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Old 01-01-2020, 01:22 PM
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Do we have any true "swing voters" here on the Dope?


A great deal is always made by the media each election cycle of the "swing voter" - although it is sometimes debated whether such voters even truly exist or not - voters that are independent, or undecided, and whose vote could decide the election outcome.

I'm curious to hear from any swing voters here - perhaps loosely defined as people who genuinely have not made up their mind yet whether they're going to vote (D), vote Trump, or go third party - or perhaps, defined as people who genuinely do not go into an election cycle with D or R already pre-planned in their minds.

Is there still anyone here on this message board who is thinking, "In this upcoming election, I could go with a Democrat, or go with Trump, but it's such a tough 50/50 choice?"

Last edited by Velocity; 01-01-2020 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:50 PM
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I'd say I fit the profile. I've been registered as an independent since I was old enough to vote, and (to the consternation of friends and family) I've voted for candidates from either party based solely on their positions and issues.

In Chicago I voted Republican more often than I thought I would because democratic candidates there often struck me as self-important and self-righteous, as well as not being as progressive as I liked.

Since moving to Kentucky, I don't think I've found a single Republican candidate's views palatable. Indeed, in the last few years I've been amazed at how comfortable the GOP and its pundits (Tomi Lahren springs to mind) have become with being blatantly ulikeable.

That said, there are a couple of races this year with no swing in them for me, like Trump and McConnell.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:56 PM
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I live in a swing state , NC, but no way do I vote for Trump. I could vote 3rd party if I don't like the Dem.
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:08 PM
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I was a full on swing voter 20 years ago and would look at individual candidates positions before deciding who to vote for, and it could reasonably be either party, though I tended to lean Democrat for president and mixed for congress. While I wasn't all that likely to vote for McCain in 2008 (especially with Palin as VP), it wasn't completely out of the question. With what the Republicans have been doing since 2008 (complete obstruction rather than trying to functionally govern, voter suppression, attacks on minorities, climate denial) and especially since 2016 (complete brown nosing of Trump, complete rejection of the good parts of traditional conservatism) there is absolutely no way I would vote for a Republican for national office. With the Republicans in my state explicitly rejecting the concept of representative democracy, there is no way I could vote for one at state level, or anyone at a local level who chooses to be associated with them. It's possible that I dislike a Democratic candidate enough to vote 3rd party instead of Democrat, but even that has gotten pretty unlikely.

I honestly don't see how someone can be a swing voter on Trump (in the sense of 'maybe Trump, maybe the Democratic candidate), I don't see what belief set one could have where they're like 'maybe he's a good choice, maybe he's not'.
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:11 PM
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Voters aren't meant to vote for policy and doing so mangles the system. There will also never be the day where, thanks to you voting party line, your team wins and America becomes a Liberal/Conservative state. You're far better off to accept that you're not going to win and never will win and just do what the Founders wanted which is to elect people who are fair and not corrupt. If that means you elect someone with politics you detest, again, they're only going to be half of the government. Half of them are going to be persons with politics you detest whether you vote for your party or the other party.

So:

Option 1: Corrupt politicians, evenly split.
Option 2: Not corrupt politicians, evenly split.

Ignore policy. Just investigate if they're slime and vote on that.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-01-2020 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:41 PM
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Well, I voted for Arnie for Gov vs Grey davis. Get a bad Dem and a Moderate Repub out there and I really have to think about it.

But I have donated $5 to the Ham sandwich campaign.*






* In other words, I will vote for anyone the Dems nominate vs trump, even a ham sandwich.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:37 PM
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I'm a swing voter, I guess. My ballets are typically split between Democrats and Republicans down ballot but I've always voted 3rd party for president. I'm not opposed to either side but I generally don't like who makes it through the primaries. The most excited I've ever been about a candidate was McCain in 1999. I went to one of his rallies in 2007 and was disappointed with the lack of content and then he picked Caribou Barbie and I couldn't vote for him due to lack of judgement.

