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Fireball1244

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About Fireball1244

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    Political Geek
  • Birthday 07/08/1977

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    Fireball1244

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  1. Oh well. Guess I was hoping someone would tell me I was doing something wrong, or that there's some reason I overlooked that my momentum counted for nothing.
  2. I was playing an alternative of the wonk scenario, where I've given the candidates money similar to what they raised overall in the campaign. As Obama, I'm facing Romney in the general election. From mid-September on, boosted by the financial crisis and heavy television advertising on my part, I hold a constant momentum lead, around 10 points, going as high as 20 points (that's the margin). Throughout the last half of October, I ad-bomb and scandal-plague Romney, and his momentum is consistently negative. But the polls never move in my direction. And in the end I win the popular vote by 1.2% (49.8% to 48.6%) but he takes around 290 electoral college votes. No matter how high I kept my momentum, key states wouldn't move my way. Now, I wouldn't want the momentum meter to have a 1:1 correlation with poll movement, but there should be SOME relation. Measuring momentum is the only tool we have between polling updates to see if what we're doing is worthwhile. So why can I keep a massive momentum advantage going my way, only to end up falling in key states (where my momentum was, according to the meters, great), and losing the election? This was on medium. There should be a stronger correlation between momentum and poll movement.
  3. Well, the amounts of money given the candidates in the primaries are less than the top line candidates were raising per quarter in 2003, so it just doesn't seem real. But the giving-candidates-more-money problem isn't hard to solve. I just wanna know why Hillary Clinton isn't spending it to beat me in the primaries. I'm eating her lunch, and she's just sitting there with millions in the bank.
  4. I've upped the money in the default scenario to something much more realistic, but I find that my opponents don't spend it! I've played on easy and medium and noticed this (didn't look when I played on hard), but Hillary, Obama, etc, just don't spend through their money like they should. On lower difficulties do the computer players not spend their cash as aggressively as they should, or is it a flaw in the game? It happens in the general election, too. It's quite frustrating. It decreases the "realism" of the game.
  5. I ran as Edwards in a modified version of the 2008 game, where I majorly upped the starting cash for all the candidates to more realistic numbers. As I get sick of Guliani and McCain always winning the GOP nod, I turned them off. On the GOP side, Gingrich, Romney and Brownback were in the running. On the Democratic side, Clinton, Edwards, Biden and Vilsack were the contenders. I turned Badnarik on, as well. The primaries were an interesting challenge. By using early turns to build ads and throw CPs into endorsements, I was able to go into January 08 with a ton of cash, footsoldiers and three pro-me and one anti-Clinton ad in my arsenal. I got most of the relevant Iowa, Arizona and New Hampshire endorsements, ran a set of newspaper ads to build momentum nationwide, and poured effort into the Arizona, Iowa and New Hampshire trifecta. I pulled ahead in Iowa and Arizona, and was closing the gap with Clinton in New Hampshire when Biden won Iowa in an upset (something like 75% of undecideds swung to him), throwing my momentum for a loop. Quickly, Clinton won New Hampshire with Biden in second, and Biden won Arizona, followed by Vilsack, then Clinton, then me. I continued to lose primaries, but by churning through ads and working myself to a collapse, I kept some positive momentum going. Leaks against Clinton had brought me up to even with her in the polls, and I was able to knock Vilsack out by giving him PIPs for an endorsement. This finally gave me the push I needed to start winning primaries. I swept most of Super Tuesday, and in mid-March Biden dropped out and endorsed me. I was now projected to win around 1900 delegates, with Clinton coming in with the rest. But as we pushed through to the end of the primaries, my momentum turned negative, and my margin kept closing. It didn't close fast enough, though, and I still won the nomination. I couldn't convince Hillary to drop out or support me, but by mid-June I was able to get her to sign on as my Veep, giving me an uncontested convention. Yay for dramatic primaries! The Republican side was interesting, as well. Gingrich and Romney started out neck and neck, both at about 30% with Brownback trailing badly. They traded off in terms of polling leads and primary wins until the southern primaries hit in March, at which point Gingrich pulled out ahead. Brownback endorsed Gingrich and the former speaker had driven off Governor Romney by early April. I had bumped all their money for the primaries up, but only Gingrich was aggressive about spending his cash. Going into the general, I had about a 44-40 lead throughout most of the summer. States wobbled about in terms of electoral support, but I had a majority edge the whole time. After the conventions, the Republicans got more of a bounce than I did, but only electorally. I was still a few points ahead, about 47 to 42. In the scramble to win my nomination, I'd focused a lot on organization building, fundraising and issue knowledge, but I'd lagged in debate preparation. This would prove costly. Gingrich spent money heavily in September, but I held back for October, building a full arsenal of three pro-me, one anti-Gingrich TV spots. Since I can't target "fair" states in the new game for ads, I just kept redoing my "strategy states" every week to include all states I was leading in by less than five points or trailing in by less then eight. In October, I ran hard with ads, which offset my repeated debate losses to Gingrich. I had saved up three medium-damage scandals against Gingrich, and let them all go one week at a time starting