Friday, October 31, 2008

One Day Zogby Poll Shows McCain Lead, Four Days Before the Election

Normally I wouldn't even consider a Zogby poll. During the last Presidential election they were so inaccurate that many poll aggregation sites dropped them for obvious bias. Perhaps trying to grab headlines again, Zobgy announced the results of one day poll, showing a 48-47 statistical tie.

If they were going for attention it worked. Zogby's site is giving "Service Unavailable" at the moment. Whether they were shut down by heavy traffic or angry Obamacons is impossible to say. The Drudge Report goes the subtle route with a nice headline in 36 pt font. Since you can't link to a specific Drudge headline, here's a screen capture.

Everyone is buzzing about the result but I don't think you should read to much into it. The biased polling says Obama has this locked up. Adjusted polls show and candidate behavior show it to be a very close race. On Tuesday we will know.

Personally, I believe new like this is better for McCain than some random poll result.
U.S. stocks rose, capping the biggest weekly gain since 1974, after JPMorgan Chase & Co. took steps to end the housing crisis, bank lending rates declined and earnings from companies outside the financial industry expanded four times faster than the previous quarter.

JPMorgan added 9.7 percent after saying it will modify terms on $110 billion of mortgages and delay foreclosures. Morgan Stanley climbed 8.6 percent after the cost of borrowing dollars for three months fell. Wynn Resorts Ltd., the biggest U.S. casino company, soared 30 percent after increased gambling in Macau boosted profit.
And I don't just say that because I happen to own some JPMorgan stock...

Boehner Slams Obama Hard In Oxford, Ohio

Sometimes a story is just too tempting for me to pass up. You see, I grew up in Oxford, Ohio and I went to undergrad there at Miami University. So when a quote from a stump speech there makes Hot Air's quote of the day, I couldn't help but notice. I even get to quote my old college newspaper, The Miami Student.
Following a three-week tour around the country campaigning for House Republicans, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stumped for presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at Brick Street Bar and Grill.
The few of you reading this have no idea how odd it is to be pasting in that quote. Oxford only really has one main shopping street--the town population has hovered at 10,000 locals and 15,000 students for over thirty years now. I wash I had been there to see it.
"Now, listen, I've voted 'present' two or three times in my entire 25-year political career, where there might have been a conflict of interest and I didn't feel like I should vote," Boehner said. "In Congress, we have a red button, a green button and a yellow button, alright. Green means 'yes,' red means 'no,' and yellow means you're a chicken shit. And the last thing we need in the White House, in the oval office, behind that big desk, is some chicken who wants to push this yellow button."
I should point out that as college campuses go, Miami University is way on the conservative side. All of southwestern Ohio (even urban Cincinnati) is very red. That had its frustrating aspects growing up but it doesn't surprise me to hear a politican using that kind of language in Oxford.

Fantastic Response to Hollywood Political Endorsements

Any time someone mails you a link to some preachy do-this-because-the-world-depends-on-it political endorsements from a Hollywood celebrity, send them this back in return.
I'm still laughing...

Obama: Not Paying Higher Taxes is Selfish

I don't think it is possible for me to disagree with a candidate more on tax issues. I can't think of a more clear way of putting it. In a Florida stump speech, Obama had the following to say:
The point is, though, that — and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class — it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic,” Obama continued. “You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.
The government is about the most inefficient way to do anything. This goes double for redistributing money. Ed Morrissey says it brilliantly with:
This reveals the basic underlying philosophy of the Left - that one cannot possibly be charitable unless they use the government to redirect their funds. Obama assumes that people who don’t want to pay higher taxes are somehow “selfish”, but that’s only true if one assumes that the so-called rich won’t do anything else with their money except sit around like Scrooge McDuck, counting it constantly. Most people today invest it, which creates jobs, or spend it, which creates even more jobs, or donate it to charity — which works much more effectively and with much less overhead than filtering it through government bureaucracy.
My goal of being fair-minded and rational is quickly slipping away as the election fast approaches. Do not let people who think like this into power. Please. Get motivated. Go vote for John McCain.

Obama and Promises

Busy morning, but I have time to link to this interesting article by Jake Tapper at ABC entitled "Obama Claus". Tapper comments on the number of promises Obama makes during his campaign speeches. The following list is from one speech in Florida:
  • "give a tax break to 95 percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paycheck every week";
  • "eliminate income taxes on Social Security for seniors making under $50,000";
  • "give homeowners and working parents additional tax breaks";
  • not increase taxes on anyone if they "make under $250,000; you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime –- not your income taxes, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax";
  • "end those breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas";
  • "give tax breaks to companies that invest right here in the United States";
  • "eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-up companies that are the engine of job creation in this country";
  • "create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, and schools -- by laying broadband lines to reach every corner of the country";
  • "invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade";
  • "reopen old factories, old plants, to build solar panels, and wind turbines";
  • build "a new electricity grid";
  • "build the fuel efficient cars of tomorrow";
  • "eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in 10 years";
  • "lower premiums" for those who already have health insurance;
  • "if you don't have health insurance, you'll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress give themselves";
  • "end discrimination by insurance companies to the sick and those who need care the most";
  • "invest in early childhood education";
  • "recruit an army of new teachers";
  • "pay our teachers higher salaries, give them more support. But ... also demand higher standards and more accountability";
  • "make a deal with every young person who's here and every young person in America: If you are willing to commit yourself to national service, whether it's serving in our military or in the Peace Corps, working in a veterans home or a homeless shelter, then we will guarantee that you can afford to go to college no ifs ands or buts";
  • "stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq whole the Iraqis have a huge surplus";
  • "end this war in Iraq";
  • "finish the fight and snuff out al Qaeda and bin Laden";
  • "increase our ground troops and our investments in the finest fighting force in the world";
  • "invest in 21st century technologies so that our men and women have the best training and equipment when they deploy into combat and the care and benefits they have earned when they come home";
  • "No more homeless veterans"; and
  • "no more fighting for disability payments."
With such a long list, it is impossible that anyone would believe he is going to hold true to them all, right? Wrong. This video is popping up everywhere:

I never thought this day would happen. I won't have to work on puttin' gas in my car. I won't have to work at payin' my mortgage. You know. If I help him [Obama], he's gonna help me.
I can only hope this young lady is disappointed come Wednesday morning...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CBS Also Negative on the Obama Infomercial

CBS has published an evaluation of the Obama's 30-minute infomercial and it is not positive. Wyatt Anderews at CBSNews does the math and concludes there is no way that Obama can pay for everything he promised:
If he closes every loophole as promised, saves every dime from Iraq, raises taxes on the rich and trims the federal budget as he's promised to do "line by line," he still doesn't pay for his list. If he's elected, the first fact hitting his desk will be the figure projecting how much less of a budget he has to work with - thanks to the recession. He gave us a very compelling vision with his ad buy tonight. What he did not give us was any hint of the cold reality he's facing or a sense of how he might prioritize his promises if voters trust him with the White House.
Here's a specific example:
Fact: Even if you believe Obama intends to fix health care, most independent analysts say the cost is massive - $1.2 trillion over ten years, according to the highly respected Lewin Group. When the new Congress wakes up next year to a $1 trillion deficit, and answers the overwhelming new demands for another stimulus package, will the leadership really bite on a health care reform package that digs the deficit hole so much deeper?
I specifically like this point (emphasis mine):
Fact: Obama, when referring to savings he can make by leaving Iraq ($90 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates), has spent these savings several times over, across several different promises depending on the crowd he's addressing.
Ah yes. Over-promising and making different promises to different audiences. That's true change from your stereotypical politician.

