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Fragile Bird

US Politics: Free Trade, Freer Trade, and Nuclear War

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Like, guys, 35 minutes since the thread closed!

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Posted (edited)

8 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Like, guys, 35 minutes since the thread closed!

It would be useful for someone like me to see any of you political experts discuss the report I mentioned at the end of the previous thread:

Ooops, the link seems to be bad, though I copied it -- anyway this one seems to work:

Extreme Gerrymandering & the 2018 Midterm

https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/extreme-gerrymandering-2018-midterm

As mentioned in the previous thread, it's difficult for me to read, because I don't have the tools -- this isn't part  of my frequently used vocabularies or part of my preferred areas of study and interest. Still, it seems essential information for anyone attempting to predict or understand the coming elections, 2018 and 2020.

Edited by Zorral

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6 minutes ago, Zorral said:

It would be useful for someone like me to see any of you political experts discuss the report I mentioned at the end of the previous thread:

Ooops, the link seems to be bad, though I copied it -- anyway this one seems to work:

Extreme Gerrymandering & the 2018 Midterm

https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/extreme-gerrymandering-2018-midterm

As mentioned in the previous thread, it's difficult for me to read, because I don't have the tools -- this isn't part  of my frequently used vocabularies or part of my preferred areas of study and interest. Still, it seems essential information for anyone attempting to predict or understand the coming elections, 2018 and 2020.

The Brennan Center analysis was discussed last thread.  Check pages 2 through 4.  DMC has an extensive discussion of it's findings on page 4. 

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So John McCain hasn't been in DC since December when he helped pass the tax scam.  This vox articles collects the DC whispers about who will replace him.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/4/17197218/john-mccain-brain-cancer-arizona-senate-vacancy

The important takeaway is John McCain only has to live until May 31. If he dies or retires after that date, his appointed replacement will be in office until a November 2020 special election. Presumably he has not retired yet because of this deadline. If he dies or retires before May 31st, there will be a primary special election in August 2018 and a special election to fill the seat in November 2018, so his appointed replacement will only be in office until that time, and the seat is at risk of flipping in the midterms, just like the other arizona seat.

Talk is that Cindy McCain is being bandied about to succeed her husband.

 

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In addition to the exciting, and extremely welcome, Democratic progressive win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race last night, there were also special elections for state legislative seats in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Democrats won both races (they were both existing Democratic seats, so no flips), but while the Rhode Island race followed the general trend of being an improvement from 2016; the Massachusetts race followed the odd trend occurring in that state of declining Democratic support. It wasn't as bad as the race in December, where Republicans flipped a MA state senate seat, but it was a 4-point win in a district Clinton had won by 9 points.

I'm not exactly worried about Massachusetts, but I do wonder if they are undergoing a bit of a realignment away from being overwhelming Democratic to just extremely Democratic; or if all this is just a side effect of Charlie Baker's absurdly high approval ratings (last poll found it at 74%). Personally, I suspect it's a bit of both. For a long time, New England was one of the few places where Democrats were competitive with, or even won, the white working class vote, and it seems like that is finally starting to trend away. Republicans have 4 of the 6 New England Governor's mansions and 4 of the 12 state legislative chambers; the fact that they only have 1 of 21 congressional seats and 1 of 12 senate seats has obscured the comeback they've been undergoing at the state level. 

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@Rippounet

Quote

I dunno.
A few months ago I wondered what Hillary had said about inequality, to see how she had addressed the issue. The first result I got was this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExXjQYugtQM
Was the answer good? Yes. And yet, with the benefit of hindisght I can see exactly how it could lose her votes

See here’s the thing, there is nothing in that video that should cost her votes. Not in a decent, rational world. But what she said violated the unspoken caste system, hence why white racial resentment, and especially white male racial resentment, is important to discuss.

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@Mlle. Zabzie

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They have not been messaged correctly, nor until recently has the Democratic Party had a coherent local strategy.  That hurts.

I agree about the local strategy, but I’m not sure the messaging has been all that bad. The problem is that there’s a large group of people who not only don’t want to hear it, but actively get mad when you bring it up. Furthermore, it’s hard to convey the message without an insulting undertone if the said people don’t want to hear it. Not matter how measured and nuanced you try to be, people will boil it down to “Are you calling me an idiot?”  I’d say that indicates that the problem isn’t the messaging so much as it’s the people you’re trying to reach.

