2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

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sardia
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:01 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:I’m watching the O Rourke/Cruz debate right now (because, you know, I’m in TX and am a voter) and Cruz is frankly pissing me off. He’s just basically ignored all the questions and all of O Rourke’s statements and returned to standard talking points. For instance, in the very first question about Dreamers, Cruz entirely ignored the part about Dreamers and takes about illegal immigrants in general — not focusing on the fact that they often were brought over by their parents instead of doing it themselves. They’re both walking all over the moderators, too — the moderators seem nervous, too.

Latest turnout projections are bad for Democrats. 538 assumes high turnout is better for Beto. The conversion from all voters to likely voters shows much lower turnout. Do you need a citation?

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/el ... wer-votes/
Turns out that Republicans waste votes too.
Simply put, if you live in a district with fewer voters, your vote makes up a bigger share of the total — which makes your vote worth more — and it takes fewer votes to carry the district. So while Democrats may win solidly blue districts with relatively few total votes, GOP candidates are more likely to run up the score in reliably Republican districts, winning by huge margins. In both cases, all votes beyond the 50 percent mark are “wasted” (after all, no matter how much you win by, you can only win one seat per district), but the size disparity means that more votes are wasted in bigger, redder districts. But those votes still count toward the national popular vote, making it theoretically possible for Republicans to win the national popular vote but still lose majority control because Democrats got more bang for their buck — or, in this case, votes.


Tldr Democratic districts have more people, but only low% of them can or will vote. GOP districts have lots of voters, and lots of them vote, which wastes all the votes over 50%.

The effect size isn't as big as gerrymandering/self sorting, but it does fuel GOP arguments to redistrict by voters instead of total population. This is already baked into the model, but it'll provide fuel for future census/redistricting fights.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby iamspen » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:40 pm UTC

It's hard to imagine a world in which current events won't significantly affect voter turnout, and if that is indeed the world we live in, my disappointment will be palpable. The Kavanaugh fiasco seems to be further withering the Republican party down to its Trumpist base, a trend which is surely disastrous for the long-term future of the party, regardless of how much weight it carries in these midterms.

Unfortunately, Democrats are having a hard time trading advantage of current events because, IMO, they're awful at telling blunt truths; nobody, for instance, directly called out Kavanaugh's blatant lies and asked why he was telling them. Dems' overall lack of courage and inability to stop being diplomatic in a political climate that demands it is frustrating and not doing much to further energize the base, especially the young vote, which is what they need the most.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:45 pm UTC

iamspen wrote:It's hard to imagine a world in which current events won't significantly affect voter turnout, and if that is indeed the world we live in, my disappointment will be palpable. The Kavanaugh fiasco seems to be further withering the Republican party down to its Trumpist base, a trend which is surely disastrous for the long-term future of the party, regardless of how much weight it carries in these midterms.


Scandals have historically had fairly little effect on voter turnout. Reversion to the mean happens pretty fast.

The long term effects are probably limited to Kav himself. If he decides significantly differently on cases than another Republican justice might, that's a significant long term effect, but I highly doubt it will matter for voting.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:19 pm UTC

Speaking of scandal, remember senator menendez corruption? Turns out he has a 3% chance of losing instead of a 0% chance. Remember, this is New Jersey in a blue wave year. And yet he still might lose a la Roy Moore. Democrats everywhere t should remember the price to pay for keeping a corrupt piece of shit in office. You might lose an easy election. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/de ... nate-seat/
The fundamentals point to an easy win, but the polling points to a tight race.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:06 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Speaking of scandal, remember senator menendez corruption? Turns out he has a 3% chance of losing instead of a 0% chance. Remember, this is New Jersey in a blue wave year. And yet he still might lose a la Roy Moore. Democrats everywhere t should remember the price to pay for keeping a corrupt piece of shit in office. You might lose an easy election. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/de ... nate-seat/
The fundamentals point to an easy win, but the polling points to a tight race.


Fair. It's a bit subjective. It's one thing if you've got a case like Moore where the corruption is really blatant and the candidate's integrity is directly challenged. A really bad candidate matters. But a gaffe, misspeak, or particular vote, generally not.

It would be pretty surprising for Jersey to go Red, but hey...the numbers are the numbers.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:45 pm UTC

Moore is the pedophile, menendez is corruption. FYI.

