2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Jordan » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:37 am

By an admittedly slim margin, Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire. Pete Buttigieg came in a close second. Amy Klobuchar came in a somewhat unexpected third. I anticipated she would get there based on the most recent polls that came out, but she did catch some people by surprise. Warren landed a distant fourth and Biden ended up in 5th.

In hindsight, the biggest surprise out of New Hampshire was the pathetic showing of Elizabeth Warren. This was supposed to be one of her stronger states. I was expecting her to be closer to Klobuchar, and for Klobuchar to get less of a lead over Warren. My big takeaway is that Klobuchar is a better campaigner than Warren. This probably accounts for why Klobuchar historically outperforms polls in competitive races while Warren historically has underperformed polls in safe races. Klobuchar also had a strong debate showing in New Hampshire, while Warren felt like she was receding in the background. In my personal opinion, Warren also signed her campaign's death warrant about a month ago when she began taking on tons of Obama and Clinton consultants under her wing. Obama and Clinton staffers are among the most toxic in American politics. They have given Warren almost nothing but bad advice. Since she has taken them on, she has seen her lead in polls drop precipitously. She'll stick around until at least the aftermath of Super Tuesday, but if she gets killed on March 3rd, her campaign is over.

Yang dropped out. Bennet dropped out. Gabbard and Warren have decided to stay in. Gabbard's campaign at this point is delusional. She definitely has less national support than Yang as well as less fundraising. I have no clue what her endgame is. Warren seems intent on sticking it out. She is polling in second in California right now, but otherwise it's hard to see a path forward for Warren. She spent her speech out of New Hampshire praising Klobuchar while subtly jabbing Sanders and others. Like Gabbard, I have no idea what Warren's endgame is. My best guess is that she wants to stay in for leverage until other campaigns come to her with offers. For her to actually win the nomination, she would have to win another early state other than Massachusetts, her home state, and come in second or a surprise first in California. Otherwise she is running a campaign of attrition. Despite most pundits assessing her as being part of the progressive wing of the party, I think she is hedging her bets and acting opportunistically. I don't expect her to endorse Sanders. In fact, I think it is more likely she will use her clout as a supposed progressive in order to boost one of his rivals, in exchange for some kind of promised concession.

Bloomberg has likewise been waiting in the wings, and in betting markets is second only to Sanders as being the likely Democratic nominee. He has spent millions to manufacture a base for himself come Super Tuesday. The race may very well end up coming down to Sanders vs. Bloomberg if the others continue to split the vote. Buttigieg should not be discounted either. He came close in Iowa and New Hampshire, and due to shenanigans in Iowa he currently leads in delegates. The race looks tougher for him from here on out though, as the demographics do not favor him as heavily in the upcoming contests. The biggest question mark with regard to this race is whether Bloomberg can simply spend his way to victory. He has already received a lot of blowback over his past record. He's likely going to get eviscerated on a debate stage. But does that matter more than buying votes? I don't actually know the answer to that.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:22 pm

Jordan wrote:One way or another they are in for a realignment.

https://mobile.twitter.com/NateSilver53 ... 15/photo/2

Some quantifiable data seems to corroborate many of my assumptions above, though perhaps I underestimated Buttigieg. Klobuchar iirc raised some 2 million dollars off this debate, which is really good, especially in proportion to the very small amount of $ she had beforehand. Buttigieg is the biggest threat right now to a Sanders sweep, followed by Bloomberg. I feel like Warren's campaign is stagnating, but she did outperform polls in Iowa so I dunno.

If Klobuchar can pull off some kind of mini surge right now, there is a big question regarding who it hurts or helps. Most pundits assume it would hurt Buttigieg. I am not so sure as Sanders at one point was winning with literally every demographic in New Hampshire, including conservative and older Democrats. If Klobuchar peels away some of this less reliable support, Buttigieg could win New Hampshire. This of course assumes the debate affects anything at all, which I personally do not believe it will (the fundraising for Klobuchar might though). It seems more like, aside from Klobuchar, the debate has reflected the current state of the race.

