If this is bad news, I’ll take it

I wrote here that I’d be helping with Sherrod Brown’s Senate race as a county volunteer. I’ve been getting emails from a supporter of Brown’s opponent, Josh Mandel, not at my Balloon Juice address, but at an email address I use here locally.

I don’t really know that he’s a supporter of Mandel, because he has never actually written that, but I suspect he is, because the emails usually contain some rah-rah nonsense on Josh Mandel and then a link to something this person clearly thinks is “bad for Obama”. Why he doesn’t mention Sherrod Brown, I do not know.

I haven’t responded to the emails, and I won’t, but I’m actually finding them sort of helpful, because a lot of the time the linked material (in my view) is not negative but is instead positive for Obama.

My correspondent sent me this poll, again with the dire warning that it was bad for Obama. I don’t think it is, though. I think it’s fairly positive for Obama, so the mystery of what this Mandel supporter hopes to achieve by sending me heartening info on the President continues.

It’s from PPP, it’s an “enthusiasm” poll, and here’s the analysis of the numbers:

The group of voters most excited about voting this year, tied with the Tea Party, is African Americans.
The group tied for the third most excited out of the 18 we looked at here? Young voters. And when you take a deeper look at the folks under 30 who say they’re ‘very excited’ about voting this fall, they support Obama by a 69-31 margin over a generic Republican opponent. Those folks are going to be out again this fall as well.
There’s plenty of good news for Republicans on the enthusiasm front as well. Tea Partiers tie with African Americans for the highest level of enthusiasm. There are more Republicans (54%) who are ‘very excited’ about voting than Democrats (49%).
The desire to dump Obama may give GOP voters more of an incentive to get out to the polls than they had in 2008. But it’s kind of a given that Republicans come out and vote. Democratic constituencies tend to be the harder ones to engage and mobilize. But as much speculation as there’s been that they won’t be there for Obama this fall the way they were in 2008, our numbers disagree. If the GOP wins it’ll because they flipped independents and brought back out dormant 2008 voters, not because the Obama coalition stayed at home.

We heard about the “dormant” GOP voters in 2008, and apparently they were not excited enough about John McCain to come out. I think it’s safe to say that if the extremely irritable and reckless maverick John McCain didn’t excite them, the man who lost to John McCain last time, Mitt Romney, is not going to do the trick. That leaves hating on Obama to drive turn out for those (alleged) dormant GOP voters.

It’s fun to look at because it breaks out all kinds of groups: women, men, union members, and so forth. For example, self-described Liberals and Conservatives are equally (within one point) enthusiastic, according to this poll.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






90 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    Mittster: almost as exciting as McCain, but without all that jet pilot stuff.

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Didn’t you know that everything is bad for Obama?

    Good jobs report for December? Bad for Obama.
    Falling unemployment rate? Bad for Obama.
    Ending the Iraq War? Bad for Obama.
    Mitt Romney being rejected by 75% of Iowa Republicans? Bad for Obama.
    Sun rising in the East? Bad for Obama.
    Gravity? Bad for Obama.
    The continuing existence of Time? Bad for Obama.
    Bad for Obama? Bad for Obama.

    BTW, isn’t Mendel like 16, or something to that effect? He looks like the asshole frat boys I used to steal beer from in college.

  3. 3
    kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    BTW, isn’t Mendel like 16, or something to that effect?

    He is, we’ll just say “16 or 17, or thereabouts” and although Sherrod is a bleeding heart liberal, he’s actually a disciplined, hard-hitting, focused campaigner, so it will be interesting. His last opponent underestimated him, too. I think the whole “rumpled and smiling” thing throws conservatives off.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    Mittster is pure weasel, but I agree with Benen that the right attack strategy for the Dems is not the flip-floppery, but the economic optics: how many expensive houses; what he said about bailing out Detroit (especially in your area, Kay); his record of destroying companies and jobs at Bain (with testimony from some of those he nuked); his lousy economic record in MA; his taxes, whether he releases the returns or not; etc….

  5. 5
    Marc says:

    Wait, seniors are the least enthusiastic about voting? Oh thank you jesus.

  6. 6
    efgoldman says:

    @Marc:

    Wait, seniors are the least enthusiastic about voting? Oh thank you jesus

    Well, not this senior, but the last time I voted GOBP was 1972 (for Ed Brooke and Frank Sargent, way to the left of where Dems are today.)

  7. 7
    kay says:

    @efgoldman:

    bailing out Detroit

    Not bailing out Detroit. Bailing out all of NW Ohio, some of which is a conservative stronghold. There is a positive auto industry story nearly every day in the Toledo Blade. They’re cheering, and they should be, because it was a long, hard slog, and they deserve some good news. 16% unemployment is scary.

  8. 8
    efgoldman says:

    @kay:

    There is a positive auto industry story nearly every day in the Toledo Blade. They’re cheering, and they should be…

    The point is, both the national and local Dem campaigns should make sure the GOBP owns the anti-bailout and anti-industry rhetoric from the time.

  9. 9
    feebog says:

    I have picked my campaign for 2012, not that I won’t be rooting for Obama all the way. In California, we are just two, count them, two seats away from a super majority in the California State Assembly. And due to redistricting and term limits, Dems have a realistic shot at picking up two seats. The big deal here is that, as some of you may know, thanks to the infamous Prop.13, it takes a two thirds vote in each house to raise taxes. Up until this last year it took a two thirds vote to even balance the budget, but that was changed by referendum. Still, the power of a few stubborn Republicans has helped bankrupt the great state of California.

