Election 2016

The Strange, Surprising Post-Summer Shape of the 2016 Presidential Race

Donald Trump is leading the GOP field-and closing in on Hillary Clinton.

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If, at the beginning of the summer, you had asked most experts what the 2016 presidential polls would look like by mid-September, I'm pretty sure that almost none of them would have predicted anything close to what we're now seeing. 

Let's start with Scott Walker, who just two and a half months ago was tied with Donald Trump for first place in Iowa, and was widely viewed as a top-tier contender with a real shot at the GOP nomination.

As of today, a Quinnipiac University poll finds that he's backed by just 3 percent of of likely Republican causus participants in the state, putting him in a woeful 10th place overall. It's a potentially campaign-destroying decline for Walker, whose entire game plan, more or less, was to win Iowa.

With the caucus still several months away, it's not impossible for him to stage a comeback, but in some ways he's in a worse place than if he'd been hovering low in the polls all summer, because it's harder for a candidate to win back potential voters who've already been lost than to convince people who haven't been supporters in the past. 

Moving on to the rest of the field, the shape of the race at this moment is kind of incredible. On Twitter, Sean Trende, who writes about polling for RealClearPolitics and is generally one of the sharpest elections analysts around, points to three sets of polls showing just what a strange turn the race has taken over the last few months. 

Start with Hillary Clinton, who is losing ground to her chief Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders:

RealClearPolitics

That Hillary Clinton is falling is not entirely unsurprising. As we saw with last year's book tour, public opinion about her tends to be worse whenever she is perceived to be acting in a way that is even remotely political or partisan. A sustained campaign for president, inherently political and partisan in nature, was always going to drag her down somewhat. Clinton remains the overwhelming favorite to become the Democratic nominee, but even still, the increasing preference for another candidate amongst likely Democratic voters is somewhat surprising, and offers yet another suggestion that Clinton may be a weaker candidate than widely believed. 

Meanwhile, in the Republican field, Donald Trump keeps on winning—and Ben Carson is surging in second place: 

RealClearPolitics

When Trump got into the race, it was widely assumed that he would benefit from the fractured field, which would allow a candidate with low support to hold the frontrunner position, but that over time, his low favorables would hold him under a ceiling of support of at most 25 percent.

Instead, in a CNN poll, Trump just became the first GOP candidate to pass 30 percent. A big part of what's going on here is that the public is warming up to Trump, and shedding negative views of him. The Huffington Post's poll average shows how Trump's favorables have increased from 20 percent in June to just over 40 percent now, while his unfavorables have dropped from nearly 70 percent to about 52 percent. 

Huffington Post

Even aside from Trump's relative standing in the GOP field, the more that people see of Trump, the more they seem to like him. 

This probably helps explain Trende's final chart, which, somewhat amazingly, shows Trump rapidly closing the gap on the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton:

RealClearPolitics

Will this continue? Will it last? It seems unlikely. The weird turns and generally instability of the summer and fall before a presidential election year tend to give way to more conventional, predictable results once voting actually starts.  

And yet, what we've seen this summer is that unlikely, unexpected results are at least possible. 

(Thanks again to Sean Trende for pointing to the three RCP charts.) 

NEXT: Oil Prices to Fall to $20 Per Barrel?

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  1. Alt text: They all want cake.

    1. Nice, especially since there are a few elbow strikes depicted.

    2. Wiiiiiiin. 😀

  2. I see an emerging demand for suicide kits in the future. I would try to capitalize on that market except I’ll be first in line for the “little Johny happy time helium helmet”

    1. I would rather cryogenically freeze myself and wake up in the year 3000 so that I can find Amy Wong.

    2. So that you can make that funny voice before you kick?

    3. A Donald Duck helium face mask would be more fun.

  3. Is there any libertarian running for the Republican presidential nomination? I know that there is a son of a libertarian running, but that is not the same thing.

    I do not think I will be voting in the primary election.

