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Obama Poll Watch -- March, 2016

[ Posted Monday, April 4th, 2016 – 17:31 PDT ]

Obama Above Water Once Again

President Obama made a big breakthrough in public opinion polling in March, one that is (for once) pretty obvious in his chart. For the first time since May, 2013, Obama's average job approval number for last month was higher than his average disapproval. Take a look at this month's new chart -- it's pretty easy to see how big a deal this is, even on the overall chart of his entire time in office.

Obama Approval -- March 2016

[Click on graph to see larger-scale version.]

March, 2016

Once again, on the domestic political front, March was a pretty quiet month. There were no epic budget battles with Congress, since Congress has already essentially decided not to do much of anything this year, and (this is the abnormal part) is now openly admitting this to the public. Normally they make at least a pretense of doing the nation's business, but not this year it seems.

Nowhere was this more apparent, of course, than the Senate Republicans' absolute refusal to do their constitutional duty to vet Obama's nominee for Antonin Scalia's replacement on the Supreme Court. Obama surprised many by selecting a wonky judge who, in normal times, would be about as moderate a choice as could be expected from any Democrat in the White House. Of course, these are not normal times. The public is on Obama's side on this one, as poll after poll clearly shows that people think Obama's pick should receive a fair hearing and a vote, but it also must be said that the public isn't paying all that much attention right now. Lots of political hay may be made over this issue in the upcoming Senate races, which (ironically) may mean that Republicans' obstructionism may please their base all year long but also contribute to them losing control of the chamber in November. But again, this issue is, for now, on the back burner in the public's mind.

President Obama made a historic visit to Cuba -- the first president to do so in almost nine decades -- but it wasn't as big a deal here at home as it was on the island. Obama had every right to his visit, since he will go down in history as the president who opened up Cuba after over 60 years of the Cold War deep-freeze in diplomatic relations.

His visit was somewhat overshadowed by another terrorist attack in Europe, but the Belgium tragedy didn't seem to get as much attention as the ones in Paris a few months back. The public seems to be getting a little jaded over attacks in Europe (the American public is already completely jaded about such attacks in the Middle East, as many have pointed out), so each successive one may bring a diminishing amount of public attention back here at home.

One background reason why Obama's poll numbers are improving is that the American economy is chugging along and creating jobs at a pretty healthy rate, and incomes are finally starting to rise a tiny bit while the labor participation rate also seems to be inching upwards. These two indicators usually lag the unemployment rate, but now that unemployment seems stable at (or below) five percent, they've finally started to improve. How the public feels about the president is usually closely tied to how people feel about the economy in general, which is likely helping to buoy Obama's numbers up above the waves.

Of course, the biggest political news in March is the presidential race, something that will remain true for much of the rest of the year. This past month was a doozy, starting off with a Republican candidate essentially conducting a penis-measuring contest in a nationally-televised debate, moving on to another GOP candidate using the term "copulating rodents" to describe his rival (actual Ted Cruz quote: "Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him"), and finishing in grand style with a debate about punishing women who get abortions. Looks like that GOP outreach effort to women voters is reaping big benefits, folks! March also saw the bizarre spectacle of the establishment Republicans firmly holding their noses and lining up behind Ted Cruz -- something nobody in their right mind would ever have predicted, even a few months ago.

I firmly believe that the playground nature of the presidential nominating contest on the Republican side is the major factor in how fast Obama's job approval rating is rising. The public is taking a long look at the Republicans who are vying to replace Obama, and they're remembering why they voted for Barack in the first place. "No drama Obama" is looking pretty good right now, to put this another way.

Obama ended up March with an incredible jump in his job approval numbers of over two percent, while his disapproval numbers fell by even more. For the month, Obama's average job approval ended up at 48.4 percent, up 2.1 points. His disapproval monthly average fell 2.2 points, down to 47.4 percent. Obama hasn't seen numbers this good in almost three years, to put this in some perspective. In terms of raw improvement, March was the fifth-best month Obama has ever had.

 

Overall Trends

I ended last month's Obama Poll Watch column with a bold prediction. I was explaining the term "underwater" (when a president's job approval is lower than his job disapproval) and talking about how the range of Obama's being underwater was getting smaller, both in his monthly averages and in the Real Clear Politics daily "poll of polls" averages I use as my base data. I pointed out that Obama's underwater gap had been particularly bad for most of his second term, at one point hitting 12.5 percent beneath the waves. He ended last year at 7.9 percent down, still a pretty large gap. I then made my prediction:

It may be just a momentary blip in the charts, but [Obama's] daily average numbers today are only 1.3 percent apart. With just a tad more improvement, Obama could see his daily numbers break above the waves at some point during March. This hasn't happened since June 7, 2013, so it would indeed be a milestone.

Of course, there are always fluctuations in the daily numbers, which is why we only use monthly averages for our charts. Even if Obama did get his numbers above water in the daily ratings, he would have to have an extraordinarily good month to do so in our monthly averages. Still, the fact that this is even a possibility is the best news Obama poll watchers have had in a very long time.

As you can see, I hedged a little bit, predicting Obama might achieve the "above water" feat in his daily rankings (which fluctuate around quite a bit, day-to-day) but that he probably wouldn't do so in the monthly averages I use.

This turned out to be overcautious. Obama did have an extraordinarily good month in March. Here is an expanded view of the past year, to clearly see the impressive trendline Obama has managed over the past three months.

Obama detail

[Click on graph to see larger-scale version.]

What actually happened in March is that Obama started off the month very strong, and then just kept getting stronger as the month went on. He actually hit the crossover point in the daily rankings after only one week (prompting me to write a rare mid-month Obama poll-watching column), and he hasn't dropped beneath the waves since. Obama's job approval started the month at 47.2 percent, and ended the month with a string of six days at 49.0 percent. His job disapproval mirrored this trend, beginning at 48.7 percent and then falling to 46.2 percent near month's end, a drop of 2.5 points.

