Friday, May 31, 2013

Minnesota Lean

Tea Party Caucus founder and Lutheran, Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she would not be seeking re-election on Wednesday.  She assured us via a video on her website that her decision was definitely not about this or this.  Rather she claims that eight years is long enough, hence our Constitutional term limits for Presidents, and that she can do, more good for the the country, elsewhere. Representative Bachmann had her opportunity to profess her support for term limits in the form of a joint resolution but as of this writing, has not signed on as a co-sponsor.  But I digress.

Her Democratic challenger in the 2012 election, Jim Graves, who was up until this point gearing up for another run in 2014, announced on Friday that he would no longer be running in 2014.  Graves ran as a direct challenge to Representative Bachmann.  He said that her no longer running was a "mission accomplished."  This is a bit of a change of heart from his announcement on Wednesday where he announced he still planned to run and wasn't running just to run against Representative Bachmann.  Graves said that part of his decision was influenced by the thought of less support from the Democratic party.

Graves who was outspent in the race nearly 12 to 1, only lost to Representative Bachmann by a few thousand votes, losing 50.5-49.3.  A lot of this can be attributed to the polarizing nature of Representative Bachmann.  The 6th Congressional District of Minnesota voted for Mitt Romney by an even 15 points (56.5-41.5). Representative Bachmann's failed presidential campaign certainly did not help, as she made ridiculous claim after ridiculous claim.  Somewhat surprisingly, this helped her nationally, though.  Almost all of the money that she raised came from out of state donors.  She must have appealed to someone, even if it was people outside of her district and state.  Despite her claims, otherwise, she ran in a more Republican district in 2012 than 2010.  If she would have ran again in 2014 against Graves, it probably would have been a toss-up election.  But that's obviously not the case. It's hard to compare election results from two elections when there are two distinct districts involved.  But combined with the presidential electoral results of 2012 and the general favorability for incumbents running in the House, it's fairly clear that Bachmann was hurting more than helping.

Following this same format, if the Democratic party wants to re-take the seat in 2014, they should be rooting for a hard-line or far-right Conservative to win the Republican primary while a more moderate candidate wins the Democratic primary.  If this happens, it could easily be a toss-up, again.  But I imagine that the Republican party is aware of this and will push hard to find a more moderate candidate to run in the wake of the almost defeat of Michele Bachmann. But the general rule of primaries, especially for Republican primaries, is to find more extreme candidates.  If Minnesota Republicans know what they're doing, they can easily choose a more moderate Republican who will likely identify with them and help them out more than a hard-line Republican who has no chance of being elected.

Monday, May 27, 2013

California dreaming

If you spend any amount of time talking to Conservatives, inevitably, they will talk about how California is in massive amounts of debt and because of that, they're an inferior state.  But announced from Governor Jerry Brown, the state legislature, and almost every news/media organization (that's not tilting to the right) that has looked at the numbers have concluded that the California budget is largely in balance.  Depending on who you read, California has about $28 billion in outstanding debt, about $3 billion in surplus, or $850 million in surplus.

California has been in debt for so long, though, that people can't accept any new information.  But after Proposition 30 and a combination of targeted spending cuts, California's budget is largely in balance.  This is impressive and probably makes more Conservatives angry than anything else.  By the way, Jerry Brown sees that there will be a balanced budget for the next four years, too.

Proposition 30 raised taxes on the wealthy, increased the sales tax, and will give about $5 billion in extra revenue for the state.  If your issue is balancing the budget, we have real evidence from California that a combination of tax increases and targeted spending cuts can, in fact, balance the budget. 

As you can tell from comments to all of those articles, people get really upset about California getting out of a deficit. This is so strange to me.  It is, as if, people are rooting for California to fail.  They want California to fail so that they can say that tax increases are not the way to balance the budget.  This is even stranger to me, since it was only fairly recently that Proposition 30 passed (November 6, 2012 and I believe started in January).  If you actually bother to look at the numbers, you'll see that Jerry Brown has been cutting spending left and right since taking office.  He has stressed financial restraint.  If you continue to root for California to fail, then what you're saying is cutting spending cannot balance the budget.  Because if the revenue isn't as much as what you'd expect, there's not much more that Brown can cut.  Maybe spending cuts, alone, can't balance the budget.

