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timschochet

The Democrats need to wake up! Update: And near the last second, THEY HAVE

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This article seems relevant to this thread:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/youll-never-know-which-candidate-is-electable/

Quote

You’ll Never Know Which Candidate Is Electable

By Maggie Koerth

Published Feb. 7, 2020

In a beige reception hall in a Des Moines suburb, over paper plates piled with the remains of a Monday morning continental breakfast, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged a packed house of Iowans to manifest their dreams. Imagine an America where cancer only kills you, rather than also rifling through your wallet. Visualize a future where no American child has to pay off her grandmother’s student loans. Cynicism is high and more than a quarter of us believe the American Dream is unattainable, but Sanders’s stump speech offered hope. “Everything is impossible until it’s not,” he said. The crowd went wild.

This speech was about issues but it was also a pitch for the semi-improbable Sanders campaign, itself. Before you stands a 78-year-old Jewish man, a self-described democratic socialist and an independent interloper in the Democratic Party, who is making his second try at the presidency after 30 years as a professional gadfly.

Yet here we are, five weeks later, and that same old People’s Grandpa is the candidate most likely to win a majority of delegates in the Democratic primary. Everything is impossible, after all, until it’s not. But the pundits say Sanders is risky, and the pundits are honorable men. Already, you can find headlines full of concern that even if he was viable in Iowa, Sanders won’t be able to win when it really counts. In other words: Sanders isn’t electable.

This whole concept of electability is frustrating to voters like Brooks Vander Kopsa of Granger, Iowa. Standing in the back of the crowd, he told me who is and isn’t electable makes no sense to him — but he’s not even sure it matters. “There’s all this talk about electability. ‘Oh, this person is so much more electable than that person.’ But when I look at policy and I look at track record, I don’t know who is more electable than Bernie,” he said. “So, electability. I guess I don’t know what that is.”

Truth is, nobody does. For all the hands we’ve wrung dry over it in recent elections, electability isn’t a thing you can measure. It’s subjective, not objective — which is why Sanders isn’t the only candidate whose persona can be twisted one way to fit a narrative of unelectability, and another to tell a story of certain success. (Sen. Elizabeth Warren can attest to that.)

Political scientists study electability, but electability ain’t no science. Instead, researchers say, it’s basically a layer of ex post facto rationalization that we slather over a stack of psychological biases, media influence and self-fulfilling poll prophecies. It’s not bull####, exactly; some people really are more likely to be elected than others. But the reasons behind it, and the ability to make assumptions based on it, well …

“[Electability] is this vague, floppy concept,” said Nichole Bauer, a professor of political communication at Louisiana State University. “We don’t know who is electable until someone is elected.”

“I’m not sure I’m who you want to talk to,” said Julie Brown of West Des Moines, arching her eyebrows and flashing the Elizabeth Warren button hidden under the flap of her canvas purse. She came to the Sanders rally with her teenage daughter, curious to understand why he was polling better than her favored candidate. As Sanders proxies worked the crowd, we huddled against a wall, talking about the ways electability and psychological biases overlap. “I think he is electable and that frustrates me,” she said. “It frustrates the female inside me. If Elizabeth Warren had had a heart attack, they would have put her six feet under.”

Determining who is electable inevitably pits candidates against each other, especially in an election year when the top priority for primary voters — by a long shot — is nominating someone who can take down the sitting president. Brown is a voter who sees “electability” as basically a reflection of whether a candidate can clear the hurdles presented by the electorate’s prejudices.

Months of talking about the primary — and wondering whether candidates will eventually win the general election — has made electability a hot buzzword of the 2020 election. But, scientists say, we’ve not put as much work into clearly establishing what it is.

When physicists suspect a thing exists, but can’t observe it directly, they start studying the stuff around it. You can’t see the particles, you can’t look at the black hole, but you can see what happens when they crash into something else. And that’s basically what political scientists have ended up doing with electability. To understand it better, researchers have looked at a couple of different kinds of social collisions: What voters like in a politician, and what those voters think other people like.

