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2020 US Elections and Electability
  • Thread Split from 2018 US Midterms thread

    Also notice how almost all the left wing ballot measures listed that passed were in deeply red or purple states (Utah, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Arkansas, Missouri.) , Mass and Washington are blue.

    Given the popularity of these measures, maybe the Democrats should run on them in these states rather than running as Republican lite. Nah, running campaigns based on what people want (and what your party claims to support nationally) is too logical.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Viajero de la Galaxia ().

  • Pietro wrote:

    Also notice how almost all the left wing ballot measures listed that passed were in deeply red or purple states (Utah, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Arkansas, Missouri.) , Mass and Washington are blue.

    Given the popularity of these measures, maybe the Democrats should run on them in these states rather than running as Republican lite. Nah, running campaigns based on what people want (and what your party claims to support nationally) is too logical.
    It depends on the issue though.

    ACA got incredibly popular once Trump took over the reign of the White House and worked with the GOP congress to strip away preexisting conditions and subsidies. That's when many individuals realize how good they actually had it.

    I'm still surprised and impressed that Medicaid expanded in several red states though. I think there are a few reasons that can explain this:

    1. The GOP has bashed Obamacare non-stop since 2010. It was only the last 1.5 years they toned down that rhetoric. Voters with short term memory forgot about that and started to learn that Medicaid Expansion was a great thing.
    2. It took time for citizens to realize that Medicaid expansion is a good thing and that it is working in other states.
    3. Progressives ran on this issue hard in these states propelling them to victory.
    4. Media and politicians stopped referring to ACA as "Obamacare" the last couple of years.
    As a side note, I can understand why some states wouldn't want to expand Medicaid since they will be afraid to be stuck with the bill if federal funding is stopped.

    BUT for all those other issues I think the best way to explain those is that the Blue Wave not only brought fresh new progressives but also progressive policies.
  • 2018 wasn't an aberration in regards to red states voting for left wing measures at the ballot box. Looking back to the last midterm election in 2014 (where there was a red wave and the Republicans won 9 senate seats and some in the house as well.)

    Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota voted for a minimum wage increase. And Alaska also voted for marijuana decriminalization and protecting salmon from mining projects

    In 2016

    Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota voted for medical marijuana legalization
    Arizona, Colorado and Maine voted for increasing the minimum wage


    Now granted that some red states also voted for some right wing ballot initiatives (but not as many as you'd think, many that you would assume would be in favor of restricting abortion for example actually voted against it. But when it comes to gun regulations, yes red states are very much against them, that isn't just a stereotype.)

    But if so many red and purple states want to raise the minimum wage for example, how about running your national and state campaigns primarily centered on... raising the minimum wage!

    Same with marijuana, now granted a lot of these states would be uncomfortable with full legalization, so run on lowering marijuana from a schedule I drug (which means they have no accepted medical use and are highly addictive) to a lower schedule (which would greatly free up medical research on the drug) and decriminalize marijuana federally, which would allow the states to develop their own marijuana policy.

    This isn't complicated, if something is popular nationally and it conforms to the spirit of your party, run on it and emphasize it in elections.

    But sadly the Democrats refuse to do so.


    (all info on ballot measures taken from Ballotpedia. ballotpedia.org/2016_ballot_measures )
  • @Pietro

    The underlying issue is that many republican voters favor politics rather than policies.

    For example, ACA has a higher approval rating than Obamacare among republicans. Yes, I said that correctly -- republicans voters like the same exact program less when they found out it was tied to a "radical leftist".

    You are even seeing this hypocrisy right now with tariffs. Years ago, conservatives would be jumping up and down at the thought of "interfering with the free mark" yet many are standing behind Trump doing the same exact thing they were opposing years prior.

    In my personal life, I have interacted with some conservatives that support certain key progressive issues. However, once they found out those certain issues are supported by democrats they disavow (to quote one of my friends "the issue must not be good if a liberal supports it). Take it for what it's worth.

    As you can see this is a complicated issue that can only be fixed with better education, less smearing of the word "liberal" as a dirty word and probably the rise of a youth voters (since I believe younger voters are more able to see through bullshit thanks to the internet).