I'll continue to stress that a combination of tax increases and targeted spending cuts can balance the budget, if you believe that balancing a federal budget is a worthwhile goal.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I'm not going to write about the "scandals" affecting the White House.  Here are my reasons.

1) I still have no idea what the hell is the scandal with Benghazi.  Nobody has ever explained why changing the talking points is a big deal.

2) The information for the Benghazi e-mails have apparently have been altered by Republican publications. 

3) The mention of Benghazi gets everyone excited without knowing what's going on.  Apparently, quite a few of the Republicans claiming Benghazi is a bigger scandal than Watergate can't say where Benghaz is.

4) Every single 501 (c)(4) that focuses on political activities or runs political ads should be investigated. 

5) The only 501(c)(4) that was denied 501(c)(4) status was a liberal/progressive group.

6) There's not that much proof of what was happening with the other 2/3 of 501(c)(4)'s that weren't Tea Party/Patriot/9/12 groups.  But only a third of the delayed groups were Tea Party groups.

7) 501(c)(4) applications grew dramatically after the ruling of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  They grew for a good reason and were investigated for an even better reason.

8) The spying of the Associated Press phones is not illegal but it definitely is immoral.

9) People were complaining about stopping the leaks before these LEGAL searches were happening.

10) The Republican Party, including Darrell Issa, voted against a law that might prevent this type of situation.

If those reasons make me biased, so be it.  The one that bothers me the most is the AP spying.  I definitely see that it is immoral even if it is not illegal.  Sorry.

37 times

House Republicans brought H.R. 45 to a vote today.  H.R. 45, introduced by Michele Bachmann (yes, the one and only Michele Bachmann) in January was a chance to repeal Obamacare.  If you were thinking to yourself, how many times have the House Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare, the answer is 37.  So, why would House Republicans try to repeal Obamacare so many times when they know it has no chance of passing the Senate or even being signed into law by President Barack Obama?

Well.  Depends who you ask.  Mick Mulvaney, Republican Congressman from South Carolina complained, "If you’re a freshman — the guys who’ve been up here the last year, we can go home and say listen, we voted 36 different times to repeal or replace Obamacare. Tell me what the new guys are supposed to say.  We haven’t had a repeal or replace vote this year.”

Freshman Florida Republican Trey Radel whined, "We have not had a chance as freshmen to do that.  Even if it’s just symbolic — and even if we understand that process-wise we are not going to be able to say, okay we want repeal, it’s done, and it’s over. But this is the issue that so many people around the country who love the Republican Party are frustrated with.” 

Even Republicans understand that these are really symbolic votes.  But oh well.  All that really matters is fiscal conservatism.

Consider the following:

According to the Congressional Research Service, it costs $24 million to run the House of Representatives for a week.  The first 33 votes to repeal Obamacare took about 80 hours of floor time, which is about two weeks, assuming 40 hours per work week.  Basically, the first 33 votes cost the tax payers $48 million.  There's been four other ones since then, so we're looking at an excess of $50 million being spent in these efforts to largely have a series of symbolic votes. 

Now that there is a "scandal" going on in the IRS, it's become a lot easier for Republicans to criticize Obamacare.  Every single Republican talked on the House floor about why would we trust the IRS for enforcing Obamacare when they  can't even be trusted to be able to enforce the current laws.  Michele Bachmann criticized the IRS stating that they went after hard-working Americans and Christians in the latest "scandal."  Some Republicans even managed to talk about Benghazi while talking about how Obamacare should be repealed.  When they said Benghazi, I won House Republican Bingo.

In case you missed the Congressional debate on C-SPAN today, I'll give you a summarized version.

