December 10, 2014

A Possible Draft Warren Movement?

MoveOn.org had this to say in a news release dated yesterday:

MoveOn Kicks Off Member Vote on Campaign to Encourage Elizabeth Warren to Run for President

For the first time in its 16-year history, the 8-million-member group is holding a nationwide membership vote on a presidential draft campaign. If the vote succeeds, the group will focus on persuading the Massachusetts senator, who has become known as a tireless, passionate advocate for middle-class and working families, to seek the presidency.

Voting is open to MoveOn’s full membership across the country until 10 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday morning. The result will be announced at 11 a.m. Eastern.

The campaign, if ratified by MoveOn’s members, will include:

  • offices and staff in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire,
  • the assembly of a national volunteer army ready to go to work if Sen. Warren enters the race,
  • recruiting small-dollar donors who pledge their support,
  • and ads and media products that call attention to how Sen. Warren has stood up and fought for the middle class and her powerful vision for our country’s future.

The organization will invest at least $1 million in the first phase of the launch.

And just to make things interesting, MSNBC is reporting that Democracy for America is also getting in on the act:

“Washington consultants can spout off a dozen reasons why Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t run, but none of that beltway blather means a thing next to this one, simple truth: The Democratic Party and our country desperately need Warren’s voice in the 2016 presidential debate,” DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement. “Pending the results of MoveOn’s vote, we will ask DFA members to support our plans to join the emerging Draft Warren effort.”

ABCnews reports Warren’s reply:

Warren’s press secretary Lacey Rose said today, “As Senator Warren has said many times, she is not running for president.” Warren has said the same repeatedly herself, but she’s always been careful to phrase it in the present tense.

(Why am I reminded of those poor O4P (Organize for Palin) people slaving away in Iowa and other states trying to prepare the way for Sarah Palin in the hopes that all their efforts and sacrifices would convince her to run? In the end, she never did.)

Be that as it may, if the MoveOn members do vote to go through with it, it will create a headache for the Democratic Party. How big of a headache remains to be seen. O4P never was much more than a small seat-of-the-pants group of people who paid their expenses out of their own pocket with little to no help from anyone else. MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, on the other hand, are large organizations with the resources to match, and their operatives promise to be volunteers. That makes their budget go even further.

Depending upon the vote tally announced tomorrow, the 2016 Democratic race for Presidential nominee just might get a little more interesting than the previously projected “mere formality” primary process for Hillary Clinton.

Stay tuned.

by @ 12:59 pm. Filed under Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin

Chris Christie and Donald Trump Headed To Iowa Next Month.

Add New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s name to the list of speakers at next month’s Iowa Freedom Summit being held in Des Moines. He will be joined by “The Donald” himself, Donald Trump.

Christie’s 2016 Presidential ambitions are well known, Trump’s less. NewsMax reports:

Just one day after the midterm elections, Donald Trump let it slip that he’s “going to take a very serious look” at making a bid for the White House in 2016.

Granted, for years he’s floated the idea of running for president, but it seems this time could be different. I spoke to him in depth about his views on politics, the 2016 presidential field, and why he’s moving closer to taking up the call.

“The reason that I’m looking at it very strongly this time is I’m so sick and tired of politicians. I am so sick and tired of watching these politicians who are all talk and no action. As an example, Benghazi, the IRS…I’ve just watched so much of the talk and the rhetoric and nothing gets done,” Trump told me.

Trump said that he will be making the decision about whether to run in March or April, but I felt he gave some strong hints about which way he is leaning.

“I have an instinct for things. I think the country is ready for someone who gets it. I think the country is ready for somebody who can take it to greatness again,” he said.

by @ 11:15 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Donald Trump

Fiorina Visits New Hampshire

New Hampshire Public Radio reports:

Former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina … has made several trips this year to New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. On Friday, she’ll be the keynote speaker at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Independent Business Council of New Hampshire and Republican Frank Guinta, who was elected to the U.S. House last month.

Concord New Radio continues:

Carly Fiorina is very well known in the business community. In 1998, Fortune magazine named her the “most powerful woman in business.” Fiorina was #10 on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She is regarded by many as being the first woman to head up a Fortune 20 company. So far in the presidential race, she is the only person who has been the CEO of a major corporation. Ostensibly, she was here [New Hampshire] to meet with the Independent Business Council of New Hampshire.

At this point, Carly Fiorina claims that she is still in the pausing and reflecting phase of her campaign. After she evaluates the feedback which she has received, she will decide whether to announce her candidacy.

by @ 10:54 am. Filed under Carly Fiorina

Barbara Bush Now Likes the Idea Of Jeb In the White House

Former First Lady once famously said, “I don’t want Jeb to run for president”. She’s changed her mind. Neil Bush, Jeb’s younger brother, reported that, “Mom has come around … she wants to take her negative comment off the table”.

She has thought about it and now feels that he is the best qualified candidate.

by @ 10:29 am. Filed under Jeb Bush

Palin: “2016 Is a Long Time Away”

Extra TV recently interviewed Governor Sarah Palin. She had this to say on the 2016 Presidential race.

