Virginia

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 “Dream List” To Defeat: Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn, Scott Walker, Kris Kobach, Steve King, Dave Brat

For anyone who is “progressive”, there is a “dream list” of Republicans to defeat.

This would include Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, arguably the most important of all to defeat, as he is a truly disgraceful man and Senator, hated by his own Senate colleagues, including those of his own party. Back in 2016, this blogger thought Cruz was worse than Donald Trump, and still considers him to be purely evil in his demagoguery, and it is hoped Texas will elect Beto O’Rourke, a truly dynamic and inspiring candidate. That would end Ted Cruz’s future quest to run for President in 2020 or 2024.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida, a truly horrific leader for the past eight years, is among the very worst of all Republican governors. He is now trying to win the Senate seat of Bill Nelson, and as a Floridian for the past 30 years, it is hoped that Nelson, who is a moderate, and therefore perfect for the complex politics of Florida, will be able to retire Scott from public life. Otherwise, expect that Scott might seek the Presidency in 2024.

Marsha Blackburn has been a disgraceful Congresswoman from Tennessee, in the same camp as former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota in her lack of any compassion or empathy. It is hoped former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen will win the seat of retiring Senator Bob Corker.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin may be actually worse than Rick Scott, although both are as terrible as one can imagine as state governors. Seeking a third term, it is hoped that Tony Evers, the Democratic nominee and state Superintendent of Instruction, will retire him and his future presidential ambitions.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has spent his career trying to deny the right to vote, and headed a presidential commission working to deny that right, which was disbanded as a failed concept. Now he is running for Kansas Governor against state senator Laura Kelly, and Kansas desperately needs a Democrat in the Governorship after the failed leadership of former Governor and earlier Senator Sam Brownback.

Congressman Steve King of Iowa is probably the most outrageous and despicable Republican in the House of Representatives, an openly white supremacist, racist, nativist demagogue, who has stirred such outrage even among Republicans, that he might be facing a potential vote of expulsion from the House, if he is reelected. J. D. Scholten is his opponent, and it is hoped he can pull off an upset in that Congressional district.

Finally, David Brat, a former Economics Professor, who defeated Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader in a primary in 2014 in a Richmond, Virginia Congressional District, and is allied with the Tea Party Movement, faces a real challenge from Abaigail Spanberger. Former Republican Senator John Warner just endorsed Spanberger over his own party nominee, so there is hope Brat will be retired from the House of Representatives.

If four or five of these seven were to be defeated, it would be a celebratory result of the Midterm Elections of 2018!

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

Florida’s Discriminatory 150 Year Old Law Denying Voting Rights To Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society Finally Being Challenged

About 1.4 million Floridians are denied the right to vote, because of past criminal records, but have paid their debt to society.

This discriminatory law has been in place since 1868, as part of a racist policy during Reconstruction, designed against African Americans, and Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Florida Cabinet Officers have made it nearly impossible for any of this group to regain their voting rights, even a decade or more after having met all legal requirements to be able to have their voting rights restored.

Now there is a constitutional amendment question that will be on the Florida ballot in November, requiring 60 percent or more of those voting to support the end of this discrimination, only found also in three other states—Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia—although the latter has had two Democratic Governors–Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam–who have worked on restoring rights by executive action.

Florida, as the third largest state, is an outlier on the issue, and the proposed constitutional amendment, a move done by former felons working together, seems to have a good chance of success, and particularly with the apparent popularity of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, favored to win over Republican Ron DeSantis.

It is important to understand that anyone who has committed and been convicted of murder or rape would NOT get back their voting rights, but many felons have non violent convictions, and this is designed to restore their voting rights.

It is also ironic that about two thirds of the people who would regain their voting rights are whites, not African Americans, overcoming the stereotype that only African Americans in the past and in the present commit felonies that are non violent.

Crucial House Races On Way To House Of Representatives Democratic Majority In 116th Congress

It should be easy to gain the minimum 23 seats to put Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives in the upcoming 116th Congress.

The key reality is that there are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, and California seats that seem likely to be switched.

There are suburban districts that traditionally vote Republican, but now are expected to vote Democratic, due to the outrage of women, and the fear that we will have a massive rise in prices due to the crazy tariffs Donald Trump has put upon products from China, as well as the European Union.

in the first midterm after a new President has been inaugurated, invariably the party in control of the White House loses a large number of seats, and often control of Congress.

