Thursday, March 31, 2016

Will Trump benefit from the fact that 75% of conservative white women think abortion should be legally restricted?

It's not obvious to me that Trump's abortion comments will hurt him, particularly in the upcoming Republican primaries. From the GSS, the percentages of men and women, by political orientation, who do not think it should be "possible for a pregnant woman to obtain an abortion" without restriction. For contemporary relevance and to avoid racial confounding, only white responses from 2008 onward are included (n = 3,941):

No abortionMenWomen
Liberal34.0%31.1%
Moderate55.4%56.6%
Conservative68.2%74.5%

Liberal women are more pro-choice than liberal men, while conservative women are more pro-life than conservative men.

If abortion were illegal then presumably three-fourths of conservative white women would want some sort of consequence to be attached to illegally obtaining one. In head-to-head polling, Trump crushes Cruz among conservative men but just narrowly edges him out among conservative women. How do conservative ladies respond to the shrill "war on women" rhetoric? We may soon find out.

It's not clear that the nuance required to reach the seemingly unavoidable logical conclusion that if abortion is illegal then it follows that necessity demands a legal consequence for obtaining one to be in place will be appreciated in the face of context-free headlines that read "Donald Trump: There has to be some form of punishment [for abortion]".

Irrespective of the immediate electoral consequences, the sunlight this exposes on masturbatory values conservatism is worth its weight in gold. The pro-life organizations and their apologists that maintain both that abortion is murder and that a woman who elects to have an abortion shouldn't be punished for it are experiencing an unexpectedly large amount of push back.

Check out the comments to Ben Shapiro's critical article on Trump's remarks. Scrolling through them, a few things immediately jump out. While the commenters are at pains to point out that they like Shapiro and dislike Trump, they are in nearly unanimous disagreement with Shapiro on the subject itself. This is a friendly crowd that thinks Shapiro is dead wrong.

Parenthetically, the objection that abortionists should be punished instead of the women soliciting their services is unconvincing. If the priors are that a fetus is a human life, how is the relationship between a woman seeking an abortion and the abortionist she employs any different from the relationship between a woman seeking an executioner to off her infant and the executioner she employs?

If a doctor doesn't provide the service is it okay for her to initiate it on her own? If so, then the distinction between punishing the doctor and punishing the woman isn't merely semantic, it actually endangers women who would presumably be free to attempt to abort on their own but not to do so with the help of a physician.

Trump's biggest mistake may turn out to be trying to walk his comments back. His instincts are good. He should trust them.

GSS variables used: ABANY, SEX, YEAR(2008-2014), RACECEN1(1), POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trump's accidental abortion commentary highlights the political impotence of the pro-life movement

Trump, the ultimate conversation starter, adds a couple more stories to the the yuge Overton Window he's building:



As the exchange makes clear, the logical progression that follows from a legal restriction on abortion isn't something he's given much thought to until now. Trump isn't naturally oriented towards the Culture War stuff. But his instinctive position, existing inside the parameters of the 21st century Western world, seems like the only one that doesn't make a mockery of itself.

If abortion is tantamount to--or, more precisely, is--murder, why would pro-lifers (outside of an 'extreme' 10th amendment aversion to federal laws prohibiting homicide) support anything less than incarceration for those who undergo the procedure?

Kasich and Cruz, both of whose priors are that a fetus is as much a human being as a toddler or a teenager are, lost no time haughtily dismissing Trump's response to the Matthews' question.

Kasich, after the standard exceptions-for-rape-and-incest qualifier, agreed with the characterization that abortion should otherwise be outlawed while simultaneously insisting that women shouldn't be punished for having them.

Cruz wrote the following in response:
On the important issue of the sanctity of life, what’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child; it’s also about the mother — and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life.

Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world.
When I employ the phrase "masturbatory values conservatism", this is exactly what I'm talking about. These reactions are as substantively devoid as they come. Granting that abortion is murder, which, when pressed, is what both Kasich and Cruz say they believe to be the case, how then is permitting a woman to have the procedure anything other than acquiescing to homicide?

