Politics Thread


Tomorrow is election day in the US. So tomorrow night should be very interesting as the results come in. Prevailing wisdom based on polls and election models developed by statisticians is that the Democrats will gain enough seats in the House to take control, while Republicans will retain control of the Senate, either maintaining their 51-49 majority or slightly increasing it. Democrats are also expected to increase their number of governorships which should help them in the 2020 presidential elections.


Though if 2016 taught us anything, it’s not to count our chickens before they hatch. Polls are not to be counted on. I’m not getting comfortable yet.


I’ll admit that I don’t know much about US politics, but I’m curious: who do you think we’ll see in the 2020 primaries for the Democrats? Do you think Beto O’Rourke could run if he loses his race to the Senate, for instance?


While not impossible, it’s unlikely. Without a major election win it will be a serious challenge for Beto to woo enough major Democratic donors for a presidential run in what is likely to be a crowded field. It’s more likely that he’ll try again for a governorship or a senate seat in 2020. OTOH, if he wins odds are much higher that he’ll run in 2020. For a ‘Senator Beto’ the signs may never align better than 2020. Obama was only a first-term senator when he ran for and was elected POTUS.


Thanks for the quick answer, Tiger. :slightly_smiling_face:

I was thinking that we might see Beto pop up as a vice-president pick for whomever wins the nomination in 2020. That might be a way to aggregate voters in places that usually don’t go blue.

But, besides him, I think we might see Sanders try again to be the candidate. Do you think Biden might try to run for president? He’s a bit old, and I’m not sure if he’d be the first pick of Hispanic voters. I did read somewhere that he’s already polling high, so you never know.


Biden is certainly still possible. I sense that he regrets not running in 2016. Elizabeth Warren is another possibility as are New Jersey’s ‘Spartacus’ Cory Booker and California’s Kamala Harris.


Here’s a nice write-up on when the polls close and which contested races to look out for: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/2018-election-polls-close/

My prediction: as with 2016, the polls leading up to the election will prove to be inaccurate once again and the Republicans will gain in the Senate and retain control over the House. I think this will be a death knell to the Democratic Party (as we know it), forcing them into some extensive restructuring and soul-searching.

The strong economy, in my opinion, will be the primary reason why everything goes red. But I guess we’ll find out soon! And regardless of who you think is going to win–get out there and vote!


That’s certainly possible. According to the statistical models that would roughly be the equivalent of flipping a coin and getting heads 14 out of 16 times on the pure toss-up House districts assuming the ones that lean Democrat go Democrat and the ones that lean Republican go Republican. Alternatively, if there is a systemic polling error then the odds for the Republicans may be better than the statisticians believe. Of course, a systemic error could go the other way and turn into a blowout for the Democrats, with a blue tidal wave instead of a small tub-sized wave that stops short of giving the Democrats the House.

There are a lot of unknowns tonight. Democrats are relying on young people, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and childless white female voters to carry them to victory, but historically speaking, none of these groups aside from childless white females tend to vote in large numbers in mid-terms. Turn-out is an open question, and for childless white women, hidden Trump voters are an issue as white female Trump voters are often reluctant to admit they are Trump voters to pollsters. Hillary losing the white female vote came as a surprise to a lot of people including Hillary herself.

Turn-out is also an open question among Trump voters, especially among never-Trumpers and Obama-Trump voters. Will never-Trump Republicans be energized by the Kavanaugh hearings and show up to vote despite disliking Trump personally and the arguably sycophantic behavior House Republicans have shown? Will Obama-Trump voters show up at all since Trump isn’t personally on the ballot? Trump has been targeting that last group heavily the past few weeks, attempting to rile them up on immigration and get them out to vote. Tonight we will find out if he succeeded.


So I guess it looks like Democrats are doing really well in the House, Republicans are doing even better than expected in the Senate, governorships are kinda mixed, and Democrats are making some gains in state legislatures overall? Does that sound right?