Obama's 30-Minute Infomercial--The Reviews Are In

Last night Obama aired his 30-minute infomercial on three of the four major broadcast networks. The reviews are in and, not surprisingly, people were not impressed. That's just way too much time at a point where one more 30-second ad is enough to cause most viewers to grab the remote and change the channel.

Shockingly, though, the Associated Press was in the lead in criticizing the broadcast. AP writer calls Obama less than upfront and suggests he was misleading about budget realities. Here is one example.
THE SPIN: "That's why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year."

THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it's not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.
Instapundit notes that infomercial "experts" thought it was poor performance. The link to the review of "All Sham, No Wow" was particularly entertaining. Though I'm not sure that last comparison is fair. I've actually owned a Shamwow purchased at a local home and garden show and it actually works! The same cannot be said for Obama's planned policies...

Bill Dyer comments that McCain and Palin have been to "charitable" in their discussion of where the money for the infomercial came from.
The McCain-Palin campaign correctly points out that Sen. Barack Obama's "30-minute prime-time address [tonight will be] a 'gauzy, feel-good commercial' that was 'paid for with broken promises.'" But for Obama's undisputed and indisputable violation of his solemn oath to accept public campaign financing, there's no way he could have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, including this hugely expensive cross-network TV buy.

But "paid for with broken promises" is the most charitable characterization. The Obama-Biden campaign deliberately has solicited and received hundreds of thousands of credit card transactions of $250 or less, whose details the campaign won't make available for outside review even though in the aggregate they amount to hundreds of millions of dollars — via a fraud-friendly credit card system (a) which accepts transfers from untraceable pre-paid credit cards, and (b) whose basic anti-fraud measures have been deliberately crippled. The Obama-Biden campaign might just as well have set up dumpsters all over the world into which illegal donors could dump shopping bags full of cash donations made in unmarked small bills.
It is of course impossible to measure the impact of the infomercial. But by all indications, it was at best a wash for Obama.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Early Democratic Voters in Florida...Are Voting for McCain?

Kim Preistap at Wizbang links to this local Florida paper article about early voting. Something is fishy with the results and I haven't yet been able to determine what the root cause is. But it is interesting enough to quote here.
Democrats are beaming that their party is outperforming the Republicans in early voting, releasing numbers Wednesday that show registrants of their party ahead 54 percent to 30 percent among the 1.4 million voters who have gone to the polls early.

"We're thrilled at the record turnout so far," said Democratic Party of Florida spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "It's a clear indication that Democrats want to elect Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot so that we can start creating good jobs, rebuilding our economy and getting our nation back on track."

But party breakdowns for turnout aren't the same as final tallies, and at least one poll offered a different view for the campaign of Republican John McCain.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.

And Republicans continued to show a traditional strength, leading 50 percent to the Democrats' 30 percent in the 1.2 million absentee ballots already returned.
If you followed that, Democrats lead in early voting 54-30 yet Mcain leads 49-45 among these voters. Noting that these are exit polls and not actual tallies (and therefore are subject to inaccuracies just like opinion polling), this would have to mean that the following two things are true:
  1. Independents in FL are breaking hard for McCain.
  2. Obama is bleeding far more votes to McCain among Demcrats than McCain is losing to Obama among Republicans.
And this doesn't even consider the final data point of the quote that absentee ballots heavily favor Republicans. Given many absentee ballots are oversea military ballots (a group that breaks heavily for McCain) this is just fuel to the fire at this point.

At the same time, conventional polling shows FL handily in the Obama column? The pollsters might want to rethink their models.

For those curious, I took a stab at guessing the internals for this poll, if the numbers above are correct. Here is my best guess:

First I assumed each group gave 2% of the total to third party candidate--the 49-45 results has 6% missing. After that, even if I give McCain 100% of Republicans and Independents remaining, Obama still has to give McCain 13% of remaining Democrats (7% of 54% is 13%) to make the numbers work out. I just can't believe what the math suggests so something in the data quoted in the article must be amiss. If not, it is very good news for McCain in Florida.

The Obama-Khalidi Cover-up

When I first read about this story, I didn't think there was much to it. Not that the story itself wasn't important I just doubted the impact it would have on voters. The more Obama's supporters try to squash it though, the more I am beginning to suspect there is something quite damaging here.

The background. The LA Times reportedly has a video of Obama toasting Rashid Khalidi at a party back in 2003. Khalidi is a former PLO operative and known to support the destruction of Israel. The LA Times is refusing to release the video until after the election, on the ground that their source requested they wait.

As could be expected, the refusal to release the video has turned it into a much larger story. McCain is bringing up the issue in stump speeches now. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
"Apparently this is a tape with a dinner that Mr. Ayers ... was at, and also ... one of the leading spokespersons for the PLO. Now, why that should not be made public is beyond me," McCain told La Kalle radio.

"I guarantee you, if there was a tape with me and Sarah Palin and some neo-Nazi or one of those, you think that that tape wouldn't be made public? Of course, Americans need to know, particularly about Ayers, and also about the PLO. So hopefully there will be enough pressure on the L.A. Times that it'll come out, but its really unfortunate that we have to go through this," McCain continued.
McCain is spot on here. Using my previous analogy, if there was a McCain and neo-Nazi video, CNN would launch a new cable channel just so they could play it in a continuous loop.

Gateway Pundit also reports that Newt Gingrich is offering $50,000 and that Dune Capital Holdings is offering $150,000 for the original source to come forward and provide the video. Furthermore, the cover-up continues, as the Wikipedia entry on Khalidi has been conveniently closed until after the election.

Hot Air also comments on the story:
I was skeptical at first that anything useful would come from it even if it was released, but now that Maverick’s made an issue of it to build suspense, a clip showing The One demonstrating that first-class temperament of his by sitting there placidly while some tool recites a poem “accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians” would be fun viewing during the run-up to Tuesday.
I shared that skepticism. But the more people try to cover this up, the more clear it becomes that there is really something there they don't want people to see.

Summary of Obama's Responses to Criticisms

Political cartoonist Michael Ramirez sums up Obama's attitude towards criticism perfectly in a very simple and elegant way. (Hat tip: Powerline.)


Presidential Poll Analysis: Weekly Trends

I was surprised today to see two different sources independently reach a conclusion I thought was common knowledge. I thought it was a well known fact that Democratic candidates poll better during the weekend and Republican candidates poll better during the work week. Apparently this fact wasn't as well known as I thought.
Bob Krum performs an analysis of Gallup results looking for this trend. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
Pollsters have long known that the demographic makeup of a random telephone sample changes from night to night. Those with families are less likely be available at home during weekend polling. Since that demographic tends to vote more Republican, weekend polling often understate support for the GOP. Polling companies use weighting to attempt to balance unbalanced weekend samples. But the Gallup traditional daily tracking poll doesn’t seem to have balanced the disparity enough.

So is Gallup not accounting for this known effect on purpose? Hard to tell of course but it is suspicious. Steve Schippert reaches similar conclusions at Wizbang.
Notice the trend that appears in the Gallup image: McCain gains consistently once the vast majority of those polled actually have to go to work - and it tightens most midweek. The dates marked in the image are Sundays, consistently right in the middle of Obama's biggest trended edges.


Take from it what you will, but I would suggest that when people are actually at work, doing what they do, earning what they earn, these working people trend toward McCain most. Would also suggest the saavy marketing/media practice of Friday releases to own a three day cycle has been successfully captured by the Obama campaign. Friday's news stews during his biggest margins.
The commenters over at Hedgehog report have discussed this effect for years. They know that a 3-day tracking poll released on Monday is going to favor the Democratic candidate--it always has. Still I'm glad to see this phenomenon is being understood and explain to more people.

