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With Control of Senate at Stake, Eyes on Georgia With Possibly Two Races Headed for Runoff

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/05/control-senate-stake-eyes-georgia-possibly-two-races-headed-runoff

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Wow, I fell for the red mirage on this one - I thought Ossoff had lost for sure. But with Perdue at 50.0% and a few more percent of the ballots to go, I can see him dropping just below the cutoff (50) to force a runoff. Maybe the exposure of the race will galvanize the vote against Perdue, or maybe the R side will be galvanized. In the other race, I would think Loeffler is in trouble in the runoff - sure, she’ll get most of the people who voted for other R candidates, but that isn’t enough to win and she is only getting 26% of people to back her now.

If anyone is looking for more of a break from the Trump/Biden race, I did enjoy one of today’s Humanist Reports ~https://youtu.be/jOtQeVbtdAM which gave the status of every progressive (as defined by Mike Figueredo). I won’t list all the losers (it’s pretty depressing), but these are the (new) winners:

Cori Bush (MO-1)
Jamaal Bowman (NY-16)
Marie Newman (IL-3)
Mondaire Jones (NY-17)

and one who hasn’t quite lost yet, but I don’t have my hopes up:
David Kim (CA-34)

He also gave a list of people in the House who won reelection that he considers to be progressive:
Jayapal, Porter, Khanna, Barbara Lee, AOC, Ohmar, Tlaib, and Presley.

Not the momentum I hoped for - 2021 isn’t gong to be easy.

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Off subject a bit - but no one is talking about this… The Green Party cost us the Senate. At least 3 seats, and maybe a 4th. This was not the election to vote for a 3rd party. It cost us the Senate! Any way one looks at it, this was preventable, this election was historically too important to the green agenda to give control to the GOP. The Greens gave them the continued control! No ifs, or buts… It was stupid, by voting green you voted against your (our) own needs. In short FUCK YOU for your stupidity.

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The Trump effect brings Republican voters out. If the WWE Donald is on the ticket, sometimes candidates down-ballot get as much as an 8% bounce in the polls. 2018 when the Donald wasn’t on the ticket was rotten for the Republican ticket.

The Donald won’t be on the ticket in the coming runoff.

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It cost us the Senate!

If you really believed third party voters cost Dems the Senate, you would be nicer to them and put pressure on the Democratic party to adopt a plank or two in their platform to appeal to them instead of berating and belittling the very voters you claim you need in order to win! Pretty ineffective outreach Dems use to court the left, but being as corrupt and bought off as they are, I suppose it’s all they got!

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He dropped below (and I doubt he’s going up again). Wow - two runoffs in the same state.

Can you be specific? What races? What algorithm are you using to reallocate third party votes? (Believe it or not some Green voters prefer Trump over Biden just as some preferred Trump over Clinton). Are you reallocating just Green votes or are you reallocating Libertarian and other third parties?

In short get your fucking story straight if you want anybody here to consider you anything but a fucking moron.

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After the last 4 years the dem candidates should have won by a landslide, yet here we are with tight races, losses for some, and Biden might just scrape by. And all you’ve got is blaming people who voted their conscious, blame your dam party for offering nothing for progressives to vote for, and courting republicans instead. The stupidity is on you, the fact that you can’t see what the real problem is, is astounding.

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“Cost us the senate?” Who’s “us,” friend? Perhaps less scapegoating of the left and more self-reflection is in order.

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Cc: @dpearl, @kc2669, @mr_peabody, @webwalk

I think it would be reasonable to cull out a minority percentage from the people who vote Green for a particular race and say that they are in an “us” relationship with the Democrats. This would be to say in that particular office and year, they would prefer the Democrats to the Republican, but they chose to vote Green (and if given the opportunity of a ranked ballot, they’d rank Green > Democrat > as many other parties you can list besides Republican).

For the case of 2016 President, I’ve argued that you can consider this minority to be 25% (offset by a 15% minority who felt the same but preferred Trump). E.g., ~https://commons.commondreams.org/t/this-is-not-a-normal-election/77519/22.

But for the majority of Greens, I agree with you.