[When asked about her running] Palin explained, “2016 is a long time away… that’s a big darn deal when it comes to family.” (ellipsis in original)

“I would love to see a woman on both sides of the aisle shooting for that top spot.”

From her first comment alone, I would have to put her into the “definitely not running” category. She is smart enough and has been around long enough to be fully aware of all the preparations needed in order to have a successful Presidential run. 2016 is a scant year away. That’s barely enough time to lay the groundwork for a successful run.

As for her second comment, it won’t be a problem with the Democrats. Hillary Clinton is the presumptive front-runner, and Elizabeth Warren is being touted as a possible rival by the left-wing. It will be a problem for Republicans, however. About the only female Republican who is making any real noise is Carly Fiorina, and she is way, way back in the pack at the moment.

by @ 9:59 am. Filed under Carly Fiorina, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin

Perry Is Looking for Redemption

The Washington Post reports:

Rick Perry is trying to show that he is not the Rick Perry you remember. Gone, it seems, is the blustery bravado, the empty rhetoric, the cowboy boots — and, yes, the “oops” moments. This Perry comes across as studious, contemplative and humble. He said he is at peace with his 2012 presidential campaign, in which his shoot-first-aim-later approach proved catastrophic, but is hungry to redeem himself.

As Perry packs his belongings at the governor’s mansion after 14 years in office, he is undergoing exhaustive preparations to run again for president in 2016. He is striving to make a better second impression than his first one.

“We are a substantially different, versed candidate,” he said. He noted that other politicians who endure such humiliation might “scurry off to the quietness and the comfort of some obscure place, and I wasn’t interested in doing that. I think that this country is begging for leadership.”

I have repeatedly stated on these pages that running for President requires a great deal of exhaustive hard work just to prepare for it. Serious candidates, those that have any chance at all of making it to the end to claim the prize, simply cannot just show up and expect to win as Perry tried to do in 2012. They have to start early preparing for the run.

It ain’t easy, folks. Voters who maintain romantic notions of their favorite candidate swooping in and carrying off the nomination by virtue of their smarts, charisma, and/or virtue simply are not living in reality. The article describes some of the intense preparations a person (in this case Perry) must undertake just to be ready to run for President. I highly recommend reading it.

Perry is for real this time. He will be a force to be reckoned with.

by @ 7:46 am. Filed under Rick Perry

December 9, 2014

What Has Gone Wrong with Rasmussen?

I was originally going to call this post “The White House Should Give Daily Thanks for the Existence of Rasmussen”, but I am not at all certain that President Obama cares about much of anything any more – least of all what the peasantry think of him.

But if he did care about such trivialities, he would be grateful to Rasmussen Reports, since it’s the one polling firm that consistently gives him relatively high marks, and that prevents his RCP approval average from sinking closer to 40%.

Here’s a screen shot of today’s RCP approvals:

Ras Sucks

Rasmussen has the President at -1, while the average of the other six polls is -11.7. Quite a difference.

The other six results are fairly closely bunched, within seven points of each other (varying from -8 to -15). Rasmussen, meanwhile, is seven points away from even the closest result.

In actuality, Rasmussen is even farther off than it appears, Because Rasmussen uses Likely Voters,while most of the others use Adults. Using LVs should mean that the result should be slightly (at least a couple points) more negative for a Democrat.

I think everyone has noted Rasmussen’s strange results lately. Does anyone know what is going on?

by @ 8:21 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Poll Watch: Bloomberg Politics/Selzer & Co. 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Hillary Clinton (D) 42% [45%] (52%) 
  • Chris Christie (R) 36% [38%] (39%)
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 43% [47%]
  • Jeb Bush (R) 37% [38%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 45% [47%]
  • Rand Paul (R) 37% [38%]
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 46%
  • Ted Cruz (R) 33%
National survey of 753 likely voters was conducted December 3-5, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted June 6-9, 2014 are in square brackets.  Results from the poll conducted March 7-10, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:56 am. Filed under 2016, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Poll Watch, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot Survey

Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot Survey

  • Democrats 40% 40% 39%
  • Republicans 39% 41 % 43%

The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from December 1-7, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:55 am. Filed under 2016, Democrats, Poll Watch, Republican Party

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 24%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 38%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 49%
  • Disapprove 50%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 10:54 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 8, 2014

Fiorina Has Been Busy

The Washington Post reported this couple of weeks ago:

On a Republican presidential debate stage expected to be filled with more than a dozen current and former politicians, Carly Fiorina envisions herself standing out — as the only woman and the only CEO.

Sensing an opportunity in a crowded field that lacks a front-runner, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive is actively exploring a 2016 presidential run. Fiorina has been talking privately with potential donors, recruiting campaign staffers, courting grass-roots activists in early caucus and primary states and planning trips to Iowa and New Hampshire starting next week.

Fiorina, whose rise from secretary to Silicon Valley corporate chief during the dot-com boom brought her national attention, has refashioned herself as a hard-charging partisan hoping to strike a sharp contrast with the sea of suited men seeking the GOP nomination.

