ChrisWeigant.com

Five Optimistic Electoral Maps For Clinton

[ Posted Monday, May 9th, 2016 – 17:21 UTC ]

Last week, the Washington Post ran an article titled "Five Not-Totally-Crazy Electoral Maps That Show Donald Trump Winning." The article was a cautionary note to Democrats who are blithely assuming Hillary Clinton will easily beat Donald Trump this November. In it, the authors provide five maps that show Trump beating Clinton, by winning anywhere from 270 Electoral College votes (the minimum necessary to win) up to 283 Electoral College votes. I'd like to answer them back with five maps of my own, which show scenarios that are a lot more likely to become reality. I do understand why the Post authors wrote their article -- Democrats getting complacent about their chances of victory is indeed a danger this election cycle, and who knows how many crossover votes are going to happen (in either direction)? But at the same time, it is easy to see the monstrous advantage any Democratic candidate for president now enjoys, and it's a lot easier to see a very wide and gentle path to victory for Hillary Clinton.

The wonkier among us have been talking about the Democratic "Big Blue Wall" for quite some time now. What this phrase refers to (I wrote about it at length, over a year ago) is how states have consistently voted in the past six presidential elections (back to Bill Clinton's first victory). Here is a list of the 19 states which have voted all six times for the Democratic candidate, together with their respective electoral college votes:

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Hawai'i (4), Illinois (20), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (20), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (12), Washington D.C. (3), Wisconsin (10).

That is the Big Blue Wall, and when you add the numbers up you get a whopping 242 Electoral College votes. In comparison, the Republicans have what I called a "small red picket fence," made up of only 13 states -- all with (except for Texas) very small populations:

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Mississippi (6), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Texas (38), Utah (6), Wyoming (3).

Added up, it only totals 102 Electoral College votes. This means that -- if all the states listed don't suddenly flip -- Democrats only need to pick up 28 Electoral College votes (Florida has 29, by the way), while Republicans have to win battleground states that add up to 168 votes. That's a pretty big advantage, as you can plainly see. Here is a map which shows all of these states, for both sides (I should mention all of these maps were created at 270ToWin.com, and clicking on any of them will take you to a much larger version at their site):

When you add in states that have voted five out of the past six elections for one party or the other, the Republican picture gets a lot better, but so does the Democratic side. The map you then get shows 257 Democratic and 158 Republican Electoral Votes.

This allows a Democratic candidate multiple paths to victory, such as the one Barack Obama took back in 2012, when he got 332 Electoral College votes. But with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, the possibility exists for Hillary Clinton to beat Obama's numbers -- perhaps even by topping 400 votes.

With Trump in the mix, the number of "battleground states" is going to grow. I identified 15 states which could be up in the air this year, and I didn't even bother including Colorado and New Mexico (because I think both are pretty firmly in the Democratic camp at this point). Everyone has their own opinion about which states could be up for grabs, so I tried to be fair to both sides. Clinton could win states such as Arizona, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, and even Utah (because of how many Mormons seem not to be very big fans of Trump). But then Trump could pick up states long considered Democratic strongholds in the Midwest (or "Rust Belt"), such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Add all these in to the usual battlegrounds (places like Virginia, Nevada, Florida, and Iowa), and you get the following map, which I'm going to use as a baseline in these predictions:

 

Scenario 1 -- Clinton loses Midwest, but squeaks by

I started this one by handing Trump all the Rust Belt states up for grabs, as well as all the states with strong Republican voting records. But Hillary still gets 279 votes on this map, by holding on to Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida, and picking up the border state of Arizona. Worth noting is that Hillary could even lose any one of the following: New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, or Iowa -- and still win the election. So even her squeaker scenario has a bit of slack in it.

 

Scenario 2 -- Clinton loses Florida, but squeaks by

This one is a bit closer, as Clinton only picks up 274 votes, to Trump's 264. Four states have changed from the first scenario, as Trump wins Florida's big haul and also holds on in Arizona. But Clinton manages to hold on in Pennsylvania, and picks up North Carolina. It shows how Clinton could lose two very important swing states (Ohio and Florida), but still manage a thin victory.

 

Scenario 3 -- Clinton matches Obama's 2008 win

On this one, I filled in the map using nothing more than gut feeling on how each state will likely wind up voting. What I came up with is a total that is almost identical to Barack Obama's 2008 win (Obama had 365 Electoral College votes, on this map Hillary wins 358). Clinton wins the Midwest, as Trump's push for blue-collar voters there falls short. Clinton picks up every state Obama won except Indiana, but she wins Arizona to make up for it. Trump holds on in the traditional Republican states of Utah and Georgia, and holds on in Missouri and Arkansas too.

