Democratic Primary 2020

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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:16 pm

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Interesting poll of Iowa primary voters. Looks like mostly bad news for my candidates but good-ish for Harris and, weirdly, Castro.

I just want to talk to one of these registered Dems who say they're likely to vote in the primary but haven't heard of Bernie Sanders. What path in life has led them to this point?
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:45 pm

Absentia wrote:
Spoiler: show
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Interesting poll of Iowa primary voters. Looks like mostly bad news for my candidates but good-ish for Harris and, weirdly, Castro.

I just want to talk to one of these registered Dems who say they're likely to vote in the primary but haven't heard of Bernie Sanders. What path in life has led them to this point?


If I know people, some proportion of respondents in every poll are choosing their answers to deliberately fuck with the pollsters.

Beyond that, if any 4channers were included in the poll, they've probably forgotten by now that any candidate exists besides Andrew Yang.
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"If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:34 am



In other news, Andrew Yang has gotten enough donations (from 4chan, I guess) to qualify for the TV debates.

In other other news, Stacey Abrams, who had originally said she wasn't planning on running, is now apparently thinking about it.

They're going to need one of those high angle stadium cameras to televise this thing.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:04 pm

If Abrams runs, she might actually be my top pick, but I'm not entirely sure how politically sensible that is. There are basically two groups of swing states the Democrats could target to get to 270: Sunbelt states such as Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia, and the Rust Belt/Midwestern states Trump turned red in 2020. (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio.)

Of these states, I think Michigan, Ohio, and Abrams' home state of Georgia almost certainly won't be tipping point states, and Texas is very unlikely to be (especially if the nominee isn't Castro or Beto), but Texas and Georgia could be tipping point states for control of the Senate and are still worth targeting.

Targeting the Sunbelt means winning over some suburban voters (Beto O'Rourke won Tarrant County, Williamson County, and Hays County in Texas, for example), and bring in new voters, especially young and minority voters, and I think that Abrams is uniquely well-positioned to pull this off. However Trump's approval ratings have held up really well in the Sunbelt, and the only sunbelt state I think Democrats are likely to flip is Arizona. Florida I'd say is about 50-50, and the other targets are reaches.

In the Rust Belt/Midwest, Trump's approval ratings have declined steeply, and I think Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania are all probably easier gets than any Sunbelt state except Arizona, Florida, and maybe North Carolina. Swing voters there tend to be culturally conservative and economically left-wing, the opposite of my own views, so if it was a matter of only targeting the Sun Belt or the Rust Belt, I'd prefer to target the Sun Belt. But I think several candidates have the potential to target both areas, in particular Klobuchar, Castro, and Booker.

I think any candidate who isn't associated with the far left on economic issues (Sanders, Warren) or with identity politics (Warren, possibly several other candidates) has a shot at competing in both areas. Abrams, with Harris and Gillibrand, occupies a position on identity/cultural issues where I'm honestly not sure if it's a liability. But while I don't like Harris and Gillibrand appears to be dead in the water, Abrams, like I said, is someone I'd very seriously consider for my top pick.

So the question I have is: how will Abrams play in the Peoria? And if she's likely to struggle there, is it more of a liability than other liabilities potential candidates may have, such as being "boring"? (Castro, Buttigieg, possibly Booker.) I genuinely don't know the answer to this. I lean towards no, because she tends to pursue concrete, admirable goals like voting rights, rather than extreme things like "abolish ICE." But her views on Stone Mountain, while I supported them, were needlessly risky. Abrams is someone I think does what's right regardless of the cost, and while I like it, I'm not entirely sure how it would play.

As for Beto, he's a lightweight, but as Nate Silver pointed out, betting markets consider him a top-tier candidate, on par with Biden and Bernie, above Harris. I feel like he's due for a major stumble, but if he makes it to the end, I prefer him to Sanders, Harris, and Warren.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:25 pm

cmsellers wrote:Abrams is someone I think does what's right regardless of the cost, and while I like it, I'm not entirely sure how it would play.


In principle, I think that kind of energy could play extremely well as a contrast/counterpoint to DJT in the primary; people who see Trump as the evil emperor could be in the market for a Luke Skywalker.

In practice, it would be tough to carry that image throughout the campaign without stepping on a landmine or coming off as "shrill" (the perennial sexist critique of outspoken female candidates).
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:31 pm

I've been leaning toward Beto a bit more the last few days, having soured some on Klobuchar after the worse stories about her treatment of her staff came out.

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I'm disinclined to do any real research until the field narrows, though--not interested in poring over the voting records and histories of this many candidates when most of them won't even be running/viable by the time Oregon votes. So I'm basing this positive opinion largely on his Obamaesque "One America" public presentation, his margin against Cruz, and the fact that the loudest voices on liberal Twitter seem to find him insufficiently radical.
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"If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:38 pm

The thing about Beto is that he doesn't have much of a record. He was a mostly anonymous House member for 6 years, and before that he was a businessman. He hasn't really articulated any firm positions on the issues that divide the Democratic candidates.

He's great at the "retail politics" side of campaigning: shaking hands, kissing babies, shooting campaign ads, making a compelling speech without actually saying anything. He held his own in debates with Ted Cruz, who is generally considered a strong debater (although he had the advantage that Cruz was often in the position of having to defend Donald Trump). He's got the "cool dad" charisma that Obama had, and he has a deep connection with Hispanic voters.

