03 September 2006

Horserace has moved.

Horserace08 has moved, and the ECS went with it. You can find it at www.horserace08.com

A new ECS is currently under production.

www.horserace08.com

22 July 2006

Jumbo Jet vs People on the Beach

This is video footage of a plane taking off at the Princess Juliana Airport at St Maarten. Look at what happens to the people on the beach.

27 June 2006

ECS coming back

I'm sure I've lost the 10 readers that I developed back in the fall of 2005. But, if anyone is out there, I want you to know that I am working on bringing back the ECS (Election Championship Series). I'll keep you updated.

Russ is Ready


Evaluating Russ Feingold's recent Senate activity, it is plain to see what he getting ready for...2008. He's sponsored a number of bills which would have prohibited raising salaries for members of Congress (S.60) and called for more efficiency in government health care programs (S.123). He's also been true to his Democratic base by sponsoring bills calling for a timeframe for troop withdrawal (S.RES. 171) and the abolition of racial profiling (S.2138).

His work on lobbying and campaign finance reform puts him in a unique position to claim a democratic moral high-ground as long as he's careful about where his war chest comes from.

Conventional wisdom dictates that in the post-Dixiecrat age, it is impossible for a non-Southern Democrat to win the White House because of the South's pension for voting as a block (and never for Northerners). Well, this may be true, but Feingold is positioning himself to steal at least three states (LA, MS & AL) with the 'Hurricane Katrina and Bankruptcy Relief and Community Protection Act' (S.1647) which he sponsored--which I can tell you that us folks on the Gulf Coast are well aware of the big screwing we're getting in DC in light of the 'you can't trust those corrupt coon-asses with money' argument.

To sum it up, Feingold is ready to burn through the primaries by saying that he is every bit the liberal Democrat that Hillary is, and he has the voting record to prove it. If he's pinned down by a heavily funded opposition campaign, he can try to remind people through free-media that he's worked to stop soft-money, lobbying, and a for-profit government. In a general election, he can tap into that nouveau 'Support the Troops, not the War' sentiment that seems to be going around by pointing to his record on the war. Then, if there is time for offensive thinking, he can blast Republicans for being the party of a big police-state government these days by referencing his work against the Patriot Act and expansive spending.

He seems ready to go, and I think we can all agree that this man is dying for the race to get going. He's played his cards better than the other Democratic contenders in the last 3 years or so.

14 December 2005

ECS for December 14, 2005


It's Wednesday, and that means the latest edition of the Election Championship Series is ready:

Democrats

1.Hillary Rodham-Clinton (0.61)
1.Mark Warner (0.61)
3.John Kerry (0.31)
4.Evan Bayh (0.24)
5.John Edwards (0.17)
6.Bill Richardson (0.11)
7.Tom Vilsack (0.10)
8.Wesley Clark (0.09)
9.Russ Feingold (0.08)
10.Joe Biden (0.07)
10.Jon Corzine (0.07)

Republicans

1.Bill Frist (0.98)
2.John McCain (0.80)
3.Rudy Giuliani (0.54)
4.Condi Rice (0.45)
5.George Allen (0.41)
6.Jeb Bush (0.31)
6.Newt Gingrich (0.31)
8.Chuck Hagel (0.29)
9.Mike Huckabee (0.25)
10.Mitt Romney (0.23)

A couple of interesting developments include Mark Warner's jump to a tie with Hillary Clinton after his $2.5M fundraising event which not only helped him in the “PAC cash in bank” and “PAC money raised” categories, but also gave him significant blogging attention. Other than that, Kerry overtook Bayh, and Biden is making his first appearance on the list with his tie at 10th with Corzine--who is falling. Also, if you compare the power points (the number in parentheses next to the name) from this week to those of last week, you'll notice that the Democratic rankings are becoming lower suggesting a closer race than last week.

