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The US Presidential race from the distance

by Luis de Sousa Mon Feb 15th, 2016 at 04:33:45 PM EST

To whomever likes politics, the Presidential election in the United States is always an interesting, and sometimes exciting, event. Not only because it is the largest economy in the world, but most especially for the unique political setting, that in essence forces the squeeze of a vast swath of candidates into just two parties. The indirect election system (with great electors per state), coupled with the party primary system produces a rather intricate process, divided in two phases that drag on for well over an year.

The election this year is no exception and is clearly falling into the exciting category. It can actually become an even more exciting race than that that gave the Presidency to Barack Obama in 2008. With the first primaries already in, most candidates already in firm ground and plenty of polling, one can already speculate on the outcome and its implications.


This is a crosspost from AtTheEdgeOfTime.

Democrats

The most relevant novelty of this election is the segmentation of the Democrat party. If in the past few decades the candidates to the primaries of this party were all relatively uniform in their philosophical positioning, this year there is Bernard Sanders - a self proclaimed socialist. Even if Sanders could at best be mistaken for a moderate social-democrat, his rise to prominence among the Democratic electorate points to a widely divided party - something up to now only common in the Republican camp.

Sanders is in various ways a catalysing candidate. He is demystifying the concept of Socialism, which in the US is a synonym of anti-democrat and may be considered an offence. He is bringing to the fray a young generation that up to now had been mostly uninterested in politics. He is the first Presidential candidate to gain prominence while being ignored (and at times even detracted) by the mainstream media. And of course, he is bringing about issues that are widely consensual among Americans but are largely watered down by the so called "establishment": raising the minimum wage, taxing large corporations (including banks), creating an universal health system, eliminating tuition fees in public universities, etc. - i.e. what we call here in Europe the Social or Welfare State.

Sanders is indeed popular, but can he win? Can he pull out a turnaround like Obama did in 2008? At the present time the answer is a somewhat clear "no". It is all about the numbers, contrary to 2008, this time Hillary Clinton has almost all the super-delegates with her. These are non-elected delegates that get to select together with the elected (or pledged) delegates the Democrat nominee for the actual Presidential election. Since super-delegates are essentially present and past party leaders, they naturally prefer a candidate more in tune with liberal parchments.

According to the Wikipaedia, Clinton has with her already 417 super-delegates, against just 14 declaring support for Sanders. There will be 4 763 delegates at the democratic convention, with 2 388 required to win the nomination. If no other super-delegate declares support for him, Sanders needs 2 368 pledged candidates to win; in contrast, Clinton needs at most 1 966. Translating into percentages, Sanders needs on average 55% of the primary votes in each state to get nominated. This is far ahead of the 42% preference he obtains among Democratic electors in national polls. Not impossible, but certainly a remote scenario.

Republicans

If in the Democrat camp it is a candidate ignored by the media taking the show, on the Republican side it is the darling of the press making troughs. Donald Trump has more air time at national TV than all the Democratic candidates combined and more than twenty times the coverage lent to Sanders. He has slowly risen above the usual crowd of Republican candidates and holds solidly to about one third of the Republican electorate.

Trump has much in common with Sanders, also a party outsider that in various ways seems at odds with the core conservative philosophy. He has ran a remarkable campaign, producing a continuous stream of (many times controversial) sound-bites echoed by the press ad infinitum. Like Sanders, Trump presents himself as someone unafraid of saying what he thinks and feels; but while the former taps on the electorate's feel of social injustice, the later taps on the electorate's fears, especially concerning security.

Again the same question: can popularity be translated into a nomination? And again the same answer: "not really". Trump seems to be stabilising in polls and even failed to win the primary in the state of Iowa. He will mostly likely reach the Republican convention with the largest number of pledged delegates, but far from the majority. And without a majority there is not much chance for the party to nominate him.

The Republican inteligentsia tends to be more calculating in its choices. Due to his controversial nature, Trump is persistently defeated against either Democratic candidate in polls for the Presidential election; nominating him is not only questioning the party's principles, it is like signing the terms of surrender. This is the simple reason why so many Republican candidates are still in the race - they know the fight will be decided only at the convention.

The real race is therefore among the conventional Republican candidates, especially Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and John Kasich. Each touch a particularly sensibility among the much fractioned conservative camp, and it will not be surprising to see two, or even three, of these names sharing a single "ticket" to the White House, between President, Vice-President and perhaps Secretary of State.

And this is a remarkable feature of this election: the race for second in the Republican party is in fact the most important race, and perhaps the only one that matters in the long run.

The long game

While Clinton retains a good degree of popularity among the Democratic electorate (45% preference), she is largely unpopular among non-liberals. The end result is quite bleak: the only Republican she can clearly defeat in the final one-on-one for the White House is Donald Trump. She appears at best tied against Cruz, for instance, and clearly behind Rubio. Moreover, considering the negative approval ratings among non-liberals, Clinton has considerably fewer chances of appealing to undecided and unaligned voters. Conventional Republican candidates in contrast have more ground to progress, especially less media worn figures such as Rubio or Carson.

Sanders often terms Clinton the candidate of the "establishment", but the candidate of the status quo is possibly more adequate. She simply represents the continuation of policies with which many Americans have grown disillusioned. The electorate yearns for a shake up that Clinton can not offer.

Here is the dilemma faced by the Democratic party: either nominate Clinton to get a conservative President, or nominate Sanders, whom even if not clearly a socialist, certainly is not a liberal. It is the proverbial choice between two evils.

That is why this election is so interesting. The Democrats seem to have long decided on whom they wish to nominate, but as the race for second in the Republican party unfolds, a coup of pragmatism can still take place and overturn the present predicament.

Post-face

In spite of whom eventually gets nominated by the Democratic party, the rise of a politician like Bernard Sanders means that deep changes are about for this party, especially considering the associated generational divide.

Display:
I think it is safe to say that Carson is out. Bush however is not out and as noted on Booman, Bush is not attacking Cruz. So there could be an alliance in the making. Sam Wong has also modeled the Republican race and as long as it stays divided Trump could win a majority of delegates as the distribution benefits the top candidate.

Interesting possibility: would Trump run a third-party campaign if Cruz (the Canadian) wins?

Considering the democrats, if the super-delegates tips the election to Hillary, I think the base will see it as a rather undemocratic move. So that would place her even more in a losing position for the general election. On the other hand, the Republicans constant attacks on immigration serves them badly with Latino voters (according to Republican post-2012 analysis) so demographics is on the side of the democrats. Still, back-stab the base and it could be hello president Trump!

And lastly, what about Bloomberg considering running as third-party spoiler if Sanders win? That could also spell hello president Trump. Assuming, that is, that Bloomberg could gather the establishment voters.

by fjallstrom on Tue Feb 16th, 2016 at 10:01:56 AM EST
From the data I have been able to find, Trump's victory is really difficult. He has hardly any support in Texas and the West coast - key states were he would need to win to benefit from the distribution of delegates. This should become evident after the 1st of March (big Tuesday).

Bloomberg could go ahead, but only if Sanders gets nominated, which at this moment looks improbable. In that unlikely scenario, Sanders would certainly loose against Rubio, but could still have change against Cruz, Carson or Trump. In any event, it is clear that Sanders will be torpedoed at some point, if not by the super-delegates, by the establishment itself.

Which makes me wonder: what if Sanders decides to go ahead on its own in case he looses the nomination? He could make a pact with Trump so that both anti-establishment candidates would go ahead independently. We would then get 4 candidates, now that would be something :)

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2016 at 02:39:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sanders will not go independent or 3rd party in 2016. It just won't happen.

Trump, on the other hand, might. Another twist that may impact the outcome of 2016 presidential election is if Bloomberg enters the race. He might do just enough damage to put a Cruz or Rubio in the White House.

by Magnifico on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 02:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is, pledged delegates are not committed. It is like a verbal commitment from a player to sign with a football club ... it's reported as a move, but the move is not a real move until the player has signed on the dotted line.

It seems likely that Hillary will end up winning superdelegates by more than she wins regular delegates, but there will be strong pressure on superdelegates in states carried by Sanders to go along with their primary base electorate.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 01:47:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some points to consider.

1 - The Republican establishment loathes Cruz with a passion. It is reported that Trump would be preferable to many.  He still has a chance to win, as he is beloved of the Christian conservatives, but he's far too much of a nihilistic anti-government crusader for the Republican and business establishment, which only sings that tune for the public while stuffing as much pork into their pockets as they can.

2 - Rubio is a terrible, terrible candidate, and may have begun to flame out thanks to his robotic and repetitive debate performance and his general inability to successfully run his human imitation protocols.

3 - Carson flamed out a couple months ago.

4 - Sanders polls better than Clinton in direct matchups versus the Republican field, but one has to wonder how much this is because he has been ignored by the media until now. The Clintons (all three!) and their surrogates have begun the attacks, and if their attacks gain traction in the primary, it's hard to see him as a viable candidate in the general.

5 - The Sanders volunteer army is rather impressive.  I volunteered several times with locals in SoCal, holding up signs on street corners and handing out leaflets.  No organization, no connection to the central party, just pure enthusiasm.  Sure, a fair bit of re-inventing the wheel took place, but there were also a number of old lefties who knew how things worked and what to do. They crushed it in New Hampshire, but that's generally acknowledged as his home turf and not very representative.  Nevada is also looking positive, thanks in part to large numbers of California volunteers wiling to bus out for weekends and holidays to knock on doors and phone bank.

6 - The superdelegate situation is not as dire for Sanders as it seems.  Those pledges can be changed, as happened in 2008 for Obama.  It is hard to imagine the convention overturning the clear and expressed will of the people via superdelegates, because each superdelegate may choose independently who they support up to the convention vote.

7 - It is widely acknowledged that Trump is gaining support thanks to his openly racist and authoritarian rhetoric.  On the other hand, it's also widely suspected that he believes in nothing but his own ego.  The Republican establishment hates him because he does not swear allegiance to their anti-government platform.  Trump will do whatever he needs to do to be seen as a "winner," which would likely result in erratic pragmatism rather than doctrinaire conservatism.  He's not going to drive the USA into the ground and dance on the rubble like Scott Walker in Wisconsin or Snyder in Michigan or Jindal in Louisana.

by Zwackus on Tue Feb 16th, 2016 at 01:40:52 PM EST
Thanks for the inside view.

I really do not know Rubio, but one thing is clear, he is the only Republican with chances of beating both Clinton and Sanders. All others clearly fail against Sanders and Trump looses even against Clinton.

The super-delegate situation in the Democratic party feels different from 2008. The sound-bites in the press show an important degree of rejection for Sanders, that was not there towards Obama. If they do change sides, it will mostly be to avoid defeat in the final election, not because they suddenly start fancying Sanders.

Best wishes for your campaign.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2016 at 02:49:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sound-bites in the press show an important degree of rejection for Sanders

AND WITH GOOD REASON!

Don't forget that 'the press' is ~95% owned by billionaires whose financial interests are directly threatened by Sanders. These same worthies, if they did not receive the same solicitous, unctious treatment by candidate Obama in '08 as did the TBTF CEOs, got the message from those CEOs that Obama was their get out of jail free card and would abort any radical change. This is not true of Sanders.

Fortunately, most Sanders supporters are now aware of this and it is not that hard a sell to all of the victims of Clinton's NAFTA, welfare reform and financial reform. This was just something a few lefties were warning about in 2008. Now it is painfully obvious to millions of victims of The Establishment. Shortly we will get to see how Sanders does in Nevada. If he gets a significant victory in the popular vote, how ever that is determined, it will likely lead to more panic by Hillary's campaign and by The Establishment. Interesting times.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2016 at 03:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nevada is interesting but South Carolina is important.  Clinton has been leading there since forever and it is her territory.  If she doesn't have a convincing win in SC we're in for a long primary were enthusiasm and grassroots have a chance to work themselves out.

Remember Clinton has been running since 2002 and has had time to put together a fully developed organization.  Bernie's only been in it for about a year, starting with nothing.  What he has accomplished is amazing but it isn't enough to win, as of Feb. 18, 2016.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 01:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately for Sanders, he does not have to win as of Feb 18th. He is running a momentum campaign.

