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Author Topic: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates [Poll updated!]  (Read 40787 times)

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Offline consortium11

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #775 on: February 25, 2016, 11:04:12 PM »
A really scary thought would be if it's Sanders and Trump - and some independent candidate (like Ross Perot in the nineties) who would pull more of the democrat vote to him than from the GOP voter base). That way, Trump could actually score a comfortable win despite just getting around 40-45 percent of the popular vote.  :-(

I think it's pretty unlikely that we'd have significant third party runs if Sanders and Trump were both the official party candidates (although there have been a few rumblings on the Republican side); the only circumstances where I think we'd see it is if one or both of Sanders and Trump didn't get the nomination and decided to run third party themselves (likely while talking about how the establishment had it in for them) and even that's unlikely; Sanders ruled one out last summer (although as they always say in politics, things change) while Trump gave a "pledge" that he wouldn't (that he may or may not consider broken).

People know what third party runs do. They cost a lot of money, they don't lead to victories and of the two main candidates they hurt the one closest to you. Would someone on the right, even someone who considers Trump a bit of a joke and a betrayal of Republican ideology, be willing to spend a vast amount of money to put Clinton or Sanders in the White House and spite Trump? Would someone on the left be willing to fund a campaign where the end result could be Trump or Cruz becoming President?



Slightly off-topic from the above point but linked to it through the way some on the right view Trump as a "pretend" Republican, it is interesting to observe the completely different way he's viewed by people. As above, some of the Republicans hate Trump because he breaks from the more traditional ideology in a large number of ways; obviously he attacked Bush and the Iraq War, he's spoken up in favor of Planned Parenthood (albeit not on abortion), he's ruled out cuts to entitlement programs, while he may talk about how much he dislikes Obamacare he intends to keep many of the key provisions, he's far more neutral on Israel/Palestine, he's frankly pretty dovish when it comes to foreign policy in general and he's talked about doing deals with, rather than simply opposing, Putin. And remember, that while he's campaigning for the Republican nomination... one can expect him to drift more towards the centre if he does secure it. On the other hand those outside the Republican party tend to view Trump as the worst of the worst... I've seen some suggest they'd prefer Cruz. There it's not the policies above that draw attention but his bombastic nature and his statements on border walls and pausing Muslim immigration, which in turn then colour the perception of him.

It's quite intriguing looking at how two sides of the spectrum view someone in such radically different ways.

Offline elone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #776 on: February 25, 2016, 11:16:30 PM »
I just watched part of the MSNBC Bernie interview.  Chris Matthews asked Bernie how he is going to accomplish his goals:  that is, how's he going to get 60 votes in the Senate.  Bernie first tries going back to his talking points.  Then when pinned down, Bernie finally answers with:  once I'm President, I'm going to rally millions of people "to demand [members of Congress] vote the right way."  (See "I'm not an inside-the-Beltway guy" clip, starting at 7:30, and especially at 10:15.)

That's Bernie's plan, apparently.  To get people to demand that their Representatives and Senators vote his way once he's President.

Oy.

First of all, Chris Matthews came with an agenda, his wife is running for office and funded by Clintonites. Once he shut up and let the students speak, we got the message. Matthews could not see beyond his own personal prejudices to even try to understand what Bernie was talking about.

What Bernie has said for some time is that we need a political revolution. He never has said that he can do all the things he wants to do by himself, unlike others who think they are gods. Bernie equates his ideas to those that have historically come from the bottom to change the top. He expects people to get involved politically for their own benefit. It took the masses protesting to get things like women's suffrage, civil rights, unions, and arguably an end to the Viet Nam war. That is what Bernie advocates, people getting up off their asses and participating in the political system. Maybe he is a dreamer, but it is a dream that we need in this country to break the deadlock that is our current system. More power to him for believing he can make a difference.

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #777 on: February 25, 2016, 11:55:52 PM »
That's Bernie's plan, apparently.  To get people to demand that their Representatives and Senators vote his way once he's President.

Here's a deceptively simple question, though:

Why aren't we?

Think on that for a moment.  Why are we not knocking on doors and burning up phone lines and filling up mailboxes (real and virtual) to get our - let me emphasize that - our Representatives to represent us?

Offline Kythia

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #778 on: February 25, 2016, 11:59:49 PM »
I've quite often heard it touted aa an advantage of the US system (by Americans) that there is that split between Congress and the president. Separation of powers, checks and balances and all that.  I remain unconvinced, tbh, but putting that aside and assuming it's correct would that demanding not undermine the entire system?