Oh gosh, Wisconsin’s state governor race is ridiculously narrow right now… currently Evers is leading by less than a thousand votes, looks like. I’m really wondering if we’ll be having a recount.
(Actually more than a thousand while I was typing this, but still less than two thousand.)
(As of a while later, Walker got ahead, then Evers got ahead, and now Walker is ahead again, but the margin keeps narrowing and expanding; it’s been largely under two thousand. And 94% precincts reporting now. This is so tense :cold_sweat:)

I was an election worker today, counting absentee/early ballots and let me just note, voter turnout was incredibly high… quite a bit above the 2016 election and above what anyone was projecting. Looks like both Democrats and Republicans were really energized, though.


…here in Illinois at least.

Voted for the first time today. Got a little American flag and a sticker. I used a paper ballot because I don’t trust the machines.

Pritzker won pretty handily. He’s not my ideal candidate, but I’m optimistic anyway.

Also, there’s an openly gay governor in Colorado and a Native American rep in New Mexico. That’s pretty damn cool.


Scott Walker is now leading by only 170 votes. What is this election? :confounded:
I’m thinking it might be a while before I know who my next governor’s gonna be :sweat_smile:

(In the interests of full disclosure, Walker is pretty near the top of my list of candidates I want to see defeated—and he’s been our governor for closing in on eight years now.)

I had multiple gay candidates on my ballot (whom I voted for)… that was nice :smile:

Also the election work I was doing was so many numbers :dizzy_face: for counting numbers of ballots and so forth… I am sure I will be dreaming of envelopes and numbers tonight… envelopes and numbers… :dizzy_face:

Evers is ahead again! :joy::tada::confetti_ball::sparkles::rainbow::unicorn::fireworks:

By 122 votes so I really shouldn’t count on this lasting :sweat_smile: But… yeah, still competitive and this is unbelievable :confounded:


Actual Hyooman Ted Cruz is ahead. About how long do you think before he takes off his man suit and we have an openly alien senator?


Yup, Democrats have taken control of the House, and Republicans have strengthened their control of the Senate.

In the House, 396/435 seats have been determined. Democrats are up +25. They needed +23. With 39 seats still be determined the only real question is the size of their new majority.

In the Senate, with 97/100 seats determined (only 33 were up for re-election), Republicans are up +4. With 2 Republican (Arizona, Nevada) and 1 Democratic (Montana) seats still up for grabs, the final count will be between +2 and +5 for the Republicans in the Senate.

I haven’t monitored the governorships as closely, Democrats have picked up several, but Republicans have held onto Florida and Ohio and are still in that nailbiter in Wisconsin. These three will be critical for the Presidential elections in 2020.


Tell me about it :cold_sweat:

With 99% reporting now, Evers’ lead is a lot better, anyway—he’s over 1% ahead now, so maybe there won’t be a recount after all? We’ll see… too close to call anything until it’s over :worried:

I am very happy that Tammy Baldwin is still my senator :star_struck: not that there was a particularly high chance of her losing, but still. (She also happens to be the US’s first openly gay senator.)


Jared Polis of Colorado is now the first openly gay man to be elected governor. And in Massachusetts, a ballot measure to protect laws that prohibit discrimination against transgender people has passed.

With 407/435 House seats determined, Democrats are up to +26. Several of the remaining seats won’t be determined for several days. California and Washington state allow voters to mail out absentee ballots as late as election day.


Looks like the Republicans have lost Heller’s Nevada senate seat. That drops them to +3 in the Senate.

Evers appears to have won the Wisconsin governor’s race by about 625 votes, but Walker is demanding a recount. The opposite situation appears to be occurring in the Georgia governor’s race where it’s the Democrat who is demanding a recount.


While the economy is historically the top reason people (no matter their affiliation) vote, healthcare was the Democrats and Independents top reason this year to vote.

The top reason that Republicans actually voted this year was immigration, followed by jobs as the second plurality. (Meaning no clear majority reason). How Trump’s singular focus on Immigration affected voting will most likely be debated for a long while.

My belief is that the traditional Republicans still in the party were negatively affected while the true Trumpists were energized. What that means is again going to be debated for a long time, especially if these results lead to Trump missing out on a second term.

Locally, my state went more blue than it has been in the past; still waiting for final tallies on local initiatives.

Nationally, the results match Regan’s midterms when his numbers were the lowest of his 8 years, and for the first time since he was elected, Trump will experience a real check on his power, not just opposition from media power or protest.

