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U.S. Presidential Election, 2020


U.S. Presidential Election, 2020  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you vote in the 2020 United States presidential election?

    • Yes
      17
    • No (not an American citizen)
      5
    • No (citizen, but not eligible to vote)
      0
    • No (abstained)
      1
    • No (other)
      0
  2. 2. Whom did you vote for, or would have voted for, in the 2020 United States presidential election?

    • Joe Biden (Democratic)
      16
    • Donald Trump (Republican)
      3
    • Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian)
      0
    • Howie Hawkins (Green)
      2
    • Other
      1
    • Nobody / None of these candidates
      1
    • Don't know
      0
  3. 3. What is your political party affiliation in the U.S., or what would be your affiliation?

    • Democratic Party
      11
    • Republican Party
      3
    • Independent / Nonpartisan / Unaffiliated
      7
    • Libertarian Party
      0
    • Green Party
      1
    • Other
      1
    • Don't know
      0
  4. 4. Which of the following most closely matches your opinion of Democratic candidate Joe Biden?

    • Very Positive
      2
    • Somewhat Positive
      8
    • Neutral
      2
    • Somewhat Negative
      5
    • Very Negative
      6
    • Don't know
      0
  5. 5. Which of the following most closely matches your opinion of Republican candidate Donald Trump?

    • Very Positive
      1
    • Somewhat Positive
      1
    • Neutral
      0
    • Somewhat Negative
      2
    • Very Negative
      19
    • Don't know
      0


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If the polls are like they were in 2018 (very accurate), we'll probably know late tonight/early tomorrow morning, like a normal election. Biden will be up in basically every swing state, and some will be pretty far along in their counting. If the polls are like they were in 2016 (medium-size miss in Trump's favor), it's going to be a nailbiter and we're not going to know for a long time, like 2000. If there's a medium-sized miss the other direction, Biden will win by double-digits and we'll know late tonight.

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9 hours ago, Randomizer said:

A friend at work is in a betting pool on when the presidency will be declared. He's got 2 weeks. :)

I know it's a pandemic and all, but daaaaang people. Every four years I try to understand the US election process, and every four years I come away horrified by all the different state regulations (among other things). It's made me very glad for the existence of Elections Canada.

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2 hours ago, Dintiradan said:

Every four years I try to understand the US election process, and every four years I come away horrified by all the different state regulations (among other things). It's made me very glad for the existence of Elections Canada.

 

I'm actually reasonably ok with the somewhat chaotic/different regulations in different states system.  In a perfect world, one central location/rules would make a lot more sense, make getting results easier, etc.  However the last four years have shown what happens when someone's in office who actually wants systems torn down/chaos.  With 50 different state level offices/directors, the changes of widespread organized corruption/chaos that will call into question the results is incredibly reduced.  Unlike, for example, what seems to be happening at the post office over the past few months where the new Postmaster General's marching orders seemed to be "Go throw a wrench into as many things as possible..."

 

Much like sausage, you generally don't want to see what goes into making it, but the end result is usually ok.

 

****

 

Anyway, I got sidetracked there.  After reading the poll I strolled down to the end to ask - "Other"?  Did someone actually vote for Kanye?

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3 minutes ago, TriRodent said:

Much like sausage, you generally don't want to see what goes into making it, but the end result is usually ok.

 

If you're comparing U.S. politics to a hot dog, the analogy makes a lot of sense.  And no, the end result composition of a hot dog is not ok.

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12 minutes ago, 1081 in 2020 said:

 

If you're comparing U.S. politics to a hot dog, the analogy makes a lot of sense.  And no, the end result composition of a hot dog is not ok.

 

Sure it is.  It may not taste/function the greatest, but it will provide basic nutrition/services for most of the people most of the time.  It's when an unground up pig anus makes it through the machinery into one hot dog/one election that the problems really come to light...

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25 minutes ago, TriRodent said:

Anyway, I got sidetracked there.  After reading the poll I strolled down to the end to ask - "Other"?  Did someone actually vote for Kanye?

My guess is the communist candidate Gloria La Riva.

 

(As a rule, I only include candidates who have ballot access in enough states to hypothetically win the presidency)

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If I have to eat a sausage, I 100% want to know what goes into making it. Anyway, I'm not sure how the analogy is supposed to apply to election regulations. Are you saying it's best to be blissfully ignorant of the, um, ratfrigging that goes on behind the scenes?

 

Speaking of ratfrigging, what do y'all think the over/under is for the number of Brooks Brothers Riot-style events in the days to come?

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It looks like we'll know tomorrow. If you take what's been called by various outlets, Biden can pull out a win with Michigan, where he's leading and results are expected tonight, and Nevada, where he's also leading and results are expected tomorrow morning.

