U.S. Republican Primary

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Diadem
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Diadem » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:48 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:More seriously, I actually had trouble finding any data on what the leading causes of death actually are in the Netherlands, just to prove it wrong with facts instead of "that's obviously bullshit". Since I can't speak Dutch, the best I found was this, which gives all the most common causes of death (as far as I can tell) their own groups, and the smallest of those appear to be far less than 10% of all deaths. Beyond that, only one cause of death in the developed world eclipses 10%- heart disease. So while I can't say I solidly debunked it, it does appear to be highly improbable, based on that evidence.

On (generally reliable) Dutch newspaper that reported on Santorum's remarks stated that the true rate of euthanasia was 2%. They didn't cite sources though (newspapers never do, alas). To be honest 2% still sounds fairly high, but perhaps it's 2% of all hospital-deaths?

Anyway looking into lists like you link above is not going to answer your question, because euthanasia is most likely not listed as a separate cause of death. If someone with terminal cancer opts for euthanasia, I'd expect the cause of death to read 'cancer'. I'm not 100% sure about this, but it seems logical, and besides I can't find euthanasia in those lists at all, so ...

But being Dutch helps when trying to find Dutch statistics. After a bit of googling I found this interesting article, conveniently in English. It's a study on the effects of the Euthanasia law in The Netherlands. I haven't read all of it yet, but it contains a wealth of information.

It gives the rate of euthanasia as 1.7% of all deaths in 2005 and PAS (Physician assisted suicide) as an additional 0.1%, where they define euthanasia as 'administration of drugs
with death of the patient as the ultimate result, at the explicit request of a patient.' and PAS as is defined as 'the prescription of drugs by a physician for the purpose of self-administration by the patient'.

So 1.8% of all deaths.


I doubt anyone in the US will give a shit though- over here you can basically say anything you want about other nations for your own political ends unchecked. Cain didn't even get a serious smack down for saying China was going to become a nuclear power (implying that they were not one already). I doubt this will even become an issue.

I feel though that there is a difference between stupidity and lying outright.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:11 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Anyway looking into lists like you link above is not going to answer your question, because euthanasia is most likely not listed as a separate cause of death. If someone with terminal cancer opts for euthanasia, I'd expect the cause of death to read 'cancer'. I'm not 100% sure about this, but it seems logical, and besides I can't find euthanasia in those lists at all, so ...

My reading of it was that they attributed it to the primary cause of death- the WHO site mentions on another page that tobacco isn't included in the lists because while it causes about 10% of all deaths, it does so by causing the condition that causes death. I figured situations like what you mentioned would also fall under that case- the cancer might have "caused" the death, but the direct cause of it would be euthanasia. You're assumption could be right just as easily. And the second list at least was just to show that it'd be really crazy for it to be the cause of 10% of deaths since so only one other cause of death is at 10% or higher in the developed world.

Diadem wrote:It gives the rate of euthanasia as 1.7% of all deaths in 2005 and PAS (Physician assisted suicide) as an additional 0.1%, where they define euthanasia as 'administration of drugs
with death of the patient as the ultimate result, at the explicit request of a patient.' and PAS as is defined as 'the prescription of drugs by a physician for the purpose of self-administration by the patient'.

So 1.8% of all deaths.

Ah! Thanks a bunch. I like being able to call out blatant lies with actual facts of my own. :)


Diadem wrote:I feel though that there is a difference between stupidity and lying outright.

There is, but good luck getting the media to actually give a shit over here. The most we can likely expect is a "pants on fire" result on politifact.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:20 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Diadem wrote:I feel though that there is a difference between stupidity and lying outright.

There is, but good luck getting the media to actually give a shit over here. The most we can likely expect is a "pants on fire" result on politifact.

Oh, PolitiFact... Remember when Michele Bachmann claimed during a debate that PolitiFact had reported two of her claims from a previous debate as true, when they actually reported both of them as false? Good times...
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby el_loco_avs » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:40 pm UTC

I'm actually pretty pissed off about this. Is there no way to confront this asshole about this?
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:15 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:On (generally reliable) Dutch newspaper that reported on Santorum's remarks stated that the true rate of euthanasia was 2%. They didn't cite sources though (newspapers never do, alas). To be honest 2% still sounds fairly high, but perhaps it's 2% of all hospital-deaths?
2% of people being euthanized doesn't strike me as especially high if it's an accepted part of the culture. In America, about a quarter of the people who die die in hospices- and so you need just a tenth of people who are know they're on the way out to decide to take a shortcut.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby lucrezaborgia » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

I don't understand this Republican rhetoric about euthanasia. It's better to let someone die in pain?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Gigano » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:I don't understand this Republican rhetoric about euthanasia. It's better to let someone die in pain?


It's better to let someone die in pain and not be guility of the sin of actively taking someone's life, I think. That's sounds very selfish though, unlike the euthanasia policy in The Netherlands which is very socialistic and therefore by Republican definition considered evil.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby lucrezaborgia » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

Gigano wrote:
lucrezaborgia wrote:I don't understand this Republican rhetoric about euthanasia. It's better to let someone die in pain?


It's better to let someone die in pain and not be guility of the sin of actively taking someone's life, I think. That's sounds very selfish though, unlike the euthanasia policy in The Netherlands which is very socialistic and therefore by Republican definition considered evil.


American law allows for people to choose death for others all the time. While they might not be actively shooting them up with lethal doses of medication and whatnot, they are still choosing to disallow medical treatment which most likely leads to death.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Lucrece » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:55 am UTC

In a drawn out, costly (profitable for the hospital) way. It's still unbelievable how people don't have the right to decide when they get to die. "Oh, you're just crazy; we'll disregard your right to agency."
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:01 am UTC

Do you have any evidence that hospitals make small fortunes off of people circling the drain? Because it really does cost the hospital several hundred dollars a bed per night, and the people with one foot in the grave often cost far more than their estate is worth. And the families that refuse to pull the plug? More often than not, those families aren't footing any significant part of the bill.

