Iowa

Two Potential Democratic Presidential Contenders For 2020 From The Midwest: Sherrod Brown And Amy Klobuchar

The importance of the Midwest in presidential elections has always been something to realize, and ever more so after Hillary Clinton lost Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa in 2016.

Many think had she chosen Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, then she might have won those states, along with Pennsylvania, enough to swing the Electoral College.

So, therefore, much attention is being paid to two Midwestern Democratic Senators, both easily reelected in the Midterm Elections of 2018, as potential Democratic Presidential nominees.

One is the same Sherrod Brown, who never thought of himself as a future President, but is now seriously thinking about it. He is giving interviews where he makes clear that he is seriously considering a run for the White House, and is seen as someone that should not be ignored as a serious candidate if he runs.

Brown has been a member of the Senate for 12 years, and before that, of the House of Representatives for 14 years, after having served as Ohio Secretary of State for eight years, and in the Ohio legislature for eight years before that.

He is an unabashed liberal who has had appeal for the working class, something many Democrats have had trouble with, although Joe Biden has been of similar vein. Brown would be 68 in 2020, a full decade younger than Joe Biden, and Ohio has been a crucial state in presidential elections, with six Ohioans elected President between 1868 and 1923, and Ohio being a state every elected Republican President has won from Abraham Lincoln through Donald Trump.

Also reelected to a third term in the Senate is Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a inheritor of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone. Klobuchar was Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Attorney from 1998 to 2006,and gained a reputation as a tough prosecutor, before her election to the Senate. She has sponsored or cosponsored 98 pieces of legislation, more than any other Senator. She is seen as bipartisan, able to work “across the aisle”, and has a good public image, but not as controversial as Elizabeth Warren or Kirsten Gillibrand, other women thought to be likely to announce for President.

This author has particular feelings of support of Klobuchar for the Presidency, and think she has an excellent chance of being the Democratic nominee for President in 2020, and is more likely to gain support of white working class males, more than Warren, Gillibrand, or Kamala Harris of California. She would be 60 years of age at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020.

Both Brown and Klobuchar are solid possibilities for the Presidency, and are from the “heartland”, rather than the Atlantic and Pacific Coastlines.

So when assessing the upcoming Democratic Presidential race, do NOT dismiss Sherrod Brown nor Amy Klobuchar.

Final Projection On The 2018 Midterm Elections: Democratic House And Senate, And Massive Gain In Democratic Governors

The time has come, the day before the Midterm Elections of 2018, to come up with a final projection on the results.

The sense is that the Democrats are in better shape than many polls indicate, although it might be seen by many as fanciful thinking on my part.

But I sense that the Democrats will do very well on Tuesday, as the first time, other than special elections, to register the people’s view on Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Yes, there is the loyal base, but that is below 40 percent of the nation.

It seems clear that Independents, Suburban men and women, millennials of both genders, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, the Jewish community, and Social Justice Catholics are united in their disgust at the behavior, policies, and corruption of Donald Trump and his administration.

The American people are a good people overall, and one must remember that Donald Trump lost the popular vote massively, but now all that matters is winning more votes than any opponent, and in that regard, Trump and the Republicans who refused to take a stand against him, are on the way to a massive repudiation by the voters.

That does not mean that every nasty Republican will lose or every Democrat that many would wish elected will be successful.

And it could be that, as in 2016, this blogger and author could be way off in his assessment, and I am prepared for that, as much as one can be.

But my inner being tells me the following:

There are so many Republican seats in play in the House of Representatives, including those that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, that one has to believe that many are turning Democratic in this election—including in upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, and California. So expect that while in theory there could be as many as maybe 71 or as few as 15 gains by the Democrats, my feeling is that a safe number is 40-45 seats, which if 45, would make for about 240 Democrats to 195 Republicans, basically a switch from what it is now.

In the US Senate, the Democrats would have to win a net gain of two seats, which now seems attainable. This blogger senses a gain of four Republican seats—Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and even Texas with Beto O’Rourke, but with a loss of two seats, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. But that means Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida would retain their seats, as all three are tough political leaders. So if this all happened, a bit of a miracle, there would be 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, so the Democrats would control and organize the Senate. This prognosis also means the three leading politicians who this author has placed on his “Dream List” of those he wanted defeated, would be—-Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and Marsha Blackburn.

As far as Governorships, the Democrats have 16 right now, and my projection is that they would gain the Midwest states of Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas, along with Southern states Florida and Georgia, along with New Mexico, Nevada, and New England states Maine and Vermont, giving them a total of 28 states under Democratic control. This also means that Scott Walker and Kris Kobach would not be elected in Wisconsin and Kansas, making my “Dream List” fulfilled for the first five on the list.

On the other hand, it is likely that Steve King will win in Iowa for his Congressional seat, although this blogger believes David Brat in his Richmond, Virginia Congressional seat, will lose.

