Head vs. Heart: The Poll

Steve M over at No More Mr. Nice Blog wonders if smart polling could puncture the emerging narrative in the media that Joe Biden will win the Democratic Party nomination in 2020. It’s a good question.

Steve is riffing off a recent Michelle Goldberg column in The Times, in which Goldberg cites voters in past elections who wanted to go with the candidate who inspired them but picked nominees like Kerry, Romney, McCain, etc., in the interest of “electability” — and lost anyway.

It’s early days, as we all know, but I’ll admit I panic sometimes at the thought of the party nominating Biden, who is as inspiring as a bucket of wallpaper paste (to me, at least). I mean, I’ll vote for him, obviously, but I worry about turnout in that scenario. I don’t know anyone who is enthusiastic about Biden, though I’m sure such people exist.

But I do know Democrats who say they’re supporting him because they think he’s the most likely to beat Trump. As Steve says, the longer the media narrative that Biden has it in the bag persists, the more likely it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. So, Steve asks:

Is it possible to poll this phenomenon? After asking Democrats which candidate they’d vote for, could a pollster please ask them who their favorite candidate is? Or find some other way to determine their preferences if they weren’t trying to second-guess everyone else?

It’s a good question. Yes, it’s too early to worry about who’s going to win the nomination, a lot can change, the debates can overturn the table, Rudy Giuliani was polling #1 in the GOP primary at this point in 2007, blah blah blah. But since we political junkies are doomed to torture ourselves with these questions, and since polling outfits are already gauging support, I wish they’d ask that question.

Open thread.






173 replies
  1. 1
    Arclite says:

    1. Get rid of the electoral college.

    2. Use ranked choice voting, so no wasted votes or voting for a candidate because “electability”

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    I think Biden is a placeholder. If he takes out Saint Bernard, so much the better.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    I’d like to see that poll. The only reason I would choose Biden in the primary is because I thought he had the best chance to win in 2020.

  4. 4
    Fred Fnord says:

    though I’m sure such people exist.

    I hesitate to imagine them.

    Good old ‘bucket of warm spit’ Biden. He was MADE for the Vice Presidency.

  5. 5
    Fred Fnord says:

    @Arclite: Since you’d need a Constitutional amendment for that, you might as well ask for a pony while you’re at it.

  6. 6
    Cacti says:

    Here’s another thought.

    Maybe Biden’s current standing in numerous independent polls reflects the fact that he is broadly liked by large number of Dem voters.

  7. 7
    bobbo says:

    People say they choose him because he is the most “electable.” Then when polls show him in the lead (mostly with the support of people who think he is the most “electable”), they can say, “See, look how well he’s polling – I told you he was the most electable!”

  8. 8
    Miss Bianca says:

    Why the fuck did my comment just get eated?

    ETA: I’ll try again: one of my oldest friends is dead of liver failure – a rare disease – and I never even knew he was sick and in line for a liver transplant till he was gone. Fuck.

    He probably would have voted for Warren in the primary. Not Biden. For what that’s worth.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    To this day, this don’t make no damn sense to me.

    ‘Even MORE of a dog’s breakfast’: Tories AND Labour hit out over May’s desperate bid to get MPs to back Brexit Bill by offering them the option of a second referendum and ‘temporary’ customs union

    Cabinet has signed off on Theresa May’s plan to bring forward new Brexit Bill

    But PM had to water down concessions on referendum after mutiny by ministers

    Ministers threatened to quit if Mrs May allowed a free vote on the referendum

    Her chances of getting the deal through are fading as Tories voice opposition

    Fears legislation could suffer heavier defeat next month than her deal in March

    Cabinet is openly rowing about whether to leave the EU with No Deal in October

    By JAMES TAPSFIELD, POLITICAL EDITOR, FOR MAILONLINE and MARTIN ROBINSON, CHIEF REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE and DAVID WILCOCK, WHITEHALL CORRESPONDENT FOR MAILONLINE and JOE MIDDLETON FOR MAILONLINE

    PUBLISHED: 03:28 EDT, 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:10 EDT, 21 May 2019

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    someone outside of Biden has to win Iowa and NH for this to turn into a race.
    Plus, we haven’t had the debates yet.

  11. 11
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cacti: Could it be?

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Biden’s current standing has created a major cognitive dissonance moment for the internet left about their real world level of influence.

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    I’m pretty sure any Democrat will beat Trump. Heck even Bernie has a 50/50 chance of beating Trump.

    I’m not sure polling is all that effective or important right now. I personally don’t think these polls mean squat.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    Maine Senate passes bill giving state’s electoral votes to national popular vote winner

    Maine’s lawmakers passed a bill that would give the state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who won the national popular vote, taking a step toward becoming the 15th state to enact such a law.

    The Maine Senate voted 19-16 Tuesday to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would give all committed states’ electoral votes to the winning popular vote candidate should the group accrue the 270 votes necessary for a majority.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/15/politics/maine-popular-vote/index.html

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cacti:

    Maybe Biden’s current standing in numerous independent polls reflects the fact that he is broadly liked by large number of Dem voters.

    Sadly, he’s likable, but not a leader.

    Too many skeletons and dear fucking gods he still thinks Republicans are nice polite gentlemen.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: True. But I wonder if the fact that everyone is (understandably!) scared shitless about the possibility of four more years of Trump makes that less likely to happen?

    @Miss Bianca: I’m sorry about your friend.

  17. 17
    Cathie from Canada says:

    When was the last time a sitting president was defeated? Clinton won over Bush the Elder because Perrot split the conservative vote after Bush raised taxes. Reagan won over Carter because America was ashamed of the Iran hostage crisis. Carter won over Ford because Ford was a stumblebum irretrievably tainted by pardoning Nixon.
    I think the lesson is, it takes something enormous to defeat a sitting president. “Likability” of their opponent won’t do it alone; it takes a foreign affairs disaster, a split vote (also why Gore lost to Bush the Younger), something huge. The longer Trump stays around, the more “normalized” he is being treated by the press and everyone else.
    If a merely likeable Democrat actually defeats Trump, it would be a miracle.

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cacti: I keep trying to tell my acquaintances among the Internet Left that just because *they* wouldn’t vote for him for whatever reason, Biden has a broad base of support among *actual registered Democrats*, and a lot of good will stored up from being Obama’s wingman – and a visibly happy, enthusiastic wingman. A lot of people saw that and appreciated it. Will it last? Is it enough to get him to the nomination? I don’t know, it’s too soon to tell, but I think people are stupid if they write him off.

