Patterico's Pontifications


No, the GOP is not doomed in 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:39 am

[Posted by Karl]

RCP’s Sean Trende is having none of this defeatism:

Conservative opinion maker George Will compares the GOP’s presidential fate to Barry Goldwater’s flop. Many key Republicans reportedly believe they are indeed “consigned to defeat.” Conservative blogger Erick Erickson promises that defeat if the GOP nominates Mitt Romney. Liberal analyst Ruy Teixeira predicts that Obama will retain the White House as decisively as he attained it four years ago.

RTWT for a wide-ranging explanation of what should be obvious to the doomsayers, i.e., the 2012 presidential election is far from over.  I will focus of Teixera’s analysis from a different angle from Trende, because it turns out that I have already debunked most of it before it was written.

Unsurprisingly, Teixeira leads with some Emerging Democratic Majority theory, based on the results of a recent Pew poll.  The most recent Quinnipiac poll still has Obama short of his demographic targets.

However, Teixeira spends most of his time with three cherry-picked election forecasting models (such models are generally developed to help explain elections, but people cannot help from forecasting with them).  I have already written about two of them.  Political scientists have found Nate Silver’s model has a larger mean average error than all of the most well-known election forecasting models.  Alan Abramowitz’s “Time For a Change” model favors Obama, in part through the power of incumbency — but his model has over-predicted the vote of the incumbent candidate by at least 1.85% in each of the last four presidential elections.  The third model, from Larry Bartels, relies not only on incumbency, but also implies that that income loss in 2009 will translate into a gain of more than 7 percentage points in Obama’s expected vote margin this year.  Although untested by other political scientists, Bartels himself notes this theory runs contrary to his prior argument that “voters are overwhelmingly focused on the here and now” and “must be taken with a large grain of salt,” particularly given the high ratio of parameters to data.

Indeed, this is why I prefer simpler models that Teixeira conveniently avoids.  The “Bread and Peace” model from Douglas Hibbs uses only two variables (real disposable personal income per capita and military fatalities in unprovoked wars).  That model’s results last month were not encouraging for Obama, even if you modify the model to give him credit as the incumbent.  Since then, real disposable income has fallen.

Among newer models, there is the “Nowcast,” from professors Charles Tien of and Michael Lewis-Beck, who have done a fair amount of work in this area.  The Nowcast is based largely on the National Business Index (NBI), which the authors define as the percentage of respondents who say “business conditions are better” minus the percentage of respondents who say “business conditions are worse,” as measured in the national University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.  This NBI, measured in April six months before the November election, correlates highly with incumbent vote share since 1980.  The most recent Nowcast (.pdf) — just one month from April — has Obama at 47.4%, which not only projects an Obama loss but one outside the average overall model error of 2.2%.

In short, it is easy to be bearish on the GOP amid a fractious fight among ostensibly weak candidates.  It is also easy to understand why someone like Teixeira would want to proclaim inevitable doom even before the GOP nominee.  But it seems like Will and Erickson are letting their opinions of Romney cloud their judgment.


31 Responses to “No, the GOP is not doomed in 2012”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. Will and Roky Erickson may be on to something, judging by some of the on-line wiggin’.

    Colonel Haiku (8bcbba)

  3. No, Will is clueless not for the first time since 2009, Erickson over exaggerates the problem,

    narciso (87e966)

  4. In other news, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez confirms the new ass removed from his tumor was cancerous:

    Colonel Haiku (8bcbba)

  5. Can Mitt recover the party from Operation Bamboozle?
    I’m thinking only Newt can shake off that nonsense now, and we’re likely not going to have Newt.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  6. Unless the GOP nominates Ron Paul, and as long as their nominee is still breathing and NOT Obama, I’ll vote for him/her.

    Mike Giles (86cf1b)

  7. Yeah, you will. But the ABO vote isn’t enough.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  8. Mittens, for the first time, could do something for conservatives.
    Break up the gop!

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  9. Be careful what you wish for.

    Colonel Haiku (b3edb7)

  10. ______________________________________________

    Conservative opinion maker George Will compares the GOP’s presidential fate to Barry Goldwater’s flop.

    That seems like a dumb comparison, if only because Romney is ideologically quite namby-pamby and externally non-threatening (if not even straight out of central casting), whereas Goldwater had the look of a crabby neighbor who was perceived in the 1960s as a rightwing ideologue who’d happily launch a hydrogen bomb.

