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  #201  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:02 AM
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All of this makes sense, but my perception is that being the law and order candidate is a liability in the Democratic primaries even if it would be a positive in the general election.

Regards,
Shodan
Probably -- which is why, if she's as skilled as she might be (I'm not sure yet), she'll downplay this in the primary and emphasize it should she be nominated.
  #202  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:02 AM
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Here's some info/fact-checking on those: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/08/...en-fact-check/
Except that the fact checks end up as being mostly true for most of the items. Biden's all mostly true and Gabbard's correct on the cash bail item ... with Harris changing her tune as she moved into other ambitions. The others of Gabbard's seem to be at least misleading but not completely false.

I agree that in the general election a "tough on crime" reputation is not harmful. These items are not "tough on crime" ones as much as they are abuse of power ones, and not things that even a law and order candidate would be proud of. They are pretty damning in the context of a Dem primary. Taking a position against cash bail now when you were for raising it when you in the position of most influence over it, in a much more recent past than what Biden is being held to account for, won't play well.
  #203  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:18 AM
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From the Mercury News cite -
Quote:
Harris did come out in favor of raising cash bail for defendants accused of gun-related charges as San Francisco district attorney. She’s since changed her tune, criticizing cash bail and pushing for national reform.
Again, something that might have helped Harris, even in the primaries, if she had handled it differently.

Why couldn't she just say "You're damn right I supported cash bail for gun crimes! Get the guns AND THE GUN CRIMINALS off the streets!" But waffling on cash bail later means she can't credibly say that.

The best thing she can hope for in the Kevin Cooper thing is for the DNA results to come out soon enough - and prove he did it. And even that will be undercut because she is now against the death penalty.

The key, as usual, is sincerity - once you learn to fake that, you got it made. I am not sure she has learned how to do it convincingly.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 08-02-2019 at 09:18 AM.
  #204  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:22 AM
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If Russian bots are helping Gabbard's campaign, they really need better bots because she's been fairly active in national politics for the past few years and in this campaign, and she's barely pulling 1% of the vote. Being a bottom-tier candidate, Gabbard did what other bottom-tier candidates do (and did last night): she made a top-tier candidate her target in what could be her last debate appearance.
And oh, the irony. The person she attacked became a top-tier candidate by attacking Biden for the same reason!
  #205  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:27 AM
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All of this makes sense, but my perception is that being the law and order candidate is a liability in the Democratic primaries even if it would be a positive in the general election.

Regards,
Shodan
Do you literally mean a "law and order" candidate. One who is, again, literally for law and order?
  #206  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:32 AM
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I think we all know what "Law and Order" has historically been code for, don't we?
  #207  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:34 AM
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I think we all know what "Law and Order" has historically been code for, don't we?
Yes. That's why I used the word "literally", twice. Just asking for clarification, that's all.
  #208  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:10 PM
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Do you literally mean a "law and order" candidate. One who is, again, literally for law and order?
That sounds like an odd question, if you don't mind my saying so. All the candidates are theoretically in favor of law and order - they have different ideas of what the laws are/should be, and how order should be maintained.
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I think we all know what "Law and Order" has historically been code for, don't we?
Which I think demonstrates the problem that Harris in particular and Democrats in general have - being a "law and order" candidate means that primary voters, who tend to be more extreme than the general electorate, will attempt to force an interpretation on "law and order" candidates that the general election voter doesn't buy.

Of course, Harris is black, so it is harder to do with her. But she handled the issue, IMO, poorly (in terms of her general electability) by waffling on traditional ideas of what it means to be "law and order", especially in the "higher cash bail for gun criminals/cash bail is bad" flip.

She could have handled it differently - read Pleonast's post below for an example of a good way (IMO) to handle it - "yes, I am going to be tough on crime, especially tax cheats and gun criminals and civil rights violators" and so on. But she didn't.

