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Ep 865[Ep 866] The Perils of Eyes [1:58:36]
Recorded: Sat, 2024-Jan-13 UTC
Published: Mon, 2024-Jan-15 15:18 UTC
Ep 867

On this week's Curmudgeon's Corner, Ivan ditches the show to go to Disney. So Sam goes all election, all the time. Recorded immediately preceding the Iowa caucuses, how could he do anything else? So discussion of Iowa, New Hampshire, and if Haley has any chance at all. Plus the latest info from Election Graphs. And OK fine, there are a few non-election things at the start of the show too.

  • (0:00:56-0:25:19) But First
    • Updating Glasses
    • Computer Deficiencies
    • Movie: Falling Down (1993)
  • (0:28:02-1:02:24) 2024 Delegate Race
    • Dems Dethroned Iowa and New Hampshire
    • Haley's Ultra Narrow Path
    • Hints on Trump Poll Accuracy
  • (1:03:24-1:58:06) 2024 Electoral College
    • Has Trump Peaked?
    • Reasons to Doubt the Polls
    • Don't Underestimate Trump
    • Other Stuff to Mention

Automated Transcript

What you woofing at?


Go tell him.

He's woofing at something.

Idea what.

We'll just wait for him to calm down. I guess maybe he's calm now.

Here we go. Welcome to to curmudgeon's corner for saturday january 13th 2023 it's about 1832 utc as i'm starting to record and as those of you who are particularly close listeners will understand that is a much later time than i usually record and it is a time that i usually record on weeks where both yvonne can't make it.

And I couldn't find a co-host.

So here's the deal. Yvonne was traveling this week.

So we knew we were going to do it Friday instead of Thursday.

And then Thursday evening, he mentions it. Oops.

He completely forgot. He had another thing going on.

He was taking Manu to Disney again over the weekend and would not be available Friday night or Saturday to do any recording because he'll be at some hotel and there won't even be a place to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, he wasn't available. So I send out my usual email saying, hey, anybody available to co-host?

And I send it to everybody who's ever expressed any interest whatsoever.

And minus, minus the last three people who've co-hosted, including myself when I do solo shows like this.

So I did not send it to myself. Well, actually, I did send it to myself.

I blind copied myself, but or I didn't even blind copy myself.

I directly. Anyway, I excluded myself sort of and the last two other folks, which were Alex and Ed.

So sorry, Alex or Ed, if either one of you had wanted to do the show.

But of everybody else, I got two responses from Bruce.

And from Peter, both saying, please keep me on the list. I really want to, but I can't this week.

So here I am solo again. Anyway, the plan, the plan for the show, I'm going to do a media thing at the beginning, a movie I watched since I haven't done that in a while because we've had special shows going on and other things like that.

And then we will have two main segments. And look, you know, Yvonne sometimes ameliorates this when he's here, but when it's me, you know, it's going to be election stuff.

You know, if they're, if they've been like, I mean, there was crazy Trump stuff too, but I don't know. I just want to talk about the election stuff.

So we've got next week.

Well, actually, as I, as I am recording right now, two days from now, it is Saturday. The Iowa caucuses are Monday and they are the first actual thing.

And I shouldn't even say caucus.

Well, I guess they still are caucuses because they're local.

But anyway, the Democrats aren't having the traditional one.

The Democrats successfully dethroned both Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Iowa caucuses are happening much later and they're doing things in a weird way. We won't have to worry about them for a while.

And New Hampshire is still insisting on going first, but the Democrats penalized them because they're not supposed to go first anymore.

So they've massively reduced how many delegates they've had and they prohibited like a major candidates from being there.

I mean, and also, of course, we've only got you.

We got that other guy, but it's basically Biden.

So Biden is not participating in New Hampshire.

And so for the Democrats, really, it starts in South Carolina. Anyway, I don't want to.

What am I doing? I'm starting to talk about that already. Anyway, we'll have one segment on upcoming primaries and caucuses and things.

You know, we really only have action for the Republicans in January.

The first real thing for the Democrats will be at the beginning of February in South Carolina.

And we'll talk about primaries and caucuses and all of that kind of stuff in the first real segment. Well, not real segment. This is real.

This is real. What you are listening to right now is real, damn it.

And but we'll do primaries and caucuses.

And then the last segment will be general election stuff because I am due this weekend to give another Election Graphs blog post update.

And so what I'm going to do is sometime before, between now and when I record that segment, I'm actually going to write that blog post and I will talk about it.

But preview, Biden is still doing really badly in state level polls.

And that may change at some point, but right now it just continues to look bad.

Anyway, you have all of that to look forward.

And, you know, as usual, I'm going to be doing the thing where since I am alone, since it is a weekend, I am going to do one segment and then I'm going to go do other stuff.

And then I'll come back and do another segment and then I'll go do other stuff.

And then I'll come back and do other than the last segment.

So like, I guess this is, but firsty now, although I'm going to do the movie, I promised the movie, but the, the gap that I'm going to take between the first and second segments, is my son, Alex and I are going for our routine annual eye doctor appointments.

It's, it's very exciting. We're going to go, we're going to see like, you know, look at the little charts.

And say which one's better or worse or all that kind of stuff and get new prescriptions for our glasses, which is very exciting.

I'm already, I've switched, like for years I've had the, you know, whatever the gradiated things like the technological successors to bifocals and trifocals, except they smoothly gradiate instead of having little zones.

I've had those for a long, long time, probably a decade now.

Now, but starting one year ago, two years ago, maybe it was only a year ago.

I've now got an additional pair that are described as computer glasses because I found myself straining all the time to just do my regular computer work.

Work like, because the, the multifocal glasses could focus on things at the right distances, but I'd have to hold my head in a very particular angle.

And it turns out it was just straining me constantly. And, you know, I, I, and, and the, the eye doctor was like, Hey, we can just give you another pair that's optimized for things that are closer than a meter to you, which is basically where both laptop and desktop screens live in that zone.

And, uh, and so I should switch to them right now. I'm at my computer.

And so I've been using them and oh my goodness, such a difference, you know, you know, and again, like with the, with the other glasses, yeah, you can make it focus at that distance, but you have to be looking through exactly the right part of the glasses and blah, blah, blah.

And it's with, with these, it's, it's just, it's much, much better.

Like, and your eye has, your eye has to get used to it when you switch.

Like I just switched from the one pair to the other and your brain has to like, it takes a couple of minutes to adjust when you first put them on because your eye muscles have to do different things to focus properly.

But it's, it's like, I wish I had done this ages ago. go.

And as like, I'm planning on asking the doctor, you know, should I just straight up go for, you know, a far pair and a close pair instead of getting these transition things at all?

You know, cause even, I don't know, but then, then you have to carry both and that's a pain in the ass.

So basically I usually keep the computer pair like I, in my backpack for work or at my desk at home, depending on what I'm doing. So I can flip back and forth when I need to.

But like, if I'm just going out for a regular, like I'm going on errands or whatever, I'm, I'm carrying the ones that are useful in the widest range of circumstances.

So I guess actually just having two would probably actually suck.

I don't know, like, and having to carry both of them everywhere.

Cause you don't know when you have to switch.

I don't know. Anyway, the perils of you know, eyes.

And anyway, we'll check. And meanwhile, my son...

Last time we were there was prescribed glasses for the first time and not with a very strong prescription, but like, you know, the way the eye doctor put it is it's probably at the point where if he's at the back of the class and he has to read the whiteboard in front of the class, it's a problem for him.

And so it's time, it's time for, for glasses.

And of course he completely refuses to wear them, completely refuses. uses.

And yeah, we, by bribing him the first month or so we had them, we got him to wear them maybe a few hours.

And then at the moment he's hidden them.

I don't even know where the stupid things are. Like I presume they're in his room somewhere.

He seems to indicate he knows where they are. Cause I told him he should bring them to the doctor's appointment today.

But like he's, it's been impossible to get him to actually wear them.

But he clearly should like he's squinting all the time.

It's like, it's like, dude, you need the glasses, put them on, you know?

And, you know, as someone who I got my first pair of glasses, I think when I was nine years old, somewhere around there and have worn them ever since.

And I, aside from one brief foray with contacts, which in the end, And I regretted there's pain in the ass and I never get the hang of putting them in and taking them out and blah, blah, blah.

And I just, they left my eyes feeling sore and probably because I kept them in longer than I should have and blah, blah, blah, you know, a lot longer than I should have probably because I hated taking them, putting them in and taking them out so much.

Yeah, so I have, you know, I had a brief foray with contacts, but otherwise I've worn glasses, you know, since I was a small child.

And yeah, I can't imagine life without them. They're just part of the routine, but he is resisting completely.

So we'll see how that goes. We'll see if we can get them to even cooperate with the, with the eye doctor.

It's been touch and go in previous times, how much he'll cooperate, but yeah, whatever.

They're able to do something these days. Like they're able to do quite a lot through just measurements, even if the patient is not able to actually give the responses that are expected in terms of which one's better and all that kind of question, because it's been a while since I mentioned on the show.

So for those of you who don't know, Alex is, he, he's on the spectrum and he's mostly nonverbal.

He used to be very verbal at home, but it's called selective mutism, but not willing to talk to anybody he didn't know very, very, very well.

Well, since approximately May or June of last year, he's stopped talking to us too.