Alright, the me too movement and/or sexism/Kavanaugh. Before the polling settles down, is it Good or bad for Democrats? For Republicans? My initial thought is metoo is going to cause a reckoning in the GOP. And yet... I wanna see more signs it's true. Timeframe is midterm elections, not next decade demographic stuff.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Zohar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:11 pm UTC

According to an NPR poll from this morning, Democrats were already pretty motivated, so it's mostly Republicans who are being advantaged by this.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:14 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Moore is the pedophile, menendez is corruption. FYI.


Sorry, shouldn't have used corrupt in that context, twas unspecific. Meant it as morally corrupt.

Alright, the me too movement and/or sexism/Kavanaugh. Before the polling settles down, is it Good or bad for Democrats? For Republicans? My initial thought is metoo is going to cause a reckoning in the GOP. And yet... I wanna see more signs it's true. Timeframe is midterm elections, not next decade demographic stuff.


I'm gonna pull up an old 538 article with regards to this. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-gaffe-can-matter-when-it-motivates-the-base/ They're arguing for gaffes mattering in some cases, but other cited examples(Romney and Obama) had no to a small effect on polling. Maaaaybe 1% at most. Even the one they're arguing for mattering, eh...Iowa is fairly red. It is highly probable that they'd have elected a Republican senator regardless.

So, what separates the case where they matter, from cases where they don't? The above two seem like significant moral failings of a candidate. So much so that even folks on their side of the partisan line must admit they are falling far short of any reasonable moral standard.

It might have an effect if Kavanaugh were running for office, since at least some appear to believe that he's morally a bit short of a full deck, but this belief seems less pervasive than the two examples listed above. And he's not directly running for office, it's merely people who happen to share a party with him. Gaffes don't seem to bleed over to this degree. I can't think of a comparative example to argue that there will be an effect. So, it shouldn't budge polling for either party.

My republican friends think it's important for republican turnout, but...honestly, republicans tend to enjoy good turnout regardless in midterms. Democrats ought to get more mileage from partisan turnout bumps...but pretty much all Democrats I know of are already reasonably incensed at Trump. It's hard to imagine this motivating someone that isn't motivated by opposition to Trump.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:27 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wh ... nate-odds/
The Senate and the house have gotten 5% worse for the Democrats. Heidi and Beto will probably lose and are viable based off fundamentals. (Read fundraising). In his Twitter account, Nate wonders if Democrats are over donating, which makes fundraising a worse metric. He's not sure why the Republicans are doing better.
Overall, this is one of those times where the “what” is easier than the “why.” The what is that Democrats’ position has worsened in the Senate as a result of declining numbers in deeply red states — where, because of their terrible Senate map, Democrats have a ton of exposure. But the why is not totally clear: It might be attributable to Kavanaugh, or it might have been baked in all along.


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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:05 pm UTC

North Dakota and Missouri are playing a huge part here. The former one I noted that I thought was more accurately represented by the worse odds a while ago(Mississippi also swung worse for democrats, so I think both of those quibbles worked out more accurately for me/lite model than the other two options). A 31 point swing is huge. Note that the swing was larger for polls + fundamentals, so while some error was baked into the polls, most likely, the difference is attributable to the fundamentals.

This is true in general. The lite model is looking significantly more accurate than polls + fundamentals.

My read on this is the same as before, polls + fundamentals appears to be double-counting effects to some degree(not actually double, but polls and fundraising are strongly dependent variables). I think they're merely overestimating the level of independence here, possibly due to partisanship being higher than it historically has been. That factor is throwing off some historical relationships, I believe.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:North Dakota and Missouri are playing a huge part here. The former one I noted that I thought was more accurately represented by the worse odds a while ago(Mississippi also swung worse for democrats, so I think both of those quibbles worked out more accurately for me/lite model than the other two options). A 31 point swing is huge. Note that the swing was larger for polls + fundamentals, so while some error was baked into the polls, most likely, the difference is attributable to the fundamentals.

This is true in general. The lite model is looking significantly more accurate than polls + fundamentals.

My read on this is the same as before, polls + fundamentals appears to be double-counting effects to some degree(not actually double, but polls and fundraising are strongly dependent variables). I think they're merely overestimating the level of independence here, possibly due to partisanship being higher than it historically has been. That factor is throwing off some historical relationships, I believe.

Let's test this theory. West Virginia 3rd district is on average+37 GOP fundamentals. But the polling shows it as+2 GOP with some Democrats leading sometimes. Are you with the classic model, or with polls lite (only) model?

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:21 pm UTC

Seems reasonable enough. WV has supported Manchin for ages. Manchin is almost certainly going to hold his senate seat. He's a fixture 'round there.

