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  #51  
Old 02-23-2020, 08:56 PM
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There’s no doubt Obama keeps his mouth shut publicly, but he can do some behind the scenes work. Would Klobuchar like an Obama appearance in MN? How about Obama’s name on a fundraising email?

It’s much harder with the damn Billionaires. But, if there’s some really ugly dirt out there, I’d be threatening to see that it gets leaked.

And it’s time to get all the ugly Bernie shit out NOW!!!
Honestly, it's not even Obama's party anymore. It's Bernie's party now - that's what happens when you're the most popular candidate. It's Bernie's party now. Just like it was Mondale's party in 1984, like Dukakis in 1988, and like McGovern in 1972. He won't lose as badly as they did because Trump is historically unpopular, but unless the economy craters, I don't see how he wins.

We need to do what we can to support Bernie, even if we don't want to - maybe the economy slows, maybe Trump alienates people enough, and maybe we have an impact. We have to defeat Trump or die tryin' (to steal from 50 cent).

Last edited by asahi; 02-23-2020 at 08:57 PM.
  #52  
Old 02-23-2020, 09:00 PM
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Honestly, it's not even Obama's party anymore. It's Bernie's party now - that's what happens when you're the most popular candidate. It's Bernie's party now. Just like it was Mondale's party in 1984, like Dukakis in 1988, and like McGovern in 1972. He won't lose as badly as they did because Trump is historically unpopular, but unless the economy craters, I don't see how he wins.

We need to do what we can to support Bernie, even if we don't want to - maybe the economy slows, maybe Trump alienates people enough, and maybe we have an impact. We have to defeat Trump or die tryin' (to steal from 50 cent).
He could also be another FDR. We'll find out in November.
  #53  
Old 02-23-2020, 09:04 PM
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He could also be another FDR. We'll find out in November.
To your point, I won't disagree with you and I'd say to dalej and other fellow skeptics: we can bitch about Bernie all we want, but the alternative is clearly worse. Donald Trump is infinitely worse than Bernie Sanders and there's no debate about it. If Bernie wins, he's my guy. Period.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:17 PM
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Bernie is the only significant candidate who was born before that Pearl Harbor kerfuffle. He will turn 80 in September of '21.

My mother is 87 and still has a large contingent of her marbles. But 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is brutal on anyone who sits at the Resolute desk. Which is not that big a deal, as long as the second-string president is well chosen. I am hoping Bernie, if nominated, will gracefully submit that choice to the convention, which would be an excellent move, I think.
  #55  
Old 02-23-2020, 09:56 PM
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"Amazed" is an interesting way to put your reaction to an incorrect paraphrase of something that Sander's campaign manager said in 2016.
Yeah, because
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Now we can argue about the merits of having superdelegates, but we do have them. And if their role is just to rubber-stamp the pledged-delegate count then they really aren't needed. They're supposed to exercise independent judgment about who they think can lead the party forward to victory.
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The arguments that we’re going to muster are going to be based on a series of facts. People will look at different measures: How many votes did you get? How many delegates did you win? How many states did you win? But it’s really about momentum.
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Let’s say you have a horse race to Philadelphia. Over the course of this race, I would like to think that folks who have made a commitment to Hillary Clinton will be saying, ‘Wait a second now, how’s this going to look in November?’ He’s getting first time voters who are young and have a passionate enthusiasm I haven’t seen in politics in years. He’s also tapped into voters who are so disgusted with the process. Then you get the independents. The stakes are so high in November, the superdelegates will feel a special responsibility this time around.
is totally just a single quote that's taken completely out of context. If you want more quotes where Sanders campaign officers, representatives, and superdelegates make barely veiled arguments that superdelegates should have gone against the will of Democratic primary voters, I'll be happy to provide those as well. Don't worry, the breadth of available content is amazing.

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 02-23-2020 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Removed a nut
  #56  
Old 02-23-2020, 11:49 PM
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In my post I pointed out the pattern that's been established in every presidential election since 1992 and predicted it's going to happen again. Which is, you know, evidence.
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Say what now? You did nothing of the sort.
Here:

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If you gave these people a choice between a nutcase like Trump and a safe candidate like Biden, they'd rush to vote for Biden. And the left wing extremists and the anti-Trump crowd aren't going to vote for Trump, so they'd grudgingly vote for Biden as well.

That's what has worked for the Democrats; pick nice safe moderates like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama (and Al Gore and Hillary Clinton if you go by the popular vote). The moderates vote for them by choice and the left wing says "Ugh. But they're still better than the Republican." and unhappily votes for them.

