Presidential Election Of 2016

The Biggest Winner From Republican Victories In Midterm Elections: Governor Scott Walker Of Wisconsin

Now that the dust has settled on the Midterm Elections of 2014, it is clear, at least for now, that the biggest winner from the results is Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Walker has now won the Governorship twice, in 2010 and 2014, along with a forced recall election in 2012, after he convinced the Republican controlled legislature to end collective bargaining with public employee unions, including teachers.

Despite his record of cutting education funding dramatically, and of refusal to accept Medicaid expansion for the poor of his state, Walker was able to overcome progressive forces who organized against him twice in two years.

Walker became linked with the Koch Brothers, and with voter suppression efforts, and became regarded by many on the progressive side, as the worst Tea Party Governor bar none, but still he won, and he now hints that he will seek the GOP Presidential nomination.

The question is whether he has enough clout and influence to mount a serious campaign, but it is clear that, in theory, he COULD win Wisconsin, if he ended up as the Republican Presidential nominee.

But to assume that he would have a real chance of winning the Presidency seems like an extremely long shot at this point!

The Republican “Insane Asylum” Rears Its Ugly Head!

The Republican Party is reveling in its midterm victories, but the victory will be short lived, as already, the GOP is self destructing in its reaction to the expected move of President Obama on immigration reform sometime soon.

Talk of impeachment of President Obama is rampant, along with threats to shut down the government once again, even though that was harmful to the Republicans, and hurt the American economy.

Obama is also infuriating right wingers with his plan to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, if the Senate approves the construction of this environmentally damaging project, which will create few jobs, and contradict treaties with native American tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota.

And potential Presidential candidates are acting as if they are patients in the “insane asylum”!

One example is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who advocates that we promote the kind of racial harmony that existed when Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms were alive! Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and then the Christian Coalition, and Helms, Republican Senator from North Carolina, did just the opposite of what Santorum claims, and makes us realize that Santorum is from a parallel universe!

Another example is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was perceived as moderate conservative in 2008, but then sold his soul by going to Fox News Channel, and has said reckless and dangerous things since. He is now on a speech tour stating that America is moving toward becoming Nazi Germany under Barack Obama!

Interesting and crazy statement, as it is precisely people like Santorum and Huckabee, and Fox News Channel, the Heritage Foundation, and the Tea Party Movement, who are moving us closer to Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, with their reckless attacks on Obama.

And yet we thought that Obama was a Communist, a Socialist, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, a black power racist–and now, suddenly, he is on the other side of the political spectrum with Nazism and Fascism, even though he is African American, and Nazis and Fascists would be out to kill people of so called “inferior” races!

This demonstrates how nuts and looney the GOP is becoming, and they will discover that their extremism, racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia will destroy their Senate majority and chances for the Presidency in 2016 and beyond!

The Democratic Party Winners In The 2014 Midterm Elections!

While the Democrats lost more seats in the House of Representatives, and lost 8-9 seats in the US Senate and majority control as a result, there WERE Democratic triumphs worthy of mention!

Jeanne Shaheen won a second term in the Senate, defeating Scott Brown in the New Hampshire Senate race.

Al Franken won a second term in the Senate in Minnesota.

Jeff Merkley won a second term in the Senate in Oregon.

Dick Durbin won a fourth term in the Senate in Illinois.

Chris Coons won a second term in the Senate in Delaware.

Ed Markey won a first full term in the Senate in Massachusetts, after having a special election victory in 2013 to replace Secretary of State John Kerry.

Cory Booker won a full Senate term in New Jersey.

Tom Udall won a second Senate term in New Mexico.

Jack Reed won a fourth Senate term in Rhode Island.

Mark Warner won a second Senate term in Virginia after a very close race with Ed Gillespie.

Brian Schatz won the remainder of a full term in the Senate from Hawaii.

Gary Peters was a new Senator elected in Michigan, to replace retiring Senator Carl Levin.

In the Governorship elections, Andrew Cuomo in New York and Jerry Brown in California won major victories, and also, Democrats kept or gained control of Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont–a total of ten victories. Their biggest win, however, was Tom Wolf, defeating Tom Corbett, making Pennsylvania, the sixth largest state, run by Democrats again!

It is not that Democrats have a total great number of victories, but it is worth mentioning that they are far from giving up on regaining the Senate in 2016, and many Governorships are likely to go to the Democrats as part of a “wave”, helped along by the strong likelihood of a Democratic Presidential nominee winning in 2016, and by a substantial majority in the Electoral College!

Short Term Weakening Of Potential Democratic Presidential Nominees

The midterm elections of 2014 have had the effect of creating a short term weakening of many potential Democratic Presidential nominees.

Hillary Clinton was involved in a lot of campaigning for fellow Democrats, who mostly lost their Senate and Gubernatorial races.

Joe Biden also was hurt, simply by association with President Obama, as the loss of the Senate was a blow to the administration and the Vice President.

