2020 Forecasts: President & Senate

by admingene on November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 3, 2020:  FEARLESS FORECASTS

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

[DISCLAIMER:  MY ELECTION PROJECTIONS THIS YEAR COME WITH A CAVEAT.  THEY ASSUME THAT THE SUPREME COURT WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH THE ELECTION IN VARIOUS STATES, THEREBY AWARDING THE PRESIDENCY TO DONALD TRUMP, EVEN THOUGH HE WOULD HAVE LOST WITHOUT THEIR INTERVENTION.  I DO NOT THINK THIS WILL HAPPEN, BUT IF IT DOES, I FEAR IT MAY BE GOOD-BYE OUR DEMOCRACY AND GOOD-BYE TO THE GREAT EXPERIMENT THAT IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.]

As in past years, for this year’s election projection I will look at each state individually.  If not for 2016, I would feel more confident in these projections.  So who knows?  Someone recently asked for my track record predicting the presidential races.  It is pretty good (except for 2016), and once again this year will be difficult for a number of states.  Will Biden win by a narrow margin, in a blowout, or will Trump win?  Here are my past results for the 50 states and the District of Columbia:

2016: Missed 4 states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida)
2012: Missed 1 state (Florida – predicted for Romney, went to Obama)
2008: Missed 1 state (Indiana – predicted for McCain, went to Obama)
2004: Missed 1 state (Ohio – predicted for Kerry, went to Bush)
2000: Missed 1 or 2 states: (New Hampshire – predicted for Gore, went to
Bush; Florida predicted for Gore…)

Bottom Line this year:  Joe Biden will be elected.

How Biden Gets to 270 Electoral Votes
In 2016, Hillary Clinton won 232 electoral votes, 38 short of what she needed for a victory.  Assuming that Joe Biden holds all the states that Clinton won, how does he get another 38?  In general, there are 2 ways:
1. He wins Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (46 electoral votes)
2. He wins Michigan, Wisconsin and any one of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, or Texas.

Trump seems fairly well assured of receiving 126 electoral votes from these 20 states:  Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Biden seems fairly well assured of receiving 233 electoral votes from the following 21 Clinton-winning states:  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.  (Note: There is one Maine Congressional District that may give its one electoral vote to Trump, but Biden may win one Congressional District elector from Nebraska.)

10 Battleground States

The Big 3: Michigan (16 Electoral Votes), Pennsylvania (20),
Wisconsin (10)
These are the “blue wall” states that Trump won by a total of 78,000 votes and that gave him his victory.  While Pennsylvania will be the closest and most tenuous, the former Vice-President has been ahead all year, often by significant margins, so Biden should win all 3, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Arizona – 11 Electoral Votes
This has been very close for a long time, with Biden consistently holding an edge in virtually all reliable polls.  This will be very close, but Arizona is a little ahead of Texas, so I think Biden will win Arizona.

Florida – 29 Electoral votes
As always, Florida will be close.  If Trump does not win here, there is pretty much no way he can be re-elected.  Biden has held small, but consistent leads, from 2%-5% for a long time.  It is always dangerous to predict a Democrat winning here, but I think Biden’s inroads with older voters will give Florida to Biden.

Georgia – 16 Electoral votes
Georgia may be the most interesting state this year.  In 2018, Stacey Abrams lost the governorship by 1.4%, or about 55,000 votes.  Since then, there have been 573,000+ new registrants.  But since Georgians do not register by political party, we cannot know for sure the proportion of new Republican, Democratic and Independent voters.  Nonetheless, I believe that a plurality of new registrants are Democrats and they will make up Abrams’ 55,000 vote shortfall.  It may be a stretch, but I believe Biden will win Georgia.

Iowa – 6 electoral Votes
No polling in any state has been consistently closer than Iowa for many weeks.  Trump won this last time by 9%.  Most likely, Trump will win a close one in Iowa.