The Republicans have gone the opposite way. They reject the middle and proudly brag about how extreme they are. And the result? The Republican nominee has lost six of the last seven Presidential elections. The only reason the Republicans have elected a President since the eighties is because they've rigged the system.
  #57  
Old 02-24-2020, 12:29 AM
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The burden isn't on Obama, it's on the rest of the Democratic fields. You have the moderate lane with Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, and Biden. At least two of them have got to get out of Dodge after Super Tuesday. I'd like it to be Bernie v Biden mano a mano for the second half of the primaries.
The problem with these "moderate lane" takes is that they're only valid for the candidates; there is no "moderate lane" of voters. Most primary voters don't think of ideology that way, and if the "moderate lane" candidates start to drop out, Bernie is likely to be the main beneficiary.

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  #58  
Old 02-24-2020, 04:16 AM
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That's not actual data. It's fine that you think Biden is a "safe" candidate, but that doesn't actually mean anything. I think Bernie is a much safer candidate (but this is just IMO). There is no data that tells us which candidate is "safe", especially not at this point in the election cycle.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:07 AM
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The GOP does resort to cheating and lies to win. Kerry would have won in 2004 had the Lie Machine not made the war hero Kerry look like a malingering soldier instead of Bush, who really was a malingerer. Gore might have won in 2000 without partisan cheating in Florida.

BUT ... [I have a pet peeve] ...

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The Republican nominee has lost six of the last seven Presidential elections. The only reason the Republicans have elected a President since the eighties is because they've rigged the system.
... the electoral college system favors the GOP but this is not due to any recent "rigging." I wish people would stop talking about the Ds "winning" elections that they lost. Would they say these things if, by happenstance, the parties were reversed?

Baseball games are decided by which team has the most runs, not the most hits. Nine-ball is won by sinking the nine-ball, not most balls. The Presidency is won by most electoral votes, not most popular votes. Is this hard to remember?
  #60  
Old 02-24-2020, 05:37 AM
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That's not actual data. It's fine that you think Biden is a "safe" candidate, but that doesn't actually mean anything. I think Bernie is a much safer candidate (but this is just IMO). There is no data that tells us which candidate is "safe", especially not at this point in the election cycle.
There's also no data that tells is which candidate would be "the best" in the White House either, so I guess there's no use in speculating about that, now.

I think someone who is as close to Hillary without being Hillary is the safest, and my reasoning is that there only needs to be a tiny difference of votes in a small amount of states, and we have four years of Trump showing us who he really is and four years of demographic shift as a tailwind. The voter rolls have churned by hundreds of thousands of voters dying and entering in the past four years just in the extremely close swing states, which results in a net shift of tens of thousands of people naturally gravitating away from Trump.

It would be another story if the Democrats needed to flip several states by 6 or more digits rather than 5. That might justify plumping on a relatively unknown quantity and hoping the enthusiasm will make up for the red-baiting.

Which isn't to say Bernie will pretty surely not win: I'd be a fool to not give polls at least some weight. I just find it hard to wrap my head around the possibility that enough new voters will be thinking "wow, I'm really impressed with Trump and would like four more years of the same!" to allow him to keep the swing states unless that is counterbalanced by people who won't vote for a socialist.

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  #61  
Old 02-24-2020, 06:19 AM
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... I think someone who is as close to Hillary without being Hillary is the safest, ...
I tend to agree, but who is that someone? Buttigieg and Klobuchar may be closest among those still on the stage, but many swing voters won't vote for a gay; and Klobuchar lacks Hillary's charisma.

Is it possible that the best "someone similar to Hillary" is ... Hillary!? I don't take prediction markets on blind faith, but do try to understand what they might teach. Hillary is still shown with almost 3% chance to be the nominee!

The field has become depleted. Booker and Castro — who seemed OK to me — are both gone. NOBODY left on the stage seems "electable" anymore. I think delegates and other top Ds will understand this, and avoid a boondoggled convention by just supporting Bernie if he's 40% or so.
  #62  
Old 02-24-2020, 07:35 AM
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There's also no data that tells is which candidate would be "the best" in the White House either, so I guess there's no use in speculating about that, now.

I think someone who is as close to Hillary without being Hillary is the safest, and my reasoning is that there only needs to be a tiny difference of votes in a small amount of states, and we have four years of Trump showing us who he really is and four years of demographic shift as a tailwind. The voter rolls have churned by hundreds of thousands of voters dying and entering in the past four years just in the extremely close swing states, which results in a net shift of tens of thousands of people naturally gravitating away from Trump.

