2016 US Presidential Election

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Thesh
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:47 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Thesh wrote:Unless you live in a swing state, your vote doesn't really matter, so you might as well vote third party.


And then 1992 happens again.


Honestly, I'd love to see third party or independent candidates getting a significant portion of the vote. I figure maybe if the President starts winning with less than 40% of the vote, people will start saying "Hey, this is fucked, let's switch to approval voting."
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby slinches » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:50 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sadly, very, very true. But it'd be nice to see a person I actually want to win have a shot at winning.

Well ... you could always give up any sense of personal integrity and intellectual honesty and buy into the platform for one of the two dominant parties.

That seems to work for most of the people who are happy about who they elect.


Seriously, though. It'll be near impossible to get anyone that has something other than a D or R next to their name elected unless we change our voting system away from first past the post, winner take all.

Maybe we should change our focus to improving the two parties' platforms to better represent the populace? That seems easier. Look what the Tea Party has done so far in the Republican Party.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby mathmannix » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:42 pm UTC

What Republican party leadership should have learned from the last two elections is that they need a candidate who is more conservative than McCain and Romney. People will vote for a true conservative leader who can restore dignity to the White House. Fortunately, it does seem like the current crop of candidates are, for the most part, more conservative than McCain and Romney. This could be interesting.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:29 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:
Thesh wrote:Unless you live in a swing state, your vote doesn't really matter, so you might as well vote third party.


Not really. If the winner wins by a margin of more than two votes, then your vote (or abstention) didn't matter. And whenever an election is nowhere near that close, it gets tossed into courts with the price of the lawyers or the partisanship of the judge determining which absentee and provisional ballots to throw out.

If you define the relevance of your vote by the ability to change the outcome of an election, then nobody's vote anywhere has ever mattered.


Well, yes. Or at least, for very large elections, once you account for gerrymandering and so forth, that's definitely the case.

If it's a nice, small, local election that actually has more than one serious person running, then your vote may actually be relevant. But on a national scale? Hah. Voting is a placebo.

KnightExemplar wrote:
Thesh wrote:Unless you live in a swing state, your vote doesn't really matter, so you might as well vote third party.


And then 1992 happens again.


You're optimistic. I don't think third parties have as much actual traction now as in days past. The primary two have greater control of the rules, and use this to exclude challengers.

Ideally, a viable third party candidate might actually shake things up, but I don't think that's at all likely for 2016.

mathmannix wrote:What Republican party leadership should have learned from the last two elections is that they need a candidate who is more conservative than McCain and Romney. People will vote for a true conservative leader who can restore dignity to the White House. Fortunately, it does seem like the current crop of candidates are, for the most part, more conservative than McCain and Romney. This could be interesting.


McCain had a shot. Sadly, his choice of VP was terrible. That was the big reason why I couldn't vote for that ticket. Yes, yes, tactics and all that...but Palin was just never a wise choice for high office. Excuse that on the basis of tactics, and you can excuse just about anything for your team to win.

Romney's biggest problem was Romney. Seriously, he was just really hard to get excited about. It's not as simple as needing a "true conservative". It's more about picking someone with an actual goal, and a solid roadmap to get there. Romney's goal was pretty transparently the presidency, with everything else whatever he thought would get him there. All politicians do this. You've got to at least portray a little something beyond that.

I'm less than enthused about the current crop of Republican contenders. There's a lot of same, same establishment bs there. That's uninspiring.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

Tyndmyr, What's the difference between a Tea Party challenge and a third party who's conservative? Aren't they the same thing?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:37 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:What Republican party leadership should have learned from the last two elections is that they need a candidate who is more conservative than McCain and Romney. People will vote for a true conservative leader who can restore dignity to the White House.

"Restore"?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:43 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:People will vote for a true conservative leader who can restore dignity to the White House.


No, because the "true" conservatives are the ones who have to spend all their time keeping their mouth shut on social issues or they become unelectable in the general election. When they actually open their mouths, they become a joke.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:56 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr, What's the difference between a Tea Party challenge and a third party who's conservative? Aren't they the same thing?


Depends on the third party. But really, the Tea Party isn't all that significantly different from Republicans on most things. Just angrier/more hardline about it. Not extremely useful for getting actual change. There are one or two substantiative differences, but on most things, it's a wash, and they're just a different flavor of republican.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:18 pm UTC

They stopped making serious noises about being a real third party a while ago, anyway.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby leady » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:24 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sardia wrote:Tyndmyr, What's the difference between a Tea Party challenge and a third party who's conservative? Aren't they the same thing?


