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Friday, February 5, 2016

Tomorrow: Muskogee GOP Precinct Meetings & Straw Poll

From the Muskogee County Republican Party:

Precinct meetings for the Muskogee County GOP will be held at 9am on Saturday, February 6th. They will be held at the Muskogee Public Library, in the Grant Foreman meeting room on the second floor.

We are planning to conduct a Presidential Primary Straw Poll, so come and support your preferred Presidential candidate! We will also be hearing from local candidates for office.

Precinct meetings are the first step in becoming qualified to attend both the District Convention and State Convention later in the spring, where we elect delegates to the National Convention who officially vote for our presidential nominee.

Precinct meetings are open to any and all registered Republican voters in Muskogee County. Come on out and join us! Tell us on Facebook if you're planning to come.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cruz Pollster: Three Thoughts on the Iowa Polls

Three Thoughts on the Iowa Polls
by Bryon Allen, Partner/COO at WPA Opinion Research

So Ted Cruz won.  That was unexpected to a lot of people, included otherwise very good pollsters like Ann Selzer (who conducts the Des Moines Register poll) and Douglas Schwartz (who is the head of the Quinnipiac poll).

The cat is pretty much out of the bag now though that it wasn’t unexpected to us and I’m betting it wasn’t a surprise to a lot of the other campaigns’ pollsters.

So what was the difference and what does it tell us about polling Iowa?

1. Sampling the Iowa caucuses is really hard.

Most of the public polls used a methodology based on calling all Iowans or all registered voters and then letting them self-select as likely to caucus

This is a good methodology for some elections.  It’s a lot like what we do in a general election setting.  But it’s not a good way to poll a caucus.

The problem for these polls in the caucus is that they wind up including a large number of non-voters in their samples.  There is a lot of research showing that people overstate their likelihood to vote, especially people who don’t have a history of voting already.  Given the high effort required to participate, overstatement in a caucus is likely even higher.

In many cases these problems don’t matter—if the unlikely voters screening into the survey have the same opinions as likely voters, the results will still be consistent with reality.  But this year in Iowa was different.

Trump was increasingly rejected by traditional caucus attendees, especially after his decision to skip the final debate.  But his numbers in the polls were buoyed by a group of voters who do not typically vote in the caucuses but were strongly attached to Trump.

In a case like this, the bias of the public polls toward including too many non-caucus goers in their samples became impossible to overcome leading them to substantially over-state support for Trump

2. Field period mattered more in Iowa this year.

The Des Moines Register poll, Quinnipiac, and others conducted their interviews over a period that spanned much of the last week before the caucus.  I said yesterday that this may have been a problem and it turned out to be.

In most years, the arguments have all been made well in advance of the last week.  While some things can change and some voters will change their minds, it’s rare for a major shake-up of the race to happen in the few days before the caucus.

But this year, once again, was different.  The last week saw Trump skip the final debate, a move that cost him substantially with traditional caucus goers.  It also saw the first real opportunity for voters to see the non-Trump candidates debate the issues rather than participating in a circus.

Both of these things moved the numbers and most of the public polls missed this effect by releasing data based substantially on pre-debate interviews.  If they had polled post-debate and into the weekend, they would have seen what we saw and drawn very different conclusions about the state of the race.

3. No, polling is not dead or on life support or whatever.

Sometimes I worry that I am part of the most hated profession in politics (which would be the most hated profession in a hated field…grim).  The only thing that’s going to keep pollsters from being first against the wall when the revolution comes is that there are still lawyers in the world.

Inevitably we’re already seeing a raft of “polling is dead” stories.  But polling is not dead and the fact that some pollsters got Iowa wrong for a couple of completely explicable reasons is not an indictment of the entire field.

What last night does suggest is that the same methodologies can’t be applied across all elections.  The public pollsters need to do what most campaign pollsters did years ago and develop different models, sampling protocols, and methodologies for different types of races.  It’s not a one-size-fits-all world out there and things like special elections and caucuses require a more sophisticated approach than do high-turnout general elections.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jarrin Jackson: A Fair Question

Why (not) me?