This year I'm going to vote not Trump no matter what so I'm not a swing voter in this election but I'd guess there is a pretty good chance I vote for a Republican for senate so I'll still have a split ballot.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:53 PM
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I'm a swing voter, I guess. My ballets are typically split between Democrats and Republicans down ballot but I've always voted 3rd party for president. I'm not opposed to either side but I generally don't like who makes it through the primaries. The most excited I've ever been about a candidate was McCain in 1999. I went to one of his rallies in 2007 and was disappointed with the lack of content and then he picked Caribou Barbie and I couldn't vote for him due to lack of judgement.

This year I'm going to vote not Trump no matter what so I'm not a swing voter in this election but I'd guess there is a pretty good chance I vote for a Republican for senate so I'll still have a split ballot.
But typically the 3rd party candidates are total loons (in my opinion and not just talking 2016) I can understand not being thrilled with either of the major candidates but one of them is going to be president. Kinda reminds me of some early jobs: do I want to work Christmas or New Years. I gotta pick one, none of the above isn’t an option.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:11 PM
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But typically the 3rd party candidates are total loons (in my opinion and not just talking 2016) I can understand not being thrilled with either of the major candidates but one of them is going to be president. Kinda reminds me of some early jobs: do I want to work Christmas or New Years. I gotta pick one, none of the above isn’t an option.
You do not have to pick one. There is not, I don't believe, a requirement to check a box in every race listed on the voting form.

Think of it this way, if you feel like you have to vote for a candidate in every race, then if both parties put up slimeballs, they can safely trust that one of their slimeballs is elected. They have no disincentive from doing so.

If, on the other hand, they see low numbers when they do so then - even if they might still win a particular election - it will still be clear to them that all the other side has to do to win that district is to put forward someone who is not a slimeball. That win is not going to buy them much and it will come back to bite them sooner rather than later.

By abstaining from the vote, you send a clear signal to the parties about how to handily wallop the other team. Ultimately, the parties want to win, and they will jump on any numbers or strategy that they need to get to 50%.

You get to decide what the parties use as their carrot to entice you to their side. If you tell them that you'll back them, so long as they stay 1 millimeter away from being a joke party, then that's all they are going to hold themselves to. And that's what you will get in your city, state, and national government. If you hold them to a higher standard, they will have to conform to that standard or they will lose power to the side who bides by your stick.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-01-2020 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:12 PM
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There’s some correlation between being a swing or undecided voter and being a lower information not closely following one.

So there will be a selection bias here I think and we’ll see relatively few swing voters here.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:21 PM
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You do not have to pick one. There is not, I don't believe, a requirement to check a box in every race listed on the voting form.

Think of it this way, if you feel like you have to vote for a candidate in every race, then if both parties put up slimeballs, they can safely trust that one of their slimeballs is elected. They have no disincentive from doing so.

If, on the other hand, they see low numbers when they do so then - even if they might still win a particular election - it will still be clear to them that all the other side has to do to win that district is to put forward someone who is not a slimeball. That win is not going to buy them much and it will come back to bite them sooner rather than later.

By abstaining from the vote, you send a clear signal to the parties about how to handily wallop the other team. Ultimately, the parties want to win, and they will jump on any numbers or strategy that they need to get to 50%.

You get to decide what the parties use as their carrot to entice you to their side. If you tell them that you'll back them, so long as they stay 1 millimeter away from being a joke party, then that's all they are going to hold themselves to. And that's what you will get in your city, state, and national government. If you hold them to a higher standard, they will have to conform to that standard or they will lose power to the side who bides by your stick.
You realize the candidates are picked by primaries, right? There’s no secret lair with someone stroking a white cat that’s selecting the candidates.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:24 PM
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There’s some correlation between being a swing or undecided voter and being a lower information not closely following one.

So there will be a selection bias here I think and we’ll see relatively few swing voters here.
That’s what I thought. If you care enough about politics to post about it in this forum, you’re probably rarely on the fence at the national level. Maybe there’s some people in MA who may go back and forth for the gubernatorial candidates for example, but not at the national level.

Plus I think the education level and engagement level of the typical Doper is well above the mean.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:25 PM
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No, I don't think we have many swing voters. More like 75-80% yellow dog Democrats. And see Oakminster 's thread about if there is a Democrat he could vote for. The True Believers have trouble understanding people who aren't convinced already.

IME the Republicans will vote automatically for whoever has an R after his or her name. The SDMB is mostly people who think carefully first before they vote automatically for whoever has a D after his or her name.