In the Republican list, you'll notice that Gingrich pulled ahead of Hagel. Other than that, there have been no major developments. Bill Frist is still sweeping the list with his huge war chest.

See Inaugural ECS for notes on how the rankings are calculated.

13 December 2005

What is McCain doing?


While Arizona Senator John McCain seems to be on the rise in public opinion due to his advocacy against pork spending, all forms of torture and humiliation, and staunchly social conservative judges, not everyone is pleased with his political alignment. In fact, his positions seem to be quickly making him a candidate for the same obstructionist-like status that sunk former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. On Powerline, for example, Paul Mirengoff criticized the Senator for not being enough of a 'hardcore' conservative:

...McCain wasn't hardcore when he joined the gang of 14, thus effectively sinking the prospects of several outstanding conservative nominees for the court of appeals. Nor, in my view, is he hardcore in the war on terror when he advocates blanket "anti-torture" policies that would limit the government's ability to obtain information from terrorists.


There are other McCain stances that many conservatives are taking issue with like his participation in the 'Global Warming Awareness Tour' with Hillary Clinton and the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reforms which some consider unconstitutional. And, Second Amendment advocacy groups rate McCain low on his views of gun rights. So, the question is will McCain represent a real option for the Republican Party in 2008? Will he be able to garner support from the social conservative groups that seem necessary in order to win the Republican nomination? And, does it even matter? Some are saying Republicans will have no other choice if they want to retain the White House for another four years. According to sources at anklebitingpundits.com, “The national environment has gone to s—t and Republicans are going to take a beating in 2006. McCain is the only guy out there with the credibility to maintain Republican control in Washington.” This seems to be consistent with the local media coverage he received after a recent visit to Austin where the local newspaper claims he offers something rare in a potential candidate—“political honesty.” It all suggests that McCain is the only Republican with enough integrity to survive the character attacks that are becoming inevitable in presidential races.

It seems like the politically savvy senator is making an effort to brand himself as a social centrist while still advocating the traditional fiscal conservative values his party was once well-known for. This could be perceived as a brilliant political move, but I would expect the senator to try something like this after locking up the Republican nomination. This appears to be 1992 Bill Clinton-like centrist politics, but way before conventional political wisdom would dictate such a move. On the other hand, if he recognizes that the Republican field of candidates is so weak that the Party will have no other options regarding the nomination, he is not as crazy as he appears. By this logic, he already has the nomination in the bag—as ridiculous as this seems with over 2 years before the first state caucus. But, let us assume he does have the nomination wrapped up. His premeditated move to the center will certainly give him an advantage over Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton because of her association with the far left—who he leads in a one-on-one hypothetical contest according to Angus-Reid. According to centrist logic, conservatives will always vote for the Republican, so he has that segment locked up. Hillary's reputation will alienate the swing voters, and McCain's stances on improving American world credibility (with anti-torture legislation), a return to fiscal conservatism, and an outspoken stance against 'hardcore' socially conservative judges will strike a cord with middle America. Of course, all of this depends on the fact that Republicans will recognize that their party is currently lacking the credibility needed to get another 'hardcore' conservative back in the White House. Maybe a rough mid-term election cycle will give them an education. If this is McCain's stategy, it can be likened to a footabll coach going for it on 4th down. If you make it, you're a genius; if you miss it, you're fired.

11 December 2005

Team Billary

I found an article about Bill Clinton doing some fundraising for Hillary. Maybe he'll be handling the presidential aspect of their political plan while she focuses on her Senate reelection. But, there is no doubt they are working as a team.

All eyes on Clinton as 2008 presidential race nears;
At Hillary fundraiser, Bill teases crowd with hints about election

08 December 2005

Republicans v. Democrats v. Katrina


I want to take a break from the usual Horserace topics to discuss the current political situation in my home state—Louisiana. To begin with, an outsider must understand that New Orleans was the gem of the Louisiana Democratic Party. It was a cash machine for Democratic politicians and a hot bed of Democratic voters. It was how the Louisiana Democratic Party counterbalanced the immense power the Republicans hold in rural Louisiana. Now, this balance of power that Louisianans are accustomed to seems to be threatened.

