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).

Biden, the VP & Other Random Thoughts

by admingene on March 16, 2020

At last night’s debate, Joe Biden may have given us a big hint as to who will be his choice for Vice-President:

  • Last week in an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell, Biden said it was “very important” to pick a vice-presidential candidate who had been tested in the Democratic debates.  That means Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren.
  • Also last week, Jim Clyburn said Biden should pick an African-American woman for V.P.
  • Last night, Biden also said his first appointment to the Supreme Court would be an African-American woman.
  • Biden needs to pick someone who will help him win closely contested states.  This does not describe Warren or Harris (with the possible exception of Harris for North Carolina).
  • Conclusion:  By declaring he will pick an African-American woman for the Supreme Court he is showing his commitment to this important constituency.  Therefore, although a case can be made for Harris, I think the arrows right now point to him picking the one woman who will help him solidify his support in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – Amy Klobuchar.

Tomorrow’s four primaries, in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio should be big wins for Joe Biden.  However, will the coronavirus keep people away from the polls, especially among one of Biden’s strongest constituencies, older voters?  It probably wouldn’t be enough for Sanders to win any of these states, but it could make the votes closer than they should be.

If you ever run into someone who supported Sanders, Warren or one of the other Democrats, and is reluctant to vote for Biden, just tell them this:  On January 20, 2025:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be almost 92 years old
  • Stephen Breyer will be 86
  • No Republican appointee will be older than 76, and some much younger

Have you ever noticed how the weight and responsibility of being President usually ages a man more than the 4 years in office?  This has been true for every President except Trump.  He has only gotten fatter, both literally and financially.

During the 1980’s, during the AIDS epidemic, many people, including then-President Reagan, feared, ignored and even scorned efforts to fight the disease until Rock Hudson announced that he was gay and he had AIDS.  That put a familiar face on the epidemic and led some people to finally start taking it seriously.  I wonder if when Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife had contracted the coronavirus, this put a familiar face on it, and finally made a lot of people take the pandemic seriously. 

Fearless Forecasts – Super Tuesday 2020

by admingene on March 3, 2020

FEARLESS FORECASTS – SUPER TUESDAY

March 3, 2020

This will be brief:  My best guesses for tonight’s (March 3,2020) Super Tuesday results.

ALABAMA:               Biden

ARKANSAS:              Biden

CALIFORNIA:           Sanders (but Biden will be closer than people have expected)

COLORADO:            Sanders

MAINE:                   Sanders

MASSACHUSETTS:    Sanders (though it could be Warren – probably close)

MINNESOTA:           Sanders (but fairly close with Biden)

NORTH CAROLINA:   Biden

OKLAHOMA:            Biden

TENNESSEE:            Biden

TEXAS:                   Biden (but close with Sanders)

UTAH:                    Sanders

VERMONT:              Sanders

VIRGINIA:               Biden

So there it is: 7 for Biden, 6  or 7 for Sanders and maybe 1 for Warren.  If I am grossly incorrect I will blame it all on fake news.

Almost to Super Tuesday

by admingene on February 27, 2020

FEBRUARY 27, 2020

ALMOST TO SUPER TUESDAY

After the Democrats’ 4,335th or so debate on Tuesday, the clear winner so far has been Donald Trump.  Every poll taken in the past year says the same thing – the most important thing for Democrats is beating Trump.  Unfortunately, large numbers of people are voting for Bernie Sanders, the person with the worst or second-to-worst chance to actually reach that goal.

 

Although many voters are not choosing Sanders, in a crowded field, his core of supporters is strong enough to have much of the punditry anointing him as the presumptive nominee.  They see him as the Democrats’ 2020 version of Donald Trump in 2016:  a candidate with a strong base against a fractured field that cannot come together behind a candidate who might possibly win in November.  And they may be correct.  On Super Tuesday, Sanders probably will do well in a number of states (especially California and Texas).  With so many candidates in the race, it will only magnify Sanders’ support.  The only hope is for one candidate to do very well, even if that person does not do as well as Sanders, to emerge as THE alternative.  Personally, I am waiting for the South Carolina results before voting, hoping that the best alternative will become clear by Sunday morning.

