Discuss-the-vote thread

February 12, 2020 • 8:15 am

Nearly all the results from New Hampshire are in, and the results are below (I’m omitting candidates like Cory Booker who got less than 1% of the vote):

As expected, Bernie won, but the surprise was that Pete Buttigieg was gnawing at his tuchas, only about 1% behind. Also a surprise was Amy Klobuchar’s good performance: she nabbed six delegates. To me this shows a momentum from Iowa, which isn’t really kosher because Iowa has an unwarranted influence on subsequent elections despite its small size. Of the three front-runners, I’m happiest with Buttigieg and Klobuchar, but would of course vote for Bernie, despite his use of anti-Semitic surrogate campaigners like Linda Sarsour, despite his age, and despite his heart attack. As I’ve said, the worst Democratic candidate is infinitely better than the “best” Republican candidate, which is Tr-mp.

Warren was surprisingly far behind, and perhaps this again reflects a me-too effect from her poor performance in Iowa. She used to be my top candidate, but I’ve lost enthusiasm for her. And poor Joe Biden: it almost seems as if he’s out of the race, though the results in South Carolina may give him a boost.

I know it’s way early to prognosticate, but what else can keep us busy chit-chatting save election results? Who’s your favorite candidate? Do you think these results, and the ones from Iowa, mean anything? Is Biden really finished? And Warren? What about Michael Bloomberg: can he jump in and become a centrist front-runner? Do any of these candidates have a chance of beating Trump, who despite everything still has an approval rating of 44%. A number of polls show that all of the Democratic front-runners generally beat Trump in polls (here are summaries from RealClearPolitics), but some of these polls are a few weeks old.

I just registered to vote by mail in the Illinois primaries (as a Democrat, of course), but I have no idea which box I’ll tick before March 17.

143 thoughts on “Discuss-the-vote thread

  1. I think Amy would shred Trump. She is his polar opposite in every way – smart, rational, MORAL. And I think she has the potential to win over conservatives because of her middle-of-the-road approach.

    1. And I think she has the potential to win over conservatives

      I doubt it. The US electorate seems pretty polarised to me. Also, if you are still supporting Trump now after everything he’s done, nothing is going to change your mind.

      It’s really a question of who can persuade the most people to actually vote. If the Democrats can mobilise all of their supporters – or all the people who don’t want Trump to get a second term – and at least some Trump supporters are demotivated enough not to vote especially in the swing states, the Dem will win.

      1. Yes, I like Amy; and will vote for her in the Primary; but I worry. (But I am going to worry, regardless after 2016 and after Drumpf’s “acquittal” last week.)

        Most conservatives are never going to vote for a woman (unless they are so turned off by Trump, which some are, though I predict they will just stay home). Even the women conservatives. It’s amazing what people will say publicly in the interviews.

      2. My feeling is that there is an electorally significant chunk of Trump’s voters who are crying out for an alternative. They really don’t want to vote for him, and they’re exhausted of having to defend themselves for doing so. They will jump at the chance of voting for a moderate.

        You don’t hear from them, because they’re not the loudmouths, they’re not the tub-thumpers. Some of them voted Obama in ’08 and ’12. They really are up for grabs.

        One of Trump and the GOP’s most successful tricks is to convince everyone that dissatisfied Trump voters simply don’t exist. They have brilliantly sold the lie that the Dems shouldn’t bother even trying to win over Trump supporters. But I think the cleverest Democrat candidates: Pete, Bloomberg, Yang, Klobuchar, know that isn’t true.

        1. “there is an electorally significant chunk of Trump’s voters who are crying out for an alternative”

          Bullseye Saul.

          This is what I am hearing in loud chorus on NPR these days.

          The Dems need to present them with an option they can vote for.

          From what I am hearing from 2016 Trump voters, that is NOT Bernie or Warren.

    2. I like Amy, but she shares a couple of problems with Hillary Clinton.

      1. It is hard to tell what she really stands for. It is as if she simply wants to be President. “If not me then who?”

      2. She greets crowds with a grin that looks artificial. Obviously, this is in the eye of the beholder but that’s how she strikes me.

      I’d definitely vote for her if she’s the nominee.

      1. Maybe she’s a bit weary of having to put on the grin so as to stroke individual and collective herd egos and “connect” with them.

        How do you evaluate other candidates’ smiles? (
        I can’t stand Warren’s breathless quasi-histrionic modus operandi at rallies, but maybe that’s what her particular herd requires.)

        My lingering problem with Klobuchar is that there have been past reports of her treating her staff shabbily. Reminds me a little bit of Trump. I have no tolerance for that. I trust that she has taken a hint.

        1. I agree on Warren’s demeanor. It all comes off as fake excitement reminiscent of some teen pop idol. People only want to see your girlish youth if you actually have girlish youth.

          I’ll admit to not knowing the details on Klobuchar and her staff but I discount them for several reasons. It has to be tough to find good campaign help as they aren’t paid much and the jobs are ill-defined. This means the candidate has to put up with what she can get. There’s also likely a lot of fights for supremacy within the ranks because turnover is high. These people have easy access to the media so if there’s any disagreement, they just need to pick up the phone and tell their tale. The candidate has a lot riding on their staff’s actions so they have to be tough on any perceived lack of ability.

