Dave Weigel profiles Gary Johnson

In his hunt for a libertarian center, he comes off as less angry about the state than many Republicans.

The piece is interesting throughout.  Yesterday Nate Silver tweeted:

Could very easily wind up with an outcome like Clinton 47%, Trump 41%, Johnson 10%, Stein/others 2%, or something in that vicinity.


"Could very easily wind up with an outcome like Clinton 47%, Trump 41%, Johnson 10%, Stein/others 2%, or something in that vicinity." It's the end of the world as you know it.

I tend to agree with Nate Silver. Assuming no surprises before the election.

Well, I doubt the 2% for Stein, but the other seems reasonable.

Reasonable was a poor choice of words. I think Nate's post is plausible. I'm not sure how likely it is.

Aye. Perot maintained his support in 1996, but Clinton was so far ahead it didn't seem to matter much. George Wallace maintained about 2/3 of his support in 1968, but he had an intense regional base that no other 3d party candidate has ever had. The dimensions of the Perot implosion in 1992 and the Anderson implosion in 1980 suggest Johnson will poll between 1.8% and 3.4% of the vote.

AD, I don't follow you. Perot got 19% of the vote and Anderson got 7% of the vote. That's what leads me to believe that it's at least plausible for Johnson to get 10%.

So, what's your rationale for your 1.8 to 3.4% range?

Perot and Anderson were at this point vastly more popular than Johnson is now. The ratio of the Perot to non-Perot response in June 1992 was 0.39 / 0.61, That of the Anderson to non-Anderson response was (IIRC) 0.26 / 0.74. That ratio declined during the campaign by 65% in the case of Perot and 80% in the case of Anderson. The ratio is as we speak 0.085 / 0.915 for Johnson.

AD, thanks. You provide a more reasoned rationale than most posters.

Also, to your point Ralph Nader was polling higher (early) than his eventual vote total (3%).


If he's not even on the ballot in any state, under what scenario would he become President?

I think third party candidates tend to implode because they lose support once it is clear they don't have a chance of winning. Many of their supporters then move to their second option, because they don't want to help the worst candidate (in their view) get elected.

This election may be different in that an unusual proportion of people seem to truly want neither Trump, nor Hillary, and not even prefer one over the other. This could lessen that effect.

Why is Johnson getting 10% "reasonable"?

If he gets 2% it will be a miracle.

Depends almost entirely whether they allow him on the debate stage. If he gets on there, around 10% is reasonable. If not, I say 1% like last time.

I think the Republicans may actually push for Johnson to be in the debates this time. Many of them would rather see Hillary over Trump, and they're probably under the impression that Johnson would hurt Trump more than Hillary (which is silly).

One of Gary Johnson's core pledges is to vote for any bill that lowers taxes. That point alone makes him anathema to the Left. I'm not sure he'd capture much on the Right, but I'm confident he wouldn't effect the Left at all.

"I’m not sure he’d capture much on the Right, but I’m confident he wouldn’t effect the Left at all."

I'm not sure why you're so confident. Polls that include Johnson and Stein seem to lower support for Hillary more than Trump as compared to polls that include only the two main-party nominees.

I don't see that effect in the polls:


Well Johnson got 50% of the vote in NM when it was a 2:1 Democrat to Republican state. That was a while ago now, but I don't think it's silly to think some Dems will vote for him. Not that many people are true single-issue voters.

Single-issue, meaning they absolutely would/would not vote for someone based on their position on taxes alone.

It's certainly not "silly" to think a libertarian candidate would hurt the Republicans more than the Democrats. While this is a debatable proposition, I still think it is most likely to be true.

His platform is center-right overall, and he is a former Republican who governed in a fairly conservative manner.

In addition, I think Republican dissatisfaction with Trump will be more lasting than Democratic dissatisfaction with Clinton. Clinton may be a weak candidate with baggage, but at the end of the day her platform is thoroughly conventional for a Democrat, and anyone who supports those principles will find it hard not to vote for her. On the other hand Trump is viewed as a loose cannon who is dangerous and might not even be conservative, making many Republicans much more comfortable with abandoning him even if it means helping Hillary win.

