Monday, February 29, 2016

Trump's November Triumph

The trickle of attention we observed from New Hampshire has turned into a torrent, as established voices on the right are taking notice of how Trump is turning out YUGE numbers of primary voters. And not just registered Republicans, either--unaffiliated voters who have their choice of primary are far more likely to choose the Republican side than they were in 2016. Given Trump's strong performance among self-identified independents, Scott Adams' prediction of an electoral landslide may really be coming into sharp focus.

Iowa and Nevada are closed caucuses and Democrat numbers are not recorded precisely, so let's consider the increases in Republican turnout in each of these states from 2008 to 2016:


The total US population grew 6% over that same period of time.

Even more suggestive of a Trumpian November triumph are the non-closed contests in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where unaffiliated voters may participate in either party's primary (but not both of them). The following table shows total votes cast in each primary and the percentages of each year's voters who participated in the Democrat and Republican primaries (D%-R%):

StateDem '08GOP '08Dem-RepDem '16GOP '16Dem-Rep
New Hampshire287,542234,12554.6%-45.4%247,479281,40046.8%-53.2%
South Carolina532,227431,19655.2%-44.8%315,526737,91730.0%-70.0%

The contrast in South Carolina between '08 and '16 is astounding. In '08, more people voted in the Democrat primary than in the Republican one. Eight years later, there were more than twice as many participants on the Republican side as there were on the Democrat side.

Helmut Norpoth's model that got attention last week for audaciously putting the odds of a Trump presidency between 97%-99% was reverse-engineered to fit the data, a sort of complicated linear regression equation.

That's a reasonable approach, but it's not fool-proof. In fact, it's a big reason Nate Silver has so much egg on his face from his terrible predictions about the race so far. The problem with reverse-engineering formulas like this is that it doesn't take account of sui generis phenomena, and Trump is just that.

Specifically, Trump's self-funding (he's a real boy in a Republican field of pinnocchios); his pugnacious refusal to back down to anyone--the guy is getting nuked from outer space, attacked by his own party, by the president, by the pope--no one in the history of American politics has been able to withstand this kind of relentless onslaught and yet Trump isn't just withstanding it, he's thriving from it; and his strategic leveraging of social media (I tend to hear about the latest 'controversy' surrounding Trump from Trump himself before I see it in the major media) means that he can effectively fight the entire world on his own and come out on top. His position as king of social media gives him a wider effective reach than Fox News, the New York Times, and the WSJ combined.

The question still remains why this theoretical landslide isn't being detected in the polling data. I put little stock in hypothetical general election match-ups when both fields still have multiple candidates. The explanation as to why is tricky, but let's give it a shot.

When pollsters contact people, they filter out everyone who isn't a "likely voter" (in most polls anyway--some just ask about registered voters. LV is superior to RV). They then proceed to ask who these "likely voter" respondents would vote for if it were Hillary v Trump, Hillary v Cruz, Hillary v Rubio, Hillary v Kasich, Bernie v Trump, Bernie v Cruz, etc. Well, these respondents are now tagged as "likely voters" and so will usually answer even if the candidates in question won't motivate them to actually get out and vote a year later. These respondents weren't really lying when they identified as a "likely voter", but that likeliness may well be contingent on who the nominee is. In a race like this, that benefits Trump enormously.

An example of how this works in practice is you get a Trump supporter who is dead set on backing his, so when the pollster asks if he's a likely voter, he says he is. But if Trump's not the nominee, he's not actually going to go out and vote on election day. Theoretically this can go in any direction (Trump keeping Rubio supporters home), but given how the huge Republican surge thus far is overwhelmingly a consequence of Trump, it's far more likely that people will sit the election out if he's not the nominee than if he is.

