Posts Tagged ‘election’

Talk of a mismatch between the electoral and popular votes seems to be increasing, and I stand by my prediction from the other day. I’m not the only one:

If Obama is re-elected that way, “the Republican base will be screaming that Romney should be president, and Obama doesn’t represent the country,” McKinnon predicted. “It’s going to encourage more hyperpartisanship.”

Indeed. So here’s a reminder of what the Republican Party adopted as part of their platform (pdf):

The Continuing Importance of Protecting the Electoral College
We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College. We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose “national popular vote” would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.

That is word for word. Note that not only do they oppose the popular vote, they think it is a mortal threat to our system of government that would guarantee corruption!

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Richard Mourdock has gotten himself into a world of hurt over his comments that pregnancy as a result of rape is God’s will. I disagree with his position and I don’t think citing God’s will as a matter of public policy is appropriate. But do I find his comments at all surprising? I do not. I would say they are insensitive, but they accurately reflect the views of Christian pro-life folks and are pretty widely held. If you are pro-life then it doesn’t make sense to have exceptions as to which lives count. If you are Christian, then you believe that God is in control. Mourdock’s statement was just saying those two things out loud together. I disagree with him, but really all he told us was that he was simultaneously pro-life and Christian. It’s not a big deal.  

Of course liberals tend to disagree with the pro-life position, and so it should be no surprise that they are making hay over these statements. But you should also keep in mind that liberals are up in arms over this, I suspect, at least partially because they see a chance to knock off a senate candidate, which is a huge deal especially if Mitt Romney wins. This guy could be the difference between implementation or repeal for Obamacare, and so liberals are latching on to what they see as a winning issue to help protect the senate. 

My bottom line on this is that his statements were run of the mill for a pro-life Christian, and obviously disagreeable to liberals, but not worth all the coverage. Breaking News: conservatives and liberals disagree on abortion. Of course we’re two weeks away from an election, so everything is amplified to the point of absurdity. See Libya.

The Gravel Kraken has similar, more well-written, thoughts.

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The latest twist in the Benghazi attack non-scandal is that the administration knew there was terrorist involvement. This shouldn’t be a shocking revelation because, as Mittens hilarioisly learned, they said exactly that at the time.

Kevin Drum notes:

This is crazy. Where does this stuff keep coming from? Based on the evidence we know today, the worst you can say about the White House is that they didn’t do a very good job of coordinating the messages being delivered to the public by all the various agencies.

I agree! I would further note that if the administration had actually done a good job of coordinating the various agency messaging, we would all now be listening to righteous outrage that the President was too busy dealing with messaging, and by extension campaigning, to deal with the crisis. We even got a preview of that line of attack from Romney himself.

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In which someone dresses up a whole bunch of tired stereotypes as psychological research into the effect of hormones on voting habits and ends up coming across as incredibly creepy and sexist. Featuring such classics as:

When women are ovulating, they “feel sexier,” and therefore lean more toward liberal attitudes on abortion and marriage equality. Married women have the same hormones firing, but tend to take the opposite viewpoint on these issues, she says.


Durante’s study on women noted that liberal attitudes favor social equality and tend to be less associated with organized religion. Conservatism is more about traditional values and is linked to greater participation in organized religion. The most controversial part of the study is not only that hormonal cycles are linked to women’s preferences for candidates and voting behaviors, but also that single women who are ovulating are more likely to be socially liberal, and relationship-committed women are more likely to be socially conservative, said Paul Kellstedt, associate professor of political science at Texas A&M University.

An alternative to the study’s conclusion, offered by a political scientist:

Research has shown women prefer more “manly men” when they are in their most fertile phases of the cycle. Obama and Romney are both handsome, in good physical shape and could fit the type of “provider of the family,” so either could fit the ideal, depending on a woman’s preference. Assuming there is some hormonal explanation, the effects could cancel themselves out, since different women will be on different cycles when they vote, and the candidates have a similar level of physical attractiveness, Waismel-Manor said. A more elaborate research design is needed to examine it further.

Hey you know what else might impact women’s voting habits?

Their political opinions.

I know, shocking, right?

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Just A Guess

Seen a lot of talk lately about the possibility of an Obama win in the electoral college and a Romney win in the popular vote.

