Showing posts with label Dean L. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dean L. Show all posts

Control the assumptions, control the outcome

By Dean L

Whether it relates to weather prediction models, polling questions or  even (perhaps especially) “non-partisan” assessments of government budgets, if you control the assumptions, you control the outcome.  Liberals get it, we don’t.

I work extensively with statistical models in my day job.  Models can have very strong predictive power if they are created with proper diligence. That means that you must control the assumptions that go into them to avoid creating your own confirmation bias.  If you skew the input variables you skew the outcome accordingly.  For example if you treat a missing value in a row of data as a zero as opposed to ignoring the missing value, you are lowering your overall average and therefore skewing your outcome towards a lower value for that particular income.

Democrats have understood this for decades – controlling “non-partisan” groups in order to control the message that comes out of them to condemn every Republican bill (e.g. the recent tax cuts) and heap praise on every Democrat bill (e.g. Obamacare’s fictitious budgetary cost reductions).  They have granted money extensively to scientists to predict weather calamity as a result of global warming, thus incenting them to find problems in order to secure more funding.  Intentionally done or not (it really is intentional), the results are skewed towards the desired outcome.

Democrats have stacked everything in their favor over decades of working their way into positions to do so – not just entertainment, journalism, government bureaucracy but also polling firms, lobbyists and even statistical modelling and supposedly non-partisan  organizations.  The trick in the latter is to find a gullible but well-intentioned Republican to co-found an organization or co-sponsor a bill in congress so the claim of non-partisan can be applied. Afterwards they ensure that they stack the top positions and teams involved with those who will find, or skew their findings to their own liberal liking.

This is an important lesson for conservatives.  It will take decades but we should be working towards undoing those decades of entrenching bias and deliberately skewed findings just as we should be working towards re-balancing journalism and entertainment and all the way down to the assumptions that go into models and forecasts.  It’s not just a matter of voting for the right people and hoping for the best, or leaving it to them to do all the work. Progressives understand this and are fighting this way on all fronts, if conservatives do not fight with the same level of intensity, we are destined to lose despite being on the right side of the truth.

Oscar flub was political

By Dean L

Before I start on this, in case you didn’t see it, here’s some coverage of what happened.

Obviously it was a flub, right?  Well, probably.  But it also could have been a perverse political statement about equal rights (a film about an African American won after last year’s blow up about the Academy Awards being too white), and more importantly, the idea that it’s okay to have a do-over.  You make your mistake, you fix it, and you move on.  Like they want to do for president Trump.  It’s no secret that 97% of Hollywood detests president Trump.  So could it have been a political statement? Yes.  And even if it wasn’t, wait for some ‘genius’ in Hollywood to come up with the notion that everyone deserves a do-over, even America. And maybe in a way, Hollywood was also asking African Americans if they can have a do over for being too white.

On the other hand, many people watching it are going to think, “if Hollywood can’t even get their own 12th pat on the back award show of the season correct, why would we care about anything that they have to say”?

Trump presidency is not a day-to-day scoreboard

By Dean L

Monday I posted about the perils of disengagement and then promptly followed it up yesterday by not posting anything.  Oops.  I haven’t been thinking much about the day-to-day ups and downs of the Trump presidency to be honest.  It’s not that I’m disinterested or no longer have thoughts on that, but rather, I believe things have generally started moving in the right direction and away from a national suicide that Democrats (a.k.a. socialists) have been pushing or trying to push the nation in for the better part of 7 decades. In that light, watching a day to day scoreboard on president Trump is not only going to imbue conservatives with a depressed enthusiasm, it sews the seeds for continued long term defeat because we are focused on minutiae rather than the big picture.

President Reagan reversed course on it in highly successful fashion and president Trump will ultimately do the same during his tenure.  But day in and day out, with a radically hostile media (both the press and Hollywood) it’s not going to be a pretty ride.  The fact that there is so much corruption and things requiring overhauling it was going to be a bumpy ride anyway.  But the culture war has been ratcheted up to 11 by the left and Donald Trump’s successes will be ugly at best.  I don’t care frankly.  Winning ugly is still winning.

President Trump deserves the patience of those who supported him because it’s just not possible to get a win every day of his tenure. Much of what he accomplishes will take time and those who voted for him will, for the most part, understand that.  As long as the compass is pointed in the right direction, things will resolve well for America.  

All that said, it does not mean that I am turning my back on commenting on the day to day happenings as they transpire.  However, the election has allowed us on the right to be freed up from that i9n large part to concentrate on bigger picture items – like how to win the culture war in which we are being soundly thrashed by the left and their twin cudgels of the public education system and the mainstream media (near) monopoly.

We cannot win the future if we have teachers force-feeding students rants on assassinating president Trump, global warming hyperbole, anti-vaccination tripe, and literal garbage about which bathrooms people should be allowed to use.  Those things cannot replace math, science, civics, grammar, spelling, geography and history – or rather, should not replace those things.    Liberals will argue they are simply augmenting those things, but global warming inserted into educational doctrine is not augmenting but twisting the learning process towards a specific agenda.

Progressive liberals view education as a highly necessary tool in winning the culture war.  Centralized education further enables them to control the agenda on learning indoctrination.  This is what we have been given breathing room to think about.  Conservatives no longer need to be reactive to an Obama agenda, but rather we have time to be forward thinking on issues like this.  The stealth win for conservatives might be the Betsy DeVos appointment by president Trump.  Time will tell if she lives up to the progressive liberal panic, but let’s hope she does.  But the process of contravening a liberal indoctrination culture will require more than one person, one presidency and one term.  It’s going to take an ongoing effort and an institutional foundation and a systematic repeatable approach that requires constant vigilance and upkeep.

