Election 2018

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Thad
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Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:08 am

Ted Cruz releases radio ad mocking Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke for going by "Beto" to fit in even though his first name is actually Robert.

Ted Cruz's first name is Rafael.



I kinda wonder what Gerald Rivera has to say about this.

Aside from everything else that's dumb about this, it's bad strategy. Beto O'Rourke's biggest challenge (aside from, y'know, running for Senate in Texas as a Democrat) is his lack of name recognition. So your opening move is...an ad that focuses on his name?

Jesus fuck. Why do so many people think Ted Cruz is smart?

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Friday
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Friday » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:11 pm

Well, he did get away with killing all those people in San Francisco and Central California.
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François
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Re: Election 2018

Postby François » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:50 pm

It's all about his peer group. It doesn't take a genius to look smart next to Ben Carson and Donald Trump.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:56 pm

It takes a certain low cunning to get as far in politics as he has, in as short a time as he has, especially given that he is viscerally off-putting and nobody likes him.

But that's not the same thing as being smart. Smart people do not read Green Eggs and Ham and conclude that the point of the story is that Sam I Am should have taken a hint and left that guy alone.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Friday » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:11 pm

Thad has the right of it, Ted Cruz has a certain low cunning. So does Trump, for that matter. Cruz may even be better at it than the average dickhead. But he's not smart. He's only slightly less stupid than the gigantic idiots Francois mentioned.

I still maintain that Cruz is so incredibly vile that I'm not 100% certain that a Cruz victory instead of a Trump one would have been better. The fact that the GOP candidates came down to Trump/Cruz is far more damning to their party than anything else. Trump could be written off as some sort of Mule-like anomaly, but Cruz coming in second only proves how fucking far gone the right really is.

Not that the other candidates were much better. But the two absolute worst ones were the top two. The GOP is now ruled by who is the absolutely most vile and disgusting because that's what their base wants.
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:32 pm

Friday wrote: The GOP is now ruled by who is the absolutely most vile and disgusting because that's what their base wants.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:32 pm

While there's no doubt that Trump and Cruz represent what the GOP actually believes, it's fair to point out that their final tallies reflect the eccentricities of our electoral system more than they reflect clear preferences by Republican primary voters.

I don't think either one of them would have had a chance in a ranked-choice primary (and I think if Trump had lost the EC and Hillary Clinton were president, the Republicans would have spent the last two years saying Trump did not represent their party and it's his fault Clinton got elected. Same goes for Cruz if he'd won the primary and lost the general. But, of course, the reverse holds too: Trump won, and now look how high his approval rating is among Republicans, even the ones who hated him during the campaign). Trump won because he was the loudest voice among a crowded field in a FPTP system. Cruz came in second for the same reasons Santorum came in second and Paul came in third in 2012: he was a favorite of the religious right like Santorum, he was the last guy campaigning like Paul, and he got an early boost in Iowa like both of them.

I'm not sure the Republicans even stand for anything anymore, besides winning / owning the libs. Some are white supremacists; some merely don't see white supremacy as a deal-breaker. Some like Trump because he's a white supremacist, some like him because he cut taxes for the rich, some just like him because he pisses off people they don't like. I think if he loses in 2020, or gets impeached, or resigns, or otherwise gives the Democrats a big win, the Republicans will turn on him just as quickly as they turned on Bush after the 2006 midterms. He was never a REAL Republican anyway. Did you know he used to be a Democrat?

Nihilists. Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude; at least it's an ethos.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Friday » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:55 pm

I'm not sure the Republicans even stand for anything anymore, besides winning / owning the libs.


There's probably something buried under that about smaller government, or cutting taxes, or MAH FREE MARKETS, but yeah at this point it's just football. I want my team to win so I can rub it in the faces of the people who aren't on my team.

There's a bunch of people on the left who are like that too, as every single fuckhead in the universe is quick to point out whenever team politics is brought up, but I just continually point to a large sign that says

PEOPLE WHO THINK THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RIGHT AND LEFT IN AMERICA ARE EVEN MORE FUCKING STUPID THAN THE RIGHT
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:02 pm

I don't think most Republicans really believe in any of that shit. "Small government" means "cut the programs I don't like, but you'd better not mess with the ones I do." "Free market" means "socialize risk and privatize profit." "Cut taxes" means "cut rich people's taxes and raise poor people's."

