Author Topic: US Politics 2024  (Read 1269 times)

Jubal

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US Politics 2024
« on: January 05, 2024, 10:24:47 PM »
Another year, another US Pol thread beginneth.

The next few weeks will be critical to whether Trump gets a really clear run at the presidency from the GOP and legal sides (he probably will). If he runs table in Iowa and New Hampshire, which he looks like doing, that probably clears the GOP field for the most part. There's an outside chance that Nikki Haley could, if she comes second in Iowa and wins NH, still be a serious challenger, but that's unlikely.

At the moment Trump is largely outpolling Biden: I suspect that this is largely a result of Biden's polling being depressed among his own side (Israel, general incumbency penalties) while Trump's is buoyant, and that it'll be tighter once partisanship really starts cranking in and people face up to the potential reality of a second Trump presidency.
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dubsartur

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2024, 08:35:46 PM »
A lot of Americans who are not on the far right have opinions of the Biden administration which seem hard to defend (ie. the president who ended the drone war, left Afghanistan, did not enter any new wars, is very friendly to unions and passed some climate legislation in the Inflation Reduction Act gets attacked from the left and very little public gratitude for points 1 3 and 4).  His disastrous public health policy has become bipartisan.  This pessimism and unwillingness to thank the administration for wins goes back long before the current Hamas-Israel war and Biden's very strong support for the Netanyahu government.  But I think that many, perhaps most, of the people who talk about US politics have no experience implementing policy through politics (some of them probably have experience in ingroup outgroup nonsense).
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 10:54:10 PM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2024, 11:02:18 PM »
My suspicion is that negative partisanship and fear of Trump will reduce the volume of that criticism as the election gets closer, but I'd agree insofar that a lot of the more strident criticism of Biden does feel like it lacks a complete and effective theory of change behind it, even where I agree that I'd like a much more forceful and effective progressive movement in the US. Some of the criticism also lacks an effective appreciation of exactly how bad fascism is: there seems to be a degree of unrealistic "everything is so terrible due to American Imperialism and white supremacy now that what difference would outright fascism really make". To which the answer is still "a very, very large amount".
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dubsartur

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2024, 02:40:17 AM »
I can see an argument for the Democrats committing to eg. "if we get 60% of the house and senate we will pass a national law guaranteeing the right to abortion" as a way of motivating voters and volunteers, but because US parties are weakly whipped its hard to do that.  Right now a lot of US persons understandably feel that the parties are calling wolf every two years.

Obviously as primate-politics go its not great that Biden is old and frail, but the leading Republican candidate is old and unwell too.  Obama was on the centre right too (and perhaps more oriented towards wealthy credentialed people than Biden is), but he got credit in primate politics for using lefty language in all those beautiful speeches.  Actually, Biden's tilt towards poorer less credentialed Americans over the professional managerial class might be one reason that the chattering class are lukewarm about him?

Fuel and food and housing are very expensive in the USA right now, but on the other hand there is low unemployment and its easier to buy those things when you have a job.  And until October 7 the antiwar movement could have come out and given the administration cover on leaving Afghanistan and ending the drone war.

Things are not great in the USA with COVID and the high cost of living, but they don't seem that bad for the kind of leftish people who talk a lot about national politics.

Edit: can't comment on Biden's fitness for the job beyond "old and frail" (I don't listen to his speeches or interviews) but a lot of animosity seems to be against his imagined personality or policies
« Last Edit: February 09, 2024, 04:52:44 AM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2024, 11:52:34 AM »
Actually, Biden's tilt towards poorer less credentialed Americans over the professional managerial class might be one reason that the chattering class are lukewarm about him?
I think part of the problem all round may be that Biden's ideal target voter generally is part of a demographic that has aged out and moved into the Republican fold so heavily that he's not winning them back very effectively: even in the rust belt, today's swing voters are often younger and more suburban, whereas Biden would really like to be talking to a sort of white working class voting bloc that is fading and doesn't really trust him anyway. So it's probably true that chattering folks of today dislike his more old-school approach, but some of them do have a point in that managerial, office job, and service industry voters in the suburbs include a lot more swing voters than the remains of US heavy industry.

I think another problem that's wider than Biden but affects his relationship with some former blocs of swing voters is that broadly speaking the centre and left are less willing to pretend that the more polluting sorts of heavy industry have a real future, and people with those jobs or with emotional investment in that sort of industry would often rather be lied to by the right who will tell them that they can keep producing the stuff forever and that anything that happens to the contrary is the fault of the woke left. "We'll help you through the change" is still often unappealing to people who thought they had a secure economic footing, compared to "nothing needs to change".