Even on the above chart, it's hard to see the magnitude of this improvement, however, so I created a third chart for this month. This shows Obama's entire second term, to date. It starts off with Obama in his "second honeymoon" period, which (for almost every president) falls off by the end of their first year in office. Obama's fell particularly hard, as you can see, and didn't fully recover until now.

Obama 2nd term

[Click on graph to see larger-scale version.]

With this scale, the ups and downs become a lot more dramatic. This is fitting, because the upswing Obama's been on since the start of the year is actually the biggest three-month improvement he has seen during his entire presidency. Since the start of the year, Obama's average monthly job approval has risen a stunning 4.7 points, while his disapproval fell 4.2 points. The only other period during his time in office that beats this was when Obama got a very short-lived spike after he announced the death of Osama Bin Laden (his job approval rose a whopping 5.0 percent in a single month -- but then quickly fell back again).

Measured by sheer improvement, the last three months are the best Obama's ever had. He wound up the month a full percent above water, up from 3.3 percent underwater last month (and 7.9 percent down in December). That's an incredibly impressive turnaround in a very short period of time. Perhaps Obama should sit down and write heartfelt thank-you notes to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz?

Again, to put this in some perspective, at this point in the previous president's term in office, George W. Bush had sunk to a dismal 30.0 percent approval -- and his numbers would actually then go on to drop below 30 percent for the rest of his term. Ronald Reagan's approval, at this point in his term, was only two points higher than Obama, at 50.5 percent. Bill Clinton was soaring by now, at 61.6 percent approval.

While all of this is very good news for Obama fans, I have to be a little skeptical that Obama will continue this sharp upward trend next month. In fact, for the next couple of months (up until the conventions happen, say) Obama will likely make only small gains or just consolidate the progress he's so far made. I'd be surprised to see sharp upward movement continue into April. I think it's much more likely Obama will flatten out a bit next month on the job approval line, although I could see the disapproval line dropping a bit faster (disapproval is still a bit out of balance from where it historically should be, considering where the approval numbers are).

Of course, with the ongoing circus that is the Republican nomination fight, anything is possible. But I think Obama's swift upward climb in job approval will flatten out next month, and at best expect modest gains of a fraction of a point. Disapproval may drop more than a single point, though, but it will likely also flatten out a bit after that. Obama has just charted the best three-month improvement of his entire presidency, and I think it would be unrealistic to see such sharp gains continue for him in the next few months. Holding onto the gains he's made and staying well above water would be good enough news for Obama to expect, at this point.

 

[Obama Poll Watch Data:]

Sources And Methodology

ObamaPollWatch.com is an admittedly amateur effort, but we do try to stay professional when it comes to revealing our sources and methodology. All our source data comes from RealClearPolitics.com; specifically from their daily presidential approval ratings "poll of polls" graphic page. We take their daily numbers, log them, and then average each month's data into a single number -- which is then shown on our monthly charts here (a "poll of polls of polls," if you will...). You can read a much-more detailed explanation of our source data and methodology on our "About Obama Poll Watch" page, if you're interested.

Questions or comments? Use the Email Chris page to drop me a private note.

 

Obama's Second Term Statistical Records

Monthly
Highest Monthly Approval -- 1/13 -- 52.7%
Lowest Monthly Approval -- 11/13 -- 41.4%

Highest Monthly Disapproval -- 12/13 -- 54.0%
Lowest Monthly Disapproval -- 1/13 -- 42.6%

Daily
Highest Daily Approval -- 1/31/13 -- 52.5%
Lowest Daily Approval -- 12/2/13 -- 39.8%

Highest Daily Disapproval -- 12/2/13 -- 55.9%
Lowest Daily Disapproval -- 2/24/13 -- 42.3%

 

Obama's Second Term Raw Monthly Data

[All-time high in bold, all-time low underlined.]

Month -- (Approval / Disapproval / Undecided)
03/16 -- 48.4 / 47.4 / 4.2
02/16 -- 46.3 / 49.6 / 4.1
01/16 -- 45.5 / 50.2 / 4.3
12/15 -- 43.7 / 51.6 / 4.7
11/15 -- 44.4 / 51.3 / 4.3
10/15 -- 45.3 / 50.0 / 4.7
09/15 -- 45.6 / 50.3 / 4.1
08/15 -- 44.7 / 50.4 / 4.9
07/15 -- 45.7 / 50.0 / 4.3
06/15 -- 44.6 / 50.7 / 4.7
05/15 -- 45.4 / 50.0 / 4.6
04/15 -- 45.2 / 49.9 / 4.9
03/15 -- 44.9 / 50.8 / 4.3
02/15 -- 45.4 / 50.1 / 4.5
01/15 -- 44.8 / 50.5 / 4.7
12/14 -- 42.4 / 52.8 / 4.8
11/14 -- 42.0 / 53.4 / 4.6
10/14 -- 42.1 / 53.4 / 4.5
09/14 -- 41.5 / 53.5 / 5.0
08/14 -- 41.6 / 53.0 / 5.4
07/14 -- 41.8 / 53.6 / 4.6
06/14 -- 42.4 / 53.4 / 4.2
05/14 -- 44.0 / 51.7 / 4.3
04/14 -- 43.4 / 52.1 / 4.5
03/14 -- 42.9 / 52.8 / 4.3
02/14 -- 43.3 / 52.3 / 4.4
01/14 -- 42.7 / 52.7 / 4.6
12/13 -- 41.9 / 54.0 / 4.1
11/13 -- 41.4 / 53.9 / 4.7
10/13 -- 44.2 / 50.8 / 5.0
09/13 -- 43.9 / 50.8 / 5.3
08/13 -- 44.4 / 50.2 / 5.4
07/13 -- 45.3 / 49.2 / 5.5
06/13 -- 46.5 / 48.5 / 5.0
05/13 -- 48.3 / 46.9 / 4.8
04/13 -- 48.6 / 46.8 / 4.6
03/13 -- 48.5 / 46.3 / 5.2
02/13 -- 51.1 / 43.0 / 5.9
01/13 -- 52.7 / 42.6 / 4.7