If they don't believe there should be any legal repercussions for having an abortion, isn't their putative opposition to Roe v Wade--an opposition that is shared by nearly every congress critter with an R next to his name during election season--revealed to be totally hollow? What would an overturning of the ruling mean, then, in practice? Parenthetically, saying that it would return to the issue to the states doesn't ultimately answer the question, it just poses it on a smaller geographical scale.

Tangentially, my view is that abortion is the termination of a human life, but that not all life is of equal value, either objectively or subjectively. Who? Whom? looms large.

Objectively, terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester is less repulsive than doing so in the third trimester. Euthanizing an infant is less repulsive than euthanizing a twenty year-old, while euthanizing an octogenarian is less repulsive than destroying either of the fetuses, the baby, or the young adult. Subjectively, I care about abortion in Uganda about as much as I care about civil war in the Congo. Abortion inside my Dunbar Number, in contrast, is abhorrent, and in the case of my wife, unthinkable.

Dollars spent per vote received in 2016 presidential nominating cycle

Total ad spending (combined by candidate and PACs supporting that candidate) per vote received in primaries and caucuses among the remaining presidential candidates through the end of March:


Trump's doing the most with the least and the socialist is doing the least with the most. Fitting.

If we consider those no longer actively campaigning, though, we see that Bernie is a penny-pinching miser compared to the most profligate presidential aspirant of the election cycle. ¡Jabe! and his allied PACs spent a staggering $849.72 for each vote he picked up in the first three states. ¡Jabe!'s votes were orders of magnitude more expensive than even Bernie's have been.

Put in an even more humiliating way, ¡Jabe! spent 37,765% more for each vote he received than Trump has.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Female college students prefer "feminist" political label over the rest

Reuters-Ipsos conducted month-long poll asking respondents to choose one label from a list of twelve that most accurately described how they identified themselves. The breakdown, nationally (n = 9,124):

Label%Total
Democrat25.4
Conservative22.5
Republican16.7
Liberal11.2
Environmentalist6.5
Feminist5.0
Libertarian4.3
Socialist3.7
Nationalist2.1
Anarchist1.1
Populist0.9
Communist0.5

A few remarks:

- "Conservative" is preferred by more people than "Republican" while "Democrat" is more than twice as popular as "Liberal". I remember Alan Colmes complaining about the toxicity of the descriptor "liberal" when I used to watch cable news over a decade ago. Looks like the label has never been rehabilitated. Those on the mainstream right, meanwhile, still stinging from the neocon Republicanism of the Bush years, prefer the less partisan and more ideological choice as a way of evincing their purity.

- Regarding communism:


- That more than 1-in-25 consider themselves to be "Libertarian" suggests that there are about 10 million adults who identify thus. That's higher than I would've expected, and probably higher than has been the case at any previous point in the last few decades (or, perhaps, ever).

And some additional remarks from playing around with the various cross-tabs:

- Speaking of libertarians, some 15% of white men earning over $150,000 per year (the highest income category available) self-describe as such. In contrast, a whopping 0.6% of Hispanics identify as "Libertarian". A white Republican advocating open borders is politically self-defeating. A white Libertarian doing so is politically suicidal.

- 87.9% of those aged 65 or older (n = 1,953) predominately identify as "Conservative", "Liberal", "Republican", or "Democrat", compared to just 59.7% of those under the age of 30 (n = 1,965) selecting one of the big four. The traditional blanket labels are increasingly being spurned for more focused descriptors. In an atomizing Western world, (superficial) differentiation is relentless. Shared presuppositions are fast becoming a relic of the past.

- Only 0.9% of men consider themselves feminists first and foremost. If that figure (pleasantly) surprises you, it did me as well. There is resistance to the Gelding yet.

- Still, eternal vigilance is recommended. Feminism isn't a moribund 'movement'. It is, in fact, the top choice among female college students (n = 385):

Label%ColFs
Feminist21.4
Democrat19.0
Liberal10.4
Environmentalist10.1
Republican9.7
Conservative8.1
Socialist6.2
Libertarian4.0
Anarchist2.6
Populist1.7
Nationalist1.1
Communist0.3

Rounding out the top four among the nation's nubile flowers are "Democrat", "Liberal", and "Environmentalist". Learn Game and tame these termagants. Civilization depends on it.

