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September 06, 2016

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Aggregate, aggregate, aggregate. State polls, preferably, though some fold national polls in as well to see short-term variations. Of course precisely how you do the aggregation will give you different pictures of the race as well, but there will be less outright craziness.

...Remember, if you have some large number N of polls and they have some kind of randomly varying error, the error in an aggregate will go down roughly like the inverse square root of N. But the error in the most extreme outliers will go up roughly as the square root of N. If you primarily read news stories about individual polls, they will predominantly direct you to the wildest outliers, because those make for the most interesting stories. So the discrepancy between SHOCK POLL stories and aggregators will increase markedly as the number of polls goes up.

I tend to look at FiveThirtyEight, since they've done the aggregating. I don't take it as gospel by any stretch, but it's about as good as it gets AFAICT.

I have a fondness for 538 myself. No least because their track record in general elections is good.

But I'm enough of a political junkie that I can't resist looking at individual polls. And trying to figure out (with no formal methodology at all) what it might mean.

And trying to figure out (with no formal methodology at all) what it might mean.

Sign of the apocalypse?

So what's happening?

after a few weeks of beating up on Trump for the things he actually said, the media started beating up on Clinton for things they made up - lest this race stop looking much like a race and people stop giving the nice social media clicks they so crave.

The really HORRIBLE thing about the media coverage of the election, is that it's driving me to agree with Ann Coulter about something.

When she said back in 2001 that it would have been better if the 9/11 terrorists had flown their planes into the NYT building.

For the first time since 1940,the Dallas Morning News has endorsed a Democrat for President.

The hits just keep on coming. Is there anything Trump can't accomplish?

So they endorsed Nixon three times? That's....quite something.

"Is there anything Trump can't accomplish?"

According to the latest polls, no.

Hey, for the 40% backing him, the Dallas Morning news might as well be an elitist Intersectionalitist explaining the obvious reason for Hillary's coughing fits.

Her throat is dry. Same as mine.

It's probably not all Trump's fault. Dallas has probably undergone significant "bluing" over the last several years. But, still, that's something.

The went for Kasich in the GOP primary over a very likable Texan, too.

I tend to look at FiveThirtyEight...

Over the last three weeks and a bit, FiveThirtyEight's polls-only has had Clinton's probability of victory decline from 89.2% to 68.1%, with the rate of decline increasing about ten days ago. The polls-plus number has her at 66.7%. Clearly something is happening, even in poll aggregates.

Myself, I've said all along that the national vote percentages will be relatively close (I have Clinton 47, Trump 43, Johnson 7 in the only pool I'm in). I claim that, with the possible exception of the Northeast, she's not a candidate that gets the rank-and-file Dem or independent voter excited

She'll have short coattails. Sam Wang at Princeton has the likely Senate split at 50-50. It would probably be 49-51 with the Republicans holding on except that the Colorado Republicans nominated a miserable candidate. How bad? Mike Bennett was supposed to be vulnerable, but was +15% in the most recent poll (to Clinton's +3%).

Michael, aren't those 538 numbers the probability of victory? Not the percentage of the vote they will get.

all this sturm und drang over the last few months, and the two are just about at the same place now as at the start of summer.

If this pattern holds, HRC will get a big bounce off the debates and cruise to victory as her numbers fall.

One can only hope.

cruise to victory...
I'm not quite as sure.

This is the best article I've seen so far on the contest, and I'm worried, too:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/lauers-pathetic-interview-made-me-think-trump-can-win.html

I still think it likely that Clinton will win, but the 30% or so imputed chance for Trump does not seem absurd. And while clearly a more competent performer than Trump (to put it mildly), Clinton is just awful in front of a large audience. More or less irrelevant when it comes to actually governing, but rather more so in terms of getting elected....

Taibbi, saying something similar, but in a more entertaining manner:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-unconquerable-trump-w438545

Read the transcript (as only one in a thousand voters might), and you'll get a completely different impression:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/07/the-first-hillary-clinton-vs-donald-trump-showdown-of-2016-annotated/

Shades of the Kennedy/Nixon debate, but reflected in a distorting mirror.

my prediction for the debates is: Trump will absolutely bury Clinton in a torrent of bullshit. Clinton will be unable to counter even 1/20th of the nonsense and will eventually show some slight sign of frustration or anger at this. that will be what the press focuses on: "Clinton unable to stand up to Trump; does she have what it takes to lead?!"

the expectations for Trump are so low that he'll win as long as he behaves like an adult most of the time.

We'll know that the US is heading for catastrophe when the GOP commenters here (Marty and McTx), who have been in the #NeverTrump camp, execute a 180 and go all-in for Trump because reasons.

