Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

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jacob
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by jacob »

@ffj - The list of swing states certainly changes over the years but not that fast. Trump won in 2016 because the Democrats thought the northern Great Lakes states comprised a blue wall. It makes sense that the DNC and RNC would determines(*) which states they want to go first respectively. These do not have to be the same states. In general, though, people have a pretty good idea of where the battlegrounds are. As it is, the primary process risks an outcome in which candidate X wins the battle (by getting their favorite candidate) but loses the war (picking a candidate that can't win).

The only thing this change would do would be to change the 20x effective punching power of the "state to go first" from Iowa to a state that likely matters more in terms of winning the actual election after the primaries. In short, it would reduce the amount of game-theory required because the way the primary process would be run would be closer to how the actual/ultimate election is run.

(*) Alternatively, just pick them randomly from election to election. Or ideally all go at the same time. As iDave says this would almost guarantee that candidates only meet with voters in what they respectively think the battleground states are. They might not agree on which states are important. Hillary famously ignored the "blue wall" states. This would be the fault of the candidate. However, as it is now, candidates have to figure out how to win in e.g. Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin based on how well they do initially in Iowa and New Hampshire. That doesn't make much since either as it involves too much game theory. In practice this results in candidates choosing one position at the beginning of their campaigns and then changing it later on as they shift their focus to other states. Perhaps this is desirable somehow, but I don't see who benefits.

ether
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by ether »

Is no one going to talk about how the chosen one (Joe Biden) totally flopped? While one data point isn't a trend, this is huge since all polls predicted he would win Iowa!

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

ffj wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:26 am
New Hampshire should be telling.
I have a number of friends that live in NH. They feel it's solid Bernie country, but you're right it should be interesting. Things always evolve.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

jacob wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:31 pm

The only thing this change would do would be to change the 20x effective punching power of the "state to go first" from Iowa to a state that likely matters more in terms of winning the actual election after the primaries.
I think the there's more mystique to Iowa than hard data. Contested Iowa caucus winners over the last 50ish years have about 55% chance of winning party nomination and ~20% chance of winning the presidency, although their predictive power is stronger for Dems than Reps, so maybe more significant in context.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story ... 410195002/
Last edited by IlliniDave on Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

ether wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:35 pm
Is no one going to talk about how the chosen one (Joe Biden) totally flopped? While one data point isn't a trend, this is huge since all polls predicted he would win Iowa!
Biden has never done well in Iowa. Possibly that's why after all these years the Democratic Party Mainstream is objecting to Iowa being first, because it gets their preferred guy off on the wrong foot?

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

@jacob. Interestingly, Bernie beat HRC in both Wisconsin and Michigan in the 2016 primary. Maybe should have been an omen, but like you alluded to, no one thought Trump would be able to win in any of the states that touch L. Michigan. Even with enough prescience to to have foreseen that (I think maybe only Bannon did), no way was HRC going to step aside, and no one was going to ask her to. I dunno if Bernie could have done better against Trump or not, but it's an interesting thought experiment.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

TimeTravel
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by TimeTravel »

The poor computer programmers get all the blame for apps not working :| .

Jason
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Jason »

They probably should have made incremental change. Like before moving on to APPs they should have had Iowans become comfortable with ballot boxes.

Tyler9000
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Tyler9000 »

Hey -- don't blame Iowa for being slow to adopt new technology when the app developer hired by the Democratic party didn't know what the hell they were doing. For example:
"The New York Times reported that many precinct chiefs had trouble simply downloading the app, and Motherboard’s screenshots give hints as to why that might be. The app was not deployed through traditional app stores or even sideloaded using an enterprise certificate. Instead, it was deployed through mobile testing platforms, including Apple’s TestFlight and a similar service that services both iOS and Android called TestFairy. Both platforms are for apps that are not yet finalized."
...
"The screenshot from Motherboard also shows that the app was distributed using the TestFairy platform’s free tier and not its enterprise one. That means Shadow didn’t even pony up for the TestFairy plan that comes with single sign-on authentication, unlimited data retention, and end-to-end encryption. Instead, it looks like the company used the version of TestFairy anyone can try for free, which deletes any app data after 30 days and limits the number of test users that can access the app to 200."
https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/4/21122 ... -app-store

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

I believe the firm hired to create the app was owned/founded by former HRC campaign people rather than a "real" developer. In hindsight appears to be a serious case of amateur hour. Still seems weird they wouldn't have been able to count up the paper backups by now since historically they were usually counted within an hour or two. And they've had to tweak some of the numbers they have put out after discrepancies were noted. Looks like they're at about 97% with Bernie gaining a little ground on Mayor Pete, looks like it will be a virtual tie.

jacob
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by jacob »

Amateur hour indeed.