If anything, it's the hospitals that stand to benefit the most euthanasia.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Gigano » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:56 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Do you have any evidence that hospitals make small fortunes off of people circling the drain? Because it really does cost the hospital several hundred dollars a bed per night, and the people with one foot in the grave often cost far more than their estate is worth. And the families that refuse to pull the plug? More often than not, those families aren't footing any significant part of the bill.

If anything, it's the hospitals that stand to benefit the most euthanasia.


But because by Dutch law every citizen is granted at least basic health-care the costs are basically paid by taxes and the income of people themselves via insurance. So, money kind of becomes a non-issue. The moral issue of whether or not you allow someone the dignity to die painlessly is much more prominent in the euthanasia debate in The Netherlands. Even our most right-wing oriented parties are more biased to socialist policies than the most left-wing parties in the U.S.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:05 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Do you have any evidence that hospitals make small fortunes off of people circling the drain? Because it really does cost the hospital several hundred dollars a bed per night, and the people with one foot in the grave often cost far more than their estate is worth. And the families that refuse to pull the plug? More often than not, those families aren't footing any significant part of the bill.

If anything, it's the hospitals that stand to benefit the most euthanasia.

Wouldn't most of those people have health insurance (especially going going forward) or be on medicare so even if their estate is worth very little, the hospital is still going to get paid?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Diadem » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:30 am UTC

Gigano wrote:But because by Dutch law every citizen is granted at least basic health-care the costs are basically paid by taxes and the income of people themselves via insurance. So, money kind of becomes a non-issue. The moral issue of whether or not you allow someone the dignity to die painlessly is much more prominent in the euthanasia debate in The Netherlands. Even our most right-wing oriented parties are more biased to socialist policies than the most left-wing parties in the U.S.

The major parties are, but not the smaller right-wing Christian ones. Specifically the SGP, which is an orthodox reformed Christian party. They are really quite extremist in their views. Against gay marriage, against abortion, against euthanasia, against separation of Church and state, against shops being open on Sundays, even against women in politics (Well, they don't object to other parties having women, but they don't allow them to join their party [or didn't until a few years back when the supreme court slapped them on the wrist], because that's not how god intended things). Economically they are also quite right-wing.

The interesting thing however is that their attitude is completely different from their American counterparts. For a start they are extremely law-abiding. They would never go against the rule of law, or against procedure. They are also staunch supporters of the monarchy. So you won't hear revolutionary rhetorics from them. Contrary to the American christian right, they are also generally very well educated. They'd never make gaffes like "China is about to develop nuclear weapons". They also have very little change in party leadership, their representatives are generally amongst the longest sitting ones.

This to the interesting situation that while they are completely ignored in day-to-day affairs by all the other parties, whenever there is a constitutional crisis, or procedures aren't entirely clear, everybody is suddenly looking at them to explain what should be done, because not only will they know, they can even be counted on to insist on proper procedure when it is against their own interests.

I've often wondered how groups that share essentially the same world view (American and Dutch orthodox protestant Christian extremists) can have such completely different political movements in practice. But it might be because the SGP is so small. Power corrupts they say, but the SGP has never had much power.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Zamfir » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:08 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
I've often wondered how groups that share essentially the same world view (American and Dutch orthodox protestant Christian extremists) can have such completely different political movements in practice. But it might be because the SGP is so small. Power corrupts they say, but the SGP has never had much power.

Yeah, that's probably true. From what I've heard the SGP plays a lot harder on the municipality level, where they are large in places.

A bit too simple, but arguably a main role of the national presence of the SGP is to keep the local groups united and organized, and perhaps to deliver mayors to their municipalities. If there wasn't a national SGP, voters might get used to voting for other parties and bring that habit to municipality elections. And the local parties might break up on church-lines.

In that light, it's a good thing for the national fractions of the SGP to stay respectable, to represent a party that their local groups can unite behind.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby bentheimmigrant » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:10 pm UTC

Also, don't forget the common American belief in the divinity of their own nation. This falls apart under actual inspection of history, and so better education will convince people otherwise. This sort of thing then leads them to rail against the "intellectual elitists" etc. I imagine your Christian right is basing their policies on their moral framework, whereas the American version are basing it largely on the vision they have of "God's Country" - hence the veneration of the Founding Fathers (and the revisionism of their lives and beliefs).
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Grog » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

Regarding Euthanasia in Holland I've found this: 2.4 % ('90-'95), 0.7 was active euthanasia. So it was a blatant lie.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8929370

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Zamfir » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:35 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:Also, don't forget the common American belief in the divinity of their own nation. This falls apart under actual inspection of history, and so better education will convince people otherwise. This sort of thing then leads them to rail against the "intellectual elitists" etc. I imagine your Christian right is basing their policies on their moral framework, whereas the American version are basing it largely on the vision they have of "God's Country" - hence the veneration of the Founding Fathers (and the revisionism of their lives and beliefs).

That's not exactly unique. Most nationalists consider their country special, venerate its founding fathers, and if they're religious they'll add god in the mix. Dutch wingnuts love the royal family, whose ancestors were the military (and protestant) leaders of the revolution against Spain.

A few years ago, a provincial fraction leader of the SGP gave an ill-considered interview with funny quotes they usually keep mum on these things. Like
Would you consider an SGP majority the end of democracy? Yes, if I am honest

Compared to the present tolerance, lots would change in this country. Things like homophily, abortions, euthanasia and prostition will be prohibited. No shops will opened on sundays

There's only one god. You can't be blessed any other way. The Lord Jesus says 'I am the way, the truth and the life.' So there is no room for other religions. That sounds arrogant, but it is the truth.