Like I said, she's black. So, again IMO, she doesn't have to be defensive about her background as a prosecutor, and try to water it down or avoid it, because if she gets the nomination she will get 90%+ of the black vote no matter what she says. So ISTM that she should put all her eggs into the basket of being a
  • strong
  • black
  • liberal
  • who is tough on crime too.
Although, granted, she is taking the chance that what plays in Peoria won't play with Democratic primary voters.

That's also part of the idea behind the "who is Gabbard again" response. She needs to come across as strong and confident and un-intimidatable, even by other Democrats.

"Never apologize, never explain" is at least as viable a strategy as "well, it's complicated, and my thinking has evolved..." Especially in a debate where you get five minutes and there's ten other people competing for their moment.

She needs to come across as the one in charge. She's pretty enough that she doesn't have the problem of Resting Bitch Face that a certain former candidate had and our previous President didn't. She's way behind - might as well go for broke and give it a shot.

Yeah, yeah - strong women are labeled as shrill and shrewish and misogynism and blah blah. Tough shit - this is an election, and I would hope the Dems have learned that shaming people doesn't get votes.

Regards,
Shodan
  #209  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:16 PM
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Like I said, she's black. So, again IMO, she doesn't have to be defensive about her background as a prosecutor, and try to water it down or avoid it, because if she gets the nomination she will get 90%+ of the black vote no matter what she says.
I'll quibble strongly with this part, since there have indeed been elections in which white candidates have gotten ~90%+ of the black vote over a black opponent. At present, black voters overwhelmingly vote Democratic, not overwhelmingly for black candidates. The Democratic nominee will almost certainly get ~90%+ of the black vote regardless of race, and regardless of the race of the Republican they're running against.
  #210  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:19 PM
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Also worth noting: Getting 90% of the blacks who vote to vote for you is not the same as getting 90% of the blacks who could vote to go to the polls and vote for you.
  #211  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:35 PM
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... Like I said, she's black. So, again IMO, she doesn't have to be defensive about her background as a prosecutor, and try to water it down or avoid it, because if she gets the nomination she will get 90%+ of the black vote ...
Against Trump in particular pretty much ANY D nominee will get over 90% of the Black vote that turns out. And I hope turnout returns to near Obama levels.

But right now she needs to win some Black voter support in the primaries to be the one who gets there and her being a woman of color by itself is not enough to win that. Biden dominates that demographic and in is ahead in particular on the basis of being the first choice of women of color.
  #212  
Old 08-02-2019, 12:54 PM
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All of this makes sense, but my perception is that being the law and order candidate is a liability in the Democratic primaries even if it would be a positive in the general election.
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
From the Mercury News cite - Again, something that might have helped Harris, even in the primaries, if she had handled it differently.

Why couldn't she just say "You're damn right I supported cash bail for gun crimes! Get the guns AND THE GUN CRIMINALS off the streets!" But waffling on cash bail later means she can't credibly say that.
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I think we all know what "Law and Order" has historically been code for, don't we?
I think Kamala Harris could flip "law and order" into being a progressive code for stopping abuses of power and money. Progressives want government to improve society and pursuing abuses of power and money is something government can do. Law and order should be a Democratic priority. It's a perfect wedge issue to drive into the Republican party, and Donald "Swampwater" Trump will not be able to effectively counter it.
  #213  
Old 08-02-2019, 02:24 PM
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That sounds like an odd question, if you don't mind my saying so. All the candidates are theoretically in favor of law and order - they have different ideas of what the laws are/should be, and how order should be maintained.
No, not at all. As I said a few posts ago, I was only asking for clarification, and with this statement, I have it. Thanks.
  #214  
Old 08-02-2019, 02:35 PM
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It's better for her to have her ego bruised now.

She came across badly trying to make it a 1v1 between her and Biden. At one stage after Gillibrand raised a point, rather than respond to that point first Harris instead went back to the previous give and take with Biden about ten minutes before.

The attack from Gabbard at least will let her know she can't just be a prosecutor. She can't just get stuck into others and be shocked someone dares to do the same with her.
  #215  
Old 08-02-2019, 02:39 PM
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Here's a really solid, detailed article about Harris' varied stances as it regards criminal justice reform. It's a good read and digs into her complete record.
  #216  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:45 PM
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She's a paper tiger imo.
  #217  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:14 PM
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It's better for her to have her ego bruised now.

