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Electoral College: Clinton takes strong lead in Florida

Since the last update, which was only a day ago, new poll data was added for Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Maine (at large and each congressional district), and Arkansas. The Colorado poll was much needed as it has been under polled. Arkansas and Maine as well. But only the Florida poll made a difference. Specifically, the polls in question actually covered a timeframe from earlier in the month, so the last couple weeks of the charts are modified.

chart-182

The poll average in Florida now only covers two weeks of polling. We are definitely in the general election season.

The last two weeks of polls have not been kind to Trump in Florida. With this update earlier polls showing Florida close fall off the calculation and so the average drops rapidly. The two worst results for Trump in the current average were the ones added in this update. They are from Saint Leo University (one including Johnson as an option and one without). These are the 1st and 3rd worst numbers Trump has ever had in Florida. They may prove to be outliers. We’ll see what the next polls bring.

For the moment though, Clinton’s lead in Florida grows to 8.9%. This is a rapid drop and takes Florida from “Weak Clinton” to “Strong Clinton”. So we take Florida out of the list of potential Trump states in his best case.

chart-183

As mentioned, the timeframes covered by the Florida polls that were just added and which caused the change are older… June 10-16.. so the drop in the best case from Florida actually gets inserted before the bump up caused by Trump getting closer in Virginia. So the chart now actually shows a huge drop due to Florida, then a day later the bump up caused by Virginia.

With this update Trump’s best case dropped from a 76 electoral vote win to a 18 electoral vote win, but that 78 vote win is actually wiped off the chart entirely since the Florida change actually happened before the Virginia one.

Since Florida was the tipping point state, the tipping point also moves:

chart-184

As with Trump’s best case, the tipping point now shows a big drop from Florida, then a gain a day later when Virginia moved in the opposite direction. In the end this update causes the tipping point to move from Clinton by 3.0% in Florida to Clinton by 4.0% in Ohio. And once again that previous peak is just wiped off the chart because the Florida change happened before Virginia.

Just yesterday I noted that when looking over a two month time horizon 3 out of the 4 metrics Election Graphs tracks have moved in Trump’s direction, and the fourth was flat. This is still true today, and it is even true if you only look at a one month time horizon, but without Florida those gains are lessened significantly.

With today’s updates however, you can now start to see some movement away from Trump in the last two to three weeks. We will not know for a while yet though if this is the start of a larger trend toward Clinton, or if Trump will bounce back.

Without Florida in play, to win Trump has to almost sweep the states where Clinton leads by less than 5%… Arizona, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, Nevada and Ohio… he can afford to lose one of the small 6 EV states (Iowa and Nevada)… as well as holding all the states where he has only a narrow lead. That is a tall order given current polling.

134.3 days until polls start to close on Election 2016.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. Follow @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added. If you find the information in these posts interesting or useful, please consider visiting the tip jar.

Edit 17:40 UTC to add “Without Florida in play…” paragraph near the end.

Edit 18:55 UTC to acknowledge that Trump could actually afford to lose one of the 6 EV states.

Electoral College: Trump takes the lead in North Carolina

Since the last update there have only been polls in North Carolina and Texas, but North Carolina makes a difference:

chart (120)

A particularly good poll for Clinton from April rolls off the average and now all the recent polls have Trump ahead or tied in North Carolina. The average is now a 2.2% Trump lead. North Carolina has been back and forth between Clinton and Trump several times over the last year, but Trump’s position at the moment is now better than it has been since last September.

Only a month ago, Clinton was at her best position in the last year. Is this an actual dramatic swing toward Trump in North Carolina? Maybe. It is also possible that there is just highly volatile polling, and Clinton had a good run, and now Trump is having a good run. The bottom line is that North Carolina has spent all but a handful of weeks in the last year with neither candidate having a lead of more than 5%. In other words, it is a close state that could go either way.

But for now, Trump is once again in the lead, so North Carolina goes into his column for the expected results:

chart (121)

Since North Carolina has more electoral votes than Arizona, this more than reverses the movement of the expected result from a few days ago when Arizona flipped (just barely) to the blue side.

Looking back and comparing now with exactly two months ago, we see that Trump’s best case has improved from a Clinton 20 EV win to a Trump 76 EV win. The “expected” case has improved from a 138 EV loss to a 130 EV loss. Clinton’s best case has stayed the same. The tipping point has also moved from Clinton by 5.2% to Clinton by 3.0%.

