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November 15, 2022

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A good song for the election: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSdMxWjnq5s

The key over the long run will lie in organization: can Democrats consistently organize their base while not alienating independents? It's easier with someone like Lake or Masters. I hope they understand this.

I have a feeling Hobbs eked out the victory because of the very reason Lake was popular. The "moderate" Republicans and Independents - who are more like Republicans but don't want to admit it - were turned off by the pro-Trump, election denialism rhetoric of Lake and her "colleagues". If things ever go back to normal, then it will be interesting to see how purple Arizona is.

I have a feeling that the crazy base will always stay in Arizona like you mentioned with that wonderful high school classmate of yours. Poor public education and lack of high wage jobs means there will be an abundance of those individuals. Not to mention the amount of people looking for a suburban environment but can't afford it in more progressive strongholds who will likely move here and those generally lean Red. The "moderates" will likely switch back to their real side.

The other issue was abortion, which Republicans couldn't skirt. On one hand they could try to maintain a moderate stance like a ban after X amount of weeks, but then they'd lose the Evangelicals and strict anti-abortionists. On the flip side, by maintaining the anti-abortion stance, they likely lost a lot of suburban women votes.

I would take the victory with a grain of salt. Maybe things are changing and there is a blue movement, but things are so weird right now, it's really hard to say what direction AZ is heading towards. Kimberly Yee easily won her race as state treasurer as a Republican and she was the candidate that wasn't Trumped up. Her race seems more indicative of what would have happened had things been normal like 10 years ago.

Most progressives I know from other states who are leaving areas of high cost of living (LA, SF, Seattle, etc.) are not moving to Phoenix. It's the conservative-leaning soccer moms, Stepford wives, Dilberts, lifted truck "bros" with 3-4 children moving here. That crowd is not what the Democrats probably had in mind when they were talking about newcomers.

For years now, the aspiration among Napolitano's "sensible center" was that newcomers and Hispanics would turn Arizona blue, or at least purple. This faced the reality of "the Big Sort," where people of like minds and politics cluster together, especially the retirees who flock to the state.

Why don't the people already living here have the right to exist? To prefer their culture to one that so-called educated managerial elites and political classes would impose on them or replace them with? Come on, say the quiet part out loud.

Without the Dobbs decision Lake would’ve won this one. This election was just a result of the republican party cannibalizing itself. If they can support a clearer, less fear and hate mongering message then they could easily swing this state back in their favor. That seems like a tall order after these last six years, though.

"Fear and hate mongering" has been the core of Republican strategy since Nixon, so...

Yes, it could have been a lot worse and I expected it to be. People all over the valley may have heard me exhale with relief when Fontes was declared the winner over Finchem.

I think the major causes of what happened have been discussed here. One is Dobbs. The other is the extremism of the Republican candidates. A number of Republicans I know agree with this diagnosis.

As I understand it, the state legislature has it Republican razor thin margin majority. That worked to the benefit of the Democrats last term, and there is much discussion of what was considered a bipartisan budget. Republicans with sense stepped over to help Democrats last term. It should be even better this term.

A man announces

"By stepping aside for a moment, a man exposes himself to a fearful risk of losing his place forever."
Nathanial Hawthorne in Wakefield.

Kari Lake - What happens when a party decides to run someone who is dumber than Sarah Palin?

Yes, Arizona is not quite blue. It proved itself once again to be very, very purple. But the AZ election was interesting on levels beyond the superficial blue/red horserace. Despite the closely split electorate, by traditional expectations, Lake should have won. Highly partisan, devoted Democrats such as Rogue focus on what are to them hot button issues like being an "election denier" or "spreader of COVID disinformation" (which is a bigger sin?), but the average low information voter is not looking at those types of things. Irrespective of policy positions or rhetoric, Lake was a much better candidate. She's attractive, winsome, extraordinarily well-spoken and ran a vigorous campaign of non-stop media appearances, campaign events, rallies, etc. As a longtime "newsreader" she was very well known in Maricopa Co. and, prior to politics, widely liked.  Hobbs is somewhat likable, but charisma-challenged next to Lake. When speaking, she sounds like a high school student (OK, maybe an AP history student, but still). She ran a minimalist campaign that seemed based on the Biden hide-out model. She's known to those who follow politics, but she's been a background figure, at best, to the average voter. The national environment was extremely unfavorable to the party in power in Washington. The Red Wave, and all.

