Final US election update

On Wednesday about lunchtime we should get news of the first results of the 2018 US mid-term elections. Some have characterised it as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In fact it may represent a step to make The US more democratic, as well as more Democratic (see Governors and democracy below).

Charles Richardson at Crikey has a good summary, if you can get in. Of course he draws from FiveThirtyEight, where Nate Silver has:


gives the Democrats an 87.5% chance of taking the House – good odds, but no certainty.

FiveThirtyEight currently gives the Democrats only a 16.8% chance of taking the Senate. You will recall that the Democrats currently hold 26 of the 35 seats up for election, some of which are vulnerable.

    Republicans will likely hold on to the Senate in part because Democrats have so many tough seats to defend. The likeliest outcomes range from a GOP gain of four seats to a Democratic gain of two, but only the latter could take away the GOP’s majority. Democrats would need a near-perfect night to win the Senate.

In any case, the outcome will be important for setting up the 2020 elections. In 2014 the Democrats lost nine seats, which will be up for grabs again in 2020.

Richardson says:

    There are two good prospects for Democrat gains: Nevada, with a two-party margin of 0.6%, and Arizona (1.6%). But beyond that it gets very difficult, although Texas (8.2%), Mississippi (byelection, 11.3%) and Tennessee (18.1%) are rough chances.

    The most likely path to a Democrat majority is to pick up Nevada and Arizona and hold all of their own seats. Those thought to be at risk include North Dakota (0.5%), Montana (2.0%), Indiana (3.1%), Minnesota (byelection, 5.3%), Florida (6.7%), Missouri (8.3%), New Jersey (9.9%) and West Virginia (12.4%).

Governors and democracy

One of the reasons that the US struggles to work as a proper democracy is that state governors set the electoral boundaries for the House of Representatives. Everyone knows that they are badly gerrymandered, but the current ethos is that winning is more important than democracy. Richardson says that in 2016 the split was 241/194 to the Republicans with a bare 50.6% of the two-party vote. To win the House in 2018 the Democrats will need to win about 56%, or a swing of about 6.5%.

This year:

    36 of the 50 states are holding elections for their heads of government, called governors. Of those 36, 26 are currently Republicans, nine Democrats and one independent (in Alaska; he is retiring).

    Perhaps as many as 10 of the 26 Republican governorships are considered possible Democrat gains, including such major states as Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Democrats may end up governing about half the states, with considerably more than half the population.

Electoral boundaries are redrawn every 10 years after a census. That means 2021 after the census of 2020.

Early voting

At Politico we find that A staggering 36 million people have voted early, setting the stage for big midterm turnout.

That’s already ahead of the 27.2 million people who voted early in 2014. They reckon this year early voting could exceed 40 million.

It shows that Americans are more politically engaged than usual. This makes the polls less likely to be accurate.

Elsewhere The Conversation has numerous articles on the US mid-term elections. Brendon O’Connor and Dan Dixon have a summary of issues, including vote suppression with a focus on Georgia, where 53,000 registration applications had already been suspended when a judge ruled the practice used illegal. 70% of those suspended were African Americans who comprise 32% of voters.

62 thoughts on “Final US election update”

  1. Three points from this morning’s radio and papers.

    First, if there is a low turnout, it favours the Democrats. It there is a moderately boosted turnout, it favours the Republicans. If there is a high turnout, it favours the Democrats, as women, younger people, ethnic minorities get mobilised.

    It’s looking like the last of those three.

    Second, average wait in a queue to vote in Georgia is over three hours. That’s where an African American woman is running against a state official who is in charge of the administration of the voting.

    Third, an opinion piece that says if Trump had concentrated on skiting about the economy the Republicans would now be better placed than stirring up fears on race and immigration.

    BTW I heard last night that stocks in the US are at about their highest valuation in the last 60 years, higher than before the GFC, linked with high levels of personal debt, and Trump putting petrol on the fire with government spending and tax cuts.

    In these circumstances the Federal Reserve is acting rationally in putting up interest rates.

    That is one reason why we all have an interest in what is going on in the land of the partly free.

  2. Democrats win in house of reps but looks like Republicans will hold Senate

    With Democrats taking control of the House, things could get ugly for Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.

