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Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable

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Korriken
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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 20:46:23 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:27 PM, RacistBassist wrote:
I know. He just so happens to be the president at a down time, instead of an up. So it kinda sucks for his re-election chances. It's funny the amount of people who blame Obama for everything wrong, whether or not it is true. He got credit for saying go ahead, but he also gets credit for deciding the price of gas.

All the republicans have to do, if the price of gas and utilities keep increasing, is remind ppl of this and keep it on the air of the channels that will actually air anti obama ads.


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TheMason
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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 21:14:22 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:19 PM, tyler2513 wrote: I think as of recently people are misjudging Obama, he's been trying real hard to keep his initial promises and people don't realize it takes way longer to accomplish the tasks that he's been working at.

I think this would be better posted in this Obama/General Election topic. This one is different because we're talking about the electoral fundamentals of the 2012 elections.

Comments about how unfair or loopsided something is concerning the blame Obama gets for the economy (as argued by his supporters) or the positive media coverage he gets (as argued by his detractors) are more emotional/subjective instead of objective and belong there. Otherwise this will be just another flame-war-ridden-trollfests!

Thanks! :)


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 21:26:24 Reply

At 4/17/12 07:27 PM, RacistBassist wrote:
At 4/17/12 06:12 AM, TheMason wrote: That's part and parcell to being a president running for re-election. Obama is not a special case.
I know. He just so happens to be the president at a down time, instead of an up. So it kinda sucks for his re-election chances. It's funny the amount of people who blame Obama for everything wrong, whether or not it is true. He got credit for saying go ahead, but he also gets credit for deciding the price of gas.

I was trolling Real Clear Politics at lunch and read this editorial. Getting past Podhoretz's editorializing I thought Axelrod's quote was germaine to what we're talking about.

"The choice in this election, is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead and an economy that continues down the road we are on."
-David Axelrod the architect of Obama '08 & '12.

I wonder if this guy is living in a bubble and just doesn't see the huge problem with this statement: he's going out and admiting that we're on the wrong road...a setiment shared by 61% of the country. The problem is this is not 2008 and Obama is not running against the incumbent party's nominee! To say that we're on the wrong road and need to change is the fundamental message of Team Romney!

Now anyone who has ever taken an undergraduate electoral behavior or presidential election class knows that any presidential campaign with an incumbent running is saying the guy in office is taking us down the wrong road! In fact it is not a referendum on a party...but the perceived job the current president is doing. So you simply cannot have your chief strategist going on national TV with a message of change.

So yeah...I think this could be a major gaffe and gives foder to Team Romney. I can see the campaign ad now: "Obama: even his own campaign manager thinks his first term was a mistake."


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-17 22:54:41 Reply

At 4/17/12 09:26 PM, TheMason wrote:
So yeah...I think this could be a major gaffe and gives foder to Team Romney. I can see the campaign ad now: "Obama: even his own campaign manager thinks his first term was a mistake."

yeah but will the republicans put it in the microwave and warm it up for lunch, or will they just toss it in the trash like a lot of good things that come their way?


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-18 18:11:30 Reply

At 4/17/12 10:54 PM, Korriken wrote:
At 4/17/12 09:26 PM, TheMason wrote:
So yeah...I think this could be a major gaffe and gives foder to Team Romney. I can see the campaign ad now: "Obama: even his own campaign manager thinks his first term was a mistake."
yeah but will the republicans put it in the microwave and warm it up for lunch, or will they just toss it in the trash like a lot of good things that come their way?

The microwave analogy is good. If I were managing Team Romney I'd run with it a little now. But I'd save it for closer to the election. Afterall, if there is a second economic downturn or gas prices go up or unemployment goes up...I'd put it out there again.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-19 12:53:48 Reply

At 4/18/12 06:11 PM, TheMason wrote:
The microwave analogy is good. If I were managing Team Romney I'd run with it a little now. But I'd save it for closer to the election. Afterall, if there is a second economic downturn or gas prices go up or unemployment goes up...I'd put it out there again.

meh, I was just being silly.

but I agree, I'd also put out the little "I can be more flexible after me reelection" bit he got caught saying too.


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TheMason
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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 08:47:06 Reply

At 4/20/12 07:57 AM, Austerity wrote: Romney has this election in his pocket.

I'd be interested in how and why you think so. Nothing about his politics or worth as a potential president...but what his path to victory is and how it is supposedly so secure.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 09:59:29 Reply

At 4/17/12 06:29 PM, Korriken wrote: or not vote for Obama. a lot of ppl voted for Obama because of a "it's a historic election" mantra. that's gone now. Also, his rockstar image is dead and he now has a political record. He won't get the foamy mouthed college kid crowd this time around.

Well, I'm not saying that Obama has it in the bag either. I'm just saying that it's premature to claim that Romney has it locked up already. I think it's going to be a close election, more akin to Bush/Kerry than McCain/Obama.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 10:26:47 Reply

At 4/20/12 09:59 AM, Elfer wrote: Well, I'm not saying that Obama has it in the bag either. I'm just saying that it's premature to claim that Romney has it locked up already. I think it's going to be a close election, more akin to Bush/Kerry than McCain/Obama.

To be very scientific about it...my gut feeling is it may be even closer than Bush/Kerry and be razor-close like Bush/Gore.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 11:26:20 Reply

So I was playing around Nate Silver's 538 Blog today and picked-up a few nuggets.

Favorability Ratings
There's much news about how Romney's favorability is underwater compared to Obama. But does this matter? Not yet. Looking at data going back to 1980 he found that at this point in the race it only predicts the winner in a presidential race about 40% of the time.

However, at this point in the election cycle there are several factors that can suppress a candidate's favorability rating. The number one for a challenger is going through the primary process. So I think Romney will bounce back in the coming months.

However, when we get into the final couple of months the correlation is about 90%. So if Romney is still under water in September he's probably done.

Reading the Polls
The first thing he suggests is to look an average of the poll numbers. This helps even out bias, house effects and other distortions.

Throw out outlier polls.

Focus on the president's approval rating, specifically the spread. (Which is now about +0.6% at 47.6% approve to 47% disapprove.)

Look at several Economic Indicators
So I think I'll start looking at the following indicators on this topic:
Inflation 2012:
Jan: 2.97%
Feb: 2.87%
Mar: 2.65%
source

GDP Growth FY 2011
Q1 2011: 0.4
Q2 2011: 1.3
Q3 2011: 1.8
Q4 2011: 3.0

Unemployment Rate
Jan: 8.3%
Feb: 8.3%
Mar: 8.2%

Overall the economic model is starting to look-up for Obama. The numbers that should be going up (GDP) are going up, the numbers that need to go down (inflation & unemployment). However, unemployment has to keep going down instead of flattening out. With GDP I'm not sure that it's pulling up fast enough. I posted a graph going back to January 1980 looking at GDP. If you look at the 1970s recession, 1982 recession and 1992 recession you see a recovery of GDP that is equal to or larger than the downturn. However, the 2008 recession has not recovered enough to make-up for what was lost during the downturn.

So it is good for Obama...but not robust.

US Senate & House of Representin'
One of the things I think is important to look at is how the Senate map is going to shake out. Right now RCP's map have Republicans and Democrats even at 46 seats each that are either not up for re-election, safe or likely for one side or the other. So the Senate is up for either side. However, as I look at the poll results there appears to be some evidence for a Republican take over:
Missouri: All Republican candidates are beating Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill.
Montana: The Dems are loosing slightly in all but one poll.
Wisconsin: The Republican frontrunner is leading by 3-6%.
Nevada: Heller (R) is beating Berkley (D) by 3-7%.
Massachusetts: Toss-up.
Virginia: Toss-up.
Maine: Indepent is leading...handedly.
Florida: D is beating both possible R challengers.

From the look of it the Republicans stand to pick-up at least five new Senate seats. This would give the Republicans a 51 member majority.

As for the House...hard to sit here and go through 435 elections. But in the RCP average for spread on the House public sentiment is Republicans are leading between 2-10% depending on the poll.

