Matthew Yglesias: I can’t be contrarian about Donald Trump anymore: He’s terrifying – Vox

CK MacLeod

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288 Responses

  1. Art Deco says:

    Yglesias is ‘terrified’ that public disruption might no longer be a monopoly of okupiers and like causes he favors. Oh, and he’s concerned federal agencies might be weaponized. How scrupulous.Report

  2. veronica d says:

    In the same way that an impeachment can be the only way to protect democracy, I think the Republicans simply must force a brokered convention and nominate anyone but Trump.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to veronica d says:

      There will be no brokered convention because there are no brokers. The delegates are not slated minions of some county chairman or elected official. There could be a contested convention, though you’re banking on something which has never happened under the current delegate selection regime and something which cannot be forced, your fancies to the contrary.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

      Art Deco is right about a brokered convention being impossible these days. After the mid-20th century, there are no more party bosses to act as brokers. There is a good chance that the Republican convention will be contested and bitterly so at this point.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq says:

        A brokered Democratic convention would be quite possible because of super-delegates. The GOP lacks those, so the only possible brokers would be the candidates no longer running, to the extent that they control their delegates. And even then, they’d have to avoid having given up that leverage by endorsing other candidates, as Carson just did.Report

        • Trumwill in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          The GOP has uncommitted delegates. Patrick Ruffini had the count at 166 or so presently. It’s one of the under-rated variables.Report

          • Who are they, though? The super-delegates are much-a-mucks who might act as a bloc. The GOP uncommitteds seem more fragmented (though I haven’t found anything that describes them definitively.)Report

            • Most of them are “unbound” delegates selected by state parties to be just that.

              See here for the Virgin Islands complicated rules, for example:

              As you can see they run as delegates on a list, and may or may not run as bound to a candidate.. and there are other rules… and none of it in a normal year is supposed to make any difference at all – but, anyway, as I understand it they are mostly NOT party bigwigs, but they will tend to be loyal lifelong party people. However, in some cases the candidates themselves need to produce the delegate lists, which is thought to be sometimes something of a challenge for outsiders. I don’t know if anyone really knows how so-and-so bound to Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would interpret his or her role when released for the 3rd or 33rd ballot.Report

          • CK MacLeod in reply to Trumwill says:

            According to Ruffini’s latest guesstimate of the final score, that number would also be the difference between a Trump plurality and a Trump majority.

            Rubio’s speculation was that there wouldn’t be any “brokering,” and that there wouldn’t likely be huge drama at the convention either. According to this theory, once it becomes clear that no one is going to get a 1st ballot majority, discussion will begin, becoming something like straight negotiation as the candidates and party try to write the script ahead of time. However, exactly how far they can get in eliminating uncertainty seems itself uncertain, since state rules about releasing delegates (ballot by ballot) are complicated, and since the convention itself also has the power, in theory, to do just about anything it wants. I think it has the power (irrevocably) to re-write its own rules for re-writing its own rules for re-writing its own rules, etc.

            That’s why we shouldn’t underestimate the role of the popular will in all of the different ways it can be manifested in addition to votes cast in a primary six months before the convention itself. That also means that Rubio could be completely wrong, or it could be that the necessary decision becomes crystal clear in a moment of complete uncertainty, and then in retrospect is judged to have been the obvious one all along.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    If American democracy is so broken that Donald Trump is indeed elected President, then we deserve what we get.

    (Would the Electoral College step in if it came down to them?)Report

    • Art Deco in reply to Kolohe says:

      Barack Obama was elected president.

      Adding in his summer clerking and pro-rating part time and seasonal labors, he’d spent less than four years practicing law. Pro-rating his part-time labors, he’d spent about five years as an instructor at the University of Chicago’s Law School, during which time he specialized in teaching boutique courses (“___ & the Law”). He published not one scholarly paper in 12 years of drawing a paycheck there, but did publish two memoirs. He spent 8 undistinguished years in the Illinois legislature, followed by 4 undistinguished years in the U.S. Senate. His executive experience began and ended with running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground. Barack Obama’s principal rivals for the Democratic nomination were a pair of skeezy lawyers. Democracy’s been ‘broken’ for a few years now.Report

      • Snarky McSnarksnark in reply to Art Deco says:


        I guess you don’t like Obama, then?Report

      • James K in reply to Art Deco says:


        Obama is a mediocrity, Trump is a catastrophe.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to James K says:

          A mediocrity compared to whom?Report

          • Compared to just about everyone who’s sat in that office in the post-Bellum era.

            You’ve had a number of occupants of the post who had unremarkable pre-political or extra-political careers. The closest analogue to BO’s work history might be Lyndon Johnson’s two years as a schoolteacher or Richard Nixon’s scatter of years in transactional law practice. Johnson was a political giant in other ways, however.

            Both Johnson and Nixon were lousy in office, in part one suspects because Johnson had only minimal history as a line administrator (second echelon official of the WPA) and Nixon had none at all. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower (!), Carter, Reagan, Bush pere, Clinton, and Bush fils all had experience in executive positions (though in Bush pere’s case, it was mostly in private business).

            Truman, Kennedy, and Bush pere were combat veterans. Truman and Nixon volunteered for military service, electing to forego dispensations they were due.Report

            • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

              LBJ lousy in office?
              Where the hell do you get that, pray tell?Report

              • Chris in reply to Kim says:

                Well, there was that whole Vietnam thing.

                Though his domestic accomplishments are perhaps the 2nd most impressive of the century, after Roosevelt.Report

              • Kim in reply to Chris says:

                Blackmail and favors owed, mostly. Goldmann learned a lot from LBJ, I’d wager (and that’s one bet I wouldn’t lose).Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Chris says:

                Cold War politics meant that any realistic alternative President to LBJ would have been equally as bad or worse on Vietnam. There was no wiggle room that would allow any American President to let Vietnam fall to the Communist North without a fight.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Neither Gen. Eisenhower nor the military establishment were much interested in extensive involvements in Indochina. Kennedy listened to Gen. Maxwell Taylor and military innovators in crafting the Advisory War. What Barry Goldwater or William Scranton would have done with these sorts of disagreements is anyone’s guess.

                When it was turned over to a Republican administration, Gen. Creighton Abrams managed to craft a set of strategies that crushed the VietCong as a military force.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
                What I do care about is the systematic dissolution of our intelligence agencies, in particular the willful and malicious firing of honest career Republicans.

                and you don’t even know who I’m talking about, do you?

                If only you could be bothered to pay attention, rather than simply see your own ideological blinders, and confuse the menu for the meal.

                You can’t eat menus, silly.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Kim says:

                What I do care about

                would be your next bong hit, I’d guess from reading you.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Art Deco says:

                I’m clearly not a mod nor in any form of authority here, but I’m gonna go ahead and offer my opinion: That’s a straight up personal insult, and over the line.Report

              • Chris in reply to Morat20 says:

                Just be patient. If history is any indication, Art will hang out here for a while and then leave us for more race-realist pastures.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chris says:

                No, I leave when I’ve had enough of certain poseurs. Since Messrs. Isquith and Hanley have gone elsewhere, I’m back for a while.Report

              • Chris in reply to Art Deco says:

                Can someone please talk Hanley into coming back.Report

              • j r in reply to Chris says:

                When did Hanley leave by the way?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to j r says:

                I’m pretty sure it was somewhere in here.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

                It’s not over any line.

                If she wants to be treated respectfully, she can quit with the performance art and say something coherent.Report

              • Zac in reply to Art Deco says:

                Funny, I was going to say the same thing about you.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                Yes, it is totally over the line.
                If you’re going to insult someone, fine, but at least bother to put in some intelligible argument.

                I know people in the intelligence communities. I’m not pulling these calumnies out of my ass.

                It’s ironic, isn’t it? The Democrats could be easily pushed aside as “purely partisan”, so they didn’t need to get pushed out of jobs… It was the Republicans who were … disloyal… who were in trouble.

                Loyalty is a highly prized virtue among thugs and gangsters for a reason. Not that I’m actually calling GWB a gangster, mind.

                Can you name the Don of the Bush family? (I can, but only because I know someone recently on the JEB! campaign). [[This is an informal nickname, not intended as literal truth.]]Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Kim says:

                Well, let’s see. The Office of Economic Opportunity and all its works, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and all its works, poorly structured public insurance programs which induced dog-chasing-its-tail subsidies, ditto regarding subventions to higher education, manhandling the FHA, racial preference schemes in embryo, the advent of ‘creative federalism’ and the ruin of local discretion, school busing in embryo, the advent of serious inflation, etc. The whole culture of the Democratic Party of the time was horrendous, though much of that was not Johnson’s precise doing. (See the inept response to hundreds of urban riots and the chronic confusion of punishment with therapy.).

                As for foreign affairs, the best you could say was that you need to be doing to learn by doing.Report

              • the ruin of local discretion

                Fishing Civil Rights Act.Report

            • Bush file was one of the worst presidents ever. Kennedy was no great shakes either. Trump has been a business executive for decades, and would be a complete disaster, as would governors Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal. Credentials appear to be a poor predictor of performance.Report

              • If witless hyperbole and fancying your speculations are established fact makes you feel better about life, go with it. Perfectly harmless. All you do is annoy people on the internet who know better.Report

              • Chris in reply to Art Deco says:

                This from the dude who calls one candidate Hellary and says much worse about Obama?

                Dude, if we’re getting rid of witless hyperbole, all that will be left of your comments is the articles and prepositions.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chris says:

                I gave you a precis of BO’s actual career and what he accomplished during those years. I could have added a section about how odd it was that of his most salient opponents prior to 2005, two saw briefs from their divorce cases made public. I also called a hideously unscrupulous woman a name you don’t like. For future reference, that’s not what’s meant by ‘witless hyperbole’.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                How, precisely, is Hillary unscrupulous?
                Last I checked, and I know someone who lived in DC during Clinton’s time in office, if you got on Clintons bad side, he/she crossed you off their Christmas list.

                Is that what we’re calling unscrupulous these days?Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

      They might if something came up between election day and the EC getting together. Otherwise, I’m sure they’d be committed to Trump.

      Unless a bunch of states decide that maybe they need to let their legislatures decide?Report

      • CK MacLeod in reply to Will Truman says:

        In a normal world, no the EC wouldn’t exercise discretion. It’s not hard to cook up a scenario, however, a once-in-history scenario, in which it did. (There have been cases of electors placing unexpected votes.) If Trump, on the day after triumphing over the emergency 4th Democratic Party candidate after the assassinations or forced resignations of the prior 3, sprouted tentacles and wings and ordered members of his Secret Service detail to wear their underwear on the outside, then it might be easier for Electors to vote their consciences, or to decide to throw things to the House. Depending on other factors, the Republican-dominated delegations might unify around some other candidate, or they might vote for Trump rather than risk telekinetic incineration by his Trump-powers.

        So… you never know. Similar considerations would apply prior to the RNC. If things are much crazier than now, even if not tentacles and underwear crazy, then the Party would much more easily locate pretexts for exorcising Trumpismo. If, on the other hand, Trump is sweetness and light, things have calmed down, he’s coming off overwhelming majorities in California and New York, and he’s generally conducting himself like a gentleperson, it’ll be much harder to deny him the nomination, even if he’s a bit short of 1237 on paper.Report

      • Electors are picked by the party, not the nominee, so they won’t necessarily be loyal Trumpies. Not that I think they could pull this off in a million years, but the national party could in theory ask the state party organizations to name electors that dislike Trump, and use some post-election scandal [1] as an excuse to have them vote for the nominated VP instead.

        1. It’s a month and a half. There’ll be something.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to Kolohe says:

      (Would the Electoral College step in if it came down to them?)

      They’re party wheelhorses who haven’t exercised any discretion in such matters since 1796. Why would they ‘step in’, and why would you want them to do that? They throw their votes to a dummy candidate, you have no majority, and the election gets thrown into Congress, something that hasn’t happened at all since 1876 and not happened full bore since 1824. So, you fancy the Republican caucus in Congress then substitutes for Trump some other party that was not on the ballot?Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Art Deco says:

        Yes, the Electors are party hacks, but if the Party is in a civil war, who do they hack for?Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Kolohe says:

          What civil war? You have intramural disputation but it has not as yet turned into a cage match like you had in 1976 or 1952. The NeverTrump types are mostly ineffectual opinion journalists like Charles Cooke. Ronald Reagan was not the candidate of the Capitol Hill nexus and neither was Barry Goldwater. They didn’t fuss much in 1980. The worst that happened in 1964 was that you had a scatter of politicians like Mark Hatfield who would not endorse the nominee (which was contextually of minor importance; Johnson’s approval ratings were so high in 1964 that any Republican candidate would likely have been electorally shellacked). This year, you’ve got Mitt Romney issuing anathemas. His father was more circumspect in 1964 (“I accept it but do not endorse it”).Report

  4. Chip Daniels says:

    Up until Friday?
    See, this is an example of the sheltered existence that leftists call “privilege”, or that Peggy Noonan called the “protected” class.

