US Midterm Election 2014

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:26 pm

Wow, it's almost August. That means another great American election season is just around the corner. I'm sure it will be fantastic and our trusted politicians won't waste millions and millions of dollars on useless political advertisements that spread more lies than truths.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:43 am

bungobaggins wrote:Wow, it's almost August. That means another great American election season is just around the corner. I'm sure it will be fantastic and our trusted politicians won't waste millions and millions of dollars on useless political advertisements that spread more lies than truths.

At least it's only midterms, which no one gives a shit about. Aside from Cantor losing his primary, I can't think of any election stories that have really broken out yet. I haven't even been arsed enough to make a thread for it yet (though if people are interested I might split out this sub-thread beginning with your post Shrugging). However, I am actively dreading 2016, because Presidential elections have grown so massive, so extended, and so omnipresent that it's sure to be a long and painful experience for everyone involved.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:06 am

Once they pundits start using the word "game-changer" you know it's gotten serious.

I think I would be interested in a thread for the midterms, I'm mostly interested in what is going to happen in my state, but it will be interesting to see what, or if anything will happen/change in the house and senate. But if there's not enough going on, we could just keep it to this thread.

I guess I could look up some polls for what way the public is leaning. They all hate this do-nothing congress, but they would never dare vote out their own representatives.

{{{Eldo, you know that the media has already nominated Hillary for the Dems for 2016, they just need someone who's bat-shit crazy in the GOP to step forward.}}}

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 am

http://www.gallup.com/poll/174260/partisanship-points-tough-midterm-environment-dems.aspx

An average of 42% of Americans currently identify as Democrats or say they are independent but lean to the Democratic Party. Slightly fewer, 40%, are Republicans or Republican leaners. That narrow two-percentage-point Democratic edge is closer to what Gallup measured in the third quarter of strong Republican midterm years such as 1994, 2002, and 2010 than in the strong Democratic years of 1998 and 2006.

...

Democrats currently have a narrow advantage in terms of Americans' identification with the two major parties, but based on historical turnout and other structural patterns, this small advantage suggests that the Democrats face a tough election environment this year. As Gallup demonstrated earlier this summer, President Obama's below-average job approval rating and Americans' low level of satisfaction with the way things are going in the country are also ominous signs for the Democrats. Historically, these indicators are unlikely to change in a short period of time such as the three months between now and Election Day.

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US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:47 am

bungobaggins wrote:I think I would be interested in a thread for the midterms, I'm mostly interested in what is going to happen in my state, but it will be interesting to see what, or if anything will happen/change in the house and senate. But if there's not enough going on, we could just keep it to this thread.

I guess I could look up some polls for what way the public is leaning. They all hate this do-nothing congress, but they would never dare vote out their own representatives.

Well there's simultaneously too little going on -- no major narratives to really grab people's attention -- and too much, with the multitude of state and local races being too overwhelming to explain easily. This is really just one problem, and it's that there aren't any national elections in the United States other than the one for President. In, say, UK general elections, the party organizations play a major role and you can focus on their leaders if you want to talk about personalities (one of those leaders will become Prime Minister, after all). But in the US, the parties play a background role, and haven't even gotten to pick their own nominees since the mid-20th century. Consequently, the role of individual candidates is much greater, and the process of picking a nominee has grown so prominent that we now have two-round elections in all but name. But this means that while talking about overall trends in party support is still relevant, you lose way more important details by taking a nation-wide outlook than you would in other electoral systems. This also ties in with the phenomenon you note about how people who hate Congress always vote for their own incumbent Congresspeople.

Sometimes there will be a particular Senatorial or Gubernatorial election that gets a lot of attention for some particular reason, but I don't think any have really stood out this year (at least not yet).

As for things not looking good for the Democrats at the polls, there are a few important things to keep in mind. One is that, yes, voters tend to blame the party in power for any difficult situation, whether there is any good reason to do so or not. But another point is that the party that holds the White House almost always loses seats in Congress during midterm elections. There are only a handful of exceptions throughout the history of the modern two-party system. The loss is not always enough to offset gains made during Presidential years and cost the party a majority, but even if it does, it's important to remember that it's a natural phenomenon more than a great repudiation. And turnout is always shit during midterms, so basically mandates don't happen during midterm years. I remember watching FOX on election night 2010 (blame my roommate for tuning into them) and they were crowing about how the voters had rejected Obama and the current Dems. But as I'm sure plenty of people at FOX knew, the real test wasn't until 2012, when of course Obama enjoyed a comfortable victory and the Dems won back a few Congressional seats (albeit not as many as the GOP had taken in 2010).

{{{Eldo, you know that the media has already nominated Hillary for the Dems for 2016, they just need someone who's bat-shit crazy in the GOP to step forward.}}}

I think Hillary has a very good chance of winning the nomination, but I remember how everyone thought she was a shoo-in for 2008 until she wasn't. Not that there's anyone in the party making the kind of waves now that Obama was as early as 2006, but I'm not sure the primary will be as easy for Hillary as people think. Then again, that could be my own biases speaking as I've always found the sense of entitlement that she brings to elections to be extremely off-putting. It will be interesting to see if the left of the party's disillusionment with the Obama administration reflects back on Hillary at all due to her tenure as Secretary of State. I don't think this disillusionment will make a difference in the general election, but given the greater range of palatable candidates and the fact that only the party's core tends to turn out reliably for primaries, it could create some interesting twists. Maybe.

