News from the Votemaster
Tea party supporter Wendy Long won the New York state Republican senatorial primary yesterday and will face incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in November. Upon winning she said "Kirsten Gillibrand said she wants more women in politics. Tonight we are here to grant her wish." Long and Gillbrand have some points in common. Both are graduates of Dartmouth College, both worked for large New York City law firms, and both have young children. But politically they could not be further apart. Gillibrand was a moderate conservative when she represented a rural district around Albany in the House but has since moved sharply to the left. She has a 70% rating from the Americans for Democratic Action, 90% from ACLU, and 8% from the American Conservative Union.
Gillibrand is the protege of the powerful Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and like Schumer, a prodigious fund raiser. She was appointed to the Senate when Hillary Clinton resigned to become Secretary of State in 2009, but won a special election in 2010 by 28%. Long, in contrast, has never held elective office before and the chances of a tea party candidate winning in very blue New York are about the same as a socialist winning in Oklahoma.
Also noteworthy in New York is that embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) won his primary.
Politico has a piece on Chief Justice John Roberts' possible role in the ACA decision to be handed down tomorrow. While nobody outside the Court knows how he voted, the essence of the argument is that this case is likely to define his legacy and he will probably write the opinion himself. The big question is whether he wants a 5-4 decision striking down the entire law, which many people will see as entirely political. He certainly has other options, including supporting the law or striking only the mandate, which will force Congress to either revisit the law or watch the entire health insurance system collapse as no insurance company is going to stomach a provision requiring them to take anyone who shows up absent the 30 million new customers the law provides.
It is not even clear what the conservative position here is. While many conservative pundits have railed against it, big business (i.e., the insurance companies) like the law since it gives them 30 million new customers. They really don't care whether the customers are paying the premiums themselves or the government is doing it, as long as somebody pays them on time. So a decision to strike down the mandate or the entire law goes against what big business wants--not something conservatives usually do. But remember, nobody besides the justices and their clerks (well, maybe a couple of secretaries and the printer) know what they are going to decide. All the folks reading the tea leaves are just guessing. Anything is possible, even a 5-4 decision striking down the entire law.
Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia has a nice summary of the people Romney is likely to consider for Veep. The piece also has a chart listing each potential Veep's strength's and weaknesses. The favorites, in descending order, are Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Sabato's thesis is that Romney wants a boring candidate who won't overshadow him and won't make any mistakes. Our take is that Portman, Pawlenty, and Thune make the cut, but the others (and Sabato's second tier) are not sufficiently well vetted on the national stage and would be too much of a gamble.
The tipping point page (reachable from the fifth menu item to the left of the map), has been changed. What the column labeled "Obama EVs" shows, is how deep into red territory Obama has to go to get 270 electoral votes. The column labeled "Romney EVs" should be read from the bottom upwards and shows how far into blue territory Romney has to go to get 270. At first it appeared that the tipping-point state was the same for both of them, but it turns out there are situations where that is not true. Consequently, the page has been changed to show little hand icons separately for each of them. Often they will be on the same state, but not always.
Some people have asked for a page containing the current score for each state in .csv format to be able to use it as input for programs and shell scripts. It was always available, but with a different name each day. For example, the file www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/Data/PHP-Jun27.csv contains where we stand today., with the PHP-Jun26.csv file in the same directory containing yesterday's data, and so on. To make it easier for automated scripts to fetch the data without having to compute the five-character date string, the current presidential polls henceforth will always be available on www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/pres_data.csv.
The Senate poll daily snapshots have names like www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Senate/Data/PHP-Jun27.csv but today's data is also available at www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/senate_data.csv for the benefit of people who want a stable URL from which to fetch the data.
There were several polls from We Ask America today whose results seemed so out of line with other polls that it warranted more examination. For the presidency in Virginia, it had Romney +5%, when the most recent five polls had Obama up +3%, +5%, +4%, and +7%, with even Rasmussen showing it to be a tie. For the Virginia Senate race, We Ask America had George Allen up over Tim Kaine by +9%. The most recent five polls there have Kaine up by +2%, +1%, +6%, 0%, and +1%, respectively. Now things can change although nothing special has happened in Virginia lately. Kaine didn't invoke any zoo animals or anything like that. Now consider this story, admittedly from a left-of-center source, but there is no reason to doubt the specific facts it gives. It appears that We Ask America has deep ties to the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and the Republican Party.
It would be wonderful if all pollsters were completely honest and neutral, but we know from past experience this is not always the case. In 2009, Nate Silver found strong evidence that Strategic Vision was making up the numbers because they were not statistically random. He also raised serious issues about Research 2000, which was then working for Daily Kos, which dropped and sued it. None of this is to say that We Ask America is making up numbers, but the combination of numbers that are so far out of line with other pollsters combined with deep ties to the Republican Party, is very suspicious. For this reason, I am now regarding We Ask America as a partisan pollster. All We Ask America polls have been removed from the database.
There is nothing wrong with a pollster being partisan. Many pollsters are proud to say things like: "We have helped elect 52 Republicans to public office." That is good advertising. The problem with We Ask American is that it appears to be stealth partisan and the numbers look awfully fishy.
|North Carolina||44%||47%||Jun 25||Jun 25||Rasmussen|
|Ohio||47%||44%||Jun 21||Jun 24||PPP|
|Oregon||50%||42%||Jun 21||Jun 24||PPP|
|Virginia||49%||42%||May 16||Jun 15||Old Dominion Univ.|
|State||Democrat||D %||Republican||R %||I||I %||Start||End||Pollster|
|Massachusetts||Elizabeth Warren||46%||Scott Brown||46%||Jun 22||Jun 24||PPP|
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Previous HeadlinesJun26 Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of the Arizona Immigration Law
Jun26 Supreme Court Says States May Not Ban Corporate Money from Campaigns
Jun26 Primaries Today in Five States
Jun25 Key Supreme Court Rulings Expected this Week
Jun25 On Social Issues, Voters Trust Obama More than Romney
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Jun25 A New Partisan Divide: Old vs. Young
Jun23 Bain Capital's Firms Outsourced Jobs Overseas
Jun23 Wealthy Democrats Not Donating to SuperPACs
Jun23 Obama's Latino Strategy is Working
Jun23 Only 34% of Americans Believe Obama is a Christian
Jun22 Romney Reverses Course on Immigration in Speech to Latino Officials
Jun22 Romney Sees Path to Victory Running Through the Midwest
Jun21 LeMieux Formally Ends Florida Senate Run
Jun20 Supreme Court to Rule on Whether States Can Stop Corporate Campaign Donations
Jun20 Democrats to Push DISCLOSE Act
Jun20 Interesting Analysis of the Political Effects of the ACA Ruling
Jun20 Schumer Plays Nice with Wall Street
Jun19 Obama's Decision on Immigration Popular with Likely Voters
Jun19 Immigration Issue Could Affect Other Races
Jun19 Rubio Not Being Vetted for Veep
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Jun18 Child Propaganda Takes Off
Jun18 Interactive Chart Shows Unemployment Numbers
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Jun15 Campaigns Waiting Anxiously for Supreme Court
Jun14 Improvement to the Tipping-Point state Table
Jun14 Casino Owner Bets on Former Opponent
Jun14 Autopsy on the Arizona Special Election
Jun14 Majority Blame Bush for the Bad Economy
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