Midwest States

The Castro Brothers, Julian And Joaquin, Big Time Political Stars

Two Texas brothers and identical twins, Julian and Joaquin Castro, have become big time political stars, with Julian running for President, and Joaquin leading the charge as his campaign manager, and the leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 116th Congress.

Julian was Mayor of San Antonio, the seventh largest city in America, from 2009-2014, and was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014-2017 under President Barack Obama. If elected, he would be the first Hispanic/Latino President, and the first President since Herbert Hoover whose highest federal position was as a cabinet officer under a President. He was considered a finalist to run for Vice President with Hillary Clinton in 2016, and some observers think he would have helped Clinton to win the Electoral College, but that subject to debate. He gained notice in 2012 nationally when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.

If Julian Castro was elected, he would be the third youngest President, behind Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. He supports comprehensive immigration reform; free trade; first two years of public higher education tuition free; universal health care and Medicare For All; the Paris Climate Accord; refusal to take PAC money as part of his campaign; Affirmative Action; and assault weapons ban; gay rights; and abortion rights. So that makes him a progressive on the left of the Democratic Party, but not seen as far left as Bernie Sanders.

Brother Joaquin Castro has been a Congressman from the San Antonio area since 2013, so is in his fourth term in the House of Representatives. Earlier, he was a member of the Texas State House of Representatives from 2003-2013. This year, Joaquin has been the leader in organizing to oppose Donald Trump’s Border Wall Emergency Declaration, and has been standing out as one of the leading members of the Democratic caucus.

To differentiate himself from his brother, Joaquin has grown a beard, as otherwise, it is impossible to tell which brother is Joaquin or Julian. Some humorists have said Joaquin could replace Julian in a public sphere, and most people would not know the difference.

It is rumored that Joaquin, while running his brother’s campaign for President, might also seek the Senate seat of Republican John Cornyn in 2020.

It is clear that the Castro brothers will be national figures for the long term future, no matter what happens.

This author and blogger, at this point, is quite enthused by Julian Castro, who is seen as on his short list of favorites for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

It would be fitting if we had a Latino President after Donald Trump has bashed Latinos and people from Mexico as part of his nativism as a candidate and as a President.

It is felt that if Castro was the Democratic nominee in 2020, the state of Texas, with 38 electoral votes would be in play, and if won, the Midwest battleground everyone talks about would not be as crucial in winning the Electoral College.

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.

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.

New Quinnipiac And Marist Polls And Other Polls Show Sharp Turn Against Donald Trump In Battleground Midwest States

New Quinnipiac and Marist Polls show a sharp turn against Donald Trump in battleground Midwest states, crucial to the Democratic Party’s chances to keep their Senate seats and gain at least two to have a majority, as well as undermine Donald Trump for the 2020 Presidential election. Other polling estimates also show great promise for Democrats at this point.

The polls indicate a 12 point advantage for Democrats in key races for Congress, and the Midwest heartland is particularly showing evidence that Senate seats being defended are in good shape with a bit more than 100 days to the midterm elections on November 6. The House seats look promising too for Democrats to gain a majority, but the problem of Republican gerrymandering after the 2010 midterm elections remains a challenge in many areas of the nation. Governorships are also extremely important with the 2020 census and reapportionment of seats in Congress and the state legislatures on the horizon.

Women have become candidates in much larger numbers than ever before, and young people and minorities, and suburban whites all seem ready to take action to make Congress and President Trump accountable for the reprehensible behavior of the Republican Party in the past 18 months and earlier years.

No one can afford to be lax about voting, as only voting can change things, and yet, there is concerning evidence already that the Russians are again engaged in interference in midterm elections in several states. Just today, it was made clear that Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill had had interference by Russian attempts to undermine her close reelection contest.

We must be vigilant, and it is a crime that Trump and the Republicans in charge of Congress refuse to allocate extra funding to work against Russian interference.

It is also outrageous that Trump is now stating that he thinks there is interference, and that the Russians are trying to work against him and help the Democrats, a totally preposterous concept.

17 Republican States, All South, Great Plains, And Mountain West, Live In Alternative Universe As Rabid Trump Supporters

After six months in office, Donald Trump’s public opinion ratings languish at 36 percent in many polls, and no higher than 40 percent in any of the reputable polls.

