May 30, 2016

Battle for blue states helped by Hillary's insulated cluelessness

Trump has begun making a serious play for not only the swing states of the recent past (Florida, Ohio), but also those that would be beyond all hope for the Republicans of the recent past (Michigan, California).

He's said that he plans to put 15 blue states into play, an announcement that is mostly designed to set the media abuzz with speculation about which 15 they are, how likely each one is to turn red for Trump, and so on. This allows him to stay in the news cycle for several more weeks.

More importantly, the announcement will have the same effect on Hillary's campaign, who will have to go into panic defense mode as they try to figure out which 15 they are, how to prevent him in each state, how much to spend doing so, etc.

So while the media gets to indulge its addiction for speculation, Team Hillary will suffer disorientation as their tried-and-true playbooks must all be thrown out the window.

Or will they? So far they appear to be stuck in the Clinton-Bush-Obama climate, where the main faultlines are between liberals and conservatives in the Culture Wars. This earlier post detailed how tone-deaf and wide-of-the-mark Hillary's attacks have been on both Bernie and Trump.

For example, polling data shows that Hillary's woman card angle has somewhat widened her lead among women, but has shrunken it by an even larger magnitude among men. And in 2016, the electorate is going to be a lot more male than it has been in recent history, given Trump's galvanizing of white working-class men, who are usually more likely to stay home on election day.

Hillary has seriously misread this change in the electorate -- her team should be able to forecast how much more male the voters will be this time, and done their best to pick off men from Trump. Instead they've chosen the exact opposite -- alienating the group that will be more important in this election.

Ditto for her alienating white voters, when the electorate will be much more white than in recent elections, given Trump's galvanizing of whites.

And ditto her alienating the working class by promoting the globalist trade deals like TPP (and NAFTA during her husband's administration), during an election that will have a more working-class electorate, given Trump's galvanizing them around tariffs, bringing back manufacturing jobs, disentangling America from the globalist bloodsuckers, and so on and so forth.

So, on each of the three major demographic changes in the electorate this year -- sex, race, and class -- she has read the changes completely backwards, and has doubled-down on the alienating strategies. She and everyone on her team are convinced that the voters who turn out during a Trump election are going to be more non-white, more female, and more elite than usual. Random error is one thing, but to assess the situation totally backwards, is a fatal mistake -- especially once those biases are put into action.

What does this mean for her defense of the "blue wall" of "guaranteed" Democrat states?

Quite simply, it means that she will take the wrong steps in every direction, and leave herself vulnerable to everything Trump says and does.

She thinks that California's voters will be more female, more non-white, and more elite -- and she will be blindsided when a YUGE bloc of white working-class men turn out, who usually would be sitting it out. California has had one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the nation (even among those who are eligible), and it is disproportionately white working-class men -- those who see little point in leaving the house to pull the lever for one elite-slurping globalist sell-out or another. They represent a massive reservoir of untapped voters who will be eager to vote for Trump.

The same is true for Oregon (where Trump and Hillary are already tied in a recent poll), and to a lesser extent Washington.

The whole complacency about the "blue wall" has insulated Democrats from having their finger on the pulse of the voters there, including which large untapped reservoirs there may be. Illegal immigrants don't get to vote in our country's elections, so that large pool of non-voters is out -- yet is the group that Hillary would tailor her message to if she had to defend California. "Let's see, Trump wants to build a wall and deport immigrants, so I'll pander to the illegal immigrants! The ads will even be written and spoken in Spanish!" Great strategy to turn out zero additional voters on your behalf.

In fairness, the typical Republican candidates -- the ones running on stale Conservatism Inc. values from the 1970s and '80s -- would be just as out-of-touch with Californian voters. What's the point in getting a feel for a population that you would never win over?

Trump, however, is the nemesis and conqueror of both the Republican and Democratic wings of the Establishment, who both push for an elite-centered globalist agenda, while offering different flavors of Culture War red meat to distract the voters with. The main barrier to Republicans campaigning in the West Coast is the cultural liberalism of the residents, who will never approve a candidate running on a platform of Conservatism (of any sub-genre).

But since Trump is running on a separate and unrelated platform of America-first (vs. globalism) and populism (vs. elitism), while sidelining the Culture War topics, he and his army have passed right through the barrier. They may not be liberals, but they're not official conservatives either, and they have tossed aside their Culture War weapons before approaching the metal detector at the gates.

Once inside, they will brutalize Team Hillary on the decline of manufacturing in California ("Apple will make their product here in the United States"), the depressed incomes of American IT workers due to both off-shoring to India and China, as well as the tsunami of foreigners who come to Silicon Valley on visas, and so many other economic issues that the Democrats never imagined would be brought up.

Picture it: the rank-and-file IT workers in Silicon Valley giving Trump a serious hearing, as he dismisses Culture War topics and focuses like a laser on how low their incomes are because of their immigration-hungry oligarch bosses looking to cut labor costs, no matter how. And how high the cost of living is because of immigration sending the demand for housing through the roof. It would be so much more affordable without all those immigrants -- which in turn drives up the demand for nice housing that lies safely away from immigrant neighborhoods.

True, Crooked Hillary has a lock on the latter-day plantation owners of Silicon Valley -- but they only get one vote per person. Opposed by their resentful rank-and-file workers, and with no Democrat votes possible from their ineligible immigrant workers, they will be swept aside in the general election.

This is just one example of how much more in-touch the Trump campaign is with the pressing issues facing real-life Californians, and not some liberal caricature from 20 years ago. They may still be mostly liberal, but that's not the faultline in this election, so lots of luck reminding them that Trump is neutral in the Culture War, while you want to drive them further into high-tech indentured servitude. Something tells me they'll vote for the candidate who will make their jobs and standard of living better, while allowing their state to determine its own culture and lifestyles.

In summary, it is not just a matter of Hillary having to "fight harder" to hang on to the West Coast. That suggests that it's the same terrain, same opponents, same weaponry, and same rules of engagement, and only having to dial up the intensity level on what has "always" worked (reminder: California voted almost exclusively Republican from 1860 until 1992). In their minds, if the Clintons had to play the woman card at level 5 to win California in the '90s, play it to level 10 to hold onto the state in 2016.

By taking the "blue wall" for granted for so many election cycles, the Democratic Establishment is no longer in touch with what voters truly want. Just throw them the liberal Culture War crumbs, and they'll happily eat that over what is, to their taste buds, poisonous conservatism. This time around, the war for the West Coast will be fought on fundamentally unfamiliar terrain, with an unfamiliar opponent wielding unfamiliar weapons, and with unfamiliar rules of engagement.

A campaign that faces such daunting unpredictabilities with such a lackadaisical attitude is going to come out of the battle with more than just a bloody nose. Bones will be broken, limbs severed -- whether or not Team Trump ultimately wins California, Crooked Hillary is going to have to exhaust massive resources in defending supposedly safe states. And there is no way she can defend them all, not with her level of insulated cluelessness and Trump's instinctive savvy and unforgiving aggression.

Perhaps worst of all for the other side is that Hillary is not just any old Culture War Democrat, any of whom would be unable to stop Trump, but some of whom might be humble enough to try adapting to the demand for America-first populism. This particular Democrat is such a grandiose narcissist that she will never admit to needing to adapt her entire campaign to the utterly alien arena she is about to enter. She views the entire process as a great big boring formality before her eventual anointment and coronation. Even worse that you can't teach an old dog new tricks (ARF ARF ARF).

She is going to stride smugly into the ring with Trumpzilla and get pounded into submission, never to walk again in the political world. It's gonna be epic, and we've all got ringside seats.

May 29, 2016

Democrats' Tea Party already happened -- the Obama coalition

[This is the second of two posts comparing the 2016 and 2008 electoral climates. First post here]

Who is left as the parallel for the Tea Party of the Democrats, if not the Bernie movement, which is more like the Trump phenomenon? As far away as it seems now, it was the Obama coalition -- which was contemporaneous with the failed Ron Paul movement, and two years ahead of the successful Tea Party movement.

We're hearing lots of lazy and lame comparisons of the Hillary-Obama competition in 2008 to the Hillary-Bernie contests today. But Obama was not an anti-Establishment candidate, either at the time or once he took office. He wasn't railing against Wall Street, corruption of campaign finance, widening inequality, the selling out of the American economy through globalist trade agreements, endless foreign wars, and other staples of progressive complaints. And he certainly was not openly at war with the leadership of his own party.

