Nov 01 2010

October Surprise – A Clueless White House

Published by at 12:26 pm under 2010 Elections,All General Discussions

I am native of the DC beltway, growing up amongst the movers and shakers who flit through our area. Our family ended up here in part because my grandfather did a stint as a US Congressman [D]. It is why I know a lot about the pulse of this town. As a federal contractor I also know a lot about how the bureaucracy works (or doesn’t work). It is an interesting, if not painful suite of experience and insight.

So when I saw this all I could do is roll my eyes at how it emphasizes the mountain of amateurish ignorance in running this White House:

President Barack Obama has said the nation cannot afford tax breaks for the wealthy because they will boost the cost to nearly $4 trillion, but Biden suggested a willingness to extend the tax cuts to households making more than $250,000.

From what I understand the deal was to make the middle income tax cuts permanent, and only extend the upper income cuts for a year or two. Of course only a liberal claims not stealing the hard earned money of citizens is ‘spending’ – but that is not the point.

The timing of this trial balloon is truly amateur hour. All this does is deflate Obama’s base in coming out to vote tomorrow (there goes another compromise to the evil GOP!), and it will do nothing to attract a single independent this close to the election. This is an act of desperation, and it shows how far back on its heels this administration is. This kind of ‘we hear you’ concession should have been deployed in September, not the weekend before the election.

The White House has no understanding of what it is dealing with. And that is why we will be having this historic midterm tomorrow.

In related news we start to see why tomorrow is setting up to be a historic sweep of both chambers of Congress, numerous governor seat and untold state seats and legislatures. When you are leading by 30% with independents, it is impossible not to be eating into the other party’s base as well. And in places like PA, that means a Democrat killing field has been established:

Those Democrats unhappy with Obama are leaning strongly Republican, planning to vote for Toomey by a 68-23 margin and for Corbett by a 69-25 spread.

What that leads to overall is 15-19% of Democrats voting Republican in these two races.

If the nation is seeing (a) GOP enthusiasm up and its base staying home by 95-5%, (b) independents rejecting the Dems by creating a 30% lead for the GOP and (c) a defection level of 15-19% in the Dem base, this election will be a real shock and awe wave.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “October Surprise – A Clueless White House”

  1. Wilbur Post says:

    This is good. In other countries, this kind of message can’t be sent without having a bunch of people with guns take over the palace. Not even in Europe where candidates are basically picked by the politicians, can you stage a revolution with firing a shot. Only in America. You say you want a revolution? Tomorrow.

  2. WWS says:

    I can’t find the exact thread, but I recall predicting that the expected “October Surprise” was that there was going to be no surprise at all. (other than a handful of minor stunts by bottom feeders of the political pond)

    And that’s what happened – people have been saying “how come Pelosi and Reid and Obama have been so confident they would win all year?” The answer is both simple and obvious. They believed that utterly, and they are absolute and total fools. Especially in Obama’s case, he has the perfect combination of arrogance, inexperience, and lack of imagination which caused him and his followers never to dream that this could happen – even though everyone else could see it miles away. It’s not just that they didn’t see it; their ideological flaws meant that it was impossible for them to see it until it was far, far too late to do anything about it. And when you act far too late your actions are always going to be both pathetic and desperate – just look at Crist’s last minute attempts to get Meek to drop out of the race.

    This, both from a personal level and a group level, is where Character and concepts such as Honor and Decency come into play. A man or woman of honor, when they see the gamble has failed, accepts defeat with dignity and acknowledges their mistakes. Such people and parties can come back. Those without these qualities, though, those who get desperate and scream and blame everyone but themselves when things go bad – these actions are remembered and these people (Charlie Crist, you listening? ) NEVER come back. They not only have lost, they have finished their careers and forfeited whatever they once dreamed of accomplishing forever.

    People on top can get away without having these qualities, but no one stays on top forever. The worm always turns, and when it does, these are the qualities that determine whether one survives or whether a movement or a person is simply swept into the dustbin of history.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    With Gallup holding at +15R today on it’s generic poll and Rasmussen just releasing their final +12R the numbers could be massive.

    I all depends on turnout and distribution among the states.

    Numbers like those put even the ‘surprise upsets’ potentially in play.