Every Republican:
Obamacare is a job killing law.
Obama promised this and this.
It's 20,000 pages.
It's red tape.
The IRS enforces Obamacare, can we trust them after this scandal?
We'll vote to repeal it everytime.
It's so expensive.
Health care costs are going up.
Children with pre-existing conditions are not being allowed on the health insurance

At least one Republican:
The alternative to Obamacare is nocare.

Every Democrat:
Where's your alternative?
You were asked for an alternative and have yet to give one.
This is a waste of time.
This is a waste of money.
Why are we doing this again?
It'll save money in the long run.
Something about a doughnut hole.
Children are covered.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Abomination in context

Everyday I am on the internetz.  Predictably I am confronted by people who tell me that homosexualtiy is an abomination.  They immediately, selectively, quote Leviticus to me, like I've never read the Bible before in my life.  So, I have begun to wonder what else might be an abomination according to the Bible.  So I googled this. I found this website

So here's a short list of things that are called an abomination in the Bible besides homosexuality.  The website I am using uses the Revised Standard Version translation.  According to Bible Gateway, the New International Version doesn't see homosexuality as an "abomination."

  1. Eating flesh of the peace offering on the 3rd day (Leviticus 7:18)
  2. Eating fish or sea animals that do not have fins and scales.  Eating an eagle, the vulture, the osprey, the kite, the falcon according to its kind, every raven according to its kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk according to its kind, the owl, the cormorant, the ibis, the water hen, the pelican, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron according to its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:10-19)
  3. Winged insects that go on all fours (Leviticus 11:20 and Leviticus 11:23)
  4. Swarming animals that swarm over the earth. Eating animals that crawl on their belly (Leviticus 11:41-42)
  5. Eating at all on the third day. (Leviticus 19:7)
  6. Graven images of false gods and coveting their gold/silver (Deuteronomy 7:25)
  7. Sacrificing an ox or a sheep with a blemish. (Deuteronomy 17:1)
  8. Human sacrificies, practicing divination, sorcery, and wizardry.  Additionally, being a necromancer or medium is an abomination. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
  9. A graven or molten image, presumably to worship. (Deuteronomy 27:15)
  10. Gods who demanded human sacrifices (1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:7, 2 Kings 23:13, Jeremiah 32:35).
  11. Sacrifices made by wicked people (Proverbs 15:8) and (Proverbs 21:27)
  12. Vain offerings (Isaiah 1:13)
  13. "Re-marrying" your ex-wife once she "married" someone else.  I'm not sure if it's talking about actual marriage or having sex.  (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)
  14. Possibly adultery or sleeping with another person's wife (Ezekiel 22:11).
  15. Greed for unjust gain (Jeremiah 6:15 and Jeremiah 8:12)
  16. Love of money (Luke 16:15)
  17. Acting dishonestly or unjust trade (Deuteronomy 25:13-16)
  18. Cheating someone in a trade or taken literally having more than one set of weights and balances  (Proverbs 11:1, Proverbs 20:10, and Proverbs 20:23)
  19. Women wearing ANYTHING that pertains to a man (emphasis mine) or a man putting on a woman's garment (Deuteronomy 22:5)
  20. I don't know what this means: "You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog, into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow; for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God." (Deuteronomy 23:!8)
  21. Being a perverse man (Proverbs 3:32 and Proverbs 11:20)
  22. "haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers. " (Proverbs 6:16-19)
  23. Lying (Proverbs 12:22)
  24. Arrogance (Proverbs 16:5)
  25. Justifying the wicked and condemning the righteous (Proverbs  17:15)
  26. If you turn away from hearing the law, don't pray. It's an abomination (Proverbs 28:9)
  27. The way of the wicked (Proverbs 15:9)
  28. Thoughts of the wicked (Proverbs 15:26)
  29. Kings doing evil (Proverbs 16:12)
  30. Scoffing at those who devise to sin (Proverbs 24:9)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

State of the states: 2012 Real Growth

So I'm having a bit of fun looking at how various states fared in 2012.  I'm taking the Gallup poll for state of the states to find out which states are the most conservative and the most liberal.  I'm going to compare on a variety of factors.  The first one is real growth from US Government Spending.  So let's take a look.