 

Scenario 4 -- Clinton wins over 400 in a landslide

The real question that has been running through my mind for the past week or so is whether Clinton can actually break the 400 Electoral Vote barrier. This hasn't happened since 1988, but it used to be a lot more common. In the 10 elections from 1952 through 1988, the winning candidate got more than 400 votes seven times (Carter, Kennedy, and Nixon's first election all fell short).

So let's think optimistically about how Hillary Clinton could pull off this feat. Hillary not only wins all the states Obama won in 2008 (including Indiana), she also picks up all of the battleground states except Arkansas. Utah's Mormons decide they can't vote for Trump. Arizona flips, with record Latino turnout. Clinton takes the whole Midwest, including Iowa and Missouri. She wins Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida -- and also picks up Georgia (which will shock everyone, no doubt). Here is the map showing Clinton winning 401 Electoral College votes.

 

Scenario 5 -- Clinton wins in an epic, historic landslide

For the last one, I just tossed caution to the wind and thought how many states Clinton could possibly pick up if the country (almost as a whole) rejects Trump in a historic "wave" election. This map may cause laughter, but I think it's about as equally plausible as some of the maps the Washington Post ran last week, just using far different assumptions.

Clinton wins all the previously-mentioned battleground states on this map, and winds up with a whopping 471 Electoral College votes, to Trump's 67. Clinton not only picks up all the battlegrounds, she also flips states which nobody ever thought would vote for a Democrat, as suburban women move en masse to Clinton's side. Hillary picks up Montana, Louisiana, both Dakotas, Kentucky, and even Texas. Just for fun, I also tossed in one vote for Clinton from Nebraska, where votes are allocated by district instead of winner-takes-all. Even without that extra vote, Clinton would still have a full 200 votes more than she needs to win.

 

Now, I'm not placing bets on any of these scenarios actually playing out exactly as I've described them. If I had to, I would bet on the third one to be closest to what happens on Election Day. But I did need to counter the five maps the Washington Post ran last week, because I think all of them made far too many assumptions which were favorable to Trump. To balance this out, what I've laid out here is a number of ways things could break far differently, from a very thin margin of victory for Hillary Clinton to a massive landslide in November. If you'd like, you can play along at 270ToWin.com and post links to the maps you come up with, down in the comments. We'll all be playing this game for months now, so it's fun to begin before all the individual state polling data becomes available.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

53 Comments on “Five Optimistic Electoral Maps For Clinton”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Love it! Every one. Especially 4 & 5!

    One of the big tells for me in the next month or two is going to be reports on what kind of machine the Donald is constructing for GOTV, etc.

    Reince Priebus appears prepared to offer what structural support he can but Trump's operation will have to handle the other end of this. I can imagine him getting wrapped up in the trappings of the convention (his coronation), but the real story will be what's happening around the country. Especially if the usual suspects on the Repub side don't want to pony up the dough.

    Trump's been all about media so far, but, was with incessantly running campaign commercials, I think saturation can become a real problem for him. People tune that stuff out after awhile -- the mailers have to arrive, the GOTV phone calls, the people knocking on doors, the yard signs -- to undergird the TV/Radio/Web presence.

    He also has the problem of needing to drastically change his approach in order to appeal to anyone outside the fever swamps and, so far, he shows no interest or capacity for doing so. Without that I don't think it will matter what he does in terms of media or machine, he's going to lose.

    Hillary needs to stay smart. Maybe she'll get advice from Obama? (This assumes she's the nominee and not Sanders, which, of course, isn't a done deal yet.) Overall I think she's been doing quite well given the various obstacles she's been confronted with. Trump's misogyny against Hillary (and Elizabeth Warren) is not playing well in the wider world. If you want to diffuse people's desire to vote for the first female president, you don't make her gender an issue. I'm seeing lots of "anecdotes" online about women who have hated Hillary but are now intending to vote for her because Trump has been such a pig, in addition to a dishonest, bombastic ignormamus. We'll see, but it wouldn't surprise me. As P.J. O'Rourke said the other day, Hillary may be wrong about everything (in his view, not mine) "but she's wrong within normal parameters".

    If Trumpy helps Hillary win, the woman so hated for so long by Republicans, well, irony isn't strong enough of a word!

