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Monday Morning Quarterback – 11/26/12

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: November 26th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

Brought to you by The Rouen Group. Helping clients better communicate with their customers, employees and each other. Is Pop Music That Bad? I thought it was just me getting older, but that science is clear: Via @uberfacts: "Over the last 50 years, researchers say pop music has become louder, dumber, and most songs sound the same..." (Read the Article) or you can watch the decline by checking out the list of top 40 pop songs of all times, including video. (Watch) The GOP Turnout Myth: We have shared several articles since the election about the incredible use of technology by the Obama campaign (Here) This article takes a deeper dive into the turnout numbers and tackles some of the myths.  This is a must read: "President Obama had a stunning Election Day operation, which turned out his base. Mitt Romney's shop, by contrast, failed to get people to the polls. That explanation is soothing because it suggests that, in the future, all the GOP needs is a slicker piece of get-out-the-vote software. It's also broadly wrong...Because what ought to scare the GOP is this: Even with higher GOP turnout in key states, even with Mr. Obama shedding voters, Democrats still won. Mr. Obama accomplished this by tapping new minority voters in numbers that beat even Mr. Romney's better turnout..."(Read) Meet the Mind Behind Barack Obama's Online Persona: This is a really interesting interview with the 31 year old voice of Barack Obama: "You’ve most definitely seen it by now. Michelle Obama, wearing a red-and-white checkered dress, stands with her back to the camera. Her arms are wrapped around her husband, the hints of a smile lingering on the edges of his lips. “Four more years,” reads the text, which was posted on the Obama campaign’s social media accounts around 11:15pm on election night‚ just as it became clear the president had won a second term...pretty much won the internet: 816,000 retweets, the most likes ever on Facebook; thousands of reblogs on Tumblr. And yet it wasn’t chosen by the president’s press secretary, or even a senior-level operative, but by 31-year-old Laura Olin, a social media strategist who’d been up since 4am. For the first time since the campaign ended, she talked to Tumblr, in partnership with The Daily Beast, about what it’s like being the voice of the President — where millions of people, and a ravenous press, await your every grammatical error..." (Read) Beyond the Holiday Sweater: Guys, wondering what to wear to that holiday happy hour, Christmas party, or dinner with the in-laws? Get the answers at this year's Men's Night at The Foursome Fine Apparel & Shoes on Thursday, November 29th from 5-8pm.  As many of you know, my in-laws own and operate The Foursome in Plymouth, MN.  Enjoy free appetizers, shoe shines, a shoulder massage, and best of all 20% off your entire purchase. Seriously, donate that old holiday sweater, tie or ugly shirt and look good this year.  Don't be that guy! (details) Find a Job: Once again I want to ask if you know of opportunities for former legislative and campaign employees, please contact me.  I am collecting resumes of many friends that I have worked with over the years and can say these people will be a great asset to any organization.  Also for those of you looking for new opportunities, please be sure to check out www.bepollen.com and join the community on linkedIn as well also Minnesota Government Relations Council has many jobs posted as well. (View) Countdown to 2014 Last week we wrote briefly about the US Senate race in 2014.  This week we focus on the Governor's race.  Here is a poll from PPP that gives Governor Dayton a 13% lead over a generic Republican opponent. (Read) It is not surprising given the election results in Minnesota, but it is never too early to start looking at 2014. What We Are Reading and Watching: How the DFL and its Allies Engineered A Takeover of the Legislature: This was a great piece by MPR that looks at all of the coordination with the DFL and outside groups.  Many lessons for both sides here: "Democratic and Republican operatives alike say ABM is doing something right. The group is disciplined in how it spends money, letting poll numbers — not ideology or loyalty — guide its investments. It focuses on big media advertising buys while the DFL party and legislative caucuses identify and turn out voters, and spend on direct mail. And ABM works as closely as legally possible with the party and legislative caucuses, which streamlines communication..." (Read) The Privilege to Speak:  The Wall Street Journal takes the New York Times to task for essentially arguing that corporations do not have free speech rights unless of course you are the New York Times for-profit corporation.  The article has some great links and is a good look at a major constitutional question of our time: "In The Times Co.'s notion that only certain types of corporations are "deserving of constitutional protection" is pernicious. It recasts freedom of expression as a privilege rather than a right. It assigns to the government the authority to determine which corporations are to be favored with the "media" distinction allowing them to engage in political debate. The Times Co. wants itself and similar corporations to enjoy a monopoly on free speech. The only way to accomplish that is through a regime in which the government effectively licenses the press. That would be an anathema to America's constitutional tradition..."(Read) How AT&T and Verizon Will Break Your Internet if They Catch You: Before you try to illegally download all of those top 40 Pop songs read this: "You might want to think twice before downloading anything illegally in the near future. Following the untimely demise of proposed anti-piracy laws SOPA and PIPA, five Internet service providers (specifically AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon) worked with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Obama administration to create another set of protocols to stop digital pirates in their tracks. The result was the “Six Strikes” initiative, a program that allows Internet service providers (ISPs) to directly penalize users who downloaded pirated content..." (More) Tax Moves to Make Now: With all of the uncertainty in Washington regarding the "fiscal cliff" and the potential tax consequences, this article from the Wall Street Journal has some sound advice on things we should be doing now to take advantage before the year end: " The annual scramble to make smart tax moves before Dec. 31 is proving especially vexing this year. Congress still hasn't settled 2013 tax rates on income, investments, large gifts and estates. Deductions and other breaks are also in doubt, now that politicians from both parties are calling for cutbacks—although in different ways. And huge questions remain unanswered even for the 2012 tax year."  (Read)

