As mentioned yesterday, this is the rest of The Post That Got Too Big.
You know the drill on these – post your own Miscellany or comment on these or whatever. No personal attacks, religion-bashing, etc.
The Worst-Case Scenario
As we await the results of the Greek referendum, Foreign Policy has a look at what might happen if Grexit were combined with an implosion of the Chinese stock market.
If Greece defaults and eventually has to abandon the euro, the currency’s sheen of invulnerability will disappear. The impossible will have become possible, and investors will be forced to consider the fact that other countries — Portugal may be next in line — might someday exit the eurozone as well.
Uncertainty about the underlying value of the euro will increase dramatically. There will be no way to know what the euro or euro-denominated securities ought to be worth if the makeup of the eurozone itself is unpredictable. Central banks built up euros as a counterweight to dollars in their reserves for years; that trend, already in reverse, could turn into a swan dive.
And then there’s China.
Now throw in the bursting stock-market bubble in China. Companies there have used high stock prices to pay off debt through new public offerings. But investors have borrowed hundreds of billions to finance their portfolios, pushing prices still higher. If the markets crash — and even a loosening of rules on margin trading hasn’t been able to stop their recent slide — free-spending companies will have garnered an undeserved measure of solidity at the expense of millions of Chinese households. Billions in private saving will have financed a raft of pointless projects, destroying wealth and distorting incentives at the same time.
The global implications will be equally bad. Many financial institutions have undoubtedly bet against the Chinese markets, but those that held onto Chinese securities will be forced to pull back the riskier assets in their portfolios. Any contagion of Greece’s problems in other less-creditworthy countries will be magnified. Meanwhile, Chinese investors will have to sell their holdings abroad to cover their margins and losses at home. Major markets will drop, except for the beneficiaries of the usual flight to safety.
In addition, FP goes on, China will cut way back on imports, impacting numerous countries (China buys ¼ of Australia’s and South Korea’s exports).
Read the whole thing, it’s interesting. How likely?:”This week, analysts gave Greece up to a 50 percent chance of leaving the eurozone. The Shanghai Composite has already plunged by 20 percent since June 12.”
The Guardian has live updates from Greece here.
Why Is Trump Polling So Well?
National Journal explores this question, which has most sane human beings scratching their heads. Although this assessment comes from a Democratic perspective, it struck me as being pretty close to right:
“He obviously benefits from his celebrity, but I think more to the point, there is no question that there is a segment of the Republican electorate that is strongly anti-immigrant and there is an overlapping piece of the Republican electorate that is anti-politician,” says Geoff Garin, the president of the Democratic polling firm Hart Research. “Donald Trump appeals to those voters, and not in the most sophisticated way possible, but in the loudest way possible.”
NJ goes on with a hopeful note:
But with so many qualified Republican presidential contenders out there, Trump’s rise is not expected to last. Several pollsters consulted for the story say the recent bump may reflect the entrepreneur’s high name ID more than it shows genuine voter support. And at a time when the Republican field is so fractured, with more than a dozen candidates in the race, Trump’s low, double-digit poll numbers are enough to fling him toward the top. If he cannot expand his base, though, he’s expected to fizzle out fast.
Trump’s biggest impact may be the result of sucking up media oxygen – this will mostly impact the bottom feeders of the Republican field. If so, bad news, Bobby Jindal.
Ds Outnumber Rs
Gallup finds that Democrats have once again gained a small (five points) edge over Republicans (independents are included in party totals based on their lean). While Republican had led the two most recent quarterly surveys on the subject, the graph shows that a slight edge for the Democrats is more the norm.
Our Society Is Truly Moving Past Racism – Part II
Yesterday’s Miscellany noted that the US, having moved to the point where everything is racist, has obviously also achieved an ideal state in which nothing is racist. Further evidence is provided by Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow school district, which each year
wastesspends $100k on sending administrators and teachers to a ‘White Privilege‘ re-education camp.
The manual defines this “white culture” with a list of values, such as “promoting independence, self expression, personal choice, individual thinking and achievement,” because apparently those are strictly “white” concepts and not emphasized in black communities.