Depends on the third party. But really, the Tea Party isn't all that significantly different from Republicans on most things. Just angrier/more hardline about it. Not extremely useful for getting actual change. There are one or two substantiative differences, but on most things, it's a wash, and they're just a different flavor of republican.


But Aaron Sorkin makes it clear in his total non-partisan show that the tea party is destroying republicanism :) (as an aside I really like Sorkins work yet disagree with him on practically everything )

The Republican party needs to try a Conservative atheist candidate, it will mute the democrats best attack routes - but they will never get through the primaries (which I think are a terrible system when they throw out Romneys)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:26 pm UTC

An atheist won't have a chance of winning the Republican nomination. Hell, the Democrats could run pretty much any Christian and win by a minimum of a 10% margin just because Americans, Republicans especially, would not be willing to elect an atheist.
Last edited by Thesh on Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:56 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby freezeblade » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:33 pm UTC

I agree on that point.

I highly doubt we'll have an athiest president within our lifetimes. Too many people will percieve him of having no morals, just because he is non-religious. It's not even legal in some states to hold a public office if you're a non-believer.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby cphite » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
mathmannix wrote:What Republican party leadership should have learned from the last two elections is that they need a candidate who is more conservative than McCain and Romney. People will vote for a true conservative leader who can restore dignity to the White House. Fortunately, it does seem like the current crop of candidates are, for the most part, more conservative than McCain and Romney. This could be interesting.


McCain had a shot. Sadly, his choice of VP was terrible. That was the big reason why I couldn't vote for that ticket. Yes, yes, tactics and all that...but Palin was just never a wise choice for high office. Excuse that on the basis of tactics, and you can excuse just about anything for your team to win.


Palin was a huge mistake. She isn't nearly as bad as she was made out to be by the media, but she wasn't even remotely ready for a national level campaign.

Romney's biggest problem was Romney. Seriously, he was just really hard to get excited about. It's not as simple as needing a "true conservative". It's more about picking someone with an actual goal, and a solid roadmap to get there. Romney's goal was pretty transparently the presidency, with everything else whatever he thought would get him there. All politicians do this. You've got to at least portray a little something beyond that.


Yeah, no kidding. Romney didn't offer much of a vision apart from he'd be better than the other guy... which, while certainly true in my opinion, isn't enough to get people excited about voting.

I'm less than enthused about the current crop of Republican contenders. There's a lot of same, same establishment bs there. That's uninspiring.


I keep hoping that Hillary will say or do something completely over the top awful... something that offends her party base enough that they just stay home. Because unfortunately, that is the only thing that is likely to stop her from winning. Which is pretty sad when you think about it, since her only qualifications are her last name and the fact that she'd be the first woman president. She was a mediocre at best Senator, and she was an utterly awful Secretary of State.

But unless the republicans can come up with an actual candidate, she's not only going to win, she's going to win in a landslide.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:17 pm UTC

leady wrote:But Aaron Sorkin makes it clear in his total non-partisan show that the tea party is destroying republicanism :) (as an aside I really like Sorkins work yet disagree with him on practically everything )


They really aren't. They're just doing the same old things louder, mostly. Not really destroying it, but not actually creating progress either. They're...a lot less relevant than they think themselves, and less than they are usually given credit for.

The Republican party needs to try a Conservative atheist candidate, it will mute the democrats best attack routes - but they will never get through the primaries (which I think are a terrible system when they throw out Romneys)


Atheist, maybe. I think it'd be fun, but religion is still as overtly given lip service on both sides as liking dogs and babies. You'd need a very particular campaign for that to work. I think there's a route there, sure, but it's a difficult one. Like you say, the primaries seem to throw up generic average republican number 37. Meh.

For an atheist to work, he'd* need a very astute grasp on the various in-groups to stay on their good side. Even a hint of being anti-religious would probably spell an end to things.

*Sexist? Sure. But the track record of presidential candidates is pretty sexist. And if you're gunning for atheist already, probably only so many demographic firsts you can reasonably expect at once.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:23 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Yeah, no kidding. Romney didn't offer much of a vision apart from he'd be better than the other guy... which, while certainly true in my opinion, isn't enough to get people excited about voting.

