Sam Wang Wants Everyone to Settle Down


Polling guru Sam Wang thinks you’re all being ridiculous:

My reason for generating the best prediction I can is to reduce the noise of campaign news. I thought it would clear mental space for thinking about policies, or downticket issues….The calculation says that Clinton’s win probability is 90%….Still, the comment section is still peppered with anxious questions about Clinton’s chances. Honestly, some liberals can be total ninnies.

When he’s right, he’s right, amirite? We really can be ninnies sometime. So go read Sam. Longtime readers know that although I normally post snapshots of the race from Pollster—mainly because they produce pretty pictures that are easy to manipulate—Sam is my go-to pollster. If he says Hillary Clinton has a 90 percent chance of winning, then she’s got a 90 percent chance of winning.

So let’s clear some mental space for downticket news. How are things going in the House these days? Jonathan Bernstein reports:

We’re about to see if House Republicans have learned anything in the last few years. That is, we’ll see if the small group of radicals can bully mainstream conservatives into casting irresponsible and counterproductive votes on two measures.

First, the House Freedom Caucus zealots are intent on forcing a vote this week on impeaching the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, John Koskinen. Even if they had a case against him — and they don’t — it’s an abuse of their power to go through with an impeachment procedure with no chance for a conviction in the Senate, and with limited time before the end of the current Congress.

Then sometime before the end of the month, the House will need to bring up a bill to keep the government running after the current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Since it has run out of time to pass regular appropriations bills (none have been sent to Barack Obama so far, even for a veto), the House will need to pass a “continuing resolution” to give itself more time….The obvious compromise, and one the Senate appears to be working toward, is a continuing resolution….But the House Freedom Caucus members will oppose any continuing resolution that doesn’t give them 100 percent of what they want.

For mainstream conservatives, both the impeachment decision and the continuing resolution will be tough votes. Though there is nothing substantive to be gained by voting with the radicals, it requires standing up to them and risking being called a “moderate” or “RINO.”

The Koskinen impeachment is completely ridiculous, nothing but a sop to the fever swamps. The budget bill, on the other hand, is the primary duty of the House—as Republicans are constantly reminding us. If Paul Ryan stands up to the zealots, he can easily get enough Democratic votes to pass a reasonable continuing resolution. But will he?1

1Probably not.