It is very important what happens in Nevada. A Sanders win would make "Nevada Sanders, North Carolina, Clinton" going into the March primaries ... even if it is +2% Sanders, +20% Clinton.

If Sanders keeps gaining ground, then his secret weapon is likely to be the Clinton campaign ability to consistently misfire the shot. For instance, if she had not had Lewis claim that he had never encountered Sanders as part of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's, video of Sanders being hauled away in a fair housing protest in Chicago might never have surfaced.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 02:09:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What irks me about Clinton is she tells stupid lies.  Lies that are easily refuted.  The classic is her whooper about landing in Kosovo under sniper fire.  The Lewis thing is the recent example.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 02:57:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:19:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She'll say anything if it will get her back into the WH  ...  even, on occasion, the truth.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 06:29:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course th majority of the superdelegates have long accustomed themselves to being de facto servants of wealth and so they too are reluctant to embrace Sanders, who directly threatens the system on which they built their careers. He represents change they would prefer not to believe in. But many, especially House or former house members, have their own secure base. I was represented by such a Member for many years, Anthony Edelson. He had his own group of trial lawyers and others, who shared mutual interests and provided the core of his support. And they were used to opposing powerful people. Alan Grayson may well have a similar situation and not all need be lawyers. Representatives strongly tied to particular minorities are another such group. Sanders was such a politician his entire career, as was Kusinich, whether or not any of them were ever superdelegates. And all of them are or were successful politicians who understand the importance of being on the winning side.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 10:16:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas Piketty on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era | US news | The Guardian

In many respects, we are witnessing the end of the politico-ideological cycle opened by the victory of Ronald Reagan at the 1980 elections.

Let's glance back for an instant. From the 1930s until the 1970s, the US were at the forefront of an ambitious set of policies aiming to reduce social inequalities. Partly to avoid any resemblance with Old Europe, seen then as extremely unequal and contrary to the American democratic spirit, in the inter-war years the country invented a highly progressive income and estate tax and set up levels of fiscal progressiveness never used on our side of the Atlantic. From 1930 to 1980 - for half a century - the rate for the highest US income (over $1m per year) was on average 82%, with peaks of 91% from the 1940s to 1960s (from Roosevelt to Kennedy), and still as high as 70% during Reagan's election in 1980.

Inequality is spurring Bernie's rise. Trump seems he's there to shake people up, (and make Rubio and Cruz look sane).

Result: All three look barking bonkers!

Chelsea's willing self-instrumentalisation is not helping Hillzilla. Neither is Bill's doddering blather.

She's the ultimate seasoned pol though, and is learning how better to deflect Bernie's attacks. I wonder how Bernie's stamina will hold up as the campaign builds.

Come what may, Bernie's movement has proved there is a huge bottom-up will to shift America's priorities, his policies and platform are harbingers of the future. If he selects Liz Warren (as I saw reported) as VP, his chances look much better. They would make a powerful duo, down the road perhaps breaking the spell that has hitherto impeded the VP's chances for subsequent presidency.

She'd merit the first female presidency much more than HC.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2016 at 09:07:00 PM EST
I really understand the appeal of Warren for VP, and in some ways she would be a dream candidate, but I really think she needs to stay in the Senate.  Also, I've seen a lot of people suggesting a person of color for his running mate, and there is solid electoral logic there.
by Zwackus on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 04:46:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warren needs to stay in the Senate.  She way too valuable there to waste as the VP.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 01:21:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warren should be gearing up to become the USA's first woman President.
by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 09:47:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IF she has the stomach for the job.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:03:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will there be a US President, let alone a woman President, after Trump's Imperium?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 11:03:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope these are the last days of the US Empire farce.  Since the species loves empires so dearly (the ancestors in the trees of Africa probably had a similar social structure), who's next?

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 08:27:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On species I would say that empire thing seems tightly connected to agriculture and money economy. So not yet there in the trees. You need to add monolith first.

And on Empire I say China. I know it is boring because it is the obvious choice, but it is the obvious choice for a reason.

by fjallstrom on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 04:42:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I see the term "empire", I think "Rome". I'm not a social scientist but the basic idea behind having an empire is to have your "military" loot other geographic areas and bring home the goodies for your powerful and maybe a little for the home public.  Agriculture doesn't matter, money doesn't matter. I imagine huge clans of protohumans in trees, going on raiding parties in neighboring forests and bringing back whatever is valuable for survival.

And I agree, China is in the pipe.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 07:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't China the first historical Empire, in that case the concept is coming full circle.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 03:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first China emperor declared himself 220BC. There were 3 long royal dynasties (Xia, Shang, Zhou) preceding.
by das monde on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 07:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump is no fool. Just when the business climate is turning sour (with weaker bankruptcy protection as well), he is going for a feudal throne and a possible dynasty.
by das monde on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 05:45:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most of the later primaries are "winner takes all" which tends to result in a clear winner overall. That is why we still can't rule out Kasich were he to win his home state of Ohio. In reality, he is competing with Bush and Rubio in the "establishment lane" and only one of them can come out of it to challenge Trump or Cruz. It will be interesting to see how Dubya's intervention effects Jeb! in South Carolina - a state the Bush's have always won.

So long as there remain several live contenders, Trump can continue to win, even with just 30%+ of the vote, and the winner take-take-all states could then carry him to victory.  If anything Cruz - a "Christian Dominionist"  - is even madder that Trump, but that wouldn't stop the GOP establishment falling into line behind Cruz or Trump if the alternative were Sanders.

I wouldn't make too much of the opinion polls right now.  Sanders has hardly been touched by the right wing media Wurlitzer and I suspect many conservatives are hoping he wins the Dem nomination, as that is their main chance of winning the Presidency. Hillary's numbers, on the other hand, have decades of negative media coverage already "baked in the cake" , and so she is probably relatively immune from further media attacks.

But the bottom line is that the Presidency can't do all that much without at least a working majority in both houses of Congress. Obama has been virtually a lame duck for 5 years. If you want change, you also have to work to get your senators and congress people elected and that is the hard slog which many Sanders idealists seem to ignore.

My take is that Hillary has a better chance of leading a Dem clean sweep than an elderly white Vermont Socialist once the oligarchic  media machines crank up but YMMV. The attacks from her left will do her no harm when/if she is up against Trump or Cruz in the general. She can always nominate Sanders as her VP to reunite the party when the primary season is done.  She does need to do something to excite the Dem base because at the moment she is exciting no one outside the Dem establishment.

I see her as having a greater problem defeating Sanders than defeating either Trump or Cruz in the general.  The more difficult task will be to retake Congress and overcome the Senate Filibuster if she is ever going to be an effective President. Without that, she couldn't even appoint a SCOTUS nominee.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 04:23:30 AM EST
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most of the later primaries are "winner takes all" which tends to result in a clear winner overall.

This is an important aspect that I missed. The Republican primary system comes in about three flavours:
. 1/3 of the states use a proportional delegate award system;
. another 1/3 uses a proportional system with a 50% or more winner-takes-all threshold;
. a 1/3 use a simple winner-takes-all system.

In essence, Trump has probably higher chances of getting over half the delegates than I anticipated. However, the winner-takes-all system is more common in the south and west, where precisely Trump seems to lack more support.

 

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 08:04:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I believe all the Democratic primaries are proportional in their award of delegates. The Democratic National Committee controls this, whereas the RNC lets states do their own thing.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 05:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why it will be so difficult for Hillary to establish a clear lead over Sanders, and vice versa, and therefore why the super-delegates could play a decisive role.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 12:34:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I notice on dKos that the super delegate issue is beginning to be noticed and, already some of the SDs are whispering quietly that, if Sanders has the popular vote, they won't thwart the will of the party by voting establishment

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 02:41:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Helen, I would just that in 2008 Clinton had slightly more votes than Obama, but the latter ended up sawing the super-delegates his way.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 05:49:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's if you count Florida and Michigan, which were disqualified because they moved their primaries up to earlier in the race.  Everybody agreed to not campaign there (Obama and Edwards weren't even on the ballot in Michigan), until, of course, it became convenient for Hillzilla.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 07:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the states where the GOP state organization itself have the say in delegate assignments: Missouri, Colorado, and - IIRC - Nevada.  These states will hold meaningless primaries or caucuses for the sound bites of it all.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 01:24:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As to downticket races, there are several schools of thought.  Local and House races can be about enthusiasm as much as anything, and a large local activist base can make a big difference there.  Thus, some people have suggested that a Sanders candidacy would have a pretty substantial positive effect downballot, providing the entire election doesn't run away from the Dems.  But who knows.
by Zwackus on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 04:49:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with the logic of that, but fear a McGovern style Sanders implosion in the General.  "Who ya gonna support - a Socialist who will take away your freedom and your money or Trump who will make America great again and give you the chance to make it big?"

On the other hand a centrist independent voter who might favour Hillary over Trump won't necessarily vote Dem in down ticket races.

At the moment it's still difficult to predict how this will all shake out. A lot will depend on how the vast swathe of politically disengaged voters swing in the last weeks of October when faced with what will probably be a very stark choice.

My bet has always been that when faced with Trump or Cruz, a significant majority would plump for Hillary even if with little enthusiasm..  If the other choice is Sanders, on the other hand, many will buy into the "Socialist" mantra of the media and could even vote for Trump as the "centrist" or safe choice.

Crazy world.  I know.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 01:28:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I really doubt this will happen. The wheels are coming off. If our great leaders and their media lackeys could still break a campaign with little effort we wouldn, be seriously discussing a Trump - Sanders race.

Similarly I don't believe anything Trump says can sink him. That were the good old days where the media could find an incriminating turn of phrase and then point and laugh until the person concerned slinked home.
Too many people hold the whole apparatus in total contempt for this to still work.

by generic on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 04:05:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget that until now and for most of the next 6 months only the politically engaged will be voting and shouting. The great unwashed with little or no knowledge or interest in politics won't get involved until Sept at the earlies, and they will be particularly susceptible to the "wisdom of experts in the media"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 04:09:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True. But on the other hand Sanders seems more likely to emerge unscathed from the primaries than Clinton. I can see Trump running up and down the country telling everyone that actual coins are Clinton's most loyal constituency.
And how much of Sander's base can be mobilised for Clinton also seems dubious if it ends up a close race, maybe even decided by super delegates and the heavy hand of the DNC stays clearly visible on the scales throughout.
by generic on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 05:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Clinton wins an honest electoral victory, I suspect most of Sanders' people will grumble and be sad, but still go to the polls, at the very least.  They may well continue being active for local or house candidates as well, even if they do nothing for the head of the ticket.

If Clinton wins thanks to superdelgates or other sorts of shady stuff, the party will lose its activist base entirely, and likely face a total and complete electoral collapse.

by Zwackus on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 04:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We shall, just to keep an R out of the White House.
by rifek on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 09:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Every single poll I have came across presents exactly the opposite scenario. At the Presidential election Sanders is virtually unbeatable against the Republican candidates. The only one that might get near him is Rubio.

This is an aspect poorly understood and largely ignored by the media. Sanders appeals to a vast swath of conservative electors, the reason why his wining margins for Senator were so huge.

Here is Thom Hartman on this subject:



You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 05:58:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here's a hint (from The American Conservative)
I saw Bernie Sanders on Colbert a few days ago. Colbert asked a softball question about how weird it is that a reality-TV goon like Trump is so popular. I assumed Sanders would piñata Trump, but his response was fascinating - he recognized the legitimate grievances that were animating Trump voters, without insulting Trump and without saying his name. Sanders isn't just campaigning for Hillary's voters, he's campaigning for Trump's.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 06:01:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump mistakes Sanders's campaign for his own
"I wanted to describe a candidate to you," MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski told Trump during a town hall in Charleston, S.C.

"That candidate is considered a political outsider by all of the pundits," she said. "He's tapping into the anger of voters, delivers a populist message.

"He believes everyone in the country should have healthcare [and] he advocates for hedge fund managers to pay higher taxes," Brzezinski added. "He is drawing thousands of people at his rallies and bringing in a lot of new voters into the political process. Who am I describing?"

