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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Process / Re: In 2012 Obama won 10 of Kentucky's 11 largest cities on: Today at 11:00:29 pm
If the Democratic Party brand is so irrevocably broken in the rural South, then why do Democrats still do well at the county level in states like Mississippi?  I think Griff is largely right with his analysis to some extent concerning blind hatred for the Dems, but I do find it odd that many of those folks still vote Democratic at some level, leading me to think that Democrats could revive in those parts at some point.

The power of incumbency is a terribly mighty thing to behold. A lot of these office-holders have been in office for decades (keep in mind that for a variety of reasons, a lot of Deep South Dems in decades past would get elected to office at shockingly young ages); they're "good people" and everybody knows them. At the local level with regard to state parties, you're dealing with a "every man for himself" sort of situation with respect to political party organization and operation in the Deep South, which is seeded with far too many counties. These areas were never competitive, and the "breakthrough" or dominance at the state level for the Republican Party in many cases has only occurred in the past 10 years or so. Resources haven't flowed in here, and because time largely stands still, a compounding series of events prevents Republicans from doing well.

Think about it this way (putting it in quotes so it's condensed in size):

You're a voter in Bumf**k County, MS. Population: 6,800. Every local office-holder has always been a Democrat. Most of them you know from around town. They go to your church. Their daddies were Democrats. Your daddy was a Democrat. You can't stand the national Democratic Party, but that's what always has been around your parts and these people are "good people". They're the right ones. They think like you, and they make sure you know that they don't support that Obama in Washington, either. It's common knowledge that the Democratic primary is the de-facto general election, always has been, and any and all qualified (plus some unqualified) candidates run in the Democratic primary. The Democratic Party organization here ain't much to behold, but it makes up for its lack of organization where it counts: relationships. Ol' Chair Bubba Lee might look like your average redneck, but he knows how to fund candidates, talk up the voters, and keep the gears moving. Every election, Bubba comes around to all the lawyers, business owners and prominent natives in town and asks you to "write the check", and you better damn well write that check if you want any influence or opinion in the town in the next half-century to matter.

The Republican Party in your neck of the woods is an absolute joke, with no money, no organization and comprised of a few angry tax-evading outsiders who bought up some cheap land after moving down from "up north", built their big houses on it and now rant and rave about how the already-low property tax rate needs to be even lower. It's never been anything but a joke party. The state party has never been in good shape until now, and even they don't have the resources to seed every county party in the state with outside organizers and tons of cash. The body-politic in town still accepts that the Democratic primary is the election. Any qualified candidates for office know this, and they refuse to pass up a primary battle in order to run as a Republican in the general, because they know the Democratic primary is the election - that's how it's always been. They're not going to pass up the opportunity to be elected, and summarily be laughed out of town for being the idiot who ran in the wrong election (though the hilarious thing is, they'd probably win if they snapped out of the hive-mind). Your local Republicans have no real membership, no organization, no money, no candidates and no outside assistance. Even if most would like to support them, they're jokes, and everybody knows it.

What do you think is going to happen in that situation by default? The same thing that has always happened.

Though I will say (and there are literally hundreds of examples around the South), there have been and will come times where a series of factors line up perfectly: a GOP county party gets organized, outside assistance begins to come in to some degree, a slate of good candidates are recruited to run as Republicans, and the collective voter hive-mind suddenly snaps and realizes that the Dem primary doesn't have to be the general election. In almost every case where that series of factors has occurred, the Dems are almost or universally purged from local elected office within a matter of 2-4 years (excluding the ones who negotiate with the GOP to defect to save their hides).
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Welcome to the Runoff!: LA 2015 Liveblog on: Today at 10:02:33 pm
Glorious work!

What the hell is wrong with those people in northern Avoyelles? You rarely would see a >90% R precinct in Georgia with Obama on the ballot, regardless of size.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 100 black pastors expected to endorse Trump on: November 25, 2015, 10:52:14 pm
Trump has a great relationship with the blacks.

He didn't do well with with the BET straw poll.

