All of this writing and data analysis is a lot of work! So after more than five years of posting, I've finally launched a Patreon to help pay the bills.

9/13/19

Everyone agrees: rich countries have to help poor countries with climate change

Ask any demographic group, and most people will agree - rich countries need to help poor countries with climate change. That's what YouGov / Economist found in its latest poll:


9/10/19

Who isn't paying attention to the 2020 primaries? The poor and oppressed.

A new poll from Morning Consult confirms an ongoing trend: voters who pay a lot of attention to politics are more likely to support Elizabeth Warren, while those who pay less attention are more likely to support Bernie Sanders.

9/6/19

I was wrong about Twitter

For several years now I have persistently argued that Twitter discourse is not actually a significant force in US politics. And for the most part, I still think this is true. For one thing, even though we often talk about Twitter as if it's some grand forum of public opinion, very few people actually use it. For another, even though we often talk about our politics as if it's downstream from the discourse, usually it's the other way around: the people in our society who have power wield it, and then the rest of us post about what they've done.

Usually - but two fairly recent developments have inclined me to acknowledge some exceptions.

9/4/19

CAP's rebrand of "universal health care" is vacuous and dangerous



Yet again, Neera Tanden is repeating the Center for American Progress's talking point that "universal health care" applies to a full range of proposals that are not single payer. The marketing reasons for making this point are obvious: UHC is an extremely popular brand on the liberal-left, and opposing it is extremely unpopular, which means that anyone who wants the liberal-left's support for their agenda needs to make some claim to the brand.

8/23/19

David Koch, 1940-2019

David Koch, a radical plutocrat who funded right-wing extremist movements for decades and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, has died at 79.

8/22/19

From around the World Wide Web ("internet")

8/16/19

The quiet death of the "white Bernie Bro" attack

Bernie Sanders faced ferocious criticism in the media throughout the 2016 primaries - and central to that critique was what The Washington Post called Bernie Sanders' big black-voter problem. Black voters, we were told, decisively rejected Sanders' politics - and, by extension, left flank challenges to the Democratic establishment. And the proof was in the polls: overwhelming majorities of black voters preferred Hillary Clinton.

8/16/19

What's going on with the Sanders / Warren crossover vote?

In short: we don't know. Because to measure this directly, you would need to ask respondents "have you switched from Sanders to Warren, or vice versa?" - and no one is actually asking this. There is, however, an indirect way to look at this: ask voters who their second choice is. If we then suppose that first choice votes are "stolen" from a respondent's second choice, we can get rough idea of what the crossover vote looks like. Here's a graph of how this has played out since Warren began her micro-surge in June:

7/29/19

Medicare for All's opponents are playing language games because they are losing

The public loves Medicare because it is a reliable government program, in contrast to private insurance, which is unreliable. But Neera Tanden argues that "Medicare for All" is misleading, since one can supplement Medicare's government coverage with private coverage.

7/22/19

Yet another study debunks the popular "biased electorate" myth

Conventional wisdom on the liberal-left holds that bias among voters is so prevalent that it creates a disadvantage at the polls for women and people of color running for office. The numbers, however, beg to differ. In The Electability Myth, a new study of the 2018 US election, The Reflective Democracy Campaign (RDC) has found that other groups have a slight advantage over white men among the voters - and systematic disadvantages that have historically kept them off the ballot.