New England

Democrats Won Much Bigger Victory Than Thought On Election Night, Could Be Transformative For Long Term

As more seats are flipping in California, at least four of the 14 previously Republican held seats in the House of Representatives, it looks as if the “Blue Wave” is larger than what occurred for the Republicans in 2010 and 1994, and already is the most for Democrats since 1974 after the Richard Nixon resignation, and the highest percentage voting since 1966, when the Republicans gained seats under Lyndon B. Johnson, in the midst of the Vietnam War escalation.

It is now likely that the Democrats will have gained about 40 seats in the House of Representatives, but also significant are the gains of Democrats in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the gaining of a majority of House seats in Arizona.

It is now possible to say that Suburbia has become more likely to leave the Republicans behind long term, and join urban areas against the constant support of the rural areas of many states for the Republicans.

White rural America is fighting the tide toward urban and suburban educated people, women, racial and ethic minorities, young people, and independents who are abandoning the Republican Party.

It is clear that the Trump Republican Party is losing out in the long run, just as occurred in California in the 1990s when Republican Governor Pete Wilson worked to pass discriminatory legislation against Hispanics in the state, with the result being overwhelming Democratic control in the state legislature, in state executive offices, and in Congress, where the monopoly of Democrats has become a flood.

We can now imagine a turn in the next decade of Arizona, Texas, and Georgia toward support of the Democrats in Presidential elections by 2024 and 2028 for sure, and once Texas goes that direction, the Presidency is safe in the hands of Democrats.

Already, the Northeast and New England are Democratic strongholds, and the Midwest now has Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota controlled by Democratic Governors in time for reapportionment of seats after the Census of 2020. And in the Mountain West, we see Democrats doing very well in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, and having the first Democratic Senator in Arizona in more than thirty years. The Pacific Coast of California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii are also solid.

So even though Ohio and Florida were not bright spots for the Democrats, the old adage that Ohio matters may not matter, and realize that the Buckeye State had a split personality on Election Day, as Democrat Sherrod Brown won an overwhelming victory, even though Republican Mike Dewine defeated Richard Cordray.

Florida is not yet settled at this writing, as a recount is going on, but it could be that Florida will be seen as an outlier, and despite their being the third largest state in population and electoral votes, if and when Texas goes “blue”, and joins California and New York, it might not matter what happens in Florida.

Republicans, Normally States Rights Advocates, Now Trying To Limit States Rights On Sanctuary Cities, Marijuana Laws, And Oil And Gas Drilling!

The Republican Party is long famous for promotion of states rights, and their strong stand against national government authority over the states.

Oh, until now, when they are doing their best to LIMIT states rights.

The Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress are working to undermine “sanctuary cities”, major cities around the nation which are working to protect and support undocumented immigrants from arrest and deportation, as long as they have no criminal record.

Also, with eight states allowing marijuana use, and medical marijuana permitted in many other states, we have Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration trying to promote enforcement of penalties, that has led to tens of thousands of people in prisons, for possession and or sale of the drug, when there is no connection between marijuana and crime, or auto accidents, or deaths.

Also, oil and gas drilling off the coasts of the United States, is an attempt to take away environmental rights of mostly “blue” states, but with Florida, under Republican Governor Rick Scott getting special dispensation on the matter, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie working with Democrats to prevent such drilling off of New Jersey shores. But all the other states, along the Atlantic Coast, from New England to Georgia; the Pacific Coast; and Alaska should also have the freedom and authority to ban such energy exploration as detrimental to the environment.

When one compares the “Red” States and how they are governed, to the “Blue” states and their greater progress and open mindedness, it is as if we have two nations, and the Republicans are becoming so extreme that a chasm has developed between them and the Democrats.

“Swing” States Becoming Fewer Every Election: Locking In Electoral Votes!

The number of “Swing” states in a Presidential election are becoming fewer in each four year cycle, and locking in the Electoral College outcome, to a much greater extent than ever before.