Dark clouds on the horizon. Internal emails of Troy Price were leaked alleging that even if they correct errors, the apportioned delegates in Iowa cannot be changed. And then just to add insult to injury, they decided to give Pete an extra national delegate anyways. Because why not. In state delegate equivalents, he has 2 more than Bernie Sanders even with their uncorrected tallies, the slimmest margin of victory in Iowa history, and they're making it seem like Buttigieg beat him by several percentage points.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/election ... story.html



DNC and IDP arguing that incorrect math is law, and if they were to change delegates after correcting their incorrect math, it would be an insertion of personal opinion into the political process. Because this is totally normal and not rigged.[/quote]

I've found this development fascinating, largely because on the face of it seems absurd but I'm curious if it is true. They're not arguing the incorrect math itself is the law, but that altering what was written on the documents and agreed to by a consensus of the parties (with representatives of each campaign) is a violation of election law. Is that true? Furthermore, I notice they're still willing to complete recounts if requested of caucus math and publicly reported results. If the publicly reported were results were as poor as you've mentioned it seems most campaigns (At cost) could easily do that.

Also, Nevada is supposedly going to use an iPhone app in their caucus instead, so I fully expect the Nevada caucus to further undermine America's democracy. As if to reinforce the point, the Democratic party also hired a paid Buttigieg organizer to be in charge of voter protection in Nevada, named Emily Goldman,after which she locked all her social media accounts and scrubbed all employment and volunteer history to obfuscate this fact. Yikes. The UN should step in and oversee the Nevada election, because I'm 100% certain they are going to screw it up.


If they do, will you blame the app or the trading of employees? (I'd be curious to know how often people like her trade jobs in the field). Do you think the UN would be able to counteract the influence of state officials of combat the errors which may come from these untested apps?

In better news (for me), recent polls show a dip for Buttigieg and a bump for Klobuchar in New Hampshire. No change for Sanders.


After looking into Mr. Buttigieg more, I can agree with you he is not qualified for the office of president and likely unqualified for his current job.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:27 am

Im waiting to watch Biden crash and burn(Well hes already crashed, not quite on fire yet though), and yes he is a bad matchup with Trump.

I'm just going to state it simply, America will never elect a Gay person President. If Pete did win, it would be not only surprising, historic and strange, it would also cause a total 180 in world politics. On the grounds that he'd be the exact opposite of the traditionalist, far right people currently aiming for the top in much of the 1st world.

Politically speaking, i think we're just going to get an Obama redo at best with him.

Socially speaking, err Americans have a hard time getting over things like sexual orientation, at least when it comes to forcing them to a decision. Talking about it is all well and good, and many people will probably conclude he's a decent guy. Put Pete Buttigeig will have spectre of "Forcing His Gay Agenda" on America were he to get the nomination, as the main attack against him.

Sanders can do it, but i think he might simply turn out to be our Jeremy Corbyn and be dealt a resounding defeat.

I think people in the places Trump won, see what he tried to do, but for places like Iowa for instance, they'd much rather be out working and earning their bread, rather than taking a massive government hand out while they watch the crops they grew and expected to trade with, die because of his silly egotistical trade war.

I also have yet to see improvements in the general look of places like Ohio and Pennsylvania so i think people will be totally incredulous when it comes to Trump's so called successes.

If the Democrats can successfully exploit these issues, and among others Healthcare, which isn't going to get better under Trump 2( think Opiod Crisis etc) they can probably bring enough people back to flip those narrow margin states Trump won in.

I think the whole lets get Republicans to come vote for us, is simply lunacy, i keep hearing this crap and remember that Clinton went on this tact too, and It did not work.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Jordan » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:18 am

538 is now predicting the most likely outcome of the primaries is chaos. What this means is that no candidate will get enough delegates to win. It is likely Sanders will hold a plurality, but not enough to clinch the nomination.

This outcome would be the dissolution of the democratic party. It is implausible that superdelegates would go to Sanders even if he has a plurality of votes. His supporters would be livid, and the election would easily go to Trump.

What makes this scenario more likely, in my estimation, is a global trend that has occurred in the UK, Canada and elsewhere called regional voting. In the United States it likely will manifest itself with Biden winning the deep south, Bernie winning parts of the Northeast and West, and Buttigieg and Klobuchar winning in demographically less diverse states, especially in the Midwest. Finally, if Bloomberg and Warren steal bits and pieces, nobody will emerge as the undisputed victor. If the field does not winnow or a sea change does not occur, Trump will almost certainly be reelected. Trump and Republicans themselves could help engineer the chaos if they were to organize themselves to strategically vote in open primaries and boost a failing candidate with no delegates to viability, such as Steyer or Gabbard. Though I do not personally think they will do this, it would be the smartest political play for Republicans at this moment in time.