People here are anxious to see what is going to happen. A number of my classmates have dedicated their blogs to the subject (The New New Orleans and What Does the Government Owe Us?), so I’ll concern my comments with how the post-Katrina atmosphere down here could play a part in 2008. To being with, the most obvious development is the large number of displaced African-Americans that appear to be settling into their new hometowns. As Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times points out, African-Americans (most of whom voted Democrat) once comprised 70 percent of the New Orleans population. With those voters gone, it seems that Louisiana could fall in-line with the rest of our solidly ‘red’ Southern states. But, I suspect it won’t be that easy for the Republican candidates to claim victory in Louisiana. To begin with, many Louisianans are feeling increasingly betrayed by the Federal Government which is firmly in the hands of the Republican Party. Granted, it won’t be Bush up for election in 2008, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see locals put the brunt of the blame on Republican shoulders as they do control the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches. While the rest of the nation took Bush’s speech from Jackson Square to be simply another staged political event, many here took it as a promise. When he said, “Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone, from roads and bridges to schools and water systems,” he was promising unprecedented aid that would parallel the unprecedented scale of disaster. But, now we see many members of Congress reluctant to send the help that is needed. To paraphrase Charles Zewe, one of my mass communication professors at LSU, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we’re going to have to rebuild on our own. Our history of past corruption is helping the media to create a schema in the national consciousness that suggests we cannot be trusted with large amounts of money.

But there is another schema being developed down here in Louisiana. It says we’ve been betrayed by Congress and the President. The Democratic National Party is making headway to suggest that they are the party that cares about Louisiana (though this could be just as disingenuous as Republican promises). Some Democrats are lobbying DNC Chairman Howard Dean to hold the 2008 Democratic National Convention in New Orleans. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) says it is a move that would prove New Orleans “has not been forgotten,” according to BizNewOrleans.com.

If the DNC announces that it is coming to New Orleans, it will be interesting to see what happens. With the above mentioned political balance sure to be out-of-whack, it will be a hell of a political move to salvage only 9 electoral votes. Of course it is possible that Louisianans will have moved on to other important issues by then. But, as it is now, I feel some animosity toward the Republican Party in this state—which conventional political theory dictates swinging further to the right in the 3 to 5 year future.

As discussed before, this could prove to be advantageous for candidates not currently holding a seat in the U.S. Senate because they won't have to defend a vote on bills like the infamous Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century which once contained the 'bridge to nowhere.' Of course, the bridge was removed from the bill, but Alaska still gets the $432 million for their Department of Transportation to use at their discretion. Stories like these are not being forgotten in Louisiana while we watch other federal officials shove pork into bills while stripping the Katrina relief bill to its bare minimum. Potential candidates like Gov. Warner, Gov. Huckabee, Gov. Richardson, John Edwards, etc. will not have to explain such decisions like those currently serving in Congress.

Again, I am aware that this post strays from the usual content of Horserace08, but I think it is a valid inquiry into the future realities of Louisiana Presidential politics—on the party level rather than a candidate level.

07 December 2005

Warner breaks records and sets the ECS on fire


Virginia Governor Mark Warner is getting all the miles he can out of his flavor-of-the-month status. Last night he set a Virginia state record for most money raised in one day (at one event, nonetheless). At a $1000/plate dinner in the affluent Virgina town of McLean, he raised $2.5 million for his new PAC, Forward Together. According to dailypress.com, the potential presidential candidate prophetically told his contributors—most of whom donated the $5000 maximum—that “In extraordinary times, there are extraordinary opportunities. If we can do it in Virginia, we can do it in America." What exactly is 'it'? Of course, he's implying that though the current political landscape favors Republicans, there is an opportunity to put the country and political agenda back in the hands of Democrats.

