Thursday, April 26, 2012

Electoral Math

Ok, let’s talk about the election so you don’t have to waste your time worrying about things like national polls or how 48 states might vote. Sadly, this election comes down to two states. That's right, two states -- unless something unexpected happens, in which event four whole states could become relevant. Get ready to have your mind blown. . .


Above is a chart provided by Yahoo which addresses which states are currently leaning in which directions and what that means in terms of electoral math. According to Yahoo, Obama has nineteen states and the District of Columbia in his pocket. Those give him 247 electoral votes. Romney has 23 states firmly in his column, which gives him 191 electoral votes.

The remaining eight states: Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire, have an even 100 electoral votes between them. To win, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes. That means Obama needs 23 of those 100 and Romney needs 79 of those 100.

But here’s the thing, several of the states they’ve classified as toss-up states aren’t really toss-up states. History tells us that Virginia, Nevada and North Carolina are all but guaranteed to end up in Romney’s column. That boosts him to 225 electoral votes and means he needs 45 more.

Colorado, most likely, will go to Obama. . . grrr. That gives him nine more votes for a total of 256. That means he needs only 14.

Here’s what’s left:
Florida (29)
Ohio (18)
New Hampshire (4)
Iowa (6)
Now do the math. If Obama wins Florida OR Ohio, then he wins the election. But if Romney wins both Florida and Ohio, then he wins the election. New Hampshire and Iowa don’t matter in either of those scenarios. IF Obama loses Colorado but wins Ohio, then Iowa could matter because Obama could win by combining Ohio with Iowa. But New Hampshire never really matters.

What this comes down to is Florida and Ohio, with a slight chance that Colorado and Iowa could matter. Is that good or bad? It's good because those aren't strong states for Obama. But it's bad because it means it's going to be a close race, which means anything could happen.

119 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

sadly, I think it is going to be a nail biter, and damn it, it shouldn't be. What scares me most is Obama has the power of the federal government and David Axelrod on his side to help with the cheating.

TJ said...

Yikes! I don't like those odds and I hate nail biters, especially in an election as important as this one will be.

AndrewPrice said...

jed, It will be a nailbiter and you're right, it shouldn't be. But demography is the problem here. The way the states are aligned, there just aren't very many states in dispute.

This is something else the Republicans need to fix. They need to start cutting off liberal states and making them put their people back to work so they lose the incentive to vote for ever more government.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, Scary isn't it?

Now, it's possible that some of the leaners will shift over as we get closer. Obama is blow 50% in most states. But the above is the likely way it will be.

tryanmax said...

What do you suppose the odds are that one or more of the "solid" or "leans" Democrat states could go the other way? I don't have any particular states in mind, but there are no surprises on that map, and I can't help but think that this next election will come with a few.

tryanmax said...

Nevermind, you sorta answered while I was typing.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, In truth, I think there will be some surprises that go our way. If I had to risk money on it, I would say Colorado and New Mexico will actually go Republican. And I think there is a chance of both Pennsylvania and Michigan and New Jersey as well -- though the odds on those are much smaller.

The thing is that in most states, Obama is still below 50%. That combined with depressed turnout on his side puts more states in play than usual. It's too early to tell exactly how many, but I could easily see several surprises.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I re-answered it! :)

What states do you think are likely surprises -- either way?

DUQ said...

Yeah gads!

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I take it this does not make you happy?

DUQ said...

This actually really puts things into perspective because it shows why the national polls are truly meaningless, aren't they?

I see from Rassmussen that Obama is tied with Romney in the battleground states. Does that mean anything?

T-Rav said...

You and your fellow Coloradans need to a law passed to forcibly expel all California emigres from the state. Either that, or require them to renounce their idiot ways before taking up residence.

Right now, I would say there's a better chance of Pennsylvania going red than Colorado.

CrispyRice said...

Ok, my head is spinning a bit, but I think I got it. And it makes me very, very sad. This ought to be a blowout. How people can even think of voting for that guy for another term.... ARGH!!!

Tam said...

Ugh. That is all.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It does put things into perspective doesn't it? Interestingly, it also means that Obama's funding edge is useless because only a couple states really matter.

I saw the Rasmussen results as well. I think they are meaningless this far out, except for the fact that Romney is within the margin of error, which is truly surprising. That means Obama is not popular.

Also, keep in mind that this could all change before the election. BUT what it gives us is a way to track how each side is doing by watching how things change. In other words, if states in one column or the other start drifting away then we know what is going on and can predict the election sooner.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Colorado is a strange place. We would have won the governorship last time if the Republicans hadn't split and run two candidates. IF those number come through again, then Romney would win here. But I can't guarantee it until it happens.

Pennsylvania is always a mystery to me because it all depends on turn out. Someone once described it as Massachusetts on the ends with Alabama in the middle and that's rather true. And elections all depend on who turns out. Toomey did win statewide and the Republicans did capture the legislature, so it's possible they will go for Romney. I'm really just not sure.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, The answer is simple: because they are getting stuff. People in places like California and New York rely on the Democrats keeping the federal spigot open so they can live in a place with ultra-high benefits without paying the full tax price associated with those benefits. That's really all there is to it.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, Yeah, ugh. It kinds of puts a lousy spin on Democracy doesn't it? It's also scary how so few states can so dominate this process to make an election that should be a blow out into a close call.

