Dems 2019: Dem Hard With A Vengeance


Is that really true, though? She had as many votes as Obama did in 2012. She just narrowly lost a few key states, and we can likely thank the GRU and US news media for that.


Are we really debating why Clinton lost again? In 2019?


Hey, it’s the most recent presidential election!

Also, that’s a weird statement. We’re still discussing things about WW2 or the Civil War or the fall of Rome, so I don’t know why debate about a presidential election that has an ongoing investigation and massive geopolitical ramifications just over two years ago is off limits or unusual. :)


Here’s a primer for anybody interested in boning up before our big debate.


True. I think that was a combination of her really having improved as a politician and winning folks over but also a strong turnout of people horrified by Trump.

Someone like Warren (hypothetically speaking), I suspect, could have won those close swing states, Russian fuckery and all.


Also, I would argue that correctly identifying why and why not Clinton lost is pretty topical and of extremely high importance as we collectively move towards the Democratic primaries. Especially when “Electability” is a highly sought-after quality in any potential candidate.


It’s kinda weird and arbitrary though. The graphic implicitly weights each group the same, even though they aren’t necessarily the same size - there are more than twice as many Millennial voters as either black or Hispanic voters, for example.

Also the groups aren’t mutually exclusive. There’s substantial overlap between them - about 40% of Hispanic voters, for example, are also Millennials. You can be a Party Loyalist and black, a Millennial and a member of the Left, etc. etc. Plus the groups are somewhat arbitrary - as the article acknowledges, “Millennials” (who are just everyone born between certain dates) seldom act as a cohesive group, and lumping Hispanics and Asians together is unlikely to be the correct thing to do if there are many candidates in the field. So treat with the appropriate caution.


Of course. Though I think the thesis — that the likely primary winner will be the candidate who can do very well with at least three of those five constituencies — is exactly right; and the analysis of how candidates stack up with each is the right sort of analysis.


Given that people can’t even agree on who has charisma and who doesn’t, I don’t know how ‘the Democrats’ do that.

The primary process is an undirected process, by which I mean there is no ‘Democratic consciousness’ going through a deliberative process to select a candidate. Instead, millions of people cast votes at different points in time with different information about each candidate, and even with different candidates on the ballot over time as some inevitably drop out.

‘The Democrats’ — by which I mean the DNC establishment — could try pick the right candidate to ensure we get the most electable one, but apparently that’s dirty pool:

Yes, so if that’s not allowed, how do ‘the Democrats’ make the wise choice?


This also to me feels important when we discuss 2020:

(The “Overton Window” refers to policy/ideology that is considered within the normal discourse for serious candidates. For instance, in 2004, being very much pro-gay marriage was probably outside the Overton Window. By 2016, it was right inside. And the best description I’ve seen of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is that she’s a one-person Overton Window vaulter:


I’m not familiar with the Gallup polling which shows Dem voters don’t want the party to move left. Is that derived by analyzing issue questions, or is it simply a direct response to the question? If the latter, then it’s really suspect. Voters always poll more left on issues than they do on the question of

Edit: Ah, here it is. It’s a simple question, so I think the result is very suspect. If you poll people on issues, like single-payer, you’re going to find that they’ve moved left a lot; and they surely want their party platform to reflect that.


To me it seems like a relative illustration. Republican voters overwhelmingly want their party to move right. Wherever their party stands right now, it needs to go even further than it has already. Which is nuts.

And, Democratic voters don’t want their party to move left.


Democratic voters are now in favor of $15 minimum wages, and in favor more and more for Medicare For All, and for ways to either forgive/restructure college debt, etc. Democratic voters are for all kinds of policy initiatives that pre-Sanders (and now perhaps, pre-AOC and others) were considered very much left of party orthodoxy. Democrats don’t consider those policies and the attendant ideologies to be too far left anymore in 2019. They consider them within the mainstream of Democratic platform politics now.

And that’s pretty cool.


Yes, I agree with that. The problem is a result which says Dem voters want their party to be more moderate, less liberal will be used as an argument against all of those policy positions.


This is important when looking at polling. If you ask people if they are more liberal or more conservative, they are going to hedge themselves a bit, and think, I am a fairly moderate and even-minded person, so my politics likely match, but if you focus on issues, they are more likely to be much more progressive.

That is because issues like single payer healthcare, minimum wage increases, combatting income inequality are not as far left as they once were, and people who consider themselves “moderate” are actually more liberal that they realize.

Or, those issues are becoming much more attractive to ‘moderate’ voters, making them less “liberal” ideas, and more “moderate” ideas.


You let the modern primary process unfold as intended under the assumption that the candidate who comes out in top is the one voters are most enthusiastic about.

Granted, on the Republican side this process has been completely fucked by their years of moonbat devicive rhetoric so that their primaries devolve into a race to the bottom but the Democrats don’t have that issue at this time.

Not trusting the base but instead presuming to dictate what they believe is best for us smacks of everything that has left many voters dissatisfied with the Democrats of late. I understand the history of how the primary system used to work, with the party selecting its candidate in a Smokey backroom and that’s fine but that’s not the way the process is supposed to whappen to now. It’s good to have safeguards in place to avoid someone like Trump winning the primary but, short of that, let the process unfold and see who rises to the top.


I would say that any potential 2020 candidate who’s strategy shop interprets that poll in that way deserves the grief that will fall onto them.

Looking at that poll and the question as it was asked, the proper strategy I think is to make sure you frame things like a 70% marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans in such a way that voters understand that it really is a mainstream position. That you frame Medicare for All as a moderate policy initiative.

That poll says what it says, but interpreting it without outside context of the party shift to the left is going to make anyone doing so look really dumb by the time primary votes are taking place.


To me there is a distinction between “liberal” and “far left.” The former consists of social policies beneficial to most people (UHC, tuition free college, paid family and medical leave, minimum wage.) It imposes regulations on but operates within the free market. This is what Democrats from the 60’s and 70’s used to look like before getting bullied by the media and the GOP.

“Far left” crosses into anti-capitalist territory and/or actual socialism (content from Jacobin being a good example.) To that extent, there isn’t a viable “far left” in the US.


Or to put it another way, the “far left” currently has much less power, visibility, and presence than actual neo-Nazi alt-right shitheads.

Two problems with this:

  1. No one knows how to reliably do this. Framing is a notoriously slippery thing, particularly around policy issues that require any degree of nuance.
  2. Voters mostly don’t care about policy.


Careful now. Apparently those are fightin’ words!


:) I really wish we could have elections based around policy ideas. I wish our debates were about policy details. I wish we’d nominate and elect the candidates with the best, most comprehensive policy platform. (Hillary Clinton would beat any politician since probably FDR.) But we don’t. Political campaigns are about not committing gaffes, getting media coverage, distilling complex ideas to soundbytes.