Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

“Let me please reintroduce myself…”

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

“…I’m a woman of wealth and taste…”

Hillary, you don’t need to reintroduce yourself. The problem isn’t that we don’t know who you are. The problem is that we do know who you are, and entirely too well…

Cruz Bleeding the Man Who Would Be President

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Ever see John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, the film starring Sean Connery and Michael Cain based on the Rudyard Kipling story of the same name? It features Connery as a British soldier mistaken for a god by a remote tribe, a mistake Connery plays to his advantage, right up until his would-be queen bites him, the resulting blood proving that he’s a mere mortal.

His subsequent fall is swift.

I’m reminded of that fall by news that, according to a PPP poll, Donald Trump has dropped nine points following his second place finish in Iowa. Trump’s sense of popular inevitability was always one of his greatest assets, but after Ted Cruz successfully smote him, Trump too has been revealed as a mere mortal, and that sense of inevitability is bleeding away…

(Hat tip: Bad Blue.)

More Analysis of the Iowa Caucuses

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

here are a few of the more interesting pieces pieces of Iowa analysis, along with a dollop of general Presidential Race news):

  • How Ted Cruz won Iowa.
  • Texas Monthly‘s Erica Grieder offers up a field guide to Ted Cruz for her fellow reporters. Including such nuggets as “Ted Cruz is not a fire-breathing extremist” (this is true; I’ve never once seen him breath fire) and “Cruz is smarter than us” (which is undoubtedly true for the vast majority of reporters covering him). While I have some quibbles here and there, the piece is well worth reading, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Cruz. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • More: “What they’re failing to perceive is that such an effort reinforced Cruz’s claim that he will work for the people. Trump has been making the same claim, and a lot of people believe him. But in Iowa, at least, Cruz had a chance to show the people that he meant it. That’s what clinched the caucus.”
  • “Cruz won Iowa the old-fashioned way: He earned it.”
  • 13 Quick Takeaways From The Iowa Caucuses. Including the fact that Hillary is a horrible candidate, and the media is far more obsessed with a Republican populist candidate that got 25% of the vote than the Democratic populist candidate that got 50%.
  • Cruz’s 51,000 votes were the most ever for a Republican in the Iowa caucus.
  • “The reason why we were reluctant to tip Cruz as the likely winner, however, was because we were all suckered by The Donald’s hype.”
  • Cruz 1, Ethanol Lobby 0.
  • Hillary Did Not Win Last Night.”
  • How Sanders caught fire in Iowa.
  • “Between the turnout and the result, Iowa’s caucuses provide an early indicator that Republicans are more excited and Democrats less enthusiastic than usual about 2016.”
  • Ace asks where were all those new voters Trump was supposed to bring in?
  • Frank Luntz says that Jeb Bush’s $100 million worth of anti-Rubio ads hurt Bush more than Rubio.
  • Rand Paul drops out.
  • Cruz gets endorsed by South Carolina congressman Jeff Duncan.
  • Winners, Losers, and Observations from Iowa

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

    Now that was an interesting Iowa caucus! On the Republican side, Ted Cruz came in first (8 delegates), Donald Trump second (7 delegates), with Marco Rubio nipping at his heels for third (7 delegates).

    On the Democratic side, it appears that Hillary Clinton eked out a historically narrow victory over Bernie Sanders. I say “appears” since last night it was reported that results from 90 precincts had gone missing. Given her serial history of lawbreaking, and the entire weight of the DNC all-in on dragging her over the finish line, would anyone put it past Hillary to monkey-wrench the process to avoid a narrow loss?

    Let’s take a look at last night’s biggest winners and losers:

  • Winner: Ted Cruz: Given no chance at the beginning of the cycle, or even a few months ago, Cruz pulled out a clear victory against a candidate given eight months of unprecedented free media coverage. As I noted while following his 2012 senate race, Cruz is a smart, disciplined and indefatigable campaigner, a true conservative, and will make a great President.
  • Loser: Donald Trump: See above. A novice politician pulling 24% and second place in the Iowa caucuses would normally be cause for celebration, but Trump roared into Iowa like a juggernaut on a wave of unbelievable media interest and limped out like a hobbled mule. For all the talk about Trump’s money making a difference, there are few signs any of it was spent on an effective ground game. And for once he wasn’t bragging after the results came in.
  • Loser: Jeb Bush: Remember a year ago how everyone was predicting Bush’s fundraising machine and organizational muscle would bulldoze his rivals aside? Not so much. Bush ended up spending $2,884 per Iowa vote to come in sixth.
  • Winner: Marco Rubio: A strong third keeps him in the game, and he’s well situated to pick up deep-pocketed Bush backers who aren’t turned off by the huge amounts of money they’ve already thrown away.
  • Losers: Governors running for President. It used to be that Governor was seen as the idle perquisite for running for President (Reagan, Bush43, Clinton, Carter, etc.), but not only did Jeb Bush come in sixth, John Kaisch, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Jim Gilmore (who we’ll mention only because he was a governor, since he got a whopping 12 votes in all of Iowa) all did even worse, Martin O’Malley came in an exceptionally distant third on the Democratic side, and Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki didn’t even make it to Iowa. Huckabee and O’Mally have suspended their campaigns, and the other governors should follow suit.
  • Loser: Rand Paul: Few expected Paul to win, but few expected him to do markedly worse than his father. He should drop out
  • Losers: The remaining Republican candidates. At this point there’s no path to victory for Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina or Rick Santorum. They should drop out as well.
  • Winner: Bernie Sanders: He went from being a crazy old socialist with no chance of winning to a crazy old socialist who fought the Clinton machine to a virtual tie.
  • Loser: Hillary Clinton: She desperately needed to win Iowa and got it, maybe (the Iowa Democratic Party is refusing to release actual vote totals, as opposed to precinct results), with the help of some missing ballots and unlikely coin flips, by the skin of her teeth, but she vastly underperformed in a race that was supposed to be cakewalk for her a year ago. “Her inability to ride a first-class ground organization to a decisive triumph underscores the candidate’s weakness and the lack of a message that resonates with primary voters.” And there were accusations that Hillary was using paid staffers as precinct chairmen.
  • It’s now a three man race on the Republican side, and a dog fight on the Democratic side.

    Iowa Caucus Update: CNN Projects Cruz Win in Iowa

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    “CNN projects Ted Cruz wins…On the Republican side, with 99% of the expected vote in, Ted Cruz leads with 28%, followed by Donald Trump at 24% and Marco Rubio at 23%.”

    On the Democratic side, things are much closer:

    “With 81% of the expected vote in, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders only 50.1% to 49.2%.”

    Edited to add: Fox News also projects Cruz as the winner.

    LinkSwarm for February 1, 2016

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    The Iowa Caucuses are today! Why they’re Monday rather than the usual Tuesday, I couldn’t tell you. (And speaking of elections, today is your last day to register to vote in the March 1 Texas primary.)

    Here’s a LinkSwarm with more than a dollop of presidential election news:

  • ObamaCare is an exercise in moving goalposts:

    Back in 2015 the CBO estimated 21 million Obamacare enrollees in 2016. They are now estimating 13 million will sign up this year. How many will actually sign up is not going to be known for another year or so, but I wouldn’t particularly bet on it being more than 21 million, and I wouldn’t particularly counsel against thinking that it’ll be less than 13 million.

    Oh, the news gets better. The original claim that 11 million people signed up for Obamacare in 2015 has likewise been revised by this report, which now apparently reports 9.5 million. And here’s something that will really reassure folks worried about our deficits: the original assumption was that there would be 15 million subsidized plans and 6 million unsubsidized ones in 2015, or 71%/29%. The actual totals were 11 million subsidized, 2 million unsubsidized, or 85%/15%. Let me put it a different way: the Obama administration has managed to somehow simultaneously drastically miss their signup goals AND do so in a way where there won’t even a commensurate savings for taxpayers.