So in 3 out of 4 measures, Trump has improved. In the other there has been no change.

In the Pollster national poll average over the same time period Trump has gone from being behind by 7.4% to being behind by 6.6%. Wait… what was that last one?

Hasn’t everybody been talking about how Trump has been collapsing in the national polls? But he has actually gained ground in the past two months! What is going on here?

Here is the national chart from Pollster:

pollster-2016-general-election-trump-vs-clinton

How much and in what direction the gap has changed of course all depends on what timeframes you are comparing.

Trump had narrowed the national gap with Clinton to only about 3.2% in mid May. (The RCP average actually had him very slightly ahead at the peak.) Since then, he has fallen back.

But he is still better off than he was in late April. And he has improved even more dramatically if you compare to late March. So the longer term national trend is the gap between Trump and Clinton narrowing, despite the opposite movement in the last month.

With the high resolution polling on the national picture, you could see the “Trump Bump” when after securing the nomination Trump closed the gap and then fell back again. With the slower state by state picture, that essentially may have happened too quickly for it to be visible.

Overall Clinton is clearly in a dominant position over Trump.

But Trump has indeed been catching up in a number of states. He hadn’t actually pulled a state over to his side since February though. Just as it is now, it was also North Carolina back then… and that time it only lasted a month or so before the state went blue again.

We will see soon enough if North Carolina stays red longer this time, and if Trump can pull more “Weak Clinton” states to his side. Pulling back Arizona would be the obvious first target, followed by Pennsylvania, Iowa and Florida. With those four states, Trump would take an overall lead for the first time.

That is all it would take. Four states. Of these Trump is furthest behind in Florida, but he is only behind by 3.0% there. With all the talk of how dire Trump’s situation is, he really isn’t that far back.

If Trump has a few good weeks and Clinton has a few bad weeks, that can change quickly.

Keep watching. 135.8 days until the polls start closing on election day.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. Follow @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added. If you find the information in these posts interesting or useful, please consider visiting the tip jar.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Failing to Predict the Past

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s big topics are the gun control debate and the apparent Trump campaign implosion. Other topics are kid’s summer activities, Brexit (recorded before the vote), and the process of choosing Presidential Electors. For a change of pace, Sam wraps it up with interviews of several delegates to the 2016 Washington State Democratic Convention.

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

CCCover20151125bw
Recorded 2016-06-23

Length this week – 2:42:20

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:11:03) Kids in Summer
  • (0:11:04-0:19:55) Brexit
  • (0:20:34-0:38:03) Gun Control
  • (0:39:06-1:19:52) Trump Implosion
  • (1:21:12-1:34:45) Picking Electors
  • (1:35:34-1:41:17) Amy on WADemCon
  • (1:41:56-1:51:24) Nicholas on WADemCon
  • (1:52:28-2:00:11) Judith on WADemCon
  • (2:00:57-2:23:57) Chase on WADemCon
  • (2:25:07-2:37:43) Amy on WADemCon again
  • (2:38:57-2:42:01) Wrap Up

Note: Timestamps are accurate, but many audio players are not very precise on the timestamps they show, so depending on your player, if you scan to a specific time, you may not get exactly what is shown above and may have to scan back or forward a bit to get what is expected.

Electoral College: Mixed movements for Clinton and Trump

Since the last update there have been new polls in Arizona, Washington, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah. The latest ones in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Utah made differences to the Electoral Graphs model. Two of these moves favored Trump, but one favored Clinton.

We’ll cover them in order of how many electoral votes each state has.

Pennsylvania (20 EV)

chart-176

The polling average moves from Clinton by 3.4% to Clinton by 1.2% as a really good poll for Clinton (15% lead) from April rolls off the average, replaced by polls showing a close race. The state doesn’t change categories, it is still a “Weak Clinton” state, but this continues the Trumpward movement in Pennsylvania, and since Pennsylvania was the tipping point state, it moves the tipping point in Trump’s direction:

chart-177

On the tipping point metric, Trump has been improving consistently since the beginning of May. This despite the continued downward trend in the national numbers. As I discussed last time, this has happened in enough states at this point that it seems like it may be a real thing. Trump is getting closer in some states, while simultaneously falling further behind nationally.