It would be another story if the Democrats needed to flip several states by 6 or more digits rather than 5. That might justify plumping on a relatively unknown quantity and hoping the enthusiasm will make up for the red-baiting.

Which isn't to say Bernie will pretty surely not win: I'd be a fool to not give polls at least some weight. I just find it hard to wrap my head around the possibility that enough new voters will be thinking "wow, I'm really impressed with Trump and would like four more years of the same!" to allow him to keep the swing states unless that is counterbalanced by people who won't vote for a socialist.
I think this opinion is valid, even though I disagree - my disagreement is based on feelings, just like all beliefs about who can or will win the election at this point.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:53 AM
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Sanders is the most Obama-like candidate in the field.
Except for not being black, not being young, not being charismatic, is a lot more specific in his policy goals than "hope and change", and is running against an incumbent when the economy is doing well.

Of course Sanders also buddies up with terrorists, so he's got that going for him.

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Old 02-24-2020, 09:59 AM
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That's not actual data. It's fine that you think Biden is a "safe" candidate, but that doesn't actually mean anything. I think Bernie is a much safer candidate (but this is just IMO). There is no data that tells us which candidate is "safe", especially not at this point in the election cycle.
Historical events are actual data. The outcomes of past presidential elections are relevant to predicting the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:02 AM
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Of course Sanders also buddies up with terrorists, so he's got that going for him.
Like Putin and Kim Kim Jong-un, for example.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:20 AM
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And Castro and Maduro.

You;re right about Kim and Putin.

Regards,
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  #67  
Old 02-24-2020, 10:23 AM
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Historical events are actual data. The outcomes of past presidential elections are relevant to predicting the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.
None of that data tells us whether or not Bernie can/will win in the general. If it doesn't go into Nate Silver's election model, it's not the kind of data that helps predict election results.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:27 AM
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Except for not being black, not being young, not being charismatic, is a lot more specific in his policy goals than "hope and change"
Funny, I remember Obama running on some very specific things. He ran on instituting what became Obamacare. Said he'd get us out of Iraq, but try to win Afghanistan; he did both. Cap-and-trade was also one of his campaign planks; it passed the House but got killed by the filibuster in the Senate.

That's just off the top of my head.
  #69  
Old 02-24-2020, 10:31 AM
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Funny, I remember Obama running on some very specific things. He ran on instituting what became Obamacare.
Yup. When I saw him speak in my hometown in 2008, it was among the wonkiest speeches I've ever heard, full of details about how doctors could digitize records and such.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:50 AM
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You;re right about Kim and Putin.
Not that it matters, but those two links don't say what you are implying they say. You're making a blatantly false equivalency.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:58 AM
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Historical events are actual data. The outcomes of past presidential elections are relevant to predicting the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.
None of that data tells us whether or not Bernie can/will win in the general. If it doesn't go into Nate Silver's election model, it's not the kind of data that helps predict election results.
WOW!! I've certainly noticed Nate Silver being peculiarly placed on a pedestal at SDMB, but this is the first I've seen his apparent elevation to divinity! Was Nate born in Bethlehem? When the Baby Lord Nate was a toddler, did a lotus flower bloom everywhere he stepped?

I recall a study where simple regressions from historical data, e.g. weighting incumbency advantage, outperformed other predictors. (That was, admittedly, before Lord Silver nailed his 95 theses to the church wall in Wittenberg.)
  #72  
Old 02-24-2020, 10:59 AM
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Funny, I remember Obama running on some very specific things. He ran on instituting what became Obamacare. Said he'd get us out of Iraq, but try to win Afghanistan; he did both. Cap-and-trade was also one of his campaign planks; it passed the House but got killed by the filibuster in the Senate.
Another loudly stated plank was killing Bin Laden. His administration did just that.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:42 AM
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The DNC has already blown their opportunity. When Bernie registered they should have told him this was a primary for Democrats only then tell him to get lost.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:25 PM
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None of that data tells us whether or not Bernie can/will win in the general. If it doesn't go into Nate Silver's election model, it's not the kind of data that helps predict election results.
Requiring me to present cites from events that haven't happened yet is an impossible standard. I can tell you what happened in past elections but I can't tell you what the results of the next election will be.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 02-24-2020 at 12:28 PM.
  #75  
Old 02-24-2020, 12:40 PM
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Requiring me to present cites from events that haven't happened yet is an impossible standard. I can tell you what happened in past elections but I can't tell you what the results of the next election will be.
I agree! There is no standard right now with which a serious and informative prediction on the 2020 general election could be made. It's a guess no matter what, this early on.
  #76  
Old 02-24-2020, 12:48 PM
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Looks like, just like with the GOP in 2016, all the moderate Democratic candidates agree that One of Them, not Bernie, ought to be the eventual nominee. But Biden, Klobuchar, Pete, Bloomberg, are all just nudging and looking at each other - "Hey - you - you - why don't you drop out, and let ME be the standard bearer?"