The upshot of polls being conducted in this manner is that we get absurd results such as Kasich showing up as the best matchup for the GOP against Hillary in the general, while Cruz and Trump often appear to be the worst. But Kasich doesn't have any enthusiastic supporters, while Cruz and Trump do. Those Trump and Cruz supporters are still telling these pollsters that in Hillary v Kasich, they'll vote for Kasich, but in reality a lot of them won't.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bernie's black blowout

Hillary dominated South Carolina last night because nearly two-in-three primary voters were black:

As I wrote in December:
It's easy to forget that Hillary beat Obama handily among whites, 56%-44%, and among Hispanics, 64%-36%, in the 2008 Democrat primaries. But she was trounced among the most monolithic voting bloc in the US and that cost her the election. Blacks backed Obama, 85%-15%.

Hillary learned the hard way that there is no winning the Democrat nomination without dominating the black vote. White liberals are simply not going to vote en masse against a candidate that black Democrats support (that would be Racist!--it if did occur, it would signal an enormous fissure in the Fringe Coalition), and black Democrats all vote for the same person. So whoever that person is gets the nomination. In 2016, that person is Hillary.
Bernie is running through the beginning of a brutal and potentially campaign-killing gauntlet. South Carolina is just the first of the body blows he's set to receive this week.

Following are the percentages of Democrat primary voters in 2008 who were black by states that vote on Tuesday:

Alabama -- 51%
Arkansas -- 17%
(Colorado is a non-binding caucus for which no exit polling data are available, though it's conceivable that this will be, in addition to Vermont and possibly Massachusetts or Minnesota, another Bernie win)
Georgia -- 51%
Massachusetts -- 6%
(Minnesota also caucuses)
Oklahoma -- 7%
Tennessee -- 29%
Texas -- 19%
Vermont -- 0%
Virginia -- 30%

Even in states like Texas and Arkansas, the black contingent is enormously important. If Hillary wins blacks like as she did in South Carolina, she can afford to lose to Bernie among non-blacks by 15 points and still win the states. A couple of polls have shown her narrowly losing with whites, but in the 47%-53% range, nowhere near the 15 point gap that Bernie would have to make up, and that treats non-blacks as all white, which is of course not the case with the Coalition of the Fringes. Bernie's Hispanic support is lower than it is among whites.

Consequently, it'd be stunning if, to go with his South Carolina beating, Bernie didn't get crushed in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. He'll win Vermont, and the other small states could go either way. Irrespective of those results, though, the story will be one of Hillary's domination and the pressure will really be put on Bernie to bow out.

Parenthetically, in response to the anticipated objection that in '08 Obama's candidacy brought out an exceptionally large number of blacks that won't be repeated this time around, note that the '08 Democrat South Carolina exit poll put the black figure at 55%. Tonight's exit poll put it at 61%.

Trump doesn't need to go after Sanders anymore. To the contrary, he should play up the way he's been treated by the Democrat party as part of the Hillary-as-corrupt-as-hell narrative. There is enough frustration with the establishment that some of those Bernie backers will come to Trump in November.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Today I was explaining the 2016 electoral cycle to my dad. He follows cable news and talk and public radio casually. After slogging through the Hillary-is-the-new-Obama strategy (or how you don't win the Democrat nomination without blacks) that will win her the nomination and explaining how I became so confident that I could clean up in the online markets by detecting Trump's staying power before the opinion-makers had resigned themselves to its reality (no one wanted to bet against Nate Silver, so those of us who did have made a pretty penny), he asked what would happen if Bloomberg ran.

From loquacious to laconic, I confessed I had no clue. I've looked at what I've deemed relevant data from several angles relating to the nominating contests but have only glanced at the general election.

My unstudied guess was that if Bloomberg got in, he'd hurt Hillary and help Trump. Yes, Bloomberg was a Republican more recently than he was a Democrat, but his brand of Republicanism doesn't sell west of the Hudson.

A quick check of the data suggests my lazy assumption is wrong. Reuters-Ipsos conducts several daily tracking polls, one of which examines a hypothetical three-way race between Trump, Hillary, and Bloomberg. The following charts show how the latest results shake out among "likely general election voters" who identify as Republican, Democrat, and independent/other party.