Watch and see.

i've been waiting. i think they're almost there.

my guess: more in sorrow than in joy, they'll be forced to support Trump because Clinton is Clinton.

The question is whether Clinton can quit losing votes to the Libertarians and Greens. The race has narrowed but Trump really hasn't gone up a lot, Clinton has just come down.

I will be happy enough to vote for Johnson/Weld and let the rest of you pick between the others.

Waiting for me to back Trump will be an infinite endeavor.

The challenges for Trump are twofold:

First, his paths to victory are extremely narrow. He not only has to win every single swing state where he is even marginally ahead. He also has to win almost every state where he is only behind by 5% or so. Miss in one or two of them, or one medium to large one, and he's done.

Second, when it comes to the debates, cleek says "the expectations for Trump are so low that he'll win as long as he behaves like an adult most of the time." That may be true when it comes to "winning" the debates.

But then, those proclaiming who the winner is are people who have been paying close attention to politics for the last year or more. The folks who have not been may well not have the same low expectations that we do.

On top of which, behaving like an adult doesn't seem to be Mr. Trump's forte. Especially since Mrs. Clinton has been practicing against exactly Mr. Trump's sort of attack. (It's not like it will be as surprise to anyone.) Mr. Trump's track record suggests that he can be relied upon to lash out in response to someone pointing out his contradictions and errors. Just think how he will react if she brings up the fact that he is being sued by those little girls who performed at a couple of his events -- because he stiffed them, just like he routinely does others who work for him.

Could Trump win the election? Sure. But odds are at least as good that he loses, and by a huge margin in electoral votes.

Gary Johnson? the guy who doesn't know what Aleppo is ?

yeah, good choice.

Stein? the woman who thinks wifi is a public health hazard?

sign. me. up.

"I will be happy enough to vote for Johnson/Weld and let the rest of you pick between the others."

Hey dude, that Aleppo stash is bomb shit. Clue me in, what is an Aleppo, man? I that near Encino?

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-gary-johnson-what-is-1473338153-htmlstory.html

Between Cheech and Chong squinting while bogarting their libertarian doobies rolled from pages torn out of Atlas Shrugged, and the Matt Lauer media sucking Trump dick, America's going to get its fucking wish.

When Trump Inc and Chief of Staff General Boynton are stealing the oil from Iraq, and Ryan is murdering Obamacare recipients, the hopes of every stinking vermin Republican from the Iraq travesty get go on through the nigger Kenyan's time in the White House will be fulfilled.

I hope they jail Clinton, on the first day, maybe in the afternoon, after Trump and Putin hack into the US Treasury early that morning to fund the casinos going up in Crimea, so we can break her put of there in hails of gunfire and drag her coughing to sanctuary, where she can help us plan the greatest and deadliest insurrection since the Civil War.

We won't let her speak in front of crowds since she's so terrible at it, but surely she can handle a converted fully automatic AR-15.

On the other hand, I kind of hope Johnson/Weld win the thing, because it's going to be hilarious watching the first Libertarian President declare martial law throughout large swathes of America, after all these years of their handing out of the weaponry that will be used to kill the truly deserving and wade through hip-deep republican blood to maintain Libertarian order, but they will have to.

Marty, we're going to need to see your private emails. There's got to be more to what you are up to.

Why don't you just piss on your ballot and we'll put it in the undecided pile? Please vote for Trump? That way we'll know where everyone fucking stands.

Or vote for Stein, who picks up Aleppo on her lead dental fillings, since she doesn't trust why fie.

I wonder who these fake voter drive canvassers work for? Kelly Ann?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kennesaw-state-possible-fake-voter-registration

The black students approached by these franchise thieves should shoot first and then stomp their heads.

But odds are at least as good that he loses, and by a huge margin in electoral votes.

those chickens are just eggs, at this point.

We'll know that the US is heading for catastrophe when the GOP commenters here (Marty and McTx), who have been in the #NeverTrump camp, execute a 180 and go all-in for Trump because reasons.

Watch and see.

Better pack some meals. I'm not voting for Trump, period full stop. Also, I'm not a Republican which I thought I had made clear on a number of occasions. I am conservative on many issues and traditionally liberal on others. What I am not is a progressive. Nor am I a partisan. I do not feel obliged to ignore or minimize the warts on candidates I most identify with, nor do I feel the need to have one set of rules for those I disagree with and another set for those in my general neck of the woods.

Gary Johnson? the guy who doesn't know what Aleppo is ?

I'm not voting for this guy either, but not because he isn't current on Syrian geography. Obama said there were 57 states. He didn't know when the constitution was ratified. But still, he kept your loyalty, no questions asked. Double standards.

Clinton didn't smile while talking about ISIS and veterans.

That must mean something.