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @paula,

    the trouble with fever swamps is that there are a lot more people living in them than we'd like to believe possible. this past week i overheard a middle-aged firefighter say he wouldn't vote for "some broad" - he actually used the word BROAD. i had to check my clock to make sure it hadn't wound back sixty years. two of my teenage male students - one african american and the other latino - both said they wanted trump to win because they thought he was strong.

    there are a ton of people out there who live in that universe, so i'm loath to minimize its existence or its influence. one can hope that it's a modest amount, but i for one am not even going to begin to count chickens until a democrat is inaugurated.

    JL

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    [2] Not counting chickens -- agreed.

    But it's nice to be optimistic occasionally because the possibility of a Trump win is so dire. My hope is that fever-swampees won't get to the polls in large numbers, but we'll see how things start to shape up going forward. On our side stark alarm can be even more motivating than idiotic chauvinism.

  4. [4] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Just because everyone is in need of a dose...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da5VYSPsoE0

    Once you get past the intro... it is all worth it. I promise many sage words are to be had.

    Now if only he would do a non comedy based show....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    i had to check my clock to make sure it hadn't wound back sixty years. two of my teenage male students - one african american and the other latino - both said they wanted trump to win because they thought he was strong.

    Trump *IS* strong..

    That's the part ya'all just can't believe....

    And it's that strength that attracts voters and is caused hundreds of thousands of Democrats to flip over to the GOP...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Big Blue Wall won't help a candidate who has been indicted either by the DOJ or the CPO...

    The Democrat Party's only chance is to have Biden parachute in to save the day....

    Even then, it will still be an ESTABLISHMENT Candidate against the ANTI-Establishment Candidate...

    And the ESTABLISHMENT will lose...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    militarytimes.com/story/military/election/2016/05/09/military-times-survey-donald-trump-beats-hillary-clinton/84132402/

    Trump STOMPS Hillary with the military vote...

    msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/wall-street-says-clinton-is-next-president-661132355889

    Hillary Clinton is the choice of Wall Street...

    A vote for Trump is a vote for a strong America..

    A vote for Clinton is a vote for Wall Street...

    Can't make it any simpler than that....

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    m[5-6],

    even if someone is indicted, it won't be clinton, and it won't end clinton's campaign. should someone high up like abedin be indicted it could be damaging, but still not enough to sway the election either way. whether clinton loses or wins it will be due to the ability of her opponent to garner votes for himself, not tear hers down.

    for better or worse, hillary clinton *IS* strong. and that is the part y'all can't believe.

    JL

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    ven if someone is indicted, it won't be clinton, and it won't end clinton's campaign.

    I disagree.. According to all available facts, Clinton WILL be indicted. The only question is whether or not it will be by the Dept Of Justice or the Court of Public Opinion..

    And it WILL end Clinton's campaign.. Or more accurately, it will end the chances of a SUCCESSFUL campaign..

    Are you honestly saying that an indicted Clinton can still win??

    for better or worse, hillary clinton *IS* strong. and that is the part y'all can't believe.

    Oh, I agree.. Clinton IS strong..

    She is Emperor Palpatine strong... She is Josef Stalin strong... She is Adolph Hitler strong...

    But good always triumphs over evil... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    But good always triumphs over evil... :D

    "It's been my experience that evil triumphs unless good is very very careful"
    -Dr Leonard McCoy, STAR TREK, Omega Glory

    :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Trump and Hillary are both strong. So is an open septic tank.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    hehehehehehehe :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dead heat: Trump, Clinton tied in 3 swing-state polls
    The poll shows close races in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/trump-clinton-florida-ohio-pennsylvania-222994

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Both did better on the issue of being a strong leader. Here, too, Trump outperformed Clinton. Where Clinton has a net positive rating of 8 points on the leadership issue in Florida, Trump has a net positive rating of 23 points. While 10 percent more Ohioans said Clinton has strong leadership qualities than not, 25 percent more said the same of Trump in the critical Midwestern swing state. And in Pennsylvania, Clinton’s net positive rating on being a strong enough leader stands at 18 points, while Trump's is larger, at 25 points.

    Hillary couldn't lead anyone out of a paper bag...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A word to the wonky about 270 To Win maps... Some of the maps attributed to other political sites reduce the number of classes shown at the link. This significantly changes map implications, usually by making battle ground states much more neutral than is actually the case. In general, "toss up" is used too broadly. Toss up means you can't tell which candidate is more to likely win, so you score it 50% probability for each candidate. Anything else is a lean towards one party or the other. I personally think a seven color map is a realistic standard, given the conclusions the progs (rhymes with frogs) make regarding their own maps. Too many toss ups in the dozen or so genuinely competitive states makes the election look far closer than it probably is. There are conservative estimates, and there are wimpy estimates!

