David Leonard picks cherries in a generally good op-ed. I agree entirely with his general conclusion that Democrats should run a populist campaign (no triangulation — he should have noted that Clinton ran on raising taxes on the rich and cutting taxes on the middle class in 1992 — he was a populist before he was a triangulator). He also says don’t talk about decriminalizing border crossing or eliminating private health insurance. I agree entirely. He relies on a Pew poll on issues. It is an interesting poll by a good pollster.
However, I think there should be a rule that any commentary on polls should consider all available still relevant polls. The norm of non data journalists writing about data is still to comment on one poll. This is nonsense. It is like election night coverage based on an interview with one voter. There is, I think, no excuse for looking at data other than averages of polls. I think fivethirtyeight.com can improve on the simple average, but that’s not my current assertion. I am asserting that any commentatory must justify (to an editor not the readers) every decision to not consider every poll which is not considered.
I was triggered by this passage justified by three picked cherries.
Yet Democrats are frittering away their advantage — and damaging their image. Last fall, most Americans had a favorable view of the Democratic Party, according to the Pew Research Center. That makes sense, because Democrats ran a populist campaign in the 2018 midterms, focused on pocketbook issues that dominate many people’s lives, like wages and medical costs.This year, the polling has flipped. Most Americans now have an unfavorable view of the party, no better than their view of the Republican Party. Likewise, slightly more voters say the “ideas being offered by the Democratic candidates” would hurt the country than say would help, according to the NPR poll.
I was surprised to learn how hard it was to find averages of party favorable ratings from 2019 (hard enough that I gave up anyway). However, I am confident that there hasn’t recently been a dramatic change, because the generic ballot shows a Democratic lead about the same as in 2018. The fivethirtyeight.com graph is based on dozens of polls. That’s the way to do it. That’s the only way which editors should allow. In fact, the highly anomalous party favorables in the Pew poll used by Leonard should have caused him to reconsider the issues polling. A crude but not pointless calculation would be to add 6.5% to medicare for all pro minus M4a contra. Saying an anomalous number on party favorability adds to the evidence from issue polling is to say that all polls but the latest Pew poll (and a briefly mentioned NPR poll) are irrelevant.
I stress again that I agree 100% exactly with Leonard’s conclusions and advice.
my comment cut and pasted 10:20 (I didn’t guess it would take as long as 20 minutes to refute his claim
I agree with your conclusion. I’d add (as your colleague Frank Bruni does today) that it is unwise to propose providing insurance to undocumented aliens (combining Medicare for really all and more than just a path to something good years from now for undocumented aliens). I happen to find myself in the minority which supports all three proposals. I also know that they are not going to happen — fuhggedaboudit, and that candidates admitting that they support those proposals helps Trump.
However, I consider the method of your argument to be unacceptable. You discuss two (2) recent polls (one very briefly) contrasting them with one (1) poll from 2018. This will not do, even though Pew is an excellent pollster. It passed as legitimate commentary way back in the 20th century, but people should now stick to the Silver standard.
I start the clock at 10:00 AM Rome time (4:00 AM in New york).
Pollingreport latest tweet is a link to this op-ed. Congratuationsl.
OK this is hard. I can’t find an average of polls of Democratic party favorability past 2018 (what is wrong with the web). I was wrong. What I find is generic ballot polls going back to January 2019 with a graphed average going back to April. I see a stable Democratic lead of around 6% if anything growing slightly with latest 6.5%. In 2018 the Democrats won the popular vote by 8.6% (not strictly comparable) https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-generic-ballot-polls/?ex_cid=rrpromo
Your cherry picked number is highly misleading
I’m a bit disoriented. I saw the post in the list of recent posts and thought “oh I posted that here, I thought it was at robert’s stochastic thoughts.”
Also it said it was locked when I tried to open it. I took over. I still don’t understand that.
I didn’t do it! Dan did. 🙂 Dan said he was going to post one of yours here at AB. Is there a problem?
Want the ultimate progressive issue that will win back straying Democrat blue collars while pleasing purple people en masse?
Oh, but it is different — it’s not something everybody’s talking about. Matter of fact, it’s doubly different. It’s about how to get something that everyone isn’t talking about by doing something everybody isn’t talking about. Let’s try.
Republicans are not afraid to raise the antithesis: a federal labor rule that essentially commands union recert rules at every private workplace — at every place where union membership has rolled over more that 50% (that means everyplace).
Why can’t the Democrats find it in their progressive/moderate hearts to propose a federal labor rule that commands labor union cert/recert/decert elections — on a regular schedule — at every private workplace?
it is finally(!) coming to be recognized among (economically well off) progressives that labor unions are the democratic (small “d”) cornerstone of modern economies: the only source of both economic and political sinew (and we sure need lots of sinew) for the great majority of people.
