Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The hot race is Louisiana

Ever seen a real attack ad? This is a real attack ad

Robert Mann:

A race that was Vitter’s to lose now appears to be a race Vitter is losing. So, what happened?
The Jindal-GOP brand is toxic. Vitter and Gov. Bobby Jindal are mortal enemies, but most people know little about their mutual disdain. Jindal’s profound unpopularity – he’s even less admired in Louisiana than President Barack Obama – is an onerous burden for Vitter to lug into the runoff. It’s hurting him among voters hesitant to award the job to someone whose policy positions are almost identical to Jindal’s.

Voters are disgusted with Washington insiders. Perhaps just as damaging to Vitter as lingering questions about his 2007 prostitution scandal is his long affiliation with Washington/congressional dysfunction. Conservative voters hate D.C. insiders with a red-hot fury, which is one reason Ben Carson and Donald Trump are the

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Travails of the GOP candidates

sept-nov GOP candidate polling aggregate

From HuffPost pollster, less smoothing.


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told graduates during a commencement address in the late nineties that he believed the pyramids in Egypt were built by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain, and not, as most archeologists contend, as tombs for pharaohs.
At the 1998 commencement for Andrews University, a school associated with Seventh-day Adventist Church, Carson also dismissed the notion that aliens were somehow involved in the construction of the pyramids.

“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”

The Hill:

New GOP presidential

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP KY Governor win sets up ACA fight

Dave Weigel:

The disconnect between “Obamacare” and “KYnect” was one of the great paradoxes of American politics. In polls, Kentucky voters rejected “Obamacare” at roughly the rate they rejected the president, 2-1. But they were fond of KYnect, which Beshear created by executive order, bypassing a gridlocked Kentucky legislature. Month by month, Kentuckians took advantage of the state’s Medicaid expansion or the plans offered on the exchange, and the state’s uninsured rate plummeted from 20.4 percent to 9 percent. Beshear predicted that “the Democratic nominee will make this a major issue and will pound the Republicans into the dust with it.”
On Tuesday night, it was the Democrats eating dust. Attorney General Jack Conway, who was expected to replace Beshear, lost in a rout to Tea Party activist Matt Bevin. Conway defended KYnect; Bevin called it a disaster. While his prescription for changing it shifted, he ended

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Abbreviated pundit round-up: GOP optimists vs. pessimists; can U.S. forces in Syria matter?

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—The real GOP divide:

Maybe our definition of the Republican presidential contest is a little off.
It’s often cast, accurately enough, as a choice between “outsiders” and “insiders.” But another party division may be more profound — between Republicans who still view the country’s future hopefully and those deeply gloomy about its prospects.

The pessimism within significant sectors of the GOP is more than the unhappiness partisans typically feel when the other side is in power. It’s rooted in a belief that things have fundamentally changed in America, and there is an ominous possibility they just can’t be put right again.

This is one of the big contrasts between the two parties: Democrats are more bullish on the future.

Trevor Timm at The Guardian writes—US special forces in Syria are Obama’s latest broken foreign policy promise:


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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

A little I-can’t-help-it-that-Halloween-was-yesterday tidbit from the folks at Compound Interest.
Click for an embiggened version.

Ruth Marcus is one of the few people not worried about a particular Republican candidate this week. She’s worried about them all.

One of the 10 Republicans who debated Wednesday night is going to end up as the party’s nominee. None of them looked like presidential material.
That theme was sounded early on, when Ohio Gov. John Kasich swatted away the first question — what is your biggest weakness? — by addressing the larger weakness of the field: “My great concern is that we are on the verge, perhaps, of picking someone who cannot do this job.”

Indeed. The two manifestly unqualified front-runners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, were remarkably muted. Trump simply repeated his, yes, comic-book version of a presidential campaign — huge wall, huge tax cut, huge Trump smarts — except when

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: This week’s controversies and conflicts

trust in media by party

via Philip Bump (link below)

Jamil Smith:

Even with the #Hillary4Who action at her event, it was likely a relief to many to see the Democratic presidential front-runner finally articulating her formal platform to address and end structural racism. She was there, after all, because she has been pushed by Black Lives Matter and other citizens demanding to know her plans. But she was also there because we’re still trying to fix Ronald Reagan’s mistakes.
Drafted in a haste after the sudden overdose death of NBA draftee Len Bias, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 established, among other harsh penalties for drug offenses, the 100-to-1 cocaine disparity. Essentially, you’d get the same time for possessing five grams of crack cocaine as you would for 500 grams of the powdered version of the same drug. While President Obama sought to reduce the disparity to 1-to-1 in his Fair Sentencing Act

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Third GOP debate in the books

comparison of previous surge candidates, live vs internet polls

From Steve Koczela

Steve Koczela suggests Donald Trump’s poll numbers might be infliated:

DONALD TRUMP’S poll numbers are slipping in Iowa, and a new national poll is the first in a while to show him trailing. But a closer look at the polling suggests that the Trump wave may have been overstated from the beginning. His sizeable lead has been based largely on the influence of Internet polls. Trump’s summer surge looks far less impressive in telephone polls, and polls of likely voters show his lead was always smaller and is now gone entirely.
Looking across all pollsters and modes of pollsters, Donald Trump leads the field by 10 points, according to the Huffington Post, which averages poll results.  Using only online polls, his lead is even bigger. But narrow the field to just telephone polls, and Trump’s lead over Ben Carson drops to 3 points. Drill down further to

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