So what gives? Lot's of factors, of course, and I'm still forming my opinion but a few stick out to me. One is the huge disparity in campaign funding. This was a national factor as well. The modern Democratic control of most of our institutions translates to vastly more money flowing to blue candidates in competitive races. Besides tons of commercials, where did this money get spent?

Republicans are kind of living in the past. They encourage their voters to get out and vote on election day and campaign energetically under the principle that if they get their message out it will convince enough voters to win. Democrats have increasingly focused less on campaigning and more on the machinery of voting. After a longtime effort to liberalize voting laws with earlier and earlier voting, mail in ballots and drop boxes, that process was turbocharged in 2020. Democrats are masters at manipulating these by encouraging their voters to get their ballot in as early as possible, then manually contacting (that's a big job) their remaining voters to make sure they vote. Much of this is legal but there is reason to suspect illegal ballot-harvesting went on, too. One lesson learned in 2020: there is very little chance of getting prosecuted for that sort of thing or of having any judges intervene in the election process during or after an election.

Sure, Rogue's old friend sounds like a wingnut. That's how "they" all think, apparently (no that's not bigoted at all!) Only a fool could look at the totality of the evidence from 2020 and not conclude there could have been fraud enough to sway it and apply that lesson going forward. I'll give those here the benefit of the doubt that they never really looked at it. 

Yesterday, Germany's State Constitutional Court ordered Berlin to hold new elections within 90 days, after problems in 2021, including long lines at the polling stations, polling stations running out of ballots, and delays causing voters to have to wait until after closing to vote. Some of these same problems and others happened in Maricopa Co. on election day 2022. Conspiracists might think it wasn't all incompetence in an election that Katie Hobbs oversaw statewide and in which Republicans were known to favor day-of voting. 

As a point of interest, Germany also:
-uses paper ballots only, no electronic voting
-allows mail-in voting only on request
-requires passport or photo ID card to vote
-hand counts ballots
-issues results on election night. 

All of the above about Germany is unimaginable in any blue or purple state in the U.S. currently. Obviously I'm of the opinion that Arizona's election laws need drastic overhaul, but no need to worry about that for the foreseeable future with Hobbs in office. 

Interestingly, the Hobbs campaign strategy conspicuously avoided debating Lake. This appears wise in hindsight and she's obviously experienced in running for office, so credit her for smarts if not courage. One wonders if it really could have hurt her, though. John Fetterman, the walking VAERS report running for senate in Pennsylvania, bowed to pressure and turned in what has to be the worst debate performance by a major candidate in modern political history and still managed to win. 


"Attractive, Winsome"
"Yep, "an ounce of appearence is worth a pound of performance."
A former Hispanic Republican Police Chief.

Yep them Germans are efficient minimalistic folks.
How about we just hone this down to a secret ballot by White Male Billionaire property owners and not bother the peasants.

Jon said. "I watched tensely"
I missed the tensely stuff i guess as havent watched tv for five years come January.
I was to busy reading the 100 Year Marathon. Thats when Sun Tzu puts the sword to the enemy.
But the fanitical fantasizing drama reminded me of Jake in Chinatown.
Olvidalo Jose es Arizona.

I'm just posting to say you're going to look like one of the biggest fools on the internet very soon, Jon.

Please continue :)

Jon7190, you and I agree on something! Katie Hobbs was right not to debate Kari Lake.

The best way to win a stupid game is to not play it in the first place.

