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Thread: The US 2020 Presidential Election

  1. #46
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    A modest proposal

    Here’s a radical idea for electoral reform.

    Determine the number of congressional representatives from each state based on the average number of ballots cast in the three previous mid-term elections.

    Since every state gets at least one representative, the state with the fewest ballots cast – Wyoming – sets the standard. In the 2010, 2014, and 2018 midterm elections, Wyoming cast an average of 189,083 ballots. So, each state gets a representative for every 189,083 ballots cast (rounded off).

    The US House of Representatives would comprise 629 representatives, 194 (44.6%) more than the current 435.

    Who would be the winners and who would be the losers?

    Florida picks up 17 seats, a 63% gain from 27 to 44. California gets 14 more reps, up from 53 to 67. Other states getting at least five more congressional seats include Michigan (9), Pennsylvania (9), Texas (8), Ohio (8), Colorado (7), Georgia (7), Virginia (7), Washington (7), Massachusetts (6), Minnesota (6), New York (6), Wisconsin (6), Missouri (5), New Jersey (5), and Oregon (5).

    Wyoming, West Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii get no new seats.

    Overall, consistently red states would gain 45 seats and blue states 52 seats. The other 97 seats would go to places like Florida that are considered swing states.

    Two more considerations.

    First, why use a three-election average turnout rate? The reason is another of my pet peeves, term limits. If the number of seats is based on three mid-terms – that’s six elections – then we can set that as a maximum number of terms per representative. That would allow for less frequent adjustments, which would be less disruptive.

    Second, how would the new congressional seats be distributed within the state? Because the state is being rewarded for civic consciousness, it makes sense to elect any new representatives on an at-large basis. In such a system, a 6th district voter in California would vote for not only that district’s representative, but also for the other 14 new seats. A preferential ranking system would probably work best. Under such a system, the voter puts his or her favorite candidates on the top of the list, and least favorite candidates on the bottom.

    This new system would require much greater voter participation in the form of actually getting to know who’s running and what they stand for. But, the rewards would also be far greater.


    Great resource: http://www.electproject.org/home/
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  2. #47
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    Bayes likes Mayor Pete

    Who has the best chance of beating Donald Trump? A clue can be found using Bayes Theorem.

    Here is the logic. Let A be the event that a candidate wins the general election, and B be the event that a candidate wins his or her party's nomination. Predictit gives us the betting market's view of P(A) and P(B). It is a safe assumption that P(B / A) = 1, that is, a candidate can win only if nominated. We can then use Bayes theorem to compute P(A / B), the probability that the candidate will win the general election conditional on being nominated.

    So here are the results for P(A / B) as of now:

    Buttigieg 0.80
    Biden 0.77
    O'Rourke 0.67
    Sanders 0.65
    Booker 0.60
    Yang 0.60
    Harris 0.57
    Warren 0.44

    That is, the betting markets suggest that Mayor Pete would be the strongest candidate if nominated, with Joe Biden close behind. (Of course, these numbers will bounce around as the prices in betting markets change.)

    By the way, when I did a similar calculation in 2006, Bayes liked Barack Obama.

    http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2019/...ayor-pete.html
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  3. #48
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    haha, i think the term GIGO is operative here...
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #49
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    GIGO, since the prediction markets are crap. Yang and Mayor Peter doing well has gotta be an "internet" thing. Apparently Mayor Pete is getting steam, and maybe the debates will carry him through, but the guy just looks SO dorky. I cannot imagine a charisma-focused race like the US Presidency will be easily won by a guy like that. I'd revise my estimates if he had won some higher level races, like Governor or Senator, but he hasn't.
    '
    Also, philosophically off. Does Yang have the best chance of beating Trump? Conditional on him winning the Primary, yes. Because if he wins the Primary, that's relevant information about how strong of a candidate he is. But you should still bet on him doing worse than Warren, because Yang hasn't won a primary. Or any other elected office.

    Not sure if I am explaining this well, but, sports analogy:
    Can the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl? 2%
    Can the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl if they win the AFC Championship? 50%

    Can the Patriots win the Super Bowl? 25%
    Can the Patriots win the Super Bowl if they win the AFC Championship? 45%

    What this means is that, if the Browns somehow win the AFC Championship, their offense must be doing really damn good, better than anyone expected, better even than the Patriots. Mankiw is incorrectly interpreting this stat to mean that the Browns are a better Super Bowl team than the Patriots, so the Patriots should throw the game so the AFC can win another Super Bowl. In all likelihood, the Patriots are still better than the Browns.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    Elizabeth Warren's new interview on Vox. i wrote back in April that I didn't think she could knife-fight with Trump, but on the other hand she's been a lot more tenacious than i originally gave her credit for.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...imary-policies
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Elizabeth Warren's new interview on Vox. i wrote back in April that I didn't think she could knife-fight with Trump, but on the other hand she's been a lot more tenacious than i originally gave her credit for.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...imary-policies
    I don't see her as electable. And Uncle Joe is much older than even Grandpa Dementia.

    This is going to be another dumpster fire....
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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