Rasmussen Has the Race Within Margin of Error

Yesterday, Gallup had the race within two points. Today, Rasmussen also has the race within the margin of error--three points.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote nationwide while John McCain earns 47%. This is the first time McCain has been within three points of Obama in more than a month and the first time his support has topped 46% since September 24 (see trends). One percent (1%) of voters prefer a third-party option and 2% are undecided.
Ed Morrissey notes:
We talked quite a bit about polling at last night’s Talk the Vote event. All three hosts reminded people that Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan with eight days left in the race in 1980 outside the margin of error. Furthermore, the rising number of refusals — those who refuse to participate in telephone polling — make the predictive value of electoral polling more questionable than ever before. Michael Medved said that some pollsters report refusal levels as high as 80%.
The Carter-Reagan data point I've discussed before. The 80% refusal level is new data for me and is astoundingly high. Think about that for a minute.

Four of five people that are asked to give input on a poll refuse to do so. That means you are selecting out a very specific minority of the population--the 20% that actual want to answer a poll. What other characteristics do these people share? Are they motivated to do so because they hate George Bush? If so, have you selected the people that actually think of McCain and McSame? Do the bulk of the other 4/5ths of the population not share those views?

I think the biggest takeaway is that you should take any statement that reads as "polling numbers show this election is going to be like no other election in history--the fundamental nature of the country has changed and changed drastically in the last two years" as non-scientific and likely bogus. This could be the year that every college student who says they are going to vote actually votes--but it probably won't be. This could be the year that states that have voted Republican for the last 44 years suddenly flip to the Democrats by huge margins--but it probably won't be.

All of the major polling results (regardless of how biased or skewed they are) are showing a trend towards McCain this week. Part of this is them adjusting their numbers so they don't appear like idiots on election day. But part of this is that recent events have been favorable to McCain and the election is now indeed close.

One thing is for Tuesday will be very interesting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Media Bias: Only Report the Bad News

The choices CNN makes for the front page picture of continue to fascinate me. If I had funding from some wasteful government agency, I'd spend it just cataloging those pictures and doing analyses.

During the recent stock market woes, CNN has often run with photos of Wall Street investors with their heads buried in their hands. It certainly is an effective way to capture the mood and in the case of those stories is entirely appropriate. The following image isn't from CNN but it is similar to the images they showed during the crash.

Today, the DOW index is currently up +675.73, which is an increase of 8.27%. That's pretty big news, right? So what story is CNN leading with? A story about the woes of mental patients in Iraq. This is just astounding. First, here is the picture they are running currently:

Please note the following.
  1. The markets being down is well-known to help Obama and are front page news. The markets are up and it only mentioned in the business section.

  2. Military news out of Iraq is good. StrategyPage declares the war is over and that we won. But good news cannot come out of Iraq. That would look bad for Obama, who opposed the surge. So instead we do a sad human interest story about Iraq and make that the news.
It seems that right now, if CNN can't show someone with their hands buried in their heads, they don't run the story. Remember the message is that things right now are horrible--you need hope and change. Vote Obama.

The bias is disgusting. Don't let it affect you.

Polls One Week Before the Election

With one week to go before the election I thought I'd look at some of the polls. As has been discussed many times here, polling this elections season has been more biased and scientifically flawed than normal. But as it is the only source of data we have, it is still interesting to examine, so long as one is careful about the internals and the details.

First up, Gallup has McCain within 2% among likely voters. There are other measurements, using a new "expanded likely voters" which basically says people are going to vote for Obama like no candidate in history--this is the year, in fact, that all historical election models are wrong. If you believe that, Obama is up by 7%.

Hugh Hewitt notes:
With a full week left for voters to consider Obama's plans to hike their taxes and redistribute their wealth....
At Hedgehog, they have two more recent results:
GWU /Battleground: Obama 49%, McCain 46%
Reuters: Obama 49%, McCain 45%
Both of these are within margin of error.

Finally, the IBD-TIPP poll has the following results, via Gateway Pundit:
Obama's lead over McCain-Palin shrank over the weekend. The One slid from a 3.9 point lead down to a 2.8 point lead on Monday. IBD-TIPP, the most accurate pollster of the 2004 campaign season, has Obama's lead now down to within the margin of error.
What's the summary point here? This race is actually close. Polls are never 100% accurate and picking out the most accurate pollster is only something that is ever done in hindsight. Recent new has focused heavily on statements Obama has made about redistribution of wealth for the past ten years. This just fuels the Joe the Plumber fires.

Does Obama still have the advantage with a week to go? Very likely. Should conservatives give up and not vote? Absolutely not! Get out there, be positive, vote, don't give up. It may seem like it near the end of a long campaign, but this election is far from over. Marathons are sometimes won with a sprint at the end just so long as you are close enough when the final push starts. John McCain and Sarah Palin are indeed close enough.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Do Not Question Obama-Biden Holds For .. The Media?

This is a story I thought wouldn't really get much press but because the Obama-Biden camp won't let it die, it lives on. Hot Air has been covering the story the most, but it is interesting enough (and humorous) that I'll walk you through it here.

A local news reporter of WFTV in Florida was interviewing Joe Biden. Instead of the typical line of questioning such as "Can you believe it is only a couple of weeks until Obama wins?" and "Isn't that Sarah Palin chick useless?", the reporter decided to ask real questions on topics like the redistribution of wealth and ACORN voter fraud. The result, as described by Hot Air, is comedy gold:

And it should have ended there. It would have just gone down as one more performance by Biden that would have been ignored and forgotten. But it didn't end there. Obama-Biden was so upset that the reporter dared to ask real questions that the news station has been blackballed from further interviews. They called her combative and unprofessional, yet Michele Malkin notes:
She was completely professional and gracious.

But remember: Anything less than total sycophancy from the Obamedia is considered “combative.”
Biden continues to keep this story in the news by mentioning it in stump speeches. Here's one where it is 'ugly' to question Obama's economic leanings.
All this has gotten a few people to sit up and take notice. Bernard Goldberg discusses the media and how it is behaving and being treated by the Obama campaign.

Ed Morrissey comments:
Maybe they saw what happened to Joe the Plumber and have been intimidated into silence. Nah, that can’t be it. After all, they participated in that character assassination. Maybe they just love Obama more than free speech and an independent media.
That last sentence is sadly probably the most accurate.

Obama Supporters and the Police State Mentality

I've written in the past on the questionable and frightening tactics rabid Obama supports use against anyone who dares question him. On Friday, Megan McCardle visited the same subject.

Here is the back story. A reporter, Neil Munro, ran a test of the donation systems for both Obama and McCain. He purchased two $25 gift cards from American Express and used them to makes donations to the campaigns of Obama and McCain.
As required by law, the campaigns' Web sites asked for, and National Journal provided, the donor's correct name, location and employment. The cards were purchased with cash at a Washington, D.C., drugstore, and the campaigns' Web sites were accessed through a public computer at a library in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The Obama campaign's Web site accepted the $25 donation, but the McCain campaign's Web site rejected it.
You can go read his entire report for the details, but the high-level summary is that McCain system actually checked and verified the address as is required by law while the Obama system happily ignored the law and accepted the donation.

That is a story in and of itself, but McCardle writes about what happened after the story was published. It seems some Obama supporters are upset that this reporter had the audacity to actually do some investigative reporting and they wonder if maybe Munro could be arrested for committing voter fraud.
It also seems like the only way to expose much wrongdoing or error. The Obama campaign screwed up massively; it should not be possible to charge something to a credit card without matching the name to the name on the credit card. Most responsible web processors also require that you provide a fair amount of other information, to ensure that people aren't using stolen cards. And beyond that, last time I looked it was mandatory to get correct names to ensure that people aren't violating the campaign finance laws. I don't support those laws, to be sure. But as long as they are the law, all the campaigns have to abide by them.

