Democratic Primary 2020

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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:14 pm

What traction? Last I checked Gravel is polling between 0 and 1 percent. Appreciating a Twitter account for the entertainment value and actually supporting a candidate in the primary are two different things--one can appreciate the subtle artistry of the #Gravelanche meme without feeling particularly tempted to vote for the man.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Wed May 01, 2019 12:52 am

It's getting enough traction that I have to keep hearing about it, and that's too much.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Wed May 01, 2019 4:17 am

Marcuse wrote:
Is there any chance that someone could fairly beat Donald Trump to the White House next year and put an end to the ridiculous circus that is his Presidency? From what I can see there isn't, but am I wrong about that?


Biden's probably the best bet, bar none. I think about another half-dozen could do it.

At the end of the day, Trump became more unpopular than popular about two weeks into his presidency and never looked back. Obama was a little more popular, but not by much, but no president who is more unpopular than popular at the time of their second election has ever won re-election. Most voters (like, 95% of them, and I'm stunned it's that low) have baked-in feelings on him, so he doesn't have a lot of wiggle room. That his party took serious losses in the Midwest should worry him, especially if it's Biden that takes up the mantle, who performs extremely well in the Midwest.

You hear a lot of news (mostly conservative, but some more moderate-liberal sources too) talk about Trump winning in a wave election because of the economy, and I kind of get where they're coming from, but those people are also rock-fucking-stupid. It seems like just a glance at his approval right now would affirm why that's not going to happen, and he's just coming off a midterm loss. But when Carville said "It's the economy, stupid," the election was between a well liked--if somewhat shady--lawyer from Arkansas versus a nebbish but serviceable former vice president and WW2 pilot. Presidents have mostly been conventional in that era of conventional wisdom, while Trump has not been conventional in any way, shape and form. There's some reason to believe that the economy being good won't really be enough for people to put up with an amount of shit from Washington they've never had to deal with in their lives, a theory helped by his polling (which, again, sees him as being mildly unpopular). He's probably the weakest incumbent since HW.

As for the Democrats, it's hard to say. I'm not gonna try to compile a list here, but I think there's a handful of them that have a good chance of beating him out. Biden would, again, be my top pick. Most of our country, like...90%, already know how they're going to vote regardless who is up there. Trump and all the Democrats could drop out, be replaced by flags that say "R" and "D", and 90% of people's votes would still remain unchanged--and also be more representative of what our voting really is. That said, Trump did take some losses in the Midwest during the midterms, a region he desperately needs, he doesn't have a lot of real accomplishments to his name other than the ones he bullshits, he's unpopular, and he responded to his losses in the midterms by...basically just being the same asshole that's the reason he took losses in the first place. Count me skeptical on a landslide election in his favor. All of this, of course, assumes that things stay the same come 2020. If there's a recession or persistent bear market near the election, he can go ahead and kiss a second term goodbye.

I'm writing a lot of words to basically shrug, but I can pretty much assure you this: He will once again lose the popular vote in 2020. Whether that means he loses the presidency, however, is an open question.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Wed May 08, 2019 1:29 pm

I absolutely do not think Joe Biden is the most electable candidate. He was and is incredibly gaffe prone. He also recently came out of pot legalization, and while I don't care particularly strongly about that issue, I don't like what taking that position in this day and age says about him. His popularity comes almost entirely from his association with Obama, and as he runs, a lot of that will rub off. I look at him and think of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, though in fairness, neither of them was associated with a popular president.

When Sanders was polling better than Clinton in hypothetical matchups with Trump and Cruz, Clinton's supporters were quick to remind us that such polls aren't very predictive this far out. Unfortunately for Clinton's supporters, this was demonstrated when her polling against Trump absolutely collapsed when it became clear they were the actual nominees. Biden was never a boogeyman in the same way that Clinton was, but the combination of gaffe-prone and uninspiring do not reassure me about his general election prospects.