But in a Gallup poll, we discover that there are three tiers of states–17 states who love Trump and give him a rating of 50 or higher; 16 states where his rating is 40-50 percent; and 17 states where his rating is below 40 percent, and as low as 26 percent.

The 17 states that love Trump are in the South, Great Plains, and Mountain West, states that together have very few electoral votes–with West Virginia the highest support with 60 percent, followed by North Dakota with 59 percent and South Dakota with 57 percent, and then Montana and Wyoming with 56 percent and Alabama with 55 percent. All of the Great Plains states are part of the group, and the poorer Southern states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, besides Alabama, and the Appalachian states of Kentucky and West Virginia, in addition to the four smaller populated Mountain States (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah), and Alaska. All 17 were Republican states in 2016.

The 16 states that give Trump between 40-50 percent include Maine and New Hampshire in New England; North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Mississippi in the South, with only Mississippi being a very poor state economically; Pennsylvania, and the Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri; and Arizona and Nevada in the West.

And then,the 17 states that totally reject Trump include the New England area minus Maine and New Hampshire; the entire Northeast down through Virginia, except Pennsylvania; Illinois and Minnesota in the Midwest; Colorado and New Mexico in the Mountain West; and the Pacific Coast states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Vermont with 26, Massachusetts with 29, Maryland and California with 30, and New York with 31 give the lowest support to Trump.

So overall, the map of support is similar as it was in the Presidential Election of 2016, and the key area of contention remains the Midwest and Pennsylvania, and Florida, which elected Trump; and they will determine whether the Democratic nominee for President in 2020 can win the White House.

The Rapidly Growing Population Of North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Texas Bode Well For Democrats By The 2020 Presidential Election!

Four states are rapidly growing in population, according to the Census Bureau, and all four, while “Red” states in the 2012 Presidential election, have the potential to turn “Blue” either in 2016 or certainly by 2020.

North Carolina seems most likely to go for Hillary Clinton, followed by Georgia and possibly Arizona. Longer term, there is Texas.

With North Carolina having 15, Georgia having 16, Arizona having 11, and Texas having 38 electoral votes now, it is certain that all four will have MORE electoral votes starting in 2024.

And Florida, a “swing” state with constantly growing population, particularly of increased Puerto Rican migration, has 29 electoral votes through the 2020 Presidential election, and assuredly will have more in 2024.

So it is highly likely that the Democratic Party will have, for sure, over 400 electoral votes by 2020, and if not, by 2024, an Electoral College landslide for the long term!

Add the present 80 electoral votes of the four presently “Red” states to the 332 that Barack Obama had in 2012, and you get 412 electoral votes, and again, more by 2024 after the reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and in the Electoral College after the Census of 2020!

Add the Midwestern states of Indiana (11) and Missouri (10) and you get 433 electoral votes to 105 for the Republicans, but again with probably more total electoral votes by gaining of population in the four Sunbelt states, even with the chance that Indiana and Missouri will not gain, and might lose a seat each.

So expect the chance that the total number of electoral votes could, and with the addition of Florida and California gaining seats as well, be in the high 430s!

The Supreme Court Has Set America Back On Basic Fairness And Justice!

The Supreme Court of the United States is a much revered body, but sadly, in recent years, under Chief Justice John Roberts, the concept of America as a nation based on fairness and justice has suffered setbacks!

There is much evidence of this, but two key developments demonstrate how much the Supreme Court has set back progress!

The Citizens United Case of 2010 has allowed the rise of tremendous corporate spending and that by religious and social conservatives, leading to the rise and influence of the Tea Party Movement, and allowing the creation of stalemated, gridlock government under President Barack Obama, with the first time ever situation of a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, with the GOP controlling the purse strings of government, and blocking all attempts to create jobs or promote legislation which advances the American nation. Instead, our government is being influenced by anarchists, couched in libertarianism, with the Koch Brothers and other wealthy corporate interests having undue influence on the deterioration of the rights of women, minorities, gays, and labor, along with attacks on any government regulation of the environment!

And the decision in June of this year, negating part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, has now allowed many Republican state governments to pass legislation, taking away the basic right of voting on the false concept that voter fraud has been present and widespread, a total lie!

