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Politics: Super Special Limited Edition

StericaSterica YesRegistered User, Moderator mod
edited November 2014 in Social Entropy++
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Midterm Elections!
They come right in the middle!
Midterm Elections!
They matter quite a little!

Register to Vote! - Shows deadlines and other details
Voting Information - Lets you look up important dates along with polling locations along with their opening and closing hours.
Learn about your candidates! - This has a listing of candidates along with their position on the issues. It's apolitical and just tallies off stuff like "Pro-Choice" or "Against Gun Control" based on direct statements from the horse's mouth or inferred stuff from voting patterns.

Welcome to the midterm elections thread! It's been a while, hasn't it? While it may not be the fancy pants Presidential Election that gets all the media attention, the midterms are important in their own right and merits a thread. Before we go any further, because this is a Special Politics SE++ Thread, there are some ground rules:
  1. While it's SE++, you should stay on topic more than in an average thread.
  2. This thread is a limited time thing. I'll make a new one if we manage to get to 100 pages before the elections, but after that the thread will go away.
  3. An addendum to #2: Tube or any SE++ mods reserve the right to close this thread whenever they feel like it. There is a high correlation between this and bad behavior, so keep it civil.
  4. If you think someone is trolling with outrageous posts such as racism, sexism, or the rest of the shit-colored rainbow of bigotries, then just report them. Do not engage, as it is highly unlikely they actually care about the issues at hand and just want to be asshats.
  5. This is more of a personal request, but try to resist the urge to do line-by-line responses to someone's post. Nobody wants to see their monitor filled with the first half of someone's post. If you must do this, then take it to PMs.
  6. Ad hominem arguments are strictly forbidden, and might even be infractable. Technically this should be hard to do since insults are verboten here anyways, but if you dismissing someone's argument because they're a silly goose will be treated harshly. An ad hominem is not just insulting someone. If they explain in detail why you're wrong and call you a silly goose for even thinking that such a line of reasoning was a good argument, then that's too bad for you.

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What is a Midterm Election?

In the USA, this is the election that occurs in the middle of the president's term. It's special because of the timing: in our legislative branch, the House of Represenatives are all up for reelection, along with a third of the Senate. This presents the opportunity for a major shift in control of the legislature among the two political parties. Typically the party that does not control the presidency is an advantage since by the midterm people tend to have lowered opinions of the president and are looking for an alternative. This happened to Bush in 2006 when the Democrats took the House (and kinda-sorta tied in the Senate), and again in 2010 under Obama when Republicans snagged it back. The split Congress does diminish the Republicans' advantage, however, as they've now had some governmental power for four years and therefore have a clear record to be judged upon. It's not like in 2010 when they were out of power and could promise the moon.

For those of you not familiar with the American Political Machine, this may sound quite dramatic. Over half of Congress up for reelection? That sounds like quite the upheaval every four years! Those of you not familiar with the American Political Machine but familiar enough with politics in general probably know better. Incumbents hold a dramatic advantage over challengers: they tend to boast a much larger war chest, can point to their doings in office, possess name recognition, and midterm elections in general have very poor turnouts which statistically favors the incumbent. Generally speaking, voters just go with what has been working rather than rocking the boat. Perhaps the biggest advantage to an incumbent is demographics: gerrymandering helps create districts that vote solidly for one party. So if you're a democrat in a blue county (or a democratic senator in a blue state), you can probably rest easy knowing that the only threats to your seat are scandal, a major crisis (like the 2008 market meltdown), or your district/state slowly shifting to the other party. Virginia is a good example, going from a reliably red state commonwealth to a more mixed bag thanks to the growth of the more liberal northern part of the state commonwealth.

