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Author Topic: American Election Megathread - It's Over  (Read 396605 times)

Aqizzar

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American Election Megathread - It's Over
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:43:00 pm »

IT'S OVER

As of 11:30PM-ish EST on November 6th, President Barack Obama was reelected to a second term, and by a considerably larger margin than almost anyone expected (besides Nate Silver).  Former Governor, used car salesman, and all around great guy Mitt Romney will go back to being one of America's wealthiest unemployed people, Congressman Paul Ryan and his abs will go back to the House, Vice President Joe Biden will go back to his bubble bath and probably run for mayor of his hometown in 2016, and Barack Obama will stay up for about three days trying to figure out what the Hell he's going to do now.


The Results

Republican incumbents Wicker (MS), Heller (NV), Barrasso (WY), Bob Corker (TN), Orin Hatch (UT) reelected, joined by Flake (AZ) and Cruz (TX) retaining Republican seats.  One Republican pickup in Nebraska for Deb Fischer from the seat of retiring Democrat Ben Nelson.

Democratic incumbents Feinstein (CA), Carper (DE), Ben Nelson (FL), Cardin (MD), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Anne Klobuchar (MN), Claire McCaskill (MO) in a fiery race, Jon Tester (MT), Menendez (NJ), Gillibrand (NY), Brown (OH), Casey (PE), Whitehouse (RI), Cantwell (WA), and Joe Manchin (WV) reelected, joined by Murphy (CT), Hirono (HI), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Heinrich (NM), Tim Kaine (VA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI) the first openly gay woman in Congress retaining Democratic seats.  Two Democratic pickups for Joe Donnelly (IN), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) who is sure to be a very closely watched race.

Two "Independent" victories, with Bernie Sanders (VT) retaining his well-worn spot, and a surprise for Angus King (ME) who defeated two serious challenger for Olympia Snowe's vacant seat, running on the promise of breaking the filibuster rules in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives went from 242 Republican / 193 Democrat to a number so incredibly similar I'm not going to wait around to update it.

Exit polling showed that the largely Democratic arguments about income disparity, preserving the social welfare system, and your various "equality" issues largely led the day, along with average-person support for things like the auto-industry bailout and the President's response to Hurricane Sandy just a week before the election.  Voter turnout was bigger than almost anyone expected, with people under 30 making a slightly larger proportion of the electorate than they even had in 2008.  Meanwhile, the House of Representatives stayed exactly the same, proving the old adage that most voters might want to throw the bums out, but almost never their own bums.

Well, it was another one for the history books, and proof that all the money in the world can only do so much for a challenger.  It will make and break rules and be studied for a generation.  It was a wild ride, and now it's all over but the crying.

So long, and thanks for all the memories.  See you next time around folks.

Please enjoy the rest of the OP, a nice little time capsule from early March when the Republican primary was still underway but pretty well locked.  Stay in touch Romney, we'll miss you.



The greatest and most powerful country in the history of the human race (that's America btw) is head over heels into its contest for who will be the next Leader of the Free World.  This is going to be a very old thread by the time it's closed.  Likely, it will abandoned for a few months between the end of the votes and when Mitt Romney picks a Vice candidate.  An informed electorate is the key to a healthy democracy and all that jazz, so Americans and the world ought to have some idea of who's in the running to next be the most powerful person on Earth.  So without further ado...

Kukulkan's Revenge: The 2012 American Federal Elections
Let's Get Presidential

Obviously, this mostly concerns the Republican Presidential nomination, since the Democratic candidate is kind of a lock; not that I'll exclude any noteworthy third-party candidate either.  2012 has proven to be a bit more contentious that the 2008 Republican primary was, because the national Republican party switched from a winner-take-all delegation system to a proportional count, meaning every percentage in every state counts for a candidate, even as quite a few early states temporarily invalidated themselves by caucus systems and party rules.  It's still likely that one guy will have an obvious and growing lead before too long, but we can all hope some for entertainment.

