Sunday, September 20, 2015

Post #8:
September 12 through 18

 The GOP: The pundits said Fiorina won the debate this week. Even John Hodgman in his live tweets said she had "flow" in her narrative. Of course, she lies completely about Planned Parenthood and wants to start wars with Russia and Iran, but being a lying warmonger doesn't set her apart from the crowd.

Having "flow" does.

So now the top three candidates in the GOP race are non-politicians, pulling in 53.9% of this week's average. With None of the Above currently at 7%, this means all politicians in the race add up to just less than 40%, and the top two in that crowd, the two Hispanic darlings Marco Rubio and JeBush Bush, are tied for fourth and fifth with 7.5%.

The chart's a little over-busy with seven colors, but Rubio hasn't been over None of the Above ever before, merely tied way back in late July. He has stayed consistently in the middle of the pack, jostling with Ted Cruz for best of the rest status. On the other hand, Scott Walker had several weeks well above None of the Above and his numbers have tanked completely and folks are talking about him as the next to drop out.

And then there's JeBush Bush. Some pundits compare his troubles to Hillary's but that is a bad comparison. She's wobbling around just under 50%, while Bush is tied for fourth and fifth. When I covered these numbers back in 2011, Romney never spent a week lower than the second choice. Now, he has a war chest - not as big as Ted Cruz's, only slightly bigger than Ben Carson's - and he's barely spent a quarter of it, but a lot of money isn't going to help if the primary voters get a bad case of We're Just Not That Into You.

And the word I haven't typed yet: Trump. He's clearly Not Dead Yet, but have we seen Peak Trump? This can only be the case if some other candidate has a clear surge, and right now that means Carly or Rubio or someone breaking out from below None of the Above. I am firmly in the I Don't Know camp, but I could see people getting tired of Trump's pompous bullshit in the long run. For me, the long run for getting tired of looking at Trump is between ten to twelve seconds, but I have a low bullshit tolerance.

The Dems: Every poll this week asked the sample about Biden and he's polling between 10% to 20%. The thing is, he hasn't announced and I don't think he will. He made a statement at an Hispanic heritage gathering where he compared Trump to the Know-Nothings of the late 19th Century. Nice to see someone get up on the stump and get the history right, but for the point I'm making here, the crowd got excited and started chanting "Bi-den! Bi-den!" and he repeated the word "no" several times. I don't think he's running and it will be interesting to see what happens when pollsters stop asking about him. (Sorry I can't provide a link. All the news outlets that broadcast the slamming of Trump edited out Biden refusing to be drafted by the crowd.)

I have a few Hillary supporter friends who I keep in touch with on Facebook, but all my progressive friends I talk to face to face are lukewarm on her at best. The general election is a long way away, but the big question is if Hillary can get people to be passionately for her instead of just passionately against the GOP nominee. That said, the news is pretty much unchanged, Hillary leading almost 2-1 and Sanders not going anywhere.

I'll be back next week to chart the GOP drama and the Democratic lack of same.


  1. I feel like John Elfreth Watkins, having been predicting that Walker would not survive the primary for months now. He's a bad candidate, and was simple to prop up with Koch money in the small market of Wisconsin, with the aid of the major media chains.

    While I am thrilled at his current poll level of zero, the big problem is that this means he's coming back to Wisconsin. Maybe his spectacular flameout will hamstring his effectiveness until we can finally toss his lying ass to the curb for good.

    1. We've got a lot of bad candidates being given obscene amounts of money, JeBush Bush being the one closest to the top of the heap. He has a massive war chest, but he now also has four candidates he has to get past.

      The guy I think is going to be in good position when all the background noise is over is Ted Cruz.

    2. Someone made a compelling prediction that Trump would only remain as long as he could get the amount of attention he feels he's entitled to, and then he would drop out and throw his support to Cruz.

      Given the higgledy-piggledy of the race as it stands, that seems like a fair call to me. I think Kevin Drum is of the opinion that Rubio will outlast the others, but given that he's nearly as bad a campaigner as Hot Ham, I can't see him leveraging his 7% that high.

  2. I don't know if Rubio's stance on immigration is going to hurt him with the red meat crowd. Trump handing off to Cruz makes sense, but again, I don't know if you can actually lead a group with such unfocused anger as Trump supporters.

  3. Walker's OUT. You called it; but did you have an inkling it would be before the first primary?

    1. In August, I thought his first drop was just a blip. And didn't so much "call it" as mention that it was conventional wisdom for the past week or so.

      Still, it's a surprise if we look at the long term and given he was the Koch Bros.' favorite. It's also stunning to see just how "not ready for prime time" some of these folks are.

    2. It wasn't so stunning for me; as I said over at TG's place, I've had to watch that Turdwaffle for way longer than I ever wanted, or is any good for my health...