 

Second Term Column Archives

[Feb 16], [Jan 16], [Dec 15], [Nov 15], [Oct 15], [Sep 15], [Aug 15], [Jul 15], [Jun 15], [May 15], [Apr 15], [Mar 15], [Feb 15], [Jan 15], [Dec 14], [Nov 14], [Oct 14], [Sep 14], [Aug 14], [Jul 14], [Jun 14], [May 14], [Apr 14], [Mar 14], [Feb 14], [Jan 14], Dec 13], [Nov 13], [Oct 13], Sep 13], [Aug 13], [Jul 13], [Jun 13], [May 13], [Apr 13], [Mar 13], [Feb 13], [Jan 13]

 

First Term Data

To save space, the only data and statistics listed above are from Obama's second term. If you'd like to see the data and stats from Obama's first term, including a list of links to the full archives of the Obama Poll Watch column for the first term, we've set up an Obama Poll Watch First Term Data page, for those still interested.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

87 Comments on “Obama Poll Watch -- March, 2016”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Hey Chris: Hope you're over your flu!

    Today's Anecdote:

    Thin, older black man walking down street, backpack on back. What does he think of the election season so far?

    "I have no complaints. I'm just waiting for things to be decided...I don't like Trump though!"

    Me: do you mean you're waiting for after the primaries?"

    Him: "I like Hillary. But we'll see."

    Grandmother using walker, and Granddaughter (live across the street from my house) - black -- what do they think of the election season so far?

    Granddaughter: "It's terrible. I don't like anyone who's running. It shouldn't be like this. It's terrible."

    Grandmother: "Yes, it's terrible."

    Granddaughter: "It shouldn't be so horrible. No one who's running should be president."

    I said I am getting opinions, not trying to influence anyone, but after the primaries were over I'd share with her who I support and Granddaughter said: "Please do!"

  2. [2] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Excellent data analysis, CW. Your third chart does a great job of making your description explicit. And, your conclusions/predictions for what's coming up are very professional and defensible. Thank you.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    As more and more people start paying attention to presidential politics (we wonks think everybody is paying as much attention as we are) Obama's positives as a reliable, sane leader will strengthen.

    Trump will suffer from the comparison, with the exception of the 'bomb-thowers' on both sides who have solutions outside of the compromise zone (which is historically thin at the moment).

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    owhere was this more apparent, of course, than the Senate Republicans' absolute refusal to do their constitutional duty to vet Obama's nominee for Antonin Scalia's replacement on the Supreme Court.

    Where in the US Constitution does it say that the Senate MUST process a lame duck President's nominee??

    Answer: It doesn't..

    There is absolutely NO REQUIREMENT in the US Constitution for the Senate to do whatever Democrats want them to do..

    It simply is not there..

    President Obama made a historic visit to Cuba -- the first president to do so in almost nine decades -- but it wasn't as big a deal here at home as it was on the island. Obama had every right to his visit, since he will go down in history as the president who opened up Cuba after over 60 years of the Cold War deep-freeze in diplomatic relations.

    And, of course, Obama made things a hundred times worse for Cuban dissidents.

    But who cares about that. Obama got his photo-op and his legacy.

    One background reason why Obama's poll numbers are improving is that the American economy is chugging along and creating jobs at a pretty healthy rate, and incomes are finally starting to rise a tiny bit while the labor participation rate also seems to be inching upwards.

    I call BS!! :D Wages are stagnant and the unemployment number rose...

    and finishing in grand style with a debate about punishing women who get abortions.

    Of course, that's not what was said... But why let FACTS interrupt a good TDS-induced rant.. :D

    Whether it's accusing Trump of racism, accusing Trump of inciting violence or accusing Trump of wanting to punish women for abortions..

    It's ALL about the hysterical innuendo with nary a SINGLE fact to be found..

    TDS indeed...

    As to the rest.. It makes me ill so I can't read any further.. :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nowhere was this more apparent, of course, than the Senate Republicans' absolute refusal to do their constitutional duty to vet Obama's nominee for Antonin Scalia's replacement on the Supreme Court.

    Where in the US Constitution does it say that the Senate MUST process a lame duck President's nominee??

    Answer: It doesn't..

    There is absolutely NO REQUIREMENT in the US Constitution for the Senate to do whatever Democrats want them to do..

    It simply is not there..

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    President Obama made a historic visit to Cuba -- the first president to do so in almost nine decades -- but it wasn't as big a deal here at home as it was on the island. Obama had every right to his visit, since he will go down in history as the president who opened up Cuba after over 60 years of the Cold War deep-freeze in diplomatic relations.

    And, of course, Obama made things a hundred times worse for Cuban dissidents.

    But who cares about that. Obama got his photo-op and his legacy.

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    One background reason why Obama's poll numbers are improving is that the American economy is chugging along and creating jobs at a pretty healthy rate, and incomes are finally starting to rise a tiny bit while the labor participation rate also seems to be inching upwards.

    I call BS!! :D Wages are stagnant and the unemployment number rose...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    One background reason why Obama's poll numbers are improving is that the American economy is chugging along and creating jobs at a pretty healthy rate

    I call BS!! :D Wages are stagnant and the unemployment number rose...

    and finishing in grand style with a debate about punishing women who get abortions.

    Of course, that's not what was said... But why let FACTS interrupt a good TDS-induced rant.. :D

    Whether it's accusing Trump of racism, accusing Trump of inciting violence or accusing Trump of wanting to punish women for abortions..

    It's ALL about the hysterical innuendo with nary a SINGLE fact to be found..

    TDS indeed...

    As to the rest.. It makes me ill so I can't read any further.. :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Trump will suffer from the comparison, with the exception of the 'bomb-thowers' on both sides who have solutions outside of the compromise zone (which is historically thin at the moment).

