There's a New Political Theory in Town

Dec 2015
21,228
22,208
Arizona
What if everything you think you know about politics is wrong? What if there aren’t really American swing voters—or not enough, anyway, to pick the next president? What if it doesn’t matter much who the Democratic nominee is? What if there is no such thing as “the center,” and the party in power can govern however it wants for two years because the results of that first midterm are going to be bad regardless? What if the Democrats' big 41-seat midterm victory in 2018 didn’t happen because candidates focused on health care and kitchen-table issues, but simply because they were running against the party in the White House? What if the outcome in 2020 is pretty much foreordained, too?

To the political scientist Rachel Bitecofer, all of that is almost certainly true, and that has made her one of the most intriguing new figures in political forecasting this year.
Bitecofer's theory boils down to this:
It doesn't matter who's running. It matters who's voting. I.E. Voter turnout.
This may sound pretty simplistic, but I think Bitecofer is on to something.

Although the ranks of independents are growing, up to 40 percent by some surveys, Bitecofer says campaigns have spent entirely too much time courting them, and the media has spent entirely too much caring about their preferences. The real “swing” doesn’t come from voters who choose between two parties, she argues, but from people who choose to vote.
No matter who is at the top of the ballot, if Americans are PISSED--if Americans are agitated or shaken---they will vote. AND surprise, surprise, Trump appears to understand Bitecofer’s theories as well as anyone in politics. He leans into the divisions and negative partisanship.
Bitecofer already sees the Trump playbook coming together for 2020: warning of a demographic takeover by nonwhites in order to boost turnout among noncollege white voters, and trying to sow chaos in the Democratic ranks so that supporters of a losing primary candidate either stay home or support a third-party candidate.

So how can the Democrats win back the White House in 2020? The key will be to do their/our version of what Trump does to them/us every day: make the prospect of four more years of Republican rule seem like a threat to the Republic.

Rachel: “If you want to win the election, you have to be able to frame your candidacy in a way that reminds voters that Trump is an abnormality that must be excised,” she said. “People always say in campaigns, ‘America’s future is on the ballot.’ Well, this time you will have to convince them that it really is.”
Personally, I don't think it's going to take much more convincing.

 
Dec 2019
465
549
Utah, USA
TOUCHDOWN!....(SB was one of the greats, sorry!)..... 100% correct, which is why the acquittal was a good thing, not a bad thing. Keep the country pissed off I say....drip, drip, etc....right up to November, and focus....Less ideology, and more pragmatism. Kill the infection and save the world, then lets worry about making it better.
 
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Sep 2019
2,401
2,691
Louisville, Ky
Should we call this insightful new theory the Obama or the Billy Boy? Maybe the Little Bush?
 
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Jul 2019
12,466
9,056
Georgia
Rachel is awesome. She's a professional data-nerd and is spot-on here, IMO

she's also a fan of good music, which is always a plus
 
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Feb 2018
3,172
2,394
Oregon
Yup. Theory is fine and I think this one is on target..... turnout is the key. But are we going to sit around and repeat it over and over, or is someone going to run a campaign which takes the necessary steps to actually produce voter turnout?
 
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Reactions: se7en and tecoyah
Jul 2014
16,455
10,840
massachusetts
Yup. Theory is fine and I think this one is on target..... turnout is the key. But are we going to sit around and repeat it over and over, or is someone going to run a campaign which takes the necessary steps to actually produce voter turnout?
I would say that the person best situated to put together a winning turnout based strategy, is Michael Bloomberg.
Others have success on a citywide or a statewide level, but Bloomberg has run global campaigns with much success.
 
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Dec 2016
6,332
3,273
Canada
What if everything you think you know about politics is wrong? What if there aren’t really American swing voters—or not enough, anyway, to pick the next president? What if it doesn’t matter much who the Democratic nominee is? What if there is no such thing as “the center,” and the party in power can govern however it wants for two years because the results of that first midterm are going to be bad regardless? What if the Democrats' big 41-seat midterm victory in 2018 didn’t happen because candidates focused on health care and kitchen-table issues, but simply because they were running against the party in the White House? What if the outcome in 2020 is pretty much foreordained, too?

To the political scientist Rachel Bitecofer, all of that is almost certainly true, and that has made her one of the most intriguing new figures in political forecasting this year.
Bitecofer's theory boils down to this:
It doesn't matter who's running. It matters who's voting. I.E. Voter turnout.
This may sound pretty simplistic, but I think Bitecofer is on to something.

