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One Weird Political Advert

California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is a Republican running for governor in California. Here is a web ad that is hard to describe, so give it a watch:

A few thoughts:

1. I have been hearing since I lived in California in the 1980s that its high taxes and regulation were harming the state. Now, on the one hand, yes, California is (in comparison to many other states) a high tax, high regulation state and there have been businesses that have moved out of California because of that fact (also because of the high cost of land–which is driven by demand, I would note). On the other hand (and this is a pretty big hand), California is one our most prosperous states and has a massive, and highly successful economy. The notion that states like South Dakota (the only other state mentioned in the ad, I think) are in some ways economically better off than California is absurd.

2. The reference to South* North Dakota is really weird, as Connelly notes that McDonalds in South North Dakota are paying $15/hour and paying signing bonuses. One presumes that this is part of the labor shortage in that part of the world due the oil shale boom. Unemployment is extremely low in the Dakotas at the moment (source). The truly weird part is when he goes on the state that McDonalds should pay $20/hour in CA, and that he can somehow make that happen. Not only is it a fantastical promise, it is an especially odd one coming from a small government Republican.

3.  What’s with his partner (speaking almost solely in Spanish) going off about she doesn’t like hunting right after Connelly carries about Governor Jerry Brown supposedly taking the first steps towards banning hunting.  It is a strange contradiction within the commercial itself.

Ah well.  I somehow suspect that he will not do all that well at the polls—I was just struck by the oddness of the whole thing (and I didn’t even mention the references to his sexy wife and his cojones).

Politics is a weird business, to be sure.

h/t:  ThinkProgress.

*Correction.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    WTF did I just watch?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  2. Pinky says:

    @Mikey: I’ll tell you what I just watched: a 3:13 ad without turning it off. I remember once hearing that there are four things an ad is supposed to do: get your attention, hold your attention, make you want to buy the product, and make you remember the product. By that standard, this was a better political ad than most.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  3. al-Ameda says:

    I watched it all the way through. It was pretty good – in the same way that watching a late night Mattress Inspection Infomercial is good in a different kind of way. Once you tune in, you’re kind of compelled to see it through.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Mikey: You were watching what Cal Worthington and the other guys who sell cars and furniture late at night on local stations would be making if they were politicians instead of salesmen of useful stuff.

    “And remember, if I can’t get you the best deal of a new or used car, I’ll eat a bug!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: Personally, I liked it! It was entertaining (and unlike Dr. Taylor, I got why her outburst about guns was funny) and could help his name recognition some. I would vote for Mickey Mouse’s corpse (maybe even Kim Jong-il’s) before I would vote for him, but then again, I never went to Worthington Ford for a car either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. James Pearce says:

    It makes me sad to see what Maria Conchita Alonso has done to her face. She looks like John Kerry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. trumwill says:

    North Dakota, not South Dakota. (I only pedantate on this because it because I was confused as North Dakota is the state with the oil boom and unusually high paying service jobs, while South Dakota that some conservatives like to point to because of the really low taxes there. So I actually had to watch the video to see which state he was talking about. Or, for that matter, if he knew the difference. Which, given what I’d heard about this video, I wasn’t sure that he did.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Kari Q says:

    It is peculiar, but it’s got nothing on Carly Fiorina’s demon sheep ad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Advert says:

    Not weird, but ugly!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. rodney dill says:

    You have to listen to the last 3 or 4 seconds for the best line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Of course, my favorite viral ad of all time is this one:
    http://youtu.be/jU7fhIO7DG0

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. @trumwill: Did he say North Dakota? North Dakota makes more sense in terms of jobs and oil (although both do have low unemployment).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: I can see how the outburst would be funny, but it doesn’t make sense in a political way (save for the possibility that the ad is actually trying to create confusion on the topic).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Kylopod says:

    @Kari Q: In the annals of weird (but not necessarily amusing) political ads, it’s impossible to beat Mike Gravel’s “rock” ad from his 2008 presidential bid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I stopped at the 48 second mark, but I’m weird.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Mikey says:

    @Pinky: Well, the only reason I didn’t turn it off is because I wanted to see if it was as weird as Dr. Taylor said it was (and it was). Had I surfed into it by accident, I’d have stopped it after about 30 seconds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Now THAT I watched all the way thru. I’m still wiping tears from my eyes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Robert in SF says:

    He strikes me as “California politician”…someone dedicated to his own personal politics but with a California focus…out of our businesses and out of our bedrooms…and yet, a gun in every gun safe coupled with bringing movies back to Hollywood. Small government mindset but ‘we’re all Californians [including the Spanish speakers!].

