The Phony Campaign

2016-05-08 Update

After Ted Cruz's ignominious defeat in Indiana and subsequent campaign suspension, PredictWise has predictably dropped him below our 2% probability threshold. But, unexpectedly, Bernie Sanders has popped (barely) back into the running.

Leaving candidates who happen to be utterly contemptible or completely foolish (guess which are which):

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Donald Trump" phony 556,000 +307,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 549,000 +447,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 367,000 ---

If those hit counts look a little huge compared to recent values, it's because Google totally turned off its long-deprecated Google Web Search API at some point in the past week, which I'd been using to automatically grab its data. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Your blogger has gone back to the old method of generating the search link, bringing it up in a browser, then copy-and-pasting from the browser window. To quote Dr. McCoy: "What is this, the Dark Ages?"

"Good" news: our remaining lineup has more than enough phoniness to last us until November. And maybe Gary Johnson will show up at some point. Frankly, I think that anyone appearing on the ballot not named "Clinton" or "Trump" would have a good shot at a plurality of the popular vote.

  • Back in those happy days before Indiana Republicans voted, Jim Treacher requested: "Watch Trump Lie About Mike Tyson’s Rape Conviction". Ted Cruz had pointed out, accurately, that the Trump-endorsing Tyson was a past rapist. It came up during an interview with Chris Wallace. Treacher summarizes:

    Trump tells an enormous, outrageous lie — that Mike Tyson isn’t a rapist — and then says it’s just more evidence that Cruz is the liar.

    Chris Wallace could have followed up, pointing out Trump's lie. He didn't.

    Other media, with more readership than Treacher, could have pointed out Trump's lie. Ho hum.

    And the GOP voters of Indiana either didn't bother to find out or didn't care that they were voting for such a slimeball. May they all go pee on a substation transformer.

  • The NY Post editorial writer observed: "Even Hillary Clinton’s pals can’t pretend to believe her lies". Verdict: true! But what was it this time?

    In West Virginia, she was confronted with her March comment: "We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

    Clinton’s eye-rolling answer: “What I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs.”

    Riiight. Except that's not what she was saying.

    In any case, her excuse is: She Has A Plan that will seamlessly transform all those coal miners into well-paid solar panel installers.

  • At the WaPo, Glenn Kessler details "The Sanders campaign’s phony math on superdelegates". At issue is the Sanders campaign manager's assertion that Democrat superdelegates (who can vote for whoever they want at the convention) are a historically wishy-washy bunch:

    "During the course of 2008, over 120 superdelegates switched their quote-unquote allegiance in that process. In fact, there is a lot of movement of superdelegates in these contests.”

    Kessler will tell you more than you want to know about the electoral history of superdelegates. But the bottom line is: Four Pinocchios. The Sanders campaign is as unrealistic (or dishonest) about superdelegates as it is about economics, foreign policy, national defense….