“Cracker Barrel Smerconish,” the MSM and their favored polls.

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  Cracker barrel

Friday, February 17
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Trump Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 55, Disapprove 45 Approve +10
President Trump Job Approval Gallup Approve 38, Disapprove 56 Disapprove +18

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Is Real Clear Politics a reputable source for the Borgists?   I thought it was.  Foolish me. They run summaries of a number of daily tracking polls every day.  the Borgists prefer the Gallup poll evidently because it consistently shows Trump with very low numbers (circa 38%) while the Rasmussen Poll has shown his approval number climbing from around 44% to 55% yesterday.

This old man watches a lot of TV news.  I have yet to hear any of the TV news stations even mention the Rasmussen Poll.  Not even Foxnews mentions it.

And today "Cracker Barrel Smerconish," a pseudo neutral politicallu, had the audacity to proclaim on his news program that what remains of Trump's support is in "Cracker Barrel Counties," i.e., among rural buffoons.  One of his guests told him that such attitudes are why the Democrats so thoroughly lost the 2016 election.   He shrugged that off citing the Gallup Poll as evidence that the deluded Cracker Barrel denizens are learning their error.

Well, pilgrims, I think the Democrats deserve to retain such attitudes and their selective delusion concerning polling and data.

Smerconish claimed in his own defense to like Cracker Barrel food.  I do not.  I think their dining rooms are over sized McDonald's seeking to imitate rural cooking in America.  pl  

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

https://www.crackerbarrel.com/https://www.crackerbarrel.com/

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60 Responses to “Cracker Barrel Smerconish,” the MSM and their favored polls.

  1. Bill Herschel says:

    Trump’s attacks on the “media” and polls unfavorable to him are ultimately a tempest in a teapot. Their only relevance is that Trump makes them. He seems to care about unfavorable press and polls. Care a lot. A real lot. Enough to spend a ton of time talking to the American people about the subject.
    I wonder how much longer he will be able to control himself. Because there is a very simple way out. War.
    Note, he approved some cockamamy operation in Yemen (yeah, Yemen where American interests are paramount and our ability to intervene is limitless… oh, oil? KSA tankers escorted by the U.S. Navy? returning to my point…) which was a bust.
    How long will it take for him to realize that war is the President’s friend? Ukraine? Syria? We’ve already got tripwires in place. And we haven’t even mentioned “We’ve got you back,” Israel.
    “I have decided to clean up the mess left to my Administration by Obama and enforce his ‘red line’.” That’s all it would take to silence the press and boost the polls.

  2. The Rasmussen poll doesn’t show the approval rating climbing. The poll done from 1/17 to 1/18 showed a favorable/unfavorable spread of 53/47. That’s an increase in favorability of 2 points. The poll done right after the inauguration by Rasmussen, 1/22 to 1/24, had a favorable/unfavorable spread of 57/43. So Trump’s approval rating since his inauguration has dropped 2 points according to the Rasmussen poll. This is still a far different story told by the Gallup poll.
    I share your opinion of Cracker Barrel, but it’s still fast, cheap food while traveling.

  3. Jack says:

    Sir
    The Democrats and their NeverTrump media haven’t learned anything from the recent presidential election. Nor have they learned from their losses of state houses and state legislatures under Obama. What they don’t get is they’re just one state away from the ability of the GOP to call a constitutional convention.
    Instead of trying to understand why they have done so poorly in so many states, they are doubling down and looking more foolish as they beat the drums of smugness and condescension in their celebrity media universe.

  4. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    POTUS mentioned the Rasmussen poll in his press conference.

  5. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    He did and he should. pl

  6. turcopolier says:

    TTG
    Ok. I see it now. Bob and Edith’s is in my opinion a much better place to get Southern diner food. Cracker Barrel’s main advantage is that you can see the sign from an Interstate highway. The “Sawmill Gravy” at CB appears to me to be made of sawdust. pl

  7. turcopolier says:

    Bill Hersvhel
    Is there any basis for this calumny other than your dislike of him. Obama set up these tripwires. pl

  8. Paul Mooney says:

    You would think folks would learn…
    I am kind of a political junkie of the leftish persuasion. No poll that I saw running up to the 2016 had Trump winning. The closest one, at FiveThirtyEight had Clinton winning but by a smaller margin than the other polls.
    I don’t understand why that is not earth-shaking – not just to us who read these polls but to the companies that publish them. They missed the ONE THING that they had to get right in 2016 – and missed by a lot.
    In a similar vein, many of these outlets now are pushing for subscribers – usually with a “you need us especially now!” I can’t help but think that in 2016 they really only needed to be right about ONE THING. CNN, NY Times, Washington Post – all of them now asking for paid subscribers. You were wrong, very wrong, about the thing they spent more airtime and more ink and more pixels covering than any other in 2016.
    Why would I pay for that? I can just make stuff up and be wrong for free.