    I interpreted the wife’s humorous translations and outbursts (and Spanish) was to show his diversity and perhaps non-allegiance to a strict party-line.

    I kinda liked him and it makes me want to learn more.

    It reminds me a Peter David’s book “Knight Life” wherein King Arthur runs for mayor of NY, and he can only initially afford a 15 second commercial (maybe shorter?), so all they show is him sitting on a stool, looking into the camera and saying, “I am Arthur Penn, and I want to be Mayor of NY.” Some political commenter in the book says it was a good move because it made people want to learn more about him….so we’ll see. But I wonder how many people searched via Google for his name to see what’s out there about him, just from this one blog post? :)

    For example, I just had to come back and edit this post because that really is Maria Conchita Alonzo, and not his wife…who knew (I am kinda face blind…or lazy, not sure which sometimes). But still, we’ll see how this goes. But I did go to his webpage as a result of this post and link. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. @Robert in SF: A correction: that’s not his wife.

    Nevermind. (Your correction was not in the e-mail version).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Kylopod says:

    @Robert in SF: I actually had a slightly different interpretation of the ad. Some years ago I did a post on what I called “the Macho Right,” based on my observation that a significant amount of Republicans see their conservatism as little more than an expression of raw manliness, against wussy, effeminate liberals. It’s such a pervasive theme on the right that I’m surprised how little it’s been commented on. (Glenn Greenwald’s book Great American Hypocrites touches on the phenomenon, and whatever you think of Greenwald in general–I do have my reservations about him–he makes some good points in this book.) This ad is a perfect representation of that mindset: you have the guy with the cowboy hat, the bleeped cussing, the “gun in every household” trope, his hot Latina “wife” talking about the size of his cojones while disagreeing with him on the hunting issue because of those poor, poor animals…. The underlying message seems to be “Vote for me because I’m a Real Man.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  21. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I can see how the outburst would be funny, but it doesn’t make sense in a political way

    Sure it does. This ad seems to be made primarily for a Spanish-speaking audience, hence the whole “she’s translating” thing. (Course, it’s more like she’s paraphrasing.)

    The outburst about animal rights seems to give a message that says: “Look, we’re not going to agree on everything. But we’re going to agree on most things.” That’s a pretty decent message for a Republican to give to a Hispanic audience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. trumwill says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: He did indeed say North Dakota.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Tillman says:

    @Kylopod: At the fifty second mark, I had to take a step away from my computer. I thought he might lean his head in, out of my screen, and eat my head in one bite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. Mikey says:

    @Robert in SF:

    For example, I just had to come back and edit this post because that really is Maria Conchita Alonzo, and not his wife…who knew (I am kinda face blind…or lazy, not sure which sometimes).

    I didn’t recognize her either. She’s had…a lot done…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. gVOR08 says:

    Whoa. I took a look at this guys Wicki page. (Insert first few bars of Outer Limits theme here.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. KK says:

    The interesting part about this web ad is in fact the claim that California service jobs could pay up to $20 an hour.

    Obviously in the current economic conditions experienced in California right now, this is impossible to imagine. But what if the economy were to go back to 1980′s growth levels?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. sam says:

    Pues… according to his wiki page, he lives in Twin Peaks, California…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. superdestroyer says:

    Such idiot candidates will probably be more common as the U.S. becomes a one party state while trying to maintain an election apparatus that assumes more than one relevant political party. There will be lots of races for idiot candidates to run as Republicans until the MSM finally has to admit that the Republicans are irrelevant and anyone who says they are a Republican is irrelevant.

