ChrisWeigant.com

Democrats Flip Another Statehouse Seat

[ Posted Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 – 18:50 PST ]

Last night, Democrats successfully flipped another state legislature seat, this time in Wisconsin. This was a pretty stunning upset, and one that bodes well for Democratic chances this November in the congressional midterm elections. Their continuing string of victories in special elections just adds fuel to the speculation that this year will see a rather large Democratic "wave election" cycle. There are, of course, no guarantees, but so far things continue to look very good for Democratic candidates.

In Wisconsin, chief medical examiner for St. Croix County Patty Schachtner easily beat state representative Adam Jarchow by 11 points in the preliminary results, winning by a margin of 55 to 44 percent of the special election vote to fill a state senate seat in a rural district of the state.

As in other special elections across the country over the past year, the Democrat outperformed historical voting trends in the district to an astonishing degree. In 2016, the Republican candidate won with 63 percent of the vote. Donald Trump did almost as well, garnering 59 percent of the vote to win by 17 points. Mitt Romney won the district in 2012, and John McCain came close to winning it in 2008 even while the rest of the state went for Barack Obama.

Comparing Tuesday's special election result with Trump's victory shows a whopping 28-point swing in party preference. Of course, to more accurately understand this number requires halving it, since margins of victories really count the same voters twice. If a district votes 52-48 for a Republican in one election (a 4-point margin) and then 44-56 for the Democrat in the next (a 12-point margin in the other direction), it is more accurate to say "8 percent of voters changed from voting Republican to voting for the Democrat" rather than to say "it was a 16-point swing." But even after splitting this particular hair, Democrats outperformed their previous showing in Wisconsin by flipping 14 percent of the vote. That is incredibly impressive, especially given the rural nature of the district.

This is entirely in sync with national generic polling, where the question is asked: "If the midterm elections were held tomorrow, would you vote for a Democrat or a Republican?" Democrats have been holding on to a double-digit lead in such polling for months now. What this means is that Republicans (especially in the House) who won their district by fewer than 10 points should be very worried about their chances in November. And there are a lot of these districts -- enough to hand control of the House back to the Democrats.

Even with such a rosy outlook, the Democratic Party still has a long way to go in the statehouses across the country. During Barack Obama's time in office, Democrats lost (depending on which stats you credit) anywhere from 900 to 1,000 such statehouse seats to Republicans. So far, with all the elections held over the past year, Democrats have picked up an impressive 34 seats. However, this means they still have either 866 or 966 such victories to go to return to where they were in 2008. So there's a lot of work still to be done, obviously, when you put things in perspective.

State legislative races seldom get much attention, of course. Even special elections held when nothing much else is going on don't get much media coverage outside of the affected district or state. But this year, pundits are looking to read whatever tea leaves are available in order to prognosticate what could happen in the midterms.

The next such election that will command a lot of media attention will be a special election in Pennsylvania's 18th House district. The district in question, in the southwestern part of the state, is pretty solid Trump country. But then so was the district in Wisconsin. Trump won PA-18 by 19 points in 2016. That's comparable to his 17 point margin in Wisconsin. Normally, a president wouldn't care much about one House special election, especially in a district with such a heavy lean towards his own party. But Trump is planning another full-court press for the campaign (the election will be held in mid-March). No word yet on whether Trump will personally campaign in the district, but the White House is already planning for Mike Pence to visit twice, as well as "half a dozen cabinet secretaries." So they're obviously invested in the outcome.

To be scrupulously fair, so far the Trump team has eked out victories in many of these House special elections, denying Democrats the opportunity to flip House districts after the president appoints whoever represents them to an executive position. But this is a feature of the presidential appointment process, as the relative safety of the district is a key factor when making decisions about who to appoint. In several House special elections, Democrats have come very close to flipping Republican seats -- outperforming their previous history in the district by wide margins. But they've mostly fallen short in the end. The White House is obviously hoping this will also be the case in Pennsylvania.

But even if Republicans do prevail in the special election, smart observers will be watching the margins very closely. Because if a Republican only manages to win the district by a few points after Trump won it by 19, it could also be an indicator of which House Republicans could be in serious jeopardy in November. If Democrats can outperform their previous totals by double digits even in extremely red districts then all those districts with much closer GOP margins of victory have to be seen as up for grabs.

Again, there are no guarantees. There aren't really even enough data points to draw firm statistical conclusions. But even with those caveats, all the signs so far are pointing to a big blue wave coming in November. One year from now, the Democratic resistance to Trump could move forward under the leadership of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to put this another way. And hopefully Democrats will also be racking up a whole lot of state legislative districts, reversing their downward trend in the Obama era. Republicans are getting more worried about the prospects of a wave election drowning their chances, and they have every right to be. After all, if a Democrat can win by 11 points in a rural district that Trump carried by 17, then it's pretty easy to see which way the wind is blowing.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

81 Comments on “Democrats Flip Another Statehouse Seat”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Scott Walker is worried!

