26 July 2012

Republicans can't spell and they can't proofread

Remember THIS?

That's right, the typo in the House GOP bill, inadvertantly (cough-cough) using the word "employment" where the word "unemployment" should go.

Well, the GOP fixed that word.

And then fucked-up something else within the bill.

House GOP typo fix has new mistake - Tim Mak - POLITICO.com

"Oops!

A new rule meant to fix a significant typo in a Republican regulation bill has in it a typo of its own.

The new mistake comes after Republican legislative staffers were left 
red-faced earlier this week when H.R. 4078 was posted on the House Rules Committee website. The bill said regulatory actions would be frozen until “average of monthly employment rates for any quarter … is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.”

Of course, they meant “unemployment,” rather than “employment,” as Congress would presumably be in quite the pickle should unemployment hit 94 percent.

Now Democrats have found that fix for the rule - set to be voted on Thursday - has a typo of its own: it refers to a incorrect resolution - “House Resolution 783,” when in fact it should cite House Resolution 738.
House Resolution 783 does not exist.

“This is the equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said on the House floor. “Consideration of this rule and this bill and the change to the bill and the change to the rule that changed the bill is all a major time sink.”"


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More at the link. And remember, it is coming from Politico, which usually gets out of bed with the GOP every morning, smokes a cig and says "Baby, was I good?"


Now, some evil tongues could say that the House GOP is just doing these dumb things to delay stuff. My, oh, my, those busy little Elephantinos would NEVER do such a thing.

But that would be just too evil. And I am against evil.

My theory is simpler.

From the primaries, we already learned that Republicans can't count (Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, oh, the list is lonnnnnnngggg...).

And now we know: they can't spell.



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Update:






21 July 2012

Pres. Obama's weekly address: prayer for the victims of Aurora, CO



Transcript:
Remarks of President Barack ObamaWeekly Address
The White House
July 21, 2012

"As many of you know, early on Friday, at least twelve people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Dozens more are being treated for injuries at local hospitals. Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital. 

We are still gathering all the facts about what happened, but we do know that the police have one suspect in custody. And the federal government stands ready to do everything necessary to bring whoever’s responsible for this heinous crime to justice. We will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all our people. And we will stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time.

Even as we come to learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings. Such evil is senseless – beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes that life worth living. 

The people we lost in Aurora loved, and were loved. They were mothers and fathers; husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters; friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and dreams that were not yet fulfilled. And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives. It’s how we choose to treat one another, and love one another. It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. That’s why we’re here.

I’m sure many of you who are parents had the same reaction I did when you first heard this news: what if it had been my daughters at the theater, doing what young children enjoy doing every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter this weekend, as I’m sure you will do with your children. But for those parents who may not be so fortunate, we need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.

This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection – for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of the less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis. Let us keep all these Americans in our prayers. And to the people of Aurora, may the Lord bring you comfort and healing in the hard days to come. "

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Just to note: these thoughts about how President Obama feels we should treat each other in ways that make like worth living are exactly the comments he made in the short 5-minute speech to his audience at the truncated rally in Ft. Myers, Florida, yesterday - the comments that the audience applauded. This is the stuff that made them cheer: the thought of us treating our fellow citizens with love and dignity. And it was this applause that the FOX news reporter and Daily Caller reporter both lied about and tweeted total falsehoods about. What a shame.

19 July 2012

First time in 24 years: the OHIO FOP endorses a Democrat for Senate

Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio endorse Sen. Sherrod Brown... | www.daytondailynews.com

" In a dramatic sign of the fallout from Senate Bill 5, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio Tuesday endorsed Sen. Sherrod Brown for re-election, the first time the organization has backed a Democratic Senate candidate since 1988.
The FOP, which represents 25,000 active and retired police officers across the state, said it will back Brown against Republican challenger Josh Mandel because Brown vigorously campaigned last year in favor of a statewide ballot issue that struck down Senate Bill 5, a measure signed into law by Gov. John Kasich and which curbed the bargaining rights of public employees.

