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Tag: Presidential Election

The Polls vs Intrade Going Into Election Day

I’ve posted a lot of polls, but it looks like these will be the last for this election cycle.

These are all states to watch, but the one that I keep hearing people make a big deal about is Pennsylvania. Partially due to voter laws and regulations, but if PA goes red (doubtful, as usual…) we’ll probably be talking about President Romney on Wednesday, but maybe not.

So we have several different Polls, but also I’m adding some charts from Intrade. Intrade is basically the Vegas style betting platform for politics, and believe it or not it is almost always the most accurate predictor… These charts were posted by my main man Steve Rattner on Morning Joe:

And now for some polls














The Amazing Morphing Campaign Money Map on Vimeo – NPR

The Amazing Morphing Campaign Money Map on Vimeo

I originally saw this at Metoisiosis.Com, which is a very interesting blog that I like to follow.

I first want to point out that it was put out by NPR, which I’ve said for a few years that I think if people had to choose one news source to pay attention to that NPR would be the best one. And I do attribute part of that to being that NPR doesn’t have to seek advertisers and can tell a straight story without worrying about stepping on everyone’s toes

THIS is awesome… Well, the story being told is not awesome at all, but the telling of this story is absolutely awesome. We really do have such a convoluted election system. Some of this problems with our electoral system seems to be by design, but a lot of it seems to be due to a lack of design – which is not to say that it simply sucks because it has to do with the government, because we are smart enough to make this work better.

A lot of people would probably say that if we just got rid of the Electoral College this would mostly fix it’s self, and I partially agree. The problem however is that we are facing more than just regional and demographic barriers, we are facing campaigns that are financed by figures that we cannot comprehend (and I mean that not in jest, I mean that we don’t understand the gravity of these numbers), to deal with issues that are multiple thousands of times larger in terms of actual quantitative numbers… We literally have no idea what we are dealing with here…

Ok, I’ll just let the video do the rest of the talking, but Please share this, because campaign finance has already left it’s mark on this cycles campaigns (namely the Presidential campaigns), but campaign finance reform only happens if it is demanded by the people.

Here are a few snapshots incase you want to share any of this with others.








Presidential Election Roast – Al Smith Dinner Speeches

Mitt Romney Al Smith Dinner Speech – YouTube.

President Obama’s Al Smith Dinner Speech – YouTube.

The Presidential Election is tomorrow… Wow, I’m excited, and nervous. So, I thought today would be a good day to post something to remind us of the humanity that is so often covered up by political games.

The Al Smith Dinner is one of the best events in politics… It is a night where the Presidential candidates come together for a charity dinner benefiting Catholic Charities. Some of these lines do pack a punch, and they do have some truth in them, but most of them have to do with the talking points of the day. What I’m saying is that some of it is funny because it’s true, and some of it is just funny because it’s all we have been hearing, they are jokes… I love politics, and I love comedy, so enjoy 🙂

Also, I’m glad that this happened before the hurricane because having events like this (and this is probably the most important of all like it) are incredibly important for this increasingly polarized nation.

Al Smith Dinner – Governor Romney


Al Smith Dinner – President Obama

Likely Voters and Swing State Polling

So at this point in regards to the popular vote there seems to be 2 options:
1. The race is virtually tied.
2. Gallup knows something that nobody else seems to know.

Gallup is a very highly regarded polling agency, and their polling usually isn’t such an outlier.

No matter the state of the popular vote we are dealing with an electoral college that is more likely than note to re-elect President Obama. How do we know? Polls. Of course they aren’t flawless, but they tend to be great predictors, especially this close to the actual vote. So let’s start with some likely voter polls.



National polling seems to be telling an almost universal story about being tied, but of course we’ll have to wait for the real popular vote tally to really know. One of the ways we can pretend to know now though is breaking down segments of the electorate, and we’re going to do that a little bit now.





And of course the gender differential between likely voters.


Now, those were all fun of course, but the real meat and potatoes at this point is the swing states, especially Ohio! So here’s a little more of a breakdown into where this election will really be decided.





There has even been talk that the campaigns have started putting resources back into Michigan because its closer than expected, and maybe “swingable” to a Republican victory (but I think it’s highly unlikely).


Last but not least, I am not a big fan of Karl Rove, but the man knows politics… On Sunday he was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and he broke down the state of the election with some common knowledge charts, and I do love him for that (I love charts). I do think he is part of the problem with our political system (aka: what he did to John McCain in the primaries against Bush, just google it…), but I’m glad to have anything complicated dumbed down for me, so enjoy these final charts.