North Carolina – 15 electoral votes
If there is a poster child for the “New South,” North Carolina might be it.  As in some other states, this has been close all along, with Biden holding slight leads in most reliable polls.  It will be close, but I think Biden will win North Carolina.

Ohio – 18 Electoral votes
As everyone probably knows, no Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio.  Trump won here by 8% in 2016 but the most recent polls have this a dead heat.  I would not be surprised to see a Biden win here, especially if he is winning big everywhere, but for now, I would expect that Trump will win Ohio.

Texas – 38 Electoral Votes
Texas has gotten significant press coverage as it gets closer to becoming a purple state rather than a red one.  Like Beto O’Rourke in 2018’s Senate campaign, Biden will get closer than any Democrat in a long time, but most likely Trump will win Texas.

SUMMARY
With the projections in the 10 Battleground States, the final totals may look like:

Trump Safe States                      126 Electoral Votes
Trump Battleground States            62 Electoral Votes
Trump Total                              188 Electoral Votes

Biden Safe States                        233 Electoral Votes
Biden Battleground States           117 electoral Votes
Biden Total                               350 Electoral Votes

One final note:  If this becomes a blowout election, Biden could amass more than 400 electoral votes and indeed, that would be very sweet.

U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGNS
This year, there are 35 seats up for election (including a special election second seat in Georgia, where there will likely be a run-off election in January.  But this discussion only deals with the other 34.  Included is a special election in Arizona to fill the last two years of the late John McCain’s term.

12 seats are currently held by Democrats
22 seats are currently held by Republicans

Democrats need to have a net gain of 4 seats to gain control of the Senate or, if Biden wins, 3 seats, with Vice President Harris being the potential tie-breaking vote.  Therefore, the Democrats will need to have 15 or 16 of these seats instead of the current 12.

Here is how the 34 seats shape up:

Safe/Very Likely Democratic (13)
Arizona*  (Mark Kelly)
Colorado*  (John Hickenlooper)
Delaware    (Chris Coons)
Illinois  (Dick Durbin)
Massachusetts  (Ed Markey)
Michigan  (Gary Peters)
Minnesota  (Tina Smith)
New Hampshire  (Jeanne Shaheen)
New Jersey  (Corey Booker)
New Mexico  (Ben Ray Lujan)
Oregon  (Jeff Merkley)
Rhode Island  (Jack Reed)
Virginia  (Mark Warner)

Safe/Very Likely Republican (13)
Alabama*  (Tommy Tuberville)
Arkansas  (Tom Cotton)
Idaho  (Jim Risch)
Kentucky  (Mitch McConnell)
Louisiana  (Bill Cassidy)
Mississippi  (Cindy Hyde-Smith)
Nebraska  (Ben Sasse)
Oklahoma  (Jim Inhofe)
South Dakota  (Mike Rounds)
Tennessee  (Bill Hagerty)
Texas  (John Cornyn)
West Virginia  (Shelley Moore Capito)
Wyoming  (Cynthia Lummis)

*Indicates change of party winning seat

8  Contested Seats

Alaska
Democratic candidate Dr. Al Gross has been making a real contest out of this election, but Alaska is still too Republican.
Prediction:  SULLIVAN HOLDS SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

Georgia
A close race where Democrat Jon Ossoff may be slightly ahead of Republican incumbent David Perdue.  In a state rapidly becoming purple, this one looks pretty good for the Democrats.
Prediction:  OSSOFF PICKS UP SEAT FOR DEMOCRATS

Iowa
Perhaps the closest race in the country, with the polls going back and forth between Republican incumbent Joni Ernst and Democrat Theresa Greenfield.  But Iowa is tough for Democrats.
Prediction:  ERNST HOLDS SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

Kansas
Like Alaska, the Democrats have a strong candidate in former Republican Barbara Bollier against Republican Roger Marshall, but Kansas is just too Republican.
Prediction:  MARSHALL HOLDS SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

