Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Is Lesser Of Two Evils Politics All We Can Hope For-- Or Will A Bernie v Trump 2020 Election Break The Cycle?


Both parties suck and one of the themes of DWT for the past decade has been that the Democrats are simply the lesser of two evils-- sometimes not even that. The 2018 elections were not a "blue wave." Few people were excited about what the Democrats were offering. 2018 was simply an anti-Trump wave or an anti-red wave. Self-identified Democratic voters tended to vote for Democratic candidates and self-indetified Republican voters tended to vote for Republican candidates. There were some Democrats who voted for the GOP-- fewer than usual-- and there were some Republicans that voted for Democratic voters-- more than usual-- but that did not equate to the Democrats flipping 43 Republican-held seats. What did was that independent voters went in far greater numbers to Democrats than they did to Republicans.

In deep red districts with few independents, Republican incumbents and candidates had no problem at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. Let's look at the incumbents in the reddest districts in the country, 18 of them with R+25 or above PVIs. We're comparing Trump's vote in 2016 with the 2018 GOP congressional vote:
Mac Thornberry- TX-13 (R+33): 79.9% vs 81.5%
Michael Conaway- TX-11 (R+32): 77.8% vs 80.1%
Doug Collins- GA-09 (R+31): 77.8% vs 79.5%
Hal Rogers- KY-05 (R+31): 79.6% vs 78.9%
Rob Aderholt- AL-04 (R+30): 80.4% vs 79.9%
Phil Roe- TN-01 (R+28): 76.7% vs 77.1%
John Ratcliffe- TX-04 (R+28): 75.4% vs 75.7%
Kevin Brady- TX-08 (R+28): 72.7% vs 73.4%
Tom Graves- GA-14 (R+27): 75.0% vs 76.5%
Adrian Smith- NE-03 (R+27): 74.9% vs 76.7%
Frank Lucas- OK-03 (R+27): 73.6% vs 73.9%
Jody Arrington- TX-19 (R+27): 72.5% vs 75.2%
Gary Palmer- AL-06 (R+26): 70.8% vs 69.2%
Brian Babin- TX-36 (R+26): 72.0% vs 72.6%
Rob Bishop- UT-01 (R+26): 49.7% vs 61.6%
Louie Gohmert- TX-01 (R+25): 72.2% vs 72.3%
John Curts- UT-03 (R+25): 47.2% vs 67.5%
Liz Cheney- WY-al (R+25): 70.1% vs 63.7%
No blue waves/anti-red waves in any of these mostly rural, backward places where religionist bigotry reigns supreme and where minds completeley taken over by Hate Talk Radio and white evangelicalism define the hive. In fact, in 14 of the 18 districts the 2018 wins for the congressional candidates were greater than the Trump margin in 2016 and only one district saw a significant decline in 2018-- Wyoming's at-large district where a controversial candidate ran, goosing Democratic and independent turnout.

Monday morning a new Gallup release indicated that more and more Americans are registering as independents rather than as Democrats or Republicans. Look at that chart just above. What is shows is that "significantly more U.S. adults continued to identify as political independents (42%) in 2018 than as either Democrats (30%) or Republicans (26%). At least four in 10 Americans have been political independents in seven of the past eight years... [S]ince 2011, the percentage of independents has exceeded the percentage identifying with the Democratic Party by 11 points on average, and the percentage identifying as Republicans by 14 points... The recent rise in independent identification has come at the expense of both parties about equally. Compared with 30 years ago, when 33% of Americans identified as independents, the percentage of Republicans has fallen five points and the percentage of Democrats has fallen six points."
Since 1991, Gallup has consistently asked independents whether they lean toward either of the two major political parties. Most independents do express a party leaning when probed, and when those leanings are taken into account, 47% of Americans on average in 2018 were Democratic identifiers or Democratic-leaning independents, and 41% were Republicans or Republican-leaning independents.

The Democrats' six-point edge on this measure of party affiliation is in line with their five-point advantages in both 2016 and 2017.

Democrats have led on this combined party ID measure in most years since 1991, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats only in that first year, when George H.W. Bush had especially high job approval ratings after the Gulf War.

The Democratic lead has been as large as 12 points. This occurred in 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president to replace George W. Bush, who had approval ratings in the high 20s or low 30s. By 2010, Republicans had essentially drawn even with Democrats after the passage of the Obamacare health legislation, but the Democrats have regained and maintained a consistent edge since then.