A woman challenged me the other night, demanding to know what I have done that qualifies me for Congress. It’s a fair question. I am young (30) and fresh out of the Army, an unusual combination for a Congressional candidate. But her question implied the military is just about following orders, no thinking required, not a real job, and one providing experience that’s not relevant.

Let me reply.

First, I graduated from West Point in the top 15% of my class. That’s an achievement given how hard it is just to get in. It’s even more of an achievement for me, someone not so naturally gifted, to compete well against 1,200 exceptional, high-energy cadets. It shows a measure of work-ethic and intelligence all members of Congress should have.

Second, I fought. In the thick of it. Make of that what you will, but the freedoms and duties contained in our Constitution are not matters of lip-service to me. They’re personal. They should be personal to all members of Congress.

Third, I led from the platoon to the company levels; single digits to as many as 350 warriors. My duties were like those of a CEO. Not only did I conduct and oversee operations and planning, but I constantly assessed my unit’s strengths and weaknesses, innovating strategies and tactics while being responsible for equipment bought by American taxpayers worth hundreds of millions of dollars. If successful enterprise experience is a good indicator of political worth, this compares.

Fourth, I looked out for my soldiers. Battlefield success was paramount, but I did other tasks. I fired under-performing soldiers and dealt with the guilt of taking away a family’s paycheck. I helped performing soldiers manage their finances, plan their career, balance their home/work schedules, adjust for their personal issues (sick kids, divorce, PTSD), fight bureaucracies about their pay, healthcare, and living arrangements, and, during deployments, did my best to make sure they stayed on task and all came home alive. I put performing Americans first and everyone else second.

Fifth, I experienced the best and worst of mankind many only read about. Poverty, primitivism, gore, hopelessness, injustice, hatred, totalitarianism, tyranny, evil, heroism, sacrifice, unity, loyalty, professionalism, human dignity, good. I understand from experience why America’s way is the best way.

Sixth, I served as a battflefield ambassador of American foreign policy, brokered international tribal security agreements, solved problems, studied economies, learned Pashto, learned Islam from an Afghan mullah, slept on freezing Himalayan mountaintops, negotiated for lives, made life and death decisions under fire, sent home in a body bag a young soldier whose family I later cried with, rescued hostages from jihadists, called in airstrikes, the list goes on.

How much of this is relevant voters will decide. To those who compare candidates on the basis of what we have done, it is a start. I’m running for Congress because Congress is failing our people. We need leaders who won’t.

Jarrin Jackson is running for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District. Learn more by visiting

Monday, February 1, 2016

Iowa: Cruz surges past Trump for the win

The Iowa polling average had the race at Trump with 28.6%, Cruz behind at 23.9%, and Rubio sitting in third with 16.9%.

As of 11:30pm CST, Ted Cruz has 27.7% (+3.8%) to Trump's 24.3% (-4.3%) and Rubio's 23.1% (+6.2%). Donald Trump, who to this point looked like a nigh-invincible giant in the polls, and who touted that as practically his primary qualification, has been felled by a Texan lumberjack.

Cruz has been the only candidate to really draw blood on the debate stage with Trump. His punches have landed when nobody else's really did (looking at you, Jeb).

As I said in my January 21st post, "The only time Donald Trump can be stopped is in Iowa, and the only candidate that can stop him is Ted Cruz." Ted Cruz did just that. If Donald Trump had won tonight, he would have been unstoppable.  Instead, Trump now looks vulnerable. His air of inevitability (previously ripped from Jeb Bush) is gone.

New Hampshire is a different ballgame from Iowa, but Trump's mantra ("I'm ahead everywhere, I win all the time") has been crushed.

Ted Cruz had a huge night in Iowa, and because of that we have a chance to stop the madness that is 'Trump fever'.

