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July 18, 2016



Ivanka was at the wrong convention:

Ivanka Trump spoke like a Democrat and Republicans absolutely loved it


The republicans love anyone and anything named Trump, no matter what the Trump says or does.


So Trump rejects a hypothetic Cruz endorsement but had no issues with David Duke's earlier endorsement. The mass media had to work hard to convince Trump to reject David Duke's endorsement. I guess it's better to receive prise from scum like David Duke than be criticized by creeps like Cruz.
Speaking of Duke, he feels like it's his duty to run for Senate in Louisiana.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

So its Tim Kaine for Hillary's VP. I was wrong to believe so strongly it would be Castro or another Hispanic. Well, it should not be a surprise to most haha, it had been signaled for a while. Yes, Kaine is a competent ex-Governor pick, but nothing like as arousing or exciting as say Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker. He's yet another old white person into this year's race of old white people. Its yet another boring wooden white people into the trio of white 'backup singers' in a show of Trump haha.

Will this harm the ticket, of course not. Will it just about lock Virginia for Hillary? Yes. Will it help out side of VA, perhaps a little bit in Pennsylvania and Ohio but not much. And yes, he speaks fluent Spanish but that is not much solace to the Hispanic community that had hoped for Castro or Perez or another Hispanic, as several had been talked about.

Will this shift the race? No. I think this is simply a tight play for Virginia, one of the vital states Trump has to win to become President and his path is essentially blocked now. Trump would have to win Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania AND another significant battleground state (a tiny one like New Hampshire is not enough). A safe pick but I really had hoped she'd go for the brave choice in a Hispanic.

I will have to adjust my expectations to my thinking because of this. Hispanic vote will still be up, driven by strong fear of Trump but I don't think it is as much a wave as I expected if a Hispanic was on the ticket. I'll let you know when that math is done

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

Our fave numbers blog - 538 blog - has done their preview blogs about each candidate, and now use one as the instant analysis of Tim Kaine (smart writing). It has the best synopsis of the actual election result gain out of Kaine as VP choice. To summarize, he only helps in his home state, he boosts final Virginia vote by 2% (the vote in that state only) and this would be enough to likely guarantee VA for Hillary. They then count what are the odds that this swings the actual election (trivially small, VPs usually don't matter much) BUT even doing so, Virginia is one of the best states where this could be done (and best out of good Democratic choices as candidate). EXCELLENT article purely on the math and election outcome, based on 'if Hillary picks Kaine' and now its their instant-analysis of the Kaine pick. Must-read material

I underline and agree with every bit in that story. I will be making similar findings in my review of Kaine and it is partly based on mutually similar thinking, and definitely based on reading this stuff previously at 538 when they compared the top choices for Hillary.

One more thought. Kaine is the weakest link - by a mile - in Hillary's strong stable of surrogates. He IS boring, we've seen him now, he is haha yes, a 'generic' plain-vanilla Democrat. He's like Joe Biden but without his charm or his propensity to stick his foot in his mouth. A boring Biden. That Kaine. But he ticks really all the boxes, he's pro-choice, pro-gun-control, etc etc and highly popular in his home state of Virginia. Oh and when Hillary was previously asked (before the choice was announced) what he thought of the fact that Kaine is boring, her response literally is 'Boring is good' haha. Even Hillary admits, this is a boring VP choice. Yes, she does have superstar speakers in her lineup of surrogates - Bill, Obama, Warren etc - but her VP? Won't be overshadowing Hillary and stealing the limelight at the Convention in Philadelphia next week (a Warren, Booker or Castro might very well have).

Tomi Ahonen :-)


No one should assume the outcome of this election. I can still remember the complete shock after Nixon won in '72. It was obvious to everyone I knew at that time, regardless of age, that Nixon was as crooked as a snake, yet the fear of McGovern made them all vote for Tricky Dick.

The Clintons have been the target of a very much longer and effective smear campaign than McGovern ever faced. Facts don't seem to matter, only implanted fear and hatred.

Any one who believes the likes of Trump can't be elected, or, if elected, can't radically alter life in the U.S. for generations to come, simply hasn't lived long enough or studied enough history.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

A few notes picked up from Twitter feed. Let me start off by personal observation. Why are we surprised, Hillary goes by the book and does INCREDIBLY deep prep on all issues, and lets the facts guide her. She is the policy wonk by definition. The EXACT opposite of Trump who doesn't bother with any facts or research, shoots from the hip and wants to go back on his previous 'final decisions'...