And, in that way, Julie Brown isn’t wrong about electability and bias, Bauer told me. Social scientists do use voters’ biases to understand what electability is and what it might look like.

A lot of this comes from experimental studies — contrived situations where researchers present participants with information about hypothetical candidates and ask them questions about how likeable that imaginary person is, or how much leadership ability they assume the candidate would possess. It’s not the real world, but it does tell us something. Specifically, Bauer told me, voters’ conception of who can get elected appears to be based on who has been elected in the past. “And we always think about men,” Bauer said.

For example, men generally have lower pitched voices than women — and there’s a lot of research suggesting that people are more willing to vote for somebody whose voice pitch is more, well, manly. In a 2016 paper, researchers made recordings of five men and five women speaking the same sentence: “I urge you to vote for me this November.” They played these recordings for 393 men and 411 women, all of whom were participants in the Cooperative Congressional Election Study — a nationally representative survey that’s used to track all kinds of voter behavior and opinions.

Participants were randomly assigned to listen to either five pairs of male voices or five pairs of female voices, and were asked which of each pair they’d prefer to vote for. Across the board, participants preferred to vote for the candidate with the lower-pitched voice, regardless of if that candidate was male or female. And the effect was clearer for participants over 40 — you know, the people most likely to turn out to vote.

But it’s not like someone’s voice means much when it comes to actually governing. The people who did this study of voice pitch later went back and analyzed whether the voice pitch of sitting members of Congress correlated with their legislative activity, the holding of leadership positions or their influence in setting legislative priorities. Lo and behold, having a deeper voice does not make you a better politician. Voters just apparently sorta think it does.

Studies like this run somewhat counter to actual electoral outcomes, though, said Cindy Kam, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. Yes, studies suggest that voters hold female candidates to higher standards than their male counterparts — women who get elected to public office tend to be more qualified for the jobs they hold than men who get elected, for example. And women are significantly underrepresented in public office. But that’s not the whole story because, while biases exist, women who do run seem to do about as well as men when it comes to getting elected.

Racial bias, on the other hand, more clearly factors into outcomes of who actually wins elections, Kam and other experts said. Studies have found that white voters see black and Latino candidates as more ideologically extreme and less competent. There’s also evidence white voters resist coming out to vote for black candidates even when they share an ideology with that candidate. And black women still rely on the black electorate to win their races.

Even Barack Obama, who won the presidency, probably didn’t get the votes a similarly positioned white candidate would have. In their 2012 book “The End of Race?” political scientists Donald Kinder and Allison Dale-Riddle analyzed voter data from the 2008 presidential election. Based on party identification, you’d have expected any candidate put forth by the Democratic party that year to pull in 55.5 percent of white voters. Instead, Obama got 43.3 percent of the white vote. He won the presidency, but with lower enthusiasm and turnout among whites than a similar white candidate would likely have had, Kam said.

So it’s fair to say that our notion of electability is, at some level, related to our individual knee-jerk social biases — things like the color of a person’s skin, or the way they present their gender to the world. We take those ingredients and we make assumptions about that person. We make assumptions about what other people might think about that person. We make assumptions about what researchers want us to say when they ask about our biases. We make a stew — reactions and reactions to reactions. It’s virtually impossible to avoid bias in perceptions of electability, said Alan Abramowitz, professor of political science at Emory University. “Just about anything that affects how you feel about a candidate could affect assessment of electability,” he said.

Media narratives, in turn, often prey on these biases, which only makes them stronger. In lifting up electability as a marker of fitness, we’ve inadvertently created a system that caters to whatever our imagined lowest common denominator might be. You might want to vote for a black, female candidate, goes the narrative … but other voters are racist and sexist and so you can’t.

Because, of course, electability isn’t just about individual feelings.

When voters like Julie Brown and Brooks Vander Kopsa talk about whether Bernie Sanders is electable, they aren’t really talking about their own feelings. They’re talking about what they think other people feel, which is where polls come in.

