Author Topic: Election 2020  (Read 188469 times)

D. Engebretson

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Election 2020
« on: February 12, 2020, 08:45:53 AM »
When I started the impeachment thread I had no idea we would be at 79 pages today. Since the impeachment is past (on an official, legal level) and the election is now in full swing with the first two major primaries completed in Iowa and New Hampshire, I thought that I would start a new thread for that topic. 

Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is now leading the pack in raw votes, but Pete Buttigieg leading with delegates. Amy Klobuchar had a surprising finish, but the real surprise is how Joe Biden, the once celebrated 'front runner' has done so poorly in the first two races.

Of course "Super Tuesday" is yet to come and may still rearrange the field.  We don't even know how Michael Bloomberg will fit into the picture vote or delegate-wise. 

Of course this is mainly the Democratic primary and we can't predict the overall nation's response until the general election.  My sense is that Democratic votes are not overly excited about Biden who represents the past and is showing his age.  Sanders appeals to those who want to upset the status quo and Buttigieg appears to be the face of a new generation. 
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David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 08:52:28 AM »
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.com offers a bountiful array of analyses driven by a lot of under-the-hood number-crunching. Here is the site's dashboard for the 2020 Democrats' primary schedule: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-primary-forecast/.
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David Garner

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 09:14:52 AM »
The interesting thing to me about the race thus far is Biden's poor showing, combined with the moderate vote being split up between Buttigieg and Bloomberg, means Sanders is overwhelmingly likely to get the nomination.  The only real way for this not to be the case that I can see is for Biden to slam dunk South Carolina and take that momentum to Super Tuesday. The problem, of course, is that he will have all of 1 day to gather said momentum.  And if he loses Nevada, which seems more likely even though he still holds a very slim lead there, AND South Carolina?  And by "loses" I mean "doesn't win," since even a 2nd place finish is not going to build much momentum.

Well, in that case Biden is done and there is no clear "moderate" front runner.  At best for Democrats a clear Sanders win.  At worst a brokered convention and who knows what?
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 09:18:26 AM »
If Sanders did win the nomination, even in a brokered deal, I wonder what kind of a national election it would be with him pitted against Donald Trump.  Talk about complete opposites!  We would either find out if the country is more evenly divided than we think, or discover it to be more conservative than we wish to admit.
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 09:26:15 AM »
The interesting thing to me about the race thus far is Biden's poor showing, combined with the moderate vote being split up between Buttigieg and Bloomberg, means Sanders is overwhelmingly likely to get the nomination.  The only real way for this not to be the case that I can see is for Biden to slam dunk South Carolina and take that momentum to Super Tuesday. The problem, of course, is that he will have all of 1 day to gather said momentum.  And if he loses Nevada, which seems more likely even though he still holds a very slim lead there, AND South Carolina?  And by "loses" I mean "doesn't win," since even a 2nd place finish is not going to build much momentum.

Well, in that case Biden is done and there is no clear "moderate" front runner.  At best for Democrats a clear Sanders win.  At worst a brokered convention and who knows what?
Actually, the chart from the previous posts shows Sanders's odds declining despite his victories, and the odds of a brokered convention going way up.

John_Hannah

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 09:26:41 AM »
In both Iowa and New Hampshire, the two progressive candidates together did not garnish a majority. The moderates together got a substantial majority.

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peter_speckhard

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 09:56:15 AM »
In both Iowa and New Hampshire, the two progressive candidates together did not garnish a majority. The moderates together got a substantial majority.

Peace, JOHN
But only by very odd redefinitions, in which socialism is considered progressive and hard-core left-wing liberalism is considered the new moderate. Every candidate in the field who gets statistically measurable votes is far to the left of Obama, at least in terms of stated positions.   

D. Engebretson

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 10:18:05 AM »
The interesting thing to me about the race thus far is Biden's poor showing, combined with the moderate vote being split up between Buttigieg and Bloomberg, means Sanders is overwhelmingly likely to get the nomination.  The only real way for this not to be the case that I can see is for Biden to slam dunk South Carolina and take that momentum to Super Tuesday. The problem, of course, is that he will have all of 1 day to gather said momentum.  And if he loses Nevada, which seems more likely even though he still holds a very slim lead there, AND South Carolina?  And by "loses" I mean "doesn't win," since even a 2nd place finish is not going to build much momentum.

Well, in that case Biden is done and there is no clear "moderate" front runner.  At best for Democrats a clear Sanders win.  At worst a brokered convention and who knows what?
Actually, the chart from the previous posts shows Sanders's odds declining despite his victories, and the odds of a brokered convention going way up.

The first chart in the FiveThirtyEight article shows Sanders projected to have a majority of the delegates by the time of the convention, if I saw it correctly.  In an article referenced within this site by Rackich, the author states: According to the exit polls, Sanders racked up big margins among demographic groups that make up a good chunk, but still a minority of, the Democratic electorate. Crucially, though, he was still able to win because the rest of the electorate was split among his rivals. For example, “very liberal” voters made up just 21 percent of the New Hampshire Democratic electorate on Tuesday, and Sanders won them over Warren easily. But that was enough to win because he still tied Buttigieg for the lead among “somewhat liberal” voters, and Buttigieg and Klobuchar split the “moderate” vote.

