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If you were a bookie... Polls and bets on the 2004 elections

 
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 11:01 pm
Laughing

<Enjoyed that immensely> <Feeling better>
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 08:49 am
In an article Sozobe linked to, Virginia Postrel wrote:
First, there are actually two important voting decisions - not just whom to pick but whether to vote at all. Candidates need to get their voters excited enough to come to the polls (or possibly to give money). Extreme positions can do that.

But positions that energize your base may also encourage the opposition to come out against you. That's where the second part of the model comes in. Candidates need a way to target their messages so their supporters are more likely to respond than their opponents.

That's where social groups like churches and unions come in. These groups provide friendly forums for candidates' direct or indirect messages. While outsiders may know something about a candidate's more extreme positions, group members know more - because the messages are aimed specifically at them.

[...]

Since the success of extreme messages depends on keeping your supporters better informed than your opponents, the model suggests that changing news media could be as important as changing social groupings.

"If every time you say something in private to a religious group or a feminist group, it ends up on Drudge within three minutes in screaming headlines," Professor Glaeser said. "It's going to stop people from going to extremes."


I found this very interesting, especially with the discussion in mind that we had about Bush's "Dredd Scott" reference on this other thread. This article seems to explain both aspects of it: why Bush may have used it as an obscure reference to the abortion debate, and why it didn't work as advertised.

Apart from that, I think it's great you've discovered one of my favorite political bloggers. Virginia Postrel is way cool!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 09:01 am
True, Thomas, I hadn't thought of it in terms of the Dred Scott thing.

I'm trying to think of what other approximately 50% of the population group with a built-in network the Dems can target.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 10:08 am
sozobe wrote:
I'm trying to think of what other approximately 50% of the population group with a built-in network the Dems can target.

Maybe moms? The slogan might be "Do you really want your children to drown in debt just so your ex-husband and your divorce lawyer can have a tax cut?"

Maybe Christians? Active Christians in Germany tend to be pro-welfare-state and green; the civil rights movement in the America of the sixties heavily relied on black churches for organization and moral support. I don't see any deep reasons why the Republicans should own this network forever.

Maybe home-renters? The political left in Europe has a long tradition of playing homeowners against home leasers. I'd hate to see the Dems follow this example, but in terms of power politics, it might just work.

Maybe feminists, broadly defined? I'm pretty sure that the left, too, can polarize the country around abortion rights. And during the TV debate, the most embarrassing moment for me as a Kerry supporter was a pro-lifer asked him what he would say to people who thought abortion was murder. He answered with this horribly foul-compromise kind of sermon about how much he respected that position on the one hand, how close he was to the position in private, but how he couldn't bring himself to impose it in public office. He should have taken a clear stand and said: "I don't think that abortion is murder, and neither does the constitution. In 1973, the Supreme Court of our land has made it very clear that the supreme law of our land says this. So I am going to enforce this, and I'm proud of it." Instead of trying to have it both ways, the Democrats could make it more clear that this is their party line, and they could try harder to organize women around that part of the party line.

That's about all I can think of right now.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 10:30 am
But Thomas, not to turn this into a pro life/pro choice discussion what if he DOES think abortion is murder in its broader sense? He couldn't very well flat out say that without offending a good percentage of his constituency.

I define murder as intentional illegal termination of a human life. So by my own definition, abortion is legal and therefore not murder. I also draw no moral judgments on those who elect to have abortions as I do not know whether in their heart they believe they are having a human being killed.
But how can one who believe abortion is termination of an innocent human life be faulted for their belief?

I would have respected Kerry more had he flat out said that abortion is legal and I will abide by the law and will not seek to overturn it; however my personal preference is that abortion not be legal except in extreme situations. That of course is Bush's position.

I think the vast majority of Americans actually are close to Bush's position on this issue. My hope is for furture candidates to clearly state what their position is on all thorny issues. At least Bush did that. Kerry didn't.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:03 am
Foxfyre wrote:
But Thomas, not to turn this into a pro life/pro choice discussion what if he DOES think abortion is murder in its broader sense? He couldn't very well flat out say that without offending a good percentage of his constituency.

