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It’s five o’clock somewhere

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fg

Updated below

JFC as the kids say.

I’m well aware that all along this particular poll has given Trump a better shot than the poll of polls. It’s been an outlier by several points over the average. Trump is now up seven in it. The big question of course is whether it’s an outlier because of a methodological flaw, or because it will turn out that it has a better method of prediction than the average of the rest of the polls. I don’t know anything about the technicalities of polling but I guess we’re all going to find out.

And yes I’m now officially panicked extremely concerned, and not because I think Trump is going to win, but because I think he has something in the neighborhood of a 30% shot of winning, which is genuinely terrifying. (Remember when everybody laughed at this 14 months ago? Good times!).

Part of what’s going on is, as Scott points out, the perverse and indescribably irresponsible normalization of Trump by the media. Why that normalization has happened is a complex and extraordinarily important question, to which I sadly don’t have any real answer.

The most optimistic possible take on the present state of the presidential election is that a huge percentage of voters are, to put it nicely, low information individuals who basically pay no attention to politics and vote for presidential candidates on the basis of roughly the same factors that lead someone who basically pays no attention to football to realize that if they live in the Denver area they should be rooting for the Broncos at a Super Bowl party.

Various less optimistic and more plausible hypotheses are just too depressing to consider. Anyway, Jon Chait does a good job of capturing how the present situation is, on one level, almost literally incredible to people who know what a cover three defense is:

Sometime around the end of summer, it dawned upon most Democrats, and the elite of both parties, that they — okay, we — inhabit a different political universe than does the rest of the country. In our world, Donald Trump is a surreal authoritarian buffoon whose presidency is too nightmarish to contemplate, except perhaps as an abstract intellectual exercise to bolster whatever argument one wishes to make about larger trends in American society. Hillary Clinton is deeply familiar, liked by some, loathed by many, and caught in a vortex of mutual paranoia with the news media that leads her into errors of secrecy. But her flaws, as the conservative but Clinton-endorsing pundit P. J. O’Rourke put it, lie “within normal parameters,” and disagreements within the elite feel small in the face of Trump. Envisioning him as the actual president of the United States seems to us like a category error, as if a Game of Thrones character were to show up on Veep.

But as the first of the presidential debates looms, the hard numbers simply do not bear out this reality. The website FiveThirtyEight gives Trump more than a four-in-ten chance of actually, for real, winning. The Upshot, the New York Times’ forecaster, puts it at a slightly more comforting one in four, which sounds low except that, as the model’s authors point out, this makes the odds of a Clinton victory about equal to an NFL placekicker’s chances of making a 49-yard field goal. Also, the kicker has pneumonia.

Update: There are a lot of good comments in this thread but I wanted to move this one into the OP:

I think it’s hard to express what a Trump victory would really mean to a liberal like me, so I want to try to lay it out below. And hopefully this will help people understand why, given the thinking below, even a narrow loss is a rather scary prospect.

Trump winning the election would not just be a policy loss. It of course would be that, but that’s a relatively acceptable outcome from a larger, worldview perspective. I understand that I live in a world where many if not most people disagree with me about various policy outcomes. And that’s fine. If Romney would have won, that would essentially have been the outcome. But Trump is different to me, for basically two very broad reasons:

1) Trump is completely incompetent. He doesn’t know anything. And yet he seemingly pays basically no price for this. As I said above, I can accept the fact that people really disagree with me on stuff. Totally fine. I understand I will lose arguments in a democracy. But the premise behind this, to me, has always been that the people who disagree with me should have some knowledge of the things *they* claim to care about. Like, I think Romney has shitty tax ideas. But he clearly has vast expertise in business. McCain? Not a fan of his foreign policy. But he *cares* about it and tries to have knowledge about it. Even if you go off the policy grid, and say that the real issue animating Trump fans is racism – ok. Pick an intelligent racist! Like, Pat Buchanan. An odious figure, to be sure. But he *knows things*. He’s spent his life trying to understand the best way to implement his ideas, and the effect they have on the world.

Trump is none of these things. He doesn’t know *anything*. And he clearly pays no price for it. I waver between wondering whether the voters *don’t know* he’s ignorant, or don’t care. I genuinely don’t know the answer here. I had a conversation with a conservative family member last week, where he brought up how embarrassing it was that Gary Johnson didn’t know what Aleppo was. I agreed that was bad, but then I mentioned that of course he understands Trump has no idea what Aleppo is either, right? My relative dismissed this out of hand, claiming that “of course” Trump knew what Aleppo was. I just live in a different world.

There are 2 options here – either the voters don’t *know* that Trump is staggeringly ignorant with absolutely no interest in critical things, or they don’t care. Frankly both answers sort of frighten me, and tear at my faith in the sustainability of our democratic institutions.

2) This one is less about Trump, and more about a systematic issue with our government, and that is that this election seems to be showing that the GOP has not, is not and never will pay any price for their procedural radicalism. While it’s not necessary to go through the whole litany of things that have happened since Obama was first elected, there have been a series of procedurally radical moves undertaken by the GOP: blanket filibustering in 2009-2010, the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, the government shutdown of 2013, and now we’re experience an unprecedented, ideological blockage of the Supreme Court. Many liberals, while living through this, have come to convince themselves that these sorts of overreaches would, in time, result in a backlash where people really got sick of this radicalism. Unfortunately, I think the opposite has occurred – rather than creating a backlash, our rigid partisanship has resulted in these actions being normalized. I mean, the fact that the GOP is blockading a Supreme Court seat just doesn’t matter at all. It has no play whatsoever in this election. I’d venture to say most voters neither know nor care about it at all. Same for the government shutdown, where the GOP had a wave election after doing this.

This one, unlike #1, is less of an existential crisis and more of me just being mad. If I misread the lay of our political landscape, so be it. If all those things I saw as “radical” were a gross misreading about how much the voting population cares about these issues, so be it. But unlike #1 above, this one sort of does hinge on why the feedback loop isn’t working. If it’s not working because people simply disagree with me about what’s important, then fine. I’ll lose that argument, live with it, and come back fighting the next time. As a liberal I hope we’ll learn the lessons and play the game better. But if it’s not working because people aren’t *aware* that this stuff has happened or that it’s not ordinary course, that’s a much larger systemic problem. The feedback loop in this scenario would be *broken*, as opposed to me merely misreading what people care about.

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  • Ahenobarbus

    Remember the LGM prediction game? Most predicted a landslide.

    I don’t necessarily have Everyman’s view of the media, but it seems like no one is talking about HRC. It’s all Trump right now, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    • liberal

      I don’t think she has much of a positive campaign message beyond competence, “America is already great,” maybe some identity politics mixed in. Too anodyne.

      ETA Seeing an Onion link below, I’ll add one of my own: “Kerry Unveils One-Point Plan For Better America”. Seems to apply to HRC’s campaign.

      • mpavilion

        She has a lot of “messaging” — where are you getting this from? The problem is that the details of her campaign are barely covered in the press (other than the “stumbles,” which they jump on).

        • (((Hogan)))

          But she doesn’t have anything that ties it all together in quite the way that Trump’s “I will kick ass and keep you safe from the non-white hordes” does.

          • Pat

            How many articles have you seen about Trump voters? How many articles have you seen about Clinton voters?

            The former normalize Trump by talking about the dreams and fears of his supporters. But Clinton’s people? Apparently, we don’t exist.

            • This. “You don’t understand–I’m talking about real Americans.”

            • xq

              There are more articles about Trump voters because because the media treats Clinton support as the default that doesn’t need to be explained. The articles are attempted solutions to the mystery of why there are so many American willing to support the crazy incompetent racist.

              That said, it would be nice if there were more articles about enthusiastic Clinton supporters as opposed to Clinton-by-default

            • cpinva

              “Why that normalization has happened is a complex and extraordinarily important question, to which I sadly don’t have any real answer.”

              I do. it’s the only way the media can make this a “horse race”, their preferred type of presidential campaign. it’s preferred because it sells more ads than telling the truth, that Trump is a dangerous man, who could quite possibly (even beyond Bush II’s historic incompetence) wreck the country, and maybe a good part of the world along with it. that wouldn’t be any fun at all, and then what would all the (highly paid) talking heads talk about?

              and there’s your answer. money. it always goes back to money. just make sure to always follow the money, it never fails to deliver.

          • Norrin Radd

            This.

            It was ever thus. She won her primary on name recognition and record. But that’s not the same as a message. In a time of income inequality, wide anxiety, and white resentment, I’d like to hear her say that she’s with us…but instead she says we’d better be for her. That’s a kind of message.

            • Rob in CT

              Hey, as long as she doesn’t say anything about regulating amusement parks you should be happy.

              • Norrin Radd

                LMAO. And that too!

                Think about it this way: What the hell else is there to do in Kansas other than water slides and basketball? Hell we didn’t even have liquor by the drink until the late ’80s! A state known for Carrie Nation and John Brown doesn’t do fun easily!

            • mpavilion

              “I’m With Her” was her slogan for the primaries, not the general election. It made sense as a slogan for enthusiastic supporters in the primaries.

        • Johnny Sack

          where are you getting this from?

          his bunghole

      • Davis X. Machina

        “America is already great,” maybe some identity politics mixed in. Too anodyne.

        “All power to the soviets of workers, soldiers and peasants” didn’t focus-group well.

        • Norrin Radd

          America is already great, could be the seed of a message if she followed through with it. She could be out there giving us optimism, but instead…

          One thing I worried about with her playing the “unfit” card right off the bat, is that after you lay the Ace of Spade, what’s your Trump card? I would have liked to see her messaging strategy start with: He’s a liar. Then: He’s corrupt. Then: He’s a racist. Then: He’s mentally unhinged. Then: He’s unfit. That’s a momentum cadence.

          But if the voters have rejected the “unfit” message, what’s next? If they don’t care about him being unfit, then they sure as hell don’t care that he’s a racist, sexist, corrupt, liar.

          • xq

            The ways Trump is racist, unhinged, unfit, ect. are widely known. I think Clinton should focus more on the ways in which Trump is a normal Republican. After all, Obama beat Romney by a comfortable margin. Trump is a rich out of touch guy who hires illegal immigrants and wants to dramatically cut taxes on the rich. Remind people why they dislike Republicans.

            • Norrin Radd

              Corrupt and Greedy. I like it. She should’ve started with it.

            • Phil Perspective

              I think Clinton should focus more on the ways in which Trump is a normal Republican.

              She killed that by bringing scum like Max Boot into the fold.

              • xq

                What? No one knows who Max Boot is.

                • so-in-so

                  He publicly wrote that he is voting for her over Trump; it isn’t like he is her FP adviser.

                  It’s like the Kissinger thing. Saying “Even this old-school GOP SoS thinks I was good at the job” isn’t at all the same as saying “I’m modeling my FP on his ideas.” It’s just saying that even people normally on the other side think Clinton is better than Trump.

                • Isn’t he David Frum?

                  Er…without a soul?

                  Or a slot where you’d put a soul?

              • djw

                Is “used as prop in campaign ad targeting Republicans” a synonym for “bringing into the fold”? Are Lindsay Graham and Jeff Flake “in the fold” too?

          • twbb

            America is already great, could be the seed of a message if she followed through with it.

            I can see the New York Times headline now:
            “Clinton Denies Serious Problems Affecting Country”
            “Clinton Attempts to Convince Voters ‘Everything’s Fine'”
            “Shadow Falls Over Clinton Campaign” (well, that one just pops up naturally)

      • I don’t think she has much of a positive campaign message beyond competence, “America is already great,” maybe some identity politics mixed in.

        The Progressive Case For Hillary Clinton Is Pretty Overwhelming

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          I think liberal means that Clinton’s “Stronger Together” campaign premise isn’t catchy enough- and this *is* a problem of sorts because while it’s totally true it’s also kind of sappy and post post modern America is all about the anger, not the sap

          • Naw, it was clear that liberal was “content” based.

            • delazeur

              Her “campaign presence” and what she actually stands for (as enumerated in your link) are not the same thing. Though, to be fair, her campaign presence is not entirely within the control of her campaign.

              • But what does this have to do with liberal’s comment:

                I don’t think she has much of a positive campaign message beyond competence, “America is already great,” maybe some identity politics mixed in. Too anodyne.

                She has lots of positive campaign message. Indeed, the problem is probably too much.

                I’m ok separating slogan/high level gut reason to vote for her vs. actual campaign message. But I don’t see how she’s campaigning on a message of “some identity politics thrown in”. Maybe I’m over reading.

                • delazeur

                  I was insufficiently caffeinated and read “campaign message” as “campaign presence.” Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here questioning my sanity.

                  As far as campaign message goes, she seems to be in an unfortunate position where there isn’t really a short simple explanation of why you should vote for her that doesn’t depend on voting against her opponent. On the one hand that’s not great for electoral purposes, but on the other hand a politician who can give you their entire platform in an elevator pitch is probably a one-dimensional demagogue. Obama’s campaign struck a clever compromise: have lots of detailed policy ideas, but focus on one big one that energizes a lot of people. I wonder what Clinton could use as her health care reform? Minimum wage hikes, maybe? Implementing the Buffet Rule?

                • FlipYrWhig

                  Obama’s campaign struck a clever compromise: have lots of detailed policy ideas, but focus on one big one that energizes a lot of people.

                  Obama’s campaign didn’t do this in the slightest. Nobody voted for Obama on the basis of “detailed policy ideas.” The big thing that energized a lot of people was that he was black and by electing him it would send A Powerful Message About America ™.

                • delazeur

                  Obama’s campaign didn’t do this in the slightest. Nobody voted for Obama on the basis of “detailed policy ideas.” The big thing that energized a lot of people was that he was black and by electing him it would send A Powerful Message About America ™.

                  That is B.S. in at least three ways:

                  1) You are conflating the Obama campaign’s actions with their supporters’ motivations.

                  2) Obama did do what I described: he had many detailed policy proposals but focused primarily on healthcare in the campaign.

                  3) I am sure there are plenty of people who voted for Obama because he is black, but that is not what energized the majority of his coalition.

              • liberal

                Yep. You and jim, some guy in iowa are right. Bijan is wrong.

          • Norrin Radd

            ITs not so much sappy–its pretty standard progressivism–its that its not provocative, or even evocative. Its also reactionary. You can only run so far by saying “Hey, at least I’m not Trump!” We get what she’s against, but what is she for?

            You could take that same idea–we’re all in this together–and sauce it up a bit. “In Unity Strength”…Or since this is football season, “It takes a team to move a ball forward.” (OK, now that’s sappy)…but you get the drift.

            • We get what she’s against, but what is she for?

              Follow the link. She’s for a lot of things.

              • Norrin Radd

                “She’s for a lot of things!”

                That sounds like a winning message my friend. Indeed.

                • Murc

                  You asked what Clinton is for. There’s an answer to that. That answer has been provided to you. What more, precisely, would you like?

                • Norrin Radd

                  Hillary’s problem (such as it is, I’m not nearly in dread of the polls as some are) is that no one knows why she’s running. Except a vague sense that she wants to be the first female president. Obama was no less ambitious, but most people felt like he was running for them. Same with George W. (rightly or wrongly).

                  I’m voting for her, but I have no idea why she’s running…other than a lengthy platform statement consisting of many promises which will go largely unfulfilled.

                • What Murc said.

                  If you want to critique the messaging, critique the messaging. You asked about the content, and, apparently, refuse to look at the content.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  The elevator pitch. Something for the many people who won’t spend more than a minute thinking about who to vote for.

                • sibusisodan

                  that no one knows why she’s running

                  This is rubbish. It’s the same class of statement as ‘Obama hasn’t been vetted! We don’t really know him.’

                  It’s a refusal to take an answer for an answer.

                • Norrin Radd

                  Sorry if my snark obscured my sentiment. Hillary has a messaging problem. Lengthy policy platforms and white papers are mostly meant for conveying that you’re serious. Maybe 10% of the electorate at best reads them. I stopped reading them long ago when I realized that few of points in a 10 point plan are ever even started, much less achieved.

                  That’s why the campaigning, and speeches, and interviews, matter because, to paraphrase her husband, most people vote with their gut, not with their head. Her answer to, “What are you for, Hillary?” can’t be, “Go read my website!”

                • Fair enough.

                  To be fair, I think running as a non-incumbant for the incumbent party is tough, esp. from a messaging perspective. “More of the same” is rough but “Now for something different” also sucks. Given a Republican opponent who is breathtaking in his lies even by Republican standards is just going to be messagingly difficult.

                  If I had to guess the Hillary Slogans, they’d something like:

                  * Muscular Diplomacy as a first resort, Sane Limited Intervention as the last. (Not my favourite.)

                  * Sensible Economic Fairness (restrain the bad, support the good esp. at the bottom)

                  * Woman and Girl Issues Are Core

                  * Social Justice Requires Listening and Respect.

                  * No One Will Work Harder For Everyone

                  Something like that. (Just off the top of my head. If I did it again, I’d get a slightly different mix on domestic since there’s so much there.)

                  (This is the positive message I’ve gleaned from her campaign.)

                  ETA: I would quibble with a lot of this or whether these are the right ones. She has a lot of policy thoughts. And detail is her style.

              • Jackov

                Not murdering Vince Foster
                Foreign travel
                Other Senators liking her
                Putting points in Constitution
                Also some policy stuff

            • FlipYrWhig

              THE WAY I HEAR ONLY HER SLOGAN MAKES ME THINK HER CANDIDACY IS ONLY A SLOGAN

              • Lost Left Coaster

                Surely if she had a detailed platform I would have read it by now. I mean, Uncle Joe would have shared it on Facebook for sure.

                • postmodulator

                  My Uncle Joe did share her detailed platform on Facebook. She’s going to outlaw guns, Jesus, and heterosexual intercourse.

                  We’re all worried about Uncle Joe. But not too worried, if I’m honest.

                • Philip

                  Well, Jesus himself probably would’ve agreed on that first, and I believe The Other Paul would be pretty happy with the 3rd, so that’s 2 out of 3 for the Christians!

                • Norrin Radd

                  + Eternity.

        • Linnaeus

          This is something the Clinton campaign needs to do a better job of making clear.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            it’s too bad the line about “doing the most good for as many people as you can as often as you can”- or however it goes- doesn’t condense very well – ’cause it really does, I think, sum up the goals of not only the Clinton candidacy but her as a person

    • Rob in CT

      We made those predictions right after the conventions, and well… yeah.