She’s been doing the pre-campaign mamba along side many far better known candidates such as Huckabee, Romney, Perry, Bush, and Santorum to just name a few. The 2016 field appears to becoming a bit crowded, to say the least.

by @ 1:15 pm. Filed under Carly Fiorina

Bloomberg Poll Places Hillary On Top

The lastest Bloomberg poll is out. Things appear to look real good for Hillary:

Candidate Hillary Republican Diff Other / None Favorable Unfavorable Diff
Clinton 0 0 0 0 52 42 10
Bush 43 37 6 17 32 37 -5
Christie 42 36 6 18 36 35 1
Paul 45 37 8 15 32 29 3
Romney 45 39 6 14 43 44 -1
Cruz 46 33 13 16 26 29 -3

The Bloomberg Politics Poll, conducted December 3 is based on interviews with 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18 or older.

*Head-to-head was, “Among 2016 likely voters; n=753. Margin of error: ± 3.6 percentage points.”

However, please note that it is a poll of adults, not registered voters. Polls of adults are notoriously skewed to favor the liberal Democrat. Now if this was a poll of registered voters, or — even better — likely voters, we would be in deep trouble. But those sorts of polls are much harder to do and thus are more expensive.

Another problem with this poll is that in the head-to-heads, Bloomberg included “Other”. “Other” polled in the mid to high teens in each match-up. Guess what, at this point, there aren’t that many Democrat “others” but a ton of Republican “others”.

So take this poll with a large grain of salt.

Edited to add head-to-head note and the “other / none” column. Thanks GS and SunshineState.

by @ 10:48 am. Filed under Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

Iowa Freedom Summit to Host Several Possible 2016 Hopefuls

Citizens United, a conservative group based out of Washington, DC , is hosting an “Iowa Freedom Summit” in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 24, 2015. So far the list of speakers include:

  • Ted Cruz
  • Rick Santorum
  • Ben Carson
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Marsha Blackburn
  • Mike Lee
  • John Bolton
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Sarah Palin

Several of those names have been making 2016 Presidential noises and are looking for more exposure in the state which hosts the first Presidential contest.

 

by @ 9:50 am. Filed under Ben Carson, John Bolton, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz

December 7, 2014

Rick Santorum Has Been Busy

Former PA Senator and 2012 Rick Santorum has been busy.

First he has made more trips to Iowa than any other likely GOP candidate since 2012.

Second, he was stumping in the last Wednesday for now Senator-elect Cassidy in Louisiana. The Washington Post reports:

SHREVEPORT, La. — Supporters of Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) eagerly filed into a Baptist church here to see the front-running Senate candidate campaign with Rick Santorum Wednesday evening.

But they had to make do with just Santorum, who they welcomed warmly.

Cassidy’s campaign announced shortly before the event that he would be absent due to votes in the House.

Santorum, the former presidential candidate, spent much of his speech lambasting President Obama and closely associating Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) with the president’s record.

Finally, he spoke last Thursday in Midland, Michigan, at the Living Word Church, the home of televangelist Mark T Barclay. The event was a National Leadership Conference. Rick spoke about the freedom of religion. The Midland Daily News reports:

Possible 2016 presidential candidate Rick Santorum was in Midland Thursday.

But the topic wasn’t politics as Santorum spoke to a sanctuary full of pastors during a National Leadership Conference at Living Word Church.

Instead, Santorum’s message centered on American religious liberty.

“The greatest power that we have on this issue of religious freedom is knowledge,” he said. “We must first understand who we are as Americans, the basic values and principles upon which our country was founded.

“We are the only country in the history of the world that has a government based on the premise that rights come from God and not the government. That is the struggle right now. There is a fundamental struggle going on and it all centers on whether the government is there to give you rights or the government is there to protect the rights you already have,” Santorum said.

Does he have a chance in 2016? I’m not sure he does.

In 2016, he won the Iowa Caucuses after practically living in the state for weeks. Mitt Romney, who had spent hardly any time at all in the state showed up at the last minute and almost won. In fact Mitt did win until a recount put Santorum ahead by a mere 24 34 votes. Rick then went on to become the last ABR standing.

What makes me doubt his chances is that after winning the Iowa caucus in 2012 and making more trips to the state since than anybody else, he still trails Romney, Paul, Carson, Ryan, Huckabee, Perry, Cruz, Bush, Christie, and Walker. That’s ten people ahead of the man who won last time. 10 People! That’s not a good sign.

Those ten include Romney who effectively tied with him and went on to win the nomination last time, Paul whose supporters always seem to do well in caucus states, and Huckabee who would be competing for the same demographic with Santorum. And in my opinion, Mike tends to be more likable than Rick.

Things simply do not look all that promising for Rick Santorum.

But who knows? It’s still extremely early. Anything can happen.

(edited to correct the 2016 Iowa Caucus vote margin. Thanks, Ryan.)

by @ 11:38 pm. Filed under Rick Santorum

Is Michele Bachmann Entertaining Ideas about 2016?

Michele Bachmann is retiring from Congress this year. ABCnews interviewed her. It contains this little gem at the very end:

“I occupy a very unique space,” she said. “I am the only woman who has been in presidential debates on the Republican ticket.”