Monday Morning Quarterback – 11/19/12

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: November 19th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

Brought to you by The Rouen Group. Helping clients better communicate with their customers, employees and each other. Why Green Beans Got Me in the Door: I am convinced the main reason I keep getting invited back to my in-laws for Thanksgiving is my green beans with parmesan crisps.  If you are looking for an easy dish to impress your in-laws this Thanksgiving check out this recipe. (Here) When the Nerds Go Marching: Last week I shared the Time magazine article that highlighted the Obama campaign's advantage in technology.   This week I share this article from the Atlantic that should make all Republicans angry, then motiviated to make some immediate investment in new technology.  Here is a tip, it is not about apps, it is about data: "The billing the Republicans gave the tool (ORCA) confused almost everyone inside the Obama campaign. Narwhal wasn't an app for a smartphone. It was the architecture of the company's sophisticated data operation. Narwhal unified what Obama for America knew about voters, canvassers, event-goers, and phone-bankers, and it did it in real time. From the descriptions of the Romney camp's software that were available then and now, Orca was not even in the same category as Narwhal. It was like touting the iPad as a Facebook killer, or comparing a GPS device to an engine. And besides, in the scheme of a campaign, a digitized strike list is cool, but it's not, like, a gamechanger. It's just a nice thing to have...(Read More)  If you want to get your nerd on, here is a list of 20 plus articles on the subject. (Read) Big Move:  MMQ friend and top MN lobbyist announced he is expanding his team.  From the release: "In an effort to continue to provide an unparalleled level of service, Hill Capitol Strategies announced today Sarah Walker will be supporting the firm’s government affair business.  Given the recent changes in Minnesota’s political mix, Sarah will be an asset and compliment Hill Capitol Strategies at the Minnesota State Capitol." (More) Jobs: Once again I want to ask if you know of opportunities for former legislative and campaign employees, please contact me.  I am collecting resumes of many friends that I have worked with over the years and can say these people will be a great asset to any organization.  Also for those of you looking for new opportunities please be sure to check out www.bepollen.com and join the community on linkedIn as well.  Some real cool jobs are open now. (Email) Countdown to 2014 And so it begins.  I was going to hold off on the 2014 speculation until the new year, but I received 2 calls from reporters this week asking for opinions and potential Governor and Senate candidates.  I will save the pontificating for later in the cycle, but I will continue to keep MMQ readers up to date on others pontifications.  While this survey is a bit dated (Sept. 2012) it is a benchmark for the 2014 US Senate race in MN.  (Read) The Hill Newspaper also takes a look at the 2014 U. S. Senate Race in MInnesota includining some interviews with top contenders. (Read) What We Are Reading and Watching: I am Going To Die in This Fleece: MMQ favorite and NJ Governor Chris Christie made a cameo on SNL's weekend update this week.  Good stuff(Watch)  Also, this bit from SNL is perfect for all of those people heading home for the holidays (Watch) The Liberal Gloat: This piece in the NYTs is one of my favorite post-election articles yet.  I appreciate Sarah Janacek for sharing it via Facebook: "Back in 2011, the Obama White House earned some mild mockery for its “win the future” slogan. But now that the president has been re-elected, the liberal conventional wisdom is that the Democrats have done just that — that Republicans are now Radio Shack to their Apple store, “The Waltons” to their “Modern Family,” a mediocre Norman Rockwell to their digital-age mosaic.  Maybe it’s too soon to pierce this cloud of postelection smugness. But in the spirit of friendly correction — or, O.K., maybe curmudgeonly annoyance — let me point out some slightly more unpleasant truths about the future that liberalism seems to be winning...(More) You Have a Secret that can Ruin Your Life: I have to admit this article from wired.com is a bit scary, but well worth the read: You have a secret that can ruin your life.  It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you. Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takes you for one.  No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you...(More) Taxes Reality Check I know many Republicans, myself included, have miligned the tax system that allows nearly 50% of Americans not to pay taxes.  This info graph from the non-paritsan tax policy center looks at the facts. (View) Shout Out: A quick shout out to The Rouen Group teams working in Boston, Texas, Illinois and Missouri over the past 3 weeks.  Thanks for your hard work and dedication. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday Morning Quarterback – 11/12/12

