Posted March 21, 2016on:
Good afternoon Widdershins.
First things, first. Where is everyone? First, MB is traveling – she will be back next week. Chat has jumped shipped and is sailing the western Caribbean with Captain Jack Sparrow and a band of salty tars. Finally, Fredster is in the throes of the spring pollen pox. He reports the air is so thick with pollen he has to carry a machete and breather to go outdoors.
Unfortunately, that leaves you with me. There are a few things worthy of our notice that you might have missed this fine Monday.
Hillary Doesn’t Need the Men Folk
Don’t get me wrong, Hillary would gladly take the votes of the menz, but she doesn’t have to have them. I’m sure you’ve heard the “concern troll pundits” who for lack of a more insightful comment point toward the lagging support by those of the species with dangly things.
That ain’t news and neither is it novel:
The fading of white men as a Democratic bloc is hardly new: The last nominee to carry them was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and many blue-collar “Reagan Democrats” now steadily vote Republican.
One of these concern troll pundits is Bill Richardson. You remember him – the guy plucked from obscurity by President Clinton who repaid the Clintons by endorsing Obama in 2008 and subsequently trotted around as a show pony during that cycle.
Here’s the truth about white men and their voting.
Let’s be more specific. Clinton will have the support of tens of millions of white men. But she doesn’t need to do any better among them than any Democrat has, and even if she does worse, she’ll probably be completely fine.
That’s because whites are declining as a proportion of the electorate as the country grows more diverse with each passing year. In 1992, just 24 years ago, whites made up 87 percent of the voters, according to exit polls. By 2012 the figure had declined to 72 percent. Since women vote at slightly higher rates than men, white men made up around 35 percent of the voters.
Those numbers will be lower this year, which means that even if nothing changes in how non-whites vote, Republicans will need to keep increasing their margins among whites to even stay where they are overall — in other words, to keep losing by the same amount.
So the next time you hear a concern troll, just change the channel.
Turnout ain’t no big thing
Speaking of concern trolls, how many times have you heard some giddy Republican say, “Republican turnout is up, Democratic turnout is down – Hillary is in trouble.”
The sages over at 538 have taken a look at this. Here’s what they say:
But Democrats shouldn’t worry. Republicans shouldn’t celebrate. As others have pointed out, voter turnout is an indication of the competitiveness of a primary contest, not of what will happen in the general election. The GOP presidential primary is more competitive than the Democratic race.
Indeed, history suggests that there is no relationship between primary turnout and the general election outcome.
Check out the article, it is interesting if you are eaten-up with “the wonk” like I am.
What Bernistan would look like
I grow weary when I hear talk of Bernistan. Bernie’s America would look something like a cross between Denmark and Sweden. Both are lovely countries. Both have lovely citizens. I have known many Danes and Swedes in my years and they are, to a person, lovely people, but there is a difference.
Both countries are homogenous. People are similar, needs are similar, and culturally, there is little randomness. In other words, both countries are much like Comrade Sanders’ Vermont.
Government-provided health insurance. Free college tuition. A $15 minimum wage. Stronger unions. High gas taxes. Guaranteed parental leave. It sounds as though Bernie Sanders wants to turn America into Denmark or Sweden.
“And what’s wrong with that?” the Democratic presidential candidate replied when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked that question.
The Wonkblog offers up a great synopsis of the disruption and uncertainty Bernie’s proposal would bring. In short:
According to economists, however, the question is not whether it is theoretically possible for Americans to adopt Scandinavian policies and still be prosperous. The issue is whether Americans would be willing to accept the trade-offs that go along with such a system — higher taxes and unemployment rates, open trade, slower growth, more income redistribution — and whether Sanders has overestimated the benefits and underestimated the costs of adopting it.
“There’s nothing wrong with it other than that Americans are not Danes,” said Princeton’s Alan Blinder, a top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton.
Feel free to take the conversation in any direction you might want.
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