Wondering if we can't prosecute the person who exposed the campaign's error smacks of police state tactics. Yes, I still support Obama, and I have no reason to think that the error was deliberate. But that doesn't mean that I think the Obama team has a right to have its errors protected from public exposure.
I'm sure if Munro had been spending his time dumpster diving in Alaska to dig up some dirt on Palin, he would be labeled a journalistic hero by Obama supporters. Note also two details that indicate just how far this "Obama will not be questioned" mantra goes.
  1. Munro didn't specifically target the Obama campaign. He ran a test that treated both campaigned equally. And he published his results as they happened with no doctoring. Yet somehow these actions are taken as punative towards Obama and his angry mob is demanding retribution.

  2. Megan McCardle writes about this attitude but can't help but remind people that she still supports Obama and doesn't support the laws he is violating. It is probably standard policy at a publication such as The Atlantic--all writings must be pro-Obama or they will not be published.
People are weary of this campaign--many just want it to be over. They assume that once it is, they can't put much of this behind them. How wrong they might be. If candidate Obama is not to be questioned and those that due are threatened with legal action, how might President Obama demand to be treated?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Helen McCaffrey: Palin Deserves Our Respect.

Instapundit points to an interesting editorial in the Phildelphia Enquirer about Sarah Palin, respect, and sexism.
I cannot predict who will win the presidential campaign, but I already know who will lose big: all women.

I realized this when I saw a 20-something male student who attends a class in the community college where I teach, wearing a T-shirt that read, "Sarah Palin is a C-." He wore it in public, in broad daylight, and without shame or even consciousness of what he was doing.

I took the time to advise him of the "error of his ways" and informed him of the consequences if he wore it to my class.
I live near Boulder and the bumper stickers don't just say "Obama-Biden" they say "Fuck Bush!". The environment here is such that common decency is happily brushed aside in the name of unity against the common enemy. And be very clear about it, the common enemy is not Islamic terrorism or African despots. It's not dictators in Iran or North Korea. It isn't Putin and his Czarist activities in Russia. The enemy of the left are conservative Americans--all their energy is spent in fighting, humiliating, and hating them. McCaffrey continues:
I thought Americans would be proud of her nomination, whether we agreed or disagreed with her on the issues. Was I in for a shock.

The sexism that I believed had been eradicated was lurking, like some creature from the black lagoon, just below the surface. Suddenly it erupted and in some unexpected places.

Instead of engaging Palin on the issues, critics attacked attributes that are specifically female. It is Hillary's pantsuit drama to the power of 10. Palin's hair, her voice, her motherhood, and her personal hygiene were substituted for substance. That's when it was nice.

The hatred escalated to performers advocating Palin be "gang raped," to suggestions that her husband had had sex with their young daughters, and reports that her Down syndrome child really was that of her teenage daughter. One columnist even called for her to submit to DNA testing to prove her virtue. Smells a little like Salem to me. I was present at an Obama rally at which the mention of Palin's name drew shouts of "stone her."

"Stone her"? How biblical.
How sad.

Obama's Tough Interview...on EXTRA

The whole world watched as Sarah Palin was grilled by Charlie Gibson. Who gets to interview Obama? Mario Lopez of EXTRA. For those that aren't familiar with Lopez's deep experience in the political arena, he played Slater on the junior high drama "Saved By The Bell".
On Oct. 24, 2007, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that as president he would hold regular press conferences and "not just call on my four favorite reporters."

But the Democratic presidential nominee hasn't held a full press conference -- submitting himself to more than a handful of questions from his whole press corps -- in more than a month, since Sept. 24, 2008, in Clearwater, Fla.

The candidate often bemoans the media asking silly and superficial questions. The media isn't focused on the important issues facing the nation, he complains.
Outright arrogance on his part--assuming the election is in the bag. Recently polls have show the race tightening. It would serve him right, just on attitude alone, for McCain to upset him and his "can I be President already?" attitude.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Illegal Use of Government Resources to Attack Joe the Plumber?

Yesterday Ace, and now Drudge and print media, reported on the potential misuse of government resources to dig up information on Joe the Plumber.
Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher's driver's license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver's license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.
The takeaway point here is not that some conspiracy theory that Obama ordered illegal tactics to get Joe the Plumber at all costs. I'm confident Obama had no idea about the event. The point is this is the kind of things people do when they feel there candidate HAS TO win at all costs.

Obama slips up and knocks on Joe the Plumber's door? Use government resources illegally to get dirt on the slimy bastard.

Need the public to see Democratic registration is way up? Have ACORN register Tony Romo and Mickey Mouse.

Military votes are heavily for McCain? Use questionable legal decisions to have these votes thrown out in Virginia.

Have a VP candidate that is prone to gaffes? Focus instead on how much the other VP candidate spends on clothes.

Need money to run long 30-min ads before the election? Change your mind on public financing, hide donations less than $100 and raise millions illegally from foreign sources.

Of all those things, only the last one is there any real chance that Obama had knowledge of or involvement in. But people don't just hope that Obama is elected. They feel he NEEDS to be elected. And ideas such as ethics and fair play go out the window when people let themselves get ruled by emotions in such a manner.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More On Biden in the Bubble

The LA Times has an editorial by Andrew Malcolm about just how inaccessible Joe Biden has been over the last two months.
Is it possible we've been living in a bubble for the last several weeks, not noticing a complete role reversal between the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden, and his Republican counterpart, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska?
It has been noticeable--the media just hasn't bothered to report it. Malcolm notes how Palin has become much more accessible but then turns his attention to Biden.
But Biden is something else entirely. We've got Joe the Plumber and Joe Six-Pack. But Joe Delaware-by-way-of-Scranton has gone missing.

Obama officials will deny it. But he's clearly been muzzled by the Democratic campaign that's for real change.


[ABC Blogger] Tapper points out, amazingly, that Biden has not taken questions from his crowds of supporters since Sept. 10. That's before some of us learned Tampa Bay has a baseball team.
Malcolm also writes about the truly amazing part of this story. Despite being sequestered, Biden has still managed to suggest Hilary Clinton would have been a better choice for VP than him. He has said that the world would challenge Obama as soon as he took office and that Obama's response would appear to be wrong. Lets not forget that he stated unequivocally that Obama-Biden was against clean coal when in fact supporting clean coal was prominently mentioned on the official campaign website. Do you remember the time he thought FDR was on the radio, talking about the depression--apparently having mastered time travel? What about when a historically anti-gun biden suddenly started clinging to his guns?
[quoting Tapper again]"in terms of general availability to their traveling press corps, Biden's and Palin's roles are switching."

Does anybody seriously think that if the trend was going the other way, we would not have heard by now endless accounts of her hiding?
Malcolm seems shocked to learn the media is biased. I guess he really has been living in a bubble. But it is nice to see him break out of it and take notice.

Media Bias: Republicans, Democrats, and Independents All See It

If there is one assured victory this campaign it is that the media has been revealed as a wholly unethical entity. The majority of the mainstream media is so in the tank for Obama that even though they see it and other people are recognizing it as fact, they are refusing to relent until after the election.

A new Pew poll shows that people of both parties and independents recognize that the media is trying to get Obama elected.
Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. 4. Another 8% say journalists don't favor either candidate, and 13% say they don't know which candidate most reporters support.
Think about that. 70% of all Americans realize the media is biased for Obama. You can't get 70% of Americans to agree on any of the major political issues--the economy, terrorism, gay marriage, gun control, appropriate tax levels, illegal immigration. You name it and the country is pretty much split 50-50 on it. But a vast majority can see what the media is doing.

Will there be consequences? There already are.
The New York Times Co. reported a steep drop in third-quarter profits on Thursday, the latest gloomy earnings report in an industry battered by online competition and falling print advertising revenue.

