State Legislatures

The Potential For More Women Senators And Governors After The 2018 Midterm Elections, Mostly Democrats

More women than ever before are running for public office on the state legislative level, for the US House of Representatives, and for the state governorships and the US Senate.

Particularly in the Democratic Party, women will have a much greater role after the midterm elections, no matter who might lose.

2018 is the greatest year of women candidates for public office, surpassing 1992 and 2012, and the difference is that this round is a midterm election, while the other two were years of presidential elections.

So 53 women are running for the Senate and 476 running for the House of Representatives, while in 2012, the numbers were 36 for the Senate and 298 for the House, and in 1992, the numbers were 11 for the Senate, and 106 for the House.

There are presently 23 women Senators, and the numbers, depending on results in the midterm, could increase to 26, or if a number of women Senators lost their seat next week, the number could be as low as 16.

The Democrats have 17 women in the Senate, with the Republicans having six at the present time. Jacky Rosen in Nevada and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona, along with Republican Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, could raise the number up to 26, assuming all women running for reelection were to keep their seats.

12 women are running for governor, and there are six women governors at present. Stacey Abrams in Georgia, who is African American; Laura Kelly in Kansas; Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan; Molly Kelly in New Hampshire; Janet Mills in Maine; Christine Hallquist in Vermont; and Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, all Democrats, seem to have strong possibilities of being elected, joining two other Democratic women governors, and four Republican women governors at present.

What Is Needed In November: Blue Wave (Democrats), Pink Wave (Women), Orange Wave (Men And Gun Safety), Green Wave (Environment)

With the midterm elections less than four weeks away, it is clear that what is needed is not one “wave”, but four “waves”.

A “Blue Wave” is needed, the gaining of, hopefully, control of both houses of Congress, and the majority of state governorships and state legislative majorities.

But a “Pink Wave’ is needed by a mass uprising by women of all backgrounds, races, sections of the nation, to make clear that misogyny and abuse of women by conservatives and Republicans will no longer be tolerated.

There is also a need for an “Orange Wave”, promoted by Fred Guttenberg, the father of Parkland victim Jaime Guttenberg, on the need for a serious movement toward gun control and regulation, as we are losing tens of thousands of victims, many of them in schools and universities, and also many through suicide. This must include serious promotion of mental health initiatives, so that we do not have the constant massacres of innocent human beings, because of the lack of concern by the gun industry, which is only interested in profits.

And finally, a “Green Wave” is needed by those who care about climate change and the environment, determined to fight to prevent the destruction of the environment by coal companies, oil companies, natural gas companies, and corporations in general, who all think only of the profit motive now, and not the long range effect of what their companies are doing. And the struggle against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior leadership must be fought with vehemence, as the future of America and the entire globe are at stake.

The Survival Of America As We Know It Depends On A Massive “Blue Wave” This November!

Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet, in informing Congressional Republicans that they should abandon any legislation on immigration until after the “Red Wave” he predicts is coming in the midterm elections of 2018 this November.

God forbid any such “Red Wave”, which would defy history, as the record shows the party in the White House always loses seats in the first midterm election after a President has been inaugurated, with the one major exception being FDR and the Democrats in 1934, but Donald Trump is no FDR!

If people stay home and do not vote, or if people continue to believe the lies of Donald Trump and the Republicans, then we as a nation, not those of us who care, but everyone else, will get what they deserve–a return to the 19th century Gilded Age before federal government played a role in the lives of the American people.

It will mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor laws, environmental legislation, consumer protections. civil rights for minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, and the loss of the Bill of Rights.

We will live in a nation controlled by the super wealthy in every sense, and we will be influenced by autocrats in Russia and other totalitarian dictatorships, and we will be threatened by the loss of our traditional foreign allies, and we will face dire poverty after a Great Depression that would make the 1930s depression look like a minor event.

Some reading this might think I am using hyperbole, but seriously, even if one thinks they have heard this before, the reality is as follows: There is no more crucial election for the long term future of our nation than this midterm election.

