Showing posts with label Polling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Polling. Show all posts

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Bet is on Roger's Version

And by "Roger's Version" I'm not referring to one of my favorite Updike novels but my high school grade advisor and teacher, with whom I am in contact for reasons explained here.

Roger Brickner was passionate about politics when I participated in the mock political convention he staged the year I graduated in 1960, on the eve of Kennedy's election. Remarkably, now 51 years later, he is still passionate and his political analysis has been prescient, better I think than the political analysts we are exposed to on the battle between Fox and MSNBC. Survey research is a highly statistical discipline but the results can be problematic due to methodological flaws, question bias, and socially desirable responses, people trying to put themselves in a favorable light when answering questions (vs. what they do in the voting booth). I prefer the old fashion educated opinion, and they don't get much better on the topic of politics -- or as enthusiastic -- than Roger's broadcast emails during an election year. I have his permission to bring them to light in my blog from time to time and here is his latest one on the upcoming Republican primaries in January....

Dear Friends:

What a difference those two weeks were in terms of the Republican race for a nominee. It is getting down to a battle between Gingrich and Romney, but with Paul holding in there tenaciously in third place. All the others on a national basis will be in single digits when it comes time to vote in just one month's time. These others could exceed once in a while their single digit status. Bachmann in Iowa and Huntsman in NH for instance.

In this discussion I will confine myself to the primaries and caucus scheduled for January.

IOWA CAUCUS Jan 3 These votes will be divided proportionally... I believe a 15% threshold is required to get ANY delegates. the Iowa caucus is a whole afternoon and evening event (ordeal?... read only the dedicated hang in there). I am not ready to give exact percentages yet, but I see the following order GINGRICH, closely followed by ROMNEY, then PAUL, but PAUL will probably fall short of 15%. Therefore I would expect GINGRICH to win a majority of the 28 delegates. This will be a good boost for his challenge to Romney.

NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY Jan 10 these votes will be divided proportionally with a 15% threshold to get ANY delegates. I now see the order as ROMNEY by a wide margin. GINGRICH second and PAUL third. Coming in a respectable fourth is HUNTSMAN, but I would doubt he would reach the 15% threshold . With just 12 delegates (such a fuss NH makes over so few delegates) I would expect the results to show ROMNEY 8 delegates, GINGRICH 2 delegates and PAUL 2 delegates.


ROMNEY 19, GINGRICH 19, PAUL 2. Close race !!

SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY Jan 21 These delegates will be winner take all. I see GINGRICH winning by at least 10 points, thus gathering all 25 delegates.



FLORIDA PRIMARY Jan 31 These delegates are winner take all,. I see GINGRICH beating ROMNEY by wide margin. It will be a very bad night for ROMNEY. All 50 delegates will go to the Georgian neighbor GINGRICH.



It will be imperative for ROMNEY to bounce back in the four caucus states of NEVADA, MAINE, COLORADO and MINNESOTA between Feb. 4-7. There are no SOUTHERN states here and ROMNEY must do well to get the balance of delegates more even. I will be looking into these states in the next two weeks and will be able to comment better at that time on whether ROMNEY can keep in the race. One note, the really big northern states of NEW YORK (Apr 24) NEW JERSEY (June 5) PENNSYLVANIA (Apr 24) OHIO (June 12) MICHIGAN (Feb. 28) ILLINOIS (Mar 20) and CALIFORNIA (June 5) seem to be in ROMNEY's column so the decisive delegate numbers may not be known until quite late. Watch MICHIGAN on Feb 28 and ILLINOIS on Mar. 20 as a clue to how these other big northern states will swing.

There is still the chance that for the first time since 1948 the nomination for the Rep. nominee might go beyond the first ballot. A long shot, but an exciting possibility.

THIRD PARTIES? I could see BACHMANN get into it if ROMNEY became the nominee. I'm sure she would get less than 5% of the vote, but it would hurt ROMNEY. PAUL keeps saying he will not run a third party, but he has done it before and may do it again. He would be worth 5-10% of the vote. Because of his war stance he could hurt OBAMA the most. All this is just speculation, but not outside of the possible this election cycle.

I continue to believe that OBAMA will beat GINGRICH by a margin greater than he won in 2008. A ROMNEY candidacy would be a very close race, perhaps a narrow victory for him and if not OBAMA would do less well than he did in 2008 against MC CAIN But we have 11 months before we will know better.


Here is Roger's updated forecast dated Dec. 26...

Dear friends:

I trust you have all had a very Merry Christmas this Holiday season. I enjoyed an excellent meal with a schoolboy friend of 65 years in NYC.

The shifting sands of elective politics continue to rearrange the landscape. I will look at the first three contests.

