Two weeks…

Two weeks…

I am casting my vote for Hillary Clinton as soon as the polls are open for early voting. I’m not taking any chances.

Yesterday on FB there was a meme circulating about how Jimmy Carter was up by 8% before the landslide that lost him the presidency in 1980. Back in March, the article below suggested that Trump’s message wouldn’t serve to do the same damage in this election as the fight between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan did back then.

I disagree.

In 1980 I was still too young to vote, but I lived through the damage Reagan and Bush did during their twelve years at the helm of the US. They lied about the economy and tossed out regulations we’re only now coming to realize were important and not just a drag on business. People felt justified in voting against Carter because of a variety of things, including the “Iranian crisis” that extended through much of Carter’s last year in office, only to come to grips with Iran Scam in the late end of Bush’s sole term.

I understand that as conspiracy theories go, the October Surprise is unproven and fairly damning, but as I hasten to remind people, Bush Sr. was involved in the CIA prior to his run for the Presidency that led to being selected as Reagan’s running mate that year, and I have absolutely no trouble at all believing that he was in it up to his ears. I believe the truth will out once we finally have access to Reagan’s papers, starting in 2020 (if we’re lucky and the GOP don’t find a way to bury the truth down further).

From Wikipedia:

October Surprise conspiracy theory

Allegations that the Reagan administration negotiated a delay in the release of the hostages until after the 1980 presidential election have been numerous but unproven. Gary Sick, principal White House aide for Iran and the Persian Gulf on the Carter administration’s National Security Council, claimed in his book October Surprise: America’s Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan[145] that CIA Director William Casey and possibly Vice President George H. W. Bush went to Paris to negotiate such a delay. Many others have made the same allegations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush#Other_positions.2C_1977.E2.80.9380

I celebrated when we finally got a Democrat in the White House in 1992, though he wasn’t the one I voted for in the primary. I am grateful that we have one again, who’s worked really damn hard to undo a lot of the damage the Bush family has done to our country in the last 36 years.

We CANNOT afford to let this election slide based on polling statistics. A portion of our country is on the brink of recognizing and celebrating our diversity at precisely the same time as people in other portions are looking for people to blame, to vilify, to terrorize into believing that Hillary Clinton is the very devil.

I am asking a different question. It’s the same question I’ve asked since the end of the Primaries.

What if the polls aren’t telling the whole story? What if people who have the opportunity to vote choose not to exercise their right? What if they try but are prevented because the GOP is too scared to let Democrats back into power again?

What if the GOP knows that a Democratic majority in the House and Senate would spell an end to witch hunts and allow for forward progress because they can no longer obstruct change, and they are doing their best to turn the country toward fascism?

What if the true separation between Trump and Clinton comes down to too few votes in too many battleground states?

Can you really trust polls to tell you the truth? Their scope is limited, by definition, to the people they reach, and there’s no guarantee that those people will answer truthfully. Things can change (like they did for Jimmy Carter) in a matter of days. Can you say with confidence that the numbers on fivethirtyeight.com are in sufficient quantity that they’re reliable? What if the predictions of a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton are wrong?

Suppose the separation between candidates is as it was during the primary? There were fewer than two million votes across the entire country that separated Democrats from Republicans and MORE people voted for Republicans during this year’s primary than in any election from 1992 through 2012. That margin is too close for my own personal comfort.
 
Early voting is underway in many states. I’m going to get the opportunity to exercise my right starting on October 27. I will cast my vote for Hillary Clinton with a clear conscience and a hope that enough others will do the same that Donald Trump will have no chance, and that all the down-ticket offices will finally be filled with enough Democrats to restore a super majority to OUR side of the aisle (something not seen since Jimmy Carter’s presidency).
 
If your vote of conscience puts Donald J. Trump in charge of the country, I guarantee I will hold you personally responsible for the damage he and his followers will do, and we will not speak again.
 
Count on it.
 
#ImWithHer

What if I’m right?

What if I’m right?