Even that wasn't terribly clear at the time (Obama played it far more centrist-moderate in his first term, presumably in order avoid hurting his chances for a second, and Romney was, to a lot of conservatives, not conservative enough,) and on top of not having any clear vision he was just a thudding block-of-wood with a silly hairdo. Three years later and most of what anybody remembers about him is magic underwear and tree rating. He was like the Republican Al Gore.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:26 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Atheist, maybe. I think it'd be fun, but religion is still as overtly given lip service on both sides as liking dogs and babies. You'd need a very particular campaign for that to work. I think there's a route there, sure, but it's a difficult one. Like you say, the primaries seem to throw up generic average republican number 37. Meh.

For an atheist to work, he'd* need a very astute grasp on the various in-groups to stay on their good side. Even a hint of being anti-religious would probably spell an end to things.

*Sexist? Sure. But the track record of presidential candidates is pretty sexist. And if you're gunning for atheist already, probably only so many demographic firsts you can reasonably expect at once.


Well, I think that would depend on whether people now consider atheists more trustworthy than rapists or not. The polling from the late 2000s still gives rapists the slight edge, IIRC.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:31 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Three years later and most of what anybody remembers about him is magic underwear and tree rating. He was like the Republican Al Gore.


I remember the "Binders full of women" and "47 percent" comments, as well as his economic plan: "Just electing me will fix our economy because everyone will be so optimistic when I'm elected." The rest of his policies I don't remember, because they changed every week. The guy had absolutely no vision and absolutely no conviction.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:35 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Atheist, maybe. I think it'd be fun, but religion is still as overtly given lip service on both sides as liking dogs and babies. You'd need a very particular campaign for that to work. I think there's a route there, sure, but it's a difficult one. Like you say, the primaries seem to throw up generic average republican number 37. Meh.

For an atheist to work, he'd* need a very astute grasp on the various in-groups to stay on their good side. Even a hint of being anti-religious would probably spell an end to things.

*Sexist? Sure. But the track record of presidential candidates is pretty sexist. And if you're gunning for atheist already, probably only so many demographic firsts you can reasonably expect at once.


Well, I think that would depend on whether people now consider atheists more trustworthy than rapists or not. The polling from the late 2000s still gives rapists the slight edge, IIRC.


If memory serves, that was a "# of people who view them as untrustworthy", not depth of distrust. In that, I think atheists are still more favored. However, I'll grant that this is a pretty bleak comparison all the same.

Thesh wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:Three years later and most of what anybody remembers about him is magic underwear and tree rating. He was like the Republican Al Gore.


I remember the "Binders full of women" and "47 percent" comments, as well as his economic plan: "Just electing me will fix our economy because everyone will be so optimistic when I'm elected." The rest of his policies I don't remember, because they changed every week. The guy had absolutely no vision and absolutely no conviction.


The no conviction certainly hurt him with conservatives. Even where I happen to hold conservative views, I had little faith that he actually wanted to pursue those goals apart from electability concerns. So, voting for him was never a serious consideration. Saying the right words matters fairly little if it's obvious you're only echoing whatever line your team thinks is best today.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:59 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Saying the right words matters fairly little if it's obvious you're only echoing whatever line your team thinks is best today.


That's the trap Republicans have with the primaries. Primary turnout tends to be poor, and it seems like people who are older and more conservative tend to be much more likely to vote in the primaries. Democrats are generally pretty conservative anyway, so the result is that they tend to elect more moderately conservative candidates like Obama and Clinton in the primaries, but the Tea Party ends up with significant say over the Republican candidates and they get people who are too far right for the swing voters. That means they need people who are going to cater to the Tea Party during the primaries, and then become moderate during the general election, which pretty much excludes anyone with significant conviction if they are going to have any chance of winning.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tirian » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:36 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:McCain had a shot. Sadly, his choice of VP was terrible. That was the big reason why I couldn't vote for that ticket. Yes, yes, tactics and all that...but Palin was just never a wise choice for high office. Excuse that on the basis of tactics, and you can excuse just about anything for your team to win.


McCain did not have a shot by the summer of 2008. He was popular and inevitable at the start of the primaries because he was a "maverick" who was willing to speak the truth to the Republican establishment. But by the time he had sealed up the nomination, he had switched to the Generic Republican script to appease the base, which left him looking inauthentic and mean and tripping over himself every time he did express a sincere opinion. (Same thing happened to Bob Dole in '96: a good man who would have done better if he had been allowed to be himself.)