    Glad ta see you concede that there are bomb-throwers on BOTH sides.. :D

    My work here is nearly complete... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Admiral "It's A Trap"Ackbar has passed on to that great fish fry in the sky....

    He'll be missed...

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    Glad ta see you concede that there are bomb-throwers on BOTH sides.. :D

    You're annoying me Michale ;) This was not a concession, I've always believed that politics is the art of the possible and that the holier-than-thou exist on both sides.

    In fact, given that I live in the people's republic of left-wing smugness, I probably see a lot more on the left than the right.

    The Tea Party gave voice to the purity-test-brigade on the right that have shut down the government either explicitly ("I do not like them, Sam-I-am") or implicitly by 'primarying' reasonable conservatives and replacing them with troglodytes.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're annoying me Michale ;)

    That's what I'm here for! :D

    In fact, given that I live in the people's republic of left-wing smugness, I probably see a lot more on the left than the right.

    Most likely.. :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    In fact, given that I live in the people's republic of left-wing smugness, I probably see a lot more on the left than the right.

    But getting you to CONCEDE that is like pulling teeth..

    About the only way I can do that is to annoy you.. :D

    heh

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    neilm wrote:

    But getting you to CONCEDE that is like pulling teeth..

    About the only way I can do that is to annoy you.. :D

    I get to irritate them offline, online is where I get to irritate RWNJs. That's how it works when you live in a place where almost nobody admits they are a Republican ;)

    I'm developing my irritating line of argument for the holier-than-thou "If I can't vote for Bernie I'm voting Green" brigade. Trust me there are a lot of them and they point out all of Hillary's faults (there are a couple on this board who are probably about to burst in).

    Current most irritating comment "Well if voting Green is your second choice, you don't *really* care about the planet then, do you."

    I usually get an earful at this point. You'd enjoy it ;)

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    Good to have you back. If you manage to get out a Wisconsin Primary column I'll nominate you for an El Cid Award. The coveted "Cidy" is bestowed to a a dedicated working stiff who shows up on the job when, by all rights, he/she should be flat on their back in bed.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Current most irritating comment "Well if voting Green is your second choice, you don't *really* care about the planet then, do you."

    Oh snap!!! :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trust me there are a lot of them and they point out all of Hillary's faults

    And there are a lot of THEM as well!! :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hillary is the most sane, competent choice we have. Inspiring? No. But I'll take rational (sorry Trump and Cruz) and electable (sorry Bernie, delegate math and all that). Kasich is building his ground game for 2020, even he doesn't expect to win in 2016, and probably doesn't want to if he is smart.

    I see two ways Hillary will win:

    #1 - Trump gets the Republican nomination and loses in a landslide in November
    #2 - Trump is edged out of the Republican nomination and goes rogue as a spoiler (which is why I think Ryan is too smart to run, and the Reps will let Trump/Cruz fight each other into oblivion)

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hillary is the most sane, competent choice we have.

    "Let's agree to disagree."
    -Boris The Animal, MEN IN BLACK 3

    :D

    I see two ways Hillary will win:

    And the one sure way that Hillary WON'T win..

    INDICTED

    :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    if trump gets edged by cruz on the second ballot, would he accept a VP nomination?

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    INDICTED

    Right wing wet dream. In reality, the worst case for Hillary is FBI recommend an indictment, left wing pile on 'partisan Republican' Comey, DoJ drop it. Benghazi!!! all over again claims flood the airwaves from both sides. Benghazi!!! was easily the dumbest thing the Republicans did in the last few years - it made Hillary into a female victim of arrogant men, and if you don't think that is how it is played in the left-o-sphere it is only because you live and breath the right-o-sphere.

    The Hillary haters will be up in arms, but they were never going to vote for her anyway, plus The Donald will steal the news cycle after a couple of days because he can't stand being out of the limelight, even when it would be good for him.

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    if trump gets edged by cruz on the second ballot, would he accept a VP nomination?

    You think Cruz would select him? I'm not there yet. I think cruz is a certifiable nut job, but he isn't stupid and he would know that The Donald is a general, not a lieutenant and would be stealing the front stage saying the wrong thing and making Cruz walk it back.

    Plus I don't think Ted would trust Trump. I wouldn't.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Right wing wet dream. In reality, the worst case for Hillary is FBI recommend an indictment,

    Which will result in an Indictment issued by the Court Of Public Opinion...

    That indictment will be MUCH worse for Hillary than an indictment from the DOJ...

    Obama's lacky, Lynch, can control an indictment from the DOJ...

    Benghazi!!! was easily the dumbest thing the Republicans did in the last few years

    And if Republicans had anything to do with the email investigation, then you would have a point.

    But they don't so you don't..

    You see what I mean about ignoring facts that prove ya'all wrong?? :D

    The Hillary haters will be up in arms, but they were never going to vote for her anyway,

    Over 70% of Americans think "LIAR" or "DISHONEST" are the best words to describe Hillary Clinton...

    I guess the vast majority of Americans are "Hillary haters"... :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    Which will result in an Indictment issued by the Court Of Public Opinion...

    You mean like the court of public opinion that wants the Republicans to give the SCOTUS nominee a hearing? Really? ;)

  25. [25] 
    neilm wrote:

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-tries-explain-his-signature-idea-building-the-wall?cid=sm_fb_maddow

    Trump is going to stop remittences from the U.S. to Mexico to blackmail Mexico to pay for the wall.

    Simple reasons why this is completely asinine:

    1. It is illegal (but that probably won't stop Trump if he gets up a head of steam)
    2. Mexicans will route their remittences through Canada, Vietnam, U.K., etc using one of the dozens of companies that will add this new service for their Mexican customers on day 1.

    This is the 'great businessman' that is also going to eliminate the $18T debt in 8 years.

    Har har.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    You mean like the court of public opinion that wants the Republicans to give the SCOTUS nominee a hearing? Really? ;)

    Apparently the "court" means something to ya'all, since ya'all are always incessantly quoting it. :D

    Oh, that's right. It only means anything when it agrees with ya'all :D

    Simple reasons why this is completely asinine:

    1. It is illegal (but that probably won't stop Trump if he gets up a head of steam)

    You mean "illegal" like when Obama said he changed the law to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrant criminals??