Full Iowa results (1675 of 1682 precincts reporting):

  1. Ted Cruz - 27.7%
  2. Donald Trump - 24.3%
  3. Marco Rubio - 23.1%
  4. Ben Carson - 9.3%
  5. Rand Paul - 4.5%
  6. Jeb Bush - 2.8%
  7. Carly Fiorina - 1.9%
  8. John Kasich - 1.9%
  9. Mike Huckabee - 1.8%
  10. Chris Christie - 1.8%
  11. Rick Santorum - 1.0%
  12. Other - 0.1%
  13. Jim Gilmore - 0.0%

Music Monday: "My Story"

This week's Music Monday is My Story, by Mike Weaver (of the contemporary Christian band Big Daddy Weave) and Jason Ingram. Although contemporary Christian music isn't ordinarily my thing (I prefer a more classical, choral style of Christian music), the lyrics to this song are really good.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

More OK Legislators Endorse Rubio, Bring Total to 19

More OK Legislators Endorse Rubio, Bring Total to 19

When the Oklahoma Legislature reconvenes Monday, nearly one out of every five Republican legislators will be public supporters of Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign for President.

The Marco Rubio for President campaign today announced new endorsements from Oklahoma State Senators Larry Boggs and Ervin Yen. The support of these two strong conservative leaders adds to the Rubio campaign's already strong Oklahoma organization, led by state chairman Senator David Holt.

"Our state and our country need a strong conservative in the White House and that is what we will get with Marco Rubio," said Oklahoma State Senator Larry Boggs. "Marco is a next-generation leader that will restore our nation's founding principles and improve the lives of people across this country. I'm proud to be supporting him and hope Oklahomans will join with me in voting for him on March 1.”

"Marco Rubio is the one Republican running that can defeat Hillary Clinton and lead our country in a conservative direction," said Oklahoma State Senator Ervin Yen. "His uplifting message will inspire voters and his policies will ensure that the 21st Century is indeed an American Century. I'm happy to be joining an already impressive list of Oklahoma leaders backing Marco."

"We are so glad that leaders like Senator Boggs and Senator Yen are uniting around Marco Rubio's candidacy," said Jeremy Adler, regional spokesman for the Rubio campaign. "Marco is offering an optimistic message of a New American Century and having these individuals on our team to promote that positive vision will allow us to do well in Oklahoma.”

The full list of 19 Oklahoma legislators who have endorsed Senator Rubio is as follows:

Senator David Holt (R - Oklahoma City), State Chairman
Senator Larry Boggs (R - Wilburton)
Senator Kim David (R - Porter)
Senator Eddie Fields (R - Wynona)
Senator Jack Fry (R - Midwest City)
Senator A.J. Griffin (R - Guthrie)
Senator Wayne Shaw (R - Grove)
Senator Frank Simpson (R - Springer)
Senator Jason Smalley (R - Stroud)
Senator Roger Thompson (R - Okemah)
Senator Ervin Yen (R - Oklahoma City)
Rep. Josh Cockroft (R - Wanette)
Rep. Randy Grau (R - Edmond)
Rep. Katie Henke (R - Tulsa)
Rep. Dan Kirby (R - Tulsa)
Rep. Terry O’Donnell (R - Tulsa)
Rep. Leslie Osborn (R - Mustang)
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R - Moore)
Rep. Harold Wright (R - Weatherford)

Senator Rubio will be a candidate in the March 1st Oklahoma Republican presidential primary.  Oklahoma supporters of Senator Rubio’s campaign can receive updates from Senator Rubio's campaign in Oklahoma by following @TeamMarcoOK on Twitter or liking TeamMarcoOK on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Super PAC unloads with "The Trump Tapes"

Our Principles PAC, a brand-new super PAC set up by Mitt Romney's 2012 deputy campaign manager, is spending more than $1,000,000 in ads and mailers aimed at pointing out Donald Trump's liberal record, once again by showcasing his past statements.

For those who say that Trump has changed his mind on those past liberal stances, some of the statements used are as recent as September 2015.

The PAC also set up a website devoted to exposing Trump's record: The site goes into great detail - you should check it out.