Debates are kayfabe. If you're not familiar with the world of pro wrestling, kayfabe became the go-to word to describe the cultural space wrestling occupies. Wrestlers and other performers don't use the F-word (fake) because it diminishes the fact that despite being predetermined, pro wrestling is still an intensely athletic endeavor and performers who have to simulate fights to the death must also trust their lives in the hands of their opponents. Injuries (or worse) can and do happen.

Politics increasingly occupies a similarly spectacular realm. Debates are kayfabe in practice and should be treated with the same credence as a Raw or Smackdown match.

Debates aren't "real" in the sense that a candidate isn't bound to tell the truth or follow through on a campaign promise. Even journalists selected as moderators function like the commentators on a pro wrestling broadcast. They are in on the act but must still play it straight like it's an actual competition on the level.

Furthermore, much like pro wrestling, debates often hang on a "high spot" (a dazzling wrestling move designed to awe the crowd but more to move the action along than to finish the match). This could be a clever quip, like VP Harris's "Excuse me, I'm speaking", or a bit of theatrics like Herschel Walker flashing his Crackerjack box police badge.

This is for the benefit of the social-mediafication of politics. Create an out-of-context moment for your supporters to meme a clip with text usually following this convention: [My candidate] [violent action verb] [Opponent] at [context] or [Opponent] [abasing verb] themselves at [context].

Good on Katie Hobbs for not beclowning herself by debating Kari Lake.

David Gorski, a surgeon who fights the good fight against antivaxxers, medical quackery and pseudoscience, wrote a good explainer about why debates ought to be avoided. This pertains to challenges by antivaxxers, but it applies to most contexts where a debate challenge is thrown down.

https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/2022/02/07/debate-me-bros-in-the-age-of-covid-19-disinformation/

The subheadline: "Quacks, science deniers, and conspiracy theorists love to challenge doctors, scientists, and science communicators to “live public debates” over the science they deny. I just say no, and you should say no too if you are in a position to receive such a challenge."

Bobson,
I actually do agree with you on a lot of points about debates. Political debates are contrived and the short response times favor sound bites over substance and I rarely finish watching one and feel like any of the questions were fully addressed. I usually come away with an unsatisfied feeling and conclude that each side could see the same debate and feel that their candidate "won".

On the other hand, there are not really any other formats that offer voters an opportunity to see all the candidates at the same time and hear where they stand on various issues, however briefly. As flawed as they are, the debate gives people a feeling for the personality of a candidate, how they respond under pressure, their bearing, etc. A candidate that performs well in a debate is probably a good indicator of how effective he/she would be in persuading the public or other public figures once in office. That's an important quality in a leader. A debate is an imperfect way to get more information about a candidate than one could get from solo campaign appearances or friendly interviews.

Personally, I favor extended interviews with civil but occasionally hostile interviewers. This is a good way to see how people respond under pressure and also get to the real substance of what they believe. The Gorski article was good and gets into one of the areas I'm most passionate about, covid misinformation. He mentions Joe Rogan, without acknowledging that Rogan's longform format is ideal for what I'm talking about. Rogan doesn't generally interview politicians, but he does occasionally do adversarial interviews. The one he did with Dr. Sanjay Gupta last year on covid was a fantastic example of a civil but challenging interview.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/6rAgS1KiUvLRNP4HfUePpA

For better or worse, the debate has become a standard part of political campaigns. Voters expect it and I think reasonably interpret a candidate's refusal to debate as a lack of confidence in their abilities or policies. I modern candidate should be prepared to debate and if he/she doesn't want to, be willing to take the public image hit that goes with a refusal. One way to minimize the hit would be to do hostile interviews, but few politicians are willing to subject themselves to this.

Personally, I think Hobbs was well aware she would not come off well against Lake in a conventional debate and (correctly) put her trust in the Democrat's superiority in the mechanistic process of electioneering.