Then (1) Kerry wasn't the right messenger for the Democrats -- which is what I claimed over in the Democrats' "What went wrong" thread. (2) Independently of this, Kerry communicated a huge consistency problem at this moment. You can believe that abortion is murder. You can believe it should be legal. But you can't believe both at the same time. The statement that some forms of murder ought to be legal will not convince any voters from either side of the fence.

Foxfyre wrote:
I think the vast majority of Americans actually are close to Bush's position on this issue.

You could be right, but I suspect this is mostly publication bias. I guess that pro-lifers just are more likely to campaign for their positions than pro-choicers are. But I don't have any data to support my guess. do you?
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:09 am
Foxfyre wrote:
But Thomas, not to turn this into a pro life/pro choice discussion what if he DOES think abortion is murder in its broader sense? He couldn't very well flat out say that without offending a good percentage of his constituency.

I define murder as intentional illegal termination of a human life. So by my own definition, abortion is legal and therefore not murder. I also draw no moral judgments on those who elect to have abortions as I do not know whether in their heart they believe they are having a human being killed.
But how can one who believe abortion is termination of an innocent human life be faulted for their belief?

I would have respected Kerry more had he flat out said that abortion is legal and I will abide by the law and will not seek to overturn it; however my personal preference is that abortion not be legal except in extreme situations. That of course is Bush's position.

I think the vast majority of Americans actually are close to Bush's position on this issue. My hope is for furture candidates to clearly state what their position is on all thorny issues. At least Bush did that. Kerry didn't.
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:10 am
By the way, I'm also a big fan of Virginia Postrel. Good stuff!
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:13 am
This, from PollingReport, apparently Indicates Americans do, however slightly, trend toward Bush The Greater's position on the issue.
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:17 am
timberlandko wrote:
This, from PollingReport, apparently Indicates Americans do, however slightly, trend toward Bush The Greater's position on the issue.


I'm not surprised, and it continues to head in that direction. It's time for Dems to rethink abortion.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:22 am
Steppenwolf wrote:
I'm not surprised, and it continues to head in that direction. It's time for Dems to rethink abortion.


By the available evidence, its time and then some for The Democrats to rethink a buncha stuff. There is little if any evidence lending confidence to any expectation they will do so.
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 11:48 am
Quote:
In fact, the ascendance of the Christian Right (and the alliance between Christian fundamentalists and Republicans) is partially attributable to Roe itself. Overturning Roe may weaken the link between Christians and Republicans. Overuling it could therefore have a positive effect on the Dems.


This is brilliantly illuminating. What the Republicans have done with Roe v. Wade up till now is say "Golly, aint it awful. Vote for us, we're agin it." but then, after sitting down in their newly upholstered Congressional seats, the rubes get nothing but talk.

"O, we are here fighting for you but it's those (Pick one- liberal judges, fancy lawyers, Democrats in general ) who are preventing us from removing this scourge from the land." Snickering into their hankerchiefs, the GOP members move to their desks and vote another handout to the energy companies or the drug manufacturers or something that shores up the power of the insurance corporations.

"Hey," say the rubes, " what about the little unborn babies?"
"Ain't it awful, " comes the reply, "Vote for us. We're agin it."

But suppose it did get got, suppose Roe got overturned? What else have they got to offer to the rubes? Gay marriage to be sure, but it, as seen in this recent election, seems to be headed for an early showdown, to have the same punch power as abortion has had for thirty years is going to take a lot of thinking.

Or they could play it smart and just keep playing the 'We're doing the best we can against the minions of the devil" stuff they've been handing out all these years.

Joe
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 12:38 pm
Step writes:
Quote:
and it doesn't explain Roe itself. To the extent that legal positivism still exists as a viable philosophy, the actual decision in Roe could hardly have been framed in such terms--it was essentially a policy-based decision (very weakly tied to the text of the Constitution). Defending Roe with legal positivism doesn't make any sense, and it also won't appeal to anyone, particularly


Roe was based purely on the constitutional statement that rights are extended to 'persons born' with implication that persons 'unborn' are not privy to such rights or their rights are much restricted. Further Roe's language is exquisite and unambiguous that the state has no interest in the fetus in the first trimester, increased interest in the second trimester (as the fetus becomes more viable), and much interest in the third trimester (when the fetus is likely to be viable.) Therefore I don't have a problem with either Kerry or Bush consenting to Roe while personally being opposed to abortion. Strictly applied, Roe is the closest thing we've had that comes to a consensus between the Pro Choice and Pro Life people.