Predictably, this will lead to an easy Bernie win, just like how Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, etc. all jostling each other "Better one of us than Trump" did absolutely nothing to stop Trump.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:51 PM
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I agree! There is no standard right now with which a serious and informative prediction on the 2020 general election could be made. It's a guess no matter what, this early on.
With this sort of glib hand-waving attitude, we might as well squelch about 80% of the discussion in this forum.

Nobody can predict the future with clear certainty, of course, but it is perfectly possible to use political history, stats, a pattern of known human behavior, etc. to generate a reasonable assessment of how the future is going to unfold. Entire industries are based off of this - analytical projection. Insurance actuaries do it for a living. Otherwise we might as well as well say "whether an incumbent faces an economic boom or recession is meaningless since there's always a chance he/she could buck the trend."
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:03 PM
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With this sort of glib hand-waving attitude, we might as well squelch about 80% of the discussion in this forum.

Nobody can predict the future with clear certainty, of course, but it is perfectly possible to use political history, stats, a pattern of known human behavior, etc. to generate a reasonable assessment of how the future is going to unfold. Entire industries are based off of this - analytical projection. Insurance actuaries do it for a living. Otherwise we might as well as well say "whether an incumbent faces an economic boom or recession is meaningless since there's always a chance he/she could buck the trend."
I like all the discussion, and I enjoy taking part in it. I just think certainty is absolutely ridiculous, and even having confidence in various general election outcomes is silly. I'm not criticizing discussion -- I'm criticizing certainty (and, to a lesser extent, confidence) in how the general election is going to turn out.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:59 PM
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I like all the discussion, and I enjoy taking part in it. I just think certainty is absolutely ridiculous, and even having confidence in various general election outcomes is silly. I'm not criticizing discussion -- I'm criticizing certainty (and, to a lesser extent, confidence) in how the general election is going to turn out.
I agree. There are two elections that have a very vague similarity to this one. First is McGovern's, in 1972, the last time Democrats tried with a truly progressive candidate. It's possible that something's changed in the last 50 years in American politics, however. The other is Trump's, in 2016, the last time a major party nominated someone who's an outsider to the party establishment. It's possible that something's changed in the last four years in American politics, however.

I'm not convinced that looking at Obama's race against McCain is going to be super helpful as a precedent for how to run against Trump. Certainly we can talk about what factors are involved, but in any case, we need to acknowledge that we live in the weirdest timeline, and it's very difficult to apply pre-Trump political lessons to a post-Trump world.

The one thing I know is that if Democrats don't fully coalesce behind a single opponent, Trump will smugtweet his way into a second term.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:15 PM
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The GOP does resort to cheating and lies to win. Kerry would have won in 2004 had the Lie Machine not made the war hero Kerry look like a malingering soldier instead of Bush, who really was a malingerer.
There is still, at least in my mind, a modicum of doubt as to whether W genuinely won that election. The chairman of Diebold, the company that held the contract for Ohio's voting systems, declared in '03 that he would deliver Ohio to the President. Which he did. By a rather narrow margin. Which was the state that mode the difference in the election. So, the numbers, yes, clearly show that W won. But, the validity of the numbers remains a salient question.

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Baseball games are decided by which team has the most runs, not the most hits. Nine-ball is won by sinking the nine-ball, not most balls. The Presidency is won by most electoral votes, not most popular votes. Is this hard to remember?
Which is certainly the most sensible approach to establishing/refining socioeconomic policy. Your team lost on a late FG as the clock ran out, so go sit down and STFU while we run things, and you can grumble about whether that really was an interception on that one play where it looked like the defender had stepped out of bounds before he had the ball. Far superior to, say, rolling dice, or making arcane rules about which child inherits the throne based on, whatever. Maybe.

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  #81  
Old 02-24-2020, 02:41 PM
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None of that data tells us whether or not Bernie can/will win in the general. If it doesn't go into Nate Silver's election model, it's not the kind of data that helps predict election results.
Nate Silver, afaik, uses historical precedent in his model. Incumbents get an advantage. Whoever wins Iowa gets an advantage. So I think you're quite wrong to tell us past elections are not the sort of thing that goes into his model.

