• on a comment on The Party of Palin over 5 years ago

    Before I clicked through to the article, my hypothesis was that the poll of Republicans was so skewed as pro-Palin because so many former Republicans had left the GOP and were not counted.  

    But when I saw the section that you quoted, and I thought, "Huh, doesn't make sense."  Until I read,

    Put them all together, and 42% of voters say the GOP has been too conservative in the last eight years, 29% say too moderate, 16% about right, and 13% are not sure.

    I reckon that 29% (too moderate) and 16% (about right) pretty much reflects the Republicans who were polled, and the other numbers represent everyone else, including former Republicans.

    At their current rate of denial, it would seem the GOP may suffer the same fate as George Wallace's American Independent Party.  

  • comment on a post 2 Days To Change Open Thread over 5 years ago

    We're covering 12 precincts that include 21,000 registered voters, and 16,000+ likely voters.  We're in the Tampa area and what is considered to be the most competitive house district in Florida by party registration.  Canvassing and phone banking.

    Also, our team had a lot of success recruiting volunteers from early vote lines (some which had a 4+ hour wait).

    An anecdote about a new volunteer: The husband of an experienced volunteer decided to participate and did his first-ever canvass.  Soon after he started, a child opened a front door, and a dog jumped up and bit our volunteer. In the crotch.  It was a beagle, and had to jump UP to make that attack.

    Fortunately for everyone, no damage done and the volunteer can laugh about it now.  However, we kid him because he forgot to ask whether the household was going to vote for Obama....

  • comment on a post Republicans for Obama: Add Colin Powell to the List? over 5 years ago

    This story about Powell got me wondering if Condoleezza Rice would ever go public  with her endorsement. That's an odd situation.

    Which got me wondering...I wonder if there's a name for the opposite of the Bradley Effect--where people would publicly indicate they wouldn't vote Obama and then go ahead and vote for him. Just checked  and as it turns out...

    Barack Obama and the "reverse" Bradley effect
    [W]ith regard to Obama, the effect's presence or absence may be dependent on the percentage of the electorate that is black. The researchers noted that to that point in the election season, opinion polls taken just prior to an election tended to overestimate Obama in states with a black population below eight percent, to track him within the polls' margins of error in states with a black population between ten and twenty percent, and to underestimate him in states with a black population exceeding twenty-five percent. The first finding suggested the possibility of the Bradley effect, while the last finding suggested the possibility of a "reverse" Bradley effect in which black voters might have been reluctant to declare to pollsters their support for Obama
    [...]
    [There was] significant bivariate support for the hypothesized "reverse Bradley effect." On average, Obama received three percentage points more support in the actual primaries and caucuses than he did during polling.

    It would not be a surprise if the "reverse Bradley effect" was applicable to some prominent Republicans.

  • Or of protecting coastlines, et al?  Saying Democrats are on the wrong side is saying that our country's priority should be to emphasize lowest possible oil prices rather than understanding risks and consequences.

    In my own area of Florida, the issue is more than just tourism.  The bay estuaries are vital parts of marine life food chain.

    Where offshore drilling goes, beaches suffer

    Leatherman has seen what offshore drilling can do to a beach. Texas beaches, for instance, "tend to be the trash can of the gulf." Waste from the western gulf's wells -- everything from empty oil drums to tar balls -- washes up there.
    [...]
    The Coast Guard documented more than 239,000 oil spills across the gulf between 1973 and 2001.
    [...]
    Critics like Enid Sisskin of Gulf Coast Environmental Defense, a Pensacola group that has opposed offshore drilling for more than a decade, say they are not as concerned about oil spills as they are about what she calls "the routine, everyday, day-after-day pollution they dump in the water."
    [...]
    In 2002, the Mobile Press-Register tested grouper and other fish caught around Alabama's offshore rigs. They contained so much mercury that they would not be acceptable for sale to the public under federal guidelines. The source: the drilling muds, which left mercury in the sea-bottom in concentrations as high as that found at Superfund sites.

    My fault with the Republican policies over the past 28 years is that they consistently take a short-term view, and McCain's latest proposal is another PR ploy. In his statements, he actually rationalized that drilling would provide short-term price relief--yet industry experts agree that it would be years before that oil hit the market. And even then, it would be a proverbial drop in the world oil supply.  

    I'll gladly take being on the "wrong side of ANWR" than to be on the "right side" and invoke long-lasting damage to local environments, which itself has a ripple effect on local economies.  The "right side" of ANWR probably has greater negative economic impact than whatever oil price benefits might be reaped.