You'll notice he hasn't been talking on the podcast like he used to sometimes.

And so, yeah. Yeah. He still communicates in other ways and he's still doing all kinds of advanced stuff.

He's at our above grade level and all his classes at school, but he is no longer choosing to speak with us and whatever.

Anyway, so, but even before that, he wouldn't speak to like the eye doctor.

So we'll see how cooperative he is. And yeah, that's it.

So I got way off track. I was going to talk about a movie. So let's do that now.

Dun, dun, dun. I'm bringing up the Wikipedia page. I thought I had it up already, but I am.

There it is. I have found the tab. You know, one of the reasons that my computer like has, you know, I'm always having memory problems on my computer has to be the fact that I routinely have hundreds and hundreds of tabs open.

I have tab groups. I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven tab groups, each of which have maybe a dozen.

Well, some have less, some have more, but I'd say on average, a dozen tabs that I just routinely refer to.

So I have them all open in those groups so that I can go back to them whenever I want and see the latest updates on whatever those things are.

Plus whatever I'm currently, you know, like my, my main ungrouped tabs.

I have 44 in there. Plus I have the seven tab groups with a dozen each.

I'm in, I'm in Safari right now. Now I, I know this actually isn't my biggest memory problem.

My biggest memory problem is backblaze trying to back up all of the external hard drives I have attached to this computer.

And it is actually, one of the things that I meant to deal with over holiday break was trying to resolve this because at the moment, it actually has been failing since mid-December.

And I believe the reason is because it is completely topping out on available memory.

And I'm not just talking like memory, memory.

I'm talking about virtual memory too.

You know, and then, and then craps out and, and crashes.

Sometimes I haven't been able to have an uptime on my computer of more than 24 to 48 hours in a long time because the memory fills up and it crashes and.

Wasn't I talking about a movie? Anyway, I have to fix all that.

I need a new computer too.

It's at some point. The current hope is that I will reserve the appropriate amount of budget when I get my, once every six months next round of stock grants from my employer.

And that happens at the end of May.

So maybe new computer in June. We'll see how it goes.

Of course, when we get there, I'll be like, yeah, but I'm going to wait for the next release release from Apple before, you know, depending on the release cycles, unless something has been recently released, blah, blah, blah.

And I'm still trying to decide, you know, do I want to go with another, like an Apple studio, like a desktop, like, like Yvonne got recently, or do I want to go back into laptop world?

I'm thinking more and more, I want to go back into laptop world and get a MacBook pro and then just have a nice docked setup for when I am at my desk, but then have the additional flexibility of being able to use it elsewhere when I want to.

And yeah, I do have all these external hard drives, but I figure if I just set it up so that they're accessible when I'm docked, that's good enough.

Cause with a couple of exceptions, which I could probably find some other way to deal with, like all of these are archival drives.

They're not stuff I use regularly. There's stuff that like, you know, there's all, all of Alex's videos that he recorded for his channel.

There's other really old crap. Like I want to be able to access it, but I don't need to be able to access it like all the time.

I don't know. I'll, I'll, I'll figure that out when the time comes.

Anyway, I was talking about a movie. Was I talking about, have I even said the movie yet? No, I haven't sent the movie yet.

The next movie is one that I watched.

When did I watch this thing?

We're still in May, May 17th of 2023.

I watched Falling Down, which is a 1993 movie starring Michael Douglas.

I had never even heard of this. But when my wife saw that Alex and I were watching this, she was like, oh, Falling Down. You're watching Falling Down.

So apparently, like, you know, lots of people knew about this movie.

The Wikipedia summary falling down is a 1993 American psychological thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, written by Ebi Rose Smith and released by Warner Brothers in the United States on February 26, 1993.

The film stars Michael Douglas as William Foster, a divorced and unemployed former defense engineer.

It centers on Foster's trek across the city of Los Angeles as he attempts to reach the house of his estranged ex-wife in time for his daughter's birthday. birthday.

Along the way, a series of encounters, both trivial and provocative, caused him to react with increasing violence and to make sardonic observations on life, poverty, the economy, and commercialism.

The film received mixed to positive reviews. It grossed $96 million against a $25 million budget, taking the top spot at the United States box office in its first two weeks weeks of release thumbs sideways.

Like it was, it was fine. It was okay.

It was kind of, it was kind of depressing. And maybe that was the point.

I mean, this guy's life fell apart and he reacted to that with violence.

I kept an, an spoiler warning for this film from 1993.

Um, In the end, he dies by suicide by cop, you know, I guess, ostensibly so that his ex-wife and daughter could get the insurance money.

I don't know, but it just, I kept throughout the whole thing, not really connecting with this guy.

Like, why would you do that? Why is this how you are responding to this situation?

And I understand it's supposed to be like he's so frustrated with his life and he's so like whatever that he snaps, but it never really felt right.

It never really felt real to me. Like, you know, I wasn't convinced as I guess, I mean, and maybe I should just swallow the premise and go, but there seemed like there were so many, I mean, from the very beginning, it was like, why are you doing that?

That seems like not the right way to handle that situation.

And I guess that's the point, but I just, just i don't know it did not connect with me i did not love some of the violence sometimes it was like borderline you know there were a few places where it was almost funny but not quite and yeah, and i know this is sort of like the he's an anti-hero i guess you're not supposed to like He's the he's the bad guy, but you're supposed to sympathize with him a bit.

And but meanwhile, you know, his his wife is afraid of him.

He shoots a bunch of shoots or otherwise kills a bunch of innocent people along the way.

He, I don't know, like in these kinds of things, you're supposed to get this sort of, he's doing horrible things, but I kind of understand why.

And I sympathize and it's a tragedy because he's doing this.

I never got to the point where I sympathized with the man.

And so it was just guy going around being violent.

And I don't know. I'm not giving it a thumbs down I guess it was entertaining it took me through the hour I saved the thumbs down for the things where I'm viscerally repulsed I was not repulsed by this I just wasn't, excited by it or engaged or thought it was you know it wasn't good I mean but it was okay I guess it was fine, you know So, meanwhile, you get like, I'm reading some of the reviews here, also off Wikipedia.

Vincent Canby of the New York Times called it the most interesting all-out commercial American film of the year to date, and one will function much like a Rorschach test to expose the secrets of those who watch it.

Philip Thomas, while the morality of defense methods are questionable, there's a resonance about his reaction to everyday annoyances, and Michael Douglas' hypnotic performance makes it memorable.

James Beradinelli, there we go, falling down is replete with gallows humor, almost to the point where it could be classified as a black comedy.

John Truby, an anti-Odyssey story about the lie of the American dream.

And he adds, I can't remember laughing so hard in a movie.

Keth Turan, falling down encourages a gloating sense that we, the long-suffering victims, are finally getting our splendid revenge.

The ultimate hollowness of that kind of triumph reflects the shallowness of a film too eager to serve it up.

Yeah, I don't know. They got more.

Bottom line thumb sideways I have nothing else to say if anybody else has opinions on this movie all the ways to contact us will be at the end send them my way maybe we'll mention them on the show maybe not anyway.

It's time for that break breaky breaky breaky plung plung thing, and you know I gotta go get ready for get ready for the eye appointment No, not, I don't have to, I got about an hour before I have to leave for that.

There are a few things I want to get done before leaving.

One of which is apparently like my insurance changed and I need to go find new insurance cards.

I don't know. The eye insurance is different anyway, but whatever.

And you know, you don't care.

You don't care at all. I know you don't care. That's, that's the way of life.

But, and, and the, the, the breaky breaky thing said that I should do a wiki of the day break.

So you'll, you'll get a wiki of the day thingy.

Next. Sure. Okay. Bye.

Well, not don't, don't leave. Just listen to the break.

And then at the end of the break, I'll be back.

It'll only be a couple minutes for you for for me honestly it'll probably be tomorrow, we'll see we'll see how it goes okay that's it goodbye no i keep saying goodbye like it's the end of the show well just because i'm leaving doesn't mean anyway you stick around we'll be back right after well not we'll i'll be back i will be back right after this break do.

Do do Hello, this is Sally Standard. I'm here to let you know about Sam the Curmudgeon's other podcasts, the Wiki of the Day podcasts.

Wiki of the Day comes in three varieties, popular, random, and featured.

Each highlights a new Wikipedia article each day, they just pick the articles differently.

This week on featured Wiki of the Day, you would have heard this summary for Crick Age.

Curricage was a medieval English land tax enacted by King Richard I in 1194, based on the size, variously calculated, of the taxpayer's estate.

It was a replacement for the Dane Geld, last imposed in 1162, which had become difficult to collect because of an increasing number of exemptions.

Curricage was levied just six times, by Richard in 1194 and 1198, by John, his brother and successor, in 1200, and by John's son, Henry III, in 1217, 1220, and 1224, after which it was replaced by taxes on income and personal property.

The taxable value of an estate was initially assessed from the doomsday survey, but other methods were later employed, such as valuations based on the sworn testimony of neighbors or on the number of plow teams the taxpayer used.

Curricage never raised as much as other taxes, but nevertheless helped to fund several projects.

It paid the ransom for Richard's release in 1194 after he was taken prisoner by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, it covered the tax John had to pay Philip II of France and 1200 on land he inherited in that country, and it helped to finance Henry III's military campaigns in England and on continental Europe.