I keep getting myself in trouble on these threads with the notion that both sides need to listen to the other and strike a compromise that is closest to a win win solution. I do believe a large chunk of Americans oppose abortion at any time in any place for any reason. I also believe a large chunk of Americans oppose making abortion illegal at any time in any place for any reason. Surely there is a happy medium in there someplace and if we put partisanship aside so we could look for it, I think we might find it.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 01:20 pm
Back to polling data, here's an interesting piece on journalism vs bloggers re the infamous 'false' exit polling data on election day. I think this guy is giving the 'mainstream' media a pass on what went down that day however:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/08/opinion/main654285.shtml
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 04:25 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Step writes:
Quote:
and it doesn't explain Roe itself. To the extent that legal positivism still exists as a viable philosophy, the actual decision in Roe could hardly have been framed in such terms--it was essentially a policy-based decision (very weakly tied to the text of the Constitution). Defending Roe with legal positivism doesn't make any sense, and it also won't appeal to anyone, particularly


Roe was based purely on the constitutional statement that rights are extended to 'persons born' with implication that persons 'unborn' are not privy to such rights or their rights are much restricted. Further Roe's language is exquisite and unambiguous that the state has no interest in the fetus in the first trimester, increased interest in the second trimester (as the fetus becomes more viable), and much interest in the third trimester (when the fetus is likely to be viable.) Therefore I don't have a problem with either Kerry or Bush consenting to Roe while personally being opposed to abortion. Strictly applied, Roe is the closest thing we've had that comes to a consensus between the Pro Choice and Pro Life people.

I keep getting myself in trouble on these threads with the notion that both sides need to listen to the other and strike a compromise that is closest to a win win solution. I do believe a large chunk of Americans oppose abortion at any time in any place for any reason. I also believe a large chunk of Americans oppose making abortion illegal at any time in any place for any reason. Surely there is a happy medium in there someplace and if we put partisanship aside so we could look for it, I think we might find it.


Not true. The state is presumed to have an interest in the fetus in the first trimester, but is does not become "compelling" until the second trimester. Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113, 160-66 (1973). Thus, the Supreme Court engaged in a balancing test between the "fundamental right" to "privacy," and the interest of the State in a fetus (fundamental rights get "strict scrutiny"). Without going into the details, I would argue (and so would many) that the right to privacy was misapplied to Roe, and also that substantive due process is a bit of a joke (and an oxymoron) anyway. It's a skin deep legal analysis covering a decision firmly rooted in policy.

Sorry for temporarily hijacking the thread. My ranting is now over. Smile

@Joe Nation: I agree.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 04:51 pm
Yeah, but here's the problem, isn't it. We all (seem to) agree that the Democrats will have to make some painful reconsiderations after these elections. But concretise that into a specific topic, and it suddenly gets very hairy. At least that's what I catch myself in.

I mean, yes, the Dems need to recalibrate in order to click with the "heartland". But abortion?

If I think of the women I've known who had one, and the situations they were in at the time ... the very thought that they would not have been allowed one at the time - the thought of what would have happened, then - it runs shivers down my spine.

So there's the problem ...
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 05:03 pm
Also, in that pollingreport link Timber just offered, it has a poll from this month saying 61% of respondents "think President Bush should nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold the Roe v. Wade decision", and only 34% think he should "nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn" it.

In the previous poll the link mentions, 54% said that abortion should be either "legal in most cases" or "legal in all cases", while only 43% thought it should be illegal in most/all cases.

So it's not even so clear that it is a vote-winner to drop Roe vs Wade -- though it's true that sentiment in battleground states is probably more conservative.

Also, it's not just us - there is a lot of conflicted sentiment among all voters. For in the third poll listed, 62% propone either "stricter limits than [in place] now" or a ban on abortion altogether. How do you cope with the contradictions? 62% wants stricter limits, but 61% thinks Roe vs Wade should be upheld. Go square that circle.

