The Joy Of Opening Time Capsules


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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180 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    I’ll go first: Trump wins and yet everyone still says “I don’t know anybody who voted for him!”
    He’ll win the popular vote and the electoral vote with something like 295 electoral votes.
    Here’s my best guess for the electoral map.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      To answer Saul’s question, I think that the Third Parties (that is, all of them, added together), don’t even hit 3%.

      They will have less of an impact on this election than Nader did in 2000.

      We will find ourselves wondering if everyone who said that they were voting Third Party were doing so in order to get social cover for their eventual Trump votes. Well, not the Jill Stein people. They’re going to vote for Hillary.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      I don’t understand where you and Aaron think a Trump landslide is going to come from. He had a good post-convention bounce but as I pointed out below, HRC and the Ds got more viewers and seem to be having a better post-convention bounce.

      Trump also had a really bad week where almost everyone found him as being way too dangerous to be President. There were his Russian comments. Then there was his attack, attack, and attack again on Khan and his family. How does Trump recover from his slander against the parents of a soldier killed in action?

      Maybe all of us exist in different circles but I know lots of people who are very passionate about HRC, very passionate about the Democratic Party, and eager to vote in this election. These are not islands. Yet Democratic enthusiasm always seems to be heavily discounted here?

      You wrote that Trump speaks for the Jugallo vote a while ago. Is such a demographic that big? Bouie wrote that Trump would need to win millions more white voters to win and that doesn’t seem to be happening. He is doing well with the non-college educated whites but poorly with college-educated whites. He also doing much worse among minorities than any Republican President in my lifetime.

      Yet all I here is feels about a secret Republican silent majority out there. The Demographics of this country are very different than 1968, 1972, 1980, and 1984. Perhaps the new silent majority is Democratic.

      I know I push these questions a lot but I don’t feel like the answers I get are good beyond intuitions and feels and just a plum resistance from HRC haters to concede any point.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Play with the 538 slider here

        You can put huge turn-out and huge pro-democratic wins for all the minority constituencies. If, however, the same turn-out and rate of return happens in one single demographic: white working class. Trump wins.

        I don’t think we’ll see those levels of participation from WWC; but if we do, it doesn’t matter what the democratic party does.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine says:

          I agree and this is my point and Bouie’s point. Trump would need to get millions of people out and voting. As far as we can tell, Trump does not have the kind of campaign that knows how to do this on a technical level.

          GOTV is about much more than friendly reminders. It is more about “Do you need a ride? We can get you a ride!”Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Marchmaine says:

          If, however, the same turn-out and rate of return happens in one single demographic: white working class. Trump wins.

          The problem with that is the GOP seems to have pretty much hit saturation there — diminishing returns, as it were. I don’t seem him being able to top Romney’s or McCain’s numbers by that much.

          Not to mention that the White Working Class also includes women, which is a big question mark. He’s not doing as well among women as men, and depending on how that plays out he might not even reach Romney’s numbers.

          Which he needs to beat my a bit, just to lose only as much as the GOP did in 2012.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Morat20 says:

            Well sure, if he only generates Romney/McCain numbers then he loses big.

            That’s really the question though… is he Romney/McCain or is there something big percolating under the surface that will mirror the dramatic increase in the primaries? Or is it as big as its going to get? Or is it spent force already?

            I’ve already put in my prediction that it won’t be a massive national force, but possibly some interesting local upsets; but in the end, HRC wins. But, if I’m wrong it’s exactly for assuming that there was some sort of fake rule of diminishing returns.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Marchmaine says:

              or is there something big percolating under the surface that will mirror the dramatic increase in the primaries

              That’s never the way to bet. Primary turnout and GE turnout have no correlation.

              As a simple example: Years with an incumbent President see very, very low primary participation compared to years without.

              This year the GOP had an interesting primary where many voters felt there was a lot at stake. Despite all the internet screaming, the poll numbers on Democrats found the majority of them liked both Sanders and Clinton. There was very little “Must stop X” or “Y is the best candidate of all time” there.

              As for “fake rule of diminishing returns” — that’s simple math. If you have 70% of a group, getting an extra 5% represents swaying a full sixth of the remaining people.

              Whereas if you have 50% of the group, swaying 5% represents only 1/10.

              It’s a lot easier to get a million new voters if your potential pool of converts is 10 million than if it’s 3 million.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I cannot speak for Aaron but my theory has to do with that formula that I mentioned the other day:

        A + (B/Z)

        A is the number of Significant Events in the USA. Stuff like riots in cities, police officers killed in particularly horrible ways, terrorist attacks (or events that present similarly to terrorist attacks.

        B is the number of these things that happen in Europe.

        Z is some number that I don’t know what it is but it’s probably between 2 and 5 given that crazy stuff that happens in Europe is important… but it’s not *AS* important as the stuff that happens on US soil.

        It is *THIS* formula that will decide the election.

        Not whether Trump says something horrid.

        All we need is a handful of “events” in the US and a handful of “terrorist” attacks in Europe and suddenly Trump makes a lot more sense than Hillary does.

        I think that the US will see a handful of those events and that Europe will see a handful of those “terrorist” attacks. And, following those, Trump will win.

        Even if Trump’s latest horrible thing that he said gets 4 whole minutes on NPR’s All Things Considered all day every day for the next three months.

        Edit: I should add that it’s fairly easy to measure whether this eventual number will be smaller than Trump would need to get elected. If nothing happens between now and November, the number will be too small.

        So just watch the news for the next three months. If nothing of note happens, then we know that Trump won’t get elected.

        So, I suppose, my prediction is not over Trump/Clinton but over how many things will happen that will cause the number in that formula to go up.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

          I disagree. I don’t thin Trump as strong daddy sells to anyone except maybe 25-30 percent of the population maybe less. I think that events happening will cause people to see Trump is a deranged nut with no sense of control or proportion.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

          Interesting… I’m with Douthat on the Grey Swan theory. If things get too bad, I think it works against Trump.

          If on the other hand legions of non-voting WWC folks show up to the polls, that will be the difference. I don’t think we’ll see legions. Maybe some interesting gaggles here and there, but that’s about it. Or, I’m wrong.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

            I don’t really know about that. I don’t see how any given bad thing that happens wouldn’t be tied to the current administration and Clinton being an extension of the current administration… which would make Clinton a bit of a referendum on the current administration minus the Obama.

            Now, of course, if no such events occur, it’s not difficult at all to say “yeah, this administration was pretty good” come election day.

            If such events occur, we’re going to see one hell of a Bradley Effect.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

              Ordinarily I’d agree 100%… but Trump isn’t an ex-General or a steady statesman building a new populist movement. He’s an opportunist who stumbled on a confluence of policies that resonate with a large plurality of the party.

              It might look like “burn it all down” from the outside, but honestly I think it’s more of a “grab hold of the levers of power and pull them my way” phenomenon. The greater the threat to the power-base (either military or economic or social) and the less attractive Trump becomes.

              TLDR version, Trump depends on everything standing as is so that the spoils can be redistributed. Threaten the spoils and he’s of no use.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                It might look like “burn it all down” from the outside, but honestly I think it’s more of a “grab hold of the levers of power and pull them my way” phenomenon. The greater the threat to the power-base (either military or economic or social) and the less attractive Trump becomes.

                I agree 100% with this, but I reached a different conclusion about the power-base. The shakier things look (and events repeating like the ones over the last two/three months make things look shaky rather than actually and for-real threatened), it changes the Clinton/Trump calculus in favor of Trump.