They've been tradition "red" for presidential purposes, but the state as a whole is kinda purple depending on how you look at it. I don't have a ton of personal experience with WV, mostly just driving through it on the way to somewhere else, but my gut feeling is that they're overestimating the red partisan lean in the state. Yeah, it went really red for Trump, but that may not apply equally to other races.

So closer race feels more accurate there.

As a side note, the expert opinion also skews towards a closer race over the classic model. In most cases, the expert opinion increases the gap, not narrows it, relative to the classic model. Interesting.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:23 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/el ... our-model/
3 weeks to go until mid terms. Nate and Republicans should be worried about the Democrats ridiculous fundraising numbers.
GOP should worry because it and special election dates signifies 60+seat wave (unlike polling which indicate a small wave). Nate is worried because this number is so out of scope, which could lose predictive power.

PS governor's model is finally here. Illinois GOP governor is a serious under dog.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:07 pm UTC

Definitely thinking small wave, based on polling, rather than the large wave that fundraising would predict. And largely a congressional wave. Hard to make headway in the senate. But it's interesting all the same.

As for governors, I agree that Illinois is probably gonna go blue. Chicago runs that state to a large degree, and the incumbent almost lost a primary challenge. Strong or successful primary challenges are, IMO, a very strong indicator of a weak candidate. Polling might tighten up some as undecided voters reluctantly break Republican, but it'll probably translate to a Republican loss regardless. I don't know enough about the candidates to know why the incumbent appears weak, but going by the metrics, it doesn't look good for him.

Florida's a more interesting race. It's a pretty notable swing state, and the odds are closer. There may be some long term effects if the Democrats can maintain/pick up additional governorships.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:21 pm UTC

Two weeks to go before election day, and it's fascinating watching different media pundits vs Nate's model. Sometime they are in agreement, others they talk up a competitive race. For example, I saw two house races, former the GOP was pulling out of, and the latter, the GOP was doubling down. They had the same chance of victory. (Lean Democrat). I find myself comparing every article to his model, and wondering why they are pushing their narrative.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/us/p ... trump.html
Example the times posts headline that Tester is at risk of losing Montana. "Once considered a solid favorite, is now genuinely at risk". 538 has him+6 in the polls, +7 with fundamentals and expert opinions. Translation: 80%+odds of winning.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:06 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Two weeks to go before election day, and it's fascinating watching different media pundits vs Nate's model. Sometime they are in agreement, others they talk up a competitive race.


There may be some other motivations to claim a competitive race. Gotta encourage people to actually go to the polls, not get overconfident or give up. Entirely apart from data, there may be significant political incentive to predict something that is optimally voter-motivating. Often, this seems to be the promoting of a race as fairly even.

I don't think Nate's model is necessarily perfect, but it *is* pretty good. And most other pundits are offering nothing with a comparable level of detail. It makes sense as a baseline to compare other things against.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby orthogon » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:23 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Example the times posts headline that Tester is at risk of losing Montana. "Once considered a solid favorite, is now genuinely at risk". 538 has him+6 in the polls, +7 with fundamentals and expert opinions. Translation: 80%+odds of winning.

20% chance of losing feels like "genuinely at risk" to me. OTOH, it also feels like they're still the "solid favourite", so there's a false dichotomy there.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:03 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:20% chance of losing feels like "genuinely at risk" to me. OTOH, it also feels like they're still the "solid favourite", so there's a false dichotomy there.

When you think "solid favourite", are you thinking "likely to get 80% of the vote"?
(As opposed to likely to get ~55% of the vote => 80% chance of winning)

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby moody7277 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:53 pm UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:
orthogon wrote:20% chance of losing feels like "genuinely at risk" to me. OTOH, it also feels like they're still the "solid favourite", so there's a false dichotomy there.

When you think "solid favourite", are you thinking "likely to get 80% of the vote"?
(As opposed to likely to get ~55% of the vote => 80% chance of winning)


fivethirtyeight definitions:

solid: p>95%
likely: 75%<p<95%
lean: 60%<p<75%
toss-up: p<60%
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:02 am UTC

Also, Competitive - anything over a 10% chance of winning, you should compete against and not give up.

The example I gave implied that his metrics were great, and then got worse. There wasn't much to prove that narrative without cherry picking polls.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:27 am UTC

A belated local update, since I've been busy. I don't live in California's 50th Congressional District, but I'm in the neighboring 52nd (California has 53, if you're wondering), and I can't avoid the news coverage and advertising.

