Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Swing states that could go to President Trump in 2020

To be fair and honest journalists, shouldn’t all journalists of good will talk about every state that could flip from 2016? What if every story or commentary had a list of the states Hillary Clinton won by a whisker in 2016 and examined the possibility of them flipping to Trump in November? 

Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16) and Wisconsin (10) represent a total of 46 electoral votes. President Trump won 306 electoral votes in 2016, so if he loses those three states and every other state he lost to Hillary Clinton, he will only garner 260 electoral votes in 2020. 

Joe Biden will become “President-Elect Joe Biden.” Kamala Harris will become “Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris.” Put that on your screensaver in case you forget. 

Major media outlets always include the critical states of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina in the “swing state” category. Many campaign experts on the ground think Florida and Ohio are going for Trump and North Carolina is slipping away from Biden despite millions being spent on ads across the state. 

What major news media outlets don’t ever talk about are the states that Hillary Clinton barely won that could flip to Trump this time around: Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), Maine (4) and Nevada (6), which represent 24 electoral votes. It is as if the press has suppressed any mention of such possibilities. 

President Trump could lose Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and still win re-election with 284 electoral votes if he wins these four smaller states and keeps all the other states he won in 2016.  

There are any number of scenarios that could occur this year where President Trump could win or lose re-election. Nothing is for sure except for the fact that Joe Biden, or any Democrat, starts with at least 180 electoral votes in their back pocket from blue states such as California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington and Oregon. 

The “worst” Joe Biden can be beaten is approximately 358-180 in the Electoral College. No more 49-state landslides such as Ronald Reagan defeating Walter Mondale in 1984 until those big blue states become competitive politically again. 

Maine is perhaps the least likely state to flip to Trump due to its unusual allocation of electors by congressional district, the only state other than Nebraska to do so. The overall winner with the most votes gets 2 electoral votes in Maine. The winner in each congressional district gets one of the 2 remaining electoral votes. Hillary Clinton won the state by less than 20,000 but she won the electoral vote in ME-1 by 58,000 votes. Trump won in ME-2 by 37,000 votes. If Trump loses in ME-1 by less than the margin he wins in ME-2 this time around, he will pick up 3 of the 4 ME votes, as Hillary did in 2016. 

Insiders say that Trump is much stronger in Minnesota this election than he was in 2016 when he lost the state by 43,785 votes. He lost by only 2,732 votes in New Hampshire and 26,434 in Nevada. Trump only needs to flip 50%+1 of those votes, or 21,893 in Minnesota, 1,367 in New Hampshire, and 13,218 in Nevada to win all three states this time. 

Politics is like basketball. If your team misses a layup and the opposing team rebounds and scores at the other end, that is a four-point swing — the two lost plus the two gained.  

Same with the electoral college; if Trump wins Minnesota, he gets 10 electoral votes, but it means Biden also loses 10 electoral votes from 2016, for a net change of 20 electoral votes. 

When you start to see major media outlets talk about all of the potential swing states going either way, then you will know honest journalism is at least trying to make a comeback when it comes to national politics. 

But it won’t be this year. 

(first published in North State Journal 9/30/20)

Do You Want Better People to Run for Public Office?
Support the Institute for the Public Trust Today

Visit The Institute for the Public Trust to contribute today

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

They Gathered To A Place Called Political Armageddon

We all knew this day was coming.  

From the moment Roe vs Wade was decided by the Burger Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, even though it was soon overwhelmed by the Watergate firestorm, everyone in politics knew that the issue of abortion had the potential to tear America asunder. 

It has. The issue of abortion has pitted family members against family members, churches against churches and Democrats against Republicans. It has been the No. 1 litmus test for each side since at least 1980. Socialist Democrats now openly declare that no pro-life Democrat is welcome in their party. No pro-choice Republicans are in any kind of leadership position at the national level. 

In a year of pandemic, economic crash and resuscitation, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, riots, and a DEFCON status of 2 on the political danger scale, why not add a Supreme Court nomination and move it to DEFCON 1 six weeks ahead of the most contentious presidential election in memory? 

People on the left applauded the Roe decision as a freedom and right-to-choose issue for women. People on the right chastised it for being the consummate example of judicial overreach — finding the right to an abortion under the “penumbra” of privacy provisions in the Constitution — and usurping states’ rights with a sweeping federal jurisprudence decision absent any appropriate federal or state legislative action. 

