### The Phony Campaign

2019-04-28 Update

Once again we have no changes to our candidate lineup this week. Elizabeth Warren is still showing an above-2% pulse! The other thing to notice is the fading probability of President Beto O'Rourke, who's dipped below Andrew Yang in the betting market:

Candidate WinProb Change
Since
4/21
Phony
Results
Change
Since
4/21
Pete Buttigieg 6.5% -0.8% 7,500,000 -1,250,000
Donald Trump 43.7% -0.2% 1,690,000 +20,000
Bernie Sanders 12.7% +1.1% 331,000 +4,000
Joe Biden 11.1% +2.8% 233,000 -19,000
Elizabeth Warren 2.8% +0.6% 181,000 +3,000
Kamala Harris 6.5% -2.4% 80,500 -9,300
Beto O'Rourke 3.1% -1.1% 59,900 -12,400
Andrew Yang 3.3% +0.5% 17,600 -1,100

"WinProb" calculation described here. Google result counts are bogus.

In phony news, Mayor Pete dropped 1.25 million hit counts this week, but maintains his large lead over the Donald.

• Before we continue our usual snide sniping at our wannabe rulers, a brief geeky aside: Smart Harvard Prof Greg Mankiw does the math, specifically the Bayesian calculation implied by the probabilities shown at PredictIt.

Bayes' Theorem:

 P(A|B) = P(B|A) · P(A) P(B)

Or: for two events A and B, the probability of A-given-B is the probability of B-given-A times the probability of A divided by the probability of B. OK? (Not that I'm going to actually do the calculation here, but it was a pain to figure out how to write that in HTML, and that effort should not be wasted.)

Anyway: I haven't checked his numbers, but Professor M calculates that Mayor Pete has the best shot (probability 0.8) of beating Trump if he's the nominee. Coming in at the bottom: Elizabeth Warren (probability 0.44).

• Handsy Joe Biden officially tossed his propeller beanie into the ring this week, causing everyone to comment: "That's it, right? Nobody else?" At the lefty site TruthDig, Norman Solomon welcomes him to the race: Joe Biden Is a Fraud, Plain and Simple.

Let’s be blunt: As a supposed friend of American workers, Joe Biden is a phony. And now that he’s running for president, Biden’s huge task is to hide his phoniness.

From the outset, with dim prospects from small donors, the Biden campaign is depending on big checks from the rich and corporate elites who greatly appreciate his services rendered. “He must rely heavily, at least at first, upon an old-fashioned network of money bundlers — political insiders, former ambassadors and business executives,” the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

It's an interesting look at how the left views Joe.

• Jazz Shaw looks at the Constitution-defying stylings of candidate Kamala: Gun control via executive order?.

One more item from CNN’s Night of a Thousand Presidential Candidates yesterday. Among her various “moderate” proposals, California Senator Kamala Harris (D) made sure to get in a pitch for gun control and what she planned to do about it if elected. The basic principles she was pushing for were nothing new among Democrats. More background checks, closing “loopholes” and bans on “assault rifles” were all on the table. But Harris offered a bit of a twist. She pledged that if Congress didn’t do anything about this in the first 100 days of her presidency, she’d take matters into her own hands and solve the matter via executive order. (NY Times)

Lady, we already have a President who treats the Constitution with contempt. Do we need another?

• During her terms in Congress, I usually referred to Carol Shea-Porter as my "CongressCritter/Toothache". Meant as affectionately as I could for someone who always seemed to be looking for ways to toss the government more money and power. Michael Graham reports at Inside Sources on her latest news: NH Progressives Unhappy as Shea-Porter Snubs Bernie, Backs Biden.

The announcement that one-time progressive outsider Shea-Porter will be campaigning with Biden when he visits the Granite State in May is just the latest sign that the New Hampshire political class is determined to do their part to boost Biden’s POTUS bid. And, it appears, slow down Bernie Sanders.

And Granite State progressives don’t like it:

“Granite Staters and young people overwhelmingly voted for Bernie Sanders, a candidate who stands for Medicare For All, Free College For All and the Green New Deal,” Dylan Carney of NH Youth Movement told NHJournal. “Seeing establishment NH Democrats show public support this early in the race for Biden is telling of how they see the future of the party. I’d hope former politicians would leave the primary to the will of the voters.”

NH Youth Movement is basically in favor of a lot of stuff as long as it's paid for by someone else.

• In an NRPlus article, Jim Geraghty claims: Media Cast Newly Skeptical Eye on Democratic Candidates.

Assume, for a moment, that conservatives’ worst suspicions about the national media are true: that they wake up each morning and ask themselves, “How can I help the Democrats win today?”

A Democratic presidential primary is the one time of the cycle where the interests of a partisan media and those of the general public coincide: The Democratic presidential candidates need to be investigated and evaluated, with the aim of weeding out the flawed and unelectable in order to nominate the candidate most likely to win a general election. But the behavior of many reporters and commentators in this young presidential cycle suggests that they have a newfound doubt about their ability to pick a winner.

In 2016, almost everyone in the mainstream media thought Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide. Some on the Left still prefer exculpatory explanations (Russian hackers! Collusion! Heartland racism!), but others have begrudgingly acknowledged that their candidate-assessment skills had atrophied, and that Clinton was a lousy, unlikeable candidate, dogged by scandal and a sense of entitlement. Quite a few Democrats sensed Clinton’s repellence deep in their brains’ hippocampus; this is one reason that nearly half of them chose a septuagenarian socialist from Vermont over her in the primary.

One upshot is something we've mentioned before: the national media just now noticing that "Biden’s handsiness, discussed on the right throughout the Obama presidency, is suddenly a topic for a Serious National Conversation."

• Also at NR, John McCormack evaluates the Calculating Kamala Harris.

If you want to know which way the wind is blowing in the Democratic primary, just watch Kamala Harris.

Asked about impeaching President Trump on Saturday, the California senator and presidential candidate said: “I believe that there is room for that conversation, but right now what I want is, I want Mueller to come before Congress to testify. I want to be able to see the full unredacted report, and specifically also the underlying evidence.” But by the time Harris appeared on CNN Monday night for a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire, she had apparently heard enough of the conversation going on inside the Democratic party to make up her mind. “I believe that Congress should take steps towards impeachment,” Harris said, following the lead of Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who had called for impeachment last Friday.

"Let's have a conversation about that" is Democratese for "I don't want to take a position that might lose me votes."

• And finally, Michael Ramirez on Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Oh darn, forgot the Trigger Warning: don't look if you have a gropy uncle or a crazy aunt in the basement.