    The anticipated blue wave was no tsunami, but it still delivered Democrats the power to thwart their opponents’ agenda at every turn.
    They could launch a raft of investigations into the administration — not to mention the possibility of bringing impeachment proceedings against the President.

  3. 5 key take-aways about mid-term results These include:

    It was a night of many firsts
    Here are just a couple:

    In Colorado, Jared Polis was elected as the first openly gay male governor
    Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland are the first Native American women elected to Congress, in Kansas and New Mexico respectively
    Michigan and Minnesota Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to Congress
    And Michelle Lujan Grisham is the first Democratic Latina elected governor in the US in New Mexico
    5. Americans actually got to the polls
    The turnout at the last midterm elections was historically low, with only 36.4 per cent of eligible Americans turning out to vote.

    It’s early days still, but that doesn’t look like it’s the case this year.

  4. Thanks, John.

    I’ve been all over the place today, but heard a lot on radio and had updates from son Mark, who was live-streaming on TV, computer and smart phone simultaneously.

    Looks as though the Dems will be down 3 more in the Senate, where it could have been 5 or 6. So it’s not as bad as it might have been. However, the Republicans have shed a couple of moderate ones and they now have open slather to reshape the ideology of the judiciary for decades to come.

    In the House the real scandal is that the Dems will only have a majority probably of about 19 in the 435 assembly when they got a 9.5 point advantage in the popular vote. The Dems should have won by a landslide.

    That is the measure of the current ascendancy of the Republicans in rigging electorate boundaries.

    This site makes some kind of virtue of the existing disgrace in the name of innovation and local accountability. apparently the Dems have been guilty in the past, but have simply been outdone in recent times. This may give some hope:

    Nine states—Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin—have a board or a commission that oversees elections. Appointments to these commissions are usually made by the governor, and confirmed by the Senate. They are most often structured so as to be bipartisan, with a certain number of members from each of the major political parties.

    With a small majority the Dems can make life hell for Trump and the administration by the power of the committees. Mark thinks they would be better employed solving first their own internal rifts and working on policy that goes beyond opposing the Republicans.

    The latter just produces more anger and fear, which seems to suit the Trumpistas.

  5. Hear, hear Mark!

    As an outsider, I think the Democrats have as many internal differences as the GOP, if not more. The President has continued his tactic of goading, confusing, berating, angering a couple of new targets every day.

    He campaigned like that.
    It gave him millions or billions of $ of free publicity. I believe he pays Twitter no fee. (Probably assists their business by daily advertising of their existence.)

    Years ago, the idea of “starving the terrorists of the oxygen of publicity” was tossed around.

    Here’s a suggestion for the Democrats: grow up/stop responding to the schoolyard bully/work on the log in your own eye and forget for a while the motes in others’ eyes/turn the other cheek/admit that Hillary was a lousy candidate/try to nominate a better Pres candidate next time, as you seem to have done in local and governorship races for this mid-term contest/policy/policy/policy/” it’s the economy”, even if it was Bill Molester Clinton who repeated that endlessly.

    I’m aware that the US Democrats are not a Gandhian outfit. But the Mahatma had a few cunning ploys: the appearance of modesty, quiet determination, and advocacy of peaceful methods.

    (We can leave aside “homespun philosophy”; this is serious.)

  6. Ambi: You are right. The Democrats spend too much time attacking Trumps lack of PC/the concerns of the educated elite and too little time saying what they would do to help the “left behinds” of all colours.
    Bill Shorten understands this.

  7. I’m not as invested in this as some around here, so my facts may be a bit skewiff, but I have seen the point made a couple of times that the seats which were gained by the Dems were largely won by women.
    Also Michael Moore has repeatedly pointed out that the US populace is far more progressive than the governing parties.
    It seems to me the Democratic Party should stop trying to be Republican-light and take a step to the left.
    It’s a lesson I think (I hope?) Bill Shorten might have already absorbed.

  8. zoot, I saw a headline about 100 new women in the House, and the place will probably be run again by Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, who has been called the smartest strategist on the Hill.

    Mark keeps saying, remember both parties are basically supporters of capitalism first, the concerns of the people run second. He saw Bernie Sanders as a hope of something different, but Bernie didn’t happen, his time has past, and there is no obvious replacement.

