Presidential Election of 2012

One Year To The Presidential Election Of 2020: My Past Record On The Last Three Presidential Elections

Here we are one year before the Presidential Election of 2020, and one of my contributors-commentators on this blog, D, asked awhile back that I come up with an estimate of what might happen in the upcoming Presidential contest.

I wish to point out that in 2008, I predicted the results of the Electoral College within one electoral vote, as I thought the Electoral College would be 364-174, and it ended up as 365-173.

I had not thought that one district in Nebraska, in the Omaha metropolitan area, would give an electoral vote to Barack Obama over John McCain, with Nebraska and Maine being the two states that have permitted split electoral votes, and with Nebraska only doing this in 2008. My article on this election was on November 2, 2008.

On November 4, 2012, my article predicted that Barack Obama would defeat Mitt Romney by an electoral vote of 332-206, and celebrated the precise electoral vote victory in an entry on November 9, 2012.

In 2016, I predicted on November 5, 2016, that Hillary Clinton would win over Donald Trump by a margin of 352-186, and was, like everyone else, totally off base, and still recovering from the shock in 2019.

So I have been accurate twice, and totally wrong the most recent time, and now it is time for projecting what might happen in the year 2020, although the estimate and judgment could be changed dramatically by events not possible to predict.

And since we do not know who the nominees of the major parties will be, it is much harder to project the ultimate result.

However, I will post my prediction, after being away for a few days, in midweek, and I welcome commentary by anyone reading this blog.

Need For A Challenger To Donald Trump In Republican Party–But Jon Huntsman Or John Kasich, NOT Mark Sanford!

It is past time for some legitimate Republican to challenge Donald Trump, and attempt to save the Republican party brand.

As much as former Governor William Weld of Massachusetts is attempting such a challenge, he is not strong enough, or well known enough, to have any real chance.

The only legitimate challengers would be the two best in the 2012 and 2016 Presidential sweepstakes—Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor, Ambassador to China under Barack Obama, and now resigning as Ambassador to Russia under Donald Trump; and former Ohio Governor and long term Congressman John Kasich.

The idea that former South Carolina Governor and former Congressman Mark Sanford might run is not a realistic or worthwhile endeavor, as Sanford had a sex scandal a decade ago that forced him out of the Governorship, and he is no model for Presidential leadership skills and ability, which at least William Weld does have.

Huntsman or Kasich would be a realistic alternative for conservatives who are appalled by Donald Trump in every way possible!

A Sense That Two”Old White Men” (Biden, Sanders) Are Declining, And Two Women (Warren, Harris)Are Rising In The Democratic Presidential Sweepstakes

As the summer wears on toward Labor Day, a growing feeling among many political observers is that the two “old white men”—Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders—are declining in support, and that two women—Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris— are rising in the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes.

One can see that Sanders is clearly slipping in support, while Warren, in particular, and Harris lesser so, are clearly rising, but what about Joe Biden, who remains as the front runner?

Well, Biden has been making a lot of gaffes recently, blunders that are embarrassing, and making one wonder if he is in mental decline, a sad thought, but not uncommon in the late 70s. Joe is loved by millions, and certainly is far less harmful and dangerous than Donald Trump, but the fear is that he will not be able to perform well in debates with Trump. When he debated Republican Vice Presidential candidates Sarah Palin in 2008 and Paul Ryan in 2012, he was outstanding, as he was in the Presidential debates in 2008 although he could not get voting support once the caucuses and primaries began in that year.

This is 11 and 7 years later, and it is worrisome that Joe Biden may not be up to the grueling demands of a campaign and to serve as President from age 78 to age 82 or 86. And although Bernie Sanders may seem in better shape by comparison at the moment, he would be 79-87, 14 months older than Biden in a one term or two term Presidency.

After the experience of Ronald Reagan’s decline in office, notable in his second term, and Donald Trump’s every day signs of dangerous decline, the question is whether electing either Biden or Sanders, or even Elizabeth Warren, who would be 71-79 in two terms of office, older at inauguration than Donald Trump was, is a wise idea.

So even with Warren surging, it could be that Kamala Harris, who would be 56-64 in two terms of office, might have the edge as voters look to the Democratic caucuses and primaries, and the election itself in less than 15 months.

From Barry Goldwater And Hugh Scott To Mitt Romney And Mitch McConnell: The Loss of Republican Principle

Forty five years ago, there were distinguished Republican Senators who stood up for principle, and pressured President Richard Nixon to resign for his abuse of power in the Watergate Scandal.

These included 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, who went to the White House with others to inform him that the vast majority of Republicans were not with the President, and would vote to remove him in an upcoming impeachment trial.

Like any Senator, they wished to promote the advancement of their party and its goals, but also believed in the rule of law.

So they stand out as profiles in courage for their public actions and statements, which did the Republican Party proud.

