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Joe Bryant

Is It Really A Battle For The Middle?

Do You Agree Or Disagree It's Really A Battle For The Middle?   

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5 hours ago, The Commish said:

This is pretty much it.  There's a continued bastardization of the English language run amuck in politics where somehow people equate "moderate" with "independents" and "independents" with "the middle" as it pertains to policy positions.  This simply isn't true and we can look at the evidence right here in the PSF where people holding incredibly conservative views have convinced themselves they are "in the middle" because they are "independents".

THIS!  

Many who claim to be independent and not affiliated with either party do so not b/c they're in the middle, but because they believe it gives their political opinion an air of superiority.  As if everyone affiliated with a party is a mindless drone, while those who remain "independent" are real thinkers who get to decide our elections.  I think the reality is just the opposite; at this point, if you're truly engaged and educated on the issues, it seems very unlikely that you agree with both parties virtually equally, and thus don't have preference as to which party governs.  

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28 minutes ago, tommyGunZ said:
6 hours ago, The Commish said:

This is pretty much it.  There's a continued bastardization of the English language run amuck in politics where somehow people equate "moderate" with "independents" and "independents" with "the middle" as it pertains to policy positions.  This simply isn't true and we can look at the evidence right here in the PSF where people holding incredibly conservative views have convinced themselves they are "in the middle" because they are "independents".

THIS!  

Many who claim to be independent and not affiliated with either party do so not b/c they're in the middle, but because they believe it gives their political opinion an air of superiority.  As if everyone affiliated with a party is a mindless drone, while those who remain "independent" are real thinkers who get to decide our elections.  I think the reality is just the opposite; at this point, if you're truly engaged and educated on the issues, it seems very unlikely that you agree with both parties virtually equally, and thus don't have preference as to which party governs.  

I wouldn't go this far...close, but not quite this far.  I don't affiliate with a party because I have issues from a moral perspective with many of our politicians and I don't need/want to be associated with that.  There are many of us, from a policy level, that genuinely hold beliefs that the parties reject (unless they are after our votes of course).  That's not to say we don't try to weave through all the nonsense in search of the best option.  It's to say we don't have enough in common with either party to honestly identify with said party.

My opinion is no "better" or "worse" than anyone else's and I understand that.  I do believe it's easier to fall into group think if you're identifying with a party, but that's not the same as saying everyone in the party thinks the same way.  To put things into perspective, this is going to be the first time I have ever voted for a D or an R for President, and it's driven more by a moral standard I have than what policies I agree/disagree with.  I several who are taking this approach.

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Mostly agree.

Ideally, you have a moderate candidate who folks are really excited about.  

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1 hour ago, tommyGunZ said:

 

Many who claim to be independent and not affiliated with either party do so not b/c they're in the middle, but because they believe it gives their political opinion an air of superiority.  As if everyone affiliated with a party is a mindless drone, while those who remain "independent" are real thinkers who get to decide our elections.  I think the reality is just the opposite; at this point, if you're truly engaged and educated on the issues, it seems very unlikely that you agree with both parties virtually equally, and thus don't have preference as to which party governs.  

This doesn't make sense to me, but I guess I don't follow these things very closely.  I've never heard anyone claim to be independent because they "agree with both parties virtually equally, and thus don't have preference as to which party governs."  Who says this?  I consider myself independent because I've voted for multiple different candidates from multiple different parties over the many years I've been voting, and don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt or pre-judge them due to party affiliation.  That starts at local offices all the way to the top.  Both parties are full of crooks and charlatans.  I don't perceive any meaningful political difference between them. 

 

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5 hours ago, The Commish said:

I guess we'll see.  If it comes down to Bernie vs Donald, they both have their set of support locked in.  All that constant, if we are to believe people, that's approx 33-34% for Trump and 36-37% for Bernie and the battles will be over Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn, Ohio (maybe?) and Florida.  Bernie's message for the last 30+ years has been pretty much the same as what Trump peddled to those states in 2016.  So what are the differences those people see today vs what they saw in 2016?  

1.  It's not Hillary as the alternative to Trump.
2.  Trump now has an established track record in those areas and it's not good.

Those are the primary things driving influence in those areas.  If Bernie wanted to pile on, he could point to any number of industries that not only did Trump not bring back, he let further wilt on the vine.  He could point to formally working industry that Trump screwed up with his tariff approach and say it's only a matter of time before he screws you too.  He could talk about all the moral issues and defiance of the Constitution (but that'd be piling on....he should just stick to the real life impacts).

It may be closer in those areas than it should be...pride's a ##### and it's really tough to admit a mistake for some, but the realities are what they are.  Guaranteed is a strong word to use here IMO.