Since then, every Supreme Court vacancy and subsequent nomination process has borne the patina of abortion politics, unspoken most of the time but clearly understood through coded questions and answers. 

With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, all non-partisan pretense has been thrown out the window. Everyone knows the next Supreme Court Justice could tip the balance of the Court into a somewhat permanent 6-3 conservative majority for the foreseeable future. Such a majority could pave the way for Roe vs Wade to not be fully overturned per se, due to the Court’s allegiance to “precedent,” so they say, but to be reversed in some way that allows the issue to return to the states to be decided state-by-state. 

Forty-two Supreme Court Justices have died while in office. Twenty-nine vacancies have occurred in presidential election years. Seventeen of the presidential year vacancies have been confirmed by the Senate in addition to a couple of recess appointments that were eventually confirmed, including William Brennan in 1956.   

Since 1900, there is no historical record of any incumbent president of either party refraining from nominating someone to fill the vacancy before the election. 

President Trump is going to nominate either Amy Coney Barrett or Barbara Lagoa at the end of this week. Both are esteemed jurists. Both are Catholic. Both are female. Ruthlessly attacking either judge carries enormous political risks for Democrats. 

If Republicans garner 51 votes on the motion to proceed to floor debate on the nomination, it will take place before the election. They have 53 senators today; they can lose Sens. Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah and still pass the nomination with the tie-breaking vote of VP Mike Pence, although Senator Romney has indicated his support for the nomination “if it reaches the floor of the Senate”. 

Just because a president nominates someone to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court doesn’t mean they have to be considered by the Senate. The Framers of the Constitution thought long and hard about the confirmation process and ultimately decided to give the US Senate advise-and-consent authority to approve Supreme Court appointments. 

If the White House and Senate are controlled by members of the same political party, the nominee gets confirmed. If not, then the nominee would not.  

Politics is just math by other means. It is not that hard to understand. 

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has set up a political Armageddon scenario everyone thought would happen one day, even before the ink was dry on Roe vs Wade. On top of everything else that has happened in 2020, it seems to almost be a fitting coda to add the most contentious issue possible — abortion — to an already overheated divisive presidential election. 

(first published in North State Journal 9/23/20)

Do You Want Better People to Run for Public Office?
Support the Institute for the Public Trust Today

Visit The Institute for the Public Trust to contribute today

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Trump Vs "Anyone Not Named Trump!"

There is no energy or enthusiasm for a Joe Biden presidency in North Carolina, or anywhere else for that matter. No one can say off the top of their head what Joe Biden would do as president. He certainly does not convey a lot of confidence in having him as the next commander-in-chief when he has to read responses to pre-screened questions from his notes or a teleprompter.

This election is solely about President Donald J. Trump. You either love him or hate him. The small percentage of truly independent swing voters is going to be swayed by his message on law and order and economic prosperity or not; and they will determine if he wins North Carolina or not.

Democratic strategists said long ago that the only chance they had to win North Carolina was to nominate a moderate like Joe Biden who would not scare off independent swing voters. However, his “moderation” is being brought into question because of his adoption of the socialist Bernie Sanders’ agenda almost lock, stock and barrel, which tends to scare off such voters.

History is not on Joe Biden’s side. In 1976, Jimmy Carter won N.C. handily over a Watergate-frazzled President Gerald Ford. The only Democrat to win North Carolina since then was Barack Obama in 2008 who won by only 14,000 votes over John McCain and his forgettable “Country First” campaign. President Obama, the most attractive and charismatic Democrat to run for the White House since JFK in 1960, lost N.C. by close to 100,000 votes during his re-election campaign of 2012 to the almost-equally forgettable campaign of Mitt Romney. Bill Clinton lost to President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996. His wife, Hillary Clinton, lost to Trump in 2016 by 177,000 votes.

In order to win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes, Joe Biden has to: A) be more charismatic than Barack Obama ever was (which is impossible); B) be more personable than Bill Clinton (which is impossible); C) have more money to spend than Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton combined (which is possible) and D) have a more robust voter turnout machine than Obama, the consummate “community organizer” (again which is impossible).

