  Inroads are all they need.  If the black vote for Democrats falls to 70 percent, the Democrats are in deep trouble.

But if Republicans continue inarticulate, then it is they who are in big trouble. More important, so is the country.

Polling 101

This article was from May of this year, but it is still instructive.

Navigating the Polls in an Election Year

by: Mike Flynn at Breitbart

with comments from the Common Constitutionalist [ ] cause I just can’t help it.

As the campaign season gets into full swing, voters can expect a deluge of polls. Every major media outfit and several independent polling organizations will provide almost real-time information on every twist and turn in the political landscape. The polls will not only cheer or frighten partisans on all sides, they will likely have a gravitational effect on individual campaigns themselves, as candidates adjust their campaigns to polling results. But, voters should beware. Even modern-day polling is more art than science. [I’ve seen many polls (most in fact) I believe are published for only one reason; to dispirit conservatives voters and hopefully cause them not to vote. They have all come from major media and polling organizations that are in the tank for Obama and the democrats. The polls you see are for public consumption and are usually not accurate. However, campaigns run their own internal polling that is usually for honest and accurate. They know they can’t afford to rely on the normally bogus public polls. We will never be privy to the internal polls.]

All polls reflect certain biases–not necessarily in the political sense–of pollsters. Taking a small sample and extrapolating it to the overall electorate involves lots of judgement calls that may not provide an accurate picture of the political landscape. While voters should look to sites like RealClearPolitics, which average a basket of recent polls to smooth out aberrations, the occasional “outlier” poll, showing results wildly different than other polls, is occasionally correct. It mostly comes down to the choices pollsters make in conducting their poll.

If you are reading this, you’re likely fairly politically aware and understand some basic differences between many polls. You understand that the first step in accessing a poll is looking at what’s called the “voter screen.” In other words, is the poll of adults, registered voters or likely voters. The difference matters a lot:

Both Pew Research and Nate Silver have each looked at the differences for different elections from 2004, 2008 and 2010; and they both came to essentially the same answer:

– Polling “adults” generally favors Democrats by a net of 7%.
– Polling “registered voters” generally favors Democrats by a net of 4%.
– Polling “likely voters” is always the most accurate.

So if you have one poll of “adults” which says D53.5%-R46.5%, another of “registered voters” which shows D52-R48, and another of “likely voters” which shows D50-R50, they’re all saying the same thing. When you factor in the relevant adjustments for each screen, they’re all showing a tie at somewhere around an exact 50/50 split of those who will actually wind up choosing between Democrats and Republicans.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why media outlets like The Associated Press continue to poll “adults” on political issues. Around 20% of adults aren’t registered to vote. Putting aside the rather large inherent bias toward Democrats, why do we even care to know the political views of those who won’t be voting? Its about as useful as polling Canadians on their preference of U.S. politicians. [ I sound like a broken record, but duh. The AP might as well be the Obama press office. The know when they poll adults it will heavily skew the results toward their end, which is getting “The One” relected. ]

With the exception of Rasmussen Reports, however, most media and polling organizations use the registered voter screen until late in the campaign. This is due to the not unreasonable belief that, early in the campaign season, it is difficult to estimate who is most likely to show up at the polls. It won’t come as a shock to learn that people often lie in polls, claiming they will definitely vote but then, for a variety of reasons, fail to do so. So, as you see polls of registered voters, keep in mind that there is a general bias of +4% for Democrat candidates. [ Again, duh. Any poll, at the very least, not using only likely voters is junk and is used only to influence voters.]

But, even polls using a likely voter screen can be inaccurate. At this point, we need to discuss one of the less talked about and least understood aspects of polling: weighting.

When you start from a random sample of voters and begin conducting the actual interviews, it is very likely that the total universe of voters you actually speak with aren’t representative of the overall populace. You may have too many male, white, low-income, high education or Midwestern voters. Polling firms deal with this by “weighting” the sample, essentially tossing certain interviews so that the final results reflect responses from a representative sample that matches the nation’s demographics. [ Or, of course, responses that skew the outcome of the poll.]

Most of this is fairly technical and, with the exception of the occasional disreputable firm, fairly straightforward. Where it gets very tricky is where polling firms “weight” their sample based on their estimate of the partisan breakdown of the electorate. In other words, how many democrats, republicans and independents they include in their sample. This judgement call can throw off even the more accurate likely voter screen.

In 2008, an obviously big year for Democrats, the partisan breakdown of the actual electorate was:

  • Democrats 39%
  • GOP 32%
  • Independents 29%

By ideology, the breakdown was:

  • Liberal 22%
  • Conservative 34%
  • Moderate 44%

[ Ah, moderates, got a love um. Liberals without the courage to admit it.]

In 2010, an obviously big year for the GOP, the partisan breakdown of the actual was:

  • Democrats 35%
  • GOP 35%
  • Independents 29%

By ideology, the breakdown was:

  • Liberal 20%
  • Conservative 42%
  • Moderate 38%

So, any poll in 2010 that used 2008 as their baseline, i.e. weighting their polling sample to reflect the partisan breakdown of 2008, would have been wildly off. Remember, the pollster would have “tossed” certain interviews to get to the D-39, R-32 and I-29 sample.

So, is the electorate in 2012 going to be more like 2008 or 2010? Personally, with an energized GOP and conservative base, I don’t think the 2012 electorate is going to come remotely close to the partisan breakdown we saw in 2008. But, most pollsters seem to disagree and are weighting their polls for just such an outcome.

Organizations like Gallup and The Associated Press make it almost impossible to find out their partisan screen. Newer organizations, though, like Politico, DailyKos and Fox News do make this information available.

A recent poll by DailyKos/PPP, which had Obama up by 3 points, had the following partisan screen:

  • Democrats 40%
  • GOP 37%
  • Independents 24%
  • Liberal 27%
  • Conservative 42%
  • Moderate 32%

So, the DailyKos poll expects a bigger Democrat and liberal turnout than in 2008. Somehow, I don’t think that’s likely.

Politico‘s recent poll, which found Romney with a 1-point lead had the following partisan screen:

  • Democrats 37%
  • GOP 34%
  • Independents 28%

(Note: I’ve done my own “weighting” and assigned “leans GOP” and “leans Democrat” to “Independents.”)

A recent FoxNews poll, which showed Obama with a 7-point lead had this partisan breakdown:

  • Democrats 42%
  • GOP 34%
  • Independents 20%

What color is the sky in FoxNews’ world if they think the Democrats, in 2012, are going to increase their share of the electorate from 2008? When was it, exactly, that a bunch of independents suddenly switched to the Democrat party? [ They’re trying to all fair and balanced, don’t ya know.]

I think all of these polls are oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans. The nadir for the GOP was 2008, when they only made up 32% of the electorate. In the wake of ObamaCare and a stalled economy, there is no way the GOP is going to sit home like they did when faced with a McCain candidacy. Also, the Democrats were at the high-water mark of the “hope and change” promise of Obama in 2008, when they made up 39% of the electorate. There is no way they reach that level again.

So, every poll you see, dig deep into the partisan breakdown. Your mileage may vary, but you’d be right to adjust the numbers accordingly.