I don't know anything about that NJ-5 district but it is a good guess that if districts suddenly become competitive it will be a newer House member. When I looked at the '94 results in '96 I remember that half the incumbents we lost in '94 were freshman members. It was either exactly half or one short of half, something like 16 out of 34. So I hope we targeted the '04 GOP newcomers and '02 group this year. Some of them like Texas in the redistricted areas may not be vulnerable but otherwise I wouldn't concede anything.
Also, I know in '94 we lost a bunch of seats in Washington state so it's not necessarily only blue states where we can pick off multiple seats, but perhaps one with a distinct but not overwhelming red tint.
I will report one thing positive. In Las Vegas today I received a flyer from the Nevada State Democratic Party, a request form for an absentee ballot and already filled out with my name and address, etc. I'm not going to use it but if so all I would need to do is sign it and provide a different address, if needed, to receive the ballot.
I've been here since the '80s and this is the first time I've ever received anything like that. Plus it was a pitch, not merely the request form. A big negative section on Bush and Iraq was on the front of the 2-page flyer, to the point you would think that was the whole idea, until turning to the back of the second page. On that back page there was also a note from Harry Reid.
So maybe we're accomplishing some things in terms of absentee ballots although I agree the website should provide the basics right off the bat.
That was my first look at Farrell and I thought she was very impressive. She clearly annoyed Shays to the point he was trying to respond immediately and take time away from the weird libertarian candidate, who would launch irrelevant tangents from time to time.
Farrell's ending with the three points was so effective she let it stand without using up anything close to her alloted time. That impressed me because it's so unlike all the national debates where candidates inevitably try to squeeze one thing after another to the closing statement and it ends up rambling.
But do they really need 11 debates? I'm sure that's what they said but I'm astonished at the number, especially with only a month left.
I really hate to see the projections like 50 to 60. The people who make them can be applauded for enthusiasm but are wildly uninformed. Some the seats on that swap list to get to 50 would literally be several hundred to one odds against, if evaluated individually.
As someone else posted, the geography doesn't match '94 at all. I started evaluating politics closely in '96 and when I looked back at '94 I expected to see a flood of abnormal results. But it was nothing like that at all. I looked at dozens of districts where I wondered how the Democrats had maintained control for so long, based on the partisan index of the district. Frankly, my conclusion was the GOP had been lazy and ineffective for more than a decade in allowing those seats to remain in our hands.
Anyway, I sampled the PEW survey and they are always a treat. The party ID edge is our highest of the year at 34-27. Iraq leads as the most important factor at 44% putting it first or second. But I'll point out the economy is second there at 41% combined. I still don't think we are emphasizing it enough, particularly when Bush and Hastert are handing us these quotes about how great the economy is. Their "base" may feel that way but average Americans do not. That is witnessed by every Strategic Vision poll including the most recent ones, where Bush's approval number on the economy remains well below that of Iraq or the overall approval number. While we allow the GOP to fight and feud over this Foley issue, why not run some positive spots in that regard, emphasizing economic emphaisis and a raise in the miniumum wage should voters put Democrats in charge? I'm still concerned our poll margins may be great but turnout among key demographics may not match that. Check out the PEW summary. It emphasizes that women have turned against Iraq more than men. But I see nothing in our campaigns designed to yank women to the polls, based on the traditional issues they prioritize, particularly young single women.
The PEW poll findings were what I expected, that the Foley scandal has not impacted the voting percentage. The sample was over a two-week period with almost identical numbers of surveys before and after the Foley news, yet the margin remains the same, at +13. That is awesome and we realistically can't expect it to be higher. I think this story, while not as devastating as the Woodward book in terms of what they are hiding and denying, probably is more difficult to defend and recover from, since it is easily understood by the masses. I heard Scarborough say tonight that if he were on the campaign trail he would much rather be defending Iraq than the Foley situation.
So think of the Foley issue as more defense than offense. It won't raise our advantage but it does prevent the GOP from easily changing the subject and therefore potentially gaining late momentum.
Chris handicapped it correctly, much better if he does resign. If that happened it would be automatically mentioned whenever the House is a topic until election day. Even the apolitical types would conclude it was a deep based scandal with the top forced out to coverup anything festering below.
But Hastert will never resign. There are betting odds on some sites and it is more than a 2/1 underdog he resigns. Damn. I was hoping some of the pundits were making the lines and I could jump on the No at even money or better.