Just as Ron Paul represented the junior partner in the longstanding GOP coalition (the Cultural Right), while McCain represented the senior partner (Wall Street), so did Obama represent the Cultural Left as opposed to Crooked Hillary who represented the neoliberal Wall Streeters, both factions of the longstanding coalition of Democrats. Just as the Ron Paul supporters felt sick of being marginalized so long for the benefit of the neoconservative economic and governmental policies, so the Obama supporters felt sick of being marginalized for so long for the benefit of the Clintonite neoliberals, who have identical policies with the neocons on matters of economics and government.

Obama built his entire campaign around the theme of being a Social Justice Warrior in Chief, having cut his political teeth as a community organizer in Chicago. Much attention was devoted to his two books which are both masturbatory identity politics memoirs. And a large amount of his appeal was the potential to elect the First Black President -- that appealed most to the identity politics of blacks themselves, but also to Cultural Left white people, whose identity crucially includes a bullet-point about having cool minority friends and generally wanting to elevate ethnic minorities and debase their own ethnicity.

Hillary, on the other hand, tried to appeal to the more upper-middle-class white suburban soccer moms and doofus dads. Her campaign tried to portray Obama as a foreigner and a Muslim in contrast to the nice white lady (it was the origin of the birther movement), and as a radical in contrast to the reliable moderate who will be there to answer the "call at 3 AM" (unless it's coming from Benghazi). Her goal was to continue her husband's Presidency, with whatever NAFTA v.2.0 turned out to be, while making token gestures to the Cultural Left (mostly on feminist issues).

Obama winning the Democratic primaries over Hillary was like if Ron Paul had won over McCain. Both his Presidency and the Tea Party counter-reaction to it mark the high-point, or rather the low-point, of the Culture Wars, when the globalist elites have gotten their economic and governmental agendas pushed through without any opposition, while the electorate is distracted by social and cultural topics.

Obama representing the Tea Party of the Democrats becomes even more eerie if we compare him not to Ron Paul but to Mr. Tea Party himself, Lyin' Ted Cruz. Both entered the primaries as unknown freshman Senators in their 40s, plagued by doubts about being natural-born citizens, post-racial symbols who were half-white and half-Other, ostentatiously faking their religion to pander to cultural voters ("black church" and holy rollers), in general being sociopathic chameleons who grandstand to please a crowd, and promoting themselves as cultural saviors of demi-god status (magical wise Negro, Judeo-Christian theocrat).

Really the only difference is that Cruz's adultery has been with women rather than men.

And just as a hypothetical Cruz Presidency would be defined by ramming through the Wall Street globalist elite agenda, while putting on one cultural-right spectacle after another, so has the Obama administration been defined by ramming through that very same agenda, only putting on one cultural-left spectacle after another to distract the people from the wars, the corruption, and the disintegration of their economy and nation. This distraction works whether the citizen is on the Left or Right, all that differs is whether they're cheering or boo-ing while distracted.

The other major difference is that the Obama coalition voters won the Presidency, while the Tea Party voters won the Congress. But we shouldn't ignore the similarities just because the Democrats' version of the Tea Party didn't win Congressional influence -- Presidential influence is far greater. The size of the turnout for the Obama coalition was larger than for the off-year elections that brought the Tea Party to prominence, and were no less geographically widespread. And both intensely energized their demographic bases like never before -- blacks and evangelicals -- rather than being a lukewarm "go-ahead" to the Wall Street elite's preferred choices.

Everyone loves to point and laugh at how crazy the Tea Party movement looked, but it was no less of a nutjob affair than that which elected Obama to the Presidency for two terms. American voters had turned politics into such a culture war contest that only these two clown cars were the possible end-points. Their extremist nature has over-excited the populace, which is now eager to get back to basics by focusing on the government itself and its interaction with the economy.

It is no coincidence that Trump and Bernie took off against all odds during the same season, much as Obama and Ron Paul were unexpected insurgent sensations eight years ago. Only this time, the shoe will be on the other foot.

Bernie is not Ron Paul of the left (he's the Trump of the left)

[This is the first of two posts comparing the 2016 and 2008 electoral climates. Second post here]

What role does the Bernie phenomenon play in the current party re-alignment? The obvious, and correct, parallel is to the Trump phenomenon -- anti-Establishment, at war with their own party, bringing in loads of new voters, yuge rallies, against foreign interventionism, not beholden to Wall Street, and not in favor of globalist trade agreements.

But some on the right and the left have tried to draw parallels to the Ron Paul movement of 2008, and (if they're on the left) asking if the Dems need a Tea Party movement of their own. They point to a group of activists who despite losing the nomination process, still try to pack their own delegates into the state and national conventions, who feel betrayed by their own party's leaders, and who are treated heavy-handedly by those leaders when they act up.

Yet the Republican Tea Party movement was not anti-Establishment like the Sanders supporters are. It represented one faction of the longstanding GOP coalition feeling slighted by the other faction -- the junior partner going rogue against the senior partner.

As detailed in this earlier post, it was a civil war between the Cultural Right and the Wall Street puppets. They were not opposed to Wall Street's overall agenda -- they were content to allow that agenda as long as the Wall Street-funded power brokers allowed the Cultural Right's agenda to go forward. Since only the Wall Street agenda was actually being promoted, the Cultural Right voters rebelled and elected a wave of supposedly hardline candidates on cultural and social issues, against the RINOs.

These Tea Party politicians were all Wall Streeters in disguise, only going the extra mile to put on a convincing performance as hardline right-wingers to fool the gullible cuck voters. Ted Cruz is the epitome of this type of co-opted pseudo-conservative elected on the rise of the Tea Party voters.

The Trump movement is at war with both of those factions of the old GOP coalition, sidelining the identity politics concerns of the Cultural Right (where the identity group is natalist apocalyptic cults), while taking square aim at the globalist and elitist agenda of the Wall Streeters. Hence Trump's two main rivals being Bush early on and Cruz after that.

Sanders supporters are clearly more similar to the Trump supporters than to the Tea Party. They're largely uninterested in cultural and social issues (although they are generally liberal, just like Trump people are generally conservative). Identity politics on the Dems' side is based on racial and ethnic minorities, feminists, and homosexuals. Bernie rarely touches on those topics, other than to discuss how many blacks are locked up in jail for minor drug offenses -- but then that is really a matter of how the government works (law enforcement), rather than a matter of identity politics per se (like "being culturally marginalized in the mass media").

And certainly the Bernie crowd is taking square aim at the Wall Street donors and their legislative agenda (TPP, campaign finance, etc.). That puts them at war with both factions of the longstanding Dem coalition -- the Cultural Left and the Wall Street neoliberals.

Anyone who thinks the Cultural Left loves Bernie Sanders just has to remember those lardasses from Black Lives Matter hijacking Bernie's rally in Seattle last summer, sanctimoniously berating the whole Bernie crowd for white privilege and bla bla bla. Or the endless scolding of "Bernie bros" for not voting for the First Woman President. If Hillary were not in the closet, her supporters would also be castigating Bernie people for supporting the heterosexual candidate over the dyke.

Just like Trump is returning the Republican Party to the Progressive era of McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt, so Bernie is doing his best to return the Democrats to the era of the New Deal. Race, religion, sex, and sexuality played little or no role in defining the bases of the parties in those eras, when the focus was strictly on economic and governmental matters.

Sure, the progressives in the Bernie movement identify more with the Cultural Left, just as the Trump movement identifies more with the Cultural Right. But Bernie and Trump are both emphasizing the economy and government at the expense of social and cultural issues, which is felt as a provocation by the Cultural Left and Right, who have now turned on the class-oriented movements within each of their parties.

May 25, 2016

Will Trump get anti-Hillary special shows on Fox, in return for Megyn Kelly interview?

Trump is really starting to "go there" on all the topics Roger Stone promised he would -- Hillary intimidating Bill's sexual assault and rape victims so the news wouldn't thwart the Clintons' political ambitions, and the Clinton Foundation being a slush fund for grifters whereby American government access was for sale at high levels.

He's brought these topics up in rallies, interviews, internet ads, and perhaps soon his Twitter feed. This is getting them to trickle into the news cycle, although there hasn't been a full-on attack just yet.