    3. I’m very happy with both Amy and Pete doing well. That result was a very pleasant surprise.

      In response to Jeremy P., I don’t think any Dem candidate is going to win over the 30% of the US population that consistently votes GOP. But I do think she might be able to win votes from whatever subset of the 25% unaffiliated/swing vote Americans is, who call themselves ‘conservative.’

    1. I’ve complained in the past about the very obvious double standard in politics whereby Dems are constantly told they need to moderate themselves and Republicans are never expect to do the same.

      But at least part of this is Dems’ own fault. Republicans play to win and Dems play to not lose. Brazenness is far more effective than constant second-guessing.

  2. At this point I would guess Klobuchar but who knows. It is also just as likely that the vote in Novemeber is adjusted just enough in the right states to give it to Trump. That could easily happen and who would investigate it? Trump now owns all the agencies of government.

    1. Yes, that is my concern too. The Republicans had probably done it at least once before, in the Bush/Kerry race. This time they can do it much more effectively since they have stolen the Justice Department ahead of time.

      1. There is no area of government that can do anything against Trump at this time. All there is now – the House of Representatives. It is useless. Trump can now walk right in and do whatever he wants. Nothing can stop it short of a riot by the people to the white house. They can do whatever they want at election time, maybe even cancel the elections.

  3. The general lead of Dems over Trump is too close – far too close – for me to feel confident in the outcome of this thing. Things can change, and there is always the #*%&$#?!! off-balanced electoral college.

    Why isn’t Michael Bloomberg even on the radar in the primaries? I had thought he would have more appeal, and certainly more name recognition by now.

    1. Bloomberg did not enter any race until “Super Tuesday”.

      March 3, 2020: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia will all hold their presidential primaries on that date. [Copied from Wiki]

  4. Amy’s my girl.

    And not because she’s a MN Senator (well, that does actually help, since I know her better than most people).

    I have contributed to her campaign (never done that before) and I will vote for her in the MN Primary (I have never voted in a Primary before).

  5. I’m hope Klobuchar is our candidate. Sanders has some good ideas but he recently seems to to me to be an impractical ideologue. For example: His recent excommunication of pro-life Democrats is stupid if he wants to win. He has reversed himself after blow back, but it says something about his character. An ideologue wont be a successful president and may blow chances for election.

  6. A lot of pundits seem “concerned” that Sanders didn’t do as well in a 10+ person contest as he did last time when it was just him and Clinton. Telling the rest of us how winning is losing and losing is winning is why they earn the big bucks I guess.

    1. It was much wider in 2016:

      60% for Sanders
      38% for Clinton

      A wipe-out

      This year is a total squeaker (and a tie in delegates).

      Trouble is, Bern won’t throw in the towel until the convention, just like in 2016, whatever the results (prove me wrong Bernie!). He will split the party with possibly disastrous results. I fear this.

      Remember that Bernie was never a Democrat in his life until 2015 (age 73).

      All the Dems need to do is show up and vote for the nominated candidate and we win. I don’t understand why the enthusiasts can’t grasp this.

      1. I feel like I’ve been hearing about how certain candidates need to drop out or how certain candidates won’t drop out when they “should” for over a year now. Oh wait, I have.

        And yet no candidate so far even has one percent of pledged delegates. It’s still early days.

        So can people give this crap a rest until Super Tuesday at least when we might actually have some concrete information about which candidates no longer have a realistic path to victory?

        1. I agree, it’s way too early to call for (additional) drop-outs.

          But I see Bern never giving in, regardless.

          We shall see.

          If he is the nominee, I will enthusiastically check the box next to his name; while fearing that he will put off way too many middle-of-the-road voters and too many Trump Democrats from 2016.

          If he is the nominee, this video clip will play non-stop from 16-Jul-20 through 3-Nov-20:

            1. One of the reasons “socialist” has been a boogie man in the USA is that billions of dollars have been spent trying to convince people of that.

              1. I see you have plenty of elbow room for a bunch of immigrants. The entire US democratic party could easily fit into the Yukon Territory. 😎

              2. Oh sure but most of our space is not very habitable. There’s a reason most Canadians live near the US border – because it’s further south.

        2. I hear you but I am ok with the candidates that have dropped out so far. I guess I’m the saddest about Yang dropping out but it seems everyone wants him to find a place in government. He just had too far to go from relative obscurity to get anywhere this time.

          1. Yeah, and as for both Yang and Tom Steyer, I’m not sure “president” is the optimal entry-level government position.

            Our one experiment with electing someone with no governmental experience (or experience as a commanding general in a time of war) hasn’t worked out so well.

          2. At least he’s still young so he’s got a chance to make more of a name for himself & run again. I really liked Yang but I’m not surprised at this outcome.

  7. I’m surprised, pleasantly, at Klobuchar’s and Pete’s numbers. Also surprised that Warren’s and Biden’s are so low.

    Though it does seem to me that more often than not people leading in the very early stages of campaign season don’t do well in the end. Looks like Warren and Biden will be those people.