- The buggers are even worse. Among those who are gay/lesbian/bisexual/other, three-fourths choose from "Democrat", "Liberal", "Feminist", "Environmentalist", and "Socialist" (n = 818):

Label%Gays
Democrat26.6
Liberal16.6
Feminist14.0
Environmentalist9.5
Socialist8.1
Conservative7.5
Republican6.3
Libertarian3.9
Anarchist2.3
Nationalist2.0
Populist1.8
Communist1.4

- And blacks, reliably monolithic as they are, comprise the only group I came across where a single label earned an outright majority (n = 703):

Label%Blacks
Democrat55.6
Liberal11.5
Conservative8.6
Republican5.0
Environmentalist4.5
Socialist4.1
Feminist3.0
Libertarian2.6
Nationalist1.7
Populist1.6
Anarchist1.1
Communist0.6


Rule changes will have to be made for anyone other than Trump or Cruz to get GOP nomination

From an article on the potential for a brokered convention:
Henry Barbour, a Rules Committee member from Mississippi, stressed there is nothing exceptional, let alone unfair, about following the party's procedure for a primary that ends without a candidate clinching the nomination.

"The rules are plain: You have to get a majority of the delegates," he said, noting that if no candidate wins them before the convention, "we have a process in place and the delegates vote."
This those-are-the-rules-I-didn't-make-them approach isn't just disingenuous, it's blatantly false. The rules committee meets as the convention commences to determine what the rules of that convention are going to be. The rules were rewritten in 2012 to keep Ron Paul off the ballot and they will almost certainly have to be revised again this year to get anyone other than Trump and Cruz on the ballot this time around. Rule 40, from the 2012 iteration of convention procedures, reads:
Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination [my emphasis]. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these rules or any rule of the House of Representatives, to demonstrate the support required of this paragraph a certificate evidencing the affirmative written support of the required number of permanently seated delegates from each of the eight (8) or more states shall have been submitted to the secretary of the convention not later than one (1) hour prior to the placing of the names of candidates for nomination pursuant to this rule and the established order of business.
Unless Kasich manages to get a majority of delegates in seven of the seventeen remaining states, which is exceedingly unlikely even if Cruz drops out, he won't be on the delegate ballot, nor will any of the other candidates who've already dropped out previously. The only two names will be Trump and Cruz.

In this two-man scenario, where Trump leads Cruz in both pledged delegates and primary/caucus votes received, the fallout from choosing Cruz in the second round, when delegates pledged to other candidates are free to vote for whoever they want to, would be enormous. Protestations about a "compromise candidate" wouldn't even enjoy the veneer of legitimacy. The party would simply be passing over the winner to hand the nomination to the runner up. It'd be the most blatant, indefensible snubbing imaginable, and Trump would be justified in bringing the whole corrupt temple crumbling to the ground in response.

To pull off the "compromise candidate"--someone other than Trump or Cruz--shenanigans, the rules would have to be changed prior to the vote to lower the requirements for inclusion on the delegate ballot. They'd have to be altered substantially to allow those who haven't even campaigned but whose names have been thrown around, like Romney or Paul Ryan, to serve as potential step-ins.

But if the rules are changed to allow for that, there's no compelling reason why they shouldn't be changed in other ways to protect outcomes that adequately address the intentions of primary and caucus electorates, say by compelling, in the case of no one receiving a majority of the pledged delegates, the presidential candidate with the most pledged delegates to be named the presidential nominee and the presidential candidate with the second most pledged delegates to be named the vice presidential nominee (alas, the the last embers are finally about to extinguish).

In other words, this whole "our hands are tied" explanation is complete and utter bullshit. The party can rewrite the rules however it wants to. At present none of these procedures are set in stone.