Doc Whoa said...

Let me as my ugh to the list. How do we fix this? Anyone have any ideas?

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, This may not be as bad as it sounds. For one thing, this does prove that the liberals have all shoved themselves into a few states. If they were spread out into places like Ohio or Florida, then they could cause real havoc.

Secondly, this all assumes the current trends. It is very possible that Obama will finally break somewhere along the way and will be seen as an inevitable loser. At that point, he will lose a couple percent in each state as people always try to shift to the winner. That could result in a genuine landslide.

But short of that, this is what we are facing. I think Romney will win, but as of right now, it's going to be a close, nerve-wracking election.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, That's a relief. But how do we chance this for the future?

LawHawkRFD said...

And as scary as that scenario is, it still tends to confirm my belief in the Electoral College. The popular vote could go the other way, yet that blessed EC could save us from oblivion.

Doc Whoa said...

Also, do anyone live in these swing states? Are they really swing states or are the polls not reporting accurately?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, it mystifies how the Colorado GOP could be so monumentally dense as to let an opportunity like 2010 slip away. Grrr.

On Iowa, the good news is that since '08, the Republicans have launched a massive registration drive and completely erased the Dems' 100,000 vote advantage, giving the GOP at present a larger margin than they had in '04, when Bush won the state. So there's that.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc,

1. Find a way to win over 5% more of the Hispanic vote.

2. Start cutting people off of benefits. Stop the incentive for them to ask for more government.

3. Make more people pay taxes. End the free-ride effect.

4. Bring in some hip young libertarians to attract college kids.

5. Seduce the old people... who vote like mad.

6. Talk about things that matter most to the middle class -- jobs, career advancement, cutting their debts and taxes.

Then make it painful for states like New York and California by ending the tax deduction for state income tax.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Without the Electoral College, the odds are that this election would already be lost. It's hard to tell, but states like California and New York would have a huge say in the outcome. The Electoral College keeps them from swamping the rest of the country.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I know we have members of the Commentarama family who live in the leaning and swing states. Hopefully, they will chime in with "news on the ground" so to speak.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The Colorado GOP is retarded. Seriously. As long as I can recall, they've been engaged in in-fighting and choosing candidates who are simply not palatable to the voters. This time, however, they don't get to make the choice of who to nominate or of running alternative candidates. So that might help.

I was hoping the Mormon population would help Romney out around here, but they didn't do anything for him in the primary. So I'm not sure they will help.

The good news is that Colorado voters are fickle and they have little reason to like Obama, so that will help. The bad news is that they are stupid, so that will hurt. I just can't predict at this point.

Iowa troubles me because it always seems to end up further left than expected. The good thing this time is that Iowa is largely irrelevant, unless things are going really poorly for Obama elsewhere. And if that's the case, then it will be a good night no matter what Iowa does.

Of course, the other issue in Iowa will be evangelicals. If they don't get over their aversion for Romney, then they will hand Obama the state.

CrispyRice said...

That's a good question. How close ultimately are these "firmly" red or blue states?

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Right now there is no way to tell because the polls are all 45%-43%... that sort of thing. I am basing my analysis on the historical trend of states either moving left or right or following national trends.

Ohio, for example, always votes with the winner because they tend to vote like the national polls. That means Romney will win. Florida has tended to vote Republican unless there was something unusual in that election.

Virginia is hardly a swing state, but they call it that because it went for Obama last time. But last time was the far end of the pendulum and it has been swinging back ever since.

The states I can't predict really are like Colorado and Pennsylvania, which seem to be bipolar, and Ohio which hasn't made up it's mind yet.

tryanmax said...

I can say pretty confidently that my neighbors in Iowa will vote for Obama again, so you can take them off the swing list. For as hard as this administration has been on Nevada, I have trouble thinking they are really that close to call.

I'm not sure where the surprise will come from, though I hear a lot of rumblings that a state or two in the northeast will turn colors. I also feel like either Wisconsin or Michigan could really stun everyone, depending on how the next few months go.

T-Rav said...

Due to my being out-of-state the past few years, I can't say for certain how things are in Missouri. I'm moving back to finish grad school at Mizzou starting in August, though, at which point I can give more information. Regardless, we managed to keep the state from going to Obama in '08, so I think the chances of it turning blue now are precisely nil. The main fights are going to be over Senate (which we should win), Governor (which I doubt we'll win because Nixon is popular for reasons I don't understand), and maybe one CD.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, In my experience, Iowa is comprised of evangelicals, communists and pigs. The pigs can't vote and the communists outnumber the evangelicals. So I have never relied on Iowa going Republican. Fortunately, this time it's pretty irrelevant.

I can't see Nevada going for Obama. Don't forget, the state is packed with Mormons and Tea Party types, and the state generally votes Republican (except for Reid).

