Fri. May 24th, 2024

How to vote for change in a rematch election

By 37ci3 Apr17,2024

What happens when a voter wants change, but there is no obvious change candidate on the ballot?

This question came to mind after watching one of Rich Thau’s fascinating monthly focus groups of Biden-Trump voters. With the latest edition gathering Pennsylvania voters once voted for President Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton, and once for former President Donald Trump.

Thau has been doing these qualitative monthly checks with voters across the country since Trump’s ascension. For the 2020 election cycle, Obama-Trump has gathered the electorate. Now, he’s moved his voter resume into the mix of people at the top, still focusing on the people who cast their ballots. (Thau and his company Engagious also partner with NBC News in another iterative focus group project Gathering key voting groups in battleground states.) You can view some of the archived focus groups here on his website. This is one of those projects that gets exponentially more impressive with each new monthly addition to the archives, so keep an eye out!

It was the surprising level of interest in Robert F. Kennedy Jr. among swing voters that grabbed headlines for this month’s Pennsylvania registration drive. In some ways, this should come as no surprise. These voters are not strictly partisan by definition and are not satisfied with either major party, having been comfortable voting against both in the last two elections.

As I wrote months ago, would be the moment in this campaign period when both major parties ended their nominating processes and chose Biden and Trump — and yet the public was not happy with the outcome. We are in that moment.

Six months ago, while we knew his trial was always going to be a disruptive moment for Trump, it wasn’t clear how disruptive other issues would be for Biden. But it is clear that the Middle East is becoming a very disruptive political issue for him.

Unfortunately, this moment in the calendar was once identified by the folks at No Labels as the perfect time to pick up their ticket and start selling it publicly. With a front-loaded primary calendar approaching ballot deadlines, it was inevitable that the April lull would be an ideal opportunity to fill an obvious void. This spring of 1992, after it became clear that Bill Clinton and George HW Bush would be their party’s nominees, was when Ross Perot had an opening – and he used it brilliantly. The strongest 90-day period for the Perot campaign was from April 1 to mid-July (the start of the Democratic convention).

Ultimately, No Labels failed to find an attractive ticket, so it has since ceased its efforts. But No Labels didn’t fail because the vacuum of people looking for an alternative to Biden and Trump ceased to exist.

Since there is no major third-party alternative yet, this void is being filled by Kennedy. For many voters, we can say that he is just a famous name that fills a void. You can hear the ignorance of many of these Pennsylvania voters about Kennedy beyond his name, and those who knew anything about him knew only a few things. Moreover, it was clear that his best asset was that his last name was neither Trump nor Biden.

Tracking the initial interest in Kennedy’s candidacy among these voters is a reminder that there was a strong opportunity for a true potential unity ticket—not “centrist” per se, but one that promised a four-year partisan break. try to focus on hard choices to solve hard problems like immigration.

But given the stakes of this election, it’s clear to me that even with a true middle-of-the-road opening, or with a less partisan crowd, the lane is too narrow. Unless the partisans of one or both parties also wanted an alternative, there really was no path to victory.

But there is a path to relevance.

I’m sure if Kennedy had just the anti-Covid vaccine and not most vaccines, the voters he needed to convince wouldn’t have looked at him with skepticism and it would have made others take him more seriously. Each of these new measles outbreaks around the country has the fingerprints of the anti-vax crowd on it, and whether these outbreaks are in South Florida or Northern California or Oklahoma or elsewhere, they all serve as reminders of anti-vaccine messaging. it did real damage to real people.

Despite all that, the initial interest in Kennedy suggests he won’t be a very strong “none of the above” candidate on the ballot.

Nationally, I think it’s pretty clear that Kennedy draws equally from both Trump and Biden, which probably reinforces the idea that he’s a placeholder for “none of the above.” Where it’s going to get tough is in the battleground states, because I’m not so sure Kennedy will even out the two primary candidates when you start weighing it up between North Carolina in Michigan or Arizona vs. Wisconsin.

Not all anti-Biden and anti-Trump voters across the country act the same way. Military veterans who decided to vote for Kennedy in North Carolina say they might as well vote for the GOP on the ballot, but they don’t trust Trump as commander-in-chief. While these votes won’t hurt the GOP in other ways, they will reduce Trump’s support and give Biden a smaller “winnable” number to carry North Carolina. If Biden can win a number one in North Carolina, which won 47%, he will carry the state.

Kennedy could also become a place to vote for people worried about Biden’s handling of foreign policy, particularly anything to do with Israel and Gaza.