  • “The Clintons have made careers of defying our assumptions about how low they can go.”
  • Hillary’s emails disqualify her from the presidency. “There is near certainty that at least the Russians and the Chinese but also the Iranians and North Koreans were reading all incoming and outgoing email to Hillary in real time from almost the moment she hooked up her ‘home brew’ server.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • More on the subject by Guy Benson at Townhall.
  • Bernie Sanders: The bum who wants your money. “Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.”
  • Republicans are more engaged in Iowa than Democrats.
  • Jim Geraghty offers up a forest of links why each of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio can win or lose tonight.
  • Ace of Spades is shocked, shocked that the Republican establishment is trying to take out Ted Cruz to help Marco Rubio.
  • Financial heavy hitter Sheldon Adelson is backing Cruz. (Hat tip: Conservatives4TedCruz.)
  • Watch Cruz turn around an Iowa farmer hostile over ethanol subsidies.
  • “If there is anyone with a chance of underperforming his 28 percent of the electorate (again, the new Register number), it is Trump. And if Trump does underperform, the question will be whether he falls enough for Cruz to catch him.” (Hat tip: Conservatives4TedCruz.)
  • Trump does poorly among Republicans with college degrees, but well among those with less education. “He is continually the candidate not only with the highest very favorable rating, but the highest very unfavorable rating. He is utterly unacceptable to a very significant portion of the Republican electorate.”
  • “Why there are so many things with titles like ‘Why I still believe Donald Trump will never be president.'”
  • “Jeb Bush kicks off 3 state farewell tour.”
  • Enivironmentalist predictions from 1970: “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • EU goes out of the way to insist that widespread sexual assault by Islamic men in Cologne had nothing to do with Islamic ‘refugees.’
  • Another day, another 100 Nigerians killed by Boko Haram.
  • Finland farked.
  • Tips for non-western immigrants to America. “Perhaps this little rhyme can help: To live here in the West, God willing, just say no to honor killing.”
  • A whole lot of hedge funds are shorting the Yuan.
  • Larry Correia reports from the SHOT show.
  • The last gunsmith. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Remembering Marvin Minsky, and how he cited Hayek in some of his work.
  • “Muslim Uber driver attacks pregnant woman’s service dog.”
  • Ted Cruz vs. Donald Trump Update for January 31, 2016

    Sunday, January 31st, 2016

    Another installment on the battle between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Many of these links come from http://conservatives4tedcruz.blogspot.com/.

  • In Iowa it’s everyone vs. Cruz.
  • Cruz blasts Iowa governor Terry Branstad for his family benefiting from ethanol subsidies.
  • Glenn Beck’s site on Ted Cruz the candidate:

    Ted understands the gravity of our situation, and he understands how to right the wrongs of the past eight years by holding true to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. It’s all there, written long ago by the brilliant men who fought the fierce battle for freedom and liberty. We don’t need a bailout, we don’t need any new government programs. We need to return to the First Principles laid out for us by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

    Ted Cruz is the George Washington we’ve prayed for. He’s here — the man who understands that government is not the solution but the problem. Ted Cruz understands that the restraints placed on the government by the Constitution are a good thing.

  • Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund endorses Cruz. The piece says that they’re the largest Tea Party group in the country, which makes me wonder what criteria they used and how they determined that.
  • Even Marco Rubio acknowledges that Cruz is the frontrunner in Iowa.
  • Is 135,000 the magic number in Iowa? Turnout below that and Cruz wins, turnout above that and Trump wins? I’m going to need confirmation from the haruspices before accepting that conclusion…
  • Anti-Trump ad running in the Des Moines Register.
  • Both Cruz and Trump have several events in Iowa between now and the caucuses.
  • This Washington Post piece is probably a pretty good distillation of current inside-the-beltway thinking on Cruz’s chances of winning. Just remember the same insiders were talking about Jeb Bush’s inevitable triumph six months ago…
  • “Gallup: Trump Has Highest Unfavorable Rating of Any Candidate Ever.”
  • Byron York interviews Donald Trump. When Trump says “the Republicans are fighting each other,” it rather suggests Trump isn’t a Republican, doesn’t it? His answer as to why he’s religious (“I went through my Sunday school, I’ve done everything that you’re supposed to do”) is deeply unconvincing, as is repeated answers to questions about how conservative he is (“I’ve had tremendous polling numbers with conservatives”). On the other hand, defending his fiscal conservatism, when he says “I mean, we owe $19 trillion, this is going to destroy our country, we’re going to be destroyed,” well, he’s not lying…
  • Thomas Sowell to Donald Trump: Grow up.
  • Democratic analyst John B. Judis: The birth of a Trump-Sanders constituency. Some of his points are wrong and others Democratic Party talking points, but there’s still some interesting analysis here. “Both are critical of how wealthy donors and lobbyists dominate the political process, and both favor some form of campaign finance reform. Both decry corporations moving overseas for cheap wages and to avoid American taxes. Both reject trade treaties that favor multinational corporations over workers. And both want government more, rather than less, involved in the economy.” That last one speaks, yet again, to the point that Trump is not a conservative. See also “How Trump fights against the free market policies Republicans embraced” and “He has had little contact with, and shown little interest in, conservative ideology.”
  • “Dear Trump Voters, Your Darling Is a Two-Timing Cad.” This message is objectively true. However, I do note that the same issue did not seem to harm Bill Clinton’s career…
  • I’m a Cruz supporter, but just look at this “Wah, Trump hurt my feelings, why won’t Twitter kick him off” Social Justice Warrior drivel Slashdot has posted to their front page. Note the central lie that Trump’s Twitter account is “a trolling stream of hate and other abuses that would cause any average Twitter user to be terminated in a heartbeat” without actually offering any examples of same…
  • Ted Cruz vs. Donald Trump Roundup for January 30, 2016

    Saturday, January 30th, 2016

    Another installment on the battle between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Many of these links come from http://conservatives4tedcruz.blogspot.com/ (no #CruzCrew email briefing today).

  • “Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign announced Friday it ended 2015 with $19 million in the bank.” That’s all hard money, and it brings Cruz campaign totals to $50 million.
  • “Don’t choose your candidate based on who you’d prefer to have a beer with, but whom you trust most to remain aligned with your principles. For me, that’s Ted Cruz.”

    Cruz doesn’t want or need approval from the political elite. He isn’t seeking to be well-liked among the electorate, probably because he knows he just isn’t likable. Cruz will never be Joe Biden or Marco Rubio. He doesn’t have a beaming smile or endearing anecdotes or a twinkle in his eye. But his shrewdness, calculation, and disregard for elite approval can make him a winning candidate—and, what’s more, a pretty good conservative president.

    Here’s the thing: I’ve met Ted Cruz, and I find him quite likable in person. Yes, Cruz does a very polished oratorical style and a laser-like focus on message that can make him seem overly scripted at the podium (though he’s gotten a lot better in this regard). But get past that he’s a smart, likable guy. What he doesn’t have is the almost pathological neediness to be liked that drove (for example) Bill Clinton to become so adept at emotional projection.

  • “Conservatives have been hoping that “another Reagan” will come along for decades and we finally have one: Ted Cruz….Cruz’s consistent conservatism mixed with his willingness to fight is why he’s the ONLY CANDIDATE RUNNING who can absolutely be counted on to get rid of Obama’s executive orders, kill Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood and build a fence on the border.”
  • “The very same group who has gotten everything else wrong about the 2016 election and the mood of the voters went on television tonight with well rehearsed, clearly orchestrated talking points and got the debate wrong too. Yes, I do think Marco Rubio had a really good debate and came across as more pleasant than Cruz in the debate. But that is not going to hurt Ted Cruz. After all, all the right people hate him and the voters love him. The voters, not the talking heads, matter.”
  • CNN admits that journalists are scared to criticize Donald Trump. That admission highlights two problems with modern journalism: When did it become a “journalist’s job” to criticize candidates rather than just report the news, and when did our reporting class become such cringing little cowards that they’re afraid to do their job because strangers on Twitter will be mean to them? (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll on Instapundit.)
  • Media sees Trump as identical to Rush Limbaugh. They have, what, 1/8th of a loaf there? Both love taking the piss out of the deeply unpopular national liberal establishment, and their followers love them for it. But admitting that would mean the mainstream media admitting just how deeply unpopular they actually are… (Hat tip: Ditto.)
  • But just because Trump gives the MSM the vapors doesn’t mean we should stoop to his level of crass vulgarity.
  • Cruz has the best ranked ads in the race.
  • Cruz praises school choice.
  • A look at the latest Iowa polls. President Howard Dean could tell you a thing or two about how reliable they are…
  • Ted Cruz vs. Donald Trump Roundup for January 29, 2016

    Friday, January 29th, 2016

    Another installment on the battle between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Many of these links come from the #CruzCrew daily briefings I get via email, and from http://conservatives4tedcruz.blogspot.com/.

  • American Thinker makes the case for Cruz:

    Unlike so many previously promising GOP leaders who have wilted in the face of media attacks, Ted Cruz has remained unbending while facing a flood of media hostility, as well as hostility from the establishment Republicans and inside-the-Beltway conservative elites. He is firm in his conservative convictions and willingness to speak out against corrupt compromises that defraud the public like the latest Omnibus Spending bill passed by career-minded Republicans in Congress. His positions aren’t swayed by the audience — as noted by his willingness in Iowa to be unwaveringly opposed to unwarranted ethanol subsidies.

    Cruz alone – in a full GOP field of talented candidates — has the brain power and experience to excel as a national and world leader in an increasingly violent, troubled world.

  • National Review scores the Republican debate a draw.
  • Marco Rubio garnered boos for his attacks on Cruz.
  • More on Cruz’s poison pill amendment to the amnesty bill.
  • A majority of young voters convened by Fusion told host Alicia Menendez that after Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate, they will vote for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in next week’s Iowa caucus.”
  • New ad targets Donald Trump over hiring illegal aliens.
  • Trump also uses tons of H-2B foreign works. Because it’s evidently impossible to find Americans willing to work as waiters, cooks and maids…
  • More on the subject from last year.
  • Cruz garners the endorsement of Christian talk radio network founders Dick and Richard Bott.
  • Trump going in to Iowa without a ground game? Not a smart idea.
  • Indeed, there’s precious little evidence that Trump is driving new voter registration in Iowa, or even that his supporters will show up at the polls there. “Trump is winning 40 percent of the vote among those who have less than a 20 percent chance of actually going to the polls.”
  • How Trump appeals to traditionalist America:

    How did Republicans and the political class respond to Trump initially? They made fun of how he talked. Everyone was then surprised when people whose speech patterns are among the only patterns that are still socially appropriate to mock responded by liking Trump more (I actually think Trump’s accent is one of his biggest advantages). Making fun of his hair? Think about this the next time you make fun of someone with a mullet. Expressing outrage at his politically incorrect statements? I think Kevin Drum is part of the way there in this typically thoughtful essay in which he discusses the impact that political correctness has on people who feel silenced because they don’t know how to talk. But even this reflects Drum’s own internalized belief that the politically correct way to speak is the correct way to speak, while non-cosmopolitan Americans’ response is more visceral: “Why the hell can’t we call them illegal immigrants? Says who?” And Trump is the only candidate who unambiguously calls this out.

  • Ted Cruz vs. Donald Trump Roundup for January 28, 2016

    Thursday, January 28th, 2016

    With the Iowa Caucuses happening next week, I thought I’d finally concentrate on the big contest shaping up between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. I’m backing Cruz, but this election year has been so odd I couldn’t possibly predict the outcome.

    A lot (but not all) of the links below come from the #CruzCrew daily briefings I get via email, and from http://conservatives4tedcruz.blogspot.com/.

  • Why Ted Cruz can win the general election.
  • Legal Insurrection makes the conservative case for Ted Cruz:

    Cruz was elected, as were so many other TEA Party candidates, to go to Washington and to stand for conservative principles in the face of opposition from both sides of the aisle, and unlike so many others, he did what he said he would do. He didn’t sell out, he didn’t jump on the DC gravy train, and he didn’t turn his back on his grassroots supporters or on his stated ideals and principles.

  • Trump is skipping tonight’s debate in Iowa.
  • Which is why Cruz is challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate.
  • Trump says he’ll be raising money for veterans groups during the debate. Veterans groups: leave us out of your stunt.
  • Rush Limbaugh: “I don’t think you can make Ted Cruz wilt. I don’t think there’s any kind of heat that’s going to cause him to shrink. He rises to the occasion. The thing about Ted Cruz is that you never have to doubt his conservatism.”
  • Mickey Kaus offers 8 theories on why the GOP Establishment is backing Trump over Cruz. Missing: They just think Trump is easier to manipulate and do deals with…
  • The Republican Establishment are backing Trump over Cruz because they fear Cruz is serious about conservative principles.
  • Family Research Council head Tony Perkins endorses Ted Cruz.
  • As does Dana Loesch.
  • As does North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows.
  • The pro-abortion media is incensed that Cruz is giving bottled water to pregnant women in Flint, Michigan. Because clean water is evidently a partisan issue in failing one-party Democratic cities…
  • Why the Iowa caucus rules will help Cruz…and Hillary Clinton.
  • Finally, if you haven’t seen National Review‘s “Against Trump” symposium (and my own issue hasn’t shown up in the mail yet), here it is.
  • Going to try to do one of these a day between now and Iowa. Keep in mind that I’ve been reporting on Ted Cruz here since he announced his senate run, for which I endorsed Cruz. If you’re just tuning into the election now, there’s a lot of information there on just how hard Cruz has been fighting for conservative causes…