The training instructs participants to stop “blaming when students don’t meet standards” and instead start “examining our beliefs and practices when students don’t meet standards.” It advises faculty to avoid “controlling or teaching discipline to students” and to instead think about “changing school practices that alienate students and lead to disruptions.”
The manual also includes a bunch of ‘microaggressions’ to be avoided – probably mostly the same ones as featured yesterday. Plus this gem:
The conference materials also include a document explaining the “attitudes and behaviors” that allow participants to become “Anti-Racist White Allies” — the first line of which is: “All white people are racist. I am racist.”
Ain’t Socialism Wonderful?
In Cuba, if you wait in line for two hours and pay 10% of your monthly salary (assuming you’re at the top of the wage scale), you can get a single scoop of ice cream. Your choices are strawberry and … strawberry.
Bernie Sanders was unavailable for comment.
Walker May Be Damaging His Electability
This is, as one would expect from any article in The New York Times dealing with Republicans, quite negative. But I agree with the overall point, as summarized in the headline: “Scott Walker’s Hard Right Turn in Iowa May Hurt Him Elsewhere.” I’m concerned that Walker’s recent attempts to make himself into a culture warrior may be damaging what I see as his major selling points — an ability to appeal to all major factions of the party and electability.
The Guardian in the US: The leftist UK paper The Guardian (which I find quite informative) is expanding its reach in the US market (they’ve had a US website since 2011). The Daily Mail is taking similar steps.
Sir Nicholas Winton Dies at 106: I had never heard of him until his death. He was called the British Schindler and is credited with saving hundreds of children – mostly Jewish – from the Nazis, transporting them to Britain, and finding homes for them. Requiescat in Pace.
First things first: I hope you enjoy the day. I’m heading for a small-town (Payson, AZ) celebration, at which I will no doubt overdo the barbecue and under-do the sunblock. But I plan to spend at least a few moments reflecting on the meaning of the day, and I hope y’all will, too.
Once again, I’m overloaded with Miscellany, so I split the file and I’ll post the rest tomorrow. You know the drill on these – post your own Miscellany or comment on these or whatever. No personal attacks, religion-bashing, etc.
An appropriate video (I may have posted it before).
Our Society Is Truly Moving Past Racism
It might seem strange to read a headline like that, given the constant talk about racism, but I think the case can be made. If, after all, we have reached a point where virtually everything one could possibly say or do is racist, then voila!, nothing is racist – problem solved.
The latest evidence is from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point which has posted a guide to ‘Racial Microagressions’ on the university website. The following statements are cited as examples of racism:
“America is a melting pot.”
“There is only one race, the human race.”
“I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”
It’s also amusing that “Overabundance of liquor stores in communities of color” is an example of racism. I presume owners of liquor stores (or other types of retail) open, close, or re-locate their outlets based on how much business they get. But I guess that’s too capitalistic an idea for academics to deal with.
Bernie Does Reddit
Pretty much everybody this campaign cycle is aware of the importance of social media, most of the attention being on Facebook and Twitter. Bernie Sanders, though, apparently got his 10,000-person turnout in Wisconsin primarily as a result of Reddit.
“We’ve used Reddit pretty extensively to advertise this event,” said Mr. Pennington, who handled digital work for the Senator as part of his staff before he launched his presidential run. “We’re hoping it will be a barn burner.”
It was. The rally drew a capacity crowd of 10,000 to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wisc., according to the campaign and an Associated Press report. That made it the largest event of the 2016 election season — not counting Ted Cruz’s campaign kick-off at Liberty University, which was mandatory for students.
In case you’re not familiar with it:
Reddit is a community-focused site where article links and topic posts rise to prominence the more they’re shared or discussed. It tends to attract younger and sometimes more vocal users, making it fertile ground for grassroots organizing.
Jefferson Davis to Get the Heave-Ho in Arizona
A stretch of highway in the Phoenix exurbs is about to be renamed.