This was true in 2010, 1946, 1994, 1974, and 1966, years when the party in power lost 63, 55, 54, 48, and 48 seats respectively, as well as losing 6, 12, 8, 4, and 4 seats in the US Senate.

Best bet is that the Democrats will gain 35-40 seats in the House, and have a shot at winning two seats from Republicans, and keeping all of their endangered Senators, particularly now with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court controversy.

With the low public opinion ratings of Donald Trump, history tells us that the average in the first midterm of a new President sees 44 House seats and 5 Senate races lost.

Also, first term midterms, not considering public opinion ratings of the new President, see an average of 29 House and 3 Senate seats lost.

So considering all these factors, it seems that Democratic control of both houses of Congress seems likely in the 116th Congress.

Donald Trump And Hurricanes: Hurricane Maria In Puerto Rico, And Hurricane Florence Now Menacing The Carolinas And Virginia

Donald Trump has presided over the worst hurricane disaster in American history, with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, leading to 3,000 deaths, the same as the attack on Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.

He has the gall and the lack of empathy to claim a “great success”, and it is clear Trump is totally delusional, and criminal in his lack of taking responsibility for the disaster that could have been handled better by the Federal Emergency Management Agency,

And now, just in advance of hurricane season, and the menacing Hurricane Florence about to assault North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, in what some think could be the worst hurricane in memory, it has been revealed that $10 million has been transferred to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to arrange for more detentions of immigrants than already has occurred, marking the greatest such detention facilities since the Japanese Americans in World War II.

It is a criminal act to promote continued and expanded detention, and it is also criminal to take funds out of FEMA as we face another hurricane disaster season.

There has to be, eventually, full accountability for these crimes for top officials in the Trump Administration, and if the nation cannot protect its own citizens from harm from natural disasters, then how can they protect us from harm from a foreign foe, from terrorism?

That is the number one question to ask of the Trump Administration, which is proving to be more incompetent on hurricanes than even George W. Bush on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005.

78 “Swing” Districts In House Of Representatives, With A Minimum of 23 Switching Control In Midterm Elections Giving Democrats Control

It is estimated by political experts that there are 78 “Swing” districts in the House of Representatives, which could go either way in November.

History tells us that with the exception of 1934, and 2002, the party NOT in the White House always gains seats, and often a large number of seats, and takes over the majority in Congress, as in 1946, 1954, 1994, 2006, and 2010.

Since the Democrats only need 23 seats to switch control of the lower house of Congress, it is hard to imagine that this will not occur.

There are plenty of seats that could change due to the Trump policies and programs, particularly in states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and California, with selected seats in other states many of them “Red” for Trump.

More likely than just 23 seats is the possibility of a massive switch of seats, possibly as many as 40 or more seats going to the Democrats.

If such happens, which polls seem to show likely to occur, we will have the ability of the House of Representatives to fully investigate many scandals and controversies that have been pushed aside by the Republican majority.

And impeachment of Donald Trump would be likely in 2019, just as Robert Mueller comes to conclusions on his investigation of Trump for Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, abuse of the Emoluments Clause, and so much else.

Conviction would be difficult, nearly impossible, of Trump on impeachment charges, but his erratic behavior could lead to pressure for him to resign, and since Mike Pence wants to be President, do not be so sure he would not turn against his boss at some point, as hard as that is to imagine right now in late July 2018.

Could The Equal Rights Amendment Become The 28th Amendment? The 27th Amendment As A Case Study

Lo and Behold!

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, passed through both houses of Congress by wide margins, and then ratified by 35 states between 1972 and 1977, three states short of the three fourths or 38 states needed to ratify, and abandoned after one three year extension from the original seven year plan, in 1982, suddenly has life again!

Nevada’s legislature became state 36 in 2017, and Illinois just became the 37th recently, and now North Carolina is moving ahead on the measure, even though it is 41 years since the original 35 states ratified it, and 46 years since it was passed by both houses of Congress. Also, as a backup, the states of Arizona, Utah, Florida and Virginia are moving in the same direction.

There is precedent for this great delay in the 27th Amendment, suggested in 1789, and only finally ratified by enough states in 1992, mandating that Congress cannot raise its own pay during the same session of Congress that they enact a raise, but only for the succeeding Congress.

If that can happen 203 years after the original enactment, then why not 46 years?

