Category Archives: Elections

Race Capitalism Justice

Source: Boston Review, Forum I, 2017
(subscription required)

Walter Johnson, Harvard historian and author of the acclaimed River of Dark Dreams, urges us to embrace a vision of justice attentive to the history of slavery—not through the lens of human rights, but instead through an honest accounting of how slavery was the foundation of capitalism, a legacy that continues to afflict people of color and the poor. Inspired by Cedric J. Robinson’s work on racial capitalism, as well as Black Lives Matter and its forebears—including the black radical tradition, the Black Panthers, South African anti-apartheid struggles, and organized labor—contributors to this volume offer a critical handbook to racial justice in the age of Trump.

States of Change: Demographic Change, Representation Gaps, and Challenges to Democracy, 1980–2060

Source: Rob Griffin, William H. Frey, and Ruy Teixeira, Center for American Progress, February 17, 2017

….Historically, our political institutions have struggled to represent a society that is demographically different than its electorate. The systematic disenfranchisement of women and communities of color, for example, contributed to a public policy process that ignored and underserved large portions of the population. Functionally, they created what we will refer to as representation gaps—the difference between the percentage of voters who belong to a given group and the percentage of the whole population that belong to that same group. While an electorate that resembles the general population is no guarantee of a representative polity, we believe it creates conditions favorable to one.

Representational gaps such as these persist in modern America politics. They are obviously different in size and arise as the result of different processes, but the problems they induce are similar. Given their continued existence, the goal of this report is as follows:
– Document the representation gaps we have observed along age, education, gender, and race lines over the last several decades.
– Predict what those gaps might look like going into the future using the best available demographic projections and turnout data.
– Facilitate a conversation about the representational challenges the United States is likely to face in the coming decades and what solutions might work best to confront them.

Our analysis finds the white overrepresentation and minority underrepresentation has been a defining feature of American politics for decades. In fact, we may currently be at peak levels of both overrepresentation and underrepresentation. We also find that white overrepresentation is likely to decline in the future, as underrepresentation of Latinos and Asians declines significantly due to projected increases in citizenship among these groups. This trend will be especially noticeable in states that currently have the highest white representation gaps, such as Arizona, California, and Texas. By 2060, we expect the states with the highest white representation gaps to be interior states, such as Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming…..

The Anti-Inauguration: A Free Ebook

Source: Jacobin, Verso, & Haymarket 2017

Just a few hours after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a thousand people joined Jacobin, Verso Books, and Haymarket Books at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, for “The Anti-Inauguration,” a night of discussion on how Donald Trump came to win the election, how we can resist him, and what kind of future we should be fighting for. The line to get in stretched down an alley and around the block; people were actually outside scalping tickets for a free socialist event. The night featured speeches from Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Anand Gopal, and Owen Jones. Their speeches are collected in The Anti-Inauguration: Building resistance in the Trump era, a free ebook from Jacobin, Verso, Haymarket.

Featuring Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Anand Gopal, and Owen Jones on resisting Trump’s agenda and building the future we need.

Forum – Trump: A Resister’s Guide

Source: Harper’s Magazine, February 2017

We have a new president who is also a new kind of president. Our previous chief executives — at least those of the post–World War II era — were not in the business of outright bigotry and misogyny. Nor did they make common cause with white supremacists, boast about sexual assault, or threaten to jail their opponents. Nor did they openly deride and undermine the traditions and institutions that it is the president’s duty to uphold. Donald Trump is different. Since he was elected in November, many Americans have struggled to assimilate our changed reality, the radical discontinuity that his victory represents. It has been a long winter, a season of fear, grief, and, perhaps above all, rage — a feeling compounded by its seeming futility. “Impotent hatred is the worst of all emotions,” Goethe said. “One should hate nobody whom one cannot destroy.” As a once-unthinkable Trump presidency gets under way, it is time to recognize that we are not as impotent as we may have felt — that even if we cannot destroy Trump, we can resist his primitive vision to the best of our abilities. There are no guarantees that we will succeed, but, as the writers in this forum all make clear, not to try would be a dereliction. A new kind of president demands a new kind of citizen.

Articles include:
Terms of Engagement
by Tim Barker
Tim Barker is a doctoral student in history at Harvard and an editor-at-large of Dissent.

Letter to Silicon Valley
by Kate Crawford
Kate Crawford is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, a visiting professor at MIT, and a senior research fellow at NYU.

Libidinal Politics
by Katrina Forrester
Katrina Forrester teaches history at Queen Mary University of London.

Hymn to Harm City
by Lawrence Jackson
Lawrence Jackson’s fourth book, Chester B. Himes: A Biography, will be published this summer.

Terrorist and Alien
by Nimmi Gowrinathan and Valeria Luiselli
Valeria Luiselli is the author of the novel The Story of My Teeth (2015) and the essay collection Sidewalks (2013).
Nimmi Gowrinathan is a professor and the director of the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative at the City College of New York.

The Dream of the Enemy
by Corey Robin
Corey Robin, a professor at Brooklyn College, is the author of Fear (2006) and The Reactionary Mind (2011).

Lessons From the Last Fight
by Sarah Schulman
Sarah Schulman is the author of eighteen books, most recently Conflict Is Not Abuse (2016).

Democracy How?
by Celina Su
Celina Su is the Marilyn J. Gittell Chair in Urban Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

In End Time
by Simone White
Simone White is the author of two volumes of poetry, including Of Being Dispersed (2016).

