Vermont

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!

A Nightmare Thought: What If America Ends Up With A 218-217 GOP House And A 50-50 GOP Senate For The 116th Congress?

With the midterm election only three weeks away, all kinds of scenarios are developing in the minds of political junkies, such as this author.

What if the House of Representatives ends up with a 218-217 majority held by the Republicans, meaning the Democrats only gain 22 seats in the lower chamber, rather than the 23 or more needed to control?

And what if miraculously, the Democrats gain one seat in the Senate, such as Arizona or Nevada, but lose two seats, such as North Dakota and Florida, and end up in a 50-50 tie, meaning Vice President Mike Pence organizes a Senate perfectly divided, and keeps the Senate Republican?

The question arises, have these scenarios ever occurred before in Congressional history, and the answer is YES in both houses of Congress, with twice in the House of Representatives.

In 1917-1919, the Republicans had a 215-214 margin, and third parties and Independents having 6 seats.

Also in 1931-1933, the Republicans had a 218-216 margin, and one third party seat.

In the Senate’s history, there have been eight such cases as follows:

In 1881-1883, there were 37 Republicans and 37 Democrats and two Independents.

In 1883-1885, there were 38 Republicans, 36 Democrats, and two Independents.

In 1893-1895, there were 44 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and four Independents.

In 1931-1933, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.

In 1953-1955, there were 48 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and one Independent.

In 1955-1957, there were 48 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and one Independent.

In 2001-2003, there were four switches of majority–From January 1-20, Democrat; from January 20 to June 6, Republican; from June 6, 2001 to November 12, 2002, Democratic; and then from November 12, 2002 to January 3, 2003 Republican. This was due to the switch of party and Vice President from Al Gore to Dick Cheney; the switch of Jim Jeffords of Vermont from Republican to Democratic; and the election of a new Senator from Missouri of the opposition party taking the oath of office before the new Senate of 2003 was organized.

Finally, in 2007-2009, there were 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and two Independents.

Key Democrats To Elect As State Governors: Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Ben Jealous, Gavin Newsom, Richard Cordray, J. D. Pritzker, Tony Evers, Gretchen Whitmer

It is urgent that Democrats, who at present, only have 16 state governorships, win a majority of the 36 gubernatorial races taking place this November.

Among the crucial races to win are the following:

Andrew Gillum in Florida

Stacey Abrams in Georgia

Ben Jealous in Maryland

Gavin Newsom in California

Richard Cordray in Ohio

J. D. Pritzker in Illinois

Tony Evers in Wisconsin

Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan

With other large states in Democratic hands and likely to remain so, including:

Andrew Cuomo in New York

Tom Wolff in Pennsylvania

it would mean that Democrats would control most of the larger states’ executive branches, crucial for reapportionment of seats in state legislatures and the US House of Representatives after the Census in 2020.

Only Texas of the top ten states in population would be likely to remain Republican, and with North Carolina (Roy Cooper) and New Jersey (Phil Murphy) and Virginia (Ralph Northam) and Washington State (Jay Inslee) all under Democratic Governors, it would mean 12 of the top 13 states with nearly two thirds of the nation’s population would be controlled by Democrats.

Add Democratic states likely to remain so, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, and the possibility of winning in Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New Mexico, and you have a majority of Democratic run state governorships. Finally, Nevada and Arizona seem long shots, but could, in a “Blue Wave” be won by Democratic nominees for governor in those states.

But even if not a majority of states, if the large populated states are won, it will benefit the Democrats in the coming reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.

The Octogenarians And The Presidential Nomination Battle In 2020—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg

Soon, once the midterm elections of 2018 are over, no matter what happens, we will start to see the beginnings of the Presidential Election of 2020 campaign.

And in the Democratic Party, we have, in theory at least, FOUR soon to be Octogenarians who MIGHT decide to run for the nomination of their party.

All four would be in their 80s during the next term.

First, we have former Vice President Joe Biden, who would be 78 days after the 2020 election.

Then, we have Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who would be 79 at the time of the 2020 election.

