Wednesday, October 31, 2012


With less than a week until the election, political polling is in high gear.  But what if you want to get a “sense of the electorate” rather than just the results of telephone polling?

In Colorado, we have early voting taking place, and it tells us how things are going.  Scott Gessler, the Colorado Secretary of State releases voter turnout figures on a daily basis.  Here they are as of today.

What story do they tell?  If you look at the participation of voters who are registered as Democrats, Republicans and Unaffiliated, these are the voting percentages through 10/30/2012:

R – 439,269 (38.5%)

D – 404,870 (35.5%)

U – 295,122 (26.0%)

Total: 1,139,261

We have about 2,587,835 active voters in Colorado, and probably no more than 2,300,000 will vote in 2012.  As a result, about ½ of our voters have already cast their ballots, with another week to go before the election.

What’s an easy way to judge the way the election is going?  Simply assume that all Republicans will vote for Mitt Romney, and all Democrats will vote for Barack Obama.  That leaves the independent voters as the unknown.

If we take the polling done by Purple Strategies over the period 10/23/2012 to 10/25/2012 as a guide, they conclude “…the race is tied among independents.”  We can therefore split the 26% independent vote into 13% for Mr. Romney and 13% for president Obama.

Adding those percentages to the R and D figures sets the overall race at 51.5% for Mitt Romney and 48.5% for Barack Obama after half the votes have been cast in Colorado.

Maybe not earthshaking, but a pretty good indicator of what is happening in Colorado.  As each day is reported, we can track the direction of the election, and gain confidence in the outcome.

We can also shade the results based on additional information.  Here are my thoughts:

--This election will probably see a tendency for Democrats to vote against their party more than Republicans.

--Independents may also swing more toward Romney than Obama.  We see anecdotal evidence of Hollywood figures and sports figures “coming out” for Romney/Ryan more so than Republicans switching to Obama.

I would give a total of 2.5 percentage points to the Republican ticket because of this, so my prediction is that Romney/Ryan will take Colorado by at least 54% to 46%.  Those of you following this blog might try a similar exercise in your own states.

Right now, Rasmussen polling suggests that an 8-point spread is far-fetched.  They predict a 2-point spread in Colorado.

But then, which is the better indicator: actual voting or a telephone survey?  We will know in less than a week.

In the meantime, for all you political junkies in battleground states, if you’ve got access to voter turnout, do the R/D/U calculation and see how it relates to polling data.  It’s interesting and fun!

UPDATE 11/1/2012:
Resurgent Republic has a more optimistic take on the inclinations of independent  voters.

UPDATE 11/2/2012:
Colorado Peak Politics has data out as of 11/1/2012.  It shows about three-quarters of the Colorado electorate having voted (1,447,116 out of about 2.3 million).  The breakout is R - 547,150 (37.8%), D - 509,091 (35.2%), and U - 390,875 (27.0%).  Adding half the independent voters to the Republican ticket gives a 51.3% to 48.7% advantage to Republicans.

The Republican ticket still receives my 2.5% subjective advantage,  based on the Benghazi coverup, the anti-Catholic HHS actions, and the objectification of women campaign strategy used by the Democratic party.  Those factors weigh against Barack Obama, and make the race 53.8% to 46.2%.

That percentage difference is a minimum.  In Colorado, the race will end up at least 54% / 46%.

UPDATE 11/5/2012:
The Colorado Secretary of State has the breakout the day before the election at R - 624,788 (37.0%), D - 590,417 (35.0%), and U - 474,437 (28.0%).  Adding half the independents to the Republican ticket makes the Republican advantage 51% to 49%.

This is  no change since last week, so I still expect at least a 54% to 46% win for Republicans in Colorado.

UPDATE 11/6/2012:
The final report from the Secretary of State has R - 675,797 (36.5%), D - 642,834 (34.7%), and U - 534,012 (28.8%).  Add 14.4% independents to 36.5 % Republicans gives a 50.9% to 49.1% lead to Republicans.  That continues to indicate a 54% to 46% race.

UPDATE 11/7/2012:
Boy was I wrong!  The Colorado race is now being called 50% to 48% for Obama.  That means only 40% of independents favored Republicans.  With such a large swing in the Unaffiliated bloc, that is a very bad sign for Republicans.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Authoritarianism on Display


That’s the headline from last week’s Drudge Report as captured by Sister Toldjah.  The remark was NOT made about president Obama.  It was made BY the President as a characterization of his election opponent.

Matt Drudge, employing his genius for juxtaposition, helps us draw the proper connection.

Republicans will note the coarse language as "unbecoming of the President."  Barack Obama supporters will give the President high marks for “telling it like it is.”

I think all of this forms the basis for a case study on Authoritarianism.

Those who support the remark are people who admire Authoritarianism, and they (unfortunately) make up the majority of human beings.  We are all inclined to approve of Authoritarianism, and when we see the arrogance and moral authority that typically accompany it, we tend to view it in a positive light.

That’s the human conundrum, and political forces raise the stakes.  The Democratic Party defends the taunt, and the President’s followers point to the cleverness of the “dash of snark” that is implicit in the characterization.

Now take a moment to look at the downside of the Authoritarianism embodied in this situation and in our President.

It is not unusual that various authoritarians endorse president Obama’s re-election.  These world leaders show the same reverence and respect that is exhibited by Sean Penn and Harry Belafonte. 

We also take note of the “authoritarian salute” (bowing) that president Obama tenders to authoritarian leaders.  In the 21st century, this mutual admiration is reserved for those who are at the pinnacle of Authoritarianism.

As individuals, we acknowledge authoritarians in our daily lives with a mixture of fear and admiration.  If we are caught up in an authoritarian group, we attempt to get on the “right side” of the power spectrum.  We learn to acknowledge the authoritarian gestures that define the group and know that we ignore the necessary “choosing of sides” at our own risk.