Arizona (11 EV)

chart-178

While the tipping point was moving toward Trump, Arizona has been moving toward Clinton. With the latest updates, Arizona moves from an 0.4% Trump lead to a 0.5% Clinton lead. Either way, Arizona is currently looking like a state that could go either way. But for the first time this cycle, Arizona is now on the blue side of the line. Arizona hasn’t gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1996. That isn’t as long as a state like Utah, but it is still quite some time, and it is remarkable that the poll average is showing Democrats with a lead, no matter how small.

Utah (6 EV)

chart-179

Meanwhile, as Arizona dips into the blue, Utah, which had briefly dropped into the competitive zone, once again looks a little stronger for Trump, and thus moves out of the category that could go either way. Having said that, we’re still looking at the smallest Republican margin in Utah in many decades. Just not quite as narrow as it looked.

National Summary

With Arizona flipping to the blue, improving the expected case for Clinton, and Utah pulling back out of the competitive zone, reducing Clinton’s best case, the national map now looks like this:

chart-180

The center of the spectrum of the states (excluding the solid states where one candidate leads by more than 10%) looks like this:

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 03.09.39835

And the trend bubble…

chart-181

It is hard to call a trend on this.

Look at the center line (the expected case) and every move since February has been toward Clinton.

Look at the top of the bubble (Trump’s best case) or the tipping point (see chart earlier in this post) and every move since early May has been toward Trump.

Look at the bottom of the bubble (Clinton’s best case) and things were moving toward Clinton until June, then started moving back toward Trump.

And of course the national polls have been moving toward Clinton for awhile now.

So what is really the trend? Well, all of them. They measure different things. Clinton’s absolute electoral college and popular vote leads are growing. But Trump is making more states close, which means his best case is improving, and the tipping point is getting closer. While meanwhile, for the moment anyway, Clinton’s best case may have hit a ceiling and be bouncing off it.

It is more complex than just looking at which direction a single number is going.

But in the end, if you have to look at only one number, it is probably the “expected” line. To win, Trump has to make that line move upward. It hasn’t been going that way for months, and it has never shown a Trump win.

Trump has 138.7 days to change that.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. Follow @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added. If you find the information in these posts interesting or useful, please consider visiting the tip jar.

Lets Plant 2

I now present Alex’s new mega episode from his channel ALeXMXeLA.com. He is very proud of this. It is different than his usual gaming videos. There is no video game. Instead, he and Amy present some educational material about plants. Sorta.

Lets Plant 2

Alex and Amy go to the store to buy plants, then head home and re-pot them. In between the commentary on plants, you’ll hear them bickering and talking about all sorts of other things as well. For instance, Alex wanted to make this two episodes, Amy wanted only one. Amy won that one. Alex was right. Off camera, Amy also wanted to cut a lot to make it shorter. Alex was having none of that. Enjoy! – Recorded 2016-04-14

Alex did a lot of the editing on the video (what there was of it) himself, adding scene transitions and choosing how to do the credits at the end, and making choices about how much to leave in and what to drop. He decided he wanted to include almost all of the footage we had, only a few seconds total were left out. And a few seconds of footage are actually included twice! So this is his longest video yet, over an hour. And while I may have cut some out of it if I was doing the editing all by myself to bring it under an hour, I admit to being amused by the sibling banter that winds its way through the entire episode.

Enjoy! And subscribe to his channel! This is the 74th episode. We have 70 more “in the can” that have been recorded but not yet posted. I am trying to post several each week, but am having issues keeping up with the rate he records them! In addition to the gaming videos, he has been making some more of these non-gaming videos occasionally as well about various topics. :-)

PS: Lets Plant 1 was an earlier video giving an overview of different sorts of trees that appear in the games he plays.

PSS: I specifically had Alex choose some of the built in “use it anywhere” music loops from Garage Band for the credits to be safe on copyright sorts of issues, but YouTube still identified it as copyrighted music (although with the wrong title, so I suspect it may be an incorrect identification) and so ads were inserted by the the supposed copyright holder. Annoying. Better than blocking the video, but still annoying. You can just close the ads, but still…

Update 2016-06-24 13:56 UTC: Had to upload a new version of this because a day and a half after publishing it Alex pointed out there was a place in the middle with an audio gap that escaped my notice despite watching it over and over again. I was able to fix it, and a corrected version is now posted and embedded above.

