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"How Nate Silver Missed Donald Trump"

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Here’s a pretty good piece in Slate:

How Nate Silver Missed Donald Trump

The election guru said Trump had no shot. Where did he go wrong?

By Leon Neyfakh

A few comments in defense of Silver:

- Donald Trump has not yet quite gone through the formality of winning the GOP nomination.

- Silver has been pretty explicit that nomination campaigns are harder to predict than general elections.

- Silver’s method of aggregating and weighing poll results in the fall of 2012 was about as good as could be done. The danger facing him was always that the polls would turn out to be wrong due to some kind of technological or social change in polling response behavior. For example, in 1936, the Literary Digest’s telephone poll turned out to be too early: people without phones were significantly more pro-FDR than people with phones. In 1996, all the pollsters except Zogby missed that the race was going to be moderately closer than they expected (for reasons that I’ve never seen well-explained, but the polling industry seemed to fix the problem by 2000, whatever the problem was).

It’s quite possible that in some future election, it will turn out that current polling techniques are disastrously outdated. But that didn’t happen in 2012.

In fact, Silver’s prediction of a 2 point Obama win turned out to be wrong by 2 points. It just happened to be on the conservative liberal side: Obama won by 4 points. But nobody much cared.

 

162 Comments to ""How Nate Silver Missed Donald Trump""

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  1. says:
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    It’s really very simple! Best forecasting is able to remove most personal biases. Nate knows it very well. Alas, it is very hard to do in practice. There is no defending him on this: he totally blew it. Whether Trump will ultimately be nominated or not, last fall forecast of Trump’s nomination probability at about 2% was very wrong. The true probability, even back in the fall, was always in double digits. For anyone not personally invested in massive media Trumpophobia, that was obvious then, and very certain now.

    The particularly damning thing for Nate is that he had such a hard time facing reality and admitting his mistake. Shit happens, everyone makes mistakes but being in active denial for so long is a bad sign for someone who makes a living as a forecaster.

    • Agree: Mike Sylwester, res
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  2. The prediction models are probably fine, the problem is Nate Silver personally, and the rest of his sycophants at 538.

    He desperately loathes Trump and has been talking himself into ever more elaborate rationalizations of why Trump can’t win. He’ll do this for the general election, as well.

    Seriously, Trump has been leading since he announced his candidacy, for 7 months now. Any reasonable prediction model would assume his victory a mere formality.

    And if it were a pro-immigration candidate, Silver would have already coronated him.

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  3. Every supposed expert was wrong about Trump. Right now the betting odds are not what i would suspect. At 5 Dimes as of January 25th the odds are Trump -125 Rubio +205 and Cruz a distant third at +500. It changes radically week to week. Why the betting books think Rubio is far more likely to win than Cruz is beyond me, but they do. The bookmakers in Vegas are no dummies, I trust their odds far more than I do any “expert.” I think Trump surprised himself.

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  4. says:
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    Also, guys like Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and even Fred Thompson have led in the polls before the primaries in recent election years.

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  5. It would be tremendously interesting to force Nate Silver to publicly commit to Tetlockian bets on all of his pronouncements, and not just some of them.

    I recall that Nate Silver publicly bet hard money on Obama winning in 2012, against Joe Scarborough. But Nate just happened to not repeat that honest, accountable practice with Trump. He happened to make predictions about Trump which didn’t happen to come true. But this time, he didn’t put money on the table. He even sought to crowd source a bet from his readers, so that he wouldn’t have to bet anything himself!

    Maybe this isn’t pure coincidence. I’ll just insinuate that there’s a reason why he didn’t bet his own money against Trump this time: like any other pundit, he was using his soapbox dishonestly, to craft a narrative, and cause events to happen. Not to give his Spocky, honest evaluation of the truth.

    Next time: be honest, and put money on the table, Nate.

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  6. You are being far too nice to Silver. When Trump was dominating the polls he said he had a 2% chance of winning. He became famous by aggregating polls, but here he said there was a 98% chance they were wrong, motivated most likely by the hatred elites have shown him all year.

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  7. This Presidential election is the USA’s last chance to resist massive illegal immigration. If Trump turns out to be the only candidate who might resist it, then we should ignore all his faults.

    I was supporting Walker, but when Trump posted his position paper about immigration — saying they he opposed even birth-right citizenship! — then I switched from Walker to Trump immediately.

    I was appalled by Trump’s rambling rhetoric, his incoherent political philosophy and his gratuitous insults, but I had become a one-issue voter.

    Since then, however, Cruz has adopted enough of a hard line on immigration that I have switched from Trump to Cruz.

    However, I have come to understand that — whereas Trump intends to build a barrier along the entire USA-Mexico border — Cruz intends to complete merely the 700 miles that Congress has funded. Since 620 miles of the 700 funded miles have been constructed, only 80 funded miles remain. Some interviewer should challenge Cruz publicly about this point. Cruz has created a false impression that he will extend the barrier along the entire border.

    Although Trump is much better than Cruz about building a border barrier, Cruz is good enough on immigration for me — considering Trump’s many faults.

    Trump is much better than Cruz also about promising to bargain more effectively about international-trade agreements. Trump’s promises might cause all the Rust Belt states to switch from Democrat to Republican in the Presidential election. However, I believe that free trade is more advantageous to the US economy in the long run. If such promises help Trump to win the Presidential election, though, then I will be happy to reconsider my position on that issue as I watch a President Trump bargain.

    I think that a huge portion of the electorate has — like me — become single-issue voters on immigration, and that is the reason why this election is so unusual and difficult to predict.

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  8. Silver is at best a second rater promoted as some guru. I was less than impressed by his Excel spreadsheet models — using Excel for things it is not good at — handling lots of complex data — is the mark of a second rater. Had the man used a MySQL database and R, well I would have at least respected his technical ability.

    When people use Excel for things beyond simple business analysis, for database replacements or complex statistical modeling for large data sets — its a mark they are not smart and adaptable enough to teach themselves MySQL and R. Its not that hard to learn them, either. O’Reilly has a plethora of how-to books.

    Basically Silver with no statistical evidence felt party bosses could squash Trump. Often Party bosses do squash insurgents, but often they don’t: Reagan, Ike, Nixon, and Goldwater all are evidence of failures to do so on the Republican side, and Carter, Obama, and Clinton arguably started as insurgents not blessed by Party bosses there.

    Silver wanted Trump to be a non-factor, to keep his comfortable universe of donor class domination and the Managerial Elite in charge of everything. Not grasping that globally in First World Countries, mass Third World immigration meant bringing the Third World in massive quantities including violence, poverty, and awful cultural mores straight into conflict with ordinary First World peoples; like rubbing their noses in dog poop every day. Guaranteed to raise a revolt.

    Silver particularly objects to Trumps idea of banning Muslim immigration until we can figure out how to avoid more Tafshin Maliks, Syed Farooks, and Tsarnaev family bombers. He seems to believe as an article of faith that everyone in the world has a right to come to the US and receive preferential treatment to those descended from the people who fought for it over generations.

    And that was essentially his analysis.

    Silver is evidence sufficient in itself to prove the elites are a bunch of incompetent people who rely on connections and cronyism not ability, courage, and shared sacrifice to lead the West. No wonder they are witnessing a revolt by their people.

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  9. says:
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    Trump acknowledging the act: “When I’m president, I’m a different person. I can be the most politically correct person you’ve ever seen.”

    Hotair has a thread on this latest crazy-quote-glimpse-behind-the-curtain that is Trump.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2016/01/25/trump-when-im-president-im-a-different-person/

    The sell out by Trump is likely to be YUUUUGE. Possibly dwarfing any other politician. *shudder*

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  10. The website Hillary Is 44 has a very good suggestion for Trump.

    Trump should use Megyn Kelly is an excuse to refuse to participate in the next Republican debate.

    Instead, Trump should debate Sanders on another television channel at the same time as the Republican debate.

    Such a competing debate between Trump and Sanders would attract an enormous number of viewers — dwarfing the Republican debate.

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2016/01/25/boycott-fox-news-debate-realdonaldtrump-debate-berniesanders-on-thursday-instead/

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  11. The big story of the week is the National Review Pharisees condemnation of Donald Trump as a heretic. American nationalism lacks the institutions to challenge the rot in the Republican and Democratic parties.

  12. says:
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    Polls can be very inaccurate. Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, and Fred Thompson also led in the polls.

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  13. says:
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    Nate Silver to publicly commit to Tetlockian bets on all of his pronouncements, and not just some of them.

    He is making excuses now: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-republican-party-may-be-failing/

    This makes me wonder what’s the FiveThirtyEight.com’s business model? Donations? Custom forecasting? They won’t go on for very long with this type of record, particularly considering how simple and open to competition the original 358 Secret Sauce was. What they can do is to morph into a Vox.com clone – a toxic, extremely partisan voice of liberal Jews with access to rich donors.

  14. Put $10 on Trump months ago when my friend who’s a politics nut insisted there was no way he could win and that it’d be Rubio or Jeb.

    Looks like he’ll be paying up soon.

  15. Back in 2012, there were Republicans who claimed that the polls were biased to make an Obama victory more likely (by discouraging GOP turnout). If Sliver was trying to do that this time, he may have had the opposite effect by encouraging Jeb to stay in the race, sucking oxygen & cash from more viable Trump opponents.

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  16. says:
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    For a guy who owes his livelihood to polls aggregation, Silver is remarkably full of shit on Trump. As of Jan 25th, his estimates of winning Iowa go strongly against polling:

    http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/iowa-republican/

    Cruz=48, Trump=43.
    Polling average for the past week is Trump=33.6, Cruz=27.2 (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/ia/iowa_republican_presidential_caucus-3194.html)

    For comparison, prediction market at PredictIt.com has Trump at about 65 and Cruz at about 33 (https://www.predictit.org/Market/1327/Who-will-win-the-2016-Iowa-Republican-caucuses). And Tetlock’s “forecasting for fun for everyone” has Trump=53 and Cruz=47 (https://www.gjopen.com/questions/119-which-republican-presidential-candidate-will-win-the-iowa-caucuses-on-1-february)

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  17. Also – a senior aide to Senator Sessions was hired by Trump’s campaign today. It is a signal that Trump is serious about immigration.

  18. This is a misrepresentation. It referred to his stridency in campaign mode not change in his policy positions. He was addressing concerns a woman expressed that he was too harsh and strident. Trump said if he is elected he would calibrate his tone accordingly.

  19. None of them dominated the polls to the extent and length of time as Trump.

  20. I remember that. Pretty much all the GOP establishment got in on the act in the last month of the campaign. It was always garbage. Obama was favored to win the entire time and that never really changed.

  21. Off topic, Whiskey, but have you seen the post by the 16-year old German girl begging German men to save her? Is she begging for some alpha Deutschen Herrenvolk to slay the Muslim Untermensch, or at least get them the hell away from her? Is something turning around here? I’d just like your perspective.

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  22. A Trump Sanders debate would be a debate worth watching. Truth might start breaking out all over the place!

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  23. remember that trump supported gay marriage.

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  24. Anybody who is familiar with the stock market knows full well that the record books are full of guys who are one-hit wonders. They have a marvelous year, and everyone, including themselves, think they are the next coming of Warren Buffett. There aren’t a whole of people like Stanley Druckenmiller who had a winning record with marvelous returns for a 30-year period. Silver got lucky in 2012 and started believing his own press clippings. He is no Stanley Druckenmiller. (I have mentioned several times on this site the remarkable record of Gerald Strine, a sports writer for the Washington Post who covered horse racing. Strine had a weekly column in the Washington Post back in the 70′s in which he picked a handful of winning bets in NFL games against the spread and wound up with a winning record for 10 straight years, thereby winning an undisclosed bet of $1 million from some unidentified person who said he couldn’t do it. Now, if he had done that for just one season, it would have been a nice accomplishment, but to do it for 10 straight years is a memorable achievement.) I was always a bit skeptical about Silver’s pronouncements in 2012 since he was largely aggregating poll results. He wasn’t doing independent polling of his own.