Gov. Doug Ducey says he’ll have the state transportation department review the name of a highway memorializing the Confederacy’s president, Jefferson Davis.
Ducey said Friday that he’d like to see those stretches of highway renamed after Arizonans.
Rep. Reginald Bolding earlier this week called for a highway marker on U.S. 60 in Apache Junction that bears Davis’s name removed and the highway renamed. He said honoring supporters of slavery isn’t right.
I don’t have a strong feeling about this – or to put it more bluntly: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” In part that may be because I never knew there was such a highway designation. It’s also hard to see what connection ol’ Jeff has to Arizona (still less to Apache Junction).
I threw in the Gone With the Wind quote since some folks think we should ban that, too.
White Minority Counties
Pew tells us that the number of counties in which non-Hispanic whites are a minority has risen dramatically in recent decades.
Last week’s Census Bureau release of 2014 population estimates confirms that the U.S. is becoming ever more diverse, at the local level as well as nationally. As of last summer, according to a Fact Tank analysis, 364 counties, independent cities and other county-level equivalents (11.6% of the total) did not have non-Hispanic white majorities – the most in modern history, and more than twice the level in 1980.
That year – the first decennial enumeration in which the nation’s Hispanic population was comprehensively counted – non-Hispanic whites were majorities in all but 171 out of 3,141 counties (5.4%), according to our analysis. The 1990 census was the first to break out non-Hispanic whites as a separate category; that year, they made up the majority in all but 186 counties, or 5.9% of the total. (The Census Bureau considers Hispanic to be an ethnicity rather than a race; accordingly, Hispanics can be of any race.)
I don’t know of anybody who will be surprised by this, but it’s good to see numbers instead of speculation.
Maybe Biden Won’t Need a Draft
Following up on our ‘Draft Biden’ post a few days ago, it looks like Joe’s getting ready to jump in.
Ted Cruz on the Media
I’m not a Cruz fan, but I like his outlook on the media.
After a young staffer told Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz how “nice” a member of the media is, Cruz said he actually stopped the young man with a harsh reminder about the intentions of most reporters.
“I actually stopped him and I said, ‘You know what? No, she’s not [nice]. She wants to destroy you. Nothing would make her happier than to take your life and filet you on the front pages. And don’t think for a minute that because she smiles and is friendly to you, that it’s anything else,’” Cruz said, sharing the story on The Glenn Beck Program.
“Isn’t that pretty cynical?” Beck asked with a laugh. “I mean, I agree with you 100 percent, but it’s a little cynical!”
Cruz responded that the mainstream media is full partisans who have “picked a team,” and “when the sheep are walking among coyotes, it pays to be cynical.”
Immigration Maps: Interesting series of maps and graphs, with about as much Vox spin as one would expect. Plus this little nugget: “In 2012, the US foreign aid budget was $39b, but remittances from immigrants to their families totalled (officially) $51b.”
Current Grexit Odds 50/50: Per S&P. The referendum is tomorrow.
Jeb Bush 27.5% (23%)
Marco Rubio 23% (11%)
Rand Paul 8.8% (5%)
Scott Walker 8.7% (22%)
Carly Fiorina 6.2%
Ted Cruz 5.2% (2%)
Mike Huckabee 4.5% (10%)
Bobby Jindal 2.4%
Lindsey Graham 0.3%
Rick Santorum 0.1% (3%)
Unsure 13.3% (12%)
Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research firm, conducted a random survey of 729 registered Republican voters in Florida. The poll has a margin of error of ± 3%. The poll was conducted using IVR technology, with the results weighted by anticipated voting demographics. Results may not sum to 100% because of rounding. Gravis contacted a random some [sic] of registered voter lists .
Polling was conducted 6/16-20. Results of the most-recent previous Gravis poll in Florida, per Argo Journal, are in parentheses.
Write-up and other polling results at the Gravis site.
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
Webb announced via a blog post (kinda old school, Jim) — see it here.