I predict that, if that happens, the republicans will pretty quickly change their tune on the electoral college. In this years party platform, they include a plank dedicated to defending and preserving the electoral college and fighting any effort at moving to a popular vote. They were very clear.

If it doesn’t favor their guy, none of that matters.

Anything to win.

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My immediate reaction? I don’t know. I’d say a draw. The winner tonight was everyone that watched baseball instead. The loser? America. We get more of the same from both of these folks. I’d say on balance that Obama did slightly better at pointing out Romney’s flip flopping than Romney did at selling it, but not by much. Their opinions on these issues are very similar. Or, at least, the Mitt Romney that showed up tonight’s positions are similar.

A tie, with a very slight tilt towards the President.

On substance, we actually did though get some important policy notes. First off, Mitt Romney absolutely wants to increase military spending by one trillion dollars. That’s not new. What is new is increasing foreign aid, and making Pakistani aid conditional on, something. We also got a specific budget cut number: 5% to domestic discretionary. And finally, not cutting food stamps.

For Obama, the most important part I think was that we will stand with Israel if they are attacked. A much more cautious, measured statement than Romney.

One final point. Iran with a nuke is so far from our biggest threat. The very idea of it is nearly laughable. Would it be a bad thing? Probably. Biggest threat? Please.

10:32 BREAKING: Mitt Romney won’t cut SNAP. And so deficit reduction gets farther and farther away. His policies are so increasingly absurd.

10:32 Romney: same stuff as usual

10:31 Obama: After a decade of war, we need to do some nation building at home.

10:29 Romney: the federal government didn’t hire our teachers. They really did. For better or worse, the federal government really did hire your teachers.

10:28 Romney just mentioned the same unemployed girl from Philly that he mentioned in the last debate.

10:28 Food stamps and unemployment!

10:26 Romney really did call for liquidating the auto industry. By calling for bankruptcy, that was the only choice. Private capital didn’t want to touch it, that’s why the government had to move in.

10 23: Imports from China: $37.3 billion. Exports to China: $8.6 billion. Balance: $28.7 billion.

10:20 An enormous trade imbalance with China? Is it so?

10:19 I don’t know about anyone else, but China bashing is getting really old.

10:17 Romney: Biggest future threat is a nuclear armed Iran.

10:15 Obama: Biggest future threat will continue to be terrorism.

10:14 On to China.

10:11 Drones. Romney 100% agrees. Ugh. This debate is depressing.

10:09 Yes, he just said Obama bin Laden

10:08 Obama: A history lesson and then jobs for Vets. This debate mostly seems like a draw right now.

10:06 Romney: Aid to Pakistan ought to be conditional on some benchmarks. That’s a pretty important policy point.

10:05 Romney: Hell yes, because this war is going awesomely!

10:04 Will we hold the 2014 deadline for withdrawing from Afghanistan? Also an excellent question.

10:03 Romney really needs to stop arguing about the rules.

10:01 So far I think Obama’s doing a decent job pointing out Romney’s flip flopping on this stuff, but for the most part I think everyone is just going to come away confused.

9:59 BREAKING NEWS: Mitt Romney can stop Israel from bombing Iran by the sheer force of his own awesomeness.

9:58 He should go to Pakistan. People could show him where missiles landed in their kids’ rooms there too. Of course those missiles have American flags on them.

9:56 Israel has a sad because Obama didn’t stop by!

9:56 Mitt Romney has noted the passage of time. Glad he noticed.

9:55 Glad he’s defending against the apology tour schtick. It really is amazingly dumb.

9:54 Now the real Mitt is coming back. His foreign policy is “be tougher”.

9:51 Iran saw weakness in this administration? This administration has attacked Iran more than any other that we know of. Not saying that’s a good thing, but its true.

9:48 A seven point plan! We get two more points! Drink.

9:47 There is so very little difference between these two.

9:46 An absolutely crucial question. And note Obama’s answer. “I will stand with Israel if they are attacked”. I really, really, really hope he means that last bit.

9:43 It actually makes sense that our military is “smaller” than it was in WW2. Mostly because we can now do with a drone what it used to take a couple tank battalions and a month long carpet bombing campaign.

9:41 “Our budget isn’t driven by politics” Oh how I wish that were true.

