Ohio

Crucial Senate Races On Road To Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

The US Senate will be a major battleground this coming November.

Ten “Red State” Democrats face the challenge of winning their seats, with a few of them the most endangered.

If the Senate is to go Democratic, all ten seats must be won by their Democratic veterans, but that is a tall order, and is tied to the hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The most endangered regarding that issue are West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly.

Also possibly in trouble on that issue is Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

These four Senators are seen as moderate, rather than liberal Democrats, and all of them except McCaskill, voted for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch last year.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr., Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Montana Senator Jon Tester all seem safer in their Senate races as of now, but that could change.

The most endangered incumbent, with or without the Kavanaugh vote, is Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who has Governor Rick Scott as his opponent, and with Scott having triple the amount of funds that Nelson has been able to garner. Scott is horrific, but he won two close races for Governor in 2010 and 2014, using his own wealth.

Now there is a new threat, that New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich might have more trouble being reelected, as former Governor and Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has just entered the race as an Independent, and in a three way race, anything is possible.

The problem is that even if all of these 11 Senators are successfully reelected, the Democrats still must win two more seats, with Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas as possibilities in that order.

If the Democrats are able to win 51 seats in 2018, it would have to be considered a true miracle!

Crucial Gubernatorial Races That Could Affect The Future In Reapportionment Of Seats In Congress And State Legislatures After 2020 Census

There are a number of crucial gubernatorial races coming up in November, which could dramatically change the future of American politics, and change the reapportionment of seats that comes about after the Census of 2020.

In Florida, Gwen Graham, the daughter of well respected former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, is now leading the Democratic primary in the polls, and she could affect the beginning of the return of Democrats to influence in the state legislature and in Congress, and is far preferable to Congressman Ron DeSantis, the favored Republican candidate backed by Donald Trump.

In Georgia, the Democrats have nominated Stacey Abrams, who has been the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, and is African American, against Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State, who is extreme on gun rights.

In Ohio, Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and past Attorney General and State Treasurer, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, and is challenged by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, former US Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and Congressman.

In Illinois, the Democratic nominee for Governor is J B Pritzker, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, competing against incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, also a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who has had a contentious relationship with the Democratic controlled state legislature.

In California, Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor, is the Democratic nominee for Governor, running against Republican John Cox, a businessman, attorney and political activist backed by Donald Trump.

In Pennsylvania, sitting Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is heavily favored to win reelection, over Republican nominee and state representative Scott Wagner.

In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is challenged by former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, with Abbott strongly favored to be reelected, but thought that she would be a strong challenge to Abbott.

These seven large states in population could see six out of seven victories for the Democrats, all but Texas, in all likelihood.

With Democrats having only 16 state Governors, but 36 gubernatorial elections coming up, the odds of a majority or more of state governors being Democrats in 2019 is considered a likelihood, and would allow the Democrats to have a great influence on reapportionment and gerrymandering in the next decade.

The “Red State” Democratic Senators, The Midterm Elections, And Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Ten “Red State” Democratic Senators face a moment of great challenge in November 2018.

Running for reelection in states that went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, they face the danger of defeat in their Senate races if they do not support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, with a final vote expected in October.

Voting for Kavanaugh will insure the likelihood of a conservative majority on the Court for the next 20-30 years, which will affect many areas of domestic and foreign policy, and the powers of the Presidency.

But voting against Kavanaugh may retire many of them, and insure a Republican gain of seats in the US Senate, from 51 to quite a few more, allowing the Republicans to dominate into the future.

So what should these Senators do? Should they be profiles in courage and risk their seats to delay or prevent a conservative Supreme Court majority? Or should they vote for Kavanaugh and give themselves another six years to fight against Trump, without the burden of facing the voters until 2024?

It seems likely that at least the three Senators who voted for Neil Gorsuch last year—Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana—will end up voting to confirm Kavanaugh if the vote cannot be delayed until after the November mid term elections.

The other seven are seen as unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh—Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, with all seven now, except possibly Nelson, considered likely for a successful reelection to their Senate seats despite a negative vote on Kavanaugh.

78 “Swing” Districts In House Of Representatives, With A Minimum of 23 Switching Control In Midterm Elections Giving Democrats Control

It is estimated by political experts that there are 78 “Swing” districts in the House of Representatives, which could go either way in November.

History tells us that with the exception of 1934, and 2002, the party NOT in the White House always gains seats, and often a large number of seats, and takes over the majority in Congress, as in 1946, 1954, 1994, 2006, and 2010.