She came across badly trying to make it a 1v1 between her and Biden. At one stage after Gillibrand raised a point, rather than respond to that point first Harris instead went back to the previous give and take with Biden about ten minutes before.

The attack from Gabbard at least will let her know she can't just be a prosecutor. She can't just get stuck into others and be shocked someone dares to do the same with her.
As you sow, so shall you reap. Harris wanted to make a name for herself by making a cheap dig at Biden- and it gave her a bump in the polls. It came back on her at the next debate, as I predicted- and she couldnt handle it. That looks bad.
  #218  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:50 PM
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Locking people up for weed and laughing about smoking it (and listening to future Tupac records) is not “law and order”. It’s a demonstration of antisocial inclinations. You ruined lives over marijuana in the one state where you probably could have avoided it without repercussions. Then you laugh!? You’re a troubled soul.

Also, this is probably a bottomless well. She bragged about threatening single mothers with jail time over truancy. This is one sick individual dangerously near the reigns of power.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 08-02-2019 at 09:55 PM.
  #219  
Old 08-03-2019, 06:04 PM
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Locking people up for weed and laughing about smoking it (and listening to future Tupac records) is not “law and order”. It’s a demonstration of antisocial inclinations. You ruined lives over marijuana in the one state where you probably could have avoided it without repercussions. Then you laugh!? You’re a troubled soul.

Also, this is probably a bottomless well. She bragged about threatening single mothers with jail time over truancy. This is one sick individual dangerously near the reigns of power.
Interesting party line.

It might not get far without actual evidence, though. Or can you provide citations from anything more reputable than Breitbart and the like?
  #220  
Old 08-06-2019, 03:57 PM
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Crossposted with the Hee-Haw thread:


My completely unscientific skimming of the hypothetical general election polls reveals a positive trend for Warren in the last month or so. Earlier in the summer, she and Buttigieg were consistently polling as the weakest of the major Democratic candidates against Trump. But recently, Warren seems to have moved into the middle of the pack in that regard (still behind Biden and Sanders, though), while Harris seems to have become the least electable-looking of the major candidates. I applaud this trend.
  #221  
Old 08-06-2019, 05:36 PM
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Crossposted with the Hee-Haw thread:


My completely unscientific skimming of the hypothetical general election polls reveals a positive trend for Warren in the last month or so. Earlier in the summer, she and Buttigieg were consistently polling as the weakest of the major Democratic candidates against Trump. But recently, Warren seems to have moved into the middle of the pack in that regard (still behind Biden and Sanders, though), while Harris seems to have become the least electable-looking of the major candidates. I applaud this trend.
I've seen data supporting your analysis, here. I'm kind of surprised that Harris appears to have taken a hit after the second round of debates---she didn't have any obvious gaffes.

Maybe it's just a resurgence for both Biden and Warren, which had to come from somewhere (and that somewhere happened to be Harris's previous supporters).

It's still early, though.

Quote:
National polls from Quinnipiac, HarrisX, Reuters/Ipsos, and Politico/Morning Consult — and a New Hampshire poll from the Boston Globe/Suffolk — all show Biden in first place, with somewhere between 21 and 33 percent of the vote.

Four of those polls show Sanders in second place and Warren in third — however, one of the national polls, from Quinnipiac, showed Warren ahead of Sanders in second place.

