Prediction game: How well will the Green Party do this year?

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What will be the Green Party ticket's share of the national popular vote for President in the official tally?

With the presidential nominees set, we can compare our predictions for how the Green Party ticket (Howie Hawkins-Angela Walker) will fare, expressed as a percentage of the popular vote in the official count. This poll is offered for entertainment value only, because it’s about predictions, not preferences. If you feel a need to share the startling revelation that you won’t be voting for Biden, go ahead, but be aware that it’s off-topic.  The topic is the comparison of our guesses about what will happen. The prediction is about the official count. If the Greens participated in the nationally televised debates and were treated fairly by the corporate media, they would presumably get more votes. The number they actually get won’t necessarily be reported accurately in the official count. For a comparison of predictions to be meaningful, everyone must be answering the same question. I’m most interested in the official count because it’s the one that (a) can be known with certainty and (b) will determine eligibility for public funding in the 2024 general election.

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  • At least five percent so as to qualify for public funding in 2024
  • Less than five percent but more than any previous Green candidate (current leader: Nader 2000, at 2.74 percent)
  • Less than Nader 2000 but more than 1.17 percent for clear second (current second place: Stein 2016, at 1.07 percent)
  • Within a tenth of a point either way of Stein 2016 (0.97 percent to 1.17 percent)
  • Less than Stein 2016 (below 0.97 percent)
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    • #352606
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      Paragraphing in my explanatory text got lost, at least on my screen, so here’s the text in more readable form.

      With the presidential nominees set, we can compare our predictions for how the Green Party ticket (Howie Hawkins-Angela Walker) will fare, expressed as a percentage of the popular vote in the official count.

      This poll is offered for entertainment value only, because it’s about predictions, not preferences. If you feel a need to share the startling revelation that you won’t be voting for Biden, go ahead, but be aware that it’s off-topic.  The topic is the comparison of our guesses about what will happen.

      The prediction is about the official count. If the Greens participated in the nationally televised debates and were treated fairly by the corporate media, they would presumably get more votes. The number they actually get won’t necessarily be reported accurately in the official count. For a comparison of predictions to be meaningful, everyone must be answering the same question.

      I’m most interested in the official count because it’s the one that (a) can be known with certainty and (b) will determine eligibility for public funding in the 2024 general election.

    • #352616
      game meat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,533

      I figure Howie Hawkins will do worse than Jill Stein.

      Stein had more public visibility in 2016 than Hawkins does, at least at this point. She managed to get enough publicity and television time to at least be known to voters back in 2016. Hawkins? I confess that I’d never heard of him before he became the Green Party nominee. In fact, it just dawned on me right now that I’ve never actually seen him before, so I just looked him up right now. Ok, he seems like an alright guy in a professorial kind of way. Cool, I guess. Of course, this may just be a testament to my astounding ignorance, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume he has less of a presence in the public consciousness than Stein did in 2016.

      Also, third parties tend to do worse when there is an incumbent in office. Perot 96 and Nader 04 both experienced a loss of support. Even if Stein were to be the Green party nominee again, she would probably underperform relative to 2016.

      I know how touchy (heh) everyone gets about these topics, so I’m adding the disclaimer that I don’t care who anyone is voting for. Vote for Biden, Trump, Greens, or write in the ghost of Eugene Debs for all I care. Cheers!

    • #352627
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,888

      First, the Green Party simply isn’t on the ballot in as many states as in 2016. They rely on petitions for ballot access in many states, and the pandemic has simply killed that tactic to get on the ballot. In Ohio, for example, Howie Hawkins is only a write-in candidate unless Governor Mike DeWine intervenes, which is about as likely as an asteroid strike.

      Second, Jill Stein at least got some publicity and media exposure. Howie Hawkins doesn’t seem to be able to do that.

      Third, polls consistently show that more people are definitely going to vote for either Trump or Biden than they were for Hillary or Donald at this time in 2016. I see no reason why that will change.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #352634
      mmonk
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 904

      Democrats have unleashed their largest campaign during our current coronavirus situation to take Greens off the ballot nationwide. Forget your down ballot candidates. Due to that party’s effort, there is little chance I will vote for any one of them. Quid pro quo.

      Fear not the path of Truth for the lack of People walking on it. - RFK

    • #352638
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,888

      @mmonk

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #352649
      gordyfl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,857

      Jill Stein got more media exposure than Hawkins, and there is only two months to go. Maybe, many of the voters who left the president ‘blank’ in 2016 will vote Green this time. Maybe not.