Her own presidential bid began in June 2011 and peaked with a win in a key Iowa straw poll, but she never found traction with voters as real ballots were cast. While she has “no intention right now of running for president,” she also won’t rule it out.

“I think it will develop as we go what my level of involvement will be,” she said.

Who knows. Maybe she will throw her hat into the ring one more time.

 

by @ 9:19 pm. Filed under Michele Bachmann

Huckabee Talks About Ferguson

I found this on Right Wing Watch, a decidedly non-conservative site that is “…dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement:

Mike Huckabee said today that he was “disgusted” by the “incredibly dangerous” decision of some black members of Congress and St. Louis Rams players to use the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture to protest the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, arguing that such actions actually inspire looting and murder.

“This is not only foolish and dangerous but it is really on the verge of anarchy and I’m just disgusted that you have NFL players, politicians and others who no matter what the evidence reveals, no matter how many sworn testimonies show that Darren Wilson — it’s a tragedy that the young man got shot, but this is a young man who had just roughed up a store owner, just robbed a store and now he’s going after a cop’s gun and it’s a horrible thing that he was killed but he could’ve avoided that if he had behaved as something other than a thug,” he said.

What is really sad is that the left-wing apparently considers advising people not to rob stores or to make grabs for a policeman’s gun shocking and outrageous.

 

by @ 4:11 pm. Filed under Mike Huckabee

What’s Been Happening in Iowa?

Iowa is home to the Iowa Caucuses, the first real contest on the road to becoming the next President. The Des Moines Register recently published a tally of what possible future Presidential primary candidates have been up to in their state:

Fifteen Republican potential presidential candidates are on Iowans’ radar, ranked here by their events in Iowa since the 2012 elections. Also presented: their support in an Oct. 1-7 Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll.

Candidate Trips Events Days Caucus Support % First Choice % Second Choice %
Rick Perry 8 *33* *15* 13 7 6
Rand Paul 6 24 10 18 10 8
Rick Santorum *9* 19 12 8 3 5
Ted Cruz 6 12 8 13 7 6
Bobby Jindal 4 10 7 5 1 4
Chris Christie 4 8 4 11 6 5
Marco Rubio 4 8 5 5 2 3
Mike Huckabee 5 7 6 17 9 8
Rob Portman 1 7 2 0 0 0
Ben Carson 2 6 3 18 11 7
Paul Ryan 3 4 3 18 8 *10*
Mitt Romney 2 4 3 *25* *17* 8
Scott Walker 2 3 2 9 4 5
Mike Pence 1 1 1 1 0 1
Jeb Bush 0 0 0 12 4 8

Thoughts on the above:

  1. Rick Perry appears to be serious about running. He’s been to more Iowan events in the past two years than anybody else — eleven more than his closest rival, Rand Paul.
  2. Rand Paul has as much support as either Ben Carson and Paul Ryan, yet he has made more trips and has more than doubled the events that they have done put together.
  3. Rick Santorum was the last ABR (Anybody But Romney) standing in 2012. He’s made more trips to Iowa than anybody else. He even won the caucuses last time, yet he registers only single digits in support.
  4. Mike Huckabee has only made a handful of trips to the state yet pulls in a respectful 17% support. He’s a man to watch.
  5. Rob Portman has been to seven events in Iowa during a two day marathon, yet he is the only person with 0% support.
  6. Ben Carson and Paul Ryan only have a small number of visits and events yet each pulls a respectful 18% support. They are definitely men to watch.
  7. Mitt Romney has only made a couple of trips to Iowa. He continues to say he’s not planning on running, yet he has considerable more support in Iowa than anybody else. If you recall in 2012, he didn’t even campaign in Iowa except in the last week or two before the caucuses were held, yet he finished second by less than 25 votes.
  8. Scott Walker doesn’t seem to be doing that well in spite of being a fellow Midwesterner. (Shades of Pawlenty and Bachmann perhaps?)
  9. Jeb Bush has not visited Iowa at all in the past two years yet pulls down double digit support.


Edited to add Jeb Bush line to chart and the comment about his level of support in my thoughts.
MBL

Jeb Bush — Moderate or Conservative?

The following article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times. It got me thinking.

Jeb Bush, a moderate squish?

The governor who treated trial lawyers and teachers union leaders as enemies of the state? Who stripped job protections from civil servants? Who slashed taxes? Whose passion for privatization included enacting the nation’s first statewide private school voucher program and extended to privatizing health care for the poor, prisons and child protection services?

This “very good moderate Democrat” defied court after court to try to force the reinsertion of feeding tubes for brain-damaged Terri Schia­vo and consistently backed more restrictions on abortions and fewer on gun ownership. He fought for reduced entitlement spending and, deriding nanny-state impulses, repealed the helmet law for motorcyclists in Florida and vetoed a GOP-backed bill requiring booster seats for kids in cars.

“For us who live in Florida, who experienced the eight-year Jeb Bush governorship, it’s almost laughable and maybe even hysterical for people who live outside of Florida to claim that he’s a moderate,” said former House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, himself a conservative Republican who led the opposition to Florida accepting federal money to expand Medicaid to more than 800,000 people.