    Secondly, there is the indisputable matter than the MSM have clearly attempted to demonize Trump on every occasion and that has to be affecting the poll results, by understating Trump’s actual numbers. Byron York alluded to this unintentionally in his piece yesterday in the Washington Examiner (carried by RCP) describing his visit to New Hampshire and not finding any Republicans who are Trump supporters or “know of any Republicans who are Trump supporters.” Trump has been made so toxic by the MSM people are embarrassed to admit they are voting for Trump:

    “An exception: I talked to two party officials, one county and one regional, who said they knew a lot of Trump supporters. “They’re not Republicans,” one told me, explaining at length that the Trump fans she knows are inexplicably devoted to him — unfazed by Trump’s lack of policy specifics or any of his controversial statements. The two officials described having conversations and asking which candidate a voter supports, whereupon the voter quickly glanced left and right, to see if it was OK to talk, and then said, “Trump.” That happens a lot, they told me.”

    The dishonest MSM attempted to do the same thing with Romney in 2012 and succeeded. Obviously, Romney does not have the outrageous personality of Donald Trump, and he allowed himself to get steamrolled by the Obama forces and the MSM. (Witness the totally outrageous performance by Candy Crowley at the second Obama-Romney debate where she blatantly injected herself into the debate and pulled Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire on the Benghazi matter.)

    Finally, as a number of commenters have touched on, Silver allowed his own biases to affect his pronouncements this campaign season (which have been consistently dreadful). He clearly doesn’t like Trump’s message on immigration and possibly foreign policy. This favorite of the MSM, who was lionized by the MSM in 2012, apparently swallowed the BS of the MSM that was lauding him as a genius because it accorded with his views. By consistently downplaying Trump’s chances, Silver obviously was hoping to affect the outcome, just like the MSM.

  25. Scott Adams called it way back in August: “Trump brought a flame thrower to a stick fight. Since the beginning of time, every winner of every stick fight was a guy with a stick. So you’d expect that trend to continue. Until someone shows up to the fight with a flame thrower. I’m betting on the guy with the flame thrower.”

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  26. Yep, very obvious he hates Trump and his personal opinions coloured his predictions. Even in the British betting markets, where Trump was underestimated, the odds on him winning the nomination is way higher. A lot of daft money went on the likes of Rubio, Bush, Fiorina etc. that distorts their odds but still the odds look a lot more accurate than Silver’s.

  27. “Why the betting books think Rubio is far more likely to win than Cruz is beyond me, but they do.”

    Most of the candidates beyond the top 3 – Bush, Kasich, Christie, etc – are establishment, open borders types. Once they begin to drop out one would assume most of their supporters will migrate to Rubio, not Trump or Cruz. That puts Rubio in 2nd place behind Trump. That’s one reason Rubio may have better odds than Cruz.

    Alternately, if Trump stumbles and/or his ground game (of which he has virtually none) doesn’t bring out the voters, one would guess most of his support will switch to Cruz. The polling seems to show about 70% of GOP voters this year want a non-establishment candidate. To me that says that Cruz has a better chance than Rubio but, given his lies about opposing amnesty, polls show that voters aren’t nearly as negative on Rubio as they should be.

  28. The conventional wisdom suggests that the election will end up like 1896, 1964 or 1968. In all three, a strong anti-establishment candidate emerged, but the establishment ended up winning.

    I am inclined to believe it will play out like 1920, a major break from the previous two elections where the R candidate won a surprising number of non-traditional voters (mainly Italians angered that Wilson gave Italy little at Versailles) against a dynastic candidate (FDR was the D running mate). Both candidates were from the same state, as they will be in 2016.

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  29. “I was supporting Walker, but when Trump posted his position paper about immigration — saying they he opposed even birth-right citizenship! — then I switched from Walker to Trump immediately.”

    Walker has a reputation as a warrior for the conservative cause, but to me it always seemed pretty clear that the only conservative causes he was willing to go to war on were those – like fighting public sector unions – that the oligarchs were willing to back him on. So far as I’ve seen, he never has gone to battle over illegal immigration, affirmative action, or any other “cultural” issues, and he never planned to.

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  30. The caucus format encourages the most intense and persistent supporters. This ends up being an Achilles heel for insurgent candidates. In 2012, Ron Paul had intense supporters and finished 3rd in Iowa, but his campaigns hope’s for victory were dependent upon getting Democrats to cross over and vote in the R caucus for him.

    Since a portion of Trump’s support is from crossover Ds, they are unlikely to vote in a caucus format. They will be more likely to show up in NH, a primary state.

    I doubt that Cruz will win Iowa, because of the presence of three socon candidates, Huckabee, Santorum and Carson. But also note that Iowa is a late breaking state, Santorum rose rapidly in the last week.

    The narrative will be interesting. A Trump victory ends the hopes of Ted Cruz. A narrow Cruz victory may boost Cruz in NH and torpedo Rubio. Trump would win NH but by a smaller margin. Trump wins SC in any case, unless there is a massive Cruz victory in Iowa. But it would be dismissed as “racists”.

    IMO, Trump sweeps the first four contests, and everyone drops out. The D contests become a crazy train of crossover voters, and Sanders is robbed by the superdelegates.

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  31. Walker began his career in politics as a moderate, and his wife is well known for her social liberal stances. In 2010, he was not the most conservative R in the primary for governor, Mark Neumann was.

  32. On the topic of predicting the last two elections, did anyone seriously believe that it could be anyone but a black man who could win ? The narrative that was being pushed for decades for a black president, when I first heard of him I knew he would win. They make Nate Silver out as a genius, but the last two elections were truly as predictable as Kim Jong Un being “relected” as the supreme leader.

  33. I know that most Americans here will support Trump on domestic issues of immigration. But for me as a non America there is an even bigger issue that makes Trump appealing compared to everyone else – his foreign policy views. The rest (both Republican and Democrat) are outright warmongers, they openly propose having no fly zones against Russians in Syria, arms races in the South China sea, escalating things in Ukraine, having army bases in every corner of the world, spying on everyone person on the planet etc. Trump is not perfect, but at least he would be more practical regarding dealing with the world, he seems to be more of a “don’t invite the world, don’t invade the world” type.

    • Agree: BB753
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  34. That is the consistently most intriguing thing to me about Trump, and the race itself. Why does everyone else think we need to confront a resurgent and revanchist Russia? (Even Bernie Sanders!) Why?

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  35. agree. Trump still has to get nominated , too early for his supporters to celebrate, although I hope he does triumph

  36. I suspect a lot of it’s a manliness thing. (I doubt Ted Cruz has that much sympathy for gay Russians.) People respond to manliness, at least on the GOP side. Ask any pick-up artist.

    Of course, this is how wars start.

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  37. “IMO, Trump sweeps the first four contests, and everyone drops out.”

    It’s really hard to see a scenario where that happens. Rubio, as the only establishment candidate with any shot of winning, will contest every state until the writing is on the wall. That won’t happen until Super Tuesday at the very earliest (which is just two days after the South Carolina primary). Rubio’s ambition, and his hatred for Trump and Cruz, is probably enough that he’ll stay in until the bitter end. Cruz may drop out if it looks like his candidacy is harming Trump. Hard to know where Trump’s ego will take him if he does poorly. He may stay in until the bitter end, because he’s too proud to bow out, or he may get very tired of finishing third in one primary after another.

    And what’s the deal with South Carolina’s primary? Do candidates ignore it, since it’s just two days before Super Tuesday, or do they put a lot of effort into it hoping that a strong win buoys them two days later? Four years ago Romney lost big in SC and no one seemed to notice.

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  38. It would be nice if Slate gave credit to the guy who first noticed this. http://anepigone.blogspot.com/

    Like all Big Foot media, Slate relies on fringe bloggers to do the heavy lifting.

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  39. “Trump brought a flame thrower to a stick fight. Since the beginning of time, every winner of every stick fight was a guy with a stick. So you’d expect that trend to continue. Until someone shows up to the fight with a flame thrower. I’m betting on the guy with the flame thrower.”

    Adams is only partly correct. Trump could get away with some pretty incendiary comments because he’s a well-known figure, and has been for quite some time. That gives him credibility. If some random congressman or lesser-known businessman was running saying exactly the same things Trump has said people would be treating him like a suicide bomber. Trump has been around long enough that we all trust that he’s not a suicide bomber.

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  40. Silver’s method works fine as lone as every election follows the same rhythms and patterns as the previous elections. For long stretches, this will be true, but then it is not and he ends up like every other genius forecaster. It’s why he had to quit the professional poker circuit, by the way. The math eventually caught up with him and he had no native talent to make up the difference.

    The thing I’ve always found a bit annoying about Silver, besides his unpleasant personality, is that he gives himself trophies for predicting the obvious. 2012 is a good example. Everyone outside of Karl Rove and the consultancy rackets had Obama winning the election. The low end was 2% and the high end 4%. That’s a tight range of three options. Picking 4% does not make you a genius.

    Frankly, getting the 2012 election slightly more righter than the polls means nothing to me. Getting the Trump or Sanders phenomenon right back last summer? Now, that’s something to crow about. He not only missed this, he was predicting the opposite for a long stretch and is now trying to sweep it under the rug.

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  41. Predicting things is hard, its reasonable that every once in a while you’re going to get something wrong

    My whole thing with this Silver prediction is, I never understood why he was so confident that the betting markets on Trump were too high

    As I saw it, the betting markets were always putting a pretty steep discount on Trumps polling numbers, a more conventional politician with Trump’s numbers would have been priced far higher than he was, it seems to me that most of what would lead you to question the realness of Trump’s number had already been priced in

    there seemed to be far more room in the betting number for the betting market to be missing the appeal of Trump than room for them to be overvaluing his appeal

    which makes me wonder if Silver missed that possibility because Trump appeal doesn’t appeal to him personally

  42. Actually a good chance that Trump wins every state, especially if he wins Iowa.

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  43. As an election pollster, I predict that the polling industry is headed for a crack-up, and that this is the year. The whole industry has been crossing its fingers for 10 years that plummeting response rates, the switch to cell phones, and the further switch to Internet, which destroyed the validity of all its theoretical models, would not introduce systematic biases. The way that polls are all over the map this year is very telling.

    Nate Silver did a great job in previous years, but his screwup over Trump is a monumental case of hubris. Even if Trump doesn’t win, he can’t justify his probability estimates. The only possible defense is that until people start actually voting, predictive models can’t be recalibrated to deal with changing factors and trends, but that only excuses erroneous predictions, it does not excuse overconfidence in one’s predictions.

    Silver’s insistence on providing probability estimates and not just predicted vote margins was a brilliant advance (I had wanted to do that 10 years ago after completing my own historical meta-analysis of American election polls, but there was no market for it; he went ahead anyway and did it so well that he forced everyone else to accept the validity of his methods). However, he fell into traps he should have seen coming a long way off: he lost his objectivity.

    It’s a shame, but the work of modern thinkers like Kahneman, Taleb, Tetlock, Yudkowsky, Chabris, and others on improving human rationality by overcoming cognitive biases and extending Bayesian techniques is a scientific revolution that will survive tragedies like Silver’s.

  44. Good point. Which is why ISIS is a convenient boogeyman for Trump. He still gets to talk military tough so he doesn’t get the RONPAUL treatment, but measures that off with a cool head in regards to Putin and Assad.

    ISIS will help Trump get elected.

  45. Very true, he could well win the table.

    There are a handful of states Trump isnt’ leading in (Utah being his worst), but they all come later. If he really dominates the early states and everyone drops out, everything comes up Trump.

    That would be really cool to see.

  46. Your take on Trump is good. He had an established, well regarded and well liked public image, mostly via his TV shows. So he could get away with throwing bombs on immigration etc.

    Also when someone is worth 9 billion (which he kept reminding us) Joe SixPack figures he must be very smart thus an authority on other matters too. Like American politics. His constant repetition about his wealth also diffused any Mitt Romney type issuers about him being some rich bastard.

  47. says:
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    I know that most Americans here will support Trump on domestic issues of immigration. But for me as a non America there is an even bigger issue that makes Trump appealing compared to everyone else – his foreign policy views. The rest (both Republican and Democrat) are outright warmongers, they openly propose having no fly zones against Russians in Syria, arms races in the South China sea, escalating things in Ukraine, having army bases in every corner of the world, spying on everyone person on the planet etc. Trump is not perfect, but at least he would be more practical regarding dealing with the world, he seems to be more of a “don’t invite the world, don’t invade the world” type.

    Trump has won over a lot over people because of his sane, if not very constructive, foreign policy. But his foreign policy didn’t come from lots of study and thinking. Trump has an unbelievable ability to size up a situation hyper-quickly, make a decision, and hold an almost metaphysical confidence in his correctness. When Trump is up against politicians, you get a glimpse into how much more of a high-level game business is compared to politics. While they say politics ain’t beanbag, you are left thinking that business at Trump’s level is like MMA without taps outs and timed rounds.