    It was said that on the ground, health was the biggest issue by a stretch.

    Most moderate Republicans have gone – walked away, disendorsed or defeated, so Trump’s control of the Party is enhanced, but his ‘base’ will shrink over time demographically.

    Interesting factoid – Florida has given the vote to felons, potentially a million more eligible voters. Florida and Ohio are must win states for POTUS in 2020.

  9. This had long been forecast, but apparently Mr Trump has now sacked the Attorney General, Mr Sessions. The President has the right to appoint and disappoint (sic) Cabinet members.

    So this isn’t akin to Ricard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” where at least two of that President’s subordinates grew spines.

  10. … Bernie didn’t happen, his time has past, and there is no obvious replacement.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may step into the breach.

  11. Florida has given the vote to felons

    Pedant alert.
    It’s actually felons who have served their time, i.e. ex-felons.

  12. I think it’s not a bad outcome.
    It showed that America isn’t becoming more racist/bigot/homophobe, or at least offers no proof that it is.
    The stock market didn’t crash ( as was forecast when Trump won ), actually gained slightly, so investors didn’t mind.
    I think the result was better for Trump than Obama’s first midterm so if it was a referendum on policy then that’d be a pass.
    He won’t be fully impeached because the Senate is still Rep so he’ll at least get 4 years, stability ( such that it is ) isn’t the worst thing.

    The biggest winner was Project Veritas ( which most of you will not have seen, the news sources frequently linked to here totally boycott them ).
    Every politician they did investigative journalism on, exposing malfeasance, lost their seat.

    The biggest losers were probably Beta O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum.
    Both were being primed for a run in 2020, spent a truck load, and lost.

    It will be interesting to see what Pelosi does.
    If it’s trying to get shit to stick to Trump he doesn’t care and neither do his voters it seams and if it’s obstruction then he’ll just have a legitimate political target that he really hasn’t had till now.
    Buckle up.

  13. Jumpy

    You claim “stability ” has been served and then advise us to buckle up. Which is it?

    I’m going to put my bike helmet on, tight.

    By the way, what is “fully impeached”.
    AFAIK there can be
    1. a resolution to impeach
    2. a trial in Congress to decide whether to impeach (i.e. whether the Pres is guilty of high crimes etc.)
    3. Impeachment = exit with dishonour, do not pass go, do not collect £200, sell book rights, sell film rights and cast Melania as Melania, declare own impeachment the greatest impeachment ever, check pre-nup, launch new cable network; become a happy ghost (rather than a miserable one)….

  14. Some Republican congressmen are urging the President not to wind up the Russia/election enquiry.

    Now, why on earth would they so urge?

  15. Mr A
    Impeachment is a political tool, not a legal one.
    Think Slick Willy Clinton, impeached by the house for lying under Oath and kicked out in the Senate.
    Same sort of thing’ll happen here if Pelosi goes that way.
    He’s not getting impeached this term.

  16. And buckle up was referring to the Dems.
    The Reps are praying they go for someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Corey Booker.

  17. Jumpy, I can’t get accurate figures for 2018 yet, but I think the swings in popular vote in 2010 and 2018 were about the same. Just didn’t translate into seats.

  18. I’d like to thank our US correspondent for sharing his sources with us. You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.

  19. How amusement. This is from a comment on a left wing cesspool so it might not be kosher, but …

    President Carter said his election oversight commission which had done oversight of elections in African countries to ensure free and fair elections would not oversee US elections because they do not meet the minimum standards for his commission to do oversight.

  20. Yeah Brian, there’s nothing really in it.
    I think projections are slightly better seat wise.
    Certainly not a rebuke of Trump policies any more than it was Obama’s.

    The make up of Senate seats contested favoured Trump considerably, most were Dem incumbents.

    Obviously the 2020 race started straight away, no rest from politics any more.
    It’s like shops playing Xmas carols the day after Easter.

  21. Haha, that is funny zoot, thanks.
    But we’re being told that it’s a caravan of oppressed folk full of women and children not violent thugs that entered Mexico illegally but and want to enter America illegally.
    There is plenty of footage of the violent behaviour on YouTube but I guess you’ll choose blind monkey and not look.