The case Gorski makes against debating vaccine skeptics sounds good. However, I think some of the same dynamics come into play as with politics. Establishment medical figures' refusal to engage with non-establishment contrarians makes them look like they think their ideas won't withstand a challenge. Is that more damaging to the image of mainstream medicine than giving skeptics legitimacy by debating them? They clearly don't think so, but I disagree. I think well spoken establishment figures would do well to engage skeptics (like Gupta did). Publicly and loudly offer to negotiate terms of the format. If they really don't want to do a political style "debate", they should publicly offer to let someone like Kirsch or Berenson interview whatever expert would be good at that one on one. If they don't want to engage with someone without relevant scientific credentials, challenge someone like Dr. Kory or Dr. McCullough to interview them. There are a lot of options besides saying "We're the experts, shut up and trust us, talk to the hand!"

Have you noticed that almost every communication coming out of the trump universe contains these two words: trump, donate.

There are so many "rubes" in MAGA world that I wish I could get the mailing list so that I could sell them shares in my Jackalope ranch.

@Jon7190: Personally, I think Hobbs was well aware she would not come off well against Lake in a conventional debate and (correctly) put her trust in the Democrat's superiority in the mechanistic process of electioneering.

You had me right until the fantasies of vote shenanigans.

Hobbs was what TV Tropes calls genre savvy. There was no way in hell she would stand a chance against a former anchorwoman, for whom TV was second nature.

(One of the more fascinating dissections I read about Kari Lake was the smoke and mirrors she used when she was being interviewed as a candidate by TV reporters, and once you see it you cannot unsee it.

1. Lake applied spray tan and had a soft-focus filter on the camera that was projecting her (those ring lights people used for Zoom calls have it) to give her a more youthful appearance. The differences are stark when you see video clips of her interviews and still press photos of her in appearances. High-definition don't lie.

2. Lake sat down by leaning slightly forward, to project height. (People have a bias toward taller people, associating them with being more authoritative. In televised debates, the winner is often perceived to be a taller candidate. And usually in presidential races, the taller candidate wins.)

3. Lake was also using footlighting with projector plates (those screens pro photographers use for portrait shoots or stills of food) or gels (these are translucent films that can be put over white lights, used in stage and motion picture filming) to accentuate warmth.

People have remarked that when Kari Lake gave an interview, it was hard to tell whether they are listening to a gubernatorial candidate or a skin care infomercial.

Hobbs can't be expected to know this stagecraft. This lack of knowledge gives Lake an edge, particularly when she is short on substance. Hobbs has won elections and has a political record to run on.

I don't fault Hobbs for being shrewd by avoiding a debate and losing by virtue of inferior stagecraft. (Politicians aren't naturally gifted orators; news anchors, on the other hand, aren't just shoved before a desk -- they spend years doing live standups as field reporters and have to think on their feet and ad lib).

As for your claims of electioneering in favor of Hobbs ... why though?

Who other than Democrats or people who hate Kari Lake would want Katie Hobbs to win?

The New York Times election site breaks down the vote by county. Hobbs did really well in and around Tucson, which has long been strongly Democratic. She also did well in Coconino, which is where Flagstaff is. Probably the influence of the university.

Lake did really well in western Arizona, around Kingman and the Colorado River area as well as Yuma. Lake did well everywhere outside of Tucson and Flagstaff, too.

It did come down to Maricopa County, and it was very close. It was Hobbs with about a 1% difference in the biggest county. This is also where both women are familiar. Hobbs works in downtown Phoenix and Lake was a television fixture.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/11/08/us/elections/results-arizona-governor.html

The count shows Hobbs ahead by about 25,000 votes. It's close enough that Lake could be entitled to a recount under Arizona law, but any errors in tabulations are only going to be hundreds of votes (among millions cast). She's not going to find 12,500 votes in her favor.

This doesn't show anything out of the ordinary for vote patterns in Arizona history. Also, if there was any particular reason to cheat Lake out of the governorship, wouldn't there be incentive for Democrats to take the legislative chambers too? GOP will still have the majority in the Legislature.