Yeah, I think more Republicans than Dems will vote Johnson. Was just saying the idea that no Dems will go for him because his position on taxes is "anathema to the Left" is pretty rich, given how many have already voted for him.

@Jan, yes I agree with that. Really, cutting taxes is not "anathema" to a lot of people, regardless of political persuasion.

Reason.com just posted an analysis of the effects of the minor party candidates on the polls and their results indicate that Gary Johnson pulls voters roughly evenly from both Trump and Clinton.

Since, they've analyzed the data then I'll retract my statement and defer to their judgement.


That is the purpose of a third party candidate; to split the vote and elect someone the majority does not want. That's how Bill got in.

Did someone say my name?

"I asked a friend of mine who she could be and though devotion rules my heart I take no vows." "libertarians are a subset of those people who do not understand that everybody deserves a better start in life than they got, except maybe the first and second Adam, both of whom were not libertarians" "the substance of natural law is not that hard to understand, but it is much easier to understand after having felt distress at the misfortunes of others"

I can imagine a world where the bid democrat backers fund Johnson and their media make enough noise to get him in the debates to steal votes from trump. As a totally uninformed layman, that seems as good as any strategy i could come up with.

Prominent Republicans would have to publicly bolt to Johnson and soon in order to get to 10% in a national election. He has no name recognition, doesn't get any tv airtime, is terrible at exploiting free media (so far), and is unlikely to get into the debates (unless the commission lowers the standards).

+1 and sadly name recognition is vital and is why we have Hillary vs. Trump.

So, after years of effort, the Libertarians can hope to be in the ballpark of the vote totals of George Wallace, John Anderson, and Ross Perot?

Congratulations on joining the minor leagues are in order, aren't they?

You are comparing a party to three individuals.

Libertarians have had a PARTY presence on something like 40 States for decades which in almost every State requires a petition.

And they actually have candidates run for local and State offices on the ballot by party nomination. Never enough to matter, but the Libertarian Party leaders understand that political power resides in the ten thousand elected offices, not in a lone dictator elected every four years.

The difference between say the Tea Party, and Occupy and Bernie Bros, is conservatives see every elected office as important, while progressive want power to the people by a good principled dictator, driven by polls, I think.

This might be the most reasonable statement you've ever written.


That was the anti-mulp, knowledgeable and articulate. Where is the real mulp?

The libertarian part will get as among votes as is useful to the powers that be.

Well it looks like the Gold Democrats of 1896 and Gary Johnson in 2012, both got around 1%.

I think one of the biggest problems society faces is that we aren't spending enough time and energy speculating about what might happen in the presidential election.

We should all probably devote more time to hashing it out on Facebook, wouldn't you say?

I always thought that the Libertarian Party existed as an escape valve for "intellectual" Republicans to cast their vote when populism overtook their party (i.e. this election cycle). I would have to assume that in the case of a very close election, notional Libertarian Party voters would vote GOP if they were in a swing state.

I would like to see this outcome. Perhaps the Libertarian party could take advantage of the schism among Republicans and build a credible coalition over the next several cycles.

I doubt it. He seems to take the caricature of Libertarians as "fiscal conservatives and social liberals" to extremes. According to the article, he opposes religious liberty laws that allow merchants not to serve gays (what happened to freedom of association?) He has no problem expanding executive power to achieve his goals. He would sign any bill that lowers taxes--something even I think is foolishness of the highest order. He suffers the fate of most middle-road candidates: many people may mildly agree with most of his positions but passionately oppose just a few. That's not a recipe for broad appeal.

Indeed. There is nothing "libertarian" about Johnson/ Weld. Ayn Rand is rolling over in her grave. Or something.

