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  1. #1
    Wounded Ronin's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Why did Ossof lose in the Georgia special election?

    For some time I have been fascinated by the idea that certain locations in the US predictably vote either "red" or "blue". This is because it seemingly makes no sense. If all politicians know that a given district will always vote for a certain political party regardless of any specifics about the candidate or the issue, it basically means they have no accountability. The party can count on the vote of a certain district and use its votes to pursue global level agendas (for example, tax cuts from AHCA would actually benefit Democrat leaning states more than Republican states: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...n-blue-states/) but they don't really have any reciprocal accountability back to those voters. They could run Homer Simpson and he would still get elected based on party affiliation.

    So, when I read the other day that there was a chance that a Democrat might win in a "safe" red Georgia special election, I was intrigued. Could this be the beginning of voters holding the political parties accountable and denying them "guaranteed" votes? After all, why not? Wouldn't it be in the best interest of every district to be unpredictable so that both parties are forced to give them concessions in an effort to garner votes? If this were to happen, wouldn't both parties become more moderate and more focused on broadly popular solutions?

    But no, Ossof didn't win and Georgia basically stayed red, in spite of the tumultuous backdrop of current events.

    This leads to two questions:

    1.) What, if anything, would it take to make a "safe" district vote for the other party? Or is this impossible, with people basically having bought into the idea of unconditional support for a given political party?

    2.) Why exactly did Ossof lose?

    From a survey of news and commentary around the internet, I found the following elements re Ossof's loss:

    a.) From the New York Times, voters in Georgia hate Nancy Pelosi more than they hate Donald Trump. Supposedly, the Republican party can simply tie the Democratic candidate to Nancy Pelosi and her "San Francisco values" (whatever that means) for an automatic win. There might be an element of truth to this. I know that Nancy Pelosi has been extreme and outspoken on the issue of gun control for many years, which, being a wedge issue, would tend to create cultural aversion in voters who don't want gun control. Per the Times, there have been calls from younger and newer Democrats for Pelosi to step down, with the idea being that she is kind of an albatross or liability on the party. Personally, among left leaning young people I know to be politically engaged and active, none of them seem to view Pelosi favorably; instead, she's seen as part of the power structure that effectively vetoed Bernie Sander's candidacy.

    b.) Reading some of the third party comments posted in FiveThirtyEight.com's live commentary of the election. a few people pointed out that Ossof was seen as a kind of carpetbagger because he actually lived in a neighboring district. There was the perception that he was chosen by outsiders from DC and wasn't really in it to represent the locals. I guess without really knowing the district and how insular or community-conscious it is, it's hard for an outside observer to gauge this one. There was also the idea that the millions of dollars poured in by the DNC gave the impression of Ossof being an outside puppet.

    c.) I didn't actually follow the campaigns themselves, but some people claimed that Ossof "went full Hillary Clinton" by being too stiltedly moderate and therefore failed to appeal to voters. One third party commentator of FiveThirtyEight.com's live commentary wrote, "I knew Ossof would lose when he "went full Clinton" in the debate and came out against universal single payer health care. Most Americans would like to have the kind of basic things other rich countries take for granted - universal health care, affordable education, decent wages for those who work, for example. They're also, however, often attracted to aggressive, pseudo-macho, over the top hate spewing. What doesn't seem to sell is billionaire funded timid austerity. Whether peddledd by Hillary Clitnon imitators or Jeb Bush imitators."

    The Washington Post also ran an article suggesting that Ossof should have run a more strident campaign vilifying Donald Trump: https://www.washingtonpost.com/power...=.b58e0838d949

    That being said, is more stridency and extremism really salubrious for the United States in the long run?