Joe Biden is going to have to throw the long ball and thread the eye of a needle to a receiver in the corner of the endzone (to mix a few metaphors) to win North Carolina. He is going to need a massive turnout of African-American voters that far exceeds the 19.7% of the final electorate of black voters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. But if black turnout explodes and President Trump gets more than the 8% of the black vote than he got in 2016, say 10-12%, any advantage Biden may have gotten from high black turnout may be negated or even diminished.

Second, Biden is going to have to do a lot better among white voters than Hillary did in 2016. Biden has a 31% approval rating from white voters which is behind the very low 32% approval of white voters of Hillary Clinton.

There are no prominent third-party candidates expected to drain off 4% of the votes in North Carolina as Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein did in 2016. That could be as many as 200,000 votes that will either stay at home or force themselves to vote for either Trump or Biden. 100% of the Johnson/Stein 2016 vote will not go to either candidate.

And then there is the “enthusiasm gap.” The best get-out-the-vote machine is enthusiasm for a candidate, which is very hard to measure by pollsters. When registered voters who voted in the last four elections were asked, on a scale of 1-to-10, their commitment to vote, the number of 10s recorded for Trump out-numbered those 10s recorded for Biden by a 10-to-1 margin.

Joe Biden might slip through and defy the odds and history to win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes on Nov. 3. But it all depends on turnout, not any poll. It always has.

(first published in North State Journal 9/16/20)

Do You Want Better People to Run for Public Office?
Support the Institute for the Public Trust Today

Visit The Institute for the Public Trust to contribute today

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fascism From The Left

"I Can't Wait to Lead Antifa!

When Donald Trump was elected in 2016, progressive liberals and the media — but I repeat myself — started to freak out about “fascism” coming to America.

They were right to be worried. It did happen…but it came from the left, not the right.

They said Donald Trump would be the reincarnation of “Il Duce,” or “The Leader,” Benito Mussolini, fascist strongman of Italy before and during World War II. He joined forces with another madman, Adolf Hitler, to wreak death and destruction across Europe before American soldiers landed at Normandy to free millions from their insane megalomania.

Mussolini was machine-gunned to death on April 28, 1945, by the same Italian people he promised to help but led into disaster. His body was spit upon and mutilated before being hung downward by his feet in the Piazza Loreto in Milan.

So far, so good for us in America since 2016. President Trump is no Benito Mussolini. Or Adolf Hitler. He is pulling troops out of hotspots around the globe, not sending goose-stepping American soldiers into harm’s way.

“Fascism” comes from the Latin word fasces which was a symbol of a Roman magistrate’s authority depicted by wooden rods around an ax. Fascist governments believe in the power of concentrated authority in the hands of elites (namely themselves) who use armed force to enact their will on innocent citizens.

Fascists disregard and ignore democratic principles when it suits them. They use intimidation tactics to censor political and cultural opponents. They subordinate individual rights and personal freedoms, ostensibly “for the good of the society,” which of course is determined only by the strongman themselves.

In other words, they are bullies who rule by brute physical force, not by reason, logic or the law — just like the antifa terrorists American voters see every night on the news in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York City. 

The American people — black, white, latino, old, young, liberal, moderate and conservative — all know these riots were not caused by President Trump or the US military but by an anarchist militant army from the left, dead-set upon the destruction of America as we know it today.

“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Antifa is democracy.” George Orwell would be so proud.

Late on Election Night, 2016, Hillary Clinton refused to accept the results of an election or gracefully concede to President-elect Trump, as has been historical tradition even in close elections such as Nixon’s loss to JFK in 1960. In the early morning following her defeat, the seeds of blaming her loss on “Russian Collusion” and encouraging “The Resistance” to oppose the Trump Administration at every turn were planted and the past four years have been as tumultuous as any term in White House history.

Willful disregard for democratic principles is a hallmark of fascist movements. When fascists don’t get their way according to the rules, in this case, the US Constitution, they say, “Destroy the rules!”, not “How can we win the next time playing by the rules?”

Fascists love to restrict free speech and public discourse because it threatens their misguided dangerous agendas. Conservative speakers have been banned from speaking on college campuses for a decade now. If liberals think conservative ideas are so stupid, why not let them speak and prove their ignorance in public?

