Tag: Mike Murphy

In Defense of Mike Murphy…


Jeb BushIt seems this week that Jebworld donors, surrogates and hangers-on can’t go two minutes without shouting to the press about their strange (and conspicuously relative) respect for Donald Trump, or whispering to them about their grave concerns over Bush consigliere Mike Murphy’s handling of Right to Rise, Jeb’s outside muscle.

Now leaving aside the dynamics of this temporary alliance with Trump, the grousing over Super PAC strategy is absurd on every level. Let us examine the telltale paragraph from Politico:

POLITICO interviewed nearly two dozen Right to Rise donors and Bush supporters, and all blamed Murphy for a super PAC strategy that has failed to boost their struggling candidate. Multiple advisers to the Right to Rise super PAC concede privately that the $40 million spent on positive ads aimed at telling Bush’s story has yielded no tangible dividends.

Mike Murphy Doesn’t Know Why People Vote the Way They Do. And Neither Do You. Nor I.


murphy-mccainBecause nobody knows why people vote the way they do. At least, not in any useful sense. The four main theories of voter behavior — micro-sociological, macro-sociological, socio-psychological, and economically-rational — are as narratively compelling as sociology, psychology, and economics at explaining why something happened, but (like those disciplines) are basically useless as prediction tools.

You can read some of this between the lines of a revealing, month-old, twopart interview with Mike Murphy on his plan to cinch the nomination for Jeb Bush through the mega-bucks of the Right to Rise SuperPAC. Amongst the various details that may or may not be misdirection — that the 45 days leading up to March 15 are key; that targeting the southern states for 10 days coming out of New Hampshire could cost $35 million in media buys; that Right to Rise’s war chest is funded by a few thousand donors; how they’re looking to link your mobile phone location data to your voting history; etc. — Murphy refers to his “theories about the Iowa caucus electorate, the New Hampshire electorate, and the South Carolina electorate.”

“Theories.” Because even in a piece that is part advertisement, part disinformation, and part application for his next job, Murphy knows he doesn’t know why people vote the way they do because none of us do. So any argument about “electability” is an exercise in rhetoric, not science. And should therefore be treated with an appropriate level of seriousness: none.

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In an ominous sign, Mike and the Mechanics begin to spew a flammable gas: First, the dean of the consultant-industrial complex, the man who gave us Presidents McCain and Romney and is now seeking to make it a hat-trick as head of Bush’s SuperPac; Mike Murphy explains why Donald Trump doesn’t matter: He’s dead politically, […]

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Matthew Continetti has an article at NRO titled “Why Republicans Hate Political Consultants?” which argues that such creatures are weasels that are driven by greed and job security rather than principles and ideals. Could it be that without political consultants lining their pockets at the expense of the Scott Walker campaign the candidate might still […]

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What Mike Murphy Should Have Said


My reaction to Mike Murphy’s recent appearance on the Ricochet Podcast can be summarized with one word: frustration. I think it safe to say that my reaction is one shared by many – probably most – members. That said, the cause of my frustration puts me in a minority on Ricochet. Though I do not support comprehensive immigration reform at the present moment, I think it will be necessary at some point and I was deeply disappointed at how poor a case Murphy made for immigration reform as a political necessity. There are few things I find more frustrating than listening to an argument to which I am sympathetic put poorly. Now I don’t expect everyone to be persuaded by this, but here’s what I think Murphy should have said:*

First, we need to recognize that the GOP’s problem with the Hispanic vote is a serious one. Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States and are the fastest-growing segment of the American population. There are currently around 25 million Hispanics eligible to vote in the United States, a number set to rise to 40 million by 2030. Even if Hispanic immigration (both legal and illegal) were stopped entirely today, if the Republican Party cannot get a significantly higher percent of the Hispanic vote than it has in recent elections it is headed for long-term minority party status. This is particularly true in the case of presidential politics. The GOP cannot achieve an Electoral College majority without Texas and Hispanics are on track to become the largest ethnic group in Texas in about a decade. A Republican Party that receives less than 30 percent of the Hispanic vote is in trouble. Since 1980 (the first election for which such data is available and reliable), no one has won a presidential election with less than 30% of the Hispanic vote. In 2012, Romney received only 27%.