* * *

I think the importance here is that Obama's race against the Congress (ie: the single digit approval rating of Congress) may be a loser for him. If the narrative that Obama's good ideas are blocked by Republican'ts in the Congress had any legs or any credibility with the voting public then these numbers should be reversed.

I wonder if this could be, given the emotions behind this president, a true relection of his standing in the general election.

Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 12:34:39 Reply

At 4/20/12 11:26 AM, TheMason wrote: From the look of it the Republicans stand to pick-up at least five new Senate seats. This would give the Republicans a 51 member majority.

Yeah, I just saw this today, citing a Times article, that says that, due to redistricting and retirements, Dems would most likely have to pick up 35 seats in the House to regain control, and are at risk of losing the Senate as well. That will bode poorly for Obama if he tries to run against congress. He will need to be crafty to tie congress and Romney together, and use them to weigh each-other down. He has shown himself to be a very savvy campaigner, but right now it's looking like the Dems are suffering a bit of overconfidence.

Also, This article nicely outlines how conventional wisdom as it applies to elections is bound to fail this year, no matter how things go. Rmember: statistics are a decent predictive tool, but they are not prescient.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-04-20 13:50:22 Reply

At 4/20/12 12:34 PM, Ravariel wrote:

:He has shown himself to be a very savvy campaigner, ...

I hear this repeated over and over. I've worked in campaigns and I've studied elections, and I just don't see that much evidence that he is a savvy campaigner.

* The only stunning campaign victory he has under his belt was his 2008 primary victory. That was Hillary's year and she was the odds-on favorite to get the Democratic nomination.

* From the time he won the nomination he trailed McCain until there was external factor: the September 2008 financial meltdown. Now according to all poli sci models 2008 should've been a slam-dunk for the Dems. There was a sense the economy was weakening. Bush fatigue. Two unpopular wars. McCain was a badly bruised Republican candidate with a lackluster base in terms of enthusiasm. McCain didn't have the money Obama did (McCain ran out of money during the primary while Obama was buying ad time in video games). In short: Obama's presidential victory came in a Democratic year where the Dem shouldn't have needed an external shock...and he almost lost a sure thing!

* The Obama campaign is not looking like it is run by brilliant campaigners. They announced his candidancy about 9months to a year too early thereby giving away the advantage of actually being a president. Now he is just another politician running for president.

* The Obama campaign is running around as if they are running against someone else's record. I mean Axelrod going on the Sunday talk shows and saying this election is between staying on the road we're on...or do we want something better? I mean...is he switching to Team Romney? That's a rookie stupid mistake...not one of a brilliant campaign manager of a brilliant campaigner!


Also, This article nicely outlines how conventional wisdom as it applies to elections is bound to fail this year, no matter how things go. Rmember: statistics are a decent predictive tool, but they are not prescient.

Yeah...there's a few things I disagree with on it. But the conventional wisdom he's talking about are historical ancedotes and not the statistical analysis that professional political scientists and pollsters follow when creating a predictive model. Afterall, we understand that when we find a statistically significant variable that has a degree of causation it's a good day if it works 40% of the time! I mean Brian Fantana's sex panther works better than a single variable in an election model! :)


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-05 05:21:09 Reply

Obama is a pawn. All policies do most other people. But it is a separate and quite different topic of conversation.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-18 16:29:38 Reply

At 4/17/12 06:29 PM, Korriken wrote: Last election people voted for Obama to prove that they're not racists. now its time for them to vote against him to prove they're not dumbass zombies.

I agree with this. Obama is a one trick pony, it will be nice when he is gone.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-18 17:20:31 Reply

At 5/18/12 04:29 PM, DoctorStrongbad wrote: I agree with this. Obama is a one trick pony, it will be nice when he is gone.

Please do elaborate. Oh yeah, also please tell hoiw Romney will do anything better for the Country, seeing as his interests are so clearly alligned with those who make less than $10,000,000 a year. (shakes head in sarcasm) Let's also not forget he is alligned with the party that worships evil and greed under the guise of a cross.

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-05-19 17:08:03 Reply

At 5/18/12 05:20 PM, Camarohusky wrote: Please do elaborate. Oh yeah, also please tell hoiw Romney will do anything better for the Country, seeing as his interests are so clearly alligned with those who make less than $10,000,000 a year. (shakes head in sarcasm) Let's also not forget he is alligned with the party that worships evil and greed under the guise of a cross.

He doesn't like Obama? Better attack him because it obviously means he likes Romney


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 13:02:52 Reply

*bump*

I thought it was time to dust this off and update it. Afterall, the election is a week away and like I said when I created this topic...anything could happen.

At that time I thought things favored a Romney victory 60-70%. This is pretty much the opposite of what Nate Silver at the New York Times has been saying. Why the difference? Many may think it is because I am a Republican. That would be wrong. The difference is because I'm a structuralist political science. I look more towards how structures influence political behavior (such as voting), and this year the economic structure favors Romney. Economic data is more firm than polling data (which Silver bases his projections on)...and I think is a slightly better indicator. 2012 is NOT a year the incumbent person/party should expect to retain the White House. Most political science models based on economics predict a Romney win.

However, it is not perfect as this year shows. Individuals can have an impact on political systems. In the beginning of the election cycle I thought that the Obama campaign was making some stupid decisions. The decision to announce he was running for re-election...I still think was somwhat ill-timed. At the time I thought abandoning the white working class was stupid because this is the core demographic (especially male members) that swings elections. However, now I think it is ballsy hail-mary and about Obama's only option...which means I have to give David Axelrod some credit and admit to being wrong on this point. He identified it early and came up with the necessary battleplan. So this is the lesser reason Obama will win IF he wins on November 6.

The other reason will be: a) he correctly identified his Republican challenger early and b) focused in on him with a very concentrated, and effective attack campaign that survived the missteps of the Joe Soptic ad and proxies suggesting Romney was a tax felon.

So back when I started this thread...I kinda figured Romney would get the nod and then go on the attack against Obama. There are things he should've hit on such as when he was married and going to BYU he and Ann did not live with either in-laws nor did they live in a house/apartment owned by their parents. Instead Mitt managed an apartment complex and lived in the basement apartment...Ann clipped coupons to make ends meet. They should've talked about that to become more human and relatable to the middle class. There are others...but I won't dig too deep. The point is he missed opportunites to 'seal the deal' and let Obama have free reign in painting Romney's qualities for the American voter.

I almost bumped this thread before the first debate b/c I saw the race as a 52% for Obama winning. But then Obama sat out the first debate and lost spectacularly. And this was THE most important of the four debates NOT to lose! Obama either believes his own line that no president has faced more difficult economic woes than he has (definately not true) and therefore arrogantly assumed Romney had nothing on him...or he just figured Romney would let Obama use him as a door mat. But now the tide has turned.

So today I give Romney a very slight 51.5-52% chance of winning the election. The reasons:

* Obama's strategy relies upon turning out greater numbers of minorities and women than in '08 so the loss of just one group could be lethal to his re-election chances. Women have started swinging towards Romney. Now Romney does not need to win a majority of women voters...just keep Obama's numbers in the low 50s which last poll I saw had 54% for Obama which is within the range that allows a Republican victory. Secondly, there is still deflated excitement amongst youth voters...it does not approach 2008 levels. So Obama is struggling to maintain his advantage in two key demographics.

* There is an enthusiasm gap between Democratic and Republican voters. Republicans are excited in the mid-80% range while Democrats are in the low-to-mid 70% range. Furthermore, over the summer there were several big turn-out events: Chic-fil-a, Wisconsin Recall, OWS & the national conventions, and Glenn Beck. In the first two Republicans, conservatives and libertarians turned out in greater numbers than their Democratic and Liberal counterparts (ie: gay rights protestors and voters). In Dallas Glenn Beck sold out Dallas Cowboys Stadium...which I believe is a bigger crowd than Obama's acceptance speech drew. And OWS was unable to significantly disrupt either convention. These are indicators that the Republican base is more energized than the Democratic. Now some have suggested that this is meaningless because you don't rabble-rouse when your guy is in power...and that may be true when it is NOT his election cycle. But the Obama campaign has manufactured a message that 'hey...I need you to have my back or this Romney son-of-a-bitch is going to ruin everything'. The effectiveness of this message...especially when Wisconsin in some very significant was a proxy for the presidential race...should have produced a closer Wisconsin result, a better counter-Chic-fil-a protest and emboldened the Left to hold some major rallies of their own...or at least show-up in NC in greater numbers for their guy.

