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November 04, 2008

Sean Malstrom's Analysis of the Race [someone]

I wish somebody had tipped me to this guy's site before, because it's good stuff. I took a quick look at his latest post (thanks to PowerPro here) and thought it must be more warmed-over everythingisawesomeism, but closer reading revealed a really smart, well-thought-out piece that makes sense even if we lose a close one today. (GOTV!) He very much gets, at the very least, what's happening on our side, and if his overall optimistic analysis pans out then he's the new Jay Cost (or something).

You really should take the time to read the whole long thing, but extended excerpts (previously quoted by me in the Palpy thread) are under the cut.


On state polls and the actual itineraries:

From my perspective, it has been sheer comedy watching pundits and observers attempt to ‘rationalize’ the candidates’ visits to states the public polls say are not in play. When McCain and Palin hip hop across Pennslyvania, is it because the public polls are wrong? NO! It is because McCain is doing a ‘hail mary’ strategy to launch all efforts on Pennslyvania in order to win it as a last ditch effort to save his campaign. What about Obama visiting Pennslyvania, is it a suggestion the public polls are wrong? NO! It is because Obama is only going there to respond to McCain and clean up whatever mess he makes. What about when McCain went to New Hampshire? Could it be the polls were not the reality on the ground? NO! It is because McCain is senile. So how does this explain Palin going to Iowa which is considered a ‘lock’ to Obama by polling? Could the polls be wrong and that it may be more competitive than we thought? NO! The only possible answer is that Palin had gone completly rouge and is going to Iowa to jumpstart here 2012 presidential campaign (this ‘rationale’ was so hysterical I actually spit coffee on my monitor. The idea of the VP candidate deciding to run off to Iowa to start his/her own presidential campaign is hilarious in itself). But why is Obama going to Iowa then? Could it, possibly, be the polls in that state are more competitive than we think? NOOOO. The reason why Obama is going to Iowa is to make up for his trip to grandma, and as a pitstop before he goes trick-or-treating with his kid (I kid you not! People actually think this). When McCain goes off to Maine, they are going to run out of excuses as they have already used the ‘insane candidate’ one.
On Politico, and the rest of the Obama media:
For examples of ‘neutral’ media entities that channel the narrative (which is ‘inevitable’ Obama victory and ‘inevitable’ McCain Campaign collapse), the Politico is one such entity. It was created right when Obama began his presidential campaign, went anti-Hillary during the primaries and never says anything good about McCain (Politico has responsed to this charge by saying ‘don’t blame us, the McCain Campaign sucks’. Then how did McCain get Obama to campaign in blue states in these final days?). Much of the legacy media (already fast falling in subscribers and viewers) easily participated. The ones that didn’t, such as Fox, was strategically blunted (e.g. give O’Reilly access to Obama and promise more to keep O’Reilly’s criticisms ’soft’ on Obama).
On Nate Silver's ridiculous probability calculations:
FiveThirtyEight put up a hilarious piece on Pennslyvania. Nate says:

Suppose that Barack Obama were to concede Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Literally, concede them. Throw ‘em back, like a Chase Utley home run at a Cubs game. How often would he still win the election?

…89.0% of the time, according to our most recent run of simulations, along with another 2.4% of outcomes that ended in ties. This is because in the vast majority of our simulations, Obama either:

a) was winning at least 291 electoral votes, meaning that he could drop Pennsylvania’s 21 and still be over 270, and/or

b) was winning at least 270 electoral votes, while already being projected to lose Pennsylvania in the first place.

(a) was much, much more common than (b), obviously.

Why anyone believes FiveThirtyEight is anything but a tentacle from the Obama Campaign is beyond me as it is obvious he is spoonfeeding ‘correct thought’ to Obama fans. Anyway, what Nate is saying here is hilarious.

The Electoral College is not a game of geographical Risk. States move in groups almost as if there is an elevation to them (with the national vote being the water level). For example, Obama winning Utah means a blowout in Nevada as Nevada is far more to the left than Utah is. In the same way, in order for New Jersey to go red, Pennslyvania has to be won by large margins as Pennslyvania is less blue than New Jersey.

On Sarah Palin and the Beltway set (and I think this is the best analysis of the whole of the Sarah phenomenon anywhere):
Palin is representative of something within the American mythos that many outside America may not get. There is a mythos of America of the frontiersmen and women, living in log cabins, going through harsh winters, hunting, surviving through the elements. When Palin was introduced, the photos and her history left many jaws dropped. She grew up in a log cabin, hunted, survived the harsh Alaskan winters, had a large family, and generally appear as if she walked out of a history book on America’s frontier. Palin’s life history matches many American’s grandmothers and great grandmothers. (Camille Paglia, ardent feminist and Obama supporter, admitted as much). Much of the appeal Palin holds is that she is representative of the mythos of the American frontierswoman. I think this is why she keeps being compared to Reagan because Reagan draped his speeches and actions in the American mythos. But she has more in common with the mannerisms and personality of Truman than Reagan.

[...]

McCain’s choice of Palin and push against ‘Socialism’, since the nominee is head of the political party, has swung the party back into the control of the conservatives rather than Republicans. Most of these ‘Republicans’ tend to reside in the Washington loop, and have been there since Reagan, while others are ‘moderates’. The Obama Campaign with its psych-ops of ‘landslide’ polls, have made conservatives giddy in that it is flushing out the Washington Republicans and moderates from the party. For example, Colin Powell, who is pro-choice and for affirmative action, who appeared to be Republican mostly as Reagan made him a four star general, Bush the Elder put him in charge of the Joint Chief, and Bush the Younger put him as Secretary as State, is now forever blacklisted after endorsing Obama. George Will, longtime columnist who has been in Washington for a long time, wrote against the Iraq War (which already put him on thin ice), but now he will be flushed out. Peggy Noonan, long time Washington person since the Reagan years, is now flushed out. Parker, ditto. From the conservative side, they are celebrating as they consider these Republicans to been in Washington too long and are no longer connected to the people. The point is that Palin has become a Conservative Touchstone that, like a wave, has flowed through the party and is revealing who is and who is not a conservative. And these non-conservatives will not be well recieved anymore.

Finally, on turnout and GOTV:
It won’t matter if a minority group (like african americans) turn out in record numbers because everyone else is turning out in record numbers as well. The youth vote is not turning out as it never does. As James Carville says, “You know what we call candidates who rely on the youth vote? We call them ‘losers’.” Contrary to the intentional false information put out, the GOP get-out-the-vote is extremely strong for Karl Rove invested a significant amount of money and created the machine in the first place. The Democrats are catching up, but some of the Obama ‘get out the vote’ efforts remind me of pouring a bottle of water on an ant pile. The ants run around like crazy, trying to do everything to stop it, but end up accomplishing nothing. For evidence of how overblown the Obama ‘GOTV’ effort is, look at the primaries where Obama had trouble closing the deal against Clinton.
I think he's right on the unsophistication and waste of Obamacratic GOTV. (Does that mean they'll lose? Not necessarily. But it's an advantage for us.)

Lots more to chew on at the link, including his overall thesis of what's going on.

digg this
posted by xgenghisx at 04:10 AM

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