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Brian Mudd

Who would be Governor if the election were held today?, How to get the best price on a new car, What you need to know about Bitcoin & more:

 
Who would be Governor if the election were held today?, How to get the best price on a new car, What you need to know about Bitcoin & more:

Cheat Sheet Q & A:

 

The question:  In the past you've provided projected election outcomes based on using polling information and projecting it somehow.  I haven't heard you do this for Florida's gubernatorial race this year.  Can you do it? 

 

Bottom Line:  So I guess it’s time.  I haven’t waded into the election projection game since the election cycle of 2012.  The better and more regular the polling data, the better the outcome.  So it’s a bit early with regard to the Florida gubernatorial race because:

 

  • There is a contested Democratic primary
  • Polling has only begun with three different firms who are not yet polling on a regular basis

 

That being said I’ll be happy to offer up an answer based on the current available data.  First here is my methodology:

 

  • I take an average of all accredited polls available  (the most recent from each)
  • I review previous elections cycles for the specific office in that state to identify how undecided voters break on election day

 

So where do we stand right now?  If Charlie Crist does become the Democratic nominee…

 

Here is the current average of the three polls available on this race: 

 

·         Crist 45.3  -  Scott 39.7

 

So how do undecided voters break in Florida in previous Governors races? 

 

·         An avg. of 2.95% break for the GOP candidate

·         An avg. of 2.85% break for the Dem candidate

 

So…  If the election were held today based on history the result would be:

 

  • Crist:  48.2%
  • Scott:  42.7%
  • Third Party candidates:  9.1%


It’s not atypical for a large percentage of voters to be undecided at this stage in the election process but given that both of these candidates are exceedingly well known by voters (our current and former Governor)’; it’s possible that this could be a year in which many Floridians opt for a third party candidate.  It will certainly be interesting to watch.  It will also be interesting to see if the third party factor turns out to be a big story in the 2014 election cycle. 

 

I’ll be sure to provide these types of updates on a regular basis once we get closer to the election. 

 

If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:  brianmudd@clearchannel.com

 

Audio Report:

 

 

How to get the best price when buying a new car:

 

Bottom Line:  Naturally the best deals on new cars go to those who are the best negotiators right?  Well actually no… 

 

This almost will come across as a commercial for Costco but the best deals on new vehicles in 2013 went to those who purchased the cars through the Costco Auto program.  In 2013:

 

  • 375,000 cars were purchased through the Costco Auto program
  • The average savings on the same car in the same area going through the Costco program vs. the dealer negotiated sales price was $1000 less

 

So… $1000 less and no haggling either.  Not bad. 

 

Audio Report:

 

 

It's not just the kids...  We really do appear to be turning a corner on obesity:

 

Bottom Line:  It’s hard to get through a day without being reminded about weight related matters.  Whether its stories about the obesity epidemic or weight loss products, it s a daily topic of conversation.  Could it be that we’re actually heading in the right direction as a country? 

 

After recently hearing about the dramatic decrease in obesity rates (via the CDC) among young children (ages 2-5) from 13.9% to 8.4% over an eight year period…  I was curious.  What about adults generally?  Generally we instill our habits on our pets and kids (for better or for worse).  As it turns out we are doing a better job managing our waist lines. 

 

  • For adults 20+ obesity rates peaked in late 2009 at just under 36%
  • By the end of 2012 (most recent data available) the rate was down to just under 35%

 

It’s not a big decrease but after thirty years of increases in the obesity rate a two+ year decline is significant, especially since the trend was still lower as of the most recent data available.  This is especially good news with the rising cost of healthcare.

 

Audio Report:  

 

  

 

More stolen account info is for sale than Americans exist:

 

Bottom Line:  Recent reports have suggested that hundreds of millions of personal account records and information are available for sale on the black market after having been stolen through cyber theft.  That has now been confirmed by Alex Holden of Hold Security, one of the leading cyber security firms in the world. 


Alex infiltrated the black market where stolen data is available for a price and identified more than 360 million different account credentials available for sale.  These include username and password combos, credit card numbers, pin numbers, etc.  All told it appears as though more than 100 million different people are soon to be victims once this data is sold and used.  Certainly sound ominous doesn’t it?   

 

Here’s the unfortunate reality.  It’s not if you’ll have an account or accounts compromised.  It’s likely when.  It’s also how diligent you are in the identifying improper activity when it occurs.  Checking your accounts a couple of times per week and using ID protection should become standard operating procedure in your home to ensure you cut a bad situation off at the pass when it happens to you. 


Audio Report:

 

 

Update:  The bitcoin picture at Mt Gox becomes much clearer & it could well happen again:

 

Bottom Line:  So it’s now fairly evident that they following happened at the former largest bitcoin exchange Mt Gox:

 

  • Hackers successfully pilfered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins from Mt Gox before they figured out what was happening (inside job?)
  • In late January / Early February the US Government seized $5 million in proceeds that Mt Gox obtained via illegal activity of those using Mt Gox (most likely via the Silk Road investigation)
  • With the seizure of proceeds and the bitcoins stolen Mt Gox became insolvent and couldn’t open it’s exchange as they didn’t have to ability to produce cash to those who were changing out their bitcoins

 

So a this point it does appear as though those who had bitcoins on the exchange are looking at a total loss but what’s more...  This could happen to any of the exchanges. 

 

Last week I covered a story that explained that the Federal Government could seize your bitcoin if it touched the hands of a person who had been detained by the Feds for illegal activity, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.  Well the same is true of the exchanges as well.  So even if the other exchanges aren’t hacked successfully, there solvency can’t be certain if they could have an undetermined amount of their proceeds confiscated due to an investigation.  Let’s put this another way… 

 

If you have a bank collapse due to cyber theft, you’d still get your money back up to FDIC insured levels.  If you bitcoin is stolen you have no recourse.  Additionally without knowing if the exchange is doing business with criminals or if you’re doing business with criminals there is no guarantee that you will get to retain your bitcoin or if the exchange you use will remain solvent. 

 

This is the worst case outcome playing out for many bitcoin advocates unfortunately.  This is why I stated from the start of the bitcoin craze…  Bitcoin is neither good nor bad; it’s a medium of exchange.  It can’t be widely trusted until we have at least limited regulation to protect its users.

 

Audio Report: 

 

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