So first. Kaine is a pro-gun-restrictions Governor of the state of Virginia, where the NRA is headquartered. He rated an F rating from the NRA. In a swing state, with that background, as Governor he passed tougher gun laws.

But get this. His first act as politician at the start of his political career decades ago was fighting for fair housing - this coincidentally at the exact same time as Trump was first in national news for - yes, discriminating against blacks who wanted to rent in his slum lord apartments.

Then of the Hispanic support? Kaine became the first Senator to deliver a whole speech in the Senate in Spanish.

He's a Catholic but he is pro-choice.

And last but not least.. that VP on the other side? Kaine was the first Governor to pass anti-smoking laws; Mike Pence was in the pocket of the smoking lobby, arguing that smoking doesn't kill!!

He's a pretty darned good pick for a moderate utterly competent ticket and clearly a man who has been a fighter for Democratic causes and remarkably well suited to highlight some of the most ugly flaws on the Trump-Pence ticket.

I bet the Democratic Convention will utterly fall in love with Kaine in Philadelphia. I just personally wished we'd have a VP candidate who can speak in more than plain vanilla monotones haha... But most def, when digging deeper, this is a very very strong choice and obviously a safe choice (picking Castro would have had the danger that Hillary picked a light-weight similar to Sarah Palin in a 'desperate' attempt to woo Hispanics).

Good safe choice but those two fights in his past - to be on the side of the poor renters against slum lords (Trump) and more importantly to me personally the cigarette wars record of Kaine vs Pence - yeah I can warm up to this ticket haha. And if Hillary wanted a strong ally to take on the NRA, I think Kaine was probably the biggest fear the NRA had about who Hillary might pick and no doubt this will be the big theme for Kaine, he'll be her 'point man' in that part of the fight in the message for 2016.

BTW feeding in a 'normal' demographic growth rate to Hispanic vote vs the wave I anticipated with a Castro VP choice, I downgrade my election projection model to something like a 1% to 1.5% downgrade of Hillary final vote because essentially all of the Hispanic surge I had calculated into it was driven by the excitement of a Hispanic VP. That means what was a 20% landslide becomes closer to an 18% landslide in the class of Mondale's loss. But the effect hits particularly the strong Hispanic states. Most are safe (California, New Mexico) but this lowers her victory margin in states like Colorado and Florida. Arizona remains very tight with this change and now Texas is a very heavy lift, likely not flipping. An 18 point landslide does flip the House.

BUT this is only the preliminary CHANGE to the MODEL based on the wrong assumption. Hillary's wave will be somewhat less than I expected but still a massive landslide yes. In terms of states it will lose, I think Florida is still safe with this, so the only two states, Arizona now lowers back 'into play' and she'll have to fight hard do win that usually red state, but Texas tinkers on being 'out of reach'. Pity. We've never seen the play of putting a 'demographic play' VP in as the gambit, woulda loved to see it played by Hillary who signalled her interest to make her Cabinet look like America... Well, she is a white old woman, why not an older white man alongside her haha... Its not like Trump had made ANY play for those other demographics so the Democrats have a strong story to sell anyway.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

On polling

Reuters daily tracking poll as of 22 July (as always, using Likely Voters screen) shows race tightening to exact 3 point race. Trump is not so far achieving a bounce but is gaining a modest tightening of the race, typical of the performance up through Day 3 of the Convention. Day 4 is only reflected on one day of the 3-day rolling polling average in that daily tracking poll (was 4 point race day before) so we should see further tightening still into next day or 2 as the total of the 3-day rolling average comes to cover only time after Day 4 of the Convention. But the 22 July snapshot vs 21 July does not signal any kind of strong spike surging for Trump, partly because maybe the NATO and other comments dampen any bounce and obviously still lingering battles with the party like Trump continuing the feud now with Ted Cruz (saying he won't accept his endorsement even if Cruz made it haha. What is wrong with Trump he is constantly jumping on ANY possible good news and destroys it instantly. Its like he's playing whack-a-mole striking ANY possible upward bounces that try to pop up anywhere).

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

My analysis of Tim Kaine is now up on a new blog. Enjoy. We can move the political discussion to that thread now...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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