We also have soon to be former Governor Jerry Brown of California, who would be seven months past 80 at the time of the 2020 election.

Finally, we have former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who would be three months short of 79 when the 2020 election occurs.

So all four would be in their 80s during their first term of office.

All but Bloomberg have actually been Presidential candidates, with Bloomberg flirting with it, but never taking the step.

Biden ran in 1988 and 2008, while Sanders ran in 2016, and Brown in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

The least likely to announce is Brown, but knowing his past history, who can say he would not announce?

Bloomberg seems second least likely to run, but is spending $80 million to help Democrats win the midterm elections in Congress and the states.

Both Biden and Sanders seem certainly to announce, in a field that could include more than 10 potential candidates.

If one had to project whether any of these four men might actually be the Democratic nominee, it would be Joe Biden, who is the most centrist of the four.

With both Sanders and Bloomberg being “independent”, outside the party membership, and both very unwilling to compromise or negotiate with party leaders, and with the Democrats insisting that only party members run for the White House, there would be massive conflict with either trying to take the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

Truthfully, the best scenario would be a “NEW GENERATION”, someone in their 40s, 50s, or low to mid 60s, becoming the future of the party, rather than an “old timer”, who we would need to worry about more than normally, as to who their Vice President was, since the odds of an octogenarian serving a full term in the Presidency, would be quite a gamble!

Likely Changes In Electoral Votes And Congressional Seats As Result Of 2020 Census Figures

We are two years away from the 2020 Census, which will determine:

Electoral Vote Changes for 15 or 16 states
Congressional Seat Changes for 15 or 16 states
Federal Funding of Domestic Programs for all states

With Donald Trump’s attempt to cut population growth in the Census by putting fear into undocumented immigrants filling out the Census forms, it could affect all of the above.

As things now stand, 6 states are certain to gain electoral votes and Congressional seats, while 9 other states lose electoral votes by 2024, and Congressional seats by the 2022 midterm elections.

Interestingly, California, which has regularly gained multiple seats for decades, has not grown enough in comparison to the total population of the entire nation, so will for the first time ever gain no seats at all. Of course, with many undocumented immigrants, more than any other state, there is a theoretical possibility that California could, conceivably, lose a seat if enough of this group do not fill out Census forms.

The state of Virginia also has not grown enough, just like California, so is unlikely to gain a new electoral vote or Congressional seat.

Texas will likely gain 3 electoral votes and seats, while Florida will gain 2, and with Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oregon all gaining one each. All these states are in the Sun Belt, except Oregon in the Pacific Northwest.

So a total of 9 seats and electoral votes will be gained by a total of 6 states, which means those 9 seats will come from 9 different states, with 7 coming from the Northeast (Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania) and Midwest (Ohio, Michigan Minnesota, Illinois), and two from the South (West Virginia, Alabama).

It is also possible with changes in population in the next three years, that an additional seat could be lost by Illinois, and gained by Montana in the Pacific Northwest, which has lost a seat before, and might gain it back.

So at a maximum, 16 states will see their electoral votes and Congressional seats change, 7 gaining as a maximum and 9 losing as a maximum. The other 34 states will have no change at all.

Also, with Rhode Island about to lose a seat, it will be left with only one Representative At Large, joining Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Delaware, assuming Montana gains a seat. Otherwise, the total number of states with only one House seat would grow from 7 to 8.

Early Speculation On Democratic Presidential Ticket For 2020

Here we are in mid March 2018, and already, speculation is beginning as to who might be on the Democratic Presidential ticket for 2020.

This is a fun game, with no likelihood that it is truly a forecast of the future.

However, right now, those on the left of the Democratic Party dream of a ticket of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, both who face reelection in November, but seem unlikely to have a serious challenge for their Senate seats.

But to believe that two far left Democrats can together be elected seems to this observer to be a pipe dream, not to be taken seriously.

And putting a 79 and 71 year old in 2020 on the ticket is a bit much, as even having one candidate in his or her 70s is seen by many observers as a problem.