  9. Valissa says:

    Good overview of many different Rasmussen polls on Trump and the popularity of various of his policies.
    What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/weekly_updates/what_they_told_us_feb18

  10. fellow_traveler says:

    Rasmussen had Romney and Clinton winning the last two elections, so they have some cred.
    RCP is just an aggregator. Garbage in, garbage out.

  11. It’s better to go by the aggregate of the polls. RealClearPolitics showed Clinton winning by 2.1%, and that’s pretty close, she won the popular vote by 2.9%. Here is a graph of the 4-way race:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html
    I don’t remember the exact number, but I think she lost the Electoral College by somewhere around 100,000 votes spread over 4 states. Not much at all — this election was a squeaker.

  12. walrus says:

    It’s not just America, “progressives” everywhere are in a state of denial. What Trump and Brexit have done is to give people around the world permission to ditch the prevailing political correctness BS.
    We are going to have a little test in a state election in Australia shortly; I expect Pauline Hanson’s “One Nation” party and the “hunting shooting and fishing” party to be major winners, perhaps holding the balance of power.

  13. doug says:

    I think Trump is fully aware of how hostile the DC and coastal elites are and that they are doing a full court press to bring down his administration. Worse, I think a significant portion of the congressional republicans are of the same mind. The two main thrusts are foreign “emoluments,” and flailing away at the notion he is compromised by the Russians. And endless repetition that the Rooskies rigged the election. These latter attack modes are designed to suppress his base and the former to provide the legalistic cover for impeachment.
    So Trump is fighting back. He is a scrapper and relishes it as much as Slick liked campaigning. And his style appeals, at a very gut level, to his base as much as it irritates the snot out of the chattering classes.
    As for the value of war to cement his hold on the office, that was one point he made at his presser. I liked it and think he should talk more to it. I see significant risk if he comes to believe that it may be the only way he can remain in power. Worse, that likely is the case as I see impeachment down the road as near certain unless he can keep control and support of his base. Clearly, that support is what Trump is focusing on and he should.

  14. No idea why you are watching TV news, but anyway: Trump’s approval looks like around negative 5.
    Probably more accurate to take the average of a month of polls. RealClearPolitics average spread for Trump job approval is negative: -5.3 point spread. Here is that page:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html
    The most accurate pollsters (according to 538 analysis) in that RealClearList list are: Fox, Reuters, CBS, CNN. Average of just these four is same: -5 point spread.
    I don’t think it really means that much, this early in any Administration, but it is unusual.
    And it might have been as high for Hillary, who knows? Don’t forget, Trump & Hillary both have had very high personal disapproval ratings for years.

  15. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    There was a frankly scary piece up on Medium a few days back that goes a long way to explaining how the Team Trump pulled off the win, and why the polls totally missed it. It is entitled “The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine.” In essence, sophisticated artificial intelligence applied to a massive collection of “Big Data” allowed them to identify small segments open to persuasion and tailor email and social media messages precisely aimed at those segments. They were able to do this with a much finer resolution that conventional polling techniques are capable of.
    https://medium.com/join-scout/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine-86dac61668b#.58zvsb6ns
    WRT the Democratic Party’s response to the Trump victory, as far as their Borg billionaire (How about a new word, Borgillionaire?) owners are concerned it’s a feature, and not a bug, that they taking no action that would force them to look into the mirror and figure out why they lost so badly. Hilary didn’t lose the 2016 presidential election alone. The losses the Party suffered in the 2010 and 2014 off-year elections that what had been their party’s working class base was wising up to the fact that they’d been the marks in the fraud the Dems have been pulling on them since Bill Clinton was inaugurated. If I were a Borgillionaire I’d double down on my contributions to the Democratic Senate and House campaign committees, as well as selected candidates of their party.