    1. If you’re going to vote Republican, I guess you pick the least annoying candidates. I told a quiz thing and it said Paul, Carson, and Cruz were my top three.

      So yeah I’m going with Gary.

      1. If I vote at all, in the general, yes, probably I will vote for Gary Johnson, unless another (and better) libertarian candidate also runs. But in the primary Gary Johnson is not running this year, I don’t think, so I really see no point in voting at all there. I am starting to move in a non-voting direction entirely. Can I really trust Mafiosos to count the votes fairly for an election of Don?

        1. Can I really trust Mafiosos to count the votes fairly for an election of Don?

          Why would you want to vote for a mafia Don at all?

          1. “Why would you want to vote for a mafia Don at all?”

            It might make sense if the next Don would be slightly less brutal – but I understand your point.

        2. There’s a 21st C. language trend I’ve noticed: calling the contest for major party nominations for president “the primary”. Nobody did that a few elections ago, now it’s common.

          1. However, labor stands of “direct primaries for the nomination of all municipal, township, county, state, and federal offices” and especially for “a Presidential primary law.” And progressives are absolutely united in the belief that Presidential primaries would result in a more progressive type of President, though it is clear that primaries are more effective in their application to Congressmen.

            American Labor and American Democracy By William English Walling, 1926

            And he’s actually referring to a 1907 Labor Conference in this case. Primary elections were a big-P Progressive “reform”.

            1. Actually, further reading may support Robert’s point, although it’d still push his timeline back. Wikipedia says:

              The impetus for national adoption of the binding primary election was the chaotic 1968 Democratic National Convention. Vice President Hubert Humphrey secured the nomination despite primary victories and other shows of support for Senator Eugene McCarthy, running against Humphrey on a strong anti-Vietnam War platform. After this, a Democratic National Committee-commissioned panel led by Senator George McGovern ? the McGovern?Fraser Commission ? recommended that states adopt new rules to assure wider participation. A large number of states, faced with the need to conform to more detailed rules for the selection of national delegates, chose a presidential primary as an easier way to come into compliance with the new national Democratic Party rules. The result was that many more future delegates would be selected by a state presidential primary. The Republicans also adopted many more state presidential primaries.

          2. Looks like none of you understand: “THE primary”, singular, referring to the whole process leading to the nomination, i.e. all the primaries, caucuses, & conventions subsumed into a singular “primary”.

            1. Since I read the post above you as saying “the primary [in which I am eligible to vote],” no, I didn’t understand that. It’s not at all clear to me that’s happening. I’ve not seen it in evidence on TV or print news.

            2. Or you failed to make your point sufficiently clear.

            3. Or it is just a harmless synecdoche and you are being a pedant or a paranoid.

          3. It’s a language trend. It’s really “the nomination contest” or some variation on that. Because you’re dealing with 56 separate contests (a mix of primary elections, caucuses, and conventions in the states, districts, and territories) for delegates ? plus an informal jockeying for party delegates ? in a lead-up to the Party Convention (where the actual nomination vote is taken by the delegates), it’s technically weird to put one word to it besides “nomination.” Yet, since voters and media alike want to give a process-word to the narrative (and effectively nationalize the story, the same as how the final election between nominees is nationalized in the narrative and media polling), the fact that most state parties and those in the most populous states use primaries seems to result in that term.

            It’s historically telling that the trend stated with the New Left, since it’s a matter of nationalizing the narrative and looking to democratize the process (even if it messes up the process even more, as we’ve seen through the extension of the Horserace narrative that exists in the final election now spread back over 2+ years and a multitude of candidates with yet-to-be-established campaigns & policies; so we see where the pre-Labor Day position of Donald Trump is being pushed as determinative enough to now begin pushing out candidates like Rick Perry today).

        3. Can I really trust Mafiosos to count the votes fairly for an election of Don?

          I think the bigger issue is the work that happens beforehand (i.e.: “All this crap, right now.”) to make sure that the candidates for Don are the “right people”.