I'm sure there will be no shortage of crazy GOPers throwing their hats in the ring for 2016. The big question for the Republicans is, I think, how successful the "our last guy just wasn't conservative enough to win!" crowd is. Even if they pick a moderate (which McCain and Romney were, relatively speaking), if said moderate was forced to pay homage to ultraconservatism and Tea Party populism for a year during the run-up to the primaries, then I think they're going to alienate quite a few moderate voters within the party. Elections are more about firing up your own base to convince them to vote rather than winning over those elusive (and awful) undecided voters, but I don't think the ultraconservative base is as big as they think themselves to be.
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:50 am

Ah, what the hell, I decided to split this topic out already. Might attract more attention that way. I do like getting to talk about this stuff, so thank you for bringing it up, bungo. Smile
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:57 am

You moved it while I was typing! Mad

Yeah I haven't heard any grand election narratives yet. Recently all the news has been about Israel/Hamas and Ukraine/Russia.

I hope Santorum runs in 2016, that would be fun to watch...again. bounce

If Hillary runs, and wins it would totally be a step backwards in moving the presidential office away from the "inevitable dynasty" situation that's sort of been looming over and creeping into it. Obama was supposed to be an outsider (I'm not sure how much of that is/was true, but it is what it is).

I can definitely tell that you're some sort of a poli-sci major. Razz
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:18 am

bungobaggins wrote:Yeah I haven't heard any grand election narratives yet. Recently all the news has been about Israel/Hamas and Ukraine/Russia.

Yeah, the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine are both much more interesting and much more important than who is going to be governor of Idaho (sorry Idaho), so I'm not surprised that the media is ignoring the elections, but I also can't really complain about it.  Much as I think the Presidential election gets far too much coverage, it is truly important both for this country and the rest of the world given how much power the President holds.  With Congress, the power is both less than that of the President (since the early 20th century, at least) and more diffuse.

I hope Santorum runs in 2016, that would be fun to watch...again. bounce

Part of me is looking forward to another carnival of crazy, but Mr Frothy Mixture is too much of a creepy fucker for me.  At least Huckabee, despite his batshit ideas, is personable and seems like a chill enough dude in non-political contexrs.

If Hillary runs, and wins it would totally be a step backwards in moving the presidential office away from the "inevitable dynasty" situation that's sort of been looming over and creeping into it. Obama was supposed to be an outsider (I'm not sure how much of that is/was true, but it is what it is).

I think Obama sort of goes to prove that whether or not a candidate comes from an established family, the powers that be will find a way to work with you.  There's always been an element of upward mobility in American politics, however small.  The Kennedys were nobodies a century ago, but now they're one of the most entrenched political dynasties in the country, although they've lost most of their famous scions by now.  I think most people agree that Obama's family was not especially wealthy or well-connected, yet Obama himself was worth $7 million in 2010 (source).  Bill Clinton came from modest roots and is worth more than $55 million now.  Money begets power, and power begets money, if you want to put it in a snappy little cliche.

That said, I'm still not thrilled by the idea of the Presidency becoming strictly a family affair, but I'm not sure how much it would really change. Razz

I can definitely tell that you're some sort of a poli-sci major. Razz

Laughing You weren't around for the 2012 election threads, but I wrote tons of long essay posts and even a little primer about the electoral college for our non-American members.  The whole thing was a lot of fun and the election night thread is one of my few fond memories of the whole affair.  I'm not all that keen on the idea of working in politics, but I do still find it fascinating.  I have to step back from it all sometimes, but it's been a while, so I'm as ready as I'll ever be to plunge back in for another election. Smile
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:57 pm

I get the same way when elections come up. I get all interested and then towards the end I get burned out and depressed. The real question will be whether or not I vote this year {{{I haven't voted since 2008}}}.

I do hope we get an entertaining primary season in 2016, especially if we get someone like Herman Cain. Although he may have been one of a kind.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:13 pm

Oh, there's always hope for an interesting race with the Republicans.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/i1xwd3/da-best-debate-guy-ever

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:54 pm

Bugger vid only plays in US.

The guy at the end of this clip from HIGNFY is quite something however-


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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:37 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Bugger vid only plays in US.

Nah, Comedy Central clips play in most countries worldwide; the UK is the exception due to some licensing agreement. A proxy server or VPN type solution would make it visible. I've heard good things about unblock-us.com

The guy at the end of this clip from HIGNFY is quite something however-

Gotta love the video titles on that guy's channel. Laughing Rolling Eyes
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:42 pm

I've heard good things about unblock-us.com- Eldo

Who from? People with no sense of fiscal security that's who! $4.99 a month! Are you mad?  Mad 

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:43 pm

halfwise wrote:Oh, there's always hope for an interesting race with the Republicans.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/i1xwd3/da-best-debate-guy-ever

Oh Donald.
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:44 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Who from? People with no sense of fiscal security that's who! $4.99 a month! Are you mad?   Mad 

I've mucked around with free proxy servers before and they're generally pretty crappy. I'd gladly shell out five bucks a month if it unlocked a large portion of the Internet for me.
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:48 pm

Its that kind of careless talk is destroying the world! This is what happens to a nation when they dont have a sporran, several trillion dollars of debt.  Mad 

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:59 am


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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:59 pm

Primary day in MN. Heard that turnout will be about 10-15 percent.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:11 pm

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/politics/2014/08/11/rare-contested-gop-primary-in-minn-governors-race/13933209/

Once again, the republican candidates can't bring anything new to the table so they harp on the same talking points. Lower taxes will somehow make everything magically better for everyone.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by David H on Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:15 pm

....because it's worked so well in the past. Rolling Eyes

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:22 pm

bungobaggins wrote:Primary day in MN. Heard that turnout will be about 10-15 percent.

10-15 percent or 10-15 people? Not much difference in Maine, I suppose.  Rolling Eyes 

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:26 pm

MN, not ME. Mad

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by David H on Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:28 pm

...or MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, or MT for that matter.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:07 am

bungobaggins wrote:MN, not ME. Mad

they're both northern border states...may as well both be eating poutine.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:17 am

I would like to try poutine. Nod

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