  16. SAC Brat says:

    Nailed it. Why listen to these non-Cassandras now? Same with all the news outlets that got it wrong. What value do they have?

  17. pl,
    Those poll listing were not easy to read. I checked three times. I sure somebody could do a better job of presenting that data.
    I never had their Sawmill Gravy. I figured it was mostly flour and water. I could really go for some good sausage gravy and biscuits. Last time I had some was at the Silver Diner before it got all artsy-fartsy new wave cuisine. That was with scrambled eggs and hash browns. Would have been even better if it came out of a mermite container in the back of a Gamma Goat.
    If you ever get to Richmond again, made a pilgrimage to Buz and Neds Barbecue. The one on Broadway is best. They do the pork and brisket without the sauce. You add as much as you want. Best I’ve ever had. Way better than anything I had in Columbia, SC. That city was split between ketchup-based and mustard-based. They could have had a green line down the middle of the town.

  18. Eric Newhill says:

    Sir,
    You already know what I think about these polls – they’re clearly rigged.
    I said why they were rigged against before the election and I won’t bother going into how and why they’re rigged now. Nothing has changed. The poll’s and pundit’s abject failure to predict the election should have been enough to silence them for a long a time.
    However, the leftist’s primary means of swaying the public seems to be to repeat BS over and over ad nausea, hoping that sooner or later everyone becomes utterly brainwashed zombies. Obviously this works on a few predisposed, but not on sufficient numbers. In fact, it seems to backfire more often than not. Truly, I hope they keep it up. Then we will never have to suffer a lefty controlled anything again beyond a few state governments.
    Cracker Barrel is garbage, IMO. I choose Chic Fil-A over it when I’m South and need to grab a bite on the road.

  19. doug says:

    One hope I have is that the Trump admin. is looking at the historical records of intelligence analysts with a view towards giving more weight to the ones that got it right. I guess I’m presuming that one of the functions provided is “if we do X, Y is the set of possible outcomes with various probabilities” and that records of this are kept. One would assume this kind of review happens automatically in any administration but that’s just a complete assumption from an outsider.
    As for CB, it seemed to me, back when I was living in New England, that Yankees took it to be authentic Southern Food. Can’t opine on them personally. Only ate there once in spite of many decades visiting my folks in SC.

  20. Stan P. says:

    I come from the right side. I’ve been registered as a Republican since he age of 18 (1992). But I can never, ever recall entertaining, and certainly never propagating, something I knew or thought to be BS. While I sometimes try to persuade people to my position on some things, I could never imagine using information I knew or suspected of being untrue or even a half truth. If I won someone over to my position based on this I would feel so damn guilty and my conscience would haunt me.
    I was very critical of Bush and the neocons and I’ve been on board with Trump based on a few positions regarding foreign affairs and the elimination of special interest in D.C. But what I see and hear in this current political environment is like something from “Through the Looking Glass”. I really don’t understand it and it seems to be a time of collective madness. The Sixties was a period of radical political activity, but from everything I’ve read about that time the activists seemed to be well informed and have well-thoughout ideas and didn’t resort to outright fraud. I could be wrong on this.

  21. steve says:

    Rasmussen always favors Republicans. Well known bias. On the election, they had it wrong like everyone else. (From the Rasmussen site)
    Monday, November 07, 2016
    Rasmussen Reports’ final White House Watch survey shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a two-point lead over Republican Donald Trump with less than 24 hours to go until Election Day. Among early voters, Clinton has a double-digit lead.
    The latest national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows Clinton with 45% support to Trump’s 43%. Libertarian Gary Johnson picks up four percent (4%) of the vote, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets two percent (2%). Three percent (3%) still like some other candidate, and four percent (4%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

  22. Stan P. says:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/opinion/sunday/how-can-we-get-rid-of-trump.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=1&referer=http://www.unz.com/isteve/nyt-who-will-rid-me-of-this-troublesome-president/
    How Can We Get Rid of Trump?
    Nicholas Kristof
    FEBRUARY 18, 2017
    We’re just a month into the Trump presidency, and already so many are wondering: How can we end it?
    One poll from Public Policy Polling found that as many Americans — 46 percent — favor impeachment of President Trump as oppose it. Ladbrokes, the betting website, offers even odds that Trump will resign or leave office through impeachment before his term ends.

  23. gowithit says:

    The final “composite” polling figures approaching the Nov ’16 election had Clinton up by 3-4 pts. She came very close to that and well within the margin of error. There were “outlier” polls all over the place. From various reading sources, I recall that Rassmussen in the past has tended to inflate Republican % pts.

  24. trinlae says:

    Notiice the spread is clearly published but the error margins and confidence levels are off in some fineprint somewhere.

  25. trinlae says:

    It is even worse when we consider how AP called CA for HRC while people were still in line to vote in the primary, many of whom lost wages, rest, and health to do so. The rest of the media houses couldn’t fall over themselves fast enough to be the next to publish.
    What utter contempt for the electorate was shown. And to then seek paying customers among them!?

  26. Fred says:

    Col.,
    Are the polling firms still oversampling democrats like many of them did during the election campaign? The shadow-banning and outright censorship being practiced on FB and Twitter are accelerating also. That log rolling didn’t help last time around. I think all it is doing is further eroding the MSM credibility.

  27. The Porkchop Express says:

    I have yet to read the actual methodology in the Gallup poll, but I had read that the reason for the disparity was the result of sampling 68% Democrats in the poll. I will post it when I find it.
    Regardless of whether the methodology is correct or not, after the last year of hacks, pollsters and Nate Silvers touting polls based on faulty, incorrect assumptions, or outright oversampling it’s going to be a lot harder selling the American public information that has even a whiff of confirming political biases or that deliberately attempts to conceal information.
    For all Trump’s faults, he’s at least made skepticism about institutional power en vogue again.

  28. b says:

    All polls are unreliable and one always has to look deep into the details (who asked, who asked, when asked) to get a feel for them.
    At times there are significant errors in all polls because something in their underlying assumptions changed without them noticing. The Trump win was such a case.
    The polls had been build on an empirical-social ground that had suddenly changed. Their correction factors had not adopted to those changes.
    Rasmussen polls are not taken seriously because their results consistently lean about 5% more to the right than all other polls. This has been the case for many years and over many polls and questions. They missed in the past many correct calls other polling companies did get. But they may be better now as the structural ground has changed. We will need a while and many more polls to find out.

  29. turcopolier says:

    All
    it seems that the consensus here is that the Resistance is right and that he is the most unpopular president in history. I don’t think that is true but what do I know? pl

  30. LeaNder says:

    pre-election polling was essentially rigged … there is no way the polling could have been that far off
    Secular reason?
    I have (among others) a background in PR with a grasp of basics in Marketing. PR is more about producing consent on matters, to the extend you need it. Marketing is to stick out in an environment.
    Concerning polls or more generally empirical sciences or its special designs or algorithms–from the top of my head a closer look at how the questions are asked?–I would like to refer to Kao.
    Without doubt there was a huge dissent base over the decades in the US that could be tapped. A base maybe slightly tired of ever the same type of slogans for whatever reasons? To leave out the basic coast versus flyover America setting and or percentages from both parts that actually do the fighting. To cite Zappa: I’ve got troubles of my own, I said”
    http://www.metrolyrics.com/cosmik-debris-lyrics-frank-zappa.html

  31. I don’t think anybody knows. Opinion polling began in the 1950’s, arising out of the consumer marketing techniques that were engineered by Edward Bernays. “Personal approval/disapproval” and “Presidential job approval/disapproval” started even later.
    So, before mid-century, we don’t know much of anything, other than election returns:
    1824 – J.Q. Adams won with only 30.9% of popular vote, beating Jackson 41.4, Clay 13.0, Crawford 11.2. Four years later, JQA lost to Jackson by almost 11 points.
    1860 – Lincoln 39.8, Douglas 29.5, Breckinridge 18.1, Bell 12.6.
    1912 – Wilson 41.8, Roosevelt (Teddy) 27.4, Taft 23.2, Debs. 6.0.
    Lincoln & Wilson both did much better in their second elections in 1864 & 1916.
    2016 – Trump 46.1, Clinton 48.2, others combined 5.7.
    These are the latest total figures from Cook Poll Tracker. They also break it down by state:
    http://cookpolitical.com/story/10174

  32. Correction, two weeks ago Hillary’s spread was revised downward from Jan 1. to +2.1%, same as Realclearpolitics graph.

  33. Morongobill says:

    Of course sir, the flipside of that is, to his base which is a substantial number of voters, he is on the way to becoming one of the best presidents in history. And as long as he caters to their concerns and aspirations, there won’t be much traction for these pro-impeachment folks.

