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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16821 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 05:08

View Postjohnu, on 2020-November-06, 04:58, said:

If those faithless voters actually managed to change the winner of the electoral college vote, there might be a civil war, or an actual split of the country into 2 separate entities.

As I wrote before, we're not there yet but there is some really scary stuff coming out of the mainstream networks and (Republican) politicians. And you can be sure that the chatter from the extreme sites and groups is quite a way beyond that.
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#16822 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 06:05

There was a discussion earlier in this thread about how bad the polling has been for this election. Here's my theory about that:

We know that people who are very concerned about Covid-19 are more likely to vote for Biden. This is probably true even when we hold other factors (like race, gender, education level, etc) constant. The problem is that I suspect people who are very concerned about Covid-19 are also more likely to speak to pollsters. Some reasons:

1. Some of these people have lost jobs or had hours cut and others are working from home. All of these mean they are more likely to be available to speak on the phone.
2. Older people in this category may be almost completely isolating themselves at home, and will be happy for some contact with the outside world.
3. In comparison, people who are not very concerned about Covid-19 are more likely to be "out and about" (working, visiting relatives, running errands, etc) and less likely to want to talk on the phone with a pollster.

There's no obvious way to re-weight the polls for this (no one knows what percentage of the population is very concerned about Covid -- except that it's probably not as high as it should be given people's behavior). This also explains the very large apparent movement (from polls) among older voters from Trump to Biden (seems hard to believe it is really that large given the strength of polarization in the USA).

There may well be an additional / separate issue with Latino sub-groups in Florida of course.
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#16823 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 06:07

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-November-05, 20:32, said:

Unfortunately it is a firm axiom of game theory that people act rationally. Without this most of the maths behind it would collapse.


A highly unrealistic assumption. I am not joking.


A lot has happened while I was sleeping. I need some coffee and such. But Georgia? Oh my. The world is looking brighter this morning even if the margin in GA is slim and not final.


Later.
Ken
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#16824 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 07:00

View Postkenberg, on 2020-November-06, 06:07, said:

A highly unrealistic assumption. I am not joking.

I agree completely. But when I studied it at university it was a requirement and its logical implementation led to some extraordinary results.

View Postkenberg, on 2020-November-06, 06:07, said:

A lot has happened while I was sleeping. I need some coffee and such. But Georgia? Oh my. The world is looking brighter this morning even if the margin in GA is slim and not final.

The shock of Georgia seems to have been so much for Fox that they are unable to bring themselves to include the latest 179 votes in Biden's column. Perhaps the plan now is for the channel to freeze the counts there and Pennsylvania and hope none of their viewers notice.
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#16825 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 07:23

Irrationality:
There are times that I later think "I can't believe I was that stupid, what on Earth was I thinking?' Other times things go wrong simply because I didn't think that the consequences of a choice were worth thinking about. And sometimes there has been deception. In short, I often make a mistake and the reasons vary. Additionally, there are matters such as voting where really I don't care if someone can make an airtight ligical argument that it is irrational to take the time to vote, I am doing it anyway.

Game theory has its uses, no doubt abut it. But caution is warranted in following where it leads.

The same is true of statistics in general and polling in particular, as we are once again seeing. It's not that the math is wrong, not exactly, it's just that we always have to make some assumptions, eg people act rationally or people tell the truth or;;;, and these assumptions can be way off.

When I took Euclidean Geometry back in 1953 I thought basing everything on a small number of Axioms was absolutely brilliant. And that's true, it was a brilliant idea. But there was, for example, this parallel postulate to think about.
Ken
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#16826 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 08:26

There are still a couple of news people at Fox it seems. An excellent report from Eric Shawn reporting from Philly where he not only updated on the count but also managed debunk many of the POTUS's false claims. The change of lead in Pennsylvania seems to have had an effect on the general mood of the coverage generally. Suddenly they are more sober and have aired some criticisms rather than just plugging the voter fraud angle. That might be a signal to the wider GOP audience to weigh in with a "put up or shut up" to dodgy Don. This is the beginning of the end. It might take a while for the WH to accept it but if he loses Fox and the party, that is game over.
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#16827 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 09:00

There may be a lasting effect from the decision to not allow early counting of mail-in ballots in PA: The perception of this election.

