Ohio

16 Months To Election: 15 States In Contention In Electoral College

With 16 months until the Presidential Election of 2020, the election is settled in 35 states, and the remaining 15 states are in contention, and will decide the Electoral College and the winner of the Presidency.

8 states were Republican last time, but are, in theory, in contention:

Arizona

Florida

Georgia

Michigan

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

Texas

Wisconsin

Additionally, Nebraska is Republican, but allows split electoral votes since 1992, and in 2008, Barack Obama won the 2nd District electoral vote, so in theory, that district, including Omaha and its suburbs, is in contention.

The Democrats won 5 states that are, in theory, in contention:

Colorado

Minnesota

Nevada

New Hampshire

Virginia.

Additionally, Maine is Democratic, but allows split electoral votes since 1972, and Donald Trump won the 2nd District electoral vote, so in theory, that district, including most of the state away from Portland, Augusta and nearby coastal areas, is in contention.

So both Nebraska and Maine have the potential to see one electoral vote go to the loser of the state, in the statewide race.

If the Hispanic-Latino vote can be magnified for the Democrats, it gives them the chance to win Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.

The close Democratic majorities in their five states in contention—Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Virginia—give the Republicans the opportunity to pick up electoral votes there.

It seems clear at this time that when and if the Hispanic-Latino vote increases enough for the Democrats, likely by 2024 and 2028, and with increased electoral votes in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas assured after the 2020 Census, then the Democrats could have a lock on the Presidency for the long term, even if the Midwest states of Michigan and Wisconsin become more Republican, and even if Minnesota and Virginia were to become more competitive for the Republicans. And Colorado and Nevada, with increased Hispanic-Latino influence over the next decade, would be more assuredly Democratic as well.

Even Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nebraska would matter far less, as well as Ohio, which now looks out of contention for the Democrats at present.

Donald Trump’s Greatest Nightmare: Joe Biden, Who Can Take The Midwest And Pennsylvania Away From Him In 2020

It is very clear, a week into former Vice President Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign, that he has alarmed President Donald Trump, who clearly sees him as the most dangerous threat to a potential second term.

We know that because Trump is on a crazed Twitter rant on a daily basis against Biden, and for good reason.

Joe Biden is the closest to an “average guy” who has run for President, and served in high office as a Senator and Vice President.

He has always been seen as one of the “poorest” public officials, as he has few assets, other than his salary and pension; his wife’s teaching job at a community college; their home in Delaware; and whatever he has gained from his book publishing and lectures, nowhere near the level of the Clintons, or the Obamas, by any means.

Joe Biden came from a lower middle class background in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has always been seen as a person who truly related to the white working class of Pennsylvania, and the Midwest, and to those without a college education,and his capacity for empathy and sincerity and concern for average Americans has always resonated as true and genuine.

This does not mean that others, who had struggles, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Julian Castro do not also have empathy and sincerity and concern for average Americans. They most certainly do, but there is something about Joe Biden, with all of his faults and shortcomings, which all of the above have, that makes him seen in polls and generally as the most dangerous barrier to a second Donald Trump term in the Presidency.

Many have felt that if Joe Biden had somehow run in 2016, that he might have been able to overcome Hillary Clinton, win the nomination, and win the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and would have taken the Presidency, and saved the nation from the nightmare of Donald Trump.

The Decision Of Sherrod Brown Not To Run For President Opens Opportunity For Amy Klobuchar Of Minnesota To Be The “Midwest” Candidate

The decision of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to forego an opportunity to run for President as a Midwesterner in a time when the Midwest is clearly the battleground in the Electoral College in 2020 is a open opportunity for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to be the “Midwest” candidate.

Klobuchar is the only Midwesterner likely to run, although Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, a fellow moderate, has hinted at running, but being a United States Senator is an edge over being a House member.

The main point against Klobuchar is the report that she is a nasty, unpleasant person to work for, but even if that is true, the record shows many others also have that reputation, including Presidents ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, to Donald Trump in the last half century.