          I mean… I dunno. I just have a hard time imagining that things would be significantly different, right now, if Gore had won in 2000, or Kerry in 2004, or McCain in 2008, or Romney in 2012.

          1. At this point I’m just rooting against the incumbent every. single. time.

            1. Well, of course. I’m just saying, the other dog has been groomed heavily as well.

          2. I tend to agree with you for the most part. However, if Kerry had one in 2004 due to a strong Libertarian anti-war candidate drawing around 11% of the vote it might have made a difference in our foreign policy from that point forward. Might have. Politicians only give a damn if popular sentiment is so strong it is difficult to rig an election in their favor.

            1. one = wond. Dammit, I need to be able to edit!

              1. Keep complaining and Reason will switch to Discus for their comments…

                1. Have you used Disqus?

                  1. That’s why I’m warning you. I’ll live without an edit button as long as they don’t switch to Disqus.

                    1. Agreed. Disqus really sucks.

    2. Rand Paul probably is the best you’re gonna get from the Republicans this time around. Unfortunately I think he made a strategic error by moderating some of his libertarianish views to try and appeal to more establishment and “neo-con” voters, which turned a lot of his dad’s fans off while failing to convince very many establishment or neo-con voters. So now a lot of his dad’s former backers seem to think he’s gone to the dark side, while those on the dark side don’t trust that his conversion to the dark side was sincere.

      Of course, his father never moderated his libertarian stances, and look how far that got him. So he was probably fucked either way.

      1. “I think he made a strategic error by moderating some of his libertarianish views”

        I think the word you are looking for here is “abandoning”, not moderating, although “betraying” would also be an acceptable word choice. Yea, I would be one of the first to help him hand out flyers, pound signs into the ground, make phone calls. I would have been someone donating both time and money to his campaign. I donated to his father’s campaign and gave as much time as I could. I will NOT be doing the same for Rand.

        1. The fruit never falls far from the tree, but this one seems to have rolled down the hill.

      2. Trump isn’t anywhere near an “establishment” candidate and he’s certainly no libertarian. So why is he winning? Because he panders to the base on immigration? Maybe, but then why did the base support John Mccain in 08, who was soft on amnesty?

        No candidate will LOSE votes by not being a purist libertarian. Gary Johnson has no chance of winning, because his brand of libertarianism will not appeal to anyone. Any advocacy for open borders, guest workers and outsourcing = 80% of voters won’t vote for you.

    3. There are libertarians running for the Libertarian nomination, more every day. This week’s entry is Austin Petersen, Judge Napolitano’s former Freedom Watch producer.

  4. So then, for the most part, we should be ignoring any polls a year out from the election? That doesn’t sound plausible at all.

    1. What fun is a horse race without the thoroughbred handicapping that occurs before hand? The race itself does not last very long.

      1. I’d like to handicap all of the current candidates, actually. With a tire iron.

        1. Quit being cheap. Spring for the damn woodchipper already.

      2. The next market innovation: horse race odds futures. Rather than gambling on the race, you can gamble on how you think the odds will change.

    2. I think Reason should write 6 Trump articles a day a year out from the election rather then 8.

      1. Agreed. There has been too much focus on Trump and not enough on how other candidates respond to Trump.

      2. Let’s conduct a poll among Millennials to make determine if that’s the best way to proceed.

        1. make

    3. I wouldn’t say that. However, I think that one needs to both be more clear about where we are in terms of the population paying attention to the campaign, how this polling is done ? because of when/how different caucuses & primaries are held, national numbers can be either generally meaningless or even the opposite of the effective status on the ground; like in November, we’re dealing with in excess of of fifty individual state/territory elections on each side, but those elections are spread out between February & June with very different delegate apportioning rules as well as the simple caucus versus primary issue (is someone who’s angry at the GOP in August and so tells the telephone pollster “Trump” going to trudge out in the Iowa snow in February to a GOP caucus event to officially support?)…

  5. What if Donald Trump is the result of a secret pact between Jeb! and Hillary?

    Think about it: between the Donald and Bernie Sanders it could all be a ploy to make Americans grateful that the two nominees will be a Clinton and a Bush and no one crazy.

