Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thought for the Day Extra Doin' Christmas Shopping Early

Thought for the Day

Omaha World-Herald 2014 General Election Endorsement Analysis -- Patrick McPherson

How accurate are the endorsements of the Omaha World-Herald, and more importantly, how important are they?    We think we can answer the first question but the second one leaves room for speculation.

In its effort to provide its best input to its readers the Omaha World-Herald made its recommendations to voters for what its editorial board perceived to be the best candidates for election in the November 4, 2014 election general election.   Candidates for local and state-wide offices generally want the endorsement of the paper as well as those of other papers across the state.   But, perhaps having the endorsement of the largest paper in the state carries additional prestige.   Certainly, those candidates who receive its endorsement take advantage of it by using it in print, radio, television and other electronic media.
Over the years, folks/candidates/political activists have pointed a finger at the OWH for what they perceived as bias.   The editorial board has been described by liberals as conservative and by conservatives as liberal.   Often times it seems the paper endorses incumbents who are likely to win anyway.
So taking a look at the 2014 General Election endorsements provides some answers to some of the questions posed above.
First of all, how accurate as a predictor of election success are the paper’s endorsements?   In this election the OWH endorsed 60 candidates.   Of the 60 endorsed forty-seven won election while 13 did not.  That’s a 78% positive result for the paper’s endorsement verses election results.    Not bad, but it might be nice to see how many of those endorsements went to incumbents.    Twenty-nine or 48% of the paper’s endorsements went to incumbents.   Only 5 endorsements went to non-incumbents.   The remaining number of endorsements were for open races (26).   Interestingly, twenty-seven of the 29 incumbents endorsed won re-election.   Only two didn’t.     Of the twenty-six open races where the paper authored an endorsement eighteen were elected or 69%.   Not too bad.  So it appears the OWH’s endorsements are at least pretty accurate as a predictor of election success in open races as well.
The second question that one might ask is if the paper’s endorsements are biased toward one party or another?   An analysis of the paper’s endorsements shows that forty of the sixty endorsements went to Republicans—two-thirds, 66.6%.   While many conservatives distrust the editorial board’s motives on various issues, it appears that the OWH can’t be accused by Republicans of being biased toward Democrats.   On the other hand, can Democrats therefore assert that the paper’s bias is for Republicans?   Republican incumbents received eighteen of the paper’s twenty-nine incumbent endorsements.  Democrats received eleven of the paper’s incumbent endorsements.  In open seats Republicans received nineteen endorsements (in at least two cases there were two Republicans running to choose from) and Democrats received seven endorsements.   In other words, Republicans received 62% of the OWH’s open seat endorsements while Democrats received just 37%.   From this one might draw the conclusion the paper’s editorial board is actually biased toward Republicans.    However, taking into consideration races where only Republicans were running, the paper’s choice between Republicans and Democrats is closer to neutral with a seventeen to thirteen bias toward Republicans. 
It’s likely that other factors contribute toward the seeming bias toward Republicans.   One certainly is voter registration where Republicans outnumber Democrats on a nearly two-to-one basis and therefore simply produce more Republican elected officials and candidates, particularly in rural areas. 
One last question that begs an answer is whether the Omaha World-Herald’s endorsements actually are effective in getting candidates elected?    Certainly the percentage of those endorsed who win elections would indicate a likelihood of election but determination of this would have to fall to accurate polling and statisticians.   Our guess is that in some cases, particularly those involving ‘down ballot’ races, that those who pay attention to the paper’s recommendations may be influenced by such.   But again without detailed polling of the paper’s readers this is simply conjecture.
So what’s the bottom line?    The paper’s endorsements are a fairly accurate predictor of electoral success.    Its endorsements go more toward Republicans than Democrats for whatever reasons and there are certainly reasons that might mitigate that perceived bias.   Probably most important, the endorsements by the Omaha World-Herald editorial board are meaningful to candidates who cherish them if only for political bragging benefits in their advertising and their hope that such endorsements are a good indicator of electoral success.
Patrick McPherson is the founder of the Objective Conservative and a frequent contributor.

Cartoon of the Day

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cartoon of the Day Extra

Thought for the Day

"A gun is like a parachute.  If you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again."

Goodbye, Chuckie -- You Are NO LONGER RELEVANT

Word is that we're about to say goodbye to Chuckie Hagel.    Being handed his walking papers by the president seems somewhat ironic.    A failed president asking for the resignation of a failed former U.S. Senator and now failed defense secretary.     We're not sure who is the most incompetent, but we do know that Chuckie's quest for relevance with the job he sought and the guy whose butt he kissed is now over.   Now he will have no Republican or Democrat friends.   Let's face it the only relevance that Chuck Hagel has achieved is total IRRELEVANCE!.

Last Hope For Landrieu Comes From New York City????

The headline in the National Journal's Hotline Wakeup Call is:

" LA SEN: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) will host a fundraiser for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) on Dec. 1 in New York City. (CNN)"

Somehow it seems a fate compli that politically moribund U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu can only get fundraising help from Hillary Clinton by going to New York City.   Of course, since the Democrat Party has decided to abandon her already, maybe that's the only way Landrieu can raise money, but one would think that Landrieu would be working her butt off in Louisiana where apparently Hillary must not be too popular......

Profitable Times for Iowa Media

This headline won't surprise anyone living in eastern Nebraska:

"The Des Moines Register: Iowa saw record $41.2 million in Senate TV ad spending By Jason Noble and Jeffrey C. Kummer
Candidate campaigns and the independent groups supporting them poured $41.2 million into television advertising for Iowa's U.S. Senate race this year, ultimately airing nearly 77,000 commercials that reached voters in all but the farthest corners of the state. "

You can read more if you want, but it just goes to show how much money there is available to win a U.S. Senate race and actually this was pretty cheap compared to what it costs in multi-multi-media states.

Cartoon of the Day

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thought for the Day -- Just So You Understand

Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East ?

Let me explain.

We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS .

We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do

We don’t like Assad in Syria . We support the fight against him, but
ISIS is also fighting against him.

We don’t like Iran , but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its
fight against ISIS .

So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our
friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win. If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced
by people we like even less.

And all this was started by us ( as in U.S....) invading a country to
drive out terrorists who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out.

It's quite simple, really.

Do you understand now?

Cartoon of the Day

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thought of the Day: Apolitical Aphorism

  I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952~

Cartoon of the Day