Then there’s the mainstream media.  There’s no FCC appointment or Executive Order that will change the mainstream media from collective far left groupthink. This will require more thought and with millions of conservative bloggers, I believe it’s the type of problem we should devote some of our brainpower towards solving.  We need to get out in front of the mainstream media and find ways to bypass or subvert their stranglehold on what’s considered acceptable and right in Western culture.  This is a long term problem requiring a long term sustainable solution.  In the short term we need to ensure that we continue to dilute their distortions on every issue and every move by president Trump, yes.  There’s venues for that like Fox News or Drudge, or Breitbart. There’s also of course conservative bloggers who can continue to shine a light on the treacherous nature of a highly partisan media.  But let’s not only fight the short term battles; let’s think longer term and try to create a foundation for sustained common sense.

Monopolies are bad. So what about government?

By Dean L

I’ve been carping about monopolies and oligopolies off and on for years.  They harm the economy in so many ways; reducing competition and innovation, encourage crony capitalism, ferment inefficiency, kill jobs, cause price increases and become expansive to the point of being able to squash new competition before it has a chance to grow and offer alternatives to consumers.

Yesterday Bloomberg had a story lamenting the same problem, and it’s worth a read.  Not surprisingly the article points out that government has a role to play in resisting concentration in the hands of a few power players.  While the article hurriedly dismisses it in the following paragraph, there’s still real truth in this part;
Regulation can increase monopoly power by raising barriers to entry. If a new startup has to wade through oceans of red tape, pay millions of dollars in compliance costs and develop a whole regulatory compliance infrastructure just to start to be able to compete in a market, it gives the big established players a huge and enduring advantage. Big companies are able to bear the cost of regulation much better than small ones. If it turns out that regulation is a central reason behind increased market concentration, I’ll have to become much more libertarian.
Truthfully there are a lot of reasons for monopolies developing. Government regulation and inaction are only part of the problem, but they are part of the problem. When a government can fine a Financial Institution billions of dollars for ethical mistakes or misdeeds, there’s an incentive for government to allow those entities to continue to exist as cash cows for government coffers. Fining hundreds of smaller banks for the same issue is less technically feasible and obviously less lucrative for government.

Progressive liberals throw around words like corporate welfare haphazardly because they view big business as antithetical to a better life for the little guy. The problem with monopolies does indeed cause problems for regular people, as I’ve mentioned above. It’s easy for a monopoly to offshore jobs and still sell in America and the government has done little to stop it because the sales are still there and therefore the tax revenue.

But if that’s the case, if monopolistic or oligopolistic power, as it centralizes and hardens is problematic for big business, why do those progressives not see the same issue with big government, which has pretty much unfetter monopolistic power? Not only can it dictate in markets that it is involved in (see Obamacare) it can rewrite the rules at will. It’s not just a player, it’s the referee. That’s doubly dangerous and as Ronald Reagan said government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem.  As government continues to erode freedoms many people continue to invest their belief in it as the solution to their problems.  

Unlike the private sector in government the solution is simple – smaller government, leaner with less authority and more power in the hands of the states offers more choice for people on how to be governed.  Don’t like your state government and think they’re doing a bad job?  Move to another state that’s doing a good job.  There are 49 alternatives and if a state’s doing a bad job they still have to compete with others for populace.  So it’s in their best interest to get it right.  Despite the weeping from Trump’s win, you don’t see celebrities fleeing to Canada and Norway and New Zealand. It’s easier to move to Arizona or Texas or California where their governance might better suit your personal style.  The federal government if it isn’t pared back, will implode in time under it’s own weight.  Enough voters saw that and it’s a big part of why president Trump won the election.

Take a look in the mirror if you’re anti-big business and anti-capitalism.  You’re complaining about big business power but ignoring much bigger government power in a misguided faith that it will act differently than big business. Everything is driven by self interest; government is no different. You are on a path to cede all of your power to a central state that dictates everything, including how, when and if you vote.  That’s not freedom that’s a recipe for servitude.  

Trump could and should double down on SCOTUS nominee

Dean L

Donald Trump has been president for less than two weeks and the opposition – the media and the Democrats – have tried every way to gin up opposition to every single thing he has done. For the most part he has been immune to the pushback.  He wants to be president for all Americans, whether they are political opposition or not.  But with the Obama-administration-driven partial, temporary immigration ban he is facing a mock firestorm of opposition.

This is a fire that is easily put out by a factual rebuttal of the histrionics involved.  Yes, this was done far less smoothly than other president Trump executive orders and it is definitely a learning opportunity for the neophyte administration (not a teachable moment – a phrase I detest and thankfully one that will slowly fade with it’s principal, former president Obama).  President Trump wants progress and he wants it quickly.  There’s a happy medium to be found between speed and forethought.  That balance has yet to be fully realized. 

Nevertheless, there is another learning opportunity at work here that president Trump has already realized – he is going to shift the conversation quickly away from the awkwardness to which the media is now bitterly clinging and towards his next action – his SCOTUS nominee.  The immigration firestorm will fade as the facts about the Obama actions that led to this limited ban become more and more of the conversation.  Shifting the conversation to new ground is an quick win, and president Trump knows it.

What is less clear is whether president is going to double down by selecting Neil Gorsuch over Thomas Hardiman as his first nominee. Gorsuch is better nominee as a rock solid conservative.  Hardiman is likely a good choice but less so.  The advantage towards Hardiman is he is likely to be more easily confirmed than Gorsuch, less likely to face a filibuster.

Indications are that Trump is leaning towards Hardiman.

But here’s the thing – if Trump does appoint the less conservative nominee it will look to supporters and foes alike that he’s buckled.  That will embolden his political enemies that he was able to crack so easily and disenfranchise his supporters that he isn’t going to drain the swamp and instead caved at the first sign of trouble.

You can’t drain the swamp without facing stiff resistance.  Fierce resistance is to be expected throughout the Trump presidency regardless of what he does right now.  So why buckle? Instead president Trump should continue to be bold, very bold.  Maybe even bolder than Gorsuch like surprising everyone by pivoting back to William H Pryor. 