    That kind of "illegal"?? :D

    This is the 'great businessman' that is also going to eliminate the $18T debt in 8 years.

    As opposed to the con man who said that there are no red states or blue states, just a UNITED states??

    Ya'all lapped it up then... :D

    So did I, but that's not the point. :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    neilm wrote:

    if trump gets edged by cruz on the second ballot, would he accept a VP nomination?

    Just read an article on the rules for VP selection - it is more possible than I thought (mea culpa). It is a straight up/down vote - Trump might get voted in by his delegates if he loses the Presidential nomination.

    So, to answer your question: I think Trump is going to take getting edged out by Cruz very badly. This is a man who has stated that revenge is a necessity so his decision will be: can he hurt Cruz/Republicans more as the VP nominee than as an independent? He could become a caricature of himself and sink Cruz by offering suggestions to nuke Canada, make Bernie Sanders the next supreme court judge, etc.

    What fun we are going to have in July if Trump doesn't get 1237.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, let me get this straight, Neil..

    Your supporting Cruz!!??? :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, let me get this straight, Neil..

    Your supporting Cruz!!??? :D

    Not sure how you got there from what I said Michale, but let me be really clear: Trump would be better than Cruz as President - Trump is a spoilt, bumbling fool with no impulse control and ideas gleaned from silly internet sites; Cruz is evil. Really evil.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not sure how you got there from what I said Michale, but let me be really clear: Trump would be better than Cruz as President - Trump is a spoilt, bumbling fool with no impulse control and ideas gleaned from silly internet sites; Cruz is evil. Really evil.

    OK That works for me.. :D

    I am not really sold on the whole good/evil thing... But (and I have said this before) Cruz reminds me of a slick used car salesman.. After shaking hands with him, I have to check my wallet and count my fingers to make sure I have everything..

    As for Trump (and I have said THIS before as well) you don't get to where he is by being stooopid, moronic or a clown...

    I think he is going to make a fine POTUS...

    Of course, after Obama, the bar is pretty low....

    Michale

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    "By the way, this is a nomination for the Republican Party. If you don't like the party, then sit down. The party is choosing a nominee."
    -Reince Priebus

    What a frakin' douche....

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "We live in a post-factual era. Thanks to the Internet and social media, which mix informed and uninformed views in equal measure, the old rule — that people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own set of facts — no longer applies. Somewhere in cyberspace, you can now find blogs and treatises with “facts” that support your opinions, no matter how bizarre." - Larry Sabato, University of Virginia Center of Politics.

    I came across this quote while updating my own Quick and Dirty Electoral College model (Q&D 2016) with Sabato's latest state by state values for a Clinton:Trump face off. I have a lot of respect for Sabato, he's old school, but his track record of calling elections is outstanding. My humble little Q&D model gave predictions very close to those of 538 Blog and the NY Times in 2012 and was in close agreement with the late lamented InTrade prediction market.

    Sabato's map has 7 qualitative values, Strong, Likely or Leaning Red, Strong, Likely or Leaning Blue, plus Toss Up. Sabato's data fed into my model predicts the election is leaning towards Clinton. Sabato's ignores his own category conventions and states that Trump is the "underdog," which I'll take as close enough to leaning Clinton.

    I've also run David Rothschild's Predictwise quantitative electoral college map through Q&D 2016 and arrive at a 67% chance of Clinton winning the White House. That' about 5% lower than Betfair and Rothschild's multi factor model are currently calling the generic Democrat:Republican race.

    I'll be putting Q&D 2016 and a slightly more respectable model through their paces again this season. It will be fun to see how well I compare to the big league number crunchers.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why don't you run those models on the 2014 elections and see how the fare.. :D

    I'de be more inclined to accept your models if they accurately "predict" the 2014 Nuclear Shellacking...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trump is plummeting on PredictIt - dropping from mid-70% to mid-40% to win nomination ...

    I can just see Michale's reply (you all counted him out x number of times before), but it isn't looking good right now for the small-fingered orange bigot.

  35. [35] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-31

    I model Presidential Elections featuring The Electoral College. Senate and House races are very different animals. Modeling Presidential Elections is actually rather easy, what I call a entertaining hobby... Modeling Congress is far more data intensive and what I call full time work. I have no interest in doing any more full time work (with deadlines!!!) unless it pays extremely well, in a great location, mostly outdoors, for a limited amount of time and lunch is AT LEAST 2hrs long. Drop me a line if anything like this pops up.

    More to the point, analyzing 2012 Senate elections with my electoral college models would be like analyzing a submarine with a flight simulator.

  36. [36] 
    neilm wrote:

    As we talked about on the podcast Monday, Wisconsinites (and other people in the upper Midwest) have high levels of social connectivity, which seems to be a correlate of the #NeverTrump vote. Trump voters are fairly socially isolated, by contrast.
    - Nate Silver, 538.com, April 5, 2016

    Source:
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/momentum-may-matter-just-this-once-in-wisconsin/

    Are you socially isolated Michale ;)

  37. [37] 
    TheStig wrote:

    neilm 34

    Clinton would be having a pretty bad week if Trump weren't having something that looks a bit melt-down-ish.

    PredictIt and PredictWise both track the Betfair markets pretty closely. That's why I tend to simply report Betfair trends, I used to caveat this, probably should more often. Betfair info comes out pretty close to real time, although I think it's risky to attribute Betfair oscillations to specific real world events, like bad press coverage or terrorism, the market noise is high. It's the long term trends I take seriously. It would be nice if Betfair would print dates on the x axis like PredictWise does. Both Betfair and PredictWise compress the x axis as events get older. This can and does confuse.

    Betfair reenctly opened up markets for both a brokered and contested GOP convention....the markets are still small, but they indicate both are more likely than not to occur. I take both somewhat seriously, but probably not as seriously as some of the big time press seem to.