“Senator Brown was one of our strongest allies in the fight against,’’ the collective bargaining law, said Jay McDonald, president of the FOP.

A Mandel spokesman declined comment.

For the past two decades, the FOP has reliably backed Republican Senate candidates. The FOP endorsed former Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, in his unsuccessful 2006 re-election campaign against Brown. The organization supported Republican Rob Portman in his winning Senate campaign against Democrat Lee Fisher.
The last time the FOP opted for a Democrat was 1988 when it endorsed Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio...."

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Today, I am proud of my home-town. And of my home-state.

New Study Finds Voter ID Laws Burdensome (electoral.vote.com)

ElectoralVote

Once again, the webmaster at electoralvote.com, a master of concision as well, has done a brief but OUTSTANDING write-up about the entire voter fraud meme thingy.

The bolded stuff is the reason for this thread.

Reproduced in its entirety with permission of the webmaster from electoralvote.com

"Ten states have recently passed laws requiring voters to present government-issued photo ID cards before they can vote. Ostensibly, these laws are to prevent voter fraud. However, a study by nonpartisan university researchers at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU have shown that voter fraud is microscopic (e.g., 0.00004% of the votes in the 2004 Ohio election were fraudulent), the penalty for getting caught is so large (5 years in prison), and the effect of one vote so small that nobody risks it. The very occasional fraudulent vote is invariably from an ex-felon or green-card holder who mistakenly thought he had the right to vote. Nevertheless, states persist in passing voter ID laws. Why?

As a a new study released yesterday shows, the real effect of these laws is to disenfranchise low-income voters who are disproportionately minorities and Democrats. The legislators who pass voter ID laws and the governors who sign them (invariably Republicans) know this very well. By making poor people, who often don't have cars, go get (and pay for) birth certificates and voter ID cards, they are putting up a barrier and hoping many low-income voters won't bother. A very blatant example of the intent of these laws is the office in Sauk City, WI, where voters can get an ID card--but only on the fifth Wednesday of any month. In 2012, only February, May, and August have a fifth Wednesday. Examples like that make it abundantly clear that the real purpose of these laws if to discourage low-income voters from voting but do it under the radar in such a way that most voters don't know what is going on.

This issue often shows where the media have failed in their fundamental job of getting at the truth. In a typical story about Voter ID laws, a reporter will have a Republican politician saying that voter fraud is a huge issue and a Democratic politician saying that voter fraud is miniscule, without the reporter actually looking for and presenting the facts. This is somewhat like a science reporter treating as equals one person who thinks the moon is made of rocks and another who thinks it is made of green cheese."

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Indeed.

So, out of fairness, I plan to call the registrar's office in Sauk City, WI to find out exactly why only 3 days in the entire year, two of which have already passed, are allotted for citizens to get their photo IDs in order to vote.

Some history on Sauk City: it is in Sauk County, not far (25 KM) from northwest suburban Madison.

Sauk County is a small blue county. Sauk County accounted for 1.03% of the statewide presidential vote in 2008 and 1.01% of the same in 2004: it gave Obama a massive landslide in 2008, a +23.04% margin over John McCain. It also went for Kerry in 2004, but by a much smaller margin (+4.25% over Bush).

Look for yourself:

CountyDEMGOPINDTotalDEM %GOP %IND %MarginMar %County% of State PVGrowth rate













Sauk18617115624473062660,79%37,75%1,46%705523,04%Sauk1,03%0,69%
200415708144152943041751,64%47,39%0,97%12934,25%20041,01%
Diff:2909-28531532099,15%-9,64%0,49%576218,79%Diff:0,01%

Here the entire county-by-county statistical workup on WI, 2008 over 2004: EXCEL DOCUMENT

So, one one here can say that I or anyone would rail on Sauk City because it is somehow a Republican stronghold. Apparently, it is not. Nonetheless, no matter how small a town or county is, having only 3 days IN THE ENTIRE YEAR for people to get their state-MANDATED ID in order to get to vote is really, really restrictive. I intend to get to the bottom of this the fair way.