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    "Benghazi!!! 2 - The Repeated Persecution of Comrade Trump" coming to a theater near you, January 2019?

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    Reviews coming in for: "Benghazi!!! 2"

    "Makes Gitmo look like a Girl scout picnic" - NY Times

    "Picture the worst scenes from Apocalypse Now and add in "Freddy the Slasher", and then amp it up from there! I'm not sleeping for a week after seeing this!" - Hollywood Reporter

    "What they did with that gavel should be against the law!" - National Inquirer

  4. [4] 
    Paula wrote:

    [3]neilm: LOL.

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    No word yet on whether Trump will personally campaign in the district, but the White House is already planning for Mike Pence to visit twice, as well as "half a dozen cabinet secretaries."

    What? I heard The Cult of Personality a.k.a. Hair Furor was travelling to Pennsylvania tomorrow. I sure hope he is; I'll even pack his little gloves and pay his way out there. :)

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "So there's a lot of work still to be done, obviously, when you put things in perspective."

    That would be a pleasant change. Putting things in proper perspective would mean an end to these articles cheerleading the possibilities of the Big Money Democrats winning elections in 2018. That's what needs working on.

    Forget about which way the wind is blowing. The important thing that is blowing is you blowing smoke up people's asses with this constant crap about how wonderful it will be when the Big Money Democrats are back on top again. That's just more of the same nonsense that gave us Trump in the first place.

    Of course, you did not point out as Paula did in yesterday's comments how Patty Schatchner spent less money than her opponent. If she could win in a red district spending less than her opponent then Democrats should easily be able to win in blue districts running small contribution campaigns. It may even help them win in some more red districts in 2018.

    And then electing Democrats in 2018 might just be something to celebrate instead of another step farther into oblivion.

    Now is the time Democrats need us so let's make them EARN it instead of giving it to them by default because of TRUMP!

    Grow a pair.

  7. [7] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    When you said a 59% vote for Trump was a 17-point victory, I tried to work it out and realized there was a game being played: 17 sounds better than 9, for purposes of getting people riled up.

    I was pleasantly surprised when you addressed that exact problem in a following paragraph: "margins of victories really count the same voters twice." A 52-48 win is two percentage points away from a tie, but analysts like to call it a 4-point victory because big numbers and most people don't understand numbers, so let's play them like marks, or something.

    I was less impressed when, later in the essay, you returned to the "17 point margin" and "Trump won it by 19" stuff. Take the high road, please.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    1

    Scott Walker is worried!

    Poor Scottie... his twitter feed betrays his consternation. He'll probably have a really bad dream tonight... you know... like he loses the 2018 Wisconsin gubernatorial race to Honey Badger. While somewhere in Pennsylvania his distant cousin Phil is worried about whether or not there will be 6 more weeks of winter, Honey Badger rests comfortably in the knowledge that there will absolutely be 51 more weeks of not giving a shit because Honey Badger don't care. :)

  9. [9] 
    neilm wrote:

    If we go from:

    2016: R=60%, D=40%
    2018: R=44% D=56%

    We can safely say:

    1. The margin of victory in 2016 was 20% for Republicans
    2. The margin of victory in 2018 was 12% for Democrats

    We can say almost nothing else.

    The Republican voters could all have turned out in 2018, but a lot of non-voters in 2016 could have decided to vote in 2018 and all voted Democratic.

    Alternatively the Democratic vote total could have remained unchanged, but a lot of Republican voters stayed at home.

    Some Republicans could have stayed at home, some could have switch to Democrats and more Democratic voters could have come out.

    It is even possible that the total number of voters remained exactly the same, with the same people voting, but all the Democrats switched to Republican and all but 4% of the Republicans could have decided to vote Democrat.

    Sorry to be so pedantic.

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    6

    That would be a pleasant change. Putting things in proper perspective would mean an end to these articles cheerleading the possibilities of the Big Money Democrats winning elections in 2018. That's what needs working on.

    That's funny. I read the same article and didn't see any of that; perhaps you are simply reading your own bullshit into it and need to work on THAT.

    I can tell you for a FACT that Patty Schachtner wasn't a "Small Money Candidate" because I sent her a campaign donation that was far in excess of your "One Demand," and no one returned it.

