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USA Election Day 2022 Megathread

Tuesday November 8, 2022 is Election Day in the United States of America. In addition to Congressional "midterms" at the federal level, many state governors and other more local offices are up for grabs. Given how things shook out over Election Day 2020, things could get a little crazy.

...or, perhaps, not! But here's the Megathread for if they do. Talk about your local concerns, your national predictions, your suspicions re: election fraud and interference, how you plan to vote, anything election related is welcome here. Culture War thread rules apply, with the addition of Small-Scale Questions and election-related "Bare Links" allowed in this thread only (unfortunately, there will not be a subthread repository due to current technical limitations).

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With Biden having low approval ratings, rampant inflation and a historical tendency to punish the incumbent in the midterms, the failure of the GOP to win back the senate is pretty stunning to me. It suggests that the GOP message just isn't popular and perhaps Trumpism, for a lack of a better word, is the only viable option as mainstream Reaganism (favored by party elites) is rejected by voters.

I mean, the GOP also made terrible personnel decisions in large part due to Trump.

It seems to me that any analysis of the GOP's underperformance has to account for the fact that in Texas and Florida, the GOP overperformed. Partly this is due to somewhat better candidate decisions(eg no nominating Dr Oz in competitive races), partly due to competent local parties, partly due to electorates that just aren't that friendly to democrats to begin with. We clearly can't say it was due to the GOP being more moderate there or due to the GOP not nominating elections deniers(Ken Paxton won reelection by 14 points, after all, handily beating out the top of the ticket).

I really am struggling to make sense of this election. Every poll had the country deeply on the wrong track. Every poll by a large margin had economics as the number 1 issue with republicans crushing in that category. There wasn’t really anything for the Dems here.

Yet they seem to be doing very well relatively speaking.

I honestly think VBM has broken the system.

Polling from the "normal" pollsters was actually pretty good this election. If we look for example at the pollsters that 538 rates as A+ or A based on their historical accuracy and published methodology, we can see they did pretty well in the marquee races. I am looking at A or A+ rated pollsters in Senate races in Oct or Nov only here for my sample.

In PA (Actual Result Fetterman + 4.5)

Marist Oct 31-Nov 2: Fetterman +6

Beacon/Shaw/Fox News Oct 26-30: Fetterman +3

Siena College/NYT Oct 24-26: Fetterman +5

In WI (Actual Result Johnson +1)

Siena CollegeOct 27-31: Johnson +2

Beacon/Shaw/Fox News Oct 26-30: Johnson +3

In AZ (Actual Result Kelly +6)

Marist College Oct 31-Nov 2 Kelly +4

Beacon/Shaw/Fox News Oct 26-30 Kelly +2

Siena College/NYT Oct 24-26 Kelly +6

In NV (Actual Result CCM +0.6)

Siena College/NYT Oct 19-24 Even

In GA (Actual Result Warnock +1)

Marist College Oct 31-Nov 2 Warnock +4

SurveyUSA Oct 31-Nov 2 Warnock +6

Beacon/Shaw/Fox News Oct 26-30 Warnock +1

Siena College/NYT Oct 24-27 Warnock +3

Landmark Communications Nov 4-7 Even

In NC (Actual Result Budd+4)

Marist College Oct 17-20 Even

SurveyUSA Sept 28 - Oct 2 Budd +1

In OH (Actual Result Vance +6)

Marist College Oct 17-20 Vance +1

Siena College Oct 14-17 Even

In WA (Actual Result Murray +14

SurveyUSA Oct 14-19 Murray +8

In CO (Actual Result Bennet +14)

Marist College Oct 3-6 Bennet +7

High quality pollsters were overall pretty accurate! They underestimated Democrats a little in some spots (such as WA and CO) and underestimated Republicans in others (such as OH and NC). But there's nothing super wild or outside normal expected variance here.

You seem to be misunderstanding my point. My point is what people are saying is their priorities (which makes sense with how humans have operated) and who they are saying they trust about that issue (which also makes sense) is very different from who they appear to be voting for. That’s…just weird and hard to sense of.

Some fella blames candidate quality:

To me, the most interesting dimension of the poll: Dems running an avg of 8 points ahead of Senate control preference (R+4 on average). Illustrates key dynamic of the race -- a favorable environment for Rs v. bad candidates -- and helps square with the national picture

The poll results in question (Oct. 2022 Times/Siena): percentage-wise, "which party should control the senate" is more Republican, but "which candidate am I voting for in my election" is more Democratic.

Not saying that's the explanation, but it's an explanation.

But the candidate quality ignores the democrat candidate. I’m not saying Oz was a great candidate but Fetterman can’t complete sentences in a stressful environment.

Hey, I can't complete sentences in a stressful environment either. :)

Oz was also an obvious carpetbagger, though.

I haven't seen Ukraine mentioned often. I think that people don't want fundamental change during a war. I don't believe the Republicans would have changed much, but the perception was there.

Also, despite all the problems, people haven't completely abandoned the experts, and the experts were very clear about their preferred outcome and the values it would represent. People have been re-educated by the expert apparatus since Trump's victory, and I don't think they're ready to give up on everything they've learned to respect and identify with even if the flaws have become evident to them.

Looks to me like a vote for order during uncertain times. I don't think this means that the anger isn't there and growing, just that people don't feel comfortable walking away in a highly public manner from what they have at the present time.

I think what's going on is that the villainization of Republicans is so pervasive across schools, government, and media both institutional and social, you have a large class of people who are not politically engaged and whose impressions are formed only by the cultural miasma of "Republicans are villains". The DNC has figured out how to get these people to vote anyways.

I'm pessimistic that there's any real counter to this. Because it is a strategy that relies on politically disengaged and low-information voters, it's basically immune to actual issues or platforms. It's about in-group and out-group, good guys and bad guys, high-status and low-status. The institutional and cultural capture has been a decades-long process and the storyline so firmly entrenched, it's probably no more reversible than Luke Skywalker being the good guy and Darth Vader being the bad guy.