Like ideologies, there's a spectrum. Johnson is certainly much more libertarian than Trump, Hilary, or any R/D candidate since Goldwater.

During her lifetime, Rand was dismissive of the Libertarian Party, considering them intellectual rubes ("hippies of the right"). Rand and her successors (Leonard Peikoff, etc) have not been much invested in electoral politics and have tended to favor Republicans faux de mieux. Rand herself endorsed Barry Goldwater and Gerald Ford and her acolyte Alan Greenspan served in the Ford Administration. She never much cared for RR. In the last 15 years, other libertarians have complained those associated with the Ayn Rand Institute had been co-opted by 'neocons'.

Hmmmm cool story bro. You sure about all that?

All of it. George Nash's history of postwar opinion journalism discusses Rand re both the Goldwater campaign and the Libertarian Party and the libertarian secession from the Young Americans for Freedom. There are period interviews of her (I believe you can find reprinted in back issues of the defunct Objectivist Forum) re Ford and Reagan. Greenspan actually invited her to the White House and she had her pic taken with Ford and Greenspan. The complaints about the Ayn Rand Institute may still be online on some relict website.

"faute de mieux", not "faux de mieux". Interesting point, by the way.

What do you think of the libertarian movement?
Ayn Rand:
All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies who are anarchists instead of leftist collectivists; but anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet libertarians combine capitalism and anarchism. That’s worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. Anarchists are the scum of the intellectual world of the Left, which has given them up. So the Right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the libertarian movement. [FHF 71]

Art Deco makes things up.

The Libertarian Party didn't exist when Rand made that statement.

She was in good standing with the Libertarian International all her adult life.

He has only lukewarm support at Hit and Run, libertarian central.

Maybe the true libertarians will coalesce around a fourth-party candidate?

Which is why I think he can take advantage of a schism. That's one of those issue only hardcore activists care about, and for a lot of independents it falls into the "I'm socially liberal" part of their identity.

That would be nice, particularly since Trump may devastate the GOP downticket. The GOP will get walloped in the election, and so will need to figure out that white identitarian politics is not sufficient to get elected, and neither is evangelical Christian politics (or the weird, willfully blind mix of the two we see in some Trumpalos).

That would be nice, particularly since Trump may devastate the GOP downticket.The GOP will get walloped in the election,

In your dreams. The Rothenberg political report currently projects a loss of fewer than 10 seats in Congress and the retention of both the House and the Senate.

Hope springs eternal

His hope or your hope?

Yes, I'd say your position, Urstoff, is just as speculative as AD's.

The thing is they already know very well than neither of those is the way to get elected in a general election. I have some respect for the GOP for not completely re-writing their rules to avoid a Trump nomination, though I guess there's still time and he appears to be getting crazier. The white identitarian is the who the plurality of Republican voters want. The GOP I think is not what needs to change--it's the voters who identify with and join it.

And you wonder why you are banned here.

Republicans and libertarians have little in common. Sure, leaders in the Republican Party like lower taxes, but they also like an interventionist foreign policy, which makes low taxes next to impossible - unless one takes the GWB approach and finance wars with debt - and the Republican base may not like an interventionist foreign policy but they also like social security and Medicare, which, combined with an interventionist foreign policy and low taxes, leads to endless debt. Finding love between Republicans and libertarians in that mess requires a willing suspension of disbelief.

"Republicans and libertarians have little in common."

Oh, there's a fair amount of overlap that matters. Off the top of my head, both, Ls and Rs generally think Citizens United was the correct decision and that giving government the ability to regulate speech near and about elections would be dangerous and contrary to the 1st amendment. Both Ls and Rs think Heller and Burwell were rightly decided and Kelo and Sebelius were terrible. Both Ls and Rs lack the knee-jerk anti-corporation, anti-market, profit-is-bad, mkay reflex of the Ds (that one's kind of a big deal). Both are opposed to the 'Campus Rape Culture' panic, affirmative consent laws, and resultant threats to due process for the accused. But all that said, libertarians do have much less in common with Trump than any other nominee since, well, Nixon, I guess.