Among Republicans:

Among Democrats:

Among independents:

In recent election cycles, Democrats have been more likely to vote outside of their party than Republicans have been. In Obama's easy re-election victory in 2012, Democrats were slightly less likely to vote for him than Republicans were to vote for Romney. The same thing happened in 2008. Consequently, I'd expect Bloomberg's numbers to be higher among Democrats than among Republicans, but that's not the case.

More importantly, Bloomberg cuts heavily into an independent field that Trump dominates. Given that Republicans are modestly more inclined towards Bloomberg than Democrats are and that independents strongly prefer Trump over Hillary, Occam's Razor suggests that a sizable majority of independents who back Bloomberg in a three-way race would go for Trump if it was just between him and Hillary.

Fortunately for Trumpians, the markets don't think Bloomberg is going to throw his hat in (currently 4:1 odds that he won't). Unless Bernie pulls off an upset--and he's running through a potentially fatal gauntlet right now, with South Carolina today and a slew of heavily black southern states on Tuesday--that money seems smart to me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Trump dominates the Nevada Hispanic vote

Nevada Republican caucus entrance poll results, by race:

This is the first empirical field test of how (Republican-inclined) Hispanics are reacting to Trump. In short, they like him. Turns out appealing to middle-American whites without any Diversity! pandering doesn't repel non-whites anymore than anything that doesn't explicitly promise them government goodies. Citizenism is on the upswing in 2016.

The white-Hispanic support gaps are marginal among the three remaining serious contenders. Cruz's white-to-Hispanic ratio is very slightly higher than Trump's, while Rubio's is a bit lower than Trump's.

The Trump phenomenon has left the punditry class looking schizophrenic. Sometimes they say he's too extreme, sometimes they say he's too moderate, and sometime they accuse him of being a closeted Democrat. He's illustrated just how limited and limiting the mainstream American political landscape is. There isn't a salient place in the public consciousness populists with more in common with the European Right than with the Democrats or Republicans.

If we have to force Trump to fit onto the American two-dimensional spectrum, though, he probably gets put between Cruz (more conservative) and Rubio (more liberal). To the extent that there is any difference in how white Republicans and Hispanic Republicans vote, it's that the Hispanic curve appears to be shifted a bit to the left of the white curve.

This is an observation Steve Sailer has made several times to help explain why Mr. Amnesty McCain and--relatively, very relatively--restrictionist Mitt Romney both fared about the same among Hispanics. Immigration motivates them about as much as it motivates whites, and the Hispanic political curve looks a lot like the white curve if the white curve was shifted to the left 20 points or so.

Since we're on the topic of immigration, it continues to be Trump's most rock-solid issue. His candidacy is a referendum on a wall and people who care about immigration want that wall:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Trump dominates a three-way race with Rubio and Cruz

Reuters-Ipsos recently added a daily tracking poll querying participants on who they'd pick in a three-way race between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. Among Republicans, the results shake out like this:

And among independents/third-party members:

As a Trumpian, I was initially apprehensive about too much of the field dropping out after the first few states had voted, concerned that most of the capitulator support would go from one dead GOPe-approved candidate to another one still standing. A brokered convention would potentially allow for a corrupt bargain to be made if Trump had won something like 40% of the primary electorate to second place's 25%, but much as it would pain the party leadership to do it, I suspect they'd still give Trump the nomination in that scenario in exchange for some concessions and the VP spot.

To withhold the nomination from Trump in a situation where he had an indisputable plurality of the voters would invoke the Samson option and virtually guarantee a Democrat blowout in November. Sure, a lot of the GOPe would prefer Hillary to Trump, but most voters--even those who voted against Trump in the primaries--would be angry about the general election being conceded like that, and only the cuckiest of cuckservatives would feel Trump unjustified in refusing to endorse the non-Trumpian nominee in such a scenario.

Narrow the field, though, and the potential fact that Trump's Republican ceiling was below 50% could be revealed.