Consider that Sanders would be 83 after one term in office, and Warren would be 75, and it just does not add up as likely to have both of them, or even maybe one of them on the ticket.

A second scenario has former Vice President Joe Biden running with Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy III or Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, a more centrist ticket.

But Biden will be 78 two weeks after the 2020 election, so would be 82 at the end of a first term. There are rumors that he might declare he would only serve one term, and let Joe Kennedy or Amy Klobuchar be next in line ready to succeed, as after one term as Vice President, Kennedy would be 44 in 2024, and Klobuchar would be 64. The appeal particularly of a Joe-Joe ticket is very high right now.

A third scenario would be Joe Kennedy III, at age 40, and only having served in the House of Representatives, running for President, with the famous Kennedy name behind him, and Senator Kamala Harris of California or New jersey Senator Cory Booker or former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas or his twin brother Joaquin Castro, Texas Congressman, as Vice Presidential running mate for the young Kennedy, with Harris being 57, Booker being 51, and the two Castro brothers being 46 in 2020.

This third potential combination would bring youth and diversity to the ticket in a rapidly changing America.

This is only the beginning of the speculation for 2020.

Is Presidential Race Of 2020 Beginning Early? Rumors About Mitt Romney And Joe Biden Emerge

Hard to believe, but on the 13 month anniversary today of Donald Trump’s inauguration, rumors and gossip are spreading about the Presidential race of 2020 beginning early.

Early speculation talks about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, now running for the open Senate seat in Utah, being vacated by Senator Orrin Hatch, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, leaving after 7 terms and 42 years of service. Rumors have it that Romney is positioning himself for another Presidential run against Donald Trump or if he leaves office, Vice President Mike Pence, in two years.

Of course, Romney denies such rumors, but it is said that many mainstream conservatives want Romney to run, and possibly Trump realizes that potential, as he has now come to endorse Romney for the Senate, after having encouraged Hatch not to retire,

Romney is well known for his bitter denunciation of Trump’s candidacy in 2016, and then being manipulated by Trump for the possible post of Secretary of State, but passing him by for that position, so this will be something to watch, if Romney decides to challenge Trump or Pence.

Also, former Vice President Joe Biden, ahead in early polls for the Democratic Presidential nomination, over both Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Oprah Winfrey, is making clear through friends that he is seriously considering another run for President, as he is well aware that many have said had he run in 2016, and been the Democratic Presidential nominee, that he would have won the working class white vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and defeated Trump. Of course, the tragic death of son Beau Biden prevented that, and is seen by many as a tragic turning point in American history.

Realize, however, that were Romney and Biden to be their party nominees, we would have a candidate who would reach 74 after two months in office (Romney), and a candidate who would reach 78 two weeks after the election in 2020.

Either would be the oldest Presidential first term winner in American history, and once again, despite loyalty of many to both Romney and Biden, as being “Presidential”, one has to wonder if younger voters would be turned off by two “Grandpa” candidates, rather than moving toward supporting nominees in their 40s, 50, or early 60s, as preferable.

There is a long list of such potential nominees, and this will all be explored over time, but for now, the “Old Guard” is in the forefront of speculation.

Is Our Future Leadership Our Past Contenders, And “Old” Leaders (Those Over 70 In 2020)?

At a time when many observers would say we need to look to a new generation of leadership for America. instead the potential for our past contenders or “old’ leaders to end up competing for the Presidency in 2020 is very clear.

On the Democratic side, we could have Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (age 79 in 2020); former Vice President Joe Biden (78 in 2020); former 2016 Presidential nominee and First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton (age 73 in 2020); and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (age 71 in 2020) all announcing for President.

Some rumors even put retiring California Governor Jerry Brown (82 in 2020); former 2004 Presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Senator, and former Secretary of State John Kerry (77 in 2020); and former 2000 Presidential nominee and former Vice President Al Gore (72 in 2020) also in the mix.