Who wants to practice a different religion will have to do so in secret. An SGP government will certainly not allow a mosque, or non-religious public schools

Given the bible, there cannot be any role for women in religious or political fields

This will be a time of glory, like the 17th century was a golden age for our country. A time of peace, love and tolerance, calmness and pleasure, but also justice. A shadow of the Heavenly Kingdom


Though:
Let me remove any fear that the SGP would rule like the Taliban. Neither God's word in the New Testament, nor the reformers, nor history tells me that the SGP would take up the sword. Wether we have a majority or else.


Those people got about 4% of the votes in my town, with another 8% to a similar but less strict protestant party. Wingnuts are really not a US-only phenomenon. They go 3 times to church on sundays, and they are no allowed to drive or ride a bicycle on sunday. So I every sunday, the streets here are covered in flocks going to church, returning from church, back to church, etc. It's like a Hare Krishna take over.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Do you have any evidence that hospitals make small fortunes off of people circling the drain? Because it really does cost the hospital several hundred dollars a bed per night, and the people with one foot in the grave often cost far more than their estate is worth. And the families that refuse to pull the plug? More often than not, those families aren't footing any significant part of the bill.

If anything, it's the hospitals that stand to benefit the most euthanasia.

Wouldn't most of those people have health insurance (especially going going forward) or be on medicare so even if their estate is worth very little, the hospital is still going to get paid?


The health insurance can cap out after a while, and even before then it would (depending on policy) pay 80% of the bill. 20% of a million dollar bill is still more than most families will actually be able to pay, so the hospital can only really count on that 80%. Which would be more than enough, except most people (especially the sickest) don't have great insurance. Medicare tends to barely cover the costs (though not for nursing homes), but Medicaid is just terrible.

So no, the hospital isn't getting paid nearly as much or as often as you think.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby BlueLabel » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:57 am UTC

A withering treatment of the state of the Romney campaign:

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/100 ... nomination

Seems that even if he wins the nomination, he's in for a shellacking in November. It seems fair to say that the GOP's ability to take advantage of Obama's vulnerability, given the slow pace of the recovery, is vitiated by the weakness of their field. Unless something catastrophic happens it's hard to imagine any other outcome than a comfortable Obama victory.

Also: does anyone else agree that the commentariat is making a little much of the consequences of a Romney defeat in Michigan? Obviously it would be a blow to his morale and momentum, but I don't think it would equate to a "total collapse". Another sizable chink in the inevitability armor, definitely, but not a total obliteration of it.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:24 am UTC

BlueLabel wrote:Also: does anyone else agree that the commentariat is making a little much of the consequences of a Romney defeat in Michigan? Obviously it would be a blow to his morale and momentum, but I don't think it would equate to a "total collapse". Another sizable chink in the inevitability armor, definitely, but not a total obliteration of it.

I'm not sure it'd signal a total collapse, but it would be a very significant setback for Romney. Michigan was, until two weeks ago, a very reliable state for him to win, it's also his home state, and where he launched his candidacy in 2008. Home states are generally attributed more importance in general, since candidates typically get some level of home-state bounce (this was enough in 2008 to take Arizona out of the potential "blue" flips category). It's one of those places that, for various reasons, was considered very safe to win for Romney, and signals the type of situation such as if a democrat was set to lose states like Pennsylvania or Oregon in the general election: it's not technically enough to un-end them, but it speaks of significant problems that they're unlikely to make the counterbalancing wins elsewhere, because whatever caused them to drop there is probably part of a broader issue.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby sardia » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:53 pm UTC

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.co ... f=politics
This should concern the Romney campaign more than whatever Mitt has in Michigan. Hes burning through his cash, he'll be out of money in 20 days if he keeps it up or doesn't find more. And no, the money can't come from his personal wealth, it comes with too much baggage.
I still would bet on Romney for the primary, but if I was feeling adventurous, I would go for Santorum. (I think I threw up a little.)

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:20 am UTC

I don't find it strange at all that Romney spent a lot of money in january. It's when the first elections happen, and conventionally those early states are super important. He was obviously hoping to have sealed up the nomination by now. He didn't, but that doesn't mean his spending strategy was wrong.

But yes, it is clear that he can't continue to spend like that. But he's still richer than the other candidates. So that's ok.

Aren't people hugely overestimating the importance of money though? Romney's problem is charisma, not money. He would have sealed up this nomination with wins in every single state ages ago if he had had the charisma of Obama, or even Bush.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:28 am UTC

If Romney does win the nomination, all Obama has to do is play this clip of Romney over and over and over again. No further comment is needed.

His 'the trees are the right height' remark is actually kind of endearing. I know nothing about Michigan, but I can imagine that's the kind of peculiar remark about a state that only a local would get. But it all comes out so wooden. His remark about the small lake in the parts, and then how he goes on a bout cars. At that point he's clearly just listing stuff that he knows Michigan is famous for.

It's the total lack of passion that is shocking. I've never ever been to Michigan, but I can probably talk about it with more passion.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:14 am UTC

sardia wrote:I still would bet on Romney for the primary, but if I was feeling adventurous, I would go for Santorum. (I think I threw up a little.)


You threw up a little Santorum? Anyone got some extra brain bleach?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Deva » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:26 am UTC

Diadem wrote:His 'the trees are the right height' remark is actually kind of endearing. I know nothing about Michigan, but I can imagine that's the kind of peculiar remark about a state that only a local would get. But it all comes out so wooden. His remark about the small lake in the parts, and then how he goes on a bout cars. At that point he's clearly just listing stuff that he knows Michigan is famous for.