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #779 on: February 26, 2016, 12:04:27 AM »
There's 'balance of power', and then there's 'screw the other guy'.  There have been numerous administrations (on both sides) where there was a balance of power.  In the last couple of decades, it's been increasingly 'screw the other guy'.

Online Valerian

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #780 on: February 26, 2016, 08:11:52 AM »
Here's a deceptively simple question, though:

Why aren't we?

Think on that for a moment.  Why are we not knocking on doors and burning up phone lines and filling up mailboxes (real and virtual) to get our - let me emphasize that - our Representatives to represent us?

My own rather depressing answer to that question is that I have been doing all that stuff, for quite some time now, and it has so far made no difference.  :/  The problem is that while it's still just a few voices -- or even a substantial percentage of voters -- established politicians feel safe in dismissing them all as 'just a vocal minority', etc.  The protests in Madison, Wisconsin a few years back drew up to 100,000 people out to occupy the state capital and the area around it (starting in February in the cold and the snow!), and it was still dismissed as a bunch of weirdos and outliers who didn't 'really' represent the average person's views.

Obviously there must be a point where they'd be forced to start taking this sort of thing more seriously, but I fear that point may be impossible to reach, given the usual level of voter apathy in this country.  Ads and grassroots campaigns can do only so much.  People have to start caring and acting without all this external prompting.

Offline consortium11

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #781 on: February 26, 2016, 09:10:59 AM »
Think on that for a moment.  Why are we not knocking on doors and burning up phone lines and filling up mailboxes (real and virtual) to get our - let me emphasize that - our Representatives to represent us?

Because who exactly is "us"?

It's been noted many times how hardline newly elected Republicans have been over the past few years, refusing to co-operate or compromise with the Obama administration while being more than happy to grandstand even if it leads to a governmental shut down. But they were elected to do exactly that, swept to power on the back of Tea Party rhetoric. Can't they claim to be representing their constituents and doing exactly what they were elected to do when they play hardball?

How about the example I gave above of the tank research? In national terms that's clearly not us being represented in a wider context; it's spending very few want. But for the politicians from Ohio? Isn't securing virtually half a billion dollars of jobs, contracts and investment for their state a perfect example of them representing their region? And if another politician supported that on the basis that those politicians would later support him when fighting for similar pork barrel spending being sent to their state. couldn't they claim they were doing so for the good of their constituents?

"Us" isn't just people that think like you. It's also the complete racist who thinks Strom Thurmond was the greatest politician of his lifetime, it's the hardcore communist who think Sanders is just a corporate shill, it's the strict libertarian who think the government should spend about $6.50 a year, it's the religious evangelical who thinks Gay Marriage is an abomination, it's the most extreme of feminists, it's  the rancher from Colarado, the unemployed mother from Detroit, the docker from Boston, the trader in Wall Street, the artist in Austin, the recent immigrant in Texas and the tech worker in San Francisco.

Here's a back of a matchbox numbers illustration of that. Let's say Sanders wins the election. Turnout tends to be around 55%, so already you've got 45% of the voting population who don't support him. Of that 55% who actually voted the chances are that just under half voted for someone else, so that 55% is basically split in too; already you've got Sanders only really having the support of just over a quarter of the country. Then you have to consider that some of the people who voted for him in the Presidential election actually opposed him when selecting a candidate; let's say he wins that popular vote 60/40 and make the almost certainly incorrect assumption that the same number of people who voted for him the Presidential election took place in the Primary race and that third is down to around a sixth (and in reality that number will be far lower as less people vote to select a candidate then take part in the election itself).

So what are we left with? Roughly 17% of the voting population who actually wanted and supported Sanders (and as above that number should be lower). The other 83%? They either opposed him or didn't care either way.

That analysis applies equally to Clinton, Trump, Cruz, Rubio or whoever does become President (and the Republican numbers may be even lower considering the number of candidates to split the vote). Truth be told it also applies to the example I gave above of the Tea Party politicians... they may have been elected on a swell of public opinion in their favour but between primaries, popular vote and voter turnout the people who actively supported them are in the clear minority. And for that 17% or so who actively support the eventual President? There's going to be at least 17% who active oppose him.

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Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #783 on: February 26, 2016, 02:22:59 PM »
That is what Bernie advocates, people getting up off their asses and participating in the political system.

Why aren't we?

The issue isn't so much whether people should get involved (of course they should), but rather, how

A bunch of people standing on the streets demanding something is ineffective in the current political environment.  Consider the state of gun control laws. 

A bunch of people coordinated to vote out opposing Congressional members, on the other hand, can work.  Consider the Tea Party movement and what happened to President Obama thereafter.