American Nightmare
by Wesley Yang
Wesley Yang is at work on his first book.

Resistance Manual

Source: Stay Woke, 2017

This Wiki is a collective resource, a hub of knowledge and resources to help you resist Trump’s agenda. Add new issues or make additions to any page on this site. Quality submissions will be reviewed and published here.

Topics include:
Trump / GOP Policy Agenda
Obamacare / ACA
Policing
Immigration
Voting Rights
Mass Incarceration
Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
Housing and Infrastructure
Women’s Rights / Reproductive Justice
LGBTQ Equality
Educational Justice
Muslim Ban / Registry
Consumer / Financial Protections
Climate / Environment

Essential Readings
find articles, curricula, and other readings in resistance

State and Local Pages
find info on issues, elections, and resources in your state and city

Political Issues
Political Appointments
Executive Actions
Elections
Trump Endorsers and Influencers
Corruption
Russia/Hacking
Mass Surveillance
Media Normalization
Societal Consequences of Trumpism
Institutional Racism

Resources
Crisis Resources
Tools of Resistance
People and Organizations
Upcoming Events/Opportunities

Are third-party candidates spoilers? What voting data reveal

Source: Daniel P. Franklin, Abigail C. Bowen, Judd Thornton, The Conversation, January 18, 2017

…..[W]e decided to test the notion that third-party candidates increase turnout in presidential elections.

To start, we collected voter turnout data going back to the election of 1868. That election was the first after the Civil War and represents the earliest days of the modern two-party system.

We looked at how voter turnout interacted with the voting performance of third-party candidacies. We took into consideration the expansion of the voting franchise through the 15th Amendment, which granted universal male suffrage; the 19th Amendment, which extended the vote to women; the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18; and the Voting Rights Act. We also compensated for historical and demographic trends.

We found that not only do third-party candidacies fail to increase turnout, they are actually associated with a statistically significant reduction in turnout. Put simply, fewer people vote in elections in which third-party candidates receive a substantial portion of the vote…..

One in Five Female Clinton Voters Say Husband or Partner Didn’t Vote

Source: Betsy Cooper, Daniel Cox, Rachel Lienesch, Robert P. Jones, PRRI/The Atlantic Survey, December 1, 2016

“Consistent with reported voting patterns in 2012, more than six in ten (63%) voters said they voted on Election Day, compared to 37% who reported voting earlier. There were no significant voting pattern differences between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Among eligible voters who did not cast a ballot, the most frequently reported reason was negative feelings about the candidates (36%). Nearly one-quarter (23%) of eligible nonvoters said they did not have enough time to get to a polling location, and a similar number (21%) reported they did not vote because they were not registered. Roughly one in ten (11%) eligible nonvoters said they did not vote because they believe the election system is rigged. Clinton had less success than Trump in converting supporters into actual voters. Only about three-quarters (76%) of registered voters who reported that they were supporting or leaning towards Clinton in late September and early October reported actually casting a ballot for her. In contrast, 84% of those who reported they were supporting Trump ahead of the election said they voted for him. There were few defections on either side, with only 2% of early Clinton supporters turning to vote for Trump and 2% of early Trump supporters casting a ballot for Clinton. However, voters who supported Clinton ahead of the election were nearly twice as likely as those supporting Trump ahead of the election to report that they did not cast a ballot in the 2016 election (13% vs. 7%, respectively)…”
Related:
Press Release
Topline Questionnaire

Financial Insecurity and the Election of Donald Trump

Source: Diana Elliott and Emma Kalish, Urban Institute, December 16, 2016

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election caught many by surprise, considering the projections in the lead-up to November 8. In the wake of the election, media outlets and pundits have made assertions about which voters drove the election and what motivated their choices.

One of the primary narratives to emerge has been that financial insecurity drove the election results. Was this election about the frustrations of working-class white voters and their increasingly precarious economic status? Or is the explanation grounded in voters’ demographic characteristics, including race and ethnicity, age, and educational attainment?

Data may shed some light on the answers. We looked at county-by-county election results and voters’ financial and demographic characteristics and found that financial insecurity—as measured by credit scores—did not drive voting preferences. The perception of financial insecurity, however, may have been quite important. Before the election, the most favorable ratings of Trump were held by those with the most anxiety about their finances, regardless of income or local economic conditions.

Our analysis considered not only income, but also other components of financial security, including families’ access to credit and their wealth-building potential. Financial security is also intertwined with families’ economic context, like job opportunities and access to homeownership. All these factors paint a more complex picture of Americans’ financial lives than has been portrayed in the postelection narrative.

Among the 55 counties (or county equivalents) with residents with the highest average credit scores (720 and above), Hillary Clinton won just four of them: Falls Church, Virginia (with an average credit score of 729); San Juan County, Washington (722); Cook County, Minnesota (721); and Washington County, Minnesota (720). High credit scores are associated with long, successful credit histories and bills paid on time and are implicit markers of financial security and stability over a lifetime…..

County-Level Presidential General Election Results for 2012 – 2016

Source: The Guardian and townhall.com, 2016

2012 election results at county-level are taken from results published in an Excel file by the Guardian.
2016 election results at the county-level are scraped from results published by Townhall.com. Their well-formatted county-level result tables for the 2016 presidential general election makes it easy for a web scraper like beautifulsoup to capture results.