What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 13, 2009

NetRoots Today

Interesting day.

I arrived at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center a little before 10am, met Spork and Fester. Did you know Fester has a beard now? Neither did I.

Update: Maria was there, too.

I got to see an amazing panel - "How to Get The Most Out Of The Polling Data You Read About":
This panel will share insights and observations from some veteran pollsters and analysts that might help you interpret the next set of poll data you see. Charlie Cook (The Cook Political Report, www.cookpolitical.com), Mark Blumenthal and Charles Franklin (www.pollster.com), and Nate Silver (www.fivethirtyeight.com) will join moderator Greg Dworkin (Daily Kos) on a discussion about how to get the most out of poll watching.
McNulty was there, too:
Charlie Cook of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report had bad news for the liberal Dems at Netroots Nation today -- political intensity has switched over to the Republican side and Dems are facing a bloodbath next year.

Democrats had a great run from 2006 through 2008, Cook said, running up a 54 seat advantage in the House alone. But "there's offense and there's defense -- right now you're going to be spending time on defense," he said at a polling panel today.

"Intensity matters a lot. Last time you had it, this time they have it."

Cook expects Democrats to lose about 20 seats in the 2010 midterm elections, cutting their majority in the House of Reps in half.
Superstar pollster Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight doesn't agree with Cook -- he thinks the Dems will do worse.

Silver said Democrats commonly told him his Obama-friendly polls comforted them last fall. "I don't think you should feel at all comforted about 2010," he said to the liberal Dems at the conference today. He said he was 80% confident Democrats will lose between 20-50 House seats and up to six Senate seats.

There was a lot more stuff in the discussion. Lotsa stuff about how to place the numbers in context. Great talk.

Lunch time - a sandwich at Sammy's. Earlier in the day, I'd e-mailed my friend Fred (who's got a radio show on KDKA) to let him know I was at NetRoots. Not really sure why I did but I did. Right in the middle of my roast beef on wheat (with provolone and mustard) my phone rang. It was Fred's producer. He wanted to know if I wanted to be on the air at 1:30. It was 1:20. I said yea, sure.

The result can be found here.

After lunch there was a panel on comedy and then a panel on the newspaper business. The former was very funny. The latter, while just as important, was (forgive me) kinda boring. Maybe I was just hungry.

More tomorrow. And Saturday.


Anonymous said...
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Sherry said...

cool. i was watching last night via facebook and commenting with other viers and 2 of them were at netroots,the others were from all over. it was interesting.

we had 1 republican commenting as well- same old talking points.

Heir to the Throne said...

Come on the Democrats will gain seats in the Congress as the American people see the reversing of the "failed Bush policies" and enjoy the benefits of a progressive society as portrayed by SNL - President Gore's State of the Union Speech.
I want progressives to delude themselves so the disappointment after election day would be so much more enjoyable (Like 2002/2004).
That said I do not want a repeat of 1994 when losing Congress pulled Clinton towards the center.

EdHeath said...

HTTT, currently Obama is, for better or worse, governing by Congress. He is letting Congress manage the details of various bills. I guess that means lots of conference committees as the House and Senate reconcile different versions.

I have no idea is Nate Silver is 80% correct or not in his prediction. There is still a ways to go. But if you want to cackle now, that's fine with me.

By the way, how did you enjoy 2006/2008?

Heir to the Throne said...

By the way, how did you enjoy 2006/2008?

I was disappointed but not surprised as the Republicans were acting like Democrats lite (Mccain) and falling apart.

But if you want to cackle now,
It is too soon to cackle. However I am not against encouraging a little "Irrational exuberance" for progressives and the candidates they support.
Maybe I am just trying come to terms with Joe Sestak future winning of the PA. Senate race ;)

EdHeath said...

So, HTTT, you say the Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 because they were acting like Democrats lite and falling apart? I am sure that is how they set a record for filibusters (against votes for cloture) in the Senate in the 2006-2007 session, by falling apart (I believe they are on track to eclipse that record in this current session).

But all that aside, you think that if the Republicans had promised less regulation, smaller government, more policies that conform with the principles of supply side economics, if they had promised to invade Pakistan and Iran (Iran because it has nukes and Pakistan because ... it has nukes), if they had promised to let the market correct itself by letting banks and AIG fail (even if they wouldn't actually do that), replace all sex ed with abstinence only education, appoint even more conservative (I'm sorry, I mean strict constitutionalist, because 1789 was such a great time to be alive, if you weren’t female, black or poor) and passed the defense of marriage amendment to the constitution … if they had run on all of this in 2006 they would have taken solid majorities in the House and Senate, and in 2008 they would have gotten more gains in Congress and kept the White House?

And they lost it all because they tried to listen to the voters and give them what they thought the voters said they wanted. I guess they just listened to the wrong voters.