Typical Musings from Dems Meetings

By Rachel Neuburger

The UC Dems meet on Thurdays at 6:00 pm in Harper 145. Come out tonight to hear from Daniel Comeaux (BA ’14), a UC Dems Alum who now works at Civic Consulting Alliance!

Last Thursday, the UC Dems met in Harper to chat about the state of the 2016 presidential race. In the age of the 24-hour news cycle where headlines, soundbites, and punditry inundate us from all corners – media social, traditional, and virtual alike – it was nice to take some time to go over the results, think about the implications, and to evaluate how the way we consume the news and the people who provide it to us change campaign narratives. What follows is a summary of a few of the things we discussed.

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We hope these two continue to duke it for the rest of the school year!

First, we looked at this table of the New Hampshire primary results:

Trump 35.3% 10 delegates Sanders 60.4% 15 delegates
Kasich 15.8% 4 Clinton 38% 9
Cruz 11.7% 3 O’Malley (!) 0.3% 0
Jeb! 11% 3
Rubio 10.6% 3
Christie 7.4% 0
Fiorina 4.1% 0
Carson 2.3% 0
Gilmore & Co. 0% 0

A few interesting points, as Mike Allen and various other news sources have written: First of all, pollsters predicted wins for Bernie and Trump in New Hampshire; these results show that the era of the pollster has not come to an end, as so many people have repeatedly predicted. The political milieu lives to fight another day! People are still voting for O’Malley. Gilmore is still running for president. As the New York Times so delicately (and, as much as it pains me to say it, condescendingly) put it, Trump voters actually exist

Then there are the drop-outs: Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina. We pretty much agreed with what a lot of us were reading online — that Christie contributed quite a bit to Rubio’s breakdown (down, down goes the rising star of the GOP) without actually doing anything constructive for the field or pushing the political conversation in a positive direction. He received only 7.4% of the vote in a state where he had the endorsement of a major newspaper. In New Jersey, his approval ratings are their lowest ever. We wondered if we’ll see him on the national stage again — will the tough-talking governor with prosecutorial experience be as appealing four years from now?

And, of course, we are faced with the sad fact that it is 2016 and in a field of nine candidates, only one is a woman. Farewell, Carly.

Journalists have been talking about the two “lanes” of candidates within the GOP field: the establishment lane (Kasich, Jeb!, Rubio) and the anti-establishment “outsider” lane (Cruz, Trump, Fiorina). Within these lanes are questions about appealing to evangelicals, moderates, independents, members of minority groups, and a whole lot of other demographics. What we learned in New Hampshire, though, is that intra-lane competition is far from over, and will continue until the very last days of the contest. With Kasich vying for the nomination like never before, Jeb Bush suffering from (some) highs and (mostly) lows that seem to come on a daily basis, and Rubio as rising star, then bruised gaffe-sufferer, and now up-and-coming South Carolina contender once again, the victor of the lane will not be resolved without an extended fight. Will a strong establishment contender (with the financial and communications backing of more traditional GOP-goers) arise to fight back the Trump/Cruz crazy? Who knows. Is the answer to this question very, very important to whomever wins the Democratic nomination? On this, we were unanimous: without a doubt.

Regardless: on to the South!

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Trump gestures towards rivals Rubio and Cruz during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston
Le Sigh

 

Rachel Neuburger is a second-year in the College. She is from Chappaqua, NY

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What We’re Reading: Fourth Week

It might be the height of midterms, but this past week had some great reads that you should check out during your next study break:

  • In case you missed anything, here’s the full transcript of the Democratic Debate. But if you don’t want to read through the whole transcript, the New York Times compiled some highlights of the Democratic Debate.
  • Jeb Bush is scaling way back on his campaign spending — his campaign claims they’re just trying to be more efficient, but many suspect this is indicative of his weakening chances as the Trump and Carson campaigns get stronger.
  • We’ve all been focused on November 2016, but what about 2015? Just a week and a half away (November 3rd) a lot of important elections will be decided. Here’s the top 10 elections to watch this election day.
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter explains that the real issue is that we devalue people who care for others: that we claim that women are only equal when they are doing what is traditionally men’s work, and we don’t value the contributions of those who care for others. “If you’re really going to have equality, you’ve got to value both kinds of work…What’s really going on here is we are discriminating against people who have to care for others, which is a role that society needs people to play.”
  • Bernie’s support stretches to very different groups than you might expect, thanks to his platform of economic populism. He’s got some support even among conservatives from states like Texas and Indiana, who think he’s “middle of the road“: “Data-driven analysis is only as good as the categories by which you sift the information. If you’ve already decided that ‘liberals’ are the people who prefer locally sourced arugula to eating at McDonald’s, or are the people who don’t watch Fox News, it is a reasonable conclusion that there aren’t enough ‘liberals’ out there to elect Bernie Sanders. Yet political categories shift.” Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders went on the offensive against Hillary: “Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a pass on her ‘damn emails,’ but he’s giving her hell on just about everything else.”

What We’re Reading: Third Week

We’re all abuzz with speculation over what might be the impact of the Democrats’ first primary debate. Here are some articles exploring how things are setting up for 2016 on both the right and left:

Democratic Primary Debate Schedule

Hopefully, if nothing else, you found Thursday’s Republican debate, shall we say, entertaining.  There’s a couple trends in opinion on who won or lost, but for the most part it seems we’ll just have to wait and see to find out what it all means.

It’s not long till the next Republican debate (September 16 on CNN), but it won’t be until October 13 (also on CNN) that we can watch the Democrats.

Here’s the Democratic debate schedule:

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