    Have to go now. They are having a special election in Pennsylvania to fill the seat of Tim Murphy-R who resigned because he asked a woman with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion, and I have a donation to send to a 33-year-old former federal prosecutor and Marine Corp veteran by the name of Conor Lamb. I am on a "One Man" crusade across America to corrupt them all. :)

  11. [11] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    3

    *LOL* Neil, you are making me laugh my ass off and having a bad influence on my posts. ;)

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Paula [1] -

    I should have included mention of Scott Walker's tweets. He called it a "wake-up call" for the GOP, and you're right -- the sheer volume of his tweets shows how worried he is...

    Kick [5] -

    That wasn't in the articles I read. Post a link, if you've got one. You sure he's going to this district in PA?

    Don Harris [6] -

    "When all you have is a hammer, pretty soon every problem looks like a nail."

    Or maybe: rinse and repeat.

    Sigh...

    John M from Ct. [7] -

    I hear you, but I have to interface with how the rest of the pollsters talk in some fashion. I've always tried to point out the margin of victory double-counting, at least in every article where it plays an important role.

    For me, the big taboo is in comparing two different (discrete) margins. "A 17-point victory margin" is correct as far as it goes, but when you compare two elections and then come up with "a change of 28 points," that's where I have to draw the line. Because the delta (the change) really has to be halved to understand the true shift in votes.

    But just talking about a single election, the margin of victory (without movement, in other words) is still correct, if slightly misleading.

    Maybe I'm splitting the hairs even further, but that's how I feel. But I'm glad you liked that one paragraph! I considered cutting it, thinking "will anyone even care?" so you have reinforced my commitment to point this doubling of the differences out in future articles.

    :-)

    Kick [8] -

    I've seen videos of honey badgers. They seem highly intelligent (one was just on the difficulty in keeping a HB in any sort of cage without it figuring out a way to escape each and every night).

    Scottie v. honey badger... I'd pay money to watch that cage match!

    Heh.

    neilm [9] -

    Hey, if you can't be pedantic here, where can you?

    :-)

    All you say is true, but again, I have to interface with the world of data somehow. In your example, I would (carefully) say: "the electorate has shifted 16 points Democratic, which resulted in a change of 32 points in the relative margin of victory." But you're right, analyzing why it shifted is a LOT more complicated!

    It may have even been due to the weather. In some states and districts, bad weather is good for the GOP, in others it's good for the Dem.

    But then you venture into the realm of chaos theory, when you introduce such a wild variable as the weather. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Australia, will the Democrat win? Stay tuned!

    :-)

    Kick [10] -

    I can tell you for a FACT that Patty Schachtner wasn't a "Small Money Candidate" because I sent her a campaign donation that was far in excess of your "One Demand," and no one returned it.

    I salute you, for funding worthy candidates wherever you find them! The monetary amounts spent in this race were downright tiny, since it was (after all) just a state senate race. And though the Dem was outspent, she still won. Sheer amounts of money don't always dictate outcomes, in other words.

    But I do still salute you for putting your own money where your convictions lie.

    :-)

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    12

    That wasn't in the articles I read. Post a link, if you've got one. You sure he's going to this district in PA?

    Ahem. You do realize you are perilously close to sounding like Michale, right? ;) Heh.

    So okay, I have sources that aren't links and therefore cannot be posted... BUT, since you asked nicely and I like you a lot, I will endeavor to find you a link, and that is not something I would do for lesser mortals. Be right back.
    _______________

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/11/trump-special-election-pennsylvania-pittsburgh-336502

    After a humiliating loss in the Alabama Senate race last month, the administration is drawing up ambitious plans that will kick off next Thursday when Trump travels to the conservative district to appear with Republican candidate Rick Saccone.
    _______________

    This Rick Saccone dude actually refers to himself thusly: “I was Trump before Trump was Trump.”

    I would, in fact, not advise this type campaign rhetoric in a district where Democrats still outnumber Republicans by about 70,000 in voter registration and obviously since it's like saying: “I was Benedict Donald before Hair Furor was Putin's Puppet," but alas... common sense is not so common. :)

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny...

    Ya'all lost HUNDREDS of State seats while Odumbo was POTUS and ya'all claimed it wasn't any big deal..

    NOW ya'all win ONE state seat and, all of the sudden, it's the Second Coming of the Democrat Party.... :D

    And ya'all claim that there is no hypocrisy.. :D

    I think that's so cute... :D

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    So when the president’s physician, Ronny Jackson — a man who has been the White House doctor for six years — explained yesterday that Trump was, in fact, “very healthy” and has “incredibly good genes” and excellent cognitive health, the White House press corps was in disbelief. I mean, Michael Wolff had told us the opposite was true. One reporter asked why Trump “appeared to slur his words” at a recent press conference. Another reporter asked why Trump had the “sniffles.” Everyone was worried about his insalubrious meal plans. “Is he limited to one scoop of ice cream now?” a real reporter asked the presidential doctor.

