Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Gracious Trump contrasts with Cruz combustion

I'm probably using the adjective "presidential" for the first time in my life here but Trump earned the descriptor today if ever he has up to this point.

Cruz appeared to snap this morning. It looked as though he was on the verge of a full blown mental breakdown. He seemed unhinged as he savaged Trump.

The conventional media perception of Trump is that he can't take what he dishes out. When the invective is directed at him, he loses it.

This is, parenthetically, far more myth than reality. You don't climb to the top of the byzantine world of Manhattan real estate by being a lose cannon with a short fuse who nobody likes. But it is a broadly held perception nonetheless.

Well, Trump blew that narrative apart in his victory speech tonight. He praised Cruz and his "beautiful" family on multiple occasions and also spoke of Cruz's great future:



Trump is no Sulla. He's more Julius Caesar.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Trump has been good for the Alt-Right

Google Trends search results for the phrase over the last several years:


And the top seven (Trends' display number, not mine) states by search index share:
The political and punditry classes are becoming aware of a new game-changing cultural force that is shifting the intellectual landscape under their feet. As Trump smashes one PC taboo after another, he primes the public to genuinely consider what the Alt-Right is producing with less anxiety and apprehension than before. Once they're receptive, getting the scales to fall from their eyes is relatively easy.

Until yesterday, 538's poll-plus predictor had Cruz favored by a 2-to-1 margin in the state. Encouragingly for Trump's prospects Tuesday, Indiana is more interested in the Alt Right than even its DC enemies are. Here's to Nate Silver having egg on his face yet again.

Parenthetically, I like "Alt-Right" as an umbrella label for the various movements--HBD, neoreaction, paleoconservatism, white advocacy, men's rights, identarianism, etc--it is comprised of. In parsimoniously present a contrast both with cucky Conservatism, Inc and the CultMarx left which in many ways have more in common with one another than either does with the Alt-Right.

It's probably counterproductive to quibble with the semantics at this point, anyway. The name appears to have stuck so let's own it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

What becomes of Bernie?

In the general election Trump will peel off some fraction of Sanders voters. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the extent to which that happens could be the state's deciding factor. It's increasingly looking like superdelegates alone won't constitute the entirety of Hillary's margin of victory, but they'll make up most of it. To the extent that there is electoral enthusiasm on the left, it's driven entirely by Sanders, who brings out much larger crowds to his rallies than Hillary does to hers. And there's the curious tendency for Hillary to regularly underperform in exit polls relative to actual preference vote results to a much greater and more consistent extent than anything that has happened on the Republican side.

All these problems go away if Hillary offers Sanders vice president. That's a long shot, though. The markets have him as only the seventh most likely Democrat VP. With over 40% of Democrat votes coming from non-whites, putting two whites on the ticket inherently threatens the unity of the Coalition of the Fringes. Yet Tim Kaine, a heterosexual white goy, is perceived as the most likely pick. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, both white (Fauxcahontas notwithstanding), come in ahead of Sanders as well, and Mark Warren's odds are judged to be as good as Sanders', so the idea that an exclusively white ticket is perceived to be untenable isn't the only reason.

Commenting on Bill Clinton's interaction with BLM protesters, the Derb provides another explanation:
What's going on here is a classic pivot to the center. The Clintons had to be nice to blacks when the Southern primaries were in play. There are a lot of blacks down there, and Bonnie and Clyde wanted to get them out to vote. Now that's all over, the nomination is sewn up, and the Clintons are looking to the general in November. For that they need to get working-class white votes; so the blacks can go pound sand
I was in elementary school when Bill Clinton was inaugurated so I'm a generation removed from firsthand experience with the taken-for-granted assumption that the Clintons are deft, astute political operators. I'll defer to Derb with regards to Bill.

My impression of Hillary, though, is that she's a flat-footed, shambling behemoth who is as likely to lose a battle as she is to win one when she goes in with a massive numerical troop advantage. She's more a late-life Pompey than she is a Julius Caesar. She lost to a mostly unknown upstart in '08 and she's having a hell of a time with with a long-known and long-dismissed out-and-out socialist who looks like he crawled out of another century.

On the other hand she did learn from '08 that there is no winning the Democrat nomination without winning blacks so maybe I'm not giving her enough credit.

I'm not the first to notice Trump laying off Sanders as of late. This even though the vast majority of the rabble-rousing criminal miscreants at his rallies are, to the extent that they're politically engaged at all, claim to a person to be Sanders supporters.

As mentioned above this makes sense as a means of picking up some disaffected white men who are finally coming to terms with the fact that the influence of white men on the Democrat party is weak and getting weaker. But will Trump go full monty and actually offer Sanders a spot in a Trump administration? Agnostic writes:
Maybe head of the Federal Trade Commission, though, restoring the agency to its original function as trust-buster rather than milquetoast "consumer protection" stuff.
Whatever its demerits, a Trump administration with Sanders somewhere in the mix would accelerate the Republican = white, Democrat = non-white political dynamic that is probably a prerequisite for steering the American segment of the European diaspora off the slow, steady suicidal slide it's on now and for that reason alone I'd like to see it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lady's room? Don't mind if I do

That a man who thinks he's a lass is no more a woman than a LARPer who thinks he's a minotaur is actually an anthropomorphic bull is obvious.

Pointing out that the gender bender stuff is all make believe isn't the most effective way to hold the line on this latest front in the Culture War, though.