Editorial: Rep. Duncan Hunter is running a despicable campaign

The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board wrote:What’s worse? That Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine, is running an anti-Muslim campaign against his 50th district foe? That he’s running it against a longtime Christian? That he denies running it at all? Or that he is doing it while he and his wife face a 60-count indictment that reads like a Shakespearean saga about spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds illegally over years while deciding to buy Hawaii shorts and describe the purchase as golf balls for Wounded Warriors and telling the Navy to “go f--- themselves” because it wouldn’t help him justify a $14,000 family vacation to Italy?

It’s beyond contemptible that Hunter, a Republican, is clinging to bigotry to retain his congressional seat while facing a strong challenge from Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar. Hunter has lost his way.

Hunter has suggested his opponent is a “radical Muslim” working “to infiltrate Congress.” He’s run a despicable ad calling his opponent a “security threat” and released a more despicable “security alert” from three retired generals turned lobbyists. Tuesday, Hunter even let his father, former Rep. Duncan L. Hunter, attack Campa-Najjar’s lineage and say the attacks have to do with terrorism, not racism. Please. Campa-Najjar has disavowed the actions of a grandfather he never knew and is distanced from a father he barely knows. He’s his own man. Unlike Hunter, who needs his father’s help.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:59 pm UTC

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/20 ... fornia/50/
The district is just too conservative. It's the equivalent of new jersey menendez election. On average it's 21 points more conservative than the country, the Democratic wave is worth 8, the scandal is 6 points. That leaves the Democrat 6 points short.
On average, a guy like Hunter loses 15% of the time, similar to Beto beating Cruz or Jones beating Moore. There might be a polling error or a late shift in the race. I'm sorry I don't have anything better to report.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby ObsessoMom » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:30 am UTC

Oh, yeah, I know what to expect. Most San Diegans assume that Hunter will be re-elected.

And will be convicted.

And will refuse to resign even when imprisoned, despite intense pressure from the Republican Party establishment to do so, so that a special election can be held and his presumably Republican (probably Bill Wells) replacement's vote will actually count on stuff.

What happens if Duncan Hunter wins reelection and is convicted? It could depend on who's in charge

Spoiler:
The Hunters could face 21 months to five years of incarceration if convicted, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In that case, a series of possibilities could play out.

House rules do advise — but do not mandate — that a sitting member sentenced to two or more years in prison step down from committees and refrain from voting.

“No one I know has ever tried to challenge that,” said Matt Glassman of Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.

After his indictment, Hunter broke from standard practice and declined to step down from his committee posts; he acquiesced after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s office moved to strip his committee posts, according to Politico.

In the case of conviction, the leader of the majority party can ask — and pressure — a member to step aside. But the only way a member would be forcibly removed is by expulsion.

“I think if Hunter is convicted and it appears that he has to be in prison, there would be enormous pressure from the party leadership for him to step down,” Levinson said. “Because they would want to have a working member — someone who isn’t literally behind bars.”

Whether there would be pressure to resign or eventually a move to expel Hunter could ultimately depend on which party has majority control.

“If Duncan Hunter wins and Democrats flip control of the House, and he is then found guilty, my guess is there will be an enormous pressure to exert the highest punishment,” Levinson said.

If Republicans remain in charge, they will have to weigh whether to chance losing a GOP seat (though Hunter’s district leans conservative) in a required special election.

Optics also could come into play, no matter which party is in charge, Levinson said.

“The party leadership will decide to be lenient or harsh depending on how much he wins by, how much political clout he has and what his fundraising prowess is,” Levinson said.

Expulsion is uncommon. It’s occurred five times in the House, the last time in 2002 after then-Rep. James Traficant, an Ohio Democrat, was convicted of racketeering and other felonies.


Some years ago my then-congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, was convicted in a breathtakingly brazen Congressional bribery scandal. So this is not my first rodeo.

Stay classy, San Diego.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:30 am UTC

So, annoyingly, that newspaper is saying it's not accessible to the EU. What exactly is this scandal? I'm interested.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:21 am UTC

Here's the Wikipedia summary, Plasma_Wolf.

There's also a nice recap in Gail Collins's piece in the New York Times on Oct. 26:
Opinion | Disaster Candidates Beyond Trump

Snippets:
Spoiler:
Duncan Hunter, the California Republican, was charged with spending more than $250,000 in political donations on not-at-all-eligible priorities. At first we heard mention of things like dental work and plane fare for the family’s pet rabbit. And honestly, if the list had stayed in the bunny-root-canal level we might not be discussing it right now.