    1. I almost think I’d prefer The Donald’s Weekend at Bernie’s than another Clinton vs: Bush race. Although, realistically, I guess either way I’ll know it’s time to start drinking until I can’t any more, ever.

      “Gin and Seconal for me, thanks. Extra lime, please.”

    2. I’m increasingly of the opinion that America is becoming a kakistocracy. On the Democratic side, you have the fight between a socialist economic illiterate and a woman so corrupt that she only tries to hide it in the most perfunctory way. It’s gotten to the point where they’re seriously considering drafting their Crazy Uncle Joe to be the “adult” in the room. On the Republican side, you’ve got people who’ve complained for years about the sell-out of conservatives by the GOP establishment rallying behind the worst sort of crony capitalist with a long history of supporting abortion, gun control and socialized medicine.

      Honestly, I would have qualms about letting any of these people into my home, let alone giving them control of the executive branch of the most powerful government in human history.

      1. To be fair, I wouldn’t trust anyone who was willing to run for office to come into my home. Or most of the people who work for the government. What, do I want my dog murdered?

        1. Come on, Nikki, not every “public servant” would kill your dog. A Bill Clinton or an Anthony Weiner, for instance, would just try to have sex with it.

          1. Why sex with the dog instead of Nikki?

            1. Because, she’s the worst.

        2. Well, I think I could trust Dr. Paul to be invited into my house. Ben Carson seems a decent enough sort. Hell, I think I could even trust Jeb Bush not to steal the silverware. But these guys?

        3. Or most of the people who work for the government.

          For what it’s worth.

          1. This times 1000. Most people are shit heads.

      2. So your home has no wood chipper?

  6. “Only 34 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics, and 33 percent of foreign-born Hispanics, want to increase legal immigration, said the Gallup report.

    Sixty-four percent of each group of Hispanics want migration to be reduced or leveled, said Gallup,”

    64% of Foreign born Hispanics are racist nativists says Peter Suderman.

    1. Raccciiisst!

      1. I commented with Pink Cosmotarian. I knew Pink Cosmotarian. Lord Humungus, you’re no Pink Cosmotarian.

    2. Must be those white Hispanics giving the others a bad name.

    3. 64% of Foreign born Hispanics are racist nativists says Peter Suderman.

      Getting to base first and calling “Olly olly oxen free” before the others can reach it has a long pedigree in common and international law.

    1. That’s now a Buzzfeed style listicle. Try to keep up.

    2. Man. I misread that URL at first as “freebacon” and was really sold!

  7. Anyone here usee the dnms? If so where on your computer do you export your pgp to in order to get that long code?

    1. Did you try turning your computer off, and then turning it on again?

      1. Did you try blowing on it? With the thing that goes up?

      2. If that doesn’t work, thwow it to the gwound, woughly.

        1. +1 Brian on the floor

  8. a Quinnipiac University poll finds that he’s backed by just 3 percent of of likely Republican causus participants in the state

    What the hell is “causus”?

    1. I don’t know, but this election is definitely going to causus to vomit.

    2. Latin for “cause” I believe.

      1. Yes, Melvin’s brother.

    3. What the hell is “causus”?

      You don’t remember the causus belli? WE SAID WE’D NEVER FORGET!

      *goes back to watching that 9/11 dog video*

  9. So the force is still strong with Clinton?

    1. Her poll numbers are dropping steadily since April. I’d be surprised if she gets the nomination.

      1. By looking at the chart, yes, her poll numbers dropped from the stratospheric to the merely running high.

    2. She prefers to be called “Yoda”.

  10. Come on, a poll analyst named “Trende”? What’s hir real name?

    1. Lucy?

      1. DON’T TALK ABOUT LUCY.

      1. You know who else was named… Oh no wait. Uh, never mind.

  11. I seem to recall that this is pretty much a replay of 2008 – the more people see of Hillary, the less they like her.

    Her peeps actually seem to believe this, as well – they have been desperately trying to hide her from the public while simultaneously running her for office. Unfortunately, the email scandal just keeps her ugly mug on the front page.

