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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:42 PM

 

Electability.

This morning, I found myself engaged in debate with someone supporting one of the minor candidates. I was instructed that unless I supported this single digit candidates I was not serious about politics. I was also told that I did not understand electability.

I countered by saying that electability is a subjective judgment we make about a candidate, based in part about how much we like them, how we imagine other people respond to them, and other subjective factors. I was told that no, it is a scientific fact that one of the single digit candidates is universally more electable.

(Of course later it came out that the person was an independent who hates the Democratic party, etc, etc)

So I dug around to see if research has been done on electability and how this construct is used in our politics. And I found this very interesting article.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/electability-eye-beholder-what-hell-do-we-actually-know-about-n1020576
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Electability. (Original post)
bluedye33139 Dec 2019 OP
redqueen Dec 2019 #1
thesquanderer Dec 2019 #3
Otto Lidenbrock Dec 2019 #2
Fiendish Thingy Dec 2019 #4
abqtommy Dec 2019 #5
bluedye33139 Dec 2019 #7
comradebillyboy Dec 2019 #8
bluedye33139 Dec 2019 #9
Cha Dec 2019 #12
judeling Dec 2019 #6
Gothmog Dec 2019 #10
bluedye33139 Dec 2019 #11

Response to bluedye33139 (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:50 PM

1. Great piece.

 

And many argue that perceptions of electability are driven largely by national media coverage, creating what analyst Nate Silver called a "feedback loop" and Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan dubbed a "self-perpetuating effect."

Hope that one day we can stop letting the media have such a big influence. This used to be called out more often here.


This makes me wonder how Clinton was polling with black voters at this time in 2015.
But Allison and others argue his represents only one path to victory for Democrat. They say Democrats would actually do better by focusing on their most loyal voters ó by boosting turnout in Midwest cities like Detroit, where African-Americans voted in lower numbers for Clinton than they did for Barack Obama.


As for me, I think Yang is our most electable candidate. He's an outsider without a ton of baggage, and he is able to attract moderates, progressives, independents, libertarians, and even disaffected Trump voters.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to redqueen (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:04 PM

3. re: "feedback loop"

 

Yes, it's one reason I've maintained that poll questions that ask who you will vote for (head to head against Trump) are valuable, but poll questions that ask who you think is most electable (essentially, a poll that asks who you think OTHER people will vote for, rather than just asking other people) will to a large extent just report back what has already been reported. If people read that polls say someone will beat Trump by the largest amount, they are likely to believe that that person would be most electable, but all they're really doing is spitting back the results of previous polls. It may not be the only thing that determines someone's answer to the electability question, but it has to be a factor. Yup, it's a feedback loop. So "Who do you think is most electable" is a useless question for a poll, except perhaps as part of some kind of study of psychology and/or media influence. Politically, it's pointless.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to bluedye33139 (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 12:56 PM

2. Electability is "can you picture this person sitting at the Oval Office desk" and it feels normal

 

Joe was Vice President so obviously he is the "most electable". He was a heartbeat away for eight years and spent most days in the Oval Office anyway. He was elected. Other cabinet officials are appointed. Joe was considered a second tier candidate in 2008 but then he became Vice President and now he's electable.

Women always suffer from the "electability" pitch because we have no example to point to. A woman has to break the glass ceiling on their policies and personality just as Obama broke the glass ceiling for African Americans.

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:28 PM

4. In December 2007, Obama trailed Hillary by 20+ points

 

Last edited Sun Dec 15, 2019, 03:29 PM - Edit history (1)

And there was much hand wringing and Pearl clutching here and in the media that he just wasn't electable, he wasn't ready, America wasn't ready...

Some things never change, some people will always vote their fears, not their hopes and dreams...
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 01:51 PM

5. Woah, 2097?

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:17 PM

7. And there is no gender penalty

 

What I like about this article is it points out that there is a gender lens we use to interpret electability, but when women run for office, gender is not actually penalized by the voting population.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to bluedye33139 (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:54 PM

8. You don't think gender bias played a role in 2016?

 

Or in the attacks on Harris, Klobuchar and Warren in this cycle?
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to comradebillyboy (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 03:33 PM

9. The gender penalty refers to outcomes

 

And the study cited in this article indicates that there is no gender penalty.