If congresspeople are reasonably safe in their seats, so why should we care at all? Because there's 500+ members of Congress, which means SOMEONE is going to be struggling to keep their seat, and the current "balance of power" between parties is even enough that these few close races could determine the makeup of our lawmakers for roughly the next four years. This is also very important for other reasons: controlling both houses means that your bills are significantly more likely to get through. Currently Congress has had a hard time getting much of anything through because the Republicans are fairly united in rejecting anything that might give Obama any kind of political victory. Should the republicans take both houses, then it improves their chances significantly (the democratic party in the US may develop a spine and try to block everything the republicans do, but that has not been their nature for many years). It doesn't mean four years of Republican Power, as Obama still possess veto, but that's still an advantageous position to be in since you can point at the president when the public asks why nothing is getting accomplished.

Oh, and over half of the nation's states have gubernatorial elections, which is arguably more important than all of the above but that varies from state to state.

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The Forecast

It seems unlikely that the House will change much beyond the Republicans gaining a few seats. The Senate is slightly more up in the air, but most sources I've seen are predicting that the GOP will take control, meaning they'll have both houses for the first time in eight years. The most optimistic outcome is that the Democrats barely hand onto the Senate and minimizes losses in the House, but there's only two toss-up elections right now, and that would not be enough. Of course, there's several races that only lean in one direction or the other, and this is the beginning of October when the election really kicks in. So anything is possible. Number-crunching darling of the last two presidential elections, 538, gives the GOP a 55% or so chance to take the Senate, so take that as you will.

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The Issues

Here are things voters may or may not care about this year. It's worth noting that the issues are going to vary heavily from state to state, so this is just me futilely trying to paint with a broad brush.

Obamacare: Republicans had plans to use this as their silver bullet, but the law was implemented and there haven't been any real major issues to make it national news. It seems like the GOP blew their load hyperventilating over the ACA for the past four years, and at this point I don't think the average voter going to be swayed by it.

Immigration: It was an issue in August, and with the whole ebola scare it may be a legit thing people care about. Yeah, it's a really stupid connection, but your run-of-the-mill voter is not known for their science education.

Economy: This might be the first election since 2008 where the economy doesn't seem to be the central focus. That could just be me, and I have no doubt that the economy will play some role this year, but it seems significantly diminished from 2012.

Foreign Policy: With IS active and Obama starting up bombings, this issue is definitely coming back to the forefront.

Gay Marriage: Okay, this is highly unlikely since public opinion has finally reached a majority support for it, but the recent Supreme Court decision could start up the wingnuts. And a relevant portion of the country is still against it, so more states legalizing it could stir up that hive.

"Scandals": The GOP has been trying to pin a bunch of scandals on Obama with wildly varying success, and that might have a small residual effect on certain races. Although I get the feeling that yelling "Benghazi" for two years straight isn't going to be as successful as they planned.
So just remember, this November
that your vote will count
A very very very very
very small amount!

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Sterica on
CorehealerQanamil
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Posts

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    Fuck the police.

    YL9WnCY.png
    MrMonroeMetzger MeisterGnizmoPwnanObrienI ZimbraToxJohnHamHeadCreepsAistanSkeithturtleantQanamilBroloVegemyteEdith Upwards
  • LabelLabel Registered User regular
    Bengazi! Bengazi! Bengazi!

    If we say it three times at midnight, maybe it'll turn into a scandal!

  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Fuck the police.

    This would be a good issue for the election to revolve around.

    There's been a big voter drive in Ferguson. People have realised that if you want your leaders to properly represent you then you need to be involved in getting them elected (or kicked out).

    Gvzbgul on
    Geth
  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    I am very excited to make our governor the first in 200 years to fail a re-election bid in this state.

    EDIT: OK 160-some years.

    LuvTheMonkey on
    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    I haven't heard a single thing about my elections here in Indiana, also I moved 2 years ago, how do I even register to vote in my current city?

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    Proud to be voting for Barbara Lee this November.

    Need to brush up on my local ballot info, though.

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    edited October 2014
    edit: technical difficulties

    MrMonroe on
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    I'm a Baily Booster! (I have no clue whos running)

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    i have no idea what issue people are campaigning on this year for the Senate. I'm not sure foreign policy is going to stay on the front burner long enough to matter on election day.

    i don't really think Obamacare is on the table. After the latest supreme court affirmations even R politicians are done with repeal now.

