Democrats need to understand that we are a big tent party. In fact, we are THE big tent party.
So, when Colin Peterson, representing Congressional District 7 in Minnesota votes in favor of environmentally irresponsible mining, or against health care reform, or against sensible gun control, or against a woman’s right to choose, he looks like a Republican, acts like a Republican, and smells like a Republican, but we accept that because we are a big tent party and he represents a very conservative district. Continue reading A big tent need not include the outhouse
Here is a nice new graphic showing the polling data for four of the current Democratic candidates. The graphic is meant to contrast the campaigns with respect to their overall pattern of performance over time. Continue reading Four Distinct Democratic Campaigns
In the race for the Democratic nomination for the office of President, one thing is clear: Pretty much anybody could win. Continue reading The State of the Democratic Race
Press your preference, hold back your hate. Don’t damage the duck until you know which duck is yours. We all do better when we all do better, even those you disagree with. There is an endless list of rhetorically clever utterances to make the same point: express your passion inside the Party, but then, get in line and vote blue. (Or red if you are for some strange reason a Republican interested in my advice, which is highly unlikely). Continue reading Politics 101: Knowing When To Hold ‘Em, When To Fold ‘Em
As outlined here in a post at Get Energy Smart Now, there is a new candidate in town in a major mid western Senate race. Siegel notes:
Today, a Climate Hawk is announcing his candidacy in the crowded Iowa Democratic Party primary for the chance to send Koch-funded, Koch-created, Koch-parroting climate-science denier Jodi Ernst to the pasture.
As his announcement video makes clear, Iowa farm boy Vice Admiral Mike Franken, U.S. Navy (retired), places climate change as core to his priorities, as core to his campaign, as core to his understanding of Iowans’ concerns about today and tomorrow.
This is important because Franken has an excellent chance of doing well in this race and replacing an in place Republican and climate change denier. Michael Franken is a true climate hawk.
He will be seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party.
It is too early to declare a victory for the Progressive movement in the Democratic Party (obviously) but last night’s debate was a strong sign that there is a strong progressive movement, it is coherent and powerful, and it is winning.
Here’s why I say this, based on preliminary observations of last night’s debate: Continue reading Dem Debate IIa: Progressive Movement Moves Ahead
This year’s nomination process for US POTUS is a little different than usual. Super Tuesday happens FIRST instead of later in the race. Well, first, after the first states. The first state is New Hampshire. Except Iowa goes before New Hampshire, but whatever. After that are Nevada and South Carolina. Continue reading Who will be ahead on Super Wednesday?
Final chapter for now…
I made a very special graphic, have a look:
Following in part on the procedure discussed here, this analysis combines data from several time-overlapping polls to produce a neater and cleaner depiction of each of the top four candidates march towards the presidency … or not.
It turns out that polls come in clusters. There will be several days in a row with a bunch of polls coming out, and then there will be a few days with no polls at all. There are reasons for this I won’t go into now. And, these polls, in the clusters, tend to overlap in time. For this reason, it is easy to take a bunch of polls in such a cluster and average out the results to give a better than average snapshot of a candidate’s status for a given period of time, usually about a week. Then, these withing cluster estimates are somewhat independent from the other clusters because there is no overlap in time, for the most part. The power of each estimate is very high, the trends depicted across the estimates are very likely.
That’s what the graphic above shows for Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Harris. Trends I noted in the previous several blog posts are apparent, but more cleanly depicted.
Here is what this graphic, based on 38 national polls, shows:
1) Biden has had a steady decline, and the rate of that decline may have increased after the first and so far only debate, but he is still number one.
2) Sanders has had consistent, immutable, results the whole time, never changing. It is like there is a certain number of people who support him, and they are not budging, nor are they gaining allies.
3) Warren started to rise in the polls well before the debates. This seems to have corresponded with intensification of her campaign, and her issue oriented displays of knowing things and having plans. Most experienced candidates and campaigners will tell you that is a bad approach. For Elizabeth Warren, it may have moved her into second place.
4) Harris was steady in her just barely 10% status — remarkably flat in fact — until the debate, when she suddenly rose almost meteorically, but not beyond the first cluster.
