Just to clarify, my goal here wasn't to boost one campaign or the other -- a pretty unrealistic goal for me while writing for a website that gets a couple thousand hits a day on a good day (I didn't think it would end up here and on RCP). I really just like maps, and was playing around with these maps, and thought there were some cool -- even stunning -- results with these. I knew that she was running well in the counties that were similar to West Virginia, Western PA and Eastern Kentucky, but didn't know just how well. If nothing else (1) I tried to (and generally do try to) avoid the shots about Jacksonian manly men vs. pointy headed intellectuals that in my mind detracted from Barone's similar analysis (not to say that I don't have a partisan streak, but I try to avoid it in analyses such as these) and think I managed to hew to straight-up-and-down analysis and (2) if nothing else, you'll note my old site, myelectionanalysis, is linked on the front page here at mydd (and at politics1), which I considered a great compliment. I hope you will agree that if my analysis tended toward partisan hackery one way or another, I wouldn't have been blogrolled at either site.
And to be clear, (a) I consider Obama a heavy favorite to win the Dem nomination, and is even more so since I wrote this article. I just don't think its a 100% done deal. And (b) while I do think Obama is easier for Republicans to beat, I also think that he has a higher upside (and downside) than Clinton for Democrats, and think both Democrats are very well positioned for the general election.
A large part of that is name recognition and undecideds. She leads in those states with less than 50% of the vote against a bunch of no-name, and gets beaten against higher-recognition Republicans. I think we know which way the undecideds there are most likely to break.
Although all Democrats are performing surprisingly well in OK.
Does your model account for the overall decreased voter turnout? Turnout appears down across the district, which means that even an 85% blowout in Webb county might not carry as much "oomph" as last year.
There isn't an analogy to news coverage of 1994. You're right that there was less speculative criticism, because there wasn't much speculation about Republicans' chances. No one really thought Republicans had any chance of taking the House. 40 years of history and all.
However, post election polling in 1994 showed that only like 20% of voters had heard of the Contract.
It doesn't have anything to do (at least in theory) with the partisan affiliation of the pollster him/herself. It has to do with whom the pollster generally works for. Under your definition, Zogby polls should also be taken with a grain of salt as well (well, his interactive polls should be, but his normal polling can be quite good (see 1996 and 2000)). To my knowledge, Rasmussen doesn't poll for anyone other than himself, setting him apart from Democracy Corps or Strategic Vision (among others) who have an exclusive partisan clientele.
But really, being a partisan polling outfit isn't what's really worrisome: Democracy Corps and Strategic Vision are usually within the general spread of other polls. Indeed, Strategic Vision ended up pretty spot-on last time. The only time a poll should be fully discounted is when the poll is commissioned by a campaign and released.
More importantly, you have until December 19th to find a challenger to Ray LaHood in Illinois. Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons is talked about, but I haven't seen anything about him officially declaring. I guess Christine Cegalis and Melissa Bean are screwed? Roskam and Salvi will really serve the progressive cause.
You're advocating not funding Nick Lampson against Tom DeLay because the DSCC couldn't find someone to run in some of the most one-sided districts in the country? I understand the appeal of the 435-seat strategy but what you're proposing here is known as biting off one's nose to spite one's face.
Though I'm guessing the breakdown is something along these lines: 38% thing the fed government is doing the right amount or too much, they support using private funds. 60% think the fed government is not doing enough in rescue efforts, 37% of those people want to use public funds to rebuild, 19% of those people who think the gov't should be doing more now don't see any sense in rebuilding the mess. The numbers do kind of add up. Prob. an oversimplification, since some of the "don't rebuild" probably come from the "gov't doing too much." category.
Magic beans voters is a great name for people who want to cut taxes but refuse to accept the spending cuts that necessitates. They could also be referred to as "administration economists."
First a disclosure: I'm not a lib or a Dem. I do, however, enjoy the intellectual challenge these boards present, and view them frequently. If this automatically results in a deletion, so be it, but I respect this board enough not to conceal this fact, and don't think this post counts as trolling. I'm very persuadable on this issue, and just kind of want to know what is really being suggested.
Is non-partisan redistricting something that progressives want? It seems that at best it dilutes the activist base on both sides and pushes candidates toward a mushy middle that, from what I can see, no one really inhabits. In a sense, I think California probably has it right here -- a delegation made up of a solid majority of some very liberal Democrats, and a minority of some very conservative Republicans from Orange county and the mountain/central valley counties, with a few moderate Dems sprinkled in. Which is probably about right for that state.
I understand that you're trying to remove abuses like PA, MI, and FL, and the mid-decade districting in GA and TX. There is certainly something to be said for that. But, in the absence of partisanship, what criteria should be used? Geographic compactness and contiguity are the obvious ones, but those standards would almost certainly dilute minority voting strength, and you'd probably end up with districts that look like MI and OH anyway. If we allow consideration of race, ethnicity, socio-economic standards, etc., then we probably end up with entrenched incumbents again, and are really just using proxies for partisanship, anyway. And what is the goal? Is it that every district be competitive between the parties? Some seem to have posted to that effect, but again, I'm not sure creating districts that favor moderates really reflects what America looks like; I'm also not sure that creating a district where half of the people are represented by someone of a different party is necessarily more democratic than lumping all the Repubs or Dems together in a district, and letting them fight out what type of Rep/Dem gets sent to Washington in a primary. Seems possible that the latter factor results in outcomes that look more like America.
Again, I'm not trying to be combative, and I'll stipulate that the MI, PA, and FL redistrictings were abuses (though in fairness, I can think of plenty of Dem abuses in the past). I'll admit that there is plenty of room for bad outcomes in the current system, but I haven't seen an alternative that strikes me as obviously better.