Now, 45 years later, we have Republican Senators, who on the surface are principled and unhappy about the abuse of power of President Donald Trump, but beyond words, will not take action to inform Donald Trump that his time is up.

So we have Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Romney has condemned the actions and behavior of President Donald Trump, but it is just words, as Romney has refused to take leadership to promote the impeachment or resignation of the 45th President.

Meanwhile, McConnell, who worked to deny Barack Obama a second term in the Presidency, and to prevent Merrick Garland from being considered for a Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, has led the charge to cooperate with Trump, as the only purposes McConnell cares about are more massive tax cuts for the wealthy one percent, and the promotion of extremist right wing judges and justices, which will distort constitutional law for the next two generations.

Newt Gingrich The True Villain: In The 1990s, Out To Divide And Create A Chasm In American Life That Set The Stage For Donald Trump

Newt Gingrich was for four years Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995-1999).

He became the model for Donald Trump in the mid 1990s, promoting division and creating a chasm in American politics, ending an era of “crossing the aisle” to promote bipartisanship.

Instead, his goal was to add to his own ego, and declare war on the opposition party, a plan hatched in the mid 1980s when he came to Congress, after having been a history professor with a Ph. D., who saw an opportunity to strive for House leadership, and promote a “revolution” in the way the House of Representatives worked.

Gingrich is the true villain, who can be credited or blamed for promoting a chasm in American life, dividing America in a bid for absolute power. It is clear that had Newt Gingrich somehow been elected President in 2012, or had been chosen by Donald Trump to be his Vice Presidential running mate in 2016, that he had set the model for the abuses that have become every day life in America in the age of Trump.

Goodbye And Good Riddance To Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan: A Despicable Legacy Of Ayn Rand Worship And Obedience To Donald Trump

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will be leaving Congress, and the best way to look at it is: Goodbye and Good Riddance.

Ryan is a despicable legacy of Ayn Rand worship, whose goal in Congress, luckily unmet, was to wipe out the Social Welfare State of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, along with other reforms brought about by other Presidents of both political parties.

Ryan seemed excited at the thought of ending Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, although he gained from Social Security when his father died when he was a child, but seemed unperturbed in denying those less fortunate, and poor mothers and children the idea of any government support in their plight.

A so called “good Catholic”, who actually was denounced by Catholic leaders for his hard hearted attitude toward the poor and sick, he was anti abortion but did not care what happened once a child was born.

Ryan also showed willingness to be obedient toward Donald Trump’s abuse of power, and he presided over a massive increase in the national debt by his promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and his party now has to own the great increase in the national debt that occurred under George W. Bush and Donald Trump, which he ignored, while being constantly critical of Barack Obama, and refusing to come up with an alternative to ObamaCare.

The thought that he could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency as the potential Vice President under Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Campaign was horrifying, and this author denounced Ryan regularly at that time, and was bitterly attacked by the right wing in a vicious manner, but that did not intimidate me in calling him a disgraceful and despicable Republican leader.

To say that he was worse than the previous Speakers John Boehner and Dennis Hastert is quite a testimony to the disaster he represented as two heartbeats away from the Presidency while Speaker from 2015-2018.

He is being replaced by Democrat Nancy Pelosi, previously Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, the most productive years of any Speaker going back to the times of Thomas “Tip” O’Neill from 1977-1987.

Growing Likelihood Of Challengers To Donald Trump For GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

With Donald Trump being “individual No. 1”, clearly the center of probes by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, and also by the Southern District of New York, the likelihood grows of Republicans, who have just come off a 40 seat loss in the House and control of the lower chamber, being alarmed enough that serious challengers to Donald Trump’s nomination for a second term seem likely.

One can expect the following Republicans to consider challenges to Trump.

Outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Presidential nominee.

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

There could be others as well, but this list seems quite realistic, although the more that challenge Trump, the less likely there would be success.

It would be much easier if only one challenger took the bait, and went after Trump.

One can think back to 1979-1980, when President Jimmy Carter was challenged by both Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and California Governor Jerry Brown.  

The one thing about even one challenger to a sitting President is that the result has been that while the President won the nomination, he ended up losing the election, with three of the four times losing massively.

William Howard Taft won only 23 percent in 1912 after being challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, and having to deal with TR as the Progressive Party nominee, as well as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson.

Jimmy Carter won only 41 percent in 1980 after being challenged by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, and having to deal with an independent nominee, John Anderson, as well as Republican nominee Ronald Reagan.

George H. W.  Bush won only 37 percent in 1992 after being challenged by Pat Buchanan, and having to deal with independent nominee Ross Perot and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

At this point, before we begin the new year, it would seem as if John Kasich would have the upper hand on a challenge over others, and that Ben Sasse, representing a new generation of conservative leadership, would be an additional major challenge to Trump, were Sasse willing to mount a campaign.

Of course, any challenge to Trump would also be indirectly a challenge to Vice President Mike Pence as the “heir apparent”.