So, Libertarians support the Republican machine and gerrymandering it paid for with dark money?

Or are you arguing Libertarians think dark money is benign? In the long run....?

Libertarians think giving incumbent politicians control over how they can be criticized and when and by whom is the far greater danger. They also believe that anonymity is an important right because it enables people to express their views (and donate to causes they support) freely without fearing retaliation by the politically powerful. And if money was the main factor in electoral success, Jeb Bush would be the Republican nominee right now.

Gary Johnson was a republican as governor. Ron Paul ran as a republican. It's not 1:1, but definitely a huge overlap between the two parties, whereas there's very little overlap between libertarians & democrats - even where there's some alignment on particular issues, the ideology/reasoning to reach that position are different.

What about all the gay stuff?

Other than Trump being a clown sociopath?

I think this will be a massive year for the Libertarians. Johnson will probably double his 2012 vote share putting him at about 2%. Even 3% is a possibility.

Ugh, I hope you're wrong. I've got a standing bet with someone that it's going to break 5%.

I added that condition IN ADDITION to Hillary winning, because I felt bad taking his money.

I wouldn't place any bets until we see who the running mates are. If Hillary (whose health isn't that great) selects some crazy lefty, she'll lose my vote to Johnson. And if Trump picks some sane, likable VP, he may pick up somebody who would otherwise go to Johnson.

VPs have virtually no impact on presidential election results. Not saying it isn't a valid criteria for your vote, but overall it just doesn't matter.

This year the 'experts' say the VP picks will matter more than usual, because the nominees are both so disliked. They need to go for likable on the ticket, and Trump in particular needs to pick a sane competent type. Trump has even said if he wins he intends to be more of a chairman type and let his VP and staff do the nitty gritty stuff.

Frankly I am quite sure Trump only wants one term, and maybe not even that. He may rope in a very solid vp type by promising to step down after 2 years. He will have gotten all the ego stroking he wants by winning but after a couple years he will be bored and frustrated by the demands of the job, and he'll be 72 years old. He's not going to win, but if he does that's my guess.

It doesn't help the libertarian movement when aloof and not particularly bright guys like Johnson are the face of the movement.

Who would you prefer?

Tyler Cowen

twice as aloof and twice as bright!

Many of the commenters here are underestimating how unpalatable Trump is to large swaths of the Republican party, not just libertarians.

For many anti-Trump Republicans, the ones who are repelled by Trump's sordidness, Gary Johnson is not attractive either. Not nearly so repellent as Trump, but not attractive.

The big question for Gary Johnson over the next 5 months is whether he criss-crosses the nation or focuses on the Mountain states (UT, NM, CO, ID, MT, KS) and in effort to win a state or two. I don't think he breaks 10% but 5 - 10% this year. I don't think Donald is popular in many red states.

great plains republicans would rather shoot themselves in the foot and let hillary take their guns away for doing so than let such an impolite new yorker represent them

He'll win a lot of plains states but not by nearly as much as a typical Rep. And Utah may actually go Dem.

Care to offer any evidence?

NPR said so this morning

NPR? Hey guys remember me from the 90s? Vote Libertarian

Could very easily wind up with an outcome like Clinton 47%, Trump 41%, Johnson 10%, Stein/others 2%, or something in that vicinity.

I don't even think Trump will break 40%. He's showing no signs of toning down his rhetoric to appeal to anything other than stupidest end of the stupid party.

The last 24 hours especially have been a parade of offensive stupidity. Many on Twitter suspect he is intentionally sabotaging his campaign, and I'm finding it harder not to believe that. Is it too much to dream he'll drop out before the convention?

I thought that earlier, more than once actually. Now I just think, as someone on Twitter said, 70 year old blowhards don't change their spots.