IOWA The latest "flavor of the month" is beginning to slip. Between Newt Gingrich's mouth and his poor organizational support ( failed to get on VA ballot) is catching up with him in the eyes of the voters. This shows in my latest estimate for the Iowa caucus on Jan 3. My expectations:

1 ROMNEY (20-25%) 8 delegates
2 PAUL (20-25%) 8 delegates
3 GINGRICH (15-20%) 6 delegates
4 PERRY (15-20%) 6 delegates
5 BACHMAN ( 5-10%)
6 SANTORUM ( 5-10%)
7 HUNTSMAN (5-10%)

Three weeks ago, before the decline in Gingrich became apparent, I had him leading, but he has fallen back to third place now. Paul, certainly not the flavor for ANY month will give Romney a good race for first place. I have to say that Santorum is likely to quit when, after traveling to every Iowa county, he will only draw single digits. Same for Bachman, but she may, inexplicably, hold on for a while, though I do not see her getting into double digits anywhere.

Next comes my state of NEW HAMPSHIRE on Jan 10. My prediction made on Dec 3 still seems to hold except I expect Gingrich to fall back to third place, while, once again Paul moves up at his expense.

1 ROMNEY (35-40%) 6 delegates
2 PAUL (15-20%) 3 delegates
3 GINGRICH (15-20%) 3 delegates
4 HUNTSMAN (10-15%)
The rest that are still in the race should get in the low single digits.


SOUTH CAROLINA votes on Jan. 21. If GINGRICH can't do well here he never will.

1 GINGRICH (30-35%) 11 delegates
2 ROMNEY (25-30%) 9 delegates
3 PAUL (15-20% 5 delegates
4 BACHMAN ( 5-10%) if she is still in the race
5 PERRY ( 5-10%)

This is the least certain of my predictions as events will have a lot to do with the results of this event still 4 weeks away. Unless Gingrich wins by more than just a few points here I would expect him to do less and less, including FLORIDA which will come up ten days later. Perry, also should be looking weak in a southern state like SC. Does this leave the non-ROMNEY candidate to be the eccentric RON PAUL?? How fascinating that would be.

Finally, the president and the Democrats in the dysfunctional Congress came up winners over the NO NO NO crowd who focus on OBAMA rather than on issues they espouse. When will they learn? Are they trying hard to lose the HOUSE OF REPS?? More on these after the Reps. decide on who will be their standard bearer.

Have a Happy New Year!! Roger

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Happened and What Will the Future Bring?

The question relates to the midterm elections and the answer comes via the oblique route of my 50th high school reunion. In the summer I was invited to the reunion but unfortunately I would not be able to attend.

My "old" classmate, Eileen, who did a yeoman's job organizing the reunion was disappointed (as was I), but told me that our grade advisor from those by-gone years, Mr. Brickner would be there. I was delighted to hear his name again and to learn he was well. She said she would be meeting with him to finalize plans and she was still having difficulty addressing him as "Roger" rather than Mr. Brickner. I know what she meant. Our class had tremendous respect for Roger Brickner. And, for me, he was not only my advisor, but an important mentor (probably unknown to him). My first three years in high school were mostly wasted opportunities, but when I had Mr. Brickner for Honor Economics, all that changed. I wrote to Eileen that “he is one of the few teachers I so clearly remember as being encouraging of my dormant academic abilities and I would love to be able to be in touch with him to thank him.”

Ellen passed on the information and one day I received a phone call. It was Mr. Brickner, animated and enthusiastic, exactly as I remembered him from fifty years ago. I had the opportunity to personally thank him for being such a supportive teacher and asked him whether he still wore his trademark bow tie (no). We exchanged email addresses.

Suddenly I began to receive broadcast emails from him about the, then, upcoming midterm elections, detailed analyses covering the house, senate, and gubernatorial races, state by state, projecting winners and the reasons why. I was stunned by the scope of his knowledge and asked whether he worked professionally in this area after teaching. He wrote back, "My interest in politics is an enthusiastic avocation. I began to predict presidential elections as a teenager and since I thought Dewey would win in 1948 I have been lucky to pick every winner since that time. The key is understanding where the American people are each fall of a presidential year." Now I understood why he was the champion of mock political conventions in our high school. I participated in the one for 1960 and as I recall placed Margaret Chase Smith, the Senator from Maine, in nomination for the Presidency, which put me way ahead of the times (imagine, a woman President!).