One of the few polling edges Republicans have is stronger leaders. Hastert would be handing us an absolute gift if he forfeited that edge by resigning.
There's also a new poll today by Strategic Vision (R): Kean 46 Menendez 41.
IMO the must-win senate state is Ohio. Simply because I'm sure Hackett would have won that race given the GOP problems in the state, and that Hackett's personality fit much better in ousting an incumbent. I realize Brown has led every poll for months, and he has run a far superior campaign than I expected other than the wimpy strategic torture vote, but I'm still worried that he is simply too liberal for a statewide race and the undecideds will break to DeWine as the persistent underdog.
I don't think this race has changed at all or is likely to. I posted on the night of the primary that Lieberman figured to lead the general election polling by high single digits, simply based on the new math with indies and Republicans in the mix. IMO the crtiticism of Lamont is misapplied other than the failure to insist on a string of debates including Schlesinger. He needed that early in the cycle. The closer to election day the fewer minds will change. We can dream about Lamont somehow snatching support from Lieberman in each of the three categories but the fact remains by far the most logical blueprint for a Lamont win is Schlesinger doubling or tripling his support level and so far no threat of that.
I am glad there has not been singleminded focus on this race by the progressive blogs during the general election, which is what I feared.
And I do agree with the comment in this thread that the progressive movement only understands how to inspire progressives and not win support elsewhere. Granted, we are birthrighted to have liberals in Connecticut or Massachusetts.
But I'm in Nevada. Newsflash: liberals are smack uphill here in a statewide race. This state, like many others, will embrace an outstanding moderate Democrat but liberals will be routinely rejected. I don't think the progressive blogs get that, that certain states or districts simply won't vote for the progressive candidate. In the primary here Dina Titus was markedly superior to Jim Gibson, in debates and overall campaign. But I voted for Gibson since I know the way this state votes. Review Columnist Erin Neff wrote the same thing, that she wanted a Democrat to run the state and she was certain Gibson had much greater chance to win a general election as a moderate. Latest polling confirmed that dynamic, with Titus retaining only 59% of Democratic support. You can't just look at registration figures to determine partisan levels. Many of the Democrats I know here are moderate to slightly conservative and they will vote for a Republican instead of a liberal Democrat. That is simply fact and the primary voters and progressive blogs do the party a great disservice by inept handicapping and forcefeeding progressives in races where they do not fit.
Frist is an asshole. That bill didn't get much play around here but on all the gambling sites it's been the sole topic since last Friday, when Frist stuck the internet gambling bill on a port security bill at literally the last minute and it passed in the wee hours of the final session.
I'm not an online poker player but this also changes online sports betting since transactions are impacted. Some people are panicking while others insist it won't be enforced. My impression is it's much worse for poker than sports but I don't know the specifics.
I always prioritize the gov races. This year, while the bottom line looks excellent, the frustration is we're in hang-on-baby mode in so many races, and nothing where an underdog Democrat is surging to a surprise victory. Compare that to last year with only two races yet Kaine came from behind for a great win.
I had hopes for Florida and Nevada but now they look much less likely. I guess we can make noise about South Carolina, but I'd be shocked if that turned, and there have been some good polls in Minnesota and Rhode Island, yet also mixed with some terrible poll margins. California and Alaska seemed promising several months ago but now appear to be gone.
Seems like the bottom line will be determined by whether we hang onto races we presume we will win -- Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, Maryland, Maine.
Wow, I loved the format and the questioners. Such a contrast from the Iowa debate where the answers were cut off due to time limits and the questioners much less mature and aggressive.
That was my first extended look at DeVos. He is odd. Uncomfortable to watch him while he is speaking. Herky jerky with his movements and no flow at all. It's almost like an actor playing a role, in fact overplaying a role. I kept thinking that if he were a stranger I encountered and he was talking like that I would be scrambling for an excuse to get out of there.
She put him on the defensive several times, especially regarding the cut of jobs from 5300 to 3900 when he was CEO.
I don't know the full range of local issues and I realize the economy and state right track/wrong track numbers are poor, but Granholm is so superior in terms of personality and likability I'll be surprised if Michiganders choose DeVos.
Of course they are reactive. I don't see why that's such a revelation around here, or anywhere. It's just like the sports odds I've dealt with here in Las Vegas dating to the '80s.
