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State of the Democratic Primary Race as of April 3

The Democratic (and Republican) Wisconsin is on April 5. Though everything I’ve read says that Sanders ought to win this one, well, the fivethirtyeight.com “pollsplus”forecast has been switching between Clinton and Sanders for a while:

pollsplusforecastwisconsin

The recent polls favor Sanders in a close race:

wisconsinpolls

But remember it is about delegates. Whereas a Sanders win can help him in subsequent races, he is still in a large hole with respect to pledged delegates (228). A 53-47 win would help Sanders cut into that lead by 6 delegates (53-47 Sanders would split the delegates about 46-40 in favor of Sanders). That probably won’t be enough, given that the demographics favor him here.

One factor: President Obama’s approval ratings are hovering around 50 percent overall, which is above average for this time in a second term. More importantly, in terms of the primary, he is at about 89 percent among Democrats, and Clinton is running as “Obama v. 2.0”.

Overall, at election betting odds, Clinton is an 86 percent favorite to win the nomination, and a 65.6 percent favorite to win the presidency.

One can see the odds here.

odds3april

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April 3, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment

The 2016 election is heating up: Sanders vs. Clinton and D’s vs R’s

The general election It is often claimed that Barack Obama is on the 2016 general election ballot, in a way that George W. Bush was in 2008. If so, what can we infer at the current time?

jan15obamaapproval2016

(from here) The dotted line is the average Gallup approval rating of the past several presidents (back to Truman) at that time in their administration (including the second, if they had one). The light green line is President Obama’s, which is tracking the average very well (48 percent as of yesterday) and the dark green which had the spikes and falls is President W. Bush’s.

So, at least as of now, President Obama is fairly typical of past presidents.

Now you might be hearing “oh no, Obama’s approval rating plunges” but if all you hear about are the plunges (or dips in the market, etc.), you miss the ups and get a false picture.

011516krugman1-tmagArticle

So, watch for that when the Republicans attack the Democrats.

The Democratic Race The Clinton campaign admit that things are tightening up. What will happen? I don’t know (I am expecting a split between New Hampshire and Iowa) but this is turning into an election.

The Clinton campaign has thrown some punches. One of those is on health care. Where Sen. Sanders wants a single payer plan; a type of “Medicare for all”, the Clinton campaign does correctly point out that means a dismantling of Obamacare (ACA) and…STATES running the system with the federal government stepping in if certain criteria are not met. Factcheck.org calls the attacks “misleading”; I call them “nuanced”. This is similar to what the two candidates want in terms of financial institution regulation. Sen. Sanders wants Glass-Steagall to be revived. Sec. Clinton has a different idea as Paul Krugman points out:

For what it’s worth, Mrs. Clinton had the better case. Mr. Sanders has been focused on restoring Glass-Steagall, the rule that separated deposit-taking banks from riskier wheeling and dealing. And repealing Glass-Steagall was indeed a mistake. But it’s not what caused the financial crisis, which arose instead from “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers, which don’t take deposits but can nonetheless wreak havoc when they fail. Mrs. Clinton has laid out a plan to rein in shadow banks; so far, Mr. Sanders hasn’t.

Surf to the Krugman article; he goes on to say that those who think that Sec. Clinton is cozy with Wall Street are behind the times; this may have been true in 2008 but it is no longer true.

Right now, big money is hostile to the Democrats.

Social Divide between Clinton and Sanders
Now THIS is starting to look a bit like 2008. I remember the bitter divide between those “latte sipping college types” and the “blue collar” types; the former being with Obama and the latter being with Clinton.

Well, I am seeing this again, albeit in a different way. I am on the Clinton campaign mailing list because I made a campaign contribution (as has my wife).

So, I get this e-mail message from James Carville:

ourgirlhillary

“Our girl Hillary”??? I can see college feminists grinding their teeth on this one. Yes, I “get it”; this sort of language plays well with the sort of crowd that they want to inspire. But it is a faux pas with the academic crowd that I hang with.

I should also be clear: I had more of a personal investment in Barack Obama; he was from my state and a modern professorial type guy. He is cool, calculating and uses Sunday mornings to work out..and he watches football and basketball when he can. I don’t have such a personal investment with Hillary Clinton.

But it is my opinion that she is smart, sober minded, level headed and knows how hard it will be…as she warned in 2008:

I am glad that I voted for Barack Obama, but she did have a better idea of how hard the Republicans would fight Obama and how uncooperative they would be.

Humor This is a silly, which candidate would you want with you in a bar fight post.

January 16, 2016 Posted by | 2016, Democrats, health care, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social | , , , | Leave a comment