The Democrats are far from perfect but even many conservative commentators, such as Jennifer Rubin, George Will, David Frum, Bret Stephens, Steve Schmidt, among others, have repudiated the Republican Party and Donald Trump, and warn us of the need to kick the Republicans out of control of both houses of Congress, and many state governorships and legislatures.

Donald Trump is the most dangerous person in American history, and the process to start taking away his destructive influence is NOT to say it is hopeless, and why bother voting?

It is, rather, that if we do not fight for our future, then there is no future!

36 Legislative Seats In States Flipped From Republicans To Democrats Since Trump Election

With a victory in a state legislative race in Florida last night of a Democrat in a Republican held seat, we can say that 36 legislative seats in states that Trump won in 2016 have now flipped, a sign of likely great results for Democrats in November 2018 for the US House of Representatives, US Senate, state legislative races, and state governors.

Many traditional Republican voters are clearly alienated from Donald Trump, and specific groups–suburbanites, women, and young people–are seen as likely flippers in large numbers, to the Democrats in the upcoming elections.

Several other races that have ended up with Republican wins have been by much closer margins than in the past.

Changing the state legislatures and making for more Democratic seats will be extremely important when it comes to reapportionment of seats in 2020 and after, and it is urgent that Democrats gain the edge, as that will affect politics for the entire decade of the 2020s.

So the urgency is to make sure voters come out in greater numbers than is traditional in midterm election years, and if people stay home and allow the Republicans to continue their control of state legislatures, governors, and the two houses of Congress, they will have no one to blame but themselves for the disastrous long term results of such apathy.

Women, President Trump, And The Republican Party

President Trump and the Republican Party have stirred women of all ages and backgrounds to “Fire and Fury”, the title of the Michael Wolff book on the first year of the Trump Presidency.

By declaring war on abortion, and by his sexual behavior revealed in the Access Hollywood tape of 2006, and the Stormy Daniels revelations on Trump having an affair with her right after his wife Melania gave birth to Barron 11 years ago, Trump has gained the scorn of intelligent, educated women.

By working to undermine labor rights; ignoring sexual harassment and assault as an issue; and his war against immigration and civil rights, Trump and much of his party have undermined the future of the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan.

Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other leaders in the Republican Party have totally turned off women, who see the GOP as the “good old boys” network, and it is women who will lead the charge in the upcoming midterm Congressional elections.

Women who have any brains in their heads are fearful of Trump’s mental instability; of his control over nuclear weapons; and of the damage he and his party are planning against the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; as well as the actions taken against the environment, consumers, health care, and education.

The second Women’s March in Washington DC and across the nation is galvanizing women to work to put the Democratic party in control in both houses of Congress and in the state legislatures, and more women are running for public office across the nation than at any time in American history.

The wrath and scorn of women will, hopefully, have a dramatic effect on American politics. 57 percent of women are supportive of Democrats, to 31 percent for Republicans, in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. And a Wall Street Journal Poll showed a majority of 20 percent of women favored Democrats, and 32 points among college educated women.

The Growing Danger Of 2018 And 2020 Elections Being Hacked By Russians And Others With Technological Expertise

It is now clear as the New Year of 2018 begins that America is endangered by the strong likelihood that the midterm Congressional Elections of 2018 and the Presidential Election of 2020 could be subjected to the kind of illegal activities clearly engaged in by Russians, who helped to fix the election results in many states in 2016.

It seems, based on public opinion polls, that the Democrats are heavily favored to gain control of the House of Representatives in 2018, and have a good chance to gain the two seats needed to have control of the US Senate as well.

Also, in many states, the Democrats, at this point, are favored to gain control of Governorships and state legislatures in 2018, an important step toward having an edge in reapportionment of seats in the state legislatures, and in the House of Representatives, after the National Census is conducted in April 2020, affecting the political balance in the entire upcoming decade.