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Old 01-01-2020, 04:28 PM
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There’s some correlation between being a swing or undecided voter and being a lower information not closely following one.

So there will be a selection bias here I think and we’ll see relatively few swing voters here.
Being able to say that the US Revolution happened in 1776 is not a meaningful metric of a person's knowledge of nor understanding of politics and the Constitution. Memorizing trivia, to be "politically knowledgeable" is the same as learning the basic rules of Football so you can watch it with your friends and not sound like a complete dumb-ass. If you take that sort of thing as a metric for whether to invite someone to play on your Football team, you will lose compared to the guy who chooses a strategy like only recruiting people who just left the armed services or asking his candidates to run 100 meters and try catching a ball.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-01-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:32 PM
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You realize the candidates are picked by primaries, right? There’s no secret lair with someone stroking a white cat that’s selecting the candidates.
1) That depends on the location and race.
2) I'm comfortable in saying that partisans and non-partisans alike consider "electability", even when they're not the ultimate white-cat-stroking arbiter of the matter. If you doubt that, I wouldn't be surprised to find a couple threads along that line just one page up from this one.
3) Arguing that a voting strategy won't work because people /vote/ isn't much of an argument.

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Old 01-01-2020, 04:47 PM
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I worked for (D) Jerry Brown in 1992 but have otherwise remained a rad-lib P&F/Green since the 70s. I'm not a (D) though I've been more likely to vote there than for any (R). I don't know any folks undecided across the bipartisan divide, only those unsure of which dogmatist they prefer. A "swing" voter may not know whom to hate more, Tramp or Bloomberg. A swing (D) voter now might be undecided among current poll leaders and thus is the short-term target. But I doubt many undecideds will remain in a few months.
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:52 PM
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There’s some correlation between being a swing or undecided voter and being a lower information not closely following one.

So there will be a selection bias here I think and we’ll see relatively few swing voters here.
I agree. Regardless of what their political opinions are, the people that post in the political threads here think about political issues.

I feel most swing voters are people that don't really care about politics and don't follow political campaigns until they're in the final few weeks (or days).
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:00 PM
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Being able to say that the US Revolution happened in 1776 is not ..
Is not the sort of information meant.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:01 PM
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1) That depends on the location and race.
And I should expand this to note that there is a white-cat stroking party principle in every state.* While there are primaries in various locations, there is a person who recruits candidates, pushes them towards or away from particular races, provides contacts, helps to get them funding, helps to get them endorsements, etc.

There are cases where a candidate nominally runs as a party candidate but, in essence, gets zero support from the party. Her run will be drastically hampered compared to a candidate who is accepted into the fold and backed by the party's white cats.

One can also, for purposes of discussing the more convoluted view of the matter, view the candidates themselves as "the man stroking a white cat". If everyone tells you that the people won't elect a person who has been accused of corruption, then you're less likely to bother trying to run. If everyone tells you, "Well, Joe Ganim and Donald Trump both got elected just fine. I don't see why you shouldn't try a run." Then you're more likely to run.

* E.g., https://wfpl.org/need-know-new-kentu...air-mac-brown/
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:40 PM
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I agree. Regardless of what their political opinions are, the people that post in the political threads here think about political issues.

I feel most swing voters are people that don't really care about politics and don't follow political campaigns until they're in the final few weeks (or days).
I agree. Many of them are those who know they ‘should’ care but don’t. Kind of like how far more people say their religious but don’t ever go to a church or house of worship.

Especially at the national level, there are real differences between the candidates and it’s hard to be on the fence. It’s like comparing a Colorado ski vacation with a Miami Beach vacation. It’s fine to prefer one or the other, but I can’t see most people seriously agonising between the two.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:24 PM
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I'm currently a bit torn between Democrats and third party candidates in the US Presidential election, depending on the eventual D nominee and what third party candidates emerge. However, the chance that I'll vote for Trump given current information is very close to zero.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:42 PM
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But typically the 3rd party candidates are total loons (in my opinion and not just talking 2016) I can understand not being thrilled with either of the major candidates but one of them is going to be president. Kinda reminds me of some early jobs: do I want to work Christmas or New Years. I gotta pick one, none of the above isn’t an option.
I disagree with your basic viewpoint. Who you support for president shouldn't be the least evil that is electable. I just vote for who I think will do the best job for the country. For me that means I generally vote libertarian. I think the loony portion of the libertarian platform will be mooted by having to pass through a republican/democrat congress while their good ideas that are shared by both parties will actually succeed. On the other hand if someone like Warren or Sanders becomes president their worst ideas will not be fettered by congress especially for their first two year and we've just watched what Trump was able to do just with control of the senate for two years. There is no chance of a Libertarian majority in either house of congress so it would result in the best overall policy.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:53 PM
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I voted Obama in 2008. My reasons were two-fold.

First, we had a historic crisis that represented a failure of the market which required government intervention. Nobody is better at doing that than the Dems and McCain was still doddering about with his free market talk. He simply did not give me confidence that he was up to the task.

Second, Sarah Palin. She was woefully unfit to become president and McCain was an old man at the time.

It took a lot of thinking, but Obama was the choice that year.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:07 PM
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I disagree with your basic viewpoint. Who you support for president shouldn't be the least evil that is electable. I just vote for who I think will do the best job for the country. For me that means I generally vote libertarian. I think the loony portion of the libertarian platform will be mooted by having to pass through a republican/democrat congress while their good ideas that are shared by both parties will actually succeed. On the other hand if someone like Warren or Sanders becomes president their worst ideas will not be fettered by congress especially for their first two year and we've just watched what Trump was able to do just with control of the senate for two years. There is no chance of a Libertarian majority in either house of congress so it would result in the best overall policy.
In what reality do you ever see one of the Libertarian candidate getting elected? Perot didn’t win a single state despite making the debate stage. The only third parties that have won anything in modern were the white supremacy spin offs.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:20 PM
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In what reality do you ever see one of the Libertarian candidate getting elected? Perot didn’t win a single state despite making the debate stage. The only third parties that have won anything in modern were the white supremacy spin offs.
There have not only been two parties throughout history.

If the people shift their thinking faster than a monolithic structure can shift with them, an upstart can and will take over.

Granted, I would find it unlikely that a pre-existing party like the Libertarians would be the one to take over. A relatively young party, with clear leadership, is more likely to come in and take over.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:24 PM
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In what reality do you ever see one of the Libertarian candidate getting elected? Perot didn’t win a single state despite making the debate stage. The only third parties that have won anything in modern were the white supremacy spin offs.
Pretty sure I covered that in my post . . .

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I disagree with your basic viewpoint. Who you support for president shouldn't be the least evil that is electable. I just vote for who I think will do the best job for the country.
Yep, sure did. Not a thing about voting for electability just who's best for the country. I think the people who vote on electability rather than doing good for the country are 99% responsible for Trump and all of his evil.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:27 PM
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I agree. Many of them are those who know they ‘should’ care but don’t.
But they'll usually be there years down the line, when something egregious and patently bad happens, to self-righteously say, "How could this happen? They're all crooks." When their kid gets deathly ill from environmental contaminants, or their property gets ruined, or when whatever has happened and it's too late, that's when they ask, "How could this have happened?"

Yes, they're uninformed. They sure have all kinds of time to watch bullshit TV shows or whatever, but to actually learn about something in order to vote? No, they're too fucking lazy to do that. Because they're only watching bullshit TV shows all the time they aren't capable of seeing potential long-term effects in the future. Their attention is only concerned with instant, cheap gratification.

"Politics? Oh, that doesn't affect me." Until it does, but then it's too late.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:34 PM
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There have not only been two parties throughout history.

If the people shift their thinking faster than a monolithic structure can shift with them, an upstart can and will take over.

Granted, I would find it unlikely that a pre-existing party like the Libertarians would be the one to take over. A relatively young party, with clear leadership, is more likely to come in and take over.
Except for bizarre schisms like 1860, that hasn’t happened. And we don’t have anything like the slavery issue today.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:42 PM
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Well, I voted for Arnie for Gov vs Grey davis. Get a bad Dem and a Moderate Repub out there and I really have to think about it.
Pedantic mode: they didn't run against each other - the main Democratic opposition to Schwarzenegger in the "who should be governor if Davis is recalled" election was then-lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamonte.

But I'm the same way - I am a registered Republican (which, in California, is only meaningful in Presidential primaries, as those are the only races not open to candidates of all parties), but that doesn't mean I vote anything close to a straight party line.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:43 PM
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Yep, sure did. Not a thing about voting for electability just who's best for the country. I think the people who vote on electability rather than doing good for the country are 99% responsible for Trump and all of his evil.
Actually, the ones who stubbornly insist on voting third party are 100% responsible for Trump. If Jill Stein voters would have voted for Hillary, she would be President.

I don't understand this stubbornness. Sure, you think your third party candidate who will get 0.2% of the vote is better than the mainstream candidate, but why throw your vote away? I mean, I think that I share by own views better than any other candidate, but I don't write myself in because I cannot win. What is the point of voting for also rans?
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:19 PM
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And if the never-trumpers had voted for the candidate they thought was best for the country instead of who could beat Hillary we wouldn't have Trump.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:23 PM
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I get it winning is all that matters to you. Its your tribe vs the other guys and you have to be on the winning tribe. This has cause candidates who run from the middle so they don't get primaried from the Left/ right and then try to drift moderate during the general. This mindset also reduces voter turn out in non swing states I won't vote for the winner so why bother.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:39 PM
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Except for bizarre schisms like 1860, that hasn’t happened. And we don’t have anything like the slavery issue today.
Historical major parties:
* Democratic-Republican
* Federalist
* National Republican
* Whig
* Progressive Party (Bull Moose)

There is no law saying that the current parties have to stay in place.

It is conceivably more likely that we'll turn into a dictatorship or get hit by a solar flare before the parties change again, but it is not an impossibility and - for all you and I know - could happen any election if the right people with the right message came along.

Trust in government is at an all-time low. That's not a bad sign for change. I don't expect it, but it is false to state that the status quo is inviolate.

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Old 01-01-2020, 09:26 PM
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I worked for (D) Jerry Brown in 1992 but have otherwise remained a rad-lib P&F/Green since the 70s. I'm not a (D) though I've been more likely to vote there than for any (R). I don't know any folks undecided across the bipartisan divide, only those unsure of which dogmatist they prefer. A "swing" voter may not know whom to hate more, Tramp or Bloomberg. A swing (D) voter now might be undecided among current poll leaders and thus is the short-term target. But I doubt many undecideds will remain in a few months.
Funny you mention Jerry Brown. I've been guilty myself of claiming that Bernie Sanders' lingering around longer than he was welcome hurt Hillary Clinton, but at least Bernie was mostly polite toward his adversary. Jerry Brown was a bare knuckle fighter in that 1992 primary and he really hurt Clinton - to the point that Bush would have probably beaten him had Ross Perot not been so egomaniacal and stayed in the race.

And yet years later, I must say that my image of Brown has done a 180. I love the guy. He was my hero as governor when I was living in California. He brought California back from the brink of financial disaster that the Republicans single-handedly caused before 2009.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:26 PM
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And if the never-trumpers had voted for the candidate they thought was best for the country instead of who could beat Hillary we wouldn't have Trump.
Right, we would have Hilary. Most of the never Trumpers saw that and decided that they would rather have Trump than Hillary. That's how elections work!

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I get it winning is all that matters to you. Its your tribe vs the other guys and you have to be on the winning tribe. This has cause candidates who run from the middle so they don't get primaried from the Left/ right and then try to drift moderate during the general. This mindset also reduces voter turn out in non swing states I won't vote for the winner so why bother.
That's how elections work! You want to win, not lose. Why else run in an election if you just want to lose?

The last sentence seems to be a complaint about the EC and not the waste of time of voting for a third party, which would still be a waste even in a popular vote system.
  #36  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:08 AM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Historical major parties:
* Democratic-Republican
* Federalist
* National Republican
* Whig
* Progressive Party (Bull Moose)

There is no law saying that the current parties have to stay in place.

It is conceivably more likely that we'll turn into a dictatorship or get hit by a solar flare before the parties change again, but it is not an impossibility and - for all you and I know - could happen any election if the right people with the right message came along.

