Monthly Archives: February 2016

When Bernie Fails, What Are the College Kids Going to Do?

Who are the college kids going to vote for, between Hillary and Trump?

Anyone who thinks Trump gets their votes is out of his batshit crazy mind.

So, 50% stay home? Wow, that would be a shocker. They are going to throw a temper tantrum and hold their breath till they are purple, with the craziest GOP candidate ever looming out there and Scalia’s replacement on the line? Great citizens there.

There are TWO reasons for voting.  One is FOR something.  The other is AGAINST someone and something.  (I know, brilliant. . . No one has ever thought of that before…)

They will NEVER get their free tuition if the Dems don’t win. This election is THE turning point.

They want more Liberal.  Fine.  Not now, but it’s coming.  “PATIENCE, my Pretties!”

More Liberal (eventually) probably means one step at a time, Hillary now, and build a Democratic sanity back into government. The government isn’t dysfunctional BECAUSE of the Dems, but in spite of the Dems’ best efforts to STOP the idiocy and criminality and deregulation.

Eight years of Hillary will mark 24 out of the last 32 years that we had a Dem in the WH. ONLY that and the years we had Dem majorities in Congress were sane years. Not perfect, but not insane.

The Repugs are self-immolating before our eyes. This is a GREAT opportunity to make BIG inroads into the majorities in Congress. The Senate is more or less a lock for 51 or better. The House – in the House we need 30 wins. That’s tough.

Which is why we need COATTAILS.

It might be worth noting that in 2006, Bush’s last off-year election, when the GOP brand lost credibility, the Dems won 32 and took over. The GOoPer brand isn’t any more popular today than then. And if Trump really DOES have a ceiling of 35-40%, and if the establishment Repugs are talking LOUD about bailing on this election (if not the party), this is a royal opportunity.

Democratic Race Update Feb 16th

I found out today that Wikipedia seems to be keeping tabs on state polls.  I found at least one that was up to Feb 15th, yesterday.   The atest ones for each state seemed to be in the last 20-25 days, so it seems like a fairly good source.  With Wikipedia, it can be a little dodgy on some things because of the open-source editing, but I have no idea what anyone would have to gain by editing in bad information on this.

A surprise was that it looked like Hillary Clinton was leading an awful lot of them. Bernie Sanders, in fact, was only leading in 4 states, including one just past, New Hampshire.  The other three states are his home state of New Hampshire, Maine,  and Alaska.  Those are really small states, delegate-wise.

How Good Does it Look for Bernie?

Bernie is within 5 points in 6 states and within 10 points in 2 others.  The <=5 states are Nevada (0 points – tied), Missouri (5), Ohio (5), Oregon (5), Virginia (3), and Wisconsin (2 points).  The 5-10 point deficits for Bernie are Massachusetts (6 points) and Utah (10).  Basically, Hillary is REALLY kicking his butt in 26 states of the 40 listed, and leading in 10 others – 36 out of 40. For 10 states there were no state polls listed.

How bad?  In 1 state 50 points bad.  In 2 others over 40 points.  In 3 others by over 30 points. In NINE states by over 20 points.  And in 11 states by over 10 points.  It is conceivable that Bernie could surge in some states, especially ones where he can visit frequently.  He seems to have momentum at the moment, but after Super Tuesday will that still be the case?

Bernie will need to budget his visits almost like they were swing states – to go after the ones he can win and forget the others.  Will that be enough?  He has no margin for error.

Right now it looks like the primaries being proportional will give Bernie several hundred delegates that he would not have gotten at all in the old winner-take-all system.  If that system were still in place he would have to think about dropping out in two weeks.  If it were winner-take-all in Super Tuesday states, the only delegates Bernie would win are the 26 from his home state of Vermont. The other 979 from the  other 10 states would go to Hillary.  And it would be all over.

Current Delegate Count So Far

With only Iowa and NH completed, the regular delegate count sits at 36-30, in favor of Bernie Sanders.