9:38 Cut 5% of the discretionary budget excluding military. Not even close to a balanced budget. Not. Even. Close

9:37 Well, fuck it, education policy now! Mitt’s Kids ™ are smart! And Bipartisan! And, yet again, a promise to 25% of highschoolers of free tuition. How will you pay for it?

9:36 Seriously someone needs to check on the moderator.

9:35 Baseball is on, right?

9:34 Well, Greece is in fact a foreign country, so, I guess that counts?

9:34 Did someone kill the moderator?

9:33 Twelve Million New Jobs! Have you heard about my five point plan?

9:31 Why bother having a foreign policy debate? We’re on Detroit, energy, taxes, and the budget deficit, now.

9:29 “We don’t know what the world is going to throw at us down the road” Well, I agree. Luckily, we have the biggest military in the history of the world, and can single-handedly vaporize any country on Earth with relatively little effort, so I’d say we’re good on that.

9:27 In the same sentence Mitt Romney deplores the debt and promotes increasing military spending by $1 Trillion.

9:26 If I am correct here, Mitt Romney wants increased foreign aid, while Barack Obama says we shouldn’t spend money abroad while there is nation building to do here. Seriously: Which one is the democrat?

9:25 On young people in Egypt: “Their aspirations are the same as young people here”. Regardless of your views on foreign policy, this is a point that cannot be made enough.

9:22 “Would you go farther?” Excellent question. Romney is against military intervention, but pro-arms dealers. Which is what Obama thinks too.

9:20 Twenty minutes, hardly any disagreement thus far. That’s actually pretty depressing.

9:16 Romney’s strategy: use Syria to get to Iran, without arming Syria, via a council, while arming Syria, and…   fuck what was he talking about?

9:15 Wait I’m confused. Which one’s the democrat?

9:14 The Status of Forces agreement was from the Bush administration wasn’t it?

9:11 The 1980’s called, they want their foreign policy back.

9:09 Aaaaand Mitt just stated his support for increased foreign aid. Righteous Tea Party Anger? Anyone? Buhler?

9:08 Right Now Mitt Romney just threw Two Minutes Ago Mitt Romney under the bus.

9:07 It took less than 2 minutes for Mitt to entirely change his tune on Foreign Policy. “We can’t kill our way out of this mess” was a great line, but Romney’s solution to Iran is to start a war!

9:06 “We can’t kill our way out of this mess”. I agree! I wish Mitt Romney agreed.

9:04 Maybe none of the subjects tonight are going to be funny. Just saying.

9:02 Oh God is he really opening this with a nuke scare? This is going to be unbearable.

9:01 Brian Williams just said that “neither campaign expected to see themselves in a dead heat two weeks before the election.” I absolutely guarantee you that they expected exactly that.

8:55 Last one. Local NBC leading with a story about Vintage Wine Bar on 13th St in Philly. Its good, and you’ll need wine for this. Well played, NBC. You know the drill, hit refresh a lot.

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Just a couple quick, unrelated-ish thoughts this afternoon.

First, ever since the first debate, national polls have shown a large surge for Romney and have typically come in at a tie or a slight Romney lead. Many have attributed this to Obama’s performance in the debate and I’m sure there’s some truth to that, but if I recall the debate was also the point at which pollsters began applying their “likely voter” screens. Obama has continued his lead among registered voters. So the headline numbers suddenly looked worse for Obama after the debate, but that includes the application of the likely voter screen. I don’t think the debate hurt nearly as much as people think in terms of actual support. Rather, it served to fire up Romney’s base and depress Obama’s, and that’s showing up in the likely voter numbers. This is a very close race. It was always going to be a very close race. The divergence between the likely and registered voter numbers makes me think that it’s all going to come down to get out the vote operations. 

Second, tonight’s debate. Public opinion is firmly on the President’s side. He ought to press the advantage. People want less defense spending and they want less wars. Romney wants to increase defense spending and go to war with Iran. Moderate Mitt will probably show up again tonight, and he may even try to turn away from those positions. Obama can’t let him. Also, I’ll try once again to live-blog it. Drink any time someone says “exceptionalism”, “Libya”, “terrorism”, “manipulator” or “leadership”. Actually just drink, because those are likely to be the only words used.  