Finally, there is some evidence that things in Ohio are not as rosey for Obama like the campaign claims. Obama won Ohio by 260K votes in '08. Early voting has 220K fewer voting in Ohio this year...while 30K more Republicans have voted early this year. So pretty much the Republicans have closed the gap in Ohio to 10K in just early voting, however things could change on election day or this trend could reverse itself. But that it exists...should be troubling for Obama...that he does not have the enthusiastic voters necessary to win a minority-coalition victory.

* Not only has Romney opened up a lead in the national polls...he's leading in key economic issue polls. I haven't seen reputable polls that show Obama leading Romney on issues of taxes, jobs and the economy in general. What I've seen has Romney leading just above or just below the margin of error. When a political scientist looks at poll data, we look at how questions are asked...and what supporting questions were asked to reduce respondant bias/error. And that Obama is losing in these key areas undermines the 'who are you going to vote for' question. Which brings me to:

* Sometimes polls may be flawed. The '12 electorate is fundamentally different from the '08 electorate and in '10 the Dems misread their tea leaves (honest to God...pun NOT intended) and lost big in the House and significantly (but not totally) in the Senate. So if the pollsters are modeling the turn-out to be like it was in '08...they could be oversampling Democratic voters as some on the right have claimed. On the other hand there is thing called the Bradley Effect that I've talked about and I think I'll give it its own paragraph...

* In 2008 no political scientist in my graduate department was looking for the Bradley Effect. The media was...and the McCain campaign was praying for it. But you had a very horrible economic collapse happen in September about 10 weeks away from the election where McCain responded by melting down. Also, racial politics on the national level were starting to level out and the Bradley Effect was seen less and less. Then the candidate, Obama, came across more like Bill Cosby than Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The best speech I've heard Obama give was the one on race...and regardless of whether or not he wins or loses...that will probably become one of the great presidential speeches of the early 21st century. So in short: no one who looks at these things objectively thought there would be a Bradley Effect in '08...and there was not.

[cont.]


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 14:26:55 Reply

At 5/18/12 05:20 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 5/18/12 04:29 PM, DoctorStrongbad wrote: I agree with this. Obama is a one trick pony, it will be nice when he is gone.
Please do elaborate. Oh yeah, also please tell hoiw Romney will do anything better for the Country, seeing as his interests are so clearly alligned with those who make less than $10,000,000 a year. (shakes head in sarcasm) Let's also not forget he is alligned with the party that worships evil and greed under the guise of a cross.

Hmm. Judging by Romney's politcal past (as governor that is) and based on the most recent debates, you seem to be describing some sort of person that isn't even in this election :/

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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 16:51:06 Reply

[cont.]

* The Bradley Effect: The conditions of '08 are not the same as '12. Obama is not the idealistic, hope & change candidate he was then. Now instead of having an image as being above the partisan fray...he is seen as just another politician and there has been some missteps publicly that make him appear less the man who made the great '08 speech on race and more the paritioner in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church:
1) Awkwardly getting involved in a local matter when a black Yale professor was arrested for disturbing the peace and not cooperating with a responding officer.
2) His Justice Dept dropping charges against two members of the New Black Panther Party in a slam-dunk voter intimidation case.
3) His proxies claiming racism against critics of his administration. I've grown weary of hearing from members of the Congressional Black Caucus saying patently naive and false things like 'no other president has had this level of opposition, and the only difference is he's a black man'.

Now I know this is bringing me into it a little bit, but many scientists make ground breaking observations because of personal experiences and reactions to things. So why should political scientists be any different? I got polled two weeks ago by a human (not a robo-poll) by one of the organizations that make it onto RCP's average. It was a young sounding female on the other end. As much as I know about poll construction and the like, and knew the reasons behind the questions as well as why I did not vote for Obama in '08...or now in '12...when asked who I voted for in '08 I answered Obama. It was a knee-jerk reaction...no thought...was barely aware of the words coming out of my mouth.

In reviewing the mental tape after the call...the reason is this year I voted straight ticket Republican when I have never done that before. I've always voted for about two or three Democrats (largely because there are often two or three Republicans who are pieces of shit who get through...and I hear about it through Republican friends or organizations I've associated with). In '08 I voted 40% Dem, 40% Rep and 20% Libertarian. In the 20 years since graduating high school in a small, rural Missouri town...I've lived overseas and studied other cultures and had friends, bosses, and heroes from all races, religions, and sexualities. So in no way are my opinions of Obama or his presidency based on race. And despite the Vulcan political scientist in me...the human side took over and I lied about who I voted for in '08 because I did not want this stranger thinking I'm a racist.

And in '08...I did almost vote for Obama. I literally did not make up my mind until I was putting pencil to paper on my absentee ballot two weeks before the election. I can remember sitting there, taking 2-3 minutes to fill in that oval. In the end I voted for McCain when I realized that while Mo could go either way (McCain won by 3,900)...Obama was carrying key swing states like Ohio and making in-roads in states like NC and Va...as well as the popular vote by a good margin. So my vote wouldn't matter.

Anyway...I digress. The point of my story is that if someone with as strong and well-informed opinions as I could be susceptible to the Bradley Effect...what about small business owners for whom image is everything? Or a teacher or union member who disagrees with the prevailing attitudes at work? Talking to someone is far different than posting on NG or pulling a lever in a ballot box...where no one sees who you are voting for. So I do think there is a good chance for the Bradley Effect to rear its ugly head in this election. I give it a 55-60% chance...not definite...but somewhere between possible and probable. (How's that for equivocation!?!)

* 1992: There is a hint of desperation in the air from the Obama campaign that may signal that internal polling is not as good as the picture of Victory the campaign is trying to project publicly. This week Obama released The New Economic Patriotism booklet that outlines his plan for a second term. Rachel Maddow had the following to say:

"Given how reluctant Mitt Romney has been to divulge any details about his governing agenda, it came as something of a surprise that the Republican has been aggressively pushing the line that President Obama lacks a platform for a second term."

"Indeed, despite the ambiguities of the Romney/Ryan plan, the Romney/Ryan campaign, just over the last couple of weeks, has incorporated the "Obama has no agenda" attack into practically every speech and press release lately."

...

She quotes another source: "After weeks of being challenged by Democrats and Republicans to lay out his second-term agenda, President Obama's campaign is releasing a 20-page booklet called "Blueprint for America's Future" on Tuesday and airing a new television ad to support it. [...]"

....
Then says:

"I suspect the Obama campaign has been reluctant to push this line too much in recent months because it leads to an inevitable question: if these ideas are worthwhile, why weren't they enacted in the first term?"

Now go back to about this time in 1992...

George H.W. Bush was being criticized for having no plan. He may have been resting on his Desert Storm laurals...afterall with a 92% approval rating...no Democrat considered presidential material made a run for the Democratic nod opening the door for a young Bill Clinton to make a run. So Bush probably suffered from the same confidence/arrogance/hubris Obama did going into the first debate: 'he can't beat me...so I'll just phone this in'. So the administration did not run on economic plans during a recession/poor economy. In fact this is what the Washington Post wrote in Sept 1992:

"President Bush Thursday drew together a disparate package of his administration's past proposals to revive the nation's economy and reintroduced them under a new umbrella that he said will be the basis for a second-term "agenda for American renewal."