Wisconsin is a hard call because they tend to be further left than expected, but then they vote for Scott Walker? Ditto on Michigan with the election of a Tea Party governor.

I think New Jersey could be in play because of Christie. Pennsylvania could be in play because they have swung back toward the right -- but it will depend on voter turn out. The rest of the Northeast (outside New Hampshire and MAYBE Maine) is probably a lost cause.

In related news, I hear Kerry is struggling in your home state.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You're transferring in the middle of grad school? Are you really ready to stop being a "Running (non-racist) Rebel" to becoming a Flaming Tiger? Gerrr. ;)

Everything I've read says that the GOP should win the Senate in Missouri and I expect Romney will carry it without much trouble. I can't speak to the rest.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, indeed he is. He may be a Lincoln native and a former governor, but Kerry moved to NY signed on to The New School and that makes him an outsider now. He has lost his native status in the eyes of most and for whatever reason, Nebraskans hate carpetbaggers. At this point, it's really just a question of how wide Jon Bruning's lead will be.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I am not near as worried about this. States that should go to Obama won't. States that Obama should have in his pocket aren't there. People who are bound and determined to vote for Obama are few and far between. He no longer resonates.

Two things. First, Romney really is coming into his own lately. His speeches aren't the namby pamby can't we all just get along like McCain's were.

Second, if the blow-back on Trayvon Martin is any indication, it will be a blowout.

tryanmax said...

It's probably also worth noting that Kerry's 2nd Amendment record is abysmal. You can't win in this state unless your gun has a seat at the dinner table.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm happy to hear that because Nebraska is the kind of Senate seat Republicans need to get and hold forever if they want to control the Senate.

The article I read said that his attempts to get donations in the state had proven disastrous and that he had to go out-of-state for almost all his money. That's a good sign, though I'm surprised Warren Buffett hasn't bankrolled him.

rlaWTX said...

I'm kinda purple over this - I'm not sure whether I should be a happy red or a morose blue... why, oh, why are there so many people who say that they like TOTUS enough to vote for him?????

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Excellent point. I agree.

Romney has been blasting Obama for some time now and he's really getting a nice sharp edge without sounding scared saying it or pissy. I think he really has become a very solid campaigner and he is ready to take it to Obama. I particularly look forward to the debates because I think Obama is no match for Romney.

I also agree that Obama's supporters are demoralized and that will likely get worse as the election draws near. At the same time, I think conservatives will really turn out as a group to be rid of him. That will put states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey into play.

And I think you're right that the Martin backlash is instructive. It tells us that the "silent majority" is out there and they aren't willing to be as silent anymore. It also means Obama will find it much harder to excite his own people without angering the rest of the public -- as the left has been able to do in the past.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, no, but I am ready to leave behind all the idiots who can't stop moaning about how racist our mascot is. At least a tiger's pretty non-controversial.

Our chances for kicking McCaskill out of the Senate are pretty good, though it depends a bit on who wins the GOP primary. We've got one congressman who's been in the House a long time but is staunchly conservative on most things, an ex-state official who in my opinion picked up the Tea Party banner to advance her career (I've met her), and then some private businessman I don't know anything about. Should be interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Let me also add, there is another problem for the Democrats. Usually, we talk about "coattails" helping people down the ticket. But the reverse is true as well. And in this election cycle, the Democrats have been busy throwing out what is left of their moderates. So when November comes around, it will be a choice between GOP candidates v. hard-left Democrats. That will hurt the Democrats up and down the ticket, and that means Obama could be looking at being dragged down by these people.

They really are facing some horrible circumstance.

tryanmax said...

Warren isn't one of the useful idiots, no matter how he may seem on national TV. Kerry can't win even with Warren's money, so Warren won't waste it. BTW, Kerry's having trouble even gathering out-of-state money, too, from what I hear.

Bruning is a young and affable guy. He's not as far right as some would like, but he's comfortably conservative, and that bodes well for a long career in this state if he wants it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Kerry always presented himself as a "dull moderate," but I seem to recall that on issue after issue, he "somehow" always seemed to support the far left. I'm not saying he is a genuine leftist, but he was a loyal leftist whenever it counted. I'm sure that won't help him now.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, You're from Texas, you're a happy Red! Woo hoo! :)

It is shocking isn't it that so many people would consider voting for a failure. But it makes sense when you understand that liberals are very, very good at blaming their failures on everything except their own actions and when you realize that so many are simply voting for the party which is most likely to keep the federal goodies going.

This is theft by election. They want Uncle Sam to keep taking from everyone else to benefit them and they don't care about the consequences.

rlaWTX said...

It's this type of news that has me wanting to go move to Ohio or Florida for 6 months just to "help" out the vote...

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's always the possible fly in the ointment -- picking the wrong candidate. Unfortunately, there are many people who have exploited the Tea Party banner precisely as you say. In many ways, I think the Tea Party dodged a bullet with O'Donnell in Delaware because she's just a flake with no views at all. And if she had been elected, she would be doing all kinds of messed up things under the Tea Party banner.

Go Tigers.

