# Nevada

PBI (Party Brand Index) Part 5, Iowa and Nevada

(Interesting work. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

I was asked by desmoinesdem at swing-state-project.com to crosspost here. I normally post there and at dailykos.com. PBI or Party Brand Index is a concept I have developed as a replacement for PVI.  PVI (Partisan Voting Index), which is measured by averaging the percentage of the vote from the last two presidential elections in each house district, and comparing it to the nation as a whole, is a useful shorthand for understanding the liberal v. conservative dynamics of a district. But PVI in my opinion it falls short in a number of areas. First it doesn't explain states like Arkansas or West Virginia. These states have districts who's PVIs indicates a Democrat shouldn't win, yet Democrats (outside of the presidency) win quite handily. Secondly why is this the case in Arkansas but not Oklahoma with similar PVI rated districts?

Lastly PVI can miss trends as it takes 4 years to readjust. The purpose of Party Brand Index is to give a better idea of how a candidate does not relative to how the presidential candidate did, but compared to how their generic PARTY should be expected to perform. I've tackled IN, NC, CO, VA, MO, OK, AR, now I will look at the swing states of Nevada and Iowa.

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Ron Paul endorses Constitution Party candidate

A few weeks ago I read that Ron Paul was not endorsing any presidential candidate but was urging his supporters to vote for the third-party candidate of their choice–anyone but Barack Obama or John McCain.

However, this week Paul endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. The Wall Street Journal blog pointed me toward this letter from Paul to supporters, which contains a bit of a rebuke to Libertarian candidate Bob Barr:

The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.   It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members.  I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman.  It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party.  Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well.  The more votes they get, the better.  I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.

In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York.  This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats.  We need more states to permit this option.  This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election.  I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

When you think about what an insiders’ club Congress is, it’s amazing that Paul (still a Republican Congressman from Texas) did not endorse his former colleague Barr, who represented Georgia for many years in the House. Barr has denounced the Republican Party for embracing big government and not insisting that the president abide by the law.

The big question for me is whether Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin will cut into Barr’s support in some of the key swing states. I’ve argued before that Barr could tip Nevada to Obama, but ProgressiveSouth writes that Barr could also be a factor in North Carolina.

Anyone out there know any Ron Paul voters or caucus-goers? Will they settle for McCain, sit out the election or vote for a third-party alternative?

For the record, nine presidential candidates will appear on the Iowa ballot, including Baldwin and Barr.

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Why hasn't EMILY's List gotten behind Becky Greenwald?

Maybe someone out there who knows the inner workings of EMILY's List can explain to me why this group has not put money behind Becky Greenwald, the Democrat challenging loyal Republican foot-soldier Tom Latham in Iowa's fourth Congressional district.

I have been going over the list of Democratic women running for Congress whom EMILY's List is supporting, with a particular focus on the six challengers most recently added to this group in early August. I do not mean to knock any of those candidates, and I recognize that every race has its own dynamic.

However, after comparing Greenwald's race to those of other candidates, I remain puzzled that EMILY's list is not more involved in IA-04.  

Follow me after the jump for more.

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What if they held a convention and no one showed up?

The Nevada Republican Party didn’t want to take that chance. They canceled their state convention, set for next Saturday, because the number of RSVPs from delegates was well below the level needed for a quorum.

This was the second attempt to hold the Nevada GOP convention. State party officials abruptly ended the originally scheduled event in April when Ron Paul supporters outnumbered supporters of John McCain among the delegates.

Nevada is in my opinion the state most likely to go Democratic thanks to Libertarian presidential candidate and former Republican Congressman Bob Barr. Not only are there huge numbers of Ron Paul supporters who don’t back McCain, there is a relevant history. The Libertarian vote in the 1998 Senate race was large enough to hand a narrow victory to Democrat Harry Reid.

Speaking of Barr, he showed up at the liberal Netroots Nation gathering today. Daily Kos user dday landed an impromptu interview and put up this entertaining diary about it.

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McCain has big problems with conservatives

The conservative pundits who favored Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson for president are fully on board with John McCain, but he still has a big problem with other elements of the conservative base.

Exhibit A: the results from the GOP primary in Pennsylvania last week. More than two months after it became clear that McCain would be the GOP nominee, he gained just under 73 percent of the vote from Pennsylvania Republicans. Ron Paul got almost 16 percent (more than 128,000 votes), and Mike Huckabee got about 11 percent (more than 91,000 votes).

Think about that. More than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania went to the trouble of voting for someone other than McCain last Tuesday.

McCain did the worst in conservative counties where Republicans need to run up big margins to have any hope of winning statewide in Pennsylvania:

Mr. McCain’s worst showing was in Juniata County, near the center of the state. He received only about 59 percent of the vote, while Mr. Paul took nearly 28 percent. In 2004, President Bush won Juniata with 72 percent of the vote.

Mr. Bush had his biggest win that year in southern Fulton County, with 76 percent of the vote. Mr. McCain picked up 71 percent there, but Mr. Huckabee had 21 percent, his highest percentage in the state.

The conservative Washington Times has more bad news for McCain:

The McCain campaign has said it is on the same timeline for uniting the Republican Party as then-Gov. George W. Bush in 2000. In that year, Mr. Bush won 73 percent of the Republican vote in Pennsylvania’s primary, held April 4. His biggest challenger was McCain himself, who won 23 percent, despite having dropped out of the campaign weeks earlier.

But McCain was a far more imposing figure in 2000 than Paul and Huckabee were in 2008, and McCain has also had more time before Pennsylvania to consolidate his lead than Bush had in 2000. To continue to post less-than-dominant showings will only prolong talk that McCain has more work to do within his own party.

And to truly match Bush’s 2000 performance may be out of the question for McCain. Out of 18.5 million votes cast in the primaries so far he has won 43.2 percent. By contrast, Bush finished 2000 with 62 percent of the Republican primary vote.

Then I learned from this diary by sarahlane that Ron Paul says he doesn’t plan to campaign for McCain, and Paul supporters outnumbered McCain supporters at the Nevada Republican Party’s state convention last weekend.

Finally, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a complaint against McCain with the Federal Elections Commission. If you’re too young to remember Judicial Watch, this group repeatedly attacked Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s.

Click the link to read the MyDD post by Jonathan Singer. Judicial Watch’s FEC complaint relates to a possibly illegal in-kind contribution from a foreign national to McCain’s campaign.

As I’ve mentioned before, prominent bloggers have filed a separate FEC complaint relating to McCain’s failure to abide by the spending limits imposed on candidates who agree to take public matching funds during the presidential primaries.

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GOP takes "first step" toward keeping Iowa caucuses first

I am surprised to hear that the Republican National Committee’s Rules Committee has approved a proposed 2012 nominating calendar that would keep the Iowa caucuses first, followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada:


I had assumed that the GOP establishment would have the knives out for Iowa, since Mike Huckabee’s triumph here hurt establishment favorite Mitt Romney, while this year’s nominee John McCain, another establishment favorite, finished a distant fourth place.

Keeping Iowa first is not a done deal:

The measure, which passed 28-12, must now be approved by the rules committee meeting in August, scheduled for the week before the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Finally, the measure must be approved by delegates to the convention.

Still, it’s interesting that this calendar has support within the RNC rules committee for now.

Since Barack Obama seems very likely to become the Democratic nominee, I would assume that the Iowa caucuses are safe if he wins the general election. If he loses to McCain, however, I expect members of the Democratic National Committee to change the calendar. A lot of angry Democrats will blame Iowans for picking a loser again.

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