By the time he needed to choose a VP, Sarah Palin was a Hail Mary pass that didn't connect. I think her narrative is stronger than the Republican establishment allowed her to share. She faced down Big Oil and made them pay taxes to every Alaskan for every barrel of oil they exported from her state. That's an amazing populist pragmatic negotiator you have there who is very knowledgeable on a few key issues. But she obviously couldn't claim that she'd get corporations to serve the American citizens on a national stage as a Republican candidate.

And this has been the problem with the Republican presidential strategy since 1992. The conservative core convinces themselves every four years that all they have to do is claim that they aren't (Bill Clinton|Al Gore|John Kerry|Barack Obama|Hillary Clinton) and coast to victory because those Democrats have such strong negatives. Their record is 2-4 over that time period and they didn't get a majority of the popular vote in their two wins. Romney is actually the only candidate in that entire era who put forward a tangible policy during the campaign that I remember: he supported the Paul Ryan budget plan. Everyone else has just been nothing but "I'm a smart traditional guy who loves America unlike my opponent, it'll all work out when I'm in office, you'll see!" I don't see that learning their lesson yet this year: the crowd of GOP nominees are busy differentiating themselves from Hillary Clinton when their actual job is differentiating themselves from each other.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
mathmannix wrote:What Republican party leadership should have learned from the last two elections is that they need a candidate who is more conservative than McCain and Romney. People will vote for a true conservative leader who can restore dignity to the White House. Fortunately, it does seem like the current crop of candidates are, for the most part, more conservative than McCain and Romney. This could be interesting.


McCain had a shot. Sadly, his choice of VP was terrible. That was the big reason why I couldn't vote for that ticket. Yes, yes, tactics and all that...but Palin was just never a wise choice for high office. Excuse that on the basis of tactics, and you can excuse just about anything for your team to win.


Palin was a huge mistake. She isn't nearly as bad as she was made out to be by the media, but she wasn't even remotely ready for a national level campaign.

Romney's biggest problem was Romney. Seriously, he was just really hard to get excited about. It's not as simple as needing a "true conservative". It's more about picking someone with an actual goal, and a solid roadmap to get there. Romney's goal was pretty transparently the presidency, with everything else whatever he thought would get him there. All politicians do this. You've got to at least portray a little something beyond that.


Yeah, no kidding. Romney didn't offer much of a vision apart from he'd be better than the other guy... which, while certainly true in my opinion, isn't enough to get people excited about voting.

I'm less than enthused about the current crop of Republican contenders. There's a lot of same, same establishment bs there. That's uninspiring.


I keep hoping that Hillary will say or do something completely over the top awful... something that offends her party base enough that they just stay home. Because unfortunately, that is the only thing that is likely to stop her from winning. Which is pretty sad when you think about it, since her only qualifications are her last name and the fact that she'd be the first woman president. She was a mediocre at best Senator, and she was an utterly awful Secretary of State.

But unless the republicans can come up with an actual candidate, she's not only going to win, she's going to win in a landslide.

Wait, what's wrong with the GOP bench? This is the strongest GOP bench I've seen in 2-4 election cycles, since Clinton v Bush. Not only do you have multiple contenders, but they actually have talent.* Walker, Rubio, even that other Bush guy, and Rand. All great contenders with good track records and deep pools of support. Compare that to the Romney primary, the McCain primary, and even the Bush primary. I'm impressed and worried about the GOP bench. Now contrast this with the Democratic bench, if Hilary messes up, we're stuck with her. The GOP can afford to be both pickier, and have room to screw up since they can just jump to another candidate. They're all conservative, and aren't crazy/stupid.

*Talent to do horrible things and I hate them for, but talent nonetheless.

PS ""I'm a smart traditional guy who loves America unlike my opponent, it'll all work out when I'm in office, you'll see!""
There's nothing wrong with running as that. All you need is for a bad economy, and bam you almost autowin. Every politician promises that, the dumb ones actually believe it.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:48 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Saying the right words matters fairly little if it's obvious you're only echoing whatever line your team thinks is best today.


That's the trap Republicans have with the primaries. Primary turnout tends to be poor, and it seems like people who are older and more conservative tend to be much more likely to vote in the primaries. Democrats are generally pretty conservative anyway, so the result is that they tend to elect more moderately conservative candidates like Obama and Clinton in the primaries, but the Tea Party ends up with significant say over the Republican candidates and they get people who are too far right for the swing voters. That means they need people who are going to cater to the Tea Party during the primaries, and then become moderate during the general election, which pretty much excludes anyone with significant conviction if they are going to have any chance of winning.