Actually, funny story... last time I was coming back from the East Coast, I hit Missouri around 5:00 local time and as I passed St. Louis, we suddenly started seeing all the cars driving along with tiger tails sticking out of the trunk. This was quite the head-scratcher because you just don't see this in other states. Then we realized they were all coming from a football game.

tryanmax said...

You probably know more about Kerry's history than I do. All I know is he was the first governor I can remember (his face was on the road maps in the gas stations) and didn't make the noise in the Senate the way Ben Nelson did. I'm just happy that my state won't be associated with one of the worst liberals sitting in the senate any more!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's good to hear. Young, mostly conservative and long-term electable are a great combo. One of the things that killed me in 2010 was the number of guys like Dan Coats (Indiana) who suddenly appeared. He's at a point where one term is about all he's going to get before he's too old, so why run someone like that? Take the long term view folks!

It sounds like picking Kerry was a huge mistake and I hope that's how it turns out.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Those are the states where you can do the most good. If you have friends there, encourage them to get involved. Every single vote will matter.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Kerry was a guy who relied on being from a conservative state and having been in Vietnam to argue that he was a moderate when he really wasn’t. He was one of only 14 Senators to vote against DOMA, he supported all farm subsidies, he opposed legal reforms, he voted against the big Welfare Reform bill (which the Democrats now claim despite Clinton vetoing it at first), he was big on taxes, big on regulation, etc. And it seemed like every time I saw him, he was blasting anything the Republicans wanted to do.

I particularly remember him being very nasty about his position too, though he said nasty things in a very bland voice which had all the liberals saying, "gee, he's so moderate and even he thinks this is horrible."

T-Rav said...

Andrew, yeah, we do that (well, I don't). And keep in mind, the university is in the middle of the state and STL isn't, so you can imagine what it's like in the immediate vicinity of the campus. Even at gas stations within 20 miles of the Arkansas line, you can find half a shelf devoted to Tigers stuff.

I'm actually fairly hopeful about Wisconsin. I could be kidding myself, but I think Walker will probably beat the recall, and that might have enough of an effect to put Romney over the hump.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Wisconsin has surprised me. I know they've been slowly drifting right, but I'm so used to them been solid blue that it's still hard for me to believe they could go red. If there was an election where it could happen, this would be the won. But I wouldn't want to predict it.

By the way, everything I've read says that Walker will win the recall vote.

If you want to see insane college towns, try Morgantown, W(byGod)Va. Those people are insane. You would think their very lives depend on their sports teams winning... or the Steelers. I kid you not about the flags being at half-mast when the Steelers lose.

Ed said...

I'm with rlaWTX, I don't know if I should be happy or freaked out about this? On the one hand, it's not like we're hoping California switches. On the other side, how can this not be a bigger blow out?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, The good news is that we have the advantage in these states. The bad news is that things are not currently shaping up like a blow up. BUT it could happen. We'll have to see as we get closer.

Use this article as a base to keep track of how things are changing.

Ed said...

Maybe we can all vote in Florida and Ohio? Does Commentarama have a voter-fraud assistance program? ;D

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

If this election was held today, it would be close and the One might win. That is the read I get from your map. By the time November comes around, Obama and crew will be desperate to get Romney into a debate, more as a last ditch effort than anything else. Too many things are going wrong for them right now. From the War on Women, to the rail-roading of George Zimmerman.

From what I expect from his administration is every move will be mishandled, every incident becomes a crisis with over the top reactions, and coupled with an almost deliberate treatment of the electorate as small children. He can't help himself. His friends are all in the same Washington bubble. His myths have been exposed. His plans are all awry.

The real beauty of this is Romney really doesn't have to do anything to just win. I have a strong feeling Romney doesn't want just a win. He wants a bigger blowout than Reagan earned.

rlaWTX said...

Lemme know if you find a fool-proof one, Ed!!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, We do indeed run a voter fraud division. They're downstairs next to the illegal WMD sales department. ;)

T-Rav said...

Ed, I don't know about you, but I personally plan to register all my kittens and sockpuppets to vote, and am assigning half to each state to bump up the GOP count. I've told the kittens I'll stop shooting them in the face if they comply. They're so gullible....

T-Rav said...

A voter fraud division? Hmmm. Must've missed that office on my way to the clandestine gunrunning agency.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I think Kerry jumped in of his own accord. When Nelson bowed out, the Dems seemed content to let the seat go.

Sadly, farm subsidies are an Achilles heel for this state. They get otherwise conservative and independent farmers to vote Democrat all too often.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel,

What I like about Romney now compared to 2008 is that he's got that killer instinct and he's going all out. He didn't just want to win primaries, he wanted to destroy his opponents. That is how politics needs to be played. And now he's brought the same take no prisoners approach to the general election. Look at the dog eating comment -- that's not something Republicans of the past would have said. He did. Why? Because he wants to crush Obama in all aspects so he can get a serious mandate. That bodes really well.

In terms of winning the election, this is how the map looks right now. And until we see a shift, it won't change. But like you, I think a shift is coming and I think it will be in our favor.

