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U.S. Politics: For Whom the Bell Polls

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2 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I actually wonder if Trump gets in a situation (god willing) where he is well behind in the polls in Oct 2020, if he just closes up shop and refuses to spend any money at all, so he can pocket the ~$500 million or so that he hasn't spent.  I don't even think it would be illegal given how ridiculous our campaign finance laws are. 

Duncan Hunter is being charged with misappropriating campaign funds for personal use. So, no, this would not happen.

I suppose what he could try to do is some shell game fraud of setting up firms that provide services with fake billing that somehow ultimately end up in his pocket... but no, wouldn't expect it.

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6 minutes ago, Ran said:

Duncan Hunter is being charged with misappropriating campaign funds for personal use. So, no, this would not happen.

I suppose what he could try to do is some shell game fraud of setting up firms that provide services with fake billing that somehow ultimately end up in his pocket... but no, wouldn't expect it.

Well, he did a whole lot of that in 2015 - 16.

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For the Senate, I am still holding out hope that the polls are off by a bit primarily from turnout models being off. I read on 538 that there is a good chance young voters may turn out closer to 2016 rather than...2014 say. Also, as I said before, ND only has 300k people expected to vote....so a few points here and there is not a huge barrier to overcome.

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1 minute ago, Zorral said:

Well, he did a whole lot of that in 2015 - 16.

Obviously, he charged his campaign for providing Trump water and Trump steak and Trump function space and so on, to be sure, and there's all sorts of irregularities that have been turned up and examined. But I was refuting the idea that he could just pocket all the money without even making a pretense of campaigning. Campaign finance law regarding the money a campaign actually has is actually fairly transparent (the movement of money outside of a campaign, and on used on behalf of a campaign, is of course much murkier in some areas, which is a problem) which is why irregularities in presidential campaign funding always comes to light in the press.

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

Duncan Hunter is being charged with misappropriating campaign funds for personal use. So, no, this would not happen.

I suppose what he could try to do is some shell game fraud of setting up firms that provide services with fake billing that somehow ultimately end up in his pocket... but no, wouldn't expect it.

Well it depends on what kind of campaign funds.  If you're talking about the money officially given to the Trump campaign, yes, that can only be used for certain purposes.  But Trump has several Super PACs that he controls with a wink-wink arrangement, and as I understand it, there are virtually no rules on what those Super PACs do with their money once a campaign is over.  So it would be legal for Trump to keep the money in these slush funds and use them for whatever he sees fit. 

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3 hours ago, illrede said:

Remember the 1940 congressional elections. Things can turn around fast, even late, if you can identify a problem and move on it.

Wait...you remember the 1940 congressional elections?

6 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

For the Senate, I am still holding out hope that the polls are off by a bit primarily from turnout models being off.

Sure that's exactly what it will take to win the Senate - an unforeseen turnout advantage.

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1 minute ago, DMC said:

Sure that's exactly what it will take to win the Senate - an unforeseen turnout advantage.

Did that not kind of happen in the Virginia election last year?

Random question for anyone:  if one were to assume that the Dems did pick up the House how much does that number of seats really matter in terms of the next two years:  Put another way, is there reason to be sad if they win the House back but only be a handful of seats rather than 10+?

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7 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Well it depends on what kind of campaign funds.  If you're talking about the money officially given to the Trump campaign, yes, that can only be used for certain purposes.  But Trump has several Super PACs that he controls with a wink-wink arrangement, and as I understand it, there are virtually no rules on what those Super PACs do with their money once a campaign is over.  So it would be legal for Trump to keep the money in these slush funds and use them for whatever he sees fit. 

The FEC has issued administrative terminations to hundreds of PACs that failed to be involved in meaningful political activities both before and after the time of that article, so I'm not certain how much of a loophole it really is. But sure, that's one of the areas where scummy stuff can happen, which is why more campaign finance regulation is needed.

Edited by Ran

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9 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

Did that not kind of happen in the Virginia election last year?

Yup.

10 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

if one were to assume that the Dems did pick up the House how much does that number of seats really matter in terms of the next two years:  Put another way, is there reason to be sad if they win the House back but only be a handful of seats rather than 10+?

More seats are always better.  But it's better in the 'greater leverage to pull legislation towards more liberal policy' sense.  In my view, the most important part by far in taking back the House is oversight and investigative powers.  And for that they only need 218.

12 minutes ago, Ran said:

The FEC has issued administrative terminations to hundreds of PACs that failed to be involved in meaningful political activities both before and after the time of that article, so I'm not certain how much of a loophole it really is.

One could still basically write themselves a salary from a Super-PAC for consulting or other activities.

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2 minutes ago, Ran said:

The FEC has issued administrative terminations to hundreds of PACs that failed to be involved in meaningful political activities both before and after the time of that article, so I'm not certain how much of a loophole it really is. But sure, that's one of the areas where scummy stuff can happen, which is why more campaign finance regulation is needed.

You can drive a truck through the holes in campaign finance laws.  If he wanted to pocket the money, he could just issue new Gold MAGA hats that are produced by a company owned by the Trump Organization.  The hats cost $100 and are given away to anyone who has a Trump yard sign.  Trump purchases 5 million of these hats with these Super PACs, and then gives them away (so generous!)  And now he's $500 million dollars richer. 

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9 minutes ago, DMC said:

More seats are always better.  But it's better in the 'greater leverage to pull legislation towards more liberal policy' sense.  In my view, the most important part by far in taking back the House is oversight and investigative powers.  And for that they only need 218. 

Really I feel like the only advantage for Democrats of going past 218 is making a deeper bench for future races and more protection for the House in 2020 and beyond.  Whether the Democrats have 218 or 298 Congresspeople, nothing they want is going to get past a Republican Senate and Trump White House. 

