2017: Whither Democrats?

At no point in a functioning democracy can you ever relax. You have to give a shit about what happens, every day, or else you get Trump.

The definition of “super-environmentalist” also strikes me as meaningless. How many people “identify the environment as one of their top priorities” in a survey and then go out and buy their water in plastic bottles?

Yep… I assume this includes people who buy a Prius, but still drive it four blocks to Whole Foods.

In defense of raging hypocrites, it is pretty hard to align your whole life along environmental principles, or at least it’s a gradual process. Voting for environmental policy is partly about offloading ‘save the earth’ from individual initiative onto the law, which IMO is a reasonable attitude. Of course, that means you have to fucking vote.

The mission of the EVP is to get people who are concerned about the environment to vote. Not to get people who are concerned about the environment to change their lifestyle voluntarily.

So I don’t fault their choice of definition. Presumably they believe that it’s easier to improve the environment through legislation than through voluntary efforts, and they may be right.

EDIT: Or, what Gordon said.

I don’t disagree with you or Gordon, and it’s not that I’m making accusations of hypocrisy. I’m just asking how far does it translate? In this case, how much does checking off that “the environment is a priority to me” box on a survey translate to one’s voting pattern or even to going to the polls to vote?


Mother Jones has an article that goes a bit more in depth:

They use data analytics and statistical models to identify environmentally friendly voters. Broadly speaking, environmental issues tend to poll well anyway, it’s just that very few rank it as a priority.

The larger point of getting people to vote who don’t normally vote is I think a key point. It’s better IMO than trying to appeal to weakly aligned Republicans (simply because there’s more of them)


They use voter registration data. If you identified environmental issues as important, and you’re registered to vote but you haven’t voted, then EVP canvasses those people to motivate them to vote. The Jones piece goes into more detail.

Cue my #ThatsHowProbabilitiesWork hashtag. :)

If you are already likely to vote, then the EVP is not interested in you. They want to find people who are presently unlikely to vote, because those are the ones that might be persuaded to vote.

And if the environment is a priority to you, then presumably you are more likely than the average voter to support environmentally-friendly legislator. That’s the only voting pattern they are interested in, it is not so important to them whether you support an environmentally-friendly Republican or Democrat.

According to Tom, either the Democrats take the house or they don’t. Two outcomes, therefore a 50-50 chance.

Have a like! 😁

Whatever the probability is, it’s…a probability. A forum of gamers who play D&D or XCom know that a 75% chance of something happens means you’re going to roll a 76 at some super inopportune time.

Democrats in the age of Trump, in one image.

Ha, that’s priceless.

Every time someone mentions 538 I remember this.

And every time someone posts that in dismissal of 538, I think, “There’s another person who doesn’t understand how probabilities work.”

Hey, 538’s Swing-o-matic was spot-on in indicating that a tiny change in the turnout model with more non-college whites would swing the Upper Midwest, and thus the election, to Trump.

I’m not dismissing them. I’m just stating what it reminds me of.

When lots of us were thinking about Hillary’s inaugural, 538 felt like the gadfly voice in the wilderness in early November 2016, saying “The probabilities look good on one hand…but all fall apart if some iffy polling models on turnout in Pennsylvania and the upper midwest are off.”