Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April Will Be the Cruelest Month, for Ted Cruz

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land
Ted Cruz should be riding high off his win in Wisconsin last night, but his victory speech didn't sound it, and that's because he can smell the lilacs coming up in the Atlantic Coast primaries later this month. Forget the polls, here are the odds, according to Pivit:

State Date Delegates Trump Cruz Kasich
New York April 19 95 99% 1% 1%
Connecticut April 26 28 93% 5% 2%
Delaware April 26 16 92% 8% <1%
Maryland April 26 38 68% 32% <1%
Pennsylvania April 26 71 87% 13% <1%
Rhode Island April 26 19 92% 6% <1%
Indiana May 3 57 18% 82% <1%
Nebraska May 10 36 2% 98% <1%
West Virginia May 10 34 84% 16% <1%
Oregon May 17 28 20% 80% <1%
Washington May 24 44 17% 83% <1%
California June 7 172 58% 42% <1%
Montana June 7 27 2% 98% <1%
New Jersey June 7 51 97% 2% 1%
New Mexico June 7 24 27% 73% <1%
South Dakota June 7 29 7% 93% <1%

So Ted Cruz is likely to lose the next 6 contests. The month of May may be better for Cruz, where he is in line to win 4 of 5 states, unless his voters lose faith, which could very well happen under the crush of April's cruelties. If he can keep his voters motivated, we're off to the contested convention, with my calculations showing Donald Trump finishing with 1190 delegates, just short of the 1237 he needs to clinch before the convention. I have a theory about the contested convention: either Donald Trump will be the nominee or he'll get to pick the nominee.

The Democrats may have a contested convention too. Because of their super-delegate system, Hillary Clinton would have to win close to 60% of the elected delegates to win the nomination outright before the convention. But she's 2.4 million votes ahead of Bernie Sanders, even after her loss in Wisconsin last night, so I imagine she'll be able to hunt up enough delegates in the end.

Update 4/27/2016: Donald Trump now looks to have overtaken Ted Cruz in Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico which puts him on track in my ledger for 1277 delegates which is 40 more than he would need to clinch the nomination.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Donald Trump and the Triumph of the Tea He Party

Donald Trump survived the Ides of March with a win-loss record now of 20 to 12 (19 to 10 if we just count states). But what does it mean? It's the triumph of the Tea Party.

The Tea Party, properly understood, was just as much a protest against the Republican Party as it was against the Obama administration. I was never really a fan. So the economy kicked a little dirt in your face? Welcome to my life, bub.

The angry middle-aged persons (they weren't just white men) who came out for those rallies in 2009, 2010, and early 2011 had disappeared by 2012, seemingly discredited by the death of Osama Bin Laden, disgrace of Herman Cain, and poor showing of Michelle Bachmann in the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries. But now they are back, throwing punches, and casting votes.

It's not just Donald Trump. The Tea Party Class of 2010 included Ted Cruz getting elected as U.S. Senator for Texas, Marco Rubio as U.S. Senator for Florida, John Kasich as Governor of Ohio, Chris Christie as Governor of New Jersey, and Rand Paul as U.S. Senator for Kentucky. Carly Fiornia tried and fell short of getting elected U.S. Senator for California in 2010. Ben Carson counts himself as Tea Party too.

As a group, they have gotten 98.5% of the vote in the 2016 Republican primaries so far, while the candidates with more traditional Republican roots - Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Jim Gilmore - only getting only 1.5% (19,950,541 to 313,575). The Republican grass has been pulled out by the roots and left to dry in the late winter sun.

What does the Tea Party want? "Taxed Enough Already" was the original backronym. But it was never really just or even primarily about taxes. "Had Enough" does better service. As Donald Trump moves on to clinch the Republican nomination, as he almost certainly will, perhaps it should be renamed the HE Party.

Can HE win in November? So far in the primaries there have been 7.5 million votes cast for Donald Trump and 8.7 million for Hillary Clinton. But look at the almost 20 million votes for all the Tea Party candidates versus less than 15 million combined on the Democratic side for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Will all those Republicans support Donald Trump? HE is mad and Hillary Clinton is Wall Street friendly, the old school Republicans might decide. That may be what SHE is counting on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Force Protection Condition Bravo at My Cambridge Polling Place

I got up this morning and took my Jeep in for an oil change and new shock absorbers. Then I went to vote at the Cambridge Armory. It got a bit surreal.

Force Protection Condition Bravo means "increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists." If we were in the immediate area where a terrorist attack was occurring, a National Guardsman would come round to screw out the plate with the Bravo warning and screw in the plate with the Delta warning.

Then it was was shades of 2012 and Clint Eastwood's chair:
Was I supposed to vote here in the chair or over there in the direction the blue arrow pointed? I sat in the chair for over an hour figuring that one out.

Then came the color coded ballots, arranged in descending order by our Cambridge poll workers: red for Democratic Party, green for Green-Rainbow Party, blue for Republican Party, and purple for United Independent Party. Feel the hillariously subliminal bern: the Democratic Party ballot is decidedly more pink than red.