My hope is that the Democratic House will be judicial in their investigations, focusing on the undeniable corruption that went unchecked with single party rule (ie Pruit’s EPA) and that they will resist going the Benghazi investigative route, focusing on chasing the unattainable down rabbit holes.

Some of the new Chairs should be good - they are universally acknowledged as sharp, dedicated and hard working and even Republicans (in private) will agree.

The biggest opportunity for legislation will be an infrastructure bill - which everyone can agree most of our states desperately need (some of the bridges in every day use here are 1950’s wonders) and it is something that everyone can claim as a win.

There will be no movement on tax bills or immigration - too much contention on both sides to move from their corners there.

At the state level, Republicans held on to some governorships but due to Democratic wins and redistricting approaching, the next cycle might see better maps for Democratic campaigns.

Overall, what I both feared (Heidi Hetkamp losing) and hoped (Heller losing in Nevada) happened in the Senate.

What this means to me is the Republican stacking of the judiciary will continue apace (Trump confirmed more judges in two years than any President) and any movement of the cultural issues achieved by liberals (small “L” liberals include people of all parties) will be fought over not only in the legislature and executive offices but in the court system as well.

I was most disappointed in this election by Cruz’s re-election and most surprised by Walker’s ability to keep himself alive. Hopefully, Ever’s lead will hold.


Definitely, it was the issue that decided my vote. The ACA is the only reason I’m able to afford getting some much needed dental work done (tooth pain is the worst). I also might be getting surgery sometime in the next two months, and if I do, it’ll pay for that as well.


Lol, well I was half-right! The Democrats took the House after all. I’m certainly glad Trump doesn’t have control over everything: he now only has the Presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court!

I think this will make matters more interesting and let us (hopefully) see a part of Trump we haven’t really had to see yet: the deal-maker and the negotiator. He originally ran as “not a politician” who could “reach across the aisle” and so forth. I’m wondering how that’s going to work out, when he’s got to stick his hand out for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

One of the reasons I was sort of hoping that the Democratic Party would break now was so that they could rally and reinvent themselves in time for 2020. I’m extremely bearish on the party as it is now–I think they need to create a sort of leftist populism that looks nothing like socialism but is instead very American. And I don’t think they can sell that with the current Democratic leadership.


I think the more modern approach is the opposite of that, instead of Nazi propaganda our media try to drown us in an ocean of information with less and less editorial oversight and curation.
Back when I was a political aide it was tough to even get in touch with some editors in order to get them to cover our message, now you just send them your own press releases and they’ll be posted on their websites and Facebook with almost no reviewing being done and if you word it well enough and more importantly funny and attention-grabbing enough it isn’t all that hard anymore to make the news and line the front pages.

Yep, where I was told that you don’t so much lie as twist the truth around to your message, seems that is a political and Democratic norm Trump has chucked into the trash bin altogether.

Had Hillary won I still think she would have found a way to get back into the Libyan quagmire because it was her personal shame, much as Bush jr. ill-advised Iraq war had elements of trying to make his father’s legacy mean more.

If you’ve never been in the center of power it’s not that difficult in fact that just makes you an “outsider” who knows all of the insider tricks, which can be an asset.

Off-topic but who is the cute blond in your Gif Bryce?

Isn’t Booker even more conservative than Obama though?
As far as Biden goes 2016 could have been his year as he would have been one of the few candidates who could have taken on Trump both rhetorically in the debates simply because he could have been more manly than Trump, which seemed to be what the American voters wanted back in 2016 and he still had some blue-collar cred with people who ended up breaking massively for Trump because Hillary failed to gain any traction with them.
Not really seeing those factors looming over the horizon for 2020. Plus Biden hasn’t gotten any younger in the mean time.

The sort of people who could potentially have been Biden voters had it been him instead of Hillary. They were also more sympathetic to Sanders, I recall but not in large enough numbers to offset Sanders’ lesser traction with Democratic minorities compared to Hillary.

Trump already got his tax-cuts and besides it looks like the Dems are still conservative so they’ll never reverse those tax-cuts.

Which needs taxes, not tax-cuts to fund it, so that seems to be a non-starter too.

My hope is they don’t do anything that could lead to president Pence. :fearful:
Though I know @Havenstone disagrees with me on that one.