He seems to be playing chicken with his supporters: "what obviously stupid things can I say and still maintain their support?" Imagine if Obama had said of the United States "Eventually, it's not going to survive, just so you understand." (an actual thing Trump said)

You underestimate the portion of voters who don't see slavery and death camps as the only viable solution to the problems that bother them.

The problem is so few of them fail to realize they number among the groups to be eliminated in the final solution. Trump keeps implying all the problem people are recent immigrants, but many are immigrants from several centuries ago.

And that includes Trump whose roots are much less than a century.

But then, I'm confident he'd find reason to deport me, and my roots are about 495 years.

I don’t even think Trump will break 40%.

In your dreams, Hazel. The only occasion in nearly 200 years on which a Presidential candidate has been elected de novo with a large margin as an affirmation of the outgoing administration was in 1928. However, the Republican Party owned the political landscape in the 1920s, holding both houses of Congress for 13 years and winning the Presidency twice by pluralities exceeding 20% of the electorate. Their candidate in 1928 was an immensely respected and accomplished man. Nothing comparable's up today. (And the smart money says Johnson clocks in with 2% of the popular vote in November).

HW Bush did not break 40%, but he lost by over 5% to Clinton's 43%.

Clinton getting 47%, Trump 40%, and lots of thrown away votes, especially write ins, or just non-votes is possible.

HW Bush was much more popular in 1992 than Trump today. And Clinton wasn't that popular. The only real enthusiasm was for Perot.

In 1992, Clinton was simply the least loser.

Mulp, you had a 3d party candidate who was leading the race in June with 39% of the respondents and still managed to poll 19% in November. You don't have that this year. And Bush Sr.'s approval ratings were in the toilet in 1992.

Betting on stupid is smart. Betting on smart is stupid. If everybody who knows the difference between "presumptive" and "presumptuous" votes for Hillary and eveybody else votes for Trump, guess who wins.

Sad that when you read stories about Libertarians you see things like that previous candidate who didn't have a driver's license because it would require a social security number, an unreasonable accommodation to the State.

Ross Douthat linked to a not-directly related piece, about how alt-right supposedly comes from Libertarians frustrated with low polling.

No driver's license guys wanting a monarchy is one weird future. I did not see it coming.

"Wanting a monarchy???"

Alt-right is a contested title, but the word "monarchy" comes up frequently. In this it is related to company structure, but immediately followed by the idea that "capitalism and democracy are incompatible":


What the actual fronk? Capitalism is democracy, distilled. Every time you buy or sell something, you're voting with your dollars. And every time you DON"T buy or sell something, you're again voting.

And your evidence is citing someone who is in Trump's camp, not the libertarian one ?!?!

Well, I was trying to draw a connection between happy libertarians at 1% share, and yes those further out who say "forget this democracy stuff."

I think a 1% share should be a teachable moment, but "forget democracy" is the wrong answer. Better to think about politics appealing to more than a slender minority of personality types.

Looks to me like more trying to squeeze infotainment value out of a yaawner campaign season. The drama was over when Rubio lost Florida. Now we're just waiting for Clinton to mop up.

Now we’re just waiting for Clinton to mop up.

Per RCP, HRC has a gargantuan lead of 3.5%.

5.5%: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html


Right, and less than a month ago (check out May 24) Clinton's lead was 0.2%.

A lot can happen over the remaining time.

I keep wondering if there will be some effect similar to the Bradley effect where some voters are not going to admit to a pollster that they plan to vote for Trump, on account of, you know, he's a loose cannon and all. But they'll still pull the lever for Trump on election day. This may be particularly true for some amount of Democrats who just cannot bring themselves to vote for HRC. But even if true there's no telling how many voters that'll be.

"I keep wondering if there will be some effect similar to the Bradley effect where some voters are not going to admit to a pollster that they plan to vote for Trump, on account of, you know, he’s a loose cannon and all."

That's almost certainly the case. But I think that just lower bounds Trump at around 40%. It doesn't mean that he'll win. It does indicates he'll do better than he polls.