Maine
Susan Collins has been here for a very long time and has been very popular, easily winning re-election several times.  But in a state where Trump is very unpopular, she has been aligned with the President too often.  She has trailed State House Speaker Sara Gideon all summer and fall, although not by large amounts.  This will be close.
Prediction:  GIDEON PICKS UP SEAT FOR DEMOCRATS

Montana
This is a tough one.  Democratic Governor Steve Bullock vs. Republican Senator Steve Daines.  Trump will win this state easily, but Montanans are frequent ticket-splitters.  The other Senator is a Democrat, Jon Tester.  It will be close, but I don’t expect a Democratic victory.
Prediction:  DAINES HOLDS SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

North Carolina
This looked like a sure win for the Democrats until Cal Cunningham got embroiled in a sex scandal.  But Republican Thom Tillis is very unpopular.  It looks like Cunningham may very well hold onto his victory.
Prediction:  CUNNINGHAM PICKS UP SEAT FOR DEMOCRATS

South Carolina
Democrats have dreamed of unseating Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Lindsay Graham in South Carolina.  While McConnell is very unlikely to lose, Graham is in a very tough battle with Democrat Jaime Harrison.  While a Democratic victory is certainly possible, I have a hard time seeing South Carolina electing a Democrat.
Prediction:  GRAHAM HOLDS SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

FINAL PREDICTED TOTALS
Democrats win 16 seats
Republicans win 18 seats
Result:  Democrats pick up the 4 seats they need so that the Senate will have:
49 Democrats
49 Republicans
2 Independents (who caucus with Democrats)

This makes for an effective total of 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans.

Poll Closing Times – 11/3/20

by admingene on October 30, 2020

Poll Closing Times: Nov. 3, 2020

All times Pacific Standard Time

3 P.M
Indiana
Kentucky

4 P.M.
Florida (most)
Georgia
South Carolina
Vermont
Virginia

4:30 P.M.
North Carolina
Ohio
West Virginia

5:00 P.M.
Alabama
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida (rest)
Illinois
Kansas (part)
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan (part)
Mississippi
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota (part)
Tennessee (part)
Texas
Washington, D.C.

5:30 P.M.                                       
Arkansas

6:00 PM
Arizona
Colorado
Kansas
Louisiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Nebraska
New Mexico
New York
South Dakota
Wisconsin
Wyoming

7:00 P.M.
Idaho (part)
Iowa
Montana
Nevada
North Dakota (part)
Oregon (part)
Utah

8:00 P.M.
California
Idaho (part)
North Dakota
Oregon (most)
Washington

9:00 P.M.
Alaska (part)
Hawaii

10:00 P.M.
Alaska

When States Process and/or Count Absentee Votes

by admingene on October 30, 2020

When States Process and/or Count Absentee Votes

Note:  There are many different sources about when states process and count absentee/drop-off/mail-in ballots.  They are not necessarily consistent with each other.  I have tried to figure out each state as best as possible, but I cannot guarantee that each state is correct.  But you get the idea.

Process and Start Counting Before Election Day

Arizona
Colorado
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Kansas
Maryland
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
North Carolina
Ohio
Oregon
Rhode Island
Utah
Vermont

Process Before Election Day But Don’t Start Counting Until Nov. 3

Alaska
Arkansas
California
Connecticut
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Washington
Washington, D.C.

Process and Count on Election Day

Alabama
Mississippi
New Hampshire
New York
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

A Simple Plea to Republicans

by admingene on October 2, 2020

October 1, 2020

A Simple Plea to Republicans

Over the course of our lifetimes some people have become Democrats, some Republicans, some something else and some don’t care about any of it.  And this is how it should be, since we are not all the same.  Republicans generally like less government and lower taxes.  Democrats are not as concerned with these goals, as long as a worthwhile purpose (as they see it) is served..