Although the ranks of independents are growing, up to 40 percent by some surveys, Bitecofer says campaigns have spent entirely too much time courting them, and the media has spent entirely too much caring about their preferences. The real “swing” doesn’t come from voters who choose between two parties, she argues, but from people who choose to vote.
No matter who is at the top of the ballot, if Americans are PISSED--if Americans are agitated or shaken---they will vote. AND surprise, surprise, Trump appears to understand Bitecofer’s theories as well as anyone in politics. He leans into the divisions and negative partisanship.
Bitecofer already sees the Trump playbook coming together for 2020: warning of a demographic takeover by nonwhites in order to boost turnout among noncollege white voters, and trying to sow chaos in the Democratic ranks so that supporters of a losing primary candidate either stay home or support a third-party candidate.

So how can the Democrats win back the White House in 2020? The key will be to do their/our version of what Trump does to them/us every day: make the prospect of four more years of Republican rule seem like a threat to the Republic.

Rachel: “If you want to win the election, you have to be able to frame your candidacy in a way that reminds voters that Trump is an abnormality that must be excised,” she said. “People always say in campaigns, ‘America’s future is on the ballot.’ Well, this time you will have to convince them that it really is.”
Personally, I don't think it's going to take much more convincing.

I'm reminded that Nate Silver predicted one election accurately a long time ago, and he's invited on to shows by MSM pundits and treated as an oracle ever since...even though he's been wrong most of the time!

Likewise, whenever some bullshit economic forecaster predicts the next recession, only the hits are counted/never the misses.
 
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Jul 2019
12,466
9,056
Georgia
I'm reminded that Nate Silver predicted one election accurately a long time ago, and he's invited on to shows by MSM pundits and treated as an oracle ever since...even though he's been wrong most of the time!

Likewise, whenever some bullshit economic forecaster predicts the next recession, only the hits are counted/never the misses.
He gives odds based on aggregates of polls,

no one can "predict" the outcome of an election

sometimes the dark horse wins the race
 
Dec 2016
6,332
3,273
Canada
Yup. Theory is fine and I think this one is on target..... turnout is the key. But are we going to sit around and repeat it over and over, or is someone going to run a campaign which takes the necessary steps to actually produce voter turnout?
And that's why the DNC controllers haven't coalesced around their pick, like Hillary2016 or the shift in 2008 from Clinton to Obama, likely because he was a blank slate with no baggage, and they determined he was completely amoral and could be programmed and argue convincingly for any policies like bank bailouts, foreign wars and military spending increases the power interests required.

Regardless of claims and forecasts by soulless data analysts, who are predicting Plastic Pete...who speaks like a robot with empty dual meaning platitudes will win the Dem nomination, real people react in unpredictable and unexpected ways.....hence Donald Trump! Right now the Dems are determined to damage or destroy the only candidate who speaks to real concerns, hopes and goals that real voters want and would be willing to put in an extra effort to work for. Obvious corruption and malfeasance like DNC bullshit in Iowa not only weakens Sanders, it weakens the whole goddammed Democratic Party!

But I don't believe those at the top living off donor money really give a crap about Trump winning re-election! Because with Trump in the White House, all the corrupt and incompetent Democrat consultants like Robbie Mook have to do is hold their noses every time they see him on TV posing in front of the White House or passing more rightwing social legislation. When it comes to money, Trump will cut taxes further for their bipartisan donors, and they will keep their jobs they don't deserve and keep rolling in the dough. While a Sanders victory in November would threaten mass retribution by the billionaire class that could dump them on the curb with no more easy money to live off of!
 
Jul 2019
12,466
9,056
Georgia
And that's why the DNC controllers haven't coalesced around their pick, like Hillary2016 or the shift in 2008 from Clinton to Obama, likely because he was a blank slate with no baggage, and they determined he was completely amoral and could be programmed and argue convincingly for any policies like bank bailouts, foreign wars and military spending increases the power interests required.

Regardless of claims and forecasts by soulless data analysts, who are predicting Plastic Pete...who speaks like a robot with empty dual meaning platitudes will win the Dem nomination, real people react in unpredictable and unexpected ways.....hence Donald Trump! Right now the Dems are determined to damage or destroy the only candidate who speaks to real concerns, hopes and goals that real voters want and would be willing to put in an extra effort to work for. Obvious corruption and malfeasance like DNC bullshit in Iowa not only weakens Sanders, it weakens the whole goddammed Democratic Party!

But I don't believe those at the top living off donor money really give a crap about Trump winning re-election! Because with Trump in the White House, all the corrupt and incompetent Democrat consultants like Robbie Mook have to do is hold their noses every time they see him on TV posing in front of the White House or passing more rightwing social legislation. When it comes to money, Trump will cut taxes further for their bipartisan donors, and they will keep their jobs they don't deserve and keep rolling in the dough. While a Sanders victory in November would threaten mass retribution by the billionaire class that could dump them on the curb with no more easy money to live off of!
Who is predicting Pete will win the Dem nomination? Silver definitely isn't.

and what did the DNC have to do with what happened in Iowa? And how did it hurt only Sanders?
 
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