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As some of you may know, I am an attorney by trade. I am also the father of twins who will be 6 in February.  Oh, and incidentally, one of my best college friends is a high school teacher in Newtown, Connecticut.  So I've been emotionally invested in the aftermath of the massacre there on a number of levels.  But I've also spend a fair amount of time thinking about what--in a perfect world--the federal government might do to effectively prevent the next such tragedy now that finally, finally there appears to be a measure of political will to take on the lobby of the merchants of death--the NRA.  

This diary is an exercise in what I would do, acknowledging the following premises:

(1) The Second Amendment is not going anywhere.  Therefore, anything proposed must at least arguably be compatible with it.
(2) All guns are dangerous.  The more efficient the gun in terms of the number of bullets it can shoot without reloading, the more dangerous it is.
(3) The only legitimate positive societal benefit of private ownership of any firearms is the recreational pleasure hunters get from their hobby.  The "self defense" and "bulwark against tyranny" premises are both bunk--the former based on the stats that guns kept in self-defense are more likely to be used on the owner or a family member than an intruder and the latter based on "are you fucking insane?"  Much ink has been spilled on this debate.  I bring it up only to explain where I am coming from in making the following proposals.
(4) Human life has a high value.  Therefore, the arguments about how one is more statistically likely to drown or be hit by lightning than be a mass shooting victim do not move me.  If a measure saves a single life, it is probably worth it since the only reason NOT to take it is whatever marginal hardship it causes on hunters' recreation.

My thoughts, for what they're worth, under the fold.

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Republicans have largely based their successes in House elections since 1992 on grabbing the low hanging fruit of white, conservative southern seats held by Dems--either by beating them or by taking open seats.  That happened this year as well: the GOP took 3 such seats in North Carolina (and a fourth is heading to a recount), one in Arkansas, one in Kentucky, and one in Oklahoma.  That accounts for 6 of their 10 pickups (the others were redistricting-related wins in western Pennsylvania, northern Indiana, and upstate New York plus winning both of the incumbent on incumbent battles).  But that leaves them basically no more winnable seats in the South.

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:15 PM PST

Romney joins the 47 percenters

by Superribbie

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/....  Current tally: Obama 50.5%, Romney 47.9%.  That is all.

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Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM PDT

PPP Florida: R 49 O 48

by Superribbie

So sez the Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/....

+5 for Romney there as compared to 2 weeks ago

He's clawed into +2 favorability from -7.

More details to follow.

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Haven't seen this posted yet:  http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/....  I believe this is the first national non-Rasmussen tracker to contain all post-Friday interviews.  Obama is up 3 despite mediocre approval and favorables.  All 3 ticket members other than Obama have underwater favorables: Obama 49/47; Romney 47/48; Biden 43/49 and Ryan 43/45.  Also of note, Dems up 5 in the generic Congressional: 46-41.

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Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM PDT

House Race Vulnerability Rankings

by Superribbie

As people who have been around awhile are aware, I follow House races closely.  This is the first installment of a feature I’ve done in the past.  It is a ranking of the composite ratings of House races by the four major rating organizations—the Cook Report, the Rothenberg Report, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Roll Call/Congressional Quarterly—plus Daily Kos' own ratings.  A likely hold is 15 points; a lean hold is 30; a toosup is 45; a lean takeover is 60; a likely takeover is 75; and a safe takeover is 90.  The Rothenberg Report includes in-between categories that get in between scores.  The races are listed in order of most likely to flip to the other party to least.  

As this is a post-redistricting year, the exercise of determining what is a Republican seat and what is a Democratic seat was trickier than most.  My rules for doing so (in order) were: 1. A seat in which an incumbent of one party is running against a non-incumbent is considered to be held by the incumbent's party;  2.  The overall composition of the House is 242-193 GOP.  Therefore, I made sure that 242 seats are considered for this exercise to be held by the GOP and 193 by the Dems; 3. If an open seat had a natural predecessor seat, it is held by the outgoing incumbent's party; 4. If an open seat is new, either because the state gained a new seat in redistricting or because the redistricting process scrambled things enough that there is no natural predecessor seat, I assigned it based on the "PVI", which given the new nature of the districts is simply the Democratic share of the 2-party vote in 2008 adjusted for a 50-50 election; and 5. The two incumbent-vs.-incumbent races, IA-03 and OH-16, were randomly assigned to opposite camps in accordance with rules 2 and 4 above with IA-03 being considered a Dem seat and OH-16 a GOP one.  Obviously, it is debatable which of the two races presents a better chance for a Dem victory.