    The good news is, it appears a good way to pass progressive policies is to do it via propositions instead of having a politician do it. I hope democrats can take advantage of this strategy moving forward.

    P.S. Many progressives this past elections did run on higher minimum wage.
  • Yeah. HeroOfTime is right. I don't buy the analysis that because mildly progressive policies do well on the ballot the democrat party should field more progressive candidates. Many progressive policies poll better than candidates pushing those same policies. Remove the partisan angle and ask people about specifics, and they'll give you very different answers than they will once you apply labels and names to them.

    Don't get me wrong; I personally want more progressive candidates. But I'm just not convinced that that's always a winning strategy.
  • Republicans aren't a monolith, it's not like any of the Republican incumbents are wildly popular. Most people just want to not die: if someone distrusts democrats inherently it's because they (rightly) feel that "liberals" have completely forsaken their needs in favor of neoliberal economics. Shit like Medicare for all polls well with everyone, despite the most public champion of it currently being a self-described socialist.
  • lord-of-shadow wrote:

    Yeah. HeroOfTime is right. I don't buy the analysis that because mildly progressive policies do well on the ballot the democrat party should field more progressive candidates. Many progressive policies poll better than candidates pushing those same policies. Remove the partisan angle and ask people about specifics, and they'll give you very different answers than they will once you apply labels and names to them.

    Don't get me wrong; I personally want more progressive candidates. But I'm just not convinced that that's always a winning strategy.
    That's a concern that I have about 2020. While I do believe that the momentum is in the democrats favor along with other issues surrounding Trump, I'm hoping the democrats don't nominate a strong progressive like Bernie or Warren.

    While the strong progressives made gains in New York, parts of Texas and while strong progressives like Beto got very close, progressive policies and candidates struggled in Ohio (it's getting redder every year) and Arizona (marijuana and renewable energy initiatives failed).

    Even though I'm fond of Bernie and Warren, the democrats need to win back PA, MI and WI at a minimum in order to win in 2020 and I don't see evidence of strong progressives being popular in these states.

    It's hard to tell since there are some many factors to look at.

    Hazel wrote:

    Republicans aren't a monolith, it's not like any of the Republican incumbents are wildly popular. Most people just want to not die: if someone distrusts democrats inherently it's because they (rightly) feel that "liberals" have completely forsaken their needs in favor of neoliberal economics. Shit like Medicare for all polls well with everyone, despite the most public champion of it currently being a self-described socialist.

    Medicare for All seems popular now but I guarantee you once the republicans start talking about it more in the media then many republicans will be made to believe that the deep state government is messing up their healthcare.

    Personally, I think the democrats should push for a public option first, something Obama could't get through in 2010. This will be easier since it can be done via reconciliation and won't completely shake up the health insurance industry at once.

    Note: I'm not saying I don't support Medicare for All but I would like to caution the democrats -- I think they are overplaying their hand. They should focus their political capital and the public option first to demonstrate that the government can control insurance prices and serve as a check to insurance companies.
  • I was a Bernie delegate during the 2016 Washington primaries. I really WANT a president that is progressive on both social and financial issues. I both preferred him to Hilary, and think he would have won where Hilary lost.

    But... next primaries I'll be voting for the candidate I believe has the best chance of winning electorally. I will not be taking it for granted that the candidate I prefer personally (likely the most progressive of them, possibly Bernie himself again) is the one with the best chance of winning.
  • That's how they get ya. They make you think a progressive won't be able to win so you settle for less. We got the 'electable' candidate in 2016 and they lost. How many more 'electable' candidates are there that have gotta lose? What we need in a candidate is someone who is going to address the serious inequalities (racial, economic, etc) within America. Corporate or third way democrats aren't gonna ever provide that answer.


    “Gandalf put his hand on Pippin's head. "There never was much hope," he answered. "Just a fool's hope, as I have been told.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

  • So what, y'all think the dems should compromise or propose incremental changes? The thing that democrats have been doing for a decade (obviously unrelated, but for what reason, precisely, do you believe the ACA did not pass with the public option, at a time when Obama had what amounted to a supermajority in both houses?) and culminated in losing almost a thousand seats in state legislatures and being humiliated in 2016?