Apparently some results were also mailed in. Literally. So now they're also waiting for the mailman.

Another issue with using the backup phone lines after the app borked was that they started receiving prank calls from Trump supporters from around the country thus overloading the [limited] system for the legit calls. There were 35 backup lines to take 1600 results each of which should have taken no more than 5 minutes to report. That's still almost 4 hours w/o jamming.

Maybe some day the system will be designed for robustness rather than speed. I have some ideas ...

bostonimproper
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by bostonimproper »

Literally a Google form would have been better than the system they had. It's absurd and angry-making the level of sheer incompetence.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

Stunning development it was really Trump and the Deplorables to blame, haha. Day 1 after the Senate vote and the new scandal is launched. Can't make this stuff up.

Edit to add: I'm actually okay with a number of DT's planks, but it would be a relief if we could find a better POTUS and end the nonsense propagated by the so-called political leadership.

ffj
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by ffj »

Conspiracies abound, but I have to admit this is the first place I've seen blaming it on Trump supporters. Surely someone anticipated shit-callers and planned for that? Is that only a phenomena in Democrat Caucuses? I'm guessing no but that excuse reminds me of Hillary blaming anything and everybody but herself for her loss. Hell, Iran took responsibility for shooting down an airliner, surely Iowa Democrats can take responsibility for this screw-up? At least nobody died, right?*

According to the Progressive news outlets I've been watching and reading, they are blaming this squarely on the DNC and the Establishment, because they feel that Bernie won and he is being marginalized once again. Personally, I feel the screw-up is the result of incompetence, but you can't ignore that lots of people are pissed off right now and that is going to energize Sanders campaign. How much? I don't know but I am very curious what New Hampshire brings, especially since it's within Vermont spitting distance.

What's wrong with paper ballots that don't create hanging chads or any other kind of ambiguity? Report to a polling station, confirm your ID, vote privately, drop your vote in a secure box under constant supervision, and then tally the votes by hand when the polls close. Other than a time constraint, it seems to work rather well.

* These are all just my opinions and thoughts. I'm not trying to upset anybody.

jacob
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by jacob »

Some party officials are blaming a 4chan brigade for adding to the phone chaos. With only 35 lines they don't seem to have planned for using the phones much at all. Also other people started calling in to get/confirm results. Basically an overall clusterfuck.

Lots of reporting ... but mainly reporting each other and saying the same thing albeit with different level of bias.
https://www.axios.com/iowa-caucus-phone ... 82895.html
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story ... 678127002/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ocrat-says
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump- ... aos-report
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/c ... s-n1131521
https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarko ... k-n2560867
https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4 ... ays-report

PS: https://www.memeorandum.com/ is a very good aggregator to see what the journalists are currently reading (beyond twitter)---it's sorted according to most popular story and tracks pretty fast (within the hour).

Jason
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Jason »

ffj wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:45 pm
At least nobody died, right?*
I think that's the first order of business every day on the Bernie campaign.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »


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Lemur
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by Lemur »

@IlliniDave

A re-do would fire up Bernie's base even more and would be rather convenient for the "establishment."

Iowa should've immediately came out and say "hey guys, we screwed up with this App thing. Here are the facts. Here is how we're gonna prevent this in the future. And here is a timeline for counting the votes now. We apologize" .

Crisis Responding 101...now the public and bad actors own this narrative.

IlliniDave
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by IlliniDave »

Lemur wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:39 pm
@IlliniDave

A re-do would fire up Bernie's base even more and would be rather convenient for the "establishment."

Iowa should've immediately came out and say "hey guys, we screwed up with this App thing. Here are the facts. Here is how we're gonna prevent this in the future. And here is a timeline for counting the votes now. We apologize" .

Crisis Responding 101...now the public and bad actors own this narrative.
I don't disagree, but that tweet is from the DNC Chairman. He might just be talking about a recount of some sort. It seems a number of the errors uncovered so far have worked against Bernie, so maybe they'd accept it if they could be convinced it would be done in good faith.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Boy, what's going on in Iowa?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

Let me just say, as a programmer, this level of quality is absolutely par for the course in the industry. They probably had some intern write the API and then wrote two unit tests and called it a day. :? The rush to get this stuff to market means quality (and security!!) is absolutely left to the wayside.

So the app crashing because it wasn't developed right is extremely likely.

Obligatory: https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/voting_software_2x.png

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