Trust in government is at an all-time low. That's not a bad sign for change. I don't expect it, but it is false to state that the status quo is inviolate.
The Progressive Party was a basic nothing third party that happened to luck into minor prominence for one election. In which they received 27.4% of the vote.

The other examples all date from before the Civil War, when the Republicans, formed and Democratic Parties got locked into dominance. What changed? The parties started building solid organizations from the local areas on up. Every single wide spot in the road had Democratic and Republican candidates (except some places in the South). Local committees ran them, looked for candidates, raised money, kept close tabs on the voters, and rewarded friends and punished enemies. These local committees worked with city committees and county committees and state committees. They were chains and franchises and interlocking directorates before corporations thought to emulate them.

A U.S. presidential election is a weird, one-of-a-kind beast. Therefore, in weird times a third party candidate is not unthinkable. Teddy Roosevelt came closest, but Ross Perot drew 18% of the vote in 1992. Of course he didn't win a single electoral vote. The chances are extremely low but the world is rapidly changing.

That's still enormously different from saying that a new party will replace the reds and blues. The two-party system is entrenched much deeper than McDonalds and Walmart put together. The only hope for a new entrant is to take over much of the apparatus of a party that has virtually disintegrated.

Again, that is not inconceivable. I keep saying that the demographics of the Republican Party are so incredibly unfavorable that it's doomed to permanent minority status* unless it finds a way to suddenly start appealing to minorities, city-dwellers, the young, and women, all of whom now find the party hateful by large percentages, instead of rural elderly white evangelicals, all of whom are shrinking in numbers. Even so, huge incentives exist for the current party to hold itself together for as long as possible in hopes that the culture will again shift.

For any foreseeable future, the U.S. will have two-party politics. There is no center for a third party to latch upon, no set of issues that are not being addressed. There are no "right people with the right message." Maybe, just maybe, one side will become so extreme that a less extreme wing will break off but unless that wing finds a way to appeal to the other side and break off pieces of it, that's just another recipe for permanent minority status.

Otherwise, you're merely in your 167th year of saying a new party could form any day now. That's a track record just as good as that of the world-will-end folks. Not great company.


*Not next year, but within a decade or so.
  #37  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:33 AM
dalej42 is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The Progressive Party was a basic nothing third party that happened to luck into minor prominence for one election. In which they received 27.4% of the vote.

The other examples all date from before the Civil War, when the Republicans, formed and Democratic Parties got locked into dominance. What changed? The parties started building solid organizations from the local areas on up. Every single wide spot in the road had Democratic and Republican candidates (except some places in the South). Local committees ran them, looked for candidates, raised money, kept close tabs on the voters, and rewarded friends and punished enemies. These local committees worked with city committees and county committees and state committees. They were chains and franchises and interlocking directorates before corporations thought to emulate them.

A U.S. presidential election is a weird, one-of-a-kind beast. Therefore, in weird times a third party candidate is not unthinkable. Teddy Roosevelt came closest, but Ross Perot drew 18% of the vote in 1992. Of course he didn't win a single electoral vote. The chances are extremely low but the world is rapidly changing.

That's still enormously different from saying that a new party will replace the reds and blues. The two-party system is entrenched much deeper than McDonalds and Walmart put together. The only hope for a new entrant is to take over much of the apparatus of a party that has virtually disintegrated.

Again, that is not inconceivable. I keep saying that the demographics of the Republican Party are so incredibly unfavorable that it's doomed to permanent minority status* unless it finds a way to suddenly start appealing to minorities, city-dwellers, the young, and women, all of whom now find the party hateful by large percentages, instead of rural elderly white evangelicals, all of whom are shrinking in numbers. Even so, huge incentives exist for the current party to hold itself together for as long as possible in hopes that the culture will again shift.

For any foreseeable future, the U.S. will have two-party politics. There is no center for a third party to latch upon, no set of issues that are not being addressed. There are no "right people with the right message." Maybe, just maybe, one side will become so extreme that a less extreme wing will break off but unless that wing finds a way to appeal to the other side and break off pieces of it, that's just another recipe for permanent minority status.

Otherwise, you're merely in your 167th year of saying a new party could form any day now. That's a track record just as good as that of the world-will-end folks. Not great company.