On the other hand, maybe she did and Americans couldn't see it through their shit-brown eyes.

The question is asked how it is that we have 320 million people in this country and Clinton and Trump, apparently the worst two of us, including mass murderers on death row are all we can come up with for President.

Yeah, well, maybe we overestimate ourselves. Maybe it's the remaining 319,999,998 of us who are full of shit and Trump, Clinton, and the other nuts are our perfect reflections and we deserve them.

I like that he just asked. I would have preferred that he knew, but his answer on Syria in general and military adventurism is good with me. I am pretty sure Trump would have gone on for ten minutes about Aleppo and then gone and asked someone backstage what the f it was. Hilary would have tried to explain why Syria went to hell in a handbasket during her tenure by, well, blaming it on Bush probably. Then denying ISIS is killing people with weapons we provided to everyone from the Iraqis to the Kurds to the Turks to the Syrian opposition. We just want everyone to have has many guns as we do.

She couldn't even win a debate where she got to go first and didn't even have to be on the stage with him. They both suck.

There certainly isn't a perfect candidate, but I like that the Aleppo thing got around fast. Shows they are a little nervous.

I wonder what it says that nobody here is willing to vote for Trump. But nearly half the country (to an extremely crude first approximation) is.

But nearly half the country (to an extremely crude first approximation) is.

right?

none of the 'conservatives' i know say they're going to vote for Trump. i've been trying to figure which of them are lying.

". Hilary would have tried to explain why Syria went to hell in a handbasket during her tenure by, well, blaming it on Bush probably."

That wouldn't be entirely wrong, but since she supported Bush in Iraq she's not in a position to make that case. Her pretense is that we haven't intervened enough in Syria--the fact that we support rebels who fight intermingled with Al Qaeda isn't good enough.

Trump would say he opposed the Iraq War when he didn't, would oppose intervention while supporting war crimes and in general would say a few sensible things mixed in with utter nonsense. Strap a few million Trumps to typewriters,wait a googleplex number of years and you would get some Shakespeare plays, and a whole slew of mutually inconsistent foreign policy positions.

Don't care about Johnson (another namesake running for President), but apparently the first two iterations of the NYT story on Aleppo also got it wrong. .

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/johnsons-blown-opportunity/

Hilary would have tried to explain why Syria went to hell in a handbasket during her tenure by, well, blaming it on Bush probably. Then denying ISIS is killing people with weapons we provided to everyone from the Iraqis to the Kurds to the Turks to the Syrian opposition. We just want everyone to have has many guns as we do.

That's the American way. Don't stand idly around, arm someone! As far as ISIS goes, Bush took a smoke in the powder magazine and Obama/Clinton tried to extinguish the resulting fire with gasoline.

Shows they are a little nervous.

i doubt Clinton has much to fear from Johnson.

After inaugurating New Mexico’s use of private prisons, Johnson made it his top political priority to install a school voucher system (an effort that failed because of the legislature’s opposition). He also annulled public employees’ collective-bargaining rights, slashed funding for social programs, reduced taxes for the wealthy, implemented one of the country’s strictest welfare-reform programs, and pushed for harsher sentencing laws.

not a lot of overlap between that and the Democratic party.

I do not feel obliged to ignore or minimize the warts on candidates I most identify with, nor do I feel the need to have one set of rules for those I disagree with and another set for those in my general neck of the woods.

Which I guess implies that everyone else, or at least almost everyone else, is somehow appreciably more biased than you are.

With very few exceptions, I don't see glowing praise for Clinton on this site. Mostly, it's that she's at least somewhat better than Trump. I think she's much better than Trump, which means I really have no choice but to accept her warts, as opposed to minimizing or ignoring them.

Then again, I'm sure my estimation of her warts is far less severe than yours, which we can all chalk up to your higher level of objectivity and relative lack of bias, right? Or is believing you especially lack bias, as compared to others, a bias in and of itself?

Obama said there were 57 states

nothing demonstrates objectivity like disingenuous bullshit.

"After inaugurating New Mexico’s use of private prisons, Johnson made it his top political priority to install a school voucher system (an effort that failed because of the legislature’s opposition). He also annulled public employees’ collective-bargaining rights, slashed funding for social programs, reduced taxes for the wealthy, implemented one of the country’s strictest welfare-reform programs, and pushed for harsher sentencing laws."

Aleppo by any other name. That's basically the Republican/Sharia program.

Obama said there were 57 states

Why are conservatives so willing to repeat such utter 'effing crap?

oops....my error, he did say that. But the gist of the comment stands (conservatives repeat a lot of crap), and I'd lay 5 to 1 that Obama would slaughter Johnson on a civics exam.

sure, he said it. but does anyone here think he actually thought there are 57 states ?

that's the difference between Johnson and Obama's statements.

