Trump 2014: Hillary ‘very smart’ and he would ‘absolutely’ release taxes

Considering Trump’s inability to get through a sentence without altering a position, it shouldn’t be surprising that if you set your way back machine two whole years in the past, you get some surprising combinations from the Trump phrase generator.

Donald Trump, who has repeatedly praised Hillary Clinton going back to when she was First Lady, described Clinton as recently as 2014 as “very smart” and “tough to beat.”

Not a single “corrupt” or “crooked” in the mix. Trump also had something to say about his taxes.

In the same interview, Trump said he’d released his tax returns if he ran for president. “If I decide to run for office I’ll produce my tax returns. Absolutely. I would love to do that,” he said.

Of course, there are core Trump values that never change: an inflated view of his own importance, a ready lie, and racism. Asked why he

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Donald Trump is beating the Republican elite at its own game

The Republican Party has long won elections by appealing to the fears of non-rich white voters while letting rich white voters know that they will be the top priority when it comes to governing. But there were signs that that high-wire act was breaking down even before Donald Trump came on the scene:

In early 2014, a group of neighbors from a Florida mobile home community called Carriage Cove, near Daytona, took seats in a town-hall-style meeting with Representative Ron DeSantis, a Republican. It was a mix of Republicans and Democrats, almost all of them seniors living on fixed incomes.

They had come to ask Mr. DeSantis why he had put his name on a letter urging Republican leaders to take up Mr. Obama’s offer of a deal to overhaul Social Security. Mr. DeSantis seemed caught off guard, neighbors who attended the meeting recalled. He did not necessarily agree with

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Republicans have a scapegoat for the failure of their 2012 ‘autopsy.’ Surprise, it’s Trump!

The Republican Party’s post-2012 “autopsy” and the rebranding supposed to emerge from that autopsy, which argued that Republicans needed to broaden their appeal and basically try not to alienate everyone but old white men, has been a joke since sometime about 10 minutes after the autopsy was released. Sure, Paul Ryan and a few other Republicans paid lip service to doing something about poverty, but they used that lip service to promote the same old policies favoring the rich and hurting everyone else. And look at the campaigns Republicans ran in 2014. Hate and fear every which way you looked—but it worked for them with a midterm electorate.

Luckily for Republicans, now that they face a presidential year electorate, they’ve found a scapegoat for the longstanding failure of their autopsy and rebranding: Donald Trump.

The report — the product of 2,600 interviews with voters, experts, party officials and business leaders, as well

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Another barrier to Democratic down-ballot majorities: Are Democratic voters more ‘bipartisan’?

A week ago, we explored the historically precarious position the Democratic Party is currently in as it relates to the balance of power in the 99 state legislative chambers. At present, the Democrats control just 31 of those 99 chambers, and have exclusive control of just eleven state legislatures: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Meanwhile, the GOP not only controls more than two-thirds of the state legislative chambers in America, they have exclusive control of the state’s levers of powers in eight states where Barack Obama twice carried the state: Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

This disparity is both jarring and terribly problematic, given how much policy that impacts our day-to-day lives is not carved out in the District of Columbia, but rather in cities like Carson City, Columbus, Harrisburg, and Madison. While the overwhelming

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We’re (finally) announcing the winner of the Daily Kos Elections 2014 prediction contest!

Chocolate babka

It’s taken us a little while to score the results of our 2014 Daily Kos Elections prediction contest so we won’t beat around the bush: Our winner is Sweden’s own Tayya!
Tayya scored 41, just ahead of gabachi‘s 40. The median score was 22 points, and an enormous 740 Daily Kos community members entered in total, so this is quite impressive indeed! For his victory, Tayya earns a delicious babka from Green’s Bakery, as shown above. (Please message us to collect your reward.)

As you may recall, we asked you to pick the winners of all the contests we regarded as Tossups shortly before Election Day—eight for Senate, 10 for governorships, and 21 for the House. You earned one point for each correct answer.