    I suggest that:

    Strong D, likely D, lean D, Toss-up, lean R, likely R, Strong R is a reasonable standard. The data supports this (CW usually tabulates this way), as do the commentaries of the people who are commenting on their own over-simplified maps.

    Although it doesn't produce maps, I like how the Predictwise blog tabulates probability of a generic Democratic candidate winning individual states. This would make a nice map, with number rather than color fill. (To avoid the cranky spam filter I'll leave it to interested readers, if any, to Google the PW site themselves).

    The "Battle Ground States" shown in CW's second map are a pretty good match with States that PredictWise assigns probabilities that are not 1 or zero (Blue or Red locks). Exceptions are Arkansas and Utah, which PW rates as Red state 100% locks and PW does not consider VA anything close to True Blue. In the PW scheme, only 1 state (Ohio) is anything close to a genuine 50-50 toss up. Florida leans Republican and North Carolina leans very Republican. Nevada leans Democratic, and VA, PA, IOWA, WI, CO, WI,NH and MI lean progressively (no pun intended) more Democratic.

    The reason I bring this up is that mathematically oriented political scientists know that a good prediction of the probability of winning the election is found by rank ordering the states by probability, and assigning the probability of winning the electoral college the same probability as the state putting the EV count at or over 270. The probability can be a decimal fraction, or qualitative. This is an excellent sanity check you can make between the map you are showing an the ultimate prediction the mapmaker puts in the text. It surprises me how the commentary isn't consistent with the map.

    For the record, applying the rank ordered model to the PredictWise state by state models results in a 67% chance of a generic Democratic Win. This a bit less than the Prediction Markets, or the more complicated prediction models are currently showing. This is because the simple rank ordered model assumes all elections are all "wave elections," which is only approximately true.

    If Trump has fundamentally altered the rules of the general election game, than none this matters, but I doubt he has. General elections are lot less complicated than primaries, especially when primaries start with 12 aspirants.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:
  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Trump has fundamentally altered the rules of the general election game, than none this matters, but I doubt he has.

    Despite all the facts to the contrary.. :D

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact that Trump and Clinton are in a dead heat shows how fundamentally Trump has changed the General...

    If ya'all (standard exceptions apply) continue to ignore reality simply because it's not ideologically palatable, ya'all are going to be in for a rough ride between now and November... :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "But good always triumphs over evil... :D

    "It's been my experience that evil triumphs unless good is very very careful"
    -Dr Leonard McCoy, STAR TREK, Omega Glory"

    In the case of Trump, I think perhaps one of the many Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition is more appropriate:

    Rule # 48 "The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife." "Rules of Acquisition" (DS9 episode)

    OR

    Rule # 87 "Learn the customer's weaknesses, so that you can better take advantage of him." Highest Score (DS9 novel)

  20. [20] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    I'm picking on what you wrote, @Paula, but it's not really directed at you per se, but as a comment to the larger community here:

    My hope is that fever-swampees won't get to the polls in large numbers...

    1) We liberal-types need to stop referring to Mr. Trump's supporters as some kind of low-quality Americans. This smug liberal attitude is just as uncivil and arrogant as anything we might accuse conservative opponents of. (See also http://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism.) These are real people with real perspectives who want a better life. If you met them individually you may discover useful perspectives to contend with. We may have to wade through some ugly sentiment to get to good things from it, but there is real pain. I may disagree with how some of those people pursue change but I respect that they have a point of view and I don't assume that every or even most of his supporters are necessarily low-information, racist, or whatever pejorative one might consider labeling them as. They are our countrymen and women and if we want to change the present culture of politics, let's start with ourselves.

    2) I want everyone to vote, not just the people that agree with me. The hope that only your side turns up is the first step toward suppressing votes. If I had the time, resources, etc., I would happily drive each one to the polls. I might want to argue with them the whole way there, but I completely want everyone who wants to vote to vote and be counted.