    I just watched this clip of Trump with Sasha Baron Cohen’s Ali G character. Cohen was able to fool a lot of very smart people, politicians, et al. I’m sure everyone reading iSteve has seen it, but it is worth another look: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aUTnu1MaeX0

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  48. Remember that Trump supported gay marriage.

    If Trump does nothing but secure our borders, deport the illegals, and stop immigration of Muslims, he can marry a man himself, for all I care–and I oppose marriage between people of the same sex.

  49. Okay, but what if Trump is that self-confident when he’s wrong?

    The one real estate project of Trump’s that I know much about is his oceanside golf course in SoCal. I had lunch with the guy who went broke building it and sold it to Trump, and I wrote a long article about the intersection of environmental regulations and the golf course. I don’t know anything about how it has worked out financially for Trump, but I suspect that it hasn’t been the gold mine he expected for a variety of reasons. The golf downturn went on and on, but also the course didn’t turn out to be very good for tournaments. Trump hosted an LPGA event there once, but it turned out to be a bust because the course is bad for spectators because the EPA made them keep sagebrush between each fairway for the endangered California gnatcatcher. Also, there’s not much room for all the corporate tents that accompany a US Open. And now LA Country Club is inviting back the Open, so it’s unlikely that Trump Los Angeles will ever get the Open. My guess is that if Trump took off his Always Be Closing hat for once, he’d admit that if he knew then what he knows now, he wouldn’t have bought this golf course.

    This is not to say that Trump is bad at owning golf courses — he seems to be getting steadily better at it over the last ten years, but that he has a learning curve.

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  50. He may be affected by personal dislike of Trump or a general dislike of his rhetoric, but Silver was echoing overwhelming conventional wisdom in saying that Trump would never get very far. I suspect he would do better to fall back on his poll aggregation and separate that from his opinions and interpretation. Trump’s rise is pretty much unprecedented, though, and it’s hard to predict the unprecedented stuff.

  51. That would be entertaining TV, if nothing else. Both of them are saying stuff the donor class absolutely doesn’t want said. Much of what they’re saying is nonsense, many of their proposed policies are probably pretty bad ideas, but it is nice to hear stuff they didn’t have to get through the filter of policies and rhetoric that the big donors approve enough to let you have a campaign.

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  52. Yes, also remember how President Dean’s dominating lead in the pre-primary polls led to his election as president.

  53. I say this all the time.

    “The surest way to get rich is to enable white people to feel more intelligent than other white people without making any real effort.”

    Once your know this you see it everywhere. Richard Dawkins (before he fell out of grace for being consistent), Daily Show, Neil Degrasse Tyson, TED. TED especially.

    Silver fills this niche a little too perfectly. He gives moderately intelligent young white people with a chip on their shoulder about Christianity, Fox News, etc a way to feel superior to unfashionable white people because Science (not to mention History) Is On Their Side. He writes simple enough for anybody to get the gist, and anyway it’s enough to read the headline.

    Anybody wiling to think about it for a second could have come up with questions like how “people will just tire of Trump in to months” could ever be based on statistics of any kind, but it’s best not to question Science.

    • Agree: Bill
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  54. Candidates with substantial donor support can stay in the race a long time. When someone emerges as the clear anti-Trump candidate, they will have plenty of cash to keep running.

  55. Nate Silver dismissed Trump by looking at the 2012 Republican nomination trends. He thought Trump was another flavor of the month, hyped up by excessive media coverage, like Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum.

    The difference is Trump has staying power, and there’s no anointed establishment candidate this year.

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  56. In the 2005 Baseball Prospectus, Nate Silver said that Roy Halladay’s career was essentially over. I’ve run all his predictions since then through the filter of that statement.

    Past performance is not a guarantor of future profit. Or loss.

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  57. I have come to understand that — whereas Trump intends to build a barrier along the entire USA-Mexico border — Cruz intends to complete merely the 700 miles that Congress has funded. Since 620 miles of the 700 funded miles have been constructed, only 80 funded miles remain. Some interviewer should challenge Cruz publicly about this point. Cruz has created a false impression that he will extend the barrier along the entire border.

    The USA-Mexico border is about 1,900 miles long.

    Donald Trump has proposed to extend the barrier along that entire length, except for relatively short stretches where mountains form natural barriers.

    Ted Cruz offered an “immigration plan” that included the following:

    Build a wall that works …. I will complete the wall.

    However, Cruz meant that he would complete the wall that Congress funded by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. This Act funded a barrier of 700 miles, but only 640 miles have been built.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico%E2%80%93United_States_barrier

    Cruz is promising to build only the remaining 60 miles — not the remaining 1,260 miles.

    Cruz has rewritten his “immigration plan”, and the part about the border barrier now says:

    Build a wall that works. The unsecured border with Mexico invites illegal immigrants, criminals, and terrorists to tread on American soil. Millions of people from all over the world, including from hostile nations and terrorist havens, have been apprehended at our southern border – and many who make it through are never caught. This is a failure of the highest order. I will fulfill the promise Congress made to the American people almost 10 years ago by completing all 700 miles of priority fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, and dedicate the resources necessary to replace all single-layer fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border to build a fence that keeps people out and that is technology-supported and law enforcement-accessible. If other nations, such as Israel, can build an effective border wall, the United States certainly can.

    https://www.tedcruz.org/cruz-immigration-plan/

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  58. Interesting. The story of Trump’s buying the Plaza Hotel is informative, he was happy to overpay because he thought it an iconic asset. He may view oceanside golf courses in a similar way.

    And your anecdote points out how he will personally profit by keeping the environmental lobby and the EPA in check. Which is pretty interesting and will probably be part of the “oppo research” he’ll face from Democrats in the general election.

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  59. “Anybody wiling to think about it for a second could have come up with questions like how “people will just tire of Trump in to months” could ever be based on statistics of any kind, but it’s best not to question Science.”

    Good point. But then I am “the other White meat” that has had doubts about Silver all along and was skeptical about the brouhaha made about him, especially in 2012.

  60. It pains me to have to agree with you. I don’t know where this hyperaggressivity vis-a-vis Russia is coming from. The genuine points of conflict between the United States and Russia are quite small. Perhaps this is a neocon resentment of past pogroms in Russia; I’ve never sensed a particular dislike of Russia in most Americans, although the media is stoking the fires of false conflict and portraying Putin as a hybrid of the less desirable qualities of Hitler and Satan.

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  61. “In the 2005 Baseball Prospectus, Nate Silver said that Roy Halladay’s career was essentially over. I’ve run all his predictions since then through the filter of that statement.”

    Back in 2012, when I was posting on TAC, I was somewhat skeptical about the polls and Silver’s very assured predictions. I then came across somebody (a sportswriter in Boston) who made a pretty convincing case that the polls were substantially overestimating Obama’s support and underestimating Romney’s support. I posted the link and my comments on TAC. One poster took me to task for citing a “sportswriter” who was going completely outside his area of expertise and venturing his opinion on political matters. I guess he was unaware of the irony of his putdown. Your comment recalling Silver’s history made me laugh because most people are totally unaware that Nate Silver’s background was in sports statistics before he migrated over to politics and hit a sweet spot, which has apparently turned sour.

  62. Rubio’s run as a candidate will be over when the American voter finds that he gets his money from the detestable Paul Singer. Americans who have been damaged by the economic recession caused by Wall Street Banksters will be shocked by Paul Singer’s destructive and damaging business practices.

    “A call came in from New York to my bosses at BBC Television Centre, London. It was from one of the knuckle- draggers on the payroll of billionaire Paul Singer, Number One funder for the Republican Party in New York, million-dollar donor to the Mitt Romney super-PAC, and top money-giver to the GOP Senate campaign fund. But better known to us as Singer The Vulture.

    “We have a file on Greg Palast.”

    Well, of course they do.

    And I have a file on them.

    I had just returned from traveling up the Congo River for BBC and the Guardian. Singer’s enforcer indicated that Mr. Singer would prefer BBC not run a story about him— especially not with film of his suffering prey: children, cholera victims.

    Like any vulture, Singer feasts when victims die. Literally. For example, Singer made a pile buying asbestos company Owens Corning out of bankruptcy. The company had concealed from its workers they would get asbestosis from handling their product.

    [MORE]

    You don’t want to die of asbestosis. Your lungs turn to mush and you drown inside yourself.

    The asbestos company was forced to pay tens of thousands of its workers for their medical care and for their families after their deaths.

    But then Singer used his political muscle to screw down the compensation promised to the workers. He offered them peanuts. And, dying, they took it. Like the Ice Man, Singer The Vulture used the cudgel of “tort reform” to beat the weakened workers into submission. With asbestos workers buried or bought-off cheap, Singer’s asbestos death factories were now worth a fortune . . . and Singer made his first “killing.”

    Then it was on to Peru, where Singer had, through a brilliant financial-legal maneuver too questionable for others to attempt, grabbed control of the entire financial system of the country. When Peru’s scamp of a president, Alberto Fujimori, decided it was a good idea to flee his country (ahead of his arrest on murder charges), Singer, Peru’s lawyer Mark Cymrot of Baker & Hostetler told me, let Fujimori escape in return for the Murderer-in-Chief ordering Peru’s treasury to pay Singer $58 million. Singer had seized Peru’s “Air Force One” presidential jet; for the payoff, Singer handed him the keys to the getaway plane.

    And by the way, I didn’t give Singer the name “Vulture.”

    His own banker buddies did—with admiration in their voices.

    What provoked the threatening call to BBC from Singer’s tool was my film from the Congos (there are two nations in Africa called “Congo”). There is a cholera epidemic in West Africa due to lack of clean water. Our investigation learned that Singer paid about $10 million for some “debt” supposedly incurred by the Republic of Congo. To collect on his $10 million, Singer had begun seizing about $400 million in the poor nation’s assets.

    Clean water for the Congo? Forget it—Singer and his vulture colleagues grabbed it all.

    In Africa, I spoke with Winston Tubman, the former deputy secretary-general of the UN. He asked me to ask the Vulture and his cronies, “Do you know you are causing babies to die?”

    It’s legal, it’s sick, it’s Singer.

    Well, not legal in most of the civilized world. Britain, Germany, Holland, and many others have outlawed Singer’s repo-man seizures. In Europe, Singer is a financial outlaw. But in the USA, he’s a “job creator.”

    Singer The Vulture gets loads of positive press, in the New York Times especially, where the corpse-chewer offered an open checkbook to any state Republican who would vote for the right of gays to marry. Don’t think of this as an unselfish act of moral courage: it was more droit du seigneur, the right of the Lords of the Manor to deflower the virgins of choice on their lands. The Vulture’s son wanted to marry another man, and so Vulture would buy the New York State Legislature to approve the nuptials. (That almost all Singer’s money would go to national candidates who would make gay marriage illegal, well, money is thicker than blood.)

    But, under press cover of funding the GOP for social rights, Singer’s influence in the state legislature has paid back a hundredfold. He lobbied the legislature to change the law on the calculation of interest charges on his vulture loan-sharking operation, a change that will guarantee him hundreds of millions of dollars more from the Congo.

    The Vulture’s latest hit was a pay-off from the bankrupt government of Greece.

    On April 4, 2012, seventy-seven-year-old Greek pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas wrote, “I find no other solution for a dignified end before I start sifting through garbage to feed myself.” Christoulas then shot himself in the head. The government had cut his pension as part of an austerity plan to pay foreign creditors. One in four workers also lost their jobs.

    Greece’s creditor banks took their pound of flesh, but gave up some of theirs, canceling 80 percent of the loan principal. That is, all but two “bankers”: billionaires Ken Dart and Singer The Vulture told the European Central Bank and Greek government, they wanted it all. Singer and Dart would not cancel 80 percent or even 8 percent of the bonds they held, even though Singer and Dart, apparently, only paid a fraction of the face value for them only a few weeks before. Either the Greek government would pay Singer and Dart several times what the speculators invested, or Singer and Dart would undermine the entire bailout deal, bringing down the remnant of Greece’s economy—and the rest of Europe with it.

    Held hostage, the Greek government dipped into its emptying purse and paid Singer and Dart every penny they demanded. Singer’s co-investors in his fund Elliott Management made a killing—including the “blind” trust of one Mittens Romney.