Hails from Michigan. Sounded strange. Joke about unusual weather, Yoopers/Trolls (Upper and Lower Peninsula residents, respectively), and hand maps with Michiganders.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:35 am UTC

Diadem wrote:His 'the trees are the right height' remark is actually kind of endearing. I know nothing about Michigan, but I can imagine that's the kind of peculiar remark about a state that only a local would get.

I'm from Michigan and I don't really get it. We do have nice forests, but... uhh... size doesn't matter?
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Whammy » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:39 am UTC

Diadem wrote:I don't find it strange at all that Romney spent a lot of money in january. It's when the first elections happen, and conventionally those early states are super important. He was obviously hoping to have sealed up the nomination by now. He didn't, but that doesn't mean his spending strategy was wrong.

But yes, it is clear that he can't continue to spend like that. But he's still richer than the other candidates. So that's ok.

Aren't people hugely overestimating the importance of money though? Romney's problem is charisma, not money. He would have sealed up this nomination with wins in every single state ages ago if he had had the charisma of Obama, or even Bush.


In all honesty, this election I think is showing just how overblown people's concern about "super PACs" are. Romney has outspent every single one of his opponents, raised more, had all the Super PACs on his side...and STILL can't 'wrap it up'. Rick Santorum? His HQ is a PO Box, and he tied in Iowa and is now the front runner and is running strong. And the Ronpaul is getting consistent results even in places where he basically spent NOTHING (example is Florida;election results and pre-primary polls were pretty much within margin of error as far back as December). And basically as far back as I can think, Romney has been basically the #2 guy with everyone and their grandma getting to be front runner.

I think the best way to view the whole money thing is like advertising. A business can advertise all it wants and throw all the money it can at something, but if no one wants the product it doesn't matter how big the media blitz is cause people won't buy. Romney lacks the charisma and the 'conservative cred' to get the base excited, unlike some of the others like Gingrich or Santorum; money can't fix that.

Also, here's an interesting study (thank you Freakonomics radio for bringing this to my attention): http://www.rochester.edu/college/psc/cl ... vitt94.pdf

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby sardia » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:09 am UTC

Whammy wrote:
Diadem wrote:I don't find it strange at all that Romney spent a lot of money in january. It's when the first elections happen, and conventionally those early states are super important. He was obviously hoping to have sealed up the nomination by now. He didn't, but that doesn't mean his spending strategy was wrong.

But yes, it is clear that he can't continue to spend like that. But he's still richer than the other candidates. So that's ok.

Aren't people hugely overestimating the importance of money though? Romney's problem is charisma, not money. He would have sealed up this nomination with wins in every single state ages ago if he had had the charisma of Obama, or even Bush.


In all honesty, this election I think is showing just how overblown people's concern about "super PACs" are. Romney has outspent every single one of his opponents, raised more, had all the Super PACs on his side...and STILL can't 'wrap it up'. Rick Santorum? His HQ is a PO Box, and he tied in Iowa and is now the front runner and is running strong. And the Ronpaul is getting consistent results even in places where he basically spent NOTHING (example is Florida;election results and pre-primary polls were pretty much within margin of error as far back as December). And basically as far back as I can think, Romney has been basically the #2 guy with everyone and their grandma getting to be front runner.

I think the best way to view the whole money thing is like advertising. A business can advertise all it wants and throw all the money it can at something, but if no one wants the product it doesn't matter how big the media blitz is cause people won't buy. Romney lacks the charisma and the 'conservative cred' to get the base excited, unlike some of the others like Gingrich or Santorum; money can't fix that.

Also, here's an interesting study (thank you Freakonomics radio for bringing this to my attention): http://www.rochester.edu/college/psc/cl ... vitt94.pdf

A couple points, his lack of money is tied to his lack of charisma. He has tapped out his big donors, and he has trouble getting donations from people who gives less than 200$. Aka, he's unable to get large numbers of people to donate, thus signaling lack of charisma.
My other point is that money and superpacs matter. Gingrich would have been dead if Sheldon billionaire hadn't saved him twice with 5 million bucks. In addition, you say that no amount of money will make Romney more likable. I say it doesn't matter, what's more important is telling everyone how much worse the other guys are. That's how Romney crushed Newt in Florida, and that's his game plan for Michigan onwards. I dunno what he plans to do about his low popularity.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:44 am UTC

It's also worth noting that the study you cite does in fact predict an effect of campaign finance--0.3% swing in the vote per 100k (I'm guessing more than the other guy) in a Congressional campaign. Depending on how this scales at the presidential level, this could be a significant effect: Naively, if we say it scales as 435 districts x 100k each, I think you'd find that either party would be pretty happy if they could get an extra 0.3% of the vote for every 40 million they spent. Obviously it can't overcome a bad candidate, but the last few elections have been close enough that if either party is getting a swing of a few percentage points from advertising, that could be enough to push their candidate into the presidency.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:17 am UTC

Romney's donor situation creates two principle issues, by my understanding:
(1) Having few people donating more money means they're going to reach the donation limit much easier. Once that happens, you can't get any more money from them, and if those are the only people donating, you're going to run out of funds. SuperPACs make this a bit different of course, but even still, having money available to your campaign directly is far more useful than it is to have available to a PAC supporting you.
(2) Once people donate to you, for all intents and purposes you've guaranteed that they will vote for you. If a candidate could spend $100,000 to get 100,000 people to each donate $1, it'd be worth it (assuming no better options, and ignoring opportunity costs), because they'd be essentially "buying" 100,000 votes, and breaking even at the same time. So if the majority of your donations are from a small handful of people, you haven't really "banked" that many votes. It's why Obama's campaign loves to tout how many small donors they have.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby kiklion » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:01 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Romney's donor situation creates two principle issues, by my understanding:
(1) Having few people donating more money means they're going to reach the donation limit much easier. Once that happens, you can't get any more money from them, and if those are the only people donating, you're going to run out of funds. SuperPACs make this a bit different of course, but even still, having money available to your campaign directly is far more useful than it is to have available to a PAC supporting you.
(2) Once people donate to you, for all intents and purposes you've guaranteed that they will vote for you. If a candidate could spend $100,000 to get 100,000 people to each donate $1, it'd be worth it (assuming no better options, and ignoring opportunity costs), because they'd be essentially "buying" 100,000 votes, and breaking even at the same time. So if the majority of your donations are from a small handful of people, you haven't really "banked" that many votes. It's why Obama's campaign loves to tout how many small donors they have.