    3) I've said it before: the candidacy of Mr. Trump is good for America in key ways. Not the outlandish and ugly rhetoric, but the fact that it upsets the apple cart. American politics has been in a rut and zero-sum game for several elections and some creative destruction, some disruption to the normal order of where national politics has been stuck is sorely needed. Now I may strongly not want a President Trump to be inaugurated, but I acknowledge that candidate Trump is changing the conversation: no more dog-whistles, no more ideologically-slavish positions, no more dual-party hegemony. Frankly, I'm more worried that Trump may run to the left of Secretary Clinton and disrupt the Democrats, but I can't say that I minded that Sen. Sanders did so.

    Paula, I love that you do the biopics on people who meet. I think those voices -- Democratic, Republican, and otherwise -- need more attention given the horse-race coverage we get right now in the media. I'm tired of politics as sport or gladiators' arena. Trump and Sanders speak to a frustration, as did the tea party, that is wrong to ignore and demands answers from our political leadership regardless of ideology. Let's not disparage that voice just because of its tone, but instead try to bring it into the conversation constructively. And let's not call them names or hope they don't vote. That is the opposite of civility.

  21. [21] 
    John M wrote:

    Very well said rdnewman. I just wish some, not all, of those in the Republican party trying to suppress Democratic voters, would take those sentiments to heart.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the case of Trump, I think perhaps one of the many Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition is more appropriate:

    Good point... Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Trump IS a Ferengi... :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    Bravo!!

    {STANDING OVATION}

    You sound just like me.. Which is the highest praise I can bestow on anyone! :D heh

    Seriously, though.. Everyone here, myself included, should strive for such an even-handed and objective perspective....

    Well said, sir. I salute you....

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    TheStig wrote:

    RE -16

    The Predictwise tabulation I cited was from mid March. Rothschild has since updated his state by state table, and the generic Democrat is now given a 72% chance of getting 279 or more electoral votes. This in line with Betfair, PredictIT, bookies, HyperMind and Rothchild's aggregate prediction factoring in all the above.

    Another way of looking at it: Clinton can win without

    "...it is easy to see the monstrous advantage any Democratic candidate for president now enjoys, and it's a lot easier to see a very wide and gentle path to victory for Hillary Clinton." - CW, the Caped Prognosticator

    I have agree with CW. Not inevitable to be sure, but Clinton remains a strong favorite, Trumps Hostile Take of Republicans INC. notwithstanding.

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Post 24 got sent prematurely somehow during mid keystroke:

    TheStig regrets the error and is looking into which hotkey posts messages...and all this time I've been blaming my cat!

    RE -16

    The Predictwise tabulation I cited was from mid March. Rothschild has since updated his state by state table, and the generic Democrat is now given a 72% chance of getting 279 or more electoral votes. This in line with Betfair, PredictIT, bookies, HyperMind and Rothchild's aggregate prediction factoring in all the above.

    Another way of looking at the rank order model: Clinton has roughly a 25% chance of winning All the battleground states, or the electoral equivalent including some rather unlikely pick-offs in weaker Republican states

    "...it is easy to see the monstrous advantage any Democratic candidate for president now enjoys, and it's a lot easier to see a very wide and gentle path to victory for Hillary Clinton." - CW, the Caped Prognosticator

    I have agree with CW. Not inevitable to be sure, but Clinton remains a strong favorite, Trumps Hostile Take of Republicans INC. notwithstanding.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    If the General election turns out to be like every other General election, then you will likely prevail in your assessment..

    But it's unlikely that this will be a General like any other...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    rdnewman (20)
    Well said.
    Michale (26)
    It will be a general election just like every other one. Everyone will make a big deal about the presidential contest and forget about the most important part of the 2016 elections- the congressional contests(it may already be happening!).
    For example, how many of the 760,000 plus voters that voted for Sanders in the NY presidential primaries will return to the polls to vote in the 2016 NY congressional primaries on June 28th? How many of the unregistered and purged voters that could not vote in the NY presidential primaries will register by June 3rd so they can participate on June 28th? How many of the Trump voters that participated on the Republican side will vote on June 28th?
    My bet is that the total vote in the NY congressional primaries will be less than the total of the 760,000 that voted for Sanders.
    Most will stay home because there are only establishment candidates running in their district. They will waste their vote rather than register a vote against the establishment candidates by writing in their own name. Even if the vote is thrown out, they will still have to count how many votes they threw out and it wasn't meant to elect a candidate anyway.
    It would be meant to send a message that this general election will be different and create demand for anti-establishment candidates in the 2016 general election and future elections.
    Which message do you want to send in the congressional primaries?
    You are satisfied or indifferent or have given up by not voting in the congressional primaries or you want something different than the same old crap by writing in your own name?
    But people can't send the message if they don't know the opportunity exists.
    So you can continue to not participate and complain about both sides or you can send Ralph Nader a Citizen Summons (comments 86,88 and 92 from Friday Talking Points 05-06-16) and take the first step to change the broken political system.
    Who knows, if Ralph Nader talks about this idea maybe CW will put something about in one of his articles.