  22. On 2020, son Mark reckons most presidents in modern times who have run for a second time have won. The exceptions are Jimmy Carter and George Bush Snr. What they have in common is that the economy tanked on their watch.

    Could happen to Trump, but if the economy is OK, Trump is odds on.

  23. … the richest Governor in US history and the richest US politician.
    A Democrat.

    You seem to be saying Democrats shouldn’t be rich.
    If you’re not, what is the point of this comment?

  24. Someone yesterday found my post of two years ago – Trump and post truth politics.

    I think it’s worth a look. I’ll post here the Pew Center bifurcation of the country on a scale of 10 political values:


    David Brooks thinks the Venn diagram no longer applies, there is a clear chasm between the parties. I doubt that is true, but it sounds as though the division is getting worse.

    I’ll also repeat this this H. L. Mencken quote:

      “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken, 1920

    Whether a moron or not he’s kept more of his promises than most expected.

    Obama was faced with total non-cooperation in Congress by Republicans, simply because he was Obama. I think the Dems will cooperate, but Trump now has a substantial check on legislative power.

  25. zoot

    Another possibility: I wonder whether Mr J believes rich people shouldn’t be Democrats??

    Yet there are dozens of wealthy Hollywood actors who speak in favour of Democrat candidates. Many of them seem to hate the President.

    Not my monkeys, their circus.

  26. Any attempt to align Democrats with poor people immediately founders on the “Soros is funding everything I don’t like in order to help the Dems” conspiracy theory.
    Unless, of course, George is a member of the Illuminati and is neither left nor right. I’m hazy on the details since I don’t waste my time on paranoid BS or Styxhexenhammer666.

  27. Not my monkeys, their circus.

    Just out of interest, folk that are useing that phrase ( or like meaning ), who exactly do you consider “ my monkeys “ and “ my circus “ ?

    I note though history many bad folk have used similar sentiment as an excuse for bigotry and discrimination.
    I’m sure that’s not the case here but would still like clarification in case visitors may take it the wrong way.

    Incidentally, I consider every human “ my monkeys “ and “ my circus “ is Earth.
    But I’m just a Libertarian not a tribalist.

  28. In my case
    I am an Australian elector, cannot vote in US elections.

    I believe that one of the principles of democracy is “representation” of locals by locals.

    So US politics is more germane to US citizens than to me.

    Indeed: no man is an island, and the welfare of all humans should concern us all. But I can’t vote in Botswanan contests, nor in Italian elections, nor in Swiss referenda. Neither should I.

    There are many other ways I can influence overseas folks, e.g.
    * contributing to aid projects, private or public
    * buying ‘fair trade’ goods
    * learning about tragedies, e.g. Chavezism in Venezuela, Pol Pot in Cambodia, famine in Africa
    * reducing carbon emissions (a global problem)
    * advocating for public health and safety, whether here or in foreign parts
    * volunteering here, attempting to assist the poor or disadvantaged

    Anyone may try any of these, Mr J.
    And I feel confident that you have other ways of assisting other folk, even better than these. I also think it’s better not to be patting ourselves on the back, so the above is not written as a “brag list”.

    Ambi the Listless

    PS: I mean no disrespect to circus performers, living or dead.
    And some of my best friends are monkeys.

    I draw the line at gorillas and apes.
    My zoo, my rules.

  29. I note though history many bad folk have used similar sentiment as an excuse for bigotry and discrimination.

    Do you have any examples of these “many bad folks”?
    Since the likelihood that you do is vanishingly small, heres’s a partial explanation of the richness of the saying.

  30. PS: You may be aware of the serenity prayer

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    The circus and monkeys saying deals with the first and last lines.

  31. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989. Only people 35 and older are eligible to be President and the average age of a U.S. president is the mid-fifties.