    The thing that Republicans literally never do and earned unfettered control of the federal government for two years, going straight to work undoing all of Obama's incremental changes and making two (TWO!) lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court? POTENTIALLY THREE if Ginsburg doesn't make good on her plans to stay on the court through 2020! Despite all but the most insanely backwards and savage of America's bottom barrel actively hating the Republicans and all they do?

    Yeah, welcome to the "#Resistance" lmao

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Hazel ().

  • I'm saying that the most important thing by far is to get Trump out of the office, and we shouldn't take any chances or take anything for granted.

    Also note that in my previous post I said I thought Bernie was more electable than Hilary. But if I determine that the more moderate candidate is more electable, I'll likely grit my teeth and vote for them instead.
    Pronouns: He/Him

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Max N. ().

  • Yeah, I definitely think people should unify behind a candidate, even if it's not who we'd prefer. But the primaries are the point in time where we should be having a fight over what's right, not gritting our teeth.

    I think we have to change our idea of what is electable. Donald Trump is electable. That means there definitely has to be more leeway on what the Dems consider electable - if Clinton could not win with her monolithic machine, how is some other third way dem supposed to without (necessarily) that same machine?


    “Gandalf put his hand on Pippin's head. "There never was much hope," he answered. "Just a fool's hope, as I have been told.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

  • @Avalanchemike

    Clinton lost mostly because of the email letter that came out days before the election:

    fivethirtyeight.com/features/t…ost-clinton-the-election/

    Also, partisan fatigue is a real thing and it's rare for a single party to occupy the white house for 12 years straight.

    I'm not making excuses for Clinton I'm merely pointing out that Trump got INCREDIBLY lucky and won. He may not have those same reasons working for him in 2020.

    While I do agree that corporate democrats hold us back I don't buy the argument that running a strong progressive for President is a good idea. It seems risky to me just based on demographics of swing states.

    @Hazel

    Blaming Obama was the wrong move. He tabled the public option because Durbin threaten to whip votes against it. I'm only opposed to passing Medicare for All simply because there isn't enough support even among the democrats.

    You honestly think a Senate majority leader can whip up 60 votes in 2020 or 2022? Obama barely was able to do it with Sen. Kennedy on his death bed.
  • if going hard to the right worked for the GOP (I honestly doubt Bush or Rubio or whatever "moderate" candidate they could have nominated would beat Clinton), why can't the same (though in the opposite direction obviously) work for us?

    Trump got people excited; granted, a lot of them were the dregs of society, but even dregs of society are voters. And a lot of them still support him; one of the only truthful things Trump has said is that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. A ho-hum candidate simply will not cut it. Trump may be a shitty president and historically unpopular, but that alone won't be enough to bring him down in 2020; if the Dems want to be back in government, they need to run on something other than a "We're not Trump" platform.

    Look at the UK as an example. In 2015, the Labour Party ran as basically a Tory-lite party. They lost. In 2017, under the socialist, "hard-left", "unelectable" Jeremy Corbyn, Labour took a sharp turn to the left, and campaigned on a positive vision, of an alternative to the misery of Tory austerity. The result was that, while Labour didn't win per se, they did better than basically everyone expected. People had been expecting a blowout for the Conservatives (and indeed, Theresa May in her hubris called an early election for precisely that reason), and yet the Conservatives ended up losing their only majority in Parliament in the last two decades. For the Tories, it was the very definition of a pyrrhic victory.


    It worked that side of the Atlantic. Why can't it work here?
  • Silver wrote:

    if going hard to the right worked for the GOP (I honestly doubt Bush or Rubio or whatever "moderate" candidate they could have nominated would beat Clinton), why can't the same (though in the opposite direction obviously) work for us?

    Trump got people excited; granted, a lot of them were the dregs of society, but even dregs of society are voters. And a lot of them still support him; one of the only truthful things Trump has said is that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. A ho-hum candidate simply will not cut it. Trump may be a shitty president and historically unpopular, but that alone won't be enough to bring him down in 2020; if the Dems want to be back in government, they need to run on something other than a "We're not Trump" platform.