      • I made my prediction with the assumption that half of America and most of the media were stupid fucking children. It seems that I have grossly overestimated both those groups.

  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    I hear Vancouver’s climate is pretty mild.

    • Merkwürdigliebe

      The ocean of distance between Trump and me doesn’t feel safe enough.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        I hear that they’re recruiting for the winter-over crew at South Pole Station.

        Sure, it’s cold NOW, but after a few years of Trump/GOP coal-rolling…

      • Norrin Radd

        As long as you don’t live in the Middle East or Ukraine in a former Soviet satellite, you’re probably ok.

    • Timurid

      I’m barely employable in this country. As it stands right now, there’s probably no First World country that would take me as an immigrant. And in the event of a Trumpocalypse, the competition would be even more intense…

      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        Well, there is that. I hear Vancouver is nearly as expensive as NYC or San Francisco, thanks to limited land btw the ocean and the mountains and the endless flow of Chinese flight capital over there. Toronto is less pricey but has full-on Canadian winters.

        • Johnny Sack

          I’ll gladly move to Toronto. But I don’t think Canada is eager to take in American lawyers

          • Unemployed_Northeastern

            Compliance? I hear tell that our American JDs are more versatile than any other degree in the world because reasons.

            • Johnny Sack

              Ugh. I know a guy who got into that but he actually had a compliance background from before law school. Really oversold as a “lucrative alternative to law!!!1”

              If I knew of any surefire lucrative alternatives to being an underemployed lawyer, then…I wouldn’t be an underemployed lawyer.

              • Unemployed_Northeastern

                I’m purposefully making light of the latest sales tactic by law schools. The JD is far from the super-MBA they like to pretend it is. If anything, the JD takes perfectly serviceable bachelor’s degrees and wipes them in poo. And that’s not really even an exaggeration: the unemployment rate for new JDs is consistently 3-5% higher than the unemployment rate for new four-year college graduates.

                • Johnny Sack

                  I knew you were being facetious, just venting.

                  The thing with the bachelor’s stat is that has to be skewed by engineers and the like. I somehow doubt my political science degree would have made much of a difference. But the JD definitely is a “scarlet letter” as some scambloggers have repeatedly said.

                  It’s one thing to have a name JD and Biglaw experience, that’s not so much a Scarlet Letter. But I’ve been marginally employed, largely in “shit law.” Now, as it happens I kind of like personal injury work, but it is a pretty brutal and unforgiving specialty for the young lawyer. And PI firms seem especially prone to underpaying and overworking young attorneys.

                  I’ve been looking to get out of it, as I don’t want to still be doing this in 20 years. But in the short term, I’m not doing too bad financially. Not doing great, but I really don’t see what other options I have other than grinding it out.

                • Johnny Sack

                  Actually, I think I’m in a very similar position as Newish. Why don’t we start a nationwide products liability firm? I joke, but what else am I going to do at this point.

                • ackfoo

                  I think that this is totally right– when I was looking to move into asset management at 30 (got my CFA, etc., though no MBA), the basic message I heard in the interview postmorems was “you took too long to figure out what you wanted to do, and chose the wrong thing first, so we can’t trust your judgement.” I’m not happy that’s the case, but I think that the bias in many fields is that those who haven’t prepared with the “perfect” background (or a near facsimile) are not “attuned enough” to the needs of the industry.

          • witlesschum

            Toronto hasn’t got a winter to speak of. It’s like Southern Michigan or something.

            • Unemployed_Northeastern

              Wiki says winter months are consistently below freezing, sometimes far below freezing. Snow possible anytime between November and mid-April, with an average of 48 inches per year. That sounds like winter to me.

              • so-in-so

                They have a mall that is built underground. There is a reason for this. Before the possibility of a Trump presidency was realized.

        • Burning_River

          Canadian winter, nuclear winter…it is a kind of choice.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Home prices are probably higher here than NYC or SF, though I think that rents are lower. You cannot get a detached home for less than seven figures within the city limits. Condos probably in the 600k+ range these days. Of course if you come with a big stack of American dollars that makes a big difference. But they have a 15% foreign buyer tax now to try and put some brakes on the real estate market a bit.

          I love Vancouver but personally I would recommend to anyone thinking of making the move to BC to strongly consider Vancouver Island. Somewhat more affordable and one of the most gorgeous places on planet Earth.

          • postmodulator

            Victoria seemed nice when I saw it as a tourist. Is it more than just a tourist trap?

            • Lost Left Coaster

              Most people I know who have lived there really enjoyed it. I’ve only ever been there as a tourist too though.

  • John F

    a huge percentage of voters are, to put it nicely, low information individuals who basically pay no attention to politics and vote for presidential candidates on the basis of roughly the same factors that lead someone who basically pays no attention to football to realize that if they live in the Denver area they should be rooting for the Broncos at a Super Bowl party.

    You’re just noticing this now?

    • Slothrop2

      This is arrogant. People are desperate for change. They are not “low-information voters.” They understand the micro-politics of day-to-day existence, and it sucks for them.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        No, these are white people who can’t stand the idea of losing their limited privilege, in much the same way that poor white southerners could be kept happy as long as they could ridicule and occasionally beat up black people. They don’t want change, they want things the way they were.

        I notice that people who have a long history of life “sucking” for them (ie, non-whites) have figured out that Trump won’t be good for them.

        • Johnny Sack

          For God’s sake, won’t someone think of the white people for a change! Certainly the most oppressed, overlooked people in American history!

        • Rob in CT

          Yup.

          http://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12933072/far-right-white-riot-trump-brexit

          Economic factors are part of the story. But so is social/demographic change. That’s something that any Democratic nominee would face.

          • Slothrop2

            People are tired of the never-ending audacity of political elites. Over the past 40 years or so, the Democrats have been historically complicit in the re-proletarianization of workers. It was inevitable that radical populism would challenge party elites. The Republicans did this. The Democratic base decided to reaffirm the prevailing order of dynastic politics representing capitalist-class interests.

            This is why, if Donald Trump wins, those persons who supported HRC are to blame for suppressing leftist populism.

            • Lost Left Coaster

              This is why, if Donald Trump wins, those persons who supported HRC are to blame for suppressing leftist populism.

              I don’t know, I find the HRC slogan “A vote for Hillary is a vote to suppress leftist populism!” to be pretty compelling. I can’t resist.

            • Rob in CT

              “Radical populism.” That’s what you see when you look at Trump.

              Because you’re a fool.

              • Slothrop2

                If you voted for HRC, you’re a tool– I don’t know what to say to mitigate your stupidity. The only person she could ever possibly beat is Donald Trump, Pat Paulsen, or Gus Hall – clowns and apparitions. Trump is a con man, the people supporting him are most certainly populists.

                I mean, HRC. Good God. What were people thinking?

                • Lost Left Coaster

                  So just to be clear — you think it is arrogant to call Trump voters “low information,” but you think it is fine to call Clinton voters a “tool.”

                  What’s the logic at work here? When is it okay/not okay to deride people’s voting choices?

                • Rob in CT

                  Oh no, you might think I’m a tool. However will I get through the day?

                  Actually I voted for Bernie, but totally understand why others did not. Bernie was good at certain things, but he also had serious weaknesses.

                  I would have preferred a more gifted speaker to head the ticket (who was *also* good with policy details), but no such candidate was available this year. We elected him twice already.

                  the people supporting him are most certainly populists

                  They’re authoritarians, riled up about immigration.

            • efgoldman

              This is why, if Donald Trump wins, those persons who supported HRC are to blame for suppressing leftist populism.

              Bernie lost, get over it.
              Didn’t really miss you very much when you took off after the primaries.

            • Philip

              The Democrats are also responsible for global warming, Red Sox fans, and stealing Slothrop’s blankie.

      • GeoX

        If they’re considering voting for Trump, “low-information” is by far the most charitable thing you could call them.

        • Johnny Sack

          The most charitable I’m willing to go is “drooling moron”

      • Cash & Cable

        They don’t understand shit. Read “Democracy for Realists.” Voters in New Jersey punished Woodrow Wilson for a series of shark attacks. They punish incumbent politicians for weather-related acts of God like droughts and floods. They ignore all economic performance under the incumbent party up until the last six months before an election.

        The folk theory of the rational, policy-oriented voter has no real evidence backing it up. Electorally, people behave like animals: when they feel pain (whether through financial stress or just a blow to their egotistical sense of cultural dominance), they lash out indiscriminately.

        • Philip

          They re-elected Reagan for Carter’s economic policies.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          Are you denying that Woodrow Wilson was soft on sharks?

      • John F

        WTF is wrong with you? It’s not “arrogant” to notice that the majority are not political junkies who follow the polls and know each party’s actual platform by heart.

        • Slothrop2

          Campos is beginning to sound a little bit like Madison, Schumpeter, Lippmann, et al. – the little people need to shut up.

          • (((Hogan)))

            You’re not that little. AFAIK.

      • Jonny Scrum-half

        How is day-to-day existence for such voters any worse now than at any other point in the previous 20 years? What makes them desperate now?
        I know a lot of Trump voters, and I don’t see economic desperation as the issue. Most of them just like that Trump says whatever he wants.

        • Norrin Radd

          How is day-to-day existence for such voters any worse now than at any other point in the previous 20 years?

          See there was this thing called “2008” and it featured this thing called the “Great Recession”…and for some people that one year wiped out all 10 years of the 90s.

          • so-in-so

            Could be, but many Trump supporters are not, in fact, desperate but actually reasonably well off; which suggests it’s more the drip-drip-drip of their privileged positions as white Christians disappearing that bothers them.

            • Norrin Radd

              Don’t confused “many” with “most”. Trump won every income class during the primaries, so “many” of his supporters are well off, even wealthy. That’s not the base of his support, however. His supporters have a median household income of ~$70,000 vs a median household income for college educated whites of $107,000. I know white people who consider a $70,000 household income to be working class because they’re comparing themselves to their richer cousins–and those uppity blacks with college degrees.

              I’m not saying they’re not racist–its possible to be poor AND racist–but simply that they are more desperate than normal. Take a look at W. Virginia. They hated Obama in ’08 because he was black, but with the rise of natural gas over coal decimating coal country incomes, they’re also desperate.

          • FlipYrWhig

            And voters have never elected a Democrat again after that because they held them responsible for… wait, I’ll come in again.

        • Jackov

          They are 20 years older?

          Trump is up with Boomers partly because many of them
          are desperate to hold onto their racial and economic privilege.

          • Philip

            “Fuck you, I got mine” is such a beautiful generational motto.

          • Phil Perspective

            All the more reason that it’s stupid to blame millennials if Trump wins.

      • Johnny Sack

        Swing and a miss.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        People are desperate for change.

        Um, no. Trump voters are desperate for things not to change.

        • bender

          If that is true, both parties are running conservative campaigns. The Democrats want to preserve existing programs and institutions, with modest incremental change. The Republicans want to preserve existing social, ethnic and class structures.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate assessment.

            • Pat

              The Republican leaders want to cut taxes for the rich and services for the poor, while keeping guns plentiful and birth control hard to get.

              It’s not going to preserve the existing social structures, folks.

          • so-in-so

            To some extent, both, because the Democrats would like to preserve or extend programs, but make changes in the existing social, ethnic and class structures while the GOP wants to eliminate the programs (or restrict them to white people) and preserve the social order or even roll it back 30 years or more.

        • (((Hogan)))

          Or to change back.

  • NewishLawyer

    “Our conclusion is that democracies remain fragile for political reasons, not because of social class or culture clash, but because democracies contain within themselves substantial population blocs which are either ambivalent about democracy or opposed to it, and these groups, under particular circumstances and with the right leadership can be mobilized to weaken or destroy democracy. Mass attitudes about the legitimacy of the democratic political structure are a reality that transcends cultural, economic and class distinctions, and these well-established political beliefs form a potentially explosive element that may be difficult for public policy to defuse.”

    http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/09/15/a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it/

    I think civil liberties and civil libertarianism are very hard things to teach and probably always were. The other interesting and disturbing conclusion is that many Americans can have authoritarian views and attitudes without considering themselves to be authoritarian.

    The Police and some military vets are lining up for Trump seemingly because of his authoritarianism. Lots of white-Americans are seemingly embracing an ultra strong ethnonationalism. These people probably never had anything stronger than very lukewarm support for something like the 1st Amendment and a very distorted understanding of the first Amendment.

    • Woodrowfan

      an interesting article. but, as is so often the case, don’t read the comments. OBAMA IS THE REAL DIKTATOR! sheesh.

    • Johnny Sack

      I think civil liberties and civil libertarianism are very hard things to teach and probably always were

      Christ, we have millions of people in this country, today, who believe that shit like food, shelter, and basic medical care are privileges, that have to be earned. Humans can be frightfully cruel.

      • efgoldman

        Christ, we have millions of people in this country, today, who believe that shit like food, shelter, and basic medical care are privileges

        And millions more who’d vote against the bill of rights (except the second amendment, of course) if we had a referendum.

        • Philip

          Nah, they’d vote against the 2nd too. “Well regulated.”

          • Sev

            Are you suggesting that Missouri loves company?

      • Gareth

        Christ, we have millions of people in this country, today, who believe that shit like food, shelter, and basic medical care are privileges, that have to be earned.

        I’m one of them.

        • Johnny Sack

          Oh, you’re a sociopath? Thanks for the honesty.

          • Gareth

            As long as you have to work to produce food, shelter, and basic medical care, you should have to work to receive them.

            • The Temporary Name

              Bye granny! The stories just aren’t worth it.

            • Johnny Sack

              Yeah, you’re a detestable piece of shit. Don’t let anybody tell you different.

            • sibusisodan

              You must have been self sufficient from a very early age…

  • Gwen
  • liberal

    My impression is that Republicans are “coming home”.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      My impression is “as a dog returns to his vomit, Republicans are returning to their candidate”

      • so-in-so

        As a person who likes dogs, I find the comparison of the rabid GOP to my canine friends offensive.

        • Karen24

          Really. It’s more cockroaches and fire ants. When I’m in a good mood I compare them to rats, but then I remember that how the Nazis used rodent comparisons and decide that I’m being uncharitable to rattus rattus. So, roaches and fire ants and, for the most aggressive, hornets.

        • rea

          As a person who likes dogs, I’m offended by the comparison of dog vomit–a relatively benign substance–to Trump.

  • NewishLawyer

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/guns-and-sodas/2016/09/17/805e0db4-79e9-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html

    National
    In Jim Cooley’s open-carry America, even a trip to Walmart can require an AR-15
    By Terrence McCoy September 17

    Jim Cooley carries his AR-15 semiautomatic rifle into his home after getting it repaired in Winder, Ga. Cooley, who also owns a 9mm handgun, almost never leaves his home unarmed. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

    WINDER, Ga. —All Jim Cooley wants to do is buy some soda.

    “You want to come to Walmart?” he asks his wife.

    “No,” Maria says.

    “Pretty please?” Jim asks.

    “I’m not going to sit there and have the police called on you. I mean, I don’t want to see that crap,” Maria says, knowing what a trip to Walmart means. She knows her 51-year-old husband has two guns inside the house, and this afternoon it won’t be the 9mm, which he straps on with a round in the chamber when grabbing lunch at his favorite fast-food restaurant or visiting a friend’s auto shop. It’ll be the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which he brings when going somewhere he thinks is dangerous, like the Atlanta airport, where he’s taken it loaded with a 100-bullet drum, or Walmart, where he thinks crowds could pose easy targets for terrorists.

    In a country of relaxing gun laws where it’s now legal to open-carry in 45 states and there are 14.5 million carry permits, every day seems to bring a new version of what open carry can mean. In Kentucky, it’s now legal to open-carry in city buildings. In downtown Cleveland, people carried military-style rifles during the Republican National Convention. In Howell, Mich., last month, a father went openly armed to his child’s middle-school orientation. In Mississippi, it’s now legal to open-carry without a permit at all. And in Georgia, which has passed a “guns everywhere” bill and has issued nearly 1 million carry permits, Jim Cooley is staking out his version of what’s acceptable as he keeps pleading with his wife.

    “I got to get soda.”

    Maria sighs. She worked the night before assembling air-conditioner compressors at a nearby factory, and in a few hours, she knows she’ll have to leave for another third shift.

    “Yeah,” she says, giving in. “I might as well get this travesty out of the way.”

    “What travesty?”

    “You carrying a big ol’ rifle in the store, scaring the hell out of all the Walmart shoppers.”

    “There’s no difference between carrying a rifle and carrying a handgun,” he says.

    “You tried that last time, remember?” Maria says, stepping into a pair of flip-flops and running her fingers through her hair. “And what happened? Barrow County sheriffs. Three or four of them.”

    “They can’t tell me what and what not to carry,” Jim says. “You know I wouldn’t listen to them anyway.”

    “Well, you go one way in the store; I’ll go the other,” Maria says. “Then when they say, ‘Ma’am, do you know this person?’ I’ll say, ‘No, I’ve never seen him before in my life.’ ”

    He places a lit cigarette into an ashtray, walks into his bedroom, reaches behind its door, picks up the AR-15, snaps in a magazine with 15 rounds, and slings the rifle around his left shoulder so it rests against his torso.

    “Ready?” he asks.

    “Yeah,” she says, grabbing her purse and following her husband out the door for an afternoon trip to Walmart to buy soda.

    ***

    After performing errands, Jim Cooley smokes a cigarette while resting at his home in Winder. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

    The gun Jim Cooley carries is the ATI Omni-Hybrid Maxx AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. It cost him $579.99. It weighs 6.25 pounds, is 35 inches long, and fires bullets as fast as the trigger can be pulled, and, as Jim has learned, fits nicely between the front seats of a white minivan with peeling paint on the front and a bumper sticker on the back that says, “I ♥ Law.”

    Jim goes everywhere now with a gun — if not the AR-15, then his sidearm — and is so reliant on one being close by that it surprises him to think the majority of his life was lived otherwise. He was raised in a working-class family in Chicago, where he can’t imagine living now because of its strict gun laws. But they didn’t bother him then. He didn’t hunt. He didn’t fear for his safety. If his dad had a gun, no one knew. He grew up without a gun, went to church without a gun, married Maria without a gun, began raising two children without a gun, and settled into a life that felt as safe as it was dependable.

