Posts tagged with ‘republicans’

Democratic Intel on Allen West (FL-22)
Media Trackers, a conservative non-profit media and government watchdog, uncovered Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opposition research notebooks late last week. The organization says the files were found via Google searches. Put another way, the DCCC left the files exposed on whatever server they were hosting them on.
They’re interesting to read to see how our political parties conduct opposition research on one another.
Via Media Trackers:

The twelve unpublished manuals range in size from a few dozen pages to hundreds of pages, depending on the personal, business and civic record of the Republican target. Incumbent members of Congress, like Florida’s Allen West and California’s Dan Lungren, have long files, whereas the individual Republican candidates in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District share a single book…
…The information found in the documents appears to be routine material one would expect to see. Biographical details, copies of land plots, voter registration records, tax information, business records, and press clippings and for incumbents voting records make up the bulk of the information. It is anticipated that individual Democratic campaigns and the DCCC itself will leverage the information into usable political fodder based on the dynamics of a particular race. Reading the books one can obtain a general outline of where Democrats are most likely to attack the Republican subject of the manual.

Image: Partial screenshot of the table of contents for Representative Allen West of Florida. The PDF for his file is here. Others are available here.

Democratic Intel on Allen West (FL-22)

Media Trackers, a conservative non-profit media and government watchdog, uncovered Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee opposition research notebooks late last week. The organization says the files were found via Google searches. Put another way, the DCCC left the files exposed on whatever server they were hosting them on.

They’re interesting to read to see how our political parties conduct opposition research on one another.

Via Media Trackers:

The twelve unpublished manuals range in size from a few dozen pages to hundreds of pages, depending on the personal, business and civic record of the Republican target. Incumbent members of Congress, like Florida’s Allen West and California’s Dan Lungren, have long files, whereas the individual Republican candidates in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District share a single book…

…The information found in the documents appears to be routine material one would expect to see. Biographical details, copies of land plots, voter registration records, tax information, business records, and press clippings and for incumbents voting records make up the bulk of the information. It is anticipated that individual Democratic campaigns and the DCCC itself will leverage the information into usable political fodder based on the dynamics of a particular race. Reading the books one can obtain a general outline of where Democrats are most likely to attack the Republican subject of the manual.

Image: Partial screenshot of the table of contents for Representative Allen West of Florida. The PDF for his file is here. Others are available here.

Can Facebook Tell Us Anything About Voter Sentiment?
Politico and Facebook are teaming to analyze users’ views of candidates in the Republican primaries. Sounds interesting, but is what’s being measured — sentiment — a useful indicator of voter intent without follow-up questions?
First, via Facebook: 

Facebook will compile mentions of the candidates in U.S. users’ posts and comments as well as assess positive and negative sentiments expressed about them. Facebook’s data team will use automated software tools frequently used by researchers to infer sentiment from text.

But measuring sentiment might not tell political junkies much. TechPresident’s Micah Sifry thinks it a neat parlor trick but largely bogus as a valuable indicator.
Via TechPresident:

Here’s the issue: Counting the number of times a candidate’s name is mentioned on social media and noting what words appear alongside those mentions can illuminate broad trends. You can report that “more people talked about Candidate X today” and “Y percent of that group used word ZZZZ in their comment.” But you can’t make any kind of meaningful judgment about what those people intended by that usage without asking them.
Someone who writes “I’m so happy that Newt Gingrich is staying in the race” might be a genuine Gingrich fan, or they might be someone who hates him, but likes that he’s staying in the race because he’s entertaining, or because they think he’s hurting the Republican field. But “sentiment analysis” is still such an embryonic field that serious researchers tend to avoid any hard claims about whether such a statement is positive, negative or neither.

TechPresident’s critique runs much more sophisticated than what we post here so give it a read before following every rise and fall of voter sentiment.
Image: Negative Facebook Mentions by Candidate, December 13 to January 10, via Facebook.
H/T: @lorakolodny.

Can Facebook Tell Us Anything About Voter Sentiment?

Politico and Facebook are teaming to analyze users’ views of candidates in the Republican primaries. Sounds interesting, but is what’s being measured — sentiment — a useful indicator of voter intent without follow-up questions?

First, via Facebook

Facebook will compile mentions of the candidates in U.S. users’ posts and comments as well as assess positive and negative sentiments expressed about them. Facebook’s data team will use automated software tools frequently used by researchers to infer sentiment from text.

But measuring sentiment might not tell political junkies much. TechPresident’s Micah Sifry thinks it a neat parlor trick but largely bogus as a valuable indicator.

Via TechPresident:

Here’s the issue: Counting the number of times a candidate’s name is mentioned on social media and noting what words appear alongside those mentions can illuminate broad trends. You can report that “more people talked about Candidate X today” and “Y percent of that group used word ZZZZ in their comment.” But you can’t make any kind of meaningful judgment about what those people intended by that usage without asking them.

Someone who writes “I’m so happy that Newt Gingrich is staying in the race” might be a genuine Gingrich fan, or they might be someone who hates him, but likes that he’s staying in the race because he’s entertaining, or because they think he’s hurting the Republican field. But “sentiment analysis” is still such an embryonic field that serious researchers tend to avoid any hard claims about whether such a statement is positive, negative or neither.

TechPresident’s critique runs much more sophisticated than what we post here so give it a read before following every rise and fall of voter sentiment.

Image: Negative Facebook Mentions by Candidate, December 13 to January 10, via Facebook.

H/T: @lorakolodny.

Fox was game to experiment with us on something that hadn’t been done before — real-time measurement of audience reaction over Twitter.

Adam Sharp, manager of government and political partnerships for Twitter in Washington, in a statement to the New York Times. Fox and Twitter Join Forces for Republican Debate 

The news: During Monday’s Republican primary debate, Fox News and Twitter will analyze hashtags and feeds (in particular, #answer and #dodge) in an attempt to get real-time metrics on audience views.

In turn, Fox will display trends on its Web site and commentators will use the data as they analyze the debate afterwards.

By any normal standards, Obama should be extremely vulnerable. Not only is the economy in bad shape, he has proved to be a much more hesitant, less commanding White House presence than his supporters longed for. And yet, most surveys put him comfortably ahead of his would-be rivals. That’s not a positive judgment on the president – whose approval rating stands at a meagre 44% – but an indictment of the dire quality of a Republican field almost comically packed with the scandal-plagued, gaffe-prone and downright flaky. And the finger of blame for this state of affairs points squarely at the studios of Fox News.

Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian. How Fox News is helping Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

I honestly didn’t know the laws of the universe allowed letters to be physically arranged in the order of this headline. — Michael

WNYC - Brian Lehrer Show

—Presidential Candidate Audio Collage

An audio collage — or postcard — is a great technique for capturing the resonant ambience of that which you’re reporting on.

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer used it yesterday as he explored potential Republican presidential candidates for the 2012 election. (For those outside the United States, our election cycle is an endless processional that begins pretty much after the last once ends.)

If my ears are tuned correctly I think the sound bites run thus: Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachman, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and, I think, Tim Pawlenty.

Did I get it right?

House Republicans called an “emergency meeting” last week, suspending the usual procedures to rush an urgent piece of legislation to the floor…

… This particular emergency involved the lower end of the FM-radio dial. Republicans, in an urgent budget-cutting maneuver, were voting to cut off funding for National Public Radio. All $5 million of it — or one ten-thousandth of 1 percent of the federal budget.

— Dana Milbank, Washington Post, The NPR ‘emergency’.