Superdelegates So Far

Superdelegates are a slaughter at the moment, too.  Hillary has 395 superdelegates to Bernie’s 14.  These are real delegates with real voting power at the Convention (which opens July 25th).  These delegates are NOT pledged firmly to any candidate, though, so Bernie does have SOME chance of purloining them, if he gets on a tear and it looks like he will win the nomination. That happened in 2008, when many superdelegates switched from Hillary to Barack Obama after he won something like 11 primaries in a row.  This possibiity happening this year is discounted, but you never know.  At this point 8 years ago, most poeple thought Hillary would still take the nomination.

The Running Total, Maestro. . .

So, adding up those really early returns with superdelegates, Hillary has a 415 to 50 lead on Bernie.  With the total needed at 4763, there is a LONG way to go.  But Hillary leading in 45 of the 49 states with polls (Wyoming and DC don’t have any polls listed), AND a 365 overall delegate lead at the moment, Bernie’s outlook is fair to moderately poor.  He’s closing fast in some states, but with the primaries and caucuses coming fast and furious very soon, his ability to get results like Iowa and New Hampshire are not really great.

Nevada this Saturday s a caucus and, though that is a 45-45 tie at the moment, my information is that no one has a clue about what is really going on in Nevada. Like the caucuses in Iowa, no one knows WHO will show up, or how people will vote with everyone looking on.  Caucuses are NOT secret ballots.

Super Tuesday Is Coming Up

Super Tuesday is March 1st, only 3 days after the South Carolina primary, which is a week from Saturday.  (Nevada’s caucuses are this Saturday.)  So, it being Wednesday the 17th today, Super Tuesday is only 13 days away.  Wow!

I did some numbers on the Super Tuesday states, with rules and delegate information gleaned from a site called The Green Papers.

What did I find?   Well, that was when I found out that polling information was being updated pretty well on Wikipedia.  And from the numbers I put together from the latest state polling percentages, I came up with the following for Super Tuesday.  In doing it, I went all the way down to the Congressional District (CD) level and followed the rules for winning delegates proportionately.  Most CDs have 4 to 6 delegates, with a range in Super Tuesday states of 2 to 10.  Most delegates are won at that level.  And those are pledged delegates.

So, my projected count:

Hillary – 610 delegates, of which 525  would be solid, pledged delegates.  85 are what is called PLEOs – un-pledged delegates, but IMHO probable for Hillary (based on MY projecting the polling percentages for those as well as the Congressional District delegates).  PLEOs are “Party Leaders and Elected Officers.

Bernie – 395 delegates, of which 334 are pledged.  61 are un-pledged PLEOs.

Super Tuesday, then, looks at this time to be a boon for Hillary and a bane for Bernie’s chances.  Ignoring the Nevada and South Carolina events for the moment, Hillary looks like she will have about 1,069 total delegates. Bernie minus NV ad SC would have about 445.

Prognosis

Let’s call Nevada a wash and give 23 of its overall delegates to Hillary and 20 to Bernie.  13 of the 43 are PLEOs, 5 pledged and 8 un-pledged. hose being party officials, one has to give the edge there to Hillary.  We will give her 8 to Bernie’s 5. Don’t holler – it’s more likely 9 or 10 for Hillary – maybe even all 13.  It’s a political party, after all, and people who pay their dues get benefits.  Bernie has been in the Democratic Party only since last year.  Hillary has been in it for over 40 years.

Let’s also call South Carolina for Hillary, and of their 59 overall delegates, and with Hillary having a 17-point lead, she will take probably about 35 of the 59 total delegates.  So, Hillary will come out of the next 2 events no worse than even, but likely about 14 delegates to the good.

Hillary figures to be taking about 60% of the delegates on Super Tuesday PLUS she is currently leading by more than 10 points in about 40 states, so one MUST consider the probability that Hillary is going to pull away and keep on pulling away.

At this point I’d have to figure Hillary is a 90% lock.

“We will make it so a Democrat can not govern as a Democrat.”

I ran across this quote by Grover Norquist, from 2003:

We will make it so a Democrat can not govern as a Democrat.”