"You're describing Donald Trump," the outspoken billionaire responded.

"Actually, I was describing Bernie Sanders," Brzezinski countered.

by das monde on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 06:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I though the MSM wasn't supposed to talk so nicely about this Socialist...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 09:43:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, the direct media exposure of Trump and Sanders differs like day and polar night.
by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:48:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if Sanders would ever be taken as a populist in Europe. Much of what he says is sort of common sense around these parts.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 12:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The term takes on a different meaning in the European political lexicon ... what is called populist in the US seems to be a superset of what is called populist in Europe.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 04:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point. Sanders is promising things that he cannot guarantee without Congress, but he is not promising heaven.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 07:17:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason he polls well against the Republicans is because most of the country doesn't know anything about him yet, and he hasn't suffered the onslaught that will come should he win the nomination.  Clinton polls lower because she's already dealt with it.  What you're seeing right now is Clinton's floor and fantasyland numbers for Sanders.

I keep trying to explain this to people, and apparently nobody wants to listen because anecdotes about how "I met this trucker in Dumbfuckistan, SC, who's a Republican and he likes Bernie!" are too enticing for people.

But I'll say it anyway.  General election polls this far out on candidates who aren't well-known to the public are useless.  Ignore them.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 07:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The risk with Clinton is that she might not really be up for winning, like the "electable" Skuls-en-what fella Kerry (or even Gore). She might allow the most crazy Repub to ascend.

That is the difference between "progressives" and conservatives. One side is compromising everything for keeping a few last historic achievements for a few more years. The other side is pushing own electorate education and limits to get away with.

by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:30:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The risk for Clinton is that her combination of organizational incompetence and people being tired of Clintons and Bushes dooms her to lose to a fresh-faced GOPer like Rubio or Cruz by five points.

The risk for Sanders is that he faces the same and gets McGovern'd.

Sanders people will respond that he's "bringing in tons of new people," which simply isn't the case when you look at turnout.  His coalition basically looks like a smaller version of Obama's, but without the black people.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:12:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This GOP field is a rare opportunity for Dems to get whatever decent president they want. If not now, then when? What's the point of doing politics anyway? Is that what is stopping us, we do not know surely how many people would Sanders bring? The others have no more hands-down experience in the politics, and have no broader appeal.

Sure, it has been a while that Dems ventured outside their safe spaces. I sadly prepare then popcorn for a heartbreaking drama.

by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the life of me, I don't know why people think the GOP field offers any such opportunity barring a still-unlikely Trump nomination and subsequent meltdown.  The Dems are a two-term incumbent party, and the president's approvals are underwater.  These data points historically say the Dems should lose.  Winning three straight terms is rare (only FDR and Reagan have done it in the modern era).

The point of doing politics is to pass and protect policies.  The Dems need to win this race if they are to protect the policy gains they've made in the last seven years and give the demographic trends more time to work their magic.  

They really need to win given Scalia's death, because replacing Scalia with a liberal completely changes the balance on the Supreme Court.  Not to mention Ginsburg being 900 years old and having stubbornly refused to retire and let Obama appoint a younger replacement earlier.

My fear is that, while I like Bernie personally and despise the Clintons, it seems to me a lot of Sanders supporters are deluding themselves about his chances in the general.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 10:24:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dem incumbency has nothing to do with the GOP field, so you are pointing wildly from the start. If the Dems have to be scared of Cruz, Rubio, Bush, Kasich as presidential materials or mass attractors, then oh my.

It takes some boldness to win politically. If the Dems want to stay comfortable above all, I pitty them.

by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 11:01:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This.

If the Dems can't win against any of the GOP clowns they should pack it in.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 03:03:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The GOP field is pretty generic aside from Trump.  Rubio, Bush and Kasich could all easily win a general election.  They all have obvious selling points.  It's not particularly strong, but it's not particularly weak either.  And the Dems -- who are running a 900 year-old guy who looks like Jeremy Corbyn after a bad acid trip and Hillary Clinton -- aren't exactly playing with a royal flush as candidates go.

Cruz might not, because there's some evidence to suggest he's not much more than a factional candidate, and he's universally viewed as an asshole by people who know him -- even by people on the same side of the aisle.  But don't underestimate him.  Cruz is not stupid.  He could be the Nixon to Trump's Goldwater.

Once you get beyond two terms in office, voters become more susceptible to "It's time for change!" sloganeering.  And change always -- always -- means a change in party.  Bernie could promise to nationalize the means of production or come out in favor of Ted Cruz's tax plan, and he'd still be "a continuation of Barack Obama's policies".

They're all nuts, but thinking that means anything is making the mistake of believing elections are about voters understanding candidates' policies.  The partisans often know this, but they're not up for grabs.  The swing voters who decide elections are, and they're morons.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:03:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, well, it's going to be either Sanders or Clinton.

If you believe the big problem is that after 8 years incumbents are voted out, how is Clinton going to fare better?
If the election is lost anyway (which I don't believe it is), then why not at least shift the Overton window?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She's going to fare better because (1) she doesn't look or sound like Bernie, (2) she doesn't have some sort of hipster need to call herself a "socialist" (which, despite my wishes, is a term people over 30 are deeply uncomfortable with), and (3) her husband is Bill Clinton, whom people still see as a good president (particularly on the economy).

These are all entirely shallow reasons, of course.  But that's politics.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 06:24:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand this thinking, but these elections can not possibly be won with these arguments. As you wrote in previous comments, people want "change", and Clinton can not provide it.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 05:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say people wanted change.  I said that would be the pitch from the Republicans, and it's a pitch that Dems are vulnerable to after eight years of controlling the White House.  You counteract that by pointing out that the country is a hell of a lot better off today than it was eight years ago and running on a 5% unemployment rate and (finally) accelerating wage gains.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 09:28:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say people wanted change.

No?

Once you get beyond two terms in office, voters become more susceptible to "It's time for change!" sloganeering.

"Sanders" and "continuation" are two words that do not fit that well.


You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 12:36:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said that would be the pitch from the Republicans, and it's a pitch that Dems are vulnerable to after eight years of controlling the White House.

Once you get beyond two terms in office, voters become more susceptible to "It's time for change!" sloganeering.

Yes.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 03:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama discredited the notion that change comes with a swap of political parties. Apart from health care and different rhetorics, he might as well be a George W clone. The attention on Trump and Sanders shows that the people are looking for more genuine markers of change.

And besides, the Dems had lost their incumbency to George W (with an extension in 2004) under very close and questionable circumstances. We should not jump into fatalistic conclusions so easily.

by das monde on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 07:59:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from health care and different rhetorics, [Obama] might as well be a George W clone.
What!?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 12:34:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, just now seeing this, but...

Apart from health care and different rhetorics, he might as well be a George W clone. The attention on Trump and Sanders shows that the people are looking for more genuine markers of change.

Even supposing that everything after "Apart from health care" is right (it's not even kind of right):

"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2016 at 08:19:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the GOP field is new generic. Try to fit Reagan in there, and imagine to what Dems will wet next time.

The electorate feels now less entitled to just mental entertainment. People are in pain, and they know on their skin a chunk more how much bullshit they were fed. Foremost, they look for genuine leadership, something else than submission to the corrupt status quo. That is why Trump is successful so far. And that is where Clinton is zero. Many voters will not care to show up just for a lesser evil.

So far Sanders is managing his image way better than any Dem this century, without stumbling yet. We are so accustomed to Democrat awkwardness, there are too manu fears in your head.

by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People are in pain, and they know on their skin a chunk more how much bullshit they were fed.

This is precisely where people get it wrong.  In any given election, most people are not in pain.  Most people are not out for grand revolutions or for othering.  Most people don't even bother to show up for the primaries and don't even pay attention until the conventions.  

That's why passing healthcare reform was so hard -- most people were fine, and they were risk-averse, so naturally there were strong misgivings to prey on.

I know the soaring ideas have a lot of appeal, but all of us here are politically-engaged partisans.  We're not the ones who decide, because we all know the score, and we're all going to vote one way or the other for our parties.  It's the Moron Middle that matters.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 06:31:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Passing healthcare was a partisan political process - people's opinion was irrelevant. One of us is way wrong about what people think. The stability seeking rentier & corporate court classes had shrunk since 2008.

I would not say that Sanders' rhetorics is that soaring. The GOP clowns overreached their metaphors to a more laughable level. And Sanders manages the "socialist" label smoothly like no one else.

by das monde on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People's opinions were highly relevant.  A politician's first job is to get elected.  What made ACA's passage remarkable, politically, was that Obama basically had to convince a bunch of Dems to sacrifice their seats for the greater good in order to pass the thing.  Many did, it passed, and those Dems were promptly kicked out of office in 2010.

The Democrats gave up the House for ten years to get a small subset of voters health care.

The stability-seekers are not all rentiers.  The stability-seekers are what most voters are.  They're the ones who made the Dems pay for passing that law.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 09:37:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 2010 by elections were substantially helped by the large number of angry conservtives who 'wanted their country back' but who also had more legitimate economic grievances. But they were largely co-opted by Dick Armey with Koch bros. money. It was the first time many of them had ever had money behind them.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 11:40:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 2010 by elections were substantially helped by the large number of angry conservtives who 'wanted their country back' but who also had more legitimate economic grievances. But they were largely co-opted by (big money Republicans wanting tax cuts.

So basically it was every Republican campaign since Nixon.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 03:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was worse with Obama because of the racism, but a major complaint with Clinton was that 'he had betrayed his people'. Fortunately, that demographic is literally dying off and most millennials will have none of it. Even in the South the younger generations are not nearly as virulent as were their parents and grandparents. Not that all ever were. Just >90%. Nigger, nigger, nigger no longer works as a campaign slogan and the effectiveness even of dog-whistle politics is declining. Currently this is giving the Democrats an advantage in presidential politics. The effects on congressional and local politics will take longer. But this bodes well for the aspirations of Sanders supporters, even if Sanders does not win the nomination. The danger is that another collapse, if poorly resolved, could bring a real dystopia - where the opinions of the electorate no longer matter at all.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 03:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Obama basically had to convince a bunch of Dems to sacrifice their seats for the greater good in order to pass the thing.  Many did, it passed, and those Dems were promptly kicked out of office in 2010.

The Democrats gave up the House for ten years to get a small subset of voters health care."

Nor did Obama campaign or govern so that more Democrats might get elected. In fact, he seemed actually allergic to the Dems having all three houses and relieved to lose that control. His administration was dismissive of progressives. He made preemptive compromises and got nothing in return. At best we got an anodyne health care expansion without any reform to the take of the financial sector from the medical care delivery system in order to get that coverage for 'a small subset of voters'. I'm glad we got that, but think it was a bad bargain. We will never know what we might have gotten as he prevented the House from even trying to get a better deal.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 04:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is always a suspicion that a politician got exactly what he wanted, especially with a petty reform.
by das monde on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 07:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I've drunk the cool-aid but it seems to me "getting a small subset of voters health care" doesn't come close to describing the significance of Obamacare.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 12:30:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where we would be without the health insurance reform would be with health insurance reform an even more urgent issue now.

But it would be a mistake to presume that the political outcome we had was the best outcome possible ... the pointless chase for a filibuster proof 60 Senate votes cost a lot of political capital. When the opposition is playing to slow the process down, deliberately slowing it down by two months or more is playing into their hands.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 08:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The critique I've seen often from the left is that Obamacare provides health insurance but skimps on health care by allowing the insurance companies to game the system.

There are two main ways being uninsured sucks:


  • No access early and preventive care.

  • Financial ruin in case of sickness.

If Obamacare helps with the second point one should see less medical bankruptcies at least. Anyone know if that is the case? No idea how to check the first.

by generic on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 05:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first could be seen in statistics measuring the frequency of illnesses that are easy to prevent if spotted early. I have no immediate suggestions, but I will think about it.
by fjallstrom on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 06:15:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a 900 year-old guy who looks like Jeremy Corbyn after a bad acid trip

:) From my distant view point, it seems that is exactly how the mainstream media wishes to portray him. But so far they have not been that successful.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 05:25:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it seems to me a lot of Sanders supporters are deluding themselves about his chances in the general.

