Indiana

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.

How Slim Margins Decide So Many Presidential Elections And Affect American History And Government Policies!

The argument that many ill informed people have is that “voting does not matter”, when just the opposite is true.

As we begin 2017 and the reality of President Trump in 19 days, a look at history tells us clearly how small numbers of votes or percentages of votes make a dramatic difference, as demonstrated in the following elections in American history:

1844– a switch of a few thousand votes in New York would have given the election to Henry Clay, instead of James K. Polk, and the difference was the small third party, the Liberty Party.

1848–a switch of a few thousand votes, again in New York, would have given the election to Lewis Cass, instead of Zachary Taylor, but Free Soil Party nominee, Martin Van Buren, former Democratic President and from New York, won ten percent of the total national vote, and threw the election to Whig candidate Taylor in New York.

1876—the dispute over the contested votes of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida led to a special Electoral Commission set up, which rewarded all of those three states’ electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, although Democrat Samuel Tilden led nationally by about 250,000 popular votes.

1880–James A. Garfield won the popular vote by the smallest margin ever, about 2,000 votes, and won the big state of New York by only 20,000 votes, in defeating his opponent Winfield Scott Hancock.

1884–Grover Cleveland won his home state of New York by about 1,000 votes, which decided the election, and nationally only by about 57,000 votes over James G. Blaine.

1888–Grover Cleveland won the national popular vote by about 90,000, but lost in close races in his home state of New York and opponent Benjamin Harrison’s home state of Indiana, so lost the Electoral College, as Harrison became President. The Harrison lead in New York was less than 14,000 votes and in Indiana, less than 2,000.

1916—Woodrow Wilson won California by less than 4,000 votes, but enough to elect him to the White House over Republican Charles Evans Hughes.

1948–Harry Truman won three states by less than one percent–Ohio, California and Illinois–over Thomas E. Dewey, and that decided the election.

1960–John F. Kennedy won Illinois by about 8,000 votes; Texas by about 46,000 votes; and Hawaii by under 200 votes, and only had a two tenths of one percentage point popular vote victory nationally, about 112,000 votes, over Richard Nixon.

1976–Jimmy Carter won over Gerald Ford by two percentage points, but a switch of 5,600 votes in Ohio and 3,700 votes in Hawaii would have given the election to Ford.

2000—Al Gore lost Florida by 537 votes, in the final judgment of the Supreme Court, which intervened in the election, and had he won Florida, he would have been elected President, even though he won the national popular vote by about 540,000. Bush also won New Hampshire by only about 7,000 votes, but won the Electoral College 271-266.

2016–Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by about 2.85 million, but lost the crucial states of Michigan by about 10,000; Wisconsin by about 22,000; and Pennsylvania by about 46,000, to Donald Trump, so together about 79,000 votes decided the Electoral College.

So the idea that voting is not important, does not matter, is proved wrong so many times in American history! Every vote does indeed count, and has long range implications on who sits in the White House, and what policies are pursued, which affect all of us!

Democrats Only Gain 6 House Seats, 2 Senate Seats In 2016 Elections: Can They Recover In 2018?

The Democratic Party, which looked on the edge of becoming the dominant party in America, at least on the Presidential level, now is faced with the possibility of a long term status as the party that can win the coast lines and the majority of the popular vote for President, but still lose the Electoral College again and again, with twice in the past generation, 2000 and now 2016.

By all estimates, in the long run, whatever that means, the demographic changes in America will insure that the Democrats will eventually have a tremendous advantage, but for now, the situation is gloomy, as the Democrats only gained 6 House seats and 2 Senate seats, and the loss of Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Evan Bayh in Indiana, when both were heavily favored, was startling.

So the job is to recruit a future generation of leadership on the state level as well as the national level, and unfortunately, the Democrats on the national level have just shot themselves in the foot, by electing once again the same old team (all in their mid 70s) of Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn to leadership of their party in the House of Representatives.

And picking an African American and first Muslim in Congress, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, as the Democratic National Chairman, which now seems inevitable with Howard Dean withdrawing from the race, is not exactly the greatest choice either.

So can the Democrats recover in 2018? They likely would gain some seats in the House of Representatives, but not control, and the Senate will be almost impossible not to lose seats, as 25 of 33 seats up for election are Democratic seats, so the future is gloomy, as the situation now seems.

Looking Back At My Projections on the Presidential Races Of 2008 And 2012

As I am about to project the Presidential race of 2016, it is a good idea to look back at my projections on this blog in 2008 and 2012.