    The massive shift of the independent vote this cycle will determine the extent of the wave.

    This is a massive rejection of Dem policies and giving the Repubs another shot they better not blow.

    Even CNN’s last poll had it +10R which shows just how bad it can be.

  4. AJ,

    In this blog post:

    Nate Silver cops to the Existance of the “Underserved Right” I have mentioned in comment threads here before.

    These sections of his post suggest to me that he is seeing or hearing something very extraordinary in that regard.

    2. Unlikely voters voted — and they voted Republican! Almost all pollsters apply likely voter models of some kind, which estimate how likely a respondent is to vote based on their degree of interest in the election, their voting history, and in some cases, their knowledge of things like where their polling place is. On average, these models show Republican candidates performing about 6 points ahead of their standing among all registered voters in these surveys.
    Most of the people whom the models deem to be “unlikely voters” are Democrats, who appear to be less charged up about this election than Republicans, or who have more scattered voting histories.
    But there could also be a group of Republican-leaning voters who are cast aside by these models: specifically, those who identify themselves with the Tea Party. While we’re still struggling to get a handle on exactly what types of voters affiliate themselves with the Tea Party, some group of them are folks who are dissatisfied with “politics as usual” and may until recently have been disengaged from electoral politics entirely. They might not have voted in 2006 or 2008, and perhaps also not in 2004 and 2000; a few might even be people who cast their last ballot for Ross Perot in 1992 or 1996, or who have never voted at all.
    These people may also be deemed “unlikely voters” by the models, especially those that emphasize past voting history rather than enthusiasm. But other types of likely voter models make different assumptions: SurveyUSA, for instance, describes voters like these as “uniquely motivated” and makes some accommodation for them; they’ve shown much better results for Republicans this cycle than most other pollsters.
    If these “uniquely motivated” Republicans turn out, but Democratic “unlikely voters” do not, Republican gains could be pretty extraordinary — especially for Tea Party-backed candidates.

    Number 2) above is Nate Silver’s “stealth marker” for an O’Donnell win in the Deleware Senate race versus Coon, IMO.

    4. The Scott Brown effect. Here is a little pet theory of mine. Say that you’re a fairly conservative Republican in Massachusetts. Your senators have been John Kerry and Ted Kennedy for many, many years. Your representative to the House is a Democrat. Your governor is a Democrat. Your state always votes Democrat for President. You feel compelled to vote out of patriotic duty, and you usually do. But deep down, you’re resigned to the fact that your vote won’t really make any difference, and the candidates you want to win never will. And to be honest, you’ve got a little bit of pent-up frustration about this.
    Then Scott Brown comes along. He’s a good candidate. The Democrat, Martha Coakley, is a not-so-good candidate. It’s a weird election, a special election, in which turnout could be low — Scott Brown could actually win!
    Do you think you’re not going to be — to borrow SurveyUSA’s term — “uniquely motivated” to vote for Scott Brown? And not just that, but also to campaign for Scott Brown, to donate to Scott Brown, and to tell all your friends to vote for Scott Brown, too?
    Of course you’re going to be motivated: it might be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to send a Republican to Washington.
    I can offer only anecdotal evidence for this, like the performance of Mr. Brown in January, or the performance of Barack Obama in Indiana in 2008, or the performance of some Democrats who won races for the Congress in some ordinarily very Republican-leaning areas in 2006. But if a party nominates a competitive candidate in a place where it hasn’t been competitive in a long while, it might get every last one of its voters to turn out — they’ll just come out of the woodwork. Not only that, but also the other party’s voters might be complacent, and the turnout operations won’t be as sophisticated as they might be in a district where they had to run competitive elections year after year.
    If Republicans knock off a few Democrats in some very Democratic-leaning areas, this could be a big part of the reason why.

    Number 4) above is Nate Silver’s marker for seats like Barney Frank’s or Dingle’s going down tomorrow.

    But the obvious conclusion Silver is failing to draw is the connection to the fact that it is Tea Party candidates that are the ones running in places that Republicans have never given Democrats real competition in decades.

    Only Tea Party types don’t know that can’t win, and run like they can win, and let the “Under Served Right” surface in a huge way in places they were thought extinct.

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