    I feel like this is completely a referendum vote on Obama 2012. Democrats are fleeing in terror from him and all Republicans have to do is not fuck up

    I for one am glad to see my people return to power. 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full congressional control and a Bush in the White House. Couldn't have drawn it up better myself.

    MrMonroeDirtyDirtyVagrantGumpyVegemyte
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Midterms!

    Time to do my civic duty and try to oust Rick Scott from office

    MrMonroeCaptain MarcusSlacker71
  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister It Gets Worse before it gets any better.Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    i have no idea what issue people are campaigning on this year for the Senate. I'm not sure foreign policy is going to stay on the front burner long enough to matter on election day.

    i don't really think Obamacare is on the table. After the latest supreme court affirmations even R politicians are done with repeal now.

    I feel like this is completely a referendum vote on Obama 2012. Democrats are fleeing in terror from him and all Republicans have to do is not fuck up

    I for one am glad to see my people return to power. 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full congressional control and a Bush in the White House. Couldn't have drawn it up better myself.

    Meanwhile, on Earth 1...

    GethPwnanObrien
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    Snap indeed, Geth.

    DirtyDirtyVagrantSlacker71Skeith
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Yeah I feel like this election boils down to "Obama bad! GOP good!"

  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    I haven't heard a single thing about my elections here in Indiana, also I moved 2 years ago, how do I even register to vote in my current city?

    here ya go: https://indianavoters.in.gov/PublicSite/PublicMain.aspx

    Bucketman
  • ph blakeph blake Registered User regular
    I get to vote for Wendy Davis over Greg Abbot and then be completely unsurprised when she doesn't break 40%, yay Texas!

    :(

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    captainkLord PalingtonNothing
  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    oh hey I'm working in this one

    the republic is in my hands

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    Label wrote: »
    Bengazi! Bengazi! Bengazi!

    If we say it three times at midnight, maybe it'll turn into a scandal!

    never expose Benghazi to sunlight
    never get Benghazi wet
    and never ever feed Benghazi after midnight!

    ffNewSig.png
    steam | Dokkan: 868846562
    Bucketman
  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    benghazi is a coastal city in the mediterranean so you're kinda fucked on the first two

  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    just

    remember to vote

    that's all you gotta do

    Slacker71
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    oh hey I'm working in this one

    the republic is in my hands

    Don't give away the homeworld

    UnbreakableVow on
    Zibblsnrt
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2014
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I for one am glad to see my people return to power. 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full congressional control and a Bush in the White House. Couldn't have drawn it up better myself.
    I too embrace the coming apocalypse.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
    Hacksawjoshofalltrades
  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I for one am glad to see my people return to power. 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full congressional control and a Bush in the White House. Couldn't have drawn it up better myself.

    24 republican seats are up in 2016. it's going to be a year of righteous fury for democrats

    HacksawSlacker71
  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    I wish i could do more, but Oregon is a pretty safe state for democrats

  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    i have no idea what issue people are campaigning on this year for the Senate. I'm not sure foreign policy is going to stay on the front burner long enough to matter on election day.

    i don't really think Obamacare is on the table. After the latest supreme court affirmations even R politicians are done with repeal now.

    I feel like this is completely a referendum vote on Obama 2012. Democrats are fleeing in terror from him and all Republicans have to do is not fuck up

    I for one am glad to see my people return to power. 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full congressional control and a Bush in the White House. Couldn't have drawn it up better myself.

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.

    UnbreakableVow
  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    r4YO0wt.jpg

  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    dang it Weaver you get that secessionist stuff outta here

    Macro9
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    Jasconius wrote: »
    i have no idea what issue people are campaigning on this year for the Senate. I'm not sure foreign policy is going to stay on the front burner long enough to matter on election day.

    i don't really think Obamacare is on the table. After the latest supreme court affirmations even R politicians are done with repeal now.

    I feel like this is completely a referendum vote on Obama 2012. Democrats are fleeing in terror from him and all Republicans have to do is not fuck up

    I for one am glad to see my people return to power. 2016 will be a beautiful year. Full congressional control and a Bush in the White House. Couldn't have drawn it up better myself.