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris appears to have declined from her significant bounce in the polls in late June following a tense exchange with Biden on busing in that first debate. Back then, she went from a distant fourth to, essentially, tied for second place with Sanders and Warren. But now she tends to poll closer to fifth-place Pete Buttigieg than to the top three contenders. ...
https://www.vox.com/2019/8/6/2075740...idential-polls
  #222  
Old 08-06-2019, 05:52 PM
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I've seen data supporting your analysis, here. I'm kind of surprised that Harris appears to have taken a hit after the second round of debates---she didn't have any obvious gaffes.
...
She smacked on Biden in the first debates, but then showed she couldn't take it.
  #223  
Old 08-06-2019, 06:12 PM
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She smacked on Biden in the first debates, but then showed she couldn't take it.
Well, maybe. Undeniably, though, many must be seeing it that way.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:23 PM
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I think it’s more like every chance Warren gets a chance to speak, she seems more and more electable. Perhaps more visionary than Harris.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:26 PM
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I've seen data supporting your analysis, here. I'm kind of surprised that Harris appears to have taken a hit after the second round of debates---she didn't have any obvious gaffes.

Maybe it's just a resurgence for both Biden and Warren, which had to come from somewhere (and that somewhere happened to be Harris's previous supporters).

It's still early, though.

https://www.vox.com/2019/8/6/2075740...idential-polls
To be clear, though, the polls I was looking at were polls of general election voters matching each of the contenders against Trump, not polls of Democrats matching the Democrats against each other.
  #226  
Old 08-06-2019, 06:41 PM
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I think it’s more like every chance Warren gets a chance to speak, she seems more and more electable.

Maybe in Bizarro World. She literally scolded the fucking audience.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:57 PM
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She smacked on Biden in the first debates, but then showed she couldn't take it.
It wasn't so much that; her bounce had already faded to half of the advantage it was in the week after the infamous take-down of Biden. The way I see it, the anti-Biden take-down was a one-week news cycle. We moved on from that news cycle, and the polls began a kind of re-set. And yet, if you look at the residual, she moved up on Buttigieg by a net of 5 percentage points, where she still stands today. So she didn't quite catch up with Biden, Warren, and Sanders - all of whom were absolutely more recognizable, household names than Harris - but she did move past Buttigieg. So I think her campaign would take that if you'd told her that this would be where she'd stand after the first debate.

People are forgetting that we're still very early in the season yet. Historically there has been significant poll movement in the fall of the year before the election, which is when voters begin paying attention. Remember, after all, that they can't actually cast a vote until winter, so there's no way they're paying this much attention to the race now. A long way to go yet.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:00 PM
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I think it’s more like every chance Warren gets a chance to speak, she seems more and more electable. Perhaps more visionary than Harris.
Keep in mind that we've had arguments about "electability" before that have been completely and utterly dismantled. Obama was not "electable" because he was young and black. Trump wasn't "electable" because he was a bigoted buffoon. We won't know who's "electable" for a while, but we can be sure that the definition of it will probably change. I don't know if Warren is electable, but I certainly don't know that she isn't, and I have to confess, I'm becoming more and more impressed with her as the election cycle moves forward.

Do I think she'd be a long shot against Trump? Yes, but I also think that there's a scenario in which she wins.
  #229  
Old 08-06-2019, 07:02 PM
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Maybe in Bizarro World. She literally scolded the fucking audience.
Well, she really, really wanted to tell the story about her friend with the dying kid. And they were (rightfully) laughing at her.

I like Warren, but that was hard to watch.
  #230  
Old 08-06-2019, 07:08 PM
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To be clear, though, the polls I was looking at were polls of general election voters matching each of the contenders against Trump, not polls of Democrats matching the Democrats against each other.
True. There are some common trends to be seen, though.
  #231  
Old 08-06-2019, 07:24 PM
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True. There are some common trends to be seen, though.
Are you basing this view on the idea that reliable polls can reasonably be assumed to describe the reactions of all registered voters?
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:24 PM
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Keep in mind that we've had arguments about "electability" before that have been completely and utterly dismantled. Obama was not "electable" because he was young and black. Trump wasn't "electable" because he was a bigoted buffoon. We won't know who's "electable" for a while, but we can be sure that the definition of it will probably change. I don't know if Warren is electable, but I certainly don't know that she isn't, and I have to confess, I'm becoming more and more impressed with her as the election cycle moves forward.

Do I think she'd be a long shot against Trump? Yes, but I also think that there's a scenario in which she wins.

