Podcast 554-Latest Election State By State Polls. For you political junkies, which includes me, it’s been a month since the last analysis of political polls state by state, and I promised another one at the end of September, 2016. If you want to compare the two state by state poll podcasts to really get a sense of movement check out Podcast 541. I do not intend to analyze the debate. I will not tell you who won the debate. I will not tell you whether people pay attention to the debates. None of the current state by state polls were taken after the debates so they do not reflect the effects on either candidate of the debates. With this in mind, over 80 million people watched the September 26th debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The next state-by-state poll roundup podcast at the end of October will show what effect – if any – the debates may or may not have had. The biggest change between this podcast and the podcast in late August is that there are now more ‘toss up’ states — that is states with poll averages for president within the margin of error. In Podcast 554-State By State Polls, I am drawing on data from Real Clear Politics. Follow the link directly to an interactive electoral map of the United States and follow along, or may your own map. The tightening could be knock on effects from Clinton’s bad week of September 11th, or it could just be due to more polls closer to the election, when respondents start paying attention and are more likely to give responses. You’ll have to listen for my conclusions about whether more toss up states mean anything, but for the most part, both candidates are within the margins in 2012 and 2008 in the states they lead, or are trading leads. The big questions remain Florida, Ohio, Pennsyvania, Virginia, and to a lesser extent North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and western states like Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. This is a state by state electoral election, so the national polls don’t matter, and the snap polls on who won the debate don’t matter. All that matters is the candidate’s performance, and get out the vote efforts for them in key electoral states. Listen and learn the state by state strongholds, battlegrounds, advantages and disadvantages, roughly a month out. We’ll come back at the end of October and again just before the election in early November, and see how the campaigning, media, and news events have changed the political landscape. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.
Podcast 542-Music. I’ve been threatening to do a podcast about music, so here it is. Finally. It turned out better than I thought it would, although I learned right away that I have entirely too many tunes on my computer for one podcast to do it justice. Music has the power to transport us from one place to another. I don’t think I am unique in suggesting that sometimes the best thing to do is to crank your ‘stereo’ (meaning computer, iPod, iPhone or whatever) to top volume and sit on the deck, just listening. This is an activity I don’t engage in often though. In producing this podcast, I had such a good time, I’ll have to spend more time listening to music in general. Of course, when the headlines and the political news, and the day to day crap – and that is what it is – gets to me, I can do more music podcasts. Don’t want to overdo it, but then again, it’s not done ’til it’s overdone, right? For the purposes of Podcast 542-Music, we’re gonna take a little journey from Soundtracks and Blues music, mid sixties pop to soul music and memories of sitting on the steps on summer nights listening to the radio, to the FM Rock or “Classic Rock” era, through the 80’s to some Trance and Dance music from today. Yeah. I forgot the 90’s even though a lot of tunes on my computer are from the 90’s. I could have done a podcast about each one of those eras, and had tunes left over. Finally, the only disclaimer here is that my experience of music is almost wholly inside the radio, that is working in radio, from the time I was about 12 all the way through to now. I think about music in terms of my podcasts, so I am a little weird. Also, these are not full versions of the songs, so you won’t be ripping music I paid for. Plus, I talk over a lot of it. But, it still flows pretty good. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and X Government Cars.