    Matt wasn’t terrified when Trump was calling Mexicans rapists and thugs, he wasn’t terrified when the Trumpistas were howling for a halt to Muslim refugees.

    Because none of that sort of awful horror would have touched Matt- it would halve always ever been an abstraction, something to comment about and debate. Politely, with much chin stroking and equivocating. Sort of like a bunch of workers dying in a Bangladesh factory, where there are benefits and costs to be weighed and analyzed.

    But now that the ugliness has spilled over to be visible to white middle class educated people, aka people like Matt, now it is a clear and present danger.

    This is why although I am wary of endorsing the protest violence, it does have value in that it forces the ugliness into the field of vision of the chattering class.

    I think its interesting that this is one point that both the Sanders and Trump forces share, that people like Matt Yglesias are the problem.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Matt wasn’t terrified when Trump was calling Mexicans rapists and thugs,

      Strange as it may seem to you, some people in the Democratic Party’s collection of mascot groups are criminals. Not going to seem strange to people who’ve examined crime statistics, though.Report

      • Slade the Leveller in reply to Art Deco says:

        Most likely. There are criminals in every stratum of society. Which party they generally support tends to be a reflection of the color collar they wear to work.Report

      • Zac in reply to Art Deco says:

        I’ll take thugs and rapists over the stable of unrepentant war criminals in the GOP any day and twice on Sunday.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Zac says:

          On Sunday the war criminals are in church, failing to pray for the forgiveness they don’t realize they need.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Zac says:

          There are no war criminals outside your imagination. Street crime is a social reality, including crime by illegal aliens.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Art Deco says:

            Street crime has been in decline for a long time now and America is safer than it has been in decades. And Iraq II and most of the war on terror count as war crimes and abuses of people’s civil liberties. If Bush decided not to invade Iraq to prove his manliness than the entire Middle East would be more stable along with the rest of the world. It wouldn’t be great because it would mean the Arab autocrats were still in charge but they were better than ISIS by a long run.Report

          • Zac in reply to Art Deco says:

            Oh, if only Ollie North, Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney were figments of my imagination, Art. If only.

            There’s only one person in this conversation living in a fantasy world, buddy, and it’s you.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Zac says:

              Oh, if only Ollie North, Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney were figments of my imagination, Art. If only.

              None of these men are war criminals. That’s your dyspeptic fantasy.Report

            • notme in reply to Zac says:

              If you are reaching so desperately to call folks “war criminals” then why not include Bill Clinton for bombing Bosnia and Obama for overthrowing Libya?Report

              • Art Deco in reply to notme says:

                You’ll notice he included Oliver North, who had combat service as a low ranking officer in VietNam (same as Andrew Bacevich, is he a ‘war criminal’?) but is best known for a goofy and ill-considered series of trades which provided a slush fund for Nicaraguan partisans ca. 1985 (which evidently makes him a war criminal because, well, they were in rebellion against a pet cause of Bianca Jagger and miscellaneous NPR stringers). He included Henry Kissinger who never had command authority over one American soldier bar the few who were seconded to his staff and whose most salient activities concerned some of the diplomatic activity appended to the VietNam War; evidently, he’s a ‘war criminal’ for not insisting Richard Nixon, Melvin Laird, and Creighton Abrams roll over and play dead for one of Jane Fonda’s pet causes. You’ll notice he includes Richard Cheney, who was in authority over American troops from 1989 to 1993 as secretary of defense. It was evidently a ‘war crime’ to eject Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait. because, well, just because.Report

              • You’re not even trying now.Report

              • Not even trying what? He can’t explain his remarks better than I’ve explained them. What’s he going to do, shoot me the line that Henry Kissinger is a ‘war criminal’ because Indonesia ran a counter insurgency campaign in Timor? If it sounds non sequitur, it’s because it is; didn’t stop Christopher Hitchens from trying to sell the idea to the sort of bourgeois rube who reads Harper’s.Report

              • OK, perhaps you don’t know that North was convicted of several felonies, or what policies Cheney pushed as VP, or the sorts of atrocities Kissinger advocated in southeast Asia. My mistake.Report

              • Zac in reply to Art Deco says:

                I was going to clarify, but I realized there’s no point. Trying to engage you in conversation is about as enriching at talking to a table, although the table is almost certainly less ignorant than you.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:


        I will allow Kevin Williamson of the National Review to retort:

        If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy—which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog—you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

        The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. The white American under-class is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul. If you want to live, get out of Garbutt [a blue-collar town in New York].

        Maybe Real America needs immigrants to class up the joint, y’know, to Make America Great Again.Report

        • Why does Kevin Williamson hate white people?Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. The white American under-class is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. ”

          Interesting. I didn’t know that Kevin Williamson was such a huge fan of Probihition, or that he agreed with Mitt Romney about much of anything.

          PS yet again we see that the garbage racist homophobes are suddenly worth quoting when the red meat they’re slinging has a flavor we like.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

            He is worth quoting, only to put on public display the contempt with which the National Review Republican types have always had for the bottom 99% of their party faithful.

            As a former avid consumer of NR, and one who enjoyed Firing Line, and who comes from a family not much different than the one Kevin Williamson describes, I realize now that we were chumps, played by the Wall Street wing of the party as cannon fodder.

            So as for me, I will raise a glass, er, faint protest, when the entire NRO staff is put against the wall.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              He is worth quoting, only to put on public display the contempt with which the National Review Republican types have always had for the bottom 99% of their party faithful.

              Excuse me, but when did anyone not named “Kevin Williamson” on the staff of NR ever utter anything remotely like this?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Art Deco says:

                Is Williamson an exception, an outlier?

                Did they know his views on the working class when he got hired or was this somehow a sudden turnabout?

                Is he going to get fired do you think?

                Was Romney’s “47%” remark viewed favorably or unfavorably by the folks at NRO?Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Have you read WIlliamson’s long form piece on Owsley County, Kentucky?

                It’s quite good, and was mostly overlooked due to the subject and publication that ran it.Report

              • Chris in reply to Kolohe says:

                I will have to read that. I was friends with someone from Booneville when I was at Kentucky. What a beautiful and odd places there are up in those mountains.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Kolohe says:

                Owsley County has fewer than 5,000 people living in it and is just about the least affluent county in the poorest sub-sub-region of the United States. If Williamson fancies that’s a microcosm of the white working class, he’s a fool.Report

              • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

                No, the use of private, legal rape preserves is far more a microcosm of the white rural working class.

                Hehe. Didja think that things got better by not accepting his framing?

                I know Appalachia, because I live there. You know what wall street sees when they look at Appalachia? Fresh meat.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                John Derbyshire offered a vitriolic attack in 2006 on the right-to-life movement in the New English Review, including a very pointed one on one of NR’s staff editors. Nothing happened. Six years later, he offered an ironic counterpoint to all the humbug about black parents having ‘The Talk’ with their young about dealing with the police; he was dismissive enough of blacks in general to get himself fired. Mark Steyn was cut from their masthead for a column which repeated a mildly amusing Dean Martin joke from 1971; this sent the twee fellow who is Mr. Lowry’s deputy into a paroxysm of reproof because the joke was playful with a liberal mascot group.

                Richard Lowry is perfectly happy to have Ramesh Ponnuru subject to asinine and intemperate attacks in a British publication and is happy to give a certain Jason Lee Steorts a franchise to remove the magazine’s most talented contributor because Jason Lee Steorts’ tender sensibilities cannot tolerate jokes about fruit cordials.

                Mr. Lowry’s Manhattan neighbors almost certainly fancy that their attitude towards blacks and homosexuals make them better people, and almost certainly have no use for the sort of people who work in small town equipment rental and whatever it is that bothers them about public life and no use for the hospital supply salesman holding up a handwritten sign outside Planned Parenthood. The smart money says Richard Lowry will distribute penalties according to what bothers his neighbors, not these others.Report

              • trizzlor in reply to Art Deco says:

                What a crock of shit. Derb himself has stressed that his column was not satire and that he legitimately feels whites should not associate with blacks and sees nothing controversial in this proscription – him being a realist and all. Steyn wasn’t making “jokes about fruit cordials”, he was calling his fellow columnist the tv-friendly version of “faggot”. And I imagine that had he actually used that word, you would pretend he was just playfully talking about a bundle of sticks.

                What brings you here, anyway, to white-wash racism and homophobia that all of us are already aware of. Does VDARE not have an overflow room to deal with all the new members now that fascism is so chic?Report

              • Sure, Art. And Lowry also lies about the natural revulsion he feels when he sees an interracial couple.Report

        • Some of us have been worrying about this for decades. Because the coal that still accounts for 40% of urban electricity, and the natural gas that heats a large majority of households in the US, comes from those areas. Because the industrial-farmed grain that allows the US to prop up all sorts of MENA governments comes from those areas (also, look up Japan and South Korea’s grain imports). Because the big hydro dams are out there. Because the waste from nuke power plants is going to wind up out there. Because…

          We made choices in the 1930s that said, those areas won’t be left behind. Granted that they’ve gotten rather obnoxious, but I’m not willing to give up on those choices just yet.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:

            but I’m not willing to give up on those choices just yet.

            I hear ya. But the irony is that while conservatives insist upon taking “inner city” folk off the dole and handing them some certified Murkin bootstraps to pick themselves up by, drugaddled whitetrash conservatives in small town rural America are voting for Trump to restore to them something which bootstraps aren’t sufficient for attaining. I mean, they already got ’em, right?Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

              A lot of what gets liberals riled about small town conservatives is that they basically already have social democracy and government infrastructure for them but want us city and suburb dwellers not to get the goodies.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

                What are you talking about? Do you fancy no one in cities collects Social Security or has paved roads?Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Art Deco says:

                Are you telling me you’re not aware of the extent to which urban centers subsidize rural areas?

                You think the rural tax base can even afford their own roads and post offices? They only have phones and electricity because of urban centers.

                It’s only been like that for about a century, so I suppose you could have missed it.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

                Are you telling me you’re not aware of the extent to which urban centers subsidize rural areas?

                No, I’m going to tell you that you’re talking out of your ass. Per capita personal income is lower outside standard metropolitan areas than within (about 23% lower, or what it was back in the dark days of 1996). That metric is somewhat exaggerated because it excludes rural areas and small towns located within metropolitan commuter belts but resembling tract suburbs not at all.

                Strange as it may seem to you, people residing in such areas actually do pay property taxes and sales taxes. There is less of a propensity to consume public services because about 70% of the population is in the countryside and has wells in lieu of municipal water, has a septic tank and leechfield in lieu of a sewer system. Also, people take their trash to the dump on Saturday morning. In addition, when you’re robbery rate is 3% of national means and your homicide rate is 20% of national means, you need fewer cops.

                As for the road network, it’s fairly low density and where I’ve lived maintained by the local highway garage, whose superintendent is commonly an elected official. The county government is responsible for ploughing and salting, even on designated state highways.

                The pricing structure of electric and telephone service may provide an effective cross-subsidy. Now, down in the Southern Tier of New York, there was within the last 30 years an entity called the ‘Cassadaga Telephone Company’. Some local businessman had set up a telephone exchange for a township of modest dimensions. I can give you the names of two townships in the Utica sphere of influence which have their own municipal electric authority. The notion that cross subsidies were necessary for the service to appear is in your imagination.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

                While we’re at it, the core city I lived in for 14 years receives 34% of its budget from local property taxes. The rural township I lived in for four years receives 42% of its revenue from property taxes. That’s some subsidy.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Art Deco says:

                While we’re at it, the core city I lived in for 14 years receives 34% of its budget from local property taxes. The rural township I lived in for four years receives 42% of its revenue from property taxes. That’s some subsidy.

                Property taxes aren’t the only taxes used to pay for things. Secondly, local property taxes are entirely local — those subsidies to rural areas come from state property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes.

                But you know that. Just like you know that the total tax outlay from rural areas (all property, sales, and income taxes) can’t pay for their roads, water, electricity, phones, postal service, and other things — like hospitals.

                I’m sure that taking their trash to the dump on Saturdays themselves saves SO much money, and the roads are maintained for free — materials and heavy equipment just appear from heaven.

                But you can believe in the magic unicorn of rural self-sufficiency all you want, Art.