The New York Times Co. said net profit fell by 51.4 percent in the third quarter to 6.5 million dollars, or five cents per share, from 13.4 million dollars, or nine cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
And more and more print papers are dropping the Associated Press.
Tribune, which owns nine daily papers including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, joins a growing list of newspapers that have sought to end AP contracts, or given notice of that, following plans to introduce a new controversial rate structure in 2009. The notice was given earlier this week.

In recent months, other non-Tribune papers have also given the required two-year's notice to drop AP. Those include: The Star Tribune of Minneapolis, The Bakersfield Californian, The Post Register of Idaho Falls, and The Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World, both of Washington.
Yes, these decisions are partly do to the AP's new rate structure. But if your readers are leaving because of biased stories from the AP and your profits are plummeting because of it, you are far less inclined to pay for the AP service, regardless of the new rate structure.

I'm not optimistic that there will be significant change in the media after the election. I am happy, at least, that most can see the bias.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarah Palin Guarantees Win in Pennsylvania

Speaking in Beaver Creek, PA today Sarah Palin guaranteed a win in Pennsylvania by McCain. (Hat tip: Instapundit.) I find it odd that she actually used the word guarantee.
“And I hope Joe won’t mind if I paraphrase him some in this state, his home state, Pennsylvania, with your help, we’re going to win this state. I guarantee it,” Palin said to wild applause.
This is a pretty direct approach. Invoking the image of Joe Namath and quoting him near his home town is a little different than just the usual rhetoric of "we are going to fight for you".

Just how well is McCain polling according to internal polls? First I noted McCain-Palin spending time and money in PA. Now we have this statement by Palin. Interesting times with less than two weeks left in the election.

Perhaps this goes hand in hand with data from polls such as Battleground, which continues to show a statistical dead heat.

Obama: Use Love As a Weapon Against Your Grandparents

When I first read this, my initial reaction was disbelief. It was attributed to the official Barack Obama web site but it couldn't be true, could it? So the page in question was urging people to talk to their grandparents and get them to vote for Barack Obama. But here's the language they used. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
The one thing most grandparents have in common is that they have the most wonderful grandchildren in the world - so clever, so handsome, so pretty, ever so precious. Even if you are still unsure of your path in life, and even if your parents and friends occasionally wonder about you, your grandma and grandpa love you and have faith in you.

That is your weapon! "Precious" needs to get on the phone and say, "Grandpa, Grandma, I am asking you to vote for Barack Obama. This is really important to me. It's about my future. It's about the world I will be living in. It's about the world I want for my future children. (They will love that one!) Please! Do it for me!"
Are these people for real? Is it a Presidential campaign or a cult? I'm quite literally disgusted at the moment.

I ask you to share this with anyone else that you feel would also be disgusted by it. What, asking isn't enough? How about this? If you love me you'd do it? What's the matter? Grandma, don't you love me?

Biased Polls: Party Affiliation (Part II)

DJ Drummond has another post on biased state polls. This one revisits an issue I have written about in the past--party affiliation.

Just to be clear, party affiliation isn't something that changes frequently during a persons life. One switch is unlikely. Two is very rare. Just think about your own personal party affiliation. Did you register with one party for one election, the other the next, independent for a third, and back to the original party for a fourth? I'm confident that the answer to that question is an emphatic no.

And I am not talking about voting for a candidate from the other party; that happens much more frequently. One can imagine a bitter Clinton supporter voting for McCain in protest of how Obama treated her during the primary. But this person is still a Democrat and will remain a Democrat in all likelihood.

With that in mind, look at some of the shifts in party affiliation Survey USA polling is using this year.
Pennsylvania: D+5 in 2006, SUSA using D+19, 15 point variance
Indiana: R+14 in 2006, SUSA using R+1, 13 point variance
Nevada: R+7 in 2006, SUSA using D+6, 13 point variance
Colorado: R+3 in 2006, SUSA using D+9, 12 point variance
Iowa: R+2 in 2006, SUSA using D+10, 12 point variance
Virginia: R+3 in 2006, SUSA using D+9, 12 point variance
Ohio: D+3 in 2006, SUSA using D+13, 10 point variance
Missouri: R+1 in 2006, SUSA using D+7, 8 point variance
North Carolina: R+1 in 2006, SUSA using D+5, 6 point variance
In every case, the variance is in one direction--towards the Democratic Party. And just look at some of the differences. Indiana was +14 Republican in 2006 and now suddenly it is only +1? Pennsylvania is +19 Democratic now? That stat is always a balance between the urban left of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and the rural right of every other county. Ohio as +13 Democrat in what has always been a swing state. None of these are justifiable. Drummond comments:
I've looked at the publicly available records on historical election participation, 2008 new voter registrations, and the Census information on these states, but I can find no valid reason for such large and arbitrary changes in political affiliation weightings. I would therefore submit that the models being used for many of the state polls have design flaws, which threaten the credibility of their published results.
For the fifth time or so in the last few days, let me make this clear. Don't trust the polls. Dave at Hedgehog is panicking about an Ohio poll that shows Obama up by 14% in Ohio. Ludicrous. And when you look at the internals, now you know why.

Media Bias: Coverage of Joe Biden vs Sarah Palin

This isn't shocking news to anyone that has been reading this blog for a while, but it has come up again and I feel compelled to post about it. This New York Post editorial notes how easy the media has been on Biden and the gaffes he regularly makes. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden as his running mate prompted a small wave of warnings about Biden's propensity for gaffes. But no one imagined even in a worse-case scenario such a spectacular bomb as telling donors Sunday to "gird your loins" because a young president Obama will be tested by an international crisis just like young President John Kennedy was.

Scary? You betcha! But somehow, not front-page news.

Again the media showed their incredible bias by giving scattered coverage of Biden's statements.

There were a few exceptions. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski flipped incredulously through the papers, expressing shock at the lack of coverage of Biden's remarks. Guest Dan Rather admitted that if Palin had said it, the media would be going nuts.

So what gives?

The stock answer is: "It's just Biden being Biden." We all know how smart he is about foreign policy, so it's not the same as when Sarah Palin says something that seems off.
The article has many more examples and you should go read the whole thing. The point of the article is spot on. We don't hear about Biden's comments, no matter how egregiously bad they are. Instead we get to hear about how much Palin spends on a suit. Consider, for example, if Sarah Palin said the following in a stump speech.
Ladies and gentleman, because he is old the world is going to test John McCain as soon as he gets into office. Within six months we will have a crisis. And because of his time spent as a POW and his anger and his temper, his initial reaction will seem to be the wrong one. We will look to you, as community leaders, to convince people not to panic, even though it will seem like there is good reason to do so.
Can you just imagine the reaction from the press?

If such blatant bias upsets you, there's something you can do about. Get motivated. Go vote for John McCain. Show the media that they can't influence you with their unfair and unethical meddling in the election. Tell your friends to do the same.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New AP Poll Shows Race Tied

This AP poll is getting a lot of press around the right side of the blogosphere.
An Associated Press-GfK poll shows the presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000. Two weeks before the election, McCain and Barack Obama are essentially running even among likely voters.

The poll put Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent among those voters who are considered likely to vote on Nov. 4. The survey supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race has narrowed as Republicans drift home to their party. McCain's "Joe the plumber" analogy also seemed to strike a chord.
It is very important to note that this poll is among likely voters, not registered voters. Likely voter polling is traditionally more accurate (and favors conservative candidates). The pollsters have been hanging on to registered voter polling methodologies for much longer than usual this year. You can see the result, above, when they switch--now you know why they were hesitant to change.