    But then it began unraveling, starting when he was fired from a trucking job days after telling Maria, who was pregnant with their first child, to quit her job and focus on the baby, that he could support them both. Their first bankruptcy filing wasn’t far behind, then the second, and the third, and then they were moving to Florida, where Maria had family and where Jim got a job with a grocery chain. It transferred him to Winder, and he moved the family into a middle-class neighborhood struggling with crime and drugs.

    1. How does this guy and his neighborhood get described as middle-class? It seems clear to me that a neighborhood struggling with crime (drugs are a different issue) is anything but middle-class. He also seems to have struggled economically through out his life.

    I worry that a lot of Jim Cooley’s are at their breaking points. The Minnesota stabbings and NYC bombings do not help in this regard.

    • MPAVictoria

      Amazing to me that this guy who has been bankrupt 4 times, has expensive medical problems and will never be able to return to full time work somehow has enough money for all these very expensive guns AND for the expensive ammo to shoot them. I am assuming he must be getting some help from those government programs he claims to hate.

      /If you carry a assault rifle around with you to do errands you are not only a paranoid idiot but a also HUGE asshole.

    • John F

      What’s amazing to me is that idjits like Cooley don’t seem to realize- IF there actually was a terrorist or spree killer at his Walmart, intent on gunning folks down, the very first thing the guy would do, the very first person he’d shoot, before you even knew something was happening, would be Cooley.

      “You tried that last time, remember?” Maria says, stepping into a pair of flip-flops and running her fingers through her hair. “And what happened? Barrow County sheriffs. Three or four of them.”

      “They can’t tell me what and what not to carry,” Jim says. “You know I wouldn’t listen to them anyway.”

      If Cooley was not white his life expectancy would be about 6 weeks of living like this, as it is he’s gotta have a far higher chance of being shot by a cop/shop owner/fellow open carrier, then he does of ever having the opportunity of defending himself from a terrorist

    • Johnny Sack

      Ed over at Gin and Tacos had a great post about this article last night.

      • NewishLawyer

        Those were my thoughts when I first read the article.

  • ploeg

    If there’s anything to a poll, it will likely show up in one way or another in other polls before long. As Marshall says, you must look at the poll averages over time. Trump has made solid runs in the past but has not been able to surpass Clinton for more than a day or two at a time. And longer voting periods mean that it’s less likely for Trump to get a stampede of support that overcomes the Clinton wall.

    • Ahenobarbus

      Nancy LeTourneau has a more optimistic analysis as well.

      http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/09/19/swinging-swing-states/

    • Dilan Esper

      Josh Marshall, who I generally like, is really writing like a homer sports fan this year. He downplays or ignores EVERY pro-Trump poll and plays up every pro-HRC one.

      • This is total bullshit:

        I also have another contending imperative: fundamental honesty with readers. This is something I’ve discussed with numerous staffers over many years. And it’s something I’ve tried to apply in running this organization. Obviously reporters should never lie or be dishonest. That’s obvious and not what I’m talking about. This is more than that. To me it means pushing as much information as possible to readers, within the bounds of source confidences, confirmation of basic facts, and so forth. It’s one reason I write in the first person rather than in the disembodied third person. It’s also why we sometimes narrate not just what happened but how we found out what happened, how we did the reporting.

        In any case, after looking at all the data over the last few days I’m less freaked that a lot of my friends about the state of the race. In some ways, I’d prefer to just keep my powder dry because if Trump is moving into a lead maybe I’ll have egg on my face since obviously Clinton still being in a good position is very much what I personally want to be the case. But the reality is that this is what I think right now, based on what I think is a reasonable interpretation of poll data, history and demography. So I wanted to share it with you. Maybe I’ll seem prescient or silly. But the reality is this is what I think right now.

        So here are three reasons why I’m still fairly confident, though by no means sure, that Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States, despite the rapidly closing gap between the two candidates.

        Yes. Totally and uncritically in the tanks.

        Polltracker is consistently more pessimistic than other averages, in part because they incorporate various Trump leaning online pools

        • John F

          You actually have no idea that the article you link to actually supports Dilan’s claim more than yours, do you?

          • I…have no such idea because i think it doesn’t.

            Yes, he expresses some reasons why he thinks the bad numbers won’t hold but he’s extremely provisional about it and up fronting his biases.

            • petesh

              And this is a bad thing, why?

              • It’s not! I think it’s great. But that’s not what Dilan said. That’s not “writing like a homer sports fan this year. He downplays or ignores EVERY pro-Trump poll and plays up every pro-HRC one.”

                • petesh

                  My genuine misunderstanding (and surprise).

                • No worries. I was sarcastic without using the sarcasm font in my first reply :)

                  I think Marshall has been exemplary, esp. in this particular post. Given the movement in the polls, it’s reasonable to ask what the causal structure is. Two weeks ago people thought there was a new baseline post DNC. But we’re looking a bit closer to RNC. Is this going to be a “normalish” election? A very close one? An all over the place one? Is there an ebb and flow driven by Trump being restrained because of low numbers then bumptious then back again?

                  I’m personally not convinced that one can sort it out very well esp. as we don’t fully understand how differential response works and third party dynamics might be odd this year *AND* we have very asymmetrical ground games. So, there’s a lot of room for guessing. I don’t mind that as long as one is upfront that that’s what you’re doing. And that’s what Josh did.

            • John F

              I didn’t say (mean to say) it “supports” his idea, only that it was closer to his take on Marshall’s spin than to yours, neither of which I find to be totally accurate.

              Marshal does tend to explain away good news for Trump, but he doesn’t ignore it/exclude it, Dilan is exaggerating it, but his thesis is not “total bullshit” as you assert

              • The Temporary Name

                It’s total bullshit. “I’m for Hillary but here are the facts” is not ignoring anything.

              • Marshal does tend to explain away good news for Trump, but he doesn’t ignore it/exclude it, Dilan is exaggerating it, but his thesis is not “total bullshit” as you assert

                I really fail to see how three paragraphs explaining that what he’s doing is potentially highly biased, coupled with systematically including the most trumping polls in his tracker, can be construed as “He downplays or ignores EVERY pro-Trump poll and plays up every pro-HRC one.”

                Consider this post:

                https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/polling-note

                He doesn’t like the poll’s methodology but includes it. He mentions that he thinks it’s likely off (because landline) but is very judicious about the dangers of such speculation.

                So, writing like a homer is “some potentially biased speculation after carefully noting the dangers of such speculation”? I don’t feel that it is.

                The fact that his polling average is consistently the most pessimistic seems to dispose of the problem.

                • Or this post where he full out dismisses the Emerson polls:

                  As I hope I’ve made clear, bad polls from NYT/CBS, Bloomberg/Selzer, CNN/ORC, etc. – you can’t dismiss those. Even if the internals look funny to you. Those are each premium phone polls with strong, national reputations. Emerson, which released another group of polls today, you can dismiss. They are one of the few landline only pollsters around today. And their way of adjusting for that shortcoming (“3 point decrease in Conservative opinion and a 3 point increase in Liberal opinion to offset the bias in land line only telephone polls”)

                  Or this:

                  The first perspective to have on the polls is that the polls have been slowly trending in Trump’s direction for a few weeks. That is happening. There are various sources of noisiness in the data. But when you step way back the trend in Trump’s direction is real and indisputable.

                  It’s particularly disquieting from a Democratic perspective to see Trump now holding apparent leads, albeit small ones, in Florida and Ohio. As we know, from sad history, winning Florida and Ohio (by whatever means) made George W. Bush president twice.

                  [some maybe it’s not too bad stuff]

                  The truth is I don’t think we have enough data to know whether this is another pro-Trump oscillation or the beginning of a real shift that makes a Trump victory substantially more likely. The polls tell us clearly that Trump has closed a substantial part of the gap that opened up in August. It’s not clear he’s made headway on breaking through the wall he’s been locked under all year. It is also important to note that as of now, even with the states he’s doing well in, he still has to essentially run the electoral board to win the presidency. I continue to believe that there are structural factors with voting blocs that makes a Trump victory unlikely. But theories always need to give way to data. I will be watching the numbers over the next week to see if that calculus changes and whether Clinton seems to have sustained either temporary or longerstanding damage from her rough weekend and being off the campaign trail for a few days.

                  The fact is that Clinton IS still favoured to win. There ARE some structural advantages. There DOES seem to be a Trump ceiling. But, it could be that all that evaporates. Which is what he said. How this is explaining away Trump’s polling is really beyond me. What do you think he *should* have said instead?

          • ploeg

            This is actually rhe article thai I linked to originally. If I remember correctly, Marshall’s policy is to throw all the polls into his average unless a specific poll’s methodology is entirely off the wall (for example, land line only). So there’s a little filter there but not much.

            • Yep! Sorry, I should have attributed.

              Polltracker must do something funky because I thought it got everything from Pollster. But Pollster lets you filter so maybe other aggregators filter differently?

              • Dilan Esper

                I’d normally respond to all of this, but I don’t have any desire to engage Bijan Parsia, who stalks me and refuses to leave me alone despite having been asked several times.

                • You did respond to it. Unfortunately, you didn’t respond to the content but with your usual lies about me.

                  Dude, there was a perfectly reasonable conversation without you. No need to crud it up with your silliness if you don’t want to engage, just don’t.

                  Repeating falsely accusing someone of stalking and mental illness is, in fact, a form of harassment. Replying to some of someone’s comments on a message board, even if they are mildly mean, is not. There’s an unsubtle different.

                • Rob in CT

                  Still trying this, eh?

  • gorillagogo

    I have started making the argument “Would you let Donald Trump perform surgery on you? Would you get on a commercial airplane if Donald Trump was the pilot? These are actually less important jobs than US President” to Trump-curious relatives and coworkers. It usually shuts up the too frequent “what does it really matter?” refrain but i have no idea whether anyone actually changes their mind.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Hmmm…I’d let Ben Carson perform surgery on me. I wouldn’t let Barack Obama do so. This has nothing to do with their qualifications for the presidency.

      • Wapiti

        Would you buy a time share from Trump? Would you invest money in his companies? The dude’s called a “successful” businessman, but he’s had 6 businesses go bankrupt and his taxes have something in them that he knows he can’t release. Failure!

        • Would you do any work for him without getting the money up front?

    • Johnny Sack

      I have started making the argument “Would you let Donald Trump perform surgery on you? Would you get on a commercial airplane if Donald Trump was the pilot? These are actually less important jobs than US President” to Trump-curious relatives and coworkers.

      Less important, maybe, but your surgeon or pilot is going to have much more of an effect on your day, especially of he/she is lazy and underskilled.

      • liberalrob

        Would you let Hillary Clinton perform surgery on you? Would you get on a commercial airplane if Hillary Clinton was the pilot?

        These aren’t really very good analogies…

        If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you want Donald Trump deciding whether your health insurance would cover your treatment? (Would you want Donald Trump deciding whether you would get treated, period?) If you lost your job, would you want Donald Trump determining your eligibility for unemployment insurance payments? Would you trust Donald Trump to invest your life’s savings?

  • John F

    If it will make you feel any better, the just released Morning Consult poll has it as Clinton +4, their last one before that was Clinton +1

    Also the LA Times/USC poll has had Trump at +6 and +7 before
    If you look at Pollster, or RCP what you see is that Trump’s current polling is now at what has been his ceiling in the past.

    1. He stays up there for another week time to get really concerned because he has not done that before
    2. He breaches that ceiling, then yes time to panic.

    Keep in mind that Trump did NOT exceed his polling during the primaries- he either matched it or came in a little UNDER- Cruz and Rubio actually tended to over-perform a little- trouble was that pundits (and some folks who really should have known better like Nate Silver) tended to either ignore the polling or assumed it was waaay off because they simply could not believe Trump could win- I note this because you will also see people who claim/assume that polling is underrating Trump- that Trump voters are reluctant to admit voting for Trump- not happening, Trump supporters are the oppsoite of a silent majority.

    • JMV Pyro

      note this because you will also see people who claim/assume that polling is underrating Trump- that Trump voters are reluctant to admit voting for Trump-

      Is there any evidence that this is even a thing in general?

      • weirdnoise

        Or, people are angry and want to “send a message” when surveyed but this November they’ll recoil from actually voting for the guy. Or not.

        There are all sorts of hypotheses one could come up with as to whether or how polls might be wrong. There seems to be damn little evidence which hypothesis is right vs another.

  • NewishLawyer
  • JustinVC

    If Trump is winning 19% of blacks, 33% of Latinos, and a majority of others,” yeah, he’s going to win. On the other hand, 55% of white people just won’t cut it.

    This poll controls for party identification. Since Trump’s biggest suppor group are tea partiers who self-report as independents, it’s going to be very biased in Trump’s favor. Plus it keeps polling the same people, and other than NeverTrump’s who are now <3Trump<3, how many people are changing their mind? The shifts come to voter intensity leading to a likely voter model, and people just dropping out of the poll. All it shows is that Trumpians <3 Trump more than Democrats like Clinton. How that turns out on election day, this poll tells us little.

    That doesn't mean Clinton will win, but no need to get your panties in a bunch over this one.

    • Timurid

      19% of blacks and 33% of Latinos are on bath salts?
      Makes me nostalgic for the good old days of the crack epidemic…

    • brugroffil

      That’s the thing we’ve seen with this tracking poll again and again–his support among black voters jumps from 0% to 20% pretty much weekly.

      It’s essentially an “experimental” poll with an unusual methodology that is very dissimilar from “normal” polls.

      Not to unskew too hard, but there’s not much of a reason to pay attention to this one at this point.

      • junker

        I agree with this. I’m not sure what the point of this type of poll is. We know that most people are consistent party line voters so we should be suspicious of a poll that purports to show the same voters being sampled over and over again that shows significant changes over time.

        • postmodulator

          Well, people lie and claim to not be party line voters. They even lie to themselves about it.

    • Johnny Sack

      That 33% must be white latinos. No intelligent person darker than, say, Brad Pitt, should be supporting Trump. I would say no intelligent person, period, but in this case I’m talking purely about self-preservation instinct.

      And 19% of blacks? There’s just no way that a fifth of black voters don’t care that Trump is openly endorsed by white nationalists.

    • John F

      This poll controls for party identification.

      you can’t/should not do that, that is literally what the original “unskewed” was about- controlling for party identification, you POLL for party identification, you control for race/age, etc.

      • Loofah

        You don’t “control” for party id in a poll — you “control” for variables in a regression model. But the vast majority of pollsters do weight on party id.

    • efgoldman

      If Trump is winning 19% of blacks, 33% of Latinos, and a majority of others….

      Then I’m going to run right out and buy a unicorn farm and a hundred powerball tickets, because it ain’t happening.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      It weights by 2012 vote. People who voted for the winning candidate are more likely to say so, while people who didn’t vote may say they voted for the winner, and people who voted for the loser may also, or may say they didn’t vote or they don’t remember.

      Which combines to mean that Romney voters are most likely being weighted more strongly than they should be. All in all, seems like a pretty bad choice methodologically.

      The other issue is trickier. They’re using a panel and recontacting over the campaign. But it could be that their panel is somewhat more Trump-leaning just by random chance. But that’s the panel they’re stuck with, so it will retain that lean over the course of the campaign. It could also be that their panel is more reflective than the other polls, or even leans Clinton relative to the true population of voters. That’s a problem inherent to the panel format.

      But given how much of a pro-Trump outlier that poll is consistently, I’m going to say that their weighting and possibly their panel composition are probably just overestimating Trump significantly.

  • West

    I’m finding it necessary to just accept my own cynicism as being justified. Like the old saying about the need to go a bit crazy, if you are surrounded by true craziness.

    I’ve always realized that a substantial percentage of Americans were ignorant and proud of it. I’ve always realized a substantial percentage of Americans are just plain stupid. I’ve also always realized that a substantial percentage of Americans are deeply bigoted (by far and away mainly a white people problem, though I see some spillover where anti-Muslim animosity is concerned). All of these problems can be found in other countries too, so it’s not like it’s just us, and I’m not kidding myself that there’s a greener pasture awaiting me. But the percentages of all three groups here in the States are much higher than I imagined, and the degree to which it makes them easy marks is even more severe than I had thought. And the immorality of the media has really taken me aback. The gullibility, the willingness to be taken in by this particular huckster, is really breathtaking.

    I used to be in construction back in my early adult years, and if Trump had gotten lost and wandered onto a construction site and started bloviating at us in his usual way, I think there’d have been a 75% chance (or more) that he’d have gotten his ass kicked. Not for any specific political reason, just because of what an obvious asshole he is, and the assumption (correct!) that he’s probably the kind of asshole who stiffs his contractors. There was no chance of this, of course; for all his macho alleged real estate development swagger, I doubt he’s ever gotten one fleck of dirt on his shoes his entire life.

    • Paul Campos

      Yeah this.

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      Lots of attorneys in lots of depositions have shown Trump to be pretty ignorant about his own businesses, real estate development in general, and even relatively basic concepts like net present value. He inherited $200 million and a portfolio of like 10,000 NYC apartments and has been surrounded by yes-men and lackeys his whole life who do all the actual work. If he were on his own, I doubt Trump could oversee the construction of a new McDonald’s.

      • John F

        You do realize that given his business practices it’s usually been in his interest to act like he’s pretty ignorant of his own businesses while under oath

        • Johnny Sack

          I’m not familiar with this area of law, but if Trump is a principal of the business, I’m not sure ignorance is any defense-it’s the type of thing he is responsible for knowing, and should know, and be held responsible for not knowing.

    • Yankee

      Your third paragraph would seem to conflict with your second. Are those manual-labor guys canny or ignorant? If they can see up close, why can’t they perceive at a distance?

      Evidently the country is too big to be governed by everybody, given modern media, talking mostly social media, and the human tendency to form mobs, the politics are radically unstable. The fixable error is allowing so much power to be concentrated in one place. Around here state houses = TiDoS, but you’ve got your California to go with your Kansas. If you can’t fix Rhode Island, why would you think you can keep Washington on the straight? Toynbee said, civilization grows until it becomes unsustainable, then it falls apart. We’re there. Not even counting climate change.