That got me thinking how much more of a spectacle he could make out of them. We know that Stone has started a PAC that will begin hitting Hillary on her intimidation of Bill's sexual assault victims, probably including commercials at some point. Nothing at the moment suggests commercials about the Clinton Foundation.

Still, commercials only reach so many eyeballs and only have so many seconds to make an impression.

Trump could devote an entire rally to either or both of the topics, but again how to make sure that the media covered the entire thing? If they broadcast the beginning of it, they'd soon realize where he was going, and then mute his audio, and rush to the talking head panel.

I was thinking something more like the hour-long interview that he had with Hannity last week, where he launched the first warning shot about Bill being a rapist, not only a consensual adulterer.

Imagine it -- an interviewer or moderator introduces all of Bill's sexual assault victims for a general discussion of the nature and scope of what Hillary did to them to shut them up so that their political path would be clear, and then five or six specific individuals giving in-depth accounts of what happened to them first by Bill and then by Hillary, wrapping up with the take-home message that Hillary is a sociopathic bitch driven by overweening ambition, who would rather ruin the life of a rape victim than accept a rockier road to political office.

Then another special on the Clinton Foundation, and how Crooked Hillary did the bidding of various domestic and foreign interests as a Senator and then Secretary of State, in return for their contributions to the Foundation, very little of which is spent on actual charity work, and mostly serves to line the pockets of the Clintons and their various hangers-on. Some of these toadies would be profiled specifically, and specific incidents of misuse of funds would be highlighted (luxury air travel, doing nothing to help Haiti). Wrap up with the take-home message that if she was that corrupt as a Senator and member of the Cabinet, just imagine how much she'd sell out the country if she became President.

Trump made a large donation to the Clinton Foundation, and therefore has legal standing to sue their asses for charity fraud. Stone mentioned that awhile ago, and Trump himself floated that fact during his West Virginia rally. If the lawsuit has been launched at the time of the TV special, this could be worked in as well.

But how would he get such a TV special produced and broadcast, since it wouldn't be his usual monopoly over the media where he earns it by making speeches and doing interviews? That would be one expensive buy.

I'm thinking he asked for something along these lines in the negotiations with Fox where he agreed to give Megyn Kelly an exclusive 30-minute interview, ending their feud and hopefully lifting her career upward. Unfortunately it didn't work out for her, since the thing flopped with audiences, but not for want of her trying -- it even aired on Fox, not Fox News, so you didn't need cable to see it.

What does Trump get out of that deal? Not "mending his numbers with women," which he knew were already getting much better by that point, and would get better with or without some throwaway interview with Rachel Maddow's bottle-blonde sister. He didn't get access to an audience he otherwise could not have reached -- who doesn't know by now who he is and what he's about?

Part of what he asked for was clearly fairer treatment from everybody at Fox News. They aren't as nakedly hostile toward the Trump phenomenon as they used to be.

But really, what is that worth to Trump winning? The audience itself had already written off Fox News, whose ratings and profits have plummeted in the wake of their Trump-hating programming. Aside from Kelly's ambitions being served, Fox desperately hoped to restore its failing reputation among its target audience.

Something that meant that much to Fox and Megyn Kelly is worth far more than just fair treatment. It had to be something they could make happen that he couldn't do on his own, or could only do at tremendous cost -- produce and broadcast one or more TV specials aimed at Hillary's weakest vulnerabilities, to be aired when the pressure really turns up in the fall, and perhaps re-run a number of times for good measure.

Whatever it turns out to be, one thing is obvious -- a desperate Fox did not get their Megyn Kelly special from one of the greatest negotiators alive without offering something YUGE in return. I can't wait to see what it is.

May 24, 2016

Trump's VP will be Jeff Sessions (reminder, and further analysis)

With the topic reaching a fever pitch lately, let's just make it clear. I've been saying off and on since late February that Trump's criteria for VP, which he has repeatedly gone through to interviewers, lead toward Jeff Sessions.

He's the most similar to the future President on policy, and Trump has said that's the most important thing -- to be a faithful back-up, just in case.

He has decades of experience in the Senate, which experience Trump wants in order to hit the ground running on passing legislation.

He's been working with Trump for over a year, before the campaign was formally announced, meaning they have history and loyalty, something Trump requires.

He doesn't pick up any swing states, but voters are choosing Trump at any rate, not the VP.

He does provide geographic balance, and personality balance, being a soft-spoken Southerner.

Many people thought this as well, so it did not take any brilliance on my part -- just putting two and two together. This recent tweet by Roger Stone would seem to confirm it.

These clues are based on substance (who stands where on which policies), but you could also have figured it out from the showmanship that Trump is also an expert at. Back in late February when Sessions formally endorsed Trump, he was brought out to a massive rally in his home state of Alabama.

Most folks at home aren't political junkies, and would have had little idea who he was or what he stood for. So why was Trump shining such a spotlight on him, and at such an early stage? He wanted us to get familiar with him, something that he's enhanced over the months by naming him as a top policy advisor (gets him into the news cycle), and sending him to do interviews on the cable news circuit.

Why else would Trump want us to get so familiar with Sessions? He wants the VP announcement to be somewhat of a surprise -- hence feeding the gullible media all sorts of red herrings -- but he doesn't want that person to be an unknown, which would disorient the voters and perhaps start us worrying about who this guy is and what he stands for.

Come the Convention in Cleveland, voters will have seen and heard enough from Sessions himself, to feel familiar with the choice.

Trump knows how to tell a proper story and put on a good show, so he made sure to set up the announcement of Sessions as VP way back during the early primary stage, like Chekhov's gun. Notice that the other major endorsements did not receive as much fanfare, and the endorsers have not been a recurring presence in the media to stump for Trump. They have been important additions to the story, but not absolutely crucial like the role of Sessions.

May 23, 2016

The most insightful commercial

 The personification of persistent diarrhea is a stereotypical Millennial:

May 21, 2016

Clinton machine's attacks on Bernie aren't working (bodes well for when Trump faces it)

The schism within the Democrats began to visibly widen last weekend at the Nevada Convention where the Establishment marginalized the Sanders supporters, who raised a great hue and cry at the Convention itself and during the past week.

The DNC and the Clinton machine responded by attacking the Bernie movement on cable news, political websites, and social media. His supporters went too far, they're inciting violence and intimidation, the process is not rigged by Hillary's surrogates, they need to beg forgiveness for acting so horribly, etc etc etc.

Sanders supporters gave the obligatory empty denunciations of violence (who will condone?), and stood their ground against the Dem Establishment. They aren't being transparent, they use arcane procedural rules to circumvent popular participation, they're treating the primaries as a coronation of Crooked Hillary, the major controllers of the process have been in favor of Clinton ever since the beginning, and so on and so forth.

This fight has been going on all day, every day for the past week, with unrelenting media propaganda boosting Hillary and telling Bernie to be quiet, lest the contest damage Hillary too much before she even goes one-on-one against Trump.

What has been the effect of all this anti-anti-Establishment "messaging" on those involved in the primary? Zero -- if anything, it has helped Bernie's numbers.

Reuters polling for the Democratic primary shows no down-turn for Bernie over the past week. In fact, from Monday through Friday his numbers rose day after day, standing now at 44%. Crooked Hillary's numbers have steadily fallen to 38%. Those saying they wouldn't vote for either of them have fallen as well, so the Clinton machine's propaganda has provoked some sitting on the sidelines to choose Bernie.

The past week's trends are part of a longer pattern over all of May, of Sanders rising and Clinton falling. So we can't say that the media shaming blitz backfired and caused his numbers to go up. That was already happening. Still, it does show that it didn't have much of a negative impact, although they didn't totally unload on him, let alone take out attack ads.

Trump will face a higher level of intensity from the Clinton propaganda machine when it's just the two of them. But if they are having zero effect on one anti-Establishment candidate, a higher intensity of zero will still equal zero on the other anti-Establishment candidate. Certainly that was the outcome of all the Trump-hating propaganda during the Republican primary season, much of which did not come from his Republican rivals but from the Clinton-friendly cable news channels and major newspapers and websites.

Trump keeps taunting Team Hillary that they still can't put Bernie away and close the deal. He's making a larger point, though, aside from demoralizing them -- they've proven to be weak and ineffective against a weaker opponent than they will face in Trump.

