Elections In The Meantime

Luis A Mendez

Luis A Mendez

When he’s not writing supernatural stories, Luis Mendez is obsessively following public opinion trends and gauging likely election outcomes. He has written about the subject for various publications and runs a monthly updated website trying to predict coming elections.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    First: I remain absolutely astounded that Northam retained his job in today’s current political and cultural climate. I don’t know Virginia’s politics really at all, so maybe there is another force at work that I am unaware of, but either this is just sheer force of will on his part or further empowerment of the executive branch, which seems to be happening everywhere.

    Secondly: I have some opinions about Bevin. In my 44 years I don’t think I have ever disliked a politician more. To start with, he’s one of a very few governors we have had that weren’t born in the state. I’m a believer that unless you grew up drinking Kentucky tap water, you shouldn’t sit in the governor’s mansion. He has also attacked nearly every major educational institution in the state, either directly or through proxy. He seated an entirely new board, loyal to him, at the University of Louisville. He has ‘audited’ Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville). He has messed with the University of Kentucky. On top of this he has transferred state ownership of several important historical sites to private entities, one of which was a church congregation. I don’t think he is actually corrupt or has done anything illegal, but he’s just very wrongheaded in his approach to politics.

    The worst part about Bevin though is that he takes many of his cues from the president. His social media is similarly antagonistic. He picks fights instead of staying above the fray. It never feels like he puts the Commonwealth first. With all of that said, the problem with unseating him is the same problem we have with Trump: can the other side actually produce a viable candidate and run a successful campaign? Andy’s father’s administration has some corruption issues, but no more than what is normal in state politics. I’ve heard through mutual acquaintances that Andy is a bit of a turd, but you sort of have to be to make it far in politics. My main concern, as referenced in the OP is how much Andy struggled in his last campaign. he has to do a LOT better. I’m going to vote for him, no matter what, but he will need to sway a lot of people out in the state and that is a tall order, despite Bevin’s popularity numbers. My suggestion would be to keep any national politicians out of the state until this thing is over. Dems are still respected in much of Kentucky at the state level but on the national level, outside of a the major cities, they are despised.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Watching Virginia from just on the other side of the river (meaning a shared media market and having professional and social circles bleeding into NoVa) I think the situation is another one of those little episodes exposing the disconnect between the media and the Democrat rank and file.Report

    • I’m a believer that unless you grew up drinking Kentucky tap water, you shouldn’t sit in the governor’s mansion.

      Since I moved to Colorado 31 years ago, the state’s population has gone from 3.3M to 5.7M, mostly along the Front Range urban corridor. (From smaller than Kentucky when I moved here to 1.2M people larger.) The “median” Coloradan looks very much like me — moved here from somewhere else, raised kids here, worked for a big business, worked for a small business. Our recent governors reflect that trend: Bill Owens grew up in Texas and moved here from Washington, DC; John Hickenlooper is from the Northeast and moved here as a geologist who stayed after the mid-1980s oil bust; Jared Polis was born in Colorado, then mostly grew up in California, went to college at Princeton, and eventually returned.

      When I worked for the state legislature, I had the same conversation on some budget issues over and over: “With all due respect, Representative X, Colorado is no longer a small, poor, rural state. We are medium sized, relatively wealthy, urban/suburban, highly educated, and the economy is driven by services, technology, and specialized manufacturing.” One of the biggest problems the legislature struggles with is that much of the state — in square mile terms — is still small, poor, and rural.

      Redistricting after the census will be both interesting and boring. We will almost certainly get an eighth US House seat and it will go to the Front Range — that’s the interesting part. The boring part is that the districts will be drawn by a commission. The only question is whether the split will be 5-3 for the Democrats or 4-4.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I think in a place like Colorado it makes sense to be open to people that weren’t born there. Kentucky still has it’s transplants (god love ’em) but we’re still mostly a people with deep roots. My family has been here close to 200 years. It’s like that all over the state. It feels like you still have to have that connection to really build a following here.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I think Northram could win in Kentucky. Heck, if we can find a French-Vietnamese restaurateur named Dior Tri to run as a third party candidate, he’d have a good chance of winning. Bevin and Beshear both barely won their primaries against Random Country Bumpkin, so about 45% of both parties’ voters aren’t happy with their candidate.

      Bevin is like a character on Lost. You watch him for years and still can’t figure out what he’s really up to, or why, or which side he’s on, or if he’s representing some side that hasn’t been revealed yet, or if his character is just a joke one of the writers is playing on the audience.

      However, we’ve survived Bevin’s antics thus far, and I’m not sure the same will be true of Andy Beshear, who is likely to sue us into oblivion over some obscure codicil in a back appendix of the Federal Register, just to be a jerk.

      People liked his father pretty well, and his father wasn’t marred by scandals. But I think Andy is like a preacher’s kid or a sheriff’s kid, both notorious for being narcissistic, untouchable, bullying, d-bags.