    However, beyond that, if many people in this society actually do envision President “Goddamn America” as a very competitive force to be reckoned with, then, well, our chickens truly have come home to roost.

    Mark (411533)

  11. Eh, we’re f**ked economically no matter who’s in charge. If the R wins, if the D wins, it really doesn’t matter this election, because there is no fiscal difference between them. And the one guy who knows his economic sh*t up there is too crazy to be elected.

    We need new parties: statist vs the rest of us. The statists can argue among themselves about which aspects of everyone elses lives to regulate, and the rest of us could tell them to blow it out their backdoor.

    Ghost (c104c9)

  12. Now this is sadly, poignantly funny…

    Colonel Haiku (b3edb7)

  13. we haven’t even gotten a glimpse yet of what the race looks like when republicans focus on stuff people care about

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  14. The media notwithstanding, Obama’s financial chickens are coming home to roost in late summer if not sooner. It’s going to kick us all in the ass, but it will be his undoing.

    sybilll (523ece)

  15. I absolutely agree GOP is not out of the hunt.

    Too bad its game is nought but to hope for events to be unkind to Amerikkka while it pleasures itself.

    Carter was a dozen points ahead until the final few weeks. Then peoples’ minds concentrated.

    If the GOP can turn out 50% in Red States they should win.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  16. It’s true obamanites, present and past, might be less energetic. Swing voters might well swing back to Romney in despair, as he is not super-scarey. Once notromney is not possible, the abo vote should shore up and settle down with it’s singular purpose to get the marxists out before it’s too late, not that they will be getting a conservative in the bargain.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  17. Gary G… you’ve made a complete flip-flop. After months and months of Chicken Little “sky is falling!”, you now say we’re “not out of the hunt”?

    Better late than never…

    Colonel Haiku (b3edb7)

  18. whatever happens later this year I can’t imagine anyone respectable will be in our little oval office for many many moons

    it’s just where we are as a country

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  19. Rasmussen is still at -15, despite the kultursmog,
    running 24/7, but that isn’t because of Romney’s grand eloquence.

    narciso (87e966)

  20. 17. Complete, really? I beg to differ.

    Blue states will probably nominate McBain. He should have almost enough bound delegates to nominate and odds are the RNC delegates will give him the margin. But he needs to win on the first ballot.

    He will carry a couple, MA for one, PA likely another. Purple states will be in play likely 60:40 at best for Incumbent.

    So the real question is the Red States. If voting turnout is horrible, say 45%, GOP could be in big trouble.

    I don’t expect either major to get 45% of the popular vote.

    At this point better than 50:50 chance for both Iran war and Greek collapse, ‘bailout’ that would give 14 Billion, or a fraction of her need, looks to be coming apart. We’ll know inside a week.

    Good for GOP chances.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  21. Ever notice that when the word “bipartisan” is put in there, you get screwed twice as hard?

    Ghost (c104c9)

  22. Bipartisan means leftists will demagogue it, and it will betray conservative principles.

    JD (ddebbb)

  23. Karl — It wasn’t Sean Trende who wrote the column you’re commenting on. It was someone named David Paul Kuhn.

    gwjd (032bef)

  24. The GOP may not be doomed but I fear America is. When the GOP looks to a supporter of socialised health care to be its standard bearer the game is over. It doesn’t matter which party wins the white house, all it will change is the name on the door. Does anyone really think the GOP is going to slash 1.5 trillion from the budget if they had the chance? All they will do is direct some of that money to their own supporters. The end is in sight now though, this nations debt can only be paid through monsterous inflation. At the end of it we’ll be lucky to come out of it with even half the purchasing power of today.

    Mr Black (e49dbe)

  25. Dyer has a post at the Green Room on the similarity to date of march to Tampa with 1996.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  26. Just as an aside, the linked article was by David Paul Kuhn. Sean Trende did another article in RCP about the Emerging Majority bit that’s being trotted out now.

    BravoRomeoDelta (6a3d7c)

  27. Mr. BRD! You are in the hizzy!

    So to speak.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  28. Does anyone really think the GOP is going to slash 1.5 trillion from the budget if they had the chance?

    I don’t. Not anymore.

    I think people should invest in property or gold or something like that. The real problem isn’t even the politicians. As Mark would say, the problem is the country itself becoming pretty lefty.

    The GOP isn’t doomed, but the deficit isn’t either.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  29. property in New Zealand maybe

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  30. One does not simply buy property in Mordor.

    Dustin (401f3a)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5153 secs.