Trend Toward Older First Term Members Of Congress–Mitt Romney And Donna Shalala As Examples Of Trend

A trend that has developed lately is that some new members of Congress are older than usually at their swearing in, as compared to previous times.

We have two such examples in the 116th Congress.

Newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, will be two months short of age 72 in January. He lost the race for a Senate seat in Massachusetts to Senator Ted Kennedy in the Midterm Elections of 1994, 24 years ago, but now will be in the Senate a quarter century later.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, after being President of Hunter College from 1980-1988 and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1988-1993, was then President of the University of Miami in Florida from 2001-2015, and President of the Clinton Foundation from 2015-2017. She is now the new Congresswoman in the Miami, Florida district that was occupied by Ileana Ros Lehtinen from 1989 through 2018. It earlier had been the seat of the revered Claude Pepper from 1962-1999.

That seat in South Florida is an especially sacred seat in a sense, and Shalala will be one month short of age 78 when she joins the House of Representatives.

The Ultimate Outcome Of The Midterm Elections Of 2018: The Social Welfare, Social Justice State Is Permanent After 83 Years

The ultimate outcome of the Midterm Elections of 2018 is the success and institutionalization of the Social Welfare, Social Justice State, finally permanent after 83 years.

It all goes back to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the passage of Social Security in 1935, bitterly fought by Republicans and conservatives of that era, and still argued about by such leaders as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan over the next half century.

But in 1983, President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill negotiated a bipartisan deal to save Social Security, not destroy it as Reagan had wanted to do, and it is the fundamental part of the Social Safety Net.

In 1965, after years of opposition by Republicans and conservatives, Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society accomplished Medicare and Medicaid. It has continued to be attacked and condemned, but it has survived and is a great part of the Social Safety Net.

Then, in 2010, Barack Obama accomplished the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, with no cooperation from Republicans or conservatives, even though back in 1993, conservatives, with the support of Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, came up with a very similar health care plan, in opposition to the Bill and Hillary Clinton health care plan, which ultimately failed of passage. Also, Mitt Romney in Massachusetts accomplished a very similar plan as ObamaCare, but ran against his own plan for the nation when he ran for President in 2012.

The Republicans continued to try to destroy ObamaCare ever since 2010, having 70 votes on it over the years, but Chief Justice Roberts and Senator John McCain in 2012 and 2017, respectively, backed continuation at crucial moments. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that, clearly, ObamaCare is here to stay, so like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ObamaCare has survived and become a permanent part of the Social Safety Net.

The Democrats and progressives have accomplished these great pieces of legislation since 1935, and the goal has always been to improve the laws, as no one ever said they were perfect, but it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who have advocated and succeeded in accomplishing the Social Welfare, Social Justice state, and they should be very proud of the work they have done.

So FDR, LBJ, and Obama are the three most successful domestic policy Presidents, and not just in the areas mentioned in this article!

Two Outliers: Republican Governors In Heavily Democratic States—Larry Hogan In Maryland And Charlie Baker In Massachusetts

In the midst of highly partisan elections being the norm in America under Donald Trump, we have the two outliers that are hard to explain.

In Maryland and Massachusetts, two heavily “Blue” states, we have very popular moderate Republican governors on their way to easy reelection victories.

Maryland, a heavily Democratic state, with strong backing from those living in the Washington DC suburbs, Larry Hogan has a 68 percent rating in his popular support, and is way ahead of Ben Jealous, the African American Democratic nominee for Governor, who was former head of the NAACP. Barack Obama twice and Hillary Clinton won the last three Presidential races by 25 to 26 points in each of those contests.

But somehow, Hogan is seen as an easy victor for a second term. He has 65 percent approval from Democrats, 64 percent backing from Independents, and 81 percent support from Republicans. Hogan has avoided being supportive of Donald Trump, and in fact, has been clearly critical of the President.

Every poll shows Hogan winning, as high as 58 percent, with a undecided percentage being as high as 10-18 percent in some polls, indicating the likelihood that Hogan will win a landslide victory of more than 60 percent in November. Hogan has had to deal with a heavily two thirds Democratic legislature and a Congressional delegation (7 Democrats to one Republican) dominated by Democrats.

Massachusetts, another heavily Democratic state, and a heavily (80 percent) Democratic legislature, and an all Democratic Congressional delegation, yet has had Republican Charlie Baker as its governor for the past four years, and in polls, Baker is ahead of his Hispanic Democratic opponent, Jay Gonzalez, by margins of 52 to 68 percent, depending on the poll. Barack Obama won by 26 and 23 percent, and Hillary Clinton by 27 points in the last three Presidential elections.

Baker has also shown himself to be a moderate Republican who has been regularly critical of Donald Trump, and has had as high as a 71 percent majority of popularity in his term of office, higher even than Larry Hogan in Maryland. One can assume that he will win two thirds or more of the vote on November 6.

So both Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker are outliers, on the way to what is conceived as a “Blue Wave”.