Tag: Michael Barone

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trump’s Picks

 

donald-trump-cabinet-list-of-appointmentsEarly last week, Michael Barone published a piece analyzing the election returns in which he focused on the manner in which “the double-negatives” — those who thought highly neither of Donald Trump nor of Hillary Clinton — broke at the very end decisively for the former. Here is the way he put it:

One reason polling may have been misleading, or at least misled many of us in the psephology racket, is that this is the first presidential election since random sample polling began in 1935 in which most voters had negative feelings toward both major party candidates.

Election analysts have had experience dealing with elections in which majorities have positive feelings about both nominees; that has usually been the case in contests which turn out to have been seriously contested. “Double positives,” people with positive feelings about both candidates, will usually split along partisan or perhaps ethnic lines, and ordinarily pretty evenly.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. It Ain’t Over Yet, Part Three

 

The week before this past one Hillsdale was on spring vacation, and I was on the road — first to DC to give short talks about my book The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge at a dinner sponsored by the Bradley Foundation and at another held at Hillsdale’s Kirby Center, then on to Claremont McKenna College on the outskirts of Los Angeles, to attend a Montesquieu conference sponsored by the Salvatori Center.

While in DC, I had breakfast with Michael Barone — who arrived armed with a map xeroxed from Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and proceeded to try out an idea on me — to wit, that Trump appeals powerfully to those who, so to speak, “bowl alone” and has little appeal for those who “bowl in leagues.” If true, he told me, this suggests that Trump will falter in Wisconsin and do poorly in North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Oregon. Ten of the 11 states, he explained, where people most emphatically tend to “bowl alone” have already voted. Trump won them all, but there are not all that many states of this sort left.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Senate Republican Candidates Badly Underperforming in Midterm Elections So Far

 

shutterstock_180961367Writing in the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone has a sunny take on the upcoming midterms, predicting big trouble for the Senate Democrats. The essence of the argument comes from an excellent analytical article by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. Cillizza compared the public approval of Democrat Senate candidates with President Obama’s approval in their state. In every case but one (South Dakota), the Democrat Senate candidates are outperforming the president, sometimes by a wide margin. For instance, the Democrat running for the Senate in Alaska and Arkansas is 14% more popular than Obama is in that state. And these candidates are running behind their Republican adversary. In West Virginia and Kentucky, Democratic senate candidates outperform Obama by 12%. Barone (and Cillizza) use these numbers to show how much of a gale-force headwind Democrats face in the upcoming mid-terms. In other words, 2014 is a Republican year.

While it is undoubtedly true that the GOP has been enjoying exceptionally favourable circumstances, I have a more pessimistic take: look at how poorly the Republican candidates themselves are doing. A perfect illustration is Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell. He was first elected in the Reagan wave of 1984. He is currently the Senate minority leader, the most powerful Republican in the Senate, and has held this post since 2007. In 2012, Mitt Romney won the state of Kentucky with 61% of the popular vote. Obama only got 38%. No Obama sweep there. In the two years since then, Obama’s popularity in Kentucky has plunged to 30%.

By these measures, Mitch McConnell should be cruising to victory, and his opponent, Allison Grimes, should be a non-entity. And yet, he is only barely leading her in the polls. The possibility that the GOP will retake the Senate and Mitch McConnell will lose is unlikely, but it is nevertheless real. All of these facts taken together say one thing: Mitch McConnell is performing extraordinarily badly. He is simply an awful, unappealing candidate.