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101  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 13, 2017, 01:54:32 pm
but will also regain the Carter-but-not-Obama vote of 1976.

There's a fine line between optimism and wishful thinking

Optimism? It is extreme pessimism in Donald Trump.

Approval in the low 30s. Carter lost Massachusetts in 1980...

See the map above. Obviously there is no way in which Donald Trump has a Hoover-like economy in 2020. There's no bubble to burst because one hasn't developed under Obama as one developed while Coolidge was President; besides, the Federal Reserve Bank really runs the American economy as if it were an economic equivalent of the judicialry. A diplomatic fiasco like the hostage situation in Iran? Probably unrepeatable. But see a dictatorial President creating political and economic chaos, failing to deliver on his promises, and...

This is a bit more realistic, don;t you think?


 

Al Franken (D-MN) 375

Donald Trump (R, inc) 163


102  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2020 U.S. Presidential Election / Prediction from The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 13, 2017, 01:36:48 pm
Here's my projection of the 2020 Presidential election in the event that the Democrats pick their closest analogue to Ronald Reagan -- Senator Al Franken (who was a successful entertainer)  -- with Donald Trump having approvals in the low 30s:

 

Al Franken (D-MN) 485

Donald Trump (R, inc) 47

Evan McMullen (I, UT) 6

Southerners do not like d@mnyankee pols, and that is exactly what Donald Trump will be by then if he has a national disapproval around 60%. Indiana goes for Trump -- just barely -- because Mike Pence is the VP nominee. Mormons in Utah begin to remember the "Grab them by the pu$$y" remark. The racist wing of the American Right attacks Al Franken for being Jewish -- and that backfires. Al Franken has a sense of humor as well as logical consistency, commodities that will serve him well as a campaigner.

If America can elect a black President, it can also elect a Jewish President.  

Note that this is not a prediction, but instead a model of what a defeat of an incumbent President on the scale of Hoover in 1932 or Carter in 1980 looks like.


 
103  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 13, 2017, 01:05:25 pm
I think people are seriously overestimating people's patience with incompetence. What did Bush in was not the ideological stuff, it was mismanagement. Iraq became a quagmire, Katrina a national embarrassment, lethargic response to the economy sliding into recession, infighting, scandals. These weaken base support as people become less inclined to defend their side. It's hard to defend your guy when your opponent can point to so many easy criticisms that have no reasonable response.

The only thing they have right now is "Oh, he's new, give him a chance" - That get's less useful every day and will die a sudden death after the first major challenge highlights this team's inability to run anything competently.

Two things are still going well for him -- the Obama economy and (to the extent that he hasn't made some faux pas in diplomacy with every country that he could possibly make one with) what remains of Obama foreign policy. Yes, the President can maintain policies of his predecessor if he finds them useful, as with Bill Clinton maintaining the Bush '41' foreign policy because it worked well. But Bill Clinton did not have the thorough contempt for his predecessor that Donald Trump has toward Barack Obama. President Trump wants to change everything that his predecessor has 'inflicted' upon America.

When President Trump's new ways go bad, then he might see approvals slip past 35% or so, and the Democrats will not only have the Obama coalition fully intact in 2018 and 2020 but will also regain the Carter-but-not-Obama vote of 1976.

  
104  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Phases of populist leader on: February 13, 2017, 08:13:33 am
A slight correction:

I've read history of populist or extremist leaders arriving in power and leaving it.
I've established a timeline of fives stages, which fulfills in 80% of cases.

Phase 1: Opportunity
There are possibilities a populist or extremist leader becomes president or prime minister, after a decent one is gone.

Phase 2: Arrival in power
The leader arrive in power amid great dissatisfaction against the establishment and institutions, and political instability.
The electoral campaign is often negative, with fake news, chaotic or violent.

Phase 3: Leader's administration
His administration is chaotic and controversial. He makes controversial policies. He uses people's resentment to implement his policies, which don't respect moral and established rules.
He can however have success with its policies.

Phase 4: Discontent
The leader and his polices are unpopular, because of economical or political disasters.
Many of his supporters, followers, allies and right hands are turning against the leader.

Phase 5: Fall
The leader leave the presidency in the same conditions he came in.
The leader resigns, is impeached, is severely beaten in elections, or is overthrown by the Armed Forces of the nation or of one or more foreign powers.

Julius Caesar to Benito Mussolini in Roman and Italian history.