Is Warren’s rise more stable and issues and candidate based, therefore long lived, while Harris’s rise is a temporary bump from going after Biden in the debates? Is Biden’s downward trend going to continue at its newly accelerated rate or will it flatten out a bit, as hinted in these numbers?
To find out the answers to these and other questions, stay tuned!
But seriously, the next cluster of polls will be available in less than a week from now, most likely. The current pattern requires that the average for Biden be 35% or lower. Warren needs to be a strong second with over 25%. Sanders, while looking very flat, is actually down at his lowest rate in this sequence at present. Sanders should drop below 20%. Harris is likely to stabilize at around 20 or drop back to below 20. Or, she will rise to the mid 20s at the expense of Biden, mostly.
In evaluating these projections, remember how they are calculate. The poll numbers you see will all be lower than those mentioned here because of this. I don’t have full confidence in these projections, but when I say it all out loud, it seems right.
The Warren and Harris stories are similar to each other, when viewed using the data described here. Both are trending upwards from a respectable just under two digit position, menacing those in second place.
I put the polynomials (third order) on there to investigate consistency in this trend over time. They show that Warren’s upward trend is steady, and Harris’s is more stepwise. It is hard to know if this means one is stronger, or rising faster, or more likely to take a top position, than the other. Not shown here, but looking at only the last month or so, both trend up, and Harris overtakes or equals Warren 20 days out. But, the variance in the data for that shorter time period is high, so I wouldn’t put much in it.
Bottom line: Harris and Warren are moving into position to be contenders in the race for the Democratic Party nomination, currently moving past, or about to move past, second place Sanders, while at the same time Biden is sinking into the same range. For a brief moment, this may be a four way horse race, by the end of July or early August.
This could all be because of name recognition, it could all be because of insiders at the DNC deciding in advance who the candidates are going to be, or some such thing. But the variation among these four candidates does not correlate to their own levels of name recognition, and at least one of these candidates is very powerful in the DNC, so I’m thinking none of that is key. These are good people. They are impressive, and they impressed in the debates. These four candidates could provide the nominee, any one of them could rise up out of the very low numbers and become a key contender,the nominee, even the president. But for now, there is really only one thing to say about the polling numbers, using the same data set as described here, for Booker, Yang, Klobuchar, and Castro: Rounding errors.
That strange pattern you see there that looks like layers in a cross section of a pristine tropical rainforest, that’s rounding errors. All the internal structure of these data is from rounding errors. Even the ranking could be so affected by rounding that I don’t think we can say much about these candidates except to wish them well.
Now that we have dispensed with Bernie Sanders’ and Joe Biden’s stories, let’s have a look at two very different cases, those of Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg.
See this post for a description of how the numbers are calculated for the following graphic:
Instead of using a straight line regression I used a third order polynomial to track the polling over time for these two non-linear candidates. Each shows a rise and fall, with the fall ongoing. Don’t pay much attention to the 20 day projection. Maybe one or both of these candidates is oscillating rather than descending. Only time will tell.
There seem to be two main conclusions that can be drawn from these graphs.
1) Buttigieg is more or less on the board with a consistent high one digit showing, but he did not surge after the debates, and he is not really surging anywhere. In contract, O’Rourke has been essentially a non factor. People blame much of the pattern of polling on name recognition. This is true to some extent, but this effect is a) overplayed and b) important in choosing a candidate, not something to be discounted. Given the possible role of name recognition note that an unknown small time mayor is beating the pants off (in this low digit world) the guy who was VERY famous running against Texas Ted Cruz. In the end, O’Rourke does not appeal, Buttigieg has some potential.
2) Neither of these candidates really seems to be going anywhere.
In case you think me unfair or a statistical scoundrel of some kind for using a third order polynomial (and you should think that) for making the trend lines, there’s more.
The following graphic has the third order polynomial extended to fifth order. To illustrate the absurdity of it all, not this: There are some 38 data points here. A 38th order polynomial line would run through all of them. Anyway, using the high order polynomial, both candidates are doing great! But that is just for fun.
More important is the straight line regression line that shows both candidates as flat lining or slightly declining across this entire period, down below 10%. I suspect both of these candidates will be out of the race by the end of this November.