                Trump doesn’t have to outrun the zombie horde, he just has to outrun Clinton. And, assuming a zombie horde, he’s doing a better job of running away from it.

                The question is whether the voting public assumes a zombie horde.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                Aha, now I see how we can share many of the same assumptions but come to different conclusions… I see the Zombie Horde half Contained you see them half Escaped.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                I went through looking up how to say “perfectly phrased” in French (something like “mot juste!” but better… I settled on “parfaitement formulé!” right before discovering that the proper way to put that is “mots juste!” which sucks) before realizing that, no… I don’t think that that’s it.

                It’s more like Roko’s Basilisk.

                This is a zombie horde that only exists if you believe in it.

                Trump is very good at making people believe in it.
                Unfortunately, stuff like the domestic events and the terrorist events overseas are even better at making people believe in it (and Trump is very good at pointing at it and saying “BEHOLD!”).

                Clinton is less skilled at explaining “no, that’s not a zombie horde, and preparing for a zombie horde is worthy of harsh criticism!” in such a way that makes people feel at ease about the events in question.

                So it’s not that it’s half contained, it’s that it’s half-realized.

                If you dig the distinction I’m making.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

                Which people are convinced?

                Is anyone looking at the links and polls I have been posting or does it all get explained away because giving HRC a victory is just really bad for a certain strain of white dude?

                The Democratic convention was optimistic and inclusive. The GOP convention was not. By all accounts, people are responding much better to the DNC convention yet the white guys still need to go I think Trump can win even if they dislike Trump because they have a psychological hatred of HRC.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Convinced of what?

                I don’t think that the links/polls you’ve been posting are representative of anything but what would happen if the elected were to be held today.

                For what it’s worth, I think that if the election were held today that Hillary will win. The number that I think will decide the election is not large enough for a Trump victory yet.

                I certainly hope that it does not become large enough for one and, if nothing happens (or there are very few events) then we’ll all be better off.

                So much the better for all of us.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


                I think Marchmaine and Bouie have it right. Theoretically Trump can win but it requires getting millions of people to the polls who have never voted before or to switch.

                I simply think that the Democratic Party can and will continue to win Presidential elections without increasing their proportion of the WWC. 2008 and 12 were not flukes.

                There seem to be a lot of guys (mainly white guys) who might not like Trump but are not quite admitting that it kind of stings to not be needed as a courting partner.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                The best way to lose an election is to be counting on the votes of people who habitually…don’t vote.

                Whatever you want to call it (silent majority is always fun), they always disappoint. Because their key identifying feature is they can’t seem to make it to the polls on election day.

                They’re not going to turn out for you, either.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Morat20 says:


                The goatee-donning, cargo-shorted, tightey-whitey wearing white guys will rise up in rebellion!!!!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                I think it’s a little more complicated than that.

                Trump is trying to summon a basilisk.

                The question is whether spectacular crimes/terrorist attacks will assist him in his summoning.

                If there are no more spectacular crimes/terrorist attacks, he’ll merely be a buffoon yelling that life is unfair. Let’s hope for that. Pray, if we’re praying types.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                Very well put… I guess we just can’t agree what the electorate does when the idea of a Zombie becomes an actual fishin’ Zombie. Because… Zombies…man, that changes everything.Report

            • J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

              Have you thought about the possibility that, if something bad really happens, Trump’s reaction is so over the top that he scares more people with it than those that would react against the “Obama Administration minus Obama fished all up” and move towards him? Kind of McCain and the Financial Crisis, when it became clear he wasn’t up to managing it. Basically the “can you trust the nuclear codes to someone that blows over a tweet” thing?

              If something bad happens, I think there is far more chance that he will overreact than that he will inspire the trust that he can solve it.
              Trump’s best scenario is low level clusterfishing that he can complain and talk about without actually showing any of his “small” cards (sorry – couldn’t resist it)Report

              • Morat20 in reply to J_A says:

                There is a certain strain of “If things go bad, the old white guy will save us” assumption there.

                Don’t get me wrong, scared people DO love themselves authoritarian, tough-talking figures in general.

                But as I’ve said before, I’m wondering if the GOP might not have hit market peak with people — especially whites — with those leanings. (To be honest, Trump’s kinda making the case that HE’S the big catastrophe to those of less European descent)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                What does “really bad” in this context mean?

                Something like 9/11?
                I hadn’t really considered anything like that. Merely low-level stuff like the shootings of police officers and bombs blowing up in Europe.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                A truck, a la Nice, down the midway at the Iowa State Fair. A dozen guys in pickup trucks with cases of road flares lighting a million-acre fire in the West. A half-dozen stolen garbage trucks or school buses rammed into the right substation transformers around Miami blacking the city out for three weeks. Four guys with AR-15s and lots of magazines working their way through a hospital in Queens, shooting everyone.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Dude, stop giving them ideas. At the moment, these ISIS-inspired self-starters don’t seem to be that creative, and that’s a very good thing.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Don Zeko says:

                None of these are things that haven’t appeared in unclassified Homeland Security documents. That they haven’t occurred strongly suggests that “radical Islam” is a pretty amateur outfit. I hate to think what could happen if, say, the Russians started giving them help with organization and planning.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Don Zeko raises an interesting point so I’ll just say that there are all kinds of awful things that could be done, some of which target people, some of which target things with monetary value, some of which target both.

                9/11 happened to target both and achieved a number in the thousands and billions (and feel free to count the second order effects in a few orders of magnitude higher).

                So as awful as an attack that kills tens and does millions of damage would be, I’d still put it in a different category.

                But, even so, let’s say that (God Forbid) something that kills tens and does millions happens… I don’t see how this wouldn’t help those on the fence choose Trump over Hillary. “Gee, we need a president who will respond to this sort of thing and be calm, cool, and collected” is something that people will say… but the undecided aren’t the people who would say something like that. Though they might feel like they have to say “undecided” until election day itself. Keep up appearances.

                And if (God Forbid) something like 9/11 happens (that is, thousands, billions)? That seems to me like something that will flip more than undecided but will also flip weak dems to weak undecideds (described in previous paragraph).Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                The thousands/billions cases are always going to be one-offs, and exceedingly rare. 9/11 could have been blocked by a simple protocol change: in the event of a hijacker holding a box-cutter to the flight attendant’s throat, don’t unlock the cockpit door. Or, in my reading of the 9/11 report, enough of the perpetrators could have been caught before hand by better police work.

                Asymmetrical warfare is about “death by a thousand cuts”. A demonstration that a terrorist organization can inflict small mass killings or significant inconveniences (a truck at the Iowa State Fair, blacking out Miami for days/weeks), and a demand to get US troops out of majority-Muslim countries, puts the government in a bind. If, at this point, we were nearing the end of the second year of such a terrorist campaign, the parties might have nominated folks far more authoritarian than the Donald.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                If, at this point, we were nearing the end of the second year of such a terrorist campaign, the parties might have nominated folks far more authoritarian than the Donald.

                Which is why I’m looking at the next three months instead of the last 20 elections.

                If, at the end of those three months, we have people saying “man, I wish we had nominated folks far more authoritarian than the Donald”, that’s to Trump’s benefit.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                Unless a real organization exists, and has a whole list of events queued up, there’s not enough time between now and Nov 8 for the program to be effective. Another Orlando between now and then wouldn’t do the job. A sequence of three or four such events across PA, OH, IN, IL, and WI might. Starting from’s default electoral map, those five (with Indiana already red) plus NC put Trump over. Swap MI for IL and it’s still enough. Or IA and VA for IL.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                So far, August has been pretty uneventful.