105  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Reince Priebus is in trouble on: February 12, 2017, 04:47:00 pm
If only the Republicans had nominated someone like Mitt Romney...
106  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Reince Priebus is in trouble on: February 12, 2017, 04:22:25 pm
The knives are out.
107  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 12, 2017, 04:21:34 pm
It's risky to project a trend. The worst that I can project for President Trump based upon precedent is for him to be as unpopular in 2020 as Hoover was in 1932 or Carter was in 1980 and losing in a landslide.

There was no polling with Hoover, so we have only electoral results as a guide. But Hoover and Carter started with great popularity.

Donald Trump starts unusually low and does nothing to improve his standing among voters. He will not reduce economic inequality in America.

If Donald Trump were running for re-election at this time in 2020 with an approval rating of 40% in a binary election, then the average result that he would get as a vote share in the election would be about 46.5% with an average campaign against an average challenger.  (I am arguing based on Nate Silver's "Rule of 6%", which explains how incumbents with approval ratings of 44% or higher usually get re-elected, those with 43% are iffy, and those with approvals of 40% or less early in the campaign season get defeated if they run for re-election).

Paradoxically that is more than he got in 2016. In 2020 that just won't be enough.

We have no idea what sorts of ups and downs he will have. Maybe he will start a successful war for profits and get away with it.  Who knows?  
108  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 12, 2017, 04:00:57 am
New Hampshire:

NH - UNH:

43% approve
48% disapprove

42% favorable
49% unfavorable

http://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/research_publications/gsp2017_winter_presapp021017.pdf

(I was waiting for a poll of approval or favorability in Iowa from Selzer, and it is only on the travel ban, so I can't use it)

Favorability:



Probably our best approximation until about March.


Approval:



Not likely useful until March.


Even -- white



Blue, positive and 40-43%  20% saturation
............................ 44-47%  40%  
............................ 48-50%  50%
............................ 51-55%  70%
............................ 56%+     90%

Red, negative and  48-50%  20% (raw approval or favorability)
..........................  44-47%  30%
..........................  40-43%  50%
..........................  35-39%  70%
.......................under  35%  90%

White - tie.
 
Colors chosen for partisan affiliation.  

*National poll, and not a state poll -- the national poll is much more flattering to the President, who is shown in deep trouble in that state, and is likely closer to reality.
109  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What would a Trump "heal the nation's wounds" speech be like? on: February 11, 2017, 11:04:55 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5Qh2XpoCsY

A hypercube makes far more sense.
110  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 160 people arrested in SoCal ICE raids on: February 11, 2017, 01:15:52 pm
.....we should just focus on deporting those who have committed crimes other than illegally crossing the border or overstaying their Visas.

Isn't that the existing policy?

The Obama policy was

(1) to catch people at the borders, and

(2) deport criminal aliens.

The first can deal with some humanitarian issues -- like people dying of cold, heatstroke, dehydration, hunger, and snake bites.    

The second involves betrayal of standards expected of us all.

-Great idea! We should allow criminals into the U.S. to finally transform it into an open sewer like Haiti!

Did I say that I am sympathetic to criminality? So far as I know ICE could deport aliens for shoplifting or check-kiting.

By the way -- your choice of Haiti as a nightmare may expose racism. Haiti is an open sewer to the extent that it is overpopulated and underdeveloped. Haitians can do quite well in America. 
111  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 11, 2017, 01:04:55 pm
I think that Iowa poll will show something like -7 for Trump. A lot of voters there didn't really like Trump, but rather just hated Clinton.

Isn't that how it was almost everywhere?  Trump's fav/unfav in the national exit poll was 38%/60%.  He was underwater on favorability in places like IN, MO, and SC, yet still won those states handily.

That's why I don't get why people are acting as if Trump's popularity is now "crashing".  He was already unpopular on election day.


His lack of popularity may contribute to ineffectiveness as President -- as if we can ignore extreme stands of partisanship that can polarize Americans more fully in opposition to him.

The map of favorability so far demonstrates that Donald Trump never got a solid mandate. When he does something unpopular, people who did not vote for him will find themselves in the position of saying "I didn't vote for him!" Sure, we saw this with Barack Obama, too, but far less of such at the outset  because he won clear majorities of the vote twice and because he was far less abrasive.

From now on the positions and behavior of the President are everything. He will have to change his ways, letting the normal processes of legislation work as we are accustomed to seeing them work, making sure that his executive orders violate neither the Constitution nor statutory law, and not tweeting whatever gets into his mind at the moment.