                I’m sure there’s some OTHER reason it took the Feds to hook them up to power and phone lines back in the 40s.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

                Property taxes aren’t the only taxes used to pay for things.

                No, municipalities in New York rely on property taxes and service charges and very little else. Sales taxes are charged by counties and the state, not municipalities or school districts. NYC and Yonkers have modest income taxes as well.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Morat20 says:

                But you know that. Just like you know that the total tax outlay from rural areas (all property, sales, and income taxes) can’t pay for their roads, water, electricity, phones, postal service, and other things — like hospitals.

                You don’t get the point of my descriptive statistic. State aid is friggin everywhere. Cities get it, suburbs get it, small towns get it, country townships get it. The source of the state aid would be the very same taxpayers who finance the localities.

                But you can believe in the magic unicorn of rural self-sufficiency all you want, Art.

                And some other time and some other place, you can read what people actually write. Geographic division of labor means no place is self-sufficient. Your assertion was that small towns and rural areas are on the dole in a systematic way and cannot support any significant service. The presence and degree of cross-subsidy is an empirical question you haven’t tried to answer with anything but bald assertion. The notion, given the earning power of rural residents, that they’re incapable of paying for anything is blatantly absurd.Report

              • Francis in reply to Art Deco says:

                So the TVA and REA weren’t necessary to bring power to rural America? Those nice Interstates and state roads funded with federal assistance don’t need urban support?

                Here is a neat map of US GDP divided between urban areas and everywhere else.

                Certainly west of the Mississippi, rural Americans are absolutely on the government teat. The big non-coastal western states would have dust-speck populations without federal support for roads, water and power. Yes, NDak had a nice boom with fracking. How’s that working out for them?Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Art Deco says:

                You don’t get the point of my descriptive statistic. State aid is friggin everywhere. Cities get it, suburbs get it, small towns get it, country townships get it. The source of the state aid would be the very same taxpayers who finance the localities.

                Two points.

                First, most rural subsidies — in my state, the largest of the rural subsidies — never touch municipal budgets. They go to local districts, eg school districts. They go to counties. In many cases, they go directly to private entities — eg, programs that make payments only to rural hospitals to help keep them open. YMMV, but we’re not an atypical state. (As an aside, two-thirds of my property taxes go to the local school district and the county, rather than the city.)

                Second, at least in my state, from my time on the state legislature’s budget staff, urban/suburban subsidies are clear-cut. Yes, all the school districts receive state money, raised by state income and sales taxes with the same rates everywhere. But the amount of money is not based on the taxes paid. Rural school districts get a bigger percentage of the total state school aid than their percentage contribution to the pot. The debates in the school finance committees at the Capitol aren’t about whether there will be subsidies for rural districts — that’s a given, acknowledged by rural and urban members alike. The debates are about the formulas to determine how big those subsidies will be.

                For a variety of reasons, I’m not opposed to rural subsidies. At bottom, I suppose, is that I have no answer to the basic question that I’ve asked people in my state’s active “rural power” movement: “Tired of being ‘oppressed’ by the cities and suburbs? Why don’t you create jobs that will attract more voters?”Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          You would recycle Williamson’s vicious and fraudulent remarks? These would be career killers if you just substituted some other social sector for the people he blatantly despises (see the life of Joseph Sobran, 1993-2010). What are you trying to tell us all about what the real motors of ‘progressive’ politics are? Of business Republican politics?Report

        • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Oh’ that’s what you were talking about last night. The more things like that I see the more tempted I am to vote for Trump. Why does opposition to Trump correlate so strongly with snobbery?Report

      • Kim in reply to Art Deco says:

        “It’s raining mccain again…”
        Turns out not all golden showers are done with real gold.

        Who knew, am i right?

        (No, art, you aren’t going to get the joke. It’s okay, nobody else is either).Report

    • veronica d in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      @chip-daniels — +100Report

  5. greginak says:

    Matty Y is to freaked to be contrarian!!! My God, that is like going to DefCon (PunditCon?) 5Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to greginak says:

      I laughed.Report

    • Don Zeko in reply to greginak says:

      Also Jonathan Chait, and Kevin Drum. The ranks of popcorn-munchers on the left are diminishing rapidly.Report

      • North in reply to Don Zeko says:

        I’m still munching the popcorn, but mainly because I don’t think Trump can win in the general even if he wins the nod. I have also revised my appraisal of the field: I’d now prefer Kasich in the office over Trump. The rest remain below his orangeness in my estimation.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Don Zeko says:

        Drum is not usually contrarian at all, and was the furthest thing from Trump-curious at any point before. He’s lecturing liberals to come around here, not coming around himself. “For months, we’ve been warning that Trump would be a uniquely dangerous president,” he says.

        Chait has munched some popcorn along the way perhaps, but mostly he’s talked about the ineptness and in his view the perhaps not-totally-on-the-level-ness of the effort to stop Trump in the GOP. He’s not been saying that it’s good it’s failing because he wants Hillary Clinton to face Trump; he’s been saying (at least for quite some time) that it’s bad, because Trump’s path to the presidency should be as closed off as possible. So he deplores the GOP’s inefficacy at stopping Trump – and mocks it, because he’s Jonathan Chait.Report

        • How are you defining “quite some time”? Chait argued early last month that Trump was a genuinely preferable nominee, and said that he only started to change his views at the end of that month.

          You are definitely right about Drum, though. I disagree with him regularly, but the man is earnest and always has been.Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says:

            Did he? My bad. That’s not that long. To me lately it’s mostly been critiques of the efficacy of efforts to stop him, implying to me that he thinks stopping him is necessary. I don’t know if there was a come-to-Jesus post a-la Yglesias.

            I would say, though, that going on six weeks, or at least,well over a month, is getting close-ish to quite some time, being that that gets us back pretty much to the beginning of the contest period of the campaign. People were well-justified in despising Trump by that point, of course, and probably everyone should have wanted him stopped and not in any way favored the chaos or effect of Trump on the GOP by that point. But it’s also true that there have been multiple dramatic turns for the worse that the campaign has taken since then. In terms
            of the qualitative state of the campaign, a lot has happened since early February.

            It’s also important not to insist that rejection of Trump be relative. Rejection is rejection. When we’re seeking unanimity on that, don’t look in horses’ mouths. You can’t ask Democrats to like Republicans and vice versa (though when they do, that’s great). If someone really, really dislikes Cruz to the point where they think he’d just be an utter disaster for the country, and they also feel the same way about Trump, but they think that Cruz would be a little worse than Trump, that doesn’t mean they’re embracing Trump. It means they want neither. To focus on that person’s slight preference for Cruz, especially when she won’t be voting to influence who is nominated, is to manufacture disagreement about rejection of Trump, when in fact we should be seeking consensus about that. It’s the job of the GOP not to nominate Trump, not of people who look at all the options and can’t tell which is worse, because the policies of the non-Trump are so anathema, while Trump himself is so odious. Yes, they should be able to tell that Trump is worse, but they manage to figure out to reject him (unless they don’t). That’s agreement to reject Trump; insisting they then affirm his status as the worst among the Republicans just complicates what should be straightforward agreement to reject Trump.

            This is especially true when top officials of the GOP are still averring that all of their remaining candidates remain head and shoulders better than either of the Democrats. If we’re asking everyone to recognize that Trump is qualitatively different from every other legitimate candidate in the race (and just about every one who has ever run for president in a major party), then elites need to agree on that point and say it. Saying that Trump is still better than the Democrats just signals to Democrats that, while Trump is really bad, he actually can’t be that much worse than the other Republicans if the Republicans don’t see him as worse than Democrats. The notion that it’s a fundamentally different situation is undercut by hearing that Trump isn’t even worse than candidates they view favorably. But again, the importance of that can be overstated; it’s not really that critical that Democrats recognize that Trump is worse than the other Republicans, so long as they reject Trump. But they shouldn’t be expected to adopt that view (though I think they do in overwhelming numbers), so long as the head of the GOP is telling them that Trump is still better than their own candidates.

            But no, that’s not as long as I thought it had been.Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to Will Truman says:

            …The come-to-Jesus post was just yesterday evening, it turns out.Report

        • Don Zeko in reply to Michael Drew says:

          I guess it was a fair inference from my post, but I didn’t mean to label Chait or Drum as contrarians, merely to point out that Liberal thought may be turning against a heighten-the-contradictions preference of Trump over his primary opponents. For what it’s worth, I agree wholeheartedly re: Drum. He’s the first political blogger I started reading back in 2005 and still one of my very favorites.Report

      • Kim in reply to Don Zeko says:

        Not as rapidly as you think.
        I still know a guy working for Bernie that would be hard pressed not to vote for Trump in the general. Despite knowing that Trump’s essentially Hitler 2.0
        [Please do not confuse this with saying Trump’s fascist, that’s a different argument]Report

  6. LeeEsq says:

    Matt Yglesias is late and not going far enough. Nixon loyalist Ben Stein of all people told Republicans that the only moral choice in this election is to vote Democratic.Report

  7. Stillwater says:

    I’m gonna be a lone dissenting voice by saying that Matty Ice has always understood his role in the media-pundit-propaganda matrix as pushing against orthodoxy in the hope of a Better Tomorrow, so being late on the Trump-take is forgivable, seems to me. I mean, it’s what Matty does. I’d also add that Trump-as-the-Fascist is only very recently becoming a new reality-filter, one that may be a correct description of what the future portends, but was underdetermined by evidence not all that ong ago. And even more to the point, I suppose: if Trump-as-a-fascist really IS the real reality, then we can’t really blame Trump for that since – pretty obviously – he’s just saying what a whole slew of Real True Murkin people want to hear. Which reflects more poorly on Murkins and white people than it does on Trump, seems to me.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

      There’s a whole bunch of stuff that Trump is revealing.

      I find the whole evolution of anti-anti-racism (or anti-anti-anti-anti-racism) to be one of the most interesting things revealed.

      The old saw about “how do you know it’s time for the revolution? Go outside with your gun… if you’re the only person outside with your gun, go back inside. It’s not time yet.” has been sticking in my head the past few months.

      Trump is an example of everybody going outside at the same time.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

        I think Trump is more akin to to the Oregon Occupiers. You know, when the hardcore faithful arrive and expect tens of thousands to follow.

        Or about every Tea Party march on Washington.

        Or, honestly, the “vast, silent majority”. You know, the ones you know are behind you. Silently. You know they’re there because of their silence. Their vast, deep, agreeing silence.

        Of course the problem of thinking “Yep, it’ll be a relative handful of nutters claiming the Park Service lied — it was a million people, not 10,000! And also it was spring break, lots of people were with their families” is that sometimes, you know, a million people do show up.

        Stopped clocks and all.

        Honestly, I still think Trump is tapping into the Putin-love segment of the GOP base. The guys that really believe in the Green Lantern Theory as led by a Strong, Manly Hero. The guys that crushed on Bush in his flight suit, that love them Putin memes.

        Because don’t you just want a simple world, with a strong leader to show you the path to victory?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

          I’m still expecting Trump to win, though.

          We’re going to have one hell of a Bradley Effect on top of that.

          In addition, we’re going to see stuff like Trump getting 20% of the African-American vote (a LOT more men than women, but Trump’s going to do a lot better than Romney).

          Assuming Hillary, of course.

          If it’s Bernie, all bets are off.Report

          • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird says:

            @jaybird – Let’s say the election comes around and Hillary kills Trump. I mean 55-45 drubbing where it’s obvious by 8 PM she’s winning this thing running away. Will you actually post an article apologizing for your concern trolly ways or are they going to be lost in the memory hole?

            Also, if you think of all candidates, Hillary is losing black votes, ask Bernie Sander’s campaign about that.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

              Well to be fair, that’s Democratic primary black voters expressing a preference. Which is not the same as general election black voters. Although given the GOP’s numbers, it’s…sadly close.

              I really think using primary numbers to forecast GE numbers is, well, wasted time and a fool’s game.

              OTOH, it would be interesting to hear how Trump is going to break the Democrat’s strong hold on black voters, especially given their deep fondness for the Clinton’s in particular.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

              I promise that if Hillary kills Trump 55-45 that I will write a post apologizing for my concern trolly ways.

              Please point this very comment out to me the day after the election if that happens.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s funny what constitutes “concern trolling” anymore. I’m a D voter for years (oft-times reluctantly…) and I have no presumptions that Hillary can beat Trump. She’s an objectively terrible candidate. (Look at her record!) Yet in this discussion you’re the one who’s concern trolling regarding whether she might not win, and you’re not even a Democrat!!.

                {{Oh shit. You are, aren’t ya.}}Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                She’s such an objectively terrible candidate that she almost beat the best political campaign of the past twenty years.