...The contraction of the party bases has occurred about equally among both parties and has allowed the Democratic Party to maintain its usual advantage over the Republican Party in terms of its share of the adult population. As such, Republicans' ability to remain competitive in national elections continues to depend on having higher turnout among its supporters, something it was able to do in the 2010 and 2014 midterm election years but not in 2018.

A policy-heavy 2020 Bernie presidential campaign versus Trump's psychotic rambling and increasingly preposterous lying would frame a perfect break with the whole lesser-of-two evils direction of American politics. But so could the developing theme of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vs a hapless, Trump-owned Kevin McCarthy. That's already begun and AOC is just kicking McCarthy's ass from Washington all the way back to Bakersfield. Let's keep watching. It's a lot more thrilling-- not to mention stimulating-- than yawning through largely meaningless McCarthy and Steny Hoyer matches!

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At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DWT, do you not see the ultimate contradiction between what you write and how you advocate?

"Both parties suck and one of the themes of DWT for the past decade has been that the Democrats are simply the lesser of two evils-- sometimes not even that."

I'd say that it's nearly all the time not even that. But whatever.

you can write the above, absolutely truthful if a little too circumspect, sentence. And you STILL can utterly reject the obvious remedy (a different, new, truly left movement) and continue to advocate the status quo (hold your nose and vote blue)???

So, DWT, clearly you both say yes (it's all we can hope for) and you do your utmost to insure that it is.

That makes this entire piece a steaming load... the entire site even.

Can you not see that?

of course, your readers cannot see that. so there's that...

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie v. trump cannot possibly break the cycle as long as the underlying paradigm is still democrap v. Nazi.

the Nazis are never going to NOT get much worse.

and the democraps are never going to ever get better.

obamanation was arguably better than Clinton, but his presidency was worse.

Bernie is arguably better than obamanation and everyone else the democraps can puke up. But his admin will also be worse than obamanation.

it isn't any particular individual. IT'S THE FUCKING PARTY, you imbeciles!

what's worse, you KNOW this!

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:28 - you are still at it with the usual negative whining. Why do you even read and comment on this site? It seems to annoy you terribly and you are annoying to everyone else who comes here to read and participate. Go away!

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah what is with this creep with his constant Democrat whining & stuff every week can't this guy be banned or something this isn't your kingdom board Anonymous you don't run it just stop wasting people's time & get out of here for god sake.

At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

life is simple if you stop thinking (or never think) and just do what your chosen Svengali tells you to do, isn't it?

If DWT didn't have some guilt about their contradictions or hypocrisies, I'm sure they'd delete this stuff far more often than they do. It proves that there may be hope for DWT after all.

That's why I'm here. I'm trying to prod until DWT has its inevitable (maybe) epiphany.

Just imagine a usa where DWT and BlueAmerica can start catalyzing a new left movement... even though it's very probably too late.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm imagining AOC as part of a true left movement where she can actually make a difference instead of being < .5% of a party that just made Pelosi their tyrant... again.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOC as part of a "true left movement" would leave her as a nothing. No coverage, no money, no support. AOC can start to affect change at 0.5%, she is a nobody without latching on to one of the two parties. She would have lost in a landslide to Crowley as an Independent. We can all agree that much of the Democratic power structure is rotten to the core, but our paid shills who try to get us to vote (in reality not vote) for a non-existent 3rd party can't separate the party from the individuals in the party and the voters.

AOC is a Democrat, so I don't understand why these paid shills think she can make a difference because they constantly tell us all Democrats are bad. Why is AOC different from other "democraps"? Bernie is an Independent in name only. He ran for the Democratic nomination for President. How can he be part of a "true left movement"?

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my imagining was that we had a truly left movement that would, very soon, relegate the democraps to history's shitter. AOC would make a giant contribution to that.

As a democrap, she's absolutely impotent to affect anything. All she can do is talk. But if she talks too much, the democraps will punish her.

Right now they are pandering to her followers by allowing AOC a little slack on her talking. But they will never allow MFA or GND or any other truly left lege to pass.
Once they tire of her rhetoric or that rhetoric exceeds the patience of corporate donors or they realize that AOC's followers won't all vote... they'll shut her up.

maybe a massively funded primary opponent. maybe refusal to seat her on any useful committee. maybe both.

Bernie and Elizabeth both have rope also. But neither has tried to stretch that rope. AOC looks like she's not going to try to stretch it either.

The democraps like sheepdogs. But they won't tolerate one who pulls too many to the ACTUAL left.


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