Podcast 541. Electoral College Yoga. Get ready to twist your brain into pretzel like shapes as I talk about the electoral college, polls, and what the benchmarks for Election 2016 are so far. I’ll do another benchmark in about a month and one just before the election in late October, or early November. There are a lot of caveats on polling data. While most media people and their viewers seem to want to talk about national presidential preference polls, the proof of the pudding is in the state by state polls. The United States does not elect its presidents with a national vote. In fact, a presidential election is fifty state elections. Voters are selecting a slate of electors, chosen and voting generally according to state law and state party rules. So when you hear one candidate is ‘ahead’ over another in a national poll it really doesn’t mean anything. In 2008 and again in 2012 Republicans in particular were so hopeful based on national preference polls that if you said McCain or Mitt Romney wasn’t going to win, you were ‘raining on the parade’. But, if you looked closely at state polls in those election cycles, the outcome was not a surprise. State polls have their own problems; Smaller sample size, different polling methodologies, and in some states they are no polls until just before the election. While its not advisable to compare different polls of different sources and methodologies, we do it all the time. We’re looking for trends primarily. Currently while Donald J. Trump leads Hillary Clinton in a national presidential preference poll, the state polls tell a completely different story. It’s not a good story for republicans. The case isn’t closed. Trump still has time, but time is fleeting. I don’t support any candidate. I’m not working for any candidate. I’m not going to tell you how to vote. I’m also not going to spin the polling data to make you think something can happen, or is going to happen. If you want the straight talk on what’s going on, the Bob Davis Podcasts is the place to check back for these benchmark state-by-state analyses as we progress to Election Day 2016. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Orlando Terror Attack. Another terror attack on US soil. This one, the largest death toll in a mass shooting in ‘US History’, gets the attacker’s name in lights, until the next attack that ‘breaks the record’. We now call it the Orlando Terror Attack. Or just ‘Orlando’, for short. I ask myself, how should podcasters cover this? Radio and TV stations called their A-Teams in on Sunday morning to do round robin coverage, spitting out facts and interviewing the usual experts and political prognosticators, all in hushed tones. On the cable news networks, and broadcast networks, it was all presented over video loops of SWAT Teams walking around with nothing to do, cop cars with their lights flashing, the anguish of victims and witnesses, and ambulances hauling away the dead, the dying and the critically wounded. From a podcast perspective, we don’t need to do this. Yet this is one of those topics that is unavoidable. A big story. Then the recriminations and lamentations. The demands for change and action throughout the political spectrum. Of course this attack – because the target was a gay nightclub – has something for everyone to be outraged about. Isn’t that the essence of terror as a weapons system; To divide and conquer? To bust open the old wounds and scar tissue, to make sure we never unite against a common threat? To provokeTexas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to say “men reap what they sow”, or politicians on the other end of the spectrum to demand that ‘sensible’ gun control legislation be passed. (Editor’s note: It seems to me this kind of thing would make people want to own guns in order to protect themselves, since clearly the government with all its power isn’t protecting us.) What would you have them do? Everyone has their list of solutions from bomb them back to the stone age – didn’t we already do that? – to seal the borders and only let ‘ethnic Americans’ in. How do we do that? The problem is, in the clear light of day, these ‘solutions’ are really just expressions of anger and don’t stand up under scrutiny. What will be done? Nothing. Nothing will be done. Why? Because no one knows what to do. The United States will hold an election in November, so any and all decisive action against this kind of attack will be delayed until a new president and congress can come to grips with it. That, of course, will take more time as policy solutions are developed, and sold to the American public. It isn’t as simple as ‘this one will invade and this one won’t’ either. Do you want to support Saudi Arabia and attack Iran? Do you want to support Iran against Saudi Arabia? the Saudis support ISIS and Iran supports the Shiites. How does that work? What about Russia? What about China? What about NATO member Turkey? How will they react? You might be surprised to find a President Clinton invading some foreign country in force, just as much as you might find a President Trump doing the same thing — assuming either one of them actually gets the nomination of their party. So, it’s a very complicated problem, a long term problem, with no real solution in sight. No, nothing will be done. There will be more attacks, and they will get more ferocious until the United States or the enemy — whatever you want to call it — miscalculates and goes too far. Then there will be a typically American overreaction. We’d all better hope it works, whatever it is, whenever it is. That is the takeaway from the Orlando Terror Attack. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by X Government Cars.
The Political Walking Dead. As many are watching the final installment of the current season of ‘The Walking Dead’ results of the Wisconsin primary roll in, making a convincing case for the next season of the Hit AMC Show which might be aptly entitled, “The Political Walking Dead”. Why? With a win for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Wisconsin, the challenge for Donald J. Trump to get to the magic number of 1237 delegates will be quite difficult. That does not mean that it will be any easier for Cruz – who has a couple hundred less delegates right now than Trump – or Ohio Governor John Kasich, trailing behind front runner, and his close challenger. Meanwhile on the Democrat side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ Wisconsin win might frighten Hillary Clinton (A.K.A Madame Mao) but unless Sanders can make inroads to the so called Super Delegates, he can count himself among The Political Walking Dead; Candidates who are campaigning but have little hope of winning their party’s nominations on a first ballot at their respective conventions. Establishment republicans have already stated their intent to split the delegate count, preventing Trump victories, by working for Kasich and Cruz in states that favor them. Is that what happened in Wisconsin? Don’t count on the pay-for-play media to report on that kind of substance. While there was little doubt about a Cruz victory in Wisconsin, one need only to look at the remaining primaries — which are outlined for you in this podcast — to determine whether they are winner-take-all or proportional states, and count it out. It will be very difficult for any of them to achieve the required plurality of delegates at the Republican Convention in Cleveland this summer. What happens? Very interesting question. Cruz and his supporters claim their campaign has already poached Trump delegates in North Dakota, some southern and midwestern states so their guy will arrive at the convention with the magic number of delegates. The Trump camp disagree. Meanwhile, if you’re concerned your vote doesn’t count, you’re not alone. A recent poll shows GOP voters think the nominee should be the person who wins the most votes, regardless of the delegate count. By campaigning for delegates after primary elections, these campaigns and the establishment are showing voters they don’t care about their vote. In fact, this is a dirty game of pressuring delegates and getting to the magic number. Who do we blame? What the hell. Blame republicans. They’re the ones that wanted all these lackluster candidates. They’re the ones with no new ideas. They’re the ones that advertised a bad product and allowed a reality TV star to dominate this kind of a circus. And, republican voters who have no idea what they’re for ate it all up with a spoon. As we head for summer, the last few primaries and the mainline party conventions, one thing is for sure. Hijinks, Shenanigans and Surprises will be the order of the day in one of the strangest elections in US history. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.
