Tag Archives: near eastern politics

On the Eve of GOP Debate, Only Two Candidates Matter

There will be a third GOP debate on Wednesday night. If you don’t have the right cable or satellite subscription, apparently, you are not welcome to attend. (Correct me if I’m wrong, in the comments section below.)

But who cares, really? It will be a low information event.

The debate will be split into two parts, lower and higher ranking candidates separately, but the debate involving the higher ranking candidates will include more of them, and only two have anything close to poll numbers that matter. Not that polls are everything, but if you are a candidate that has failed to break 10% ever, and for several weeks have had single digit numbers, you are not really a candidate. Time to suspend your campaign. (Suspend instead of leave the race because you never know if a bomb is going to drop on one of the leading candidates. Usually, hopefully, a political bomb, not an actual bomb.) So, Wednesday’s debate will be very low value in terms of information.

“What happened to Carly Fiorina?”, you may ask. This:

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.37.17 AM

She had a bump, one time. I have no special analysis to offer here, but the bump may have been temporary for a number of reasons. Republicans don’t like women, we knew that, and she is one. Also, her history of not being a very good CEO may not have helped her argument that she’d be a good president because she was a good CEO. Also, getting caught in the lie wrt Planned Parenthood may have been a factor.

The graphic at the top of the post is made from the HufPo Pollster, and includes only likely voters and non-partisan polling agencies. This is why Carson and Trump are about even. If you include all polls and all respondents, Trump trumps Carson.

Wikileaks Mythbusting: Yemen Cables

There has been much talk about whether the recent Wikileaks leak of diplomatic cables will be a good thing or a bad thing. I would assume (and that is an assumption … which is why I used the word assume) that there would be some of both, some forward movement of progressive ideals including honest government and reasonably transparent diplomatic policies that value human rights and the environment, etc., and some damage to ongoing diplomatic processes or exposure of ammunition that can be used for nefarious purposes by nefarious figures and organizations. But, since some of that would have happened anyway (a leak of a cable is not the only way to embolden a terrorist, advance a philosophy, fix or complicate a diplomatic problem or solve an historical riddle) we may be better off not asking about the big and essentially unknowable picture, and focusing on individual cases. So, I’d like to look, in a preliminary way, at a couple of such individual cases
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