    But the Vulture’s gravy train of greed was about to run into an unexpected obstacle on the track. On April 4, just hours after Christoulas took his own life, in a courtroom in Washington, DC, the President of the United States and his Secretary of State hit Singer with a legal brick. Without any public announcement, without the usual press release and in language so abstruse only a lunatic journalist who went to the University of Chicago Law School would notice, Obama’s Justice Department nailed the Vulture to the wall.

    It was Ash Wednesday and Obama’s boys drove those nails in: they demanded a US federal court to stop Singer from attacking Argentina.

    In this case, Singer had sued to get millions, even billions, from the government of Argentina for old debt that President Ronald Reagan had already settled in a deal involving the biggest US banks. But Reagan’s deal was not good enough for Singer and his hedge fund NML Capital. Singer demanded that a US court order Argentina to pay him ten times the amount he’d get under the Reagan deal. And to get his way, the Vulture also sued to stop the Big Banks from getting their own payments from the Reagan deal.

    But then a bolt of legal lightning cooked the Vulture’s goose: Obama’s Justice Department and Hillary Clinton’s State Department together filed an amicus curiae, a “friend of the court” brief in the case of NML Capital et al. v. Republic of Argentina. It wasn’t all that friendly. Obama, a constitutional law professor, suddenly remembered that the president has the power, unique to the Constitution of the USA, to kick the Vulture’s ass up and down the continent, then do it again.

    Specifically, Obama and Clinton demanded the court throw out Singer’s attempt to bankrupt Argentina (because that is what Singer’s demand would have done).

    This was Singer’s nightmare: that the President of the United States would invoke his extraordinary constitutional authority under the Separation of Powers clause to block the Vulture and his hedge-fund buddies from making superprofits over the dead bodies of desperate nations.

    The stakes in the legal-financial-political war are enormous, yet the real battle is hidden from the public view.

    A titanic struggle had now been set in motion, a battle over billions, between the Obama administration and the wealthiest men in America, the hedge-fund billionaires, all out of sight of the public and press.

    Argentina’s consul called me from DC, stunned by the Clinton move. WTF? Did I have any info?

    I said, this action goes way, way beyond Argentina. Obama and Clinton told the court that the Vulture was undermining the safety of the entire world financial system, destabilizing every financial rescue mission from South America to Greece to the Congo. (What would Romney do? His expected replacement for Clinton would be his chief foreign policy advisor Dan Senor—currently on the payroll of . . . Paul Singer.)

    Does Obama have the stones to stick with his decision? And do Singer and friends, working with Karl Rove, have the money-knife which could cut them off?

    The Rove-bots are already flashing their blade: in June 2012, Republicans on the House Committee on Financial Services held an unprecedented emergency hearing about the president’s stealth move on the Vulture. They sat for testimony by Ted Olsen, George Bush’s former solicitor general, who attacked Obama and Clinton with code words and inscrutable legalismo, not once mentioning Singer or his hedge fund by name.

    But in the White House and on the top floors of the Wall Street towers, they knew exactly what this was all about. And in the golf carts on Martha’s Vineyard, they knew the Vulture had to be put in his place. Robert Wolf, golfing with President Obama on the Cape, was furious. The CEO of UBS (a.k.a. United Bank of Switzerland), had put together the Argentina deal. And Swiss bankers don’t allow anyone to move the hole on their green.

    Wolf bundled plenty of campaign loot for Obama, who made Wolf his “economic recovery” advisor. UBS has recovered nicely (with a sweet plea-bargain deal on criminal tax-evasion charges).

    Now, UBS, JPMorgan, and Citibank chieftains are lined up with Obama and Clinton. The Establishment banks look upon the nouvelle vultures like Singer as economic berserkers, terrorists in a helicopter ready to pull the pin on the grenade. If Singer’s demands aren’t met, he’ll blow up the planet’s finance system. In this war of titans, Obama and Clinton are merely foot soldiers, not the generals. It’s billionaire banking-powers versus billionaire hedge-fund speculators. One is greedy and scary and the other is greedy and plain dangerous. Take your pick.

    Here is the real battle—a winner-take-all war over the control of the world financial system.”

    * * * * * *
    Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits,The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

    http://www.gregpalast.com/the-vulture-chewing-argentinas-living-corpse/

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  63. I’m willing to cut Nate Silver some slack here if this was truly a realignment election. How do you model people throwing in the towel on ideology, positions, and so forth?

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  64. I am inclined to believe it will play out like 1920, a major break from the previous two elections where the R candidate won a surprising number of non-traditional voters…

    Republicans won the ultimate “non-traditional voters”– women. Most weren’t suffragists, feminists, or prohibitionists, but normal people. So they voted for normalcy. Italians, male and female, probably didn’t care for Cox’s divorced status. Harding’s adultery was less in the open.

    Women were estimated to be about 5% more Republican than men in those days. Someone more familiar with Illinois history than I might explain the 1916 results there.

    There was only a tenth of a percentage point difference between the Republican results for presidential electors, for whom women could vote, and governor, for whom women could not. (That says something about which office Sucker politicians thought more important!)

    Were men and women voting exactly alike, or was Frank Lowden more popular with men than was Charles Evans Hughes?

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  65. And your anecdote points out how he will personally profit by keeping the environmental lobby and the EPA in check. Which is pretty interesting and will probably be part of the “oppo research” he’ll face from Democrats in the general election.

    Because opposing wind farms off your oceanside properties is environmentally suspect, but allowing 150,000,000 more people in the country through immigration policies not a single person of note in your party resists is not. Clear as a bell.

  66. This Presidential election is the USA’s last chance to resist massive illegal immigration.

    Why did you qualify this statement with the irrelevant word “illegal”?

    • Agree: Mike Sylwester, MG
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  67. Seriously, Trump has been leading since he announced his candidacy, for 7 months now. Any reasonable prediction model would assume his victory a mere formality.

    For all you people agreeing with this statement, I want to let you know that the bookmakers still think Trump has slightly less than a 50% chance of being nominated. A bet that Trump is nominated pays even money at 5Dimes.

    However, we know that the market is efficient and that this price “reflects” all “available” information, so don’t bother betting!

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  68. A Trump Sanders debate would be a debate worth watching. Truth might start breaking out all over the place!

    Ugh. The thought of our favorite troll afflicted with vitiligo…

  69. That would be entertaining TV, if nothing else. Both of them are saying stuff the donor class absolutely doesn’t want said.

    Like, which is whiter, Vermont or Trump Tower?*

    And how can the rest of us live like that?

    *Trick question. It’s Chappaqua!

  70. Hillary is from Illinois and was first lady of Arkansas. Technically she’s a Midwesterner and not from NY in any way. She has actually spent more time in DC than in NY.

    “In 1996, all the pollsters except Zogby missed that the race was going to be moderately closer than they expected (for reasons that I’ve never seen well-explained, but the polling industry seemed to fix the problem by 2000, whatever the problem was).”

    Wonder why? Ross Perot got ca. 7% of the vote, Dole got 43%, and Clinton got 50%. Perot did quite well all things considered especially when he wasn’t part of the ’96 debates and didn’t spend much of his own money and instead relied on federal funding for his campaign. He still polled respectably all things considerably. So the results weren’t that hard to follow in the political world.

    On this one, Silver’s behind the curve. Perhaps because his statistical models only look at probable candidates and don’t allow for unforeseen game changers (or a diminished view of the X factor) that have wide ranging impacts on the election at large (e.g. Perot; Trump; etc.).

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  71. They intend to use the vote to make women vote as women, and not as citizens; that is to say, they propose to sell the female vote en bloc to the party that bids highest for it in the economic field. To the party that will, as a preliminary, pledge itself to level male and female wages in government employ, will be given the Feminist vote; and if no party will bid, then it is the Feminist intention to run special candidates for all offices, to split the male parties, and to involve them in consecutive disasters such as the one which befell the Republican party in the last presidential election in the United States.

    - Feminist Intentions, WL George, 1913

  72. You are being far too nice to Silver. When Trump was dominating the polls he said he had a 2% chance of winning. He became famous by aggregating polls, but here he said there was a 98% chance they were wrong, motivated most likely by the hatred elites have shown him all year.

    It is hardly safe to presume the opinions of likely voters are relevant. Weiss, Oswald, Bremer — do those names ring a bell?

  73. From your “epigone” link:

    “Silver didn’t stay there for long. Just three days later, he put out a post entitled “One Big Reason To Be Less Skeptical Of Trump”, referring to Trump’s presidential chances. Rather than cutting through anecdotes, hype, and talking-head blather to give us the true story based on cold, hard empirical data, Silver sounds like any of the other punditry clowns who have been off the mark on just about everything in the 2016 presidential election up to this point. Silver, in finally hinting at the deficiencies in his powers of prognostication thus far, offered this explanation:

    The reason I’ve been especially skeptical about Trump for most of the election cycle isn’t listed above. Nor is it because I expected Trump to spontaneously combust in national polls. Instead, I was skeptical because I assumed that influential Republicans would do almost anything they could to prevent him from being nominated.

    Oh, so all the reasons he gave in those previous posts about Trump’s support being wide but shallow, or about how Trump’s support was overstated because most voters still had yet to decide who they’d vote for, or that Trump’s support had probably peaked, or that it was likely that someone would surge in the weeks before Iowa to steal Trump’s thunder, or that the polling data was misleading because it was based on registered voters rather than likely voters weren’t the real reasons he put Trump’s chances of getting the Republican nomination at “considerably less than 20 percent”. No, no, the real reason he predicted Trump’s demise was because he thought “influential Republicans” would try to keep him from getting the nod!

    Good grief, on the sidebar of the very post in which Silver is writing this is a link to what Silver calls “The Endorsement Primary”, something he describes as “among the best predictors of which candidates will succeed and which will fail”. It shows ¡Jabe! in first. Trump, along with Ben Carson, are tied in dead last, without a single endorsement from a Republican officeholder of significance. At the state level, the party is trying to handicap Trump however they are able to. The Republican response to Obama’s state of the union address includes an attack on its party’s own frontrunner. Leading cuckservative publications like National Review throw everything they can against him. Members of the Respectable Right say they’d vote third-party if Trump was the GOP’s nominee. One wonders how different the race would be if influential Republicans actually opposed Trump!”

  74. So-called Free Trade is what put the U.S. in such a dire economic position. Sure it benefited executive and investor class, but for the working and middle-class it’s meant impoverishment and eradication.

    As it stands we either fix it or end up like Greece and become China’s b***h.

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  75. It’s not a irrelevant word except among liberals who want it banished to the corn field. Most so-called immigrants here are indeed illegal.

  76. says:
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    Also, guys like Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and even Fred Thompson have led in the polls before the primaries in recent election years.

    They didn’t lead for 8 months straight until the first primary.

  77. “The surest way to get rich is to enable white people to feel more intelligent than other white people without making any real effort.”

    This applies to lots of Apple computer marketing and image making. I say 75% of people who buy Apple products do so for this reason.
    This also applies to Chobani Greek yogurt which came from nowhere to be a monster on the yogurt, snack and health scenes. Eating it signals you are smarter than white people that don’t.
    The founder is a Kurdish immigrant, Hamdi Ulukaya, who came here 20 years ago and is now worth 1.5 billion. So he’s about 42 or so. Owner>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamdi_Ulukaya I believe he really is from Kurdish Eastern Turkey. Not Western Turkey which is more secular and more European.

    He wants to settle more Muslim refugees here http://thekurdishproject.org/stories/interviews/chobani-ceo-hires-refugees-urges-business-leaders-to-act/

  78. says:
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    How do you model people throwing in the towel on ideology, positions, and so forth?

    How? Simple! You pay attention. You read on all sides of ideological spectrum, you strip the obvious bullshit that contradicts facts on the ground, and you treat proxy signals as signals, not as something you agree or disagree with. Silver failed to do any of this.

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  79. I think you are missing the point. This game of looking over a candidate’s positions, comparing them to your own, weighting them, and making up an “agrees with me” index is not what’s going on here. That’s what’s going on in a conventional campaign, at least among informed voters. But not here.

    I’m as crazed a SoCon as you are ever going to find, and I am voting for Trump. Trump is running to destroy the modern GOP. Everything else is secondary. As long as the modern GOP exists in its current form, SoCons are getting what they have been getting since 1968. Absolutely nothing and kicked in the teeth for their trouble. That was the modus vivendi developed in the Goldwater campaign—take votes and volunteer work from SoCons/Traditionalists/etc and use those votes to enhance the power and wealth of the oligarchs. That modus vivendi is what Trump threatens.