But all this is covered in an earlier post and a subsequent post.

Keep in mind that a hallmark of Authoritarianism is that authoritarians are never wrong.  President Obama has no need to walk-back his “bullshitter” remark because he knows he is right.  If the political ramifications attending the remark become untenable, the President will simply revise his position and note that he has “evolved.”

A recent example of this “evolving” effect was on display with Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of Bashar al-Assad as a reformer.  When it became painfully obvious that her assessment was in error, she simply evolved, contending that her remark was misinterpreted.

People see Authoritarianism as a fact of life.  America’s founders understood this, and put in place a governing system for America that was anti-authoritarian.  The last few years of the Obama administration have shown how easy it is to mount attacks against “checks and balances,” “separation of powers,” and “the rule of law.”  It’s just what authoritarians do, and most Americans accept it.  (Defenders of the Constitution, gird your loins!)

We still don’t know if the ‘bullshitter” characterization will cause difficulty for president Obama’s re-election.  The last week of an election cycle is volatile, and there are crosscurrents of influence at work.  But the remark does bring Authoritarianism into sharp relief, and that might be worthwhile.

Here’s why:  Follow me in a “flight of fancy” for a moment…

Mitt Romney was confronted at a rally by an individual who was concerned about the issue of free contraceptive services.  Mr. Romney made the point, “If you want free stuff, vote for the other guy.”

What if president Obama, in a moment of candor, made a similar point:

“If you don’t want Authoritarianism, vote for the other guy!”

UPDATE 11/2/2012:
Peggy Noonan has an article up today in The Wall Street Journal that speaks of Authoritarianism and the presidency of Barack Obama.  The best quote:
"It is one thing to think you're Lebron.  It's another thing to keep missing the basket and losing games and still think you're Lebron."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Sean Kedzie of Whitewater, Wisconsin

You are probably not familiar with Wisconsin State Senator Neal Kedzie’s son being beaten last week.

Nor would you be aware of death threats being received by Mitt Romney.

On the other hand, you no doubt know that Sarah Palin tends to incite right-wing fanatics to murder.  You also know that Tea Party supporters spit on legislators from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Our culture makes certain Americans know who is wearing the black hats.

Subsequent to the final political debate of 2012 between president Obama and governor Romney, this clip made the rounds.  Have you seen it?  It is being featured extensively by our media.

Another clip is also available (h/t Power Line).  I imagine you have not seen it.  It’s Mitt Romney’s speech at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York on October 18, 2012:

I guarantee if you watch the first 30 seconds, you will stay for the rest.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Emotional Response

Last night, Candy Crowley moderated a town hall presidential debate.  It had one interesting moment when Ms. Crowley stepped out of her moderator role to correct Mitt Romney’s description of the president’s response to Benghazi.

If you were watching the debate, it was an emotional, gasp-inducing exchange.  The president had expressed outrage at the pretensions of Mr. Romney, and Candy Crowley saw her opportunity.  She rose to the occasion and the audience reacted with spontaneous applause for her courage.

I’ve noted before how Ms. Crowley is able to exhibit her anti-Republican credentials and still comport as a professional journalist.  Here’s the takeaway from this occurrence:

1) Our culture teaches us to view Republicans as bad people.

2) The current Democratic Party theme is that Mitt Romney is an unhinged (lying) flip-flopper.

2) Candy Crowley used her power as moderator to portray Mr. Romney as a liar and to evoke an anti-Republican response.

On national TV, before millions of viewers, we have been treated to a spectacle.  Republicans can try to set the record straight, but our culture will not be swayed from its “truth.”

UPDATE 10/18/2012:
Anti-Republican Culture categorizes its posts with four possible labels.  This incident has the extraordinary distinction of receiving all four classifications.

“Republicans Under Siege” is captured when Mitt Romney finds himself under attack not only from his debate opponent, but also from the moderator and a majority of the audience.  “So Right and Natural” is displayed in the spontaneity of the audience applause over the incident.  “The Themes” is present in the “lying Republican” characterization advanced by this incident (and also expounded by John Aravosis at  “The Ministry of Truth” is represented by the fundamental spin associated with a mention of the phrase “acts of terror” in conjunction with a Benghazi briefing.
The Candy Crowley incident is in a class by itself!

Friday, October 5, 2012


The Presidential Debate this Wednesday creased the fabric of the universe.  The outcome was not what the Democratic Party expected.

We are now seeing the Democratic Party roll out a “take no prisoners” strategy.  Peggy Noonan goes out on a limb to describe it.  She points to the treatment of Jim Lehrer:

Jim Lehrer has been criticized as an inadequate moderator. He was old-school and a pro. He didn't think it was about him. How quaint. He asked questions, allowed a certain amount of leeway to both candidates, which allowed each to reveal himself, and kept things moving. Most of the criticism seems to have come from those who hoped Mr. Obama would emerge triumphant. Mr. Lehrer should not take it personally. Every shot at him was actually a warning shot aimed at the next moderator, Martha Raddatz. She's being told certain outcomes are desirable.

Ms. Noonan says the campaign “will probably get dirty” and we see David Axelrod already working the Romney unhinged flip-flopper characterization.

Should Republicans sit back and take it?

Definitely not!  They should push back on that “Republicans are bad people” theme of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party preaches that Republicans are liars, killers, and racists - and that’s just as they are getting warmed up.  Let’s confront them!

We each have friends and relatives who support the Democratic Party.  What stops us from asking them questions like, “Why are you attracted to a group that considers me a racist?”

Is it too uncivil; too confrontational?

Maybe it’s time to quit cursing at the television and pose a straightforward question to our political adversaries:

“Why are you comfortable supporting an organization that teaches Americans to hate?”

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