If Trump goes in with the most delegates and the most votes but gets cut out of the nomination, it will be because the GOPe decided to make it so on the first day of the convention. That's when the rules committee decides what the procedures for selecting the nominee are going to be. If that happens, I will certainly vote straight Democrat at the congressional and presidential levels in November and will be vociferously urging everyone in my networks to do the same.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NumbersUSA scorecards for congressional endorsements of Republican presidential candidates

Using NumbersUSA's immigration scorecard grading system and 538's primary endorsement methodology where senatorial endorsements are worth five times what house endorsements are worth, and also discounting endorsements from current congress critters who originally endorsed a a top candidate (as a Trumpian this pains me because I'd love to throw Lindsey Graham's cuckservative performance into Cruz's average but it would be misleading to do so) the mean NumbersUSA scorecard values on a scale from 0% (total open borders) to 100% (unapologetic restrictionism) for Trump's and Cruz's congressional endorsements are 87.5% and 86.6%, respectively.

Trump has the marginal advantage. Both are above not just the congressional average but the Republican average as well. In contrast, Kasich's endorsers collectively earn an unimpressive 71.9%.

Given that a year ago the punditry class was predicting something like Rubio vs ¡Jabe! at this point in the nomination process, this is something for restrictionists to be pleased about.

Here's to the speech that launched 1,000 busloads back to Mexico.

Ted Cruz goes full cuckservative

; or why the left fears and loathes Trump but isn't threatened by Ted:



Friday, March 18, 2016

Why the left hates Trump

They've always preferred ¡Jabe! 
Why is Trump getting so deeply under the left's skin while True Conservative Republicans like Cruz and Kasich barely register?

The answer is complex, but allow me to take a stab at the heart of it.

Kasich and Cruz, like the rest of Conservative, Inc, are propositionalists. They believe that with the correct incentives in place, the correct laws enforced, and the best military on the planet, America prospers. America doesn't need to become great again because it has always been and always will be great.

We have magic dirt. As long as they're in awe of its power, we want as many people as possible to be able to hold that dirt in their hands and let its powers flow through them. We'll even bring the dirt to those who don't have it. Not the fake dirt that Obama and Hillary brought to Libya (and that Dubya accidentally packed on his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan), mind you. No, no, this time we will bring them the real stuff!

The US is great because we're a nation of immigrants who love freedom and democracy.

The left isn't threatened by this nonsense. They know time is on their side, and while they still have to battle it out with the Cruzes and Kasichs of the world for electoral power now, with each passing day the ground shifts in their favor. This Conservative, Inc propositionalism has an expiration date.

Trump--even though he checks off fewer of the Conservative, Inc. boxes that the left allegedly hates (boo IRS, reform Medicare, etc) than other Republican candidates do--understands at least subconsciously that it's not the dirt that matters, it's the people standing on that dirt that do.

"Make America Great Again" doesn't take American exceptionalism as a given. To the contrary, we have to kick out the scofflaws from Mexico and the Middle East who are here and make sure those who are allowed to come stand on our dirt in the future are worth having around. He talks about how "walls work (ask Israel)", about "good genes", "great people", how "Merkel has destroyed Germany", how "Paris doesn't look like Paris anymore". He even employs a metaphor about poisonous snakes left out in the cold to describe the Syrian et al invaders refugees:



He parades his numerous, well-bred progeny around every chance he gets. It's the people, and the genetic makeup of those people, that make the country what it is. 

The US is great because we're comprised of northwestern Europeans (and a manageable minority of mulattoes) inhabiting an expansive, resource-rich plot of land with no serious neighborly competitors and a vast ocean that has insulated us from the civil wars that crippled the rest of the Western world. The dirt is just decoration. 

The left correctly views this as a mortal threat to its objectives.

In short, Kasich, Cruz, and all the other Conservative, Inc marionettes who campaign on masturbatory values are merely trying to turn the radio station to music the left doesn't like as the car heads towards the left's promised land.

Trump, in contrast, notices that someone else has wormed his way into the driver's seat. He's going to throw that guy out onto the highway and get the old chauffeur out of the trunk so he can get back in driver's seat and turn the car around. Hell, he'll get behind the wheel himself if that's what it takes.

If the left wants to pick the radio station through the next commercial break to seal the deal, fine. That's a deal he's happy to make.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

The feminine Donald Trump

Steve Sailer recently commented on a story about an analysis of how feminine or masculine the various presidential candidates sound based on their speeches and debate performances.