  19. 19
    Paul M Gottlieb says:

    I’m pretty lukewarm about Joe Biden. There are several Democrats I would strongly prefer. But if he ends up being the Democratic nominee against Trump, I will become PASSIONATE about Joe Biden! The difference between Trump and any Democrat is so much greater than any difference between Democrats. Hell, I’d even become passionate about Bernie Sanders, and ordinarily I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    To this day, this don’t make no damn sense to me.

    Nobody Trusts May.

    She has no power left and everyone involved knows better then to expect her successor to honor any deal she makes that offers concessions to anyone not Tory.

    All her talking did was convince more Tories that she has to go away.

  21. 21
    Dan B says:

    Simple question(s): Who do you believe would make the best president and/or who inspires you most?

    Possible subset: Which candidates have the highest character?

    Who can win is a reactionary question.

  22. 22
    piratedan says:

    to be fair, I think this is pretty representative of American involvement of politics… Biden has been a name in Dem politics for decades, while not always with glowing accolades, but then again, he’s been playing as default white guy and got enormous street cred with Obama. Whenever he’s been out shined, it was always another dude, Clinton and then Obama, so he’s never really been the favorite. While we all have seen how much better candidates that Harris and Warren have been, the public is still having them presented thru the filter of our MSM which does an especially well choreographed disservice to women.

    Obama had the opportunity to change minds face to face, the MSM is trying to call the race before we’ve even had the first ballot cashed because Joe represents more of the same and gives them the opportunity to tie his failings to Obama and the Dems because that is what they do…..

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Right. Whether it actually leads him to the nomination remains to be seen. But the need of the internet left to hand wave away all of the polling data that shows (gasp), the average Dem voter likes Biden, is most comical.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    There have been ‘ranked choice’ polls, but… interpreting them is hard. And considering that the media geniuses who are promoting all the narratives are completely baffled by the notion of random variation, I don’t have any confidence that smarter analysis is the answer.

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    Steve M over at No More Mr. Nice Blog wonders if smart polling could puncture the emerging narrative in the media that Joe Biden will win the Democratic Party nomination in 2020.

    Why is anyone worrying about this? Can anyone demonstrate that “the media” has ever chosen the nominee?

    Polling is not prophecy.

  26. 26
    germy says:

    Recent headlines from satirical articles published at Reductress:

    “I Believe God Gave Us All Free Will — Except Pregnant Woman”

    “Senator Says the Only Acceptable Way to Kill a Fetus Is With a Gun”

    “Life Is Sacred, That’s Why This Nonviable Fetus Should Stay Inside Me So We Can Both Die”

    “Life Begins the Second a Girl’s Uncle Decides on Incest”

    http://reductress.com/

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Paul M Gottlieb: Maybe that addresses the turnout question that worries me about a Biden nomination — Trump is so embarrassing and repugnant that people will vote for an empty flour sack if that’s what it takes to dislodge him. I mean, for all the lamentable normalization of Trump in the press and among GOP elected officials, Trump is uniquely unpopular, especially considering that he inherited a good economy and hasn’t managed to tank it yet.

  28. 28
    germy says:

    Recent headlines from satirical articles published at Reductress:

    “I Believe God Gave Us All Free Will — Except Pregnant Woman”

    “Senator Says the Only Acceptable Way to Kill a Fetus Is With a Gun”

    “Life Is Sacred, That’s Why This Nonviable Fetus Should Stay Inside Me So We Can Both Die”

    “Life Begins the Second a Girl’s Uncle Decides on Incest”

    http://reductress.com/

  29. 29
    Aleta says:

    About that tweet rikyrah posted early this morning from @JordanUhl, which called out a NYT reporter for writing about support in “Youngstown” for Tramp.

    The NYT headline, written and OK’d for his article:
    There’s No Boom in Youngstown, but Blue-Collar Workers Are Sticking With Trump

    How the reporter described his story:

    Trip Gabriel @tripgabriel
    Lunch hour reading: I reported from Youngstown, OH, where loyalty to Trump challenges VP Biden’s message that he is the ideal Democrat to win back Midwest states.

    From Rickyrah

    jordan @JordanUhl
    You didn’t report from “Youngstown,” you reported from Vienna, a township outside of Youngstown that’s 1/10th of 1% black, spoke only [with] white people, and ignored the robust black working class population who actually live *IN* Youngstown.

    Trey S @welcumbackotter
    Where are all the interviews with people of color? You know Youngstown is 45%+ black, right?

    LeBron Jeremy @50megatonFbomb
    That’s why he drove 20 minutes north of Youngstown for this interview.

    From Gabriel’s twitter bio:
    Covering 2020 for The New York Times. Ex-National correspondent, 2012 and 2016 campaign beats, Styles editor, Modern Love column creator.

  30. 30
    rikyrah says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    sorry about your friend :( :(

  31. 31
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta:
    correction, s.b. From rikyrah

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    @rikyrah: True. But I wonder if the fact that everyone is (understandably!) scared shitless about the possibility of four more years of Trump makes that less likely to happen?

    I believe his support is a mile wide and an inch deep.

    The whole ‘ it’s just Trump, but the rest of the Republicans can be talked to’ shyt MUST STOP.

    IT’S NOT TRUE. And, I have no patience for it. And, I have a right NOT to vote for anyone in the primary uttering this bullshyt.

  33. 33
    Aleta says:

    @Miss Bianca: damn I’m so sorry. What a shock.

  34. 34
    germy says:

    @Aleta: Trip Gabriel is the reason we need more diversity in the newsrooms. I saw a photo of him, and he looks EXACTLY like the guy who lives across the street from us, who is friendly and outgoing with any white person who walks past his house, but is strangely withdrawn and sullen if anyone of color is near.

    I’m not saying Trip is a racist, just that he is most likely uncomfortable interviewing people who don’t look like him.

    (The guy across our street, however, is racist.)

  35. 35
    UncleEbeneezer says:

    One thing is for certain, the idea that current polling has any relation to proposed policies (rather than name recognition) is complete nonsense. Biden has given us almost NOTHING in terms of policies or positions. Whereas Warren, Harris, Booker etc. have given us tons.

  36. 36
    The Moar You Know says:

    But I do know Democrats who say they’re supporting him because they think he’s the most likely to beat Trump.

    The polls say what they say. And they say this. If it changes someone let me know, because I’m voting for whoever has the best numbers.

  37. 37
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’m so sorry to hear that. Damn. (hugs)

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    @Dan B:

    Simple question(s): Who do you believe would make the best president and/or who inspires you most?

    Possible subset: Which candidates have the highest character?