The Republicans know that they have the anti-abortion fundamentalists to thank for their election victories, but that at the same time actually overturning Roe vs Wade would leave them screwed with the center. So instead they launch in-between proposals like the ban on "partial birth abortion". While, of course, making sure to sneak in enough additional measures they know are unacceptable for many Democrats (obligatory parental notification, say), so they will end up the only ones supporting it and taking the credit. Such tricks are the prerogative of the Congressional majority.

What d'you do about that?
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 05:20 pm
nimh wrote:
62% wants stricter limits, but 61% thinks Roe vs Wade should be upheld. Go square that circle.

That particular squaring turns out to be easy. Roe vs. Wade specifically allows that the state outlaw third trimester abortions, which would be a stricter limit than what's in place today. Moreover, the third trimester is not a magic constant in the Supreme Court's decision. It is a function of the state of technology. More specifically, it happens to be the period of pregnancy during which, using 1973 technology, an embryo could survive outside the mother's womb. At this point, it was possible in 1973 to deliver it normally without killing it. Thanks to thirty years of technical progress, babies can now be born much earlier and still have a chance of survival outside the womb. Arguably, this means that abortions can be made illegal much sooner, and the law would still comply with the Roe v. Wade ruling. Based on chances of survival, I guess abortion could now be made illegal after the fifth month of pregnancy, but I'd have to check with an embryology textbook to be sure.

In any case, there is less circle-squaring going on here than meets your eye.
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Steppenwolf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 07:44 pm
Thomas wrote:
nimh wrote:
62% wants stricter limits, but 61% thinks Roe vs Wade should be upheld. Go square that circle.

That particular squaring turns out to be easy. Roe vs. Wade specifically allows that the state outlaw third trimester abortions, which would be a stricter limit than what's in place today. Moreover, the third trimester is not a magic constant in the Supreme Court's decision. It is a function of the state of technology. More specifically, it happens the period of pregnancy during which, using 1973 technology, an embryo could survive outside the mother's womb. At this point, it was possible in 1973 to deliver it normally without killing it. Thanks to thirty years of technical progress, babies can now be born much earlier and still have a chance of survival outside the womb. Arguably, this means that abortions can be made illegal much sooner, and the law would still comply with the Roe v. Wade ruling. Based on chances of survival, I guess abortion could now be made illegal after the fifth month of pregnancy, but I'd have to check with an embryology textbook to be sure.

In any case, there is less circle-squaring going on here than meets your eye.


All true, and recent caselaw hints at the same: technological changes totally alter the Roe equation, which found roots in "viability," a point that is quickly moving backwards.

As far as the "uphold Roe, or kill it" question, I think the political answer for the Dems might be to learn a lesson from the GOP: don't defend abortion, but make no sudden political moves against it either--have your cake and eat it too.

The next four years could provide a clear opportunity for the Dems to score a political victory on this issue. If a radical, Roe hating S. Ct. judicial nominee comes down the pipeline, the GOP would probably expect the Dem Senators to filibuster, allowing the GOP to gain both the moral capital of 'trying' to upend Roe, and the political capital of forcing the Dems to pull a counter-majoritarian stunt. I think the answer for the Dems would be to allow such a radical nominee to go to a vote on the Senate floor. Force the issue, and make the GOP put its money where its mouth is on abortion. If they flip-flop, and put a moderate in the S. Ct., they risk losing Christian fundamentalists. If they place a radical in the S. Ct., Roe could die, creating both a political problem for the GOP, and weakening their mandate from the Christian Right (after Roe is dead and the S. Ct. is stacked with its detractors, the abortion issue is no longer on the table). Either way, as long as the Dem Senators don't filibuster, the GOP will have to take the full blame of either upholding Roe or appointing a justice to kill it. All the Dems need to do is be passive on the issue, which shouldn't be hard considering that the Senate and Presidency are firmly Republican.

Anyway, that's my advice to Senate DemocratsÂ… and what a better place to make it than on a2k. I'm sure they're listening. Laughing

Note: Off course, the above post assumes that some of the octogenarians in the S. Ct. will leave the bench in the next several years.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Nov, 2004 08:09 pm
Steppenwolf wrote:
Anyway, that's my advice to Senate DemocratsÂ… and what a better place to make it than on a2k. I'm sure they're listening. Laughing


LOL!
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