It looks like I was too pessimistic, however. If just 1-in-5 of either Rubio's or Cruz's supporters went to Trump or to "wouldn't vote", Trump comes out ahead in a head-to-head race, and this is without taking so-called electoral momentum into account, something that is probably especially beneficial for a 'controversial' candidate like Trump, for whom some people are waiting for a social signal that it is indeed okay to vote for him.

If it's Cruz that bows out first, it'd be shocking if less than 20% went to Trump. I suspect it'd be closer to 50%-50%. Rubio calling it quits would be a little more precarious, but Trump would still probably get there and anyway that seems unlikely given how the GOPe would really have to hold its nose to put pressure on Rubio to drop out so it could throw all its weight behind Cruz.

Parenthetically, comparing the daily tracking poll that still includes Kasich, Carson, and ¡Jabe! with the three-way poll suggests that if the second-tier were to collectively disappear, Rubio would get 50% of their supporters, Cruz would get 30%, and Trump would get 20%. ¡Jabe! and Kasich will surely benefit Rubio, while Carson could be better for Trump and Cruz.

And if this analysis isn't convincing enough, consider that the markets appear to be coming to a similar conclusion. Trump is now given a better than 60% chance to win the Republican nomination (and that prices in any sort of convention shenanigans that might keep it from him), Rubio just over 30%, and Cruz less than 10%.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Win blacks, win the nomination

In the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination campaign, Hillary beat Obama among whites and among Hispanics, but he crushed her among blacks and ultimately ended up as president for eight years as a consequence.

This time around Hillary is the new Obama and Bernie Sanders is the new Hillary. These Nevada entrance poll results illustrate the winning strategy she gleaned from Obama quite well:

In today's Democrat party, winning the presidential nomination requires winning blacks. They're as close to monolithic as it gets in American politics, so a Democrat who can keep it competitive among non-blacks just needs to get the black nod and victory is almost assuredly hers.

This presents an as yet unexploited opportunity for a savvy Republican pol to point out in front of a national audience. Its salience will be bad news for the party of the Coalition of the Fringes.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Trump winning in Belmont

The number of votes received from college graduates among the remaining Republican presidential candidates through South Carolina:

The number of votes received from those earning over $100,000 a year among the remaining Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire and South Carolina (Iowa's entrance polls didn't include questions about income):

Yes, Trump wins in Fishtown even more convincingly than he does in Belmont, but his appeal spans the social, educational, and income spectrums. If the Republican contests thus far had been electorally restricted to college graduates with six-figure incomes, Trump would still be winning (to Charles Murray's annoyance).

Since our presidential nominating process is more democratically expansive than that, here are the total number of votes received among the remaining Republican presidential candidates through South Carolina:

Vs Hillary 16% of Democrats would vote for Trump, 7% would vote for Cruz

We've seen that Trump cleans Hillary's clock among independents by a more than 2-to-1 margin, while against Cruz she actually holds a modest lead with them.

What about Democrat likely voters in November? Turns out Trump does better than Cruz here as well. Hillary vs Trump:

Hillary vs Cruz:

If Trump is able to beat Hillary by something like 70%-30% among independents and also steal 1-in-7 Democrats from her, his chances in the general look good. Romney split independents 50%-50% with Obama while only managing to get 1-in-11 Democrats to vote for him.

Cruz, in contrast, would need a huge Republican turnout to compensate for performing worse among independents and only as well among Democrats as Romney did when he lost to Obama in 2012.

2% chance next SCOTUS nominee will be a white male

According to the markets:

I must confess a lack of familiarity with most of the potential nominees, so I'll trust that these odds are explainable entirely by the perceived qualifications, temperament, judiciousness, etc of the jurists under presidential consideration.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Obama, Francis commit unforced errors in Trump's favor

The Confederate-flag hating blackety-black occupying the Oval Office and the head papistical muckety-muck both impugn an unapologetically white Protestant just days before a primary in the Deep South, in a state that is one of the most fervently Protestant in the country. Beautiful.