While I do believe this is true for individual donations (I'd be damned if I had the money to donate to two different people in the same race), for 'businesses' I have seen them often donate to multiple people in the same race to curry favor should one of them win. Explicitly I have seen this happen with a few Union clients of mine. I believe the amount is low enough to not need to be reported somewhere? I only believe that because I noticed the donation amount was odd.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:13 pm UTC

I believe those fall under the PAC (super or not) rules, though I'm not an expert on campaign finance stuff.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby quantumcat42 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:45 pm UTC


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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Sockmonkey » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:07 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Diadem wrote:His 'the trees are the right height' remark is actually kind of endearing. I know nothing about Michigan, but I can imagine that's the kind of peculiar remark about a state that only a local would get.

I'm from Michigan and I don't really get it. We do have nice forests, but... uhh... size doesn't matter?
Yeah it's pretty bogue. :mrgreen:
In any case, most of us here in Michigan haven't been enthusiastic about our state since the auto industry went pfft. Except when the Red Wings make the playoffs of course.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Whammy » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:15 am UTC

sardia wrote:A couple points, his lack of money is tied to his lack of charisma. He has tapped out his big donors, and he has trouble getting donations from people who gives less than 200$. Aka, he's unable to get large numbers of people to donate, thus signaling lack of charisma.
My other point is that money and superpacs matter. Gingrich would have been dead if Sheldon billionaire hadn't saved him twice with 5 million bucks. In addition, you say that no amount of money will make Romney more likable. I say it doesn't matter, what's more important is telling everyone how much worse the other guys are. That's how Romney crushed Newt in Florida, and that's his game plan for Michigan onwards. I dunno what he plans to do about his low popularity.


...do I need to pull out the exit polling from a few pages back that discussed that? That how most people stated they:

1)Made up their decision at least a month or so before the election
2)That advertising played little role in their decision
3)That the debates were the most important factor
4)And as someone pointed out voter turnout was lower in pro-Romney areas compared to last election yet higher in the pro-Gingrich areas? So if the goal was to keep people from coming out to vote for the others, it didn't help.

With all that in mind, I would say it's safer to say Romney won primarily cause Gingrich had bad debate performances the week before, his history of racial comments regarding Hispanics probably hurting the population of them in Florida (Hispanics probably don't enjoy Spanish being called "the language of the ghetto", for example), etc etc. In short, Florida was a good state for Romney, while South Carolina was a good state for Gingrich. Santorum and Paul didn't bother campaigning in there, yet still got within margin of error for their results when compared to pre-election polls. That also puts into question how effective the negative ads are.

Furthermore, Santorum crushed Romney in the Minnesota and Missouri contests (it was a bit closer in Colorado). Now granted in terms of delegates and all that, those being caucuses, it doesn't actually mean much, but it's given Santorum momentum and a chance at the spotlight that's now making him effectively tied with Romney in Michigan. Since he already tied with Romney once in Iowa, and the Romney vs. Others Spending margin was much larger in that race, it puts into question how 'helpful' the money is. Right now, if there is anything that is going to hurt Santorum in the Michigan race, it'll be those social issues and his comments regarding women and religion and all that. But we'll have to see what happens.

LaserGuy wrote:It's also worth noting that the study you cite does in fact predict an effect of campaign finance--0.3% swing in the vote per 100k (I'm guessing more than the other guy) in a Congressional campaign. Depending on how this scales at the presidential level, this could be a significant effect: Naively, if we say it scales as 435 districts x 100k each, I think you'd find that either party would be pretty happy if they could get an extra 0.3% of the vote for every 40 million they spent. Obviously it can't overcome a bad candidate, but the last few elections have been close enough that if either party is getting a swing of a few percentage points from advertising, that could be enough to push their candidate into the presidency.


I wouldn't be so quick to say we can just 'aggregate' it like that since there are some differences in Congressional vs. Presidential (biggest being more people really, really care about Presidential elections). Unfortunately it's harder to do a similar study with the presidential campaign since, what, the only time we have the same two 'candidates' going up against each other multiple times is Nader vs...everyone else? And we can all agree Nader's lack of money doesn't have anything to do with him losing XD. But yes, I do know the study shows only a very slight swing based on money, but for most races that is an insignificant amount and, again, I don't think it necessarily aggregates like you suggest.

I'll also be fair and state we'll have to wait a few election cycles to really say anything conclusive about the role of SuperPacs and all that. I think the major point I'm wanting to make is that, just based on what we're seeing with the Republican primary right now and then comparing it to the rhetoric people used in the aftermath of Citizen's United about "SuperPACs" and about how they would "destroy democracy" and etc etc.,....it's been rather underwhelming don't you think? XD.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:23 am UTC

Whammy wrote:1)Made up their decision at least a month or so before the election
2)That advertising played little role in their decision
3)That the debates were the most important factor
4)And as someone pointed out voter turnout was lower in pro-Romney areas compared to last election yet higher in the pro-Gingrich areas? So if the goal was to keep people from coming out to vote for the others, it didn't help.