But they’ll still pull the lever for Trump on election day. This may be particularly true for some amount of Democrats who just cannot bring themselves to vote for HRC.

If Bush or Rubio were the presumptive nominee, you'd have something there. Since that's Trump, though, don't bet on it. Such Dems will either write-in Bernie or stay home. The Hillary-is-the-Antichrist meme doesn't have enough traction on the left or center-left for them to defect.

Trump has the GOP base. Now, he needs enough of the GOP establishment and enough moderates and independents to squeak it out over Hillary. There simply aren't enough Art Decos and Steve Sailers out there for him to do it with the base alone. Securing those additional voters, however, requires a tactical shift he is currently unwilling to make. What Trump needs to do now is sound like he actually knows what he's talking about i.e. competent. Get smart enough on the details of the issues that he can do his stream of consciousness, ad lib shtick without sounding like a coked-up used car salesman spewing word salad. The base is angry enough that they don't give a shit about that. Hell, a solid percentage of them consider his ignorance a plus. But the establishment and moderates? Not so much.

Hillary is a weak candidate. Not Mondale weak, but Kerry weak. She's beatable. If Trump could stop sounding like a jackass, establish detente with the GOP, and concentrate his energies in the Rust Belt and Florida, he could win.

But, he's decided that strategy and forethought are for whiny, flaccid losers. Pffff. Pussies. He doesn't need any of that. He's Donald Trump. 16 inches limp with nuts as big as watermelons. Craps a $100 million in gold before breakfast. Napoleon fucking Bonaparte.

Hillary is a weak candidate. Not Mondale weak, but Kerry weak.

The weak candidates are those who underperform given circumstances. Kerry did about as well as you'd expect given the incumbent's approval ratings. Mondale and Romney did a shade worse. Stevenson and Goldwater were facing an incumbent with approval ratings north of 70%, something hardly seen after 1965. Stevenson did better than Goldwater. The worst performer was George McGovern, who was shellacked when he should have had a respectable showing. As far as performance during a campaign, nothing tops George Bush's dispatch of Michael Dukakis in 1988. I think you can argue that campaign errors by candidates generally cancel out. The two years where that certainly was not true would be 1972 and 1988.

There simply aren’t enough Art Decos and Steve Sailers out there for him to do it with the base alone.

I've been banned by The Unz Review and took heaps of abuse from SS acolytes before they did that. Pretty funny you stuck us in the same pigeonhole.

@Art Deco: I’ve been banned by The Unz Review and took heaps of abuse from SS acolytes before they did that. Pretty funny you stuck us in the same pigeonhole.

You're both reactionaries, albeit of different shades, and you'll both vote for Trump in November provided he is the GOP nominee.

Care to venture a guess how that translates to an electoral map?

There are many Reps who really can't believe Clinton is going to get elected. They felt similarly about Obama in 2012. Karl Rove in particular couldn't believe his eyes. Art's gonna be mad.

LOL, Clinton will probably win, but it's hardly in the bag, as your post implies.

I'll point out that you were wrong about Trump winning the nomination.

Even Trump was wrong about winning the nomination, no one including him thought it would happen. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but Clinton winning is the most likely outcome. I'm more convinced after this week, I thought Orlando would be a big help to Trump like San Bernadino was, but the opposite has occurred as his craziness and narcissism were amplified by the event. The general election has a far different character than the Rep primary. Clinton is about a 7-2 favorite. Seems right, but sometimes the underdog wins.

"Even Trump was wrong about winning the nomination, no one including him thought it would happen."

You've said that twice, but I don't recall Trump saying that. Do you have a citation?

"The general election has a far different character than the Rep primary. Clinton is about a 7-2 favorite. "

Trump's odds were pretty bad for winning the Republican nomination. I don't see that Trump got "lucky" and won. He had either a strategy or a style that was a winner. He's not acting like a traditional candidate, in any shape, form or fashion.