With respect to Yang's point about Corbyn being an indication of leftist politics failing, I think it is worth pointing out that just recently Sinn Fein, the hard left nationalist party in Ireland, won the popular vote. Sinn Fein had rotted in obscurity for decades and shocked Ireland, the world and even themselves with this political upset. So whether Corbyn or Sinn Fein is a cautionary tale, I don't know, though my personal estimation is that Britain is caught up more with Brexit than with an ideological spectrum at the moment, while Ireland has its own idiosyncratic priorities, and neither are fully analogous to the American political landscape.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:03 pm

What makes this scenario more likely, in my estimation, is a global trend that has occurred in the UK, Canada and elsewhere called regional voting. In the United States it likely will manifest itself with Biden winning the deep south, Bernie winning parts of the Northeast and West, and Buttigieg and Klobuchar winning in demographically less diverse states, especially in the Midwest. Finally, if Bloomberg and Warren steal bits and pieces, nobody will emerge as the undisputed victor. If the field does not winnow or a sea change does not occur, Trump will almost certainly be reelected.


I think that is one of the big challenges the left across the west is facing as you noted.

though my personal estimation is that Britain is caught up more with Brexit than with an ideological spectrum at the moment


The danger for the Democrats is they believe that. Nowhere near as dangerous as Labour members believing that (which they seem to do). Brexit made the result even worse and played it's part (I have some sympathy with Corbyn in that the members made handling Brexit very difficult) but there are many many lessons to take from Labour's defeat for the US left if they are to have any chance to beat Trump and show their way can win. If they get thumped, I imagine that will be their shot gone (since they can't blame Brexit) and the right of the party will be in control
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Jordan » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:06 am

All of the candidates in this field have ample weaknesses, including Sanders. If Sanders gets the nomination and then loses to Trump, it is not proof that any of the other Democratic candidates would have won. We already know this because Democrats attempted to run a safe centrist in 2016, Hillary Clinton, and lost. And Hillary Clinton was arguably a better candidate than most of the others in this field today. Biden is a terrible campaigner. Buttigieg has had difficulty rallying people of color, is gay which could affect his chances or drive up evangelical voters, and has little record in politics. Klobuchar has issues with name recognition and has been abusive toward staff in the past. Bloomberg has almost all the same issues Trump has. They are almost indistinguishable from each other. All of these centrist candidates also have to deal with Sanders having a large, angry, active base which is not easy to convert.

For the record, head to head match polling vs. Trump shows most candidates in a similar position. Of all the candidates, Bloomberg does the best on average, then Biden, then Sanders, then the rest. Bloomberg only does the best on average because he entered the field late and there hasn't been much focus on him. Once he is scrutinized more heavily, it's likely he will have some problems. If his numbers continue to go up even after he appears in debates, though, then I guess we will have learned that if you just keep pouring endless money into an election, you will win. Biden in the most recent poll vs. Trump does worse than Sanders, and in general seems to do poorly in less diverse states. He also runs a horrible campaign, does not know how to prepare a ground game or organize. He does poorly with young voters, who are more likely to vote Democrat. His poll numbers are hard to trust because he opened this race with a huge lead, and it evaporated once elections actually began, leaving him in 4th and then 5th place in the first two races. It's hard to trust that his poll numbers are reliable after that. It is possible Biden has tacit acceptance, but little enthusiasm, and thus his problem isn't that people dislike him, but that people aren't galvanized to go out and vote for him. In a general election, he is likely to do better than Sanders in Southern states, but worse in less diverse swing states.

Warren, Buttigieg and Klobuchar do worse against Trump in polls than the three mentioned above, so the case that they would be better positioned than Sanders to win is hard to accept. Biden and Bloomberg are the only candidates who have a plausible electability argument to make against Sanders.

Is ideology really important? In my opinion, no. I think demographics play more of a role in deciding elections in the United States. Sanders does well everywhere with young people and Latinos. Biden is winning the black vote in most places. Buttigieg and Klobuchar tend to win older white voters. Trump tends to win older voters and white voters as well. The Democrats and Republicans are competing for a narrowing number of independents and undecided voters, who often imo vote as much based on personality and outreach attempts to get their vote as they do based on political philosophy.