Trump may have a lot of work to do to persuade voters around the country that he's not the typical Republican candidate, a job he's been working on since the beginning (most notably on trade issues). But he will not have much to worry about from the Clinton machine, who are already proving how inept they are. One less major danger to worry that much about.

Now he can focus more on appealing directly to the voters in each of the states, and not have to do much defense. Onward to victory.

May 20, 2016

Trump would win even if third-party cuck sent election to House of Representatives

The Never Trump crowd is finding out just how small it will be by November. But that isn't stopping some of the more autistic and delusional ones from playing with their electoral tinker-toy sets to show how their Rube Goldberg device just might become reality and send a hardcore right-wing nutjob into the Presidency.

Typical is this recent post by a resident genius from The Federalist:

Heh, you Trumpkins underestimate this 19 year-old
closeted Young Republican at your peril...

We can ignore the quantitative part of his argument, since he can't count (e.g., assumes that all non-Trump voters in early primaries won't vote for Trump in general, despite a complete consolidation by the Convention -- witness the capitulation of Nebraska voters, who are in the heart of the Cuck Belt yet voted Trump at over 60% once he was the only candidate left running).

Instead, let's just grant that by a miracle, no single candidate gets 270 electoral votes in a three-way race between Clinton, Trump, and Cuckenheimer. The election goes to the House of Representatives, where the Representatives vote as a single state bloc, and where 26 states are needed to win. Highly blue states make up a little under 20, in the House.

So, Cuckenheimer might receive as many as 10 states during the first ballot, Trump 20, and Clinton 20. No majority, go to second ballot -- where the 10 cuck states gradually, or all at once, capitulate and vote Trump. No cuck state is going to be instrumental in sending Crooked Hillary to the presidency.

The reason that the House of Representatives would never choose a hardcore right-wing nutjob third party candidate, just because they technically could with a solid Republican majority of states, is that there would be bloody revolution all throughout the land -- beginning with the Representatives themselves. Cuckenheimer would have hardly any electoral votes, few states, and a pitiful share of the popular vote. Everyone would be agin' 'im, and no one fer 'im. To parachute him in through technicalities would trigger our sense of injustice, and we would put an end to it.

Only an insulated nerd like the Federalist cuck can believe in these outlandish scenarios. They live in a "revenge of the nerds" fantasy land, where they never get punched in the face for taunting a crowd while hiding behind legal technicalities.

The only viable solution left for them is to prove how not-racist and principle-driven they are, and relocate en masse to Mexico, where they can assimilate into their "natural conservative" neighbors. Vaya con dios, faggots!

May 15, 2016

The American multi-party system of shifting coalitions, and third party prospects today

The topic of third parties is coming up, what with the empty talk of the Conservative Movement (TM) running an independent candidate, and the more realistic prospect of Bernie running as an independent (or at any rate, his supporters choosing him as a write-in candidate rather than Crooked Hillary).

Many on the progressive side wish there were more than just the two national parties -- "like they have in Sweden," or wherever else they imagine electoral utopia exists.

But America already has a multi-party system -- each of the two parties is always a coalition of several distinct factions. Before the recent disruptions of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the Republicans were a coalition of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Right, and the neoconservative warhawks, while the Democrats were a coalition of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Cultural Left, and neoliberal regime-changers.

Even the Cultural Left and Right are coalitions of distinct factions who don't have anything immediately in common, and have to convince each other that there's a bigger cause uniting them all -- pro-lifers, preppers, gun nuts, apocalyptic cults, etc. on the Right, and AIDS propagators, feminazis, aggrieved racial minorities, cosplay environmentalists, etc. on the Left.

"In Sweden" (or wherever), each of these narrowly focused groups might found their own party and run their own candidates. Given how narrow their focus is, they would likely form coalition governments after the election was held.

In America, they form coalitions before the election, and each of these coalitions runs in the general election. It seems better to build the coalition first, so you can hit the ground running if you win the election, rather than cultivate relationships and ties with a coalition government after the election, wasting precious time when you're already in office.

Still, why not three major parties, each of them a coalition as now? Probably to prevent yet another level of coalition-building. With three equally strong major parties, two would probably have to join up in a super-coalition against the third. This would be another case of having to establish links, build relationships, and so on, after the election, wasting time while in office.

And why not just one party? That might work during exceptionally harmonious periods, like the Era of Good Feelings when the Democratic-Republican Party went unopposed at the national level. Otherwise, we're going to need some choice between competing interests.

The other knock against the two-party system is that it encourages ossification of whose interests are represented by the only effective parties. But that's not true either, because the composition of either party's coalition is always subject to change, or re-alignment.

The Republican coalition during the Bush Sr. and Jr. era would have looked utterly alien to the Republican coalition of the Eisenhower and Nixon era. Back then, it was the Democrats who were more established in the Deep South, and who were interventionist warhawks. Likewise the Democrat coalition of the Clinton and Obama era would look totally foreign to the Democrat coalition of the FDR and JFK era -- what happened to the working class and labor unions, the backbone of the New Deal coalition?

Third parties do occasionally achieve national success, but they are short-lived reactions by defectors from one of the two parties, intended to punish the other members of the coalition who have betrayed the defecting group. They realize they will not win the general election as a break-off faction of one of the two parties -- the point is to punish past wrongdoing within the party, and serve as a credible threat against any future betrayal within the party.

Importantly, they are swift responses against the incumbent party -- not delayed grudges.

Nader 2000 was mostly a reaction against the Democrats selling out during the Clinton era of elitist and globalist New Democrats. Perot '92 and '96 was a reaction against both the elitist / globalist policies of the Bush Sr. party, as well as the incipient New Democrats. Anderson '80 was a reaction by former Carter voters who wanted more of a moderate who didn't mention he was a born-again Christian. Wallace '68 and Thurmond '48 were both reactions by Deep Southerners who didn't like where the Democrats were headed with desegregation, during and after WWII, when the Democrat administration desegregated the Army. Progressive Party runs by Roosevelt '12 and La Follette '24 were both reactions against the Republicans for becoming too conservative.

Really the only third-party campaign that consistently broke into single digits with the national popular vote was the Socialist Party in the early 20th C., a social-democratic party that was not a break-away from either the Democrats or Republicans. But with both major parties including the working class in their coalitions -- first the progressive Republicans, and later the New Deal Democrats -- there wasn't enough reason to go outside into a third party based mostly on labor rights, with no broader coalition to build. No broad coalition means no chance at the national level.

So what does this bode for the current season? If anyone is going to break off from the Republicans, it's the Cultural Right / Tea Party. Enough of them seem to be on board the Trump train, though (maybe 50%), that they aren't cohesive enough to make a run of their own. If they did, it would be in the heart of the Cuck Belt, the Plains, a la Ben Sasse continuing to pipe up about a "consistent conservative" candidate.

However, the Republicans haven't held the Presidency for eight years, so it's a bit late to launch a retaliation to punish a betrayal from the '00s. That was the Tea Party Congressional landslide of 2010, and that's already run out of gas, not to mention getting eclipsed by the Trump phenomenon at the national level in 2016.

If anything, it would be progressives bolting the Democrats to punish getting sold out by Obama and Crooked Hillary. Unlike the Tea Partiers, the "Bernie or bust" people still have fresh wounds and a bad taste in their mouths. Whether they draft Bernie to run as an independent, write him in, or flock to the Green Party, remains to be seen. A good chunk of blue-collar Sanders supporters will come around to Trump, another good chunk will stay home, and only a handful will turn out for Clinton.

The progressives, though, are a separate faction within the Bernie coalition. They won't vote for Trump, and they seem too energized to wind up staying home in November, after the superdelegates deliver the nomination to Crooked Hillary on a silver platter. It could be a Perot-sized rift on the Democrats' side, which would help Trump pick up divided blue states that would otherwise be an uphill battle (Colorado, Washington), in the same way Bill Clinton picked up red states that were divided by Perot (Georgia in '92, Arizona in '96).

Everything is lining up for a wipe-out victory for the Trump movement. The only likely third-party rift is on the Democrats' side, and the Republicans are quickly re-aligning to shed dead weight and appeal to a much wider base, who are growing the party in record numbers. The Democrat Establishment is only bent on worsening their own problems -- antagonizing the Bernie crowd (e.g., the Nevada Convention this weekend), defending the superdelegate process, and courting neocons and Wall Street mega-donors from the Establishment Republicans who are leaving the inchoate Party of Trump.