George Will, the conservative ideologue, is bitterly opposed, as he argues progress has been made for women as members of Congress and in society and in law. from what it was in the 1970s.

While that is true, there is still no reason NOT to put women in the Constitution specifically, as the only mention is the 19th Amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote long after the first push for suffrage at the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

State Politics Much More Complicated Than Often Realized: The Cases Of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, California

Anyone who follows American politics historically and contemporarily often seems unaware of the complexity of state politics around the nation.

We hear discussion of “Blue” states and “Red” states, but state politics is much more complicated that that.

Gerrymandering often distorts the reality of political loyalties in many states, and also the reality of about one third of voters being “Independent”, rather than loyal to Democrats or Republicans.

There are many examples of this across the nation, particularly noticeable in larger, more populated states.

Just a few examples:

New York State is often thought to be strongly Democratic, but not true in the state legislature, and New York City is vastly different in political culture from upstate New York areas, such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Even Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, often reflect different views than the five boroughs of New York City, and within New York City, Staten Island, is vastly different from Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, with Queens County more balanced than the other boroughs in the city.

Pennsylvania is a state where gerrymandering has given the Republicans until now a great advantage, but new court ordered mandates may change that balance in Congress and the state legislature. Philadelphia has a very different political orientation than western Pennsylvania, often called “Alabama” outside of the city of Pittsburgh.

Virginia is well known to have a very liberal Democratic northern section (often called NoVa), reflecting the influence of being the Washington DC suburbs, while much of the rest of the state is reliably conservative and Republican.

Florida is strongly Democratic in the southern counties, particularly Broward and Palm Beach Counties, with somewhat less so in Miami Dade County due to the influence of Cuban Americans, but even that is diminishing, since it is now 60 years since the rise of Fidel Castro, and those directly affected negatively by Castro, are mostly no longer part of the population in Miami. At the same time, Central Florida is the real battleground in the state, the area that decides most elections. North Florida is much like Alabama or Georgia, its neighbors.

Ohio is strongly Democratic in the northern and central sections, particularly in Cleveland and Toledo, and the capital of Columbus, but in the more rural parts and in southern Ohio, near Kentucky, including Cincinnati, it is strongly Republican.

Illinois is dominated by Chicago in the northern part, but down state Illinois is much more Republican in orientation.

Michigan has Detroit as strongly Democratic but in western and northern Michigan, it is much more rural and Republican.

Texas has Democratic strongholds in the state capitol, Austin, and in Houston, while other portions of this very large state, including the rural areas, are strongly Republican.

California has Democratic strongholds in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Central Valley, San Diego, and cities like Bakersfield, where House Majority Leader and possible next Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy resides, are strongly Republican.

The next race for the Speaker of the House could be between two Californians of totally different mentalities–Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.

A basic reality is that urban areas are always much more likely to be Democratic while rural areas are certain to be more Republican.

Suburban areas are what often decides the politics of a state and in Congress and the Presidential election, as they are the balancing force that determines a state vote, and recently it seems clear the suburban areas, often Republican, are starting to move away from that long time loyalty.

State Offices Held By Presidents Before Becoming The Chief Executive

Continuing the analysis of Presidents that has been done on this blog in the last week or so, today we will examine what state offices were held by Presidents before becoming the nation’s Chief Executive.

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Tyler all served in the Virginia House of Delegates.

James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson served in the Tennessee House of Representatives, while Johnson also served in the Tennessee Senate.

James Buchanan served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

William Henry Harrison, James A. Garfield, and Warren G. Harding served in the Ohio Senate.

Millard Fillmore and Theodore Roosevelt served in the New York State Assembly.

Martin Van Buren and Franklin D. Roosevelt served in the New York State Senate.

Franklin Pierce served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

John Quincy Adams and Calvin Coolidge served in the Massachusetts Senate, while Coolidge also served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Abraham Lincoln served in the Illinois House of Representatives, while Barack Obama served in the Illinois Senate.

Finally, Jimmy Carter served in the Georgia State Senate.

Additionally, Martin Van Buren served as Attorney General of New York State; Millard Fillmore as New York State Comptroller; Warren G. Harding as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio;’ Calvin Coolidge as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts; and Bill Clinton as Attorney General of Arkansas.

Also, three Presidents served as Mayors–Andrew Johnson as Mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee; Grover Cleveland as Mayor of Buffalo, New York; and Calvin Coolidge as Mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts.