Wyoming

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.

The Mountain And Desert West America Going “Blue” For the Future, Following The Pacific Coast States!

There are growing indications that much of the Mountain and Desert West part of America is going “Blue” for the future, following the Pacific Coast states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.

Already, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada are leaning in that direction, and it seems inevitable that Arizona will join that group of states soon, and also Montana may join in that move.

The states of Wyoming, Idaho and Utah are less likely to do so, but growing Hispanic-Latino and Asian American population in much of the Mountain and Desert West makes Democratic gains in both Presidential elections and state elections much more likely over the next decade.

In the controversy over Hispanic-Latino population growth, many might be surprised to learn that Asian American population is growing at a faster clip in the West, and just as Hispanics and Latinos tend to do, Asian Americans–whether Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi–as well as others, tends to vote Democratic.

The nativism appeal of Donald Trump and the general Republican party line is a warning sign to these Asian American groups, and history reminds us of the discrimination visited in the Western states against particularly Chinese and Japanese immigrants and citizens in the American past.

The Mormon Factor In The Electoral College Prognostications

The Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is an important factor in the American West.

Usually, Mormons as a group are conservative Republicans, but the odds are growing that states that would usually vote Republican might not vote for Donald Trump, due to his religious bigotry displayed toward Muslims, as Mormons suffered persecution in the 19th century on their trek to Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mitt Romney, himself a Mormon, is vehemently against Trump.

60 percent in Utah, 24 percent in Idaho, and 9 percent in Wyoming are Mormons,with 4-5 percent in Nevada, Arizona, and Montana. Only about 2 percent in America are Mormon, similar to Jews in population and percentage.

The most Mormon states are Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, with a total of 13 electoral votes. Nevada, Arizona, and Montana follow, with a total of 20 electoral votes. All of these six states, except Nevada, have been reliably Republican.

So we are talking about a possible loss of 27 electoral votes, not counting Nevada’s six electoral votes.

Donald Trump cannot afford to lose these states, but he could, indeed, some or all of them going to Democrat Hillary Clinton over the religious issue!

“Super Delegates” And “Unbound Delegates”—The Politics Of Presidential Nominations!

With all of the Presidential primaries and caucuses, it turns out that “Super Delegates” in the Democratic Party, and “Unbound Delegates” in the Republican Party could overrule all of the election results in the two major parties!

“Super Delegates” are several hundred delegates, who are party officers and elected members of Congress and in the state governments, and right now, it is clear that the vast majority favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

“Unbound Delegates” are about 200 delegates in a few states, including North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, that under Republican state party rules, can go to the convention unbound, no matter what the state voters in those states have voted, and they are enough, along with “Marco Rubio” delegates, to create the possibility of preventing Donald Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates, the majority needed for nomination.

The problem with these different kinds of delegates is they can cause total disillusionment in voters who feel their vote has meant nothing, and that the “Establishment” in both parties is working to undermine the revolt against them, led by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

One thing is clear: Both parties and their conventions will be far from boring this summer in Cleveland for the Republicans and Philadelphia for the Democrats!

Small States’ (One House Member And Two Senators) Influence In Congress Since 1945

There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!  In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.

The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!

But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.

So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.

But look at their influence:

Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,  who  was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.  Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.

Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.  He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.

Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.  Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 as  a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.

Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.  Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.

And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).

So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!

Women In Congress And State Governorships

With the celebration of Women’s Equality Day yesterday, it is worth attention to point out statistics on women office holders in the history of America.

There have been 298 women House members, starting with Jeanette Rankin of Montana in 1917. There are 82 women House members in the present, with 62 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

There have been 44 women Senators, starting with Hattie Caraway of Arkansas in 1931, after Rebecca Felton of Georgia served for just one day in 1922. Twenty women serve as Senator in the present, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

There have been 36 woman Governors, starting with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming in 1927. Five women serve as Governor in the present, four Republicans and one Democrat.

Every state has elected women to the House of Representatives except Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota, but the last two states have elected women to the US Senate.

Gay Marriage Case Likely On Way To Supreme Court For Ruling One Year From Now!

The issue of gay marriage is likely on its way to the Supreme Court, and almost certainly will be decided a year from now, in the most blockbuster case of 2015!

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has declared gay marriage to be a basic right, and that means marriages can move ahead in the near future in Utah, which brought the case, along with Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and New Mexico!

There is a temporary hold, but it is a major step forward, and insures, almost certainly, that the case will go to the Supreme Court this fall.

And it is ALMOST certain that we will have a Loving V. Virginia (interracial marriage) case result next year, allowing gay marriage everywhere in America, whether religious right wingers like it or not! One must realize that no church or other religious establishment would have to promote it, but civil marriage would move forward.

The belief is that there are four certain supporters of gay marriage on the Court—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

Additionally, Justice Anthony Kennedy was the one who decided the path breaking case of Lawrence V. Texas, which greatly expanded the gay rights movement in 2003!

