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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Maryland Governor Race 2018-Democrats on: November 28, 2016, 09:55:12 am
Three candidates whose names have been tossed around:
-Rep. John Delaney
-Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker
-Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What is the appeal of Cory Booker? on: November 15, 2016, 02:59:29 pm
Booker has received a 95% and a 90% rating from the Americans for Democratic Action. So hardly a conservative. He's certainly charismatic and has a great life story (including the fact that he's been a Mayor, which most national figures haven't been).
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: How has your county voted in previous presidential elections? on: October 24, 2016, 12:37:25 pm
Baltimore County
2012: Barack Obama (57%)
2008: Barack Obama (56%)
2004: John Kerry (52%)
2000: Al Gore (53%)
1996: Bill Clinton (46%)
1992: Bill Clinton (44%)

1988: George Bush (57%)
1984: Reagan (61%)
1980: Reagan (47%)
1976: Ford (55%)
1972: Nixon (70%)
1968: Nixon (50%)

1964: Johnson (60%)
1960: Nixon (50%)

Explanation: Today, Baltimore County is a diverse county with a number of different, and fairly distinct, regions. It surrounds Baltimore City and its politics have often reflected changes in the city's demographics and population. Prior the 1950s, the County was very much a rural constituency, with the exception of the Bethlehem Steel factory in Sparrow's Point (just southeast of the city). This changed rapidly after World War Two with the rise of sub-urbanization. Many former city-dwellers (like my grandfather) moved into stand-alone homes in the county, and began to change its politics.

The county is something of  microcosm for America as a whole. White working class towns in the Southeast (Dundalk, Essex, Middle River) and the Southwest (Arbutus, Baltimore Highlands) used to provide the backbone of the Democratic coalition, but have trended sharply Republican in recent years (minus Romney in 2012, who performed very poorly in many of these communities). As an example, Southeast Baltimore County was represented by a Democratic State Senator, three Democratic delegates, and a Democratic County Councilman heading into the 2014 elections. Now every one of those seats is held by a conservative Republican. Meanwhile, Western Baltimore County is the Democratic base in the county. It is a combination of African-American families who have moved out of the city along Reisterstown Road, and largely Jewish communities in the Pikesville area who have always been traditionally Democratic. Northern Baltimore county is still largely rural and conservative, and votes Republican by wide margins. The key swing area, which has shifted from being traditionally Republican to leaning Democrat, are the suburbs just north and north-east of the city: Towson, Parkville, Overlea. These areas determine who wins the county, and are indicative of who wins the state (i.e. if a Democrat can't carry Towson, he/she is struggling to win over moderate suburbanites and is probably going to lose the election). Gov. Hogan swept them in 2014, while O'Malley won them in 2010. They voted heavily for Bush (1988), but began to swing Dem in the 1990s and haven't looked back in national elections.

As for 2016: I imagine Clinton will win Baltimore County by a similar margin as Obama.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why did Dukakis lose Maryland? on: October 24, 2016, 11:30:17 am
In  the most important Baltimore suburban counties, Bush won: 57.41% (Baltimore County) 56.49% (Howard), 66.03% (Harford) 64% (Anne Arundel) and 71.63% (Carroll County).  Also H. W. was able to get a high enough margin of victory in the rural counties to win unlike in 1980 where Carter was able to do well enough in the Eastern Shore and SOMD to outvote the not-PG suburban counties.

This is pretty much the case. Compare 1988 to 2008: Bush ran extremely well in traditionally Democratic Baltimore County, dominated in the state's rural counties, and nearly won (!) Montgomery County, which was the old bastion of liberal GOP politics but is most certainly not a conservative area in any way.

The causes? I think crime was a huge factor, as was the gun control referendum in terms of driving up turnout in the conservative, rural areas of the state.

Finally, Maryland is a great example of a state that flippped from marginally Dem to strong Dem do in large part to the Clinton-era realignment. A lot of voters in the DC burbs fillped based on social issues and the perception that a) the GOP was the party of the South/Evangelicals and b) that the Democrats were tough enough on crime and sensible on economic issues. The Bush and Obama presidencies have further cemented this tend.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Dubya was Never President... on: July 31, 2015, 10:25:37 am
A lot would depend on 2004: Does the GOP really want to nominate the brother of the guy who just blew a 13-point (Gallup poll, October 2000)? He would be the third Bush to head their ticket in four elections. Additionally, with the contest most likely focusing on foreign policy, voters may prefer a candidate like McCain or Giuliani. Bush probably stays out and finishes his term as Governor.