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: November 13th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

Brought to you by The Rouen Group. Helping clients better communicate with their customers, employees and each other. Well That Was Interesting: My brief take on the elections is the Democratic party won in turnout, technology and tactics.  Thankfully for my fellow Republicans, these are things that can be fixed.
How George Clooney and Data Crunching Won the White House: This is a fascinating piece that looks at just how sophisticated the Obama campaign was using data mining and technology to run their campaign.  If you want to know the future of campaigns this is a must read: "On Nov. 4, a group of senior campaign advisers agreed to describe their cutting-edge efforts with TIME on the condition that they not be named and that the information not be published until after the winner was declared. What they revealed as they pulled back the curtain was a massive data effort that helped Obama raise $1 billion, remade the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media." (Read More) Thank a Veteran: If you did not get a chance to thank a veteran, or hopefully more than one on Sunday, you have another chance today. Here is a great refreseher of Veteran's Day and why we celebrate.  If you don't know what Armistice Day is you should definetly read this.  (Read) Jobs: One sad reality of elections, no matter who wins, is that many good and talented people are now unemployed.  If you know of opportunities for former legislative and campaign employees, please contact me.  I am collecting resumes of many friends that I have worked with over the years and can say these people will be a great asset to any organization. (Email) Ad Watch I know the last thing most of us want to see is another political ad, but this list of the worst political ads of 2012 is worth it if you are looking for a laugh. (Watch) Road to the White House: By The Numbers November 11, 2012 Well, we are done with the polls and the electoral map.  If you missed it, Obama was declared the winner in Florida.  If like me you were watching the polls in this section over the last several months, the results on Tuesday should not be that big of a surprise.  The final RCP battle ground polls had Obama leading in every state except North Carolina and Virginia.  In the future this section will continue to examine various polls and numbers that are important to the public policy debate.  I promise to hold off on any 2016 numbers for a while, although there is already a lot of activity for the 2014 races here in Minnesota.   What We Are Reading and Watching: What Did Mitt Romney Do On Election Night: I have no idea of how Mr. Romney spent election night, but here is SNL's idea (Watch) Building Blocks of an Election: There has been a lot of talk about the changing demographics in the electorate.  The New York Times has a great breakdown including some very telling info-graphics.  (Read) What is the Fiscal Cliff and Why is Everyone Talking About it? A great summary from Forbes: "It’s the phrase that will be dominating the airwaves in the days and months to come as the pundits and prognosticators leave the 2012 election behind and turn their attention to dire predictions of economic collapse should the government allow us to tumble over “the fiscal cliff.”  So, exactly what is the fiscal cliff and why is everyone so worried about it? At its core, this economic event destined to dominate our lives for the foreseeable future is an accident of timing resulting in a one-two punch.  Think of it as the economic version of Hurricane Sandy that ripped through the northeast in the past few weeks. On its own, the hurricane could cause a lot of damage. However, when two additional weather fronts—that just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time—combined with the hurricane, Sandy became an exponentially devastating storm, causing loss of life and billions upon billions in property losses. (Read) Endorsements Muck it Up for the Parties Well said by my friend Ben Golnik in the Star Tribune today: "While the Republican Party must conduct serious introspection about how to move forward, a much-needed first step for the party in Minnesota is to end the outdated candidate-endorsement process. The result would be much stronger general-election candidates."(Read) OOPS! This was the final article I put in the MMQ last week.  For anyone looking to lay blame on a person, a party or a candidate, just remember what many experts thought last Monday: "This afternoon, Pew Research is out with its final poll of the 2012 campaign. It finds that Romney continues to hold the edge on voter turnout. By solid margins, Romney supporters are more engaged in the campaign, are following news of the campaign closely and are more likely to vote. It also finds that the Democrats big party ID advantage from 2008 has collapsed. In 2008, among registered voters Democrats held a 12-point lead on party identification. This year, the Democrat lead is just 5 points. That isn't enough to withstand Romney's turnout advantage. (More)