Strictly from verbiage, Trump is deemed the second-most feminine after Hillary Clinton. When non-verbal communication is added into the mix, he is deemed the most feminine. Cruz, in contrast, is assessed to be the most masculine.

The following table shows what percentages of Trump's and Cruz's voters were men in each of the five states that voted on Tuesday (the residual percentage coming from female voters):
The most feminine candidate of all

% support from menFLILMONCOH
Trump56.555.153.754.454.9
Cruz48.649.247.648.746.2

The feminine Trump gets a majority of his votes in every state from men. The masculine Cruz gets a majority of his votes in every state from women.

Useful analysis!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trump continues to win among educated, affluent

Gavin Bledsoe via Twitter:


Sigh. Here we go again.

Results from tonight (with 99% of votes in), first among college graduates:


And then among those earning at least six-figures:


And from Reuters-Ipsos' most recent national daily tracking poll among Republican college graduates earning at least $100,000 per year:



Missouri exit polling misses the mark

Yes, exit polling is subject to margins of error just as opinion polling is. But this is a "teachable moment" for understanding why the polls showing Trump performing worse against Hillary than the other Republican candidates should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. From the same exit poll and same pool of 1,363 respondents:


We get, according to the way the results were calibrated, adjusted, and extrapolated based on presumed voter profiles, within the same exit poll two separate breakdowns contradicting one another vis a vis the overall outcome.

Trump is shown leading by five points among men, who make an assumed slight majority of the Republican electorate. Conversely, Cruz is shown leading by five points among women, who comprise slightly fewer than half of the total. This suggests a Trump victory.

Yet when we look at income, it appears as though Cruz unequivocally won the state as a whole since he beat Trump by four points among those earning under $50k/year and by two points among those earning more than $50k/year.

Oops.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

KC Trump rally

They prefer ¡Jabe! 
The KC Trump rally was an experience. The motley band of societal misfits comprising the protesters was a sight to behold. A smattering of illegals waving Mexican flags, Arab 'refugees' waving Iraqi flags, stencil-necked omega males with neckbeards and double-digit T-counts, physically repulsive feminists who would lose a beauty contest with a pillow every time, and lots of feral Black Lives Matter thugs. Drains on society almost to a person.

Lethargic in the sunlight, the miscreants
became aggressive at night
They wasted half an hour of several thousand peoples' time screaming semi-literate slogans while sporting a mix of improvised and professional protest signs (I assume many of them are on the MoveOn.org payroll in some capacity).

To the extent that they expressed a presidential preference, it was for Sanders virtually across the board. I have little doubt that if they could get away with it, they would've gladly sent every rally attendee to the gulag. These are not nice people, and Trump should absolutely prosecute every one of them inside the venue for disturbing the peace.

Plus: Cuck/cuckservative
has entered the vernacular
It's disgusting to see Rubio go after Trump on this, as though he is the cause of this savagery rather than merely a focal point of what is and has been there, and continues to grow. Cruz jumped on at first, but appears to have dropped it today. Perhaps the torrent of negative reaction he's weathered has changed his political calculations heart!

Whatever your opinion of Trump, if you tend to vote for people with Rs next to their names, your sympathies would be with he and his supporters if you'd attended, that I can tell you.

This is a Silent Majority redux.

In case you'd forgotten, Trump gets the National Question at a visceral level. It's not the so-called refugees' behavior that is the problem, it's the refugees who are the problem, period:



Friday, March 11, 2016

Moribund marriage and leaning leftward

Heartiste on single women pushing America to the left:
The real reason single women — pre-marriage and post-divorce — more strongly support the Shitlib Party is because they are biologically compelled to seek a male provider and his resources when they are mate-less. If no dependable or asset-rich man is available, then single and divorced women, and especially single moms with future juvenile delinquent and roadside stripper mouths to feed, will seek resources from the best available alternative: Big Daddy Government.
I wondered if that has become increasingly true over the last couple of generations as the perpetual accretion of the welfare state continues unabated. Has the Marriage Gap widened over time?

