Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How Now NH

UPDATE VI: With 95% of the precincts reporting, the Washington Post reports:

Romney 39.4%
Paul 22.8%
Huntsman 16.8%
Gingrich 9.4%
Santorum 9.3%
Perry 0.7%

UPDATE V: From The New York Times, New Hampshire Primary Overview and Forecast, here is "each candidate’s FiveThirtyEight forecast for New Hampshire along with what the forecast model deems to be his 90 percent confidence interval":

Mitt Romney
538 forecast (most likely outcome): 39 percent
High end of forecast range: 47 percent
Low end of forecast range: 27 percent
. . .

Ron Paul
538 forecast (most likely outcome): 19 percent
High end of forecast range: 27 percent
Low end of forecast range: 11 percent
. . .

Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
538 forecast (most likely outcome): 17 percent
High end of forecast range: 26 percent
Low end of forecast range: 9 percent
. . .

Rick Santorum
538 forecast (most likely outcome): 12 percent
High end of forecast range: 20 percent
Low end of forecast range: 6 percent
. . .

Newt Gingrich
538 forecast (most likely outcome): 11 percent
High end of forecast range: 19 percent
Low end of forecast range: 5 percent
. . .

Rick Perry
538 forecast (most likely outcome): 1 percent
High end of forecast range: 3 percent
Low end of forecast range: 0 percent

UPDATE IV: And the day before the NH primary, the FiveThirtyEight NH forecast model predicts:

Romney with 39.3%, and a vote range of 26-49%

Paul with 19.4%, and a vote range of 10-29%

Huntsman with 15.6%, and a vote range of 7-26%

Santorum with 12.1%, and a vote range of 5-21%

Gingrich with 11.3%, and a vote range of 4-20%, and

Perry with 1.4%, and a vote range of 0-3%.

The forecasts "are formulated from an average of recent surveys, with adjustments made to account for a polling firm's accuracy, freshness of a poll and each candidate's momentum. Although this improves accuracy, there is still considerable uncertainty in the forecast as is reflected in the range of possible vote totals for each candidate."

UPDATE III: From The New York Times, New Hampshire Debates: Five Things to Watch:

"Six Republican candidates will gather Saturday night for a two-hour debate sponsored by ABC News, Yahoo and WMUR-TV. Ten hours later, they will reconvene, this time on the set of NBC‘s “Meet the Press” program for another debate.

The twin face-offs have the potential to be the highest-stakes events in a campaign that has been shaped by debate performances. And for these debates, there will be no net — New Hampshire voters will vote less than two days later, giving candidates little time to recover from a blunder.

With new polls showing Mr. Romney maintaining his wide lead in New Hampshire, his rivals are all but certain to aim their attacks at him. But Mr. Romney has proven himself to be a skilled debater in this campaign and is no doubt preparing for the expected onslaught.

Here are five things to watch for during the debates:




4. NO MORE 'OOPS' . . .

5. PAUL’S ATTACKS . . ."

UPDATE II: "Independents are a finicky and fickle bunch. They are deeply dissatisfied with the direction of the country, with an overwhelming majority saying things are badly off track. Social issues do not concern them. Many of them voted for President Obama.

And now, this critical voting bloc — which makes up as much as 45 percent of the New Hampshire electorate — is about to take center stage. If the Iowa contest exposed the conflicted mood and sharp divisions within the GOP, then New Hampshire will offer a broader snapshot of a hard-to-pin-down sliver of the electorate that has an outsize impact on elections, particularly in this swing state."

Read the Washington Post, Independents represent a major unknown in the N.H. primary.

"The Iowa caucuses answered some questions — no, Michele Bachmann isn’t going to be president — but raised lots and lots of others.

As the race moves to New Hampshire (Jan. 10) and then South Carolina (Jan. 21), here’s a look at five key questions — the answers to which will tell us a lot about the shape of the race going forward.

1. Does Newt Gingrich go on a kamikaze mission? . . .

2. Can Rick Santorum stand the heat? . . .

3. How much more money does Restore Our Future have? . . .

4. Does Rick Perry stay viable? . . .

5. Do conservatives unite? . . ."

Read the Washington Post, The 5 key questions of the Republican presidential race.

Romney: It's 'Party Ideology Politics and Obstructionism First'

"[C]utting through Mr. Romney’s expensive armor and exposing the hollow core within. Read The New York Times, Huntsman's "Country First" Slogan.

Economic Stimulus Told Ya So, Again

On December 12, 2008, more than three years ago I (and a few others) suggested mortgage refinancing as an economic stimulus for Main Streeters. And I suggested it again in February 2009, and yet again several other times over the years.

Guess what the big-shot economist are suggesting now. Read the Washington Post, By promoting mortgage refinancing, Obama could win big, which notes:

"From 2001 to 2003, Glenn Hubbard served as President George W. Bush’s chief economist. Today, he’s dean of Columbia University’s School of Business and one of Mitt Romney’s top economic advisers. But right now, the candidate who could most benefit from his advice is President Obama.

Hubbard is an advocate for using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to set off a nationwide wave of mortgage refinancing. In a paper co-authored with Columbia economist Christopher Mayer, Hubbard estimates that more than 75 percent of the homeowners with 30-year mortgages backed by Fannie or Freddie are paying interest rates higher than 5 percent. But for the past two years, interest rates have been closer to 4 percent. That means tens of millions of Americans are paying more than they need to every single month. . .

The effect on the economy would be twofold: First, the refinancings would act like a high-powered tax cut for those homeowners who took advantage of them. As Hubbard and Mayer write, 'Empirical evidence suggests that consumers spend a larger portion of permanent increases in income than temporary increases.' And as these refinancings would lower payments, they’re as permanent as you can get in government policy. Second, it would make the Fed’s efforts to keep interest rates low more effective in stimulating the economy."

Better late than never I suppose, but is it too late for Obama?