Democratic National Committee

Is Sanders really ahead of Clinton?

There are many pundits, from the left-wing, crowing that Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls and has passed Hillary Clinton.

Apparently the donations have surged for Sanders after the news of the polls and Hillary Clinton attacking him for his donations.

But is he really in front? Let’s see what Nate Silver has to say. Remember, in last month’s INCITE:Politics we recommended his website for looking at the statistical analysis and probabilities of polling versus the guesses of the pundits.

First, you need to understand his methodology.

We launched our forecasts for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries today. For much more detail about how this all works, you can read here. But our premise is that, given the challenges inherent in predicting the primaries, we’ll be publishing two models instead of pretending we’ve found a magic bullet:

  • The first model, which we call polls-only, is based only on polls from one particular state. (Iowa polls in the case of Iowa, for example.) It’s basically an updated version of the model we used for the primariesfour years ago.
  • The second model, polls-plus, also considers endorsements and national polls, in addition to state polls, and tries to consider the effect that Iowa and New Hampshire could have on subsequent state contests. (National polls aren’t necessarily a positive for a candidate in the polls-plus model; instead, it’s a bearish indicator when a candidate’s state polls trail his national numbers.)

Historically, polls-plus would have been somewhat more accurate, but it’s pretty close — so we think the models are most useful when looked at together.

Read more »

Did Martyn Martin Bradbury advise the Democrats?

Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury, got all his predictions dead wrong in the last NZ general election.

But it seems he has taken his own particular brand of wrong punditry and been moonlighting with the Democrats in the US.

The Washington Examiner looks at some of the left wing shibboleths and Democratic myths that they clung to, which resulted in their defeat in the mid-term elections.

As Democratic losses mounted in Senate races across the country on election night, some liberal commentators clung to the idea that dissatisfied voters were sending a generally anti-incumbent message, and not specifically repudiating Democratic officeholders. But the facts of the election just don’t support that story.

Voters replaced Democratic senators with Republicans in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and likely in Alaska, and appear on track to do so in a runoff next month in Louisiana. At the same time, voters kept Republicans in GOP seats in heavily contested races in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky. That is at least 10, and as many as a dozen, tough races, without a single Republican seat changing hands. Tuesday’s voting was a wave alright — a very anti-Democratic wave.

In addition to demolishing the claim of bipartisan anti-incumbent sentiment, voters also exposed as myths five other ideas dear to the hearts of Democrats in the last few months:

1) The election wouldn’t be a referendum on President Obama. “Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and in 2008,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in late October. “The candidates that are on the ballot are Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress.” Of course, that was true, but Republicans from New Hampshire to Alaska worked tirelessly to put the president figuratively on the ballot. And they succeeded.

Every day on the stump, Republican candidates pressed the point that their Democratic opponents voted for the Obama agenda nearly all the time. “Kay Hagan has voted for President Obama’s failed partisan agenda 95 percent of the time,” said Thom Tillis, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in North Carolina. Mark Pryor “votes with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time,” said Tom Cotton, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Arkansas. “Mark Udall has voted with [Obama] 99 percent of the time,” said Cory Gardner, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Colorado.

On Election Day, nearly 60 percent of voters told exit pollsters they were dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration. In retrospect, there was no more effective campaign strategy for Republicans running in 2014 than to tie an opponent to the president.

Whoopsy…got that dead wrong.  Read more »

New minister pulls plug on costly summit

New minister pulls plug on costly summitA $200,000 Families Commission “summit” due to be held in February has been axed after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett declared it a waste of money. The commission yesterday cancelled its February summit for 150 people… [NZ Herald Politics]

The Families Commission has finally realised what the message was that Paula Bennett sent yesterday and cancelled the $200,000 talkfest. What is ironic is that this talkfest was the bright idea of Rajen Prasad who now sits as the token indian in Labour’s depleted caucus. I hope he watches closely and learns about careful state expenditure.

Paula Bennett is setting an example for other Ministers to identify and cull silly waste.

Labour's culture of waste being exposed daily

Commission and minister clash over $200,000 summitThe Families Commission and its new minister, Paula Bennett, have got off to a bad start after she discovered plans for a $200,000 conference in a briefing paper. Today the commission’s briefing to Ms Bennett, Social Development… [NZ Herald Politics]

Labour’s culture of waste and extravagence is being exposed daily. Today we hear about $200,000 that the Families Commission has planned on spending for a talkfest.

Quite rightly new minister Paula Bennett has called the Commission to account.

“I am quite concerned about families moving forward and what that (tough economic times) means for them, and I would have thought that should be the focus for the Families Commission at this time.”

That’s the story, keep it up Paula and chop away the waste.