People are surprised about the shifts in CA polling on the recall over the last month. A lot of those people don't understand the basics of CA politics, so a short primer that clarifies the polling shifts and the Democratic Party's tactical choices. *minithread*
First, there's a shift in polling because, while Newsom's support is mediocre, people are recognizing what will happen if he's replaced, that it will be a Republican nutbar like Larry Elder or John Cox. So the shift from 2-5 for No to 10-15 is not surprising there.
Second, the reason for this shift is because the Dems decided not to run an auxiliary candidate. I've seen lots of people criticize this choice, but it's informed by history. The Dems believe that Schwarzenneger's election during the Davis recall was partly because...
Lt. Gov Cruz Bustamante appeared on the ballot and had party support. Cruz was more popular than Davis, so some Dems voted for the recall and Cruz, thinking Cruz would win, but the field wound up splitting the vote on replacement and electing Schwarzenneger.
Schwarzenneger got 48% of the vote among auxiliary candidates; Cruz got 31%. However, a *huge* portion of people (mostly Dems who voted against recall) didn't vote for auxiliary candidates at all. So, that's the thought process with not fielding one this time.
Biden won CA in 2020 by *5 million* votes. Democrats know that even if turnout is low, just running against Trump-y Republicans with "No on Recall" as their only position is a pretty easy win, which is where the polling is now.
It just took a little while for various non-Newsom Dems to see that the choice was going to be "Newsom or 🦇💩 Republican" for the polling to shift back from No +2-5 to No +10-15. Everyone in CA should still go out and vote #NoRecallCA/#NoRecall. (I already voted by mail.)
I'm not a fan of Gavin Newsom. I voted for him in the general election because John Cox is a hack and a dingdong, as is illustrated by his "ball of garbage"/"sedated bear" campaigning in the recall. I voted for someone else in the primary.
Given the top-two system, if Newsom winds up running against another Democrat in his reelection campaign (which is a possibility), then I may well vote for that other Democrat. I cannot see myself voting for a Republican, given the national and state GOPs.
As has come up in some responses, the "ideal" GOP candidate was someone (a) milquetoast enough to fuel Dem ambivalence and (b) 🦇💩 enough to raise GOP enthusiasm in Trump strongholds in the state. Such a candidate is conceptually impossible.
Also, several people have suggested or implied that there was a period where the recall effort was "winning." That's just not true. There was one poll that was an outlier that had a huge lead for "Yes," that only pulled the aggregators within the margin.…
The reality is, unlike the Davis recall, this one has probably never actually been that close. It had some minor tightening that we might expect (for reasons explained above) and then opened back out to the expected 10-15 point gap.

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More from @thephilosotroll

15 Sep
Larry Elder's margin of defeat was so large that his campaign basically gave up on the "voter fraud" narrative on election night. What's next for him? Trying to monetize this, because he's proven to be totally electorally inviable in California.
From the LATimes: Asked about a 2022 run, Elder told KMJ radio in Fresno on Tuesday: “I have now become a political force here in California in general and particularly within the Republican party. And I’m not going to leave the stage.”
Larry Elder may be a force in the CA GOP, but the CA GOP is not really a statewide political force in CA. Some regional parties are political forces; the state GOP has some force in the Central Valley. But that's it.
Read 14 tweets
15 Sep
So, here's the thing about Republican Party posturing on social media (incl the recent OH public utilities brief): Many of the recommendation algorithms are a serious problem, but the problem is basically always right-wing radicalization, rather than right-wing "silencing."
The Democrats should talk about this more actively, but are worried that advocating for investigations of the YouTube recommendation algorithm (pretty clearly the worst offender for radicalization, especially of young white men) will result in GOP blowback on "silencing."
The GOP has actively argued that a range of pretty clear radicalization-oriented groups (e.g. proud boys channels, conspiracy theory channels, etc.) are part of the "silencing" problem, adopting them as common cause. That's part of the notable extremist turn of the GOP since '10.
Read 6 tweets
12 Sep
Screaming at this on like four different levels, one of which is my dissertation on reasons.
People will point out, correctly, that "I did x because, after consideration, I decided x was the thing to do" is (a) uninterestingly true for almost all considered actions and (b) it's not an answer to the question. (a) is a staple of a lot of legal reasoning, ofc.
The frustration with (b) has to do with the implicature, though, and this is where I think we should be really clear about what Breyer is saying and why it's utter 🐂💩: Private deliberation is not sufficient in matters that require presentation of a public reason.
Read 5 tweets
27 Apr
One of the things that pisses me off the most about GOP posturing on infrastructure is that they all *want* infrastructure. They want their states to get the federal support for that infrastructure. They just don't want to fund it for anyone else in the country.
We should fund levees in south Texas, and we should fund highways in Wisconsin, and we should fund broadband access in Mississippi. But the GOP cranks from those states will vote against the bill that does those things, because they don't want anyone else to get funding.
They'll pretend "it's about deficits" but we know that's nonsense from their allowance of a tax cut that produced a $1.9T deficit (via Trump CBO scoring) over ten years. They'll pretend "health care isn't infrastructure" while arguing for inclusion of their projects.
Read 4 tweets
25 Apr
When I teach applied ethics, especially business and information technology ethics, I do a unit on patent law and ethics, and this is why. There are some basic mistakes being made in the discussion about COVID vax patents, and we should talk about these problems. Image
First, it's no doubt true that even if we waived the patents, it wouldn't magically solve all problems. It's not a panacea. But it would increase global supply; it's not clear how much it would increase supply, but it would have some impact.
As I note to @rasmansa, there are lots of groups lobbying for patent exemptions to contribute to the manufacturing. See this piece on the consortium lobbying the WTO:…
And the domestic side, here:…
Read 6 tweets
19 Apr
Pinker has also used this trope as a way of doing "Ashkenazi Jews are non-white, but smarter, so it's not racism." It turns out it was immediately picked up by white supremacists to justify myths of Jewish manipulativeness and control. It's a very familiar pivot.
And the explanation isn't especially complicated. It turns out Jews tend to be well represented in the groups who win Nobel Prizes, so if you control for Jews as a percentage of medical researchers (as opposed to population), this outcome is not surprising.
Similarly, the Nobel has long had an enormous regional bias, which also plays a role in creating disparate numbers. Pre-WWII Germany and Austria-Hungary and the modern US scientific communities are also overrepresented, as opposed to China, Japan, India, etc.
Read 5 tweets

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