Category Archives: Election

Fact Checker Checker

This is Trump, speaking at one of his rallies recently:

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right? Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ They have no clue, they don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa, they can’t even count. No, they can’t. They can’t count their votes. One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.’ That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since he got in. It’s all turning, they lost. It’s all turning, think of it, think of it. And this is their new hoax. But you know we did something that’s been pretty amazing. We have 15 people in this massive country and because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that.”

What do you think he is referring to when he says “And this is their new hoax” ? Sure, it’s a bit of a meander to get there, but he’s saying “Coronavirus” is “their new hoax”, right?

This was too hard for the Washington Post “fact checker”, though.

I bet she slept through the class where they taught about ellipses and how they can be used to trim parenthetical clauses in spoken English, so as to make the meaning clearer.

Who read “fake news” before 2016 US election

Science, bitches.

Overall, almost half of the people participating visited at least one article from a website on that list during the study period. But those articles accounted for only 6 percent of all news stories read. These numbers weren’t evenly distributed across the political spectrum, though. About 57 percent of Trump supporters in the group visited an untrustworthy site at least once, amounting to about 11 percent of total news consumption. For the Clinton supporters in the group, it was 28 percent of people visiting at least one article, for 1 percent of their total news consumption.

And drilling deeper into the data, a relatively small group of people is responsible for most of the visits to untrustworthy sites. The researchers categorized people by the ideological slant of their “news diet,” from those whose reading is dominated by liberal sites to those who only read conservative sites. The 20 percent of people farthest to the conservative end of the spectrum accounted for almost two-thirds of the untrustworthy articles read.

Strategery

Dear Democrats,

If you want to win and you are not already the leader, you have to go after the leader, not the person in third or fourth place.

If you are holding back on attacking Sanders because you think you’ll need his supporters later, please note that you will never get his supporters if you continue to let him lead, no matter how gentle you are to him. While he is in the race, his supporters are his.

If you hold Sanders to plurality wins, you will never get the lead. And you will never get his supporters.

If you don’t want to go after Sanders, you should drop out immediately because all you’re doing is splitting the non-Sanders vote – for example 2016.

Thanks!

Too Much Meh

Early voting for the NC primary starts today.

Sadly, I have no idea who I’m going to vote for because nobody is really grabbing me and there are so many to choose from.

I guess I have to wait a couple weeks and hope things get clearer.

B.A.N.A.N.A.S.

New rules that will be implemented for the Feb. 3 contest could give presidential candidates an unprecedented opportunity to spin the results. In previous years, the Iowa Democratic Party reported just one number: the number of state delegates won by each candidate. For the first time, the party will this year report two other numbers — who had the most votes at the beginning and at the end of the night.

This shit is bananas.

Highly Neurotic in Cambridge

Cambridge Analytica is about to get some more news coverage, thanks to someone who is dumping a bunch of internal documents from a whistleblower into a Twitter account.

Here’s the second one I looked at. It was in the “BOLTON” group, which sounded interesting because John Bolton is back in the news today and I wondered if this was the same Bolton. It is! So this is a case study about how they identified and targeted voters (in NC, by coincidence) for a 2014 Senate race.

CASE STUDY: JOHN BOLTON

THE BRIEF
CA Political was contracted to carry out a personality-targeted digital advertising campaign with three interlocking goals: to persuade voters to elect Republican Senate candidates in Arkansas, North Carolina and New Hampshire; to elevate national security as an issue of importance and to increase public awareness of Ambassador Bolton’s Super PAC.

RESULT
GOP candidates were victorious in Arkansas and North Carolina and the Republican candidate did better than expected in New Hampshire. The strongest results came out of North Carolina, which was arguably the most competitive race of the mid-term elections. By adopting an entirely different approach from other campaign groups, the Bolton Super PAC campaign was able to cut through the noise and deliver messages that had a real impact in sending Thom Tillis to the United States Senate.

North Carolina Group 3: Psychographic profiling findings showed that this mostly female, younger group were highly neurotic and most concerned with the economy, national security and immigration. Advertising for Group 3 placed emphasis on the failures of the current administration’s national security policy. Post-election surveys revealed a statistically significant increase in the number of people who identified ‘National Security’ as their most important issue, a 34% increase versus the control group.

North Carolina Group 4: Psychographic profiling results indicated that this group was highly agreeable and conscientious, fairly evenly split in gender. Top concerns were the economy and education. Advertising for Group 4 downplayed political conflict with the message that “national security is something that should cut across political lines”. The campaign also featured young children to position the issue of national security as being for the good of family and society.

TIMESCALE
The 2014 mid-term elections.

OUR WORK
In North Carolina, one of the most strongly contested swing states in the election, CA Political segmented persuadable and low-turnout voter populations to identify several key groups that could be influenced by Bolton Super PAC messaging. Online and Direct TV ads were designed to appeal directly to specific groups’ personality traits, priority issues and demographics.

Stand By Your Man

My current favorite argument about why the impeachment is wrong is: it can’t be valid because it’s not supported by Republicans. If the Dems could convince the Republicans that Trump is a crook, they’d be more than happy to impeach him.

We’re talking about the Republicans who looked at 2016 Trump (the serial bankruptor, runner of a fraudulent ‘university’, mail order vitamin hustler, tax cheat, out and proud proponent of sexual assault, serial husband, porn-star-boffing hush-money-payer, guy with fake Time Magazine covers of himself in his office, mocker of veterans and the disabled, the racist, sexist, amoral, immoral delusional fabulist) and said “YEAH THAT’S THE STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The Dems are supposed to convince them that bribery is wrong?

Impeachment is wrong because a bunch of people who have no principle deeper than “Well, at least he’s not a liberal! LOL!” won’t change their mind?

Yeah. No. The problem here isn’t with the case against Trump.

The Null Defense

The reason Trump and his defenders aren’t mounting any kind of serious defense to the impeachment accustaions is even simpler than “There isn’t one”. It’s the simplest reason of all:

He doesn’t need one.

The Senate outcome is preordained: they’re going to vote to acquit. Trump knows he doesn’t need to defend himself, at all. Instead, they’re using the media attention to stage another episode of Republican Grievance Theater for the rubes.

Hand-wringing over the incompetence of the defenses misses the point. The defenses don’t need to be legally competent; they only need to keep the GOP base happy.