It looked early on like Hillary Clinton’s ‘shock and awe’ campaign might have scared off all possible opponents, but perhaps her recent troubles are changing some minds. Nonetheless, it’s hard to see a centrist like Webb gaining much traction in a party as extremist as today’s Democrats.
As a Maryland resident, this resonates and is a bit more personal for me. Christie did a lot to help Governor Hogan (R) get elected and, for those outside of Maryland who haven’t heard, he recently was diagnosed with Stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It’s good to see Christie standing with Hogan and publicly praying for him.
I ask our readers to please do the same. Thank you.
There’s no question that Jeb Bush has received a bump in the polls after his long-expected announcement that he was running for president. That boost was necessary, because for four months Bush had been sliding in the polls — down from around 16-17% in March to around 10-11% in June, according to both the Pollster.com and RCP averages. Now, he’s back up to 13% at Pollster and 15% at RCP.
But there’s another dynamic going on when it comes to the level of Governor Bush’s support that I have noticed over the past couple of weeks, and it has to do with the polls themselves. I began seeing the possibility of a correlation between Jeb Bush’s support and the percentage of undecideds in a given survey. So, using the ten most recent polls, I graphed the numbers and came up with this:
As you can see, the correlation was confirmed: as the percentage of undecideds went up, the support for Jeb Bush went down. Or, put another way, the harder a pollster pushed respondents to choose a candidate, the higher Governor Bush’s support went. It comes as no surprise, then, to see Bush’s support reach its apex in a survey that only allowed 1% undecideds, or to see his support fall into single digits when undecideds were allowed to be 20+ percent of the sample.
There is no such correlation between undecideds and any other candidate’s support. This suggests that much of Governor Bush’s support is soft and based solely on name recognition — a common assertion of polls conducted this early in a campaign, but now we have the data to back it up. Moving forward, a good way to judge Bush’s actual level of support (versus undecideds picking him because they recognize his name) will be to plot the new poll numbers on the graph above. If it differs in any significant way from the pattern shown here, then we’ll be able to discern real movement one way or the other.
The Carson campaign says they raised a total of $8.3 million in the second quarter from donations that averaged $50 per person.
That total is a highly impressive number for a second tier candidate who is not a well known political figure, and speaks to Carson’s grassroots appeal in this primary campaign. For comparison sake, $8.3 million is well over the total of every candidate not named Mitt Romney in Q2’11. Back then, Ron Paul had raised $4 million, Pawlenty brought in $3.7 million, and Gingrich ended the quarter with a $2.1 million haul. Romney landed $18.4 million.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign says she will report $45 million in donations for the second quarter, in a Democratic primary that has little to no real competition. That total sets a record for non-incumbent fundraising, but falls short of both George W Bush and Obama’s totals while they were running for re-election.
FEC fundraising reports must be filed by July 15. As more campaign numbers become known, we will break out a beloved feature and update the Race Fundraising Leaderboard so you can keep tabs on how the campaigns are faring.
|2015 Q2 Fundraising Leaderboard|
|Rank||Candidate||Raised For Primaries||Other Revenue||Cash on Hand||Debt|
Marco Rubio is making headlines today for having the first major television ad buy of the 2016 primary — with the ads not due to air until five months from now, from late November through February.
The Florida senator has reserved more than $7 million worth of television ads in [Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada], a Rubio aide said, confirming an earlier New York Times report… Nearly $5 million of that money is poised to fund ads in Iowa…
Rubio had made about $5 million of the ad buys prior to today, but today he upped the commitments by another $2.5 million, adding several more media markets in South Carolina and one new media market in New Hampshire. The Rubio campaign must have really liked what they saw on their second quarter fundraising report.
This move is brilliant on several levels. First, it allows Rubio to get television time at cheap rates, before the prices are raised later in the year. Second, it allows him to select the time slots for the ads before any of his opponents are able to, giving him the most sought-after slots. And third, as the New York Times puts it:
In addition to the purpose of saving money, Mr. Rubio’s aggressive ad buying sends a signal to Republican operatives and donors that his team has a comprehensive strategy — not to mention the resources — to look ahead into 2016.