It's gonna be epic.

May 13, 2016

What could go wrong with men gaining access to the little girls room?

From Facebook's news feed:

Expect to see more juxtapositions like this.

May 12, 2016

Commentator confusions about re-drawing the electoral map

Now that the general election phase has begun, people are starting to wonder whether Trump can win enough blue states to put him over the top. See the appendix for a collection of electoral maps from the beginning to present.

Things look so good right now that I'm thinking 400 electoral votes is do-able, with 500 being a reach goal, and guaranteed victory no matter what. Of course others still have their heads stuck in the sand, pretending that we're still in the same old liberal vs. conservative battle which determined the current distribution of blue vs. red states. Those criteria are out -- now it's populism vs. Establishment elitism, and nationalism vs. globalism.

The clueless commentators are asking if the 2016 conservative can win over the 2016 liberal. They begin with the familiar set of swing states. And they use demographic and other trends to predict if the 2016 conservative can win over enough of the familiar swing states.

But what makes a state blue or red is going to change, since it's a wholly different set of criteria -- one which we haven't seen in our lifetimes. Perhaps the New Deal era was the last time that one party was known as the populist party, however that one (the Democrats) was also the one known for foreign interventionism, while the more elite-friendly party (Republicans) was more isolationist.

The point is, we don't have to pretend that people are still in liberal vs. conservative mode. If they were, then Trump would not have had his strongest early showing in both Massachusetts and Alabama, while suffering his biggest loss in Utah.

Everyone, even the know-nothing commentators, have repeatedly expressed their shock about how we seem to be in an upside-down world this time around. Not just about one aspect here or there -- but about so much, day-in and day-out, for nearly an entire year.

And yet when they put on their thinking caps (or ideological blinders, in the technical jargon), they assume that the world is qualitatively identical to the past several elections, and it's only a matter of whether Trump can trim away the tiniest slice necessary of the opposition in the familiar swing states.

It never dawns on them that if everything else has been upside-down so far, then which states in the fall will be genuinely neck-and-neck may be unexpected as well.

Looking at the particular candidates rather than Republican and Democrat, it's the same visceral awareness but conscious cluelessness. Everyone still has trouble believing that someone who has never been elected to any public office, and who's only been a practicing politician for less than a year has already knocked out not just one but 16 professional lifelong politicians, who served at the highest level (Governors and Senators). And -- did that in a landslide. And -- did that far earlier than planned (if anyone expected it to happen at all).

Eisenhower was a military officer who was promoted up the ranks by other government officials, and was chosen as the President of Columbia University. Trump doesn't even have that record of being promoted up the ranks in some kind of election or another, let alone in any branch of the government.

That is a never-before-seen phenomenon, which immediately tells us that we're probably in for even more surprises.

His main opponent is a former First Lady, one-term Senator, and failed Secretary of State (everyone will remember Benghazi, Syria, etc. -- no successes). She failed to secure her party's nomination the last time. And she's a woman leading one of the two major parties -- another never-before-seen scenario. She was born crooked, nobody likes her, and there's a major rift against her among the voters in her own party (the elite is consolidated -- the opposite of the Republicans, whose voters will be united but whose leadership may see a chunk of dead weight get cast off).

But somehow people are going to treat Crooked Hillary Clinton like she's JFK reincarnated in a woman's body. Secretary, you're no Jack Kennedy.

How many more historically unprecedented scenarios do we have to see which heavily favor Trump (not "Republicans"), before the commentators consciously admit that it looks daunting for Hillary to survive the coming tidal wave?

I won't link to any specific commentator taking that approach, since they're everywhere.

I do want to briefly discuss a different point being made by Andrew Gelman and a colleague, since he isn't a moron. In this post, he argues that the electoral map has become increasingly difficult to shake up because each state tends to shift less and less "over time". For the percent of a state voting Democrat (or Republican), he shows that the variation between the previous and the present election has fallen since 1956. He says that makes a "scramble" of the map less likely than it used to be.

But what we're seeing is not a return to higher and higher levels of variation, as though the electoral map were going to become more and more chaotic from one election to the next.

Rather, we could be seeing a transition from one steady state to another steady state. Maybe it'll take a few elections to get there, and maybe the transition will be a little bumpy (state A looked like it would join a certain bloc, but then it winds up in some other bloc). Still, after this brief transition, the map would look different, and it would return to a long period of lower and lower variation, as the wrinkles are ironed out.

These transitions don't happen very often, but then what have we been seeing all along? For decades and decades, the Northern states were solid Republican, and the Southern ones solid Democrats. Then during the New Deal era, most of the states touching the Great Lakes were peeled off into the Democrat column, staying there more or less ever since. And given how much of the population lives in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, that was not an insignificant change.

Unless you zoom out to see the past 150 or so years, you wouldn't see that. In 1900, you'd ask "When will Minnesota ever stop voting Republican?" In 2000, you'd ask, "When will Minnesota ever stop voting Democrat?"

A smaller change has occurred since 1980, whereby the Southern states have gone reliably Republican and look to stay that way during the Trump vs. Hillary election. For 150 years before that, those states were solid Democrat states.

Changes this drastic are rare, but that's what we mean by "historic" changes. And again, by all accounts we are in one of those historic changes. You'd have to be living under a rock not to notice. (See also: TV debate audience size, candidate rally audience size, primary turnout, media buzz, etc.) So who's to say it won't continue for another six months, and we'll begin a transition to a different-looking map?

Finally, there's one less-historic way where Trump wins big-league, including all sorts of states everyone assumed would stay blue, but that this doesn't lead the way toward a different steady state of who's red and who's blue. Maybe it will be a one-time referendum (2016 plus his re-election in 2020) on putting aside this culture war crap, and fixing the economy and government.

Then perhaps after that's done, the map will go back to the Clinton-Bush-Obama map of red vs. blue, only now with the Democrats being Democrats in the mold of the Trump phenomenon, not the descendants of Hillary. And the Republicans will be in the mold of the Trump phenomenon, not the descendants of Bush or Romney or Cruz.

Predicting what's going to happen in 2024 is of no use right now. But it goes to show that even without re-drawing the electoral map for the next several decades, the Trump phenomenon can still win a large number of blue states just this once (and again for re-election).

Regardless of what happens after Trump, it seems increasingly clear that we will at least get to President Trump, and given how weak the competition is, probably in an electoral wipe-out.

Appendix: Electoral map history

Click here to blow up

May 11, 2016

Bernie already doing Hillary's bidding, concedes more ground to identity politics distractions

After his win in West Virginia, Bernie devoted a good chunk of his victory speech to slamming Trump, trotting out all the tired and failing arguments based on identity politics (racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc.), preaching about how diversity is strength, bla bla bla.

While it may make Bernie feel like part of the Democrat in-crowd to whine about culture war topics like it's still the '90s, the irony is not lost on his voters. Bernie beats Hillary where the electorate is white, he performs much worse among women than men, and the homos are all-in for their ideal Fag Hag in Chief.

And who delivered his victory tonight in West Virginia? -- a bunch of black tranny illegal immigrants, or the white working class? I'm sure they appreciate a victory speech calling them a bunch of racist, sexist dinosaurs. Way to rally your base, dumbass.

Fundamentally, Bernie is too insecure about being liked by everyone -- he'd rather lose to Hillary by pandering to "inclusivity", than win by turning out the largest numbers of his natural base as possible.

Bernie knows he will never put a real dent in the identity politics / culture war voters, who Hillary has a lock on. So why bother pandering to these distraction issues, when his whole campaign is about economics and politics per se -- not "the politics of _____"?

I think he's just a wimpy personality who is caving in to the Democrat Establishment that is bullying him like hell into not damaging Crooked Hillary's reputation. He's being used as Clinton's weapon against Trump, which only benefits Crooked Hillary herself. He's already doing her bidding, and she hasn't made any concessions to him at a negotiating table. What a wuss.

Having said that about the candidate himself, I don't think the bulk of his normal-person voters are going to fold so easily. They can't stand Crooked Hillary any more than we can, and they get even angrier about her playing the woman card. Every time she wins a "diversity is strength" state, they go off on social media to the effect of, "Fucking blacks fucking it up again..."