    I would assume that as the U.S. becomes a one party state that most states will adopt either closed primaries to ensure that only Democrats have a say in how the government is run or adopt California’s top two open primary so that once again, only the Democrats have a way in politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  29. An Interested Party says:

    I would assume that as the U.S. becomes a one party state that most states will adopt either closed primaries to ensure that only Democrats have a say in how the government is run or adopt California’s top two open primary so that once again, only the Democrats have a way in politics.

    How, exactly, are Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and Kansas, among many other places, going to become part of this Democratic “one-party state”? You often mention how so many people just respond to you with snark, but when you post inane, ridiculous things like this, how else should they respond to you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Mississippi and Alabama are easy because as the states become more black and Hispanic and less white, they will become blue. However, they will probably be one of the last states to turn blue. What will cause part of the change is when all of the 20-something whites in those states realize that if they want to have a career in Washington, DC or national politics, they will have to be Democrats much like anyone interested in a relevant career in politics in Mass., Maryland, New York, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington is a Democrat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. @trumwill: My mistake–thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I wonder if all the the progressives are going to get snarky with the Washington Post for pointing out the same thing that I noticed a decade ago.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-gops-uphill-path-to-270-in-2016/2014/01/18/9404eb06-7fcf-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html?hpid=z3

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  33. @superdestroyer: You might also want to read:
    The Democratic Party’s uphill path to 270 electoral votes in 2016, which is in response to that piece.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The idea that economic conditions will affect presidential election outcomes is not supported by recent evidence. President Obama went the first four years of his presidency with much higher than average unemploymne, weak economic growth and massive budget deficits, t and he did not have to break a sweat in winning re-election and the Democrats did not have to work very hard to win to win the vast majority of swing states.

    No matter what the economic conditions are in 2016, the Republicans are going to have to spend money in Indiana and North Carolina and will probably not be competitive in Virginia but the Democrats will still have their 250 electoral votes.

    Remember, if the Democrats do not spend a dollar on a national campaign, they still win 250 electoral votes. Slower GDP growth, higher unemployment, and disapporval rating will have zero effect of those states and electoral votes.

    Image how boring teaching political science will be in the future in a country where elections are irrelevant and most power is wielded by clouts and fixers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  35. @superdestroyer: I suggest you go back and look at Sides’ work on this subject, including recent elections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Beyond that, yes, demographic trends matter, just not in the simplistic way you constantly discuss them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    These are the assumptions that Prof. Sides seems to be using:

    1. All voters act like white voters and are equally influenced by economic considitions. Such assumptions were probably correct in 1980 when getting 60% of the white vote lead to a Reagan landslide victory but in 2012 leads to a huge loss by Romney.

    2. That the media treats Republicans and Democrats equally. How badly can the approval ratings of the Democrats go when the Democrats have shows like Comedy Channel’s Daily Show that have no equivalent for the Republicans.

    3. That swing states are always the same. The Republicans used to be competitive in California in the last 30 years but now has a totally irrelevant Republican Party. What states have gone from swing states to locks for the Republicans in the last 30 years.

    Also, the demographic trends are all moving in the Democrats favor. Many states that could have been a swing state in 2000 will probably be locks for the Democrats in 2020 or beyond due to demographic changes. Once again, when anyone’s theories of how to the U.S. will remain a two party are applied to current day California, they are shown to be ridiculous. The Republicans in California are totally irrelevant, there is no fesh leadership moving the party to get more votes (or even a place where Republicans could move to get more votes, and no matter how badly the Democrat perform, the automatic Democratic voters do not change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  38. An Interested Party says:

    All voters act like white voters and are equally influenced by economic considitions. Such assumptions were probably correct in 1980 when getting 60% of the white vote lead to a Reagan landslide victory but in 2012 leads to a huge loss by Romney.

    So black and brown people don’t care about economic issues? That’s good to know…

    That the media treats Republicans and Democrats equally. How badly can the approval ratings of the Democrats go when the Democrats have shows like Comedy Channel’s Daily Show that have no equivalent for the Republicans.