His predictions were remarkably accurate, nailing almost all the races, and reading his forecasts was a better use of time than watching the network "calls" of the election. As the projections of all the major networks -- ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NBC -- rely on the same exit poll information gathered by National Election Pool (NEP), their calls and analysis can be dully redundant. It was a breath of fresh air to read Roger's coverage and projections, all well before the exit polls gathered by NEP were distributed to the networks. After the election he sent a daily email dissecting the house, senate, and gubernatorial results. On November 9 he did an omnibus summary, musing about the possibilities for 2012, which I publish in its entirety as a valuable guest entry:


Dear Friends:

First and foremost, the election just concluded (with still a few undecided races) WAS truly a remarkable one. It tore down past records. The Republicans now have more state legislators than they have had since 1928. They have seized control of the House to a greater extent than they have had since 1946. Hardly a record, they added six seats in the Senate, remaining behind by a 53-47 margin. In number of governors they are very close to their all time highs of the 1970's and 1980's.

What caused this surge to the Republicans? The public never accepted the assurances of the President and the Congressional leaders that the Medical Care measure was in their interests. They were appalled by the dealings in congress and the twisting of arms. Standard behavior in Congress, but not appreciated by the public. But if the Medical Care bill hurt, it was the inability of the Administration to lower significantly unemployment. There also was the feeling that nothing was being done to limit the power and the machinations of Wall Street and Big Business. Not spoken about in the campaign I believe it was an underlying factor. It not only united the left with the populist tea party right, but it activated the latter while depressing the former.

The president himself was a substantial factor. Not that he did not achieve Congressional measures he fought for, but that he seemed not to be able to communicate to the public easily. He was viewed as being "an educated elitist" who was not comfortable with ordinary people. A bit like Adlai Stevenson.

Losses in key areas were devastating. He lost 21% of the over 65 voters, who voted in a greater proportion than in 2008. On the other end the under 30's held in their support BUT far fewer got out to vote. White men, white women, less educated all shifted strongly to the Republicans. Blacks remained loyal to the Dems. Their proportion of the vote dropped however.

The tea party played a role in the 2010 election... it helped both the Republicans and the Democrats and it hurt both as well.. It is a dynamic loosely knit group of individuals motivated by a desire to change the way government has been going of late. It is quite the populist movement, hardly a sophisticated bloc of traditional activists tightly organized. It has had the effect of bringing out voters. It has encouraged participation of voters, particularly in Republican primaries, challenging both Conservative and Moderate party standards. In three cases it achieved the nomination of tea party types in areas where the general electorate not inclined to support them. They undoubtedly caused the Repubs. Senate seats in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada. Had the standard candidates run in these states the Senate would be 50-50. If Lieberman ( I-CT) or very conservative Ben Nelson ( D-NE) had switched to vote to organize for the Republicans it would be a different story. Tea party has surely hurt the Repubs. in these three states. The Dems. can see this as a ray of hope for them. However, the Republicans undoubtedly were invigorated by the support of many in the tea party. Perhaps now that they have a half dozen tea party Senators and perhaps 40-50 House members they will understand the process of politics more than their exuberant backers. Indeed, I see this Repub. bloc as I did the Blue Dog Dems in the last Congress. Many of the Blue Dogs lost as readers of these letters expected. Many of the tea party winners come from these Blue Dog CDs.

The tea party may become involved in the populist cause of punishing the greed on Wall Street and be joined by the left wing pseudo socialists in the President's party. Perhaps this unlikely coalition will be an interesting development of tea party influence. Keep watch for this.

As the lame duck Congress meets later this month, I shall return to the issues and the wisdom of how much a lame duck Congress should attempt especially after a watershed election.

What is in this election to help us understand the 2012 election? History tells us that presidents bounce back after major defeats in Congress after their first two years... TRUMAN, EISENHOWER, REAGAN, CLINTON. All were two term presidents (Truman less only 80+ days). Does this apply to Obama?? History says it may well. But, just to play the game of IF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY WOULD YOU VOTE FOR OBAMA OR FOR ROMNEY? My guess is that would be an extremely close election with perhaps 1% separating the two. Electoral vote? Obama 271, Romney 267. that would see Obama losing four major states VA, NC, FL, OH. It would be a nail biting election. BUT the election is NOT now, it is in NOV 2012.

A POSSIBILITY for 2012 is for third party(s) may become significant. It would really shake things up. A centrist party a la Bloomberg or a frustrated Tea Party on the right could mess up anyone getting a majority of the electoral votes. If that happened then the House votes by delegation for one of the top 3 candidates popular vote. If that were to happen in 2012, the Repubs. would make the decision for they are in control of 33 state delegations and only 26 votes are needed. So given that reality, it would seem a Tea party third party is the more likely. A centrist party would have to win a majority of the votes for it to win, and if it ran and did not, the Repubs. would again be able to vote themselves in. THIS IS ALL CONSTITUTIONAL OK??

Time to take a break, Roger