Instead, a modest suggestion for men who favor living in a society where each person feels compelled to use the restroom that corresponds to his or her biological sex: Every time you go into Target (or any other retailer who adopts a free-for-all restroom policy) and nature calls, use the women's room. No need to make a production out of it. Just take care of business and be on your way. If anyone questions you, dismissively respond with how you're trying to get in touch with your feminine side.

To take it up another level, use the women's changing rooms as well.

If enough men do this eventually critical mass will be reached and something will have to change--something radical, like maybe reverting back to the restroom policy that worked for 99.997% of the population until last week.

Parenthetically, social conservatives will lose on this issue just like they lose on every other one. Instead of a radical response like the one suggested here they'll instead try to objectively rationalize against a chorus of "why do you HATE HATE HATE trannies?!". The battle is over before it even begins.

Libertarians will lose, too, though it'll take a little longer. Tranny free-for-all restroom privileges will eventually be legislated into existence or discovered by the courts at some point in the future. Currently the issue has life because a city legislated tranny restroom protection and a state legislated conventional restroom policy in response. In the future things like this will be moot because federal protections mandating private organizations allow people to use whatever restrooms they want to use will be in existence.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Trump outperforms polling expectations

++Addition2++In the 15 states that have gone since March 15, Trump has outperformed his RCP average in 14 of them, doing 5.4 points better than predicted. Indiana, the last competitive election of the nominating campaign, has been added to the table.

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++Addition++The table in the body of the post has been updated to include the results from April 26 and May 3. Trump outperformed his RCP average in all five states, bringing the number of states he has outperformed polling predictions in up to 26 compared to 10 states where he fared worse than expected. Trump now averages 2.6 points better in actual results than in aggregate poll estimates.

Nate Silver continues to weep.

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The stubborn belief that Trump has generally underperformed polling expectations came about after Iowa, a state where he in fact did do worse than the RCP average (which only includes polls taken less than two weeks out from the actual vote) predicted he would. He also fared more poorly than expected in Oklahoma and Kansas*. Excepting the cuck corridor, though, doing better than expected has been the rule rather than the exception.

Of the 30 states for which polling was conducted close to the preference vote, Trump did better than the RCP average expected he would in 20 of them and more poorly than expected in the remaining 10. Through New York, his average real performance shakes out to 1.6% more of the vote than polls predicted he would receive [Update: Through April 26, his average reals performance comes to 2.4% more of the total vote share than polls have predicted he would receive].

This tendency has been accentuated over the last month and a half. Of the nine states that have held their preference votes since March 15, Trump has exceeded RCP averages in eight of them, the only exception being North Carolina, where his polling average was 41.3% and his actual share of the vote was 40.2%. Even in Wisconsin he did marginally better than polls suggested he would. The story there was of Kasich's collapse, an implosion which redounded to Cruz's benefit.

The data are presented in the following table in descending order of actual performance vis a vis predicted performance:

StateRCPAvgActualBetter (worse)
Indiana42.854.6+11.8
Rhode Island52.363.8+11.5
Arkansas23.032.8+9.8
Arizona38.047.1+9.1
Pennsylvania48.356.8+8.5
New York53.160.4+7.3
Maryland47.754.4+6.7
Mississippi41.047.3+6.3
Delaware55.060.8+5.8
Alaska28.033.5+5.5
Alabama38.043.4+5.4
Missouri36.040.8+4.8
New Hampshire31.235.3+4.1
Massachusetts45.349.3+4.0
Connecticut53.757.7+4.0
Nevada42.045.9+3.9
Minnesota18.021.3+3.3
Utah11.014.0+3.0
Florida43.045.8+2.8
Illinois36.038.8+2.8
Georgia36.238.8+2.6
Kentucky35.035.9+0.9
Vermont32.032.7+0.7
South Carolina31.832.5+0.7
Wisconsin34.535.1+0.6
Ohio35.435.7+0.3
Michigan37.336.5(0.8)
North Carolina41.340.2(1.1)
Tennessee40.038.9(1.1)
Texas28.2(26.7)(1.5)
Idaho30.028.1(1.9)
Louisiana43.441.4(2.0)
Virginia36.834.7(2.1)
Iowa28.624.3(4.3)
Oklahoma32.728.3(4.4)
Kansas35.023.3(11.7)

Nate Silver's 538 continues to perpetually calibrate as his site misses the mark again and again (538's expert panel predicted Trump would get 71 delegates in New York; he picked up 90 of the state's 95). Silver uses what he calls a "polls-plus forecast" that tries to take endorsements and the inverse of national polling into account (see here for more details if you're so inclined, but the formula is garbage so I'd suggest you save your time).

On the Republican side, endorsements have been toxic. Initially, ¡Jabe! enjoyed a huge endorsement advantage. After he was gutted, Rubio claimed the endorsement crown. Then he got sliced up and Cruz, who is in hail mary mode, now has the dubious distinction.

Almost without fail--I can't recall seeing a single state where it's been otherwise, but I'm not going to dig through the archives to make absolutely certain--this "polls-plus" forecast shows Trump doing worse than the polling average alone does (see Indiana to get an idea of the usual gap; polls give Trump a 77% chance but polls-plus only a 45% chance).

This is in spite of the fact that Trump mostly outperforms polling averages! So the "polls forecast" slightly underestimates Trump's performances and then the "polls-plus forecast" underestimates them even more, yet Silver keeps putting more emphasis on the latter.

* I made several hundred dollars betting on the outcome in my home state. It's a closed caucus and it went for Huckabee in '08 and Santorum in '12. Kansas always goes for the theocrat.