    In the first place, “The Daily Show” is not part of the news media, but rather, a comedy show and in the second place, Republicans also have their own comedy channel (they just don’t realize it) and that channel is called Fox News…

    What states have gone from swing states to locks for the Republicans in the last 30 years.

    Most of the states of the South…

    Once again, when anyone’s theories of how to the U.S. will remain a two party are applied to current day California, they are shown to be ridiculous.

    Republicans could easily fix things like that if they weren’t so damn hostile to minorities…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    That the media treats Republicans and Democrats equally. How badly can the approval ratings of the Democrats go when the Democrats have shows like Comedy Channel’s Daily Show that have no equivalent for the Republicans.

    A conservative complaining about the media – again? Conservatives have the the highest rated media opinion shows in radio, and on cable television networks FoxNews consistently beats the crap out of CNN and MSNBC.

    So tell me. why don’t conservatives create their own equivalent of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show? Conservatives have created a media juggernaut on talk radio – there is no liberal opinion show of note on talk radio in this country. Why is that? Because there is no demand for it. Why won’t conservatives start up a conservative Daily Show? Have it hosted by Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly, maybe Mark Levin or Mike Savage, Megyn Kelly or Ann Coulter – see how it goes? It might be that people already see FoxNews as the comic equivalent of The Daily Show, or maybe not, let’s find out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    If you look at black voters in places like the District of Columbia, Detroit, Baltimore, St Louis, or Latino voters in California or Texas, then no, “black and brown” voters generally do not vote on economics and never vote for anything that would be considered conservative. To blacks and Latinos in the U.S., the biggest economic issue is an increase in entitlements and increases in government mandates such as set asides and minimum wage. There is not one conservative issue that would ever appeal to black or Latino voters.

    The Daily Show is frequently described as the place where (white) college students get their news rather than cable networks. There no conservative equivalent to MTV News, PBS, NPR, the three over-the-air networks, and most other cable programs. Just because conservatives have congregated in talk radio and at Fox News does not mean that the rest of the media is not overwhelmingly liberal. That no one can imagine that there is one conservative comedian shows why liberals will continue to dominate the media.

    The south voted for Reagan in 1980 which was 33 years ago. Of course, California also voted for Reagan and now the Republican do not even bother to contend California. Look at how the Democrats plan to regain control of Texas and Arizona by just changing the demographics instead of bothering to appeal to middle class white voters.

    Once again, no one can explain how the more conservative party can ever appeal to Blacks or Latinos. When not supporting affirmative action, quotas, and separate-and-unequal standards are considering being hostile, there is no hope for any form of a conservative party.

    The real question for the future is why happens when the U.S. becomes a one party state and the general elections are no longer important to politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  41. An Interested Party says:

    To blacks and Latinos in the U.S., the biggest economic issue is an increase in entitlements and increases in government mandates such as set asides and minimum wage.

    In other words, all minorities (well, except for Jews and Asians) are leeches who feed at the government teat…is that about right for your world view?

    The Daily Show is frequently described as the place where (white) college students get their news rather than cable networks. There no conservative equivalent to MTV News, PBS, NPR, the three over-the-air networks, and most other cable programs. Just because conservatives have congregated in talk radio and at Fox News does not mean that the rest of the media is not overwhelmingly liberal.

    More of the conservative self-pity party…it’s amazing that Republicans can get elected to any political office with the supposed lock that liberals have on the entire media…

    The real question for the future is why happens when the U.S. becomes a one party state and the general elections are no longer important to politics.

    So conservatives and reactionaries on the right are going to just evaporate into thin air? Nature abhors a vacuum and as long as there are polar opposites on the political spectrum, all of those people will have to go somewhere…rather than your ridiculous assertion about the “one-party state” a more realistic future will probably mean the Republican Party will moderate its views to appeal to a wider audience…oh, and part of that moderation will be to not have the view of minorities that you have…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  42. Kylopod says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The idea that economic conditions will affect presidential election outcomes is not supported by recent evidence

    Actually, even before the election political scientists tended to think the economic conditions made Obama a modest favorite for reelection.