For some godforsaken reason, the first primary up is Iowa, because it's the only thing Iowa has in life to feel important.  By January 3rd, campaign and political advertising spending records had been broken by an order of magnitude, mostly in the form of "unaligned" PAC money spent on Mitt Romney's behalf to discredit Newt Gingrich, whilst Ron Paul and Rick Santorum suddenly climbed in opinion polling.  Further wounding any credibility the Iowa caucus system is supposed to have for picking Presidents, the votes originally totaled after election night were not the "final" count - it took over two weeks for the state party to announce the results, because eight precincts (out of 1766) lost their ballots and never returned the home office calls.
Spoiler: Iowa “Results” (click to show/hide)

New Hampshire followed on January 10th, for the exact same pageantry and criticisms.  Romney and Paul entered with commanding first and second places, making the state a contest for margins and a race for third between Huntsman, Santorum, and Gingrich.  Most notable for Santorum's poorly-received insistence on discussing the need for greater social restrictions in law, and the introduction of Romney's career as a venture capitalist being a point of attack for his opponents, especially "I like being able to fire people."
Spoiler: New Hampshire Results (click to show/hide)

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley endorsed Mitt Romney back in December, putting one more log under her 35% Approval rating fire.  Senator Jim DeMint also predicted a Romney nomination without actually encouraging such.  Gingrich and Romney spent more money on ads than the entire 2008 South Carolina primaries combined, in Gingrich's case thanks to all of one donor.  With Romney's business history suddenly a point of contention, Fox News stepped up to defend him at all costs.  And one week prior, Jon Huntsman bowed out, pledging Romney his "support", not impressing Rick Santorum who had himself just received the endorsement of a national coalition of evangelical pastors.

In the week of January 15 to 21, South Carolina suddenly because the House of a Thousand Daggers, as perfunctory winner Mitt Romney who was set to win an unprecedented Triple Crown of the leading primaries found the world caving in on him.  Half of the Republican party named him the pariah of "vulture capitalism" while the other half said they were defending him on principle, not on substance; he gave some hilariously choked up answers about releasing his tax returns, before admitting he pays about 15% total, would not provide any more disclosure than the law demands, has a few mil stashed in the Cayman Islands just because, and considers $370k in speaker fees chump change.  Meanwhile, Rick Santorum won the coordinated endorsement of 150 evangelical pastors as the Anti-Romney, and was post-facto declared the "winner" in Iowa; Newt Gingrich received multiple standing ovations in debates for attacking the media after his second ex-wife gave a scathing interview about him and introduced the term "open marriage" to Presidential politics, and started rocketing in the polls as millions were dumped into his PACs; Stephen Colbert launched a "formal" run for President under the name of Herman Cain who was totes cool with it, and polled as the most likable candidate in the race; and Rick Perry finally got bored and resigned his race, endorsing Gingrich for some reason.
Spoiler: South Carolina Results (click to show/hide)

January 30th was supposed to be make or break time, especially after the business in South Carolina, but wound up swinging right back to early-race polling with Romney in a commanding lead.  In total, Romney alone (and his "unaligned" PACs) spent 50% more money than the whole Republican field did in Florida in 2008.  According to media watchers, 99.2% of campaigning airtime was given to "negative" ads, designed to discredit an opponent more than boost the title man.  And most of it was aimed straight at Gingrich, who still got a solid second place, but in Florida close doesn't count.  He vowed to fight on regardless.  Possibly the most telling exit poll of all: Santorum was ranked far and away the most "likable" of the candidates, but Romney ranked marginally more "electable" than anyone else, and you can see where they all went.  Negative campaigning at work?
Spoiler: Florida Results (click to show/hide)

Feb 4th was the Nevada primary.  This one will be a real test of organization, because after John Ensign, Jim Gibbons, and Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican Party doesn't really exist anymore, just voters cut loose in the void.  Made for a largely uneventful blowout Romney victory, possibly but probably not by him personally accepting the endorsement of Donald Trump (New Jersey casino tycoon), trouncing Gingrich's backer Adelson (Vegas casino tycoon, go fig).  Also considerably lower turnout than 2008, following a trend of Romney winning states in 2012 with less votes than he got in 2008.
Spoiler: Nevada Results (click to show/hide)

Feb 7th was supposed to be the first of the Super Tuesday multi-primary days, with Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri.  Except the Republican Party said if they held their primaries that early, they would be penalized half of their delegates.  This was the same thing that happened to ever prior state, but they just went with it (which is why South Carolina has fewer delegates than Alaska).  These three states still "voted", they'll just hold real caucuses later in the year.  Until then, it was purely a popularity contest which turned into a Santorum blowout, I mean a Santorum tidalwave, I mean an explosion of Santorum, I mean... You get the idea.  Keeps him in the race at least, when he finally convinced some conservative billionaire to pour money into his SuperPAC.