_______________________________

Update: I already called. The woman on the phone was just as nice as can be and she explained to me the following:

The restrictive dates for getting an ID do not come from the city, but from the state DOT (Department of Transportation), which is SEVERELY underfunded and must cut-back on hours. So, the smaller hamlets really take a hit over this. She also told me that the citizens of Sauk City can go just 5 miles to Reedsburg to get your DL and or WI photo ID on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Monday of every month. She also told me that their little town does a good job of all sides of the political spectrum working together to make sure that people get registered and get the appropriate ID. In fact, they have put the voter registration form ONLINE with exact instructions about ID and such, very, very well explained.

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However, none of this changes the statistical fact that voter fraud is decisively smaller than the Right wants to trumpet and in many cases, the extremely restrictive laws will indeed hit the poor the most.

15 July 2012

Bain, Bain, Bain --- what a pain in the Bain!!

The Bain three-ring circus continues its tour across the land. After lying about his tenure at Bain, the Romney team is trying every trick in the book to engage in CYA (cover your ass) over it.

But the best today was Ed Gillespie, who made the audacious (and unbelievably stupid) claim that Romney "retired retroactively" from Bain.



The good stuff is at 2:41

"He took a leave of absence and in fact, ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February 1999 as a result."

Not surprisingly, virtually everyone with a brain in his head is condemning this as one of the most stupid moments of the Romney campaign - thus far. From Business Insider (a very right-wing leaning website):


"This Political Wire tweet says it all: "Romney campaign comes up with worst talking point ever."
It comes as a reaction to the appearance of Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Mitt Romneyon CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley. Gillespie told Crowley on Sunday that Romney, who has faced a slew of criticism this week over when exactly he left Bain Capital, "retired retroactively" from Bain. 
Romney has said he left the company in 1999 to run the Olympics. He is trying to avoid being associated with responsibility for some of Bain's notable bankruptcies and its involvement with several companies that outsourced jobs during that time period. "






This is also being reported on HuffPO and KOS,




THERE IS MORE: yet another Bain Capital document listed Romney as "managing member" in 2002, three years after he claimed to have completely left Bain. This is being reported in-full on HuffPo.


Here are the pertinent sections to the two page document (.pdf):





This means that Romney still had power to do business as a leader in Bain. The document was filed at the end of 2002.


Democratic Senator Dick Durbin had some, uh, heated words for Romney


"Why is Mitt Romney running away from his company, Bain Capital, like a scalded cat?" he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Because there is abundant evidence that under Bain Capital, they were exporting American jobs to low-wage countries. and he doesn't want to be associated with it."


And Rahm Emanuel also has words for the presumptive GOP nominee:

"As Mitt Romney said once to his own Republican colleagues, stop whining," Emanuel said on ABC's "This Week." "I give him his own advice. Stop whining. If you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card for the White House, then defend what happened at Bain Capital."

And on the TAX RETURN FRONT, from the Right, Bill Kristol, a permanent fixture on FOXnews, says that Romney

..."should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said on "Fox News Sunday." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."



TALKING POINTS MEMO has put out a short but pointed essay on this, called "Rotting from the Top":

"Ed Gillespie is getting a world of criticism this morning for ‘retroactively retired’ and the whole Mitt team is getting lectured on extremely poor handling of the mix of offshore accounts, outsourcing, and Romney’s quantum physics approach to having been CEO and not CEO of Bain at the same time. But any campaign operative or observer will tell you that it’s very, verydifficult for a campaign to be more forthcoming, agile or aware than the candidate himself."


The long and short of it is: Mitt Romney has a serious Bain problem, one that is a Bain in the....

....and this problem is not going away. Actually, it is probably going to get worse.

Next week, we go from "drip-drip-drip" on this story to "drench-drench-drench".

Electoral Landscape and Predictions: July 2012


Bonncaruso's Electoral Landscape: Obama vs. Romney
Mid-July, 2012


Obama 281 / Romney 191 / pure Tossups 66

This is my first major electoral landscape prediction-output in a while. For those who know my analyses, they know that while I am a Democrat, my electoral analyses are non-partisan and brutally fair. I simply let the numbers speak for themselves.