So overall, all but Steve King on my “Dream List” to defeat would lose, while all five of my “Dream List” to win—Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Richard Cordray, and Gavin Newsom, would be triumphant.

This blogger and author may look silly two or three days from now, but that is my final projection, and we shall see!

A “Dream List” To Defeat: Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn, Scott Walker, Kris Kobach, Steve King, Dave Brat

For anyone who is “progressive”, there is a “dream list” of Republicans to defeat.

This would include Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, arguably the most important of all to defeat, as he is a truly disgraceful man and Senator, hated by his own Senate colleagues, including those of his own party. Back in 2016, this blogger thought Cruz was worse than Donald Trump, and still considers him to be purely evil in his demagoguery, and it is hoped Texas will elect Beto O’Rourke, a truly dynamic and inspiring candidate. That would end Ted Cruz’s future quest to run for President in 2020 or 2024.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida, a truly horrific leader for the past eight years, is among the very worst of all Republican governors. He is now trying to win the Senate seat of Bill Nelson, and as a Floridian for the past 30 years, it is hoped that Nelson, who is a moderate, and therefore perfect for the complex politics of Florida, will be able to retire Scott from public life. Otherwise, expect that Scott might seek the Presidency in 2024.

Marsha Blackburn has been a disgraceful Congresswoman from Tennessee, in the same camp as former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota in her lack of any compassion or empathy. It is hoped former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen will win the seat of retiring Senator Bob Corker.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin may be actually worse than Rick Scott, although both are as terrible as one can imagine as state governors. Seeking a third term, it is hoped that Tony Evers, the Democratic nominee and state Superintendent of Instruction, will retire him and his future presidential ambitions.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has spent his career trying to deny the right to vote, and headed a presidential commission working to deny that right, which was disbanded as a failed concept. Now he is running for Kansas Governor against state senator Laura Kelly, and Kansas desperately needs a Democrat in the Governorship after the failed leadership of former Governor and earlier Senator Sam Brownback.

Congressman Steve King of Iowa is probably the most outrageous and despicable Republican in the House of Representatives, an openly white supremacist, racist, nativist demagogue, who has stirred such outrage even among Republicans, that he might be facing a potential vote of expulsion from the House, if he is reelected. J. D. Scholten is his opponent, and it is hoped he can pull off an upset in that Congressional district.

Finally, David Brat, a former Economics Professor, who defeated Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader in a primary in 2014 in a Richmond, Virginia Congressional District, and is allied with the Tea Party Movement, faces a real challenge from Abaigail Spanberger. Former Republican Senator John Warner just endorsed Spanberger over his own party nominee, so there is hope Brat will be retired from the House of Representatives.

If four or five of these seven were to be defeated, it would be a celebratory result of the Midterm Elections of 2018!

Midwest Governorships (Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa) All May Go Democratic In 2018, Affecting Future Reapportionment In States And Congress

With six days to go to the Midterm Elections of 2018, it seems more likely than not that the crucial area of the Midwest will see a tidal wave of Democratic Governorships.

Minnesota is already Democratic controlled in the Governorship, and will likely remain so.

The states of Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all are tending Democratic, with a victory over Scott Walker in Wisconsin the most heralded election of them all, if it occurs.

If all or most of these states go Democratic in the Governorship races, reapportionment of the state legislatures and the US House of Representatives after the 2020 Census will be under control of Democrats, unlike what happened in 2010 after the last census.

Such victories by Democrats could also have an impact on the Presidential Election of 2020, as it would boost the chances of the leading Midwesterner who might seek the White House, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, part of the tradition of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone. Being from a state that borders on Iowa and its first in the nation caucuses in 2020 is an advantage for Klobuchar.

Another possible gainer would be Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and both Klobuchar and Brown would have an edge on gaining the white working class support in their section that fell short for Hillary Clinton, and helped Donald Trump to win the Electoral College in 2016.

So watching the Midwest this next Tuesday night and Wednesday will be a center of attention, and also include Congressional districts that are likely to flip Democratic in these states.

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

The Midwest Battleground Will Determine The Political Future, And The Prospects For Democrats Look Good

The Midwest battleground—Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan—is where the modern political system began, and has been a crucial factor in elections ever since the Republican Party was first created in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summer of 1854.

The Midwest is the heartland of the nation, often ridiculed by those who are from the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, but the states of this area have a “wallop”, the potential to decide the national political trend.

Nine Republican Presidents came from the Midwest—Abraham Lincoln from Illinois; Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding from Ohio; Benjamin Harrison from Indiana; and Herbert Hoover from Iowa; along with Gerald Ford from Michigan inheriting the Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Also, other Republican nominees (Alf Landon, Bob Dole) and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower were from “next door” Kansas in the Great Plains.