"In a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, a five-minute campaign commercial broadcast Thursday night on four television networks and a 29-page document sent to Republicans nationwide, Bush sought to convince American voters that he has a coherent plan to achieve a goal of almost doubling the size of the U.S. economy. The plan, he argued, is based on principles of limited government and reliance on the marketplace that differ significantly from those of his Democratic opponent, Bill Clinton."

...

"
"The political rationale for the repackaging was clear in Bush's introduction by Michigan's Republican Gov. John Engler, who called the president "the man with the plan." Bush has been widely criticized for going from one election-year economic plan to another in order to convince voters he understands and will work on reviving the stagnant economy."

" "Perhaps the point that we haven't conveyed effectively," a senior aide said, "is how (prior Bush proposals) all fit together. So that's what this is trying to do today, to show the comprehensive approach." "

So the point is...Obama is also talking about trust the same way the first Bush did in 1992. The only significant advantage/difference that breaks for Obama is he lacks a third party foil unlike Bush who had Perot drawing votes away from him.

====

So in conclusion...the race is turning out very differently than when I created the OP for this topic. The endgame is shaping up to be the most exciting race I've seen since my Senior year of HS 20 years ago. My gut gives a slight edge to Romney...but not enough to predict a Romney victory that falls outside the margin of error...which is not where I expected to be when I started this thread.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-27 18:51:48 Reply

If you're going to disagree:
1) Get the facts straight.
2) Don't try to psycho-analyze things away because a) you're not adept at it and b) it only betrays your ignorance.

At 10/27/12 05:35 PM, Profanity wrote: Henry Louis Gates, Harvard Prof., arrested in his own Cambridge home for attempting to enter it. After the story gains national artention, Obama invites the professor and the officer, Sgt. James Crowley, to the White House for beer.

First of all...rather than downplaying what happened why not go through the facts:
1) We're talking about Cambridge PD...not the LAPD. CPD is one of the most PC police forces in the country.
2) Sgt James Crowley, the arresting officer, while white is the Dept's lead instructor for racial sensitivity while making arrests.
3) Prof Gates was not simply opening his door and walking inside. The door was jammed closed so he and his driver were attempting to force it open which raised the suspicion of neighbor who could not identify Gates from her angle.
4) When Sgt Crowley responded, Prof Gates was beligerent and would not allow the officer into his house. This is SOP to ensure that the property owner was not under duress by a home invader holding a gun or other weapon on the home owner. Prof Gates' behavior was, in the officer's judgement, atypical and he was concerned and tried to make entry. Prof Gates got beligerent and started making a scene and personally insulting and threatening the officer (disturbing the peace) at which point the officer told him to calm down or he would be arrested. Prof Gates would not calm down and continued to be hostile. Crowley disengaged and Gates followed him outside and threatened him...at this point he was arrested.
4a) Prof Gates maintains that he cooperated. And gave Crowley both his faculty ID and driver's license...proving his identity and then asked for the officer's ID and badge number. Crowley turned and walked out, and when Gates followed him...Crowley simply turned and said "Thanks for your earlier cooperation...you're under arrest." Furthermore, while Gates denies that he even could have yelled due to a bronchial infection...the police audio recording does have a man yelling in the background of Crowley's transmission.
5) A day or two later in a White House press conference Obama fielded a question where he said: "I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that [Gates case]. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact." This was a misstep by the president. While no one is denying that there are cases of profiling and poor behavior on the part of police...it is Gates' belligerence that got him arrested. Maybe Crowley should've just shook his head and left the guy be...but instead he gave Gates the attention and platform that he wanted...and set a landmine for the president to step on.

Retraction: I originally claimed it was a Yale prof...when in fact Gates is a Harvard prof.


I haven't hear about that, but, Google has shown me that the charges were dropped because they were absurd.

You're absolutely right...guys wearing military garb and carrying baton/billy clubs is NOT voter intimidation. And here is C-SPAN's coverage of the the hearings on the subject.

Sorry...but that is blatant, hand-in-cookie-jar voter intimidation. It was wrong when the KKK did things like that from after the Civil War to the 1960s...and it is wrong when an equivalent minority group does it.


3) His proxies claiming racism against critics of his administration. I've grown weary of hearing from members of the Congressional Black Caucus saying patently naive and false things like 'no other president has had this level of opposition, and the only difference is he's a black man'.
I think this is an issue for you because you grew up in Missouri, which is historically race tense.

First of all, the Bradley Effect is an observed phenomenon in electoral behavior. It is something that political scientists, like me, have studied. So no...it's not just internal to me.

Secondly, yes I grew-up in Missouri. But guess what? In the small rural town I grew-up in: there was NO racial tension because it was 100% white! In fact there weren't even any black families in the towns surrounding us. So...no...I was not exposed to racial tension. Instead, I was raised in a home where judging ppl by their color was bad. N****r was worse than saying 'fuck'. My dad worked in St. Louis so I met his co-workers who included educated black men and women...so I grew-up with a positive attitude towards black ppl despite not living in a diverse community.

In the end, yes I observed the behavior in myself. But as a social scientist I do know how to analyze it objectively and dispassionately. Furthermore, talking about it when discussing the topic is a way for me to present the potential bias and deal with it so as not to cloud any further analysis on my part. If you knew anything about psychology, or any other social science, you'd see that was not what was going on my previous post.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-28 15:17:36 Reply

At 10/27/12 07:40 PM, JMHX wrote:
At 10/27/12 06:51 PM, TheMason wrote:
It is something that political scientists like me....
Having collected three degrees in the field I've only ever heard this kind of posturing from the worst kinds of people.

Respectfully...no. Bringing up my upbringing is the other side of dog whistling; an ad hominem attack on my argument. It is a way of discrediting my argument (in this case a possible hypothesis), without mounting any kind of substantive counter-argument based upon the facts. So by asserting that I do have a significant amount of training and experience in this field...is a legitimate assertion against the ad hominem statement.

At 10/27/12 08:37 PM, Light wrote: I don't think the Bradley Effect has been proven to exist, and I doubt that political scientists generally agree that it exists and has a significant effect on certain elections.

Why do you think this? What, besides thinking it is not very plausible, supports your assertion?


It doesn't even sound very plausible that a significant number of whites would lie to pollsters by saying that they will vote for the minority candidate or are undecided and then decide to vote for the white candidate on election day, especially when these poll respondents remain anonymous.

It is not about anonymity. It is about the social pressure exerted by merely communicating with another human being. In the 'lizard' portion of our brain most people are wired to be concerned about how they are preceived by other people. The effect was even more profound when you got to face-to-face polling. The more human contact, the more social pressure was put on about 3% of respondants to say they were voting for the minority candidate.


It doesn't seem very wise to continuously cite the Bradley Effect as one of a number of reasons for Barack Obama's possible defeat when there doesn't seem to be a solid consensus among political scientists that it exists. Furthermore, no political scientists discuss the possible existence of this effect on TV, radio, or any other media.

1) All I am saying is that on 6 November it will be something that I and many of my peers will be looking to see if it has returned.

2) The solid consensus among political scientists is that it did exist in the past, but greatly diminished in the 1990s to the point of nonexistence in 2008 when we elected our first black president. And at no time in discussing this have I said that it has definately resurfaced. Nor am I saying that it will be in every state. Where I'm looking at it happening are in the Southern swing states like NC & Va. As well as in the Midwest especially Ohio and Wi. An aside is here in Mo where I think it is possible that it may be playing a part in the Senate race.

3) Yes...political scientists discuss this in the media. I've seen/heard reports on NPR and scholarly journals by political scientists who are looking at this still to determine if it is racially connected...or the result of other respondant bias such as front-runner bias.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-28 15:49:49 Reply

At 10/27/12 09:01 PM, Profanity wrote:
At 10/27/12 06:51 PM, TheMason wrote: 1) Get the facts straight.
An on-duty white Cambridge Police Officer named James Crowley entered the home of a jet-lagged black Harvard Professor named Henry Louis Gates' without permission, under the suspicion that the man was a burglar, and then arresting him for reacting angrily. The President's remarks and response were appropriate. The officer should have walked away and left the man at peace in his home.