Well, if anyone wants to complain about Hillary's reflexive war-mongering hawkery, comfort palling around with Wall Street, and the awful feeling that the having Presidents dominated by two families is getting rather 'dynastic', I'm sure there will be plenty that chime in.

But if it's BS about email and how "the academy is objectively commie-influenced" and other RWNJ Hate-Radio talking points, then yes, there will be pushback.

Yes, both candidates have warts. Perhaps Hillary has a warn on her nose (A WITCH! BURN HER! BURN HER!), but Trump is one big walking, talking wart. It helps if the warts you point to are the ones that they actually have.

I blame Obama for the lack of an edit button, and any unclosed HTML tags also, too. He never. even. tried.

When America gets around to bombing Syria, with Putin's help, and loving it, I hope they don't ask the New York Times for the target coordinates:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/aleppo-rodney-dangerfield-war-torn-cities

Johnson: "Where's Aleppo. I think I had a delicious pasta carbonara there recently. Decent wine list too.

The New York Times: "It's the capital of Texas. Aim high, and if we take out Indianapolis by mistake, there are always more bombs."

Michael, aren't those 538 numbers the probability of victory? Not the percentage of the vote they will get.

Yes, but they don't provide a history for their prediction of share of the popular vote (right now, Clinton 46.9%, Trump 43.2%, Johnson 8.5%). From memory (always suspect, of course) their Clinton-Trump popular vote spread has also been narrowing quite a bit over the last few weeks.

"sure, he said it. but does anyone here think he actually thought there are 57 states?"

No, but tens of millions of voters, even those who swear they live in the seven extra states, know for a fact that he actually thought that and still does.

But, after seven or more states violently secede from the Union during a Clinton Presidency and join the Trump/Putin confederation, Hillary will say she visited all 43 states during her Presidency, and it will be pointed here out as proof of something, anything.

Only the world's oldest continuously inhabited city.
And appears at least twice in Shakespeare.

And say, besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk
Beat a Venetian, and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcisèd dog,
And smote him—thus...

(Othello)

But, whatever.

From memory (always suspect, of course) their Clinton-Trump popular vote spread has also been narrowing quite a bit over the last few weeks.

My always-suspect memory is the same - not just in being always suspect, but that the spread has narrowed. But I also seem to recall reading that, state by state, there were places where Clinton was picking up votes, only they were in places where they would do her no good because they were concentrated in states that were already safe.

So, for example, picking up X votes in California might help her win the popular vote but make virtually no difference in her chances of winning the election. These are "wasted" votes that could be of better use in, say, Florida.

All of which is to say that the narrowing of the margin in the popular vote might be less than the narrowing in the probability of winning the election.

Just to confirm all of our memories, 538's site also says that her lead has been narrowing. Most places, albeit with a couple of interesting exceptions.

the press' pivot from pointing out Trump's insanity, racism and overall unsuitability to attack Clinton for imaginary email scandals has had an effect.

Clinton has some secret private emails discussing the scourge of female menopause with Huma Abedin and conservatives are dying to sniff around in it so Drudge and Hannity can go wild, but Trump blares the goings on at secret, privileged intelligence briefings and conservatives guns remain unfired with the safety on.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/u-s-official-donald-trump-s-body-language-claim-doesn-n644856

Fuck this shit. Blow it all up.


oops....my error, he did say that. But the gist of the comment stands (conservatives repeat a lot of crap), and I'd lay 5 to 1 that Obama would slaughter Johnson on a civics exam.

Yes, an error. People do that. Even me. That's the point. Partisan's selectively castigate opponents for minor errors they readily excuse in their own and can be unduly hasty in slamming someone who makes an uncomfortable point.

Partisans also recast the positions of those they disagree with to avoid engaging on the merits and having to confront their own internal errors. We're seeing a lot of that lately.

Why does Trump wave his hands all over the place while talking? Don't "made guys" do the same? So he's a thug, right?

Found more detail on why the NYT should not be commenting on the incompetence of our presidential candidates when it is even more incompetent.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/nyt-ridiculing-of-gary-johnson-failed-with-four-major-mistakes.html#more

i'm not a partisan either.

why?

cause i said so.

why the NYT should not be commenting on the incompetence of our presidential candidates

Johnson didn't know a major city and center of fighting in what might be the biggest foreign policy challenge the next President will face.

NYT is not to blame for that.

Clinton has some secret private emails discussing the scourge of female menopause with Huma Abedin and conservatives are dying to sniff around in it so Drudge and Hannity can go wild, but Trump blares the goings on at secret, privileged intelligence briefings and conservatives guns remain unfired with the safety on.