We also asked you to pick the closest race, in percentage terms, in each of those three categories (Senate, governor, House). Nailing each of

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House Democrats defend DOOOOM emails

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) receive updates during midterm election day at Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters in Washington November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POL

Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Steve Israel spending their way to another crushing defeat, because money isn’t everything in politics.

House Democrats are still defending this crap?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s arm charged with winning House elections, outraised its Republican counterpart in 2014 by a substantial margin, and completely dominated when it came to small-dollar donations.
Some progressive activists are panicking — not because of the party’s fundraising success, but because of how they went about it, with a relentless fusillade of emails that spawned a parody Tumblr blog skewering subject lines like “We’ve got nothing left” and “We. Will. Fail.”

Those “parody” headlines are no parody at all, with actual headlines like these from a single two-week period in early 2014:

humiliating loss, shocking defeat, crushing defeat, massive loss, agonizing defeat, painful loss, humiliating defeat, painful loss, debilitating defeat, it’s too late, devastating loss, defeat, crippling

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Scott Walker not looking for rape or incest exemptions in Wisconsin 20-week abortion ban

Governor Scott Walker, potential Republican presidential candidate, speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTX1E0LB

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)

Last fall, as he campaigned for re-election as governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker ran an ad claiming that one of his anti-abortion bills “leaves the final decision to a woman and her doctor.” As dishonest as that was at the time, check out where Republican-presidential-primary Scott Walker lands: He’s happy to sign a 20-week abortion ban without exemptions for rape or incest.

Walker, who had previously expressed support for the bill that’s on a fast track in the Wisconsin Legislature, said it didn’t matter whether there was an exemption. As introduced, there is none in the bill.
“I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months when they are most concerned about it,” Walker said when asked about the exemption. “In this case, it’s an unborn life, it’s an unborn child, that’s why we feel strongly about it. I’m

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The most accurate pollsters of 2014 (and why that title, quite frankly, doesn’t mean very much)

Graph of the volatility of House polling conducted by the polling unit at the University of New Hampshire

What these guys lacked in consistency, they made up for in accuracy on Election Eve.

Of the nearly two dozen pollsters that met the parameters for our biennial study of pollster accuracy, it might seem odd at first blush that the crown for highest score came down to a tie between a partisan pollster (GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies) and the often-maligned (around these parts, at least) University of New Hampshire polling center.

However, given what we know now, it would be at least somewhat difficult to say that this distinction carries a great deal of honor with it.

For one thing, the results of this study, which covered pollsters for the 2014 cycle, unearthed (or, at a minimum, provided reams of evidence for) a series of weaknesses with the criteria that I discussed at length a week ago.

Despite unearthing those debatable components of the criteria, in the

Continue reading “The most accurate pollsters of 2014 (and why that title, quite frankly, doesn’t mean very much)”

The perils of trying to define ‘an accurate pollster’

Democratic Kansas gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis

If the majority of polls in 2014 were accurate, this guy would be Governor of Kansas.

Next week, you can expect to see a piece offering a review of the performances of the polling community from the 2014 cycle. It is the third time I have taken on this particular task—you can see the efforts from 2012 and 2010 by clicking on the appropriate links.

You might note that I changed the formula for the rankings between 2010 and 2012. That’s because in 2010, the focus of the study was a bit more specific (the notion of whether there was a left-leaning or right-leaning “bias” among the more prolific pollsters). In 2012, we went for a little more comprehensive rating.

The plan, for 2014, was to try to generate some continuity by employing the same formula.

That is still the plan. But … whoo boy. Not to give away the ending,

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Daily Kos Elections presents our fully interactive visualizations of the 2014 federal elections

2014 U.S. House, Overall Win Margin


Daily Kos Elections is pleased to present a comprehensive look back at the 2014 election results, illustrated with a broad range of fully interactive maps and data visualizations. The above map, for instance, shows the 2014 U.S. House results by overall winning margin between Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats in blue Republicans in red. Click on a district and you will find info about the winner of each district, the 2014 election results, and the 2012 presidential results as calculated by Daily Kos Elections. The full-screen versions of this and the House maps below also have a map legend.