But Obama and Trump did do worse than a “safer” nominee from their respective parties would have. They won anyway because the political winds were against their opponents. Warren could very possibly do the same, but why risk it?
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:33 PM
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Well, she really, really wanted to tell the story about her friend with the dying kid. And they were (rightfully) laughing at her.

I like Warren, but that was hard to watch.

Indeed, but I hear from so many people who say she was right, because the audience was out of line. It’s like they really want her to be the stern schoolmarm, politics be damned.

But why the hell did none of the post-debate commentary mention that cringeworthy moment, instead only focusing on her “strong moment” against Delaney? (Which was also bullshit IMO, but I can at least understand why the lefties loved it.)

Last edited by SlackerInc; 08-06-2019 at 07:33 PM.
  #234  
Old 08-06-2019, 07:41 PM
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Are you basing this view on the idea that reliable polls can reasonably be assumed to describe the reactions of all registered voters?
Callback!

(Is there a point you're trying to make ...?)
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:49 PM
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Warren could very possibly do the same, but why risk it?
Why risk it? Why risk it?!

I want to be clear: my mind's not made up, but that's a bleep reason to not support Warren. If ever there was an election to be bold, Christ, it's this one. I've been leaning Biden the whole time, but fuck, he's playing it too goddamn safe. He needs to step out and be his own goddamn self.

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Old 08-06-2019, 07:50 PM
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Callback!

(Is there a point you're trying to make ...?)
He'll make it - as soon as you get off his lawn.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:06 PM
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... People are forgetting that we're still very early in the season yet. Historically there has been significant poll movement in the fall of the year before the election, which is when voters begin paying attention. ...
Really just not true. Polls in the first half of the year have a very tight correlation with polls in the second half and both have a very good correlation with primary outcomes.
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Originally Posted by 538
Those polling at 35 percent or higher rarely lost the nomination, regardless of whether they attained those heights in the first or second half of the year. They also, on average, won more than half the national primary vote. But those polling below 20 percent in either the first half or second half of the year had at best a 1-in-10 chance of clinching the nomination, and they rarely won a sizable chunk of the popular vote.
These can be further broken down by level of name recognition. Being well known, like Warren and Sanders makes their under 20% polling more ominous for them. Harris has slightly better of a chance by that single item analysis if she is considered "lesser known" ... but her inertia is heading downward.

Biden is not quite at the 35% level, but in most polls not so far off (for example this week's MC at 33%, but neither Sanders or Warren are currently over 20%. Bottom of the ninth it may not be, but second inning? That way over sells how "early" this is given the polling as it stands. More like seventh with Biden up by three runs. Game's not over by any stretch. But you will see some swinging for the fences in the next innings.

As to Warren the fact that she keeps her gradual climb after that debate is fairly good evidence that not too many were too bothered by that episode.
  #238  
Old 08-06-2019, 08:32 PM
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How could many be bothered when so few watched live and the media didn’t report on that moment? Talk about giving her a free pass! But everyone will be watching if and when she debates Trump.


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Why risk it? Why risk it?!

If ever there was an election to be bold, Christ, it's this one.

I could not disagree more strenuously. I often like your takes, and I even defended your political acumen on another board. but if there was ever an election to play it safe, this is the one. I heard a very smart pundit say that the ideal campaign platform for a Democrat would be to just promise to be boring and not say crazy shit on Twitter, etc. Return to normalcy.

The election to be bold is when you are up against a super popular incumbent like Reagan in ‘84!

Last edited by SlackerInc; 08-06-2019 at 08:33 PM.
  #239  
Old 08-06-2019, 08:58 PM
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Callback!

(Is there a point you're trying to make ...?)
Well, I'm honestly curious why you said that to me earlier in such a way that I inferred skepticism but here you seem on board with the polls showing meaningful post-debate reaction.