Curricage was an attempt to secure new sources of revenue to supplement and increase royal income in a time when new demands were being made on royal finances.

Although derived from the older Dane Geld, Curricage was an experiment in revenue collection, but it was only levied for specific purposes, rather than as a regularly assessed tax.

Also new was the fact later collections were imposed with the consent of the barons.

However, the main flow of royal income was from other sources, and Kurukshetra was not collected again after 1224.

That's all there is to it. See? Fun, entertaining, educational, and short.

Okay, now look for and subscribe to the Wiki of the Day family of podcasts on your podcast-playing software of choice, or just go to to check out our archives.

Now back to Curmudgeon's Corner. Doo-doo-doo.

Okay, we are back. Well, I am back. and you know as advertised i did go and alex and i went to our eye appointments and we've gotten you know they did all the little tests and does this look better does that look better all that kind of stuff and we got and alex was very cooperative i think i was saying well we'll see if he is anyway but point is do i have a point i never have a point really but i'm just rambling like before we get it, but we've ordered new prescriptions.

Both of us have slightly different prescriptions for our eyes than we did last time.

And yeah, ordered new prescriptions. I'll be in, in a couple of weeks and then we'll go on new glasses. Woo.

Very exciting. The other thing that is super exciting to me is I think I mentioned on last week's show or whatever, or sometime that after I didn't get them for Christmas, I got myself the AirPod Maxes or whatever, the big over-the-ear headphones that Apple has.

And I've been really liking them, but I tried to use them with the show, like wirelessly over Bluetooth.

And the problem is like, we've got these Yeti mics that let you plug in and hear yourself in the mic.

And Yvonne hates that. So doesn't do it. He finds it distracting and whatever.

He only wants to hear me. He doesn't want to hear himself.

I, on the other hand, get really upset if I can't hear myself because I use it to like, you know, I can tell like, am I facing the microphone properly or am I over here?

And it's not. And it sounds weird, you know, and and and I can hear what background noises are being picked up and what aren't and blah, blah, blah. blah.

And so like I, I recorded a last week show and I think the one before with, or no, maybe it was just last week show.

I don't know what, but without that, like I was just hooked up without being hooked directly up into the mic.

So I ordered the little special cord from Apple.

You know, it's a, it's an aux cord to a lightning so that I can plug into these headphones directly from the thing.

And of course they, they, they trick you because you can't just use any aux cord to lightning cable because it has to be a bi-directional one.

So you have to get it from Apple. So it took me like, and I had read that somewhere, but then I forgot.

And then I like ordered like the first one that came up when I searched for it.

And it, you know, and so I, I, first of all, I ordered the stupid cord, then it came, but it was in like a small package or whatever.

And I lost it. I don't know where it went, but it was like, and I looked around for it for a few days and I'm like, eh, it's only $10. I'll order a new one. So I ordered a new one.

And then I finally like checked it and then, oh, surprise.

It was the wrong kind. It was just a regular ox to lightning cable and it wasn't bi-directional.

And so it didn't work. work. And so I'm like, that's right. You have to have the official Apple one.

So I ordered the official Apple one. And then I got it in between the last episode that not episode, well, the last segment I recorded and this segment, and I am so happy to be able to hear myself again.

Now, of course I could have used, you know, another pair of wired headphones I had lying around, but I didn't anyway.

And my dog is barking. I don't know if you can hear the dog barking, but the dog is barking and blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, what this segment is supposed to be about is the fact that we're about to have the Republican Iowa caucuses.

And first off, I will start by saying.

Dog is now here. Dog now wants to say hi. Hi, dog. Yeah. Uh-huh.

Anyway, I will start off just by the fact that we are only talking about the Republican Iowa caucuses. The Democrats.

Successfully dethroned Iowa. Iowa on the Democratic side is not selecting any delegates delegates until Super Tuesday on March 5th.

Now, I think they may have some meetings and some stuff like that, but they're not having a real caucus.

They're not actually selecting delegates until March 5th. Iowa has been dethroned on the Democratic side.

And also, for that matter, New Hampshire.

I started to get into this earlier, but New Hampshire does still have have both Democrats and Republicans on January 23rd.

But on the Democratic side, they said, hey, New Hampshire, you are not following the rules because you're not supposed to be first anymore.

Now, New Hampshire has a state law that requires them to be first.

And that was not getting changed. You know, the Republicans would have had to buy in as well and blah, blah, blah.

And New Hampshire is proud about being the first primary and all that kind of of stuff.

And so they weren't going to change that. So, but what the Democrats did is basically say, New Hampshire bad.

They significantly downgraded the number of delegates they have. Let me make sure.

So specifically, in terms of voting delegates who can vote on a first ballot if it matters.

If you remember, there was all this superdelegate brouhaha based on Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama way back when.

One of the things the Democrats did is basically they have changed it so superdelegates cannot vote on the first ballot unless superdelegate votes.

Votes unless superdelegate votes can't make a difference.

In other words, if the winner is already determined and no matter what the superdelegates do, they can't change it, then superdelegates can vote on the first ballot.

Otherwise, superdelegates only come in if there's a second ballot.

So superdelegates can vote if it doesn't matter or if there's a second or beyond ballot.

But anyway, New Hampshire got cut from, so not counting superdelegates, New Hampshire got cut from 23 delegates down to 10 because they wouldn't follow the rules.

So more than half of a cut.

And also the DNC basically said, you're not supposed to play their candidates.

You're not, so you should not get on the ballot.

You should not do You know, whatever you, you know, don't campaign there.

Don't do anything there.

And so if you look at who's on the ballot in New Hampshire, Joe Biden is not on the ballot.

Here are the names that are on the ballot for the New Hampshire primary. Mary. R. Bode.

Teresa Lynn Bukowinak. Ibn Cambridge.

Gabrielle Antonio Cornejo. Mark Stewart Greenstein.

Tom Kuz. Paul V. LaCava.

Star Locke. Frank Joseph Frankie Lozada.

Stephen Even Patrick Lyons Sr., Raymond Michael Moroz, Derek Nadiao, Jason Michael Palmer, Armando Mando Perez Cerrito, Dean B.

Phillips, that's the one guy who you may have heard of, he's the congressperson who decided to run, Donald Picard, Paperboy Love Prince, Richard Rist, Vermin Supreme, of course, John Vallee, and Marianne Deborah Williamson.

You may also have heard of her. She was like on the democratic debate stage and a participant in a bunch of stuff last time around in 2020, but we haven't heard too much about her this time, but she is running.

And yeah, so I think there might be Biden write-ins that are expected to happen too.

So Biden may still win this, but you may get some weird situation where like for a few days, Dean Phillips is actually leading in the democratic, in a democratic campaign or something like that.

But for all intents and purposes, the Democrats have succeeded in getting rid of Iowa and New Hampshire at the beginning of their process.

Yes, New Hampshire is technically still happening on January 23rd, but like I said, nobody's paying attention to it on the Democratic side.

So on the Democratic side, things really start with South Carolina on February 3rd, and then Nevada on February 6th.

And again, yes, Dean Phillips is running.

Yes, this Marianne Williamson person is running. If you look and see who's...

I'm just checking real quick.

If you look real quick on the Democratic side, we got... Phillips is actually running behind Williamson in the polls that exist here.

Williamson is above 5% at 6.1%. Phillips is at 3.5.

And Biden's at 69.8. This is the 538 averages.

There is no expected, even slight drama on the Democratic side.

And we got a couple of weeks left until New Hampshire anyway.

So let's move on to the Republicans where, frankly, the expectation is there's not that much drama. there either.

You get all of these people talking about the fight for second place.

And okay, that's exciting, I guess. But Donald Trump is so far ahead.

Now, people talk about this narrow path for Nikki Haley.

And on our prediction show, Yvonne talked about like the potential of chaos for all kinds of reasons between now and the convention.

We've got, you know, the various court cases about whether Donald Trump can even be on the ballot in certain places. We've got.

We've got his actual court cases of his criminal trials, right?

You know, that may or may not make any progress during this time frame, but maybe.

And you've got a bunch of polls saying that even among Republicans who think that the indictments are nothing and a political witch hunt somehow still think that a conviction would be a whole different thing and would make them think differently.

I don't know what's true or not about that, but you have seen that.

I guess there's the potential for chaos, but come on.

Your bet has to be that Donald Trump is going to be the nominee.

That's a really safe bet. Could something wild happen? Of course something wild could happen.

You know, there are all kinds of things you can imagine from a health issue for Donald Trump to him getting convicted early and it actually making a difference.

And I start to laugh just saying that.

Of course, it's not going to make a difference. People are going to rally around him if he's convicted. He'll only get stronger.

But yeah anyway but but the narrow path for nikki haley first of all she in iowa specifically which as i am recording this happens tomorrow tomorrow evening haley has passed desantis in p average for the very first time over the last day or two.

She's now at 17.3% to DeSantis is 16.1 in Iowa.

Of course, Trump's at 51.3, you know?

Rob Aswami's way behind at 6.6. Now, also, of course, delegate selection in Iowa is not strictly proportional.

There's all kinds of fancy things. And also, every four years we talk about this.

It's actually a multi-month process of which what happens at the Iowa caucuses is only the first step.