  32. Mother Jones had this to say re mid-terms:

    Unemployment is at 3.7 percent, a level so low we’ve reached it only once before in my entire lifetime. GDP is growing 3 percent per year. Wages are rising nicely. Inflation is tooling along at a very modest 2 percent. Manufacturers’ shipments are healthy. Consumer spending is strong and household debt is low. Aside from the dotcom boom, consumer confidence is at a 40-year high.
    And yet, Republicans are going to lose three dozen seats in the House and cede control to the Democrats. Has any party ever done so badly in the middle of such strong economic performance?
    I guess there was LBJ in 1966, after passing the Civil Rights Act and losing the South forever. But that’s about it.
    In raw numbers this might not be the biggest wave election ever, but once you account for the economy it’s one of the great political blowouts of modern history. Donald Trump will never admit it, but don’t be fooled. He was crushed and repudiated tonight in a way that few presidents ever have been.

    However, to give him credit Trump has convinced a lot of people they need to get off their butt and vote.
    The election has also illustrated just how flawed the alleged US democratic? electoral system is.

  33. The election has also illustrated just how flaw the alleged democratic electoral system is.

    Yes, they’re still “ finding “ votes for Democrats is Broward County in Florida.

  34. Scott (Re: NOVEMBER 10, 2018 AT 3:38 AM)

    Only people 35 and older are eligible to be President and the average age of a U.S. president is the mid-fifties.

    Thanks for the info. Per US Library of Congress re requirements for the President of the US:

    Legal requirements for presidential candidates have remained the same since the year Washington accepted the presidency. As directed by the Constitution, a presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older. These requirements do not prohibit women or minority candidates from running.

    I don’t think residency and age restrictions are too onerous. I think its beneficial for the country for the prospective candidates to have had lived in the country they are intending to lead for a reasonable amount of time. It’s also good to have had “life experience”. But I think the natural born requirement is too restrictive, considering the population of the US has depended on immigration for its growth and prosperity.

    To be a candidate for the US President now requires enormous financial wealth (i.e. multi-millionaire or billionaire seems to be a prerequisite) – that discriminates against most people.

  35. Jumpy (Re: NOVEMBER 10, 2018 AT 10:15 AM)

    Obama wasn’t wealthy, then.

    What’s your definition of “wealthy“, Jumpy? Do you think Obama was not wealthy when he was running as a candidate for the US President in 2008? In my estimate, Obama certainly is wealthy now.

    Do You Have to Be Rich to Be President?

    1. You need money to raise money.
    2. You need money to take time off from your current job to campaign.
    3. You need serious money for extensive nationwide advertising to be taken seriously.

    But of course you could have done some research before you, Jumpy, lodged your comment, eh Jumpy? But that takes a bit of effort – where’s the fun in that?

  36. Geoff Meill, you seem to have taken some of zoots nasty sarcasm tablets today.
    I was just looking at Obama’s employment before he ran.
    In any event, the amount he had was a pittance compared to what was spent getting him elected.
    Average spent per vote is interesting.

  37. Jumpy (Re: NOVEMBER 12, 2018 AT 4:32 PM)

    I was just looking at Obama’s employment before he ran.

    Jumpy, were you “looking at Obama’s employment” before or after your comment (at NOVEMBER 10, 2018 AT 10:15 AM)? I suspect it was the latter?

    My comment (at NOVEMBER 10, 2018 AT 9:58 AM) included (bold text my emphasis):

    To be a candidate for the US President now requires enormous financial wealth (i.e. multi-millionaire or billionaire seems to be a prerequisite) – that discriminates against most people.

    This link includes:

    Barack Obama — The Democratic former U.S. senator was worth an estimated $3,665,505 at the time of his election in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., watchdog group. Obama listed assets worth between $1,416,010 and $5,915,000 in his personal financial disclosure for that year.

    Obama appears to have met the criteria in 2008 when he was a candidate for the US President: “multi-millionaire or billionaire seems to be a prerequisite“. But your reply, Jumpy, seemed to me to disagree.

    You say in your latest comment:

    In any event, the amount he [Obama] had was a pittance compared to what was spent getting him elected.

    No argument from me. That supports my earlier statement:

    that discriminates against most people.

    For all but a few “elite” Americans there appears to be no chance of becoming a US President.

  38. The Party usually puts in huge funds for their endorsed candidate, but getting into and through the primaries is very expensive.

    Obama used “crowd funding”, they say.

    When JFK ran for the House in the late 40s, his dad splashed millions (in today’s dollars).

