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American Presidential Election Thread, 2020 Edition

Shaking my head
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Is it just me, or is Bernie performing worse than he did in 2016?

He's now lost to Biden even in states where he previously defeated Clinton.
 
Praise Euterpe
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Is it just me, or is Bernie performing worse than he did in 2016?

He's now lost to Biden even in states where he previously defeated Clinton.
Yup. I was really expecting Sanders to pull this through considering the states he won in 2016, but he went on to lose pretty much all of them, including my state.

I said earlier on in this election cycle that Sanders probably shouldn't even run this time, because his time was over. I should have stuck with that assumption instead of switching to the optimism I had above before Super Tuesday. I like the man, I wish he would get the nomination, and I wish he would beat Trump and become the president, but that's just not going to happen. And his strident supporters continuing to bombard Biden, creating this overwhelming atmosphere of anti-Biden sentiment in general online is really peeving me.

I didn't want Biden. I don't know why America chose him. Especially in these times where a lot of us are struggling in ways that someone more progressive like Sanders could help with, but that's what happened. But I'll just say what should be obvious: Sanders supporters continuing to attack Biden at this point are now attacking the Democratic nominee. It's not Biden versus Sanders anymore. Now it's Biden versus Trump.

All of the Bernie or Busters saying that Biden can't beat Trump. This overbearing anti-Biden atmosphere they're creating is going to make that a self-fulfilling prophecy and I will never forgive them because another four years of Trump would be devastating.

(And trust me, I do hate this, because Biden should be criticized... I just think there's a better way to go about it? I don't know. I don't know how to handle this, but I most certainly don't think that the Bernie or Busters are doing it the right way).
 
Thievulpes velox
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Is it just me, or is Bernie performing worse than he did in 2016?

He's now lost to Biden even in states where he previously defeated Clinton.
It’s not just you. In the states that have already voted, Bernie’s running between 30 and 40% behind his 2016 numbers.
 
Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
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View: https://youtu.be/HwFjFOOlF5s


If Biden carries Florida in the general, that’s a game changer. Hard to see Trump winning if that happens.
Shame there’s no way in hell he actually will win it. Biden winning Florida would indicate a Democratic landslide that is absolutely not going to happen.
 
Thievulpes velox
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Shame there’s no way in hell he actually will win it. Biden winning Florida would indicate a Democratic landslide that is absolutely not going to happen.
What qualifies as a landslide?
 
Thievulpes velox
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This, roughly.
I think something like that is plausible. The only state I'd be skeptical of is Ohio, but Biden's been polling well there, too.

BTW, Wisconsin held their primary yesterday. Turnout looks to be very low (Milwaukee is reportedly down more than 50% from 2016). It appears the WI GOP got exactly what they wanted.
 
Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
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I think something like that is plausible. The only state I'd be skeptical of is Ohio, but Biden's been polling well there, too.
It is insanely improbable. Hillary polled well in key states before the election as well, don’t trust polling as far as you can throw it. Biden is an even less inspiring candidate with even more baggage than she had. NAFTA will kill him in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest, his support for the Obama admin’s immigration policies will kill him in the Southwest, and not being Donald Trump will kill him in Florida.
 
Thievulpes velox
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It is insanely improbable. 1. Hillary polled well in key states before the election as well, don’t trust polling as far as you can throw it. Biden is an even less inspiring candidate with even more baggage than she had. 2. NAFTA will kill him in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest, 3. his support for the Obama admin’s immigration policies will kill him in the Southwest, 4. and not being Donald Trump will kill him in Florida.
1. Pretty sure I've said this before, but the polls were mostly correct in 2016. Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan were statistical ties on election day morning. The only big miss was Wisconsin.

2. The primary results don't back this up. Biden's been winning over the white working class voters that went for Bernie last time. Odds are he'll be able win back at least a few WWC voters that went from Obama to Trump in 2016, as well as a few who sat out last time. (emphasis on "white" working class voters here because they're the only ones leaving the Democratic Party while working class voters of all other races remain solidly blue).

3. I'm assuming you mean the Obama administration's record-setting deportations. If so, there are some things to unpack here. Obama's reputation as "Deporter in Chief" is not entirely deserved. The definition of "deportation" was expanded during his administration to include illegal immigrants apprehended at the border, which accounts for a big chunk of his record-setting deportations. His administration also prioritized targeting illegal immigrants who were violent criminals or national security threats. And, of course, he authorized DACA. I don't see this being much of drag on Biden, if any at all.