Update 2016-06-26 07:09 UTC: It looks like the new version, with the exact same closing credits music, didn’t trigger the copyright warning this time. Good. Because it wasn’t the song it said it was anyway. Sigh.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Ridiculously Eventful

Sam and Ivan are together again for this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast. Topic #1 is of course the mass shooting in Orlando. Then we return as always to the latest developments in Election 2016. Rounding it out we have some thoughts on WWDC, the Disney Alligator incident, the new Napster, and more. Oh, and Sam’s 6 year old son Alex pops in several times to give his thoughts on the events of the day as well.

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

CCCover20151125bw
Recorded 2016-06-16

Length this week – 1:51:17

 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:10:33) But First
    • Ivan’s Bad Weeks
    • Agenda
    • Preview of Next Week
    • New Napster
    • Feedback
  • (0:11:49-0:51:04) Orlando
    • Alex thoughts on Orlando and Stamps
    • What Happened
    • Puerto Rican connection
    • Motivations
    • Warning signs
    • The gun debate
  • (0:51:54-1:23:05) Election 2016
    • Primaries Over
    • Trump national poll collapse
    • Trump on the Prompter
    • Trump support demographics
    • Dump Trump
    • Wikileaks on Clinton
  • (1:24:16-1:50:57) Hodgepodge
    • Alex has more thoughts
    • WWDC
    • DNC Hack
    • Trump Drop Out?
    • Disney Alligator

Electoral College: Trump close in Virginia again too

Since the last notable change, Jill Stein became the presumptive nominee of the Green party. So I folded in 4-way poll results that included her in AZ/NC/OH/NJ/GA/PA/FL/CT. I also added new polls in VA/WI/CA. Of all of these updates, changes only resulted from the additions in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, although Trump has been plummeting in the national polls the last few weeks (see Pollster and RCP), 4 out of the 5 state level category changes and 4 out of 4 tipping point changes here at Election Graphs since Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee have been in Trump’s favor.

I have been attributing this to the natural lag in the kind of state poll averages tracked here… but the trend has gone on long enough that there may be something else happening. It is actually starting to look like Clinton’s lead has been narrowing in a number of states, even while Trump has been falling further behind at a national level. This is an odd pattern. It will be interesting to see if it continues.

In the mean time, lets look at the latest example:

Virginia

chart-172

In Virginia on the eve of Trump becoming the clear winner on the Republican side he was behind by 12% in the Election Graphs average. With every poll since then, his position has improved. He’s now behind by only 3.2%. The most recent results were from June 13-15… well after the narrative of Trump’s collapse in the national polls was taking hold, and after weeks of Trump doing and saying things that seemed to be damaging his prospects nationally.

But yet the newest results have Trump down only 3% in a state where he had a poll showing him down 17% back in January. This trend does not look like a collapse. Quite the contrary. It does look like Trump is in a downward spiral in the national polls. But in Virginia specifically, he is doing better than he has since last August.

It seems strange that Virginia would be rapidly moving in the opposite direction than the national polls. Perhaps if we had weekly polls in Virginia we might have seen a different picture. Perhaps there have been large swings up and down that are just invisible because there have not been enough polls to show it. Maybe. But with the data we have, it really looks like Virginia has been on a Trumpward swing, despite the national trends.

With Virginia now close, we now include Trump winning it in “Trump’s best case”. So a quick look at the national trend:

chart-173

Aside from the one bump showing Clinton making Utah close, the trend here at the state level looks like Trump making a number of states closer. First Florida, then North Carolina, then Pennsylvania, now Virginia.

Trump isn’t flipping states, but he is making more states close. The national picture may look different, but at the state level, which is what actually determines the winner in November, there isn’t a Trump collapse visible yet. Trump is actually looking stronger.

Pennsylvania

chart-174

With Jill Stein now the presumptive nominee of the Green party, I added in a number of polls I had been tracking but not yet including in the analysis that included Jill Stein along with the major party candidates and Gary Johnson for the Libertarians. Among those was a poll in Pennsylvania showing a 1% Clinton lead over Trump. This did not change the status of Pennsylvania, which had already moved to Weak Clinton in the last update, but since Pennsylvania was the tipping point state, it moved that metric:

chart-175

The tipping point state remains Pennsylvania, but the margin moves from a 3.8% Clinton lead to a 3.4% Clinton lead.