Average state: 39.04
Median state: 39.2

Every state with a score of 39.2 and up are included as the most conservative states.  Below 39.04 we are including on the least conservative states. 

Most Conservative states:
Real Growth average: 2.27
Median: 2.15
Highest: 6.4 (North Dakota)
Lowest: 0.8 (Wyoming)

Least Conservative States:
Real Growth Average: 2.248
Median: 2.2
Highest: 4.4 (Oregon)
Lowest: 1.2 (New Jersey)

Average state: 22.08
Median state: 20.9

Every state with a score of 20.9 or higher are the "most liberal" states and under 20.9 are considered "least conservative".

Most liberal states:
Real growth average: 2.21
Median: 2.2
Highest: 4.4 (Oregon)
Lowest 1.2 (New Jersey)

Least liberal states:
Real growth average: 2.308
Median: 2.1
Highest: 6.4 (North Dakota)
Lowest: 0.8 (Wyoming)
Taking away North Dakota, which was a true outlier due to the flooding of jobs/economic growth due to a boom in the energy sector from the most conservative states, the real growth average is 2.108 and the median becomes 2.1.  This is compared to the least conservative states (I took out Oregon for being somewhat of an outlier) at 2.158.  If we do the same for the liberal side, we get 2.128 for the most liberal staes and 2.1375 for the least liberal states.

Of the lowest 10 states, in 2012 real growth, how many are from the most conservative states listed?  States from the most conservative with % of Conservative in parantheses:
1.Wyoming (48.6)
2.Mississippi (48.2)
2 (t.) Alabama (50.6)
7. Missouri (41.5)
7 (t.). Montana (43.6)
9 (t.) Nebraska (45.3)

States from the least conservative on the bottom 10 with % of Conservative in parantheses:
4. New Jersey (32)
5. Hawai'i (31.9)
5 (t.). Maine (36.3)
9. Virginia (38.8)
9 (t.) New Mexico (38.8)

Average % of conservatives for the bottom 10: 41.418

Of the highest 10 states in 2012 real growh, how many are from the most conservative?
1. North Dakota (48.6)
3. West Virginia (43.9)
4. Texas (42.6)
7 (t.) Utah (48)

States from the least conservative in the top 10:
2. Oregon (33)
5. Alaska (37.4)
6. Massachusetts (28.3)
6 (t.) Michigan (35.7)
7. DC (20.5)
7 (t.). Connecticut (30.2)
7 (t.). Washington (32.9)
7 (t.). California (33.2)

Average % of conservatives for the top 10: 36.192

We'll do the same with liberal scores.

States from the bottom 10 with highest amount of liberals, % of liberals in parantheses:
4. New Jersey (26.5)
5. Hawai'i (27.7)
5 (t.) Maine (25)
7. Missouri (20.9)
9. New Mexico (23.3)

States from the bottom 10 with lowest amount of liberals, % of liberals in parantheses:
1. Wyoming (13.3)
2. Mississippi (15.4)
2(t.). Alabama (14.6)
7 (t.) Montana (16.9)
9. Virginia (20.4)
9 (t.). Nebraska (19.6)

Average % of liberals for states in the bottom 10: 20.327

States from the top 10 with highest amount of liberals, % in parantheses:
2. Oregon (29.3)
6. Massachusetts (30.5)
6 (t.). Michigan (23.3)
8. DC (40.8)
8 (t.). Connecticut (28.4)
8 (t.) Washington (28.3)
8 (t.). California (26.9)

States from the top 10 with lowest amount of liberals, % in parantheses:
1. North Dakota (14.7)
3. West Virginia (18.7)
4. Texas (19.4)
5. Alaska (16.1)
8 (t.). Utah (16.2)

Average % of liberals for states in the top 10: 24.383

Now let's look at the 10 most conservative states and see how they fare:
1. Alabama (50.6)
2. Wyoming (48.6)
2 (t.) North Dakota (48.6)
4. Mississippi (48.2)
5. Utah (48)
6. Oklahoma (47.3)
7. Idaho (47.1)
8. Louisiana (45.6)
9. Arkansas (45.3)
9 (t.). Nebraska (45.3)
Average real growth: 2.09