    I have no idea whether he will deliver on his immigration ideas (which I do agree with). What he will indisputably do, by winning, is demonstrate that a rich guy who is willing 1) to give the GOP base what it wants and 2) to ignore the donor class can win. This will deal a heavy blow to the power of the oligarchs. They will either moderate their demands or lose control of the party or lose to a new party.

    Put another way, if you think Cruz is “against” gay marriage or abortion in any meaningful sense, then you are crazy. He is against those things in the sense that he will say “I am against those things.” He will do nothing once in power on those issues. Oops! You mean I accidentally appointed someone just like Justice Kennedy again? How ever did that happen? Oh well, I guess we just have to go along with whatever he says. Whaddaya, whaddaya?

  80. Well Rube-io is significantly better looking than Cruz, and we kid ourselves if we think that aesthetics play no role in politicians’ popularity, especially when it comes to female voters.

  81. In any forecasting equation, variables matter-until they don’t. Silver has allowed variables that worked in the past to still factor into his forecasts. And he probably did so because it confirmed his biases. What should have mitigated against that was the GOP doesn’t have a natural #2 from last time in this race as with Dole, McCain, Romney, Reagan, Bush Sr.. It should have made Silver reconsider what variables mattered.

  82. Your analysis is perfect. As soon as the migrant crisis started – hordes of mostly military-age MENA men arriving by actual boatloads, marching like zombies into northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, I knew this would profoundly affect Americans. With unaccompanied minors coming on scary trains from Central America, drowned babies from the Middle East washing up or vanishing in the Mediterranean, Paris & SB & Tsarnaevs, other jihadi mayhem….well, it was just TMI for “everyday” Americans. I also felt that NYT magazine constant photos of the migrants packed in like sardines in boats and trains, standing behind razor wire in eastern Europe, did nothing but make people feel freaked-out in the USA. “The Walking Dead” seemed to feel like a reality…yeah, I know, that sounds dopey, but whatever.

  83. says:
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    From Wikipedia (referenced):
    “At the time, the Department of Homeland Security had spent $3.4 billion on border fences and had built 640 miles (1,030 km) of fences and barriers as part of the Secure Border Initiative.”

    That is $5,312,500 per mile! You know what you can do for that money? You could build a house every 50 yards along the border and GIVE AWAY (each house would cost $150,000). Just give away the houses to the patriotically-minded militia under one condition: measure need to be taken to prevent any illegals crossing the border. Since the entire 50 yards are private property, the owners would be free to shoot any trespasser. Bingo! The problem solved – and the government does not need to even spend a cent on border control.

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  84. Finland has the ‘sons of Odin’ now. I predicted this would happen after 9/11 – just didn’t think this would have happened in my life time.

  85. Why does a wall make sense? The immigrants from the south are economic immigrants–this isn’t like Israel trying to keep Palestinians from coming in and blowing stuff up. Enforcing existing immigration law on employers with sufficient vigor to make it uneconomical to hire lots of illegal immigrants would be more than enough to get immigration back under control. Without that, I expect a wall won’t be too effective. A border wall is a nice symbol, but probably not actually very useful.

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  86. “Polls can be very inaccurate. Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, and Fred Thompson also led in the polls.”

    Not the week before the Iowa caucuses, they didn’t.

    The fact that polls showed Cain or Thompson (or Bachmann) leading in September or October, tells us that the Iowa caucuses aren’t held in September or October, and that the numbers subsequently changed. Not that they were “inaccurate.”

  87. “the problem is Nate Silver personally, and the rest of his sycophants at 538.

    He desperately loathes Trump”

    It’s a little mystifying. Why is Silver — a fairly typical SWPL Democrat — so hostile to Trump in particular? Trump is very close to Hillary in all but a very few issues and probably the most Democrat-friendly Republican candidate with serious chances at nomination since Nixon. On foreign policy Trump is the most Democratic candidate in the field, even recognizing the folly of Iraq and the lunacy of destabilizing Libya and Syria far before Clinton.

    And yet Silver is clearly unhinged writing constantly about how Trump is a ‘disaster’ for the Republican Party, for downballot candidates, and for the country.

    I understand hating Dubya Bush. I’m a little confused about Obama-hate but I can see why some Republicans don’t like him. But candidates like Trump and competent centrist presidents like Bush pere and Clinton should appeal to every part of the spectrum reasonably well. Reagan went on an anti-Clinton speaking tour in 1993 and accused Clinton of ‘grand larceny’ stealing his ideas; that’s a good thing when the other side apes your ideas. Nevertheless some large group is fanatically angry about something Trump represents.

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  88. Exactly. We are one formerly-Armani-clad man mixing with the general population in a federal prison away from having basically no illegal immigration. Even better would be Walmart in bankruptcy after losing a RICO case.

  89. Israel also has a wall/fence on its southern border to keep out African economic migrants. It’s close to 100% effective.

  90. And what’s the deal with South Carolina’s primary? Do candidates ignore it, since it’s just two days before Super Tuesday, or do they put a lot of effort into it hoping that a strong win buoys them two days later?

    SC is winner-take-all so a slim victory in SC is probably worth as much in margin of victory as winning every single Super Tuesday state by 10%.

    Plus there’s the momentum factor of being the first state in the Super Tuesday region.

    So everyone with a chance will be focusing hard on SC.

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  91. When Kong said both candidates would be from New York, he was referring to Brooklynite Bernie Sanders.

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  92. An impenetrable wall/fence on the Mexican border makes plenty of sense especially if can physically fence out all these Central American women with children, unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, teens and men lying about being teens.

    An effective wall-fence will not cost more than 10 billion. Obama is already spending a few billion taking in all these Central Americans simply walking across the border and declaring asylum. And distributing them across America to my guess is foster families who are getting Gov’t checks for taking them in.

    Enforcing existing immigration law on employers with sufficient vigor to make it uneconomical to hire lots of illegal immigrants would be more than enough to get immigration back under control.

    You are dreaming. Too many illegal aliens work off the books for legal immigrants who run cash businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, farm and construction crews. E-Verify is not enough though it is a must! Too many illegals have cash businesses such as (just one example) selling food they cook at home such as tamales, dumplings…..

    Also we need a database of all who enter/exit through all our legal ports of entry. This computerization was mandated 13 years ago by Congress but never funded. Biometrics must be taken of all foreigners who enter. Of course the travel industry and some others scuttled this idea even after the 911 attacks.

  93. You need a Wall because “”enforcement”” only goes as far the administration in power. If another Obama gets in office down the road, it won’t be as bad if we have a Wall.

    Its also much safer for Border Patrol Agents, and an impediment to drug trafficking. A Wall is beautiful, and for the southern border, it should be mandatory for any serious plan.

  94. Fewer migrants cross over from Mexico in the dark of night among the sagebrush anymore. Central Americans have simply been presenting themselves at the border posts and claiming to be refugees which works well for them. Mexicans aren’t coming in great numbers. Plus, there are plenty of tunnels to avoid a wall if one goes up. Chinese just overstay their visas.

    So a wall is much less important than workplace enforcement if you want to stop illegal immigration. But a wall is symbolic so Trump keeps talking about one.

    I’d prefer not to have a wall. Lots of the border is good wildlife habitat that would be damaged.

    The problem with Cruz, of course, is that he wants to multiply legal immigration. He’s very enthusiastic about a 500% increase in H1-B scam low paid technician, engineer, and nurse visas.

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  95. Nate can evaluate polling data to predict election outcomes as well as anyone can predict election outcomes using polling data, but he doesn’t seem to have any insight into the underlying social processes that generate the data. Since the political atmosphere of the US in 2016 is fairly unique, without easy historical analogies, his poll-based predictions offer negative knowledge. His models don’t apply. You can’t really blame him.

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  96. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-abe-vigoda-20160126-story.html

    Abe Vigoda, the 94-year-old actor best known for portraying a gangster in “The Godfather” films and the glum Det. Fish on TV’s “Barney Miller,” died Tuesday.

    And so, the answer to a question that became a long-running pop-culture joke — “Is Abe Vigoda dead?” — is, finally, yes.

  97. Just so you can all mock me when I turn out wrong, I’ll lay down a marker:

    Trump will not win the nomination. The only thing that matters is who gets their supporters to show up and vote. Trump won’t do it.

    What makes someone vote? It’s not a belief that their individual vote will make a difference, because it almost definitionally won’t. It’s instead a belief in certain institutions and a desire to stand by them. For evangelical conservatives or older African-Americans, this is generally their church. For union workers, it’s their union. For middle-class home owners, it might be investment in their community. For Obama voters in 2008 in Iowa, there might have been a general euphoria that allowed him to unseat Hillary, but there was also a lot of well-executed college activism and get-out-the-vote organization that got people to the caucuses.

    Trump is almost the opposite. His appeal is exactly to people who feel abandoned by mainstream institutions, and mainstream institutions are in no way eager to help him out. Churches aren’t going to help him, unions aren’t going to help him, college Republican groups aren’t going to be driving kids to the polls.

    If you imagine a distribution of a latent variable of propensity to vote, you could have different thresholds for actually voting in presidential elections, congressional elections, primaries, and caucuses; those tend to be very correlated; the little old ladies who take my signature at my polling place have probably voted in every county commissioner election since 1965. What isn’t all that correlated is general political affect or beliefs. I’m sure lots of poll respondents are perfectly sincere in their support for Trump, but I think he will disappoint them (or maybe they will disappoint him) when the primaries actually roll around and the votes are counted.

    https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/trump-will-not-be-the-gop-nominee/

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  98. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Rubio has no chance now:

  99. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Off topic, Whiskey, but have you seen the post by the 16-year old German girl begging German men to save her? Is she begging for some alpha Deutschen Herrenvolk to slay the Muslim Untermensch, or at least get them the hell away from her? Is something turning around here? I’d just like your perspective.

    This is the new Gwrmany…

    August 13, police arrested two Iraqi asylum seekers, aged 23 and 19, for raping an 18-year-old German woman behind a schoolyard in Hamm, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia.
    3. July 26, a 14-year-old boy was sexually assaulted inside the bathroom of a regional train in Heilbronn, a city in southwestern Germany. Police are looking for a “dark skinned” man between the ages of 30 and 40 who has an “Arab appearance.” Also on July 26, a 21-year-old Tunisian asylum seeker raped a 20-year-old woman in the Dornwaldsiedlung district of Karlsruhe. Police kept the crime secret until August 14, when a local paper went public with the story.
    4. June 9, two Somali asylum seekers, aged 20 and 18, were sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for raping a 21-year-old German woman in Bad Kreuznach, a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, on December 13, 2014.
    5. June 5, a 30-year-old Somali asylum seeker called “Ali S” was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman in Munich. Ali had previously served a seven-year sentence for rape, and had been out of prison for only five months before he attacked again. In an effort to protect the identity of Ali S, a Munich newspaper referred to him by the more politically correct “Joseph T.”
    6. May 22, a 30-year-old Moroccan man was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 55-year-old woman in Dresden. On May 20, a 25-year-old Senegalese asylum seeker was arrested after he attempted to rape a 21-year-old German woman at the Stachus, a large square in central Munich.
    7. April 16, a 21-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl at festival in the Bavarian town of Straubing in August 2014. On April 7, a 29-year-old asylum seeker was arrested for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl in the town of Alzenau.
    8. March 17, two Afghan asylum seekers aged 19 and 20 were sentenced to five years in prison for the “particularly abhorrent” rape of a 21-year-old German woman in Kirchheim, a town near Stuttgart, on August 17, 2014.
    9. February 11, a 28-year-old asylum seeker from Eritrea was sentenced to four years in prison for raping a 25-year-old German woman in Stralsund, along the Baltic Sea, in October 2014.
    10. February 1, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Somalia was arrested after attempting to rape women in the Bavarian town of Reisbach.
    11. January 16, a 24-year-old Moroccan immigrant raped a 29-year-old woman in Dresden.
    12. Dozens of other cases of rape and attempted rape — cases in which police are specifically looking for foreign perpetrators (German police often refer to them as Südländer, or “southerners”) — remain unresolved. Following is a partial list just for August 2015:
    13. August 23, a “dark skinned” man attempted to rape a 35-year-old woman in Dortmund.
    14. August 17, three male “southerners” attempted to rape a 42-year-old woman in Ansbach.
    15. August 16, a male “southerner” raped a woman in Hanau.
    16. Google Sweden now 2nd highest reported rape in the world thanks to Muslims. 8 men raped a Swedish woman visiting their refugee center.
    17. Borch from Denmark stabbed her mother 20x after being inspired by Mohammed by watching videos of christians being beheaded.
    18 UK Black hair dark skin man raped girl in John Lewis Park.
    19. Black hair dark skin man attempt to kidnap 7years old boy being foiled in Australia.