Do I think he's more electable than Kamala Harris, who I was convinced would be the nominee for most of 2017 and 2018, or Bernie Sanders, who a lot of people considered the front runner? Absolutely. Do I think he's the best pick? Not nearly. In terms of electability, I think he's probably a little above average. I'd say that Klobuchar is definitely more electable, Buttigieg and Beto probably are (and Abrams if she runs), and Booker, Castro, Bullock, and Hickenlooper I think are probably about on the same level as him.

One thing I do like about Biden is that he's already promised to pick Stacey Abrams as his running mate. As I said, Abrams is someone would would be my top two if she runs. I'd rather have her as the nominee, and failing that, running against Perdue for Georgia's Senate Seat, but at the same time, if Abrams is a literal heartbeat away from the presidency, Biden's age becomes a non-issue for me.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Wed May 08, 2019 9:37 pm

Gaffes generally don't move poll numbers. I don't know if Biden is the *most* electable candidate, but I'd put him near the top.

I'm also starting to reevaluate Bernie's electability some. His public repudiation of "open borders", his longtime reticence on gun control, and his willingness to go on Fox suggest that he might try to pivot to the center on culture war issues, rather than economic issues as Democratic moderates like Hillary and Biden traditionally do. I'm increasingly convinced that's a better political strategy for Democrats at this political moment (go hard left on economics and moderate on social issues rather than the reverse). For starters, economic issues like healthcare are the main self-reported motivator for Democratic voters, while Republicans tend to be more animated by social issues like guns, abortion, and immigration.

ETA: Beyond those two, I'm getting increasingly dissatisfied with the candidates I thought I'd like. Harris keeps proposing stuff like eliminating private insurance and executive action on gun control that suggest she's not ready for politics outside California, Beto did his baffling "finding myself" tour and then nothing, Booker seems increasingly prissy in a campaign setting, and what I'm reading about Buttigieg's record is troubling.
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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 Krashlia » Fri May 10, 2019 1:09 pm

Whats wrong with Buttigieg's record?

Also, is Gabbard showing any signs of running? Because, if she's serious about being in opposition to tech industry's interests, I think that'll be cool.

Finally, I've read it somewhere that the Left's cultural initiatives are unpopular in comparison to their more economic goals. So, if theres any pivot that probably would save Sander's bacon, it would probably be a pivot with that in mind (although, it would be pathetic if he just started to pander).
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Fri May 10, 2019 10:39 pm

Krashlia wrote:Whats wrong with Buttigieg's record?


https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4 ... s-of-color

I read a better article on it elsewhere, but I'm having trouble finding it again. If I remember the title I'll post it.

Elitism was already an obvious line of attack against him given his upbringing (child of two Notre Dame professors, went to Harvard on a Rhodes scholarship, then worked for an apparently notorious management consulting company called McKinsey). Bulldozing poor black neighborhoods to make way for boutique shops full of cute artisanal goods is not going to help him reassure people about this.

Also, is Gabbard showing any signs of running?


She declared her candidacy in January.

https://www.newsweek.com/tulsi-gabbard- ... 20-1288966

Finally, I've read it somewhere that the Left's cultural initiatives are unpopular in comparison to their more economic goals. So, if theres any pivot that probably would save Sander's bacon, it would probably be a pivot with that in mind (although, it would be pathetic if he just started to pander).


The thing about Sanders is that he's long been relatively moderate on guns and immigration, so he can pivot to the center on those issues with a fair amount of credibility. Really, the new tone he started taking on those issues when it became clear he had a shot at winning the 2016 primary reads more like pandering than a return to form would, at least to me.
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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 Doodle Dee. Snickers » Sun May 12, 2019 8:02 pm

cmsellers wrote:I absolutely do not think Joe Biden is the most electable candidate.


