Political folks like me rely on a lot of different information when they try to prognosticate about elections. Money raised and spent, voter registration, historical turnout, polling, anecdotal stories from the campaign trail, data from voter ID calls, and door knocks – you get the picture.
And sometimes, it’s just a feeling. An instinct. A sense that there is something palpable happening.
I felt that way in 2010 with the House races. It seemed like every day there was new evidence that there was going to be a big, big wave.
Turns out, there was a huge wave.
Well, I’m feeling that way again. Granted, the wave seems smaller, or at least much later in breaking, and that might actually mean something. A late-breaking wave that hits closer to shore is more disruptive than one that breaks further out. So, this late breaking wave could be very disruptive.
Setting aside my gut instinct, here are some fundamental reasons Republicans are going to have a big win tomorrow night.
This is probably the most important indicator that Democrats are in trouble. The President is incredibly unpopular and voters will punish many Democrats on the ballot because of it.
Much better ground game on the right
There has been some serious investment by the RNC and GOP state parties as well as from conservative outside groups like Americans for Prosperity to staff field operations that are doing real outreach to low-propensity voters that will help off-set the built-in advantages of the Democrats.
Better use of technology
One of the things I harp on when people talk about using technology in politics is that all the technology in the world doesn’t do a bit of good unless you have the manpower to actually put it to use. Given that the conservative ground game is doing much better, there is some great use of technology that is helping the right close the gap with the left.
Early spending from outside groups
One of the things that most people have forgotten, since it feels like the campaign has gone on forever, is that there were some outside groups running issue ads against incumbent Democrat Senators in the spring… of last year!
This was meant to start to drive up the unfavorables of incumbents – and force the other side to spend money much earlier than they had planned. This strategy is paying off, because most of those incumbents are in grave danger of losing tomorrow.
So those are the fundamentals of what will happen tomorrow. Here is how I think it actually goes down in the Senate races.
Republicans will certainly win the following states:
Not as certain, but states I still think go Republican are:
We won’t know it tomorrow, because there will be a run-off, but the Republicans will win Louisiana in December.
Also, Republicans will hold their seats in Kentucky, Georgia and Kansas. We may have to wait until January for Republicans to win Georgia if it goes to a run-off. That means a net gain of 10 seats for the GOP.
And then there are the close, but not quite, seats – what I call the “what could have been” seats. The Republican candidates will finish much closer than expected in Virginia, Minnesota, Oregon, and New Mexico. My guess is that Virginia could be as close as 2-3 points, with a very slim possibility that the Republican wins. The losses in Minnesota, Oregon and New Mexico will likely be by less than 6 points.
And, for the U.S. House, I am predicting a NET gain of 15-18 seats. Yes, bullish – but I think it’s that kind of year. It only takes a net of 9 seats for the Republicans to have their largest majority since 1946.
Now, we wait and see.
President Obama and his policies are very bad for the United States. As conservatives, we know that. Heck, most Americans believe it.
So when conservatives overreact to something Obama says, it makes other criticisms of him and his policies less impactful.
Case in point is a comment that Obama said a couple days ago about stay at home moms. The headline in the Weekly Standard blared: Obama on Moms Who Stay Home to Raise Kids: ‘That’s Not a Choice We Want Americans to Make’
Now, that certainly sounds outrageous. But is that actually what happened? Here is Obama’s quote on that point:
Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.
My interpretation is that what Obama was trying to say was that moms (or dads) who choose to stay home with their kids should be stuck earning a lower wage later when they re-enter the workforce.
I generally agree with that. What I don’t want is government dictating that parents who leave the workforce to raise kids come back into the workforce at a certain wage or salary. That should be left up to market forces. And, if business owners are smart, they will take into account the skills, experience, and talent of parents re-entering the workforce.
A good treatment on this comes from Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist. She points out that moms who choose to stay at home recognize that their earning potential will be impacted in the future – and they still make the choice to stay at home.
At the same time, I’m struck by how shallow our discussion of parenting is. Of all the things to note about how parenting changes you, the craziest is the idea that the only thing that really matters is income. Yes, I traded income for more time with my children. And I still do.
And I’m the winner in this exchange, as are my children. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family with much happiness but not much in the banking account. I don’t know. But I learned from my parents that there are things far more valuable than cash money. Time with my children far exceeds any paycheck I’ve received (it may help that I’m a writer, admittedly). I treasure the moments I’ve had caring for them, watching them reach milestones, seeing them conquer obstacles, helping them learn musical instruments or how to read. I have never had a job — particularly some of the horrible office jobs I’ve had — that came close to the joy and fulfillment I’ve had with my daughters.
The bottom line for me is that Obama gives us plenty of things to criticize fairly. We don’t need to overreach to make the point that he’s been a terrible president and that the country is in worse shape know that in should be.
