Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Archive for the ‘ Polls and Other Resources ’ Category

Favorable press coverage would lead you to believe that many states have passed laws replacing the “Net Neutrality” regulations that the FCC repealed. The truth is far different.

The so-called Net Neutrality regulations passed under the Barack Obama administration didn’t actually do what you think they did. Critics of the new actions want you to believe those regulations were about things like “throttling,” “discrimination,” and “openness.” That’s not really what it was about at all.

When states like Washington pass a law addressing throttling or discrimination, they actually aren’t “restoring the Net Neutrality regulations that the Trump administration repealed,” as some are suggesting. Because that’s not what was actually repealed!

In fact, it’s the new regulations – the ones passed by the Chairman Ajit Pai-led FCC – that require a degree of openness and transparency that wasn’t required before. The difference between the old law, and the new law that repealed it, is in a technical point of law.

The key point of contention is what law will be used to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Up until the Obama administration, ISPs were regulated as “information services” under the Telecommunications Act. That law, passed by Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, insisted that ISPs be regulated lightly in order to encourage innovation in a rapidly-advancing field.

The Telecommunications Act was an important reason that the Internet developed as fast and as well as it did in America, making us a global leader online. The World Wide Web wasn’t invented in the USA, after all. We just took it over by being the fastest and most innovative at it.

The so-called Net Neutrality regulations passed by Obama FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler threw away that distinction. Instead, it declared that ISPs would from then on be regulated according to Title II of the Communications Act, a much older law with much greater regulatory burdens.

Instead of looking to the future, the Obama-Wheeler FCC wanted to throw us back to the days of the telegraph and radio. Price and content controls are included in this regulation, concepts anathema both to free markets and an open Internet.

Ajit Pai said no, we can do transparency without Title II, so that’s what we’re doing. And no state can reverse that, as no state has the power to order the FCC to re-regulate the Internet.

Once you get the facts, you can see that this whole show is nothing but political posturing, detached from the truth of the matter.

If it’s a wave year for the Democrats, the news hasn’t yet gotten to Massachusetts, as the latest polling shows that the state is ready to split the ballot, favoring incumbents regardless of party affiliation.

The big two races on the ballot in Massachusetts this year are for Governor, in which the Democrats are hoping to knock off incumbent Republican Charlie Baker, and Senate, in which the Republicans are hoping they can knock off incumbent Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

The WBUR/MassINC poll suggests that the incumbents are safe.

The poll pitted each of three Republicans against Warren, and all three only managed to hit 19% against Warren’s 55 and 56. She’s safe.

But, the poll also pitted each of two Democrats against Baker. They both hit 20 to Baker’s 60. He’s even more safe than she is.

If Massachusetts voters are angry at Donald Trump and taking it out on all Republicans, then it’s not showing in the polls. Baker as set himself out as an opponent of Donald Trump since the election, and the voters clearly believe him, for a state that 60-32 for Hillary Clinton to break 60-20 for the Governor.

It was bad enough that Apple was shutting down tools used by Chinese dissidents without even a murmur of complaint. But now they’re bowing to Vladimir Putin’s Russia as well?

We all know that Russia goes after dissidents worldwide. In a tradition going back to the murder of Leon Trotsky, they will go after you wherever you are. Witness the repeated murders abroad, including a well-known poisoning of Nikolai Glushkov just this year.

That brings us to Telegram, a mobile communications app by Pavel Durov, a Russian expat living in the United Kingdom. His first venture, the social network VK, was taken over by Putin’s cronies after he refused to cooperate in government spying. At that time he left the country.

He now runs Telegram, and the Russians are after Telegram, seeking it shut down entirely in Russia. But there’s more: According to Durov, Apple is blocking app updates worldwide:

I’ve really been beating the drum that Apple is caving to dictators even as they fight free governments. But this is the most egregious example yet.

If Tim Cook really wants Apple to stand for freedom and privacy, he has a lot to answer for.

Protestors are urging Amazon to stop selling facial recognition technology to the government, but they’re missing the real problem here.

Amazon, being one of the big tech companies, has had good reason to invest large amounts of money in getting smart people to learn how to code new things. Sometimes the new technologies immediately bear fruit in useful business ways. Sometimes you have to find a way to make money off of them.

Amazon’s smart people worked on some facial recognition technology, and one way they found to make money off of it was to sell it to the government. Government loves this kind of technology.

Oddly, the reaction of ACLU and other interest groups is to protest Amazon selling this technology to the government. This is wrong. It’s wrong because it doesn’t solve the problem. If Amazon stops selling this technology, someone else will start. If you want government not to use this technology, the actual way to solve the problem is to change the law so government won’t use it.

It’s a legitimate point for society to debate, that facial recognition might be a technology too powerful for government to use. Creating databases of the movements of people may create dangers for people, when (not if) that database is broken into. The only winning move is not to play at all, so this argument goes.

It’s not Amazon’s fault that government will leap at the opportunity to do this, without considering the privacy, security, and moral dimensions to the decision. That’s the fault of elected officials, and the careerist staffers they manage. Go to the legislatures. Solve the problem for real.

Scapegoating a corporation is lazy and ineffective. Stop it.

Three polls, three races, all close results. We’re starting to see what the 2018 Senate Battleground looks like, as Democrats try to beat the odds and take the Senate.


Challenging an incumbent Senator is hard, even for an incumbent Governor. But after months of bad polling, Rick Scott could win this.


We all expect Donald Trump to get good poll results from Rasmussen Reports. They’ve been giving him good results even when everyone else was showing him far behind. But what if they’re not the only ones now?


Take it or leave it, but PPP polled Kansas, and while I’m sure most of the attention will be on the heated Republican primary for Senate between Pat Roberts and Milton Wolf, the race for governor was actually polled.

That got my attention because it shows Republican Sam Brownback to be losing to Democrat Paul Davis.


Gallup did a poll of religion in America, by state. I thought it would be interesting to chart that against Barack Obama’s 2012 vote share.

Here are the results.


Normally at Unlikely Voter I’ll look at individual polls, synthesize them into the trend, and go from there. But I’ve been behind, so we’re just going to recap all the recent polling in Virginia and go from there.

Long story short, Terry McAuliffe is ahead, and looks to be the beneficiary of trends entirely out of control of either himself or of Ken Cuccinelli.


There’s an old saying, that if a headline asks a question, then the answer is no. Well, in the case of this headline, that’s probably true

Quinnipiac’s latest on the race still shows a huge Cory Booker lead. It’s only the movement that Steve Lonegan welcomes.


Sometimes, as in the case of Roe v. Wade, a change in the law of the land will result in a large change of public opinion in favor of the new change. Once the change is made, certain levels of resistance go away, and others just come to accept it.

Not so in the case of PPACA, Pew finds.


According to Public Policy Polling, their polling predicted the recall of Angela Giron in Colorado Senate District 3. They then chose not to release the results.

Whether we believe them or not, this doesn’t speak well of the firm.