Entering a house in such a case is acceptable SOP. Since there was a call that someone was forcibly trying to enter the residence, it is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the responding officer to enter the house to ensure that everything was in fact okay. It was actually Prof Gates' safety that Crowley was concerned with.

There are two sides to this story. Gates claims that he was cooperative, suffering from jet lag and a bronchial infection that precluded yelling. Crowley claims Gates was yelling, insulting and threatening. So it comes down to who you believe. Considering Crowley's background in being an expert in handling interracial interactions, the recordings of someone being belligerent and yelling when Crowley called into dispatch over the radio, and other responding officers who support Crowley (one of whom is black and said that things would've been different had he responded instead of a white guy)...things lean towards Gates temporarily lost his mind and acted inappropriately.

As for the president's comments:
1) It is a local matter that a president should not be wading into.
2) He said that he was not there and did not have all the facts, however he still thought it prudent to say that it was 'obvious' that Crowley acted 'stupidly'.

The New Black Panther members who were allegedly intimidating voters in Pennsylvania left when officers responded. There was no incident, and no complaints were lodged by voters.

Just because they left when police got there doesn't mean: "There was no incident". That is an utterly stupid thing to say. They were actively intimidating voters prior to the police arriving, and they were caught on tape. That is like saying that a shoplifter who throws away merchandise outside a store when the police arrive and agrees to leave when police responded...did not shoplift.

Secondly, just by calling the police a complaint made. That it was turned over to the DoJ to consider prosecution means that a complaint was made.


If your views on this subject aren't the result of growing up in historically racially tense Missouri, then I just cannot possibly explain why you are siding with a Police officer who entered a man's home and arrested him, rather than agreeing with the President and the Harvard Professor whose property rights were violated prior to his arrest.

First of all, his property rights were not violated by Crowley entering the man's house. If there is a reasonable concern that someone may be in danger, the police have the right to enter a house without a warrant. When Gates, according to both accounts, answered the door he did not have ID on his person and had to retrive it from inside. Now if Gates had had ID on him at the door and could produce it...Crowley may have just left and not tried to enter the house.

But Gates did not, he had to go into the home to retrieve the ID. Now you may not see/understand why this makes any difference, but it makes all the difference in the world. Crowley did not know the tactical situation inside the house. Were the homeowner(s) tied up and under duress? Was the individual he was talking to going to retrieve a weapon? Was the individual answering the door really trespassing and going to make a break for it through the back door?

Therefore in this case, Crowley had every right to enter the house to ensure that the occupants were safe and everything was on the up and up.

Thus my upbringing in Mo has nothing to do with my thoughts on this matter. As I stated previously, you bringing it up is rather dubious considering that a majority of states and urban settings have racial tensions and Mo is not unique in this. Furthermore, my upbringing was without racial tension or stereotyping and in fact I was raised with a positive opinion/slant/whatever towards people of differing races, religions or backgrounds.

But if my upbringing impacts my opinions on this matter to the point of blinding me to the facts as presented in legitimate journalistic sources...the same question may be turned around on you. What in your upbringing and experience makes you predisposed to believing Gates and not seeing the obvious gaffe the president made following the incident?

What it has to do with my understanding of how the police operate and discussing this issue with police and other experts in this field. Then looking at both sides of the argument. Gates' story seems thin and implausible considering we're talking about Cambridge, Mass and not LA. Crowley has audio of a someone yelling in the background as well as support from his fellow officers who responded and saw Gates' temperment.

====

However, these events did occur and are part of today's political discourse on race and politics. Furthermore, it is a legitimate question to ask how this has changed the political landscape. Have we regressed where we may start seeing things like the Bradley Effect re-emerge? Or have we made solid enough progress that things like the Bradley Effect truly are dead and not dormant.

I for one hope it is the latter instead of the former.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-28 17:45:50 Reply

At 10/28/12 04:30 PM, Light wrote:
Not much, but then again, the burden of proof doesn't fall on me, now does it?

Actually, it would. See the Bradley Effect is a real thing that is accepted as having happened by a majority of political scientists. It is a mainstream theory and taught in collegiate classes dealing with American Government and Electoral Behavior.

Now, you made the assertion that it was not a thing and that it was not discussed amongst political scientists. Considering just how commonly accepted the Bradley Effect theory is amongs my academic peers and collegues...your statements of disbelief require substantial support.

1) All I am saying is that on 6 November it will be something that I and many of my peers will be looking to see if it has returned.
So why do you keep mentioning it as if it is guaranteed to happen?

Everytime I have brought it, I have brought it up as a possibility or hypothetical. I have not brought it up as a guarantee.

3) Yes...political scientists discuss this in the media. I've seen/heard reports on NPR and scholarly journals by political scientists who are looking at this still to determine if it is racially connected...or the result of other respondant bias such as front-runner bias.
OK then, I'll take your word for it and believe that they have been discussing this in public and in scholarly journals. Perhaps I just haven't heard about it.

It is something we taught starting with the introductory American Government course when I was a grad student in the poli sci department at Missouri. It was also something that I had been taught in my electoral behavior courses as an undergrad in the 1990s.

It is a phenomenon that has been both observed and studied by political scientists, and the Bradley Effect was held as a truism for quite awhile. Now there have been some papers studying how large the effect was and trying to use things like front-runner bias as rival alternative hypothesis or controls. Others have looked to see if the effect was as dramatic as academics writing in the '80s and '90s suggested.


But your last response seems to indicate that political scientists don't know the full nature of the Bradley Effect and whether it still exists.

Then that is a misstatement on my part. In the 1990s it started to dimish and had disappeared by 2008...and some political scientists did look into it then...since it was the first national election with a minority candidate. (The Bradley Effect really only applies to state races...which with the Electoral College the presidential election is essentially 50 state races bundled into 1.) But for the most part, political scientists weren't looking for it then. Furthermore, I will go on record as saying I am in the minority...and not fully convinced myself. What really got me thinking about it is:

A) The disparity between the prediction models relying on poll data and those relying on economic data. Polls indicate an Obama victory, while economic ones indicate a Romney win. (There are some that blend both poll and economic data, these have mixed results depending on which type of data is weighted more.)
B) There is some disparity within the poll data itself. Most political scientists do not look at just one question like the media outlets and pundits do. Instead, we look at control questions and opinions on key issues. On the issue of the economy Romney is beating Obama on taxes, the general economy and job creation by just above or below the margin of error. Obama is leading on the questions about who is good for the middle class. In any other election we would expect the challenger to be beating the incumbent person/party. But we're not seeing that.

This disparity between the models and the incoherence of the poll data, makes me wonder if the Bradley Effect is not making a comeback. From there I looked at the country's attitudes towards race and if things have gotten better, worse, or stayed the same since 2008. While I don't think we've regressed to the 1960s...I think we have regressed somewhat in race relations which means that the political environment is favorable for it to re-appear.

To put it in weather terms and steal from Tornado Watches and Warnings:
We are under a 'Bradley Effect Watch'...not a 'Bradley Effect Warning'.

It is brought up by pundits as well, and especially Republican ones who were hoping for a miracle in the last presidential election. Here's one from Forbes for this election.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-28 19:38:16 Reply

Pick your poison 2012 !


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-28 20:23:01 Reply

At 10/28/12 07:50 PM, Light wrote:
Actually, it would. See the Bradley Effect is a real thing that is accepted as having happened by a majority of political scientists. It is a mainstream theory and taught in collegiate classes dealing with American Government and Electoral Behavior.
But does such an effect still exist?

It is... difficult to measure. Any shift in the numbers between polls and votes that is within the margin of error is, statistically speaking, nonexistent. Anything beyond that and we can begin to measure reasons, motivations, outside factors, and if there is a significant difference between exit polling and actual votes, then we may be seeing a Bradley Effect.