Aside from uncontested seats, the largest winning margins for each party were Democrat Nydia Velázquez’s 80 point win in New York’s 7th district and Republican Mac Thornberry’s 72 point win in Texas’ 13th district. Arizona’s 2nd district was the closest race of 2014, with Republican Martha McSally defeating incumbent Democrat Ron Barber by just 0.07 percent.

The interactive scatterplot below illustrates the very strong relationship between 2012 presidential and 2014 House performance. Hover over a dot and you will find the district winner and basic result stats, utilizing the two-party-only vote. Outliers to the top and left saw Democrats overperform, while those to the bottom and right saw Republicans do so.

2014 U.S. House Democratic Vote vs. Obama 2012


The non-interactive version also provides a line of best fit. There’s very little variation around the best-fit line, as the two election outcomes were highly correlated. Presidential performance in 2012 was the single most informative predictor 2014 congressional outcomes.

Head below the fold to see more maps on the House as well as similar visualizations for the Senate.

As partisan polarization has increased, split-ticket voting has declined precipitously

The decline in a measure of split-ticket voting. Explanation below.

Last month, Steve Singiser noted the paucity of congressional seats won by a presidential candidate of one party but held by a member of the opposite party following the elections of 2014 in his post, “Is split-ticket voting dying?” As Steve relates, the consequences of this change are more detrimental to Democrats than Republicans, especially in state legislatures.
In the graph above, we can see this decline in split-ticket voting for US Representatives clearly plotted. In 2000, a Republican running for the House received a vote share that was nearly nine points off (median) from what George Bush had in that same district; by 2012, that number had fallen to a little more than three points off from the vote share of Mitt Romney.

Join me below the fold to see graphs of these results.  

Scott Walker shifts to Republican primary culture-warrior mode

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker listens to his introduction from the side of the stage at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, January 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Jim Young  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4MRCP

Oh, look. Social conservative Scott Walker is back. The Wisconsin governor had downplayed his far-right positions on issues like abortion and marriage equality in the run-up to the 2014 general election, but now that he’s positioning himself for the 2016 Republican primary, it’s a different story. In a private meeting with Iowa Republicans last month:

…  he highlighted his early support for a “personhood amendment,” which defines life as beginning at conception and would effectively prohibit all abortions and some methods of birth control.

In speeches and statements, he has similarly emphasized his social conservative identity. It’s not a Mitt Romney-style flip-flop—Walker has consistently said he was against abortion, and certainly his actions as governor have reflected that—but when he’s in a general election campaign, Walker dramatically shifts his emphasis. For instance:

A few weeks before the November election, in an interview with The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the governor sidestepped questions about his earlier opposition to abortion, and declined four times to answer directly when asked if abortion should be prohibited after 20 weeks — a position he had previously embraced. He also declined to restate his earlier opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest. […]
Asked about same-sex marriage, he told The Hill, a Washington publication, “I don’t talk about it at all.” As for defunding Planned Parenthood, he dismissed the issue as something that “gets some activists worked up, but taxpayers say, ‘What’s the big deal there?’ ”

Needless to say, this is not going to fly in Iowa and South Carolina for a Republican primary, as his early campaigning makes clear. This may end up being where Walker runs into trouble. It’s one thing to deflect and downplay as a state-level candidate, but as a Republican presidential primary candidate, he is likely to have to say enough extreme things in public that it will be very difficult for him to slip out of should he end up as his party’s presidential nominee. Walker has shown time and time again that he’s a slippery little sucker, but he’s looking at a new level of difficulty over the next 20 months.

Two states reveal the realities of the 2014 election ‘enthusiasm gap’

Senator Mark Udall joined Sandy Gutierrez (to his left), the president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo, at a Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force meeting in Washington, D.C., to talk about innovative ways to encourage job growth acros

There is some evidence to suggest Mark Udall’s defeat can be chalked up, in part, to a far bigger dip in midterm turnout for Colorado Democrats when compared with the GOP.

