Pramila Jayapal, one of the standard-bearers for Bernie Sanders' Our Revolution movement, won a decisive victory in the primary race for Washington's 7th Congressional District Tuesday night and will advance to the November general election.
Polling Their Pants Suits Down
I know I said I would post nothing about this election during it, that I would not say anything for or against any candidate, that I would not make angry reply denunciations of other people's political opinions, argue, call people names like "idiot" or "troll," try to change people's minds, make them see how wrong they're being. . Some of you are doing that. But I will break my "no self selfie" pledge this one time and have one say today only.
I wish there wasn't so much emphasis on poll numbers. Nobody will admit this, especially the pollsters themselves, but poling stats can be "juked." The polling companies, George Gallup and the rest, claim that their sampling methodology is scrupulously scientific, designed to eliminate any chance of bias. They always say things like "with a margin of error of plus or minus two tenths of a percent." They never explain how they come up with that number; we're just supposed to take it on faith.
But how would we ever know if they lying, making up their results? Polling can be fixed by how those being polled are chosen. They can do a pre-poll poll to preselect people who when polled are "for real" will deliver the hoped for results. Then this can be used as political propaganda. Polling results can and is known to have affected election outcomes. People exposed to announced poling results that show candidate they are hoping will win running far behind, they are more likely to say, "Oh well, we've already lost" and then cut back on any volunteering and not bother to even vote at all.
Worse, polling results always leads to hours and hours on people on TV blabbing away, spinning in the wind of their own hot air, about what the poll numbers mean, what it bodes for the future, what the candidates can do to get better numbers if they can. So the only advice I have for people who are participating in this election, please
DON'T DO IT BY THE NUMBERS
Actually, legitimate pollsters definitely explain exactly where the margin of error in their polls is coming from and explain their methodology in great detail. The organization that most pollsters belong to (AAPOR) has a code of ethics requiring as much - do beware of pollsters that have not signed on to that code. Further, they also consistently provide the admonition that the margin of error only addresses one kind of error (the part that comes from randomness of samples) and that the size of the bias in polls is likely to be of the same magnitude. Websites like FiveThirtyEight.com go to great lengths in providing summaries of polling, rating the reliability of different pollsters, and describing what the polls are and are not telling you.
I repost this link because it is inspiring.....and Goddess knows we need it.....
Great! Seems like Indian-born women are making a diff in WA, for example, Kshama Sawant also.
Hey CD, here's an article on Stein you could print, as you know users are asking for more Stein content.
Right now things are coming up roses all over. Rhode Island Bernie candidates for state legislature are by and large having a good time. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has a good chance of being unseated in the primary in a month or so.
Expanding Social Security benefits, debt-free college, and a $15 minimum wage" were cited in the article as constituting "bold" positions taken by Jayapal. These are not bold; they are typical hand-outs to a constituency. "Bold" would be more like JFK's "what can you do for your country." "Bold" would be addressing the pro-corporate bias and the pro-war bias (two sides of the same coin) of both major parties Promising to spend more money, even if merited, is not bold; offering revolutionary reform proposals to obtain that money would be bold.
McCauley sez: "The victory was celebrated widely by progressives now looking to down-ticket races to advance the policies championed by Sanders' presidential campaign."
Yes, this is fine. But it's gonna be a long slog trying to chip away one district at a time while gerrymandering holds sway. The top three vote-getters in this reliably 'liberal' district are all Democrats™. Another district produced two Republicans™ going head-to-head in the general.
My own island of red in this 'blue' state decided Dave Reichert (R-Bush Coattails) continues to be far and away its best congressional bet.
And, of course, Patty "Li'l Hillary" Murray (D-MIC) is safely on her way back to shore up the establishment in the senate.
No revolution will take place within the duopoly.
I could puke! Murray and Larsen both made it, so we know of at least two votes for TPP, TTIP, and anything else of similar ilk, not to mention more approval for billions in arms and military spending, more billions for Israel even before they have managed to eliminate the Palestinian People from the earth, more cuts in the lives of We the People, who they are supposed to be representing, and the continuing spread of war in the Far East, to prevent any competition from China in the
US Fourth Reich's game of Full Spectrum Dominance in the Far East and the world.
* Democracy? Pfaugh!
Then I hope someone finds a way to fake them into reporting a huge support base for the one candidate I do like.
We've been hearing this same rhetoric since the Reagan administration. Dig out your "Revolution 101" text book.
Rule #1: In order to wage a revolution, people need to know what, and for whom, the revolution is about.
Rule #2: We're 20 years into our war on the poor. We're rich vs. middle class vs. poor. If we had a revolution, who would fight whom?
