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Fragile Bird

US Politics: Locking Up the Vote!

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Currently watching the first season of The Handmaid's Tale. Think you can reason with fascists? It was pretty funny that they used this song though:
 


 

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So to combat some of the pessimism I do, I'm going to state a bit of my thesis. This is similar to my 2016 thesis, where Trump was a  weird enough candidate that he made things less predictable and people were assuming things were going to be roughly like they had been for the last 16 years as far as turnout patterns, demographics, and how undecideds worked.

This year is going to be like that, but even moreso.

So the tl;dr version of this is: I don't trust the polls because the basis that the polls are built on is 40 years of data that have much less relation to what is occurring in the US right now, and chaos is going to happen, and chaos favors the incumbent.

Now, here's the thing - I absolutely am willing to say that things might be unpredictable and result in a Biden landslide. That's certainly possible! I don't think that's going to be the case because I'm both pessimistic and I think the external threats to the election are going to go against Biden, but it's certainly possible that it happens. If that happens, it'll be because early voting favored Dems, late voting had more people stay home for a variety of reasons (notably Covid, but also because they're just not into voting for Trump), people got the basic breakdowns of demos wrong and there was stronger turnout among women, black people and elderly, and possibly voter suppression actually hurt those who ended up waiting until the last minute (which are Republicans). That could all happen!

But the real point here is that one way or another things aren't likely going to be all that stable compared to polling results, one way or another. We simply don't have data about how early vs. late voting works. We simply don't have data about how the mail-in voting is going to work for a good chunk of the states that are doing it en masse, and the only real firm prediction is that things will go wrong in some major ways as they try new things (see: Iowa caucus, Georgia primary, Wisconsin primary). And it's a lot safer to assume a big diversion from polling than it is to assume that with all the things around - covid, mail ballots, more voter suppression, more statewide confusion, more economic issues, more domestic terrorism, and more infosec warfare - that the polls are going to be more off than they were before. 

My firm prediction here is that we're going to get some states that are WILDLY swinging for dems and other states that are WILDLY swinging for Repubs far different than their poll results go. It's not going to be consistently, say, Trump +6 over polls - it'll be Trump +6 in Penn, and Biden +6 in Florida or something like that. I don't honestly know what the results are going to be at the time of the election.

But here's the other part of that, and why I remain fairly pessimistic: those wild swings are going to be litigated like no tomorrow. And a lot of that litigation is going to end up at SCOTUS, and SCOTUS is likely to side with Trump. And make no mistake - there will be a ton of irregularities found, not just because of malfeasance or conspiracy but because people fucked up. I disagree that it needs to be a close election for these swings to matter - what will need to happen is results that seem very much outside of the polling norms, and that's going to happen all over the place.

 

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Also, if you're thinking that that kind of prediction means that I can say that I was right no matter what - well, no. I'm predicting chaos. If we get results that are within 3 points of polls or better across the country, that's a pretty good indicator that I was wrong and I'll be happy to accept that. In that situation Trump will probably try and sue, but there will be less standing to do so and it won't matter as much if he's successful (as @DMC says), and it'll be mostly standard operating procedure. 

But that's not what I think will happen. And even in a Biden landslide I predict a lot of chaos after the election. 

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You have swallowed a pint of incredibly sour beer and also there is no bright side you can ever see, @Kalibear.

Dude, chill a bit. 
 

Edited: actually, please chill A LOT. 

I *live* in Georgia, as you well know, and Lucy McBath flipped NEWT GINGRICH’S old district.
 

I don’t have any crystal ball on the Senate races, but I can say that it’s gonna be close af, and Loeffler/Collins are just jumping up anyone normal by trying to move the goalposts so far to the right on the special election seat that Loeffler is practically endorsing QAnon (and Collins is further right of that)....and they are totally turning off anyone moderate who thought that Johnny Isakson was maybe a Republican but he was a “good Republican”. 
 

Put it this way: I didn’t mind Johnny Isakson, I probably might have voted for him over Warnock. I don’t like the whole “preacher turns politician” thing. HOWEVER - Warnock vs Loeffler or Collins?? Warnock every day, please.

Edited by Chataya de Fleury

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4 minutes ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

You have swallowed a pint of incredibly sour beer and also there is no bright side you can ever see, @Kalibear.

Dude, chill a bit. 