Democrats: Sanders 65%, Clinton 23%, O'Malley 12%
GOP: Carson 37%, Rubio 21%, Kasich 11%

Was this online? If so, I wonder how many white Bernie supporters posted links in their groups to it in order to generate that result? No way in hell is that an accurate reflection of the black electorate's sentiments.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who can vote in the GOP Primaries on: November 25, 2015, 09:56:20 pm
As far as I can remember, all this "operation chaos" style stuff ends up amounting to almost nothing, with very few people actually crossing over to try to elect a bad candidate on the other side. Maybe a few Democrats might vote for Trump in an attempt to "destroy the GOP" or something, but I doubt it will make much of a difference.

Yeah, this stuff almost never really happens at a statewide/federal primary level, and even when it does, it's almost never enough to actually affect the result. The only instances where primary ballot mischief can have a tangible effect is in more localized races, such as when Athens, Georgia Democratic voters took their vengeance out on a State Representative who flipped from D to R right after his re-election and then faced a R primary challenge the following cycle; he was defeated by 1 point after hundreds of Dems voted for his opponent in the primary.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump makes fun of reporter with Disability on: November 25, 2015, 09:52:29 pm
This won't affect anything, obviously. That's how we know America is dead.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 100 black pastors expected to endorse Trump on: November 25, 2015, 09:49:53 pm
I wonder how many of these won't have verifiable contact information, phone numbers, physical locations, etc?

Let's not forget how there were "thousands" of people at his campaign announcement event.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: SCANDAL WATCH: Carson using unpaid Chinese labor for campaign?! on: November 25, 2015, 06:14:05 pm
Also, can we laugh once again at a major map error by the Carson campaign? Look carefully at that banner...now identify the East Coast (particularly, North Carolina and how D.C. is apparently situated somewhere on the NC/VA border)...now bask in the glory that is IA, which is a fraction of the size of what it should be and apparently located in Kentucky Coal Country.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: SCANDAL WATCH: Carson using unpaid Chinese labor for campaign?! on: November 25, 2015, 06:10:37 pm
For a split second, I thought that was Carson in the photo with them but then I shrieked and had to carefully evaluate whether each person in the photo was in fact a real person after my sense of perception was violated

9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: large majorities of americans support trans rights on: November 25, 2015, 05:38:04 pm
Americans have a long and noble tradition of opposing discrimination against particular groups of minorities...and then directly advocating for specific policies that discriminate against them and against those that would prevent it.

For instance, the whole "gay people shouldn't be discriminated against" thing but then also agreeing that gay couples should have to pay higher tax rates and then also have no recourse for the seamless transfer of property.

Was there anything in the poll asking whether or not trans people should be able to alter their government documents to reflect their identity? I could see that being one of those where a majority disapprove. On the other hand, the concept of trans on a global level in many places (and among a shockingly large % of Americans) has had more acceptance with regards to it not being a choice or being a natural concept.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Has there ever been a candidate with Trump's poll numbers that faded? on: November 25, 2015, 05:16:14 pm
Howard dean, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes, and Hillary Clinton

Dean especially never really broke out of the low 20s, and Forbes didn't hold the lead for a significant chunk of 1995 in the 96 race. Giuliani is a fair point, but unlike Trump, had no support in Iowa or New Hampshire. Trump is currently narrowly leading IA and massively leading NH. As for Clinton, like pointed out before, that was a 2 1/2 candidate race. Clinton came in third in Iowa with 30% of the vote...the winner of Iowa in the GOP 2016 primary will be lucky to hit that number.

Think about it this way. Bernie Sanders could lose Iowa by 30 points, 65-35 (due to the 15% threshold at each station, O'Malley won't even register), and Sanders' humiliating defeat would still be a higher vote share than the winner of the GOP contest in Iowa. That's the difference between a two way race and a 14 way race.

It's also worth pointing out that in contrast, Trump is still polling 10-15 points higher than Romney was at this point, when that was a 6-person race.

Trump's stability in the polls looks remarkably similar to Romney's throughout 2011-2012, except that Trump is polling even higher than Romney in an even bigger clusterf[inks].

11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump/Carson increases turnout across the board, Kasich/Fiorina depress GOP on: November 25, 2015, 03:54:50 pm
Stuff like this is rather bogus - Republicans are such a reliable voting bloc that your turnout is going to be practically identical for any and all of the current candidates, especially when factoring in motivation to vote in Senate, House, gubernatorial and local races. This is just your standard pre-nominee pouting fest from supporters of each candidate not wanting to say that they'll support anybody else. Notice how more or less and of the ones surveyed, the % of Rs turning out decreases based on the % of the primary vote that candidate currently has in the polls (Bush is the anomaly).