However, things progressed quickly to the point where Hunter’s lawyer was defending him by arguing that “evidence of infidelity, irresponsibility or alcohol dependence, once properly understood … do not equate to criminal activity.”

Originally, the most memorable angle of this story — besides the bunny — was that Hunter put the blame on his wife, who handled his campaign finances. We will think of this as the throw-honey-under-the-bus period.

Then we moved on to the congressmen’s extramarital expenses. “This is the first time I’ve heard of use of campaign money to finance multiple mistresses,” said Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21.

Meanwhile in New York, Republican Chris Collins is running under an insider-trading cloud. He’s accused of telling his son to sell 1.3 million shares in an Australian drug company after he received a private warning that its much-anticipated new drug had failed its tests.

[...]

Collins and Hunter were the first two members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president. Just saying.

[...]

Here’s one bright spot: This isn’t the worst year on record for indicted congressmen running to stay in office. Back in 1978, we had four. And there would have been five except that authorities in New York agreed to drop charges of soliciting sex from a minor against Representative Fred Richmond after Richmond, a Democrat, agreed to go to a counseling program.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby pogrmman » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:48 pm UTC

I’m kinda surprised — I’m standing in line to vote early right now, and the line is literally out the door! The wait is only ~30 minutes, but in every other election I’ve voted in, this polling place has no more than a 5 minute wait to vote (admittedly, I voted absentee in the 2016 general, so maybe it’s not too unusual). The turnout is pretty impressive to me, and from what I’ve heard, it’s been like this every day of early voting so far. I’m also the youngest person in line, by far.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:29 pm UTC

Did they close any polling station near you? That's often the case fir long lines. Thanks for voting. Don't forget to complain to the town if they make you wait too long.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby pogrmman » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:44 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Did they close any polling station near you? That's often the case fir long lines. Thanks for voting. Don't forget to complain to the town if they make you wait too long.

Nope, they didn’t. They even make it so anybody in the county can vote at any polling location in the county, which is nice.

I think the long lines are just because people are quite energized — especially around here (Austin). They had a little poster outside with the number of people who have voted at this polling spot each day during early voting. All but one day (Sunday) had over 1000 voters, and the overall sum was like 8300 (early voting started October 22nd).

Apparently, there’s been really big early voting totals here in Texas — like the largest turnout in a midterm, ever. In other perspective, in my county, as of today, 31% of all registered voters have cast ballots already. That’s only 3% shy of turnout at this point in 2016 (~7k votes, if you want actual numbers).

So, I’m not surprised there are lines.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:02 am UTC

So being a convicted felon prevents you from voting in elections, but not in the House of Representatives?

Alanis Morrissette should have put that in her song.

EDIT: Also, campaign contributions were used to finance the Senator's affairs. The Senator defended himself by saying his campaign manager was the one who committed all the crimes. His wife manages his campaigns. In other words, his defense is that his wife decided, of her own volition, to finance her husband's infidelity. I honestly find that hilarious. It crosses the line twice.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Zohar » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:22 pm UTC

WriteBrainedJR wrote:So being a convicted felon prevents you from voting in elections, but not in the House of Representatives?

It is another way to disenfranchise votes from minority populations, specifically black people in the south.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:44 pm UTC

He's making a comment about the double standard between institutional ban vs a peer pressure to step down for committing a felony.

In other news, Democrats won't win the Senate unless there's a polling error. So just hoping the toss ups go the Democrat's way isn't good enough anymore. To be clear, a Trump size polling error wouldn't be enough to get them the majority in the Senate.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/de ... he-senate/
This polling error happens about 10% of the time.
Fixed typo
Last edited by sardia on Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Tyndmyr
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:55 pm UTC

sardia wrote:In other news, Democrats won't win the House unless there's a polling error.


Accidentally typed Senate, I presume. I was quite surprised until I read further.

Yeah, Senate's basically in the bag for Republicans. Would need something odd to happen. House odds still ought to be pretty good for Democrats, though.

Edit: Wonder how much correlation there is between Trumps upward ticking disapproval and poll results.

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sardia
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:04 pm UTC

Yes, I fixed the typo. There's a correlation, but it's being overwhelmed by other factors. Or so they say. Right now the Senate game is all about keeping 50 seats to prepare for 2020.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:12 pm UTC

This is looking a ways out, but Democrats would seem to have a bigger potential comeback in 2020. Yeah, the senate map isn't great for now, but in 2020, there's a lot more possibility for Democratic gains. Toss in a fairly significant Democratic sentiment that they're tired of Trump, which ought to be fairly strong by then, and the general easier time Democrats have getting turnout in election years, and they might do pretty well. Plus, more time for the economy to have a reversal, which ought to hurt Trump and his party from a fundamental viewpoint.