LOL do I have a quote? Man we're just bloviating here, no one has any idea what goes on in their heads: not Trump's not Hillary's not Jeb's....just speculating. I don't think Trump started this thing thinking he could win, then like the rest of us he realized he could. YMMV.

Trump’s odds were pretty bad for winning the Republican nomination. I don’t see that Trump got “lucky” and won. He had either a strategy or a style that was a winner. He’s not acting like a traditional candidate, in any shape, form or fashion.

His odds were never bad. He announced his candidacy in mid-June 2015, took the lead in mid July 2015, and never lost it. Neither the prediction markets or N. Silver proved much of an oracle.

ps As for Nate's tweet, looks like the stress of running an internet news site has destroyed his value as a poll analyst. Obama vs Romney was 51-47. A conservative D against a nutjob R gets four percentage points less? She loses almost a tenth of Obama's supporters to Johnson?

"conservative D "

Who is that?

I think Mr. Warner is trying to tell you that he hasn't a clue how to use political terminology, in addition to his penchant for stupid end zone dances.

Compare Clinton to Ike or Nixon or Hoover or Teddy Roosevelt.

Or even what Reagan actually did and said when not running for office.

Which presidents have increased the "gas tax" by at least 100%?

What did Reagan say when hiking the gas tax 125%?

A "yaawner of a campaign season"?

For me, a campaign season is interesting to the extent you can't predict who will win. When Rubio was knocked out, that fell to zero. I pay some attention to the Trump phenomenon, but not a lot and I consider that an entirely different topic from the question of who's going to be president.

There's some interesting comments on this board. But I don't think anybody can accurately predict the race at this point.

I'm inclined to think Hillary Clinton will win, but that's about as far as I would go.

Here's the latest Bloomberg poll (small sample size):
HC 49%

DT 37%

GJ 9%


Never heard of election betting, huh?

"Never heard of election betting, huh?"

Sure, but they aren't known for being significantly better than polling at this point in the race.

Do you know of a site that showed Trump winning the nomination in January? That was 5 months ago. The election is 5 months away.

@JWatts that's somewhat faulty reasoning. The betting markets may have (correctly) predicted that Trump winning was unlikely, and yet the unlikely thing happened.

If the betting markets gave very long odds that I would be struck by lightning, and then I got struck by lightning, it wouldn't prove that they were "wrong" in terms of setting the odds, nor would it be much evidence of whether they were accurate overall.

What? Dan111, you should re-read my post.

they aren’t known for being significantly better than polling at this point in the race.

I didn't say that the betting markets were useless. I said that they weren't any better than the polls.

@JWatts, sorry perhaps I misinterpreted your post.

My point was merely that the betting markets' failure to predict Trump doesn't really show whether they were better and worse than the polls. But I was probably reading too much into your original comment and seeing a claim that wasn't really there.

Electionbettingodds.com. Showed Trump emerge with the lead back in mid January.

And to the contrary, prediction markets are indeed significantly better than polling, which is almost worthless.

Electionbettingodds.com showed Trump rise in the last two weeks in January and then had Rubio solidly eclipse him for the first two weeks in February.


And if you look at the corresponding aggregate poll result from RealClearPolitics you'll notice the polls indicated Trump as the front runner in November.


"And to the contrary, prediction markets are indeed significantly better than polling, which is almost worthless."

I've heard a lot of speculation about this but I haven't seen convincing evidence.

Here's one studies result:
"Our results are provocative. First, we find that market prices are far better predictors in the period without polls than when polls were available. Second, we find that market prices of the pre-poll era predicted elections almost on par with polls following the introduction of scientific polling. Finally, when we have both market prices and polls, prices add nothing to election prediction beyond polls."


There are a lot of claims that polls are "worthless", but these claims are false. Historically, polls have had quite a lot of predictive value.

Domestic policies are fine. If only he could find a foreign policy.