Why?  In addition to agitating his political foes to the point of apoplexia, heartening his supporters, he will be sending a signal that he’s made of sterner stuff than his predecessor – domestically as well as abroad.  And that’s an important point to establish early.  If the president is the dealmaker-in-chief the last thing he needs to do is inform those he will be dealing with that he’s sitting at the table in a position of weakness (i.e. that he can be pushed around).  If Mexico or Russia or China see president Trump as negotiator Obama 2.0 this is going to be a slow, painful and unproductive four years for the president.

Furthermore, president Trump would avoid the nepotistic charges that he’s listening to his sister on Hardiman.  Fiercely independent and not willing to give the media the ammunition to strike at his nominee on the grounds of their choosing. 

And should a Trump nominee face a filibuster, let’s get that done now rather than wait and face a more fierce, organized opposition from Democrats in a few years with a second nominee that might not even come during president Trump’s first term.

President Trump was elected to clean up Washington.  Now is the time to go big or go home – literally – because tomorrow will be too late when all the momentum is gone.  It’s the reason the left is trying so hard with the fierce urgency of now to stop Trump in his tracks before he even gets started.  Hopefully president Trump sees that and acts accordingly.

Bloomberg won’t credit Trump for DOW rise

By Dean L

A Bloomberg article tells us not to thanks president Trump for the Dow Jones rise above 20,000 to a historic high. That’s after saying this:
The Dow has gained about 10 percent since Trump was elected, and for good reason: His proposed policies would augment the stream of cash flowing to investors. Reduced corporate tax rates, for example, would leave more money to pass on to shareholders, while cuts in capital-gains rates would allow them to keep more for themselves. The mere possibility of such a windfall offers investors ample motivation to bid up stocks.
The policies are something that will help the Dow,  but it’s not a recipe for economic success relative to GDP growth the editorial argues, loath to credit president Trump with anything despite the obvious Dow success.  The following several paragraphs outline why it won’t necessarily translate into success for middle America.  There are arguments to be made (and also refuted) because we’re only a week into the new presidency and the extension of the Dow success has yet to happen – it’s too early.

But that does not take away from the editorial’s title: “Dow 20,000 Is No Vote of Confidence”.

Wrong. That’s exactly what it is. A Dow at 20,000 is not a report card on success; after one week as president that would be akin to giving president Obama a Nobel Peace Prize based on his potential to ferment global peace after 8 months in office and no concrete accomplishments tied to it. For those of you unable to catch that, I mean that it would be crazy. No, a soaring Dow indicates precisely a vote of confidence in the potential of Trump (perhaps that was the Nobel committee’s misguided intention with Obama in 2009, conflating aspiration with success). Bloomberg makes the reverse mistake from the Nobel cabal here – conflating success with aspiration. The Dow is driven in large part by aspiration because trying to divine the future of stock performance depends on where you see the economy and business environment heading. This is exactly what the market is doing – it’s confident that business will operate in a more business-friendly environment and therefore perform better.

Is there a vote of confidence in Trump’s stated policies? Well, anecdotally it’s not just the Dow’s rise that indicates this is the case. Consumer confidence has soared since the election of Trump as seen below:

That sure looks like a surge of confidence to me.  Maybe Bloomberg is seeing something else that I’m missing.  But probably not.  What they are seemingly arguing is that it’s not going to translate to GDP growth and ultimately the little guy  by way of jobs and purchasing power.
More money for investors, though, doesn’t automatically translate into more prosperity for everyone. Economic growth has been weak since the recession of 2007 to 2009, in part because of very low levels of capital investment. Companies would be more likely to increase this spending if Trump offered some specific enticements, or if they saw more demand for their goods and services.

On those fronts, the future is less clear. Stock investors tend to be relatively wealthy and hence less likely to spend each added dollar they make, so their gains probably won’t do much for demand. Companies, for their part, are getting conflicting signals: Lower taxes would of course be attractive, but Trump’s public meddling in hiring and investment decisions might push in the other direction.
They’re using a microscope to look at a macroscopic situation. Trump’s ‘meddling’ is window dressing for public consumption. Yes it’s made a difference in terms of specific jobs. But Trump understands that he cannot spend the next 8 years sitting down with every company and tell them to hire American, buy American and build American. He’s merely setting a tone with that. More importantly however, is the idea that a better business climate via his policy agenda, will invite capital investment and inflows (repatriation of capital) and that will necessitate hiring and therefore jobs. Trump and a lot of others are betting on that and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty safe bet.

Fake News will ensure a Trump re-election in 2020

By Dean L

Fake news is going to get Donald Trump reelected in 2020. There will be no 2 a.m. “we still can’t make a call on who will win Wisconsin” on election night 2020.  Fake news is not the fake news they are telling you about either.  It’s not Alt-Right driven lies that got Trump elected.  But lies about the Alt-Right probably helped Trump a little bit.  No the fake news is the lies coming from the mainstream media about conservatives, about the right, about Trump and about the GOP.  Remember this blatant propaganda outright lie from CNN?

Either CNN was deliberate in its malfeasance on that one or else they are still happy to have Democrat partisan hacks (not just Chris Cuomo, but others like Donna Brazile or mini-Van Jones for example) on its roster. Either way, that’s extremely shameful. Regardless of the fact that this egregiously noisome canard was allowed on the air during the election, the problem remains, unabated. The same applies to George (Clinton mini-me) Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Sunday morning news discussion show.  Let’s not ignore the fact that liberals have entire shows of fake news (like Colbert’s erstwhile show for example).

The problem is, people believe him.
And right now fake news seems to be running amok among the mainstream media.  It’s already started  ramping up even (follow the link and take a read – the litany of fake news from ‘credible’ media after only 3 days since the Trump inauguration is eye opening). The only fake news that matters as far as the mainstream media are concerned, is the fake news they want to tell you.  