    So, I am backing the only declared Democrat running in AD 38,Ed Headington. It is going to be an uphill battle. There are already three Teabaggers declared on the Republican side, including Congressman Buck McKeon’s wife. This is a conservative leaning district, comprised of the Santa Clarita and Simi Valleys and the North San Fernando Valley. Right now I am putting a list of people I know (up to about 65 contacts) for a meet and greet that we will host in March or April. I am contacting a lot of folks, including a number of people who I know are conservative, but may be open to a moderate Democrat who owns his own business and has made education the number one issue.

    Hope we can pull it off.

  10. 10
    RossInDetroit says:

    Regarding the timely rescue of the auto industry, let’s not let voters forget that Romney, whose father was Governor of Mi and the head of American Motors, said ‘let them fail’. Well they didn’t fail. America still has a domestic auto industry no thanks to Mitt. And we’ve got your number, bub.

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    @feebog:
    Good Luck! Rooting for you from 3000 miles away.
    Here in little RI, the problem isn’t: not enough Democrats. The problem is: too many connected Democrats.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @efgoldman: Yeah, painting Romney as Gordon Gecko reborn would seem to be the way to go. “Your job got sent overseas? Meet the guy who sent it, and made millions doing so”.

  13. 13
    kay says:

    @efgoldman:

    Oh, I agree. I just think you’re not going to hear the word “bail out” except from a Republican.

    You’re going to hear the word “rescue”, plenty, though :)

    It’s an easy case to make here. I don’t think local Republicans would deny it, face to face or one on one. It’s just fact. It’d be BAD.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    Oh, and per TPM, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has started calling Romney a “Job Cremator”…

    Edit: Her statement to TPM:

    “Mitt Romney, I think, is more of a job cremator than a job creator,” Schultz said. She added: “He was a corporate buyout specialist at Bain Capital. He dismantled companies. He cut jobs. He forced companies into bankruptcy and he outsourced jobs and sent jobs overseas. That’s not a record to write home about, that’s not a record to be proud of, and it’s something voters need to know.”

  15. 15
    CT Voter says:

    @feebog: Wishing you all the best from here in CT. My Rep (Chris Murphy) is running for the Senate (Joe’s seat—and hey, I don’t think I would have imagined 6 years ago that Joe Lieberman would retire…so change IS possible). Chris Murphy’s possible Democratic replacement is off to a rocky start. The fifth district could get switched back to R, I think.

  16. 16
    efgoldman says:

    @dmsilev:

    Oh, and per TPM, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has started calling Romney a “Job Cremator”…

    What a mouth on her. My man Barney Frank taught her well. Love it, hope she keeps pushing her way into the MSM.

  17. 17
    RossInDetroit says:

    Romney reminds me of Wigan Ludgate, a nutso character in William Gibson’s novel Count Zero. Wigan Ludgate got rich by pillaging vast numbers of tiny bank accounts in the third world. Making himself comfortably well off while utterly impoverishing millions of people.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @efgoldman:

    his taxes, whether he releases the returns or not

    I honestly see this as Willard’s big Achilles heel. If he never does, then he’s hiding something, especially when Obama releases his after the next filing season. If he does, it will be an oppo research goldmine. For Willard the tax situation is a huge lose-lose.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    @Yutsano: He really should have bit the bullet and released the old returns a few months ago when not too many people were paying attention. Now, the longer he waits the worse it will be.

  20. 20
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Yutsano:

    I honestly see this as Willard’s big Achilles heel.

    (the taxes)
    I’d agree if we knew what was in them. But in an election, only things that actually happen matter. Unless the MSM gets a look at them they won’t be an issue.

  21. 21
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but does anyone know of a streaming link for tonight’s Wingnut debate?

    .

  22. 22
    JGabriel says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    Romney reminds me of Wigan Ludgate …

    Wasn’t Ludgate kind of a naif who saw, but didn’t quite comprehend, the consequences of his actions?

    I think Romney comprehends, but is in denial.

    .

  23. 23
    dogwood says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    Oh, I think the Dems will make it an issue. I know this isn’t the conventional wisdom around here, but the MSM doesn’t control the agenda. I imagine they’ll be some TV ads demanding Mitt release the returns, and the talking heads love to talk about the ads. They’re followers.

  24. 24
    efgoldman says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    I’d agree if we knew what was in them. But in an election, only things that actually happen matter…

    “Governor Romney, the President has released all of his tax returns since [year]. Why haven’t we seen yours? Are you hiding something from the American people?”

  25. 25
    kay says:

    @Yutsano:

    I think what “flip flop” really means, gut-level, is “dishonest”. I don’t think people mind changing a position. What they mind is changing a position to deceive or “trick”. That’s what they really said about Kerry, with “flip flop”, that he couldn’t be trusted, that he wasn’t telling the truth.

    So anything that goes to “dishonest” hurts Romney, and stonewalling on the taxes does that, IMO.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    @JGabriel: Yahoo is co-hosting the debate, so I’d assume that they would have a streaming feed.

  27. 27
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Yutsano:

    I agree, almost consistantly Obamas tax returns have shown that the majority of the money that they made was on the sale of his books (which remain very popular). The fact that Romney refuses to release his tax returns is VERY telling. I heard Hannity state the other day “when Obama releases all his school transcripts, and thesis and everything else” should Romney release his tax returns. They are scared. They know that Romney’s tax returns could sink him. Obama has released his tax returns, Romney should release his. The fact that he doesn’t is telling.

    ETA – I think it is going to show that a boat load of his money is in off shore accounts, and he hasn’t worked for a living for decades.

  28. 28
    mclaren says:

    Good point, Kay. Moreover, there’s a big difference twixt generic “enthusiasm for dumping Obama” among Repub voters, and enthusiasm for a specific Republican candidate.