And the, and the numbers of delegates that we're looking at coming out of Iowa are going to be very rough first stage estimates and those will change.

So for instance, oh, what's that good example?

Let me get, let me give you a really good example from last time around the Democrats in Iowa from in 2020.

Okay, here we go. I brought it up. Here's the history.

The, The immediately after the Iowa caucuses, the first estimates that evening, well, let's go into the first time that there were estimates for all of the delegates because there was a stage that lasted a few hours where there were some estimated and some not.

But the first estimates coming out were Buttigieg 14, Sanders 11, Warren 8, Biden 7, Klobuchar 1.

And then over the course of the next day or so, that flickered a little bit with Sanders and Biden flipping a delegate back and forth between them. them.

But here's the big thing.

They met again in June for the next stage of the process.

And suddenly, because everything had changed by June, Buttigieg had dropped out.

He had endorsed Biden, all this kind of stuff.

And these delegates move around in terms of some of them.

Them within the all delegates are not created equal there some are bound to districts some are there's all kinds of nonsense right there's and the rules are different so buddha judge lost some of his delegates but not all of his delegates when he dropped out but we did end up biden won iowa in the end he got 14 delegates to sanders 12 buddha judge 9 warren 5 klobucar 1 you know But when people talk about winning Iowa and all of this kind of stuff, they're not talking delegates because here's the reality of this.

On the Democratic side, there are 3,936 delegates this year. We're talking 2024 now.

And Iowa has 40. That's a tiny percentage.

What comes out of Iowa that matters is not, like, later on in a contested situation, the delegate numbers matter. matter.

But what matters out of both Iowa and New Hampshire in this process as it is, and probably.

The next couple of states, South Carolina and Nevada as well, is the narrative that comes out of it.

And so people are not going to look at the delegate counts.

I mean, you may see some people report it and I'm going to do election graphs has opened up there.

There, my election graphs has opened up the delegate race section for 2024.

If you go there right now, well, by the time you listen to this, I don't know.

As I'm recording this, it's all blank because no delegates have been allocated yet.

But I will be looking at green papers and seeing what their delegate estimates are and making graphs and charts based on that, on election graphs.

But what matters is going to be the narrative coming out of there.

And for that, what matters is they're going to report on the quote unquote popular vote. It's really weird. Like caucuses are weird.

I participated in a few caucuses here in Washington state, actually both on the Republican and Democratic side. I tasted both.

And it is a bizarre process. I mean, you go there physically in person and you talk to each other and you're, you're, you're electing delegates for the next stage.

And it's, it's, it's a whole big thing. It's not like a regular vote.

And that's why people have criticized them for being very undemocratic.

But anyway, am I rambling?

Yes, of course I am. But going back to what we're seeing, the path that people talk about for sort of something interesting happened, and people are sort of desperate for something interesting to happen, right? Right.

Is that, you know, Haley is now ahead of DeSantis in Iowa.

Maybe she actually squeaks out the second place in Iowa and that gives her bragging rights for New Hampshire.

Even if she comes super close to DeSantis, she could probably still do this in New Hampshire. sure she's closing on Donald Trump.

Like DeSantis is way, way behind the number, the numbers in the, on the Republican side, again, 538 averages, Trump 41.4%, Haley 30, DeSantis 6.1, Ramaswamy 5 in New Hampshire.

And Haley has been rapidly closing that gap. Yeah, she's still 11 points behind.

And there are a couple of things about New Hampshire to mention.

First of all, it is an open primary.

Anybody can participate in the New Hampshire primary.

You do not have to be a longstanding registered Republican.

You don't even have to change your registration to reflect Republican. You can just come on in.

When you go, you can pick, do you want to participate on the Republican side or the Democratic side?

You just pick. And since, because what we just talked about, like there's not really much point on the Democratic side.

Yeah, something technically is going on, but it's not really anything anybody's paying attention to. You might as well go play on the Republican side.

And so you've got a lot of independents who are going to be voting, maybe even some Democrats, but you've got a lot of independents voting in the Republican primary in New Hampshire.

And they're boosting Haley.

And so we do have this sort of rapid catch up.

She's still way behind Trump in New Hampshire, but what if she wins or even gets really, really close in New Hampshire?

That's when you have sort of the potentially interesting story because it shows Trump weakness, right?

And on the one hand, yeah, but on the other hand, No. New Hampshire is one of the only states on the Republican side that lets non-Republicans vote.

So this is a very, very rare scenario that Haley does well in New Hampshire doesn't necessarily mean she does well anywhere else.

But let's give her the benefit of doubt. We get some Haley-mentum or should it be Nickymentum?

Which sounds better, Haleymentum or Nickymentum? Anyway, we will hear one of those terms if she does exceptionally well, surprisingly well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

And if that happens, well, what's next? Well, Nevada.

Because the Democrats have South Carolina in early February, but the Republicans don't have South Carolina until late February.

So we actually have on the Republican side, Nevada and the Virgin Islands on February 8th.

And so we'll get something out of Nevada. But then we have South Carolina in late February.

And you can imagine, oh, South Carolina is Nikki Haley's home.

She's going to do well there. She's going to like, you know, the hometown crowd will rally around her.

Apparently Apparently, South Carolina politics, that's not a given.

There's a lot going on in South Carolina, and things can get very vicious.

But you could see a scenario where Haley overperforms in Iowa and New Hampshire, and then we spend a month before we get to the South Carolina primary. Yeah.

In somewhat chaos. Because you know Donald Trump would be absolutely flipping out, especially if he actually lost anywhere, not just make it close, but if he actually lost anywhere, Donald Trump would be flipping out.

He'd be going after Nikki Haley with everything he's got.

He's already started to aim some of his, whatever it is that comes out of Donald Trump, he's started to aim some of that at Nikki Haley already.

He is clearly perceiving her as more of a threat than DeSantis, who at this point is being perceived as a joke.

And who knows, maybe DeSantis surprises folks in these first two things. We'll see.

But I think everybody who's talking about this is talking about Nikki Haley.

And, but then after that, Nikki, there's no place that looks right for Nikki Haley.

And I guess the, the narrative that you would build about if you're trying to build the Nikki Haley scenario is that these first few contests have Donald Trump showing weakness, Weakness, whether he outright loses or not, they have him showing weakness.

And because he shows weakness, voters start giving it a second look and being like, well, maybe he's not a winner after all.

Maybe Nikki Haley would be better. And then we start going down that road and you add to that maybe sometime along that timeline, things start going badly for Trump and his legal cases, whether or not the trial starts.

I mean, like super Tuesdays, March 5th and you know, the F.

The likelihood of a trial of any of the trials actually starting before March 5th is zero.

Like none of them are like the two, the two officially scheduled items are in March right now.

The, the New York criminal trial and the DC criminal trial are both officially scheduled for March, but the likelihood of either one of those sticking is low.

Although I have heard by the way, that with all of the drama around the DC case moving, I'd sort of assumed that New York would get delayed, too.

But what I'm hearing more recently is that the New York case had basically said, hey, we will move out if the D.C.

Case is ready to go and we're overlapping because the D.C.

Case is clearly more important. And so we we will we will wait if we need to.

But if the D.C. case itself is delayed, the New York folks are ready to go.

There hasn't been the same sets of legal motions to try to delay the New York criminal case. And so there's a possibility that DC gets delayed from March to May or something.

And meanwhile, New York goes ahead.

Now, the New York case is the one that sort of everybody's like, really, that one?

It's the Stormy Daniels campaign finance stuff.

It's like of everything Donald Trump has done. Yeah. Okay.

He probably, he probably did some bad stuff there, but that is not really, is that really the one that you want to go first and be the face of these things?

Probably not, but there's a chance that ends up going anyway.

Yeah. We're having this conversation about, is there something else going on?

But I keep coming back to like this path that you try to construct for Nikki Haley. Yeah.

Absolutely everything has to go right for her and absolutely everything has to go wrong for Donald Trump.

It is a highly unlikely path. I mean, you can't say it's impossible.

The strange things happen, but highly unlikely.

But I guess, you know, you want to have some drama in these things.

You want to have something interesting to talk about as opposed to just, Just, hey, look, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are acting as incumbents or effective incumbents.

And that means that almost always they just walk to the nomination.

And just to clear up what that would mean.

Like if you got mathematically, if one candidate was getting all of the delegates, then the day that the Republican candidate would clinch the nomination is March 12th.

March 12th is the first day that mathematically you could have over half of the delegates to the convention.

For the Democrats, that date is March 19th. So a week later.

I would not be surprised at all if on March 12th, Donald Trump had this wrapped up and on March 19th, Joe Biden had this wrapped up because, yeah, maybe some other delegates will be going somewhere else.

And that's maybe even that it's not all a hundred percent clear that, you know, that'll be the case, but, and if they're not wrapped up that quickly, certainly by April, like it's just the scenario. Really?


You tell him anyway.

My, My dog really wants to weigh in on this conversation.

You sort of want to keep hope that's alive of something interesting happening, but it's, it's probably going to be boring.

And on the democratic side, I mean, you know, if Kennedy had stayed a Democrat, that might've been a little bit more interesting, but Kennedy has walked out of that.

Phillips is going nowhere. Williamson is going nowhere.