In the last few weeks, Nate Silver’s site fivethirtyeight.com has shifted stance from Hillary Clinton Will Win to Maybe We Ought To Worry After All.

You can see the progression here (since the beginning of August):

What I find most disturbing is that his map of the US is much less ambiguous than mine, and mine called it for Trump back in June, based on the numbers I saw coming out of the primaries. I’ve had people blowing me off consistently, with placating comments about how primary numbers can’t predict outcomes. Well, maybe that’s true, but I said it would be a close race back then, and I am sticking to those guns today.

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/

My map is here (as of the end of the primaries, from my collected stats, based on majority reported votes in each state, not based on polls or percentages): http://www.270towin.com/maps/1ll0m. The site allows for customized maps, and I’ve set the colors based on clear vote proportions.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

The states marked with neither Red nor Blue came out so close in numbers that it’s too close to call. Most of those states were unambiguously one color or the other at the end of primaries in 2008, 2000 and 1992, but not all.

What’s NOT clear is how many people opted to vote for Bernie Sanders in protest, who will now pick up their toys and go elsewhere, either to Johnson (Libertarian) or Stein (Green). I don’t have those numbers, because there’s no telling how many people switched affiliation or crossed the aisle in an open primary, but they’re relevant because that skews the Democratic data even further.

Please note that Johnson is now on the ballot in all 50 states, which is not something Stein can say. Green doesn’t even register on Silver’s map, but the Libertarian candidate sure does, and it isn’t clear whether his votes are coming from Clinton’s side or from Trump’s – that is, if there wasn’t a Libertarian party, where would those votes go?

But I digress.

Regardless, this race is closer than the one in Y2K, which Gore lost because Ralph Nader pushed hard to suck all the disaffected Democrats away from the party, but succeeded only in interfering with Gore’s chances of winning in states where Republicans had access to the voting process by way of governorship.

I simply fail to understand how people can be so dense. Sure, if the state’s solid on the side of Blue, you can guarantee that your candidate will win. But reality says that this country is far more purple than either red or bluem and the voting stats bear this out. In some cases, Red won over Blue by a ratio of more than 2:1.

Gastner map purple byarea bycounty

Not only do I find this to be a depressing nod to an acceptable level of outright fascism and white supremacy in this country, but I think it’s absolutely 100% foolish to assume your vote won’t matter in November.

The pundits I trust (Silver, Krugman, Reich) are lining up in agreement. I think the time to worry is right now.

Hell, even Bernie Sanders knows it!

To poll or not to poll (Updated 11/1/2016)…

To poll or not to poll (Updated 11/1/2016)…

Election Update: Clinton’s Lead Keeps Shrinking: 10 questions as the stretch run begins.

A few weeks back, I got into a fight with people on a friend’s FB wall, over the relative value of polls. After the smackdown, I retreated to my corner to wait out the holidays and take a break.

This evening, I caught a glimpse of the headline above, which is vindication of a sort, and also just a bit terrifying.

Embedded in the article, under Question 5. “Which states shape up as most important?” are references to the Big Ten Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) states. (Links via Wikipedia.)

 ACC 538 TCT Big Ten 538 TCT Total EC Votes – ACC Total EC Votes – Big Ten
Florida++  Red  Red Illinois  Blue  Blue  29  20
Georgia  Red  Red Iowa  Red  Red  16  6
Indiana*  Red  Red Michigan  Blue  Purple  11 16
Kentucky  Red  Red Minnesota  Blue  Blue  8  10
Maryland**  Blue  Blue  Nebraska  Red  Red  10  5
New York  Blue  Blue New Jersey  Blue  Blue  29  14
North Carolina  Blue  Purple Ohio+  Red  Red  15  18
Pennsylvania*  Blue  Purple Wisconsin  Blue  Purple  20  10
South Carolina  Red  Red  9
Virginia  Blue  Red  13
 Subtotals  538:   157/102  TCT:  103  73/83  Total:  259
* An overlap between the two state lists, so only listed once.
** Yes, Maryland, because it used to be ACC but is now Big Ten. For this purpose, I’m changing it back.
+Updated 10/30/2016 because 538 now shows Ohio as red, as I have from the start.
++Updated 11/1/2016 because 538 now shows Florida as red in Polls Plus, as I have from the start.
Italics: fivethirtyeight.com and I disagree.