It gets better. Obama--who is notorious for jetting around on long vacations, playing lots of golf, and for not burning the midnight oil to twist arms and make political deals--questions Trump's ability to take the presidency seriously. Obama even underscores Trump's America-First appeal by contrasting it to his own:
"Whoever's standing where I'm standing right now ... is often responsible for not just the United States of America, but 20 other countries that are having big problems, or are falling apart and are gonna be looking for us to do something."
The Pope is easier still. Immediately after Francis insinuated Trump's pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexico border shows that he is not a Christian, pictures of the giant walls surrounding the Vatican began circulating all over social media:

Even cuckservatives like Rush Limbaugh, who recently endorsed Ted Cruz, had no choice but to come to Trump's defense. Re-applicants through that door, please.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trump better than Cruz against both Hillary and Bernie in general election

Reuters-Ipsos interactive online polling interface allows for users to create their own cross-tabs. It permits us to look at four hypothetical presidential match-ups among "likely general election voters", and to do so with large samples.

First, Hillary vs Trump, as of yesterday (2/16):

Hillary vs Cruz:

Trump is more competitive with Hillary than Cruz is. The televangelist vote isn't enough to carry the electoral college.

Is Trump's apparent advantage over Cruz in the general merely ascribable to the specific dynamic that a Hillary-Trump race entails?

Here's Bernie vs Trump:

Quite similar to Trump's matchup with Hillary.

Bernie vs Cruz:

Cruz really gets clobbered here.

These hypotheticals all include Bloomberg, who, though more recently a Republican than a Democrat, would probably peel off more votes from Hillary/Bernie than from Trump/Cruz.

This underscores how difficult it is for a Republican presidential candidate to win a national election in 2016. The markets currently have the Democrats at almost 2:1 favorites over the Republicans to win the presidency. Unless the GOP forces a political re-calibration modeled on the Sailer Strategy--and Trump is trying to lead them there--the Republican future looks bleak.

Parenthetically, Reuters-Ipsos doesn't have data on potential Rubio or ¡Jabe! matchups.

Since Hillary remains the favorite on the Democrat side, let's look at how Trump and Cruz fare against her among self-described political independents.


He beats Hillary by more than 2-to-1 among independents.

And Cruz:

Hillary actually beats Cruz here. Cruz's appeal is limited to self-described "very conservative" evangelicals. He doesn't do well with any other demographic group. Trump repels a portion of those inclined to vote Republican, but he also has by far the widest demographic appeal in the GOP field.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Hampshire primary an indication that Sailer Strategy is working?

New Hampshire's primary is not closed. People who are not registered with either major party are able to vote in either side's primary, but they are only allowed to vote in one or the other, not both.

In 2008, 54.6% of all New Hampshire primary votes were cast on the Democrat side, to 45.4% for the GOP. It flipped in 2016, with 46.8% of votes being cast on the Democrat side and 53.2% for the GOP.

The primaries are held on the same day so there aren't confounding issues like weather or competing events to muck up the apples-to-apples comparison, and New Hampshire is, electorally, almost exclusively white (see the Sailer Strategy).

Could this be indicative of an impending stronger showing among whites in 2016 for Republicans than in 2008 (and 2012)? Will this potential advantage accrue to any potential Republican nominee, or will it only materialize if Trump gets the nod?

Relatedly, maybe it's a reflection of which side appears to offer the greatest candidate variation. Republicans clobbered Democrats in votes received in 2000, 61.3%-38.7%, but ended up getting just 54% of non-Hispanic white support and narrowly losing the popular vote. McCain won big in New Hampshire that year but Bush ultimately won the Republican nomination.

Was the Republican nomination in 2000 seen as more of a struggle for the heart and soul of the party than the Gore-Bradley contest was? It doesn't seem difficult to make that narrative fit 2008 with Obama and Hillary, when the Democrats got more votes. In this reading, nominating someone other than Trump won't hold much promise for the GOP's chances in November.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Trump's success a repudiation of Dubya/McCain/Graham/neocon invade/invite/in debt Republicanism

Here's Dubya in October of 2000 complaining about 'racial' profiling of Arabs in US airports:

Less than a year later, 19 Arabs hijacked four commercial airliners and killed 3,000 Americans. At least one of them (and probably more)--the 'mastermind'--seemed suspicious to a ticket checker who kept him off a connecting flight to his ultimate suicide destination, but who didn't notify authorities about Atta because, well, when the emperor is telling you not to notice things, it can be career-killing for a functionary to raise about all those things he's noticing.