And so Biden's going to walk to it for sure. Unless there's some sort of health issue or something crazy like that happens, you know, and that changes everything.

There is one more thing, though, I want to mention on specifically Iowa, but it'll also be true of New Hampshire.

And after this segment's over, I'm going to take a break.

I'm going to write my election graphs blog post, and then I will come back with my last segment being about the general election and what things are looking like there.

But these are the first real votes of the 2024 election. And it will be, you know, yes, it's Iowa is all Republicans and it's a caucus, which is different.

New Hampshire has some weird dynamics in it, too.

But in both cases, we don't necessarily get to see a direct insight on Trump versus Biden.

However, it is our first opportunity to see if the anti-Trump sentiment is being underestimated in polls.

Like, is there, you know, we talked a lot in 2016 and 2020 about the shy Trump voter, the person who was.

Supportive of Donald Trump, but didn't want to admit that in public.

And the speculation was that led to some of the underestimation of Republicans in the polls, that there were people there who liked Donald Trump, but just did not want to actually tell people when they called them up on the phone that they liked Donald Trump.

I think at this point, there's a possibility that the dynamic is opposite, that there are people who want to move on from Donald Trump, but their social circles are so bought into MAGA and Trump at this point that they don't want to say so out loud.

And so they don't want to, and you know, pollsters are theoretically anonymous And I don't know, like there's some doubt of this, whether this shy Trump voter thing ever really existed as opposed to like various modeling errors about turnout, which I think is probably the bigger factor, but whatever. whatever.

But this will be an opportunity to see like right now, you know, whether or not like.

Haley wins anywhere or gets particularly close, you can look at the gap between Trump and his next competitors and just see, is it about the same as the polling expected or is it bigger Or smaller.

And that might give you an idea of, are the polls once again underestimating Trump like they have the last couple of cycles?

Or are they overestimating Trump?

And we will get our first taste of that information from the Iowa caucuses tomorrow as I'm recording this.

By the time you listen to this, it's probably over and you know what happened. But yes.

So it will be important to watch anyway, even if Trump runs away with everything.

Because he's way ahead in the polls for both Iowa and New Hampshire.

But looking at those margins and does his actual performance match the polling?

That's going to tell you something that maybe can inform how you interpret general election polls as well.

Now, of course, if, you know, we get a complete shocker, like Haley wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, then, oh my God, everything's different.

But I don't think anybody's expecting that. I think, you know, bottom line at this point, as I am recording this, the expectation is is that, okay, Haley, the question is who wins, who wins second place in Iowa?

Is it Haley or DeSantis and by how much?

There's not really a question of will Trump win in Iowa? Everyone expects that.

And then in New Hampshire, the question is, can Haley make it close or is there a possibility that Haley could actually win New Hampshire?

Right now, she's still trailing quite quite a bit in the polls, but you know, Christie's vote, like if you added up all of the former Christie voters and said, okay, let's assume all of them go to Haley.

You get, you get a really close race. Haley probably still the underdog a little bit, but really close.

So I don't, you know, we'll, we'll have a little bit more time to talk about New Hampshire, but yeah, I think the, The expectation is Trump wins both of them.

And then there's some sort of question or drama about, you know, how close Haley got and whether that's momentum that she can use to do anything.

But again, that, that whole conversation I feel like is like, how can we make up a scenario where.

To try to give Haley a chance. Whereas the bottom line is Trump is way ahead everywhere, you know?

So, and yeah, that's the, what's the national view.

I'll just end with this. The national polls for the Republican side have Trump at 60.4%, DeSantis at 12.1, Haley at 11.7, and Ramaswamy at 4.3.

So, yes, sometimes the narrative coming out of these early states can change the dynamic later on, but y'all must have to laugh coming up with these scenarios.

Now, of course, just watch.

Haley will actually end up running away with everything, and I will look silly for saying this, but Trump is so far ahead.

We're just stretching to try to make scenarios that look like this will be interesting.

Interesting okay and with that let's uh let's have a break let me pick which break.

Random i want a number between one and ten usually i do this before the show and have them all prepared but whatever break six okay that's this one uh it's it's an alex emsla a one from, April of 2021.

There were two done that day. This is the second one. Enjoy.

You're supposed to say do, do, do.

Do, do, do, Alex Zemzula! Alex Zemzula is awesome.

Its videos are fun. And today, once again, we have one of our most loyal subscribers here to tell you how awesome Alex Zemzula is.

I'd say on a rate from 1 to 10, Alex Zemzula is awesome at, I don't know, 37, 82.

He's pretty radical. His videos are phenomenal. They're full of creativity.

And they're so funny and exciting to watch.

Wow, what happened to your voice then, Amy? Was that dad pretending to be you because the audio was distorted when it really wasn't because I told him to?

Yes. Good job on remembering, dad. Do, do, do.

Do okay and i am back it is now monday you know at least utc it's 751 utc on monday january 15th because of course i took a few hours to do blah blah blah blah blah blah do a bunch of other stuff and actually that means within just a few minutes it's going to be monday on the west coast of the U.S. where I am too.

I guess Hawaii and Alaska have a little while left to go and maybe some other Pacific-y places or even later.

But anyway, I am back. One more thing on Iowa, I was going to say Iowa and Nebraska.

No, no. Iowa and New Hampshire.

One more thing specifically on Iowa that I neglected to mention that during the time I was gone, I listened to to multiple people on multiple programs talk about how a major thing in Iowa today now is the weather.

Simply that they've had a couple of really big snowstorms in the last few days, and the temperatures are absolutely frigid.

Apparently, the worst of it was Sunday, and it's actually going to be a little bit better Monday, but the weather is horrible.

It's dangerous to travel.

There's ice, there's snow, there's temperatures, and with wind chill, you could probably, get frostbite and stuff really quickly and it's slippery.

And so there's all kinds of talk about how this will impact turnout for the caucuses.

Cause you know, as mentioned, you know, you have to go in person, you have to go at a specific time, you have to stay there for a couple hours, then you have to travel home presumably.

And so, you know, all of the things I said before about maybe, you know, this being a first test to see what happens with, you know, is there a shy anti-Trump vote out there?

Maybe this will not actually be all that good a test of that because you've got extraordinary conditions out there.

And a number of people have said, this is good for Trump because, you know, everybody else is sort of of like, yeah, whatever, but the true Trump diehards, they'll do anything.

They, you know, the quote that I think Donald Trump himself said is, they will walk over glass to vote for me.

And that might be true. I don't know. I've heard other people say, ah, it'll affect all of them equally.

Of course, the person I heard say that was DeSantis himself.

So he's probably being self-serving in that statement.

Anyway, that's it for caucuses and primaries and all that kind of stuff.

I had promised you that I would do the election graphs blog post while I was gone.

And indeed I did. So if you want to go look for it,, and then click on the navigational link for blog.

If you're on mobile, it'll be in the little hamburger menu on the side.

If you're on desktop, it'll be across the top, or you can just go to slash blog.

The most recent post was published on January 15th at 419 UTC.

It's entitled 295 Days Out?

Peak Trump? Question mark.

And basically what I'm going to do in this segment is review the stuff in the blog post so I'm not going to read it but I'm basically going to be covering the same material and saying the same kind of stuff so depending on your preferences you can either listen to this or go to the blog post and read it but basically it's going to be the same content although you know how I am as I go through this I'll think of new things and I'll say other things that weren't in the blog post.

But anyway, here, look, the bottom line, and yes, on the blog post itself, there's a section that says bottom line colon.

So yes, I am parallel to the blog post.

Like I said, the bottom line, look, there's lots of time left, 295 days.

Like I said, lots and lots of things will change in that time period.

And we've talked on the show many times before about all of the factors that could be at play.

But right now, Biden is not doing great.

He is, there's been some slight improvement with polls that covered timeframes in the last month or so.

Some of which only came out in the last week or two, but were, you know, from before Christmas. but he's slightly better than his absolute worst, but his absolute worst was very recent. He's only slightly better than it.

And it's, it's.

I keep coming back to the comparison with 2016 and 2020 because people rightly say that, hey, it's a long time till the election.

Polls this far out are not predictive. And they are absolutely right. Absolutely.

But the same thing was true four years ago.

And the same thing was true eight years ago. and Donald Trump is doing better in the state by state level polls than either four years ago or eight years ago.

And I know I've said this before other times where I've gone through what I have on election graphs, but it continues to be true.

It's been true almost this entire cycle.

And And since October-ish, it's been very true.

Like, Donald Trump's pulled away.

Like, he is significantly ahead of where he was in either of those two cycles.

And so, in order for you to think that the Democrats are in as good a shape as they were either of the other two cycles, one of which, of course, they won and one of which they lost, You have to think that there's something really fundamentally different, either in terms of how much things will change in the 10 months between now and the election, or in terms of the polls just being wrong in the opposite direction. direction.

I've said before, so sorry for repeating myself. In 2008, the polls underestimated the Democrat.

In 2012, they were pretty close to being right, but they still underestimated the Democrat a little bit.

In 2016 and 2020, however, they've underestimated the Republicans, Republicans famously.

So in terms of Trump's win at all in 2016, where he was behind in almost all the polling and also in 2020, where it looked like Biden was going to have a very, very easy win, a healthy win, like not quite, you know, 19, not quite Ronald Reagan landslide territory, but he was going to have a decent win.

And in fact, it ended up being incredibly incredibly close.

So it would actually take the polls underestimating the Democrats again.

And by more than they underestimated the Democrats in 2008 is the biggest poll error since I've been tracking this.

So for the last four cycles in order for Biden to actually be ahead right now.

And again, though, we've got we've also got the whole 10 months thing.

And lots will change. I'm jumping ahead of the blog post a bit here, but I said the bottom line, Trump's doing well, Biden is not.

The other things are that specifically, I've been putting out these blog posts like every 50 days.

The last 50 days have once again had the polls continuing to move in Trump's direction.

I mentioned there was a big change in October, where Biden lost a lot of ground.

He's just continued to lose ground since then.

Like, you know, over the last year, Biden was at his best in June.

And basically his situation has deteriorated ever since.

But the big move was in October.

Like I think I mentioned earlier there, it does look like he may have the whole title of the blog post was Trump peak question mark or peak Trump.

There we go. Peak Trump question mark, because it tentatively looks like there was an inflection point in mid-December and things have started to come back towards Biden. Biden.

But I put some caveats on that because we had the holidays.

We had Christmas, we had New Year, and no one was polling during that time.

So the number of new polls we've had in the last month is actually kind of low.

So I would count this as a tentative, like maybe this movement towards Biden again, but I still want to see it backed up by more before I feel really confident that that's even really happening rather than just being sort of a quirk of the data and random variation and which pollsters are out right now and all that kind of stuff.

And like I said, there are even some cases where there have been some polls that I've added to the the database in the last week that we're actually covering, you know, times that were many weeks ago just because I guess they didn't release them during Christmas.

There's some agencies that like just routinely like do them, like they do a monthly poll and they release it weeks later and stuff like that.

But, but there might be the start of a turnaround, but it's just the start of a turnaround, even if it's real.

And we just have to wait and see.

But people have always said that Trump has a ceiling.

There's certainly a floor to support as well, but there's a ceiling that he just can't get past.

And I mean, I guess that's not really saying that much.

Every candidate It has a floor and a ceiling, but it's hard to see Trump getting much further than this in terms of sort of the.

You know, it's just like, he's already had in Michigan. He's already had a Nevada.

He's already had in Pennsylvania.

Wisconsin is basically a tie. You could see him strengthening a bit in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, but not that much above where we are now, but then pulling in more States, it's hard to see him pulling in Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, some of the next states down the line.

So it seems like this has to be near a high watermark and we're due to revert to the mean a little bit.

And maybe the mean still has Trump ahead in the electoral college, but this seems like this is as high as we've seen him before.

This is way higher in certain metrics than we've seen him before.

So it's much easier to think of the possibility of Trump getting weaker from this point than for him to get even stronger.

But I guess you never know.

Right now, the tipping point in the race, and I've explained the tipping point before, but it's if you rank all the states from strongest for Biden to strongest for Trump, and you look for the state that puts the winner over the edge in the electoral college, The tipping point is the margin in that state.

And sometimes you have a scenario where the tipping point is different depending on which direction you're coming from.

In that case, I just averaged the two states in question.

But right now, that tipping point is Trump being ahead by 4% in Michigan. Michigan.

And this is key because Michigan is a relatively big state. It is one that Biden won in 2020.

It is critical for any Biden path to victory, minus ones that just do really crazy things like Biden wins Texas or something like that, which doesn't look like is in the cards at the moment.

But here's the thing.

The tipping point being at 4.0 is what I used at a basis of the polls have to be even more wrong than 2008.

And they have to be wrong in the direction of underestimating the Democrats.

But, so that's a fairly big poll error. But at the same time, 4.0, a margin of 4.0 is one that can disappear pretty quickly.

And when talking about this i always come back to hillary clinton in 2016 her tipping point dropped six percent in roughly two weeks at the very end right before the election and you know you anybody who remembers 2016 can rattle off various factors the biggest one, being that Comey letter that was about two weeks out from the election.

And basically, it looks like it had an effect.

And this is just a reminder that even though we all talk about how absolutely polarized U.S.

Politics is right now and how everybody's made up their mind and you're either on one side or the other, it is still possible for news events to convince people on the margins to change their minds or to stay home.

And that's what we saw in 2016. Even in 2020, we saw some fairly rapid movement of the tipping point up and down in the last few months.

I guess there's an argument you could make that given the nature of polls, you know, the tipping point itself just has a, you know, plus or minus 2% margin of error on it just because it's hard to measure stuff, you know, but seeing, you know, it can move 4% over a few weeks and that's where we are right now.

So the fact that Trump is ahead by 4%, if the election was held today, and if the type of errors we've seen in the past hold true, like the probabilistic measures that I have on are basically use 2008 through 2020 and look at all of the final election graph averages that I had in all those years for all the states and compare to the actual election results and how far off they were and basically ends up saying, look, on average over those four cycles for the really close states.

Polls have underestimated the Republicans, so we assume that is true today.

If you make those assumptions, that's where you get to right now.

If the election was held today, which it is not, the election is not today.

Well, the Iowa caucuses are, but the general election is not today.

I right now have Biden's odds, you know, between 1.2 and 4.4%, depending on which of my two models you use.

And that's really low. I mean, it's not zero, but it's pretty low because it requires him to win, even though he's behind in all of these big swing states. states.

And, you know, just to go through some of those swing states, particularly last time around Biden won Georgia and Arizona.

Trump right now has healthy winning margins in both Georgia and Arizona.

They don't even look competitive right now.

His margins are, let's see, I can actually actually tell you.

I've got the list in front of me.

Trump's ahead by 5.8 in Arizona and 6.7 in Georgia. You know, and...

Those are strong margins. Could things change between now and the election? Sure.

But right now he's way ahead in those states. They don't look like they're competitive at the moment.

Meanwhile, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, these are all states that he won last time, that Biden won last time, where Trump has small leads right now.

Michigan is the biggest of those where Trump's ahead by 4%, which is not, it's not like over 5% where it's not even in competition.

But if you take out the most recent poll, it was, it was like 5.8% or something.

And that new poll looks like an outlier. It's the first poll that has shown a Biden lead lead in Michigan since October.

And it's just way out of line with all the other recent polling.

So it's like, I don't really believe it.

Maybe Biden's, you know, doing a little bit better than the 5.8 without this poll, but I'm not sure this is representative, but you know, so Michigan's looking bad.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are very close. The Trump's margin is under is, is over However, Trump's margin is under 1% in both of them.

Wisconsin, it's under 0.1%. It's the closest state I have right now.

Nevada, Trump's ahead by 3.8%. These four states are the key.

I mean, look, in recent elections, these have been the key states, right?

We're talking, I mean, forget Nevada for a second, but Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, They've been key for the last three election cycles.

You know, this is where the battle has been fought.

Now, Biden picked up the extra Arizona and Georgia last time around, but Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were the keys. Yeah.

Hillary missing out on a couple of those upper Midwest states are why she lost.

Biden winning them is why he won.

Biden needs to bring those back into the fold.

And I am sure his campaign staff is well aware and is trying to figure out what they have to do in these states to bring them back in his direction.

And they may have internal polling that shows them doing better than the public polling I'm seeing.

Maybe a couple of the, you know, maybe some of these polls are sort of, okay, yeah, that poll leans right.

And so let's pay a little less attention to that. It's got, you know, I don't try to compensate for what FiveThirtyEight calls house effects.

So maybe if you look at that, it's a little bit better picture than what I'm painting right now.

Now, but if you put all this together, I mean, Yvonne and I on this show and myself in previous election graphs things, I have listed out some of the reasons to be skeptical of the polling situation.

One is all of Trump's legal issues are going to unspool over the course of this entire year, and they have to make some sort of difference, right? Right.

Certainly some people will give up on Donald Trump because of all this.

I think the jury's out on that one. Oh, jury's out.

That was unintentional. Anyway, there's certainly some evidence that this stuff is helping Donald Trump.

Basically, if you look at when Biden peaked and things started getting worse for him again, or if you look at it the other way, when did things start getting better for Donald Trump?

It's when he started getting indicted.

I mean, not the New York one. Okay, I'm looking at the chart right now.

Things were still getting worse for Donald Trump when the New York one hit.

But starting with the Florida indictment, that almost exactly coincides with the recent low for Donald Trump.

And then things got a little bit better for him through the D.C.

And Georgia indictments, but things were kind of flat around there.

The big jump up coincides pretty tightly in time with the Israel Hamas situation.

And so I suppose it may be that some of this is due to people not liking how Joe Biden has handled that.

Although I still am baffled by people who think that Donald Trump would have handled it better, but whatever.

And it may be coincidence that that's just the time that it hit. Yeah.

We've also talked about how all of these close states, what I'm calling the neither option, is really huge.

And this combines people going for third parties and people who straight out say that they are undecided.

But if you look at it, you got almost 17% in that category in Pennsylvania, almost 18% in Michigan, 16% in Wisconsin, 15% in Nevada, and all of the close states seem to be like this.

A lot of that is Kennedy. A lot of that is just scattered through Stein and West and those folks. And there's a bunch that are just straight out people saying they don't know.

But those numbers are really large. And they do tend, just as a general principle in the US, that both third parties and undecideds tend to collapse as the election approaches.

