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Prediction: 2016 voter turnout will set record low

In 1996, when Bill Clinton seemed almost guaranteed of a victory over Republican Bob Dole, only 49 percent of the electorate turned out to vote — the lowest ever save for 1924, when voter turnout was 48.9 percent. Clinton-Dole may have been uninspiring, but our 2016 options promise to be truly soul-deadening.

Moderates Independents will feel particularly abandoned when faced with a choice between Hillary and Cruz or Rubio.

Cruz would be especially vexing. He merges a regressive, rigid ideology with an overbearing personality that will endear him only to the truest believers. A prick, basically.

Rubio, meanwhile, is likely to come off as overly eager and not quite ready for prime time. Then there’s his Nixonian sweating.

Speaking of Nixon

No one can top the preternatural inauthenticity of Hillbot, who continues to show little regard for the voters she is trying to woo.

In an interview taped Monday, Clinton repeated an already ridiculed claim that her popularity among Wall Street donors stems from the relationships she built in the aftermath of 9/11.

“I have stood for a lot of regulation on big banks and on the financial services sector. I also represented New York and represented everybody from the dairy farmers to the fishermen…And so, yes, do I know people? And did I help rebuild after 9/11? Yes, I did,” Clinton said.

So what’s Ross Perot up to these days?

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2016 Election

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2 thoughts on “Prediction: 2016 voter turnout will set record low Leave a comment

  1. It’s certainly true that Cruz, Trump and even Rubio would be the farthest right major party nominee since Goldwater (when compared to the voters’ position on issues). Strictly on objective criteria, however, why would moderates feel “abandoned” with Clinton as the nominee?

    Her positions on nearly every major issue put her squarely in the pack with eligible voters (according to the most recent polls listed at PollingReport.com).

    On some positions, she stands with majorities that take the perceived “liberal” position, e.g.:
    * 58 percent “think laws covering the sale of guns should be made more strict” (versus 31 percent “kept as they are”; 8 percent “less strict”)
    * 71 percent favored increasing the min wage from $7.25 to $10.10
    * 63 percent favored “increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and large corporations in order to help reduce income inequality in the U.S.”
    * 61 percent opposed “eliminating federal funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventative health services.”
    * 55 say “illegal immigrants who are currently living in the United States … should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship” plus 9 percent believe “be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship” (vs only 31 percent who support Rubio/Trump/Cruz current view that they “be required to leave”)

    Similar majorities can be found for gay marriage, against privatizing Social Security and against raising the age of Medicare benefits, and a whole slow of other issues. I’m pretty sure Rubio, Trump and Cruz differ with those majorities on each of those issues.

    On a wide variety of other issues — lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for the nuclear treaty — majorities of voters (or at least large pluralities) are in concert with Clinton’s long-stated positions. And, on some issues, she even stands with majorities that take the “conservative” position: She’s certainly more hawkish, for example, than Obama (who himself has consistently been more hawkish than most voters) on specific questions about military intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

    Even on healthcare, Clinton’s right in the middle. She’d neither replace Obamacare with a single-payer plan nor repeal it. Instead, she’d tweak it — just as most voters polled would. Rubio, Cruz and the Republican caucuses in both chambers have voted on multiple occasions for total repeals or have at least promised to do so) — a sweeping notion consistently opposed by majorities.

    Republicans have done a great job over the years to reframe issues as impressionistic generalities. Healthcare’s a case in point: Having heard over and over that Obamacare is a “government takeover” (a matter that’s entirely up to interpretation), pluralities generally — but not always — say they’re against it. But Americans consistently support most of Obamacare’s specific features, e.g. protecting policy holders from being dumped because of medical conditions or when they turn 18, mandating minimum levels of coverage, and even expanding Medicaid.

    I guess I’m arguing that there’s a difference between on one hand ascertaining whether someone’s “moderate,” “liberal” or “conservative,” and on the other hand defining moderation as a balance between two extremes. If you take the “balance” approach, there can never be a “moderate” choice between two candidates; the “center” will always be exactly between the two points, so each candidate will be viewed as the other side as “extreme.” Our “balance”-obsessed media reinforces that perception among the rest of us, but dutifully feeds us narratives in which both sides are presented as equally obstinate and extreme.

    But what happens if one party moves further and further into an extreme position while the other one stays pretty much where it always was? Indeed, that is happening. Don’t just take my seat-of-the-pants review of polling date. Check out this very telling graph — using the well-established DW-Nominate scaling method — to see how out-of-step the current Republican Party is with its own norms: http://voteview.com/political_polarization_2014.htm. The irony is that, reflexing relying on “balance” between the two parties’ positions to define moderation as a shorthand substitute for objective criteria causes the centerpoint on the political spectrum to move further and further from the center. In other words, “balancing” the views of two candidates or two parties, actually creates an imbalance.

    Truly, moderation is entirely different from a balance between two ultimately random points: In this context, it means someone who’s basically in-step on the issues with the general population — and perhaps with the positions of other leaders over recent history. The former of those two criteria can be determine with readily available polling data. Yes, of course statistics can be damn lies. But, in this case, the data need not go through a lot filters; it’s pretty darned conclusive: On the issues, Hillary is about as moderate as they come.

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