Some of his flaky Lexus liberal voters will fall in line, because they're not interested in restoring America's manufacturing industries, a non-interventionist foreign policy, or getting Wall Street donors and K Street lobbyists out of politics. They just want to signal their moral superiority over the Republican voters. They are the Dem equivalent of the cuckservatives (limperal, abbrev. limp; see also, to limp for).

But it's not those people who deliver his victories -- they're not even a drop in the bucket. The normal working and middle-class whites who make up the bulk of his electorate will gradually tire of him, as he sinks deeper into distraction topics about identity politics. If they wanted that, they'd already be on board for Hillary (as the feminists, fatties, faggies, and foreigners already are).

That's good news for the Trump movement, though, since these folks will start to peel themselves off of what is turning out to be just another culture war campaign, and drifting closer to only candidate fighting hard for the topics to only be the economy and the government. Bernie voters will not be magically swayed by their candidate's change of tune, any more than the Trump voters would if their candidate started blathering on about conservative culture war crap as though he'd become possessed by the ghost of Lyin' Ted Cruz.

I'm still hoping for the far-left protesters in Philadelphia to slam Crooked Hillary, but at this rate, it'll probably soften into empty grandstanding about how offensive Drumpf is. Nothing edgier than a parade of noodle-armed schoolmarms.

May 10, 2016

Trump can threaten to "out" the closeted Republicans, turning Establishment's own disciplining tool against itself

Reading over recent electoral history, I stumbled upon this tidbit from 1988:

One reason for Bush's choice of running mate, Senator Dan Quayle, was to appeal to a younger generation of Americans identified with the "Reagan Revolution". Quayle's good looks were praised by Senator John McCain: "I can't believe a guy that handsome wouldn't have some impact."

Most men, maybe all, are poor judges of other men's attractiveness. It's not what we usually compete with each other over. We can easily tell who can kick whose ass, but not who the girls will stand extra close to in conversation.

The fact that he doesn't just notice, but verbally ejaculates about Quayle's looks, should have been a tell. Perhaps it just wasn't widely reported. I bet someone at the Republican Convention had a WTF moment, though. After being tipped off by a Trump speech last winter, I looked up old pictures of McCain and determined he indeed has gayface.

Trump has been around these people for so long, often while they were drunk and he was sober, and he has a great memory.

It seems like the '80s saw the infiltration of the Republican Party by the poz squad (Kasich, Hastert, among others). The idea must have been that the Establishment bosses and Wall Street donors could control them by having the ultimate blackmail card. So far, it has worked well for both master and servant.

Now that Trump has no common interest with either side, however, he can turn the closet card against its originators. Either Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham, et al support Trump's America first movement, or he'll spill the beans. That puts these closeted homos in a bind -- no matter which side they choose to serve, their old master or their new one, the other master will pull the trigger to make good on their threat.

Trump has already mooted the topic of why Graham and McCain are joined at the hip and go everywhere together "like the Bobbsey twins," and has also brought up Huma and Hillary being more than just "friends".

So the Establishment-controlled gays know that at least their new master is willing to pull the trigger, whereas their old master hasn't done so up to this point. My guess is they'll wind up siding with Trump, or at least not obstructing his plans, lest their dirty secrets see the light of day and disgrace them irredeemably with their conservative base.

As in so many other ways, Trump is not building up too much from scratch -- he's simply taking over control of what already exists. He doesn't need his own website, he dominates Twitter. He doesn't found his own TV channel, he dominates the existing networks. He doesn't need millions of dollars of oppo research -- having known the insiders for decades, he's already aware of what skeletons are out there.

Why re-invent the wheel? That would be a far too costly way to win, for the most frugal candidate in our nation's history.

May 7, 2016

With the flop of "Dangerous Donald" line, it's Carter 1980 all over again

In further proof of Team Hillary's tone-deaf and out-of-touch approach, they tried to brand Trump as "Dangerous Donald". The flop of this one only reminds voters by contrast how fitting and funny Trump's brandings are (like Crooked Hillary). It's like a bad SNL skit -- and Democrat voters still watch enough SNL for that association to come to mind.

Trump supporters have already remarked how badass of a nickname it is, and that it's yet another example of Trump hijacking the minds of his opponents and getting them to promote his own campaign, and on their own dime no less.

In fairness, lots of other Establishment butt-lickers have been throwing around the word "dangerous" about Trump this season -- Thomas Sowell, Paul Krugman, the Economist, AlterNet, etc.

We're lucky that our opponents are so clueless that they don't remember recent history. One of the main lines of attack that Jimmy Carter tried to use against Reagan in 1980 was that he would be "dangerous" about nuclear proliferation and related threats to mankind. They kept trying to get the word "dangerous" to stick, including Carter's performance at the Presidential debates, but it never stuck.

Why not?

Well, if someone's dangerous, their track record would reflect that -- one disaster after another. Only in 1980, Reagan had no such track record as Governor of California. No state-level equivalent of nuclear war. Contrast that to the Iranian revolutionaries taking Americans hostage on Carter's watch. Perhaps, the American public thought, impotence was more dangerous than "being dangerous".

And this time around, what track record does Trump have of people being attacked or getting plunged into violence on his watch? Zero. Crooked Hillary, on the other hand... If she even utters the word during a debate, Trump will interrupt her:

"While Benghazi was burning, she failed to [finger quote] answer the phone at 3 o' clock in the morning, and the American Ambassador was brutally murdered by radical Islamic terrorists -- I don't need to hear from this woman about being dangerous."

Trump will also bring up their records on the Iraq War -- she voted for it in the Senate, he was vociferously against it the whole time.

Hillary will want to throw our borders wide open, inviting another terrorist attack, as well as violent crime by immigrants who otherwise wouldn't be here robbing, raping, and murdering. Trump wants to close them up, especially to Muslims. Bye-bye to violent attacks by immigrants.

Hillary has enabled Bill's sexual assault crimes (actual rape, not just adultery), and hounded his victims afterward so that they wouldn't undo the ambitions of the Clintons. Trump has done no such thing.

And who has more of an evil cackling laugh?

The public will understand the "dangerous" moniker to be a case of psychological projection by Hillary, given her record and his record. No different from Lyin' Ted calling someone else a pathological liar.

It hasn't even been a week since Trump effectively clinched the nomination, and he's already getting the other side to write his material for him -- and distribute it using their own "war chest" (suicide fund, self-destruct fund).

It's looking more and more like a 1980 situation, as far as numbers go, even if the faultlines and main themes are different.

Now the only question is how bad Trump will defeat Hillary in the general -- and how much more badly he'll defeat her successor in 2020? There's no way she'd run again, there are no superstars in the party, and the previous VP will be (even more) braindead.

If the woman card and "Dangerous Donald" are the shape of things to come, we are looking at a definite eight years of Trump. It's gonna be epic.

May 5, 2016

Big data junkies still the biggest losers, even though / because they admitted they've been wrong all along

Copying a comment and my replies into a new post, now that the topic of big data and predictions are coming back into the air, as Trump has effectively secured the nomination and likely faces Hillary in the general.

- - - - -

TGGP said:

Since I was predicting the opposite, it behooves me to say that you were right and I was wrong. I really underestimated how much support Trump could get and how much antipathy there was for Cruz in the Republican party. Nevertheless, I still predict he'll lose to Hillary in November, and those who disagree are welcome to bet against me and take my money, as could have occurred earlier.

My response:

Cheer up. The Trump army is going to Make America Great Again, and naysayers casting their hexes in prediction markets are not going to have any more effect than the tens of millions of dollars wasted in attack ads.

In the real world (outside intro stats textbooks), successes and failures are correlated. What failed for the GOP Establishment will fail for the Dem Establishment. They are effectively the same opposition, so one's attack will be a barely mutated version of the other's. And those who got it backward in the primary will get it backward in the general.

As bad as Bush was in the primary, Crooked Hillary will be as bad or worse in the general.

More interesting bets would be -- in which states does she survive? In which ones do write-in Bernie votes outnumber Hillary votes? How big is Trump's margin of victory in Michigan? Etc.

(Again, I'm not interested in robbing people blind over the internet. Just pointing out more interesting ways for the BIG DATA people to spend their time for the next six months.)

To re-iterate a point from this earlier post on "big data being the biggest loser" in this election:

Neither one of us has enough money to make the bet interesting. I would basically require you to risk $1 million, $10 million, etc. Something that would really stop and make you think.

Your idea of "skin in the game" is accepting daunting odds, rather than the absolute magnitude you would lose if wrong.