“This is a guy who probably has as conservative a record as governor as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Weatherford said, “and he has one of the most successful records as governor of anybody I’ve ever seen.”

This brings up an interesting question. Does a politician have to side with the conservative side 100% of the time to be counted as conservative? If not, where exactly is the cutoff line before he is officially labeled with the dreaded M-word? Is it 90%? 80%? 75%?

Could it be that the two previous Presidents Bush left us with such a bad taste in our mouths that we are grasping at straws trying to find some reason to justify our antipathy to the prospect of a third?

Am I a Bush supporter? Hardly. The idea of yet another President Bush sticks in my craw and offends my sense of propriety. This is America. We don’t have monarchical dynasties here. And the first two Presidents Bush were not exactly paragons of conservative virtue, were they.

However, there is a far more important principle at work here. In America, we are supposed to judge people by who they are, not by their genetics. In the same way that we should not automatically qualify a man to be President based solely upon his ancestry, we should never automatically disqualify another based solely upon his ancestry, either. Should we automatically say, “no”, to another President Bush merely because we’ve already had two previous ones, and two is enough? Or should we automatically say, “no”, merely because we didn’t like the two previous ones? That’s rather un-American of us, is it not?

Is Jeb Bush really all that moderate, or are we just seeking reasons to justify disqualifying yet another Bush from becoming President? I honestly do not know the answer to that question. Do you?

by @ 8:28 am. Filed under Jeb Bush

December 6, 2014

Breaking News: Bill Cassidy Defeats Mary Landrieu in the Louisiana Runoff

Tonight is the last night of the 2014 Election and it has been just as good a night as the rest of the cycle. Congressman Bill Cassidy has toppled Mary Landrieu in Louisiana according to the AP. You can follow the results here, and it is looking like a big landslide for Senator-Elect Cassidy.

Landrieu’s defeat marks the first time since Reconstruction, if ever that every Senator from Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are Republicans. The only Democrat Senators left in the entire South are Bill Nelson in Florida, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in Virginia, and depending on if you count Missouri in the South, Claire McCaskill. Southern Democrats have tried playing the game of voting liberal in DC but talking like a moderate back home. Southern voters have seen through these deceptions and thrown out Democrats regardless of how “moderate” they portray themselves as or what committee they might be chair of.

By the way, if you are counting, that is the ninth pickup for the Senate Republicans this cycle. I can’t remember another cycle that has gone so well for the Senate GOP.

Final unofficial results:

Race Opponents % Votes
US Senator Cassidy -R- 55.94 712,330
Landrieu -D- 44.06 561,099
US Rep 5CD Abraham -R- 64.22 134,612
Mayo -D- 35.78 75,004
US Rep 6CD Graves -R- 62.43 139,194
Edwards -D- 37.57 83,773

(Results added by MBL)

by @ 8:27 pm. Filed under 2014, Senate Races

Weekend Miscellany

Sorry I’m a bit late today. As usual, please add your own topics in the comments, if you want.

 

Corporate Types Shocked That Obama Double-Crossed Them

Many corporations, large and small, have instituted ‘wellness’ programs in recent years – encouragement and incentives to stop smoking, exercise more, lose weight, etc. – as a way to create a healthier workforce and reduce healthcare costs.

CEOs of many such corporations vocally supported Obamacare, in part because they were promised support for their wellness initiatives.

Surprise! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suits against three large employers on the grounds that wellness programs violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A bipartisan provision in the 2010 healthcare reform law allows employers to reward workers who participate and penalize those who don’t.

But recent lawsuits filed by the administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), challenging the programs at Honeywell International and two smaller companies, have thrown the future of that part of Obamacare into doubt.

The lawsuits infuriated some large employers so much that they are considering aligning themselves with Obama’s opponents, according to people familiar with the executives’ thinking.

“The fact that the EEOC sued is shocking to our members,” said Maria Ghazal, vice-president and counsel at the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of more than 200 large U.S. corporations. “They don’t understand why a plan in compliance with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is the target of a lawsuit,” she said. “This is a major issue to our members.”

The CEOs are just the latest to learn that all Obama promises come with expiration dates.

 

The Recall Campaign Starts before the Recallee Takes Office

An Arizona group has filed with the Secretary of State’s office as a PAC, with the intent of organizing a recall campaign against the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about this, except that the target of the recall, Diane Douglas, doesn’t take office until the first of the year.

According to Capitol Media Services, the Coalition to Recall Diane Douglas has filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office. Maxwell Goshert, the group’s treasurer, said he predicts this initial step will ultimately lead to Douglas’ ouster within a year.

Nevertheless, Douglas must be in office for six months prior to recall signature collection. The state’s constitution also requires the coalition to collect the signatures of 25 percent of the people who voted in the most recent gubernatorial election to permit a recall vote, or, approximately 367,000 signatures.

The report indicates, however, that recall organizers will actually need 450,000 signatures, considering that some will be disqualified during the verification process. The coalition will likely need to hire paid circulators to obtain the necessary signatures during a 120-day window.

“She has six months to prove herself to voters,” said Goshert. “But we believe we’re not going to be impressed by what she does in the next six months in office.”

