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RI Democrat

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RI Democrat last won the day on November 14 2009

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About RI Democrat

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  1. RI Democrat

    Could a White Dude Beat Trump?

    There is a theory behind this that I read recently and may have some merit: basically, that there are some white swing voters who have some racist views or at least negative attitudes towards minorities but will sometimes vote Democratic if "identity" issues are not front-and-center, even if the Democratic candidate happens to be black (e.g. Obama). Thus, whereas a white Democrat like Hillary, especially given her husband's record on issues like incarceration, had to reinforce her anti-racist bona fides by talking explicitly about these issues and picking fights with Trump about them, a minority Democrat like Obama could quietly embody acceptance of diversity simply by being a minority while concentrating on other issues in campaign rhetoric. If there's something to this idea - and I'm not saying there is or there isn't - then Democrats might actually have more success nominating a minority candidate to run against Trump rather than a white candidate.
  2. RI Democrat


    One reason that states don't want to allow that is that it would undermine their own consumer protections. If State A has stronger protections than State B, insurers can just move their offices out of State A and sell to its residents exclusively from within the jurisdiction of State B.
  3. RI Democrat


    It's also essentially nonexistent now that the fine is $0. It would be a pretty herculean leap of logic to suggest that the law is unconstitutionally forcing people to buy health insurance by threatening to tax them zero dollars if they don't.
  4. RI Democrat

    Who should be the next Speaker of the House?

    The interesting thing would be what happens if the anti-Pelosi Democrats actually cast their vote for some other Democrat in enough numbers that nobody is elected Speaker on the first ballot. That's probably the most likely path to a different Speaker - I think it's unlikely that there are enough votes to just remove her as House Democratic leader ahead of time, but weirder things have happened.
  5. RI Democrat

    Who should be the next Speaker of the House?

    The Canadian Speaker is supposed to be relatively non-partisan, right? Our Speaker is just the opposite, in that whoever is leader of the party in the majority typically gets the job. I'm not sure who else in the Democratic caucus would be a credible candidate, but I'd be fine with either Adam Schiff or Elijah Cummings. Barbara Lee is probably a little too far to the left. And Bustos has to be careful - I think her district voted narrowly for Trump in 2016, or at least came close to doing so. Making herself one of the most prominent faces of the national party might complicate her re-election campaign.
  6. RI Democrat

    My Initial Midterm Reactions

    It seems like a big part of the story is the ongoing decline in ticket-splitting and the obstacle it poses to "waves." Traditionally, it's been difficult for the President's party to pick off opposition Senators in a midterm, especially when the President is unpopular overall, but perhaps we've reached the point where simply being Democrats was too big of a disadvantage for McCaskill, Donnelly, and Heitkamp to overcome. Nelson, if he does lose once the counts in FL are finalized, is a little more of a surprise to me - maybe he didn't run the best campaign, but FL isn't as red as MO, IN, or ND. I suppose the upside of this for the Dems is that they might be able to beat Trump in 2020 *and* win some of the purple-state Senate seats in 2022 that they lost in 2016, which I would have otherwise thought would be an unlikely combination.
  7. RI Democrat

    Trump's Leadership, Charisma, Integrity

    I haven't followed this blog - are the ratings changing to a 1-10 scale in the next version instead of 1-5?
  8. RI Democrat

    Deluxe Midterm Edition

    Which tab was doing this? I'll take a look.
  9. RI Democrat

    Deluxe Midterm Edition

    Yeah, I tried making a "coattails" spreadsheet for use with the presidential scenario and, like you, wasn't too happy with it. I recall that I somehow managed to win Ohio by 15 points as a Democrat (implausible enough, but probably a product of last-minute momentum and 270soft's tendency to have high undecideds), and then Democrats took 14 of the state's 16 congressional seats as well. That seems like something that just wouldn't happen - a Dem could probably only win OH by that kind of margin if downballot GOP voters were splitting their tickets.
  10. RI Democrat

    Deluxe Midterm Edition

    @Patine I would too, though I'm not sure how else I could create a scenario along the lines of what I was aiming for - namely, simulating the midterms as they actually occur, with House, Senate, and Gov results coming in simultaneously and the same national trends affecting all three levels. Even playing House and Senate stand-alone scenarios at the same time in separate windows can feel like a bit of a disconnect, because a scandal or a random external event might pop up and alter a party's fortunes for one but not the other. (I actually tried this once, playing the 2016 House, Senate, and Presidential campaigns simultaneously - the result was Hillary losing to Marco Rubio while Democrats recaptured the House and Senate.) @tjones324 Glad to hear the spreadsheets worked for you, thanks!
  11. RI Democrat

    Deluxe Midterm Edition

    There's a direct link in my post that doesn't require the use of Mediafire. What other file-sharing sites do people like to use these days? Working in 3rd parties would have been tricky given the way the formulas for statewide races work. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I'd have to figure out a way to account for what percentage of the Democratic and Republican vote totals for the House each independent/3rd party candidate would pull. I disagree about North Korea - while it isn't in the headlines much, neither are some of the other issues, and it certainly could become relevant again if Trump and/or Kim decide to run their mouths about it. I guess I could lower its profile, though. I understand the point about Trump Admin as an issue, but it seems wrong not to include it somehow, and I view the issue centers as reflecting public perception of where the parties stand as much as actual articulated policy positions. One thing working against the GOP right now is that they're tied to an unpopular presidency, even if some of the individual candidates may have distanced themselves from him. And really, you could have the same issue with other issues like health care and taxes - there are a few GOP House reps who didn't vote for Obamacare repeal or the 2017 tax cut, for instance. Did you find the spreadsheets easy enough to use?
  12. RI Democrat

    Deluxe Midterm Edition

    Actually, I've got it in a form that I'm comfortable sharing as is - it's attached below. If you want to use the spreadsheets to simulate the Senate and Governor races, open up the Excel file titled "2018 Midterms Deluxe Edition," and start with the tab that says "Start Here." https://www.mediafire.com/file/m1c72tus414iy42/2018_-_Deluxe_Midterm_Edition_-_Based_on_538_Forecasts.zip/file 2018 - Deluxe Midterm Edition - Based on 538 Forecasts.zip
  13. RI Democrat

    Germany 2017

    I think it's a combination of: (1) the K4E engine is based on the system that allows overhang seats but not leveling seats, and (2) the current political fragmentation in Germany resulted in the CDU/CSU winning the vast majority of first-past-the-post seats (which thus become overhang seats) with a relatively low percentage of the popular vote.
  14. RI Democrat

    France 2017 Presidential (WIP)

    Has anyone tried using the primary part to simulate the first round before the runoff? You could divide the candidates into broad "progressive" (Melenchon, Hamon, Macron) and "conservative" (Fillon, Le Pen, Dupont-Aignan) parties so that the winner from each party faces off in the general election. I know that precludes the possibility of, say, a Melenchon-Macron or Le Pen-Fillon showdown, each of which could have happened with only a few points' movement here and there, but it gets a little closer to how a French election actually works in the end.