    1. Yes Mayor Pete’s success is cheering. I’m not surprised Warren and Biden are behind. I think people can’t trust Warren because she waffles and tries to appeal to various groups, esp the woke, instead of remaining steady on issues. With Biden, I think he just seems out of touch to voters.

  8. I would put money on Trump trying to wriggle out of the pre-election debates somehow. At the very least he’ll try and rig them, at most he’ll make up some bullshit excuse about ‘the very biased liberal media’. (They’ll probably end up being moderated by Bill Barr the way things are going.)

    He’s too instinctively canny not to be aware that someone like Buttigieg would completely disassemble him in a one on one debate. In 2016 he had nothing to lose – this time around he has a lot to lose.
    Deep down he knows he’s a boorish moron – that explains about 90% of his political resentments and insecurities – and he knows he can’t compete with his opponents on anything substantive. Put him face-to-face with someone who’s spent four years watching him, learning his weaknesses, and who’s a better communicator than Hillary, and you have a situation that is all risk and almost no reward for Trump.

    IMO, the Democrats should start pushing for the debates NOW, and pushing that he’s afraid of them, needle him as a coward, so that by the time they come around he has no political choice but to do them.

    1. I don’t think so. Trump loves a scrap, and his fans love to see him in one. Unless he feels he is so far in the lead that it doesn’t matter, I’d bet on him showing up.

      1. I think he will too.

        I think he thinks: It worked last time, it will work this time.

        Last time, I think many non-aligned voters were willing to give Trump a chance.

        I highly doubt that they will vote Trump this time, after the trail of debris he’s left in his wake. And his lack of accomplishments (the people who are happy with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the SCOTUS were only going to vote for Trump anyway).

        But I am afraid the Dems might fumble it this fall.

        As the old saw goes: The Democrats want to fall in love and the Republicans just want to win.

        We out-number the GOP. If we show up, we win. And we can win really big (e.g. Obama 2008).

      2. I don’t think he likes a scrap at all – certainly not the kind we’re talking about, where there’s a relatively level playing field and moderators, and where his opponent is intellectually nimble and more capable than him on many fronts.

        He likes talking about people behind their backs, and sniping at people who aren’t in the room, and lying about how great he is to people who like him at his therapy-rallies. But he’s notoriously spineless about firing people face-to-face, and often gets his underlings to do it for him, and was frankly fucking useless in the debates with Hillary(who wasn’t particularly good herself).

        If you watch the footage of him vs Hillary he did not look comfortable. He paced, sniffed, mumbled, lost his temper, rambled, and then afterwards whined about the moderator being on her period. I don’t think he likes a scrap at all, especially not when it’s a fair fight.

        He’s a coward; he knows his weaknesses deep down. And, again, he’s a master weasel. I think he’ll try and weasel out of it.

          1. Do you think that Trump will abide by RULES?
            Remember, he said that the Constitution gives him the right to do anything he wants. A little bit of tape on the floor won’t stop him. I hate to say it but the hope you express is as vain as Susan Collins’ when she said that he’s learned a lesson from the impeachment. He sure did but that kind of lesson isn’t what Collins meant, unless she’s far more sinister than anybody knew — for all I know she could be since she pretends to stand on principle but in the end always shows herself to be right there in the middle of Trump’s camp.

            1. If Collins weren’t up for election this year, I think she might have voted and acted differently. Like all non-Trump Republicans up for election, she is running scared. The biggest disappointment is Lisa Murkowski.

  9. See, here’s the thing: Bernie didn’t win. He got nine delegates, and Buttigieg got nine delegates (and overall Buttigieg has one more delegate than Bernie). People (especially Bernie supporters) are pretending like the vote count matters. When they get to the convention, though, it’s delegates that are counted (and there will be those who cry ‘foul’).

    The other thing that is happening is that places like The Atlantic are calling this a victory for socialism. Is it? Bernie’s votes represent less than 1% of New Hampshire’s voting age electorate. In actuality, it’s a dismal showing.

    1. Not sure where you got that Bernie’s votes are less than 1% of New Hampshire’s voting age electorate; Bernie’s vote was approximately 5% of the state population (including those ineligible to vote).

  10. Asking as a Brit, what do American Democrats make of the claim that turnout is ‘worryingly low’ in these primaries?

    I would hope that people are not that bothered about who the candidate as their hatred of Trump is so intense they’ll vote for anyone, but maybe that’s wishful thinking, I don’t know.

    I do think that this is perhaps the most internationally consequential election ever, given how interconnected the world is, and how much political cross-pollination there is between western nations. The ripples from political events reach further and do so more rapidly than at any time in history.

    1. Turnout was down in Iowa, which has “caucuses” (which nobody has ever really understood and which had even more screwed up new rules this year making the debacle worse).

      Turnout was up in New Hampshire, well above Democratic turnout in 2016 and, when all the numbers are in, may even exceed those for 2008, when Barry Bams made his first run for the presidency.

      I think Democratic turnout will be high in the remaining primary states as well. The base is motivated to shitcan Trump.

      1. “Turnout was up in New Hampshire, well above Democratic turnout in 2016 and, when all the numbers are in, may even exceed those for 2008, when Barry Bams made his first run for the presidency.”

        Well that’s great news if true. The pessimism in the American liberal media is astonishing. The closer it gets to the election, the more neurotic and nihilistic pundits seem to get.