Obama has played his entire administration wrong and he keeps making misstep after misstep. And what I think will happen will be that the voters will begin paying attention at the end of the summer, and they will simply look at Obama and see that he's done nothing to change their minds and that will be the end of it... they'll vote for Romney. If that happens, we'll start to see the "swing-states" shift into Romney's column in September and early October. That may create momentum... which would lead to a landslide.

Joel Farnham said...

By the way, I have been meaning to ask, has the Dirty Tricks Department received all the exlax it needs for its brownies.?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX and Ed, It's too bad conservatives don't do that. But you can rest assure liberals will do it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yep, it's right next door.... the door marked: "Fast and Furious Commentarama, not A Clandestine Gunrunning Division of Commentarama."

It's across from the Zeppelin Division.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Well, let's hope Kerry goes down in ethanol flames.

That's been the political problem with farm subsidies for a long time. Throughout all the agricultural and tobacco states, farmers who should have voted with conservatives voted with the Democrats because that's where they subsidies came from. Fortunately, that is starting to break down somewhat (especially with the Democrats turning against tobacco) but it is still a problem.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I always think back to an episode of Barney Miller where they got some brownies from a nice little old lady and they were laced with hash. LOL!

T-Rav said...

By the way, speaking of polling and electoral maps, I would like to announce that Karl Rove has beclowned himself once and for all. His first map of the season is out. LINK

I don't want to hate or anything, but when you put out a map that lists SD, TX, KY, and TN as merely "leaning" Republican, and South Carolina as a freaking toss-up, you have pretty much lost your credentials as a "political advisor/commentator."

T-Rav said...

Cool! We have a Zeppelin Division! Very retro! (steps inside)

Wow. Hey, but these do use helium instead of hydrogen, right? Because it's not a good idea to use hydrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

AndrewPrice said...

Beclowned! LOL! Bravo! That is an excellent new verb! :)

But yeah, Rove's map is idiotic, as one might expect from. . . well, Rove. Those states have a 0.0% chance of going for Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, We use ultra-highly-explosive-and-unstable hydrogen because it's 3 cents cheaper per Zeppelin. :)

Survivor of the Hindenburg said...

Dat vas our idea as vell. Iss not ein good idea. (hack hack)

CrisD said...

Hi Andrew!
I e-mailed your post through "blogger" to my mom (Pennsylvania)! I know she will enjoy the analysis. She sees the U.S. as on the dole and voting for Obama. I guess I cannot blame her.

I can attest , since I lived in Ohio for a bit, that it is divided 50/50 politically. Also, as remarked in some comments Colorado is full of ex-Californians. Also, NC economy is terrible- so you have both people getting government money and also people who have had enough of Obama-so who knows? Maybe NC is the real microcosm.

AndrewPrice said...

Dear Hinderburger, I heard you had some problems. Don't worry though, I've learned nothing from your experiences! :P

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, It sounds like you've done the "Battleground States" Tour!

I can't see NC going for Obama because of the economy and it's inherent conservatism, but Ohio is close and Colorado could go either way -- though until I hear otherwise, I see us leaning left.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, One thing that is killing ethanol subsidies is that it contributes to higher feed prices, pitting one farmer against the next. IOW, farmers aren't a block anymore. That's new.

That's a strategy that Republicans need to take up: block-busting. Find those areas where Democrat voting blocks are not unified and exploit them. It's the wedge-issue technique with a twist.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's true. That's an excellent strategy and Republicans need to learn to exploit it more. The problem is that Republicans buy into the idea that these blocks are unbreakable blocks: blacks are blacks, Hispanics are Hispanics, union guys are union guys, farmers are farmers... "and we'll never get them."

Breaking these blocks up is actually a brilliant idea.

tryanmax said...

I think so, so long as it's done right. It can't be about pitting people against each other. It has to be about making Democrats look out-of-touch. So in the case of farmers, you find the cattlemen who are hurt by ethanol subsidies and say, "Hey, these Dems don't know the difference between a cow and corn. They pass these ethanol subsides thinking they are helping farmers. Well, you guys are farmers, but look what they're doing to you! Put a Republican in Washington and I'll make sure that all farmers' issues are addressed. Not just the one's working so-and-so's pet projects."

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. It needs to be done carefully, but that's exactly how you would do it -- you pick a group who gets "forgotten" by the Democrats and you point this out to them that they are being taken for granted while their issues are being ignored. But the real first key is to stop buying into the idea these groups are monolithic.

tryanmax said...

Exactly! Also, I've been doing a lot of thinking about where it is exactly that Republicans fall down and I've decided it is a tactical breakdown. Republicans have good strategies in mind, but their implementation falls apart mainly because everyone wants to "do it the way it's always been done." Dems, on the other hand, are much better at aligning their tactics with their strategies.