Maybe. I guess you combine that with VBM?

It just seems odd — the country is in a terrible spot. Who votes for the incumbent?

It's my observation that German media uncritically accept and promote the framing of democrats as good and republicans as bad, and this has been ongoing at least since the Clinton presidency.

It's the same in Finland. This is sometimes mentioned as a negative by Finnish right-wingers (of course a ypical Finnish center-rightist would reflexively support Democrats, too.)

Then again, why not? The Finnish media is certainly extremely negative on Putin - has been for his entire career, but particularly now. This is extremely uncontroversial, and the reasons are obvious; Putin's policies cause dangers to Finland, and there's no particular demand for neutrality in those situations.

GOP's policies don't cause a direct danger to Finland, but it's still a case where there are two parties, one of which at least states openly its internationalist principles and generally supports a cordial relationship with Europe, the other frequently speaking about Europe and the European systems, or at least a great subset of them, in hostile tones, and particularly during Trump's era committed to an "our country comes first, the rest take the hindmost" line. That's their right, of course, but in such a situation one might also expect that these two parties are indeed handled differently in the European medias, with less propensity for neutrality.

Of course the problem is that it becomes harder to understand the GOP perspective, but at least the Finnish media has a regular "Trump whisperer" for this purpose, a guy who wrote several (fairly good!) Finnish-language studies about the US religious right and ended up sympathizing the movement himself. The same guy made a completely misjudged "red wave" prediction for these elections, though, so we'll see how long his expertise continues to be used.

You could easily go the opposite way - "the Trump message and trumpism isn't popular, the most trumpy candidates mostly lost, masters and kent lost, the only viable option for the gop is to reject trump". Idk about either, but why does it lean 'more trump' instead of 'less'?

That’s assuming it was Republican voters who didn’t vote, and not Cobra Kai shenanigans.

Why Republicans fell flat: Abortion edition

So I've got a simple, yet hardly traditional theory on why Republicans underperformed so dramatically.

Yes, it was abortion. But no, it wasn't that voters were concerned about a women's right to choose, or some other similar notion.

Instead, they saw the morbidly obese women on the TV shouting their abortions, and decided, 'Yeah, no I don't want these ugly and miserable people reproducing, let them holocaust their offspring'. Republican advertising highlighting that aborted babies were disproportionately black, like that awful Blake Masters ad he rightfully never repeated, made people more pro-abortion, not less.

  • -14

This is not much more than a "boo outgroup" shower thought disguised as a "theory."

I, frankly, do not believe that you actually believe that voters in significant numbers were motivated by "I am in favor of fat ugly women, especially black women, having abortions, therefore I will vote in favor of candidates who promote this." I think you just wanted to write a sneering post bagging on people you hold in contempt.

We have a rule to proactively provide evidence in proportion to how partisan and inflammatory your claim might be. This claim is obviously partisan and inflammatory, and your evidence is zero.

Did the GOP hurt their own election chances by downplaying COVID?

This tweet claims that Lauren Boebert may lose her race by less than 100 votes, in a district with over 2,500 covid deaths. While one can certainly argue over the effectiveness of various measures, I think a combination of masking, distancing, and (of course) vaccinating could easily be worth plus or minus 8% deaths (the vote is roughly evenly split, so if there would otherwise be about 1250 dead from each group, then we have 100/1250 = about 8%). And the elderly, who were disproportionately affected by COVID, tend to vote Republican.

Note, the original tweet is now out of date; https://elections.denverpost.com/ has Boebert ahead by just over 1,000 votes. The closest House race where the Dem is currently ahead, coincidentally also in CO, unfortunately does not appear in https://geographicinsights.iq.harvard.edu/coviduscongress because it's a new district (CO 8). CA District 13 is also very close, with the Republican ahead by 267 (according to https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/11/10/us/elections/results-house-seats-elections-congress.html, at time of writing) in a district with 945 covid deaths. If this race does flip, it could easily be by just a few hundred votes (currently only 58% counted though).

Another question: did they hurt their election chances by overplaying the trans issue?

Sure, I don't have anything to go for this one expect one tweet by an obviously hostile source, but still, it seems like an issue where a lot of normies are just going to be befuzzled by why this sort of a thing would even be worth an ad, or two.

FWIW, I don't think I saw a single mention of the topic in the Fetterman/Oz ad festival, or in any of Shapiros ads (I don't think Mastriano ever ran any at all).

I don't see how. Castrating children isn't that popular of a position (yet), so that why republicans mention it, and why democrats avoid it by sweeping under the "healthcare" umbrella.

I thought you were going to say the Republicans hurt their chances because the "correct" take was to lean in hard to Covid panic and authoritarianism.

Had Trump gone all-in on Covid, the battle lines would have drawn up differently. Democrats, not Republicans, would be Covid skeptics. Early in the pandemic this was indeed the case, with the various cringey "hug an Asian" messaging being sent out by the Democrats. But then Trump chose his side, and the Democrats by necessity chose the other.

This was by far the largest mistake of Trump's career. Had he chosen Covid maximalism, he'd still be President. People still wouldn't like him - but they'd praise his Covid leadership. Most people were very panicked about Covid until early 2022. And even though this fear was largely unfounded, the politically savvy move would have been to play into the fear. Trump failed to read the room. And he lost the Presidency because of it.

Early in the pandemic this was indeed the case, with the various cringey "hug an Asian" messaging being sent out by the Democrats.

I don't remember this at all in my neck of the woods (surrounded by extreme leftists). Yes, leftists were afraid that COVID would inflame anti Asian hatred, but they also thought COVID was going to be a complete disaster early on. I just remember everyone already coming to the forgone conclusion that Trump had mishandled everything by not taking COVID seriously enough, as early as mid March 2020, and that we all need to lock down everything and that COVID was essentially the apocalypse.

