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Dr. Jack

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Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2017, 02:43 PM
Number of posts: 610

Journal Archives

What do we make of Texas?

I've mostly ignored the idea of a blue texas this year since it seems to be a pie in the sky dream for the Democrats. I remember in 2016, when I was living in San Antonio, I was excited about the idea of maybe, just maybe Clinton winning the state. Obviously that didn't come close to happening. So overall I've been a bit weary.

However, finally my interest is piqued again. The polls showing a tie or even a Biden lead there is definitely different from 2016. The voter turnout that will likely be millions of votes higher than 2016 is quite shocking. I can't imagine millions of new voters or people who sat out in 2016 are going all in on Trump. In other states, like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, people who didn't vote in 2016 but are voting in 2020 are backing Biden by 10-20 points. Why would texas be different? There is also a point I read last night night where Romney won the state by 16 in 2012, Trump in 2016 by 9, and then Cruz in 2018 by 2. Clearly the Dems are gaining ground over time. Polls from those years also show the Democratic vote was underestimated. So a Biden tie there could be a win...maybe. And of course there are sites like Cook Political Report calling Texas a pure toss up.

I don't know. What do we make of Texas this year? It is a mirage for the Democrats or is Biden actually going to win there?

Biden has huge lead among voters who sat out 2016 in key states

I found this on the New York Times today but since I'm one of those fools who pays for news, it wasn't stuck behind a paywall for me. Johnathan Martin has a long breakdown about the final state of the election. One part of the article that he was making a big deal about in a CNN interview this afternoon was this:

In Wisconsin, voters who did not cast a ballot in 2016 favor Mr. Biden by 19 points. They have a similarly lopsided preference in Florida, where Mr. Biden leads by 17 points. His advantage with people who did not vote in 2016 is 12 points in Pennsylvania and 7 points in Arizona.

Many of the those who said they did not vote in 2016 said they had already voted this year. In Florida and Arizona, more than two thirds of nonvoters in 2016 who were identified as likely voters this year said that they had already cast a ballot. That figure was 56 percent in Wisconsin and 36 percent in Pennsylvania.

I don't think I need to explain why this finding is a massive deal. The backlash against Trump looks like it could be massive and severe. No guarantees but I think we might have some huge surprises on election day (in the best way possible)


People seem to totally understand Trump's schtick at this point

I remember back in 2015 and 2016 during his first major presidential run, Trump could dominate the media narrative just by throwing out some outrageous lie or proposal. I recall when Trump said to ban all Muslims from the country that there was wall to wall coverage for like 2 days in the media about that issue. Steve Bannon said the entire goal of shit like that was to distract from scandals, obviously, but to also legitimize the fringe right wing bullshit. With the Muslim ban, for example, the goal (which likely worked to some extent) was to have people at least thinking "maybe that is one common proposal to deal with terrorism".

While we have been living through this shit day in and day out for 5 years now, including Trump's primary run in 2015/2016, it was hard to see more and more people catching on to this strategy. Every time Trump and Co went to that well, it was becoming just a little bit less effective each time. Now if we stop, take a look around at where we are now, I think we see that when Trump talks, most people have zero interest in listening. Trump and MAGA crowd, in the past 24 hours, have said things like "Bill Barr should arrest Biden", "the Democrats are stealing the election from Trump", "there is a late shift in support for Trump among women". All stuff we obviously don't need to unpack because it's all nonsense. But instead what is important is how little reaction shit like this gets anymore. You can still find right wingers screaming these things from the rooftops but the reaction from any media outlets that aren't ultra right wing Russian fronts is little to no reaction. If you look at comments from these stories on sites like twitter, Youtube, and where the stories are being hosted, most aren't along the 2016 lines of "Oh my god, that is ridiculous! Trump is the one trying to steal the election. Here are 10 articles to prove my point. We need to keep talking about this so people know how out of line it is!" and more like "uh huh", "I can't wait until this election is over", and "what is this moron rambling about now?".