I agree Sanders' chances are minimal. Even in the unlikely chance of getting nominated by the party, he will be torpedoed by Bloomberg.

However, being delusional is all part of the game in a campaign like this. Supporters will believe until the very end it is possible, otherwise what is the point?

Regarding the first half of your comment, Sanders does not represent the "incumbents", like Clinton. It is precisely the posture of rupture making inroads to the discontent Democratic (and Republican) electorate.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 02:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the first half of your comment, Sanders does not represent the "incumbents"....

Yes, he does.  He has a D next to his name.  That's really all there is to it.  If anything, his talk of "revolution" and other such nonsense is just going to scare the pants-pissing suburbanites.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And me thinking it was an I. You are being too reductionist IMOH, Sanders (and perhaps Trump) represent a rupture with the black or white politics.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 05:32:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...Sanders (and perhaps Trump) represent a rupture with the black or white politics.

Yeah, I've heard that song before.

Y'know, Howard Dean, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, Gary Hart, William Jennings Bryan....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 09:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But, but, ... this time is different. You have to believe!

Now seriously, comparing Nader or Perot with Sanders?

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 12:38:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Drew J Jones "His coalition basically looks like a smaller version of Obama's, but without the black people."

That is true now, but, if lightning strikes and Sanders becomes the nominee, most blacks, excluding black conservatives, will support Sanders. Can you really see them staying home and letting Trump win? And this is even more so with Latinos. The Democrats could carry Texas with Sanders as the candidate, not that they wouldn't with Clinton as the candidate. Meanwhile, Sander's 18 point lead currently in W. Virginia is testament to his appeal to working class whites. This could also help in some southern states and would definitely affect the national percentage each candidate gets.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 01:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you greatly overestimate the level of enlightenment in Tejas, but admittedly I hate Tejas and would happily pay higher taxes to pay Mexico to take it back.

The only way the Dems carry Tejas is if Trump is on the ballot and completely melts down, in which case the candidate is irrelevant.  This is unlikely, because as horrifying as he is to the GOP establishment and much of the base, the GOPers will fall in line and goosestep for Trump come November.  If we're even entertaining the idea of Tejas come September, the election's already over.

I don't think his lead -- bear in mind it's one poll from a pollster nobody's heard of -- in West Virginia is really a testament to anything other than perhaps Hillary being tainted by Obama going after the coal industry.  The states that are big on working-class whites -- I don't know what it is with Dems and the obsession with working-class whites (I'd think fifty years of failure would clue people in) -- are largely for Hillary in the polling.  Sanders is winning young liberals.

Again, I get why a lot of folks are in love with Bernie.  I'm okay with Bernie, although I'm not enthusiastic as I was when he announced.  And from a practical standpoint, this still looks a lot like Howard Dean to me.  "We're gonna bring all these new people out and turnouts gonna go through the roof and we'll have cross-party voters coming in and yaddayaddayadda" -- and then it turns out the people saying that were living in a bubble.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 05:18:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cannot agree with the Bernie bubble view, and the comparison to Dean. Sanders has actually won an early primary, he is still competitive and exceeding expectations, and has incomparably much political experience of swimming upstream. All that might not be enough, but how can we know? Hillary has no fewer irking points, really.

And the Dems have only two candidates (plus someone we never knew). That is apparently more than the expected One, but still, a meager choice. A younger, more conventional (but somewhat resistant to deep interests) candidate would be better. But we have these candidates, and Sanders is fully in the game.

by das monde on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 08:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sanders has actually won an early primary, he is still competitive and exceeding expectations, and has incomparably much political experience of swimming upstream. All that might not be enough, but how can we know?

He's in a less-crowded field with more favorable demographics (more Millennials of voting age now, etc) and a primary electorate far less focused on the question of "Who can win given the prevailing attitudes?" than Dean, he's not very competitive in the upcoming states, and he represents the second-most-liberal state in the union.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 08:23:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So it is not much of a bubble. We still have to see Sanders hit an actual roadblock painfully.
by das monde on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 09:01:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I think you greatly overestimate the level of enlightenment in Tejas" Perhaps, but, as Cheech Marin would say, 'I was borned there!" And I have a bunch of Texas relatives. My father moved us back to Oklahoma after WW II to take a job with Phillips Petroleum and we ended up living in Whizbang, now an official Okie ghost town. But my estimate that Sanders might do reasonably well in Texas is more based on demographics, millennials and Hispanics. But I will say that Texans are more likely than most to see a rich blowhard for what he is. In the general election in the fall, should Sanders be the candidate, I think he might well do better than Hillary would against Trump. And I have seen projections that Texas will turn Democratic around 2020, due to demographics. Do you know how favorite son Poss Perot did against B41?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 12:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I will say that Texans are more likely than most to see a rich blowhard for what he is.

Yes, between Jerry Jones, George W Bush, Rick Perry, every UT booster in history, every white politician, etc, Texans are clearly savvy at spotting rich blowhards and weeding them out.

I've seen projections suggesting Texas could turn around 2024.  Not gonna happen this year.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 07:51:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there is a symbiotic relation between football and evangelical religion throughout the south, even is not with FSU. "Friday Night Lights" and all that. And Texas has a rich history of populist religious blowhards so there has been ample opportunity for other Texans to observe first hand. I didn't say ALL Texans would recognize them for what they are, but it is not because they have never seen them! Texas has been and will again be blue. Its only a matter of time - maybe sooner rather than later. I would be quite happy with a 40/60 split this year.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 09:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point was that most Texans pretty clearly do not recognize them and are not better-able to see through them than others, as the state is basically run by rich blowhards.  Throw a cowboy hat on Trump for a few rallies and they'll win it.

40/60 would be pretty bad for the Dems given past results and demographic changes.  Obama did better than that both times.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 10:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My brain was still stuck on the Primary when I posted the 60/40 split. 60 - H, 40 - S.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 12:32:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is starting to seem that 'The whole world loves a rich, nastt blowhard'! But we still have to see how far into the middle that support goes. Donald Trump may be the new clown prince or the new Benito Mussolini, but can he win the general election and against whom?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 09:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think he'd beat either, because, while the GOPers are too chickenshit to go after him, that's not going to be an issue for Dems.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 11:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, but if it comes to a Trump candidacy it is going to be high anxiety until the election. For all anyone knows his first move could be to order LLoyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon to be arrested, charged and prosecuted for fraud. That would have populist appeal. Then he could start in with typical Trump comments about rich Jews. Or more subtle moves to set things up first. It matters how and by whom things are done.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 02:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only thing Trump's going to do to Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon is give them a massive tax cut.

That's part of the genius.  He's running the same damned con the GOPers have been running on the yokels since Reagan, but without the neocon foreign policy.  He just figured out that the base didn't give a rat's ass about issues and wanted somebody who'd attack minorities.

They don't even give a damn about abortion or Iraq!  He's out there talking up Planned Parenthood and calling Bush a liar in GOP debates, and he's still winning!

They don't care.  They don't care about policy.  They don't care about schools or roads or social insurance or wars or fetuses or tax cuts or the environment or any matter of serious policy.  They care about politicians affirming that NASCAR isn't stupid, that hunting is awesome, that country music doesn't all sound exactly the same, that the little sticker on the back of their Silverados showing Calvin pissing on a Ford logo isn't childish.

They're just a bunch of bigots who vote on whichever dirtbag does the best job acting like a daddy figure affirming the righteousness of their bigotry.

This is what many of us in the "Metropolitan Opera Wing" of the Democratic Party, as Mudcat Saunders refers to us, have been trying to explain for years.  We can't win those people, because we stand for exactly what they hate.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 03:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If anyone believes a billionaire is going to jail other billionaires, than I still have an Eiffel tower in Paris for sale...
by Bernard on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 04:05:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so either, but my point is that Trump is an unpredictable, unprincipled opportunist and a demagogue. From what I can see of what he actually believes, based on how he lives his life, he might be the most acceptable of the present Republican field. He seems, in essence, someone who is pretty liberal on social issues and your basic neo-lib Democrat. He supported Hillary a decade ago. But you never know which Trump will show up at any given time. He is unprincipaled, in that his principals are what ever suits the moment. And he has taken so many different sides on so many issues the is likely to be able, truthfully, to say "I said I would do that!" on just about anything.

I fully agree with you in your description of the voters he appeals to and they are hardly unique to the south. they haven't really changed since J.W. Cash wrote about them in his classic "The Mind of the South" in 1941 - which I would suggest everyone read if they haven't already. North of the Mason-Dixon line they are called Joe Sixpack. Any sane billionaire who would empower a demagogue like Trump should have the sense to have the control for a radio controlled detonator that has been inserted into the cranial cavity of the candidate, but, alas, Turmp empowered himself.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 09:26:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From a foreign policy standpoint, I actually think Cruz is probably the most acceptable GOPer (less inclined towards interventionism like Trump, but also opposed to waterboarding, opposed to harassing Muslims, etc).  

From an economic policy standpoint, Cruz is probably the worst, though.  Trump is probably the least bad on most issues, although his normalization of xenophobic language and behavior is probably the scariest from a long-term perspective.

In the short term, on the whole, Rubio is far and away the scariest candidate.  Doubly so, as he's a much easier sell than Trump or Cruz.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 27th, 2016 at 07:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From a civil rights point of view, Cruz is a nightmare.  Unless a dominionist theocracy is your cup of tea.
by rifek on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 10:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good comment, Drew. I don't quite dare believe Bernie can make it all the way, the systems are all set in place on purpose to keep outliers 'in their place', though in fact in some weird way Trump is doing Bernie's heavy lifting, undermining the comfortable predictable rigged machine politics of the times from his end. Trump and Sanders pave the way for each other.

If Bernie would win, of course that's when his real problems begin, we all know that. How a seventy four year old man, after the strain of a long, brutal campaign, would be able to hit the ground running and pull a bigger rabbit of governance out of the hat than the one of winning... I kinda expect him to have an aneurysm any moment jacking his energy like he does daily.
Seventies are the new sixties, I guess.

What's really the issue when I get right down to it is does democracy have enough tatters left to allow  Sanders a clear mandate to call enough of the shots.

Each election cycle the internet plays a bigger part, especially with regard to its two greatest political strengths, derision and strategic coconut wireless. The intelligent brainstorming found on (certain!) blogs comes in a close third.

Maybe it's just my feeds, but Hilary is getting slammed every day with more and more intelligent, rational reasons why voting her in would be WW3 with knobs on, and her defence is sounding ever staler, just the usual power-brokers like Unions, same old.

Millenials are web-savvier, they probably see much less TV, less subject to mainstream disinformation. They see their futures without rising up, and it ain't pretty. Not as back to the wall as Vietnam days, but getting there.

This election is easily the most nailbiting one for years, and would be even without the strange attractor of the Donald's wrecking ball sucking the media oxygen, (possibly taking space what would have been used smearing Bernie). Taibbi's article on Mr. T. sums it up perfectly, the election as reality show/WWF. Custom Made for Trumpery. It's not so much about swing states or swing voters any more, it's GOTV for millions jaded and disenfranchised people realising their vote was being wasted unused, and finally finding their spokesman, both sides of the line. The Center is folding like a cheap suit, and saviours are riding in from two directions, each respectfully unthinkable a year ago.
Makes Bush-Gore look dull!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 09:16:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What you're seeing right now is Clinton's floor and fantasyland numbers for Sanders.

Agreed on the second part, but Clinton's numbers are useless too since her opponents aren't as well known.

Also a minor quibble about the onslaught: Clinton has been through more than once and certainly took damage from it. And I think most of the unpaid enthusiasm she gets stems from that time.
Sanders on the other hand hasn't yet had to deal with much of it, but it is still an open question how much would stick.

by generic on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Drew, we are speculating here. I do not trust polls either, but that is almost all we have. The interesting thingto me is that no matter who is polling, Sanders always fares better than Clinton against any of the Republican hopefuls.

Apart from that we have the figures from Sanders various wins for Congress and the Senate - it is obvious he does good among (at least part) of the conservative electorate.