    So, what's your take on it? It's my hope to better understand US politics by hearing from a variety of smart people.
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  2. #2
    Raycetpfl's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin View Post
    For some time I have been fascinated by the idea that certain locations in the US predictably vote either "red" or "blue". This is because it seemingly makes no sense. If all politicians know that a given district will always vote for a certain political party regardless of any specifics about the candidate or the issue, it basically means they have no accountability. The party can count on the vote of a certain district and use its votes to pursue global level agendas (for example, tax cuts from AHCA would actually benefit Democrat leaning states more than Republican states: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...n-blue-states/) but they don't really have any reciprocal accountability back to those voters. They could run Homer Simpson and he would still get elected based on party affiliation.

    So, when I read the other day that there was a chance that a Democrat might win in a "safe" red Georgia special election, I was intrigued. Could this be the beginning of voters holding the political parties accountable and denying them "guaranteed" votes? After all, why not? Wouldn't it be in the best interest of every district to be unpredictable so that both parties are forced to give them concessions in an effort to garner votes? If this were to happen, wouldn't both parties become more moderate and more focused on broadly popular solutions?

    But no, Ossof didn't win and Georgia basically stayed red, in spite of the tumultuous backdrop of current events.

    This leads to two questions:

    1.) What, if anything, would it take to make a "safe" district vote for the other party? Or is this impossible, with people basically having bought into the idea of unconditional support for a given political party?

    2.) Why exactly did Ossof lose?

    From a survey of news and commentary around the internet, I found the following elements re Ossof's loss:

    a.) From the New York Times, voters in Georgia hate Nancy Pelosi more than they hate Donald Trump. Supposedly, the Republican party can simply tie the Democratic candidate to Nancy Pelosi and her "San Francisco values" (whatever that means) for an automatic win. There might be an element of truth to this. I know that Nancy Pelosi has been extreme and outspoken on the issue of gun control for many years, which, being a wedge issue, would tend to create cultural aversion in voters who don't want gun control. Per the Times, there have been calls from younger and newer Democrats for Pelosi to step down, with the idea being that she is kind of an albatross or liability on the party. Personally, among left leaning young people I know to be politically engaged and active, none of them seem to view Pelosi favorably; instead, she's seen as part of the power structure that effectively vetoed Bernie Sander's candidacy.

    b.) Reading some of the third party comments posted in FiveThirtyEight.com's live commentary of the election. a few people pointed out that Ossof was seen as a kind of carpetbagger because he actually lived in a neighboring district. There was the perception that he was chosen by outsiders from DC and wasn't really in it to represent the locals. I guess without really knowing the district and how insular or community-conscious it is, it's hard for an outside observer to gauge this one. There was also the idea that the millions of dollars poured in by the DNC gave the impression of Ossof being an outside puppet.

    c.) I didn't actually follow the campaigns themselves, but some people claimed that Ossof "went full Hillary Clinton" by being too stiltedly moderate and therefore failed to appeal to voters. One third party commentator of FiveThirtyEight.com's live commentary wrote, "I knew Ossof would lose when he "went full Clinton" in the debate and came out against universal single payer health care. Most Americans would like to have the kind of basic things other rich countries take for granted - universal health care, affordable education, decent wages for those who work, for example. They're also, however, often attracted to aggressive, pseudo-macho, over the top hate spewing. What doesn't seem to sell is billionaire funded timid austerity. Whether peddledd by Hillary Clitnon imitators or Jeb Bush imitators."

    The Washington Post also ran an article suggesting that Ossof should have run a more strident campaign vilifying Donald Trump: https://www.washingtonpost.com/power...=.b58e0838d949

    That being said, is more stridency and extremism really salubrious for the United States in the long run?



    So, what's your take on it? It's my hope to better understand US politics by hearing from a variety of smart people.
    Gerrymandering is why. It's horrible and makes each candidate cater to the fringe on both sides of their respective isles. This creates unreasonable positions and echo chambers.

  3. #3
    BKR's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Because more people voted for the other guy. It was 52% to 48%, correct?
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  4. #4
    Wounded Ronin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Because more people voted for the other guy. It was 52% to 48%, correct?
    Basically, yeah. 48.1% to 51.9%.

