Saturday, January 30, 2016


There was a great exchange yesterday on Twitter about the way the political press plays favorites. I particularly love the comment by Chris Hayes:

Rubio is an obvious media favorite -- probably because members of the GOP establishment clear have made it clear to the media that he's their favorite.

But there's another toddler who's long been a favorite of political journalists, and they're still trying to will him to victory. Check out this story in The Hill about a new New Hampshire poll (emphasis added):
Donald Trump continues to hold a strong lead in the early-voting state of New Hampshire while his Republican presidential rivals battle for a distant second place in a new poll.

The real estate mogul is supported by 27 percent of likely GOP primary voters in the Granite State, leading his nearest rivals by 15 points in a Suffolk University poll released Thursday.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich tie with 12 percent apiece, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at 10 percent....

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is within striking distance at 6 percent in the latest poll, which has retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 5 percent and businesswoman Carly Fiorina at 4 percent.
Christie is in 6th place. He's 21 points behind Trump. He's 4 points behind the guy who's in 5th place. He's only 1 point ahead of Ben Carson.

But he's within striking distance! No, really, he is!

C'mon, Chris, you can do it....


Cranky Fan said...

I've read two stories this morning suggesting Rubio is "surging." There's been zero anecdotal evidence to back it up. It's unbelievable really.

Ten Bears said...

Striking distance is when that walking wheelbarrel load of rancid pork renderings comes down here and tells me to my face to sit down and shut up.

Let me know when Oregon matters.

Fuck Iowa.

Cranky Fan said...

Up to three stories. POLITICO has a story up about Rubio being 'all smiles' ahead of Iowa now. Pure fluff with nary a single number.

Steve in Manhattan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve in Manhattan said...

I would say that expecting Christie to place anywhere in the top three is a bridge too far ... Steve in Manhattan

Victor said...

If Iowa was and all-you-can-eat buffet, management and the waitstaff would worry about their profits for the day, since, obese as he is, Chrisie would always be within striking distance of any station!

"No more! GO home!! You too fat!!!" *

Politically, he's a long way from striking distancce.

* H/t to L. Anderson, overweight stand-up - I believe.

mlbxxxxxx said...

One interesting note from the survey: Question 7b indicates that more than twice as many of the respondents would be open to voting for Bernie than Hillary. It was, frankly, kind of a surprise that anyone was willing to vote for Hillary, but I bet more than a few of the "Bernie" respondents were trying to sow mischief by encouraging a Bernie nomination which they think would be easy to beat. I'm afraid I agree with them on that score.

The subsequent questions suggest that Bernie would pull more votes than Hillary from Trump if Trump was the GOP nominee. Again I don't know if I believe that is real love for Bernie rather than an attempt to fluff his numbers, but who knows?

Wish the margin of error was easier to find on some of these polls.

Feud Turgidson said...

Steve M., I think in this case you're part of the problem.

This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with relative standing based on a description system that just HAPPENS to be in whole numbers. "1" could just as credibly be "A", or "Z", or, if you were to choose to start at N and move forward thru Z, then if necessary (which it most certainly was until recently, at least, and may very well still be, but for the fact that I've now lost track of how many candidates are still technically 'standing' yet simply not showing up either on the main stage or at the kiddie table) proceeding from Z to A - and so forward again towards N, but if M is reached not then moving back to N, which could be confusing, but rather moving from M to NN, or N2, or N2.0, or N(a), or some other designation unique to a 27th candidate. Or, it could just have easily utilized Roman numerals, or Base 8 abacus; really, the options are theoretically infinite.

What really matters is what determines the concept of "striking distance".

What, for example, tells us, with crystalline certainly, that when a given position, say "6" (or "S", or "VI", or "Top Row Only Bead Right Bead Right Bead Right Bead Right Bead Right Bead Right"), is in a 2/9ths ratio to the leader, THAT constitutes 'within striking distance', whereas any other ratio, certainly in the direction of a larger denominator (e.g. 5/27ths) or a small numerator (e.g. 1/9th), but as well at least theoretically even where the denominator is decreased (or the numerator increased), does not?

Frankly, I don't know the answer to that. But from the tenor of this post, I strongly suspect YOU don't know EITHER, Steve! So now the question is boils down to whether or not you choose to perform your own amateur, uninformed, inexpert analysis on what may or may not constitute "striking distance" - which I don't recommend, especially since it can lead to confusion - or else you choose to rely on what you read in The Hill under the byline of "Jesse Byrnes" (who I think we can all agree was possibly paid to write the content of that article, and if so possibly even by his (or her) employers), trusting that a highly credible straight news source such as The Hill would never publish that sort of thing without some sound calculus underlying it.

To me, the choice is just obvious.

Ten Bears said...

And people accuse me of obtuse verbosity.

nanute said...

I wish Unknown could expand on that a little more. We know that Steve thinks the striking distance notion is ridiculous. Can we assume that Unknown thinks otherwise?

Unknown said...

I suppose "Bush is in striking distance" would have more immediately failed the laugh test.

[The "fat man told to go home from all-you-can-eat-buffet" joke is one I associate with John Pinette. If Louie Anderson has told it, one of them swiped it from the other.]

Dark Avenger said...

Turn the question upside-down: Where is Chris Christie going to get the additional support to put him within striking distance? Fiorina, Paul, JEB!, etc, would all have to lose their supporters for that to take place.

So it's not gonna happen.