Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
Feb292012

Romney Won The Day By Nine Points

Since no one else has done it (apparently), let's try an exercise of adding the votes of Michigan and Arizona together (for the top four candidates) and see what we get.

It's actually quite easy to do and most interesting. Mitt Romney comes away with a nine point win.  Also, Ron Paul beats The High and Mighty Eft by a point.

Here's the math.

Michigan--Romney--409,899--41.1 percent

                Santorum--377,521--37.9 percent

                Dr. Paul--115,712--11.6 percent

                Gingrich--65,016--6.5 percent

Arizona--Romney--216,805--47.3 percent

               Santorum--122,088--26.6 percent

                Gingrich--74,110--16.2 percent

                 Dr. Paul--38,753--8.4 perccent

Combined Totals--Romney--626,704--44.14 percent

                             Santorum--499,609--35.19 percent

                             Dr. Paul--154,465--10.9 percent

                             Gingrich--139,126--9.8 percent

Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com summed up Tuesday's results in one simple sentence, "His (Romney's) opponents might not have missed their last opportunity to upend him, but they missed their best one."

The best blogs to check out on a daily basis to get valuable numbers and information remain fivethirtyeight.com and realclearpolitics.com.

As for a weekly look, google the four mavens--Charlie Cook, Larry Sabato, Stu Rothenberg, and Michael Barone. 

Wednesday
Feb292012

Leap Years Day Winners Include Rasmussen, Romney, and Rove

            No matter how Rick Santorum chooses to spin it, Mitt Romney was the big winner Tuesday, but in the most watched battle of all, Scott Rasmussen comes out on top, and Karl Rove deserves special credit this leap year day.

            For those interested in alliteration (isn’t everybody?), that makes a nice headline of Rasmussen, Romney and Rove Romp.

            As I noted here yesterday, I planned to keep pollsters’ feet to the fire, and Rasmussen was closest in Michigan while ARG takes the biggest loss by missing the margin of victory in Arizona (the Manchester-based pollster had it at only four points while Romney won by nearly 21).

            Rasmussen’s final Michigan poll (Feb. 26) had the margin at two points for Romney (38-36 with Paul at 11 and Gingrich 10).  The final margin was three points (41-38 with Paul at all and Gingrich 7).  Not only that, but Rasmussen had the margin narrowing from six points in its Feb. 24 poll, so Rasmussen not only came within a point of the final margin, but had the direction right as well.

            We Ask America was also off by only a point (it had Romney winning by four), but it was way too high in the totals for the third and fourth place finishers; it had Paul getting 18 and Gingrich 13.

            PPP, the Democrat-oriented pollster, had Santorum winning by one, but inside data showed that Santorum was actually winning those polled Monday night by five points when in fact exit polling showed Romney with a seven point led among those who decided in the final day.  Thus, PPP must be deemed to be way off, so far that we must once again begin to wonder whether it’s a real polling outfit or a Democrat spin machine.  Note that its pro-Santorum numbers surfaced the same time Democrats were rallying for Santorum.

            In fact, Democrats represented around nine percent of the voters in the Michigan Republican primary, and Santorum beat Romney more than two to one with them.  The attempt by Democrats to swing the election was so blatant that those self-described as extremely anti-Tea Party (obviously Democrats) went big for Santorum.

            Democrats for Santorum probably boosted his numbers by about two percent, but here’s where Karl Rove comes in as a big winner.  Not matter what you think of him as the architect of two George Bush wins, the guy is nothing short of sensational as an election night analyst on Fox.  He called the election at 9:20 (based on little more than scant numbers from sample precinct, admittedly a bit more sophisticated than the way I look at Ward 2 Manchester to give an early call of New Hampshire results).  That was an hour before those officially assigned that task dared to call the race.  Once ten percent of the vote was in, the margin remained steady, unlike in other states, all night.

            Rove also noted that despite the boost from Democrats, Santorum may actually have been hurt by the strategy to robocall Democrats.  Rove said he detected a backlash for Romney and the late deciding voters would bear out that fact.

            Rove also predicted that even if Gingrich does well in Georgia and Santorum carries Tennessee and Oklahoma on Super Tuesday, Romney will have a very good day indeed, winning big in Massachusetts, Virginia (only Ron Paul and Romney are on the ballot), Vermont, and Idaho (the Mormon influence), and maybe even Ohio.

            Fox has a winner in Rove, not to mention Joe Trippi (Howard Dean’s main man) and even Pat Caddell (Jimmy Carter’s old pollster) who put an exclamation mark on the unsuccessful attempt by Democrats to swing Michigan Santorum’s way.