  34. Valissa says:

    pl, I agree with you. The Resistance was consistently wrong through the election process, and they believed the poll numbers that told them Trump would never win. Why would either the polls or the Resistance suddenly be right now about Trump’s popularity? Also less and less people are willing to talk to pollsters… they either block or don’t pick up the phone when they see an unfamiliar number.
    There were numerous times in the past 8 years when Obama’s popularity was down in the high 30’s, but he ended up with better numbers the last couple of years. AFAIK the popularity of all presidents waxes and wanes through their presidency depending on many factors. Trump has only been president for one month. I think it will take a year or two to get a clearer picture of what he will able to accomplish and what he is up against.

  35. Clwydshire says:

    I am a Republican from flyover country and I sure don’t have the impression that Trump’s popularity is declining. I think some folks are disappointed that he didn’t stick with Flynn and fire about 200 people from the CIA and tell the rest “I’ll let you useless —-s know in a few weeks if you still have a job.”
    I seriously doubt polls mean much in this volatile situation. I refuse to be polled myself. I should have to look in a mirror to tell myself that I’m a Nebraska Republican who contributed money to Bernie Sanders campaign and would have voted for him in the general election. How predictable is that? A poll about a choice is more meaningful than a poll about popularity. Trump would still beat Hillary, probably by more than before. And the volatility itself is interesting. Planning ahead for retirement, I read an investment book (Jim Jubak’s “Juggling with Knives”) that does a good job of explaining how increasing stock market volatility reflects the increasing volatility in broader social and economic arrangements. One of Jubak’s big points is that the volatility of market volatility has itself risen sharply. He suggests that as market volatility becomes more volatile, so does the decision-making of market participants, and more participants make bad choices. Trump is supposed to be some kind of specialist in getting others to make bad decisions. I wish him luck. (By the way, though I loved Jubak’s book, I would not care to follow much of his actual investment advice.)

  36. Tyler says:

    ALCON,
    President Trump has us busy kicking invaders out of the country, but just thought I’d pop in to say we aren’t even six months out from the election and so many of you have already forgotten how badly you were BTFO by the polls last time. Now the same people who said “HRC can’t lose” are running to them with a sense of urgency and need usually only seen with children towards their security blanket.
    Continue with the pretzel lawgic (“uh actually it was a very close election if you ignore the fact that majority of her popular vote was in CA and Chicago”) and believing massaged polls. Last time it got me a decent payout because of people who couldn’t accept reality.

  37. LondonBob says:

    Well PPD are one of the very few who called 2016 and 2014 right. They support Rasmussen and have Trump +53 -43, early signs are things are looking grim for the Democrats in 2018.

  38. SAC Brat says:

    I would like to stand up for the Cracker Barrel in Anniston Alabama that my friends and I always stop at when we go over to the Civilian Marksmanship Programs competition hall or to the marksmanship park. It may just be the Truett Cathy effect of having a Chick-fil-A in the area tends to make the other restaurants around it pick up their game. (Ah hell, maybe it is just lingering Southerness)

  39. charly says:

    War is only a friend if you win, are on the right side and is important enough to spill American blood. I can’t name a country in which that is the case as seen from a American “deplorable” viewpoint. There is also the very big possibility that allies will trow the US under the bus. For an example see Manila.

  40. steve says:

    Not rigged. The problem is that polls are not all that good at predicting turnout.
    Steve

  41. I don’t understand this argument. Take away some areas that Trump won, and Hillary would have won the Electoral College too. This sort of thing is always true.

  42. jonst says:

    The reaction, Mr Herschel, to the Yemen operation on the Left/MSM, and yours, has been fascinating. To me. I don’t know what you know that allows you to say it was “cockamamy”. And what allows you to conclude it was a ‘bust’. It may have been both of those things. It may not. But what do you base your opinion on? It seems to me that most of the media based it on the fact that one member of the team was killed. And one plane had to be destroyed on the ground. And THOSE facts seem to be it…to be judged a failure. Someone may, or may not, have been a target of the raid. He may or may not have been there. The person in question is the only person I know that confirmed he was the target. So much for him. Are raids, is combat, now to be judged, in the Trump era as a failure because causalities were taken? Is this the kind of world the Left and the MSM live in? What do most, not all, but ‘most’ of them know about war or combat, or a fist fight, for that matter, anymore?