  38. [38] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, everyone -

    I'm feeling better -- luckily, just caught a rather low-grade version of the flu, so it didn't completely knock me out. Just posted my Wisconsin picks for tonight, but still a little too weak to answer all the comments here. Thanks for all the kind words, though -- dodged a bullet this time, it seems, so was able to keep the columns coming.

    OK, I gotta ask TheStig, though: why's it called an "El Cid" award? Inquiring minds want to know...

    :-)

    See you all on today's comment thread during the WI returns...

    -CW

  39. [39] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale said : [5]

    Where in the US Constitution does it say that the Senate MUST process a lame duck President's nominee??

    Answer: It doesn't..

    But the Constitution does instruct them to do it by the very fact that it is part of a "shall statement":

    Article II, Section 2: “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court.”

    The Founding Fathers went as far as to stick the Senate's tasks between TWO "shall" instructions for the President. They probably assumed that most people would recognize that since the Senate's tasks were essential for the President to be able to complete his instructed and required task, it was not something they can just ignore. Surely our nation would not become so screwed up as to have politicians that would risk playing semantics games regarding their duty of maintaining the judicial branch of our government! The intent of what the Senate is expected to do in these situations is very clear to anyone giving it an honest reading,

  40. [40] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    El Cid (the movie) is a 1961 cast of thousands technicolor epic "historical" movie notably starring Charlton as knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (AKA El Cid = The Lord) and Sophie Loren as it completely doesn't matter who, it's Sophia Loren. In his last battle El Cid takes an arrow in his shoulder and dies from his wound. Next day, his body, in full armor, is strapped onto the saddle of his war horse, also in full armor, and the the besieging enemy Saracens flee when they see El Cid leading his charging army out the main gate.* Actually it's El Cid's horse who is leading the charge, but you can see how the Saracens might be confused about this and panic.

    This is a classic example of a working stiff showing up and doing his job well, when by all rights he should have been on his back in bed.

    Thus was born the coveted Cidy.

    *This is a case where Heston's lack of emotional range was a plus, that and his uncanny ability to not blink on cue.

  41. [41] 
    neilm wrote:

    @TS[40]

    Thanks. I thoroughly enjoyed learning that.

    Neil

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    for the small-fingered orange bigot.

    I wonder if you understand how hilarious your comment is..

    :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Article II, Section 2: “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court.”

    No where does it say that the Senate MUST advise and consent..

    The duty as outlined is at the discretion of the Senate.

    It's not an obligation to the Senate, but rather a restriction of the President..

    The power to give advice and consent is also the power NOT to..

    It's ALL completely and utterly at the discretion of the Senate..

    A point ya'all would be making if it was a lame duck GOP POTUS with a Democrat Senate..

    We know this because that's what's happened in the past...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Clinton would be having a pretty bad week if Trump weren't having something that looks a bit melt-down-ish.

    Another week, another primary, another Trump "melt-down"..

    YYYaaaaawwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Listen,

    I am also constrained to point out that ya'all have absolutely NO moral foundation to whine and cry about the GOP's Senate lack of "faithful execution" whilst, at the same time, supporting Obama's lack of "faithful execution"...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    but it isn't looking good right now

    It's NEVER "looked good" for Trump...

    And yet, he's still here.. STILL the front runner.. :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Are you socially isolated Michale ;)

    According to Nate Silver, I am...

    But the guy doesn't have the best track record on being right, so...... :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    TheStig wrote:

    It's worth pointing out that Obama's favorable scores are higher than those of ANY of the surviving Republicans still fighting over the nomination. Higher than the favorability of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Bernie Sanders is the only Pres. candidate actually above water, 7% more favorable than unfavorable. Mitch McConnell is 27% underwater, adding to his already turtle-like image.

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Article II, Section 2: “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court.”

    so by basic logic, if the senate refuses to consult or vote on a nominee, they're intentionally forcing the president to violate his constitutional mandate.

    that's not the same as rejecting (voting no on) a nominee; it's creating a constitutional violation. to whom that violation officially pertains, as michale is wont to say, is a distinction that makes no difference, and therefore IS no different.

    JL

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    And speaking of the afore mentioned Wall...

    Driver Who Struck, Killed North Texas Firefighter May Face Charges
    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2016/04/05/driver-who-struck-killed-north-texas-firefighter-may-face-charges/#.VwRFDsjtQ3w.twitter

    A Texas Firefighter and his two young baby children would likely be alive today if there was a border wall....

    How many innocent American lives are worth freshly minted Democrat voters???

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    so by basic logic, if the senate refuses to consult or vote on a nominee, they're intentionally forcing the president to violate his constitutional mandate.

    Not at all.. The President chose his nominee and submitted it to the Senate.. His job is done...

    Now the Senate will advise and consent when they decide to...

    The power to advise and consent is also the power NOT to advise and consent...

    As the Democrats have exercised again and again and again..

    Ya'all just don't like it NOW because you are on the receiving end of it..

    that's not the same as rejecting (voting no on) a nominee; it's creating a constitutional violation. to whom that violation officially pertains,

    That's your opinion and only supported by cheery picked facts...

    Remember. The power to advise and consent is the power NOT to advise and consent..

    Nothing in the US Constitution would FORCE the Senate to advise and consent...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all just don't like it NOW because you are on the receiving end of it..

    Strike that to read...

    Ya'all just don't like it NOW because the Democrats are on the receiving end of it..

    My bust...

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint

    that's "shall appoint." it is not, "shall appoint when the senate feels like it." article II addresses nomination and appointment separately.

    therefore, the president's job isn't done until he's gotten the senate's advice and consent on a nominee. it is the senate's right to approve or reject a nominee, or to filibuster one nominee until the president compromises on another, but not to force a president to disobey the constitution's explicit instruction.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    it is the senate's right to approve or reject a nominee, or to filibuster one nominee until the president compromises on another, but not to force a president to disobey the constitution's explicit instruction.