“The average person knows a little about politics, but not a ton,” Stephen Utych, a professor of political science at Boise State University, said. And voters use polls as a source of information to fill in the gaps. “If I’m a Republican and other Republicans don’t like this person, I don’t know what it is, but there must be something wrong with them,” Utych said. We American voters really like to believe we’re independent, Kam agreed, but the reality is that we take a lot of cues from the herd.

But polls can become a bit of an ouroboros. Kam and Utych’s 2014 study found that candidates who were behind in the polls were rated less favorably by voters — and voters were less interested in seeking out information about those candidates.

The interaction of polls and media becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy, Abramowitz and Utych both said. And candidates can shift the perception of how electable they are by striking back at the media and crafting their own narratives. In a 2018 study, the share of voters who, after reading a candidate’s defense of their own electability, were willing to think the candidate could win the election more than doubled, rising from 15 percent to nearly 34 percent.

This early in the election season, there’s still an opportunity to change the narrative – to grasp electability out of the jaws of defeat. And that’s the paradox that leads candidates like Sanders to spend months traversing the early primary states – breakfast to breakfast, handshake to handshake. Winning Iowa allowed Barack Obama to craft a narrative of electability around himself in 2008. Conversely, Bill Clinton lost Iowa and took second place in New Hampshire in 1992. But, from that, his campaign was able to spin a narrative of being the “comeback kid”, said Seth McKee, a professor of political science at Texas Tech University. “I think Iowa and New Hampshire matter so much in how the media portray the horse race after the votes have been cast,” he told me.

But building those narratives and harnessing those horses are dependent on the idea that voters have a good idea of what other voters want, or what other people’s deal breakers might be. And the psychology gets very tricky here. Frankly, experts said, voters aren’t great at knowing what’s going on in their own heads, let alone those of strangers.

A June 2019 Ipsos poll, for example, found that 74 percent of Democrats and Independents said they’d be comfortable voting for a female president, but only 33 percent of those same people believed their neighbors would be as open-minded.

The effect captured in that Ipsos poll is so common, social scientists use it in their research to make sure participants aren’t just blowing some woke-sounding smoke. “People aren’t stupid,” Bauer told me. If you just ask who they like as a candidate, they’ll figure out that you’re trying to see if they’re sexist. “But asking if you think they’ll win is asking if you think other people will vote for that candidate. It takes social desirability pressure off the individual.” But when polls turn up results like that, are they showing that Democrats are secretly more sexist than they let on? Are they showing Democrats are unfairly contemptuous of their fellow Americans? Maybe a little of both? It’s hard to say, but it does demonstrate how hard it is to predict electability based on what you think other people think.

Then there’s the issue that electability is not a fixed idea. What makes a candidate likable to the nation, as a whole, is in flux — tracking, experts say, with hardening partisan lines.

And voters see it, too. James Muhammad, a Californian visiting Iowa, was one of the other people I spoke to at the Sanders rally. When I asked him about electability, he just laughed. “Was Trump electable?” he said.

That’s a question academics are also asking. And it’s one that’s deeply tied up in attempts to understand what electability looks like to Democrats now. From what we can see in research on congressional races, which are more numerous, there’s something about electability that is shifting. Something fundamental.

“I think there is an idea in the media of a centrist, usually white, not necessarily college educated voter who is the one at play and that probably has influenced the way the media is covering it,” said Joshua Darr, a FiveThirtyEight contributor and professor of political science at Louisiana State University. That assumption of the power of the centrist voter is, to some extent, evidence based. Historically, being moderate and appealing to centrist voters was a great way to win congressional elections, Utych and Abramowitz both told me. But that’s been changing. Abramowitz’s analysis of the 2018 House elections turned up evidence that an incumbent candidate’s past voting record — whether they were more moderate or not — didn’t really make much of a difference in whether they won or lost, regardless of party. What’s more, he told me, the number of moderate members in Congress has been falling for decades. Forty-eight percent of the 95th Congress (1977-79) fell within the moderate range of ideology,1 compared to just 16 percent of the 115th Congress (2017-19), Abramowitz found.