  43. Tyler says:

    Lee,
    Because they weren’t predicting a close race. That’s historical revisionism. They were predicting a Nixon/Reagan level blowout and their candidate got BTFO and they still haven’t gotten over it.
    Neither have many here, it seems.

  44. pl,
    If Trump is able to keep his promises of good paying jobs for all, better and cheaper health care along with an intact Medicare and Social Security system, he will become the most popular president in history.

  45. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I believe that you are raising an important point.
    I all these covert US operations, drone attacks etc. what is the definition of victory.
    When can US declare victory and go home?
    In other words, when does the US Wars in the Lands of Islam going to end?

  46. “The Sixties was a period of radical political activity, but from everything I’ve read about that time the activists seemed to be well informed and have well-thought out ideas and didn’t resort to outright fraud. I could be wrong on this.”
    Might I disagree? I believe that this present time of “collective madness”, as you put it elsewhere in your comment, is a direct result of trends that were apparent well before but that emerged very much more into the open during that period of the 60’s. Behind the often good-hearted and often honest silliness of that time lay a belief among the politically active that the job of a politician was not to divine and carry out the wishes of the people; it was to impose on the people ideals and beliefs that were pre-decided for them. For the people’s good, you understand, but recognising that the people’s consent had to be manufactured since they were too dumb, or too constrained by their lack of education or insight, to arrive at correct conclusions by themselves. For our own good we needed above all dirigiste politics, not consensual or “normal” politics. The deplorables mustn’t be asked what they believe or want. They must be told.
    Hence the “long march through the institutions”, particularly academic institutions and the media, since influencing education and what we see on our screens is the best way of changing attitudes and manufacturing that desired consent. That march is now completed and for the victors it’s a matter of mopping up a few pockets of resistance rather than needing to take more ground.
    At an early stage, of course, the idealism – if, to my mind, misdirected idealism – of the marchers through the institutions became directly linked to self-interest. The marchers became the establishment they were seeking to subvert. Their jobs and advancement now depend on the maintenance of that establishment. All the more reason for the panic we now see at Trump’s arrival.
    To this rancid mix of thwarted dirigiste idealism and anxious self-interest we may add a further ingredient: the interest group consisting in the main of the CEO’s and the higher levels of the big corporations and financial institutions. Plus various chancers operating in the extensive hinterland where the entrepreneurial and the political worlds meet – a sub-group usually termed “cronies” and it’s as good a term as any.
    Unlike most I don’t see this group as particularly sinister, and certainly not as a conspiratorial entity. In “normal” politics it would be just an interest group like any other, and in such politics it’s the job of the politicians to balance out the various interest groups and to make sure none get dangerously out of control. In plain terms, to make sure that the CEO’s natural desire for a yacht doesn’t conflict too much with my natural desire to feed my family.
    But we don’t have normal politics. We have, or had until now, dirigiste politics. We have a new world to make, a world in which our attitudes to gender identity or racial or national identity need tending to and in which the “nuts and bolts” stuff, as I believe “Fred” here pointed out some time ago, can be regarded as secondary. But of course it can’t. Nuts and bolts politics, normal politics, is essential to a healthy economy and society and in its absence the CEO’s and the cronies can run wild with no fear that their excesses might be held in check or their errors rectified.
    So that’s another group of people who, some of them, see Trump as a menace. At present, to take but one example, the easiest path for some to that yacht is outsourcing. It’s also the easiest path for others to destitution. Trump says plainly he’s going to redress that balance. He’s apparently going to try to do the same in some other areas too. This may not be too good a time to be a crony. Or at least, not as good a time as it was.
    No wonder, then, that all hell’s let loose. Great numbers of people whose mission for life was instructing us in right thinking find that they are no longer regarded as our prophets. Great numbers of people who were going under might have a chance of staying afloat. Powerful interest groups are realising that they may have to move over a little. If Trump succeeds then an often overused term might become appropriate. It would be a seismic shift in American politics and few would remain unaffected by the aftershocks.
    Worse yet, I see few signs that Trump himself has any tendency to dirigiste idealism. To take a trivial example it was almost comical, during the American elections, to see his lack of interest in transgender bathrooms, and the fury of those to whom such issues as transgender bathrooms are the essential heart of politics. It’s one thing losing a fierce debate. Quite another to see the opponent showing no interest in it.
    So there’s plenty of reason for the “collective madness” you now see in American politics and that we. on the other side of the Atlantic, see to a lesser degree in our European political classes. But I wouldn’t agree with you that it’s a new thing in politics. It’s a madness that’s been brewing for some time; and a madness that, with resolution and a good helping of luck, we may soon be shot of.