Case in point: the Young Republicans are charged with recruiting college students and young professionals. Part of the strategy includes showing these young people a good time. Except they plan activities that haven't been cool in ages and tend to gravitate toward out-priced venues for the target demo. Why? Because they've always done so. *facepalm*

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I can't comment on the Young Republicans, but I was part of our College Republicans chapter all through college. We always had a problem with getting people to come to meetings; unless there was a pizza party or something or a prominent person was coming to speak, a lot of people didn't care that much about attending because it was mostly just organizational business. Looking back, I suppose it might have been more effective if those of us who were really invested (and we tended to make up the officers) had a meeting on our own, then held larger events that combined entertainment or food with talks/registration drives/something else. That probably would have been a strain on our resources, though.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Very true. I've seen this my whole life. The Republicans/conservatives are very good at coming up with strategy and theory... and horrible at implementing it and selling it. They seem to believe that once something is obvious to them, everyone will see the brilliance and come on board. It never occurs to them that that is not how the human race works. People need to be sold ideas, even good ones. And they need to be led to the promised land, even when the door is standing right before them.

Thus, time and again, I've seen them come up with great strategies to win over blacks, Hispanics, the poor, the elderly, etc. and they've all failed because they had no idea how to sell them or implement them. That's why they are the stupid party.

On the college Republicans, you are absolutely right. I never joined those people because I hated them -- pure and simple. They f**ing creep me out. First, they look like missionaries. Then they start speaking like something out of Leave It to Beaver or a cult:

"Golly gee, we want to talk to you about the evils of premarital sex."

What about it? Are you coming on to me?

"I hear there's so much of it on this television thing other people watch. . . I don't own one. If only people didn't watch television, the country would be saved."

What the f**k is wrong with you?

"Television is evil. You should join us. We meet and read the autobiography of George Bush and the Bible."

Serious, what the f**k is wrong with you?

"Then we talk about ideas. Have you ever considered the possibility of asking politicians to submit bonds to guarantee that they will be truthful at all times?"

Get the f**k away from me freak.

"Join us. We sing at our meeting."

You mean at your cult meetings?

"Then we hand each other buttons telling the kids to say no to drugs."

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, that's not much of an exaggeration. The Young Republicans I knew wore ties. They thumped their chests about not owning televisions. And they were duller than dirt. They didn't listen to rock or like movies. They thought a good time was reading quote from Reagan.

The YAFFers (Young Americans For Freedom) were worse. They were obsessed with the idea of the "truth bond." They really believed that if we could just get politicians to sign large dollar value bonds requiring them to never lie to the public, everything would someone work itself out. And they couldn't understand why I told them this was the most idiotic thing I've ever heard.

tryanmax said...

I can't say my experience with CR/YR was quite so bad, but I remember checking out their meeting once, and it was like a bunch of Carlton Bankses running around. The Young Dems, on the other hand, just had a bunch of pizza and movie parties and I think just assumed everybody wanted to save the whales or whatever. I guarantee you, if you ask the average Democrat college student why they are a Democrat, most will say it's because they throw better parties.

tryanmax said...

Come to think of it, the Campus Crusade for Christ group was way cooler than the College Republicans at my alma mater.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That is really your point and I agree -- they need to find a way to attract college kids BEFORE they try to convert them. But I don't see that. To the contrary, they really turned me off and I was fricken predisposed to join them!

The thing is, they need to rethink this whole thing. They need to learn the art of marketing to attract new people and make it interesting enough for people to stay, and they need to learn the art of networking to make it financially attractive to remain long term. I hate frats, but look at what they offer. The Young Republicans should be paralleling some of that so that it means something.

I also think it would help if the Republicans found some lively youngsters to win people over -- like Alfonso Rachel. It's time to learn the art of being hip, and to stop pretending that middle-age white guys in suits who work for think tanks are hip.

tryanmax said...

Totally OT for a sec: I'm catching Chances Are on TV. It's really funny! How come we never mention Cybill Shepherd when we talk about great actresses? She's good but well overlooked.

<><><><><><>

I completely agree that the GOP has a major marketing problem. (Oh, boy, do I agree!) I've been volunteering as much as I can with the Bruning campaign in hopes of meeting people with pull in that area. I'm not just a political junkie. I seriously want to help!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I have known a lot of people involved with campaigns and many staffers. And I can tell you that NONE of the Republicans understood marketing. They thought it was "unseemly" to use marketing techniques. Seriously.

They still viewed politics through the prism of the 1950s which never was -- local boy goes door to door and shakes hands and explains his views. Everything else beyond that is "unseemly."

It was a real shock talking to these people and it made it very clear why the Republicans have had such trouble winning people over.

Just as bad, they never understood how to explain themselves. They literally thought wonk speak would win people over and they would talk about changing line-items in bills, as if that would excite people.

It was deeply frustrating.

darski said...

Scott Baker always said (and taught) that young conservatives were not willing to do the slogging necessary to get into news and such. if you aren't willing to start as a grunt you don't get to the anchor chair.

T-Rav said...

Wow. Strangely enough, I never had that experience. There were numerous Christians among the CRs, and social issues did come up sometimes, but only sometimes. I think a lot of people went to the state conferences or CPAC mainly in the hopes of chasing some tail (and often succeeded, I must say).

AndrewPrice said...

darski, I'm not sure that's true so much as most young conservatives don't see that a worthwhile pursuit.