    A very good series of books on “The electing of the President” appeared in the 1960s, laying out in detail the cash spent, alliances made, compromises, dirty tactics etc.

    Yet the system remains largely unreformed. One of the few steps was L BJ weakening a civil rights act to get it past the Southern Democrats. How? By making it a voting rights act. So some black folk got the vote. Only took a century from the Civil War.

  39. GM

    Jumpy, were you “looking at Obama’s employment” before or after your comment (at NOVEMBER 10, 2018 AT 10:15 AM)? I suspect it was the latter?

    You suspect I’ve never googled Barack Hussein Obama before 10/11/2018 ?
    Ok, you go with that.

    Looks like a good lot of his pre Presidential money came from selling a lot of books.
    That’s doable for a huge many Americans.
    Shit, an app or catchy tune can make millions.
    Perhaps America voters give a few points to folk that have shown a bit of success.
    That’s a good thing.

  40. Jumpy (Re: NOVEMBER 13, 2018 AT 4:30 PM)

    Looks like a good lot of his pre Presidential money came from selling a lot of books.
    That’s doable for a huge many Americans.

    Really? So why aren’t there “a huge many Americans” making “a good lot of … money … from selling a lot of books”? Too easy, bro? Perhaps I could suggest “a huge many Americans” just don’t have the requisite talent or satiate a particular need/want that others are willing to pay for? Do you think before you hit the “Post Comment” button, Jumpy?

    …an app or catchy tune can make millions.

    How many “make millions”, Jumpy? I suggest to you a very small percentage do. Some enable a reasonable living for some talented people. Most don’t.

    Perhaps America voters give a few points to folk that have shown a bit of success.
    That’s a good thing.

    A bit of success in business doesn’t necessarily make a competent leader of a nation with a complex government. Being successful at one thing doesn’t necessarily mean you will be successful at governing the US. Look at how Trump still hasn’t filled a substantial number of government executive positions, and some of those people that have filled positions don’t seem to stay for long. It suggests to me a chaotic administration is in play.

  41. GM, the original comment of yours was,

    To be a candidate for the US President now requires enormous financial wealth (i.e. multi-millionaire or billionaire seems to be a prerequisite) – that discriminates against most people.

    Obama didn’t have enormous financial wealth, nor did Bernie Sanders ( who should have been the candidate but for Crooked Hillary’s crookedness)

    You over egged the omelet and are now just rambling shit about #orangemanbad.
    Give it a rest.

  42. Jumpy (Re: NOVEMBER 14, 2018 AT 5:07 PM)

    Obama didn’t have enormous financial wealth, nor did Bernie Sanders ( who should have been the candidate but for Crooked Hillary’s crookedness)

    My original comment was (as you have repeated, including bold text my emphasis of the part that you seem to be blind to):

    …enormous financial wealth (i.e. multi-millionaire or billionaire seems to be a prerequisite)…

    Obama was a multi-millionaire in 2008, and was successful at gaining the US Presidency (for 2 terms).

    It appears Bernie Sanders was not a multi-millionaire in 2016 (he wasn’t even a millionaire), and he wasn’t successful in getting anywhere near the US Presidency in 2016.

    Perhaps I should have qualified my statement to say that to be a successful candidate for the US President now requires enormous financial wealth (i.e. multi-millionaire or billionaire seems to be a prerequisite).

    Crooked Hillary’s crookedness“? I see you are pushing that meme. What’s your evidence, Jumpy? Fox News? Breitbart? Trump tweets?

    You over egged the omelet and are now just rambling shit about #orangemanbad.

    I don’t use twitter or facebook – I think they are huge time wasters – you seem to be regurgitating shit from suss social media . I suspect your critical thinking filter is defective or switched off? I think your confirmation bias is showing.

  43. GM
    I don’t do Fox News, breitbart, Twitter or Facebook.
    If you haven’t read or researched how Hillary rat arsed Bernie in the Democrat primaries then you should be more worried about the filters you have rather than projecting.

    I’m sorry for triggering you.

  44. Bernie Sanders is a special case who has operated well outside the US norm.

    Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The longest-serving Independent in congressional history, he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and caucuses with the Democratic Party, enabling his appointment to congressional committees and at times giving Democrats a majority.