Most people were very panicked about Covid until early 2022.

Were they? My recollection of summer of 2021 was that most people believed that the vaccines were effective.

No. I don't think either the hard-line liberal or conservative stances on Covid were correct, and the politicization of the topic very likely cost us a great deal of lives and money and freedom.

I have no idea what would have happened if he had embraced the original battle lines on covid, but I think he wouldn't be president any way. He was never that popular if you look at 2016 election results, and I think regardless of policy covid would have had negative economic effects that would hurt him because that's how people vote. That's just my opinion, though, I don't claim much certainty.

You need to go back to being a moron. I wouldn’t vote for a take COVID seriously person and this seems like a troll posts.

  • -10

This is uncalled for. Do not be antagonistic like this.

What's with the aggressive response? Agree or disagree, I don't see any reason to fling heated insults like that. Chill.

Most people were very panicked about Covid until early 2022. And even though this fear was largely unfounded

This is due to the media hyping it up. If Trump had been a Covid maximalist, the media would've been on the other side.

This was a trollish take back in the spring of 2020 when twitter blue-checks were suggesting with barely concealed glee that Republican's refusal to mask up, cancel grandma's funeral, bend the knee to saint Fauci, etc... was going to result in mass deaths and the depopulation of the red states.

It's an even more trollish take now, given what we no about Covid-19's lethality (or rather relative lack there of), and the long term damage done by the lockdowns.

A lot of people might have been gleeful. I was not one of them; I'm asking a serious question because it seems like, potentially, a pretty big own goal to encourage your constituents to do things that are fairly risky. If a lot of people ended up with felony convictions because the Dems encouraged them to riot, for example, that would also be a pretty big own goal.

given what we no about Covid-19's lethality (or rather relative lack there of), and the long term damage done by the lockdowns.

I'm not really sure how either of these points are supposed to be relevant. For races that aren't very close it obviously doesn't matter, but it isn't hard to look up actual COVID deaths by congressional district and compare it to the margin. Saying "the lethality is low!" is completely irrelevant. And you can oppose lockdowns without telling people COVID is just the flu (which isn't even a nontrivial risk for the elderly).

Define "risky"

My point is that given that covid-19 turned out to be orders of magnitude less lethal than was initially claimed you're going to put in some work if your going to argue the GOP lost more votes to Covid deaths than it would have had it supported strict lockdowns mail in voting etc...

Orders of magnitude? Do you have anything resembling a citation for that? I saw initial estimate of maybe 1% IFR, decreasing down to a few tenths of a percent as the most vulnerable died/treatment improved. This paper from May claims anywhere from 0.5-2.5%. For covid to be "orders of magnitude less risky" than originally claimed would make it among the least-deadly viruses ever known.

you're going to put in some work if your going to argue the GOP lost more votes to Covid deaths

There's some math in the original post, did you not bother to read it?

than it would have had it supported strict lockdowns mail in voting etc...

Or, you know, not gone crazy shouting that covid was just the flu and getting sick just to own the libs.

Orders of magnitude? Do you have anything resembling a citation for that? I saw initial estimate of maybe 1% IFR, decreasing down to a few tenths of a percent

One percent getting cut to a tenth of a percent is an order of magnitude and that was before we found out that rates of infection may have actually been much higher than previously thought making the disease that much less lethal.

If that article is correct, with about 6.6M deaths and world population of 8 billion, then the IFR is still over 0.1%, within 1 order of magnitude of the original estimates.

A naive rate calculation 6.6 million deaths in a population of 7.8 billion yields an IFR of 0.084%, and that's assuming that 100% of those 6.6 million deaths were actually caused by covid and not "died by other causes while infected with covid". Meanwhile at the height of the lockdown hysteria government officials were speculating that the IFR might be as high as 3%, but that was quietly memory-holed when it came out that that particular estimate was based solely on data from the state of New York where some bright spark had decided that the best place to house patients with a respiratory disease would be in public nursing homes.

Accordingly I stand by my initial statement.

A naive rate calculation 6.6 million deaths in a population of 7.8 billion yields an IFR of 0.084%

That's not an IFR. Your source claimed about 60% of the world may have been infected, so the IFR would be 6.6 million / (7.8*0.6) = 0.14%.

that's assuming that 100% of those 6.6 million deaths were actually caused by covid and not "died by other causes while infected with covid".

It's also assuming that there weren't deaths caused by covid which were missed. This blog post, which I thought was posted here or on the subreddit at some point, finds that total excess deaths usually substantially exceed official COVID deaths, although there's no way to know if that's because of missed COVID deaths or because of other factors, such as the spike in traffic fatalities in the US. (Unfortunately the post itself skips this point and just calls the difference a "fudge factor.")

You have compared the absolute highest IFR I've seen for Covid (actually I'm not sure I've ever seen 3% claimed; this paper gives estimates of over 5%, but that's for the case fatality rate, and so is much higher where there are more uncaught cases; the lower end 0.15%, almost identical to the 0.14% I gave above, is probably closer to the IFR, but I can't find any similar papers attempting to calculate IFR directly with early data), which also was not the "initial" estimate since NY didn't have a big wave until at least 6 months after it started in China and which you also seem to agree was an anomaly that was retracted, and comparing to an IFR that is substantially lower than even what your own source would support. Even with the absolute highest gap one can possibly construct, misleadingly so in fact, you can only muster log_10(35) = 1.54 orders of magnitude, and even that includes real changes to the IFR over time (improved treatment, most vulnerable people dying first--according to this paper, IFR might have dropped by around 1/3 in the last 9 months of 2020).