4. This could go either way. Obama won there twice, so I'm still holding out hope. It's important to note that Biden's been generating bigger turnout from African-American voters than Hillary could. If he gets increased turnout from Broward and Miami-Dade counties, that could be enough. Plus, there are other factors to think about, like ex-felon re-enfranchisement. I know the governor's been working hard to undermine that, but if even a small handful of them can get registered, it could make all the difference in the world.
 
how we so, chasing gold
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so, a couple of things.

it's strange to me that the anti-polling crowd don't... really have evidence of their own to contradict said polling other than "they're wrong, trust my word on it, because 2016 happened". there's a lot of overthinking on why 2016 occurred. people think that polls were way off and it was the biggest miss in the universe when in reality, it wasn't. 538 had trump at a 30% chance of winning the day of the election. now, you might think "well colours, that proves my point", except no, it doesn't, because 30% does not equate to "impossible" it means "unlikely, but within the realm of possibility". in other words, A LOT of things had to go right for trump to win, and a lot of things did go right for him. also, polls were pretty on the nose about hillary winning the popular vote, which also occurred. feel free to read up on it more here.

the problem is people's perception of polling. you need to understand polling as moreso of a general direction of where things are headed, rather than reading polls as a surefire read of what a specific thing is going to yield. case in point, the general direction is that, despite trump's 45% approval rate (which you would think is troubling news), poll averages haven't changed at all, and people would even trust biden more on handling the covid pandemic going on currently.

the one thing that people believe is trump's, well... trump card, the economy, isn't really holding up well, either. what all of these statistics mean is that whether or not trump gets elected depends on his handling of the covid pandemic here and people's perception of the economy, and both fronts are pretty bad.
 
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Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
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Regardless of the validity of polls - and I think relying on them for anything this far out, before any general election campaigning, debates, October surprises, etc., is an exercise in futility, these numbers are still troubling for the Biden campaign:
tumblr_06c2259a442a73ef09f0da61564334c8_3456465a_1280.jpg
How can Biden hope to drive the level of turnout he needs when almost a full half of his erstwhile supporters aren't even that enthusiastic about him? What policies does Biden have that will enthuse people and get them to turn out? The entire Biden campaign pitch has been "beat Trump," but running a campaign primarily based on a personality contrast with Trump is what Hillary did, and Hillary lost. Biden has even lower levels of enthusiasm than Hillary did, and Hillary was not a very popular candidate. Biden barely campaigned the entire Democratic primary because he's a gaffe machine who says stupid, incoherent nonsense whenever he opens his mouth, and he can't glide on his association with Obama in the general the way he could in a primary. He will not have the youth vote unless he commits to Medicare For All and eliminating student loan debt, which he will not do, and the demographics of the general electorate mean that his support among African-Americans won't be able to buoy him like it did in South Carolina and beyond. Trump is an aggressive campaigner, and Biden has a smorgasbord of weaknesses Trump can exploit - Trump can tie him to NAFTA, which Biden supported, and Trump renegotiated. USMCA isn't much better than NAFTA, but it will still be hard to win a fight against Trump on the issue. Kids in cages? Trump will point out the Obama administration's immigration record and deny Biden any moral legitimacy. Will Trump be acting disingenuously and distorting the record? Obviously, but the record is bad enough that that won't matter much. There'll be enough truth in it to hurt. And, of course, there are the allegations of sexual assault against Joe Biden, which are already being used to hammer him in conservative media. In 2016 Trump opportunistically paraded Bill Clinton's accusers to smear Hillary by association, do you honestly think he'd wait for the accusations against Biden to be vetted and investigated? No, he'll use them as a cudgel, and he'll have plenty of footage of Biden touching women and girls inappropriately to cut together an ad that you'll see a million times by November. Social Security! Trump won't be half as nice as Bernie was on this issue. Biden has repeatedly advocated cutting Social Security, publicly, and ads played on every station will make sure you know this.

Biden, meanwhile, can barely string together a sentence half the time. His speech has declined considerably since even last year, and he struggled to defend himself against the softball attacks Bernie and others launched at him in the debates. Can you imagine what it's going to be like with him on a stage with Donald Trump? It would be a massacre.