As discussed more fully below, a historical analysis of these compilations suggests that if these ratings remained exactly where they are now, the Democrats would, on average win a net of 4 seats--win 20 and lose 16.

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This is the latest installment in my look at the individual House races through the composite of the raters' services.  This is an update to my October 15 Diary documenting the collective House race ratings by the professional forecasters and using them to create composite vulnerability rankings.  I also used a comparison of the final ratings and the actual results from 2006 to 2008 to figure odds on a given race with a given score actually flipping.  The methodology is explained in the last post.  As I alluded to in the last post, the migration of these ratings continued to drift in the GOP direction, with an acceleration at the end.  The predictive model therefore forecasts a net loss of 47.311 seats.  This is a tick below what the pundits themselves are forecasting, but 8 more than the GOP needs to flip the chamber.

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This is an update to my October 4 Diary documenting the collective House race ratings by the professional forecasters and using them to create composite vulnerability rankings.  I also used a comparison of the final ratings and the actual results from 2006 to 2008 to figure odds on a given race with a given score actually flipping.  The methodology is explained in the last post.  As I alluded to in the last post, the migration of these ratings continues to drift in the GOP direction, although at a somewhat slower pace.  Since the last post, there have been changes by the NY Times, Sabato, Cook, and Rothenberg.  Thus, as of today, the predictive model forecasts a net loss of 37.755 seats.  This is still just 1 seat short of what the GOP would need for a majority.  

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This is an update to my September 22 Diary documenting the collective House race ratings by the professional forecasters and using them to create composite vulnerability rankings.  I also used a comparison of the final ratings and the actual results from 2006 to 2008 to figure odds on a given race with a given score actually flipping.  The methodology is explained in the last post.  As I alluded to in the last post, the migration of these ratings continues to drift in the GOP direction, although at a slower pace.  Since the last post, there have been changes by the NY Times, Sabato and Rothenberg.  Thus, as of today, the predictive model forecasts a net loss of 35.18 seats.  This is still 4 short of what the GOP would need for a majority.  

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This is an update to my September 10 diary documenting the collective House race ratings by the professional forecasters and using them to create composite vulnerability rankings.  I also used a comparison of the final ratings and the actual results from 2006 to 2008 to figure odds on a given race with a given score actually flipping.  The methodology is explained in the last post.  As I alluded to in the last post, the migration of these ratings continues to drift in the GOP direction, with CQ making about 15 changes favoring the GOP, and the others a handful as well.  Thus, as of today, the predictive model forecasts a net loss of 32.08 seats.  This is still 7 short of what the GOP would need for a majority.  

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Periodically, I go through the professional forecasters' House race rankings and assign numerical values to each ranking.  I then rank the races based on their score and give each of them a consensus rating.  This year, because the big question is "will we see Speaker Boehner?", I have fashined an overall projection of seat change from this data.  I will explain my methodolgy after the jump, but the bottom line is that despite Charlie Cook saying the GOP "will very likely gain far more than the 39 seats needed for control," Larry Sabato projecting a GOP gain of 47, and Stu Rothenberg placing the range at 37-42, their own race ratings (combined with those of Congressional Quarterly and the New York Times), when compared with their ratings and results in 2006 and 2008, project out to a current gain of only 28.93 seats for the GOP.  

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Fri May 21, 2010 at 08:24 AM PDT

House Race Vulnerability Rankings

by Superribbie

This is the first installment of a feature I’ve done in the past.  It is a ranking of the composite ratings of House races by the four major rating organizations—the Cook Report, the Rothenberg Report, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Congressional Quarterly—plus the top 25 list produced by National Journal.  These races are listed in order of most likely to flip to the other party to least.  As discussed more fully below, a historical analysis of these compilations suggests that if things remain exactly where they are now (i.e. if the election were held today), the Democrats would, on average lose a net of 19 seats.

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