 

A few random thoughts on the race:

 

  • There are two things that give me some slight hope for a Sanders victory in November. First, his success thus far has been built on a strong grassroots organization, something that will be very helpful in the general election, too.  Second, I believe that Sanders appeals to some of the same people as Trump, disaffected people who feel powerless in today’s America.  It is somewhat reminiscent of 1968, when you would see cars with bumper stickers for Bobby Kennedy and then, after he was killed, those same cars would have bumper stickers for the person most unlike him, George Wallace.
  • Bernie’s interview on 60 minutes was a disaster. Whether accurate or not, to most voters it will sound as if Bernie Sanders believes Castro did some good things and only incidentally was not a good person.
  • Bye-bye Florida. And Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and…
  • And that doesn’t even take into account what the Republicans will make of Bernie honeymooning in the Soviet Union and being a Democratic Communist, oops, Socialist. To the Republicans and many Americans, there will be no difference between socialist and communist.
  • In the end, the election will be about Bernie Sanders, when it should be about Donald Trump. If the election is not about the horror in the White House, we lose.
  • Four years ago, I compared Sanders to George McGovern, but I don’t think that is wholly accurate. Bernie is a much more dynamic personality and speaker.  McGovern was a really good man but pretty dull.  Bernie would win more than the one state that McGovern won, but a loss is still a loss.
  • I always like the smartest person in the room. This year, that’s Pete Buttigieg.  Unfortunately, I believe this country is not ready to elect a gay president.  In Iowa, there were instances of people wanting their caucus votes back after they found out he was gay.  We can be sure the Republicans will not let anyone miss this piece of information before the election in November.  So sad.  Maybe in 4 or 8 years.
  • Democrats often look to young, very smart leaders (see JFK, Clinton and Obama). Mayor Pete fits that description.  Republicans don’t like young and they certainly don’t care about smart (see Trump and George W. Bush).
  • Joe Biden more than anyone else in the race, seems to show his age. Or at least he did so in the early debates and campaign events. While he has gotten better, it is what keeps him from connecting with younger voters.  It is definitely not too late, but as everyone says, he must win South Carolina.  He (and maybe everyone not supporting Sanders) needs for Biden to have a solid victory.
  • Gayle King may have summed up one of Biden’s strongest attributes vs. Trump when she said he was “a gentleman”. Most people (even many of Trump’s supporters) abhor Trump’s behavior and are looking for civility in politics and society as a whole.
  • A number of really good candidates either were not able to compete financially (such as Cory Booker and Michael Bennet) or have little chance to get the nomination. In this latter case, I am thinking particularly about Amy Klobuchar.  She would be a terrific candidate against Trump but does not have a realistic path to get the nomination.  But she would be a great Vice Presidential nominee.  I wonder, would Mike Pence trust himself to be on the same stage with her in a debate?  Or would he have to have his wife with him?

 

That’s it for now.  More when the spirit moves me.  Enjoy the show!

November 2018 – Fearless Forecasts

by admingene on November 1, 2018

 

November 6, 2018 – Fearless Forecasts

 

We begin with 2 thoughts that seem to be appropriate in 2018.

“…you can fool some of the people all of the time…”

–Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

–Attributed to P.T. Barnum

 

One Important Note:

Everything is moving very fast in so many races every day, it becomes very difficult to accurately gauge what will happen on Election Day.  And after the debacle of 2016, only a fool would try to predict the outcome of this year’s elections.  So here goes:

Let’s start with the good news.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Admittedly, I have not looked at these races on an individual, race-by-race basis.  However, all indications point to the Democrats taking control of the House.  While the Brett Kavanaugh hearings seemed to energize Trump’s core supporters, this seems to have become undone by the events of the last week – i.e., the Florida mail bomber and the maniac who killed 11 people at the Pittsburgh synagogue.  Many people were reminded of the damage that Trump has been doing to our country.