                Let’s hope that keeps up for a good long while. Forever, even.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Less than that, really. As the fourth plane demonstrated, the mere awareness by passengers that highjacked planes were likely to be used as suicide weapons made doing so impossible.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                “We need to elect a president who will overreact wildly and do something completely insane!”

                I wish I didn’t believe that would be the consensus.Report

              • North in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Well outside of your truck example all of these require coordinated non-lone-wolf-derpa attacks. ISIS has not yet demonstrated the ability to project that level of planning to anywhere but Europe.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                My assumption (which very well might not be warranted at all) was that August/September/October would be very much like May/June/July.

                I hope I am very, very much wrong.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                From your lips to God(ess?)’s ear.Report

              • J_A in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I tried to ignore it, but people kept using this example all over the comments. I can’t take it any more:

                YOU CANNOT TAKE OUT THE POWER OF A CITY THE SIZE OF MIAMI BY BLOWING ONE OR TWO OR THREE SUBSTATIONS (perhaps you can for a couple of hours, if you blow up enough substations)

                At the macro level, all the electrical infrastructure has N-1, and the key elements have N-2, redundancy, meaning that the loss of any one (two) components whatsoever would be invisible to the system. If you take out more than two elements you might have to compromise by using rolling brownouts or accepting temporary overloads of other components.

                The only way to wipe out the power in a city for a long term is the way hurricanes and ice storms do it, by simultaneously bringing down, not the large substations, but the hundreds of individual lines that go into the houses. After Ike I was w/o power for 12 days, but a block away they had power a week before me.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to J_A says:

                The Homeland Security war game exercise I saw used Cleveland as their example, claimed the right six substations would isolate the city, and some of the transformers were essentially one-offs with six-month replacement times. One of the recommendations that came out of the exercise was a request for the utilities and/or big generators to replace those with multiple smaller standardized transformers that could be stockpiled nationally as replacements.

                I sincerely hope that you’re right. At least in the Rust Belt, where the population has had minimal growth for decades and the infrastructure is getting very old, I would not be surprised if the network design leaves a lot to be desired by contemporary standards.Report

              • J_A in reply to Michael Cain says:

                The exercise you describe is for all the tie-ins of the city with the larger grid to be cut simultaneously (N-6). But once you restore a single one of the tie-ins, you will have power flowing into Cleveland. Not enough for the whole city, but enough that you can serve critical loads, and for the rest you can establish a rolling brown-out and rationing procedure (which should already be designed and written down in the crisis management plans of the utility). You should start getting power back to at least the key users (hospitals, water treatment facilities, police and fire department stations, TV stations) fairly soon. Besides water plants, all the other ones are fairly low level consumption loads.

                You are right that transformers are six months lead time items (they are still essentially handcrafted). But utilities have movable transformers tat can be put in place in a time frame ranging between hours to one-two days. Besides whatever there is in Cleveland itself, you can bring them fairly quickly from Detroit, Cincinnati, Columbus and thereabouts.


              • Michael Cain in reply to J_A says:

                Good to know that DHS exaggerated things.

                On a completely unrelated topic, what do you think of the recent SB350 report the California ISO released?Report

              • J_A in reply to Michael Cain says:

                The other advantage Cleveland has is that its power grid was designed for a time when there was more industry and more population, so its probably over-designed for what you would do nowadays.

                And because there was less computational power available in the past, old systems were designed with higher levels of redundancy and security and safety margins (we used to call it a high JIC -Just in Case- Factor)

                Electrical power infrastructure has an inherently very long life. The vast majority of it has no moving parts, so there is no wear and tear. The only risk is high temperatures (overloads) damaging the insulation. I have seen transformers running more than a century. In principle, a transformer run below its rated temperature (lets say at half load) could run decades and decades.

                The problem is when demand grows and the system does not grow together with it: then you have to overload components, and your failure rate will start going through the roof. Regretfully, for the city, that’s not Cleveland’s problemReport

              • J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                You and I are in agreement that the low level truck in the Iowa Fair events help Trump because they tie to his narrative that things are going downhill and a strong hand is needed to correct it.

                What I’m saying is that once you go past that level, Trump runs the risk that his over the top responses will make people think he is not qualified to actually handle a crisis. Can you visualize a picture of President Trump calmly sitting in the Situation Room while a tactical team takes out OBL after months of quiet intelligence work? Me neither.

                But there’s a picture of President Clinton 45 doing exactly that.

                Trump needs events that he can rile against but not big enough that people will start thinking he is too unhinged to manage. He needs people to be scared of the Other, not scared of him.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to J_A says:


                Maybe Jaybird hangs out with a completely different crowd but I am seeing what you are seeing.

                Some people seem physically and mentally unable to fathom why anyone likes the Democratic Party and/or the Clintons.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                My (highly unrepresentative) social circle is a mixed bag. HRC supporters, Bernie die-hard, apolitical a-pox-on-both-their-houses types, but few open TrumpistasReport

  2. Autolukos says:

    Clinton wins, 47-44 in the popular vote, 332-206 in the Electoral College. Three years of anti-Trumpist activity kick off among conservative intellectuals, only to fail as Alex Jones takes a commanding lead in early polling for the 2020 primaries.

    Edit: My mapReport

    • North in reply to Autolukos says:

      I was going to write up my own but then noticed Autolukos basically already said it so I’ll second his prediction adding that the Dems will get the Senate, probably 50/50.

      And I type this with trepidation looking with horror on my past predictions performance.Report

    • Autolukos in reply to Autolukos says:

      Since others are including 4-way vote share, I might as well allocate the missing 9%: Johnson 7, Stein 2.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Autolukos says:

      I will second this also, at least the election part. (I will have to sit and think a bit about what the Republican party is going to do post-election.)

      People looking at the polling percentage are operating in some weird world where presidents are elected by popular vote. Oh noes, Trump and Hillary are so close!

      In reality, that’s not how we elect presidents, and the Republicans are in the middle of a decade long slippery slide to not being able to elect anyone president *at all*. They currently start at a huge deficit, and have to win a bunch of swing states to even get even. As I’ve mentioned before, without changing their demographics, this election, or maybe 2020, would be the last time they’re close to winning any sort of normal presidential election….and they have to get lucky to do that. Autolukos has them barely winning any swing states, and I’m okay with that.

      And now that I have explained this that Republicans, statistically, weren’t winning this anyway unless they got lucky, and Trump is not a sign of any ‘luck’…

      …I will now cheat by taking a *second* position. Namely, it is entirely possible this isn’t any sort of normal presidential election…but all signs pointing to that point to a *massive* backlash against Trump, and absurd things might start happening like Clinton winning red states.

      If this election goes off the rails, it goes off the rails *away* from Trump, not towards him. (Wait, maybe the metaphor is the other way, and Trump gets hit by the train? I dunno how that metaphor works.) Trump might lose like generic Republican does against generic Democrat, or he might lose *horrifically*.

      I do not know what the odds of that are. But I do not think it is impossible for Trump to end up under 165 because he lost not only the swing states, but Arizona and Georgia or something equally absurd. Again, not sure if it’s likely, but it’s *possible*…whereas him winning is not.

      I also predict Dems get the Senate. I make no predictions on the House.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    538 shows HRC with a huge post-convention bounce.

    HRC wins a plurality of the popular vote and the electoral college by Autolukps numbers or thereabout.

