Sunday, April 18, 2010

Last Call

This right here?

If you're a Republican who dares to question Sarah Palin's magnificence, you're the next one on the list as far as these people are concerned.

What happens in 2012 to all the Republicans NOT named Sarah Palin?

Picking A Fight With Rasmussen's House Effect

I've been talking about Rasmussen's "house effect", how every poll they have seems to favor the Republicans, no matter what the situation, for quite some time now.  Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight has cataloged this effect as well, but the outfit's been able to defend itself by using a likely voter model rather than polling all adults.

But there is one poll where Rasmussen has consistently polled all adults rather than defaulting to its likely voter model, on the issue of party affiliation.  And that shows Rasmussen's clear bias towards the Republicans.  Nate Silver explains:
The argument goes like this: those people who vote most reliably in midterm elections tend to be older, whiter, and to have higher social status -- which are also characteristics of voters that generally lean toward the Republican candidate. When coupled with what also appears to be a Republican enthusiasm advantage this cycle, it is quite reasonable to believe that a poll of likely voters (like Rasmussen's) should show more favorable results for the Republicans than one of registered voters or adults (like most others).

This argument is completely true, insofar as it goes. But it is not sufficient to explain the bulk of the Rasmussen house effect, particularly given that Rasmussen uses a "fairly loose screening process" to select likely voters.

In fact, this is quite readily apparent. Although Rasmussen rarely reveals results for its entire adult sample, rather than that of likely voters, there is one notable exception: its monthly tracking of partisan identification, for which it publishes its results among all adults. Since Labor Day, Rasmussen polls have shown Democrats with a 3.7-point identification advantage among all adults, on average. This is the smallest margin for the Democrats among any of 16 pollsters who have published results on this question, who instead show a Democratic advantage ranging from 5.2 to 13.0 points, with an average of 9.6.

To be clear, the partisan identification advantage among registered or likely voters is much smaller. A 3- or 4- point gap would be quite normal there. When making an apples-to-apples comparison to other polls of all adults, however, it is something of an outlier and would reflect a house effect of about 6 points when measuring the net difference between Democratic and Republican preferences.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of pollsters have begun to publish results among likely voters in their take on the Congressional generic ballot. Six pollsters apart from Rasmussen, in fact (these are GWU, Bloomberg, NPR, Democray Corps, OnMessage and McLaughlin) have done so since December. They show the Republicans leading the generic ballot by an average of 2.8 points among likely voters, on average (if explicitly partisan-affiliated polls are included, the margin is similar at R +3.3). This is a potentially excellent result for them -- one which might imply a massive, 50+ seat swing in the House, but is less than the 9-point advantage that Rasmussen now shows, and has shown consistently throughout this period.

Note that the house effect here, again, is about 6 points (the difference between the R+9 that Rasmussen shows and the R+3 that the other likely voter polls do). This is of the same magnitude of the 6-point house effect that was introduced in their construction of the all-adult sample, as described above. In other words, Rasmussen does not appear to be applying an especially stringent likely voter model. Instead, the house effect is endemic to their overall sample construction and is "passed through" to their likely voter sample.

In other words, Rasmussen is stone cold busted.  Just about any Rasmussen poll has to be taken with a six point or more bias towards the Republican position.  The numbers just don't lie, they strongly, strongly favor the Republicans in everything they do.

There's a reason why Republicans are constantly quoting Rasmussen polls as proof the Democrats are doomed.  Nate's got them dead to rights, and the numbers prove it.

As far as I'm concerned, Rasmussen is a GOP polling outfit.

Waiter, There's A Moose Lady In My Mint Julep

Meanwhile a bit south of here in Louisville as the Thunder rolls and the Kentucky Derby museum reopens, America's Favorite Griftebrity, Sarah Palin, showed up to con talk to 16,000 at Freedom Hall for the Women of Joy evangelical conference.
Sarah Palin told a Freedom Hall crowd of about 16,000 Friday night that she was there to inspire women in their faith, not to talk politics.

But the 2008 Republican candidate for vice president acknowledged she couldn’t help but do the latter, saying politics “courses through my veins.”

And Palin — now a best-selling author and headline speaker at tea-party tax protests — did plenty of both in the course of her nearly hour-long talk at an evangelical Christian women’s conference.

“This nation needs you,” Palin told the women. “Know the facts. Stand for what’s right. Don’t be discouraged by the mocking of those who want to claim we just cling to our religion. I’m the first to admit — yeah, I do cling to my faith. That’s all I’ve got.”
Wait a minute.  All she's got is faith?  This woman's supposedly a dark horse candidate for President of the United States and all she's got is faith?