    Same group
    Harris
    Warren
    Castro

  39. 39
    NotMax says:

    @Cathie from Canada

    Clinton won over Bush the Elder because Perrot split the conservative vote

    Persistent political myth, nurtured by Rs. Evidence from studies afterward points otherwise – that Perot votes (if cast at all without his being on the ballot) would have split roughly 50/50 for both Clinton and Bush.

  40. 40
    trollhattan says:

    Guess which party and win a Kewpie doll.

    LUCEDALE, MISS.
    A south Mississippi lawmaker punched his wife in the face after she didn’t undress quickly enough when the lawmaker wanted to have sex, according to a police report in the case.

    Republican state Rep. Doug McLeod of Lucedale was arrested Saturday on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. The Sun Herald reports the document was filed with the George County Sheriff’s Department. McLeod is free on bail. He didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

    The 58-year-old McLeod has represented George and Stone counties since 2012. He’s unopposed for reelection this year.

    Hey, no fair peeking! You already knew the answer.

    Rep. Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale

  41. 41
    Aleta says:

    @germy: And CNN felt it had to quote the racist PLp for balance.

    I see Hope Hicks just got her subpoena from the House Cmt., along with Annie Donaldson. About 79 more people to go?

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    @Aleta:

    It is flat-out bizarre that they don’t include black people in “working people”. I don’t know whose fault it is or it how came to be but they have to fix it. To describe any Ohio urban area and exclude black people is just not an accurate depiction.

  43. 43

    @Cathie from Canada: When was the last time a Black guy with a Mooslimy
    name got elected President? Or a P***y-grabbing Reality TV clown?

    There ain’t no norms no more. Or rather, “Throw out your old norms” is the new normal.

  44. 44
    The Dangerman says:

    Biden would have beaten Trump in 2016 but that ship done left the barn already.

    At this time in 2007, I probably didn’t have a clue who this Barack Dude was (although I would have liked him right away if I knew he was a baller). Let things shake out a little; if this was a football game, we haven’t even had the coin flip yet.

  45. 45
    The Moar You Know says:

    To this day, this don’t make no damn sense to me.

    @rikyrah: The Brits want out of the EU because about a quarter of London is now comprised of people darker than a paper bag, thanks to the EU immigration rules. They aren’t happy about that and want their old rules back. This requires that they leave the EU. They don’t want to suffer any consequences or change anything about their lives at all for leaving Europe.

    They were promised that this could be done by their politicians. Politicians from virtually all their parties told the British people this would be no problem, easy-peasy. Turns out slightly more than half of the British people are dumb as shit, because they voted for it.

    The politicians now have to deliver on that. Which will be amusing as hell, only because it’s not my country.

  46. 46
    eclare says:

    @Miss Bianca: Oh, I’m so sorry!

  47. 47
    germy says:

    A survey finds more than half of Americans don’t want Arabic numerals taught in schools.

    The only problem – that’s the main number system most countries use – like “1, 2, 3,” etc.

    The survey was done by a company called Civic Science.

    The company’s CEO calls it the “saddest and funniest testament to American bigotry we’ve ever seen in our data.”

    Ladies and Gentlemen: The saddest and funniest testament to American bigotry we've ever seen in our data. pic.twitter.com/Bh3FBsl8sR— John Dick (@jdcivicscience) May 11, 2019

  48. 48
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    emerging narrative in the media that Joe Biden will win the Democratic Party nomination in 2020

    I though it was; Biden can win easily against Trump. Which makes sense. Binden is back to the stability of the Obama admin and white, male and old which sooths the economically (as in race) anxious.

  49. 49
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Dan B:

    Harris/Warren, Warren/Harris. Both are brilliant, dynamic women.

  50. 50
    Immanentize says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    You have not had the best life run lately. But you are amazing and wolf girl chose you so strength must be yours too.

  51. 51
    Peale says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yep. Its kind of fun to dig a little bit into their ideas by asking such hard hitting questions like “and then what?” and “what if it goes wrong?” and realize that they believe that the world just loves England and will buy all its stuff to help bail it out of any trouble. Like India and Nigeria would like it to be 1906 when they weren’t given a choice about which goods they could buy and who they could sell to.

  52. 52

    @Cathie from Canada:

    Clinton won over Bush the Elder because Perrot split the conservative vote after Bush raised taxes.

    Exit polls showed the Perrot vote was split evenly between Clinton and Bush if Perrot hadn’t won. It’s Bush family lore that Perrot cost Bush the election.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cathie from Canada: Something enormous? How about someone who is completely Trump-like?

  54. 54
    jl says:

    Maybe wait until after a few debates with less than ten primary candidates on the stage? I’ll wait to worry until then.
    I’ve never understood people who really want the candidate to do something special for them on inspiration and emotions, and there are several of those types in my family. We’re hiring them for a job, not swooning over a movie star or contemplating a fling with them. Maybe if the WH is moved to a spare bedroom in a random voter’s house, whether I’d like to have a beer with the person, or they’d be peppy at meal time, is a cat person or a dog person, would matter, but not otherwise.

    Anyway, pointless for me to think about it much at this early stage, since that attitude about electing a leader is so foreign to me. Except for JB and BS, a lot of Democratic primary voters don’t even have a good idea of who all the candidates are yet.

  55. 55
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    This is a faulty premise. Picking the candidate that inspires you may lead to high turnout but it could also lead to McGovern or John Edwards.

    In the 1972 presidential election between incumbent president Richard Nixon and Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., a record 52 percent of individuals between 18 and 21 cast ballots.

    The first person I ever donated money to and volunteered for was Howard Dean. But do I have confidence that he would have performed better than Kerry – no.

    I say this even though I have currently donated to 3 non Biden candidates.

  56. 56
    Immanentize says:

    @Cacti: I agree that’s what seems to be going on — Democratic voters aren’t just being strategic, they like Biden. We (sadly) are not the party any more than Bernistas are.

    I pulled this up because I posted it on the dead thread accidentally:

    I think/expect that there is going to be some serious health issue — it doesn’t need to be Biden or Sanders or Trump. But someone in politics at a high level who is older (Pelosi? McConnell? some SCOTUS Justice?) — and maybe around Christmas? The discussion will suddenly turn to age in office. In a big way. Experts on TV for weeks big way.

    Then again, maybe not. But it is such an obvious challenger strategy….

  57. 57
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Cathie from Canada: All modern presidents were politicians who were experienced or understood politics. Trump is a celebrity, like the Kardashans and plays by those rules. “Normalization” would be utopia for a politician, it’s death for a celebrity because it means their audience is bored with the show.