We'll look at the 10 most liberal states and see:
1. D.C. (40.8)
2. Massachusetts (30.5)
3. Oregon (29.3)
4. Vermont (29.2)
5. Connecticut (28.4)
5 (t.). Delaware (28.4)
7. Rhode Island (28.3)
7 (t.). Washington (28.3)
9. New York (27.7)
9 (t.). Hawai'i (27.7)
Average real growth: 2.48

Monday, May 6, 2013

New tool

I'm playing in Excel, like I enjoy doing, and I realize they have a forecast function.  So I'm using that as another tool to help predict elections and electoral results.

Here are the predictions for tomorrow's special election based on the forecasting tool:

Elizabeth Colbert Busch: 49%
Eugene Platt:4%
Mark Sanford:46%

I picked Sanford to win earlier today.  So, we'll see who is right tomorrow.

Election: South Carolina-1

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released its final poll results for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District's special election on Tuesday. PPP found that Mark Sanford is up by 1 point (47-46). Just two weeks ago it appeared that Elizabeth Colbert Busch was beginning to run away with the race, being up 50-41. Elizabeth Colbert Busch has higher favorability numbers (50/44) than Mark Sanford (43/54) but still trails in the match-up.

Sanford, in the past two weeks, has shifted the tone of the election away from a local election into a national election.  Sanford debated a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi, which was roundly mocked by me and other observers.  But it was a very smart move, politically.  Nancy Pelosi's favorability in the district is 24/61.  Now 47% of voters think Colbert Busch is too liberal, while 43% say she is just right.  Meanwhile, 48% of voters think Sanford's positions are about right compared to 38% who think he is too conservative.

Sanford, in shifting the tone of the election has allowed his past misdeeds to be forgiven or forgotten.  Meanwhile, during the debate Colbert Busch brought up, somewhat subtley, Sanford's hike along the Appalachian Trail which may have angered some voters into thinking that Colbert Busch can't/won't move on.

With the special election being on Tuesday, this poll might be very informative.  If people vote for they like more, Colbert Busch would win handily.  But even if she wins, Nate Silver warns that it's unlikely that she would stay as a member of the House of Representatives for very long.  This is basically a toss-up at this point.  If we are to believe in political momentum, Sanford should win.  If we believe in favorability as an accurate predictor, Colbert Busch will win.

So how do I think the election will play out?

Elizabeth Colbert Busch: 47%
Eugene Platt: 5%
Mark Sanford: 48%

We'll see.

June in Massachusetts

In 2010, Scott Brown upset his Democratic opponent in a special election for a Senate seat.  This was seen as a giant upset in liberal Massachusetts.  Not too long after that upset, the Tea Party wave started and we saw the Democrats lose control of Congress.  In 2013, there is another special election in Massachusetts, are we in store for another upset?

If you are a Republican in Massachusetts and you want to get elected to a statewide office, you want to be fairly moderate or at least say you are going to vote independently.  This will allow you to win over independents, of which there are a lot, and win over a few Democrats.  You also want there to be a lower turnout such as a special election.

Well, according to Public Policy Polling, most of these things are happening.  Gabriel Gomez (41/27) has a chance of winning the 2013 special election over Ed Markey (44/41).  Gomez only trails Markey by 4 points (44-40).  Gomez is winning with 21% of Democrats with 68% going with Markey.  Gomez is doing well with independents, too; he's winning with 47% of Independents while Markey only has 31% of their support.  Gomez's support from Democrats suggests that those who voted for Stephen Lynch in the primary might not support Markey in the election.

Public Policy Polling estimates that the electorate for this special election will be slightly more Conservative and Republican leaning than the electorate in the 2012 presidential election.  If this holds up in June, Gomez has a shot to pull another upset. 