It's difficult, amigo, to read the detail of HRC's private computer activities and come away with the sense that she took national security seriously. It is no surprise that Trump is a different but equally dangerous fool in this regard.

I'll paraphrase my point: partisans castigate their opponents for egregious errors while simultaneously defending their own kind for the same or similar conduct.

Trump surely deserves a kick in the ass if not forward of the ass for what he did. The same for HRC, only figuratively.

Juan Cole on the embarrassing answers of both of the major candidates--

http://www.juancole.com/2016/09/clinton-ground-troops.html


Trump is in his own universe. Clinton sounds like someone Democrats would be raking over the coals if she were on the Republican ticket. Which on foreign policy, she should be.

Which on foreign policy, she should be.

what about her foreign policy views makes her a Republican?

And yet, no matter what appallingness he commits, he continues to close the gap, as outlined above (I check fivethirtyeight as well, but also the RealClearPolitics poll average, currently putting Hillary only 2.8% ahead).

No matter what he seems to say or do, it makes no difference:

e.g. last night

This really does seem like the runup to Brexit (Trump's "What is Aleppo" moment, if you recall). Nobody believed it could happen, and then it did.

One of the truly fascinating aspects of the current campaign is that the Democrats are running a candidate whose views on a variety of subjects are basically standard Republican. Not just on foreign policy, but on things like the importance of religion in guiding her actions.

Whereas the Republicans are running a candidate whose views on a variety of subjects, including those and others, are nothing like where the party stands. Indeed, there is only one point on which the candidate and the party platform are in close and consistent agreement. Unsurprisingly, that is the one point where the Trump campaign cared enough to get something in the platform changed.

Actually, if you just looked at the candidates' statements, without knowing who they were or from which party, the obvious conclusion would be that Clinton was the Republican candidate. While Trump was either the Democratic, or more likely the Libertarian, candidate.

This really does seem like the runup to Brexit (Trump's "What is Aleppo" moment, if you recall). Nobody believed it could happen, and then it did.

When I tell my friends I'm not pulling the trigger for Trump, the universal response is "how can you vote for Hillary?!?!?!?".

They all get that Trump is far from ideal, they just think HRC is so much worse that they have no choice.

None of these people are mentally deficient, they just see things a lot differently than most folks here whose views are almost the mirror image.

A frequent subtext, if not an outright expression, I see here with some frequency is that Trump supporters are actually on board with Trump and that they buy into his program to some meaningful degree. I think this is mistaken. I think a sizeable percentage of Trump supporters simply loathe HRC and that is sufficient unto the day for them.

Lefties seem to have difficulty comprehending how anyone could dislike HRC that much, seemingly forgetting their own loathing of GWB (which to lefties, seems entirely rational).

People like Marty and me are considered freaks by both sides. I'm fine with that and I suspect Marty sleeps well at night too.

Can't speak for anybody else here, but GWB seemed over here to inspire, rather than loathing, something more like semi-sympathetic contempt for stupidity and ignorance, therefore ability to be used by truly loathsome people like Cheney. Authorising the use of torture (by America, it's still almost hard to believe) may have changed that slightly. McKinney, I didn't know you did not consider yourself a Republican, I must have missed that. What about you Marty?

Faced with the awful choice, I would vote for GWB over Trump. Try again.

Can't speak for anybody else here, but GWB seemed over here to inspire, rather than loathing, something more like semi-sympathetic contempt for stupidity and ignorance, therefore ability to be used by truly loathsome people like Cheney

Yes, there was that take on GWB as well. I should have mentioned it. Cheney/HRC is a better example of how left mirrors right and vice versa. Good point.

McKinney, I didn't know you did not consider yourself a Republican, I must have missed that.

Haven't been for years. In the late 80's, early 90's, the Republican Party was a pretty decent group for the most part. It went off in a ditch mid to late 90's and has become increasingly crony-ized, if you don't mind me making up words. Morphing into machine politics like we see in Chicago and the Northeast.

I'm not sure asking if someone "considers himself a Republican" tells you much about them. There are just too many of us (admittedly a small, and shrinking number) who don't fit the popular image.

For example, I've been a Republican for decades. I think I'm pretty conservative on fiscal issues. But somewhere between liberal (like McKinney, definitely not "progressive," at least as I understand that term) and libertarian on a lot of social issues.

Perhaps as a result, I don't find myself voting based on which candidate will do the most to combat the moral disaster that I don't actually see overtaking our country. Just like I don't vote based on some fantasy about a government conspiracy to "take away our guns." So, not quite in sync with the stereotype.