Newsflash: the oddsmakers changed the numbers on the Eagles last year when McNabb was out and the team was crumbling. Should they be condemned as reactive? Or should they have known that before the season started, and put up 7 as an over/under on the Eagles season wins and drawn millions on the over 7, laughing all the way?
Let's say a number goes up, USC -7 vs Texas, to use the Rose Bowl example from last year. Some people will have a definite opinion on the game, the way the teams match up against each other, and will be intent to wager on Texas, just to pick one or the other, no matter what the number is. In the long run that's the type who will inevitably lose, but in a one game situation they can be pure genius. It's the same as the people who are sure one way or the other regarding the House result this year.
The other strategy, employed by professional speculators, is to look at every game or number in terms of the correct odds and only pounce if they are confident they have value, an advantage if the situation were played out dozens or hundreds of times. That type is more than content to lose an individual wager since he's confident his strategy was correct and eventually will pay off.
I moved from type A to type B and have never regretted it.
If the markets didn't exist, what do you think the conventional wisdom would be in regard to House or Senate takeover? I guarantee much different than it is now. You have have assertions Democrats were massive favorites in the House and probably 50/50 in the senate. IMO that would be clearly wrong but minus the high number of speculators that's what we would be hearing, especially on progressive sites.
And that's not guesswork. I mentioned in the thread last week I was wagering on politics before the markets were around or prominent. The conventional wisdom at that time was markedly inferior to what it is now. I was in a 16-man betting pool and you literally would often have a dozen or more picking the candidate who was the rightful underdog, and sometimes by bizarre percentage. That was based on what the media was reporting and poor knowledge of the dynamics of the race. It changed dramatically between '96 and '00, and especially between '96 and '04.
Please eliminate the markets and maybe I can wager under 20 or 25 in terms of how many net House seats change hands.
And another thing on the markets, something that may not have been properly emphasized last week. A 70 is nothing, slightly more than a 2/1 favorite. That's literally the equivalent of a 4 or 4.5 point sports favorite losing. It you had tons of 90s losing, that's one thing, but to point out a 52 or a 70 going down is meaningless. If people thought they were cinches you wouldn't have 30% willing to purchase the other side.
But today they moved in our favor. So I guess the dreaded conventional wisdom concurs, at least partially.
The senate odds changed on Tradesports for the first time in months, down to 75% GOP control. And we moved back to slight favorites in the House, at about 53%.
Those are equivalent to odds, BTW. The Iowa Futures Market clown who wrote to think of it in terms of a vote percentage is a moron. He wrote than in terms of a presidential race which was close to 50/50. Fine. But what about '96, when Clinton would have traded at 90+%. Does he really think that's equivalent to a prediction of the popular vote percentage?
I'm watching Woodward now on Larry King and I really wish the other stuff had been earlier/later or not at all. Woodward's info is devastating but I don't see it getting the play it deserves, probably based on what was mentioned on MyDD, that sex sells.
My prediction that Bush's approval rating would be 45% on election day has been wonderfully lanced. I'll be interested to see the new polls but I would guess in the 40% area. The flood of news means I can root for gas prices to decline without feeling guilty about how it impacts our chances:)
You would think there would be a wave in that regard, evaluating districts via partisan index and cost of media buy, etc. I've never spent much time on House races but I'm sure some districts are more open than others to vote against the presidential partisan index when it comes to lower races. Of course, there's the candidate vs. candidate factor which is fluid and potentially overwhelms the math in certain cycles. But I still think an exhaustive mathematical study would be valid, and point out longterm faulty subjective judgment, as well as hidden opportunity elsewhere.
I loathe baseball but I've worked in football and basketball stats for more than a decade. It's incredible how ignorant the mainstream media is regarding the most vital stats. For instance, the telling stat of yards per pass attempt differential is something CBS and Fox and ESPN will never mention but it decides one game after another especially in the playoffs. It's the simple measure of a team's offensive yards per attempt compared to what it allows defensively. The Colts led the league last year at +2.4 with Pittsburgh a hair behind at +2.3. Everyone I know who evaluates NFL stats looked at that matchup as the real Super Bowl and I think it turned out that way. Pittsburgh had incredible stats for a #6 seed. Last season in the playoffs any team with at least a 1/2 yard edge over it's opponent in the yards per pass attempt differential went 8-0 straight up and against the spread.