Do I want Donald Trump to win? No, I do not. But I think Biden is uniquely vulnerable, and I do not see a way he can shore up his vulnerabilities in such a way that Trump cannot exploit them. Regardless of what the polls say now, I cannot see Biden running a campaign good enough to make those numbers translate into votes. If Biden is nominated - and that's still not assured, there's rumblings that he might be asked to step aside in favor of someone like Cuomo at the convention - I think that he cannot generate the enthusiasm and the energy required to turn out the vote he needs to win.
 
how we so, chasing gold
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you know, i was wondering the same thing for a moment. a constant criticism of biden is that "he has dementia" or "he can barely put a sentence together". you'd think that sort of stuff would be a really big deal, but... to the average voter, it really does not. allow me to go into detail, mostly giving context (i mean, those two articles should give context enough assume you read them in its entirely). not to mention, i feel like you're ignoring or not taking in consideration (or forgetting) a few things, which i'll get to later on.

in regards to black voters, it's of no surprise that they support biden because they see themselves in him. biden gives off a very down-to-earth, folksy kinda attitude, and that's what they like to see. they take seriously their culture, their background, their suffering, and they see that in biden who talks about his suffering and past struggles all the time. whether you personally like it or not, that's how it has rung true for a lot of the black community. sure, you can argue (and it's even flat-out stated, i mean) that part of biden's appeal is that he was obama's VP, but... what matters is that it works. if people trust obama (which he's still pretty popular among democrats) then they'll trust biden as a result. but the obama factor is really one of the strengths of biden and how and why he got this far.

his voters feel that he has a more "personable" factor to him. as i mentioned before, he's very folksy, gives a more family-esque and more familiar kind of tone when he speaks. sure, examine him under a critical eye and you'd think he's mentally declining, but not everyone (or even a lot of people, for that matter) would agree with you on that. he's kind of a dinner table relative and positions himself in that way, in other words. people don't really understand this or miss this completely, but biden's vulnerability is intentional. looking like a feeble old man is why people like him in the first place.

people constantly ask "what policies does he have?" when it was never about policy in the first place, it's personality. some people might not like his personality and approach, but a lot of voters do, and it's an effective strategy to convey tone and language and frame it in a more human manner that the average person would be able to relate to. biden isn't stupid, he's well aware of this. what people see as incompetence other people see that as being less of a politician just to grab votes and being more human and relatable. in other words, his verbal gaffes? they don't matter, they never really have, because what's on voters mind is not biden's linguistic skills, it's beating trump in november. it's strategic voting in their minds, they feel that biden being a moderate would bridge moderate/conservative democrats as well as nevertrump republicans (they exist, surprisingly enough) under the one movement of getting trump out of the white house. it's simple reasoning: you win elections on building enough of a coalitions. biden has white college degree voters as well as older black men and women (and even white women, yes, women, are for him).

by the way,

but running a campaign primarily based on a personality contrast with Trump is what Hillary did, and Hillary lost
ehhhhhhhhhhh there's more to it than that. in fact, a LOT more that you're missing out:

  • if you were to compare and contrast how hillary and biden did against bernie, it's very clear that a lot of votes for trump or for third party might as well be anti-clinton votes, for whatever reason that might be (they just don't feel a women might be president, don't agree with her policies, etc). sure, this might happen to biden, but i mean... the data speaks for itself, Banjo. you don't win by complete landslides in swing states (FL/NC/MI) in the primary from people who are hesitant on your candidacy. it just doesn't work that way.
  • trump ran on clinton's left. if you were to go back to every interview trump ever did, he would do things like promise medicare for everyone, "drain the swamp", upend the political establishment, etc. he won by positioning himself as fairly moderate in comparison to even his republican opponents. the difference now (i mean, if you pay attention to polls about how real, actual people feel about the economy and trump's handling of it), is that people now know he's full of crap and he already has a hard ceiling of like 45% that's barely going to budge. everyone that has ever had a chance to form an opinion about trump is sticking to it no matter what. meanwhile, biden has the opportunity to make inroads with centrist/conservative democrats and republicans who aren't exactly the most fond of trump but dont want to vote for someone too much on the left, as well as independents.
  • trump won pretty handily among people who disliked both candidates. this time around though... that doesn't apply as much, here. for now.
--

look, i don't mean to be snarky, but it's apparent you don't seem to care about what polls say because apparently they've let you down in 2016 despite polls not even being that far off from what results were. trump won florida by 1.2 points, he won michigan almost quite literally by a hair, the same applies for pennsylvania. i'm not quite sure where the data is that supports the narrative or fear that trump can easily win those states in a landslide against biden when he didn't even do that against clinton. trump isn't some unstoppable juggernaut that people think he is, he won swing states by easily winnable margins. oh, and those swing states earlier that i pointed out? biden is leading in every single one of them against trump by pretty comfortable margins. of course, this is what the the general direction is like for now. anything can change between now and november, but if polls are staying consistent and assuming nothing else changes, well...