Like a lot more people will tell you that they're going to vote third party six months out, nine months out, ten months out.

And then when push comes to shove and it's election day, most of those people don't end up voting third party.

And obviously the undecideds either decide or don't vote.

And so, and I had pulled an example from Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania right now, I mentioned was it's 16.6% in that neither category on the eve of the election back in 2020, that neither cancel that, that neither category in Pennsylvania was only 3.7%.

I wasn't able to pull numbers on how big the neither category was in January of 2020.

So maybe by the next every 50 days update, I'll do that and see how different that was from four years ago.

But the number tends to be small by the end. Obviously, not all the time.

You know, for those of us who are old enough, we remember Ross Perot.

Who actually got a decent number of third-party votes in the general election.

Maybe Kennedy will do that this time. Maybe Manchin or somebody, if he gets in, will also get a decent amount. I don't know.

We'll see. That could make a big difference. We've also talked about other factors here.

We've talked about how just historically, from a year out to about this time, tends to be the worst time for incumbent presidents when running for re-election.

And then once they get into election year, they start bounding back.

And so having an incumbent president in a tough position around this time is not unusual.

And many of them end up winning.

Sometimes they don't. I mean, George H.W.

Bush's worst time was around this time of year, but he didn't come back.

He didn't actually manage to win after that.

Another factor just to throw out there, soon after I posted this, I got a comment on Facebook, and I won't use the full name, initials are TM, basically pointing me to an article on CNN from January 12th, so pretty recently, talking about how the Biden campaign is thinking about the fact that some of these polls show him behind Donald Trump, And specifically that a big part of this is that undecided voters in general are.

Don't believe Donald Trump is actually going to be the nominee.

And one quote from a senior campaign official was, you can't conceive of how tuned out these people are.

And this just ties to, you know, if you are listening to this show, if you are looking at, then you are clearly the kind of person who pays a lot of attention to politics and the news and what's going on and is likely following the ins and outs of what's happening with the campaigns, what's Donald Trump saying today, what's going on with his legal trials, what's going to happen on the Iowa caucuses and what does that mean and how are all these candidates doing?

The number of people who are like that is exceedingly small in the general population.

Most people are not paying attention.

I've mentioned before on the show that one person I encountered at one point, and I'm not going to name them or anything like that, who saw me watching something about Donald Trump.

And this was a few months ago now, But still, it still like resonates in my head.

And they looked at it and it was like, oh, Donald Trump?

Is he still around? I thought he was gone.

And for a news junkie like me, that's shocking. But that's normal.

Most people are not paying attention on a regular basis to what's going on with any of this stuff.

And so another part of the polling here is you know they they say most people don't actually start paying attention to the general election for a presidential election cycle until after we get the conventions in the fall are they fall i guess they're july and august.

And so right now they're just not paying attention. They don't, even if you call them up and you ask them or you text them or however they're doing the polls these days and say Trump or Biden, they don't know.

They're not paying attention.

You'll get, you'll get the, you know, 90% of people who are tribal and, you know, the Democrats are going to vote for the Democrat, whoever it is, the Republicans are going to vote for the Republicans, whoever they are.

Or maybe that's not 90%. Maybe that's 80% or whatever.

But there's the other group out there who really could go other ways.

Yeah, they don't know. They're not paying attention. They'll think about it later.

And it's easy to dismiss it and saying that's a trivially small number of people.

But when you've got a country that is divided this closely, close to the 50-50 mark, how those people end up going makes a huge difference.

And also you've got a lot of folks, and I don't know how big this group is.

They're vocal online, but I honestly don't know how much of it is real and how much of it is an act.

But there are all kinds of people that are once again doing sort of the thing you heard about a lot in 2016, which is, I don't like either of them.

So either I'm not going to vote at all, or I'm going to do a protest vote for one of these third party candidates.

It there were you know it back in 2016 there were enough sort of disaffected Sanders people who decided to vote Stein that if they just sucked it up and voted for Biden.

Biden. Voted for Clinton, Clinton would have won. But a lot of them voted for Stein.

A lot of them stayed home. Some of them voted for Trump even.

And it was enough to make a difference.

I mean, 2016 was close enough that everything made a difference.

I've already mentioned the Comey letter. We got the Russian interference.

We got the disaffected Sanders voters and what they did.

It was close enough that any of a hundred different things could have gone differently and it would have gone the other way.

But the point is, if you're going through all of the reasons to say, yeah, yeah, Trump's leading, but don't worry about it too much yet.

There are a bunch of reasons that you can convince yourself.

But I think that's a, if you're a Democrat rooting for Joe Biden, Or even if you're just, you don't particularly like Biden, you're not particularly a Democrat, but you recognize the danger of a Trump-like figure.

I think you should be concerned right now.

And even if there are all of these reasons to think, okay, maybe, yeah, maybe the polls show this, but here's some reasons to think it's not that bad.

I think you're doing a disservice by doing that.

I am not preaching, oh my God, Donald Trump is winning. There's nothing we can possibly do about it. That's ridiculous too.

But you need to be acting like this is a real battle and acting like Biden's behind.

If it turns out the polls are wrong and Biden is actually like ahead, okay.

Okay, but you're better off acting like you're behind and fighting as if you're behind and you have to catch up, then I hear a lot out there of people just seemingly convincing themselves, that, well, of course Biden's going to win.

There's no possible way Trump could win.

Because look at all of the bad things. Look at how stupid he is.

Look at all the crimes. Look at he's in charge.

All of the charges against him, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And, you know, have you learned nothing from 2016?

Trump needs to be taken seriously. It is foolish to underestimate him.

And I keep getting vibes from Democrats and just general anti-Trump people that I hear talking on cable news, online in various ways, that Trump is somehow weak.

Because of all of the headwinds he's got against him, because of the legal cases, because of everything else.

And look, I agree he should be, but that's not what the numbers are showing right now.

And so I think folks should act like these numbers are real.

Even if you've got doubts, even if you've got reasons, you think that maybe Biden is better off than these numbers look right now, you should still be acting like you're fighting from behind.

And what does that mean you have to do? And for, for the Biden campaign specifically, and you know, because it's a state by state thing, it's not like, you know, I'm sitting here in Washington state, Washington state is a safe Biden state.

It would take something cataclysmic for somebody like Trump to win Washington state.

So you do have to think like on a state by state basis, but the Biden folks should be really worried about Michigan, unless they've got secret internal polling that shows that this public polling is nonsense.

I don't know, but they should be really worried about Michigan.

They should be worried about Pennsylvania and Wisconsin too, that they're even close, let alone barely on the Republican side of of the line.

They should be looking at Nevada.

These are the states that they should be putting some serious effort into.

And if you get those safe, then maybe you start worrying about Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, maybe even Texas, but only.

And this is a mistake Clinton made in 2016 too.

She thought she was so far ahead, she started making plays for some of these states that were traditional Republican states that maybe she could stretch and get and neglected some of these core states that were actually slipping away from her in the last few weeks.

But yeah, and they know that. I mean, this is such basic political stuff.

I mean, these are the core swing states.

This is the way the Electoral College works. So I know they're on top of this.

But anyway the point in all that is i keep hearing people talk in a way that seems to underestimate donald trump and even even when they say look look we know we're gonna have to fight for it we know it's going to be close it still doesn't feel like they're taking it quite seriously enough and maybe it's just still early and we'll get to that blah blah blah Because I also very much don't want people to go the other way and be like, well, Biden's going to lose. There's no point.

That's the wrong message, too.

I think I've hit all the main bullet points from the beginning of my blog post.

Just hit some of the additional details.

On the blog post, I have sort of a list of all of the close states and how they've moved in the last 50 days.

And it is really lopsided.

Ones that moved towards Trump in the last 50 days, Maine's second congressional district, Maine as a whole, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Colorado.

All of those states move towards Trump, moves towards Biden, Wisconsin, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

That's it. And then there are a few of the other close states, New Mexico, Nebraska's second congressional district in Ohio didn't move at all because there were no new polls in those areas.

And Pennsylvania seems to be be moving in the right direction again.

It's one of the states that seems to have shifted around mid-December and started coming back in the other direction.

You know, Texas moved a little bit towards Biden. Cool.

It's still, it went from 5.8% Trump lead to 5.4% Trump lead, you know, whatever.

It's still not, I'm, Texas is not competitive right now, but still it's nice moved in the right direction, I guess.

And by the way, for anybody who comes from the side, on, I try to stay really straight to the facts and here's the poll results and here's whatever.

Here on the podcast, I'm fully partisan, opinionated.

I take a side, but I try to make sure this analysis is all, you know, the actual numbers and graphs and charts and everything on election graphs are straight up, straight up what the numbers say.

I'm not putting my thumb on the scale. I'm not doing anything.

If anything, I'm putting my thumb on the scale to favor Trump because my analysis of the last four election cycles showed that on average, the polls underestimated the Democrats in closed states.

What else to say? Pennsylvania moving the right direction. Michigan completely going in the wrong direction.

I mentioned that one outlier poll with that outlier poll in place.

It looks like Michigan's moved a little bit back towards Biden, but I really don't believe that poll.

So I have yet to see anything with Michigan turning the corner that I believe.

Believe, Wisconsin is just crazy. The average is just right along the zero line and has been for two months with one little spike at one point that didn't last very long.