On the Republican side, we could have President Donald Trump (74 in 2020) and former 2012 Presidential nominee, Massachusetts Governor, and future likely Utah Senator Mitt Romney (73 in 2020), announcing for President.

The question that arises is whether the voting population would be turned off to “Baby Boomers” and some born even before 1946, with Sanders, Biden, Brown and Kerry born between 1938 and 1943, being the competitors who make it to the final stage of the election campaign.

It is certainly likely that at least some of this above list is in the mix, but the likelihood still is that a Senator or Governor of a younger generation will be, at least, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2020, and a slight chance that such would be the case in the Republican Party.

Joe Trippi, Campaign Manager For Many Democrats, Able To Promote Great Victory For Doug Jones In Alabama, A Turning Point For 2018

One of the key figures who brought about the election of Doug Jones in Alabama was his masterful campaign manager, Joe Trippi.

Trippi managed to run a campaign that was brilliant in execution.

Trippi is well versed in Democratic campaigns for office, not successful on a regular basis as with Jones, but he is well regarded for his campaign strategies.

Among those he assisted in various campaigns for public office are:

Minnesota Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale and his Presidential campaign in 1984.

Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and his Presidential campaign in 1980.

Colorado Senator Gary Hart and his Presidential campaign in 1988.

California Governor Jerry Brown and his Presidential campaign in 1992 and gubernatorial campaign in 2010.

North Carolina Senator John Edwards and his 2008 Presidential campaign.

Missouri House Minority Leader and Congressman Dick Gephardt and his Presidential campaign in 1988 after Gary Hart dropped out.

Trippi also was campaign manager for Vermont Governor and 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Additionally, he assisted Senate elections of California Senator Alan Cranston, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.

Hopefully, the Doug Jones election in a “Red” state will be a turning point nationwide in the midterm Congressional Elections of 2018.

Hillary Clinton’s New Memoir: Will It Destroy A Possible Future Candidacy Or Promote It?

Hillary Clinton’s new memoir on her Presidential campaign is out, and the question is whether it will destroy a possible future candidacy for President, or promote it.

Clinton certainly blames herself for some of the actions and statements that doomed her, but also places a lot of blame on others, including former FBI Director James Comey; her rival for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Today Show Host Matt Lauer, who moderated a debate that she feels was poorly handled by him; and of course, Donald Trump.

She points out her belief that there was definite Russian collusion for Donald Trump; makes clear her disgust at Trump’s tactics during the campaign; makes clear her belief that Trump was and is totally unqualified on experience and judgment to be our President; and tells us she is not going anywhere into the distance, but will continue to speak up on issues and personalities, including on Donald Trump.

Clinton recognizes that millions love her and voted for her, and gave her a 2.85 million popular vote margin, but that millions others hate her with a passion, and that sexism played a major role in her defeat, along with disgust by many at her husband, Bill Clinton, even though millions of others admire and support her husband and his Presidency in the 1990s.

Clinton informs us that while she will continue to be part of public discourse, she will NOT run for President again, which seems totally sensible and rational.

While she has run twice already, there is no desire to match Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan, who ran and lost three times; or Thomas E. Dewey and Adlai Stevenson, who ran and lost two times.

It is indeed time for fresh leadership, and so the idea of Bernie Sanders at age 79 in 2020 running for President is a terrible idea, and even Joe Biden, who this blogger loves, and believes that he would have defeated Donald Trump had he been the nominee, running again at age 78 in 2020, is not a good way to go.

Rather, we need YOUNGER leadership, such as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Senator Kamala Harris of California; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey; Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro of Texas; Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom of California (running for Governor in 2018); Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon; Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York; Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Senator Mark Warner of Virginia; Senator Al Franken of Minnesota; Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia; and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, among others.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also talked about, as with Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but being in the 70s by 2020 makes her NOT a good choice, and she is also extremely controversial, and would be unlikely to gain any more support in the proper places and states to be elected President, because if anything, she is more vehement and more controversial to many than Sanders or Clinton.

Again, we need NEW leadership, with a preference for the YOUNGER part of the above group.