There were a good number of polls in 2010-2011, you can see them all HERE (national), HERE (Alabama through New Hampshire) and HERE (New Jersey through Wyoming).

As of 2012, here are the stats on all 2012 polls, all of which are in one EXCEL-document HERE:


State Polls through 2012-07-015
Alabama 1
Alaska 0
Arizona 10
Arkansas 1
California 11
Colorado 9
Connecticut 3
Delaware 0
District of Columbia 0
Florida 25
Georgia 5
Hawaii 0
Idaho 0
Illinois 1
Indiana 2
Iowa 5
Kansas 0
Kentucky 0
Louisiana 0
Maine 5
Maryland 1
Massachusetts 11
Michigan 13
Minnesota 4
Mississippi 0
Missouri 6
Montana 4
Nebraska 4
Nevada 6
New Hampshire 8
New Jersey 9
New Mexico 6
New York 11
North Carolina 17
North Dakota 2
Ohio 20
Oklahoma 1
Oregon 3
Pennsylvania 17
Rhode Island 0
South Carolina 0
South Dakota 1
Tennessee 3
Texas 4
Utah 1
Vermont 2
Virginia 22
Washington (State) 7
West Virginia 1
Wisconsin 19
Wyoming 0
Total STATE POLLS 281
National 277
National – specialty polls 14
Total – without specialty polls 558
Total – with specialty polls 572


So, there were 281 state polls since the beginning of 2012 up through July 15th.

There were roughly 277 national polls, but sometimes the Gallup and Rasmussen poll values over a weekend did not change and I did not input them until a change occurred.

The specialty polls (ACA, latino vote, swing state votes) are not per-se directly involved in the state calculations, but worth a look nonetheless.

As of July 15, 2012, the following „states“ have not been polled at all in 2012:

Alaska, Delaware, DC, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wyoming. (12 states). The other 39 „states“ have been polled. It is pretty safe to assume that these 12 states will vote in 2012 in the same direction as they did in 2008. None of them are likely to be competitive.

Most of the states that have been polled the most are logically those considered the most competitive in the GE:

Florida (25), Virginia (22), Ohio (20), Wisconsin (19), North Carolina (17), Pennsylvania (17), Michigan (13), California (11), Massachusetts (11), New York (11), Arizona (10), Colorado (9), New Hampshire (8).

Alone from these 13 states in the Union we have received data on 193 of those 281 state polls.

Now, not all of these thirteen states are considered battlegrounds in 2012: California, Massachusetts and New York are all very safe DEM states, but CA and NY have a lot of CDs and therefore many electors, so the polling for CD primaries brought with it presidential match-up numbers as well. For this reason, so many polls of three rock-solid DEM states. Nonetheless, these values can also be very informative. More on this later.

Of the thirteen states listed above, 12 were Obama wins in 2008. Arizona is the lone „McCain“ state from 2008 on this list of most polled states.

Based on the polling results, which, as mentioned above, you can find all HERE in one excel table, I come up with exactly the same EC predictions as the polling tracker from TPM and for this reason, I will use their graphic for this electoral landscape:






I also come up with Obama 281, Romney 191, tossups 66. To-date, there are no special predictions for the congressional districts in either ME or NE, both of which do elector-splitting.

My methodology is similar. I take the average of all the last polls, no more than the last 7 to 9 polls within one month's time, no repeater pollsters. Closer to election day, this time-frame will be reduced to two-weeks and for the battleground states, one week. Any average at +2% or less is pure tossup. Otherwise, I designate a prediction.

What to make of this and the current polling data?

First, at the national level, we are seeing -essentially- a dead heat between President Obama and Governor Romney, but the national polling does not predict elections very well: state polling does, for the electors are decided on a state to state basis. Also, we have had extremely close National Popular Vote elections where the victor still came close to or over 300 EV in the electoral college (see: 1948, 1960, 1968 and 1976). Furthermore, the national results are not really manifesting themselves at the state level – yet.