In 2008, I projected a final electoral vote of 364-174 and 28 states, and I was only off by ONE electoral vote, as I projected the state of Missouri with 10 electoral votes would go for Barack Obama over John McCain, rather than Indiana with 11 electoral votes! So by winning Indiana, and not Missouri, Barack Obama won the Electoral College with 365-173.

In 2012, I projected a final electoral vote of 332-206 and 26 states, and was totally correct that Obama would defeat Mitt Romney!

So I hope I will be totally accurate this time, when I announce my projection tomorrow!

So for two elections, I was off by only ONE electoral vote, assuming wrongly that Missouri, not Indiana, would go for Obama in 2008!

Final Projections On Congressional Elections: The House Of Representatives And US Senate 2016

With five days to go to the Presidential and Congressional Elections of 2016, I wish to state what I believe will be the likely results in the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

It is very difficult to project the results in 435 Congressional elections, but it is clear that under present circumstances, and with the existent gerrymandering, the Republican Party has a tremendous edge in House races, and they have a 30 seat edge over the majority of 218 seats required.

Presently the balance in the House is 247-188, and I forecast that the Democrats will gain 18-20 seats, to a total of 229-206 or 227-208, a major gain, but not enough to gain control.

So we will have divided government, as we had in 2011-2014, but with the Senate assuredly going Democratic from a present total of 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats, to at least 52 Democrats and 48 Republicans–a six seat gain.

Illinois–Tammy Duckworth
Indiana–Evan Bayh
Wisconsin–Russ Feingold
New Hampshire–Maggie Hassan
Pennsylvania–Kathleen McGinty
North Carolina–Deborah Ross

Also, three other seats are possible:

Florida–Patrick Murphy
Missouri–Jason Kander
Arizona–Ann Kirkpatrick

Finally, Nevada will elect Catherine Cortez Masto to replace Harry Reid, keeping that seat Democratic.

So if everything went well, the maximum Democrats in the Senate would be 55-45, which would be significant, since in 2018, the Democrats have to protect two thirds of the open seats, and the party in the White House tends to lose seats in midterms, so if only 52, the Democrats might lose the Senate two years hence!

“Coattails” Vs. “Split Ticket”: Which Will Occur In November?

Now with two weeks to the election, speculation is rising that Hillary Clinton may win a landslide victory over Donald Trump, and that she might have “coattails”, help to carry in a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

The Senate part of this equation seems very likely, but to gain the House of Representatives majority will be very difficult, with the Republicans having a 30 seat majority right now, greater than at any point since 1928.

The last time a President coming into office had the effect of switching both houses of Congress was 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower brought in Republican majorities, which, however, were lost by 1954.

After that, the House of Representatives did not fall into Republican hands again for 40 years, until 1994!

The Senate, however, did fall into Republican hands with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, only to be reversed in 1986.

So best bet is that the House majority will be knocked down a great amount, maybe 20 seats gain, but short of a majority for the Democrats.

On the other hand, the Senate seems likely to turn over, and Hillary Clinton could help to switch the states of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, as well as Indiana, and keeping Nevada, the only contested Democratic seat, meaning a eight state gain for the Democrats, from 46 seats to 54, and including the likely defeat of Marco Rubio and John McCain.

Missouri, a less likely state for Hillary Clinton, but within reach, could also see Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee, defeat Senator Roy Blunt, but not seen as such, unless Missouri reverts to being a bellwether state which it was for a century, but not so in 2012.

Iowa and Ohio seem more likely to keep Chuck Grassley and Rob Portman, even if Hillary Clinton wins their states.

So the idea of a “split ticket”, only 11 percent in recent election years, seems only likely in those two Midwestern states, and maybe in Missouri and Indiana, but Hillary likely to carry other states listed above and help to make the Senate Democratic majority.

Mike Pence And Donald Trump: A Horrible Partnership With No Future!

The team of Mike Pence and Donald Trump is a horrible partnership with no future.

Mike Pence will not be in government after 2016, as he was not running for reelection as Governor of Indiana, and was seen as likely to lose another term, being way behind in public opinion polls, after he signed a law limiting gay rights, which had to be changed due to business and public opposition.

Also, his anti abortion views were causing greater restrictions on a woman’s right to determine her own future in Indiana, more than in many other states.

Pence is a religious right wing freak, who puts his religion before anything else, and he fails to understand that we have separation of church and state ingrained in our political system by the Founding Fathers.