I could see a fairly large 2020 blue wave.

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sardia
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:This is looking a ways out, but Democrats would seem to have a bigger potential comeback in 2020. Yeah, the senate map isn't great for now, but in 2020, there's a lot more possibility for Democratic gains. Toss in a fairly significant Democratic sentiment that they're tired of Trump, which ought to be fairly strong by then, and the general easier time Democrats have getting turnout in election years, and they might do pretty well. Plus, more time for the economy to have a reversal, which ought to hurt Trump and his party from a fundamental viewpoint.

I could see a fairly large 2020 blue wave.

Unfortunately, the Senate is so much more conservative that it actually matters if Democrats get to 50 seats. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/se ... s-up-2020/
it’s a useful exercise in understanding why Democrats should absolutely be sweating the difference between picking up one seat and losing one. Control of the chamber is at stake in 2018 … and in 2020.

Cursed small state compromise of the Constitutional convention.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:05 pm UTC

That's fair. It's a more favorable election, but every seat now definitely helps their odds significantly. However, a blue congress now, and a decent shot at a blue senate/president in two years is workable from a Democratic perspective. Even if they only end up with 49 seats or something, it leaves 'em with a viable path to victory. Probably for the best that we don't have wider swings in the senate, though. I'm generally happy that neither party is likely to conjure a supermajority.

In theory, that ought to drive them to work together at least a little bit. Hard with the partisanship at present, but gotta start somewhere, right?

Anyways, I'm gonna peruse my ballot options in advance of voting and toss 'em in a spoiler. Feel free to discuss if you want.
Spoiler:
Gov: Well, this year we got Hogan(R) and Jealous(D). Hogan will win, it's not even in dispute really. MD is blue as hell, but we'll take the moderate republican who avoids making too many waves and gets shit done over the extreme-left guy with a dubious grasp on economics. So, my decision is if it's worth expressing a protest vote for the libertarian candidate, Quinn. The guy's can't possibly win, and his platform's a bit thin, but the whole "end the war on drugs" here thing is legit. Gotta balance the extremely slight chance that a vote for Hogan will matter vs expressing support for the outsider. Kinda undecided on that.

Comptroller: It's a partisan race, though frankly, it probably shouldn't be. No third party candidates to support. The democrat is arguing for efficiency in taxation, and the republican is arguing for solar panel incentives. Amusing, but...eh. It's a partisan grudgematch, but I can't see all that much reason to care. Comptroller's may affect how well policy is implemented in some regards, but they don't generally set it, and the differences here are not great. There appears to be some ongoing quibbling regarding if CPA certification is important to the role. Meh.

AG: Well, the incumbent, Frosh, is a raging dick. I know the guy, and I'll vote for literally anyone other than him. Sadly, again no third party candidates.

Senator: Not a seat in contention. Carden(D)'ll hold it. Thankfully, we actually have candidates. Most of them are batshit crazy, but hey, that's the breaks when dealing with unaffiliated/third party candidates. The libertarian guy at least can make some coherent points about medical problems. Easy choice to vote L.

US Rep: Again, not in any real contention. Among the safest of Democrat seats. The green guy is delightful, talking about the policy of "austerity" the government currently has. Jesus. I think he stopped paying attention to politics back in the Bush era. Oh dear, he blames Clinton for austerity. Sometimes you get a green candidate making a few valid points, but this guy's sadly a stereotype. The republican candidate is reasonably good as far as republican options go. She's a small business owner and what not, but is a little too heavy on repeating talking points. Also, anti-abortion, and answer to violence is just "increased penalties". Unfortunate. Definitely another Libertarian protest vote. That said, the libertarian actually seems quite reasonable. If he got the job, I'd be all about his pledge to end for-profit prisons. He won't though.

State Senator: I don't know the democrat candidate well, but I do know that for all her posturing about making a "lockbox" to prevent the casino money from being used for purposes other than those promised, she was among the looters(previous congressional history). On the flip side, the republican incumbent almost lost his primary for getting all islamophobic on social media. I want neither of these people, but there are no third party options. Probably gonna look up gun voting records and go solely off that. I'd vote for literally any third party option if they existed, though.