        …Which reminds me of another thing that Trump and the GOP have done brilliantly, which is project complete, supreme confidence.
        The whole Trump project is populated(and led of course) by bluffers – people who’ve bluffed their way through politics, business, the media, etc.
        They know the value of bluffing total confidence, especially when you don’t have it: it’s demoralising for the opposition and unifying and enjoyable for your side.

        I think that Trump/GOP bluffing, that projection of supreme confidence, has had an effect on otherwise rational liberals, who just feel unaccountably pessimistic even though they have a very good chance of beating Trump.

    2. It is worryingly low because it is not as high as in 2016. I’m not as worried as some. It may be because there are so many candidates or because it isn’t at all clear which will do better against Trump.

      Everything is about beating Trump. Were this a normal election, the concern would be over policy details. Instead, many remark that they are tired of hearing the candidates argue over them because (a) there’s not really that much difference between them, (b) the policy details has nothing to do with beating Trump, and (c) pretty much everyone will vote for whoever wins the Dem primary. I think people are saying, “Who cares about this primary crap? Bring on the main event!”

    3. Asking as a Brit, what do American Democrats make of the claim that turnout is ‘worryingly low’ in these primaries?

      New Hampshire had record high Dem turnout in total numbers (not sure it’s record high percentage given New Hampshire’s population increase since 2008).

      Iowa was worryingly low, but that’s a caucus (not a primary) and caucuses are batshit crazy.

        1. Most Americans (including me) are ignorant of how caucuses work, but we know they’re batshit crazy. I suspect caucuses will done away with soon.

        2. Just think of Alice in Wonderland. As explained by the Dodo bird, a caucus race is where everyone runs around in a pattern of their own choosing, until some arbitrary end point is reached, after which everyone is declared a winner.

          1. Ranked choice voting seems like a more practical scheme than Iowa-style caucusing but with many of the same advantages. The part of the caucus system where winners try to convince losers (ones who voted for a candidate whose tally didn’t meet a certain threshold) seems worth getting rid of. The amount of time it takes likely suppresses turnout.

  11. My wife and I had independently settled on Klobuchar, and then seeing her in person really wowed me. Also saw Buttigieg and Warren in the past week, and Sanders (as well as Mrs. Clinton four years ago).
    Nobody here in New Hampshire saw Klobuchar’s rise, though. A wonderful surprise.

  12. The worry is that if Sanders gets the nomination, he’ll be too radical to be elected. It will be entertaining to see a debate – tRump defending laissez-faire capitalism and Berni holding for a socialist utopia. It will also be terrifying.

    1. I more wonder what personal attacks Trump will come up with & how Bernie will counter them. I think Bernie would do well here as he isn’t easily rattled.

      Both Bernie & Trump share a demographic because they are both populists so it would be quite interesting.

    2. Trump is too corrupt to get elected, he sexually assaults too many women to get elected, he’s too incompetent to get elected, he’s too dishonest to get elected, he’s too orange to get elected and yet here we are.

      If the last four years have taught us anything, it’s that the old norms no longer apply.

  13. On our local NPR station, right now, they are having a program on this and people are calling in with opinions.

    I am stunned by this result:

    Nearly every Trump voter of 2016 (who has appeared on air, there is filtering involved, of course) who spoken has said this (more or less):

    I can’t stand Trump, give me someone I can vote for.

    I’ll happily vote for Amy (or Pete). But Bernie? No way. Warren? No way.

    1. Yes, I think that’s right. Warren has no chance now but I hope Bernie doesn’t win. There, I said it. He’s just too far left and too easy for Trump to label a socialist boogie-man.

    2. Which drives me crazy. This is not the election to be precious about your choice if you really hate Trump. If you are saying that you don’t have Trump at all.

    1. I’d agree but I’m not quite convinced yet, because as Richard W. Painter, who lives in Minnesota and has impeccable creentials, pointed out, she has baggage that really disturbs me: “Amy Klobuchar is an excellent candidate for president but she must withdraw all support for PolyMet and Twin Metals, sulfide mining companies that have corrupted Minnesota’s DFL and GOP and pose a grave danger to the Great Lakes and Boundary Waters.” from twitter https://twitter.com/rwpusa/status/1093618450570858496 about a year ago. I don’t know if she’s disavowed these environmental polluters. I have a big problem with this.

      1. This is not a cut-and-dried issue.

        This is a uniquely Minnesota issue. You have the traditionally blue-collar, mining-heavy voters of the MN 8th going democrat for decades. They have been going back and forth lately.

        The miners in the 8th are hard over for Polymet and Twin Metals, for obvious reasons.

        If you oppose these mines, full stop, then you hand the 8th to Trump. (The permanent population is largely dependent on mining. They pine for the “good old days” of heavy iron extraction.)

        Although I’m, in general, opposed to mining, the Polymet mine would be adjacent to an existing open pit iron mine and not near the BWCAW. The processing site is an existing (decommissioned) taconite factory.

        Twin Metals would be an underground mine with underground tailings storage.

        I can’t claim to have detailed knowledge of the EI process on these.