The economy......the economy....the economy. 

I don’t care what anyone says.....that this was a continuation of Obama....blah blah blah blah. Look if you understand financial markets....it is pretty simple. After 2008 we had no where to go but up. We stalled in 2011, we stalled in 2015. 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 were strong years for stocks. 

Trump comes in....a massive shot of confidence and the cyclical bull hits another gear and takes off in 16 and 17...stalls in 18 with fake recession fears and the Fed eases again and KABOOM a historic 2019. 

Look......I liked Obama. I voted for him in 2008. I did not like his foreign policy. But he was a decent president and one of the best speakers in our history. I also think Michelle Obama was an amazing first lady. 

The confidence under Trump is too strong....I am talking strictly on the economy and you can throw in our military. 

The country is not removing an incumbent in this kind of climate. If they do....it would be an historic upset.

My 2 cents. 

We got 4 more years of the Orange headed man. Big deal. 

Meantime we will probably hit a moderate recession in his second term.....and so what. We are due for one again. Then the next president in regardless of party affiliation will claim victory for pulling us out....when in fact....they have little to do with it. Financial markets do what they do. It is all cynical when it comes to markets. Fed policy right now is making sure people stay in stocks. But earnings and confidence are driving a lot of the stock market gains.

Edited by Todem
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I agree with James Carville “Winning this election is all that matters — and the way to do it is not running some rat race to the farthest reaches of left-wing zombie land.”

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58 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I don't perceive any meaningful political difference between them. 

 

And neither do all the huge corporations that support each side in big ways and want to keep it only a two party system so they can continue to control everything.  

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20 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

I know we've talked about this before here but making a new thread today with a poll.

We have folks here knowledgeable about political strategy and process. I'm not one. I'm a regular guy that feels like I understand human nature pretty well. And I understand game play and strategy.

I know it's serious and not a "game" but for this discussion, I'm defining the "game" as winning the Presidential Election.

Understand, that's VERY different than the game being "My Candidate Winning". If your candidate is on the further edge, you're not going to like what I'm saying here. But understand what I'm saying. I'm defining the game as winning the election. Not getting your candidate in. 

Side Note: This is separate / in addition to one of the most important and odd rules of the game - the Electoral College. A rule Trump seemed to intuitively understand and use to his advantage last time way more effectively than Clinton. This part is actually fascinating. This is like a guy who doesn't know the NFL players but completely understands game play. You put him in a league where RB receptions are worth 10x their normal fantasy value and he instantly understands Austin Ekeler is a top 2 pick. Where the other guy is relatively clueless how a rule changes the game. 

Back to the game. I see it like this.

The Democrats already the folks firmly on their end of the spectrum. Those points/votes are already scored. There is talk of Bernie Bros defecting if they don't get Bernie again, but the reality is most everyone firmly on the Dem side now will vote for whoever is the nominee. 

The Republicans already the folks firmly on their end of the spectrum. Those points/votes are already scored. In the same way, most everyone that is firmly on the Republican side will vote Trump. They may talk about the "lesser of two bad choices", but the reality is a vote is a binary decision and the guy who holds his nose and votes Trump counts exactly the same as the MAGA Hat Rally voter. 

The "game" then becomes who can win over the points WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN SCORED YET. They live in the middle. They're people who lean mostly Democratic but just aren't quite comfortable with how Bernie will pay for all this. They're people who lean most Republican but they just aren't comfortable with how Trump yells at people. Whatever. Doesn't really matter what they're not comfortable with. What matters is they're not firmly in either camp.

These were the mostly Republican small business owners (like my Dad) who realized Bill Clinton gave them the best opportunity to succeed. These were the mostly Democratic unemployed car factory person, who felt like Donald Trump would bring back jobs. Again, I"m not sure it matters so much WHY a candidate appeals to the person. Just that that they DO appeal to person. 

So the game becomes in my opinion very simply: Who can win over the middle? And that begs the next question: What does the middle look like? Or better: How firm are the votes already locked in for the Democratic Candidate and for Trump?

Personally, I see way more opportunity for picking off the "not firm" Trump Support than I do picking off the "not firm" Democratic support. This goes back to my constantly saying my opinion, based on people I know, in the subset of "Trump Voters", the subset of super hardcore locked in Trump folks is relatively small. Sure, the average "Trump Voter" will say he supports / approves Trump when asked in a poll. But again, that's a binary vote. I think the actual opportunity for a moderate Democrat to pull people over to their side is huge. 

If I could magically control the DNC and try to win the presidency in 2020, I'd go all in for a candidate that would satisfy my votes that are already locked up, and then go hard after those undecided votes in the middle. 

