Category Archives: National

Which Candidate/Party is Most Favored by Economists?

In a survey conducted July/August of this year among 414 members of the National Association for Business Economics,
55% said that Clinton would do the best job as president of managing the economy,
15% said that Gary Johnson would, and
14% said that Donald Trump would.

In a survey conducted by the Financial Times late July this year,
70% of economists polled said a Clinton victory in November would be positive for growth in the US, compared with just under
14% for Trump.

In a survey conducted by Fortune in June, which included responses from 55 Fortune 500 CEOs,
58% said they would support Clinton in November and
42% said they’d support Trump.

A 2010 survey of 299 US economics professors found that
56% vote Democrat,
20.7% vote Republican, and
5.7% vote Libertarian.

A 2003 survey of 264 economists from the American Economics Association found that
58% vote Democrat,
23% vote Republican, and
2.7% vote Libertarian.

2016 Presidential Scorecards

Congressional Scorecard Compilation

The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund was formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal levels, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office.

HSLF is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions or gifts to HSLF are not tax deductible. Your donation may be used for lobbying to pass laws to protect animals, as well as for political purposes, such as supporting or opposing candidates.

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LCV works to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities. LCV, in collaboration with our state LCV partners, advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates who will champion our priority issues.

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), founded in 1929, is the oldest and most widely respected Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States of America. LULAC was created at a time in our country’s history when Hispanics were denied basic civil and human rights, despite contributions to American society. The founders of LULAC created an organization that empowers its members to create and
develop opportunities where they are needed most.

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The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA’s 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.

Click here for the Excel spreadsheet.
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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA’s 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.

Click here for the Excel spreadsheet.
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Planned Parenthood

Hillary, Bernie, and Trump: Favorability and Honesty

Question: Given Hillary’s low favorability, wouldn’t Bernie have been the better candidate for establishment Democrats to get behind to secure a presidential victory?

Response: I don’t think so. I’d say that the two factors that have impacted Hillary the most are implicit bias against women in leadership roles and the attacks that come along with running for any high-level political office.

Now, consider that, at the time Democratic leadership was deciding which candidate to get behind, Clinton was clearly the easiest choice:

March 2015

And, consider that Clinton’s worst favorability in the past, besides during the Whitewater investigation (which, incidentally, came to nothing) were during her bid for the senate and during her first bid for the presidency. As Nate Silver put it back in December of 2012, “Over the course of her long career, the public’s views of Mrs. Clinton have shifted along with her public role. When she has been actively engaged in the hand-to-hand combat that characterizes election campaigns and battles in Congress, her favorability ratings have taken a hit, only to recover later”:

In the same article, Silver also correctly predicted, “if Mrs. Clinton runs for president in 2016, one thing is almost certain: she won’t be as popular as she is right now.”

To my thinking, implicit bias against women in leadership is sufficient to explain Hillary’s this dip in popularity, especially when we consider that her numbers aren’t outrageously different from figures for the Democratic party itself. Silver, though, suggested back then that her favorability suffered when running for office because that’s when she was being most attacked by various opponents.

If that’s the case, then we should expect this to have happened to other candidates. In fact, it looks like it did happen to Obama to a degree:

Bush’s figures are pretty much downward except for 9/11. Interestingly, though, he seems actually to have experienced an uptick immediately leading up to the 2004 election:

I haven’t been able to find enough data on other female candidates to try to tease out how political attacks and gender affect bids for political office. Still, I feel fairly satisfied that Hillary’s issues, which don’t seem extraordinary compared to other politicians’, are probably not the source of her favorability figures.

One final thing I’d point out are PolitiFact’s ratings of candidates’ truthfulness:

When I compare these figures, the only systematic (though, not scientific) study of candidate honesty, I can’t help scratching my head over why Hillary has been so widely singled out for dishonesty. Clearly, the fact that not one of these three candidates do better than 51% in truthfulness is, to quote the silver-tongued Trump, “sad.”

A CNN poll from last month found that, “Trump has his largest edge of the campaign as the more honest and trustworthy of the two major candidates (50% say he is more honest and trustworthy vs. just 35% choosing Clinton).” Huh?

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, also from last month, yielded a rating of 31% for Hillary and 41% for Trump for “being honest/straightforward.” Huh?!

Now, finally, compare the candidates in this YouGov poll from February:

Notice that, despite having the same record for producing honest statements by PolitiFact’s lights, Hillary and Bernie are basically the inverse in terms of perceived dis/honesty. Only Trump approaches Hillary’s degree of perceived dis/honesty despite the fact that he only apparently tells the truth by accident.

It’s tempting for me to regard this as further evidence of sexism in the US public, conscious or unconscious. However, there’s also the fact that the Republican attacks on Hillary have chiefly targeted her honesty and transparency in the interminable Benghazi investigations.

So, maybe Nate’s right….

Voting Green vs. Democrat in Arizona

Question: This is the first time I feel I am voting party platforms. I have actually come to like Hillary as a politician but I hate bringing the Clinton family back to the White House and she has serious entanglements with foreign governments and businesses. We are long overdue for that revolution we wanted with Obama and the planet needs our attention more than ever. Why not use my vote to support the Green Party?

Response: Regarding Hillary’s “entanglements” with foreign governments, the Clinton Foundation takes donations from anyone and has never been shown to have engaged in bribery. The Clintons also do not draw a salary from the foundation. If I donate to your charity expecting something in return and I don’t receive that and there’s no record that you ever promised something in return, are you guilty of bribery? To me, that’s an easy, “no.”

Now, consider this from another angle. Let’s say that you can go speak at a conference with wealthy people who could donate to your campaign. One conference is full of union people who are probably going to support you no matter what; the other conference is full of corporate bankers who are more likely to support a Republican presidential candidate. Which event do you speak at?

Well, if you want to maximize your impact, I’d argue that you would want to speak at the bankers conference. You may be getting the same amount of money either way to put toward your own campaign, but you’re also simultaneously taking money from people who might otherwise have spent it on Republicans. Well done, I say.

Remember that the Green Party is still incredibly weak in the US. They hold few positions in local government and zero seats in national government:


We would probably need decades to get Green candidates sufficient local and congressional support in order to have the necessary impact.

Electoral votes are winner take all. So, if Arizona does go Dem, Hillary gets all the electoral votes and that makes Trump all the less likely to win. Trump deserves an enormous, crushing defeat.

Finally, as someone who always liked Bernie, I’m glad he said this thing that I couldn’t agree with more:
Bernie Vote Hillary