Ideologues are elected more often than they used to be. Outsiders are elected more often, too. And the percentage of true swing voters is shrinking, Utych said. So does that mean someone like Sanders is more electable and someone like former Vice President Joe Biden is less electable? Electability here becomes a game of divining which group is more important to winning — swing voters or the partisan base. But that’s no more accurate than trying to estimate how sexist your neighbors are. “Which segment is bigger … there’s not great information on that,” Utych said. “Anything you say is just guessing.”

Even attempts to pin electability down subjectively leave you chasing your own tail, said Elizabeth Simas, a professor of political science at the University of Houston. We know from decades of research that voters have a tendency to line up their assumptions about who is electable line with the person they want to be elected. Maybe that means people just want to maintain some kind of cognitive consistency. “But it’s just always going to be impossible to parse out whether someone supports a candidate because of electability, or if a candidate is perceived as electable because they are the preferred candidate,” Simas said.

And there’s no better place to see that ambiguity than at a primary campaign rally. Skirting the edges of a cheering crowd, Brown and Vander Kopsa basically both want the same things — a candidate who cares about average people, a candidate who will be a game-changer and think outside the box. They both suspect other voters aren’t engaged or doing the research necessary to know who meets those criteria. What they don’t agree on is whether Bernie Sanders is inside the box, or out of it.

 

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1 minute ago, Juxtatarot said:

That article discusses personality. My concern about Bernie is about policy. I’ve never argued that he is less electable; I’ve argued that Medicare for All is less electable. Specifically less electable in the swing states that matter. 

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On 2/5/2020 at 11:01 AM, TheMagus said:

I agree with everything you said except your comment about Pete - you have it wrong. Every moderate that stays in the race is taking votes away from him, not vice versa. 

i hate to say this as I could vote for Pete  I know some traditional folks in the midwest who can't stand Trump but just are not ready to put a gay man in the White House. 

Edited by lazyike

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1 minute ago, lazyike said:

i hate to say this as I could vote for Pete  I know some traditional folks in the midwest who can't stand Trump but just are not ready to put a gay man in the White House. 

It should be noted that the exact same thing was said about Barack Obama in 2008: “I could vote for him but I know too many folks who wouldn’t; we’re just not ready for a black man in the White House.” 

I think this is wrong. If Buttigieg can win the nomination I think he crushes Trump. His problem is getting there. He’s got to find a way to get through the southern states. 

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1 minute ago, lazyike said:

i hate to say this as I could vote for Pete  I know some traditional folks in the midwest who can't stand Trump but just are not ready to put a gay man in the White House. 

I have been saying this for months. I like Pete and will probably vote for him in the California primary, but I doubt this country in 2020 is ready to elect an openly gay man. I think it will make a difference in the Midwest/northern states that Hillary narrowly lost and if that happens again, that's the ballgame. 

 

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37 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

He is white and gay. So you already know the answer to that question. 

Actually I don’t. I thought I did; currently Pete’s support among southern blacks is...zero. 

But they have to vote for somebody. If Biden loses NH as badly as projected he will no longer be seen as “most electable”. Most black southern voters are too conservative for Bernie or Warren. They don’t know Klobuchar and Bloomberg’s got stop and frisk. So maybe they will take a 2nd look at Pete; who knows? I don’t. Neither do you. 

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43 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Umm the impeachment hearings were an organized and professional hearings.  They presented that information there in such a manmer.

They were forced through to get in the vote in before Christmas, neglecting the protocols that would have allowed them to call imperative witnesses and hoping the GOP controlled Senate would help throw them a bone.  It was amateur hour

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

It should be noted that the exact same thing was said about Barack Obama in 2008: “I could vote for him but I know too many folks who wouldn’t; we’re just not ready for a black man in the White House.” 

I think this is wrong. If Buttigieg can win the nomination I think he crushes Trump. His problem is getting there. He’s got to find a way to get through the southern states. 

