Mike Kueber's Blog

April 11, 2012

Handicapping the Republican VP contest

Filed under: People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 12:26 pm
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Now that Mitt Romney has prevailed in the competition for the Republican presidential nomination, many pundits have shifted their attention to the vice-presidential nomination.  One of those pundits is Washington Post liberal columnist Eugene Robinson.   

Among Robinson’s comments, I was most struck by his suggestion that Florida Senator Marco Rubio “offers the biggest potential reward – for the biggest risk.”  That sounds scarily like the description of Sarah Palin in the movie/book Game Change.  If I were Marco Rubio, I would not like being compared to Sarah Palin.

Robinson’s column also contained evaluations of Paul Ryan (less charisma than Romney), Chris Christie (spectacular game-changer), Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (dull technocrat), Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (anti-woman), Ohio senator Rob Portman (safe/boring, but from key swing state), Indiana governor Mitch Daniels (safe/boring), South Dakota senator John Thune (safe, boring), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (safe/boring), and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley (a gift of writing material to columnists everywhere).

Washington Post conservative columnist George Will took a different tack in describing who Mitt Romney should select as his running mate.  Instead of listing pros and cons of the leading contenders, Will described the qualities that America needs in its Vice President:

  • For the next decade, American politics will turn on this truth: Slowing the growth of the entitlement state is absolutely necessary and intensely unpopular. In this situation, which is ripe for a demagogue such as the Huey Long from Chicago’s Hyde Park, Romney’s choice of running mate should promise something Washington now lacks — adult supervision.

With that quality in mind, Will believes two politicians stand – Paul Ryan and Bobby Jindal.  Unfortunately both are charisma-challenged, and that is the second theme of his column – i.e., historically vice-presidential candidates are not important to presidential race and therefore Romney should select a running mate who will help him govern, not necessarily help him win the election.  That makes sense, and President Obama’s selection of Joe Biden vs. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin helps support that point.

Who do the oddsmakers think will be Romney’s running mate?

  • Marco Rubio – 25%
  • Chris Christie – 10%
  • Rob Portman – 11.1%
  • Bob McDonnell – 8.1%
  • Paul Ryan – 7.2%
  • Mitch Daniels – 3.7%
  • Susana Martinez – 3.6%
  • John Thune – 3.0%
  • Rick Santorum – 2.9%
  • Bobby Jindal – 2.6%
  • Rand Paul – 2.4%
  • Nikki Haley – 1.7%

Rubio used to be above 30%, so his stocked has dropped some.  Who the hell is Susana Martinez?  She is the governor of New Mexico, the first female Hispanic governor ever.  A career prosecutor, she was elected governor in 2010 and thus seems spectacularly unqualified to be Vice President.

I’m pulling for Mitch Daniels, but would be OK with Chris Christie or John Thune.

September 25, 2011

Updated odds for the Republican presidential candidates

Filed under: People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 2:06 am
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The groundswell for Mitt Romney is growing.  Intrade.com currently lists him as the 45% favorite to earn the Republican nomination, while Rick Perry has dropped to 23%. Almost as dramatic a change, Chris Christie has supplanted Sarah Palin for third place. He is listed at 9% and she is at 8%. Huntsman is at 4%, Paul at 3%, and Bachmann at 2%. Surprisingly, Herman Cain remains at 1% despite a winning debate on Thursday and a victorious straw poll on Saturday, both in Florida. Newt Gingrich is also at 1%, and everyone else has less than a 1% chance of winning the nomination.

Perhaps the media will stop callling Perry the frontrunner.

September 10, 2011

Horse-race reporting – the updated election odds

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 3:55 am
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The media is often accused of ignoring the substance in a political campaign and instead covering the event like a horse race – i.e., who’s in the lead, who’s gaining, and who’s fading.  With horse-race reporting, the underlying facts are polls, fundraising, and talking heads/pundits.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a more reliable underlying fact – betting odds.  My experience has been that betting odds are more accurate than talking heads and pundits, so when providing horse-race reporting on the presidential campaigns, it makes sense to refer to the betting odds.

Although political betting is illegal in America, it is legal overseas, and the betting odds are easily accessible from Intrade, the self-described “world’s leading prediction market.”

On August 22, I blogged about the betting odds in the upcoming presidential election.   At that time, President Obama had a 50% chance of re-election, and Rick Perry was favored to win the Republican nomination (36% vs. 30% for Romney).

Since then, the Republicans held their first major debate, following which the general consensus of the punditry was that Romney was solid, Perry was adequate, and everyone else was disappearing, and the revised Intrade odds reflect that consensus.  Mitt Romney is now the favorite to win the Republican nomination at 38%, while Rick Perry has dropped slightly to 35%.  Jon Huntsman’s odds actually increased from 5% to 8%, and the odds for everyone else dropped, with Palin dropping from 8% to 6% and Bachmann dropping from 6% to 3%.

With respect to the general election, the Democratic Party candidate currently has a 50% chance of prevailing while the Republican Party candidate has a 48% chance.

Stay tuned.