Fine, he's the most electable candidate who has a shot of snagging the nomination. Yes, Bullock would be more electable (I have sincere doubts that Beto or Buttigieg are), Hickenlooper might be, but neither of them have a chance of actually winning the nomination. Abrams absolutely would not be more electable. I keep hearing her brought up as someone who could win in a general election, and count me skeptical. Between her and Beto, I'm not sure why people whose biggest claim to fame is that they couldn't win a state-wide election despite becoming near-celebrities are considered instantly transcendent in the liberal wing. Castro is certainly not as electable, probably because nobody knows anything about him nor cares about him. I feel like you're making judgments more on who you want to be president rather than who actually has a shot at it.

As for gaffes being disqualifying, there's a case study of a politician you might've heard of, it's a bit obscure. His name was Donald Trump, and he ran in the old days of 2016 with a mountain of gaffes that never really seemed to matter. Partisanship (or more to the point, negative partisanship) being what it is, I happen to think gaffes don't really stop you from getting elected anymore. From what I've seen, it seems like Biden has been solidly ahead of Trump in polling, and it's not like he's an unknown quantity we're going to find out bad things about on the campaign trail--everyone already knows who Biden is.

I will agree that Sanders has been a bit smarter about this process than he was in 2016. I don't consider him more electable than Biden, but he's definitely become more appealing, I think, to moderate voters. Since the Democrats tend to rely on moderates and conservatives far more than Republicans rely on moderates and liberals, it's probably a smart idea.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Sun May 12, 2019 11:59 pm

So basically, a candidate is only electable if they're a straight white male with a white-sounding name?

Abrams and Beto both overperformed the baseline and other Democratic candidates in red states. Abrams also had an opponent who blatantly cheated. I base my assessments of the relative appeal of Klobuchar, Beto, Abrams, Booker, Sanders, Gillibrand, and Warren mainly on how they performed in 2018 relative to their state's partisan lean, taking into account the fact that Beto and Abrams were challengers and therefore at a slight disadvantage.

Bullock I'm basing on his 2016 performance. Inslee, I'm looking at his performance in 2016, which was good, but also skeptical that his global warming focus will play well in the Sunbelt or the Rust Belt. For people who have never held statewide office or last ran 2014 or earlier, and for Kamala Harris, who faced a jungle primary, you are correct that I'm relying entirely on other factors, but I've already articulated my reasons for them.

Donald Trump's success hasn't really been replicable in the United States. Even other Republicans running as Trumpian candidates have a worse track record than generic Republicans, and there's no fucking way a Democrat could pull off Trump's whole persona, though Michael Avenatti sure gave it his best shot. Plus, Biden is the consummate insider, and apologizes for his gaffes, negating two of the things a lot of Trump's supporters liked about him: he's an "outsider" who "never bows to political correctness."
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Mon May 13, 2019 12:34 pm

cmsellers wrote:So basically, a candidate is only electable if they're a straight white male with a white-sounding name?

Abrams and Beto both overperformed the baseline and other Democratic candidates in red states. Abrams also had an opponent who blatantly cheated. I base my assessments of the relative appeal of Klobuchar, Beto, Abrams, Booker, Sanders, Gillibrand, and Warren mainly on how they performed in 2018 relative to their state's partisan lean, taking into account the fact that Beto and Abrams were challengers and therefore at a slight disadvantage.

Bullock I'm basing on his 2016 performance. Inslee, I'm looking at his performance in 2016, which was good, but also skeptical that his global warming focus will play well in the Sunbelt or the Rust Belt. For people who have never held statewide office or last ran 2014 or earlier, and for Kamala Harris, who faced a jungle primary, you are correct that I'm relying entirely on other factors, but I've already articulated my reasons for them.

Donald Trump's success hasn't really been replicable in the United States. Even other Republicans running as Trumpian candidates have a worse track record than generic Republicans, and there's no fucking way a Democrat could pull off Trump's whole persona, though Michael Avenatti sure gave it his best shot. Plus, Biden is the consummate insider, and apologizes for his gaffes, negating two of the things a lot of Trump's supporters liked about him: he's an "outsider" who "never bows to political correctness."