    The fallacy in your argument (which is shared by many pundits, particularly conservative ones but not exclusively so) is that you’ve caricatured the poli-sci models as suggesting that “if the economy sucks, the incumbent is doomed.” That’s not quite what they say. They examine particular indicators such as GDP or income growth; moreover, these are generally measured in relative rather than absolute terms. The economy in 2012 wasn’t great, but it had markedly improved since the 2008 crash. While the unemployment rate in Nov. 2012 was exactly the same as when Obama took office (7.8%), unlike before it was falling rather than rising.

    Yes, the recovery was weak when compared with the ones in the ’80s and ’90s. Not surprisingly, Obama didn’t coast to reelection as smoothly as Reagan or Clinton, and his margin of victory was relatively narrow.

    Part of what led to Republican overconfidence in 2012 is that in their bubble they not only exaggerated the economic problems, they ignored the fact that, try as they might, there was no way they could make the public forget that the crisis struck before Obama entered office. Doomed incumbents like Carter and Bush Sr. had to contend with recessions that struck on their watch.

    None of this is to suggest that demographic effects (i.e. Latinos fed up with the GOP’s increasingly frank nativism and racism) played no role in the race. It probably helped widen Obama’s lead. But the election hardly refuted the economic models; it largely vindicated them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. superdestroyer says:

    @Kylopod:

    It is just not the presideintial elections. No matter how bad the economy is in Detroit, the District of Columbia, in California, etc, non-whites still overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. Economic conditions only seem to affect white voters and since they group is shrinking relative to non-white voters, economic conditions will have smaller effects on eleections in the future. If you look at the 70 year dominance of the PRI, it is easy to see that economics had no effect on politics. Politics was about getting things from the government while avoiding the law as much as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Has there been any move to becoming the “Democratic-lite Party” or has the Republican Party become a place where a bunch of insane candidates have cropped up. If people want what the the Democrats are offering, they will always vote for the Democrats. Why would want to vote for some failed imitation that a moderate Republican Party would be.

    the future is that most Republicans will just move over and vote in the Democratic primary to try to have some effect on policy and governance. A small rump Republican Party will hang around allowing insane candidates like the one above to run for office with zero chance of winning. I also suspect that many people will drop out of politics because of the very limited range of views that will be permitted to be discussed in public.

    If you want to see the future, look at how narrow the range of views are in the existing Democratic Party and how in many states like Maryland and New York, the Democratic Party primary is the real election and the general election is just a rubber stamp for whatever the Democrats have already decided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Has there been any move to becoming the “Democratic-lite Party” or has the Republican Party become a place where a bunch of insane candidates have cropped up. If people want what the the Democrats are offering, they will always vote for the Democrats. Why would want to vote for some failed imitation that a moderate Republican Party would be.

    the future is that most Republicans will just move over and vote in the Democratic primary to try to have some effect on policy and governance. A small rump Republican Party will hang around allowing insane candidates like the one above to run for office with zero chance of winning. I also suspect that many people will drop out of politics because of the very limited range of views that will be permitted to be discussed in public.

    If you want to see the future, look at how narrow the range of views are in the existing Democratic Party and how in many states like Maryland and New York, the Democratic Party primary is the real election and the general election is just a rubber stamp for whatever the Democrats have already decided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Has there been any move to becoming the “Democratic-lite Party” or has the Republican Party become a place where a bunch of insane candidates have cropped up. If people want what the the Democrats are offering, they will always vote for the Democrats. Why would want to vote for some failed imitation that a moderate Republican Party would be.

    the future is that most Republicans will just move over and vote in the Democratic primary to try to have some effect on policy and governance. A small rump Republican Party will hang around allowing insane candidates like the one above to run for office with zero chance of winning. I also suspect that many people will drop out of politics because of the very limited range of views that will be permitted to be discussed in public.