Trump was right to assert that Dubya did not, in fact, keep the US safe vis-a-vis 9/11:

Trump's candidacy is a referendum on a wall along the US-Mexico border. During the South Carolina debate, the success of his candidacy also became a repudiation of the Dubya/McCain/Graham/neocon Republicanism of the last two decades.

Tangentially, I still see assertions that Trump is a Clinton plant. Taking that absurdity as fact for the sake of argument, he'd still be worth supporting. He's illustrating that America-first populism is a winning formula for aspiring Republican presidential candidates. Irrespective of the ultimate outcome of his campaign, he's blazing the trail. Those following behind him will face less resistance than he has as a consequence.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Trump understands civilizational incompatibilities

In less than two minutes, Trump illustrates why his phenomenon is the most exciting, consequential political development of my lifetime:

We'll have national sovereignty. To the neocons and the cuckservatives who have a problem with it, go tell Netanyahu how awful he is, then get back to me.

Merkel has destroyed Germany.

Native Swedes resorting to vigilante justice to defend a homeland their ruling classes won't? No supercilious rebuke from me. To the contrary, I sympathize with them as they fight back.

Miscreant protester screeching about Hate!--"get him the hell out of here".

His instincts--remember, he's speaking extemporaneously here--are golden.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Charles Murray on Trump's rational appeal

Charles Murray has been a sympathetic target of some vicious ad hominem attacks over the years, so when he began unloading a series of ad hominem attacks on Trump last Fall, several people on the AltRight were understandably nonplussed. Attempting to get to the root of the seemingly visceral animus, I finally got this out of the scholar:

Collecting data? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, as he does allude to it in the article referred to below. It's not like Establishment disdain, especially when so utterly devoid of substance, is detrimental to Trump's chances anyhow. With said disdain, Murray is in good company.

The Republican party forfeited time rebutting Obama in its state of the union response--an opportunity for the party to reach a wider audience than just about any other time over the course of the previous year--to attack its own frontrunner (and by extension, a plurality of its electorate). The next day, Nikki Haley, feeling the electorate's heat, was walking her insults as Trump had a field day owning them.

National Review blew its load attacking him. Crickets chirped.

A couple of days ago, Rush Limbaugh endorsed Cruz over Trump. The day Limbaugh said this, Trump's national support among Republicans was at 36%. Today, it's registering at 40%.

Nobody gives a shit what these self-important gatekeepers think anymore. To the extent they do pay the sentries any mind, it's largely for the purposes of refutation and ridicule. The walls are crumbling all around them, and people are pouring in over the rubble as those newly exposed gatekeepers hug up against those now irrelevant gates. When one of them foolishly steps out to skirmish with someone rushing past, he often gets torn limb-from-limb in the ensuing bloodbath (read through the responses and enjoy some schadenfreude).

Getting back to Murray, he has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the Trump phenomenon. The gist is that Trump is a predictable, rational Fishtown response to the effects globalization and mass immigration are having on working-class Americans. That's fine as far as it goes, but he's deluding his readership by implying that Trump is just being carried along by the uneducated, resentful poor. To the contrary, as Z explains:
One of the things I have been looking at in the polling data is the fact Trump seems to have a steady vote share across demographics, excluding race. Despite all the blather from the Conservative Industrial Complex about Trump relying on low-skill angry losers, he polls well with the college educated and he does well with higher income earners. In the GOP field, Trump is the most broad based candidate running.
We've looked at this before, but to see what is directly in front of our noses requires constant vigilance, so let's take a look at support among Republicans in Reuters-Ipsos most recent five-day national tracking poll, first by educational attainment and then by income. Among those without a college degree:

Indeed, Trump dominates among the less educated. And among those with at least a four-year college degree:

Oh, he still has more than twice as much support among college-educated Republicans as the next guy does. In Charles Murray's defense, I'm sure Andy Reid would be livid if the Chiefs only won against the Broncos 34-16 in their second meeting of the season after beating them 42-19 in their first match up!