Bill Dyer comments:
Folks, it's an election, not a coronation. We may be in the final act, but the fat lady hasn't even started warming up offstage yet. All those who think they know for sure how this is going to shake out are fooling themselves. Don't let them fool you.
Ed Morrisey notes:
There’s still plenty of time left in this election. McCain has now obviously found a winning message that negates Obama’s economic populism. These respondents hadn’t yet heard Joe Biden’s warning about Obama’s election provoking an international crisis to test his mettle, another message that will regenerate doubts about voting for a man with no executive or military experience in the middle of a war.
Morrissey also links to this Mary Katherine Ham analysis:
An interesting note about the poll's methodology:
A significant number of the interviews were conducted by dialing a randomly selected sample of cell phone numbers, and thus this poll had a chance to reach voters who were excluded from some other polls.
Cell-phone users are supposed to be left-leaning demographic historically missed by pollsters (though the vast unpolled cellular herd has never been vast enough to change the game on Election Day). Why would McCain be gaining in a poll with cell-phone users included, and if he is, isn't it exceedingly promising for the Republican candidate that the numbers are this close? Perhaps they're polling a disproportionate number of "push-to-talk" Nextel users (read: Joe the Plumber and Tito the Construction Worker) and undersampling Sidekick users.
Gateway Pundit credits Sarah Palin and McCain's unflinching support of her. Meanwhile Instapundit discusses the accuracy of polls, in general. Finally the commenters at the Hedgehog Report discuss this results like they do all other poll results--1/3 analysis, 1/3 cheerleading, and 1/3 fighting idiotic trolls. Of note in the comments though is this tidbit:
Rumor is CBS has a new poll showing a tied race?
Now that would be big news. The latest CBS poll had Obama up by 14...

If there wass any doubt that the race is still in reach for McCain, it should be gone now. Nothing is pre-written. Nothing is final. Don't let the media and polling bias influence your actions. Vote. Stay positive. Influence those around you.

Biased Polling: Who Is Being Polled?

In heated elections periods (and sadly now just in general) it is common for a state to be labeled simply blue or red. But of course that is not the case; there are often red and blue areas in a state. For example, California is of course left-leaning, but only in the urban areas; the rural areas of CA are conservative. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are really, really blue but the rest of Pennsylvania is quite red. While these divisions usual follow urban/rural lines it is not always the case. Vermont is pretty uniformly blue, rural or otherwise.

This is an important realization to make when you consider polls and potential biases. When a pollster says that independents are skewed towards one candidate or the other, which independents are being polled? If one were to poll independents in Detroit, for example, you'd see a markedly different result than if you poll independents in the rest of lower state Michigan.

Of course, a reputable polling agency would take this distinction into account, but are they? It's tough to know because not every polling agency releases the county by county numbers. Here is one example, though.

In Virginia, Mason-Dixon released a poll giving Obama a 49-38 lead among independents. This seems odd in VA, considering how many ex-military personnel live in VA along with evidence that this group supports McCain heavily. A commenter at Hedgehog Report notes the following oddity in the county breakdown in the internals.
Northern Virginia: 170 interviews
Shenandoah/Piedmont: 95 interviews
Richmond Metro: 80 interviews
Hampton Roads: 140 interviews
Lynchburg/Southside: 70 interviews
Roanoke/Southwestern Virginia: 70 interviews

Last I checked, there are more people in Hampton Roads than in NOVA. Yet they have NOVA more interviews.
Northern Virginia is of course the most liberal area and overpolling here will skew your results.

My other data points are anecdotal. We'll start with what a commenter from PA noted, below.
I live in Bucks County Pa and there is nothing but McCain/Palin signs, which is why I'm always shocked to hear that BO is "so far ahead" in the polls. In Montgomery County, I see mostly McCain signs also.
This mirrors what I am hearing from family members in rural southern Ohio. It is a "sea of McCain-Palin signs". So much so that it is hard to find even a single Obama sign in the rural areas.

Where you live and the people that surround you can't help but influence you. I live and work outside of Boulder, CO. The Obama-Biden signs are overwhelming here. (I saw a car the other day that had an Obama bumper sticker proudly displayed next to a John Kerry one. Now that's dedication to a cause!) A friend in Austin, TX reports the same thing--it is all Obama, all the time. If you live in such an environment and you hear that Obama is way ahead in polling, it is easy to be forced to agree.

But if you live in an area like southern Ohio or western Pennsylvania, where the situation is opposite, it is hard to understand the national and state polling. If the pollsters are under sampling these areas, they are generating highly erroneous results.

And in some ways, this isn't just anecdotal evidence. You are influenced by the environment around you. DJ Drummond notes the locations of the major polling agencies.
ABC News: 77 W 66th St, #13, New York City, New York
CBS News: 524 W 57th St, New York City, New York
FOX News: 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, New York
Gallup: 901 F St NW, Washington DC
Hotline: 88 Pine St, 32nd floor, New York City, New York
IBD: 12655 Beatrice St. Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Times: 202 W 1st St, Los Angeles California
Marist Institute: 3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, New Jersey York
Mason-Dixon: 1250 Connecticut Ave #200, Washington DC
Newsweek: 251 W 57th St, New York City, New York
The New York Times: 1 City Hall, New York City, New York
Pew Research Center: 1615 L St NW, #700, Washington DC
Quinnipiac: 275 Mount Carmel Ave., Hamden Connecticut
Rasmussen: 625 Cookman, #2, Asbury Park, New Jersey
Reuters: 3 Times Square, New York City, New York
Survey: USA 15 Bloomfield Ave., Verona New Jersey
TIPP: 690 Kinderkamack Rd, Oradell, New Jersey
Washington Post: 1150 15th St NW, Washington DC
Zogby: 901 Broad St, Utica, New York
Think about the people making the decision on who to poll and how to word questions. They are all living in an environment where calling someone a "conservative" is a dirty insult. How does that effect their day to day decisions about polling?

Don't Trust the Polls Part II -- Follow the Candidates

As has been said many times, if you want to really understand how a political race is going, follow the candidates. The polls this year are questionable at best, outright rigged at worst. But if you follow the actions of the candidates, you see an entirely different story.

McCain made another appearance in Pennsylvania. Why? For two reasons, as it turns out. A Daily Kos diary reports that internal Obama polling was accidentally released and it showed that Obama was only ahead by 2 points. Given the Bradley effect, that may well mean he is behind. Note that the attitude on the far-left leaning Kos site reinforces two points that I have been making for a while now. One, the voter advantage to Democrats this year is all hype and little fact:
This is important because, if it is true, it undermines the argument that we have a substantial partyId advantage this year.
They want to believe that people are flocking to the Democratic Party this year despite the fact that historically people never flock to one party or the other. An unbiased statistical analysis has shown party affiliation barely changes year-to-year, election-to-election. Yet the left and the media (sorry for repeating myself) have been pushing this idea very hard for over a year now.

Two, the diarist has a goal in mind with all this spin:
We need to get on this story as soon as possible before it spreads any further. I don't want them to have any hope left, Let's crush their spirits!
After all, this isn't an important election during troubled economic and world times, right? This real enemy are "those conservatives like Sarah Palin" and they shouldn't just lose, they should be crushed! Pathetic and disgraceful.

So that is one reason that McCain is trying hard in Pennsylvania but there is another one, detailed here. Suppose McCain loses Colorado and Virginia (unlikely but that is what the biased polling is trying to tell us) but wins Pennsylvania. That makes the electoral map look like this:

Is there any doubt, now, that McCain is making a smart move?

Also note that McCain and Palin are headed back to Iowa this weekend. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
The weekend schedule would be McCain's fourth visit to the state since mid-September, and Palin's second trip to Iowa in that time.
The common talking point was that Obama's support of corn subsidies (and McCain's opposition) had flipped Iowa blue and it was a done deal. Averages at RealClearPolitics supported that argument. But internal numbers must be saying something different, if McCain and Palin are spending the time and energy of six visits to Iowa as the election closes.