Given that Sweden has the lowest post-2020 excess mortality of any OECD country, the Republicans might have a (very slight) advantage in the long term due to fewer lockdowns. Naturally, the death rates of Republicans are going to look worse than Democrats in general due to higher age, more obesity, and other cultural factors. But I really doubt Covid lockdown policy in red states made much of a dent, and may have actually increased the number of living Republicans as opposed to the counterfactual.

The bit about Covid being "just the flu" is not something that most Republicans supported. Trump famously encouraged his supporters to get vaccinated and even urged earlier adoption of the vaccines than the FDA was willing to grant him.

The bigger differences between the parties had to do with masking policy and lockdown policy, and I think you'd be hard pressed to show that these affected mortality rates in the direction you think they do.

Given that Sweden has the lowest post-2020 excess mortality of any OECD country, the Republicans might have a (very slight) advantage in the long term due to fewer lockdowns... But I really doubt Covid lockdown policy in red states made much of a dent, and may have actually increased the number of living Republicans as opposed to the counterfactual.

A few states like California and Florida got lots of attention, but I seem to recall that mid-pandemic, there wasn't actually a very big correlation between state party control and covid policies.

I didn't say that GOP state politics had a big impact. I said (or at least, tried to say) that individual behavior, which is much more tightly correlated with individual political beliefs and voting, had an effect. Not a large one, but maybe similar in size to the vote difference in some races.

Trump personally encouraged vaccines, and he got booed for it. This isn't his fault (as far as I can tell), and I didn't say it was Trump's fault; but the correlation is clearly there and my hypothesis is that tweets like this contributed to some of those 2,500 deaths in her district.

Let's assume this is true - I can absolutely, without a doubt, unequivocally tell you that I would refuse to vote for anyone that has Takes Covid Seriously as a brand. I'm far from alone among people who voted Republican in 2022. If Covid did kill a bunch of Republicans, it may still have been more electorally costly to piss off the people that are voting for you precisely because you aren't a mask enthusiast.

Personally, I would do my best to avoid any voting for candidates that have either "takes covid seriously" or "covid is a nothingburger" as a brand. I think you can easily strike a balance between "extreme lockdowns are stupid and tyrannical" and "yeah you should get the vaccine and not do dangerous things."

Pray tell what are dangerous things? Please articulate what you mean as opposed to hint at what you mean.

Like, going to large superspreader events before vaccines are available? What's the confusion, are you just pretending not to know how covid spreads?

Getting covid means having a bad cold for a very, very large fraction of the public, it also grants some immunity to that strain and perhaps others.

To most people, that isn’t dangerous. I think your concept of risk is off quite a bit.

Pre-vaccine, for someone around 55, which is probably the age of many GOP voters, getting COVID gives 50% higher risk of death than your yearly average risk. By 65 it appears to be several times your yearly risk, and for comparison, about 10 times the per-jump death risk of BASE jumping. Certainly something you can decide to do, but doesn't sound like something that you want to encourage your voting base to do if your race is close.

That makes it sound high. But what is the average risk of death? Also what is the increased risk of death of sitting around doing nothing?

Finally what superspreader events were rural Coloradans doing?

  • But what is the average risk of death? Also what is the increased risk of death of sitting around doing nothing?

Are these rhetorical questions, or did you assert that covid "isn't dangerous" without knowing any relevant data?

More comments

Current state of the uncalled races:

I am going to put my marker out there for where things will end up:

Senate will be 50D/49R with the GA runoff not being decisive to control of the chamber.

Kelly has AZ locked up, with the full "I've seen enough" call from Wasserman, which has been endorsed by AZ specific analyists. even if the network/AP decision desks haven't signed off. I think Kelly wins by 3 or 4 when the dust settles. Hobbs is also a favorite to win the governor's race, but it'll be a lot closer, probably within 1.

NV is slightly more up in the air, but Cortez Masto has been making the numbers she needs to overcome her current deficit. This rundown of the state of the count is pretty thorough, and for Laxalt to pull it out, he needs a big shift in the trends of what's left to count, which seems very unlikely. My guess is we get a call from Ralston tonight if the batches counted today are on trend with the past.

House will be ~215D-220R.

There are a lot more races to analyze here so the error bars are of course wider, but that seems to me the most likely place things settle. There's a couple races where I expect the lead to flip R to D (WA-03 and CA-13 being the most probable) but I don't think enough to flip the chamber. Ds have like a gutshot straight draw chance to squeak to exactly 218, but by far the most probable outcome is something like a 4-6 seat R majority.

Edited to clarify Senate forecast

My guess is we get a call from Ralston tonight if the batches counted today are on trend with the past.

Failing that, I'm sure they can find a few more.

What a fucking stupid way to run an election.

  • -13

This comment got quite a few reports, the downvotes say a similar thing. This was a low effort comment that was a bit boo-outgroupish. Not bad enough to get a temp ban. Also, Your participation elsewhere in this thread was better. Please have more comments like that and fewer like the one I am responding to.

Bring on blockchain voting already. Instead of spending billions of dollars on flying pride flags in Pakistan, sponsor a tech company to create a fully digital and trusted election voting system. Why is the American government so lame?

Bring on the purple thumbs.

Would people really trust blockchain, a technology few can understand?

The current lack of trust, as I see it, stems from a lack of transparency and a more complicated chain of custody between a person and the vote that gets cast in their name. Introducing a concept few people can really grasp is going to make it seem more hackable to the normie rather than less hackable.

sponsor a tech company to create a fully digital and trusted election voting system.

No one will trust it. They will probably be correct not to.

Do you understand how decentralized technology like blockchain works? The keyword you want is "trustless".

There's a good number of reasons blockchain is the wrong technology for a voting system, not least of which is that it's hard to create one such that you can prove to the voting system that you voted but you cannot prove to any third party how you voted.