in mid-October. Gingrich never got a bounce out of his debate wins, began running low on cash, and i kept rotating in ads and stomping across the nation. It was clear I was going to win -- all the "swing" states were in Republican territory. I ran my campaign into debt and myself to the edge of collapse by the last day, but things looked great! However, it's clear that despite running ahead, i never really closed the deal -- 10.6% of folks continued to be undecided up until the last day. That's probably what caused the crazy results: It was a very decisive victory in my favor on election day. However, the results were often very surprising. Despite the fact that undecideds appeared to break heavily for me, Gingrich picked up all but one of the last-day "swing" states. Also, five states swapped columns at the last moment. Polls showed me ahead in Oregon, but Gingrich won by 27,495 votes (49.7% to 47.8%). Polls showed me ahead in Nevada, but Gingrich won by 1,455 votes (49.1% to 48.9%). Polls showed me ahead in South Carolina, but Gingrich won by 93,561 votes (51.7% to 46.1%, not even close). Polls showed Gingrich ahead in Kentucky, but I won by 45,358 votes (49.2% to 46.6%). Polls showed Gingrich ahead in Alaska, but amazingly I won by 16,897 votes (49.5% to 43%). Some might think these results are "problematic," but I'm thrilled -- it's realistic in my mind that per-state polling should be wrong, and aside from Alaska, none of these mostly-narrow wins are beyond the realm of reality. Clearly what was happening was that Republican voters weren't moving towards Gingrich as fast as Democrats moved to me, but eventually they did come home. And while I won the undecided voters at the last minute nationwide, those voters must have been clustered in the heavily-Democratic states that I won by landslides, because they surely weren't the deciding factor in the swing states or Nevada or Oregon! Also, when states started to break in unexpected, but realistic, ways, it added drama to an election night that was expected to be (and, truly, ended up being) a blow-out. The closest state was Mississippi, where I took 561,693 votes, and Gingrich beat me with 561,768 votes -- a 75-vote margin of victory, less than 1/1000 of the number of votes taken by the Libertarian. The one bug I think is present in the game and in play here is that too many last-minute deciders go with a third party candidate. Badnarik's vote percentage nearly doubled between the last day polls and the final results. That shouldn't happen.
  6. Maybe I'm just way too Catholic, but in my mind I can't make it look like anything but a guy with a giant, glowing communion wafer.
  7. They actually work, though. If you track turnout, you'll see noticeable spikes amongst populations that receive direct mail and/or GOTV robocalls. It seems counterintuitive, I guess, but the things do work.
  8. I played a game last night as a customized Libertarian candidate, and part of my intended strategy was to try to pick off one of the moderately-strong-but-not-going-to-win Republicans or Democrats to be my VP. Unfortunately, this was not possible, as I couldn't offer my VP spot until I had locked up my party's nomination, which happens on one day in the scenario, at the convention. Immediately upon winning the nomination, I am asked to pick a Libertarian VP from the default list, and there was no way to ask, say, Senator Edwards to come and be on my team. So, my suggestion is minor: I'd like the ability to either select from my party/candidate's list, or ask another player to be my VP. Or, if you're the only candidate of your party, or you have some percentage of popular support, say, 60% or greater, you should be able to ask someone to be your VP at any point. Just a minor suggestion. Thanks!
  9. I love this game. It's great. However, while you've got footsoldiers (field programs), speeches and advertising, you're missing two very powerful parts of political campaigning -- direct mail and auto-dialed robocalls. These are major components of most modern political campaigns, and it would be cool to integrate them into the game. Here's how I envision it would work: For Direct Mail, you select a topic just like you do in a speech or ad (topic + pos or neg), then select a state or states, perhaps with sliders to determine the number of pieces sent (estimate $0.40 per piece), and click "send." Like an ad, the mail would take five days to prep, and then it would "hit." It should have an impact greater than television advertising, and be more effective when positive than when negative, though negatives should have a lower percentage chance of "backfiring" than TV ads. It shouldn't have a major impact on how well known you are, but it should gin up your base and convert some undecideds. For Robocalls, you select a topic and tone, just like for ads, then select states and the number of calls to send to each state (estimate $0.05 per call), and click "call." These should hit the ground immediately, the next day, and should provide a spike in your supporter intensity or, if a negative call, a drop in your opponent's supporter intensity. Auto-calls have little effect on undecideds, but can be used to fire up your turnout or boost your support in the polls. Auto-calls are especially effective in the day or so before election day at turning out your vote. Anyways, as someone who does campaigns professionally, those are the campaign "tools" that are missing in the game and I wish that I could use. If you can reasonably integrate them into the game, that would be fantastic!
  10. While I think this is an interesting idea, it doesn't entirely mesh with how I view the game (note: that's not a big deal, of course). In my view, when I play PF, I'm not the candidate -- I'm the campaign manager. I'm telling the candidate where to go, scheduling the ads, etc, but I'm not actually giving speeches, etc. As I run campaigns for a living, that might be a bit "biased" of me. :-)
  11. Yeah, it's a feature, and a nice bit of realism. But it needs to be fixed. Presently, it gives Republicans more in the block grant than Democrats, which is inaccurate. Under the law, both parties receive precisely the same amount.
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