Whisper lite
White European mauraders Murderer about 90 percent of the folks previously living here.
Franklin, Yep!
Jon 7190, Yep tall good looking folks are smarter. Hobbs weakness is she is not capable of being a Con.
Weiss, legislature may be "razor thin" but the 12 Temple boys aint ready to let Arizona turn blue. WHITE is their dominant theme
Rukus, you got something up your sleeve.
Like a Doc Holiday Derringer?
Ruben, Rubes. Check out Greg Olear on Trump and Putin Rubes.
Dugnutts. Your post at 12:12 AM on the 18th was beyond my comprehension.
I checked with professor Moriarty in space 999 and he advised me to just to quit reading it and hang with the boys at the Yaqui campfire. But he did say it was brillant. For a Scientific Journal.

Bobson,

By electioneering, I don't necessarily mean illegality. Sorry for any confusion. I mean manipulation of the process to gain an advantage by any means feasible, and Democrats are much, much better at that than Republicans. I tried to make it clear in my first comment that I have not completely made up my mind what happened in AZ. I do not necessarily trust Democrats (or Republicans, either) to not break the law where there is opportunity, means, and motive, but I have not seen evidence of fraud to date. I have heard that monitors in the Maricopa counting center said things looked pretty above board there. I have also heard/read that there were significant problems at many polling places on election day. As I mentioned, ballot harvesting is a real concern.

If you recall some heated comment exchanges here post 2020 election, I thoroughly believe that there was substantial election fraud in at least PA, MI, GA, and NV. I am less certain about AZ , WI and others. The pattern of taking days and days to count ballots until the Democratic candidate eeks out a win is naturally suspicion-arousing, especially after 2020. It practically causes PTSD in some folks. Lots of people are grousing about the 2022 election being stolen in AZ, but I am not one of them. I would prefer to wait until more data comes in before jumping to that conclusion.

As you point out, blue areas voted blue, red areas voted red and it comes down to a small percentage of other votes. No mysteries there, but it's the 1% that matters. If there were to be any shenanigans, it would be in relatively small numbers just sufficient enough to sway the results. My main point is that Democrats are masters at using the process, legally, to move the needle those small percentages where needed. I just don't have automatic trust that anybody, D or R, is above using illegal means to move that needle just a little bit more if they have to. That's why I believe we need the transparency that we fought for and couldn't get in 2020.

Definitely agree that recounts never change the result.

I'm not sure how your point about stagecraft used in an interview applies to a debate. The opportunities are equal in a debate and every sophisticated campaign does everything in their power to make their candidate look better in that setting (or any setting).

PS, regardless of the BS i posted above.
At 82 and my life experiences,
I'm well aware of the psychological effects of Tallness in the public arena.

Its good to have Rogue back after the latest earthly plague. Its my entertainment.

Re, Covid. I got it. I know many that it killed. I have a friend thats had it 4 times. Its here to stay.

As is the desert wind that killed the First Sons.

Jon7190,
U might consider going to Ground.
The Towers appear to move one away from reality.
Maybe a Yaqui Shaman.

Note: i miss dudes like Generals George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower.
Its been pretty pathetic since IKE left office.
Likely those since have been indicted criminals

It’s going to be a rough two years, the next election has already begun.

Should have been
"Indictable" criminals

Yes,the old sane, deeply principled Republican Guard of old Phoenix. One can hardly forget them for their contribution to creating the ugly dystopia of modern Maricopa County. Why keep pretending Goldwater and his brother Bob were anything but two-bit racketeers (Arrowhead Ranch, Moe Dalitz, Peter Licavoli,inside knowledge of the CAP project,is there something else you need?) Should we be grateful to Ronald Reagan (former President of the Actor's guild because actors are just better than regular people)for initiating the goals outlined in the Powell Memo by destroying Labor to please Capital? Why appease Republicans by sugar-coating the the smarmy history of who they've become in the past half-century?

@Jon7190: I'm not sure how your point about stagecraft used in an interview applies to a debate. The opportunities are equal in a debate and every sophisticated campaign does everything in their power to make their candidate look better in that setting (or any setting).

Stagecraft negates the essence of debate, to defend ideas and rebut them.