    But, by rejecting or filibustering a nominee, the Senate is ALSO not allowing the President to appoint his nominee...

    The Senate HAS 'advised' the President that they will NOT process his nominee until such time as the people have spoken regarding the next President..

    therefore, the president's job isn't done until he's gotten the senate's advice and consent on a nominee.

    The President HAS the "advice" of the Senate.. And that "advice" is that it's going to wait until the new President is sworn in. Or until such time as the Senate decides it is time to process the nominee..

    There is no time limit inherent in the advise and consent.... Nothing in the Constitution that says the Senate cannot advise and consent at a time of IT'S choosing...

    that's "shall appoint." it is not, "shall appoint when the senate feels like it."

    It's also not "shall appoint" immediately.. or "shall appoint" within a fortnight...

    It's simply "shall appoint".. And since it's the Senate's duty, the Senate has final say as to the timing...

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in 8 years from now, when we have President Trump and a Democrat Senate and if we have a vacancy on the SCOTUS and the Democrat Senate wants to wait until after the Presidential Election....

    My position will be exactly the same... :D

    It's the Senate prerogative to schedule the Advice And Consent to occur at a time of it's choosing...

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's also not "shall appoint" immediately.. or "shall appoint" within a fortnight...

    It's simply "shall appoint".. And since it's the Senate's duty, the Senate has final say as to the timing...

    that's sorta true, the senate do have the right to slow-walk the confirmation process, only that's not what they're doing. it is their prerogative to make the confirmation process take as long as they like. the only thing they absolutely can't do under the constitution is what they're currently doing - refusing to hold any hearings ever on a president's nominee.

    JL

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    the only thing they absolutely can't do under the constitution is what they're currently doing - refusing to hold any hearings ever on a president's nominee.

    Really??

    Where does it say that??

    I am also constrained to point out that filibustering a nominee is ALSO a way to refuse to process a President's nominee..

    And ya'all have already conceded that a filibuster is proper...

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And ya'all have already conceded that a filibuster is proper...

    a filibuster is a procedural precedent that has existed for hundreds of years. cloture (forced closing of debate by a supermajority) has its hundredth birthday next year. as frustrating as such procedural delays can be, they do not create a violation of any provision in the constitution. if mcconnell slow-walked the process, used filibuster and procedural blocks to continue judicial hearings until next january, it would certainly be against the spirit of the constitution, but not contrary to the letter of the text. abject refusal to allow what the constitution says "shall" be done leaves no room for interpretation - it's flat out unconstitutional.

    technically obama might even have standing to sue mcconnell over it, but i suspect he finds much more appealing the political dividends of making hay against vulnerable senate incumbents like burr, toomey, ayotte, portman, kirk, johnson, blunt, possibly even mccain and boozman, as well as open seats in florida and nevada.

    overall, republicans are defending 24 senate seats this election and dems are only defending ten. republicans could still hold the senate, but in a presidential year it's a tough ask, and i'm sure obama sees the republican stance on his SCOTUS nomination as something that could tip things toward the democrats.

    JL

  59. [59] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Where does it say that??

    article II, section 2, second paragraph.

    and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States

    if all the president had to do was nominate, his job would be done, but the constitution says "shall appoint" as a separate action. "by and with the advice and consent of the senate" is part of the appointment, which "shall" be done, according to the constitution.

    JL

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    here's a rough estimate of the 2016 senate map, as it's likely to shake out at the moment:

    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/2016-senate/

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    if all the president had to do was nominate, his job would be done, but the constitution says "shall appoint" as a separate action. "by and with the advice and consent of the senate" is part of the appointment, which "shall" be done, according to the constitution.

    All of the "SHALLS" seem to apply to the President, not to the Senate...

    So, the Constitution says that the President SHALL nominate..

    The President has done his job...

    The Senate is under NO OBLIGATION to process the nominee according to the President's desire or timetable...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Senate is under NO OBLIGATION to process the nominee according to the President's desire or timetable...

    But, the president only has a limited amount of time in office so, doesn't that impact on the obligation of the Senate to act in a time-appropriate fashion?

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, the president only has a limited amount of time in office so, doesn't that impact on the obligation of the Senate to act in a time-appropriate fashion?

    Not at all..

    Because "The President" mentioned in the Constitution has an unlimited time in office... That President's term never expires.

    There is absolutely no Constitutional reason for the Senate to process ANY nominee until such time as they see fit..

    If there is a SCOTUS vacancy in 2021 and a Democrat Senate wants to wait til after the 2024 election so President Trump can't get his nominee in, there is absolutely NOTHING in the US Constitution that says the Senate can't do it..

    Of course, there are other considerations besides the US Constitution that are in play, I readily grant that..

    But to claim that the US Constitution forbids an Senate delay on processing the President's nominee is a false argument because it simply is not the case...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Because "The President" mentioned in the Constitution has an unlimited time in office...

    yikes, that's not just wrong, it's spectacularly wrong. the constitution has 3 parts: the preamble, the articles and the amendments. all are considered part of the constitution.

    The president's term in article II is four years, and the 22nd Amendment limits any president after its ratification to a maximum of 2 full terms, and no more than ten years total (in case he/she took over during a previous president's term).

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By Michale's definition, the Senate could take forever and a day before it saw fit to begin the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees.

    That's not just wrong, it's hilarious.

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...simply not the case, Michale?

    Surely, you jest!

    :-)

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    The president's term in article II is four years, and the 22nd Amendment limits any president after its ratification to a maximum of 2 full terms, and no more than ten years total (in case he/she took over during a previous president's term).

    *A* President's term is yada yada yada yada...

    But *THE* President mentioned in the Constitution is the OFFICE, not the man...

    By Michale's definition, the Senate could take forever and a day before it saw fit to begin the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees.

    According to the US Constitution, the Senate COULD take forever and a day...

    Under the Democrats, the Senate didn't pass a budget for over 5 years....

