Category Archives: Politics

The Progressive Labor Platform is Popular

Source: Kevin Reuning, C. M. Lewis, Data for Progress and Strikewave, October 3, 2019

From the summary:
Data for Progress surveyed key components of Bernie Sanders’s “Workplace Democracy Plan” and Elizabeth Warren’s “Empowering American Workers and Raising Wages” and found that the platform’s policies are broadly supported by voters. The policies tend to have broad support from Democrats, but many also have net positive support among independents and Republicans. In addition, we find that there is a potential key bloc of voters that either did not vote in 2016 or voted for Trump that support components of the platform, making them potential targets for 2020 election efforts. One caveat is important: many of these policies also showed high rates of voters having no strong opinion, meaning the numbers could change.

The highlights:
– A federal “Just Cause” law, which would radically change employee-employer relations and is included in Sanders’s plan, is somewhat or strongly supported by 56 percent of voters and opposed by 30 percent of voters. Even among Republicans, “Just Cause” is two percent underwater (42 percent support, 44 percent oppose).
– Expanding federally protected union rights to farm and domestic workers has bipartisan support and is included in both plans. Democrats support it at 66 percent to 21 percent, and Republicans support it at 41 percent to 38 percent.
– A ban on forced arbitration, which is included in Warren’s plan, is supported by 45 percent of voters and opposed by only 27 percent.

No Rage Against the Machines: Threat of Automation Does Not Change Policy Preferences

Source: Baobao Zhang, MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2019-25, September 16, 2019

From the abstract:
Labor-saving technology has already decreased employment opportunities for middle-skill workers. Experts anticipate that advances in AI and robotics will cause even more significant disruptions in the labor market over the next two decades. This paper presents three experimental studies that investigate how this profound economic change could affect mass politics. Recent observational studies suggest that workers’ exposure to automation risk predicts their support not only for redistribution but also for right-wing populist policies and candidates. Other observational studies, including my own, find that workers underestimate the impact of automation on their job security. Misdirected blame towards immigrants and workers in foreign countries, rather than concerns about workplace automation, could be driving support for right-wing populism. To correct American workers’ beliefs about the threats to their jobs, I conducted three survey experiments in which I informed workers about the existent and future impact of workplace automation. While these informational treatments convinced workers that automation threatens American jobs, they failed to change respondents’ preferences on welfare, immigration, and trade policies. My research finds that raising awareness about workplace automation did not decrease opposition to globalization or increase support for policies that will prepare workers for future technological disruptions.

2020 Presidential Election Mode

Source: Mark Zandi, Regional Financial Review, September 2019
(subscription required)

The economy may not be top of mind for voters in every election, but it is hardly ever further than a close second. This is the principle underpinning Moody’s Analytics presidential election models. Our state-level approach has an impressive, though no longer perfect, track record. In 2016, our models failed to correctly predict the Electoral College vote for the first time. We have retooled our approach with the aim of putting together a prediction for the 2020 election.

Now Is a Good Time for Working People to Get Involved in Politics: An Interview with Liliana Rivera Baiman

Source: Meagan Day, Jacobin, September 27, 2019

Liliana Rivera Baiman is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a working mother, an immigrant, and a community and union organizer who’s running for city council in Columbus, Ohio.

Jacobin’s Meagan Day spoke to Baiman about the power of a city council to fight for workers and unions, Baiman’s experience growing up in a co-op village in Mexico, how the labor movement activated her politically, and what working-class people deserve…..

20 Young People Explain How They Identify Politically and Why

Source: Teen Vogue, Across the Aisle, October 1, 2019

We aren’t born political animals. Figuring out a political belief system is something that takes time, and it’s a process deeply influenced by how our families talk (or don’t talk) about politics; the environments and historical moments in which we grow up; and the information we consume. Teen Vogue surveyed 20 people between ages 16-24 about how they identify politically and why. Here’s what they had to say.
Related:
Gen Z Is The Most Progressive — and Least Partisan — Generation
Source: Lauren Young, Teen Vogue, Across the Aisle, October 2, 2019

…..But in the decade since 2008, younger voters across the ideological spectrum have become more liberal and Generation Z is among the most progressive and diverse in the country’s history. On issues like sexism, racism, homophobia, and bigotry, research suggests that Generation Z has adapted a worldview that embraces more diverse viewpoints. As the country gears up for the 2020 elections, this shift by the Gen Z voters who, along with millennials, outvoted older generations in both the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterms, would seem to be a definitive boost for Democrats. But there is another important way Gen Z is setting themselves apart from previous generations and making their mark on 2020.

According to a Pew Research Center report prior to the 2016 election, 50% of young adults self-identified as political independents, although they were much more likely than older generations to hold liberal views on a variety of social and political issues. A poll conducted by the nonpartisan Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) among voters ages 18–24 shortly before the 2018 midterms found that while 56.4% of young people “chose to affiliate with” either the Democratic or Republican political parties, one-third, or 33.1%, identified as Independents — nearly as many as the 35.5% of young people who identified as Democrats and significantly more than the 20.9% who identified as Republicans…..

