If there were 49 Ds and 51 Rs, you can be damn sure that Kirk would be one of them.
This is an unfortunate aspect of the FPTP system. If you are a strong Democrat (for the purposes of the post I'll assume you're a strong Democrat, but the example works the opposite way), then presumably the Republicans you like the least are the loudest, biggest party hacks and the Republicans you like the most are the moderates that occasionally work with the Democrats. Now, assume people are the product of their districts in some regards, and generally moderates come from moderate districts. Which districts are most likely to flip to your party? Correspondingly, the moderate districts. So even in the best case election scenario, where your party near-totally dominates, the guys you hate the most are still around and most of your victories come at the expense of people you don't mind.
For me one of the most clear examples of this is when Sen. Lincoln Chafee (then R-RI) lost in the Democratic wave of 2006. Would I personally pick Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democrat, over Lincoln Chafee? Of course! But I wish I could have punted Trent Lott instead if all else was equal.
She's generally leading, but yeah, it'll be tight.There have been a ridiculous amount of ads by Toomey and McGinty on TV here in PA. Tbh the anti-McGinty ones are much better than the pro-McGinty or anti-Toomey ones, and I think that combined with her low name recognition will result in a very tight race no matter how not-tight the presidential vote is.
So who should I give my protest vote to in Iowa? The no name Libertarian or write in Merrick Garland?
US Senate for Iowa.For President?
Normally, I'd agree with you, but given Grassley's position on the Judiciary, I'd like to think if there was a movement that resulted in 25,000 write in votes for the SCOTUS nominee he is personally blocking that he might take a nanosecond's notice.The honest answer is that it doesn't matter.
Protest votes are for making you feel better about yourself and nothing else really. So just do whatever will make you feel the best.
US Senate for Iowa.
Normally, I'd agree with you, but given Grassley's position on the Judiciary, I'd like to think if there was a movement that resulted in 25,000 write in votes for the SCOTUS nominee he is personally blocking that he might take a nanosecond's notice.
Fyi, he's opposed defunding Planned Parenthood, tried to get it back up, was the 2nd (R) to support Same Sex marriage, helped co-sponsor the Equality Act, etc. Not saying he is perfect, but he has been fairly solid on social issues and show willingness to work. And if he wasn't, he would have never been elected in IL. Duckworth is just an amazing candidate all around and has my vote already, but it is a shame is all she is taking a seat from one of the few Repubs who typically works with the Dems. It would have been an easier fight to pass it is all.
Mark Kirk is given a lot of leeway because he's an anomaly that shouldn't exist. He was elected with a slim-margin in a wave year against a state Democratic party coming off of not only one of the worst but also the most ridiculous cases of corruption in recent times.
When his vote matters he will fall in line. He's still a vote for McConnell and if they needed his vote to block a Supreme Court nominee then he will find an excuse to do that as well. Individual Senators votes rarely matter except when choosing leadership and that's all I need to know that I cannot wait to see him leave the chamber.
Oh, like John McCain?
I wish Jim Gray had a chance to beat Rand Paul in Kentucky.
Jim Gray is legit pissing me off right now.
Dude is, on paper, a great candidate to unseat someone like Rand Paul. He has experience and success as a mythical job creator, has had a good run in public service, is generally affable in person, and is running against a Texas carpetbagger who won't even say his opponent's name and whose only trick is name dropping the Democratic president.
But no, Gray decided the best approach for his campaign was to point out how Paul isn't Republican enough, so vote for a Democrat who will be more like a Republican for some reason. Such a dumb strategy. There are times I think the Democratic Party of Kentucky just sits around huffing rubber cement.
Do we know who the new Senate majority leader would be if the Democrats won?
To be honest, even if Gray ran as a true blue Democrat, it would be next to impossible to win that seat.
Probably true, but Kentucky has elected moderate Democrats to high positions plenty of times.
But when you give voters a choice between a Republican and a Democrat wearing a Republican hat... well, the Republican voters will always vote Republican, and the Democrats sadly sit out. You have a better chance trying to engage the non-voting majority than trying to convince the most active far-right minority to vote blue.
Well, no, there hasn't been a federal office holder statewide in Kentucky in a while. There's also no secret group of left wing voters who will just sit out an election because the Democrat isn't left enough. There is no truth to this theory.
While not US Senate seats, we just had a Democratic governor until pretty recently, elected by a majority of statewide voters (even though he was, again, not super liberal by national standards). We also just re-elected a Democratic Secretary of State, and elected a new Democratic Attorney General, by a majority of statewide voters, in the exact same election that Matt Bevin (aka Evil Universe Hank Azaria) got elected.