       

    • #352650
      srobert
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 58

      I think they will do worse than in 2016 for some of the reasons cited by others here.

      In 2024 if the progressives would like to have an influence through the Green party they should IMHO:

        <li style=”–original-color: #333333; –original-background-color: #ffffff;”>Get a high profile “celebrity” candidate to run in the Green party. When I say celebrity, don’t think of Hollywood know-nothings. Think of someone who has actually held office, perhaps as a Democrat, or been politically involved before in a high profile way. Someone like Jesse Ventura. I think Tulsi Gabbard could serve in this way very effectively.

      1. Get on the ballot in 50 states. This is important. You can’t write-in votes in some places.
      2. Understand that the Green party is mostly a place where disaffected progressives will register a protest vote. Don’t get delusional about the Green party candidate becoming President.
      3. The Green party nominee will offer to drop out of the race if the Democrats nominate a progressive, or at least if the Democratic candidate will adopt at least some substantial portion of the progressive agenda. Make clear that if they don’t do that the Green party nominee might serve as a spoiler.

       

    • #352659
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @gamemeat

      Many progressives have two objectives with their vote. They’d like to express their view that the Democratic nominee is too conservative, but they’d also like to do their part to give the office to that Democrat because the only realistic alternative is a truly horrible Republican, who’s far worse.

      The biggest problem the Green Party has, in a simple first-past-the-post system with no IRV, is that those voters can’t do both things with one vote. As a result, many who are ideologically closer to the Greens vote for a conservative Democrat, because he or she is the only candidate with a chance to defeat the horrible Republican.

      In response, part of the Green Party’s pitch is that there’s no significant difference between the two major parties. That pitch falls apart with a Republican in office. Yes, there are a few diehards (well represented on JPR) who look at the Republican incumbent’s record and see no partisan difference, but most people on the left disagree. Hence, Republican incumbency depresses the Green vote.

      You write that

      third parties tend to do worse when there is an incumbent in office. Perot 96 and Nader 04 both experienced a loss of support.

      The first Green run was in 1996, so the Greens experienced no loss of support that year. In 2000 the Greens gained vis-a-vis 1996, partly because, after eight years of Bill Clinton, memories of Republican depredations were weaker and dissatisfaction with the Democrats was more salient in voters’ minds. In 2004 and 2008, with a Republican incumbent, the Greens had the worst results of their history (0.10% and 0.12% respectively).

      In 2012, there was an incumbent on the ballot (Obama seeking re-election). Contrary to your hypothesis, however, the Greens did not experience a loss of support. Instead, their vote almost tripled. The situation was like that in 2000 with a Democratic incumbent.

      I think 2020 will be like 2004 and 2008, the only other times that the Green Party has run with a Republican in the White House. In those years, Bush’s record persuaded many progressives that the goal of ousting the Republicans had to be the top priority.  Trump will have the same effect.

      Stein 2012 (with a Democratic incumbent) got 0.36%. Even without the pandemic, I think Hawkins would fall short of that mark.  I agree with @ohiobarbarian that the difficulty of petitioning will further reduce the Green vote.  I had thought that Hawkins might get a small boost from the use of IRV in Maine, but it won’t be used in this year’s Presidential race.  (It’s still in place for the U.S. Senate and House races.)

    • #352682
      JonLP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,496

      In 2016 there was a bunch of Hillary haters who don’t realize Biden is very much similar politically if not more conservative.

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

      Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

    • #352686
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,544

      @jimlane

      Hi jl,

      Voter shaming will do one no good and who are you to tell this voter what opinion can be expressed.

      As to the poll, it matters not the percentages.

      Every Green vote is a vote against Fascism – either Biden/Harris or Trump/Pence.

      TAT

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
      - John F. Kennedy

      "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
      - George Orwell

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      "Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
      - Idries Shah

      "A riot is the language of the unheard."
      - Martin Luther King

    • #352706
      Two way street
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,194

      VOTE THIRD PARTY

      AND AGAINST

      THE SHITHOLE DUOPOLY

      Third party people’s movements and political parties could join forces.  This is my opinion.  Making predictions is a part of the science of Social Studies which is mainly art.

      2020-2024 Campaign Season: We the People are in the fight for our lives and livelihoods.