The Map By State Voting Density

(In 2008 my home state of Oklahoma had the largest margin towards the GOP, and I’m glad to see that the Mormon vote in Utah and Idaho is going to be making us look at bit more moderate…)

And this picture could actually be important if we run into a tie 269-269 electorate (actually possible…), because in that case the House of Representatives votes on who will be President, and each state gets one vote… The crazy person in me would love to see how this shook up, but the compassionate/pragmatic person within is terrified of this… Not just because the Republicans in the House would be deciding the next President, but with all of the gridlock I think we might have an even less functional government, and less trust in anything it does if this were to happen…


Romney’s Latest Auto Claims Are Absurd – Steve Rattner (aka: the Car Czar)

Romney’s latest auto claims are absurd.

If you don’t have much time, or patience, I would recommend skipping my comments (they are blog comments…) and go ahead and read the article below, which was written by the Car Czar for the auto bailout on Romney’s comments as of late about the auto industry.

Steve Rattner is one of my political and economic heroes… I think that he has a very clear vision of what it means to be pragmatic and plain-spoken in our complex world of politics and business. I often speak to my conservative friends to pay close attention, but that is mostly because of where I’m from. Being from Oklahoma, and living in Arkansas makes it more likely that the uninformed commentator is conservative – the opposite would be true if I were from another part of the country (something that the show “Portlandia” takes a comical approach towards addressing). It’s all about perspective really, we speak in such scathing and polarizing terms about people who promote policies that aren’t so different from our own. In this article Mr. Rattner is calling to the reader’s attention the importance of understanding simple and verifiable facts as they stand… It does not mean that he thinks that Governor Romney is all bad, and the opposite from himself. In fact, I’ve heard Mr. Rattner on multiple occasions praise Governor Romney for being a pioneer on Wall Street. The criticism found in this article is only partially ideological, but more so it is a referendum on the former Governor/CEO/Bishop/etc.’s lack of deference to the truth… It is not a coincidence that these attacks are mostly being made in Ohio, as he desperately needs a November surprise in the state with probably the most organized auto labor collective that there is…

The counter response that I have been hearing when I try to discuss Governor Romney’s multiple aggressions upon reality is that the President lies to, so it’s a push… Well, it’s not… When I ask for examples, or when I hear examples on TV they all seem to be about how the President promised lower unemployment (5.something percent), however that isn’t really the same kind of lie… Being overly optimistic and missing the mark on how much his actions would affect the economy is not the same as blatantly lying about what has or has not happened. It’s just not the same thing. It’s fine to ask questions about whether or not the President implemented appropriate policies, and there is Plenty of room for that debate, but that does not mean that he is a liar in the same way that Romney was… What do you think? Surely I’m wrong about something here, and I’d love some feedback, so feel free to let me know what you think.



Romney’s latest auto claims are absurd

Ohio – What Is the State of the State That Will Decide The Election?

This morning on Morning Joe they discussed the likelihood that the President will win in Ohio, mostly due to his campaign’s roots they’ve planted there over the last 5 years, and their impressive ground game there. The also discussed a few other states, but Nevada in particular. These 2 states are very important in the hopes of the President getting reelected, and 1 great connection was made on the show as to why they will probably go the President’s way – they are probably the 2 states with the most organized labor unions. Also, those labor unions in Ohio are probably Very heavily in favor of President Obama considering the auto bailout and the car industry in Ohio. Governor Romney has definitely made up some room in Ohio, but it looks at this point like it probably won’t be enough, and Ohio will almost surely predict the outcome of the election, baring some very surprising upsets in other swing states.




Nevada would be a big get or either candidate. The help that the unions in Nevada are giving President Obama seem to be providing a safe cushion. If he were to lose Nevada it might be pretty costly in the end…



On Morning Joe they were discussing the likelihood of this being the final election map, and the possibility of having a 269 to 269 tie (even though it would be quite unlikely), and the possibility of Governor Romney winning the popular vote while President Obama wins the electoral college – and they discussed how this country needs an election without contest because of the toxicity of our political polarization, and how that effects our people.


Chump Change: How Do American Voters Vote For Change in 2012?

We Still Want Change, But How Do We Get It?

4 years ago then Senator Barack Obama was elected on a platform of Change. A new poll shows that many voters are still waiting for the change they voted for… Having just experienced an incredible economic disaster we have to ask whether or not that change was possible while also making sure “the house didn’t burn down” (or at least this is what he’s running on). But there are still lingering questions of whether or not President Obama has been the President of change that he said he was, and if not whether of not he would be in the next term. These questions are apparently rather important to voters because they are still looking to cast a “change” vote. The funny part about that is that this vote still might be cast for the incumbent (President Obama), as 2/3’s of the people polled have consistently said that they blame the economy on former President Bush, not President Obama. I have some mixed feelings, but overall I find that he matches that framework better than his challenger, Mitt Romney, who is being castigated as a believer in the Bush style of government. I tend to agree that he would be a step backwards, but I say this understanding that I’ve got a thing or 2 to learn yet. What do you think?