Kentucky does not always make sense when it comes to getting the whole state's votes together.
Also, and with no sarcasm, I would love to hear how increasing voter turnout and engaging the unengaged wouldn't change results. It's pretty widely known that higher voter turnout results in a disproportionate increase in the number of Democratic voters, and given that we just went from re-electing a Democratic governor in 2011 to electing Matt freaking Bevin four years later in an election with historically low voter turnout for the state...
Republicans show up for the home team every game, no matter what. It's getting more liberal voters to show up that's the hard part, something that isn't helped by apathy among younger voters. The solution isn't necessarily to go far left, but you sure as hell aren't going to bring out the apathetic liberal or moderate vote by running ads praising the Patriot Act.
Again, these aren't federal offices. You're talking about gubernatorial elections. It's much easier to split your ticket for state elections than it is for federal elections, where what happens at the top of the ticket is much more of an indicator on what will happen downballot.
There is no evidence that being a true progressive candidate in a red state will draw out a secret group of liberal voters. Misty Snow will not be a senator of Utah, for example. Red state Democrats, unfortunately for people on the left, have to strike a much more moderate posture in order to successfully run in the races they can win (see: Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, John Bel Edwards). Gray is not going to win because it's Kentucky is so red, and it's not an open seat. He's certainly not going to win by trying to find some disillusioned liberal voters. He might as well try to appeal to people who used to vote Democrats (maybe those who voted for Alison Grimes or Andy Beshear).
I mean I do think the federal/state distinction is not the key one voters make immediately, but a candidate for Senate is basically bound to whatever the president is doing whereas a candidate for governor has the freedom to run on their own platform.Right, I get what you're saying, and I certainly agree that the "true progressive" argument isn't even one I want to start (I hate purity tests, and generally lean towards moderation)
One position I dont understand is why a US Senate seat is so different from a gubernatorial race, when both are high-profile positions that are chosen by the entire state's voters. Many/most voters probably don't even make the distinction that the Senate seat is technically a federal position and not a state one. If a Democrat can be elected, and re-elected, as governor, that same statewide voter pool absolutely COULD elect a Democrat to the senate, right?
But if you watch Jim Gray's ads, you'll see that he's literally trying to paint Rand Paul as too moderate of a Republican, including a cringeworthy attack on him for not supporting the Patriot Act. And given how badly he's about to be beaten, clearly his strategy of running to the right of the Republican candidate isn't appealing to either the voters who elect Republicans OR the voters who elected Democrats like Grimes and both Beshears. It's a guaranteed losing strategy.
I mean I do think the federal/state distinction is not the key one voters make immediately, but a candidate for Senate is basically bound to whatever the president is doing whereas a candidate for governor has the freedom to run on their own platform.
Take West Virginia, for example. Big coal state, much like Kentucky which doesn't jive with the national Democrats' energy policy at all. In 2014 they elected a Republican to Senate in a landslide, and will probably elect another one whenever Joe Manchin hangs it up (or he might even be defeated). But the Democrats' candidate for governor, Jim Justice is a coal billionaire and will probably win. Unlike the Senate candidates there's no pressure on him to support Obama/Clinton's energy policy in any respect, and attacks on him won't really stick. Senators and Congresspeople vote in leadership elections, so even if they vote no on climate change bills, they're still voting in the Dem leadership that pushes those items through. Much easier to make attacks land when you can shackle them to an unpopular national party.
I self-identify as Republican. Grassley is more or less a good advocate for Iowa, I don't really want him to lose. Judge is down 17 points, so a vote for her is just as protesty as a vote for the Libertarian or writing in Garland. Judge is tainted by being Chet Culver's Lt. Gov. I didn't care for her while she was a state senator. She was tangentially involved in some minor backroom bullshit against a state representative I interned for (it's so minor that the rep it was against has probably forgotten it by now and certainly doesn't rise to deserving a public airing.)Do you have some problem with Judge? I don't know much about her.
I self-identify as Republican. Grassley is more or less a good advocate for Iowa, I don't really want him to lose. Judge is down 17 points, so a vote for her is just as protesty as a vote for the Libertarian or writing in Garland. Judge is tainted by being Chet Culver's Lt. Gov. I didn't care for her while she was a state senator. She was tangentially involved in some minor backroom bullshit against a state representative I interned for (it's so minor that the rep it was against has probably forgotten it by now and certainly doesn't rise to deserving a public airing.)
I suppose that makes sense. My kneejerk reaction is to say that distinction probably flies over the heads of the majority of voters, but I also realize that's kind of an overly elitist way to view the voting public, so I'll try to stray away from that kind of thinking :/