THAT was decided on high, in the Right-wing think tanks that dictate everything on the Right. The whole thing began back in 1971 (but that is a story for another day).

When the GOP is in the WH, they declare a Unitary Presidency”, claiming all sorts of King George III powers. When a Dem is in the WH, they “make it so a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.” EVERY DAY is obstruction and one day closer to “the next President” who they ASSUME will be their boy.

That is what McConnell is thinking with the Scalia replacement – they can stall until January, and then their guy gets in and not only gets to replace Scalia, but then the liberal Breyer (who wants to retire), and the liberal Bader-Ginsburg (83), and moderate conservative Kennedy (79). They think they get the next FOUR appointments. McConnell is an idiot.

Except that there is a thing called the electoral vote Blue Wall. The Dems have electoral votes from 18 states which have ALL voted Democrat in the last SIX elections, totaling 242 electoral votes. A Dem candidate only needs to get 28 more electoral votes to win the WH. Which is Florida. The GOP needs to get 168. But there are only 226 in play. The Dems have the WH locked up for the next generation. McConnell is an idiot.

If it goes till January, the Dems are taking back the Senate. Now at 46-54, the Dems have SEVEN takeaways, which will give them 53-47. McConnell is an idiot. Continue reading

The Golden Ballot Award for 2012 – Who Will Win in 2016?

I’ve noted in two posts about the 86.8% USA national voting percentage of REGISTERED voters.

I suppose it would be a good thing to give some kind of recognition to the top states in Registered Voting Percentage. And let’s call the recognition The 2012 Golden Ballot Award.

Ten states turned out more than 90.0%, folks!   Ten states n all did better than 90%, and this blog post is to recognize their great achievement of getting at least 9 out of every 10 voters to the polls.  WELL DONE!

And The Winner IS….

The top percentage and The 2012 Golden Ballot Award goes to Colorado, with 94.69% registered voters who cast a ballot in 2012.   Way to freaking GO! They have some seriously committed citizens in the Rockies.

Wisconsin came in a close second, at 94.24%.  Wisconsin thus wins The 2012 Silver Ballot Award.  Close but no cigar – but maybe in 2016.  A tip of the hat to Wisconsin.

Minnesota, with 92.67% won The 2012 Bronze Ballot Award.  92% is fabulous. Let’s see what Minnesotans can do in 2016!

I am color-coding the states here as to Red, Blue , or Swing states.

The other states with over 90.0% were Wyoming (92.16%), Delaware (91.70%), New Hampshire (91.49%), Idaho (91.40%), Oregon (90.94%), Washington DC (90.91%), and Maryland (90.34%).

Those are ALL seriously good numbers, folks.  Registered voter apathy?  I don’t think it exists in those ten states.

And those aren’t ALL.  NINE other states topped the 89% mark!  Six of them are even over 89.5%.  Those nine states include Massachusetts which just BARELY missed the 90.0% mark with 89.97%.  After Massachusetts came Utah (89.81%), Washington (89.752%), New Mexico (89.775%), Virginia (89.74%), Montana (89.51%), Nevada (89.12%), Connecticut (89.09%), and Florida (89.07%).

No registered voter apathy in any of those states, either.

Think of THAT folks, NINETEEN states turned out better than 89% of their registered voters.

Continue reading

Gun Control in the Post-Scalia Era

I didn’t see any mention of gun control today.

But I am sure it will occur to everyone pretty damned soon.

With the SCOTUS changing we can expect to see gun control cases going to the court that wouldn’t have before.

When Kennedy also retires, the balance goes 6-3 the other way.

The current Senate can only forestall so long.  Once November comes and the Blue Wall kicks in and the Senate goes Democratic, only the House stands between the GOP and Götterdämerung.

Obama won’t get gun control, but it’s coming.

 

Ah, Antonin, We Hardly Knew ya. . .