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Yup. One of the big things with 2016 was the Trump went full on white identity politics and Clinton, for various reasons, went full on progressive identity politics which just inflamed white identity politics even more and the result we saw was in big part because of this. White identity politics are just super super powerful in the US. The current party system and the dysfunction it has lead to in the government because of the lack of acceptance of the legitimacy of the Democratic party are a direct result of it.

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Posted (edited)

52 minutes ago, Week said:

As posted by @Shryke

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/981521901079146499

You wonder how someone with this kind of business acumen had business go bankrupt.

What. An. Idiot!

Also, pro tip, to embed the tweet you can to copy it and then click "remove formatting" after you paste it. 

Edited by Tywin et al.

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@Tywin et al.

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My best guess, when it comes to cult of personality, is that Trump’s floor is higher and ceiling is lower than Obama’s, which could be reflected in the midterms. But again, it’s important to keep in mind what the motivation is for each’s base, and fear is a much more powerful emotion than hope.

What is this, Star Wars?  Whether negative or positive messaging is more effective is very much an open question in the campaign literature.  Negative partisanship is the general state of things these days, but that goes both ways.  I think candidates get people enthused by activating anger, but that enthusiasm and subsequent anger has time and again been proven to work much more strongly against the incumbent party, especially in midterms.  As for comparing campaign messages, when you think about, "change you can believe in" is not too much different that "make America great again."  They're mirror images of progressivism/conservatism.

I don't think Trump's floor is higher than Obama's (at all), but the former has demonstrated he has a very stable floor as long as the economy stays afloat.  However, activating white racial resentment inherently means you're bringing in inconsistent voters - that's why I said Trump's coalition is similar to Obama's in a way.  And there's been no indication Trump can sustain those voters when he's not in the ballot.  In fact, the results since January 2017 have suggested very much the opposite.  And that's not just in the PA-18 or Roy Moore elections.

Quote

They have been doing that. It’s not making a dent in the resentment though, and as a former campaign strategist, I have no idea how you balance not inflaming said resentment while also speaking honestly about social issues with regards to race and gender.

By fielding different candidates in different districts.

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Interesting day in the market, a 760 point move off the morning's bottom, the Dow up 230 points. As I said in the last thread, the drop was a reaction to news of the tariffs. The turn around happened after people in the White House said the announced tariffs were 'just a negotiating move'. Trump's stated negotiating tactic of 'hit them as hard as you can at the start, so that the end result doesn't seem so bad', as stated in The Art of the Deal.

Expect more rollercoasters, as every nation in the world that trades with the US is accused of being a cheater.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

The Brennan Center analysis was discussed last thread.  Check pages 2 through 4.  DMC has an extensive discussion of it's findings on page 4. 

Ah -- I was still out of the country then.

It seems going by the report and what the writers address around it, that it is quite unlikely that the Dems (considering how they behave) will get their blue wave, or least enough of it to be able to get a majority.

 

 

Edited by Zorral

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1 hour ago, Fez said:

I'm not exactly worried about Massachusetts, but I do wonder if they are undergoing a bit of a realignment away from being overwhelming Democratic to just extremely Democratic; or if all this is just a side effect of Charlie Baker's absurdly high approval ratings (last poll found it at 74%). Personally, I suspect it's a bit of both. For a long time, New England was one of the few places where Democrats were competitive with, or even won, the white working class vote, and it seems like that is finally starting to trend away. Republicans have 4 of the 6 New England Governor's mansions and 4 of the 12 state legislative chambers; the fact that they only have 1 of 21 congressional seats and 1 of 12 senate seats has obscured the comeback they've been undergoing at the state level. 

I am a little worried about some of the Northeastern states, a couple of which have really bad income inequality, not much chances for successful employment in the state, and budget problems.

Take Connecticut, for example, which, if certain trends aren't arrested, might be starting to become a little bit purple (in slow motion) the way red states like North Carolina and Arizona are, or the way Wisconsin did turn from blue to purple/leaning red.