1. And what blankets the air waves the month or so before the election?
2. Have you ever known anybody to say "Yep, I'm totally affected by advertising" ? Nobody ever thinks it affects them. Yet companies keep using it. I'll let you take a guess at which group is being willfully ignorant.
3. Doesn't prevent advertising from being another important factor.
4. Wouldn't that indicate that the advertising was successful in the areas that were pro-Romney, by keeping turnout in them low by discouraging Gingrich supporters from voting? Florida is a big state with multiple media markets. Which there is some evidence supporting that:
538 wrote:That’s a 14 point increase in [Gingrich's] unfavorablity in the area where Mr. Romney was advertising most heavily. And since a large share of Mr. Romney’s ads were negative and attacked Mr. Gingrich, it isn’t surprising that we might see these effects.


Whammy wrote:With all that in mind, I would say it's safer to say Romney won primarily cause Gingrich had bad debate performances the week before, his history of racial comments regarding Hispanics probably hurting the population of them in Florida (Hispanics probably don't enjoy Spanish being called "the language of the ghetto", for example), etc etc.

How do you think those people found out about Gingrich's history of racially insensitive comments?

Whammy wrote:Furthermore, Santorum crushed Romney in the Minnesota and Missouri contests (it was a bit closer in Colorado). Now granted in terms of delegates and all that, those being caucuses, it doesn't actually mean much, but it's given Santorum momentum and a chance at the spotlight that's now making him effectively tied with Romney in Michigan. Since he already tied with Romney once in Iowa, and the Romney vs. Others Spending margin was much larger in that race, it puts into question how 'helpful' the money is. Right now, if there is anything that is going to hurt Santorum in the Michigan race, it'll be those social issues and his comments regarding women and religion and all that. But we'll have to see what happens.

First, Romney basically ignored Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri- he didn't invest heavily in any of them, having taken them for granted. Those states are probably the best example of how money matters, because it's the first time the spending comparisons have been at relative parity during the fight for the nomination. Mentioning them hurts, not helps, your argument. As well, Michigan is seeing fairly comparable spending sums, at least compared to before:
Image

Whammy wrote:I wouldn't be so quick to say we can just 'aggregate' it like that since there are some differences in Congressional vs. Presidential (biggest being more people really, really care about Presidential elections).

So if money has a big influence in congressional elections, but not presidential, we should not care about the outcome? Congress is one third of the major branches of the US government. The results of those elections are hugely important, and the influence of money in them is something I would be very concerned about.

Whammy wrote:Unfortunately it's harder to do a similar study with the presidential campaign since, what, the only time we have the same two 'candidates' going up against each other multiple times is Nader vs...everyone else? And we can all agree Nader's lack of money doesn't have anything to do with him losing XD. But yes, I do know the study shows only a very slight swing based on money, but for most races that is an insignificant amount and, again, I don't think it necessarily aggregates like you suggest.

Do you think that if Nadar had ten times as much funding, that he couldn't have gotten, say, 10% of the vote? And that if he had gotten more of the vote, even in losing, that that wouldn't have affected other groups political decisions? A 0.3% swing in the vote would have changed nearly 400,000 votes in 2008 (turnout of 131.2 million), and could have flipped Missouri or North Carolina. In 2000 it would have flipped four states (Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin), and could have changed the winner. "Insignificant for most races" isn't really sufficient to make it acceptable; it needs to be insignificant for all races. Or are you OK with rich people buying an election when it's close?

Whammy wrote:I'll also be fair and state we'll have to wait a few election cycles to really say anything conclusive about the role of SuperPacs and all that. I think the major point I'm wanting to make is that, just based on what we're seeing with the Republican primary right now and then comparing it to the rhetoric people used in the aftermath of Citizen's United about "SuperPACs" and about how they would "destroy democracy" and etc etc.,....it's been rather underwhelming don't you think? XD.

Then ignore the hyperbole, and ask yourself: do you trust our political process more than before Citizen's United, or do you trust it less? We've also already seen one election cycle where they did play a significant part: 2010. Republican SuperPACs hugely outspent democratic supporting ones. Sure, momentum was in the republican's favor anyway, but they almost certainly have had less of a landslide without their superPACs.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Lucrece » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:57 am UTC

Hispanics in Florida were hardly moved to vote for Romney because of what Gingrich says. Something tells me you don't understand the clout of Cuban American politics and their effect on Florida politics as a whole.

Cuban Americans voted for Romney because local popular politicians like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen endorsed Romney. Illeana was the first Cuban American congresswoman in Florida, the most senior female GOP congresswoman, and among the Cuban American trailblazers in the Republican party. Anti-communist moderate Republican with a wide reach across the Cuban American culture. She's particularly involved in local educational drives, having been a former head of a Miami Dade County school.

Hispanics in Florida also don't function like those in California -- Cubans have special immigration perks and social programs ("Plan 8"), so they don't give a damn about illegal immigration. Venezuelans, Argentinians, and Colombians are the other sectors of the Hispanic vote. Common link? They're not from Central America, and they for the most part do not engage in entering the country illegally. They go through the process, and often look down to Mexican counterparts whom they resent for giving Hispanics an image of disregard for foreign law.

In that way, the Hispanic population in Florida is largely Republican. In fact, if it weren't for the immigration issue, Mexican immigrants would also be Republican -- Hispanics trend as social conservatives and are higher on the religiosity scale, with an increasing Evangelical movement starting to supplant the Catholic roots.

The only area where Hispanics in Florida are partly breaking is through the youth vote, which is more split to the benefit of Democrats. Even then, being a Republican is part of the Cuban American cultural identity. And as of late? Growing on Venezuelans given the distaste for the leftist movements now espoused by Chavez. They provide the leftist extreme to polarize an entire generation of Venezuelans against the narrative of socialism (of which Chavez completely perverts, should you look at his meteoric rise to wealth post-presidency and that of his fellow partisans and cronies).
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Whammy » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:44 am UTC

I'm spoiling my entire post cause it's kind of long XD.