Not just your idea -- that's the whole approach of prediction markets, which show something like a probability bounded between 0 and 1. No mention of how much the losers stand to lose if they're wrong -- $1, $100, $10 million?

If we look at people who do have a shitload of money to lay on the line, and who normally do so in primary battles -- notice how many of them sat it out. Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers stayed out entirely, and most of the early big donors declined to put any more at risk when it was just down to Cruz and Trump.

Mega-donors staying out of the betting pool is a far more honest signal of how uncertain the outcome was, than whatever number of hundred-dollar or even thousand-dollar bets were being placed on the internet.

I still stick by the statement that it was highly uncertain what would happen. If the process played out fairly, it was guaranteed that Trump would win -- that was clear from last fall.

But what was uncertain was the lengths that any number of actors would go to in order to stop Trump from getting the nomination or the Presidency.

That uncertainty is still with us, of course (assassins, etc.), although much less so than before (RNC has capitulated). That's why some of the mega-donors are willing to help Trump's general campaign now.

May 4, 2016

"The woman card" is Trump appealing to Bernie voters

The talking heads are still wagging their fingers about Trump saying that Crooked Hillary "plays the woman card" to deflect attention from her horrible record throughout her entire career. They are aghast that when they point out this supposed gaffe to Trump, he only doubles down on the claim.

"Doesn't he know that this will destroy his ratings with women?"

First of all, it only boosts his ratings with Republican women, who loathe Hillary and enjoy seeing a man not being afraid to call her out on her shameless pandering to gender politics, when the real issues are the economy, the government, foreign policy, and so on.

But it turns out that exasperation over Crooked Hillary's playing the woman card is widespread among Bernie voters, too. Although I haven't been following the Dem race too closely, it sure sounds like every time she's criticized by the Sanders supporters, she hides behind empty charges of sexism.

Here are just a few examples among the hundreds of thousands for the trending hashtag #DropOutHillary, where the Bernie crowd is reacting to Trump's securing the nomination by arguing that their populist candidate should be the one to take on the Republican populist:

So, Trump's remark about "the woman card" is only echo-ing what the Bernie babes themselves are accusing Crooked Hillary of doing. And they are certainly much angrier about it than Trump, which makes his take on it seem more cool-headed and Presidential.

He doesn't need to court the hardcore Hillary voters. By shaming her for playing the woman card, Trump builds a more and more convincing bridge for the disaffected Sanders supporters to walk across in November. There's more than one kind of material that goes into building that bridge -- it's not just her stance on ruinous trade deals, it's also her entitled attitude while hiding behind being a woman. The Bernie babes can't stand that any more than we can.

How big of a landslide in November? ("You're gonna get sick of winning so much!")

This election is shaping up to be a face-off between Establishment globalism and populist nationalism, with little interest in stale, distracting culture war topics. That change has been clear to Trump fans for awhile, but I mean to the general public, the political apparatus, and the media.

With the way that our economy and government are going, and have been going for 30-40 years, Establishment globalism is going to go over like a lead balloon, especially once Trump and allies have been hammering these points for months and months.

Thus, the question is no longer which states can Trump win? -- but rather, in which states will Crooked Hillary be able to survive the brutal siege? His campaign doesn't fall into the standard Democrat traps of identity politics and the culture war, and will be attacking her "from the left" on the economy, government corruption, and foreign policy. The "it's my turn" candidate from that other latter-day dynasty didn't exactly weather Hurricane Trump for very long.

We've heard for awhile about "swing states" and "threading the needle" for a Republican to win the electoral college. But that landscape was under the old paradigm of liberals vs. conservatives. Now that it is rapidly shifting toward populism vs. elitism, and America first vs. globalism, the blue-red landscape will look different. Some will be heavily Trump, some heavily Hillary, and others will be close races -- swing states still, though not necessarily the same ones that were close races during the liberal vs. conservative era.

And given how much Trump has been emphasizing the theme of unity and getting along instead of polarization and demonization, you can bet that he will start to unveil several policies intended to include the populist / anti-globalist liberals. They're populist and anti-globalist, too, so who cares about liberal or conservative? (Trump keeps saying, "I'm a conservative, but who cares? We've got a country to straighten out, folks!")

He recently said he thinks he'll get a lot of the young people voting for Bernie (Trump does best among older voters, so this would make a nice complement). Therefore one of these positions will be some very big change to how student loan debt is handled. Why not cut to the chase and issue a one-time-only forgiveness of all student loan debt? With the understanding that the higher ed bubble will be popped and not allowed to re-inflate.

The higher ed bubble is mostly a scam, and Trump has said so several times on the trail -- that the students, who don't know any better, are being used as a conduit for federal loan dollars to get sucked into the coffers of the universities. They give the students nothing of value in return -- witness their pathetic incomes despite having a four-year degree.

To pay for the federal loans that will go bust, tell the universities who scammed the immature students to either pay it back, or we'll nationalize your assets and take the cash, sell off those fancy stadiums that they've been building with all that ill-gotten wealth, and whatever else the ruthless negotiator-in-chief can think up.

This would be a purely populist program, and not much to do with the theme of America first. But not everything is going to do with nationalism -- "I don't want people dying in the streets because they're too poor to afford health care".

Crooked Hillary is owned by Wall Street and would never dare try such a populist stunt. She would rather have these impressionable kids who were allowed to rack up tens of thousands in debt by age 20, continue to eke out a subsistence as indentured servants.

Armed with this secret weapon, the welfare-enhancing effects of sending the illegal immigrants back, along with declaring a truce on culture war matters, Trump can steal California and its 55 electoral votes right out from under the complacent and sclerotic Democrat Establishment.

If they thought the Trump army was going to stay away from so-called hostile territory, and only try to chip away at five swing states, they will be caught with their pants down. "How did you let those Trump supporters sway you Californians? Don't you know they're conservatives?!" "They didn't look like either liberal or conservative, so how should we have known? And anyway, who cares? They promised us one-time full debt relief on student loans!"

California, and many other states, are not going to be such hostile territory for the populist America first party.

The key in winning them over will be turning out the large pool of non-voters. That has been the secret of Trump's success so far, and it will continue into the general election phase as well. Things get more quantitative when we talk about boosting turnout, and how big this pool of untapped voters is in different states, so I'll save that for another post.

May 1, 2016

Trump's "loss" in Ohio due to Kasich's machine getting Dem voters to hijack GOP primary

[Updated the appendix to show county-by-county data, with extensive discussion]

I have never really accepted Trump's loss in Ohio, since election day. I knew too many people across a range of geography and class levels who were psyched up to vote Trump, and the economy and history are ripe for a win for the Trump movement. The surrounding states are all Trump wins as well (Indiana will be verified on Tuesday). What gives with Ohio?

At first I rationalized it as the favorite son, popular(ish) sitting Governor getting more of the non-Trump voters to coalesce around him. After all, Trump did get the same percent of the vote as in neighboring Kentucky and Michigan, during a similar stage of the primary season (high 30s).

Now that we're looking toward the general election, with Trump the presumptive nominee, I started investigating whether or not he could flip Ohio from blue to red. Most counties vote Republican, but the ones that vote Democrat have big chunks of the population. So I wondered what the primary turnout was for Democrats and Republicans, regardless of candidate, for some of the highly populated counties that vote Democrat in general elections.

I noticed something very unusual -- in the counties home to the three largest cities, which in 2012 went heavily for Obama, the percent of primary voters casting a ballot in the Democrats' contest was a lot closer to 50%. At first that sounds promising -- if that held in the general election, the Republican nominee could win those three biggest cities and clear a major hurdle in a key swing state.

However, they voted overwhelmingly for Kasich, not Trump. Everywhere else this season, when would-be Democrats turn out in yuge numbers to vote in the Republican primary, it's to vote for Trump. They're the populist and class-oriented Dems, and Trump is the most promising populist candidate of any party that they've seen in perhaps their entire lifetimes.

Nowhere have we seen would-be Democrats turning out in droves for Kasich, on the idea that he's a closeted homosexual liberal Democrat, and let's make sure he wins over that bully Trump. We should have seen that in New England, and yet Kasich didn't come close to taking any of those states. Those disaffected Dems clearly turned out for Trump.