State Rep(3 choices): We got 3 democrats, 3 republicans, and a write in candidate. Upon investigation, the write-in candidate is obviously a republican. Also, she appears to be bad at campaigning or putting info out there. Probably why she's a write-in. Can safely eliminate her as a viable candidate. Of the candidates, Mike Rogers(D) gets points for being prior military, and generally sounding reasonable. Drug education is, while unexciting, at least a perfectly fine thing to champion. Additional points for taking the time to explicitly work at promoting a bipartisan end to gerrymandering. Chang(D) appears...like a bog standard democrat. Nothing particularly objectionable, but really heavy on padding out nothing statements rather than answering questions. An incumbent, unsurprisingly. Last, but definitely least among the democrats, we have Bartlett, who uses the appropriate dog whistle statement to support continuing gerrymandering, opposed an attempt at a SYG law, and is also fond of the nothing-statements. Slight redeeming points for calling out MD's dumpster fire of a mental health system. Would be more if she wasn't an incumbent who'd done nothing about them save use them as an excuse for gun control.

On the republican side of the fence for this(excluding the failure), we got Tim Walters, who talks a surprising amount about Environmental issues. I don't actually want laws prohibiting pavement. I want to be able to have a paved driveway, and previous laws about that have been a source of conflict. Slight points for actually promoting building more roads. Kind of contradicts his earlier talk, and "build roads" shouldn't be controversial, but MD is stupid. Bleh. Patty Ewig. Would be a bog standard republican, save for wanting to build more on our public healthcare, and wanting to build more public transportation. Also, obviously, no mention of controversial republican topics like immigration. They don't fly here, and candidates here generally do not touch such things. Lastly, we got Bailey, who says basically nothing. Talking about what a challenge an issue is but providing no actual stance is kinda weak.

Summary: Probs Mike Rogers(D), and whichever two of the rest of the lot happen to be least anti-gun. Options are pretty meh. Mostly not awful, but just...all very samey. Only one candidate out of seven I actually like.

County Exec: Republican incumbent will likely hold it. That said, the democrat challenger said nice things about paving the world for more highway, while the incumbent wants to keep a ton of land protected. Stupid republican with stupid environmental loving attitudes. Gimmie that pavement. Pittman(D)

County Council: Democratic incumbent. Both seem otherwise reasonable, but Republican challenger wants to kill the rain tax. Democrat likes it. As far as I'm concerned, the Republican could eat babies for breakfast, she gets my vote. Burns(R)

Gonna just skip over unopposed races. Pointless to have them on the ballot, really.

County Attorney: There appears to be some sort of disagreement over if prosecutors need formal training or not. According to the incumbent, no. Not being overly fond of police and prosecutors to begin with, I have a slight anti-incumbency bias to begin with, and thus will probably go with the challenger. Gotta research a bit more to make sure of this, but that's the gut feeling.

County Clerk: Democratic challenger pledges to solve gun violence, streamline business licensing, and raise the legal marriage age(MD, being stuck in the medieval era in some respects, allows 15 yr olds to marry). I'm not sure how you do that as a clerk save for the business licensing stuff(which I've done, and which was fairly easy). Searching...huh. He talks about guns a *lot*, and about the tools he'll have as a county clerk. He never actually lists any of them, but given that I want exactly zero new gun restrictions, I'm gonna go with the republican incumbent here. He's boring, but at least doesn't seem to threaten anything.

Register of Wills. Another partisan race that seems...unnecessary? As long as the wills are being handled, I don't really care about the affiliation. Incumbent is Republican, I think. I can't actually be bothered to care much about this position. There's no conflict over performance so far as I'm aware, and there's no opportunity to promote a third party, so I'm going to just ignore it.

Orphan's Court: Technically partisan, but since it's a "pick three", and only Republicans could be bothered to run three candidates, it's kind of obvious how this is going to go. I'll not vote for Phelps(R) on the basis of her being a realtor, and thus having a potential slight conflict of interest in the disposition of property. This is a pretty trivial discriminator, but as races go, it's not competitive anyways.

Sheriff: Both of them have extensive law enforcement credentials in the area. This is not generally a positive. However, the incumbent did get kicked out in a primary challenge(he was Republican). This fills me with joy, as they made virtually no effort to find the people who vandalized my vehicle to the point it needed to be totaled. Yeah, guy on top had no direct contact with that, but he's the only person I can take my annoyance out on, so...his fault. The two(partisan) candidates appear nigh identical, with both promising to do something about the nigh-infinite backlog. Either's probably a win compared to what we had. Will research more later, but for now, actually pleased about this result.