At this point, for the 2016 Presidential Election, it can be said there are ONLY ten states that are truly up for grabs, barring some unforeseen events:

These states are:
Florida
Ohio
Virginia
North Carolina
New Hampshire
Iowa
Indiana
Colorado
New Mexico
Nevada

Even these ten states are not truly ten, as North Carolina for now is more likely to go Republican; New Hampshire and Iowa are more likely to go Democratic; Indiana is more likely to go Republican; and New Mexico is almost certainly Democratic!

So only Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada are truly “swing’ states for 2016, and most of the campaigning in the general election period will be in those five states, plus the other five more certain to be in one political camp over the other.

The Northeast and New England, with the exception of New Hampshire, are locked up for the Democrats, as are the Upper Midwest and Illinois, and the three Pacific Coast states and Hawaii!

The Great Plains states, the Mountain West except for the three states mentioned above, and the South, with the exceptions of the three states mentioned above, and West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Alaska seem locked up for the Republicans, making for more states than the Democrats, but many of them low electoral vote states. And when Texas and Georgia evolve, with more Hispanic-Latino voters in the next decade, the Electoral College will be locked up for the Democrats for the long haul, unless the GOP can convince many states’ voters to swing over from the Democrats, highly unlikely!

The move to allow states to vote by congressional district, as is so in Nebraska and Maine in theory, if it spreads to major states, such as Pennsylvania, where it has been proposed, COULD change the whole dynamic, and make for a much more competitive Electoral College race in the future!

Elizabeth Warren And Bernie Sanders Turn The Democrats Toward A New Populism!

The two New England heroes of progressivism, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, are pushing the Democratic Party to return to its principles, and promote a new Populism, in which the battle for the middle class and the poor; the ethnic minorities; women; gays and lesbians, labor; the environment; support for veterans; and protection of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare are the priorities over protecting Wall Street privilege and engaging us in never ending foreign conflict with our troops as cannon fodder for the interests of those who feel invasion and war actions are the answer to our problems at home, which they, most certainly, are not!

It looks more than ever that Hillary Clinton, if she runs, will be challenged by one or the other of these two progressive heroes. Hillary may end up as the nominee of the Democrats, but her closeness to Wall Street and her “hawkish” image in foreign policy hurt her for the battle ahead!

We need a President who is willing to challenge the establishment, and we need a President who will fight Wall Street and the defense establishment, and work to undermine the one percent oligarchy which is undermining our democracy!

We need a President who has principles that he or she will not bend, to continue the work begun by Barack Obama, but needing a continuation under the next President!

A Warren or Sanders candidacy would make Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, or any other Democrat, work to return to the base that has made the Democratic Party a party of great accomplishment, instead of acting as a moderate alternative to the Republican Party.

Ohio The Crucial State In Presidential Elections Since 1964! Republicans, Be Aware Of That Reality!

Ohio, the “Buckeye” state, is the crucial state in Presidential elections since 1964, with the winner in Ohio going on to win the election, and reside in the White House!

This makes it essential for the Republican Party to take this into consideration, and to nominate an Ohioan for the Presidency in 2016. It also makes it essential for Democrats to fight tooth and nail to win this state, although they could win the Electoral College without Ohio.

A recent assessment of the Electoral College theorizes that the Democrats may have the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency in 2016, as the so called “blue” states add up to 257 electoral votes, including all of New England and the Northeast, down to the District of Columbia; the Midwest states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota; and the Western states of California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Add Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, and the fact that the state has gone “blue” in Senate and gubernatorial elections recently, and is influenced by the power of the Northern Virginia (DC suburbs) population, and you have the precise number of electoral votes needed.

But of course, the desire is not to barely win, so Ohio is crucial for Democrats, but also Republicans!

This author has said before that, therefore, the best choice for the GOP Presidential nomination is either Governor John Kasich or Senator Rob Portman, more than any others, but not even certain that either will run for the Presidency, or do well in the caucuses and primaries, starting in January 2016!