Tired of Two Parties? Here Are Seven Alternatives
Libertarians and Working Families and Prohibition, Oh My!
Source: Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, Across the Aisle, October 2, 2019

….As the 2020 presidential election kicks into high gear, with debate bingo cards and drinking games making the rounds, it’s easy to feel like there are only two sides: Democrat or Republican.

The reality is that even though the donkey and elephant are the two major players, there are dozens of political parties throughout the country — from the Green Party to more obscure alternatives like the Mountain Party.

What may keep them from the spotlight shone on the two major political parties? Money, infrastructure, and access to the ballot.

….

Partisan divide creates different Americas, separate lives

Source: Robert B. Talisse, The Conversation, September 20, 2019

….It turns out that people’s physical communities, surroundings and lifestyles can be their own form of an echo chamber. This separation is so complete that it includes not only the communities and neighborhoods where people live, but also where people shop and what brands they buy, what sort of work they do, where they worship, what sorts of vacations they take and even how they decorate their homes…..

Trends in State-Level Opinions toward the Affordable Care Act

Source: Julianna Pacheco; Elizabeth Maltby, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Volume 44, Issue 5, October 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Context:
This article argues that the devolution of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the states contributed to the slow progression of national public support for health care reform.

Methods:
sing small-area estimation techniques, the authors measured quarterly state ACA attitudes on five topics from 2009 to the start of the 2016 presidential election.

Findings:
Public support for the ACA increased after gubernatorial announcement of state-based exchanges. However, the adoption of federal or partnership marketplaces had virtually no effect on public opinion of the ACA and, in some cases, even decreased positive perceptions.

Conclusions:
The authors’ analyses point to the complexities in mass preferences toward the ACA and policy feedback more generally. The slow movement of national ACA support was due partly to state-level variations in policy making. The findings suggest that, as time progresses, attitudes in Republican-leaning states with state-based marketplaces will become more positive toward the ACA, presumably as residents begin to experience the positive effects of the law. More broadly, this work highlights the importance of looking at state-level variations in opinions and policies.

Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote

Source: Leadership Conference Education Fund, 2019

From the summary:
The surge in voting changes at the state and local level after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision catalyzed a systemic examination of poll closures and other seemingly innocuous changes that could have negatively impacted voters of color. In 2016, The Leadership Conference Education Fund identified 868 polling place closures in formerly Section 5 jurisdictions in our initial report, The Great Poll Closure. This report, Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote, is both an update to — and a major expansion of — our original publication.

Our first report drew on a sample of fewer than half of the approximately 860 counties or county-equivalents that were once covered by Section 5. This report covers an expanded data set of 757 counties. What’s more, the 2016 report relied on voluntary reports of aggregate numbers of polling places that state election officials gave to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. This report relies largely on independent counts of polling places from public records requests and publicly available polling place lists.

In this report, we found 1,688 polling place closures between 2012 and 2018, almost double the 868 closures found in our 2016 report. Additionally, Democracy Diverted analyzes the reduction of polling places in the formerly covered Section 5 jurisdictions in the years between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. We found 1,173 fewer polling places in 2018 — despite a significant increase in voter turnout. To understand the discriminatory impact of these closures, we analyzed how voters of color were impacted at the precinct level. This analysis — precisely the kind that the U.S. Department of Justice conducted under preclearance — takes time and resources. Our hope is that journalists, advocates, and voters will use this county-level polling place data to scrutinize the impact of poll closures in their communities, to understand their impact on voters of color, and to create a fairer and more just electoral system for all.

Data Note: A Look At Swing Voters Leading Up To The 2020 Election

Source: Ashley Kirzinger, Audrey Kearney, Mollyann Brodie, Charlie Cook, and Amy Walter, Kasier Family Foundation, Issue Brief, September 5, 2019

Findings:
More than one year out from the general election, there are many factors that could influence voters’ decisions to either vote for President Trump or the Democratic nominee or even stay home on November 3, 2020. These factors include the characteristics of the eventual Democratic nominee, views of President Trump, and how motivated voters are feeling about the election. The latest analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in collaboration with the Cook Political Report, finds that while a large share of voters are already firm about how they plan to vote in the 2020 presidential election (63%), there is a still a substantial share (30%) who say they have not made their minds up. With three in ten votes still up for grabs, this data note examines the demographics of swing voters: those who either report that they are undecided about their vote in 2020 or are leaning towards a candidate but haven’t made up their minds yet. It also explores the policy issues that could swing these voters to vote for either President Trump or the Democratic nominee.

Why the Right Hates Voting Rights: An Interview With Ari Berman

Source: Luke Savage, Jacobin, September 6, 2019

Conservatives in the United States know they can’t win on a level playing field — so they’ve started rigging the electoral rules in their favor, democracy be damned.

When the Republican Party recaptured the House in the 2010 midterm elections, it marked not only the end of a relatively brief period of Democratic control but also the beginning of a wider offensive against voting rights that has been underway ever since. By capturing key statehouses in 2010 and in the years that followed, Republicans have been increasingly able to tilt the electoral process in their favor — a strategy that has profoundly affected the results of recent elections and was one of the major backdrops to Donald Trump’s surprise Electoral College victory in 2016.

Jacobin’s Luke Savage sat down with Mother Jones senior reporter Ari Berman to discuss the history of gerrymandering and voter suppression — and the considerable impact both continue to have on the course of US politics.