Last edited by CarnalK; 02-24-2020 at 02:43 PM.
  #82  
Old 02-24-2020, 02:41 PM
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I disagree with this OP. If you want to beat Sanders, you need a candidate who offers what voters want to a greater degree than Bernie, not some back room deal or bigwig machinations. If the voters want Bernie, then let them have him. That simple- win a fair primary, you're the nominee. Sorry if some traditional Dem corporate donors don't like it, but they are part of the problem- too often government represents them and not the people.

So. If Sanders wins the nomination, IMHO your options are 1. Support Sanders. 2. STFU or 3. Order your "I hate facts, evidence, witnesses and brown people" t-shirt from Amazon and vote for the orange guy.
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Old 02-24-2020, 02:46 PM
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Nate Silver, afaik, uses historical precedent in his model. Incumbents get an advantage. Whoever wins Iowa gets an advantage. So I think you're quite wrong to tell us past elections are not the sort of thing that goes into his model.
If so, fair enough -- Trump is the incumbent, and incumbents get a bit of an advantage. But I don't think this tells us anything about whether Bernie, or Biden, or anyone else, is a stronger opponent in the general.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:35 PM
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I agree! There is no standard right now with which a serious and informative prediction on the 2020 general election could be made. It's a guess no matter what, this early on.
I disagree! There is a standard right now with which a serious and informative prediction on the 2020 general election can be made. I'm looking at past elections and using them to predict the next election.

I do agree, however, that you're just guessing.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:38 PM
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If Sanders wins the nomination, IMHO your options are 1. Support Sanders. 2. STFU or 3. Order your "I hate facts, evidence, witnesses and brown people" t-shirt from Amazon and vote for the orange guy.
I agree. If Sanders wins the nomination I will support him and I will vote for him in November.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:42 PM
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There is still, at least in my mind, a modicum of doubt as to whether W genuinely won that election. The chairman of Diebold, the company that held the contract for Ohio's voting systems, declared in '03 that he would deliver Ohio to the President. Which he did. By a rather narrow margin. Which was the state that mode the difference in the election. So, the numbers, yes, clearly show that W won. But, the validity of the numbers remains a salient question.
Yes, there are good reasons to question the outcome of the 2004 election. Exit polls are never 100% accurate but they usually give a pretty strong indication of how the actual vote count. In 2004, exit polls in Ohio showed that a higher percentage of people were voting for Kerry than the results that Diebold reported.
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Old 02-24-2020, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I disagree! There is a standard right now with which a serious and informative prediction on the 2020 general election can be made. I'm looking at past elections and using them to predict the next election.



I do agree, however, that you're just guessing.
I'll go with Nate Silver, who has no general election model at this time for a reason. If you want to pretend your guess is something extra special and more than just a guess, than feel free, but I'm not going to join you in this fantasy.
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  #88  
Old 02-24-2020, 04:53 PM
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I disagree with this OP. If you want to beat Sanders, you need a candidate who offers what voters want to a greater degree than Bernie, not some back room deal or bigwig machinations. If the voters want Bernie, then let them have him. That simple- win a fair primary, you're the nominee. Sorry if some traditional Dem corporate donors don't like it, but they are part of the problem- too often government represents them and not the people.

So. If Sanders wins the nomination, IMHO your options are 1. Support Sanders. 2. STFU or 3. Order your "I hate facts, evidence, witnesses and brown people" t-shirt from Amazon and vote for the orange guy.
Absolutely.

https://politics.theonion.com/dnc-mu...eff-1841432132
  #89  
Old 02-24-2020, 06:04 PM
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If so, fair enough -- Trump is the incumbent, and incumbents get a bit of an advantage. But I don't think this tells us anything about whether Bernie, or Biden, or anyone else, is a stronger opponent in the general.
I admit that the evidence in favor of my Bernie-weak-candidate mantra is low to moderate. Kindda like how the Cochrane Collaberation characterizes the evidence for the benefits of flossing your teeth. I still do it daily.

If you quantify the advantage of Incumbency, it's more than a bit, but I'll put off links on that for another day.

COVID-19 is an unpredictability factor. If I was to go paranoid, I'd suggest Trump will use it to re-schedule election day for his benefit. Looking at it more calmly, DJT could exceed the low expectations which median voters have concerning his performance in a crisis.

If virus-related supply chain disruptions tank the economy, that slightly favors the Democrats.
  #90  
Old 02-24-2020, 07:15 PM
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That said, I disagree with the OP. I would not want to see Obama or anyone else stepping in at the last minute and changing the rules in order to pick a nominee.