I think you are wrong here. Not willing to put a gay man in the White House is based on old fashioned religious issues. Not being willing to put a black man is based on racists ideas. 

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2 minutes ago, Navin Johnson said:

They were forced through to get in the vote in before Christmas, neglecting the protocols that would have allowed them to call imperative witnesses and hoping the GOP controlled Senate would help throw them a bone.  It was amateur hour

Protocols like waiting months and months for the court to rule?
Meanwhile...those saying they rushed would have likely been claiming they were letting it drag on...

 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

It should be noted that the exact same thing was said about Barack Obama in 2008: “I could vote for him but I know too many folks who wouldn’t; we’re just not ready for a black man in the White House.” 

I think this is wrong. If Buttigieg can win the nomination I think he crushes Trump. His problem is getting there. He’s got to find a way to get through the southern states. 

Except people were much more receptive to electing a black man in 2008 than a gay man in 2020 (per the annual Gallup poll of what factor voters consider a automatic disqualifier in voting for President). 

And have you forgotten there is something like 20+ states in this country that still allow discrimination against LGBT folks in employment and housing?

Also, in 2008, I don't recall any GOP anti-Obama campaign talking points that he shouldn't be elected because was black, but we would hear plenty anti-gay bigotry up front and center, particularly from the evangelical crowd. 

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Just now, sho nuff said:

Protocols like waiting months and months for the court to rule?
Meanwhile...those saying they rushed would have likely been claiming they were letting it drag on...

 

Commit to the process or don't.  If you are happy with the half-### job they did because it kept people from complaining, congrats.  A colossal waste of time and tax-payer money, not to mention motivating DJT's base with the second failed witch hunt.  Not a lot of forward thinking going on on the left outside of Tulsi.

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3 minutes ago, squistion said:

Except people were much more receptive to electing a black man in 2008 than a gay man in 2020 (per the annual Gallup poll of what factor voters consider a automatic disqualifier in voting for President). 

And have you forgotten there is something like 20+ states in this country that still allow discrimination against LGBT folks in employment and housing?

Also, in 2008, I don't recall any GOP anti-Obama campaign talking points that he shouldn't be elected because was black, but we would hear plenty anti-gay bigotry up front and center, particularly from the evangelical crowd. 

Are any of those states blue or swing states? (Honestly don’t know.) 

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Actually I don’t. I thought I did; currently Pete’s support among southern blacks is...zero. 

But they have to vote for somebody. If Biden loses NH as badly as projected he will no longer be seen as “most electable”. Most black southern voters are too conservative for Bernie or Warren. They don’t know Klobuchar and Bloomberg’s got stop and frisk. So maybe they will take a 2nd look at Pete; who knows? I don’t. Neither do you. 

Only way pete wins South Carolina is if this statement isnt true and they stay home. 

 

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1 minute ago, Navin Johnson said:

Commit to the process or don't.  If you are happy with the half-### job they did because it kept people from complaining, congrats.  A colossal waste of time and tax-payer money, not to mention motivating DJT's base with the second failed witch hunt.  Not a lot of forward thinking going on on the left outside of Tulsi.

If forward thinking means an ignorant, pro Syria lovefest you have a point. 

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Just now, parasaurolophus said:

Only way pete wins South Carolina is if this statement isnt true and they stay home. 

 

So if Biden folds who wins SC? You tell me

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Just now, Navin Johnson said:

Commit to the process or don't.  If you are happy with the half-### job they did because it kept people from complaining, congrats.  A colossal waste of time and tax-payer money, not to mention motivating DJT's base with the second failed witch hunt.  Not a lot of forward thinking going on on the left outside of Tulsi.

No...I think they should have held all who refused to comply with subpoenas in contempt of congress.  But even so still had plenty of evidence of Trumps wrongdoing.

But even more witnesses and evidemce wouldn't have mattered with congress.  The GOP senate was never going to convict.  As more information trickles out it will continue to look worse for those GOP members and Trump.

None of which has much to do with stating they didn't present the information in a professional manner...they absolutely did in the house.