The overall point here is that don't trust the polls, don't be influenced by lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Do Not Trust the Polls

The polls this year are, as I have written about many times, highly suspect. The reasons are numerous. There is one more point that should be made about highly biased polls--this is nothing new.

CNN reminds us that in 1980 Carter led Reagan by 8 points in the polls in mid-October.
In the 1980 presidential election, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan trailed President Jimmy Carter by 8 points in a late October Gallup poll. A mere 10 days after that survey was conducted, Reagan defeated the incumbent president by nearly 3 percentage points, sealing one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of American presidential politics.
Of course, the bias of the media is present even in this article, as they go on to say that this year is entirely different and that Obama is really like Reagan and the same thing won't happen.

This is the same mistake the pollsters are making in states like Virginia. Even in bad years for Republicans, Virginia showed a 3-point advantage in voter turn out to conservatives. Many of the polls this year show a 6 to 9 point advantage to Democrats. The argument is, I guess, that this year is totally different and who wouldn't be excited about Obama becasue he is so great and I, the pollster, am excited about him so surely everyone is going to show up in huge numbers this year to vote for him *breath* and they can't be voting for that vapid redneck whore Sarah Palin. If that last sentence seemed frantic that is because the pollsters are.

Gateway Pundit has further evidence of this phenomenon. In the beginning of October in 2000, CNN had Al Gore beating George Bush by 11 percentage points and we all know how that one turned out.

Hmmm, the Democratic candidate up by 10+ points in the beginning of October (according to CNN)? Does this sound familiar?

And note that right now Obama isn't ahead in these questionable polls by 10 points or more--it is half that margin. Consider also the fabled Bradley effect which has always affected Obama. He was up big in New Hampshire in the primary polls over Hilary Clinton and Clinton won that primary handily.

The point is (if you are a McCain supporter) don't be discouraged by the polls. Go vote. Make sure your friends that think as you do go vote. Don't let the media/polling bias affect you as they so desperately want it to.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Go Read: The Comprehensive Argument Against Barack Obama

My normal style is to try to quote the relevant parts of a story and add some commentary. In this case, though, the post is long and just excellent.

Guy Benson and Mary Katherine Ham have written an article (edited by Ed Morrissey) that collects all of the arguments against Obama as President--and the list is long, well-written, and filled with videos.

Forward this link to everyone you know that might be on the fence. This is the best case I've seen made and people need to hear it in between 30-min ads by Obama and specials by Oprah.

Battleground Poll Shows Race Tied

Yes, it is probably an outlier. But if you are looking for some good news (and you don't bow down to the altar of Hope and Change), the Battleground poll has the race at a statistical dead heat.

Wizbang reminds people that the intent of biased polls is to get conservatives to give up and stay home:
It's over when everyone has voted, not when everyone has reacted to the day's targeted message.

You listening Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada?

UPDATE: Are you listening, Pennsylvania? I'm talking to you, too. Jack "Marines are Murderers" Murtha has been talking to you, racists and rednecks that you apparently are. So maybe you have been listening if Obama's internal polling shows him up only by 2% while the rest of the media has him preordained. (Thanks to Wizbang readers and commenters.)
Remember, the Battleground poll is run by one Democrat and one Republican, so it tends to be one of the most fair and balanced polls out there.

Reactions to Biden's "Electing Obama Would Be Dangerous" Comments

I post these reactions not because I think they will matter in the election. While there are some interesting points to think about, Biden's comments will, for the most part, be ignored. And that is the reason for the post. Joe Biden can say anything and people will just smile and laugh.

Hugh Hewitt writes:
What's significant is not that Biden was being astute or especially intuitive in these comments, but rather that these remarks amounted to an unintentionally candid assessment from the number two guy on the Democratic ticket. When even Slow Joe Biden can predict with absolute confidence that our enemies will rush to test Barack Obama by "contriving" foreign policy crises, can anyone doubt that our enemies themselves will see how doing exactly that might serve their national interests and harm America's own?
Bill Kristol's editorial:
So Biden expects a test of the kind Kennedy faced after his disastrous meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna in June, 1961, less than five months into Kennedy’s presidency. Biden’s presumably thinking of the Soviet-backed construction of the Berlin Wall a couple of months later. Kennedy did nothing, and was criticized for his weakness back home.

So--leaving aside the merits of what Kennedy did or didn’t do in 1961--Biden is forecasting that Obama will have what seems to be a weak response to a provocation from, say, Iran or Russia, and he’s urging the liberals of Seattle and elsewhere to stand with Obama against the expected domestic criticism.

In other words, Biden is forecasting inaction by Obama in the face of testing by a dictator. I suspect he’s right in this forecast. McCain might want to clarify this point. It’s not just that Obama’s own running mate expects an international crisis early in his presidency. It’s not just that Obama has a weak foreign policy record. It’s that Biden himself expects what will appear to be a weak response from Obama to testing by a dictator.
Gateway Pundit links to Rudy Guiliani's reaction:
All of these points should be part of the national debate this election. But thankfully for Obama, the media will assure that none of them are.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarah Palin: The Most Accessible Candidate

After her selection as McCain's Vice Presidential, the running meme Sarah Palin was that she was being shielded by the media. This played well with the left's opinion of her that she is a vapid, red-necked whore would would just serve to embarrass the McCain campaign whenever she opened her mouth.

How times have changed. I've seen this story linked from several places now. CBSNews reports that Palin is now the most accessible of the candidates.
In the past two days alone, Palin has answered questions from her national press corps on three separate occasions. On Saturday, she held another plane availability, and on Sunday, she offered an impromptu press conference on the tarmac upon landing in Colorado Springs. A few minutes later, she answered even more questions from reporters during an off-the-record stop at a local ice cream shop.

By contrast, Biden hasn’t held a press conference in more than a month, and Obama hasn’t taken questions from his full traveling press corps since the end of September. John McCain—who spent most of the primary season holding what seemed like one, never-ending media availability—hasn’t done one since Sept. 23.
Furthermore, she is doing this by choice:
After her plane in Colorado Springs, Palin answered no less than 14 questions from the media. It took traveling press secretary Tracey Schmitt three attempts finally to get the governor to move along.
There really is something to the Sarah Palin phenomenon. I've been asked by a more than a few friends if Palin will be a force to be reckoned with in 2012, assuming an Obama victory this year. My first inclination was that she would be too damaged by the circus of hate she has been subjected to this election. I'm beginning to rethink that. She continues to draw huge crowds at her stump speeches. Her cameo appearance on SNL this past weekend was the most watched moment in over 14 years for the show. She has that ability to talk to a TV camera but appear to be talking to you--few politicians have that ability.

Will she still be active in 2012? I hope so. Of course, it would be even better if she were active as the sitting Vice President of the United States.

Biden: Electing Obama Will Be Dangerous

What Joe Biden will say is unbelievable. What is more unbelievable is that the media just watches and smiles. Here's what Biden had to say about electing Obama and the effect it would have on world events:
“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you - not financially to help him - we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”
So let me get this straight.
  1. Because Obama is so untested and has so little experience that despots, dictators, and terrorists will feel compelled to test him by attacking the United States and its interests worldwide.

  2. Obama's initial reaction to these tests will seem clueless and wrong.
If Sarah Palin said similar things about McCain, CNN would debut a new channel just so they could repeat the statements in a loop.

Ed Morrissey comments:
I agree with Biden. Obama is exactly like Kennedy in this regard, and our enemies will test us by threatening our interests around the globe if we elect Obama. I’d rather avoid the problem altogether and elect a man who puts enough fear into the minds of our enemies to keep them from testing us at all.
And at Powerline:
Biden's statement is a prediction of the future and thus is subject to some uncertainty. Only time will tell, but surely Biden's is on solid ground with his prediction. Biden's prediction is thus what Michael Kinsley defines as a gaffe. According to Kinsley, a gaffe occurs "when a politician tells the truth." Kinsley has subsequently explained that "A gaffe is what happens when the spin breaks down."
Thankfully the media is there to make sure no one notices.