Feb 11th was Maine's primary... then shenanigans happened. One county postponed due to the weather and was told it wouldn't count, any county was invalidated after the precinct captain called in to report the vote and was told the vote was already counted, another was thrown out when the paper ballots and computer records showed mirror opposite totals for Romney.  Ron Paul, then everyone else, cried foul and demanded a recount.  The state pulled some hasty moves and got a new “fair” and transparent vote, counting up less than 1% of the registered voting populace.  And Romney still won anyway.
Spoiler: Maine “Results” (click to show/hide)

Feb 28 was Michigan and Arizona, with actual primaries awarding actual delegates.  Capping his legacy of fantastic campaign decisions, Senator John McCain endorsed Romney, and for other reasons (including Mormons) he was expected to win Arizona handily.  Michigan was the real contest - it's (one of) Romney's home state(s), his father was a governor there, and look at all that money.  Conversely, he's spent the last two years devising new ways to defend his opposition to the federal aid to the car companies back in 2009.  A week before the election, Santorum was on top in every county except Romney's house.  Then, in the way of Election 2012, Santorum started talking...

Then Wyoming and Washington held completely non-binding votes.  Hooray!  Stay tuned for the first Super Tuesday.



In case you're worried, yes this thread is certainly for more than just the Republican Presidential race.  There's just not much to say about particular House and Senate races until around September, except high-profile cases like Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.



Hail To The Possible Chief

Feel free to profile any of these candidates at your leisure, that's why the thread's here.  I'll certainly try to later on, depending on how many of them stay in the race.


And Then All The Republicans – In Alphabetic Order






Possible Other Guys – In No Particular Order






And there's plenty more to discuss and add, which I invite all to do, and invite the many non-Americans here to comment and question.  Informational links are especially appreciated.  What will be the effects of unlimited anonymous corporate campaign spending?  How will world politics factor into the race?  What will the nation do as Congress essentially shuts down for a year of campaign posturing, as they're threatening to do?  Will Joe Biden say something hilarious in his one debate?  Stay tuned.

IMPORTANT: I know this is a politics thread, but let's try to have too many politic arguments, okay?  It's inevitable, but I'd like to keep everything civil here, and the horserace of electioneering is more than enough to keep everyone entertained without a firestorm of pointless ideological debates.  I'm driving this thread, and I'll turn right around if anybody starts pulling hair or throwing things.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 09:21:14 am by Aqizzar »
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Frumple

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 06:07:38 pm »

Posting to watch, ha. I think my goal for this election is to not see a single bit of it on TV, because gods only know that would do naught but incite me to rage.

Also registered democrat, so I don't think the republican primary means much to me, in a participation sense. *twiddles thumbs, waits for something to do*
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MonkeyHead

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 06:08:59 pm »

Posting to watch and join in - as a Citizen of a rural part of the UK I hope to offer a veiw from the outside looking in on the ensuing crazy of US political shenanigans.
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Mictlantecuhtli

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 06:10:01 pm »

I know Obama is going to win this one, since the competition is generally the same rank-and-file republican candidates we see every four years. But I know for a fact that the Citizens United decision is going to be rearing it's ugly, poorly-thought-out, head into this. It happened in the previous mid-terms, and I don't see this election being any different. We're going to be seeing "anonymous" (corporate) funding in the billions this year.


There will be negative ads.
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Mego

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 06:15:19 pm »

Excellent summaries of the candidates. You especially nailed Rick Perry. You must also be from Texas.

I agree that Mitt Romney is most likely to get the Republican nomination. It's a strange sight to see that the self-contradicting candidate is the strongest one. That says everything that needs to be said about the Republican party. In my opinion, Obama will get reelected, no matter who gets the Republican nomination. The Republican party is too divided due to in-fighting between the wackos to have much of a chance at the White House this time around.

Max White

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 06:20:56 pm »

Looks like the circus has rolled onto the world stage! Hold on folks, this shit is topical!