It is not even just Russians, but in theory, with technological expertise, hackers from many unfriendly nations, including China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and others, could manipulate and undermine our American democracy.

Our best technological experts have a massive job ahead of them, and it is clear that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are not actively involved in insuring fair elections for either 2018 or 2020, and that Trump will do anything to regain power for another four years, if somehow, he is able to overcome the charges mounting against him.

Trump has no ethics, morals, or scruples, and his party has been willing to go along with him, with only a few rare exceptions of members in both houses of Congress willing to defy him in his lust for absolute power, and the breakdown of the whole American democratic system.

The White, Educated, Republican Suburbs Moving Toward Democratic Party In Age Of Donald Trump

Early signs are that the white, educated Republican suburbs are moving toward the Democratic Party in the age of Donald Trump.

If one goes by the elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and now Alabama, that seems the beginning of a trend.

The Democrats need to pursue this, rather than just attack Donald Trump.

They need to emphasize job growth, education, health care, and the dangers to our national security represented by the “bromance” between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, what seems like Russian Collusion.

They need to show that they have a positive program of change, and rally people around the harm to our environment and consumer protection by the Trump Presidency, as well as the harm done with unqualified judicial appointments, and in our diplomacy with other nations.

If the Democrats work to offer alternatives and point out common goals for people of all races, and both genders, they can win the majority in both houses of the Congress, in many state legislatures, and in the gubernatorial races coming up in November 2018.

Time To Move Against Electoral College Distorting Popular Vote, Through National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement

The issue of the Electoral College having failed to elect the popular vote winner of the Presidency for a total of five times now, and twice in the last 16 years, continues to plague us, particularly when the present incumbent of the White House lost the popular vote by the biggest margin yet, 2.85 million votes.

There is no other political election in America where the person with the most popular votes is not the winner of the election.

The Founding Fathers might have seen the Electoral College as a necessary bulwark against mass popular control at the time, but once we began having popular votes in the 1824 Presidential election, it was an advancement of democracy, and the idea that a popular vote loser would win the Presidency was appalling.

It happened in 1824 in a four person race, but then, it occurred in 1876 with a two person race, and then in 1888, again with a two person race.

Since it did not happen again for more than a century, it was assumed to be flukes that would not happen again, and over the years of my teaching career, I was often asked whether it would happen again, and I responded, that while it could happen, it was highly unlikely that it would.

And then came the Presidential Election of 2000, where George W. Bush won with Supreme Court intervention stopping the recount in the state of Florida, winning that state over Al Gore by 537 votes out of six million cast, and therefore barely winning the Electoral College, despite a 540,000 popular vote lead nationally of Al Gore.

In 2016, the situation was even worse, as Donald Trump won by very small margins in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.85 million popular votes, so five and a half times the popular vote lead for Clinton over Trump as compared to Gore over Bush in 2000, but Trump winning the Electoral College, but only 12 national elections with a smaller electoral vote majority out of a total number of 58 national elections.

The problem is trying to end the Electoral College by constitutional amendment is dead upon arrival, as it requires a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and a two thirds vote of the Senate, followed by a majority vote in both houses of state legislatures (except in the one house of Nebraska) in three fourths of the states (38 out of 50). Clearly, that will never happen, particularly with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and four of the five times that the Electoral College failed, the ultimate winner was a Republican, and the loser each time was a Democrat.

But the alternative is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Agreement, developed in recent years, with 10 states and Washington DC with 165 electoral votes agreeing by legislation that they would support the popular vote winner nationally, instructing their electors to do so. The problem is that the 10 states and DC are clearly, at this point, Democratic or “Blue” states—California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State.

Once states with 105 additional electoral votes agree to pass such legislation, it would go into effect, but that is the more difficult matter. At this point, 12 states with 96 electoral votes have had one house of the state legislature agree to such a law—Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma,and Oregon. Also, two other states have had committees in the state legislature approve it unanimously, with these two states—Georgia and Missouri—having 27 additional electoral votes.