Maybe it's the well-educated but monetarily unsuccessful who are powering the Trump train. Support among Republicans earning less than $50,000 a year:

He has nearly half of them to himself. Too bad his support among Republicans earning at least six-figures is so underwhelming!:

Trump's base of support is broad. Cruz's support base is actually a better example of what Murray describes Trump's support base as than, uh, Trump's actual support base is.

Okay, but that's just polling. What really matters is how people vote. Let's look at how Trump did among college-educated granite staters:

He won handily. And among wealthy New Hampshire voters:

Oh dear!

Well, Murray's still right about the genetic influence on cognitive abilities, so there's that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Robert Costa, another clueless cuck

Trump did even better among voters concerned primarily by the issues than by things like perceived leadership, personal qualities, celebrity status, etc.

The celebrity trope is a red herring. It's the immigration, the reluctance to start World War III, and the disregard for PC shibboleths that have propelled Trump to the top.

Trump Train

The total number of votes formally cast and tabulated thus far in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination process, by candidate:

The latest results from Reuters-Ipsos rolling five-day national tracking poll among Republicans:

The latest market odds for who is going to win the Republican nomination:

Looks like the manufactured narrative following Iowa that the Trump phenomenon was little more than over-hyped celebrity curiosity was mendacious agitprop. The professional prognosticators got it wrong yet again.

We clearly have a front runner here, one who has earned that designation in the face of relentless opposition not only from the Establishment in general, but from his own party in particular. And while the rest of the field has blown hundreds of millions of dollars to sit in his shadow, he's spent peanuts towering over the lot of them. He's out in front and he has the most left in the tank. The race is his to lose.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Why Rand Paul supporters should vote for Trump

Long before the Trump phenomenon came into being, Rand Paul was getting grilled by the Republican establishment for not declaring Vladimir Putin global enemy #1, and by extension, not insinuating that Russia--a natural ally in the real third world war--should inherently be viewed antagonistically:
“Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea.”

It is not the only time Paul has come running to the defense of a despot. Paul defended Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the grounds that he is good for Christians.

His comments come at the moment Vladimir Putin is putting his troops on alert on the Ukraine-Russia border and after months of effort to prevent Russian bullying of Ukraine. The “tweaking” of Russia is consistent with 22 years of American foreign policy. Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute reacted via e-mail: “What a sad day for America when a prominent senator believes that standing for freedom and justice should be labeled 'tweaking.'”
With Rand out of contention, Trump is now the least hawkish of member of the Republican field. Here he is responding to similar castigation from neocon outfits like National Review for not eagerly desiring to humiliate Russia, preferring instead for the US to work amiably with the bear on behalf of Western civilization:

Compare this to NR's Russian approach, which is mostly indistinguishable from the rest of the Republican field:
A new Russia strategy must be the projection of military strength in Europe: establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltic region, expanding joint training exercises with military allies in Eastern Europe, and providing arms to help the Ukrainian government resist the Russian invasion. Alongside this approach should be a robust reiteration of America’s commitment to NATO’s Article 5.
Article 5 is the one about collective defence, where an attack on one member is to be treated as an attack on all members. If Russia does something one of it's neighbors like Estonia doesn't approve of, the Russians must be prepared for US military retaliation!

What National Review really wants is for Ukraine to became a full-fledged NATO member so that, instead of acting collectively to thwart the invasion of the Global South into the Global North, we can focus instead on killing hundreds of thousands of Russians. After all, they're too intolerant of homosexuality (for white people), so they deserve what's coming to them.