Counterpoint:

 

 

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My take:

Trump declares victory on election night regardless of the results and refuses to concede defeat, again regardless of the results.  Trump is a big fan of lawsuits, so that, not basically irrelevant vote tallies or EC counts will be his path to victory.  Not backing down and legal action are both Trump hallmarks; this is the guy who faked a weather chart, launched a twitter tirade against a dead politician, and managed to keep his taxes secreted away for years using one dubious legal stratagem after another.  The goal would be to force lawsuits over the state election counts to the supreme court, a sort of repeat of the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000 multiplied by five or six.   Trump might be able to claim 'lawsuit victory' a couple times this way, but it might not be enough. 

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5 minutes ago, Kalibear said:

Counterpoint:

 

 

Yup, sour, sour, sour fucking beer.

Go look at Wisconsin and North Dakota, the two other states I have close ties to, of you want to have an appetizer of roaches on the side (not dipped in honey).

But you know what? The thing that most people care about is Covid, and the thing they think Donald Trump fucked up the most is Covid.

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Sour beer or not, @ThinkerX's scenario is exactly what I fear. It's the reason why they are rushing Barrett so much, it's what she's alrady been involved in, and the orange one has practically spelled it out at his derangend rallies.

Gotta go watch another Glenn Kirschner video, the guy is soothing.

Or these guys, very uplifting:

 

On the bright side, thanks to Ms. Schlepp (Trump campaign) on Twitter, I now know who Mr. Rogers was.

Edited by Mindwalker

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I'm not convinced chaos favors an incumbent.

That seems like a weak premise to build that thesis on Kalibear.

I'm inclined to agree with ThinkerX and Mindwalker in that my worry is that the courts will betray the votes and reward the Imposter-in-Chief with 4 more years.

Shit why stop there, by the time he's done stacking the courts with conservatives they can make him "Dear Leader" for life. We all know Congress isn't stopping or checking any behavior.

Edited by DireWolfSpirit

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3 hours ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

You have swallowed a pint of incredibly sour beer and also there is no bright side you can ever see, @Kalibear.

Dude, chill a bit. 
 

Edited: actually, please chill A LOT. 

I *live* in Georgia, as you well know, and Lucy McBath flipped NEWT GINGRICH’S old district.
 

I don’t have any crystal ball on the Senate races, but I can say that it’s gonna be close af, and Loeffler/Collins are just jumping up anyone normal by trying to move the goalposts so far to the right on the special election seat that Loeffler is practically endorsing QAnon (and Collins is further right of that)....and they are totally turning off anyone moderate who thought that Johnny Isakson was maybe a Republican but he was a “good Republican”. 
 

Put it this way: I didn’t mind Johnny Isakson, I probably might have voted for him over Warnock. I don’t like the whole “preacher turns politician” thing. HOWEVER - Warnock vs Loeffler or Collins?? Warnock every day, please.

Did you ask the bf who he voted for?

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So I know this is pretty old news (a whole four days!), but I didn't come across the following quote until reading this article:

Quote

“Somebody said, ‘I don’t know if the suburban woman likes you.’ I said, ‘Why?’” Trump told a crowd of supporters Tuesday night. “They said, ‘They may not like the way you talk.’ But I’m about law and order. I’m about having you safe.”

“So can I ask you to do me a favor? Suburban women, will you please like me?” Trump asked. “I saved your damn neighborhood.”

Can't stop chuckling.  It's like, who are you actually trying to appeal to with this?  Pretty sure he's just trying to lock up the incel vote.  "Why don't you like me?  I saved your ass!  God you're a b...!!!"

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50 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

I'm not convinced chaos favors an incumbent.

That seems like a weak premise to build that thesis on Kalibear.

I'm inclined to agree with ThinkerX and Mindwalker in that my worry is that the courts will betray the votes and reward the Imposter-in-Chief with 4 more years.

Shit why stop there, by the time he's done stacking the courts with conservatives they can make him "Dear Leader" for life. We all know Congress isn't stopping or checking any behavior.

Chaos favors the incumbent because they have actual power. They are the sitting potus. They have the doj and the various federal agencies and are actually in the white house. They can do things like declare martial law and whatnot. That alone favors incumbency. In addition to that when people are in doubt they'll turn to what exists already.

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3 hours ago, Kalibear said:

And even in a Biden landslide I predict a lot of chaos after the election. 

Predicting there will be chaos after the election is like predicting it'll rain when you're already wet.

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meh

Edited by Relic

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8 hours ago, Kalibear said:

But the real point here is that one way or another things aren't likely going to be all that stable compared to polling results, one way or another. We simply don't have data about how early vs. late voting works. We simply don't have data about how the mail-in voting is going to work for a good chunk of the states that are doing it en masse, and the only real firm prediction is that things will go wrong in some major ways as they try new things (see: Iowa caucus, Georgia primary, Wisconsin primary). And it's a lot safer to assume a big diversion from polling than it is to assume that with all the things around - covid, mail ballots, more voter suppression, more statewide confusion, more economic issues, more domestic terrorism, and more infosec warfare - that the polls are going to be more off than they were before. 