    1. Fake…email… scandal. I’m surprised at you.

    2. Fake…email… scandal. I’m surprised at you.

    3. Also, remember yesterday’s news about DWS limiting unauthorized debates. That also speaks to that team’s desire to keep that candidate under wraps as much as possible, and to stridently avoid situations where hoi polloi might ask her problematic questions.

      1. You mean limiting authorized debates. They can be in as many unauthorized ones as they want, but then they don’t get invited to the authorized ones.

        1. Thanks for the clarification.

      2. I’m starting to wonder if Bernie really wants the nomination or if he’s just in to pull Clinton to the left. Between her obvious corruption, her baggage on Libya and Syria (not to mention Iraq), her obvious disdain for security rules established by the President himself, and now the DNC trying to limit Hillary’s exposure in debates, he should be going ballistic over her electability and pretentiousness. But unless he’s complaining about tax rates and the lack of gubmint gimmedats, he’s acting like a complete wuss with the backbone of a jellyfish.

        That he’s managed to get as close as he has is a testament to how burnt out a lot of rank and file Dems are with the Clintons and their drama, not anything he’s actually done.

  12. Semi-OT but apparently the Oath-Keepers have descended upon Rowan County, KY to protect Kim Davis in case the federal court sends the US Marshals to round her up again. The OKs apparently think she deserves a jury trial on that contempt thingy.

    This will not end well. I had previously thought better of the Oath Keepers, but they’ve gone completely off the rails on this and are only fanning the flames of left wing paranoia.

    I’m not completely comfortable with contempt as it currently works, but fortunately it seems to be used rarely and judiciously.

    1. Their critique of the contempt system is good, their proposal to resist the US government by force is bad.

      Fortunately, the left has already cranked its paranoia up to 11, so I don’t see how OK can make them any more paranoid.

      1. Like Derp, you can never reach peak paranoia. Right, Switzy?

        [Looks around suspiciously, pulls out roll of tinfoil.]

        1. Whatever you say, Tonio, or should I call you…33rd Degree Enlightened Grand Master Tonio of the Illuminati?

          Ha, you thought you could keep your identity a secret!

      2. their proposal to resist the US government by force is bad.

        Is this a timing issue (its not yet time for armed resistance), or more of a principle issue (under no circumstances should anyone offer armed resistance)?

        1. I’d generally say “timing”. I think for the most part, just like when cops shoot someone and the vast majority go “Well, he must have done something!”, there’s too many people who are not yet sufficiently disenchanted with the system to not give deference to a judge. “But the system put her in jail!”

          To be honest though… I’m not seeing this particular example as significantly more egregious than any other contempt-type administrative detention. Or, the other way around, every jailing for “contempt” is administrative, rather than “trial by jury”.

        2. I’d say we’re nowhere close to a revolutionary situation in the United States.

          We have a First Amendment, we have elections, we have so many peaceful avenues of redress, that I think armed resistance to the US government is out of the question – it would be murder.

          There are some government so oppressive, where you can’t speak freely or vote, where the government kills and robs at will without recourse, that there’s a case to be made for rebellion.

          We haven’t even got close to that in the U.S.

          Zimbabwe, on the other hand…more of a tossup.

          1. we have elections

            Meh. Who doesn’t, these days? The real question is, does the public still believe these elections confer legitimacy? The answer is yes (for now).

            we have so many peaceful avenues of redress,

            Legitimate ones? Or, at least, ones that are perceived as legitimate? Again, I think the answer is yes, but I also wonder if their legitimacy isn’t being eroded. A big swathe has lost faith in SCOTUS, for example, as a defender of the Constitution.