Cruz, the least bad of the remaining non-Trumpian bunch, at least pays lip-service to averting civilizational internecine military conflict before launching into how the US should use everything short of military action to bend Russia to its will regarding the country's interactions with its neighbors:

And here's Rubio, giving his full-throated support to militarily arming Russia's neighbors free of charge:

Beyond his aversion to rekindling the Cold War, the establishment forces opposing Trump at every turn are the same ones who did all they could to destroy Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, to say nothing of destroying his impeccable character. This is why guys like Lew Rockwell, who has almost nothing in common with Trump, tacitly want him to win the nomination.

The Republican party, as currently constituted, needs to burn to the ground so that out of the ashes may rise Trumpian populism and Paulian libertarianism, among many other strands of dissident rightism, to occupy space that the neocons have monopolized and zealously guarded for the last couple of decades.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Election alert voter violation

Sending messages out about an alleged but unsubstantiated last minute dropout to 1,000 or so precinct captains for them to have incorporated into caucus location speeches prior to voting is slimy and evinces a lack of integrity.

For one, it'd be absurd to drop out the day of a caucus or primary. Instead, people drop out the following day because that caucus or primary is the last one on a candidate's record and, irrespective of what his next move is, it's always better for him if the numbers in that showing are higher rather than lower. Secondly, these are putative rock-ribbed Fox News-loving Republicans who are interpreting an insinuation from CNN as gospel truth?

But this "election alert voter violation" mailer takes the sleaze to another level:

It's impossible to spin away as anything other than a blatant attempt at coercing--through deception and perceived duress--low-information voters into showing up at caucus locations, many of whom presumably knew little about the caucus they'd shown up to participate in.

In a primary, this would be a questionable tactic from a strictly results-oriented perspective, since the people flushed out to the polls in this manner would just end up clueless in front of a list of names on a screen, but the Iowa caucuses are public. People make pitches for the candidates they're supporting, and campaign volunteers are crawling all over the place.

Ted Cruz, having campaigned for years in the state, had the most expansive ground game and the widest amount of personal contact with caucus participants of anyone in the GOP field. His people were everywhere, and they presumably all knew about these mailers. It's conceivable that they were on the lookout for people unsure of what they needed to do to make right this "voter violation" before "a follow-up notice" was "issued following Monday's caucuses" to them.

Unlike the shifty Carson play, Cruz didn't grovel on the mailer:
Cruz, however, was defiant to reporters when asked about the mailer in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday night.

"I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote," he said.
Keep your eye on the prize, (t)Eddie Cruz!

Parenthetically, as Heartiste pointed out, the results head-scratcher comes not from Cruz's performance, but from Rubio's. The polling averages were actually quite accurate across the board--off by a couple of percentage points here and there--except for Trump and Rubio. Trump's polling numbers putatively turned out to be over-hyped by over 4 points while Rubio's were more than 6 points worse than his caucus-day performance.

The narrative of fence-sitting Trump supporters switching to Rubio at the last minute is almost inconceivable, so why were the data so off the mark when it came to these two while managing to get it just about right on everybody else?

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Mother knows best

From a Pew report entitled "Parenting in America":

In this case, (educated white) mother knows best.

NAMs are more likely to attribute their children's outcomes to the specifics of their parental approaches than whites are. That's a recipe for perpetual frustration and heartache. Beyond making sure basic needs are met, a parent's two most important jobs are in choosing the other half of the genetic equation and ensuring the child gets in with a desirable peer group. (In fairness, for single-parent NAMs just getting these fundamentals nailed down is often a challenge. Coming up short is a real problem that may lead some to, understandably, attribute their children's shortcomings to their failures in this regard).

That's it. Everything else is qualitative, subjective stuff. Enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Cuck yeah!

Jack Cashill, a fantastic investigative journalist who has turned up a lot of big stories that would've otherwise gone unnoticed, is my favorite cuckservative. But a cuckservative he is:

Because liberals are the real racists.

One upshot of this trend is that a higher percentage of white Americans will be able to run for office in the future and they will be pitching themselves to progressively larger electorates! On the other hand, non-whites won't have anyone to vote for them!