Friday, October 28, 2016

Texas in Play?

From an AFL-CIO honcho in the Lone Star State who replied (see below) to a question as to whether Texas was truly in play, as has been reported, emailed him (and shared with me) by a guy who works in my building:
In play? Yes and no.
Polls are close (3 points and up) and maybe the Latino vote is underestimated. Labor is certainly working it.
But we are not a "battleground," nor are we getting major resources.
If we win, it will be amid the worst GOP implosion since 1964.
So it's possible, but no one is predicting a win.
How big will Hillary win? This appears to be where we are at with about a week-and-a-half to go. Trump has been written off. He is done. Kaput. The debate now appears to be whether his supporters will pick up their muskets and pitchforks after November 8, or, the $64,000 question, "How long will Clinton's coattails be?"

I think both -- Trump's fascist revolution and a Democratic landslide -- are hype.

My sense, as I have said before, is that Hillary will have coattails that will barely cover her ass. The latest from Nate Silver is that the presidential polls are narrowing again:
We’ve reached the point in the campaign where there are so many polls coming in — state polls, national polls, tracking polls, one-off polls — that it’s really nice to have a model to sort out all the data. A couple of days ago, the model was beginning to detect tenuous signs that the presidential race was tightening. Now, that seems a bit clearer. Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump is now 5.7 percentage points in the polls-only model, down from 7.1 points on Oct. 17. And Trump’s chances of winning the election have recovered to 18 percent from a low of 12 percent. Trump’s chances in the polls-plus forecast are 21 percent, improved from a low of 15 percent.
Almost all the tightening is happening because Trump’s numbers have improved. Clinton’s share of the vote — about 46 percent in national polls— is still as high as it’s been all campaign. But Trump seems to have brought home some Republicans who were thinking about sitting out the election or voting for a third-party candidate. Libertarian Gary Johnson has fallen to 5 percent in our popular-vote forecast — his lowest point to date. (If Johnson finishes with less than 5 percent, the Libertarian Party would be deprived of federal matching funds for the 2020 election.) The undecided vote is also declining, although it remains high compared with recent elections.
Then again, I read a story today that said Darrell Issa (longtime GOP incumbent in California’s 49th CD) is dangerously close to being ousted. So I don’t know.

My prediction? Hillary is no LBJ. The electoral college might be a blowout. But the popular vote margin will not be more than five-six points (and it very well could be in the Obama-Romney range, which was four points). For Dems: House, no; Senate, it’s so tight you would have to be a precog to know the outcome. I think the third party totals will end up surprising us. Stein is at 2% in the national polls; Johnson, a little over 5%. Based on anecdotal evidence (people -- women of color -- I know who have never voted third party, voted for Jill Stein) I think Stein might do as well as Nader did in 2000, 2.74%. In other words, Stein could very well outperform her polls. Johnson appears to be bleeding. Hopefully, he'll hold on so that the anti-imperialist Libertarians can grab those federal matching funds.


  1. I'll be curious to see who wins the Senate seat in Florida. The official Democrats harpooned the candidate that might have actually won. So the fake Democrat moron Murphy is running against the loser Rubio.

    But that's the strategy. The current Dem leadership will govern from the center-right. Rubio is just as good, or better, for Dem leadership because they can always blame their failure to do liberal things on the Repubs. This narrative has been in play since Bill Clinton was in office. Obama had to drag his feet on his "agenda" (not his real agenda), just managing to get the Republican healthcare plan from the 90s passed and pretty much leaving everyone in the lurch.

    Golly, folks, we wanted to save social security, but the Repubs wouldn't let us. That kind of thing.

    1. My guess is that Rubio wins, Bob. I don't know what kind of legs Comey's October Surprise will have, but it has the potential to make Hillary's win a nail-biter, which will doom Murphy. We might indeed see pockets of revolt or secession. The lame duck session should be a hoot, particularly if Obama tries to ram TPP through.

      Decent opinion piece on Friday by Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker where he argued that the public option is now really the only route left if Obamacare is to survive. Five states currently have only one insurer on the exchange; nine more have just two. With this kind of monopoly power, 20% premium increases are bound to be regular, and that can only be maintained for so long.

      A couple of other interesting things I read in terms of the pauperization of the "indispensable nation": 1) Over 20% of men under the age of 65 had no paid work last year; 2) nearly half of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid.