John Kasich Would Not Beat Hillary Clinton

John KasichSteve M over at No More Mister Nice Blog made an interesting point about how the push for a third party candidate may be an attempt to recreate the conditions in 1992 and 1996, where Bill Clinton did not get a majority. I don’t really buy the argument (nor does he) because it doesn’t matter what happens when a Democrat is elected president: the Republican Party treats them as though they are invalid. Most conservatives are convinced that if it weren’t for voter fraud, the Republicans would win every election in a landslide.

But he wrote something that I am very skeptical about, “That may not be completely crazy polls show that Clinton would lose to a Republican who was less offputting than Trump or Ted Cruz — Kasich, for instance.” And he linked to a study by Morning Consult, 50 State Snapshot. I don’t buy it — at all. We can start with the fact that polls this early are generally meaningless. But it is especially meaningless when it comes to John Kasich.

So what this study really shows is how people feel about Hillary Clinton generally. And like anyone who is well known, she has high disapproval ratings.

There are a few things that make any polling results related to John Kasich particularly stupid. First, most people don’t even know who he is. And those who do know don’t know much about him. And everything that is known about him is put through the lens of Donald Trump. Kasich is the “reasonable” Republican. The fact is that he is ridiculously conservative and not a very nice guy (very much like Chris Christie). This is not the kind of thing that would stay hidden in a general election.

So what this study really shows is how people feel about Hillary Clinton generally. And like anyone who is well known, she has high disapproval ratings. So that poll is more or less Clinton vs Clinton. And the fact that she comes close to winning even in that theoretical match up is pretty amazing. But to show you how absurd it is, the match up indicates that John Kasich would win Oregon, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. There is no way they are going red, so that brings Clinton’s total up to 255. And I also have a hard time believing that Michigan would go red in a presidential election, and that would put Clinton over the top.

None of this is to say that the Democrats can just skate through this election. The economic fundamentals are very slightly negative for the Democrats. But what I expect is for the unemployment rate to stay roughly flat during the next five months, which will make this campaign roughly a wash. But if unemployment starts to take off, a candidate like John Kasich really could have won. I tend to think that Donald Trump is so horrible a candidate, that even a stark rise in the unemployment rate wouldn’t put him over the top.

I’m willing to admit that a head-to-head polling match up between Clinton and Trump might have some predictive value. They are both, after all, widely known and for a long time. And you could make a case for Cruz (who actually loses worse in the poll, because he doesn’t win Maine). But ultimately, this is going to be another race between a Democrat and a Republican. John Kasich may have the reputation of being a different kind of Republican, but he isn’t. And his negatives would go way up in a general election.

Goodbye Morning Music and Anniversary Posts

Frank MoraesAs you may already be aware, this post did not start with, “On this day in…” That’s because I decided, only today, that I’m not going to do regular anniversary posts anymore. I’m not going to do morning music posts either. There are various reasons for this, not the least of which is that they have become too rote. But the biggest reason is that I find they are taking away from the fluidity of the blog. Pretty much every day, I find that there are two feature articles that I want to post. But I don’t have the time.

So I’m going to go back to writing about whatever I find that is interesting. As a going concern, the anniversary posts and morning music will go away. But the posts about historical events and music will not go away. In fact, the other day, I had wanted to write something that I considered insightful about a song, but it didn’t fit into the theme this last week. What’s more, it would have been a lot longer an article and I didn’t want to waste the effort on de rigueur posts that I just don’t think are as important in the grander scheme of the blog.

Doing these daily posts made sense when I was running Frankly Curious as a publishing house. They were always supposed to be two easy ones I could do to go along with what was an ever growing schedule of feature articles. But from now on, I’m taking the site back to my original intent: whatever interests me. And the truth is things are just piling up. Before I started writing this, I closed about a dozen tabs related to articles I had wanted to write about. But I still have many up that I hope I can now get to:

  • How NAFTA affected Mexico;
  • Acrophobia and free will;
  • The Game of Life and non-goal oriented entertainment;
  • Medieval currency and modern monetary policy;
  • Fun as a goal of education.

And that’s just some of them. That last one reflects on this decision, because doing the anniversary posts and morning music were not fun for me anymore. And I want to enjoy my time at Frankly Curious, because it is a major part of my social life. And it has always been the random nature of Frankly Curious that made it interesting. At least, that’s what I’ve always thought. It’s the place to go to check out what’s on my mind. I can assure you, yesterday, the sinking of the Lusitania, was not on my mind.

At the same time, I’m in the process of creating what’s called “cornerstone content.” There are certain things I’ve written about a lot, and I want to create major pages (not posts) for them. Right now, I’m working on one for Don Quixote. As it is, I think that Google ought to rank such a page at number one for “Don Quixote translations.” (Currently, I think I’m at about number nine.) I’m one of very few people who write about all the English translations. And I’d like to get all my thoughts in one place.

Anyway, with the morning music and anniversary posts gone, I am expecting to do two feature articles per day. I’m planning to stick with the one scheduled post at 11:05 am. And then another one at some other random time. But I’m not going to kill myself on that. And I may post pointers to updates in pages that I’m working on. Regardless, I won’t be working any less. I’ll just be working differently. Goodbye morning music and anniversary posts.