He also flirted with the Tea Party Movement in Congress in his last years in the House of Representatives before running for the Indiana Governorship in 2012.

Pence is seen by many as a potential Presidential candidate in 2020 in the wake of the Donald Trump disaster, but he is no shining star for the GOP future, and if he is, somehow, the nominee, the Republican Party would end up in a massive Electoral College defeat once again.

It is also clear that Mike Pence is uncomfortable in his role as Vice Presidential running mate, and probably thought of quitting several times, when Donald Trump contradicted him, including once in the Presidential debates, and also after the sexual abuse charges leveled against Trump by 10 women, and the Access Hollywood tape.

It seems he would have little impact on Donald Trump’s thinking or policies, were, God forbid, Trump to become President.

But Donald Trump has dug his own grave, and is taking Mike Pence and the Republican Party down with him!

Trump Support Hemorraghing Rapidly In “Red” States!

Three weeks to go until the Presidential Election of 2016, and it seems clear, by public opinion polls,that Donald Trump’s support in “Red” states is hemorrhaging rapidly.

His mishandling of the sexual assault allegations has turned many Republicans against him, and his condemnation of Republican leadership, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, is damaging his ability even to hold on to the loyal Republican states.

So we have evidence that the following states are possible pick ups by Hillary Clinton:

North Carolina
Georgia
Arizona
Utah
Indiana
Missouri
South Carolina
Texas
Alaska
Mississippi
Kansas
Nebraska (or at least the Omaha area)

One can be quite certain that many of these states will, in the end, still back Donald Trump, but by a much smaller margin than for Mitt Romney in 2012 or John McCain in 2008.

But the first four on the above list look ripe for being picked up by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

I will post an entry close to the election on my final projections, and I remind my readers that, independent of Nate Silver in 2012, I projected, as he did, the precise electoral vote distribution-332-206.

I also will publish my projection on History News Network, and will be on radio with Jon Grayson of CBS St Louis, KMOX 1120 AM, Overnight with Jon Grayson, one of the radio shows I have been on, and posted on the right side of the blog, on Election Night at 1 AM ET on November 9, a few hours after the polls have closed, to comment on the results.

Donald Trump Seems In Free Fall In Many “Red ” States After Access Hollywood Tape And Accusations Of Sexual Assault!

All of a sudden, it seems possible that Donald Trump may lose many “red” states. This has occurred as news of the Access Hollywood tape and multiple accusations of sexual assault by a multitutude of women, who live far apart and do not know each other, keep on becoming news. The question is why would these women put themselves through publicity if it was not true, as they are gaining nothing financially from the revelations. So suddenly, Trump is in trouble, just trying to keep “red” states when he needs to win “swing” states.

Hillary Clinton leads in North Carolina, and is within the margin of error in Georgia and Arizona in many polls.

Also, Utah looks in play with Mormon dislike of Trump, and the independent candidacy of Evan McMullin, in a very tight four person race with Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Gary Johnson.

Additionally, Missouri and Indiana have very small leads for Trump, with Clinton apparently gaining.

And even South Carolina and Texas have close leads for Trump, when for a Republican nominee, it should be an easy win.

And get this, even Alaska looks like it might give Hillary Clinton a chance to win that small populated state.

The odds, of course, are that Hillary Clinton will only win North Carolina, and likely Georgia and possibly Arizona.

But the idea of close races in six other states is mind boggling!

Two Former Democratic Senators On Way To Return To US Senate: Russ Feingold And Evan Bayh!

It seems as if two former Democratic Senators are on their way to a return to the US Senate this November.

Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, one of the very best progressive oriented Senators in all of American history, who lost his seat in the 2010 midterm elections to businessman and Republican Ron Johnson, after serving from 1992-2010, is now way ahead of Johnson, and so we will have a rare rematch. Johnson has been a horrible, extremist right wing Senator, and his leaving the Senate will be a plus for the institution, and re-install the progressive tradition, established by the La Follette father and son, Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. a century ago, and followed up by William Proxmire, Gaylord Nelson and Feingold.

Evan Bayh of Indiana, son of the great liberal Senator Birch Bayh, served in the Senate from 1998-2010, and chose not to run for reelection, but now is coming back to win his Senate seat. Bayh is much more moderate than his dad was, but Indiana is a tough state for a progressive, and Bayh is a plus for the Democrats, as they attempt to win a Senate majority, so important for the Supreme Court future.

The odds of a Democratic takeover of the Senate is growing as we come down to one month to the elections.