Monthly Archives: March 2016

WE’RE #6, HEY! WE’RE #6! — Voter Turnout Rates – Again

Politifact did a puff piece on Bernie Sanders today, Mostly True: Bernie Sanders’ claim about America’s ‘lowest on earth’ voter turnout.

“Today, the United States has, sadly, one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on earth,” Sanders claimed.

Of all the claims candidates make during a primary season about the least controversial is voter turnout rates, but Politifact chose that to focus on.  I suppose that ones that are data-based are the easiest to tackle, and with a puff piece they maybe didn’t want to work very hard.

But they didn’t get it right.  The only source for their data can be the census.gov website, and I have that data myself, having written about it twice recently.  THE BIG LIE ABOUT VOTER TURNOUT (I MEAN IT)There it is again: In 2012 86.8% of registered voters DID vote, but. . ., and The Golden Ballot Award for 2012 – Who Will Win in 2016?

AMAZINGLY, Politifact says this:

“Last May, the Pew Research Center ranked the United States 31st among 34 developed countries in voting turnout. The center examined votes cast as a percentage of countries’ estimated voting-age population.”

Now, what is wrong with this statement?  Say someone is 25, a legal immigrant, and living in New York City. Is that person voting-age population”?  Yes.  Is there ANY legal chance he can vote?  No.

YOU CANNOT USE VOTING-AGE POPULATION TO DERIVE THESE VOTING RATES, POLITIFACT! Continue reading

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Delegate math says. . .

Okay, let’s do a little delegate math…

Democratic primaries…

What Does Clinton Need to Close It Out?

She’s closer to winning it then the News Media is telling us.

Hillary Clinton has 1,160 pledged delegates plus 465 PLEOs (superdelegates) for a total of 1,625 total delegates. Ignore the Sanders people who think the superdelegates will switch en masse.  They are misunderstanding both delegates math and human nature.  They REASLLY don’t know who those superdelegats are.  Which is really dumb, because it is even on Wiki, right down to their names – all of them.  A simple google turns it up.  How lazy can so many people BE?

So to get to the required 2,383, she needs 758 more pledged delegates. Once she gets there no superdelegate who prefers her (467 right now) will possibly change his/her mind.  To do so would be political suicide – pun intended.

So, she needs 758, and there are a total of 2,278 delegates of all sorts remaining. Of those, 2,053 are pledged delegates available in the primaries and caucuses.

Let’s see what she needs to do to get her 758 out of those 2,053 pledged delegates available in the upcoming 29 contests.

That 758 is 36.92% of the 2,053. That certainly sounds damned doable and, frankly, EASY.  She is now pulling 58.5% of ALL votes thus far cast.

There is no need to look at what Sanders needs. If SHE gets those 758 delegates, it’s all over, period. Continue reading

Democratic Primaries – It’s All Over But the Shouting

It’s Over.  As good of a campaign Bernie Sanders has run – principled, sticking to the issues, mostly very respective of his opponents, and inspiring to a high degree – it is going to end up short of winning the Democratic nomination.

There were certainly moments when it seemed possible.  But in the end, no.  No cigar, no coronation, no brass ring, and no chance to battle a Republican in the fall.

Throwing a Scare Into Clinton

Before I started looking at the numbers – the state polls – it seemed like the upstart, brand new Democrat  Bernie Sanders was going to give Hillary Clinton a real tussle.  The scuttle on the street was that Sanders had a huge surge of new hyper-active participants and was going to have a huge wave behind them.

I have thought all along the Clinton was the strongest nominee possible, and in this year of anticipated Tea Party vs GOP bigwigs civil war on the other side of the aisle, it seemed that if the Democrats were going to have a relative outsider come in and get the nod, a real chance to take advantage of the chaos on the other side would be lost.

I Had to Go See What the Score Was

So, fretfully, I started looking up what the polls were saying.  How strong WAS the Sanders Surge?

The numbers are available in at least two convenient places.  One is at Real Clear Politics, here. The other is at Wikipedia, here.

Immediately I was surprised by how WIDE the margins were for Hillary over Sanders.  Scrolling down, in state after state, Sanders was, apparently, getting his butt kicked, to put it mildly.  For every state Sanders led, Hillary was leading in 3 or 4.  In addition, knowing the lay of the politics of Presidential campaigns, I knew which were swing states and which were BIG states.  At that time Sanders was not leading in any of those – except New Hampshire.  NH IS a swing state; it’s not a big state.

So, a picture came into focus of Sanders leading in lily white rural states. Eventually, what I affectionately call Kumbayah states joined Sanders’ stable of rural white states – CO, WA, OR, MN.   That was about it.

So, even before Iowa and New Hampshire opened up the primary season, it was apparent that Clinton was going to pull ahead with South Carolina and keep pulling ahead.

In a Week, the Lead Will Be Over 370

Now, about half an hour before the polls close in Michigan, all of that has come to pass.  In one week 5 good sized states – FL, IL, MO, OH, and NC – will vote, with all but one of those in the bag for Clinton.  Missouri might go for Sanders.  With no polls since last August, who knows?  But I currently show Clinton on net picking up about 74 delegates in FL, 72 in IL, 33 in OH, and 13 in NC.  NS has a fairly old ‘latest’ poll, and if that goes either way, I’d guess more toward Clinton. That is a gain of about 192 more delegates.  Added to the 180 or so she is ahead already, that would give her a legitimate lead of about 372 delegates.  And that is before the superdelegates.

They Say That Catching Up Is Hard To Do

372 may not sound like  much, but ask Sanders’ numbers guys – that is NOT easy to overcome in a proportional voting primary system.  Sanders so far has only 3 state wins with margins of over 10 delegates.  The largest is only 16.  Even at 16 per state in the future, that would take 23 states to catch up. Continue reading

I LOVE the Smell of Napalm in the GOP Mourning

From a DailyKos post yesterday:

As Michael Grunwald pointed out in an incisive Twitter rant Tuesday, it’s exactly this type of blind partisan crusade absent a shred of intellectual honesty that primed the GOP base for an ideological wild card like Trump.

“My basic critique of the GOP was that it wasn’t on the level. It wasn’t about conservatism. It was about politics and power,”

How can so many students of all of this miss the history and not understand that this — NONE of this — is by accident or spur of the moment, or congress by congress decision making?

This all began with the Powell Memo in 1971, a list sent to the President of the US Chamber of Commerce by Lewis Powell VERY shortly before Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court.  (Does that or does that not give ANY kind of hint how actually political the SCOTUS is?)

In the memo was a manifesto for “taking back the country from the Liberals”, in all — ALL — aspects of control.  They included  the White House, the Congress, the judges at all levels, the university professorships, and most decidedly, the news media.  All of it was in recognition of the fact that all those since the New Deal had been centers of power and information — and teaching — and interpretations of the laws, as well as simply controlling what legislation occurred – Liberal legislation, Democratic legislation.

Since 1933, the Democrats had controlled Congress for all but 4 years – 34 out of 38 years.  The majorities were often filibuster-proof, so the conservatives had NO influence.  And when they DID, they went crazy with people like Joe McCarthy and the McCarthy hearings.  That gave voters strong incentive to not make the mistake very often of voting in Republicans. Continue reading