(if anyone is curious, I'm calling back to this exchange in the "Democratic Debates 7/30 & 7/31" thread)

Last edited by CarnalK; 08-06-2019 at 08:59 PM.
  #240  
Old 08-07-2019, 06:27 AM
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Really just not true. Polls in the first half of the year have a very tight correlation with polls in the second half and both have a very good correlation with primary outcomes.
Actually, very, very true - not sure what 538's talking about here, but if you go back to 2008, Barack Obama didn't take a lead in the national polls until February 2008. That was AFTER the first primary/caucuses. In August of 2007, Hillary Clinton was beating him by 14 points. In October, some 3 months later, she was beating Obama by 26 points! In November, Clinton started a long, slow decline, which began to speed up just before the first few primaries.

And guess what, the same thing happened in 2016. In July of 2015, Clinton had a 50-point lead over Sanders. By September that lead was down to just 15 points. Clinton increased that lead to 25 points in late November/early December before the race went into a long trend of tightening. Clinton's lead in the polls was down to 1% during the primaries before winning the California primaries and winning the nomination.

ETA: I read the article, and that's just a case of math geeks playing with politics. Sure, if someone enters the race with a household name and lots of money, as Hillary Clinton did during the 2015-16 election cycle, odds are she will win. Nevertheless, the polls actually did move, and quite a lot. And in 2008, not only did they move, but Hillary Clinton ended up losing the nomination. And as I mentioned, Donald Trump was "unelectable" and entered the race polling at just under 5% before taking the lead. I don't think voters are really paying attention just yet.

Last edited by asahi; 08-07-2019 at 06:32 AM.
  #241  
Old 08-07-2019, 09:30 AM
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I think one of Warren's advantages in a GE is she was once a registered republican (although she will probably be pushed into explaining it in the primary).

You see, we often here about cases of once democrats turning republicans. The best example is Reagan but there are plenty of others. You hear things like "I was a Kennedy democrat" or "I voted for Carter" before they were swept by the Reagan revolution for better or worse.

Well Warren officially changed party registration in 1996 at the age of 47. To her credit she says the only time she voted a Republican for president was Ford in 76'. But at the time she switched affiliation we were past the eight years of Reagan and four years of Bush. We were heading into Clinton's re-election. And she decided at that moment was the time to change. That her buying into the GOP being the party of fiscal responsibility was a sham through her studies of bankruptcy.

She can use that transformation and how she ended up being a progressive leader in the Senate to open up people's eyes to the facts. She will be ripped by conservative media on "how the hell are you going to pay for that" and she can respond "the same way you guys love your corporate tax cuts at the cost of the middle class and actually do the opposite of reducing the national debt as you all promise."
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:07 AM
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This is yet another one of these defenses of Warren’s electability which rely on an optimistic theory of the case rather than on facts. DSeid has talked about Warren’s anemic reelect numbers in 2018, compared to other statewide candidates in Massachusetts, but I think it’s particularly instructive to focus on one other race. Attorney general is a high profile position, and in this case the incumbent, Maura Healey, was, like Warren, a Democratic woman running for her second term. Warren won her race by 654,161 votes. Healey won hers by 1,069,577 votes—a margin 63% larger!

So if Warren’s Republican background appeals to soft Republicans and independents, how do you explain these droves of voters who voted for Healey, but split their tickets (in an era, keep in mind, when ticket splitting has become much less common) and voted for the Republican against Warren?
  #243  
Old 08-07-2019, 10:21 AM
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Actually, very, very true - not sure what 538's talking about here, but if you go back to 2008, Barack Obama didn't take a lead in the national polls until February 2008. That was AFTER the first primary/caucuses. In August of 2007, Hillary Clinton was beating him by 14 points. In October, some 3 months later, she was beating Obama by 26 points! In November, Clinton started a long, slow decline, which began to speed up just before the first few primaries.

And guess what, the same thing happened in 2016. In July of 2015, Clinton had a 50-point lead over Sanders. By September that lead was down to just 15 points. Clinton increased that lead to 25 points in late November/early December before the race went into a long trend of tightening. Clinton's lead in the polls was down to 1% during the primaries before winning the California primaries and winning the nomination.