        I have mixed feelings about these projects. My main concern is the long-term one: How to protect the environment in the long term, when the existing companies get bought and sold multiple times (maybe to foreign-owned companies) and eventually go bankrupt. What then?

        Richard W. Painter? I was more or less unaware of him. Impeccable? Not sure about that. He hasn’t lived in Minnesota very long.

        1. Thanks for this information. The things you bring up must be taken into consideration and I hadn’t considered them before your comments here — hadn’t even thought about them. I see that I’ll have to explore the matter further before I form an opinion that I hope will be truly informed.

          Painter has lived in Minnesota since 2007. Prior to that he was the chief ethics lawyer for GW Bush, which may sound like an oxymoron. He’s subsequently had a change of heart and mind, become a Democrat and is fighting for democratic (with a small ‘d’) principles. I consider him an extremely principled and astute person who knows both sides of the political coin.

      2. Amy has to what she has to do to get elected Senator in a state where mining is big. I am sure as President, she will be an environmentalist and quickly undo Trump’s environmental depredations. I am not looking for a saint, just someone with good values and policies who will Klobber Trump.

      3. We must be diligent in our oversight of mining operations and hold them to high standards but the idea that support for a mining operation makes a candidate unelectable in perpetuity holds little sway with me.

  14. Looks like Amy’s finally developed some of the old Klomentum. As has Mayor Pete. Biden is looking like Joe Frazier after round 13 at the Thrilla in Manilla — he’s got one more round left in him, but he’s coming out of his corner nearly blind in one eye to face Ali in the 110-degree Philippines’ heat.

    Uncle Joe has never been much of a national campaigner — look how his presidential aspirations folded in 1988 and 2008 — and he’s lost a couple of steps since then. He’s hinging everything on South Carolina, where he’s had strong polling support in the black community (which is the largest Democratic constituency in this deeply red state). But his support has come mainly from older African-Americans (who feel good will toward him due to his close association with Barack Obama). That support has always been tenuous, and appears to be fading. Those folks are pragmatic and aren’t looking to hitch their wagon to a loser.

    The only crucial issue in the next election, of course, is beating Donald Trump. But it’s a mistake to base one’s vote in the primaries, just as it’s a mistake for a candidate to base his campaign (as Joe Biden has), entirely on the question of “electability.” After all, according to the Quinnipiac poll released two days ago, all six top Democratic contenders are leading Donald Trump. Such polls this far out from an election are notoriously unreliable, but the interesting thing is that Trump gets just 42 to 44% of the vote against each of them — a result that’s been consistent across other reliable polls and that’s consistent with Trump’s dismal approval ratings over the three years of his presidency. At least half of the US electorate will not vote for Donald Trump under any circumstances, even if Democrats ran a ticket of Leopold and Loeb. Trump doesn’t seem to have a path back to the meager 46.1% of the vote he “won” with last election, let alone to 50%+ of the vote.

    Still, it would be a mistake to count Trump out of the electoral college running. After all, he has the power of the incumbency, which means power to control many foreign and domestic events and, resultantly, power to control the media narrative. He also has essentially unlimited campaign financial resources, since no big-dollar donor wants to get on the wrong side of any incumbent with a shot at reelection (and especially not of a vindictive sonuvabitch like Donald Trump). And, perhaps most crucially, Donald Trump has absolutely no ethical scruples regarding what he’s willing to stoop to in an effort to avoid losing. He’s probably out soliciting campaign interference from another foreign nation right now.

    Determining a presidential candidate’s “electability” is like forecasting the box-office receipts of a Hollywood movie before its release — as the celebrated screenwriter William Goldman famously said, “Nobody knows anything.”

    1. I wonder if Trump will manufacture a crisis that will make him leaving “too risky”. It would be an excuse to cancel the elections. Pull a full on Caesar.

        1. Except for naming his horse to the cabinet, Trump has pretty much already gone full-on Caligula. (And since Trump doesn’t seem to care much for animals, I doubt he has a favorite horse — although he could do the next best thing by making horses’ asses like DJT, Jr., or Eric senior White House advisers, as he did with his daughter Ivanka and her dilettante husband.)

      1. The idea of Trump handling any crisis is the very definition of “risky”. I suspect he realizes this and will stay away from manufacturing crises. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee a crisis won’t occur.

        My biggest fear with Trump, GOP, and this election is cheating. They have many voter suppression operations ongoing and some will likely not get resolved before election day. Some of these may backfire as detected cheating tends to rally the opposition. On the other hand, cheating right before the election doesn’t give time to react. Finally, there’s the potential swift-boating of any Dem candidate. They will be working overtime manufacturing fake news.

        We will be lucky to escape this election with our democracy.

      2. Seems to me there was an element of wag-the-dog to Trump’s having Iranian general Qasem Soleimani whacked (and pushing us to the brink of a full-scale war with Iran) just ahead of his impeachment trial.

        I certainly wouldn’t put it past Trump to try something similar (and perhaps even more drastic) if he’s running far enough behind in the polls during the stretch run of the election next Fall.

        1. Yeah, that’s my fear. After the crisis with Iran in which we all thought war was a foregone conclusion, I wonder if the downing of the Ukrainian airline caused nations to talk with Iran and things to change. I know that Canada is still talking to them right now.