And it is possible to believe that Chief Justice John Roberts could also add his vote, making the vote next June 6-3!

The Twelve Most Right Wing Extremist States In 2014

It is scary to observe just how far Right Wing Extremist some of the 50 states have gone. Following is a list of the twelve most right wing extremist states in 2014. There is no special order of these states.

Texas
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi
Louisiana
Kansas
Oklahoma
Idaho
Utah
Wyoming

All of these states are governed by right wing Republican, Tea Party supported Governors and legislatures.

Seven of them are Southern States of the Old Confederacy.

Nine of them, including Kansas and Oklahoma, had legal segregation until outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Idaho, Utah and Wyoming are heavily influenced by the right wing extremism of the Mormon Church.

Only Texas and North Carolina are heavily populated states, and the only ones that are becoming more significant, due to the reality that both are bound to be “Blue” in the coming years.

Other than Texas, North Carolina, and to some extent, South Carolina, the other nine states are having no major impact on the future evolution of the nation!

The education level in all twelve states is among the lowest in the nation, and poverty is high, and not just among African Americans and Hispanics-Latinos, but also among poor whites.

These states, if they continue their right wing tilt, are doomed to remain the “backwaters” of America long term!

Fifteen Most Right Wing States In America: The Candidates

As America moves forward on so many issues socially, the “hinterland” of the nation languishes in its revelry of backwardness, allowing themselves to be influenced by Christian fundamentalists and business tycoons who do not give a damn about the rights of women, the rights of children, the rights of gays and lesbians, the right to safety from gun extremists, the right to labor protections, the right to promotion of the environment, the rights of minorities, the rights to basic health care, the rights to a public education, and the right to basic civil liberties for all citizens and non-citizens.

Instead, there are many states who are working to outlaw abortion completely within their boundaries; to deny poor children free breakfast and lunch; to refuse to recognize same sex marriage protections; to expand the rights of gun enthusiasts at the expense of public safety; to refuse to expand unemployment compensation and the minimum wage for workers; to undermine environmental protections and fight the federal government on the creation of new national parks and monuments; to imprison and execute minorities on a much larger scale than whites; to refuse to expand Medicaid or provide any kind of health care for the poor and disabled; to promote privatization of schools and charters and cut spending on public schools; to teach creationism as science in public schools; and to give police undue power to shoot and kill when uncalled for in many domestic situations that arise as part of a troubled social structure in America!

Trying to make a list of fifteen most right wing states is not easy, as there are numerous candidates for such dubious honors!

It is as if we live in two Americas–the progressive, modern, secular, advanced states of the two coastlines and the upper Midwest; and the backward, 19th century mentality, theocratic, backward states of the “hinterland”, resentful of a changing America that includes large numbers of people of very different backgrounds and agendas than these mostly rural, isolated states, many with much smaller population, but having influence through the US Senate, and the Tea Party ability to create barriers in the US House of Representatives.

Here is a list of states that the author believes have the unique distinction of competing for the most backward, reactionary states in America in the 21st century. These states are not being ranked, but just listed at this point.

Alabama
Mississippi
Louisiana
Arkansas
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
West Virginia
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Idaho
Utah
Wyoming

Notice nine of the fifteen are the old South or border South; three are the Great Plains; and three are the Mountain West.

The author welcomes discussion of this list of most right wing states, and he will make a judgment later on which state is the most backward in 2014!

Liz Cheney Vs. Rand Paul, And The Rachel Maddow “Connection” On Iraq War

Fox News commentator Liz Cheney, formerly a Senate candidate from Wyoming, who withdrew from the race due to poor polling numbers, is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

She is as much a nightmare as her infamous father, who is the hawk of all hawks, the ultimate neoconservative, who manipulated us by lies to enter the war against Iraq, a losing war, that emboldened the more dangerous neighbor, Iran, over the past eleven years.

Liz Cheney defends her father while attacking Tea Party Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has denounced the Iraq War as an unwise and mistaken action.

But Liz Cheney has claimed that Rand Paul is mouthing the main talking points of MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, who has produced a documentary, already shown on that channel, denouncing the war, and showing how it was based on lies and deception at the cost of 4,400 American lies and over 30,000 wounded, many seriously, while Cheney enriched himself immensely through his Haliburton connections.

The idea that Rand Paul has, somehow, been working alongside Rachel Maddow is laughable, as she has been a major critic of his libertarianism and other views, and is no “friend” of Rand, or Ron Paul, his dad and the former Texas Congressman.

This is a sign of the splits developing in the GOP, not only the Cheneys and other neoconservatives (such as former UN Ambassador John Bolton) against Rand Paul, a likely frontrunner for the Presidential nomination in 2016; but also the hard line right wingers against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his approach to the immigration issue, particularly undocumented immigrants.

Anyone who would deny the Rachel Maddow expose against Cheney and others who prosecuted the Iraq War on false pretenses is a fool, and the words to describe Liz Cheney are not printable here on this blog!