Post from February, 2010

Speaking of Wave Elections…

Saturday, 27. February 2010 16:00

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Health Care Summit – The Live Event!

Friday, 26. February 2010 12:37

This is a funny paradoy of the Health Care Summit & C-SPAN. CAUTION: some bleeped-out curse words are used in this video so it may not be appropriate for younger viewers.

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Health Care Summit Video Roundup

Friday, 26. February 2010 1:48

I’ve tried to round up some representative video clips from the Health Care Summit. Here are a few:

Obama opens the Summit:

A CNN compliation of clips:

Paul Ryan’s take on the scoring of the Senate bill:

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Book Printing. Old School.

Friday, 26. February 2010 1:38

Yes, this IS before my time.

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The Health Care Summit

Thursday, 25. February 2010 22:45

errrr…or something. 😉

Filming Of Congressional Reality Show Disrupts Committee Meeting

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How many seats will the Republicans win?

Tuesday, 23. February 2010 23:52

We know 2010 is going to be a good Republican year. The polls all suggest they’re going to pick up seats in both the House and the Senate. But how many seats can we expect?

The Margin of Error Blog does a fairly sophisicated projection of the 2010 midterms based on past seat pick-ups relative to the generic party ballot (i.e. whether you would support a Republican or a Democrat, generally speaking, in the upcoming election). Here is a brief explanation of how the regression-based estimate works:

What you basically have is that the generic ballot this far from an election almost always overestimates the percentage of the vote the party who holds the White House… In your case, the 49.7% the Dems would get of the House popular vote would actually be more like 46 (and an 8 point edge for the Pubs) on election day considering historical trends…

Here is a figure illustrating the point he is making (namely that the generic ballot overestimates the vote in a midterm election for the party in control of the White House). The shaded areas are years the Republicans control the White House. Note that the dotted line (representing the % of Democratic seats) is below the average district vote during those years…while it is well above it during Democratic years. In short: Democrats do better than the generic when there is a Republican president and they do worse when there is a Democratic president.

Generic Ballot Trend Line

As for the analysis itself, again, briefly: regression analysis merely means fitting a straight line to a set of data points (the line that ‘best’ fits those points…or the line where the distance between it and the points is the smallest). So here we see the line fitted for all elections since 1946 and, since lines extend out to infinity, that provides a point prediction for the 2010 elections. IOW, we have a number for what we expect the vote share of the Demcrats to be in 2010 (i.e. the point on the line). The two larger dots in the graph that MOE blog singles out are the best & worst ‘points’ on the fitted line that predict what the Democrats will win in 2010. Note how low those points are on the graph relative to the Y axis, which represents the % of seats for the Democrats. Being in the lower left-hand quadrant of the graph means your party is performing badly on the generic and your predicted vote total for a given election is low. And the Democratic points in 2010 are two of the worst points for Dems in the graph.

Election Data Analysis

He estimates Republicans could pick up as many as 60 seats in the House. This total not only gives them the House (and the speakership), but it would blow 1994, the Republican Revolution, out of the water (54 seat pickup). I have one reaction to this: wow.

With current polling in conjunction with Bafumi et al.’s paper predicting a Republican national vote between 53.6% and 54.7%, the Republicans could easily gain 50-60 seats from their current 178. Gains of greater than 60 seats also look quite possible. Even in the best case scenario for the Democrats, it would seem that holding the House would be very, very difficult.

It looks like a red blizzard is going to sweep through Washington in November.


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Delegate or Trustee

Tuesday, 23. February 2010 9:17

Megan McCardle gets to the crux of the representational issue when it comes to the possibility of the Democrats using reconciliation to pass Health Care. Money quote:

Of course, sometimes politicians have to do the right thing rather than the popular thing. But this cannot be a blanket authority to ignore the desires of one’s constituents.

Democrats have had plenty of time to make their case. They have failed to do so. The longer they have talked, the more firmly the voters have rejected their ideas. If Congress goes ahead anyway, they will pay a terrible political price.

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Jobs Bill gets Cloture in Senate

Tuesday, 23. February 2010 8:56

Harry Reid’s paired down 15 billion dollar jobs bill passed in the Senate. Four Republicans, including the newly minted Republican Senator Scott Brown, MA voted for it.

“I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside, and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families,” Brown said in a statement issued by his office. “This Senate jobs bill is not perfect. I wish the tax cuts were deeper and broader, but I will vote for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work.

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What if George Lucas made Lord of the Rings?

Monday, 22. February 2010 0:49


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Cook on Obama

Sunday, 21. February 2010 0:28

Charlie Cook, a non-partisan election expert, talks about the mistakes Obama has made to this point: namely health care.

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