Since the Democrats only need 23 seats to switch control of the lower house of Congress, it is hard to imagine that this will not occur.

There are plenty of seats that could change due to the Trump policies and programs, particularly in states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and California, with selected seats in other states many of them “Red” for Trump.

More likely than just 23 seats is the possibility of a massive switch of seats, possibly as many as 40 or more seats going to the Democrats.

If such happens, which polls seem to show likely to occur, we will have the ability of the House of Representatives to fully investigate many scandals and controversies that have been pushed aside by the Republican majority.

And impeachment of Donald Trump would be likely in 2019, just as Robert Mueller comes to conclusions on his investigation of Trump for Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, abuse of the Emoluments Clause, and so much else.

Conviction would be difficult, nearly impossible, of Trump on impeachment charges, but his erratic behavior could lead to pressure for him to resign, and since Mike Pence wants to be President, do not be so sure he would not turn against his boss at some point, as hard as that is to imagine right now in late July 2018.

The Need For Top Advisers Around Trump To Resign, Or Lose Their Credibility

It is now three days since Helsinki, and the President is totally off the wall in his view of the Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign, constantly changing his language, demonstrating total confusion and mental instability.

And we see his top advisers standing by smiling or having a poker face, and contradicting everything he says when not in his presence.

This includes his intelligence advisers, and his national security team.

Meanwhile, except for the few Republicans who are leaving Congress (Senator Bob Corker, Senator Jeff Flake, Congressman Mark Sanford), or Senator John McCain, who is in his last term even if he survives long term from his cancer battle, no one else is speaking out. There is the additional exception of John Kasich, who is leaving the Ohio Governorship, and also of Ben Sasse of Nebraska (who will face reelection in 2020 but has always spoken out), and Senate candidate Mitt Romney who is keeping his independence, knowing he will win the Utah Senate seat easily in November.

Everyone else is putting their career ahead of the country, absolutely despicable behavior.

As stated yesterday, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman needs to resign in protest, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and others in the cabinet, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, all need to group together and go to the White House and demand Trump resign, or they will announce their joint resignation.

One might say this would create total chaos, but it would be a public statement by the entire group, showing patriotism over political loyalty, and Vice President Mike Pence might be forced to join with them to insist, that for the good of the country, it is time for Trump to go!

We need a Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott, as with Richard Nixon and Watergate in 1974, and the people named above have the ability to restore their integrity and reputation by doing the right thing, and soon!

The Trump Juggernaut Overrunning Moderate Democrats: Between A Rock And A Hard Place!

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, and moderate Senate Democrats are “between a rock and a hard place”, with the Trump juggernaut about to run them down!

There are 10 Democratic moderates who are running for reelection in states won by Donald Trump.

If they all remained loyal to their party, and IF Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski joined them, a Supreme Court pick could be stopped, but that is asking for too much to be assured.

And if they do not support the Trump nominee, it could kill their chances of reelection.

But of course, if they vote for the Trump nominee, many Democrats and moderates might decide it is not worth voting, and they will lose their elections anyway.

So what to do?

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota voted for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, last year.

All three are in great danger of losing their seats, with or without the Supreme Court nominee controversy they now face.

Then we have Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, also in great danger of losing their seats.

The other five “Red State” Democrats are probably safer, and unlikely to lose their seats—Bob Casey Jr of Pennsylvania (who however is anti abortion in his background); Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Debbie Stebanow of Michigan; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; and Bill Nelson of Florida (but his seat will be the most expensive race ever, with opponent Rick Scott spending tens of millions to defeat Nelson).

So if one is to promote the left wing Democratic view, we would say to hell with these Senators, whose voting record is far from ideal, but the alternative to staying united no matter what these ten Senators decide to do on the Supreme Court nominee of Trump, is to see the Republicans gain more seats and lock up the Senate for the long haul.

That is why it seems to this blogger that to promote or expect a left wing Democrat as the Presidential nominee, while ideal in theory, is likely to kill off any chance of the Democrats winning the Presidency in 2020, after what could be a Democratic debacle in the Senate races this year.

What seems likely to happen is that the three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch will vote for the Trump Supreme Court choice and will survive, and the other seven Democrats—particularly the three women—McCaskill, Stabenow and Baldwin—will vote against and yet survive as well. Casey will be conflicted but probably vote NO and survive, as well as Brown. And Tester should still be able to win another term as well.

The toughest seat to keep will be Bill Nelson in Florida, but it seems likely he will vote NO on the nominee.

