Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Presidential election Prediction

The presidential election is starting in one month on February 1st in Iowa for both major parties, and my predictions are as follows:

Hillary Clinton will sweep Iowa given her more moderate positions, and New Hampshire is a tossup between Sanders and Clinton. If Clinton succeeds in winning New Hampshire, then given her lead in the hidden primary for super delegates and amount of money raised already then she will sweep the nomination quickly. If Sanders wins in New Hampshire he will have an uphill battle to fight in most other states outside of New England, and Clinton will still probably get the nomination. Even if Sanders pulls off a miracle and gets more votes than Clinton by a small margin he still will lose the super delegate vote and she will get the nomination. It is unusually easy to predict this year's election.

The Republican field is more challenging to predict, Marco Rubio is currently leading the betting pool odds out of all Republicans, which tends to be the most accurate way to predict the winner of the primary. The biggest issue right now is the vast number of candidates and no ranked voting to tell what people's true preferences are after candidates drop out. I expect we will see most candidates drop out fairly quickly and then we will see Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Carson left in the race. Bush and Christie supporters are closely aligned and they will fall behind Marco Rubio since he has more experience and is slightly more moderate than Ted Cruz, giving the Republicans a bigger advantage in the general election. Rubio will play into Republican fears of drugs which is one of the few wedge issues between the two, and his support of Social Security is going to win him a lot of older conservative votes in a match between the two. He is also better than Bush for most Republicans because he opposes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants which will appease older white conservatives again. Donald Trump vs. Marco Rubio is going to be the major factor in the later primaries, and as less ideological Republicans come into the play Donald Trump is not going to see much more support than he already has given how he is more extreme than the other Republican Candidates.

When it comes to the General Election it will be Marco Rubio vs. Hillary Clinton. The states which are most contested are still North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. The states which lean more towards Clinton are Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada. (in order) The only other state which could start to swing is Texas given its growing Hispanic population, Texas could start to be a swing state if the Democrats turn out the vote in Hispanic communities, but this all depends on strategy. It will be a full swing state in 2020. I do not think running Marco Rubio is going to succeed in pulling in many Hispanic voters because of his policy positions.

For Vice Presidential candidates, Clinton has a lot of options, Sanders is a possibility depending on how he talks about her in the election, Russ Feingold would be a wonderful choice, Julian or Raul Castro are amazing people and would help turn out Hispanic voters (particularly in Texas), among other picks.

Among Republicans, Rubio could pick Cruz given their ideological similarities, Jeb Bush for his connections,

The Democrats start with 237 electoral college votes not including swing states, and Republicans start with 191 (not including the 9 states which are swing states). Nevada and Colorado are seeing a growing Hispanic population and they will vote Democratic bringing the Democrats up to 252 votes. Florida continues to see an increase in its Hispanic population and this makes it lean slightly more in favor of Democrats which will determine the election. Even if Florida goes to Marco Rubio, Virginia is almost certainly going to go for Democrats again given the growing size of the DC Metro area will continue to push Virginia further to the left. This will give Hillary Clinton the Presidency and she will be our 45th President. Using 538s tool, it seems almost impossible for Democrats to lose as well.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Every Student Succeeds

Yesterday President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act which amends significant portions of the No Child Left Behind Act. There are a few major things this bill does, such as:

  1. Requires equitable funding between schools in the same district. This is a massive improvement. (Sec. 1501)
  2. It increases the amount of money for children from at-risk homes (Sec. 1002D)
  3. The high stakes with the testing have been removed.
  4. It expands access to preschool.
There are a few major things it does not do:
  1. Standardized Testing, which does not work, is still going to waste classroom time
The biggest issue is the Federal government sends money to schools through state governments, which as we know from TANF is a horrible idea because it is inefficient (with 56 bureaucracies doing exactly the same thing) and with 2/3 of states with Republican governments gives a lot of leeway to corruption and discrimination against minorities by wasting funds, which is what happens with TANF. States are now able to set more state standards and control standardized tests, which is a huge victory for Creationists. What we need to do ultimately is get state governments out of education and fund schools from the Federal level, and make school districts so they only serve one high school each along with their feeder schools (unless if a feeder school elects to have its own district, like at my middle school which makes a lot of sense in a lot of rural areas) so that we can't see the incompetence and disproportionate allocation of resources these obscenities create. We need to eliminate property taxes which are horribly regressive obscenities and fund public education fully from a progressive income tax like the one I proposed. The Federal government would provide the same amount per pupil in every district (keeping in mind scales of efficiency for larger schools of course) which will help end a lot of racism and inequality in America's schools. I fully believe that as long as state governments and school districts are involved in allocating funds to schools we will continue to see the awful inequity of education we see in this country and the only fair way to do it is a per pupil allocation which guarantees equality of opportunity which experience tells us cannot coexist with school districts serving entire cities.

It's a long bill, with a lot of good things and a lot of bad things, and it doesn't go far enough in funding poor schools.