Suppose that the current status will be the final result: Biden gets PA, GA, AZ and NV. Trump gets NC and AK. Then Biden will have won the popular vote with a margin of 2.5 to 3%, he will have 306 electors vs Trump's 232. That is definitely not a landslide, but it is a clear victory.

Suppose that the mail-in ballots would have been counted ahead of time. We would have seen Biden clearly ahead in many states. We would have gone to bed on Tuesday with the clear feeling that we are going to have a new POTUS. We would have woken up on Tuesday and we would have seen that it was actually a little tighter than we thought. But a win is a win.

Now, at least Ken and I have had a few sleepless nights in a row. We perceive this election as incredibly close and tense. When, probably, in reality it wasn't.

Rik
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#16828 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 09:04

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-November-06, 01:58, said:

The mood on Fox is getting darker and darker. Newt was just on calling for DJT to "lead the millions", for the AG to lock up the people counting votes, to have all votes thrown out in counties specified by DJT/Barr and for states to ignore the counts and appoint their own electors. Chilling stuff. :blink: :ph34r:


I admire you have the courage to watch Fox News - I cannot do so without growing physically ill.
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#16829 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 09:12

View PostCyberyeti, on 2020-November-06, 04:21, said:

St Helena



Dante's 8th circle of hell.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16830 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 10:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-November-06, 09:04, said:

I admire you have the courage to watch Fox News - I cannot do so without growing physically ill.


I have it on now.

I turned it on during the 1st Presidential debate, because I wanted to see what the other side thought about the results. I was treated with a montage of Biden stuttering and the cokehead Don Jr. prattering on about Hunter. I could only stand it for 10 minutes.

This morning, they are surprisingly muted. Almost resigned.
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#16831 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 10:10

View PostTrinidad, on 2020-November-06, 09:00, said:

We perceive this election as incredibly close and tense. When, probably, in reality it wasn't.


No, it was absolutely close and tense. Critical states being won by < 1% margin. It's only the winner take all nature of electoral votes in nearly all states that makes the electoral total look not so close. A true not close election would be if results had been near the polling, with most of the swing states being won with 5-8% margins IMO.

Now we have to hope for miracles in Georgia runoffs for Senate. Otherwise gridlock for 2 years as turtle boy blocks everything because winning is all that matters, not whether some policy is actually good for the country, then I'm afraid stupid voters in US think "hey nothing is really significantly getting better/changing, democrats are 'in charge' because they have presidency, must be their fault, time to give the republicans a chance", they get control of both chambers, and Biden's entire term is wasted. Then we get like president Tucker or some such & I will want to blow my brains out over American stupidity.

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#16832 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 10:31

View PostPhil, on 2020-November-06, 10:00, said:

I have it on now.

I turned it on during the 1st Presidential debate, because I wanted to see what the other side thought about the results. I was treated with a montage of Biden stuttering and the cokehead Don Jr. prattering on about Hunter. I could only stand it for 10 minutes.

This morning, they are surprisingly muted. Almost resigned.


By the way, I had CNN earlier and they appealed to the Murdoch's to tell their anchors to show some restraint. This appears to have happened. Bret Baier is telling the leader of the RNC that there is no way that 147K votes were fraudulently cast.
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#16833 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 10:51

I think the election "was close" and in fact we need the present tense "is close". There will be a recount in Georgia as surely there should be. The Biden margin is paper thin, there are still some votes to be counted, there will be a recount. It appears that Biden will win, I agree with that, but it was and is close. Not close in popular vote, but the win has to be a win as the rules now are.

