Say Hello to My Little Friends

February 2, 2016

In late July 2015, I decided to do a little writing.  The election was coming up and I missed doing this.  The commitment was at least one piece per week, from then through Election Day.  Almost two hundred posts later, it seems as though this might stick.  I’m all in for the ride.

There’s a bit of a catch.  My desire to write may exceed a sane person’s ability to read.  You see, I’ve been holding back.  No more than two posts a day, except for debate or voting days, which might lead to a third.

Originally, the thought was to provide a bit of a shortcut.  If you didn’t have time to keep up with everything, just read 270, and get what you need.  While reading this blog is still more efficient than trying to weed through everything out there, I’ve mangled a few posts by doing a brain dump, cramming too many thoughts into a single piece.

So, I’m removing the self-imposed daily post cap.  This will keep the length of some posts to a more manageable size.  It will keep (somewhat) in check my habit of throwing everything slightly relevant into one article.

But how can you decide what to read now, what to read if you can get around to it, and what to ignore unless you’re stuck in a line somewhere with plenty of battery capacity?

Say hello to my two new friends:

elmo1900 is named after Elmo Roper, who along with George Gallup and a couple others helped found the modern polling industry.  Elmo sounds more personable than George.  If you can remind someone of a Sesame Street character, you should.

Also, he predicted the 1936 and 1940 presidential elections within a whisker of the actual result.  You might think figuring an FDR re-election win was an easy thing, but Literary Digest famously reached the conclusion Alf Landon would win in ’36.  In fairness, he did win 2 states.

Elmo is going to focus on polling and data.  He’s going to assume you don’t mind getting a little granular once in a while.  There will be a combination of numbers and analysis.  If you just want to see where the pollsters are, click on the Real Clear Politics average links.  If you want a rough numerical estimate of where things sit, FiveThirtyEight has a nifty algorithm.

Both are super useful.  Elmo uses them.  But if you like Sherlock Holmes, and want to play Watson, helping him sift through the clues to see what might lie just ahead, this is the contributor for you.  Don’t skip any Elmo entries.

Some readers like strategy and tactics better than numbers.

howe1871 is your huckleberry.  Named for Louis Howe, the man behind FDR’s political success, he’s your window into what the campaigns are up to.  This is not an insider look.  If you want the latest on what somebody leaked to a reporter, check Politico.

For now, Howe doesn’t have the funds to spend time on the ground, following candidates around.  Fortunately, C-SPAN is a spectacular way to cheat.  The cameras reveal plenty, especially as the candidate moves to and from their speech.

This is an informed outsider perspective.  If you want sanitized commentary from people who have actually run a campaign, held elective office, or spent decades in the punditry, there are no shortage of options.  Howe will aim to tell you what they are missing or perhaps overlooking.

He’s going to cover debate preps and recaps, reviews of ads and ad strategy, and try to figure out what the hell these guys and gals are up to on a daily basis.

You’ll still hear plenty from your regular correspondent.  Speaking of which, I need to post this and finish up my Iowa Recap on the Democrats side, now that they’ve finally declared an official winner.

Look to my byline for more of a 30,000 foot view.  Without the need to cover the above mentioned items, I’ll attempt to compare the present to the past and look ahead to the future.  In this case, the distant future is something like the Michigan primary on March 8.

Once I’m done with Iowa in a few hours, my alter egos and I will move on to setting the table for New Hampshire and the events to follow.

Happy curating.



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