So that's my strategy. And that's how I'd try to win "the game". Thoughts?

 

I think the way to win the game is turnout. Battling for the middle is an important strategy as well, but really energizing more people to vote is the key.

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19 hours ago, Joe Bryant said:

This is how I hear it too.

The people I know who are serious Trump supporters are BEGGING for the candidate to be Bernie Sanders. 

And they're scared to death of Michael Bloomberg. 

For the exact reasons in my theory. Which truthfully, was a big part of my forming this complex theory... ;) 

Just like establishment democrats were begging for Trump in 2016. Be careful what you wish for.

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21 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Totally disagree.  Until the model fails (it road-tested the 2017 VA state races almost perfectly, then nailed 2018 months in advance), Rachel Bitecofer's "Negative Partisanship" has it right IMO.

There are almost no persuadable Independents, and turnout effects swamp them in size.

The model?

The Democratic Party doesn't have much to model success for a good chunk of our lifetimes. 2 Presidents in 4 decades. Clinton was a young moderate. Obama was a young moderate. The right will disagree on the latter, but certainly not the woke left. You talk to a Bernie guy for any length of time, and they'll make Obama out to be Reagan.

So, the Democratic Party has been getting crushed in the EC for decades, and the only success has been with young moderates.

I'm not sure how that model points to an 80 year old Progressive.

To find a true progressive winning the WH, you probably have to go back 90 years, and it took the Great Depression to pull that off.

And I might even argue the VA state races as a model is exactly the opposite of what we need. What happened in VA is that NOVA and the coast took over the state. The state as a whole is incredibly divided, and the rural areas are mad and defiant. 

VA can swing without appealing to rural voters. A Presidential Election cannot.

Edited by pollardsvision

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9 hours ago, Todem said:

The economy......the economy....the economy. 

I don’t care what anyone says.....that this was a continuation of Obama....blah blah blah blah. Look if you understand financial markets....it is pretty simple. After 2008 we had no where to go but up. We stalled in 2011, we stalled in 2015. 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 were strong years for stocks. 

Trump comes in....a massive shot of confidence and the cyclical bull hits another gear and takes off in 16 and 17...stalls in 18 with fake recession fears and the Fed eases again and KABOOM a historic 2019. 

Look......I liked Obama. I voted for him in 2008. I did not like his foreign policy. But he was a decent president and one of the best speakers in our history. I also think Michelle Obama was an amazing first lady. 

The confidence under Trump is too strong....I am talking strictly on the economy and you can throw in our military. 

The country is not removing an incumbent in this kind of climate. If they do....it would be an historic upset.

My 2 cents. 

We got 4 more years of the Orange headed man. Big deal. 

Meantime we will probably hit a moderate recession in his second term.....and so what. We are due for one again. Then the next president in regardless of party affiliation will claim victory for pulling us out....when in fact....they have little to do with it. Financial markets do what they do. It is all cynical when it comes to markets. Fed policy right now is making sure people stay in stocks. But earnings and confidence are driving a lot of the stock market gains.

I feel like you didn't read any of the post you responded to.  I agree with the bold.  The people in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania etc are going to be looking exactly at their economy.  That was my point when I said:

Quote

If Bernie wanted to pile on, he could point to any number of industries that not only did Trump not bring back, he let further wilt on the vine.  He could point to formally working industry that Trump screwed up with his tariff approach and say it's only a matter of time before he screws you too.

I am not under the impression that the people being negatively impacted by his choices are going to say "meh....I'm in the minority and I know the economy is booming for everyone but me, so I'm good with voting for him again".  Are you?  For the most part the stock market is doing just fine and we're chugging along at analyst predictions despite the uncertainty.  That's what trillion dollar deficit spending will do in the short term.  I've been one to trust the economists on their forecasting.  It's going to be 2022,23,24 before a recession hits.  He'll be long gone by then and the :hophead: saying "recessions are inevitable" will be changing their tune to "Oh, it's the Dems fault" like clockwork.  None of that matters to the people going bankrupt or those that lost their jobs because of failed policy or couldn't get a job because of failed policy.  That's all white noise to them.

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I have never really understood why stock prices and such matter when talking about the health of the economy with respect to job availability and other worker related metrics. The vast majority of people do not have any significant stock holdings, and the stock prices have no reflection on how "beneficial" the increase in stock price is for the average worker. A good way to get a nice stock bump is to lay people off, while from a perspective of having the most people gainfully employed and contributing to the economy that is obviously a bad thing. Pundits always talk about the NASDAQ or whatever going up as if that translates to something meaningful, when it probably only effects 5% of people. Stocks could triple overnight and there would still be the same people driving uber for 5 hours after working a shift because they don't make enough money, and it will never trickle down to them.

