Obvious Bloomberg

All the new iPhones will run iOS 11, a mobile operating system that will include a refreshed user-interface and will be announced in June at the company's annual conference for developers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In this case, "a person familar with the mattter" could literally be anybody who pays attention to Apple.

Unreliable Poll Shows Brown In Possible Trouble

Clout Research just released a poll in Oregon. I’ll let you read it for yourself but in a nutshell, it says that Kate Brown’s approval ratings are heading underwater, being a sanctuary state is unpopular with Oregonians, and voters want spending cuts to fix Oregon’s budget crisis. If true, this is good news for Conservative reformers but I have my reservations about the accuracy of Clout’s polling.

Clout Research is the new name of a firm previously known as Wenzel Strategies. Wenzel has a horrific polling record which has been well-documented. Since they changed their name, Clout’s polling has only improved marginally.

In May, Clout did a poll Oregon that showed Trump with a 44–42 lead over Clinton. While anything is technically possible, Trump ever having led in Oregon is highly unlikely. If Clout’s polling was accurate, Trump having lost Oregon would be one of the most unreported stories of the 2016 election. Trump claimed he would win Oregon but failed to do so.

Clout’s polling improved in October but by that time, a number of additional Oregon polls had already been released. It’s possible Clout engaged in a common (but bad) polling practice called herding. Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight has a good explanation of herding:

Herding is the tendency of some polling firms to be influenced by others when issuing poll results. A pollster might want to avoid publishing a poll if it perceives that poll to be an outlier. Or it might have a poor methodology and make ad hoc adjustments so that its poll is more in line with a stronger one.

The problem with herding is that it reduces polls’ independence. One benefit of aggregating different polls is that you can account for any number of different methods and perspectives. But take the extreme case where there’s only one honest pollster in the field and a dozen herders who look at the honest polling firm’s results to calibrate their own. (For instance, if the honest poll has the Democrat up by 6 points, perhaps all the herders will list the Democrat as being ahead by somewhere between 4 and 8 points.) In this case, you really have just one poll that provides any information — everything else is just a reflection of its results. And if the honest poll happens to go wrong, so will everyone else’s results.

Clout doesn’t publish their methodology or crosstabs so nobody has the ability to see if Clout’s polling is any good much beyond what I’ve already described. FiveThirtyEight has given Clout a C- in their pollster ratings which Clout has disputed. I found it interesting they attacked Nate Silver for supposed inaccuracy in the 2016 election and Super Bowl when they themselves also have an incredibly spotty history predicting elections with their numbers. I covered the value of crosstabs way back in 2015 when I wrote All About Polling: Part One.

I hope Clout continues to improve their polling numbers and releases their methodology and crosstabs. Until then, we can only use what we know to evaluate their polling. What we know about Clout they are right on occasion but have a much longer history of being inaccurate. Don’t put too much faith in this one poll.

The Fundamentals of Digital Media and Fundraising for Political Campaigns

With just two weeks to go until the November 2016 election, I thought it would be a good time to announce that I am writing a book. It's called The Fundamentals of Digital Media and Fundraising for Political Campaigns.

Fundraising and digital media are two things that — if done well — can make it possible for a small, grassroots to compete at a higher level. They are also the two things I most often see incorrectly done. I am not an expert on either topic, but over the last half decade I have learned a few things that I think someone will find useful.

The book is FREE. The only thing I ask for is an email address where I can send the book when it comes out and add to my email list. Since you're reading this that means you are already subscribed and will receive my book when it comes out without lifting a finger.

I need your help.

If you find my book interesting, then please share it on Facebook, Twitter, and email. I would greatly appreciate your generous endorsement and I look forward to releasing the final product in January 2017.

Learning Not to Think About It

It is a challenge to stop thinking about the things I’m currently writing or working on. It’s a skill to be able to shut off work. To learn to give my mind a break and not to think about what I’m currently writing. But I’m working to learn it.

I started my own business this year. This has only contributed to a number of projects I take home with me mentally. Like Shawn, I am also working to learn how to stop thinking about work 24/7.

Integrate Your Squarespace Website With Apple News

Late last week, Squarespace announced integration with Apple News for the Squarespace platform. This is significant for a number of reasons.

First, the integration is automatic. You don't need to make any changes to your site to become compatible with Apple News. Squarespace has made it as simple as possible.

Second, Apple News is automatically installed on millions of iOS devices and is another excellent market to distribute your content and gain readership.