And as for the religious right...Jesus Christ. I knew the evangelical movement was rife with charlatans, liars, and hypocrites, but their support for Trump has revealed they're even worse than I'd ever imagined. I always thought they were evil because they subscribed to a morality that was deeply wrong. Now I know they don't have any morality at all.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby zaratustra » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:59 am

try to find one of the seven deadly sins trump does not personally embody

YOU CAN'T

the man is going to have to do timeshares in hell's circles

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:30 am

My grandfather likes to say that the point his evangelical preacher father turned against Nixon was when he found out that he cursed.

That morality is, obviously, not my morality. But I can respect my great-grandfather's consistency.

I don't know if evangelicals used to be more like my great-grandfather, or if he was one-of-a-kind even then. Maybe a little bit of both. The symbiosis between the Republican Party and the evangelical movement was still new back then. It was probably a lot easier for an evangelical Christian to criticize a Republican back when the two things weren't so closely intertwined as to seem synonymous.

I don't talk to my grandma about Trump. I know she was very concerned about him during primary season, she seemed to warm up to him around the convention, she got concerned again around the Access Hollywood tape's release but voted for him anyway, and she seems to like him better now. (I went over there once when she was watching Hannity and she seemed to buy into the "Russia investigation is a hoax" narrative.)

I do think there are a couple of things Trump could do to lose evangelicals. Like I said, if he loses in 2020, or resigns or is impeached, a lot of them will distance themselves from him in a hurry and act like he was never their guy. But they wouldn't be turning against him because of his immorality; they'd be turning against him because he was a loser.

There are a couple political lines I think he could cross to lose them. There sure was some anger and dismay last week when he advocated gun control. He immediately walked it back and pivoted to blaming video games. But if he'd stuck with it, that's one of the few ways he could lose his base.

I also think that, given his number of affairs and his general carelessness, it's basically a certainty that he's paid off a woman to have an abortion at some point in the past 50 years, and most likely several. If Stormy or any of the other women he's had an affair with were to come forward and say "He paid for me to have an abortion", it would be interesting to see the breakdown between evangelicals turning against him and the ones plugging their ears and shouting "Fake news." But if she had the receipts and produced them in court, it would get a lot harder to ignore.

But what do I know? Maybe they wouldn't turn on him even then. They've made their double-standards quite clear at this point. I don't think those double-standards extend as far as a bedrock issue like abortion, but maybe they do. It's sure as hell not as bad as what Roy Moore's done, and they backed him.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:26 am

Final results (100% of precincts reporting in full) are in for the PA special election: Lamb won by 500~ votes. Absentee votes still need to be tallied, but more than half are from Allegheny, which saw the strongest shift to the Democrats in the district. So if anything that margin will only increase.

From +20 for Trump, to a slim win for Democrats in just a year. November's going to be interesting.
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Mongrel » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:30 am



Oh man, that gotcha.
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:28 am

When I went to vote in last week's primary, there was a man standing outside the voting station, handing out donuts and stumping for Greg Stanton.

Greg Stanton is the former mayor of Phoenix; he recently resigned to run for the Ninth Congressional District, for the seat Sinema is vacating to run for Senate.

Stanton was running unopposed in the primary. FiveThirtyEight gives him a 99% chance of winning in the general. This is a very blue district in the middle of a very red county in the middle of a light-red, increasingly-purplish state. (My district has ASU in it.)

It's one data point; it's silly to try and draw any conclusions about the election as a whole from it.

But wouldn't it be nice if you could?

It's heartening to see a candidate who's that much of a shoo-in actually paying attention to his ground game. It's nice to see a Democratic candidate who's not taking his lead for granted -- even though it's a very, very strong lead.

I hope the rest of the Democrats are as on-the-ball as Stanton is. Even if you're winning, run like you're losing. And if you're losing, run like you might still be able to win anyway.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Bal » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:30 am

Isn't Stanton the one who lived on food stamps for a week? He seems like an alright dude.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:41 am


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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:01 am

There have been a number of high-quality polls released recently that show Republicans' chances improving (overall). There's enough correlation that it's fair to say it suggests a trend.