    I’ll give Johnson a 4-7 percent slice of the popular vote.Report

  4. Damon says:

    The great meteor of death falls in from the Ort belt and removes a 1/3 of the Earth’s mass. Massive volcanic eruptions, seas boil, almost all live is extinguished. What crawls out from under the rubble are cockroaches and politicians. Sadly, since there is no conventional food, the cockroaches eat the politicians and then dies themselves, having been poisoned by eating “bad meat”. The earth continues on having managed to exterminate two of the worse vermin ever to evolve.Report

  5. Aaron David says:

    Trump in a landslide, or HRC in a squeeker. Neither house nor Senate changes hands.

    RCP ave. has her up 2.2, no huge post convention bump.Report

      • Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Or, even more to the point:

        That is an “if the election were held today” shot. All this talk about Trump having a 20% (or whatever) chance of winning is essentially a shrug, noting that a lot can happen between now and November. Which is true, but really just means that we can’t really predict much this far out. But if we are going to try anyway, things look pretty darned overwhelming in Clinton’s favor.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

          The remarkable thing about both PEC’s and 538’s forecasts is how they’re both predicting that the GOP will retain the Senate at this point.

          Once upon a time, that was considered an uphill battle with a generic Republican at the top of the ticket, much less Trump.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:

            My guess is that this will change when the Senate campaigns and general are in more full swing.

            Ca is a D v. D fight and I am not seeing much for Harris or Sanchez yet.

            Though a West Wing reelection situation could be interesting….Report

      • Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Polls are all over the place right now, and couple that with @marchmaine comment re: WWC vote turnout. This is why I am splitting the difference; if R turnout comes out like the primaries, Trump. If too many R’s go the way of the party elite, HRC with the proviso that the R’s dragging her across the finish line vote R downticket.

        Nate Silver failed miserably to predict Trump getting the nomination, putting his punditry into the also ran category at this time.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Aaron David says:

          Nate Silver failed miserably to predict Trump getting the nomination, putting his punditry into the also ran category at this time.

          As noted many times, the problem with that wasn’t the polls — it was the pundits ignoring them in favor of abject disbelief.

          Everyone assumed Trump would balloon and pop (like all the other fringe candidates had this primary and the last), and they didn’t stop saying it — in tones of more and more disbelief — well after the popping period had passed.

          The numbers (aggregate polls and such) were pretty clear, but the people interpreting them decided they couldn’t possibly hold because Trump getting the nomination was, to them, literally unbelievable.Report

        • North in reply to Aaron David says:

          Silvers numbers and models accurately predicted Trump. Silver’s punditry consisted of “The Model says Trump but we all know he’ll have to pop soon won’t he so we aren’t taking him seriously.” On the Democratic side with the sole exception of Michigan Silver was pretty much right on.Report

        • RTod in reply to Aaron David says:

          “Polls are all over the place right now”

          Except they really aren’t, though.

          The poll averages have actually been remarkably steady over time since they pollsters been tracking the two candidates head to head. Trump got a bounce when he sowed up the nomination, and another one immediately after the the GOP convention. Which was expected. Hilary’s getting an expected bounce now after hers. It’s a rather emphatic bounce, actually, since it’s kind her convention and her wrapping up bounce rolled into one, and so I don’t think I expect the gulf to stay at what it is today.

          But this implies neither polls telling conflicting messages, nor a Trump landslide.Report

            • TPM? The Breitbart of the left?

              You’ve said that a couple times, but it’s a category error. TPM reports news from a liberal viewpoint. Breitbart makes shit up. TPM has done real investigative reporting; they first broke the story about the Bush administration firing US Attorneys for not being political enough. Breitbart videotapes people and then edits the result misleadingly. I honestly can’t think of a Left equivalent of Breitbart; even a rag like the Bay Guardian has some standards.Report

            • RTod in reply to Aaron David says:

              Opinions of TPM aside, I think you’re making two errors here. The first is you’re taking a pretty short snapshot of time, the second is you’re taking a single poll.

              Most (all?) election analysts use not any one single poll, but some kind of averaging system of all the polls to track trending. I think if you wanted to show what you’re claiming is happening, you need to both find an aggregate tender that backs that up, over a longer period of time.

              Compare, if you will, the trending graphs from an election where there was real uncertainty, like ’04, to the trending so far in this election. If anything, trending this year so far looks eerily identical to 2012. (In terms of the movement of the lines, that is.)Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to RTod says:

                Tod, is anyone weighing in what will happen if Obama does something overt in policy at the last minute. I can think of several that would mobilize a percentage of voters.Report

              • North in reply to Joe Sal says:

                What sort of policy are you thinking about? Obviously it’d have to be an executive order so what’d the shape of it be?Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                I figure any policy that mobilizes two or more of the four factions.

                I would bet Obama is going to do something for sure with one of those.Report

              • North in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Well, money is mostly out because to mess with it he’d need Congress. I dare say Obama’s done about all he could do executive action wise on immigration and I see no reason why he’d feel like making waves in that area during an election year. Guns, see money. Jesus is probably your ripest field since executive action could do plenty that would upset socialcons but again I don’t see why he would.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                I was looking at it from ‘legacy’ angle. It will be interesting to see what he does or doesn’t do.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Joe Sal says:

                He’ll wait ’til the day after the election to do all that stuff, since EO’s can just be reversed by the incoming President.Report

              • RTod in reply to Joe Sal says:


                “Tod, is anyone weighing in what will happen if Obama does something overt in policy at the last minute.

                Well, there isn’t in any of the trending analysis, because that measurement isn’t intended to be predictive so much as show where things are at a given moment in time.

                As to the larger question you’re raising, though, I wonder to what degree “shoes dropping” means anything in this election.

                I’m thinking about previous POTUS elections, and one of the thing that stands out about them compared to this year is that although all of those candidates were loathed by their most partisan opponents, they were all otherwise pretty well respected. Clinton, W Bush & Obama were really well liked, of course, but H.W. Bush, Dole, Gore, Kerry, McCain and Romney were at least well respected, not only by independents but also those that actually worked with them across the aisle.

                But this election?

                I hear people say, “what if an email dump drops and it causes a big Clinton scandal,” or “what if Trump really goes of the rails and says or does something you simply can’t survive in politics” a lot. And I get why people ask those questions, because in the past those kind of things could kill you. Kerry’s major scandal, for example, really damaged him. Up till then everyone assumed he was a real, genuine war hero — and true or not, the swift boat story really challenged that narrative. Romney’s 47% comment badly damaged him because he was truly respected at the time he said it. If anything, middle America thought we was this really nice guy.

                But I’m not sure how or if a Clinton scandal or an incident where Trump says or does something something utterly offensive to voters effects things in this election. If anything, voters are already feeling intense fatigue on both of these fronts. If the NYT and WSJ both published proof tomorrow that Clinton was involved with some major insider trading, or that Trump had partially funded his campaign from donations from a foreign country with an official anti-US stance — both shockingly and depressingly possible things, IMHO — I’m not sure it doesn’t just become more white noise.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to RTod says:


                I agree that it hurt Kerry but I think you are doing media BSDI by calling swift-boating a scandal instead of a hit job. It was an effective hit job and smear campaign but still a hit job.

                Your broader point is basically that increased polarization and bad blood is making it easier for politicians to be scandal-proof though. I basically agree with that.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                I am really calling it neither, and in fact I was fairly explicit that I was taking no stand in whether or not it was true — because such is not relevant to the subject at hand. I’m discussing the effect of a news story on an election, not making commentary on that news story.Report

    • RTod in reply to Aaron David says:

      “Trump in a landslide”

      I would love to see you map that out electorally.Report

  6. Marchmaine says:

    I’m sticking with my failed re-alignment theory.

    Donald Trump has shown that the execution of his strategy is both flawed, and incompetent. Still, the fact remains that he’s tapping in to some real political issues (and not the racism y’all think it is).