            1. In 1776, we had oppression by an unelected king, and in addition to having a common sovereign with Great Britain, we had the Parliament of Great Britain presuming to make laws for us, even though we already had our own legislatures. The Great Britain Parliament (even if they granted us a few seats, which they didn’t) had no more business legislating for, say, Massachusetts than the Massacusetts legislature had legislating for Great Britain.

              So we had a situation where we were being oppressed by (a) an unelected executive and (b) a legislature acting contrary to our own legislatures. So elections weren’t a remedy for the abuse.

              Contrast that today, where we have elected officials (and these officials appoint the unelected judges and, if they have the balls, can limit the judges’ power to do harm).

              So in case of abuse, we get to publicize the abuse (using our very broad First Amendment rights) and call for the replacement, via election, of misbehaving public officials.

              And if that doesn’t work? Well, then, if the people won’t rise up *peacefully* in their capacity as voters to replace an oppressive government, then why would they rise *in arms* against the very government for which they vote?

              So either way you slice it, I think we’re stuck with peaceful measures of opposition.

              1. But, but, I just bought a brand new, shiny wood chipper!

    2. “We would like to stress in the strongest terms possible that we are doing this not because of her views on gay marriage, but because she is an elected public servant who has been illegally arrested and held without due process….”

      “… powerful office holder to merely point his finger and have his opponent thrown behind bars without a grand jury indictment and without being found guilty by a jury of their peers. No innocent until proven guilty before a jury. Just ‘guilty’ because the leader says so. That is a dictatorship, whether done by a president or by a judge. No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again. ? Stewart Rhodes”

      1. Instead of pigeonholing themselves as violent subversives, why don’t they just stand peacefully outside the court and hold up signs defending trial by jury?

        If she’s sent to prison without a jury trial, why not just cry “shame!” as she’s led out to the paddy wagon* and tell their side to the media?

        This is a media battle, not a physical battle.

        *racist!

        1. I don’t know. Perhaps some of them think the government and its agents are too far gone to pay attention to/respond to more ordinary forms of civil rights advocacy.

          I haven’t paid any attention to them since their activities in Ferguson until Tonio provided us with the link this morning, but it seems to me as it seems to you that sometimes they do their cause more harm than good. I really don’t know if acting differently would do them much good, however.
          The TPM Live Wire article linked above begins thus: “The Oath Keepers – the armed, anti-government vigilante group….”

          Your are correct, Notorious, it is a media battle. Unfortunately some of the media has already decided for us who the enemy is.

        2. tell their side to the media?

          “Right-Wing Terrorist Militia Group Defends Evil Gay Basher”

          That would be the headline, and the body of the story would include quotes from Morris Dees and the SPLC about how the Oath Keepers are the “most dangerous domestic terrorist hate group EVAH!”

          And then nothing else would happen.

          1. One of the quotes I saw referred to them as a “heavily-armed vigilante group,” so yeah they are shitting themselves as they always do. And their Ferguson gig was mentioned, but in language that didn’t say which side they were on – I suspect deliberately.

      2. Incidentally, it’s not just the Oathkeepers.

        I found this report by an Australian law-reform commission recommending that civil contempt be abolished completely, so that all criminal prosecutions should be criminal. (they also want to allow room for private prosecutions so that the local prosecutor can’t veto a prosecution)

        http://www.lrc.justice.wa.gov.au/_files/P93-R.pdf

        (see pp. 84-89, 92-95)

        1. so that all *contempt* prosecutions should be criminal.

          1. And the page citations should be 85-87 and 92-95

            1. Thick and interesting reading. I’ll think about it as I go about my day.
              Thanks.

      3. Ridiculous. Kim Davis is exercising legal power over gay people by denying them rights they are legally entitled to by the ruling of the highest court in the land. This isn’t a speech issue or a religious freedom issue. If she had no legal authority she wouldn’t have been sent to jail. She’s a government official refusing to obey a lawful order that she is legally bound to obey.