    If the Repubs do nominate Romney (which I think wildly improbable), it will split the party down the middle, tear apart the Republican party, and cause a catastrophic enthusiasm collapse. The fundamentalist evangelical Christians who make up between 30% and 40% of all Republican voters (and between 50% and 60% of Republican primary voters) have such an intense hatred for Mormons that these people would surely stay away from the polling booths in 2012 if the Republican party were stupid enough to nominate Romney. The fact that the latest news out of Iowa shows that Romney didn’t even win the straw poll (due to recount) shows us the depth of Republicans’ loathing for what they describe as “that monstrous Mormon cult.”

    With Romney in the race, “enthusiasm gap” isn’t remotely accurate. Active hatred is the inverse of enthusiasm. Between a third and a half of the Republican electorate, depending on the state, isn’t just unenthusiastic about Romney, but actively spitting bile at him as the literal antichrist. I mean, literally. Seriously. A lot of Republicans believe that Willard Romney is the actual antichrist described in the Book of Revelations.

  29. 29
    RossInDetroit says:

    Romney will take plenty of heat for not releasing his returns. But I don’t think he’ll end up releasing them.
    It would be far more damaging if people making $50K/year, with a family, found out that he pays a lower tax rate than them. That’s the scenario he can’t afford.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz has christened Mitt “the job cremator”. I think she’s just the right surrogate for that line.

    Brown and Warren are my adopted candidates this cycle.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    (which I think wildly improbable)

    I know, and I think your argument is persuasive (Mormon-too scary) so I was wavering, but I’m still convinced it’s going to be him.
    This is an anecdote, but we had a woman who worked with us here (briefly, she was terrible w/our clients) in 2008 and she was looking at one of those non-partisan candidate sites THE DAY of the GOP primary in ’08, going to vote. She had settled on Romney, and then she found out he was Mormon, and that was IT.
    She said, and I quote, “they’re not Christians”.
    I was blown away by that, but, then, there are Democrats who are Mormons and I never gave it a second thought. I get pissed off at Harry Reid, but not because he’s a Mormon.

  32. 32
    smintheus says:

    @kay: Maybe more “untrustworthy”, in several senses. An attack on Romney the flip-flopper is an attack on his integrity…which is necessary for a lot of reasons, but especially since Romney (as much as any Republican candidate) doesn’t scruple to make things up about his opponents. You blunt his lies about Obama by making him out to be somebody who lacks integrity.

  33. 33
    RossInDetroit says:

    @JGabriel:

    Wasn’t Ludgate kind of a naif who saw, but didn’t quite comprehend, the consequences of his actions?

    OT. Ludgate realized the horror and pain that he’d caused by robbing millions of their paltry assets and went insane. Then he discovered God in the form of a computer with a robot arm, that made little dioramas in glass boxes.

    So not a complete analogy. Because Romney will never give a shit about the lives he’s ruined.

  34. 34
    dmsilev says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I’m sure his income takes advantage of every wrinkle, nuance, and outright loophole that the tax code offers, and that will be the real killer. “Last year, Mitt Romney had an income of $5 million, and paid a lower tax rate than an average American making $50K”.

    By the way, I don’t think we should say “Mitt Romney earned…” or “Mitt Romney made…”. He’s a parasite, a very successful one, but still a parasite. He didn’t *make* anything.

  35. 35
    Calouste says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    The schooltranscripts are going to be birthcertificate Mark II. And Obama is probably going to reply in exactly the same way: let the shit build up until it reaches mainstream, then pounce and release them, show there’s nothing there and make the people who asked for it look like bigotted fools. If Romney is smart the circuitboards in the Romneytronic are all intact, he keeps that issue far away from himself and the campaign.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Somebody on Tweety said that Mitt’s flip-flops perversely help him with indies, because they think “Oh, he talks like one of those Republicans, but he doesn’t believe it”. Sadly, I think there’s some truth to that. This has been the Village line on Republicans for at least a decade, and I gather the ghost of David Broder possessed Nicholas Kristoff long enough to publish that argument under his byline the other day.

  37. 37
    smintheus says:

    @mclaren:

    If the Repubs do nominate Romney (which I think wildly improbable), it will split the party down the middle, tear apart the Republican party, and cause a catastrophic enthusiasm collapse.

    Almost anybody the GOP nominates will cause a drop in their voters’ enthusiasm. All their candidates are gaffe-prone, personally obnoxious, and wedded to crazy positions on issues of core concern to voters. Over several months of campaigning, their candidate is going to become extremely tiresome to a lot of people.

  38. 38
    RossInDetroit says:

    I don’t mind really that Mitt is rich. I don’t mind that he continues to receive revenue from a company that he founded. I don’t mind that he has more real estate than the whole town I live in has.

    I mind that he got rich by stripping the assets out of vulnerable companies and driving them into ruin. That should probably be a crime, and should certainly disqualify one from running the country.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @smintheus:

    An attack on Romney the flip-flopper is an attack on his integrity

    Exactly. I don’t think it has a thing to do with him not being a “real conservative” on issues. I think it has to do with lying. What they were (really) saying about Kerry was he’d lie about a WAR to get elected. Everything he did and said was then put in that frame. Dishonest. Not authentic. Tricking us.

  40. 40
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    If the Repubs do nominate Romney (which I think wildly improbable), it will split the party down the middle, tear apart the Republican party, and cause a catastrophic enthusiasm collapse.

    I just don’t think they’re that dramatic and interesting. I think they’ll dutifully vote against Obama.
    But look at the two groups. OUR most enthusiastic voter group is African Americans, and we have Obama. They have the Tea Party, and Romney.
    Those are two different things. OUR enthusiastic voters are getting the person they want.