    Germany, Migrants’ Rape Epidemic 18-09-2015

    ◾A 13-year-old Muslim girl was raped by another asylum seeker at a refugee facility in Detmold, a city in west-central Germany. The girl and her mother reportedly fled their homeland to escape a culture of sexual violence.
    ◾Approximately 80% of the refugees/migrants at the shelter in Munich are male… the price for sex with female asylum seekers is ten euros. — Bavarian Broadcasting (Bayerischer Rundfunk).
    ◾Police in the Bavarian town of Mering, where a 16-year-old-girl was raped on September 11, have issued a warning to parents not to allow their children to go outside unaccompanied. In the Bavarian town of Pocking, administrators of the Wilhelm-Diess-Gymnasium have warned parents not to let their daughter’s wear revealing clothing in order to avoid “misunderstandings.”
    ◾”When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis. These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, will follow girls and bother them without their realizing it. Naturally, this generates fear.” — Bavarian politician, quoted in Die Welt (newspaper).
    ◾Meanwhile, the raping of German women by asylum seekers is becoming commonplace.
    At the same time, growing numbers of German women in towns and cities across the country are being raped by asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Many of the crimes are being downplayed by German authorities and the national media, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.
    *August 18, a coalition of four social work organizations and women’s rights groups sent a two-page letter to the leaders of the political parties in the regional parliament in Hesse, a state in west-central Germany, warning them of the worsening situation for women and children in the refugee shelters. Women report that they, as well as children, have been raped or subjected to sexual assault. As a result, many women sleep in their street clothes. Women regularly report that they do not use the toilet at night because of the danger of rape and robbery on the way to the sanitary facilities. Even during daylight, passing through the camp is a frightful situation for many women.

    The problem of rapes and sexual assaults :
    In Bavaria, women and girls housed at a refugee shelter in Bayernkaserne, a former military base in Munich, are subject to rape and forced prostitution on a daily basis, according to women’s rights groups. Although the facility has separate dorm rooms for women, the doors cannot be locked and men control access to the sanitary facilities.
    Approximately 80% of the refugees/migrants at the shelter are male, according to Bavarian Broadcasting (Bayerischer Rundfunk), which reports that the price for sex with female asylum seekers is ten euros. A social worker described the facility this way: “We are the biggest brothel in Munich.”
    *August 28, a 22-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for attempting to rape a 30-year-old Iraqi-Kurdish woman at a refugee shelter in the Bavarian town of Höchstädt..”
    *August 26, a 34-year-old asylum seeker attempted to rape a 34-year-old woman in the laundry room of a refugee facility in Stralsund, a city near the Baltic Sea.
    *August 6, police revealed that a 13-year-old Muslim girl was raped by another asylum seeker at a refugee facility in Detmold, a city in west-central Germany. The girl and her mother reportedly fled their homeland to escape a culture of sexual violence; as it turns out, the man who raped the girl is from their country. Although the rape took place in June, police chief Bernd Flake countered that the silence was aimed at protecting the victim. “We will continue with this policy of not informing the public whenever crimes are committed in refugee facilities,” he said.
    *June 12-14, a 15-year-old girl housed at a refugee shelter in Habenhausen, a district in the northern city of Bremen, was repeatedly raped by two other asylum seekers.
    *September 11, a 16-year-old girl was raped by an unidentified “dark-skinned man speaking broken German” close to a refugee shelter in the Bavarian town of Mering. The attack occurred while the girl was walking home from the train station.
    *August 13, police arrested two Iraqi asylum seekers, aged 23 and 19, for raping an 18-year-old German woman behind a schoolyard in Hamm, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia.
    *July 26, a 14-year-old boy was sexually assaulted inside the bathroom of a regional train in Heilbronn, a city in southwestern Germany. Police are looking for a “dark skinned” man between the ages of 30 and 40 who has an “Arab appearance.” Also on July 26, a 21-year-old Tunisian asylum seeker raped a 20-year-old woman in the Dornwaldsiedlung district of Karlsruhe. Police kept the crime secret until *August 14, when a local paper went public with the story.
    *June 9, two Somali asylum seekers, aged 20 and 18, were sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for raping a 21-year-old German woman in Bad Kreuznach, a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, on December 13, 2014.
    *June 5, a 30-year-old Somali asylum seeker called “Ali S” was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman in Munich. Ali had previously served a seven-year sentence for rape, and had been out of prison for only five months before he attacked again. In an effort to protect the identity of Ali S, a Munich newspaper referred to him, more politically correct as “Joseph T.”
    *May 22, a 30-year-old Moroccan man was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for attempting to rape a 55-year-old woman in Dresden. On May 20, a 25-year-old Senegalese asylum seeker was arrested after he attempted to rape a 21-year-old German woman at the Stachus, a large square in central Munich.
    *April 16, a 21-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl at festival in the Bavarian town of Straubing in August 2014. On *April 7, a 29-year-old asylum seeker was arrested for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl in the town of Alzenau.
    *March 17, two Afghan asylum seekers aged 19 and 20 were sentenced to five years in prison for the “particularly abhorrent” rape of a 21-year-old German woman in Kirchheim, a town near Stuttgart, on August 17, 2014.
    *February 11, a 28-year-old asylum seeker from Eritrea was sentenced to four years in prison for raping a 25-year-old German woman in Stralsund, along the Baltic Sea, in October 2014.
    *February 1, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Somalia was arrested after attempting to rape women in the Bavarian town of Reisbach.
    *January 16, a 24-year-old Moroccan immigrant raped a 29-year-old woman in Dresden.
    Dozens of other cases of rape and attempted rape — cases in which police are specifically looking for foreign perpetrators (German police often refer to them as Südländer, or “southerners”) — remain unresolved. Following is a partial list just for August 2015:
    *August 23, a “dark skinned” man attempted to rape a 35-year-old woman in Dortmund.
    *August 17, three male “southerners” attempted to rape a 42-year-old woman in Ansbach. *August 16, a male “southerner” raped a woman in Hanau.
    *August 12, a male “southerner” attempted to rape a 17-year-old woman in Hannover.
    *August 12, a male “southerner” exposed himself to a 31-year-old woman in Kassel. Police say a similar incident occurred in the same area on August 11.
    *August 10, five men of “Turkish origin” attempted to rape a girl in Mönchengladbach.
    *August 10, a male “southerner” raped a 15-year-old girl in Rinteln.
    *August 8, a male “southerner” attempted to rape a 20-year-old woman in Siegen.
    *August 3, a “North African” raped a seven-year-old girl in broad daylight in a park in Chemnitz, a city in eastern Germany.
    *August 1, a male “southerner” attempted to rape a 27-year-old woman in downtown Stuttgart.
    Meanwhile, parents are being warned to look after their daughters.
    *September 11, Police in the Bavarian town of Mering, where a 16-year-old-girl was raped, have issued a warning to parents not to allow their children to go outside unaccompanied. They have also advised women not to walk to or from the train station alone because of its proximity to a refugee shelter.

  100. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    George W. Bush was the non-intervention candidate to John McCain’s interventionism in the 2000 Republican primaries. Bush explicitly campaigned on being skeptical of nation-building and drawing back the military from around the world.

    I’m not sure why people presume that Trump would be some sort of strict non-interventionist. He’s not philosophically or temperamentally wedded to non-interventionism. It’s easy to imagine him intervening somewhere to “show strength” and be “pro-military”, which often just means doing what the military wants, and a lot of the military bureaucracy at the Pentagon are interventionist.

  101. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Off topic, Whiskey, but have you seen the post by the 16-year old German girl begging German men to save her? Is she begging for some alpha Deutschen Herrenvolk to slay the Muslim Untermensch, or at least get them the hell away from her? Is something turning around here? I’d just like your perspective.

    Danish teen fought off her attacker – now she’ll face fine

    http://www.thelocal.dk/20160126/danish-teen-fought-off-her-attacker-with-pepper-spray-now-shell-face-fine

  102. So a few people have hit on the defense of Silver that goes “Whocada known that Trump would not just be a Bachmann/Santorum/Cain flameout?”

    This is wrong for a few reasons. The most important one is that there is a well established phenomenon these and similar candidates followed that involved Evangelical voters shifting between ideologically similar flavors of the week before eventually (1) settling on one candidate (like Santorum in 2012) (2) becoming irrelevant as the nomination moves away from Evangelical heavy early states like Iowa, SC, and the Super Tuesday bible belt states.

    Trump, however, never looked like these candidates in his support. Far from having basically the same positions as this year’s evangelical types, he drew a strong contrast with them on immigration and a smaller but still stark contrast on “entitlement reform” and tax cuts for the rich.

    Moreover, Trump’s lead, when Silver gave him a 2% chance of winning, was already far larger and far more persistent than any Evangelical Flavor of the Month ever enjoyed.

    Finally, the various EFotMs always lacked resources to campaign seriously beyond Iowa and maybe a couple more early states. Even when they raised money, they tended to do so by using shady outside direct mail fundraisers who took at 50, 80, or even 95% rake off the top, and often mismanaged the cash they did receive.

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  103. Walker worked with the Mexican government to open two Mexican consulates in Wisconsin. The consulates connect Mexican wet backs with leftwing lawyers, get them on welfare, help them smuggle family members in, and provide them with documents to keep them out of jail and help them get drivers licenses, bank accounts tax numbers and the likelike.

    Walker is fighting for more Mexican welfare recipients and population replacements.

  104. Reagan, Ike, Nixon, and Goldwater all are evidence of failures to do so on the Republican side

    No need to go that far back. The establishment has seen its preferred candidate lose primary after primary for the Senate and House the past three cycles. Sharron Angle, Richard Mourdock, Dave Brat, Jason Chaffetz, the Delaware witch lady, and indeed Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

    What is notable about these examples is how diverse they are. Texas, Indiana, Nevada, Utah, Delaware, Kansas, Virginia.

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  105. correction: Soldiers of Odin

  106. Off-topic,

    A Nat Turner biopic is coming out. It’s title: Birth of a Nation (Get it? Man, he’s re-appropriating the White Man’s culture….). Here are some words from the film’s director, Nat Parker:

    Griffith’s film relied heavily on racist propaganda to evoke fear and desperation as a tool to solidify white supremacy as the lifeblood of American sustenance. Not only did this film motivate the massive resurgence of the terror group the Ku Klux Klan and the carnage exacted against people of African descent, it served as the foundation of the film industry we know today.

    I’ve reclaimed this title and re-purposed it as a tool to challenge racism and white supremacy in America, to inspire a riotous disposition toward any and all injustice in this country (and abroad) and to promote the kind of honest confrontation that will galvanize our society toward healing and sustained systemic change.

    http://filmmakermagazine.com/97103-five-questions-with-the-birth-of-a-nation-director-nate-parker/#.VqfqCvkrLIV

    One can only hope that he’s a better film-maker than prose-stylist….

  107. And as for William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner:

    Filmmaker: Though it was very memorably told by William Styron in his book The Confessions of Nat Turner, there have been very few feature films about the man. Why do you think that is?

    Parker: Let us be clear. Styron’s book was a work of fiction; a falsified re-imagining he used to propagate his own misguided and paternalistic ideas of Nat Turner and his motives. By the time Styron’s ink dried, no longer was Nat Turner the measured, self-determined man of faith, who’s courage and sacrifice left him a martyr. He was now an impotent and cowardly, self-hating, Uncle Tom who’s ambitions regarding rebellion had little to do with the rampant torture and degradation of his enslaved people, but instead was seeped in his desperate sexual desires of white women. The consequence of this defamation? A Pulitzer Prize.

    http://filmmakermagazine.com/97103-five-questions-with-the-birth-of-a-nation-director-nate-parker/#.VqftevkrLIV

  108. “This Presidential election is the USA’s last chance to resist massive illegal immigration. If Trump turns out to be the only candidate who might resist it, then we should ignore all his faults.”