So at the end, the likely vote will be 53-46, all 50 GOP Senators, including Collins and Murkowski, with the exception of the absent John McCain, and Manchin, Donnelly, and Heitkamp, with anger and disgust by Democrats, but the only likely road to those seats being saved.

So IF all seats are saved, except possibly Florida, and then IF Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and maybe Texas are gained, the Democrats MIGHT have a 51-49 or 52-48 Democratic Senate, and the battle against Trump will have another day and more to fight, the best possible under present circumstances.

Of course, all progressives have to pray for the good health and continued life of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, to serve until 2021, a tall order, as if that does not happen, the Supreme Court is lost with a certainty until close to 2045-2050, past the lifetime of this blogger and probably all of my readers.

This is a gloomy reality, but we have to do whatever we can do to promote a Democratic majority in both houses, and accept that not all Democrats will be progressives, but will at least be of the party persuasion!

What If Utah Senator Mike Lee Is Nominated For Supreme Court?

Early speculation on who Donald Trump might select to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court centers on Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, an original Tea Party member, having served in the Senate, and promoting libertarian ideas since 2011.

Not always a supporter of Trump, and not backing him in 2016 due to the Access Hollywood tape, Lee would still be a prime choice for Trump.

Lee is only 47 and could be expected to serve on the Court until 2050 and beyond.

He is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has to consider the Supreme Court nomination, and there are 11 Republicans to 10 Democrats on that committee.

To believe that any of his GOP colleagues on the committee, or even in the Senate, would vote against their party member, is hard to conceive.

And if all 50 Republicans stay united (minus John McCain, who is not likely to return to Washington DC anytime soon), at the worst, Vice President Mike Pence can vote if need be, but a 50-49 vote is a majority, and likely, a few Democrats, in red states facing election, would cross the aisle and vote for Lee, as they did for Neil Gorsuch a year ago.

Having a Senator on the Supreme Court is not unheard of, as it has happened 15 times in American history.

Most famously, there was Alabama Democratic Senator Hugo Black, who served on the Court for 34 years from 1937 to 1971, appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. And President Harry Truman appointed two Senators—Sherman Minton of Indiana, who served from 1949-1956; and Harold Burton of Ohio who served from 1945-1958.

Also, there have been 17 Congressmen who served on the Supreme Court, including Warren G. Harding appointee George Sutherland of Utah who served from 1922-1938; and Chief Justice Fred Vinson of Kentucky, who served from 1946-1953, appointed by President Truman.

Finally, 6 Governors have been appointed to the Supreme Court, the last and most famous being California Governor Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and serving to 1969; along with significant appointments by President Abraham Lincoln of Ohio Governor Salmon P Chase to be Chief Justice, serving from 1864-1873; former New York Governor Charles Evans Hughes, first appointed to the Court by William Howard Taft from 1910 to 1916, and then returning to the Court as Chief Justice by appointment of President Herbert Hoover from 1930-1941; and Michigan Governor Frank Murphy, appointed by FDR and serving from 1940-1949.

Potential New Faces On The National Scene After The Midterm Elections Of 2018

The upcoming midterm elections of 2018 may bring on the political scene some new Democrats who could become major players in the future of the party.

We have Democrats having a chance to become Governors of major states, and potentially playing a role in the 2020 Presidential election.

For instance, we have Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California as the odds on favorite to become the successor to Jerry Brown as Governor of the largest state, which means he will not be someone who can be ignored on the national scene.

We have former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who is Jewish, and who seems to be the front runner for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Florida, and has a reasonable chance to become the leader of the third largest state.

We have Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and former Ohio State Treasurer and Attorney General, as the Democratic nominee for Ohio Governor.

We also have J.B Pritzker, a venture capitalist and part of the family that owns the Hyatt Hotel chain, and happens to be Jewish, who is the Democratic nominee for Illinois Governor.

Finally, we have Stacey Abrams, the first African American woman nominated for Governor in American history, the Minority Leader of the Georgia State Assembly, nominated by the Democrats.

Also, for the US Senate, we have Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2013, challenging Senator Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, with Cruz being the most widely derided and hated member of the Senate, even by his own Republican colleagues.

A leading priority should be to retire Ted Cruz, who this blogger thought was actually more dangerous than Donald Trump, among 2016 Republican Presidential contenders, although more recent developments have shown even Cruz not willing to be as disgraceful as Donald Trump has become, although still a despicable human being!