    • #352708
      rampart
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 589

      but jill stein was very impressive, and ralph nader an american hero.

      the greens need to elect a few mayors and state legislators, i think.

       

    • #352711
      jbnw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,740

      It doesn’t mean that’s a vote for either R or D – just that it doesn’t mean the disaffected will choose Green over R or D, another candidate, or choosing to leave the vote for President empty.

    • #352740
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @thouartthat

      What I wrote: “ If you feel a need to share the startling revelation that you won’t be voting for Biden, go ahead….”

      What you claim: “who are you to tell this voter what opinion can be expressed.”

      You’ll note I expressly disclaimed any attempt to restrict what opinion could be expressed.

      I went on to express my opinion that denouncing Joe Biden would be off topic in this thread.  Like you, I have the right to express opinions.

    • #352762
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,544

      @jimlane

      Hi jl,

      Thank you for verifying my post was on point.

      TAT

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
      - John F. Kennedy

      "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
      - George Orwell

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      "Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
      - Idries Shah

      "A riot is the language of the unheard."
      - Martin Luther King

    • #352831
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,888

      @thouartthat , I don’t see @jimlane vote-shaming anyone on this thread. He was asking only whether we thought how Howie Hawkins will do in 2020 compared to how Jill Stein did in 2016. IOW, he’s just doing a political science exercise and nothing more. There is no vote-shaming being done here.

      Whatever he might have said that pissed you or me or anyone else off in other topics is irrelevant.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #352835
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,544

      @ohiobarbarian

      Hi ob,

      He was explicit that sharing opinions was not welcome.

      On an political opinion board that is tantamount to telling people to “shut up” i.e. his way or the highway.

      TAT

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
      - John F. Kennedy

      "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
      - George Orwell

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      "Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
      - Idries Shah

      "A riot is the language of the unheard."
      - Martin Luther King

    • #352839
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,888

      @thouartthat And he’s right. You are of course free to say whatever you wish, but that wasn’t what the OP was about.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #352840
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,544

      @ohiobarbarian

      Hi ob,

      And my point to him is that percentages of Green party votes are irrelevant because every Green vote is a vote denied to either Biden/Harris or Trump/Pence.

      TAT

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
      - John F. Kennedy

      "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
      - George Orwell

      "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
      - Jiddu Krishnamurti

      "Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
      - Idries Shah

      "A riot is the language of the unheard."
      - Martin Luther King

    • #352850
      game meat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,533

      In 2012, there was an incumbent on the ballot (Obama seeking re-election). Contrary to your hypothesis, however, the Greens did not experience a loss of support. Instead, their vote almost tripled.

      But 2016 Stein (no incumbent seeking reelection) got almost three times the support as 2012 Stein (incumbent seeking reelection). I think it is more that Obama 2008 was an outlier and had done well at consolidating support, which is why I said it “tends” to be the case rather than committing to it being an absolute rule. What I mean is this:

      For whatever reason, people seem to give candidates outside the major parties more consideration after a long stretch (8+ years) of one party being in power. To varying degrees, 1992, 2000, and 2016 all showed that pattern, with 2008 being an exception. They always underperform miserably relative to the major parties, which makes people lose interest, and four years later the whole endeavor seems futile.

      So, an incumbent in office ( usually just 4 years of the current party occupying the presidency) is a factor (of many) that signals the likelihood of poor numbers for third party candidates.  At the looks of things, this will be the case in 2020. The small burst of enthusiasm for candidates outside the major parties is all but gone. Has anyone heard anything from the Libertarian candidate? Gary “Aleppo” Johnson was all over the place in 2016. Nary a peep…   @jimlane

    • #352864
      JonLP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,496

      She isn’t that bad meaning she has more progressive positions than Biden on some issues of course on economics they are as far right as anybody.

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

      Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

    • #353802
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,213

      One of the formerly national Green leaders in Seattle doesn’t even know where her precinct boundaries are.  As far as IRV goes, I like the idea in theory, but  I live in a county with more than a million registered voters, and there is no way in hell that it is possible to audit IRV by hand counts.  Without hand count auditing, you can’t trust the results.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #353824
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @eridani

      You write that you “live in a county with more than a million registered voters, and there is no way in hell that it is possible to audit IRV by hand counts.”