So far, only SEIU attorney Andrew Strom has made any move in that direction — and that was two years ago when he left this essay on On Labor and inexplicably (to me) never did any follow up sales pitches.
Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?
Andrew Strom — November 1st, 2017
“Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill [*] that would require a new election in each unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule.”
So, whatever is everybody waiting for? If it will encourage anybody, I’m working on — that is spamming — my latest version to 7,000 print journalists across the country (any who might be interested in papers over 100,000 in large states; over 50,000 in small states; ND, 3 X 25,000 = 75,000) so the ground is well “fertilized.” (… and anybody else I see on TV or anybody who might remotely be interested, think tanks, etc.)
I’m reposting this here to show what I am spamming around the country — no conflict between progressive and moderate:
Subject line: Two X nothing = nothing.
Bernie Sanders Sets a Goal: Double Union Membership in 4 Years
“…would allow a majority of workers to form a union simply by signing authorization cards, rather than winning a secret ballot election … ”
The Big Squeeze (2008), Steven Greenhouse
Loc 504 “Ultimately, officials with the steelworkers say, 60 percent of Landis’s [plastic] production workers signed union support cards.”
Loc 694 “A far higher percentage of workers were immigrants, from Latin America, Vietnam, Bosnia, and Sudan. Kathy calculated that of the more than one hundred workers who had signed pro-union cards two years earlier, only fifteen remained.”
Lot of good card check going to do there.
Greenhouse, later in the book (I’m about a third through), presents Fed-X Ground drivers as making only $25,000-35,000 a year, compared to $60,000 for UPS (Teamster Union) drivers. Amazon gig drivers may now be absorbing those jobs. Supermarket jobs were middle class jobs pre Walmat, pre two-tier labor contracts.
Even having a union not much help there.
* * * * * *
Two X nothing = nothing. Bernie will double 6.5% private (non-gov) union density? 13% union? 40 percent of workforce under $15/hr – what min wage should be. Min marks what highest labor firms can pay (e.g., 25% labor costs fast food) – most businesses could pay substantially more. 13% unions going to help them a lot.
I used to think centralized bargaining was the magic bullet. On second thought not sure how much influence 13% can have over 87%, especially if union density remains as concentrated locally as is — not in an anti-labor culture like ours.
Centralized be a great clean up hitter if we got 25% certified unions. Sector wide agreements would be the icing on the cake if we got 50-75% certified.
I used to think centralized bargaining would be the magic bullet until I came across Andy Strom’s:
* * * * * *
“The new Data for Progress poll … Trump’s favorability among the 215 Obama-Trump swing district voters who were surveyed is 71 percent—35 points ahead of Biden’s. And of all respondents, 45 percent view Trump very favorably, compared with only 4 percent who say the same for Biden. (my bold)
They may not be coming back. Return to Obama days they implicitly rejected with Trump? Come up with something new — like regular cret/recert/decert elections.
Bound to draw bipartisan support in post 2020 Senate.
“It’s pretty clear that Amazon reducing its dependence on USPS, UPS, and FedEx and moving more in-house for its logistics explains a big part of that volume drop (at USPS),” Morningstar consumer equity strategist R.J. Hottovy told Business Insider.
That Rep bill you posted(again) would annihilate unions from being formed.
You need an IQ in double digits to not realize that what triggers elections in that bill is 100% the decision of management.
You seem to have the right attitude, but you need to stop publicizing that GOP bill other than to say it would kill the growth of unions.
The Republican bill is presented as an example of how to harm unions — not help them. I don’t know how many times I have to explain that Repub bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2723/text That is the Repub proposal — repeat the Repub proposed bill.
I don’t know why the SEIU’s biggest lawyer — one of the very top union attorneys in the country would support a bill that would kill unions. The prolabor bill is explained here: https://onlabor.org/why-not-hold-union-representation-elections-on-a-regular-schedule/ That is the prolabor lawyer’s proposal — repeat prolabor.
Should I copy this explanation out so I can just cut-and-paste it every time you get this issue mixed up (how many times so far — very strange)?
It makes more sense to recertify and decertify corporations on a regular schedule. Limited liability used to be a privilege, but it has been turned into a right. It should be subject to frequent and open review.
I think Democrats should stick with what they’ve said about border decriminalization and Medicare For All and let the voters assess these positions as part of their decision making process. The candidates put their ideas and plans out there because they think that these are beneficial for the country. Actually, since these are both radically different from what Trump will run on, these are the best ideas to sell hard to voters. Convince them on these and they pretty much cannot vote for Trump. If they really believe these, they should push them hard.