Just looking at it from a national picture, the idea seems unlikely to happen: Democratic control seems firm, as all Reps and Senators are Democrats, and a Presidential Election hasn't gone to a Republican since '88. Scratch the surface, however, and you come up with a state government almost equally split between Democrats and Republicans, the Democratic governor is the least popular gov in the country, and the state has a whole host of financial problems between massive income inequality, an equally massive budget hole, (with nobody liking any of the solutions, which also don't address CT's problems with being an aging state whose cities are in pretty bad shape) an often overextended upper middle class whose kids have no jobs besides retail close to where they live in the suburbs, major employers leaving the state, and an over reliance on jobs in the financial sector.

Now, Trump's election and first year in office has been a wake up call to some there, as CT Democrats did very well on election night in 2017 in areas where they don't always fare well, (although 538 will note that in CT special elections it's actually Republicans who are overperforming)  but the underlying problems are still very much there, and doing anything about them is going to be a hell of a task. Especially if CT Republicans, (who can be as socially conservative as anywhere in the country and are just itching to pull the same sort of fiscal conservative "miracle" that did so much good for Kansas, Oklahoma, and Indiana, among other states) make gains by grabbing the governor's seat or get further seats in the statehouse as they did in 2016.

The odds of that happening may not be great, and it's fairly likely that state Republicans are going to suffer some backlash, but it's uncertain enough to know that CT has to get its house in order, pronto. 

Rhode Island shares many of the same problems according to what I hear, I'm just not as up on the subject.

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14 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

Now, Trump's election and first year in office has been a wake up call to some there, as CT Democrats did very well on election night in 2017 in areas where they don't always fare well, (although 538 will note that in CT special elections it's actually Republicans who are overperforming)  but the underlying problems are still very much there, and doing anything about them is going to be a hell of a task.

I think you can reconcile those two with the anti-incumbency factor - Dems did better where they weren't in office, but not so much where they were.  I also think you're very right to be concerned about New England states.  As @Fez noted, there is a disparity between Republicans in state government vs. congressional delegations that is worrisome for Democrats.  One thing to point out though - Massachusetts is heavily gerrymandered in the Dems favor.  But if I was a Republican in New England, I'd be taking notes watching Charlie Baker.  He's clearly doing something right that could probably be replicated up there.

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43 minutes ago, Paladin of Ice said:

The odds of that happening may not be great, and it's fairly likely that state Republicans are going to suffer some backlash, but it's uncertain enough to know that CT has to get its house in order, pronto. 

Rhode Island shares many of the same problems according to what I hear, I'm just not as up on the subject.

Agreed on Connecticut. I think anger at Trump will paper over the issues there for now, but long-term it may be a problem for Democrats.

My understanding of Rhode Island is that it's rather unique. It has one of the highest percentages of white Roman Catholics in the country, and the state Democratic party is very closely tied with Catholic leaders there, which has resulted in a Democratic party with much higher white support than almost anywhere else. So even if there are growing issues that should hurt the Democratic party there, they may be able to weather them.

I think Massachusetts is safe for the long-run. They've always had the habit of voting for moderate Republican governors, so Baker isn't unique there (though just how popular he is kinda of is), but rural, western MA may be trending far enough red that Democrats will need to rely on gerrymanders rather than simple overwhelming support to maintain their supermajorities (they already have gerrymanders, but they aren't nearly as extreme as they could be).

New Hampshire is swingy as fuck and I don't see that changing. I wouldn't be surprised if Democrats sweep both chambers and the governor's mansion this year.

Vermont is as liberal as they come, but has a still-recent history of electing moderate Republicans. My understanding is that Phil Scot is as moderate as a Republican can be (pro-choice, pro-LGBT, legalized marijuana, increased health care and education spending, etc.) and is very popular in the state, and still only barely won his race; and only did so because of Democrats' failure at trying to implement single-payer in the state. He may very well win again, but it doesn't really mean anything for the state. It just messes with the maps pundits make showing which parties control which states.

Finally, Maine. Maine was the canary, electing LePage in 2010 and then re-electing him in 2014. Republicans have a 1-seat majority in the state senate, and Democrats have a 4-seat majority in the state assembly. Trump won an electoral vote from the state. Democrats aren't finished there, but things are clearly trending away from them, and with the composite of the electorate there, it seems difficult to reverse that.

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@Maithanet

Quote

I can see dismissing Moore as an abberation.  I don't think that PA-18 is the outlier that you are indicating.  Yes, Lamb was a good candidate and Saccone was a mediocre one, but in that kind of race it shouldn't have made any difference.  Lamb isn't some unbeatable superman, and Saccone isn't Roy Moore.