    If you want to see the future, look at how narrow the range of views are in the existing Democratic Party and how in many states like Maryland and New York, the Democratic Party primary is the real election and the general election is just a rubber stamp for whatever the Democrats have already decided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Has there been any move to becoming the “Democratic-lite Party” or has the Republican Party become a place where a bunch of insane candidates have cropped up. If people want what the the Democrats are offering, they will always vote for the Democrats. Why would want to vote for some failed imitation that a moderate Republican Party would be.

    the future is that most Republicans will just move over and vote in the Democratic primary to try to have some effect on policy and governance. A small rump Republican Party will hang around allowing insane candidates like the one above to run for office with zero chance of winning. I also suspect that many people will drop out of politics because of the very limited range of views that will be permitted to be discussed in public.

    If you want to see the future, look at how narrow the range of views are in the existing Democratic Party and how in many states like Maryland and New York, the Democratic Party primary is the real election and the general election is just a rubber stamp for whatever the Democrats have already decided.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. @superdestroyer:

    If you look at the 70 year dominance of the PRI, it is easy to see that economics had no effect on politics.

    Here you again demonstrate that you really don’t know what you are talking about. The PRI did not dominate free and fair elections for 70 years. Despite the veneer of elections, Mexico did not become a democracy in 2000. 1994 was probably the first free and fair presidential election in Mexican history owing to international observers and other factors. Mexico under the PRI is not comparable to US politics in any way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. @superdestroyer:

    It is just not the presideintial elections. No matter how bad the economy is in Detroit, the District of Columbia, in California, etc, non-whites still overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.

    First, local elections and presidential elections are not the same types of processes if you want to talk about the kinds of models that Sides uses. (Although either you don’t understand what the models do, or you are purposefully avoiding the details).

    Second, the variable you are looking for here is economic status: poorer voters (especially urban ones) tend to vote Democratic. Your problem is that you can’t see pass the melanin content of the skin and you are incapable of seeing why it is that Republicans have alienated blacks in particular and the way in which they have increasingly alienated Hispanics.

    And, contrary to your ongoing repetition on this subjects, not all voters of color automatically vote Democratic (although yes, an overwhelming number of blacks do), but a significant number of Hispanics vote Republican (but less now than a decade ago).

    Of the real questions you should be asking is: what is that Republicans have been doing to alienate voters of color? Also: why are African-Americans disproportionately poor? (although I expect I would find your views on that question problematic).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But as the demographics becomes more like the demographics of Mexico with a small patron class and a massive peon class, is there any reason to believe that elections are going to be any different. Also, how many examples of one party rule in the world should I have to present to demonstrate that it happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. @superdestroyer:

    But as the demographics becomes more like the demographics of Mexico with a small patron class and a massive peon class, is there any reason to believe that elections are going to be any different.

    This is one massive non sequitur. It makes a serious of very strange and incorrect (if not cartoonish) assumptions about Mexican society and politics from the PRI era (or, indeed, about Mexico in general). It is a further bizarre caricature by you regarding the impact of demographics in general.

    Even beyond all of that, since Mexico is currently a multi-party democracy, by your logic that means that more Hispanic the US becomes, the more parties we will have, not less.

    Also, how many examples of one party rule in the world should I have to present to demonstrate that it happens.

    Here’s a pro tip: if you are going to use an example, you need to understand the example you are using. (Also one example is not enough).

    If you really want an example of representative democracy that consistently elected one party to power, you need to look to Japan and the LDP from the start of the democratic Japan until relatively recently. Of course, in terms of proving your point, it isn’t going to help much.

    Also there is a difference between a one party dominant system with free and fair elections (e.g., Japan during the period described) and a one party state with faux elections (Mexico under the PRI) and a one party state without even the fig leaf of opposition parties (Cuba, the former Soviet bloc, etc.).

