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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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    the whole "electability" argument took a major punch in 2008 and then went completely out the window in 2016.

    it also speaks to the state of US presidential-level politics today. take Joe Biden, the supposed "electable" guy. he's been saying on the stump that if he's elected, he'll be able to pass a bunch of progressive legislation because GOP senators like him and want to work with him.

    that's a level of delusion that even Donald Trump hasn't fallen victim to.
    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

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    the whole "electability" argument took a major punch in 2008 and then went completely out the window in 2016.
    Eh, I don't know about that. Obama was the right person at the right time, for all sorts of reasons.
    Even my completely non-political Illinois-dwelling father had him tagged as a strong contender as early as April 2007. My Florida resident self's first reaction was "Barack Who?"

    2016 isn't a really good example either. Nearly 10.5 million more votes went to someone other than Trump. That's a lot of votes, to say nothing of the 2.8 million deficit he gave up to Clinton.
    Yeah yeah, Electoral College and all that, but we're talking about the part of the election where people go into the booth for whatever reason. Maybe there's popcorn in there or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    it also speaks to the state of US presidential-level politics today. take Joe Biden, the supposed "electable" guy. he's been saying on the stump that if he's elected, he'll be able to pass a bunch of progressive legislation because GOP senators like him and want to work with him.
    Yea, the whole political process in this country is a complete dumpster fire. But while Biden's claim is laughable, I'm wondering if the GOP won't have the teeth-spitting blind rage for him that they had for Obama.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    that's a level of delusion that even Donald Trump hasn't fallen victim to.
    I don't think there's any level of delusion that Trump hasn't fallen victim to.
    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

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    But while Biden's claim is laughable, I'm wondering if the GOP won't have the teeth-spitting blind rage for him that they had for Obama.
    Is there anything much binding the GOP together other than teeth spitting blind rage? Even if they don't become as apoplectic at the sight of an old white guy as they did at the sight of a young black one, their base has decided that it would rather throw in with a dictator who is pointing nukes at the US than compromise with Democrats.

    Unless & until the political price for obstruction becomes higher than the one for compromise its hard to see any great rush to help a Democrat President pass legislation.


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  10. #55
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    There are no more good examples of how the American primary elections -- or General Election, for that matter -- might play out. We've moved beyond the old parameters (tallest, best hair, most photogenic, most money, best managers) and into the vast unknown.

    Russia and / or [insert biggest fear here] hacking, and the entire social media milieu.
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  11. #56
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    joe,

    Eh, I don't know about that. Obama was the right person at the right time, for all sorts of reasons.
    Even my completely non-political Illinois-dwelling father had him tagged as a strong contender as early as April 2007. My Florida resident self's first reaction was "Barack Who?"
    there's actually a significant subset of Obama-Trump voters whom voted for each guy as the "outsider" (however false that descriptor was in both cases).

    Obama certainly wasn't what people even a few years back would have said was "electable"-- a young biracial law professor from Hawaii, middle name Hussein, whom had spent a not-insignificant amount of time abroad? had limited experience with government?

    looking at the current crop of viable Dem candidates, none of them would have even come close if this was 2004. Buttgieg? Kamala Harris? Sanders? Warren? no way.

    so the reason why the "electability" argument for a candidate isn't particularly strong is because people's conception of who is electable has changed, a lot. not -completely-, or else Biden wouldn't be the current Dem front-runner, but enough that the argument by itself is not persuasive. that's why it seems like everyone and their mother is running for President, because that old invisible line has been smudged.

    Yea, the whole political process in this country is a complete dumpster fire. But while Biden's claim is laughable, I'm wondering if the GOP won't have the teeth-spitting blind rage for him that they had for Obama.
    nope. the GOP rage-machine will turn on whomever is the Dem. remember in 2008, the GOP was talking up -Hillary Clinton- as the moderate Democrat they could work with in comparison to Obama-- that she had a more centrist platform, that she had a history of bipartisan cooperation during her time in the Senate.

    all true, and meant absolutely nothing to them when HRC ran for Prez.
    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

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    BF,

    Unless & until the political price for obstruction becomes higher than the one for compromise its hard to see any great rush to help a Democrat President pass legislation.
    I just don't see the political price for obstruction changing...far too many factors have changed. Party discipline, especially in the GOP, is in shambles-- rise of internet funding and viral videos have reduced the need for the Party money spigot. Nancy Pelosi is probably the one iron hand holding Dem party discipline together, but she's 79 years old and probably has at most one more term.

    even unraveling gerrymandering wouldn't resolve this problem, although it would help some.

    the "optimistic" route is that the next Dem President with control of Congress eliminates the legislative filibuster...which would essentially be the deathknell to any sort of compromise.
    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

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    I do not think it matters about 'how things have changed' or internet funding etc... The whole point of the 2020 election must be to get rid of the traitor and the best placed person to do that seems to be Biden. If he can pass some new laws to stop such a foreign sponsored calamity happening again that is a bonus but as soon as Trumpkin is out he will be locked up anyway.

  14. #59
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    The #1 thing, first of all, to do, would be to break up Facebook into smaller companies, and put legislation in place to make them answerable. Zuckerberg, the smug, should not remain the CEO. If anything, he should be in jail. The opinion piece below is from Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook.

    It’s Time to Break Up Facebook

    Didn't post it earlier but first, fix things that can be fixed. Isn't it ironic that a foreign government can meddle in US election process through propaganda by buying advertisements on Facebook.

    And, sorry to say, but President Trump is here to stay for his second term. There is just no challenger. Pelosi, other democrats are politicians, who crave power. Different ideologies, but two sides of the same coin. The world over, the right has surged, so something is very wrong with the left. Time for the left to do some introspection.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I don't think there's any level of delusion that Trump hasn't fallen victim to.
    *** Looking at Mao, Kim, Pol Pot *** Not even close. Trump, at least, doesn't think he's a god.

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