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variety 20180915

September 15, 2018

In this edition: NYS primary election results, free trade vs inequality, and why candidates opposed to their own party are here to stay.

NYS Democratic primary election results

Turnout was impressively high for a primary, with 1.5 million voting in the top line Democratic out of ~6 million registered Democrats, and nearly 20 million total population in NY state. This was nearly double (?) from the June NYS Democratic primaries that were for Federal offices, that that itself was an increase from before. The trend is nationwide, per this TheHill article. I hope primary turnout continues to increase – reminder: primary elections determine the final outcome in the many races, as districts are often drawn so as to not be competitive in the general election. (As an aside, consider the case where districts were drawn to purposely have an equal distribution of Rep/Dem’s. Then, for example, if one party had 55% of the vote, they might win all the districts! This is why electoral systems with single-seat districts make proportional representation impossible)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo beat Cynthia Nixon , 66% to 34%. However, Nixon improved on the result in the 2014 primary, in which Zephyr Teachout’s lost to Cuomo 63% to 33% (0.6 million voters that year). And that despite Nixon having minimal qualifications, while Teachout is a law professor.

Jumaane Williams did slightly better for Lt. Governor.

Interestingly (or not), with his primary victory, Gov. Cuomo now apparently “positions himself for a possible 2020 presidential run”, in the opinion of a Politico article.  This after specifically pledging that he won’t run for President during the debate with Nixon, stating during the televised debate that should he get re-elected, he would complete his term as Governor unless “God strikes him dead”.

Zephyr Teachout lost to Letitia James for NYS Attorney General, in a 3-way race that fell along geographic lines. James won the NYC area, Teachout won the hudson valley / upstate, and Sean Maloney won western NY / upstate. James is NYC’s Public Advocate, a position held before her by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Locally, I was surprised and happy by my State Senate primary result. Elsewhere in the state, Julie Salazar made headlines by taking the Democratic nomination for her State Senate district – under the DSA banner! – and in a race featuring an ugly smear campaign against her. More importantly, most of the state’s official “IDC” (Independent Democrat Caucus) lost their primaries. This is a bloc of “conservative democrats” in the NY state Senate – who vote with Republicans but run as Democrats just to get the votes.


Free Trade vs Inequality

Here is a piece on Project Syndicate which I think is as close as they’ve come to a useful analysis.

Why candidates opposed to their own party are here to stay

In short, it is because both the Democratic and Republican party’s favorability rating is now too low (low 40%’s) for a candidate to score a majority by simply representing the party. A candidate in both parties can now consistently get more votes by professing a dislike for the “powers that be” within their own party.

This polling is from Pew, which has a slight conservative bias, but they are consistent, track the same issue over not just years but decades. Look at the trends.

Digging deeper:

  • check out the {“Democratic Leaners” vs “Republican Leaners” } vs {“Democratic Party Favorability” vs “Republican Party Favorability”} comparison. Shows disillusionment among Democrats. Trump himself (AND his 2016 opponent, Ted Cruz) is the symptom of disillusionment among Republicans.
  • check out the trend for “unfavorable view of both parties”. Now at 24%, with a remarkably steady rise since the turn of the century. That one is pretty striking, I think. All this talk about 3rd parties that I’m so fond of may not be for nothing, after all.

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