    Are...

    wha...

    how...

    ...?

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    There is still no single good Republican candidate for 2016 besides throwing the remaining 2008 and 2012 losers in the microwave and hoping that works. And the Bush name is so tainted at this point that I am pretty sure Jeb doesn't even want to run. If Hillary does run, I think she'd smoke Jeb pretty easily.

    And two years of a Republican-controlled legislature means they actually have to take responsibility for whatever bad shit befalls the nation. It could be a repeat of 2010 being a short-term boon but a long-term bust since the Republicans acting like spoilt children played into Obama's re-election. Another two years of them trying to dismantle our frayed safety net, outlaw abortion, and kiss lobbyist boot instead of actually doing anything will just stoke the fire of an anti-Republican sentiment for 2016.

    But I mean, who wouldn't want Bubba back in the White House?

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    HacksawlonelyahavaTankHammer
  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    I tell you what, Rick Perry acting like he's going to run again like there's people who don't think he's a complete joke is kind of amazing

  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    dang it Weaver you get that secessionist stuff outta here

    You man I can't help it that this region has better football than the rest of the US.

  • SLyMSLyM Registered User regular
    I'm rather annoyed that the current governor of my state is so much better than the person who she's running against that I really can't vote against her even though I really want to because she voted against a bill to add gender identity to all the current gender identity laws to the anti-discrimination laws a few years back when she was in the state congress. There is only a single independent running in any of my local elections and his entire website is just a big banner saying "no casino! print this out and give it to your friends!"

    I really don't want to vote for democrats but the only other option I have is even worse.

    My friend is working on a roguelike game you can play if you want to. (It has free demo)
  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    cascadia-cup_0.jpg

    (Actually a Sounders fan but hey Cascadia is Cascadia)

    Weaver on
  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    Weaver wrote: »
    dang it Weaver you get that secessionist stuff outta here

    You man I can't help it that this region has better football than the rest of the US.

    are you referring to soccer as football because if you are so help me

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    I tell you what, Rick Perry acting like he's going to run again like there's people who don't think he's a complete joke is kind of amazing
    I'm sure he has three reasons why it's a good idea.

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    LanglyBluedude152BucketmanHacksawTheodore FlooseveltlonelyahavaYaYa
  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    CD I tried to upload some goal scoring gifs from the Sounders Football Club victory over the weekend but the moves were too large and awesome for simple image files.

    http://youtu.be/Y3bhYnlVR14

    Slacker71Hermano
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    Yeaaaah. Republicans.

    The party of science-denying, homophobic, racist, xenophobic, transphobic, cigar-smoking, crusty ass fucking lunatics.

    That sure is a party I can identify with.

    Metzger MeisterBucketmanHeadCreepsSyphonBluevalhalla130
  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    hey @Bobkins Flymo‌ you should put www.votesmart.org real big in your OP there

    it's a great site to help people who don't know much about their candidate options

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    You are letting Limbaugh off waaaaaaay too easy with the cigar-smoking thing.

    I mean, that whole list basically applies to him.

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  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    The whole list applies to fucking all of them.

    valhalla130Spoit
  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    I think it's bonkers they are talking to Mitt Romney into running again
    Meanwhile back at the ranch

    This state has both a senator and the governor running
    Now the Senate is the usual remarks of he failed to {blank} remarks and retorts but the Governor debates are rather interesting Because on one hand you have Gary King who's Wikipedia page is lacking but has done some rather questionable things as AG
    On the other side you have Susana Martínez who early on shined a bright light into the otherwise dark world that is NM politics and saw the formless unspeakable that is corruption and nepotism.

    But one of the key arguments they are having is over education the laughable lackluster state it is in here.
    I mean this state is bad one of the worst out of the 50 and she talked endlessly all this summer about how it improved. It could only get better! if we slipped past Mississippi or beat Washington D.C. then it would be a problem.

    Geth
This discussion has been closed.