How would this be changing the rules? It would still be up to Democratic primary voters. Bernie can hold a rally where AOC enthusiastically endorses him, but Biden (as bad as he is, he's the only chance to stop Bernie) can't have a rally where the entire mainstream gathers together and says we can't be nominating a Castro-praiser? (BTW, Andy: if you're reading this, you're going to have to update your verbiage regarding Bernie "saying dumb things about communist dictators in the 1980s" to "...but that was over a DAY ago!"
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  #91  
Old 02-24-2020, 07:18 PM
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Frankly, I couldn't give a flip what Sanders thinks about Castro. It's not like he's going to rise from the grave and start stockpiling Soviet ICBMs again, and it's far past time we normalized relations with Cuba anyway.

The fact that this nothingberder is getting so much coverage just shows how desperate the establishment is to throw the election to Trump.
  #92  
Old 02-24-2020, 07:21 PM
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Funny. It shows me that Bernie is a horrible general election candidate. Why in the holy fuck would he poke that bear?
  #93  
Old 02-24-2020, 07:22 PM
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I just want to admit that I saw the thread title and immediately thought:
"Wait, there's a way that Obama could run? A loophole that closes in 9 days?"

And my second thought was that I'd get excited about either Obama.
  #94  
Old 02-24-2020, 07:45 PM
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Face it -- Bernie might be the nominee. And he might win the general. Any predictions about being unelectable are wild, wild guesses, not based on any data at all.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020...unpopular.html
Quote:
At the heart of Sanders’s campaign is a hard-core socialist vanguard which is indifferent to the Democratic Party except as a potential vessel for the Bernie revolution. Their calculation is perfectly rational. Even if Sanders is likely to lose, the small chance of success is worth the risk to a party they don’t care for to begin with. What is odd is watching rationalizations take hold among a much larger group of progressives who very much do care about denying Trump a second term, and who have explained away the risks of a Sanders nomination with a series of fallacies.

The first of those is a confusion over what it means to predict an outcome. “The truth is we are all clueless about what voters want or will accept,” argues conventional-wisdom-monger Jim VandeHei, in a signal of how deeply the anti-probabilistic fallacy has spread. It is true that there is uncertainty attached to every outcome. The talking heads who guarantee Sanders will lose are wrong — any nominee might win, and in a polarized electorate, both parties have a floor of support that gives even the most toxic candidate a fighting chance. In 2016, Trump was the most unpopular candidate in the history of polling, but he squeaked into office because everything broke just right for him. It could happen for Bernie, too.

But to concede that we cannot be certain about the future does not mean we know nothing. An imperfect comparison might be to predicting the outcome of sporting events. You don’t know the outcome in advance, but it is usually possible to make probabilistic predictions. Those predictions are wrong all the time. But it would be silly to conclude that, just because upsets happen, every game should be treated as a coin flip. A huge amount of pro-Sanders commentary is based on simplistically conflating the correct claim that we lack perfect clarity with the incorrect claim that we have no clarity at all.

A close relative to the notion that outcomes are completely unknowable is the notion that the entire electability calculation is a kind of hoary pseudoscience. After all, if we have no way of predicting what voters will want in November, why compromise in advance in pursuit of a mythical swing voter whose preferences are mysterious?

The grain of truth in this argument is that, historically, it is difficult to predict candidate performance in advance. The gigantic flaw in the logic, however, is that the backlash against electability has a behavior-shaping component that undermines itself as soon as it is put into practice. Historically, major candidates try pretty hard to avoid taking extremely unpopular positions. If candidates stop following this principle, on the grounds that electability is a myth, then the risk they’re dismissing will grow. It’s a bit like emphasizing the fact that animal attacks at zoos are rare. If people decide this means they can start flinging themselves into lion dens, then the zoo-safety stats will go south pretty fast.[...]

What makes Bernie’s profile uniquely toxic is the way his liabilities all reinforce each other. He combines discrete, deeply unpopular policy positions with an unpopular socialist label, which in turn reinforce the fact that his campaign is premised on radically changing the economy, the one thing most voters believe Trump has done well. His historic statements praising various leftist dictators reinforce the impression of kookery.

Calling them "historic" suggests Chait had not yet seen the "60 Minutes" comments.


Quote:
One of the things Democrats have been telling each other is that it doesn’t matter what attacks Trump uses, because he’s going to make hyperbolic charges against them no matter what. And yes, Trump would call any Democrat an open-borders socialist who will throw everybody off their private insurance and drastically change the economy. But accusations work better when the target agrees with them.[...]