        1. I think this begs the question.

          Who is entitled to legislate concerning marriage – the Supreme Court (or 5 of the judges thereof) or the states (eg, Kentucky, whose people voted 75% to say public officials could *only* recognize man/woman marriage)?

          Must I quote Lincoln’s First Inaugural again? To sum up his point, if we have to roll over and obey every retarded 5-4 decision, no matter how wrong, we may as well hand over the government to the court.

          Lincoln was speaking in the context of the Dred Scott decision, which many states (and, in the Civil War, the feds) felt free to defy. Just as many states defied the Fugitive Slave Act, even when the Supreme Court purported to deny the states the power to resist. Indeed, the federal courts set aside a specific constitutional guarantee – the habeas corpus clause – to prevent fugitive slaves from having any judicial recourse before being sent down South.

          Who was being lawless in that situation?

          Who is being lawless now?

          Kim Davis is defending the constitution and laws of the United States and Kentucky, just as she promised to do when taking office. The fact that she’s acting out of Protestant Christian motives doesn’t affect this fact – if your religion makes you do your legal duty, so much the better for your religion!

          1. she refused to let other people fill out paperwork. no body even tried to force her personally to do a single thing. other people in her office were more than willing to file the papers, but she said no. it is hardly defending the constitution to refuse someone else s ability to fill out papers.

            as for who gets the call on marriage… depends…. mostly on if you are talking the nature of marriage, or access to it. when defining it for the sake of what does it get you (survivor ship, spousal privilege, taxes) that goes to the legislature. when talking about who gets access to it… you typically start with the legislature trying to limit it, and then…. if there are concerns raised… the courts end up deciding if that restriction should stand or not. kind of the design… legislatures create laws, courts interpret and, if needed, overrule them. so… interracial couples and gays can now marry. siblings and those under 18 still can’t.

      4. A quick glance online shows that there’s enough hydrology data from the US Geological Society for the courts to somehow rule that the groundwater beneath Morehead is connected to the water table appropriately enough to declare Davis’s an admiralty case and therefore deny her a jury trial (since the Seventh Amendment only covers cases of common law, not admiralty law ? I’m actually surprised that TPTB haven’t come upon that cheat more often)…

    3. Bleh. Much like most really important 1A cases, you always end up having to defend assholes. :-/

      1. The assholes are those who want to silence or otherwise punish others for exercising their 1A rights.

      2. Not always. Native American peyote use. Quaker coscientious objectors. Of course your opinion of those folks might be different than mine.

        1. Don’t forget Amish outhouses.

      3. It’s not a 1A case. She’s actively exercising force against gay people.

        1. She’s actively exercising force against gay people.

          I missed the part where she attacked gay people, or sent the cops to do so on her behalf. Linky?

          1. She’s part of a system that does. A surviving gay spouse inherits the half of the couple’s home owned by the deceased. The IRS demands payment of an inheritance tax, as the marital exemption does not apply. The survivor cannot or does not pay. Ultimately armed government agents arrive to evict, imprison, and seize the property.

  13. I would be more comfortable if we just decided to randomly draw nine numbers, and whoever’s social security number that matched gets to be president. It really couldn’t be worse than any of our current “leaders.”

    1. I like your idea. The only problem is who picks the “random” number and how “random” would it truly be?

      1. A robot rolls nine ten-sided dice.

        Before you ask, the robot was programmed by another robot. That robot was programmed by a dolphin. Everyone loves dolphins.

    2. Old man with candy’s SSN only has 6 digits.

    3. It’s like a variation off the old William F. Buckley line: “I would sooner be governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand members of the faculty of Harvard.”

  14. I like the idea of Sanders, Trump and the Libertarian Party on the ballot. That’s iconic enough to be worth a ballot selfie!

    1. Which are illegal in many jurisdictions.

  15. Perhaps this is what elections will now always look like, and always would have looked like, without the top down control of 3-4 TV networks and 2-3 newspapers, thanks to social media.

  16. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.Money-Hours.com

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