    Hillary will not not-win. And, ironically, in not-not-winning it will look like bigger win that it is.

    The electoral college will show a substantial victory; but a few states are closer than we would have thought and one of either PA or OH will go for Trump (I’m guessing OH in my map). And re-alignment will be on the table for 2020, 24, and 28.

    My take it to the Electoral Bank Map

    Timestamp: 98 DAYS / 11 HOURS / 57 MIN

    Edit: I think we’ll see 7% 3rd party protest votes spread across all states, but not making a significant electoral dent.Report

  7. Michael Cain says:

    I should know better than to do this, because I’m really terrible at it.

    Hillary 47, Trump 43, Johnson 7, Stein 3. Hillary by >90 votes in the EC. Dems get 50 or 51 seats in the Senate, gain 5-8 in the House. Filibuster — at least the modern form — for SCOTUS justices killed after the Republicans announce that they plan to filibuster all nominees and take their chances on RGB dying. Out in the states, governor balance remains unchanged and the Republicans have a net gain of one legislative chamber. Bill Clinton’s health declines sharply over the course of the term and Hillary doesn’t run in 2020.Report

    • InMD in reply to Michael Cain says:

      To me the 2020 election, even if way out, might offer even more intriguing and/or disturbing possibilities than this election. You have to figure even if Hilary is running (I think she will be and that she wins this election but only narrowly) she could be the weakest incumbent in a long time. If the GOP has gone full Trump it may be able to find someone able to tap into the same discontent Trump is riding but who is more disciplined and able to turn it into a victory.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to InMD says:

        This is a much more significant concern from where I sit. That’s one reason why I thought Tom Tancredo might be a VP choice for Trump: the protectionism and moatdigging and militarism and populism does tap in to something powerful (and, let’s be honest, enduring rather than novel) in the body politic. We all have a resigned dread of what seems like an inevitable recession hitting during the next cycle and there are plenty of signs that equity markets are bubbling even now. So if Syria/Daesh drags on (like it probably will) and the EU continues its wobbling (as it almost certainly will) and a recession hits, President Clinton easily winds up looking more than a bit helpless in the face of these events — plus there will simply be partisan fatigue. A generic GOP candidate in 2020 is going to have to squander a lot of built-in advantages. Knowing this is why I don’t think the GOP will dissolve in the wake of Trump.

        How it morphs and what it morphs into, is the next big question after the election.

        But the GOP’s structural advantages in 2020 is a problem for four years from now. And who knows? Maybe President Clinton will be able to deliver on her promise of competence through technocracy and, perhaps without spectacle or flair, lead us through these anticipated problems plus whatever unanticipated ones come up.Report

        • InMD in reply to Burt Likko says:

          It’s all well in the realm of wild speculation right now. Kind of ironic in a way but the scenario I think she most needs to avoid is George H.W Bush in 1992.Report

  8. Alan Scott says:

    My prediction: Clinton wins a pretty decent percentage of the popular vote, but that’s owing to low GOP turnout & high crossover in state she was going to win no matter what. Electoral map looks something like this, with Dems doing worse than they’d like in the rust belt but picking up North Carolina–and with indications that we’ll probably get Arizona in four years if the GOP continues down it’s current path regarding immigration.

    Democrats pick up about 4 seats in the senate (leaving it tied or thereabouts), and about 25 seats in the house (good, but not quite enough for a majority).Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Alan Scott says:

      psst… need to hit share link to generate new url.

      Unless you are secretly projecting a 295 EC win for Trump… in which case, carry on.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Alan Scott says:

      I think they will still win the rust belt including Ohio and Pa (which is only semi-rust belt).

      They will win NC, Virginia, Florida as well. Maybe lose NH.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Alan Scott says:

      So it hinges on FL and (one other state), if I’m reading your map correctly.Report

      • Alan Scott in reply to Jaybird says:


        But you could also say it hinges on California and have an equally valid point. If my map is wrong about Florida, it’s going to be wrong in lots of other places too. And if it’s wrong in just one or two places, those are going to be Pennsylvania and North Carolina.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Alan Scott says:

          No, no. That wasn’t what I was going for. I found it interesting that most of the examples that I’ve seen show either Trump winning by a couple of states or losing by a buttload (if not a double buttload). Yours only has him losing by a couple and I was noticing how that was something that I hadn’t really seen yet.Report

          • Alan Scott in reply to Jaybird says:

            It’s a combination of “everyone underestimates Trump” and “everyone underestimates the democratic lock on the EC”

            Basically, I think Trump accelerates demographic changes and realignments: States that are becoming redder (Ohio and Pennsylvania) get very red for him, while states that are becoming bluer (VA, NC, NV, FL) get blue that much quicker.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Alan Scott says:


              538 has PA and Ohio back in the blue column. I don’t get why PA is considered a easy pick for Republicans. Most of the state’s growth is around highly Democratic Philadelphia and her suburbs. The suburbs are the kind of formerly moderate Republican places that were turned off by GOP extremism.

              The other big place is Pittsburgh which is still blue.

              There are not enough people in the rural center to combat the Philly strong hold.Report

  9. Burt Likko says:
    Popular vote: Clinton c. 51%, Trump c. 43%, Johnson c. 5%. See further.
    To be followed by much wailing and gnashing of teeth.Report

  10. Jesse Ewiak says:

    Clinton 51.1
    Trump 41.8
    Johnson 4.8
    Stein 2.1

    Clinton wins 358 EV’s, comes within a percentage point in MO and GA.Report

  11. Kolohe says:

    Clinton 49.2 Trump 44.9 Johnson 4.8 Stein 0.8%, everyone else combined 0.2%

    Electoral College Clinton 328 Trump 210

    GOP retains House, Senate 50/50, giving Dems control by virtue of Kaine.Report

  12. Kazzy says:

    I didn’t make a real prediction but JGH and I had one of the funner exchanges that I’d since forgotten about!Report

  13. Dark Matter says:

    Prediction: Trump gets blown out of the water. Epic loss.
    GOP keeps the House.
    GOP, barely, keeps the Senate.
    Very strong showing by Gary Johnson (by 3rd party candidate norms), but Hillary wins.

    The problem is I’m not sure how much is wishful thinking.Report

  14. Saul Degraw says:

    538 has HRC back up to 63 percent chance of victory and has turned Ohio, PA, Florida, and Iowa from light red to light blue.Report

  15. RTod says:


    Clinton: 48
    Trump: 44
    Johnson: 8


    Clinton: 337
    Trump: 195
    Johnson: 6

    Click the map to create your own at

    Senate: 51/49 Dem Majority

    House: 237/198 GOP Majority

    Bonus Prediction:

    The winner of the White House, regardless of who it is, will serve only one term.Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to RTod says:

      Utah goes libertarian? I get that Trump is deeply unpopular with the Mormon electorate, but I just don’t see them jumping in that direction.Report

  16. nevermoor says:

    Clinton wins with 343 EVs (sweeping the swing states, losing NH). Utah is close, but Johnson wins something like 35/32/32 on the strength of endorsements from Romney and other disaffected GOPers who simply can’t bring themselves to vote Hillary. Kansas is also the closest it has been in decades, but Trump pulls it out.

    Hillary easily wins the popular vote. Johnson does not get to 15% of the vote, but does resepectably. Stein is under 2%, and does not cause a repeat of 2000 in any state.