Douglas’s sin is being an opponent of Common Core, which led to opposition from much of the state’s Establishment. She won the November election narrowly (her margin was just over 1%), running a few points behind the rest of the Republican ticket.

 

Amazon Robots

Here’s a story about Amazon using robots to gather merchandise in their warehouses. Though the story says that Amazon has not laid off any workers due to their use of robots, that’s clearly specious. Amazon is a fast-growing company – what has happened is that they have not hired as many new employees as they would have otherwise.

… Amazon said it hasn’t eliminated any jobs with the introduction of Kiva. In fact, the company says it’s hired more people in that time. Amazon wouldn’t say how many jobs it’s added after incorporating Kiva, but overall it’s hired 61,110 employees since 2011, the year before it bought Kiva. That’s roughly doubling its employee base over the past two years …

There’s nothing remarkable about this story – many companies are filling unskilled and semi-skilled positions with robots, and other companies (including fast food) are doing tests. But the fact that it’s commonplace is the point of this post.

It’s really shameful that ‘living wage’ advocates are cynically exploiting such people – urging them to strike and demonstrate, when such efforts amount to shouting, “Hey, fire me now instead of two years from now when you were planning to bring the robots in.”

 

Pataki for Prez?

George Pataki has announced that he’s thinking about running in 2016. The amazing thing is that the New York Daily News bothered to report it.

 

Historical Pictures

Here are a great batch of old pictures (via a Sean Trende Facebook post). I like almost all of them, but think the choice for my favorite comes down to these two – a grave/monument to a Catholic-Protestant couple in a Dutch cemetery, and another of  a guy refusing to give the Nazi salute in 1930s Germany (he was married to a Jewish woman).

cemetary

nazi salute

 

Further Vindication for Walker

Only about half of Wisconsin teachers’ unions have been recertified by their members since Scott Walker’s reforms.

 

Pakistan Sentence Actress to Jail – Using Religious Music Is Offensive

Dependent upon your tough your employer is on such things, the pic of Veena Malik accompanying this article on the Reason site may be NSFW, but the video of Malik’s wedding is totally innocuous.

Nonetheless, it was enough to get Malik, her husband, and two others sentenced to twenty-six years in jail each for offending Islamic sensibilities. Why? Because it includes religious music, and using that music for a TV show is offensive.

Some things you just can’t make up.

 

Another One Is Getting Ready to Bite the Dust

Another liberal magazine looks like it’s going into a death spiral. Newsweek died (or 99% died – I think it’s still kinda hanging around) a couple years ago. Now, The New Republic appears to be falling apart.

On Thursday, the venerable Washington institution announced it is shifting its headquarters to New York, amid a shakeup that saw the resignation of its highest editors and promised to redefine the identity of a century-old institution that once served as liberalism’s leading voice.

Franklin Foer, the top editor, sent a memo to staff in the afternoon announcing that he would be quitting due to differences of vision with the magazine’s owner, Chris Hughes, a 31-year-old Facebook co-founder who bought the magazine in 2012 and now aspires to reposition it as a “digital media company.” The move came, sources said, after Foer discovered that Hughes had already hired his replacement, Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who formerly ran The Atlantic Wire blog.

Further down, we learn that twelve senior editors and ‘at least 20′ contributing editors have resigned.

The once-weekly magazine is cutting its publication frequency to less than monthly, planning ten issues per year.

Being a fan of good euphemisms and linguistic misdirection, I applaud this effort to avoid saying, “We’re gonna be laying people off.”

“Given the frequency reduction, we will also be making some changes to staff structure,” Vidra wrote. “This is not a decision we make lightly, but we believe this restructuring is critical to the long-term success of the company.”

Those who haven’t already quit will no doubt be sending out lots of resumes.

Unlike the case with Newsweek, I mourn the possible demise of TNR — it was once a very good magazine, and still can be counted upon to at least occasionally question liberal orthodoxy.

by @ 7:22 pm. Filed under Misc., Uncategorized

Poll Watch: Rasmussen Louisiana 2014 Senatorial Runoff Survey

Rasmussen Louisiana 2014 Senate Runoff Poll

  • Bill Cassidy (R) 56% {56%} [50%] (52%) {44%} [43%] (44%)
  • Mary Landrieu (D) 40% {41%} [46%] (43%) {41%} [46%] (40%) 

Survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted December 2-4, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 16-19, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 22-23, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted October 13-14, 2014 are in parentheses.Results from the poll conducted September 2-3, 2014 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted July 8-9, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted January 28-29, 2014 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 12:04 pm. Filed under 2014, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Survey

Rasmussen President Obama Job Approval Poll 

How would you rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president?

  • Strongly approve 21%
  • Somewhat approve 25%
  • Somewhat disapprove 12%
  • Strongly disapprove 40%

President Obama Job Approval

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 52%

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

by @ 12:03 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Poll Watch

December 5, 2014

Hillary’s Campaign Already In Debt?

The New York Times reports that a Super-PAC tied to Hillary Clinton is in debt for $1 million:

The pro-Hillary Rodham Clinton “super PAC” Ready for Hillary has won over tens of thousands of small contributors, built a finance committee that includes hundreds of big-name Democratic donors, and raised more than $11 million since it was founded early last year.