            Even though winning by only three points and splitting Michigan’s delegates (apportioned largely by Congressional districts), Romney was a big winner because he did better among demographic groups that he’ll need to wrap up the deal, true conservatives and lower income voters, for example.

            Another big winner is Ann Romney.  Once again, she introduced her husband who gave his best speech of the year, tearing into Obama, and once again Ann Romney’s grace and humility lit up the room.  As most readers here know, I’m a big Ron Paul supporter, but how can anyone not like Ann Romney?  She’d make a great first lady, and after last night, odds of her becoming first lady are dramatically increased.

Tuesday
Feb282012

Media Watch--An A+ For Foster's Editorial

            Best editorial of the year award (so far) goes to Fosters Daily Democrat for stating the case against repealing gay marriage, “A Case Not Made” on February 12.

            Admittedly, we give credit to that with which we agree, and Fosters stresses at least three points I’ve been making for years

            --that gay marriage is good not just for gay people, but for society at large

            --that young people increasingly favor gay marriage

            --that quoting scriptures should be left for the pulpit, not legislative chambers.

            Here is the gist of the Fosters editorial.

             “Quoting Biblical scripture in opposition to gay marriage is an argument for the pulpit not the rostrum in legislative chambers.  But for those who might do so, we remind them of Mark 12:17, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s’

            In sanctioning marriage, the government does so not to condone religion but to grant civil rights of those promising to love and cherish.

            Beyond this, those opposed to gay marriage have failed to make the case that harm is being done to society.

            If anything, it can be argued that allowing gay to marry will bolster the social fabric.  Studies have pointed to the healthier lifestyles of those who marry.  This comes about because of their commitment to care for one another.  It follows then that more couples should be encouraged to enter into such commitments.

            This argument also serves to counter those who believe gay marriage harms children.  Rather it would appear that allowing gays to adopt has provided better homes to youngsters who would otherwise be bounced from foster home to foster home or otherwise institutionalized.

            Doesn’t it follow then that these youngsters benefit even that much more from the stability offered by a committed marriage, rather than just a contact to share health benefit and the life?

            There may yet be a case for overturning gay marriage.  But as yet Foster’s has not heard it.  Gay marriage, where it has been allowed to stand, shows no signs of degrading civil society.’

            The bottom line is that, for gay marriage opponents, the ship has sailed.  Public opinion, especially among the young generation—tomorrow’s decision makes—has turned in favor of gay marriage.  It is also making headway with those of middle age.  This means, without evidence to the contrary, society will continue to be more accepting of a broader definition of marriage which is as it should be given the evidence at hand.”

           Amen, Foster’s, amen.  Most other papers in the state have weighed in with similar editorials.

            The most recent UNH poll shows that those aged 18-34 oppose repeal of gay marriage by nearly a five to one margin (74-15 percent), and so-called swing voters oppose repeal by a four and a half to one margin (73-16).

            Republicans in the New Hampshire House and Senate ignore these numbers at their own peril.

             The Grammar Police have cited ABC reporter T.J. Winick for an egregious error regarding his reporting on the Ohio shooting Monday morning.  Winick reporter, “The extent of injuries are unknown.”  Of course, one does not need a PhD in literature to realize that the verb must agree with the single subject of the sentence (not a plural prepositional phrase attached to the subject).  Even google knows that.

             Josh Shows Respect—Reporters deserve special credit for correcting errors.  A few months back, I took Channel 9’s Josh McElveen to task for referring to former Speaker Terie Norelli as “Terie” during a segment of Close-Up.  Such familiarity is unbecoming, and sure enough, when Rep. Norelli was on this week, she was referred to as Rep. Norelli.

            I know Josh read the message here because he emailed me back, also noting that I had mis-spelled his name.  Hope I got it right this time.  (Spell check insists on Melvin).

            Josh merits the highest praise any anchor can attain—he’s inoffensive, like Tom Griffin.  Wish we could say that much about the station’s sportscasters and morning “allow me to force my voice” weatherman.

             Unwatchable Fox—I don’t know about you, but I find the Fox News block from 9-11 p.m. virtually unwatchable these days.  Yes that would be Sean Hannity, who has become little more than a p.r. hack for Republicans, and Greta van Susteren whose speech impediment hasn’t improved with the years.

            Not only that, but Fox seems to rotate the tired old guests over and over again.  How much more of John McCain do we need?  Really!

And Sarah Palin?  Make it stop!