Leafsnail

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 06:34:10 pm »

Doesn't Herman Cain deserve a spot on the "people who've given up" list?  It's a pretty awesome summary though.

Is it still the case that "generic Republican" (ie a poll of Obama vs unnamed Republican candidate) would do far better than any of the actual candidates?
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Aqizzar

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 06:35:32 pm »

Doesn't Herman Cain deserve a spot on the "people who've given up" list?  It's a pretty awesome summary though.

Aw Hell no, I knew I forgot somebody.  How could I have possibly overlooked the Hermanator?  I mean, I've still got his book sitting on my desk.

And I guess Sarah Palin deserves mention too, since she was theoretically a candidate until around May or so.

Is it still the case that "generic Republican" (ie a poll of Obama vs unnamed Republican candidate) would do far better than any of the actual candidates?

Until recently yes, opinion polls (in which I have little faith) typically showed a "generic Republican" beating Obama for reelection by more than the margin of error, but any particular candidate considerably lower.  I think the latest Gallup polls and such actually show Obama beating a generic Republican, but especially this far out that's basically meaningless.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 06:37:58 pm by Aqizzar »
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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 06:37:00 pm »

Herman Cain was (in my opinion) the most delightfully crazy of the bunch. From quoting a song from a Pokemon movie during a speech to his Sim City tax plan he's provided plenty of laughs over the last couple months. Of course, his campaign was probably just a publicity stunt designed to sell his copies of his book, and never genuine to begin with. He even used money raised from campaign contributions to buy copies of his book, helping it to jump up the bestseller lists.
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palsch

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 06:38:42 pm »

And I guess Sarah Palin deserves mention too, since she was theoretically a candidate until around May or so.
Nah, she never announced. She just raised funds by pretending she might run. There was never actually any risk of that though. Way more profitable and less work this way.
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Mego

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 06:47:55 pm »

And I guess Sarah Palin deserves mention too, since she was theoretically a candidate until around May or so.
Nah, she never announced. She just raised funds by pretending she might run. There was never actually any risk of that though. Way more profitable and less work this way.

She learned her lesson in 2008.

Nilocy

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 06:53:48 pm »

As a crazy European, I need to ask probably a rather simple question. If this is a presidential election vote, then why are there so many candidates for one party? I'm used to one party, one candidate system from the UK. It seems rather odd to split your entire voter base up. And if (god forbid) they do elect a republic president, who gets to be it?
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Karlito

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2011, 06:57:16 pm »

Those candidates are running to be the Presidential nominee. We go through this absurd many-months long process of primary voting, and then a Republican candidate will be chosen at the Republican National Convention, and then the real race and election begins.

Only one of those Republican candidates will end up running against Obama.
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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2011, 07:00:47 pm »

Doesn't Herman Cain deserve a spot on the "people who've given up" list?  It's a pretty awesome summary though.

Is it still the case that "generic Republican" (ie a poll of Obama vs unnamed Republican candidate) would do far better than any of the actual candidates?
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 07:03:55 pm by UltraValican »
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Aqizzar

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Re: American Election Megathread
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 07:00:50 pm »

Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, and Newt Gingrich deserve their own discussion of this new phenomenon, of people running for offices including the Presidency as a personal business decision and self-promotion vehicle.  It's a bizarre and I think frightening development, but at least it's apparently over and done with by the time voting starts.  I wonder what the next race will look like.

As a crazy European, I need to ask probably a rather simple question. If this is a presidential election vote, then why are there so many candidates for one party? I'm used to one party, one candidate system from the UK. It seems rather odd to split your entire voter base up. And if (god forbid) they do elect a republic president, who gets to be it?

Here's the confusion: This is how the parties pick the one nominee.  I don't know how it works in any particularly European country, but I get that in parliamentary democracies it's typical for the party to choose its nominees within itself?  Well, that's how America used to do it, but it was eventually phased out (mostly) by law (mostly) for a popular vote system.  In this case, each state holds its own primary elections, which determine how many delegates (votes basically) each party gives to each of their candidate at their conventions in August, which determines which one candidate is each party's nominee for that office.  Then we get the actual election between candidates.  It's simpler than it sounds, I swear, it's just a long and noisy process.
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