The “cancel culture” movement has gotten to the point where if anyone dares to say anything that disagrees with BLM or antifa, including standing for the American flag and singing the national anthem, Joe Biden and left-wing Progressives go into full attack mode, demanding their resignation or firing and being sent into permanent exile.

Joe Biden can’t even say antifa and BLM are responsible for this violence due to the risk of losing progressive left-wing support in his campaign for the White House. How twisted is that?

Fascists such as Mussolini espoused extreme nationalistic jargon designed to rally the populace around the preservation of the Motherland. In an oddly perverse way, antifa from the left uses extreme anti-nationalistic jargon to destroy the Motherland. They want the complete annihilation of America as we know it, and no Democratic leader takes them to task for it in public.

When big city mayors and governors are given the sole power to make decisions, they can make any decision they want and declare that it is “for the good of the society” without a lot of explanation. Many voters are still scratching their heads over lockdown orders that prevented them from attending worship services and going to the gym at the same time they could go to the local Walmart and ABC store.

Americans will have the chance to renounce fascism on Nov. 3. The only way to crush it is to turn out heavily at the polls and vote against every left-wing politician who has supported such violence, either in word and deed or by their silence since 2016.

(first published in North State Journal 9/9/20)

Do You Want Better People to Run for Public Office?
Support the Institute for the Public Trust Today

Visit The Institute for the Public Trust to contribute today

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Democrats Always Blame America First

When was the last time a prominent elected Democrat gave a full-throated, unequivocal statement of support for the United States of America? 

President Obama took pains to say that America is not “exceptional” during his apology tours around the globe. Every speech at the Democratic National Convention, besides attacking President Trump, denigrated the history of America and essentially argued for replacing it with some form of socialism. 

Or worse. 

Joe Biden has yet to talk about a positive vision for America other than he will be a nice guy who will “bring people together.” What about saying, “Thank God we have individual freedoms in America unlike any other nation on earth, and we should be forever thankful for them”? That would be a nice start. 

People seem to think the recent “Blame America First!” crowd leading the modern Socialist Democratic Party is new to the American political scene. 

They are wrong. There have always been elements of the Democratic Party that have defamed the United States of America for a myriad of sins and imperfections — domestic and foreign. 

What they always fail to do is to put their criticism of American democratic republicanism in proper context, that is, vis-à-vis all the other forms of government that have been tried and failed over the years, as Winston Churchill observed. 

President Ronald Reagan’s US Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, addressed the 1984 GOP Convention in San Diego and excoriated the 1984 Democrats, including then-Sen. Joe Biden, for being on the wrong side of foreign policy issues around the globe, with these excerpts: 

“When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the ‘blame America first crowd’ didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines; they blamed the United States. 

“When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies; they blame United States policies of 100 years ago. 

“But then, they always blame America first. The American people know that it's dangerous to blame ourselves for terrible problems that we did not cause. 

“They understand just as the distinguished French writer, Jean Francois Revel, understands the dangers of endless self- criticism and self-denigration. 

“He wrote: ‘Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.’” 

It used to be that America could depend on moderate-to-conservative Democrats, mostly Southern Democrats, to speak mature wisdom to their more liberal Democratic colleagues. Hardly any Blue Dog Democrats exist anymore to serve as a ballast to the extremist far left leaders such as Bernie Sanders, AOC, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, who are the real leaders of the Socialist Democratic Party, not Joe Biden. 

Historical revisionists try to lay blame on the Founders of America for virtually everything that is wrong about America today: racism, income inequality, private health insurance and probably global climate change while they are at it. What leaders of the Democratic Party have never done in recent memory is paint a positive portrait of what it means to be living in the freest, the most prosperous and the most generous country in world history, whose ideals have released millions of people around the globe from servitude and oppression. 

Perhaps the most troubling aspect is that traditional mainstream Democrats have been proud of America over the years and supported our form of government and freedom through thick and thin.  

Today, those same moderate Democrats are afraid to speak up in defense of American foreign policy, freedom, capitalism and family values for fear of being marginalized by the socialists who run their party today. 

Earth to moderate Democrats: You are already marginalized. You might as well speak up for the ideals of America you support or leave your beloved Democratic Party. Because it has already left you. 

(first published in North State Journal 9/2/20)

Do You Want Better People to Run for Public Office?
Support the Institute for the Public Trust Today

Visit The Institute for the Public Trust to contribute today