Not to mention “Ambassador” John Bolton.

And  Dick Morris apparently is paid so much that the network feels the need to rotate him from one show to the next each night spewing the same pablum to whatever host he’s paired with.  I’ve managed to keep my New Years resolution of changing the channel whenever Morse appears.

Only Bill O’Reilly remains viewable (except of course when the roll of the dice gives him Morris).

Now that Pat Buchanan has been fired from MSNBC, Fox should scoop him up.  Even when I disagree with Buchanan, he’s a joy to hear.

A Million From Maher—Pundits are wondering whether the controversial Bill Maher, host of a weekly show on HBO and once fired from ABC's late night Politically Incorrect, is helping are hurting Barack Obama with a one million donation.  Sure it hurts to write out such a check, Maher explains, but I want to encourage others to give.

If not for Obama, just think how Maher could have spent that million…so many women, so little time.

Were I the Anointed One, I’d take the million with the caveat, “Keep it quiet, Bill.”

Tuesday
Feb282012

The Week In Polls--Feb. 27--Ron Paul Beats Obama By 2

RASMUSSEN POLL NATIONWIDE--RON PAUL 43, OBAMA 41

LONG LIVE LADY LIBERTY!

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT1        

    By early Wednesday morning, we should know the winner of the Michigan primary.  No, no, I don’t mean the survivor in the slugfest between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

            There are much bigger bragging rights at stake here.  I’m talking about the battle of the pollsters.  With the primary in a state of flux and apparently up for grabs, this is the perfect time to take a final look at polls in advance of crowning a winner tomorrow.

            All polls have the order of finish with Ron Paul third and Newt Gingrich fourth, and most have a close finish at the top, but that’s where the agreement ends.  More recent polling data (Monday night) seems to give Santorum the edge once again.  For example, a PPP poll had him up five points using just Monday’s results, but for the sake of this exercise here, let’s use the final overall polls as noted in the media.

            PPP—Santorum +1 (38-37-14-9)

            ARG—Santorum +1 (36-35-15-8)

            Rasmussen—Romney +2 (38-36-11-10)

            Mitchell/Rosetta Stone—Romney +1 (37-36-9-9)

            We Ask American—Romney +4 (37-33-18-13)

            Foster/Baydoun—Romney +2 (38-36-9-8)

            Adding to the confusion, PPP had Romney up two Monday but down one (or more) Tuesday. Mitchell/Rosetta Stone had Santorum up two Monday but down one Tuesday.  And Romney's lead has slipped from eight to two points in the latest Foster poll, not a good sign for the Mittster.

            Go figure.

            At fivethirtyeight.com, Nate Silver gives Romney at 55-45 chance to win, but it’s gone down in the past few days.  He pegs the margin at 39.0-38.1.  The Real Clear Politics average has Romney up 1.5 points.

            I think the Newt Gingrich number will determine who wins this.  If The Eft gets much less than 10 (and I think it will), the lost votes will make Santorum a winner even though Romney seems to have the lead with absentee votes already in the bank.

            Until today, I would have predicted a Romney win.  Now I tend to think that just enough Democrats will vote for Santorum (no, not like Jews for Buchanan in south Florida in 2000—that was due to the butterfly ballot) to provide a slim margin of victory. 

            Although I truly dislike Santorum, I don’t buy Romney’s complaint that asking for Democratic votes constitutes a dirty trick.  It’s part of the game Mitt, and to quote His Vileness, “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

            No matter who wins Michigan, expect delegates to be split rather easily, more than we can say for winner take all Arizona where RCP has Romney up 15.5 points.  Only ARG has it at all close (Romney 39, Santorum 35, Gingrich 11, and Paul 5).  I’d look for a 12 point Romney win (Silver pegs it at 16.1—43.4-27.3).

            Nationwide, Gallup has Romney up five points 31-26 with Gingrich at 14 and Dr. Paul 13, but Santorum leads by 3.3 in the RCP nationwide average (a lagging indicator perhaps).

            Looking ahead to Super Tuesday, Santorum appears to be ahead by double digits in Tennessee and Oklahoma, up by seven or so in Ohio while the Eft leads his former home state of Georgia by ten or so (with Santorum second), but Romney will balance that with total blowouts in Massachusetts and Vermont.

            Most pundits are laying the odds of a “brokered” convention (and by that I mean no one winning on the first ballot) at three to one against it; in other words, three out of four still think Romney will win.  In fact, however, a new Rasmussen poll shows only 54 percent believe Romney will win the nomination, 24 percent Santorum, and 22 percent someone else (Jeb Bush remains my guess).