      I personally am undecided about IRV.  The complication of the count is certainly one issue.  Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s as dire as you suggest.  The audit by hand count would take longer than in simple plurality voting, but it could be done. The first pass by the auditors would be to separate the ballots into piles by first choice: the Democrat, the Republican, and other.  In most elections, it would be immediately clear that that two major-party nominees will be the last ones standing.  Then the remaining ballots can be dealt with pretty quickly.  A race with three or more potential winners would be the most time-consuming but it’s still doable.

      Furthermore, there wouldn’t necessarily be an audit of every race.  One possibility is to do a hand count of paper ballots of every race in which the official machine total shows a margin for the winner that’s less than a specified benchmark, plus a few other races randomly selected.

      Trump has been touting the idea that we absolutely must know the winner of an election immediately.  There’s no real necessity for that, however.  Trump is saying it merely to lay the groundwork for trying to steal the election, if the in-person votes (most of them cast on machines and tabulated quickly) give him the initial lead, but the mail-in ballots break heavily against him.  For example, it’s conceivable that the election could turn on who wins Ohio, where mail-in ballots are counted if they are received no later than 10 days after Election Day.  (There’s a complete listing of deadlines at https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot-deadlines/ courtesy of vote.org.)  A hand recount would add a little more delay but would be worth it.

      Concerning IRV and the Green Party’s prospects, I think that there is no state in which electoral votes will be awarded based on IRV.  All 538 of them will be simple first-past-the-post, even where IRV is used in downballot races.  A switch to IRV would certainly help the Greens and other minor parties.

       

    • #354153
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,213

      This is because ballots are never sorted  into LDs (we have 17). CDs (we have all or part of 3), towns, cities, and school water and fire districts.  The paper  ballots are counted by scanner without sorting into categories.  To count an LD or a CD race (legally required if the difference between top two candidates is less than 1%), they have to perform a sort on nearly 1 million ballots to remove those for the particular race being audited.  Then those ballots are counted by hand.  This is an expensive hassle, and would be a real bitch to  audit ballots for all races.  I am a trained elections observer, and I don’t trust myself to to IRV audits by hand count. under these circumstances.

      IRV might possibly work in smaller venues.  It’s done OK in San Francisco City and County (both the same thing), and all in Pelosi’s congressional district.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #354175
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @eridani

      For example, maybe each paper ballot given to a voter could have a bar code on it that would identify the voter’s precinct.  Then the sorting of the ballots for any particular district could be done fairly quickly by machine, with the relevant ballots then hand-counted.  You and the other observers would have to be trained in the IRV rules, but I think you could handle it.

      To my mind, the biggest problem with IRV is that a compromise, middle-of-the-road type candidate might be dropped, leaving a final showdown between far right and far left, even though the centrist would beat either of those candidates in a head-to-head match.  The practical problems that you explain are more easily solved.

    • #354181
      JonLP
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,496

      The negative partisanship is literally killing us if you look at Portland & Kenosha.

      What is far left? I may be considered “far left” in this country — I narrowed down and figured out my ideology. I’m a liberal socialist.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_socialism

      Personally I consider Bernie Sanders a moderate because he really doesn’t have ideas that are out there. Most of what he proposes are common sense solutions to problems.

      I don’t think there are compromise middle of the road candidates that the Republicans nominate. A lot of the rich have extreme right beliefs and they pump a lot of money to these GOP candidates.

      Trump is just like the other Republicans, the biggest difference is he says the quiet part out loud

       

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

      Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

    • #354815
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,213

      Sorting by precincts is not in the least helpful.  You’d have to separate close to 1 million ballots by individual races–in a county with all or part of 17 state LDs, all or parts of three CDs, 31 cities and towns, plus school, water and sewer districts.  There is no way in hell that the elections department could afford to hire enough people to do a hand count audit for that many races.  (Remember that now sorting ballots by individual race is done only if there is a 1% or less difference between the top two finalists.)  I would trust myself to do IRV counting accurately, but only for about 3 hours.  After that, I’d be nodding off and making mistakes.  On the other hand, this could work if the county is small enough.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #354884
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @eridani

      My experience was that, at a particular polling place in Manhattan, the machines had malfunctioned in the morning, and most people had had to vote on paper ballots.  I was watching the returns at a nearby Democratic club.  The word came that talliers were needed, and several of us walked over.  Thus, this wasn’t exactly an audit — it was the initial tally for every race, not just those within 1%.  We got the votes from that site counted.