Spoiler:
Ghostbear wrote:1. And what blankets the air waves the month or so before the election?
2. Have you ever known anybody to say "Yep, I'm totally affected by advertising" ? Nobody ever thinks it affects them. Yet companies keep using it. I'll let you take a guess at which group is being willfully ignorant.
3. Doesn't prevent advertising from being another important factor.
4. Wouldn't that indicate that the advertising was successful in the areas that were pro-Romney, by keeping turnout in them low by discouraging Gingrich supporters from voting? Florida is a big state with multiple media markets. Which there is some evidence supporting that:

That’s a 14 point increase in [Gingrich's] unfavorablity in the area where Mr. Romney was advertising most heavily. And since a large share of Mr. Romney’s ads were negative and attacked Mr. Gingrich, it isn’t surprising that we might see these effects.


1.News media talking about the election? Debates? There was a lot more than just ads at play here.
2.Yes actually, we do have some people who said that in the exit polls, but it is a fair point that motivations are a little hard to measure. Just simply asking is about the most precise we can get outside of a lab environment though, so it's about the best we can get.
3.No, it does not, but generally speaking it was of little to no importance to most people.
4.Ahhhh, now this is something I can work with. It's an interesting analysis, but, well...

Let me reiterate again that caveats abound in such a simple analysis. These caveats pertain first to the challenges of using survey data to isolate the effects of news media. But even if we take the survey results at face value, it’s also important to remember that advertising is not the only element of the “information environment” surrounding voters. As research by the political scientists Kevin Arceneaux and Gregory Huber has noted, media markets that witness a lot of television advertising usually experience other kinds of campaign activity — like voter contact — making it difficult to attribute any shifts in the polls solely to advertising.

At this point, I would say there is suggestive evidence that Mr. Romney’s advantages in advertising helped him win in Florida – but it qualifies as circumstantial. The longer the campaign goes on, and the longer Mr. Romney’s advertising advantage persists, the more data we will accumulate to test these effects.


So to say negative ads were THE reason Romney one is jumping the gun a little, and by extension, his simply having more money than the others. Again, Santorum and Paul kept up consistent results in the lead up, and then won with similar percents as their polls had suggested even though they ignored the state. It might simply be Romney just ignored them and decided to not try and court their bases, but still...

How do you think those people found out about Gingrich's history of racially insensitive comments?

Uhm....the news? I believe people still watch news, or read it on the internet, or listen to it on the radio...

And I'll take this moment to address what Lucrece stated. Yes, Cuban-Americans are the largest supgroup of Hispanics in Florida, and everything he said about them as a group is generally correct (and about Hispanics in general, although the info about growing Evangelicalism among them is new to me. More info please?). However:

4. Not all of Florida’s Latino voters are Cuban. The Sunshine State’s Latino vote is complex and does not follow national trends. Cubans make up 32 percent of eligible Latino voters, Puerto Ricans 28 percent, and Mexicans 9 percent. Nationwide the demographics of Latino eligible voters are starkly different: 59 percent Mexican, 14 percent Puerto Rican, and 5 percent Cuban.


...I do wonder what the other what, 30 percent of Hispanics are? Still, point is Cubans are a large group, but Florida has a very large non-Cuban population as well.

9. Candidates’ immigration positions still matter in Florida. In a poll conducted January 16–23, 70 percent of Florida’s registered Latino voters stated that they would be more likely to support a candidate seeking to pass the DREAM Act, while only 6 percent would be less likely.


So Gingrich making disparaging remarks about Hispanics and his support of a much stricter version of the DREAM Act (and the general dislike of the DREAM Act among the candidates), combined with Romney getting support from popular Hispanic conservatives of course, would obviously swing the Hispanic vote more towards Romney.

First, Romney basically ignored Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri- he didn't invest heavily in any of them, having taken them for granted. Those states are probably the best example of how money matters, because it's the first time the spending comparisons have been at relative parity during the fight for the nomination. Mentioning them hurts, not helps, your argument. As well, Michigan is seeing fairly comparable spending sums, at least compared to before:
Image


Romney outspent everyone in Iowa and effectively tied with Santorum though so maybe there is some kind of intervening variable going on? I can't find the numbers on the spending in those three states though so even if Romney was 'ignoring' them doesn't mean he was outspending people =P. And if Santorum is now catching up with Romney, it's most likely due to the momentum from his little hat-trick there and getting his message out; it's his turn in the spotlight to be the "conservative alternative" to Romney. Gingrich had his with South Carolina, but once he was in spotlight a lot of dirt came out, he said and did stupid things ("Paychecks for food stamps" anyone?)...pretty much following the pattern of every other non-Romney person in this campaign so far.

So if money has a big influence in congressional elections, but not presidential, we should not care about the outcome? Congress is one third of the major branches of the US government. The results of those elections are hugely important, and the influence of money in them is something I would be very concerned about.


1. .3% for 100k is not what I'd call a "big" influence.

2. I was not and, for future purpose of this discussion, will try to avoid making a 'should' statement. I'm only trying to look at this from a political science standpoint. And from that standpoint, we know Congressional elections rarely draw the same amount of attention as Presidential elections. And that difference, I could argue, means the effect of money would be even less pronounced in a presidential election. Why? Cause we are watching them. The media picks apart every single last detail they can get their hands on. I mean come on, they were sitting on the edge of their seats for Romney's tax forms for crying out loud! Not a day goes by I don't see a story about PACs playing on the news, talking about how much each PAC spent and blah blah blah. And post-Citizen's United distrust of campaign spending and all that, I'd say people are even more willing to be critical.