This plays perfectly into the strategy we noted below: lay low during the spring and summer, then campaign like mad and blast the airwaves in the fall and winter. With this impressively aggressive ad buy, Rubio appears to be following the plan to the letter.
As we explored here on Race back in November, successful candidates for President generally view the primary calendar as unfolding in three phases:
There’s an old axiom in politics that voters don’t really start paying attention until Labor Day. Understanding that, then, we can roughly divide the primary calendar into three sections: pre-Memorial Day, Memorial Day to Labor Day, and post-Labor Day:
- Pre-Memorial Day: Use this time to build your campaign team. Put the framework in place, fill it with talent, grease up the machine, and get ready to push the start button. This first phase is when you plant field offices, meet with early backers and surrogates, and most importantly, hire talent. At this early stage, the most important thing to do is build a lasting framework that will carry you through the next year and a half — and which will not require your attention during the crazier, busier seasons to come.
- Memorial Day to Labor Day: Normal people don’t pay attention to politics during the summer months, so once you have a campaign framework in place take this time to do as many fundraisers as humanly possible. This is your chance to build a warchest with which to dispatch your opponents once the race begins in earnest. Lay low, don’t oversaturate, and fund that campaign.
- Post-Labor Day: Campaign, campaign, campaign. This is when people start paying attention, so this is when you start introducing yourself to them. Media blitzes, interviews, ad buys, and public campaign stops in early primary and caucus states all start now and do not end until you bow out of or win the race.
These three phases might seem pretty obvious, but they’re not for many candidates. Without a long-term plan like this is place, many candidates will attempt to do all three things (campaign structure, fundraising, and campaigning) all at the same time, ending up doing none of the well. Additionally, many candidates will waste time holding public events and campaigning during the summer months, then enter the post-Labor Day race woefully low on funds (meaning they cannot campaign as much during the most important portion of the race because they will be fundraising) or having peaked too early with no way to continue momentum (see Romney, 2008).
Of course, none of these are hard and fast phases. They bleed together — every candidate will do some fundraisers during each stage, for instance, to keep the coffers from going empty. And media outlets will have dollar signs and ratings charts in their eyes, scheduling primary debates whenever they can throughout the calendar. But as a good general rule of thumb, sketching out a campaign according to that calendar is what leads to a successful nomination attempt.
Since we are in the middle of the second phase right now, it’s a good time to check in and see how our candidates are doing in following this framework. Obviously, with the primary campaign getting started late (by modern standards), phases one and two are blending together for many candidates. But the general principle is the same: do all the behind-the-scenes work before Labor Day, don’t oversaturate during the spring and summer, and then pull back the bow and launch strong in September. Generally speaking, this allows a candidate to peak at the right time and also allows him or her to build a sustainable campaign organization that will withstand the intense fall and winter months.
It also, as we will see front and center in the next week or so, allows them to report strong fundraising numbers when the FEC reports are due (they have to be submitted by July 15, but most candidates will announce their totals before that).
So right now, in other words, candidates should be cramming as many fundraisers into their schedules as possible, meeting with bundlers and donors and financiers, and building their infrastructure behind the scenes. None of that garners headlines or wins news cycles — but that’s the point: it’s not supposed to. Not yet.
It’s also the reason the polls at this stage don’t matter. Oh, sure, everybody says that about the polls early on in campaigns (especially the candidates who are trailing in them), but this year it’s even more true than usual. By this time in 2008 there had already been three debates and millions of dollars of advertising dollars spent. By this time in 2012, we had already seen two debates and a lot of political ads. This year? Zero debates and barely any ads (zero primetime television ads that I’m aware of). There has been no chance on a national stage for these candidates to introduce themselves yet, and no large events to shift the numbers one way or the other outside of individual campaign announcements.