    Is that pretty close for a "safe" district, though?
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  5. #5
    Bneterasedmynam's Avatar
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    Simple answer: hillbillies. No seriously they vote only republican. It wouldn't matter what the republicans did they would still vote for them. Republicans could start throwing babies into chipper shredders and hillbillies would still vote for them.

  6. #6
    1bad65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raycetpfl View Post
    Gerrymandering is why. It's horrible and makes each candidate cater to the fringe on both sides of their respective isles. This creates unreasonable positions and echo chambers.
    This is true. It explains how alot of the more radical people (on both sides) get voted in.
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  7. #7
    1bad65's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As to Ossof, he was a terrible candidate.

    He's a 30 year old 'filmmaker' who went from living with his dad to living with his gf who is in Med School. He (or rather she) lives outside the district. He also got like 90%+ of his campaign donations outside the district. That's why tying him to Pelosi worked so well. Many of his donors were rich, uber-liberal Californians.
    A succubus is a Lilin-demon in female form, or supernatural entity in folklore that appears in dreams and takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual activity. Religious traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with a succubus may result in the deterioration of health or mental state, or even in death.

  8. #8
    hungryjoe's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A win, but too close for comfort.

    Perchance some of those hillbillies didn't want to vote for someone who did not even live in the district.

    $30,000,000 down the drain. Won't hurt the latte budget of the Hollywooders (some) that were funding his run.

  9. #9
    BKR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin View Post
    Basically, yeah. 48.1% to 51.9%.

    Is that pretty close for a "safe" district, though?
    I don't know, you'd have to take a look at the data on so called "safe" districts over time.

    Considering that the Democratic candidate got close to $30,000,000 dollars pumped into his campaign and lost anyway, I'd say the district was indeed, "safe". A non-Trump president I think would have resulted in a lot less support.

    The whole media take on this and other special elections (4 or 5?) seemed to be to make them into some sort of referendum on Trump and Republicans in general.


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  10. #10
    Diesel_tke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bneterasedmynam View Post
    Simple answer: hillbillies. No seriously they vote only republican. It wouldn't matter what the republicans did they would still vote for them. Republicans could start throwing babies into chipper shredders and hillbillies would still vote for them.
    That's a load of horse ****. For a couple reasons. Who you calling hillbilly? My whole family is from Alabama, Georgia, and north west Florida. And its a pretty huge family. First of all, we call hillbillies, people who live up in the mountains or hollers. The 6th district is just north of Atlanta and includes Atlanta suburbs. If you've been up there, we don't even hardly consider them rednecks. That's city folk. By far. I currently live in Pensacola and on the outskirts. I've been considering moving further out because it's getting too crowded. Our Population is 52,000 and 461,000 including the surrounding areas. The 6th district has a population of 692,000 alone. So we definitely don't consider them to be hillbillies or even rednecks. Maybe you just meant white southerners. That would probably be more accurate.

    So, I'll assume you are talking about southerners. That would still be wrong. Because in Georgia they only started voting republican when Newt rode in around 1978 or 1980. If you ask most people, they will say they were democrats and that they didn't leave the party, the party left them. There was a lot of stuff going on around that time. But I still think that is not the issue. The main issue with most people I know, who voted for Bush, Obama, and Trump is Clinton and the main stream media. I know lots of people who would have voted for Bernie but would never vote for Clinton. As I've said before, I think Bernie would have won.

    Now Trump is in and there has been so much backlash in the media about it, that people are now voting Republican out of spite, in my opinion. They don't particularly care how bad Trump is. When Ossof ran his campaign he took a bit of a Hillary approach and despite what the media is reporting, people around here don't like her, care what she thinks, or what she stands for. Her little apology tour that she went on is only making it looks even more tragic.

    Most people I know don't publicly say they voted for Trump because then they will just be called a racists or a bigot. So they keep it to themselves, then talk about it over beer or express it in the voting booth. I've never voted on party lines in my life. I do know a few who do, older folks. I know some ignorant folks on both sides that vote on party lines. But most people I know are reasonable and vote on issues.
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