As the holiday season moved along, election officials nationwide completed the process of declaring official the results of the 2014 midterm election cycle. On the whole, of course, said cycle was a tremendous disappointment for Democrats, who saw control of the United States Senate wrested from their grasp, as well as reduced numbers in the U.S. House.

At the state level, a disappointing evening in the battle over the three dozen governorships (Democrats had long been favored to hold serve, if not pick off one to three seats) culminated in the fewest number of Democratic governors in over a decade. Meanwhile, the blue team also took a substantial hit at the state legislative level, where several chambers were flipped in the direction of the GOP and the GOP made at least nominal gains in all but a handful of legislatures.

In the postmortem, one of the articles of faith among those trying to divine what went wrong for the Democrats was that flagging base turnout bore at least some of the blame for the outcome. As we now have more data to peruse (with, surely, more to come), the numbers provide some fairly compelling evidence for that thesis.

Even in states with comparably decent turnout, Democratic turnout seems to have tanked in comparison to their GOP foes. In states where turnout flagged, that characteristic was positively glaring. Head beyond the fold to look at two representative states (Colorado and Nevada), and a look at the D/R voting chasm that took place two short months ago.

Louisiana shows, once gain, the ineffectiveness of political ads

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu speaking at the Port of New Orleans Container Terminal.

Sen, Mary Landrieu

Louisiana Senate race, 2014, General election

Landrieu (D) 42.08
Cassidy (R) 40.97
Maness (R) 13.76
Clements (R) 0.96

Louisiana Senate race, 2014, runoff

Cassidy (R) 55.94
Landrieu (D) 44.06

Defeated incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu barely hit 42 percent in the general election, but in the even lower turnout runoff election last week, she actually improved her standing with the electorate, ultimately losing by 12 points. Had you asked me the day before, I would’ve guesses she was going to lose by 20.

But here’s my point: In the month between the general and the runoff election, this is what the advertising picture looked like in Louisiana:

In total, outside groups supporting Landrieu aired about 100 TV ads, compared to more than 6,000 commercials from anti-Landrieu groups.

The RNC spent $1 million in runoff ads, as did the NRA, Freedom Partners and American Crossroads each. The RNC also spent $2.9 million on field. Another conservative group, Ending Spending, spent another $1.7 million. The only outside group to help Landrieu in the runoff, the American Humane Society, spent $123,000.
And despite all those millions and all those ads, with virtually nothing happening on the Democratic side, Landrieu still narrowed her gap in the second round.

Another $10 million against her wouldn’t have made a difference. Another $10 million on her behalf wouldn’t have made a difference. In our highly polarized political environment, no one’s mind is being changed. There are no “persuadables” waiting to make up their mind after careful examination of television messaging.

There are people who could be Republican. There are people who could be Democrat. Whoever gets more of their supporters and favorable demographic populations to the polls wins. And you don’t do that by blasting the airwaves with stupid ads.

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Bill Cassidy’s runoff victory closes out the 2014 cycle

Rep. Bill Cassidy speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference.

Republican Sen.-elect Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Leading Off:
LA-Sen: On Saturday night, voters in Louisiana went back to the polls in races where no candidate took a majority in the November jungle primary. The Republicans were widely expected to pick up the state’s U.S. Senate seat and they did, with Republican Bill Cassidy unseating Democrat Mary Landrieu 56-44. Cassidy’s win gives his party its ninth and final Senate pickup for the cycle, and it means that Democrats will need to net at least four Senate seats in 2016 to regain the chamber (if the GOP wins the White House, that magic number becomes five).

While Landrieu had a history of pulling off tough wins, it’s been clear since November that the odds were very much against her this time around. In the jungle primary she only took 42 percent of the vote, a dire number for a longtime incumbent in a hostile state. The DSCC quickly wrote Landrieu off, canceling their planned runoff ad reservations; the NRSC soon followed suit. Like fellow Democratic incumbents Mark Pryor, John Barrow, and Nick Rahall, Landrieu just could not escape Obama’s unpopularity among an electorate that had never liked the president much to begin with.