Not all candidates are keeping their heads down and focusing on behind-the-scenes work, though. Many are out campaigning — and some are campaigning way more than others, breaking one of the cardinal rules of the calendar. Of course, some of these candidates with low name recognition (Fiorina, Cruz, Carson, et al) have to campaign in order to get people to start paying attention to them, which is the curse of the lesser known candidate. The calendar is never in their favor. But even some of the more well known candidates are wasting time right now on the campaign trail rather than doing the long, slow work of building the foundation for a successful campaign later on.
As one data point, let’s consider the state of Iowa. Courtesy of the Des Moines Register, here are the number of events each candidate has held in the Hawkeye State since March (with the number of events broken down by month afterward into Mar/Apr/May/Jun/Jul):
As you can see, Huckabee and Santorum have basically been living in Iowa, to the exclusion of ensuring their campaigns will remain viable long term. This communicates their obvious strategy: it’s Iowa or bust for these two with no plan beyond that. Given that they pull 5% and 4% support, respectively, in the latest Iowa poll despite pressing flesh for five months now would seem to indicate that they are headed straight for the bust column. Perry and Carson are in similar spots, with Perry saturating the state in May and Carson camping out there in June. Perry still only gets 4% in Iowa polls, where it looks like Carson’s campaigning is at least paying off with a small boost in support.
I’m more interested in the bottom of the list, however — the candidates who have basically ignored the state. Pataki’s numbers are to be expected, since he’s not going to compete in Iowa anyway, and Kasich and Christie are just now getting into the race. (They both held a number of events in Iowa in June.) But what of the other candidates? Specifically, the Big Three: Bush, Rubio, and Walker. All three have essentially ignored the state, especially in May and June. And all three are showing themselves to be more disciplined candidates than the rest of the field, taking time to do the fundraisers, hirings, and foundational work rather than hitting the campaign trail early. This is obviously tremendous news for Governor Walker; even while basically ignoring the state, he has a solid lead in Iowa. This also offers a glimpse into the Rubio campaign strategy – he’s saving the headlines and campaign appearances for later and focusing on other things right now. If he is indeed being informally advised by Romney and his team, this strategy makes complete sense: it’s the same one Romney used en route to victory in 2012. Bush is, of course, the big question mark: will he invest in Iowa at all during the later stages of the campaign? Or will he write off the state with token appearances and instead focus on New Hampshire?
So, I said all of that to say: it’s early. Disciplined, winning campaigns are doing what disciplined, winning campaigns do. Meanwhile, desperate second- and third-tier campaigns are doing what they do. It won’t be long until the wheat is separated from the chaff, so to speak, and the long-term planning pays off over the short-term quest for headlines.
Nobody really pays attention until Labor Day anyway.
- Walker – 18% (21)
- Carson – 10% (7)
- Trump – 10% (-)
- Cruz – 9% (12)
- Paul – 9% (13)
- Bush – 8% (5)
- Rubio – 7% (13)
- Huckabee – 5% (11)
- Perry – 4% (3)
- Santorum – 4% (2)
- Fiorina – 3% (2)
- Jindal – 3% (1)
- Kasich – 2% (2)
- Christie – 1% (3)
- Graham – 1% (0)
- Pataki – 0% (-)
- Undecided – 5% (6)
Which candidates would you definitely NOT support?
- Trump – 28%
- Bush – 24%
- Christie – 18%
- Graham – 12%
- Huckabee – 11%
- All others – single digits
Favorability (Among Republicans):
- Walker – 66/8 (+58)
- Carson – 63/7 (+56)
- Rubio – 60/13 (+47)
- Jindal – 49/9 (+40)
- Perry – 61/21 (+40)
- Cruz – 58/19 (+39)
- Huckabee – 61/28 (+33)
- Fiorina – 36/8 (+28)
- Santorum – 55/27 (+28)
- Paul – 53/31 (+22)
- Kasich – 20/11 (+9)
- Bush – 46/42 (+4)
- Trump – 42/47 (-5)
- Pataki – 9/20 (-11)
- Graham – 20/38 (-18)
- Christie – 25/59 (-34)
Survey of 666 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted June 20-29 and has a margin of error of ±3.8%. Numbers in parentheses are from the May Quinnipiac poll.