There’s been a lot of talk lately, between Steven Taylor, Doug Mataconis, Jazz Shaw, and other bloggers, about the Electoral College. It seems to come up every now and then, usually in pieces calling for it’s abolition. That’s Steven’s and Jazz’s take, and they do make good points. Steven mostly thinks that the EC is irrelevant, and indeed, somewhat undemocratic:
Here’s the deal: the only southern states that are true toss-ups are Virginia and Florida, and under any plausible EC scenario President Obama can lose them both and still win the electoral vote. Governor Romney, however, can not.
Imagine a world in which all of those extra Southern voters mattered and imagine how differently the candidates would be behaving if that were the case. As it stands, all of that Romney support is contained almost exclusively in places where extra support has no marginal value. Each extra voter in Alabama who decides to vote for Romney simply doesn’t matter. An Ohio voter, however, matters an awful lot.
A grand irony here is that a standard pro-EC argument is that it protects the states against national sentiment. However, if the Gallup poll is correct and Romney wins the popular vote by a large margin due to overwhelming support in southern states, but still loses the electoral college, the fact of the matter will be that the EC actually diminished the significance of those states.
This is also, more or less, what Jazz Shaw thinks:
Tax Hike Mike is back in the news:
Mike Huckabee is using his new book, out this week, to settle a few scores, not the least of which is with his fierce primary rival, Mitt Romney. Per Michael Scherer, Huckabee picks up where he left off earlier this year, tweaking Romney as a rich guy and firing what may be the first shots of the 2012 primary. Romney, Huckabee, writes, was “anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.”
Doug Mataconis wrote this great post Tuesday. It’s a long post, but it is certainly worth your time reading. Doug really hit the nail on the head with some things I’ve been thinking about lately. That is, politics stinks.
Sure, It can be fun. You’ve got highly opinionated, often very extroverted people convinced that they are right and that the rest of the world is wrong. What’s not fun about that?
The line in that post that really pulled me in was:
[I]t just seems as though we’re either arguing over the same dumb things when the reality is that the two sides of the political debate in this country don’t really disagree with each other as much as they like to pretend.
There’s more making politics stink than just the fact that both major political parties aren’t really all that different, but that’s been my struggle lately.
When I look at the presidential race, I’m, quite honestly, discouraged. I know there are differences between Romney and Obama, and I don’t doubt that Romney would be a little less awful than Obama, but after 4 years of Obama madness, the best the GOP has to offer is a moderate (at best) Massachusetts Republican whose claim to fame is the biggest reason we’re supposed to hate Obama?
How is anyone supposed to get excited about that? Our nation won’t survive four more years of Obama, but everything’s going to be just fine with the Romneys in Washington? Come on.
This election has more to do with getting rid of Obama than it does about electing Romney, and any halfway-honest Republican will admit it.
President Barack Obama’s campaign has unveiled a new website, Attack Watch, that allows supporters to report news and viewpoints that they feel are misleading. It’s not the first of its kind. As you may remember, Obama’s campaign used Fight the Smears in similar fashion. But the launch didn’t go as planned, notes The Hill, as hilarity enused on Twitter with the #AttackWatch hashtag:
A new Twitter hashtag designed to help fight misinformation against President Obama appears to have backfired in early use on Wednesday.
President Obama’s Twitter feed, which is run by his campaign staff, on Tuesday evening started promoting the new website AttackWatch.com and hashtag #AttackWatch, designed to fight misinformation against the president.
The hashtag was already in heavy rotation by Twitter users by Wednesday morning, but many users are conservatives such as columnist Michelle Malkin, who offered up her own daily column as an example of an Obama “attack.”
Ed Morrissey calls the site “snitch central.” Meh, it’s harmless politics, as Doug Mataconis notes. It’s not all that different from a campaign war room. At least it’s not being run inside the White House, which would be somewhat troubling. But it does make for some good humor:
There are people who are called statists. They believe in the power of the state over all other potential solutions. Few people actually describe themselves as one, though they may take a thousand statist positions. The latest statist position I’ve read about came via Doug Mataconis over at Outside the Beltway. He posted about a Harvard study that advocates taking people’s kids away because the kids are to fat:
A group of Harvard University researchers are proposing that child welfare agencies be authorized to take severely obese children away from their parents:
As the Western world gets fatter and fatter, the solutions to slimming it down get ever more draconian. In Britain yesterday, the government issued guidelines saying “children under the age of 5, including babies who can’t walk yet, should exercise every day.” Today, in the States, a pair of Harvard scholars writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association advocate stripping away the custody rights of parents of super obese children. They’re for real!
Congratulations to The Liberty Papers for five years of fantastic blogging and coverage of the liberty movement. Brad Warbiany has posted a list of the top 10 posts at TLP over the last five years (my post, “On Tea Parties and Republican hypocrisy,” made the cut).
Although I don’t write there anymore, at least not regularly, TLP is still a daily read for me. It should be for you, too.
We touch briefly on some House races, but we talked more in-depth about some of the competitive Senate seats, including Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We also got sidetracked on the Delaware race and had a lively discussion about the tea party movement when it comes to being a political movement. We also made some predictions on what to expect on election day.
You can listen to it here (about one hour in length).
Earlier today, Zach mentioned the Gallup numbers that came out yesterday. While I agree with him that Republicans need to focus on real issues (jobs should be the theme), the numbers from Gallup are confusing.
Last week, Gallup showed Republicans with a 10 point advantage in the generic ballot and a 25 point advantage in voter enthusiasm. This week Gallup shows both parties tied at 46% in the generic ballot, however, voter enthusiasm is exactly the same as it was the previous poll. It doesn’t pass the smell test.
For some reason Gallup is still measuring Registered rather than Likely Voters. With only eight weeks left to go until election day, the predictive value of a Registered Voter poll is fairly low.
Gallup has tracked registered voters in generic ballots. Other polling firms, such as a Rasmussen (+12 for GOP), Washington Post/ABC (+13 for GOP) and Wall Street Journal/NBC, are using likely voters to measure their numbers, which gives a more accurate picture of what we can expect in November.
Back in July, Doug Mataconis posted a poll in Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District showing Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, one of the most vulnerable members of the House, losing to Robert Hurt, the GOP challenger, by 23 points.
The latest poll out of the district is even worse for Perriello as he now trails Hurt by 26 points heading to the Labor Day weekend:
A new poll in the 5th District Congressional race continues to show a commanding lead for Republican challenger Robert Hurt.
Compared to an identical survey six weeks ago, Hurt has increased his lead over Democratic incumbent Tom Perriello by three points.
If the election were held Thursday, the News7 SurveyUSA poll indicates that Hurt would defeat Perriello 61 percent to 35 percent.
The poll gives Independent Jeff Clark two percent of the vote.
Only 2% of voters in the district are undecided and, according to the crosstabs, Hurt enjoys the support of 66% of independent voters.
Perriello is done.