  41. 41
    mclaren says:

    @kay:

    …there are Democrats who are Mormons and I never gave it a second thought. I get pissed off at Harry Reid, but not because he’s a Mormon.

    You’re thinking like part of the reality-based community here, and that’s a mistake when dealing with Republicans. As progressives and Democrats, we evaluate the evidence and use logic. If the evidence contradicts our beliefs, we change our minds.

    But to Republicans “facts are stupid things” (in Ronald Reagan’s immortal words). What matters to a Republican is infallible doctrine and religious faith and the immutable certainty of the Good Book.

    Democrats can’t imagine deciding to vote or not to vote for a candidate because of what church he belongs to. But for roughly 30% – 50% of Republican voters, this is the first and most important consideration, the litmus test of the candidate’s viability.

    It’s certainly going to be a remarkable presidential election. No president has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8%…but then again, only one president has ever been elected who wasn’t a protestant (JFK) — and he had to battle savage religious attacks accusing him of being “a slave to his religious king in the pointy hat”! And JFK was merely a catholic!

    when John F. Kennedy registered on the social Richter scale as a Presidential candidate, I think that today we would be shocked by the antipathy that was shown in the press and in the campaign of Richard Nixon (who had no problem with bigotry, and left his own prejudices preserved forever in the Watergate tapes).

    Believe it or not, Kennedy was portrayed as though he were a “Manchurian candidate,” a subversive agent of the Catholic church who aimed to make Americans bow to the Pope. Looking back from our convenient position of hindsight, we see how absurd these accusations were. But I assure you that they happened.

    Source: “Reflections on anti-Catholicism and the election of JFK,” Margot Fernandez, Tucson Liberal Christian Examiner
    November 13, 2009.

    Also, a much higher proportion of Democrats are secular humanists than we find among Republican voters. Most people who post on this forum would undoubtedly find it bizarre to make a decision about whom to vote for based on concerns which are not amenable to evidence or logic. This is why I think that most of Romney’s alleged negatives discussed by Democrats (he’s a job destroyer, he hides his tax returns, he’s too scripted, he got rich by Gordon-Gecko-style buying up of corporations and stripping them for their assets, he’s a flip-flopper, he tells outright lies with his campaign ads to a degree we haven’t seen since Reagan or Nixon, etc.) simply aren’t even on the radar for Republican voters. Republican voters don’t give a damn about objective reality, for example. Romney telling lies means nothing to them. But the likelihood that Mitt Romney in the White House would cause the Rapture Index to shoot through the roof and make the dead rise from Megiddo and the seas turn to blood and the Beast of Relevations appear…that’s a serious concern for Republican voters.

    As members of the reality-based community, we can’t get a handle on that kind of thinking. But I assure you it exists, and that warped twisted hallucinatory worldview has the Republican party in an iron grip. Remember that Republicans deny the reality of global warming and evolution en bloc. It’s not even controversial to them, they regard these documented scientific facts as “obvious hoaxes.”

  42. 42

    Isn’t Mandel jointed at the hip with Kasich? I would think he’s a fairly target rich environment.

  43. 43
    smintheus says:

    @kay: BTW, do I remember rightly that you write about charter school scammers? Did you see the link I posted last night on the open thread to a story about an absurdly corrupt charter school in PA, run by a scuzzy church leader, whom the state Republicans are protecting even after the local school board tried to de-certify the charter school?

  44. 44
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    I think it’s persuasive, mclaren, and people who are familiar with the relationship btwn Mormons and fundamentalist Christians here have said they know this to be true from personal experience, but I’m still left with “who else”?

    Who else? I would have LOVED Gingrich, but I’m not getting him. There’s something wrong with the governor of Texas, he appears to be ill or he hit his head or something, so Rick Santorum?

    Romney’s what they got.

  45. 45
    smintheus says:

    @mclaren:

    No president has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8%

    That’s true, and none of them have ever been called “FDR” either.

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as much as I always thought the GOP would never give the nom to Romney, even the most hard core of ‘values voters’ must realize that Santorum would lose every state outside the deep south, Utah, and possibly Wyoming and Idaho.

  47. 47
    kay says:

    @smintheus:

    BTW, do I remember rightly that you write about charter school scammers?

    I do, and thank you, I’ll read it, but I don’t know that I’ll be writing about it because I have all these 2012 election-related things going on here, and I’m obsessive once I get going.
    But it does interest me, so thank you.

  48. 48
    JGabriel says:

    @smintheus:

    Almost anybody the GOP nominates will cause a drop in their voters’ enthusiasm.

    Which raises the question of whether the GOP, on the whole, even wants to win the election. I suspect a percentage of the party isn’t terribly committed to winning this one — i.e., that some of them would rather let the Democrats finish cleaning up the GOP’s 2000-2008 mess, so they have a more stable economy to rip apart and fuck up.

    .

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    No president has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8%

    I just hate this stat, because what does it mean? If Rick Santorum runs against Obama, he’s going to win, because of the 8% rule?

    I stop at “no…” It doesn’t mean anything, without more.

  50. 50
    dmsilev says:

    @kay: That’s just it. As bad a candidate as Romney is, it’s pretty fair to say that he’s the best of that bunch. Maybe the GOP electorate is hoping for a tie followed by a white knight “unity” candidate appearing at the convention? Kind of a long shot, at best.

  51. 51
    mclaren says:

    @smintheus:

    You got me there. Should’ve said “except for FDR.” Also, remember that unemployment was somewhere north of 25% and rising (we don’t have the kind of unemployment surveys from 1930 that we have today, so we can’t say with exact certainty) when FDR was elected the first time, and by his re-election in 1936 unemployment had dropped by at least a third and was continuing to drop. In FDR’s case the trend mattered a lot more than the exact unemployment level.