The GSS provides an avenue to pursue the answer to that question with data going back to the mid-seventies through to the present. The following graph shows the mean political orientation of married and unmarried (defined as separated, divorced, or never married--widows are excluded from the analysis) white women from 1975 through 2014. Political orientation is on a 7-point scale, the lower the value the more liberal the orientation, with 4 as "moderate":


That white women both married and unmarried have become marginally more conservative is of little comfort in a country that is becoming less white by the day.

If we smooth out the year-to-year fluctuations among the unmarried, we see that the political orientation gap has widened only very modestly over the last four decades.

That, of course, doesn't undercut Heartiste's point. To the contrary, it underscores it. While on average married white women remain conservative and unmarried white women liberal, the former is a dying breed while the latter is in the ascent. In consequence, the American female ratchet keeps moving to the left.

The percentage of white women surveyed in the GSS who were married and the percentage who were separated, divorced, or never married, by year:


Forty years ago for every unmarried adult white woman there were four married adult white women. Now there are fewer than two married women for each unmarried one. At the rate things are going, in another generation or two marriage will be the exception rather than the rule.

When women marry the state instead of the fathers of their children, civilization suffers.

GSS variables used: SEX(2), YEAR, RACE(1), POLVIEWS, MARITAL(1)(3-5)

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Trump beating Cruz among Republicans in addition to independents

Most of the primaries and caucuses that have taken place so far on the Republican side have not been closed. In these contests, independents and in some cases Democrats are allowed to vote for a GOP candidate. Pointing this out, a friend who supports Cruz argued that Trump is only leading in total votes received because of his advantage among non-Republican voters.

Not true. Using exit polling data for the non-closed contests and overall vote counts for the closed contests, the total votes received by registered Republicans for first and second place:

Trump -- 3,049,777
Cruz -- 2,598,055

Trump has earned 117% as many Republican votes as Cruz has. Put in another way, among Republicans who've voted for one of the top two, Trump beats Cruz, 54%-46%. Trump's lead over Cruz isn't as wide as it is among independents, but a lead it most certainly is.

Keep in mind, too, that Cruz has had several home games early in the season. After Ohio and Florida, Trump will extend that advantage substantially as it appears unlikely that Cruz, who can't get much traction east of the Mississippi (Maine, where less than 2% of the adult population voted in the Republican caucus, was decided by zeal, not quantity) will be near Trump in either of these large states.

I didn't run the numbers for Rubio and Kasich because sifting through the figures are tedious and these third-tier guys aren't even close to Trump or Cruz in votes received, Republican or otherwise.

Speaking of otherwise, total votes received in the primaries and caucuses among the four remaining GOP contenders:



Sunday, March 06, 2016

Trump's strong support among current and former military

A guest on Tom Woods' podcast, who worked in intelligence in the state department leading up to and during the Iraq war, mentioned she didn't think Trump's comments in South Carolina about Bush lying hurt him. To the contrary, she said that while current and former military show strong, patriotic faces in public, there is a lot of regret and resentment behind closed doors in families where soldiers were sent off to be permanently damaged or die on a fool's errand.

The data seems to validate her assertion. In eight states were exit polling has been conducted, Trump has done better with current and former military than he has done with civilians in all but one of them. His support in each state among those who are current or former military and those who aren't:

Military?YesNo
Alabama53%40%
Arkansas39%33%
Georgia45%39%
Oklahoma39%26%
South Carolina35%31%
Tennessee39%41%
Vermont35%32%
Virginia42%34%

Trump is the least bellicose of the remaining Republican presidential candidates, especially towards other states--to my knowledge he hasn't even hinted at military action against any other country, only the obligatory pledge to destroy ISIS--and veteran affairs make a fairly regular appearance in his stump speeches.

Turns out America's warriors aren't gunning for a guy like Kasich to send them against Russia if the bear does something the US government deems unacceptable to Finland. Good for them.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

March 5

It was undeniably a good night for Cruz, who earned more delegates than Trump. Trump did, however, narrowly edge Cruz out on the actual number of votes received today:

Trump -- 230,443
Cruz -- 230,209
Rubio -- 85,064
Kasich -- 62,554

Little Marco was the big loser. He wasn't merely uncompetitive in all four states, he couldn't even manage second anywhere and finished last in Maine. Florida should be in the bag for Trump. If it's not, a brokered convention becomes probable. The markets now have Kasich's chances at the nomination better than Rubio's.