American politics is just different from UK politics. One major distinction is that we don't have some separatist bloc chewing away at the two big parties like the SNP, or a slew of third parties providing alternative options (usually). Part of the story of the recent British election was that Lib Dems and SNP made huge gains. Regional voting would likely manifest itself in a primary contest, not in a general election. It's difficult to imagine a Ross Perot like figure emerging to split some of the vote today. On the flip side, if regional voting does lead to no decisive winner in the Democratic primaries, the Democratic party is absolutely doomed. The divisions among the left and illegitimacy of the eventual nominee will ensure Trump gets re-elected. The entire Democratic party may collapse.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Jordan » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:20 pm

Easily the funniest thing to happen in this primary cycle: Lis Smith, top advisor to Pete Buttigieg, was caught red handed running several sockpuppet accounts on Twitter. In one, since deleted, Lis claimed to be a Nigerian who just happened to love Pete Buttigieg and thought many black people loved him too. The account has since been deleted, but the screenshots haven't. There were many keys that something about the account was off. For example, the fact that a Nigerian would give a rat's ass about a mayor from a town in Indiana running for President of America in the first place. Or maybe the fact that this Nigerian constantly praised Lis Smith pictures and posts and followed only Buttigieg staffers...and happened to always be online at the same time as Lis Smith. In one post, the Nigerian used the phrase "chutzpah," a Yiddish expression which is definitely also trendy in Africa these days and among random black people. The account also had a curb your enthusiasm avatar, because Larry David is obviously all the rage in Lagos. But the final nail in the coffin came when the account itself said "Lis here" without realizing what it had just done. Lis Smith is now trending on Twitter. This is very unlikely to improve Buttigieg's support among African Americans, which is as imaginary and fake as the sockpuppet twitter handles created for the cynical purpose of pretending he has any broad based support in the first place. If Buttigieg is unable to do well in Nevada, South Carolina and the more diverse Super Tuesday states, his campaign is finished.

Edit and update: Incredibly and hilariously, the Buttigieg campaign decided to double down. Several media outlets like Buzzfeed are reporting that there really is a Nigerian who uses the account. The only possible way this is true is if this is a paid astroturfer for the Buttigieg campaign, and this is unlikely. We are led to believe the Nigerian's first follow on Twitter was Lis Smith. He then followed a bunch of democratic party figures and buttigieg, and nobody from Nigeria or Africa. He loves Buttigieg and just so happens to have always been online at the same time as Lis Smith. We do not know his full name because the very bad, no good Bernie bros doxxed him, and he doesn't want to reveal personal info, but we know he likes Lis Smith and Buttigieg for the compelling reason of "no specific reason." He also communicates like a New Yorker writing things like chutzpah and lavishing praise on his queen Lis Smith. He doesn't actually know much about Lis Smith, but he posted effusive praise for her numerous times. On one occasion he thanked Lis Smith for the great debate preparation she gave to Buttigieg, which is something our Nigerian friend followed VERY closely. And he posted he was Lis Smith once as a joke. He is online and wakes up at bizarre times in the Nigerian timezone. And finally, "he" posted once in response to a skeptic that they shouldn't erase voices of "women of color," such as himself. Well I guess if the Democratic party tells me to reject the evidence of my ears and eyes, surely this Nigerian man, and many other Africans, must be avid proponents of the mayor of a small town in Indiana. And they all support him despite the fact that he has almost no support among black people even in his own country.

In other news, Bloomberg has been surging lately. Sanders is claiming that the DNC changed the rules to allow him into the debate and that he bought his way in. I actually disagree. He is polling in second in most polls now. For him not to be in these debates would be ridiculous, so I think the DNC was right to allow him to be eligible (skipping donor requirements and focusing on raw poll %).
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:42 pm

Guess we'll see what Bloomberg has to say tonight. On a previous note, thought this was great article with respect to all our talking points (especially about calling in UN observers) in relation to the Iowa caucus debacle. (outline link in case of paywall). Good to see Nevada is passing on the app in question.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Jordan » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:58 pm

The article engages in whataboutism, and chalks too much up to record and consistent incompetence which only favored one side instead of malice. Sanders did not act like a tin pot dictator by declaring he won the popular vote, an undisputed fact. Buttigieg did act like that with 0% results; in fact, the recent recanvassing shows that in the end Sanders will either win the SDEs or be tied within a decimal tenth at worst. We knew this would happen weeks ago, but it is only getting revealed now. Despite this, Buttigieg is receiving between 10 to 20% more national delegates in an election where he lost the popular vote by a larger margin than he lost New Hampshire. The Iowa Democratic Party's claim that blatantly wrong results are legally binding is corrupt, nonsensical, more than just incompetence and tied to clear conflicts of interest by Troy Price (resigned in disgrace) and others. The claim is also contraindicated by the fact that they awarded Buttigieg an extra delegate later anyways despite his lead in SDEs shrinking.