                Is Hillary a great candidate? Nah. But, she’s not a terrible candidate like has been proclaimed the Truth here.

                If she was facing Rubio or Kasich, I’d be worried. But, she’s not. She’s likely to either face a guy that not even his colleagues like or an asshole with -40 overall favorability ratings, -60 among Asians, and -70 among Hispanics.

                You can win a GOP primary depending on the votes of pissed off white people. And while I think lots of white people are shitty people who will vote for Trump, there’s not that many.

                Go to either of these calculator –



                Give me the reasonable numbers where Trump wins. That’s what I’m looking at – the actual numbers, not fantasy scenarios where every white person whose ever been laid off actually turns out to vote for Trump.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                She’s such an objectively terrible candidate that she almost beat the best political campaign of the past twenty years.

                I’da gone with the best political campaign since Lincoln. It rolls off better and conveys gravitas.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                I mean, if you want to downplay Obama and his campaigns team and abilities to continue this Objective Truth that Hillary is the Worst Candidate Ever, go ahead.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                No, I’m happier watching you try to prop her up, Jesse. 🙂Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:


                Here’s what I see happening.

                Play around with it. The map I started with was “same since 2000”.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                What is your logic between giving PA and VA to the GOP?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Coal. Lower middle class people who remember their parents having better jobs than they have access to.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird says:

                In PA, those people are already voting Republican for the most part. OH is the same thing. Add in the fact this probably a chunk of white voters who were uncomfortable w/ voting for Obama and the whole thing is a wash.

                In VA, their votes have been wiped out by NoVA liberals (including many Hispanics and Asians) who have moved there in the past ten to fifteen years. It doesn’t help to win 10% extra vote in an area that has only 30% of the vote when the other 70% moves the other way.

                As for the rest, I mean, NH’s wacky so sure. Wisconsin? Just because Scott Walker can win there in low turnout midterm election doesn’t mean it’s Red – especially when you’re going to have Russ Feingold beating Ron Johnson pillar to post for all of the fall.

                The truth is, there aren’t enough pissed off white voters to change the demographics that much in a national election. In a primary? Absolutely.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                A huge number of those people voted for Obama twice.

                Obama was lightning in a bottle.
                Hillary is not lightning in a bottle.
                Trump *MIGHT* be lightning in a bottle.Report

              • Kim in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Feingold’s running again?
                PA has swung deeply Democrat. Don’t expect it back to republicans anytime soon.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kim says:

                I predict next time a Republican wins, they win Pennsylvania. I think the likelihood there may be stronger than Virginia (though they’ll probably win both).Report

              • Kim in reply to Will Truman says:

                PA’s about 10 points up, on the Democratic side. And that in a poor economy, in an election the Democrats ought not to have won.

                Take a pretty big shift in the Rs, or a pretty strong headwind, to make that much of a shift.

                Sooner Iowa, sooner Wisconsin.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

            In addition, we’re going to see stuff like Trump getting 20% of the African-American vote (a LOT more men than women, but Trump’s going to do a lot better than Romney).

            Trump won’t outperform Romney among blacks. He’ll be lucky to even match Romney among blacks.

            I literally have no idea why you’d even think so, other than he hasn’t vented quite as much bile on blacks as he has other minorities. But you think blacks don’t understand that a guy using one minority as a two-minute hate target has NO problems switching to the other prominent target? Please.

            And that’s not even getting started on women and Hispanics, coalitions which were….already poor for the GOP, which Trump has set fire to, salted, and then urinated on for good measure.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

              Romney commanded 4% of the African-American vote in 2012.

              Your argument seems to be that Trump won’t even get that. That’s not what I see happening, though. I see Trump’s populism appealing to a number of lower-middle class African-American males.

              We will watch what happens when a deep prejudice is overcome by an even deeper prejudice.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Republicans and libertarians have been making the “one day, African American males will realize Democrat’s policies are hurting them and run into are warm embrace” for decades now.

                The truth is, if they’re not buying Bernie Sanders shtick, they’re not going to buy Donald Trump’s shtick w/ the extra racism, especially because I have zero doubt that his supporters will egg The Donald into attacking black culture. He already retweeted a totally false image about black crime.

                Will Hillary get 96%? Probably not. But will she get 90% like every other Democratic nominee for President for decades? Absolutely.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                I am not saying that African-American males will realize that the Democrats’ policies are hurting them and run into the warm embrace of the Republicans.

                I am saying that a chunk of African-American males will look at Hillary, then look at Trump, then look at Hillary, then vote for Trump.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                Based on what?

                Your assertion is that black males will abandon both the Democratic party and Hillary in particular — except they’re looking at Hillary and Sanders now and voting Hillary hard.

                Are you HONESTLY trying to say that the black male preference is “Trump > Clinton > Sanders”?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                I don’t see moving from 4% to 20% as “abandoning”.

                80% remains “OVERWHELMING SUPPORT”.

                That said, Trump is doing something very interesting on a different axis than left/right.

                He’s playing games on the Populist/Technocrat axis.

                Look at Michigan, for example. Clinton got 65% of the African-American vote compared to Bernie’s 35%.

                This means that African-Americans abandoned Clinton in Michigan, using the same logic as above. I think that, outside of the South, we’ll see similar abandonment* of Clinton by the AA community.

                (* Defined as smaller supermajorities.)

                By going populist rather than technocratic, Trump will triangulate against Hillary. It won’t be a left/right thing.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                So based on one state, and also writing off the majority of blacks in America (the South — so pointless!), we can draw valid conclusions about the general election?

                More valid than polls?

                because polls show his unfavorables with blacks at 86% (not “14% plan to vote for him. 86% view him unfavorably). His support in polls, during a primary, are somewhere between Obama and Normal Democratic (4 and 12%).

                You’re straining at gnats here, like you desperately want Trump to be more than he is. It feels like you’re trying to validate a gut feeling by cherry-picking what data you can find.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                What makes you think black voters will switch to Trump specifically in any numbers? Black primary voters have overwhelmingly preferred Clinton to Sanders, as have most visible black public figures, including other politicians, and the fear among non-white people of a Trump world is palpable. Sure, they may look at Democrats and think, “What have we gotten for our support,” but what would lead you to believe you to believe that they would look at Clinton, think “It probably won’t get any better with her in office,” then look at Trump and his white supremacist supporters and think, “Maybe with him it would get better?”Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Chris says:

                “What makes you think black voters will switch to Trump specifically in any numbers? ”

                It’ll be interesting to see the sudden switch, probably about in July, when pundits suddenly “discover” the nonwhite Trump voter (who has existed all along, but in the talking-dog sense of being a statistical outlier that can be safely ignored).Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck says:

                OOC, what do you predict the percentage of African American vote going Trump being?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                “what do you predict the percentage of African American vote going Trump being?”

                From the way people here are talking, “nonzero” will be a staggering achievement.Report

              • He’s already got Ben Carson, so non-zero is in the bag. Assuming Carson remembers to register and then vote.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                FWIW, I think Trump would get slaughtered and it won’t be even close. I think he’ll lose ground on just about every demographic except possibly white men…

                And the African-American vote. I think he would modestly beat Mitt’s vote share there. If I’m laying down a chip, I put it on the 8.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Clearly, if YOU are aware of Trump’s staggering appeal to black voters, you can actually tell us how you found out. Or why. Or give something besides “Oh, yeah, black men LOVE Trump” — which is an interesting assertion. You and Jaybird have BOTH made it, but neither of you has supported it with anything.

                I did a quick bit of googling and found a number of right wing articles claiming that, indeed, black men love Trump — equally data free.

                The only polls I’ve seen has Trump’s favorability ratings among blacks at…14%. That is, 86% viewed him unfavorably.

                A quick gander at FactCheck (on Trump’s claim that 25% of black supported him) indicates one poll from September had those numbers, but every other more recent poll shows him between 4 and 12% (about average for a GOP candidate not facing Barack Obama. And these are, of course, polls done during primary season).

                Bluntly, the claim that Trump will do well among black men is unbased in any data I’ve found — but has certainly popped up on conservative circles lately. It appears to be a bunch of people desperately searching for a silver lining.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                Or give something besides “Oh, yeah, black men LOVE Trump” — which is an interesting assertion.

                You’re arguing against a position that no one here has made.

                I’m talking about the difference between 96% and 80% and you’re using words like “abandonment” and “love”.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                I am saying that a chunk of African-American males will look at Hillary, then look at Trump, then look at Hillary, then vote for Trump.

                For the love of God, WHO? Why? Where are you getting this? You said it, what did you base it on?

                That’s what I’m asking, and it’s like you don’t want to answer.

                You said “Trump”, not the “GOP” — so clearly you don’t mean a return to regular GOP numbers, you mean some specific Trump appeal to black men.

                So I’ll ask again, why do you think this? What are you basing it on?

                It’s a pretty interesting claim. It’s less interesting if you just meant “The GOP candidate, even if it’s Trump, will return to the usual GOP bad numbers and not their super bad numbers of 2008 and 2012” but you referenced Trump and Hillary specifically.

                Trump, whose polling shows no edge (if anything, he might be worse) than the GOP field among blacks — and Hillary, who is getting the lion’s share of the black vote in the primary.

                Clearly you have some reason to believe this, what I can’t get is why you won’t actually share it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

                Because Trump’s populist message will have an appeal and Hillary’s message will have an undercurrent of offputting something-or-other.

                It won’t be a left vs. right thing. It’ll be a populist vs. technocrat thing.Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m guessing right at this moment Hills video gnomes are putting together commercials talking about various incidents where Trumpy’s businesses have engaged in discrimination against blacks or the time Trumpy howled for the death penalty against teens accused of a horrific rape before they were even convicted and have since been exonerated ( The Central Park Six, is the catchy name for them i think). It really won’t be hard to make Trumpy look less then enlightened racially no matter how many times you say populist.Report

              • North in reply to greginak says:

                Especially since, unlike with the GOP primary, the Dems will have little to no concern about alienating Trumps supporters. It should be one hell of a barrage.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

                So these people are going to say, “You know, I get that there are a lot of white supremacists on Trump’s side, and they’ve been actually violent toward black people, but Hillary’s message just isn’t populist enough for me?”

                I suppose anything’s possible.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

                I am not suggesting that it will be reasoned through.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                But — and I’m sorry to keep harping on this, but it seems an important data point you’re ignoring — Trump is, at best, no more popular among blacks than any other GOP candidate, and also Hillary is the overwhelming favorite of blacks in the Democratic primary.

                How do you square this prognostication with actual facts that seem to contradict it?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                Trump is, at best, no more popular among blacks than any other GOP candidate, and also Hillary is the overwhelming favorite of blacks in the Democratic primary.

                You’re arguing against me as if I am saying that Trump will win the African-American vote and I am not arguing that.

                I’m not certain what I can say that I have not already said.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                I am saying that a chunk of African-American males will look at Hillary, then look at Trump, then look at Hillary, then vote for Trump.

                You can explain that quote.

                What group of black males, exactly? How big a group? What is it about “Hillary” and “Trump” that will make them rank Trump > Hillary.

                The phrasing indicates that you don’t mean “GOP>Democrats”, you mean specifically “Trump > Hillary”.

                Why do you think this? How do you square this with current polling?

                That’s what I’m asking for, and what you’re not responding to. You just tossed out a rather…unique…claim into the air, and then when I said “That doesn’t seem born out by polling at all, why do you think that” seemed to get confused as to what the problem is.

                Your claim isn’t self-evident. I’d like you to explain your reasoning, maybe back it with some indicators of some sort. You know, something so I can grok why you think that.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                Wait, wait wait — if THAT was the case, why is Clinton winning blacks by overwhelming numbers? Even in Michigan she won 2-1.

                Is Sanders not a populist?

                Are you saying that the appeal to black males is “Trump > Clinton > Sanders”?

                (Where you one of the ones claiming Sanders was also like Trump, representing the populism zeitgeist? I can’t remember)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                See, this is really crazy.

                Did Clinton win by overwhelming numbers or did African-Americans abandon her?Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. Literally no idea.

                You’re claiming black males will look at Trump, look at Hillary, and vote Trump in some form of noticeable numbers.

                I’m confused as to why you think this, because blacks are voting right now and they prefer Hillary to Sanders really heavily. REALLY heavily. Like, with the exception of one state, like the numbers that prefer Democrats to the GOP.

                So you seem to be implying that black men like Hillary more than Sanders, but Trump more than Hillary, and I don’t know why you think that and you seem really reluctant to explain.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                Morat, here is what I am saying:

                Bernie vs. Clinton’s share of the African-American vote in Michigan was 35-65.