Well, pivoting towards the center for the general is a pretty known thing...and I don't know that Democrats are that conservative. In the Obama vs Clinton matchup, I would have pegged Obama as being a bit more liberal, and Clinton as a bit more conservative(though I'll grant that neither is extreme within the party). Obama straight up out-executed Romney in outlining a vision. I think that this wasn't an inherent failure of party structure so much as it was Romney just being a weak candidate. They've had better in the past.

Tirian wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:McCain had a shot. Sadly, his choice of VP was terrible. That was the big reason why I couldn't vote for that ticket. Yes, yes, tactics and all that...but Palin was just never a wise choice for high office. Excuse that on the basis of tactics, and you can excuse just about anything for your team to win.


McCain did not have a shot by the summer of 2008. He was popular and inevitable at the start of the primaries because he was a "maverick" who was willing to speak the truth to the Republican establishment. But by the time he had sealed up the nomination, he had switched to the Generic Republican script to appease the base, which left him looking inauthentic and mean and tripping over himself every time he did express a sincere opinion. (Same thing happened to Bob Dole in '96: a good man who would have done better if he had been allowed to be himself.)


That was a problem. Pre-presidential run McCain had his strong points. Once he became generic, his appeal dropped significantly. But I don't think he needed to do that. I think that was an error in strategy, and like you said, his greatest strength going into the primaries was that he did stand out. Gotta be a way to appeal to the base without becoming ridiculously bland.

But selection of Palin was beyond bland, and was just unwise. She came across as too much of a populist, and not having depth of knowledge in...too many areas. Yeah, the media looks for terrible sound bites, but...she did kind of just hand them out on a silver platter.

And this has been the problem with the Republican presidential strategy since 1992. The conservative core convinces themselves every four years that all they have to do is claim that they aren't (Bill Clinton|Al Gore|John Kerry|Barack Obama|Hillary Clinton) and coast to victory because those Democrats have such strong negatives. Their record is 2-4 over that time period and they didn't get a majority of the popular vote in their two wins. Romney is actually the only candidate in that entire era who put forward a tangible policy during the campaign that I remember: he supported the Paul Ryan budget plan. Everyone else has just been nothing but "I'm a smart traditional guy who loves America unlike my opponent, it'll all work out when I'm in office, you'll see!" I don't see that learning their lesson yet this year: the crowd of GOP nominees are busy differentiating themselves from Hillary Clinton when their actual job is differentiating themselves from each other.


This is fair. You have to show, not tell. Gotta convince someone you're good for America because of what you're doing, not just tell them that, and running as "not x" is weak at best. This one's in the Republican court for them to win or lose, but they are their own worst enemy, so....

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Derek » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:52 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:Their record is 2-4 over that time period and they didn't get a majority of the popular vote in their two wins.

Bush had a majority of the popular vote in 2004. 50.7% according to Wikipedia.

I think in general it's unlikely that we'll see landslide elections in the future. The science of polling and electioneering has become too good, and candidates now know exactly what to say and spend where to maximize their chances of winning. When both sides do this, the result is inevitably generic candidates and close but predictable elections.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:21 am UTC

Derek wrote:
Tirian wrote:Their record is 2-4 over that time period and they didn't get a majority of the popular vote in their two wins.

Bush had a majority of the popular vote in 2004. 50.7% according to Wikipedia.

I think in general it's unlikely that we'll see landslide elections in the future. The science of polling and electioneering has become too good, and candidates now know exactly what to say and spend where to maximize their chances of winning. When both sides do this, the result is inevitably generic candidates and close but predictable elections.

And you would be dead wrong. Think about the pieces of what you're saying, and you will realize it doesn't add up. Of money was so important, then why don't those losers with sugar daddy super PACs won more? It's because it's necessary but not sufficient. If candidates knew exactly what to say, why do they take unpopular positions? Don't get me wrong you can predict elections, but just because a couple elections were closer doesn't mean all elections will be. If anything, most elections are landslides and as few are always close.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:53 am UTC

Honestly, I'd love for Biden to run. The guy's considered a little goofy (which actually I find endearing) but is honestly really, really good at negotiating and working with Congress, which are really key skills right now. He's a bit old, but he's very energetic. I'd honestly give him a shot.