Per the U.S. Constitution, laws will only come to pass if Congress drafts them, votes them forward, and the President signs them.  A bunch of people standing on the streets can't draft laws nor vote on them.  Thus, for Bernie to deliver any of his goals, he needs more than a bunch of people standing on the streets making demands.  He needs the support of the people who actually have the Constitutional power to vote:  i.e., 60 friendly Senators and 218 friendly Representatives.  It's not sexy.  It doesn't excite the masses.  But there's no way around it.  Therein lies the flaw with Bernie's current plan.

Really, why would anyone interested in supporting Bernie insist on just following the "rally people once I'm President to demand Congress yield" plan?  Why shouldn't Bernie try to rally people now to vote in the 60/218 needed?



Chris Christie endorses Trump

Oh this is f'ing brilliant.  Just brilliant.  Totally just stole the spotlight from Rubio.  *laughs*

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #784 on: February 26, 2016, 03:40:52 PM »
The groups I've been following have been hyping the need to follow through with Congressional and mid-term elections to ensure a Congress that will actually work with the President (whoever he or she might be - this stonewalling the past several years has been an absolute embarrassment),

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #785 on: February 26, 2016, 03:43:00 PM »
I just watched part of the MSNBC Bernie interview.  Chris Matthews asked Bernie how he is going to accomplish his goals:  that is, how's he going to get 60 votes in the Senate.  Bernie first tries going back to his talking points.  Then when pinned down, Bernie finally answers with:  once I'm President, I'm going to rally millions of people "to demand [members of Congress] vote the right way."  (See "I'm not an inside-the-Beltway guy" clip, starting at 7:30, and especially at 10:15.)

That's Bernie's plan, apparently.  To get people to demand that their Representatives and Senators vote his way once he's President.

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #786 on: February 26, 2016, 03:45:29 PM »
As I am now convinced that you did not read my post either time I made it, I will not be commenting further.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #787 on: February 26, 2016, 03:46:54 PM »
I read it.  But Bernie's own words contradict your post.

Offline elone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #788 on: February 27, 2016, 08:40:34 AM »
Bernie's word are advocating for change, a message that is beginning to resonate with voters and obviously within the E community by the 78% favorability rating. It is never easy to convince the naysayers that working for change is not a waste of time. Change will come about when millions of people who are fed up with the system begin to work for that change. It can come about with floods of emails, not just people standing in the streets. Believe it or not, some in government realize that millions of their constituents will vote them out if they do not change their ways if they are organized enough.

 I suppose some think it is better to do nothing and to just sit on their hands at home and whine and give up. That is why we are where we are today. Personally, I write letters, I write my congressman, my senators, my president. Sometimes I get responses, sometimes not. I will never give up trying to change this system that depends on apathy.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #789 on: February 27, 2016, 04:10:29 PM »
Bernie's word are advocating for change, a message that is beginning to resonate with voters and obviously within the E community by the 78% favorability rating. It is never easy to convince the naysayers that working for change is not a waste of time. Change will come about when millions of people who are fed up with the system begin to work for that change. It can come about with floods of emails, not just people standing in the streets. Believe it or not, some in government realize that millions of their constituents will vote them out if they do not change their ways if they are organized enough.

 I suppose some think it is better to do nothing and to just sit on their hands at home and whine and give up. That is why we are where we are today. Personally, I write letters, I write my congressman, my senators, my president. Sometimes I get responses, sometimes not. I will never give up trying to change this system that depends on apathy.

I could see quite a few people saying, in a tired voice "Obama promised Change and it didn't happen in a big way - so why should we trust another guy saying the same?"  :-(

(I'm not saying that would be a very fair assessment of Obama)

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Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #791 on: February 27, 2016, 06:19:04 PM »
Trump has gotten a significant endorsement from overseas, by Jean-Marie Le Pen, the grand old man of anti-immigrant extreme-right wing parties in Europe. (Of course, Le Pen is in a bitter feud these days with his daughter who has been trying to make his party more mainstream acceptable, but he led the Front National for almost forty years and at one point got to the second and final round of the French presidential elections, beating the big Socialist party).

 ::)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 06:30:14 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline elone

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #792 on: February 28, 2016, 06:49:47 AM »
I could see quite a few people saying, in a tired voice "Obama promised Change and it didn't happen in a big way - so why should we trust another guy saying the same?"  :-(

(I'm not saying that would be a very fair assessment of Obama)

Bernie has been advocating democratic socialism forever, not just for an election year. Can he do what he wants, maybe not, but I would trust him to try. Hillary I would not trust to .... well, do anything she says. Her views blow with the wind and she has a real problem with the truth, even with saying she tells the truth. I noticed on her South Carolina victory speech she has amended her views to match Bernies. What a joke, after pandering for the Black vote, now she steals his message.