This could mean a lot of things. Some pundits are pushing a narrative that Kavanaugh is actually energizing Republicans more than Democrats; that could be, but Silver notes,

The Lite version of our forecast, which heavily emphasizes district-by-district polls, tells a somewhat different story. In the Lite forecast, Republicans’ House odds are a bit better than they were last week. However, they’re worse than they were a month ago, having fallen to 29 percent from 34 percent. What that means is that district-level polls have generally been getting worse for Republicans, even if national indicators have stabilized or improved slightly.

But there’s some pretty darn good news for Republicans in our Senate forecast:

[table not included]

Republicans have been favored to keep the Senate all along. But their position has improved quite a bit over the last week in all three versions of our model. In our Classic Senate forecast, for example, Republicans are now 77 percent favorites to hold the chamber, up from 68 percent before last week’s hearings.

A lot of this comes down to Heitkamp and North Dakota, where Republican Kevin Cramer is now a 2-to-1 favorite despite the traditionally strong performance of opposition-party incumbents in potential wave elections. Heitkamp’s problems might well be Kavanaugh related — she hasn’t yet been clear about how she’ll vote, but polls show a clear majority of North Dakotans favoring Kavanaugh’s confirmation. At the same time, Manchin’s numbers have held up well in West Virginia despite his having taken a similarly ambiguous stance on Kavanaugh, and some Democrats who have said they’d vote against Kavanaugh, such as Missouri’s Claire McCaskill and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, have had decent polling numbers lately. I’m inclined toward the obvious-seeming conclusion that Kavanaugh has hurt Heitkamp, but it isn’t totally cut-and-dried.


There's been a significant shift in the polls, and that's not nothin'. Ultimately, Democrats are still heavily favored to win the House and Republicans are still heavily favored to keep the Senate. And since the margin on the Senate is so small, just a shift in one race can significantly change the odds.

And we've seen a shift in more than one race. Menendez could lose, because of course Menendez could lose, god dammit, and he deserves to. Running for reelection was the height of arrogance. But god dammit, if you're in New Jersey, vote for him anyway.

...moving on. There are, of course, a bunch of things that affect polls. The closer we get to the election, the more people start paying attention, the more undecideds become decideds. And of course there's always good old-fashioned reversion to the mean.

Polls are a snapshot, but of course they can be a distraction from the ultimate point: remember to vote. Remind your friends to vote. Donate time or money to campaigns if you can. (Donating to competitive down-ballot races is probably more important than giving money to the big flashy races. Guys, I want to see Beto win as much as anybody, but he's got enough money; if you're going to donate, donate to someone who needs it more.)

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Re: Election 2018

Postby pacobird » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:00 pm

DONATE TO GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES
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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:24 pm

Good call.

Latest polls show Ducey way up against Garcia, which is disappointing but not surprising. I heard one of the debates last week and Ducey was playing the greatest hits: build the wall, keep taxes low, don't add burdensome regulations, the usual song and dance.

This fucking state, man.

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Re: Election 2018

Postby Thad » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:24 am

I see a lot of people getting discouraged by the Senate map.

And I probably don't need to tell anyone here this, but...don't lose hope.

Yeah, the Senate is a longshot. It was always a longshot, and it's more of a longshot now than it was a month ago. That's fucked up. It's okay to be disappointed and frustrated by that.

But there's still the House. There are still state legislatures. There are still gubernatorial elections. Hell, I just posted something about the State Water Conservation District; that's not a sexy office but it's a fucking important one. I get that with rapists getting onto the Supreme Court and journalists getting hacked up, it's hard to focus on offices like water conservation, but that section of the ballot may be the one that's most pertinent to whether or not the desert where I've lived all my life will still be inhabitable in twenty years. Not to mention all the other drought-stricken regions we share a water supply with.

Don't lose hope. Don't lose focus. Don't lose momentum. And don't slack off on the down-ballot races.

Yeah, the Senate's probably going to get to keep doing the awful shit it's been doing. Yeah, that's fucking infuriating. But that's all the more reason we need to take victories where we can. Failing to take control of the Senate makes it that much more important to grab footholds elsewhere.

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