Tulsi may be the most unelectable candidate on the Dem side.

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Are any of those states blue or swing states? (Honestly don’t know.) 

Here's a map

Looks like VA, PA, MI, FL, AZ and GA are the swingiest of the states without LGBT non-discrimination laws.

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

So if Biden folds who wins SC? You tell me

By "folds", do you mean completely drops out of the race?  Because I don't see that happening -- Biden just picked up some more endorsements from politicians this week.  

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18 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

By "folds", do you mean completely drops out of the race?  Because I don't see that happening -- Biden just picked up some more endorsements from politicians this week.  

I mean that if blacks sour on Biden, if they think he can’t win, who do they turn to? 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

That article discusses personality. My concern about Bernie is about policy. I’ve never argued that he is less electable; I’ve argued that Medicare for All is less electable. Specifically less electable in the swing states that matter. 

Less electable than what?

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23 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Less electable than what?

Than a Democratic candidate who proposes protecting and improving Obamacare. 

OR- Donald Trump. 

Edited by timschochet

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24 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Less electable than what?

Less electable to those that don't want to pay for it.

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13 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Than a Democratic candidate who proposes protecting and improving Obamacare. 

OR- Donald Trump. 

Sorry, I thought you were talking about the general election. Trump doesn't have a plan outside of "take away Obamacare" and with that goes preexisting conditions...not sure that's a tough choice at all for those with preexisting conditions :shrug: 

11 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Less electable to those that don't want to pay for it.

This doesn't make sense...they're already paying for it...the only question from a payment perspective is who are you paying it to....the insurance companies or the government.  Seems like a pretty meaningless distinction.

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

Buttigieg rising in New Hampshire, Bernie slightly slipping. Biden fading. 

Can Buttigieg use these strong showings to somehow get black support? 

Why do black people not like Pete?

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3 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

Why do black people not like Pete?

There are 3 reasons offered, in no particular order: 

1. He’s gay and older religious blacks (especially in the South) regard homosexuality as immoral. 

2. His actions or inactions as mayor of South Bend appeared to favor law enforcement in several controversial incidents involving young black men. 

3. They don’t know him. 

Edited by timschochet

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

 

1. He’s gay and older religious blacks (especially in the South) regard homosexuality as immoral. 

I should add to this point: I’ve noticed that many blacks who might not have a religious intolerance against gay people seem to resent them for their appropriation of the civil rights movement, comparing the historical struggles of blacks to the more modern situation facing the LGBT community. I’ve heard this quite a bit in recent years. 

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

That article discusses personality. My concern about Bernie is about policy. I’ve never argued that he is less electable; I’ve argued that Medicare for All is less electable. Specifically less electable in the swing states that matter. 

This indicates you don't really understand how elections are won.

Edited by Gr00vus

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3 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

I've referenced her work before, but IMO Rachel Bitecofer's "Negative Partisanship" hypothesis seems to fit the evidence well so far.  She nailed 2018 months in advance (+40 seats for Dems) while other people were arguing about whether Dems could retake the house.  I do think it's possible her theory is right as long as we remain so polarized, but 2020 will be a very interesting test.

Anyhow, here's the lede from an article in Politico:

 

Sign me up.  

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

The other thing that cheers me up is this: the results from Iowa and the polling from NH tell me that despite my earlier fears, Bernie’s numbers are not growing. Just like in 2016, he’s not able to increase his base of of support. The Democratic voters still prefer a centrist; they still think that only a centrist can defeat Trump. 

So it may be Buttigieg, or Bloomberg instead of Biden. It may even be Klobuchar (though that’s unlikely now). But one of these is going to be the nominee I believe. And that puts the advantage back to the Democrats again. 

On what are you basing this claim?  According to the information I'm looking at, he outperformed any expectations in Iowa, leading total votes in the first vote over Pete by 6,000 votes and leading in the final votes by nearly 3,000 votes.  He got very strong support from Latinos.  And quite frankly, they STILL have not called Iowa yet.  No one expected him to win Iowa.