That’s actually good news for Donald Trump because as the media disappears down the rabbit hole of their own confirmation bias coupled with an apparent lack of fact checking that goes all the way back to Dan Rather’s memogate, people are turning away.

The reason Trump is on Twitter tweeting his own opinion is because people don’t expect the media to report it fairly.  Only 8% of Americans trust the media, a historic low.  The media by their own hyper-partisanism are making themselves more and more irrelevant by the day, and also in many circles, making themselves less and less able to see that fact.  Any level of Trump success, coupled with this media bias, virtually ensures Trump and the Republicans in Congress a historic set of wins in 2018 and 2020.

And make no mistake, Trump has set himself up for a historic level of success should he deliver on his agenda – lower taxes, smarter healthcare, better immigration management, leaner government, an originalist Supreme Court. Growth. Jobs. Of course he’s also set himself up for a historical level of failure too should he deliver on none of it.  

With the media hoping for that and Democrats impending obstructionism (yeah, Republicans did it to Obama too when they could; that’s politics), clearly liberals think that Trump will fail.  They’re counting on it in fact because with a super thin bench for upcoming election candidates, they don’t have a Plan B.  Plan A is demonize Trump so he, like most every Republican before him (post-Reagan at least), he’ll cave and become timid.  That’s their Plan A?

The Democrats are in disarray and they don’t seem to realize it yet.  The longer they fail to realize that they are essentially in freefall in terms of legislative power, the better it is for Trump and for Republicans.  After 2018 Trump may end up getting even more of his agenda moved forward than between now and then.  And that bodes exceptionally well for 2020 for Trump and the GOP. The only thing that can stop Trump, is Trump.  For liberals that isn’t much of a Plan B.

Trump won, get over it.

By Dean L

Trump won, move on MoveOn.  Move on Jill Stein. Move on all you weepy college students who clearly are so woefully underprepared to deal with adversity that you don’t even realize that Donald Trump winning the presidency will create ZERO personal adversity in your own life, besides whatever your imagination might conjure up.  Move on president Obama, your policies have been rejected, despite your personal popularity.

So move on.  Stop trying to re-litigate the election.  It was not the Russians who handed him the win with their hacking.  It was not fake news.  It was not FBI Director Comey’s dithering on indicting Hillary Clinton. It was not ‘stupid’ Middle America.

Or don’t, I don’t care.
For a villain in this melodrama, look at the Democratic party, and their allies across the mainstream media.  Look at the flawed candidate chosen to run against a candidate  that you viewed as more flawed. Look at the machinations used to ensure Hillary Clinton would not be bested by socialist Bernie Sanders.  It was cheating, pure and simple.  Look at the party that had moved so far left from the mainstream that Sanders became almost palatable enough to beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries.  Look at the disdain for national security in Clinton having a private email server, and in accepting donations from around the world.  Look at the president and his bloated bureaucracy that repeatedly claimed everything was great as they drove people out of the work force and companies out of the country, all the while being more concerned about who goes into which bathroom than the lives of Americans who recognized their own situations were worsening year after year.  Look at a party that with a near supermajority shoved a super-partisan Healthcare bill of 2700 hodge-podge pages down the throats of America. Look at a president who felt that his pen was mightier than the Constitution.

There are your reasons for losing liberals and progressives.  Besides, blame is not a policy position. You are free to choose to deny the reality, but it won’t win you any more votes, and it will ensure your electoral defeats in the future elections of 2018, 2020 and onward.  

Further if your goal is to delegitimize Trump’s presidency, that will also fail. The more you try to do that the more you will look like sore losers with an ax to grind, and dishonest players in the political saga of the next 4 or 8 years.  How did trying to delegitimize Trump prior to his election work out for you on election day? Arguing the electoral college is at fault because more people voted for Hillary than for Trump is as flawed as arguing that it was the Russians. Or racists. Or Global Warming.  The voters you so smugly disdain see through you.  Perhaps the true reality that you are not yet prepared to face.

State by State poll closing (Eastern Standard Times)

By Dean L

Below is a list of state poll closing times, along with a running tally of  of cumulative electoral college votes by candidate.  Some of the swing states could be wrong obviously as it’s merely my best guess for each state, and not all states are equally certain to turn out as expected.

By my latest estimation Trump wins this 273-265.  Obviously the path becomes easier or more difficult for Trump to win, by early swing state flips.

State (Electoral college votes) My Predicted Winner — Running EC Vote tally (Trump/Clinton)

Closing at 7 p.m. EST

Georgia (16), Trump — (16/0)
Indiana* (11), Trump — (27/0)
Kentucky* (8), Trump — (35/0)
South Carolina (9), Trump — (44/0)
Vermont (3), Clinton — (44/3)
Virginia (13), Clinton — (44/16)

Closing at 7:30 p.m. EST

North Carolina (15), Trump (reported very late) — (59/16)
Ohio (18), Trump — (77/16)
West Virginia (5), Trump — (82/16)

Closing at 8 p.m. EST

Alabama (9), Trump — (91/16)
Connecticut (7), Clinton — (91/23)
Delaware (3), Clinton — (91/26)
Florida* (29), Trump (reported very late) — (120/26)
Illinois (20), Clinton — (120/46)
Maine (4), Clinton 3, Trump 1 — (121/49)
Maryland (10), Clinton — (121/59)
Massachusetts (11), Clinton — (121/70)
Mississippi (6), Trump — (127/70)
Missouri (10), Trump — (137/70)
New Hampshire** (4), Trump — (141/70)
New Jersey (14), Clinton — (141/84)
Oklahoma (7), Trump (148/84)
Pennsylvania (20), Clinton — (148/104)
Rhode Island (4), Clinton — (148/108)
Tennessee (11), Trump — (159/108)
Washington, DC (3), Clinton — (159/111)