Kasich has accepted Medicaid funding for the poor in his state, and Portman has backed gay marriage after his son came out as gay, and these factors hurt both with the Tea Party base in the Republican Party.

On the other hand, Kasich has a long record of Congressional service in the past, and headed the House Budget Committee in the 1990s; and Portman was Budget Director under President George W. Bush.

Both are mild mannered, not the type to make outrageous or ridiculous or extremist statements, and both seem competent to serve as President, more than most of the other potential alternatives.

The GOP National Convention will be in Cleveland, and there is a good chance of the Democratic National Convention being in Columbus, so Ohio moves to the forefront as a major battleground for 2016, which should not be ignored by either party, but particularly the Republicans!

Realize that six Ohio Republicans went on to become President from 1868-1923—Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding!

Will the GOP be smart enough to do the right thing? Don’t bet on it!

The End Of The Political Careers Of Several Politicians

Tuesday’s Midterm Elections ended the careers of several well known politicians.

Charlie Crist now has the distinction of losing a Senate race as a Republican in 1998 to Senator Bob Graham; losing a Senate race as an Independent in 2010 to Senator Marco Rubio; and losing a gubernatorial race as a Democrat to Governor Rick Scott!

Scott Brown now has the distinction of losing two Senate races two years apart, both times to women, in two neighboring states in New England–to Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts in 2012 and to Senator Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire in 2014. He also won the remainder of the Senate term of Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts early in 2010 over another woman, Attorney General Martha Coakley, who now also has lost the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts on Tuesday to Republican candidate Charlie Baker in a very “blue” state. As far as anyone is aware, Brown is the only candidate to run against three women for a Senate seat, winning once, and losing twice.

While no one can say for sure that one defeat ends a political career, the fact that Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn lost a race for a Senate seat; and that Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, lost the gubernatorial race in the same state, which is grandfather had won 44 years ago on his road to the White House, likely ends their careers.

The same goes for Senator Mark Udall in Colorado, son of former Congressman and Presidential seeker Morris Udall of Arizona; and for Senator Mark Pryor, son of former Senator David Pryor in Arkansas; and the odds seem against Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, whose father, Nick Begich, was Congressman from that state; and for Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, whose dad and brother were Mayors of New Orleans, although those two races are not settled as of this writing, and Landrieu faces a runoff against a heavily favored Republican rival.

Such is politics, in office one day, and out the next, and the bigger losers are their staff members!

Imagine A Presidential Election Battle Without Any Previous Candidates In The Race!

The thought has crossed this blogger’s mind what it would be like if for once, just once, no one who had previously competed for the Presidential nomination of either party, nor had been a Vice Presidential running mate, became involved in the upcoming Presidential Election campaign of 2016.

Think of who would be eliminated from consideration:

Democrats (8)–Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Gore, Jerry Brown, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich

Republicans (11)–Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, John Kasich

Who would be left to compete?

Democrats (13)–Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley, Mark Warner, Corey Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Jay Nixon, John Hickenlooper, Brian Schweitzer, Deval Patrick, Rahm Emanuel

Republicans (13)–Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Peter King, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Scott Walker, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley

One can wonder who would be competitive for the Presidential nominations, and who would galvanize support among the population and go on to be the nominees of the two major political parties!

We would have a true “donnybrook” situation, with anyone having the potential to be the nominees, “catch fire”, and go on to be the 45th President of the United States!

If this author was to venture an educated guess, one would come to the following conclusions:

Democrats–The major battle would be among Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin O’Malley and Mark Warner.

Republicans–The major battle would be among Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence and Rob Portman.

The final battle would be between Warren and O’Malley for the Democratic nomination, and between Marco Rubio and Mike Pence for the Republican nomination.

The two finalists would be Martin O’Malley and Marco Rubio, with O’Malley being the winner and the 45th President of the United States!