And finally, as we have seen with the primaries so far, the more Sanders is recognised, the more votes he harnesses.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 02:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What the early polls can tell us is the atmosphere of the election and the general shape of the ground on which the election will take place.

That's rather woo-woo but I don't know how else to express it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 03:01:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hillary Clinton just can't win [...] -- Salon.com
Please name the last person to win the presidency alongside an ongoing FBI investigation, negative favorability ratings, questions about character linked to continual flip-flops, a dubious money trail of donors, and the genuine contempt of the rival political party.
How interesting it would be if the things that she's already dealt with will suddenly matter newly just before the general election?
by das monde on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is hard to imagine Trump winning a general election. He has alienated too many minorities, especially the Latinos. Trump has to start by forgetting Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, all of them states Trump has advocated building a fence around. For what reasons should a majority of Latinos EVER forget how Trump has bashed them for political convenience?

And, if it is Sanders vs. Rubio or Cruz, why should blacks favor the Republican over Sanders? Religion? How many blacks are Catholic? Jeb would likely have a better shot at both blacks and Latinos than any of Trump, Rubio or Cruz.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:28:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
For what reasons should a majority of Latinos EVER forget how Trump has bashed them for political convenience?

I heard many vote R, in order to stop too many other expatriate brethren joining them at the feast of limitless American prosperity. Only so much room at the trough...

Your point would hold for the poorest amongst them, but would do they get on the ballot?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:28:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Similar solidarity from affluent blacks. They love to demonstrate their other status. For them, "Hunger games", "Blade runner" dystopia now for a while already.
by das monde on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 01:13:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Latino Republicans = Business men Latinos, usually well assimilated, plus some Latino politicians. But they are a distinct minority of all Latino voters.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 01:18:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also Florida Cubans; because of Castro.
by Bernard on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 12:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Older ones.  The kids are all Americanized and largely couldn't care less about Castro.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 05:25:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So much for the GOP chances with Latinos...
by Bernard on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 02:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This isn't 1972.  The folks with the "Sanders is a Commie" attitude wouldn't vote Dem if you held a gun to their head anyway, so that isn't the controlling factor.
by rifek on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 09:13:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Sanders isn't McGovern, isn't Mondale, isn't Gore and isn't Kerry. There are only two historical examples who resemble him at all: Henry Wallace and Gene McCarthy, each in different ways.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Sanders wins the presidency, a heck of alot of senators and congress persons will be looking at their left flanks and sweating bullets. Because it would imply that the conventional wisdom about where the US electorate desires lie are wrong. Or, to be more specific - that the people the Washington consensus screws over have noticed and are showing up at polls.
So Sanders might get some of what he wants.
by Thomas on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 06:44:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sanders is the only candidate I see having coat-tails. Hillary doesn't inspire and too many of Trump's voters are too ignorant to even know what downticket is, who is on it or to care.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 05:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I misunderstood, but doesn't coat-tails in politics usually refer to people climbing to power through hitching themselves to another's success?

To stick to the tail metaphor, I think Bernie catches the long tail of the electorate who had become apolitical through lack of credible representation, and now has started wagging the dog.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In US politics "coat-tails" means people coming to vote for the top line candidate, almost always presidential, and then voting for everybody else of the same party.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 11:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thing is, more of Trump's voters come from self-described "moderate" and "somewhat moderate" voters who would normally be expected to be the foundation of the support for the "establishment lane" Republicans, which raises the spectre of the establishment lane not existing this year, as far as the primary base electorate goes.

That would make it Trump v Cruz, rather than Trump or Cruz v an establishment candidate.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 02:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Up till now Trump plus Cruz have totalled over 50% of the Repug vote most of the time. There has been no  sign of this changing.  However if establishment Republicans unite around one candidate - say Rubio - Cruz could be in trouble. My guess is that it will probably end up being Trump vs. Cruz, such is the establishment disarray.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 03:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is, Cruz is not tending to draw the "moderate" and "somewhat moderate"{+} primary voters that "establishment" candidates typically rely upon: Trump is. Cruz's support breaks "very conservative", Trump's breaks "moderate".

So the establishment candidates can winnow down, but so long as Trump is getting ~30~40%, there may not be enough non-very-conservative primary voters for even one of them to come second, let alone first.

{+ Self-described ... likely holding positions which few of us here would consider to be "moderate" in any way, shape or form.}


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 04:50:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump voters are all over the map and vary a lot by region.  It's an attitude thing, not an ideological thing.  Hell, he's beating Cruz with Evangelicals in South Carolina.  The guy who donates to Planned Parenthood and bragged about all the women he's slept with is winning with fundies.  

Trump could come out tomorrow and promise to replace Obamacare with single-payer and call anybody who disagrees a loser, and I'd half-expect his numbers to rise at this point.  He could latch onto that smear Cruz is spreading about Rubio being gay and call Rubio some sort of homophobic slur, and he'd probably hit 40%.

They don't care.  They're just angry and stupid.  They feel fucked-over.  They look at Trump, who's also angry and stupid, and think, "This is our guy, he'll fuck those bastards over who fucked us!"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:02:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump's support is pretty concentrated in the East. The New York Time has a nice map that shows this very well.

This is one of the reasons that leads me to conclude we will not get enough delegates for a direct nomination.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 02:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you say "the East", are you meaning to say "Eastern half of the US geographically"? That map shows strong support in the East, Southeast, and Midwest, plus Oklahoma and Nevada, weak support in Texas, California, and the balance of the population light and delegate light Great Plains and Mountain West.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that it is by Congressional Districts and that, in the West, the districts strongest in favor of Trump are the largest, and therefore have the lowest population density. Thousands of square miles of western landscape vote for Trump.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 01:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Cartography, East means "to the right". Do you note the coincidence?

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 05:37:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a difference between political regions named after geography ( and history) and directions as such.
by fjallstrom on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 11:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pardon me my ignorance, but I have no idea which states exactly correspond to "Midwest" or "Southeast", I am just too far away. Perhaps this a good discussion for some other day here at ET.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 12:41:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"East" in US politics does not mean eastern third (demographically eastern half), because the US grew from east to west, and the "East" coast had a much larger share of the US population than at present.

Because the Mountain West and northern Great Plains are relatively lightly populated, if you draw a line from Texas north and say that and everything west is the "West" and everything east of that is the "East", then 2/3 of the population lies in the "East", and 1/3 in the "West".

Having your support focused in the states with 2/3 of the population and delegates (since the "blue" states in the "East" with proportionally fewer Republican delegates will be offset by the "red" states in the Southeast with proportionally more Republican delegates) is does not mean that Trump has an uphill climb. It could, indeed, mean that Cruz has an uphill climb, if the map of his support is the reverse.

For more critical are the state by state details. Some states are proportional, some states are proportional if no candidate gets 50%, winner take all if one candidate gets 50%+, and some states are winner take all no matter what.

190
The East is north of DC and east of the Appalachian mountains ... New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland (which at one time was border southern, but demography has shifted).

The Southeast is Kentucky and Virginia south.

The Midwest is north of Kentucky, the Great Lakes States (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin), through to the first rank of Northern states across the Mississippi, Missouri up to Minnesota.

And the West is the Great Plains, Mountain West, Pacific Northwest and Southwest.

Texas as a former state of the old Confederacy has traditionally been placed as the furthest west of the Southeastern states. Some might place it in the West, with DFW being the largest population center in Texas and the largest population center in the Great Plains.

The East has 112 electoral votes, the Midwest 134, the Southeast 173 and the West 152.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 11:07:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, sorry, there was a big chunk of stuff at the end of that comment that was from a previous version.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 09:09:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Southeast is generally everything from Arkansas to the Atlantic, and from Kentucky and Virginia on south.

The Midwest is more vague, but I'd call it basically everything from western Pennsylvania to Missouri and up to Minnesota.  Some include Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 05:33:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The great and glorious NYT is barely aware anything exists west of the Appalachians.  On a good day, the editorial staff can find California on a map.
by rifek on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:30:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The tidiest summary of Chump-mania yet.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 03:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is why Trump's support breaks "moderate".

The reason this is not covered is that it does not fit with the "gut feeling" of media that Trump ought to be supported by the more extreme.

Many of the dominionists that Cruz attracts the most strongly will already have an explanation for why they have been screwed ... the nomination keeps getting won by a mainstream establishment candidate instead of their candidate.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:52:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this time they may finally get their prayers answered.  Then the national Republican Party will learn what the Washington State Party learned 20 years ago (sort of): Run a religious freak, and the Democrats can win with a bowl of oatmeal.  I think that's ultimately what Clinton is triangulating: Vote for me, I'm oatmeal.  Unfortunately, she's even lying about that.
by rifek on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the odds of either Cruz or Trump winning the nomination seems better than 50% ... there are not a lot of Super Tuesday states where Cruz has a chance to win, and then in a fortnight more time the primaries are all either winner take all or 50%+ winner take all.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 08:10:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 08:11:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have only an anecdote to add to the discussion about Trump. I was in NYC in January. A black taxi driver, around 35 years old, accent that I would place as being from the Caribbean, said Trump was "the guy." The basis for his conclusion, and for his support for Trump? "Look at all the buildings the guy has. He's got it going on."
Pointing out Trump's bankruptcies and feelings about immigrants made no difference to the man.
For what it's worth.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 08:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the blacks are more comfortable with greater inequality, they won't be fascinated by Sanders' socialism. Particularly judging from the hip hop themes and videos - ever obsessed with cash and power - they may seem to accept the rules of "get rich or die trying", and would seek all the luxury in the favorable case. That would explain the respect for the successful.

Even the recent Beyonce's "Formation" has this message:

If the "best revenge" or the answer to progress "is your paper" as the lyrics to "Formation" suggest, Bey's brand of activism is ultimately doomed. Viewing monetary prowess as power is not only a familiar (and flawed) trope within her genre, it is also a predictably capitalistic formula for agency. Prefaced by a reminder to "always stay gracious," Bey's suggested route towards liberation is contingent on two things: respectability and the mobility that comes with affluence.

Bey's respectability politics operate on their own terms, allowing for her faithful followers to ascend but only to a point. The packaging may be different, but the pedagogy is all too familiar. Resist or dismiss her formula for agency and find yourself "eliminated," banished to the fringe of black intellectualism and discourse. Bey's route towards power in this sense is an ultimatum. As she addresses her listeners ("ladies"), she urges them to "get into formation," to take action, while keeping herself at the forefront as a role model and example of how both "grace" and "paper" translates into power. "Prove to me you got some coordination," she demands. Comply or be silenced. The options are clear: Utilize what Audre Lorde would call "the master's tools" or be rendered irrelevant.

by das monde on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 02:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think machine politics is a better explanation for Clintons greater support in Afro-American communities. Machine politics can bring tangible benefits to communities, and a bird in the hand is better then ten in the woods.

Or at least from afar it is something that fits.

I may be influenced by this over at Booman:
Booman Tribune ~ Machines; Not Firewalls

How many Clinton "firewalls" were breached in 2008 and have already been breached in 2016?  This woman has had more firewalls than makeovers.  In 2008 she had women, POC, Superdelegates (at least near half), near half the establishment/institutional support (including mass media and money), and gun owners and later junked POC for white folks.  This time she has women, AAs, Latinos, Superdelegates (more than 90%), all the establishment/institutional support (including mass media and money),  and white folks.  (She junked the gun owners this time around.)

Clinton has never had "firewalls."  She has machines.  Machines constructed over decades.

by fjallstrom on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 04:52:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most likely, we'll see Trump taking on those firewals. Ought to be fun.
by das monde on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 07:17:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Super Tuesday is going to be very interesting on both sides. I saw that Nate Silver was splitting the results while Rachel Maddow is saying that only Georgia is a shoo in for Hillary and Sanders' support is largely hidden from pollsters.

Equally on the lunatic side, ST will determine who continues down the field cos only Trump, Cruz and Jeb! can continue unless they get big surprise results. For all that Rubio is the establishment candidate, Bush mortally wounded him in the debate and, even if he himself doesn't know it, his campaign is over.