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20 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

Did that not kind of happen in the Virginia election last year?

Random question for anyone:  if one were to assume that the Dems did pick up the House how much does that number of seats really matter in terms of the next two years:  Put another way, is there reason to be sad if they win the House back but only be a handful of seats rather than 10+?

1) Yes, mostly. Quinnapac was right on the money in their final poll of the race; but every other poll showed a much closer race. Worth noting, that Q-poll was called an extreme outlier at the time; sometimes its the outlier that's right and everyone else that's wrong.

2) Yes. For two reasons: a) The 2020 election will still be on this map, which means in a closer election the gerrymanders can come back in force. If 2020 is a closer election, we could have the inverse of this one, with Democrats poised to take a bunch of senate seats (and hopefully the White House) but losing the House. Its important to have a cushion against that. And b) I forget the exact number but there's a pretty large group of Democratic candidates that have pledged to not vote for Pelosi as Speaker. A lot of them are in very red districts and won't win, but some will; and it takes 218 votes to become Speaker, not just a majority of the majority party. If the Democratic margin in the House is small enough that the anti-Pelosi members can block her, there's going to be an ugly leadership battle. I want Pelosi to retire, but only if all the other House Democratic leaders do as well; and none will if there's finally a Democratic majority again.

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13 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Really I feel like the only advantage for Democrats of going past 218 is making a deeper bench for future races and more protection for the House in 2020 and beyond.  Whether the Democrats have 218 or 298 Congresspeople, nothing they want is going to get past a Republican Senate and Trump White House. 

Sure there's that too.  But the House will still have to pass a budget/CR, and that legislation leads to policy outcomes that can be moved to the left.

13 minutes ago, Fez said:

If the Democratic margin in the House is small enough that the anti-Pelosi members can block her, there's going to be an ugly leadership battle. I want Pelosi to retire, but only if all the other House Democratic leaders do as well; and none will if there's finally a Democratic majority again.

Yeah I don't view forcing Pelosi to retire as a negative (although I doubt it will happen).

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6 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

You can drive a truck through the holes in campaign finance laws.  If he wanted to pocket the money, he could just issue new Gold MAGA hats that are produced by a company owned by the Trump Organization.  The hats cost $100 and are given away to anyone who has a Trump yard sign.  Trump purchases 5 million of these hats with these Super PACs, and then gives them away (so generous!)  And now he's $500 million dollars richer. 

This is a fanciful example. But it's worth noting that the FEC is responding to petitions on stuff like this, and the public is welcome to add its comments here.

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8 minutes ago, DMC said:

Sure there's that too.  But the House will still have to pass a budget/CR, and that legislation leads to policy outcomes that can be moved to the left.

Yeah I don't view forcing Pelosi to retire as a negative (although I doubt it will happen).

in the extremely unlikely event democrats are allowed to have election results wherein they win a house majority (we all know the election results will be altered just enough to ensure republicans stay in control) Adam Schiff will successfully thread the needle and be the consensus speaker. I don't think Pelosi has the support.

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8 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

in the extremely unlikely event democrats are allowed to have election results wherein they win a house majority (we all know the election results will be altered just enough to ensure republicans stay in control) Adam Schiff will successfully thread the needle and be the consensus speaker. I don't think Pelosi has the support.

On that note...

 

Quote

 

These two statements are not merely crude electioneering. They are part of a national mechanism that is being created to delegitimize a Democratic sweep should it happen next month. It will be Chinese meddling, or sneaky "Illegals." And they will sell it hard to those people most likely to believe it. And the country likely will catch on fire.

In addition, as close as some of these races appear to be, we likely are heading into a couple of months of recount hell. If 2000 was any indication, there could be 10 or 20 Brooks Brothers riots in our future. All democratic norms are down. It's a free-for-all.

I'm not sure if the Democratic Party is ready for what could be coming, and I'm very sure neither the elite political press nor the country is ready for it. I'd like to believe everything is going to be most chill at the polling places, but I'm not betting on that either way. I'd like to believe that the results, whatever they are, at least will be treated as legitimate decisions made by a democratic polity. But you'd have to be crazy to bet on that.

 

I really, really hope that this is wrong.  But could we be entering an era where most Republicans cannot even believe that they could lose and that any Dem win could only happen via cheating?  I hear the snickers already just typing this.

Edited by Triskjavikson

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Diplomatic immunity is one of the biggest jokes around. The Saudi gov stuffing a butchered man into diplomatic pouches is just another reason why it is, and probably one of the more chilling reasons.

And this administration is cool with it.

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2 minutes ago, Triskjavikson said:

On that note...

 

I really, really hope that this is wrong.  But could we be entering an era where most Republicans cannot even believe that they could lose and that any Dem win could only happen via cheating?  I hear the snickers already just typing this.

It doesn't matter if most Republicans cannot even believe it - it's whether or not Trump does. If Fox and Friends claims it, doubly so. Republicans will back whatever claim Trump makes. 

So the better question is this: does anyone seriously think that Trump will think it's a fair election if dems win the House? I don't think that there's even remotely a chance of that happening. 

Also, if I were the Russian information warfare department, what I'd be looking to do in this election isn't ensure that Republicans win - it's to ensure that there are as many questions about the validity of the election as possible. So, destroy registration records, cause polling place issues and outages, send lots of fake social media about wrong day electioneering, do viral videos on busloads of immigrants voting in places like Wisconsin, etc. Their goal isn't to have Republicans in charge; it's to make the US democratic system look as completely inept and corrupt as possible. 

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Just now, Bonnot OG said:

Diplomatic immunity is one of the biggest jokes around. The Saudi gov stuffing a butchered man into diplomatic pouches is just another reason why it is, and probably one of the more chilling reasons.

And this administration is cool with it.

What the fuck are you talking about? 

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