Stop me if you have heard this before, a funny thing happened this week on talk radio.

As you may know, I am the special guest on the Ward Scott Files on 980AM each Tuesday from 8a-9a in the segment we call “Political Nerd Tuesday”.  I enjoy being on the show providing analysis and discussing political strategy and polling.

The Donaldtrumphair

During this Tuesday’s show, I provided my astute analysis that Donald Trump is a bozo and a buffoon.  Donald Trump will not be the nominee and will implode in due time.  Yes, Trump is only mirroring back the anger some voters feel.  These angry voters will tell a pollster they support him, but few ever will actually pull a ballot lever for him.  I stand by that analysis.

Two ways this Donald “Mania” ends up – neither good for the GOP:

  • His continued offensive antics taint the entire pool of candidates while sucking oxygen away from the eventual nominee’s message, or
  • His ego leads him into a 3rd party run

Both of those outcomes irreparably reduce the already narrow path to 270 and victory for the GOP in 2016.   We win by growing the party, not insulting and offending.

The Caller

A caller rang the show, and I will paraphrase, “I would like to know if Alex is a millionaire or a billionaire?”

I answered, “I’m neither, I am a penny-naire, if anything.”

caller:  “Then you are unqualified to call the Donald, the billionaire, stupid.”

Unknowingly, this caller stepped on a nerve of mine.  I made an awkward statement about “Donald inheriting his daddy’s money” of which has now been labeled by some as me touting liberal talking points.    Frankly, I had become upset and did a poor job at explaining myself.

Please allow me to clarify my thoughts.

The Worth of an Opinion

I think it is insane to correlate the value of one’s opinion to a person’s net worth.  I took the caller’s assertion that my or anyone’s opinion is only as valuable as their net worth as a personal insult.

If the correlation were true, we would value anything said by George Soros, Kim Kardashian, or Paris Hilton while rejecting opinions of teachers, soldiers, some pastors, and nurses.

The awkward statement about “inheriting his daddy’s money” was an attempt to draw a attention to the fallacy in the caller’s logic the Donald suddenly became a more worthwhile human being on the day his inheritance made him a millionaire.

I know plenty of scoundrels with incredibly high net worths, but I wouldn’t trust them to watch my kids or invest one of my valuable pennies with them.

As far as my opinion’s worth, I put in an incredible amount of work to have an opinion.  If fact, I have been studying and a practitioner of politics at a high level for most of my adult life.  I make a considerable effort to read from multiple sources attempting to minimize biases so that I can offer an informed, honest opinion.

If you believe a person’s opinion is only as valuable as their net worth, then that’s just sad.   

Liberal Talking Points

If you think, I am just reeling off liberal talking points, then you’re also wrong.

Rather, here are some talking points:

  • Being an conservative means that you believe in opportunity and that you believe in people resiliency, even the little guy.  You believe that no matter one’s starting point or net worth, if one works hard, follows the rules, takes calculated risks, there is an opportunity.  There are no guarantees, but opportunities.
  • Being a conservative means we reject the class system engrained in England or said a different way – winning the sperm lottery doesn’t make one better.  We kinda revolted against it, remember?
  • Being a Christian means rejecting the pursuit of riches when it becomes before all other pursuits.   We all need a reminder of that sometimes, don’t we?

Conclusion

The Donald is, in fact, a bozo and a buffoon.  The Donald’s antics are bad for the GOP.  The Donald will not be the GOP’s nominee, and anyone who supports him will regret the day they did.  (Yes, I realize the irony in those statements and the earlier statement that you “win by growing a party, not insulting and offending.”)

If you believe a person’s opinion is only as valuable as their net worth, then we can’t be friends.  

But if we continue with the Donald logic, you should respect me for telling you like it is, no-holds barred.

Plus, it’s just my two cents – in further irony even further reducing my net worth.

Political Science is Vital

This week Politico featured an article The End of the 2016 Election Is Closer Than You Think    The Politico article is a fantastic read, but doesn’t go into the particulars that I would like to explore. Yes, the Politico article in someways scooped a theme I have been working on for sometime on this blog.  In the past I have been exploring the formation of political environments and asking “Do Campaigns Really Matter?” Topic 1: […]

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congress

As you may have heard by now, Florida’s Supreme Court has ordered Florida’s Congressional districts re-drawn.  In a ruling last week (required reading for any fellow political nerds), the Florida Supremes found the “Congressional Redistricting plan adopted by the Legislature to be constitutionally invalid.” To say this shakes things up in Florida politics maybe the understatement of the year. Here is the gist from the ruling: Specifically, congressional districts 5 (Brown-D), 10 (Webster-R), 13 (Jolly-R),14 (Castor-D), […]

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newsradio-web-980am

Alex Patton is a weekly guest on the Ward Scott Files for “Political Nerd Tuesday” : a weekly exploration of all things related to political strategy,political polling, and political research. Below are the show notes prepared for the show.  The show notes are prepared ahead of the show and do not reflect extemporaneous discussions, but do contain links and additional information to topics discussed. You can listen to a podcast of the show at the Podcast Page […]

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newsradio-web-980am

Alex Patton is a weekly guest on the Ward Scott Files for “Political Nerd Tuesday” : a weekly exploration of all things related to political strategy, political polling, and political research. Below are the show notes prepared for the show.  The show notes are prepared ahead of the show and do not reflect extemporaneous discussions, but do contain links and additional information to topics discussed. You can listen to a podcast of the show at the Podcast […]

Read more »

pareto - effort

I’ve been thinking about the amount of effort required to have an opinion. What drove this strain of thought: I was having a conversation with a subject matter expert and I voiced my opinion. He replied, “That is certainly an opinion, but to have an accurate opinion, you need to do a lot more work.” How true. The amount of effort to have an opinion is zero.  My 11 year old son will have an opinion about anything […]

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Facebook, I partly blame you!

facebook-icon

I recently posted to facebook the following: Facebook is curating so much now that I am having a difficult time finding value with their product. 1) I have enjoyed FB for reconnecting me with a lot of people I went to High School with in Germany or other military duty stations. Some of these are lower intensity “friendships” in that we communicate infrequently, but I still enjoy knowing what is going in their lives and […]

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debate_chart_national

An astute listener to the radio show, the Ward Scott Files, that deals with political strategy and polling asks, “What causes bumps in polling?” Bumps in Polling Often after a candidate announces they are running for President, or after a major party’s political convention or some other major event, we will observe a bump in polling numbers.  In most cases, if we wait several weeks, the bump will disappear. What are we actually observing with these “bumps” in […]

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Ward Scott Files

BUMPS IN POLLS Go back to address Jennifer’s question on what causes bumps in polls. A paper out of Columbia and Stanford that I came across. The people choosing to opt into a poll increases with enthusiasm from those supporting a candidate. “It seems implausible that many voters will switch support from one party to the other because of minor campaign events.1 “ “Or, alternatively, the surveys taken before and after the debate were capturing […]

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Ward Scott Files

Jacksonville Mayor Race – election today Too close to call. Illustrates importance of Florida – national players PPP Poll PPP’s national Republican poll for May continues to find Scott Walker leading the field, but it’s tightly clustered and his support has actually dropped two consecutive surveys now. Walker’s at 18% to 13% for Marco Rubio, 12% each for Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, 11% for Jeb Bush, 10% for Ted Cruz, 9% for Rand Paul, […]

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