    There are MANY valid arguments ya'all could make against the SCOTUS nominee delay...

    That it's against the US Constitution is not one of them...

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Make one valid argument against the Senate delay. Bonus points if you can make two.

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What does the constitution say about the budget, Michale?

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Make one valid argument against the Senate delay.

    It looks bad, politically...

    Bonus points if you can make two.

    It looks REALLY bad, politically.. :D

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @michale[71],

    full marks for the first, but no bonus points.

    “In the dictionary under redundant it says see redundant.” ? Robin Williams.

    [68],
    According to the US Constitution, the Senate COULD take forever and a day...

    ...to complete the hearings, yes. to begin the hearings, no. constitutionally, the senate must at least make a show of advice and/or consent on any presidential nominee. if it weren't such a black eye for republicans politically, obama might have a legitimate case to force senate action.

    JL

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and i reversed my italics. wow, i'm glad it's friday.

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    ...to complete the hearings, yes. to begin the hearings, no. constitutionally, the senate must at least make a show of advice and/or consent on any presidential nominee. if it weren't such a black eye for republicans politically,

    That's one person's opinion..

    obama might have a legitimate case to force senate action.

    Key word there is "MIGHT"....

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    full marks for the first, but no bonus points.

    heh

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    And I am constrained to point out that it's only a "black eye" for Republicans amongst the people who would never vote Republican anyways...

    So, there is really no downside for the GOP and there is quite a bit of upside...

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And I am constrained to point out that it's only a "black eye" for Republicans amongst the people who would never vote Republican anyways...

    according to every polling organization i've searched through, even the conservative leaning rasmussen (53%-30%), a significant majority think the senate should vote on obama's nominee. if that's the will of the voters and the voters' will is being ignored, how do you think that will help kirk, johnson, ayotte, blunt, portman or toomey retain their seats, or the republicans keep florida or win nevada?

    JL

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    according to every polling organization i've searched through, even the conservative leaning rasmussen (53%-30%), a significant majority think the senate should vote on obama's nominee. if that's the will of the voters and the voters' will is being ignored,

    Probably won't have any relevance...

    In 2014, polls thought that the GOP's "black eye" was their War On Women...

    We know how well that worked out...

    What this all boils down to is Democrats want the GOP to bend to their will and the GOP is sending a mighty FRAK YOU back to the Democrats...

    In other words, same ol same ol... Nothing new here...

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In 2014, polls thought that the GOP's "black eye" was their War On Women...

    2014 was a midterm election year, in which republicans traditionally do better than presidential election years. in addition to which most contested seats were in republican leaning states. this year it's the opposite, most of the vulnerable seats are republican senators in dem-leaning states.

    in addition to those factors already stacked against the senate staying republican, marco rubio isn't running for re-election. if gallup is right that 29% of the population are democrats and 26% are republican, a twenty point gap opposed to the senate refusing to hold confirmation hearings means a BIG majority of independents.

    being partisan in a way that many (even non-democrats) believe goes beyond the confines of the constitution, in your own words, looks bad, politically...it looks REALLY bad, politically.. :D

    so, you do the math.

    JL

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    Tons of things look bad politically..

    Hillary campaigning on a subway train in violation of the law looks bad politically..

    Obama doing the tango with a hottie while americans are butchered in Brussels looks bad politically..

    Do I think that will hurt Democrats in the upcoming election??

    Of course not..

    So it is with ya'all's hangup on Obama's SCOTUS nominee...

    It's a big yaawn...

    Michale

  81. [81] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So it is with ya'all's hangup on Obama's SCOTUS nominee...

    my hangup with it is that i believe a blanket refusal to act on a presidential nomination goes against the constitution. just like obama's attempt to recess-appoint while congress was technically still in session went against the constitution. if mcconnell wants to avoid another obama nominee being confirmed, he has a perfectly constitutional option available - namely, schedule hearings and make them drag on indefinitely. still politically toxic, but at least not in violation of the land's highest law.

    call me silly, but i think article II of the constitution is a bit more important than a city ordinance against political solicitation on the NYC subway.

    JL

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    , but at least not in violation of the land's highest law.

    But it's not really a violation of the land's highest law..

    As I said.. The power to advise and consent is ALSO the power NOT to advise and consent...

    This is likely another one of those Boris The Animal impasses.. :D

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, like I said above.. In 2023 or 2024, if there is a SCOTUS vacancy and a Democrat Senate, the Democrats (and ya'all incidentally) will be making my argument to prevent President Trump from pushing his nominee..

    The only difference between then and now is that, then we will all be in agreement.. :D

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    As I said.. The power to advise and consent is ALSO the power NOT to advise and consent...

    no, it isn't. and the constitution says it isn't.

    article II section 2 is a mandate to advise and to consent (or not) based on the extent to which their advice was heeded. at least constitutionally, refusal to do either is decidedly NOT an option.

    JL

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    article II section 2 is a mandate to advise and to consent (or not) based on the extent to which their advice was heeded. at least constitutionally, refusal to do either is decidedly NOT an option.

    It's not a refusal.. The Senate WILL process the President's nominee...

    Just not THIS president's..

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's not a refusal..

    could've fooled me.

    look, this isn't one of those clear-cut cases where the facts and interpretations are indisputable. you have a valid opinion on this, and though i disagree with you (and would continue to disagree even if it were dubya and a dem senate), i'll credit the point of view. the senate is permitted by the constitution to make its own rules, and unless a supreme court mandate says otherwise they can interpret the constitution's text to mean whatever they want.

    the senate's point of view seems to be, we're all going to vote no anyway so why bother going through the kabuki theater of confirmation hearings. my opinion is that having the hearings is part of the constitutional mandate, regardless of their length or outcome.

    but my opinion and yours don't matter. the only opinions that matter are the senate rules committee, the president and the supreme court. since the president seems content to make political hay rather than force the issue, the current eight supreme court members will probably not get the chance to weigh in.

    JL

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    Agreed.. :D

    Michale

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