It currently looks from polling like Trump will take about 50% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and win by a country mile. And Iowa is actually a weak state for Trump in the GOP primary calendar.
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dubsartur

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2024, 06:11:51 PM »
Actually, Biden's tilt towards poorer less credentialed Americans over the professional managerial class might be one reason that the chattering class are lukewarm about him?
I think part of the problem all round may be that Biden's ideal target voter generally is part of a demographic that has aged out and moved into the Republican fold so heavily that he's not winning them back very effectively: even in the rust belt, today's swing voters are often younger and more suburban, whereas Biden would really like to be talking to a sort of white working class voting bloc that is fading and doesn't really trust him anyway. So it's probably true that chattering folks of today dislike his more old-school approach, but some of them do have a point in that managerial, office job, and service industry voters in the suburbs include a lot more swing voters than the remains of US heavy industry.
I can't speak to that (like I can't recall anyone speaking about Biden appealing to manufacturing and resource workers), but my understanding is that the US job market in 2023 was great for men under 30 without higher education or credentials (as witnessed by eg. the military recruitment crisis or the expansion of unions - its easier to crush unions when there is a 'reserve army of the unemployed').  And Biden did not push to raise interest rates and cause a recession to drive down employment and inflation like the wealthiest two fifths of the population would like.  He is supposed to be the friendliest US president to unions in the past 50 or 100 years which is good for workers and bad for large employers in general.  Obviously COVID, the housing crisis, and the global shortage of fossil fuels create other problems.

One reason why Twitter is depressogenic is that its dominated by writers, visual artists, academics, and other people who have been in hard times since 2008.  (And people in a happy relationship with a satisfying job have less time to post).

Strippers in Oregon say things have been slow for a while.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2024, 08:11:35 PM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2024, 10:08:37 PM »
Ramaswamy dropping out of the Republican race seems to have been another good piece of news for Trump, in that he's now an extra 5 or 6 points up - enough to move Haley from breathing down his neck in New Hampshire to languishing well behind.

And yeah, the economic indicators in the US generally seem pretty good, especially given global circumstances. It does feel like there's an unusual mismatch between how the economy's actually doing and how people feel about how it's doing.
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Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2024, 11:16:00 PM »
And that's the primaries wrapped, basically: Haley out after Super Tuesday having won 2 contests.

Not seen anyone really trying to do polling averages yet, but a back of the envelope calculation on the head to head polls since Feb 20 comes out with Biden 43.9, Trump 45.7: given that the electoral college maths probably favour Trump again, then that's a race slightly leaning Trump: Biden probably wants to be three points up to win and he's a couple behind right now. All that said, these are very small margins this far out and polling probably doesn't mean very much this far out from the election itself.

The fact we're even contemplating all of this is so weird, honestly.
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Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2024, 10:39:04 AM »
FiveThirtyEight now has its polling averages up and running. Federal level, their average has Trump up by a point, and I think I'm right looking at the swing states with my suggestion earlier that Biden needs to be up 2-3 points to eke out a win.

From the polls we've had so far, Trump leads across the swing states:

Michigan + 1.4
Pennsylvania + 1.8
Wisconsin + 2.8
Arizona + 3.2
Nevada +5.1
Georgia + 5.9

If Biden wins WI, MI, and PA, loses Maine's second district and Nebraska's second (the two swing bits of states that award some separate electoral votes on a by-district basis), then he probably gets precisely 269 electoral votes (which is to say, the presidential election gets tied and gets decided by the US house). Probably Biden's minimum victory is all that plus winning one of those two singular votes, and that means moving about three points up (to leading by 2-3 points). That's not an unrealistic goal, but it's also tricky to see exactly where Biden gets that benefit from right now.

The slightly better news for Biden is that these don't seem to be states where Democrats are destined to lose, so he may hope to be dragged upwards by more popular lower-tier candidates (though equally he might drag them down, it works both ways). But recent surveys have showed Democrats leading in the Senate races in Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada, and running a handy few points ahead of Biden. Holding the Senate as a whole is a hell of an ask for the Democrats because they also need to retain Montana and Ohio, very red seats where they have fairly popular long-standing incumbents, and they need to hold the White House to get the VP's tie-breaking vote. That said, there is evidence they can get the fifty seats - getting the White House as well looks like it might be the hard ask right now.
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Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2024
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2024, 10:29:02 PM »
Donald Trump has been found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records etc in the New York case. Will this affect much? Not sure but I guess we'll find out.
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