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You can't make this up.

Rick Santorum:

Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum called men who father children with multiple women “sexual predators” in a speech to the socially-conservative Cornerstone organization in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
Just so we all remember, Ronald Reagan had children with both of his wives.  Funnier still:
And he compared it when he was growing up in the 1950s and when children were conceived out of wedlock, what happened in the 1950s,” added Santorum. “We all know what happened in the 1950s and here is the amazing thing, this is Putnam saying this, 80 plus percent of these marriages succeeded.”
Of course, Reagan fathered his children in the 40's and 50's.

You cannot make this crap up.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/...

Discuss

One of the more frustrating things I have seen over the years is the paranoia among whites about black on black crime.  This once again surfaced with idiotic statements from Giuliani.  The image is of a violent community descending into anarchy.  Look, for example, at this article by Time on Ferguson..

And it is all bullshit.

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice reviewed the evidence on black on black from and concluded:

Since the sainted Fifties, America has seen rapid teenage population growth and dramatic shifts toward more single parenting, more lethal drugs and weapons, increased middle-aged (that is, parent-age) drug abuse and imprisonment, decreased incarceration of youth, decreased youthful religious affiliation, and more violent and explicit media available to younger ages. Horrifying, as the culture critics far Right to far Left—including Obama, who spends many pages and speeches berating popular culture as some major driver of bad youth behavior—repeatedly insist.

And after 50 years of all these terrible changes in American culture? Today’s young African Americans display the lowest rates of crime and serious risk of any generation that can be reliably assessed.

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A very simple diary.  From the Economist Magazine, an amazing chart:

Sometimes no words are needed.  
 photo wealth_zpsc16726ee.gif

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Still plowing my way through exit polls.  In general they suggest that voters are pissed at everybody - Republican and Democratic.  But buried in them is this:

Would Hillary Clinton make a good President:
Yes 42
No 53

And,
More Likely to Vote For in 2016 Pres. Race:
Clinton 34
Republican Candidate 40

Not great news.   BUT consider these numbers:
Would Jeb Bush Make a Good President?
Yes 29 No 59
Would Chris Christie Make a Good President?
Yes 24, No 64
Would Rand Paul Make a Good President?
Yes 28, No 60
Would Rick Perry Make a Good President?
Yes 24, No 62

Just one data point.  What it suggests though is that the anger in the public at large is also directed at those who might be considered establishment figures.

It also suggests an opening for someone who can show they are not part of the establishment.
http://www.cnn.com/...

Discuss

Midst all of the conversation tonight, remember two facts:
1.  In the battleground states that the GOP MUST win to get to 270, we are going to win far more than we will lose.
2.  The lost of the Senate is occurring because of Democratic seats in states that Democrats have not win in 30 years.

Let's start with the last part first.  Here are the likely losses in the Senate along with the Romney's margin
Alaska (13.99)
Arkansas (23.69)
Louisiana (17.21)
South Dakota (18.2)
West Virginia (26.26)
Montana (14)

None of these states were close in 2012.  Winning any of them would be a miracle.  So lets look at the close states in 2012:
North Carolina (-2.04), Hagan likely to win
New Hampshire (5.58) Shaheen likely to win
Minnesota (7.69) Franken easy win
Pennsylvania (5.38) Incumbent Republican will get crushed
Florida (.88) Incumbent Republican well under 50

There are really only two battleground states that are in play:
CO (5.36) Udall looks in trouble
IA (5.81) Open seat looks bad.

But there are REPUBLICAN incumbents in battleground seats that are in serious trouble.  In addition to Florida and Pennsylvania, Walker is in deep trouble in Wisconsin (6.94)

So lets take a step back.  The last Cook ratings in 2012 had Obama with a solid 183 electoral votes.  Democrats will win every Senate Seat contested in those states.  Cook had an addition 18 as likely Democratic:
New Mexico (Dem will be re-elected)
Maine (Dem may beat incumbent GOP, long term "moderate" GOP senator will win)
Minnesota (Dem will win)

That totals 201 Electoral votes.  Cook had 4 additional states as leaning Democratic.  The 52 EV's in these states bring the Democratic total to 253.
Pennsylvania (Incumbent GOP Governor will lose)
Michigan (Dem Senator will win easily, Incumbent GOP Gov may lose)
Nevada - no seriously contest race
Wisconsin (GOP incumbent Gov may lose)

There is no sign in any of these states that the GOP is on their way to victory. These states get the Democrats within 17 votes of 270.

Cook had an additional 94 as battleground states.  But when you look at each you find Democrats performing well in most:

Colorado - really this is the only troubling result - a Dem incumbent may lose.
Florida - The Dems may take the Governor's race despite heavy spending by the GOP.  Remember, the GOP HAS TO HAVE FLORIDA to win.  But there is no reason to think after tonight that Florida is anything but a tossup.
Iowa - open seat and we are behind.  A troubling result.
New Hampshire - Dems will likely take both the Senate and the Gov seat
North Carolinia - Hagan favored in a seat the GOP has to have to get to 270.l
Ohio- Dem self destructed.  No real lesson from this seat one way or another.
Virginia - Dems took gov seat, incumbent Senator will win.

Remember, the GOP essentially has to win all of these seats to get to 270.

And in this election, with turnout down, it is clear they can't do it.  They are losing two Senate races in states they absolutely have to have.  They are in a tough fight in Florida.

After tonight, when the dust settles, people are going to think of 2016 and look at the map.

And the path to 270 for the GOP is going to look tougher than it did 4 years ago.

Discuss

Here are 5 pieces of good economic news recently.   They don’t mean that everything is fine. I could make the contrary argument as well as anyone But there has been some good news – news I guarantee you haven’t heard. Certainly not here.  If you are in an election fight you make use of what you have.  I guarantee if the situations were reversed Fox News would make sure you knew if every one of the stories below.

Of course some know: Krugman called Obama "One of the must successful Presidents in American History".

This gets to one of the basic problems I have long seen with Democratic politicians.  They seem to me to be always apologizing.  I was at the Shaheen/Brown debate a couple of weeks ago.  None of this was mentioned.  

But the truth is there is a very real case to make.  It is a case based on three facts:
1.  Obama inherited an absolute mess
2.  Despite this mess, the stimulus that was enacted (which was too small) and the policies that were enacted (ObamaCare eg) did nothing to slow private job growth as the Republicans predicted.  In fact private job growth is faster under Obama since the implementation of ObamaCare than under Reagan.
3. The reason things are not better is because the Republicans at both the state and local level have sabotaged the economy.

This is in large measure reality.  Now in my opinion there is a larger systemic issue around globalization and automation that has changed the economy fundamentally.  But this doesn't change those three facts.

How many of you have heard any of this from your politician.  What I hear in NH is apologies from my Democrats.

1.     Barack Obama is on track to create more private sector jobs in his second term than Ronald Reagan and about the same as Bill Clinton.  Per the blog Calculated Risk
Term Private Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 9,041 (1,304)
Reagan Term 1   5,360 (-24)
Reagan Term 2 9,357 (1,438)
GHW Bush 1,510 (1,127)
Clinton 1 10,885 (692)
Clinton 2 10,070 (1,242)
GW Bush 1 -841 (900)
GW Bush 2 379 (844)
Obama 1 1,998 (-713)
Obama 2 4,1291 (45)
120 months into 2nd term: 9,910 pace.

Of course, the kicker is the change in public sector jobs.  Most of the change in government employment has been at the state and local level, where republicans have been in charge.  It is fair to say that the economy has been sabotaged by GOP at the local level, and at the national level by GOP demands.  

2.     New Unemployment Claims are the lowest since May 5, 2000.  With the exception of a brief in 2000, they are now lower than at any time since BEFORE THE 1973 RECESSION.

 photo weekly-unemployment-claims_zps36e24e89.gif

3.    For the first time since the recession began there are actual signs of wage growth.
Per a re-tweet from Bradley Delong quoting Business Insiders : “Overall compensation increased by increased by 0.7% in Q3, and wages increased by 0.8%. Year-over-year, compensation is up 2.2%, with wages up 2.1%.”
 photo ed9822a4-a34c-414d-b3a0-8a7a57e9fa78_zps4c55fbb0.jpg

4.    Consumer sentiment reached a 7 year high.
The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 86.9 from 84.6 in September. That's the highest since July 2007, five months before the Great Recession began.
5.     Obama had outperformed Reagan on virtually every economic metric that exists.  From Forbes:

Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories.  Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan.  Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a “smaller government.”  
The liberal cringes at the last part of this of course.

The point is not that everything is great.  The rich have benefited far more than the poor (although news flash, Obama raised the top rate on the rich) and the jobs that are being created aren't great, or even good.

The point is that in general people have done a crap job of defending Obama - and sometimes it makes me wonder why.

Discuss

This won't change the media reporting, since it is incapable of distinguishing between junk and and good polling, but Pew has a new poll of likely voters.  Their generic ballot likely voter number:
Democrats 47
Republicans 46

It should be noted in this vein that Pew is really the only poster in the last two cycles with a track record worth mentioning.  As I have noted here before, 2012 was the first cycle since 1980 in which every pollster missed in the same direction.  The closest was Pew.  Pew had Obama up 3 (he won by 3.7) while Gallup and Rasmussen had Romney up 1, and SurveyUSA, Politico and CNN had the race tied.

Pew was also tied for the best in polling for the generic ballot in 2010.  They had the GOP up 6 (the result was 6.8) while Gallup had the GOP up 15, Fox had them up 13 and Rasmussen had them up 12.

It is good news, from the pollster with the best national record in the last two cycles.

Discuss

At the start let me say what this isn't.  This is not an unskew the polls diary.  In fact, this is the opposite: this is a data driven diary that is based on one simple table.  These are the averages for all polls in October and November where the results found a margin of less than two points.  Honestly I didn't think I would find anything.  But the evidence is clear.  There is a consistent bias against Democrats.  

Why am I the only one seeing this?  Honestly, most don't have data that goes back as far as I do (I think 538 goes back to '04).  

So why would this happen? In June of 2012 I wrote a diary entitled "Are cell phones resulting in biased polls against Democrats?".  In it I noted that minorities and the young were far more likely not to have a landline than the rest of the population.  This became apparent in the aftermath of 2012.

Something else no one seems to have noticed.  Every telephone poll of the national 2012 Presidential Election Understated Obama's margin.  The last time this happened was 1980!  This is not new, though.  The Generic Ballot polling was pretty bad in 2010 as well.

Look at the table.  The average polling error for the Senate has been:
2012:  -5.32
2010   -3.21
2008   -2.28
2006   -2.68
2004    2.33
2002    4.25
2000    -3.91
1998    -6.27

So in the last 4 elections, Democratic support has been underestimated by over 2 points!!  In the last 8 elections 6 have seen significant understatement of Democratic Support in close races.

More tomorrow.

The results below are taken from my database of 11471 polls from 1998 to 2012.

 photo polling_zps81782de5.gif

Discuss

From CNBC:

Job growth bounced back in September after a disappointing August, with the U.S. economy creating 248,000 fresh positions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the unemployment rate held steady at 5.9 percent. Taken together, the numbers renewed hopes that employment growth is on a sustainable track higher.

August's meager 142,000 reading was revised up to 180,000, while the July number came up from 212,000 to 243,000.

A broader measure of unemployment, U6, fell fom 12.0 to 11.8.

The revisions are quite significant.  There was widespread disappointment in the August number, which was understated.  

Other good news from the employment market:  New unemployment claims is at an 8 year low and planned job cuts are at a 14 year low.

None of this is to say that things are awesome.  Job growth has been in lower wage jobs, and the growth that we have seen has benefited the rich. As I have written for over 10 years here: gloablization and automation have worked to shift the balance of power from labor to capital and this number doesn't reverse that.

Moreover, unemployment is lower because many have given up looking for work.  There is an argument about how much of that is due to retirements but clearly some of it is related to the underlying weakness in the job market.

Discuss

Sometimes the numbers on the rich and poor boggle the mind.  Let's take two sets of numbers:
1.  The % of GDP that the top 1% have received in every year since 1980
2.  Compare to the amount they would have received if their share of total GDP has remained the same as in 1980.   The data on the top 1% share of GDP is from EPI here. GDP data is from the St Louis Federal Reserve Board here.

This diary has three charts.
First, Let's compare what the Top 1% actually received to what they would have had their share of GDP remained stable.

 photo toptrillions_zpsf4c181f5.gif

Second, Let's look at how much this is in total.

 photo Trill2_zpsffa3f555.gif

Third, Here is the trend in income share.
 photo Tril3_zpsf3c16370.gif

Again, not much of a diary, but in this case a picture is a million words.

Discuss

From politicalwire:

Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) said he was seriously considering running for president on an anti-war platform, The Hill reports.

Said Webb: "I have strong reasons for being a Democrat. Basically if you want true fairness in society you want to give a voice in the corridors of power for the people who otherwise would not have it, I believe that will come from the Democratic Party and we're taking a hard look, and we'll get back to you in a few months."

What is good about Webb is very good, and what is bad, is well...

Webb is the populist Democrat incarnate in some ways.  I heard him give a speech in NH at the Jefferson/Jackson dinner in '07.  He went on for some time, and quite persuasively, about the disaster that was Iraq.  He then talked at some length about the incarceration of young African American men, and the disaster that is drug sentencing.

He was against the Iraq War from the beginning, and even more than Bernie Sanders he is skeptical of US intervention in the Middle East. He is instinctively populist.  There are downsides - as those familiar with his record can attest.

His entry would be interesting to say the least.  We need an anti-War Democrat.

Discuss

This morning there is a must read piece in the New York Times about renewable energy.  
The lead in:

Germany’s relentless push into renewable energy has implications far beyond its shores. By creating huge demand for wind turbines and especially for solar panels, it has helped lure big Chinese manufacturers into the market, and that combination is driving down costs faster than almost anyone thought possible just a few years ago.

Electric utility executives all over the world are watching nervously as technologies they once dismissed as irrelevant begin to threaten their long-established business plans. Fights are erupting across the United States over the future rules for renewable power. Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset.

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