In order to avoid this upset, the Democratic party in Massachusetts needs to focus on get out the vote efforts to try and get Democrats voting in a special election.  If Gomez wants to continue the upset bid, he should continue his efforts to portray himself as an independent thinker and trying to make it less likely for Democrats to come out to vote. Or just try to stay in the middle and nab the more conservative members of the Democratic party. 

My guess is that Gomez continues to run as an outsider candidate and  by focusing his campaign on being an independent thinker/voter while Markey is a product of the Democratic party and a longstanding member of Congress.  This way of thinking is likely to appeal to a lot of people who might support Gomez in the upcoming election.

At this point, I think it's likely that Markey will win the election.  If I was setting odds, it would be about 53/47 chance or so.  As we get closer, we might get to see the upswing for Gomez. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bluegrass Polls

Public Policy Polling recently completed their polls in Kentucky.


Senate Minority Leader and respected turtle Mitch McConnell remains one of the most unpopular Senators in the country. Public Policy Polling found that his favorability was 36/54. McConnell threw a hissy fit the last time Public Policy Polling released its polls from Kentucky which showed that Ashley Judd had a chance to knock him out of the Senate. Private polls confirmed what PPP found and McConnell continued to fume over his unpopularity, I presume. McConnell is more popular among Republicans, 53/34, but even then 46% of GOP primary voters say they would put him as their Senate nominee in 2014 compared to 32% who say they would want someone who is more conservative. McConnell does much better against a named foe as he trounces Congressman Thomas Massie 56-18 in a hypothetical match-up. Regardless, McConnell's low favorability numbers leave him vulnerable not only in a potential primary match-up but against a Democrat in 2014.

Credit where credit is due, McConnell and his team did a nice job attacking Ashley Judd. Judd saw her favorability fall from 42/36 in December to 34/41. A good decision by Judd not to run in 2014. McConnell might have more challengers come out of the woodwork. In the hypothetical match-ups Public Policy Polling did, McConnell led in all of them but had some troubles. Former Congressman Ben Chandler (25/34) trails McConnell by only 5 points at this time 46-41. It's conceivable if Chandler were to run that he could make it fairly close against the Senate Minority Leader. An even more impressive challenge could come from Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (28/22). She trails Senator McConnell by 4 points, 45-41. After Judd decided not to run, Lundergan Grimes becamse the presumptive favorite to be the Democratic nominee in 2014. This could be an interesting race. At this point, I would say it's leaning Republican. But this could definitely be a very close race in 2014.


Rand Paul has become the favorite Kentucky Senator, 42% of Kentuckians say they have a higher opinion of him compared to 24% saying the same thing for McConnell. Paul's favorability is 46/31. If there is going to be a Democratic challenge to him in 2016, it would probably need to be Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (48/31). In a head to head matchup, Paul leads Beshear by 4 points, 46-42. Paul reaches a critical threshold in a hypothetical match-up against Ashley Judd leading 51-40. If Beshear runs, Kentuckians are split 40-40 on if they want a Democrat or Republican as their next governor.

That could all be for naught as Paul might be eying the 2016 Presidential nomination. Even though only 30% of Kentuckians think he should run in 2016 for the presidency. Republicans are more likely to think he should run for the presidency.

Hillary Clinton (45/43) is tied with Paul in a hypothetical head to head match-up against Paul 45-45. This is pretty impressive considering President Obama has a 35/62 favorability in Kentucky right now. Clinton is likely to beat Marco Rubio (34/26) if the 2016 ballot went that way, as she leads currently 46-40.

Kentuckians are split 46-46 on if they support or oppose Congress passing stricter gun laws. This falls along traditonal ideological and party lines on the support for gun control. Women (55/36) are more likely to support stricter gun laws than men (36/57). Also, non-whites (68/27) more likely to support stricter gun laws than whites (44/48). This is consistent with what we see over most states.