 

It will be interesting to see what Trump does at that point, though. Anyone else would just concede, but Trump has already declared victory and called everything fraudulent. So it's not as clear what will happen once media outlets call the race for Biden.

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I think Trump is hoping he can bump up his lawsuits to the Supreme Court and have them declare him victor by disqualifying enough votes. Although most of the voter fraud has been on the Republican side with his campaign groups altering Democratic voter registrations and destroying the US Postal Services ability to deliver mail.

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Biden is to the right of our right wing party and barely to the left of our fascists here in Belgium. I just don’t understand how the right wing minority in the usa cant be happy with Biden or how the left wing supermajority gets duped into not voting or voting for biden/obama/clinton.

 

like, the polls indicate a 60+% approval for someone like Bernie Sanders, a centrist in every other democracy in the world.

 

tldr USA politics makes no sense from a european perspective

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it doesn't make sense to a lot of people here either.

 

but the short answer is that it has more to do with culture and with power dynamics than it does with policy.  (us/them power dynamics on the right, and organizational power dynamics on the 'left', both reinforced by the 2 party system and single pass voting (which also reinforce each other))

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4 hours ago, marnick said:

I just don’t understand how the right wing minority in the usa cant be happy with Biden

Because they're aware that they can get even further right candidates, and can't conceive of settling for getting one who agrees with only 90% of their policy ideas.

 

All expectations of compromise in American politics flow rightward, never leftward, and this is maintained institutionally by the party duopoly who have a stranglehold on the system. This is underpinned by Democratic leadership (and many committed liberal/progressives generally) believing that the American electorate is, deep down, unshakably center-right-to-right politically, and thus Democratic candidates who try to do anything but cater to imaginary ideal right-leaning American voters (at least above the state level) have great difficulty swinging party support behind them, and are often simply shut down by the party (by the party withholding its nomination and endorsement, by party heavyweights endorsing other candidates for the nomination, by underfunding campaigns, etc). Despite issues like universal healthcare or marijuana legalization being broadly popular, and things that would absolutely bring in nonvoters, and even swing some ostensibly-unshakably-right voters, Democratic leadership sincerely believes that these issues are political suicide, and thus refuses to run on them. (And then, thus, the right wing is allowed even more leeway to set the terms of the discourse, and shift it further right, etc, and this process repeats every election, and thus America slides far to the right of most other Western countries politically.)

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Some of the cultural differences are the value that American culture has traditionally placed on economic freedom.  While it is not explicitly called out the way freedom of speech, press, etc are, economic freedom (self made person, etc) is a strong cultural value.  It was in fact one of the reasons why people left Europe to come to America and has continued to be important to many immigrants to the US.  Economic freedom is valued by many as greater than economic security.  If the Republican Party had a logical immigration policy, they would increase the quotas for immigrants coming in for economic freedom.  I have know a lot of people who came (or their parents came) to this country to escape socialist paradises.  Prettying the wording up by calling it democratic socialism does not give them a warm fuzzy since most of the places that they choose to leave, usually with great discomfort and sometimes with great risk, called themselves socialist democracies or socialist republics.

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7 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

Some of the cultural differences are the value that American culture has traditionally placed on economic freedom.

 

Just to be clear, this is not a universal American value -- it's a hotly contested one, as it has been throughout the country's history.  (It was, for example, one of the arguments made in defense of slavery.)  Definitely true that it has a stronger following here than in most places.

 

 

7 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

...socialist paradises.  Prettying the wording up by calling it democratic socialism does not give them a warm fuzzy since most of the places that they choose to leave, usually with great discomfort and sometimes with great risk, called themselves socialist democracies or socialist republics.

 

If you're actually prettying up the wording, then absolutely.  But "social democrat" is widely used across Europe (and beyond) for political parties that have little to nothing in common with the repressive authoritarian states you're referring to.  "Democratic socialism" in that context isn't a misuse of the words, and it's not prettying up anything, it's another use entirely -- and frankly a more accurate use, and a more globally consistent one.

 

Let's be very direct here: while you're talking about a real effect, and there are some immigrants with that association to "socialism", the far more widespread bad association in the U.S. is one largely restricted to older Americans, and it's the direct result of McCarthyism and the era of repressive government actions associated with it.

 

I'd also note that exactly the same argument can be made about "democratic" given the un-democratic countries that insert that into their name.

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Bernie would have made a better president than Donald Trump, though I don't know if he would have beaten Trump if he had won the primary back in 2016. He still would have probably fared better than Hillary did. Economically speaking I  would say I lean left and am a registered Democrat.  Medicare for all would be fine with me, though I think that a public option would probably be more popular with the rest of the people.