  28. [28] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, don't have time now to answer these (later tonight -- I promise!), but did want to toss this out there. I really should have put this disclaimer explicitly in the article.

    "All of these predictions I'm making are done before I've looked at a single state-level poll. I wanted to just give free rein to my gut feeling (if that isn't too mixed-up a metaphor) and see what the maps looked like. Later this year, we'll be starting up our usual "Electoral Math" series of columns which will examine in great detail the numbers coming out of all the states, but for now this was all done without any state data at all."

    :-)

    -CW

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    The wife and I are watching CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR as I type this...

    I am hoping you have seen it because you and I will have a **LOT** to talk about... :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Paula wrote:

    [20] RDNewman: You make some good points; in particular I don't like to see Liberals/Dems engage in wholesale dissing of Republicans based on education levels or being from the South, or being Evangelical, etc.

    But I stand by "fever swampees", which I will define for this thread as people who think Trump is credible presidential candidate.

    People have a right to their points of view -- I do not have to respect them. I don't have to love them, like them or excuse them. I must not be violent towards them, or pass laws to hurt them, or suppress their votes. However I can hope that they don't bother to vote if I think their choice would be disastrous. It's just a passing hope. I can put it out in the ether and watch it float away.

    I can also take these people at their word. You present these folks as victims who have been mistreated in various ways, who are frustrated with the system, etc. You then make the leap that I won't make, which is to excuse them for swimming in the fever swamp and trying to drown the rest of us in it. They have, presumably, at least normal intelligence and are capable of making decisions. Their decisions have been to embrace a host of horriblenesses.

    I don't dispute the reality of the problems that they struggle with, about which I am very sympathetic. I dispute their conclusions about the causes of the problems and the solutions to the problems. I dispute their tendency to see themselves as the only legitimate sufferers while everyone else's beefs are poppycock. I reject their acceptance of wholesale and continuous dishonesty by their leaders. I do not consider them helpless pawns in the hands of those who would exploit them; they are willing pawns. I believe their leading figures have failed in about fifty different ways, but those who follow them made the decisions to do so.

    Why do they choose to follow the likes of a Trump? Ultimately I would argue your position is one of condescension: they don't know any better. They've been fooled. They're misguided. It follows that we, who are smarter, less gullible, etc. must set them right.

    To me it's a greater mark of respect to call them out for their terrible choices than to act as though they weren't capable of making those choices.

    I think there is a big distinction to be made between respecting people's right to exist, to hold their own opinions, to have a fundamental value as human beings, etc. -- and respecting their actual opinions. Fever swampees' opinions' are nasty, foolish and ignorant.

    I agree a shake-up has some merit. But I prefer the Sanders' shake-up, which is about ideas, to the Trump shake-up, which is about tribalistic, glory-in-my-ignorance, bullying domination. There may be value in Trump letting the ugliness out of the closet but I'm not sure -- to some degree it legitimizes the ugliness and I don't see that as constructive. However it is always good to know what people actually think and feel.

  31. [31] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, got some time now, so let's answer some of these.

    Paula [1] -

    I think the GOP GOTV effort will be forced upon Trump's campaign whether he wants it or not. I think it may even operate as a semi-independent entity from the Trump campaign. If Trump isn't prepared to do the nuts and bolts campaign stuff, I think the party will do it for him in the hopes of avoiding a slaughter in Congress. I could be wrong, though...

    That PJOR quote was pretty funny -- I've always thought he was a pretty funny guy...

    nypoet22 [2] -

    Good point. The people who will decide this election haven't been paying the slightest bit of attention to it, so far. Scary, but true.

    Michael [9] and Don Harris [11] -

    "Strong words. Strong... poorly pronounced words, from a large dog."

    -"Nancy Grace" character in SNL Scooby Doo sketch with Rob Lowe as Shaggy.

    Heh. Couldn't resist.

    Search for "Scooby Doo Rob Lowe" to find the video if you haven't seen it (it's hilarious).