  58. 58
    matt says:

    One of the candidates is going to have to go negative on Biden. That candidate will not win the nomination. That’s what’s happening right now in the race.

  59. 59
    Immanentize says:

    @Cacti:
    You know what else is creating dissonance? Bernie does not support impeachment. How can you hate on Pelosi and the establishment Dems when your leader acts just like them?

  60. 60
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: My (possibly faulty) recollection is that Obama didn’t catch fire in the 2008 race until he won Iowa – demonstrating that a black guy could win votes in “the heartland”. There was a story a few weeks ago that Booker (yes Booker) was the only candidate to have any early endorsements from Iowa elected officials. There’s probably a lot of stuff happening in the early states that the national press isn’t covering very much yet. So, I’m not too worried about Biden running away with it – it’s still very early.

    I do hope that the candidates aren’t afraid to go after each other – we don’t want someone to have some sort of issue that we didn’t know about that blows up after they effectively or actually win the nomination (e.g. John Edwards). A mutual admiration society isn’t what w[e] need, and it can be done without destroying the party.

    I am heartened that there’s some news from the reasonably serious candidates every week. I would be very disheartening if the press was only feeding us news about Gabbard or Gravel or someone like LaRouche. :-/

    Like you, I think the debates will be important.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Sadly, he’s likable, but not a leader.

    Too many skeletons and dear fucking gods he still thinks Republicans are nice polite gentlemen.

    What skeletons?
    No, seriously, what skeletons?
    What skeletons that the GOP wouldn’t have hesitated to use in 2008 or 2012?

  62. 62
  63. 63
    geg6 says:

    I could swear I saw a report the other day (can’t remember where, this no linky) on a ranked order poll. Warren and Harris looked very good in that one, taking the rankings into account. They were often the #2 and #3.

  64. 64
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I”m sorry to hear about your friend passing suddenly. That’s happened to me a couple of times. Seems like a valid way to go… RN who declined chemo and radiation for cancer, saw those side effects close up at work for years…

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    They were promised that this could be done by their politicians. Politicians from virtually all their parties told the British people this would be no problem, easy-peasy. Turns out slightly more than half of the British people are dumb as shit, because they voted for it.

    Every politician that sold that shyt got out of politics within the first month of it passing. ..what should that tell any thinking person?

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    Recent headlines from satirical articles published at Reductress

    Sad, but on the mark.

  67. 67
    Miss Bianca says:

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. Danny would have been an excellent jackal.

    One anecdote I’ll share, because my ex just called and reminded me of it:

    He and Danny and I and Danny’s lady friend of many years, Meredith, were all sharing a house together in Chicago in our theater days there. Danny used to do these hilarious performance pieces called, collectively, “Danny and His Things”, which were these found objects he would use as puppets. Well, Danny and His Things were set to do a piece called, “Yugoslavia, Explained” or something like that. This was during the 90s, after the break-up of Yugoslavia into warring factions, and Danny was setting out to tell the comic history of the region.

    My ex reported that he came back one day to find the living room a sea of papers, books, coffee cups, Things, scattered all over the place. Danny was sitting on the floor in his bathrobe and Shriner fez, looking like he hadn’t slept in days. He looked up at Ted and said, “I can’t do it. There’s no way. I just can’t…make this funny.”

    He did, of course. I remember he used Rock Em Sock Em robots to illustrate the battle between the Ottoman Empire and everyone else, looked up at the audience and said, “you might want to go out for a Coke or something – this goes on for 700 years!”

    Oh, Danny. Why you had to go and Dick Cheney and Donald Trump get to go on and on and on is one of those mysteries of life I just have a hard time trying to grasp.

  68. 68
    Death Panel Truck says:

    I miss the good old days when candidates didn’t announce until the year of the election, so we only had to endure one year of this circus instead of two.

    Yeah, I’m an old. Get off my fuckin’ lawn.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    @Another Scott:

    @rikyrah: My (possibly faulty) recollection is that Obama didn’t catch fire in the 2008 race until he won Iowa – demonstrating that a black guy could win votes in “the heartland”.

    true.
    Which is why if someone wants to distinguish themselves, they will have to do so in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    IMO, Kamala must prove that White non-Californians will vote for her.

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    @germy:
    Almost literally Jonah Ryan’s platform in “Veep” and popular enough to get him the VP slot.

    Am so going to miss that show.

  71. 71
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Cacti: Wilmer was on Al Sharpton’s show last week saying Monmouth Polling (who has an A+ rating by 538) is skewing it’s polls against him.

    No joke.

  72. 72
    Dog Dawg Damn says:

    @bobbo: You’re conflating two different things.

    He’s electable against TRUMP (in the polls, far and away the best), which is why he’s AHEAD IN THE PRIMARY polls.

    This is a clear causation, and not the conflation you’re putting forward.

  73. 73
    Dan B says:

    @rikyrah: So you don’t like Swallwell?

  74. 74
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Aleta: Heh! The guy is 65 years old and he’s writes a column on “modern love”.

  75. 75
    tobie says:

    @Miss Bianca: Very sorry to hear about your friend.

    @Death Panel Truck: I’m with you that the primary season is too long. When I read that Australia had a campaign for one month before their national election, I was jealous. But then I thought about the results and wasn’t so sure any longer. I’m trying to think of the current primary season as a time for advocacy. Who speaks to the issues that you care about, be it climate change, wealth inequality, immigrant rights, underfunded schools, automation and globalization, wages, healthcare, criminal (in)justice etc? That way, it feels less toxic.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Cacti:

    Maybe Biden’s current standing in numerous independent polls reflects the fact that he is broadly liked by large number of Dem voters.

    Yeah, right. And Hillary won the primary in 2016 because she earned the “most votes.”

  77. 77
    trollhattan says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    “I know when to go out.
    I know when to stay in.”

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @Aleta: Thanks for highlighting that kind of corporate media BS. They are worthless. They pump out dishonest and/or malicious and/or incompetent BS horse race tout crap like that on a regular basis.

    As a California Central Valley native, I see the same thing with national political reporting when those goofs fly into California. They go to some fairly atypical lily white and conservative neighborhood, and talk that that is representative of anything. Then they spout about the ‘lily white’ Central Valley, which does not exist. My most charitable theory is that pandering to whites that is skewed that way gets them very gullible audience of Trumpsters who are easy to swindle into watching endless BS and buying crap from their advertisers.

    Anyway, a big reason Democrats have to go grassroots and do maximum level of community outreach and door knocking. No other way most people will get any accurate information.

  79. 79
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @rikyrah: maybe Biden used to be a medical student and has his old medical school skeletons in his closet.