Closing at 8:30 p.m. EST

Arkansas (6), Trump — (165/111)

Closing at 9 p.m. EST

Arizona (11), Trump — (176/111)
Colorado (9), Trump — (185/111)
Kansas* (6), Trump — (191/111)
Louisiana (8), Trump — (199/111)
Michigan* (16), Clinton — (199/127)
Minnesota (10),  Clinton — (199/137)
Nebraska (5), Trump — (204/137)
New Mexico (5), Clinton — (204/142)
New York (29), Clinton — (204/171)
North Dakota** (3), Trump — (207/171)
South Dakota* (3), Trump — (210/171)
Texas*  (38), Trump — (248/171)
Wisconsin (10), Clinton — (248/181)
Wyoming (3), Trump — (251/181)

Closing at 10 p.m. EST

Iowa (6), Trump — (257/181)
Montana (3), Trump — (260/181)
Nevada (6), Clinton — (260/186)
Utah (6), Trump — (266/186)

Closing at 11 p.m. EST

California (55), Clinton — (266/242)
Hawaii (4), Clinton — (266/246)
Idaho* (4), Trump — (270/246)
Oregon* (7), Clinton — (270/253)
Washington (12), Clinton — (270/265)

Closing at 1 a.m. EST

Alaska (3), Trump — (273/265)

*Varies by time zone. Some polling places will close an hour earlier.
**Multiple closing times.

State of the race – November 4th

By Dean L

Yesterday I updated my view of the state of the race for the presidency and it looked like a tie as far as the electoral college.  Today I went back to the RCP average of polls and I recalibrated my weighted average of polls to see if I’m in the same place as my electoral college view of how tight this race is.   It seems to be the case that it is very tight. As you can see below:

Click to enlarge.
Previously I had a two week view which I’ve changed to a weekly view this time around.  This view takes a weighted average of the polls, as they are not all equal.  The approach is as follows – if a poll has 2000 respondents and another poll has 1000 respondents I’ve pro-rated the voter percentages Trump and Clinton for each poll as a percentage of that poll but the overall voter total would be 3000 so a poll that has Clinton ahead by 4 points but over 1000 people polled would net her less voters than the poll that had her behind 3 points over 2000 voters. 

Additionally I’ve excluded polls that do not indicate their margin of error as those polls are not transparent and therefore subject to manipulation. I’ve excluded any polls with less than 800 respondents and polls with margins of error greater than 4.5%.  I’ve also excluded all polls with a margin of 6 or more (the last measure has been more fluid than the others as the gap has been larger than that at times).

For November-ending polling only 1 poll has been excluded as a result of those criteria – a Reuters/Ipsos poll that has Hillary Clinton +6. It seems like an outlier, though I could be wrong. That poll has consistently showed Clinton at the high end of the spectrum and seems out of alignment with most polls that range from Trump +4 to Clinton +5 (most at Clinton +1 to 3).

One other note – as I’ve capped the outlier to reflect the current situation, previous weeks have had polls excluded that previously did not have those same polls excluded – my Excel spreadsheet is not that dynamic (yet).  Therefore weeks prior to November were further apart than they appear above.

With that exclusion my weighted average of polls indicates an absolute tie in total voters allocated across 5 November polls. It’s a true toss up right now in my estimation, excluding any possible momentum.

Bear in mind that this does not take into account polling methodologies which I do not have the bandwidth to review, and some polls that I have included demand further review.  Nor does this take into account momentum.  The polls today might not reflect next Tuesday.

However, even the polling as it exists, shows a tight, tight race.

It’s time to end early voting

By Dean L

It’s time to end early voting.  Yes, people could change their minds based on new information that arises after they’ve voted but before election day, but that’s not the real reason it needs to be stopped. Early voting does offer some benefits that cannot be ignored, but the negative possibilities vastly outweigh the potential benefits unless a smarter, more robust methodology is employed to do so. Today, that is not the case.

A system that relies on honesty, integrity and impartiality has inherent weakness. Democrats for decades have been using the inclusivity argument to their advantage.  It’s true when it comes to illegal alien naturalization and it’s true when it comes to voting ‘rights’.   They argue that people don’t need identification to vote.  They argue that whatever it takes to enable easier voting should be the law of the land.  That includes early voting.  We already know that Democrats are prepared to cheat to get their wins, and possibly more than any other voting rights discussion, early voting enables them to do that.  

Early voting effectively widens the window for Democrats to cheat – to stuff ballot boxes – without eyes on them by election monitors.  Having to dedicate election monitors to every polling place is tricky enough if it’s on one day every four years.  But expand that to 46 days (in some states early voting commenced as early as September 23rd this cycle), and consider the logistical nightmare by political parties trying to find qualified, dependable and honest polling place monitors for that long, for as many counties as the nation requires.  It’s clearly not happening as voter fraud issues continue to pop up.  Giving Democrats as many as 46 times the number of opportunities to cheat is a kneecapping of democracy and it should not be allowed to continue stand (‘not allowed to stand’ should not be in the same sentence as ‘kneecapping’).

There are plenty of potential issues with voting machines, mail-in or absentee ballots going missing or a trunk full of ballots mysteriously showing up to change election outcomes, to have a serious re-think of the neutrality of the entire process. But anything that expands the window that allows Democrats to stuff ballot boxes with dead voter ballots has got to be the number one item on the radar of those seeking fair elections. It’s curious that more liberal leaning states are predominant in seeming to favor the earliest early voting dates.  

Stat of the polls – October 19th

By Dean L

[Note: In a few previous posts on my own blog, I’ve analyzed some of the impacts of the polls and where I thought the race was actually at.  There’s some good background on the analysis below here and here and here].