State Politics Much More Complicated Than Often Realized: The Cases Of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California

Anyone who follows American politics historically and contemporarily often seems unaware of the complexity of state politics around the nation.

We hear discussion of “Blue” states and “Red” states, but state politics is much more complicated that that.

Gerrymandering often distorts the reality of political loyalties in many states, and also the reality of about one third of voters being “Independent”, rather than loyal to Democrats or Republicans.

There are many examples of this across the nation, particularly noticeable in larger, more populated states.

Just a few examples:

New York State is often thought to be strongly Democratic, but not true in the state legislature, and New York City is vastly different in political culture from upstate New York areas, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Even Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, often reflect different views than the five boroughs of New York City, and within New York City, Staten Island, is vastly different from Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, with Queens County more balanced than the other boroughs in the city.

Pennsylvania is a state where gerrymandering has given the Republicans until now a great advantage, but new court ordered mandates may change that balance in Congress and the state legislature. Philadelphia has a very different political orientation than western Pennsylvania, often called “Alabama” outside of the city of Pittsburgh.

Virginia is well known to have a very liberal Democratic northern section (often called NoVa), reflecting the influence of being the Washington DC suburbs, while much of the rest of the state is reliably conservative and Republican.

Florida is strongly Democratic in the southern counties, particularly Broward and Palm Beach Counties, with somewhat less so in Miami Dade County due to the influence of Cuban Americans, but even that is diminishing, since it is now 60 years since the rise of Fidel Castro, and those directly affected negatively by Castro, are mostly no longer part of the population in Miami. At the same time, Central Florida is the real battleground in the state, the area that decides most elections. North Florida is much like Alabama or Georgia, its neighbors.

Ohio is strongly Democratic in the northern and central sections, particularly in Cleveland and Toledo, and the capital of Columbus, but in the more rural parts and in southern Ohio, near Kentucky, including Cincinnati, it is strongly Republican.

Illinois is dominated by Chicago in the northern part, but down state Illinois is much more Republican in orientation.

Michigan has Detroit as strongly Democratic but in western and northern Michigan, it is much more rural and Republican.

Texas has Democratic strongholds in the state capitol, Austin, and in Houston, while other portions of this very large state, including the rural areas, are strongly Republican.

California has Democratic strongholds in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Central Valley, San Diego, and cities like Bakersfield, where House Majority Leader and possible next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy resides, are strongly Republican.

The next race for the Speaker of the House could be between two Californians of totally different mentalities–Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

A basic reality is that urban areas are always much more likely to be Democratic while rural areas are certain to be more Republican.

Suburban areas are what often decides the politics of a state and in Congress and the Presidential election, as they are the balancing force that determines a state vote, and recently it seems clear the suburban areas, often Republican, are starting to move away from that long time loyalty.

State Elections Lost By Presidents

Today, we will examine elections at the state and Congressional level lost by future Presidents, indicating that about a third of our Presidents lost election on the way to the White House.

William Henry Harrison lost election as Governor of Ohio in 1820, and as a Congressman in 1822.

John Quincy Adams lost election as Governor of Massachusetts in 1833.

James K. Polk lost election as Governor of Tennessee in 1841 and again in 1843.

Abraham Lincoln lost election as Senator of Illinois in 1854 and again in 1858.

Andrew Johnson lost election as Senator of Tennessee in 1869 and again in 1872.

Rutherford B. Hayes lost election as Congressman of Ohio in 1872.

Benjamin Harrison lost election as Governor of Indiana in 1876 and as Senator in 1887.

William McKinley lost election as Congressman of Ohio in 1890.

Warren G. Harding lost election as Governor of Ohio in 1910.

Lyndon B. Johnson lost election as Senator of Texas in 1941.

Richard Nixon lost election as Governor of California in 1962.

George H. W. Bush lost election as Senator of Texas in 1964, and again in 1970.

Jimmy Carter lost election as Governor of Georgia in 1966.

Bill Clinton lost election as Congressman of Arkansas in 1974 and as Governor in 1980.

George W. Bush lost election as Congressman of Texas in 1978.

Barack Obama lost election as Congressman from Illinois in 2000.

What this all demonstrates is that just because someone running for office is defeated does not mean to give up the idea of running again, as clearly, the proof is that 16 future Presidents did not give up the idea of running for public office again.

It also shows that 9 states defeated future Presidents running for public office, with 4 future Presidents in Ohio, 3 in Texas, two in Tennessee and Illinois. and one each in Massachusetts, Indiana, California, Georgia, and Arkansas.