But apart from the fact that he does not seem to be at the Bernie/Warren level of progressive, he's essentially a blank slate on policy. Depending on who you ask, this is either his greatest asset or his greatest liability.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Marcuse » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:40 pm

If Beto runs against Trump, he can just win by shouting "Lock him up" during rallies.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:38 pm

@Marc: Beto or Trump? They could both shout that.

@Absentia: My three big complaints about Beto in the Texas Senate race were that:

1. He had a drunk driving accident, which he wasn't completely honest about.
2. He supports banning AR-15's and doesn't seem to know anything about guns, a huge liability in Texas.
3. He reminds me way too much of Ted Kennedy, which the drunk driving accident reinforces.

To that, we can add

4. In the presidential election that he's kind of a lightweight.

The good things about him are:

1. He beat a Democratic incumbent for his Congressional seat, running in large part on criminal justice issues.
2. He wasn't afraid to support Black Lives Matter and legalizing pot.
3. Despite his privileged upbringing, he seems more grounded than a lot of politicians.
4. Progressives hate him, which means he looks moderate simply because they attack him.
5. He reminds everybody of a Kennedy, and that really helps his electability.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:27 am

It's a little sad to realize the candidates I'm coming to like the most are the ones the majority of Democratic voters don't seem crazy about. The candidate I'm looking for doesn't really exist, to be fair, because my ideal candidate would basically run against the presidency itself and start deconstructing a lot of the powers accrued under the office, drive strong measures to combat climate change, legalize marijuana, start monopoly busting like we're back in the early 1900s, support a package to explicitly drive up wages rather than just messing around tax margins, demand mandatory voting, all without really making too big a dent in my investment profile (except that's not possible either, because I'd also want them to appoint a very hawkish Fed Chair to start balancing out their sheets so the next recession doesn't last thirty years, my portfolio be damned).

So...in the absence of all that, which likely could not exist in a single person without literally all of congress turning Democratic and Fox News suddenly adopting some ethics, anyone who can get Trump out of there without fucking up too bad themselves is my best bet. Go team?
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:27 pm

What's the deal with Beto? He seems fine, and definitely has some stuff going for him, but I'm not clear at all on why he's supposedly the ultra-exciting gamechanger a lot of American media seem to be painting him as. He doesn't seem to be offering anything new or different, and while he is charismatic he's not abnormally so. Certainly, from an outsider perspective, he seems to just be a moderate congressman who nearly deposed Ted Cruz, but didn't. What's the fuss?
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Aquila89 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:16 pm

It's weird how candidates who lost their races (Beto, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams) became rising stars. Gillum has an announcement scheduled, and Abrams expressed interest too. Meanwhile, candidates who actually won, like Laura Kelly who defeated Kris Kobach in Kansas and Tony Evers who unseated Scott Walker are ignored. But maybe it's for the better; Kelly and Evers can focus on doing their jobs instead of contemplating presidential runs.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Absentia » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:16 pm

gisambards wrote:What's the deal with Beto? He seems fine, and definitely has some stuff going for him, but I'm not clear at all on why he's supposedly the ultra-exciting gamechanger a lot of American media seem to be painting him as. He doesn't seem to be offering anything new or different, and while he is charismatic he's not abnormally so. Certainly, from an outsider perspective, he seems to just be a moderate congressman who nearly deposed Ted Cruz, but didn't. What's the fuss?


The short answer is that a lot of people see him as the next Obama. He's a young guy with cross-racial appeal, a ton of charisma, and messaging that's mostly about unity and optimism rather than anything controversial. He's got enough experience in DC that he's not a total novice, but not enough to call him an "insider." Several former Obama people have encouraged him to run, and he met with the man himself to get his blessing (though not a public endorsement, yet). He also has a track record of raising a lot of money and outperforming expectations.

I've also seen people openly saying that as a white guy he has a better chance of beating Trump than someone like Kamala Harris because he won't be a turn-off to racist and sexist swing voters. So, uh, there's that.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:27 pm

My dad is damn well convinced he's the next Bobby Kennedy. I'm more of a Buttigieg girl myself, though.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:17 am

So Buttigieg apparently hosted a town hall where he did quite well. I previously saw him as a "boring" candidate, and I still think he's "boring" enough to be VP, but I think he also has the potential to be inspiring. I saw him as a weaker candidate than Castro, because he was mayor of a smaller city in a redder state, but now I think Buttigieg is stronger.

Also, in part of the panel, the moderator asked him if Pence would be a better president than Trump (embedded video starts with that question), and the face he makes is fucking priceless.


Someone on Twitter said they want him to be VP just so he can debate Pence, and I'm totally on board with that.

Meanwhile, entrepreneur Andrew Yang has somehow become a meme, especially with the alt-right, which has boosted both chatter about him, and his odds on PredictIt. I like Yang well enough, but A. I don't want to run another businessman against Trump, B. the UBI, his main platform is ahead of its time by at least a decade, probably rather more, and C. he has zero chance of implementing it even with a Democratic Congress.

I ranked all the declared candidates sometime back, and considered updating the list, but at this point, my preferences are still in flux. I will say that there's a top tier for me of Klobuchar, Booker, Castro, Gabbard, and now Buttigieg and O'Rourke, a second tier of most other candidates, and a bottom tier which includes most of the frontrunners: Harris, Warren, Sanders, and Biden, who hasn't declared but leads in most polls. With Biden, I feel like Joe Biden memes are great, but the real Joe Biden is too old and gaffe-prone when we have other, better options, though this cycle, I like him best of this group.
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