But as of Thanksgiving, Ready for Hillary was also in debt. According to disclosures filed late Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, the group had $875,626 in the bank on Nov. 24, but also owed a $1 million loan from Amalgamated, the union-tied bank that is the lender of choice for Democratic candidates, parties and super PACs.

Old time Race4ers will remember when I used to keep track of PAC finances for all the key GOP players in the 2012 election. I kept track of PACs controlled by Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Pawlenty, and several others. I can honestly say that I cannot remember a single GOP associated PAC that went into debt other than getting their seed money lent to them by their sponsors as start-up expenses.

 

by @ 9:02 pm. Filed under Hillary Clinton

Bush is Pushing Into New England

RCP reports that Bush is sending feelers into New Hampshire:

Two top New Hampshire Republican strategists have been contacted this week by a Jeb Bush confidant to discuss their interest in leading the former Florida governor’s prospective presidential campaign there, RealClearPolitics has learned from GOP sources in the Granite State.

The new outreach from Bush’s camp was directed at a pair of experienced and well-respected New Hampshire GOP operatives, each of whom has previously helmed presidential campaigns in the state.

“I think the decision’s been made, personally,” said one of the strategists who was contacted by Bush’s camp and who spoke to RCP under the condition of anonymity.

So first we have Romney telling donors not to commit to people who are not their first choice, and now we hear news that a Bush confidant is encouraging New Hampshire GOP operatives to “keep your powder dry”. Lots of things are happening beneath the surface.

Are we going to have a great establishment showdown between Mitt and Jeb? If true this should be fun to watch. Bring popcorn.

:)

by @ 8:44 pm. Filed under Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

Another Day, Another Article Saying Mitt May Be Running

Now Ben White of CNBC (h/t jamesjones ) is saying the chances are good that Mitt is running: (emphasis added)

Mitt Romney made the rounds on Wall Street recently, and people who attended the meetings said they came away convinced the 2012 GOP presidential nominee would launch another campaign for the White House.

“Mitt’s running,” is how one senior Wall Street banker who met with Romney recently put it to me this week, saying the conventional wisdom that the 2012 nominee would make another run only if the party reached out to him in desperation next year was dead wrong. “He’s running, flat out.”

Others came away from meetings—some of which were intended to talk about Romney’s son’s investment firm—less convinced that a third White House run was a sure thing. But these people, too, said Romney’s tone had changed significantly from just a month earlier. Instead of playing down the possibility of a run, these people said, Romney urged them to hold tight rather than commit to a candidate they did not love.

“He tells people not to commit to a candidate that is not their first choice and that they aren’t excited about,” one plugged-in Republican told me of the meetings. “He does not think much of the current field and does not think it is jelling. He still views himself as the leader of the establishment wing of the Republican Party. It’s definitely a change in his message [tilted more toward running].”

The Republican added that Romney’s decision doesn’t depend on Jeb Bush. “He does not feel he owes the Bushes anything and does not think Jeb is the de facto leader of the establishment GOP.

Well of course the field is not jelling. It’s only the first week of December 2014, for crying out loud. Nothing is going to “jell” for at least a couple of months. But that doesn’t mean that the future field isn’t starting to take shape. Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, and your old friend Mike Huckabee are definitely starting to make their moves. Throw in Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and a few others and you’ve got yourself quite the field.

I am guessing that he has been reading all those polls that show him out in front of his GOP competition by either high single digits, or low double digits. There are even respectable national polls that show him defeating Hillary Clinton head to head. That has to be acting upon his mind. He, the consummate planner and details man doesn’t like to waste a second. He has to be chaffing at the valuable time slipping away. If he is getting in, he will be getting in soon. He is NOT going to wait while Jeb Bush does his Hamlet impression while valuable time ticks by.

He is right about one thing, he doesn’t owe the Bushes a blamed thing. In that respect, I agree with him. It should be interesting to see if Mitt forms an exploratory committee before Jeb Bush does. What would Bush’s reaction be, I wonder.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see what would happen with both Bush and Romney in the race? These two are supposed to be the epitome of the “establishment”. Which way would the “establishment” go, do you think?

by @ 5:37 pm. Filed under Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

I Doubt This Did Jeb Any Favors

Jeb Bush’s brother, the former President, likes Bill Clinton. From the Washington Post:

Former President Bush has spoken at length about his close ties to former President Bill Clinton, at times calling him his “brother from another mother.”

CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Bush during an interview published Friday where that leaves Hillary Clinton: “My sister-in-law!” the president responded light-heartedly.

If Jeb wishes to run for President, he needs this like he needs a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

 

by @ 1:14 pm. Filed under Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush

Bridgegate — A Bridge Too Far?

You remember Bridgegate, don’t you? Supposedly Governor Chris Christie used the power of his office to reek revenge upon a city that crossed him by closing the lanes to a bridge. It was reported upon breathlessly for weeks on the nightly news. It was declared to be the end of the popular governor’s career, his Lewinsky moment.