    After the election, the senate confirms Garland and Obama does not retract the nomination.Report

  17. LeeEsq says:

    Trump and his staff are calling the election rigged. This means that even Trump seems to believe that Hillary Clinton is going to win. He is also trying to weasel out of the Presidential debates because he knows that Clinton will run circles around him and his usual tactics will not work.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:


      Personally, I think the claim you refer to may be the most reckless thing Turmp has said so far. In effect, he’s telling his supporters that if he doesn’t win it’s not because Hillary got more legitimate votes but instead that the entire electoral process is fundamentally corrupt. It’s about a half-step short of calling for all out revolution if she wins.

      Add: and about the debate thing, Hillary may not be a great candidate but I think she’s dynamite in debates and similar contexts. She’d shred him.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

        Hillary has experience in debates unlike Trump and she is used to having petty mud slung at her constantly, more so than any of Trump’s opponents during the Republican Primary. Trump knows that there is no way he could debate Hillary if asked questions of semi-substantive worth. And yes, calling the election rigged is incredibly reckless of Trump.Report

        • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

          Not to mention the general election debates are binary; there’s only two people on the stage. Trump survived the GOP primary debates because he could fade into the woodwork and let others tangle with each other. He can’t try that in the general.Report

          • trizzlor in reply to North says:

            >>Trump survived the GOP primary debates because he could fade into the woodwork and let others tangle with each other. He can’t try that in the general.

            I bet he will try though.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

        That’s not a new tactic. That’s basic GOP tactics turned up to 11, with the subtlety filters turned off.

        They did it with Clinton (“he didn’t get a majority, he’s not really President”) and they did it with Obama (“Affirmative Action President, he only one because people felt they had to vote for him”).

        The GOP has, at least since 92, worked under the operating assumption that any Democratic President is de facto an illegitimate one.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to Morat20 says:

          Yeah, but they haven’t sent anyone to jail for it.Report

        • RTod in reply to Morat20 says:

          As opposed to the one in between the those two. You know, the one that stole his first POTUS election and then used terror alerts to con everyone into a win for his second.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to RTod says:

            Except that he did steal the first one. It’s possible that had the votes all been counted he would have won fair and square, but they weren’t.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to RTod says:

            Democrats complained about Bush v Gore, but I don’t recall a single Congressmen or major politician treating Bush like he was illegitimately elected.

            They thought Bush v Gore was wrong, but they accepted the SCOTUS ruling. There was no pattern of total opposition predating even Bush’s inauguration.

            As for 2004, one of the big waves of the ban-hammer at the Great Orange Satan itself (Daily Kos) was over “Bush stole Ohio”. Claiming that got you hammered.Report

  18. Don Zeko says:

    Clinton beats Trump by 7 percentage points (map), Dems very narrowly take the Senate. Garland confirmed once the next congress is seated. The US economy goes into recession between now and 2020, and a Republican is elected president in the next cycle. What that Republican and his party look like at that point is beyond me, but I’m not optimistic. @aaron-david , we need to hammer out the particulars of our wager.Report

    • Alan Scott in reply to Don Zeko says:

      I disagree on Garland. If he doesn’t get seated before the new congress takes over, then he doesn’t get seated. Garland was Obama’s “safe” pick. When Hillary wins, we’ll instead get an “elections have consequences” pick.Report

      • El Muneco in reply to Alan Scott says:

        Half the time I agree with this. The other half I wonder if Obama doesn’t do some horse-trading with the implied threat of withdrawing Garland to get the lame-duck Senate to pass something that will be part of his legacy, allowing Clinton a fresher start.

        This all assumes that, at worst, Kaine can bring in another battlestar to break a tie in the Senate.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to El Muneco says:

          Can a Senate with 49 Republican members that hang tight filibuster a Supreme Court nominee indefinitely under the current rules? I honestly don’t know what changes Reid made with the rules right before the Jan 2015 flip.Report

          • North in reply to Kolohe says:

            No. Because 51 Senators can change the rules and eliminate the filibuster altogether.Report

            • Michael Cain in reply to North says:

              Technically, it takes 67 votes to change the rules. A majority, by means of a parliamentary maneuver, can create a precedent that a particular rule does not apply to a particular situation (or even that in that situation, the rule means something other than what the plain text says). This is one of the main reasons that the Senate has an official staff parliamentarian — someone has to keep track of not just the rules, but all of the exceptions that have been passed. Google “Riddick’s Senate Procedure”. The most recent version published for public consumption, in 1992, contained over 10,000 precedents.

              Legislatures are strange. When I worked for the Colorado General Assembly and staffed some of the Appropriations Committee meetings, one of my jobs was to know the peculiarities of the GA’s rules and advise the chair when they were about to make a procedural mistake.Report

              • North in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Thanks, I bow to your superior expertise in this area. A couple questions/thoughts:

                -As I understand it the official parliamentarian is appointed by the Senate Majority Leader. So in theory he could appoint a partisan hack to say the rules allow whatever he wants.
                -Also as I understand it the presiding officer can rule that a precedent or rule is a constitutional question and then it’ll go to a simple majority vote in the senate for resolution. The so called “nuclear option”.
                -With those two points in mind in Kolohe’s scenario where the GOP, fresh off the election loss of Senate and Presidency, is maintaining a filibuster blockade of a supreme court nomination or two I submit that the Democratic Senate Majority Leader would “nuke” the fishers, and the electorate would either applaud or at worst yawn.
                -And with that third point in mind I cannot imagine that the GOP Senators would actually be mad enough to try to do it. Surely enough Senators in safe seats would defect to preserve the filibuster in general.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Michael Cain says:

                “Riddick’s Senate Procedure”

                Still waiting for this sequel in the Pitch Black franchise.Report

  19. Kazzy says:

    My gut reaction says Trump runs his campaign into the ground. In discussing this with a friend, I remarked that Trump seems to think one very impassioned Trump supporter will outweigh two tepid Hilary supporters. But that isn’t how voting works.

    Trump’s die-hards are going to remain die-hards… no matter what he says and does. The “problem” is he continues to pander to them… riling them up with increasing nonsense; he hasn’t done much of anything to convince undecideds or Hilary/Democrat supporters to go his way. And if anything, he seems to be pushing them away.

    As things get more serious — especially with the debates — I think Trump will end up with a shrinking but very committed minority of voters in his corner. His utter awfulness will simply turn off too many people. Maybe they’ll vote for Hilary, maybe not… but they won’t vote for him.

    Look no further than his handling of the Khan family. I’ve seen a small handful of people who are actually trying to defend what he said. These are the Trumpers… people so drunk on Kool-Aid and ready to gnash their teeth at whomever that they’ll turn on a Gold Star family. But pretty much every decent thinking person — on both sides of the aisle — was disgusted by the remarks. Even the few Hilary haters I know are really struggling with the comments. Those are the folks who won’t vote Hilary but are increasingly unlikely to vote Trump.

    I just don’t think he gets how this whole thing works. Hilary is a bad-to-decent candidate. If you are looking for a reason to not vote Democrat, she gives you plenty of footholds (some more legitimate than others… but that doesn’t matter). However, she is a pretty skilled candidate. She’s running a good campaign given the circumstances. And she is an excellent debater. Trump is a bad candidate and a REALLY unskilled candidate. What makes him bad and what makes him unskilled appeal to a subset of voters but eventually those two things will combine to turn the rest of the people off.

    I don’t base this on any particular in depth understanding of voting or polling or elections. But as someone who can get a pretty good read on people, this is my gut sense of how things go.