    Jonathan Karl of ABC asked, and I kid you not, “Can you explain to me how a guy that eats McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and all those Diet Cokes, and who never exercises, is in as good of shape as you say he’s in?” Jackson, confirming what everyone in the world who eats right and exercises daily and still struggles to keep his weight down already knows, answered: “It’s called genetics.”
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/17/donald-trumps-greatest-gift-enemies/

    Someone needs to stab Dr Ronny with silver to make sure he's not a shapeshifter!!! :D

    Where's Sam & Dean when ya need 'em!!??

    hehehehehehehehehehehe

    You guys are sooooooo funny... :D

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:
  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Of course you didn't see CW cheerleading the big Money Democrats. But apparently you did see me claim that Patty Schachtner was a small contribution candidate.

    A severe comprehension problem or you only see what you want to see.

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Really? The hammer-nail dodge?

    If you had actually addressed the issues I raised, such as answering these questions that I have asked many times then maybe that would not be a dodge. But all you ever do is ignore my comments or dismiss them with a non answer as you have done again here. Rinse and repeat? (by the way it's lather, rinse and repeat)

    If 15-20% of citizens participated in One Demand in 2018 could it result in 10-50 small contribution candidates elected to Congress (includes the Senate) in 2018? if not, why not?
    This is if they DID participate and COULD it work, not if people WILL participate and WILL it work. Those are separate questions which you are free to ALSO answer.

    And if it did work, wouldn't that be a good thing?

    As for everything looking like a nail, a nail by any other name would still be a nail. Big Money has an effect on EVERY OTHER ISSUE.

    Can you name an issue NOT influenced by Big Money?

    And as for lather, rinse, repeat- that would be replacing Big Money Republicans with Big Money Democrats and these articles cheerleading the Big Money Democrats.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    But all you ever do is ignore my comments or dismiss them with a non answer as you have done again here.

    You might ask yourself why that is, Don.

    I suspect that a more respectful tone and language would go a long way towards igniting an enlightening dialogue on the issues of concern to you.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news, Patriot's QB Tom Brady is on the injured list after a throwing hand injury...

    Good news for the Jaguars!!!! :D

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    A severe comprehension problem or you only see what you want to see.

    Yes....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    You might ask yourself why that is, Don.

    We already know why that is..

    Ya'all can't handle facts that upset the ideological slavery.... :D

    I suspect that a more respectful tone and language would go a long way towards igniting an enlightening dialogue on the issues of concern to you.

    The problem here is that, for ya'all, "respectful tone and language" = "toe our line or shut the frak up"

    Ya'all's interactions with myself, DH and CRS prove this to be factual beyond all doubt...

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    I just read the first part of your comment [6] ...

    Disgraceful. And, it got the reply it deserved.

    I wish you would change your tactics as you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Good news for the Jaguars!!!! :D

    But, wouldn't you want them to go up against the best? :)

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Been there. Done that. Got the same result I'm getting now. And after a while being respectful when you are not in turn respected gets a bit old.

    Asking myself why CW (and others) will not address One Demand is not the way find out the answer to the question at hand. That is why I keep asking CW, as Ralph Nader advised in an article to keep asking until you get an answer.

    And trust me, I could be a LOT more disrespectful.

    A perfect example would be the statement that I DIDN'T post here. :D

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, wouldn't you want them to go up against the best? :)

    Touche'

    But, given a choice to lose against the best or win against the not-so-best and go to the Super Bowl??

    I'll take the later every day and twice on Sunday...

    The Jags are only one of 4 NFL teams NEVER to make it to the Super Bowl...

    It's our turn!! :D

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And trust me, I could be a LOT more disrespectful.

    Please don't!

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Michale, I guess I'll be cheering for the Jags, then ...

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Yes, it is disgraceful to keep cheering on the Big Money Democrats. That why I pointed it out to CW.

    The truth hurts.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Been there. Done that. Got the same result I'm getting now. And after a while being respectful when you are not in turn respected gets a bit old.

    A-frakin'-men to THAT!!!

    People here need to learn if they want respect, then they must be respectful...

    If they want tolerance, then they must be tolerant...

    But they don't want respect OR tolerance.. They want submission and obedience....

    While I won't speak for you, I can promise they will NEVER get that from me.. :D

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, Michale, I guess I'll be cheering for the Jags, then ...