*Not next year, but within a decade or so.
Yeah, we while we could see some weird 1860 schism for one election, let’s say the Bernie Party, the Hillary Party, the Trump party and the Romney party, that just can’t survive with the electoral college (which isn’t going anywhere) determining the winner. And the alternative is even worse. Can you imagine if an election gets tossed into the House of Representatives? One representative from Alaska has the exact same power as the entire state of California. Alaska doesn’t even have the population of a good sized Los Angeles suburb.
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  #38  
Old 01-02-2020, 02:56 AM
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Right, we would have Hilary. Most of the never Trumpers saw that and decided that they would rather have Trump than Hillary. That's how elections work!
In every single US election except some state propositions, and the presidential race, whichever side takes a simple majority, wins. With the current electoral structure, a (D) candidate needs an even greater popular supermajority than Ms Clinton won. Installing losers shows that elections DON'T work.

Yah yah, Tramp won the game, which remains rigged. I intensely dislike rigged games.

Quote:
That's how elections work! You want to win, not lose. Why else run in an election if you just want to lose?
The Tramps did not look at all happy on election night 2016. They still don't.
  #39  
Old 01-02-2020, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Is there still anyone here on this message board who is thinking, "In this upcoming election, I could go with a Democrat, or go with Trump, but it's such a tough 50/50 choice?"
It's even worse than that. I haven't started fully evaluating the Democratic field, because I don't get to vote in their primaries. Nor do I want to, since registering (D) effectively means I give up my right to vote in every single election on the ballot. Why waste my time researching candidate planks and policies when most of them will be losers? I'll look into it when the DNC makes their nomination.

~Max
  #40  
Old 01-02-2020, 07:45 AM
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Had Ross Perot not quit the race in 1992 before getting back in he could have done much better than 19%. Slight chance he could have even won.
  #41  
Old 01-02-2020, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Actually, the ones who stubbornly insist on voting third party are 100% responsible for Trump. If Jill Stein voters would have voted for Hillary, she would be President.

I don't understand this stubbornness. Sure, you think your third party candidate who will get 0.2% of the vote is better than the mainstream candidate, but why throw your vote away? I mean, I think that I share by own views better than any other candidate, but I don't write myself in because I cannot win. What is the point of voting for also rans?
I voted for the Libertarian candidate in 2016, because if that party had gotten 5% or more of the vote they would automatically qualify for major party status and get on the ballot without needing petitions and so forth. So, in the interest of diversity, I voted Libertarian. My vote therefore, in some sense, counted more than if I had voted for Hillary or Trump, because one vote is marginally more significant as part of 5% than as part of 100%.

The Libertarians didn't get 5%, Hillary won my state, and Trump is President. But I didn't waste my vote in any sense, IMO.

One person's vote doesn't count any more or less no matter who or what you vote for.

Regards,
Shodan
  #42  
Old 01-02-2020, 08:59 AM
Ludovic is online now
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Had Ross Perot not quit the race in 1992 before getting back in he could have done much better than 19%. Slight chance he could have even won.
Yep, and I am thankful he did so because it outed him as completely bat guano. I was even planning on voting for him before he did that. Thankfully, he pulled his stupid stunt before he was elected, and we were spared from having a totally insane president for the rest of our lives.
  #43  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Right, we would have Hilary. Most of the never Trumpers saw that and decided that they would rather have Trump than Hillary. That's how elections work!



That's how elections work! You want to win, not lose. Why else run in an election if you just want to lose?

The last sentence seems to be a complaint about the EC and not the waste of time of voting for a third party, which would still be a waste even in a popular vote system.
See you agree with me. There is hope yet. Changing how people vote would change the election results. I'm ok with losing if we get the candidate that most people think is best for the country rather then the candidate that most people think is least worst.

Think of it this way. People on this board laud rich people who vote to raise taxes on the rich since it makes them a good person but hate rich people who vote to keep their taxes the same. We want people to vote in the national interest and not their personal interest. I'm vote the same way I vote for the candidate to make the country better (national interest) not the person that will allow me to pwn the losing side (personal interest).