one more thing. re: sexual assault allegation. accusing someone of sexual assault is a super big deal to be taken seriously, and i mean potentially life-ruining seriously (no shit). the reason no mainstream media outlet has touched it within a 100 foot pole is that there isn't any substantial evidence to corroborate the accusation (yet). you can't just go around tossing that, upending people lives without some sort of evidence (even if it's coming from eyewitnesses or someone) to substantiate the claim. i say this because it's actually really harmful to sexual assault victims and will only serve to fuel the train of thought that they're crying wolf (it disgusts me to type this, but they exist, unfortunately) and would only serve for people not to take them that seriously. they already have enough shit with that as it is, which is why this story is being approached very cautiously to see if there's any evidence to it.

the final thing i'm going to say is, again: anything can happen between now and november. i'm of a similar boat as you in that i'm not sure what's going to happen at the convention, or if the debates are going to change anything, or whatever the case may be. maybe coronavirus would be in the headlines in the fall and it'll continue to dominate the news cycle and people would feel more pessimistic about trump and the economy and that might be what biden needs to win, idk. but as things currently stand (emphasis on this), things don't look particularly good for trump.
 
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Hear me roar!
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Joe Biden wasn't my first choice. He wasn't even my 2nd choice. I highly preferred to see someone with more progressive views like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, or someone younger who could bring the enthusiasm that Biden can't, like Amy Klobachar or Beto O'Rourke. But we're stuck with Joe Biden, unless something comes out of left field at the convention and things change. We have no choice though but to fight back against Trump.

Regardless, we've been dealt a pretty bad hand. It feels almost certain that Trump will get reelected and solidify 2020's status as the worst year I have ever lived through. We've been left with a candidate that doesn't bring much enthusiasm. We've been left with a candidate that doesn't support more progressive ideals that appeal to the 18 to 30 age group. Also, we've been left with a candidate that is far too vulnerable to Trump's attacks.

The only thing that will give me some hope is if Biden picks a good running mate. A great VP could help Biden, but I just don't know if it will be enough. He has to pick someone that covers his weak points. Someone we'll feel safe under if Biden has to step down.
 
how we so, chasing gold
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The only thing that will give me some hope is if Biden picks a good running mate. A great VP could help Biden, but I just don't know if it will be enough. He has to pick someone that covers his weak points. Someone we'll feel safe under if Biden has to step down.
he's already pledged to pick a woman VP. nobody knows who that may be yet, but that's the one thing he's indicated.
 
Hear me roar!
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he's already pledged to pick a woman VP. nobody knows who that may be yet, but that's the one thing he's indicated.
I have heard him say he was committed to pick a woman for Vice President, and I'm hoping he's smart enough to pick someone who can help get more people on board. Someone who can maybe energize the younger generation more, cause I could see Biden having to step down at some point, if he won. Amy Klobuchar could be a pretty good pick for him. One name that gets thrown a lot also is Stacey Abrams, who I remember was robbed of the Georgia governor's election, and delivered the Democrat's response to one of Trump's State of The Union addresses.

I don't know how to feel about anything anymore. I just hope whoever gets the nomination, people will get out and vote no matter what. Trump and his Supreme Court nominations are way too dangerous.
I'm with you. Whoever wins this election is almost guaranteed to get another Supreme Court pick. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 87 years old and she has had a few health scares recently. If Trump can win and put in another Kavanaugh, we'll be stuck with a 6-3 conservative majority in the courts for a very long time, and there's no telling what they could do. We could see the end of Roe v. Wade, a huge blow to LGBT rights, and further damage to gun control legislation. The White House isn't the only thing at stake here. I'm hoping in the end, Democrats will band together stronger than ever once most can put aside their differences over candidates and unite to take back the White House and prevent the Supreme Court from shifting even further right. We wouldn't be in this situation if Mitch McConnel didn't screw over Obama on Merrick Garland. I'm seriously worried right now though.
 
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I hate to say it but now that Bernie's out of the running, I feel like Trump's been handed the victory. I just don't feel like Biden is the winning ticket in this race and there really isn't much enthusiasm for him like someone else said (especially now that there are sexual assault accusations against him). Democrats will of course vote for him over Trump since they have no other choice at this point, but to me it just feels like being on board a sinking ship.

I was secretly hoping that Trump's handling of COVID-19 would cause him to face a large amount of backlash, but if anything his base are digging in their heels and praising him more than ever before, and I think that undecided voters will flock to him in November.
 
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