    TheStig [15] -

    I actually like the 270ToWin maps, because they're exactly what I've been looking for for a while now. A trinary map (red/blue/grey) where you can change the states at will. Also, you can link to the site, link to just the map (png file) or embed their version of the link. Or just (as I've done) download the map and resize it as needed.

    I hear you about the 7-color maps, though. When I get to the Electoral Math series, a 7-color map is precisely what I'll be looking for.

    As for individual states, I threw UT in there from anecdotal stories of how hated Trump is among Mormons. I tossed AR in because Clinton could count it as a "home state" although I think the odds are pretty long it'll help her much. I think VA's shifted for good towards the blue, just like I think CO and NM have. I could be wrong, though.

    John M [19] -

    "The Ferengi have taken over the ship!"

    Now there's a quote whose time has come...

    Heh.

    OK, I'm going to post this now so I can go check results. More later...

    -CW

  32. [32] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    rdnewman [20] -

    1) Excellent point. Well said.

    2) Also an excellent point.

    3) Good point -- you don't hear ANYone saying in this election that "you can't tell the difference between them, it doesn't matter who I vote for." I have heard that in varying degree for a LOT of past elections (the worst was probably 2000, and look what happened). But, as the techies say, the GOP has certainly been "disrupted" this time around. Dems too, but not to the same degree.

    As for your final point, I've got a welcome surprise for you in the next few days...

    :-)

    TheStig [24] -

    "The Caped Prognosticator"... I like it!

    Heh.

    [25] -

    Cats are very helpful creatures. They love helping out all around the house!

    Heh.

    OK, taking another break.

    In case you all missed it, today's article (WV prediction) is now up! Liveblogging returns in the comments...

    -CW

  33. [33] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [27] -

    I think all states need to end the madness that is "split primaries". CA tried this for a few cycles, moved its presidential primary up in the line, but kept June 7 for all other primary contests. It wastes an ENORMOUS amount of money to do it this way, all for the comfort of the state legislators. Each state should only hold ONE primary, period.

    Hmmph.

    -CW

  34. [34] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    But while there are separate primaries it does present an opportunity to send a message by registering a write in vote against the establishment candidates and the primary system without having to worry about having your ballot thrown out and possibly also losing your presidential primary vote.
    I have to admit I don't know if here in NJ if I write in my own name in the congressional election if my ballot will be thrown out and if it is if the whole ballot is thrown out so my vote for Bernie is thrown out or just the congressional vote would be thrown out if NJ requires write in candidates to be registered.
    Think of how much fun it would be in the general election if millions of voters across the country all filled out the forms to be an official write in candidate so they could write in their own names in states that require write in candidates to be registered. This would probably require some court challenges to eliminate the fees as a poll tax and other stuff that makes it difficult for citizens to do this.
    But if we could get people to fill out and submit the forms even if they will be rejected it would cripple the system if all these forms were submitted on paper rather than electronically. Then they might have to just allow people to vote for themselves.

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Sadly, I have not yet seen Civil War yet ... so, you are going to have to contain yourself until I do see it, just as soon as I can ... I don't want to see any spoilers around here, inadvertently!

    Can't wait to talk all about it!

  36. [36] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris -

    I've often wondered the same thing myself. If I write in "Mickey Mouse" or "Zippy The Pinhead" for president, is my vote counted? Is it thrown out? Is my whole freakin' BALLOT thrown out?

    One of these days, I'll ask my local registrar that question...

    -CW

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    I'm thinking that Don would be a great candidate for a guest column ...

  38. [38] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    In reply to Doug Larson from HuffPost, who wrote:

    You got it wrong Chris :-) It is Scenario #3 minus AZ, IA and NC

    And also:

    Also, Chris, FL is the new OH.

    Doug -

    OK, I could see your #3 minus AZ, IA, NC. Would put Clinton at 326 EV. Sounds plausible.

    As for FL, note that in the WP maps, every path to victory for the GOP led through Ohio.

    Just sayin'....

    -CW

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think there is a big distinction to be made between respecting people's right to exist, to hold their own opinions, to have a fundamental value as human beings, etc. -- and respecting their actual opinions. Fever swampees' opinions' are nasty, foolish and ignorant.

    And they think the exact same thing about YOUR opinions..

    What makes them wrong and you right??

    THAT'S the point...

    Their opinions are just as valid as your opinions..

    Once you are on board with that, it is the beginning of wisdom..

    "Logic is the beginning of wisdom. Not the end."
    -Captain Spock

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all have to ask yerselves one question..