    That’s a good argument, incidentally, for Obama’s re-election in 2012. If unemployment is still over 8% but has dropped from over 10% down to close to 8% that may well be enough of a positive trend to eliminate most of the economic negatives for Obama.

  52. 52
    JGabriel says:

    @mclaren:

    But the likelihood that Mitt Romney in the White House would cause the Rapture Index to shoot through the roof and make the dead rise from Megiddo and the seas turn to blood and the Beast of Relevations appear…that’s a serious concern for Republican voters.

    For those voters who actually believe in the Rapture, wouldn’t that be a plus?

    After all, they’re usually pretty certain they’ll be among the Raptured and are eager to welcome it.

    .

  53. 53
    Dee Loralei says:

    My local OFA had our 2012 re-election campaign kick-off pot luck last night. Was the first time in many months we got together for just fun. The TN State OFA director was there, also. They agreed to my suggestion of having a county-wide party on the night of Super Tuesday, March 6, for all the local OFA groups, college Dems, and the county Dems and any local officeholders and candidates to declare that President Obama won our non-primary. We’re gonna have folks sign the I’m In cards and try to grow our base group of supporters and volunteers. And we’re inviting the news media to cover our celebrations even as they cover Romney’s, Paul’s and whoever else’s campaign headquarters that night.

    We’re meeting Tuesday night to phone bank and to plan the party for Super Tuesday, I’ll be making calls to some local bands to see if they want to play for booze and tips, to Congressman Cohen and Mayor Wharton to ask them to speak and to other local candidates and office holders.

    Then we’re issuing a challenge to all the TN OFA groups to have a party that night in their areas and to get more people to attend and more volunteers to sign on.

    I got the germ of the idea from Iowa’s Democratic Chairwoman who said on caucus night they had 25,000 Democratic Iowans in every precinct in the state standing up for Obama and they got more than 5,000 new volunteers.

    One of the girls at our party last night is part of OFA Denver, she’s a college student there and we issued them the same double dog dare challenge to her group! I’m hoping we take this national!

    My other evil plan (we’re looking into the plausibility and legality of it) is to have Dems go vote during the primary and demand write-in ballots, and vote for Obama in the Republican Primary! And then they can show up at our party LOL!

    Kay, I love your on the ground reporting. Please keep it up!

  54. 54
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    This is horrible and cynical to say, but I went to a convention as a delegate, and I don’t think anything gets decided or “happens” at national Party conventions anymore.
    They’re planned media events. The delegates are (essentially) extras in a reality show. It was interesting to observe, but it wasn’t real.
    Maybe someone could pull off a coup, but all those corporate sponsors would have to agree ahead of time :)

  55. 55
    mclaren says:

    @kay:

    I just hate this stat, because what does it mean?

    It means Obama is running against considerable headwinds. A lot of the lack of enthusiasm for Obama is due to the rotten economy.

    In normal times, Obama would be dead meat on a stick. But these are not even remotely normal times. And since the situation is so unusual, we should be wary of making snap judgments about who’s going to be the Republican nominee.

    If Obama’s economic negatives are falling faster than Romney’s negatives as a candidate are rising, Obama will win in 2012. This is a set of coupled differential equations, incidentally, since we’re dealing with changing rates of change inside strict boundary conditions. Technically, you’d call this a boundary-value problem, one of the subsets of ordinary differential equations, and boundary-value problems often exhibit nonintuitive behavior.

  56. 56
    JGabriel says:

    @dmsilev:

    Yahoo is co-hosting the debate, so I’d assume that they would have a streaming feed.

    Thanks. I checked, and I’m not finding anything there yet, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

    .

  57. 57

    I don’t have any real intimacy with OH politics, been gone from there for way too long for that. What I think I remember about Mandel over the last couple years is that he wasn’t a “keep the head down” sort of pol, which means there ought to be a lot of resources. Expecially stuff that sailed a bit under large media.

    It is really helpful when people at the local level can seek out reporters who covered smaller stuff and find out what’s there, both printed and not. These guys do let their guard down, especially when they see themselves as “hard-asses.”

  58. 58
    JGabriel says:

    Yahoo / The Blaze:

    Santorum told the audience about a radio interview out of Boston he did earlier today.
    __
    According to Santorum, the interviewer said, “We don’t need a Jesus candidate, we need an economic candidate.”
    __
    “My answer to that,” Santorum added, “was we always need a Jesus candidate.”

    Just the other day I heard Jesus asking, “What would Santorum do?” And then he cackled.

    It’s kind of weird hearing Jesus cackle. You don’t really expect it, you know?

    I don’t think Jesus thinks that Man On Dog is the Jesus candidate. I get that feeling.

    .

  59. 59
    mclaren says:

    @kay:

    …I don’t think anything gets decided or “happens” at national Party conventions anymore.

    That’s absolutely correct. Since the early 1960s, conventions have not decided the candidate: instead, the primaries have decided the candidate. There are many reasons for this, including public financing (which creates a winner-takes-all momentum for early primary winners), the fact that presidential primaries start much earlier in the year now than they did 50 years ago, the consolidation of tremendous campaign finance resources among 501s and PACs (which didn’t even exist in 1960) and most of all, television.

    But this is such an unusual year and Romney proves so divisive for the Republicans that we might well see something extraordinary in 2012 — a brokered convention at the RNC. I’m not predicting it, since it seems unlikely, but it’s at least possible, and that hasn’t been true for 50 years. If the anti-Romney sentiment splits the Republican delegates strongly enough, we could see multiple ballots and a compromise candidate no one expects on the final ballot at the RNC — a la Gore Vidal’s play “The Best Man.”

