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Showing posts from November, 2016

2016 Exit Polling - the third party perspective

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Political pundits are pouring over the exit polls. Understandably, the focus is on who was supporting Clinton and who was supporting Trump.

But what about the approximately five percent of voters who voted for Johnson (~ 3%), Stein (~ 1%), and others (~ 1%)? What can we say about them?

The biggest question that is always asked is what would have happened if there was only two candidates on the ballot? Did the minor party candidates cost Clinton the election?

I think the CNN.com exit poll page has the most data of the major news sites. If you scroll all the way down, I think the screen capture of one of the items in the exit poll addresses that question.


This would suggest that if the 5% who went minor party, 63% would not vote on the POTUS if there were only two choices. Of the 37% who would make a choice, a slightly larger number would vote for Trump (21%) compared to Clinton (16%). Thus, the argument that Clinton was harmed by the presence of third party voters may not hold up. Howe…

Electoral College

Pretty much every four years essays are written for and against the electoral college. Go ahead and google and you'll get plenty of articles. This year (2016) and in 2000 when the electoral college result differed from the popular vote, the conversation is even more intense.

Whether the electoral college is "fair" or not depends on whether one accepts the premise of the system that the founders established.

My understanding is that the founders tried to balance population based representation and state based representation in our system of governance. Hence, the House is population based and the Senate is state based. Then the question became how to determine the Presidency? They opted to construct an electoral college that reflected both population and state based aspects by linking the number of electors to the number of House and Senate members per state. The net effect of this imperfect compromise is that the electoral college mostly mirrors the population but dimini…

Mixed feelings post-election

Am still processing the elections and am slowly trying to put my finger on where I am at. In the past, in some cases I voted for a candidate that would go on to be elected (1984, 1988, 2000, 2004) and so there was satisfaction in the result. In others, I voted for a candidate who lost and so there was disappointment (1992, 1996, 2008, 2012) but satisfaction that the political process was working.

This year was unique in that I knew I would feel no satisfaction in either candidate's victory and I am concerned our political system is failing. Clinton supporters would have felt elation at the first woman president. Trump supporters would feel the voice of the forgotten working class was heard. Reluctant Clinton supporters who were #NeverTrump would feel relief that Trump lost. Reluctant Trump supporters who were #NeverClinton would feel relief that Clinton lost.

But #NeverTrump #NeverClinton voters would feel disappointment no matter who would win.

I believe that George Will is also …

Political earthquake

Did not see that coming.

As a #NeverTrump #NeverClinton voter, when I left the ballot box Tuesday morning, I knew the next President of the United States would not be someone I voted for.

Nate Silver at 538 did hedge a bit on the morning of election day with his analysis piece. Excerpt:
First, Clinton’s overall lead over Trump — while her gains over the past day or two have helped — is still within the range where a fairly ordinary polling error could eliminate it. 
Second, the number of undecided and third-party voters is much higher than in recent elections, which contributes to uncertainty. 
Third, Clinton’s coalition — which relies increasingly on college-educated whites and Hispanics — is somewhat inefficiently configured for the Electoral College, because these voters are less likely to live in swing states. If the popular vote turns out to be a few percentage points closer than polls project it, Clinton will be an Electoral College underdog. 

As the night wore on, it became appare…

November 2016 Election Forecast

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Why should all the pundits have a corner on the market on forecasts? This pajama wearing blogger can forecast too! Below are two graphs from Real Clear Politics.

Graph 1 is the 3 month data on Clinton Trump in a "two-way" race.


Graph 2 is the 3 month graph of the "four-way" race.


There are two striking features from graph 1. 1. Clinton's numbers bounce between 45% and 49%. {hitting the mark with 47.6%} 2. Trump's number bounce between 40% and 45%. {stunning at 47.4%}
This would suggest Clinton has the advantage as the high end of Trump's numbers are at the low end of Clinton's numbers - the two lines never crossed. This scenario could happen resulting in a very long night. UPDATE: Nate Silver of 538 explains the probabilities due to the uncertainties in polling and the action of undecided voters. But nonetheless, the most likely outcome is that Clinton will edge out Trump by 2 to 3%.
There are two striking features from graph 2 regarding the two min…

And so ends the season for LA Galaxy, Elfsborg, and Falkenberg fans .....

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The Galaxy got the 1-0 win at home in leg one. However, in leg two, Colorado got a wonder strike to even up 1-1 on aggregate. Didn't see the game but from the reports, it seemed to be a struggle for both sides with Colorado generally getting the better of the chances. However, it wound up in PKs and Colorado won it. LA Galaxy off-season is going to be interesting as that is now two years in-a-row the team has fizzled out.

Meanwhile, in Allsvenskan, the final matches were held today. Malmo had locked up the championship previously and the last day was left for some final jiggering of the finishing rank for a few teams. Elfborg finished 5th and Falkenberg finished 16th and will be relegated. Looking forward to following the two clubs in the next year. Haven't followed the Superettan before. Will see if FFF can bounce back after a dreadful campaign.


Thus, now my soccer fan energies will be directed toward US Men's National Team, US Women's National Team, and Liverpool FC.

Local Items for November 2016 - LA County & Culver City Measures

There are a few local matters that are on the ballot (aside from the 17 statewide measures). So let’s put on our policy hats and compare methods of taxation. Which of the following taxes sound “fair” (recognizing that fair is often in the eyes of the taxed)?

A parcel tax of $0.015 per square foot of property (Measure A).
A sales tax of $0.005 per dollar (Measure M).
A parcel tax of $99/year on single family residents, $69/year on each unit of a multi-family dwelling, and $1096/year per acre of non-residential land (Measure CW).

Voters in LA County will decide on the first two items and Culver City residents will vote on the third.

First, one must decide whether these taxes increases are for a good cause. Measure A is for parks in LA County. Measure M is for transportation infrastructure in LA County. Measure CW is for clean water in Culver City. In my book, these are all necessary and proper functions of government.

Second, one must look at details like implementation. If I understand…

Crazy and unlikely but possible electoral college scenarios

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Using the RCP electoral college map.

Here is today's "no toss-up" map showing a very narrow Clinton victory.


Change New Hampshire and you get the 269 tied scenario! That means the election goes to the House of Representatives with two candidates qualified for the House of Representatives to choose from.

What happens if McMullin pulls off the upset in Utah and Nevada and Virginia flip? You get no one with 270 and three candidates qualified for the House of Representatives to choose from.


538 has a similar map to the RCP "no toss-up" map with the exception that 538 has Nevada in the Clinton column.