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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Voting for the Moron, Or Against the Good Guys?





A friend pointed the following out to me today:



I wonder how relevant this is... Republicans are going to get Republican votes.


It's vexing, but as I wrote a month or so ago, two thirds of Trump voters were voting against Hillary Clinton rather than for Donald Trump. That was the case across the board -- among Republicans, independents, men, women, whites with a college degree, whites without a college degree...


We also know that those sentiments swung late, because of the Comey letter and because, as it's turning out, the Russians (probably with Cambridge Analytica and Trump campaign) had mechanisms in place to amplify negative (and mostly false) information about Clinton in places where it would be most effective in softening the support she had:


A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump's victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal, two of the sources said. The ads employed a series of divisive messages aimed at breaking through the clutter of campaign ads online, including promoting anti-Muslim messages, sources said.
It has been unclear until now exactly which regions of the country were targeted by the ads. And while one source said that a large number of ads appeared in areas of the country that were not heavily contested in the elections, some clearly were geared at swaying public opinion in the most heavily contested battlegrounds.
Michigan saw the closest presidential contest in the country -- Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by about 10,700 votes out of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast. Wisconsin was also one of the tightest states, and Trump won there by only about 22,700 votes. Both states, which Trump carried by less than 1%, were key to his victory in the Electoral College.


An aside -- the next line in the CNN story above is, "The sources did not specify when in 2016 the ads ran in Michigan and Wisconsin."


We can be pretty confident some of those were in the final weeks:






My father and many others warned me in 2015-2016 that Hillary would be a bad candidate because of "baggage." To some extent, it turned out to be true. Hell, I have a friend who hasn't spoken to me in a year and a half because I wouldn't drop my support for Hillary because of Travelgate!


It didn't really seem to hurt her in the polls until the final post-Comey push, but the past fake scandals certainly gave the Russians and Trump something to amplify.


Trump's not going to lose popularity among Republicans between now and 2020. Not much, anyway. Republicans fall in line.


It would seem to me that the most important thing is not to worry about Trump's popularity so much as keeping our candidate from getting torn down. They've gotta have a ton on Sanders. The best they seem to have on Elizabeth Warren is "Pocahontas," which, I've found, sadly, does resonate with some Americans. What do they have on Harris? Gillibrand? Booker? Cuomo? Schiff? Lieu? We need to keep a keen eye on the nature of the attacks against our potential field, as well as from where they're originating. Republicans? Russian bots? Both?


I think that's the pivotal question once we get past the midterms.