Well put.

8 hours ago, Kalibear said:

it'll be Trump +6 in Penn, and Biden +6 in Florida or something like that. I don't honestly know what the results are going to be at the time of the election.

This will sound rather dire and perhaps insane but I believe Minnesota will be lost this election despite the polling.

4 hours ago, DMC said:

So I know this is pretty old news (a whole four days!), but I didn't come across the following quote until reading this article:

Can't stop chuckling.  It's like, who are you actually trying to appeal to with this?  Pretty sure he's just trying to lock up the incel vote.  "Why don't you like me?  I saved your ass!  God you're a b...!!!"

White men who are angry that ”their” aren't getting in line.

 

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5 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Shit why stop there, by the time he's done stacking the courts with conservatives they can make him "Dear Leader" for life. We all know Congress isn't stopping or checking any behavior.

Ah please he's just joking about having more than two terms-until he isn't.

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I agree with Kal insofar as I think people are discounting the effect of chaos, and that the cumulative effect of a change like the shift away from in-person voting to mail-in ballots may well have an unexpected effect. 

In states like FL, there may be tampering with the standards for counting ballots.  PA's get a witness to sign your ballot envelope thing (or is it the secrecy envelope?) might lead to Biden losing PA through some dodgy disqualified votes. 

I disagree that the entire political system is going to come crashing down as a result.  Biden may lose, despite it all, if he loses PA, FL and Trump gets lucky in NC and AZ.   But this is not really new information.  It's been apparent to anyone since 2016 that Trump's path on the electoral college in the midwest meant the Dems had to win 3/3 of PA, MI and WI when those were the three states on which the election would turn.  The major new information since then is the size of Biden's lead nationally and the number of states that makes him competitive in.  Now maybe they all turn up turnips.  But I think that's kind of inbuilt into the system.  I actually think the size of Biden's lead makes chaos less likely since Biden will either win big or the polls will have been dramatically wrong for the second time in back to back presidential elections. 

But regardless let's say chaos, or its milder cousin, uncertainty transpires on election night. 

First, that doesn't automatically mean the issue goes to the courts (or even a single court or single decision-maker).  It's much more likely that the process of counting votes will continue. 

Second, the law is all about establishing neutral rules of general applicability.  America has plenty of existing election law that courts are required to follow.  Yes, you can twist those rules to reach a result you like, but there's your own reputation as a judge, your peers, appellate review and tons of law professors waiting to throw bricks throw your window. 

We don't live in the world of 2000 when a Republican SC could suddenly discover in the equal protection clause protections they had spent their lifetime dismantling in order to throw the election to Bush.  The folks who did were committed Republicans but they were not appointees of Bush or even (with the exception of Thomas) his father.  The fact that Bush v Gore was a much-pilloried decision and has never really even been followed in the SC's cases tells its own tale.  And these judges know that. 

 Trump has put Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and shortly Barrett in a position of immense power and no accountability.  And yet you will have seen from their votes that when push came to shove in the Trump tax cases, they voted to preserve their reputations, not his interest.  It was Alito and Thomas who penned scabrous dissents.  I fully expect a similar result if Trump brings a frivolous lawsuit challenging the election results.  

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22 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Second, the law is all about establishing neutral rules of general applicability.  America has plenty of existing election law that courts are required to follow.  Yes, you can twist those rules to reach a result you like, but there's your own reputation as a judge, your peers, appellate review and tons of law professors waiting to throw bricks throw your window. 

Not really. Laws are about establishing power structures. They're rarely neutral, historically speaking. A simple example is how we've treated rich white men using coke verse poor black men using crack. They're doing the same thing, but there was never anything neutral or even about their treatment under the law. 

As to the second statement, those rules go out the window when one is in a cult, because the first, second and third priority then are to remain in good favor of said cult. That's what conservatism has become, and it comes as no surprise that many prominent former conservatives who've left the movement explicitly say that, yeah, they realize now they were in a cult. 

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As always, folks here are vastly overestimating the competence, and unity, of the Republicans.

In a close election, sure, anything goes. If its a landslide anywhere close to what the polls show, Trump's going to be dumped by most of them so fast it'll make heads spin. He'll stomp and scream, and be gone in Jan. 

And the conservatives on SCOTUS have no incentive to overturn clear election results. They already have a 6-3 majority, all they'd accomplish is destroy their own authority forever and possibly also trigger a literal civil war. I don't see Roberts, Kavanaugh, or Gorsuch going for that.

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