Anyways with respect to last debate, I think there is a near unanimous consensus that Warren won and Bloomberg lost. Bloomberg was exposed and eviscerated. He was manifestly unprepared for attacks that came his way a million miles per hour within the first minute. There is more debate around the others. I think the filibustering of Buttigieg and Klobuchar came across as futile. I felt neither had a commanding performance. Conventional wisdom will say Sanders won because he is the frontrunner, but most attacks were directed at Bloomberg. I think this is the wrong way to look at this debate. Sanders crushes Bloomberg in head to head polling, but struggles more against Warren. I think Sanders came across as very prepared. He answered tough questions easily and off the cuff, and had productive exchanges with Buttigieg and others. Unfortunately (for me), I actually think this debate will hurt him in the long run. Warren will surge, the non-Bloomberg centrists have a reprieve and Sanders now faces tougher opponents than before. Sanders lost nothing, but I also think he gained nothing, and the chance this ends in a contested convention massively increased last night.

If the race had early on devolved into a two person contest between Bloomberg and Sanders, Sanders would be the nominee. Now I think he will certainly not be the nominee, and Trump will certainly win in 2020. I have done quite a bit of research into contested conventions. Since 1868 Democrats have NEVER won a general election with a candidate who lacked a plurality of delegates and was nominated via a contested convention. Some of their worst defeats in history happened under these circumstances, such as the disastrous election of 1924. Perhaps Sanders was actually the second biggest loser in this debate.
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Re: 2020 US Presidential Election Speculation

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:25 pm

Jordan wrote:I hate it. The article engages in whataboutism, and chalks too much up to record and consistent incompetence which only favored one side instead of malice.


How does it do this? Assuming from your whattaboutism statement there are two sides in this I assume it would be the Iowa Dems Caucus and the candidates? When I read through that I didn't see anyone trying to discredit anyone outside of the entire Iowa caucus as a whole. It points to the effectually flawed app and poor organization of the system as a whole, and even addresses the "malice" or conspiracy theories you've espoused. You seem to carry that theory as if the burden has already been proven on a heavy charge. Guess I just thought we'd find some consensus on a recounting of the events and an analysis of how broken the Iowa caucus is (and the system writ large) while giving a head nod to the point you brought up about UN observers. :D

Sanders did not act like a tin pot dictator by declaring he won the popular vote. In fact, the recent recanvassing shows that in the end he will either win the SDEs or be tied within a decimal tenth at worst. We knew this would happen weeks ago, but it is only getting revealed now. Despite this, Buttigieg is receiving between 10 to 20% more national delegates in an election where he lost the popular vote by a larger margin than he lost New Hampshire.


I guess you read into that more than I did, such practice of declaring oneself the winner anytime there is ambiguity is common in poor or pseudo-democracies. I'd certainly consider Sanders a candidate with political credibility.

The Iowa Democratic Party's claim that blatantly wrong results are legally binding is corrupt, nonsensical, more than just incompetence and tied to clear conflicts of interest by Troy Price (resigned in disgrace) and others. The claim is also contraindicated by the fact that they awarded Buttigieg an extra delegate later anyways despite his lead in SDEs shrinking.


Don't read my following question as a rebuttal of your point, but has it been weighed in on yet by any legal scholars? I'm with you that, on the face of it, I do not entirely understand their legal theory. However, I have to admit I'm not versed in campaign law and especially not Iowa's. I think that is one of the downfalls of Sanders/Buttigieg not taking the issue to court is we'll never know the truth. If it is legal, corrupt as that may be, that is one thing. If they're simply wrong then it's corrupt and they're continuing to spew forth any excuse to exculpate them from this disaster/marring of the democratic process.
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