This year we find ourselves in a different situation, at least in the campaign for President.  Donald Trump is neither a Republican nor a Democrat.  He is not Eisenhower, Reagan, or either Bush.  He is not Romney, McCain, Dole or Ford.  He’s not even Nixon.  He is a racist, anti-Semite (see Charlottesville), would-be authoritarian.  For Democrats, the choice is easy.  For Republicans and some others, not so much.  Were roles reversed, I would like to think that I would vote for Democrats as I usually do, but not for President.  And that is what I am asking of my Republican friends.  Vote as you usually do for other offices, but please do not vote to re-elect Donald Trump.  The future of this great experiment called the United States of America depends on it.

I will leave you with the now famous poem first taken from a speech by Martin Niemoller in 1946.  He was a Lutheran pastor and theologian who started out as a Nazi supporter in the early 30’s and ended up in Dachau:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

The Atlantic vs. Access Hollywood

by admingene on September 7, 2020

September 7, 2020

The Atlantic vs. Access Hollywood

With the article just released in The Atlantic, have we now reached the point in the campaign that is most comparable to the 2016 release of the Access Hollywood recording?  And why may this year be different?

Just to review:  The infamous Access Hollywood recording was released on October 7, 2016.  On October 28, 2016, FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI was re-investigating Hillary Clinton, essentially saying, “Maybe we were wrong, maybe she really is a crook.”  According to data compiled from Real Clear Politics, between October 10 and October 27, over the course of 31 national polls, Clinton led Trump by 6%.  Between October 28 and Election Day, November 8, over the course of 19 national polls, Clinton’s lead shrank to 3% and in the actual vote, she won the popular vote by 2%.  The difference can be explained by the fact that before Oct. 28, a majority of the many voters who disliked both candidates were choosing Clinton.  After Oct. 28, and on Election Day, a majority of these voters chose Trump.

Today, Trump faces another personal campaign crisis with the charges made in Jeffrey Goldberg’s article and corroborated by several news organizations, including the AP, NY Times, Washington Post, FOX News and CNN (and by now, perhaps others).  In short, Trump has frequently expressed disdain for people who serve in the military.  In his mind, to serve is to be stupid, to get captured or wounded makes you a loser, and to be killed while serving makes you a sucker. 

The big question is: will this affect the election?  I think it will.

Yes, I know his attacks on John McCain and Gold Star families have not derailed his campaigns in the past.  But now he has a track record, people know who he is, and these allegations confirm and heighten this profile.  He has been attacked by many retired military officers, including some who worked for him in the White House, like Gen. James Mattis.  And a recent poll of active military by the Military Times showed Biden leading Trump by 4%.  This last is highly unusual.  Military members have always favored the Republican over the Democratic candidate for President.  It takes a lot for active duty military members to oppose an incumbent Republican Commander-in-Chief.

Undermining the staying power of this issue on voters’ minds, there will be various books released, some as soon as this week, that will further expose how incompetent and unfit for office Trump is.  Two within the next week are Michael Cohen’s book and probably of greater importance, Bob Woodward’s new book.  More important because: Woodward had access to Trump; interviewed him for his book; and focuses much of the book on Trump’s response (or non-response) to the pandemic.

It will be hard for any single story about Trump to maintain the public’s attention.  However, I believe that as the dust settles, there will be untold numbers of Americans who will remember Trump’s opinions of those who serve or have served in the military.  Having had a son who served in the Middle East, the Biden campaign will continue to make this a point of differentiation between the two candidates.  And every time they do, Trump will look worse.

As for the initial question I posed, yes, this year will be different.  Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton.  There are no large scale doubts about his honesty and integrity.  There can be nothing to compare with James Comey’s actions in late October, 2016.  Even if the Attorney General tries to drum up something against Biden, voters will see it for what it is, a political hit job with no basis in anything but Barr’s and Trump’s twisted minds. 

The article in the Atlantic may very well, finally, be the issue that lasts throughout the fall.