Monday Morning Quarterback – 11/5/12

Posted by: Andrew Schmitt | Posted on: November 5th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rouen Group's Monday Morning Quarterback

Brought to you by The Rouen Group. Helping clients better communicate with their customers, employees and each other. All Eyes on the Washington Redskins : Who knew that it is not the candidates, the ads, or the GOTV efforts the will determine the winner of the Presidential Election, but rather the result of the Washington Redskins.  Here is the explanation of the "Redskins Rule:" The Redskins moved to Washington in 1937. Since then, there have been 18 presidential elections. In 17 of those, the following rule applied: If the Redskins win their last home game before the election, the party that won the previous election wins the next election and that if the Redskins lose, the challenging party's candidate wins. The Redskins Rule was first noticed by Steve Hirdt, executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, in 2000[2]; as a matter of Washington folklore it was already established by the time of the 1992 election.    Find out who won this critical game (Here) MN Legislative Races to Watch: If you are like me you will be closely watching several key legislative races that will determine control of the Minnesota legislature.  Having spent some time on the ground in many of these districts I will vouch for the fact that they are very very close.  The GOP team has an extraordinary ground game and has been aggressively working in these districts for a long time.  I am predicting a few surprise victories for GOP in traditionally DFL territory.   Recently MPR and Politics in Minnesota combined for a good breakdown of the key races to watch. (Read Here) Montana or Bust Rick Hill, father of MMQ friend Todd Hill, is in an extremely close battle to be the next Governor of Montana.  The latest polls have Rick Hill up 3 points, but this will certainly be one to watch.  Todd Hill has logged over 2500 miles in the car in Montana this week.  For latest tweets from the road and for some good election night intel follow Todd on twitter @thillmn Coporations are People My Friend: What is the role of corporation in politics?  Do employees really trust the information they get from their employers on politics? This article answers those questions and more.  Also I heard the author isn't as bad as people say.  (Read Article Here) Ad Watch We are finally at the end of the political ad season.  While I will miss some of the political ads, I am also ready to see what I should be buying for Christmas.  Here are a few more new ads: Zellers Web AD Speaker Kurt Zellers launched a new web ad this week, driving home the strong record of GOP accomplishments (Watch) Rep. Kriesel Ad on Marriage Amendment: This has been one of the most talked about ads of the election cycle. (Watch) Road to the White House: By The Numbers November 4, 2012 For the first time in a couple weeks Obama is back in the lead, but only slighty with a 0.5% lead.  I included a few more polls for you to look at as well. Here are the latest tracking polls:
Poll Date Sample MoE Obama (D) Romney (R) Spread
RCP Average 10/22 - 11/4 -- -- 47.9 47.4 Obama +0.5
CNN/Opinion Research 11/2 - 11/4 693 LV 3.5 49 49 Tie
Pew Research 10/31 - 11/3 2709 LV 2.2 50 47 Obama +3
Politico/GWU/Battleground 10/29 - 11/1 1000 LV 3.1 48 48 Tie
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 11/1 - 11/3 1475 LV 2.6 48 47 Obama +1
Rasmussen Reports 11/1 - 11/3 1500 LV 3.0 49 49 Tie
The more important numbers are the Electoral College numbers.  If you want to understand just how close this election should be, last week Romney lead in the Electoral Count and this week we see President Obama with the lead.  Here is the breakdown:  Obama 201Romney 191 with 146 electoral votes up for grabs.   Most of the battleground states will be releasing polls this week and next so be sure to check back as the map will be in flux until election day. To see a state by state graphic click here: Latest Battleground Numbers: Obama still keeps a lead in many of the battleground states, but many have tightened considerably and some recent state polling has shown Romney with a lead. I also included the breakdown of the results from '08, '04 and '00 for comparison.