The President has some very wavering opinions to face in this re-election campaign. He is, according to polls, the more likable candidate, but whether or not he is seen as a serious executive is still being aggressively debated. Judging from this most recent opinion polling maybe the best way to win the election is to be the one to emerge from the fray with the message of Change, again. And if the President is re-elected let’s hope that he isn’t faced with such pressing problems, and such an impossible congress to work with… What say you?





And now, for some Approval numbers:








“Will who wins the Presidency make a great deal of difference in your life personally?”




This shows just how polarized we are, as over half of the voters believe that it will make a great deal of difference in their life personally who wins, and among those voters the vote is tied as for who deserves their vote… I don’t know that they are right about the administrations making that big of a difference in their lives, unless of course if they love blogging about politics as much as I do, but I think it says something about people not having given up on their vote counting for something…




I’d love to have some feedback. What do you think about these polls?

Morning Joe Charts – Economy Under Obama

Morning Joe Charts – Economy Under Obama.

So tonight’s Presidential Debate (the 3rd of 3) is about foreign affairs and foreign policy. It is a very difficult debate for Romney for 3 reasons: his lack of foreign policy experience, his awkward handlings of multiple issues related to foreign affairs (ie: London Olympics, the knee jerk reaction to Benghazi, and his rhetoric describing nations like Iran and Russia and China), and of course the fact that it is very difficult for a challenger to debate a sitting President on foreign affairs.

With all of that in mind we need to remember that most voters are going to vore more so on the the state of the economy and their feelings about who will be better for it. Many polls have said that people have more faith in Governor Romney on the economy, but their does seem to be some division. With all of that said, here are some charts about the jobs numbers during President Obama’s tenure in office. I find them more impressive than some, but I can’t help but think about the unmitigated disaster that he was in charge of helping us avoid (not to say that things haven’t been rough.

I think that the best chart for an affirmation of the President’s record is the first chart on Real GDP, and the way that it shows a steady rise, which to me represents economic growth less based on bubbles that we have faced over the last 30 years with under-regulated markets. On the other hand, I think that the chart that is the most devastating for the President is the third chart measuring Real Hourly Earnings. This chart, which I posted about in a previous post regarding Steve Rattner’s analysis, is apparently a stronger predictor of re-election viability. This of course is not exactly a full scale quantitative study due to the small number of re-election campaigns we have to compare to, and the fact that only those of FDR had comparable economies. Also, if we were to vote according to whether or not a President helped us make more money at our job we would need to have a really detailed conversation about what our expectations for a President really are… Can a President really do that? And for my conservative friends out there who just said yes, I would like for you to then explain to me why Romney says that the government can’t create jobs, or make jobs better (aka: government needs to just get out of the way). I just don’t see how that could actually help people make more money. If anything I think that if the third chart is really indicative of how this election will turnout I think it would be very likely to indicate that the voters simply want to have their cake, and eat it too.

So, the analysis isn’t perfect, but I do think that it is very important to pay attention to trends that we can find. We need a national mirror, and sometimes charts such as these can at least be a play the part of a reflective window that we walk past to get a glimpse at our countries face.

What do you think?

The Charts

FRONTLINE | The Choice 2012 (full episode) | PBS

FRONTLINE | “The Choice 2012” (full episode) | PBS.


Here it is… On October 9, 2012 Frontline put out this election cycle’s film about the Presidential race, and I love it… If there is one thing that you are going to pay attention to this campaign season I recommend this special. I have been open with the fact that I plan to vote for President Obama, but even though I have problems with Romney I actually respect him a lot… That might seem weird, considering that I’ve posted about him being dishonest, but I think that the reasons for him being somewhat dodgy are complex. So, I just say that to insist that this special really is as non-partisan as you are going to find… Really… Gov. Romney’s Wife Ann Romney and brother Scott Romney are both willingly interviewed, and they are very candid, and it seems like they’re having fun.

I’m sure that there are some great jokes about PBS and Big Bird to make here, but I’m not going to do that, because I very seriously want to reiterate that I think you should watch this… I love Frontline, and I love Presidential politics, because it stirs the people’s melting pot. Presidential politics can sometimes be the best way to quantify where this great and diverse nation sees it’s self now, and in the future. I hope that you enjoy it, and if you do please share it with people who you think might be struggling with the bickering, these are 2 great men…

If you enjoy the video or are interested in learning more go to the FRONTLINE website, there is a lot more information outside of this film. And if you really like it, like me, you might want to buy it on itunes to support great work like this (remember, the way you spend your money is a form of voting, and that’s why Honey Boo Boo is on TV…). So feel free to buy it for $2.99 (that’s not very much money…) on iTunes, you can just click below:

Frontline – The Choice 2012 (iTunes)

There were a lot of great pictures in this special, and I took a lot of snap shots, so I’m including them… Hopefully they’ll help tell part of the story.