Unlike 4 years ago, people know Trump is a liar and whatever crazy things he is saying today are best to be ignored. That is why in 2020, unlike 2016, none of Trump's insanity, his attacks, anything from his old bag of tricks have not moved the needle at all. In retrospect, his racist "law and order" nonsense from the summer was never going to resonate with voters because most had long since stopped listening. That is why his dismissive attitude towards the pandemic haven't caused most people to say "maybe the coronavirus isn't a big deal?", instead they say "Trump is an idiot, we are clearly on our own". That is why whatever "October Surprise" they tried cooking up didn't work. It is because no one believes them when they make wild claims and no one cares what they are saying. All of the things we worried about, that nonsense like Tara Reid, Hunter Biden, dementia, "just wait until Trump crushes Biden at the debates", "Biden is hiding in his basement!", and the million other things they tried this year failed to gain traction. Besides his most fanatical and die hard supporters, most people stopped listening to Trump years ago. Most people don't take him seriously and a majority of voters decided long ago that they were never going to vote for Trump under any circumstances.

People figured out Trump's schtick and they are done engaging with him.

What's Bill Clinton up to these days?

I realized I haven't heard anything about Bill Clinton all year. Kind of weird in a major presidential election. Where's he at?

538 at this point in past elections

I was Biden hit 90% pretty consistently all day, which is looking quite good, and that did make me wonder how that compared to how other elections were looking at this point on 538. It is surprisingly hard to find this info so I figured I would share the fruits of my labor.

2008: Obama 95.7% McCain 4.3%

2012: Obama 90.9% Romney 9.1%

2016: Clinton 64.6% Trump 35.4%

2020: Biden 90% Trump 10%

538's guide on how vote counting is likey to go in every state

538 has a guide out on what to expect from every state, in terms of how long it will take to count ballots, how the results might shift around as votes are counted, as well as other interesting races in each state to keep an eye on. I don't think they are so much saying that all of the states that might take awhile to get final results won't be called before results are in (like California is expected to take awhile to count but should be projected for Biden as soon as the polls close).

It's an interesting read


Quick Tip: Pay attention to the polls now, not early next week

Nate Silver has said a few times that polls released 3 or 4 days before a presidential election are usually the most accurate to the final outcome than ones released a day or two before. So look at the polling averages over the next 24 hours. Those will more likely than not show us what the final results will look like.

PBS News: How the US has stepped up it's fight against foreign disinformation

Here is an interesting piece from this evening's PBS News Hour. It's is about why foreign disinformation is becoming so ineffective in the United States. It's a pretty reassuring video to watch. Countries like Russia have been working their asses off to mess with us but it just isn't working anymore (or at least anywhere near as effective as 4 years ago)


Who's using who?

I was reading an article today about Donald Trump's very distorted view on gender roles in our current society. He keeps talking about "suburban housewives" and "women, I'm getting your husband's back to work". The typical 1950s view of the United States that Trump has. However, that does make me wonder, how much of Trump's view of the world is his own and how much has he adopted from the worst elements in this country since taking office?

Trump has always been a terrible person and totally out of touch with how the majority of the people in this country feel. He's also a dumbass which of course doesn't help. I do believe he has always been a racist, sexist asshole. But it seems to be getting worse or at least more brazen. That does make me wonder just how much more distorted has Trump's view of America become since he took office?

He currently talks about women like they generally don't hold jobs, about cities in the US like they are being burned to the ground by gangs, and about threats of things like communism taking hold in the United States. My question is, who's using who? Is Trump coming up with all of this batshit nonsense as a way to scare his base in a desperate hope of winning the election. Or, is his base pushing him even further into the abyss? By that I mean, did the ultra right wing white supremacists pushing Trump to become even more extreme by stroking his ego? He is, above all else, a very isolated and gullible person. Have the white supremacists convinced Trump that they are in fact the majority (maybe they believe they are as well, who knows) and he is actually saying what most people in this country believe?

So is trump using the white supremacists and neo Nazis, hoping their passion will push him over the top, or are the Nazis convincing a very dumb and out of touch president that they are the average American, which is in turn causing him to parrot their insane message by stroking his extremely fragile ego?

Is he the King Nazi or is he just a puppet?

Opposite world electoral vote map

With 6 days to go, Trump is down by about 9 points nationally but still there are some people saying "what if the polls are wrong!" Or "what if Trump turns things around in the final few days". Well, I decided to see what the opposite would look like. What would it be like of Trump was ahead by 9 points nationally to see how confident we would be about winning next week. Here is what I came up with.


I don't know about you but if that is where the polls were showing the race, I wouldn't feel confident about Biden turning things around by next Tuesday.
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