    Look at the UK as an example. In 2015, the Labour Party ran as basically a Tory-lite party. They lost. In 2017, under the socialist, "hard-left", "unelectable" Jeremy Corbyn, Labour took a sharp turn to the left, and campaigned on a positive vision, of an alternative to the misery of Tory austerity. The result was that, while Labour didn't win per se, they did better than basically everyone expected. People had been expecting a blowout for the Conservatives (and indeed, Theresa May in her hubris called an early election for precisely that reason), and yet the Conservatives ended up losing their only majority in Parliament in the last two decades. For the Tories, it was the very definition of a pyrrhic victory.


    It worked that side of the Atlantic. Why can't it work here?
    The different is that the Alt Right existed in the past in the US. Not only is "Make America Great Again" a dog whistle for racism but it's actually a reference to a time period where many thought was "great". Unfortunately, progressiveness doesn't have that same experience so it's easy to criticize many left policies and claim they don't work.

    Not to be rude but the UK doesn't have a shitty electoral system like the US. American politicians are forced to play under shitty rules.

    Here is how Trump won in 2016:
    • Clinton was scandal ridden
    • The email letter days before the election probably cost her the election: vox.com/midterm-elections/2018…-progressivism-left-trump
    • There was division between Clinton and Bernie supporters
    • Partisan fatigue is real. It's very rare for a party to control the white house for 3 terms.
    • Russia colluded
    As long as the democrats don't nominate someone like Clinton, 2020 is going to be very hard for Trump especially after the blue wave on Tuesday, looming Russia indictments and a potential downturn in the economy.

    With that being said I agree with @lord-of-shadow: we shouldn't take any chances.
  • HeroOfTime5 wrote:

    While I do agree that corporate democrats hold us back I don't buy the argument that running a strong progressive for President is a good idea. It seems risky to me just based on demographics of swing states.
    Obama ran as an ostensible progressive candidate in 2008 and won. Demographics were 'worse' then than they are now in swing states. There is no reason to believe that a strongly progressive candidate can't win other than Republicans and Democrats have been telling you they can't.


    “Gandalf put his hand on Pippin's head. "There never was much hope," he answered. "Just a fool's hope, as I have been told.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

  • Avalanchemike wrote:

    HeroOfTime5 wrote:

    While I do agree that corporate democrats hold us back I don't buy the argument that running a strong progressive for President is a good idea. It seems risky to me just based on demographics of swing states.
    Obama ran as an ostensible progressive candidate in 2008 and won. Demographics were 'worse' then than they are now in swing states. There is no reason to believe that a strongly progressive candidate can't win other than Republicans and Democrats have been telling you they can't.

    If my memory serves, Clinton ran more towards the left than Obama.

    Obama ultimately won the nomination because he ran a better campaign, better GOTV and most importantly his vote on the Iraq War was HUGE in 2008 with how things were unfolding under Bush's fail policies. Clinton couldn't do much to mitigate that damage.

    In conclusion, I don't think he was that ostensible progressive candidate some people envisioned.
  • If you want to talk about what the safe option is as far as electability goes, then you want a progressive. It would be an enormous risk not to nominate a strong progressive, it isn't the other way around. Voters who lean progressive (e.g. young people) do not turnout in high numbers if the field is uninspiring and doesn't stand for bold progressive ideas. Republicans never fail to turnout because they just vote whenever there's an election, whereas young people only vote when there's a reason for them to do so.

    It's anecdotal but I personally know several people who are otherwise disengaged politically and became interested in the political process specifically because of Bernie Sanders during the 2016 primaries. All of them young people who never voted in any election until that point, but several did not vote in the general election (and this was in a crucial swing state by the way). The votes for establishment candidates such as Cory Booker or Joe Biden are simply not there when it comes to young voters.



    The post was edited 2 times, last by Viajero de la Galaxia ().

  • My stance is that it's impossible to know what who will or won't be a "safe" choice right now because there are a million factors other than just where they fall on the 2-dimensional liberal/conservative axis.

    I didn't think Bernie was more electable than Hilary because he was a strong visionary progressive (although that was also true and maybe related), but because he did well with some of the very same blue-collar populist voters that Trump did - and which cost Hilary the election by voting Trump in states like MIchigan.

    It's too simplistic to use a single axis to make this kind of judgment, and it's too premature to know the other factors.
    Pronouns: He/Him

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Max N. ().