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May 26, 2016


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And would he take more votes from Trump or from Clinton?

He seems like a reasonable choice for upper class moderate Republicans. The jump from Kasich or Rubio to Johnson could be easier than Trump or Clinton.

In 1970s and 1980s the Libertarians tried to pitch themselves as "low tax liberals" and pick up socially liberal voters. I wonder if a Johnson campaign could be savvy enough to play up being an independent outsider, pro-legalization, and anti-interventionist and pick up dissatisfied Bernie voters.

I could imagine my well-off centrist friends who are still pining for 2002-era Mitt Romney going for a Gary Johnson/Bill Weld ticket. I think they were mostly Obama voters in the last couple of cycles.

But they're pretty much the opposite of Bernie voters. I currently see the few who won't vote for Hillary Clinton, and won't write in Bernie or stay home, either going for Jill Stein or for Trump.

If you believe Bernie voters are driven by ideology, it doesn't make sense. If you look at them just being disgruntled left-leaning/non-Republican independents it makes more sense.

I think there are different, very distinct subsets of Sanders voters, with a lot of geographic variation. In Portland, Oregon, they're ideological super-liberal white Democrats who will either settle for Clinton, write in Bernie or vote for Jill Stein. In West Virginia, most of Sanders' primary voters were probably old-fashioned white-supremacist-populist Democrats who were always happy to vote for Trump in the fall, but took the opportunity to get in a free shot at Hillary Clinton in the primary.

And then there are people like this guy:


"Victor Vizcarra, 48, of Los Angeles, said he would much prefer Mr. Trump to Mrs. Clinton. Though he said he disagreed with some of Mr. Trump’s policies, Mr. Vizcarra said he had watched “The Apprentice” and expected that a Trump presidency would be more exciting than a “boring” Clinton administration.

“A dark side of me wants to see what happens if Trump is in,” said Mr. Vizcarra, who works in information technology. “There is going to be some kind of change, and even if it’s like a Nazi-type change. People are so drama-filled. They want to see stuff like that happen. It’s like reality TV. You don’t want to just see everybody be happy with each other. You want to see someone fighting somebody.”

That quote reminds me of Edward Castronova's idea that inflation in game economies is used to reduce the boredom of players.

But between the poles of Portland and West Virginia you have a range of younger voters who affiliated with Sanders as an outside, not because of super-liberalism or resentment to Hillary Clinton.

Are you sure about that? The Sanders supporters with libertarian energy that I have, er, more fully identified using the power of social media, are not particularly young.

Oh sure some are non-young.

I know that voters under thirty are the hardest to poll and profile, but I'd like to see more evidence that they lean libertarian, which seems more than a little generational, I think.

The widespread "pox on all their houses, they're all the same except Bernie, damn you Debbie Wasserman Schulz and your vote-rigging" sentiment on social media is just killing me. The failure to recognize that Clinton is beating Sanders because more people are voting for her, particularly.

And some of it does feel like the displacement of the kind of sentiment that drove people to the Libertarians in previous cycles. But the worst examples of it I see are actually people my age or older, not Bernie-fan kids.

It's not certain Johnson will be nominated again. The libertarian delegates appear to want a radical. You would assume the libertarian delegates would realize this is a chance to crack into the political relevance but they probably think Johnson and Weld are just using the party as a vehicle for their warmed over Rockefeller Republicanism.

I read that Politico piece as well; it seems crazy.

And they're up!


Sam Wang has fired up his poll-aggregating machine!


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