So the vote, as they say, is still out on Sanders.  Personally I think that his far left standing will not hold all the way to the convention.  But I'm a Republican, so what do I know?
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 10:22:30 AM »

I have no idea who the Democratic candidate will be. Bernie Sanders is at least still very much in the race if not in the lead. But what kind of politics does he pursue? He calls himself a Democratic Socialist, but I have yet to hear a clear and coherent description of just what that means. We have had in our hemisphere several examples of socialism at work, notably Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba has not been exactly a economic success and Venezuela's try at socialism has been an economic disaster. Both became repressive authoritarian states.


Around the world socialism has typically resulted in either economic disaster and authoritarian repressive states. Russia under the communist variety of socialism, with state control of the economy and millions died from starvation. It is perhaps significant that when the ruling class in Russia furnished their dwellings they imported their appliances from the capitalist West. China is a strictly state controlled repressive country approaching in its control of citizens the dystopian dreams of 1984. The One Percent in China are not the greedy capitalists, but the greedy government officials who absolutely control business and industry and line their pockets thereby. Why government control and exploitation of the workers (exploitation that is worse than under the greedy capitalist in the US) should be so much better that capitalist exploitation of the workers I have yet to figure out.


Ah but what about the socialist Scandinavian countries. Are they not examples of how socialism can work? Well, no. First, they are not socialist and they will tell you so. They are capitalistic with a generous and extensive welfare state.  Fueled by high taxes. In the case of Norway, fueled by North Sea oil and gas. Under at least some of the Democrats, definitely a no no. How they would continue their generous welfare state programs without the revenue from North Sea oil and gas is not clear.


So just what does Bernie Sanders and his fellow Democratic Socialist propose in their vision of America? Can they bring off their vision without crashing the economy, which all of us, even the bottom 25% depend on, or resorting to authoritarian control?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 11:56:27 AM by Dan Fienen »
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 10:45:19 AM »
Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.com offers a bountiful array of analyses driven by a lot of under-the-hood number-crunching. Here is the site's dashboard for the 2020 Democrats' primary schedule: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-primary-forecast/.

Their podcast is also unfailingly interesting.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2020, 11:57:37 AM »
Ah but what about the socialist Scandinavian countries. Are they not examples of how socialism can work? Well, no. First, they are not socialist and they will tell you so. They are capitalistic with a generous and extensive welfare state.  Fueled by high taxes. In the case of Norway, fueled by North Sea oil and gas. Under at least some of the Democrats, definitely a no no. How they would continue their generous welfare state programs without the revenue from North Sea oil and gas is not clear.

I wish that folks would get this straight, because it is always touted as the success story for socialism. I hope that Sanders does not make this mistake if he wishes to tout the benefits of "socialism." 

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2020, 12:33:42 PM »

Anyone not hopelessly naïve or blinded by ideology will recognize that capitalism has serious potential problems. The Robber Barons of the late 19th century and the excesses of Social Darwinism are examples of dangers. There is a need for reasonable governmental regulation to prevent unfair business practices and to protect workers and consumers.


Unfortunately, regulation has its own dangers as regulators assume more and more control (for the good of all naturally, the regulators know best how things ought to be run after all). Too much regulation becomes crippling, lack of regulation opens the door for the unscrupulous to exploit everyone else.


There is also a need for what has been termed a social safety net to provide for people who either temporarily or permanent cannot provide for themselves. Unfortunately, some will always try to game such a system and claim aid that they don't really need.


One area that capitalistic and market driven economics does well is provide incentives for people to work and be productive. If they work well they can receive economic rewards for their success. (One of the reasons for reasonable regulation is to protect against the strong who would rig the system to rob those who work of the fruits of their labor.) If one does not work well, they receive less.


Socialism, as it has demonstrated regularly where it has been tried, usually ends up being economically unsuccessful for most of the population, rife with corruption that siphon off what wealth it creates, and results with oppressive governmental control of the lives of its people. It is perhaps significant that border controls for the US are chiefly concerned with regulating who can enter the US. The Berlin Wall was not constructed to keep West Berliners and West Germans from flooding into the workers paradise of East Germany.


For society to work well and provide for its people there is a need for social welfare programs and regulations of business to help those less able to provide for themselves and curb the greed of the unscrupulous. There is also a need to incentivize productive work. Pure socialism, "from everyone according to their ability and to everyone according to their needs," sounds ideal, and maybe would work for ideal people. But if society is to provide for the needs of people there is need for hard work, often harder than people might do without incentives. Pure socialism depends on people being completely altruistic, which by nature people are not, or forcing altruism - working for the common good rather than one's own - on people. It is the latter that usually results in repression as the government forces people to work for what the government has decided is the common good. It also breeds centralized control of everything. That might work if the governmental managers actually did know everything. But that rarely works well in the long run.


The alternatives are not pure socialism or pure capitalism, but a system that combines some of the best features of both. It is striking the balance that is difficult. Until I learn more about what Bernie Sanders and his comrades mean by Democratic Socialism, I don't trust it.
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 02:23:52 PM »
but the real surprise is how Joe Biden, the once celebrated 'front runner' has done so poorly in the first two races.


Why should this be a surprise?  It's what's happened every other time he's sought the nomination.

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Robert Johnson

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2020, 02:34:02 PM »
but the real surprise is how Joe Biden, the once celebrated 'front runner' has done so poorly in the first two races.


Why should this be a surprise?  It's what's happened every other time he's sought the nomination.

I read just yesterday that Biden's lifetime total of primaries won (so far) is zero.

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2020, 02:45:46 PM »
Richard, thanks for the tip on the 538 podcast. That was pretty interesting.

Jeremy
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