In NH he is leading polling at 26.4% vs Pete at 19.1% (to say nothing of the ridiculously un-earned 6 point bump PETE got in the last 4 days from the media proclaiming him the winner for three straight days when they didn't have nearly the data to do so).  Bernie's polling from January was at 19% vs Pete at 13%. 

How do you possibly read that as Bernie's numbers not growing?  

ETA: FiveThirtyEight has Bernie as the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination at 1 in 2.  The next person is NO ONE at 1 in 4.  Biden is at 1 in 5 and Warren & Pete are at 1 in 20 and 1 in 25, respectively.

 

Edited by unckeyherb

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26 minutes ago, timschochet said:

There are 3 reasons offered, in no particular order: 

1. He’s gay and older religious blacks (especially in the South) regard homosexuality as immoral. 

2. His actions or inactions as mayor of South Bend appeared to favor law enforcement in several controversial incidents involving young black men. 

3. They don’t know him. 

1. Older religious whites in the north regard it as immoral too

If 3 is true then they don’t know about 2

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7 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

This indicates you don't really understand how elections are won.

Your comment indicates you don’t really understand how elections are won when an ideologue is involved. 

In most elections personality is everything. That’s because there’s not distinctive difference between the candidates on issues that most folks can really wrap their heads around. But when an ideologue is involved (which is admittedly rare in a Presidential election; the last real ideologue for a major party I can think of was Barry Goldwater in 1964), then personality takes a back seat to the public’s perception of the ideology. 

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2 minutes ago, unckeyherb said:

On what are you basing this claim?  According to the information I'm looking at, he outperformed any expectations in Iowa, leading total votes in the first vote over Pete by 6,000 votes and leading in the final votes by nearly 3,000 votes.  He got very strong support from Latinos.  And quite frankly, they STILL have not called Iowa yet.  No one expected him to win Iowa.

In NH he is leading polling at 26.4% vs Pete at 19.1% (to say nothing of the ridiculously un-earned 6 point bump PETE got in the last 4 days from the media proclaiming him the winner for three straight days when they didn't have nearly the data to do so).  Bernie's polling from January was at 19% vs Pete at 13%. 

How do you possibly read that as Bernie's numbers not growing?  

The comparison is to 2016- he’s not attracting new voters to the Democrats. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

The comparison is to 2016- he’s not attracting new voters to the Democrats. 

But he's attracting voters to him.  

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3 minutes ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

1. Older religious whites in the north regard it as immoral too

If 3 is true then they don’t know about 2

1. That’s true. I don’t think it will be decisive in the general election. But it might be in the southern primaries. 

2. Both can be true: some don’t like the police thing, others don’t know him. 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Your comment indicates you don’t really understand how elections are won when an ideologue is involved. 

In most elections personality is everything. That’s because there’s not distinctive difference between the candidates on issues that most folks can really wrap their heads around. But when an ideologue is involved (which is admittedly rare in a Presidential election; the last real ideologue for a major party I can think of was Barry Goldwater in 1964), then personality takes a back seat to the public’s perception of the ideology. 

Because you insist someone is an ideologue doesn't mean they are, or that people will see them that way. You continue to misread not only the candidates, but the times we live in. Get off your Goldwater trip, it doesn't apply anymore.

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Just now, unckeyherb said:

But he's attracting voters to him.  

Existing voters. And most of these voted for him in 2016. That’s my point. He still hasn’t proved he can break out of his fan base. 

Remember that in 2016 he barely won or lost Iowa (too close to call) and scored big in New Hampshire. So 2020 appears to be the same result so far 

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24 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I should add to this point: I’ve noticed that many blacks who might not have a religious intolerance against gay people seem to resent them for their appropriation of the civil rights movement, comparing the historical struggles of blacks to the more modern situation facing the LGBT community. I’ve heard this quite a bit in recent years. 

I have heard this too most recently in the discussion of marriage equality laws, something along the lines, "How dare you compare LGBT discrimination to slavery and Jim Crow" as if discrimination against LGBT folks (which goes back to the Middle Ages) somehow doesn't count. 