Does that mean that there is no gender bias? No.

Does that mean that there was no sexism in 2016? No.

I would point out that Hillary Clinton actually got millions more votes than Donald Trump, which tends to substantiate the theory that the gender penalty doesn't show up in voting.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Otto Lidenbrock (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 16, 2019, 01:36 AM

12. Well said, Otto.. TY!

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to bluedye33139 (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 02:01 PM

6. It is totally subjective mostly

 

The data set is skewed n that most research is done off congressional elections with the hardening of Red and Blue that becomes a problem as Gender and Race and Even Moderate/Progressive are thrown way off. A progressive black female candidate getting killed if a deep red district really doesn't give us much information You have to massage the data so much to get a meaningful result that it is all but impossible not to have the researchers bias come through.

So what can be said about electability only general tendencies and perhaps some past performances for elected candidates.

in General we can say with a lot of research that women nd people of color are judged more progressive then their actual positions may indicate. They are also judged more harshly. That was fairly easy to draw as there is sufficient data.
After that not much.
Electoral history is also not much of a guide. Our candidates tend not to emerge form swingy constituencies at least at their level. A Klobuchar or Carter are rarer then first appears. What is more those constituencies need to be judged in the time. McGovern coming from ND in 1972 tells us nothing about ND in 2020.
The most common next step is to attempt to see a candidate's strength in relation to other candidates and the recent PVI scores.
But really what does that mean? The fact that Warren for example underperforms in Blue MA, really tells us almost nothing about AZ.

Having said that there is a candidate the has shown remarkable electability and is basically the reason I support her. Sherrod Brown would have made that case but Amy Klobuchar has a lot more data to back it up. She is not only the top Democratic vote getter in every race she has run she is the top vote getter period. What is more when you break that out to Congressional District she has won each of them every time. From the most rural to suburban to urban. There is no denying that from her first to her last race she has shown a level of broad appeal that no other candidate can claim. She has had more people willing to split their ticket to vote for her then any other candidate running at lest in a swingy state, enough so that her margin of victory has always been at least 10% higher then every other democratic candidate that includes Obama.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to bluedye33139 (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 06:30 PM

10. Washington Post-It's easy to see how Trump can win reelection

 

Trump can easily win next year if the economy is strong. I strongly disagree with the concept that any candidate that the Democratic party nominates will easily win. Electability is my most main criterion for supporting a candidate

From Larry Sabato https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-economy-got-nixon-reagan-and-bush-reelected-it-could-do-it-for-trump-too/2019/04/23/b8920d34-65e6-11e9-a1b6-b29b90efa879_story.html?utm_term=.a35b315730d2

Ultimately, Trump may turn out to be at the mercy of conventional factors. In 2016, academic predictive models based on fundamentals such as the state of the economy suggested that Trump, or any other Republican candidate, was in position to win the election or come very close. This time, such models (once they become operative next year) could make Trump the early favorite despite his poor approval ratings.

Credit the powers of incumbency and a strong economy, the state of which may matter more to Trumpís odds than nearly anything else. Incumbency and the economy, among other matters, ended up being more than enough for Nixon, Reagan and Bush. Despite Trumpís unprecedented outlandishness, that same combination might work for him, too. [/d]
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 15, 2019, 06:44 PM

11. I'm still not sure how the construct of electability is measured

 

Of course I disagree with the idea that all human beings have a statistically equal probability of defeating Donald Trump, but that isn't what I'm talking about.

I'm saying that these discussions have electability are discussions of subjective impressions and guesses of how other people will think about things. It's so subjective and such a house of mirrors that I don't think anyone can clearly say who is more electable than who else.

I broadly think that someone who cannot win a nomination is probably less electable than someone who can win a nomination, in as much as not being a nominee destroys one's electability.

Still, the construct is very hazy and unclear. When we talk about electability, we are talking about our own subjective and inchoate intuitions.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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