Now if Gore won reelection, then the situation gets even more interesting. This scenario probably leads Betty Castor to win the Senate seat (unless Bob Graham decides to run for reelection, in which case he wins handedly). Now Bush has an interesting decision to make: Run for the White House in 2008, or wait until 2010 and run for the Senate. I think he'd probably go for the presidency. Ironically, Jeb seems to be the kind of politician who would be very comfortable in the Senate.

2008 probably sees a Republican win, what with the economy going sour (even if it's not as bad as OTL, I find it hard to believe that all of the contributing factors to the recession get butterflied away by President Gore), which means we either get a President Jeb in 2008 or probably never.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Dubya was Never President... on: July 30, 2015, 10:48:37 am
I imagine Bush would be a popular choice in 2004 against Gore, or in 2008 if Gore wins reelection. It's a lot harder to say after that, but Bush would be a popular choice among the GOP establishment in a similar way as he is today (maybe even more so).

As an aside, Mitt Romney's career would be a lot different if Gore won in 2000. Paul Celluci wouldn't be appointed Ambassador to Canada, and would run for reelection as Massachusetts Governor in 2002. Romney would have to look elsewhere to start his political career: Maybe he runs for the Senate seat in New Hampshire and wins the nomination instead of Sununu? Whatever the case, that alone is a huge butterfly.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Maryland 2016 elections on: March 30, 2015, 12:38:26 pm
There are a number of reasons why Brown lost, some of them personal and others a bit broader. He got very lucky in the primaries with Gansler's weak campaign and Mizeur's limited appeal outside of the party's left flank. The results were misleading: Brown was not as popular with rank-and-file Democrats as his numbers suggested. Rather, he was simply the most palatable candidate to the largest number of voters.

The earlier comment on Larry Hogan is right. He was the only Republican candidate who ran on elect-ability. David Craig, his closest rival, ran largely as an anti-tax candidate, while Charles Lollar was something of a Tea Partier. Hogan took a page out of his former boss's (Bob Ehrlich) playbook. He ran on a center-right platform: cut taxes, cut spending, attract businesses to Maryland, and pretty much leave everything else in place (especially laws on social issues). That worked in the GOP primary, and Hogan avoided looking like a radical (or even a "conservative") in the process.

Hogan vs. Brown should have been a landslide for Brown. But, as has been said before, he didn't campaign hard enough and he didn't craft a message which appealed to voters outside of the tried-and-true Democratic base. Far too often his message was "The past eight years have been good. Larry Hogan will roll-back everything." That isn't a message: It's a cop-out.

The lessons from 2014 are important for any Maryland Democrat interested in running for statewide office. We cannot win just by carrying the Big Three (Baltimore City, MOCO, PGC). We cannot win without a message that appeals to middle income, suburban voters. We cannot win by just stirring up fear in what Republicans will do if elected (especially considering that Hogan hasn't adopted too radical of an agenda, yet). Look at what happened in eastern Baltimore County: a bunch of quality Dems got knocked out because they were tied to an unpopular Democratic candidate with a weak message.

The 2016 Senate election should be an easy win for the Dems, especially if Van Hollen is the nominee. But winning will require a better effort than in 2014, and the GOP knows that. The national party should not have to spend any money here. If they do, it's a victory for Republicans in their quest to keep the Senate.

2018 will take even more work, but I'm optimistic about the potential candidates. Delaney and Franchot would make excellent statewide nominees. Kamenetz would be all-right. I'd like to see Dutch run, but I don't think it's happening. Ike Leggett could also be a strong candidate.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: March 27, 2015, 01:32:29 pm
The questions were still a bit difficult to understand despite translating them, but:

1. FG
3. PCF
4. NPA
5. PS

Yeah they're a little tough, but it's helpful to go and look at the party's responses so as to to get an idea of what each answer is getting at.
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Quiz List. Are you a Quiz Whiz? on: March 27, 2015, 12:30:30 pm
This is the best test I've seen pertaining to French political parties. It's in French, so it requires either a knowledge of the language or Google translation (just right-click and hit "translate to English.") This quiz is particularly good in that it gives a variety of options and doesn't try to apply American/British issues and responses to France.