  15. When a Deplorable like myself* gets a phone call from a polster, we know better than to respond. Instead, we hide under a basket. This makes the poll show Dems beating Trump. We like that.

    *No a true Deplorable. Despises Trump. Wishes Barry Goldwater were still President since 1964.

  16. Popular vote polls don’t mean that much – Hillary beat Trump by that measure. It’s the electoral college swing states that matter.

    Klobuchar is the big surprise from NH, along with Biden’s poor showing the second bit of news. Steyer, Gabbard, and Yang together got more votes then Biden. Seriously?

    Either the rest of the country will vote like Iowa and New Hampshire, in which case you have your result, or the rest of the country will vote somewhat differently, in which case we don’t know what’s going to happen yet.

  17. I still find it very strange (and sad) that people didn’t recognize that Yang was the right choice. Progressive ideas, but also an entirely valid choice for Republicans/Trump voters. More intellectual integrity than anyone in the race. Never heard a good argument against him. I may still vote for him in NY.

    1. Many people on this site were surprised to get Yang at or near the top of their results in the ‘which candidate is closest to your position’ post from a week or few back. But most of them followed it up with ‘But I still won’t vote for him.’

      1. I know. I remember someone once said that the way you make a candidate electable is you elect him. Still, I guess people are worried about voting strategically and I guess I can’t really blame them for that given all the bullshit that goes on with elections.

    2. I think a big weakness Yang has is his desire for a guaranteed income. $1000/month. It has some rationale and support among economists, but voters in this country writhe in agony, drop to the ground and vomit, when they hear that somebody got something for nothing, while they work a 9 to 5 job.

      1. That’s an argument for being concerned that other people might not vote for him, not an argument for why we shouldn’t vote for him. Personally, I think the obsession with work is nothing more than making a virtue of necessity. I hope society gets over it soon.

        1. Vote ideologically in the primary…then pragmatically in the general. 🙂

          You want Yang? Vote Yang as long as he’s on the ballot. That’s the only way Dems get to a candidate who is truly the people’s choice rather than the people’s “hedged bet.” But then when he isn’t on the ballot any more, time to vote for the Dem who is.

          I live in a super Tuesday state. I haven’t decided yet who to vote for simply because I expect a few drop outs before then. But if both Pete and Amy make it that far, I’ll be happy.

    3. He’s out of the race now, just like my preferred candidate, Mr Inslee, but the argument against Mr Yang is/was that he has no governing experience.
      The last time a candidate without governing experience became POTUS did not really turn out well, now did it?

      1. Trump is a bad president because he’s a selfish, irrational, bullying clown, all of which was obvious before he ran for president, not because he had no governing experience.

        Yang, on the other hand, clearly has a genuine desire to make the world a better place, which is exactly what we should demand from our candidates, regardless of their background.

    4. Economist Dean Baker repeatedly pointed out that the robots taking your jobs story is not backed up the numbers on productivity growth, which is slow, not surging due to robots. Yang’s story is vaguely plausible sounding, but was never put under scrutiny by the media, since the media never puts any serious issues under scrutiny other than insider DC shenanigans.

      Also, as rickflick mentions, handouts are seen as undignified in the eyes of most people. I know I’d spend a good fraction of the handout on a new ganja habit. Honest work, via a job guarantee, on the other hand, is unobjectionable.

      1. I think Yang would have welcomed the scrutiny and risen to the occasion by pointing to studies that support his position. No doubt there are complicating factors in the automation situation, but it seems logical to me that something like the predicted job losses are already happening and will likely get worse over time.

        1. He was the only one who really seemed to address the root cause of the rust belt. I think you would have had some affective solutions. I hope he contributes in some other way & runs again in the future.

        2. I like Yang but I worry that his ideas about automation are wrong-headed. First, his Universal Basic Income idea is certainly worth looking at as part of the general safety net. However, taking shots at automation seems so backwards-looking. Fighting it is like fighting the automobile as it puts so many horse workers out of business. Instead, the US has a big lead on being a place where smart people want to get educated, work, and start companies. Take advantage of that and be a major player in automation and all other technologies. If we suppress automation, the rest of the world will fill the gap. Our companies will be forced to get their automation overseas or go without and miss out on markets. You really can’t fight progress.

          1. He didn’t want to fight automation but he wanted to prepare for it. It’s coming with auto driving cars and trucks quickly and this will put many young men out of work. Yang is the only one considering this.

            1. I’ll admit that I’m no expert on Yang’s positions. He’s certainly right to call out the automation problem but his solution seems to address the symptoms rather than seeing it as an opportunity. He wants to make sure all those out-of-work young men have a basic income. That may be a good policy but making sure that the US is a leader in automation would be worth much more, IMHO.

              That said, I know why politicians have a hard time with this issue. Workers generally want to paid more for jobs they already know how to do. Politicians don’t want to be the ones to tell them that this is not going to happen in many cases. Unfortunately, ignoring this fact is going to hurt our economy.

          2. Maybe that’s the misconception that kept some people away. Yang never suggested suppressing automation; he says it’s happening whether we like it or not, so let’s make sure the largest beneficiaries of it pay appropriate taxes on their gains, and that the rest of us get a dividend from it.