Who Wants To Be a Dictator?

by admingene on July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

Who Wants To Be a Dictator?

I have been inspired by an article that appeared in this past Sunday’s Sacramento Bee concerning the many signs of authoritarianism that we have seen.  Here are my top candidates for inclusion in this kind of list.  I’m sure you have some more.

#1:  Postponing Elections

President Trump has said that maybe we should postpone the November election.  A would-be dictator would want an election postponed until either he was assured of victory or … forever.  Trump would be happy either way.

#2:  Undermining the Election

Nearly every day Trump rails against the non-existent likelihood that the election will be rife with voter fraud and says he may not accept the results.  What happens if he refuses to leave the White House? Or if he encourages his supporters to rise up against the “illegitimate” president?

#3:  Setting Up a Secret Police Force

First, Trump sends Federal agents to Portland ostensibly to protect Federal facilities, then sends or gets ready to send agents to other American cities without even the pretense of protecting Federal buildings.  One doesn’t have to be so heavy-handed as to call your secret police the KGB, Staasi or Gestapo.  The benign sounding “Homeland Security” will do nicely.

#4:  Rewarding Those Who Protect You

Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn have protected Trump and he has supported them, even commuting Stone’s sentence and getting the AG to drop the case against Flynn (still to be decided by the US Court of Appeals).  Of course, the worst is Stone, who not only was convicted of lying but of witness tampering.  A dictator has no respect for either the rule of law or protecting the criminal justice system.

#5:  Setting Up Conflicts Between People Based on Race, Religion or Ethnicity

Trump’s racism towards Blacks, LatinX, Muslims and Jews are well-documented.  In fact, some of his core supporters are attracted to him because of this.  Most would-be dictators set up the “other” as their target for whatever is wrong in the country.  From the day he descended the escalator to announce his candidacy in 2015, this has been the cornerstone of who Trump is.

#6:  Trump Makes Money By Being President

There are numerous instances of his profiting by being President.  Here are 2 examples. Which is more egregious?  Having Vice-President Pence stay at his hotel in Ireland even though it is 180 miles from Pence’s meetings or making sure that military personnel stay at his expensive resort in Scotland?  And he says he is a good guy because he claims that he is not taking his presidential salary.

#7:  He Likes and Works With Dictators

Dictators are his kind of people.  His affinity for Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Recip Erdogan are well known.  Many people want to know why he always takes Putin’s word on every issue and refuses to even mention to Putin the issues of bounties on our soldiers’ heads or that Russia is arming the Taliban.  He has spoken with Putin 7 times since the end of March and never mentioned either one.  If only he had as good a relationship with our friends. And how many times has he spoken to Merkel, Macron or even Boris Johnson in the same period?  I’ll wager it was fewer than 7.

And the list goes on and on and on and…

And this list doesn’t even touch on the coronavirus and how or why he has denied its severity and all the science surrounding it.  When he said the other day that he doesn’t understand why Dr. Fauci has high approval ratings and he does not, I believe that for once, he was being truthful – he really doesn’t understand.  How sad for him, but more importantly, how sad for us.

Lies, Lies and More Lies

by admingene on June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020

Lies, Lies and More Lies

(Even as we are in the throes of protests, rioting and a President who once again abdicates his responsibility to reassure and heal a nation, there are other issues that we should not forget.  This post addresses two of those issues.)

As we all learned (or should have learned) in high school, totalitarian regimes are built on fear and lies, often referred to as the ‘big lie”.  Our wannabe totalitarian in the White House has spent much of his public life following this prescription, especially when it comes to lies, starting with what has come to be known as “birtherism”.  Now, there are 2 more big lies he and his enablers are propagating to help his re-election prospects.  One is about the American response to COVID-19 and the other is about mail-in ballots.