There will also be legal challenges. These need to be taken seriously but carefully. Losing is obviously not proof of fraud. My big worry there is that once lawyers get into this everything can quickly disintegrate. "If you have three glasses of scotch, set the facts at an angle, and examine them with a purple light then you can see that the law agrees with me." We need to say "No". I can think of more emphatic phrasing, but a loud "No", or even a soft but clear "No", needs to be the response. We should listen to facts. And that does not mean alternative facts, it means facts without adjectives. Alternative fact presenters need to be sent on their way.

This might take a while but phase 1, getting the count, seems to be nearing completion. It would be nice if phase one were the final phase, but reality bites. This is going to be wearing.
Ken
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#16834 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 11:08

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-November-06, 09:04, said:

I admire you have the courage to watch Fox News - I cannot do so without growing physically ill.

I like to get different points of view and flipped quite a lot during the coverage between CNN, Fox and CBS/BBC, which are the 3 channels I can get live at this time. Most of the time Fox was fine but after it became clear that Trump was losing they started to become difficult to stay on. When it gets too bad I switch back to CNN for a bit.

View PostPhil, on 2020-November-06, 10:00, said:

I have it on now.

I turned it on during the 1st Presidential debate, because I wanted to see what the other side thought about the results. I was treated with a montage of Biden stuttering and the cokehead Don Jr. prattering on about Hunter. I could only stand it for 10 minutes.

This morning, they are surprisingly muted. Almost resigned.

You are lucky you were not watching earlier. The worst was while the blue shift was slowly progressing and the terrible trio - Tucker, Hannity and Laura - all went into pure conspiracy mode for a while. I checked them and all were laughably easy to debunk. It is inconceivable that Fox would think that these held water but they were pushing them anyway and on repeat. The worst part of this section was an interview with Newt Gingrich though - that was genuinely scary.

Things did not really go into muted mode until PA turned blue. Shortly thereafter they read out a mildly critical tweet from a Republican and then went to the interview I mentioned above with Eric Shawn. Some of the hosts are still trying to keep alive the idea of the election still being open or of voter fraud but basically they seem to have accepted that the game is up. Hopefully that will help calm things down some. The way they were going there was a serious risk of people getting hurt.
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#16835 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 11:20

View Postkenberg, on 2020-November-06, 10:51, said:

I think the election "was close" and in fact we need the present tense "is close".

It is interesting the different way people look at the same information. From the messages here at BBF I get the impression that a lot of liberals had a sinking feeling early on. Yet at no time during the coverage did I have any serious doubts that Biden would win. I was looking at the forecasts and the demographic swings and the critical paths always seemed to me to be open.

My main concern both before and during the count was the Senate and that worry turned out to be well founded. Now of course it might be possible to win the run-offs but my expectation would be 48-52, which is about as bad as it could have been. That is going to make for a difficult period. Mitch will surely re-remember what fiscal responsibility means and try to starve the economy of any restart cash inflow. And I doubt the way the count has gone will lend itself to much bipartisan action whatever JB tries. So pretty much 2-4 years of status quo and sluggish growth. Bad for America and bad for the entire world. We'll see though - the people of Georgia came through once, perhaps they can hit one last 2 run homer at the bottom of the 9th.
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#16836 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 11:40

Why 69 million still follow Trump, and why we are quickly approaching a critically dangerous moment in the U.S. (Commentary of Bandy X. Lee)



Quote

In mental pathology, where higher functions are impaired, an individual taps more easily into "the primitive brain," which is irrational but very powerful, as it is survival-driven. Illegitimate power is like oxygen to the narcissistically- or sociopathically-disordered mind, and such a person would be driven to do anything—including annihilate himself and the world—for his psychic survival. Losing an election would, therefore, not at all be like a healthy person's experience of defeat. In fact, we know how much Donald Trump fears it through his readiness to call others "losers" and "suckers", in order to separate himself and to disavow qualities he cannot tolerate.