The things is, conservatives are long term thinkers. Liberals are short term thinkers. That means liberals are fine with the idea of trying to become actors or news anchors or other jobs with a low probability of success. Because they aren't thinking of the future. To them, it makes more sense to try to win the lottery and become "the famous anchor/actor" than it does to start at a medium income job.

Conservatives, on the other hand, look for jobs that will provide more long term benefit, i.e. a higher probability of having a successful career. So they forgo the high risk high reward jobs in favor of the low risk long term reward jobs.

I think that's why we see a difference in these kinds of fields.

tryanmax said...

Oh, I know! You should have seen the blank stares I got when I started asking questions about the printer who ran off the Bruning mailers. Nobody knew who it was which means nobody thought it was important. The reason I asked is because the flyers looked cheap and $#!++y, which I kept to myself after discovering everybody thought they were wonderful.

And don't get me started on how everything is determined by "consultants." I will admit, I am nowhere near the world's greatest marketing genius, but I could run rings around these "consultants" who have probably been doing politics for decades.

Right now, Don Stenberg is trying to smear Bruning with a bunch of rather blatant falsehoods. The result is that Stenberg is only making himself look bad. Bruning could sit back and watch him implode. But the "consultants" have advised that he counter, which is actually damaging his support. I realize that most of the time, you probably do need to counter somewhat. But these "consultants" are so locked into that mindset that they can't see the exception to the rule when it comes up.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, successful in chasing or catching? I've always been successful at chasing. Catching, not so much...

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I kid you not, at the two schools where I checked out the YR, it was nothing but Alex Keaton/Carlton Banks as far as the eye could see. And they made a HUGE point about hating "pop culture" and avoiding it like the plague. (This was the Dan Quayle v. Murphy Brown era.)

I still recall an argument between two YAFFers who were trying to outdo each other about not owning a television. I wanted to slap both of them. The were honestly proud of their ignorance of the culture because they felt that made them better.

And it wasn't a religious thing, it was just an uptight thing.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, how does that argument work?

"I don't own a TV."

"Oh yeah? Well I never owned a TV."

"I only technically owned a TV. It was a gift that I returned."

None of my friends would buy me a TV because they know how much I hate it."

"Yes, well, after I returned my TV, I got all of my friends to give up theirs."

"So? I petitioned to shut down the TV stations in my hometown. "

"I did the same thing, only my petition succeeded!"

"I broke into a TV store and smashed all the merchandise!"

"I did the same thing, but I blindfolded myself so I wouldn't accidentally see any TV!"

"I gouged my eyes out!"

"I gouged out my eyes and my ears!"

"How can you hear me then?"

"What?"

"What?"

simultaneously: "What? What? What?"

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The consultant industry is a crock.

There are a couple hardcore consultants who are useful. For example, they help you get registered and the such. But beyond that, the whole political consulting industry is packed with morons who are only good at repeating conventional wisdom and acting like yes-men while pretending they are imparting some great analysis. I've honestly been shocked by at how bad most consultants are.... the average man on the street knows as much as they do.

Karl Rove is a perfect example of this. He ran a horrible campaign for Bush. His "genius" moment was deciding to get the base to work for Bush. Wow, revolutionary. He made mistake after mistake. And since he's been out giving his opinion to places like Fox, his analysis has been pedestrian, lacking in insight, and usually wrong. Yet he gets credit as "the architect" simply because Bush won... which had more to do with the Swift Boat guys.

Ditto with the Contract For America. First of all, this is something every single party should have -- a short form platform that lists its 5-10 big ideas. The idea that this was genius is truly retarded. What company on the planet doesn't have a slogan and list of promises about their product? Secondly, half the stuff on the list was idiotic fluff. There is nothing revolutionary or genius about any of it. But since Clinton imploded, it has been vested with this magical power as the device that somehow changed the world. Give me a break.

Finally, having been deeply involved in law and knowing much about the actual working of government, I can tell you that these analysts and consultants don't know jack-sh*t. They don't have the slightest clue how laws are implemented or how to reform them to make them do what you want. All they are doing is passing on loaded crap from the lobbyists who do know how the law works and want to take advantage of it.

I could change the government to a much more conservative government with only a couple minor tweaks to the legal code. But no analyst will ever come up with that because they don't understand the legal system or how it affects the government or how laws get implement, and therefore they stick with bumperstick thoughts, which are a total waste of time.

Grrr.

tryanmax said...

CommentaramaConsulting would probably be an overnight success if you could get a first client willing to take a chance.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! You're not far off. Actually, it began like this (paraphrase):

Me: That was a great game last night.

Loser 1: What game?

Me: The Redskins game.

Loser 1: I don't watch television.

Loser 2: Oh, you own a television? I don't even own one.

Loser 1: Well, I don't own one anymore. We got rid of it XX years ago because it's just so full of filth.

Loser 2: I never owned on. I've only read books about our Founders (true quote). This whole idea of liberals feeding me entertainment is something I won't ever subscribe to.

Loser 1: I feel the same way, but the television was a gift so we had to keep it for a while.