      • West

        Your third paragraph would seem to conflict with your second. Are those manual-labor guys canny or ignorant? If they can see up close, why can’t they perceive at a distance?

        I concede the conflict and I struggle with those questions endlessly. And not only with regards to construction workers , but at other tiers of the population, too. I just don’t know the answer.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    “…I think he has something in the neighborhood of a 30% shot of winning, which is genuinely terrifying.”

    You’re locked in a room with a 20Mt hydrogen bomb in the middle of NYC, and the timer is ticking down to zero. Ten wires connect the timer to the bomb, and you’re trying to decide which wire to cut: 7 will disarm the bomb, 3 will cause it to detonate.

    Welcome to Election 2016. Feeling better about that “30% chance of Trump winning” now?

    • Gregor Sansa

      Oh come on, now, don’t exaggerate. I think Trump is a few dozen kilotons, at most.

    • ajay

      You’re locked in a room with a 20Mt hydrogen bomb in the middle of NYC,

      Given that 20 Mt hydrogen bombs are about 25 feet long, my initial reaction would be to congratulate myself on somehow managing to score a really rather nice apartment right in the middle of Manhattan.

      • Caepan

        “Yeah, there’s a 20 Mt hydrogen bomb right in the middle of the place, but – hardwood floors!”

        • weirdnoise

          “It’s such a marvelous conversation piece.”

          • postmodulator

            “The downside is that the landlord has gotten pretty aggressive about trying to get the rent-controlled tenants out.” gestures at bomb resignedly

            • ajay

              +SS18 to all of these and in particular gestures at bomb resignedly.

      • UserGoogol

        But the geographic center of New York is in Bushwick, which is much more affordable.

        • Geographic center, epicenter—who’s counting?

        • BartletForGallifrey

          Cheaper != affordable.

          Sent from my $2000 shoebox

  • gusmpls

    Been saying for a while in comment threads that I think Trump will win. People poo-poo it, sometimes contemptuously. They seem to have more faith in their fellow Americans than I do. I think Trump wins in a very tight race, maybe even losing the popular vote. I’ll be so happy to be wrong.

    • brugroffil

      It’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario where he manages to lose the popular vote but wins the EV.

    • JMV Pyro

      For me at least it’s because people were insisting to me 4/8 years ago at around the same point we are at now that there was no way Obama could win/be reelected.

      I get that lefties can be predisposed to cynicism, but there’s a point where that can blind you just as badly as extreme optimism.

    • witlesschum

      Probably because, even if you turn out to be right, you don’t have a reason for thinking that other than pure pessimism.

  • mpavilion

    Sign up to volunteer with the Hillary Clinton campaign in your state. Make phone calls to swing states; enter data; knock on doors (if you live in a swing state, or are up for traveling). Give as much time as you can spare — anything is helpful.

    • JL

      This. I went on a canvass in NH yesterday and it was great (it turns out that canvassing during a football game on a dreary day is fantastic, as long as the game isn’t so tight that people resent being pulled away for a moment, because most people are home). As a bonus, the canvassing in NH (no idea about other states) involves canvassing for the competitive down-ticket races (in the part of NH I was in, that’s Senate, House, and Governor) as well. I’ve now done two canvasses and a phone bank for Clinton – I’ll probably try to do at least two more canvasses and one more phone bank, plus Election Day stuff.

      Another option, which I’ve also been doing, is (if you live in or near a state that allows voter registration drives) to register new voters. In general, expanding access to the franchise will help Dems, as well as being a moral good in its own right. If there’s any organization in your area that registers students, newly naturalized citizens, or some other obvious group, as voters, plug in.

    • Johnny Sack

      And if you have friends in swing states, make sure they register to vote. And get them to ask at least 5 of their friends in the state, and ask them to ask 5 friends, etc. My SIL recently registered to vote in PA.

    • junker

      This is exactly right. If you insist on being a chicken little, then, you know, do something about it.

      • JMV Pyro

        Honestly what annoys me about them is that you just know the worst of them don’t.

    • West

      Yup, I live in MA but grew up in PA, I can still do the accent. My sister lives in a purplish sort of Philly ‘burb that used to be staunchly red, but has been trending ever more blue each cycle. Would be a good place for me to go help drive the elderly to the voting booth. Or whatever they assign me to.

    • Solar System Wolf

      I canvassed this weekend and also did voter registration last week. This week I’ll do more voter registration and might hit the phone banks. CO is a purple state, so I feel like my efforts will be more valuable than they were in CA, where I used to live.

      • mpavilion

        That’s great… I live in CA, my dad lives in CO. Apparently he was originally planning to vote for Stein(!); I was ready to tear into him when we visited last month, but fortunately he had already come to his senses.

        • JL

          If, as a Californian, you’re able to get to Nevada to canvass (there might be some carpools and such from your area if you check the Clinton campaign events page), Nevada is really tight right now, and it’s also got one of the tightest Senate races. The Nevada campaign folks would probably appreciate any assist you can give them!

          • mpavilion

            Can’t make it to NV, but call there every Saturday from my phone bank. Others from our group have been going there to canvass, and register voters, on the weekend trips.

    • efgoldman

      So, ~300 comments in this thread, and one small (6 comments as I type) subthread tangentially discussing HRC’s yooooge YOOOOGE advantage in GOTV and ground game; even the “likely voter” polls don’t account for this.
      How many of the big-mouthed Combover Caligula voters will stay home?
      I’m in true blue RI, and I expect to get called at least once.

    • coover

      How can you sign up to do data entry? I’ve signed up on the website multiple times and I keep getting emails asking me to donate or canvass. Since it seems impossible to talk to a person, I haven’t been able to say that I’d like to do data entry.

  • ploeg

    With regards to normalization, the horse has left the barn a long, long time ago. The man was obviously an authoritarian racist from the days of the Central Park Five, and he got his own long-running prime-time TV show. And if there’s anything that the modern GOP stands for, it’s that people like Donald Trump are job creators who are far more capable of running the country than any Washington bureaucrat.

  • Yankee

    Also, the October Surprise.

    • Johnny Sack

      Sure, another nothingburger email dump.

      Actually, I have some rightwing acquaintances who are really into some pretty out there theories, to the point where it’s basically an exercise in surrealism.

      One guy I know is convinced that the Trump campaign has found out that Bill Clinton fathered an illegitimate black child. And they’re going to dump this info in mid-October.

      This is Bill Clinton we’re talking about. If he’s fathered illegitimate children or continued to fuck around a la Weiner, there are two options 1) we’d know about it already, or 2) he’s paying them a shitload of money to keep quiet, more than Deadbeat Donald can offer them.

      • so-in-so

        That’s Rove’s thing against McCain in 2000!

        It was a lie, but it worked in, IIRC, the North Carolina primary.

        Really, how many people not already voting Trump would care?

        • Johnny Sack

          Really, how many people not already voting Trump would care?

          Well, it would lead to a lot of chin stroking by some Very Serious People.

      • John F

        One guy I know is convinced that the Trump campaign has found out that Bill Clinton fathered an illegitimate black child. And they’re going to dump this info in mid-October.

        wasn’t this rumor floated 20+ years ago?

        and, would this actually hurt HRC? Sure push-polling to spread this rumor about McCain certainly hurt McCain in a GOP primary, but I’m unclear how in our current polarized environment, and the nature of the Dem coalition, how would this hurt HRC?

        • Johnny Sack

          Everything is a remix, I guess. And yeah, even if that really were the supposed October Surprise…eh. If that’s the best my fever swamp-steeped acquaintance can think of, I think we’re fine.

      • ajay

        One guy I know is convinced that the Trump campaign has found out that Bill Clinton fathered an illegitimate black child.

        He concealed the child in a remote part of the United States, arranged a fake identity including backdated birth certificate, and had him raised by a sympathetic acquaintance, one Ann Dunham.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      I don’t know, I feel like we’re moving beyond this. I may be wrong. I just can’t imagine WikiLeaks has anything good, since they have already tried to push a bunch of horseshit that meant pretty much nothing. Cried wolf and all that.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      I’m hoping that Clinton has kept her powder dry on some juicy oppo research.

      October surprise doesn’t have to be in Trump’s favor…

      • (((Hogan)))

        What could be worse than what’s already out there? “He masterminded 9/11”?

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          I think that’s the Trump campaign’s October surprise to use against Hillary. She’s been very busy, doing 9/11, starting birtherism and co-founding ISIS with Obama…

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          Actually I suppose some big GOPer endorsement could be a thing too.

      • Johnny Sack

        Say what you will about Rove, the man could ratfuck. He was trained by the maestro himself, Donald Segretti.

        Near as I can tell, Trump doesn’t have any preternatural ratfuckers in the grand GOP tradition of Rove, Atwater, Segretti & Co. If he did, I might be afraid. But nah.

        • so-in-so

          Are you sure Trump, Bannon and Ailes between them don’t “know a guy”?

          • Johnny Sack

            If they do, it sure seems like he’s holding his fire.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          You are forgetting that Roger Stone works for Trump. Expert ratfucker right there.

  • SP

    That’s a pretty bizarre polling methodology:

    We ask voters what the chance is that they will vote for Trump, Clinton or someone else, using a 0-100 scale. The overall level of support for each candidate reflects the weighted average of those responses.

    It’s well known that Trump’s core supporters are insane and would likely answer this 100 Trump 0 Hillary. Hillary supporters overall are less likely to give her a 100 but still think Trump is 0. That means two “typical” voters, which should show a tied poll since each gets one vote, are going to give Trump a lead. I mean, maybe this is a neat truck to use intensity of support as a proxy for a likely voter filter, and certainly the recent trend is back towards Trump, but in the end this conflates intensity of support and number of votes which doesn’t seem terribly valid.

    • Gregor Sansa

      Interesting. I’d missed that. I had focused on the post-stratification using the reported past votes, which is a more-or-less good thing. But the numbers game you point to is wacky, and makes me breathe a sigh of relief. So, my comment just below is mostly invalid.

    • junker

      I am not really sure how that top line number works. They say that whole “0-100 thing” but at the bottom they claim that they just ask the person who they voter for.

      The methodology of how they came to conclude that 48% of voters supports Trump is unclear. Is it true that 48& of voters support him or that on average people say they are 48/100 likely to vote for him?

  • Gregor Sansa

    This poll’s methodology should make it better at reading the day-to-day changes in the race, but with a large and unknown bias underlying it. So the absolute numbers don’t scare me, but the fact that it is agreeing with other polls in seeing a real Trump boost… that does. To be frank I’m baffled by that movement. And it shakes my confidence a good deal.

    I still think that good news for Clinton is more likely than good news for Trump in the future. But then, I thought that a month ago, and I was wrong. Scary.

    • Manny Kant

      The bias is not unknown. We know it’s biased towards the Republicans because it is pegged to self-reported voting in the 2012 election. But we know that more people always claim to have voted for the winner than actually did. So this poll is weighted to contain a bunch of supposed Obama voters in 2012 who actually voted for Romney. So too many Republicans, not enough actual Democrats.

      • Gregor Sansa

        But the size of that bias is unknown.

  • King Goat

    Trump is an ‘objectively terrible candidate,’ a common (and true) line here at LGM.

    Clinton is increasingly losing to him.

    But we dare, dare not whisper that this could in any way be Clinton’s fault, or the Party’s fault for choosing her.

    It’s time instead to blame the media (which anyone knew disliked Clinton way back), the voters (who had high unfavorables of her back when she was being chosen).

    It’s time to do everything one can to defeat Trump. But it’s also time to think, what is going wrong *that we have control of*, and how can it be fixed in the future.

    • Dilan Esper

      +1 The media bashing is really tiresome.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Yeah, and it was totally a bore to read The Daily Howler back in 2000. And then George W Bush winning… yawn.

      • Morse Code for J

        Tiresome, yet accurate.

        If I had an NYT subscription, it would have been cancelled no later than the story about clouds, shadows and no actual wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation.

        • King Goat

          Imagine the Panther’s coach planning for a game saying ‘we know the refs are not going to give Cam the same protection as they give someone like Brady, we know it. But it’s so inherently unfair, racist and ugly that they do. Let’s draw up a game plan that assumes the refs will not do such unfair, racist and ugly things. If they do, and we lose, we’ll really, really, complain about it [and be *totally* justified].”

          Would you say, my God, what a great coach, though his team lost, he really stood against all that’s ugly and unfair.

          How much worse would it be if, if you lost, millions of vulnerable people would suffer?

          • Morse Code for J

            Unless there’s a QB on the Panthers’ roster that will get the helmet-to-helmet calls that Cam Newton does not, and that QB is good enough to edge out Cam Newton in competition for the job, all you can do is to present your best game plan given the circumstances at hand.

            The primaries show that Hillary Clinton will turn out more likely Democratic voters than any other candidate running this year. The rest is up to those voters.

            • King Goat

              Yes, if she fails, it is the voters who failed us.

              That’s at least different from, if she fails, it was the media, whom we knew would go after Hillary, that failed us.

              • brewmn

                Are you pleased with the coverage of the campaign so far?

      • Grumpy

        Sorry if we’re boring you. You know what? I have a ball. Perhaps you’d like to bounce it.

        Whoah!

        Got away from you, huh?

        Well, you keep at it.

        • King Goat

          It’s true, I’m anything but bored as I watch this election slip away. I realize the prospect of a Trump presidency might leave you in a cold indifference, but not me.

          • GeoX

            Yes, that’s right. People here are indifferent to the prospect of a Trump presidency.

            Seriously, don’t be a dick.

            • JMP

              But don’t you see, it’s all the fault of those Democratic voters who had the temerity to nominate a candidate who doesn’t have a dick and therefore doesn’t deserve to be President, in King Goat’s world we all deserve a President Trump for not recognizing that a President must have a penis and nominating someone who does!

      • Karen24

        So, you think the media would have been harder on Trump if his opponent had been Sanders? That’s the issue: Trump has gotten beyond a free pass on his policies, which range from idiotic all the way to lethal. We could have nominated a cardboard cutout of Librace riding a unicycle and still face the problem that the media gave Trump a pass.

        • King Goat

          Sanders was far, far worse than Clinton. That our options were those two is a signal that something was very, very wrong.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Or maybe it’s a signal that your individual political opinions and preferences are not widely shared.

            • King Goat

              Hmm, it seems your preference of Hillary Clinton as President is increasingly ‘not widely shared.’ At what point would you recognize this ‘signal?’

              • FlipYrWhig

                At what point will you admit that BETTER CANDIDATE AND BETTER VOTERS WOULD BE BETTER AND BETTER IS BETTER THAN BAD is pure masturbation?

              • witlesschum

                Because that’s basically the condition of modern American politics that no one likes anything or anyone so I don’t take it seriously.

                Force them to choose and who they like becomes less important.

      • Johnny Sack

        Of course you think that.

        • Pat

          Given that he’s voting for Republicans in November, yes, he thinks that.

          You can tell by all the “negging” that the goat does. He has no progressive instincts at all.

          And tons of time to comment…

      • JMP

        See King Goat, you’re so insufferable you’re getting a thumbs up from fucking Dilan, that should tell you right there that you are doing something really wrong.

        This is where a block option would be so very nice.

    • Gregor Sansa

      Part, but not all, of the story is misogyny and misogyny-adjacent media bias. To the extent that’s what’s going on, I’m reluctant to try to “fix” the system except by getting Clinton to win and then saying IN YOUR FACE.

      There is more to the story than that, and of course I am 100% in favor of reforming the primary system. But if you’re going to claim it made a mistake, you have to put more meat on those bones. What would you fix? How could that plausibly have lead to a better result? I think I could answer those questions, but based on past threads, I suspect I’d strongly disagree with how you’d answer them.

      • King Goat

        “is misogyny and misogyny-adjacent media bias”

        Of course the media bias is stupid, and of course a lot of it is misogyny. Of course we should abhor that and speak out about it and try to change it. But not taking that, admittedly ugly and stupid, reality into account when choosing a candidate for an election with consequences like this one (SCOTUS!, opposition party control of Congress and most statehouses), is like political malpractice for those who should know better.

        • Morse Code for J

          One could just as easily say that it was political malpractice to run a black incumbent President after a huge midterm loss, amid the racism and xenophobia we know this country to wallow in.

          • King Goat

            Yeah, one that had low unfavorables, that had little connection to the ‘establishment’ in a time where the electorate hates that…And remember, there’s different rules coming off two terms of the opposition party and two terms of coming of your party!

        • Manny Kant

          So what you’re saying is that this election was far too important for us to choose anyone but a man as our candidate?

          • JMP

            But he’s not a misogynist, he just thinks we should pander to the misogynists and refuse to ever nominate a woman!

            Oh wait, that means he actually is a big-time misogynist.

    • Morse Code for J

      Which Democratic candidate is going to convince the kind of white people who like hearing that Muslims cheered 9/11 to vote for a vision of government where people of color are treated with equal decency to white people with Scots-Irish surnames?

      • King Goat

        You don’t need to go that far to realize: a 68 year old woman might be more susceptible to (admittedly misogynistic) health and ‘vigor’ attacks; a candidate with high unfavorables starts out climbing a difficult mountain; a candidate with a long history of seeming ‘uninspiring’ (somewhat due to admittedly misogynistic reasons) starts out climbing a difficult mountain; a candidate whose spouse’s actions (totally unfair to her) has led to an adverse relationship with the national press is going to get a (admittedly unfair) treatment from them, etc,

        Step back for a minute and imagine you’re a political consultant with no allegiances, is *that* the candidate you want to manage? The answer is no to all but those involved in cult-like devotion, so the next healthy question I submit is, how did we end up with that?

        • Rob in CT

          Cult-like devotion? What the fuck.

          The best you can come up with is Gillibrand and really, we have no idea if she’d be any good in a national campaign. And she, just like HRC, would suffer from sexism. I have a vaguely positive view of her which is based on her being a Dem and not much else.

          Biden – laughable.
          O’Malley – went nowhere.

          Who else? WHO?

          • King Goat

            When people are like ‘yes our candidate is losing to what we acknowledge is an ‘objectively terrible candidate, but please, don’t dare voice any criticism of our candidate’ then yes, I think that’s ‘cult like devotion.’