At the same time, Midwestern Democrats who ran for President include James Cox of Ohio, Adlai Stevenson II of Illinois, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale from Minnesota, and George McGovern of “next door” South Dakota in the Great Plains, along with Harry Truman of Missouri and Barack Obama of Illinois.

So the Midwest and its nearby neighbors have had an amazing impact, and now the polls indicate the Midwest Governorships that are up for election trend toward Democrats in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, with Ohio also in play.

If the Midwest or most of it is won by Democrats, then the effect on reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census figures are in, will greatly change the political equation for the next decade, so these gubernatorial elections are crucial turning points.

And it may help any Midwestern Democrat who plans to run for President, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar having a great opportunity, in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, plus the image of Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone also helping to give her candidacy a boost.

If the Democratic Presidential nominee is from the Midwest, it gives a boost that a candidate from the Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast cannot give it, as the “Fly Over” States really will, again, as in the past, determine Presidential elections as well as control of Congress.

The Long, Controversial Career Of California Governor Jerry Brown, Arguably Now The Best Governor In America As He Leaves Office At Age 80!

California Governor Jerry Brown became 80 years old last week, and he has proved that an older political leader can be very effective, as he finishes his second consecutive term as the leader of the largest state, and the fourth term altogether going back nearly a half century.

Brown was elected Governor in 1974, when only 36 and served two terms of office until 1982. He was the youngest Governor in modern California history.

Twenty eight years later, at age 72, he was again elected in 2010 and is now finishing his second round of two consecutive terms in the California Governorship.

So over a period of 36 years, he served more years in office than all but a few state Governors in American history.

By the time he retires in January 2019, only Terry Branstad of Iowa, now Ambassador to China, with 22 years four months; George Clinton of New York serving 20 years and 11 months (in the late 18th and early 19th centuries); and South Dakota Governor William Janklow with 16 years and 7 days, will have served longer than Brown at 16 years and 5 days, with Alabama Governor George Wallace having one less day, at 16 years and 4 days–the only five Governors to have served 16 full years and more.

Brown, of course, also sought the Presidency in 1976 and 1980 against Jimmy Carter, and in 1992 against Bill Clinton. Additionally, he was California Secretary of State from 1971-1975, when he became Governor, and also Mayor of Oakland, California from 1999-2007 and California Attorney General from 2007-2011, when he was again elected Governor. Brown also ran for and lost a US Senate bid in 1982 to Peter Wilson, who later went on to be elected Governor of California in 1990 and 1994.

So altogether, he served in public office for 32 of the past 48 years, and was not in public office for 16 years after being in office for 12 years, but then had a “renaissance ” leading to a second period of 20 years. And even in that period of being out of office, he ran for the Presidency a third time.

Brown has always been controversial, but he is now acknowledged by many observers as being the best state governor in America, having revived the fortunes of California in his third and fourth round in Sacramento.

And he has been a leader in fighting Donald Trump and his agenda, particularly in regard to the environment, and on immigration.

So despite the fact that he would be 82 in 2020, some have wondered if he would seek the Presidency yet again 44, 40, and 28 years after earlier seeking the White House.

The odds of his announcing for President or being able to win the nomination and election are extremely long, but Jerry Brown has proved he cannot be judged by normal circumstances, and that if anyone can defy the odds, it is Jerry Brown!

Octogenarians In Congress: Time For Age Limit Of 80, So That Younger Generation, “Fresh Blood”, Comes Into Both Houses

Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.

Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.

Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.

Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.

Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.

Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.

The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.

The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.

There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.

Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

In the midst of constant rehashing of the 2016 Presidential Election results, one point is being lost by political observers.

The nation is changing demographically very rapidly.

What happened in Virginia on Election Day this year is a sign of the future. Suburbanites, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and Independents swung over massively to the Democratic Party.

Those trends are not temporary, but permanent, as the older generation, which tends to be more conservative, dies off over the next decade, and the percentage of more educated people grows, and as the percentages of Latinos and Asian Americans start to change Sun Belt states.

So the near future is clearly that the states of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina will turn Blue, while the Rust Belt Mid West, not as populated with the groups that helped to make Virginia as Blue a state as it is (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) may go back and forth from Red to Blue, but in the Electoral College, the Rust Belt Mid West will matter much less than it did in 2016, assisting the victory of Donald Trump.

So one can say with a great amount of assurance that by 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will have the electoral advantage in the Electoral College, and are unlikely to lose it, as the Republican Party continues to alienate even their base of less educated and rural voters, and as the Sun Belt turns Democratic long term.

Of course, as part of this transition, the Democratic Party needs to move to the Left, be more progressive and liberal,and not come across as a moderate alternative to the Democratic Party, as that is the future of the party, to act more like it is the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson. This is what the groups which helped the Virginia victory desire for the future.