If anything, the results on Tuesday are going to prove that point in spades.
Yes, my headline is poking fun at the stupid trend on the Internet of “blah blah blah, what happened next was (insert over-the-top adjective here).”
However, this video of young girls using the f word is not interesting, not amazing, not educational, not informative, and certainly not thought provoking. It is shameless marketing to sell t-shirts.
Caitlin Dewey from the Washington Post writes:
Most people would agree the gender wage-gap is bad. But is it more or less bad than profit-motivated adults instructing little girls to curse for a viral video?
That is, in a nutshell, the false equivalence at the heart of a new and wildly controversial video by the T-shirt brand FCKH8, which since Tuesday has racked up more than 100,000 views on YouTube alone. The video consists of girls, ages six to 13, dropping frequent F-bombs in a discussion of pay inequality, stereotypical gender roles and sexual violence — a concept far more dangerous to the six-year-old mind, some might argue, than any casual curse words could be.
Presumably, if you do find the girls’ language offensive, you’re not a very good feminist…
FCKH8 is, after all, a for-profit company, owned entirely by Synergy Media — a corporate branding studio that specializes in (whaddya know!) marketing. Each T-shirt FCKH8 sells retails for between $15 and $37, five dollars of which the company promises to donate to charity. After FCKH8’s last campaign — in which the company had children from Ferguson, Mo. read statistics on racism to “white people” — that cut went to the Mike Brown Memorial Fund and the NAACP. Critics, of whom there are many, were not impressed.
Another view is even more succinct. This one from Darlena Cunha:
So when a 7-year-old says, “I’m not some pretty [f-word] helpless princess in distress” in a mocking tone, my heart screams, “Oh, yes, honey, you are. Oh my God, you are. Not because you’re a girl, but because you are a child.”
Children can be helpless; sometimes they do need help, and it is of utmost importance that they know it. Because growing up in a world where people will take advantage of them in any way possible, they will need an arsenal of people they can trust to help them. We constantly tell our children to talk to a trusted adult if something questionable happens to them, be it bullying, abuse or any kind of sexual advance. By having them internalize the message that they are strong and unstoppable, we may inadvertently be pushing them along the path of blaming themselves should they somehow be unable to stop a rapist, mugger, or even the patriarchy in general.
Not to mention FCKH8 is setting up a false dichotomy by pretending that people would or should be equally offended at little girls dropping the f-bomb as they are the inequity women face on a daily basis. If there ever was a case of apples and oranges, this is it. Just because both feminism and little girls swearing about feminism contain both girls and feminism does not make them comparable on any deep level.
The best analysis comes from The Belle Jar:
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: this video is not some kind of PSA, it’s an advertisement. FCKH8 is a for-profit t-shirt company – emphasis on the profit – that has put together an exploitative and manipulative two minute and thirty five second commercial for t-shirts. And while FCKH8 asserts that all of this is “for a good cause” (they’ve promised to donate $5 from each t-shirt sale to as-yet-undisclosed organizations) the only cause that’s being promoted by this video is their bank account.
There is nothing feminist about using little girls as props in order to sell t-shirts – in fact, I would argue that this is the opposite of feminism. There is nothing feminist about exploiting a bunch of little girls by having them swear and talk about rape statistics just so that FCKH8 can make a quick buck. There is nothing feminist about creating an association between potty-mouthed little kids and social justice – and that’s not a slight against potty-mouths, because I fucking love swearing, but rather a statement on the fact that this video plays into a lot of the negative stereotypes that people already have about feminism.
I’m not against people making a profit. My problem is that FCKH8 is pretending that they are creating a useful dialogue about societal issues – when really all they are doing is selling t-shirts.
Republicans are going to have a good night next Tuesday, a very good night. And it will be, in large part, because President Obama is so unpopular. In the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, Obama’s fav/unfav among likely voters is at a dismal 36%-61%.
For the U.S. Senate, Republicans will win in West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota. Republicans will also win in North Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa and Colorado.
Mitch McConnell will win in Kentucky.
So without knowing what happens in either Louisiana or Georgia (both likely to go to run-offs), Republicans are a lock to retake the U.S. Senate.
In the U.S. House, Republicans will have a net gain of at least 10 seats – giving them the strongest majority since the 1940’s. Those will include wins by Andy Tobin in AZ-01 and Martha McSally in AZ-02.
In Arizona it will be a top-to-bottom sweep of statewide races. Doug Ducey will beat Fred DuVal by close to double digits, Michele Reagan will defeat Terry Goddard, Mark Brnovich will defeat Felicia Rotellini, Jeff DeWit is essentially already the next Treasurer, Diane Douglas will win as Superintendent of Public Instruction and Doug Little and Tom Forese will be the next Corporation Commissioners.