Fight For Your Caucus. Web Designer, Senate District Chair and CD5 Secretary Mitch Rossow joins the podcast to talk about the latest misguided initiative by mainstream republicans in Minnesota. State Representative Steve Garofalo and others want to get rid of the caucuses in Minnesota. Oddly enough, before Super Tuesday, the reason for getting rid of the caucus system was low participation. On Super Tuesday Minnesota experienced a record turnout for its caucuses. So now, apparently, there are too many people caucusing. Isn’t that what we want? Seems like the truth is those in power don’t like the caucus system because it allows for the grass roots to develop new leaders. Critics say the caucuses are too ‘inside’, but aren’t the critics the real insiders? It would be so much easier if the goons in Saint Paul picked party leaders and candidates rather than the citizens. The caucus is one of the few opportunities average citizens have to participate in and influence the political process. Democrats in the state are concerned about this initiative, since the late Senator Paul Wellstone developed the movement that ultimately put him in office through this channel. Mitch Rossow has developed a precinct organization training program, and a training program for caucus conveners. Precinct organizing is the next step after caucuses and its the quickest way for citizens to take back their local representation and eventually state legislature and statewide offices. The enemy of the Republican is the Republican. While Democrats in the state post training videos well before caucuses, and have programs to bring volunteers in to help their caucus attendees understand the process, republicans never got around to doing much of anything to help local precincts with their caucuses. Now they want to do away with it entirely. Moral of the story; the MNGOP talks a lot about democracy and inclusiveness, but doesn’t walk the talk. One wonders what it is that they actually do; Not much of anything. Most of the time the state party is whining and asking the local political units for help. On the DFL side, it’s the reverse. Maybe there a lesson there for the entrenched perfumed princes, hidden behind a security wall at their office in Cedar Riverside. What a joke. With so many new participants this year, maybe a new crop of leaders is being harvested. It can’t happen soon enough. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.
South Carolina’s Vote. The big first in the south primary is over, and the undisputed winner is New York’s Donald J. Trump. What must have made Trump’s night, Governor Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign. More ‘suspensions’ are sure to follow as actual votes, upend story lines, predictions and prognostications. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton defeated Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Nevada Caucuses. Will it make any difference for the Vermont Senator’s chances to defeat the former Secretary of State this week in the Democrat South Carolina primary? Probably not. Caucuses are completely different animals from primaries, where people actually vote. Let’s not forget on the GOP side, Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus, but lost to Trump in New Hampshire and South Carolina. As the news rolled over the wires, I took a little bit of time outside a hotel where a huge celebration was taking place, to make some observations about the race, the presidential primary systems, and the difference between traditions, law, and a written constitution. Are you ready to have traditions — not the constitution — fundamentally change the way the United States chooses its president? Between the tradition of state by state primaries, a grueling campaign effort that wastes money and winnows candidacies and efforts to slave the Electoral College not to state legislatures but to the popular vote — and by ‘constitutionalist republicans’ no less — how we elect a president is changing, and judging from this primary cycle’s wacky, craven, foolish, disgusting and sad efforts by politicians described by the same kinds of words, not for the better. IS the cream rising to the top? Good question. Also in this podcast, the first excerpt of the Bob Davis Podcast Radio show, heard on GCN Live. Expect an announcement regarding this new show around the beginning of March. We’re in Key West Florida for this podcast, getting some maintenance on Mobile Podcast Command and preparing for the next leg of this massive road trip, which takes us back up Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Red Neck Riveria to New Orleans, Texas, back up 35 to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