  80. 80
    Mart says:

    Open thread question – I had a fluorescent light fixture go bad, with the two lamps barely glowing a dim burnt orange. Also impacted the fan/light operation downstream. So I go to the hardware store and buy some LED replacements. Go into the bathroom and I turn on the lights with same dim lights as all week. KABOOM! lightning hits real close and the fluorescent lights instantly pop on full brightness. Turn on/off expecting temporary fix, but no, working like new. And the downstream light is coming to life like normal. Still working today. What the hell happened? (Will still replace as last fluorescent with more power drain and mercury left in the house. Also too, my brother lived next to high tension power lines. We would take fluorescent lamps under the lines and when you got them parallel to the lines they would faintly light up.)

  81. 81
    sdhays says:

    @Another Scott: They had Gabbard on the Snooze Hour last week. She managed to not embarrass herself or Democrats in general. She was asked about opposing impeachment, and she said that was not what she had said. Her position sounded closer to Pelosi’s.

    I was still a little annoyed that they were wasting my time interviewing her.

  82. 82
    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    It is flat-out bizarre that they don’t include black people in “working people”. I don’t know whose fault it is or it how came to be but they have to fix it.

    This is NOT a bug, not a flaw, not a mistake. It is as deliberate as their support for Trump was and still is. They like Trump’s racism, his “brash” political style, and his border policy. If it come to it, they will like his war with Iran too.

    The NY Times management is as pro fascist as it is possible to get – it is not an accident that they supported Mr Hitler in the 1930s.

  83. 83
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Miss Bianca: My condolences. It’s hard losing a friend.

  84. 84
    Aleta says:

    Lauren Underwood @RepUnderwood
    Another week, another bill passed! 🎉

    Today, my bill to address veteran suicide passed the House! I’m committed to working #ForThePeople to address this public health crisis and ensure veterans receive the quality mental health and suicide prevention services they deserve.

  85. 85
    germy says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Well the whole thing is rigged obviously.

  86. 86
    jl says:

    @tobie: I think that is a good point on length of election campaigns Hard to compare how that would work in the US, which has far weaker organized political party apparatus than other countries where it keeps more contact with their constituencies on a regular basis.

  87. 87
    Dan B says:

    @rikyrah: Harris, Warren, Castro for me.

    I believe these are simple questions pollsters could ask. They often correlate to who voters pull the lever for not who their “logical mind” says they will. I’m regularly angry about this rational / data driven mind concept. The science consistently finds the reverse. There’s a reason all decisions get processed through the base of the brain. It’s called basic wiring. It explains much of human behavior. The GOP with their business background embrace it and use it to their worst desires. We can use it to our best if we only get over our huge blind spot.

  88. 88
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Fred Fnord:
    There’s a story that the VP quote, from FDR’s VP before Harry Truman, was bowdlerised from what he actually said: “bucket of warm piss”.

  89. 89
    Buckeye says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yes, the myth that Perot cost Bush the Elder the election needs to die.

    With Clinton emerging as a viable option, there was less an less room for Perot. By July, Perot’s support had slipped back to the 20s, with Clinton’s rising. Perot then dropped out during the Democratic convention in mid-July, after which Clinton surged to leads of 20-25 points in national polls. Here’s the important part: He maintained wide leads for the next 2 1/2 months, during which it was a two-way race. Even Bush’s post-GOP convention bounce in mid-August wasn’t enough to put him ahead of Clinton, and polls throughout September weren’t even close. In a two-way race, Clinton was dominant — and there was no sign that Bush and his vaunted “attack machine” could do anything about it. Of course they couldn’t: Not with unemployment soaring, confidence sagging and Bush’s approval rating under 40 percent. The race was fundamentally about the incumbent.

  90. 90

    @Kay: Its not just NYT. I don’t know if you remember the Frontline that aired just before elections, in which they covered T as a lovable rogue and HRC as an ambitious harridan. Apparently her senate run was payback for standing by her husband during impeachment.

  91. 91
    Cacti says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    I predicted from the start that an immediate benefit from Biden entering the race would be that it sucks all the wind out of Wilmer’s sails.

    So far, so good.

  92. 92
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @jl: you raise a great question – which movie star would make a great president.

    I think Natalie Portman and Matt Damon would as they’re quick witted Harvard grads.

    Also too: Tom Hanks and Oprah would inspire mega turnout.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Brits hate the Poles and other Eastern European immigrants because they think that they are taking their jobs. Brits get confused about Muslims, Asians, Africans and others because many of them come from former colonies, so their presence is not really connected to EU rules.

    You even have the outrage over the treatment of the Windrush Generation immigrants. Some of these people of West Indian descent were deported even though they and their families had been invited to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War 2.

    And then there are the people who voted for BREXIT because they think it will…make Britain great again.

    The sad thing is that Labour leader Corbyn is also pro BREXIT, leaving Remain people with few to take up their cause.

  95. 95
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: Maybe the Democratic primary process will unfold exactly as it always has despite the fact that the White House is currently occupied by an embarrassing clown with a cult following and a worrisome enthusiasm for lawlessness and authoritarianism. I’m not convinced that fear isn’t playing an outsized role.

  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    @Mart:
    Does the fixture have a starter? Maybe it was going bad and the voltage spike brought it back to life.

    Have replaced ten 4-foot fluorescent tubes with LEDs. When I began the process there were about $12 each and now are down to $5. More light, half the wattage.

  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    OMG, please no Natalie Portman, Matt Damon, or Oprah.

    Tom Hanks I’d consider.

  98. 98
    jl says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Being a Baud 2020! supporter (after Warren), I’m partial to the later Jack Nicholson as most inspirational in life style and general attractiveness.

  99. 99

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: We tried an actor as President, the record is not good.

    ETA: You might also put Trump in that category was well.

  100. 100
    Dan B says:

    @West of the Rockies: My questions were about the topic of the post: polling and the uselessness or cluelessness of much polling. Many pollsters operate on old “rational brain” concepts.

    I agree with with Harris and Warren, and Castro. I like the way Pete frames things but believe he needs much more national experience and needs to demonstrate that speaking to folks in rural areas is strategically wise. I’d prefer to have Harris watch his rhetoric and add what works fir her to her already impressive toolchest.

  101. 101
    Yutsano says:

    @Miss Bianca: Oh how awful! Much love and peace to you and his family.

  102. 102

    @jl:

    Being a Baud 2020! supporter

    Keep the Faith, jl.