Cassidy was never a particularly exciting candidate, especially by Louisiana standards. However, once he became the presumptive (and later the official) Republican nominee, he only needed to avoid self-destructing to prevail in this very favorable political environment. Landrieu did her best to disqualify Cassidy in the eyes of voters, and the Republican was hit by a late-breaking story alleging that he drew a part-time salary from Louisiana State University’s medical school for work he didn’t actually perform. However, it was just too little, too late. In the end Landrieu’s loss was smaller than most polls predicted, but it still wasn’t particularly close.

There’s no word on what Landrieu will do next. In her concession speech she told voters that she would continue to serve the state, though she didn’t elaborate. There’s speculation that Landrieu will run for governor next year, or for the state’s other Senate seat in 2016, but it’s unclear if she’s interested in either. With the exception of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (Mary’s brother), there isn’t much of a Democratic bench left in the state, and the senator would likely be a sought-after recruit. But as Landrieu’s double-digit defeat demonstrates, the Pelican State has become a very unfriendly place for statewide Democrats, and it’s going to be tough for Team Blue to win another big race anytime soon.

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Bill Cassidy’s runoff victory closes out the 2014 cycle

Rep. Bill Cassidy speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference.

Republican Sen.-elect Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Leading Off:
LA-Sen: On Saturday night, voters in Louisiana went back to the polls in races where no candidate took a majority in the November jungle primary. The Republicans were widely expected to pick up the state’s U.S. Senate seat and they did, with Republican Bill Cassidy unseating Democrat Mary Landrieu 56-44. Cassidy’s win gives his party its ninth and final Senate pickup for the cycle, and it means that Democrats will need to net at least four Senate seats in 2016 to regain the chamber (if the GOP wins the White House, that magic number becomes five).

While Landrieu had a history of pulling off tough wins, it’s been clear since November that the odds were very much against her this time around. In the jungle primary she only took 42 percent of the vote, a dire number for a longtime incumbent in a hostile state. The DSCC quickly wrote Landrieu off, canceling their planned runoff ad reservations; the NRSC soon followed suit. Like fellow Democratic incumbents Mark Pryor, John Barrow, and Nick Rahall, Landrieu just could not escape Obama’s unpopularity among an electorate that had never liked the president much to begin with.

Cassidy was never a particularly exciting candidate, especially by Louisiana standards. However, once he became the presumptive (and later the official) Republican nominee, he only needed to avoid self-destructing to prevail in this very favorable political environment. Landrieu did her best to disqualify Cassidy in the eyes of voters, and the Republican was hit by a late-breaking story alleging that he drew a part-time salary from Louisiana State University’s medical school for work he didn’t actually perform. However, it was just too little, too late. In the end Landrieu’s loss was smaller than most polls predicted, but it still wasn’t particularly close.

There’s no word on what Landrieu will do next. In her concession speech she told voters that she would continue to serve the state, though she didn’t elaborate. There’s speculation that Landrieu will run for governor next year, or for the state’s other Senate seat in 2016, but it’s unclear if she’s interested in either. With the exception of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (Mary’s brother), there isn’t much of a Democratic bench left in the state, and the senator would likely be a sought-after recruit. But as Landrieu’s double-digit defeat demonstrates, the Pelican State has become a very unfriendly place for statewide Democrats, and it’s going to be tough for Team Blue to win another big race anytime soon.

Election 2014: Lessons from the GOP landslide in the Silver State

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (L) receives a petition from rancher Pete Tomera at the Nevada State Capitol after cattlemen and ranchers finished a 320-mile (515-km) relay horseback ride from Elko, Nevada to the State Capitol in Carson City to deliver a petition to Sandoval, May 30, 2014. The ranchers want Sandoval?s help in ousting a regional Bureau of Land Management official whose office in northern Nevada has reduced by 20 percent the number of cattle allowed to graze over the next 12 months in the Battle Mountain region east of Carson City, citing lingering drought. REUTERS/Max Whittaker (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS AGRICULTURE ENVIRONMENT) - RTR3RL6H

Gov. Brian Sandoval led a Republican landslide in Nevada on Nov. 4.

