Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


andym's Journal
andym's Journal
September 17, 2017

It's not so much what Democrats have done wrong, but what the GOP has done right

The Democratic Party has been on a losing arc since 2010, with the exception of President Obama's re-election. With a huge majority in the House, a small majority in the Senate and 2/3 of state houses in GOP control, things really have changed since 2008, when things were polarized in the Democratic Party's favor. Why?

It's not so much that Democrats have made mistakes, but that the GOP has been proactive.

Why increasing influence of Fox news have pushed the country rightwards:
"A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined"
GOP gained over a 6% voter advantage attributable to Fox in 2008...
Fox's influence reinforces GOP/conservative influence from talk radio and conservative internet sites.
Basic point, is that GOP is propagandizing their anti-government beliefs far better than Democrats or even Democratic Socialists like Bernie are promoting their pro-government solutions, which will eventually doom progressive legislation.

Much much better organization at the local level, due to
"Democrats are losing to Republicans at the state level, and badly. Here's why."
Basically, the Koch brother's organizations are executing a master plan to gain GOP dominance

A plan to get control in 2010 in order gerrymander election districts for a generation.
(see post just above for how) and http://theweek.com/articles/625095/how-rig-elections-legal-way
"In the 2010 election cycle, the Republican Party took gerrymandering to a new level by creating a national redistricting strategy. The GOP's plan, which they called REDMAP, was to "keep or win Republican control of state legislatures with the largest impact on congressional redistricting..." "After pouring $30 million into state legislature races — a huge sum for down-ballot fights — the Republicans gained a record 680 state seats. That gave them total control of 25 state legislatures, which between them oversaw the redistricting process for 40 percent of congressional House of Representatives seats."
"AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016"

Resulting in this problem:
Two-thirds of Americans think that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the country
Why? See all the points above.
Disbelieve this kind of poll at one's own peril.

So what's the solution? An organized effort to promote Democratic ideas, a combination of progressive and moderate ideas that appeal to people's sense of how the country might be better than it is. The first point is to convince people the federal government can be benevolent and extremely capable, sometimes even more capable than private enterprise. For example, combining helping people create and grow small businesses while providing a means to affordable universal health care.

September 13, 2017

Hillary Clinton: It was "intervention by Comey"

Hillary Clinton says Comey was 'the determining factor' in 2016 loss
Dylan Stableford

In the book, Clinton places blame for her loss on many factors, including the Russian intervention, Bernie Sanders, the media, Donald Trump’s reality show-like run and her own campaign.

But on “Today,” Clinton was unequivocal in assessment.

“I think the determining factor was the intervention by Comey,” she said. “Absent that, I believe and I think the evidence shows, I would have won.”

“Did you make enough mistakes yourself to lose the election without any of the other things you talk about?” NBC’s Matt Lauer asked. “I will say no,” Clinton replied.
I think her analysis is 100% accurate regarding Comey-- she would have won comfortably in the Electoral College, and several Democrats would probably be Senators today who aren't, if it wasn't for Comey's last minute interference. Hillary ran a solid campaign that emphasized her strengths and downplayed her weaknesses, but there was really nothing she or anyone else could do about Comey.

September 9, 2017

A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined

A stunning new study shows that Fox News is more powerful than we ever imagined It could even be flipping elections.
by Dylan Matthews

"Fox News is, by far, America’s dominant TV news channel; in the second quarter of 2017, Fox posted 2.35 million total viewers in primetime versus 1.64 million for MSNBC and 1.06 million for CNN. Given that Fox was founded by a longtime Republican Party operative and has almost exclusively hired conservative commentators, talk radio hosts, and the like to host its shows, it would stand to reason that its dominance on basic cable could influence how Americans vote, perhaps even tipping elections.

A new study in the American Economic Review (the discipline’s flagship journal), with an intriguing and persuasive methodology, finds exactly that. Emory University political scientist Gregory Martin and Stanford economist Ali Yurukoglu estimate that watching Fox News directly causes a substantial rightward shift in viewers’ attitudes, which translates into a significantly greater willingness to vote for Republican candidates.

The effects of CNN and MSNBC on centrist voters are mostly negligible; MSNBC, in 2000 and 2004, modestly increased odds of voting Republican, before it turned left in time for 2008. But Fox News increases Republican voting odds for centrists, for Democratic viewers, and even, in 2004 and 2008, for Republicans already strongly inclined to vote that way. Watching three minutes more of Fox News per week in 2008 would have made the typical Democratic or centrist voter 1 percentage point likelier to vote Republican that year.

“Fox is substantially better at influencing Democrats than MSNBC is at influencing Republicans," the authors find. While most Fox viewers are Republican, a sizable minority aren't, and they're particularly suggestible to the channel's influence. In 2000, they estimate that 58 percent of Fox viewers who were initially Democrats changed to supporting the Republican candidate by the end of the election cycle; in 2004, the persuasion rate was 27 percent, and 28 percent in 2008. MSNBC, by contrast, only persuaded 8 percent of initial Republicans to vote Democratic in the 2008 cycle."

In a way it's the number one reason why the GOP won in 2010, was able to gerrymander with impunity and why Hillary really lost and there is very little to be done about it-- the damage is done.

The actual study is here https://web.stanford.edu/~ayurukog/cable_news.pdf
Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization
Gregory J. Martin? and Ali Yurukoglu

It's technical but well worth it.

"In other results, we estimate that removing Fox News from cable television during the 2000 election cycle would have reduced the overall Republican presidential vote share by 0.46 percentage points. The predicted effect increases in 2004 and 2008 to 3.59 and 6.34 percentage points, respectively. This increase is driven by increasing viewership on Fox News as well as increasingly conservative slant. Finally, we find that the cable news channels’ potential for influence on election outcomes would be substantially larger were ownership to become more concentrated."

Imagine how much the effect was by 2016!

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 09:31 PM
Number of posts: 5,423

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»andym's Journal