You doubt it’s a bad year for Democrats? Watch network news – and you will see no stories about how bad an election it will be for Democrats. Compare that to 2006, when Republicans were headed for a terrible night, and it was all over the networks for weeks on end. The silence is deafening.
Doug Ducey won a commanding victory in Tuesday’s Arizona Republican primary election. It was the most crowded Republican primary for Governor in state history, and yet Ducey won by an astounding 15 points. He exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine.
Now Ducey faces Fred DuVal in November. Polling shows this race as basically tied with a large number of undecided voters. This is not surprising, but the contours of the race haven’t really been set, so we’ll see movement in the numbers within a week or so.
The biggest upset of the night was Mark Brnovich defeating Tom Horne in the Attorney General race. Mark was outspent by a large margin, but Horne’s negatives were an anchor around his neck. Mark was a tireless campaigner with amazing energy that provided primary voters with a strong viable alternative to Horne.
The other big upset was Diane Douglas defeating Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. It was an old-fashioned, school principal office spanking.
In the Secretary of State race, Michele Reagan won by a strong margin and will dispatch her Democrat opponent, Terry Goddard, in November giving yet another losing effort.
Jeff DeWit, the singing phenom, won big and will become the next Treasurer of Arizona because the Democrats didn’t even bother to field a candidate.
Finally, Doug Little and Tom Forese proved that running as a team has benefits – both receiving almost the exact same number of votes for Corporation Commission and will face two radical leftists for the general.
Let’s look more closely at the primary race for Governor. My firm, DC London, did independent expenditure work in the race, and one of the more satisfying outcomes was how good the polling was. We relied on two different pollsters, David Flaherty at Magellen Strategies and Brock McCleary at Harper Polling. Below is a chart of the two latest polls by each of them respectively and the election result.
Aug. 19-20 (Harper)
Aug. 25 (Magellan)
The most interesting thing in looking at the polls and the results of Tuesday is that Ducey captured the majority of the late undecided voters. Those late deciders have by described by the late political wizard Steve Shadegg as “Indifferents.” The Indifferents are people who don’t really pay attention to politics and may or may not vote. They usually make up their mind in the last three days or so of an election. In this day and age with early voting, some of them are the folks who get their early ballot, set it on the counter and then realize weeks later on Election Day they need to fill it out and drop it off at the polling location.
They are important voters because in close elections, they determine the outcome. Ducey didn’t need them to break heavily in his favor, but it turns out they did, which created a spike in his numbers.
In a six-way race, it is unusual for one candidate to get the majority of the undecided. In Ducey’s case, he added four percent to his margin, leaving only three percent of the vote to go to other candidates. Interestingly, the beneficiaries of those remaining voters were Thomas and Riggs, although it did them no good.
Now the Democrats will begin to spin that they are in a strong position to win these statewide races. Obviously, I beg to differ.
Ducey has won statewide in a general and has become a very strong candidate. DuVal has run for office once before, and it didn’t work out well. He finished 4th in a Congressional primary in which he garnered a whopping 8,600 votes. Not much of a base of support to jump into the big leagues. He will actually suffer from not having had a primary opponent. He and his campaign will likely make a couple missteps that they wouldn’t otherwise make as a result of not being in a day-to-day battle.
Felicia Rotellini couldn’t beat Tom Horne when he was weakened by some scandal four years ago. She will have a difficult time matching Brnovich’s energy and passion.
Michele Reagan is a bright star in state politics and voters will go with her youthful enthusiasm over perennial candidate Terry Goddard.
When it’s all said and done, Arizona will remain a strong Republican state for the next four years.
My firm, DC London, commissioned a Arizona primary election poll of likely voters in the Republican primary next Tuesday.
Ducey – 32%
Smith – 19%
Jones – 16%
Bennett – 14%
Thomas – 7%
Riggs – 2%
Undecided – 10%
At this point, Ducey is all but assured a victory. The only question is how will the rest of the field shape up. My prediction is that Jones has a little surge at the end and captures the second place spot, while Smith continues to slide and ends up in 3rd. The greatest mystery of this election, for me, is what happened to Ken Bennett? He started the race with the most name ID and at 15% of the vote (which at the time was way ahead of everyone else) but he has not moved the needle even a little.
Brnovich – 40%
Horne – 37%
Undecided – 24%
Given that Horne has essentially 100% name ID, the majority of the 24% of undecided are likely to go to Brnovich – so I suspect Brnovich will win by more than six points.
Secretary of State
Reagan – 32%
Pierce – 30%
Cardon – 15%
Undecided – 23%
This race will likely be the one that goes later into the evening before we know the winner. Reagan’s small lead is within the margin of error, so it’s a toss up.