                This is something that you have described as Clinton winning overwhelmingly.

                I am saying that Trump vs. Clinton will get something like 20-80. That is to say, a little over half of what Bernie managed to do in Michigan.

                You are describing this as African-Americans “abandoning” Clinton and my argument resting on a foundation of African-Americans “loving” Trump.

                If I ask you if Michigan is a case of African-Americans abandoning Clinton, it is with what you have said about my Trump predictions in mind.

                If you say that Michigan is a case of Clinton winning overwhelmingly, I won’t why my prediction is not seen as Clinton winning even more overwhelmingly… but, instead, you describe it as abandonment.

                This is weird.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                morat20 is starting from a position where it’s 0% of black people voting for Trump and 100% of them voting for Clinton.

                From there, even a single black voter switching to Trump is considered “abandonment”.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Well, that or understanding that a general election is different from a primary.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Don Zeko says:

                It is indeed. My reading of Jaybird is he felt either Trump or Clinton (or the combination) would shift black male votes in a way that a generic R versus D combo would not.

                I’m aware of no national polling that indicates any shift either way. The only proxies other than polling that we have are primary voters, who have shown a clear like of Clinton and no special fondness for Trump.

                So what I’ve been trying to do his get Jaybird to explain why he thinks the vote will shift. I’m curious as to his reasoning and/or any supporting data.

                I don’t feel that’s an unusual or exceptional request for clarification.Report

              • trizzlor in reply to Jaybird says:

                It sounds like the assumption in question is whether some Clinton voters going for Sanders is an indication that Clinton voters will go for Trump? Basically, is Trump more like Sanders than Clinton is like Sanders, at least in comparison to Romney. While I agree that Trump and Sanders share commonalities on trade and working class issues that Romney doesn’t, I’m with @Morat20 that it’s highly speculative to think these commonalities aren’t completely wiped out by his courting of the white supremacist vote. Do we have any modern evidence of black voters crossing the aisle in the general election?Report

              • Kolohe in reply to trizzlor says:

                We have evidence that African American turnout will probably drop 10 percentage points from the elections where Obama was on the ballot. Which gives 2 percentage points to the GOP in most swing states.

                (it could be more, but probably not, as turnout *was* the highest it had ever been to vote *against* Bush the second time, until both Obama elections)Report

              • trizzlor in reply to Kolohe says:

                I agree with more depressed turnout, and even with the possibility of Trump winning. But I interpreted Jaybird as positing the fact that some black voters chose to eat mint ice cream instead of vanilla ice cream in the primary implies a non-negligible amount will choose to eat gravel instead of vanilla ice cream in the general.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to trizzlor says:

                It’s certainly possible, even likely, that Obama’s historic margins of 96/4 (2008) and 93/6 (2012) will decline to something like 90/9, That difference by itself is too small to tip any swing state unless it’s on the razor’s edge like FL in 2000.

                The most likely Trumptastrophe at this point is that split of the non-hispanic white vote will go from 59% to Romney to just over 50 for Trump, (and the Hispanic vote goes to 80 for Clinton), and that’s mean 48-49 state electoral Reaganesque sweep for Clinton. (and definitely flipping the Senate and most likely the House too).

                (which, funny enough, will ensure Clinton doesn’t get a second term)Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Kolohe says:

                Even if she has a much more successful presidency than I think one can reasonably expect, Clinton will most likely face an uphill battle in 2020 if she wins this year. Incumbent parties tend to lose support over time, and a four-term run hasn’t happened since FDR.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Don Zeko says:

                I tend to agree. Although given there doesn’t seem to be any bottom to the GOP’s insanity when it comes to Democratic Presidents, it’s possible she’ll have an easier time of it.

                Which would be balanced, of course, with the daily insanity she’d have to deal with.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

                Turnout aside (“staying home” was not the question here) I expect black voting patterns to be more similar to 2000 or 2004 than 2008. (The Clinton’s rather long and positive history with the black community might split the difference there, but that’s a rather optimistic WAG).

                What I simply don’t grasp is the logic behind either a pro-Trump shift among black voters or an anti-Hillary shift among black voters, versus the generic R or D candidate. (That is, Trump’s numbers being better than Rubio’s, or Sander’s better than Clinton).

                I can totally buy a reversion to numbers (% of the vote, and the ticket split) to pre-2008 numbers certainly. But that has little to do with whichever candidate wins either side this year.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to trizzlor says:

                If the counter-argument to my argument is “YOU’RE SPECULATING!”, I will agree with that and say that I am guilty as charged. I am, indeed, speculating. Primarily on the whole “technocrat/populist” axis and how much of a siren’s call the populist argument will have.

                If the counter-argument to my argument is “YOU’RE CONCERN TROLLING”, I admit to feeling confused.Report

              • trizzlor in reply to Jaybird says:

                >>Primarily on the whole “technocrat/populist” axis and how much of a siren’s call the populist argument will have.

                Yes, right, this is what I was trying to say. I’m personally in the SPECULATING camp, and I think accusations of concern trolling are just a way to ignore inconvenient doubts. But I’m guessing the accusation of concern trolling comes from your history of speculating for anti-Clinton revolutions that haven’t yet materialized.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                Nah, I just literally wanted to know the basis for your speculation. If it’s the technocrat/populist angle, then the current proxy would be the Democratic primary where it seems black voters prefer technocrats by about 7 to 1.

                Obviously it’s a poor proxy (primary voting pool != general election pool), but there have been some national polling done on the candidates that don’t show any special Trump love. You’d think that would show if it was even a slightly significant number of people.

                Except in Michigan, where they only like them twice as much. 🙂Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                Ah, I see where the disconnect is. I’m measuring Trump’s performance relative to the GOP against all candidates not named “Barack Obama”. (I concede that, in terms of winning the black vote, he might have had some advantages every other Democratic presidential candidate did not).

                So when you say “Trump versus Hillary” I first start with “GOP versus Democrat” and thought “Okay, starting from the usual baseline — 85-15 or so Democrat/GOP split, how does Trump better or Hillary worsen this baseline”.

                Which is what I’ve been asking you to explain, because I’ve seen no reason to suspect either would happen. (I have also not claimed HRC will get Obama’s 2008 black numbers, but am assuming she reverts back to the baseline).

                The only data points we have are (1) Trump’s favorability numbers among blacks (as low or lower than GOP baseline), what percentage of Trump voters are black (lower than other candidates in the GOP primary, IIRC) and (2) Clinton’s performance with blacks in the Democratic primary (her worst night was a 2-1 win, with the other 20 odd states doing much better than that).

                Given those three facts — which are all we’ve got — I can’t find a single reason to think Trump will improve the GOP numbers with blacks personally (he’s certainly polling no better, and among blacks voting in the GOP primary he’s not exactly standing out as the favorite choice). And given the Democratic primary shows Clinton is getting massive numbers among black voters, I cannot see any evidence that she’d be shedding black voters in favor of a GOP candidate.

                Clinton is performing extremely well among black voters in the Democratic primary (2-1 being her worst night, but she’s generally hitting 7 or 8 to 1), the only proxy we have for the November black vote among Democrats. Trump is performing no better than, or worse, than his counterparts, with black voters — the only proxy we have for the November black vote among Republicans.

                I’ve been trying to get you to explain why you thought there would be a shift — are black male voters attracted to Trump? Repelled by Clinton? What are you basing this shift on?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                I am basing it on what I see as likely to happen with the choice not being a “Right vs. Left” choice which, for what it’s worth, I’d agree would regress to the pre-Obama mean.

                The Trump vs. Hillary choice will not merely be Right vs. Left or Republican vs. Democrat.

                It will also be Populist vs. Technocrat.

                And the Populist argument will move people who will have never moved from their old Right vs. Left or Republican vs. Democrat positions.

                Additionally, I think that it will not be based on reasoned arguments as much as on gut feelings and intuitions… as many populist arguments are based on gut feelings and intuitions.

                It’s this Populist vs Technocratic dynamic that will change things.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s this populist vs technocratic dynamic that will change things.

                Is Sanders not a populist?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                He certainly seemed to be able to get African-Americans in Michigan to abandon Hillary in droves because they love him so much.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                You mean that in ONE state she went from winning AA voters 7 to 1 to only winning them 2 to 1?

                I’m having a hard time squaring the phrase “abandon in droves” applied to the candidate who had two AA votes to ever one of her opponents.

                Are Michigan AA voters the only ones that like populists? Or are they special AA voters, more representative of the demographic than the AA voters from the other 19 states?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Morat20 says:

                “You mean that in ONE state she went from winning AA voters 7 to 1 to only winning them 2 to 1?”

                You honestly don’t consider “7-to-1 down to 2-to-1” to be a significant shift?Report

              • trizzlor in reply to DensityDuck says:

                >> You honestly don’t consider “7-to-1 down to 2-to-1” to be a significant shift?

                But the whole question is what’s the BASELINE?

                One view says Clinton has no a priori black vote advantage over Sanders, so her performance with blacks should be about the same as the other demographics, i.e 55/45. In reality, she’s often beating him 80/20 and even in the state where Sanders’ trade arguments apply the most, she still won 60/40, so we should conclude that she is doing stronger than expected with the black vote and will continue to do so in the general.

                Another view says that Clinton should a priori be getting 80/20 with blacks, and the fact that she dipped to 60/40 in Michigan is a great failure and shows that she’s vulnerable to lose blacks in the general. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the second view but it does make a specific assumption about the baseline. And there’s been no attempt to justify why Clinton’s baseline should be 80/20 and not 55/45.Report

              • North in reply to Morat20 says:

                He did indicate that it’s a populist/technocrat and there’s no denying Trump is enormously more populist than Hillary. That said I’m skeptical that populism has an especially strong pull on the African American electorate. If anything, having been targets and recipients of broken populist promises probably more than any ethnic subgroup beyond first nations peoples I’d suspect that populist appeals are somewhat less effective with AA groups (with maybe a caveat if they’re coming from a trusted source).

                I personally agree with Morat: Sanders is a populist and he’s had very poor pull with AA voters. Trump is not especially more populist than Sanders, I’d probably say it’s a push, but Sanders is certainly much more popular than Trump is with the left. It does not seem likely to me that Hillary, having defeated a popular with the leftists populist, will have base retention problems against a popular with the righties populist. Especially since she will not need to walk on eggshells with her attacks on Trump.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to North says:

                That admittedly does leave the AA voters who are not self-identified Democrats (I’m going to go ahead and assume that given the rather lopsided AA vote numbers, that the self-identified ones are at least roughly in the same ballpark as the ones actually voting in the primary. I’d be more cautious if the split wasn’t so huge).

                But that gets back to partisan stickiness, the true nature of independents, and such. I don’t expect AA Republicans to vote for Clinton or against Trump (there might be a case there, I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like he’s super disliked by black Republican primary voters, but doesn’t seem especially liked either) either.

                I don’t see any movement at all, other than reverting to the pre-2008 numbers which isn’t so much vote switching as turnout itself.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                That said I’m skeptical that populism has an especially strong pull on the African American electorate. If anything, having been targets and recipients of broken populist promises probably more than any ethnic subgroup beyond first nations peoples I’d suspect that populist appeals are somewhat less effective with AA groups (with maybe a caveat if they’re coming from a trusted source).

                Now *THIS* is an interesting counter-argument!

                I don’t really know what to think about it.

                I don’t know how to properly categorize Obama’s 2008 and 2012 runs and what they meant to the African-American community. It seems overly simplistic to say that it can be explained as a left/right, democrat/republican, technocrat/populist thing.

                I know that the arguments that were being floated in my own particular circle were about Obama’s skills as a technocrat, but there were also a lot of jokes about “code-switching” on Obama’s part when it came to speaking to African-American audiences. Was one of the “switches” to a more populist direction?

                My intuition is to say “yeah, probably” and I wonder whether that will create mental/emotional antibodies against Trump’s various promises.

                That said, Trump’s promises (which, may I point out, he will *NOT* keep) are of a form that will have them appeal on a gut level IN CONTRAST to Hillary’s bromides on the same topic.

                Hillary will talk about the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump will talk about shipping jobs overseas and the importance of punishing businesses who engage in outsourcing and whatnot. Trump will talk about manufacturing jobs and manual labor and mining and whatnot while Hillary’s comment that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners out of work!” will be played 24/7 in rust belt cities.

                Will this appeal work?

                Well… define “work”. I see him as picking up a lot of votes because of this. A majority? Hell no. But better than the regression to the mean would indicate? Mmmmmyeah. I see that happening.