He has functionally reverse-engineered Trump’s preferred attacks into a series of campaign promises.

Just how damaging these positions will ultimately prove in the general election is impossible to measure. The effect is probably not zero. As a general rule, politicians for every position from dog catcher on up understand that advocating unpopular things makes winning elections harder. Not impossible, but harder. All things being equal, a candidate for dog catcher who promises to round up and cook stray pets at random has less chance of winning.

As bereft as I am about all of this, that last line literally made me LOL.


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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
James Clyburn with some praise for Bernie, even if it's far from unreserved: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/mee...table-n1141361

On the same day:


https://www.politico.com/newsletters...s-party-488389
Quote:
WALLOP! … CLYBURN to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOUS on BERNIE SANDERS: “I do believe it will be an extra burden for us to have to carry. This is South Carolina, and South Carolinians are pretty leery about that title socialist. And so I think that that would be a real burden for us in these states or congressional districts that we have to do well in.
“If you look at how well we did the last time, and look at the congressional districts, these were not liberal or what you might call progressive districts. These were basically moderate and conservative districts that we did well in. And in those districts, it's going to be tough to hold onto these jobs if you have to make the case for accepting a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I predict that the Democratic "establishment" is slowly getting comfortable with the likelihood that Bernie could be the nominee, and we'll see more and more appearances and statements like this from prominent long-time Democrats. And if Bernie becomes the nominee, Obama will lead the charge with an enthusiastic endorsement.

I think if Bernie gets the nomination, Democrats in competitive districts will be in a tough spot but their best move will probably be to run hard against him. (And of course if he then loses the general, Sandernistas will have a scapegoat to blame, but oh well.)
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  #95  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:16 PM
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There is another big risk to a Bernie candidacy: If having him as the nominee forces down-ticket Democrats to support him in the general it could cost them dearly in House and Senate races.

With any other candidate I'd say that even though the Senate might be in play in the next election, the House will remain safely controlled by Democrats. But with Bernie at the top of the ticket, there's a real risk that more moderate voters will stay home or even flip to the Republicans, and the Dems will lose the House, the Senate, AND the Presidency.

I do not like Trump. I think he's very likely to win the next election, and almost certain to win it if Bernie is the nominee. But a Trump who has a House and possibly a Senate opposing him is MUCH better than a Trump with a Republican Senate and House.

Don't lose sight of the need to control the other two branches of government. Bernie makes that much less likely, in my opinion.
  #96  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:24 PM
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Re the OP idea, where Obama and friends gang up on Sanders after he got a plurality of the Democratic votes in multiple states, that would violate democratic norms and could backfire.

How would this violate democratic norms? What he is proposing is NO different from Sanders having a rally where AOC vigorously endorses him. NO different from op-eds in friendly left-wing publications that endorse him and tear down his rivals. Why is he allowed to do that but mainstream Democrats are not?


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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
I'll never understand the Democratic establishment's obsession with trying to win "swing voters" and suburban whites when the candidates who get nominated on those grounds consistently lose.

That's how Pelosi got the gavel last year! Every seat they flipped was by aiming at those kinds of candidates. Bernie endorsed lots of House candidates, gave them money, held rallies for them, and none of them flipped a seat. Not a single ONE.


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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
Sanders is the most Obama-like candidate in the field.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/14/polit...ost/index.html

Quote:
Sanders' plan, though all of its costs cannot be precisely quantified, would increase government spending as a share of the economy far more than the New Deal under President Franklin Roosevelt, the Great Society under Lyndon Johnson or the agenda proposed by any recent Democratic presidential nominee, including liberal George McGovern in 1972[...]

Of the past three Democratic presidential nominees, John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 proposed spending increases equal to around half a percentage point of the economy, while Obama in 2008 proposed spending an amount something over 1 percentage point, Summers calculated.

This year, he broadly estimates, former Vice President Joe Biden is proposing spending increases probably equivalent to roughly 1.5% of the economy, Pete Buttigieg roughly 2% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren an amount equal to about 12%.
Sanders laps all of them, as well as the New Deal precedent: Even a very conservative $50 trillion 10-year cost for Sanders' plan would translate into a roughly 20 percentage point increase in federal spending relative to the economy, according to the calculations by Summers, who also once served as chief economist at the World Bank.
And if you look at the whole article, you'll see why those are indeed very conservative estimates. It could easily be twice as much, if we could take seriously any of this Christmas tree Candyland pipe dream nonsense.

It's also notable that Warren's proposals are absurdly expensive, but Bernie definitely pulled a "hold my beer" on her.