    It's not just a play-off game.. It's a match between good and evil..

    http://www.weei.com/media/audio-channel/omf-evil-patriots-vs-jacksonville-jaguarsamericas-team-1-15-18

    :D

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    It's not a great strategy to be always reaching for the lowest bar.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Jaguars are fun. Not, like, obvious fun. They run the ball a ton, rely on defense, and Bortles will make you think you could have been an NFL quarterback if your parents had bought you a football instead of a flute when you were seven. The Jaguars are a likable version of Rudy; the Patriots are Hannibal Lecter with fewer redeeming qualities.
    https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/bjy3vz/we-should-all-be-rooting-for-americas-team-the-jacksonville-jaguars

    This is a better link then the afore one...

  34. [34] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale (20)-
    While it's not set in stone yet, imagine how much a bet at the beginning of the season would pay if the bet was on Bortles and Keenum being the starting quarterbacks in the Superbowl.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's not a great strategy to be always reaching for the lowest bar.

    Unfortunately, the low bars are all that are here..

    And who is to blame for that??

    Name me ONE person who is still around regularly that doesn't talk shit and insult people and attack people...

    You CAN'T because there is no one like that here anymore...

    David is gone, Joshua is all but gone.... You and I are the only one's left of the old honorable guard who actually REMEMBERS the time where we could fight like siblings but still remember we're family...

    Those days are gone and it's because of people like Paula and Victoria et al that they are...

    tis sad, tis true.. tis true, tis sad...

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale[33],

    That seals it! I'm all in!

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, we have the power to change the atmosphere here. We can choose not to be part of the low-bar nature of many of the comments here. We don't have to wait for other to lead the way.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, we have the power to change the atmosphere here. We can choose not to be part of the low-bar nature of many of the comments here. We don't have to wait for other to lead the way.

    Neither of us have that power any longer... We're too outnumbered by the haters...

    The ONLY thing we can do is just no contribute.. But that simply means the hate and intolerance will simply go on unchecked and grow..

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    That seals it! I'm all in!

    Woot!!! Do you have a way to watch the game?? We could live blog it together.. :D

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    While it's not set in stone yet, imagine how much a bet at the beginning of the season would pay if the bet was on Bortles and Keenum being the starting quarterbacks in the Superbowl.

    We were on our annual family cruise last year.. Attended a stand up comic show where the comic was ruminating about the upcoming superbowl.. He solicited favorite teams from the audience and I quipped up THE JAGUARS!!! Brought the house down!! :D

    We're 9 days away from this years cruise. The HARMONY OF THE SEAS, the largest cruise ship in the world...

    To say I am excited is a major understatement.. :D

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    We're 9 days away from this years cruise. The HARMONY OF THE SEAS, the largest cruise ship in the world...

    To say I am excited is a major understatement.. :D

    HARMONY OF THE SEAS Largest Cruise Ship In The World
    https://youtu.be/Z4LITCbiKLU

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do you have a way to watch the game??

    Will a moderately big TV screen with all of the appropriate refreshments do?

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Where would we live blog it and can anyone join in?:)

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Will a moderately big TV screen with all of the appropriate refreshments do?

    I was thinking more along the lines of being able to receive the signal..

    Have Canadians invented Cable TV yet?? :D hehehehe J/K

    Where would we live blog it

    If the Grand Poobah doesn't object, why not right here???

    and can anyone join in?:)

    My motto has always been, "THE MORE THE MERRIER" :D

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    U.S. Jobless Claims Plunge to Lowest Weekly Tally Since 1973
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-18/jobless-claims-in-u-s-plunge-to-lowest-weekly-tally-since-1973

    Every day, day in and day out, it's the same old thing.. Great ECONOMIC news!!!

    I have to admit, I am close to getting tired of winning....

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have to admit, I am close to getting tired of winning....

    Thank the Gods.

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I forgot ... I have to work on Sunday. :(

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Game starts at 1500hrs EST... Get off early???

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have to close. :(

    I know! Let's make a date for the superbowl with the Jags ... what is the date for that,btw?

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know! Let's make a date for the superbowl with the Jags ... what is the date for that,btw?

    Deal! 4 Feb 1830 hrs...

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll be there! Or, here, I mean ... :)

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS: Fun with CDSs

    If you don't already follow Levine I suggest you check him out - I get his blog as an email every morning - good stuff.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-18/not-everyone-appreciates-cds-creativity

  53. [53] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Y'know, as far as I know, Wisconsin never made any of their voting machines available for inspection after the 2016 election, or only inspected a few 'representative' machines. Priebus' panic might be in part be inspired by the possibility that the lopsided shift in voter allegiance in this election could lead others to take a close look into whether votes were correctly tallied in that district in 2016.

    Michale will call this sheer speculation, and it is. But I've always suspected that the vote was goosed in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan (and maybe Florida, too) in 2016 by the Republican governors of those states, using a template that Priebus developed in Wisconsin while head of the GOP there.