The same mathematical problem could affect Democrats if a large percentage of progressive voters in, say, Michigan or Wisconsin decide that both Trump and Biden have the same basic policies on Israel and vote for Kennedy in protest. It may not hurt Democrats on the ballot in either state, but it will reduce the number of wins Trump needs to carry both. As with North Carolina for Biden, if Trump can get a 47% winning number in Wisconsin or Michigan, he will carry it.

I don’t predict that Kennedy will get north of “none of the above” territory come Election Day, but it seems highly likely that he will continue to poll in the double digits at least through October. And that means that if he’s going to qualify for the national debates, we’ll be entering rarely-defined territory.

If he’s in the debates, that’s a potential opportunity for Kennedy. But I’m hesitant to believe that he’ll make the most of this opportunity, because so far every time he’s had a chance to be in the spotlight, he’s either enthusiastically “vaccines” and “yan . 6” and the “Kennedy assassinations” or so defensive when asked about them that it quickly derails him.

Despite the best efforts of voters to take Kennedy seriously as a candidate, he has difficulty presenting himself as a serious candidate.

I find it interesting that with both Trump and Biden actively going after Kennedy, the combination of being attacked by both major party candidates has a strange boomerang effect that boosts independence, especially if Trump and Biden attack it for different purposes. things.

Bottom line: Watch out for Kennedy and the voters flirting with his candidacy. It has nothing to do with Kennedy and nothing to do with Trump and Biden. The stronger Kennedy appears in the polls, the more directly this appears to be a reflection of the collective weakness of the two parties. The stronger he looks in the fall, the more variation you should expect in how things shake out on the battlefield.

When the news becomes a reality show

To say I have a lot of thoughts on OJ Simpson is an understatement. First: Its impact on the news industry and the TV consumption habits of all Americans is remarkable.

In retrospect, I now consider the entire OJ experience—from the feeding frenzy the week Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were killed to the numerous televised trials over the next three years—probably one of the five most impactful events of my life. lifelong.

Obviously, the events of September 11, as well as the election of the country’s first black president, are at the top of this list. I was a teenager when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on live television, and I distinctly remember going on a Cub Scout date the day Ronald Reagan was shot down. After these four incidents, “Where were you when OJ White was in the Bronco?” is probably next. (If you must know, I was hosting a house party that Thursday.)

But in retrospect, Simpson’s impact on the way media and its consumers interact was profound.

I would argue that before OJ, the news business was a healthy mix of getting you information needed To know you balanced with the information we know he wanted to know And I’d argue that what that episode taught news executives is that “news” can be profitable if you package it in a way that makes consumers want to watch! What if you just give consumers what they want to know or hear and don’t drive them away by giving them information they don’t want to know or hear?

After thirty years, the media-industrial complex has learned to tell everyone what they want to hear so that people can live in different realities. We no longer have a shared set of facts because the news business is stuck in a revenue model that provides financial incentives to serve whoever it considers its reader or consumer.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to explain to anyone born after the Simpson trial that a different media landscape existed before. While news networks always wanted more eyeballs, there was an impassable line between news and entertainment. As I try to explain this pre-OJ world to my 17-year-old and some of the college students I meet with each week this semester, I realize how difficult it will be to try to go back to some of the old ways. we did business.

Ultimately, you go into battle with the army you have, not the army you want. But I hope that as we all look back on the OJ saga of the 90s and all the bad decisions that were made to make this coverage more appealing to viewers, we don’t repeat too many of them as we prepare. To cover at least one and maybe two trials of the century this spring and summer featuring another celebrity from the 70s and 80s.

Cameras in the courts: A signal of warm reception

I quizzed my informal friends and colleagues with the following question: When did courtroom cameras become a truly good thing for the public at large?

I started from the position of “I haven’t found an example yet.” But there was a televised trial that made me hesitate for a minute: the trial of the police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd. I think a strong argument can be made that more good than bad came from the televised testimony in that trial.

But I struggle outside of this pattern. I don’t think the cameras are a net plus for the public with Simpson. Ditto Johnny Depp. Now, just because I’m a no-camera guy doesn’t mean I’m against transparency. I think that the audio only that the Supreme Court gave us temporarily during the Covid-19 pandemic should become the norm with all courts available live via audio.

But the more I see courtroom cameras, the more positive I believe they are for understanding courts or the justice system. Obviously, all the television courts have given us access to cheap and free reality TV shows. click.

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By 37ci3

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