  103. 103
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Trump is reality show celebrity much more than an actor. That is several notches below actor, Even the average game show host has more discipline and smarts than Trump.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @piratedan:

    Whenever he’s been out shined, it was always another dude, Clinton and then Obama

    Biden ran in ’88 where he was outshined by… Michael Dukakis.

  105. 105
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @The Moar You Know: “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.” My all-time favorite Polish expression.

  106. 106

    Recent Quinnipiac poll asked these questions https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2617

    tl;dr: Dems prefer Biden as their candidate, more Dems think he’s most electable, Dems are split on whether “leadership” or “policy” is more important (same for “ideas” vs. “anti-trump”), and people really like Warren’s policies.

    I’m sure somebody with more time than me could come up with a simple way to analyze these.

  107. 107
  108. 108

    @jl: Trump’s show was a game show, not a reality show. But I accept your point otherwise.

  109. 109
    Jay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Fixed,

    “The Brits want out of the EU because about a quarter of London is now comprised of people darker than a paper bag, thanks to the Empire dying.”

    Britain has always controlled it’s own Immigration Laws.

    Blaming the EU for the “browning” of Britain has always been BS.

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    Steve is riffing off a recent Michelle Goldberg column in The Times, in which Goldberg cites voters in past elections who wanted to go with the candidate who inspired them but picked nominees like Kerry, Romney, McCain, etc., in the interest of “electability” — and lost anyway.

    Goldberg is making shit up. “Electability” is a nonsense buzz word that has become a theme of this election season.

    Who should have been the candidates instead of Kerry, McCain or Romney?

  111. 111
    Aleta says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    Hotel bar, Saltsberg PA: Hey there. I write for the NYT, life on the road ya know, tryin’ to cover the real people. Happen to have my old Modern Love columns with me. I invented that beat you know. Not joking … all of ’em, up in my room. C’mon, c’mon I’ll show you … .

  112. 112

    @Cacti:

    Here’s another thought.

    Maybe Biden’s current standing in numerous independent polls reflects the fact that he is broadly liked by large number of Dem voters.

    Nonsense, we must protect all the older and nonwhite voters who make up his base from themselves. They’re easily misled after all.

    //

  113. 113
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @jl: that’s a great choice. A great range: funny, tough, tender, loyal, outrageous.

  114. 114
  115. 115

    @Miss Bianca: oh my god, what a horrible shock! E-hugs {{ }}

  116. 116
    jl says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I was thinking more along the lines of looking generally debauched and dissipated.

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: “Trump’s show was a game show, not a reality show. But I accept your point otherwise. ”
    I was a reality game show (Edit: , smarty pants.)

  117. 117
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Hillary’s loss left the party somewhat directionless IMHO. We’re not moving right, which is a good thing. But we’re not moving left in any specific direction (or speed) either.

  118. 118
    J R in WV says:

    @germy:

    A survey finds more than half of Americans don’t want Arabic numerals taught in schools.

    We should make Rs do all their math using Roman Numerals henceforth. And see how that works for their IRS forms!!! I’m willing to use Arabic numbers, myself, but I’m strange that way…

  119. 119

    @Baud: the polling I’ve seen says that a plurality of Dems want the party to be “more moderate.”

  120. 120
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Baud: I thought you were awesome in The Last Detail.

  121. 121
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    More moderate than what? Than our liberal voices? That’s probably always been true.

  122. 122
    Dan B says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: A great executive manages to combine emotional and logically coherent communication. A large group includes people who weigh the evidence against their emotions and people who trust their feelings, and instincts, against any facts.

    It’s somewhat analogous to high school / college. There are the sports / cheerleading / partiers and the nerd / scientist cohorts. People who can communicate with and gain the trust and support of either one will succeed to a point. People who manage to engage both can lead.

    As I reflect on presidential candidates over my lifetime it’s interesting to see who falls into or keans towards each category. Trump has kittle to no nerdiness. Gore had lots. W was coached by Rove to squash his nerdiness, assume a drawl that doesn’t exist in Texas, and win elections. Hillary is more nerdy in public but still managed to win the poopular vote despite rnormous headwinds but my feeling is the vast rightwing conspiracy was well on its way to corrupting our democracy.

  123. 123

    @Baud: it’s just the options they give. Should the party be more liberal, more moderate, more conservative? Like all polls it just measures the answer to the question as stated; “than what” is left as an exercise for the mind-reader.

  124. 124
    Fair Economist says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The Brits want out of the EU because about a quarter of London is now comprised of people darker than a paper bag, thanks to the EU immigration rules.

    The weird thing is that such people aren’t there because of EU rules; those are Commonwealth immigrants which the UK has been free to restrict as it sees fits, and there are actually *more* of them coming in now that pale Poles are going home.

    Or maybe this isn’t weird, but it a part of a deliberate plan by conservatives to manipulate the electorate.

  125. 125
    jl says:

    @Baud: Warren’s policies are polling very well, better than she is herself, and I think those are to the left of current Democratic leadership. So, it might depend on what you mean by ‘moving left’.

    Of the at top 6 or 7 Democrats at the top of current polls, Biden is the supposed centrist who I trust most on policy (since really no telling, IMHO, what Mayor Pete’s or Beto’s policies are). So I’m not going to worry too much about the current situation. Both Biden and BS are the candidates who really beat Trump in the current polls for most swing states for the 2020 general. And, unlike others here, I don’t have fixed opinion on how horrible or wonderful either one is. I think plenty of time to see how support for the various Dem candidates evolves.

  126. 126
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Quinnipiac Poll – National Favorability – May 20 – (link)

    Dump…….. 38 – 57
    Uncle Joe.. 49 – 39
    Pete……….. 23 – 19
    Kamala…… 27 – 30
    Wilmer……. 41 – 48
    Booker……. 23 – 31
    Warren…… 32 – 41
    de Blasio….. 8 – 47

  127. 127
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Fair but then the poll is useful only to the extent you can see how the responses change over time.

    @jl:

    I mean no one has moved to the right in any significant issue from where we were in 2016.

  128. 128
    Kattails says:

    @rikyrah: Well, I’m white and live in NH and I’m torn between Harris and Warren, and it may come down to a coin toss. Biden is not on my radar, and if he honestly believes the cr*p about making nice-nice with any Republicans then he’s nuts. (While we’re at it, St. Bernard can just take a flying f^ck. I just like to get that off my chest now and again.)
    I also worked out in the garden for the first time today, and while sitting at my drafting table afterward, waiting for the wood stove to warm things up enough to shower (because it’s cold again) felt something on my head. Wiped it off onto the white surface. Tick, but still loose, now a teensy bit of kindling.

  129. 129
    Brachiator says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Very sad news. My deepest sympathies.