            • Rob in CT

              First, I don’t think she’s losing. It’s tight, but I think she’s still ahead and will win.

              Second, *if* she loses, then having a whole “what did we do wrong” discussion makes sense. It might also make some sense even if she wins (narrow win). It doesn’t make much sense now, except that you’re freaking out and want someone/something to blame.

              Third, you do a lot of complaining about how terrible our options were, but very little explaining what you think should be done better. So if we’re going to have the conversation you claim to want to have, why is that?

              • FlipYrWhig

                He blames the DNC and superdelegates. Also most everyone else who either voted but badly, or was a politician who didn’t run BECAUSE OF DELEGATE SOMETHING SINISTER even though they would totally have been better.

              • King Goat

                I’ve said rather plainly and repeatedly what should be done better: no superdelegates.

                Well, I’ll add, no arrogance in selecting candidates that might show many usual electoral signs of being poor. Especially in an election where our party has won the previous two terms!

                • FlipYrWhig

                  So your solution is that more people should have voted for a different candidate, one that would be better. This is not a solution. This is pouting.

                • Rob in CT

                  Having no supers doesn’t change the primary results. I don’t think it alters the field either. The supers validated the voting results.

                  Also, too: the other side doesn’t have supers. They nominated a fucking conman.

                  no arrogance in selecting candidates

                  Oh for fuck’s sake.

                • Johnny Sack

                  So your brilliant idea is to do away with something that had no discernible effect on the nomination? Wow, I’m just in awe of your intellect.

                • Quaino

                  Those black people and their arrogance in choosing Hillary Clinton over the Great White Hope Bernie Sanders.

                  Errr… shit… sorry, superdelegates. They’re the problem. Yep. Definitely. Nobody saw that other thing right?

                • FlipYrWhig

                  To be fair, he says Sanders would be worse. He thinks there’s something driving better candidates out of the arena and depriving us of a chance to vote for them.

                • JMP

                  I’m still not sure if King Goat is a wingnut pretending to be anti-Clinton liberal to engage in ratfucking and try to discourage us from voting, or an egotistical fauxgressive cheering for Clinton to lose because he’d rather be able to say “I told you so” than actually win; either way though he’s a giant asshole with a really annoying pathological need to ruin every single thread discussing the election.

            • brugroffil

              “yes our candidate is losing”

              She isn’t. I think that’s an important thing to point out during your present meltdown.

              • King Goat

                Keep telling yourself that. I hear Mitt told himself that to the very end.

                • Quaino

                  I think Mitt had more evidence he was losing than a one-off, incoherent poll.

                • ajay

                  So, be honest: why do you think she’s losing? Not as in “she’s losing because she’s a horrible candidate” – what is the evidence that has led you to believe that she is losing?

                • brugroffil

                  Mitt was actually losing in the polls though? And Clinton, conversely, is still winning even if not by as much as we’d all like?

            • FlipYrWhig

              How about when people are like “stop being a whiny git who’s this proud of himself for no evident reason?”

          • It’s entirely because 1.) cultural misogyny is pervasive, and 2.) the GOP and its voters have spent 25 years in an echo chamber telling themselves that Hillary Clinton is a combination of Lady MacBeth, Machiavelli, and Cruella DeVille, but considering Obama’s approval rating I am 100% convinced that Biden would be running away with this race. As would Obama, if it were constitutionally allowable.

            • Rob in CT

              Joe Biden is the sort of guy who’s a fine VP but he face-planted pretty badly in the past when he tried for the big chair. He’s gaffe-prone and older than Clinton (he’ll be 74 this year).

              I don’t see it.

              • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                • Rob in CT

                  Hey, maybe you’re right. We’ll never know.

              • so-in-so

                Also, I guy who’s so half-hearted about running that he didn’t even get tin the race, as a sitting VP. He could have, I’m sure that he would have had plenty of support within the Dem establishment, the Bernie people would have disliked him almost as much (except the ones who only dislike Clinton for having the wrong gender), but he didn’t try. He made a few noises long after the opportunity was gone. That’s it. A half-hearted candidate running against Trump? Sure, that would work GREAT!

            • King Goat

              It’s sad but amusing that people only think of those with ‘institutional advantages’ like ‘former SOS’ or ‘current VP’ as choices, especially in the superdelegate regime…In an anti-establishment age, what if we, I dunno, *lifted these establishment advantages*? What might happen? Maybe we get better choices than ‘current Veep’ vs. ‘SOS’?

              • mnuba

                The “establishment advantages” you speak of were endorsements of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy from virtually every single sitting Democratic governor, senator, and member of the House of Representatives. In other words, roughly 95% of the short list of people who have the credentials and basic experience necessary to become the President of the United States of America.

                Who the fuck else outside of these categories were the “better choices” discouraged from running? The people you’ve named or hinted at so far, such as Gillibrand…all endorsed Hillary Clinton! And quite early, too.

                • (((Hogan)))

                  Yeah, well, they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.

                • Morse Code for J

                  Or that all of the sitting officeholders in Congress have huge incentives to recommend the pick that will probably benefit them most in straight ticket voting during their elections in the same year — and also have a better sense than most of what is real and what is bullshit when it comes to winning elections.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  Democrats should run more inexperienced billionaires. That’ll fix THE ESTABLISHMENT!

              • FlipYrWhig

                What if “anti-establishment age” is all in your imagination?

                • Pat

                  Why you guys let yourselves get sucked into a conversation with this troll is beyond me.

              • Karen24

                I generally only hire people who have demonstrated some competence in the job for which I’m hiring them. For President, that means someone who has won at least one election to some lower office once before and served one complete term in that office. I’m not exactly sure where these Rainbow Unicorns who aren’t part of the establishment but who know everything there is to know about running a campaign and governing afterward are supposed to come from?

                • Lost Left Coaster

                  Also, too, I wouldn’t hire Donald Trump to mow my lawn. If I had a lawn. I wouldn’t let him anywhere near it.

          • Redwood Rhiadra

            Gillibrand would be highly vulnerable to charges of being a worse flip-flopper than Kerry. It would even be TRUE. (She was a Blue Dog until it became politically inconvenient, then flipped immediately to the Progressive Caucus.)

            • Kerry was deemed a flip-flopper based on a well-publicized, recent, key vote on one of the campaign’s major controversies, the Iraq War.

              In comparison, Gillibrand’s significant political shift was eight years ago when she was elected to the Senate, and the only vote I can think of that was high profile enough to be controversial would be the vote against the 2009 stimulus. Democrats seem pretty willing to accept road-to-Damascus narratives for gun control, too.

              • liberalrob

                Kerry was deemed a flip-flopper based on a deliberate misrepresentation of a bog-standard procedural tactic. It was bullshit, just like the Swift Boat crap.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I notice you avoided answering the question by supply the name of someone.

          • King Goat

            Is it because I’m not being sucked into the idea of national politics as about personalities but maybe about institutional arrangements?

            Who would have arisen absent a set up where one candidate starting with 30% of the necessary delegates? I can’t specify, you’re right, but do you think it might’ve ‘opened up’ the field a bit?

            • wjts

              Is it because I’m not being sucked into the idea of national politics as about personalities but maybe about institutional arrangements?

              That’s a funny thing to say after innumerable comments about how “uninspiring” Clinton is.

              • King Goat

                Yeah, I see institutional arrangements as giving an advantage to a candidate who may, for example, have high unfavorables or be found in polls as ‘uninspiring.’ You find that contradictory?

                • wjts

                  I will concede the point that “uninspiring” and “institutional” both contain the letters “ins” in that sequence at or near the beginning of the word.

                • Pat

                  No, I find you to be a troll whose intent is driving discouragement among Democrats.

            • (((Hogan)))

              one candidate starting with 30% of the necessary delegates

              I wish to call to your attention that your pants are on fire.

              • so-in-so

                Too bad those super-delegates refused to switch to the unnamed super candidate, beloved of ALL Americans, who was waiting in the wings (did I mention he/she was unnamed)?

              • djw

                Setting aside the substantial numerical error, this argument presumes well all work very hard to forget 2008, when superdelegates pledged for Clinton and then dropped her en masse when it was clear she wasn’t going to win the pledged delegate count.

        • Wapiti

          Given the three candidates we had, should we have gone with O’Malley then, though he failed to inspire the base at all? I’m an agnostic myself, and I have no doubt that the Sanders, as a Jewish-Atheist and a Democratic Socialist, would have had a fire hose of vitriol sprayed at him in the general, worse than Clinton.

          • so-in-so

            The Rhode Island candidate, what’s his name, has a sad…

            • farin

              Until we extend the franchise to our avian-American brothers and sisters, I’m afraid Mr. Chaffee’s natural ostrich constituency isn’t worth much electorally.

        • The answer is no to all but those involved in cult-like devotion,

          Oh please. This is a tell.

          Obama’s supporters saw him as a Messiah–in the opinion of Republicans. Now HRC’s supporters are in the thrall of “cult-like devotion.” No, they’re not.

          • Rob in CT

            It’s kind of funny when directed at me, given that I voted for Bernie and am not HRC’s #1 fan even now (though I have definitely warmed to her).

          • Johnny Sack

            All those goddamned vagina-havers worshiping Clinton! As opposed to those slavering penis having steely eyed manly men supporting Trump.

          • N__B

            I am in the thrall of a Blue Öyster Cult-like devotion to DJT.

            All our times have come
            Here but now they’re gone
            Seasons don’t fear the reaper
            Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are
            Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper
            Baby take my hand, don’t fear the reaper
            We’ll be able to fly, don’t fear the reaper

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              “don’t fear the toupee” scans, too, weirdly enough

              • N__B

                That toupee fears the wind, the sun, and the rain, IMO.

            • “Hot Rails To Hell” also works:

              Blackened out eyes, scratched on a wall
              Stoned out looks from the crowd, the king will not know
              On the wall it was said
              The flash of his cards was sprayed with red

              1277 express to heaven, speeding along like dynamite
              1277 express to heaven, rumbles the steel like a dogfight
              You caught me in it’s spell
              Trying to leave but you know darn well
              The heat from below can burn your eyes out

          • John F

            There was in 2008 a definitely unusual level of intensity displayed by some Obama supporters, both their numbers and their intensity were exaggerated by the Right, but the notion that Obama supporters saw him as the Messiah had s [very] small kernel of truth to it.

            OTOH part of HRC’s problem is that she utterly lacks anything resembling that intense corps of 2008 Obama supporters, she has no devoted coteries of supporters like that, none at all.
            However, I have seen people in various places (usually RW leaning but some Bernie Bros type places) leaving blog comments to the effect that HRC supporters have this weird cult-like devotion to her, and I just don’t get it.

            • so-in-so

              Your error is thinking that they are limited by those pesky little “facts”. Breibart taught them, you make the facts fit the narrative you want to establish, so all Dems are cultists blindly following their messianic leaders.

              Plus, RW projection…

        • bender

          If that is your argument, some of the blame falls on the potential Democratic candidates who knew about HRC’s shortcomings and decided not to challenge her.

          I think Elizabeth Warren made the right decision. Claire McCaskill doesn’t have the fire in her belly. Jerry Brown gave it his best shot when he was a younger man. Who else had a chance of winning the primary if he or she had run?

    • Karen24

      We have to face the misogyny directly. Clinton is “uninspiring” because the rules set for being inspiring — giving stem-winder speeches in front of large crowds — exclude women. Our higher voices don’t carry that well and so we sound ‘shrill’ when we speak loudly. We remind men of their scolding mothers or wives. Men expect us to listen silently and hate it when we speak. And yes, ALL men do this. It takes a concious effort for male to listen to to a woman without interrupting. (See the Vox article from a couple of weeks about about how the women in the Obama administration had to actually have a specific plan to keep from being shouted down in staff meetings. That’s Obama. Think what it takes to be heard in any Republican meeting if you’re visibly female.)

      And in general, the next person who concern trolls anything about how Clinton is ‘uninspiring’ is going to get hit in the head with my rolling pin.

      • Morse Code for J

        +1 Oh hell yes.

      • so-in-so

        Even many women it seems. I’m hearing of female relatives in Florida repeating the “I can’t stand when Clinton yells and is shrill” crap, so even professional women can fall into the trap.

        I’ve also seen women resent female bosses more than male bosses, so the social training that you follow male leaders, not female, is really pretty strong.

        Amazing that Pakistan had a female leader, what, 30 years ago? Although probably impossible today.

        • King Goat

          That’s right. Even more and more women find her inspiring.

          But they’re wrong, and to fight that wrong we just have to nominate, support, and not question even in a political sense (that, given current realities, some of which are indeed deplorably misogynistic, she might not be the best choice for nominee) her! As we lose, we’ll slather ourselves in how right we were and how we didn’t give in to those awful realities. As women lose their right to reproductive choice after 20 weeks, as people are barred entry to the US based on religion, as the police are encouraged to continue violence against minorities, we’ll bask in the idea that We. Didn’t. Give. In. to the misogynistic realities of the electorate in finding Hillary uninspiring.

          That’ll show ’em!

          • So no woman candidate. Ever.

          • (((Hogan)))

            Even more and more women find her inspiring.

            But they’re wrong

            Oh just shut up already.

        • A lot of people know a lot about the rules they have to follow, and see those who don’t follow the same rules as ignorant or psychologically flawed. Those women probably carefully avoid being shrill in their own lives.

          • Karen24

            It’s the same human flaw that keeps things like spanking, brutal and dangerous schedules for medical interns, and hazing going on. “I had to do this. You can fucking suck it up like I did.”

            • (((Hogan)))

              So that my sacrifice will not have been in vain.

        • Nick never Nick

          Pakistan’s political system is based on a few clans of oligarchs contesting for power. Bhutto wasn’t a popular leader in the sense most of the west understands, she was the head of a consortium. Systems like that actually find it easier to elect a woman, e.g. Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan, etc., because they aren’t seen as the leader but as representing factions.

      • King Goat

        “We have to face the misogyny directly.”

        And stupidly? One who lowers their head and charges into a wall has faced the wall directly. But stupidly.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Why don’t you feel the same sense of futility when it comes to the merits of continuing to whimper and kvetch about a candidate whose candidacy was sifted and adjudicated by millions of people over several months?

          • Wapiti

            He’s more important than those flawed millions. Why would he feel any futility? /s

          • Gregor Sansa

            In a venue which clearly is not being convinced by your arguments.

            I think it’s really quite a trick that KG has managed to get me, Gregor Sansa, to argue against the importance of a common-sense structural reform. Has anybody checked the weather forecast for Hell?

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/Male-Prostitute-Oh-yeah-baby-I-ll-listen-to-you-I-ll-listen-to-you-al-Prints_i8574996_.htm

        sort of amazing that you can half-remember something from 20 years ago and then find the stupid thing for sale on the internet

        • Karen24

          Thank you for that!

      • El Tigre Sabroso

        I do not believe that is a woman thing, so much, as that Mrs. Clinton has many strengths, but charisma is not one of them. Look at the response to Michelle Obama’s speech at the convention, which led more than a few (including myself) to say to themselves “why aren’t we voting for her?”

        Hillary can and will win, and I will vote for her after giving her my full and unqualified support. But to dismiss all criticisms as simple misogyny is at best misguided. All the things you mention are true, but that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Throughout the 1990s disgruntled Bill-hating liberals said “We should have voted for the other Clinton.”

        • Karen24

          And we would be treated to five million “angry black woman” memes and jokes about how she’s going to force all of us to eat vegetables. FLOTUS gave a great speech, but she’s still female. Jesus, the RW made a controversy out of what has to be the most anodyne crusade in the history of crusades, which is encouraging kids to eat vegetables. In universe are the people who are calling Hillary names going be kind to Michelle?

          • El Tigre Sabroso

            And your point is, exactly? The fact that the right wing in this country engages in egregious, revolting, fact free ad (personum? not sure) hominem attacks doesn’t change the fact that Hillary does have a problem with connecting with groups, especially ones to which she doesn’t belong. On a small group level, I hear, she is amazing–warm, connected, engaged and serious, just as I would imagine her to be. You can express frustration with the myriad ways in which the system is unfair to women, and I will listen, but not everything is because of that. She is good at so many things, can you not admit the possibility that she might be bad at this? More importantly, can you think (or we think) of ways to bypass this?

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              aside from the roughly 50% of the country, who, no matter what you or I might think of Trump, are going to get behind him because he’s what they have, who *isn’t* Clinton connecting with?

              my answer is libertarians and leftists who in the end both think they’re smarter than anyone else and can only be reached at the expense of other, if not more, valuable parts of the coalition

              • El Tigre Sabroso

                That’s probably true as far as it goes. I am worried more about her trouble connecting translating into depressed turnout.

        • Gregor Sansa

          The fact that Hillary has slipped up in the past can’t possibly have to do with the fact that she’s been walking a tightrope for the past 35 years at least. After all, Michelle strode confidently across the stage at the convention. And Barack is walking a different tightrope, but he seems to keep his balance pretty well.

      • I really can’t grasp where all this “uninspiring” nonsense comes from. I’m a 64-year-old white male and I’m inspired by how she has met and overcome all the mountains of crap thrown at her for decades. She just keeps on truckin. I can’t be the only one, although none of us are media people it appears.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Amen.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        “And yes, ALL men do this.”

        Thanks for giving me the pull quote I need to justify not paying attention to a thing you write.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          you must have quit listening part way through and then that just kinda caught you, eh?

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Thanks for giving me the pull quote I need to justify not paying attention to a thing you write.

          This belongs to one of my favourite genres of blog comments — the “I stopped reading at…” comment. Never comes off nearly as righteous and justified as intended.

    • brugroffil

      Clinton is increasingly losing to him.

      Clinton is still winning in all polling averages and still has very strong lead in the electoral college vote-counting.

      That’s an odd definition of “increasingly losing”

      • King Goat

        By increasingly losing I mean ‘lead increasingly slipping away to a point where now she’s tied or losing in many polls.’

        Again, if that is a point of indifference to you, YMMV.

        • brugroffil

          So by “losing” you meant “winning, but not by as much.” Weird, weird phrasing.

          Check out any of the polling aggregators. She’s down in the tracking polls like the USC one that have been pretty pro-Trump for months, but she still has a(n uncomfortable) lead in the national polls and still has a fairly strong EC position. You’re melting down over shadows.