  60. 60
    Cat Lady says:

    @mclaren:

    Here’s a comment from Larison at his blog from 2007 about the resistance to Romney from the Christian right:

    The activist approach to ‘08 is something like, “Just win, baby.” Thus you see people willing to tie themselves into knots to find some way to explain Giuliani as a plausible candidate and pretend that people will rally around Romney because he has “good values.” The Christian conservative voters, on the other hand, work on the assumption that they back the movement and party because it advances their worldview–it is not supposed to be an alliance into which they entered to make such fundamental compromises, but it is supposed to be a vehicle for bringing their convictions into the political arena. To ask them to look past things in these candidates that are at odds with the basic reasons why they are involved in politics in the first place just seems bound to fail.

    He’s got a series of posts about how and why Romney is unelectable, and although they’re from the last election, nothing has changed in the landscape as far as Romney is concerned.

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    It means Obama is running against considerable headwinds.

    I know. I just look at it as more layered than that. I can run it a lot of different ways, and I see the appeal of looking at The Nation, but that just isn’t how I think. I look at sets of states, and regions. I still think Romney has a chance at sort of an interesting western-focus map, but Obama has one of those too, and Obama’s is stronger.
    I think Republicans (Romney) were planning on flipping upper midwest states. I don’t know that they can do that, partly because of their horrible 2010 governors.

  62. 62
    Anne Laurie says:

    @kay:

    Who else? I would have LOVED Gingrich, but I’m not getting him. There’s something wrong with the governor of Texas, he appears to be ill or he hit his head or something, so Rick Santorum?

    If Perry doesn’t go after Willard tonight, I’m taking that as confirmation that his handlers, at least, believe he’s got a good shot at the VP slot under Romney.

  63. 63
    dmsilev says:

    @JGabriel: ABC has a stream. Or at least a placeholder for a stream; there’s nothing running yet.

    Edit: It is live. Talking heads galore. Joy.

  64. 64
    dmsilev says:

    @kay: That’s been true since the modern primary system arose, when there was always a definite nominee by the time the convention rolls around. But, speaking hypothetically, if there are three people each of which has 30% of the delegates at the end of primary season, the party will have to choose a nominee *somehow*, and the only real mechanism is the convention.

  65. 65
    mclaren says:

    @kay:

    Again, you make an excellent point. As Nate Silver has shown, it makes a lot more sense to think of U.S. elections as a set of cumulative regional contests rather than as a single monolithic national referendum. State-by-state, a convincing case can be made for Romney as the nominee.

    It’s certainly going to an interesting presidential election in 2012!

  66. 66
    kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    He has tons of out of state money, but he’s getting hammered in Ohio newspapers because he just won as treasurer in 2010 and he’s never in the state.
    His big claim to fame is he’s a hawk and he did two tours in Iraq. But that’s not an effective attack against Sherrod Brown, because Brown opposed Iraq, and (now) he’s on the right side of that, in terms of public opinion.
    Brown never pretended to be a hawk, or a foreign policy person at all. He’s what he’s always been, a midwest liberal populist who focuses on the economy and trade.
    Brown is perfect right now, but not because he changed. Events changed. He was always where he is.

  67. 67

    The realities of a Mittens GE campaign could be really interesting. He’s going to have all this Primary nonsense to try to walk away from without having the Primay GOPers walk away from him. I expect some real fun…

    Yes, I am pretty sure the GOP is stuck with Mittens.

  68. 68
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    As Nate Silver has shown

    Oh, God, mclaren, mine is MUCH fuzzier than that. A lot of “going with my gut”, and “talking to people”.
    Don’t bet the mortgage, is all I’m saying. I’m wrong about 50% of the time.

  69. 69
    JGabriel says:

    @dmsilev: Danke!

  70. 70
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    if there are three people each of which has 30% of the delegates at the end of primary season, the party will have to choose a nominee somehow, and the only real mechanism is the convention.

    I know, but there’s all this state party maneuvering that goes on prior. A lot of herding the cats. They can switch, and pledge another candidate, or some sacrificial lamb can drop out. If they’re delegates, they’re by definition sort of “team members” and it’s very rah rah and goooo team!
    It’s just hard for me to imagine. It’s so tightly scripted. I don’t know that they’d have time for any real procedural action.

  71. 71
    smintheus says:

    @JGabriel: If he’s Jesus’ candidate, then that should mean he condemns usury. I don’t remember Santorum ever saying a word against money lenders however. For that matter, I don’t recall Jesus talking about the gay.

    Really, I just wish somebody would ask Santorum, savior of the family, whether he’s for or against outlawing divorce. That would fix him.

  72. 72
    Steeplejack says:

    @JGabriel:

    Live stream here.

    I couldn’t get the ABC one to work for me.

  73. 73
    efgoldman says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    If Perry doesn’t go after Willard tonight, I’m taking that as confirmation that his handlers, at least, believe he’s got a good shot at the VP slot under Romney.

    Oh, FSM, Anne, it should only be so!
    Perry is Sarah Starburst, only with trousers, more baggage, and stupider.

  74. 74
    Michael Bersin says:

    @kay:

    ….I went to a convention as a delegate, and I don’t think anything gets decided or “happens” at national Party conventions anymore….

    Uh, yep. Been there, done that, scored all the cool swag (a “Convention Barbie” for the spouse who never had a Barbie as a child). These days being a delegate is a reward for previous party service and an opportunity to see the famous, the infamous, the wannabe famous, and useless media personalities up close. And then there’s the food, the receptions, the parties. Did I mention the cool swag?