    I think I can relate. I recently found out that a friend and former co worker has been ill and is on a hospital’s liver transplant list.

  130. 130
    Fair Economist says:

    @Cacti:

    I predicted from the start that an immediate benefit from Biden entering the race would be that it sucks all the wind out of Wilmer’s sails.

    Yeah, if it’s Biden or Sanders my preference is Biden by a mile. No hidden skeletons, no suspicious Russian connections – and while he’s pretty old, at least Biden is younger than Sanders.

  131. 131
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think voters give more moderate answers to question on preferred general ideology than on specific issues, and tend to be more lefty on the latter than the former. I think specific issues will be far more important in 2020, but I am guessing like everyone else.

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Trump’s numbers sum to 95 percent, so his unfavorable situation seems more fixed than anyone else. That is the most important thing I see in that poll.

  132. 132

    @Baud: I don’t think that’s quite true. It captures the zeitgeist. If people say they want “moderation” and also think there is a “moderate candidate” then both will be reflected in the polling, even though both might be totally detached from reality.

    @jl:

    I think voters give more moderate answers to question on preferred general ideology than on specific issues

    Yes, but impressions are critical here. Elections are not always decided by facts. If you see the “moderation” polling you probably start spinning your same policies as the true moderate option.

  133. 133
    Mart says:

    @trollhattan: Good thought. Had to take the frame holding the light diffuser down to take a look for the starter. I did not see one, but you got me started on replacing the lamp. Thanks! Pretty sure did not have a power surge. No other electronics jumped. Just weird. I blame the coal fired power plants feeding us, and Trump.

  134. 134
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    de Blasio….. 8 – 47

    That’s. um, impressive…

  135. 135
    Dan B says:

    @Mart: LED “fluorescents” yea! Be sure to get 3000 K color temperature. 4000 K can seem harsh and cold partly because they are extraordinarily bright.
    Speaking from experience.

  136. 136
    jk says:

    @Cacti:

    Here’s another thought. Maybe Biden’s current standing in numerous independent polls reflects the fact that he is broadly liked by large number of Dem voters.

    Here’s another thought. Many voters are too fucking lazy to do some research on the other 20 plus candidates. Biden is a known quantity for having served 8 years as Vice President and retains a lot of good will among Democrats.

    Hopefully, Democrats will wake up before voting starts. Biden demonstrated terrible judgment during his Senate tenure:
    supporting the Iraq War, drafting the 1994 Crime Bill, supporting banks and credit card companies over consumers, and treating Anita Hill horribly during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

    Then there’s Biden’s inexplicable slobbering over Republicans:

    Three weeks before the 2018 midterms, Biden traveled to Michigan to give a $200,000 speech before the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan, per the New York Times. At the time, Congressman Fred Upton—whose family is a major benefactor of the club—was locked in a dead heat with Democrat Matt Longjohn. But during the speech, Biden touted one of Upton’s cancer-research bills (Biden’s son died of brain cancer in 2015) and called the Republican “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with,” per the Times.

    Now, a quick primer on who, exactly, Biden was stumping for: Upton helped draft the American Health Care Act, the bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare—as in, you know, former President Barack Obama, the man who Biden worked under as vice president for eight years. Upton also proudly sports an “A” rating from the NRA, and in 2010, he co-bylined Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he wrote that he was unconvinced “carbon is a problem in need of regulation.” He is and has always been for his 30-plus years in office, a bad Republican.

    h/t https://splinternews.com/joe-biden-crossed-the-aisle-and-never-came-back-1831987513

    “First of all, I really like Dick Cheney for real. I get on with him, I think he’s a decent man…” Biden said, in a discussion regarding advice between vice presidents. He also noted Cheney was “extremely helpful” regarding the “legal parameters” and “functioning” of holding that office.

    h/t https://www.newsweek.com/joe-biden-likes-dick-cheney-praise-war-criminal-walter-mondale-vice-president-1413456

    “I just think there is a way, and the thing that will fundamentally change things is with Donald Trump out of the White House. Not a joke. You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends,” Biden said.

    h/t https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2019/5/14/18623829/joe-biden-republican-epiphany-theory-bipartisanship-president-candidate

    Through these comments, Biden has revealed himself to be a clueless, tone deaf, out of touch horse’s ass unworthy of being the Democratic party nominee.

    I have a lot more faith in Warren, Inslee, Harris, Booker, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Castro, or Buttigieg making the case against Trump than a gaffe prone buffoon like Biden.

  137. 137
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    If the numbers are the same over a long period of time, then I don’t know if it captures the zeitgeist or reflects something structural about Democrats.

  138. 138

    @jk:

    Here’s another thought. Many voters are too fucking lazy to do some research on the other 20 plus candidates. Biden is a known quantity for having served 8 years as Vice President and retains a lot of good will among Democrats.

    Bernie and Warren also have extremely high name recognition among Dems.

  139. 139
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I agree. And why I think, for example, Warren is smart to insist that she is a true capitalist.

  140. 140

    @Baud: I’m at the gym so you’ll have to pull it up yourself but the numbers are not static, IIRC

  141. 141
    Dan B says:

    @trollhattan: Also LED adapter kits and removing or disconnecting the ballast. Easy steps. 4000 K color a must.

  142. 142
    J R in WV says:

    @rikyrah:

    What skeletons?
    No, seriously, what skeletons?
    What skeletons that the GOP wouldn’t have hesitated to use in 2008 or 2012?

    The top two are a couple that the R’s can’t really use at all. The hearings about Clarence Thomas come to mind first. The Rs won that war, and Clarence has danced to their tune ever since.

    Next is Biden’s support for a bunch of right-wing supporting legislation, like financial regulation, or more accurately, financial non-regulation. How can the Rs make that work for them?

    But Biden is vulnerable to any Democratic candidate on those issues. Those issues are why he’s a non-starter for this old white Democratic progressive liberal…

  143. 143
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Ok, thanks. All I’m saying is that is good information to have.

  144. 144
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: We had a great progressive platform in 2016, and the current candidates are on board with that and more. I like where we are, and thanks especially to Warren, we’ve got interesting policies on the table. (Not that anyone gives a shit about that!)

  145. 145
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree completely.

  146. 146

    @jl:

    Warren is smart to insist that she is a true capitalist.

    And she gets great press from economist types as a result! (Also because her policies are good and sound)

  147. 147
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: ” And she gets great press from economist types as a result! ”

    Well, from real economists, not the frauds that the GOP favors, and seem to get billed as real economists on the TV news talkies.
    So, not sure how much that matters. At least I hope that getting real economists to favor her policies is not too much of a drawback to her approach.
    (cynicism alert emogie goes here)

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jk: Do you have an alert set to let you know when this blog mentions Biden? Also, verbally shitting on Democratic voters is really good way to get them to listen to you.