But also, if you look at the actual data points, not just the average, they're just all over the place. There's no trend showing.

There's some that are showing Trump significantly ahead.

There's some that are showing Biden significantly ahead.

And by significantly, I mean, four or five, 6%.

And it's like, so what's really going on there?

I don't know that it's probably a pretty close state, but the spread on the polls is huge. So I don't know.

Nevada is also one where, and I'm going off these, these are the states that are, they're the four full states, not counting the congressional districts that are in the weak Trump category that are all states that Biden won last time.

Nevada seems to have popped up towards Trump after the Israel-Hamas war started and has been slowly coming back in the Biden direction, but still has a decent Trump lead at the moment, 3.8%.

The one thing I noted, and this is always fun to notice when the possibility comes up, is that Nevada is only six electoral votes.

So the temptation is to be like, ah, don't worry about that as much.

Worry about the bigger states.

But if you look at my maps right now, and you give Biden all the states where he leads in the average.

Plus you pull back over to him, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, but leave Nevada where where it is, you end up with a 269 to 269 tot, which throws the election to the House of Representatives.

It would be the new House of Representatives that was just elected, not the current House, but they vote by state delegation, not as individual Congress people.

So, even if the Democrats win back the House, it's highly likely that Republicans would still have a majority of the state delegations, which would mean that Trump would still win in that situation.

So, Joe really needs Nevada as well.

There are a few other things in the blog post. I go through, you know, what the probability graphs look like.

Bottom line, you know, Biden win odds right now between 1.2 and 4.4% if the election was held today.

I'm glad the election is not today.

That translates into right now, depending on which of my three models you look at, the the median central line is between Trump winning by 80 electoral votes and Trump winning by 88 electoral votes with Biden still having a shot on all three of my models right now, like the, the 95% two Sigma range for both probabilistic independent States and uniform swing has the most positive case for Biden within that range being Biden up by 16, which is the same as if If you just give him all the close states in the categorization model, if you just give him every state under 5% Trump lead.

And yeah, I talked about the tipping point. We're getting there.

And, and once again, I just, I keep returning to this.

I started out the conversation along these lines, but I'm coming back there.

The thing that gets me over and over and over looking at this is the historical comparison with 2016 and 2020.

And how much better Trump is doing in polling right now than in either of those cycles.

Now, there may be other factors at play. Like it may just be, hey, maybe all of the polling companies, realized how they were underestimating Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 and have changed their turnout modeling to compensate for that and have overcompensated.

So now they're underestimating Biden instead of under us. Maybe.

But I don't want to come out there and like base any conclusions on the assumption that, oh, yeah, they're they've overcorrected.

Or maybe like most of the polls are from more conservative leading pollsters who have a bias to underestimate Democrats and the other pollsters will come in line and start putting out their results later in the year.

Maybe, like I said, 538 hasn't come out with their general election model yet.

I'm sure it won't be too long until they do, but they compensate for house effects.

They look at the historical record of every pollster and have they tended to bias in one direction or another, and they actually correct for that in their models.

I don't do that. I think that's overthinking a little bit too much, but maybe that's going on too. I don't know.

But all I can say is taking things at face value, Trump is doing much better than he did four or eight years ago.

And given that one of those two elections he won and the other one he just barely lost, if you don't want Trump to come back into office, the fact that he's doing better than either of those last two election cycles should worry you a bunch.

Even if you've got all these sort of intellectual justifications why you don't believe the number, it should still worry you and you should still act accordingly.

I know I've said that before.

Final thing on the blog post is, you know, the entire last segment of the show was on.

The unlikely path that would have to unfold to have anything other than a Biden versus Trump rematch.

You know, you either have to have some sort of Nikki Haley miracle, or, I mean, there's always the possibility that one or both of Biden and Trump don't make it to the election and have have some sort of health issue that causes them to not be able to finish that out with folks that age. I guess that's always a possibility.

But despite the fact that we pretty much think unless something crazy happens, it's Biden versus Trump, I did share a graph that looks at some of the other possibilities as well.

And basically, bottom line is the only ones we have really good polling for Biden versus Trump and Biden versus DeSantis.

Trump definitely does a lot better against Biden than DeSantis does.

I think we have enough polling for the Biden versus DeSantis matchup to be able to say that.

He still wins against Biden or is in the lead, I should say, but not by anywhere near near as much as Trump would be.

And Trump is, it's just a more solid lead Biden versus Haley.

There's enough that you can, there's a signal there.

You can start to like pay attention to those numbers, but the way I always put it is take it with a big pile of salt and.

There's some Biden versus Haley state by state polling, but it's still pretty sparse.

There's a, so a lot of my averages still are backfilling with previous election results because there just aren't enough actual 2024 polls.

So take it with a big grain of salt, but it looks like Haley would do somewhere in between where DeSantis would do and where Trump would do a little closer to the DeSantis than Trump. Trump.

But yeah, take that with the appropriate levels of salt.

But all three of them right now with the state by state polling are leading Biden.

It's just a question of by how much I, my graph that I include on blog posts also includes like lines for Harris versus Trump, Biden versus Pence, Biden versus Young.

And, but I include a note that really ignore those lines. There's so little state-level polling for those combinations that the averages are essentially worthless.

And Harris, Pence, and Youngkin aren't even running at this point, so there's no reason to look at those anyway.

On the off chance it's not Biden versus Trump, like Biden versus DeSantis and Biden versus Haley are the most likely alternate possibilities.

Possibilities again, unless, you know, unless either Biden or Trump have to drop out for health reasons, that changes everything. If that were to happen.

I guess that's it.

My summary general election-wise, going back to the beginning, there's lots of time for lots of things to play out.

We are a long way from the election still.

But general election-wise, Trump is doing great right now.

Biden, not so much. And so, yes, it's not predictive yet, but Biden's got some work to do.

And I know there's at least some political theory that you don't want to peak too soon.

And so you don't want to actually be putting in a lot of effort in January, February, March timeframe because people aren't paying attention yet.

And so you're going to want to do that July, August, September, October, you know, wait till the second half of the year.

But at the same time, I'd feel a lot more comfortable if Biden was doing a bit better right now.

And like I said, in the second segment, we got Iowa and New Hampshire coming up.

We got the first actual votes and we obviously there's no Biden versus Trump match up there, but maybe we'll get the first sense of how the polls are doing with Trump in general.

Is there Is there a shy anti-Trump vote out there or is Trump, you know, like I said, at the end of the second segment, I said, let's watch what happens in Iowa, New Hampshire and see if Trump does better, worse, or about the same as the polls have him in, in those primaries.

And even though that's not a direct comparison to biden to to the trump versus biden general election maybe we can take some information out of that and use it to start thinking about whether the polls are not understanding the biden versus trump matchup either maybe we'll see, okay with that the usual stuff at the end go to well first of all i've been talking about election Go to, read the blog post, check out all the maps and charts and, you know, click through and see what's going on in all the individual states.

Have, you know, poke around, have fun. It's exciting.

Whenever new polls come out, I update it as soon as I'm able to, which, you know, I have a job. I have other responsibilities.

So it isn't necessarily like the minute it happens, but I try to get to them within 24 hours or so, less if I can. Yeah.

And then, of course, go to There you can find all the ways to contact us here at the show.

You can find Mastodon for myself, Yvonne, the show as a whole.

Follow us, talk to us. You can find that we've got email there, too. We've got Facebook. We've got all that fun stuff.

Also, our Patreon, where you can give us cash money at various levels.

We'll mention you on the show. We'll send you a postcard. We'll send you a mug.

We will invite you to early access to the video game.

My, my teenage son is developing, you know, all kinds of, all kinds of fun things.

And very importantly at $2 a month or more on the Patreon, or if you just ask us, we'll invite you to the convergence corner slack where Yvonne and I, and a variety of listeners are exchanging links and talking about the news and talking about other things throughout the week.

It's a lot of fun. the more the merrier. We would love to have you join.

I will not give highlights from the curmudgeon's corner slack this time around because I usually have Yvonne do that and he's out this week.

Hopefully Yvonne will be back next week where I fully expect we will talk about the actual results of the Iowa caucus, assuming it doesn't turn into a huge mess like four years ago where we didn't have good results from the Iowa caucuses for more than a week because there was all kinds ends of confusion.

Hopefully they got that all straightened out. Although I think that was mostly on the Democratic side.

I guess it would have been. It was just Trump running for re-election, so there was no suspense four years ago.

It's one of the reasons the Democrats sort of punted the Iowa caucuses this time around.

This time around, it's mail-in only, and with results to be announced on Super Tuesday.

Anyway, we'll talk about that and whatever else is on the news.

In the meantime, everybody stay safe.

Have a good week. If you're in Iowa and you're a Republican caucus, I guess.

Well, also, apparently you do have to be a registered Republican to caucus in the Republican caucuses in Iowa.

But if you are not a registered Republican, apparently you can do it on the spot.

So there are some Democrats and independents who are intending to crash the party.

And change their registration to Republican on the spot and then vote for Nikki Haley or whatever. We'll see what happens.

In New Hampshire, you just show up and you can do whatever party you want.

Anyway, have a good week. We'll talk to you next time.

I trust Yvonne will be back next time and we'll talk about all the news of the day. Goodbye.

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