Democratic control of the House may not be by much (or it may), but even a one vote majority is enough to stop some of the more terrible things the current administration will try to foist upon this country.  And it will allow the Congress to do its job and begin investigating the rampant corruption (starting with the crook-in-chief).

GOVERNORS

36 of the 50 states are electing their governors in November.  While most will either re-elect sitting governors or install new governors from the same party as now, there are 11 contests where a current Republican governorship may become Democratic.  There does not appear to be any contest where the reverse is true (Democratic changing to Republican), although Independent and former Republican Bill Walker may be replaced by Republican Mike Dunleavy in Alaska.  These elections are especially important as reapportionment will occur after the 2020 census and the party in power gerrymanders its way to success in Congressional and legislative elections.

At least 7 of the 11 contested elections will be close, as follows:

Florida:    Hottest race in the country.  African-American Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum vs. big time Trump supporter former Congressman Ron DeSantis.  If there is no or minimal hidden racist vote, Gillum will win for the Democrats. (I think he will.)

Georgia:   African-American Democratic legislator Stacey Abrams vs. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  Massive voter suppression efforts by Kemp and Republicans may help Kemp retain this seat for the Republicans, but race could go either way.

Illinois:     Slam dunk win for Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

Iowa:       Democrat Fred Hubbell will unseat Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds.

Kansas:    Third candidate in the race gives Democrats a chance to defeat anti-immigrant (and undoubtedly racist) Kris Kobach in Alf Landon’s home state.  Unfortunately, Kansas is still soooo Republican, Kobach probably will win; but polling has it VERY close.

Maine:     There has been very little polling in this race, but Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills should have little problem defeating Republican businessman Shawn Moody to replace Incumbent and extremely conservative Republican Paul Lepage.

Michigan:  Democratic State Senator Gretchen Whitmer should defeat Republican Bill Schuette.

Nevada:   Democrat Steve Sisolak has a chance to beat someone with a big family name in Nevada politics, State Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, but it will be tough.  Laxalt uses his middle name because it is the same as his grandfather’s first name (former U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt).  Republican may have a slight edge.

New Mexico: In a contest between two members of Congress, Democrat Michelle Lujan
Grisham should be an easy winner over Republican Steve Pearce.

Ohio:       Close contest but Democrat Richard Cordray, former Director of the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seems to have a very good chance to defeat former U.S. Senator, Republican Mike DeWine.  Despite Ohio’s recent history, I think the Democrat will squeak this one out.

Wisconsin:             Tea Party and now long-time Governor Scott Walker faces a tough
challenge from Democrat Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction.  There has not been a lot of polling done here.  I’m hoping
that Wisconsin voters have         finally had enough of Walker. I believe (hope?)
Evers will win.

In summary, I think Democrats may flip as many as 8 of these governorships out of the hands of Republicans.

 

U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGNS

Now, for the not-so-good news.

This year, there are 35 seats up for election.

24 are currently held by Democrats

9 are currently held by Republicans

2 are held by independents who caucus with the Democrats: Bernie Sanders in Vermont and Angus King in Maine.

The remaining seats divide as follows:  23 Democrats and 42 Republicans.