    Barring Clinton doing something monumentally awful, Trump limps to the finish with under 40% of the popular and Clinton wins in a blowout in both the popular and EC. Johnson does better than expected on account of mooching some anti-Hilary folks who just can’t go Trump.Report

  20. Joe Sal says:

    Clinton: 39
    Trump: 54
    Johnson: 7

    Assumption #1. Information on HC bears a couple of damning nuggets.
    Assumption #2. Dems never really consolidate trust from Bernie faction.
    Assumption #3. Obama passes socialistic policies on the down low, makes news.
    Assumption #4. Voter turnout is highest in decades.

    (Admitted, no analysis here, total spitballing it.)Report

  21. Jaybird says:

    One thing that I think I’ve noticed is that the energy for Hillary is a distinctively different flavor than the energy in 2008 for Obama (and even 2012 for Obama).

    For example, I can probably count the number of Hillary bumper stickers I’ve seen on one hand. I don’t believe I’ve seen a single Clinton/Kaine bumper sticker.

    Of course, I live in Colorado Springs (which is famously conservative) but… I saw a lot of Obama 2008 stickers. Sure, they were all on Priuses… but the people who drove Priuses bothered to put Obama stickers on them.

    Also, Obama (famously) got a Peace Prize within a year of becoming president. Everybody mocked this at the time because it was so very obviously premature… but there were other things involved with it including the rebuke to the Bush Regime and the general excitement for Obama. This general excitement seemed to be a continuation of the excitement from 2008’s Historic election. (Remember Will.I.Am’s “Yes We Can”? Remember Demi Moore’s pledge to be a good servant to Obama? That sort of energy.)

    I’m not feeling anything even *CLOSE* to that energy for this election.

    Am I misreading that because I am living in Colorado Springs, which is famously conservative?Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

      One thing to consider:

      HRC has been hated and subject to ridiculous levels of vitriol for decades. How many of her supporters just don’t want to deal with it and thus aren’t putting up signs, bumper stickers, or thrusting themselves into that rat’s nest?

      I know a couple myself that only admitted they supported Clinton after they learned the person they were talking to do. They were passionate supporters. Just…quietly so.

      I mean it’s not “Hey, I mentioned Gamer-thing-that-shan’t-be-named-lest-it-summon-the-crazies” bad, but even sitting around my office — there’s a few people here who aren’t shy when it comes to loudly and publicly (and even when you ask them not to) talking about Clinton at exhaustive length, wherein the word “bitch” is probably the nicest thing they say.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

        So it’s silent support?Report

        • Autolukos in reply to Jaybird says:

          Anecdotally, my wife wasn’t willing to tell her (vocally pro-Sanders) family that she’d voted for Clinton in the primary for exactly the reasons @morat20 mentions. She just didn’t think it was worth hearing the same old talking points rehashed.

          I think there is genuinely less enthusiasm for her than there was for Obama in 08, but then that is true of every other candidate I can remember (granted, I’m young, so that only goes back to 96 if we’re being generous).Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

          No, because it shows up in polls and likely voter screens and measures of candidate enthusiasm. For instance, throughout the whole primary, people often assumed Sanders had higher favorables and higher enthusiasm then Clinton among Democrats. He didn’t. Both Sanders and Clinton had similar favorable ratings and enthusiasm ratings according to polls.

          It doesn’t show up in conversation and yard signs.

          In short, it’s the sort of thing that causes an anecdote problem, but is clearly visible to anyone watching actual polls.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

            Does it show up in stuff like Will.I.Am’s “Yes We Can” video or in Demi Moore’s pledge to be a good servant?

            Because if we’re allowed to use those as indicators, it seems like there are fewer indicators this time around than there were in, say, 2008.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’m not saying it’s 2008. Frankly, it’s not. Clinton’s not that sort of candidate.

              I’m just saying that the metrics you’re using for enthusiasm are probably not totally accurate, given that it was “conventional wisdom” that Sanders supporters were more enthusiastic during the primary — despite multiple polls saying “nope, no real difference”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Morat20 says:

                Frankly, it’s not. Clinton’s not that sort of candidate.

                Okay. So we’re seeing the same thing. We’re just assigning different amounts of importance to it.

                Good enough for me.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Morat20 says:

        Welcome Home Beauregard!
        (That has got to be seriously the silliest thing I’ve ever heard of a millionaire doing, and that includes the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy, and having Billy-boy speak at his funeral).Report

    • North in reply to Jaybird says:

      Question: Is that energy you’re talking about required to win? I mean Obama allowed quite a messianic vibe to grow up around his 2008 campaign. Is that the new normal?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to North says:

        I don’t know. I do know that “enthusiasm”, however you want to define it, is used as an indicator sometimes.

        How far do you have to go back to find an election where the party with less “enthusiasm” won anyway?Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird says:

          Well it depends on how you define enthusiasm and enthusiasm from whom. For instance it seems to me that the Bernie or bust contingent has basically spoken its piece, those who want Stein are now campaigning for Stein and those who don’t have either fallen silent or fallen in line. On the right, however, the party is still visibly trying to climb out of its own skin. So different definitions on how you measure enthusiasm will tell you different things about which side is more enthusiastic.

          One thing I would ask: You talk about how your locale is reacting to HRC’s campaign vs 2008 and 2012. What is the energy/behavior of your local towards Trump and how does that compare to its energy/behavior towards McCain and Romney?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to North says:

            Everyone I know was pretty much a Cruz backer or a Rubio backer. I even know two delegates for the Republican party here in Colorado (and they don’t know each other) who both worked to make sure that Trump did not have a single delegate for Colorado.

            One is now #neverTrump 4LIFE and the other has given me a speech about how a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hillary.

            So here in Colorado Springs, the energy for Trump is hesitant at best, as far as I can tell.

            But I have seen Trump bumper stickers. I have seen Trump/Pence bumper stickers. I have seen MAGA hats.Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird says:

              Okay, how’s that compare to 2008 or 2012?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North says:

                In 2008, the only (and I mean the *ONLY*) enthusiasm for McCain was for Palin.

                In 2012, there wasn’t any enthusiasm for Romney at all. It was more of the form “can you believe that those Democrat Scoundrels are attacking Romney for being a racist/dog hater/sexist?!?!?”

                And that’s when I was surrounded by Republicans who were unashamed to call themselves Republicans and talk about how they were going to be voting for Republicans and You Should Too.

                So, now, I’d say that I see inklings of Trump support, if bumper stickers and yard signs and MAGA hats are any indication… but all of the “enthusiasm” I saw for Democrats, at least in Colorado Springs, was enthusiasm for Bernie.

                Here, I wrote an essay about going to the Democratic Caucus. So while, at the time, I thought that there was a lot more enthusiasm for Democrats than last time, the local party leadership told me that a lot fewer people in total showed up.

                So there’s that as well.

                All that to say: I don’t know in the whole “knowledge” sense of knowing. But I know what it feels like and it feels different.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                but all of the “enthusiasm” I saw for Democrats, at least in Colorado Springs, was enthusiasm for Bernie.

                I’ll point out again that primary polls of Democratic voters showed similar levels of enthusiasm for Clinton as for Sanders (plus or minus a point or two).

                So it’s either Colorado Springs OR enthusiastic Clinton supporters aren’t as visible. (or, I suppose, that lots of people lied to multiple pollsters, but that seems low probability).

                I suspect whatever it was probably transitioned to the general election, however.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Cool, thanks for your perspective on that. I’m in a Bernie stronghold myself and don’t see much Obama like energy either. Since I have always been bearish on the Obama 2008 form of political energy I don’t really consider that a bad thing but it means I have to stick to polling to sooth my worries about the big picture of the campaign.Report

              • J_A in reply to North says:

                Though the Bernie and Clinton enthusiasm probably averages out the same across the whole Democratic electorate, you must remember the Hillary column includes large pockets of high enthusiasm, like blacks in the South or Hispanics in Texas, which more than balances the tepidness of a white Colorado Hillary supporter that just believes Bernie is going too far for the good of the party.