South Carolina and Nevada aren't going to tell us anything much that's interesting, but ST will answer an awful lot of question

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 17th, 2016 at 05:15:16 PM EST
A Sanders win in Nevada would tell us that Hillary is in real trouble whilst anything other than a decisive Trump win in South Carolina could indicate that he is damaged by his blaming 9/11 and Iraq war on Bush. If he wins, he will have done great damage to the GOP brand which depends on blaming Obama and Hillary for just about everything regardless of who was in office, when.

A Trump Hillary match-up in the general will also give us the interesting spectacle of Trump claiming he opposed the war, while Hillary supported it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 12:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you know he would go there, with relish.  I really, really hope it doesn't come down to that.
by Zwackus on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 04:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that he's on video in 2002 supporting it vocally.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 05:34:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pah !! Evidence?? Facts?? Consistency ?? Who cares?

He might have supported it then, but now, knowing what he does now, he didn't support it back then. It's obvious.

He's a populist. So it was popular to have supported it back then. Now it's not popular, so he doesn't support it. And, lacking any real principle beyond populism, you will find that he didn't really support it back then either.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 03:17:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yesterday polls were giving 35% for Sanders in South Carolina, which is like 10% more than one month ago. My appreciation is that positive results in Nevada and South Carolina can get things really rolling for Sanders and approach him definitely to Clinton in national polls.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 06:00:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump is being criticized as a non-conservative more congruently - and that might stick. Some say Scalia's death is not good for Trump, and Cruz already beats Trump in one national poll.  Plus, some popcorn is ready for a Cruz-Trump litigation.

Bush just missed a big endorsement, while a new anti-Bush book hit the election market. He probably missed his chance to embrace fully the role of a least crazed candidate to Kasich.

by das monde on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 04:43:54 AM EST
no one's looking and give my "I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about" predictions.

The Dems: Hillary, and we all groan. Why vote for Hillary?  If you don't, a Repub. will get into the WH and no end of shit will fall on the 99%. Great Fed political system you have here, folks. California is already in "going it alone" mode ... i.e. common sense.

The Repubs: Trump doesn't have enough delegates to win the first convention go-around. Brokered convention. And the "insiders" choose ... drum roll please ... JEB!  And the mainstream Repub assholes go bonkers. They realize that after all this Trump/Cruz outsider crap, the big boys still win and there's not a damn thing that will change that until the US Govt. folds it's tent and dies.    

Have a nice life (as I told my ex-wife in early 1980 as I went out the door for the last time.)                                    

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2016 at 07:48:21 PM EST
Sunday morning update.

So Jeb! "suspended his campaign" last night ... don't know what Kasich or Carson are waiting for ... and we head to the brokered convention where they choose ... JEB!  That's right fans, Jeb! sits back and cruises for the next weeks letting The Donald, Marco (Polo), and Ted slug it out, and finally, at the convention, the big boys select Jeb! to save the party AND THE NATION!

Rest up Jeb! ... the country will still get the battle of the dynasties which was always the plan.

You gotta love this Empire. Rome had nothing on this place.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 08:20:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With voter sentiment more clear, GOP can have a potentially easy strategy of marketing Trump as "acceptable" Sanders.
by das monde on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 09:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fox's Chris Wallace sees Trump winning Sanders voters, driving Hillary 'nuts'

A similar sentiment can be found at Naked Capitalism:

"I am voting bernie in NC primary. I will vote Trump over Clinton LLC." Other people I regard as hard core leftists are saying the same thing.
by das monde on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:17:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fascist and the socialist responses to crisis - kicking down or up - both acknowledges the existence of the crisis, which is important for many living through it.
by fjallstrom on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 05:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the "insiders" choose ... drum roll please ...
ROMNEY!
by das monde on Sun Feb 28th, 2016 at 07:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure if serious election or lost episode of Twin Peaks.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 28th, 2016 at 07:36:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The establishment folks know Rubio's bluffing about winning Florida.

Trump's two strongholds are the Deep South, where he has a solid lead, and the Northeast, where he has an ungodly lead.

Florida is practically custom-made for Trump.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 10:12:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How could Flori-d'oh! (or is it Flori-duh?) not vote for Drumpf?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 12:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How can we tell?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 10:41:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ROMNEY!
<rimshot>

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 12:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Soon to be a Broadway musical.
by rifek on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 10:15:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Trumper just lost the Catholic vote... The Pontifex said people le who build walls instead of bridges are not Christian.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 03:27:20 PM EST
How many catholics are republican? The christian base they have is baptist and evangelical, most of whom view the pope as just about one above the Grand Mufti

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 19th, 2016 at 03:59:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lots of Catholics are Republican, but it matters more in a general election.  Catholics tend to split about 50/50, and they tend to be a key demographic in the Midwest (white people in Ohio basically) and the Southwest (Latinos, although, bless his heart, he's already poisoned that well obviously).

Might not hurt him much in the primaries.  Could hurt him in the general, although most US Catholics are "cafeteria Catholics" and don't take their religion all that seriously.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 09:15:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the South a lot of plantation owners were Catholic. Catholicism was an upper middle class religion in the hinterland. Immigrant shopkeepers, etc. were also often Catholic. But they were and are a relatively small proportion of the total population, ex-Louisiana and, now, Florida and Texas.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 11:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly enough (and amazingly enough), Trump seems to be de-escalating: better beat on Muslims than on Papists...

Donald Trump tones down fight with Pope Francis - CNNPolitics.com

But by Thursday evening, the GOP front-runner was doing something unusual: de-escalating a fight.

"I don't like fighting with the Pope," Trump said at a GOP town hall in South Carolina hosted by CNN. "I like his personality; I like what he represents."

Trump called the Pope a "wonderful guy" and blamed the day's drama on the press.

"I don't think this is a fight," Trump said. "I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media."

Trump added he would meet with the Pope "anytime he wants."

On Friday, a Vatican spokesman said that, although the reporter at the papal press conference asked Francis specifically about Trump, the Pope's answer should be interpreted more generally.

"It didn't intend to be in any way neither a personal attack nor an indication in how to vote," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio.

by Bernard on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 01:42:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump won South Carolina as expected and may get all 50 delegates.  Rubio and Cruz are fighting it out for second and third and Who Cares.  Trump is on the standard road to winning the GOP nomination: barely lose Iowa and then go on to win New Hampshire and South Carolina, clean up on Super Tuesday and coast.

The big story of the night is Jeb Bush is "suspending his campaign" which is US political smokescreen for quiting.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 20th, 2016 at 11:46:23 PM EST
Suspending the campaign is not JUST political smokescreen ... there's also financial implications. A suspended campaign can still receive contributions to clear campaign debts, while a canceled campaign cannot.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 12:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A family business suspended...
by das monde on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 01:42:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and the Bush era is now officially over. A grateful nation breaths a sigh of relief

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 10:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, just have to wait for the Clinton era to be over :)
by Bernard on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 11:11:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like Bernie to end it, but that's not looking likely right now. So I guess we'll have to wait a few years.

just hope chelsea doesn't think it'd be cool to be a senator

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 02:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know damn well that's coming.  Set your watch ... er ... smart phone ... or whatever you kids use to tell time.  I'll set my sundial.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Feb 21st, 2016 at 03:58:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The big questions now are:

(1) What is Trump's ceiling?

(2) How long do Cruz and Kasich stay in?

I think the answer to (1) is low-40s.  The answer to (2) thus determines the race.

As I read the GOP electorate, they can take Trump down if it's one-vs-one.  They cannot take him down in a three-man race.

Cruz is done barring an all-out war at the convention.  Trump outflanked him in the South, and now the math just isn't there.

I don't see how the math works for Kasich.

Rubio can make the math work, but he needs it to winnow down to a two-man race quickly.

Right now, it looks like Trump is going to steamroll everybody on Super Tuesday.  Cruz has no incentive to leave before then because of Texas and the South.  Kasich and Rubio have no incentive to get out prior to March 15th when Florida and Ohio vote (which are both winner-take-all and both looking strong for Trump right now).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 11:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Citizens United has done for the GOP establishment. Everybody is stuffed with billionaire money and so the only thing making the decision is the willingness of the candidate to take a pounding. The drying up of donations no longer matters.

hahahahahaha!!

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 02:34:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Citizens United hasn't been terribly relevant thus far.  Trump's spent something like $7m in total and openly jokes that it's probably a waste of money given how far ahead he is.  Half of that is probably just yard/rally signs, rent, salaries and those stupid "Make America Great Again" hats.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 04:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's relevant cos it's preventing the field from clearing. Ordinarily, you'd have assumed the entire clown coach would have slimmed down from the 15-20  dwarves back in October to maybe 2 or 3 even by Iowa.

But CU has meant they've hung around like a bad smell and are only now fading away. This has been a boon for Trump, who hasn't needed to spend any money cos he's gotten all the free publicity he needs from his bigoted rants, but the smoke is only just clearing for his eventual challenger.

He's had a huge head start. CU has killed the repug establishment.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 05:04:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh, I hear ya, but it didn't get whittled down to two or three last time.  Santorum took Iowa, Romney SC and Gingrich SC.  The field didn't really clear until after Super Tuesday.  This is pretty normal.

You may be right that it won't further winnow until later this time due to CU, but I think that's as much a product of where the candidates are from (Cruz-Tejas, Rubio-Florida, Kasich-Ohio) as anything.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 05:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Trump's ceiling is high 30s to low 40s: 38 to 42% until Super Tuesday.  If Trump does as well on Super Tuesday -- 8 days away! -- as I think he will those numbers increase by 5 points to 43% to 48%.

I cannot see Cruz voters switching to Rubio. I can see some of them dropping out of voting in the primary and others - the majority - switching to Trump.  The GOP runs on bigotry, ignorance, and ressentiment and the latter is big with Cruz supporters.  I also cannot see Cruz dropping out.  There's no reason for him to drop out.  The GOP Establishment cannot offer him anything sweet enough to drop out.  Thanks to Citizen's United he cannot be forced out financially.

Assuming Kasich drops out and Rubio gets all of his support and all of JEB!s as well, that is still only 32% national and five points back.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 02:52:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I highly doubt Trump carries a majority of Cruz votes.  If he does, the it's over, and we can probably just go ahead and let Hillzilla start measuring the drapes.  It looks like he should pick up (strangely) about 10% of Jeb!'s voters vs about 20% for RubiOS.  Add a few Kasich and Carson people, and Trump's got 50%+1 in that case.

I suspect it's more like 40/60 or even 30/70 for Trump/Rubio, and that's gonna hurt Rubio badly in the South on Super Tuesday.

I don't see Cruz dropping out prior to Super Tuesday.  He'll at least see it through Tejas.  And win there makes it a no-brainer to move forward.  A loss -- especially a significant one -- and you might be right -- they might not be able to offer him anything.  But I suspect they'd come up with some kind of deal.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 05:02:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cruz is leading Trump in Texas 41% to 29%.  In Florida Trump leads Cruz 41% to 19%.  The other Super Tuesday states fall between those two but, near as I can see, Trump is leading and he is the only candidate over the 20% support line to win delegates.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 11:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

One thing that does give me pause in thinking Rubio could beat Trump is that Trump hasn't really gone after Rubio yet.  

Trump's successfully beaten down Ben Carson and now Ted Cruz.  He has now utterly destroyed Jeb Bush and perhaps even the entire Bush legacy on the GOP side.  Given Rubio's tendency to freeze up and panic when pressured, a political knife fight with Trump is probably not something they're looking forward to.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 at 05:15:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He isn't going to launch a spread of torpedos at Rubio until Rubio proves himself a warship and not a rowboat.  For all the noise that keeps getting made about him, he still hasn't shown he's in any way ready for prime time.
by rifek on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Every time Rubio ends up having to speak in public, or heaven forbid take questions, he flubs it terribly.  Anyone remember his State of the Union response several years ago, with his bizarre and awkward need to drink water in the middle of his speech, and his inability to do so in an even vaguely human fashion?  His robotic repetition of talking points is entirely in line with his whole persona, vapid emptiness.
by Zwackus on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 03:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, which is what gives me pause.  I think Trump turns off a lot of GOP voters, and thus Rubio could wind up winning by default.