Despite the rise in popularity for same sex marriage nationally, Kentuckians are not supportive of same sex marriage. Only 27% of Kentuckians believe it should be legal compared to 65% who say it is illegal. But like in most Southern states, there is slight support for civil unions. Given this option, 23% say same sex marriage should be allowed, 29% say same sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions, while 44% say there should be no legal recognition of same sex couples. Even among Democrats in Kentucky, same sex marriage is not very popular, only 37% of Kentucky Democrats think it should be allowed. The majority of Republicans (55%) think there should be no legal recognition for same sex couples.

The baseball team to root for in Kentucky is the Cincinnati Reds (38%). Not surprising as I believe it is the closest team and they've been getting better. Additionally, they have two of my favorite baseball players in the league in Aroldis Chapman and Joey Votto. The 2nd most popular team of the ones they listed were the Cardinals (9%), followed by the Braves and Cubs (7% each). Men are more likely to root for the Reds (43%) than women (33%). Women (12%) are more likely to root for the Cardinals than men (6%). Those who consider themselves very conservative (37%) are more likely to say they don't root for the Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Reds, Indians, Yankees, or Cardinals. So who they root for? That's the biggest question from this poll. Oh and those who consider themselves very liberal (18%) like the Braves more than the normal percentages. My assumption is this is entirely based upon the fact that TBS hosted all of the Braves games and TBS has better shows than WGN so you naturally start rooting for them. Or that Greg Maddux brainwashed people into being very liberal.*

*I have no idea about Greg Maddux's political affiliations are. He looks like a stereotypical intellectual liberal, though. Although he more or less succeeded with second rate stuff and showed that if you just work hard enough you can be successful. Damnit. Now I'm confused. One could argue, as it was in a movie, that groundballs are communist. Greg Maddux's pitching has affected me greatly, as you can tell.
72% of Kentuckians consider themselves Southerners while 22% do not. Liberals are less likely to consider themselves Southerners. 61% of Kentuckians have a favorable impression of Louisville while 67% have a favorable opinion of Lexington. I have no impressions of either of these cities except that the University of Louisville's basketball stadium is named the Yum! Center. Which is a terrible name. I think I was in Lexington once. I can't remember. My fond memories of Kentucky involve Mammoth Cave.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Checking into North Carolina

Public Policy Polling is based out of North Carolina, so they do quite a bit of polling in their home state.


Senator Kay Hagan is up for re-election in 2014. She has made some politically controversial statements recently. She has come out in support of same sex marriage. Despite the fact that North Carolina effectively banned same sex marriage in 2012, Hagan's favorability numbers stayed around the same since the last time they polled. They found her at 39/37 now compared to 42/39 a month ago.

In the Republican primary for the Senate in 2014, there's not a clear favorite. The top vote getters were Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry (18%), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (13%), Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (12%), and State Senate Leader Phil Berger (11%). 32% of Republican primary voters are either not sure who they would like to see as the Republican nominee or would like to see someone else than Public Policy Polling listed. Hagan leads all of those candidates in head to head match-ups, but some fare a little better than others.

The biggest challenger at this point is Cherie Berry (32/18). Berry trails Hagan 46-41 with 13% not sure at this point. Berry has plenty of time to make her appeal to half the voters and make up that ground. The closest after that is Renee Ellmers (20/26) trails Hagan 48-40. A net favorability of -6 is not very good, even with the majority of people not having an opinion. Virginia Foxx (23/27) is the 3rd strongest candidate and arguably is the 2nd strongest. She trails Hagan 48-39 in a head to head match-up. The weakest of the candidates from the Republican primary is Phil Berger (10/33). He trails Hagan by the same margin as Foxx. His favorability is so low that it's hard to see how he would be a good candidate to run against Hagan. The 2014 Senate race in North Carolina could be interesting if Berry or Ellmers runs but right now Hagan is the favorite. I'll put it in the lean Democratic side, for now.


Senator Richard Burr's favorability is net negative at this point (36/38).

First-term governor Pat McCrory has maintained his popularity with a favorability of 49/36.

Hillary Clinton is fairly popular in North Carolina but if she ran in 2016, North Carolina would remain a swing state. Clinton leads Marco Rubio 49-42 in a hypothetical match-up and Rand Paul 52-40. These are not dominant performances but suggest that Clinton would win the state, although it would be close.