The final debate is today.  Going into it, I thought the exercise below would be useful, since I suspect  the polls will change in the next week.  Rather than looking at the race today, I thought I’d take a look at the polls themselves and see if there’s any accounting for the Hillary Clinton October surge that is seemingly suspect.  A couple of things have jumped out.

Following are polls from the RealClearPolitics average of polls, looked at in isolation. In each case I’ve looked at polls sectioned into the 1st half /2nd half of each month dating back to June 2016. Let me add a caveat here.  There is an additional overlay that is needed here which is to compare these polls to how they performed or assessed Trump and Clinton in the primaries.  A lot of pollsters predicted Trump’s death during the primaries.  Many of those who were wrong are predicting the same now.  And that should be factored in as an adjustment factor here.  I have not had the opportunity to do that here.

Another thing that should be factored in is that the polls don’t all share their weighting of polling participants.  They are black boxes and those methodologies definitely can skew results.  Not making that methodology available makes a poll suspect in my eyes, as a hidden methodology allows the opportunity to manipulate results.  In turn, I have also not had the time to review most polling crosstabs where they are available, so there’s some culpability on my part as well.

Firstly let’s take a look at Rasmussen, a pollster generally regarded as conservative-leaning.  I’ve selected this one first because there is an obvious point that comes from it.  Here’s what a trend of their polls look like.

Rasmussen: Click to enlarge

Forget the trends, look at the x axis.  The last included Rasmussen poll included is from July.  But Rasmussen is still polling to this day. Rasmussen has the race tied.  But it does not reflect in the RCP average anymore.  Why not?  That’s strange.

Next let’s look at the LA Times polls.  This poll is an outlier as it has Trump leading.  This poll has caught a lot of flack from pollsters and journalists but it has been a consistent methodology poll and therefore can indicate a trend regardless if the polling mix is correct or not.

LA Times: Click to enlarge

To me this poll indicates a narrow “trading range” for each of the candidates : Trump 43 to 46 and Clinton 42 to 45.5 since early August. This poll displays much less fluctuation than other polls and is probably more reflective of decided voters since the same voters are being repeatedly polled whereas in other polls we see a fresh set of voters each time.  The takeaway is that Trump voters are likely not abandoning him.  Rather the question regarding this poll is, “have they selected a truly representative sample of voters?”  

In contrast to the LA Times polls, CNN-related polls tell a different tale.  CNN showed a narrowing race, as did many polls through the first half of September but a suddenly widening gap in October.  That’s representative of the RCP average of polls and reflects the narrative that the October surprise of Trump’s verbally abusive hot microphone comments.  Is that properly reflecting the present situation?  At odds with the LA Times, that’s the real question, which we do not know the answer to as of yet.

CNN: Click to enlarge

CBS, echoes the CNN narrative but with a wider divide throughout,  settling in at 11 points so far.  That seems unrealistically high, nevertheless the trend observed in CNN related polls is echoed here.

CBS: Click to enlarge
Fox News, cognizant of their viewer base but nevertheless an establishment institution mirrors CBS but on a smaller scale – either in an attempt to ameliorate the feelings of their viewers or in an unintentional bias in their polling.  The question is – does the bias overstate or understate Trump support?

Fox: Click to enlarge

Over the last 6 weeks, Fox has had a Clinton lead ranging from 5% to 7%.  Only in the first half of September was the race really tight in their polling.  The consistency mirrors the LA Times a little better than other polls.  That’s interesting: (1) is the consistency more reflective of the race than the sudden swings (I believe it probably is) and if so (2) is the Fox polling getting a better or worse sample than the LA Times?

One set of polls I have consistently taken issues with are the NBC-related polls.  Specifically their SurveyMonkey polls I find dubious but in addition the plethora of NBC polls (excluding CNBC and MSNBC) seem to be stacking the RCP averages just because there are so many of them. Nevertheless, despite their almost outlier-esque differentials, take a look a this trend – it’s interesting:

NBC: Click to enlarge

Their view of the post Labor Day Trump free fall has him bottoming out in the first half of October and already rebounding. Has their sampling changed?  They seem to be an outlier in terms of a Trump recovery or support turnaround.  On the other hand, they are showing Hillary above 50%.  That’s definitely an outlier at this point.  That’s not to say it cannot happen and they may be a leading indicator of that but at this point I’d be very reluctant to believe her support has surpassed 50%.

Next up is Reuters.

Reuters: Click to enlarge
What’s interesting about Reuters-related polls is that Trump never breaks 40% and Hillary and Trump combined are very low numbers, indicating a large number of undecided and/or other party voters.  Hillary Clinton never breaks 44%. Interestingly, the Trump slump here also appears to reverse in the second half of October.

I also looked at Monmouth and Quinnipiac.  The former interestingly has polls showing up consistently in the latter half of the month and the latter seems to be overdue for another poll.  Both, seemingly refuting my earlier point about Hillary Clinton support not exceeding 50%, so perhaps there is some evidence that should could be there now.  Again, the evidence is thin, but there is more evidence  than I mentioned above.  Take from the two pollster views below, what you will.

Monmouth: Click to enlarge

Quinnipiac: Click to enlarge

If pollsters are skewing results, they will have to rid themselves of their biases over the next two weeks if they wish to maintain an air of expertise.  If the election rolls around and your polls are off – you get hammered. Zogby used to be included in the RCP average but was way off in recent elections and got themselves bumped from not only RCP but from the media in general.  Pollsters don’t want that for themselves.

The debate tonight affords them the opportunity to adjust any bias.  If Trump or Hillary Clinton slays the debate, there’s an immediate opportunity to adjust accordingly.  But if the polls are prejudicially skewed by the pollsters (say against Trump), and the debate is close to a draw and they have to adjust Trump’s support upwards, where does that leave them in explaining the late shift?  Late deciders are breaking for Trump?  That’s a tough pill to swallow given the build-up in the narrative to this point.