Lefties seem to have difficulty comprehending how anyone could dislike HRC that much

indeed.

because the reality of the situation is that, policy-wise and temperamentally, Clinton is a completely standard American politician. while Trump is literally an authoritarian strong-man who knows nothing about the law, the Constitution, how government works, the limits of executive power, the economy, foreign policy, the judiciary... you name it, he don't know it. and he doesn't care that he doesn't know it.

he is completely incoherent and happy to change any position in a flash, if he thinks the audience will like him better. Clinton changed her mind on TPP? good! Trump has changed his mind on everything. minute to minute he changes his mind. he completely contradicts himself constantly. and he doesn't care.

there is no policy argument to be made in his favor because it's impossible to know what his policies would be like. he doesn't know how the government works and his statements are ever-changing and frequently literally nonsensical.

Clinton's corruption? for all the moaning about the Clinton foundation, has anyone ever asked Trump if his immediate family will step aside from his businesses ? because if you think there's a conflict of interest in running a charity, take a look at what Trump has his fingers in and imagine how you would feel if those were Clinton's fingers, instead.

he has a long record of campaign finance abuse - even before this Bondi thing. he's a fraudster. he doesn't pay his employees or contractors. he doesn't even pay the troupe of little girls who came to sing that jingoist nonsense at his rallies! he uses illegal immigrants (not just models, but in the construction and running of his hotels).

don't like Clinton? fine. i'm not crazy about her, either - never have been. but she is at least sane. Trump is the antithesis of what anyone should want in a President. there is nothing about Trump that recommends him for the job.

so, no, i don't understand how anyone could dislike Clinton that much.

Faced with the awful choice, I would vote for GWB over Trump.

Me too. Hell, I did. Twice. Doesn't mean others would see it that way.

Try again.

Ok: Cheney v Trump. Cruz v Trump. Palin v Trump. There's plenty to work with, I can go on all day.

I have always registered as independent, but identified as a Republican. However, in all the little tests of who you agree with I come out with a Libertarian score.

Sorry short answer.

I find nothing irrational about my loathing and contempt for GWB: His theft the presidency from Al Gore; His tax cuts for the rich; starting unjustified and costly wars based on known lies; turning a blind eye to, if not outright sanctioning of torture; appointing conservative hacks to the Supreme Court; his brazen attempt to privatize social security; his inept executive appointments....I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

On the other hand, all the sniping about Clinton from the right is about (a.) a charitable foundation (b.) emails; or (not so much these days) Benghazi.

Notice any difference?

Cheney/HRC is a better example of how left mirrors right and vice versa.

That I might be able to go with. I would be at a complete loss in a Cheney v. Trump election. Stay home. Vote 3rd party. Move to Canada. Take your pick.

Not that it says anything about how well-informed and carefully considered my opinions are as compared to people who dislike HRC with the same fervor I do Cheney. Some people believe vaccines cause Autism with the same confidence that I have in the theory of evolution. What does that say about how each of us form opinions relative to one another?

I would also note that, among my larger circle of friends, I have a good number of Trump supporters, some or most of whom are so by virtue of their contempt of Clinton. I don't necessarily think they're mentally deficient. I just think they've bought into far more of the anti-Clinton narrative than I have for whatever reasons, or they've bought into the narrative that the country is falling apart around them and soon to be headed off a cliff, making Trump worth a shot even if only to upset the apple cart and establish an unspecified but hopefully better normal.

I don't understand it, but also I know they aren't all crazy idiots. It's vexing, to be sure.

what about her foreign policy views makes her a Republican?

None "make" her a Rethuglican, but her policy preferences toward Israel are virtually indistinguishable from just about any prominent GOP foreign policy expert you could name.

Hey Donald J.,

Juan Cole is just about always good on what is going on in the ME. That was a good read. Alas, I don't read him as often as I should. Has he ever climbed down from his cheerleading for the Libyan intervention fiasco?

but her policy preferences toward Israel are virtually indistinguishable from just about any prominent GOP foreign policy expert you could name.

how does Israel feel about the Iran deal ?

Ok: Cheney v Trump. Cruz v Trump. Palin v Trump. There's plenty to work with, I can go on all day.

Let's put aside whether or not I'm more right to dislike those Trump opponents than people are to dislike HRC to the same degree. In all of those cases, I would probably be in the same position that you and Marty are in now. I wouldn't be voting for Trump or his main opponent.

So are you attempting to compare me to people who are voting for Trump because they hate Clinton so much, or are you attempting to compare me to people who just refuse to vote for either one of them?

I mean, this whole exercise is very silly, but I'm curious (and silly) enough to want to know.