    He was also Mayor of Burlington before that. To win that position

    Sanders castigated the pro-development incumbent as an ally of prominent shopping center developer Antonio Pomerleau, while Paquette warned of ruin for Burlington if Sanders was elected. The Sanders campaign was bolstered by a wave of optimistic volunteers as well as by a series of endorsements from university professors, social welfare agencies, and the police union. The final result came as a shock to the local political establishment, with the maverick Sanders winning by just 10 votes.[52]

    Sanders was reelected three times, defeating both Democratic and Republican candidates. He received 53% of the vote in 1983 and 55% in 1985.[56] In his final run for mayor in 1987, Sanders defeated Paul Lafayette, a Democrat endorsed by both major parties.[57] In 1986, Sanders unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Governor Madeleine Kunin (D) in her run for reelection. Running as an independent, Sanders finished third with 14% of the vote. Kunin won with 47%, followed by Lt. Governor Peter P. Smith (R) with 38%.

    After serving four two-year terms, Sanders chose not to seek reelection in 1989. He lectured in political science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government that year and at Hamilton College in 1991.[58]

    Sanders was an impressive Lord Mayor: Among other things:

    During his mayoralty, Sanders called himself a socialist and was so described in the press.[59][60] During his first term, his supporters, including the first Citizens Party City Councilor Terry Bouricius, formed the Progressive Coalition, the forerunner of the Vermont Progressive Party.[61] The Progressives never held more than six seats on the 13-member city council, but they had enough to keep the council from overriding Sanders’s vetoes. Under Sanders, Burlington became the first city in the country to fund community-trust housing.[62]

    During the 1980s, Sanders was a consistent critic of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. In 1985, Burlington City Hall hosted a foreign policy speech by Noam Chomsky. In his introduction, Sanders praised Chomsky as “a very vocal and important voice in the wilderness of intellectual life in America” and said he was “delighted to welcome a person who I think we’re all very proud of.”[63][64]

    Sanders’s administration balanced the city budget and drew a minor league baseball team, the Vermont Reds, then the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, to Burlington.[14] Under his leadership, Burlington sued the local television cable franchise, winning reduced rates for customers.[14]

    As mayor, Sanders led extensive downtown revitalization projects. One of his primary achievements was the improvement of Burlington’s Lake Champlain waterfront.[14] In 1981, Sanders campaigned against the unpopular plans by Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau to convert the then-industrial[65] waterfront property owned by the Central Vermont Railway into expensive condominiums, hotels, and offices.[66] Sanders ran under the slogan “Burlington is not for sale” and successfully supported a plan that redeveloped the waterfront area into a mixed-use district featuring housing, parks, and public space.[66] Today, the waterfront area includes many parks and miles of public beach and bike paths, a boathouse, and a science center.[66]

    Sanders hosted and produced a public-access television program, Bernie Speaks with the Community, from 1986 to 1988.[67][68] He collaborated with 30 Vermont musicians to record a folk album, We Shall Overcome, in 1987.[69][70]
    In 1987, U.S. News & World Report ranked Sanders as one of America’s best mayors.[71] As of 2013, Burlington was regarded as one of the most livable cities in the nation.[72][73]

    Sanders was well outside the US mold and it is easy to see why he got such enormous support from the grass roots. He would have been an interesting president.

  45. John Davidson (Re: NOVEMBER 15, 2018 AT 10:01 PM)

    Sanders was well outside the US mold and it is easy to see why he got such enormous support from the grass roots. He would have been an interesting president.

    I don’t disagree with you, John D. It would have been interesting for Sanders to win, and probably far more beneficial for US people, than the realities of Trump.

    Unfortunately, it seems, Sanders didn’t have enough financial clout to be successful – that’s what I think it seems to take now to win the US Presidency – that’s my point. I think it’s also a reflection on the US voters and the US voting system.

    I’m thankful I live in Australia, with what I see to be a far superior and fairer voting system.

  46. GM: Maybe Sanders would have won if he had more money. However, I suspect that he was too far to the left and too many Democrats either saw him as less likely to win than Hillary or a risky bet in areas like foreign policy, defense or economics.
    We will never know.

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