Unsurprisingly, I'm closest to the UDI and MoDem.

10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Maryland 2016 elections on: March 13, 2015, 11:00:30 am
I'm interested to see if Kathleen Matthews runs in the 8th. It would definitely make for a higher-profile race.

Also, keep your eye on Dutch and Delaney. 
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: National Journal: The Emerging Republican Advantage on: February 12, 2015, 01:53:05 pm
Most "emerging majority" talk is premature. Those assessments tend to assume that would happened in the last election will happen in the next. They also tend to assume that a voters demographic makeup determines how they will vote. Sometimes it does, but these trends change overtime (and there is always one election where they filp).

As for 2016, the Democrats are still the favorites based in large part on structural factors (the economy, a huge GOP field, a very solid campaign infrastructure for Hillary) and demographic factors, but any talk of being able to govern for eight years by simply duplicating the Obama coalition is unrealistic. The Democratic Party has advantages, but they are by no means the "majority" party in America.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: If Hillary will win in 2016, what will happen in 2020? on: February 12, 2015, 01:47:33 pm
If the GOP nominates Jeb Bush (or any establishment conservative) in 2016: The right-wing/Tea Party crowd will be in a much stronger position then they are today. Very possible that a Tom Cotton or Rand Paul-esque candidate wins the nomination. If that's the case, then Hillary will be the favorite (but again, winning the White House in four straight elections is pretty remarkable.)

If the GOP nominates a Tea Partier in 2016: The Republicans turn to a more establishment type (Snyder, Ayotte, someone of that mold) and is the favorite. As others have noted, the economy is probably not going to be as strong in 2020 as it likely will be in 2016. If the Republicans nominate a solid candidate, they will have a great shot at winning.

So overall the candidate and the economy matter the most. If the economy is good and the GOP nominates a fringe candidate than Hillary is the favorite. If the reverse is true than she is the underdog. If the economy is strong and the GOP nominates an establishment candidate, Hillary is the slight (very slight) favorite. Same if they nominate a weak candidate and the economy is weak.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: TNR: Democrats Have a White Working Class Problem and Not Just in the South on: August 08, 2014, 08:34:05 pm
I think it's pretty clear that the Democrats need to develop a strong message to these voters (and I think this definition is pretty good, compared to most others) and I think Clinton's the one to do it.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Sabato: IA now tossup, MN a sleeper in the making? on: July 26, 2014, 12:46:44 pm
Sabato's ratings on GA and KY seem related to what Chuck Todd said this morning on MSNBC: Basically that Grimes and Nunn have a really good chance at getting to 48%-49% in the general election, but that he's having a hard time seeing them get to 50% with their state's demographics.

 Comparable to Dan Mongiardo, Tony Knowles, and Brad Carson in 2004, where they ran really good campaigns but the national mood and the simple reality of the states prevented them from winning.

Not that I agree with that assessment, but that what I see Sabato saying here.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How Would Mark Warner Do With the PV/EV If He Is Dem Nominee? on: July 26, 2014, 12:34:29 pm
Depends on what kind of strategy and theme Warner employs. In the 2012 climate, and running on a moderate, job-creator platform, I see this as the best case scenario.