        • Polls don’t vote; and we don’t elect Presidents by national polling.

          For a more rational analysis, I always point to Professor Hubbard:

          http://abovenota.blogspot.com

          • (((Hogan)))

            So the map . . . is NOT the terrain?

            Mind. Blown.

      • JMV Pyro

        The impression I get from King Goat(assuming they are genuine and not just a troll) is that if the Democrats had nominated some platonic ideal of a candidate we would be on our way to winning a 1964-style blowout. By that measure Clinton is under performing compared to where Ideal Candidate X would be.

        It ignores how much polarization has sorted people into rigidly voting for one party or the other compared to even a few decades ago. Trump would be doing about as well against Gillibrand or Patrick as he’s doing against Clinton, with maybe a slightly higher meta-margin average for the Dem overall.

        Trump’s got a floor and he’s unlikely to dip bellow that no matter who runs against him.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Yes, it’s very brave of you to continue saying the same shit many other people already said months ago. Such daring!

    • JMV Pyro

      And here I thought Loomis was the fan of dead horses.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      It’s time to do everything one can to defeat Trump. But it’s also time to think, what is going wrong *that we have control of*

      This statement is completely at odds with the rest of your comments.

      You say you want to think about things that we have control of: well, sorry, the primaries aren’t getting a do-over, Clinton is the nominee. And sorry, but you’re not on the campaign. And sorry, but you’re not a national media person, or a political bigwig who has a chance of actually influencing the campaign, and this is certainly not the venue to do so. The things you’re complaining about are all things you don’t have control over.

      You also say we need to do everything we can to defeat Trump.

      So here are some ideas for things that are in your control that are part of “doing everything to defeat Trump”: Donate to, or better yet, volunteer for her campaign. And spend more time talking to people about the qualities and policies that you like about Hillary than whining about how everyone isn’t talking enough shit about her.

  • Frank Wilhoit

    “…inhabit a different political universe…”

    This. The Real Problem(TM) is that the nation has been divided into two factions who have exactly nothing in common and who could not agree upon any proposition whatever, no matter how elementary, no matter how objectively certain. This was done as a purposeful political strategy, executed over a span of decades, by one of the two parties, and it therefore counts as one of the gravest crimes in all of human history, but that doesn’t even matter any more; if you have two irreconcilable factions and one of them is not small enough to be crushed without exhausting effort, then it doesn’t matter which is which, or what stories they tell. The fact of the irreconcilability is what is important; its ostensible (and, by definition, dishonest) referents are not.

    • Morse Code for J

      Yup. It’s another 20 years of deadlock until enough of that other side dies to give the one side an upper hand.

    • Karen24

      Oh, so much this. One of the most aggressive Trump supporters among my Facebook friends is an avid environmentalist who owns a farm and does horse rescue. She had solar panels installed and goes really far out of her way to reduce carbon use. She keeps chickens, grows most of her own vegetables, and donates to the Nature Conservancy. Even with all that, she is convinced that the Dems are crooked. I’ve known her since childhood and am convinced she really isn’t racist, although she is in cowering terror of Muslims, and probably does feel some pinch from the loss of relative privilege from being a white Christian. Mostly, she has exactly one Dem friend — me — and I don’t confront the stupidity anymore.

      • GeoX

        am convinced she really isn’t racist, although she is in cowering terror of Muslims

        These two things would seem to contradict one another.

    • LeeEsq

      More than two factions. There is the “I don’t care about politics at all faction” to.

  • “I like him because he tells it like it is.”

    “FALSE” OR “PANTS ON FIRE” STATEMENTS, PER POLITIFACT:

    Trump – 88%
    Clinton – 11%

    I … I just … I don’t know.

    • MPAVictoria

      The problem with this is that a huge chunk of Trump supporters either don’t read mainstream fact checking organizations or don’t believe them if they do.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      For his supporters, Politifact is the one lying.

      As Frank Wilhoit comments above, they live in a different world full of different facts than we do.

      Ignoring for the moment opinions as to which group is right, it’s inescapable that around half the country is living in a delusional world, and the level of divergence continues to increase. It’s hard to see a positive outcome to this problem.

      • Rob in CT

        That’s expected.

        But then you get low-info undecided types who look at that and somehow go with “yeah, but both sides do it.”

        • Aaron Morrow

          “Low-info undecided types” don’t look at Politifact.

    • FlipYrWhig

      “Tells it like it is” means “pisses people off.”

      • so-in-so

        It makes them feel good about their own racist, misogynist thoughts. “Those liberals keep making me feel bad for thinking the n’clangs and womins should know there place, now Trump says the same things, so I can feel good and right about those thoughts!” Except with less actual thought behind it.

        • Karen24

          I’ve noticed that I can’t really describe the average Trump voter’s mental processes either. It’s really hard to type in grunts and farts, isn’t it?

          • so-in-so

            Yeah, “Stupid or racist, pick one” is easier and covers most of the ground.

    • Gregor Sansa

      (Note that Politifact is actually biased against Clinton in those numbers. I know we don’t like to say that now they’re coming out in our favor, but it’s still true.)

  • BobOso

    Strange, I just don’t see the level of enthusiasm for Trump here in Texas. I travel quite a bit around to rural and urban areas and not too many yard signs or bumper stickers. Admittedly that is not scientific but it is strange because you still see Bush and/or Romney stickers on cars on the highways. We even had the infamous “Socialist by Conduct” billboard on I35 but nothing pro-Trump. That makes me feel better (nervous laugh) because it can’t happen here right? A majority of Americans won’t vote for this guy- right?

    I am going to stock up on bottled water and canned goods now.

    • JMV Pyro

      I’ve got a friend out in Ohio who’s been saying the same thing. On the ground, their just isn’t much enthusiasm compared to what was there for Romney.

      I’m wondering what explains the discrepancy.

      • witlesschum

        Organization? If we’re judging by signs, somebody has to distribute them and/or go out to put them up.

    • Karen24

      I live in Austin so I expect an absence of Trump signs. I did, however, see a large Clinton/ Kaine sign near Dripping Springs yesterday. (For non-Texans, DP is Hays county, southwest of Austin.)

  • Do you really think Trump is going to pull in 85% of his white male base? Do you really think all the constituencies that hate him and will never vote for him will just stay home and shrug off the consequences?

    The press wants Trump to win, and they’re working very hard to depress the vote from everyone but the white supremacists. But by all means, believe what they say and go hide in the basement.

  • King Goat

    Let me put this in terms of an LGM analogy.

    If the choice of Hillary is one of a SUPERGENIUS, why is this SUPERGENIUS losing to the equivalent of Mularkey? It’s the stupid refs, right? They just won’t call the penalties that would be fair to Mularkey (though he knew they wouldn’t call them favorable to his game plan).

    • Morse Code for J

      Could any take be hotter than this?

      • so-in-so

        There’s melt marks on my screen now!

    • sibusisodan

      I don’t know why it will make a difference, since the last 5 times it’s been discussed you’ve sailed right past it, but…

      …it seems quite likely that around 40% of the electorate will vote for the R, irrespective of who the R is. That same 40% will not vote for the D, irrespective of who the D is.

      A Democratic ticket of Unicorn/Sparkle Pony i) isn’t available and ii) still wouldn’t appeal to much of the electorate.

    • FlipYrWhig

      “If Bill Belichick is such a genius why were the Dolphins able to come back on the Patriots to make it a one-score game? And don’t tell me it’s because their quarterback was hurt. It’s because Bill Belichick has a dour personality and doesn’t give enough fiery locker-room speeches.”

    • econoclast

      I find it hilarious that you buy into the media’s self-proclaimed role as “the refs”. They’re just calling balls-and-strikes, like John Roberts, right?

      They have no economic incentive to be accurate. There’s no money in a blowout election, which is why as soon as it looked like a blowout they tilted so heavily towards Trump. At this point, Clinton could cure cancer, and the coverage would only be about the email server, and how mean it is to call Trump supporters racists.

  • Aaron Morrow

    Four years ago, Barack Obama’s poorly received first debate performance and subsequent recovery created the only real drama in an otherwise steady race.

    Wait. What?

    9/18/16 Pollster, moderate smoothing: 48% Obama, 44% Romney (4% delta, 8% other)
    9/18/12 Pollster, moderate smoothing: 46% Clinton, 42% Trump (4% delta, 12% other)

    I guess I’m a fundamentals guy, so this is the point where I note that Clinton is stomping a mudhole into the spread, based on historical voter responses to the economy, party control of the presidency, presidential popularity, etc., depending on how and when those metrics are collected.

    I’m sorry, this take got hotter than expected.

    • JMV Pyro

      I think the fact that the margins are relatively the same is what’s freaking people out. Romney at least was ‘normal’ as far as nominees go so you’d expect margins like that. Trump is such a freakishly unqualified demagogue that people’s first impression is that he should be doing way worse then he is.

      It’s like the polling equivalent of the dancing bear.

  • MacK

    A point I make from time to time, but get flamed for. Hillary may yet be a great president, but she has been a lousy candidate. The only elected office she ever won was a coronation in New York where the primary field was effectively closed for her, and a Democrat a near certainty if she got the nomination. She should never have lost to a black freshman senator (and yes Obama being black did matter in electoral terms) while a white septuagenarian jewish avowed socialist from Vermont with a strong Brooklyn accent who is or was not even a Democrat should not have given her as much trouble as Bernie did. Hillary is not good at running for office, she simply is not good at it.

    That does not mean she will be a bad president – Harry Truman was not a great candidate in 1948 – he’d made it to the White House as Roosevelt’s VP and before had been the Senator from Prendergast – who barely won reelection in 1940. But he was one of the great Presidents.

    We should be worried that Hilary simply is not good as a candidate.

    • Murc

      Speaking as someone who thinks that Clinton consistently under-performs, and has said so here multiple times… there’s a difference between “not that strong” and “actually bad,” and there’s are different degrees to which that is a persons own fault and why.

      Clinton is absolutely great at a lot of the nuts-and-bolts of running for office and being a candidate. She’s organized, efficient, she runs strong ground games, she learns from her mistakes and doesn’t make them twice, she’s decent at speechifying and can work a crowd, knows how to work national, state, and local political apparatuses to her advantage, all that jazz.

      Someone who is good at all that can’t, I think, be described as “not good” at running for office. They might not be a strong candidate for other reasons; in the case of Clinton, I’m comfortable saying its a combination of a quarter-century smear campaign and her actual substantive politics alienating people in her own coalition.

      I’m not sure I’d go as far as “weak” tho.

      • MacK

        I’ll give a simple example of Clinton’s flaws as a campaigner – a couple of weeks ago there were articles in the New York Times where unnamed members of her campaign were talking about her debate preparation and the plan to try to get Trump to lose his temper. Letting that out was an absolute gift to those people in the Trump campaign trying to prepare Trump – i’d use it “see Mr. Trump, this is why you need to keep your cool and count to ten – right from the horse’s mouth…” And after, if Trump does lose his temper, I’d use that too.

        Telling this sort of “tale out of school” cannot have been good for Hillary’s campaign, but is is the sort of things the people she surrounds herself do, to talk up their role “off the record” to journalists. Someone who does this should be fired, instantly – and should not have been hired to begin with? But not the Hillary campaign….

        And what in the name of all that is sensible was Huma Abedin still doing working for Hillary when Weiner sent around yet more photos of his Weiner. Apart from the strong impression that as an advisor she is lousy, giving Hillary bad advice, the Weiner thing makes her a liability – it was not even the third of fourth time he’d done this sort of stuff – there is a point where it seems ruthless, but if Abedin was going to stay married to the schmuck with the very public schmuck – it was time to say “Sorry Huma….” It came as a complete shock to find out they were still married.

        And that is another Hillary weakness, credentialism and bad hiring decisions – going back to Dick Morris and later in 2008 she has a history of bad choices for campaign helpers and support, really bad choices, people whose primary interest is their future and not winning the election.

        • Murc

          And what in the name of all that is sensible was Huma Abedin still doing working for Hillary when Weiner sent around yet more photos of his Weiner. Apart from the strong impression that as an advisor she is lousy, giving Hillary bad advice, the Weiner thing makes her a liability – it was not even the third of fourth time he’d done this sort of stuff – there is a point where it seems ruthless, but if Abedin was going to stay married to the schmuck with the very public schmuck – it was time to say “Sorry Huma….” It came as a complete shock to find out they were still married.

          This is appalling, Mac. You’re saying that a woman should lose her job because of something her husband did.

          Huma Abedin’s personal relationship with Anthony Weiner is nobody’s fucking business. Not Hillary Clinton’s, not mine, and certainly not yours.

          • MacK

            Oh I recognise that it is awful – the whole situation is a god-awful mess, and if this was another job, it would be completely outrageous. But the Abedin/Weiner situation is not a normal situation, she is the main political aide to a candidate for the presidency in a situation where the Republicans will exploit anything, married to a guy with a compulsion for sending pictures of his weiner to sundry people – and doing it again and again and again. At what point does it become clear that Weiner’s problem is not going to end and Abedin’s ongoing relationship with him is a problem.

            There is a point at which someone needs to say – Huma, about Anthony – I mean, how many more times. By the way, that point dos seem to have been reached.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              This is fucking gross that you’re going to dig in on *Huma Abedin and her husband*, of all possible criticisms. I have to say that comment is making me a hell of a lot less interested in what you think period.

              • MacK

                I’m not going to deny its fucking gross – because it is, it’s fucking outrageous. But it illustrates a problem – at what point do you say, shit, not Weiner again! WTF!

                But here is the problem – she’s running against Donald Trump – and if he wins (or even some of the other creeps that were contenders for the Republican nomination) it’s a disaster. And that brings you back to, how often can this happen before it’s enough already – there is too much at stake.

                • sibusisodan

                  And that brings you back to, how often can this happen before it’s enough already –

                  I think you have not thought this through.

                  You know that the Republicans are going to take advantage of every tiny little thing (but they haven’t been able to make much hay with this so far).

                  And yet you suggest, knowing that, that Hillary Rodham Clinton should fire her chief aide because of that aide’s husband’s sexual infidelity.

                  Do you not think that gives perhaps the teensiest bit of opportunity for the Republicans to dig up some old history?

                • so-in-so

                  Also, if firing Abedin is the correct action in your mind; it’s a good thing that women and liberals, who may not like a woman being blamed for her spouse’s infidelity, are not an important part of the Dem constituency.

                • Karen24

                  You know what? Republicans defended their candidate when he was outrageous, all the time. His primary opponents never confronted him on his blatantly racist policies, his constant stupidity, and his general unfitness for office because they either agreed with him or knew their base agreed with him. I suggest that Dems might try the same game plan for our candidates, especially when our candidates ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG!!!!!!! Blaming Huma Abedin for her husband being an asshole is a direct insult to every single woman on Earth who’s ever had a problem in a relationship. It is wrong to attack her for this. Tell the Trumpenproles that it’s wrong to attack a woman for her husband’s misdeeds. Grow a backbone.

                • so-in-so

                  I suggest that Dems might try the same game plan for our candidates, especially when our candidates ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG!!!!!!!

                  Yes!!!!!

                • witlesschum

                  I’m all in favor of throwing Huma Abedin or anyone like her on the bonfire in favor of political advantage, that’s politics. But you need to make a stronger case that there’s some political advantage to be gained by doing so. A couple of days of stories about Anthony Weiner’s penis, again, don’t seem like a thing that’s going to plausibly make any difference in the election.

              • What a surprise that the guy who spent an entire thread shouting about “wop cops” might make disingenuous arguments.

            • Murc

              At what point does it become clear that Weiner’s problem is not going to end and Abedin’s ongoing relationship with him is a problem.

              Never.

              It never becomes a problem.

              Because it is none of our business or concern.

              There is a point at which someone needs to say – Huma, about Anthony – I mean, how many more times.

              Her friends and family have the right to ask her this, in private.

              Nobody else does.

              • Johnny Sack

                No, you see, the answer to sexism is to cave.

              • Karen24

                + Infinity and a few more just to be sure.

                Treating the Abedin – Weiner relationship as anything other than a problem for the two people involved and their kids is a perfect example of the structural misogyny women face. He was at fault here. She is not responsible for him being a jerk. I would love to see an example of a man being excoriated publicly and losing his public position because of something his wife did, other than possibly commit a violent crime. Women, however, are Relationship Managers, so any problem with anyone in the family is automatically blamed on her and she has to fix it, even if she’s doing another important job at the same time. This is something men never, ever face.

                • wjts

                  I would love to see an example of a man being excoriated publicly and losing his public position because of something his wife did, other than possibly commit a violent crime.

                  The only example I can think of that comes close are Nader voters who cited Tipper Gore’s role in the PMRC as a reason why they couldn’t vote for her husband.

                • Murc

                  He was at fault here. She is not responsible for him being a jerk.

                  And just to be even more clear, in addition to everything Karen, the 24th of Her Name, said: it isn’t like Abedin is accused of any ancillary wrongdoing. She didn’t use her official position or connections to try and cover this up, or intimidate the press, or anything.

                  She’s just married to the guy. That ain’t my concern. At most, I might wonder vaguely about her judgment re: dudes. That’s it.

                • MacK

                  And I agree with you absolutely – and I wish this was a better world, and that the electorate did not contain so many assholes…. but….

                • djw

                  And I agree with you absolutely – and I wish this was a better world, and that the electorate did not contain so many assholes…. but….

                  But what on earth makes you think this has had some sort of negative impact? Weiner embarrasses himself, NY Times reporter writes hack piece implying this ‘casts a shadow’, gets mocked for it, a few days later no one’s talking about it. That Clinton didn’t get all flustered by the stupidity and react is a point in her favor as a campaigner, in my view. “Ignore the ‘who won the week’ bullshit, focus on stuff that actually matters” is, in fact, a good way to run a campaign.

              • MacK

                Of course it’s non of our business and concern, or that of any right thinking person. But it’s pretty damn clear that a lot of voters are not right thinking because they’d even think of voting for Trump, and there is the problem, a lot of things should not matter but they do.

                • farin

                  How is the campaign of Hillary Clinton — who is, in addition to her many political accomplishments, has for many years been married to Bill Clinton — going to sell the message, “We will not have anything to do with a woman whose husband does scandalous things”?