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57 minutes ago, huthut said:

I have never really understood why stock prices and such matter when talking about the health of the economy with respect to job availability and other worker related metrics. The vast majority of people do not have any significant stock holdings, and the stock prices have no reflection on how "beneficial" the increase in stock price is for the average worker. A good way to get a nice stock bump is to lay people off, while from a perspective of having the most people gainfully employed and contributing to the economy that is obviously a bad thing. Pundits always talk about the NASDAQ or whatever going up as if that translates to something meaningful, when it probably only effects 5% of people. Stocks could triple overnight and there would still be the same people driving uber for 5 hours after working a shift because they don't make enough money, and it will never trickle down to them.

This cartoon sums it up nicely

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1 hour ago, huthut said:

I have never really understood why stock prices and such matter when talking about the health of the economy with respect to job availability and other worker related metrics. The vast majority of people do not have any significant stock holdings, and the stock prices have no reflection on how "beneficial" the increase in stock price is for the average worker.

I somewhat agree with your sentiment, but to answer your question, higher stock prices make it easier for businesses to raise capital, which means they’ll expand and hire more people, which means that unemployment will go down and wages (and other compensation) will go up. All of that seems to be happening.

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Sean Trende, elections editor at Real Clear Politics, was also working on a theory very similar to this, only from a Republican point of view. It's weird Bitecofer and 538 get the pub when he pretty much had written the playbook back in 2012 or so. He was essentially saying this. Jonah Goldberg has also said the same thing for a long time. It's about your base, and it's about turning them out.

As for me, I really think it is a battle for the middle because of the age of registered voters and the fact that they vote. They're still getting their news from cable and nightly news, and while it skews left, it's certainly demonstrably more centrist than MSNBC or CNN or Fox. Younger people are getting their information differently, and that skews how this political divide is seen so strongly among the youth. But among older folks who vote, there is definitely, IMHO a swing vote element.

Edited by rockaction
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7 hours ago, pollardsvision said:

The model?

The Democratic Party doesn't have much to model success for a good chunk of our lifetimes. 2 Presidents in 4 decades. Clinton was a young moderate. Obama was a young moderate. The right will disagree on the latter, but certainly not the woke left. You talk to a Bernie guy for any length of time, and they'll make Obama out to be Reagan.

So, the Democratic Party has been getting crushed in the EC for decades, and the only success has been with young moderates.

I'm not sure how that model points to an 80 year old Progressive.

To find a true progressive winning the WH, you probably have to go back 90 years, and it took the Great Depression to pull that off.

And I might even argue the VA state races as a model is exactly the opposite of what we need. What happened in VA is that NOVA and the coast took over the state. The state as a whole is incredibly divided, and the rural areas are mad and defiant. 

VA can swing without appealing to rural voters. A Presidential Election cannot.

Obama definitely ran as a Progressive, as many of the young Progressives who helped him win Iowa in '08 would attest to. He may have governed as a moderate, but I don't see how you can look at the messaging of his campaign and find that he sold himself as anything else but Progressive (for as much as that meant in 2008 compared to 2020).

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3 hours ago, huthut said:

I have never really understood why stock prices and such matter when talking about the health of the economy with respect to job availability and other worker related metrics. The vast majority of people do not have any significant stock holdings, and the stock prices have no reflection on how "beneficial" the increase in stock price is for the average worker. A good way to get a nice stock bump is to lay people off, while from a perspective of having the most people gainfully employed and contributing to the economy that is obviously a bad thing. Pundits always talk about the NASDAQ or whatever going up as if that translates to something meaningful, when it probably only effects 5% of people. Stocks could triple overnight and there would still be the same people driving uber for 5 hours after working a shift because they don't make enough money, and it will never trickle down to them.

And whose fault is that?

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I also now realize this was a dumb question on my part. The people who support a moderate candidate think it's about the middle. The people who support a candidate more toward the end of the spectrum think it's not about the middle. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

I also now realize this was a dumb question on my part. The people who support a moderate candidate think it's about the middle. The people who support a candidate more toward the end of the spectrum think it's not about the middle. 

 

How did you come to that conclusion?

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4 hours ago, bagger said:

How did you come to that conclusion?

Just thinking more about it and reading replies. Dumb on my part. I'm sure it won't be the last time. 

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4 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Just thinking more about it and reading replies. Dumb on my part. I'm sure it won't be the last time. 

Not at all.  I didn’t necessarily see a strong correlation but then again I don’t really pay attention to who has what political affiliation and how they responded. I was genuinely curious.

I think it is a good topic of discussion honestly.

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