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Wish I could take credit for the title, but I got it from a friend

Looking back on last night, my immediate reaction was that the biggest win for Obama of the night was on Libya, when Romney got fact checked in real time, to audience applause. That was a bad moment for Romney, but looking back on it I think the women in the workplace question was the real killer. The binders full of women was a condescending comment, but it was also pretty hilarious, which ensures it won’t disappear down the memory hole any time soon. And his statement that women should be allowed to leave at 5 so they can cook dinner fell flat. Flexible schedules are a great thing, for everyone, because men can make dinner too. And as it turns out, the binders full of women story was a lie. The binders were prepared by an advocacy group to be given to whoever won. They were not requested by Mitt because he loves the womens, which is how he tried to play it.

Contrast all of that with Obama’s pitch perfect (and true!) statement that these are issues that are important to everyone, not just women.

Mitt Romney’s biggest and most important gain in the polls after the previous debate was among women who had previously strongly supported Obama. Expect those gains to be, at least partially, lost. Romney really stepped in it.

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Romney wants to be the President of the government, and he says (twice just tonight) that government doesn’t create jobs. So why does it matter that he knows how to create jobs? I only ask because its the entire premise of his candidacy, so it seems relevant.

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Overall, an absolutely excellent night for Obama tonight. He effectively tied Romney to his primary positions on every single question. He rattled him, he threw him off and he made it clear that he is lying. He outright said it, in fact. On substance, a clear Obama win. His biggest threat in my mind tonight was Libya, and it was his best moment of the debate. He exhibited real leadership, he sounded presidential. He seemed legitimately offended at the politicization of the incident, and he made Mitt Romney look petty, small, and stupid. “Check the transcript” was devastating.

Tonight Obama defended his record, and he dragged Severely Conservative Mitt back onto center stage. This is the Obama we’re used to.

Andrew Sullivan, you may step down from the ledge.  

10:40 NBC Commentary “Governor Romney’s binders full of women is a phrase that will live forever”

10:39 “A different President Obama showed up tonight.”

10:38 Finally, the 47%. “If they succeed, I believe the country succeeds”.

10:37 Obama’s answer: I’m not a big government socialist, equality, opportunity

10:36 Romney’s answer: the private sector, God, and Obama’s economy sucks. He turned it into an attack.

10:35 Final question: What’s the biggest misconception about you? That’s a great question.

10:33 “Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs.” – Mitt Romney. So, so, so incredibly wrong.

10:32 I was afraid she was about to ask them if they were iPhone or Android users…

10:30 Nope, I wasn’t.

10:29 Obama wants to reduce the corporate tax rate as well, if I’m not mistaken.

10:27 Well, Romney is right about Chinese currency depreciation. But, yelling at them about it won’t really help.

10:26 Outsourcing!

10:24 Obama just tied education to reducing gun violence. YES. Much, much, much, infinitely more of that, please!

10:22 My prediction is that the party line coming out of the right wing blogs tomorrow is going to be that Candy Crowley is in the tank for Obama. Probably that the questions were plants, too.

10:22 The greatest failure involving gun violence was Fast and Furious? Really? Tell that to all of the kids getting shot in the slums of our cities.

10:21 Um, Mitt? The Assault Weapons Ban expired, buddy.

10:20 A re-introduction of the ban, and more importantly a strategy to address the causes of violence. I don’t know if that can be done, but I’m all for trying.

10:19 “Weapons that were designed for soldiers don’t belong on our streets”

10:18 Assault weapon ban. Great question.

10:17 OK folks, you can turn on Breaking Bad now, this debate is over.

10:16 The President, in the rose garden, with the terrorism

10:15 Also, Tonight Mitt Romney just threw Last Week Mitt Romney under the bus on Israel

10:14 A fantastic answer on Hillary Clinton’s responsibility. That is leadership.

10:12 Is Mitt Romney criticizing Barack Obama’s reaction to the Libya attacks? Recall that Romney gleefully turned this into a political attack before the situation had even finished playing out.

10:08 Obama had to know the Libya question was coming.

10:07 Mitt Romney is coming off as an entitled jackass. And the blind trust defense is awful.

10:05 Are we going to argue whether DREAM was introduced in the first year or not? It was introduced.

10:04 I don’t want my daughter or yours to be the victim of racial profiling.

10:03 Obama is absolutely dominating this

10:01 I’m all for high skilled immigration, by the way.

10:00 Just say DREAM, Mr. President.