So, if 538’s optimistic estimate holds, we’re out of the woods. If my numbers hold, the race will be a LOT closer.

Debates are coming up soon. We’ll see if Trump continues to gain ground, or if Clinton trounces him in a face to face battle.

I’m angling to watch the debates. May (or may not) live blog that night. We’ll see.

Regardless, there’s a lot of similarity between 538 and me, when it comes to where these states fall. Some of his blue states are a lot paler than they should be, and some of my purple states are still debatable.

Two months and a teensy bit to go.

 

PoliticsUSA: Obama’s First Term Approval Ratings Now Equal Clinton and Reagan

PoliticsUSA: Obama’s First Term Approval Ratings Now Equal Clinton and Reagan

PoliticsUSA: Obama’s First Term Approval Ratings Now Equal Clinton and Reagan

“The Republican argument that Obama is an unpopular colossal failure simply doesn’t match up with reality. The Obama that Mitt Romney is running against is a failed left wing socialist that voters are rejecting on a daily basis.

The Gallup data illustrates the reality that Obama is much closer to Bill Clinton in terms of being a personally popular centrist Democrat.

Much like Reagan and Clinton, Obama has personal likability and an appeal to the political middle.

Barack Obama looks more like a potential two term success story than a one term failure.”

Been there, done that. Wish I was less annoyed…

Been there, done that. Wish I was less annoyed…

Ok. I get the point. When I get four (yes, that’s right, four) phone calls from a candidate or his wife asking for my vote, I think I can figure out what it is they want. Somehow I must have gotten onto the “undecided” list (which, I’ll admit, was accurate immediately after Edwards dropped out). In any event, I’m glad I got the calls after I voted because if I’d gotten them beforehand, I might have voted otherwise out of sheer spite. Interestingly, I never got the call from the other side. Not a tremendous surprise. After all, we don’t really count, do we.

So, now it’s a waiting game. Fortunately for me, I went early, before work. Coming home tonight was a festival of bumper cars topped off with a nearly disastrous brush with high-graded driveways and sheet ice. I’m home and fed, caught up on email and LJ, and ready to crash. (Didn’t check the mailbox outside. Not interested in ice skating and it’s darn cold outside right now.)

I have one project I need to do before I go, though, and I’m hopping to it mere moments from now.

I just hope I did the right thing.

Am I a fundy magnet or what???

Am I a fundy magnet or what???

Ok, so today I finally got it together and took the digital boxes and the cable modem to Comcast. My kid went with me (on the way back from school). While we were there, she wished the “nice lady” on the other side of the counter a happy Halloween. Seems to me like a reasonable (and friendly) thing to do, but I got an earful in return about how folks who observe the holiday in question are just devil worshipers in disguise.

Yeah, that’s me.

I pointed out (politely) that it was a harvest festival, and that there were some cultures where folks honored their ancestors (“cults”). She might be interested to know more about the roots of the holiday. I was politely informed that she had Jesus Christ and that was all she needed. Who needs ancestors when you have Jesus, after all.

Whatever.

So, then, while prepping dinner tonight, I get a “poll” call asking whether I’d vote for Michael Steele or Ben Cardin.

Yep. I’m for raising taxes, gay marriage and killing babies in the pursuit of science.

And yes, I will still vote for Ben Cardin, and no I will not vote for Michael Steele. No matter how many times you ask or how unsavory you make it sound to be a Democrat.

I tell you, there are days when I find it VERY difficult to tolerate other religions, much less learn from them. How the hell do they expect everyone to believe what they do when they carry that sort of ‘tude around? No wonder we’re in the trouble we are in this country!

(And yeah, I know, I’m preaching to the choir most of the time on this thing. Just sayin’ is all.)

Theme: Elation by Kaira.