      I’m sure there are more than a million registered voters in New York City.  If the city switched to paper ballots and wanted a hand audit of a citywide election, having it done in each precinct would be the simplest way, with or without IRV.

      In almost all races, IRV wouldn’t add significantly to the burden.  It would be obvious from the first-place votes that the final two would be the Democrat and the Republican.  Then all you have to do with the rest of the ballots is to see which of those two the voter ranked higher, and make piles: Democrat, Republican, and neither.  Leave it to the machine count to determine whether it was the Libertarian or the Green who placed third in the first-place votes.

      You’re comparing King County’s current procedure with one that uses IRV and that hand-recounts every race.  With or without IRV, the recounts could be limited to a few races.  If the recount differs significantly from the machine totals, there could be a re-recount, to catch the mistakes that you fear you might make.

    • #355128
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,213

      –workers who have done a 7am to 7pm shift, and may be required to work past midnight.   You are grossly underestimating the amount of labor that would be involved.  If all of NYC switched to paper ballots, it would be a flat out impossibility to count them in under two weeks, and it might take a couple of months.  In 2004 in WA State, in a gubernatorial election with more than 4 million votes, it took almost to inauguration day to hand count them all by hand. (The numbers were within 0.01% of the scanner numbers, but thankfully the Dem, the Repub and the Libertarian all had a small number of votes added to their tallies  This is good news because the most common scanner error is caused by picking up more than one ballot at a time, like computer printers occasionally do.)  The Dem won by 136 votes.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #355190
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @eridani

      As you’ve shown, a hand recount of millions of ballots is time-consuming.  The question I was addressing is how much more time-consuming it is with IRV in effect.

      Suppose the machine scan reports this breakdown of first-place votes: 49% – 48% – 2% – 1% .  Barring an implausibly monumental hack that would be immediately obvious even if it did happen, it’s clear which two candidates will remain in contention after the others are eliminated.  Thus, the only additional burden from IRV is that workers doing the hand audit must first examine the 3% of minor-party votes and sort those ballots based on which of the two leading candidates was ranked higher.

      If Washington State had been using IRV in 2004, the result might have been different, if enough of the Libertarian voters had picked the Republican as a second choice.  As to the feasibility, however, do you think the recount process would have taken significantly longer with IRV?  According to the Wikipedia report of the results of the election — link — all the votes went to the Democrat or the Republican except for just over two percent to the Libertarian.  If there’s a hand recount of 2.8 million votes anyway, taking an immediate second look at two percent of the ballots doesn’t hugely add to the burden.  The biggest problem with that election seems to have been that election officials in multiple counties were negligent in the handling of the ballots, so that some paper ballots were discovered weeks after they should have been.

      I don’t envision hand-counting every race on Election Night.  My ideal, which ought to be technologically feasible with or without IRV, is: paper ballots that the voters can verify and which are also machine-readable; machine scan to produce immediate preliminary results; hand recounts of every race that’s within a specified margin, plus a few others chosen at random, plus any additional race where someone is willing to pay the cost up front.

      There’s no reason any of these recounts would have to be done on Election Night.  Trump is trying to fetishize an immediate conclusion, but his agenda isn’t fairness.  He’s just trying to steal votes en masse by laying the groundwork for delegitimizing mail-in ballots.  He expects those ballots to break against him.  For those of us who favor enfranchising people and counting their votes accurately, knowing the winner on Election Night is nice but it’s not the highest priority.

    • #355442
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,213

      Your ideal is precisely what King County does right now.  Races with less than 1% difference are automatically counted by hand.  Any candidate may request a recount for any reason, provided that they are willing to pay for it.  The 2004 recount was paid for by the state Dem party.  Pulling all of the ballots with more than two choices is a non-trivial amount of work.

      You seem to think that IRV would give minor parties more of a voice, when the real reason they don’t have a voice is that they can’t be bothered to talk to voters who aren’t policy wonks who already agree with them.  First past the post always gives you only two choices in general elections.  In Seattle, those choices are between Democrats and Socialist Alternative candidates.  The reason that SA has a voice (that would not be improved by IRV) is that they do massive voter outreach.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #355452
      Babel 17
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,376

      But I don’t see them catching fire. Though if Biden and Trump fail to do as well as they’re capable of, and expose to even low information voters why they’re so unliked and loathed by millions, then the Greens should be the beneficiaries of that.