Not entirely, I still think Harris is more electable than 3/4's of the primary field, but the straight white male thing is an advantage in the general. I don't like it, but it's there.

The problem I have with the assumption that O'Rourke and Abrams will win is that all I've seen of them is that they lost in a pretty blue-leaning year in states slowly turning purple, and one of them to a very despised senator. Abrams I would frankly think of as stronger than O'Rourke, but I just doubt either of them could win in a nationwide contest.

As for Bullock, I agree. For Inslee, since he's become a single-issue candidate of an issue Americans are sympathetic to but that doesn't top their priorities, he almost certainly wouldn't win.

Where Trump is concerned and getting another Trump-esque candidate, my point, quite simply, isn't that Biden will become Trump, but that shrugging off scandal just isn't very hard anymore. I suppose that depends on whether it's because of what you think, that it's a bed of nails principle, or me, where I think it's just negative partisanship/partisanship.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue May 14, 2019 12:29 am

I'm afraid to say that I don't think that Justin Trudeau will be joining the democratic primary. It's a sad day for all.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Thu May 16, 2019 2:29 pm

Yesterday's Ipsos poll appears to show Joe Biden as the clear frontrunner at this stage (see page 2), to quite a surprising degree - 29% of those polled had him as their favourite, with Sanders in second place at 16% (and specifically among registered voters, his support jumps to 32%). There's a good article from Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic outlining a few theories as to why Biden's lead appears so massive, many of which boil down to something that shouldn't feel that surprising - the majority of people of all walks of life are actually fairly moderate, and the progressive camp's influence among the average person has actually been vastly overstated by their out-sized online presence and the media.

I'm also okay with this because I agree with Doods in the previous debate on this thread, and think Biden is definitely one of if not the most electable of the major candidates when it comes to the general. My only worry there is that he might be drawn into dick-measuring contests like Marco Rubio, but even then I don't think that would undermine Biden in the same way it did Rubio (it jibes less with Biden's public persona, certainly).
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Cpt._Funkotron » Thu May 16, 2019 4:36 pm

Alternatively, Joe Biden is polling well because he was Obama's Vice President for eight years and in retrospect most Americans seem to think favorably of the Obama administration nowadays; he simply has the greatest name recognition, which tends to go the farthest with people who don't pay all that much attention to politics. I would imagine once the field gets narrower and the campaigning really begins in earnest we'll have a more reliable idea of what's going on. Something I don't understand about that poll is that it includes Republican voters in its sample size, but doesn't supply any of that data in the tables themselves. Surely if you don't consider someone's input you can't count them towards your credibility function?
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Thu May 16, 2019 5:09 pm

The point is that Biden is polling extremely well, and other polls suggest his lead is growing over time.
His being Obama's VP is one of the likely reasons considered in the article, but I feel like it's more likely to be a range of factors as the article suggests than a single one, and besides, if there actually was a big progressive tilt, Biden's having been in the centrist Obama administration shouldn't count for much. Regards name recognition, it really doesn't explain such a huge lead over someone as well-known as Bernie Sanders. Previous polls have found their name recognition to be pretty much equal.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri May 17, 2019 2:08 am

Name recognition helps, but it also helps to understand that though I talk about polarization, the Democratic Party is not quite as far to the left as the GOP is to the right, which I warned about several pages back when talking about Klobuchar, I think. GOP voters identify very strongly as conservative, with few liberals or moderates. About half of Dems identify as liberal, with moderates and conservatives also a healthy part of the party.

For as much as AOC and Sanders get attention, that doesn't change the fact that the Democrats have a handful of senators from ruby-red states (though Doug Jones comes with an asterisk) and that the path to the House for Dems last year saw them basically win the Midwest before California even reported in (where they also toppled a bunch of red seats). Democrats rely on moderates and conservatives to hand them majorities far more than Republicans rely on liberals or moderates. So to me, it makes sense that a relative centrist like Biden is the undisputed frontrunner in the polls for the primary.
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