                • JL

                  Is there some evidence that keeping Huma Abedin on staff even as Anthony Weiner acts up again, has hurt the Clinton campaign?

                  If anything, I think a lot of women voters would be (correctly) upset and demoralized if Abedin were sacked because of what Weiner did. Given that Abedin is a woman of color, I could see women of color being even more upset. And women, especially women of color, are an important part of the Democratic coalition, whose turnout is very much needed.

                • Lost Left Coaster

                  You do not want to try and please those kinds of assholes. You never will please them and they will never vote for you and all you will get out of it is that you have pissed off a bunch of feminists, rightly, for treating a woman like shit because of the actions of her husband.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            Agreed. Also, that is sexist horseshit insofar as if a man had been working for Clinton and he had a wife with a public image problem, I seriously doubt that many people would portray it as Hillary’s problem for not firing the man.

        • sibusisodan

          Those don’t seem to be good examples of actual flaws, to me. Not for campaigns which exist in the real world.

          Clinton staffer talking off the record to journalists is…a flaw?

          Weiner’s infidelity gives a strong impression that Abedin is a lousy advisor?

          Clinton does have a history of bad hiring decisions. Your particular examples don’t give any reason to think she’s currently repeating those mistakes. This is ‘throwing stuff and seeing what sticks’ territory.

          • MacK

            Clinton staffer talking off the record to journalists almost certainly without permission in a way that aggrandises their role at the expense of the campaign? By the way, this also happened in 2008 (I’m trying to recall the specifics.)

            Abedin has been a long standing advisor to Clinton and, my storming impression is that a lot of the advice has been bad and has tended to reinforce behaviours that are not helping Clinton (something I think may be a general problem.) Abedin’s personal problems are sad, but they are intruding into her role as an advisor, and sadly Weiner’s behaviour certainly seems compulsive. It’s an ugly situation, and on some levels speaks well for Hillary that she has kept Abedin, but on others, it is a problem. I’m pretty certain we have not seen the last of Weiner’s sexting. At least Abedin has finally split with him.

            • sibusisodan

              By the way, this also happened in 2008 (I’m trying to recall the specifics.)

              I’ll spot you that. I’ll also bet that it happened in 2012. And in 2004. And in 2000…

              Staffer speaks off the record and journalist uses that for maximum publicity is…normal. It’s not a firing offense.

              my storming impression is that a lot of the advice has been bad and has tended to reinforce behaviours that are not helping Clinton

              I’d appreciate some examples of those, because they would be evidence of an actual problem. Generalities don’t really help. Weiner’s behaviour provides no evidence whatsoever that Abedin isn’t a very good advisor.

              • MacK

                No there really were problems in 2008 around some of the staffer activity and some of the proxy’s too – interviews that were entirely self serving. I remember it at the time being very striking that a number of people on her staff were saying things that made them look good, but hurt the campaign.

                And yes, there is “authorised off the record” and staff doing there own thing for their own cause. Big difference.

                I’ll trow out an example that comes to mind Mark Penn

        • FlipYrWhig

          Democrats ALWAYS flap their lips to the press about strategy. That’s not unique to Hillary Clinton.

          • postmodulator

            Campaign staffers in general are almost amazingly stupid about this. The guy who made the comment about how Romney would just “shake the Etch-a-Sketch” said it for attribution.

            • so-in-so

              He said it live, on the air IIRC. And he was campaign spokesman, not some nameless staffer!

        • Karen24

          I’m not willing to say the leaking the debate prep information was a mistake. Given that Clinton is so closed-mouthed about everything, and has been criticized for it, I’m not even willing to say it was a “leak” in the sense that someone talked out of turn. I don’t think we have any evidence one way or another as to whether goading Trump will make a difference in the debates. It might have given Conway some leverage to get her candidate muzzled for a couple of weeks, which might have made a difference and also might have given the Clinton debate team a chance to see what a disciplined and message-focused Trump looks like in advance. We’ll see next Tuesday.

      • Manny Kant

        They might not be a strong candidate for other reasons; in the case of Clinton, I’m comfortable saying its a combination of a quarter-century smear campaign and her actual substantive politics alienating people in her own coalition.

        I’m not particularly comfortable saying that only those things contribute to it. I’d certainly add, at the very least “that she is a woman.”

    • petesh

      I agree that she is likely to be better in office than in the campaign. My recent evidence for that is the campaign. The bureaucratic stuff they have done really well — policy papers on the website, a good social-media response team, a flood of good web-videos, TV ads placed well ahead of time, offices all over the place for GOTV. Also, if you actually watch and listen to a Clinton speech, she isn’t bad; she’s not Obama (or Bill) but she can be funny and caustic and human and friendly. In other words, she’s not that bad a candidate as such.

      Also, I think they goaded Trump into his latest major error (birther), and may have turned the major media around just in time. They don’t want credit for that, which would negate the effect …

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      well… whose votes *isn’t* she getting? Why not? What reason is there to think that in the prevailing political conditions another unnamed Democrat would be doing substantially better on Sep 19?

      I’m going to throw my answers out: older relatively privileged white people of both the (r) and (d) persuasion, precisely because she is a mainstream Democrat. People who are more leftist/liberal want more than that out of her and the (r) voters of course already think any (d) is unacceptable- no matter how terrible Trump is he’s by almost all their standards preferable. So I believe that even if we had come up with Magic Democrat Who Appeals to You and Therefore Everybody Else, we’d be about where we are now

    • Johnny Sack

      2006 was also a pretty good year to be a democrat running for re-election.

  • Nick never Nick

    I’d like to propose a different frame for this election — people are thinking of it as Johnson – Goldwater, or something like that. I think for a number of reasons that it might be interesting to compare it to the 1995 Quebec referendum. Think about it — that featured a . . .

    – angry majority group that saw itself as a minority (and was, within all of Canada), and where a majority voted for ‘leave’.
    – a fair amount of complacency on the ‘remain’ side, that began turning into panic
    – a number of minority groups that strongly opposed secession
    – a fundamental difference on the future of Quebec
    – a certain amount of latent and eventually overt racism in the ‘leave’ side
    – an uncharismatic and ineffectual leader for ‘remain’

    Fundamentally it was an election about the future of Quebec society, in which the majority group was opposed by a coalition of minorities, plus a minority of itself. Everyone assumed it would be a walkover for Remain, and when it suddenly seemed that wasn’t the case, they freaked out. I wasn’t a Canadian yet at the time, I had just left the country after living there for four years, but my impression is that Remain won after a last-ditch positive appeal.

    I don’t know if this comparison is relevant to the current election, but I think it bears thinking about. In many ways, what’s happening now really is a referendum. Policy doesn’t matter, it’s one future or another.

  • so-in-so

    You know, I really think if we re-litigate the Dem primary just ONE more time, and really mean it, everything will be much better some how...

    • wjts

      I think we should seriously discuss the possibility of yanking Clinton in favor of O’Malley.

      • so-in-so

        Jim Webb or go home!

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          yeah, Webb quit first therefore he was the purest of the pure. kind of a reverse sword-and-stone thing

      • pfft. Joe Lieberman!!

        • farin

          Too late — Webb’s already bitten his face off.

    • Murc

      The 2016 democratic primary has implications re: the future of the party regardless of what the outcome this November it is. It is a topic of legitimate discussion.

      • so-in-so

        That may be, but this, or at least King Goat’s contributions so far, don’t seem to be it.

        • Murc

          … don’t seem to be a legitimate discussion? How not?

          • so-in-so

            Consisting totally of “we should have picked a better (unnamed) candidate. Over and over. And “Super-delegates”. Across many posts on multiple threads. Is that really an argument?

            • Gregor Sansa

              Also “if misogyny exists, the only smart thing to do is succumb to it. But just this one time, I promise.”

            • Murc

              Well, it’s a dumb argument, but it is an argument. It sure is.

            • Dave W.

              Because going without superdelegates and starting with an initial field of 17 to make sure that no excellent candidate could possibly be scared off before giving the voters a chance to decide has worked out so well for the Republicans this cycle.

          • (((Hogan)))

            For one thing, KG’s basic contribution is “Superdelegates are the reason Democrats will lose” when Democrats haven’t actually lost. It’s a suboptimal starting point.

            • so-in-so

              And the Super Delegates voted with the majority of primary voters, against the guy whom KG insists was a worse candidate. KG’s preferred candidate is one nobody has seen or heard of, so they have no flaws to be exploited by the GOP!

              • wjts

                If you mumble, “Martin O’Malley” sounds an awful lot like “Muhammad al-Mahdi“.

          • JMV Pyro

            Because it crossed the line into JAQing off midway into last week.

      • Johnny Sack

        Sure. But certainly you’ll agree that 50 days out from the election is not an ideal time to be relitigating the primary.

        • Murc

          I’m legit torn on this.

          On the one hand, you’re correct.

          On the other hand, we’re supposed to be smart, and capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

          • Nick never Nick

            Well, yeah, but both walking and chewing gum are useful actions that have a purpose. Not so sure about relitigating the primary 50 days out.

          • Johnny Sack

            I completely agree with you about being capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

            But the nomination, while a very important conversation we need to have, is also divisive. Which is ok! Because that’s the type of shit we want to hash out. But maybe now is not the best time to hash out divisive shit.

            And I also realize that “now is not the time for this” is very often used by people arguing in bad faith. But I did vote for Sanders in NY, fwiw.

            • Gregor Sansa

              I’m happy to relitigate the primaries, or talk about the evils of superdelegates. You can’t shut me up about that stuff in the right circumstances. But when the starting point of the discussion is “how could we have avoided the disaster that is Hillary Clinton”, then count me out. She has real flaws, serious ones, and I voted against her; but unless you can acknowledge that she’s also a fucking badass, there’s no discussion to be had.

              • Plus, really, there’s no tweak to the primaries that would have produced a different outcome, is there? I mean, even if we grant that she’s an uniquely terrible candidate, are we saying that the superdelgates should have overturned the pledged result? Based on what they knew then?

                This is…not really something 1) that is going to happen and 2) should happen. Hillary is popular enough with the base and elite that she was going to be a candidate and she was a strong enough candidate that no rule tweak would “fix” it without it being an objectionable fix.

                So all that’s left is trying to run the actual campaign over again but THIS time convince…people in the comments of LGM, many of whom voted for Bernie, that they should have voted for Bernie? What’s the use of this? Even theoretically? Even if you succeed?

                • so-in-so

                  No, KG says Bernie is a worse candidate than Clinton. We get some other, better candidate to run.

                • Oh. But then…how is this relitigating the primaries?

                • so-in-so

                  Because we

                  1: get rid of the super delegates
                  2: ?????
                  3: the super-candidate that wins by 50 points gets nominated.

                • You’ve got it solved then!

                  What’s to discuss? :)

                • Johnny Sack

                  Plus, really, there’s no tweak to the primaries that would have produced a different outcome, is there?

                  Yeah that really is one of the red flags for me.

                  The only productive line of conversation I see re the primaries is not process-related (although I am not against voting reform, I just see it as a much heavier lift than getting rid of superdelegates, which by the way is exactly the kind of useless symbolic shit I would expect a fellow leftist to slaver over).

                  I do think a conversation re Sanders’ popularity is an interesting one worth having, and whether it really is possible to pull the Democratic Party even more to the left and still be able to win elections or whether it really was just some 2016-specific anti-Clinton/anti-establishment backlash.

                  The pissing and moaning about superdelegates and Clinton “locking down” the nomination before the primary started, that’s just malcontent circlejerk bullshit.

              • Johnny Sack

                I really don’t see how it’s possible to avoid “how could we have avoided the disaster that is Hillary Clinton” when you’re talking about the primary with an imminent general election. In a few months I’ll be happy to do a postmortem (although I feel like those have been done to death too). At best it’s like looking the wrong way on a one way street. I just don’t see how it’s a productive use of time at this point.

                The thing for me is: 1) feelings still seem to be raw and 2) all our available mental political energy should be directed at keeping Donald Trump out of the White House, and enabling primary postmortems 50 days out from a relatively close election against a fascist enables jackholes like King Goat and slothrop. Who would be blathering anyway, but I feel like we’re helping to legitimate their b.s.

              • Slothrop2
                • Gregor Sansa

                  Picture of the battle of Ramadi: you are saying she’s a hawk. And I agree, and I’m disgusted by that. As I have been by Obama, Clinton, and (retroactively) Carter, LBJ, Kennedy, Truman, FDR… etc… not to mention Bush, Bush, Reagan, (retroactively) Ford, Nixon, etc.

                  But HRC being a badass has nothing to do with being able to tell people to blow things up. Anybody can tell people to blow things up. It has to do with facing a firehose of right wing crap for decades and still having fight left in her. It has to do with being able to out-wonk 99% of people on each of dozens of subject areas. It has to do with inspiring extreme loyalty in those she’s interacted with most closely. It has to do with engaging with multiple communities, without being a part of those communities, and being able to gain people’s trust.

                  Yes, none of that makes up the people she’s blown up. But then on the other hand, the fact that Clinton’s blown people up doesn’t make up for doing anything that would let Trump burn down civilization as we know it. And if you pretend that there’s no valid reason for anyone to like her, then we’re not really going to be able to have a productive conversation about the primaries.

                • Well, she has closed down a couple of amusement parks.

                  [Bijan identifies link as being to Ramadi]

                  Shit, I was hoping she’d gone all stabby on Kansas.

                • Gregor Sansa

                  I’m flattered, that you thought I was Bijan.

                • The question is…*should* you be flattered?! :)

          • FlipYrWhig

            This is more like “the real question is, why is there gum?”

          • JL

            Relitigating the primary while the general election is still going on seems to mostly cause the left to cannibalize itself out of fear and bitterness. The left cannibalizing itself is a strikingly unuseful activity. After the election people might be a little calmer, and discussion about the primary process can be less ridiculous.

  • random

    but because I think he has something in the neighborhood of a 30% shot of winning

    I think this is still way too high, his actual odds are more likely below 10% at this point. I think because of the exaggerated downside of a possible win by him (and also because we’re Democrats) our brains tend to exaggerate his actual odds of winning.

  • L2P

    The USC poll is nuts.

    It shows 18-34 year olds supporting Trump 46-39. Here’s a short list of things that are more likely:

    The moon landings were faked;
    Putin is a lizard alien;
    George Bush planned 9-11; and
    JFK is still alive and living with Elvis in a trailer park.

    You can’t give crap info any credibility. You can’t look at that poll and say, “Well, maybe Trump isn’t winning by 7, but the poll makes it look bad for Hillary.” You have to discount it entirely. The USC poll is literally meaningless.

    • Johnny Sack

      It shows 18-34 year olds supporting Trump 46-39

      I only have anecdata to go on, but if that’s true I’ll eat a bowl of Ted Cruz’s greasy turds.

    • Quaino

      Seriously, for all the kvetching about the media normalizing Trump maybe we should hold back on hand-wringing Clinton’s future loss when the entirety of the evidence is an outlier poll that makes no sense?

    • Karen24

      #2 is entirely possible. The man poses shirtless in Russia, which is not advisable for mammals.

      The principle evidence against #3 being true is that W was never that organized or efficient. Cheney, on the other hand. . . . .

      • wjts

        The man poses shirtless in Russia, which is not advisable for mammals.

        But it’s even less advisable for ectotherms like Lizard People.

        • He took off the fabric shirt.

          The meatshirt is what you see in the photo.

    • witlesschum

      #4 is ridiculous, it’s an old folks home in Texas.

    • farin

      Curiously, everything you mention here has at one point or another been part of Trump’s platform.

  • NewishLawyer

    Probably gonna get buried at the bottom of the thread but Jesse Signal as a great essay on how the trolls conquered the 2016 Presidential Election:

    http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/09/how-internet-trolls-won-the-2016-presidential-election.html

    “Part of what makes the Chanterculture confusing and difficult for outsiders to penetrate is that, as Bernstein puts it, “It unites two equally irrepressible camps behind an ironclad belief in the duty to say hideous things: the threatened white men of the internet and the ‘I have no soul’ lulzsters.” That is, some proportion of Chanterculture warriors actually believe the things they say — some dedicated real-life internet Nazis like Andrew Auernheimer, a.k.a. weev, came up in chan culture — while others are just in it for the outrage. (Many channers find the idea of having an actual ideology — or expressing it online, at least — rather distasteful, with the only exception being instances in which cloaking one’s online persona in an offensive ideology can elicit lulz.)”

  • Nick056

    Okay, I realize this thread has gone bonkers, but:

    The state of the race, so far as we can measure it, seems to me pretty much in line with electoral fundamentals. Clinton is not underperforming if you look at items like the right track/wrong question, or Obama’s growing but not hugely impressive net favorables, or the pace of the slow recovery in the last year. Clinton is only “underperforming” relative to the wholly speculative benchmarks Democrats and elites generally established this year, which basically posited that Trump was a disaster who would alienate everyone and everything not under a white hood. However, those benchmarks were largely speculation fueled by a mimetic “conventional wisdom.”

    So Clinton is not a terrible candidate in terms of assessing her polls against a reality-based metric. She’s doing okay.

    And as for “but Trump is a white supremacist! This isn’t supposed to happen!” in FPTP two-party voting, many voters are going to attach very low weight to the argument that one candidate is simply unacceptable (even if he is!) because that leaves only one other candidate, and a deep and often useful cynicism tells people to be suspicious of “he’s unqualified” arguments in those circumstances. This is not a “crying wolf” argument, it’s an argument that with only two candidates, if one is simply beyond the pale, then the option is a default choice, and many people don’t like that outcome, so they balance internally and don’t give much weight to arguments designed to show that one candidate is frankly Hitler.

    All this is to say, there’s a lot of resistance against the argument that Clinton ought to be inevitable and the fundamentals never pointed in that direction, anyway — the politically informed consensus simply jumped on that assumption because Trump was too … Trump.

    • I concur. There’s also some loss aversion going on as we “lose” the big leads and then “lose” the changes of gaining the house. Cf my comment:

      The notion of candidate and campaign quality has to be carefully operationalised. There’s a real tendency to substitute personal feelings about the person and fears about outcome for any sort of real analysis. The tendency to over focus on the person and overestimate campaign effects strengthens this tendency.