Political debates are kayfabe much in the same way pro wrestling maintains the pretensions of sports. The big difference, and why the modal pro wrestling fan is marginally more savvy, if not intelligent, than the modal voter, is that the pro wrestling fan knows the product is a work. The modal voter watches a debate and thinks "It's still real to me, dammit!"

Kari Lake didn't want that kind of debate. Like many alt-rights, she identifies with the sentiment that "meme magic is real" and telegenic looks help her crazy statements and antics go down easy with voters.

Fortunately, Katie Hobbs and/or her campaign staff were hip to the game and turned a refusal to debate into an advantage by denying Lake and the political press a narrative to use against her.

It does make me nervous that the crazy line was just 1%, and that line runs right through the largest region in Arizona. Elsewhere, the big sort was in action -- all counties outside of Maricopa had margins of at least 10% separating Hobbs and Lake.

It does seem to track with Maricopa County's priors. It's probably the largest and most important purple county in the country. There are two Democratic U.S. senators and a governor, but underneath that, the county has 8 House delegates and they appear to be split 4/4 Democrat and GOP. All county executive positions are Republican, except for the Democratic sheriff. (I am unfamiliar with Arizona's state legislative districts and haven't done a partisan split analysis. Wikipedia hasn't completed its section but shows the state House is 31/29 GOP:Democrat and Senate 16/14 GOP:Democrat but that was going into Nov. 8.)

Jon7190, do you want fair and honest elections? It sounds counterintuitive, but the way to accomplish that is ... to make voting easier.

Do you fear voting machines could be hacked or manipulated by elections officials or the machine manufacturers? I don't blame you.

You know how West Coast states get around this fear? Make voting by mail the primary balloting mechanism.

You can't hack paper. :)

Washington State and Oregon have long had voting by mail. California took the big leap by implementing a voting by mail regime due to the pandemic and the state's strict physical distancing guidelines (California did continue to offer in-person voting as an option, however).

It turns out that voting by mail proved so popular that it's become permanent. Every registered voter now gets a ballot by mail by default. The packet contains instructions on how you can get an email or a text that will alert you when your county has received your returned ballot and verified your signature. If your ballot is rejected, you can call to receive a new one or be instructed to vote in person.

The mailed ballot is very legible and requires blue or black ink and is a fill-in-the-bubble ballot. Not filling in the bubble, using another color ink, or using pencils will spoil your ballot. (When people claim "irregularities" or votes being "thrown away," they probably mean a spoiled vote, which means no vote is counted. Irregularity means vote counters cannot ascertain the voter's intent and need to review it with supervisors, but the vote could still be counted. Also, ballots are never physically thrown away because a paper trail needs to be maintained to ensure a fair and accurate count.)

Voting by mail also gives an added layer of anti-fraud protection, as ballots come under jurisdiction of the US Postal Inspection Service, so tampering could entail federal charges in addition to state charges.

Election Day has really become two election months; ballots go out one month before Election Day and county election officials have about one month after Election Day to certify vote tabulations. You can thank/blame Donald Trump for this; the lengthy vote-counting process was done because of the motivation for Trump to declare victory upon the closing of polls to shut down vote counting or to delegitimize the voting process by claiming the tabulations are rigged.

For instance, when Gov. Gavin Newsom faced a recall election in 2021 and polling showed that he was going to survive it, talk radio host Larry Elder's campaign had a prepared statement to claim Democrats had rigged the voting. Unfortunately, the statement got leaked to the press days before voting had begun. So, there is a sustained voter disinformation effort that is now become part of a political playbook.

The lengthy vote tabulations avoid this by letting election officials conduct careful counts without hurrying to an outcome. This is also to the benefit of small, rural counties in the Sierra Nevadas as well as the sparsely populated communities in California's central valley and coast, who'll probably vote Republican. There are also issues of getting ballots of military voters housed in California but deployed.

Biden-Feinstein 2024

She would make Biden appear young.

2024 tag team for president and vp?
Sinema would make Manchin appear sexy and not like a lump of WV COAL

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