It may be right about one trend, though: Trump possibly could spike turnout among normally (very) unlikely/currently unregistered voters when compared to the rest.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Why is the giant earlobe plugs thing big in Europe now? on: November 25, 2015, 02:32:16 pm
Arguably worse than inappropriate tattoos, in my opinion, due to their obvious visibility. There isn't a better way to permanently alter your body and send the message to everyone you ever meet that, "hey, I was utter trash at some point in my life (and maybe still am)". Ever seen "the reformed" in their 20s and 30s with empty ear lobes that hang like sleeves of wizard? Ugh.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is this a plausible map? on: November 25, 2015, 01:39:26 pm
Dems wont lose Iowa and NV, but win Va.

I've been saying for some time now that Virginia is the quickest shifting state in the country at this point. There's obviously going to be some instances of "two steps forward, one step back" when it comes to mid-terms versus presidential elections and local/state elections versus national elections, but I would say Virginia flipped on the national level at some point in 2006 or 2007 and has been moving further into the Democratic column ever since. Virginia is at least as Democratic as Pennsylvania is and by 2016, could be on par with Wisconsin or Michigan.

Virginia's left-ward trajectory has been apparent since 2006, but it has been shifting since before then in theory due to the realignment to some degree of where each party positions itself relative to the center. With each passing election, it's definitely more and more possible that Dems win VA but lose IA, and sooner or later, it will happen.

I do have a hard time believing that we could win VA but lose NV in 2016, but it is possible under a very unique set of circumstances (one where the R nominee pulls Bush-04 levels of support from Latinos & Asians but AA support remains just slightly below Obama 2012 levels) and just like with IA/depending on how long-term Latino support for Ds unfolds, carrying VA and losing NV could become the norm.

But yeah, NV is about all that is wrong with this map...it's not impossible or anything, but it's unlikely in 2016 given the VA variable. If a R is able to win NV then it means he is receiving damn near 45% of the Latino vote and that would likely impact the national numbers to a great degree (might even result in NM flipping).
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Number of Regions/Regional Governments (FINAL VOTE) on: November 24, 2015, 05:26:13 pm
Even with the clarification, nay - I feel there are still discussions to be had here.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Key to Defeating the Islamic State -Create a New Sunni State on: November 24, 2015, 05:19:16 pm
I could see something like this working, perhaps. Put most of Shiite Syria with Lebanon, keep most of the rest of Syria intact and unite it with western Iraq, and while we're at it, give the Kurds and Yezidi a home by detaching the remainder of the Sunnis in the north from Iraq.

This would finally give the Kurds and Yezidi a peaceful home to mediate tensions in that part of the region, would easily make Iraq >80% Shia and ditto for Syria/Sunni, and would keep roughly the same religious balance in the new Lebanon while expanding its influence as a stabilizing force in the region. Of course, Iran would hate all of this...

16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Plurality of Republicans disapprove of Obama pardoning turkeys on: November 24, 2015, 04:48:53 pm

51% of Republicans are sane and don't care.

Actually, this means that 89% of Republicans are so idiotic and/or partisan that they either cannot bring themselves to agree with anything Obama does whatsoever or that they simply cannot comprehend the act of pardoning a turkey as a symbolic gesture of holiday goodwill.
17  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Five Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis on: November 24, 2015, 04:47:18 pm
More proof that every AA in the country needs an AR
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Constitutional Convention / Re: Number of Regions/Regional Governments (VOTING ON AMENDMENT) on: November 24, 2015, 04:17:52 pm
How can there be a final vote on this article when the article clearly isn't finished yet?
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What Will/Would Louisiana Look Like Under A Governor Edwards? on: November 24, 2015, 12:29:16 pm
Pictured here: losing candidate JBE's logo at the behest of campaign manager BigSkyBob

20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: What Will/Would Louisiana Look Like Under A Governor Edwards? on: November 24, 2015, 12:22:43 pm
Only noted idiot BigSkyBob could suggest that Edwards should switch parties before he is even elected as a Democrat.