    If that suspicion is never borne out, fine. But no one has ever really looked (or been allowed to really look) at the books and ballots in any of those states.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I've always suspected that the vote was goosed in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan (and maybe Florida, too) in 2016 by the Republican governors of those states, using a template that Priebus developed in Wisconsin while head of the GOP there.

    Of course you have..

    And I have always suspected that Odumbo was a muslim Manchurian Candidate who was born in Kenya...

    Of course, like you, I have absolutely NO FACTS that even SUPPORT should a ludicrous, outlandish and bullshit claim..

    EXACTLY like your claim...

    If that suspicion is never borne out, fine. But no one has ever really looked (or been allowed to really look) at the books and ballots in any of those states.

    In other words, you're just asking questions, right??

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Crap...

    But I've always suspected that the vote was goosed in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan (and maybe Florida, too) in 2016

    Of course you have..

    And I have always suspected that Odumbo was a muslim Manchurian Candidate who was born in Kenya...

    Of course, like you, I have absolutely NO FACTS that even SUPPORT should a ludicrous, outlandish and bullshit claim..

    EXACTLY like your claim...

    If that suspicion is never borne out, fine. But no one has ever really looked (or been allowed to really look) at the books and ballots in any of those states.

    In other words, you're just asking questions, right??

  56. [56] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    That's a pretty weird story, doesn't really sound kosher, and it brings to my mind a question I never got resolved from Dr. Burry's problems in trying to cash in on his winning bets of buying CDS 'protection' (actually that's misleading term, because Burry didn't even OWN any mortgage bonds) against the mortgage bonds - Who gets to make the decision of declaring if and when a given bond IS in default?

    Same story on the investors who were forced to take a 'haircut' on all the Greek gov't bonds few years back - when is a default not a default, and who gets to make that decision?

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    17

    Of course you didn't see CW cheerleading the big Money Democrats. But apparently you did see me claim that Patty Schachtner was a small contribution candidate.

    Wrong, Don. You didn't claim that Patty Schachtner was a "small contribution candidate;" you excoriated the author for NOT pointing out that she spent less than her opponent and for how the author should have therefore deduced and expounded in writing how this naturally [somehow] proved Don Harris's [fantasy] theory of campaign finance reform. Had you actually claimed that Patty Schachtner was a "small contribution candidate;" I would have reminded you for the approximately 100th time that there is no such thing as a "Small Money" politician as that term is defined by you, regardless of party affiliation, and that your rhetoric versus reality are two wholly and entirely different things.

    I did, however, point out that I knew for a fact that Patty Schachtner wasn't a "small contribution candidate" just in case anyone was entertaining the ridiculous idea that spending less than your opponent could [somehow] be twisted into the utterly nonsensical notion that this equaled or in any way could be construed as being a "Small Money" politician (your definition)... since there is obviously no such thing in America.

    A severe comprehension problem or you only see what you want to see.

    Said the guy who keeps applying his rhetoric to the author's reality and then insisting the author is/should be writing about something else that meets Don Harris's approval. CW wasn't writing about money... either "Big Money" or "Small Money"... in any way, shape, or fashion; he was writing about voting trends and margins of victory.

    TRANSLATION: Everything is NOT about you, Don, or your ideas. Perhaps you'd realize that fact if you had two brain cells to rub together: "Grow a pair." :)

  58. [58] 
    dsws wrote:

    Of course, to more accurately understand this number requires halving it, since margins of victories really count the same voters twice.

    Not exactly. If a district votes 52-48 for a Republican in one election (a 4-point margin) and then 44-56 for the Democrat in the next (a 12-point margin in the other direction), it is probably closer to accurate to say "of the roughly 50% of eligible voters who usually don't bother to turn out, about 4% of the would-be-Republican non-voters turned into voters last time, whereas about 12% of the would-be-Democratic non-voters became voters this time" than to say "8 percent of voters changed from voting Republican to voting for the Democrat".

  59. [59] 
    neilm wrote:

    Who gets to make the decision of declaring if and when a given bond IS in default?

    That is a very good question. A failure to make a payment puts a bond in default, but with Mortgage Backed Securities (MBSs) it isn't a bond that the CDS is based on but a pool of mortgages. For an individual mortgage to go into default it may take several missed payments, and in some cases the fine print in the mortgage simply rolls the missed payment plus a penalty onto the total principal. If you have a MBS that has bundles of mortgages, many with different rules, then Mark to Market (MtM) is, I understand, a good practice. However MtM requires a market, and if there is no market to mark to, then the holder of the instrument can insist that the last recorded transaction reflects the current value (i.e. why Goldman only wanted to talk to Burry after they had unloaded their positions onto unsuspecting third parties).