Trump continues to perform below polling projections nearly everywhere. Ohio could be slipping out of Trump's grasp, and he may be in trouble in Michigan, too. Kasich could conceivably win both of them.

The good news for Trumpians is that it's Cruz rather than Rubio or Kasich firmly ensconced in second place. A lot of the theocratic states have come and gone. The more secular contests (and the remaining heavily Scots-Irish religious states where Trump has bested him so far) will be tougher for Cruz, even if he continues to outperform his polling numbers.

Trump and Cruz have both hinted that they will not accept a brokered outcome that cuts the winner (ie whoever has garnered the plurality of votes) out of the nomination. It's looking like between the two of them, with winner-take-all states fast becoming the norm, they'll control upwards of four-fifths of the assigned delegates when the primary season wraps up.

A Trump-Cruz ticket may not yet be totally out of the question, improbable as that seems based on their (public) mutual hostility for one another. If they go into the convention understanding they're both about to be cut out, they might strike a deal and announce it before the palace eunuchs are able to put their backroom scheming into action.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

How moderates voted on Super Tuesday

Using official results and exit polling data for the nine states* that held their primaries yesterday, the distribution of self-identified ideologically moderate voters among the top three GOP candidates:


Moderates made up one-in-five (19.7%) voters across these nine states.

Compare this to candidate shares of total votes received among the four still in the race and Ben Carson going back to Iowa, where Trump's lead, while comfortable, isn't dominant:


Trump appeals far more to moderates than the rest of the Republican field does. He and Cruz are almost even among voters who identify as conservative. Rubio gets crushed by both Trump and Cruz among conservatives, but has almost twice the moderate support that Cruz enjoys (while Trump has nearly three times Cruz's moderate support).

Trump has the widest ideological appeal on the Republican side. Trump, the moderate extremist! Or is it the extremist moderate? Anyway, count this as another data point lending credence to Scott Adams' prediction of a Trump landslide in November. To the extent that the Trump-can't-beat-Hillary claim has any merit, it's largely attributable to the GOPe stabbing him in the back at every opportunity.

Hypothetical general election polls are unreliable at this point because they presuppose an electoral profile similar to that of recent presidential elections. Consequently, they are substantially undercounting the impending upsurge of working-class whites who will turn out if Trump is the Republican nominee (and they'll vote overwhelmingly for him when they do).

Parenthetically, we hear of a contested convention if Trump doesn't win 51% of the votes in the primaries and caucuses. The good news for Trumpians is that this oft-repeated assertion is incorrect. Trump can quite easily hit the 1,237 delegates needed to win with a mere plurality of total votes cast. His current 35% will probably be enough if Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich stay in for the duration. With Texas having already gone, Cruz may well have hit his high water mark. Trump, in contrast, has two delegate-rich home games coming up in Florida and New York. These states are both winner-take-all, as are all states whose votes are at least two weeks out from today:
States voting on March 15, 2016, or later will award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis, meaning candidates will likely pay more attention to them.

The party believes that the new system of awarding delegates will prevent the front-loading of primaries early in the season, and offers states an incentive to hold theirs in the spring and summer instead of trying to leapfrog each other for influence and attention.
Don't mock Minnesota's nice cuckservatives. They've given Rubio a pretense for hanging around longer and his recent rhetoric suggests he wants to stick it out to the bitter end. He should!

Finally, consider Kasich's potentially VP position. For the last several weeks he and Trump have been hands-off one another, a drastic change from the barbs they threw back and forth in the earlier debates. Kasich has taken his can't-we-all-just-get-along chanting to an almost absurd level--the perfect complement to the Trump-as-a-loose-cannon caricature. The GOPe could reluctantly resign itself to a Trump-Kasich ticket. The markets continue to see that as a distinct possibility. Kasich is currently an odds-on favorite for VP on the Republican side.

* Exit polling wasn't conducted for the Alaska and Minnesota caucuses. Their contributions to the night's total vote counts are negligible, however, together comprising just 1.6% of the ballots cast across the eleven states where voting took place on 'super' Tuesday.