At this point one thing is clear, the post election poll analysis is going to be a lot to sift through, but it will probably be quite revealing, regardless of who actually wins the election.

Thursday Hillary Bash – a bit of humor

By Dean L

If you don’t know about Hillary and Bill Clinton’s history of suspicious deaths of acquaintance deaths,  then you probably won’t find this funny.  And if you didn’t know Hillary Clinton recently suffered a recent fainting spell because of ‘pneumonia‘, you won’t find this funny.

Purity? I’ll show you purity.

Pure evil.
By Dean L

Are you a #NeverTrump person? Why?  Is it about ideological purity?  If so you need to read Dennis Prager’s argument about why #NeverTrump is dangerous.  There’s not much I can add except to say that this election is indeed about purity – Democrats’ purity in terms of corruption, in terms of determination to keep America on the wrong track and in terms of weakening America.

Purity. Evil purity, is something the country is facing.  Standing aside and letting it happen because the alternative isn’t your ideal is morally wrong, period.

As Prager notes,
Shouldn’t all Americans vote as if their vote were the deciding vote? Including those whose votes “don’t count” because they live in states that are so left-wing they would still vote Democrat if Vladimir Lenin headed the Democratic ticket?

The choice this November is tragic. As it often happens in life, this choice is between bad and worse, not bad and good.

But America has made that choice before. When forced to choose between bad and worse, we supported Joseph Stalin against Adolf Hitler, and we supported right-wing authoritarians against Communist totalitarians.

It seems to me that the #NeverTrump conservatives want to remain morally pure. I understand that temptation. I am tempted, too. But if you wish to vanquish the bad, it is not possible — at least not on this side of the afterlife — to remain pure.
Prager goes on to itemize specific reasons Trump should be supported, if only half-heartedly but fully at the ballot box.

I am a glass half full type optimist. I think there’s more to be optimistic about regarding a Trump presidency than pessimistic about. Stopping Hillary is JOB #1. But if Trump does surround himself with “The best people”, and he does rescue the economy and reinvigorates the military that bodes well for 2020 for the Republican party – maybe even for 2018. And if you don’t think that will happen, then maybe you’re more comfortable letting Hillary Clinton give it a shot.

If so, exactly who are you?

Hear me out on this conspiracy theory

By Dean L

File this one under paranoid conspiracy theories if you must.  BUT

John Kasich is staying in the race for the Republican nomination for president despite the fact that he he needs to win more than 100% of the remaining delegates to win the nomination. Why stay in the race?  The nominal explanation is that he's there to deny Trump the nomination.  I am starting to believe* it is for an entirely different reason.

Hear me out.
  1.  The GOP establishment dislike Ted Cruz more than they do Donald Trump
  2.  Kasich is an establishment darling (more so now that Rubio is out)
  3.  Trump is a dealmaker.  

Everybody is wrong

By Dean L

Donald Trump is wrong.  His bluster and uncouth campaign for the Republican nomination is looking more and more like a winning formula – but not so in the general election against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.  In order to win there, he’s going to have to start, immediately, looking presidential, sounding knowledgeable on a myriad of issues by actually having some details at the ready.

Polls indicate that Trump will get decimated in the general election.  Except the polls are wrong.  Before yesterday polls had Hillary Clinton trouncing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary in Michigan. By not a little, but by A LOT  Except she didn’t. She lost.

People in the ‘anybody but Trump’ camp are wrong too.  Not that he should be the nominee.  I personally trust him about as far as I could throw the GOP elephant.  He’s not my first choice.  He could fundamentally screw up the Supreme Court for decades. He really could.  But people wanting Trump to go away, are using the vs. Hillary polling as their latest reason that Trump should not be the nominee.  Their timing could not be worse as the latest evidence shows that polls on Hillary aren’t as rock solid as liberals believe Hillary’s chances are.  Angry Trump voters are not blind.  Trump very well could be the most beatable general election Republican in the field but six months ago people thought he was the most beatable Republican in the primaries. Current evidence supports their mistrust for polls not the the reverse – polls are not going to repudiate Trump supporters’ faith.

Wanting Trump to falter in his quest for the nomination is not a bad thing, but the latest set of tactics are as wrong as the previous ones.

Then again, I could be wrong.

#BoycottTwitter #FreeStacy

By Dean L

I spent a long time building up over 12,000 followers on Twitter. I’m prepared to walk away from that because Twitter it seems, is run by Nazis. I don’t have nearly the audience through other outlets like Google+, but I don’t care. To be honest, very little of my traffic comes from Twitter anymore.  But it’s actually the principle that matters to me.  

#BoycottTwitter #FreeStacy

The NYPost sums it up like this:
When Twitter sanctioned popular right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos last month for bad behavior, conservatives were concerned. Two weeks ago, when the social media platform picked a bunch of leftist groups to write its new harassment policies, they grew worried.

Now, in the wake of Twitter’s recent decision to ban conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain, is it time for full-fledged panic?

There’s no telling what Twitter’s endgame is, but it’s unlikely to be good for users who don’t want the company to enforce overly broad harassment and hate-speech policies at the expense of open dialogue.
And that’s not all they’ve done. 
Twitter recently formed the Orwellian-named “Trust and Safety Council” to propose changes to the company’s use policies. The goal, according to a press release, was to find a middle ground between permitting broad free speech and restricting actual abuse.

But practically none of the 40 people chosen to be part of the council are all that concerned about free speech. In fact, most of them work for anti-harassment groups and seem likely to recommend further limitations on online expression.

One such council member is Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist blogger and opponent of the GamerGate movement.
Go ahead and ban conservatives Twitter. You’re Nazis with a failing business model.  Ban me, I do not care.  Conservatives will find other outlets for our opinions. 