I guess we could trust Trump. He promises change. lol.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #793 on: February 28, 2016, 07:56:38 AM »
Current delegates count:

Democrats (need 2,383 to win nomination)
  • Clinton - 544  (23% of total needed)
     
  • Sanders - 85  (4% of total needed)
     
Republicans (need 1,237 to win nomination)
  • Trump - 82  (7% of total needed)
     
  • Cruz - 17  (1% of total needed)
     
  • Rubio - 16  (1% of total needed)
     

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Offline Merah

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #795 on: February 28, 2016, 10:34:39 PM »
Current delegates count:

Democrats (need 2,383 to win nomination)
  • Clinton - 544  (23% of total needed)
     
  • Sanders - 85  (4% of total needed)
     

The superdelegates will shift if Bernie wins the popular vote... or the Democrats will forfeit the general.

90 to 65 is her lead in voted delegates, which is a much closer race than the above figures would indicate. Even if the superdelegates do stick to their pledges, they provide Hillary only an initial head start, not popular momentum towards winning the rest of the 'regular' delegates.

That said, South Carolina hurt.  :-(
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 10:36:39 PM by Merah »

Offline consortium11

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #796 on: February 29, 2016, 03:49:47 AM »
The superdelegates will shift if Bernie wins the popular vote... or the Democrats will forfeit the general.

Hasn't happened before.

In 2008 Hillary won the popular vote in the Democratic Primary but the super delegates didn't break for her; instead they went to Obama. Obama then obviously went on to win the Presidential election that year.

Offline Merah

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #797 on: February 29, 2016, 04:09:01 AM »
Who won the popular vote in the 2008 primary varies depending on how you estimate it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2008_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries

In any case, Obama won not just the superdelegates but also the delegates selected by voters. Using the superdelegates to trump the democratically-selected delegates is what would be particularly controversial.

Offline consortium11

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #798 on: February 29, 2016, 05:16:22 AM »
Who won the popular vote in the 2008 primary varies depending on how you estimate it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2008_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries

But the only way to estimate it and have Obama win is to claim that people who didn't vote for Obama actually did and that some people who did vote for Clinton don't count. If you simply add up everyone who voted for Clinton vs everyone who voted for Obama then Clinton won the popular vote... but because the super delegates broke for Obama she lost the overall primary; if they'd followed the popular vote then she'd have won.

In any case, Obama won not just the superdelegates but also the delegates selected by voters. Using the superdelegates to trump the democratically-selected delegates is what would be particularly controversial.

Ironically one of the reasons behind the creation of super delegates in the first place was to lower the impact of delegates and give more weight to the popular vote. After Humphrey's dreadful showing in 1968 and the chaotic National Convention that proceeded it the rules for the Democratic nomination were changed in an attempt to find a more viable candidate. The terrible results in 1972 (for McGovern) and 1980 (for Carter) caused the Democratic establishment to believe the "cure" they'd found was worse than the "disease", hence the creation of super delegates shortly afterwards. The 1972 election is particularly notable; McGovern dominated the delegate count (largely by targeting winner-take-all states) but was basically in a three-way tie for the popular vote at around 25% (and actually ended up with less of the popular vote than Hubert Humphrey who made it out with a mere 68 delegates despite a quarter of the Democrats voting for him). In essence the Democratic vote split three ways: McGovern got about 25% of the voters who were primarily anti-war, Wallace got 25% of the voters who were primarily racist/secessionist and the middle 50% ended up split between Humphrey and the other candidates (notably Muskie). With his 25% concentrated in winner-take-all states while also giving him respectable figures in states where the delegates were split McGovern was able to dominate in delegates.

The result of which was a crushing Presidential election defeat.

So when the super delegates were created in the 1980's one of the justifications and reasons for them was to prevent a situation like in 1972, where one faction of the party had a disproportionate impact compared to its number of supporters because of geographical location and split votes vs winner-takes-all. The idea was that super-delegates would step in to give the popular vote a voice that the delegate system prevented and at the very least force the winning candidate to compromise and listen to the wider party.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #799 on: February 29, 2016, 11:14:25 AM »
Using the superdelegates to trump the democratically-selected delegates is what would be particularly controversial.

Yes, that's a line being advanced by Bernie's campaign.  For it to be relevant, Bernie still needs to win more non-super delegates, which he's hasn't done and likely won't do tomorrow.