  • on a comment on MoveOn Closes Its 527 over 5 years ago

    Per this USA Today article,

    Only 7.3% of 2006 tax returns filed from Jan. 1 to April 14 designated a $3 contribution to the public campaign-financing system, according to data the Internal Revenue Service prepared for USA TODAY. It is the latest sign that taxpayer support to help pay for presidential campaigns is waning.
    (I'm surprised it was as high as 7%.)

    I think a fair conclusion is that 93% of taxpayers don't want tax money spent on public financing.

  • e.g., Here are two easy ones to grab:

    St. Petersburg Times (where I first read the story):

    In reversal, McCain says lift ban on offshore drilling

    In a break with his past policy and his allies in the environmental movement, Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday called for ending the federal ban on offshore oil and natural gas exploration [...] McCain has supported the moratorium on offshore drilling in the past and has touted his position during campaign stops in Florida.

    Top story on CBSNEWS.com (where I most recently read the story):

    In the midst of the hot debate, John McCain and one of his possible VP choices, the governor of Florida, switched sides and now support drilling.

    Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, reversed his opposition to oil exploration off the state's beaches after the presidential candidate said he supported lifting the moratorium.

    Even some GOP pols in Florida understand reality:

    Not all [Florida Republicans embraced McCain's plan, including Reps. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota and Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, who said the nation has more appropriate places to drill.
    [...]
    Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, said he needed more information from the McCain campaign before he made up his mind but acknowledged it may be time to reconsider the ban.

    Young's lukewarm response is matched by FL Senator Martinez (GOP):

    Asked if McCain is risking votes in Florida, a state he dearly needs, Martinez shrugged. "The governor seems to have agreed with him ... and I'm kind of agreeing with him. So maybe things are changing in that regard."

    What is delicious about this kind of news is that the reaction and coverage for McCain seems worse than his gas tax moratorium.  Former Senator Bob Graham said it best:

    "Our people are not stupid," Bob Graham, a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator from Florida, said in a conference call arranged by the Obama campaign. "They understand ... this issue has nothing to do with the current price of gasoline."

    When all is said and done, McCain may have wished he hadn't broached the topic at all.  Obama was already leading in FL and I betcha this latest news will hurt McCain in the polls here.

  • In my area (Pinellas County: St. Petersburg, Clearwater...), the mass transit authority (ie., buses only) last month proposed cutting and reducing routes due to high gas prices.  At a time when people need more mass transit options, they may be getting fewer.  

    This is just an anecdote but I think it's symptomatic of the problem of focusing on gas prices alone: Even if gas prices are lowered in the short-term, the same problem will arise again in the future. I have a hunch people finally understand that.

    Granted, people do need relief. Also, I think the press is behind the curve on reporting the dual whammy of inflationary pressures and economic slow-downs due to rising fuel prices.  

    Though Bush never asked for any sacrifices from the public for his wars, people are (involuntarily) sacrificing for our malformed energy policies.  

    A short-term fuel price strategy is needed but, collectively we probably have reached the same stage of conservation awareness that the country achieved in the late 1960s with respect to environmental issues. Especially younger voters get it, like they did in the 1960s.  

  • comment on a post What Do You Want? over 5 years ago

    What I especially appreciate about this diary is its ability to communicate on both rational and emotional levels.

    But there's an element I don't understand.  I understand the disappointment but I don't agree with the hindsight. It's written from the perspective of May 2008 and suggests, in hindsight that the collision between Barack and Hillary was inevitable, and perhaps should have been avoided.

    The primary season started with eight Democratic candidates. Sure, some had better chances than others but they all had a fair shot and the agreement was that it was generally a fine slate of qualified candidates. Should only Obama have been deterred from his "head-on collision" with Hillary? How about Edwards, or any of the other five? I doubt that anyone could have predicted that the nomination developed as it did.  

    (To add credence to that thought, who would have expected that MI and FL would become so radioactive? If anyone--including any of the candidates--could have predicted such a problem, then I reckon more people would have tried to avoid it.)

    Disappointment was inevitable for seven of the eight candidates and their supporters. And I expect each of them felt their own candidate was the most qualified and had to reconcile why they didn't succeed.  When the race came down to Obama vs. Clinton, it became inevitable that either side would suppose that racism or sexism were predominant factors in the loss.  By that rationality, it's a miracle that they were left standing while the six white male candidates all dropped out first.

  • And besides, by now I bet more liberal blog readers have hit that web page than his own supporters.  And have linked back anti-McCain comments to boot.

    I'd surprised if this dumb McCain effort lasted as long as a week.

  • comment on a post Deal with defeat over 5 years ago

    While Obama supporters have claimed that the her voters will move over to support Obama in the GE, this poll doesn't quite show that happening in WV: [...] [When Democrats and Independent voters were polled] in a head to head matchup between Obama and McCain in WV, Obama received 37% support compared to McCain's 35%

    I don't agree that the poll is conclusive that Hillary supporters wouldn't move to Obama.