There are a number of cryptographic proposals around voting systems that try to provide integrity, anonymity, repudiation, verification and so forth. My take is that the goals are simply non-orthogonal and any such system basically has to give up on some property that folks will agree is worthwhile. The same is true for the existing system, it sucks in terms of integrity/speed but is far more anonymous and provides repudiation and so forth.

Failing that, I'm sure they can find a few more.

Arizona requires all ballots to be received by election day (unlike a small number of states which only require them to be postmarked by election day), so they have publicly announced exactly how many more ballots there are to count (538 has been making comments about what percentage of the remaining votes would need to go to which candidate for them to win). (Which may be more than the number of votes in the remaining races in the case of undervotes, spoiled ballots, or ballots that otherwise fail the verification process.)

I'm not sure exactly how their process works and if they have finished examining all of the outer envelopes, but by now I would expect them to have done so, in which case they also would have published a list of exactly whose ballots they have (and the number of the names on that list would be an upper bound for the number valid ballots in the final count).

The Laxalt race is Nevada, not Arizona.

Ah, my mistake. Apparently Nevada does allow ballots to be received (but not postmarked) after Election Day, up until the Saturday after. I would expect each newly received group of ballots would be associated with a list of voters whose names are on the ballots, but I don't know how precisely Nevada actually updates their voter lists. Hourly reports are normal during Election Day since they're important for campaign's day-of get-out-the-vote efforts (although this likely varies state-to-state), but they might not report as precisely for partway through mail-in ballot counting. (The obvious thing to do if you have a collection of suspiciously sourced ballots is to survey a random sample of the voters and ask them if they actually submitted a ballot, but this works better if you can better narrow down the voters to survey.)

Senate will be 50/49 D

As in 50D/49R or 50R/49D?

50D - 49R. So Democrats will keep the chamber. Either under the current 50/50 with Harris as tiebreaker, or 51-49, depending on the GA runoff.

So, today Trump lashed out at Desantis. He emailed the following to his supporters

https://saveamerica.nucleusemail.com/amplify/v/GffdEHBBmz?hids=NEVWi21K&_nlid=gw8TKPg85p&_nhids=NEVWi21K

NewsCorp, which is Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and the no longer great New York Post (bring back Col!), is all in for Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations, who didn’t have to close up his State, but did, unlike other Republican Governors, whose overall numbers for a Republican, were just average—middle of the pack—including COVID, and who has the advantage of SUNSHINE, where people from badly run States up North would go no matter who the Governor was, just like I did!

Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. I didn’t know Adam so I said, “Let’s give it a shot, Ron.” When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off. Years later, they were the exact words that Adam Putnam used in describing Ron’s Endorsement. He said, “I went from having it made, with no competition, to immediately getting absolutely clobbered after your Endorsement.” I then got Ron by the “Star” of the Democrat Party, Andrew Gillum (who was later revealed to be a “Crack Head”), by having two massive Rallies with tens of thousands of people at each one. I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen…

And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, “I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.” Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.

This is just like 2015 and 2016, a Media Assault (Collusion!), when Fox News fought me to the end until I won, and then they couldn’t have been nicer or more supportive. The Wall Street Journal loved Low Energy Jeb Bush, and a succession of other people as they rapidly disappeared from sight, finally falling in line with me after I easily knocked them out, one by one. We’re in exactly the same position now. They will keep coming after us, MAGA, but ultimately, we will win. Put America First and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Not sure how much commentary to add, but feel like it probably belongs here- Trump v Desantis could be a pretty big fight if Desantis engages.

Update: Trump has now targeted Youngkin as well, with the same attack(‘would be nothing without me’) and a claim that his name ‘sounds Chinese’.

These “statements” are so unhinged I always have to check multiple times if they are actually real. Really hope trump goes away.

He's also swinging at Youngkin:

Young Kin (now that's an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn't it?) in Virginia couldn't have won without me. I Endorsed him, did a very big Trump Rally for him telephonically, got MAGA to Vote for him - or he couldn't have come close to winning. But he knows that, and admits it. Besides, having a hard time with the Dems in Virginia - But he'll get it done!

My estimation is that Trump or his advisors sense that there are a lot of people in the GOP who are primed to blame him for spoiling what should have been a blowout and wants to signal that he's prepared to sabotage the party if they try to get rid of him.

I really don't understand why he added "Sounds Chinese, doesn't it?" It alienates Chinese Americans and Youngkin supporters, and makes him look buffoonish for... no perceived purpose at all?

My personal hypothesis is -- bear with me here -- that he is a bitter narcissist with poor impulse control.

Perish the thought!

TBH, if trumps personnel decisions hadn’t been terrible, the GOP would likely have a congressional majority and possibly an additional governor seat. Where the GOP had non-Trump endorsements as the deciding factor in candidate selection(Florida and Texas), they did pretty well, even if, as in Texas, there was a hard abortion ban in place.

...didn’t have to close up his State, but did, unlike other Republican Governors, whose overall numbers for a Republican, were just average—middle of the pack—including COVID, and who has the advantage of SUNSHINE...

Absolutely infuriating. I'm generally willing to cut Trump some slack for being outflanked by public health "experts" at the federal level, but criticizing DeSantis for being way better than Trump on this issue is a bridge too far. Trump's Covid sins are forgivable, but not if he's going to act like he has no responsibility, while pointing the finger at people that overrode his administration's advice.

It’s laughable. Trump could’ve fired the lockdown supporters that enabled everything (eg Fauci, Birx) but did nothing. DeSantis took the arrows from the persons Trump failed to fire. Florida did just fine for an old state.

Also funny how trump claims people moved to Florida for the sunshine. I guess the sunshine changed in the last few years.

I guess the sunshine changed in the last few years.

I suppose California must have lost quite a bit of sunshine in the same years. Weird.