The real difficulty with him against Trump is that you can plan for most attacks from regular politicians.  You know what their focus groups say, because yours say the same thing.

You can't really plan that way against Trump, because he's just making it up as he goes along, and he's really good at it.  I compared it on Facebook with my friends' dachshund when they give her a new plush toy.  She sits down with it, studies the stitching a bit to figure out the weak points, and within five minutes there's stuffing all over the floor.  That's Trump, basically.

Chris Christie was somewhat good at that, too, as we saw when he creamed Rubio in New Hampshire.  Christie's just a less-obnoxious and less-media-savvy Trump.

Hence Rubio thus far avoiding a confrontation with Trump.  He knows he'll have to go at it with him eventually, but he knows he's not ready.  Better to let Trump keep fixated on Cruz.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 05:10:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

Which Trump is happy to go along with, because his focus is on Super Tuesday, where the battle will be in the South (assuming Trump mops the floor with everybody in the Northeast as polling suggests).  That Cruz's turf.  Rubio doesn't really enter into the equation until a week or two later.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 05:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tuesday March 15th is the Florida winner-take-all primary with 99 delegates up for grabs.  If Rubio doesn't win I don't see how he can stay in.  At the moment the polls are:

Trump: 40.0
Cruz:  19.0   
Rubio: 13.7

Rubio is a sitting Senator from Florida and he's getting 13.7% support!  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 12:25:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep in mind that we haven't had a poll there in about a month, and the only somewhat-reputable one is from YouGov, which is fine in Britain but I'm reluctant to trust them in a US election.  Think their poll is also Internet-based.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 08:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've never seen a sitting senator from a state, running in the Presidential primary, with that little support.  He should be in the 30s if only from name recognition.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 10:50:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quinnipiac just put out a new poll of Florida:

Trump 44
Rubio 28
Cruz 12
Kasich 7
Carson 4

If that's accurate, it's over.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 12:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

And per Public Policy Polling on Twitter, their data (still in the field) suggests Quinnipiac "isn't crazy".

And this being PPP with their YOLO polls:  They're also asking, as their last question, whether voters believe Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.  Which is apparently a meme or something.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 02:45:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PPP's poll:

Trump 45
Rubio 25
Cruz 10
Kasich 8
Carson 5

One-on-one:

Trump 52
Rubio 38

And 38% either believe Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer or aren't sure.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 07:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, it looks like Trump and the question is: what does the GOP do?  I'm thinking they go all in on the Senate and House races hoping for to keep the Do-Nothing  status quo.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 10:46:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yougov is internet-based and self-recruiting. It is the self-recruiting part that is problematic. In Britain (which is its home) it is possible that they have enough people recruited to actually match the population at large and drown out self-recruiting groups that join to change the numbers.

In Sweden they had a poll in the 2014 EP elections that they had to "correct" afterwards, because the Feminist Initiative had way to high numbers. They also corrected the Pirate Party downwards, which was a pity as we pirates had spent some time doing polls on stupid brands just in order to keep track of when the political polls came along and then get everybody to do them. They had an excuse about computer error, but then who doesn't?

by fjallstrom on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 03:20:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But "voting against" is not a self-organizing principle ... in a three man race, the other two candidates splitting those "voting against" a candidate waters down their impact.

And at present, the only clear way for it to narrow down to a two man race is for Rubio to drop out, leaving Republicans with a choice between a theocrat and a reactionary populist.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 07:59:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Behold National Review going nuclear on Trump.
by das monde on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 09:16:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile Kruggles burns his last remaining credibility and decides that stimulus doesn't work after all now that Sanders proposes it.
by generic on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 08:26:59 AM EST
If you read Krugman carefully his argument is simple. About the model: You can not extrapolate the fiscal multiplier in a recession to the long term. In a standard new Keynesian model there will be inflation and crowding out. This is what he has been saying since forever.

About empirics: Even if the model is wrong, the growth estimates are far above the historical average. Krugman has also wirtten a lot about the observed secular stagnation in growth in the advanced countries and believes that we will be below historical averages in te near future.

by chumchu on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:02:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course the model is nonsense. But it is conventional nonsense. Seems a bit iffy to dismiss this stuff now based on not liking the outcomes.
However the main problem here is not that he dismisses the conclusions. It is that the whole thing started with name calling and appeals to authority. If you want to call something "Republican voodoo economics" without pointing at the pixie dust holding it all together while flashing your very important economist card you really have no right to complain about anyone lashing out at you.

Since Bill Black tends to fall on the long winded side I'll just quote the end of Galbraith's letter:


When you dare to do big things, big results should be expected. The Sanders program is big, and when you run it through a standard model, you get a big result.
That, by the way, is the lesson of the Reagan era - like it or not. It is a lesson that, among today's political leaders, only Senator Sanders has learned.
Yours,
(Jamie)
James K. Galbraith
Executive Director, Joint Economic Committee, 1981-2
by generic on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:43:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is NOT conventional nonsense since it does not take into account the negative feedbacks that moves the system towards equilibrium.

Not discussed by Krugman but also out of the mainstream is the estimated major increase in labor productivity.

See note 18.
http://www.dollarsandsense.org/What-would-Sanders-do-013016.pdf

This does not mean that it is wrong, just that it is not mainstream.

I can agree that the letter is a lazy critique. But Kruggles are clearly referring to concepts he has discused before numerous times. As usual, he says things in an arrogant manner, but it not slander or flip-flopping.

by chumchu on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 07:14:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct me if I'm wrong but even conventional models wouldn't return to the mean under sustained stimulus unless you enforced something like Ricardo equivalence. And Friedman at least acknowledges the reduced marginal efficiency of added aggregate demand by reducing the GDP multiplier. There would be nothing wrong with disagreeing with how he does this and Krugman makes a valid point in his second column on this subject with the suggestion that a lot of the reduced participation rate comes from demographics.
But in his first he lends his authority to what you call a lazy critique, though I don't really see the critique part. And in the second he not only declares questioning the motives of the letter's writers to be illegitimate. No, he also pretends that they raised legitimate concerns that their critcs refuse to address.
by generic on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 01:01:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ricardian equivalence is not true in a liquidity trap but in the long run an increase in government spending is paid for by increased taxes or goverment debt. That is not what I am talking about though. I'm talking about monetary policy to counteract inflation which Friedman assumes will not be forthcoming:

The inflation rate will increase under the Sanders program by about 1% per year, from 2% a year to 3%. Despite this increase, I assume that monetary policy will accommodate the increase in growth without raising interest rates, except to the extent that tightening will cause the steady reduction in the size of the fiscal multiplier that I assume happens as the economy approaches full employment.
Source: ibidem note 16.

Friedman assumes that the Fed will not keep inflation under 2% and also that the spare capacity of the American economy is much higher than conventional estimates without a convincing argument for that case.

Also, Romer & Romer have now responded with a proper critique: https://evaluationoffriedman.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/romer-and-romer-evaluation-of-friedman1.pdf

by chumchu on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 07:45:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not going to provide a critique of the Romers' "analysis"; Jamie Galbraith has already done so far more elegantly than I could ever pretend to:

INET article

Yves Smith article

Summary: 1) The Romers are using a completely different model than Friedman so, quelle surprise, they are obtaining different results; and 2) the model they are using is not an improvement but rather has an abysmal record since the 2008 crisis.

Unless of course one chooses to define "good result" as one that reinforces the conclusions Krugman and the CEA Four have already reached.  Which quite obviously was the brief the Romers were handed.

by rifek on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 01:36:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd argue that Ricardian equivalence isn't true at all.
The second point is weak tea. Arguing that the plan won't work because the Fed would kill it is fundamentally the same as arguing that the universal health care component of the plan won't do anything because Congress won't pass it. Politics not economics.

Most conventional economists seem to think that the output gap is rather smaller so I'll score this as non conventional. I note that I don't mean to endorse the concept of an output gap here.
Also I must admit that I gave the original paper only the most cursory glance since I have little faith in the model to begin with. So for the moment I can't say one way or another if Friedman made a basic maths error. What I can say is that I don't find Romer's model very convincing. If I read them right then they say that one time stimulus reduces long term growth, at least in relative terms. So you spend in one year, get a growth effect with a multiplier and in the next year that part of GDP is dead weight while the rest grows at trend. Is that right or am I mixing something up here?
Of course whether I find it convincing or not has no bearing on the question whether it is the more conventional approach.

by generic on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 11:04:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A major factor NO ONE has discussed it the economic effect of prosecuting Wall Street control fraud. It is the only business model that allows the kinds of returns they have conditioned their wealthy patrons and investors to expect and if it results in convictions that send CEOs and CFOs to jail for hard time it could well cease to be viable. That would shrink Wall Street back to what it was in the '70s, a tenth its present size.

Since the present fraud based system is a giant wealth transfer scheme that sequesters wealth in the hands of hoarders, which tends to drive velocity down, its ending would have long term beneficial effects, just as cutting out a ten pound malignant tumor would have on a human victim of cancer, if they survived the surgery. That would be the ultimate positive feedback loop to drive prosperity. The Fed KNOWS how to kill growth with rate hikes all to well. Referring bank executives for criminal prosecution is a good way to restore growth and prosperity - something they have been signally unable to do!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 10:57:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, it kind of is slander given that Krugman and the CEA Four are accusing Friedman of intellectual laziness (for using a model both Krugman and Romer have used repeatedly) and intellectual dishonesty (essentially for reaching a conclusion they don't agree with, since they don't even bother to analyze his methods, let alone present meaningful critiques of them).
by rifek on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 01:20:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems a bit iffy to dismiss this stuff now based on not liking the outcomes.

A very bit iffy... When do they ever do anything else? Floggings, morale, etc. Austerity is good for you, drink it down so you get used to it faster, it's all we got. TINA. The New Norm.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 09:31:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they are above historical averages: they are estimating medium term impacts of effective expansionary fiscal policy during a secular stagnation, when the impacts of strong expansionary fiscal policy will be the strongest.

If the US catches up to the foregone growth since the Great Recession, then growth would be slower.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 08:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jamie Galbraith and Bill Black have both taken him (and the four Serious People who wrote the letter to the editor backing him) down hard, and justifiably so.  Ad hominem attacks, dishonest figures, misrepresentations, back flips from earlier positions.  And it's long past time for the NYT to change its name to something more accurate, like The Hillbot Hootenannie.
by rifek on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 11:04:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... of course he's only for stimulus in the depth of the deepest Recession since WWII.

John T Harvey: Evaluating Bernie Sanders' Evaluators
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2016/02/22/evaluating-the-evaluators/#2bde4437b320

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Feb 23rd, 2016 at 08:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mitt Romney, who's supporting Rubio, is now picking a fight with Trump.

This ought to be a short but highly-entertaining bloodbath.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 24th, 2016 at 07:04:01 PM EST
I found this interesting:

Assuming that the Democratic nomination will be a drawn-out battle going all the way, what does a win respective loss look like?

Bernie Sanders's Path To The Nomination | FiveThirtyEight

On the left-hand side of the chart, you'll find a projection for how each state might go if recent national polls are right, with Clinton ahead of Sanders by about 12 percentage points nationally. The right-hand side is more crucial: It shows how the states might line up if the vote were split 50-50 nationally. Since the Democrats' delegate allocation is highly proportional to the vote in each state, that means Sanders will be on track to win the nomination if he consistently beats these 50-50 benchmarks.