Thesh wrote:Unless you live in a swing state, your vote doesn't really matter, so you might as well vote third party.


It'll matter in the Primaries.

If it turns out that the Democratic primary is mush and Clinton is the only real candidate standing, I'll be voting in the Republican primary to help influence the choice of her opponent (whether I want to vote for the best Republican or the one most likely to lose I haven't decided yet).

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:15 am UTC

I'm still holding out hope that the Democrats will have a good alternative to Clinton by the time the primary race starts.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:25 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Derek wrote:
Tirian wrote:Their record is 2-4 over that time period and they didn't get a majority of the popular vote in their two wins.

Bush had a majority of the popular vote in 2004. 50.7% according to Wikipedia.

I think in general it's unlikely that we'll see landslide elections in the future. The science of polling and electioneering has become too good, and candidates now know exactly what to say and spend where to maximize their chances of winning. When both sides do this, the result is inevitably generic candidates and close but predictable elections.

And you would be dead wrong. Think about the pieces of what you're saying, and you will realize it doesn't add up. Of money was so important, then why don't those losers with sugar daddy super PACs won more? It's because it's necessary but not sufficient. If candidates knew exactly what to say, why do they take unpopular positions? Don't get me wrong you can predict elections, but just because a couple elections were closer doesn't mean all elections will be. If anything, most elections are landslides and as few are always close.


And, to a certain degree, money is an effect as much as a cause. You need a certain degree of electability before you can attract the big money. You've got to be perceived as having a real chance at the general.

I think presidential elections will tend to be somewhat closer for a while...but congresspeople often are basically a lock for re-election. I'd rather have close races than that.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:11 pm UTC

Around this time 8 years ago Obama was so unknown even his mother had probably never heard of him. Everybody was pegging Hillary Clinton as the clear frontrunner. And look what happened.

If it happened 8 years ago, it can happen again. So Hillary certainly hasn't got the nomination sealed up yet.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Qaanol » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:54 pm UTC

I just saw an NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll from last month (PDF) that includes approval-style questions regarding potential candidates for each party. They asked likely Republican primary voters whether or not they could see themself supporting various potential Republican candidates, and the corresponding question for Democrats:

Code: Select all

Q13-Q15 ASKED OF DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS ONLY
Q13 Next, I’m going to mention a number of people who might seek the Democratic nomination for president in
2016. For each one, please tell me, yes or no, whether you could see yourself supporting that person for
the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. If you don't know the name, please just say so.
(RANDOMIZE LIST)^^

YES: Yes, Could See Self Supporting
NO: No, Could Not See Self Supporting
DNN: Don’t Know Name
NS: Not Sure

THIS TABLE HAS BEEN RANKED BY THE PERCENTAGE WHO SAY YES
                   YES    NO   DNN    NS
Hillary Clinton     86    13     -     1
Joe Biden           54    40     3     2
Elizabeth Warren    51    17    29     3
Bernie Sanders      21    21    54     4
Jim Webb            15    24    57     4
Martin O’Malley     11    20    67     2

^^ Results shown reflect responses among registered voters who say they would vote in the Democratic Primary


Code: Select all

Q16-Q18 ASKED OF REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS ONLY
Q16 Next, I’m going to mention a number of people who might seek the Republican nomination for president in
2016. For each one, please tell me, yes or no, whether you could see yourself supporting that person for
the Republican nomination for president in 2016. If you don't know the name, please just say so.
(RANDOMIZE LIST) ^

YES: Yes, Could See Self Supporting
NO: No, Could Not See Self Supporting
DNN: Don’t Know Name
NS: Not Sure

THIS TABLE HAS BEEN RANKED BY THE PERCENTAGE WHO SAY YES
                 YES    NO   DNN    NS
Marco Rubio       56    26    14     4
Scott Walker      53    17    27     3
Mike Huckabee     52    40     3     5
Jeb Bush          49    42     4     5
Rand Paul         49    40     8     3
Rick Perry        45    40     9     5
Ben Carson        41    18    38     3
Ted Cruz          40    38    18     4
Rick Santorum     40    40    16     4
Bobby Jindal      36    25    36     3
Chris Christie    32    57     7     4
Donald Trump      23    74     1     2
Lindsey Graham    20    51    24     5
Carly Fiorina     18    25    54     3

^ Results shown reflect responses among registered voters who say they would vote in the Republican Primary
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby mathmannix » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:02 pm UTC

It seems obvious to me that we should have our national election based on pooling all the candidates together and each person ranking or rating all the candidates. That way, we could get rid of the stupid primaries (which can easily come up with a candidate who will never win the general election). Just have all the current Republican and Democratic candidates (all those in the previous post!) - and all the third party candidates - face off in November 2016. The best consequence would be that they wouldn't have to make the other candidates in their own party look bad. Really, nobody ever looks good by the general election and we have to choose the lesser of two evils, or else we can "throw our vote away" by voting for a third-party candidate in the hope, not that they will actually win, but that they will get enough votes that the two big parties wake up and change their policies.