On the day of the Ohio primary, MSNBC had reporters in two locations covering the "Democratic cross-over" narrative. Tony Dokoupil was in, I believe, Mahoning County, home to Youngstown, and part of the Appalachian Rust Belt area of Ohio. He reported that there was a lot of Dem cross-over, and from what he heard from those voters, they were mostly voting Trump. And sure enough, Trump carried the Appalachian counties in Ohio handily.

Then a blonde woman reporter was shown somewhere in, I believe, Cuyahoga County, home to the major city of Cleveland. She said that there was a lot of cross-over there as well, but that those voters were largely voting against Trump and for Kasich.

I didn't think that these Democrats who had invaded the Republican primary just to sabotage Trump could have made all that large of a difference in the big picture, though. Maybe it gave Kasich an extra few points over Trump, but it couldn't have actually decided the primary, could it have?

Well, it did -- big league.

In fact, there's really no other way to explain the outcome than that Kasich, the re-elected sitting Governor in control of the local political machine, "got" a massive number of Democrats to invade the Republican primary to ensure he won his home state, to avoid humiliation. He either bribed them, threatened them with firings (there are a lot of Democrats who work for the government in one way or another), targeted the black Get Out the Vote ringleaders to steer the black voters toward the Republican ballot and Kasich, or some other damn scheme.

That's why Kasich was so confident and matter-of-factly telling every interviewer that "Oh, I'm gonna win Ohio," weeks in advance. The fix was in, on his orders.

The upshot? See the Appendices for the calculations: I estimate Trump should have won Ohio with 45%, and Kasich coming in second with 35%. Those could be off by a little bit and still give Trump the win. And since Ohio was winner-take-all, he just needed to win by a single vote in order to take 100% of the delegates.

Trump should have done better in Ohio than in Kentucky, since there aren't as many Cruz Cult cucks like there are in western Kentucky (which lies south of Indiana, not Ohio). And he should have done better than in Michigan, since western Michigan has a cuck pocket and does not have the stretch of Appalachian territory that Ohio does, and Appalachia is one of the most heavily Trump-favoring regions in the nation. So 45% doesn't sound unreasonable, when he got in the high 30s in Kentucky and Michigan.

I realize that this investigation won't affect the delegate count, number of states won, popular vote, etc. But just so we understand where Trump performed best within the Republican primary, and where Trump can do well in the general, Ohio is clearly Trump country. It was only through a concerted statewide effort by the sitting Governor's political machine, including various degrees of incentives, bribes, and threats, that a huge chunk of the Democrat voters invaded the Republican primary to keep Kasich afloat.

Fortunately, Kasich's shenanigans won't keep Trump from clearing a majority of delegates. And a key swing state now looks much more favorable for the general election.

Appendix 1

There are 17 counties that Obama won in 2012. They ranged from around 50% to 70% Democrat. And yet when you take the 2016 voters in the Democrat primary as a percent of all primary voters, in each of these same counties, they only run from around 30-50%. Within each county, between 10-20% of the primary electorate switched from would-be Democrats to Republicans. (See the county results for Republicans and Democrats.)

That is big in percentage terms (double digits), and also in sheer numbers of voters, since these blue counties are home to the major population centers. In several counties, this amounted to tens of thousands of Democrats posing as Republicans in order to prop up Kasich. Remember, Ohio was winner-take-all by statewide vote, so whoever had the most in sheer number of voters took all of the delegates.

Overwhelmingly this benefited Kasich, who won 13 of these 17 Obama counties, including the major population centers of Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Akron, etc. The 4 that Trump won were all Appalachian and smaller in population -- Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Athens.

To weed out the Democrat invaders whose only mission was to sabotage Trump and prop up Kasich, we assume that for a county's 2016 primary voters, the percent voting Democrat should be the same as the percent who voted Democrat in the 2012 presidential election. We apply that percent that should be Democrats to the total primary turnout, and get the number of primary voters that should be Democrats. This is much larger than the actual number voting Democrat, and the gap is mostly due to them voting for Kasich on the Republican side.

So, subtract the size of this gap from Kasich's number of voters, and place them in the Democrat primary (doesn't matter whether they'd vote for Hillary or Bernie). This shrinks Kasich's number of voters, and therefore the number of Republican primary voters. It does not affect Trump's number of voters, since he didn't benefit much from this huge invasion. (He did on a much smaller scale, and mostly in counties that are outside of these Obama counties.)

With this new count of total Republican voters, Kasich voters, and Trump voters, we compute the percent voting for Kasich or Trump in each of these counties. Trump wins every one of them except for Franklin, home to the state capital of Columbus -- perhaps not surprising that the center of the political Establishment would have gone for Kasich even without the Democrat invader shenanigans.

I estimate Kasich would have won Franklin 55 to 28, not so far from the actual result of 64 to 22. However, Trump would have won Cuyahoga (Cleveland) 44 to 40, Lorain (suburban Cleveland) 46 to 38, and Hamilton (Cincinnati) 37 to 36. The other blue counties he would have won by anywhere from 10 to 50 points.

Pooling all of these blue counties, Trump should have gotten 45% to Kasich's 36%. Since Ohio's primary was statewide, winner-take-all, county by county results don't matter -- only the grand pool of all voters. Trump should have handily won these blue counties, and he did handily win the Appalachian counties with nearly 50%. I figure the remaining sparsely populated red counties would have shown a similar correction as in the blue counties -- that Kasich's machine got local government employees mobilized on his behalf.

Even letting those stay with Kasich, though, they don't compare to the size of the populations in the blue counties, and are mostly balanced out by the Appalachian counties.

So, I see no reason to move away from the rough estimate of Trump legitimately winning 45% of Ohio, to Kasich's 35%. In any event, he would have won by single digits and taken all of the delegates.

Appendix 2

To see how huge the change from blue to supposedly red counties was, here are a few relevant columns from the whole spreadsheet.

First column is the counties won by Obama in the 2012 Presidential election.

Second column gives the percent of the vote that Obama got in 2012, from greatest to least.

Third column gives the percent of the 2016 primary votes that were cast in the Democrats' contest rather than in the Republicans'.

Fourth column shows the decline in the percent voting Democrat.

Fifth column gives the end result of calculating how many extra Republican ballots were cast (overwhelmingly for Kasich), on the assumption that the percent casting a Democrat ballot in the 2016 primary should be the same as the percent voting for Obama in the 2012 general election. At the bottom of this column is the total.

County Obama % 2012 Dem % 2016 Change Extra R votes
Cuyahoga 69 59 10 34747
Athens 66 60 6 862
Lucas 64 52 12 12437
Mahoning 63 51 12 8022
Trumbull 60 54 6 3921
Franklin 60 49 11 33553
Summit 57 31 26 58376
Lorain 56 46 10 8149
Ashtabula 55 41 14 3127
Erie 55 44 11 2474
Hamilton 53 41 12 28091
Portage 51 41 10 4134
Ottawa 51 38 13 1589
Wood 51 37 14 4836
Montgomery 51 39 12 16990
Sandusky 50 32 18 3087
Stark 49 36 13 14116


Notice that of these counties that voted for Obama, only 5 or 6 out of 17 were still blue counties in the 2016 primary. Seeing several of the counties in the deep-blue NE Ohio region casting only 30-some percent of their ballots in the Democrats' primary is a big fat tell. We're really supposed to believe that all these Great Lakes industrial counties suddenly turned deep red. Maybe if they were turning red-for-Trump, but not red-for-Kasich. Total hijacking on Kasich's orders.

Trump has won all the major metro areas around the Great Lakes, except for Milwaukee and Green Bay way over in Wisconsin. Detroit, Chicago, Rochester, Buffalo -- all Trump victories. He should have claimed Cleveland and Toledo and their satellite cities as well.

In the last column, notice how many of these counties delivered tens of thousands of votes to Kasich. In total, these blue counties delivered well over 230,000 votes to Kasich that would have otherwise been cast in the Democrat primary. Kasich won the state by roughly 220,000 votes, which is about how many extra votes he coerced out of these 17 counties. Not to mention the other red counties that he got to vote for him.

The 4 counties that Trump won did not show such gigantic numbers of cross-over votes: Athens (under 1,000), Mahoning, Trumbull, and Ashtabula (all under 10,000). Even throwing those out of the estimates since they did not favor Kasich, would not impact the overall conclusion, since they're so few compared to the hundreds of thousands of coerced votes that Kasich got around the state.