  47. I don’t know what this has to do with it. Anyway the polls were not showing a blowout. I followed the polls through the whole election. The averages at RealClearPolitics and Pollster never had Clinton more than 4-5 points ahead, closing a couple of times down to 1-2 points, and closing in again, the last 2 weeks before the election. 1-2 points is a close race by any definition. Here is the graph again:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html
    By contrast, Johnson won by 13 points, Nixon won by 13, Reagan won by 9 then 18. (In fact those three weren’t the biggest spreads in U.S. history.)

  48. Tyler says:

    Lee,
    Oh boy mendacious sophistry. The polls were indeed claiming a 320 EV win for Hillary, with the inane prediction of Arizona of all places “going blue”. Gtfo out of here with your nonsense attempt to rewrite history.
    Actually on second thought keep it up. When the Dems are under 40 senators and not even a third of the House you can invent some more fiction about how “you saw it coming”.

  49. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Forget about collective madness; look at the individual cases below:
    http://www.dw.com/en/us-senator-calls-2017-year-of-kicking-russia-in-the-ass/a-37622830
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/19/democratic-ex-dove-proposes-war-on-iran/
    Who votes for these people in the United States?

  50. “Who votes for these people in the United States?” (And elsewhere)
    Solid sensible people who don’t have time to do more than glance at the TV news. And if they want to go deeper there are always the newspapers to give them in-depth analysis.
    Most of us, therefore. Maybe fewer than there were, thanks to such sites as the Colonel’s here.
    Thank you for sending the links.

  51. I am not a Hillary supporter, Trump is a knucklehead, and you don’t have a clue.
    You were talking about the popular vote above, but now you are talking about the Electoral College. If you want to talk about the Electoral College, fine.
    There can be a big “landslide” in the Electoral College, with VERY close numbers in every state. Which is what happened, not a popular landslide. The word “popular” means individual headcount, not the Electoral College.
    The fact that news headlines use words like “landslide” may be another source of confusion here. Or else, not paying close attention: In the last few days before the vote, 538 (which is probably the top site) had enough data to predict that Trump might win the Electoral College. And they wrote that, before the election.
    A different example, in a classroom exercise: Show how to make Hillary win the Electoral College with LESS votes than she won in California:
    Answer: Remove Texas + Ohio + Pennsylvania. Trump won TX+OH+PA by only 1.29 million votes more than Hillary, all three states totaled together.
    Which is much less than Hillary’s margin of 4.27 million in California.
    But, leave CA in, and take out TX+OH+PA, she wins the Electoral College.
    All of which goes to show, you can take out different states to make either side win. Who cares? None of these discussions make any sense to begin with.
    (Should point out though that OH & PA are “swing” states, and TX may be “blue” in 20 years.)

  52. Fred says:

    Tyler,
    Get back to work.

  53. Tyler says:

    Lee,
    “If you ignore everywhere he won, he woulda lost!” LMBO that’s your argument?
    Dude, you are clueless, and need to work on your historical revesionism shill argument. The fact you can’t wrap your arms around reality and refuse to admit how totally wrong you were: Sad! Many such cases!

  54. Tyler says:

    Fred,
    You’re not my dad.

  55. Tyler says:

    Lee,
    Also you think Texas is going to be blue. Tell me more about your weird fantasies

  56. LeaNder says:

    Tyler, I told you before I have absolutely no problem with your victory one way or another I considered it a high probability.
    My main sources for that assumption, a) observation of tendencies and choices on Pat’s blog, b) watching the polls and their divergences on RealClearPolitics. Thus, yes, from my own limited perspective Lee has a point at least concerning the work done on RCP.
    But thanks, you made me look this up:
    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/blown-the-fuck-out-btfo

  57. Fred, You win “Bingo”!

  58. bks says:

    Now (22 Feb 17) down to +2 (51-49) at Rasmussen (leans R).
    -23 at Quinnipiac (well-regarded, academic, non-partisan, polling department)
    https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2431

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