How do I know that FiveThirtyEight's claims aren't bought and paid for by the Pollsters? It still comes down to trust. I did volunteer poll taking during the '64 Johnson-Goldwater campaign and the phrasing of the questions was supplied by our pollster supervisors and had carefully crafted language to nudge by implying what the pollster wanted the answer to be. I had people tell me that, although they told the pollster one thing, when they got to the voting booth they changed their mind. I had people tell me that they had lied to the exit pollster. I've always hated those, all that "with one tenth of one percent of the vote counted, News Network Inc. PROJECTS that this candidate has won" stuff, although they almost do always tally disturbingly close to the final count. But this being so, why even have a popular vote election? Why not have FiveThirtyEight just have them poll the demographically correct chooser group to decide who won then turn the results over to the Electoral College? Save us all a lot of bother.
But herdpostings point about the polled percentage determining who is deemed qualified to participate in the debates is a real one. I only wonder who decided what the cut off point is? What are the criteria for choosing not only the numbers but which polling company's numbers to use for their up and down vote?
Prove conclusively to me that a polling company's numbers are dead on point accurate and I still don't see why they they should be of concern to anyone other than the campaign professionals. They need to have ways to keep track of how their candidate is doing: winning, losing, gaining ground, losing ground, what speech schtick get good attention, which ones detract. And if the information exists it will take a "leak" into the public discourse. I am urging people to forget the poll numbers and decide how to vote using ways that pay no attention to the numbers of people who are or are not in agreement with them. But they won't because no one listens to me.
Have never had the pleasure to see and hear her live but the first time I heard one of her songs that would be an accurate description of how I felt. Tracy Chapman is almost like an elemental force of nature.
The kind of biases you mention like question wording issues and issues of truthful responses (and more importantly differences between people who respond to pollsters at all and those who don't) are the part of the biases that exist in polling. In modern polling, such biases are about the same order of magnitude a the random errors that are measured by the margin of error. Thus, individual polls are not as good a hallmark of the true nature of things as aggregations of polls where things balance out a bit since some pollsters are biased in one direction and others are biased in another. Statisticians like those at 538 can see how these industry averages fair from one state to another and from one election to another and get a picture for how accurate their predictions will be. They measure (and transparently tell the public) how far off their guesses are likely to be. For primary elections things are highly variable and they can be off by a good deal. For general elections they will get very close when he election is close.
Now with respect to debate rules - I am in total agreement - that is indeed a complete crock. The rules are set up by the two major parties specifically to keep alternative parties out of the game.
Blaming the numbers because you don't like what they tell you is unproductive. The issue isn't a fraudulent system - it's a rigged system. A system that sets up rules for who can vote that puts extra burdens on students and the poor; a system that dictates who can get their message out based on wealth and links to the two parties; a system that selectively creates long lines at certain precincts because of uneven availability of poll workers and misallocation of voting machines.
I don't think there's an overpopulation of folks on CD who believe democratizing the Democratic Party and changing the face of the president & Congress is the revolution. I think they are proportionate to the population, maybe less so.
Perhaps political revolution is being interpreted as electoral revolution. But what we are witnessing is a citizenry very much disconnected from the history of this nation and the revolutionary DNA of our ancestors, many of them through no fault of their own. Let's face it, Howard Zinn's History of the US is not required study, and most common text books skim right over the development and history of social movements in the US.
To find it online go to HistoryisaWeapon.com http://www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeopleshistory.html . It's a pretty handy tool to be able to parse sections and chapters and send them out through your social network or to use as a resource in persuading folks. But what would be truly effective is to make it part of school districts' high school US History and/or civics curricula. Now that would have immediate impact on the next election and future ones as well. I reread it as a local book club selection too, another great way to shine the light.
Of particular interest:
Chapter 23: THE CLINTON PRESIDENCY AND THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY
I've been organizing for a long time. My feeling is that many folks are motivated enough to act, but don't know where to begin to take democratic action. The hardest part is taking the first step. Being armed with the knowledge of the great tradition of dissent this nation has exhibited over the years provides a framework to take that step.
Democracy means the people rule. It is active, not passive. Thinking of it as a verb--a thing to do as opposed to just a thing--helps get folks moving too, long before it's time to cast a vote. The more folks become empowered, the less they rely on a savior and become their own.
As a Bernie supporter I actually support her opponent, Brady Piñero Walkinshaw, in this race. He has passed WAY more progressive legislation than her. From a major criminal justice reform bill, to mental health care access, to women's health care funding, renter and seniors protections, funding for transit and low income housing, and funding for opiate overdose preventions. I can't wait until the revolution hears more about him. He'd also be the first LGBT Latino in Congress.