State Legislature

Republicans in North Carolina's state legislature have gotten some notoriety for trying to push through some unpopular bills. Republicans in the North Carolina Legislature have a 34/53 favorability compared to Democrats in the North Carolina Legislature (34/44). Not surprisingly, this largely falls on party lines. Democrats are tougher on their own party in the state legislature with a favorability of 55/23. Republicans support their Republican Legislature members a bit better, 62/24 favorability. Independents are not fond of either, but there is more disapproval coming towards the Republican party than the Democratic party. No surprise that the Democrats lead a generic legislative ballot 45-41 at this point.

Perhaps the most controversial bill that got national attention was the bill that would establish Christianity as the state's religion. But it's not that unpopular in North Carolina, 42% support it while 45% oppose it. It's getting almost all of its support from the the more conservative part of North Carolina voters. 51% of those who say they are somewhat conservative support it and 68% of those who say they are very conservative support it. Women (45/42), in general, support this bill more than men (38/48). The bill was later killed.

There's a bill on the table that prohibits parents from claiming children registered to vote at college as dependents on their tax returns. It's not a very popular bill. 25% of those polled said they would support it, compared to 57% who said they would oppose it. Most of this support comes from the very conservative North Carolina voters as 36% of them say they would support the bill. 26% of those who are “somewhat conservative” support such a bill.

There is overwhelming opposition to a bill that would allow lobbyists to give gifts to legislators. Only 6% support it, while 88% oppose it. The liberals in North Carolina are the ones who support this one more than normal, with 7% of those who claim to be very liberal supporting it and 12% who claim to be somewhat liberal supporting it.

Another fairly unpopular bill is one that would eliminate North Carolina's renewable energy standards for power companies. 22% support it compared to 39% who oppose it. Much of the support comes from the conservative North Carolinians. 34% of very conservative voters support the bill and 23% of somewhat conservatives support the bill. Men (27/37) seem to support the bill more than women (17/41).

There is a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for law enforcement officials to enforce federal gun laws on firearms made in North Carolina. 28% support it while 42% oppose it. Who supports such a law? You guessed it, Liberals in North Carolina. 44% of those who are “very liberal” support the bill and 29% of somewhat liberals support the bill. If this makes no sense to you, you are not alone. I'm so confused by this, I'm moving on to the next thing.

A bill that aims to curb the amount of early voting days from 17 to 10 does not have much support, 33% are in favor while 59% oppose it. The conservative North Carolinians are vastly in support of such a bill, with 49% of those who consider themselves somewhat conservative in favor, and 62% of those who are very conservative support it. The majority of Republicans (51/42) support shortening the number of early voting days.

A Republican legislator suggested that prayer to Allah should be considered an act of terrorism. Luckily, only 16% of North Carolinians agree with this, while 67% disagree. The number of Republicans who consider it an act of terrorism is 25%. 29% of those who are very conservative consider it an act of terrorism. 16% of very liberal voters think it is, too. Those liberals in North Carolina are strange.

The North Carolina Senate has proposed a bill that would eliminate tax deductions for businesses when they donate to charity. Individuals get tax deductions for donations to religious groups. 28% think this is fair while 49% say it is not fair. 33% of very liberal North Carolinians say it is fair. Democrats in North Carolina (33/39) think this is fair, higher than Republicans (28/59).


As a state, North Carolina is in favor of an assault weapons ban (52/40). This falls along party and ideological lines with Democrats or liberals in favor and conservatives or Republicans not in favor. Women (59/32) support an assault weapons ban more than men (43/50). North Carolinians are in favor of Congress passing stricter gun laws (54/38). Once again, this falls neatly along party and ideological lines with women (59/33) supporting this more than men (48/43). This suggests that there are people who might support other gun control laws, such as background checks or gun safety, etc. over an assault weapons ban.

North Carolinians are also slightly in favor of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (45/40). This, too, falls on the same party and ideological lines as gun control. That's the biggest deciding factor in support or opposition to a path to citizenship.