Category: Politics

When push comes to shove, Americans — including Republicans — oppose significant spending cuts

President Obama and leaders of both parties need to do a better job of educating Americans about the simple realities of the arithmetic.

And the news media needs to do a better job of it too.

Why did Asian Americans vote almost 3 to 1 for Obama?

Obama got 73 percent of the Asian American vote — better than he did among Latinos. That margin was in keeping with a long-term trend that flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Asian Americans are better educated, higher paid, and more entrepreneurial than any other ethnic group; in theory, many more of them should be open to Republican messages on the economy.

Nate Silver on internal vs. independent polls (i.e., did Romney’s team really believe its own hype?) (UPDATED 12/4)

Another dry, wordy, must-read from Nate Sliver at FiveThirtyEight about the most puzzling question of campaign 2012: Why were Romney and his team so surprised by the election night results, when statistical models showed them trailing significantly in the states that mattered most?

What’s the future of white evangelicals in politics?

When I’m up in Kentucky for the holidays with family, I frequently end up reading the Lexington Herald-Leader, including the paper’s faith and values columnist Paul Prather, pastor of Bethesda Church near Mount Sterling.

His weekend column is pretty interesting: My prediction about white evangelicals and politics; Expect repeat of the withdrawal of 1920s

Walter Isaacson on Ben Franklin’s America

“Franklin also understood the beauty of diversity. During his lifetime, he donated to the building fund of every church constructed in Philadelphia. When a hall was being built to accommodate visiting preachers, Franklin urged his fellow citizens to donate ‘so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.’ On his deathbed, he made one of the largest donations for the first synagogue built in Philadelphia.”

Gov. Deal: Ga. will give up state control, let federal government run insurance exchange

Governor Deal is also likely to reject the expansion of Medicaid in the state. That’s a key part of the law, too, but the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of that. At first, the Medicaid expansion would be 100 percent federally funded, and then funded later at 90 percent (if I have my numbers right). So the state government would have to pay relatively little for the dramatic expansion of insurance to low income Georgians. But if we reject that expansion out of principle, keep in mind that Georgia taxpayers’ federal taxes will at the same time be supporting Medicaid expansion in other states.

My latest Peach Pundit posts

Hometown Community Bank, Braselton, Ga. shut down by FDIC — Peach Pundit.

Georgia unemployment rate slips to 8.7%, lowest level in almost four years — Peach Pundit.

About those biased polls . . . — Peach Pundit.

A few [election] notes from Chatham County — Peach Pundit.

New studies: gay voters another crucial bloc that overwhelmingly backed Obama

Obama’s statements in support of same sex marriage have certainly helped his standing with gay voters, who also tend to take other socially liberal positions. But there are plenty of gay voters who hold libertarian or fiscally conservative views who could conceivably be convinced to vote Republican, no matter a politician’s stand on a single issue like gay marriage.

Gallup defends (?) its erratic presidential polling results; Paul Ryan says results were “a shock” on election night

Really? Even on election night, with North Carolina too close to call deep into the night, with Obama performing well in Virginia and Florida, with states like Iowa and Colorado showing good returns for Obama — even with all that going on, Ryan thought they were in a position to win until Ohio was called?

Nate Silver ranks the pollsters — in a bad, bad year for Gallup

Nate Silver and his team at FiveThirtyEight are still at it. And I sincerely suggest that journalists interested in giving accurate information in elections spend some time reading his wonky post-mortems.

Obama vote down 11% from 2008, Romney underperforms McCain

The results:
Obama: 61,680,896
Romney: 58,482,875

The totals from 2008:
Obama: 69,492,376
McCain: 59,946,378

Voices in the debate about reviving the Republican Party

Some think that the party needs to retrench and go even farther right, like the couple cited at the end of this post.

Others, like Krauthammer below, seem to think there’s an easy fix — like a massive appeal to Latino voters through dramatically more progressive policies on immigration. But Romney didn’t lose the race simply because of the Latino vote; consider Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa.

Obama wins just 4 of 120 counties in Kentucky, including my hometown

Obama won Elliott County in Eastern Kentucky, which has less than 8,000 people and is over 99 percent white. Elliott has apparently voted for the Democrat in every presidential race since the county was founded in 1869. That’s the longest winning streak for any party in any county in the country. But it was close this year, with Obama beating Romney 1,186 to 1,126.

Obama’s 2012 acceptance speech in a word cloud

Another Wordle word cloud.