ETA: I read the article, and that's just a case of math geeks playing with politics. Sure, if someone enters the race with a household name and lots of money, as Hillary Clinton did during the 2015-16 election cycle, odds are she will win. Nevertheless, the polls actually did move, and quite a lot. And in 2008, not only did they move, but Hillary Clinton ended up losing the nomination. And as I mentioned, Donald Trump was "unelectable" and entered the race polling at just under 5% before taking the lead. I don't think voters are really paying attention just yet.
From the quoted article;

Quote:
Of the 84 highly recognized candidates who polled below 10 percent in surveys from the first half of the year before the primaries, only President Trump went on to win his party’s nomination.
So, you're dissing the model because it accurately predicted outcomes only 98.8% of the time?

They're looking at binary outcomes; Clinton DID win the nomination in 2016, and the fact that it was closer than it looked like it was going to be in 2015 is beside the point. Given a large enough data set (and they looked at every candidate since 1972) , the winners who almost lost should be balanced out by the losers who almost won, so this isn't really a problem.

Candidates similar to HRC08, who entered the race with high name recognition and polling numbers over 35%, won their races 75% of the time. That means they lost 25% of the time.

You could argue that we are in a period of political crisis, and things work differently now than they did in even the fairly recent past, so that models based on data from 1972 shouldn't be relied upon to predict 2020. I am actually quite sympathetic to that argument, but as Nate Silver would be the first to tell you, his models can't help us determine whether it is true or not; they rely on the assumption that past outcomes have predictive value.

So either Trump was a once-in-a-lifetime fluke, or politics have become weirder than they used to be. There's simply no way to know with certainty which is the case from our perspective in 2019. But your rejection of this model based just on cherrypicking a few cases where the less likely outcome occurred is like those people who after the 2016 election said "THE POLLS WERE ALL WRONG HURR HURR HURR".
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:29 AM
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TF, we often disagree but that was really good.
  #245  
Old 08-07-2019, 10:39 AM
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Thanks!
  #246  
Old 08-07-2019, 10:41 AM
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I could not disagree more strenuously. I often like your takes, and I even defended your political acumen on another board. but if there was ever an election to play it safe, this is the one. I heard a very smart pundit say that the ideal campaign platform for a Democrat would be to just promise to be boring and not say crazy shit on Twitter, etc. Return to normalcy.

The election to be bold is when you are up against a super popular incumbent like Reagan in ‘84!
Another election where you might want to be bold is in a primary race against an established candidate like Biden. Harris is way behind, and there are many, many other Democrats all elbowing each other. Biden isn't an incumbent, but he used to be Vice-president, and he isn't super popular, but he is currently enjoying a lead of double digits over Harris and most of the rest of the pack.

"Never change a winning game; always change a losing game". Harris has to do something to break out. "Slow and steady" is a Biden strategy. "Go for broke" is IMO changing a losing game, at least for the second tier. That means taking shots at Biden, and being prepared to look strong and Presidential when the other soon-to-be-also-rans take shots at her.

The TL;DR version is she isn't running against Trump. She is running in the Democratic primary.

Biden isn't exactly dripping with charisma, and, rather like 2016, people are not exactly tingling with excitement at a chance to vote for him. Sure, the Democrat primary voters are slavering for anybody but Trump. But everybody in the Democratic field is "anybody". Harris, and the rest, need IMO to establish themselves as "somebody".

John Kerry was the last man standing after the Democratic primaries, and he was "anybody but Bush". Obama was "somebody". Clinton was "it's her turn" and "anybody but Trump". With the observed results.

Regards,
Shodan
  #247  
Old 08-07-2019, 11:05 AM
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That’s all true, but I was talking about the general election and therefore implicitly a wish that primary voters would go for strategery rather than boldness.
  #248  
Old 08-07-2019, 11:10 AM
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So, you're dissing the model because it accurately predicted outcomes only 98.8% of the time?

They're looking at binary outcomes; Clinton DID win the nomination in 2016, and the fact that it was closer than it looked like it was going to be in 2015 is beside the point.
No, it's absolutely not beside the point because contrary to what you wrote, Donald Trump is not the only exception.