                But, as you say, maybe there are enough antibodies to keep the African-American community from swallowing Trump’s lies.

                We’ll see.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Obama’s election was such a, forgive the pun, black swan event that I don’t think candidate Obama can be easily categorized. I would, Jay, invite you to cast your mind back to the early primary on the Democratic side; Obama’s numbers in South Carolina were consistently BEHIND Hillary’s in the run up to the primaries and that reversed only once Obama both won the Iowa Caucus and Bill fished up his tone and choice of words while stumping in SC. That sort of initial reticence towards a democratic candidate who IS black? That’s what I’m talking about; we’re talking about a community that is especially jaded to certain kinds of appeals and I think Trump broadcasts on that wavelength. Now granted we’re both agreeing Trump will lose AA’s and lose them badly but I’m of the opinion he won’t get close to the generic Republican’s pull on AA’s, let alone seriously dent the generic Democrats numbers.

                And one last thing: you can bet your last dime that Obama, who is unambiguously, understandably and intensely supported and respected in the AA community, will weigh in on the 2016 race. And that sure as hell ain’t nothing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                And one last thing: you can bet your last dime that Obama, who is unambiguously, understandably and intensely supported and respected in the AA community, will weigh in on the 2016 race. And that sure as hell ain’t nothing.

                Should I have expected him to weigh in on the primaries yet? (Above and beyond criticisms of Trump?)Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Nah, his MO is official impartiality like most presidents towards their own party’s future nominee. He’ll just wave the flag for party unity after it’s done.Report

          • Autolukos in reply to Jaybird says:

            This seems to make the common mistake of seeing Trump’s success and concluding that he has broad appeal. In reality, he seems pretty weak for a nomination frontrunner at this point; while his core support is large (by primary standards) and very loyal, there has been very little bandwagoning even as he has piled up wins (still hasn’t pulled a majority in a primary, though he has a couple of realistic prospects on Tuesday). If he can’t draw a majority in a single state in the front half of the Republican primaries, in an environment where a relatively small number of fans can make a big difference, against a weak and divided field, why should we believe he will suddenly become popular with the general electorate?

            A Trump nomination would be concerning and could well end in a Trump victory, but given what we know now I would make Clinton a heavy favorite (2-1 or more) in a head to head matchup.Report

            • greginak in reply to Autolukos says:

              Very true. Trump is controversial, divisive and , while leading, not the dominant choice even in the R’s. That doesn’t actually bode well for how well he would do with unaligned voters. Simply, you can’t extrapolate from the R primary voters to the general election voters. Of course Trumpy could win, but out of 100 runs, Hillary gets 55+ far more times then Trumpy gets 51.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

            I think Bernie would have a much better chance against Trump than Hillary would, because the overall public mood is heavily anti-establishment and Hillary pretty well exemplifies the current political establishment and its views and attitudes.

            I’m not clear on why you expect Trump to get 20% of the African-American vote, though. (Especially against Hillary, when African-Americans are voting for her very strongly in the primaries.) Trump was endorsed by the KKK. Trump has a history of engaging in anti-black discrimination ( ). If you’ve got head-to-head polls showing those kinds of indications, I’d like to see them, because everything about Trump and everything about the primary votes thus far indicate that he is unlikely to get any significant support from African-Americans.

            To my mind, if Hillary loses it will be because of white voters (primarily white, male, lower-middle-income voters – people Bernie could attract, which is why I think he’s got the better chance), and geographically because of the Midwest jumping ship (possibly even Pennsylvania going Republican). I have trouble seeing another geographical route to victory for Trump.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to KatherineMW says:

              because the overall public mood is heavily anti-establishment and Hillary pretty well exemplifies the current political establishment and its views and attitudes

              I don’t think that’s true. I think it looks that way because it’s easy to conflate Trump and Sanders, call it “anti-establishment” and call it a day.

              Trump, I feel, is unique to the GOP and current circumstances — their particular problems have been a long time coming. His support is basically the ‘base of the base’. He’s pulling from white males of all ages, the group that’s been pretty central to the GOP — and what he’s pitching isn’t reform, change, or something new — he’s basically flat-out stating the stuff the GOP has only been hinting at, under the label of “I’ll actually do it”.

              Sanders, OTOH, feels like a bog standard outsider candidate. He’s got a lot of wind in his sails by being in a real 2-person race — in a year where Clinton faced more competition, he’d have been driven to the outskirts by other candidates, but his constituency is….very standard for outsiders. (The young, basically). It’s what Dean, and Edwards before those pesky little affairs came out, were riding.

              There’s almost always, on the Democratic side, an outsider candidate energized by young, first or second time voters.

              I’ll freely admit: Anti-establishment waves are far, far more common than seeing a party fracture along it’s stress lines and utterly lose the plot.

              But in the end, I think conflating Trump and Sanders support and summing it up to “anti-establishment wave” is lazy thinking. It’s makes sense on the surface, but closer examination starts to reveal problems.Report

              • Road Scholar in reply to Morat20 says:

                Right. It seems to me that the parallel to Sanders on the right is actually Cruz. Where Cruz is described as “hard” right, Bernie can rightly be described as “hard” left. Trump, at least historically, is only a half-assed conservative at best.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Morat20 says:

                FiveThirtyEight ran an analysis of the political attitudes of Trump and Sanders voters (based on opinions given in polls prior to the start of the primaries), and one thing that stood out about both groups was that they were more likely to agree with the statement, “At present, I feel very critical of our political system”. They were also more likely to be anti-NAFTA. They had little in common on other issues.

                That’s enough to show that both candidates are drawing on a section of the voting public who are disaffected with the current political state of affairs, and who dissent from the pro-globalization consensus among the political leadership. They also both get substantial support from Independents rather than party members, and not belonging to a political party can also be a sign of political disaffection. Not to mention that they’re both candidates who, until recently, weren’t even necessarily members of the parties they’re running for. And it’s hard to say that Trump isn’t an “outsider candidate” when the GOP is desperately trying to stop him from gaining the nomination.

                And both of them are drawing support from a little over 1/3 of their party’s primary electorate. Sanders has more support among Democrats than Trump has among Republicans, truly – it’s just that Sanders faces one, strong opponent while Trump’s opponents are divided.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to KatherineMW says:

                At present, I feel very critical of our political system”. They were also more likely to be anti-NAFTA. They had little in common on other issues.

                I think demographic breakdown of that is important. Because as I’ve said before, the criticisms of the 18-24 crowd are going to be wildly different, even if they use the same words. (To be blunt, the 18-24 crowd have ALWAYS felt very critical of the system. Forever).

                But Trump’s got white men of all ages feeling critical of the system.

                I think that’s a substantially different thing than the young feeling critical. I also feel there’s exactly zero cross-over appeal, because both groups are critical about entirely different things. In fact, the very things Trump is offering (xenophobia, racism, violence) are the kinds of thing 18-24 year olds are critical of.

                I suppose gay rights in the early 2000s is a useful analogy. You had Democratic groups AND Republican feeling critical about gay rights, but from opposite directions.

                The populism Trump is embracing and Sanders is selling aren’t the same thing at all. Which makes me really leery of claiming it’s coming from the same well of support.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Morat20 says:

                We’ll see. One of the key notes in the head-to-head polls is that Sanders performs better among lower-educated people than Clinton does (the latest Quinnipiac polls has Clinton losing them to Trump 40-45, while Sanders ties 45-45). Those could be young people who haven’t yet completed their university degrees; and/or they could be older lower-middle-class people who find the currently economic policies aren’t benefitting them. The latter seems somewhat likely to me simply because I don’t see many younger people voting for Trump under any circumstances.

                The poll also shows Sanders winning people aged 35 to 50 against Trump (47-43), while Clinton was losing them (43-45).

                So young people are not the only demographic group where’s he’s doing well. And online and in the press, you do hear a fair number of people who say their preference is either for Sanders or for Trump.

                I think the notes of economic populism in each campaign are appealing to some of the same people. Sanders hasn’t gotten as far as he has purely on support from young leftists.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Head-to-head matchups at this point for GE candidates are basically a waste of time. They’re useless. (It’s fun to go back to march 2008 and see how Obama was doing versus the GOP field, though).

                All you do, mostly, is confirm your biases. No matter which way they go.

                You’ll get better data checking ‘generic Democrat’ versus ‘generic Republican’.

                Which is why I’m skeptical of claims of X winning Y, if they don’t conform to long-running demographic trends. There’s too much noise as people deal with contested primaries — or aren’t paying attention.

                Which is why I’m comfortable saying the GOP will probably revert back to pre-Obama levels of black support (Obama seems a singular event that actually DID make noticeable changes there) or that Hispanics and the young will vote heavily Democratic. That’s because that’s how they’ve been voting, partisan affiliation is sticky (even if you claim to be independent), and the only major change in tone or rhetoric from 2012 is the degenerating GOP primary.

                And I still don’t really think the GOP is going to calve off huge numbers people due to that.

                I realize we disagree about Sanders — I see him as the standard outsider, a candidate in every contested Democratic primary for the last few decades.

                I could totally be wrong about that, but head-to-head polls right now aren’t where you’d find that data. Or at least, that’s been historically the case.

                Too noisy. Too full of people with axes to grind or only mildly invested (if at all) in the race — which is why if you go back to March or April of any primary year and scroll through the head-to-head GE matchups generated, you get some really funny numbers compared to what history churned out.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

          Well, that’s the “head in the sand” mentality that lotsa folks – me included – have been advising against adopting, Morat. “Hillary will crush him! It’s in the bag!!”

          Seems to me folks who say stuff like that either aren’t paying attention to what’s going on or are deluding themselves. Or both!Report

          • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

            @stillwater , neither Morat or I are saying that Hillary should take a nice vacation to Ibiza after the DNC. We’re simply stating there is no path Trump can win unless every poll about him is off in such a way we’ve never seen in modern American politics.

            If you truly think a guy with a -70 approval rating among Hispanic’s can win Virginia, Colorado, or Florida, I’d love to know how. Especially when the Clinton Machine no longer has to hold back because it’s an intermural primary.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

              Especially when the Clinton Machine no longer has to hold back because it’s an intermural primary.

              You think the primary is defined by Clinton holding back? Really? That she’s the one playing nice?


              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Absolutely. I remember the 2008 primary. Hell, I remember the 2012 DNC speech by Bill.

                This is the Clinton Machine on a 2 or a 3. Maybe a 4 in the lead up to Michigan. They’re doing just enough to win, while also not pissing off Sander’s supporters too much because they need their votes in November, but they slip sometimes.

                I mean, even compare the debates to 2008. It’s all mainly policy even though there’s tons of stuff Hillary could pull out against Bernie on a personal level that they haven’t because it’s not worth it.

                Put it this way, this whole Bernie Cuba thing? You really think Hillary or her team didn’t know about it until the debate? That they couldn’t have dropped 10 ads about wacky things like that if they truly wanted too?Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Well, good luck with the fantasy that Hillary is a better politician than she appears to be, Jesse.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Note I said the Clinton Machine. Not Clinton herself. There’s likely a Clinton for President employees or volunteer in every court house in the nation where Trump has ever sued or been sued by anybody, going through lists of former employees, and so on, and so forth.

                I’ll put it this way – she’s Peyton Manning on this year Broncos. She’s not the best, but she has a fantastic defense that’s currently playing at half speed because they know they’ve got this win.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Clinton has historically surrounded herself with some of the most incompetent politicos in Washington, Jesse. Which is a reflection of her character, no?Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Sure, she picked Mark Penn in 2008. Which was an error. But, according to all reports, she’s picked up most of Obama’s 2008 and 2012 team and integrated them with her people.

                It’s part of the reason why Bernie’s team is frankly, so bad and is largely only winning as much as they are because of the overall momentum of the campaign and Hillary’s inability to go full bore on Sanders. Because all of the 1st and 2nd stringers are on Hillary’s team.

                What other incompetent politicos? Rahm Emanuel? I don’t like him or his policies, but he did a damn good job of running DCCC and was a good Chief of Staff for Obama, even if he didn’t support the same policies I did?

                Here’s what Ezra Klein said about a Clinton vs Trump race and frankly, he knows more than me about this –

                “”The Clinton Machine is the single most skilled opposition research organization in American politics today.”

                “They will make Donald Trump wish he had never been born.”

                If he says this, then yeah, I’m confident Hillary can still wallop Donald, even if she isn’t a natural politician.Report

              • Kim in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Bullshit. I know someone who’s run circles around pretty much everyone else this election cycle (This is the THIRD campaign he’s on, mind), and he’s in Sanders camp.