Big Lie #1

Republicans like syndicated columnist Marc Thiessen (in a recent column), are claiming that all the measures taken to limit the spread of the virus were not meant to save lives and reduce suffering, rather “(t)he objective of the lockdown was never to stop every American from getting COVID-19, which is impossible; it was to buy time to learn about the virus and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed.” And he claims that, “(w)e have accomplished those goals.”

He (and other Republicans) are also claiming that “(t)he costs are not just in lost jobs, but in lost lives.  Americans have been forced to put off care for non-COVID-19 illnesses such as cancer and cardiac disease – forgoing screenings, surgeries, chemotherapy and emergency room visits.  While the government is speeding clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, trials for many non-COVID diseases have ground to a halt.”  He also claims that we might see an additional 40,000 deaths due to suicides and drug overdoses among the jobless, as well as an additional 2 million people addicted to drugs.  Of course, he neglects to mention that health experts have repeatedly stated that without the measures we have undertaken, millions of Americans could have died.

These claims are supposed to lead to the conclusion that President Trump has not shirked his duty to lead the country during the pandemic.  Rather, efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 were not to protect people but to protect our health care infrastructure; there is only so much anyone could have done and we did it, and the cost for saving untold lives was probably too high, economically and in other health-related areas.  In other words, Trump did what was necessary in the beginning, the responses to the virus were often overblown and counter-productive, and it is now time to stop all this shelter-in-place and other nonsense and get back to work.  We just have to accept the deaths and severe illnesses related to COVID-19.  But mostly that Trump did a fine job vis-a-vis COVID-19.

Big Lie #2

The second big lie, as we are constantly hearing, is that mail-in ballots are guaranteed to produce massive voter fraud.  As anyone who has looked at the evidence knows, this, too, is nonsense.  Six states currently vote entirely by mail with no evidence of voter fraud and considerable evidence of increased voter turnout.  Of course, this fits in with the extensive voter suppression efforts that Republicans have undertaken for many years. 

Two related notes:  First, shortly after his inauguration, President Trump formed a commission to look into voter fraud that had been committed in 2016.  After a few months, the commission was disbanded because they could not find any evidence of voter fraud anywhere in the country.  By the way, Kansas Republican Kris Kobach was chair of that commission.  When he ran for Governor of Kansas last year, the Democrat was elected.  He is running for the U.S. Senate this year and Democrats hope he wins the primary to give Democrats a chance to flip that seat.  The primary is August 4.

Second, the Republican Party has filed suit in California to prevent the State from mailing ballots to all registered voters.  70 percent of all registered voters in California are already “Permanent Vote By Mail” voters; in other words, more than two-thirds of California voters would be voting by mail in November, even without the new rules.  In addition, before COVID-19, there were already 15 counties that were going to vote only by mail (with supplemental drop-off locations), including 4 of the largest counties, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento and Santa Clara.  And when you add in these counties’ registered voters who were not previously vote-by-mail to the permanent vote-by-mail Californians, more than 75 percent, perhaps as high as 80 percent of all votes to be cast in the State already would have been by mail, even before COVID-19.

So why would the Republican Party file this lawsuit?  Either because they believe the claim of voter fraud is a winning issue or this is just another example of how out of touch California Republicans are with the rest of the state.

Gene on the Radio

On April 15 and then again on May 6, Gene appeared with his good friend and long-time political consultant, Larry Levine, (author of the always interesting blog, thepoliticaldish.com), on “The Uncommon Sense Democrat,” a one-hour show hosted by long time Democratic activist Eric Bauman on KCAA radio.  Below, are the links to those 2 shows.  (Note: About 5 or 6 minutes into the recordings, the shows begin with Eric’s coronavirus updates.)