So with today’s updates, both Trump’s “best case” and his tipping point improve.

The downward trend in the national numbers may eventually show itself at the state level, but it hasn’t yet.

144.9 days until the polls start closing on Election Day 2016.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. Follow @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added. If you find the information in these posts interesting or useful, please consider visiting the tip jar.

Democrats: Clinton closes out the primary season with a win

Clinton clinched the nomination last week, but DC still hadn’t voted. Now they have.

Clinton got 16 delegates, Sanders got 4.

Since last week when I posted the CA/NJ/NM/MT/SD/ND results, we had updates from CA/NJ/SD as well as many to superdelegate preferences. The net result of all of these was Clinton +7, Sanders +5.

So net change since last week: Clinton +23, Sanders +9.

All the caucuses and primaries are now over. There are still 116 superdelegates who have not expressed a preference publicly, but what they do at this point no longer matters to the nomination. Similarly, while it is possible that the superdelegates who have already supported someone could change their minds, it is unlikely to happen in significant numbers absent an earthshaking surprise.

So we are done.

Lets look at the updated graphs:

chart-169

The delegate count is now: Clinton 2768, Sanders 1881, with 116 TBD.

chart-170

Clinton now has 59.54% of the delegates, Sanders has 40.46%.

chart-171

It didn’t change with the DC results since the race was already won, but here again is the “% remaining needed to win” chart.

There isn’t much else to see here absent unexpected craziness. I gave my thoughts wrapping up the Democratic race last week. If there are any additional developments you will see them here. But aside from straggler superdelegates revealing their preferences, nothing of significance is expected.

The Republicans are done too of course.

We have Clinton vs Trump. It is time to settle down and get comfortable for the general election coverage.

146.4 days until the polls start to close on Election Day 2016. Buckle up!

Update 2016-06-18 16:19 UTC – Superdelegate update: Clinton +12, Sanders -1.

Update 2016-06-22 15:47 UTC – Superdelegate update: Clinton +3.

Update 2016-06-22 15:48 UTC – Update from California: Clinton -8, Sanders +8.

Update 2016-06-24 17:06 UTC – Superdelegate update: Clinton +2.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. Follow @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added. If you find the information in these posts interesting or useful, please consider visiting the tip jar.

Context and Perspective

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 15.38.16630

The massacre in Orlando this weekend is horrifying. I mourn along with everybody else.

On Twitter and Facebook people are predictably sorting themselves into either those who are using this as an opportunity to talk about how awful mass shootings are and how therefore we need to ban assault weapons vs people who are using this as an opportunity to talk about how horrifying terrorism is and how therefore we need to double up on the “war on terror” (in many cases with a fairly anti-Muslim orientation). A whole range of reactions is on display relating to how this specific attack was targeted at the LGBT community as well.

In the face of this, I always want to step back a bit and look at the bigger picture.

First of all, while mass killings understandably wrench the emotions differently and more strongly than individual killings, in the end, 50 people dying together is not worse than 50 people dying individually. They are equally tragic. But aside from the immediate families of those involved, the 50 people dying individually is more invisible to us as a society, so it tends to get ignored. The extra attention given to the incidents when many people are killed at once is understandable, but it also distracts from the magnitude and nature of the real problem. Mass killings make up an incredibly small portion of overall homicides. Concentrating on them will inevitably lead to people going after the wrong things when looking for solutions.

Second, yes, murders are a problem. Yes, the United States has a higher murder rate than comparable countries. Much higher. And we should be able to do much better. But… look at that chart above. The homicide rate nation wide has been DROPPING for decades. It is about half what it was in the 1980’s. The trends are going in the right direction. We are much safer than we were. From the frenzy whenever one of these attacks happens, you would think that we had a problem that was worse than it ever has been and was getting worse rapidly. No. We may have a long way to go to match our peer countries (19 per million for Germany, France and Canada; 13 per million for the UK; 8 per million for Japan, compared to 45 per million for the US) but we have been headed in the right direction for many years now. Things are getting better, not worse.