Well, first the Federal government reported last September that after a nine month investigation, they couldn’t find one solid piece of evidence that suggested that Christie knew anything about it. Now the New Jersey legislature (one of the few legislatures in the country completely controlled Democrats by the way) has issued their report. They couldn’t find any evidence, either. They did, however, include the statement that since he was accused of the crime, he may have committed the crime. They just couldn’t find any evidence that he actually did it.

So Governor Christie has been exonerated by all. All the huffing, puffing, and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth amounted to nothing in the end.

The bill for the New Jersey report wasn’t nothing, however. As of last September the bill to the New Jersey taxpayers stood at $6.5 million dollars. It is likely far more now that three more months have past. Who knows how much the Federal probe cost.

 

by @ 12:58 pm. Filed under Chris Christie

More Trouble for Hillary?

Last month’s Quinnipiac poll has been commented upon before in this blog, but there are still a nugget or two that can be dug up out of it. One of them is how well Hillary Clinton does against proposed opponents.

Hillary % Opponent % Diff Fav % Unfav % Haven’t Heard Enough
Hillary Clinton 50 45 3
Mitt Romney 44 45 -1 44 42 11
Chris Christie 43 42 1 38 33 27
Paul Ryan 46 42 4 36 28 35
Rand Paul 46 41 5 35 26 37
Mike Huckabee 46 41 5 36 29 34
Jeb Bush 46 41 5 33 32 33

The fact that she is only within five ppts against the six top GOP contenders in this poll has been commented upon before here at Race4. But take a look at the last column. When the voters were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of a potential candidate, a certain percentage declared that they hadn’t heard enough about the person to make up their minds. The results are listed in the last column.

Only 3% of the voters hadn’t heard enough to make up their minds on Hillary. 3%. That strongly implies that the voters’ opinions of her are fairly fixed and not likely to move much one way or the other. In other words, after more than three decades in the public’s eye, voters have pretty much made up their minds on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Her potential opponents, on the other hand, enjoy double digit values in that column. Even last election’s GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, has more than 10% of the population saying they haven’t heard enough about him to make up their minds. Christie is at 27%, and the rest have percentages in the thirties.

This implies that each of Hillary’s projected opponents have a fair amount of wiggle room to grow in the minds of the voters. With her numbers nearly fixed and her opponents’ numbers more fluid, it is not going to be a cakewalk for her to become the next President of the United States.

December 4, 2014

An Open Letter To Mitt Romney

I just read the following in the Business Insider:

Mitt Romney held meetings with donors in New York this week that left one attendee convinced he is running for president again in 2016.

A member of Romney’s inner circle who spoke to Business Insider said the former governor of Massachusetts traveled to New York City on Monday where he met with key financial backers of his past campaigns to lay the groundwork for a 2016 White House bid.

In addition to potential donors, the source said Romney met with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) this week.

Christie endorsed Romney during his last race. However, he is expected to mount his own White House bid in 2016.

Romney’s meetings this week are not his first efforts to reconnect with former donors and campaign staff. In October, The Washington Post reported on a “flurry of behind-the-scenes activity” that Romney’s “friends” said was leading him to “more seriously consider” running for president again. This activity included multiple meetings with donors and “supporters in key states” as well as an October dinner in Boston that Romney and his wife hosted for “former campaign advisers and business associates.”

In September, Romney’s wife, Ann, indicated Romney would be discouraged from mounting another White House bid if former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) enters the 2016 field. … Bush has said he is thinking about launching a campaign. In an October interview, Ann said Romney was “done” running for president. However, the source who spoke to Business Insider said she would be fully supportive if her husband does decide to run in 2016.

(more…)

The Democrats, On the Other Hand, DO Have An Alternate Front Runner

The Democrats’ undisputed front runner is Hillary Clinton by a longshot:

CNN/ORC November 23

  • Hillary Clinton: 65%
  • Elizabeth Warren: 10%
  • Joe Biden: 9%
  • Bernie Sanders: 5%
  • Andrew Cuomo: 1%
  • Deval Patrick: 1%
  • Jim Webb: 1%
  • Martin O’Malley: 0%
  • Other: 4%
  • None: 3%
  • Don’t Know: 1%

457 Democrats polled for a MOE of +/1 4.5%

Almost 2 out of every 3 Democrats support the former First Lady to be their nominee in 2016. That is easily a prohibitive position.

If you take away Clinton, they still have a definite front runner:

  • Biden: 41%
  • Warren: 20%
  • Cuomo: 7%
  • Sanders: 7%
  • O’Malley: 4%
  • Webb: 3%
  • Patrick: 2%
  • Other: 5%
  • None: 8%
  • Don’t Know: 4%

Without Hillary, Joe Biden gets the lion’s share of her votes and ends up with more than 20 ppts on his closest rival, Elizabeth Warren. He more than doubles her score.

It is ironic that the leading candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination are politicians past retirement age. They are supposed to be the party of the young and the Republicans were supposed to be the party of the old, geriatric set. Yet Hillary (67) and Biden (72) are older than any of the top Republican candidates Bush (61), Christie (52), Carson (63), and Paul (51). Only our soon-to-be-forgotten front runner, Mitt Romney (67) is as old or older than the two Democratic front runners.

 

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