10:00 Yes, yes he did

9:59 Did he just endorse the DREAM Act?

9:58 What would you do with immigrants currently here? Good question.

9:56 Tonight Mitt Romney just threw Last Week Mitt Romney under the bus on Dodd Frank and healthcare.

9:55 It’s called the DREAM Act, asshole. And you opposed it.

9:53 Every answer Obama has given, he’s included a reminder of Severely Conservative Mitt. “You should expect those are promises he’s gonna keep”. And then the real kicker: Who are you gonna believe, that guy? Or me?

9:52 Fantastic to see this guy defend his record, because it really is very impressive.

9:49 Obama nailed him to the wall with it. And now pointing out the differences between Bush and Romney in cases where Romney is more extreme.

9:48 Differences from Bush: More oil, lower taxes, less regulation.

Wait, was I drunk during the Bush administration?

9:46 Um, Mitt Romney did not name an actual reason why he is different than Bush.

9:45 Gov. Romney, whats the difference between you and Bush? Well ma’am, back to the previous question…

9:44 “These are not just women’s issues, these are family issues. These are economic issues.” Exactly right. That needs to be better understood by everyone.

9:42 On the substance, though, Romney is right that full employment will go a long way towards improving people’s situations regarding their rights in the workplace.

9:39 Romney’s answer is the “women’s issues” equivalent of “look at my black friend!”

9:37 Inequality in the workplace for women. Fantastic question. Defend your record, sir. It’s a good one.

9:36 Actually, if the President is re-elected and he does literally nothing, the deficit goes away and the debt is well on its way to being gone.

9:35 “Of course they add up” because Olympics

9:34 A brilliant answer from Obama, pointing out the impossible math, folding in Romney’s low rates, and making it plain that Romney knows full well his plan is shit. He’s baaaaaack.

9:30 Yea, no one pays 60%, sorry Mittens.

9:29 Yes. Hold him to his previous positions. Don’t let him shape shift again.

9:27 We can balance the budget by cutting taxes. Math!

9:26 Oh hi massive deficits, didn’t see you there.

9:25 He isn’t going to answer. He has no answer. His plan is bullshit, he knows, the questioner knows it. Hopefully Crowley tries to make him answer.

9:24 Romney had to know this was coming. The question is essentially “Will you cut all those things I like?”

9:23 Obama’s getting to him. Romney is getting pissed.

9:22 Obama is exactly right that wind energy is not “imaginary jobs”. Good answer. But Christ, no more “winning the future” please. It’s a god-awful slogan.

9:20 The increase in energy prices would have happened under any President. Oh and Obama? Don’t let Romney tell you to shut up.

9:20 These dudes are arguing for the same policies.

9:19 Security! I’d like to report an imminent fist fight. Yes, the two guys on stage.

9:18 Clean coal. There. Is. No. Such. Thing.

9:15 I’ve never understood this “on federal land” argument about oil drilling. Public sector oil is different that private sector oil? And for the record, the coal industry has taken a massive hit the last few years, but not because of the EPA. It’s because of Romney’s example: shale gas. Coal is not competitive with cheap shale gas. That’s all there is to it.

9:14 Jeremy now has two job offers.

9:13 Biofuels! Still a nerd

9:12 Of course it’s not the job of the DOE to lower gas prices. That’s just plain stupid. Oil is a globally traded commodity and there’s nothing DOE, EPA, Obama, or Romney can do about it

9:10 Touchdown Obama! Much, much more of that, please.

9:10 Two lies from Romney just now. Drink twice.

9:09 Number salad from Romney. He’s touting his five point plan, which has been largely debunked all day

9:07 Obama just fit his State of the Union into 2 minutes. Unfortunately this kid doesn’t give a rats ass about community college, biofuels, Detroit, and the rest. Obama needs to connect.

9:06 Mitt’s totally gonna hire that kid in 2014. Right?

9:04 Romney just promised 25% of highschool grads free tuition, along with not cutting Pell grants. What’s Paul Ryan say about that?

9:03 Pro-tip: Don’t clap into your mic.

9:02 Activist moderators!

8:55 Local NBC affiliate is leading with a story about two women (one an opera singer) getting into a fight at Trader Joes over the last cup of frozen Pad Thai. I think the debate will be something like that.

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