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I do not think that Senator Sanders could have won, or even been close, in 2016 or 2020.  I believe that if Secretary Clinton had run a similar campaign to the one that Governor Clinton ran she would have been the second President Clinton.

 

My summary for 2016 is 

Dem Nominee -- Competent, failed to learn lessons from her husband's victories (running from the center), shot herself in the foot at the end by calling half the county deplorables and then not even trying to walk it back

Dem Runner up -- Guy with limited grasp on reality who would have had an embarrassing loss

Rep Runner up -- Guy with limited grasp on reality who would have had a non-embarrassing loss

Rep Nominee -- Incompetent guy with limited grasp on reality, but a salesman who appealed to the middle of the country

 

My summary for 2020 is

Dem Nominee -- Competent, failed to learn from 2016, barley avoided shooting himself in the foot and won the election but did not win a mandate about his policies, just everyone was so relieved that he was not the Rep Nominee

Dem Runner up -- Guy with limited grasp on reality who still would have had an embarrassing loss against an opponent who was helping drive high democrat participation

Rep Nominee -- Incompetent Guy with limited grasp on reality who still was the best salesmen of the lot, but he had alienated enough people that what turned out to be the decisive margin was voting against him and not for his opponent

 

Third party candidates tend to be protest votes not serious votes since everyone who can do basic math understands that they are not going to win, but only take away from one of the other candidates.  This year, both the Libertarians and the Greens dramatically underperformed 2016 as a much smaller portion of the electorate was willing to waste their vote thanks to the President.  They all wanted to make sure their votes counted, especially those who were going to vote against him.

 

Significant voting blocks (like the Unions who are traditionally pro democratic) have better health care then medicare for all.  Public Option polls better with most voters then Medicare For All, and the Biden campaign spent some effort to reassure the unions that Medicare for All was not Biden's goal.

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11 hours ago, Kelandon said:

Insert obligatory comment about how "socialism" is so poorly defined that it is more confusing than helpful in literally any discussion of anything. When a term can refer to anything from the command economy of the former Soviet Union to the current economies of Northern Europe, it's no longer a useful term.

the nAZIs WeRE aCtUalLy SOCIaLISts

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Edgwyn continues to say a lot of things that were, indeed, conventional wisdom on politics in the U.S. at one point -- but no longer apply, and haven't for a great many years.

 

2 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

I do not think that Senator Sanders could have won, or even been close, in 2016 or 2020.  I believe that if Secretary Clinton had run a similar campaign to the one that Governor Clinton ran she would have been the second President Clinton.

The 1992 U.S. and the 2016 U.S. were extremely different countries, and HRC is a very different politician from WJC.  I think what you're suggesting here is broadly impossible .

 

As far as the Bernie-Trump matchup, lots of people love to speculate on that point, and there's no shortage of opinions.  People have done polls on such a theoretical matchup, and while that's obviously nowhere close to the same thing as a whole long campaign season, I still find those more substantive than random opinions.

 

2 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

Dem Nominee -- Competent, failed to learn lessons from her husband's victories (running from the center), shot herself in the foot at the end by calling half the county deplorables and then not even trying to walk it back

There were a profusion of factors that led to this loss.  100% agreed on the second point being one of them, but 0% agreed on the first.  The difference between her performance and Biden's isn't that she failed to turn out independents, it's that she failed to turn out the base.  You don't turn out the base by moving towards the center.

 

2 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

Dem Runner up -- Guy... who still would have had an embarrassing loss against an opponent who was helping drive high democrat participation

Still waiting for the evidence or argumentation behind this continued assertion.

 

2 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

Significant voting blocks (like the Unions who are traditionally pro democratic) have better health care then medicare for all.  Public Option polls better with most voters then Medicare For All, and the Biden campaign spent some effort to reassure the unions that Medicare for All was not Biden's goal.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/12/public-option-vs-medicare-for-all-debate-biden-buttigieg-sanders-polls.html

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Voted for Biden because he's not a raging fascist. Glad he won. Not so glad to see the Democratic party's center already throwing its left under the bus.

I have been feeling a lot of things the last few days, but mostly just very, very, very tired. This year has been hell beyond anything I've experienced before, and we all deserve so much better right now than "returning to the status quo that was already killing hundreds of thousands of people a year" and "apologizing to Republicans for existing because they're not actively trying to kill us anymore".

Edit: also, hi again all. Been a while.

Edited by Just Fluff
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I voted Democrat up and down the ballot, and also for ranked choice voting in Massachusetts. I would have preferred European-style socialists.

