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Regarding the choice of Kamala Harris, I think the relevant aspect is that the establishment faction has chosen a safe pair of hands to take over. And I think the whole Veep-stakes thing that has been going on was mostly to stay in the headlines, it was always Kamala Harris.

Harris was widely promoted by establishment media when she entered the race, resulting in high poll numbers until she was deflated by Gabbard in the debates who pointed out Harris actual record. That Harris went on to drop out before the voting even started doesn't matter. That her record as a prosecutor is a sink in an election year dominated by the question of police violence, doesn't mattter. She is a safe establishment candidate who will only flirt progressive causes (like Medicare for All) when it doesn't matter (like in a Repulican controlled Senate or a Presidential primary race) and be counted on to drop them if it matters.

If Biden wins Harris is the presumtive nominee for 2024  (might even do a Yeltsin/Putin and have Biden resign before the term is up so she can run as incumbent), which the establishment counts on will be enough to head off any progressive challenger.

Given this I think it would be fairly rational for progressive voters to vote Green, leave it blank, or even vote Trump in order to prevent the above scenario. This is a consequence of the actions of the establishment faction, that is so unwilling to share the power that the only way for progressives to advance is for the establishment to lose.

Now, voters are not best analyzed as rational robots, so I don't know how big effect that will have, but given the razor thin margins that US presidential elections can turn on, it might be enough. Of course that is as long as the Biden campaign is offering nothing but a restoration of Obama's policies, a bellicose attitude towards Russia and not being Trump. Then again, not being Trump might be enough.

by fjallstrom on Wed Aug 19th, 2020 at 09:39:38 AM EST
US elections, partly because of low turnouts, tend to be about base mobilisation more than persuading swing voters to switch. Trump has been superb at that.   His problem is he may mobilise the Democratic base to vote against him just a effectively as he mobilises his own base.

The remarkable thing is that Trump has never been below 40% in the RCP average of polls. That seems to be his floor. So my guess is that it all depends on the state of the Covid pandemic and associated economic slump in November that will decide the outcome.

No doubt Trump will announced the approval of a Vaccine  and/or effective treatment in the final weeks of the campaign. Then the fact that there may still be 1,000 people dying per day may hardly matter. It will just be the new normal.

What I can't fathom is his talking about postponing the election or even having a re-run if he disputes the outcome. I would have thought that would have even conservatives running for cover - and voting for Biden. But there is no telling how low the US polity can sink.

My best guess, at this stage, is that even lukewarm supporters will come out for Biden just to get rid of Trump. I would be surprised if Biden/Harris manage to stir up much enthusiasm in the Dem base, but this may be one of those rare occasions when that doesn't matter.

After that, the best we can hope for is that some halfway sane/competent people are appointed to key jobs. At least Dems aren't committed to proving government can't work.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 19th, 2020 at 11:13:54 AM EST
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In hindsight it does look like there was a deal. I think the turning point came when she went after Biden and her campaign ended up running into money trouble. Biden was the safe choice for the donors after all. Yet different than Castro, Harris seemed to be the heir apparent with strong institutional support from the Clinton faction so they couldn't just shove her off towards the side. (I think Castro has no speaking slot at the DNC?).

And while the past looks clearer now, the future remains muddy. The pandemic is uncontrolled, the number of rent and mortgage delinquencies are the highest on record, the Post Office is dying. It's difficult to say what the electorate is even going to be in a months time.

by generic on Wed Aug 19th, 2020 at 12:34:47 PM EST
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