It's not beside the point because Hillary Clinton had a ginormous lead over a cranky old man who ran on a far-left platform and who had little name recognition before the race started, and that guy gave her a much tougher nomination battle than anyone ever anticipated. And 8 years before that, she had a massive lead on Obama - a 26-point lead in November before the primaries - and she lost.

Joe Biden does NOT have the luxury that Hillary Clinton had in 2016. I don't have a crystal ball, and nobody can tell how news events and the individual candidates themselves are going to influence their campaign destinies, but my original point if you care to go back and look at it, wasn't that Joe Biden couldn't or wouldn't win; it's that it's early in the race and history shows that the polls will shift considerably over the next few months. DSeid came back and suggested that this wasn't really true and brought in the math to try and refute what I said -- but I don't see how it was in any way refuted. All you need to do is go to Realcearpolitics and find the historical polling averages to see that there will likely be some volatility. Could Biden still come out on top? Yes, I never suggested he couldn't.

What I do reject is the notion that these races are predictable and that you can use historical data to show that the polls are stable - that's just not true. That's how Sam Wang got his ass burned and why he stays out of politics now.
  #249  
Old 08-07-2019, 11:26 AM
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Slacker, I think you are overestimating the strength of the correlation between winning elections and taking the positions which poll best.

It's arguably true that of the Kerry-Obama-Clinton triad, Obama was the most centrist, but (my fingers are spasming as I type this) I agree with Shodan. The reason he won and they lost was that he had more personal charisma than they did, not that voters were carefully parsing their policy proposals; the vast majority of voters just aren't that left-brained.

The obvious example is Bernie Sanders, who is much, much more popular than the abstract concept of "Socialism" is. People worry that the "S-word" will be used as a bludgeon against Sanders in the general election should he be nominated, but it's IMO much more likely that both loyal Democrats and swing voters who like Bernie's style will decide that they are now Socialists than that they will reject Bernie on that account.

Or on the other side: How many Republicans in 2014 would have agreed that enacting massive tariffs in order to provoke a trade war with China was sound economic policy? The people who liked Trump just switched their opinions in order to accommodate their desire to vote for Trump, and once he became the Party's leader, the elites did too.

I share your subjective opinion that Warren lacks the essential charisma, but if the data continues to show that Warren is getting more popular among the general public, I will go with the data over my gut.
  #250  
Old 08-07-2019, 11:31 AM
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No, it's absolutely not beside the point because contrary to what you wrote, Donald Trump is not the only exception.

It's not beside the point because Hillary Clinton had a ginormous lead over a cranky old man who ran on a far-left platform and who had little name recognition before the race started, and that guy gave her a much tougher nomination battle than anyone ever anticipated. And 8 years before that, she had a massive lead on Obama - a 26-point lead in November before the primaries - and she lost.

Joe Biden does NOT have the luxury that Hillary Clinton had in 2016. I don't have a crystal ball, and nobody can tell how news events and the individual candidates themselves are going to influence their campaign destinies, but my original point if you care to go back and look at it, wasn't that Joe Biden couldn't or wouldn't win; it's that it's early in the race and history shows that the polls will shift considerably over the next few months. DSeid came back and suggested that this wasn't really true and brought in the math to try and refute what I said -- but I don't see how it was in any way refuted. All you need to do is go to Realcearpolitics and find the historical polling averages to see that there will likely be some volatility. Could Biden still come out on top? Yes, I never suggested he couldn't.

What I do reject is the notion that these races are predictable and that you can use historical data to show that the polls are stable - that's just not true. That's how Sam Wang got his ass burned and why he stays out of politics now.
Well, yes, he is. Who is your counterexample of another major party candidate since 1972 who was polling in the single digits with high name recognition in the spring before the election and went on to win his party's nomination?

Nobody is questioning that the polls will likely shift considerably, and nobody is claiming that Biden's victory is either inevitable or impossible. But your claim that, historically, early polls haven't been predictive of the final outcome is true only if you define "predictive" as "predictive with 100% certainty".
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