    Somebody should have gone to jail. This goes down as one of the biggest failures of the Obama administration, in my opinion.

    You might like Barry Ritholtz's "Bailout Nation" which, if my memory serves me, covers these issues.

    Barry is a very interesting guy - I also recommend his blog: http://ritholtz.com/

  60. [60] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick [13] -

    Thanks! And when I ask for a link, I'm not expressing doubt as to your facts, I'm just being lazy in not looking up a story myself. It's more like "got a link handy to save me some time?" Just to be clear! And it's always acceptable to answer me back: "Look it up yourself -- it's all over the news!" because, as I said, when I ask for a link I'm really just being lazy...

    :-)

    Michale [20] -

    On this, sadly, I have to agree with you. Heh.

    I was also glad to see the Steelers lose...

    :-)

    -CW

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Our big media has been writing perpetual hit-pieces on our government, our leaders, our congress, and our population for years. Trump may not be a leader that will garner esteem for America during this presidency, but if anybody genuinely gave a crap about the reputation of our country, they should rethink their admiration for our so-called free press.

    News organizations have gone all-in on sensationalist stories that present a distorted America that's blood-soaked in mindless violence, starving, and on the brink of a race war. Our children can't read, there is no health care, and there are clan rallies on the street.

    Our president didn't make a public statement about shithole countries. Our liberal press is citing "unnamed sources" making unverified claims about a closed-door conversation. Who, exactly, is damaging the reputation of our country, here?
    -Drowbert101

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    On this, sadly, I have to agree with you. Heh.

    I was also glad to see the Steelers lose...

    :-)

    Can I assume you would be OK with me live blogging the Pats/Jags game on Sunday?? :D

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was also glad to see the Steelers lose...

    That was a helluva game... If the Jags can play that caliber of play and catch a few good breaks, they are on their way to the SuperBowl!!! :D

    Jaguars built in way that could expose Patriots' vulnerabilities
    http://www.espn.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4810539/jaguars-built-in-a-way-that-could-hit-at-patriots-vulnerabilities

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    I predict that the Jags will win by 7....

  65. [65] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    60

    Thanks!

    You're welcome... always. :)

    And when I ask for a link, I'm not expressing doubt as to your facts, I'm just being lazy in not looking up a story myself.

    Of course! :) I was simply making the point to others through my answer to you that just because someone cannot post a link to their sources of facts does not necessarily detract from the fact that they're accurate. It was a textbook example of "see what I did there?".

    I am like Honey Badger in that I will always find a way to break out of the cage in which I am placed. :)

  66. [66] 
    neilm wrote:

    Good luck to the Jags - I'll be hiking Twin Peaks in SF, but we'll end up in a bar before the game is over so I hope to see the fourth quarter at least.

  67. [67] 
    Kick wrote:

    So I guess I am the only Patriot here?

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, a hyper-sensitive one at that. Heh.

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good luck to the Jags -

    See!!?? There IS common ground!!! :D

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    68

    And, a hyper-sensitive one at that. Heh.

    Please continue your pattern of NOT practicing that which you preach to others on a regular basis.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/01/17/democrats-flip-another-statehouse-seat/#comment-114338

    Otherwise, people might think you're sincere. :)

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Surely, I don't have to define low-bar comments.

  73. [73] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [5]

    I've forgotten who it was that sold Burry his CDS's, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't G-S, so I don't see any reason for the two them to be having any conversation in that regard.

    G-S had BOUGHT CDS's (from AIG) for the same reason Burry bought his from whomever - they saw the coming collapse of the CDO's (MBS bonds) whenever the housing bubble inevitably burst, which is what put AIG in need a a taxpayer bailout to keep them from going under. They owed billions to G-S, and didn't have the ability to make good on their losing bet.

    Then Hank Paulson gave AIG taxpayer cash to make good on their bad gambles and G-S promptly paid huge bonuses to all their people, which raised a huge stink, as well it should have.

    Although not illegal, that's the 'crime' for which people should have gone to jail!

  74. [74] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Re [61]:

    Our big media has been writing perpetual hit-pieces on our government, our leaders, our congress, and our population for years.

    Yes, it has, since before the country was even founded, in fact. But although they themselves were not always fond of the way the press treated them, the founders thought that the pressure that this put on the government was valuable enough to their scheme of liberty that they enshrined protections to the press in the first amendment to the Constitution.

    News organizations have gone all-in on sensationalist stories that present a distorted America that's blood-soaked in mindless violence, starving, and on the brink of a race war. Our children can't read, there is no health care, and there are clan rallies on the street.