The only thing website owners need to do to start appearing on Apple News is to sign-up on Apple's website.

Read the full annoucement on the Squarespace blog.

Primary Races I'm Watching

I have been a little busy lately. I don't anticipate I will be able to do a full blown liveblog of election results. I did want everyone to know how to follow the results and which races they should watch. There are a number of very competitive primaries on both sides here in Oregon. Below you can visit the ORESTAR Elections Results page as well as view my Twitter feed and The Oregonian's Political feed. I will do my best to livetweet primary election night and you can fall back the Oregonian if I stop for some reason.


U.S. Senate

Faye Stewart and Sam Carpenter seem to be the top tier candidates in a field that also includes Dan Laschober and Mark Callahan. I haven't seen polling in this race either. Stewart or Carpenter both have the ability to win this primary for the honor of demolished by the Wyden machine. Wyden has the highest favorable of any Democrat in Oregon.

Congressional District 5

I have a personal interest in this race as I've been working over the last few months for Colm Willis on this race. There are three other candidates: Ben West, Seth Allen, and Earl Rainey. There are all good guys who have worked hard and have run a mostly clean campaign which I appreciate. Even if I didn't work for him I would say Colm is the favorite here.

Congressional District 4

Perennial candidate Art Robinson has been running against DeFazio as long as I can remember. Jo Rae Perkins has mounted a challenge to him in the primary and has received newspaper endorsements because Art Robinson doesn't exactly appear to have a winning strategy in this district. Robinson's high name ID coupled with Perkins' endorsements could make this one close. If I had to guess I would say Robinson will barely win it this time, but anything can happen.


Bud Pierce and Allen Alley have been battling it out since Alley got into the race just before the filing deadline. An OPB Poll conducted this month shows Pierce with a 3 point lead. Pierce is at 25%, Alley is at 22%, and 36% are undecided. The margin of error is +-5.7% which makes this a tossup. I think Pierce will eventually emerge victorious.

Secretary of State

Dennis Richardson is taking on Sid Leiken. There's no polling on this race. My guess is Richardson probably wins because of the high name ID he retains from his run for Governor in 2014.

House District 23

In an odd turn of events, Conservative Mike Nearman is being challenged by Conservative Beth Jones. Not a lot has been happening in this race and based on the fundraising and name ID advantage for Nearman I'm going to say he probably will run away with this one.

House District 26

This race is where the GOP has most to lose. Matt Wingard has been rocked by a number of political scandals and did the right thing by retiring a few years ago. Now he's doing the wrong thing and he's back running for his old seat. Meanwhile Rep. John Davis — who replaced Wingard — has endorsed John Boylston. On the other hand, Conservative groups like Oregon Right to Life have lined up behind Rich Vial. On the other, other hand there has been some outside spending against Matt Wingard and the other candidates in the district as well. The outcome of this race is unknown to pretty much everyone and this one has been getting nasty. I have no idea how this one will turn out.

House District 56 & Senate Distrct 28

OPB has done a good job covering this minor mess in Southern Oregon.

In SD 28, C.W. Smith is running a Republican write-in campaign to take on Dennis Linthicum (who is on the ballot and was previously walloped in a primary challenge to Greg Walden). Todd Kepple is running an Independent Party (IPO) write-in campaign in the same race. In HD 56, Al Switzer is running a Republican and IPO write-in Campaign against Werner Reschke (who is on the ballot). Write-in campaigns are very hard and it's a confusing situation but here's the likely outcome: In SD 28 Linthicum is likely to win just because of the difficulty of a write-in campaign, but Todd Kepple is likely to win the Independent Party nomination via write-in and will face Linthicum in the fall. In HD 56 Al Switzer is probably going to win the IPO write-in and lose the GOP write-in which sets up a fall election between GOP Nominated Reschke and IPO nominated Switzer. The general is much harder to predict since Democrats are more likely to support an IPO nominee and the two IPO candidates will pull from Republicans


Secretary of State

Val Hoyle, Brad Avakian, and Richard Develin are locked in a tight race for Secretary of State. Hoyle seems to have won the fundraising battle while Avakian has picked up most of the major liberal interest group endorsements, and Devlin has received nearly every major newspaper endorsement in the state. The latest poll puts Avakian up with 18%, Hoyle at 15%, and Devlin at 13%. 43% are undecided and another 11% say they won't vote in this primary. These are all within the margin of error at +-3%. This primary is anybody's game.