Americans do not like being ordered about on politics, and the President's dictatorial style that might fit other countries cannot work here.
112  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: CIA denies security clearance to allow Mike Flynn to serve on NSC on: February 11, 2017, 12:37:15 pm
Who Flynn wants as his advisors will have no serious impact on the nation. Flynn himself is an advisor (to Trump). An advisor to an advisor has little real power. Grant them the clearance and move on. There are bigger fish to fry.
Yes, because this is exactly how the government should handle security clearances.

Security clearances are a privilege and not a right. They are for the effective working of the government but easy to abuse for corrupt purposes, including espionage and treachery.  People with suspicious circumstances in life can be denied security clearances. During the Cold War, homosexuality was typically a bar to a security clearance because of the (then) potential of blackmail. Being a gambler on credit might still be. Having relatives or business dealings in countries hostile to the US or frequently inimical to its interests can cause intensified scrutiny of one's acquisition of a security clearance.

I got one of the lowest, "confidential" for Census work. I am not to discuss any personal details that I have received from Census work. If I printed off a map for getting to an address from my computer, I turned the map in with the Census forms. I didn't even discuss the route that I used for doing Census work with family members.


 I can tell that I experienced the scariest moment in my life, when four medium-sized dogs charged a door of a house that I visited (they must have thought that I was a burglar, and hence meat) and had me getting out of there fast because I wasn't sure that the latch would hold. But I will not give the name or address. I can say that four 80-pound Rottweilers make in effect one 320-pound tiger if they see someone as a threat to their jungle... a man's home is his castle, and his dog's jungle. Four Rottweilers? A burglar might as well be taking a trip to the Sunderbans, home of man-eating tigers, by breaking into a house with such strong, powerful, swift, agile, voracious predators. The closest thing to a Big Cat by build and behavior is... a dog.

 
113  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ted Cruz Compares Democrats to the Ku Klux Klan on: February 11, 2017, 11:16:31 am
I hate the GOP, but let's dispel with this fiction that Goldwater inspired racist Democrats to become Republicans. It's almost as bad as the myth that Northern Republicans wanted to abolish slavery because they were so magnanimous and righteous.

-I thought both of those were facts.

They are. The South went from 60% Democratic to 80% Republican thanks to Goldwater's racist campaign platform.

You two sound so dumb.

In fact, all former-Confederate states except Virginia went for Jimmy Carter as late as 1976, so any influence of Goldwater on long-term American politics is superficial and transitory. In 2016 all former-Confederate states except went for Donald Trump (although Florida and North Carolina barely did).   

Aside from his own state (barely, something analogous to Minnesota in 1984 for Mondale), Goldwater won the states in which Jim Crow was still entrenched and would be politically decapitated the next year.  Southern blacks went Democratic because of LBJ and ended up in the same Party with their recent nemeses.

What about Virginia? It is no longer a true Southern state.
114  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump takes vacation already...goes golfing on: February 11, 2017, 11:06:05 am
As the Rabbi of Anatevka says in Fiddler on the Roof to the question "Is there a blessing for the Tsar?"

"May God bless and keep the Tsar -- far away from us!"
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Would a Trump impeachment be dangerous? on: February 11, 2017, 11:03:01 am
Yes -- because it will stoke the anger of an angry President who will lash out at anything to protect his delicate ego. Also yes -- because Mike Pence is an extreme ideologues, someone who believes as Donald Trump has acted, that no human suffering is in excess so long as the economic elites get what they can get and want; to make things even worse he is a religious fanatic who wants to deliver America to a cruel and vindictive God.

Mike Pence wants America to become a Christian and Corporate state, basically a fundamentalist-Christian version of Iran, and he has a Congress willing to give that to him.

This will not be good for domestic tranquillity. 
116  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump Surprised Government Can't be Run Like His Business on: February 11, 2017, 10:56:34 am
Our Republic was designed specifically to stop people like Trump. Its a shame he didnt realize that sooner.



In a way our system was also designed for people voting on issues other than economic interests and visceral animus. The survival of democracy depends upon people rejecting demagogues, and this time it failed.

I am satisfied that after Trump America will be in the mood for changes in the political system to prevent a President from taking office with less than a plurality of the vote. The last two times that someone got elected with less than a plurality of the vote we got disastrous Presidents.

