Rick Perry vs World
09 October 2014
It's about time
Response rates to traditional telephone polls keep declining, and opt-in online polls are an inherently biased version of sampling public opinion.
If ballot race tests just went away, would the Republic immediately improve? Probably. [I'm sure Wendy Davis's Yankees agree!]
Microsoft is going to try to use sparse machine learning to replace phone polls:
His goal is to quicken the pace of culling answers and broaden the range of questions. For example, in a series of daily polls of users on Microsoft’s XBox video game console, Rothschild was able to generate forecasts and models using the data and demographic information that closely mirrored the accuracy of poll aggregation.
At least if it proves successful, then I won't get my Twitter feed crowded with the "predictions" of someone who averages polls and then runs a Monte Carlo sim on top?
02 October 2014
Texas Lyceum poll loses all credibility
The Texas Lyceum poll just took a poll. It included a trial ballot for governor. See screenshot below.
Notice that their poll sampled more Democrats than Republicans. Perhaps they thought they were polling in California or in Wendy Davis's native Rhode Island?
25 September 2014
Thiel on Cruz
"Well, I think he's very smart," Thiel said of Cruz, who is now the junior senator from Texas. "I think one of the challenges we have in the Republican Party is ... our representatives, our senators, are somewhat lower IQ than the people on the other side. So I think there is something to be said for getting some really smart people in there."
Some of Cruz's opponents in the 2012 primary tried to start a whisper campaign about Thiel's support. That failed.
24 September 2014
The Wendy Davis Meltdown
It sure looks like this was a planned gambit. But if so, she shouldn't have backed down. "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green" it was not. Talking over the moderator for so long only to back down hit just the worst mixture of petulance and weakness.
Just for reference, this is what a leader looks like:
08 September 2014
A tale of two Democratic ads
This is a pretty good ad. Watch it with the sound off. She's much better than when she gets obvious questions that she didn't prepare for. She believes what she's saying, she's got authentic anger in the spots where she should. It does a good job of arguing her version of the facts while portraying her as a centrist.
And it was cheap to produce, which is key as she has no money. [Aside: voters don't care about production values. Political consultants like expensive ads because they make more money from them and because they win meaningless Pollie awards.]
Contrast that with the Wendy Davis education ad which I saw while watching the NFL today
Van de Putte's ad has a certain credibility. This one doesn't. Blaming the AG for something the legislature passed. Making something up about 4 year olds that no one believes -- and especially not from Wendy Davis.
Everything about this ad said "standard campaign ad that voters tune out."
Maybe Wendy Davis should hire Van de Putte to run her campaign? I imagine she'd do better than Obama's man in Texas.
05 September 2014
When you're not even popular on your own ad
A Wendy Davis ad showed up on my Facebook feed tonight.
The great thing about Facebook from an advertiser's perspective is that you advertise on Facebook because you can target your prospective customers very carefully. So the fact that I was seeing the ad means they probably hadn't done a good job of spending the money of Wendy's California donors. But then I scrolled down. I was so surprised I had to take a screenshot:
All the top comments are against Wendy on her own ad. Even after presumably trying to target swing voters, all the responses were negative. And those were some fired up responses.
03 September 2014
When you start losing the alt-weekly crowd...
Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer on Wallace Hall:
But what is to be said for the Texas press and its handling of the Wallace Hall story? Every major newspaper in the state has either called for Hall's head at one point or questioned his integrity, most of them basing their complaints on an allegation that Hall asked for too much information from the university -- in other words, that he did too much reporting.
Eight months later in a triumph of virtuoso investigative reporting, Jon Cassidy, writing for Watchdog.org, an online news service sponsored by a conservative foundation, laid out the real back story of the law school admissions racket. Pitts had told the truth about one thing: It was standard practice.
In an ingenious use of public information laws and law school application procedures, Cassidy was able to expose an entire cadre of candidates admitted to UT law school in spite of startlingly low scores on the national Law School Admission Test (LSAT), many of whom graduated somehow, but, unlike almost anybody else at UT Law School, kept flunking their bar exams after they got out.
Of these, 15 of the names unearthed by Cassidy were of students directly linked to officeholders, either by blood, influence or money. Cassidy reported that a large number of ringers came from the district of state Senator Judith Zaffirini, former chair of the state higher education committee, including her son Carlos Manuel Zaffirini Jr. Many were connected to House Speaker Joe Straus.
I guess we know why Speaker Straus has been trying so hard to impeach Wallace Hall.
Deleting that tweet
That Rick Perry tweet and delete was canny.
He got us all talking about what he wanted us to talk about.
25 August 2014
Wendy Davis is 10 points behind where Bill White was 4 years ago
How many Texans would bet anything at even money that Wendy Davis does better than Bill White on Election Day?
Four years ago today, two polls had Bill White within the margin of error of Rick Perry. Zogby had him down just 3, and Hill Research Consultants had him down 1. Right now we've got polls out that show Wendy Davis down 8 (Rasmussen) and down 18 (trade group poll). Most of the recent numbers are closer to the trade group poll than to Rasmussen.
People tend to forget that Bill White actually ran a decent race. He spent lots of time talking about himself being a fiscal conservative, despite the fact that his record as mayor of Houston reflected the contrary. Still, he tried to convince Texans that he shared our values. It didn't work, because 2010 was not a year in which Texans were likely to be fooled.
On the contrary, Wendy Davis hasn't even tried to convince Texans that she shares our values. Her only real feint in that direction was so awkward that she managed to lose support on the left while highlighting her own anti-gun record. As we now say in Texas politics, "oops."
Or maybe coming out for open carry was simply a reflection of her home state Rhode Island values?
[Yes, somehow Rhode Island is more pro-gun than Texas when it comes to handgun open carry. We have Joe Straus to thank for that.]
Wendy Davis has never seemed to understand that being Obama's pick to turn Texas blue was going to hurt her. And maybe that is the ultimate sign that she doesn't share our values.
12 August 2014
Random attack ads in early August
My first thought was, "did they even focus group this?" It's not a good ad. It's slow, it barely mentions Greg Abbott, it requires assuming bad faith by Abbott to be effective when they haven't built the message that would enable belief.
My second thought was that it's possible that it did ok in focus groups. Focus groups aren't going to hit the remote to change the channel, because they can't. They'll try to suggest cute phrases like "thank God this time Greg Abbott lost." On the other hand, you'd think they'd point out that the ridiculous final screen of
"another insider, not working for you" is not supported by anything in the ad.
As it has been throughout the campaign, the message is inconsistent. Sometimes it seems like she's running for governor of her native Rhode Island, and then the next day she awkwardly tries to pander to Texas value by flip-flopping on gun rights.
So Wendy Davis is spending money to try to temporarily drive Abbott's poll numbers down in the hope that the left will keep writing big checks to a candidate down 10 points.
Throw something against the wall and see if it sticks. Even if it is the opposite of what you said yesterday -- it's the Wendy Davis strategy.
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