Obviously none of this is news to most of you, so my question is: do any non-US countries do this? Or is it the same as it is here, except maybe with more than two parties (/ candidates) that might actually win?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:09 pm UTC

Yes, several. Seems like a sensible approach to me.

The thing about primaries is that if you do away with them, you'd presumably have to pick the vice-president separately, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:19 pm UTC

Ireland uses instant runoff voting for their President. I'm not sure about other governments. I think the bulk of Western governments are Parliamentary, and many of them use proportional representation through party-list style systems, but I don't know if any of them have Parliament elect a head of government through a system other than plurality.
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And darkness will come to us all.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby mathmannix » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:24 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Yes, several.

OK, I wouldn't actually count those countries, because I was actually talking about for a single Presidential election, and none of those countries are listed as having a Presidential system of government. However, Ireland elects its President by Instant-runoff voting, so that's one, plus a handful of other island nations.

commodorejohn wrote:The thing about primaries is that if you do away with them, you'd presumably have to pick the vice-president separately, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Yes, we would have to have a different system for electing the Vice President. Either the President-elect would appoint him (with the advise and consent of the Senate, like many countries do that have both a President and Prime Minister - like Ireland, in fact), or else the Vice President would be the Senate majority leader or something, like the Prime Minister in other countries like the UK. Because really, the Vice President's duties are (1) to preside over (and be the deciding vote in) the Senate, (2) to take over as President if something happens, and (3, possibly, cynically anyway) draw attention away from the President. (But then we might as well call him the Prime Minister, and then we would have a semi-presidential system of government too, I guess!)

Or we could go back to the original Constitution's plan of having the Vice President be the runner-up in the Presidential election, but honestly I don't see how they ever thought that was going to be a good idea.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:38 pm UTC

The runner up thing doesn't work very well so long as you have primary elections. Without primaries, if you use approval or ranked voting, then the Vice President could easily be the runner-up without an issue, although I don't really see the position as necessary in the first place.
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And darkness will come to us all.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Trebla » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:06 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The runner up thing doesn't work very well so long as you have primary elections. Without primaries, if you use approval or ranked voting, then the Vice President could easily be the runner-up without an issue, although I don't really see the position as necessary in the first place.


But what if there's a tie in Congress? (Or if the time-space continuum is threatened, I guess)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:15 pm UTC

A tie should be treated the same as any other vote that fails to receive a majority of "yes" votes; I don't see why it's so special. If you did have proportional representation, then having a tie breaker would only server to make the elected body non-proportionally representative.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:40 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:A tie should be treated the same as any other vote that fails to receive a majority of "yes" votes; I don't see why it's so special. If you did have proportional representation, then having a tie breaker would only server to make the elected body non-proportionally representative.


That's a pretty reasonable solution. A tie vote dies, no problem.

I do think that the runner up as vice president might make for a pretty tense executive environment, as they're unlikely to agree on a number of things. Not that a vp has to agree on everything, but working with the guy you've been running against for a year seems rough.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:25 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Thesh wrote:A tie should be treated the same as any other vote that fails to receive a majority of "yes" votes; I don't see why it's so special. If you did have proportional representation, then having a tie breaker would only server to make the elected body non-proportionally representative.


That's a pretty reasonable solution. A tie vote dies, no problem.

I do think that the runner up as vice president might make for a pretty tense executive environment, as they're unlikely to agree on a number of things. Not that a vp has to agree on everything, but working with the guy you've been running against for a year seems rough.

We did do the runnerup stuff during the first couple elections. Remember VP Aaron Burr? It ended up exactly as Tyndmyr said, lots of animosity and the VP was often cut off. This way is better, I assure you.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby mathmannix » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:22 pm UTC

Awwon Buww... :(
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Trebla » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:38 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Awwon Buww... :(


Too much peanut butter, not enough milk.


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