Oh, common, you will all coalesce--or is the correct word congeal--around Donald Trump,

Although you might not want to have your picture taken wearing a Trump hat

Because it may appear on someone's FaceBook page years from now.

I think immigration policy is a winner if he allows illegals who have jobs and pay taxes to stay. But no citizenship and no voting for 25 years. Take political gain out of the equation.

We had great luck denying the vote to emancipated blacks in the South after reconstruction. It was for more than 25 years. So, you would let them work, pay taxes, but not vote.

victimhood peddler, on a cushy pension . . .

First you have to make victims to make victimhood. 25 years of paying taxes and no vote.

By the way, for your own good, you do not want people here who are unengaged. They will not respect the law because they did not help create it; they will believe the system is against them even though they work and pay taxes; and they will pass on to their children a disrespect for government they cannot participate in.

If you want to find a model of failure, go to the Middle East and look at their programs of long term itinerant workers who now pose a threat to the established governments.

the system is against them like obesity, youtube music, and microwaves. you cry foul to the hilltops while you rake in wealth, any kind a hundred years ago would dream about.

how much did that last open-heart surgery cost you? or those dental implants? all the while you're pining for the poor robin hood.

This. You really want to create an underclass of disenfranchised workers? That hasn't worked out too well in the past, ever. People who can't participate in the political process turn to other mechanisms to get what they want.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Nate Silver...why again should we pay attention to this guy? I thought he lost all credibility after his idiotic dismissal of DT's chances.

Isn't it partly because he has a name that is easy to remember? Unlike, say, George Stroumboulopoulos.

Then every pundit lost all credibility, no one thought Trump had a chance including Trump himself.

"Then every pundit lost all credibility, ..."

The pundit didn't have credibility to start with. Nate Silver has been attempting to set himself apart for other pundit's through the use of statistics.

Nate Silver admitted that he ignored the statistics and just made up the number in his declarations involving Trump. At the point he's picking and choosing when to apply the science he's a pundit.

That he was acting as a pundit in that case is not disputable.

To his credit, he did publicly admit that he screwed up. Most pundits skip that step.

The problem with this prediction is that she won't survive the FBI primary. It's happening.

There's going to be enormous pressure on the FBI. They won't push a case like this against a figure as powerful as Hillary Clinton unless they have an iron clad case. It's hard to see how they make an iron clad case. A good case sure, but that's not going to be enough.

No. There's no case. The documents weren't classified at the time she put them on the server. The parallel with Petraeus is entirely fictional, a K Street NW invention.


This is the Hail Mary the Reps are banking on. Like most Hail Marys, it's not going to work.

Moments after he won the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, was handed a peace offering — a replica of one of George Washington’s pistols — by runner-up Austin Petersen.

“You have my sword, and my gun,” said Petersen.

Cameras rolling, Johnson accepted the gift. Then he watched Petersen tell delegates to oppose Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor Johnson had enticed to run for vice president, whose past views against marijuana legalization are seen as a deal-breaker for many orthodox libertarians.

Johnson is not so much about orthodoxy. In a snit as he walked out, he tossed the gun in the garbage. For days afterward, a busy network of libertarian blogs investigated the story, and got a confession. Fox News even ran with it.

“It wasn’t out of character,” said Johnson. “Maybe, what was out of character was doing it in a public way, where I kind of, sort of knew that it would be seen. In character would have been to do that in private. But to me, hypocrisy” — endorsing Johnson but not his running mate — “is the unforgivable sin.”

Gee, what an a**. I bet compared to this guy the typical libertarian is the life of the party.

Clinton's supposed "baggage" is the invention of the class of consultants who feed and feed off the gullible right.

Since the hundred million dollars spent fighting Hillary's health care plans 24 years ago, they have tailored a long succession of lies and insinuations to the sort of people who made Viguerie and Atwater rich: stupid, moneyed, ignorant soi-disant "conservatives." There's nothing conservative about them, as we see from their current swain, the Orange One.

They're just suckers. And losers. But the consultants now have yachts, too.


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