    The real work of any campaign, the only kind that can make any damn bit of difference against big money, is done on the ground locally. Anything else is just freakin’ useless noise which, in the absence of that local ground game, will win an election for any moron with the backing of a multimillionaire infested kitchen cabinet.

  75. 75
    Michael Bersin says:

    @dmsilev:

    ….But, speaking hypothetically, if there are three people each of which has 30% of the delegates at the end of primary season, the party will have to choose a nominee somehow, and the only real mechanism is the convention….

    That’s why, at least for Democrats, there be “super delegates” (U.S. Representatives, Senators, the sitting Governor – if they’re Democrats), the state party chair, and PLEO (party leader/elected official) delegates. There’s enough of a safety valve of these “uncommitted” delegates to swing to one candidate or another to avoid a televised bloodbath for “the good of the party”.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @Michael Bersin:

    I thought it was completely fascinating, but it wasn’t real. I had a big stupid argument with an AP reporter, because she was so pushing the “Democrats in disarray thing” which wasn’t (actually) AT ALL true. They made that up. Out of whole cloth. Just invented it.

    That was the only remotely “real” event, and I created it. She did get very mad, though, so much so that I was shocked. I felt like I was the yahoo, so entitled to get all het up and stupid, and she was working, and should have been more of a pro.

  77. 77
    dogwood says:

    @kay:

    there are Democrats who are Mormons and I never gave it a second thought.

    There aren’t many of them, Kay.

  78. 78

    @kay:

    Los Angeles in 2000. A reporter for the Wall Street Journal was interviewing delegates in the Missouri delegation (front and center, right behind Tennessee and Connecticut, if I recall correctly), asking us “what did Al Gore have to prove to us with his upcoming speech.” I kid you not. We were all freakin’ Gore delegates for cryin’ out loud. I inserted myself into the interview and turned the conversation to dubya, stating that I had grown up in Arizona and we had a phrase to describe Bush the younger, he was “all hat and no cattle.” Surprisingly enough, that made a paragraph header in the Journal article.

    On the way to LAX via shuttle very early in the morning after the convention ended I found myself seated next to a US Toady reporter who engaged me in a conversation about campaign finance reform. He stated that Democrats needed to lead the way and give up labor support. I looked at him like he was an idiot and answered, “And unilaterally disarm?” He was visibly pissed off by my reply and we rode the rest of the way to the airport in complete silence.

  79. 79
    mclaren says:

    @dogwood:

    Here’s an article from US NEWS & WORLD REPORT with an intriguing chart that backs up what dogwood says. Looking at the chart, Mormons are just literally off the chart at the top of conservative affiliation by religion. They’re statistical outliers in terms of politics being influenced by religion.

  80. 80

    @mclaren:

    A branch of the Udall family from Arizona has strong Democratic Party roots – (and now U.S. Senators from Colorado and New Mexico – though Tom Udall is Morman, Mark Udall was reportedly raised as a Presbyterian, now is listed as “no preference”).

    Morris King Udall – “I’m a one-eyed Mormon Democrat from conservative Arizona, and you can’t have a higher handicap than that.”

  81. 81
    mclaren says:

    At the risk of people slamming me for alleged “religious bigotry,” I’d like to point out one very real issue with Mormons, which Daniel Larison hints at in his article:

    Romney’s religion is a problem not just for the Jacob Weisbergs and evangelicals out there, but it is more or less a problem to some large degree for every kind of non-Mormon American out there. It roughly splits the country down the middle between those who would never even consider the possibility of a Mormon President and those who are open to that possibility. It would be worth inquiring how it is that Mormons can be distrusted this much by such a wide variety of people.

    Source: “Romney’s Impossible Task,” Daniel Larison, Eunomnia website, 17 January 2007.

    It seems clear to me why Mormons are distrusted so much by such a wide variety of people.

    In Utah, chain-selling schemes have become a leading export. With a new bill amending Utah’s Pyramid Scheme Act, these schemes will have state protection in Utah, similar to the de facto protection that the government of Nigeria provides to the notorious Nigerian scams.

    On February 17, 2005, the President of the Utah State Senate signed a bill (SB 182—“Direct Sales Amendments”) that effectively nullifies Utah’s Pyramid Scheme Act, at least as it applies to the most damaging of all the classes of pyramid schemes—product-based programs that have proven to cause financial loses to over 99% of participants. This extraordinary loss rate has been documented in at least four separate independent investigations. The financial harm is mathematically predetermined by the scheme’s multilevel and recruitment based structure and operation.

    These schemes have proliferated in Utah to the point that the state holds a commanding lead over all other states in per capita sponsorship of multilevel marketing (MLM) programs, with pay plans that primarily reward recruitment of participants as customers and in which relatively few products are legitimately sold on a retail basis to end users. In fact, Utah County has the highest concentration of MLM schemes, with no county in the country holding even a close second place. The vast majority of victims of Utah-based schemes are not in Utah, but in other states and countries. Approximately 85% of revenues of Nu Skin, for example, which is one of the nation’s largest MLM’s based in Utah, are from Asia. If Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., signs the bill, victims will only have protection against the classic, no-product pyramid scheme, such as the “gifting scheme”—which has never been a Utah-based export.

    Source: “Utah Legislature Passes Pyramid Scheme
    “Safe Harbor” Amendments,”
    from the MLMWatch website.

    For those of you who don’t know, “MLM” stands for “multi-level marketing.” It’s more commonly known as a Ponzi Scheme.

    The plain fact of the matter is that Utah, where the Mormon religion is based, is disproportionately responsible for the number of Ponzi schemes being conducted in America. In fact, the state of Utah is so intensely devoted to exporting Ponzi schemes that it harbors orders of magnitude more Ponzi schemes than any other state. As in, 10 times as many as any other state.