We are scheduled to appear once again, on June 10 at 2pm PDT.  If you are interested but cannot listen live, the link afterwards will probably be: podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/uncommondemocrat/20200610.html

April 15:   podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/uncommondemocrat/20200415.html

May 6:   podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/uncommondemocrat/20200506.html

Positive Signs For Biden

by admingene on May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020

Positive Signs For Biden

Two recent polls show very encouraging signs for Joe Biden and the Democrats.  The first of these examined those voters who dislike both major candidates for President.  In 2016, there were a lot of voters who did not like both Trump and Clinton.  After the Access Hollywood tape was made public, it looked like the election was over as most in this group of voters were deciding to vote for Hillary.  Then, just 11 days before the election, FBI Director James Comey announced that maybe he was wrong and they were re-investigating Clinton.  Even though he recanted several days later, the damage was done and Trump ended up winning among voters who disliked both candidates by about 17%. 

In a recent Monmouth University poll cited by Politico, among those voters who dislike both Trump and Biden, Biden leads by 40%.  As we all know, anything can happen over the next 5+ months, but if this lead holds in November, Biden will be in very good shape.

The second piece of good news for Biden is the recent results of polling that looked at voters over 65.  This is a group that tends to be more conservative, generally, and that Trump won by 53% to 44%, according to a Pew Research poll.  However, in a recent Florida poll, Biden was leading among older voters by 52% to 42%.  With Trump’s less than either sympathetic or empathetic pronouncements about protecting the health of Americans, especially those over 65, there is good reason to believe that he may do much worse this year than he did in 2016 with older voters.  If the numbers hold, Trump will lose Florida (and several other states) and the election.

A Recent Discussion

Recently, I had an email exchange with friends that touched on the current state of the Republican Party and the differences among a Trump supporter, a Trump enabler and a Republican voter.  My contribution to the discussion began by saying that we should never pigeonhole people based on their opinions on one subject or another; there should always be room for diverse opinions.  That is why “pro-life Democrat” and “pro-choice Republican” are not oxymorons.  But I believe we need to put this into context for today’s campaign for President:

Donald Trump is not only the worst president in history, but probably the most dangerous American in history, certainly the most dangerous to ever have a position of power.  Among other issues, he makes every issue, even non-issues, into divisive issues, as the wearing of masks during the current pandemic clearly shows.

As Sartre said, “There is no reality except in action.”  In these very perilous times, politically and health-wise, there is only one action that everyone who cares about this country can take – vote for the Democrat against Trump in November.  No other action is on a par.  You cannot say “I don’t like Trump but I am a Republican.”  Anyone who does not vote for the Democrat is either a Trump supporter or a Trump enabler.  Period.  If the Republican Party ever abandons Trumpism we may eventually, once again, have the luxury of civil discourse and nuance.  But not now.

Gene on the Radio

On April 15 and then again on May 6, Gene appeared with his good friend and long-time political consultant, Larry Levine, (author of the always interesting blog, thepoliticaldish.com), on “The Uncommon Sense Democrat,” a one-hour show hosted by long time Democratic activist Eric Bauman on KCAA radio.  Below, are the links to those 2 shows.  (Note: About 5 or 6 minutes into the recordings, the shows begin with Eric’s coronavirus updates.)

We are scheduled to appear once again, on June 10 at 2pm PDT.

April 15:   podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/uncommondemocrat/20200415.html

May 6:   podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/uncommondemocrat/20200506.html

Ignore the Talking Heads

by admingene on April 8, 2020

APRIL 8, 2020

IGNORE THE TALKING HEADS

Once again, I heard someone today on MSNBC talk about the bump that Trump has achieved in his approval ratings since the advent of the pandemic.  Only thing is, the bump doesn’t exist.  According to Real Clear Politics, eight national polls were released today and the average rating for Trump was Approve = 45%, Disapprove = 51%.  If that’s a bump, what will happen when things go back down?

There is also evidence that his approval rating for how he is handling the coronavirus pandemic, which had been slightly positive, now mirrors his overall approval ratings.  The five polls that asked this question gave Trump a combined rating of Approve = 46%, Disapprove = 51%. 