My theory is that the first debate, and the monumental shift in the polls due to it, were the Bradley Effect given voice. My theory is that that gave those who might be under the Effect the excuse they needed to quiet the cognitive dissonance that caused their dishonesty and allowed them to respond appropriately, and truthfully. Especially after two further debates where Obama (arguably) took Mitt Romney apart. I think our current polls that show Obama ahead by 3-4 points are more accurate than our ones from a month or so ago that showed him up by 7-8. I don't think the first debate hurt him as much as it did allow everyone to settle into the track they were already going to go down.

But that's just my theory. Hell, more speculation than anything.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-29 11:07:58 Reply

At 10/28/12 06:20 PM, Profanity wrote: If you had actually listened to the tapes, you would know that the CPD brought race into the picture, calling the men "possible Hispanic," although the 9/11 caller had not. ...

Here is thcall for you to listen to. At about the 2 minute mark CPD asks for the race of the men (which is normal SOP regardless of department). While you say that the caller "had not" described the men "possible Hispanic", it is clear on the tape that she did describe at least one of the men as possibly hispanic and did not know about the other one.


"...the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home."

Stop cutting out the phrase "...in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home." to press your bias.

And stop cutting the phrase: "I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that." This only shows your own bias, which at this point seems like you have more of a problem with your bias clouding your judgement than your accusation about me. Afterall, I did place the points I was making in the context of the full quote.


Forfeit your position, you're wrong.

Dude...you have done nothing to discredit my argument nor have you shown where I am wrong. All you are doing is repeating falsehoods as if restating them makes them true.

1) Crowley did not trespass nor did he violate Gates privacy rights under the situation since Gates could not produce ID at his door but had to go into the house to retreive it. This is in keep with both Gates' and Crowley's account of the incident. Under this situation, the officer has reasonable cause to enter a residence. Furthermore, in incidences where there is possible foul play he has a duty to enter the house. You have yet to address this argument on its merits. Instead you keep repeating that his rights were violated as if it were prima facie.
2) You keep glossing over things such as the fact that Gates had to break-in to his own house. Instead, you simply say: "...because he entered his own home..." as if he had just used a key. No...he had to break-in. I do not think him breaking in was against the law, nor am I claiming that at this point he deserved arrest. All I am saying is the manner in which he had to enter his home raised suspicion on the part of two neighbors who did not know what or who exactly they were seeing. This is key because it establishes the reason why Crowley was called to respond to 17 Ware St. Crowley was there because of a possible violation of the law.
3) You also describe Crowley as harassing Gates. According to both accounts, there is no claim that he harassed Gates prior to arresting. According to Gates' account Crowley did not act poorly until he a) refused to say his name and badge number and b) suddenly arrested him. So your characterization of the incident conflicts with the way Gates says things went down...further proof of bias on your part.

In the end, the more you post the more you show your own bias on this. You do not answer my arguments with any direct counter-arguments...much less support. You make the claim that CPD is notorious for profiling and racism. From what I know...this conflicts with the information I have. I am, however, open to new information on this point.


The New Black Panther members who were allegedly intimidating voters in Pennsylvania left when officers responded. There was no incident, and no complaints were lodged by voters.
Just because they left when police got there doesn't mean: "There was no incident"...actively intimidating voters...caught on tape
Here, have an article by a person who cares to write too much about open and shut cases.

Try reading it for yourself and from an unbiased or empathetic position. She does not refer to it as "open and shut". The core of her argument is two-fold:
1) That the case was not as big of a slam-dunk as others, myself included, believe it to be. On this she makes an interesting point about ideological/partisan shifts that occur in agencies when the White House changes presidents and parties.
2) That there are other things the DoJ are doing in regards to Civil Rights law that conservatives and libertarians should be concerned with.

The point about billy-clubs and what is and is not a weapon (ie: weapons implies guns) was stupid and lessens her credibility.

And in her closing she even says that maybe the DoJ shouldn't have just dropped the charges...but it doesn't change the fact that she thinks conservatives have bigger fish to fry than this issue.


Therefore in this case, Crowley had every right to enter the house to ensure that the occupants were safe and everything was on the up and up.
Quit being a blockhead for the sake of research. Crowley arrested Professor Gates after his identity was confirmed, after he entered the premises without permission.

Dude...calling me names does not counter my argument. You have yet to show how Sgt Crowley was in the wrong by entering the premises. At this point, whether or not he had permission does NOT mean that Sgt Crowley was trespassing, wrong, or violating Gates' rights. Sgt Crowley under the circumstances had reasonable cause to enter the house because Gates' identity could not be established at the door. When Gates went inside, Crowley had a duty to enter. Since he did not know Gates by face, he could not know if the man he was talking to was telling the truth or lying. If the guy was lying and was not Gates the homeowner could be in danger, the officer could be in danger (if the trespasser was retrieving a gun) or would make a run for it through the back door.

Either show me that Crowley was in the wrong entering the house. If you think that permission is relevent...demonstrate how or why.

Furthermore, Gates was arrested for his conduct and behavior towards an officer responding to a possible break-in. You have failed to demonstrate:

A) That Gates did not behave in a inappropriate manner.
B) That Crowley behaved in a inappropriate manner.

Therefore, you do not have either the moral or intellectual authority to tell/ask/demand that someone "forfeit" their position because they are wrong.


I have black friends who are constantly harassed by Cambridge Police Officers for being Black and Hispanic. Being arrested for sitting on the front steps of your home is not uncommon. Oh, sorry, did you say they were a Politically Correct office?

How does this demonstrate bias on my part by my upbringing?

Also, do you have anything other than the person-to-person testimony of your friends (something I cannot verify) to back this up? I am open to new information regarding the conduct of the CPD at this time...but from legitimate sources please.

At this point, we are straying afield of the topic. If you would like to talk further about race in America and how these incidents fit-in...please start a thread on that topic.

====

The merits of both of these incidents aside...

How they enter the psyche of the electorate in whole and in the various demographics is what is at issue here. In terms of relating to white voters...I think these two incidents do have a polarizing effect for the president and undermines the notion that he is a post-racial president.

Furthermore, I think this does make the environment supportive for a possible Bradley Effect on November 6.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-29 15:49:45 Reply

@ Profanity

You keep pointing the finger at me for pointing out a presidential gaffe/misstep. I can keep showing you the inconsistencies within your position. However, you remain entrenched and not open to outside information. Procedure is not bullshit; it is germaine to your charge that the responding police officer had acted inappropriately by entering the house. That you feel this way demonstrates that you are the one trying to twist the facts of the case to fit your narrative and you accept Gates' position without question and ignore the fact that Obama's opinion comes from a position of ignorance of the facts of the arrest...as Obama himself admits. Since Obama started his answer with an admission of not being in possession of all the facts of the case, he should know given his reputation as a thoughtful and deliberative man...that his opinion was built upon a possibly flawed foundation. Therefore it was ill-advised and unwise to make comments that were concrete like he then proceeded to do.

Secondly, you seem to also think that Crowley was wrong to seek verification of Gates' identity and was wrong to respond to the 911 call. Your position on this is unreasonable and disconnected with reality. But once again, you entrench yourself in your narrative of the event and refuse to even consider outside evidence or arguments. Furthermore, I have asked you to provide information regarding your allegations of profiling and racism from the CPD beyond your ancedotal evidence of your friend's experiences with the CPD. You have failed to produce such evidence...and in your last post you made it clear you don't feel it necessary to do so.

Finally, you deflate procedural 'bullshit' that is crucial to this incident because it establishes whether or not Gates' property rights were violated (which is the basis of your arguments of harassment and trespassing). And yet you want to inflate my mistakenly putting down that Gates was a Yale prof. I am sorry. I did not go back and do an in-depth review of the incident to make a point about an incident that has the potential to have racially polarizing effects on the electorate. However, it matters very little in that it does not impact the essential facts of the case. This is obfuscation...you are conflating the importance of a relatively minor point while deflating the importance of foundational concepts to the various narratives of the event. All in an attempt to discredit arguments that destroy yours...and that you find inconvient.