Ding dong, the wicked prick is dead…

The battle to replace Antonin Scalia? I’ve got an interesting idea, if not a great one…

If Obama selects a fairly liberal nominee, the GOP Senate will, of course, drag their feet. They ARE required by the Constitution to consider the nominee. But they’ve already said they won’t okay anybody Obama nominates. But come October, when it is obvious that Hillary or Bernie will win the Oval Office, what do they do THEN? And with it more than 50% likely that the Democrats will win back the Senate, TOO, then what are their options?

Do they keep on saying, “Let the next President name the Justice!!!”

Do they DARE? As it draws near, they may actually opt for Obama’s nominee, after all – rather than one that a Democratic Senate okays…

In the long term, it isn’t going to matter. Justices Kennedy and Bader-Ginsberg are 79 and 82.9. The next President will likely be in office 8 years, at the end of which Kennedy will be 88 and Bader-Ginsberg 92.8. Meaning that TWO more Justices will be named by a Democrat. (Trump and Cruz have NO chance in November, and will get slaughtered.)

That, with this nomination, will change the court from 5-4, Conservative to 7-2, Moderate-Liberal. The SCOTUS will be changed for the next generation.

Possibly even on more, BTW. Chief Justice John Roberts has a weak heart. He had a heart attack around the time of his nomination.

This is a no-win situation for the Conservatives. Add the bat shit crazies that they have running for President, and their brand is near death. Add to that the internal revolution in their party, and the upcoming months should be extremely bad for the GOP.

Stay tuned. . .

There it is again: In 2012 86.8% of registered voters DID vote, but. . .

But some otherwise well-informed people keep repeating the same untruth.

My go-to website today (Super Bowl Sunday) repeated it – AGAIN:

Get-Out-The-Vote Operations Have Become More Sophisticated

In 2008, a team of political scientists from Yale and the University of Northern Iowa conducted a now-famous study in which they sent a mailer to 340,000 people reminding them of their voting history, telling them about their neighbors’ voting histories, letting them know their neighbors had received a similar mailer, and finally announcing that the neighbors would later receive a similar mailer that included whether the recipient voted in the upcoming election. The scientists discovered that this mailer raised turnout rates more than any other voting tactic. In Iowa, Ted Cruz used a threatening variant of this scheme in which the envelope was stamped “VOTING VIOLATION,” insinuating that not voting was a crime. For this tactic, Cruz was lambasted by Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate.

This tactic and variations of it are not the only tool in the candidates’ bag of tricks these days. Studies by university researchers have revealed some other things campaigns can do to increase turnout. Since all campaigns have huge databases containing information on every voter, they can focus like a laser on increasing turnout of their supporters and not of their opponents.

You see, to even HAVE a voting record, you need to be registered.  And IF you registered, then 7 out of 8 of you DID vote in 2012.  All the crap about low turnout is simply not true.  See my post of January 14th, Why Have Polls Been So Wrong? Maybe They Should Try Polling Registered Voters (DUH)

The facts are that in Presidential elections those who are registered DO VOTE.  When 7 out of 8 vote, we have to consider that a GOOD TURNOUT.

The problem, as noted in that earlier post, is to get people registered in the first place.

If someone HAS a voting record, they are already registered.  All that effort to embarrass them into voting?  All they are going to be able to do is get A PORTION of the 1 out of 8 registered voters who didn’t happen to vote in 2012. But that is only 13% of the registered voters.

And getting out the vote campaigns can only target that same 13%.
It’s quite a bit like preaching to the choir.  People who register VOTE.  Plain and simple.  Why go to all that trouble over that 13% ( nationwide), when

On the other hand, why isn’t there a big push to GET MORE PEOPLE REGISTERED?  There were 61.9 million CITIZENS in 2012 who were not registered.  There were 20.2 million registered voters who didn’t vote.  Which number is bigger, 61.9 million or 20.2 million?  Why is no one making a concerted effort to go after the 61.9 million instead of the 20.2 million?

That makes no sense to me.  THREE TIMES as many citizens are unregistered as non-voting registered citizens.  There is three times the UP SIDE to getting them registered.

Because if they get registered, THEY WILL VOTE – to the tune of about 7 out of 8.

This is a no-brainer and everyone is missing it.