For those who understand that winning the 'Solid South' is key for a Democratic presidential victory in the modern age of presidential politics, Warner has a number of attributes that puts his candidacy in the same tier as Clinton, Bayh, and Edwards. To begin with, he's a successful Southern governor from a traditionally Republican state. He has a reputation for being a centrist because of his ruralist approach to gun control and his commitment to fiscal conservatism (though he did raise taxes in Virginia during his term, he did so after cutting the budget where he could).

Another interesting point to make is that he will soon be joining the ranks of Edwards and Giuliani as potential candidates not holding an elected office. As some Horserace readers have pointed out, this may not be the disadvantage it appears to be. To begin with, he will not have to defend a Senate vote on the Iraq war which will leave his options open regarding how to address the whole war issue. In fact, being sans a Senate voting record will essentially leave his options open on all foreign affairs issues—though it will also leave him open to 'no experience' allegations.

The only major disadvantages he'll be facing in the immediate future is his record on tax increases and his recent decision to commute the death sentence of a convicted murderer, Robin Lovitt, because the case lacked the DNA evidence that Warner felt was requisite for the death penalty. This has one major implication for him; it will spike concerns that he is shifting from his current centrist position (which some Democrats feel is necessary to win the White House) to an extreme left ideology for the sake of winning the Democratic nomination. However, I don't foresee this being a real issue because the voters can't be expected to remember his decision on the Lovitt case three years from now.

There is no denying the fact that he thinking about a White House bid. He's recently been to New Hampshire and South Carolina where he received warm welcomes from political elites in those states. And, according to a source in the Louisiana Democratic Party, Democrats refuse to run two senators in the 2008 election. This makes his candidacy all the more appealing for party leaders.

The most interesting aspect of the recent Warner developments are the implications his $2.5 million PAC campaign fund has on the Election Championship Series (ECS). When punching in $2.5 million into the Warner 'cash in bank' and 'money raised' slots, he is propelled to a first place tie with Clinton—both with a 0.61 power rating. Oh how exciting this Horserace is turning out to be.

06 December 2005

Inaugural ECS


Here it is! The first Horserace08 Election Championship Series rankings:

Republicans:

1. Bill Frist (0.97)
2. John McCain (0.80)
3. Rudy Giuliani (0.53)
4. Condeleeza Rice (0.45)
5. George Allen (0.42)
6. Jeb Bush (0.32)
7. Newt Gingrich (0.29)
7. Chuck Hagel (0.29)
9. Mike Huckabee (0.26)


Democrats:

1. Hillary Rodham-Clinton (0.67)
2. Evan Bayh (0.46)
3. John Kerry (0.41)
4. Mark Warner (0.35)
5. John Edwards (0.22)
6. Tom Vilsack (0.19)
7. Bill Richardson (.018)
8. Joe Corzine (0.14)
9. Russ Feingold (0.12)
10. Wesley Clark (0.11)

A few notes:
The number you see next to the name is all the following perimeters that were considered (normalized) weighted as follows:
-Betting odds from Trade Sports—35%
-PAC cash in the bank—25%
-Number of blogs referencing the candidate according to Technorati—20%
-PAC money raised—15%
-thenextprez.blogspot.com weekly human poll—5%

There were a few candidates that either do not have a PAC or I could not find the money his/her PAC raised. For those instances, 'money raised' and 'cash in bank' columns were normalized—the amounts of the other candidates were averaged and that number was used for candidates without applicable information. Granted this isn't a perfect system, but I'm pleased with the results.

It is worth noting that Bill Frist has raised an exorbitant amount of money thus far (almost $2 million) and has not spent much of it. This greatly contributed to his #1 ranking. Some may see this as a flaw in the ECS, but I think it's a testament to how well it emulates the Bowl Championship Series which is prone to ranking controversies.

Questions or comments on the ECS? I'd like to hear them. The ECS is a work in progress; so let me know how I can make it better.