    And just tonight Trump gave another of his "American Carnage" speeches that depicts America awash in crime and overrun by immigrants, reminiscent of the rosy picture he painted in his inaugural speech. I'm not sure if he mentioned a race war, but I'm sure the crowd would have approved. It was a 'red meat' speech, for sure.

    Our president didn't make a public statement about shithole countries. Our liberal press is citing "unnamed sources" making unverified claims about a closed-door conversation.

    Unverified? Both Durbin and Graham said on the record that they watched and heard the President say it, and they're not unnamed sources. As for it not being a public statement, we're talking about an official meeting that included Senators and staffers from the other party about a bi-partisan deal that would affect the negotiating positions of both parties. By definition, the statements made in that room were supposed to be repeated.

    Who, exactly, is damaging the reputation of our country, here?

    Why don't we ask the good citizens of the world what they think? Oh look, just today a poll came out showing approval of U.S. leadership has taken a dive worldwide since the election of Trump. This is one area where Trump deserves all the credit he gets, and gets all the credit that he deserves.

  75. [75] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    72

    Surely, I don't have to define low-bar comments.

    If you are "policing" comments, then you are absolutely defining them... BUT... we agree that you don't have to. :)

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Did you see Senator Flake's floor speech the other day Re. Trumps assault on the media and the importance of a free press as the guardian of democracy?

    I thought it hit most of the right notes but, it was missing a very important element in all of this.

    Which is the fact that the dysfunctional media culture - a problem, to one degree or another, dating back to the beginning of the Republic - is getting worse not better. And, it desperately needs to get better because the survival of the Republic depends on it.

    How does a dysfunctional media culture get fixed?

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is there anybody out there!?

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Surely, I don't have to define low-bar comments.

    Nope, you don't...

    TRANSLATION: Everything is NOT about you, Don, or your ideas. Perhaps you'd realize that fact if you had two brain cells to rub together: "Grow a pair." :)

    It's well defined..

    Is there anybody out there!?

    Yea, we lost 'Net at our house.. Our area doesn't like 17 degree weather.. :D

  79. [79] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Sorry Liz, it was late for me. I conked out right after writing that.

    How does a dysfunctional media culture get fixed?

    It really depends on how you define dysfunctional media culture.

    Do you mean that they're too insular in their partisanship? Well, despite liberal readership and viewership being significantly enhanced by Trump's election, the NYT, WaPo and MSNBC have actually added a lot of conservatives to their rosters in the last year. Granted, some of them haven't fared so well - Greta couldn't get an audience to watch her on MSNBC - Nicolle Wallace has managed to do well, and like Joe Scarborough, seems to thrive among the liberals while keeping a conservative perspective.

    If however, by 'dysfunctional' you mean "suckers for Trump", you have my complete agreement, based on their behavior in the last two years. The trouble, as I understand it, is that viewership goes up when he's on camera, even among liberals, who apparently enjoy hissing and booing him every bit as much as his supporters enjoy cheering his every bloviation. So it's a money thing.

    Still, they lost all their dignity during the last election, providing absurd split screens between Hillary and an empty podium (where Trump would soon appear), for instance.

    As for Fox - Rupert Murdoch, an Australian, is in the unique position of being able to influence US policy just because the President watches and believes everything that channel chooses to put on the air, particularly if it appears on Fox and Friends or Hannity. If the British are worried about Murdoch's influence, why aren't we?

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, it has, since before the country was even founded, in fact.

    Really??

    So, media wrote hit pieces on government and citizens even BEFORE there was a government and citizens??

    How does THAT work, exactly???

    And just tonight Trump gave another of his "American Carnage" speeches that depicts America awash in crime and overrun by immigrants, reminiscent of the rosy picture he painted in his inaugural speech. I'm not sure if he mentioned a race war, but I'm sure the crowd would have approved. It was a 'red meat' speech, for sure.

    PRESIDENT Trump does it once in a while to prove a point.. The Leftist MSM does it every day of the week..

    You are comparing apples and eskimos...

    Unverified? Both Durbin and Graham said on the record that they watched and heard the President say it, and they're not unnamed sources.

    Bullshit. Graham said no such thing. And Durbin has a history of lying about private meetings..

    Regardless of these FACTS, the simply FACT is there is absolutely NO FACTS that prove that President Trump said it..

    You only believe it because you WANT to believe it..

    Because you are a slave to your Party ideology...

  81. [81] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    78

    It's well defined..

    Oh, this is rich. When Don uses words to troll and criticize CW, Elizabeth scolds Don and Michale defends him and whines for the "millionth" time about "party ideology." Then when I quote Don's words right back at him, Michale takes issue with them and becomes his own definition of a "hypocrite" and "party slave."

    Troll harder. *ROTFLMAO* :)

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