And am I reading that chart correctly when I see that a bunch of states votes at the same time as South Carolina? Why then the focus on South Carolina? Spill over from the Republican primary?

by fjallstrom on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 05:07:00 AM EST
You're reading it wrong.  Note the faint line between SC and VT on the left.  The list from VT to AL is March 1st.  SC is Saturday.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 07:59:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

Is first of March "Super Tuesday"?

by fjallstrom on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 08:08:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First Tuesday of March?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 08:29:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely. For both parties, states being able to schedule primaries on their own without specific permission of the national parties and without any risk to their delegates standing at the convention begins in March, so the first Tuesday in March is a focal point for states that want to influence the race but do not expect to be able to win the series of mud wrestling matches required to get an authorized early primary/caucus.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 08:03:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.  Largest single day in terms of delegates (595 up for grabs on the Rep side, I think).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 25th, 2016 at 08:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernie Sanders's Path To The Nomination
Big-state primaries on March 8 and March 15. This is probably the most important eight-day stretch on the Democratic calendar. Michigan votes on March 8 (as does Mississippi), followed by Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri on March 15. Together, these states will put 857 pledged delegates at stake, or more than 20 percent of the Democrats' pledged total.
Because of the superdelegates, just "keeping up" everywhere is not good enough for Sanders.
by das monde on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 02:19:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are two hypothesis: either the supers will confirm whoever has more elected delegates (and then it is right now 51-51 in delegates), or they are solidly in Clintons camp. In the latter case, Sanders can hardly win. Therefore Sanders supporters supports the first theory (and backs it with calls for democracy) and presumably the campaign will run with that.

Unless Sanders wins in elected delegats the hypothesis will not be tested.

by fjallstrom on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 05:10:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The margin in pledged candidates will be important nonlinearly (as pressure on superdelegates), I reckon.
by das monde on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 05:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the latter case, Sanders can't win, but most believe it would be suicide for the party to overturn the will of the voters.  If Sanders wins on pledged delegates, in all likelihood the superdelegates will shift.

As it is, it's likely not going to matter.  Sanders simply isn't hitting the numbers he needs to hit so far.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 07:46:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would not surprise me if both parties would rather implode than upset some deep interests.
by das monde on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 08:53:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can tell you that the DLC, which the Clintons have always had a central part in, has been working to turn the Democratic Party into nothing but an Ueberklass tool.  Even if the Party were to cease to exist, the DLC members would be richly rewarded.
by rifek on Wed Mar 2nd, 2016 at 12:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In first place, my apologies for the absence the past few days. I have been busy and lost track of the interesting discussions going in parallel here in the comments.

Here is a different take on this matter, that ends up with a not so different conclusion:

Current Affairs | Unless the Democrats Run Sanders, A Trump Nomination Means a Trump Presidency

If Democrats honestly believe, as they say they do, that Trump poses a serious threat to the wellbeing of the country and the lives of minority citizens, that means doing everything possible to keep him out of office. To do that will require them to very quickly unite around a single goal, albeit a counterintuitive one: they must make absolutely sure that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee for President.


You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 03:29:12 PM EST
That is what I have believed for a while.

From Current Affairs - the money quote:

"Instinctively, Hillary Clinton has long seemed by far the more electable of the two Democratic candidates. She is, after all, an experienced, pragmatic moderate, whereas Sanders is a raving, arm-flapping elderly Jewish socialist from Vermont. Clinton is simply closer to the American mainstream, thus she is more attractive to a broader swath of voters. Sanders campaigners have grown used to hearing the heavy-hearted lament "I like Bernie, I just don't think he can win." And in typical previous American elections, this would be perfectly accurate.

But this is far from a typical previous American election. And recently, everything about the electability calculus has changed, due to one simple fact: Donald Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee for President. Given this reality, every Democratic strategic question must operate not on the basis of abstract electability against a hypothetical candidate, but specific electability against the actual Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Here, a Clinton match-up is highly likely to be an unmitigated electoral disaster, whereas a Sanders candidacy stands a far better chance. Every one of Clinton's (considerable) weaknesses plays to every one of Trump's strengths, whereas every one of Trump's (few) weaknesses plays to every one of Sanders's strengths. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, running Clinton against Trump is a disastrous, suicidal proposition."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 09:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this part better
Trump's political dominance is highly dependent on his idiosyncratic, audacious method of campaigning. He deals almost entirely in amusing, outrageous, below-the-belt personal attacks, and is skilled at turning public discussions away from the issues and toward personalities (He/she's a "loser," "phony," "nervous," "hypocrite," "incompetent.") If Trump does have to speak about the issues, he makes himself sound foolish, because he doesn't know very much. Thus he requires the media not to ask him difficult questions, and depends on his opponents' having personal weaknesses and scandals that he can merrily, mercilessly exploit.

This campaigning style makes Hillary Clinton Donald Trump's dream opponent. She gives him an endless amount to work with. The emails, Benghazi, Whitewater, Iraq, the Lewinsky scandal, Chinagate, Travelgate, the missing law firm records, Jeffrey Epstein, Kissinger, Marc Rich, Haiti, Clinton Foundation tax errors, Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest, "We were broke when we left the White House," Goldman Sachs... There is enough material in Hillary Clinton's background for Donald Trump to run with six times over.

...

Sanders is thus an almost perfect secret weapon against Trump. He can pull off the only maneuver that is capable of neutralizing Trump: ignoring him and actually keeping the focus on the issues. Further, Sanders will have the advantage of an enthusiastic army of young volunteers, who will be strongly dedicated to the mission of stalling Trump's quest for the presidency. The Sanders team is extremely technically skilled; everything from their television commercials to their rally organizing to their inspired teasing is pulled off well. The Sanders team is slick and adaptable, the Clinton team is ropey and fumbling.



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 27th, 2016 at 05:19:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable | Rolling Stone
At a Democratic town hall in Derry, New Hampshire, Hillary's strangely pathetic answer about why she accepted $675,000 from Goldman to give speeches - "That's what they offered" - seemed doomed to become a touchstone for the general-election contest. Trump would go out on Day One of that race and blow $675,000 on a pair of sable underwear, or a solid-gold happy-face necktie. And he'd wear it 24 hours a day, just to remind voters that his opponent sold out for the Trump equivalent of lunch money.
by generic on Sat Feb 27th, 2016 at 05:37:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump is very good in nonverbal communication, which us all about superfluous interpersonal dramas. That is how he steamrolled poor Jeb.

by das monde on Sat Feb 27th, 2016 at 07:15:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, guys?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 28th, 2016 at 08:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

And that link is a good example of why you shouldn't read general election polls in February.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 28th, 2016 at 12:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, you can read them. Just don't make any final conclusions based on them or anything else at this point.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 28th, 2016 at 02:30:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Donald Trump Demanded An Apology From Vicente Fox. This Is What He Got Instead.

The billionaire real estate mogul and GOP presidential frontrunner claimed Thursday that his sensibilities were shocked to the core when he'd heard that Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, had vowed not to pay for that "fucking wall" Trump always talks about.

Trump, no stranger to using f-word in public, demanded that Fox say sorry, suggesting that a former president should be held the same standard as a man who is currently running for office.

[...]

On Friday morning, the Fox Business Network gave Fox opportunity to apologize to Trump on live TV.

It did not go well, as Fox instead chose to repeat himself loud and clear.

by Bernard on Fri Feb 26th, 2016 at 03:45:37 PM EST
by das monde on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 12:51:04 AM EST
Today's national standings:

Donald Trump 42.7%
Ted Cruz 17.4%
Marco Rubio 16.6%
Ben Carson 8.7%
John Kasich 6.7%

Looks like Trump will be the GOP nominee.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 01:12:27 PM EST
David Plouffe thinks it's all over for the GOP primary assuming Trump doesn't completely implode.

Also thinks Clinton beats him by 6-10 points, but the range of possible outcomes is YUGE -- anywhere from a slim Trump win to a landslide for Hillzilla.

That's been roughly my thinking as well.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 01:53:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

I've been watching it and thinking, "He could beat her by two and gain a couple Senate seats, but he could also lose by 18 and basically reset us to 2009.  Somewhere in between is probably right."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 01:57:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's over and I predict we will have confirmation when the results of Super Tuesday (tomorrow) come in.  As I see it, Cruz will win Texas and Trump will win everything else.  We are still in the proportionate phase of the primary so the delegate numbers may show the race being closer than it is.  

We're too far from election day to have a solid basis for predicting the outcome.  My feeling is Hillary will easily win and the Dems will re-take the Senate.  At this point it's not impossible for the Dems to take the House as well.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 04:11:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember that in some cases it's not even proportional.  It's pseudo-proportional, as Sam Wang over at the Princeton site notes, because of the high thresholds in some states and congressional-district breakouts.

Trump could pull 35% tomorrow and walk out with half the delegates.

My feeling is the same.  I think we retake the Senate.  We only need a few seats to do so.  Re-taking the House is a real longshot, but if they go thermonuclear on all the shit Trump has said, it's at least conceivable.  Especially if they find a line of attack that brings his explosive temper out.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 05:06:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The usual formula is proportional for congressional district and state wide with a 20% floor.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 10:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, although a few are truly proportional.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 12:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Colorado is choosing who will be delegate but not assigning delegates to a candidate.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 12:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, they changed that because of Ron Paul last time, if I remember correctly.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 01:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Intercept
Donald Trump's runaway success in the GOP primaries so far is setting off alarm bells among neoconservatives who are worried he will not pursue the same bellicose foreign policy that has dominated Republican thinking for decades.

Neoconservative historian Robert Kagan -- one of the prime intellectual backers of the Iraq War and an advocate for Syrian intervention -- announced in the Washington Post last week that if Trump secures the nomination, "the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton."

Max Boot, an unrepentant supporter of the Iraq War, wrote in the Weekly Standard that a "Trump presidency would represent the death knell of America as a great power," citing, among other things, Trump's objection to a large American troop presence in South Korea.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 29th, 2016 at 04:17:04 PM EST
Makes one want to vote for Drumpf over Clinton.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 12:11:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's quite revealing that THIS should be their concern with Drumpf.
I mean, it's not like you are spoilt for choice if you are looking for reasons not to vote for him. That they would land on one of maybe 2 or 3 reasons to pick him as their ultimate repellent is quite something.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 03:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The biggest whores in neocondom prefer Clinton over Trump.  This is what we "arrogant" Sanders supporters have been ringing alarm bells about from the beginning.
by rifek on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 01:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know Joe Firestone from New Economic Perspectives and from Facebook political and economic groups. He has a PhD in Political Science.

HRC Negatives: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!  Joe Firestone

With Bernie's relative legitimacy fading from view in the short term, Republican fire on Hillary Clinton will get much more intense after March 1st, and in the whole two week period leading up to March 15th. She will want to reply in kind, and the well-known Clinton modus operandi is that they never allow attacks on either of them to go unchallenged.

Usually, they win the ensuing propaganda fights. But whether they win or lose the one that is surely coming up, we know from previous history that it will drive up Hillary's negatives among both Republicans and independents and that polling will reflect that.

Recently her unfavorables have been at 53%, by far the highest of any of the candidates, with the exception of Donald Trump. What will happen after 2 solid weeks of such attacks? Will they rise to 60%? Will they rise even higher? Will they continue to rise into the mid-60s, as she, and her surrogates, add further unfair or disingenuous attacks on Bernie Sanders? I think this is likely to happen as the campaign goes on.

.....

Recently her unfavorables have been at 53%, by far the highest of any of the candidates, with the exception of Donald Trump. What will happen after 2 solid weeks of such attacks? Will they rise to 60%? Will they rise even higher? Will they continue to rise into the mid-60s, as she, and her surrogates, add further unfair or disingenuous attacks on Bernie Sanders? I think this is likely to happen as the campaign goes on.

Meanwhile, Senator Sanders and his agenda will continue to become better known, and once more primary contests occur in states, where southern African-American populations firmly committed to Hillary Clinton do not hold sway in Democratic primaries and caucuses, Bernie Sanders will have much more success in these contests, and the media will have to acknowledge that he is a threat to Hillary once again. At that point the national polls will begin to have an impact on state contests across the nation.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 01:09:07 AM EST
Well, Sanders' national polls have been dropping of late.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 03:51:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True that.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 12:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but as everyone keeps saying, HRC's unfavorables may be large but they've been there since the dawn of time and absolutely nobody who might vote for her is gonna be the least bit put off by anything new now.

Anyhow, this thread is too long so I'm off to Super Tuesday diary

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 03:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The effect would not be one of people changing their vote but of whether they vote. And that could be a serious issue, not with her supporters but especially with independents.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 1st, 2016 at 05:41:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for insider post with us.
by alexanderleytan on Fri Mar 4th, 2016 at 12:43:42 AM EST


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