The best thing Trump should do now is just die and become an icon. The Republicans got the message that they need a culture warriors, but the recent elections showed that said warriors shouldn't be unhinged. The party made major inroads with black and latino voters and the Dem party is becoming the party of the luxury beliefs. So they have a lot of stuff going right for them. Trump paved the way for a lot of victories, show a winning template, but right now we need someone with a bit less ego and more executive still while still having the Trump flair.

Would be best for the country if he died and honestly that’s the best choice for trump’s ego.

I always assumed, just as a matter of narrative, that everything would catch up to Trump while he was in office then he'd die of a heart attack. His will would be read, and it would call for a giant golden pyramid to be built in Arlington national cemetery. Chaos would ensue. One final troll for the road.

Desantis stood up to a lot of the Covid measures and he actually seems to have a little bit of a platform that's not just 'look at the crazy left!'. I think people are getting sick of the culture war too... Which will hurt trump (gut feeling, so whatever).

If I was Biden, I'd be hoping for a Trump run.

DeSantis should ignore Trump and continue to quietly court the Powers That Be within the Red Team to come to his side while Trump takes the heat from the Blue Team for another year.

In a perfect DeSantis scenario, a couple months before the 2024 RNC primaries start, all the remnants of (R) QAnon type guys still in office are brought into a smoky room meeting with their sponsors and told to knock it off because there's an election to win and Trump is quietly blackballed from the party during the primaries like Sanders was in 2020.

Somehow I doubt it will end this cleanly for him.

There's no Powers That Be within the Trump coalition except for Trump. The "QAnon" type guys don't have any sponsors except their own contemptible fever dreams. Your post works only as fantasy. The GOP primary voters have to be persuaded that he's a fucking moron who deep-sixed their chances in two federal elections in a row at this point.

Trump can’t be quietly blackballed from the primary like Sanders. The GOP doesn’t work that way.

but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen…

Uh, what? I do remember when Trump cried wolf about fraud in the Florida 2018 race before all the votes were counted and Gillum had an early lead, it was part of the basis for my correct prediction that he wouldn't accept a loss in 2020. But he's saying he actually sent agents that somehow changed how the votes were counted and is giving himself credit for DeSantis' win because he did so? That sounds like 1) a huge lie that would have been exposed by the media/FBI leaks if it actually happened, and 2) easily read as a confession to electoral fraud to people motivated to accuse him of such.

Is this a 4D chess move to drag DeSantis into January 6 investigations? Does he know he's lying, but actually thinks this is an effective attack on DeSantis that makes himself look good? Or does he think he's telling the truth and sincerely believe DeSantis owes his 2018 victory to Trump sending FBI agents to something something stop ballot theft?

It’s almost certainly one of the latter two- trump is many things, but 5D chess player is not one of them.

This reads to me like one of those Nigerian prince emails. It seems deliberately written to repel anyone with half of brain so the only ones left reading are uniquely gullible. With luck, we'll be rid of this charlatan soon. The Republicans have a star in DeSantis and I think he easily defeats Trump in the primary, and goes on to win the Presidency. The only question is if Trump would run as a spoiler.

That’s just how Trump writes. He probably either wrote or dictated this himself.

I know I have my biases but this comes across as uniquely and desperately pathetic. I'm aware that "he begged me to help him" is a common Trump play, but it's at least usually levied towards people in a weaker position relative to him. It's weird to deploy this towards someone who had a much better election Tuesday than Trump did. Also, Low Energy Jeb and Little Marco were all scathing and catchy nicknames, but what the hell is DeSanctimonious supposed to mean??

I actually like Desanctimonious. It gestures towards a holier than thou attitude, a petty culture war tyrant who wants to tell you what to do.

I don't actually watch enough Desantis press conferences to know if it will work or not, I've been successfully avoiding TV news.

Too many syllables, and I can't tell who its supposed to resonate with.

Is there a large contingent of Rs that would nod in agreement with the 'sanctimonious' label? Sanctimonious about what, exactly? The things that they already broadly align with him on?

It would be more understandable if Trump was appealing to Democrats with that jab. But it's still nowhere near catchy enough. Disappointed.

Trump’s core supporters are the red tribe proles who view ‘Christian values’ as aspirational and more than a bit snooty. ‘Desanctimonious’ is a strange choice of words to appeal to construction workers, but casting Desantis as holier than thou is a reasonable if unconventional choice to speak to his core supporters.

Remember, the red tribe generally does not like holy rollers very much, although they fight endlessly over who counts as one. Calling Desantis(a wealthy Catholic who’s almost certain to contrast himself with trump by portraying himself as a social conservative who actually practices Christianity) a holy roller makes sense to appeal to Trump’s not-very-religious base.

It could still backfire, but it’s an at least reasonable choice of attacks.

That's the secret: Trump is going to switch parties and primary Biden from the left as a Democrat, then run against Desantis as a Democrat. Nobody will see it coming, which is why it will work.

But really, Trump's core constituents are lumpen proles and gutter conservatives. Conservative christians who live their values will hold their nose and vote for him, but they won't like it except to win. That's the target audience of this line.

That's the secret: Trump is going to switch parties and primary Biden from the left as a Democrat, then run against Desantis as a Democrat. Nobody will see it coming, which is why it will work.

Dear god, some perverse part of me wants to see this happen. Trump has flip-flopped his party identification before.

If anything conservative Christians will move more towards Desantis; he was, if anything, moderate.

That's exactly what I was trying to say, that DeSanctimonious is targeted at red tribe lumpen proles against the Ned Flanders evangelicals (who will prefer Desantis to Trump by nature).

Flanders would prefer Cruz or Hawley, honestly- Desantis is pretty moderate on culture war issues, he just prioritizes them. ‘Desanctimonious’ makes him more appealing to Flanders, I don’t know if it has much effect on lumpen proles at all.

It just doesn't seem to stick at all to me. If you were going to choose a group to call "sanctimonious" in our current political climate, it would have to be the woke, and if Desantis is known for anything these days it's for finding new ways to get the woke worked up.

