Monthly Archives: November 2012

Romney’s “Victory” By The Numbers

I’ve been wondering since election day how the famously data-driven Mitt Romney could have misinterpreted polling trends so badly that he actually thought he had the race in the bag. Noam Scheiber answers that question in The New Republic in The Internal Polls That Made Mitt Romney Think He’d Win. Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said  “that the biggest flaw in their polling was the failure to predict the demographic composition of the electorate.” Scheiber has gone through the internal polls and has an interesting take. Take a look.

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The Legacy of Marvin Miller

It has been suggested to me that having written a book about Major League Baseball, I ought to offer some thoughts on the passing of one of the game’s pioneers, former Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Marvin Miller. Miller was the MLBPA’s first full-time leader, holding the job from 1966 to 1982.

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Luck and Talent in Politics

When I posted Your Next Senator Will Be … last week I was having some fun with the larger point that supposed experts and insiders may enjoy forecasting political events but are often wrong because of the “unknown unknowns” that attend our lives. Two days ago in Algebra of “Your Next Senator Will Be …” I provided a formula evaluating the outcomes of the 2006 gubernatorial, 2010 senate special, and 2012 senate elections. Simple as that equation was I can simplify it further and this time I have the work of a Nobel Prize winner behind me.

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What experience counts?

In response to Professor Cunningham’s post yesterday, someone asked via tweet, “Didn’t Joe Kennedy III just prove that name and $$$ are more important than experience?”  Well it does rather depend on how one defines “experience” and that usually depends on where one stands politically.

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Algebra of “Your Next Senator Will Be …”

Last week I posted Your Next Senator Will Be … in which I noted that while speculating on the identity of our next US senator or governor is an entertaining pastime,   recent experience with Deval Patrick, Scott Brown, and Elizabeth Warren should caution all of us about our  capability with a crystal ball. Some comments and conversations about the topic got me thinking about what common factors might have contributed to each upset victory. So here is my mathematic-looking but unscientific thought on why Patrick, Brown, and Warren won: each ran from the outside and stood for something, and their opponents really didn’t.

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Your Next Senator Will Be . . .

Your next senator will surely be (your guess here) and that will set things up for (who knows?) to be your next governor. There is a lot of speculation about how the next two years of politics will play out and it is this sort of expert attention that boosted the successes of Governor Tom Reilly and Senator Martha Coakley, as well as the inevitable re-election of the unbeatable Senator Scott Brown.

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Warren goes after the filibuster

If Senator-elect Warren becomes known as the legislator who brought sanity to the filibuster, she will have accomplished more in one term than many in Washington.

She couldn’t have picked a better target for two reasons:

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Scott Brown’s 15 Minutes?

Scott Brown’s brief tenure in the US Senate was a real Cinderella story. When the clock struck 2012 his pick up truck turned back into…well…a pickup truck and his time at the big dance came to end. But as we all know, Cinderella’s story didn’t end there and many think that Brown’s won’t either.

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Gov. Patrick at SolomonMcCown&

Boston PR firm SolomonMcCown& hosted Gov. Deval Patrick for a post-election chat at the Boston Harbor Hotel Wednesday morning. I’ll have more to say about it in future posts perhaps but amidst the high policy and good humor from a relaxed governor there was this moving moment, which I quote from the SolomonMcCown& page on the event:

“(The governor) became emotional briefly in acknowledging that ‘it’s hard to engage on race in America,’ adding: ‘It’s all around us, but we haven’t figured out as a nation yet how to acknowledge both the extraordinary progress we have made … and how much remains to be done.’”

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A silver lining?

It’s hard to find a silver lining for the Massachusetts Republican party.  Not adopting the national GOP platform is certainly a start but when you miles behind, moving a few inches forward doesn’t make you competitive.  

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