Also, it is said she is too ‘moderate” in that she does not believe that everything promoted and promised by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others is possible in the next term, and that she will not promise what she sees as campaign propaganda, leading to disillusionment when it is not possible to accomplish these massive pledges.

This seems perfectly reasonable to this author and blogger, and Klobuchar has a solid record of accomplishment, and of “crossing the aisle” to gain bipartisan support on legislation. She is in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) tradition in Minnesota, the heir of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and even Al Franken (unfairly forced out of the Senate) by bullying over unproved charges of sexual harassment promoted aggressively by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for whom this author and blogger lost all respect.

Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020, close to the ideal average age of most Presidents taking office, and she would bring to the Presidency a sensible commitment to social justice, avoiding extreme statements that would only assist Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their reelection campaign.

She would also bring a reasonable woman into the Presidency, more cautious and sensible in her rhetoric than the alternative female candidates.

And if she chose Julian Castro of Texas, we would have a Democratic ticket of a woman and a Latino, overcoming two barriers at once, and leaving Castro, who would be age 46 in 2020, open to a future run for President after two terms of President Klobuchar, and be the precise average age of Presidents, mid 50s, in 2028.

A Potential Great Combination First And Second Lady Of The United States: Dr. Jill Biden And Connie Schultz

Speculation is growing that former Vice President Joe Biden will try for the third time for the White House, and that he just might pick Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who just won his third term in the Senate, as his Vice Presidential running mate. Of course, it seems likely that Brown may seek the Presidency himself.

The argument is that Biden, a moderate centrist has support of the white working class of the Midwest, and that adding Brown as his Vice President would insure that Ohio, a crucial state in presidential elections, and much of the Midwest would assist Biden in winning the states that Hillary Clinton could not gain in 2016.

Another time, we can evaluate these two men, but one very appealing thought is that their wives would be a potential great contribution as First Lady and Second Lady.

Dr. Jill Biden is well regarded and respected by just about everyone. She is cordial, warm, genuine, and reminds many of her husband’s traits. She has a doctoral degree in education, and has taught at the college level for many years at Northern Virginia Community College in the field of English and writing, and earlier taught emotionally disturbed children. As Second Lady in the Barack Obama Presidency, she was a major contributor to the goals of the administration, and would be a standout as First Lady.

Connie Schultz, the wife of Sherrod Brown, also has a distinguished record and background as a writer, journalist and college professor at Kent State University. She is a nationally syndicated journalist, and worked at the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper for 18 years. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2005 for her columns covering the underdog and the underprivileged. She has demonstrated compassion, empathy, and genuine concern for those less fortunate, just like her husband, and just like Joe and Jill Biden.

Could we be so lucky to have a First Couple and a Second Couple as wonderful as this combination?

It would be a step forward for our nation if we could be honored with Dr. Jil Biden and Connie Schultz as our First and Second Ladies, models for women’s advancement in America, and concern for those who have not had the equal opportunity promised in the concept of the “American Dream”.

Donald Trump’s Collapsing Polls, And The Indictment Of Roger Stone, Make It More Likely That He Will Be Challenged For The GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

Donald Trump now has collapsing polls that mark him as having the worst ratings since public opinion polls began in 1945.

Trump is as low as 34 percent in some polls, and 57 percent are unhappy with his performance.

So rumors are starting that Trump will have a challenger for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020, with former Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, and sitting Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seen as the most likely challengers.

Hogan is a new name, a moderate centrist Republican who has been able to win the Governorship of a strongly “Blue” state twice, and his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr. was a Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, like his son a moderate Republican, who was the first Republican on that committee to call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

The Roger Stone indictment, of a person who has been close to Donald Trump for 40 years, makes it more likely that Trump will face likely attempts to remove him or have him resign, and also makes it more likely that one of these three mentioned above, might make the challenge.