    Thank you very much. Everyone who feels this way should become a one-issue voter. That’s what has gotten women everything they now have; they started voting based on one criterion “Do you support abortion on demand?” at every level including local government right down to dog catcher and once they found out they could get that, they realized they could do it for everything else.

    Don’t forget to apply your one-issue criterion to every single candidate you vote for at every level of government. This is a big election. Also, we have to confront all of the candidates at every level of government and force them to declare themselves. They are with us – or we don’t vote for them, period. It’s an important part of this winning process.

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  109. “The difference is Trump has staying power, and there’s no anointed establishment candidate this year.

    Sure there is. His name’s Jeb Bush, and he failed spectacularly, in no small part due to Trump’s handiwork. The Establishment candidate was DESTROYED. He wasn’t simply absent. But you’re correct to note the Establishment seems to be having a very difficult time settling on a Plan B, after the Jeb Bush debacle.

  110. “SC is winner-take-all so a slim victory in SC is probably worth as much in margin of victory as winning every single Super Tuesday state by 10%.”

    Some of the Super Tuesday states are also winner-take-all.

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  111. That’s some of it. A lot of the left is pissed at them for going after gays.

    I don’t care much either way; I’m not nuts about Putin and his polonium but don’t feel like starting WW3 over Crimea or gay rights in Russia.

  112. However, I believe that free trade is more advantageous to the US economy in the long run.

    We don’t have free trade. A free trade agreement could be written on the back of an envelope. Things like the WTO or NAFTA are _managed_ trade agreements. You can tell that by the number of years that go into writing them and agreeing to them. The nature of the negotiations means that winners and losers are being determined ahead of time. Guess who’s been losing and who’s been winning in these agreements?

  113. There was a significant corner of the establishment who didn’t want Mitt to win, and they’re the ones who attempted to find an alternative. Each of those candidates was second to Romney at one point, but the field was far too divided to stop him.

  114. In other news, the war in Afghanistan will never end:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/01/26/the-u-s-was-supposed-to-leave-afghanistan-by-2017-now-it-might-take-decades/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_cp-afghanistan-950am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    I predict that if Trump promised to withdraw all troops out of that godforsaken country on his first day in office the election would be over immediately.

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  115. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    I have to pile on here and agree with most of the other commenters that you’re being way too nice to (Silver). Analyzing polling data is what earned him his notoriety, but if you paid attention to his blog this election cycle, analyzing polling data had nothing to do with any of his way-off-base arguments against Trump’s chances.

    I second some of the other comments on here suggesting that (Silver) was trying to influence the election in the direction he wanted.

    To be nice to (Silver) (as I am a former fan of his), he has impacted the way that informed people interpret polling data in elections. You can see that the interpretation of polling data now generally is much better now than it was in 2008. He deserves a reasonable amount of the responsibility for that, and he should feel good about that. But I can’t see that he’ll be relevant for much else in politics in the future.

    The elevation of him as a guru/genius was always considerably overblown though. Lots of people in this country can do what he does better, and there are now plenty of places on the internet where one can find the sorts of analyses that 538 used to provide. I didn’t know he was using Excel to implement his models as someone noted above. That’s pretty bad. (Silver)’s impact has just been to help expose that what the media had been doing before was *really* bad.

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  116. Not grasping that globally in First World Countries, mass Third World immigration meant bringing the Third World in massive quantities including violence, poverty, and awful cultural mores straight into conflict with ordinary First World peoples;

    You’re being too kind. Silver and the rest view all those bad outcomes you list as FEATURES, not BUGS. A less trusting, more divided populace makes it easier for the elites to loot the rest of us.

  117. It’s because liberals fundamentally misunderstand what Trump is all about. They think he’s some sort of far-right extremist. In the modern liberal mind, signaling that you’re friendly to minorities is *the, single, issue* that matters, and everything else is boring policy stuff that no one reads or pays attention to. So someone like Rubio who wants to start several wars and cut off Medicare benefits gets moderate cred, because he says nice things about immigrants.

    The truth is that Trump is doing so well because he’s dragging the Republican party kicking and screaming back to the center, jettisoning their insane ideas about foreign policy, dropping the unpopular entitlement program cuts, and focusing like a laser on the issues where Republican ideas are actually popular, like immigration control.

    Trump is essentially the Republican party’s Bill Clinton.

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  118. Should have said 1964, obviously.

  119. In his writings Silver clear that he would use endorsements as an indicator of future success as endorsements were from knowledgeable people and the establishment controls the rules by which delegates are awarded which could make a big difference if there was a dispute. He got that idea from a book he mentions in his article about how elections are won.

    Winning is 50% but Trump is stuck at 40%. In France Le Pen had 40% while the 2 establishment candidates had 30% each. The establishment figured out a way to combine the 2 30%s, which is the advantage that the establishment has. I have noticed that after the close call France seems to be doing something about the giant migrant camp in Calais.

    Silver also claims that while the establishment wants Hillary, Sanders is minimally acceptable.

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  120. Has, say, Senator Sessions endorsed anybody yet?

    Okay, it appears he has not yet, but might:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/25/exclusive-jeff-sessions-clarity-of-donald-trumps-position-on-trade-is-right-as-americans-lose-jobs-overseas/

  121. Oh, come on. Show me some pro-financial-regulation, pro-tax-the-rich Republicans who have won. The Tea Party is just conventional GOP politics except louder and stupider.

    If a 15% flat tax is good, then a 10% flat tax is better!!!! End the IRS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Liberals are the real racists. Abortion is black genocide. Etc.

    The Tea Party demonstrates that GOP voters grasp that there is something seriously wrong with their party, but it also demonstrates that they haven’t figured out what.

  122. “I didn’t know he was using Excel to implement his models as someone noted above. That’s pretty bad.”

    It’s one reason he changes careers a lot: his Excel spreadsheets get overloaded. Of course, I’m saying that as an Excel-using career-changer…

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  123. The United States could easily fund a real fence along the US-Mexican border by simply soliciting deductible donations on American’s tax returns. Simply have a check off box that says would you like to make a tax deductible donation that will go directly to build a 20 foot high double fence made out of steel, cement, and concertina wire? My guess is that they would collect enough money in the first year that there would be money left over for one along the Canadian Border. Plus it would give a chance for ordinary Americans to get involved and voice their opinion while shutting up the opponents once and for all.

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  124. I’m a little confused about Obama-hate

    Playing dumb is not a good look for you.

    Talk to someone in your community like Prof. Reynolds. If you don’t know any, get to know them.

  125. No states are permitted to use winner take all allocation between South Carolina and Florida, according to RNCC rules. Super Tuesday occurs on 1 March between South Carolina (20 February) and Florida (15 March).

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  126. Excel spreadsheets get overloaded.

    Heh, do they ever. My first job out of undergrad with GE involved, among other things, debugging the Excel spreadsheet the Asst. Plant Manager had been using for ten years, updating it on an ad hoc basis the whole time, to plan all the materials purchases for the plant. It had grown to an ungodly mess of over 10k rows and I don’t remember how many columns, with the only documentation inside his head.

    Then the poor fellow had a heart attack and died a month after I started…

  127. Uh, yes, I know. And while that’s a definite possibility, its not yet an absolute certainty.

  128. Jeb Bush got endorsed by his mom.

    I’m pretty sure he’s going to win the nomination now.

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  129. Well, that’s how I see Trump. You cut to the point exactly.

    But the committed media Democrats are positively hysterical. I supposed the professional Republicans were deranged about Clinton even while he was doing the same re-centering for the Democrats. It’s funny; Clinton was the one that brought me back into the Democratic party. I’m proud to say he was the first president that I considered my president. So that makes at least one former R-voter that saw him for what he was. Took me quite a while, though.

    I wonder if we’ll see millions of D-voters move over for Trump someday. That would require first that he actually keep the hard promises and renew the nation the way Clinton did.

  130. Here’s a question for you, Lot: would you ever run for office? Is there any kind of appealing career path in politics for a sensible, competent person like yourself who knows a lot about practical politics? (I mean, other than, say, a Golden Ticket like getting appointed to the U.S. Senate by the governor to finish a term and then running for a term on your own.)

    If you want to answer, no need to give away too many personal details.

  131. that; and, what my teen son said; “If he says he will get the USA out of the 20 trillion $ debt by using these methods/ways________, he will go down as the Greatest…Rushmore material. He will have accomplished his baseball cap’s calling.” I love teenagers and their weird brains!

  132. Jeb Bush got endorsed by his mom.

    I’m pretty sure he’s going to win the nomination now.

    Ha ha. You know he’s only 8:1?

  133. Speaking of which, AmRen a few wks back had a story explaining the direct mail fundraising/moneybags in general, and that they mainly go from candidate to candidate each election cycle. Basically their whole reason of existence is to raise money…chiefly for themselves under the auspicious of a previously unknown candidate.

    Example: John Phillip Sousa IV (of THAT JPS) has long been a GOP direct mail fundraiser. This cycle, he was all in for Ben Carson.

    The story goes on to make the point that the direct mail fundraisers work is short lived and they get out as soon as the calendar year changes (not too coincidentally right before the major primaries begin). Hence the main support for these coming out of nowhere candidates dries up and disappears, because they really had no overwhelming long lasting grass roots support to begin with. Ironically it shouldn’t be too surprising that the modern US Televangelists got their empires, er ministries off the ground in the mid. ’70′s, right at the start of the modern more sophisticated direct mail boom.

    I mean, who really out in the hinterlands of Hunstville, Alabama or Boise, Idaho was strongly committed in early 2015 to,…Ben Carson? Assuming that they were well familiar with him to begin with, other than that he was a recurring regular on FOX news? Carson is this decades equivalence of Alan Keyes, from which very little has been heard from in nearly a decade.

    Trump, on the other hand, has been well known across demographics for at least the early to mid. ’80′s. One can even make the case that in 1991, prior to his announced candidacy for the presidency, Ross Perot paled in national name recognition when compared to Donald Trump.

    “Moreover, Trump’s lead, when Silver gave him a 2% chance of winning, was already far larger and far more persistent than any Evangelical Flavor of the Month ever enjoyed.”

    Finally someone who has finished the sentence. This error is on Silver, plain and simple. Had he perceived the strength of Trump’s wide and deep support, he probably wouldn’t have blown it so atrociously. I mean, Trump has been ahead in nearly every single national and regional poll since his announced candidacy in June. That fact alone should’ve alerted Silver to something but apparently that type of common sense, (regarding the strength of Trump’s support) did not.

    I don’t suppose it would’ve occurred to Silver to observe that, “Hm. Just like the UKIP in UK, and the National Front in France, perhaps Trump is at the forefront of something new and different in US politics? Something that we haven’t seen since Perot?”

    Guess not.

  134. The Z Blog,

    Thanks.

    It looks like shameless self promotion, but it’s worth at skimming through the three posts (here, here, here) I put together–the most recent one a couple of days before the Slate piece went up–digging into some of the aspects of what Silver got wrong and why.

    Steve is too kind to Silver. Silver’s kinda, sorta half-assed mea culpa is the most ridiculous of all he’s written about the ’16 election cycle so far (see TBraton’s excerpt).

  135. Trump will not win the nomination. The only thing that matters is who gets their supporters to show up and vote. Trump won’t do it.

    I couldn’t disagree more. Millions of Americans, for the first time in years, feel like their vote matters, and many of them kept showing up anyway even when they weren’t enthusiastic about their options. They’ll definitely show up this time.

  136. So-called Free Trade is what put the U.S. in such a dire economic position. Sure it benefited executive and investor class, but for the working and middle-class it’s meant impoverishment and eradication.

    As it stands we either fix it or end up like Greece and become China’s b***h.

    You mean Brazil.

  137. there is now (totally my – aspy lite – opinion), apparently, a low tolerance of Asperger’s (stuff directly connected to anything that makes sense of stuff by the person thinking it,) and Nate may be out in the wilderness. He may make random, open statements while he spends time evaluating what the heck is going on but he will get people piling on him from all fronts and directions. I agree that he should not be attacked…but blamed…well, he signed up for this job and the $$$.

  138. Ben, you are a kind and thoughtful man.

  139. Nope. Women and men are about equally likely to be pro-choice. From this Pew center poll, men were broadly pro-choice 49% of the time, women 53%. The big split there is religion and political comservatism.

    Essentially all media-appointed spokemen for women are pro-choice. That is one of about a zillion ways that the media give a distorted picture of the world.