Obama's Talk of Protectionism Already Driving Canada Away

Is it possible for a President to have made a bad policy decision before he takes office? The Wall Street Journal has a editorial that suggest that the answer to that question is indeed yes--and Obama has already done it.
Barack Obama's promise to unilaterally rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement if Canada and Mexico won't go along with his ideas on labor and the environment has not gone unnoticed in Ottawa. If Canadians are going to have a tougher time selling their goods and services south of the border, who can blame them for looking east -- across the Atlantic to Europe.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France signed an agreement Friday to begin negotiations for a free trade pact between Canada and the European Union. A Canada-EU study released last week outlines the joint economic benefits of such a partnership, with two-way trade estimated to increase 22.9% by 2014.

The proposed partnership goes a lot further than Nafta. In addition to allowing free trade in goods and services, it would harmonize regulations, open up the air-travel market, and boost opportunities in government-procurement. Most important, it would free the labor market so that skilled workers could move easily back and forth across the Atlantic.

The free-labor point is key. As recently as half a century ago, Canadians and Americans were pretty much free to work in either country without the visa restrictions that apply today. Under the proposed Canada-EU agreement, a computer geek from, say, the University of Waterloo -- one of whose alumni developed the BlackBerry -- would be able to take a job in Hamburg or Dublin if he wished; forget about Silicon Valley.
That last paragraph is indeed the important one. I've worked in the tech industry for a number of years. A large (and to people outside the area, surprising) number of programmers and the like are Canadians. They come to the U.S. to find a high-paying tech job, to complain about the lack of hockey coverage on TV, and--though this is the topic of another post--to get health care coverage that is more responsive than the nationalized health care in Canada. Making it hard for this group of people to come to American and find jobs would be a real hit to the productivity of tech industry in this country. I suppose that Obama thinks that it would mean more jobs for Americans but protectionist policies in the past just lead to escalation between countries and that is good for no one.

John at Powerline warns just how long-term the effects of such policies can be:
Under an Obama administration, the United States will be more protectionist than Europe. That's a recipe for economic decline. As with so many of Obama's policies, however, the full extent of the damage will not be evident until long after he leaves office.
Though Obama's plans perhaps do mesh with his other policies. In a NYTimes editorial, John Tierney questions Obama's plan to have the government pay to train 100,000 more engineers and scientists.
If the United States really has a critical shortage of scientists and engineers, why didn’t this year’s graduates get showered with lucrative job offers and signing bonuses?


The only “shortage” is of American-born scientists and engineers. But with so many talented foreigners competing for positions here in schools and laboratories, it’s entirely rational for American students to head into fields where their skills are in more demand — and harder to replace with foreign labor.
Perhaps the thought is that if you make it harder for foreign labor to come to the U.S. you'll create job opportunities for Americans that you have artificially forced into the market.

This combination of policies shows a shocking lack of understanding about how free markets work. Most large tech companies (and non-tech companies, for that matter) are highly international entities. If protectionist policies make it difficult to operate in the U.S. they will simply shift operations to other countries. Unless of course Obama enacts more laws that make it hard for multinational companies to operate in the U.S. Just how far down the rabbit hole are we going to go?

Two weeks left in the election. It's not too late, America.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

McCain Interview With Chris Wallace

Sorry for the light blogging, I had a busy weekend. I'll be getting back to a more regular schedule tomorrow, but I wanted to point you to this Hugh Hewitt post. You can watch the video here, but Hewitt quotes the most relevant section.
John McCain: I'm very pleased with what happened at the debate, because it helped define the issues with the American people. And Joe the Plumber is the average citizen, and Joe the Plumber is now speaking for millions of small business people all over America, and they're becoming aware that 'we need to spread the wealth around' is not what small business people want. And before we go into this business of, well, they wouldn't be taxed, etc., 50% of small business income would be taxed under Senator Obama's plan. That's 16 million small business jobs in America, and that's what Joe the Plumber's figure d out. Finally, could I just say, where are we in America where a candidate for president comes to a person's driveway, he asks him a question, doesn't like the answer, and all of a sudden he's savaged by the candidate's people? Savaged by them. Here's a guy who's a private citizen. What's that all about?..."

John McCain: "I think his plans are redistribution of the wealth. He said himself, we need to spread the wealth around. Now..."

Fox News' Chris Wallace: "Is that socialism?"

John McCain: "That's one of the tenets of socialism, but it's more the liberal left, which he's always been in. He's always been in the left lane of American politics. That's why he voted 94 times against any tax cuts or for tax increases. That's why he voted for the Democratic budget resolution that would raise taxes on some individuals who make $42,000 a year. That's why he has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate."
You should go read Hewitt's analysis, but the main point is that this exactly what McCain needs to be saying. The point is not about Joe the Plumber the person; the point is what Obama said and what it reveals of his economic ideology. Most polls, pundits and focus groups give McCain no chance of winning this election; if he is eeks out a victory, it will be because of press like this. Debates where candidates exchange talking points influence very few people. Straight-talk about socialism and tax policies has a better chance to accomplish that.

Hewitt ends optimistically as he always does--he plays the role of cheerleader very well.
Whether you want your wealth spread around is the question of the next 15 days. It isn't the question Obama-Biden wanted at the top of the list heading into the home stretch.
Sure, that's the rosy way to look at the final two weeks--but right now, I thought I'd focus on something positive.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ACORN Voter Fraud Continues

Voter registration fraud stories continue and I continue to believe that nothing will come of it until after the election. Greg Gordon writes:
The furor over ACORN's national voter registration drive exploded with new controversies Friday, including a call by Barack Obama for an independent prosecutor, a Supreme Court ruling over voter access and the disclosure of a death threat against an ACORN worker.

What remains unclear is whether the campaigns of Obama and John McCain will reach a truce over voter access to the polls by Election Day or whether their legal and rhetorical battles will persist to the finish line — or beyond.
A promising start to the article. But then it turns into media bias as per the usual. Read through the rest of it, if you have the stomach for it, to read about how ACORN is misunderstood and to hear many quotes from ACORN organizers about racists death threats they have received ever since that evil McCain guy lied about ACORN and voter fraud. Please.

In other "good news", the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Jennifer Brunner, saying that is OK for her not to check the validity of 200,000 questionable voter registrations in Ohio. Actually what the court said was that the Republican party didn't have the legal right to sue in this case. Read between the lines carefully. The registrations are still likely fraudulent, but that case was thrown out on a technicality. Yay for justice?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin: Proud to Be an American

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has some video of a Palin speech from Dover, New Hampshire yesterday. In terms of mood and spirit differences between the two parties, the video serves as a perfect example.

We believe, too, in the promise of this country, in the opportunities that we wish for ourselves and for each other, for our sons and for our daughters. We believe America is not the problem. We don’t have to apologize for being Americans!
Morrissey likens the optimism to Ronald Reagan.

I do think the quote captures what is different about the two candidates at the moment. McCain wants minor changes to prevent another banking crisis but for the most part trusts in the American economy; Obama wants to enact the New Deal II. McCain wants to be cautious about using military force but respects and honors those that serve in the military; Obama says hawkish things like "we will get Osama Bid Laden at any cost" but has repeatedly shown a lack of respect for people who choose a military career. McCain is proud to serve his country; Obama (and Michele) think we are setting a horrible example and want to reshape us in the model of Europe.

The political landscape may make it impossible for McCain to prevail in this election. But the most disappointing thing is that the press will take even a 50.1% to 49.9% Obama victory as a mandate to trash America as it is now. And many of us just don't agree with that.