Now, back to the question at hand from @oldhip (if that is short for old hippie, man - what a disservice to hippies):

Have some fraction of the Green vote that would be reasonable to say would have voted Democrat if it was like a jungle primary in CA (and say it is R and D in the general which it doesn’t have to be in CA) caused a Democrat to lose a senate race this year? (oldhip claims 3 or 4)

According to ~https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/03/us/elections/results-senate.html (if you are out of views, you don’t have to go there – I repeat any data I need below – also see ~https://www.270towin.com/2020-election-results-live/senate/), the Senate races were:

Expected D wide win: DE, IL, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, OR, RI, VA (D won all these)

Expected D narrow win: AZ, CO, MI, (D won all these)

Tossup: GA(2), IA, ME, MT, NC, SC (GA both runoff it seems, NC not called but likely R and D’s lost all others)

Expected R narrow win: AL, AK, KS, KY, MS, TX (AK not called - but D will lose, D lost the rest too)

Expected R wide win: AR, ID, LA, NE, OK, SD, TN, WV, WY (D lost all)

I’ll admit I was lazy and didn’t check the wide R win cases (except WV – my hero lost 27% to 70% with no Green candidate on ballot - I bet no one Green wanted to run against a true progressive D like Paula Jean Swearengin).

But I checked the tossups (besides GA) and R narrow wins and I see:

Tossup:

IA – no Green candidate on ballot, Greenfield got beat by about 7%

ME – technically no Green either, but we all know Lisa was a Green and would declare so after election, BUT this was RCV so Lisa couldn’t have hurt Sara AND Collins got more than 50% (51.2) anyway.

MT – no Green, Bullock got beat by 10%

NC – Cunningham is currently losing to incumbent R by just under 2% (with 97% reporting – it is over), but there is no Green candidate (if you want to blame Libertarians – they got 3.1%, not sure what percentage of them would have preferred D to R compared to R to D)

SC – The apparently quite pathetic Harrison (and not all a progressive or I could forgive him) lost by 10+ %

Narrow:

AL – Jones was slaughtered by more than 20%

AK – Only 1/2 the vote in and Gross is losing 2:1 (62% R, 32% D). And guess what – there IS a Green running - Whittaker is getting 0.0% right now

KS – no Green, Brollier lost 10+ %

KY – no Green, McGrath lost 20+% - I didn’t think Booker could win either, but I don’t think he would have done this poorly.

MS – No Green, Espy lost by almost 12%

TX – One last state with a Green, this time getting a nonzero 0.7% but the spread that Hegar is currently losing by is almost 10%

So to oldhip: not in a single case did Greens cost any Democratic candidate the Senate (though technically AK could change – it won’t though) and yet you claim 3 maybe 4 losses? And then you want to give a “fuck you” to Green voters (like myself). What the fuck are you talking about?

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Time for the runoff voters to step up! Do you really want Mcconnell in charge? It’s not a trick question people! Bail out for the 1%. Tax cuts for the 1% raising the debt by trillions. No relief for thousands now in trouble. Taxes going up on the middle class from a Trojan Horse slipped into Mconnell’s tax cuts for the rich. Bidens not raising middle class taxes, Mcconnell is in January! Goodbye ACA, goodbye preconditions, and with no republican health care plan anywhere in sight. Time to look in the mirror and decide to vote country or Mcconnell.

I’m crossing my fingers for the Georgia runoff, but it’s going to be daunting.

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Wow, thanks for the research and the report! My initial reaction to @oldhip’s unsourced and unsupported rant was to dismiss it as DNC propaganda, untethered to reality but meant to sow distrust of the Green Party. After reading your post, i feel even more certain.

If they have integrity they’ll come here and explain themselves, or apologize.

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Both of them? Seems like Loeffler is less popular than Perdue (amazing to me that nearly 50% want to keep that guy)

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I’m guessing you are doing a straight-up reallocation giving 100% of the Green party votes to the Dem party candidates, which is bogus, because some of those Green party voters see the Dems as an opposition party and would not have voted for the D candidate even if they had been deprived of their G candidate, but whatever. Fine. By the same reasoning, Wisconsin, and likely the White House, should belong to Trump because the Libertarian party got more votes there than Trump’s losing margin.