State Obama Romney RCP Average 2008 2004 2000
Ohio (18) 49.3 46.5 Obama +2.8 Obama +4.6 Bush +2.1 Bush +3.5
Florida (29) 47.7 49.1 Romney +1.4 Obama +2.8 Bush +5.0 Bush +0.1
Virginia (13) 47.6 47.9 Romney +0.3 Obama +6.3 Bush +8.2 Bush +8.1
New Hampshire (4) 49.2 47.7 Obama +1.5 Obama +9.6 Kerry +1.3 Bush +1.3
North Carolina (15) 46.0 49.8 Romney +3.8 Obama +0.3 Bush +12.4 Bush +12.8
Michigan (16) 49.2 45.4 Obama +3.8 Obama +16.4 Kerry +3.4 Gore +5.2
Wisconsin (10) 50.4 46.2 Obama +4.2 Obama +13.9 Kerry +0.4 Gore +0.2
Pennsylvania (20) 49.3 45.4 Obama +3.9 Obama +10.3 Kerry +2.5 Gore +4.2
Iowa (6) 48.8 45.8 Obama +3.0 Obama +9.5 Bush +0.7 Gore +0.3
Colorado (9) 48.2 47.6 Obama +0.6 Obama +9.0 Bush +4.7 Bush +8.4
Nevada (6) 50.2 47.4 Obama +2.8 Obama +12.5 Bush +2.6 Bush +3.5
Minnesota (10) 50.3 44.5 Obama +5.8 Obama +10.3 Kerry +3.5 Gore +2.4
Latest State Polls The above poll numbers are the average over time.  On this election eve I also wanted to include the latest state polls from various sources.  There is a wide range of numbers here, which really says this election will be all about turnout on Tuesday. Sunday, November 04
State Poll Results Spread
Ohio Columbus Dispatch* Obama 50, Romney 48 Obama +2
Pennsylvania Tribune-Review/Susquehanna Obama 47, Romney 47 Tie
Pennsylvania Morning Call Obama 49, Romney 46 Obama +3
Michigan Baydoun/Foster (D) Obama 46, Romney 47 Romney +1
Iowa PPP (D) Obama 50, Romney 48 Obama +2
New Hampshire PPP (D) Obama 50, Romney 48 Obama +2
Saturday, November 03
State Poll Results Spread
New Hampshire WMUR/UNH Obama 48, Romney 48 Tie
Iowa Des Moines Register Obama 47, Romney 42 Obama +5
Florida TBT/Herald/Mason-Dixon Romney 51, Obama 45 Romney +6
Florida NBC/WSJ/Marist Romney 47, Obama 49 Obama +2
Ohio NBC/WSJ/Marist Obama 51, Romney 45 Obama +6
Wisconsin PPP (D) Obama 51, Romney 48 Obama +3
Pennsylvania PPP (D) Obama 52, Romney 46 Obama +6
Michigan PPP (D) Obama 52, Romney 46 Obama +6
Minnesota PPP (D) Obama 53, Romney 45 Obama +8
Friday, November 02
State Poll Results Spread
Ohio CNN/Opinion Research Obama 50, Romney 47 Obama +3
Ohio Rasmussen Reports Obama 49, Romney 49 Tie
Ohio WeAskAmerica Obama 50, Romney 46 Obama +4
Colorado Denver Post/SurveyUSA Obama 47, Romney 45 Obama +2
Virginia WeAskAmerica Romney 48, Obama 49 Obama +1
New Hampshire Gravis Marketing Obama 50, Romney 49 Obama +1
New Hampshire New England College Obama 50, Romney 44 Obama +6
Iowa Gravis Marketing Obama 49, Romney 45 Obama +4
Wisconsin WeAskAmerica Obama 52, Romney 45 Obama +7
Michigan Rasmussen Reports Obama 52, Romney 47 Obama +5
What We Are Reading and Watching: Election Predictions: Want to hear what some of the experts are saying?  Here is a tip, George Will and Donna Brazille do not agree on the winner.  (Watch) Well Said Mr. Speaker: If you missed this Op-Ed from Speaker Zellers it is worth a read: "There are 47,000 more Minnesotans employed now than at this time in 2010. Automatic state spending growth that approached $40 billion has been scaled back. Bureaucratic hurdles that once hindered job creation have been identified, streamlined and eliminated. Long-overdue reforms to state government are making Minnesotans' tax dollars more productive.These are the reasons Minnesotans should go to the polls and keep Republicans in the majority in our Legislature. Our campaign in 2010 was about fixing runaway spending, getting Minnesotans working again and improving the way government does business. That is where we focused our energy, and in all three ways we delivered results that put Minnesota on an upward path out of the recession. (More) Pew: Romney has Turnout Advantage: This is an interesting look at the polls and turnout: "This afternoon, Pew Research is out with its final poll of the 2012 campaign. It finds that Romney continues to hold the edge on voter turnout. By solid margins, Romney supporters are more engaged in the campaign, are following news of the campaign closely and are more likely to vote. It also finds that the Democrats big party ID advantage from 2008 has collapsed. In 2008, among registered voters Democrats held a 12-point lead on party identification. This year, the Democrat lead is just 5 points. That isn't enough to withstand Romney's turnout advantage. (More)
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