For a brief period of time, Trump allowed Dr. Fauci and others to take the lead at the daily briefings.  But he could not permit that to continue.  In his mind, he must always be the center of attention and he can do no wrong.  So he has quickly reverted to attacking anybody and everybody for the failures of his administration and has reminded everyone of who and what he is.  Maybe David Brooks, New York Times and PBS Newshour contributor, is correct.  Brooks has argued for some time that nothing in the current situation will make much difference to Trump’s approval ratings.  Most everyone made up their minds a long time ago about him and that’s that.

On other topics…

Bernie Sanders picked a good time to suspend his campaign.  With many contested elections in Wisconsin yesterday, he maximized Democratic turnout in the election-that-should-never-have-been.  He is right that he has had a tremendous influence on political discourse in this country, but unlike 2016, it looks like he will be an active participant in the general election campaign.  Perhaps it is true that he and Biden are, indeed, friends.  Once again, we see how much personal relationships can influence world events…

Yesterday, Gavin Newsom announced that the State of California has partnered with a major manufacturer and various non-profits (none of which he has identified as of this writing) to sign a contract that will bring 200 million masks, N95 and surgical, to California every month, and extras will be distributed to other Western states.  In his announcement on Rachel Maddow’s show yesterday, he referred to California as being a “nation-state” because it has the 5th largest economy in the world and he felt it was time to act like it, using its formidable negotiating power.  He is also lending ventilators to other states currently in critical need (like New Jersey).  These are the kinds of things the federal government should have been doing for the last 2 months, at least.  I am very proud of our Governor…

And one final note:  If you still have some idealism about this country, and you don’t hate musicals, you might want to check out the film version of the show 1776 on Amazon Prime.  It is a reasonably accurate portrayal of the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  This is the Director’s Cut and a little long, at 2:45, but only costs $1.99.

FIRST LOOK AT U.S. SENATE RACES

by admingene on March 31, 2020

MARCH 31, 2020

FIRST LOOK AT U.S. SENATE RACES

Two PACS associated with the Democratic and Republican U.S. Senate campaign committees have just set initial budgets for their first ads ahead of the November elections and they give a good indication of where the battles are likely to be fought, especially since both organizations have purchased ad time for the same five races and the Republicans added one more.

First, the five common ad purchases:

Arizona:           Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to replace John McCain, vs. Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords.  There have been a few polls here and the latest have Kelly with a 6-7 point lead.

Colorado:         Republican Cory Gardner vs. former Governor John Hickenlooper.  From the moment Hickenlooper got out of the presidential race, Democrats have been very optimistic about this one, but I have not seen any recent polling here.

Iowa:              Republican Joni Ernst is not very popular, but the Democrats won’t choose their candidate until June 2.  Her approval ratings have dropped to 47% but the race may depend on the identity of the as yet unknown Democratic candidate.

Maine:             Republican Susan Collins will be facing State House Speaker Sarah Gideon.  A recent poll (March 5) has Gideon with a 4 point lead over Collins

North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis vs. former State Senator Cal Cunningham.  Two latest polls  (late February) were split, with each candidate having a slight lead

The Republican Pac has also bought air time in Kentucky, where Mitch McConnell will face former Marine combat pilot Amy McGrath.  I have already seen a national ad two times on MSNBC for McGrath.  The two most recent polls were conducted in January, with one having a tie and the other showing McConnell up by 3%.

Two other races to note:

Alabama:         Republicans are having their run-off election in July, and whether Tommy Tuberville or Jeff Sessions wins, it is hard to imagine Democrat Doug Jones holding onto this seat. (Tuberville, endorsed by Trump, is the favorite.)

Montana:         Former Governor and presidential candidate Steve Bullock recently entered this race, giving Democrats a chance vs. Republican incumbent Steve Daines.  The only poll showed a dead heat.

Other races to watch as the year progresses:

Texas (Incumbent Republican John Cornyn)

Georgia special election (Incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler)

Kansas (open seat).