Since when has faith become the most important qualification for someone running for public office in this country?  No offense, but I think a President should bring a bit more to the table than "I quit as Governor because it was hard, I have a show on the Discovery Channel and I have faith."

That's not a resume for a President.  That's a resume for somebody who just got fired from Celebrity Apprentice.

And Sarah Palin telling anyone on Earth to "know the facts" is outright hysterical.

Sunday Funnies: Timmy And The Big Dog Edition

This week's Bobblespeak Translations are here, and ol' Bill Clinton gets to remind the Village just exactly what the score was 16 years ago.
Tapper: is this like 1994?

Clinton: yes we provoked violence back then by ending trickle down economics and in 2008 by putting a black guy in the White House

Tapper: you are digitizing the entire world with your CGI Intitiative - will we all live on Pandora?

Clinton: no - although that would be cool

Tapper: where are your charities helping?

Clinton: we are trying to save devastated areas like Haiti, West Africa, Rhode Island and Syracuse

Tapper: wow that’s bold

Clinton: we’re installing solar lanterns in India

Tapper: Solar Lantern would be a cool
comic character

Clinton: awesome

Tapper: how do you get business to give
away money?

Clinton: Pfizer has a monopoly on a life saving drug and they realized they were losing out on a huge market of poor sick dying people

Tapper: they are filled with humanitarianism

Clinton: I appealed to their innate selfishness

Tapper: good idea - how do you deal with
rampant corruption?

Clinton: I was recently in a place where there were many poor people sleeping on the streets with a few rich people in government-paid limousines - the problem was no one in the whole nation even expect decent jobs, housing or health care

Tapper: were you in Somalia?

Clinton: no Washington DC
On the other hand, now I'm totally tempted to make a fireball-throwing Bill Clinton looking character in Champions Online named Solar Lantern.

An Explosive Release Of Hot Air

That loud "thbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt" sound you're hearing is Mitch McConnell on the teevee completely validating my theory from yesterday that the GOP will oppose financial reform no mater what.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Sunday said it was more than just the so-called "bailout fund" that's keeping him from supporting Democrats' financial regulatory reform bill.

The fund to which McConnell refers is a liquidation pool, paid into by banks, that would be used to ensure a collapsing financial firm would not damage the entire financial system.

But when asked if he would support the bill if Democrats removed that fund, McConnell told CNN's "State of the Union" he would still have other issues with the legislation, though he did not say what those qualms were.

"What we ought to do is get back to the table and have a bipartisan bill," McConnell said. "I don't know anybody in the Senate who thinks we ought not to pass a bill, the question is what it looks like."
What McConnell means by "bipartisan bill" is "one written by Republicans that totally prevents the banks from actually being regulated in any way, because that's what the banks expects from us for their fundraising money."

If Friday's notion that Obama is willing to drop the liquidation pool from the bill was a trial balloon to see the Republicans would work with him on this, then that just got blown out of the sky as well.  I'm not sure why Obama wasted time on doing that, but if he was trying to prove that the Republicans have no intention of working with the Democrats on any legislation ever while he's President, then he's done so.

We've known that since 2007 however.  Not real sure what the hell the deal is on that, but there you are.

On the other hand, this also means the Republicans have convinced themselves that they are holding all the cards, that the voters will turn on the Democrats because of the economy and health care reform, and that the GOP can do whatever they damn well please, up to and including demanding total capitulation from a President they increasingly see as irrelevant.  That means the GOP will certainly start becoming more arrogant, cocky, and obnoxious as they become convinced they'll retake the House and even the Senate in November.  Whether or not that is reality remains to be seen.  The Republicans are acting like it's already a done deal.

Then again I have to begrudgingly admit the point that this is looking like Obama playing 11-dimensional chess again while the GOP is playing Crazy Eights with nothing higher in the deck than a four.  Obama's M.O. is to hold out these olive branches to the GOP that always get grabbed out of his hand, set on fire, urinated on and then the wet ashes stomped out and thrown back in his face.  It does make the GOP look childish and Obama does get to pass his legislation anyway...but the bills that do get signed into law get shifted more and more to the right by Obama's offers.

I fully expect the liquidation pool, like the public option before it, to become a casualty of negotiation.   What continues to bother me is like the public option, it could have passed if it has the President's support.  But being sacrificed right off the bat like that meant the White House was never serious about it being included in the legislation either.  As a result, should financial reform pass (and I'm still skeptical on that) then it will not have the liquidation pool in it.

I appreciate Obama passing things like HCR.  The GOP continues to fall for it and Obama keeps winning in the end.  But negotiating away his position of strength for nothing in return is getting tiresome.
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