Me: So you tards don't watch the news, don't watch sports, and don't watch any television programs? Yet you think you're qualified to understand Americans?

Loser 2: Television has nothing to do with culture. Our culture comes form the classics and American folklore.(true quote) And it's a liberal myth that everyone watches television.

Loser 1: Besides, there's nothing worth watching on it. It's just filth and liberal propaganda.

Loser 2: I don't watch movies either, with all that sex and violence and swearing. Who needs that?

Loser 1: They should ban swearing in films.

Loser 2: Frankly, they should just shut down Hollywood. It's not like anyone needs it. (true quote)

Me: //draws gun

Loser 1: Oh, I so agree. Hollywood is just a waste. It's not like they've made anything good since the 1950s (true quote).

Loser 2: I feel sorry for people who waste their living sitting in front of that thing. You know television makes people stupid.

Loser 1: And it makes people violent.

Me: //dry clicks gun at losers, decides it's better just to leave them to fester in their smugness.

These two went on a crusade after this to get a gay newspaper removed from the Fairfax County Public Library. One went on to work for Tom Delay. The other became a lobbyist.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, True. We could easily revolutionize politics and governing.

tryanmax said...

RE: Losers -- Yuk!

AndrewPrice said...

Yep. And Capitol Hill is crawling with these kids. Here is your standard Republican staffer:

Age 27-35

Prior Jobs: Volunteer work for political organizations, that summer job at Bible camp

Race: Whiiiiiiiiiiite (with only vague awareness of non-whites... scary things)

Sex: Not very likely

Knowledge of the World: (see sex)

Interests: N/A


And there's not much more to say because that's about all they offer. These are the children who interact with very savvy lobbyists, who go through legislation for Congresscritters and tell them how they should vote, and who end up responsible for writing speeches and making strategy. Scary huh?

The only good news is that the Democrats aren't any better. They just have more sex.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, in light of the number of hotel roommates I've had who weren't in the room next morning after a conference/party, I'd say they were pretty successful at catching as well as chasing. :-/

darski said...

quote--> Conservatives, on the other hand, look for jobs that will provide more long term benefit, i.e. a higher probability of having a successful career. So they forgo the high risk high reward jobs in favor of the low risk long term reward jobs.<--- quote

I am surprised that you would see it this way. I believe you are often saying that we can't give up Hollywood to the left but you suggest that conservatives should give up any part of the news industry. Are you really saying "let them have it"? Who needs news anyway?

I think Commentarama is proof that Scott (who lived this) was right. If we had had a place in local news you wouldn't have to meet in boiler rooms and other dark places LoLoL

AndrewPrice said...

darski, No, no, that's not what I'm saying.

What I'm saying there is how most conservatives DO think. I'm not saying that's how they SHOULD think. To the contrary, I firmly believe that conservatives need to learn the importance of these fields (like acting, writing, art, news, teaching) and they need to learn to embrace those fields and to let their children and their spouses and their friends embrace those fields without dismissing them as "long shots" or "unworthy."

Conservatives need to get into those fields and depoliticize them. Until we do that, we will continue to lose the information and culture wars.

darski said...

Oh good, you had me worried for a moment there. ;D

AndrewPrice said...

darski, LOL! No need to worry. I'm glad you had me clarify that though! :)

rlaWTX said...

I missed the great YR/Cr discussion! Ours were just filled with those guys that you knew would be "good" politicians. They had good stances on things, but were a bit slimy in regular life. I stuck to the BSU (Baptist Student Union), and became a spades Master! aaaahhh, good times...

AndrewPrice said...

Spades master? As in cards or shovels?

rlaWTX said...

cards...

toto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I'm to hear it because I can't imagine what you all would be doing with a collection of shovels?

toto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AndrewPrice said...

toto, I'm going to delete your post. You know why? Because you are a troll who searches the web for articles about the electoral college and then you cut and paste this same garbage. You've done it to us three times.

Take your liberal crap and shove up.

rlaWTX said...

yeah, in college I didn't have anything to with shovels... It was rather amazing how many hours at a time you can spend playing spades though...

rlaWTX said...

also, bravo on the troll treatment.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! This was just leftist spam. We've seen it all before. They post some fake info about how polls show the public overwhelmingly wants the national popular vote and how it would help conservatives in small states, blah blah. It's all false. There's no reason to let them pollute our place.

I found the same thing with FreeCell. You can lose a large chunk of your life playing some of these games!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Someone probably mentioned it, but gas prices will probably rise this summer along with everything else and that will hurt Obama a lot.

Also, Romney has continued to get better while Obama appears to be increasingly desperate.

As an added bonus, Breitbart will continue to vet Obama and Commenterama will keep hammering away!

PS- I like how there's a slow, methodical vetting process at Breitbart.
Some folks have complained and wanna see everything now, but that would be a mistake.
Many voters have short memories, so best to go easy on the ammo until October.

PPS- President Romney will win. :^)

Superb post!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ben! I think you're right that Romney is getting better and Obama is getting more desperate. In fact, my article later today is more proof that Obama is/should be desperate.

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