The last comment wasn't about the EC but every single race. Voting for a Dem senator in wyoming is wasting your vote. I know dems in Wyoming that don't bother to go to the polls since they are just going to lose. I know republicans in California who gave up voting years ago because they don't get to choose who their Congressman is. Getting these disgruntled voters back to the polls is a good thing for democracy and the only way I can see that happening is if its not a horse race and people are encouraged to vote for who they think is best.
  #44  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:48 AM
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Any way - swing voters.
Quote:
... The genuine “undecided” vote is only 8 percent — a number which, historically, is likely to go down as we near the general election. And of the 22 percent who are leaners, 14 percent are not “swinging” between the two major parties, but swinging between voting for one of those parties, voting for a minor party, or staying home. So nearly half of “swing voters” are really more like base voters who need to be convinced to show up at the polls without straying into the ranks of the Greens or the Libertarians. And of the other half, roughly equal shares are truly undecided or are predisposed toward one party or the other (with Democrats holding a significant advantage in that respect). ...

... When asked, “How much attention do you normally pay to what is going on in national government and politics?” 57 percent of voters and 68 percent of decided voters said they pay a lot of attention, but only 39 percent of swing voters said so. Twice as many swing voters said they pay only a little attention or none at all—17 percent, compared with just 8 percent of those who are decided. ...

... So these are on average less informed, less discerning voters who often can’t tell the difference between two parties that offer wildly different visions for America’s future and the rights our citizens should possess. They tend to be younger, which means higher personal mobility, fewer connections to civic life, and a significantly lower probability to vote. I strongly suspect their relatively high level of self-identification as “moderates” has little or nothing to do with some “centrist” policy agenda, and more to do with a disinclination (or incapacity) to think ideologically at all. ...
Relatively few swing voters are engaged and most don't think who wins, let alone their vote, matters.
  #45  
Old 01-02-2020, 10:39 AM
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The last two posts have touched on the thought that voters often feel that their vote "doesn't matter." Maybe we should be moving the issues of having better elections and better representation up a little higher on the national priority lists.

I may have just violated the new rules. For that, I apologize and will drop the subject if I have done so.

Last edited by Red Wiggler; 01-02-2020 at 10:40 AM.
  #46  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:00 PM
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Using the broader definition of swing voter that includes those who swing not between D and R but between sitting home or third party (functionally same thing) and the party they lean to, who are to a large degree people who don't really give a shit and are neither involved or paying much attention, "better elections and better representation" is not the issue.
  #47  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:05 PM
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I haven't voted for a republican at the state or federal level since we invaded Iraq.

Before that, I was a swing voter.
  #48  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:12 PM
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I'm usually a swing voter, and often vote a split ticket. In 2016, Trump and Hillary were both unacceptable, so I voted third party. In 2020, Trump remains unacceptable, and the Dems seem unable to nominate someone I can support, so it's likely to be third party again.
  #49  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:15 PM
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I haven't voted for a republican at the state or federal level since we invaded Iraq.
I'm not sure what the principle behind that is if you'll vote for Democrats who voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. Both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden voted pro-Iraq-war, for example, so it's not like we're looking at one or two obscure Democrats who would never be a contender for president.
  #50  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:28 PM
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I'm a swinger. I see Trump as the third party candidate swing voters have been hoping for for so long. The Democrats have shown that they will turn our legal system into a kangaroo court to get rid of him. The Republicans are part of the same Uniparty as the Democrats, but they appear to be willing to let him serve out his term, and his next one if the voters elect him again. So in 2020 I am voting for all Republicans, to prevent removal via Shampeachment. Prior to the 2016 election I was Democrat / third party, actually thinking Republicans were assigned a role by the Uniparty that was so out of touch, I would never vote Republican. I think this board is almost exclusively anti-Trump because it attracts those looking for an "authoritative" source (the "straightdope"), and in politics, the "authoritative" source is the mainstream media. The mainstream media, being part of the same establishment as the Uniparty, has been bombarding the public with anti-Trump propaganda 24/7 for years now, brainwashing anyone who gets all of their news from the mainstream media to be anti-Trump. Posters I debate on this board will often attack the sources I cite rather than the content of those citations, even if it is a verifiable fact like "a Ukranian court declared Ukranian interference in the 2016 US election", and express that they refuse to even consider the content independent of any bias it might have. I have been saying they thus have "news blinders" on. And I suggest they remove those blinders.
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