The Radical Is Romney, Not Ryan – Steve Rattner

After hearing Governor Romney muddy the waters in the last debate I was really frustrated to find out that he muddied the waters even more than I had initially though… He said that we should just throw all of the studies out about the campaigns approaches to taxes and spending because we all have different studies making opposing arguments, and it’s just a push, we can’t know which one is right… Well, as it turns out, the studies that Romney was referring to ended up being Blog Posts (and yes I realize this is a blog post – I just don’t claim that it could go toe-to-toe with Obama’s actual study). If you want to read more about Romney’s “tax study” problem click here (The truth about Romney’s ‘six studies’). Other than that I think that this Rattner article is really interesting and I encourage you to read it.




The Radical Is Romney, Not Ryan

OCTOBER 15, 2012

Originally published in the New York Times

MITT ROMNEY, moderate. That earnestly sought post-debate public image contrasts starkly with Mr. Romney’s actual positions on many issues, especially the future trajectory of government spending.

Clinging tightly to a studied vagueness when pressed for unpopular specifics, Mr. Romney has put forward a budget framework that would not eviscerate Medicare and Social Security, as is commonly believed, but would slash everything else that’s not defense.

President Obama should use Tuesday night’s debate to press Mr. Romney to defend — or even just explain — these proposed cuts, which would be far more draconian than those advanced by his running mate, Paul D. Ryan. Mr. Ryan is widely viewed as the real fiscal hawk, but in key areas, his views on spending levels are actually closer to Mr. Obama’s than to Mr. Romney’s.

All in all, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney do see the future similarly — over the next decade, they want government spending reduced to about 20 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product, below the historic average of around 21 percent. (Recognizing that an aging society costs more, Mr. Obama proposes to hold spending at its current level, 23 percent.)

These differences may not sound like much, but by 2023, each percentage point of G.D.P. could represent about $250 billion in federal spending.

Though Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. brought it up repeatedly in his debate with Mr. Ryan on Thursday, Social Security — the single biggest government expenditure — is not on the battlefield. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have each backed away from threats to privatize or cut it and now propose to spend the same amount on it as Mr. Obama would in the coming decade.

That’s not the case with Medicare. Mr. Obama and Mr. Ryan have each endorsed similar packages of about $950 billion of savings over 10 years, while Mr. Romney has opposed any reduction, making it virtually impossible for him to achieve his overall spending limit.

To be sure, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan agree — and differ with Mr. Obama — on many matters, like how to contain the growth in Medicare spending and whether to raise the eligibility age.

And they part company from Mr. Obama when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (the Republicans demand its repeal, claiming it would save about $1.6 trillion) and Medicaid (Messrs. Romney and Ryan want it turned over to the states and want to cut nearly 20 percent from Mr. Obama’s planned levels).

But with respect to nearly half the budget, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan widely diverge from each other.

Mr. Romney is calling for a huge increase in defense spending — roughly $2 trillion more over the next decade than Mr. Ryan wants to spend, which is only $400 billion above Mr. Obama’s budget — even though the military is not asking for such an increase. Such an increase would force giant reductions, about 40 percent, in everything that’s left.

“Everything else” isn’t some catchall of small items, like feeding Big Bird. We’re talking about a vast array of programs including civilian and military pensions, food stamps, unemployment and disability compensation, the earned income and child tax credits, family support and nutrition, K-12 education, transportation, public safety and disaster relief. And on and on.

All told, Mr. Romney would allocate $6.9 trillion for these items, compared with the $9.3 trillion proposed by his own running mate (and Mr. Obama’s $12 trillion, which itself represents a 9 percent reduction from current levels, after adjusting for inflation).

No doubt some of what is buried within “other mandatory and nondefense discretionary spending” can be eliminated. Perhaps Americans won’t miss a few national parks or the space program.

But also nestled within this category are critical outlays for investments in infrastructure and research.

Eating the seed corn is never advisable, yet that’s what Washington is already doing. The share of spending on infrastructure (roads, airports, dams and the like) fell from 2 percent of G.D.P. in 1971 to 1 percent in 2010.

More — not less — government money needs to be invested in these kinds of growth-generating projects (not to mention education and training).

I recognize that in the real world, cuts on the scale envisioned by Mr. Romney will prove politically untenable, which would force a President Romney to rethink his agenda.

But as a statement of intent, it’s Mr. Romney — not Mr. Ryan — who has produced the budget that would more dramatically reduce the services offered by government, and in ways that would shock and outrage most Americans. We can only hope that Mr. Obama will draw those contrasts clearly in the debate.

via The Radical Is Romney, Not Ryan.

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