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    OMG, please no Natalie Portman, Matt Damon, or Oprah.

    Tom Hanks I’d consider.

    IIRC, Tom Hanks is a Scientologist… that does it for me. One thing to watch a movie, another thing to vote for them.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @zhena gogolia: Campbell Scott. Class of ’83.

  151. 151
    Dan B says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: The don’t know / no opinion numbers are interesting. Pete is at 58%. Kamala is at 43%.
    If Pete’s bern hogging the media how is it people don’t know? I suspect it may be “I don’t want to admit I’m prejudiced.” may be a component. So it’s a good sign that she’s only at 43% no opinion this early in the race.

  152. 152
    Buckeye says:

    @J R in WV:

    Tom Hanks isn’t a Scientologist.

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    @J R in WV: Hey JR.

    The ramen flavor you’re looking for is Tonkatsu.

  154. 154
    Kathleen says:

    @germy:ETA What else can we expect from a reporter named “Trip”?

  155. 155
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @J R in WV: I think you mean Tom Cruise

  156. 156
    Kathleen says:

    @Miss Bianca: My deepest condolences, Miss Bianca.

  157. 157
    Kathleen says:

    @Kay: Nor is it an accident.

  158. 158
    Kathleen says:

    @germy: Reminds me of the VEEP episodes when Jonah Ryan rants about “Muslim Math” during his campaign rallies.

  159. 159
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah: Clarence Thomas and the credit card companies. Which were deployed against him in prior runs.

    Making nice with Dick Cheney didn’t help any either.

  160. 160
    Kathleen says:

    @trollhattan: Me, too! Did you like the finale? I loved it. Thought it was perfect. I wonder if there are enough Veep fans to warrant a front page post/thread?

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    The sad thing is that Labour leader Corbyn is also pro BREXIT, leaving Remain people with few to take up their cause.

    This is said but is based on no evidence other then right-wing smears in Britain.

    For fucks sake he campaigned for Remain. He qualified his support for the EU as “7 out of 10” because he said the EU could be improved.

    Its but her emails all over again.

  162. 162
    Cacti says:

    @jk:

    Thank you for illustrating my point so perfectly.

  163. 163
    Cacti says:

    Thank you for illustrating my point so perfectly.

  164. 164
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    This is said but is based on no evidence other then right-wing smears in Britain

    The right wing smears have been so successful that even liberals, progressives, radicals, and even Labour Party members and officials think that Corbyn leans towards BREXIT.

    There has even been a campaign to get Remain supporters to vote Lib Dem in the European Elections so that their position is clear and cannot be confused by anything that Labour might say.

    Corbyn seemed to support a customs union in the past and most recently has appeared to be moving towards supporting a new public referendum.

    Otherwise he has been coy and tried to straddle the fence on BREXIT.

    But as far as I can see neither of the major UK parties are taking BREXIT seriously. They continue to play the same old power games.

    Also, James O’Brien on LBC radio seems to be fair minded and has taken Corbyn to task even as he skewers the conservatives and extremist BREXIT nitwits.

  165. 165
    Bex says:

    @J R in WV: I don’t think Tom Hanks is a Scientologist. Wikipedia says his family religious background is Catholic and Mormon and he has said he was an evangelical Christian for while in high school. His wife, Rita Wilson, is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church.

  166. 166
    Brachiator says:

    @J R in WV:

    IIRC, Tom Hanks is a Scientologist…

    Never heard that about him.

  167. 167
    Selius says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Jk might be on to something. I work with a few people, educated technical types. They all lean left, hate Trump, but they’ve never heard of mayor Pete or SPW or Harris. They don’t watch the news, don’t read the paper, and while they’re not happy with anything since November 2016, they’re also just not engaged. They’ll all vote D, but they are just not tuned in right now.

  168. 168
    Selius says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Jk might be on to something. I work with a few people, educated technical types. They all lean left, hate Trump, but they’ve never heard of mayor Pete or SPW or Harris. They don’t watch the news, don’t read the paper, and while they’re not happy with anything since November 2016, they’re also just not engaged. They’ll all vote D, but they are just not tuned in right now.

    Edit, forgot to make my point…. They have heard of Biden and Wilmer.

  169. 169
    JAFD says:

    Well, my mother – may she rest in peace, she would have been 105 last month – was about as ‘enthusiastic a Biden fan’ as you can get. Certainly he’s a charismatic ‘retail’ politician, and has shaken hands the hand of almost every voter from Claymont* to Fenwick Island (mine, as well). I would vote for him for almost any office against almost any possible Republican. But when the New Jersey primary comes around…

    Heck, there’s enough time between now and November 2020 for a pair of ‘Irish twins’ to get conceived and born. Many things can happen. I have other things to worry about

    *Yeah, I grew up on both sides of the Twelve Mile Arc

  170. 170
    Jinchi says:

    Guiliani was polling ahead of the pack until mid December 2007, just weeks before the first votes were cast. Obama likewise was trailing Clinton at that point (by double digits if I remember correctly).

    Honestly I’m always shocked when I remember that Rudy was polling around 40% for most of that campaign

  171. 171
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    Otherwise he has been coy and tried to straddle the fence on BREXIT.

    But as far as I can see neither of the major UK parties are taking BREXIT seriously. They continue to play the same old power games.

    He’s the opposition leader and he’s got a problem where a significant chunk of Labour seats in the north have strong Brexit bases. Labour can’t get a majority without those seats because there aren’t enough non-insane people in Tory districts to make up for their loss. Frankly he’s been doing his best to keep the coalition together, and you have to remember this is after a bunch of fair weather morons he’s trying to lead decided to kick off an internal civil uprising in the party right before May decided to hold early elections.

    Until Labour comes into power in government, there’s nothing he can really do but wag his finger about everything that May is doing wrong. Any position he takes on Brexit will be attacked, but its not fair to condemn him before he actually does anything. Frankly I think he’s done better then expected simply to minimize slippage over a topic where there are no clear majorities on Brexit other then that they can’t agree on it.

  172. 172
    patroclus says:

    I’d definitely vote for Biden over Bran the Broken. Like, WTF? How did he get elected?

  173. 173
    Chris Johnson says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    I say this even though I have currently donated to 3 non Biden candidates.

    Dammit, Koch, stop giving money to Bernie Sanders. No good will come of it :D

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