I find nothing irrational about my loathing and contempt for GWB: His theft the presidency from Al Gore; His tax cuts for the rich; starting unjustified and costly wars based on known lies; turning a blind eye to, if not outright sanctioning of torture; appointing conservative hacks to the Supreme Court; his brazen attempt to privatize social security; his inept executive appointments....I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Sure I do, given your viewpoint. Which is *yours* and not universal. For example, I'm pretty sure the tax cuts were across the board and were passed by congress. The election was "stolen" only in the minds of left wing partisans. Every media recount showed Bush winning. If Gore had won by 10 votes, would it have been theft? Please. I'm pretty sure the decision to go to war was widely debated and was approved by congress. I'm pretty sure the "known lies" were not "known" by Bush at the time given the record of his communications with Tenet. I give you a check in the torture box and conservative hacks vs liberal or progressive hacks is a matter of preference, not evil. As for social security, making a policy proposal is what presidents do. You may, and obviously do, find the idea to be a bad one. That you are awash in hyperbolic adjectives speaks more to your partisanship than it does to objective reality and it makes my point.

As for HRC, you minimize her and her husband's record in the same way a right wing partisan would minimize GWB's. Again, making my point.

So are you attempting to compare me to people who are voting for Trump because they hate Clinton so much, or are you attempting to compare me to people who just refuse to vote for either one of them?

I mean, this whole exercise is very silly, but I'm curious (and silly) enough to want to know.

Because you said "try again". So, I did.

Other than that, I made the point that some, likely statistically significant number of Trump supporters are less fans of Trump's than they are enemies of HRC. The subsidiary point is that, depending on point of view, voting for either as the lesser of two evils is perfectly rationale. I'm doing neither but I get both sides' arguments.

But you seemed to be making some kind of partisanship-based argument that HRC supporters are necessarily as biased as some other group of people on the other side of the spectrum, as though you're somehow the arbiter of objectivity (because you're not voting for Clinton or Trump?).

It sounded like you were proposing that two people who believed different things with the same steadfastness must be mirror images of each other in terms of bias, as though it doesn't matter what those beliefs are or why they are held. "People on the left hate whoever as much as people on the right hate Clinton, so it's the same thing" seemed to be the thrust of it.

the Libyan intervention fiasco?

Please describe how the Libyan intervention was a fiasco.

1. Extensive human rights violations were occurring and massive ones were threatened.

2. The United States had the support of the international community, including a resolution by the Security Council.

3. France led the intervention, with the US supporting with air power.

4. The object was not to create a peaceful, democratic Middle Eastern state (we don't do "nation-building" anymore for reasons), but to stop the Libyan government from using its huge military capacity to bomb rebel states (a situation similar to Syria).

5. The final batch of chemical weapon materials from strife-torn Libya has arrived in Germany to be destroyed.

6. ISIL is pretty much gone now.

7. The country still has violence and needs to get its act together, but that's (in our current national thinking) up to them. And they don't have an entrenched dictator.

What was wrong with the invasion again?

But you seemed to be making some kind of partisanship-based argument that HRC supporters are necessarily as biased as some other group of people on the other side of the spectrum, as though you're somehow the arbiter of objectivity (because you're not voting for Clinton or Trump?).

If I'm not the arbiter, I probably should be.

Well, perhaps not.

But, if I said what you said, that would be mind reading. Your 4:11 comes pretty close to what I've been trying to say. Also, I'm trying to say that partisanship necessarily colors judgment and that, in the case of Trump (although probably in HRC's case too, but perhaps not to the same degree), many supporters are more anti-HRC than they are pro-Trump. I made this point only because it seems common here to assert that *all* Trump supporters line up behind his views. I don't think that is the case.

Every media recount showed Bush winning.

No. They do not.

No. "Passage by Congress" does not absolve GWB of his terrible policies.

No. The tax cuts were heavily weighted to favor the rich.

No. The known lies were pretty well known at the time.

No. Conservative hacks on the Court make bad rulings, but apparently your disagreement with, say, the ever so liberal Warren Court's rulings is based on high principle, but my contempt for hackery like Shelby County is scoffed at as partisanship.

No big deal here. If that makes me a partisan, I shall proudly wear that label.

I hear Texas may be in play this year.

Thanks for sitting this one out.

I made this point only because it seems common here to assert that *all* Trump supporters line up behind his views. I don't think that is the case.

All Trump supporters own his views, however, and are responsible for what he does if elected. A plea of "but Hillary!" is going to be worth exactly nothing.

The subsidiary point is that...voting for either as the lesser of two evils is perfectly rationale.

Nice Dan Quayle there, tex! But yes, agree.
Under current rules, there's no getting around the two party duopoly.

because the reality of the situation is that, policy-wise and temperamentally, Clinton is a completely standard American politician. while Trump is literally an authoritarian strong-man who knows nothing about the law, the Constitution, how government works, the limits of executive power, the economy, foreign policy, the judiciary... you name it, he don't know it. and he doesn't care that he doesn't know it

This, and everything else in cleek's 04.01.