16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: video of 1992 Clinton veep speculation on The McLaughlin Group on: July 26, 2014, 10:00:22 am
Haha! Interesting to see how different politics was just twenty years ago. "West Virginia is a Democratic state" and "New Jersey always goes Republican!"
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: WI President Adlai Stevenson? on: July 25, 2014, 04:55:17 pm
'52. Basically I'm asking how you think the '50s would have turned out if Stevenson, not Eisenhower, was in charge.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / WI President Adlai Stevenson? on: July 25, 2014, 12:10:50 pm
Ignoring the obvious question of how he would win, how do you imagine President Adlai Stevenson would preform as President?
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What would you pick as your campaign theme song? on: July 25, 2014, 11:57:05 am
As a first time candidate: Home, by Dieks Bentley or We Take Care of Our Own by Bruce

As an Incumbent: I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty

20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Summary of political beliefs on: July 24, 2014, 11:45:09 pm
As of now, socially and fiscally center-left. Foreign policy really can't be classified in left-right terminology, but I'd call myself a neo-liberal ala Bill Clinton.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: 2000: What about President Gore? on: July 24, 2014, 09:13:04 pm
Gore probably wins. It's a lot harder to run against an incumbent President than a sitting VP. Gore would use the power of the office to make a name for himself (probably on HMO or campaign finance reform) before running. It's possible the Republican field is thinner than OTL (maybe Bush waits until '04). Either way, Gore wins.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Past Election What-ifs (US) / Re: 1964: Kennedy/Johnson vs Goldwater/Tower on: July 24, 2014, 09:11:09 pm
The CRA probably doesn't pass Congress in 1964, as it took a series of lucky events to get it passed when it did IOTL. I see it passing in early 1965 after Kennedy trounces the anti-CRA Goldwater. Dirksen will move to break the filibuster to avoid continued problems on Civil Rights. Here are my predictions for a second Kennedy term on major LBJ items:

-VRA: Can get passed at any point between 1965-1969. Much less controversial than the CRA. Comes down to how much effort/political capital Kennedy wants to spend on it.
-Medicare/Medicaid: Good chance of Medicare passing once Harry Byrd, Sr. passes away/steps down as Senate Finance Committee Chairman. IOTL he was dead set against passing it until Johnson gave him the 'treatment.' His sucessor, Russell Long, was much more supportive, as was House Ways and Means Chairman Wilbur Mills, who will get it passed with bipartisan support after the '64 elections. Medicaid may or may not get added to the package. 1966-'67
-Tax Cuts: Kennedy will have to agree to Byrd's proposed budget cuts if he wants it passed before the election, which he will. 1964.
-War on Poverty: One of JFK's last notes was 'POVERTY.' He also asked the head of the Census Bureau to analyze how taking on poverty would help him in 1964. That being said, JFK lacked the same emotional commitment to fighting poverty than LBJ, along with the lack of legislating skills. I'd expect greater funding for existing programs (Appalachia development, Food Stamps, AFDC, etc.) rather than the creation of new bureaucracies and programs.
-ESEA: Unlikely to pass for a few reasons. Mostly because JFK was trapped between Northern Catholic Democrats who wanted aid for parochial schools, but Dixiecrats wanted nothing of the sort. LBJ ultimately tied funding to students and not schools, and was largely successful because he wasn't Catholic.  Hard to see Kennedy pulling this one off.

Overall Kennedy can probably get most of the big items of the 'Great Society' passed in 1964 and 1965, but not everything. He also won't push for, nor would he get passed, as large of a War on Poverty than LBJ. I'm not touching Vietnam here, as that's a whole nother can of worms.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: The Rehabilitation of Martha Coakley on: July 24, 2014, 03:20:44 pm
There's a big difference between a race for governor and a race for the Senate. In 2010, Brown won largely because of controversy over the ACA and Coakley's weak campaign. Alone, neither of these factors would have cost her the election, but combined they did. In that sense, Coakley can run a weak campaign and still win, though it'll be tough. There are no national issues at play in this election, and will probably win based on party affiliation.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: What States Would Have Remained Swing States If Bush Had Won In '92 on: July 24, 2014, 03:16:40 pm
To answer this question, we first must see what states Bush would have won in 1992 to defeat Bill Clinton. According to the Atlas, the narrowest victory for Bush involves him swinging Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana,  New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. In this scenario, all of New England besides New Hampshire stay blue, joining New Jersey as the only Northeastern states in the Republic column. Ultimately, this creates a scenario pretty similar to the political map today, more or less. Therefore, I don't see a lot of changes.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Battleground Georgia: Democrats see 2014 flip on: July 24, 2014, 12:07:13 pm
Actually, the best comparison I can think of for Nunn for someone currently in the Senate is Mark Warner.
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