            After a brief fling in positive territory, the news is mostly bad for Barack Obama this week, and were it not for an outliar of a poll (Politico/GWU) which shows him eight percent in positive territory, the news would be terrible.

            Even with that GWU poll figured in, Obama’s favorability is under water again, -0.3 (48.1-48.4 in the RCP averages; worse than that in other averages).  Rasmussen, which had Obama up as much as four points a week ago, has him back down by five (47-52).  Even worse that that, Gallup has him down seven (43-50), and Quinnipiac finds that only 45 percent think he deserves re-election (50 percent say no).  ARG has Obama’s favorability at minus 12 (41-53).

            Even worse for Democrats, Rasmussen has the Republicans regaining a four point lead (43-39) in the generic Congressional ballot, but for the first time in a while, Rasmussen is not alone.  Even pollsters that usually show Democrats wit the edge have it turned to neutral or slightly in favor of the GOP.

            That’s what $3.70 a gallon gas prices will do!

            Forget about the unemployment rate declining; gas prices will doom Obama and Company.

            Rasmussen now has Romney and Obama tied nationwide at 44-44 while Obama beats Santorum 46-43, but get this—why aren’t we seeing this headline spread from coast to coast—Ron Paul beat Obama by two points!  Certainly, you’ll never hear that from Dick Morris and Fox Truth Deniers.

            USA Today/Gallup also has Romney and Obama tied (47-47), and Santorum actually leads Obama 49-46—go figure.  Only the Politico poll has Obama way ahead, and one has to believe the folks at Politico swallowed some bad numbers.

            Rasmussen finds only 19 percent want more U.S. involvement in Syria (56 percent, including me, say no).

            Republican Tommy Thompson has moved to a double digit lead (50-36) over Democrat Tammy Baldwin in the Wisconsin Senate race (about as close to a sure Republican pick-up as we’re likely to see).  However, Governor Scott Walker is just about even in his recall battle, up a point or two against some opponents, down by the same margin against others.  Former Senator Russ Feingold leads Walker 52-45, but he’s ruled out a run.

            For more, check out realclearpolitics.com; fivethirtyeight.com; pollster.com; rasmussenreports.com; and gallup.com.

            That’s the best I can do to bring all these numbers together in less than 1000 words.

Monday
Feb272012

Rick Santorum's Puking Problem

Rick Santorum wants to puke.  After watching John F. Kennedy's classic speech affirming the separation of chuch and state, Rick Santorum does not merely express civil disagreement.  Oh no, that would be far too mild.  He says he wants to puke.  Of course, he doesn't say he wants to puke about Ronald Reagan's comments which are much the same as JFK's.

Fox News contributor Britt Hume, no left wing loonie he, terms Santorum's comment "a bit incomprehensible politically".  Respected analyst Michael Barone terms Santorum's comment "political malpractitce".

Frankly, Rick Santorum makes me want to puke, regading this comment and several other less than undiplomatic assertions (including calling President Obama a "snob" for wanting more kids to get a college education).

Anyone who for even a microsecond might be inclined to agree with Rick Santorum that we need more religion in the public squre need only look at what's going on in Afghanistan these days.

More religion in the public square leads to more killings of those who don't happen to agree with you religiously.

We need only look to Kabul and deaths of Americans at the hands of Islamists to understand why our founders, in their infinite wisdom, decided that we could only be a nation of religious freedom for all if we chose not to flaunt our religious freedoms in the public square.

We can only enjoy religious freedoms if we are free from religion as well.

Look at our early colonial history.

Rhode Island was founding by Roger Williams fleeing religious persecution in the public square of Pilgrim-dominated Massachusetts.

Vermont, to some extent, was founded by Ethan Allen fleeing persecution by the zealots he encountered in Connecticut.

And of course, Maryland was founded by Lord Baltimore who saw Catholics being persecuted on a regular basis.

Thomas Jefferson and George Mason and James Madsion, Virginians all, realized that such persecution as was the order of the day in New England was not the basis to build upon.

They insisted in the United States Constitution that we grant freedom for all to worship (or not worship) however they chose, but they were wise enough to realize that would only be possible by not forcing any religion upon any man...such as done in Afghanistan and Muslim counties, such as Rick Santorum would have us do in 21st century America, a throwback to the days when no one could worship freely because tyranny of the majority would rule.

Should Santorum win the Republican nomination, god save the Republican party, our country, and our democracy.