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  52. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The issue with poverty does not hold for Blacks since when 95% of a demographic groups if automatically voting for one party, there is no real room to discuss the impacts of occupation, tax bracket, or even personal religious belief. Automatically voting for Democrats is just part of the culture of black American, has been the culture for decades, and there is little that the Republicans can do about it. The only way that the Republicans can begin to get to double digit support from blacks is to take a harder turn to the left and support higher taxes, much more government spending, growing public sector jobs, maintaining all levels of set asides and quotas, and basically throwing middle class whites like Abigail Fisher under the bus. It makes complete sense that the more conservative party would alienate the most liberal demographic groups in the U.S. Once again, how does the more conservative party appeal to a demographic group where close to 80% of children are born to unwed mothers?

    How does GDP growth, incumbency, and presidential approval ratings keep single mothers, public sector workers, academics, trial lawyers, etc from voting for Democrats. There is nothing in the model that appears to account for the growing number of Americans who automatically vote for the Democratic candidate. What I would find interesting is if anyone figures out how percentage of the votersina presidential election end up voting in no competitive elctions. How many people get to vote on a ballot where not a single race will be decided by single digits? As the number of people who get to vote in any competitive election decreases, then we will all see what a single party state really looks like.

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  53. grumpy realist says:

    @superdestroyer: Maybe if the other side didn’t continuously act as if the only position for those of us who are not white upper-class males is ensconced in minimum-wage jobs where our main role is to continually touch our forelocks and apologize for our existence?

    You know, if the Republican Party wants to get black people to vote for them, it could try not insulting them all the time for voting Democratic.

    And if it wants to get women to vote for them, it could try not assuming that our only worth is as fetus-carriers.

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  54. grumpy realist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Japan actually had multiple parties during that period; they just called them factions instead….all under the LDP umbrella.

    And the reason the opposition (JSP and JDS) never made it into power was because the next two parties spent all their time quarreling about whether Marx or Lenin was more correct.

    And the only grass-roots party in Japan is in fact the Japanese Communist Party. They often get elected as majors of cities and seem to do a good job of running things.

    Then we’ve got Ishihara, who is off in territory of his own…..

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  55. @grumpy realist: Indeed, Japan was a multi-party system that was dominated by the LDP, which was a highly factionalized party.

    Changes to the electoral system are also important to understanding some of the shifts in Japanese party dynamics.

    Indeed, none of these cases fit superdestroyer’s dystopic one-party scenario in the way he understands (so to speak) the notion.

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  56. Kylopod says:

    We can look to the history of our own country for examples: after the collapse of the Federalist Party in the 1820s, while there was a brief period of one-party rule under the Democratic Republicans, it soon split into two factions which ended up forming two separate parties, the Democrats and the Whigs. In the unlikely event that the GOP were to collapse, what would probably happen would be either (a) that a new party would spring up to fill the void (b) that the Democrats would split into two parties, just like what happened in the 1820s. Although the Founders never intended it, our system seems naturally to drift toward two major parties at any given time. Furthermore, both of the two current ones have survived long periods in the wilderness (the Dems after the Civil War, the GOP after the Depression). I don’t think today’s GOP is headed toward even that fate, but even if it is, it’s not exactly a permanent death.

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  57. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    One could make the case that a one party system with a highly factionaized party is probably the most likely model for the U.S. of the U.S. Given the number of districts drawn to spefically elect blacks or Latinos, it would make sense that the Democratic Party would be fractionalized by still dominant. Given that the future of politics will be about entitlements, who pays for them, and who gets them, one party is more than enough. What political scientist should be thinking about what happens when entitlement spending squeezes out all other forms of government spending. What will the U.S. get like if Defense spending shrinks enough that it can no longer support aerospace and other high tech industries. What happens will the three biggest industries in the U.S. are education, health care, and government services. Also, what will the education complex be training people to do in a country that does not make anything or create much?

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  58. superdestroyer says:

    @Kylopod:

    In the 1820′s, only white males voted. Historical examples do not apply in a country where about 35 Congressional Districts are drawn to elect liberal black Congressmen and about 25 districts are drawn to elect liberal Latino Congressmen. Anyone who walks away from the Democratic Party to create a new party (say a Green Party to the left of the Democrats) will be walking away from the automatic Democratic Party voting habits of around 45% of the population.

