May 10, 2011

Deep thoughts about Obama's bin Laden bounce.

From Nate Silver. What will it mean in November 2012? If it means 1 percentage point, distributed evenly across all the states, that could correspond to a 13 percent improvement in the chance of winning in the Electoral College... but not really.

45 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

It's the economy stupid!

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Unless the Republicans can find a viable candidate who is not insane, an imbecile, a hack or a fanatic--no one apparently running at this time fits the bill--Obama will win re-election.

I won't be voting for either major party candidate, but for whichever third party candidate is most desirable (or least offensive) to me.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Scanning the Sunday morning talk shows last weekend it struck me that issues are no longer discussed as being either positive or negative for America. Instead, it's all about whether something will help Obama win reelection. Love him or hate him, this isn't a good thing.

AJ Lynch said...

Sure Cookie - the American people will re-elect a man who spent $800 Billion on shovel-ready jobs then admitted two years later that he learned there is no such thing as a shovel-ready job.

Fen said...

"the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order."

The Diversity Hire will not be allowed to run. Hillary will make sure of it. She may be a corrupt bitch, but its her country he's screwing up.

gerry said...

Meh.

November 2010 is an eternity away.

G Joubert said...

Unless the Republicans can find a viable candidate who is not insane, an imbecile, a hack or a fanatic...

Yeah, they said that about Ronald Reagan too.

Paul said...

Obama won't get poop for this at election time. Now with 9+ percent unemployment, Trillions in debt, Obamacare, Libya, Syria, INFLATION, etc.... etc.... etc....

Jimmy Carter is pleased he isn't the worst president now!

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...
Unless the Republicans can find a viable candidate who is not insane, an imbecile, a hack or a fanatic--no one apparently running at this time fits the bill--Obama will win re-election.


I agree, but want to point out that when thinking about the reelection of a President, the 2 part question goes like this:

1. Does the current President deserve reelection, if yes, he gets elected, if no, then:

2. Does the challenger scare the bejessus out of me? If yes, go to question 1. If no, elect the new guy.

Robert, your focus on the GOP field seems to concede that Obama doesn't deserve relection. Am I missing something?

Sloanasaurus said...

Capturing Bin Ladin could actually make it worse for Obama.

If the economy is in the pits and Obama is running against a republican governor with little foreign policy experience, it will hurt Obama that there is no Osama Bin Ladin out there to protect us from. Call it the Winston Churchill effect (i.e. when Churchill lost his election after winning WWII).

Sloanasaurus said...

Any Republican candidate should from National Defense as part of the debt and budget debate. They can cite Robert Gates, who gave a speech last year saying that our national defense was tied to our economy and fiscal health.

"It's the economy stupid"

MadisonMan said...

What would Jack Handy say about the bounce?

edutcher said...

First, the economic news is getting really scary, so the idea that basing prognostications on conditions today is whistling past the graveyard, particularly since Little Zero's economic rating has already started to slide again.

Second, since this Administration is equal parts ideology and show biz, they might want to remember the old line, "You're only as good as your last box office". A serious terrorist attack on Americans, especially in this country, a prolonged hostage situation (which, not Desert One, helped do in Carter), or any other national security disaster and people will forget about a raid to kill someone nobody much cared about for the last 5 years.

(actually, the bigger danger is that he thinks he can pull others and they will work out as well. Bokara Market grew out of the same thing)

That, and the bounce, only about 3 points, is already starting to fade.

Fred4Pres said...

Killing Osama = + for Obama

Multiple version of Osama death = - for Obama (less than the + for killing OBL but still a negative).

But bounces only matter if they are timed just before elections or are part of a bigger positive trend. Obviously if the war on terror starts winding down that would be a positive for Obama. If al Qaeda starts doing a bunch of attacks, that is a negative.

Fred4Pres said...

Deep thoughts?

Did you intend that term given where OBL is?

Robert Cook said...

"Robert, you...seem to concede that Obama doesn't deserve relection. Am I missing something?"

Given that I said would not be voting for either major party candidate, and given that I did not vote for Obama first time around--and he turned out to be worse than I had expected--no, you're not missing anything. Obama does not deserve to be re-elected.

Fen said...

per Rasmussen

pre-OBL kill: -14
today: -9

Methadras said...

This election will strictly focus on the economy, job creation, and whether or not the GOP candidate will try to right the ship of government to some degree that begins tax reduction, regulatory reduction, and just gets the hell out of the way of people trying to make money as much as possible so that real stimulation of commerce, economic growth, and job creation can occur under their own merits without mother government being the neurotic overseer it is.

rastajenk said...

AA, did you put Obama's and bin Laden end-to-end on purpose?

caplight said...

Key word here is, "bounce." It won't stay up forever. By November 2012 his ratings will have bounced several times and this one will be long forgotten.

Richard Dolan said...

Silver's graphs and his trope about "separating out the factors" suggest that the issue can be analyzed as if it were a problem in physics or engineering. But to state the proposition is to refute it. Those trappings from the physical sciences don't fit his material, and do more to hinder than advance the analysis.

When an incumbent president is seeking reelection, voters often base their choice on their overall view of the nation's state of affairs and their own place in it. For the reasons Jay Cost outlined a few days ago, Obama is in deep trouble -- voters think the country is on the wrong track, and especially don't like the way the economy has been moving since O took office. It's possible that some voters, 18 months from now, will think back to the way in which OBL was taken out and be motivated by that fact. But I think you could probably assemble all of them in a phone booth, if you could still find one.

DADvocate said...

...our national defense was tied to our economy and fiscal health.

An economically weak nation can't afford a strong national defense. The OBL kill won't make a significant difference come Nov, 2012. The only way Obama can save himself is by backtracking on his agenda.

edutcher said...

Fred4Pres said...

But bounces only matter if they are timed just before elections or are part of a bigger positive trend. Obviously if the war on terror starts winding down that would be a positive for Obama. If al Qaeda starts doing a bunch of attacks, that is a negative.

Remember all the stuff about how bin Laden wanted to raise terrorists here? We know the crazies have been recruiting in prisons for about 10 years. Well, it's started, in Chester, PA (near Philadelphia).

Fen said...

per Rasmussen

pre-OBL kill: -14
today: -9


Last one I saw before the raid was -13, but your point is well-taken.

The index was -8 for a couple of days, but it's going up again.

Palladian said...

I bet Osama's body will miraculously wash up in the Tidal Basin in October, 2012.

Coketown said...

"What they can’t know, however, is what Mr. Obama’s numbers would have looked like had he not caught Bin Laden. "

What is it with progressives and non-falsifiable theories? "Sure unemployment is 9%, but we don't know how high it would have gone without stimulus!"

Mr. Silver should just own up to the fact that he can't tease out the permanence of a bin Laden bounce from all the other noise, and wasting so many words pretending that he can makes him look petty.

Kurt said...

I'm increasingly of the opinion that the "bounce" will be negligible if not a complete wash by the end of the summer. As with everything Team Obama does, this has been so overplayed and overexposed that it is getting mighty tiresome already. That would be enough of a problem in ordinary times, but with the economy continuing to be an issue, this story is soon going to be crowded out by things people care more about. Also, as Fred4Pres points out, the many conflicting stories about what actually happened are a negative, and they illustrate one of the disadvantages of the story being so terribly overplayed in the past week and a half.

Sixty Grit said...

Jack Handy would say "I'm a Senator, now, fuck off!"

AJ Lynch said...

Tidal Basin....will Wilbur Mill's Argentine Firecracker be there too?

Lance said...

Electorally speaking, it represents pure upside.

That's exactly right. And when you think about it, you realize that's a good thing, regardless of what you think about the President's other policies/achievements.

zbogwan99 said...

The basic nature of God's Justice:

GALATIANS 6: 7-9 (KJV)
7: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Obamas got a record now and the above will apply to him in the 2012 election?

EDH said...
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EDH said...

Think deeply about this: there would have been no "bin Laden bounce" if he slept on a Tempurpedic.

Rumpletweezer said...

Professor Althouse--

It's not enough that everyone says "Obama" when they mean "Osama." You've written a headline that puts "Obama" right next to "bin Laden." Have you no shame?

BarryD said...

"he learned there is no such thing as a shovel-ready job"

The majority of the American electorate, which has learned this lesson a thousand times, re-learned that there's no such thing as a non-shovel-ready politician. None of us is as dumb as all of us!

Robert Cook said...

Have you who complain about Prof. Althouse's column heading not referred to the original NYTimes article she references (and links to)?

ken in sc said...

I don't think Osama's take down has long legs for Obama. Carter was the last Democrat I voted for. Members of my squadron who supported him had an inauguration party. We had lots of peanuts and beer. The party sort of fizzled out after he announced he was pardoning the Vietnam draft dodgers. His doing that made every military service member feel like a sucker. Carter will probably hold the title of being my last Democrat vote, but he no longer holds the title of being the worst president I have known. Obama has that now. I had no idea he would be this bad. I did not vote for him but I did not vote for McCain either. I voted for Bob Barr. I knew my vote would not make any difference in South Carolina anyway. I wanted the Libertarian candidate to get enough votes for people to take libertarianism seriously. I think that is happening now.

hombre said...