Third, with the notable exception of 9/11, deaths caused by terrorism in the United States are almost invisible compared to the rate of all homicides. Yes, it is horrible when a terrorist attack happens. Boston and San Bernardino and now Orlando are shocking. They disturb our sense of safety in a way that isolated killings do not. It is even more pronounced when the attacks specifically target one community, as the Orlando event targeted the LGBT community. The psychological effects of such attacks on the nation and on the targeted communities is real and should not be ignored. Responses though need to be proportionate to the problem, or they end up being like an allergic reaction, causing more harm through the response than the problem they are trying to solve. Even including 9/11, terrorist attacks were responsible for only approximately 0.6% of homicides from 1985 to 2013. I am of course not saying such attacks should be ignored in our policy, but I am saying that our response to these sorts of attacks, both in how the public reacts and in how policy changes as a result, is horribly disproportionate to the actual problem.

All in all, I wish people on all sides of these debates would take a step back from their emotionally charged initial reactions, and the sorting into political tribes they will defend regardless of the issue, and instead actually try to look at things in a facts based way, and if looking to solve problems, try to base solutions by actually trying to determine what might be most effective at moving the needle on the overall metrics.

So, for instance, banning assault weapons probably won’t make a big difference, because they are responsible for a really small portion of overall homicides. Focusing on them is a distraction, despite the high profile of the events they are involved in. Focusing on “Islamic Terrorism” will likely not help much either, as that too is responsible for small numbers in comparison to other motivations.

Meanwhile, making it overall a bit more difficult to get handguns might indeed reduce the numbers noticeably. But that would involve making a lot of people feel like you are taking away a fundamental right, which should also be factored into any cost/benefit analysis. It should not be ignored or dismissed. Solving one problem by making a huge portion of the population feel that you are attacking their fundamental values would just create other problems, possibly worse ones. Making long term changes to the culture so fewer people want weapons in the first place might work, but is something that would happen over many decades, and there is little patience for that. Working on anger management and conflict resolution skills as part of basic education might help quite a lot too, although is also something that takes a long time to show results. Increasing resources to identify and help people who are under stress, who are showing signs of becoming violent, or who have untreated mental illness that is a danger to themselves or others would surely make a big difference as well.

I don’t specifically claim to have the answer or the right mix of answers. I’m not specifically advocating any policy option. The above is just an off the top of my head look at a few options that people sometimes mention. The key is that I wish that people would look at the various options rationally, looking at the numbers and keeping an eye on the big picture, as well as taking into full account people’s concerns about rights and worries about safety. Violent death and homicide are problems that are approachable through analysis and experiment. We can see what works, and what doesn’t work. Both by trying things and observing things other countries have tried. We should be open to investigating the possibilities, and to experimentation. Keep what works, ditch what doesn’t.

But alas, this is the real world, so that won’t happen. Instead we will focus on highly visible incidents that aren’t representative of the overall problem, and everyone will focus on the problems and solutions their tribe tends to focus on, and will continue believing that the people on the “other side” are crazy or evil or just don’t understand, and the only thing that will happen is that the polarization of society will increase further.

Sigh.

(I did a somewhat similar post after Sandy Hook if anybody wants to review what I said then, and in that one I also talked about killings using guns vs killing using other weapons, something I chose not to revisit this time.)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Going in a weird direction

Sam is solo again on this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast. As you would expect, the big topics are election related. Clinton clinching. The Sanders dead enders. Trump’s really bad week. Veep speculation. All of that. In addition, some brief hits on the Brock Turner case, the Gawker bankruptcy, some Apple stuff… and more!

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

CCCover20151125bw
Recorded 2016-06-11

Length this week – 1:36:22

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:07:16) But First
    • Alone Again
    • Agenda
    • Early Mornings
  • (0:08:06-0:38:24) Election 2016 – Democrats
    • Clinton clinches
    • Sanders dead enders
    • Will Sanders get what he wants?
    • Clinton/Warren?
    • Stein effect?
    • Sanders as an independant?
  • (0:39:28-1:11:04) Election 2016 – Republicans
    • Trump’s bad week
    • Trump’s fundraising
    • Where Trump is spending money
    • Dump Trump?
    • Trump veeps
    • Johnson effect?
  • (1:12:08-1:36:02) Lightning Round
    • Alex promotes his channel
    • Brock Turner case
    • Gawker bankruptcy
    • Some Apple Stuff
    • I got tipped!