GPT-3 was only trained on data up until 2021. I asked for its opinion about the elections.

Which houses will the Democrats control after the 2022 midterms?

After the 2022 midterms, the Democrats are projected to control the House of Representatives.

What about the Senate?

The Democrats are also projected to control the Senate after the 2022 midterms.

What if inflation ends up being worse than projected?

If inflation ends up being worse than projected, the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates. This could lead to higher mortgage rates and a decrease in home values.

How would this affect the midterms?

If inflation is worse than expected, it could hurt the economy and the Democrats' chances in the midterms.

If inflation happens, what is your prediction for the midterms?

The Democrats are still projected to win the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms, even if inflation is worse than expected.

What if I told you that the Republicans win the House in 2022?

If the Republicans were to win the House in the 2022 midterms, it would be a major upset. The Democrats are projected to win the House by a wide margin.

I am from the future. The Republicans win the House. Are you surprised?

No, I am not surprised.

But you just said that you predicted the Democrats will win.

It is still early and anything can happen between now and the election.

As you can see, the Republicans pulled off a "major" upset by winning the House, according to training data from 2021. Perhaps the depiction of "Trumpty Dumpty" is a bit overstated, and perhaps is best viewed as another lame attempt by elites to get rid of their hated enemy, Trump. In fact, their extreme eagerness on this point makes me even more enthusiastic about the prospects of a disillusioned Trump's second term.

Love it. I've played around with GPT-3 a little bit and it's pretty easy to get it to say anything you want by phrasing the questions in a certain way.

That said, I'm impressed with GPT-3's human-level ability to rationalize when caught in an obvious contradiction.

magic-8ball.com has been trained on extensive data, running back to 2006. I asked for its opinions on the elections.

Will democrats control the house in 2022?

You may rely on it.

Will democrats control the Senate in 2022?

Yes definitely.

Will the democrats still win the midterms even if inflation is higher than expected?

Better not tell you now.

I'm from the future. Is it a major upset that the republicans won the house in 2022?

Concentrate and ask again.

I think you're onto something here.

One of the nefarious stratagems the Democratic Party engaged in this election was to intentionally boost and generously fund far-right Republican candidates over their more moderate opponents in the Republican primaries. This potentially risky gambit was intended to allow Democratic candidates to coast to an easy victory by knocking out the moderate Republican option from the general election. This strategy was not just an after-thought, as the Dems put in a ton of resources into the effort. In Maryland for example, the Dems spent $1.2 million on Dan Cox's campaign, more than twice the money the candidate raised at that point. I thought then and still think this is dishonorable and contemptible behavior, but from a pure power play perspective, I concede it was a sound tactical decision. All six Republican candidates (3 governors, 1 senator, 2 house) targeted by this play lost the general election, five of them by double-digit margins.

It's important to emphasize that the Dems didn't force Republicans to do anything. All they did was dangle the candidate's Republican bona fides with "oh no it sure would be terrible if this person that loves Trump and still thinks the election was stolen ends up being the nominee oh no" and voters agreed with them. Given how much of a resounding success this was for the Dems, I anticipate we'll see it again in the future.

If so, can the GOP do anything to immunize itself from this effort? Should it even try to? Also, two can play at this game but is this strategy something the GOP can successfully levy? Dems have no shortage of total crazies (as Libs of TikTok can demonstrate) after all. What would that look like and what are some candidates that come to mind?

It's important to emphasize that the Dems didn't force Republicans to do anything. All they did was dangle the candidate's Republican bona fides with "oh no it sure would be terrible if this person that loves Trump and still thinks the election was stolen ends up being the nominee oh no" and voters agreed with them. Given how much of a resounding success this was for the Dems, I anticipate we'll see it again in the future.

I agree that we'll see it again, but strongly disagree that 'all they did' was dangle. Active interference with the internal workings of the opposition party isn't a bad idea in a functioning democracy because it 'forces' the opposition to do anything- it's because the purpose of such an intervention is to prevent the opposition from doing anything by keeping them out of power. The distinction is like claiming an induced convulsion doesn't prevent your muscles from working, and so isn't the same effect as induced paralysis. Steering crowds towards known allergens in a buffet and then deliberately making the alternatives look worse doesn't change a dynamic of food tampering just because someone could have chosen a different item. The actions taken were intended for an effect, and the moral onus of the effect lies with the person who instigated the action with the intent to cause that effect.

The fact that it works is not new. The reasons why it shouldn't be done are not new either. Even 'minimal' active interference in the internal workings of the opposition is a bad idea because it's the precedent/catalyst for more and other forms of active interference, the consistent success of which builds upon itself turns an opposition party into a state-managed (as opposed to state-run) opposition.

This is generally understood in other contexts to be a pretty banal means for authoritarians to degrade and defang democratic opposition parties.

If so, can the GOP do anything to immunize itself from this effort? Should it even try to?

The answer to the first is yes. You can immunize yourself to foreign influences by ruthlessly purging people associated with the influence vectors and, as possible, actively targetting the sources of influence until they can not or will not attempt further influence efforts along those lines. Since it is quite profitable for them to do so, targetting will be need to be highly coercive, and involve some mix of targeted violence, intimidation, and other forms of retaliation against not only the organizers, but their associates and friends and allies, until such people are isolated even within their own alliance networks and unable to execute and no one will want to be seen as emulating them. Such a campaign will need to sustained, actively circumvent efforts of the state dominated by the opposing party to prevent it, and generate popular momentum to continue targetting these people who happen to be fellow citizens of the country.

The answer to the second is that obviously many people, and not just those positively inclined towards the ruling party, would rather the opposition party not do that.