You have shown a pattern of obfuscation and entrenchment which is indicative of very narrow and/or closed mindset. You approach this issue predisposed to think that when a white cop arrests a black man...the white cop is probably acting out of racism. When this narrative is challenged you answer the challenge with charges of racism/bias as well as a doubling down on retelling the facts as you see...all the while offering no elaboration or support to your claims. Thus you are revealed to be speaking from a position of ignorance and bias on this point.

Anything further you have to say which is not backed-up by solid support, logically consistent, and/or meets the reasonable person standard...will continue to be intellectually vacuous.

Afterall, you fail to answer the original point that these two cases were supporting.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-30 22:36:40 Reply

At 10/29/12 10:23 PM, Profanity wrote: It's amazing to me that you have warped your entire side of this argument into whatever region of thought is causing you to read through and accept the Officer's standard operating procedure COMPLETELY IGNORING THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT STANDARD FOR A JET LAGGED PROFESSOR TO BE HARASSED AND TRESPASSED AGAINST IN HIS OWN HOME.

Actually, I do have empathy for Gates being jet lagged. Having made the Korea-Missouri/S. Carolina trip a half dozen times...I understand how tired and aggitated Gates would be. Hell, when I came home from Qatar and had 6hrs sleep in 96hrs...I felt like I was drunk by the time I got home.

So no, I'm not ignoring that having a police officer come ask who you are and what you're doing in your own home can be the last thing you want. However, that does not give Gates the right or a free pass to become belligerent with a police officer responding to a call to make sure you and your home was okay. It is a contributing cause to Gates' behavior...but it does not excuse it.

See, what Gates was arrested for was his behavior towards the cop. Yelling, shouting, threatening, insulting the guy's mom...that is what Sgt Crowley cited as the cause for his arrest.


Who gives a shit why the police officer entered the house? The fact of the matter is that there was no problem at the location. AFTER it had been established without a doubt, the officer proceeded to arrest the Professor.

After. He. Verified. The. Professor's. Identity. And. Safety. He. Arrested. The. Man.

Okay...read above. Gates was arrested because he allegedly continued to be insulting and belligerent as the officer attempted to perform his duty. At this point that Gates' identity had been verified as well as his safety...is irrelevent because it was Gates' behavior towards the responding officer that got him arrested.


Therefore, acted stupidly. No one is questioning that he was following procedure to ensure that there were no gunmen holding the house, no one in this conversation or the President's response has questioned that. It's made pretty fucking clear in the numerous articles that the Officer had been following standard operating procedure.

So let me get this right, on one hand you say:

You are not questioning that he was following SOP.

But then you start this post with

"COMPLETELY IGNORING THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT STANDARD FOR A JET LAGGED PROFESSOR TO BE HARASSED AND TRESPASSED AGAINST IN HIS OWN HOME."

And then sandwich it with:

"It's also made pretty fucking clear in the numerous articles that the Professor had just flown halfway across the planet, had to barge into his own house, and then had some asshole cop wake him up and accuse him of being a home invader."

Dude...you do realize that you are contradicting yourself. So was Crowley acting in accordance with SOP by entering the house...or was he violating Gates' property rights? You're trying to have it both ways.

Furthermore, for as sure as you are that you know more about this than I as well as certain that yours is the only legitimate/right view/conclusion and that I am not empathetic to Prof. Gates...you don't seem to know that Gates was not asleep when Sgt Crowley responded. According to Gates' account he was on the phone with his property manager to get the door fixed.

Now...here's the thing. I've read both accounts.

GATES'
* Was suffering from a bronchial infection that made it impossible for him to yell.
* Was on the phone with the property manager when a white man dressed as a cop knocked on the door.
* Answered and was asked by the cop who he was and what had happened.
* Asked for ID which he had left by the phone, had to go get it.
* Cop entered the house behind him and closed the door.
* Gates provided Harvard ID and drivers license, asked for officer's name and badge number.
* Cop ignored request and turned and walked away, Gates followed him demanding this info.
* Cop turned and basicall said: "Thank you for your cooperation earlier, you are now under arrest."

CROWLEY's
* Responded to 911 of two men trying to break into a house.
* Gates answers tells him story but does not have ID.
* Gates also threatens Crowley by saying he did not know who he was messing with.
* After initially refusing to provide ID, Gates goes inside to retreive ID, so following SOP Crowley enters.
* Crowley informs Gates that if he wants to discuss this further, outside would be the appropriate venue. Gates says a 'your mama' insult and follow him outside.
* Once outside, Gates continues being disorderly.
* Receives two warnings concerning his disorderly behavior, but continues yelling about racial profiling and threatening Crowley that he has not heard the last of this.
* Gates is arrested for his disorderly behavior.

So as you can see there are two sides and I can articulate them both. Furthermore I do empathize with Gates having made many trans-oceanic flights myself. So in deciding which account is more believable:

* Crowley was selected by an African-American police chief to teach courses on racial profiling. African-Americans who know him say he is a good and fair police officer. He attempted to save a black athlete's life. I can find nothing in his background that would suggest he would behave bigotedly like Gates' account suggest.
* Sgt Leon Lashley was present when Gates was arrested and says he supports Crowley's decision 100%. Sgt Lashley is an African-American, who also went on to say that Gates would've probably responded differently to a black cop. This suggests that Gates may have been the person behaving from a racist/biased standpoint.
* While Gates claims that he could not yell due to medical conditions, you can hear yelling in the background when Crowley called into dispatch. While not a 100% confirmation that it was Gates...it does seem to support Crowley since it was only Gates and CPD there at the time.
* Gates' story seems a little far fetched. Even if the CPD was plagued by racial bias, arresting a Harvard professor who had been cooperating with you and just wanted your name and badge number...seems very dumb. It does not jive that a police officer with Crowley's experience and background would make an arrest for no reason.

Therefore, by engaging critical thinking nuerons and examining both accounts and available evidence...I find Crowley's account the more believable.

Now here's the thing: I think Crowley probably should've let Gates go. From the sound of it, Gates was in an agitated mood and spoiling for a fight...not a physical one...but to verbally/emotionally take out some aggression. Crowley gave it to him as well as a soap box.

But on the other hand, Gates was acting inappropriately and Crowley had the right and authority to arrest him for his behavior. So it was a judgement call. Letting him go would've been okay, but arresting him was equally appropriate.


... I'm not going to dictate an essay about profiling in the Cambridge Police Dept just to convince a Republican to vote for the better candidate.

Dude I don't want an essay. What I want are sources. From everything I've read about Crowley he taught courses on interracial policing techniques. I've also read that CPD is very good in this regard. You are presenting a counter view. I am asking for you to support this so I may make a more informed decision.

It has nothing to do with my vote.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-10-30 23:15:38 Reply

The intent of this thread is to examine the underlining election fundamentals of the 2012 presidential election. It is not about who is the better candidate, nor is it about agreeing or disagreeing with them. Therefore, our recent exercise in disecting this event is actually irrelevent to the topic.

However, to remind you of my original argument that started this:

At 10/29/12 12:44 PM, Profanity wrote: ... but it's clear to me that you're trying very hard not to agree with Obama. You initiated this as a one-line remark about the case, missing two important details (Yale, local), and tried to use it as a reason to disrespect a person who made a remarkably perfect response when it reached his attention.

* It was/is appropriate for me to sum-up this incident in a one-line remark, because the merits/facts of the incident are in this case less important than how it is perceived by the electorate as a whole AND in the various demographics. The point was that the president made a gaffe and poorly answered a question that in turn could elicit an emotional response from one segment of the electorate.

* By itself, this one incident would not be enough to bring the Bradley Effect back to life. However, when taken with other incidents such as the New Black Panther voter intimidation case as well as charges of racisim towards the president by his proxies...could be enough manure to bring it back.

* Again...what really happened as well as the facts surrounding the events are less important to the election than how they are perceived by the demographic in question.

* Since it is the perception that the aggregate of these events has on the electoral behavior of a significant demographic and not the events themselves that are important...I did not go back and review the specifics. Instead I made a honest mistake in attributing Gates as being a current Yale prof when in fact that is where he taught prior to Harvard and went to school at Yale. That I made this mistake has no significant impact on the validity of my argument/theory. Ditto for not explaining that it was a local event sensationalized nationally.