Board of Education: Voting for the candidate who did not begin the description of why they were qualified with "I'm a mother". Parents are a dime a dozen. I'll take the candidate with three degrees.

Referendum questions:
In practice, these generally go the way the Democrats signal they ought to. So, not actually that much in doubt, but hey.
#1. Lockbox law. IE, requiring that casino tax moneys actually go to education, as was promised back when they were legalized. I mean, the money went to them, but money is fungible, so reducing the funding from the general fund in roughly equal amount means that in effect money goes to the general fund. The lockbox law is okay, I guess. Probably yes, but my caring is minor. I'd swap in a heartbeat if it meant less taxes for me.

#2. Same day voter registration. Voting against. Registration is trivial and free in this state, and poll workers will be downright offended if you try to show ID. We have generous early voting as well and automatic voter registration at the MVA, so if you went to great lengths to not be registered by the day before, screw you for holding up the line on the last day.

#3. Should we require the county auditor to be informed of cases of gov fraud? Uh, yes. This question is stupid, and it's amazing that this has not been required.

#A(look, I don't make the numbering system, okay?). Require the government to post public notice of impending zoning change so citizens can be informed. This is another obvious yes. It's annoying that people are lobbying against this. I shouldn't have to attend county council meetings in person to know that my land use rules have changed.

#B. Increase minimum level of contracts require competitive bidding from $25k to $50k. Yeah, that's fair. Inflation happens. They tried going straight for $75k last time and got shot down, but this is more modest.

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sardia
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby sardia » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:47 pm UTC

I'm in line for early voting today, and the line is getting longer and longer. Right now it's spiraling around the cafeteria. I'm glad people want to vote and all, but this GOP rep better lose. Cuz this is a miserable rainy day, and I've been standing in line for 30 minutes. I'll update if it takes forever.

For reference the room has portraits lining the wall, it's about 1.5 foot portraits lining the wall, and the walls are 15 portraits by 7, with even 1 foot spacing in-between. The voters are all lined up covering every foot of the perimeter. It's no voter-suppressed-poll -station-for-poor-people, but you get a whiff of what those brave souls endure.

Edit now at an hour to vote. Wish I had pizza to the polls, but it's not worth it.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby idonno » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:23 pm UTC

I hope you aren't still waiting. How long did it take?

I voted last week before the rush (the lines were really long yesterday). There were probably 8 people in front of me and it took like 10 mins start to finish. I was really surprised by how efficient everything was. I have to say, having done it once now, I don't think I am ever going back to waiting in line Election day morning.

There are a lot of reasons why we shouldn't do online voting but I think some sort of online queuing could really help make it easier for people to vote.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:10 pm UTC

It is raining and miserable here today...Facebook feed is full of "go vote" exhortations. There were a few that said "I didn't get around to registering in time, but you should go vote", which seems...odd. But hey, to each their own, I suppose.

Predictit odds are interesting. Yesterday's summary had an 86% chance of a GOP win in the senate, but only a 67% chance of a Dem win in the house. The latter bounced back up to 70% today, though. Slightly more pessimistic about Democrat chances than 538, but still giving them the edge. All in all, I think it's gonna be close enough to make today a real nail biter. Yeah, Democrats'll pick up seats, but we're probably not gonna know for sure who has the house until fairly late. Enjoy the ride, I suppose.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Coverage

Postby Opus_723 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:01 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I'm in line for early voting today, and the line is getting longer and longer. Right now it's spiraling around the cafeteria. I'm glad people want to vote and all, but this GOP rep better lose. Cuz this is a miserable rainy day, and I've been standing in line for 30 minutes. I'll update if it takes forever.

For reference the room has portraits lining the wall, it's about 1.5 foot portraits lining the wall, and the walls are 15 portraits by 7, with even 1 foot spacing in-between. The voters are all lined up covering every foot of the perimeter. It's no voter-suppressed-poll -station-for-poor-people, but you get a whiff of what those brave souls endure.

Edit now at an hour to vote. Wish I had pizza to the polls, but it's not worth it.


I will never understand why mail-in/dropbox voting polls so poorly outside of the states that already have it. It's ridiculously convenient and I'm glad I've never known anything else. You should all try to get it in your states. I've literally never seen a polling line in the Northwest because even if you put it off to the last minute you just find a dropbox or a post office. Not only convenient, but the fact that the entire thing is nothing but paper trail makes it very secure, too.

I'm sorry it's such a pain for you :(


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