    First, I looked for but couldn't find the full poll results so my read is that 28% of Dems and Ind were undecided between Obama and McCain. How do we know how that 28% break will break Obama?  

    Second, I did find that a lot of Republicans have re-registering as Dem or Ind to vote in the primary.  Hence, that likely would inflate the McCain numbers in that poll.  

    Third, I suspect the underlying allegation is that since Clinton will win WV's primary, Obama's chances are slim for the GE.  But I never understand why there's a tendency to use a primary voting population to make predictions about a general election voting population--the populations and circumstances are so different between the elections.

    In this year when the GOP has such terrible electoral problems, it would astound me that any Democratic nominee would lose WV when...

    There are about twice as many Democrats in West Virginia than Republicans, according to the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office. link

  • on a comment on Deal with defeat over 5 years ago

    The crux of the analysis is whether she had to exceed expectations to improve her chances of being nominated or did she have to win to improve those chances.  

    Sure she exceeded expectations but that wasn't sufficient, especially with the very few pledged delegates remaining after NC and IN.

    On the point of media fairness, my sense is that they could have jumped on the "Hillary has no realistic chance" bandwagon back in March.  But though her nomination via primaries was not probable, it was not impossible either.  So they waited until the improbable also became impossible which occurred last week.  

    And they made their pronouncements in a very clumsy way, IMHO. I thought it was awful and unprofessional the way they were citing each other as reference points. I think a detriment to the profession of journalism is the advent of 24-hours of talking heads.

  • I suppose it is a truism that for many right-wingers, Hillary's major negatives are her last name and the (D) behind her name--and nothing more specific than that.

    Otherwise, it's pretty well documented that one of her highest negatives as a senator was her vote on Iraq and her general lack of counter-balance to Bush's pro-war aggressive posture. The point can be argued whether she took the correct action but those were significant negatives.

    And I need not mention the campaign events of the the past few months which have incurred a fair amount of rancor.

    So I don't understand the suggestion that "they very often can not give you a specific answer."

  • If an election's outcome is considered legitimate without campaigning, by collorary why campaign at all?  What is the role of campaigning and how does it add legitimacy to an election?

    Because, clearly, a campaign is an education process (for better or worse) and a no-campaign rule favors candidates with existing name recognition--it protects the status quo. Who wants to certify an election when candidates were constrained from campaigning?

    For those who would say, "But Florida voters had access to information," I would like to remind them of the indignancy expressed by a certain campaign when an Obama ad appeared in Florida as part of a national CNN buy.  The campaigning boycott was strict leaving MSM news as the sole information channel for most people--as if that's an information channel we want to rely on.

    I'm a Florida voter (who voted for Edwards) and I was fine knowing that my vote was no more consequential than a straw vote.  

  • on a comment on Over. The. Top. over 6 years ago

    I've seen diaries where people hang out for quite a while and post many comments apiece--it becomes a virtual chat room up and down the thread.  I reckon I've seen some diaries grow to over 200 comments and weren't on the Rec list.  

    I grant that 480 would be a lot.  You got me  wondering...

    As you pointed out, the diary only had 12 recommenders. (It currently has 28).  

    That's not a lot, especially for a diary posted in the early afternoon.  By comparison, a new diary over there with less than 100 comments has about 150 recommenders.  Another new diary just got on the list. It has about 30 comments and 29 recommenders--and it is easier to get on the list in the wee hours.

    It also doesn't have a current or previous "Recommended" tag which suggests it didn't make the Rec list.  

    Still it does seem odd for that diary to collect 480 comments.  Most of those comments seem to have occurred within the 45 minutes with a huge drop-off of comments after 70 minutes.  

    My guess is that the diary attracted attention on the new diary list because it quickly had a large number of comments, and it does seem to have multiple chat-like comments by many individuals.

    Anyway, to your point, I think it is "physically" possible and that diary may be an unexpected example.

  • More directly, we're used to having our votes not be counted accurately as well as being disenfranchised. It's been a long and pathetic track record starting with the Jeb Bush administration illegally disenfranchising many black voters before the 2000 election occurred based on a very faulty felon matching process.

    That our primary votes won't directly affect the convention is just another chapter.

    But I'll tell what will alienate a lot of Democratic voters in Florida--to have our delegation seated in a manner that will help determine the winner!  You ain't see angry.  

    To have the DNC say, "Your vote doesn't count" followed by no campaigning and a virtual straw-man election--and then for the DNC to reverse itself and say the election did matter.

    Such a decision would rank up there (down there) with the 2000 Supreme Court's decision to stop the recount in Florida.  

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