If he had captured OBL, he could have milked him for intelligence and propaganda value -- trotted him out occasionally for a new bounce.

Thorley Winston said...

I don’t think he gets much of a bounce. It’s about 18 months until the 2002 election and it likely won’t be a blip on voter’s radar by then.

Fen said...

It’s about 18 months until the 2002 election and it likely won’t be a blip on voter’s radar by then

Unless we suffer more terror attacks. Then Obama's victory lap will push Bush's "Mission Accomplished" off the history books.

Liberals especially will not understand it: "But we thought the war was over?!"

Kurt said...

And now here's the latest development on the Team Obama Overexposure and Changing Stories front. This is getting ridiculous.

PaulV said...

Kurt is correct. More SEALs lives would be at risk or Pakistan would suffer a day of infamy.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that he will get a bounce, for a number of reasons. One, the election is a year and a half away. Remember GHWB (41) and the Gulf War?

Another though is that we are likely to find ourselves in a far more scary place in the world, thanks to the diplomacy of Hillary! and the Obama Administration. Egypt is set to elect a new government with the Moslem Brotherhood as the biggest party. They have made clear that that they will quit preventing terrorists and armaments from flowing into Gaza, and are quite happy if the Christians in Egypt get killed off. The attacks on the Copts have already started.

And, then there is Pakistan. A grudging partner in the War on Terror up until now. Likely not much longer.

It is starting to look like 1980 all over again with the Carter Administration's failure with Iran. Except that the radicalization of Egypt, Pakistan, and maybe even Turkey, will dwarf the effects that we saw with Iran.

So, I think it likely right now that we go into the 2012 elections with the bulk of the American people understanding that the Democrats, and esp. Obama, cannot be trusted with either the economy or foreign affairs.

They have always been suspect to the majority of Americans in foreign affairs, but up until a year or so into the Obama Administration, the majority of Americans gave Democrats the advantage over Republicans with dealing with the economy. Doesn't make much sense, of course, but most of the American public have never had any economics courses, and trusted the MSM to explain this sort of thing to them.

Oh, and then there is the corruption issue. As predicted, with a Republican House holding hearings on different Holder Justice Department issues, the rampant corruption of that department is starting to come out and resonate. Most corrupt DoJ in probably a half a century, at least. That isn't going to get many votes outside the Black community.

And, to top it off, Obama is coming across as totally out of touch with both the American public and the requirements of his job. The guy couldn't even bother to look out of the window of AF1 the other day when he flew over it on his way to a fund raiser in Texas.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my last point. Republicans have typically rated better than Democrats for foreign affairs, but worse when it came to the economy. But, the Republicans lost that edge going into the 2008 elections, likely, I would suspect, because of the 8 years of hounding of Bush (43) by the MSM.

One of the big problems with Carter when it came to foreign affairs is that his Administration practiced a wishful thinking, moralistic foreign policy, that applied a high ethical standard to our allies, but none to our enemies. So, they could get suckered by the Iranians, among others. And, looking back, no matter how brutal the last Shah was, he wasn't nearly as bloody as what came afterwards.

And, we have seen even worse with the Obama Administration and the Hillary! State Department. Enemies have been pandered to, and allies ignored or held to far higher standards.

The world is a dangerous place, and is even more dangerous now than it was when Obama took office. This sort of wishful thinking, moralistic, foreign policy sounds nice in academia, but fails miserably in the real world.

Sure, some people are going to give him the benefit of the doubt here, that he was just an innocent bystander to world events, outside his control. But there are likely going to be a lot who gave him that benefit last time around, and won't this time, esp. given the reality that he was the leader of the most powerful country in the world (despite, apparently, being embarrassed about that).

We shall see.

Gary Rosen said...

Anyone who has read my posts here and elsewhere knows I'm pretty vehemently anti-Obama. But I'll try to set that aside and give a fair analysis.

Whacking bin Laden doesn't guarantee his re-election, but it does help inoculate him from one of his main vulnerabilities, the perception he is weak on foreign policy/national security. If the economy goes south (should be *stays* south) it won't help him much, and any advantage will be wiped out if there is a major FU in foreign affairs between now and Nov. 2012. But otherwise it could tip the balance for him if the election is close.