            1. Yes, maybe I overstated the suppression part. As I said in another comment, Yang seems to want to address the symptoms (people losing their jobs to automation) rather than the treating it as an opportunity. We should have taxes on the well-off and rich pay for training to better prepare workers for the well-paying jobs that will be available. We should fund more general research which enables spin-offs which employ people and attract smart people to our country.

              Perhaps Yang wants all these things too but feels that UBI is the best way for him to attract voters. Didn’t seem to work though.

      2. And yes, of course people should be free to spend their money on whatever they want. Honest work, as I mentioned above, is making a virtue of necessity, and it’s not reasonable to artificially create jobs that aren’t needed just so people can have something to do all day.

  18. It seems strange how those delegates are awarded. 24 of them are available, so I’d expect 12 to go to Sanders and Buttigieg (who together have almost exactly 50% of the vote). Candidates with at least 4.2% of the vote should have all gotten at least one delegate.

    But I guess they use a different system. Maybe they only award delegates to the top three candidates…

  19. Here’s one interpretation of the New Hampshire primary:

    Leftists (Sanders, Warren): 103,100

    Centrists (Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Biden): 155,456

    New Hampshire favors centrists. I suspect the party as a whole favors centrists.

    Bloomberg has a lot of ground to make up, but 1) he’s a centrist 2) he’s beating Trump the most in the polls 3) money. I think Bloomberg has a real shot. I’m leaning towards voting for him. Beating Trump by the biggest margin is important because it will trickle down ballot, and with a Dem president and a GOP Senate the country is still semi-screwed. Need to take the Senate too.

    1. My prediction: brokered convention, Bloomberg and veep Klobuchar take it.

      The polls will still show Bloomberg doing best against Trump (partially because Bloomberg will be spending so much money), Bloomberg realizes he needs a female veep and Klobuchar will be a good (Midwest) complement. The Dem “bosses” will realize Bloomberg/Klobuchar is the strongest ticket and nominate them.

        1. Yes, Ms Klobuchar should ally with someone like Ms Abrahams for veep. Or, a candidate I quite liked , but got little traction for unfathomable reasons, Mr Booker.
          Now that we are at it, can anybody tell me why Mr Booker, who sounded forceful, insightful and intelligent got no interest whatsoever?

          1. Now that we are at it, can anybody tell me why Mr Booker, who sounded forceful, insightful and intelligent got no interest whatsoever?

            Not I. Booker seemed like a very talented candidate to me.

            1. I liked Cory B. Voted for Pete today on my California absentee ballot. He might not have a detailed plan for everything but he’s definitely smart enough and I think decent enough to figure things out when the time comes. I think that Warren, for example, has all these plans that she thinks she can just make happen on day one.

        1. It’s both. The fact that Bloomberg currently beats Trump by the biggest margin has convinced me, and I think it will convince the Dem “bosses” who will choose the nominee at a brokered convention.

          But I don’t think Bloomberg has much of a chance without a brokered convention, because of his late start. So the more evenly split the votes are, the more likely a brokered convention is, and the better it is for Bloomberg.

    2. OK, but that doesn’t really mean anything. People vote for candidates, not positions on a 1-D spectrum. If you look at Morning Consult (which polls weekly, with 5,000 registered voters), they have a breakdown of voters’ 2nd preferences, which are much more evenly split, so that while Bernie will inherit a disproportionate share of Warren’s supporters in the event she drops out, so will other candidates. Moreover, if a centrist candidate were to drop out, Bernie also inherits a sizeable share of their supporters. So the math is more subtle, and I bet Bernie comes out on top regardless, though I confess I didn’t work out any of the scenarios on a spreadsheet.

      Moreover, Warren is not a classic leftist, but an arch-identitarian. I suspect most people are simply tired of the rhetoric of her campaign, which follows a simple formula: (1) Mention a societal problem, call it X. (2) Point out that X is especially problematic for women. (3) Add that X is particularly problematic for women of color. (4) Repeat for other issues.

      It’s an odd spectacle, esp. for a highly privileged Harvard professor who doubled down on their false ancestry.

        1. She did say to Trump to “send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center” after her DNA results, implying she was indeed Native American. Isn’t that an invocation of the odious one-drop rule?

        2. Perhaps not but I think one of her many stumbles is trying to use a tenuous-at-best ancestral link to gain political advantage. Even if she had been full-blooded Native American, should she really be running on that? I don’t think so.

  20. Just my “off the cuff” analysis at the moment:

    The Republicans will attempt to scare the public using many of the same charges regardless of who they face. But, which candidate is nominated will make a difference in how hard it will be for them to make the changes “stick.”

    Trump clearly believes that he can beat Sanders or Buttigieg. And, I think he’s probably right since it will be easier to convince people that they’re an existential threat, respectively on economic and cultural grounds. It will be harder to make most people afraid of a Biden or Klobuchar presidency (outside the core right).

    A brief summery:

    Sanders is the most vulnerable to Republican attacks because of his long history as a self-proclaimed democratic socialist. I know his actual positions aren’t particularly extreme but that’s how they will be portrayed. He’ll also be attacked for his religion, age and regional culture. And, as an aside, it would cost the Democrats a seat in the senate, if he won, since New Hampshire has a Republican governor…

    Buttigieg is bright and articulate but the Republicans would make the whole campaign about the “gay agenda.” Unfortunately, too many otherwise-reachable people won’t vote for an openly gay candidate.