OT: Freedom State, of course.

Your theory has the problem that I don't suggest "Edwards switch parties" precisely because I believe that John Bel Edwards is left of center. Other have stated thing like Edwards is a "conservative Democrat" and that Vitter [certainly a conservative] and Edwards agree on most major issues. If they are right, which I do not believe, then Edwards easiest path forward to govern from the right is to switch parties. [Nor, did I suggest he switch parties today. I merely speculated about him following the example of Buddy Roemer [sp?] and switching parties after he was elected as a Democrat, assuming he is a conservative, and wants to govern as a conservative, which are two things that I simply don't believe to be true.]

'Conservative Democrat' means 'conservative for a Democrat', not 'Democrat who is A Conservative'.

I've pointed out your tendency to speak as if 'conservative' is a binary, yes-or-no, non-relative descriptor before. It's a very curious belief you have there.

And, I consider your belief to be rather odd yourself.  In general, "conservative" and "liberal" a nexus of beliefs about issues of public concern. Either "conservative" as a label refers to the former nexus or it does not.

The English language has a term for a somewhat liberal Democrat who is further to the right than a liberal Democrat: "a relatively conservative Democrat."

When you conflate, "a relatively conservative Democrat" with "an [actually] conservative Democrat" then you negate any ability to distinguish between the two [which, is probably the point to this particular abuse of the English language. "Conservative Democrat" is much easier sell than "somewhat liberal" south of the Mason Dixon line.]

OK, but nobody is going to campaign while referring to themselves "a relatively conservative Democrat" (and the media certainly won't either) because that essentially is word-vomit and sounds stupid.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: MorningConsult polls approvals of 69 Senators. on: November 24, 2015, 11:39:28 am
Once again (like the gubernatorial ones), garbage. They're obviously not pushing people to answer or they are asking unregistered voters as well. There is no way that you're have, in my state for example, a quarter to a third of likely or even registered voters with no opinion on a multi-term Senator.

Isakson  51/24
Perdue  51/26
Durbin  44/33
Kirk  41/31
Donnelly  46/23
Coats  49/23
Cassidy  44/32

There's no point in them polling tens of thousands of people nationally if they're not going to actually bother getting a decent sample.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Georgia's Very Own Megathread! on: November 24, 2015, 11:06:33 am
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his campaign against income inequality to Atlanta Monday night.  During a rally with more than 4,000 attendees, the Vermont senator spoke about creating an economy that works for all.

"This great country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires," said Senator Sanders, adding that his campaign is sending a message to billionaires. "You are not going to get huge tax breaks when children in Georgia and Vermont go hungry, ain't going to happen."



Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave thousands of supporters a heaping dose of red-meat at his Monday evening stop in Atlanta. But the Democratic presidential candidate was rivaled by the man who introduced him: Rapper Killer Mike.

The two lunched together at the Busy Bee before the hip-hop star real name Michael Render gave a six-minute speech that was repeatedly interrupted by thunderous applause.

Heres what he said:


23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Wisconsin Megathread: 2014 Aftermath and 2016 Senate Speculation on: November 24, 2015, 10:35:23 am
This looks great for Feingold - Walker is approaching Jindal-like levels of hatred. Too bad there isn't another gubernatorial recall this year!
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What do you guys think is gonna happen with Ben Carson? on: November 24, 2015, 08:23:22 am
The Bradley Effect will take care of him sometime before NV, assuming he even makes it to caucus day.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Where is NV in a Clinton/Trump election? on: November 23, 2015, 09:03:50 pm
8% of the state is Mormon; considering that Mormons usually over-represent their share of the population in elections, it wouldn't surprise me if they comprised 10% or more of the vote. I'm sure Trump is quite different than Romney in the eyes of many Mormons, who probably as a bloc were 80% Romney in 2012.

The swing of this group alone away from Trump would produce a very noticeable difference (potentially a 4-to-6 point increase in margin of victory); when coupled with the Latino swings against Trump, it would be impossible for Trump to out-perform Romney. Whatever "weirdo rich whites who voted for Obama but might vote for Trump" and/or "low-info whites who are going to come out for Trump when they never came out before" groups there might be won't come close to making up that difference.
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