All of this writing and data analysis is a lot of work! So after more than five years of posting, I've finally launched a Patreon to help pay the bills.

2/18/20

No, Warren's campaign is not being "erased"

Elizabeth Warren has dropped to fourth place nationally, now polling behind Michael Bloomberg, and her fifth-place challenger Pete Buttigieg is quickly closing in. She placed third in Iowa and dropped to fourth in New Hampshire, where she won no delegates. She also placed fourth behind Joe Biden in the latest quarterly fundraising totals. Moving forward, Warren is likely to struggle as the primaries leave her home turf of New England and her whiter base; Nevada, where some polls place her in second (while running nearly 20 points behind Bernie Sanders) may very well be her last significant showing in the primaries, at least until the voting returns to Massachusetts.

Warren, in other words, is in the mid-to-late stages of what would ordinarily be regarded as a dying campaign - and she is being covered in the press accordingly.

2/16/20

Not much evidence of an anti-capitalist GOP

YouGov has published some new polls on socialism, so once again I thought I'd walk through some of the key findings. First, on partisan views of socialism and capitalism:

2/14/20

The media's biased, error-ridden coverage of "Bernie Bros" has failed once again

Pundits and political opponents continue to circulate allegations that supporters of Bernie Sanders are uniquely malicious and aggressive - and these allegations continue to fall apart under scrutiny.

2/12/20

Bernie posters: don't back down

Bernie Sanders is winning, so right-wing Democrats have ramped up their attacks on him. And that means, of course, that every biased headline, every grotesque spin on a story, and every cynical smear leveled at Sanders is being met by waves of opposition. The right wants that to stop. They want to be able to poison the public against Sanders without any response. Don't let that happen.

2/12/20

The media is trying to stop Bernie's momentum. Don't let them

Bernie Sanders surged to a second decisive victory Tuesday night in New Hampshire, solidifying his status as the frontrunner in the Democratic primary. Less than a month ago state polls predicted a win for former Vice President Joe Biden, who had held a formidable lead in national polls since he launched his campaign in April. But Sanders, on a wave of grassroots support and record-breaking fundraising, surged nearly ten points since late January; now, he moves on to Nevada and South Carolina with clear momentum against a fractured opposition.
That's what the media would be saying right now about any other candidate.

2/7/20

Just attack all of Bernie's opponents

When your primary is just contest between two candidates, there isn't much room for strategic innovation: the correct approach is obviously to just run down your opponent's numbers while bringing up your own.

But since 2020's Democratic primaries have been hotly contested by three or four candidates, there have been lots of opportunities for people to come up with some pretty elaborate strategic takes.

2/6/20

A lot of black voters don't support Democrats

We're back at that stage in the discourse cycle where some leftists threaten to withhold their votes from Democrats - and Democratic loyalists, in turn, accuse them of white privilege. The argument here is that black voters overwhelmingly support Democrats, and that white people only have the luxury to withhold their vote because they have less at stake.

There are a lot of problems with this argument, but here I just want to concisely take on the very first premise: that black voters overwhelmingly support Democrats.

2/5/20

Electoral hostage-taking is fine when centrists do it

Dylan Matthews thinks that Pete Buttigieg is more electable than Bernie Sanders - or at least, that's what his latest post in Vox argues. Why? In part, we learn, because "moderate nominees have a distinct advantage over ones perceived as more extreme". To support this, Matthews points us to a post written by Matt Yglesias  - who, in turn, points us to a paper by Andrew Hall and Daniel Thompson. Here's what they argue:
we find that extremist nominees...suffer electorally, largely because they decrease their party's share of turnout in the general election, skewing the electorate towards their opponent's party.
To simplify: Dylan Matthews is telling us that if we don't vote for Buttigieg, many Democrats will stay at home.

2/2/20

Biden's polling advantage against Trump has collapsed

Joe Biden's advantage over Bernie Sanders in head-to-head polling against Trump has collapsed.

Biden's margin of victory against Trump has plummeted from a rolling average of 10 in mid-October to 4 at the end of January. That's the same margin that Bernie Sanders wins against Trump, based on polling aggregated by Real Clear Politics. The two perform so similarly against Trump that Sanders has actually outperformed Biden in recent head-to-heads.