At the risk of sounding obvious, the 2014 midterm election cycle proved to be a pretty universal disappointment for Democrats.

At the top of the ticket, the loss of the Senate, and roughly a dozen House seats, puts the Republicans in fairly firm control of the U.S. Congress heading into 2015. But that was only the tip of a deep and wide electoral iceberg, which included the loss of several closely contested gubernatorial elections, and a disaster at the state legislative level.

One could build a credible argument that two states were the epicenter of the Democratic doldrums in 2014.

In the eastern half of the United States, it was West Virginia. Not only did the Democrats surrender an open U.S. Senate seat by north of 20 points, and lose an incumbent member of the House with nearly four decades in office, but they also lost control of both chambers of the state legislature. This might not seem like a huge deal, until one realizes that the Democrats held a 24-10 advantage in the state Senate prior to the election, and lost eight seats (one due to a post-election party switch) to fall into the minority.

In the western half of the nation, the story, without question, had to be Nevada. The irony is that the state was scarcely a story going into November. Its Republican governor was considered an absolutely safe bet for re-election, there was no U.S. Senate seat at stake, and once the prospects for a competitive contest in the swingy 3rd district in the U.S. House dimmed, it appeared that the House delegation was going to be unchanged.

And, then … electoral disaster for the Democrats. In his traditional pre-election predictions, Nevada sage Jon Ralston predicted a very ugly election night for the Democrats. It was worse than even he projected. They not only lost the state Senate, but also lost the state Assembly, which nearly no one had in play. And freshman Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford wound up losing his Vegas-area House seat (which few saw as competitive until mid-to-late-October) to Republican assemblyman Cresent Hardy. And, in the litany of statewide races, it was a total wipeout. The ultimate indignity: Democratic rising star Ross Miller, the son of former Gov. Bob Miller, lost his bid for attorney general to Adam Laxalt, whose candidacy was so flawed more than a half dozen of his own relatives endorsed Miller.

It was ugly, but it was also instructive. Follow me below the fold for some lessons from this enormous batch of electoral suckage.

Rep. Steve Israel thinks DOOOOM! was an appropriate way to cheerlead for Democrats

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) receive updates during midterm election day at Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee headquarters in Washington November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POL

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chair Steve Israel on election night, finding out what happens when you tell people every single day that all hope is lost.

No wonder House Democrats failed so miserably. Outgoing DCCC Chair Steve Israel:

“One of the functions of DCCC chair and leader is to be cheerleaders. You can’t be going out there and telling people that the sky is falling. It tends to hurt recruiting and fundraising. That’s what I said,” Israel said.

Huh. Makes sense that screaming “DOOOOM!” would affect recruiting and fundraising and, for that matter, base intensity. Yet this is the very same committee that sent all those DOOM emails.
How bad was it? Well, here’s a list of every single email just one diarist got from mid-February to mid-March 2014:

terrible decision
about last night
humiliating loss
shocking defeat
crushing defeat
massive loss
agonizing defeat
painful loss
humiliating defeat
painful loss
debilitating defeat
it’s too late
devastating loss
defeat
crippling blow
embarrassed
devastating defeat
I’m a little worried
dead in the water:
NEW REPORTS (doomed)
{first_name}: horrible loss
enormous loss
This is DISGUSTING
devastating
this could be the end:
URGENT:
too damn close:
devastating
devastating blow

Real great cheerleading there, Steve. While a party’s job shouldn’t necessarily be to stick its head in the ground, the very least it could do is to stop telling its strongest supporters EVERY SINGLE DAY that we are going to lose. But the DCCC did, and even got an early start, incessantly hammering this theme from the beginning of the year!
Imagine what it was like to get those emails every single day, all the way through November. I had blocked DCCC emails by then, so I didn’t get the full effect. But dear god, is it any wonder people sat this thing out? Are you going to make an effort to go to the big game if your own team tells you they’re going to get blown out, and then hammering just how horrible the blow out will be every single day a year before the game?