* In pursuing this Bradley Effect hypothesis, I do not show the president any disrespect.

* In my appraisal of his statement as a misstep and/or gaffe...I do not show him any disrespect either. Nor do I cherry pick his comments. I merely point out that his statement was ill-conceived and was at best a rush to judgement and at worse a sign that for a moment he was not being reasonable. But one more deconstruction for you:

"My understanding is that Professor Gates then shows his I.D. to show that this is his house and, at that point, he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped. I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact."

I highlighted "I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that." because in it Obama explicitly admits to not being in possession of all the facts. Therefore, a wise and reasonable man would not go on to say the following with as much certainty as he did: "...that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home..."

There are two things wrong with this from a logical, reasonable standpoint:
1) Gates was arrested for his disorderly conduct. That he was in his own home is irrelevent. Being belligerent, initially refusing to comply with an officer's request and then continuing being belligerent, threatening and insulting is not a way to avoid being arrested...regardless of race.
2) Obama previously admited to not knowing the facts of this case. So in what way can he logically say that it was or was not stupid? This is not a twisting of his words. This is not me trying very hard to disagree with Obama. This is basic logical consistency.

====

At this point you have failed to:

* Address the original point (ie: that the aggregate of this and several other events/trends may pave the way for the Bradley Effect to re-emerge).
* Show that I am biased in my thought process.
* Demonstrate that prior to arresting Gates, he had been harassed, interrogated, or trespassed against.
* Counter my arguments that no harassment or property violations had occurred in regards to Gates. When pressed that Crowely acted in accordance with SOP...you merely entrench yourself by repeating the same things...and then go on to say that you, Obama or anyone else is saying Crowley acted outside the bounds of SOP! The intellectual disconnect in your argument, and that you are somehow a guidepost for me to follow back to normality, is quite astounding. Did you and LeanLifter1 attend the same school of rhetoric and logical reasoning?
* Show that the CPD and/or Sgt Crowley have a recent history of racial profiling. I have asked you, in good faith, to provide sources to dispute my earlier information. This is the part of the event that I am least informed on and would be grateful for any information that disproves it so that in the future I don't misspeak.

So unless you have anything to say that is in keeping with the original intent of this thread...please move along. LeanLifter1 and Shaggytheclown want you to go outside and play.


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Response to Obama 12: Invincible or Unelectable 2012-11-01 00:01:56 Reply

At 10/31/12 09:22 PM, Profanity wrote:
At 10/30/12 10:36 PM, TheMason wrote: So as you can see there are two sides and I can articulate them both.
Holding the same opinion under further research does not change the fact that you came back into this thread and bumped it with fallacious support for a weak hypothesis and a thinly veiled racist insult against either the president or Rev. Wright's parishioners.

* There is nothing about my hypothesis that makes it weak, or at least you have not articulated anything that shows that it is weak.
* At no time have I: A) been racist or B) insulted the president, Rev Wright or his parishioners.
* I did not really do any further research. The story is 3 years old at this point, and since the particulars/merits of the case were immaterial to what I was saying...I did not bother reviewing the details prior to making the original post. Once you challenged me I corrected where I errored.


You called a national news story a local matter, you did not know what school the professor taught at, you did not know which office the police officer worked for, you picked apart Obama's initial response for strawmen to cut out of context, and you continued to argue that the Professor had no right to rebuke the officer for entering into his home against his permission. You even insist that the police officer's SOP trumps the rights of both free speech and property ownership, and that he should not have to endure verbal abuse while he is intruding into someone else's home.

* Yes it was a national news story; but it remains a local matter. Under our federal system of government, the President of the United State has no authority in the matter. He may comment on it; but he cannot issue an executive order or presidential pardon in a local arrest. Yes, it gained national attention but it occurred and was resolved at the local level.

* Like I said above, the details are immaterial to the hypothesis I was making. Therefore, I did not review the specifics prior to making the post. It was an honest mistake. I corrected it. I remembered the salient points (that he was responding to a possible break-in, Crowley reported Gates as initially uncooperative, insulting and threatening, Gates claimed he was none of these things, the arresting officer had a reputation of being fair and unbiased, an African-American cop supported his action, etc, etc). That I attributed this originally to Yale and New Haven PD does NOT lessen the validity of these arguments, with one exception. And here I'll do your job for you: by confusing the PDs, NHPD could have a horrible reputation and/or record while CPD has a sterling one (or vice versa). But even then, it is a stretch because I still remember hearing good things about the arresting PD. I just attributed them wrong initially. As an educator, I would mark out 'Harvard' with my red pen and write-in 'Yale'...but not take credit away since the mistake is insignificant to the argument, theory at hand.

* I did not pick-apart Obama's statement. Instead I analyzed it using the rules of logic. Once Obama said he was NOT in possession of all the facts; any claim about the specific matter/event/topic at issue must be treated as potentially wrong. By being concrete about his appraisal of the validity of the officer's action...he opened himself up to criticism. In fact of the list of three things he said; I find the other points he made to be intelligent and well reasoned. That is why I do not address them because they logically stand-up even following his admission of ignorance of the specifics of the case...points 1 & 3 are general and unchanged by the specifics of this specific event.

* I still hold that: A) the professor acted inappropriately for 'rebuking' the officer and B) that the officer's SOP does trump the professor's free speech and property rights. See, an officer does have the ability under some circumstances to enter a person's without permission or a warrant. You may read the articles in their entirity, but the salient points are:

1) "An officer rightfully on someone's property can legally search if he is in view of contraband or visible evidence of a crime."

2) "Officers can search in time-restricted situations where the process of obtaining a valid warrant could compromise public welfare or potential evidence."

3) "The exigent circumstances exception means an emergency exists and there is no time to get a warrant. The emergency must be a matter of safety or a life-and-death situation. It can also be a pursuit where a suspect enters a dwelling. The entry must be close in time to the emergency, however. The passage of time makes the situation seem less exigent and increases the view that a warrant should have been procured."

So let's review:

FACT: Sgt Crowley was responding to a call of a possible break-in.
FACT: Prof Gates could not, according to both accounts, produce ID to verify his identity.

At this point:
* A damaged door is a sign of a break-in which constitutes both an emergency and a crime.
* There was no time to get a warrant.
* Since Gates was unable to verify his ID at the door, there was a reasonable possibility that his or Gates' safety was compromised if the guy who answered the door was not Gates.

Because these criteria were met...Crowley had probable cause to enter the house, therefore Gates' 4th Amendment Rights did not apply. However, as an interesting side note since no commission of a crime had been committed and Crowley had probable cause...had Gates had something illegal sitting on his kitchen table, it could not be seized as evidence.

Ergo, since Crowley was legitimately exercising his authority to ensure his and Gates' safety...Gates did not have the right to behave in a way that violated local laws regarding disorderly conduct. After his identity was verified Sgt Crowley reported that Gates continued to behave in a disorderly manner that included personal insults and threats. Furthermore, Sgt Crowley's report is corroberated by other officers and to a lesser extent tapes of his radio transmissions.

You're point that Gates' should not have been arrested after his ID was verified is flawed, because the behavior Gates was arrested for allegedly started before ID verification and continued after ID verification and two requests/warnings to calm down or he would be arrested. You accuse me of being blind and/or having trouble with reading comprehension as well as several other personal insults. But that you do not get this point proves Clinton 's adage about "three fingers pointed back at the person pointing his finger".

The president was absolutely correct when he said that the Officer acted stupidly in arresting Gates after it had been established that he was in his own home. There was no flaw in the way he mediated the matter.

1) As demonstrated above, that Gates' ID had been verified is of zero relevance to why he was arrested. It was Gates' behavior before, during and after ID verification that got him arrested. Gates was given an opportunity to disengage from the situation inside the house but instead continued accosting Sgt Crowley once the intial reason Sgt Crowley was there was resolved.

[cont.]


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