But other potential Democratic nominees also suffered from the midterm elections.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner, considered a moderate alternative to most other potential Democratic candidates, struggled to win a close victory over Ed Gillespie, when polls indicated he would have an easy ride to reelection, so this might have affected any plans he had to run for President.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, also considering a Presidential bid, was hurt by the surprise defeat of his Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown for the Governorship. losing to Larry Hogan, the Republican nominee in a very “blue” state. Maryland has had only two previous GOP Governors in the past 50 years, Spiro Agnew and Bob Ehrlich.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, also flirting with running for President, was not helped by a surprising Republican victory in the Gubernatorial race, with Charlie Baker defeating State Attorney General Martha Coakley, who also lost the 2010 Senate race to Scott Brown, who succeeded Ted Kennedy. Massachusetts has been strange in the reality that it has elected a number of Republican Governors, while the Democrats dominate the state legislature, and House and Senate races, with the brief exception of Scott Brown for three years.

It is likely that these temporary blows, to five leading potential nominees on the Democratic side, will have no long lasting effect, with the Democrats still having an overwhelming edge in the Electoral College for the 2016 Presidential election.

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!

Potential For Four State Rivalries For President In Republican Caucuses And Primaries, And The Rest Of The Cast Of Characters!

As the 2016 Presidential nomination battles begin, now that the Midterm Elections of 2014 are history, there is the potential for four state rivalries for President in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

Florida sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.

Ohio sees the potential candidacy of Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman.

Texas sees the potential candidacy of former Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz.

Wisconsin see the potential candidacy of Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Paul Ryan.

At this point, it seems likely that the Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin rivalries are likely to occur in reality, while Ohio is more questionable.

But, ironically, it is Ohio that has the best combination of potential candidates who could be serious competitors in November 2016, as both Kasich and Portman, while strongly conservative, come across as having a good chance to compete for the moderate center and Independents, and have not shot themselves in the foot, as five of the six others mentioned above have done on a regular basis.

The only other potential candidate of the above group of eight, who has a chance to accomplish the same as Kasich and Portman, is Jeb Bush.

Rubio, Cruz and Walker represent Tea Party right wing views, while Perry is an also ran and an embarrassment to himself, and Ryan was on a losing ticket with Mitt Romney, and has made no effort to moderate his harsh views on the poor of society, or his budget plans which do not add up to reality.

Add to this list a cast of characters which should be interesting but self destructive: Maryland pediatric surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; former Pennsylvania Governor Rick Santorum; and of course, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney!

Oh, and one more Governor, who should not be ignored, as a possible “Dark Horse”, and having the ability to do what Kasich, Portman, and Bush could do–appeal to the center—Indiana Governor Mike Pence!

The Political Earthquake Shakes America: What It Portends For The Future!

This author and blogger was literally stunned by the political earthquake that hit American politics yesterday!

The sixth year of a President is not a good year in history, as has been proven many times.

On the average, the President’s party loses 26 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate in the second term midterm.

This time, the Democrats lost at least 14 seats in the House and at least 7 in the Senate.

The Republicans gained what looks like the biggest majority in the House since 1928, when Herbert Hoover was elected President, and the next year, the Great Depression hit America!

The Republicans won control of the Senate, with at least 52 seats, and possibly two more, in Alaska and Louisiana.

The Democrats lost Senate seats in the “red” states, and also lost Governorships in “blue” states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

The issue is whether the Republicans are willing to move forward on legislation that Barack Obama can sign into law.

If they are willing to stop their obstructionism, some progress can be made, but the President should NOT give up all his principles, as that would make his Presidency become one of caving in to right wing demands.

We are going to have a tough two years, but the Democrats, and their progressive and liberal allies, cannot act as if they are Republicans, and must, instead, fight for their principles, and see yesterday’s defeat as more of a midterm normal development, that is extremely likely to be reversed in the Senate in two years, and with the Democrats still favored to win the Electoral College in 2016, and therefore, win the White House!

Final Reflections As America Votes In Midterm Elections Of 2014

As America votes today in the Midterm Elections of 2014, polls indicate that the Republican Party will win control of the US Senate and will gain seats in the House.

As far as Governorships are concerned, the indications are that the Democrats are likely to gain a few seats, and defeat some Tea Party leaders.

To a great extent, this election is more negative–that is, throw out the rascals—as there is great disillusionment with government and with politicians.

Not that this is something new, as many Americans are ignorant about politics, and just think change for its own sake is good, which is often NOT the case!

The reality is that midterm elections generally favor the opposing party to whoever is President. But with the strange situation of a split Congress, rare in American history, it becomes much more complicated.

If the Democrats do, indeed, lose the Senate, which this blogger does not believe will happen, it will be seen as a defeat, which it would be, but it is a forerunner of a certain regaining of the Senate majority two years hence, as two thirds of the seats up in 2016 are Republicans, many of them winners in the major GOP gain in the midterm election of the first Obama term.

That fact, of two thirds of the 2016 seats being Republican, and the strong likelihood, that a Democrat will be heavily favored in the Electoral College in 2016 and beyond, as things stand right now, we can expect a massive gain of seats by Democrats then, hitting the high 50s, if not the magical 60 to overcome all filibusters.