If the major parties see this as being a real problem, the solution is obvious. They should both agree to implement a ranked-choice voting system. That way, any Greens who would have voted D without a G option can still do so as their second choice. Of course, the Republicans would similarly benefit, but fair for one is fair for both, right? And if the D’s actually want that second-rank vote, they would still have to figure out how to appeal to the 3rd party voters enough to earn it. My bet, however, is that this is not something that the major parties see as a problem, and both are completely fine with losing the occasional election for the sake of maintaining duopoly control–because if there is no penalty for voting third party first, both parties could see a major defection of first-rank votes. So if this is not something that bothers the major parties, I don’t see why it should bother any third party voters either.

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That is certainly a realistic fear of ranked ballot schemes which a non ethical politician could hold (an ethical one would want the most fair voting system possible regardless of how it affected their own party). However there is some support of RCV by certain Democrats - @dpearl pointed out the Massachusetts Democratic party did endorse the RCV proposition (which unfortunately went down - see ~https://www.fairvote.org/rcv_2020_ballot_measures). And RCV has a place in H.R. 1 (from Democrats - see ~https://www.fairvote.org/h_r_1_advances_ranked_choice_voting). But overall, I’d have to say Democratic support is much too lukewarm for my tastes when it should be red hot - just has hot a support for a national popular vote for president (ideally combined with ranked voting).

Have you seen some of my posts on 2016 and the CBS exit polling (I linked to one earlier)? In that race (but this was nationwide exit polling - not per state), Libertarians and Greens were about the same with answering the question on who they’d pick between Clinton and Trump if those are the only two choices (e.g. jungle primary): 25% pick Clinton, 15% pick Trump, the rest would not cast a ballot. 2020 is a different race with different Libertarian and Democratic candidates, but it isn’t obvious that we can assume that Trump flips this relationship and pulls a plurality of Libertarian voters to his side.

I agree with everything else you said.

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One last thing: I don’t think @oldhip has done any math at all, not just the wrong math. The 3 or maybe 4 claim was completely made up. At first I thought there was an error made where Hawkins votes in each State were maybe added to loser D senate votes (and 100% of Hawkins votes no less) but I don’t even think Hawkins got nearly this kind of vote big enough to swing races (Green vote was noticeably depressed). And I’m too lazy to do that meaningless exercise because Green voters are plenty capable of voting non Green down ballot so any reallocation algorithm from from Presidential race to Senate race is completely ridiculous.

Well, in this instance we can assume that because it’s a hypothetical and that’s the premise. Hence the qualifier “by the same reasoning”. I don’t know what the exact reasoning was (if there was any) behind Oldhip’s Senate claim, so I just addressed the most common Green-bashing argument. And I did note that it’s bogus, but for the sake of those who cling to that reasoning nonetheless, I’m just pointing out that the same reasoning would, in like fashion, reach the conclusion that Trump should have been the winner in Wisconsin. So even without going into whether or not the reasoning is valid, what it means is that both conclusions are joined and would have the same justification, so they stand or fall together.

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Just to add, Project Lincoln and other anti-Trump conservative groups did push third party libertarian voting, such as in Lindsey Graham’s race. The whole point was to shave off a point or two in the case of a close election knowing some conservatives would never vote for a Democrat. Didn’t matter much in Graham’s case, but it could have in others. Folks like Reed Galen are pretty smart long-time campaign hands and they definitely don’t agree with the idea that third parties can’t help swing a close election—I heard him say so on a podcast. It’s always possible their efforts, while not successful in South Carolina, were successful elsewhere.

Also, the duopoly parties are fine with the present voting system, because it leads to lots of us fighting among ourselves about wasted votes, lesser evil voting, and blaming each other for “voting wrong” and costing the “rightful owner” of our votes the election (see @oldhip above for a particularly deranged example).

With RCV (or Score Voting or Approval Voting or STAR Voting), this infighting among voters largely evaporates. So the Duopoly studiously ignores these simple improvements to voting technology that are available.

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