I doubt it would have in November, when this race would have received little attention. However it did and that helped Lamb fund raise like crazy while also winning the media narrative.  Perhaps I am wrong on this one, but I still wouldn’t put too much weight on Lamb’s victory.

Quote

Trump stoking white grievances is a big part of what is holding his support up.  Trump's coalition is relying on low education white voters to support him.  Thus far, they are supporting him (hence his popularity at 40% instead of 25), but they aren't showing up to vote.  If they did, Saccone would have won by 8-10 points, no matter how good a candidate Lamb is. 

I'm hoping that continues in the midterms.  And given that midterm elections are typically more educated than presidential years, there's reason to think that Trump might be particularly vulnerable. 

It's quite possible. I just worry that Trump's supporters will behave in a way that differs from the historical norms. OTOH, scholars thought that could happen with Obama's supporters. We all saw how that played out. 

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4 minutes ago, Fez said:

they already have gerrymanders, but they aren't nearly as extreme as they could be

That's true.  According to the Brennan Center report that was just mentioned again, 5 of the 9 seats are in the 50-60% range.  Now, Dems haven't done worse than about the mid-60s in their 2006-2016 interval, so I highly doubt it will be an issue in the electoral context of 2018, but that could be a problem longterm.

12 minutes ago, Fez said:

New Hampshire is swingy as fuck and I don't see that changing. I wouldn't be surprised if Democrats sweep both chambers and the governor's mansion this year.

Yeah I think the latest Sununu is one of the most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents this cycle.  That's an underrated pickup opportunity.  I'm sure he or another one of their spawn will be back soon enough though.

13 minutes ago, Fez said:

Maine was the canary, electing LePage in 2010 and then re-electing him in 2014. Republicans have a 1-seat majority in the state senate, and Democrats have a 4-seat majority in the state assembly. Trump won an electoral vote from the state. Democrats aren't finished there, but things are clearly trending away from them, and with the composite of the electorate there, it seems difficult to reverse that.

One thing to think about with the state GOP moving further right in Maine is it gives Collins more of a reason to flip parties, especially if she's gonna run again in 2020.

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1 hour ago, dmc515 said:

@Tywin et al.

What is this, Star Wars? 

*waves hand*

This is not the post you're looking for to criticize* 

 

Quote

Whether negative or positive messaging is more effective is very much an open question in the campaign literature.  Negative partisanship is the general state of things these days, but that goes both ways.  I think candidates get people enthused by activating anger, but that enthusiasm and subsequent anger has time and again been proven to work much more strongly against the incumbent party, especially in midterms.  As for comparing campaign messages, when you think about, "change you can believe in" is not too much different that "make America great again."  They're mirror images of progressivism/conservatism.

Is it? My understanding is that negative messaging has been document to have a greater impact than positive messaging. This is borne out in the disparity of negative attack adds and general campaign rhetoric. I agree with you that anger tends to hurt the incumbent, but fear works differently than anger. As for the slogans, yes they are similar and both are positive, but they typically don't play a huge role compared to the daily messaging, which tends to be incredibly negative.

Quote

I don't think Trump's floor is higher than Obama's (at all), but the former has demonstrated he has a very stable floor as long as the economy stays afloat.  However, activating white racial resentment inherently means you're bringing in inconsistent voters - that's why I said Trump's coalition is similar to Obama's in a way.  And there's been no indication Trump can sustain those voters when he's not in the ballot.  In fact, the results since January 2017 have suggested very much the opposite.  And that's not just in the PA-18 or Roy Moore elections.

 

With regards to comparing their floors, do you think Obama would have stayed above 35% if he did half the crap Trump has? That's what I'm getting at. 

As far as inconsistent voters go, has Trump to some extent flipped who they are and aren't? It feels like the people who used to be inconsistent have become consistent for Trump and the ones who were regular voters are having a harder time holding their nose for him.

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As most people know, today is the 50th anniversary of MLK's death. I've been listening to some podcasts discussing his legacy, and it's so sad to hear how little progress has been made on many of the issues he fought for. Racism is still alive and real, the poor are still poor, the military is bloated and fighting senseless wars (he was really against the Military Industrial Complex), the judicial system is still unfair, etc. The list goes on and on.....

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