So the rights of minorities, the elderly, poor people, and college students are being curbed, and that is why the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder is bringing laws suits under the curbed Voting Rights Act, trying to reverse the discriminatory legislation on voting in many Southern states, Midwest States, and Great Plains States, all designed to fix the results so that likely Democratic voters will be denied the basic tenet of democracy, the right to vote for one’s government leaders!

It took until the early 20th century under Theodore Roosevelt to gain legislation to take power over government away from the corporations of the Gilded Age, and it took until Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s to gain legislation so that all Americans could vote without discrimination!

Now in just three and a half years, the Republican dominated Supreme Court has rejected what TR and LBJ worked so hard to accomplish!

So the battle to overcome the Supreme Court right wing direction is on, and we cannot afford to allow the Court to take away our democracy–a government of, by, and for the people!

Eight States In The South Central US Lead Fight Against Abortion, Defying The Rest Of The Nation!

A new Pew Research study demonstrates that the growing fight against abortion rights, guaranteed by Roe V. Wade forty years ago, but under constant attack in many Republican governed states and by evangelical right wing Christianity, is centered heavily in EIGHT South Central states heavily dominated by the Republican Party!

These states are Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where 52 percent in the poll wish to ban all abortions, except for the life of the mother, even making it illegal much earlier in the pregnancy, often before a woman is certain that she is pregnant in the first place!

The New England states are the highest percentage for abortion rights, at 75 percent; followed by 65 percent in the Pacific Coast states; 61 percent in the Mid Atlantic states; 59 percent in the Mountain West states; 50 percent in the Great Lakes states and in the South Atlantic states; and an even divide of 47-47 in the Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota. Only 40 percent support abortion rights in the South Central states, the only area to be negative!

The divide on abortion on support down to opposition used to be an 18 point gap, but now it is a whopping 35 points!

Once again, it is the GOP dominated parts of the nation, particularly the South and the Great Plains, which is, despite its small population overall, attempting to dominate and make social policy for the more educated, enlightened sections of the nation!

The question is why this is allowed to be so, as the other areas of the country are so far ahead socially, economically, educationally, and are in the 21st century, while in many ways, the GOP dominated states are living in the 19th century!

What Can Mitt Romney Win In November?

Mitt Romney may have won Ohio by the small margin of one percent and about 12,000 votes over Rick Santorum, but the question remains: Where can he win a combination of states to equal a majority of 270 electoral votes?

Can he win New England, even his home state of Massachusetts? Unlikely, with maybe the exception of New Hampshire.

Can he win the Middle Atlantic states? Unlikely, with the best chance in Pennsylvania, but unlikely.

Can he win the South? Unlikely, despite being the GOP nominee, because of his Mormon faith. Sure, he will win some of the states but unlikely to win Florida, North Carolina or Virginia, the swing states, and a chance to lose Georgia to Barack Obama as well, with the growing Hispanic and Latino vote in the Peach State.

Can he win the Midwest? Well, maybe a few states, but he has lost all of the Midwest and Great Plains states that have had primaries and caucuses so far, except for his birth state of Michigan and a narrow win in Ohio. Rick Santorum has real support in this area of the country.

Can he win the Mountain States? Yes, for those which have large numbers of Mormons, including Arizona, Utah, and Idaho, and probably Montana and Wyoming as well, but not likely to win New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.

Can he win the Pacific Coast states? Is that a serious question? NO, except for Alaska.

If the economy continues to get better, Mitt Romney has lost his biggest issue.

If the anti woman vendetta of Rush Limbaugh and social conservatives in Congress and the states continues, as with the failed Blunt Amendment and the Virginia vaginal probe law, Romney will lose.

If the anti immigrant (Hispanic and Latino) mentality of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and other states continues, the only Hispanic vote Romney might win is the Cuban vote in Florida and elsewhere, but not the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Colombian, and other Latin nations’ immigrants, meaning only those who are legal and can vote.

If the extremism of the GOP continues down its destructive path, Independents will leave them in droves.

Of course, Barack Obama and the Democrats must work and plan as if they could lose the election, because they could, but the obstacles facing Mitt Romney are massive, and this could have a deleterious effect on the Republican Party in many state races and in both houses of Congress.