    If Hillary is so good and Trump is so bad, why is the race so close???

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    fever swamp: A political website or mindset that is prone to wild accusations and is especially susceptible to conspiracy theories.
    ~urban dictionary

    that's what i thought paula meant. yes, there are many people with perfectly valid reasons for choosing the republican candidate. there are also quite a few people doing so for invalid reasons. "Because he's a man and she's a woman" is what i would term an invalid reason. because hillary is "evil" or trump "insane" are also invalid without rock hard evidence to back those claims up.

    there are plenty of people on both sides who inhabit the fever swamps, so to speak. it just happens that people of that mindset (again, both parties) seem to focus their conspiracies on clinton more than any of the other candidates.

    JL

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Elizabeth (37)
    Thanks.

  43. [43] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As someone that is not Don Harris that somehow managed to log on in his name, I think Elizabeth's suggestion is a GREAT idea.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    . "Because he's a man and she's a woman" is what i would term an invalid reason. because hillary is "evil" or trump "insane" are also invalid without rock hard evidence to back those claims up.

    Just let me tweak that a little..

    . "Because he's a man and she's a woman".. are also invalid without rock hard evidence to back those claims up.

    There... :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "Because he's a man and she's a woman".. are also invalid without rock hard evidence to back those claims up.

    aquino, thatcher, merkel, gandhi, meir.

    QED

    JL

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Because he's a man and she's a woman".. are also invalid without rock hard evidence to back those claims up.

    aquino, thatcher, merkel, gandhi, meir.

    QED

    "Because he's a man"

    :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/wv-hillary-loses-23-support-2008/

    33% Of Democrats say they will vote for Trump in the General....

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "Because he's a man"

    aquino>marcos
    thatcher>blair
    merkel>schroder
    gandhi>desai
    meir>everyone since

    JL

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    "It was a little joke, sir."
    -Ensign Chekov, STAR TREK, The Trouble With Tribbles

    :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @nypoet22 [#41]

    Thanks for that definition; I'm not sure I was aware of that phrase.

    @Paula [#30]

    I don't see where I either referred or implied that Mr. Trump's supporters were "pawns" or rubes or otherwise condescended to them. I may be blind to my own smugness, but I just don't see it in those remarks.

  51. [51] 
    Paula wrote:

    [50] RD: I don't think you are "smug".

    What I think is that you are bending over backwards to give the fever swampees the benefit of the doubt which (in my opinion) they have not earned.

    Why do you bend over backwards?

    Partly because you are nice, or want to be nice. Compassionate, etc. Laudable. Partly because, if your goal is to open dialogue, it helps to not attack the person you want to engage. That's pragmatic and I understand it perfectly. It's not my purpose here, but I understand the utility of sheathing the claws at such times.

    The condescension part comes in when, putting your niceness and pragmatism aside, you essentially give these folks a pass for being, or supporting, horrible people who do horrible things. Your reasoning (as I saw it) is that they have some genuine problems that are not being addressed. We should ignore their tone and focus on the underlying complaints.

    I see "ignoring their tone" as a form of infantilization -- like we're the Moms listening to the toddlers have tantrums. In point of fact, that's a lot what they act like, only they aren't toddlers. They are adults. And there are enough of them, partly because they went unchallenged for so long, that they can wreak serious havoc on the country.

    Throughout the last several years people like me have been saying "the tone" on the right is dangerous and will lead to bad things. Many, many people made every excuse they could muster to avoid saying what is true: there is a batch of Americans who have actively or passively supported extreme, violent, demeaning, nasty words, acts, politicians, media figures, religious figures, etc.

    We had the back and forth over the Planned Parenthood fraudulent video which has not only lead to harmful legislation by Republicans in various states, it has also lead to various outbreaks of violence.

    So my point is, you can be just as nice as you wish to be to fever swampees, individually or collectively, but do not let that obscure the fact that what they say and support is malignant. It's a form of "not taking them seriously", which is both condescending and a mistake.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    As someone that is not Don Harris that somehow managed to log on in his name, I think Elizabeth's suggestion is a GREAT idea.

    What are you saying? That there is an imposter here? Who is the real Don Harris of Voucher Vendetta fame?

    And, what did you mean by 'GREAT' ... ?

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz,

    sounds like don's significant other wandered into the room and chose to comment.

    Who is the real Don Harris of Voucher Vendetta fame?

    perhaps he's hiding behind a guy fawkes mask?

    A man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world.
    ~v for vendetta

Comments for this article are closed.