Ask yourself what the Electoral College really protected this time.
117  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 11, 2017, 10:49:31 am
NH - UNH:

43% approve
48% disapprove

42% favorable
49% unfavorable

http://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/research_publications/gsp2017_winter_presapp021017.pdf

Plus, a new IA/Selzer poll will be out later today.

As in Michigan (which looks like a two different categories, but in which the positive assessment differs by 1%) approval and favorability are much the same. Partisan affiliation is very stable in New Hampshire, and it is usually closer than this if one sees positive and negative views predicting an election. Sure, it is 45 months away.

Because it is New Hampshire I would put it on the map now, but we will get a poll from Iowa, a state that went sharply for Donald Trump after being a reliable Obama state. Trump did exceedingly well in the Midwestern states in which farming is much big and ranching is rare.

New Hampshire has some similarities to Michigan, and Michigan has some similarities to Iowa.

118  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Trump Surprised Government Can't be Run Like His Business on: February 11, 2017, 10:37:26 am
So, Trump is having trouble with

1. White House staff
2. Federal bureaucracy
3. Congress
4. Courts
5. Media
6. Protests / Public Opinion
7. Other Countries, including Allies
8. Some businesses in the US bailing on him
9. The intelligence community

So, what's supposed to be his strength again? What else is there to the job of President?

Maybe one good thing to come out of this disaster of a Presidency will be to kill this "run government like a business" nonsense once and for all.

We can only hope.

A few points there

2 Some of the federal bureaucracy doesn't like him and is resisting him because his agenda is opposed to their ideological and class interests as the bureaucratic class. (The same is true of 9 and some of the issues with CIA leadership) Once measures are brought in to reestablish his executive authority and expand the proportion of Federal bureaucrats employed at will by the President from 2% to 100% that problem should then become largely soluble

3 The Democrats in Congress are largely opposing him. He's getting on just fine in getting his way with the Republicans who hold majorities in both houses.

4 Liberal activist judges are trying to gum up his actions. That's been covered above

5 Liberal and left wing media oppose him, conservative and right wing media support him

6 You are conflating two things there. His approval rating polling isn't great at the moment but then it wasn't great during the election. Public opinion is strongly divided on the President.

Protests on the other hand are not a reflection of public opinion. Of course you've had the very large 'women's march'. The attendees there are the kind of leftists who would enjoy a big jolly day out virtue signaling that had been organised for them by Democratic supporting  organisations. Such people are not at typical of the public at large and given the infrequency of these kinds of protests not a major problem.

Then you have all the smaller protests using more aggressive tactics like the airport protests. Unlike protests on the right (like anti-abortion activist protests or the Tea party protests) these left wing protests are rarely genuine grassroots efforts and are instead well funded astroturf efforts run by professional establishment funded organisers.

It comes down to style. Americans are not accustomed to a President acting like a dictator.  They do not like it. Typically the President tries to reach out to the other side of the partisan divide, but this time he tells people to get in line or get lost because he has all the power.

Because he has nothing in common with the Democrats in office, it is hardly surprising that he gets opposition at every turn. Why shouldn't  an opposition party act in accordance with conscience and respect for precedent?

The President cannot order federal judges around. We have an independent judiciary, one shielded from partisan bickering and not amenable to changes in the way that the wind blows. Just because the President urges the courts to hang offender high is no reason for the courts to decide that such is not cruel and unusual punishment.

Against President Obama, Republicans made an early decision to not cooperate. With President Trump Republicans tell Democrats that unless they sell out their principles and their constituencies to the Trump Administration they have no relevance to the political process. It is hardly surprising that liberals resist. This is an Administration with its own Party in nearly-complete lockstep, one that believes in all power to the economic elites at the expense of all else.         
119  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jason Chaffetz gets yelled at townhall on: February 10, 2017, 11:40:48 pm
People have no obligation to show standing on an issue to protest.
120  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 160 people arrested in SoCal ICE raids on: February 10, 2017, 11:38:47 pm
.....we should just focus on deporting those who have committed crimes other than illegally crossing the border or overstaying their Visas.

Isn't that the existing policy?

The Obama policy was

(1) to catch people at the borders, and

(2) deport criminal aliens.

The first can deal with some humanitarian issues -- like people dying of cold, heatstroke, dehydration, hunger, and snake bites.    

The second involves betrayal of standards expected of us all.

So -- do not break up families; family cohesion is both a conservative and humanistic virtue worthy of honor.   
121  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 160 people arrested in SoCal ICE raids on: February 10, 2017, 11:29:50 pm
Obama had no problem with the deportation of criminal aliens. This raid changes nothing. Even the argument "don't break up families" fails to defend a juvenile who is a member of a criminal gang.