Terrible Idea To Have Notable Third Party Or Independent Presidential Candidate In 2020 Presidential Election

The thought that a notable third party or independent Presidential candidate might participate in the 2020 Presidential election is a terrible idea.

It would cause a potential Electoral College disaster, allowing a major party nominee to win with low 40s or high 30s percentage of the popular vote.

So when we hear that former Ohio Governor John Kasich or former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is thinking of just that, it is clearly a danger sign that might help Donald Trump or Mike Pence win the next term in the Presidency.

That would be total disaster for the nation, and would take the already downward moral and ethical trend in America to continue, and insure an extremist right wing agenda into the mid 2020s, including a totally extreme right wing Supreme Court and lower federal courts to go on for 30 or more years into the future.

It would also likely make it impossible for the Senate to go Democratic, and for the House of Representatives to remain Democratic, once we had the confusion of a well known third party or independent Presidential candidate siphoning votes, more likely from the Democratic nominee.

While there is no way legally to prevent this, we have to hope that sanity will rule, and we will get a two way race, with all of its attendant shortcomings, rather than the mess that a third serious candidate could bring to the American political system.

The Best 14 Potential Democratic Presidential Candidates For 2020

As one looks ahead to 2020, this author and blogger wishes to indicate who he considers to be the 14 best potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

There are an estimated 30 or more potential candidates who might announce for President, but many of them seem wanting in many respects, and as stated by this author yesterday, having more than about a dozen would be counterproductive.

Of course, individual politicians who wish to run are not going to concern themselves with numbers, but I wish to indicate the list that I feel is the most legitimate, and most likely, that we will see the final few Presidential contenders emerging  as  serious possibilities.

So in no special order, except by geographical sections, here goes:

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Former Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas

Former Congressman Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke of Texas

Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles

Congressman Eric Swalwell of California

So the list includes 8 Senators, 2 House members past or present, three Mayors past or present, 1 Governor, and 1 former Vice President of the United State, who served in the Senate for 36 years..

It is an impressive list, heavily weighted toward US Senators, but with some alternatives from elsewhere, and some from farther left and others more toward the moderate center, with the question being what is the best strategy for the Democrats for the Presidential campaign of 2020.

Keep Top Leadership Of House Democrats Now, But They Need To Step Aside After Presidential Election Of 2020 For Newer Generation

There is a rebellion in the House Democratic majority by newly elected Progressives who want a different House Speaker, House Majority Leader, and House Majority Whip.

This is tempting, but unwise, as it was Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn who brought about the victory of Democrats in the Midterm Elections of 2018, and everyone knows that Nancy Pelosi, despite her faults and shortcomings, was a master at raising money and promoting Democrats across the nation.

We also know that Nancy Pelosi was the best Speaker since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill from 1977-1987, and accomplished the best House performance in 2009-2010 in decades,including getting the passage of ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act. Her experience and skills are priceless at this time.

On the other hand, all three Democratic leaders will have reached the age of 80 by 2020.

So the solution is let these three leaders who brought about the Democratic revival stay as leaders for the next Congress, but with a declaration that they will groom other younger, progressive types to replace them in the next Congress, the 117th, in 2021-2022, and more influence over legislation

Key committee assignments and other House leadership positions below the top three leaders need to be given to people who have shown their ability to lead, such as Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Karen Bass of California, Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan and Marcia Fudge of Ohio, and others as well.

It is time for the House leadership to agree to their own term limits, but usher in the future with their smart, experienced leadership for now, and groom others for such leadership in two years.

The key thing, above all, is to insure that the House Democrats show accomplishments in the next two years, and are, therefore, able to keep control in 2020, and hopefully, with a winning Democratic Presidential nominee in the 2020 Presidential election, expand their numbers,and elect a new House Speaker, Majority Leader and Majority Whip two years from now, and applaud the efforts of the veterans who made them successful in 2018 and again in 2020.

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.

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!