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2 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

Because you insist someone is an ideologue doesn't mean they are, or that people will see them that way. You continue to misread not only the candidates, but the times we live in. Get off your Goldwater trip, it doesn't apply anymore.

I don’t think it’s insulting to label someone an ideologue. It basically means a thinker, somebody who is consistent in their political philosophy and very knowledgeable about that philosophy, who tends to shun political compromise in favor of the ideal. I don’t regard that as a bad description of Bernie Sanders but perhaps you disagree. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

Existing voters. And most of these voted for him in 2016. That’s my point. He still hasn’t proved he can break out of his fan base. 

Remember that in 2016 he barely won or lost Iowa (too close to call) and scored big in New Hampshire. So 2020 appears to be the same result so far 

It was a binary decision in 2016, Tim.  There are way more options this time around and like I said, by winning the most votes in Iowa hes outperformed expectations.  

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Your comment indicates you don’t really understand how elections are won when an ideologue is involved. 

In most elections personality is everything. That’s because there’s not distinctive difference between the candidates on issues that most folks can really wrap their heads around. But when an ideologue is involved (which is admittedly rare in a Presidential election; the last real ideologue for a major party I can think of was Barry Goldwater in 1964), then personality takes a back seat to the public’s perception of the ideology. 

Looking at something that happened in 1964 (and earlier) and assuming that it would happen a similar way today seems questionable to me.  

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Just now, unckeyherb said:

It was a binary decision in 2016, Tim.  There are way more options this time around and like I said, by winning the most votes in Iowa hes outperformed expectations.  

He was projected to win Iowa. He is projected to win New Hampshire. 

Look we can go back and forth on this stuff but we just won’t know until we get to South Carolina and then Super Tuesday. That’s when we will discover, truly, if Bernie has expanded his base or if he hasn’t. If you’re right I will be sure to recall this conversation and give you credit

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I don’t think it’s insulting to label someone an ideologue. It basically means a thinker, somebody who is consistent in their political philosophy and very knowledgeable about that philosophy, who tends to shun political compromise in favor of the ideal. I don’t regard that as a bad description of Bernie Sanders but perhaps you disagree. 

Sorry, I thought your implication was that an ideologue can't win a Presidential election? That's the context of my response.

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

He was projected to win Iowa. He is projected to win New Hampshire. 

Look we can go back and forth on this stuff but we just won’t know until we get to South Carolina and then Super Tuesday. That’s when we will discover, truly, if Bernie has expanded his base or if he hasn’t. If you’re right I will be sure to recall this conversation and give you credit

I think that's all that most of us are saying Tim. You're the one often speaking in absolutes before we have much current evidence to consider.

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1 minute ago, Juxtatarot said:

Looking at something that happened in 1964 (and earlier) and assuming that it would happen a similar way today seems questionable to me.  

And that’s fair.  

In the case of Bernie I have a simpler argument: Medicare for All is a losing issue in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. I think voters in those 3 states will stick with Trump if that is the choice they’re looking at. That’s the gist of it. 

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Just now, Gr00vus said:

I think that's all that most of us are saying Tim. You're the one often speaking in absolutes before we have much current evidence to consider.

I’m speaking in absolutes in terms of my opinion. 

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13 minutes ago, timschochet said:

And that’s fair.  

In the case of Bernie I have a simpler argument: Medicare for All is a losing issue in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. I think voters in those 3 states will stick with Trump if that is the choice they’re looking at. That’s the gist of it. 

Why do you assume that? Also, why do you not recognize that Bernie has much of the same appeal that Trump has to the swing voters in those states?

Edited by Gr00vus

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I don’t think it’s insulting to label someone an ideologue. It basically means a thinker, somebody who is consistent in their political philosophy and very knowledgeable about that philosophy, who tends to shun political compromise in favor of the ideal. I don’t regard that as a bad description of Bernie Sanders but perhaps you disagree. 

No, it isn't and I think FDR could have been called an ideologue:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

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