Many of his followers will equally experience his downfall as a life-or-death matter, since he has conditioned this into them. Their bond is pathological to start, based on developmental wounds or regression to an earlier stage of development under stress, which led them to seeking a parental figure. They are thus vulnerable to someone manipulative and exploitative enough to claim he will take care of them and protect them in unrealistic ways. And once they do, they often give up their agency and rationality. Recent footage of his followers chanting, "Fire Fauci!" is disturbing in its depiction of their conformity, loss of personality, and alignment with Donald Trump's thinking—to suggest proactively that he remove the reminder of his unwanted reality: the pandemic. Delusions, paranoia, and violence-proneness are among the most contagious symptoms, and we see all these tendencies in his followers.

Under these emotional bonds, his followers will likely experience any threat to his position as an existential threat to themselves, which is why negative facts about him only activate defensive denial and disavowal, rather than abandonment. Abused children rather blame themselves than the parent as a survival impulse, for the parent is their lifeline, and it is easier to believe that he or she could never do wrong—and the more untrue this belief, the more insistently they cling to it.




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#16837 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 13:41

It was good to see so much live coverage of the actual process of counting and verifying the accuracy of the votes -- and of the folks doing that work. Yes, the process varies from state to state (more than I had imagined, I learned recently B-) ), but my experiences in Michigan make me confident that the folks working the election, regardless of political orientation, want to obtain an accurate count. Poll watchers are fine, but both the republicans and democrats make sure that they have their own folks actually doing the counting and signing off on its accuracy.

The lies told by Trump and some of his toadies are intended and designed to undermine the work of the honest citizens who care about preserving our electoral system. Trump and cohorts do want to substitute an authoritarian system because too much democracy threatens the oligarchy. Throwing out Trump is step one, but there is still a long way to go to repair the system.

Looking ahead, it seems to me that McConnell does not subscribe to the Trump nuttiness about Covid-19, so I'm hoping that even a divided government can work together on a national strategy to address the pandemic. Fixing roads, bridges, water, and sewer systems might be another such thing.

And let's immediately can the misleading slogan, "Defund the Police!" But maybe we could find ways to provide care for the mentally ill and drug addicts without relying on the police and the jails to deal with and warehouse folks who really need treatment.
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#16838 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 16:42

It won't be *that* close. Biden will win 306 electoral votes, and 270 of them with a margin of 2% or more.

As always, coastal Democrats conspire to make the popular vote look closer than it actually is, by taking longer to count votes in NY and CA than anywhere else (why??). But in the end, the popular vote will be a bigger margin than any recent election except Obama's 2008 victory.
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#16839 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 17:58

View Postcherdano, on 2020-November-06, 16:42, said:

It won't be *that* close. Biden will win 306 electoral votes, and 270 of them with a margin of 2% or more.

As always, coastal Democrats conspire to make the popular vote look closer than it actually is, by taking longer to count votes in NY and CA than anywhere else (why??). But in the end, the popular vote will be a bigger margin than any recent election except Obama's 2008 victory.


You can't look at it this way. This is like saying he won 306 / 538 ~ 57%. This would be a great record in many sports leagues.

In an election with 144 MM some-odd votes, two swing states with margins of .1 (4,200) and .4% (17,000) were the deciding factor. Slightly different strategy by Trump, like not being an ass-hat to Cindy McCain or toward John Lewis' legacy may have been the difference.

Of course, certain things paid off, like labeling Biden a Socialist which scared South FLA to death too.
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#16840 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-November-06, 18:17

View PostPhil, on 2020-November-06, 17:58, said:

You can't look at it this way. This is like saying he won 306 / 538 ~ 57%. This would be a great record in many sports leagues.

In an election with 144 MM some-odd votes, two swing states with margins of .1 (4,200) and .4% (17,000) were the deciding factor. Slightly different strategy by Trump, like not being an ass-hat to Cindy McCain or toward John Lewis' legacy may have been the difference.

Of course, certain things paid off, like labeling Biden a Socialist which scared South FLA to death too.


Regardless, this will be only the 4th time an incumbent president has been defeated. It will also be a larger win than Trump had in 2016, and Trump was not running against an incumbent. The big disappointment was in the down ballot votes.
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