The funny thing is that those emails worked at raising money. The DCCC out-raised their Republican counterparts by a whopping $172 million to $131 million. But who cares? A party committee’s job is to win elections, not raise money for the sake of raising money. So great, the DCCC raised a shit-ton of money that got us what exactly, other than the biggest Republican House majority since the early 20th century?

In a year full of suck, the DCCC’s email program stands above all as the cycle’s biggest embarrassment, and now we have Rep. Israel claiming the committee’s job is to be a cheerleader? Fuck him, and fuck the DCCC. Incoming DCCC chair Rep. Ben Ray Lujan desperately needs to takes the committee in a radical new direction, preferably one that doesn’t throw in the towel a year before the votes are counted.

GOP used anonymous Twitter accounts to dodge campaign finance laws

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is seen at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 27, 2012.

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads was one of the groups involved in the sketchy Twitter accounts.

Trust Republicans to push the bounds of already lax campaign finance laws regarding coordination between party organizations and dark money groups. Campaigns and outside groups routinely get around the prohibition on coordination by simply going public with information they want their allies to know: It’s legal, for instance, to do what North Carolina’s Thom Tillis did, and post a wish list for outside ad buys. But is it legal to set up an anonymous Twitter account and post poll results in formats that won’t make sense to anyone who doesn’t already know what they’re seeing? Because CNN reports that Republicans have been doing that for four years:

A typical tweet read: “CA-40/43-44/49-44/44-50/36-44/49-10/16/14-52–>49/476-10s.” The source said posts like that — which would look like gibberish to most people — represented polling data for various House races. […]
At least two outside groups and a Republican campaign committee had access to the information posted to the accounts, according to the source. They include American Crossroads, the super PAC founded by Karl Rove; American Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy group, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the campaign arm for the House GOP.

This goes beyond just making information public that will only be useful to certain people. Groups on both sides had to know what Twitter accounts to look at—and we’re talking about accounts like @TruthTrain14, not official accounts for American Crossroads or the NRCC—and know how to read the information in the cryptic tweets.

Beyond coordination, the social media operation could also raise questions about whether the polling data contained in the tweets constituted a donation to the NRCC that should have been reported. The groups could have violated election rules by not reporting the information in the tweets as a donation.

The Twitter accounts were deleted as soon as CNN asked the NRCC about them, so you know that the groups involved think they have something to hide. But as wobbly as campaign finance rules are, and as broken as the Federal Election Commission is, it’s unlikely these Republican groups will pay any penalty.

The American Ebola panic is over, everyone. Great job.

U.S. Representative Billy Long (R-MO) holds up a copy of a magazine with an Ebola headline as public health officials testify before a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, in

Never mind.

Good news, America: Ebola Panic has been cured. The actual disease is still ravaging West Africa, mind you, but the deep concern that Ebola was coming to kill us all has diminished considerably. At least in Republican newsletters.

In the past two months, 69 percent of all e-newsletters have a Republican author. Even after accounting for differences in total amounts of e-newsletters sent, however, Republicans are nearly 2.5 times more likely to write to constituents about Ebola than Democrats. That is, on average messages sent by Republicans reference Ebola 24 percent of the time, while messages sent by Democrats only reference Ebola 10 percent of the time. […]
There are also interesting partisan differences in the temporal patterns of e-newsletters referencing Ebola. […] Nearly half of all Republican messages were about Ebola in the two weeks preceding the midterm elections, followed by a precipitous decline.

I Am Not a Scientist, as the popular saying goes, but that is curious. The only conclusion I can come to is that Obama’s new Ebola czar, who presided over the complete elimination of Ebola in this country, has done such a masterful job that Republicans and Democrats came together in praise of his accomplishment. He’ll be getting a medal as soon as John Boehner can remember his name.

There it is, then: Ebola has become a non-issue now that the midterm elections are over. And that is how we get Fox News pivoting from OMG Ebola to stories about how fighting Ebola in all those other countries is an inexcusable waste of money. Election’s over, everyone. Problem solved.