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Campaign 2020

Sign of Things to Come? Klobuchar Announces Presidential Candidacy During Grueling Snowstorm

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It was an odd spectacle in Minneapolis, Minnesota Sunday morning when Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) dragged her staff and supporters out into the middle of a snowstorm to announce her candidacy for the 2020 presidential race.

“I don’t have a lot of money,” she said during her speech. “I have grit. I have family. I have friends, and I have you.”

She certainly has enough grit to withstand the grueling conditions. The speech was a bizarre spectacle:

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The backdrop for the speech, according to Fox News, was the I-35 bridge across the Mississippi River, which collapsed in 2007 just after Klobuchar took office, killing 13. She bragged about working “across the isle” to get the bridge rebuilt in “just over a year.”

“We worked across the aisle to get the federal funding and we rebuilt that I-35W bridge — in just over a year,” she said. “That’s community. That’s a shared story. That’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Apparently, the bar for “extraordinary” is rebuilding a collapsed bridge.

Klobuchar went on to trash America as it exists today – a requirement of Democratic Party presidential candidates.

“But that sense of community is fracturing across our nation right now, worn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics,” she said. “We are all tired of the shutdowns and the putdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding. Today on this snowy island, we say enough is enough. Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what’s wrong, but my marching inexorably toward what’s right.”

Klobuchar, known for her nasty questioning of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearings last year, and particularly for her apparent disdain for his enjoyment of beer (ironically, she held a pre-announcement party with her staff at a local brewery Saturday night) has been embroiled in a bit of controversy for acting abusively towards her Senate staffers.

“At least three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s nascent 2020 presidential campaign — and done so in part because of the Minnesota Democrat’s history of mistreating her staff,” a Wednesday report said.

The report continued:

But some former Klobuchar staffers, all of whom spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity, describe Klobuchar as habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty that make it difficult to work in her office for long.

It is common for staff to wake up to multiple emails from Klobuchar characterizing one’s work as “the worst” briefing or press release she’d seen in her decades of public service, according to two former aides and emails seen by HuffPost.

Although some staffers grew inured to her constant put-downs (“It’s always ‘the worst,’” one said sarcastically, “‘It was ‘the worst’ one two weeks ago”), others found it grinding and demoralizing. Adding to the humiliation, Klobuchar often cc’d large groups of staffers who weren’t working on the topic at hand, giving the emails the effect of a public flogging.

It seems likely that those staff members who declined to work on her 2020 campaign made the right decision, avoiding today’s snowy, 16-degree announcement speech.


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Campaign 2020

USC Experimental Model Polling Calculation Forecasts Donald Trump Election Victory

They’re accounting for what they call social desirability bias.

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A polling method utilized by the University of Southern California’s Dornslife College is predicting that President Donald Trump will secure an electoral college victory, deviating from many polling models produced by corporate media in accounting for what they call a “social desirability bias.”

USC’s polling model seeks to account for what they’re citing as shy Trump supporters by asking poll respondents how they believe that those in their own immediatel social circles will vote. The theorists behind the poll argue that such a line of questioning allows respondents more inclined to disclose information to reveal how so-called shy Trump supporters will vote.

“To evaluate the potential impact of the shy voter belief on the responses of poll participants, we asked them three questions: What percent of their social contacts might be embarrassed to admit to pollsters their opinions about Trump or Biden, what percent might fear harassment if they admit these opinions, and what percent might want to obstruct polls by misreporting who they will vote for?

On average, our participants believe that people in their social circle might be more reluctant to admit their support for Trump than for Biden.

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When the presence of socially identified shy Trump voters is accounted for, the USC pollsters ultimately make a cautious prediction that Biden will fail to secure 270 electoral college votes.

When we calculate how many electoral votes each candidate could get based on state level averages of the own-intention and social-circle questions, it’s looking like an Electoral College loss for Biden.

Read the entire USC/Dornslife prediction of the 2020 election, how they account for shy Trump supporters, and what they’re defining as social desirability bias here.

Jim Key of USC points to previous correct predictions of the USC/Dornslife polling model in support of the method’s veracity. He argues that the polling organization correctly predicted the outcomes ofthe  2016 U.S. Presidential election, the 2017 French Presidential election, the 2017 Dutch Parliamentary election, the 2018 Swedish Parliamentary election, and the 2018 U.S. election for the House of Representatives.

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