So what would you do with this family?

Enrique, 41. Native of Honduras. Illegally immigrated to the USA in 2008 with a wife Rosa and three children. Escaped drug violence knowing that he has a death warrant by a drug syndicate in Honduras after nine years. Works in a body shop. No criminal record.

Rosa, 38. Enrique's husband, also from Honduras. Mother of six kids.

Marta, 19. Married to a US-born citizen of Mexican origin. Has a child born in the USA. Attending junior college and does part-time work as a waitress.

Roberto, known to most of his friends as "Bobby", 17. Getting good grades in school. He speaks unexceptionable English, so nobody knows that he is an illegal alien. He already has a girlfriend, a blue-eyed blond girl from Iowa. Her parents were troubled at first until they realized how level-headed he is.

Luis, 15. High-school  drop-out, member of the infamous gang MS-13, and you don't want to know most of his aliases; pimp and pusher. Rumors are that he has killed, but nobody wants to place any murders on him because he would be tried as a juvenile. The police are looking for bigger fish. He might grow up into that role.

Carlota, 12. She has been in America since she was three, so she wouldn't know how to live in Honduras -- especially if she should be stuck with Luis as a mentor. If she stays in America she may do fine.  

Bernardo, age 8. Born in the USA. Mentally retarded with other disabilities.

Teresa, age 7. Unremarkable. Of course born in the USA.

....Now which of these do you deport?

You obviously can't deport Bernardo or Teresa. Marta is married to a US citizen  and has her own anchor baby. Carlota? There would be humanitarian concerns even if she is an 'illegal alien'. Roberto might join the Armed Services just to get legal status, but if he doesn't, he will probably do fine.

Bernardo and Teresa will need their parents.

Luis of course must be deported. If he gets killed in Honduras by fellow gang members, then such is the consequences of being involved in his way of life.

I hope that I have not used too blatant of stereotypes here.
122  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Official Trump 1.0 Approval Ratings Thread on: February 10, 2017, 10:54:03 pm
When a country's leader is considered a literal joke, then it's probably impossible for America to ever recover it's prestige.

Just elect someone like JFK or Obama (who are extremely unlike, with Obama more like Eisenhower in contrast to JFK, which is about as different as two good Presidents can be)... and America can get respect again for having a much greater likelihood of doing the right thing.

Quote
Finally we continue to find that unhappiness with Trump- and with Congressional Republicans- could help Democrats to make big gains in 2018. Democrats lead 49/41 on the generic Congressional ballot. That's partially a product of Trump's unpopularity but also an outgrowth of Paul Ryan (35/47 approval), Mitch McConnell (23/52 approval), and Congress as a whole (16/68 approval) being unpopular in their own rights.

There's nothing like a bad President to tear down his Party in Congress. Republicans who can't see that possibility with Donald Trump have forgotten how they took down the Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress and eventually the Presidency with someone really good as President. A bad President exposes whatever weaknesses members of Congress from his Party have. This is happening much faster with Donald Trump than with Barack Obama. Republicans figured out what to do with Obama in far less time than Democrats are figuring out what to do with Donald Trump.

He isn't fair... and he doesn't even understand the Bill of Rights and the tradition of indifference to religion in the heritage of America. I'm sure that many of us already have been adapting the famous Niemöller quote...

First they came for the Muslims... AND I SPOKE OUT!

I have no idea of how long it will take for President Trump to back down. If he does he will look like a fool. If he doesn't back down he will be an even bigger fool.






123  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is a person that hears God insane or really hearing it? on: February 10, 2017, 07:14:00 pm
God? Not likely. The Devil? I knew who it was when he told me to commit crimes and other self-destructive deeds.

...I'm thinking about making a one-entity play out of that. Title: "Speaking of the Devil"... I would need multiple characters, because the entity isn't always a white male.

Worthy revenge!
124  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jason Chaffetz gets yelled at townhall on: February 10, 2017, 07:09:14 pm
That's exactly what must happen to people who put political power over service and convenient falsehoods over objective truth.
125  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US investigators corroborate and confirm some aspects of the Russia dossier on: February 10, 2017, 07:07:26 pm
those investigators are playing with their future.

The only advice that I can give them is to sleep with their passports, have a suitcase packed, and keep reasonably close to an international airport. 
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