                In other words, your anecdata about the primary is heavily weighted by your demographic surroundings.Report

            • RTod in reply to Jaybird says:

              @jaybird The problem here, I think, is one of populations.

              As many have noted, Trump is doing worse — some quite significantly worse — than Romney did in every single demographic save one. Worse for Trump, in many of those demographics his numbers are, if anything, trending further downward. The only population where he’s beating his party’s previous candidate is non-college educated white men. That possible lightning you often talk of? Demographically speaking, that’s happening inside that one tiny bottle and nowhere else. Bumperstickers or not, it’s a really tall order to ask one very targeted demographic (i.e.: not just all whites, not just all males, not just all college educated) to make up for all of the votes Trump loses to Romney’s numbers and all of the votes Romney lost to Obama.

              Were we talking about some alternative universe candidate, then there’s the question of whether or not the candidate can reach out to some of those other groups and build excitement about voting for him. But with pretty much all of the demographics that have significant numbers (women, hispanics, black & other non-whites, jews, muslims), this universe’s candidate seems unable refrain from saying things that insult and/or offend them on a surprisingly regular basis.

              I think I’d take those predictions in this threat that predict a Trump victory/landslide more seriously if those making them could at least take a shot at explaining how DJT pulls it off having to threat that particular needle.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to RTod says:

                If the election were held today, I agree that Hillary would win.

                If, between now and November, nothing of note (defined as particularly gruesome crimes (including those that could be described as “terrorist”)) happens, then I agree that Hillary will win.

                If, however, there is an August/September/October with as many particularly gruesome crimes as May/June/July had, I think that those crimes will result in a lot of undecideds swinging to Trump and a lot of weak Democratic voters swinging to undecided.

                It’s not based on whether Trump said something horrible to any given demographic. It’s that he’s saying exceptionally horrible things about a very particular demographic… and my thought is that there will be enough people on the fence who will prefer the guy who says horrible things about this demographic than the grown-up who explains that we need to keep a cool head, these people are not our enemy, we did horrible things once too, don’t be a bigot, it’s ignorant, etc.Report

              • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

                If this were a standard Law & Order, Kiss Ass, We Love the Military, I-Fart-Flags GOP candidate, then I agree.

                My observation in the election thus far is that Trump tends to respond to emergencies/tragedies in a way that hurts him, not helps him.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                And the next three months, I guess, is where we find out.

                One thing that I’ve been wondering is where we put Hillary Clinton on the spectrum of “Awesome Candidates”.

                We, as a community, seem to agree that she is less awesome than Obama. The only questions remain as to whether she’s as awesome as Bill Clinton or if her awesomeness is better compared to John Kerry’s or Mike Dukakis’s.

                There’s a lot of weird dynamics in this election that are going head to head.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think you’re overrating the effect of candidate awesomeness. Sure, Kerry was a weaker nominee than Obama, but does anyone doubt that Kerry would have won if he had been the Dem candidate in 08? Clinton is flawed, certainly, and has electoral weaknesses (some legitimate flaws in her skills as a politician, some that are unfair and beyond her control). But compared to Trump’s inability to run as an even vaguely normal candidate. They’re small potatoes.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko says:

                Freaking Anybody Would Have Won in 2008 as the Democratic Nominee.

                If Jeb Bush ran as a Dem, *HE* would have beaten McCain.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Jaybird says:

                Depends on whether she stops screaming at walls and lying through her teeth.
                Thing about Clinton is her tells are bloody obvious.Report

              • Damon in reply to Kimmi says:

                Hell, if I didn’t detest Clinton from the Bill years, I wouldn’t vote for her now because it’d be 4 years or more of that god awful voice of her. No one, in recent memory, defines “harpy” more to me.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to RTod says:

                Were we talking about some alternative universe candidate, then there’s the question of whether or not the candidate can reach out to some of those other groups and build excitement about voting for him.

                Yes, perhaps the counterpart who doesn’t go all negative and inflammatory at the drop of a hat, most times without any provocation, but instead focuses on busting up the political establishment controlling the Fedrul Gummint, and returning jobs to America, and uhh … yeah, all those OTHER positive things alternate Trump would say.Report

        • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

          As noted: Polls during the Democratic primary asking specifically about “enthusiasm” showed similar numbers (within a point or three) between Sanders and Clinton.

          Which always seemed to surprise people, who felt Sanders was generating enthusiasm and Clinton wasn’t.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to Morat20 says:

            Sanders got a huge showing when he walked into pittsburgh at 7am on a schoolday.
            … I think he got a different sort of enthusiasm than Clinton did.
            (Maybe the same as Obama, maybe not. The only thing I remember about Obama is that his wife was across the street, and here I was at a lecture by the Center on Race and Social Problems and it was still quite populated).Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


      Anecdotally, I know lots of people who are gushing about HRC on social media and these people live all across the U.S.

      Andrew Sullivan published a letter from a woman about private pro-HRC groups on facebook. The groups are private to avoid the right-wing trolls and BernieBros.Report

  22. Jesse Ewiak says:

    To @jaybird’s conversation about outward momentum, there’s an old saying that says “yard signs don’t vote.” No, this isn’t Obama 2008. But, that’s kind of like saying last years World Series champions weren’t the ’27 Yankees.

    It’s possible there won’t be another campaign in my lifetime that will have the cultural cachet of Obama, but the truth is, Hillary might end up winning just as many or more EV’s because Trump is running such a horrible campaign outside of his base of non college educated white guys.Report

  23. Saul Degraw says:


    I want to go into your Roko argument. The argument is that Trump is telling the audience vote for me and things will be really good. Vote against me and things will be really bad.

    Doesn’t this argument rest on Trumps ability to issue punishments now? What can he do? What do you make of his rigged election comments? Is he basically saying there will be war if I lose?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      In saying that his loss will be evidence of malfeasance on behalf of the establishment, he’s effectively undermining Hillary’s Presidency if it’s anything even *CLOSE* to close.

      And, effectively, undermining the entire system.

      He can’t issue any punishments now, as far as I can tell. Public humiliation, maybe.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        I think everyone is saying this. I have a hard time translating this into everyone voting for Trump. People are just bracing themselves for mass resistance.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I wasn’t saying that this would translate into people voting for him. I was using it as further evidence that what he’s trying to do is make the American People realize something that, as of right now, they haven’t realized.

          His attempts to undermine Hillary’s victory are an additional attempt to stack the deck and help the American People realize this something even after the fact (if he happens to lose, which he would if the election were held today).

          What I am hoping for is for him to look like a buffoon who has been crying wolf come November.

          But what I personally hope isn’t particularly interesting.

          What I think is a lot more interesting is whether he’ll present identically to someone who proved to have been prescient about all of the threats threatening us.Report

  24. Jaybird says:

    A brief flash from 2020… Apparently Mitt Romney is nominated again.

    Commentator #1: “It’s kind of scary seeing the Republicans at the Mitt Romney 2020 rallies. Kind of reminds me of the Nuremberg rallies.”

    Commentator #2: “Say what you will about Trump, but at least he had an authenticity that Romney completely lacks.”

    Commentator #3: “I don’t know what kind of dog whistle Romney is trying to send by saying that we need to set the bar again. Is the ‘again’ some sort of call back to Trump?”

    Then everything goes hazy.Report