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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Funny. It shows me that Bernie is a horrible general election candidate. Why in the holy fuck would he poke that bear?

Right? I was on the one hand actually glad that he is willing to be so reckless, right at this incredibly crucial inflection point in the campaign. It gives us more of a chance to stop him. But it also shows that he just does not have any instinct for caution whatsoever. Something his ardent fans admire about him, but a perfect illustration of how kamikaze-foolish he is likely to be in the fall.


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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
Ok publicly Obama like any Democrat would agree Trump is terrible, but as a sober thinking person doesn't necessarily believe 'the Republic is at risk' etc. to the degree breathless social media/internet type activist progressives do (or say anyway).

It's not because of Trump's policies that he is a threat to the Republic. Conservatives like those at the Bulwark believe he is such a threat every bit as much as progressives do (perhaps more, as many on the left seem to treat him as mainly a problem because his policies are not progressive). It's the sacking of the "disloyal", the suppression of intelligence about Russian interference in our elections, the hardball horsetrading with foreign leaders for political dirt, the interference in federal prosecutions, the selling of pardons, the emoluments.

Mitt Romney, the most recent GOP nominee before Trump, voted to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors and remove him from office. The first senator in history to vote that way against a member of his own party. Is he a "breathless social media/internet type activist progressive"?
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  #97  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:38 PM
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I leave for a while, come back, & Slacker's talking about stopping Bernie again.

No. You're going to fail. Let me explain why:

Right now you have one experienced campaign team (Bernie) that is outperforming the rest because they learned from the 2015-2016 experience, & patched holes in their strategy.

There is also a handful of pols with dramatically less competent teams, who can't compete effectively this cycle.

Each of the other campaigns will see some large number of their base go to Bernie if that particular pol drops out. The Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Warren, Biden, & Steyer campaigns aren't purely drawing on NeverBerners.

I haven't seen polling, but I can guess that Biden's base would break 60% or more to Bernie. Some of the others might see 30% or so go to Bernie. I would guess that 30% is about the mode, and that may be low.

So Bernie stays under 50% & looks "beatable" so long as he has five opponents, each of whom draws a large number of voters for whom Bernie is a second choice. None of them can get to 50%, they all look weak, & if they consolidated behind one anti-Bernie, they'd lose enough voters to Bernie to put him over 50%.

It's over.

Biden is only competitive in some states. Buttigieg worked super-hard on Iowa & is likely to slide to nothing over the course of March. Both of them will shed votes to Bernie, who is competitive-to-dominant everywhere.

People are already writing off Warren, the one candidate ideological Berners tended to name as their own second choice. If she drops out, there is no other candidate to unify enough Democrats to win.

It's over. You're done. Enjoy these runner-up prizes: A toaster oven & a 2.5-day vacation in St. Croix.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 02-24-2020 at 08:41 PM.
  #98  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
I disagree with this OP. If you want to beat Sanders, you need a candidate who offers what voters want to a greater degree than Bernie, not some back room deal or bigwig machinations. If the voters want Bernie, then let them have him. That simple- win a fair primary, you're the nominee.

What part of the OP involved "machinations" or not giving the nomination to the candidate the majority of Democratic voters want? Again, why is Bernie allowed to bring out AOC to persuade voters to support him, but more moderate candidates are not allowed to do the same? No one is talking about taking Bernie's name off the primary ballots, at least not anyone in that OP.

Are people actually reading the link in the OP, or just making wild assumptions about what it says?
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  #99  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:54 PM
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Seriously, Sanders's intoxicating populism aside, he's winning because of horse-race realities.

His team ran in every state in 2016. They built alliances, they learned the lay of the land. The other candidates didn't. They can rely on Hillary consultants if they've hired them, but their candidates are new babes in the woods.

Also, Bernie seems to have better Hispanic outreach, while many Dems barely try to mobilize Hispanics, esp. outside the Southwest. He's beaten the field strategically, messaging aside.

He actually has pretty good messaging, too.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 02-24-2020 at 08:55 PM.
  #100  
Old 02-24-2020, 09:07 PM
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I'm not denying that he has run a good primary race. You know who had a big hand in inventing the modern primary nomination system? George McGovern. And he went on a couple years later to do a great job navigating it to the nomination, then lost 49 states. Bernie won't lose anywhere near that many states, because that's just not possible now (I don't think). But being good at navigating the primaries (as Mondale and Dukakis also were) is apples and oranges from being a good general election nominee. Democrats more often get this wrong than right (even Obama was an unnecessarily risky nominee, but got away with it due to an incredible tailwind).
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