      Trump is a joke by any normal metric as a possible president. This era republican control of all three branches of government is catastrophic for us all. Finally, he seems uniquely dangerous to our democracy itself. The right outcome is that he was never a candidate. The next right outcome is that he wasn’t the nominee. The next right outcome is that polls like Jeb over the course of the campaign then loses every state. The next is that he hit 30% and 100+evs but loses the house and senate as well. THEN there’s him losing by a significantly bigger margin than normal. THEN there’s losing by a kinda normal margin.

      We’re somewhere in the last two. That’s very far from the no brainer right situation. So, people who understand this are experiencing a lot of loss and distress (I sure am). We have powerful cognitive drives to make sense of this with a bias toward salient actor centric blaming.

      It hurts!

    • McAllen

      I agree, but this is still, long term, pretty troubling. It means there’s no reason for a Republican not to run as a white supremacist–it’ll help you in the primary and won’t really hurt you in the general–and that we’re fairly likely to elect a white supremacist at some point, whether 2016 or later.

      • junker

        I disagree – pretend that running as a white supremacist caps you at 10% of the black vote and 25% of the Hispanic vote. That dog isn’t going to hunt for much longer.

        The non-white vote in 2012 was 26% of the electorate. There is plenty of reason to expect that to increase over time as Hispanic voters make up more of the country – and one good thing we’re seeing from Trump is that white supremacy has an upper limit to it.

        • djw

          Yeah, as long as a) the white share of the electorate continues to decline, and b) young white people seem to be less enthusiastic about open displays of racism than old ones I don’t really see how the chance of this gets more likely moving forward. (It remains possible, of course, because the fundamentals could favor a republican win and the primary electorate could choose another open white supremacist. But if that does happen, it’ll be in spite of it, rather than because of it.)

      • John F

        and that we’re fairly likely to elect a white supremacist at some point, whether 2016 or later.

        Unless the GOp is more successful than they’ve been to date in enacting voter suppression laws, the odds of an open white supremacist getting elected nationally are going to recede bit by bit every 4 years, 2016 (Trump) is the best [remaining] shot- if he loses by 5 or more points, my guess is that barring a literal repeat of 1929-1932 one can’t get elected, and by 2028/32 even with a literal repeat of 1929-1932 one can’t get elected unless our two party system breaks done and someone wins a plurality in a 3-4 party scrum

        • McAllen

          Thinking about it, you and junker are probably right that long term this strategy isn’t going to work.

          The election I’m really worried about is 2020. I think that, between Republican intransigence and potential ecomomic slowdown, President Clinton is fairly likely to be unpopular, and the GOP is likely to nominate slicker Trump-clone.

      • Johnny Sack

        If we had 1980 or even 2004 white voter numbers indefinitely, then yes, but demographics are quickly becoming a harsh reality.

    • John F

      Okay, I realize this thread has gone bonkers, but:

      The state of the race, so far as we can measure it, seems to me pretty much in line with electoral fundamentals.

      Well then, according to RCP’s demographic toy, if you just replay 2012, and assume the Dem doesn’t matter and that the Repub doesn’t matter, HRC should win by 4.6.

      Frankly my personal opinion is that Trump really is a terrible candidate, and Clinton is (for many reasons) a very unappealing one to many people, and that those two factors are pretty much washing each other out.

      Generic Dem should beat Generic GOPer by 4 points or so, obviously once you stick a name on a candidate they always seem to poll worse than “generic”- but that doesn’t mean specific candidates don’t matter.

      • junker

        I will be extremely shocked if Trump does as well with non-white voters as Romney did.

      • ajay

        Well then, according to RCP’s demographic toy, if you just replay 2012, and assume the Dem doesn’t matter and that the Repub doesn’t matter, HRC should win by 4.6.

        But the economics are different from 2012. Models based on economic fundamentals are saying that Trump should win by 3%.

        http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/forecasting-the-2016-presidential-election-will-time-for-change-mean-time-for-trump/

        • John F

          That model is not an “economics” model:

          the incumbent president’s approval rating at midyear (late June or early July) in the Gallup Poll, the growth rate of real GDP in the second quarter of the election year, and whether the incumbent president’s party has held the White House for one term or more than one term.

          It’s an overfitted garbage in garbage out model.
          There’s no statistically significant data for their third variable (whch is the one that tips the model toward the GOP this year); and very weak correlations for their first two.

    • xq

      Yes, none of this should be too surprising. Candidate effects tend to be small, campaign effects tend to be small, partisanship tends to be very strong. These are known features of US politics. “Trump is different” was never the good bet. Trump-skeptical Republicans mostly coming home should have been as predictable as strong Sanders supporters mostly coming home.

      those benchmarks were largely speculation fueled by a mimetic “conventional wisdom.”

      This wisdom was seen as validated by (what looks to me like) a strong Clinton convention bounce. Then, rather than seeing September as a predictable return to fundamentals, August is seen as the natural equilibrium and a bunch of ad hoc explanations are introduced to explain why Clinton has fallen below it.

      • Candidate effects tend to be small, campaign effects tend to be small,

        Small point. Heretofore, the interpretation was that *net* campaign/candidate effects tend to be small. I.e., that campaigns balance out. What we’re seeing here is that *gross* campaign effects might be *very* small. (Or that they get balanced…somehow?!)

        partisanship tends to be very strong.

        This seems ever more validated.

        • (((Hogan)))

          And partisanship is probably the thing that’s flattening out campaign/candidate effects.

          • Though, if the Time for Change model’s estimate of Trump +3 is the baseline, HRC winning by +3 would be overperforming by +6.

            This is a critically difficult part of teasing stuff out…what’s the baseline. If you start with the baseline that Trump should be at the crazification factor (≈27%) maybe adjusted for partisanship (%35) or even extreme polarisation (40%), then she’s wildly under performing and one of the worst candidates ever.

            This doesn’t seem to be a reasonable baseline.

    • Johnny Sack

      If you believe the fundamentals based predictions that have any Democrat losing this year, Clinton is overperforming.

      • John F

        I don’t

  • DamnYankees

    I think it’s hard to express what a Trump victory would really mean to a liberal like me, so I want to try to lay it out below. And hopefully this will help people understand why, given the thinking below, even a narrow loss is a rather scary prospect.

    Trump winning the election would not just be a policy loss. It of course would be that, but that’s a relatively acceptable outcome from a larger, worldview perspective. I understand that I live in a world where many if not most people disagree with me about various policy outcomes. And that’s fine. If Romney would have won, that would essentially have been the outcome. But Trump is different to me, for basically two very broad reasons:

    1) Trump is completely incompetent. He doesn’t know anything. And yet he seemingly pays basically no price for this. As I said above, I can accept the fact that people really disagree with me on stuff. Totally fine. I understand I will lose arguments in a democracy. But the premise behind this, to me, has always been that the people who disagree with me should have some knowledge of the things *they* claim to care about. Like, I think Romney has shitty tax ideas. But he clearly has vast expertise in business. McCain? Not a fan of his foreign policy. But he *cares* about it and tries to have knowledge about it. Even if you go off the policy grid, and say that the real issue animating Trump fans is racism – ok. Pick an intelligent racist! Like, Pat Buchanan. An odious figure, to be sure. But he *knows things*. He’s spent his life trying to understand the best way to implement his ideas, and the effect they have on the world.

    Trump is none of these things. He doesn’t know *anything*. And he clearly pays no price for it. I waver between wondering whether the voters *don’t know* he’s ignorant, or don’t care. I genuinely don’t know the answer here. I had a conversation with a conservative family member last week, where he brought up how embarrassing it was that Gary Johnson didn’t know what Aleppo was. I agreed that was bad, but then I mentioned that of course he understands Trump has no idea what Aleppo is either, right? My relative dismissed this out of hand, claiming that “of course” Trump knew what Aleppo was. I just live in a different world.

    There are 2 options here – either the voters don’t *know* that Trump is staggeringly ignorant with absolutely no interest in critical things, or they don’t care. Frankly both answers sort of frighten me, and tear at my faith in the sustainability of our democratic institutions.

    2) This one is less about Trump, and more about a systematic issue with our government, and that is that this election seems to be showing that the GOP has not, is not and never will pay any price for their procedural radicalism. While it’s not necessary to go through the whole litany of things that have happened since Obama was first elected, there have been a series of procedurally radical moves undertaken by the GOP: blanket filibustering in 2009-2010, the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, the government shutdown of 2013, and now we’re experience an unprecedented, ideological blockage of the Supreme Court. Many liberals, while living through this, have come to convince themselves that these sorts of overreaches would, in time, result in a backlash where people really got sick of this radicalism. Unfortunately, I think the opposite has occurred – rather than creating a backlash, our rigid partisanship has resulted in these actions being normalized. I mean, the fact that the GOP is blockading a Supreme Court seat just doesn’t matter at all. It has no play whatsoever in this election. I’d venture to say most voters neither know nor care about it at all. Same for the government shutdown, where the GOP had a wave election after doing this.

    This one, unlike #1, is less of an existential crisis and more of me just being mad. If I misread the lay of our political landscape, so be it. If all those things I saw as “radical” were a gross misreading about how much the voting population cares about these issues, so be it. But unlike #1 above, this one sort of does hinge on why the feedback loop isn’t working. If it’s not working because people simply disagree with me about what’s important, then fine. I’ll lose that argument, live with it, and come back fighting the next time. As a liberal I hope we’ll learn the lessons and play the game better. But if it’s not working because people aren’t *aware* that this stuff has happened or that it’s not ordinary course, that’s a much larger systemic problem. The feedback loop in this scenario would be *broken*, as opposed to me merely misreading what people care about.

    Anyways, that’s my rant.

    • so-in-so

      Yes, and now a sitting state governor has essentially called for the murder of political opponents, more explicitly than Trump (who left himself some deniability) and has suffered no political cost. Yet when Clinton calls half of Trump’s supporters “deplorable” people head for the fainting coach. Imagine if a Democratic politician suggested people arm themselves to take action if Trump won?

      • postmodulator

        Wait, who’s this? LePage do something new?

        • so-in-so

          I was thinking of this:

          Washington Post-Sep 13, 2016
          FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s Republican governor said blood might be shed if Democrat Hillary Clinton is elected president.

          But I see LePage was busy too

          Paul LePage said that “the enemy right now… are people of colour or people of Hispanic origin”.
          “When you go to war… and the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red,” he said.

          • farin

            Paul LePage, Crip.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I saw the Clinton ad where the former POW watches that asshole Trump going on about “liking people who don’t get captured” and thought, “if Obama had said that he’d have been hung by his heels from the washington monument by 7 pm the next day”

        • postmodulator

          The GOP leadership has been talking for years about how much they love veterans. And the GOP base has been answering back that they love veterans too. And they were both fucking lying.

          • so-in-so

            They love veterans who support them. The treatment of John Kerry showed how much they love vets who don’t agree or vote GOP.

            • The treatment of John Kerry

              and Max Cleland, and Tammy Duckworth, and …

              showed how much they love vets who don’t agree or vote GOP.

    • JohnT

      I agree with you, very much so. Even if Clinton wins narrowly, it will really have eroded my faith in (American) democracy in a way that a Romney win wouldn’t have. She should be winning by a country mile.

    • West

      Good rant. And for me, while I’d share your sense of loss of faith, there’s the fear of what Trump could actually DO if elected.

      Scenario: Trump’s financial masters in Russia order him to order NATO to stand aside while Russian troops do to the Baltics what they did to Crimea. Poland refuses to obey orders and goes all in, Germany and France waffle all over creation. What do we hope for in this scenario? Do we hope for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to break the citizen’s control of the military? That’s a shitty option. Do we hope for the military to follow orders blindly? What if Russia feels obliged to do pre-emptive (conventional) air strikes on the German airfields to convince Merkel to stand aside, but they hit some US personnel, too? And Trump changes his mind?

      Scenario: either China’s or Japan’s government ramps up the rhetoric in the South China Sea, and Trump decides to wave his allegedly big dick by dispatching the nearest aircraft carrier group into the area, but at the same time he can’t be arsed to listen to his advisors’ advice on all the many other things he needs to do to support said carrier group. Someone starts shooting (hardly matters who), a US Navy carrier finds itself improperly supported and in trouble, Trump feels the need to escalate so as to not allow his actual dick size to be revealed.

      Those are just the sort of foreign policy nightmares that come to mind, and I’m just not letting myself think about North Korea, in the name of my health. Domestically, who the fuck knows what he’ll do.

      I agree with your rant, but it goes beyond loss of faith, if he gets in office.

      ETA: actually, domestically, he has told us clearly what he’ll do. I should have phrased that, “Domestically, who knows how radically he’ll do what he promised to do?” or something along those lines.

    • Murc

      This one is less about Trump, and more about a systematic issue with our government, and that is that this election seems to be showing that the GOP has not, is not and never will pay any price for their procedural radicalism.

      You know… maybe I’m just weird, but I’ve never really had a problem with the GOP’s procedural radicalism.

      I actually really largely don’t care if anything is radical or not. If something is a good idea, it’s a good idea regardless of how radical is; if something is a bad idea, it’s a bad idea regardless of how mainstream is.

      I object to the uses the GOP puts the procedures, and I object to some of the procedures themselves as sub-optimal and undemocratic, but I find it hard to get angry about “we’re using the duly codified rules and laws regarding the operation of the U.S government to their maximum effect to achieve our political goals and to stop our enemies from achieving their own.” That’s… politics. If we want to stop them doing that we’ll have to beat them.

      • (((Hogan)))

        Unwritten norms are basically unavoidable. Writing down every detail and every possible contingency about legislative procedure (or criminal law, or labor relations, or anything else) ends up like the map in the Lewis Carroll? book that’s drawn to a one-to-one scale, but can never be unrolled and used because it would cover the entire territory. Loopholes are inevitable, and the willingness to aggressively take advantage of them is not normal politics; it’s testing the limits of normal politics.

        • N__B

          Borges had the 1:1 map.

          • The German Professor in Sylvie and Bruno had it first, though.

            • (((Hogan)))

              My man.

      • Nick056

        I actually really largely don’t care if anything is radical or not. If something is a good idea, it’s a good idea regardless of how radical is; if something is a bad idea, it’s a bad idea regardless of how mainstream is.

        Except that the norms we have, and which the GOP has violated or threatened to violate, include principles like, we keep courts from having vacant seats, we pay our bills on time, we fund the government, and we more or less accept a majority rule system on most Congressional issues. We do not take hostages to create leverage for ideas that have insufficient support in Congress, in other words.

        None of those norms are worth violating. If Democrats respond to President Trump by saying they’ll default on the debt, not fund the government, and keep the Court at an 8 person complement all indefinitely unless he signs bills that we like, we are fucked, because we don’t actually have the muscle to stop him and it will cause irreparable damage.

        • Murc

          See, you’ve made a strong case, that I agree with entirely, that the GOP is doing bad things and shouldn’t do those things because they’re bad.

          But what you didn’t do was say “the GOP has radically violated norms” and then left it at that as though it were enough to make your case.

          “X is doing Y radical thing” is a formulation I see all the fucking time, and it always pisses me off, because something being radical, again, on how good an idea it is.

  • MacK

    One thing about this campaign – and it is an odd analogy. Remember Pearl Harbour and its [alleged] impact on Japanese treatment of PoWs and occupied peoples; the argument was that since the Japanese failed to deliver the declaration of war, they were already outside the “laws of war” and hence felt, well the Geneva Convention, too late now. This may be apocryphal but still.

    The Republican Party has deluded itself, despite Swift-Boat, etc. etc. that there are lines it will not cross. But most of the party establishment has flung itself over the line. They know their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be ashamed of them, they now that in standing with Trump they have destroyed any aspect of their reputation left. The only redemption for them is in winning … and there is nowhere to go that is lower now. This campaign is going to get seriously dirty, dirty beyond anyone’s imagination. They have already ruined themselves.

  • rjayp

    So. If Trump wins, will Obama show up at the Correspondent’s Dinner?

  • rjayp

    Just wanted to discuss the important stuff.

  • jpgray

    Trump is new. Trump is not establishment. Trump entertains voters. Trump speaks simply, and, though never to his credit, sounds like he thinks what he says. Trump often seems to be having a good time.

    Contrast Hillary with the above.

    That hurts, but the real problem is people are poor. They are desperate. They feel threatened. They feel robbed. Trump’s tale is “I know how to make you rich, I know how to make you secure, I know who robbed you and who threatens you, and know how to make them pay.”

    This is compelling even if none of it is true, even if none of it seems true, to anyone. It remains compelling, that is, if it eases more pains for you to feel hopeful/vengeful than to feel knowledgeable.

    Like the Brexit result, educated professionals find it impossible to grasp what is compelling about any of it, especially if they are older.

    Hillary has no compelling tale. Neither did Remain. All they have to offer is painful fact and complicated, expert advice. And people have had enough of experts, even and maybe especially if their advice is plausible.

    The median household income is $52k – if you can’t imagine your household living on that, I doubt you can imagine why anyone would support Trump.

    (And yes of course Trump/Brexit will objectively make their supporters’ lives emphatically worse – on various levels, the supporters know and have always known that; but they like how giving that support feels, and after all, like Peter Graves said, man is a feeling creature.)

    • BartletForGallifrey

      Uh huh. Sure. That’s nice. And some of them just want to gas the Jews.

      • jpgray

        “Hey listen to my simplistic explanation of how various others are responsible for all of your disappointments and insecurities” attracts anti-Semites? Who could have guessed….

    • FOARP

      The Brexit result is the comparison. As a (reluctant) conservative Remain-voter, I really can’t express just how much contempt I have for that stupid, stupid result.

      Sure, go ahead and tell me that this is why Remain lost: because they were out of touch with the common man. Fine. But then what the common man appears to believe is a bunch of transparent nonsense that I don’t ever want to get, and ultimately they won’t get what they want because it’s not achievable.

      Right now all I can hope for is some kind of monumental fudge: that’s the one advantage Brexit has over a Trump win which, barring impeachment, will be irreversible – it does not automatically require anything to happen right away.

      “People in this country have had enough of experts” – Michael Gove (unlike Boris Johnson) genuinely believed this and genuinely believed in Brexit. Beyond contempt.

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