This is due to the reality of the Electoral College, which strongly favors the Democrats to win the White House in 2016 and beyond, as the Northeast, New England, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Coast are strongly “Blue”, and most of the “swing states” are favored to go “Blue” as well, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa.

Florida and North Carolina would be more difficult for the Democrats, particularly if Rubio is the GOP nominee, but the electoral vote would still be heavily Democratic, even without those two states!

The Most Diverse And Yet The Most Divisive Congress In More Than A Century: The 113th Congress!

It is ironic that the 113th Congress is the most diverse in history, but also the most divisive and partisan in more than a century, which does not bode well for any future cooperation or progress on the important issues facing the nation!

96 women, 42 African Americans, and 31 Hispanics serve in Congress, but the vast majority are Democrats!

Partisan polarization is endemic, however, more than in the past century or more, probably back to the Civil War-Reconstruction period!

Of course, we have never had a Congress, except in the 112th Congress and this one, in which there has been a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, and only five other Congresses since 1900 in which there has been a Democratic House of Representatives and a Republican Senate, with those occasions (1911-1913, 1931-1933, 1981-1987) being much more cooperative and accomplished by comparison to the past two and a half years since the beginning of 2011!

Party unity in the House is now 72.8 percent, while in 2006, it was 54.5 percent!

Less than 50 percent of the time do we see Republicans supportive of the President’s agenda, an extremely low level historically!

Regional loyalty to a party is extreme, particularly in the Northeast, New England and Pacific Coast for Democrats, and in the South and Great Plains for Republicans.

The likelihood of any major change in this scenario is gloomy, sadly for the nation’s future!

The Republican Delusion That They Can Win The Presidency And Majority Status Just By Having More Whites Voting!

The Republican Party is truly delusional in their belief that they can win the Presidency and majority status in the future as long as they can convince more whites to vote, than did so in the Presidential Election of 2012.

With the percentage of whites in the population declining, and with the reality that it will continue to decline, this is a losing strategy in so many ways.

Not all whites would vote Republican, even in the South and Great Plains and Mountain West, GOP strongholds, and certainly NOT in the Northeast, New England, Midwest, and Pacific Coast, and in parts of the Mountain West.

Not all whites would wish to back the right wing policies of Republicans toward women, minorities, labor, and on other issues, such as the environment and science.

Not all whites would endorse the social conservatism of the religious right, particularly with a decline in religiosity among younger whites and voters generally.

A majority of whites who vote Republican are old, and once they pass the scene, many younger whites will have a greater influence on elections, and combined with those who are social liberals, female, and minority background, will NEVER vote Republican because they know that the Republicans are trying to ignore them, if not undermining their right to vote!

With their backward, regressive, vindictive policies toward the middle class and the poor, along with their anti women, anti labor, anti environment, anti minority viewpoints, the GOP will insure that they will be dinosaurs, looked back upon as a historical curiosity as to the issue of how they self destructed despite many warnings as to their self suicide by refusal to adapt!

Same Sex Marriage Advanced In Year Since Joe Biden Made It A Front Page Issue

It has been a year since Vice President Joe Biden publicly endorsed same sex marriage, followed three days later by a similar endorsement by President Barack Obama.

We are on the cusp of Minnesota becoming the 12th state to allow same sex marriage, with the states adopting it, including::

Massachusetts
Connecticut
Vermont
Maine
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York
Maryland
Delaware
Iowa
Washington

Following Minnesota, the following nine states are likely to adopt same sex marriage between now and the end of 2014:

Illinois
New Jersey
Hawaii
Michigan
Oregon
Colorado
New Mexico
Nevada
California

That will mean that 21 states with 45 percent of the nation’s population will have adopted same sex marriage as part of their law.

The only groups that oppose same sex marriage by a majority are:

Less educated Whites
Over 65 years of age
Republicans
Evangelical Protestants
Tea Party Movement

The South and the Great Plains, heavily Republican, are united against same sex marriage, while the New England and Mid Atlantic states, some of the Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, predominantly Democratic, are for it!