      If Biden exceeds expectations, and Trump demonstrates a series of meltdowns, it could mean a record low turnout for the Greens, as a vote for Biden could offer some positive reinforcement to many Green leaning voters.

      If Biden has meltdowns, and the Trump campaign has effective dirt on him that especially resonates with voters who are sympathetic to the Greens, then then the Green party could rake in millions of votes, especially if it looks like Trump will win in an electoral college landslide.

      But Hawkins needs to offer the voters the opportunity to make a historic statement. Few expect the Green party platform to suddenly catch fire in the imaginations of the voters. That’s a longer struggle. So Hawkins needs to sell the idea that a vote for him is a rebuke of a failed political class, its enablers in the media/social media, and among the big donors. He would need to sell the idea that there’s a broad based movement that people would be supporting, in order for the Green party to make the kind of showing that can’t be ignored, or later easily dismissed. He’d need to get all the old icons on board, and all of the newcomers. Ralph Nader, Jesse Ventura, Jimmy Dore, and so on. Have Joe Rogan look interested. If Biden becomes unable to speak in public, and it looks like Trump will get a Reagan like landslide in the electoral college, then supporting the Green party would offer a way for hard core progressive commentators to look newly relevant, and it would get them tons of visibility. Both bad and good visibility, but mostly good if their audience was also on board with the idea.

      But to reiterate, if Trump flames out bigly, and looks like he’s confirming the worst fears of millions of undecided voters, then Biden will suddenly be everyone’s guy, and the Greens won’t be all that relevant at the polls.

      It’s the middle ground of possibilities that are tougher to call, but I think that from this point on Biden’s best hope is to look better by way of comparison to Trump, though he’ll remain likely to look decrepit and disreputable enough so as to turn off a decent chunk of undecided voters who won’t vote for Trump, but might vote Green. What state they live in, solidly blue, red, or purple, could be a big factor as well.

      One final possibility is that Trump looks weak, ineffectual, and likely to lose in a landslide without declaring martial law, while Biden simply looks terrible. That too could be an opportunity for the Greens to get votes, as voting for them would look like a zero risk way of sending the message that you’re not into the Biden/Harris ticket.

    • #355453
      Babel 17
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,376

      The Green Party needs a reboot if they can’t do better than last time while the Democratic party demonstrates that nominating Clinton wasn’t a fluke, it’s how they roll.

    • #355604
      Jim Lane
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 883

      @ eridani

      To recount a race with no IRV, I would take the pile of ballots, sort them into stacks according to which candidate in that race the voter chose, and then count each stack. That would be faster and less error-prone than going through ballot by ballot and making tally marks on a paper.

      If there’s IRV, I’d again sort by first-place votes, requiring the same amount of work. The only additional step would be that, with two candidates far ahead of everyone else, I’d then re-examine the ballots that picked someone else in first place. I’d sort those ballots into three stacks according to which of the two leaders ranked higher, allowing for voters who gave no level of support for either of the leaders. Then the counting of stacks proceeds as before.

      IRV requires a second look at a small number of ballots (about two percent of the total in the Washington election, or, in the 2016 presidential election, an unusually high but still manageable six percent). To me, yeah, that does seem pretty simple. Am I missing something?

      As for the Greens’ future, it’s not totally dependent on their approach to voter contact, as you seem to imply. That is indeed one factor. Any minor party or independent candidate, however, faces the problem of the “spoiler” effect: People who want to express support for that platform also want to influence the selection of the person who will actually fill the office. If it’s clear that there are only two candidates with a realistic chance of winning, some of the people who have a preference between those two will choose to use their single vote to express that preference rather than expressing their support for a no-hoper. IRV enables them to do both. That’s why the Greens strongly support it.

    • #355744
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 10,213

      That’s why King County never does it at all unless the scanner count shows less than 1% difference between the top two candidates.  Accuracy is the single most important parameter here.  The scanners could undoubtedly  be programmed to handle IRV–the problems come when you have to do random auditing by handcounting ballots, the only way to confirm accuracy.  When WA State still had in person voting,  I was a precinct worker, and I can tell you that there is no conceivable way that I could have handled IRV counting for more than an hour.  It would take much longer than that.

      Not surprised that Greens like IRV–anything to save them from having to do personal contact with voters who aren’t policy wonks.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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