                His comment on politicos: “Why is it that they can never seem to see a trap within a trap?”Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

                I’d love to hear his 11-D chess explanation for Sander’s current delegate situation.

                “Yes, down by 300 delegates on March 15 — three times the closest gap between Obama and Clinton — we have her right were we want her!”.

                His magic plan to get 60% of the remaining delegates is undoubtedly a masterwork.Report

              • Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                I’m sorry, did I not mention traps within traps?

                Bernie’s a bit like Ned Lamont — shake the tree, and see what flies out, and record everything.

                4D Chess means that you don’t have to win in one election.

                (Besides, his last act on Bush’s campaign was to nudge the donors to support Rubio, when he knew the PR folks for Rubio were absolute incompetents… Wasting money’s a bit of his speciality).Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

                So JUST to be clear: Sander’s election advisers are so skilled, that losing the election is part of their plan? Like they got together and said “Step One, let’s LOSE this baby. Step two ???? Step three Profit!”. (Or changing the world or whatever).


                Well, that’s certainly a strategy alright. I admit, Clinton’s never going to see that coming. (Well, the part where Sander’s loses yeah. But not the clever way he wins by losing. Totally gonna blindside her. She’ll just have to take comfort in running in the general election).Report

              • Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                It’s part of a plan, by a forensic accountant.
                You’re surprised that the first step in a plan is “trace the money”?

                That may not be the only plan. There’s always backup plans, after all.

                (And yes, his plan for Walker’s campaign was “make this guy lose” he is a troll, after all).Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

                You’re surprised that the first step in a plan is “trace the money”?

                It’s clearly 11-D chess, because you’ve switched from the obvious “Sanders is losing, rather badly” to “something about tracing money”.

                Sander’s isn’t running the internal auditing job in the DNC or the GAO, you know. He’s running in an election.

                You must be trolling.Report

              • Kim in reply to Morat20 says:

                Well, my friend in Sanders’ campaign is obviously trolling Clinton for the amusement value of making her lazy campaign workers actually do their job.

                I don’t see why there shouldn’t be auxiliary goals for someone working for Sanders. I’m not sure Sanders thinks he’s going to win (in fact, I rather hope he doesn’t.), so why should his campaign staff be in it for him to win?

                Yes, you play 4D chess if you want to actually guide the country via elections. This is not a New Thing.

                2006’s Senate (and to a lesser extent House) was to a good deal won by Ford and Lautenberg, and Ford didn’t even win! (My friend was on Ford’s Senate campaign, and used that to help get Cohen elected. Some stuff you only come by if you’re on the right team, if you know what I mean).Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Opposition research?

                The man did a press conference this month with most of all the scam products he’s ever sold.

                Opposition research?!

                The man has 21st century Nazis has his most vocal supporters

                Opposition research ?!?!

                This Electra complex photo has already been widely circulated.

                Opposition research?!?!?!

                The man got both Clintons to attend his third wedding. His daughter is good friends with their daughter.

                Opposition fishin research. Please.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Kolohe says:

                I hesitate to say anything at all, because I think that even implying that Trump is guilty of anything more than epic bad taste and poor judgement in his jokes and photography choices w/r/t his daughter is unseemly in the extreme, but that photo is…very unfortunate.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                As to the Peyton Manning reference: now we’re getting closer to finding a place to agree. Running with the analogy: she’s like a QB with no arm strength or mobility who’s only asset is being able to decipher defensive schemes, but who’s even then unable to achieve success or exploit the opponent due to his own weakness and injury.

                Better to rely on a good defense and strip-sacker to win the big game…Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Except for again, in probably 30 to 40 alternative universes out of 100, she’s been the President for the past 8 years because she managed to win the DNC nomination in 2008.

                The 2008 primary was real close. People forget that.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Vice-President Obama is taking this election in those alternate universes.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                See how far we’ve traveled in a short time? We began with talking about Clinton’s chances of success against Trump and now we’re talking about how in lots of possible worlds she’s the two term President handing the reins over to Obama….Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                It’s weird.

                If I assume that OT is representative of the arguments going on in the hallowed halls, the fact that “concern trolling” and “alternate universes” are showing up before the convention is not a good indicator.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Dude, I agree. I’m not sure exactly how to express the thought we’re both talking about, but the word “denial” pops up as indicative of the mindset.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Stillwater says:

                Don’t fret. The heavens have cleared the way for HRC to be out next president, just as they have in every other political race in her career.

                Except that one she lost.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Will Truman says:

                If the heavens cleared the way DWS must be an archangel.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Stillwater says:

                See, See! There is a reason I am reading Ubik! You want to talk about false realities!Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                It wasn’t a close as the stats indicate. The Michigan and Florida delegate counts only counted for half (because they jumped in line), the Obama campaign did math and contested neither too strongly. An Obama effort in Florida and Michigan would have had him run up the score much earlier.

                Most of the delegates on the back half of the race (e.g. California) were garbage time gains too, where Obama had to do just enough to keep the lead wire to wire.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Stillwater says:

                Clinton and Sanders could both be playing more hardball than they are; though Clinton has the advantage that the DNC are playing hardball for her.

                In the general election, the very least Clinton will do is have wall-to-wall primetime ads showing every repellent statement Trump has ever made about or towards women. Then there’s his business failures and all kinds of other stuff to go after.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Yes. And on the other side there’s Hillary’s decision to bomb Libya (for political purposes!); emailgate; her vote for the Iraq Invasion; her cozy relationship with Wall Street; her vote on student loan bankruptcy; black “super-predators”; her record of flip-flopping and focus-grouping; and so on.

                Seems to me the negative targets front is all square. 🙂

                And I agree with you about the DNC playing hardball so her hands remain clean. That strikes me as one of those subtle issues which, if well played, resonate thru a campaign to determine outcomes.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yes, it’s going to be a heavily negative campaign if those are the candidates.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Morat20 says:

          “don’t you just want a simple world, with a strong leader to show you the path to victory?”

          So interesting to me how you say that mockingly, like you don’t believe it, and yet you also say that libertarians ignorant of how the world needs strong central government to keep us all safe from the crazy racist homophobes.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Only because they lack indoor plumbing.Report

  8. Don Zeko says:

    certified Murkin bootstraps

    I haven’t quite figured out what that would look like yet. I think maybe it’s better that I don’t.Report

  9. greginak says:

    Here is an anti trump ad from group on the right. Yeah Trumpets won’t care, or at least admit to it at first. But in the general election this kind of stuff will just be the start and that is just the stuff based on what Trumpy has actually said or done.

  10. Jesse Ewiak says:

    More evidence for @stillwater and @jaybird that Hillary Clinton is doomed doomed doomed against Donald Trump.

    Latest USA TODAY/Rock the Vote poll shows Trump would be an electoral disaster for the GOP. While young people hate Hillary Clinton (Sanders has double digit lead over her among millennials ) versus Trump, Hillary has a 52%-19% lead with voters under 35! Nearly one in four Republicans under 35 would defect to the Democrats if the GOP nominated Trump against Clinton. Just 7% of Democrats would defect to the GOP.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      If this holds then I am wrong and we don’t have a single thing to worry about.

      Hurray! Obama to be followed by Clinton!Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yeah, but if she wins she’s going to have a killer fight in 2020. There’s going to be a lot of Democratic President fatigue, and I’m guessing crazy fatigue might have set in.Report

        • North in reply to Morat20 says:

          A whole lot will depend in 2020.
          For instance what does the economy do? Small recession or shallow recession or maybe even no recession and then continued recovery? That would hammer home the Dems preside over prosperity/GOP presides over fiscal ruin meme. Does she get coat tails? Does Trump wash out the Senate (likely) or even the House? (unlikely). Does she get up to some “excellent” adventures like Bush Junior?

          And what happens to the GOP? Because if they nominate Trump and lose there’s gonna be one heck of a lot of recriminations flying around everywhere.Report

    • Given that younger voters tend to have low turnout unless they’re particularly motivated by postive enthusiasm for someone (Obama managed it in the US, Justin Trudeau managed it in Canada), and the poll indicates that they don’t like either Hillary or Trump much, I’d extrapolate from the poll to say that a Clinton vs. Trump election would be decided by older voters.

      Since younger folks trend Democratic and older folks trend Republican, that’s not good news for Clinton.Report

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Except for of course the multiple polls showing Clinton beating Trump by almost double digits and I say that as somebody who doesn’t even believe general election polls all that much. Look, I get it. You don’t like Hillary Clinton. But, this idea that Hillary is going to lose in some electoral disaster against Trump has no actual evidence to it. It’s this weird simple belief that everybody hates Hillary (and by everybody, we mean young people on the Internet, leftists, and Republican’s), so Hillary will lose in the general.

        Also, I already posted this poll showing Millennial’s would happily vote for Hillary –

        “In a hypothetical Clinton v. Trump contest in November, voters under 35 would choose Clinton by a crushing 52%-19%, a preference that crosses demographic lines. Among whites, she’d be backed by nearly 2-1, 45%-26%. Among Hispanics, by more than 4-1, 61%-14%. Among Asian Americans, by 5-1, 60%-11%. Among African Americans, by 13-1, 67%-5%.”Report

        • Autolukos in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

          To be fair, Hillary’s favorable-unfavorable split is pretty bad (46-52 in a recent ABC registered voter poll, with 41% in the “Strongly Unfavorable” column).

          Trump, of course, polls worse, managing 56% “Strongly Unfavorable” and another 11% of the normal kind of unfavorable. Even Republicans don’t like him: only 51% of Republican leaners would be satisfied with him as the nominee, compared to 74% of Democrats for Clinton.

          That poll is a good summary of why Trump is more likely to produce a blue wave than a red one: on just about every ominous-for-Clinton measure, Trump does worse. Polarizing has been good for him so far, but his struggles to close the deal don’t exactly scream strength in the general.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Autolukos says:

            The last poll I saw had Trump’s unfavorables at 60, Hillary’s at 55.

            The situation is apparently fluid.Report

            • Autolukos in reply to Stillwater says:

              That’s at the favorable-to-Trump end of both of their ranges, I think.

              And sure, perceptions can change, but these aren’t new faces: that ABC poll has favorability results going back to 1992 for Clinton, who has hovered around 50-50 since 1999. For Trump, there are two polls from 1999-2000 (both around 70% unfavorable), one from 2011 (his best, at 40% favorable, 48% unfavorable), and a series from this campaign (one from last May that looks like the 1999-2000 polls, then a series of steady 30-some favorable, 60-ish unfavorable). I would bet against big movements for either over the next 6 months.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

              I wonder if those numbers gauge intensity.

              I mean, the Sanders supporters may be “uncomfortable” with Hilary, but that is not at all comparable to what Rubio supporters feel towards Trump.Report

              • Autolukos in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Another recent poll asked about supporting candidates other than their first choice in November.

                First the bad news for Clinton: 20% of Sanders supporters said they definitely wouldn’t support her.

                For Trump, 35% of Rubio/Kasich/Cruz supporters said they definitely wouldn’t support him.

                I wouldn’t expect the numbers of these people who actually stay home or vote for someone else in November to be quite as high, of course, but Trump does seem to have a much harder path just to hold on to the ordinary Republican share of the vote than Clinton does to hold on to the Democratic share.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Autolukos says:

                My gut-mind tells me that *that* sorta of primary-based rejectionism is part and parcel of GOP presidential politics in recent years. My belief is that once (IF!) Trump wins, a concialatory glad-handing wind-down will ensue after which the majority of folks who previously were #NeverTrump will come to see that he’s not only the bast path forward but isn’t so bad afterall.Report

              • Autolukos in reply to Stillwater says:

                Since neither Cruz nor Rubio show anything like Trump’s results on the same question (it wasn’t asked about Kasich), I’m fairly certain that Trump stands apart on this one. Ron Paul probably would have had worse results in 2012 and 2008, I suppose. As notable as the absolute numbers to me is the pattern: Cruz and Rubio both have a steady decline from definitely support (35% Cruz, 38% Rubio) to definitely won’t support (11% Cruz, 12% Rubio), while Trump has a plurality of definitely won’t support at 35%, probably support in second at 27%, definitely support in third at 25%, and probably won’t support bringing up the rear at 13%.

                I do think that the party will rally around Trump once he takes the nomination (which seems more likely than not), including a lot of #NeverTrumpers, but I also think we’ll see more traditionally Republican voters looking elsewhere in November than we’ve seen since, at the very least, Perot’s runs in the ’90s. If Trump loses only 10% of Romney voters from 2012, that’s a 6 million voter hole he needs to fill; I don’t think he has nearly that many new voters in him, barring bizarre external circumstances.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Autolukos says:

                It’s hard for me to argue with that (since it strikes me as solidly in the “quite likely” category) … BUT, this is where the anti-establishment vibe dominating the election kicks in. A lot of what follows depends on how good a politician Trump actually is (and so far he’s been pretty good at low hanging fruit but not much more than that; I think he has more in him) I’m with Jaybird on the premise that Trump picks up lots of voters who would otherwise vote D, except for the fact that it’s a) Hillary in who’s b) the definition of an establishment candidate in c) this election cycle.