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  140. Opposition to illegal immigration and open borders, along with a deep populist instinct, has always been part of the nation. (((Silver))) and other rootless cosmos Cannot relate with the sentiment of the electorate in Middle Anerica they share nothing in common with, so it isn’t surprising their intuition about Trump has been so wrong.

  141. That is $5,312,500 per mile!

    I’ll round the numbers to make the arithmetic easy.

    The construction of the border barrier costs about $5 million per mile. Since the border is about 2,000 miles long, the total cost is about $10 billion.

    So far, about 640 of that 2,000 miles have been paid for and constructed.

    The construction is a one-time expenditure, but the barrier will serve for many decades.

    Consider a period of 50 years. If the barrier cost $10 billion to build, then each year of the barrier’s service will cost about $200 million.

    That’s an affordable and wise investment that will pay for itself.

    Without the barrier, how much would the US Government pay every year to deal with all the foreigners who would simply walk across our open border?

    The situation right now is that any Central American family that crosses our border is immediately given free housing, schooling and other government benefits and never will be deported. The government expenditure to support that family will last many decades.

  142. It was from one of the knuckle-draggers on the payroll of billionaire Paul Singer…

    Is “knuckle-dragger” the latest slang for “top”, and is Singer Jr. the bottom? What does Papa Pimp pay them to do?

  143. Women and men are about equally likely to be pro-choice.

    But the prolife movement (I’m really starting to hate this prefix “pro-”, by the way) is overwhelmingly female. As were the anti-ERA and anti-suffrage movements before it.

    The male objection to legal abortion is abstract and passive. The female counterpart gets up and does something about it. So the “equally likely” is in thought, not action.

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  144. I’d prefer not to have a wall. Lots of the border is good wildlife habitat that would be damaged.

    If you are so interested about wildlife, then you should consider how our country’s wildlife will be affected by another 100 million human beings living here.

  145. It’s true that Silver and many pundits have been very wrong but what they are most wrong about is not Trump but Bernie’s candidacy. The Dem race is practically over and Hillary has lost; the pollsters just made embarassing mistakes. Particular talking points of the pro-Hillary media, about inevitability and endorsements and so on are stupid, but it’s much more than that.

    The alt-right has disappointingly not had any correct analysis of how things will work for the Democrats, but the right ideas are obvious if you avoid the blind propaganda of the mainstream right, and sjw liberals.

    Blacks won’t turn out to vote for Hillary, not half as much as the pollsters project. They’re more low information voters who never do, except for black candidates, but by now the data is clear and in a lot of the states the situation is literally locked in. No record numbers are even registered to vote and the deadlines are passed. Hillary’s campaign already failed at voter reg and cannot come close to matching Obama 2008 records. (Her people have been delusionally arrogant believing she was invincible and didn’t even try. Bernie didn’t push for black voter reg but you can hardly blame the campaign for not helping people who supposedly plan to explicitly vote against him.)

    Then of course Bernie has been winning among all white Democratic males since about last July. No candidate in modern history has lost a party nomination after such a clear and consistent lead. With recent national polls showing Sanders has polled ahead among all whites period the race is done and the Nate Silvers of the world just can’t count yet. Admittedly one can sympathetically see how the average liberal, journalist and pollster, can’t say minorities just won’t turnout or matter to the result (Cal voting last makes the Latino popular almost irrelevant too) but about three quarters of the Dem vote will be white and a win among whites is a win for Bernie. He’ll take a lot of momentum with the white middle and working class in purple states into the fall. Realistically the only way Bernie can lose now is if the polls or the voters lied about the old white vote, since he had already beaten the targets he’d need by current numbers, and a surge happens for Hillary instead.

    So Sanders is already the odds on favorite to be the next POTUS given the Dem’s Electoral College advantages. Against a weak Republican candidate he’ll get almost 400 EV. And I agree the Republicans are assured at this point to have either an outright Trump win or a brokered convention.

  146. Is there a market that’s parimutuel and so keeps the “wise guys” out of the running analysis?

  147. I don’t understand the enthusiasm for Trump here . He either can’t or won’t make good on any of his promises . With the best of intentions he couldn’t fix this country . Any meaningful policy changes would be too painful for too many people . And what are his positions anyway ? Us-China trade reform ; how much leverage do we really have . Certainly ” bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism” can only lead to a bad end , it certainly doesn’t qualify as a new and creative solution . Where has it ever worked out well for us ? VA reform sounds great but while he blasts the politicians in Washington for “blindly throwing money at the problem” The Trump Plan Will:Increase funding” for blah blah blah.
    “Tax Reform That Will Make America Great Again” sounds good and good luck . BTW nothing is going to “Make America Great Again” Like my teeth America’s “greatness” is gone forever .
    “Protecting our second amendment rights will make America great again” There’s that phrase again . I’m all for protecting our second amendment rights and expanding them to allow concealed carry nationwide but it’s not going to happen , the best we can hope for is slowing the erosion of those rights.
    BTW Ronald Reagan was going to “Make America great again” too , how did that work out ? A massive military build up to invade Grenada. And of course his brilliant choice to support the Mujahideen in Afghanistan which has worked out brilliantly for us. But I digress.
    “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again” I’m down with that , let’s close the barn door before all the horses are gone. But one reason America will never be great again is because it will never be white again . As Europe will never be white again.
    I can’t help but think that the self destructive policies that are so opposed to the national interests of the U.S , Europe , Canada , Australia and N.Z. are being formed and implemented higher up the chain of command than any politician or corporate board room .

  148. It’s not exactly our last chance to deal with illegal immigration – it’s just our last chance to do so with any semblance of humanity to illegal immigrants. If Hillary is elected, by 2020, private citizens will be hunting them with dogs and letting the dogs taste long pork.

  149. Plus, there are plenty of tunnels to avoid a wall if one goes up.

    Mexican tunnels are only for smuggling drugs. There was a good piece in The New Yorker how tunnels diggers/laborers are recruited then killed when the tunnel is finished. Get the picture? Those tunnels are top secret.
    How El Chapo and Sinola Cartel builds his tunnels>>> http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/03/underworld-monte-reel

    I’d prefer not to have a wall. Lots of the border is good wildlife habitat that would be damaged.

    Who gives a flip what you complacently prefer. Build that wall!!! Only 10 billion dollars.

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  150. Roe v. Wade, and the country’s acceptance of final judicial authority, no doubt makes prolife advocacy a frustrating thing for prolife men. There isn’t much point to fundraising, protesting, calling up supporters, campaigning for candidates, and writing op-eds all to make abortion illegal when all it takes is a Clinton-era judge two minutes to strike down an antiabortion law under whatever pretense he likes. Of course women, being less results-oriented, are fine with all the bureaucracy as it gives them a sense of moral righteousness and accomplishment even if they fail to ever restrict abortion.

  151. Predicting the results in a winner take all election system must be vastly different than doing it in one with a proportional representation system. In the US, it is more like a horse race where everything is on the individual candidates as opposed to the ideas that each party is putting forth. This is why we are talking about Trump’s hair.

    The most revolutionary thing about Trump is that he put forward in writing what his policy will be on immigration thereby crossing the corporate Rubicon. There could be no going back for him. But because he is operating in a WTA system all hopes are on him and not his party. All the other Republican candidates, none who had an adequate war chest, were two faced. They tried to publicly dally with sounding tough on immigration but were licking their pay master’s hands. This worked well for the donor class but as soon as any Republican candidate openly declared a contradictory policy they were reprobate.

  152. Nevertheless some large group is fanatically angry about something Trump represents.

    That something is flyover country. The politics is really secondary- it’s cultural. The sooner people get this, the clearer a lot of things are going to be.

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  153. I don’t know where this hyperaggressivity vis-a-vis Russia is coming from.

    Simple. The looters want to get back to looting. And the looters fund the candidates.

  154. The United States could easily fund a real fence along the US-Mexican border by simply soliciting deductible donations on American’s tax returns

    A better option is to tax remittances. Just Mexicans send about $2 billion back to Mexico every month. Add the rest of the Hispanics, Asians, Africans, etc. and who knows what that number is. Tax it at 50%, taken right off the top of every electronic transaction. That in itself will be a massive disincentive to coming to work in America, and it would pay for the wall right quick.

  155. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    When you look at the numbers you find that Trump do well in all fractions in the Republican Party. Trump has a fairly balanced support among different societal groups. However, the support among men is extreme in relation to others. Mr. SpottedToad presents the mainstream garbage;

    1) Evangelicals don’t like Trump he writes. Well, according to the polls they clearly do because he is the frontrunner among them. Evangelical key-issues are opposition to same-sex marriages and abortion. Republican establishment as for decades used Evangelicals as their cattle. However, the GOP establishment has done nothing for the Evangelicals. When Supreme Court (with the support of a GOP appointed judge) legalized gay marriage the relationship between the Republican Establishment and the Evangelicals died. Evangelicals also happen to be humans meaning that massive immigration and corporate-sponsored free trade agreement hurt their interests. Trumps temporary ban on Muslim was really popular among the Evangelicals. Lastly, the evangelical support for establishment candidates like Rubio, Bush, Christie, Kasich and Fiorina is very small. In fact, looking at RCP national polls they cannot even muster an average over 25 percent.

    2) African-Americans do seldom vote in GOP primaries. In fact, support for GOP among African-Americans is more or less nothing. From pollsters perspective no GOP candidate have use for them. However, some polls indicate that the largest support goes to Ben Carson (Yes, race matters when African-Americans vote) and then to Trump. If Trumps win the nomination and goes up against Hillary she will automatically win the colored vote but it does not matter because Trump will muster white votes and white people not only vote in a larger extent but they are also plenty more. The only identity politics Trump ought to be engage in is white identity politics – because that would actually pay off in votes.

    3. Unionized voters are Democrats. However, when Trump wins the nomination they will flock to him. If you look at European politics you see that unionized white workers flock to Nationalist and Conservative Parties. The truth is that they are the ones which are getting the worst cards as the establishment parties push for more immigration and outsourcing. The Union bosses may hate Trump but the people they represent adore Trump because he defend their entitlement to American jobs.

    4. The middle class has been reduced the last 40 years. What you are talking about is the “upper-middle class” which is tends to support liberal causes. This is not “winner” as this groups is small, is shrinking and the truth is – would support Trump anyway. In Europe the National-Conservatives parties have been able to snatch a bunch of them through different strategies. In the GOP election the “upper middle class” do not matter because GOP is the party of small business owners and lower middle class. Even hacks like Jeb Bush gets this.
    5. That some GOP college kids drive other GOP college kids to a poll station is of minor concern. You think people with college degrees or in college will not vote for Trump? Think again. In contemporary America a college degree is as useless as toilet-paper. Young people understand that if there are no good jobs after graduation – education is a waste of time. This is also the massage from Donald Trump. The establishment answer is; “more education” when the problem is really that there are simply no jobs available.

    You cannot stump the Trump. The future of the Western Civilization is European identity politics which will be manifested through right-wing populism, nationalism, isolationism and national-conservatism. These ideas are not new but as always been part of Western identity. After the WWII the Right and Left replaced these ideas with Neo-Conservatism, Christian-Zionism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, nihilistic liberalism, feminism, multiculturalism and internationalism. These ideas have more or less only support by the upper-middle class, corporations and the elites. As the establishments don’t deliver something substantial and better the lives of people they are fleeing to the Alt-Right. Trump seems to be like Victor Orbán in the sense he switched sides to end up on the winning Alt-Right side. The GOP establishment never listed to voices like Pat Buchanan and now they have to deal with Donald Trump.

  156. I’m guessing a few replies to you aren’t making it past mod, perhaps pointing out that Silver has ethnic disdain for Trump, more powerful than run of the mill SWPL stuff.

  157. That something is flyover country

    Trump is from trundleunder country, which is the same if not worse. His dad built Archie Bunker’s home.

    Flyovers can relate.

  158. “No states are permitted to use winner take all allocation between South Carolina and Florida, according to RNCC rules. Super Tuesday occurs on 1 March between South Carolina (20 February) and Florida (15 March).”

    OK, I guess you’re a little more up on the current rules than I am. I had recalled that several of the 2008 Super Tuesday states had been winner-take-all, and I’d just assumed that was still the case.

  159. It’s the “racism” man! SWPL can never signal hard enough against it

  160. Who gives a flip what you complacently prefer. Build that wall!!! Only 10 billion dollars.

    I doubt it. The environmentalists will tie it up in court.

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What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.