If you're wondering why purple didn't get put ahead of blue, there were no actual candidate names on the United Independent Party ballot. I was tempted to request the purple ballot and write my name in for Ward Committee, State Committee Man, State Committee Woman, and Presidential preference as a perfect unity ticket.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Get Ready for 3 Weeks of Snowballing Trump

If you thought Donald Trump didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, it's real clear that the ball has begun to gather snow as it rolls downhill:

StateDateDelegatesPoll Lead
NevadaFebruary 2330Trump +21.0%
Georgia March 176Trump +9.7%
TexasMarch 1172Cruz +6.7%
Massachusetts March 142Trump +24.0%
Minnesota March 138Trump +6.0%
Oklahoma March 143Trump +7.5%
Arkansas March 140Cruz +4.0%
Tennessee March 158Trump +4.0%
Alabama March 150Trump +21.0%
Colorado March 137Carson +6.0%
Virginia March 149Trump +6.0%
Alaska March 128Trump +4.0%
Louisiana March 547Carson +4.0%
Kentucky March 545Paul +6.0%
Kansas March 523Christie +13.0%
MichiganMarch 859Trump +19.2%
Mississippi March 840Trump +7.0%
Florida March 1599Trump +21.0%
North CarolinaMarch 1572Trump +9.0%
Illinois March 1569Trump +3.0%
Ohio March 1566Trump +5.0%
Missouri March 1551Trump +12.0%

In other words, Trump is poised to go from 2 wins and 1 loss to 18 wins and 7 losses at the halfway mark of 25 states. Keep in mind, some of these states have not been polled in months, and the favorites have since peaked or dropped out.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Althouse Gets Blocked for Porno Content

It's an outrage! I can't read one of my favorite blogs, written by Ann Althouse, the Robert W. & Irma Arthur-Bascom Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, because she has been blocked for pornography:

I already have to do without Natalie Tran's Porno Music/Comment Time (which is being blocked for YouTube discrimination not pornography):

At least Bitdefender has not yet caught The Lazy Daily Strumpet Farmer blog.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Can Donald Trump Run the Table in February?

On the eve of the Iowa caucus let's forget the polls again and look at the odds:

Candidate 11/11/20151/31/2016
Hillary Clinton 45.7% 50%
Donald Trump 9.9% 16%
Marco Rubio 15.8% 11%
Bernie Sanders 7.9% 10%
Ted Cruz 3.0% 9%
Michael Bloomberg - 2%
Jeb Bush 5.7% 1%
Chris Christie 1.9% 1%
Ben Carson 3.8% -
John Kasich 1.6% -
Carly Fiorina 1.3% -
Mike Huckabee 1.0% -
Rand Paul 0.5% -
Martin O'Malley 0.5% -
Rick Santorum 0.4% -
Bobby Jindal 0.4% -
Lindsey Graham 0.3% -
George Pataki 0.3% -

For now, the smart money is still sticking with Hillary Clinton. Since November, Donald Trump has moved up a slot and Marco Rubio has moved down. It's fair to say that Trump was always leading Rubio, but there was some expectation Trump would fade and Rubio would become the front-runner. Ted Cruz has also moved up, despite questions about his eligibility.

Moreover, Trump is poised to run the table in February:
Candidate Iowa
New Hampshire
South Carolina
Donald Trump 69% 82% 68% 50%
Ted Cruz 29% 4% 30% 33%
Marco Rubio 1% 4% 5% 15%
John Kasich 1% 4% 1% 1%
Jeb Bush 1% 2% 1% -

That would put Trump's raw odds (if these were just coin flips) at 19% to run the table and win all four delegate contests in February. However, these are not independent events, and a sweep would create tremendous momentum going into the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in 13 states on March 1.

Update 2/2/2016:Trump didn't buy the farm in Iowa, but he did say he was thinking about buying one in his second place victory/concession speech. His odds of sweeping the remaining 3 contests in February has dropped to 13%. I'm guessing he saw his shadow in New Hampshire on Groundhog Day.

Update 2/10/2016:Trump's win in New Hampshire put him back on track. His betting odds to sweep both South Carolina and Nevada are now at 32.5%. But while Donald Trump's 100,406 NH votes beat the 95,252 for Hillary Clinton they finished second to the for 151,584 Bernie Sanders. In total, the 246,836 votes cast for Hillary and Bernie on the Democratic side trailed 279,130 for the Republican field. Uh oh.

Update 2/21/2016:Trump has won all the delegates in South Carolina on the strength of his 32.5% first place showing and is now the 82% favorite to win Nevada. Cruz, the Iowa winner, has had to settle for 2 third place finishes and may suffer another Tuesday in Nevada.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Two Corinthians Walk Into a Lapsed Presbyterian

Donald Trump has reportedly gaffed away the evangelical vote. He failed the shibboleth by reading the New Testament verse 2 Corinthians 3:17 as "Two Corinthians" rather than as the more authentic-sounding "Second Corinthians" in a speech Monday to students at Liberty University, a Southern Baptist college in Lynchburg, Virginia.
And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;

Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

Judges 12:5-6 (KJV)
Let's consider the possibilities here:

(1) Trump doesn't know his Bible.

(2) Trump got his Bible learning from reading rather than listening. That is, he's seen it written 2 Corinthians and so that is how he assumed it was said. When I went to college I got laughed at for mispronouncing Sigmund Freud's last name. We knew who he was in rural Southwest Iowa where I grew up, we just didn't sit around on the couch all day talking about him.

(3) Trump got his Bible quote from his speechwriter, who wrote the citation in shorthand rather than in the longhand way Trump would speak it, and Trump tripped over it in the delivery because he knew it was wrong as he was reading it.

(4) Trump got the habit of saying 2 Corinthians from his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, who was natural-born Scotswoman. No true Scotsman says Second Corinthians, proving Trump is not a natural born U.S. citizen. But I digress. It was probably the speechwriter.

Trump gave himself away a long time ago, by insisting to reporters "I'm a Protestant, I'm a Presbyterian" in response to questions of whether he really was a Christian. No true Presbyterian would tout that to get votes. It doesn't work, as you'd be sure to lose the Baptist vote.

And how did the Bible verse that Trump correctly but "inauthentically" cited go over among the students of Liberty University:
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
On the word "liberty" the snickering of the Liberty U. students turned to cheering. For that audience, Trump had the right shibboleth.