Do you think that if Nadar had ten times as much funding, that he couldn't have gotten, say, 10% of the vote? And that if he had gotten more of the vote, even in losing, that that wouldn't have affected other groups political decisions? A 0.3% swing in the vote would have changed nearly 400,000 votes in 2008 (turnout of 131.2 million), and could have flipped Missouri or North Carolina. In 2000 it would have flipped four states (Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin), and could have changed the winner. "Insignificant for most races" isn't really sufficient to make it acceptable; it needs to be insignificant for all races. Or are you OK with rich people buying an election when it's close?

Yes, I'd say if Nadar had more funding he could have gotten the votes, because most likely it's cause more people were donating to him and, by extension, his message was more popular and appealing to people. If a PAC just gave him the money? No, I'd doubt it.

And again, I doubt we can simply take that .3% swing in Congressional elections and apply it to a Presidential one, possibly for reasons I stated above (more scrutiny). Also, you're making the assumption the only reason a candidate has more money is cause of "rich" people. The money easily could have come from individual donations, and I'd say that's the more likely since PACs run by a business or company tend to give money to multiple candidates to 'hedge their bets', so to speak. Here's what I'd suggest, and maybe someone knows if there is a study already on this; let's look at some of the closer races and just see if there was a significant difference in the amount of money spent between the candidates.

Also, I'd appreciate not making a judgement on my values; I'm simply interested in discussing the effect of SuperPACs and money on elections, and I simply take the (obviously less popular with people) position that the role of money is, well, overstated. Is it a factor? Yeah, but just having more money doesn't mean you win. It can make it easier to win because you can get your message out easier, and it can serve as a proxy measure of people's support for you if you're getting more donations than the other guy. But if a bunch of rich friends are bankrolling your campaign, and that's all, you're probably not going to win. There are things more important than money.

Then ignore the hyperbole, and ask yourself: do you trust our political process more than before Citizen's United, or do you trust it less? We've also already seen one election cycle where they did play a significant part: 2010. Republican SuperPACs hugely outspent democratic supporting ones. Sure, momentum was in the republican's favor anyway, but they almost certainly have had less of a landslide without their superPACs.


I can't ignore hyperbole; perception of the role of money is just as important as the actual effect of money. Also, the hyperbole presents a hypothesis to test, which I can't resist at least looking at ^_^.

Now to step back a moment and address my opinions. After reading the actual Citizen's United decision...I kind of had to agree with it. Regardless of the effect of PACs or what not, I believe the decision had a point; freedom of speech can not be restricted simply because it's coming from a group of people and because said group has money. If I, as an individual, spent $100 million dollars running ads and printing flyers and holding rallys on an issue you wouldn't stop me, would you? Well, we don't lose our rights just because we group together (heck, the ability to do that is a right!), so if a bunch of my friends and I want to create an organization to support an issue, why shouldn't we be allowed to spend $100 million on it? And, obviously, an election is an issue that we may have an opinion on. We may not like it, but that's freedom of speech for you.

As for the 2010 elections, no, I wouldn't say that the SuperPACs are the reason for the landslide. It's not like we don't already have a history of such large landslides:

Image
This shows the composition of the House of Representatives for Congress numbers from the 40th (1867-1869) to the 106th (1999-2001).

Image
This shows the composition of the Senate for Congress numbers from the 40th (1867-1869) to the 106th (1999-2001).

In 2010 we had a poor economy (and still do), a highly controversial yet major piece of legislation that the conservative base could rally around (the Healthcare bill), a conservative social movement (the Tea Party). Heck, I was surprised the Senate was still in Democratic control by the end of the midterms...and I'm a Democrat! Also...

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/2010-ele ... 0hH7PW4KSo

Nonparty organizations reported spending more than $280 million, or 130 percent more money during the 2010 campaign than they did in 2008, according to the Institute. The figure eclipsed spending totals by the national political parties for the first time in recent memory.

But in the most competitive races across the country, spending by party and nonparty groups combined was roughly equal in support of Republican and Democratic candidates, a dynamic that suggests the electoral wave was roiling well ahead of any outside groups' attempts to sway voters' hearts and minds, the Institute said.

"Neither set of expenditures [party or nonparty spending] could be said to have tipped the electoral balance," Institute researcher Brendan Glavin wrote in the report.


Here's the Report:

http://www.cfinst.org/Press/PReleases/1 ... sults.aspx

Notice the title: Winning Candidates Raised Less than Losers in the Competitive Races, and There Was Rough Equality in Spending by Others.

And why is that? Cause other studies have shown spending by incumbents pretty much means nothing. Challengers get all the benefit in spending.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Lucrece » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Dividing Cubans and Puerto Ricans was pointless. Neither has immigration concerns. So by that breakdown alone, you got about 65+% of Latino voters who don't have immigration concerns in the forefront. Missing the other 30%.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Whammy » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:11 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:Dividing Cubans and Puerto Ricans was pointless. Neither has immigration concerns. So by that breakdown alone, you got about 65+% of Latino voters who don't have immigration concerns in the forefront. Missing the other 30%.

...Cubans and Puerto Ricans were 50%, not 65%. Second, did you miss this part?:

9. Candidates’ immigration positions still matter in Florida. In a poll conducted January 16–23, 70 percent of Florida’s registered Latino voters stated that they would be more likely to support a candidate seeking to pass the DREAM Act, while only 6 percent would be less likely.


And then when you dig into the data, you find this:

4. Generally speaking, what are the most important issues facing the Latino community that you think Congress and the President should address?
Number one issue in Florida? Immigration (43%).


So yes, immigration is an important issue in Florida. Of course, statements like "Spanish is the language of the ghetto" isn't so much an immigration as it a culture issue anyway.


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