    Warren is less vulnerable than Sanders and is a good campaigner but she let herself get bogged down on the details of medicare and would be portrayed in much the same way (she’s the one I’d personally prefer based on policy…).

    Biden doesn’t appear threatening to the center. Trump obviously fears him the most for that reason, hence the preemptive attempt to disqualify him as corrupt. But, he isn’t a great campaigner and the Republican smears have probably had just enough impact to tarnish his bid. It will be difficult for him to prosecute the anti-corruption case effectively as the Republicans argue that “everyone does it.”

    Bloomberg has unlimited resources and Trump probably considers him his next most serious threat. But, he can’t credibly argue against the oligarchy/establishment. And, he’d have trouble generating enthusiasm on the left–I doubt if there’s much appetite for another egotistical billionaire…

    Probably, the strongest opponent to Trump would be Klobuchar. She has little political baggage, doesn’t appear threatening to the center and has strength in the Midwest.

    I also think ticket balancing is important this year. The VP almost has to be a woman regardless of who wins (given the need to maximize turnout after the disappointment of 2016). Meanwhile, very few who would accept a woman at the top would object to an all-female ticket… Harris and Gillibrand are still possibilities but didn’t do well in the primaries and don’t bring any home state boost to the ticket (already safely democratic). So, I suspect that the VP, depending on scenario, will be Abrams, Klobuchar or Warren.

    Abrams is a good campaigner who would place Georgia “in play” (with its two contested senate seats). She’d boost black turnout and has a record of opposing corruption that she could leverage to attack Trump. She’d fit with any of the top candidates for various reasons.

    Klobuchar would balance Sanders or Warren to reassure the center and provide strength in the Midwest.

    Warren would balance Biden, Buttigieg or Bloomberg.

    Klobuchar/Abrams might well be the strongest pairing against Trump…

    1. Klobuchar/Abrams sounds -despite being all female- an unbeatable ticket.
      Ms Klobucharm (a popular mid-westerner) secures the mid-west states that lost Ms Clinton the EC, while Abrams will undoubtedly enhance the ‘black voter’ intetest.
      If that (Kloby/Stacy) is the outcome of the Democratic contest, Mr Trump is history.

      1. I don’t think we’re ready for an all-women ticket. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, of course, but it is all anyone would talk about during the campaign. It would inevitably become what they were running on, regardless of their claims otherwise, and that would be a burden they couldn’t overcome. I think it would be great to have a woman as either the President or VP candidate, but not both.

        1. I think an all-female ticket is a manageable risk. After all, they could say that “after 200+ years of all-male tickets (or loosing male/female tickets), it’s high time to try an all-female ticket to counteract Trump”. As I said, there are few people who would accept a female presidential candidate and then object to a female VP.

          One of Clinton’s mistakes was picking Kaine for VP rather than Warren in 2016. She was overconfident and chose a VP who was ideologically similar to her–a comfortable “governing assistant” who provided little balance to the ticket. Warren would have added a much-needed tone of populism to offset her prior “coziness” with corporate interests. Plus, she’s a stronger retail campaigner that Kaine. It’s something of a catch-22 but one charge against Clinton was that she was too weak for the job. And, the largely unstated subtext that she “needed a man to help her govern” reinforced that attack.
          Just for the record regarding typos: Sanders is from Vermont, not New Hampshire and Warren would also balance Klobacher. 😉

        2. In the 59 presidential elections held in the United States of America so far, there have been only three tickets where even one side had just one woman running (two of them with a woman in the veep slot).

          How long, O Lord, how long (if you’ll forgive the Psalm 13 allusion) until this nation is ready for a ticket with two women (who, after all, constitute over a half the US population)?

          1. Keep in mind that “the nation’s not ready” argument was proffered in opposition to the abolition of slavery, in opposition to women’s suffrage, in opposition to public-school desegregation, and in opposition to enactment of anti-lynching and civil-rights legislation.

            1. I shouldn’t have said “not ready”. That wasn’t really the argument I was trying to make anyway. I Klobuchar and/or Warren were to win the nomination, I would certainly vote for them. However, they shouldn’t make “first woman President” a part of their platform just as Obama didn’t make “first black President” part of his. Their skin color or gender shouldn’t be an issue and they shouldn’t make it one.

  21. I’m no Nate Silver but Biden’s campaign is in trouble.

    So be it.

    I like Amy K. I really would like to see the Dems put up another woman, one with out the baggage Hillary had. Amy is also a Washington insider (experienced), which is my preference. Not to far left, but left of center. Tough, smart, articulate, witty. Not to old or young.

    She has some momentum. But she needs to have a win somewhere.

    If she can survive Super Tuesday, she has a shot.

    In the short to medium term, her main competitor is Mayor Pete. Bernie is in for the long hall. He’ll eventually be pitted against another Dem, likely either Amy or Pete.

    I’ll take Pete over Bernie. It I have to vote for Bernie in November I’ll do it. Holding my nose, as they say.

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