                A lot will depend on how effective her establishment cred is credibly dis-established (which really shouldn’t be that hard – eg., student loan bankruptcy??) and how well she plays politics rightbackatcha.

                Personally, I’m not optimistic. Which isn’t to say I think she’s going to lose. It’s more to say that she’s a terrible candidate who I’m not at all convinced can beat an even worse one.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                This is another thing. I don’t think Hillary is a terrible candidate. I think Hillary is an average candidate who’s coming after one of the most charismatic political candidates in decades.

                It’s the George H.W. Bush after Reagan thing. George H.W. Bush wasn’t a terrible candidate, but he also had a rough primary because he was out of step with a portion of his base. Hell, in an Internet world, he might’ve lost to Buchanan in the primary.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Autolukos says:

                I’d take those polls with a grain of salt the size of Utah.

                The “convention bounce” happens not because masses of voters suddenly realize there’s an election on and go “hey, yeah, I like [Candidate I just saw accept the nomination]!”.

                It’s the people supporting their primary opponents remembering that, as ever, the real enemy is [Evil Other Party] and that, honestly, this [Candidate That Was Hitler Incarnate Four Months Ago] is pretty darn good on the issues. Not perfect like [Primary Candidate Who Lost, The Perfect Unicorn Of Hope], but pretty darn solid.Report

              • Autolukos in reply to Morat20 says:

                See paragraph 2 and reply to @stillwaterReport

              • Morat20 in reply to Autolukos says:

                I’m sticking with “insert huge grain of salt”.

                Not that it matters. We’re all guessing about a future we can’t really individually effect, and we’ll find out sooner or later how it turns out.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Autolukos says:

                @autolukos Flashback to 2008 –


                “According to the exit polls, half of Clinton’s supporters in Indiana would not vote for Obama in a general election match up with John McCain. A third of Clinton voters said they would pick McCain over Obama, while 17 percent said they would not vote at all. Just 48 percent of Clinton supporters said they would back Obama in November.”Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                {{You two guys are amazing. I’d pay Erik extra to keep you guys around just so the “Clintonista/Dem Loyalist” vibe is represented at the OT.}}

                {{Erik, please don’t ask me for more than I contributed last year. Unless you’re already paying them, of course. Then I’m in…}}

                Edit: Now that I think about it, it’s just like Koz last election. The entertainment value of his presence was hard to put a price on…Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater, I’m simply looking at the numbers. I’ve said multiple times I’d be worried about Hillary against Rubio or Kasich. But against Ted “Zodiac” Cruz or Donald “Terrorists have better approval ratings than me among Hispanic’s” Trump, I’m simply not worried.

                I’ll make a bet with you right now – we’ll both guess PV and EV numbers and whoever comes closest donated $25 to a charity.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                That last bit is a good idea. And I think it should be expanded beyond just you and me. Maybe a pool of some sort, where the lions share of the proceeds go to charity?

                I like it. I’ll throw in some cash. I need to see how the primary turns out, tho…Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                We should make a post dedicated to it.

                (Going back and reading the Time Capsule, only RTod successfully guessed that Trump would be the candidate. So all of us here except him aren’t very good at this.)Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird says:

                At least with regard to the Republican Primary, we have plenty of company. I think all of the missed calls say more about how history is contingent and unpredictable than anything negative about most of the missed guesses. Six months ago, Donald Trump looked EXACTLY like a Herman Cain-esque flash in the pan, and there was 30 years of primary contests suggesting that a candidate like Trump just doesn’t win. Now we know that something weird and different happened this cycle.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Morat20 says:

                Not perfect like [Primary Candidate Who Lost, The Perfect Unicorn Of Hope],

                This is the funniest thing I’ve read today. Kudos.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

          Look, I get it. You don’t like Hillary Clinton. But, this idea that Hillary is going to lose in some electoral disaster against Trump has no actual evidence to it.

          Jesse, you keep misunderstanding what people are saying. It’s not that Jaybird or Katherine or even me don’t like Hillary. When you say stuff like that, you’re personalizing the arguments in a way that makes objective analysis impossible. Also (which is part of your effort to feed the personalization beast) no one is saying she’s going to lose in an electoral “disaster”. In fact, people are saying the opposite, which is that folks who think that Hillary will waltz into the WH (like you do 🙂 are misunderstanding both electoral dynamics driving this primary cycle (anti/disestablishmentarianism) as well as HIllary’s unfavorables (which are nudging Trump’s for top spot in the primary).

          Here’s how the general would go between those two candidates: Trump pivots to towards the GOP and the independents while Hillary can’t pivot anywhere; the campaign is defined by “going negative”, which Trump will be better at than Hillary; Hillary appeals to the “stay the course” moderates/liberals while Trump gets the “throw the bums out” crowd frothing at the bit. Hillary will get the minority vote; Trump will get angry vote; and the election will be decided by the not-so-angry white people vote (who don’t like either of them).Report

          • El Muneco in reply to Stillwater says:

            I’m inclined to be more charitable to Jesse – in this cycle of all cycles we’re left reading sheep entrails and trying to decipher mystic ramblings of vestal virgins who have been huffing mercury fumes and model airplane glue.

            In these circumstances, we have to be double down looking over our own shoulder to see if what we’re each getting out of polls isn’t what we brought there with our little friend, confirmation bias. Not anyone in particular, all of us.

            This season we have more chances than ever to say “X isn’t true because it can’t be true”, and that way always lies danger.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to El Muneco says:


              I’m not sure how that conclusion is more favorable to Jesse, since his entire view is predicated on projecting past behavior into the future, which is the same rationale that said Trump would self-destruct by Halloween. Last year. 🙂 And the same rationale that said Bernie would offer token resistance in order to nudge Hillary back to the left. And …well … here we are.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Stillwater says:


                I think our differences come down to 2 things –

                1. “Trump will pivot to the center” – This isn’t 1976 anymore. You can’t pivot to the general anymore because every candidate has gigabytes of video of their every statement to throw in an ad these days. That’s even putting aside part of Trump’s brand is that he’s a truth teller.

                2. “I thought Trump would self-destruct by Halloween” – I never thought a candidate espousing Trump’s beliefs couldn’t win. I just thought Trump would be a horrible candidate, politically speaking. It turned out he hasn’t been, at least for a primary.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Or maybe the lesson is that he is a horrible candidate–but being a horrible candidate doesn’t matter as much as we all thought it did.Report

        • I do not think that Clinton is going to necessarily lose in an electoral disaster against Trump. I think she’s weaker against him tham Bernie is (a view which is also supported by the preponderance of head-to-head polls). She’s still got a decent chance at winning. And, even aside from the relief I’d feel at the Republican losing, I’d be moderately happy if she did win the election (because seriously, one hundred freaking years, it’s about time.).

          As Stillwater has said, this isn’t a matter of personal dislike on my part. And I don’t think everyone hates her – but I do observe the fact that Gallup polls show that more people regard her unfavourably than favourably. She’s still well ahead of Donald Trump in that area, though (she’s -12, he’s -33).

          I am not at all surprised that younger voters back Hillary over Trump by large margins. My observation was that, in general, younger voters are less likely to turn out to vote – a fact that is noted by pretty well everyone who observes politics – and that the margins by which they are voting for Bernie suggests a lower level of enthusiasm towards Hillary than towards Bernie. And without that enthusiasm, they are less likely to turn out to the polls in large numbers like they did for Obama.

          What it comes down to is how many Republicans decide to vote for Trump rather than staying home, and how angry people are feeling around election day.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to KatherineMW says:

            My observation was that, in general, younger voters are less likely to turn out to vote – a fact that is noted by pretty well everyone who observes politics – and that the margins by which they are voting for Bernie suggests a lower level of enthusiasm towards Hillary than towards Bernie. And without that enthusiasm, they are less likely to turn out to the polls in large numbers like they did for Obama.

            There are polls on voter enthusiasm on the Democratic side, you know.

            They show Sanders and Clinton having roughly similar numbers (a few points) in both enthusiasm and favorability, which undercuts your thesis a bit. If they’re both polling in the 60s for enthusiasm, it’s a wash at best.

            I mean if you’re gonna say “I dunno about Clinton, 35% aren’t really enthusiastic — what if they stay home election day” isn’t the identical argument true about Sanders since he’s got the same numbers?

            I mean you can say that “The young are different” because they vote so little, but even when their turnout spikes (like 2008) they’re still 10 or so points behind the next least reliable age demographic. Super enthusiastic young people are STILL massively less likely to show up than moderately enthusiastic 40 year olds

            “The young will show up and swing the election” is one of those fun myths of politics, that seems to backstab someone every primary. Although hey, they did actually show up in Michigan. 🙂Report

            • KatherineMW in reply to Morat20 says:

              What voter enthusiasm polls are those? I haven’t seen any.

              Young voters made a real difference for Obama (2008) and for Trudeau (2015), though in those cases it would be hard to say they “swung the election” because the general trend of the voters was in the same direction. Still significant, though.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to KatherineMW says:

                I can’t seem to dig it up. It was bandied around maybe a month ago?

                I found a couple from January, buried in the crosstabs, that showed the same thing.

                It’s moot anyways. Sanders just lost. Clinton won Florida, NC, and Ohio. 150 net votes over Sanders. Even if he wins Illinois and Missouri, he won’t net more than a handful,

                He’s going to leave this week down 350+ delegates. Not recoverable.

                For good or ill, she’s the Democratic candidate.Report

  11. Rufus F. says:

    Is writing really that hard? You tell the truth as best you can assess it and do so in the most interesting and readable way that you’re capable of. I’m sure he was just being “contrarian” but this just makes him sound like he’s lacking in judgment.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Old information: Looks like Trump is going to come in, ruin everything for the Republicans, and help Clinton get over the post-Obaman Democratic exhaustion.


      New information: Huh. Trump might win. I mean, like, even in the GE.


      • Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’m even more cynical. I can only imagine him getting to the contrarian point by saying Well, okay, Trump might seem like the sort of candidate I don’t like, but wouldn’t it be more interesting to say that he’s offering a way out of political polarization with a substantive moderate agenda? I mean, who’s saying that?

        I dunno. I can be plenty contrarian, but it’s usually because I genuinely disagree with something.Report

        • Michael Drew in reply to Rufus F. says:

          You can only imagine thinking that Trump was charting a new path in the GOP via policy moderation because he was looking for ways to be interesting? It doesn’t affect things that that’s roughly what he did for a good five months, while also being offensive as hell?

          Granted, absolutely Yglesias and about 70% pf the press routinely says things in order to be interesting. I think Yglesias usually seeks to be interesting by saying things in a particular way, not saying things he doesn’t believe. Sometimes, but not usually.

          I don’t see a lot of reason to believe Yglesias wasn’t genuinely intrigued by Trump’s policy unorthodoxy. And that he made a very bad, but very real, misjudgment in not weighing the racism and crassness heavily enough against that to conclude the only appropriate thing was saying exclusively bad things about Trump from the outset.

          But this goes to a point I’ve made elsewhere. Yglesias and Chait got about as far out on the pro-Trump branch as any liberal writers. But it’s not like they ever became pro-Trump. They liked what Trump was doing within the context of the GOP. Chait I think more politically; Yglesias more in terms of policy. Bad judgements both because of the failure to understand the real nature of Trump and Trumpism. But both I think quite genuine bad judgements.

          The liberal desire to a) see the GOP nominating contest produce disaster (I think significantly because of rising concerns over the quality of Clinton as a candidate), and b) see the GOP forced to reckon with their estrangement with their base, especially if that mean moderation on conservative economic orthodoxy …was very real indeed. I think there is every reason to see Chait and Yglesias as genuine instances of that, not merely as cynical clickbait. Though I don’t disagree with jr that there is always an element of cynical clickbaiting in what they do. But that’s really the norm for their profession.Report

    • j r in reply to Rufus F. says:

      These guys don’t get paid for having judgment. They get paid for successfully mirroring the judgment of their readers. Judgments are dangerous things for pundits, because they leave a record.

      Say all the bad things you want about Bill Kristol, and please do because he deserves it, but there is something worse than being wrong all the time. And that’s never saying anything meaningful enough to be judged right or wrong.Report