So if all these states that have taken partial action completed the process in the next few years, we would have 24 states and DC, with a majority of the total popular vote and population, being capable of awarding the Presidency to the winner of the national popular vote, and this would end the idea of a popular vote loser becoming President.

Republican reliable states—Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri—are part of this group, but the question is whether they will take the steps to put it into effect.

While there is no certainty this will ever happen, there is optimism that it will eventually occur, as otherwise, the possibility of a return of 2000 and 2016 is highly likely in the future, and not just once.

If this were to occur, it would promote a truly national Presidential campaign, instead of the present focus in recent decades on 12-15 states, and ignoring the clear cut “Blue” and “Red” states in favor of the “Purple” or “Swing” states alone.

Three Essential Victories–Virginia And New Jersey Governorships And Alabama Senate Race

Ralph Northam in Virginia.

Phil Murphy in New Jersey.

Doug Jones in Alabama.

These are three elections that need to happen, to move the Democratic Party forward in state governments and in the US Senate.

Beyond these three leaders, the emphasis must be to recruit candidates who can take House seats from the Republicans and win state legislative seats in 2018, in addition to the Senate and gubernatorial races next year.

But the first step is to make sure Virginia stays Democratic in the Governorship; that New Jersey go Democratic for Governor; and that Roy Moore, a horrific Senate nominee, be stopped by Doug Jones, a good, decent man, and give the Democrats their 49th seat in the US Senate.

If they can win that seat, and take the Nevada Senate seat of Dean Heller and the Arizona Senate seat of Jeff Flake and the Tennessee Senate seat of Bob Corker, who is not running for reelection in 2018, and somehow keep all their present seats (a tall order) the Democrats could control the Senate and have 52 seats, precisely what the Republicans have right now.

Politics is psychological, and these victories are essential if we are to work to change the equation in the states and in Congress!

The Urgency Of The Democratic Party Taking Back The House Of Representatives, And State Governorships And Legislatures In 2018

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic front runner in the 6th Congressional District of Georgia (Atlanta suburbs), fell just short of the 50 percent needed to win that seat in the House of Representatives, and avoid a runoff.

Now he will face Republican Karen Handel on June 20, and it will be more difficult to gain the seat, a traditionally GOP district in the past 38 years since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979, followed up by Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, who vacated the seat to become part of Donald Trump’s cabinet.

One can be assured massive amounts of money will be spent on both sides of this race, which, if Ossoff wins, would be a major blow to Donald Trump and his agenda.

The 24 point swing in Kansas’s special election for the House, and now the 10 point swing in Georgia, in the first round, are signs that the Democrats COULD regain the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, after eight years in the “wilderness”.

It is simply a sign of the reality that the Democratic Party, at a low point, having lost so many seats in both houses of Congress in the Barack Obama era, along with governorships and state legislatures, have the urgency to work very hard to start their revival.

The average number of seats gained by the “out” party in the midterm elections is 23 in the House of Representatives, and right now, the Democrats need 24 seats to regain control, so it is within potential gains that one might expect.

The US Senate will be nearly impossible to win seats, however, as only 8 Republicans are up for reelection in 2018, as against 25 Democrats.

Looking at the GOP held seats, the only possible gains, and not easily, might be Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona, and Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada. The only other possible hope would be if somehow Ted Cruz could be unseated in Texas, but that is highly unlikely. So at this point, the most that could be expected is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence able to use his vote in a tied Senate.

One must realize that while many of the 25 Democratic seats are seen as safe, a large number are not so, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. Note that Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly tried to protect their flank by voting for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Casey did not do so.

But beyond Congress, it is urgent that state governorships be gained, as well as control of more state legislatures, all in planning for the next census of 2020 and the redistricting of House seats and state legislative seats that will come after 2020, with the evil reality of gerrymandering affecting the next decade.