The Highway Song. As the media cycle repeats on an endless loop, boredom begins to set in. How many more arguments do you want to hear about Donald Trump being Hitler, or Ted Cruz being Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton and Benghazi? There is a real world waiting to be experienced. Not the make believe world the media’s twenty four hour a day obsession with American politics seems to be showing us. When there’s a new wrinkle, the Bob Davis Podcasts will break in with an update. Meanwhile this podcast asks, is travel an escape from reality or is travel reality and our lives are an escape from travel? A walk and talk through a ‘warm’ early December evening is designed to stir your memories of travel and your wanderlust. Where have you gone? Where would you like to go? Why? When did you first experience a sense of wonder as you traveled to new places? Was it a road trip with the parents? A first flight to some exotic location in the islands? A ski trip in the mountains? A road trip, with college friends, back in the day? What cities have you visited? Where would you like to visit? New York City? Chicago? New Orleans? San Francisco? Las Vegas? For me its all about the road trip. As I prepare for the big Mobile Podcast Command Winter ’16 trip to Iowa for the caucuses, then onto the mid south, and the eastern seaboard through the North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, my mind turns to the things I see and learn through the screen … the windscreen that is. There’s nothing better for the soul. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks.
Time Travel. This Walk and Talk Podcast starts out with some observations about the media reaction to Candidate for the Republican Nomination Donald Trump. The Bob Davis Podcasts will never endorse a specific candidate, tell you how to vote, or cover the presidential election process with an undisclosed point of view, with the intention of pointing listeners in the direction of a specific candidate. Comments here about Donald Trump are only observations, but one thing is clear; The establishment media’s reaction to the Trump candidacy prove he is the front runner. Punditry predictions about how Trump ‘will fade’ keep coming up, but the New York Times and The Atlantic are already treating the New Yorker like the nominee, doing their best to notch him down, starting with a hatchet job on his financial credentials and education history, a commentary written by republican moderates regarding ‘anarchy’ in the House with the resignation of the Speaker, and a ridiculous piece in the Atlantic that asserts American Prosperity until 1980 was the result of Unions and High Taxes, saying if Trump wants to return ‘White America’ to this halcyon time, he must be advocating for Union and High Taxes. What tripe! It was the Atlantic piece that began a flight of fancy on this Walk and Talk about Time Travel. If you could return to any era, would it be as history described it? Which era in history would you most like to return to? (Editor’s Note: My problem is I want to go back to all of them.) If you went back hundreds, or thousands of years, would you even be able to understand what was happening. Would you need time to physically absorb the context of the time, from language, immunity to germs and disease, smells, sounds, even a different blanket of stars in the sky. It is said history is written by the victors. How different is real history from the history we’re taught, the history we read, and the history we experience on a day to day basis in our time? Sponsored by Baklund R&D and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
American Sniper. Updates for Monday morning include a review of American Sniper. What’s all the fuss about? Director Clint Eastwood says he dismayed by the controversy — most of which is being generated by Hollywood — over his movie, which he says portrays one man’s experience in war. Is it possible American Sniper and Wild are two movies which actually portray an individual’s struggle with inner demons? Is Hollywood stumbling onto something going on out here in the rest of the country it is unaware of? While everyone is fighting over the question of whether American Sniper portrays the Iraq war ‘as it should be’ portrayed, maybe in spite of itself its actually about something completely different? Are the American people turning inward to fight their own demons, after so many years of outward focus. The Bob Davis Podcasts will keep track of current movies, characters and TV shows, to see if this pattern can be detected, and report back. Another thing no one is talking about is whether American Sniper touches something in Rural America, that Urban America does not see, or understand. Particularly touching is the end credit sequence in American Sniper which shows the respect paid to Kyle – regardless of controversy – when he was laid to rest. As the news media is starting to cover this ‘divide’ between Rural and Urban America, of course we have to be careful of story lines … we are ALL Americans … but there are different values, and ‘Sniper’ seems to touch on the values of the rural part of our country rather than say, Manhattan. Get ready, the big snowstorm is hitting the east coast, so prepare yourselves for wall to wall coverage of Snowmageddon, the sequel. If you live in the Upper Midwest the weather has been pretty good the last ten days or so … anyone envious of the east for getting all this snow? And, an IRS story you won’t — er will — believe. Sponsored by Xgovernment Cars.