 

I believe Bernie Sanders is, internally, a European-style socialist, even if he doesn't push that hard for it. His strategy seems to be to repackage, promote, and educate about those European-style socialist values he can make palatable to the American people. I think if Americans paid more attention to global politics, he'd be presenting himself as far more socialist than he does.

 

Democrats vs. Republicans is an illusion. The country is run by wealthy, powerful people suffering from empathy loss, experts at dominating the political conversation and manipulating the populace into self-sabotaging. I don't believe we're ever going to see real, positive change in America until those people are assisted with managing their illnesses. Waving signs, shouting from podiums, and throwing insults and demands have not, thus far, been especially effective at getting the American people what they want or need. Economic prosperity does not "trickle down", but peace, love, and understanding do. We'll either learn that or wipe ourselves out.

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On 11/7/2020 at 9:05 PM, Edgwyn said:

Some of the cultural differences are the value that American culture has traditionally placed on economic freedom.  While it is not explicitly called out the way freedom of speech, press, etc are, economic freedom (self made person, etc) is a strong cultural value.  It was in fact one of the reasons why people left Europe to come to America and has continued to be important to many immigrants to the US.  Economic freedom is valued by many as greater than economic security.  If the Republican Party had a logical immigration policy, they would increase the quotas for immigrants coming in for economic freedom.  I have know a lot of people who came (or their parents came) to this country to escape socialist paradises.  Prettying the wording up by calling it democratic socialism does not give them a warm fuzzy since most of the places that they choose to leave, usually with great discomfort and sometimes with great risk, called themselves socialist democracies or socialist republics.

Thats a heap of bs. Americans might want to believe they like freedom more than other countries, but I dont see a nazi becoming president in Germany ever again. Chances of VB becoming a majority party in Belgium is close to zero. We learned our lesson after you liberated us. We actually vote for freedom, economic or otherwise.

 

Im sorry but that kind of american exceptionalism doesnt work on me (or most other non-americans). From where Im sitting, freedom is the one thing americans fear more than anything.

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On 11/8/2020 at 4:07 PM, Edgwyn said:

Dem Runner up -- Guy with limited grasp on reality who still would have had an embarrassing loss against an opponent who was helping drive high democrat participation

Which part of knowing that medicare for all, in the middle of a pandemic, has an almost 80% approval rate amongst americans is "limited grasp on reality"? And how on earth could running on such a popular policy lead to anything other than a 45 state landlide? And in reality, government run healthcare is trillions of dollars cheaper than a private run system.

 

What you're describing is wishful thinking by republican establishment but, again from a european perspective, it's not Bernie Sanders who has a limited grasp on reality. His ideas are extremely popular and cheaper than the status quo.

 

American politics are weird, almost unrelated to perceptible reality.

Edited by marnick
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On 11/10/2020 at 11:08 PM, marnick said:

American politics are weird, almost unrelated to perceptible reality.

It is actually true that there are massive, related disinformation machines, mostly targeting the right, in American politics. So there is in fact a disconnect between what people believe and reality, particularly among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

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16 hours ago, marnick said:

Im sorry but that kind of american exceptionalism doesnt work on me (or most other non-americans). From where Im sitting, freedom is the one thing americans fear more than anything.


It's a definition thing. "Freedom" to sensible people includes things like freedom from fear (as FDR described, though this country has never lived up to any his Four Freedoms). But "freedom" to a lot of USians also, or sometimes only, means "power" - the ability to do what you want without consequences. When a USian tells you "It's a free country!" they're probably not asserting their right to one of FDR's Four Freedoms, but rather their privilege to bully or endanger you in some way.

Source: my life, constantly on the business end of "It's a free country!" when getting insults, punches, and bigotry thrown at me.

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On 11/11/2020 at 12:06 PM, Kelandon said:

It is actually true that there are massive, related disinformation machines, mostly targeting the right, in American politics. So there is in fact a disconnect between what people believe and reality, particularly among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Americans are so prone to disinformation campaigns that Russia has been caught conducting such campaigns here to benefit their own interest in destabilizing America. I'm not sure what makes Americans so gullible.

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It isn't just Americans that are gullible because then people wouldn't fall for scams so easily even when publicized. People want to have their beliefs reinforced and the Internet makes is so much easier to get information to target individuals that have those beliefs.

 

It doesn't help that Trump for so long attacked reliable media companies as "enemies of the state" and called verified reporting as fake news. That makes unreliable sources so acceptable even when repeatedly shown as false, paying for witnesses to repeat fake information (Fox news), or supporting disinformation campaigns that align with their views.

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