21 votes

In upset, Democrat poised to defeat Trump-backed Kentucky governor

8 comments

  1. [3]
    patience_limited
    Link
    Just a footnote for the non-U.S. observers, but reading the political tea leaves from an odd-year election is a game for pundits' paychecks, not any kind of reliable systemic indicator. Aside from...

    Just a footnote for the non-U.S. observers, but reading the political tea leaves from an odd-year election is a game for pundits' paychecks, not any kind of reliable systemic indicator.

    Aside from a small handful of states with higher-level executive offices at stake, the races around the country are generally very low turnout and reflect ballot issues of modest scope, recall campaigns, or special elections for replacing removed or deceased officials.

    Not really the sort of thing that accurately represents national political temperament or partisan energy.

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      SunSpotter
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Just want to say thanks for pointing this out. There were so many bellwethers or other miscleanous indicators people passed around on Reddit in 2016 to explain why this meant candidate X HAD to...

      Just want to say thanks for pointing this out.

      There were so many bellwethers or other miscleanous indicators people passed around on Reddit in 2016 to explain why this meant candidate X HAD to win now.

      It was draining, both psychologically and emotionally, because it seemed rationally disingenuous and because it obviously didn't pan out. To put it another way, it was like I knew it was bull, but still wanted to believe, and so room was still made to be let down.

      And while we're here, I just want to say that a bellwether only holds true until it doesn't. It's actually a fun statistics problem. Out of thousands of patterns that we could possibly observe, there's a chance that each turns out to "predict" a result. And a chance that it continues to "predict" results. Over time there's bound to be a couple that still "hold true" via random luck, and those are the ones people cling to most strongly.

      There's actually a famous investing scam based around this same idea, where you basically give a large number of different people mutually exclusive advice. Eventually, after successive rounds of this, by sheer luck a small number have been given only correct "advice" and will essentially believe anything you say next. The next step obviously being to make them do something incredibly stupid that benefits you. And honestly I don't see much of a difference. How many people didn't vote because they thought there was no way Trump would win?

      2 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        The point seemed most salient to me because I've got regular exposure to ambient news noise at the gym. CNN had a barrage of statistics and talking-head commentary that seemed oddly hyperbolic for...

        The point seemed most salient to me because I've got regular exposure to ambient news noise at the gym. CNN had a barrage of statistics and talking-head commentary that seemed oddly hyperbolic for a national election day with so few significant contests. At the same time, I was feeling uneasy surprise at living in a place where we had no ballot issues or offices to vote on this year.

        So now I'm going to engage in the prognostication that I complained about...

        At the end of the day, U.S. election results in 2020 will depend more on turnout demographics than any other bellwether indicators. Leaving aside the 5+% of the electorate subjected to structural voting obstacles, most people have to believe in both the personal relevance of the issues and the efficacy of available candidates or referenda (or removing the existing ones) before they'll bother showing up.

        One key detail is that the Virginia election reached a record-breaking (for the U.S., at least) 63% voter turnout for a non-gubernatorial race. Even for the quadrennial presidential election years, turnout has rarely exceeded 60%. There were some unique contributing factors that may have increased voter interest. Also of note was the success of Green New Deal candidates and policies - Virginia, particularly the Beltway districts, is relatively well-educated and affluent.

        In Kentucky, turnout was estimated at 42%, where 30% is more usual in an odd year.

        Per a New York Times Upshot analysis, the overall effects of increased national turnout may be equivocal. However, a recent Five Thirty Eight analysis of polling accuracy indicates that Upshot's pollster, Siena, is slightly biased toward Republicans, so the common wisdom that increased turnout benefits Democrats may remain true.

        2 votes
  2. [2]
    seizethegoddamngap
    Link
    A few things to keep in mind: • Bevin was the most unpopular governor in the country. • 9 of the last 11 Kentucky governors have been Democrats. • Most importantly IMO, Democrats lost every single...
    12 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      That last point is definitely an important one. If you change out the hood ornament but leave the rest of the car the same you won't see the car run any better.

      That last point is definitely an important one. If you change out the hood ornament but leave the rest of the car the same you won't see the car run any better.

      4 votes
  3. [2]
    Diet_Coke
    Link
    Different state, same election night - it looks like Virginia is going to be a blue state for at least the next couple years, with Dem majorities in both houses of the legislature, a Dem governor...

    Different state, same election night - it looks like Virginia is going to be a blue state for at least the next couple years, with Dem majorities in both houses of the legislature, a Dem governor and lieutenant governor, and a Dem attorney general. This is the first time that's happened since the 1990s. It's still very close, it's hard not to see this as a sign of Trump's toxicity.

    10 votes
    1. ubergeek
      Link Parent
      You can even read this down to my local elections, at the county level. Any candidate who was in reaching distance of Trump, over the past 8 years lost their election, if there was any contest,...

      You can even read this down to my local elections, at the county level. Any candidate who was in reaching distance of Trump, over the past 8 years lost their election, if there was any contest, whasoever.

      Incumbents generally kept their seats, but any non-incumbent candidate lost if you could connect them to Trump within 2 dots. Also, the whole Chris Collins thing made it like shooting fish in a barrel.

      A solid red district had a showing of 30% for a Dem Socialist.

      3 votes
  4. Deimos
    Link
    It came out with a difference of just over 5000 votes with over 1.4 million cast, and Bevin is seeking a vote recanvass.

    It came out with a difference of just over 5000 votes with over 1.4 million cast, and Bevin is seeking a vote recanvass.

    4 votes