    Now, as a matter of plain demographic fact, Utah is an overwhelmingly Mormon state. That’s just a statistical reality. The state of Utah has a lot more Mormons than any other state, and once again, by orders of magnitude, not just by a few percent.

    When we combine logic with the available evidence, therefore, we come to the conclusion that a disproportionate number of Mormons in the state of Utah are involved in running Ponzi schemes. And not just small Ponzi schemes, but gigantic ones like Nu Skin that operate worldwide and rake in billions of dollars from overseas.

    So when I look at a Mormon, as a matter of plain statistical and demographic fact, I see someone who is enormously more likely to be involved in a Ponzi scheme than a regular member of the population. That does not create a positive impression for me.

    Cue the people who rush forward to accuse me of “hating on Mormons” or being “religiously biased.” No, I have nothing against Mormons. All the Mormons I’ve met seem like reasonable people. I have nothing against their religion. It has a few weird tenets like the three heavens thing and Jesus living on the planet Kolob, but Christianity also has weird tenets like transubstantiation and a triune God and so on. In fact every religion has a few weird aspects, AFAICT, and Mormonism doesn’t seem any weirder to me than any other religion.

    No, I’m just observing the statistics about the amazing frequency of MLM schemes being based in Utah and drawing the inevitable logical conclusion. A hugely disproportionate number of Mormons seem to be involved in Ponzi schemes.

    That might well explain the general reluctance of voters across all religious affiliations and across all party identifications to vote for a Mormon for president.

  82. 82
    kay says:

    Michael, we had one angry Clinton supporter in the whole OH delegation.
    One.
    Plenty of Clinton delegates, but they were onboard w/Obama by then.
    They would line up to interview her. Literally. We’d have to push past her ‘scrum’ to leave a room.
    There were WAY more anti-war protesters than “PUMAS”
    It was just bizzare. They needed a conflict so they simply made one up.
    I was impressed with the NYTimes reporter though. He interviewed, asked real questions, listened to the answers, appeared to be interested in reality….

  83. 83
    dogwood says:

    @mclaren:

    What makes Mormonism unique is the fact that while it is a very small sect in the nation as a whole, Mormons for the most part are concentrated in areas where they are the majority. In those areas they wield tremendous power both culturally and politically. It is easy to live on the East coast or various other parts of the country and say, “What’s the big deal about Mormons, my neighbors are Mormons and they’re great.” It is much different if you live in Utah, Southeastern Idaho, parts of Nevada and Arizona. If you live in those states or areas you know exactly why there is resentment. Mormons do not associate with non-Mormons on anything other than a superficial level when they are in the majority. They hire Mormons; they frequent Mormon businesses exclusively if at all possible; they discourage their children from close friendships with non-Mormons. And yes, they are very active in promoting Amway type Ponzi schemes. Don’t ya’ll remember the final season of Big Love when Marjean got involved with the goofy energy drink scam that was going to make her rich and bring her close to Jesus. That’s not just fiction.

  84. 84
    xian says:

    @mclaren:

    No president has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8%.

    Really? FDR?

    Also, JFK was elected 52 years ago.

  85. 85
    FromTheBackOfTheRoom says:

    @mclaren:
    The plain fact of the matter is that (Florida), where the (cocaine traffickers)are based, is disproportionately responsible for the (amount of illegal drugs) in America. In fact, the state of (Florida) is so intensely devoted to exporting (cocaine) that it harbors orders of magnitude more (drug traffickers) than any other state. As in, 10 times as many as any other state.

    Now, as a matter of plain demographic fact, (Florida) is an overwhelmingly (elderly) state. That’s just a statistical reality. The state of (Florida) has a lot more (Retirees) than any other state, and once again, by orders of magnitude, not just by a few percent.

    When we combine logic with the available evidence, therefore, we come to the conclusion that a disproportionate number of (Retirees) in the state of (Florida) are involved in (trafficking cocaine). And not just small (dealers), but gigantic ones like (the Sinaloa cartel) that operate worldwide and rake in billions of dollars from overseas.

    So when I look at a (Retiree), as a matter of plain statistical and demographic fact, I see someone who is enormously more likely to be involved in a (cocaine trafficking) than a regular member of the population. That does not create a positive impression for me.

  86. 86
    xian says:

    @kay: Right, it’s a statistically meaningless shorthand for a factor that’s real but not nearly as decisive or corroborative as the cherry-picked statistic implies. Why 8%? To make sure Reagan’s reelection fits. The data set is too small to make meaningful predictions based on these patterns, precisely taken as standalone factoids.

  87. 87
    JGabriel says:

    @Steeplejack: Belated thank you, Steeplejack. That is, in fact, the feed I ended up using.

  88. 88
    mclaren says:

    @FromTheBackOfTheRoom:

    Sorry, your facts are wrong. Most of the cocaine (and other drugs) now come into America across the border from Mexico. You’re still living in the “Miami Vice” 80s.

  89. 89
    OzoneR says:

    @mclaren:

    No president has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8%

    FDR disagrees.

  90. 90
    kay says:

    @Dee Loralei:

    They agreed to my suggestion of having a county-wide party on the night of Super Tuesday, March 6, for all the local OFA groups, college Dems, and the county Dems and any local officeholders and candidates to declare that President Obama won our non-primary.

    That’s a good idea. We don’t have the people to divide off like that in this county, so it’ll be “coordinated campaigns” which means, really, “the same 60 people” attend every national candidate event. An exception for us this time will be the statehouse candidate, because I think his “core group” is going to be different. He’s bringing in his own union people, who are different (new) people that the union “regulars” here. I just invite the OFA organizer to everything.

Comments are closed.