I'm so confused by this comment. What did the democrats do beyond presenting options to the primary voters who then voted for those options? Those voters weren't prevented from voting for whoever they like, they simply liked the nutbags. Hell, Trump is a free actor. He could have endorsed moderates, and chose not to. Who was prevented from doing anything? There's a lot of darkly hinting at sinister actions but not much evidence.

I don't even think Dems needed to lie about their intentions or beliefs. They put up ads like "Cox is too consistently conservative for Maryland", which they really believed (and the recent election suggests they were correct to believe that). There's nothing wrong with advertising your beliefs.

I joked with my wife that Mastriano was the Yes-Chad candidate, or the This-But-Unironically campaign. Most "attack ads" against Mastriano were just him responding to a question like "Should abortion be legal?" with an answer like "No, absolutely not, no exceptions."

Mastriano touched the hot pan and was burned and the response is "fucking democrats"

Mastriano is the hot pan. I'd love to see him bombarded with questions like, should oral sex be illegal?

Just another reason why primaries are a bit of a mess. Strong party elites who can clear the field of detritus straightforwardly improve their party's chance of winning, but what little control the GOP once had over the process has evaporated post 2016.

One of the great ironies of US politics is that the Republican party has always always been far more democratic in its operation than the Democrats, with the GOP having relatively little say it's constituent parties' operations compared to the power that the Democratic National Committee wields over it's state and municipal-level subcommittees.

I'm not sure there was that much difference between them before 2016. The DNC is by no means a kingmaker either, and the experience with Sanders' campaigns has only served to weaken it further. Of course, both parties are astoundingly weak compared to peer countries'.

As someone who's actually gotten to peak behind the curtain I'm going to have to disagree.

Ok, make your argument. Pre 2016, the story was "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line." Or as Will Rogers put it "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat." Republican presidential candidates from Reagan to Romney were most frequently the second place finisher in the last primary (Reagan, Romney, McCain); out of the rest you have a sitting VP (Bush I), a former VP nominee (Dole), and the son of a former president (Bush II).

Democrats meanwhile, would pick an absolute zinger every now and then. Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton. They nominated Obama on the strength of one good speech from 2004.

2016 was a big flip. Since then we've had two straight "fall in line" Dems, and, well Trump on the Republican side. You can point to some antecedents, notably Eric Cantor getting primaried and Boehner being run out of town. But I have trouble seeing much pre-2016 evidence that the Republicans were more anarchic than the Democrats. Even in Congress, the Republicans more consistently understand the assignment. It's tough to picture the Democrats holding the line like Mitch's senate in 2016 to nab a SCOTUS seat under pressure. Hence the meme that when Republicans have a president and 50 senators they start wars and cut taxes and pass the Patriot act; when Democrats control both houses and the presidency they start talking about needing a bulletproof supermajority to get anything done.

Ok, make your argument.

Unlike the Democrats ultimate control of the control purse-stings resides at the state committee level. One of the major reasons you don't often see primary challenges against incumbents on the democrats' side is that the DNC exercises much stricter control over candidate endorsements and will threaten to pull funding and staff from the state before things get that far. The GOP's organization isn't "anarchic" so much as decentralized with state and regional organizations operating largely independently of each other.

Until Trump, Republicans had been consistently voting for the prior runner-up in presidential nominations. IIRC Romney, McCain, Dubya, Dole, HW, Reagan and Nixon were all nominated after being in second-place in the prior primary.

I think you're overstating it or not recalling correctly. I don't think that Dole ran against HW in 88, and certainly not in 92; Dubya did not run in 96; Nixon did not run against Goldwater in 64, but he was a prior VP and was the nominee in 60. Like I said in my comment: Reagan, McCain, and Romney cleanly fit that narrative. The rest have their establishment credentials in various ways. The last R nominee who was a lightning bolt from the blue like Trump is probably Goldwater in 64. Otherwise, every R nominee between 60 and 16 was on at least their second Presidential campaign by the time they got the nominee, with the exception of Dubya who had the exact same name (just missing his Herbert) as a prior Republican president. Another meme is that Republicans didn't win the Whitehouse without Nixon or a George Bush on the ticket between Hoover and Trump.

Comparing it to Dems across that same time JFK, McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Obama, Kerry, were all nominated on their first runs. Gore, Mondale, Humphrey go the other way. I'm not sure how to classify LBJ, for reasons I hope are obvious to anyone participating in this level of analysis. So 2016 and 2020, with the Dems nominating old war horses with multiple campaigns under their belt against a Republican bolt-from-the-blue are rare specimens; where in that time 1960, 1972, 1976, 1988, 1992, 2004, 2008, 2012, all ran the other way.

Dole got second place to Bush in 88, winning 5 states and getting 20% of the primary vote.

Buchannon (2nd place in 96) was completing the destruction of the reform party.

HW was 2nd in 80, Reagan was 2nd in 76. You covered McCain and Romney, 5 out of 6 ain't bad.

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"I know what is behind my curtain, so I know what is not behind your curtain."

Don't know for myself first hand, but have talked to enough people who would know to get a decent idea. In addition to the above my grandad was a state legislator.

On what point? That 2016 was a significant inflection point or that centralised control under the dems were not also weak (but perhaps stronger than today). Your linked post largely agrees on the importance of 2016 (even if painting it as the apotheosis of an ongoing trend) and doesn't address symmetries or lack thereof.

On what point?

First, that this is a recent development (IE from 2016 on). Second, that the DNC is "by no means a kingmaker".

I agree that it didn't come out of the blue on 2016, though I'd consider the view that it is largely a reaction to 2012 to be an agreement that it is actually quite recent.

For all the hay made of The Party Decides that became fodder for Getting It Wrong come 2016, to actually drop the conspiratorial lens on all the DNC leaks paints a picture of an astoundingly ineffectual institution.

I don't think it's a reaction to 2012 though because the relative decentralization of the GOP dates back to at least Coolidge in the 1920s