Twitter does not have to respect the First Amendment to the Constitution, they’re a private company and can run their business into the ground if they like.  But be prepared to reap the whirlwind.

Conservatives will abandon you in droves.  Any business prepared to give up 50 percent of their users is not a business that will survive.

Now let’s see if this opinion gets me banned.

Quick impressions from the South Carolina debate

Dean L

The Republican debate last night in South Carolina left me with a few impressions and the strongest two of them were not about the candidates directly. That said, here’s a quick summary of my immediate thoughts.

(1) The crowd was far too involved.  Disproportionately involved is probably a better way to put it.  The crowd seemed to be firmly behind Bush first, then Kasich and then maybe Rubio.  That does not reflect polling in the state and often did not reflect what was being said by the candidates.  At times it seemed like they were booing for the sake of booing a specific candidate. Trump claimed they were all Bush donors.  What’s more likely is that each candidate tried to stack the hall with supporters/volunteers provided with instructions on how to respond.

(2) The moderator John Dickerson was both prepared and unprepared.  As a moderator Dickerson asked measured, intelligent questions. He deserves credit for that.  Secondly as to the audience stepping on candidates’ responses he did not seem prepared for it and made no obvious effort to control it.  Similarly he allowed the back and forth between candidates to go on too long in many cases.  I applaud him for not stepping on candidates’ talking and allowing more back and forth.  However, he did not manage the perfect balance between allowing the back and forth, and keeping the debate from bogging down in tit-for-tat talking.  All that said, on balance he did a good job overall, especially when compared to many previous GOP debate moderators in the past 8 years.

(3)  Donald Trump seemed to take a lot of the jabs from Jeb too personally. It came across as bitter. He started strong on the SCOTUS issue suggesting openly that the GOP controlled senate should delay on any Obama nomination.  Then he got into it with Jeb and made the debate about the two of them.  It’s been called swinging down and it helps Jeb and hurts Trump.  Trump should stop it if he wants to win. Trump did manage to even himself out later in the debate and finished strongly.

(4) It was Jeb’s strongest performance yet in terms of actual debating.  He did the right thing by attacking Trump because it kept him in the limelight more than his ranking merits. It did nothing to change his image as an establishment RINO.  

(5) Kasich’s message of not attacking fellow Republicans was a good one but…  Two problems: (i) It’s not practical right now for the candidates to do that. The need to show they can mix it up for when they face Clinton or Sanders, and more urgently, they need to gain or protect their existing support levels among primary voters. (ii) It would carry more weight if he had not started the debates by slagging Donald Trump really hard. It’s a bit hypocritical or at least a flip flop.

(6) Rubio did much better than his New Hampshire debate. He probably did not do as well as he needed to make up most of the ground he lost as a result of the Chris Christie tussle last time around.

(7) I did not get a strong enough sense on the positions of most of the candidates on the Supreme Court.  Perhaps that was too much to expect at that debate, but a strong answer from a candidate could have been a boon.  None of the answers on the death of Justice Scalia were particularly bad, but they were certainly not enough to make an impression.

CNBC anchor caught telling lies about Trump during debate

By Dean_L

CNBC anchor lied about Donald Trump negotiating the length of the CNBC debate.

But this from The liberal Huffington Post on October 16th, prior to the debate, states otherwise:
Looks like Donald Trump is getting his way.

Trump and fellow Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson sent a letter to CNBC on Thursday threatening to not participate in the next GOP debate if it exceeded 120 minutes, including commercial breaks. In a tweet Thursday, Trump claimed CNBC had agreed to limit the debate to two hours.

Both Politico and CNN reported Trump’s claims were true, saying the Republican National Committee began calling campaigns Friday morning to inform them the debate would be restricted to 120 minutes.

The business mogul also took to Twitter to make his disdain for a long debate known.
Okay tinfoil hat time – that’s so easy to check.  It’s too easy to expose the lie.  So why do it? Are the liberal media now attempting to generate sympathy for Trump candidacy in the hopes  he becomes the nominee and can be decimated in the general election by Hillary Clinton? I wonder.

Walker Wasn’t It

By Dean L

Sunday morning I was watching the talking heads predicting that Scott Walker would be dropping out of the presidential race very soon. It turns out they were right.
Short of support and cash, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, saying he had been “called to lead by helping to clear the field,” announced Monday that he was suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a brief news conference in Madison, Mr. Walker referred sharply to Donald J. Trump’s influence on the primary contest, saying he hoped his exit would make it possible for “a positive conservative message” to take hold in the crowded race.

“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” Mr. Walker said in the short appearance, at which he took no questions. “This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.”
Scott Walker was a good candidate before the race got started. He had fight. He had principles. He had grit, and common sense. What happened? He didn’t stand out and he turned out to be just too bland to transition (or translate) from a champion at a Wisconsin level to the same at a national level.

And that’s all it takes. Bobby Jindal take heed, you might be next. Being a bright conservative, being a principled conservative isn’t enough. Being successful isn’t enough. You need pizzazz. You need the sizzle with the steak. And maybe, you need to be an outsider. I mean a real outsider. Being a governor isn’t necessarily enough outside the beltway. You might need to be a not-politician. In turn we’ve seen surges from Trump, Carson and Fiorina. All are not professional politicians.

What’s notable in Walker’s talking points above, is he sounds more like a politician, and an establishment one to boot, than a Harley riding guy he portrays himself as being. The jab at Trump may be a hurt pride thing, but it comes across as plying ball. Note to Republican establishment,in 2008 the only thing that excited conservatives was a Palin VP slot. In 2012 they didn’t even have that.

Learn or perish. The ultimate lesson may extend outside of the current election cycle – you need to be a person of the people, not a politician. Reagan even, was clearly a politician, but he was able to transcend that by connecting with voters on a visceral, gut level. He did it simply by having the right message for the time. That made him a man of the people. As I said, learn, or perish.