    When the government budget (state and federal) is $5 trillion and the pages in the Code of Federal Regulations number is the 100K, no one can afford to be seen as the outside. The most likely scenario is the establishment Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce types just move over to the Democratic Party to become two more factions. The establishment Republicans have a lot more in common with the coastal elites who run the Democratic Party than the middle class whites who actually vote for the Republican Party.

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  59. @superdestroyer:

    One could make the case that a one party system with a highly factionaized party is probably the most likely model for the U.S. of the U.S. Given the number of districts drawn to spefically elect blacks or Latinos, it would make sense that the Democratic Party would be fractionalized by still dominant.

    One could argue any number of things and still be wrong.

    And you over-estimate the number of districts drawn for black and Hispanics (and you ignore the fact that a lot of districts are lily white).

    In short: you don’t understand the comparative examples and you really don’t understand even the basic dynamics of American politics. Rather, you see color as the main, if not only, variable.

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  60. @superdestroyer: Again, let’s return to this gem from above that proves my point:

    But as the demographics becomes more like the demographics of Mexico with a small patron class and a massive peon class,

    This shows 1) you don’t understand your assertions about Mexican politics and the PRI (let alone contemporary Mexican politics), and 2) you have bizarre theories, based in crude stereotypes, as to how skin color results in very specific behaviors.

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  61. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    OK, here is a question for your models. The GDP, approval rating,and incumbency model meant that the GW Bush could win the presidency with 55% of the white vote in 2000 but that McCain lost the presidency with 55% of the white vote. Now how did GDP growth and presidential approval ratings have such a tremendous effect on the final outcome without having any effect on the percentage of whites who voted for either the Democratic or Republican Party.

    Now the question should be: does anyone serious believe that in 2016 the GDP growth or presidential approval ratings will either get more than 60% of whites to vote for the Republican candidate or to get a significant number of non-whites to vote for the Republican. When you filter Dr. Sides model through demographics, it quickly begins to look ridiculous because it would cause a huge change in demographic voting patterns and those shifts just do not occur anymore. I guess refusing to think about demographics just makes one models so much easier and much easier to get published.

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  62. @superdestroyer: No: all this means that you are overly, if not monomaniacally, obsessed with skin color to the point that it hampers, if not destroys, your ability to understand anything beyond your views of that variable.

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  63. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But would you agree that models that refuse to look at the demographic of the voting public are just as monomaniacally working to avoid the issue? How can anyone take any model seriously that refuses to address the changing demographics of the U.S. As I said above, Dr Sides first assumption seems to be that all voters are white. That is about as nonsensical as assuming perfectly spherical chickens in a vacuum.

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  64. @superdestroyer:

    1. The model that Sides is using does not use race/color/ethnicity as a variable. It is using several macro-level variable,

    2. You identify the root of your problem. You refuse to look at people as people. There is no inherent essence to being white, black, or latino. It isn’t the color of African-American’s skin that is making them vote Democratic, there are other factors at play. Further, there are demonstrably white voters who are not conservative. You keep talking like melanin content is the primary variable, and it isn’t. If being white made one a Republican/conservative, then we would, in fact, have a one party state (to use your terminology) and that party would be the Republican party.

    Really, the Hispanic discussion underscores this: many Hispanics are European descended and are just as “white” as I am.

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  65. superdestroyer says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is hard to think of black voters and black politicians as the same as white voters and white politicians. Whites are spread across the entire spectrum of politics and white voters actually seem to be affected by things like economic conditions, or popularity or incumbency. Yet, for black politicians the range of policy and political views is so small that it should be embarrassing. A black politician whether from New York, Texas, or California basically support the same positions and says the same thing. Black voters are always going to approve of a president who is a Democrat and will disapprove of any president who is a Republican. To pretend that demographic does not really affect elections may be the political correct way for fame and tenure for political scientist but it makes Republican operatives sound like naive fools.

    I would argue that Prof Sides may have been correct in the past when there was a large enough group of white swing voters to elect either a Democratic or a Repubican president but these days, the number of swing voters is too small, due to demographics, to have a real effect of electing the president.

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