Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Primaries, transitive preferences and general elections

By David Anderson

Primary voters, are by definition, a subset of general election voters.  It is a subset that is not representative of the general electorate, as primary voters as a practical matter are more politically engaged, more ideological and far fewer.  In closed-primary states, they are almost entirely composed of committed partisans and 90% certain to vote for the same party in the general election as they voted for in the primary even if the candidate they preferered in the primary is not their party's general election candidate.

This is true of both Democrats and Republcians.  Primary results don't tell us much about the general election as the issue spaces are very different, the electorates are very different, and the competitors are very different.

In 2008, there were numerous Clinton supporters who argued that her primary wins in Ohio and Pennslvania were definative electability argument winners:

The rout in Ohio happened. Obama has a huge electability problem in the state. He took a total of 5 counties, and lost in 82 counties. Even though he's able to rack up a large number of urban black voters he did terrible among white voters, winning just 34 percent...You don't win a general election in Ohio if you can only win in 5 counties....

This type of analysis was wrong because even during the primary season, the overwhelming majority of Clinton primary backers preference orders went something like this Clinton>rest of the Dem field including Obama>Attilla the Hun>Any potential Republican nominee.  Moderate and conservative Democrats voted as Democrats in the general election.

The same basic dynamic will most likely be in play for Mitt Romney --- most Republican primary voters have not voted for him. On the whole, they voted for more conservative/reactonary but also more disorganized candidates.  The non-Romney Republican primary voters probable preference order today is something like this: Zombie Reagan>Santorum/Gingrich/Paul/> Romney> Zombie Nixon > Obama.

So when a smart blogger like Actor 212 at the Agonist makes the following statement, I cringe:

Indeed, Romney can embarass the hell out of Santorum by taking Pennsylvania. This means two things:

1) It will be the second straight statewide election in his home state that Santorum loses and

B) It takes Santorum out of consideration for the Veep nom. After all, do you want someone on your ticket who can't even guarantee his home state?

Point 1 is relevant, Santorum has been defined as a panty sniffing, free-riding reactionary in Pennsylvania.

He would lose to any vaguely competent Democrat in any statewide race in any year that is even close to politically neutral.  His 18 point margin of defeat in 2006 was the result of running as a reactionary asshole into a massive Democratic breeze, but he still would have gone down by 6 to 8 points in a normal year. Pat Toomey, his corporatist soulmate, won a squeaker by 2 points in the most favorable Republican year in a generation.  Santorum would not be able to help too much in Pennsylvania in the general election.

However Point B is irrelevent as Santorum's ability or inability to win a home state primary has minimal impact on his ability to win a statewide general election in Pennsylvania.  

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