      So, given how each candidate did in their respective primaries, about 55% of each parties’ voters are loyal to their candidate, and even that was probably heavily influenced by electability, considering that their opponents were both running as Over-the-Top Bumpkins. For those who never saw one of the challenger’s campaign ads, it took me a while to realize they were real, and not Saturday Night Live trolling us with parody Hillbilly politician skits.

      Assuming the state was evenly split between R and D, to ease the math, the loyal voters would go 27.5% Bevin, 27.5% Beshear, and 45% for someone else, if there is a someone else who could draw support from voters in both parties.

      It’s doubtful enough Democrats would be willing to write in “Cocaine Mitch”, which would McConnell appoint a lieutenant governor from a DC political retirement home and then resign and return to the Senate, so recent retirees like Bob Corker, Orin Hatch, and Trey Gowdy are out.

      The candidate also has to be a resident of the state, which rules out most celebrity picks like Tom Hanks, but not William Shatner, who has a farm here, or coach Calipari, or Jennifer Lawrence, who will turn 30 in the summer of 2020, meeting the minimum age requirement.

      But we also shouldn’t overlook the idea of just picking a random person out of the phone book. As long as they don’t have outstanding felony warrants, they’d probably be a better pick than what we’ve got.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner says:

        Unfortunately at the moment we just don’t have any good public figures in the state that could be talked into running and have that corner-to-corner appeal. Personally, I’d like to see someone from one of the exurban artisan farms get interested in politics. A lot of them came from the cities, still do business there but they are committed to understanding and building good relationships with their neighbors. Seems like that’s a good start.

        I was also kind of digging that Sellus Wilder guy from the last senate race. He seems like he could stir things up.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Well, maybe it’s time we expand our thinking and look outside the state. Who has lots of money, fame, political power, and comes to Kentucky a lot?

          What about that British woman with the corgies who likes horse racing, or someone in her immediate family. Heck, Theresa May is out of a job and can’t accomplish anything, which is exactly what we need in a governor. Just task her with pulling UK out of the SEC and we’ll be set for four years of entertaining failure.

          Moving on, Ivanka Trump looks great in Derby hats and she’d be a shoe-in. We’d probably get a whole new governor’s mansion out of it, and it would be fabulous.

          Princess Noor Pahlavi from New York, or her dad (supposed to be the current Shah Iran) would add some much needed elegance and flair to the state, reminding the rest of the country that we’re more than “chicken biscuits”.

          Qatar and Saudi Arabia have rich crown princes coming out of their ears. Convince one to turn born-again Baptist and blow $100 million on the campaign and the governorship is theirs.

          Or instead of thinking big, perhaps we should think small. Peter Dinklage would make an excellent governor. Or we could get a GoT star with a deep love for our bourbon industry, like Kitt Harrington or Sean Bean. As long as we keep them away from distillery tours they would do fine, although Sean Bean would undoubtedly become the second Kentucky governor to be assassinated because he never survives any role.

          But instead of all those wonderful possibilities, we’ve have to pick between Matt Bevin and Andy Beshear, who at best should be cartoon leaders of Springfield or Southpark.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The Supreme Court’s standing decision means that the less gerrymandered map stands and this means that Virginia’s House of Delegates will probably go Democratic. Northam managed to ride out his scandal fairly well.Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    I’d throw the 2020 Doug Jones Senate election in the mix as well. If the Republicans run a standard candidate, I’d be very surprised to see a repeat of his one-off defeat of Roy Moore.

    Jon Bel Edwards is one Re-election, one Funder, and one clever and ambitious adviser away from making a play on the mythical Upper Left Quadrant.

    My scalding hot-take: His success might end the Democratic party as we know it.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

      It really won’t, since his abortion bill went way beyond what even most pro-life Democrat’s want, plus the other issue is many of the people in that Upper Left quandrant are minorities who won’t be comfortable with the alliances that somebody like Edwards would have to make to be viable nationally.

      It’s one thing to make alliances with good ole’ boys Republican in suburban Baton Rogue who were Democrats a decade ago to get things passed. It’s another thing to make national alliances with people who have attacked every national level Democrat, including those national level Democrats that upper level minority Democrats like, such a the Clinton’s and Obama, as Satan Incarnate.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jesse says:

        I think you are wrong about the upper left Minorities… or rather, the story you tell is what you have to hope happens (if you are a partisan Democrat) not what will happen. That is, if/when the Upper Left comes into play, it won’t happen the way I think you think it will… or it won’t come into play.

        To be fair, it’ll wreck both parties… but differently each; that’s what realignment looks like. But hey… maybe Jon Bel Edwards is already a broken vessel… I’m suggesting that after Trump it’ll surprise us in the way *like* a Jon Bel Edwards… be it him or not.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

          I mean, my personal opinion is I think a very likely result in Louisiana is despite how far right Edwards has gone on abortion, he still loses re-election because he also kept LGBT protections, didn’t go after immigrants, etc. because most of the white “Upper Left” quadrant want social conservatism/fiscal liberalism for themselves and social conservatism/fiscal conservatism for people unlike them.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Has it always been like this and we just had no way to get the word out?Report

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