Here is how the 35 seats shape up:

Safe/Very Likely Democratic (21)              Safe/Very Likely Republican (7)

California (Dianne Feinstein)                    Mississippi (Roger Wicker)

Connecticut (Chris Murphy)                      Mississippi 2 (Cindy Hyde-Smith)

Delaware (Tom Carper)                          Nebraska (Deb Fischer)

Hawaii (Mazie Hirono)                            North Dakota (Kevin Cramer)

Maine (Angus King)*                              *Texas (Ted Cruz)

Maryland (Ben Cardin)                            Utah (Mitt Romney)

Massachusetts (Elizabeth Warren)            Wyoming (John Barrasso)

Michigan (Debbie Stabenow)

Minnesota 1 (Amy Klobuchar)

Minnesota 2 (Tim Smith)                         *Democrats are excited about

New Jersey (Robert Menendez)                Beto O’Rourke in Texas, but no

New Mexico (Martin Heinrich)                  poll has had him closer than 5 or

New York (Kirsten Gillibrand)                   6 points in weeks.

Ohio (Sherrod Brown)

Pennsylvania (Bob Casey)

Rhode Island (Sheldon Whitehouse)

Vermont (Bernie Sanders)*

Virginia (Tim Kaine)

Washington (Maria Cantwell)

West Virginia (Joe Manchin)

Wisconsin (Tammy Baldwin)

*Independents caucus with Democrats

 

7  Contested Seats

Arizona – Open Seat, currently held by Republican Jeff Flake

Currently held by frequent Trump critic (but also someone who usually votes with Trump), Jeff Flake, this may be the best chance for the Democrats to capture a Republican seat.  Eventually, the changing demographics of Arizona will give Democrats a breakthrough.  I think this is the year:

Prediction:  KYRSTEN SINEMA PICKS UP SEAT FOR DEMOCRATS

Florida – Bill Nelson, Democratic incumbent

Another very close election, with Governor Rick Scott the Republican candidate.  Most recent polling gives Nelson a very slight edge.  Who am I to disagree?

Prediction:  NELSON HOLDS SEAT FOR DEMOCRATS

Indiana – Joe Donnelly, Democratic incumbent

Six years ago, Donnelly won this seat when Republicans nominated an extreme “tea party” candidate.  But Indiana is a very red state.

Prediction: MIKE BRAUN PICKS UP SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

Missouri –Claire McCaskill, Democrat incumbent

As was the case six years ago, McCaskill will have a very tough time holding onto her seat in another red state.  This is another one that is VERY CLOSE.  This prediction comes with a lot of hope.

Prediction:  DEMOCRAT MCCASKILL HOLDS SEAT

Montana – Jon Tester, Democrat Incumbent

This is the seat that Trump has targeted as the one he most wants the Republicans to win.  But Montana is an unusual state – very red in presidential elections, but more volatile in other statewide contests.  However, on Halloween, Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge dropped out of the race and endorsed strong Trump supporter, Republican State Auditor Matt Rosendale.  This could change everything, or nothing.  For now, I will stick with my initial thoughts on this race.

Prediction:  DEMOCRAT TESTER HOLDS SEAT

Nevada – Dean Heller, Republican incumbent

Early on, this looked like a good chance for a Democratic pick-up for Congresswoman Jacky Rosen.  It is still possible.  It should be close.

Prediction:  REPUBLICAN HELLER HOLDS SEAT

Tennessee – Open Seat, currently held by Republican Bob Corker

In another very red state, Democrats are hoping for an upset.  Republicans have nominated a very right-wing Trumpite, Marsha Blackburn.  Democrats have the popular former governor, Phil Bredesen.  This one should be closer than most Tennessee elections.

Prediction:  BLACKBURN HOLDS SEAT FOR REPUBLICANS

 

FINAL PREDICTED TOTALS

Democrats win 23 seats

Republicans win 11 seats

Independents win 2 seats (and caucus with Democrats)

Senate will have:    46 Democrats

52 Republicans

2 Independents (who caucus with Democrats)

This gives Republicans an effective 52-48 majority, one better than what they have today.  Even in the unlikely event that Democrats win Nevada and Tennessee, Republicans will still hold a majority because of the Vice-President’s tie-breaking vote.  But considering that Democrats had so many, and Republicans had so few seats to defend, maintaining the status quo is not too bad a result.