Second, at the state level, the current tossups make a very interesting mix and present good and bad news for both teams:

-bad news for Romney and good news for Obama that at this time there are only four real statistical tossups. If Governor Romney were to win them all, it would still not be enough to get to 270. Also, Florida looks like it will be a tossup all the way until election day. Of the 25 Florida polls, Obama has won 15, Romney has won 9 and there has been 1 absolute tie. In the last 30 days, Obama has won 5 of the last 6 polls, but all of the margins are very small and all within the MoE. Florida is a MUST-WIN state in the GOP column. Currently, Obama's average in the Sunshine State is +1.80%. He won Florida by +2.81% in 2008.

-bad news for Obama and good news for Romney that a landslide-win state like Michigan is such a tossup this time around. Obama won MI by +16.44% in 2008, one of the massive UNSUNG landslides of that year, and yet, Obama is having a hard time getting a firm lead over Romney in the Wolverine state. The current average is: Obama +2.20. That being said, MI is a 5-for-5 Democratic state and incumbent Bush 43 was unable to peel this state away from the Democrats in 2004. Wait and see, but the probability is actually very high that at the end of the day, Michigan will vote Democratic. However, at this time, it is the only core Democratic state in play.

Also bad news for Obama is that Iowa, which is a 5-for-6 Democratic state since 1988, is such a tossup. A Romney win in MI would put a real juggernaut in Obama's electoral map and would probably indicate an impending Romney win nationally. Not so for Iowa, which Obama could lose and still come out ahead nationally, depending on Virginia.

If polling holds, then North Carolina looks once again to be the nail-biter of 2012, just as it was one of the two nail-biters of 2008 (alongside Missouri): currently, Governor Romney holds a +1.2% lead over the president in a state that Obama won by +0.29% in 2008. We are talking about micro-numbers here in relation to the nation and we are talking about GOTV on Election Day. Of all the states polled, North Carolina is without a doubt the closest one and I expect this will remain so. I believe that from the flurry of activity on the ground in North Carolina, we will learn alot about the race: if President Obama feels confident that his lead in VA is holding, then he will sink lots of resources into North Carolina.VA gets really shaky for the President, then I bet he will pull out of NC and concentrate his energies on Virginia.

Moving one category away from the tossups into the states with a lean but stabile margin for one candidate or another, this is the category that brings Obama much good news:

Ohio: the „quintessential quadrennial battleground-deluxe“, a must-win state for the GOP, a pretty much must-win state for Obama. Of 20 polls, Obama has won 17, Romney has won 3. But the margins for Obama are generally larger than the Florida polling and Obama's polling average is outside of the MoE and larger than his +4.58% win in the Buckeye State in 2008, currently at +6.67% over Governor Romney. Since Ohio and Nevada are the two most reliable bellwethers in the nation at this time, impending Obama wins in both of those states would pretty much assure a national victory. Likewise for Governor Romney: if end polling shows him ahead in BOTH states, then most likely Governor Romney will be the next President of these United States. The fact that Ohio is not at the top of the tossups pile is in and of itself bad news for Governor Romney at this time. And though it is statistically possible, it is highly improbable for President Obama to win Ohio, but lose Michigan and/or Pennsylvania at the same time.

Virginia: a must-win state for the GOP, which Obama won by +6.30% in 2008. Of 22 polls in 2012, Obama has won 16, Romney has won 5 and there was 1 absolute tie. His current margin average is +3.25%, just at the edge of the MoE but outside of the tossup zone. In a very large analysis of Virginia from January 2009 (which you can read in full starting HERE), I wrote the following conclusion:

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However, in VIRGINIA, there was real resistance to Obama, but in counties that are „emptying out“, so to speak. We see a large poli-demographic shift in VA, with the north and the SE gaining greatly in political strength for the Democratic party. Here there were obviously far fewer GOP defections, if at all (McCain scored more raw votes in VA than Bush from 2004), but far more newly registered and Democratic dedicated voters. This poses a far larger problem for the GOP than either Indiana or Ohio, for Obama's +1.03% margin in Indiana can be overcome and Ohio is expected to be a battleground state in virtually every cycle, but the addition of more than 500,000 voters to the Democratic rolls in just one cycle is much harder for the opposition to overcome. The best case scenario for the GOP is that Virginia becomes a bitter battleground state. However, +6.30% is hardly a battleground margin. It is a better margin than Obama scored in OHIOFLORIDA, INDIANA and NORTH CAROLINA. It is a lean winning margin, but a comfortable one and will require a minimum 12.60% shift back in order for the GOP to regain the state, and I doubt that this shift will come from those 500,000 new voters. The worst case scenario for the GOP is that Obama cements Virginia into the Democratic column in his first term, adding the state to core Democratic territory and thus making the electoral math for the GOP more difficult. „

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And I believe this is exactly what the Obama team has been doing: working to „cement“ Virginia into the Democratic column as a new blue state. The fact that, in spite of a bad economy, Obama has been able to maintain the upper hand until now - and I expect he will visit the Old Dominion quite often- backs up my argument. Look what Virginia does for the electoral math. If Obama retains all the Western states and cements Virginia into the Democratic column, then were we to consider OH, MI, FL, NC and IA as pure tossups, Obama would have 263, Romney would still still at 191. Obama would only need to win one of the five to get over 270.

Pennsylvania was a state that was looking very iffy and dangerous for the President in 2011, but statistically looks more solid right now. President Obama is holding a +7.33% average over Governor Romney. The problem with this is that Pennsylvania has a new voter ID law that may really make things rough for about 800,000 voters, which could indeed swing those electors to Romney. So, for now, Pennsylvania looks safe, especially in consideration of its narrow-margin electoral history. But this can change, and is a major warning sign for the Obama team, no doubt.

For most of 2011, New Hampshire was looking like a very solid GOP pick-up in 2012, but since then, President Obama has overtaken a narrow lead in the Granite State (average: +2.67%). In the case of a very close election, it is very conceivable that Governor Romney can overtake the lead in New Hampshire once again.

With its very turbulent recall elections, Wisconsin has become a hotbed of partisan activity, but in reality, President Obama is still holding an average lead of +6.67% over Governor Romney in the Badger State, IDENTICAL to his current lead in Ohio. Obama won Wisconsin by a landslide +13.90% in 2008, the largest presidential winning margin for any candidate since 1964. Therefore, Obama has lost a lot of ground here. However, Wisconsin is a 6-for-6 Democratic state with enough of a solid Democratic base to pretty much insure an incumbent Democratic win in 2012, even if just a narrow win. The only Democratic incumbent to not win WI in the last 64 years is Jimmy Carter, who lost the Badger State to Ronald Reagan by 4.72% in 1980, far under Reagan's +9.72% national average. This means that most likely, if Romney is winning in WI, then he is winning by close to a landslide nationally, which the national numbers are currently not predicting.

Colorado is a bright spot for President Obama, who is maintaining an average +6 point lead over Governor Romney. Interestingly enough, the results of this state could very well hang from an issue not really on the national radar: medical marijuana is a big issue in CO and is expected to affect GOTV in the Fall.

The polling from Nevada is not fresh enough for my taste, but President Obama still maintains a lead over Governor Romney. The last poll is just over one month old and showed the President at +6 over Romney. The poll before: Obama +2. More importantly, Obama has been ahead in all of the last five polls. What sets Nevada apart from the rest of the nation is a high percentage of two voter groups in the state: Latinos (who are undoubtedly going to vote overwhelmingly Democratic) and Mormons (who are undoubtedly going to vote overwhelmingly Republican). Considering the very faulty polling from 2010 that showed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid losing when in reality, he won by over +5 – it is just as possible that pollsters in states like NV and AZ are once again not calculating correctly the Hispanic voter turnout, which was the factor that put Reid over the top in 2010.

What about some other battlegrounds from 2008?

Missouri was the closest race of the night in 2008 and it took 15 days to finally declare a winner: John McCain, by +0.13%. However, the sparse polling from MO shows it moving father away from it's former almost perfect bellwether status. MO is moving most definitely more to the Right. The last Rasmussen poll showed Romney up by 7, the last PPP poll showed Obama up by 1, but both of those polls are older than one month. We need fresh data on Missouri to get a better picture, but all indicators are that this state will be a lean Romney win in the fall.

Likewise, Indiana, which Obama won by +1.03%, is polling in upper single-digits for Romney. Both polls are older than one month now, and both are from very right-wing leaning pollsters, but they show Romney at about +7.5 over Obama in the Hoosier State, which would indicate that the state is not really competitive. However, this kind of margin is not even close to the margins that the GOP once enjoyed in the absolute RED bastion. I did a massive analysis of Indiana in 2009 (which cuts through a lot of propaganda), which you can read starting HERE.

One state that is very noticeably NOT on the battleground radar this time around is NEW MEXICO, which is -as a minority-majority state - firmly in President Obama's column. He won NM by +15.13% in 2008 and current polling shows him between +11 and +14. Also to note is that NM is one of the states from 2008 where Obama vastly exceeded the final polling average, again a sign that the Latino vote in many states in 2008 was not correctly weighted into the polling results.

How about the rock solid states?

Well, one would think that there should not be much ado about the rock-solid core states for both parties, but they would be wrong. The margins coming from polling of those states can indeed tell us a lot about the direction of the race. For instance, Obama won New York by +26.86% in 2008: he is at an average of +24.5 from June (no fresh polling for July – yet), This shows no real erosion of his base in such a large blue state. In California, there is some statistical erosion, not enough to make the state even close to competitive, but enough to affect the national margin in a possibly close race. In California, where Obama won by +24.03% in 2008, the current average shows Obama at +18.3 from June (no fresh polling for July – yet), around 5 points under his average from 08. That is definitely some erosion and means a good 700,000 votes in the largest state in the nation. Kerry won California by „only“ +9.95%, so President Obama is still double Kerry's margin, but his win in '08 was triple Kerry's margin.

On the Republican side, in Utah, the only poll thus far for 2012 shows Governor Romney ahead by a whalloping +42 over the President. This is not a big surprise, as Utah has the largest Mormon population in the Union and before 2008 for 8 cycles in a row, it was the most conservative state in the Union. John McCain won UT by „only“ +28.08% (still a massive margin, ala Obama in New York), but Bush 43 won UT by +45.45% in 2004. The chances are very strong that Governor Romney will smash all records in UTAH in 2012. To date, there has been no polling from either Wyoming or Idaho (both states with sizeable Mormon population), but as Utah goes, so goes Wyoming and Idaho, to be sure.

In Arkansas, a state the Bill Clinton won easily in both 1992 and 1996, the one poll for 2012 shows Governor Romney up on President Obama by +24. This is important as data, for Arkansas was one of the five states in the Union to buck the Democratic trend in 2008 – and of the five, Arkansas bucked the trend the hardest. McCain won AR by +19.85%, and a +24 for Romney shows that the state is moving even more to the Right.

However, in neigboring Tennessee, which also bucked the Democratic trend in 2008, polling shows a leaner race between Governor Romney and President Obama. The last two polls showed Governor Romney up by +6 and +7, respectively, far under McCain's +15.06% win in 2008.

So, on both sides, in the so-called „safe“ states, we are seeing some growth and some erosion.

What would this mean in the case of an impending landslide win for either Obama or Romney?

It would surely mean that the margins for the losing side would be DRASTICALLY reduced, and that is simply not happening right now. Most of the Obama double-digit states from 2008 are still double-digit states in 2012. Most of the McCain double-digit states from 2008 are still double-digit states for Romney in 2012. And the subtle changes we are seeing in many polling values is more evidence of the theory of slow electoral shift than of an impending change in 2012.

FACIT: a lot of things can happen until election day, but in the Electoral College in July, it is without a doubt advantage Obama.