DeWit – 23%
Pullen – 21%
Hallman – 19%
Undecided – 37%
This statewide race has the largest number of undecided voters, so it really could go about any way at this point. DeWit is getting a bit of attention with this video that has the makings of going viral.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Douglas – 39%
Huppenthal – 34%
Undecided – 28%
It appears that the anti-Common Core message is resonating for little-known Diane Douglas and I think she will upset Huppenthal.
(Combined total for first choice and second choice)
Little – 43%
Forese – 35%
Mason – 34%
Parker – 31%
While the second position appears to be a toss up between Forese and Mason, it’s clear that Little will win and Parker will lose. The decision by the pro-solar folks to try to demonize Little as a “lap dog” and somehow supportive of Obama, seems to have backfired. And the hits on Parker by the Free Enterprise Club appear to be working. So the two candidates who have largely been ignored, find themselves basically tied. Will make for an interesting night.
My firm, DC London, commissioned a poll for the Arizona Governor’s primary race. Here is the memo with links to the results.
To: Interested Parties
From: Sean Noble
RE: Update on State of the Governor’s Race in Arizona – Aug 15, 2014
The findings show that Doug Ducey is in an excellent position to win the Governor’s race by a strong margin.
Here are the current numbers:
Below is a comparison of the ballot test in the last four Harper polls:
June 27 July 21 July 29 Aug 15
Ducey 33% 23% 26% 32%
Jones 15% 21% 15% 12%
Smith 14% 13% 15% 21%
Bennett 12% 12% 12% 14%
Thomas 3% 7% 11% 7%
Riggs 2% 1% 5% 3%
Undecided 22% 22% 16% 10%
Ducey enjoys strong support from all corners of Arizona. He leads Smith in Phoenix media market 29-23, in Tucson market 44-12 and Yuma market 25-16.
Doug Ducey will not only win the primary, he is the best choice for Republicans to win the general in November. His strong lead in the polling and his strong favorable image rating will ensure that Arizona remains in Republican control to stand up to the failure of Washington, D.C. and the Obama administration.
In the Attorney General race, Mark Brnovich has a solid lead over Tom Horne:
A Brnovich primary win will send the Democrats back to the drawing board on trying to figure out how to take on someone who would be the most qualified person ever on day one to walk into the AG’s office. Felecia Rotellini and her liberal allies have miscalculated their opportunity and will face a formidable candidate in Mark Brnovich.
Arizona has had a lively Republican primary this year. Here are my endorsements for statewide office:
Governor – Doug Ducey
Doug Ducey is the most exciting candidate for Governor we in Arizona have had in a long, long time. This is an easy call. Why? He is a successful business leader, a strong conservative, a man of faith, and, most of all, a genuinely great human being. And, his opponents just don’t stack up.
*Disclaimer – I am the Chairman of Conservative Leadership for Arizona, an Independent Expenditure Committee formed to support Doug Ducey for Governor. Of course, I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t completely support Doug, but figured I’d give the disclaimer anyway.
Secretary of State – Justin Pierce
Pierce is a very capable leader who is an up-and-comer in Republican politics. He deserves your vote.
Wil Cardon does not rise to the level of a serious candidate.
Attorney General – Mark Brnovich
I have often commented that Mark Brnovich will be the most qualified individual to ever walk into the AG’s office on the first day. He is a constitutional scholar, a former prosecutor, former head of a state department, and a tireless advocate for freedom. He will be a breath of fresh air so sorely needed in the AG’s office.
Tom Horne has abused his office and, if by some miracle he wins the primary, will lose badly to Democrat candidate Felicia Rotellini in the General Election.
*Disclaimer – Mark Bronivch is a client of my firm, DC London. For what it’s worth, I was supportive of Mark running for AG long before he became a client.
State Treasurer – Jeff DeWit
Current State Treasurer Doug Ducey has done a great job running the treasurer’s office, but if you listened to Hugh Hallman or Randy Pullen, you’d think it was a mess. Jeff DeWit is the only candidate who acknowledges that things are working well in the treasurer’s office and will carry that legacy forward. He has the right kind of background for managing the state’s investments and will serve well. He is another strong rising star for the Republican Party.
Corporation Commission – Doug Little and Tom Forese
The corporation commission race this year is a team effort. Doug Little and Tom Forese are running as a team and Lucy Mason and Vernon Parker are running as a team.
The Mason/Parker team feels like the resurrection of the Democrat team from 2012 of Busching, Newman and Kennedy that dubbed themselves “Arizona’s Solar Team.” Mason and Parker are unabashedly supportive of taxpayers subsidizing the solar industry and have been supported by the solar industry. Billionaire crony king, Elon Musk, is the majority shareholder of a company called SolarCity – a rooftop solar system leasing company that is completely dependent on government subsidies to stay afloat.
Given my strong opposition to subsidies and special treatment by government, I think it would be bad for Arizona to elected Mason and Parker.