The Republicans might win the majority tonight, but they will then have the onus of producing a record of accomplishment over the next two years to give them a chance to keep control of the Senate in 2016.

Based on their negativism and obstructionism for the past six years, that scenario is highly unlikely.

Instead, one can expect the Tea Party whackos on the right, led by Ted Cruz in the Senate, to do everything to prevent any progress, any action, any accomplishments, that they will be able to use in 2016 for Senate races and to support the GOP candidate for President.

Expect instead blockage of Presidential appointments to the cabinet and the courts; loads of phony investigations that will get attention, but accomplish nothing, except to demonstrate that the GOP are a group of showboats with no substance; and probably a move to impeach and put President Obama on trial, to besmirch his record, which will cause further stalemate and bitterness, and prevent any kind of positive action on so many signature issues.

And the GOP, continuing its racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia, will therefore self destruct and put themselves into the grave of history, instead of being a party that offers a bright future to more than just the elite one or two percent of whites who vote their interests, while middle and lower class whites vote against their interests because they are drawn to the disgraceful appeals mentioned above, even while many claim to be “religious”, but promote discrimination against minorities, immigrants, women, and gays and lesbians!

The Importance Of Maintaining A Democratic Senate Majority

Many people, who do not understand the importance of midterm elections, have wondered whether it makes any difference if we have a Democratic Senate or a Republican Senate.

There are many reasons why it is extremely crucial that the Democrats retain the Senate, since it is clear that the Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives, and may gain more seats, and go from a 233-199 (with three vacancies) total to over 240, due to gerrymandering, and the power of incumbency.

A Democratic Senate gives Barack Obama the chance to gain a new Supreme Court Justice of his own choice, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg or any other Justice decides to retire in the next two years, or if any Justice should die while a member of the Court. Also, ability to have circuit and district court judges, and cabinet positions, and other appointments approved would be very difficult if the GOP controlled the Senate.

A Democratic Senate prevents any serious move toward a likely impeachment of Barack Obama, as the Republicans would see no point to doing it, if there was no chance of a conviction, which in reality would not happen in any case, as it would require a two thirds (67) vote to convict and remove. The Republicans might be fully aware that it would not succeed, but might wish to besmirch the historical record of Obama, much as they did with Bill Clinton in 1998-1999.

A Democratic Senate insures that in two years, with two thirds of the seats up for election being Republicans, that the Democrats would likely gain 6-8 seats, and might, in 2017, reach the magic number of 60 or more, preventing any possible use of the filibuster tactic.

A Democratic Senate would insure the survival of ObamaCare, and the inability of any further move to destroy this signature program. Additionally, attempts to reverse other changes and reforms that have occurred would be impossible, all to the good.

A Democratic Senate would make it unnecessary for President Obama to utilize the veto power, which he has used very sparingly in his time in office.

A Democratic Senate would mean that the Republican Party had lost its last opportunity to gain control of both Houses, and in 2016, with a strong Democratic nominee for President, and the likelihood of coattail effects in those states that are “blue” or “purple”, would likely lead to a flip in the House to Democratic control, and the GOP would never again, any time soon, gain control of either House of Congress, as they have shown no desire to deal with the important issues that face the nation in domestic policy, and refusal to support Barack Obama in foreign policy, having abandoned the long held view of a sense of bipartisanship when dealing with the world and its problems.

Senate Races Tight, But Two Democratic Women Senators Could Be Key To Keeping Democratic Party Majority In Upper Chamber!

It is clear that the battle for the US Senate is a real combat zone, but two Democratic women Senators, one in New England, and one in the upper South, could be the key to keeping the Democratic Party majority in the upper chamber!

In New Hampshire, we have Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who has been the first woman to serve as Governor for two terms, followed by one term in the US Senate. She has a solid record, and New Hampshire, as the only state to have both Senators being female, along with the Governor, and both Congressional seats, and all Democrats, except for Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, bodes well for Shaheen.

Her opponent is former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who took over Ted Kennedy’s seat, and then lost it to Elizabeth Warren in 2012. Brown had defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley, and he now has the distinction of being the only person to run for the Senate three times, and have women as his opponents each time!

Brown is seen as making the election close, but it seems highly unlikely that as a Massachusetts resident who only has a vacation home in New Hampshire, and is therefore seen as a “carpetbagger”, will be able to convince voters to kick out a popular leader who has been in the top government offices of Governor and Senator for a total now of 14 years. And it has been made clear that despite his assertion that he is a “bipartisan” Senator, ultimately he will support the Republican agenda, and undermine the last two years of Barack Obama’s Presidency. Also, it is rumored that he wants to use the Senate seat to run for President in 2016, while Shaheen has shown her total loyalty to her state!

The other seat which seems likely to remain Democratic is North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan faces a tough contest against North Carolina Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is extremely right wing in his record, and has set North Carolina backward in health care and education with the assistance of Governor Pat McCrory, who turned much more right wing than he indicated when he ran for and won the Governorship two years ago!

Kay Hagan is ahead in most polls, and it seems a good bet that she, and Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, will keep these Senate seats “blue”, and help to keep the Democrats in control of the US Senate in 2015-2016!