All Trump supporters own his views, however, and are responsible for what he does if elected. A plea of "but Hillary!" is going to be worth exactly nothing.

Ok. Does Donald own Obama's drone strikes or Libyan intervention? Does HRC own Iraq? Do you, as her supporter?

Libyan intervention

Care to read my comment about that? Should I also defend drone strikes again? As a supporter of Hillary Clinton, I believe (as she does - and as she owns) that her Iraq vote was a mistake. (And she voted for it, not because she supported the Bush policy, but because she wanted to give the president military authority as diplomatic leverage. But we've had this argument before too.)

That's what I own, and I'm proud to own it.

This, and everything else in cleek's 04.01.

Indeed, yes. That was a good one.

cleek's 4:01 on 9/8 gets a second from me.

You don't have to love HRC to despise the idea of Trump. On what issue does he make sense?

So, thank you, folks, for not supporting the fascist. Good for us, right?

And not to diminish your huge sacrifice in holding your nose for Clinton, but I think she's actually good. Really good. Very "progressive".

Y'all need to figure out how to win in the face of the "Goring" of Clinton. I find myself, yet again, dismayed.

sapient,

just tell her to stay away from earth tones.
it will be ok.

If it makes you feel any better sapient, I'm guessing almost everyone here who intends to vote for Clinton doesn't buy the "Goring," by which I assume you mean something along the lines of "the Clinton Rules" of the (so-called liberal) media and the witch-hunts of the GOP over the last quarter of a century.

Certainly, you can disagree with the policy problems people have with Clinton, but policy problems aren't the same thing as "Goring."

On the whole, I think she'd be at least a reasonably good president as measured by realistic historical standards, even if more hawkish and corporatist than I'd like.

The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away!

"but because she wanted to give the president military authority as diplomatic leverage"

underneath it all, this is one reason why I hate Hillary. She lies, constantly, sometimes for no reason. Although often for good reason. She voted for it, she supported the policy, she thinks it was a mistake, end of story. But no, she just adds an obvious bs lie because she just cant help herself.

If her lips are moving she lying or going to lie.

That's some good ol' non-partisan input right there.

McK, out of curiosity, have you queried the Trump supporters you know on what they would be doing if Bernie Sanders had won the nomination? Or, alternatively, is there *anything* Trump could say or do or be shown to have done that would prevent them from voting for him? Sounds like they're people who would support the Republican nominee come hell or high water.

If her lips are moving she lying or going to lie.

Umm, her statement at the time.

In case you have missed everything about this election cycle, your last statement in the 4:01

so, no, i don't understand how anyone could dislike Clinton that much
was answered in your first paragraph
because the reality of the situation is that, policy-wise and temperamentally, Clinton is a completely standard American politician

While not actually true, it is a large reason that she is disliked so widely. A large portion of Trump followers hate McConnell and Ryan for the same reason.

Ouch! I blame Obama!

McK, out of curiosity, have you queried the Trump supporters you know on what they would be doing if Bernie Sanders had won the nomination?

Have not. Hadn't thought to do so, and usually, the thrust of the conversation, these days, doesn't move that way. Cross examining people--Trumpets or HRC's fans--on any part of their views is not well received by most folks and since the context is almost always social, I stay with sports and my own position which is as I've previously stated.

Or, alternatively, is there *anything* Trump could say or do or be shown to have done that would prevent them from voting for him? Sounds like they're people who would support the Republican nominee come hell or high water.

Fair question. When Trump went after the Muslim parents of the slain soldier, that cost him with some folks I know who had previously been in his camp. Whether their feelings for HRC will push them back into voting against her is anyone's guess. I assume some Trumpets won't change no matter what and that there are those on the left who wouldn't change no matter what comes out in the next couple of email releases.

And, I agree with Marty. HRC lies all the time. Been doing it for years. So does her husband. But, that won't change any minds here, so there's no point in going back and forth over that.

When looking at the polling numbers for Johnson, I console myself by thinking that a significant number of those people are GOP-leaning Never Clinton types who are also Never Trump types. I know a few of those. It would take some serious desperation for them to choose to vote for Clinton.

Fortunately for us all, those people (at least the ones with which I have spoken) are also largely pragmatists and would shift their vote from Johnson to HRC if the polls started looking like Trump might win their state/district.

I'm hearing the same thing from the Dem side. The third party voting is largely a product of them feeling like they have the luxury of throwing a vote to Johnson/Stein because of the margin in their state/district as well. Too close and that calculus changes.

Just gotta hope that their calculus takes into account both low turn out and polling margins of error or we could be looking at the same phenomenon that led to Brexit (which should be the rallying cry for this, rather than the constant references to Nader).

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